Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,
Sythyry
sythyry

Digression [14 Nivvem 4261]

This is mostly by way of musing for an essay in Civilized Monsters of Melpeia.

In the city-state of Crothmanay -- which is, naturally enough, on the world-bramch Melpeia -- there lives, or lived, a nendrai called Usissassïsü. She was made entirely of silk. I imagine that she looked like a nendrai-shaped silk bathrobe, with masks for heads. She had five heads, named (from left to right) Usu, Isi, Asa, Ïsï, and Üsü.

(Naturally, we don't know even that much about her. We don't know if Usissassïsü was her real name. We don't know if she really was made of silk, or just chose to transform herself that way. We don't know if she really had five heads, or just one but she wanted to transform herself that way. (Or maybe she had eighteen, and thought that was excessive, and cut it down to five.) Her heads' (nick)names were actually used, though.)

Technically, Usissassïsü wasn't all that scary a nendrai, compared to Vae. Most of her magic was around complexity thirty or forty, which is (1) about half Vae's capabilities of complexity; (2) much less effective than half of Vae's abilities; and (3) still rather beyond what I can manage. Also, a silken body doesn't sound that dangerous, though I imagine there would be some surprises if one tried to set her on fire or crochet her to death.

But Crothmanay wasn't a very powerful city-state either, nor very rich.

Anyways, the nendrai showed up in Crothmanay city one afternoon. Yes, in the city.

(That makes no sense! I must investigate the origins of the situation. [I hereby spend two and two-thirds hours going to the library, with a side trip to Cafe du Fronde with Yarwain for extra kathia, and all you get is this stupid parenthetical note.] Usissassïsü evidently lived there before Crothmanay was founded, but the nendrai lived on a side branch, some seventy miles ... um ... one book says seventy miles out from Melpeia proper and another twenty to Crothmanay, and the other book says seventy miles from Crothmanay. Cursed books!)

Anyways, it sounds as if Crothmanay didn't think they lived close enough to the nendrai so they needed to worry about it, and, so, didn't make walls strong enough to keep nendrai out. I guess that makes sense. It wouldn't be a very cheap wall to make, really.

Anyways, there was a serious sort of war between Crothmanay and Usissassïsü for a while. It turned pretty bitter. Nendrai don't generally kill people that often, at least not in large numbers. If they want to be nasty to people, they've got far nastier options than simply killing. Crothmanay's adventurers wrecked Usissassïsü's home, and in exchange Usissassïsü actually killed several hundred people in Crothmanay's.

Several hundred people killed there. Usually when you think of a duel-war of primes against primes, you're thinking of seven people on each side. There might be seven hundred spectators. If one is ever tempted to think of monsters as somehow prime-like, remember Crothmanay.

(Um, and forget about the Holocaust Wars. We sometimes kill hundreds of ourselves, too. Or more. (I do not like anybody today. (Except Yarwain. (And presumably Jinthinia, except I'm not seeing her today.))))

Anyways, Crothmanay surrendered, after that. I wish I knew how that scene went, but the library is closed now and I am not adventurer enough to try to break into it. (No, it's probably not very well guarded, and I'm sure I could just fly over and teleport through a window or something. As I said, though, I really am not such an adventurer.)

(Oops. seventy miles out and twenty across would be only 72 miles as the transformed monster flies, which might as well be rounded to 70, so the two books probably actually meant the same thing. Uncursed books!)

Anyways, Usissassïsü demanded that Crothmanay provide her with five citizens for a year each. She shows up in the city (still in the city! They haven't built Usissassïsü-proof walls yet! Which is part of the surrender arrangement, I think.), drops the five citizens from the previous year off, and picks up the new ones. And they'd better be good citizens too, or she'll get upset and nendrai around a bit more.

The citizens who have been with Usissassïsü can't remember a thing about it.

Not that their memories are lost, exactly. They know exactly where their memories are. Usissassïsü has turned their memories of the year into a small mouse and given it to them.

So, civilized or uncivilized monster?

Civilized or uncivilized people, for that matter?

(Also: grumble! If I wanted to take an ethics class, I'd have taken one with "Ethics" in the name.)

Well, it's an uncivilized hour of the night, and I have to be at Enchantment class by dawn, so I am going to finish this assignment later.

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