Encyclopedants Progress Report 1
The Encyclopedants is a term applied to the small group of individuals who decided a collection of Ghyll intellect, in written and distributed form, was necessary for the bettering of society, as well as the benefit of future historians. The group now presides over the encyclopedia's integrity and "cohesion of vision". To remain an objective judge, the Encyclopedants attempt to focus only on "the facts as we're told them", asking questions, poking holes, and suggesting "standards" to further quality assurance. These Progress Reports are considered official communication between the Encyclopedants and their Scholars, and they encourage others to write their own thoughts and comments into the margins.
And Thus It Begins!
First, we would like to thank those who have started adding terms... already we've seen some strong entries but, as feared, a definitive lack of "group think". This is our own fault: in the hopes of canvasing as much of our beloved Ghyll as possible, we sent missives far and wide, requesting entries from scholars of all walks of life, society, and culture. Naturally, the world looks remarkably different through multicolored glasses, and cohesion (what we have sworn to uphold) has yet to develop. Although the blame is ours, we'll address steps to bring things back into focus.
The State of the Art of Ghyll
The entries as they stand are highly disparate, chiefly caused by a "culture-centric" approach to scholarly writing. It is important to recognize the world, and other encyclopedic entries, around you, otherwise you stand to make an embarrassingly "everything revolves around me" mistake in your work. We have gone through the core aspects of the existing entries in hopes of solidifying what we know.
We discern from Alezan and Andelphracian Lights that part of Ghyll is forested; from Alezan and Avazian Box there are wastelands, but apart from the city in Altox bulb, the gardens of Agony uncle, and the mires and quayres of Andelphracian Lights, landscape is not yet a chief factor in your entries. It probably should not be. With the Encyclopedia a massive undertaking already, there's plenty of time for mapmaking later. Your focus as scholars should be much smaller: life, culture, and inspiration not location, distance and direction.
- I have to disagree. While describing locations that run counter to the truth is indeed a terrible thing, we should still clarify the locations already mentioned by further describing the stage that the action happens on. I agree that geography shouldn't be a main focus, but it still should be mentioned to a degree. --Melik Fizzou 18:13, 4 Sep 2004 (EDT)
History and Dates
Due to our lack of guidance, entries have been dreadful when it comes to history, date, times, and respect for other cultural histories. There is no time like the present to realize time does not revolve around you. We appreciate that your location has developed its own unique way to measure time and tell its history - we don't dare suggest you or your elders change it! We do require, however, that your encyclopedia entries "standardize" any timeframes to what we have dubbed the "Encyclopedant Calendar", or EC. This standardized time will be measured in centuries, decades, years, months, weeks, and days. Events that occurred previous to EC time will follow the same measurements, such that 50 years before EC is written as "-50 EC." We have set the epoch of EC to the year that we sent out the call for your entries, so The current time is 0 EC; we estimate a complete Round of encyclopedia entries (A through Z) will be completed every year. To identify a Ghyll month, use the year followed by a slash followed by the number of the month. Likewise, for a day, use the year followed by a slash followed by the number of the month followed by another slash followed by the day. Example: the fifth day of the seventh month of -20 EC would be written as -20/7/5 EC.
As such, the following changes will be retroactively applied to your entries:
- Alarius has had "Fifteenth century" removed. No possible conversion to EC dates is known.
- Removed mention of "epochs" from Avazian Box. Lack of civilization means lack of conversion to EC.
- The "epochs" of Aquentravalkeration have been revised to EC time.
Scholars should consider writing entries more recent than -100 EC. Due to inaccurate record keeping (which the Ghyll Encyclopedia hopes to correct for future generations), solid information from before -200 EC is very hard to come by and rarely complete. In fact, much of known "history" prior to -100 EC is passed down through fairy tales, myths, legends, and inconsistent reinvention. We recommend focusing on -150 EC and later.
For more information, including a timeline, see Encyclopedant Calendar.
