Ask the Smiling Nendrai [15 Nivvem 4261]
(No, there's no spell called Ask the Smiling Nendrai, but there ought to be. May Mircannis help whoever would cast it!)
But today, after I brought Vae some Nihondras-Day-cake-style cupcakes and a pair of paper-mache party gauntlets, and chatted for a long while about my new relationship with Jinthinia, I asked her about Usissassïsü.
Vae:"And how did she get into Crothmanay?"
Me:"Their city walls weren't very good."
Vae:"And why are Vheshrame's walls so very good?"
Me:"We're rich and powerful, and have been for centuries and more centuries."
Vae:"Not that -- why did I feel obliged to stay here, when I could go to a Crothmanay of my own and come and go as I pleased?"
Me:"An echo chasm could answer you as well as I could, I think."
Vae:"And what does that mean?"
Me:"You know better than I do why you're stuck here. Better than any prime."
So we bickered about that for a while. If "bicker" can be used for a conversation in which one participant turns an arken leaf to a hippopotamus and a breeze into a giant flame-tongued frog, and compels them to fight her as fiercely as they can, while the other participant sits in a tree and pretends the fight isn't happening and that the whole thing is simply a normal and mundane sort of conversation. I'm pretty sure she was angry at herself for (a) picking her territory so carelessly, or (b) being unable to defy nendrai territorial conventions so she could move. Or, I suppose, (c) having made too many prime friends here -- viz. two -- to be able to move easily.
After a while, when it seemed socially appropriate (viz. after I asked her "May I now dump fourteen gallons of water on your head to calm you down?") I dumped fourteen gallons of water on her head to calm her down. I am unclear if that counted as "getting something from a prime" or not. She did calm down.
Vae:"And what was it that you meant to ask me about this Crothmanay event?"
Me:"Was Usissassïsü acting civilized?"
Vae:"And as primes mean the word, or as I do?"
Me:"There's a difference?"
Me:"What is this difference?"
Vae:"I don't mean the word."
Me:"You don't mean the word?"
So here's her answer.
As primes mean the word
Usissassïsü is uncivilized for using mind-magic; for not paying appropriate wages to her slaves; for coming into a prime city.
As nendrai mean the word
Usissassïsü is uncivilized -- which could be better termed "un-effete" for not trading with the primes; for killing many primes; for not paying appropriate wages to her slaves.
Me:"It almost sounds as though being civilized is a bad thing, in nendrai terms."
Vae:"Well, Llethillasessat didn't think very much of it." She looked all wistful and crushy for a moment. Which is only fair -- before this conversation, I had been discussing Jinthinia at her.
Me:"Are you going to get uncivilized, then?"
Vae:[morosely]"Not a bit, is how it looks now. Well, not two bits at least."
If the heart were a city-state, would it be treasonous doorwaying to talk about your love with a nendrai? Or simply unwise?