Map of Arandu

My maps are, alarmingly, getting more and more citified. My map of Frencha had about 52 cities and towns marked on it, and there was still plenty of room to draw little symbols for mountains and forests and the like. My map of Egeld had about 150 cities and towns marked on it, and did not have room for the little symbols. Now this map of Arandu has about 185 cities and towns on it, and most definitely does not have room for pretty symbols. Yikes! I can’t believe I came up with that many town names! At least now I’ll never have to come up with one again. Unless I need a name for a village that’s really small and wouldn’t be on the map…

Arandu, like Egeld, is in the continent of Lufitantha. It’s the biggest industrial center in the continent and also the richest country. It was originally settled by Egeldish refugees who had converted to the Schesian religion. These Egeldish Schesians were mostly poor peasants, and so after concluding from the Schesian scriptures that all people were equal, they became eager to try to change their society and improve their lot. However, they soon discovered that Egeldish landowners were quick to crack down on any peasants that tried to put any big ideas about equality into practice. Many of the Schesian peasants then turned to what was basically terrorism – attacking and kidnapping landowners, attacking major public places, and so on. Naturally, the Egeldish landowners were not very happy and cracked down even harder, and soon the Schesians had to leave the country. They traveled through Azon, gaining many converts – Azonians had been subject to the often brutal rule of Egeldish landowners many times in their history, and so they were happy to join anybody who had opposed the landowners – and then arrived in Carafilier.

At first they were welcomed, and indeed made quite a few converts. But when they started to denounce the Carafilieris’ mistreatment of the Hysleft people, they quickly fell out of favor with the ruling classes. Soon they were back to their old terrorist tactics in another effort to change society so that it would treat everyone equally. And soon the Carafilieri government had punished them enough that they decided to leave the country again. So this time they sailed to Suclapo. Here they were not even welcomed in the first place, as most Suclapois were very suspicious of anyone with a different religion. So while they were allowed to land in a city in Suclapo, they were not allowed to leave the city, and they encountered hostility everywhere. What to do?

Fortunately, if most of the Suclapois didn’t like them, a few did. One of the friendly Suclapois had gone on a merchant ship to Jacia some years back. Along the way, they had been blown off course by a storm, and ended up landing in Arandu, which was unsettled at the time. This Suclapoi sailor told the Egeldish Schesians about Arandu and suggested that perhaps the Schesians could sail there and settle there. They decided that this was a good idea, and so after a great deal of bribery, they managed to get another ship and sail to Arandu. It was still uninhabited, and so they settled there.

Today Arandu definitely retains its religious heritage. The Schesian church is extremely powerful and is very involved in the government, and the vast majority of Aranduis are practicing Schesians. However, the flavor of modern Arandui Schesianism is very different from the flavor of the original settlers’ Schesianism. Those Egeldish Schesians were big on equality, and practiced an almost Communist system of sharing resources. However, over time, as more and more Aranduis got into business and trade, the Arandui church began to define the ideal of “equality” as “everyone has the same opportunities to get into business, get a job, etc.”, not “everyone has the same amount of money, food, etc.”. If you did well in business, the church began to reason, that must be God’s reward for your obedience. So of course you should get to keep your profits. If you were poor – well, everyone has equal opportunities, so you’re either not taking those opportunities or you’re receiving God’s punishment for something. Either way, the government certainly shouldn’t intervene and give you something. And so Arandu morphed from a near-Communist state to a pretty intensely free capitalistic society.

Now, while in the new thinking, businessmen should get to keep their profits, the church still insisted that it was important to give to charity. So the government, tied up with the church as it always has been, began to institute a special kind of tax that is still in effect today. There’s no income tax, you see. But you’re required to give a percentage of your income to registered charities, depending on how rich you are. Since the church ran the charities, it soon got quite rich. In the end, the Arandui government today is actually quite small. I haven’t worked out yet exactly how it works, but I do know that it’s not that large. But the Arandui church, on the other hand, is quite the organization. Honestly, it’s really more like the government is an extension of the church.

Arandui society today, despite the founders’ ideals of equality, is quite stratified. At the top are important church leaders and government officials. Then there are the landowners and merchants. Next there’s the educated middle class that those merchants get their managers and clerks from, and that the church gets its priests and administrators from. Then there are the skilled laborers, and then the unskilled laborers. Near the bottom of the totem pole you have independent farmers, most of whom live in southern Arandu, south of the Naa Jaisil and the Śasa Shaes (two rivers I have on the map). And finally, at the very bottom are the farm workers who work on land they don’t own, most of whom live and work on the rice farms in northern Arandu. Many of these northern farm workers are part Suclapoi or Väolki (e.g. from Katon Ko Väolk, or, as it’s labeled on the map, Catoon Co Falaca), which is part of why Arandui landowners don’t have a big problem with treating them badly. While they are paid, they are very restricted in where they can travel and what they can do, and they lead pretty miserable lives.

Right now Arandu is pretty stable, and indeed is the most advanced and successful Lufitanthan country at the moment. But I have plans for Arandu to get into a civil war very soon, mostly fueled by the poor classes’ dissatisfaction with the church and with their lot in life. So you might see some articles about Arandu’s civil war soon; in particular, I’m thinking to write some newspaper articles about the incident that sparked the civil war.

Now that I’ve given a bit (okay, fine, quite a lot) of an introduction to Arandu, what do you say we actually look at the map? I’ve colored it more or less according to what people use the land for there. So the dark green areas are rice-farming areas where those unfortunate farm workers live; the light green areas are predominantly made up of independently owned farms; the grey areas are mostly industrial; the red areas have a lot of industry and trade going on; and the brown areas are mountains, where there’s a bit of everything except rice farming. All the labels for cities, towns, rivers, lakes, etc. are in Arandui, except the map key in the box. As always, my signature is whited out, and you can click on the image to see it larger.

If you’re curious about how to pronounce all those names, here’s a quick guide. Stress is always on the second-to-last syllable, unless there’s a vowel marked with an accent (e.g. á or é), in which case the syllable with the accented vowel is stressed. “dy” and “ty” are a bit like G and K, but pronounced further forward in the mouth, in the same place where you pronounce Y (they’re palatal). “đ” is pronounced like D, but with the fleshy middle part of your tongue instead of the tip (it’s laminal). “zh” is a voiced “sh” sound. “ź” and “ś” are pronounced like Z and S, but again, with the middle part of your tongue instead of the tip. “zy” and “sy” are like Z and S but in that same place where “dy”, “ty” and Y are pronounced. “ń” is like N but with the middle part of your tongue. “ny” is like N but in the same place as “dy”, “ty”, “zy”, “sy” and Y. “j” is pronounced like Y. “gh” is kind of like Y, but in the place where you pronounce G and K; it’s a velar approximant. “e” is always pronounced “ay”. “i” is always pronounced “ee”. “o” is always pronounced “oh”. “u” is always pronounced “oo”. And finally, “c” is always pronounced like a K, never like an S.

Arandu - web

The Sheesans

You may have wondered as you’ve read about Sheesania on this website: how is it that Sheesania, not being Earth, can be populated by humans? Well, there are many fantasy worlds with humans that don’t have an explanation for how they got there, so whatever, that’s not particularly important. But then how do the Sheesanians also have various inventions and ideas and so on that are from Earth? Lazy world-building? Okay, yes, that is partly why – in my earlier years I was not very careful to make Sheesania different from Earth. But I’ve come up with an explanation. And as usual, I’m rather glad I was lazy in the first place, because the explanation makes things a lot more interesting than if I had merely been careful about making Sheesania different from Earth in the first place, and so hadn’t needed an explanation.

What’s the explanation? The Sheesans. They are a race of beings that look fairly similar to humans, but they are more advanced in their logical thinking skills and love organization, structure and knowledge. At the time when humans were just beginning civilization on Earth, the Sheesans were already venturing into space and investigating other planets. They originally lived on a planet called Keb in another solar system, but around 2180 B.C. our time, they detected an asteroid that would soon crash into Keb and obliterate them. So for the next twenty years, until the asteroid was timed to hit Keb, they moved themselves onto spaceships and basically completely left Keb. Today Sheesans still primarily live in space, travelling, exploring, and studying the things they find. There are a very few Sheesan settlements on actual planets, but these are the exception – most Sheesans live on spaceships.

Sheesans, following their predilection for organization, lived in highly structured communities with their jobs, spouses and homes mostly picked out for them. But there is no central ruling authority that does all that picking. Instead, there’s a hierarchy of elected councils that decide on everything by consensus. The power is spread out very carefully among these councils so that it’s impossible for any one person to ever get that much of it. Now, realistically, a lot of the picking of jobs, spouses, etc. is done by automatic systems that were established by the councils, rather than the councils themselves…but the point is that while Sheesan society is very controlled, the power over that control is quite evenly distributed. The founders of this society hoped that by doing this, they could encourage Sheesans to concentrate on their jobs instead of spending their energies trying to get more power.

Sheesans generally grow up in communities with several married couples as well as several other children, including their designated spouses, with the married couples dividing the business of taking care of the children between them. From childhood, Sheesans learn the basics of the Sheesan Code – a set of laws and goals for the Sheesan people that encourages systematic scientific investigation and achievement and self-control. They also study math, science, a little history, how to read and write, and are taught lots of practical skills useful for running spaceships and conducting experiments. When Sheesans are about twelve, they’re assigned to a job and then leave the community where they grew up to pursue this job. As they get older, they will hopefully get better and better jobs and eventually be in good enough standing to gain the best job a Sheesan can have: leader of a new scientific investigation.

As is clear, Sheesan society devotes most of its energies to scientific research. Sheesans particularly focus on exploring and observing other planets, especially those with intelligent life. In their time they’ve visited Earth, Sheesania (more on that later), the planet housing one of my friend Rachel’s imaginary worlds, the planet of Intonia, which another associate of mine created, and many, many others. Why do they want to study these planets so much? Well, asking a Sheesan “Why do you want to know about other planets?” is like asking a human “Why do you like to look at things you find beautiful?”. It’s just innately satisfying to Sheesans.

Sheesania and the Sheesans

Today Sheesans have the technology to travel very far very quickly, so they can visit lots of planets with different intelligent life. But in earlier days, they did not have this technology, and they could only reach two such planets: Earth, populated by humans; and what would become Sheesania, populated by seakitties (which are smart, yes, but not nearly so smart as humans and certainly not as smart as Sheesans). Sheesan scientists, after studying the humans on Earth for many years, began to wonder how human civilization could develop differently. And then it occurred to them to bring some humans to Sheesania and see how things turned out there. So about 2500 B.C. our time, they took some people from Mesopotamia on Earth, brought them to Sheesania, and left them. Not very considerate, but the Sheesans didn’t really care about what the humans wanted; they just wanted to see what would happen to them.

The humans, after some perfectly understandable surprise, were able to adjust to their new home, and they soon established their own new civilization on Sheesania. Over the years, Sheesans continued to watch the parallel development of society on Sheesania and Earth. Occasionally they secretly brought technology from Earth to Sheesania, or from Sheesania to Earth, to help make their environments more similar and so improve their studies of how human civilizations can develop different ways even in the same general situation. This is why Earth and Sheesania have so much of the same technology.

As time went on, the Sheesans developed faster methods of travel, and they were able to find other planets with intelligent life. They were eager to study these planets, too, but because Sheesania had been the first non-Earth planet with intelligent life that they had found, and the site of their first large-scale experiment, they named it “Sheesania” after themselves. And the fact is that Sheesania is still the object of more Sheesan study and Sheesan interference than any other planet, including Earth.

Ŋarin Ridranos

[Updated 23/3/2014 with a picture of a cover of Stars and Time that I drew.]

