Encyclopedants Progress Report 3

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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

Geography

As we establish the basis of our gallant lexicon, we can start to become surer that the places mentioned so far are the largest and most prominent that Ghyll has to offer. Since Folktown is mentioned in very many of the entries, we can be reasonably sure that it is Ghyll's largest city; likewise Iganefta ranks in closely, with the university town of Bute probably playing host to very many people, and the little hamlet of Odlucia being an odd case since though it's small it probably receives many visitors due to it being the home of the Odlucian Library and the Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge's Cake building.

We're beginning to discern a structure to Ghyll in general. The Evesque Valley is the most prominent geographical landmark to the north, and Iganefta is the most prominent of the south, though we may deduce that the Cactus forests may lie even further south in the rarely explored deserts. We're also aware of the Dagger Seas which are unlikely to lie to the south of Ghyll, and so are either east or west or, less likely (since it would have been mentioned), to the north of the Evesque Valley.

There are also many, many places whose spatial relationships to one another we are not yet aware of. We've chartered a small cartographical committee to look into researching the overall layout of Ghyll to assist scholars in drafting their entries. The first product of this committee is the Encyclopedants' Ghyll Where's Where publication, which will be maintained parallel to our current Ghyll Who's Who publication. We have already noticed from this effort one small discrepancy in the entries that we have received, that of the location of the Vale of Surdoch, but we hope to resolve that with the scholars in question in the process of mapping Ghyll.

History and Dates

In this round of entry submissions, we have learned that core script started to get crystallised as Modern Standard Ghyllian (MSG) around -90 EC. We also learn such that Captain Riquiras' Idol was discovered in -159 EC, and that the Carsokian Clan was formed around -400 EC (and has done many things since), but in general this round of submissions has been lower on ancient history than the previous two. The language barrier that seems to have established itself fairly recently is starting to take effect, and the Encyclopedants feel it is unlikely they will receive many more entries regarding events that took place prior to -100 EC; following a similar principle to Ghyll's geography in that the most prominent and important historical events and figures will be described first.

People and Politics

People and Politics will return in Encyclopedants Progress Report 4.

Technology and Education

We learn from Calends Gala that Ghyll is at "the advent of readily available printed books", of which our lexicon is of course a part. The journals and books of Ghyll make up one of its most important parts: the Folktown Records, Quester and Phorrus, Gala Rules and Traditions, the Encyclopaedia of Lost Lore, Bindlet Ball (Its Rules And History), Why the Free Bird Loves Tallow, Invariant Transforms (with Historio-Physical Applications), Mother Mutton's Golden Book of Linear and Dynamic Historical Projection Techniques and Coloring Fun, and the Fylsegates Annals are just some of the works recorded so far in the lexicon, and we have ample reason to believe that many more will be mentioned in due course. Perhaps our upcoming planned entry on the Odlucian Library ought to include a complete catalogue of its many thousands of volumes?

The Facts As We're Told Them

The third batch of entries consists of the following: Cactus forests (Wildlife), Cadaver, The (Location), Calends Gala (Other), Captain Riquiras (People), Carsokian (Organization), Cartographer's Nerves (Other), Cataract Road (Location), Charterhouse Collection (Other), Chesix System Of Measures (Invention), Conflict That Is Not Happening (Other), Council for Quezlarian Research (Organization), and Cranee Historical Society (Organization).

Cactus forests (Wildlife)

  • The Cactus Forests are located in the southern deserts of Ghyll.
  • The most prominent species in the Cactus Forests is the Rich Earth Cactus.
  • They are rarely travelled, though one good report of them dating to -90 EC exists.
  • The -90 EC traveller's journal is owned by the Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge.
  • The journal is the oldest known example of Modern Standard Ghyllian.
  • Modern Standard Ghyllian exists due to the strenuous study of the journal's odd language.
  • In -5 EC, the cacti were studied; all those involved died on Rishbard Nonce, -2 EC.
  • No foul-play is suspected in the odd coincidence; all members died of natural causes.

