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* Arariax the poet was born at 3237.170 UGT in the Evesque Valley.
* Arariax the poet was born at 3237.170 UGT in the Evesque Valley.
* Arariax wrote "The Deathbug" and "Why the Free Bird loves Tallow" at least.
* Arariax wrote "The Deathbug" and "Why the Free Bird loves Tallow" at least.
* Arariax was in exile for an unknown reason.
Remarkably fact-free, apart from the claim that Arariax was the greatest Ghyll poet (and the short sci-fi based contrived name), this is a post which can easily be integrated into the feel of Ghyll as it stands in its most cohesive parts.
Remarkably fact-free, apart from the claim that Arariax was the greatest Ghyll poet (and the short sci-fi based contrived name), this is a post which can easily be integrated into the feel of Ghyll as it stands in its most cohesive parts.

Revision as of 00:27, 2 September 2004

In this notepad currently are a couple of experiments: firstly, I round up all of the normative bits of information that collectively make up the spoken and unspoken rules of Ghyll; secondly, I read the current entries and try to extract the facts and links between them.

It's the law! - The idea of drafting a set of rules that are extremely concise and extremely to-the-point is a commendable one, but I think we've overdone it by a huge margin. Here I'd like to explore some alternative methods that I can then propose to Morbus and the other players, in the hope that we can come up with something a little more inclusive of all the house styles etc.

What Goes On? - As I said in the Lexicon discussion, it'd be nice if once per turn we could issue a canonical summary of what's been going on in the definitionry. Once per round we could have a really large summary, but in any case, it'd be nice for me personally to go through and really understand what's been defined so far.


Those That Are Rules of Ghyll

The playing of the game of Ghyll consists of a set of augmentations over time to an Encyclopaedia describing the Ghyll world. There may be other, related, canonical activities, but these rules define play only as it concerns the Encyclopaedia.

(@@ Currently draughting this as a set of "truths", i.e. statements of rules that are as atomic as possible. Hopefully then some structure can be discerned.)


  1. The Encyclopaedia is the Ghyll Encyclopaedia hosted on this, the wiki.
  2. The game shall be taken to mean the game of Ghyll as regards the Encyclopaedia.
  3. A phantom is an entry which has been cited but not yet written.
  4. A dib is the process of reserving a phantom with a short statement expressing the intention of creating that entry, in the place where the entry is to be created.


  • Turns:
    1. A game consists of a series of turns.
    2. The turns of the game start with "A", progress through the English alphabet to "Z", and restart at "A".
    3. New players may join on any turn, at any point in the turn.
    4. Turns progress according to the calendar maintained by the administrators of the game, which should be agreeable to player consensus.
  • Entries:
    1. Scholars shall dib, and then write, one entry per turn.
    2. Scholars that have dibbed entries must write those entries before the end of the turn.
    3. Scholars may write, and revise, their entries at any point in the turn.
    4. Each entry written by a scholar must have a title beginning with the current turn's letter.
    5. Each entry written by a scholar shall cite two phantom entries.
    6. Each entry written by a scholar after the first turn of the game shall cite at least one existing entry.
    7. Scholars shall neither cite themselves, nor write phantoms they cited first.
    8. All phantoms for a letter shall be written before new entries are created for that letter.

@@ Morbus text: "Neither of these three citations can be terms you've created or written." - dubious. What's the difference between linking and citing again?

@@ However, if you've properly met these requirements, your entry can certainly refer to other terms in the Ghyll encyclopedia, including those you've personally written. These "other terms", however, MUST have been previously defined or created.

@@ Stuff from IRC, general mumblings of Morbus. Really, rule creating for Ghyll is somewhat of a Morbus observation activity since he seems to be pretty certain about what the rules should be (and with good reason since this is his idea, and he's read all of the initial rules and done the legwork in finding out how previous lexicons have done); the rest of us need to be just as certain as well.

Those That Are Summaries of Ghyll

The first turn consists of at least the following eleven entries:

Note that Quezlarian numerals has been included as the initial test entry, but is irregular with the rules as they stand (equity).

Agony Uncle (phrase)

Discussion summary: Morbus's entry, and a good one as expected. He establishes the existence of the Folktown Records--which is carried over from the original wiki, and hence the ur-Ghyll--and then segues into a little intriguing plot which forms an excellent basis for further development.

  • The Folktown Records is weekly newspaper.
  • There are over 600 editions of the Folktown Records; hence it is roughly a dozen years old.
  • Windsor Creame works at the Folktown Records.
  • Windsor Creame is 57 years old.
  • Windsor Creame is married to Bavarian Creame; they have been married for seven years.
  • 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.
  • The Folktown Records, presumably, employ a gardener.
  • Madam Calvian is a neighbour to a Folktown Records employee.
  • Windsor Creame was "detained and brought in for questioning"; hence there must be a police force.

There are also a series of nuances that can't really be captured as facts: why, for example, did the transcriber take down the conversation? Is that related to Mboya turning up in Madam Calvian's?

Alarius, renaissance man

Discussion summary: from an unknown author comes this highly renaissance-inspired entry. Though short, it sets an interesting intellectual bar for Ghyll. It's an historical account of a particular person. It seems to espouse a conspiracy theory.