I have a bit of an odd fondness for philosophy, especially depressing philosophy, despite the fact that I’m generally a very happy person. And so naturally I had to put a good gloomy philosopher in my imaginary world. Here he is!

Full name Ŋārin Rīdranos
Born 1306
Died 1377
Resting place Ŋārin Rīdranos Memorial, Atāsŋūn, Ēnssāntaca, Egeld
Occupation Philosopher
Nationality Egeldish
Ethnicity Egeldish
Notable works War in Heaven and on Earth, Stars and Time, Light and Duty
Spouse Golene Nywos
Children Jwēlosis Ţyēlahēl and Jāne Ţyēlahēl

Ŋarin Ridranos ([ŋæɾɪn ɾʏdrɑnos]; Egeldish ᑯᒽᒣᑭ ᒣᐢᐃᒣᑭᓀ Ŋārin Rīdranos) was an Egeldish philosopher and priest of Sky during the post-Civil War period. He was the first known writer among the priests of Sky, writing many books on questions of philosophy and religion. Today he is considered one of Egeld’s most famous writers and is frequently read in Egeld and in other countries. His philosophy also laid a foundation for many other Egeldish thinkers, as well as some significant foreign philosophers such as the Jacian Edinek Somioni and the Uniatic Darsius Unarsela.[1]

Contents

  • 1 Life
    • 1.1 Early life
    • 1.2 Post-revolution
    • 1.3 In exile in Dyenā
    • 1.4 In Carafilier
    • 1.5 In Atāsŋūn and death
  • 2 Philosophy
    • 2.1 Humans, animals and gods
    • 2.2 Human depravity and ambition
    • 2.3 The cycle of ambition and the decay of relationships
    • 2.4 Practical application
  • 3 Notable works
    • 3.1 Nonfiction
    • 3.2 Fiction
  • 4 References

Life

Early life

Ridranos was born in Rīdranos in central Egeld to a family of poor farm workers as the youngest of five children. In 1308, two years after he was born, his father was killed in violent struggles between rival nobles in the area, repercussions of the breaking up of Egeld’s empire. His family then fled to Odetālēne in northern Egeld, where they continued to work as farm laborers.[2] In 1313, when Ridranos was seven years old, his mother died from soskiritis in the 1313 Lufitanthan soskiritis epidemic. Following the usual Egeldish custom for caring for orphans, Ridranos and his brother Arryin were given to the priests of Sky, and his three sisters were given to the priestesses of Earth.[3][2]

As a priest-in-training, Ridranos studied philosophy, psychology, oration, language, history, mythology and several other fields special to the priests of Sky. From an early age, he showed particular interest in philosophy and psychology.[2] In 1321, when he was 15, a senior priest and, most likely, distinguished philosopher,[3] Odetyis Odetālēne, became interested in Ridranos’s developing ideas and began to mentor him in philosophy.[2] However, probably the biggest influence on Ridranos was his continued relationship with his sisters, now preparing to become priestesses of Earth. From them he learned about science, in particular biology, and various aspects of inventing – all things that priests of Sky generally did not study, being focused on the mind and emotions. He also learned how to read and write and began to write down his ideas, another unusual practice for a priest of Sky. (Priests generally relied entirely on memory and oral passing down of knowledge, while the priestesses of Earth did sometimes write things down.)[3][2]

Post-revolution

Between 1328 and 1337, Ridranos wrote six books: four about philosophy, one about mythology, and one novel. During this time, most of his fellow priests of Sky encouraged his writing. However, the revolution of 1338 changed this. One of the new king’s closest advisors, Hāntis Sūtāca, was a member of an extremely strict order of priests of Sky that forbade priests to study any subjects or practice any skills that were particular to the priestesses of Earth.[3] In 1339, with the king’s support, Sūtāca initiated a campaign to purify the priests of Sky and either punish or remove any who had been pursuing knowledge or skills from the priestesses of Earth. Since Ridranos lived in a fairly small town that was quite some distance away from the new king’s capital, he figured that it would take a while for Sūtāca’s allies to reach him, and indeed suspected that Sūtāca would have been stopped by other priests unhappy with his policies before then. However, one elder of his community, Zanānis Odetālēne, had always been suspicious of Ridranos’s activities, though he had allowed them to continue. But now, fearful that he himself would be punished for allowing Ridranos to study with his sisters and write books, he decided to take action and so maybe gain the respect of Sūtāca’s sect. In late 1339, when Sūtāca’s purge had only been going on for three months, Zanānis stripped Ridranos of his priesthood and imprisoned him for “contempt of the god Sky” and burned his books.[2][4] When Ridranos’s friends among his fellow priests expressed their anger, Zanānis imprisoned some of them, too.[3]

Zanānis had originally intended to just keep Ridranos in prison for several years, as long as he agreed to give up the offending practices. But when he saw that Sūtāca’s allies were executing priests of Sky for lesser offenses, he became afraid that he had not been proactive enough and went to the local hač to ask for permission to execute Ridranos and a few of his friends. The hač, who had read some of Ridranos’s books and liked his philosophy, stalled and refused to give a straight answer to Zanānis, saying that he needed permission from the higher government to do executions.[4] Then, as Zanānis made plans to travel to a nearby larger city and ask for permission there, the hač covertly warned Ridranos and his friends of Zanānis’s intentions. As Zānanis was traveling two days later, Ridranos and his other imprisoned friends escaped with help from the hač and his few friends that Zānanis had not tried to punish. It was early 1340 and Ridranos was 34 years old.[2][3]

In exile in Dyenā

Ridranos and his friends fled to Dyenā, a town that was technically within the Egeldish border but which was actually controlled by Latrigle.[2] There, among many other Egeldish refugees who were victims of the civil war or the revolution,[5] Ridranos was free to pursue his studies of philosophy and other subjects. While staying in Dyenā, Ridranos wrote three more books on philosophy and began to write an epic poem in the Lat style, which he later abandoned.[2]

Even before his exile, Ridranos had been beginning to question some of the tenets and practices of the priests of Sky. Now that he had been formally stripped of priesthood, he felt freer to pursue his more unorthodox ideas.[3] Correspondingly, his books from this period of his life show significant deviation from the generally accepted ideas of the priests of Sky.[2] In particular, he began to develop an idea that Sky and Earth, the gods generally worshiped by Egeldish, are actually lesser gods under one great god. Sky and Earth, he said, show fallibility and volatility, and so they can not “sustain the universe” (Stars and Time, part 31). But while humans can communicate with Sky and Earth, since these gods have human flaws (though not to the extent humans do), humans cannot communicate with this great god.[2][6]

Ridranos finished his first book arguing for this idea, Stars and Time, in 1344. He immediately began work on a second book, Light and Duty, which was meant to explore the practical repercussions of his theory.[6] As Ridranos wrote this book, he began to significantly change his lifestyle. Even during the early years of his exile, he had still identified as a priest of Sky. In early 1345, however, he announced to his friends that he no longer considered himself a priest of Sky; rather, he was a “seeker of light,” somebody trying to find a way to the great god above Sky and Earth.[3] Some of his friends were quite concerned at his proclamation, and they became even more concerned when he married an Egeldish refugee woman, Golene Nywos, in 1346, disregarding the rules against priests or priestesses marrying. One friend, Čāt Odetālēne, returned to Egeld, denounced Ridranos before Sūtāca’s religious council, and was reinstated as a priest of Sky in Odetālēne.[3] Two other friends, Juzwērakyis Odetālēne and Rūdris Zelūtas, publicly broke with him but did not leave Dyenā.[2][3]

Ridranos continued to stay in Dyenā, hoping to find fellow “seekers of light” among the constant influx of Egeldish refugees. But he had very little success, and by 1349, he felt there was enough animosity against him in Dyenā that he left for Carafilier with his wife.[2]

In Carafilier

Ridranos then settled in Fielahél in northern Carafilier, where he worked at a local dye farm while continuing to write on issues of philosophy and religion. In 1350, he finished Light and Duty, and hoping that he might be able to publish it,[1] he traveled to a small university in nearby Cahmier to present it to the professors there. They were very interested in his work and agreed to publish Light and Duty if Ridranos would translate it into Carafilieri. Ridranos’s Carafilieri was very weak, so he hired a young Carafilieri/Azonian man, Esian Yalagroux, who worked with him at the dye farm in Fielahél to help with the translation. As Ridranos and Yalagroux worked on the translation, the university in Cahmier also arranged for Ridranos to give some talks on philosophy to the students there with the aid of an interpreter. Ridranos’s ideas became popular with some of the students, and by 1352, he had a small following of Carafilieri, Degrouxmé, Azonian and Egeldish “seekers of light.”[2][1] Also in 1350, Ridranos’s son Jwēlosis was born, and in 1352, his daughter Jāne was born.[2]

Ridranos finally finished and published a Carafilieri version of Light and Duty in 1354. Following the book’s publication, a number of other philosophers, scholars and students came to Fielahél to speak with him and sometimes to join his group of “seekers of light.” By 1360, he had a group of about fifty followers.[1] With their help, he translated most of his other works into Carafilieri and published them with the help of the university in Cahmier.[2]

So far, Ridranos had mostly only been known in Carafilier, but then in 1360, Sūtāca died and the government regulation of the orders of Sky and Earth became significantly less strict. In 1361, one of Ridranos’s old friends from his time in Odetālēne, Duggis Rālyos, traveled to Carafilier to visit him.[2] Ridranos gave him some Egeldish copies of Stars and Time and Light and Duty, and when Rālyos returned to Egeld, he shared them with his fellow priests in Odetālēne. One priest, Arryis Odetālēne, wrote a response to Ridranos’s work that detailed a slightly reworked version of his philosophy that fit better with orthodox Egeldish religion. One of Ridranos’s sisters also got a hold of his books and wrote her own response to them.[1][2] In 1365, Rālyos and Arryis Odetālēne both traveled to Fielahél to urge Ridranos to return to Egeld and start a community of “seekers of light” there. Agreeing to their proposal, in late 1365, Ridranos traveled with his family and his followers to Atāsŋūn, a small town near Odetālēne.[2]

In Atāsŋūn and death

In Atāsŋūn, Ridranos established a community modeled on those of the priests of Earth. He continued to write on philosophy, producing another three books on his ideas, and taught his followers, many of whom wrote down their own ideas.[1] Ridranos also started a small library of philosophical and religious works, inspired by the university library he had seen in Cahmier, and formed a small school where he, Duggis Rālyos, one of his sisters, and one of his followers taught the children of the community as well as children from Atāsŋūn and Odetālēne.[2]

In late 1377, the 71-year-old Ridranos died of soskiritis. He was buried in Atāŋūn, where his grave is now the site of a museum about the community he established there.[2]

Philosophy

Humans, animals and gods

In his early works, Ridranos develops a theory that humans are distinct from animals because they have ðozoŋwur – emotions, will, a tendency to be unpredictable, and a constant desire for more. In his theory, this ðozoŋwur comes from the gods Sky and Earth, who have it in its pure form – human ðozoŋwur, on the other hand, is mixed with animalistic instincts, or lezorān. Later on, Ridranos came to believe in another, greater god above Sky and Earth, who he calls “the Sun” for lack of a better term. In his new, expanded theory, he says that the human conscience, lūtasyā, comes from this great god, who has lūtasyā in its pure form. So then animals have have lezorān, Sky and Earth have pure ðozoŋwur, the great god “the Sun” has pure lūtasyā, and humans have an impure mixture of all three.[6]

