Encyclopedants Progress Report 4

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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 Facts As We're Told Them

The fourth batch of entries consists of the following: Dagger Seas (Location), Darseed (Wildlife), Day of Champions (Other), Deathbug (Wildlife), DermPachyges (Organization), Doc Rockett (People), Doggerel plague (Other), Dŵplat (Location).

Dagger Seas (Location)

  • Primus, Segundus, Tertius, and Marty comprise the four Dagger Seas.
  • The Shallow Gulf dominates the western edge of known Ghyll.
  • Shallow Gulf was probably the site of the ancient city of Avaz Minor.
  • The Justice Device was detonated there in the Third Avazian War.
  • The seas are in fact estuaries, and have peninsulas between them.
  • The seas are freshwater, whereas the Shallow Gulf is saltwater.
  • Nomadic early Ghyllotines settled on the Dagger Sea shores.
  • Sea Spiders, Cucumbers, Saws, Monkeys, and Chanties inhabit the waters.
  • The shores of the Dagger Seas were settled as early as -5000 EC.
  • Major Dagger Sea city-states rose between -3000 and -2500 EC.
  • The Nitenmangrey ruled the peninsulas at one point.
  • The area was unaffected by the Conflict That Is Not Happening.
  • The Dagger Seas have recently become a hotbed of smuggling and piracy.
  • The ecology of the region has all but collapsed; fishing has ceased.
  • The War Chronicle of the CWWELAVOCPDDOWYA gives some hope.

Darseed (Wildlife)

  • The darseed is a bi-annual plant in the Oh-Look-A-Pretty-Flower family.
  • In the Spring, the flower faces Pinky; in Summer, it turns toward Perky.
  • Generally, the inner fruit of the seed is referred to as the darseed.
  • Darseed flowers bloom in the late Spring and late Fall (thus being "bi-annual").
  • Seeds collected in th e Spring are fit for replanting, not Calends Gala judging.
  • The darseed has no relatives, but religious farmers may be working on an offshoot.
  • Darseeds are farmed as far north as Baleman, and as far south as Iganefta.
  • Darseed oil is the flower's chief importance, and is extracted from seed, petals, and stalk.
  • The oil is used for cooking and lighting, the pulp for paper and feed, and husks for special inks.
  • Some experiments have shown the flower improves damp and moldering environments.
  • Of great social importance is the traditional darseed judging at the Calends Gala.
  • The darseed threshing scythe is a circular blade six nanits long, razor sharp.

Day of Champions (Other)

  • The Day of Champions is held on YinYin 12th Jole every year.
  • The championship for the Bindlet Ball season is determined here.
  • Last year's winning team was the Glossfordshire Maurlons, who beat the Evesque Warriors.
  • The game is traditionally held at the Folktown Hyperbolic Bindlet Ball Arena, the largest arena.
  • The Day of Champions is considered a holiday, even if it were not an officially sanctioned one.
  • Should a Bindlet Ball championship game last longer than a day, so does the holiday.
  • The Folktown Council also organises jesters, muses, and other chaotics as entertainment.
  • On one occasion, the Council found a troupe of minstrels that played Freege Horns.
  • This was the first time the Freege Horns were seen south of the Evesque Valley.
  • At the end of the day, a feast occurs and huge quantities of Adlorst wine is served.
  • At last count, there have been eleven Council assassinations at these end-of-day events.
  • The most notable was Iain Underholm Smallwood's assassination, where he melted.
  • The following issue of the Folktown Records was its best selling ever.

Deathbug (Wildlife)

  • The deathbug is believed by some to be the larval form of a burnfly.
  • It is found mainly in the area surrounding the Evesque Valley vineyards and plantations.
  • It feeds on animals that feeds on grapes; in turn, Ghyllians consider the deathbug a delicacy.
  • Its two forms of venom has found uses in wine production and by assassins and armies.
  • The deathbug's body is composed of six to twenty wide, hard-shelled segments.
  • With six feet on each segment, the deathbug's locomotion is extraordinarily swift.
  • Deathbugs often strike much larger animals and retreat before the prey can react.
  • Deathbugs have two stinger-tipped, whip-like tails, each producing different forms of venom.
  • The first form induces a thirst for grapes and wine, the second causes paralysis and often death.
  • Grapes are toxic to the deathbug; they eat only animals that have filtered the grape toxins.
  • The deathbug's paralysing venom has disproportionally greater effects on larger animals.
  • Ghyllians often suffer death when struck by deathbug's second venom, explaining its namesake.
  • Some high-quality wines are rumored to have ground or squeezed deathbugs mixed in.
  • Rumors abound of winemakers including the grape-thirst-inducing venom into their wine.
  • The grape-thirst-inducing venom is commonly called Winelust Syrup.
  • Deathbugs are treasured as a delicacy to the Amphitheatre aristocracy.