Cadaver, The (Location)

  • The Cadaver is a pub located at the heart of Arbuckle Hill in Folktown.
  • The Cadaver was built on the spot where the Arbuckle Hill Martyr's broken body was found.
  • The Cadaver is a centre piece of the Arbuckle Hill resistance, particularly the Houvers.
  • Serves as a base of operations for the Houvers; its four floors towers over its neighbors.
  • The pub has been rebuilt no less than six times, burnt down due to varying resistance groups.
  • The Cadaver's sign is painted in reds and greens, and depicts the Martyr on a bed of roses.
  • The sign acts as a symbol of the continuation of The Cadaver and all it represents.
  • Many famous people have been seen in the pub; (purportedly) Bethany Mboya and Siam Sinch.
  • The Cadaver serves items like Ball Lightning Liqueur, beers, and Adlorst Vinifera.
  • Food is supposedly served, but few people have survived to recommend it.

Calends Gala (Other)

  • The Calends Galas are galas surrounding key calendrical events, and traditionally occur twice a year.
  • When a Gala occurs, businesses, government offices, banks, and schools have the day off.
  • Every major city has a Gala but they're poorly attended; most travel to Folktown for the big Gala there.
  • The most important source on the Calends Gala is the book Gala Rules and Traditions, 4th edition.
  • The Harvest Calends Gala occurs the final Varhookan of Ikk (the ninth month of the year).
  • The Harvest Gala celebrates the completion of the harvest; it occurs late enough so this is guaranteed.
  • In -16 EC, the Fefferberry crop was almost entirely lost due to its extremely late ripening.
  • Fefferberry wines made from this vintage are highly sought-after, and also very costly.
  • The Harvest Gala has agricultural contests for the best produce and livestocks.
  • The Harvest Gala also includes strength and craft-making competitions.
  • Graphorn wrestling is a popular favorite among the Harvest competitions involving strength.
  • Great importance is placed on darseed judging during the Harvest Calends Gala.
  • The results of the darseed judging contest determine its cost for the following year.
  • A painting representing one farmer's judgement is available at the Fine Art Museum in Folktown.
  • Planting Calends Gala occurs the final Varhookan of Conti (the third month of the year).
  • The Planting Gala celebrates the end of planting, which everyone tries to accomplish beforehand.
  • The Planting Gala is quieter, focusing more on artistic and literary endeavors, but also cooking contests.
  • Both galas hold a story-telling contest, located in the great central tent just after sunset.
  • The contest runs from sundown to the next morning, and prizes are awarded in various categories.
  • The overall winner of the contest is crowned the Author Laureate for the six months until the next gala.
  • Arariax was the Author Laureate for 9 years running, from -260 to -251 EC.
  • Most of the well-known authors of the last 200 years have won, or done very well, in the story contest.
  • Mork Wasterson, 87, was Author Laureate in -1 EC, for his tale of the Earthquake of Fluyr.
  • Stories told during the Gala are consigned to the public domain, promoting their widespread retelling.

Captain Riquiras (People)

  • Full name is Captain Tuta Riquiras (sometimes transliterated as Rikiras or Requiras), and often uttered as a curse.
  • His memory is still invoked by sailors of Besq Boats who pride themselves on being "apart" from the rest of society.
  • In -159 EC, he and his men discovered the "Brass Hell", or "Captain Riquiras' Idol".
  • Riquiras said the Idol was recovered from an object found in the shallows of the Dagger Seas.
  • The artefact isn't actually brass, but is instead covered with a gold leaf method more advanced than what we know.
  • Engraved on the Idol is a horrific image more disturbing and stomach-turning than other Alezan pantheon imagery.
  • The sailors who discovered the Idol claim the deities depicted, to scale, would be slighter larger than Ghyllians.
  • There also appear to be sigils for some dark form of morphomancy, the study of which has been forbidden.
  • Riquiras seemed immune to the impact of the image, and he painted it on the sails of his boats to scare others.
  • This was an unpopular decision amongst his crew, and they murdered him two years later, in -157 EC.
  • To see the Idol, though strong caution is duly advised, refer to the entire entry.

