Rejah

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The office of rejah is one of the most important, if also one of the more modest, in all Ghyll, and is found universally throughout the civilized world and even in Kebro-shepenor (according to M'Kev D'wal, at least). A rejah is elected for every hamlet, village, market town, and urban neighborhood by a simple majority vote of the resident adult females and two-thirds of the males, chosen by lot before the election. The reason for this peculiar voting scheme is lost to history. The principal duty of a rejah is to settle disputes brought before him (most rejahs are male) by his neighbors. Consequently, rejahs are usually chosen from among the most well-balanced of the social outcasts of the locality, since they are believed to be the most impartial, if also the most cranky.

The most famous rejah in recent Ghyll history is undoubtedly Odgar Iv (the capital V commonly seen is a folly without warrant), who held the post for an unprecedented 27 years. Most rejahs are out of office within ten years as a result of a recall election or cirrhosis of the liver, whichever comes first. Odgar's longevity was probably a result of his second career as a musician and composer, which required him to stay sober in order to put pen to paper or finger to flute.

Rejahs also answer questions (but not Hive-Lord ones) as a sideline of their primary dispute-settling functions, since many disputes arise out of questions. The answers are of doubtful worth, but "generally better / Than dumb looks", as the poet Arariax has it. In the distant past, those who asked rejahs to answer Hive-Lord questions were generally punished by suspension; but in more modern times, they are usually just called nithings before the folk. A few enlightened rejahs have been known to consult with scholars in difficult cases, but in general the principle of Making Shit Up is sacred with rejahs as a class.

Some rejahs also act as regulators of morals; they investigate those who are caught canoodling in unsuitable locales, and post their names on the Disgraceful List on the public bulletin-board. In some cases, an Honorable List is maintained as well, for those who over a period of years demonstrate their decorum. Urban rejahs do not usually do either of these things, except in highly conservative Old Thungerbarg.

The term is also used in the sense of the leader of a Berellian meeting. Why this is so, is known only to Berellians, if anybody; and your author is not a Berellian.

Citations: Odgar IV, Suspension, Vemish.

--John Cowan 16:20, 8 Feb 2005 (EST)


The capital V may be a folly without warrant, but it is the fact that Odgar IV's parents always used a capital V, and that he himself insisted on that spelling, which caused the mispronunciations which shaped his young life. To change that now seems to make light of the emotional distress caused by his pig-headedness. --DrBacchus 20:14, 10 Feb 2005 (EST)

I can't help it. The facts are the facts. --John Cowan 14:38, 10 Mar 2005 (EST)

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