[xxix.445.1c] Fragments of the notebook of Lucien the Diviner, master of natural philosophy: "...it is known that certain geographical localities provide a focus for penetration to the other side for certain cult, the metaphysical mechanics involved being inexplicable, it remains only to note that the effects of the transfer depend upon the day of the year... for example, in the lands of the Sun, worshippers of Yelmalio may quest for their god by entering a certain retirement tower on any holy days of the sun. The location of the temple is not recorded. ...and all agreed that if the initial conditions of time and space are favourable, that the god may offer counsel, and that even mortal men may scour the dead scrolls for news of their fate ...such as the Orlanthi who throw themselves to the winds from the height of the Old Wind temple to begin their quest ...where the elements have power to aid the transition. ...but where the path is taken alone without aid, propitious sacrifice and holy alliances ...these ways are seldom documented, but occur rarely, spelling disaster for the unlikely participant ...and are generally held to deny analysis... the analogue to chaos is self-evident ...not all of the being may cross, and some may be lost forever ...such identities are forever distorted by their experiences, beyond recognition ...the solution to all problems lies within the uncharted realm of the desynchronous quest, but the route of the quest itself defies prediction ... the individual, being unable to enforce its own illusory time, becomes lost in a sea of oblivion.."
[xxix.445.2] "Shortly after leaving the last spring we came in sight of a famous tree, which the nomads revere as the spirit Waleechu. It is situated on a high part of the plain, and hence is a landmark visible a great distance. As soon as the nomads come in sight of it, they offer their adorations by loud shouts. The tree is low, much branched, and thorny: just above the root it is a pace in width. It stands with no neighbour, and I never saw another like it. Although the rains were not long past, it bore no leaves, but in their place numberless silken threads, from some of which offerings such as herbs, carved bone trinkets, scraps of patterned cloth &c. had been suspended. Most nomads, having nothing better, only pull a thread from whatever silk they have, and fasten it to the tree. Richer nomads pour drink and spices into a certain hole, or may smoke herbs in its shade. All such, I was informed, gratifies the spirit Waleechu. To complete the scene, the tree was surrounded by the bleached bones of herd beasts which had been slaughtered as sacrifices. All nomads of every age and sex make their offerings; they believe that their beasts shall not tire, and they shall find water easily. When I asked my guide whether some might not steal the offerings, he laughed, but would not say more." - Kosta the Tracker, 1555 ST
[xxix.445.3] Some entries copied from the notebook of Gorafan Westwise, a sage from Valantia in the kingdom of Otkorion in far Ralios.
[A supplementary note scribbled in the margin by Theodopolous Pandarus, Collator of this record: the only time he has used the epithet 'Westwise' was when he wrote these entries, probably to give them a greater air of authority]
"Which wine is the world's finest? This is certainly a matter of individual taste, but one of the most expensive wines is the sparkling variety made at the monastery of St. Markeno on the isle of Pasos. Dom Markeno, the founder of the order and now recognised as a minor saint by the Rokari church, devised the secret method, which is jealously guarded by the Black Monks (so-called for their darkly stained bare feet and the black grapes they crush with them). Some connoisseurs explain that the highly unusual tingling sensation felt when drinking the Dom's sparkling wine is caused by the small undine bound into every bottle, which is slowly destroyed during drinking and digestion." - Gorafan Westwise.
"A magic road opened by Arkat can be used to travel from Ralios to Fronela. It starts in Ballid, and is guarded by the elves there who are ritually obliged to let anyone attempt to walk it (yes, even trolls!) that presents them with a certain type of coppercrown. The road usually ends in Oranor but travellers has been known to end up at other places in Fronela as well. The Yellowbeards of the Great Golden Glade knows the rituals needed to start off." - Gorafan Westwise.
[xxix.445.4] The last words of Julgwn, Orlanthi Bard, while lying delirious on his deathbed. "First there were two, rivals from the start. But rivalry became murder, and only one was left. When chaos came to destroy one, alone, was not enough. So one sought the other to restore the balance. Rejoined they overcame and chaos was defeated. But fools forgot the past and a third was born. Now the compromise is doomed unless one is to die." Dutifully recorded by Semaj, the high healer who comforted Julgwn in his final hours.
[xxix.445.5] Kosta the Tracker again, 1555 ST: "Herla is a legendary Kahn of the Bison Tribe who entered the underground kingdom of Errhope the Broo, in an attempt to seek peace. The vile Broo King agreed to peace if Herla and his warriors attended his wedding and then took from him a gift. Herla accepted the conditions and led his warriors into the broos' lair. After the ceremony Errhope gave Herla a dog and said that he must not put it down until the dog jumps from his arms, but once he jumped there would be peace between the broo and the Bison Riders. When Herla returned to the surface world the sun's light caused the dog, who had never seen anything so bright, to die of fright in Herla's arms. That is why there will never be peace between the nomads and the broos', although Herla still rides through the wastes with the dead dog in his arms in the vain hope that it will jump down."
[xxix.445.6] "Within the city there is a keep where Arkat once did sleep, Within the keep there is a vault where Arkat once did halt. Within the vault there is a throne where Arkat placed a stone. within the stone there is a scream to prove his heir does not dream." - A Western prophecy, here translated by Gorafan Westwise.
[xxix.445.7] The pride and joy of the Basmoli are their families.
[xxix.445.8] Part of the rites of mastery for followers of the Centipede style of Kralori martial arts requires the initiate to be locked in a furnished room overnight. During his short imprisonment the initiate must search and locate small pebbles which have been hidden within the room. The number of pebbles hidden remain unknown to the initiate until after the test. How successful the initiate is depends on how many pebbles he finds. This establishes where in the hierarchy he will be placed. He cannot change from that place until he takes the Pebble test again. An initiate doing the test for the first time usually finds four or five small stones. Although unconfirmed, reports state that Shao Yao Lin, the current master of masters, found seventy-two pebbles on his first attempt. Failure to find any pebbles or less pebbles than the last attempt leads to death of the testee. This has caused many of the disciples of this form to remain initiates or low-ranking masters although their technical skills are very high - Shyntahru the Scrutable, beardless sage of the east.
[xxix.445.9] BROO REPRODUCTION by Barathos the Biologist. I ask this question: If Broos are really believed to produce a hybrid form with any creature with which they breed from then why is the goat-headed form so prevalent even in areas where the goat is unknown? Consider, for example, the Wastes where the goat, hardy though it is, finds survival difficult. Goats in this harsh wilderness compete with other, better adapted beasts at a major disadvantage so they are very rare in this environment yet among the Broos of the Wastes the goat-headed form accounts for some 78.4% of reported specimens (Pavis Irripi Ontor data). How can we reconcile this with the abilities of Broos reported in Lunar studies to hybridise with any creature with which they breed? Accepting that our colleagues within the Irripi Ontor cult follow rigorous methods comparable with our own I would theorise that there are several externally indistinguishable forms of broo which breed in different ways:
(i) HYBRIDISERS which produce offspring which contain features of both parents at random or even favour those of the victim. It is these creatures which are responsible for the more outlandish Broo specimens reported (eg. the Bison-Broos of Old Pavis Rubble, the Ankylosaur-Broo of the Copper Sands.
(ii) SEMI-HYBRIDISERS which produce offspring which contain features of both parents but largely express those of the broo parent. I believe these to be the most common form.
(iii) DOMINANTS which produce caprine broos' irrespective of mate. I believe that the rare female broo are almost exclusively of this form and are the main reason the race has maintained its goat-like physiognomy over Time. Of course, all of these offspring are subject to the warping and often painful mutations termed 'Chaotic Features'.
[xxix.445.9.1] BROO MYTHIC ORIGINS Traced by Barathos the
Biologist. If we consider the Broo to be based in Godtime acts of forced
mating by Ragnaglar we can see several interesting facets which can amplify
our understanding of Broo biology. It is my theory that the god Ragnaglar
was of similar form to his purported kinsman, the Storm Bull. As represented
among the Orlanthi, Urox is portrayed as a bull-headed man, compared with
the Godbeast of the Praxian Storm Bulls. I propose that if we view the
minotaur as descended from Storm Bull as some myths suggest we can see
the Broo as a chaotic parallel descended from Ragnaglar who had (or acquired)
a goat-headed form. The dominant forms are most closely related to Ragnaglar
and preserve his image in their hideous reproductive practises.
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