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Author Topic: NÚMAR – The Lawgiver (re: Gondolwenmith)  (Read 3818 times)
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« on: 18 April 2010, 04:18:01 »

NÚMAR – The Lawgiver

Overview
Give a general overview on the person on top. When you look at this overview you should see at once

- who this person is/was
- what he/she did
- where this all happened
- and why there is a Compendium entry for this person

Important: Don't forget the exact life dates (e.g. 456 b.S.-398 b.S.)!




APPEARANCE

There exist few records of Numar’s appearance – for he lived before the Age of Unification [x-x BS], at a time when the city-states invested most of their energy in taming the dangerous terrain of Ivieth and in waging war against one another; and what little records they did keep, were lost during the War of [--].  We know of his life from the account of his successor, Amor Ilumar, and of his looks from the statues erected in his memory:

These depict a man in his middle-years, of stern look and noble bearing, who, during the course of his life, seems neither to have set his heart on superfluities nor rejected the use of what is necessary and convenient. He seems to have been of average height, somewhere between 1.7 to 1.8 peds. This we can deduce from the monument to the Three Founders in Caradruith, the capital of the Gondolith state. There he is depicted a few heads shorter than Amor Ilumar, who is well-documented as having stood just under a [palmspan] short of two peds. Judging from his statues, he was not very tall – but had the confidence and stature of a man who sees little grey in this world except those which are whites or blacks in the making.

Although the statues can give no indication, sculpted as they are of white gondolstone, one cannot quite shake the impression that this forbidding-looking man, austere in aspect and righteous in bearing, must have had hair just starting to grey, peppered by the hoary hand of time. His beard seems to have been in keeping with that law of his which restricted a man’s beard to half the height of a brownie lad – supposedly to encourage cleanliness among his fellow citizens, and to discourage roguish brownies hiding from the Law, quite literally, under the nose(s) of its enforcers.



PERSONALITY

Of his character we shall not say much; to this his life remains the truest testament (see Biography below).

First and foremost, Numar had a swift tongue and a sharp mind. He was an exceptional judge of character and seems to have been blessed with penetrating insight. Throughout his life, he was known for his attachment to words and their proper use, first as a poet and later on as an orator and legislator. From the few records that remain of his conversations it is evident that his discourse had a quality few leaders’ possess. Perhaps this quality can best be described as Gondolith pungency and vigour.

Like most sages of those times, he cultivated chiefly that part of moral philosophy which treats civil obligations. His life-view and stance on morality was of a very practical, if (of) simple and ancient, cast. Upon the whole, he was not a philosopher who carried his speculations beyond things in common use – and certainly not beyond the realm of the eminently usable.

If Numar appears too luxurious in his way of living or indulged his poetical vein in the description of pleasure too freely for a philosopher, it should be imputed to the mercantile phase of his life: as he passed through many and great dangers, it was natural that they (would) be compensated with a little relaxation and enjoyment.

There was a very pragmatic streak running through his laws – though, very arguably, towards the end of his life the practical had begun to morph into the whimsical. Perhaps this can be explained by his unwavering conviction in (what he called) “the singular stupidity of the collective.” He believed that the populace had to be shepherded and legislated for. In his mind, the law stood between civilisation and the inherent tendency of society to tumble down into chaos. According to Numar, the state had to keep a close eye on “the mob,” like a parent watching over a child who knows no better. Again in his words: “My friend, it is not so much the mob mind that worries me – no, rather the lack thereof!”

Local lore has it that Amor Numar was asked for a preamble when he presented his Laws to the Gondolith senate - something aphoristic that could be inscribed under the monument that would be erected in his honour, detailing what drove him to this undertaking, the guiding principle behind his laws, if you will. Who knows, perhaps the senate expected a few lines extolling the virtues of the Gondolwen (or, at the very least, of its senate). Hardly could they have anticipated Numar’s response, composed on the spot:

True, you are singly each a crafty soul,
But all together make one empty fool.


(EASTER-EGG!)

Today those very words are engraved under his statue in the Three Founders.