Ridranos then explains that humans are naturally unhappy because they are constantly trying to follow and satisfy all three of these aspects, yet lezorān, ðozoŋwur and lūtasyā conflict and so it is impossible to ever fully satisfy all three. Rather, humans should train themselves to primarily seek lūtasyā, because it is the highest of all three. However, while humans can find great joy in their lūtasyā, they can never be fully happy, because they are still tied to lezorān and ðozoŋwur. Indeed, if a human being somehow only ever satisfied lūtasyā and never paid any attention to lezorān and ðozoŋwur, s/he would not actually be fully human.[6] Ridranos writes in part 10 of Light and Duty:

Full humanity can only be achieved by acknowledging all three aspects of being, but balance and happiness can only be achieved by keeping them in their proper hierarchy. Lūtasyā should always be first priority; next ðozoŋwur; last lezorān. The good, happy, and fully human man will put his conscience above his emotions and both above his instinct, but he will listen closely to all three.[7]– Ŋarin Ridranos, Light and Duty, part 10

Human depravity and ambition

Ridranos writes, primarily in Stars and Time, that all human evil ultimately stems from one flaw: ambition, which comes from the ðozoŋwur part of human nature. This is the flaw that makes humans wish to fully satisfy lezorān, ðozoŋwur and lūtasyā, even though it is impossible – indeed, because it is impossible, humans lie constantly to themselves, saying that it can be done, to make themselves continue to try. It is also the flaw that makes it impossible to ever approach the great god. Animals cannot approach the great god because they lack lūtasyā; Sky and Earth cannot approach the great god not only because they do not have lūtasyā, but also because they have the flaw of ambition in their ðozoŋwur; humans too cannot approach the great god because of the ambition in their ðozoŋwur.[6]

In the most famous passage of Stars and Time, from part 29, Ridranos sums up this philosophy of his:[6]

Human beings are always grasping at more, reaching endlessly for higher and higher things. We cannot be happy with the inventions we have; we constantly take issue with them and toil and struggle to create something a little better. We cannot eat the same thing every day; we must add new things, do things in a different way, always, always, expanding, complicating. We cannot talk and laugh with our friends and go away satisfied, as to need no more; rather, we crave more, more, more! We cannot merely live life and recount it to others; we must have stories. Most of all, we cannot merely eat and drink and sleep and be satisfied in the fulfillment of our lezorān, or love and hate and sympathize and be satisfied in the fulfillment of our ðozoŋwur; we must search always for truth and beauty and gods and all other such vague, transcendent things. We alone among our fellow beings – animals, Sky and Earth – grasp endlessly at eternity and have this unrelenting thirst in our hearts….Yet when we search for the high things and reach deep into ourselves for the strength and will to push higher and higher, we can only eventually come fully face to face with the utter darkness of our hearts, inexplicably and bitterly twisted into something that wishes futilely for light and so must veil itself more and more in an effort to face the Sun [e.g., the great god] – veil itself with empty graspings at better technology, richer life, closer friendship, purposefully created things, truth and beauty and the gods….And so to face the all-revealing Truth of the Light of the Sun, we must tear off those veils of meaningless meaning, only to discover that we are left with only our dark impure hearts, made human and different from the animals and the lesser gods [Sky and Earth] only by our twisted desires to veil ourselves and become something greater even as it is more and more false, and so as we stand in truth before the Sun we are yet more desperately hopeless than when we stand upon lies before him….Life is indeed futile.– Ŋarin Ridranos, Stars and Time, part 29

The cycle of ambition and the decay of relationships

In works such as War in Heaven and on Earth, Ridranos develops an idea that due to this ambition, human relationships will always decay. He takes the myth of how Sky and Earth, pure manifestations of ðozoŋwur, are part of an endless cycle in which they love each other for a time and produce a human race, then come to hate each other and eventually destroy the world and their human offspring in their war, but then love each other again and create another human race. Humans, he says, will go through quite different cycles because of the influence of their lezorān and lūtasyā. For instance, family members can have good, long-lasting relationships because of the ties of lezorān – they have bodies that are physically related to each other. Similarly, people can remain friends for a long time if they are kind to each other, following their lūtasyā. But since the ambition of ðozoŋwur poisons all other aspects of human nature, human relationships will all eventually decay as people continue to try to get more and more and become better and better. This was already an established tenet of Egeldish theology and culture at the time Ridranos explored it, but Ridranos did an excellent job of providing practical examples of this principle in works like Light and Duty.[6]

Practical application

Particularly in Light and Duty, Ridranos tries to construct a model for how a human being could try to balance lezorān, ðozoŋwur and lūtasyā in order to live a life that is as fulfilling as possible within the “ultimately futile universe we exist in” (part 5). First of all, he writes, lūtasyā should come first – people should prioritize trying to understand morality and truth, and for this reason education is important, since it helps people to better find truth. Secondly, people should pursue ðozoŋwur by not repressing their emotions and being willing to feel strongly. Before actually acting on their emotions, people should make sure their intended actions line up with lūtasyā. But mere feelings should never be repressed for reasons of lūtasyā or anything else. Ridranos especially encourages people to be quick to spontaneously do a kind thing for someone they pity – a perfect example of following lūtasyā through the emotions of ðozoŋwur. Finally, people should pursue lezorān, taking care of their bodies and making sure they eat, sleep, etc. enough. But they should be willing to quash their instincts in order to do something kind, following lūtasyā first, or feel strongly, following ðozoŋwur. Interestingly, Ridranos places family relations within the realm of lezorān, since families are connected by their physical relation. He especially points this out when he writes that people should be willing to do something kind for a stranger they pity at the cost of being able to properly care for their family, as long as they do not pity their family above the stranger. “Feelings come before instinct,” he writes, “and therefore one must prioritize helping the people one feels about above helping the people one has an instinct to help” (part 18).[6]

Also in Light and Duty, Ridranos details various ideas for softening the negative effects of human ambition. He encourages people to pursue humility and to be happy with simple things, rather than always trying to make their lives more pleasant or more comfortable. But he does acknowledge that one cannot be fully human without this ambition, and so he encourages people to continue to try to improve their lives – just to put the search for goodness, truth and lūtasyā above this endeavor of ðozoŋwur.[6]

Notable works

Nonfiction

  • War in Heaven and on Earth (1330). Ridranos analyzes the traditional Egeldish myth of how Sky and Earth once loved each other, but now war against each other and against their offspring, the human race. He draws parallels to how human relationships so easily swing between love and hate, and suggests that a key part of being human is this emotional similarity to the gods. From this he tentatively concludes that if even the gods cannot avoid the pain of being rejected by a loved one, there is no way that human beings can reasonably avoid such strife – if they do, they are repressing the noble aspect of their nature, the part of them that is similar to the gods, and so are not being truly human at all.[8]
  • The Human and the Animal (1335). Ridranos investigates the difference between humans and animals and comes to the conclusion that the central difference is that humans try endlessly to better themselves and improve their life situation, while animals are happy with merely satisfying their basic desires for food, shelter, etc. He also suggests the idea that this human striving for improvement is the key reason why humans are so often unhappy – animals, on the other hand, he writes, are only unhappy when their basic desires are unfulfilled.[8]
  • Knowledge and Goodness (1341). Ridranos explores the question of what is truly good or evil, and how humans can be sure that they know the truth about what is good and evil. He concludes that ultimately only a person’s own conscience can tell them what is right to do, but somebody can corrupt their own conscience by consistently doing evil. So a person can never be completely sure whether what they feel is right is actually right or just the product of a corrupted conscience. He also briefly touches on the idea that, as other parts of human nature come from Sky and Earth, this conscience is something from a god higher than Sky and Earth and so more noble and valuable.[8]
Cover of a recent Egeldish printing of Stars and Time

Cover of a recent Egeldish printing of Stars and Time

  • Stars and Time (1344). In this book Ridranos finally fully develops his idea of a god greater and higher than Sky and Earth, one that he calls “the Sun” “because it is the only word I have to express the eternal and unchanging benevolence of such a being” (part 5). He portrays this god as being unchanging, eternal, truthful, and all-powerful, but unwilling to lower himself to deal with flawed beings such as the lesser gods Sky and Earth and, even more so, humans. In this book Ridranos also denounces the human tendency to continually grasp at progress and improvement, saying that it is part of the evil arrogance that also led to Sky and Earth’s war.[8]
  • Light and Duty (1350). Taking the philosophy he developed in Stars and Time, Ridranos explores how a human being should live in such a world. He says that humans should be humble and learn to take joy in simple things, like good food or safe shelter, while always seeking to find truth and better understand how to do right. While they should not spend all their time and energy trying to make their life better or more comfortable, he writes, they should slowly pursue comfort with the goal of then being able to better focus on the important questions of morality and truth.[8]
  • The Light Above the Horizon (1370). Returning to his earlier idea that the human conscience is something from the great god above Sky and Earth, Ridranos tries to form an idea of what this god is like based on what human consciences are like. He also makes conclusions about what the great god is like based on how parts of the natural world which he doesn’t think are “corrupted” by Sky or Earth are like. In the end, he concludes that this god is a god of strict rules, truth, kindness, fairness and faithfulness.[8]

Fiction

  • Black and White (1331). This is a novel exploring Ridranos’s early idea that strong emotions and volatility are an important, if often painful, part of being human. It tells the story of an Egeldish man and woman who marry just before the fall of Egeld’s empire, but then grow to hate each other in the wake of the civil war after the fall of the empire. Only parts of the story are extant – most of the beginning, some parts of the middle, and only a tiny bit of the ending. It has been the subject of much study and speculation as to what the rest of the story was like.[8]
  • The Sun Over the Mountains (1345). This epic poem, only half-finished, tells the story of a Egeldish warrior who fails his lord and then flees to Azon, hoping to find respite from his horrible guilt at having failed his master. It chronicles his journey as he accepts that he will ultimately always fail and is humbled. Ridranos was inspired to write this poem after reading some Lat epic poetry while in Dyenā, but he eventually abandoned it when he decided that such a form was not a good way to explore his ideas. It continues to be considered a classic of Egeldish literature, however, and several other authors have written endings for it.[8]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Dāʔos, Lēŋone (1495). Ŋarin Ridranos and the Foundation of Modern Thought. Sokoli & Sons Publishing, Mitzduran, Jacia.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 Yudelia, Jasosa (1485). A Short Biography of Ŋarin Ridranos. Publishing House Yapet, Poyyeizy, Jacia.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Crāā, Enāne (1499). Ŋarin Ridranos and the Egeldish Religious Establishment. Publishing House of Egeld, Tēselos, Egeld.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Crāā, Soţānyal. Ŋārin Rīdranos. Publishing House of Egeld, Tēselos, Egeld.
  5. Juhērntos, Juhārgene. A History of Egeld, Volume 2: Revolution and Reorganization. Publishing House of Egeld, Tēselos, Egeld.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Nūtica, Nyejānne. The Philosophy of Ŋārin Rīdranos. Oga Books, Paraso, Carafilier.
  7. Quoted in Nūtica, pg. 201
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Desulta, Peradá. An Introduction to the Works of Ŋarin Ridranos. Cahmeir Publishing, Carafilier

Map of Egeld

This map turned out rather horribly, mostly due to overuse of my bad eraser. But I think it still looks okay, and it’ll be very useful as I work more on Egeld. I drew the boundaries between provinces – Egeld has 45 despite its small size – and the larger cities. The cities marked with a dot and a circle are the capitals of their respective provinces. There’s also a number in each province – the long list to the right has the names of all the provinces, using those numbers. And if you look at the key in the bottom right, you’ll see the meanings of the different colors. Finally, the names are all in the Egeldish language, which I’ve been working on a lot recently, and most of them, at least, have meanings!

