Born Marik Handr Grivitz in -89 EC in Sejfeld, Pricludious was the son of Tobin Grivitz, a prosperous wax farmer. Third in a brood of seven, Pricludious' keen mind and uncanny ability to count past the number 5 made themselves known early on and his parents soon enrolled him in the prestigious Vestampton Children's Academy outside of Cranee. He was hailed a child prodigy when, at the tender age of seven, he proved that 2+2 does not always equal 4 using only a handful of green bindlet blocks and three gummy straws.
While it is well known that most child prodigies fail to ever surpass their early successes and either fade into obscurity or embark on lives of crime, Pricludious beat the odds and went on to an even more distinguished and honored career in his adult years.
Early Academic Years
In -78 EC, at the age of 11, he enrolled in and was accepted to Bute University. It would be here that he took on the nom de plume of Pricludious. While at the University, he amazed his professors and his peers with his voracious appetite for knowledge. (There are also lingering rumors of his voracious appetite for humple cider, but these are unconfirmed and resolutely denied by officials of Bute University. Due to Pricludious' age at the time, this is understandable if the stories are true, but I am of the well founded opinion that these malicious rumors are just another example of the ongoing attempts of third-class scholars and unlearned malcontents to tarnish Pricludious' sterling reputation.)
While still a freshman, he joined the school's senior Rithmetric team, one of only a handful of first year students to have done so. During his tenure on the team, Bute went on to win three inter-divisionable championships and two first-place Gold Star trophies at the quadrannual Numeric Irrationals competition.
Focusing all his mental energies into the study of mathematical theory, dogmatic geometry, and planar structurism, Pricludious absorbed everything the University had to offer, grasping concepts and intricate formulae with an ease that most people were envious of. His theses on such mathematical luminaries as Walshet, Dobrovius, and Ghates are now required reading at the University. But one must not ignore the amount of time, energy and effort he threw into his studies. While he was truly gifted with a marvelously discerning mind, he also worked that mind incredibly hard. After six years, he felt he had learned all there was to learn (a common failing of our young people today, a malady whose fault lies squarely at the feet of the tenure-bound scholarly pedants who fill up our universities, I'm afraid to say) and turned his attention to other subjects.
His mastery of mathematics led quite naturally to an interest in philosophy, and his friendship with members of the Lingers Club (a fraternal student organization) also served to lead him in this direction. Under the tutelage of Professor Kloon ar'Flizzig, he studied the works of Baltizar, Pvlato, Oregithol, and Kooper. From these studies he developed into an enthusiastic adherent of Luhddism, although in his later years he would come to reject that philosophy and instead pursue a course of investigating a wide variety of beliefs and cosmological orientations. During this period of his life, he was an active exponent of the dictums of Luhddism and the Luhddist ideas that were first expounded by Jekkrey of Monmoth. Pricludious contributed much on behalf of Luhddism, publishing a number of philosophical works about it and engaging in public discourses on the subject. These activities in no small part gave rise to his reputation as a sound and learned philosopher who's opinions one could rely on during any kind of transcendental funk. His philosophical acumen was so highly regarded that he was often asked to speak on a variety of subjects and his opinions on such topics as the Endlessly Rising Staircase Movement, the Hermeneutics of Jan-Vanderschusen, and Fefferberry Folklore are very well known and still widely discussed today.
In -68 EC, at the age of 21, he petitioned for and received his Diploma of Completion, graduating with advanced degrees in Comprehensive Mathematics, Objective Numerology, Placidic Thought, and Cotemporous Hedology, as well as a minor degree in Theoretical Bushwacking. He was immediately offered the position of Assistant Dean of the Mathematics Department at Bute, but he turned it down. After 10 years at the University he wanted to explore new horizons. His treatise on cumulative multiplivision had just been published, to rave reviews, and so he decided to embark on a Ghyll-wide book tour.