People and Politics
We have some interesting people being recorded permanently for posterity. Windsor and Bavarian Creame, Daniel Mboya, Madam Calvian, Alarius, Phennella, Professor Altoxian, Bunny Hutch, Siam Sinch, Andelphracia, Margaret Widderson, Quezlar 6, Bysted Timperton, Supetupheraraphes, Rancticirchiretic, Oblibestircus, Morphous Ibb, Tim Timperton, Violetta, and a handful of other supporting characters have been mentioned just in these very early entries. We anticipate seeing them explored further as more encyclopedia entries are received.
Politics have been sparsely mentioned, but some inferences are possible. In Agony uncle, the arrest of Windsor Creame suggests a police force in the region of the Folktown Records' office. Andelphracia was a mayoress, so towns have people running them. There is a general order to Ghyll, and one which will grow more apparent with further entries. There appears to be no overarching control: the rural areas tend to be cooperative within themselves, and museums and organized cities with councils indicate order; the fact that quite a few of the entries are historical and that the Ghyll Encyclopedia itself is being written by a team of scholars (you) indicates the same kind of locally-regularised control (us).
Technology and Education
Technology, or lack there of, has been inconsistent and is again attributible to our exhuberance in selecting a variety of scholars from locations all around Ghyll. Certainly, different areas have developed in their own special way... some for the better, some for the worst. The rural technologies of the lights (Andelphracian Lights and Altox bulb) contrast with huge past towers (Alezan) and magnetic propulsion technologies (Avazian Box) contrast with frescos (Alarius) and newspaper offices (Agony uncle). It seems telling that the most amazing technologies (of magnetism and architectural immensity) are from ages long past or civilizations long dead. Suffice it to say, further cohesion and extensive historical research will need to be addressed in your upcoming submissions.
Naturally, the people of Ghyll are quite well educated: we invent, we write, and we produce publications. It's been a surprise, but we have already created a staggering amount of written documentation: the Folktown Records, the Encyclopaedia of Lost Lore, Cranee Historical Society records (inferred), Quester and Phorrus, The Fylesgate Annals, the ancient documents of the Nitenmangrey, and of course the Ghyll Encyclopedia itself! We have more than one research council, and even a historical society and museum. If this trend continues, Ghyll is going to have to have its educational system explained rather well. It may just be that, since we're scholars, we tend to have a scholarly bias--of course--and that most inhabitants are of a more mundane nature. We have even seen a trickling of the arts, with allusions to past theatre productions.
The Facts As We're Told Them
The first batch of entries consists of the following entries: Aelfants (Wildlife), Agony uncle (Language), Alarius (Person), Alezan (Land), Alezanians (People), Altoxian Bulb (Invention), Aminfarances Institute of Science and Technomancy (Organization), Amphitheatre aristocracy (Organization), Anaximancer (Person), Andelphracian Lights (Invention), Aquentravalkeration (Other), Arariax (Person), AuroAnthropology (Other), Avazian Box (Invention), Awal shrinkage (Science), and Quezlarian numerals (Other).
- Aelfants are the outcome of a tryst between a Pyxie and a pachyderm.
- Pyxies, when drunk on Fefferberry wine, shapeshift and become "quite randy".
- The Aelfants' population is dwindling, and they've retreated west to the Alezanian spires.
- (From comment) Aelfants have a glowing, emerald hide and reported seen a "few years back".
- (From comment) Most people doubt the existence of the Aelfants.
Agony uncle (Language)
- The Folktown Records is weekly newspaper.
- There are over 600 editions of the Folktown Records (-13 EC).
- Windsor Creame has worked at the Folktown Records for 12 years (-13 EC).
- Windsor Creame is 57 years old (birth: -58 EC).
- Windsor Creame's wife of seven years (-8 EC) is Bavarian Creame.
- Windsor Creame has a (young) nephew called Daniel Mboya; hence he must have a brother or sister.
- The Folktown Records offices are surrounded by gardens and, presumably, employ a gardener.
- Madam Calvian is a neighbour to a Folktown Records employee (who happens to be the transcriber).
- Daniel Mboya was severely beaten, and eventually died due to blood collecting in his lungs.
- Windsor Creame was "detained and brought in for questioning"; hence there must be a police force.