So, Egeld is an imaginary country in the imaginary continent of Lufitantha, up in the northeastern corner. Egeld is mostly a farming country, but there’s a lot of industry as well – Egeld is the second biggest industrial center in Lufitantha, after Arandu. About 200 years ago, the Egeldish ruled most of Lufitantha, but they lost control within a few years and had some time of violence and anarchy before they formed a working government. Today, Egeld is doing well and is quite stable, though they did just fail at an attempt to take over Azon, to the south. Azon used to be part of Egeld, and it remains very unstable despite its independence, which prompted Egeld to take over with the excuse that they were bringing law and order. Partly due to this botched invasion (one of quite a few), Egeld is not very popular in the international community, as invading other countries isn’t really kosher at the moment in Sheesania. Their bad status is despite the fact that their representative in the World Union, Dathis Nutica (or Dāţis Nūtica in my standard Egeldish romanization), is a member of the political party of Zethra Dusti, the current World Minister.

The Egeldish government is run by a hierarchy of elected councils – Egeldish have ruled themselves through democratic councils for centuries. Even before there was a central government, Egeldish peasants would assemble and vote on questions like what to plant and how much to sell of their produce. Later on, Egeld was ruled by a council of all the land owners in the country. Today each province is represented in a central council by an elected official, but the election process and its various requirements and restrictions vary from province to province – a few provinces, for instance, still don’t let women act as their representatives. In general, the provinces are fairly independent of each other, and the central government tries to restrict them as little as possible. Some provinces require travel documents if you want to enter them; others don’t care. Some provinces make all their citizens get ID’s and register births, deaths, marriages, property, businesses, &c, &c, while others are rather lax. It varies a lot. The fact is that the central government is mostly concerned with foreign policy, the army, and maintaining roads and other such inter-provincial services (jobs often carried out by the army).

Egeldish are known outside of their country for being logical and sarcastic, but also very superstitious when it comes to some things – most Egeldish are quite fearful of ghosts and things relating to death in general. Egeldish have produced many important inventions and scientific discoveries, but have only a small artistic tradition and virtually no literary tradition. (Sniff. No analysis of imaginary Egeldish novels for me.) Egeldish culture is fairly individualistic, with people being relatively independent of their families. But democratic decision-making is very valued, and the community as a whole is seen as being more important than the individual to most Egeldish. (It was partly for this reason that the nobility never became very powerful in Egeld – the opinions and desires of the people under them carried too much weight.)

But anyhow – here, finally, is the map! As usual, you can click on it to see it larger, and as usual, I have my signature with my last-name-which-shall-remain-mysterious whited out.

Egeld_web

Count Bleck speaks Tą!

…or, rather, he gets subtitles in Tą…

On a whim, I decided to translate my favorite scene of my favorite video game, Super Paper Mario, into my new language Tą. The scene is from Chapter 6, and I think it’s one of the most awesome scenes in the game…and besides, it’s accompanied by an incredible piece of music! Well, as I started the translation, I thought it would be pretty easy. I had already translated a government notice with quite long and complex sentences, after all, and a song, too. So a random scene from a Mario game should be pretty easy, right? Not! Man, that was one tricky translation!! So many figures of speech, metaphors, colloquial expressions, complex sentences…And Count Bleck had the most difficult lines of all. Even though Tą has absolutely no problem with passive voice!

But, despite the fact that Count Bleck appeared determined to overwhelm the Tą language by the force of his…eloquence? – Well, despite that fact, I managed to translate the scene, and I really like the result. There are bits in there that have some interesting nuance the English doesn’t, and I just like how it sounds! So, for a fun project, I decided to make a nice subtitled video of the scene. I also wanted to dub it into Tą – that is, if my mouth cooperated, Tą is hard to speak – but as it turns out, I can’t find any good quality videos that go slowly enough for me to read the Tą lines aloud. So I’m off the hook for now, at least, but at some point later I might upload an audio-only reading of the scene in Tą. (And I might add the original music, because it’s seriously awesome.)

And so, here is the “Champion of Destruction” scene from Chapter 6 of Super Paper Mario, with Tą! Below the video, I have an interlinear and literal translation of the Tą version. Thanks to BlueJackG on YouTube for the original video!

Interlinear and Literal Translation

List of Abbreviations

1p – first person
2p – second person
3p – third person
acc – accusative
ant – anterior
aug – augmentative
ben – benefactive
bip – bipersonal particle
caus – causative
comp – comparative
fut – future
gen – genitive
imp – imperative
ins – instrumental
loc – locative
mpc – more than paucal
neg – negation
nom – nominative
pc – paucal
pres – present
rc – relative clause
s – singular
trg – trigger
vrb – verbal focus

The Real Thing

Tippi:

Fêye
emptiness
ê
TRG
ʔob
large
uh
NOM
ťǐrid
become.more
ąn
PRES.ACC…
Wa
IMP.URGENT
kěḣdi
hurry
ǎno
1p.PC
NOM!
uh!

The emptiness is becoming more large…I order us, hurry!

Voice:

Kěḣdi?
hurry?
Nôf
what
ê
TRG
dewnǐn
pause
i
NEG
hepkěḣtą
linger.watch
i
NEG
au?
PRES.BEN/CAUS?

Hurry? For what reason to not pause, not lingeringly watch?

Count Bleck:

Râz
sun
ê
TRG
nȟi
darkness
ken
PRES.ANT.ACC
šelywil
AUG.too
a,
GEN,
rǐḣnǐ
stop
ǒno
PRES.VRB
i
NEG…
Blek
Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
ti!
ACC!

The sun just a moment ago became too dark, stop not…Lord Bleck!

Bowser:

Nôf
what
ê
TRG
jiîši
freak.clown
ek
PRES.NOM
nąnúye
creepy
a
GEN
nutǔla
cloak
a
GEN
qaȟ
with
Blek
Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
ti!
ACC!

What creepy freak with the cloak…Lord Bleck!

Count Bleck: BLEH HEH HEH HEH! BLEK!

Mîniąr
prophecy
ê
TRG
fǐhnaq
fall.in.a.controlled.way
ąk
PRES.NOM
deʔdeʔ
rhythm
a,
GEN,
Tuô-Sildgǔ
Heart-Chaos
le.
BEN/CAUS.

The prophecy rhythmically falls in a controlled way, because of the Chaos Heart.

Tuô
flame
e
TRG
iḣq
each
a
GEN
beáfû
world
ǫi
GEN
fǐhdô
flatten.put.out
ǫin,
FUT.ACC,
jir
one
e,
TRG,
jir
one
e
TRG…

The flame of each world will be flattened, one, one…

Tippi:

Muť
do.that
e
TRG
šel
AUG
šel-gǔb
AUG-ugly
a
GEN
nôf
what
BEN/CAUS
wǒh
2ps.NOM
nǎq
want
ąn?
PRES.ACC?

To do that, so – so ugly – why you want?

Count Bleck:

ǑḢǪN
question
ǎno
VRB.PRES
wǒh
2ps.NOM
Blek
Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
ap?!
LOC?!

Question you at Lord Bleck?!

Dâḣk
destroy
ê
TRG
běh
this
tǫi
ACC.RC
beáfû
world
ǫi
GEN.RC
û-jąhar
without-meaning
ǫi
GEN.RC
ťǫr
tall
ek
PRES.NOM
i!
NEG!

Destroying this world without meaning is not tall!

Šél-běluzdas
AUG-be.best.course.of.action
ono
VRB.PRES
ôyąlt
throw.into.liquid
ûh
NOM
Blek
Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
uḣ
NOM.RC
ḣe
3ps
tǫi betǔafû
ACC.RC ocean.oblivion
apǫ,
LOC.RC,
yǫtělě
leave.behind
jéla
BIP.1ps.3ps
uh
NOM
i!
NEG!

It is definitely the best course of action for Lord Bleck to throw it into oblivion, leaving it behind by him not!

Tippi:

Nôf
what
ê
TRG
wǒh
2ps.NOM
yef
that
ti
ACC
š
speak
apu?
PRES.INS?
Yef
that
e
TRG…
ǎnȟi
terrible.monstrous
ąk!
PRES.NOM!

By what means can you speak that? That…is terrible, monstrous!

Count Bleck:

Blek
Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
e
TRG
wtǐ
2ps.ACC
sílḣi
laugh.at
ek!
PRES.NOM!

Lord Bleck at you laughs!

Piksel
Pixl
e
TRG
ûťe
short
â
GEN
Blek
Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
le
BEN/CAUS
nǐnǐn
action.PC
ACC
iyǎr
high
a
GEN
peą
low
a
GEN
š
speak
ek
PRES.NOM
néksa
eyebrow
a?
GEN?

A short Pixl for the benefit of Lord Bleck of actions high and low speaks in an eyebrow way?

Tippi:

Běh
this
ě
TRG
še<ǫ>sildas
discuss<should>
ek
PRES.NOM
i!
NEG!
Wǒh
2ps.NOM
peą
low
ek
PRES.NOM…
ûduhál
sick
ąk!
PRES.NOM!

This is something that should be discussed not! You are low…are sick!

Tuô
heart
e
TRG
yuw
all
a
GEN
unǎd
living.thing
a
GEN
o
exist
ek.
PRES.NOM.
Yuw
all
e
TRG
ḣénna
3p.MPC.GEN
jąhar
worth
a
GEN
tǎt
be.most
ǎḣo.
PRES.COMP.

Hearts of all living things exist. All of them are the worthiest.

Ašfgǔ
impossible
ono
VRB.PRES
meq
just
ląy
white
uh
NOM
wǔḣ
2ps.NOM.RC
ḣéna
3p.MPC
tǫi!
ACC.RC!

It is impossible to just…make white you them!

Count Bleck:

Yuw
all
e
TRG
ba
thing
a
GEN
2ps
ǎp
LOC
raúyeʔp
be.close.to
ek,
PRES.NOM,
aqąȟ
yet
tuô
heart
e
TRG
wǒh
2ps.NOM
ǫnť
use
en?
PRES.ACC?

All things near you are close, yet hearts you use?

Ûjąhar
worthlessness
ê
TRG
bâj
COMP.MORE.QUALITY
ašfgǔ
impossible
PRES.GEN…

Being more worthless is impossible…

Count Bleck:

Yuw
all
e
TRG
ba
thing
a
GEN…
ûanéš
meaningless
ąk.
PRES.NOM.
Timpáni
Timpani
a
GEN
wers,
except,
yǫdḣi
treasure
e
TRG
kąuk
matter
a
GEN
1ps
tǫi
ACC.RC
o
exist
uk
PAST.NOM
i,
NEG,
jirą
not.one

All things…are meaningless. Except for Timpani, a treasure that mattered to me existed not, not one…

Tippi: …Tim…Timpáni?

Count Bleck:

…Mǔlaʔi
more
ě
TRG
š
speak
en
PRES.ACC
i!
NEG!

More speak not!

Count Bleck:

Běh
this
ě
TRG
beáfû
world
a
GEN
ib
die
ek
PRES.NOM
hep
seeing
ap
LOC
úťge
under
hepněhsjira
monocle
a…Blek
GEN…Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
a!
GEN!

This world is dying at the sight under the monocle of…Lord Bleck!

Kli
but
waq
IMP.NORMAL
rǐḣnǐ
stop
ě
TRG
yef
that
uḣ
NOM.RC
2ps
tǫi
ACC.RC
dǐgna
find
ǎpǫ
LOC.RC
Tuô-Nesě
Heart-Pure
tǫi wǔḣ
ACC.RC 2ps.NOM.RC
ámug
get
yin
FUT.ACC
šéli
never
wǒh
2ps.NOM
ǫja
allow
en
PRES.ACC
i!
NEG!

But I command you, do not allow the stopping of finding the Pure Heart you will never get by that!

BLEH HEH HEH HEH! BLEK!

