Nur-ellen in the world of Brithenig (was Re:Nur-ellen universes)
|From:||Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg.rhiemeier@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, August 31, 2000, 1:30|
> Am 08/30 02:11 J?rg Rhiemeier yscrifef:
> > Me govanen!
> E helo anghor!
> > Someone *will* have cobbled together a Kemrese national epic some time
> > around 1900
> > which no doubt will prominently feature Elves.
> Probably with Elves, a guest appearance of the Emperor Arthur, and a
> thousand elephants :) If somebody finds out they can let me know.
Especially given the fact that scholars in Ill Bethisad are quite
consensual that several characters from the legends, such as Merlin the
wizard, were in fact Elves.
> > And what do the Cos Nustr think about them? Do they hate them like
> > everything else non-Brithenig, or do they worship them as the "noble
> > elder race"?
> Unless there are Elves sympathetic to lla Gos Nustr I would say that
> they don't like them.
The vast majority of Elves is *not* sympathetic to Lla Gos Nustr! They
tend to see them as spearhead barbarians in the tradition of the leaders
of the Celtic invasion which destroyed their old civilization around 600
BC. From the Elvish viewpoint, Lla Gos Nustr is among the worst of the
dark and brooding stuff that came into the Isles back then from _Dör
Dhyrn_ ("The Dark Lands", an old Elvish term for the barbarian-ruled
continent as opposed to the civilized world of _I Töl_, "The Isles").
It doesn't help that there is quite a number of Elves engaged in Ill
Party Gwirdd, which is certainly nothing Lla Gos Nustr is very fond of I
(I guess that to quite many right-wing people, the Party Gwirdd is
merely the front of what they see as a vast Elvish conspiracy aimed at
Padraig has pointed out, though, that the southern branch of the CN
might actually be quite fond of the Elves, and be it merely to piss off
the northern wing.
But the Elves don't want friends like those.
> They wouldn't like anyone whose claim precedes
> their own.
Certainly! Whenever such people know that there is actually someone
around in a position to lay a claim which is backed up by an older
right, they tend to resent the fact and turn it down. The fact that the
Elves are the heirs of a civilization that was much more enlightened
than the Celts and Romans have ever been in their best days and that was
destroyed by the latter two peoples, bugs them.
> > (Thinking of Mertlad: pagan sites often tend to be overbuilt with
> > churches when christianity moves into an area. Why was the church of
> > Tavrob`l built off the site?)
> Hmmm. Good question.
I have not found an appropriate solution of this problem yet. Of course
we *could* say that the site has actually built over with a church, but
it would be more fun if it was intact. So why is it? Well, quite a
number of old holy sites *did* survive; we still have Stonehenge (both
*here* and *there*) which has never been levelled in order to make room
for a church. It seems that intact pagan sites are quite frequent in
Britain and the conversion-by-building-churches-on-old-holy-grounds
policy is much more of a continental European phenomenon.
Perhaps it is appropriate to make some remarks on Elvish religion here.
It is actually quite similar to what JRRT wrote in _The Silmarillion_.
The Universe was created by the One (_Eru_), who is thus called
_Iluvad`r_ ("Father of the Universe"). What is important is that,
according to Elvish belief, God created Man to *create*, to enrich the
world by making and preserving beautiful things. To the Elves, artistic
creativity is an act of religious worship!
The religion is informal, there is no "church" or anything like that and
no ordained priests, but artists have a priest-like status among Elves
(which, however, does not mean that their works are sacrosanct - the
Elves *do* have their tradition of art criticism). Elvish religious
celebrations take the shape of festivals of the arts, such as singing
contests and similar events.
This is what the _mirtled_ (sing. _mertlad_) are used for.
One of the main tenets of the Elvish world-view is that people must be
free in order to develop their full creative potential and thus fulfill
their Purpose; this freedom, however, is not the selfish absolute
freedom sought after by those gun-toting libertarians, but rather the
freedom enjoyed by the self-determined citizen of a civilized society,
the freedom that respects the equal freedom of other people.
The Elves have never been a particularly warlike people, preferring a
peaceful, civilized life over the path of the warrior. In fact,
warriors were not held in very high esteem; the role of the warrior in
Elvish society has always been one of someone doing something which
would be better if there was no need for it.
Nevertheless, the Elves have always seen their freedom and the integrity
of Nature as something worth defending against those blind to these
values, and it is very much in the line of these traditions that there
is a number of deeply dedicated environmenalists and human rights
activists coming from their ranks. Tyranny and wanton destruction of
nature are something which might justify a war even in the mind of
It is hardly surprising that in the second half of the 20th century,
many young people disaffected by the bourgeois society and industrial
capitalism with its grave environmental and social side-effects, looked
upon the Elves and their traditions as an example to follow. On the
other hand, there are countless bad words about the Elves circulating
among those right-leaning, SUV-driving, body-building masculist would-be
heroes who no doubt exist *there* as well as *here*.
> > The exact position is, as you probably already found out, where the
> > River Trent crosses the 2-degree meridian. The city (well, the old part
> > of it) lies on the north bank of the river, just as the village of Great
> > Haywood does *here*.
> > It also happens to sit exactly on the straight line running through
> > Stonehenge and the Avebury stone circle, i.e. on one of the country's
> > most prominent ley lines. Coincidence?
