Encyclopedants Progress Report 2

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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.

The State of the Art of Ghyll


The northern end of the Evesque Valley shows sparse population, yet many of Ghyll's events center around the valley. We get the feeling that the Valley is an important place, but that it is generally still quite rural with many plantations and forests: since it is in an earthquake zone, and suffers from many natural lightning storms, this may explain the lack of a sizeable population. The existence of Besq Boats, made from trees in Evesque Valley plantations, indicates that there must be a body of water close to the Evesque Valley. Though this may be the seven lakes alluded to in one entry, the fact that there is maritime warfare suggests a wider watery expanse. We're starting to hear about many more Ghyll lands--e.g. the Eastern Province of the Dulalian Empire, Bute, and Glossfordshire--whose relation to Folktown, the Evesque Valley, and even one another are currently unknown. We now know that Ghyll has more than one moon.

History and Dates

Again, the history of Ghyll is shown to be very important to its scholars. We hear of an amphitheater destroyed in -75 EC, the ancient Battle of Barnum Stones back past -300 EC, and the antiquital ancestors of Besq Boats and Bindlet Ball from the "grey period". Contrasting with that, though, we have a focus on the personalities of recent times: the Baron, Bethany Mboya, and Bobby "Robert" Shwarmph were all born within the last 100 years. Therefore, the history of Ghyll seems to be settling into three periods: that of ancient semi-mythological history where records are sparse, near history where records are extant but the events are still somewhat legendary, and living memory which is usually discussed in a more personal tone.

People and Politics

The cliques of Ghyll are ever growing, with the Amphitheatre aristocracy, Karcist League, Tarkherk Corps, Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge, Brothers of the Lantern, and Council for Quezlarian Research featuring prominently--which is not to mention organizations such as Bute University, the Odlucian Library, and the Folktown Records. It seems to be a very important thing in Ghyll to belong to a particular group, and though we have frequent references to proper local governments with mayors and so forth, we find the same people recurring in different organizations, suggesting that the in-crowd of the Ghyll cliques and societies often find prominent positions in government because of it. Though we're seeing a great many historical figures and contemporary citizens, their occupations tend to be either sweepingly unknown or to fit within some very constrained categories: they're either scholars, newspaper editors, or members of some societies; pirates, warriors, or sailors; or engaged in specialist activities such as the production of Andelphracian Lights, or freelancing like many of the occupants of the Evesque Valley, which seems to be the place you go to when you've done well for yourself--not withstanding the earthquakes and frequent storms...

Technology and Education

We're still getting the impression from the current entries that Ghyll is in a phase of post-retro semanto-chic rural technology with some impressive core overtones. Clearly architecture is in an advanced phase since we're able to build huge libraries, research centres, and amphitheatres, though no particularly large (i.e. tall) buildings have been noted yet, and cities are still felt to be more loose collectives of nucleated towns that grew into a single entity than pre-planned affairs. Even our weapons, such as Ball Lightning Liqueur, focus around light, which is proving to be a very motivating and guiding force. The Bindlet Ball appears to be rather an advanced technology, and you'd certainly think that with such a strong academic force in Ghyll, there'd be some interesting developments, both in work and play.

The Facts As We're Told Them

The second batch of entries consists of the following entries: Baleman (Location), Ball Lightning Liqueur (Invention), Baron Claude Lloyd Albert Smallwood (People), Battle of Barnum Stones (Other), Bavarian Creame (People), Berell (People). Besq Boats (Invention), Bethany Mboya (People), Betrothal march (Other), Bindlet Ball (Other), Bobby Shwarmph (People), Bofu (Other), Bordingbras his hatt! (Other), Brothers of the Lantern (People), Budgerigar Master (People), Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge (Organization), Burnflies (Wildlife), Bursine Calendar (Other), Bute University (Organization) and Bysted Timperton (People).

