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181  Santharian World Development / Miscellaneous / Re: Dulcimer on: 02 May 2009, 03:09:12
Thanks both of you.  For some reason the spell checker on this thing insists on a whole bunch of apostrophes.  I'm not sure yet about whether to put that in a "Notes from the Author" section or not, since our great bard suggested this form for me, but I did add enough to about double what she suggested, so maybe it does deserve it's own function.  Nowadays, most instruments have the pieces machined, and then someone puts them together and tunes them, but I guess that's not a possibility in Santharia.  I copied a lot of the details from the real world in the Ozark mountains of America.
182  Santharian World Development / Miscellaneous / Eggs of the Earth on: 02 May 2009, 02:22:01
Purple was too hard to read. Now changes in Teal. Second round of changes in Orange.

Name

Geode "eartheggs"/"worldstones"/"rockturds"

Overview

Geodes, also known as "eartheggs" or "worldstones" to the elves, and "rockturds" to the orcs, are small plain looking rocks, which are filled inside with crystals of various size and colour. While having many magical uses, they are valued most often for their incredible beauty. The geode reminds us that no matter how humble or base something or someone appears, The Gods have provided a hidden beauty for those who will take the time and effort to look.

Description

Geodes are the best proof of the old adage, "You can't judge a book by its cover". From the outside, a geode looks like an ordinary, slightly ugly rock. Rounded in shape, geodes have an irregular surface of limestone, or some similar sedimentary or occasionally volcanic rock. It's not until you break one open that you find their true worth. As you open one up, you will see hundreds of tiny crystals covering the whole of the inside surface, each pointing inwards to a hollow center. Each geode is set in one colour, with every crystal being a shade of that colour. Lavender and pink are most common, though just about any colour is possible.

The crystals themselves can be amethyst, quartz, or any other type of crystal found in Caelereth, although there have been no authenticated cases of diamond geodes. It is said that in areas touched by great evil you can find geodes with quartz crystals of pure midnight. The archivists who created this entry do not believe that evil creates these geodes. Rather it is believed that, like as quarts will turn dark or cloudy when worn by one of evil intent, so great magic used for an evil purpose will cause all crystals geodes nearby to turn black or crimson.

While most geodes are smaller than your fist, there is no actual limit to the size they can be. It is said that some of the great dwarven kingdoms of yore had as their throne rooms giant underground geodes. Sadly, no humans have seen such in living memory.  If any still exist, they are a closely guarded secret of the dwarves. Among humans one of the largest geodes of recent record, the "Xythria Geode" which had crystals two palmsbredths long, was destroyed when criminals came by night, broke all of the crystals and took them off, presumably for sale to the nearest dealer in stolen goods.

Production

Geodes can be found in rocky places all over Santharia, most notably in the foothills of the Kairian Teeth as they reach toward the sea.  There they are searched out and sold by the Gnorian Gnomes.  Because the geology there already runs to rounded rocks, and because from the outside they appear the same as normal rocks, it is almost impossible to tell a[/color] prize geode from a worthless lump of rock by looking at the outside, searching by ordinary people is at best a hobby.

Those Gnomes who make a living finding them as well as rock forms of creatures similar to those in the Noarian Caves encountered by Fridive Alav (<-Ref. "The Philosophie of Molluscs") are called "rockhounds" for their ability to apparently "sniff out" those rocks with an interresting or valuable interior.  In reality, a better word would be "rockbats". A rockhound taps a prospective rock with his small pick, and listens to the sound it makes with a highly trained ear which can tell if it's hollow, and what the composition is.

Geodes may also be found in the valley between the Xythrian ridge and the forest of Almatrar. There they exist as a Royal Preserve. One of those established, along with several others set aside for the enjoyment of the populace, inspiration of artists by King Erachrin, who was the second king during the "Golden Age of Kings", and who contributed to many areas of culture. Individuals or groups may come and hunt them for pleasure, and indeed it is a common occurrence for families with young children to be seen there, but none may take them with commercial intent.

