Odds and Ends

The Linborse Plant

The Linborse plant grows abundantly in the lowlands around the River Lin and the River Nee. It consists of a thick green stalk which grows to a height of around eight feet, though the Linborse of Greavis Plantations rarely stop below twelve feet. The stalks are topped with large leaves not unlike the ears of an Indian elephant in shape and size. They are greenish-brown, edged with copper. At the base of the stalk, which is red in the young Linborse, purplish in older plants, there is a large tumor of a substance similar to the meat of a mushroom. It is called Prang. The roots of the plant are extenuous and very fine. Every year during the months of Thermidor and Fructidor, the stems of the Linborse egest a sort of sweet sappy sweat which eventually dries and flakes off in the autumn breezes.

Uses of the Linborse

The inner portion of the Linborse leaf when dried and burned emits a smokey incense which causes hallucinations. The copper-coloured edges of the leaves emit a red smoke when burned and are used in signal towers. The entire leaf, if boiled thoroughly, can be eaten as a green.

The stalk of the Linborse can be whittled into any shape desired and then smoked and dipped in boiling Tokefluid and left to solidify and harden. Though not quite as effective as steel, it is much lighter and is of course easier to make. Used in roofing skeletons and other things of the sort.

The roots and Prang of the Linborse are the most edible parts of the plant and are extremely delicious in their many guises (Mauve Mandy, Delicious Pie, Borle Stew, and many others). The roots are usually boiled and then fried to make the basic dish, Fede. The Prang, when boiled for several days, forms a thick, stewy soup (Linborscht).

The sap of the Linborne Plant is drained in its liquid state (during the late summer months) and used as syrup. Mixed with Tokefluid and dung it is a magnificent glue. When the sap dries on the stalk, it is scraped off, ground up and used as sugar for those who can afford to buy it. Only the best Almondese families could afford it.

Lore of the Aboriginal Lotians/Loteyns (natives of Almondsey)

(a) Mythology: Lake Lotta (Etang) formed by the tears of the Mother Goddess Lott (in the original tongue, Lought-t') at the death of her lover-god, Thud, during the Mayday orgy of Timberslot (the annual fertility fest), whom she bit in the act of love, her bite being venomous: hence, the proverb, "bane falleth on whomsoever Baeth [Lotian for Mother] bites,/ Bitter are the gums thereof" -- signifying a great hero of the realm who falls as a result of his own ardor in serving the motherland. The story of Lott and Thud is told in many songs and heroic lays, e.g., Thud's Bane ("Jhol m-Jhud") (an ancient epic), "The Ballad of the Beloved" ("Idge m-Joim"), The Tears of Lott ("Penif m-Lought-t'"), etc.

Lott was the original of all living creatures, who was born out of her own womb in the Days of Silence, and whose labour pains were the origin of all sound, whose sweat the origin of the great seas around the island, whose afterbirth its foundations. The world she created as her playpen. Thud was the first man, created by her last in the series of living things as her playmate. From his seed, she gave birth to the men of Lotta, who annually worshipped Thud's birthday (Thudsday, March 5) and the coupling of Thud and Lott for the first time (Timberslot, May 1). He lived 1001 years but perished on the millenium of the First Coupling (the Lotian New Year begins April 1, the first day of the Lotian Spring), for it is said that his joy was so great that time that Lott forgot her venomous gums in her passion.