Baleman (Location)

  • Baleman was the primary amphitheatre of the Amphitheatre aristocracy until -75 EC.
  • The Baleman amphitheatre was destroyed in -75 EC by the Earthquake of Fluyr.
  • The theatre was located at the north end of the Evesque Valley, and was carved of white stone.
  • Diagrams of Baleman indicate that it could have seated upwards of 25,000 audience members.
  • It was once used as a location to teach Ghyll inhabitants about the night sky until -90 EC.
  • It was thought to be one of most impressive structures created by the (then) inhabitants of Ghyll.
  • The many stories of Fijjit Mejora were first told in the Baleman amphitheatre.

Ball Lightning Liqueur (Invention)

  • Ball Lightning Liqueur is a counterpart to another weapon, "Awal Sleeps".
  • "Awal Sleeps" comes from the Evesque Valley; Ball Lightning Liqueur originates at Iganefta.
  • "Awal Sleeps" is targeted against jelly mines; Ball Lightning Liqueur attacks Fefferberry crops.
  • "Awal Sleeps" removes the sound of its destruction; Ball Lightning Liqueur simulates nature.
  • Meldersen created "Awal Sleeps" as an affront to Awal's rebuking of his work.
  • "Awal Sleeps" is based on the sound suckage principles of Awal shrinkage.
  • Ball Lightning Liqueur requires two to deploy: one to throw the bottle, another to shatter it.
  • Evesque Valley scholars are investigating unshattered Ball Lightning Liqueur bottles.
  • Both weapons began active use 50 years ago in a continuing war to decide lighting supremacy.
  • The war has lasted so long that it is known as the Conflict That Is Not Happening.
  • The Evesque Valley has frequent (natural) lightning storms, and is north of Iganefta.

Baron Claude Lloyd Albert Smallwood (People)

  • The Baron (born -62/7/11 EC) is Bavarian Creame's former husband.
  • The Baron is the most important producer of Adlorst Vinifera, but also produces other wines.
  • His sprawling plantation, also a tourist attraction, is located in Evesque Valley.
  • The Baron is known for dabbling in alchemy and is a suspected member of the Karcist League.
  • His alchemy mishaps purportedly (he denies it) created the doggerel plague of -11 EC.
  • The Baron has written an unknown number of monographs concerning plants, alchemy, and more.
  • He has recently studied animal husbandry and attempted to engineer a new breed of Mute Chukarandos.
  • The Baron hosts a large library on linguistics, and has been known to talk to animals and plants.
  • He has funded several expeditions into distant lands to study the languages of small, dying peoples.
  • The Baron has been seen performing annual rites on dates related to his previous marriage.

Battle of Barnum Stones (Other)

  • Battles over the supremacy of different means and types of lighting techomancy have been waged.
  • The Battle of Barnum Stones, somewhere between -400 EC and -332 EC, is the most celebrated.
  • The Barnum Stones were moved to Stindersgrough by Corvin Axehand in –158 EC.
  • In addition, a subsequent Raking has left the exact battlefield location unknown.
  • The participants at the Battle of Barnum Stones were the Looliers and the Exingians.
  • Salerny Redthighs was the shaman-chief of the Looliers at the time of the Battle.
  • After days of consultation, Umbrage, than exasperation, bull's pizzle started the war.
  • The Exingians were outnumbered and outflanked, but battled regardless of the odds.
  • The Exingians have a ritual square formation of 7 warriors wide, and 7 warriors deep.
  • Each center warrior of each line hold vorpcaras high, and three pages flank them.
  • Pages to the left hold wooden bowls of spring water; pages to the right hold springs of adlorst.
  • These symbolic items of the 7 by 7 square were meant to represent time passing.
  • The Exingians were slaughtered, and the Looliers suffered no losses, nor honoured the dead.
  • The group headed for home, camped at the Vale of Serdoch and were never seen again.
  • The victory united the remaining Loolier tribes, and eventually led to their own downfall.
  • Across the centuries, the Loolier are still despised, despite their success at the Battle.
  • Bordingbras his hatt!, the only known Loolian manuscript, is held at the Odlucian Library.
  • A scattered line of dried Fefferberry seeds is considered ritualistic in some areas.