Over the next twenty years, he worked on a number of mathematical quandries and philosophical musings as he traveled Ghyll, publishing a variety of books, tracts, and research papers. He gave speeches to an increasing number of women's guilds, accounting clubs, and constructioneering corporations. And he engaged in scientific debates with a variety of scientific debating societies. His annual appearances at Shepenor (by invitation of the enthusiastic rejahs) led to the creation of the first ever knowledge convention (originally organized just for mathists, it has grown to encompass many disciplines and fields of inquiry, attracting fan-boys from all corners of Ghyll, and is now known as the Shepenor Summer KnowCon).
These activities propelled Pricludious to the forefront of popular consciousness and, unlike most academics, he was embraced by the masses. A chance encounter with Brin Leedis, publisher of Pink Aelfant Lumix, led to the highly popular "Amazing Mathist" lumix - aimed at children of all ages, it starred the boldly analytical Rejah 5 and his number loving sidekick Junior Adder. Pricludious' ability to popularize what had previously been a rather narrowly-appreciated discipline (most Ghyllians have rare need to count higher than the number five) is one of his greatest accomplishments, although in later years some people would suggest that his very popularity with the "unlearned" was proof that he was not a serious mathematician.
This is a contemptible charge, of course, and stems from sheer jealousy. The published works of Pricludious are masterfully conceived, beautifully written, and presented with an amazingly deep understanding of mathematical science and theory. And even those works aimed at the less educated citizenry are brilliant examples of concise, lucid mathist thinking. To claim that he was some kind of hack or amateurish dabbler is preposterous and insulting and obviously points to some kind of ulterior motive.
If further proof of Pricludious' great mind were needed, one must only look to his fellow scholars. In the years before the petty attacks against his intellectual acumen cropped up, he was heralded as a great scholar, treated with the utmost respect, and celebrated by his colleagues at Bute University and Ghyll's other fine institutions of learning. He maintained lengthy correspondences with some of the finest minds of Ghyllian scholardom and his knowledge, expertise and assistance were avidly sought after. For example, it is a well known fact that he helped Rancticirchiretic in developing his theory of Orthogonalities, (although Pricludious never received proper credit for his contributions).
And then there is his masterpiece, the culmination of all his mathematical study and research, which even his most die-hard detractors can in no way overcome. I'm speaking of Pricludious' epic summation of mathematical knowledge, "This Is Reality, And I Can Prove It - The Numbers, Equations & Mathtoids that Define Our World". Published in -57 EC by Bute University Press, it was Bute's best selling volume for seven years in a row and still remains a widely read text today, selling a very respectable number of copies annually. Truly an awe inspiring page turner, it is the ultimate critique and distillation of the concepts and proofs of mathematical universality and foundational numericism - a triumph of the rational mind in which Pricludious describes, explains, and proves all of the precepts of what we've come to term, in its comprehensive totality, Normal Math. (Named after Norm Bryforge, a founding member of Bute University, the disciplines of Normal Math are the bedrock of all modern scientific inquiry and understanding.) For those who would question Pricludious' achievements as a mathematician, I simply have to point out that this seminal work has not been superceded even to this day.
In addition to the great respect he enjoyed among his fellow scholars and his popularity among the masses, Pricludious found himself the toast of high society and a highly sought after guest of the rich, famous, and soon-to-be rich and famous. He rubbed shoulders with such notables and exemplaries of the Ghyllian upper-class as the Rump Family, the Grommie Family, the Wallingers, the Smallwoods, and of course the Quezlars. While his dalliances with the upper-crust were due only to his celebrity status and as such were not for the most part of any lasting or deep significance, he did in fact make fast friendships with a few of these elite citizens; friendships that would continue on throughout his life (although in later years he showed a marked aversion toward both the Wallinger and the Smallwood families.) It is my well researched opinion that the beginning of the enmity against Pricludious began at this time, and was wholly due to the envy other scholars felt over all of the fun he was having. While they were stuck in cramped, poorly heated University dorm rooms poring mindlessly over dull and uninspiring minutia, he was off touring the world, hanging out with the rich and beautiful, and making a nice little basket of cash from all of his best-sellers. But of course, over time, the attacks against him would escalate and his detractors would come to be motivated by more than just petty jealousy.
