Confessions of a Disillusioned Scholar

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Karras
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Confessions of a Disillusioned Scholar

Post by Karras » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:51 am

Serkos,

I write this journal in cipher to protect its contents should this leather binding find it's way into the hand or talon of individuals who would sooner see me hang or burned for speaking such words that, at least by rite of the Rastra cult whom still rules over all, would be denounced as heretical and blasphemous.

I must ask your forgiveness for my blatant refute of your claims when we last met. I was angered and most impertinent, but we all fear that which we do not believe, we fight to keep our beliefs true to ourselves, beliefs that we have upheld all our lives. Now, however, all I have is doubt. Doubt and disillusionment.

Ever since the rise and fall of The Usurper, I have remained a steadfast skeptic to rumour and superstition. It was fear of superstition itself that gave Rewop the key to our kingdom, it was rumour that kept us fearful of him. I have always remained a critic of the corruption and overbearing influence the Rastra have in the daily moves upon the great political game that is the Imperial Diet, for the Lil speaks strongly in favour of the separation between both spiritual and state. I maintain an arch disdain for the High Priest, Kandros, and his ever-increasing acquisition of power that has been ongoing since the Restara debacle ten years ago.

But now the proverbial tables are turning, and I write to you with much expediency and heavy heart. You were right, my friend. More perhaps than either of us could have imagined. Of course, many have of made such claims in the past as you have, all refuted as heresay or sedition against the Crown. The most vocal of these was Lufrinos, and all griffonfolk know where the bones of his rebel army lie across the Blamboor. His voice was silenced like so many others, and while our histories see him as a nothing but a rebel and a traitor, I feel sick to my stomach now that I understand that he was not a rebel, but a truthsayer.

As you know, I have spent the last five years working to translate The Lil into Arangothek. This request came at the behest of expatriate folk, mostly Seccans and Orjani, who were living within Arangoth who wished to spread Lilist teachings to their families and friends, namely those who found truth behind the Great Truth. I made a request to both the Imperial Diet and the Seccan Council of Merchants to help fund this endeavour, as my role as Emissary in Drache had become quite limited, and I thought it a great opportunity to offer the wisdoms and teachings of the Lil to local Arangothians who wished to hear and read it. There are only limited numbers of the Lil written in the Common Tongue of Veth, since Secca maintains its High Vallarian translation as we do in Griffon's Aerie, and Randegow also maintains and prints copies written in Ancient Griffon.

There was a great dispute between both ruling parties as to whom should oversee such a great undertaking. I simply wanted to work, I required only a marginal amount of funding, mostly for admission to the Royal University and its library, since I was not then a practicing lecturer. I wrote much correspondence between both parties, tiresome work that I think aged me horribly over the years, but neither of those dickering political fools could come to an arrangement. The Seccan Merchants' Council finally advised they would send a 'Consul', a sort of administrative overseer of foreign relations, not unlike our Grand Sqaqraa. Sadly, his ship sunk whilst en voyage, and the Merchants' Council withdrew their interest and funding. The Imperial Diet agreed under advisement of His Royal Highness King Karos V to proceed with the translation, and offered to provide funding, with one fundamental caveat: Only Ancient Griffon was to be used in the translation.

Thus began a four-year trial of many struggles and difficulties in the process of translating this text. It would be far too difficult to explain to you the many incompatibilities the Griffon languages imposes upon Arangothek Flaroth (or near any language across the continent, for that matter), and I shant waste time going into great lengths of details explaining the etymology, syntax, grammatical structure and written form of these languages. Suffice to say, it was nigh impossible task, even for an avid historical linguist such as myself. I felt I'd reached a great impasse and was unsure how to approach this dilemma without a great embarrassment of my person in admitting to the Imperial Diet that my task had failed.

A mere stroke of luck while I was touring Secca led me to a great gem - An ancient tome of the Lil, bi-lingual in both Ancient Vallarian and Ancient Griffon, and it also contained much in the way of notation in helping to understand the translative patterns between both languages. Now I had found quite the eureka I needed, for both Ancient Vallarian and Ancient Goxal share many root words and are translative as a whole. Thus I was able to find a way translate the Ancient Griffon copies of the Lil into Ancient Valliarian, transposing this to Arangothek.

I was frustrated at first, for I found much erroneous bias in the Ancient Griffon texts when juxtaposed with Ancient Vallarian. There seemed to be errors in the translations in a number of the annals, but mostly in the Wisdoms and Teachings of Advaros. This bias seemed to plague much of the writings, and I wondered in frustration who had been given the work of translating these writings, and how little they seemed to be educated in linguistics and etymology. The more I searched for the cause, the more bias I found. The more I tried to find a translative bridge, the more I found the two texts in contrast.

The most disturbing of all, are The Entitlements (also known to others as The Judges). I refer you to the annals, Book 2, verse 1-12:

They who wish to be impure, so shall they rule,
The corrupt shall rule over the pure,
The wealthy shall rule over the poor,
The powerful shall rule over the weak,
The fool shall rule over the enlightened.

They who wish to be pure, so shall they rule:
The just shall rule over the unjust,
The wealthy shall protect the poor,
The powerful shall protect the weak,
The winged shall rule over the unwinged.

I am sure you have heard this spoken as rote, we have all heard this since the day we were born. But I have found something - a untruth? Nay, a blunder, a despicable misunderstanding. Our ancient tongue has no word to related to enlightenment, and there no word to find of equivalence. Our ancestor hunted, we fought for nests of our mates, we warred against dragons, we spoke tales upon tales of legends, but we did not teach, at least, not in the way we understand it now. Writing was seen as sorcery, and sorcery one of the great unknowns. As you know, the Sqree place great power and superstition in writing, they have been known to cower at the mere sight of written words and glyphs, at least until the Vallarians taught us and we created the glyphs we know today. But this is the fundamental reasoning behind this mistranslation - there is simply no equivalent word for it in the Ancient Griffon.

There could have been alternatives, of course. The word we use for 'mother-nest', protection from harm. Or the word for 'elder', or 'shaman' might have sufficed, at least then some measure of understanding. But they chose the word we associate with flight, with air: skaa`aee. (This was the best transliteration I could make, I pray you'll forgive me for such a poor emulation). It could not have been more wrongly translated than if the Widsoms of Kings proposed that the head of state should be given to a creature of the underdark. Five hundred years of right to rule, taught to us from birth unto death - all simply due to a poor and erroneous translation!

One wonders why all the texts of both Secca and the Aerie all contain this mistranslation. Of course our Seccan neighbours see it as a method of interpretation, ancient texts that are useful but not empirical law, while we see it as divine right - the Great Temple of Randegow have these very words embroidered upon the great monolith statue of the Five Priests. The more I think of it, the more I feel each feather quiver in disgust. How much blood was lost in the belief of this mistruth? How many of our brothers died fighting Lufrinos? How many of his own were massacared? I have walked this earth for decades, the Usuper's course forcing me to dirty my feet and see the world form there eyes, and I see nothing of the savagery and barbarianism our rulers would have us believe. They are flawed, but they are no more flawed than we are.

My greatest fear is that I have discovered this truth, or untruth, and it terrifies me to think of what implications it brings. One wing tells me to take all my work and burnt it, like the many copies of the Lil were burned five hundred years ago. The other wing tells me that I must do what is right and just - the true doctrine of the Lil, and set this wrong to rights.

But how can I set such a wrong to rights? This can only lead to my death, and for this truth to be buried forever. I cannot let this fall into the hands of the Rastra. I must find another who can help this truth come to the light, where it belongs.

Be sure to keep this missive secret. I shall be in contact with you post haste.

-Backhost
Last edited by Karras on Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:20 am, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
Karras
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Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:53 am
Preferred Title: Stoobi-Wun-Kanubi
Characters: Merrax
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Gethri
Location: Oz

Re: Confessions of a Disillusioned Scholar

Post by Karras » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:09 am

Glossary:

The Rastra - A powerful druid cult within Griffon's Aerie that has great influence over the ruling class and Imperial Diet, all the way to the king himself.

The Usurper/Rewop: A powerful mage that was able to overthrow the kingdom of Griffon's Aerie by holding the royal family to ransom. Usurped and maintained a despotic rule for over thirty years. (Think Rasputin, only with real magical powers.)

The Imperial Diet: A group of nobles that rule over the Empire. Formed during a crisis where the king was ensorcelled. The Diet now maintains rule in the Aerie while the king has little power.

Seccan Council of Merchants: The ruling merchant council of Secca's maritime republic.

Secca, Orjana: Refer to wiki for info on these locations.

The Lil: An nationalistic book of Griffon's Aerie, Secca and Leturia, that has both written anals and a moral guide for all, and has matters both civil and state. Refer to Lilism on the wiki.

Lufrinos A remnant of the old Vallarian aristocracy who led a rebellion against the griffons of Griffon's Aerie. He was defeated and his army was slaughtered to the last man at the infamous 'Battle of Blamboor Bridge'.

Vallaria/Vallarian- Old Empire that existed where Griffon's Aerie, Leturia and Secca are today that eventually fell to bloody coup by the griffons.

'The winged shall rule over the unwinged.' This is the infamous verse of the Lil that the griffons used as justification for their bloody coup of Vallaria 500 years in the setting's past.

Sqree - Ancient race of native griffons who live in the Lunit Mountains and do not associate themselves with the Aerie people. They are known for their savagery and primitive nature.

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