BIOGRAPHY

Numar – Formative Years ([]-[] BS)
Numar’s family, though noble and respected in the Port of Nor, was neither extremely prosperous nor powerful. Numar wrote poetry in his youth and might have earned his reputation in this sphere had he not chosen instead the profession of philosopher-statesman. Numar, like all Gondolwain, was a triplet. (At this time the Compendium does not possess enough information about Numar’s family history. Further research is necessary to ascertain the identities – and life stories – of his two brothers. [id est, Coren cannot be bothered to invent names and biographies for them])

Numar – Early Adulthood / Numar as a Young Man of the World ([]-[] BS)
Born to a wealthy-but-not-overly-so family, Númar knew that he had friends enough to come to his aid after his father had reduced the family’s estate by benefits and kindnesses to others. But he was ashamed to be indebted to anyone, having descended from a family who was used to dispense charity rather than to receive it. Thus, in his younger years, he applied himself to commerce – and a life at sea – for a source of income. The profession of commerce was an honourable one, as it brought home the produce of barbarous countries, engaged the friendship of kings and opened a wide field of knowledge and experience. Some, however, say that he travelled to gratify his curiosity and to extend his knowledge rather than to raise an estate.

If Numar appears too luxurious in his way of living and indulged his poetical vein in the description of pleasure too freely for a philosopher, it is to be imputed to the mercantile phase of his life – for, as he passed through many and great dangers, it was natural that they (would) be compensated with a little relaxation and enjoyment.

Numar –Late Twenties: the beginnings of a philosopher-statesman ([]-[] BS)
After a decade spent at sea, Numar returns to his home-town, the Port of Nor, sometime around the age of 25. He begins to compile his Laws. [...] [that was a bit lacklustre – need to revisit this]


Numar – illustrative episodes from his life:
We have an account of a conversation he had with Perárch (the Amor of the city of Nor] and of another he had with Acharsis (famous philosopher-statesman of Arenbar):

(Self-)Introduction to Perárch, the Amor of the city of Nor (ca [] BS)
Numar went to the Amor’s house manor mansion residence seat -- , knocked at the door, and said he was a stranger who desired to enter into engagements of friendship and hospitality with him. Perárch answered: ‘Friendships are best formed at home.’ ‘Then you who are at home,’ said Numar, -- in the same breath -- ‘make me your friend and receive me into your house.’  Struck with the quickness of his response, Perárch gave him a kind welcome and kept him some time with him, the first being then employed in public affairs and the second in compiling his laws.

When Perárch heard what Numar proposed to do, he laughed at his undertaking and at the absurdity of imagining that he could restrain the avarice and injustice of the citizens by written laws. He said to Numar, ‘Laws, my son, you may yet live to learn, resemble spiders’ webs - and like them only entangle and hold the poor and weak whilst the rich and powerful easily break through.’ To this Numar replied: ‘Men keep their agreements when it is an advantage to both not to break them.’ He declared that he would frame his laws so as to make it evident to the Gondolwain that it would be more to their interest to observe than to transgress them. To this day, remains the cardinal principle of Gondolith law. [Or: Numar’s reply encapsulates the cardinal principle of Gondolith law]

Looking back at his life and the two centuries that followed it with the wisdom that only the passage of time can impart, it seems Perárch was nearer the truth in his conjecture than Numar in his hope.

[Siege/Conquest of Ankalas]
[...]

Encounter with Acharsis the philosopher-statesman
When Numar was entertained by Acharsis at the Delta of Arenbar, he expressed some wonder that Acharsis did not marry and raise a family. To this Acharsis gave no immediate answer, but, some days after, he instructed a stranger to say that he came from the Port of Nor ten days before. Numar inquired what news there was from Nor, his hometown. The man, according to his instructions, said: ‘None except the funeral of a young man, which was attended by the whole city, for he was the son, I was told, of a person of great honour – and of the highest reputation for virtue, who was then abroad upon his travels.’ ‘What a miserable man is he,’ said Numar, ‘but what was his name?’ ‘I have heard his name,’ answered the stranger, ‘but do not recollect it. All I remember is that there was much talk of his wisdom and justice.’ Numar, whose apprehension increased with every reply, was now much disconcerted, and mentioned his own name, asking if it was Numar’s son who was dead. The stranger answered in the affirmative, and begun to do and say such things as are usual to men in transport of grief. Then Acharsis, taking him by the hand, said with a smile: ‘These things which strike down so firm a man as Numar kept me from marrying and having children – but take courage my good friend! Not a word of what has been told you is true.’