> Currently under investigation by Gwlffigl Mulder.
Yes, I have taken the hint! It wouldn't surprise me if the character in
the version of the series aired *there* had a good deal of Elvish
> > So M.Gw. might be a rather small town just east or just west of Yll
> > Ffens
> > (if that is the Br. term for the border), possibly known by a name which
> It is. It means the same in English as in Brithenig. Crossing the
> border is referred to as Troersar ill Yscaler, "crossing the stile".
> > [speculation about the Brithenig name of Tavrob`l]
> My usual policy is to find out if a placename has a latin or a Celtic
> name given to it and work off that. Otherwise it would be Tafrobl /t@
> 'vro b(@)l/.
As Tavrob`l is neither Latin nor Celtic, the Brithenig name is, well,
Apparently, neither Celts nor Romans translated the Elvish names they
found in the Isles, but simply adopted them, having no idea about their
meaning, as later did the Anglo-Saxons. Otherwise, London would now be
called Stillhaven ;-)
> > I think the city of Tavrob`l (and its vicinity) has an above-average
> > Elvish population, such that of its 200,000 citizens (I'll take this
> > number as fixed unless there is a problem with having a city of this
> > size at that location - but I don't see why it should be a problem at
> > all, given that Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent might not be there at
> > all), some 50,000 are Elves, and given the strength of Nur-ellen
> > cultural life in the city, most of them actually speak Nur-ellen.
> The closest town I know of is Pengryg' (Pencridge) west of the Trent,
Which is 10 miles southwest of Tafrobl. How many people live there?
> there should be room for Tafrobl. Urbanisation occured later in Kemr
> than in other parts of Britain.
Yes, as can be seen from the fact that the country is not too densely
populated with just 4 million inhabitants. I guess that Birmingham and
Stoke-on-Trent aren't there, so Tafrobl might indeed be the most
important city of the area,
at least economically and DEFINITELY culturally, even if the political
capital of the province/county/whatever where it is located might be
another, smaller town.
As we are in the swing of discussing locations of cities, I have a
Your pages mention a Kemrese city of Aberddui on "the northern River
The names perfectly match Aberdeen, but does Kemr extend so far north???
To return to the languages: what other minority languages are there in
I think the Principitad could boast a colourful variety of languages.
There is of course Kerno or Bretanecca, which seems to be language of
almost one half of the people of Kemr (according to Padraig's Ethnologue
record); Padraig also mentioned Wessic (though I am not sure whether it
extends west of the border); what else? There is certainly some kind of
There is also a remnant of another pre-Celtic group unrelated to Elvish,
namely the one responsible for the Irish traduition of "Fir Bolg" and
the Germanic one of "Dwarves". This is most likely something related to
There seems to be a remnant of that people in southern Wales *here*
(according to the same book where I found an indication of a remnant of
Elves in eastern Wales), though they also have lost their language, but
*there* they could have retained it. And then there is no reason why
P-Celtic should be completely extinct if pre-Celtic languages survived.
So add a P-Celtic minority, and be it a sort of Judaeo-Celtic (there are
certainly Jews in Kemr; what is their traditional language besides the
Hebrew they use for religious purposes?).
> > [Germany in Ill Bethisad]
> > However, Padraig said that there was (and still *is*) a German Empire.
> Weren't some of those states encorporated in the German Empire with
> their own governments, or at least their heads of state, still intact?
> Maybe some of them could be autonymous.
> > The fact that there is still a Kaiser in Germany does not necessary mean
> > that Germany is still an aggressive, militarist country. The Kaiser
> > might by now be a mere figurehead, like the kings of Scandinavia, while
> > it is a smoothly functioning democravy entertaining friendly relations
> > with all its neighbours.
> Now there's a thought! Maybe descended from Kaiser Frederick I? I
> think that's the right name.
The name is usually used without number, as he was the only Emperor to
bear the name Frederick in the modern Empire. Some people refer to him
as Frederick III, with F I and F II being Holy Roman Emperors (F I is
also known as Barbarossa [It. "Red Beard"] who plays a key role in
German modern mythology). However, if counting this way, he would have
to be Frederick IV as there was a Frederick III somewhere in the 16th
century - an unremarkable and largely forgotten figure, though.
If Kaiser Frederick survives, chances are indeed that Germany becomes a
peaceful, civilized nation. He is said to have been mild-mannered and
liberal, very unlike his son Wilhelm II, who will still become Kaiser
after the death of Frederick (unless he finds some untimely death), but
only at a time when democratization has progressed to a point where he
can achieve little more than ridiculing himself.
P.S. It is a fact that might be noted that Brithenig and Nur-ellen are
actually related by substratum influences, as the Insular Celtic
languages, which underly Brithenig as substratum, are Celtic on an
Elvish substratum (and Celtic is indeed Indo-European on early Elvish
substratum - the Celts are what resulted from the mingling of
Indo-Europeans with the Bell Beaker people they had subdues).
So, Brithenig is Romance on top of Indo-European on top of Elvish on top
of Elvish ;-)
The relationships of the languages can be illustrated thus:
|------------------ Latin ------------ Brithenig
Indo-European ----| ^
|--- Celtic --- Insular P-Celtic--|
Early Elvish -------+----------+------------------------ Nur-ellen
P.P.S. Is the Sessiwn Kemres mailing list still alive?