As his reputation as a mathematician and philosopher waxed during this period, a new interest began to show itself - history. He became active with the Cranee Historical Society. He took part in archaelogical digs. He attended forums that discussed various historical items of interest. And, since he was already known as a wise and learned scholar, it was only natural that his opinion was consulted on these matters once it was known that he was investigating them.
And it was in this context that a concerted effort was made by certain disaffected scholars to muddy his name. At that time, no one dared assail him on the virtue of his skill as a mathematician and philosopher, but as an historian he became a wide open target. Detractors disparaged his ideas as amateurish fancies. They ridiculed him as an unlearned diletente. And yet, when you look at the record, his ideas and theories are in no way deficient or inferior to others of that period. His arguments in regards to the origin and meaning of the term "Pickers", for example, are not so unreasonable when one takes into consideration what was found at the Torst excavation. Granted, he was not an expert in the field, but then he never claimed he was.
These attacks on him were at first few and rather timid and came off as exactly what they were, the mutterings of envious malcontents more interested in deriding Pricludious than engaging in any kind of meaningful search for accurate historisity. But although they were snide and condescending, Pricludious chose to treat the criticisms in the most polite manner possible or, in the worst cases, to just ignore them. He never responded with attacks of his own - surely a sign of his superior moral character if there ever was one. But the attacks did not go away, and in fact, they got worse. On the occasion of a particularly raucous Moonbeam Meeting of the Cranee Historical Society, Pricludious was the victim of a terrible breach of civility. On that night, not only were his efforts as an historian ridiculed with beligerent glee, but his personal character was publicly slandered.
This kind of insult could not be ignored but, as a practitioner of Luhddism, he refused to lower himself to the level of his attackers and so responded by sending out public notices of the slurs being made against him, along with the negative appraisals of his historical researches, reasoned arguments that refuted those appraisals, a dissertation on the proper role and nature of criticism as part of the dialogue of scientific inquiry, and a personal pledge that his pursuit of the truth - be it mathematical, philosophical or historical - would always be honest, forthright and fully open to cross-examination from his peers, and never would he taint that pursuit with personal enmities or agendas.
For a while this seemed to silence, or at least mute, his detractors. But when, in -48 EC, a swirl of controversy rose up around him over alleged indiscretions and profligate wassailing with certain ex-members of the Cranee Historical Society, he decided that he'd had enough. Packing up his bags he announced that he was going on an extended holiday and left for the Dagger Seas.
The Quiet Years
With comfortable financial resources at his disposal, Pricludious set about on a grand exploration of Ghyll. His life up till then had been spent within the great urban centers of society and their surrounding country. But now he looked toward the rest of Ghyll and for the next 30 years traveled extensively up and down the little trodden places of the world.
In time he came to the Sarfelogian Mountains and in a quiet, willow strewn valley there entered the village of Thopth. He had been casually aware of the existence of the place but had never given it much thought as it was far too difficult to reach on a regular journey and was, after all, just one of the many unvisited, uncouth, unmodern villages that dotted the slopes and valleys and river windings of the great northern mountainways.
What he found there though completely changed his mind about the place. Which is not to say that it wasn't unvisited, it was. And as for its couthness, well, the village women would hardly make good candidates for the Paramount Queen. And it was most definitely unmodern, still using smudge pots for night-time illumination and mercurial ducting in their public plumbing system. But, for all its archaic and provincial quaintness, Thopth was also undisputably a thriving center of scientific curiousity and exploration.
At the heart of the community is the M.Collegium, also known as the Collegium Civitas. It is a small institution and has few of the facilities and none of the luxuries of our modern academic institutions. But its faculty is most learned and wise, and the student body eagerly delves into knowledge both known and unknown. If anyone there is aware of the vast limitations of their backward academy, they don't seem to care very much about it. And indeed, in some respects, the Collegium is arguably superior to the universities of southern Ghyll. The departments of biotoxicology (the study of living things) and taxidermatology (the study of dead things) are amazingly impressive, both in the sheer depth of the knowledge they've accumulated and in the incredible breadth of the collections they've amassed. Pricludious reported seeing stuff there that would make faculty members of Bute University or the Thoorbone Academy drool with envy. The school's library is a maze (quite literally) of shelves and books and half-hidden recesses and, though unfortunately lacking in many modern texts, has a wealth of ancient, near-ancient, and pre-ancient manuscripts that most scholars had long ago assumed lost to the depradations of time, neglect and incompetent librarians.