Carsokian (Organization)

  • The Carsokian Clan, known as violent traditionalists, have been around since at least -400 EC.
  • Sylvia Brunnhilda Carsokian, a Grand Matriach during the Battle of Barnum Stones, originated the Clan.
  • After the battle, Sylvia took her three sisters and ten daughters and nieces and fled their Cranee homeland.
  • They eventually ended up in the Sarfelogian Mountains (-322 EC) and began gathering husbands.
  • Sylvia, the "Grand Old Bitch", directed this gathering, causing lineage to be traced through daughters.
  • In -183 EC, the Carsokian Clan returns to Cranee and forms the Cranee Historical Society.
  • In -175 and -174 EC, the Clan first "discovers", and then disowns, Captain Riquiras the pirate.
  • In -157 EC, the Clan "discovers" that Corvin Axehand is related to them as a "Cousin".
  • Mary Elizabeth Carsokian is born -157 EC, and assumes "leadership" of the Clan in -100 EC.
  • Mary Elizabeth Carsokian has a daughter Aleksandra Mary Blackgold and niece Sylvia Beth Panderlock.
  • Though they claim no head or chieftan, Sylvia Beth Panderlock is looked to as the steering senior member.
  • Wilhelmina Corinne Bardway invents ghoulwood and the supranatural luminescence meter in -157 EC.
  • Influence is mostly in the Andelphracian River Valley, but includes the Evesque Valley and Sarfelogian Mountains.
  • There are also noticeable Clan enclaves in the Vale of Serdoch, Alezan, and the Baleman neighborhood.
  • A wild fefferberry is their family crest, and the Clan carefully, and successfully, engage in eugenics.
  • The Clan regularly ingests fefferberries and bofu; some have suggested this weeds out their weak.
  • Though social and societal issues have kept the Clan smaller than expected, they're exceptionally long-lived.
  • All current members of the Clan belong to the Cranee Historical Society, whether they know it or not.
  • Infamous members: Baron Claude Lloyd Albert Smallwood; mother Aleksandra Mary Blackgold.
  • Infamous members: Phennella, best known member of the Cranee Historical Society; inferred.
  • Infamous members: Captain Riquiras; mother Allison Clarinda Husslespear.
  • Infamous members: Gabson Foye; mother Adelaide Clementine Chimmlefut.
  • Infamous members: Wilhelmina Corinne Bardway and Corvin Axehand.

Cartographer's Nerves (Other)

  • "Cartographer's Nerves" refers to the feeling of being given an impossible task to do.
  • The phrase originates from the philosopher Alarius' book on Historio-Physics.
  • The feeling is reciprocal to the "Mapmaker's Trials" of King Harandraff the Great.
  • Exposure to a map suggests geographical alternatives that become relative realities.
  • Alarius posits that "the surest way to hide a place is to draw a map to it."
  • Doc Rockett wrote Invariant Transforms, with Historio-Physical Applications.
  • Mother Mutton wrote a Golden Book and "Coloring Fun" on Historio-Physics.
  • Philosophy does not lend well to bulleted facts. Read the entry. Slowly.