Tippi:

Ą,
oh,
ťǐyr
gods.save.us

Oh, gods save us…

Map of Frencha in Frinci

I’ve been making up a bit about a country in Lufitantha, Frencha, recently, and so I decided that I had better draw a map of Frencha to keep its geography straight before I made up too much. And besides, drawing a map helps to inspire me! Since I’ve also been working on bits of Frencha’s language, Frinci, I decided to label the map all in Frinci. And here’s the result. I quite like how it turned out – I like how detailed it is and how many cities and towns there are. As always, you can click on the image to see it larger.

Frinca

Note that as I labeled this map in Frinci, I used the Frinci names for everything, so Fastcoast became Vacgost, Gourisson became Ǩeresen, Eloquot became Kilesaf, etc. I also used the indigenous Frinci names for parts of Frencha, but in English I would usually use other names. For example, I would call Relaf “the Ramieu Territory,” and I might call the Ďňiif just “Southern Frencha.” Except that I love saying Ďňiif so I think I’ll keep using the Frinci term. 😉

Colloquial Names for Days of the Month in Tą

I’ve recently been working on a new language, Tą, that is spoken throughout Thomorai. In Thomorai, people use two different calendars: a highly accurate solar calendar, which is almost always used for giving official dates and in colloquial speech for months and years, and a strict lunar calendar. The lunar calendar has been falling more and more out of use in recent times, but it is still widely used to informally give the day of the week/month. For example, a Thomoraii might say that it’s the fifth month in the year 1501 (using the solar calendar), but that the day is Liděd (using the lunar calendar). The advantage of the lunar calendar is that it’s easy to see what day it is based on what the moon looks like; the disadvantage is that it doesn’t match up with the solar calendar. Nevertheless, it is very common in Thomorai for people to use the names for the days of the lunar month as we might use the days of the week.

Colloquial Names for Days of the Month in Tą

based on the phases of the moon Qějli

New moon: Lídis

1st night waxing cresent: Lidšón
2nd: Lidíba
3rd: Liděd
4th: Lidwâo
5th: Liděsa
6th: Lidúwa

First quarter moon: Šánať

1st night waxing gibbous: Šanšón
2nd: Šaníba
3rd: Šaněd
4th: Šanwâo
5th: Šaněsa
6th: Šanúwa

Full moon: Ȟak
Second full moon: Ȟakfê

1st night waning gibbous: Ȟakšón
2nd: Ȟakǐba
3rd: Ȟakěd
4th: Ȟakwâo
5th: Ȟakěsa
6th: Ȟakúwa

Last quarter moon: Deêli

1st night waning crescent: Deêšón
2nd: Deêyíba
3rd; Deêyêd
4th: Deêwâo
5th: Deêyêsa
6th: Deêyúwa

Oaths and Lies – A Lukokish Example Text

This example text, translated into my imaginary language Lukokish, is part of the first scene from Usëvzan îars irlïrz, a classic Lukokish mejëiç novel written by Têla Öete in 1362 (139 years ago from the present, so comparable to something written in 1874). The mejëiç novel, a uniquely Lukokish invention, is composed of dialog and audible speech alone. There is no prose description or narration, no explanation of who’s talking, no record of what people are thinking – nothing except dialog spoken aloud. Mejëiç novels are usually printed with speech by different people in different colors. But still, it is a challenge for the author of such a novel to effectively convey who’s speaking, let alone a whole story! This particular example lets me show the style of Lukokish novels, while also showing how both high-class Jaeve and low-class peasants would talk.

Usëvzan îars irlïrz, usually translated as Oaths and Lies (though a more accurate translation would Making Oaths and Then Lying), is a good example of a typical classic Lukokish novel. It focuses on a Jaeve man (the Jaeve are the nobility of Lukok) and what he does to save his family’s honor, while also pursuing love and a place in life. Many of its features, including love between Jaeve and non-Jaeve, honor of a family, conflict between Reason and Beauty (in this case epitomized by the two lead characters), coincidences conveniently explained by divine favor, etc. are traditional Lukokish themes. But it also includes more modern elements, which were beginning to be introduced in Lukokish literature in the mid-1300s. Peasant revolts, which only truly began around this time period, figure prominently into the story. The government’s new regulations are also important. Additionally, one of the central characters is tremendously deceptive, with the author even intending to have him deceive the reader! Having such an unreliable main character was unusual in Lukokish literature when Têla Öete wrote this book.

Têla Öete, like most Lukokish writers, was Jaeve. She came from the Öete family, who were fairly rich and had lands in central Lukok, so they were close to the capital Nêleru. For this reason, Têla was familiar with what was going on in Lukok, since she would hear news from the capital. Hearing of peasant revolts and related problems probably helped inspire Usëvzan îars irlïrz.

painting of Têla Óete

Painting of Têla Öete as a 15-year-old. The clothing, furniture, carpet, etc. are all representative of high-class Jaeves

Têla wrote eight published novels, six of which were mejëiç. This one was her third published story. All of her mejëiç novels were quite popular, as this genre was becoming more fashionable during this time period, but her normal novels were not well known. Today, Têla’s work is still popular among mejëiç enthusiasts, particularly because very few Lukokish writers are producing novels of this genre anymore.

Têla's signature

Têla’s signature

I first wrote this scene’s English translation, then translated it back into Lukokish, making adjustments to the English as necessary – I do not flatter myself that I can write a story in straight Lukokish! I also wrote a detailed interlinear and literal translation, so you can see some of the unique ways that Lukokish expresses things. Finally, I’ve added many extra notes to explain important concepts or implications, note literary techniques, and point out particularly interesting language uses. However, there are still many quirks of speech that I didn’t point out – look at the interlinear/literal translation to see more. Also, please don’t feel like you have to read all the notes 😉 You can certainly understand the story, at least the basic idea of it, without looking at the notes.

The English, Lukokish, notes and interlinear/literal translation are below. Additionally, I’ve written an English “translation” of the rest of this scene and part of the next; you can leave a comment or contact me if you’re interested in reading it. Please also feel free to contact me if you’re curious as to the general plot of the story – I could work it all out and give you a synopsis. (I have the basic idea of the story in my head, but I don’t have some of the vital details figured out yet.)

English

“Sh! Who’s there?”1

“It is I, Lord Lumëan Töreşv.2 I must speak to you!”

“What, you again? Be gone!”3

“Remë Ränolet,4 stay, listen to me, please! I have come three varalï5 from the hills in the snow and wind, and I must talk to you! I have only to state two things and ask one other. Please6 come out and speak to me!”7

“I told you, go! It is late at night,8 it is no time for talking!”

“Sir,9 please, for the love of God,10 come out and speak to me!”

“Foolish boy!11 I will come out and speak to you, but don’t expect me to do anything for you. – Well, what is it?”

“Sir, you know the first thing I have to say, as well as I do.12 I am lord of these lands, but I cannot keep control of them.13 You peasants all hated my father, but he was stern to you, so you obeyed him. Then he died and I became lord, and you threw me out because I was gentle and could not stop you.”14

“Because you were gentle! Good grief!15 Your father trained you,16 Lumëan Töreşv,17 and so we all knew that you would be the same as him. Besides, you are young! You can have your own path.”18

“My own path…God save me!19 Well, listen – I am lord, but I cannot hold these lands. But I must hold them for the honor of my family, because I am the heir and it is my duty.20 If you peasants throw me out and I am forced to neglect my duty, it would be the shame of my sisters, my cousins, my nephews and nieces21 – it would be a shame to the Töreşv!”22

“Yes, and a shame to you, you neglect to add!”23

“God knows that is not my primary thought!24 – But see, I have stated my first point.25 I am lord, but I cannot hold these lands, yet26 I must for the honor of my family. And now I come to my second point….27

Lukokish

“Şş! Eà ävnë?”1

“Âle Lumëan Töreşv meà kîdi.2 Nïvet meçèt dös meşanenäska!”

“I:a, mevèt lènvska? Dikëçë çê veşrè!”3

“Remë Ränolet,4 ditrè çê, dvîr evè divël vlël, nmet di! Mevè dö çê kivaralï kös5 nizok kosuskçurï lètôik kosmìl konënlla vêlôik, dvîr nïvet dös vlël meşanenäska! Ataï ma idàdçe mevè dêsek vlël äîre atà kïnïçe dêçë. Nmet di,6 mevèt dirê çê, nïve meçëv di!”7

“Nïvet meçèt dö, diçë çê veşrè! Meön meşïksmä,8 atvlëltu mejïmel ärv vävmäevë!”

“Muïr Ränolet,9 nmet di, Kèşun vävok,10 dirê çê, nïve meçëv di!”

“Melòme ûrëmä!11 De:me mevè dêrê çê nïvet meçèt dê, de:me mevè dë kovèt vävôik mejëv dekèt. – Aissë, eà ävnë?”

“Muïr Ränolet, eàet skuìd kîesöst mevèt di eveëm neseäds szûr mevè neseäds.12 De:me eulùr jäesan ärv kîesej mevè kîdi, de:me dvîr elëv dös de asemerşz.13 De:me edëvutet mevöt ekenoï kîdo, mevöt ëäns, du zër, de:me ezl meevë sëukeëntmä kêvöt êaltëa, ezl nïevë mevöt durê işiz. Mnaam meevë duçë eulùr meve kîdö, ta eve mevöt döçë mêran ta meve sekkarmä sekmarmä dvîr evöt dös du du:sek in.”14

“Ta mevet sekkarmä! Kiûne:rë vävok!15 Ezl atçsöï nïvet, Lumëan Toreşv,17 medëvutëv duçë enêru,16 ezl eevë mevet kîdë mevïl ëäns dukë eveëm. Te:ne:, mevet marmä! Kiazinan kervet ulaok meazinëv dös.”18

“Kiazinan kerve…Keşundûjï!19 Aissë, merêekomëv di – de:me eulùr meve kîdi, de:me esan ärv meve dös de asemerşz. De:me ta nîërz dös meşanenäska kêdïn kermetêrezet vävtëa, ta dvîr enivöçë kîdi eve menivöçëzis di oman.20 Ed eve mevöt ekenoï kîdo dârçë mêran dvîr enivöçëziset meve di:mçë mêran dâr mle, ed dvîr atrën kerlentaïet, kerşitïet, kerzetïet, kersudinïet21 – ker-Töreşv dâr ëlëu!”22

“Dâr, atrën kervet, meçëv dia mej dökër!”23

“Eşaet mejölat mejâk ëmäv kîdöv Keşun di eveëm!24 – Aissë mesmëv di, edoka idlo meç dö.25 De:me eulùr meve kîdi, de:me esan ärv meve dös de asemerşz, de:me de:me26 nîërz dâr meşanenäska kodïn kermetêrezet vävôik. Edokaet metlo meve dê joserëur….27

Notes

1 Remë’s wording of “who’s there,” eà ävnë, literally means “what thing?” and reveals his lack of education. An educated Lukokish person would say ötò ävnë di? “what person exists?”, avoiding the use of a sentence fragment, and also keeping from potentially offending the listener by referring to him or her with the dummy noun. These kinds of small differences in speech are generally very important in mejëiç novels.

2 A Lukokish reader can get a great deal of information from this name alone! First of all, Lumëan uses the title âle, a third-person term of address, in order to refer to himself. Âle would usually not carry honorific connotations, but since it’s in the third person despite the fact that Lumëan is talking about himself, it means “lord.” At the same time, it is quite humble, since a lord would usually be referred to, and would usually refer to himself, with the honorific third-person term ulùr. So from this one word, Lukokish readers can tell that Lumëan is a lord, but is being unusually humble, also taking into consideration the fact that Remë must be low-class (they’d know this from his use of eà ävnë). Secondly, Lumëan is clearly male, since -ëan is a male gender postfix. Finally, Lumëan’s surname Töreşv is important. It is a surname belonging to one of the 21 noble Jaeve families, so we know that Lumëan is Jaeve (though he is already almost certainly Jaeve if he is a lord). Also, we can guess that Lumëan lives somewhere around Sètsol, because this is the hometown of the Töreşv. Since the Töreşv were at this point a fairly prestigious but rather poor noble family, we can also guess that Lumëan probably has a lot of pride in his family but not much money or power. Additionally, the Töreşv had ties with Laguina, so he has a higher possibility of being under suspicion for treason – something that will come into play later in the story. As you can see, for a Lukokish author, choosing the right family for a Jaeve character is very important!