Pricludious was amazed at what he'd found in the little town and settled down there for an extended stay. He became close friends with a Petr Hof, an historian at the Collegium. He wiled away many a damp evening with Pfillip Vinekraft, curator of the Nite Gallery, one of Thopth's many purveyors of Sarfelogian artworks, clayfingerings, and burnfly ornaments. And, of course, he spent much of his time mixing it up with the faculty of the Collegium's mathematics department.
It was here that he learned of the Theory of Number Folding. This was a radical concept that seemed to counterdict many of the tenets of Normal Math and at first Pricludious was quite dubious of its merit. But in short order he found that it was quite sound; crude yes, but sound none the less. And then, to his amazement and shock, he learned that the theory did not originate with the mathematicians of Thopth but had been formulated by a professor at Bute University. Pricludious had pored over every mathematical concept, theorem, and formula the Bute mathematics department had on record, and yet this theory was completely unknown to him. It was explained that the mathematics department had quickly discredited the theory and then quietly suppressed all knowledge of it. The theory's author went into early retirement. This had all happened over 50 years earlier. Pricludious was incensed by this discovery as it was a clear violation of intellectual tolerance. No theory, however wrong-headed or avante-garde should ever be suppressed from the public record. And of all institutions it was the most scandalous to Pricludious that Bute, which was founded on the ideas of intellectual tolerance and free thinking, should be the institution guilty of such behavior.
This revelation created a rift between Pricludious and his beloved alma mater that would never heal. And upon his return to his native region of Ghyll, he would become a major critic of such censorship practices and those people who practiced them.
While Pricludious' stay at Thopth was a relatively long one, he was soon off on his travels once again. He and a small entourage set out upon a meandering path, straying here and there, following no discernable pattern and covering wide areas and distances. But although we have come to know something of the events and happenings of this period of his life through public statements made by Pricludious, as well as from a portion of the many private letters and still-preserved correspondence that date from this time, most of what he saw and heard and did still remains a blank page for us to this day.
But it is clear from what we do know that, during the 30 years that Pricludious spent traveling the mountains and dells and meadowlands of unfrequented and unexplored Ghyll, he found many a fascinating discovery and made many a surprising observation. For instance, in one letter he sent to his sister, he mentioned an unexpected meeting with a strange race of foreigners near a particularly cold and deep glacial lake; the encounter seemed to trouble Pricludious but unfortunately he was very vague about the details. In another, it was said that he came across an ancient ruin of strange design that had peculiar similiarities with certain modern constructions like the headquarters of the Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge, the building known as The Cake, but as that letter has never been presented for public scrutiny we cannot be sure of the veracity of the account. While exactly where these and other such incidents took place is uncertain beyond a general idea of under there or over here, in some instances we do have more than just a vague conjecture as to his whereabouts. We know for a fact, as an example, that he made at least one trip to the cactus forests.
Still, the lack of a detailed record of Pricludious's journeys, along with the withholding of the bulk of his correspondence and private ruminations from his journals, is a regretable loss, not only to students of Pricludious but to the general well being of scholarship at large; one hopes it will some day be rectified.
The Loud Year
It was in the spring of -18 EC that he finally returned from his long 'holiday'. Although he had kept in sporadic contact with a few close family members and intimate friends, most folks had no idea what he had been up to. And after nearly 30 years away, many people were excited and eager to hear from him. He didn't keep them waiting for long.