As our greatest source of information about geodes comes from the Gnorian Gnomes, the prevalence and locations of geodes outside of Sarvonia is relatively unknown at this time. This is most likely also due to an apparent lack of the information necessary to find them by people outside of the Gnorian Gnomes.

Usages

The Geode has several uses besides being beautiful and decorative.  Many apprentice magicians use them as reagents in their spells.  Geodes can confer some of the strength of the earth.  Some mages use them as stores for magical energy, which can be called on when an energy-intensive spell is used, or to revive themselves after a gruelling day of magery.  Some magical swordsmiths have used them as holding places for unwanted impurities, or as transfer points in the mixing of different materials to create stronger, lighter metals such as steel.

History

The discovery of the first geode is lost to us in the mists of time.  It is said that some of the archmages of yore, "created unto themselves houses of stone, round as a ball, yet filled every whit inside with crystals of great size and power.  In these they would sit, and frome these their powers would reach unto all that they had thus created."  These stories probably speak of some of the mages from the War of the Chosen, when the greatest of all workers of magic fought one another. They continue to speak of an unnamed Earth mage whose geode was buried by shifting earth during a great battle. They say that the magic of his dwelling keeps him alive but sleeping, and that he awaits the day when some unwary person uncovers him and releases him to try again for rule of the world. The archivists, based on their understanding of human nature and the serendipitous workings of fate, suspect that geodes were first discovered by a man with a hammer, beating rocks in an attempt to work off a furious rage.

Myth/Lore

Geodes have about as many explanations as peoples who have encountered them.  

Ancient Styrįsh texts found on an excavation site somewhere in the Aeruillin desert say that when the world was split into twelve parts, there were some fragments which did not fit anywhere, and so folded in on themselves forming geodes. The geodes were scattered throughout all the worlds. They stand as a silent testament to the wisdom of seeking peacefull resolution.

The Kuglimz people of Northern Sarvonia see the whole world as a geode holding the essence of the friend of Sur'tyan which Lier'tyan hid in the depths of the world, and which give this world life. His spirit or essence was drawn to the crystals, which had once glowed with a light of their own when the earth had been another Wuk'oriot like the stars before being snuffed by the unnamed darkness. A Wuk'oriot is what they call the stars. They believe that each star is a type of citadel of light for other beings like their gods. From the crystals of the geode that was the world, his essence was conducted and spread out into the skin or surface of the world. There it gave life to all that is in the world.

Jaekrin, an Erpheronian poet, known for his satirical verse lambasting authority and accepted thought, maintained that they were Ava's snores, but he was coincidentally struck by lightning the next day. Though it was ruled to be a completely coincidental occurrence, none have since espoused the same position.

The orcish people, who see the whole world as the carcasses of those Gods who rebelled against their God, the "First Warrior", (except for them, who came from their God's arm which he lost in battle,) see geodes as the products of the voided bowels of his adversaries.  Thus geodes are not objects of great beauty, but of derision and disgust. They see them as they see the rest of the world, a source for them to get whatever they want from, and something to do what they want and have fun with. They think the other races fondness for geodes for their own sake is just another proof of how low and beneath orcs the other races are.