DermPachyges (Organization)

  • The DermPachyges is a pachyderm courier service that run on the least hospitable roads of Ghyll.
  • They'll occasionally travel the Cataract Road, but they tend to stick to more direct routes.
  • The courier service has been in operation for at least 100 years, in one form or another.
  • Before DermPachyges was formed in -78 EC, most pachyderm couriers were privately owned.
  • Couriers travelled with armed mercenaries; this protection was eventually discovered unnecessary.
  • DermPachyges became a corporation under the leadership of Frandos Wakami; he led for 25 years.
  • DermPachyges is the undisputed leader in freight and postage; their only competitor is TransAvian.
  • Pachyderms, also called Elifonts or Olephents, are very large grey beasts with a prehensile nose.
  • The beasts are extremely intelligence, make friends hesistantly, and respond unfavorably to weapons.
  • Courier-drovers are typically paired with a pachyderm for their entire career, becoming very attached.
  • Pachyderms are extremely strong, with a thick hide and large feet... they're well suited for trail making.
  • DermPachyges management undertook a campaign to eradicate Aelfants; it failed miserably.
  • All major cites and many towns are connected to their nearest neighbors by a pachyderm road.
  • PrettyDermPhunny is the informal newsletter of the couriers.

Doc Rockett (People)

  • S. J. "Doc" Rockett has works in every wing of the Odlucian Library except Philosophy.
  • He has written over 100 volumes and an estimated 9,000 private letters to correspondents.
  • Doc Rockett was born in Stindersgrough around -86/1/2 EC (the precise date is uncertain).
  • His parents were Trunggar Minfy and Judhael Rockett, a family of the Wakanpantric faith.
  • His family emigrated to Iganefta when he was three, and he taught himself to read at five.
  • Rockett studied with the Brothers of the Lantern, to whom he credits his interest in scholarship.
  • He married Nyorgard Frunt in -64 EC and had two children, Umgumphornitz and Slilmornay.
  • Nyorgard and he divorced in -33 EC, and Rockett married long-term companion Archovy Infatale.
  • Rockett died -4/4/6 EC, having contracted emphyteusis from chitin-repair surgery in -10 EC.
  • The Doc was a rationalist, well-known anti-Berellist, and enjoyed small, enclosed spaces.
  • Rockett was an Iganeftan patriot and staunch opponent of the Conflict That Is Not Happening.
  • His book Resentful Ghyll, published in -4 EC, deals with the present Ghyll-wide environmental crisis.
  • In -51 EC, Quester and Phorrus invited him to create a monthly essay column; he accepted.
  • In the same year, he was granted access to the Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge's Cake.
  • Rockett's Guide to Wakanpantricism was published in two volumes in -34 EC.
  • Rockett wrote about the social contentions of his day, including "Thinking about Thinking".
  • His contributions to the education of students and lay persons has been enormous.
  • Towards the end of his life, he published a series of collections of spiddic poetry.

Doggerel plague (Other)

  • Doggerel plague originated south of Iganefta and travelled as far north as the Evesque Valley.
  • Upon infection, the plague slowly eats at at a person's logic, awareness, and oftentimes, flesh.
  • The resultant victim mumbers incoherently and lyrically about anything in particular.
  • Those involved in the plague's research seemed most likely to contract it.
  • The plague spreads by acceptance: only willing and attentive hosts would succumb.
  • Doggerel plague was "cured" by the first public and coordinated attempt at ignorance.
  • The same ignorance has been applied to the Conflict That Is Not Happening.
  • In -2 EC, it was discovered that carriers were endemic to the town of Egron.
  • Carriers have made attempts at inter-species infection, as well as the written word.
  • The "One Arm Minimum" is a bar in Egron where a good crowd can always be found.
  • Baron Smallwood is accused of recreating a dying language, thus causing the plague.

Dŵplat (Location)

  • Name of a stream, and meeting house on the stream, in a village of the northern valleys.
  • Both stream and house are regarded as magical, and a number of legends about them abound.
  • The meeting house is heptagonal and thought to be many centuries old, rich with occultiana.
  • The stone benches inside are riddled with riddles, the answers of which may be another.
  • The stream is thought to have curative properties, and neither dries nor freezes with the seasons.
  • The source of the stream has never been traced; it is a joke to tell newcomers the stream is circular.
  • A ghost is sometimes seen in the early winter months, and it is always the viewer's opposite sex.
  • One of the walls is graffitied with a verse from Bordingbras his hatt!, and includes an extra line.

--The Encyclopedants
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