Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Languages in The Heart of the Staff


 
Modern English is the language spoken throughout Elf Killers and the epic series, Heart of the Staff.  Fairies speak Middle English without most of its obsolete words in The BurgeoningReaper Witch (February, 2013) and Doom (Summer, 2013). The rest of the languages used appear as isolated words and sentences chosen to give realism and color to various characters. Most of these are explained by context and all can be found translated in the respective glossaries in the books where they appear.
 






 Language:                              What it is:                               Who speaks it:

Niarg Standard                       current Modern English          Kingdom of Niarg
                                                                                                Kingdom of Loxmere
                                                                                                Kingdom of Goll
                                                                                                Kingdom of Bratin Brute
                                                                                                Jutish Elves
                                                                                                naked dragons
                                                                                                Cyclopsia

Archaic Modern Niarg            Middle English                       all Fairies
                                                                                            all profanities uttered by
                                                                                                  Ocker the raven
                                                                                            Niarg (600 yrs prior)

Old Niarg Standard                Welsh                                     Kingdom of Niarg
                                                                                             Kingdom of Loxmere
                                                                                             Kingdom of Goll
                                                                                             Kingdom of Bratin Brute
                                                                                             Cyclopsia

Jutish Elven                             Irish                                        Jutish Elves

Old Gwaelic Elven                 Irish                                         Gwaelic Elves (1M yrs prior)

Gwaelic Elven                         Manx                                      Gwaelic Elves

Gwaelic                                   Cornish                                   Gwael

Headlandish                            Breton                                     Penvro (Head)
                                                                                              Dark Empire
                                                                                              Mammvro

Goblish-Beakish                      Pictish                                     Kingdom of Marr (Beaks)
                                                Doric
                                                Scots

Ngop                                       Wagiman                                 the Ngop

Wagiman is almost extinct. The last I knew, only ten Australian Aboriginals still speak it.

Trollish                                    transposition of an                    trolls
                                               aboriginal language

Trollish is a very nasal sounding language, the transposition of an aboriginal New World language, where each letter in the original tongue is replaced with a different letter. In particular, the sounds most frequently used by the aboriginal speakers are replaced with the sounds which are the very most difficult for them to pronounce. Trollish uses such non European peculiarities as noun-verbs, which we originally tried to represent in English by running nouns and verbs together (as they are in the aboriginal) in words such as, headsmashjuicychampcantgoback, rollybottomhohoslap and grabupsqueakers, which we soon changed to head-smashjuicy-champcan't-go-backrolly-bottom-ho-ho-slap and grab-up-squeakers in order to be easy to read.
And as always, please let us know what you think,


Monday, May 22, 2017

Ariel says she Could Die

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"We're done Grandfather," said Daniel.
Bede on his deathbed completing his translation of St. John’s Gospel, by James Doyle Penrose (1902)
"So I see." he said, fitting his spectacles onto his face.
"How did we do?" said Ariel as she and Daniel sat beside him.
"A question like that has been nothing but a respectful formality for some time, my dear," he said.
"Perfect then?" said Daniel.
"Absolutely," he said with a deep nod. "And this completes anything which I might contribute until Neron has worked with you for a time and we get you ready to go study with Meri Greenwood. And it is he who will prepare you for your staves and take you to see Longbark in Mount Bed."
"And then?" said Ariel. "Are we...?"
"Oh," he said with a smile. "I expect we'll have you back here again for one final inspection and a little practice."
"And then we get her..." said Daniel.
"When the moment falls exactly right," said Razzmorten as everyone went silent, listening to the swallows and the trickling water and the river pounding in the deep reaches, drawing away the echoes from the sink.
Daniel dug at the rocks with a twig.
"Abaddon ought to be back with Toast, directly," said Razzmorten, looking at Ariel withmasonjanettewoodruff sudden innocence.
"Great-Grandfather Razzmorten is naught but a matchmaker," said Arial, giving him a peck on his cheek.
"Not at all. You've had your heart bond for all these years."
"Are we done?" said Daniel.
"With magic, anyway. Go enjoy the day."
"Thanks Grandfather," he said, tossing aside his twig.
"Father keeps saying that in spite of the bond, I might eventually be safer away from Abby," said Ariel.
"Yea? Is that what you want?"
1e97d87cfb68e52a666665bdc0f45198"Maybe it's best for Abby. I mean I could die..."
"No you're not. And worse than that, you're guessing. How's that fit for a young and powerful sorceress? What do you want to do with your guesses, anyway, break his heart and then go die? Maybe you'd better do what your heart wants."
"You're right as usual," she said as she stood and brushed the seat of her skirt. "I shall indeed follow my heart."
"And you're not going to say another word about dieing," he called out after her as she stepped into the lava tube. "Ye hear?"
Ch 2, Doom
Doom








Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps
Heart of the Staff Complete Series Box (1)







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Friday, May 19, 2017

The Howlies Might not Like Herio's Talking with Rocks

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Not being let out of the cave by the great silvery blue eyed howlie was startling enough for Herio and Philpott, but being held captive by the giants for well over a week was an ordeal. At first it was just the pair whose tracks they had followed, who squatted outside in the pouring rain, keeping them from running away, but in the moonlight of the following nights, they heard eerie howls echoing away over the rocky countryside, and each morning they would see giants which they had not seen before, milling about or squatted on the rocks, just outside.
This morning, when Herio awoke to the calls of a sunset thrasher, he realized that they were awfully close to the mouth of cave and sat up at once. When he saw that no big creature was sitting just outside, he sprang to his feet and peered out to find the biggest collection of howlies he had yet seen. "Damn!" he muttered quietly as he began counting.
"How many this time?" said Philpott, sitting up on his pallet.
"I'm not sure whether I see fifteen or sixteen. One of them is half grown and three or four of them are carrying babies. I'm not counting the babies."
"Any sign of the unicorns?"
Herio stepped back inside, shaking his head as he squatted to pick up his leather water bottle before flinging it aside.
"After eight days, I'm surprised you even picked it up."
"Yea? Well after eight days, I don't see how a fellow could keep from it."
"So how far away from the cave are they?" said Philpott. "Any chance that we could make a run for it?"
"They'd get us. There are just too many, and they've got us blocked every direction you want to look. Besides, this is pretty open country, even with all of the rocks. We'd have to know our unicorns were waiting for us or they'd just run us down. They've probably eaten them by now, anyway."
"I doubt it, truth to tell," said Philpott, picking up the bottle for a look of his own. "I mean, if they were going to eat them, don't you reckon they'd just sit out there where they could keep an eye on us and champ away?"
"All right. So why did they bother to run off our unicorns, and why are they keeping us here in the first place?"
"To teach us a lesson, maybe. They've already made it clear as a bell that they don't want us grazing that pasture."
"You reckon they're actually enough like us to try teaching us by holding us captive?"
"They just might be, Herio. I swear that they spend as much time shaking their hands at each other as people do a-talking. They just might have something in mind for us."
"Starvation, I'd say. Do you have any idea about what they're saying with their hands?"
"You can go a good while without victuals. Forty days or better. But they're going to have to let us drink. It won't take too many days to kill us. And no, I don't understand a bit of it. I notice when they repeat some things, but I don't understand any of it. However, we understood their drawings 'way back at the sheep shed. What are you doing?"
"Smoothing out a place to draw a picture."
"Very well..."
Herio waited until one of the giants looked their way and waved his arms. "Hey!" he hollered.
The giant shook his fist.
"That doesn't look good at all," said Philpott. "You might want to try something else."
"This ought to do it," said Herio, picking up a rock.
"Whoa! I wouldn't risk a lesson in manners from one of those curses. They might not like our talking with rocks. Why not do it their way? If they're too far away for pictures and fingers, they howl, don't they?"
Herio put down his rock and thought about it for a moment. Suddenly cupped his hands to the sides of his mouth, drew a great breath and bellowed out a tenor version of the howlies' moonlit night wail. It sounded much more like a wolf than a howlie, but by the time he had put down his hands, all sixteen giants had converged on him, huffing and stinking of sulphury musk. "Aah!" he said, patting his stomach and pointing into his mouth as he made gulping noises. But before he could drop to his knees with his stick to draw, they had Philpott and him by the arms, ushering them down the hillside at a jog, hiking them up and over rocks as if they were toddlers. And a long way it was, too, stumbling to keep up with their great hairy-legged strides.
Far down the slope was a wooded ravine. When they came to the bank of a fast stream, the howlies let go of them at the water's edge, where they fell to their hands and knees at once and drank. The moment Herio sat up on his haunches and wiped his mouth on his arm, the blue eyed howlie threw down their water bottles with a grunt. "Philpott, look!" said Herio. "I'd never dream that old Blue Eye would know what those are for."