Note: The archivists who prepared this entry would like to thank the many people who answered questions, or provided information.
183  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Library / Re: Philosophie of the Molluske Race on: 02 May 2009, 01:53:40
Ah, thank you very much.  From your descriptions, I thought you were talking about Crianiods  (aka "sea lilies".)  they look something like a stalk with a tiny anemone on top.  Something like this.  Where we are, they're all broken and jumbled, without any or the heads that I've seen.  (By the way, this picture is really zoomed.  I have yet to see a section bigger around than my thumb.)
184  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Library / Re: Philosophie of the Molluske Race on: 02 May 2009, 00:24:07
Hi, I'm working on an article about geodes, and rockhounds, (collecting mineral curiosities,) and was wondering if I could use this.
Quote
On the contrary, I was shown around certain caverns and chambers in which the walls were embedded with the petrified remains of ancient creatures, including several shellfish of extraordinary proportions. Some resembled fragments of trysters, but if my estimates are correct they would be perhaps exceeding a ped in length. There were other forms, multitudinous in number, like beds of small, pen-shaped mollusks growing in some ancient seabed as grass might grow in a well kempt garden. I can only imagine what might graze on such pastures.
By the way, the small, pen shaped mulloscs, we have fossils of them near where I live in California.  Unfortunately here, the are all jumbled up segments, no full ones.  Its a whole lot of fun to try to get the peices out.  some no bigger than a pencil lead, and others the thickness of my pinkie.  How great it would be to see them underground in a giant wall!
185  Santharian World Development / Miscellaneous / Re: Dulcimer on: 01 May 2009, 23:25:03
*Puts out a large platter of triple fudge brownies, and some fudge, in the hopes the smell will draw some editors.*
186  Santharian World Development / Miscellaneous / Re: Sleep-Ill (formerly Night Watchman's Ailment on: 01 May 2009, 12:24:16
So far your revelations have been electrifying.
187  Organization and General Discussions / The Southern Sarvonian Continent / Re: Santharian Resources Overview on: 01 May 2009, 11:45:41
Sounds good. Will do.
188  Santharian World Development / Miscellaneous / Re: Sleep-Ill (formerly Night Watchman's Ailment on: 01 May 2009, 11:44:37
They probably are.  They're so Dramatic!

"Give my creation LIFE!!!!!  HA HA HA Ha ha ha ha!!!"
189  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: News from Alysse on: 01 May 2009, 11:22:10
Well now I know what it means.  You get a lot more homeschoolers and SAHMs in a fundamental christian group like mine.  Anyway, just make sure that your job doesn't keep you away from what's really important, like Santharia ;).  (Just kidding.)  Anyway, if anyone, (boss, customer, etc.) makes you really angry, you can just invent them here, and have them get eaten by something in the Herbarium, or something.  Hey just cause you're crazy, doesn't mean you can't enjoy it!  Good luck!
190  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: News from Alysse on: 01 May 2009, 09:20:19
Congratulations on getting a job.  That's not too easy right now.  But congratulations even more on being a Single Homeschooling Mom, (I think that's what SAHM stands for).  My mom did that for me, and I firmly believe that it is the only reason I ended up being relatively decent and only slightly insane.
191  Santharian World Development / Miscellaneous / Re: Sleep-Ill (formerly Night Watchman's Ailment on: 01 May 2009, 08:30:09
Could this perhaps also cover Sleep-Apnia? (I'm not sure of the spelling, as I've only heard it, not read it.)  Sleep-Apnia is a sort of of short circuit in the brain.  As a person enters REM sleep with this condition his/her brain stops sending the signal to the heart to beat, and it stops.  This jolts the person awake.  They can never get a really deep sleep, but simply doze all night.  There isn't a cure, though I believe for a while they tried electric shocks.  A man I knew had this.  He tried to keep awake by constantly snacking on high sugar foods.  Unfortunately, he also had Diabeties. :(
192  Santharian World Development / Miscellaneous / The Dulcimer String Instrument on: 01 May 2009, 08:15:22
The Dulcimer String Instrument
Misc./Culture and Customs/Dulcimer Instrument

Overview:

A lilting lullaby to a baby or a sick child, a wailing lament for a lost love, a goodhearted ditty jesting at life or a friend, in all these and more, the haunting notes of the Dulcimer rise from the North to claim a unique place among the musical instruments of Santharia. This three to six string instrument, which was invented by the Kuglimz people sits on the lap of the player, and is strummed with one hand while the other holds down the sting to fret it. It is general oval or teardrop shaped, or slender double bulge shape, although begging instruments are often simple triangle shapes. Depending on the size of the dulcimer, and of the person playing it, it stands roughly waist height on an adult male when stood on one edge.