This, Numar - always quick of wit and quicker still of tongue - answered with the riposte:
‘Then I suggest you begin holding your breath forthwith --- forgo breathing   --- lest I deprive you of it by a generous slap --- smack  --- whack ---- to the face chest stomach’  [Need to polish this sentence]

[Age of Unification]
[?]


[...]



AN ILLUSTRATIVE SAMPLE FROM HIS LAWS:
His laws often served a dual purpose – catching two flies with a single spoon of honey, if you will. Here, for your convenience, we offer an illustrative sample:


To encourage cleanliness among his fellow citizens and to discourage roguish brownies hiding from the Law, quite literally, under the noses of its enforcers:

‘A citizen’s beard shall not exceed half the height of a brownie lad.’


To counter discrimination against Brownie citizens and to prevent them from being used as cheap labour-come-slaves, due to their low upkeep:

‘No Man may employ so many Brownies in his service that their height in the aggregate exceeds half his own.’

When Gondolwain textiles were starting to lag behind Tarshiin silk imports, he was very much alive to the need to give encouragement to local industry. This alarming development coincided with a period in his life during which he had to travel extensively, frequently on the road from one settlement to another to reconcile the leaders of and promote cooperation between the former city-states, in the first decade after the Unification. Numar was of the opinion that his wife (like many Gondolith women of the time) was a bit of an over-packer. It seemed to him that she spent an inordinate amount of time unpacking whenever they came to a new caravanserai.

To his mind, valuable time was lost which could be put to more productive use. He also suspected that the travelling habits of Gondolith women (chief among them, that of his wife) were beginning to deteriorate the condition of the roads he had spent the previous decade building.

Worse, with the rise of Gondolith textiles and craftsmanship dowries were becoming increasingly elaborate affairs, to the great alarm and agitation of parents of female offspring. (The Compendium would like to offer a gentle reminder to its readers that all Gondolwen are identical triplets.) In fact, sailors from other nations were beginning to joke that it was hardly a wonder that Gondolwain couples took a long time to conceive, given that the new bride spent the first year of the marriage unpacking her dowry!

Concerned that that law of his which gave tax incentives for inter-city marriages might have unforeseen consequences, he convinced the senate that quick and decisive action had to be taken.

To curtail these destructive habits, prevent excessive dowries, oblige his fellow citizens to travel light, maintain the Roads, and encourage local industry:

‘No traveller may carry more than two sets of attire – except when all are tailored locally, in which case a third may be brought along, also of Gondolith origin.’

[...]



Importance
At the final section of the entry you can/should try to talk a bit about the general importance of the celebrity, e.g. if you describe a king you can describe how his people liked him, which impact all the things he did were for later generations he did, if there exist some kind of lore or anecdotes etc.


« Last Edit: 18 April 2010, 04:20:51 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« Reply #1 on: 18 April 2010, 06:06:45 »

Hey,

Just popped in to look over the new posts. This is great, it seemeth me.
Quote
True, you are singly each a crafty soul,
But all together make one empty fool.
I love this! It is just sheer genius. In two lines you have captured the flaw at the heart of democracy and the cause for all anarchy, together with the reason of the need for law and order - and in a couplet as well! Brilliant!!

That's all, I think - I just HAD to say that.

Athviaro
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #2 on: 18 April 2010, 06:09:01 »

LOL - I wish I could take the credit, but those lines are not mine - hence the 'easter-egg' ;)
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« Reply #3 on: 18 April 2010, 06:10:48 »

Yes, well, YOU brought it to MY eyes, and I am eternally grateful.
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"Well, I did nothing as a girl, so there goes my childhood." - Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, The Gay Divorcee, 1934.
The Life and Works of Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
Kalta'hnk - My ramblings on anything to do with the Glandorians - The Glandorian Men (Proposal)
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« Reply #4 on: 18 April 2010, 11:29:32 »

 lol I love those Brownie laws!
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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