3 More sentence fragments on the part of Remë, further demonstrating his low social class and level of education. High-class and/or educated people still use sentence fragments in conversation, but they would certainly be more careful when talking to somebody above them, as Remë is doing. Also, it is unusual for anybody educated to give a command without making clear who they are speaking to, as Remë is doing.

4 The name Remë Ränolet confirms any remaining doubts the reader might have about his social class. Remë is a name meaning “egg,” and it is quite common among peasants but rare in higher-class circles. Ränolet is a common low-class surname. All in all, Remë has a rather bland, generic peasant’s name.

5About 1.4 miles.

6 Note the Lukokish phrase for “please,” nmet di. It is composed of a noun that has lost all other meaning, nm, and a d* that carries the meaning of “please.” If you were asking for a future favor, for example, if Lumëan was asking Remë to talk with him tomorrow, you would use d* in a soon or future tense.

7Note Lumëan’s multiple uses of verb conjunctions. Uneducated Lukokish speakers still use these conjunctions, but they are more common in the mouths of educated speakers.

8Meön meşïksmä “it is late at night” is literally “night is far to the right,” since time in Lukokish goes from left to right.

9Again, a great deal is communicated by how Lumëan addresses Remë. He uses a normal second-person address, muïr, which does not imply any particular honor, but he uses Remë’s surname afterwards, which does. A lord would usually speak to his vassal with muïr alone, or with muïr accompanied by the peasant’s first name. In this way, Lumëan is treating Remë with more honor than a lord usually would, but he is certainly still not going all-out – Lumëan retains his pride despite his desperation.

10The general Lukokish belief today, as it was in Lumëan’s time, is that God (Keşun) is far away from humans, being too holy to care for their comparatively foolish affairs. So Lumëan is, by Lukokish standards, being quite bold to invoke the name of God in this way, and this is only the first time he does so during this scene. Readers generally agree that this is meant to show how desperate he is. (Do note that the expression Keşundûjï! “God save us!” is common in Lukokish, but besides this, Lukokish rarely make casual references to God.)

11Note that Remë doesn’t inflect ûrëmä “foolish,” further evidence of his lack of education. He also calls Lumëan a boy, which is a bit of an insult since Lumëan is an adult (if a young one).

12 Note the metaphor Lumëan uses in the Lukokish: they both know this fact tall-ly. By Lukokish thinking, knowledge and understanding stacks up, so if you have a lot of knowledge or understand a fact very well, it’s tall.

13 Another metaphor: “drawing a circle around something” for “keeping control.” To Lukokish, control is much like encircling or surrounding something.

14First of all, Lumëan must be at least 18 to become lord, since this is the age of legal adulthood in Lukok. (Okay, I know that looks like I just borrowed that age from the American system, but there’s a reason why it’s 18! You see, the Lukokish use a base-6 number system, and 18 would be represented as 30 – a nice, even number. That’s why. By the way, that’s the legal age of adulthood – who people informally consider an adult varies from place to place and social class to social class in Lukok. Some give ages as low as 14; the highest age is 24, another even number in base-6.) Secondly, now the reader would know why Lumëan is feeling desperate (even without being aware of further reasons that are revealed later on), because a lord would be in a dire situation if his peasants threw him out. Not only would he not be able to earn a living, he would bring shame to himself and his family. Lumëan is especially vulnerable because he is young and unestablished. In addition, again, Lumëan frequently uses verb conjunctions. Finally, note his use of the past tense to relate this episode: it perfectly shows his status as a Jaeve, but a lower-status one. Jaeve usually use past tense (as opposed to recent tense) only for long-ago or historical events, and the lower class a Lukokish speaker gets, the more likely they are to use past tense for less long-ago or historical events. Lumëan uses this tense for his deposition and the events leading up to it, which are historical for him…but higher-class Jaeve would consider them minor enough for recent tense.

15 Literally “for the purpose of foolishness” – Remë is insulting Lumëan’s idea more than anything else here. It is a common expression with Remë throughout the story, as he is always criticizing things. It is also fairly common in the mouth of his daughter, Tïma, whom Lumëan will soon reveal that he is in love with. This is just one indication of how Tïma shares many personality traits with her father – interesting, because while Lumëan loves Tïma’s personality, he is always at odds with her father! These sorts of paradoxes go unquestioned in most classic Lukokish novels, but in Usëvzan îars irlïrz, Têla Öete went a bit out of the box and had her characters actually discuss the problem of Lumëan appreciating Tïma but not Remë. This is just one of the small, innovative twists that made Têla Öete such a popular writer.

16 Literally “your father gave you words.” This has a stronger meaning than just “your father trained you” – it means that Lumëan’s father shaped his worldview and way of thinking and speaking.

17 It is rather impolite for Remë to address Lumëan with his straight name, even his full name, without using any titles. Even friends will usually use titles when directly addressing each other, and they certainly would if they were having as important a conversation as Lumëan and Remë are!

18 This comment shows just how much Remë doesn’t understand the life and responsibilities of a young Jaeve man, particularly one with four sisters, as Lumëan is later revealed to have. The fact is that Lumëan was obligated to serve as lord, and even if he couldn’t do this, he would have to provide for his sisters somehow, and even if he didn’t have sisters, he would still have to pursue a respectable Jaeve occupation – he could never just do whatever he wanted unless he wanted to bring shame upon himself and his family. Lukokish peasants, on the other hand, are generally much freer. They still have obligations of maintaining the family honor, but this mostly consists of not becoming criminal, immoral or extremely poor.

19 Lumëan, on the other hand, knows perfectly well that he can’t do what he wants, and in frustration appeals to God to see the sorry state of the world and save it. Keşundûjï is a frequent exclamation with Lukokish facing trouble or seeing problems in the world, as he is.

20 Literally, “the heirship grasps me tightly.” To Lukokish, duty holds and restricts, but do note that this is generally not considered bad – many writers argue that duty is necessary for restricting the wildness of emotions and will, and that the limitations it imposes are helpful for self-control and happiness (because, after all, you can’t have everything anyways).

21 Look at the interlinear to get a better feeling for the different familial terms Lumëan uses. He must use two different terms for “cousins,” one for those on his mother’s side and one for those on his father’s side, as Lukokish distinguishes between most relatives on the two sides. But there is just one term for “nephews and nieces” – one of the family roles where relation to the father or mother is not distinguished.

22 Lukok has a strong culture of honor and shame. Among Jaeves, maintaining the honor of one’s general family is of utmost importance, certainly above personal comfort or happiness. In the lower classes, the main problem is not so much maintaining the honor of your general family, but your own honor and that of your immediate family. A major shame could easily affect a family materially, too. If Lumëan had the shame of being deposed from his role as lord, it could mean that his sisters and cousins were not able to marry as well, because then the prospective spouses would have to associate themselves with the shame of being deposed. Then they might have to marry poorer or otherwise less desirable men, which would further shame the family, and so further shame Lumëan for bringing such trouble, and on and on…

23 This is completely true, even as it shows the more individualistic focus of the lower classes. Remë is full of such truthful, critical and pointed observations. He is not always understanding, careful or polite, but he is shrewd and not easily fooled by flattery or nice manners. These are all traits he shares with Lumëan’s love Tïma (though Tïma, admittedly, is generally a bit more diplomatic). Lumëan, on the other hand, is rather dreamy and tends to see things more poetically than they really are. Many non-Lukokish critics have complained that people with such disparate personalities as Lumëan and Tïma could never get along so well. But the fact is that the union of poetic dreaminess and sharp observation of fact is a huge motif in Lukokish literature, because it’s supposed to represent the harmony of Reason and Beauty. According to one Lukokish critic, Nazëan Viru:, more than half of Lukokish literature deals in some way with conflict and harmony of Reason and Beauty. Usëvzan îars irlïrz, with Tïma representing Reason and Lumëan representing Beauty, is among this body of literature.

24 Literally, “God knows that is not my heaviest thought!” In Lukokish metaphor, heavy thoughts are more memorable and present, while light thoughts are easily forgotten.

25 Literally, “I have said my first line.” In Lukokish metaphor, an argument is a drawing, and a point in an argument is a line.

26 Lumëan uses the more colloquial and less high-class expression de:me de:me here to say “X but Y yet Z” (de:me X de:me Y de:me de:me Z). He is becoming less and less careful and slipping more into colloquial speech as he becomes more agitated, probably especially because he is about to declare his love for Tïma.

27 As things stand now, this story would appear to the reader as a (most likely appealing) mixture of old tropes and newer elements. Lumëan is an almost textbook young and dreamy, yet honorable symbol of Beauty, an image that will be further enhanced by his declaration of love. Remë is a bit more interesting with his bold insults and sharp criticisms. But after discovering in the next section that he had tried to protect his daughter by not allowing her and Lumëan to marry, readers would probably write him off as a typical restrictive-out-of-worry father type. The whole idea of peasants rebelling against their Jaeve lord, on the other hand, especially with the added twist of the lord then trying to negotiate with his vassals, would be quite novel. Considering the rest of the book, both Lumëan and Remë end up being a lot more fleshed-out and interesting. After this initial setup, the story skips forward ten years to find Lumëan as a broken and disillusioned wanderer, shadowed by a enigmatic and deceptive magician sidekick, Dimenç, whom he trusts utterly. (Much of Lumëan’s inner conflict has to do with regaining his true sense of Beauty, while avoiding the twisted and ugly side of Beauty represented by Dimenç.) Before this jump ahead in time, Remë and Tïma have several interactions, showing how much Tïma, despite Lumëan’s aversion to him, loves, respects and takes after her father. Then, after the jump, Remë is dead, but Tïma so often refers to him or acts like him, and Lumëan’s reminisces to Dimenç so often include him, that he continues to be important. All this reveals him to be a shrewd thinker and a loving parent and husband.

Interlinear & Literal Translation

“Şş! Eà ävnë?”
shh! def.ACC-dummy.noun what?
Shh! What thing?

“Âle Lumëan Töreşv meà kîdi.
title.male.ACC Lumëan Töreşv def.NOM-dummy.noun be-d*.pres.
Lord Lumëan Töreşv the thing is.

Nïvet meçèt dös meşanenäska!”
def.DAT-you.male def.NOM-mouth-my d*.pres.could pres.very-should-adv!
To you my mouth must talk!

“I:a, mevèt lènvska? Dikëçë çê veşrè!”
what, def.NOM-you.male again-adv? d*.pres-imp.cont-away go I-def.COM!
What, you again? Be going away, I command!

“Remë Ränolet, ditrè çê, dvîr evè divël vlël, nmet di!
Remë Ränolet, d*.pres-stop go, and.share.sub def.ACC-I d*.pres-back.to talk, please d*.pres!
Remë Ränolet, stop, and listen to me, please!

Mevè dö çê kivaralï kös nizok kosuskçurï lètôik kosmìl konënlla vêlôik,
def.NOM-me d*.recent go indef.POSTP.verbal-varalï three for.distance-indef.POSTP.verbal def.POSTP.verbal-hills from-def.POSTP.verbal def.POSTP.verbal-snow def.POSTP.verbal-wind in-def.POSTP.verbal,
I went for three varalï from the hills in snow and wind,

dvîr nïvet dös vlël meşanenäska!
vconj.subject def.DAT-you.male d*.pres.could talk very.pres-should-adv!
and to you must talk!