“Yea,” said Philpott. “Makes ye wonder what else they've figured out.”
"I hope they figure out that we're hungry."
"Well you're good at this. Tell them."
Blue eye squatted behind Herio and studied him.
"Well Blue Eye," said Herio as he carefully turned about to face the giant. "I wish I knew how to thank you for the water, but maybe I can show you that we're hungry." He gave a moan and rubbed his belly.
"Hmmmp," rumbled Blue Eye as he waddled closer to look him up and down.
"Mmm!" said Herio as he pantomimed  grabbing up something and chewing on it with lots of exaggerated champing.
Blue Eye knitted his brow and sat back on his rump as he thought this over. "Hmmmp," he rumbled as he picked his nose and resumed looking Herio over with studious consideration.
Herio rubbed his belly again and champed his teeth.
Suddenly, Blue Eye was on his feet, jostling a couple of other howlies and making signs with his hands.
ac3a7ad3cbcb"Did you see that?" said Philpott with a nod at the howlies as he bunged his water bag.
"What?" said Herio as he watched Blue Eye and the other giants wade into the water.
"Oh never mind."
The howlies waded slowly about in the water for some time, pausing here and there to grab at things along the bottom. By now, Herio and Philpott and all of the howlies not fishing were sitting on the bank, watching Blue Eye and listening to a water thrush singing in the willows. A grebe surfaced just beyond the bank, saw that it had an audience and ducked back under water.
so-cal-bigfoot"He was!" said Philpott, the moment he saw for certain that the howlies were fishing. "I'd have sworn Blue Eye was making hand signs for 'fish' before they waded in. They just got one. That is what they're doing."
Presently Blue Eye stepped out of the water with a wriggling catfish in each hand, giving one to Herio and the other one to Philpott. They were trying figure out how to show that they were properly pleased when the other two howlies climbed out and shared a fish with Blue Eye. The howlies each bit the heads of their respective fish to kill them, and then wolfed down hungry bites, watching to see how Herio and Philpott liked theirs.
"You said you were hungry," said Philpott, "but are you ready for raw fish, innards and all?"
"I've got my flint and striker," said Herio. "What do you reckon they'll do if I try to use them?"
"Try it."
Herio handed his fish to Philpott and scraped up a little pile of dry cottonwood leaves, crumbled up some of them and began striking his flint. At once all sixteen howlies crowded in close to watch every single move he made. He blew a faint stream of his breath where his sparks were landing.
Suddenly the howlies gasped and backed away wide eyed at the first curl of smoke. Herio kept striking and huffing as they crept back close to see. Directly he was feeding twigs into the first wee flame. Philpot took his knife and cleaned the fish. He paused at the sight of a female with a toddler on her hip, eyeing where the fish head and entrails had just dropped into the leaves. When he held them out to her, she snatched them away at once, shared them with her child and hunkered back to the fire, licking her fingers. Herio impaled the first fish and held it into the flames. Blue Eye waddled in close, craning to behold in wonder the fish in the flames and then Herio's face, then his hands and then the sizzling fish again.
"Mmm!" said Herio, sampling the fish. He held out a pinch of it to Blue Eye.
Blue Eye gaped in awe and put the fish into his mouth for a thoughtful moment. "Vooove!" he boomed. "Oooooh!"
Herio and Philpott had no sooner divvied out all their catfish than they found themselves being plied with more wriggling fish. After an unexpectedly long meal, Herio and Philpott caught each other's eye, rose without a word and made their way back to their cave with all sixteen howlies following reverently on their heels.
Doom









Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps
Heart of the Staff Complete Series Box (1)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Time does not Exist








My how time flies. Isn't it something how twenty years ago seems like only yesterday, yet back when you were four, a summer lasted for a small eternity? Not only have we all heard this sort of thing, but every last one of us experiences time exactly this way. Meanwhile, we have the clock ticking away at exactly the same rate today that it ticked forty years ago. The reason that this can happen is because there is no real time which exists in nature at all. And since it doesn't exist, there is no way one could ever run it backwards, change its rate or travel in it.

