Excerpts From The Bibliotheque
Transcribed notes and excerpts from Professor T’s triage library…
- Animalcula of Antediluvian Epocs
Petromyzontiformes Tsochari are a difficult group of specimen to categorize accurately due to the variation in their physical components in combination with the relatively few intact specimens which are currently known. Of the six specimens assembled so far, four are mostly-complete artifacts from the excavation near Hombelinde, and the other two are badly damaged specimens stumbled upon by farmer plows in the marshes of the Lirnye Deltas. The Hombelinde mummies appear to show roughly similar morphology, while the fossil from Bydestun is quite distinct from its nearest neighbor found west of Brandortombe. This suggests, even though all six specimens show a similar state of ossification and therefore (given their geographic grouping) similar ages, that we should consider these to be representative of distinct breeds or possibly successive stages of maturation. [The text continues discussion of the taxonomic classification of the creature before beginning the discussion about a particular specimen’s dissection] Like some of the simplest animals found in the modern era, there is a degree of specialization shown by each strand. For example, the creature’s lampreylike mouth (labeled 1 in the diagram on the next page) is actually a specialized structure composed of the mouthparts of four to eight strands, fused together in common growth. Predatory and motive limbs are another specialization, as are the sensory limbs with their eye-structures (2) at the tips. Since they share blood vessels and musculature, it would be reasonable to assume that they also share nervous tissue, though, due to the state of the specimen it could not be conclusively demonstrated.
- Astrological Ages & Geological Paradigms
…there is broad agreement between the timing of records seen in many disciplines of historical, anthropological and paleological study. So it should not come as a surprise to find that sophisticated measurements of celestial motion and influence first designed and successfully carried out by Lady Kathel Bourdeau at her observatory and research institute in Brandortombe have been retrogressed to show close agreement about the timing of the previous paradigmatic transit: circa 223-220 M.A.E. The precision of the measurement should not be understood as a challenge to modern calendars’ standard annum (The reader will remember that we discussed in Chapter 5 the convention of registering all calendar calculations to that standard as the naturalistic point of origin by which to measure the decoherence of the periods of the irregular Guiding Lights), but rather to represent the possibility there was an interim period during which there may have, in fact, been no astrisms visible. The implication is rather disturbing, if it is indeed the case, though it is currently unclear how to gather evidence regarding her hypothesis.
- Sailing On The Seas Of Time: Myths And Theologies Of The Indigenous Peoples Of The Orlotwean Islands
One of the surprising things about my travels throughout the Orlotwean Isles was how remarkably consistent these oral traditions of the various cultures turned out to be. Once the local variations of language, political structure and methods of historical dating were taken into account, a pattern began to rapidly emerge from the superimposition of the plot points and icons of the region’s origin myths and ancient legends that couldn’t be explained by any other, simpler, means but that these cultures shared a common culture at a point in their not-too-distant past. Naturally, my first impulse was to set about tabulating the dates which their shamans and lore-masters gave me to see if I could graph a rough timeline. You will see on the following page the figure produced: although there is a modest amount of scattering (to be expected, really, due to the medium of transmission), the general trend is quite clearly distinct. This point at which the dates converge is known as “Wana’he Mila Tinuhalatili” in the tongue of the tribes of Meha’mira Iku, or, “The First Long Chase Of The Big Father’s Drool”. You’ll recall that the dominant metaphor for the setting sun in their culture was a less-than-subtle euphemism describing their understanding of how the islands were first populated in pre-literate times. I find a certain beauty in the fact of how similar it is to our mainlanders’ worship of Aurwane, and we shall cover the evidence and conclusions of that little chestnut in more detail in Chapter 23.
