«Prosody! They did prosody, like a bunch of shit-breathing unmarriageable-girl bethrustards!» And on for a while, cursing and swearing with every wicked word in Grand Draconic. (There aren’t that many.)
«Prosody is the science of analysis of poetry, right?» (It is.) «I am used to it evoking snoring, not swearing,» I said.
«It is! They wrote down every word Thu-Zwy and Kwe-Ma-Mwa said! With accent marks! The prophasians noticed that the angels frequently slipped into trochaics or hexameters, and therefore were secretly explaining that the prophasians were correct and that they should have mercy on the benighted disphasians, correcting them to prophasian-ness! And the disphasians took the very same utterances — and found that neither angel ever used actual trochaic hexameter, so they’re obviously supporting the disphasians!»
«So they listened to the rhythm of your oracularities, and not the words?» I said.
«Yes! Exactly! And the two camps transcribed the words a touch differently, and I have no idea which one I actually said, since it’s all about emphasis on syllables and I don’t care about clawraped emphasis on clawraped syllables! So they’re a bunch of dishonest vul-dorffs using sacred utterances for their own puny and wicked purposes!»
«As opposed to your own use of sacred utterances?» I said. Unkindly, because I am such a dragon.
«My fake sacred utterances are intended to stop the persecution, and bring a peaceful and benevolent dracharchy to Kyspert! Theirs are used as weapons in sectarian violence!»
«Well, you could take a scale from other forms of dominance,» I said. «Have Thu-Zwy kill a few leading prophasian interpretationists, and Kwe-Ma-Mwa a few disphasian ones. That might at least discourage the others.»
«What sort of a dragon do you think I am? Of course I did that! Each side took their own leaders’ deaths as some wicked plot from the other side, and the other side’s leaders’ deaths as divine reprisals. Next time I swear I am going to do public executions, with a preceding homily, no matter how inconvenient and vacation-destroying it is!»
«H’m. Maybe compose an entirely new liturgy for both sides to use, which somehow finesses the issue?»
«Jyothky, I am not a poet. I am not going to spend a dozen years working out prayers to some gods that I know don’t exist at all, fussing carefully with feet and meters all the while! If I did that I should go mad — I might even start caring about this prophasian/disphasian nonsense!»
«Select some kysps to do it?»
«That’s begging for more sectarian warfare.»
I mused, «Hire Questhraum to collect a gaggle of hoven poets, teach them the tongues of Kyspert, and have them write the thing? Then present it to the kysps as a gift from heaven?»
«… I have no treasures with which I might hire Questhraum,» said Roroku.
«I will take care of it, Roroku,» I said.
Leaving me to wonder if she actually planned the whole conversation including me paying, or if she was simply tired of dealing with the problem.
The liturgy took three years to write, and was considerably more expensive than I had expected. It may take three gross-years before the kysps are unified and pacified behind it. Leaving me rather annoyed with dragons and small people, both.Support this project! Show that you’re reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, the writer, and occasional other entities at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom’s books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight and World in My Claws, the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.