All that happens in nature is the progressive occurrence of natural phenomena. Cells divide at the speed which they happen to divide, the granite cliff face crumbles onto the talus pile below as fast as it crumbles, and the earth rotates on and on, independent of any sort of time.




Time is our abstraction. We invented it, just as we came up with the inch and the foot and the mile. We began keeping track of the earth's rotations and invented time based upon a rotation's subdivision, hours at first with sundials, then minutes, once we had managed a reliable clock escapement and eventually nanoseconds. As soon as we had invented these hour and second pieces of a rotation of the earth, we could measure the duration of all sorts of things in terms of them.

And from beginning to end, we remain biological beings. We do not innately look at things from the perspective of a ticking mechanism. Events fly by more as we get older simply because our only natural way of sensing them is by contrasting their duration with how long our life has been so far. A summer for a four year old is a far more noticeable percentage of his life than it is of the life of an eighty year old.




There is indeed a progression of natural events that we are swept along with. And we can call this progression "time" if we must, but our label gives us no mastery at all. We only progress at the rate nature allows. We might someday leap into space faster than light and turn about to see earlier events brought to us by the light we outran, but this is not time travel. We are only fooling ourselves. If we are ever to go rollicking about in the distant past or future, we shall simply have to use magic.


Tom Phipps


Monday, May 15, 2017

Who are the Giants?

gigatopithecus_closeupMILK.306_cover
The giants who capture Herio and Philpott in Doom are described below as they are in Doom's Glossary and in Heart of the Staff, the Complete Appendix.


Giants - Gigantopithecus blacki R., also known as howlers or howlies or tall men, gigantic secretive nocturnal hominids that walk upright and live just below the tree line of the Sunset Mountains and in other isolated areas of the Northern Continent. Males range from eight to ten feet tall and can weigh more than eleven hundred pounds. Females range fromproduct-1862-main-main-big-1416589130 seven to eight and a half feet tall and weigh half that of the males. Both sexes are entirely covered with a shaggy, nearly black dark brown hair, except for the palms of their hands, the soles of their feet and the forehead and cheeks of the males, and the entire faces of females. The irises of their eyes can be brown or bright blue, whilst the whites of their eyes are black. Their faces are broad and flat in a manner suggestive of the orangutanjaw. Their jaws are V-shaped like those of humans, allowing a bipedal upright carriage of the skull, setting them apart from the great apes. Their molars are far heavier in proportion than those of humans, making them able to masticate whole nuts and other roughage impossible for humans to chew. Their jaw muscles cover the sides of their heads and are anchored to a prominent boney sagittal crest running along the top of their skulls, rather than merely being anchored around the temples as in modern humans. Not only do they walk fully erect in the manner that we do, but their leg bones are similarly proportioned to ours and their toes point forward and are not used for grasping as in the great apes. Additionally, their hands have the prominent thumbs of human hands, further setting them apart from the apes. And whilst their arms are enough longer in proportion to their bodies than humans' to suggest those of the great apes, they are not long enough to facilitate their knuckle walking quad-ambulation. Both sexes produce an intensely musky pungence that hangs in the air after their passage. It is claimed that the sex of the individual who released a given odor can be reliably determined by human observers who have been around them long enough to become familiar with the creatures. It is not known whether yetiscalethey have voluntary control over the scent. The females ovulate every twenty-eight days like humans rather than having a seasonal estrus as do the apes, and they form life long pair bonds. It is evident that the young are dependent upon their parents throughout their development and take a long time to reach maturity, though just what that length of time happens to be is unknown. They seem not to have a verbal language, though they utter groans and much grunting in close proximity to other individuals, and they make loud long wails (described as hair raising) which can be heard for miles on still nights. What they do have instead of speech is an astonishing and articulate system of sign language, able to ask questions and to convey detail about specific conditions and entities removed in space and time. They also scratch hieroglyphs and crude drawings in the dirt and on rocks and tree trunks. Though they never have been known to shape stone tools, they are quite handy at using un-worked stones and well chosen sticks as tools. They have never been known to use fire. However, they have the incessant habit of stripping fibers from all sorts of plants and scattering about occasional twists of them where they have been. They also tie up bundles of such fibers into pallets and effigies which observers captured by them have seen being used as dolls for the female young. 







Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps