Hello, Sythyry! I am an offworlder, and I have recently finished reading the entirety of your journal, and many of the replies therein. I would like to write some messages to you that may not be relevant to the most recent entry in your journal, but may be interesting for you to hear. As near as I can tell, most of the people who have replied to your journal seem to have come from my world. As such, you are probably one of the few Primes -- or even sentients -- with a reliable connection to otherworld information.
[Bard notes: "Remember that Sythyry is naive, prejudiced against nonprimes (and various kinds of primes), more inclined to produce snarky comments than think carefully about things, rather defensive when zie feels zie is being attacked, touchy about things that make sense in zir culture even when they do not in ours, and not a vehicle for zir author's opinions." Zie is being somewhat less accurate than usual in this note. Well ... actually zie got the impression that you were scorning zir whole world, so zie got downright pissy by the end. Zie's new to the internet, after all. Sorry about that! -bb]
Well, I hardly know what to say to a monster who has read my entire life's story before even being introduced! Um ... perhaps... It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance as well? Please, in the interest of fairness, would you be so kind as to tell me your entire life's story?
Have you ever thought how much this might benefit you? Do you know anyone, other than the gods of your world, who has a reliable means of communication with otherworlders?
I imagine that Glikkonen does, since zie built my means for doing so. I'm not sure about anyone else in particular, but it would hardly surprise if Esory had some sort of peculiar device for it in her basement built by her five-times-great grandmother; her whole family tradition involves Locador, after all. I'm not quite sure how to bring up the subject.
For people I don't actually know -- well, surely most of the greater elementals and angels would, since they're mostly from outside my world, I think. I imagine that any of the various Locador wizards who bodily trotted off to other worlds could arrange some reliable form of chatting -- a messenger service if nothing else.
That's all I can think of at the moment.
And, as an aside, I am uncertain about this matter of reliability. I cannot see you -- I cannot sense you -- I cannot tell, save by your words, what sort of an entity you might be. Perhaps, somewhere in the murky worlds outside of the World Tree, there could be an entity capable of imperfect honesty, or one who might find it amusing to play tricks on an inexperienced Zi Ri. I can find such entities in my own social set, after all -- why not outside of my world as well?
Consider the people who wrote the Water Tree stories. They show how popular fiction about other, outlandish worlds is to Primes... now, imagine if you were to take up writing, creating stories of things of universal interest to Primes (stories of love, loss, death, birth, and the interactions amongst people and other people, as well as the world around them) set in a world not unlike the one we represent.
I have considered them -- I have considered them to be scoundrels, to be poor at thinking through the consequences of their choices, to be flimsy liars and insipid writers. I think that joining their ranks would take me thirty thousand years to live down!
Besides, I have no desire to write whatsoever. I'm sure I should be quite dreadful at it.
[Bard wonders why, if this is true, Sythyry has (1) written about two hundred thousand words + html tags in under a year, and (2) made a magic pen as zir most recent Enchantment exercise. -bb]
Imagine if you could combine that with some of our knowledge on aspects of commerce that seem to have not been developed on your world -- knowledge of distribution, of marketing, of efficient ways to set up an organization, ways of making and investing money. Now, think of how much money you could make doing this!
Hmph. You have read my entire life's story -- do I seem so very concerned with making money? I should hope not! I do hope not! If I am concerned with some matter of personal gain, I do hope that I have managed to convey my true intent on the topic, which is to become sufficiently good at Enchantment that I can command respectable prices for my works and not have to think about money again. In particular, to be able to construct devices of substantial value and skill and power, and thereby be an valued and respectable gentleman-wizard.
And as an immortal, think of the possible social and political changes you could make by introducing the possibility of different types of societies to your culture. From what I have read of your journal and of other resources I have found on the nature of your world, it seems that many ideas that could improve the standard of living of primes on the World Tree that have been developed here have not been developed in your world yet.
Well, I can hardly debate with you on the topic of ideas which nobody in my world has though of. What might be an example of such a thing?
In any case, I am only interested in making one particular change: that one being, well, the greater social allowances made for transaffectionate Orren and Zi Ri.
You have enough time to learn about us, to come up with well-reasoned opinions on aspects of our culture, and decide for yourself whether this or that particular cultural or governmental concept would be beneficial to release on the World Tree.