  • Alarius was a C15 renaissance figure.
  • 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.

There's also a nice plot hook in here that has room for development--that of the mysterious lady and the sudden urge on Alarius's behalf to want to travel.

The Land of Alezan

Discussion summary: crschmidt here comes up with his opening entry, which is geographical in the abstract, but focusses on some more granular features. He links in with the game as it has currently been played, and alludes to a distant past for Ghyll.

  • Alezan is a land to the west of the Evesque Valley.
  • Alezan is forested, and 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 (or Cranee) has a nearby museum which houses a vorpcara.

It's a careful entry, with substantive information, and yet only a passing reference to time, and very thin details when it comes to the historical society, the museum, the vorpcara etc., which makes it easier for scholars to define those terms, and restricts the world less at this point.

Alezanians (group)

Discussion summary: a short, funny entry from a passing browser who may yet turn out to be a regular contributor.

  • 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.

Displays an odd juxtaposition of slapdashry and understanding of the current corpora, but nevertheless overall holds together well. Ties in extremely well with a couple of entries: Agony Uncle and Alezan.

Altox bulb (invention)

Discussion summary: Robbi's entry, over which I mildly grumble.

  • The Altox, or Altoxian, Bulb was invented by Professor Altoxian.
  • Professor Altoxian is a resident of the city of Iganefta.
  • Professor Altoxian is well acquianted with the lower class.
  • Altox Bulbs are created from a jelly mined from deep under Iganefta.
  • The Azura Mines have a stream of the jelly, it is rumoured.
  • There are Adrizian sections of the Iganefta which apparently can access the jelly stream.

A clear lift of Andelphracian Lights, and the first entry to mention a city. More mild grumbling.

Amphitheatre Aristocracy (group)

Discussion summary: Arnia's entry, written after the first draft of these summaries, and with a care and diligence that sets it apart from possibly all others. It's close in keeping with Agony Uncle and Quezlarian Numerals, but takes a slightly different social view.

  • 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.
  • Burnfly swarms can be sculpted (no, really).
  • Bunny Hutch is a famed performance artist.
  • Siam Sinch, daughter of Bavarian Creame from a previous marriage, does glitterthought.
  • Statues were made recently of the, possibly mythical, Alezan Pantheon.
  • Folktown has its own city council.
  • The Amphitheatre Aristocracy provides scholarships.

This is a careful entry that reinforces the small and distributed political feel to Ghyll, whilst expanding on the whimsy (Bunny Hutch), and linking to other entries. It also imposes a couple of constraints of its own, that of a high-class academia, which is possibly a fair exchange.

Andelphracian Lights (invention)

Discussion summary: my entry, and one which was carefully crafted out of pieces from the ur-Ghyll, some other previous endeavours, and new material. It attempts to be as micro an entry as possible, though it has to introduce some new concepts. It's based in rurality, but discusses the lights and their utility for the most part.

  • 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 Andelphracian Lights.
  • 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 of the Council for Quezlarian Research may write in Quester and Phorrus soon.
  • The Fylesgate Annals allude to the invention of Andelphracian Lights.
  • The term "Andelphracian Lights" can't be antedated back more than fifty years.

This is the longest entry so far of this turn, and has correspondingly quite a bit of information, though apart from the setting, some small history elements, and the dating, it's not too limiting.

Aquentravalkeration (practice)

Discussion summary: jcowan's entry, and apparently a parody of Wikipedia's NPOV.

  • Aquentravalkeration was practiced by the now extinct Nitenmangrey culture.
  • The Nitenmangrey culture flourished in the Third Epoch.
  • Third Epoch documents are currently undeciphered, and comprised of hieroglyphs.
  • The term "Aquentravalkeration" was coined by Supetupheraraphes.
  • The Nitenmangrey had shamans and Paramount Queens.
  • Rancticirchiretic is another scholar of the Nitenmangrey.
  • Oblibestircus is another, less creditable, scholar of the Nitenmangrey.

Long names, lots of facts, bits of interspersed Latin, a complex plot, a parody, and all-in-all a very clearly jcowan authored entry!

Arariax (person)

Discussion summary: a post that spent a long time in production, it's non-limiting and links in fairly well to the whimsy of the world and even some details, but the invention of yet another timesystem, and the fancy-free nature of the post in general is dubious.

  • Arariax the poet was born at 3237.170 UGT in the Evesque Valley.
  • Arariax wrote "The Deathbug" and "Why the Free Bird loves Tallow" at least.
  • Arariax was in exile for an unknown reason.

Remarkably fact-free, apart from the claim that Arariax was the greatest Ghyll poet (and the short sci-fi based contrived name), this is a post which can easily be integrated into the feel of Ghyll as it stands in its most cohesive parts.

Avazian Box (invention)

Discussion summary: Pixel slightly convolutes and constrains Ghyll with this entry, adding a timeframe, various technologies, and an entire race of people.

