The Looliers were an advanced tribe of theoalchemists that lived in and around the Vale of Serdoch. They lived near the less-advanced, smaller tribe of Exingians and shared a neighborly, if not amicable, relationship with them. Somewhere between –400 EC and –323 EC things changed, however, and the entire tribe of Looliers were destroyed at the Battle of Barnum Stones.
Reconstructing the Missing
Although the study of Looliers has been considered a poor subject and generally discouraged, recent Hive-Lord questions have led several well-meaning seekers to dig for answers. Their investigations have started, naturally, with Bordingbras his hatt! and led through the ramblings of the “Loony Loolier”, Ibaan Malmiz. This, coupled with research from the Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge, has painted a fairly clear picture of the Looliers as others saw them.
There are many mentions in Exingian literature of the Looliers. They are described in the earliest pieces as boorish and somewhat smelly. In middle pieces – those prior to the Battle of Barnum Stones – they are described as snobbish, arrogant and lewd. After the Battle, however, the character of the Looliers changes in Exingian portrayal. Suddenly, the snobbish, lewd, smelly Looliers are noble, superior, and overwhelmingly organized and orderly. This is obviously a transparent attempt to elevate Exingian culture over the Loolier culture by virtue of its obvious success.
If Exingian culture is any indication, they immediately adopted many of the mannerisms of the Looliers after the Battle. There are recorded instances of baby-throwing contests held on the anniversary of the battle (and the resultant public outcry). The sudden advancement of Theoalchemy and the elevation of Kiluma is also a factor. One also notes the introduction of the derogatory term loo meaning someplace or something undesirable. The implication being that something loolier was even more undesirable.
Ibaan Malmiz (-160 EC to -99 EC)
Pursuing the question of his Hive-Lord, Ser Malmiz discovered heretofore unknown facts about the Looliers and their pratices. Being an inquisitive sort, he pursued the study of the only known Loolier writing and rediscovered the Clamorxian Decoding Method. Using this arcane series of textual transformations, he was able to discern that the Looliers were the inheritors of knowledge deeded to them by an ancient race of Ghyllians that had lived in The City of Spheres, Sayaziha.
In Ser Malmiz’ account, the ancients were misunderstood and were destined to always be. Ultimately, they went willingly to the slaughter just like beasts at the hands of the Looliers. This story is echoed in the epic Bordingbras his hatt! and in the demise of the Looliers themselves.
While many would try to link the two (c.f. Juzh Iruk: Bordingbras his hatt!), it has been proven that the Looliers were a separate tribe from the mysterious Alezanians. Despite many attempts to vilify the Looliers with the ‘evil’ reputation of the Alezanians, the archeological evidence points to distinct and separate cultural development of the two tribes.
While the Raking has destroyed almost all of the cultural remains, a few items held in personal collections or stolen by other cultures remain. Among these are a glugfeffil and a verapsnik which suggest a previously unsuspected devotion to the God-king Hopdurg. While Hopdurgians would argue that the worship of Kiluma and Hopdurg are incompatible, alternative explanations have not been forthcoming. It is this connection to the Hopdurgians that leads to the suspected involvement of a third party in the destruction of the Looliers at Barnum Stones.
The Loolier tribe had achieved advancements in Theoalchemy. Centuries prior to the widespread use of Andelphracian Lights, they had developed something similar. They were also rumored to have found a way to create precious metals out of light. It may have been this very development that led to their downfall.
Evidence of their light technology can be extracted from their writings. In fact, a crude version of Awal shrinkage can be derived using instructions encoded in Bordingbras his hatt!. Other theoalchemical processes are either incomplete or divided through a series of poems that have been, sadly, lost to us.
The closest reconstructed process came from Prof. Jarvis Tinkle of the Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge who was experimenting with translating engraved dialogs between a Loolier captive and his Exingian questioner in which the questioner asks how to create gold from light. The Loolier answers cryptically:
- "Diffle frances lyte theye see, plöne harange thy golde shall be."
Using the Clamorxian Decoding Method, Tinkle derived a formula that when applied caused gold to disappear in the presence of light. Since this was useless knowledge it was abandoned from further research.
According to occultologists, Looly, the Divinity of Dark Fire component of Vulcrue, is connected somehow with the Looliers. This may be yet another example of the defects of Ghyllian etymology, or perhaps the first stirrings of euhemerism. Only time will tell.
The Looliers present a fascinating study of recursive destiny, in which advanced cultures give way to less advanced cultured because of misunderstandings. If the fate of the Exingians is any indication, the recursion continues even to the present day.
While it would be fascinating to try to discover the truth of the Looliers (or even the ancients’) knowledge in full, it may be that such recursive loss of detail is for the best. The lesson we can learn from the Looliers is that nothing can bring the wrath of chaos onto one quicker than success.
As a footnote to the demise of the Looliers, it is this scholar’s considered opinion that the motives of the cult of the God-king Hopdurg should not be closely examined in the demise of the Looliers. This is an unpopular opinion and cannot be supported except in the light of circumstantial and limited evidence; although it is a logical argument. So, to whom it may concern, I have recanted as much as my conscience will allow. Please stop threatening the life of my pets.
--Dr. H. L. Ackroyd 13:00, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)