Re: OT: Corpses, etc. (was: Re: Gender in conlangs (was: Re: Umlauts (was Re: Elves and Ill Bethisad)))
|Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...>
|Sunday, November 9, 2003, 3:08
--- Isidora Zamora <isidora@...> wrote:
> >Yep. And unlike (I suppose!) the Cwendaso and
> >Trehelish, a Daine could never pass for a Man.
> Yes, a Cwendaso can pass for a man, because he
> is a man.
:) Note the capital M! I was going to ask how the
Cw and Tr differ, but you answered that. What I
meant was that you probably couldn't distinguish
a Cwendaso and a Trehel who are wearing cloaks in
a darkling alley. A Daine's wings will stick out,
making him quite obvious. In the light of day, I
guess they'd be equally obvious!
> The Nidirino have also never been accused, as
> the Cwendaso have, of being
> atheists by the Trehelish. The Nidirino build
> temples and offer
> sacrifices, while the Cwendaso do not. (But a
> quick glance through the
> first portion of Tovlm will convince you that
> Cwendaso are polytheists. Of
> course, Tovlm is an oral work, and has not yet
> been translated in
> Trehelish, and Trehels don't speak Cwendaso, so
> how would they know...or
> why would they even care about getting the
> facts straight.) In any case,
> the way that many Trehelish see things, the
> Nidirino have their own
> religion, but they worship some of the same
> deities as the Trehelish. From
> the Nidirino point of view, the Trehelish are
> idolaters, not to mention
> Death-worshippers. The Trehelish build temples
> to the sun and moon, as do
> the Nidirino. The difference, and the Nidirino
> understand this more
> clearly than the Trehelish do, is that the
> Trehelish worship the goddess
> who made the sun and the god who made the moon
> and have statues of them in
> their temples, while the Nidirino worship the
> *visible* Sun and Moon. They
> have symbols (which are fairly abstract) of the
> Sun and Moon in the
> temples, and on other items, but they worship
> the visible heavenly
> bodies. (And I am writing this in the middle
> of a very nice lunar eclipse,
> a spectacle which the Nidirino, unfortunately,
> cannot sit back and enjoy
> the sight of, since the occasion calls for
> emergency prayers.)
Interesting. And of course, you're lucky to see
the eclipse at all. It's too cloudy here, though
it was nice and clear a few hours ago. :(
Do they worship things other than Sun or Moon?
What do they think of the Trehelish penchant for
worshiping deities rather than realities?
> >I'm sure officers both in the Guard and Army
> >to be literate, but I doubt the common
> >need be any more than functional.
> Is that meant to be interpreted as
> "functionally literate" or merely
Functionally literate of course. [I suspect
they'd have to be functional in general as well!
;)] A Guard has to be able to sign the gaolers'
chitty when he brings in or moves a prisoner, and
has to be able to quote the Law to a prisoner if
need be. Of course, that often turns out to be
little more than bonking the chap on the head and
saying "That's the Lawr, yer sodding bastard.
Naow just shut thy lousy gob!"
> >There are no printed books in the World. If
> >have a book, some monk or slave spent a while
> >copying it out for you.
> The Trehelish will copy by hand, too, if they
> need only a few copies. This
> accounts for printers also being calligraphers.
> The great usefulness of
> printing is that you can make a whole lot of
> books at once.
Well, yes. The problem with making books in that
manner is that the typeface tends to Remember
what it's printed before. Words, spoken and
written, have a Power of their own; and they have
an effect on the things they touch.
Especially when it comes to the printing of
magickal works, there is the real danger of
reisidual magic imbuing, say, a later printing of
a children's runebook or similar. Even nonmagical
printings can build up a sort of bibliographical
static which might discharge later in unexpected
An experimental press was set up in Auntimoanye
some years back. A run of Forsythe's "Cookerye
for Begynneres" was followed by a popup book of
"Monsters Under Thy Bedde!" An advance copy was
given to the King's small son who opened it as
was immediately gobbled by some sort of hideous
Thing with a napkin round its neck. Needless to
say, the printer was hanged from the nearest
yardarm and the whole printed book and printing
press idea was deep sixed. This in and of itself
was probably a mistake, as the octopusses of the
region have been acting very strangely ever
since. They say that it's not unusual to see
octopusses wielding spears and herding or riding
large fishes. But of course, "they" are just a
load of drunken sailors and are prone to say any
For reasons not entirely clear, copying by hand
doesn't have this side effect.