Description

The Dulcimer is shaped like an oval, a  very elongated teardrop, or a double bulge shape. When stood on it's end, it reaches to the waist of a human player, (slightly less than one ped depending on height.) Because it is a folk instrument, and not one in wide use by the elite, there are no standardized measurements. However a look at a fairly typical dulcimer yields the following dimensions. At its widest, it measures about thirteen nailsbreadths. The soundbox is four nailsbreadths deep with a raised piece running the length about two nailsbreadths high by two wide, upon which rest the strings, made either from steel or the stretched intestines of a horse or cow, or sometimes a slain warg. It is played by laying it on the players lap and strumming the strings, while the left hand frets the notes.

Production

Dulcimers are crafted by the Kuglimz of Northern Sarvonia, especially along the borders of the Injerin elves and the Ashz'oc. Crafting is usually done by older and more experienced Dulcimer players during the long Northern winter months when the sun rarely shows its face, and people must spend much of their time indoors. Sometimes, a new instrument will be sold to a trader, or a visiting stranger, but older ones are never sold, but are passed down to a newer younger player. This is because they believe that an instrument  absorbs some of the spirit of the player, (see Origin, Myth and Lore.) Thus it is accounted extremely rude to play another's instrument without their permission. In some Southern coastal towns it is accounted a matter of some pride to have a genuine handmade Kuglim dulcimer, especially if it has been handed down through a couple of generations. It ranks somewhere between genuine silver table-settings and portraits of ones ancestor in a portrait gallery. Strangely enough, this is even, (or perhaps especially,) true with those who never pick it up, and do not have a musical bone in their body.

Playing


When playing the dulcimer, the player usually sits crosslegged or on a low stool, with the Dulcimer resting on their lap, the rear towards the right hand, the left hand resting on top near the frets. Occasionally, when performing for a group, a player will rest the Dulcimer on a table or empty chest of drawers as this enhances the resonance and volume. It is true that some play the Dulcimer on it's side like a guitar or lute, but this is a southern style adopted by people who are not familiar with the dulcimer, but were trained on the guitar.

Usually, the bass and middle string are played open, producing the characteristic drone, while the first and second strings which are tuned to the same note are barred and picked together to sound out the melody. A feather from some large bird is usually used as the pick, though other things are sometimes used for different effects. For barring many different items are used. Many casual players simply use a stick or piece of metal, or, if they are male, one of their bloodrings which they are wearing on their index finger. It is known, however, that different metals used for barring produce different tones, just as different types of picks do. Many serious students of the dulcimer therefore save up money to buy a gold ring for the smooth tone, or a silver one for a light airy tone, etc.

Sometimes, especially when playing in a more elven style, the dulcimer is chorded, with the thumb and fingers of the left hand. When playing a lament or lullaby, the strumming is done near the base for the characteristic sad, mellow tune. Jigs and other fast songs are plucked toward the first fret for clearer, brighter notes. The Bass string is tuned to the low Ey, with the other three strings tuned a major fifth above it. Because the Kuglimz rely on their aural tradition, most songs are taught one on one being demonstrated on an instrument. When a song is written down, they use a stylized  diagram of a dulcimer, with numbers to show what fret is held. When not cording, only one line is shown as the two melody lines are tuned identically and played together. See diagrams.

Usage


Primarily, the Dulcimer is used by the Kuglimz people of Northern Sarvonia. There it is played either for oneself or for ones family, although occasionally it is played for outside groups on special occasions such as weddings, funerals, and the Taug'alth'ho. It is played also by the Injerin elves living in their southern and eastern border towns. In "civilized" lands, where occasional wanderers from the North have introduced it, it is regarded as something of a rustic instrument, lacking polish and sophistication, but its lonesome beauty has won it some adherents among those who believe in a return to a simpler lifestyle.