In the fall of that year, he published "Mathematical Origami - Intersecting Lines that Never Touch Each Other (Except When You're Not Looking)", his bold and challenging examination of the Theory of Number Folding. It immediately created a fantastic stir. Anti-Pricludian propaganda had been simmering off and on since he'd left on his travels, but now it exploded like a shattering bottle of Ball Lightning Liqueur. And this time it wasn't just a handful of envious sub-standard scholars that were attacking him; rising up against him was the united might of Ghyllian academia. For in addition to explaining the theory itself, Pricludious used the work to expose the anti-tolerant sins of Bute University and castigate the leadership of the school for allowing such crimes against scholarship to take place. (Pricludious was not only refering to the suppression of the Number Folding theory but also other instances of censorship that he had uncovered.) The academic establishment wasted no time in condemning both the author and the book as irrelevant, incompetent and in-error. Mathematicians, theoriticians, counting-assistants, department chairs, assistant deans, and university chancellors all jostled within the public arena to vituperate against Pricludious loudly and often. Even the Brothers of the Lantern entered into the fray, accusing him of intellectual moribundity.
But this time Pricludious was ready for such a fight. Having shuffled off his unequivocal acceptance of Ludhhism, (although still remaining a man of great self-restraint, decorum and cordiality), Pricludious stood up to the onslaught of criticism, diatribes and outright slander being thrown at him by throwing it right back. Jumping into the public arena with both feet, Pricludious embarked on a passionate public awareness campaign.
The major publishing houses and upstream media peddlars were of course now closed to him - they were all either run by the academic institutions he was criticizing or by the graduates, friends of, and former employees of those academic institutions. (If nothing else, this ugly page in history has shown all of us how insidious and incestuous the relationships between the educational establishment, the media, and the rich and powerful really are.)
But smaller presses jumped at the chance to side with Pricludious (or at least to use him to increase their market visibility and sales.) And, while major townships refused to grant him access to their public venues as part of his Free-Think Tour, smaller hamlets were eager for him to speak in their towns (once they saw the kinds of crowds he was attracting).
Without a doubt, the two most influential establishments that enabled Pricludious to give his side of the story to the public-at-large were Quester and Phorrus (QP) and the Iganefta Recorder. QP has always thrived on controversy and so it should come as no surprise that they opened up their presses to him. And as for the Iganefta Recorder, its editor-in-chief Ralfi Porrije was a staunch defender of free speech and he enthusiastically sold copies of his paper by regularly featuring hard-hitting reports detailing the charges, counter-charges and general hullaballoo of the "Pricludious Protest" (a term Ralfi coined himself). And I feel it necessary to add here that any claims that Pricludious' friendship with certain members of the Grommie Family was what assured him a supportive voice in the pages of the Recorder are absolute poppycock and should be dismissed out of hand, although it must be admitted that it didn't hurt any.
For one year the furor waxed, waned and then waxed again and then it all just suddenly stopped. Just like that. There have been many speculations as to the cause of the abrupt and still unexplained cessation, among them - the escalating costs of media warfare, rising uneasiness over Bute's indiscriminate use of character assassins, the realization that the academicians were losing the battle of public opinion, and even the idea that Pricludious simply grew tired of it all (especially after the NeoAlezanians got involved). But the consensus belief is that the effort to de-legitimize Pricludious as a serious voice of scholarship and a respectable contributor to issues of public debate never actually stopped at all. The chancellorship of Bute University and its allies simply decided to change their tactics, moving from a strategy of overt confrontation to one of covert insinuation. Instead of denying his charges, they simply ignored them. Instead of vilifying him they actually hailed him as a champion of straight-thinking, honoring him with the coveted Most Logically Dressed Scholar award in -16 EC.
(This concept of deliberative ignorism should be familiar to us as it has been used more than once, most famously to halt the spread of the doggerel plague, and of course in the on-going Conflict That Is Not Happening, although you didn't hear it from me.)
