The Road to Oorah Thrassen [5 Hispis 4385]
The following conversation has happened four times in the last two days, with four different people. The words were, of course, exactly the same every time, down to the intonations. I have transcribed them precisely, which is easy, because I have heard them so often.
Someone:"My lover, if I have one, or a companion otherwise, informs me that we're stopping at Oorah Thrassen."
Me:"Yes, for a few days."
Someone:"My child or children, if any, find this to be a terrifying prospect! I admit to considerable fear myself!"
Someone:"I have not the slightest idea! It could not be the ancient emnity between Oorah Thrassen and our dear native city of Vheshrame, which has been the cause of a bouquet of parti-colored wars over the last several centuries."
Me:"We haven't been at war for a few years though. And not as much at all since, well, they mostly won the conflicts of the last century."
Someone:"But surely they are all taught in elementary school that the only proper treatment for Vheshrame natives such as myself is to disembowel me and use my carapace for a cradle for their children, should I happen to have a carapace, or to flay my hide off and tan it and use it for a cooking pot otherwise!"
Me:"Well, yes, I'm sure they are, but like schoolchildren everywhere they pay no attention to their lessons."
Being thus comforted on one point, they produce another one.
Someone:"Nor could it be the fearsome reputation that the Oorish wizards and the utterly alarming and murderous Gormoror Verticals-tribes who are their allies."
Me:"Nor? Oh, you're still listing things you're pretending not to be afraid of, just like the three people ahead and/or behind you."
Someone:"Well? Are you good enough a wizard to ward us from all of their spells and evil plans?"
Someone:"Perhaps your tame nendrai is sufficient to the task, then?"
Me:"I'm sure she could protect herself."
Vae:"If I were present, which according to Sythyry always or never happens in these conversations (I'm not sure which), I would vehemently declare that I would protect the whole of Strayway at need."
Me:"In this situation, need is not very likely. My grandparents would get rather upset if Sazandigraa and I hurt each other."
Someone:"Relying on the terrible but incompetant wrath of Glikkonen is no great protection!"
Me:"And Yylhauntra and Verehinga and Myrihaaveinen, and Caathestaa if zie were still alive."
Someone:"Wait, all of your first-generation Zi Ri ancestors?"
Me:"Yes, in fact."
Someone:"But how can this be?"
Me:"My geneology is [(Yylhauntra & Caathestaa) & Myrihaaveinen] & [Glikkonen & Verehinga]. Sazandigraa has about the same grandparents, just arranged differently: [Yylhauntra & Glikkonen] & [Myrihaaveinen & (Verehinga & Caathestaa)]."
Someone:"So you're relatives?"
Me:"Geneologically speaking, I think we're the same person."
Someone:"But relatives make the bitterest enemies!"
Me:"Bitter like fine kathia, my friend. Bitter like fine kathia."
Being thus thoroughly and inexorably reassured on the second point, they must find a third reason to dread.
Someone:"And the central role and terrible prominence of the Temple of the Dark Trinity -- which is, after all, you observe, dedicated to their best guess of the three most fearsome of our collection of noxious and doomsome gods."
Me:"Well, it's only Gnarn, Iraz Varuun, and Accanax. If I were picking a Dark Trinity, I'd got for "Here", Flokin, and Iraz Varuun, the way they do in New Kottarnu."
Someone:"But Gnarn made the Sleeth and the nendrai!"
Vae:"If I were present, I would hiss and whisper imprecations and execrations towards my unbeloved and cruel creator goddess. And, as I may, in fact, be present: 'The wicked-enough one is Gnarn, for my taste.'"
Someone:"And Accanax made the Khtsoyis!"
Me:"And a Khtsoyis made your livery. Which I must say flatters your elegant and so-characteristic-of-your-species figure!"
Someone:"No flirting please! This is serious!"
Me:"I don't think the gods are any more or less likely to show up in person outside the Temple of the Dark Trinity than inside of it. If you avoid the main altar room, you should be as safe as you usually are."
Someone:"Well, of course I thought of all these explanations of why I should not fear this leg of the voyage already. They can't have anything to do with it at all. I expect it's the weather. Those clouds look as if they might fall on the skyboat and break it at any minute, or they would, if they were made of brick. "
Me:"Fortunately, they are puffy moist foggy things, almost alarmingly identical to every other cloud on the World Tree."
Someone:"That is comforting, Sythyry. Indeed, I am so comforted that I am going to indulge in a large chalice full of our most recreational brandy, strewn about with calming herbs and sprinkled with lavender perfume."
Me:"A pleasure to be of service to you."