Ataï ma idàdçe mevè dêsek vlël äîre atà kïnïçe dêçë.
indef.ACC-dummy.nouns two only-indef.ACC def.NOM-me d*.soon-down talk vconj.verb indef.ACC-dummy.noun more-indef.ACC d*.soon-away.
Two things only I will state and a thing more ask.

Nmet di, mevèt dirê çê, nïve meçëv di!”
please-my d*.pres, def.NOM-you.male d*.pres-towards go, def.DAT-me def.NOM-mouth-your.male d*.pres
Please, you come out, me your mouth talk to!

“Nïvet meçèt dö, diçë çê veşrè!
def.DAT-you.male def.NOM-mouth-my d*.recently, d*.pres-away go I-def.COM!
You my mouth told, go away I command!

Meön meşïksmä, atvlëltu mejïmel ärv vävmäevë!”
def.NOM-night very.pres-right-def.NOM, indef.ACC-talking def.NOM-time this for-def.NOM-pres.neg!
The night is far to the right, talking this time is not for!

“Muïr Ränolet, nmet di, Kèşun vävôik, dirê çê, nïve meçëv di!”
title.you.male.sub Ränolet, please-my d*.pres, God for.the.purpose.of-def.POSTP.verbal, d*.pres-towards go, def.DAT-me def.NOM-mouth-your.male d*.pres!
Mr. Ränolet, please, for the purpose of God, come out, to me your mouth speak!

“Melòme ûrëmä! De:me mevè dêrê çê nïvet meçèt dê,
def.NOM-boy stupid-def.NOM! but def.NOM-I d*.soon-towards come def.DAT-you.male def.NOM-mouth-my d*.soon,
Stupid boy! I will soon come out, to you my mouth will speak,

de:me atd mevè dë kovèt vävôik mejëv dekèt.
but indef.ACC-act def.NOM-me d*.soon.subcls def.POSTP.verbal-you.male for-def.POSTP.verbal def.NOM-brain-your.male d*.pres.neg-up.
but that I will soon do something for you, your brain do not think.

– Aissë, eà ävnë?”
well, def.ACC-dummy.noun what?
Well, what thing?

“Muïr Ränolet, eàet skuìd kîesöst mevèt di eveëm neseäds szûr mevè neseäds.
title.you.male.sub Ränolet, def.ACC-dummy.noun-my indef.POSTP.acc-one of-indef.POSTP.acc def.NOM-you.male d*.pres know tall-COMP.equal vconj.object.d*.verb def.NOM-me tall-comp.equal.
Mr. Ränolet, the first thing you know as tall-ly as I know it tall-ly.

De:me eulùr jäesan ärv kîesej mevè kîdi,
but def.ACC-title.extra.honor.him def.POSTP.acc-place this of-def.POSTP.acc def.NOM-me be-d*.pres,
Lord of this place I am,

de:me dvîr elëv dös de asemerşz.
but vconj.subject def.NOM-it d*.pres.could d*.pres.neg draw.circle
but it I cannot draw a circle around.

De:me edëvutet mevöt ekenoï kîdo, mevöt ëäns, du zër,
but def.ACC-father-my def.NOM-you.pl def.NOM-peasants be-d*.pres.subcls, def.NOM-you.pl all, d*.past hate,
My father you who are peasants, all of you, hated,

de:me ezl meevë sëukeëntmä kêvöt êaltëa, ezl nïevë mevöt durê işiz.
but so def.NOM-him recent-stern-def.NOM def.POSTP.adj-you.pl relating.to-def.POSTP.adj, so def.DAT-him def.NOM-you.pl d*.past-towards obey
but he was stern to you, so him you obeyed.

Mnaam meevë duçë eulùr meve kîdu, ta eve mevöt döçë mêran
then def.NOM-him d*.away def.ACC-title.extra.honor.him def.NOM-me be-d*.past, because def.ACC-me def.NOM-you.pl d*.recent-away exert.force
then he died, lord I became, me you pushed away

ta meve sekkarmä sekmarmä dvîr evöt dös du duvsek in.”
because def.NOM-me pres-gentle-def.NOM pres-young-def.NOM vconj.subject def.ACC-you.pl d*.pres.could d*.past d*.recent.neg-down do.something.
because I am gentle and young and you I could not stop.

“Ta mevet sekkarmä! Kiûne:rë vävok!
because def.NOM-you.male pres-gentle-def.NOM! indef.POSTP.verb-foolishness for.the.purpose.of-indef.POSTP.verb

Because you are gentle! For the purpose of foolishness!

Ezl atçsöï nïvet, Lumëan Toreşv, medëvutëv duçë enêru,
so indef.ACC-words def.DAT-you.male, Lumëan Toreşv, def.NOM-father-your.male d*.past-away add,
Words to you, Lumëan Toreşv, your father gave,

ezl eevë mevet kîdë mevïl ëäns dukë eveëm.
so def.ACC-him def.NOM-you.male be-d*.soon.subcls def.NOM-we.exclu all d*.past-imp.ongoing.
so him you will be we all knew.

Te:ne:, mevet marmä! Kiazinan kervet ulaok meazinëv dös.”
besides, def.NOM-him young-def.NOM! indef.PREP-road def.POSS-you.male indef.PREP.verb-on def.NOM-foot-your.male d*.pres.could.
Besides, you’re young! On a road of your own your foot can walk.

“Kiazinan kerve…Keşundûjï!
indef.PREP-road def.POSS-me…God.save.us!
Road of my own…God save us!

Aissë, merêekomëv di – de:me eulùr meve kîdi, de:me esan ärv meve dös de asemerşz.
well, def.NOM-ear-your.male d*.pres – but def.ACC-title.extra.honor.him def.NOM-me be-d*.pres, but def.ACC-place this def.NOM-me d*.pres.could d*.pres.neg draw.circle
Well, your ear listen – the lord I am, but this place I cannot draw a circle around.

De:me ta nîërz dös meşanenäska kêdïn kermetêrezet vävtëa,
but because vconj.sub.obj.verb d*.pres.could pres.very-should-adv def.PREP.adj-honor def.POSS-family-my for.the.purpose.of-def.PREP.adj,
But do that I must for the purpose of the honor of my family,

ta dvîr enivöçë kîdi eve menivöçëzis di oman.
because vconj.subject def.ACC-heir be-d*.pres def.ACC-me def.NOM-heirship d*.pres grasp.tightly.
because the heir I am, me the heirship grasps tightly.

Ed eve mevöt ekenoï kîdo dârçë mêran
if.then def.ACC-me def.NOM-you.pl def.ACC-peasants be-d*.pres.subcls d*.pres.hypo-away force
If me you who are peasants force away

dvîr enivöçëziset meve di:mçë mêran dâr mle,
vconj.sub def.NOM-me d*.pres.subcls.hypo-away force d*.pres.hypo cause,
and cause me to force away my heirship,

ed dvîr atrën kerlentaïet, kerşitïet, kerzetïet, kersudinïet – ker-Töreşv dâr ëlëu!”
if.then vconj.sub indef.ACC-shame def.POSS-sisters-my, def.POSS-mother.side.cousins-my, def.POSS-father.side.cousins-my, def.POSS-nephew.or.nieces-my – def.POSS-Töreşv d*.pres.hypo create!
then you a shame of my sisters, my cousins on my mother’s side, my cousins on my father’s side, my nephews and nieces – the Töreşv would create!

“Dâr, atrën kervet, meçëv dia mej dökër!”
d*.pres.hypo, indef.ACC-shame def.POSS-you.male, def.NOM-mouth-your.male d*.pres.subcls def.NOM-brain d*.recent-stop!
Yes, a shame of you, your mouth mentioning your brain forgets!

“Eşaet mejölat mejâk ëmäv kîdöv Keşun di eveëm!
indef.comp.ACC-dummy.noun-my very.recent-heavy-indef.comp.ACC def.NOM-thought that be-d*.pres.subcls.neg God d*.pres know!
That that thought of mine was not recently heavy, God knows!

– Aissë mesmëv di, edoka idlo meç dö.
well def.NOM-eye-your.male d*.pres, def.ACC-line one-def.ACC def.NOM-mouth d*.recent
Well your eye see, the first line my mouth said.

De:me eulùr meve kîdi, de:me esan ärv meve dös de asemerşz,
but def.ACC-me def.NOM-lord be-d*.pres, but def.ACC-place this def.NOM-me d*.pres.could d*.pres.neg draw.circle,
I the lord am, but this place I cannot draw a circle around,

de:me de:me nîërz dâr meşanenäska kodïn kermetêrezet vävôik.
but but vconj.sub.obj.vb d*.pres.hypo pres.very-must-ADV def.verb.POSTP-honor def.POSS-family-my for-def.verb.POSTP.
but must do that for the purpose of the honor of my family.

Edokaet metlo meve dê joserëur….
def.ACC-line-my two-def.ACC def.NOM-me d*.soon just.next.moment-ADV.tense
The second line I am just about to draw….

Updated Grammar of Lukokish

This 60-page (!) grammar is a significantly updated, expanded, and generally improved version of my old Lukokish grammar, and it’s the reason why I haven’t posted anything for weeks! Lukokish is a language I made up that is spoken today by the people of the country of Lukok. As of May 2013, it is my newest language and certainly the best language I’ve made so far (though I still love the ones that would probably be judged as badly done!). Here’s a short overview of its significant features from the grammar – the first paragraph describes the general state of things, and the second paragraph goes a bit more into depth on one of the more special and unique aspects of Lukokish: the default verbs.

Lukokish is mostly fusional, with some agglutinative and isolating elements, and has nominative-accusative alignment. It has nouns, verbs and adjectives. Postpositions are treated as adjectives, and adverbs are simple derivations of adjectives. Nouns are marked by case, mood and definiteness (a/the). Using an isolated element known as d*, verbs mark tense, mood, perfection, habituality, generality and movement. Adjectives have a complex morphological system and generally have to match the case of their nouns, and there are complicated rules for comparisons with adjectives. There is no full gender system – there was in Old Lukokish and there is today in Laguine, but modern-day Lukokish does not have it.

In Lukokish, many nouns have default verb meanings if they are subjects or objects. In such a case, d* can be used without a verb, and it carries the default meaning. For example, in Ejû melòme du “The boy threw the ball,” the verb for “throw” is not present. But the default verb meaning for “ball,” if it is used as an object, is “throw.” So d* (which, in this case, is du) carries the meaning “throw.” Many verbs also can be given different meaning through movement marked on d*. Movement can be used to actually imply movement (for example, when using the verb for “move”), or it can be used to give other meanings. For example, the verb for “add” is enêru. But if downwards movement is marked on d*, then enêru means “subtract” or “take away.”

Before you look at the grammar, please keep these things in mind:

  • I am not a linguist and my linguistic knowledge is generally woefully lacking, so please bear with me when I accidentally misuse terms or concepts in my grammar. I am eager to learn more, however, so if you find mistakes, please contact me and tell me about them – nicely, if you can! 😉
  • I also believe that Lukokish probably would be criticized by many other language creators for its weaknesses in various points, e.g. its unrealistically regular sounds and lack of allophony, boring case system, lack of conciseness, etc. First of all, again, I am very open to comment and criticism – I would love to hear from you and learn how to improve! However, making up languages is at heart a very personal hobby, and so I sometimes choose to do something less interesting or realistic just because I like it that way. Or, it wouldn’t be fun, and the whole point of making up languages in the first place is fun, so it would defeat the point. In the end, I make up languages for myself, and so will make choices accordingly.
  • Everything is subject to change at any time without any warning for no reason. Like, you could wake up tomorrow and discover that I added gender, turned all adjectives into verbs, and threw in some Austronesian alignment for a change. (But I have to admit that those particular changes would be pretty unlikely.)
  • I put zero effort into making sure that the page breaks were in nice places.

