It is not difficult to become a loremaster, and yet the occupation remains one of the least practiced in modern-day Ghyll. Such was not always the case -- in ancient times, loremasters were among the most respected members of society, second only to the Hive-Lords in prestige. Alas, with the development of the wide variety of scholarly techniques and institutions, the tradional loremaster is fast becoming an extinct Specious genies.
Legends. Myths. Wive's tales (and recently, divorcee's tales). For all these the loremasters are responsible. Traditionally, a tribe or town's loremaster maintains the group's collective memory. Important events and folklore were originally passed down orally from loremaster to loremaster in the form of epic poems. In -573 EC, however, the loremasters of Iganefta began to supplement the oral tradition with written records. Although this break with the past initially met with resistance, villages soon found it impossible to fill vacant positions without accepting the new practice. Today, even among the most backwards villages of Jorvyll, the practice is widespread.
In addition to their record-keeping, the loremasters also have minor ceremonial roles in Calends Gala celebrations and serve as official advisors to the Hive-Lords. The loremasters of a village also meet bimensually in order to share information and add it to the collective memory.
The process of becoming a loremaster is extremely simple: the candidate merely approaches the current loremasters at one of the official meetings and announces his candidacy. No special qualifications are necessary. It is merely required that the candidate show an interest in the village and its lore. Nevertheless, the position has a high turn-over rate. The work is mentally rather strenuous, and many candidates find that constantly taking note of everything that happens is more arduous than manual labor. What's more, the prestige of the position has recently declined, as many view the institution to be outdated and unreliable as compared to the nascent academia.
Loremasters through the Ages
The first record of what seem to be proto-loremasters dates from the Nitenmangrey era. Several ancient scrolls unearthed near the the Dagger Sea Primus indicate that a crucial part of every official ceremony was the recitation and recording of the event by a group of three people known as the imen. One such reference is in a fragment of an epic poem thought to be in honor of #47:
...and lo! the rain came down
and lo! the imen looked up
and lo! the imen sung their praises up
and down the rain
and it was at-least-moderately-tolerable-and-perhaps-better-than-most-days
The first explicit mention of loremasters by that name is in Travelling the Dagger Seas by Kebonston Lefkrane, in which he translates the Nitenmangrey term imen to the Ancient Extremely Unorthodox Ghyllian "lörmaestro." After this reference, the term shows up, with various spellings, in the works of Algothequinas, Arariax and other prominent poets.
Although it appears that the arrival of the Budgerigar Master limited the need for loremasters in the later decades of the Nitenmangrey era, at least in the high court, most towns did not have ready access to a Traveling Budgerigar. While the competition eroded some of the prestige of the profession, loremasters continued to be the key source of collective memory for Ghyllians the orthogonality over.
In the last several centuries, however, the number of practicing loremasters in Ghyll has sharply declined. Scholars attribute this drop off to the rise of their own craft, as well as the rising literacy rate and the concurrent establishment of organizations designed to preserve the knowledge in the written form -- witness the Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge, the Odlucian Library, and even the Cranee Historical Society. Ironically enough, the vanishing of this ancient craft has lately been subject of a heated polemic in Quester and Phorrus, during the course of which at least one scholar (who shall remain nameless) even attributed the phenomenon to "the feckless factmongering of the sacreligious so-called "scholars" behind the Ghyll Encyclopedia." Needless to say, the planned entry on the work of said scholar was immediately stricken from the book.
--Lady Aleksandra 22:01, 12 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Fie, fie, Lady A! That decipherment has long since been exposed as a work of the most bogus bogosity. What we have here is just a little joke by Oblibestircus, an attempt to fool scholars by attributing the well known nursery rhyme "Itsy Bitsy Burnfly" to the Nitenmangrey. --John Cowan 14:35, 14 Aug 2005 (EDT)
- My dear Mr. Cowan: I do beg to differ. What we have here is not a little joke by Oblibestircus, but rather a little joke on him. I have it on good authority that the "Isty Bitsy Burnfly" and even "All Around the Pziqq Tree" were indeed passed down to us by the Nitenmangrey; the infamously gullible Oblibestircus was simply the victim of Lufford Grommie's mischeivious sense of humor. --Lady Aleksandra 11:30, 17 Aug 2005 (EDT)
- Oh, the confusion! I have information, fellow scholars, that the "Isty Bitsy Burnfly" is a modern degeneration of the so-called "K'No Partial" which, though old, is nowhere near as old as the Nitenmangrey. And though I am no researcher into Oblibestircus nor his sense of humor, I would say that any ancient reference to the Isty Bitsy cannot hold up! What follows is the translation by Crocus of the Partial:
...and lo! the rain down dropt
and whoa! the rain up spout'd
and K'No, he called and yelled and <unreadable>
but the rain, down and up
and it was <untranslatable> full...
- --Nikos of Ant 10:59, 18 Aug 2005 (EDT)