Origin, Myth, and Lore

Due to the lack of written records, the precise origin of the dulcimer cannot be accurately determined. The Injerin researchers have narrowed it down to a period between five and seven hundred years ago; there is a story of a young Kuglimz man who's villiage on the corner between Kuglimz, Injerin, and Ashz'oc borders was destroyed by orcish raiders, and the man left for dead. The story says that he was found by an Injerin patrol pursuing the orcs. He was taken back to their post where he was cared for by an apprentice healer there. As he recovered, he came to love her but since he could not speak her language, he could not tell her of his love. Therefore, he crafted an instrument, the first dulcimer, from a pear tree cut down by the orcs, (or in some versions, broken by a storm that came up as he wept of his hopeless love for her). He named it Avathcin Telar, which is Styrash for beautiful music, after her. Using this, he communicated his love toward her in song, but his singing was so passionate and beautiful, that he realized he had placed his soul into the dulcimer.  

The Kuglimz believe that an instrument partakes some of the spirit, or to use the magical word aura, of the player. They say that, "As Lier'tyan placed the essence of the dreamer into the world, and it brought forth life, so when we bring life to noise to make song, we invest our spirits as well." Some very old dulcimers, passed from generation to generation, are said to play the players.) When he found that his soul was in the dulcimer, he gave it to his beloved. Her family was angered, and sent him back to the wild before he was healed, where he was promptly captured by the orcs.  His beloved secretly followed him, having come to love him as well, and using his dulcimer, she sang a song of love and hope so beautiful that it put the orcs to sleep, and they were able to escape. They went through many other trials before they could live happily ever after, including attacks of wild wargs, blizzards, and vengeful family members. The name of the dulcimer is taken from this song, The Uas Telor, or Together Song. No Injeran records substantiate this, but it is true that many Kuglimz living along the border and in the town of Narooth do show Sylvan features.

Acknowledgements:

Those who researched this entry would like to thank F'ash the archivist for the great assistance he gave in researching this instrument, as well as fellow researchers from the library of Elin'dor, for answering records questions. Finally we would like to thank the many Kuglimz citizens living here who kindly answered questions of everyday life.
193  Organization and General Discussions / General Santharian Discussions / Re: A New Instrument on: 01 May 2009, 08:13:27
Oh.  Sorry.  Roger Wilco.
194  Organization and General Discussions / General Santharian Discussions / Re: A New Instrument on: 01 May 2009, 07:50:27
Here we go.  A working draft.  Please let me know what you think

Dulcimer

Introduction:
A lilting lullaby to a baby or a sick child, a wailing lament for a lost love, a goodhearted diddy jesting at life or a friend, in all these and more, the haunting notes of the Dulcimer rise from the North to claim a unique place among the musical instruments of Santharia.

Description
The Dulcimer is shaped like a very elongated teardrop.  When stood on it's end, it reaches to the waist of the player, (slightly less than one ped depending on height.)  At it's widest, it measures about thirteen nailsbredths.  The soundbox is four nailsbredths deep with a raised peace running the length about two nailsbredths high by two wide upon which rest the strings, made either from mithral or steel.

Production
Dulcimers are crafted by hand by the Kuglimz of Northern Savronia, especially along the borders of the Injens and the Ashz'oc.  Crafting is usually done by older and more experienced Dulcimer players during the long Northern winter months when the sun rarely shows it's face, and people must spend much of their time indoors.  Sometimes, a new instrument will be sold to a trader, or a visiting stranger, but older ones are never sold, but are passed down to a newer younger player.  This is because they believe that an instrument  absorbs some of the spirit of the player, (see origin, myth and lore.)  Thus it is accounted extremely rude to play another's instrument without their permission.