Bavarian Creame (People)

  • Born -59/04/12 EC as Bavarian Magdelene Wallinger, she was known as a driven woman.
  • Her ancestral home is Undivaggen, in the village of Marsh Gibbon, 10 miles NW of Folktown.
  • She has two sisters, and eventually had three husbands, two sons, and two daughters.
  • She was educated at the exclusive Mandeville Girls School in nearby Sejfeld.
  • She was 9 years old when she was admitted to the Amphitheatre aristocracy.
  • She has a first-class degree in the Social Arts from the University in Curno.
  • Her first husband, of 12 years, was Baron Claude Lloyd Albert Smallwood.
  • She became a Core Advisor to (then) Mayor Hew Load; perceived as his "troubleshooter".
  • Two years after becoming Mayoress of Folktown, she divorced her first husband.
  • Two years after the divorce, she married an elderly lawer named Sir Bartholemew Sinch.
  • As Mayoress, she imposed a ban on photographs of, and during, society weddings.
  • Trade in illegal photos has become a black market, and sociophiles spend thousands.
  • Even though Bartholemew was unable to have children, Bavarian became pregnant with Siam Sinch.
  • Shortly after Siam Sinch was bored, Sir Bartholemew Sinch died of "natural causes".
  • To be a "good mother to her daughter", Bavarian resigned from public office.
  • For twenty years, Bavarian became heavily involved in charitable works and research.
  • Her finest work has been the exhaustive research in the fringe field of the Alezan pantheon.
  • Siam Sinch, now 20, marries the statesman Gabson Foyle (-11 EC).
  • Bavarian's oldest daughter, Niala Wallinger, begins dating Alessa Mboya's son, Daniel.
  • Their relationship ends, and Bavarian marries Alessa's brother, Windsor Creame (-8 EC).
  • Since the trial and imprisonment of Windsor, Bavarian has retreated from public life.

Berell (People)

  • Berell is revered as a patron among rural communities, although his name may be an alias.
  • A popular folktalke of Berell and his history is stored at the Odlucian Library.
  • The philosophy of Berell is to better your own existence, as only you have control of it.
  • Those who follow his precepts believe the paramount goals are secrecy and personal wealth.
  • The believers have split into different sects, which have varying views and tenants.
  • The number of current followers is unknown; secrecy forfeits their admission of belief.
  • Formal gatherings of organized service are usually led by the oldest member, a rejah.
  • The gatherings rarely take more than an hour, and only happen once every two weeks or less.

Besq Boats (Invention)

  • Besq Boats are medium sized sailing craft made from Sphoxolis Trees.
  • These trees can be found in many places, but plantations abound in the Evesque Valley.
  • The Boats typically have one mast and single sail that uses the top and main boom as support.
  • Besq Boats are traditional amongst sailors, and they've appeared in drawings dating to -172 EC.
  • Oral history suggests the design of the Boats have remained unchanged for 300 years.
  • Building these Boats typically requires a team of eight people, normally master carpenters.
  • The Boats take eight months to build, and an apprentice eleven years of study.
  • Most construction begins in Ablinth, and naming ceremonies occur in Jole.
  • Besq Boats are most prominently used for fishing and coastal commerce.
  • Smugglers enjoy the boat's speed, and have developed methods for maritime warfare.
  • The most famous Besq Boat sailor was Captain Riquiras, a buccaneer and smuggler.

Bethany Mboya (People)

  • Bethany Mboya entered the public eye in -11 EC, apparently 19 years old.
  • The Bureau of Numbing Research list Bethany as the 4th most popular name for girl babies.
  • Her name is assumed a pseuodym as "Mboya" is commonly used in their creation.
  • Using a pseudonym is common in Ghyll, but more so in artistic circles, which Bethany influenced.
  • Siam Sinch denied rumors that Bethany was a romantic partner, and a muse behind her work.
  • Siam Sinch and Gabson Foye, her soon-to-be husband, argued violently over these rumors.
  • Taking a lover during your final tri-menth of the betrothal march is met with scorn.
  • Bethany was featured in a series of lumograms in varying states of dress and undress.
  • Bethany was reported to be lovers with artists, scholars, Bindlet Ball players, and politicians.
  • In -9 EC, small pamphlets written by Mboya on a variety of subjects appeared.
  • In became common in -5 EC to boast of nights spent, and pleasure had, in Bethany's presence.
  • In -3 EC, it became clear that Bethany couldn't have had the 6,437 lovers attributed to her.
  • Gabson Foye discovered, in -2 EC, that Bethany was really the overweight Jan ver Daath.
  • Daath, a man, was a retired soldier of the Tarkherk Corps, in the Conflict That Is Not Happening.

Betrothal march (Other)

  • A longstanding tradition, the length of the march is determined by math and guesswork.
  • In modern times, the march tests the couple's devotion with three grueling sections called tri-menths.
  • The tri-menths are not of the same length, involve a prime number distance, and increase in difficulty.
  • Tri-menth lengths are determined by year, astrology, hair color, and the #27 Bindlet Ball player's name.
  • The third tri-menth is the most challenging, amd mostly likely to break a couple apart.
  • Distances range from several steps to a great many sugro-nanit lengths.
  • The original conceiver of the march may have been Briorus Jan-Vanderschusen.

Bindlet Ball (Other)

  • Extremely popular sport, national pastime, and big business.
  • The annual championship is held on the the Day of Champions.
  • The Ghyll Bindlet League, founded in -54 EC, consists of 27 teams.
  • Game allegiances have been known to affect political races, as in the election of -38 EC.
  • Games can last 5 or 6 days, and a Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge member resolves referee disputes.
  • The longest game on record started in -7 EC and is still in the 4th period (of 7).
  • Players leaving the field forfeit the game, so small homes were built on the field, yet don't hinder play.
  • Game play consists of two teams, with the number of players per team determined by a complex formula.
  • Due to continual Mediation over the formula results, common convention is to agree on 12 players per team.
  • The goal is to get a ball, one nanit in diameter, into a hole (the bindlet) less than one nanit in diameter.
  • The interaction between the players and crowd affects the size of the ball due to Awal shrinkage.
  • Game play lasts for 7 periods, one of which is over when the ball is put through the bindlet.
  • Everything is open to interpretation, and Bindlet Ball, Its Rules And History, is 946 pages.
  • Primitive forms have been around since -400 EC; its current form, roughly 60 years.
  • In -14 EC, an act was passed to deny any professional bindlet player from taking political office.
  • The current champions are the Glossfordshire Maurlons, who won in record time of 5 hours, 17 minutes.

Bobby Shwarmph (People)

  • Bobby "Robert" Shwarmph edits Aliens Everywhere, but hasn't been seen since -4/7/22 EC.
  • Since his disappearance, his matters and affairs have been handled by "Easy" Lizzard.
  • Folktown Records #519 reported he may have been the victim of nature or foul play.
  • Interviews indicate he was driven into alcohol addiction after a trip to the Alezan ruins.
  • Shwarmph is a member of the Brothers of the Lantern and wrote a white paper in -14 EC.
  • In this paper, published in the organization's journal, he rejected AuroAnthropology as heresy.
  • Shwarmph is said to be a platoon leader in the Tarkherk Corps of the Conflict That Is Not Happening.
  • Edward, Bobby's adoptive brother, is rumored to be his son by either Izadora Gutschtup or an Alezanian.
  • Though missing, he is scheduled to produce "Aliens, Anywhere" with the Academy of Conspiracy Theologiests.
  • Planned for 0 EC, drafts are highly sought, and forgeries have sold for 4,900 Quezloos.