> The other
> great usefulness of it, in their eyes, is that
> you can print a book with a
> lot of illustrations, such as _The_Herbal_,
> which is the standard medical
> reference book, very large, very heavy, very
> expensive, very indispensible.
Oh, well, illustrations are entirely possible in
hand copied books. It is not uncommon for a
scriptery to create woodblocks, print them on
paper and then write out the text surrounding the
pictures. Many books are copied out using hand
rendered illustrations. Illustrators are highly
skilled (consider student artists who make a
little money by copying the works of great
masters - some of them are quite good). Of
course, such a book will be very expensive. This
largely means that books are rare and usually
chained into large libraries.
> So I take it that there is slavery, based on
> your comment above?
Yes. Humans can sell themselves into debt slavery
(they have considerable rights, mind); foreigners
can be taken in war or slave raids and sold in
Roman markets. Slave raiders come up from the
wilds of Barbary at times to steal Daine and Men
as slaves. Daine can be taken by force and bought
or sold at will. They're usually used as oarsmen
or treadmill runners in mills and the like. Some
task where they can be chained to their station.
They would try to run away otherwise, unless you
captured a friend or relative as well. You can
keep a Daine in slavery without ever chaining or
whipping him - simply imply a threat against the
other one you have captured.
> >Requires a little more space than just arms
> >and hands, though!
> How big are the wings?
They have the same three segments as the other
extremities: an upper and a lower segment plus a
"hand". Like a bird's wing, the "hand" is fused
bones, though some Daine have been found with a
wort of thumb on the wings.
The upper two segments are about as long as their
arm segments, so about 22 to 24" for both
together. The third segment varies wildly. Women
have as a rule shorter wings, men have longer
ones, and it's the "hand" segment that varies
most. A woman's wing might be 5' when extended,
while a man's might be 8'.
Daine usually keep their wings folded neatly
behind them, except when doing stuff like talking
or fighting or having sex. As I said, they use
wings for pointing and gesticulating. (A Daine
orator would be a sight!) Excitement (as when old
friends meet) is shown by a rapdid movement of
the "hand" up to about 90deg, then back down
again (sort of like how you see women throw their
arms up in order to hug each other). An
adversarial or indignant stance is signalled by a
triangular stance (the upper segment is 90deg to
the body, the middle segments meet over or behind
the head and the "hands" point down to the ground
at about 45deg. Hands will also be on hips). They
often hug each other with their wings as well as
arms; and when walking side by side, people
usually have their arms around each other and
their wings intertwined. They spread them out a
little when they wrestle or fight, and sometimes
try to put the long feathers at the wingtip into
their opponent's face to blind or distract him.
Sometimes they use the bony bit at the wrist to
strike an opponent. When flirting, men will
unfold their wings a little to show off any curve
and to show off the length of their wings. When
making love, a Daine's wings involuntarily unfold
and if unhindered will point up (above the head).
It is considered a mark of close friendship or
family relationship to allow someone to preen and
comb out your feathers. They use the _carman an
tyellow_ for this, and it's a narrow comb with
long broad picks on one end and a single pick at
the other. While humans might consider it a
landmark to kiss for the first time; a Daine boy
considers it quite the hurdle passed when his
girlfriend allows him to comb out her wing
The primary feather colour generally matches the
primary hair colour. So, brown haired people have
brown wings; but they may also have some yellow,
tan, white or even black feathers mixed in there
(which are secondary colours). Some people have
mottled patterns in their feathers; some even
have mottled hair colour (areas of brown, tan,
A common pattern is to exhibit darker hair and
feathers on one side and lighter hair and
feathers on the other. The effect is spectacular
in black coloured individuals - where perhaps the
left wing will have black feathers and the left
armpit black hair; across the chest the hair
lightens and the head is a swirl of black, white
and perhaps grey; the right armpit is white and
so is the right wing. The effect is frightening
if the eyes are coloured differently as well!
Hm. We haven't talked about actual corpses for a
while. One of the funeral preparations amongst
all Daine is combing out the feathers and the
hair. A hair comb is called _tamack_. A corpse's
wings are arranged in a natural pose, rigor
granting, and the hair is often plaited and
twined with flowers or pretty vines.
fas peryn omen c' yng ach h-yst yn caleor peryn ndia;
enffoge yn omen ach h-yst yn caleor per la gouitha.
Ill Bethisad --
Come visit The World! --