There are a series of nuances not yet dependable as facts: why did the transcriber take down the conversation? How, if any, does it relate to Mboya turning up at Madam Calvian's (the transcriber's next door neighbor)? And, assuming Windsor's murder charge is true, why would a man who has answered children's questions for so many years suddenly turn violent?
- Alarius was a renaissance thinker.
- Alarius held a conspirational view of history.
- The Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge published the Encyclopaedia of Lost Lore.
- Alarius painted a fresco at the Palace of Lost Souls.
- The fresco was altered by Alarius shortly after its completion.
Did Alarius fancy himself a god, as depicted by his fresco and the perspective of looking down upon all of existence? Or did he feel everyone creates and visualizes their own reality? And just who was the woman in his fresco, and why did Alarius feel the need to modify her appearance?
- Alezan is a forested land to the west of the Evesque Valley.
- Alezan was inhabited by an old race who built a large twin tower structure.
- Alezan is either sparsely or non-populated, and visited only rarely (mainly by children).
- The Cranee Historical Society have investigated Alezan's past.
- Phennella is a member of the Cranee Historical Society.
- A vorpcara is a relic which may be embedded in the ground.
- Alezan (possibly Cranee?) has a nearby museum which houses a vorpcara.
- Bobby Shwarmph lives close to the land of Alezan.
- The Alezanians are a conspiracy-theory style putatively extant group.
- Bobby Shwarmph runs the Aliens Everywhere magazine.
Altoxian Bulb (Invention)
- The Altox, or Altoxian, Bulb was invented by Professor Altoxian.
- Professor Altoxian is a native resident of the city of Iganefta.
- The Adrizian are another name for the upper class of Iganefta.
- Altoxian Bulbs are created from a jelly mined from deep under Iganefta.
- The gelatinous substance is known to occur in other parts of Ghyll.
- It is rumored of a secret trail to an underground river of gel in the Azura Mines.
- The bulbs are comprised of a plastic sheath or sack, braided or held in place by strands.
- The Adrizian possess better form of lighting, and have no need for the jelly.
Aminfarances Institute of Science and Technomancy (Organization)
- The Aminfarances Institute of Science and Technomancy is a loose collective.
- The Institute is possibly ancient, and recruits bright young individuals.
- The organizational structure is arranged in a series of nested circles.
- The Institute engages in projects of scientific and technomantic research.
- Aminfarances, of unknown gender, founded the Institute.
Amphitheatre aristocracy (Organization)
- The Amphitheatre aristocracy are a group based in Folktown.
- The Houvers are a lower-class dissident group opposed to decadence.
- The Amphitheatre aristocracy meet weekly at the Folktown Amphitheatre.
- Theatre used to be popular in Ghyll, but is much less so now.
- Trained burnfly swarms can be sculpted.
- Bunny Hutch is a famed performance artist, skilled in sculpting Burnfly swarms.
- Siam Sinch, daughter of Bavarian Creame from a previous marriage, does glitterthought.
- Statues were made recently of the, possibly mythical, Alezan pantheon.
- The Amphitheatre Aristocracy provides scholarships.
- Folktown has its own city council.
- An Anaximancer is a person who can produce objects from thin air.
- The "Echecharion" is, purportedly, an instructional work for this skill.
- No known originals of the Echecharion exist, save for two transcribed copies.
- These copies, from transcribers unknown, are suspected of being fake.
- The copies date from roughly -70 EC and are held in the Odlucian Library.
- Edvard von Craghelm was the most famous Anaximancer, touring throughout Ghyll.
- Edvard von Craghelm mysteriously died while travelling near a moor in -20 EC.
- Objects Edvard produces are privately held, though some exist in various museums.
Andelphracian Lights (Invention)
- Andelphracian Lights, or Andelights, were invented by Andelphracia.
- Andelphracian Lights are used to set a return path across difficult terrain at night.
- Margaret Widderson is an Andelight craftswoman.
- The Evesque Valley has quayres which contain materials used to make Andelights.
- Andelphracia was the mayoress of the now lost Fylesgate.
- Fylesgate was likely in the Evesque Valley.
- The Fefferberry is used as an ingredient in making Andelphracian Lights.
