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On Sat, 20 Jun 1998, Clinton Moreland-Stringham wrote:
> I don't know how many of you have read the Aelya page, but here's
> a question that's related...
I did eventually get around to doing that a couple of weeks ago.
> I REALLY like the alt histories you'vw devised for your various
> langs, and mine involves a bit of one too. But, from the simple
> description below, what would you all suggest I do to flesh it out? Areas
> of history to focus on, things to include, effects of history on lang, and
> so on. Any help is appreciated...
Thank you. I like poking around in History's attic as much as
Philology's. It should perhaps be noted that we're reciting the history
of the same place, but from slightly different viewpoints. It makes
things much more interesting that way.
To understand your work, it would be nice to know in what sort of reality
it inhabits. That is, is this supposed to happen *here* in our current
reality or in some closely related one. I see that you speak of
sociologists studying the Fair Ones; so I can only assume that the story
Is this story some sort of Book History or some sort of Mythic History?
It reads rather like a myth; but this is not a Bad Thing, of course, as
much of American History is mythologised anyway. Some points you may want
to focus on: the Names of the various Gods that play important roles --
historians love to recite names; the dates, if known, for the Battle, the
Exodus, etc. -- historians seem to like dates, too; answer your unasked
questions like why would the Ashgod have repressed Morrigu &c.? who are
the Aldergod and the Ashgod? and why are they fighting? why did the Ashgod
persue the others across the briny deep? did Lir stand by and do nothing
to prevent the pursuit, or if so was he defeated? etc. I like the length
of the first battle, a very suitable time; you mention a second battle
here in the newly settled land, but don't really say anything about it.
You mention new resources -- what are they? did the native Fair Folk
assist the newcommers at all, or are there any?
And don't forget to tell us what happened to the Ashgod at the end! We
know he was defeated, but did he slink back home or did the Aldergod take
his head as a trophy or what?
> Basically, the theory behind Aelya is this:
> Beforever, There was a battle between the Alder-god and the
> Ash-god. The battle lasted nine days and nights, but eventually, the
> Ash-god overpowered the Alder and forced him out of The Island. The
> Alder-god fled, along with a significant portion of the sidhe/faery
> population of the area, and quite a few deities as well, whose
> methodologies would have been repressed under the Ash-god's rule (The
> Morrigan, Tlachtga and Mog Ruith, all of Lugh's foster mothers, Boann,
> Sinend, Fionn macCumhail, and so on).
> In a boat conjured from a Willow leaf, they made their way to the
> new land (America, of course), and had begun to settle in when they
> discovered that the Ash-god followed. Naturally, the battle began again,
> but this time, the Alder-god, with new resources and sheer desperation,
> defeated the Ash. Their magical battle took place on the Fourth of July
> (can you tell an American wrote this?;) and the fireworks reflect the
> eldritch lights of that battle.
> Aelya, is the language of the faery, who are recognized and seen,
> and studied by sociologists as are any minority groups. It is based on
> their native ancient lang, Quenya, with some Sindarin (from their eastern
> cousins on GB's isle (I.e. the faery of Scotland and especially wales),
> modified with lots of Eirish, and with features picked up from native
> american tribes, Old norse, and various other places (including fantasy
> novels - the faery love to play with their language, and consciously
> modify it all the time).
> So, where do i go from here? Eventually, I want to reference
> "alternate reality" publications in my grammar, along with interesting
> historical notes.
This is the easiest bit! At the end, you cite your sources. For example,
on the various uses of willow leaves by heroes and gods throughout
history, you can't go far wrong but to cite Magrat Whindlespavin's "Uses
of Leaf and Twig by Hero and God, or the Weak Assist the Mighty."
Bucknell, 1887. For the sociological angle, look into Dr. Cuthbert W.
Norwich's "De Rebus Teutorum." Univ. of Hoople, 1994.
For interesting historical notes, try a footnote or so on the battle
techniques used by these folk. The way it's described above, it might be
interpreted as a a duel (like the climactic battle of the Tain). If so
how is it accomplished? Do they bang their shields and hurl insults at
one another before getting down to it? Are there "well formed" armies
akin to legions and cavalry...or a general yelling, cursing melee?
If the Ashgod survives the Second Battle (oo! don't forget to give Names
to the battles, too!) and slinks home in shameful defeat, how is he
received there? Derisive laughter? What is his oppressive government
like? Is there a revolution?
If he were at all injured in the battle, could he even continue as king?
Remember, Nuada who lost the arm in battle was disqualified as king, and
another fellow was chosen afterward.
Also remember to use highly complementary (though not excessively flowery)
language when describing the people and actions. Rather than just
mentioning someone, tack on a bunch of qualifiers; like "Vernomagios the
Aldergod, whose right hand could separate the bloodied necks of a thousand
warriors from a thousand bodies and whose left could put them back in
place without stitches or poultice set out to Vodalioagri, the Ford of
Battles, where Brennos Caicos and Catarnomagios and many other brave,
contentious and valiant warriors met death in glory, to meet Onnestodivos
the Ashgod; and there at Vodalioagri for nine days and nine nights they
struggled and strove for the supremacy..." That's the stuff!
It may take a wee bit of work, but I think you've an excellent piece to
work with. And don't neglect us in the meantime; I for one would like to
hear how things are going with it!
- From: Clinton Moreland-Stringham <firstname.lastname@example.org>