Cataract Road (Location)

  • Cataract Road stretches across most of known Ghyll, from Evesque Valley to Iganefta.
  • Cataract Road passes near, or through Evesque Valley, Cranee, Iganefta, and Folktown.
  • Waterfalls dot the length of the road; in fact, the road "steers" you through "the scenic route".
  • Direct, "non-scenic", routes are traveled only by DermPachyges, a pachyderm courier service.
  • Thievery is common at the scenic waterfalls; there is insufficient law enforcement to stop it.
  • Most towns, realizing regular travelers are an economic boon, provide entertainment and pampering.
  • Law enforcement and protection services are tighter at these markets and roadside attractions.
  • Trained Burnflies are a common sight at attractions; wild Burnflies are at the waterfalls.
  • Prolonged exposure and obsession for trained Burnflies performances causes eye cataracts.
  • Bordellos, known as "Bethany Brothels", are also provided for the weary journeyman.
  • Investigation suggests that Daniel Mboya's "accident" in -7 EC was an attempt on his life.
  • People recall Daniel, 18, angry at his breakup with Niala, and shouting he'll "show them".
  • Daniel Mboya re-entered society in -4 EC, rehabilitated but mentally retarded.

Charterhouse Collection (Other)

  • The Charterhouse Estate is located on the outskirts of Folktown, currently the home of Godfroi Hasawithe.
  • The Charterhouse Collection has become known as the most famous collection of Occult Lore.
  • The Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge held the Collection for a time, but it did not stay there long.
  • The Night of Cloaks and Daggers situation occurred in -10 EC; it is a matter of public record.
  • The Collection details Occult Lore, including entries on ghost sightings, alien visitations, and the summoning of dark gods.
  • The Collection goes into great detail on the prayers, rituals, and attire to summon and appease the Alezan pantheon.
  • Due to the size of the Collection, Godfroi Hasawithe resides only on the ground floor of the Charterhouse.
  • Many have fallen afoul since handling the tomes; Bysted Timperton may have resigned from Bute because of it.

Chesix System Of Measures (Invention)

  • The system of measure is believed to have originated during the period of the Nitenmangrey.
  • Pricludious claims the system has nothing to do with standards, and is biased toward merchants.
  • Distance is based on the Rod of Quiends stored at the Aminfarances Institute of Science and Technomancy.
  • A sugro-nanit contains 8046.72 nanits (
    Sugro-nanits: 1 earth mile; nanit: 20 earth cm.
    )
  • The rules of distance contain lunanit, kunanit, unanit, nanit, inanit, kinanit, sugro-nanits, and leles.
  • The rules of temperature state what yip water freezes and boils, but changes depending on location.
  • The rules of mass include gyup and lugyyup, and fefferberry variance is unpredicatable.
  • The rules of volume include wurps, and a 1x1x1 nanit cube has a volume of 1 wurp.
  • People tend to use nanits, sugro-nanits, and leles throughout everyday life.
  • For a full list of all unit conversions, refer to the entire entry.

Conflict That Is Not Happening (Other)

Council for Quezlarian Research (Organization)

  • The Council for Quezlarian Research is shrouded in secrecy and silence.
  • The Quezlar family contribute much of the Council's funding.
  • Releases of the Council are rarely attributed to its members.
  • The Council's emblem is a pair of crossed vorpcara.
  • Students drafted into the council tend to disappear from the public.
  • The Council pursues fields including governance, sociology, science, and technomancy.
  • The Council also has close ties to the Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge.

Cranee Historical Society (Organization)

  • The Cranee Historical Society was founded in -183 EC and spends much of its time researching itself.
  • The Historical Society's emblem is a bull's pizzle surrounded by Fefferberry trees, both of which smell similar.
  • Cranee is a hamlet, where the Historical Society is located, situated between Evesque Valley and Folktown.
  • Cranee is located 25 sugro-nanits from the Evesque Valley and 18 sugro-nanits from Folktown.
  • There are roughly 170 residents of Cranee, most of which participate in the official Moonbeam Meetings.
  • Moonbeam Meetings occur whenever Pinky and Perky, Ghyll's moons, are full. Pies are baked, lights are hung.
  • Nearly every Moonbeam Meeting sees the election of a new president, determined by a Bindlet Ball.
  • Between Moonbeam Meetings, Society members go on archaeological digs in far-flung fear-inducing places.
  • Cranee has "rainy-assed seasons", one of which has lasted for a month or more.

--The Encyclopedants
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