To the public-at-large of course, it seemed that the conflict had been resolved, that the charges against academia had been dealt with, and that Pricludious was once more in its good graces and vice-versa. This impression was further strengthened by the fact that Pricludious cut short his tour at the exact same time and receeded from direct contact with all but a close circle of family, friends and supporters.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing had actually been resolved, and Pricludious was most certainly not welcomed back into the academic fold. It is no secret that since that time all of Pricludious' work has been carefully segregated and systematically re-appraised for its "educationalist virtues". The result is that everything he had achieved before he took his "holiday" has been for the most part embraced as marvelous and important examples of straight-thinking, but everything he has brought to light since returning from his "holiday" is either ignored or belittled as embarrassing products of crooked-thinking. Thus the origin of the popular term "post-holiday blues" as a euphemism for being unfairly ostracized by one's peers and/or suffering from swelling feet from too much traveling.
This subversive anti-Pricludian revisionist bias continues to this day, and is practiced even by some contributors to this Encyclopedia if I may offer a frank observation.
The Muted Years
With the sudden and near total outbreak of non-confrontation from the educational establishment over Pricludious' charges of intellectual despotism, the scandal disappeared from the forefront of every day conversation. This seemed to be just fine with Pricludious as he ended his Free-Think Tour at the same time. Perhaps he felt it was best to fight fire with fire. But, although his public presence was greatly curtailed, he certainly did not fade away into oblivion or retire to Iganefta-on-the-Sea never to be heard from again.
His cutting edge treatise on Number Folding Theory, "Mathematical Origami", was slowly but surely gaining a circle of enthusiastic and devoted followers. He would collaborate with these scholars over the course of his remaining years and, in -3 EC, he published "Abnormal Math - Its Queer and Its Here", the only follow-up to "Mathematical Origami". The term 'abnormal math' was coined in "Mathematical Origami" as a way to clearly show that Number Folding Theory and the paradigm shift in mathematical thinking it represented was not a refutation of the principals of Normal Math (as was the primary charge against Pricludious by the other mathematicians), but was rather an extension of and an addition to Normal Math. As we all know, 'ab' means 'to add' or 'in addition to' in the written form of Way Early Inconcise Ghyllian. And "Abnormal Math" certainly lived up to its name, offering proofs to many of the hypothetical speculations of the first volume and opening up even more areas of speculative mathematics for the brave academician to pursue.
Pricludious also continued working in the philosophical and historical fields. His trips throughout Ghyll during his 30 year holiday had put him into contact with much folklore previously either barely remembered or completely unknown. He wrote extensively on the myths and historical records (both oral and written) of the Sarfelogian peoples and other marginalized social groups.
Within the pages of Quester and Phorrus he authored a series of monograms based on the fascinating lorecache he had unearthed from a score of nearly deserted derelict villages and their antiquated loremasters. The primary subject of the lore were tales and myths involving non-Ghyllian and sorta-Ghyllian races; creatures who's legendry could be traced back to the mists of modern Ghyllian civilization and beyond. Of particular interest to Pricludious were the Chitinous Foo, a frightening and blood-thirsty race of under-sized creatures that hid just beneath the surface of our placid, unsuspecting world. His descriptions of these creatures and retelling of their supposed activities was so terrifying that many mothering-groups demanded that those issues of QP be sealed in plastic bags and their sale be forbidden to minors.
He wrote various philosophical treatises on the odd religiotropic cults that exist in the upper-peaks of the Sarfelogian Mountain Range (areas frequented by communities even more isolated than in middle or lower Sarfelogia) and also published his notes on the beliefs and practices of those small in-bred family-clans of fishers and sand snorklers that can be found on the less desirable edges of the Dagger Seas. His observations and subsequent comparisons with our own belief systems were surprising and, of course, quite controversial.
He even dabbled in poetry, his most subtle and moving effort being "Hummusculous". Done in a highly stylized form of duo-phonetic trimetrical verse, the poem focuses on the nature and true origins of golems. This work is filled with mystical and philosophical extrapolations. Many of its references are enigmatical, especially those dealing with the "sulphuric mercurity" and the oft repeated phrase, "the kvetching of the kwills". The esteemed poet laureate and literary historian, Joash Lokmire, has suggested that Pricludious drew inspiration from works unknown to us that he'd found at the Collegium library in Thopth. But until someone actually travels to that quaint, willow strewn hamlet, the truth of the matter will remain unresolved. Regardless of the origins of the poem, it is well known that in his later years Pricludious had become fascinated with the origin of golems and had in fact begun an in-depth historical study of golems and early mechanauts, but unfortunately this work was interrupted by his tragic death.