(b) Early Society: Matriarchal, the worship of Mother Lott, but soon after Thud's death his tomb became a place of pilgrimage, and in a few decades the guardians of the tomb (Tholflas m'Tulm) grew in power by benefit of the great offerings of the pilgrims (who were dignified with the title of 'Ding' for their pains: thus Ding Sordid Sonata, etc.). Eventually, the rivalry between the Tholflas m'Tulm and the Tholflais m'Lought-t' (Priestesses of Lott) led to open schism, and after many years the evolved religious and social systems were joined in useasy alliance by the marriage of Tholfl m'Tulm Mistre (the High Guardian, Mistre) and Tholfil m'Lought-t' Mistrei-s' (the High Priestess). The Hill people retained the old patriarchal religion of Thud, and the Forest people the matriarchal religion of Lott, but the bulk of the populace of the Lotians in the lake cities and river dwellings adhered to the new religion -- the Hill and Forest people remaining barbarians. In the Great Anti-Schismatic campaign these were driven off into the wildernesses, where they henceforth remained, feuding enemies of each other and of any other men who dared to wander there. The Thud-Laught-t's (as the followers of the new civilization were called) thus established dominion over all the island, save for the wildernesses. The Great Anti-Schismatic campaign is celebrated in the famous epic cycle of the Heroes of Thud-Laught-t' ("Arvas m'Thud-Laught-t'"), of whom the most noted are Niv and Ict of the Lake, Kueen the Hermaphrodite, and Chab the Drab, and their opponents Xfor of the Adherents of Thud and Hramei-t'Mishala of the Adherents of Lott.

(c) Middle Society: The dwellers of the lake city (Lotta) in the middle years developed a trade rivalry with the dwellers of Gerousle on the coast (then known as Jatta) -- neither of which are on the site of the places currently named so -- which soon led to civil war and the eventual splitting of the Island into two nations: Estalia and Almondsey. The citizens of Estalia preserved all the old ways in religion, government, law, and lore, and maintained the old civilization in its most culturally advanced and static form, holding sway over the interior of the island with the magic of old, whose seat of power lay in the Navel String of Thud preserved in the Great Temple and also in the supporting spirit of the goddess Lott (who had departed the Earth long before in the days of her grief). The line of Tholfl-Tholfil Thud-Laught-t' Mistre- Mistrei-s' ruled the city of Lotta as wizard-kings; they were the progeny of Kueen by Chab, while the rulers of Jatta were the progeny of Icti (Ict's mother) by Kueen, but the two lines were eventually united by Slish Kueen-Chab and Himzip Icti-Kueen, the parents of Sonata (as celebrated in the Song of Slish and Himzip, by the deaf minstrel Pawpa). ***********

Estalian Temple

A standard Thud/Lott temple, when built of stone, is based on this pattern. Traditionally, the layout was the same but the more primitive forms of the religion built temples out of wicker plastered with mud that were burned down every harvest festival in the autumn then rebuilt over the next month. Orientation of the building was never of importance, so they can face in any direction. Unusual features were: (1) the Penitents' Chamber, where various offenders were locked up during Service, either awaiting execution or release on the following day, depending on the priest or judge -- they couldn't hear the ritual but at least were in a holy place for perhaps their last day of life. (2) Ladies and childrens gallery -- mothers with infants were required to sit in isolation in a fairly soundproofed area -- otherwise women, and even slaves, were allowed to sit anywhere in the nave (except there were normally no seats in the smaller temples). (3) The flame pit was kept permanently afire, and the sacrificial stone was used for who can describe what religious rites (not human sacrifce, anyway, at least since the 15th Century). (4) Pulpit and Sanctuary were obviously for preaching and singing. (5) The Thud and Lott Grottos, separated by a holy-water well, and protected on the outside by four statues of demons or eidolons (traditionally Moth, Mal, Mith, and Math), were sacrosanct, and could only be entered by priests. A private sitting area was provided for the local bigwigs. The basic building was always the same, but varied in elaboration and size. See here for the Grand Temple in Lotta, built by the architectural genius Lugo Poth.

[Enough already! There are several more pages of this sort of disconnected stuff. This is enough to provide you with the flavor. --Grobius]

Almondsey is noted for its walled towns

Here are three of them: Kajudder, Nuorgk, and Ffanshoe. (These plans are 'pristine' in that they do not show modern and suburban development. The keys have been omitted as irrelevant as these drawings are just as effective as decoration.)

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