  • The Avazians flourished in the First Epoch.
  • The Avazians were metalworkers.
  • The Avazians engineered many magnetic propulsion weapons.
  • There were at least three Avazian (presumably civil) Wars.
  • 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 dissipate magnetic devices (including weapons) over a large radius.
  • An Avazian Box was accidentally activated in the Third Epoch.

An ambiguous entry, this seems mainly detached from the rest of Ghyll, and was written independently by pixel. Nontheless, this is a clean slate turn, and the entry is internally consistent.

Quezlarian numerals (system)

Discussion summary: the prototype test entry from the ur-Ghyll, carried over to this wiki since we're rather proud of it--constituting, as it does, much of the substance of nine months of work on Ghyll!

  • 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 that he didn't.
  • Quezlar 6 was married to Violetta.
  • Tim Timperton used to be a high ranking member of the Folktown Records.

For a short entry, it has quite a bit of pith.

The State of the Art of Ghyll

The entries as they stand at the moment are highly disparate: Quezlarian Numerals and Agony Uncle are strongly linked, and Andelphracian Lights is weakly linked with Agony Uncle and the Land of Alezan. Other than that, and the lifting of Altox Bulb from Andelphracian Lights, there's no interdependence to speak of. Epochs are mentioned in both Aquentravalkeration and Avezian Box, but even then Avezian Box had to be edited slightly for consistency.

Geography of Ghyll

We discern from Alezan and Andelphracian Lights that part of Ghyll is forested; from Alezan and Avazian Box we learn that there are wastelands, but apart from the city in Altox Bulb and the gardens in Agony Uncle, landscape is not mentioned. Andelphracian Lights mentions mires and quayres too.

History of Ghyll

Ghyll was close to being a mess: we've had at least three Epochs, a century numering system where the 15th Century is apparently past and the 25th Century yet to come, and the UGT scheme. This has, however, largely been fixed thanks to Progress Report 1. Still, Alarius and Avazian Box are going to be difficult to reconcile with Alezan, Andelphracian Lights, and Aquentravalkeration's general consensus that the past is difficult to gain knowledge from.

People of Ghyll

We have some interesting characters shaping up. Windsor Creame, 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 defined just on this first turn. Pixel's entry appears to be the only one that doesn't specifically name at least one person. Many of these are related, and some have roots in the ur-Ghyll, so they shape up for some excellent future exploration in terms of plot and character.

Politics of Ghyll

Very sparsely mentioned at the moment, but some inferences are possible. In Agony Uncle, the arrest of Windsor Creame suggests a police force in the region of the Folktown Records's office. Andelphracia was a mayoress, so towns have people running them. There is a general order to Ghyll, and one which does not yet appear to diverge from general earth practices. There is a rather more autonomous feel to Ghyll, though, as though there is 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 Encyclopaedia itself is being written by a team of (scrappy, at present!) scholars indicates the same kind of locally-regularised control.

Technology of Ghyll

Very inconsistent. We have the rural technologies of the lights contrasting with huge past towers and magnetic propulsion technologies contrasting with frescos and newspaper offices. We have cities whose bulbs are tied together with rope. Very much a mess, and perhaps ought to be addressed alongside the historical/timeframe proclamation that Morbus is to issue.

Education of Ghyll

The folk of Ghyll are obviously quite well educated: they invent, they write, and they produce publications. One of the probably lesser noticed points about Ghyll so far is that we have mentioned a staggering amount of publications: Folktown Records, Encyclopaedia of Lost Lore, Cranee Historical Society records (inferred), Quester and Phorrus, The Fylesgate Annals, the Third Epoch documents of the Nitenmangrey, and of course the Ghyll Encyclopaedia 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. The arts are emphacised in Arnia's entry, with an allusion to past theatre productions.

Culture of Ghyll

The names used in Ghyll so far display interesting origins: Mboya (African), Alarius (Latin), Bavarian Creame (German; bizarre), Tim Timperton (English), Alezan (sci-fi), Aquentravalkeration (...good flipping grief!), Andelphracian (phenomicity), Phennella (parody). The cultures and races seem, however, to have an interesting characteristic: the whimsical "quaint British, with hints of invention" names are all contemporary. Tim Timperton, Mrs. Widderson, Bysted Timperton (any relation to Tim?), Bavarian Creame. The historical names are long forms, and often comprised of only single words. The older races have their Alarius, Quezlar 6, and Nitenmangrey. The only two exceptions are of the scholar names that jcowan has used (though there's nothing to say that those are contemporary scholars!), and perhaps the Professor Altoxian of Robbi's, though that's at least two words if not quaint. His cityscape is removed from the rest of Ghyll as it stands anyway, so that might be a regional thing. We can assume that Phennella has a surname.

Abandoned: Quirks of Ghyll; These probably need tracking already! We have quayres, glitterthought, vorpcaras, etc.

Issue: Alezan, Alarius, Altox, Arariax, Avazian? Starting to think that some of these ought to be changed outright. All of them except for "Agony uncle" show a yearning to coin new names, but when seven out of eight entries do that, I think that's a bad precedent for future turns. Discussed this on IRC with Morbus.

@@ Styles of the entries, time systems, the geography, characters, inventions, themes.

--Sean B. Palmer 19:11, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

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