I'm afraid that my translation may be imperfect, and may, perhaps, introduce subtexts and shades of meaning which are not strictly intended. Do I read this properly as saying, "The cultures and governments of the World Tree are vile and vulgar, and should be tossed aside in favor of the wholly superior ones available on my home world?"
For example, you have probably noticed that many of us have rather strange opinions on nobility and on treating many who your culture considers inferior as equals. We have these opinions because one of the particular nations on our world, the "American" nation, holds these ideals... and these ideals, amongst others, has led us to be the most powerful nation currently on our world, and thus the one whose citizens are most likely to have the advanced tools to interact with your world in this sort of journal.
My non-girlfriend who changes her name frequently has similar opinions -- as does my roommate Agrimony, in principle, though he seems rather feeble about them in practice.
One of the things we have learned is that, especially when transportation, cultural crossover, and trade from area to area is relatively fast, reliable, and cheap, that certain systems of government and commerce become more effective than others. One such example is that hereditary nobility, as well as the structured layers of power that come with the existance of a noble class, is relatively inefficient. Now, the World Tree might not have fast means of travel or communications or commerce from area to area, but as these systems develop, --and they will, and you'll probably be there to see it-- your world will probably come to see that small, fractured city-states bickering amongst each other with noble families ruling them isn't the best way to do things. Now imagine if you could influence some of the changes that might change the face of your world? How do you feel about that?
I feel that reviving the Calanchian Empire would not be a good idea. For one thing, Yylhauntra would surely scold me for it. Since zie did not scold me much about loving an Orren, I feel that I am living on borrowed unscoldedness here.
On the topic of small bickering city-states, and somewhat on the topic of nobility in general: you must remember that the World Tree is a fairly dangerous place for us. The Verticals are wild, even in ancient Vheshrame -- we have a whole nendrai and a partial chromodon living down there, for gods' sake! -- and we must be sure to be able to defend ourselves.
(Clearing them out is not a viable option, even if it could be done. The gods would simply make more monsters, worse ones. Annoying gods!)
Now, the system of small bickering city-states is a crucial one to this. When our states contend against each other, our heroes become skillful and mighth and numerous. Now, these are the very heroes we rely on to protect us from the Verticals-beasts and whatever other insidious things the gods come up with.
And if we tried to centralize more? Some cities would be stripped of their heroes, and left for the monsters to eat. It is important that each city have its own power. Even the Duke of Vheshrame, who craves power more than most, is building a league rather than a kingdom.
Or, for something more harmless, what of all the culinary arts that knowledge from another world could bring! You could start your own restaurant making items completely unique to your world! You could start major trends! You could get foods named after you! Wouldn't that be fun? Or, since we have literature that gives at least a basic idea on what the current ability of magic is in your world, you might want to ask us for new and creative (but not necessarily complex or difficult) ideas on how to use magic!
I am unsure about the prospects of importing proper ingredients. For one instance, I understand that the dried chilis in your world are seedpods, not flowers. I can't imagine that they would taste the same -- to my primary clientele, which is, of course, Cani.
And the concept of having a food named after me ... children all over the world asking for a "Sythyry Pizza" seems rather, well, cannibalistic.
Or, if you don't want to change anything just yet, knowing about it can't hurt! Knowing about a world that doesn't have (visible) bickering gods, and whose reality is not governed by fickle elementals, but by natural laws that can be uncovered by forms of natural science mostly unknown on your world can't be detrimental to learn! It also seems that, based on some of the past history of the replies to this journal, you have at least rudimentary access to our largest compilation of knowledge and lore on our world -- the Internet. Think about what that might mean to you, should you decide to use it!
Well, it might be detrimental if I spend too much time on it and thereby neglect studies of more personal relevance. I am not sure what point studying such an unrealistic sort of place might have to me.
Iska, now... I imagine that mathematics is the same anywhere, and she might learn something of value to her. She's welcome to it, too, if it encourages her to move away from Vheshrame.
If there's anything else in common between our two worlds that can be discovered simply in words, I don't know it. For example -- what use to me is it to read the great classics of your world's literature? When I quote from them to my friends, I shall be given a gift of blank stares and nervous tittering suggesting that I am insane.
Why don't you ask us to elaborate on these topics, or about this world? It will be fascinating, at least!
Well ... I shall do it! Please elaborate upon these topics, your world, or other things upon which you wish to elaborate!