Are the Gods Cooking the World?
Ko-Go-Nwa preached that Kyspert is getting hotter, because of the sinning of kysps, and that unless all things are purified, all things will burn. Now, Kyspert does seem to be getting hotter; kysps had been mentioning that for two or three duodecades before. They don’t have very accurate ways of measuring temperature. But more than one kysp had recorded the weather constantly, including what fraction of the sky was cloudy, and, since the clouds come directly from the Boiling Ocean, that tells how boily the ocean is. And it seems to be getting boilier.
Ko-Go-Nwa wasn’t the only one who said the world was getting hotter. She took that bit of fact, extrapolated it into the ridiculous, and called for doom. And gave a bit of hope: if all kysps eschew all sins and wickedness, the gods will spare Kyspert. But the only way to save the world is by everyone becoming a devout and fanatical Kogoan, with all sorts of precise behaviors and rituals. The dwe-kwa incantation must be said before eating; the dwe-kwo incantation before voiding wastes; the dwe-kwu incantation seals the resolution of any quarrel. There’s so much to remember and perform that life itself would be quite awkward, and even good Kogoans, like Ka-twu-thu, can’t keep all the incantations and rituals straight.
Vem-Thu produced several prophecies that the world was not warming up, and one, confusingly, that Ko-Go-Nwa herself was making it warmer. He was wrong.
Can the Blessed See A New Color?
Ko-Go-Nwa proclaimed that the truly blessed people, the most devout Kogoans, would gain the ability to see a new color: ko-oc, “whiter than white, purer than pure”.
Naturally, the Vemians, and the skeptics, called the Kogoans out on this.
Let us ignore some embarrassing early history in which Ko-Go-Nwa fumbled around explaining that, while certain Kogoan saints were able to see ko-oc, the world was too impure to have anything colored ko-oc. That was the Wrong Explanation and got her laughed at even by her followers.
Finally, it was put to the test, sort of. Ko-Go-Nwa produced a nut, of the very sort that Ro-Ro-Ku was so busy cracking, which was colored ko-oc. A similar nut was found that was merely white. A series of thirty-two tests were made, observed by skeptics, in which the two nuts were shown to the Blessed Ke-Nwe-Ka. He pointed out the ko-oc nut correctly 28 times out of the 32.
Ko-Go-Nwa proclaimed victory. Kysps are sufficiently sophisticated at mathematics to know how unlikely this result is to be a matter of chance.
The skeptics proclaimed that it was an invalid experiment. The two nuts could have been different enough for one familiar with them to tell them apart by pattern or shape. (Ko-Go-Nwa crushed the merely-white nut and tossed the pieces off the scoral, saying that it represented the damnation of the world.) The experiment had no control, no non-Blessed person who tried the same task.
Vem-Thu undermined the skeptics by saying that the experiment was faked altogether, that no such thing had been done, and that the witnesses were secret Kogoans and lying about it, and condemned them all to the bottommost caste.
Kogoanism is “prophasian”. Vemian is “disphasian”.
Obviously any sort of peace or compromise on this issue is impossible, and obviously one of the two is Absolutely Right and the other is Absolutely Wrong and furthermore Very Wicked To Be So Wrong.
(Very loosely, it’s about some details of ritual observance, like whether trochaic hexameter is acceptable in incantations, or whether it is making war on Dwwir. I have met a modest assortment of gods, none of whom seemed particularly vulnerable to any poetic meter, so I suppose I am weakly prophasian.)
More kysps have been killed about the prophasian/disphasian disagreement than any other topic on this list, over the gross-years.
Kysps are crazy.
Small people who make up gods for themselves, and then fight about the things they made up, are crazy.
(Small people who construct gods out of magic and technology and their own flesh are even crazier. Kysps don’t have the power to do that, yet. This is why it is better to have dragons ruling small-people worlds.)
((Some duodecades ago I attended a small-person high school academy, incognito, on a world long since subdued and ruled by dragons. More or less every social-studies essay ended with a paragraph about how it was better to have the world ruled by dragons. Dragons did not often read high-school essays — I was one of the rare exceptions — but our informants and secret police did, and it was far safer to end on an orthodox and subservient note.))
(((Usually the subservient note was a formality. This time, I maybe believe it. The Vemian-vs-Kogoan conflict was probably bloodier and more hateful than a dragon conquest would have been. And Kyspert had a conflict like that once or twice a gross-year.)))Support this project! Show that you’re reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, the writer, and occasional other entities at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom’s books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight and World in My Claws, the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.