And so, without further ado, here it is: the PDF of the updated grammar of Lukokish.

Map and Description of the Jaeve Families of Lukok and Laguina

I drew this map on March 28th, 2013 by tracing my drawing of Olha’s War and then making a copy of the result. (I intend to make the original tracing into a general map of Lukok.) It shows the 21 Jaeve families and their offshoots, and where they live and own land in Lukok and Laguina. Who are the Jaeve families? They are all descended from the legendary Hosultë, a king who ruled both Lukok and Laguina. He supposedly had 21 children, each of whom then started a Jaeve family. These people are the royalty and nobility of Lukok and Laguina. To help keep the families straight myself, and clarify to my readers, I also wrote an overview of each of the Jaeve families, which is at the end of this post.

Here’s the map. Now, there are only 21 families, but confusingly, some of these have further divided themselves into subfamilies with different names, and sometimes different lands, too! For example, the Rèn live in Lukok, but their subfamily the Rènha live in Laguina. But they are part of the same general Jaeve family. So, when two families were split up like this, I used the same color for both their lands. You can also check the overview of the Jaeve families to see what ones are members of one larger family. In cases where a family remained in the same geographical area, but one part was almost completely populated by only one subfamily, I drew a border between the areas. But, again, I used the same color. Finally, in areas where there are different subfamilies, but they’re mixed, I just listed multiple families for the same area.

The Jaeve of LukokNow for the overview of Jaeve families! This list explains what country each lives in, what sort of jobs they have, how rich they are, what their different branches are, where they live, etc. A quick note: “Old Jaeve” refers to the traditional Jaeve lifestyle, where they own land and have peasants live on it in exchange for goods (not money!). They might also do a little trade with any excess goods they get. Basically, this is a simple feudal system. But as Lukok has become more modern, many Old Jaeve families haven’t been able to support themselves anymore. They’ve began turning to what is called the “New Jaeve” lifestyle, where they start businesses, especially factories, and hire peasants living on their land. However, even New Jaeve families haven’t completely broken from the Old Jaeve lifestyle – they still own land and lease it out to peasants as before. By the way, both sorts of Jaeve families usually also have members that work as soldiers and government officials, two jobs that are traditionally Jaeve. (The lowest soldiers are generally commoners, but once you get a few ranks up, almost everybody is Jaeve or partly Jaeve.) Without further ado, here is the list:

1. Yäaç, Yaäk, Yäaş

This family is mostly situated in Lukok, and was very important from the 1300’s to the ascension of Devï Rèn. [This is the Lukokish way to spell Devey.] Today they are rich and prestigious, but do not participate much in politics anymore. The Yäaç branch is the largest, and the Yäaş are a very small offshoot of them. The Yäaç are mostly from Dôsol; the Yaäk have their roots in Tòlsesan; and the Yäaş are from Alènev.

2. Rènjaeve, Rèn, Rènha

Devï’s branch of the Rèn are very important today as royalty, but the other Rèn remain fairly obscure, usually working as Old Jaeve landowners and rarely New Jaeve businesspeople. This family was originally called the Rènjaeve, but this name was shortened to Rèn during the late 1100s. The Rènha are a minor branch that live in Laguina. The Rèn and Rènha were originally from an area northwest of Vere:san, and while the Rèn still claim this as their hometown, the Rènha consider Telete, in Laguina, their home.

3. Lehana, Leyana, Leàna

The Lehana family is currently the ruling family of Laguina, as it has been for over 150 years. They are a rich and large family and very involved in politics. The Leyana are also wealthy and prestigious, and hold many important positions in government. The Leàna own large tracts of farmland within Laguina, and so are important, but are less involved in politics and are the smallest branch of the original Lehanas. All are originally from Dona, and the Leàna have their land holdings around this city.

4. Juşul, Juyul

This family is from Laguina, where they mostly own businesses and control a few small towns. Prior to the 1400s, when they began to shift to a New Jaeve lifestyle, they were a small and obscure family that only had small land holdings. Today they are fairly important business holders in Laguina. The Juyul branch mostly consists of the Juşul that still work as landowners. This family calls the lands and towns around the central bulge of northwestern Laguina their home.

5. Öetjaeve, Öete

The original name of this family was Öetjaeve, but now they use the shortened version Öete for everything except important and formal documents (for example, marriage certificates). The Öete are quite rich and well-off, owning large areas of farmland and also an important port area. They mostly work as landowners and traders, but there are also many Öete who serve as soldiers or work in the government. Their homeland includes no major cities, but a large tract of land north of Dôsol and a peninsula west of Dôsol.

6. Vuşï, Vuşë

The Vuşï and their branch the Vuşë are a medium-size Lukokish family. They are fairly well off and own many factories and businesses as well as farmland. The Vuşë are the branch that live in Thirsìlisan, their hometown. Their family lands lie all around this fairly large city.

7. Tereve:sal, Tereve:jaeve

The Tereve:sal and Tereve:jaeve are a rich and fairly important Lukokish Jaeve family. They do trading, own land, and work in the government and the army. The Tereve:jaeve are the branch of the family that mostly work in the government and live in diverse cities such as Àçesan and Nêleru. Their hometown is Tereve:salsan, and they own land around this city.

8. Sozborë, Soşborë

This Laguine family was originally quite small and unimportant, but they were some of the first to explore and settle on nearby islands, such as Tou Island and Saraum Island. They have some of the most diverse jobs of the Jaeve families, working in the military, in the government, and as traders and landowners. The Soşborë are those that live in the islands. Their homeland is part of the western coast of Laguina, but they also dominate the islands of Tou and Saraum.

9. Dehderu, Dedèrö, Dëdïmëdö, Dëdï

This family is Lukokish, and owns the most land of any Jaeve family. They have been important in the Lukokish military and government for centuries, though a Dehderu has never been on the throne. The Dehderu and Dedèrö are most known for their involvement in the military as soldiers and generals, and the money from their success allowed them to buy the large tracts of land that their family now controls. But not all Dehderu and Dedèrö are military, as many of their members work as normal Old Jaeve landowners, typical New Jaeve businesspeople, or in the government. The Dëdïmëdö are the most traditional landowners among this family’s branches, and the Dëdï have become famous as traders. The hometown of this family is Teròl, but they control most of the land of the southeastern tip of Lukok, including the cities of Ôninev, Mïreken and Delamë. The Dëdï and Dëdïmëdö together own most of the lands of Smaller Lukok (though many other Lukokish Jaeve families also own land there).

10. Akloş, Akoş

The Akloş, now known as the Akoş, are a military Laguine family. Their members have worked as soldiers and generals for Laguina for centuries, and at times have ruled Laguina, too. They are fairly wealthy and work as landowners and traders as well as soldiers. Their hometown is Dyetse, and they control most of the land around this city.

11. Keşelta

This Lukokish family is the smallest of all Jaeve families. They almost all work as Old Jaeve landowners, though a few have become traders and now they are experiencing a growing trend towards scholarship. They are one of the poorest of the Jaeve families, though they remain proud and try to involve themselves in politics. Their small homelands are west of Dôsol.

12. Asalëajaeve

The Asalëajaeve, a Lukokish family, is one of the most traditional Old Jaeve families. They used to be rich and strong, but started to grow poorer in the late 1300’s. Today, they are only fairly well off, though they remain prestigious, and there are many important Asalëajaeve members in the government. Their homelands lie between Thirsìlisan, Teròl and Alènev, where they work as landowners.

13. Melëa, Mendäa

This Lukokish family has split into significantly different branches, though their lands are next to each other. The Melëa are rich and have pioneered the New Jaeve lifestyle, building factories and starting many businesses, though they also still work as traditional landowners. Today they are important in government. The Mendäa, on the other hand, remain as poor but prestigious traditional Old Jaeve landowners. The homelands of the Melëa are south of Divìtsol and east of Sörlëon, Àçesan and Jaevèdev, while the homelands of the Mendäa are just east of Divìtsol. Their original family lands were mostly what the Mendäa own now.

14. Törev, Tïrev, Töreş, Töreşv

This minor family has ties in both Lukok and Laguina. They own land in Lukok, and most of their members live there. But they generally have friendly relations with Laguina, and many of them frequently visit or even live there. This family is small and considered minor, but they are quite wealthy, do a lot of trade and involve themselves in politics. The Törev (the most friendly towards Laguina) and Tïrev work as traders, New Jaeve businesspeople, and government workers, while the Töreş and Töreşv serve as landowners and more traditional traders. Their hometown is Sètsol.

15. Şëajaeve, Sëajaeve, Sëhajaeve

This family is a fairly typical southern Lukokish Jaeve family – mostly landowners, but getting more and more into a New Jaeve lifestyle of starting businesses and factories. A few members of this family have also been important in the military and, historically, in government. They are quite well off and getting richer as they become more New Jaeve. The Şëajaeve are mostly Old Jaeve landowners; the Sëajaeve more tend to be New Jaeve businesspeople. The Sëhajaeve branch is quite small, and its members mostly work in the military. In the past, a few Sëhajaeve were important in the government. This family’s home is an area west of Alènev and Ôninev.

16. Dëej, Dïej

This old, prestigious and rich Lukokish Jaeve family has been important in politics and the military for centuries. They continue to be involved in government, while also working as both Old Jaeve and New Jaeve. While they are not as rich as they used to be, they remain wealthy. Dëej is the older, larger and more traditional branch; Dïej is a branch mostly consisting of New Jaeve. Their hometown is the ancient Dëejşan, which was named after them.

17. Quelël, Keläl

This very diverse Lukokish family works in trade, military, government, landowning, business and other jobs. Different members vary wildly in wealth – some, such as the mayor of Vere:san, are among the wealthiest of Lukok, while some, such as most of the soldiers, are poorer than most middle-class non-Jaeve. The Keläl branch is known for trade and war, and for being especially belligerent towards Laguina. The Quelël branch encompasses all other members of the family. Their hometown is Vere:san.

18. Döros, Deros, Döroz, Döroş

All the branches of this family are Lukokish, but while the Döros are quite rich and important, the other branches are minor and small. They generally work as Old Jaeve landowners, but there are also many New Jaeve businesspeople and factory owners among them. Unusually, all of the branches are quite involved in politics, even the minor ones. Their original hometown is Divìtsol, an area where the Döros currently dominate. The Deros, Döroz and Döroş own land west of Divìtsol, most of which is marshy and not very valuable.

19. Nïnïjaeve, Nenä

The Nïnïjaeve, now called the Nenä instead, come from Laguina and are traditional landowners who mostly run farms. They are quite rich and own a lot of land, but have had very little involvement in Laguine politics, government or military. Their homelands are in northeastern Laguina.

20. Mäşele, Meşele

This Laguine family is fairly significantly split between their two branches. The Mäşele are almost all business owners and city dwellers, while the Meşele almost all live in the country and work as landowners. This family controls a lot of land, but its members remain only somewhat wealthy. Both branches have had significant involvement in politics, and a few Meşele were kings at one time. Their hometown is Aùm.

21. Töre:se, Terëza

This family is a minor and quite poor Lukokish family. Most of its members work as Old Jaeve landowners or traders, working to mine or sell the plentiful salt in the area. Many have traveled to the mixed-Jaeve area in the northwest to work in the government or military. The very small Terëza branch mostly consists of traders. This family’s hometown is Sòzosan.