Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

Originally published at Sythyry. Please leave any comments there.

Yylhauntra to Dinner, part 2 [11 Lage 4261]

By which time, it was open season on first-generation Zi Ri.

Tethezai:“How long until people were
transaffectionate? Or otherwise, well, not wholly bent on
sex as a means of reproduction?”

Yylhauntra:“Transaffection, I do not know for
sure. Karrakavva (Rassimel) married Barabrith (Gormoror) at
one point, but they were born not created. Sex for fun, in
ways that couldn’t lead to children … I can’t say for
sure. One day in the eighth year, I remember, all the Cani
were lapping each other intimately in public. Though that
might simply have been the invention of that particular
modality — or the first public demonstration of something
that a few people had been doing for some time — or if
publicly doing that was the innovation — or something else.
It was so unlike what Zi Ri were doing that I wasn’t very

Havune:“How did clothing get invented?”

Yylhauntra’s counterattack was devastating, though…

Yylhauntra:“Before my time!”

It is certainly preplexious when one of the first-created
declares something “Before my time”. Indeed, it can destroy
many manners.


Yylhauntra:“Oh, yes. Not cloth, but leather
and leaves. Everyone looked rather wild and Gormororly,
by modern standards.”

Narngi:“When did people start trying to look

Yylhauntra:“By your standards, I should say
that they have not yet done! By our standards, oh … about
twenty years in. About the time the first-born were
starting to grow up a bit.”

Mendrugai:“What did they wear, for elegance?”

Me:“Perhaps we could be a bit more like a group
of friends and relatives gathered for dinner, and a bit less
like a gathering of the Inquisitors’ Club of Oorah Thrassen.

Yylhauntra:“Thank you, Sythyry, but I don’t
mind: my powers as a conversational centerpiece are mighty!
Mendrugai, we lacked many modern ornaments. Glirries and
feathers, fur-dye and sparkling scapulae: these were
popular, each in their turn.”

And they continued to interrogate zir for the better part of
an hour. Zie endured it with practiced grace.

* * *

Esory:“Are you a wizard, then?”

Yylhauntra:“Hardly! I’m reasonably skillful at
magic, but I’m no Glikkonen or Llezcaryg or even


Yylhauntra:“One of my great-grandchildren.
Only a few centuries old, and quite impressively strong.
No, I’m more of an architect than a mage of any


Yylhauntra:“Oh, certainly. I designed the
previous Ducal Palace in Vheshrame, the one that got torn
down three centuries ago and replaced by the current

Havune:“Were you angry about that?”

Yylhauntra:“Not particularly! It wasn’t very
good work. The then-Duke of Vheshrame wasn’t willing to pay
very much — she wanted the cachet of a Yylhauntra design,
but not any of the actual value of it — so one of my
assistants copied and adapted the palace of, as it happens,
the Duke of Pelcour.”

Me:“You designed the Viceroy’s palace of

Yylhauntra:“No, the Duke’s, a good long time
after I’d slaughtered the city and there wasn’t a Viceroy
any more, or a Calanchian Empire to be Viceroy of. I
do have a house in Hrauminy, in Pelcour

Me:“Is that all you meant when you said you’re
still a Hrreptite?”

Yylhauntra:“No — I still think Hrauminy and
all should be their own city-states. It’s ridiculous,
having a single country two hundred miles long… but after
Perfy won independence one century and rejoined Pelcour the
next, it’s distinctly a minority opinion.”

* * *

And, over brandy, zie sprung zir trap. “You have asked me
many questions about the first days! But now you must pay
the price. I shall ask you many questions about the current

All my friends had the good sense to look quite worried.

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