The time, energy, and effort that Pricludious invested in his academic work is obvious based on the impeccable quality and prodigious output of his publications. But even so, he still found time to go out into the field.
His visit to and examination of the klokwerx in Stonemouth is one such example. His theory about the correlation between the outer-geometry and the inner-geomancy of the construct is utterly fascinating and eminently deserving of further study and development. Pricludious himself is said to have been busy with a more in-depth examination of the inner-workings of the klokwerx at the time of his death, and some have reported that through his calculations he discovered a most intriguing fact, that the klokwerx was generating far more power than the Rump Towers was actually using. This of course begs the question, just where is all that extra power going to? But alas almost all of his papers were found completely destroyed in the ruins of his beloved study at the time of his demise. (The Rump Family refuses to comment on this question and instead point to Pricludious' friendship with the House Grommie. But any suggestion that he was put up by the Grommie Family to create some kind of trumped up charge against the House Rump is absolute nonsense.)
Pricludious died on -1/1/1 EC, this much we know for a fact. He died from shock and loss of blood, this also is a fact. As for the rest of it... well, perhaps I should just relate to you a summary from the official report of the Sejfeld Constabulary.
Shortly after 23, a very distraught Mrs. Bagouville, Pricludious' housekeeper, came rushing into the constabulary station. After much effort, the constables on station deduced from her ravings that her master, Pricludious, was locked in his study. But he was not alone. Of that she was certain. Mrs. Bagouville reported that she was suddenly alarmed by the sound of crashings and tearings and loud shoutings (but in her nervous state was never able to absolutely identify the nature of those crashings, tearings and shoutings). Rushing upstairs, she attempted to open the study but found it securely locked. Calling out her master's name and banging on the door failed to garner any kind of response as well. And then all of the sound stopped and Mrs. Bagouville felt an odd tinging in her ears and the door seemed to bulge inward. And then Pricludious cried out, and this time the housekeeper did understand his words. They meant nothing to her but the tone of his voice sent chills down her spine. So she ran to fetch the constables.
When the authorities arrived at his house they found nothing amiss, until they came to the study. It was still locked and when they called out to Pricludious they got nothing in reply. So they broke the door down. What they found inside was shocking. The room was a shambles. Papers and books were strewn everywhere, torn and ripped apart. There was the smell of something thick but undefinable in the air. And lying in a corner of the room was Pricludious. His body was also torn and ripped. Strangely though, there was no blood anywhere. And the look on his face was one of pure terror. Clutched in his hand was a blank sheet of parchment covered in spilled ink. In the middle of it was the print of a tiny, malformed foot. Obviously he had been drawing something at the time of his death but if it held a clue as to the identity of his attackers, well, its significance is still unknown to this day. But it was clear from all the available evidence that Pricludious had been attacked and that his attackers had been a particularly vicious lot.
The strangeness and sheer awfulness of his death, and the fact that it is still unsolved, have of course given rise to much speculation. Most of it is pure rubbish, but as a chronicler of the full history of this great man I feel it necessary to add some of it here for the sake of completeness.
- Many people question just what exactly it was he was working on that night. His papers were too much destroyed to be reconstituted so we'll never actually know. Was that the motive behind his murder, to destroy what he knew before he could publish it? But what kind of knowledge could possibly incite murder?
- How did his attackers enter his study without being seen by Mrs. Bagouville? And how did they escape before the constables arrived? For when the constables entered the room, they found every point of exit securely locked from the inside.
- Pricludious died from blood loss. But there was no blood in the study. Where did it go?