- Lost Archaeological Mysteries Of The Lirnye-Tovein Deltas
One of the most frustrating aspects of the pursuit of forgotten artifacts, cultures and eras is the race against time itself. Wind, water and soil erode and destroy uncountable priceless prizes of antiquity before they can be salvaged and properly studied — who knows how many ruins of pre-literate temples and dwellings are even now languishing under the not-so-tender mercies of a bog or the bottom of the sea? As it happens, the Lirnye-Tovein deltas have proven to be one of Wenangae’s most rewarding and yet most infuriating regions in the practice of archaeology. Not only are some of the most unusual, most ancient artifacts found there, but the rapid rate of their destruction and loss due to the currents of the mighty Wiccelirne is equally legendary. More than one golden chalice or plate has been dredged up by fishermen plying the Tovein Sea which originated much deeper inland. The merfolk of the not-so-ancient past seem to have made frequent pilgrimages up the streams and tributaries with a frequency reminiscent of spawning salmon. But their artifacts, mixed in as they are and fashioned of more naturalistic materials and designs, are easily told apart from the truly ancient objects of a much more distant time in Wenangae’s pre-history. It is the skill of craftsmanship of these latter which capture the imagination. The degree of artistry and knowledge of metallurgy are bordering on anachronistic if their age has not been exhaustively verified by many disparate dating tests and divinations. The evidence is clear: not only was there a widespread society of tremendous wealth covering the region in a period overlapping the pre-historical ages, but their sophistication and magical power is quite mysteriously at odds with the suddenness of their disappearance. There are a number of features of these artifacts which immediately set them apart from the typical trinkets and vanity of more common lost kings’ courts and so forth: those with a language inscribed upon them almost universally employ rich and flowing scripts of a distinctive style, but, furthermore, there is some pioneering work being done by Professor Thomas Timothy Tanser Triscot Teague Tennyson Terrance Templeton III of the Ciels Institute in Brandortombe which he claims can be transliterated into what little we know of the rotted tongue of the few sapient undead which speak it. Naturally, research on the matter is slow going due to the extreme rarity (not to mention danger!) of such vile creatures.
- An Almanac Of Unshe’s Moody Ancient Past
Although the tidal patterns of Wea’s major oceans has long been understood in the modern era, unbeknownst to common knowledge there was a period of time when this regularity and predictability was not the rule. As presented here: The fat tome begins a lengthy tabulation spanning hundreds of pages of dates and durations of both high and low tides spanning a period of roughly three hundred years based on geological evidence such as sedimentary layers cross-correlated with divinatory results conducted at the Ciels Institute by Master Breshznev Dontrolle who is currently a professor of geology and paleontology there. A more intuitive grasp of the results would require a painstaking graph of the raw data presented here, though someone has apparently scribbled a few notes in the margins after circling a few entries, writing: “Latempsorentus!” and then the numbers “12 8 15 5.5 7920!”
- Naemashuk’s Bounty: A Handbook For The Modern Apothecary
This textbook on modern alchemical practices is intended as a single volume covering herbal and fungal toxicity and disease in a comprehensive curriculum. Amanita Funusflores is one of the more peculiar species of fruiting fungi in that it grows preferentially upon the profane corpus of undead or defiled corpses. It may seem odd to use terms such as “symptom” and “disease” in this context, but the convention is merely a matter of convenience — discussion about the implications of regarding the undead (as rare as they are in this modern era) as “patient” are outside the scope of this course. Regardless, the first visible sign of A. Funusflores infection is usually the ulcerative tumor from which the fruiting body will soon sprout. Although at first glance it might seem that the method of sporelation will be via gasterothecium, the ulceration eventually parts to give rise to the stipe and pileus. Prompt removal of the fruiting body might prevent infection and contamination of the immediate environment, but the corpse from which it rises has already been infected too thoroughly by the ectomycorhizza to be removed by anything short of magical intervention (an effective alchemical treatment is not known to the authors). Naturally, most practitioners are advised to seek qualified help in the effective destruction of the undead, but direct and liberal application of flame and/or Aqua Benedicta is usually effective.
- Life Lessons From The Hourglass: Sermons For The Leaves
Weep not for those passed, O Weanocrulinti, for theirs is the richness of lush loam, and the joy of nourishing new life. The Roots subsist of their blood and of their flesh, and they rejoice — for their rebirth is soon at hand. Consider the hourglass: is it the end of Time when the sand piles high? The cessation of Life when its grains are spent? No, I tell you! For Wea’s divine Hand knows precisely the hour to turn Her spindle, and She is ever faithful in Her Compassion for our need. These motes of dust are the very earth from which the Roots draw forth new flowers in spring! Her Flesh is ever bountious: for it is from Her Breast which sups the stream of life, and her fertile womb in which we, nay — the very universe itself! — lay nestled eternally safe and loved.