This subject is a difficult one for most Ghyllians as it deals with a several terrible and uncomfortable times in our history. This researcher has had to seek permission from the Hive-Lords to proceed in his studies on this matter as it reveals several items of information that had been previously suppressed.
That having been said, please do not continue to read this entry if you feel uncomfortable, nauseated, queasy or lightheaded. Be aware that these events are portrayed here because of the need for encyclopedic completeness and accuracy, not from any need of the public to know the truth. Feel free to return to your blissfully ignorant lives after reading this should such knowledge prove too disturbing. Thank you. --Dr. H. L. Ackroyd Tuesday, 8 Ikk, 0 EC
The Hive-Lords believe – rightly – that the act of learning is an awesome responsibility. The search for knowledge is important to the survival of the Ghyllian race. Without the constant and unending uprooting of the truth of the universe there can be no living with it.
Occasionally, however, ugly truths creep into the communal knowledge. These truths, while important to have uncovered, may need to be – for whatever reason – re-buried. Burying truth can be a sensitive affair. And so it has been the policy of the Hive-Lords that, to completely bury a truth, one must obliterate any trail, evidence, marker, trace, or hint of its existence. This act is called a Raking.
Rakings throughout History
It is difficult to mark specific Rakings because, by their very nature, they are not discussed, recorded, or even noted in publicly available records. Perhaps in the depths of the the Council for Quezlarian Research Knowledge Cache, but that is pure speculation (of a dangerous sort). It is known that there have been Rakings of the details of the Battle of Barnum Stones and the Conflict That Is Not Happening. Rakings prior to the formation of the Cranee Historical Society cannot be verified; facts prior to -200 EC are difficult to regard as truth.
Occasionally, knowledge is regained from a Raking. At that time, Hive-Lords weigh the suitability of such knowledge for the age. Most often it is allowed to stand, but occasionally, some knowledge is simply too disruptive to be allowed to exist and is subsequently Raked again. This researcher is not at liberty to divulge (or to speculate in) the specifics of such re-Rakings; it is enough to inform the reader that such things can and do happen.
Needless to say, the Hive-Lords do not engage in direct action to accomplish a Raking. The nature of the work requires that they use agents to accomplish the deed. This means that only certain individuals, families, or organizations are entrusted with such duties. It also means that such individuals are necessarily anonymous.
I am advised to mention the fate of the second story librarian of the Charterhouse Collection. This individual was at one time entrusted with re-Raking the existence of a certain tome of formerly Raked knowledge that was subsequently un-Raked. When he failed to perform such duties he was Raked himself and – most alarmingly – so too his entire family, name, and existence.
There are few Rakings that are referred to in public, much less discussed in detail. However, the Raking of the Battle of Barnum Stones in -158 EC was so completely public that the surrounding press coverage of the event has made it an event unto itself.
At the time, Corvin Axehand of Stindersgrough had found some obscure fact about his lineage and sought to reestablish his birthright at Barnum Stones by meeting with the Grand Matriarch of the Carsokian Clan. His discovery carried enough clout with her that he was allowed to move the stones to their new home (at great personal cost) amidst great hurrahs and celebration as a conquering hero.
Then, enigmatically, all mention of the event disappeared. Corvin Axehand was never heard from again. The Stones are now treated as if they have always been situated in the borough of Stindersgrough and the original location of the Battle of Barnum Stones has been flattened by use of pachyderm labor. It was clearly a Raking performed within clear view of the public.
The Cranee Historical Society records the only element of information that might have precipitated such an alarmingly quick (and thorough) response:
[My copy ends here in the middle of a sentence, is that all there is? --Burgengute]
--Dr. H. L. Ackroyd 19:34, 5 Feb 2005 (EST)