Bofu (Other)

  • Bofu is a form of confection, a kind of pasty, made from a dough rich in butter or Altoxian Bulb gel.
  • Depending on the region, these palm-sized tarts are filled with various fruit jams or animal byproducts.
  • Consumption of the baked good sometimes causes esophageal burns and glowing excrement.
  • The exact recipe is determined by, amongst other things, the body weight of the Speedish Chef.
  • It is a traditional dish served to family members and relatives of couples enduring a betrothal march.
  • Family members are expected to consume at least one Bofu a day, until the betrothal march ends.
  • This practice generally serves to test the families' regard toward the couple's pending union.

Bordingbras his hatt! (Other)

  • Theoalchemy caused the dispute between the Exingians and the Looliers.
  • The Vale of Serdoch, where the Loolier victors camped, is close to the ruins of Alezan.
  • Bordingbras his hatt! is a movingly tragic tale of a hero who misunderstands, and is misunderstood.
  • The poem is encoded with alchemical methods, decipherable by the Clamorxian Decoding Method.
  • The decoding reveals that they knew how to create chemicals out of light, including gold.
  • This knowledge was apparently learned from Kiluma, the goddess of chaos to the Looliers.
  • The Exingians treated Kiluma as their patron goddess, and did not have similar alchemical knowledge.

Brothers of the Lantern (People)

  • The Brothers of the Lantern is a famous school originating before -200 EC.
  • The school is located in the Eastern Province of the Dulalian Empire.
  • The school specials in theology, whingelism, archaeology, and tonsorial art.
  • Brothers are appointed for life after a series of tests, of which great secrecy is maintained.
  • Brothers are known to adopt, or be assigned, pseudonyms on appointment.
  • Former students attest to the study of archetypal pairs such as light/dark, male/female.
  • Brothers rarely publish their findings, but maintain a scholarly journal of no apparent relevance.
  • The Brothers are believed to maintain the heh-blammo balance throughout Ghyll.

Budgerigar Master (People)

  • The Budgerigar Master is a historical figure that has dated back 2000 years.
  • The latest sighting of the Master, drunkenly questionable, was in -50 EC.
  • The Budgerigar Master served in the court of Odgar IV from circa -250 EC.
  • Around -250 EC, the Extraordinarily Bloodless Revolution occurred.
  • The Master is always seen with a cage of budgerigar birds.
  • Wild budgerigar birds have been extinct since -100 EC.
  • An estimated ten birds have been bred, and live, in captivity.

Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge (Organization)

  • The Bureau was founded by its first President, Supetupheraraphes, in -98 EC.
  • The first 20 years was hampered by a Paradox, resolved through the formation of BORK.
  • BORK is the Bureau of Regained Knowledge, decreed official by Meldersen, the second President.
  • The first great discovery, the origins of the Quezlarian Ooo, was also under Meldersen's presidency.
  • The Quezloo is Ghyll's currency, and is named after Quezlar 6's remarks upon discovering Oooite.
  • The Bureau was petitioned to investigate the lost knowledge of Ghyll husbands, but declined to comment.
  • Its Ternary Script motto, finally deciphered in -17 EC, was quickly changed due to embarrassment.
  • The next President was Rancticirchiretic, then Awal, and currently (since -11 EC) Blivingdel.
  • The Bureau's main building is known as the Cake, and consists of seven circular, concentric halls.
  • The more interior the hall, the more private the knowledge within; the outer rings are open to the public.
  • The circular courtyard in the middle (the "Cakehole") is used for games of Doofball between staff.
  • Prominent members are often ex-members of the Council for Quezlarian Research.
  • Monty Thabot is the Vice Chairman of The Bureau's Steering Committee (the supreme council).
  • The Steering Committee has, since -53 EC, used three oxen in its motif, based on their ox handling pasts.
  • One of the greatest accomplishments of the research carried out by The Bureau was the origins of Andelphracia.
  • Another example is the deciphering of one of the best poetic works of Alarius, son to Arariax.
  • Alarius' poem will be appearing soon in the eighth revision of the Encyclopedia of Lost Lore.
  • Alarius' poem contains one of the earliest known uses of the phrase "Andelphracian Light".
  • More recent Bureau studies include the use of dove calling patterns, or "doveination".
  • The latest research has been a focus on the religious practices of the Nitenmangrey culture.
  • Farming communities have benefited from this research, based on the downing of bull pizzle.