- Quezlar 6 may have used the lights in crossing the Elminster Mire.
- Bysted Timperton may write about the lights in Quester and Phorrus.
- The Fylesgate Annals allude to the invention of Andelphracian Lights.
- The term "Andelphracian Lights" can't be antedated back more than a hundred and fifty years.
- Aquentravalkeration was practiced by the now extinct Nitenmangrey culture.
- The Nitenmangrey culture flourished prior to -900 EC.
- Documents from that time are currently undeciphered, and comprised of hieroglyphs.
- The term "Aquentravalkeration" was coined by Supetupheraraphes.
- Rancticirchiretic is another scholar documenting the Nitenmangrey.
- Oblibestircus is another, less credible, scholar investigating the Nitenmangrey.
- Arariax was one of Ghyll's most influential poets.
- Arariax the poet was born in -280 EC in the Evesque Valley.
- Arariax had a peculiar habit of releasing 64 poems at a time.
- Arariax wrote "The Deathbug" (poem) and "Why the Free Bird loves Tallow" (book/pamphlet).
- Arariax was in exile for an unknown reason.
- AuroAnthropology is the study of the history of light and light sources.
- Studies of this kind were (until recently) taboo, if not persecuted outright.
- The Brothers of the Lantern have a religious tradition regarding light.
- Andelphracia built a "rather charming" clock tower during her mayordom.
- Gibbous Saunders wrote to the Folktown Records, and was published in #312.
- The Unquisition are high-profile contributors to the study of light.
- Garth Haversham was Managing Editor of the Folktown Records on -7/9/15 EC.
Avazian Box (Invention)
- The Avazians were metalworkers.
- The Avazians engineered many magnetic propulsion weapons.
- There were at least three Avazian (presumably civil) Wars.
- There were many protests against the Third Avazian War, to little effect.
- Avazians have very few males in the population, possibly due to the wars.
- The Blackguard Avazians are a team of primarily female Avazian scientists.
- A nanit appears to be a unit of measurement, but may be of magnetic flux.
- Avazian Boxes are also known as Avazian War Boxes or simply Their Boxes.
- Avazian Boxes dissipate magnetic devices (including weapons) over a large radius.
- Avazian Boxes and their effects completely stopped the Third Avazian War.
- They also caused the reversal of technological development due to their effectiveness.
- An Avazian Box, discovered in the Avazian ruins, has been accidentally activated.
Awal shrinkage (Science)
- Caused when emulsions of waxy material and spelgof are subjected to heating/cooling cycles.
- The emulsion emits a sequence of short bursts of orange lights during this process.
- Similarly, a temporary lessening in the obith weight of the emulsion is observed.
- No reliable method to sustain the light given off during these cycles has been developed.
- Low-level sound waves rapidly return the emulsion to normal; otherwise, wait 1-3 days.
- The behavior of the emulsion to these low-level sound waves is known as the "crooning effect."
- Awal, presumably a scientist, applied Jesper's constant to spelgof emulsions, and discovered the shrinkage.
- Melderson, another presumed scientist, disputes Awal's position on possible color variations.
- Awal shrinkage is routinely used in laboratories to demonstrate smilching.
- When the emulsion returns to its regular obith weight, a suction, and absence, of noise is observed.
- Melderson proposal to use the shrinkage to reduce noise in work environments is not generally held viable.
Quezlarian numerals (Other)
- Morphous Ibb wrote to the Folktown Records, and was published in #578.
- Tim Timperton is on staff at the Folktown Records.
- Ghyll's core script has aesthetic problems.
- Quezlar 6 invented Quezlarian Numerals; it is popularly believed he didn't.
- Quezlar 6 was married to Violetta, and her nickname was VI.
- Tim Timperton used to be a high ranking member of the Council for Quezlarian Research.
- The Council for Quezlarian Research deny this encyclopedia entry.
- (From comment) Tim Timperton is a son of Bysted Timperton.
Also note that, for historical reasons, this entry was written nearly nine months before the Ghyll Encyclopedia officially got under way (it served well as an adequate measure for our fact checking, quality assurance, and publication methods.)