- Since that night, Mrs. Bagouville has claimed that some of the noises she heard were the tiny pitter-patter of stealthy feet. If this is true, might the ink drawing of the tiny foot be more than just a drawing? Many have suggested exactly this and point to Pricludious' descriptions of the Chitinous Foo. Not only do they have small feet but they're infamous for sucking the blood of their victims. (Claims that, before his death, Pricludious professed to believe that these creatures were real and that they were after him are completely absurd and should be utterly discounted by anyone with half a brain.)
- What was that barely audible tingling, and the inward distortion of the study door? Some dimensionologists have wondered if perhaps Pricludious had made a breakthrough in Abnormal Math and actually managed to open up a portal to Ghul, the hypothetical mirror-counterpart of Ghyll.
- Other people connect the tingling and distortion with the odd array of Qulirian Energy Converters that Pricludious had installed onto his home. Certainly many people don't find it unreasonable to ask, why did he have so many, and was there a purpose behind their unusual arrangement? And did they really spark and glow intermittently on the night of his death?
- A persistent rumor claims that a messenger came to Pricludious three days before his impending demise. This messenger had come from the Andelphracian River Valley, or so it is said. But what was the message? And what was the reply?
- There was at least one report of strange, thin-carapaced foreigners lurking in the street near Pricludious' home. Were they the murderers? If so, who are they, and why didn't the constabulary follow up on the report? Is there a cover-up going on?
- Some nearby neighbors claimed to have heard a strange, bird-like music near the time of Pricludious' murder. Was it really music at all or, as a few contributors to Aliens Everywhere have proposed, could it have been the fabled kvetching of the kwills?
- And finally I submit this speculation. Pricludious' final words were, "The hour of doom is upon us all! Oh Mother of Sargewold, protect me!" The similarity to the infamous phrase translated from the Djiknax Creation Manuscripts is undeniable. And yet, Pricludious' utterance is also strikingly different in tone and wording, suggesting an peculiarly unique understanding of the meaning behind those inscrutable words. Obviously, they must have held great import to the man, since they were the last thing he was heard to say before his death. But what that import was, and what its import might be to the rest of us, is impossible to say. Unfortunately, there are many who don't let that stop them from saying a lot of things about it anyway.
The investigation into his death is still officially open, but as time passes by it seems less and less likely that the evil doers will ever be caught. And this is doubly a tragedy, for not only did they commit murder, but the man they murdered was one of the finest scholars our world has ever known.
A Short List of Major Achievements
- The summation of the tenets, formulae and proofs of Normal Math in his book, "This Is Reality, And I Can Prove It".
- The summation of the rudimentary parameters and underlying theorems of Abnormal Math in his book, "Mathematical Origami".
- Inspired the creation of the field of dimensionology - a quantifiable sub-set of Abnormal Math. It posits the existence of a mirror-Ghyll (referred to as Ghul). While Normal Math dictates that the physical world is made up of 6 dimensions, Abnormal Math speculates that it is made up of 11. The normal five dimensions of height, width, depth, time and color are folded over and doubled, while the sixth dimension, sound, acts as a neutral medium that flows in, around and between the two physically opposite but dimensionally connected discrete phenomonological five-dimension units of concretaity. In simple terms, this means that there is an identical but completely opposite version of Ghyll that sits in the exact same spot as our Ghyll but lying along an opposite axis (eg. our up is their down, our in is their out, our red is their raspberry, etc.) If Ghul actually exists, many scholars believe that it would explain certain anomalous meteorological events, mythological phenomenon, and semi-recurring sub-dermal inversions that have been a part of our world since time immemorial. And, if nothing else, the experts suggest that all those strange noises you hear late at night when you're trying to fall asleep but that have no sensible explanation, well, they just might be leaking over from Ghul.
- Popularization of math among the general public, exemplified by the hugely successful lumix, "Amazing Mathist".
- Cultural Legacies include the oft quoted phrase, "Post-holiday blues", and the advertising slogan, "Stop the lies - buy Pleshhorst Pies!" Initially used during the Free-Think Tour, this slogan is so popular that Plesshorst Bakeries uses it to this day.
--Dodaka II 02:33, 8 Sep 2005 (EDT)