Burnflies (Wildlife)

  • Burnflies are classified as "Composite", as they are both "Insectile" and "Nocturnal".
  • The tiny, bioluminescent, winged creatures, are social (but not hive), trainable, and long lived.
  • They mate one to one, hunt in packs, and are found in moderate temperatures where smaller prey is ample.
  • Most regions encourage them: they control pests, add luminary brilliance, and can be used in modern art.
  • They are our closest relatives despite the differences in size, bioluminecense, and lack of prehensile thumbs.
  • They share our flexible abdominal carapaces, high-set composite eyes, and third external mandibles.
  • Cataclysmatologists suggest our ancestor lived 10,000,000 years ago, after the fall of the Avazians.
  • Some regions refer to them as "Homonoculus Bugs" due to their physical likenss and clever natures.
  • Burnflies provide beauty and inspiration; their sight "[rewards] not for doing, but just for seeing".

Bursine Calendar (Other)

  • The Calendar is named after Bursine the 14th, an unremarkable Hive-Lord of the Nitenmangrey.
  • The Calendar was made as a gift to his Paramount Queen, Litvia, on their joining day.
  • The Calendar was adopted, along with a resetting of the year, for the Encyclopedant Calendar.
  • The seven days are Tuesday, Ulfsday, Varhookan, Ween, Xarochsday, YinYin, and Zalestra.
  • The twelve months are Ablinth, Baros, Conti, Darwina, E, Fusil, Gomin, Homin, Ikk, Jole, Kendrit, and Lom.
  • It is unknown why the days of the week and months of the year follow alphabetic progression.
  • A date of 0/1/12 EC can be read as also "YinYin, the 12th of Ablinth of the year 0."

Bute University (Organization)

  • Bute University is known for academic excellence, and will soon celebrate its 400th anniversary.
  • The University was created to legitimately research history, in defiance of the King's Story.
  • The true findings angered King Harandraff the Great, who raised an army and marched on Bute.
  • The initial siege lasted six months, and the Kingdom found itself in a Civil War for seven years.
  • When the war was finally over, no family members or descendants of the King remained.
  • The Bute campus comprises three lakes, a forest, and "a blasted moorland".
  • Major building projects, like the recently completed science buildings, happen every 200 years.
  • The upper echelons of administration include Masters, Mistresses, Deans, and a Chancellor.
  • Bysted Timperton was Chancellor for five years, and his leadership was described as "opportunistic".
  • His purchases and governance challenged the status quo, and he reorganized the house system.
  • The house system currently encompasses 5 teams competing yearly over 23 events.
  • In his second year as Chancellor, he built the now famous Timperton Clocktower.

Bysted Timperton (People)

  • Bysted is the current vice-chairman of the secretive Council for Quezlarian Research.
  • Due to his high rank, almost all of his biographical information has been struck from the record.
  • With an estimated birth of -70 EC, he graduated at the top of his class at Bute University.
  • As an early adult, he married Menia Pyre, and soon after had a son named Tim Timperton.
  • Near Tim's birth, Bysted was offered a job at the Council for Quezlarian Research.
  • Bysted accepted Chancellorship at Bute University.
  • Bysted forced Tim to go to Bute University while he was chancellor.
  • Bysted talked the Council into letting Tim have a major role, but it didn't last very long.
  • The Timperton Clocktower is rumored to be the meeting place for Council members.
  • Alternatively, the Timperton Clocktower may be a testing facility for forbidden and forgotten lore.

--The Encyclopedants
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