Playing
When playing the dulcimer, the player usually sits crosslegged or on a low stool, with the Dulcimer resting on their lap, the rear towards the right hand, the left hand resting on top near the frets.  Occasionally, when performing for a group, a player will rest the Dulcimer on a table or empty chest of drawers as this enhances the resonance and volume.  (It is true that some play the Dulcimer on it's side like a guitar or lute, but this is a southern style adopted by people who are not familiar with the dulcimer, but were trained on the guitar.)  Usually, the bass and middle string are played open, producing the characteristic drone, while the third and fourth string which are tuned to the same note are barred and picked together to sound out the melody.  A feather from some large bird is usually used as the pick, though other things are sometimes used for different effects.  For barring many different items are used.  Many casual players simply use a stick or piece of metal, or, if they are male, one of their bloodrings.  It is known, however, that different metals used for barring produce different tunes, just as different types of picks do.  Many serious students of the dulcimer therefore, save up money to buy a gold ring for the smooth tune, or a silver one for a light airy tune, etc.  Sometimes, especially when playing in a more elven style, the dulcimer is corded, with the thumb and fingers of the left hand.  When playing a lament or lullaby, the strumming is done near the base for the characteristic sad, mellow tune.  Jigs and other fast songs are plucked toward the first fret for clearer brighter notes.  The Bass sting is tuned to the low Ey, with the other three strings tuned a major fifth above it.  Because the Kuglimz rely on their aural tradition, most songs are taught one on one being demonstrated on an instrument.  When a song is written down, they use a stylized  diagram of a dulcimer, with numbers to show what fret is held.  When not cording, only one line is shown as the two melody lines are tuned identically and played together.  See diagrams below.

Useage
Primarily, the Dulcimer is used by the Kuglimz people of Northern Savronia.  There it is played either for oneself or for ones family, although occasionally it is played for outside groups on special occasions such as weddings, funerals, and the Taug'alth'ho.  It is played also by the Injen elves living on their southern and eastern border towns.  In "civilized" lands, where occasional wanderers from the North have introduced it, it is regarded as something of a rustic instrument, lacking polish and sophistication, but it's lonesome beauty has won it some adherents among those who believe in a return to a simpler lifestyle.

Origin, Myth, and Lore
Due to the lack of written records, the precise origin of the dulcimer cannot be accurately determined.  The Injan researchers have narrowed it a period between five and seven hundred years ago.  There is a story of a young Kuglimz man who's villiage on the corner between Kuglimz, Injen, and Ashz'oc borders was destroyed by orcish raiders, and the man left for dead.  The story says that he was found by an Injen patroll pursuing the orcs.  He was taken back to their post where he was cared for by an apprentice healer there.  As he recovered, he came to love her but since he could not speak her language, he could not tell her of his love.  Therefore, he crafted an instrument, the first dulcimer from a pear tree cut down by the orcs, (or in some versions, broken by a storm that came up as he wept of his hopeless love for her).  (Note: in some versions, her name was dulcimer, and he named it after her.)  Using this, he communicated his love toward her in song, but his singing was so passionate and beautiful, that he realized he had placed his soul into the dulcimer.  (Note: the Kuglimz believe that an instrument partakes some of the spirit, or to use the magical word aura, of the player.  They say that, "As Lier'tyan placed the essence of the dreamer into the world, and it brought forth life, so when we bring life to noise to make song, we invest our spirits as well."  Some very old dulcimers, passed from generation to generation, are said to play the players.)  When he found that his soul was in the dulcimer, he gave it to his beloved.  But her family was angered, and sent him back to the wild before he was healed, where he was promptly captured by the orcs.  But his beloved had followed him, having come to love him as well, and using his dulcimer, she sang a song of love and hope so beautiful that it put the orcs to sleep, and they were able to escape.  They went through many other trials before they could live happily ever after. <-Ref. "The Ballad of T'real the Silvertounged"
No Injeran records substantiate this, but it is true that many Kuglimz living along the border do show Sylvan features.

Note:Those who researched this entry would like to thank F'ash the archivist for great assistance he gave in researching this instrument, as well as fellow researchers from the library of Elin'dor, for answering records questions.  Finally we would like to thank the many Kuglimz citizens living here who kindly answered questions of everyday life.
195  Organization and General Discussions / General Santharian Discussions / Re: A New Instrument on: 01 May 2009, 01:32:23
Also, I'd like to have it played sometimes at the Taug'alth'ho, since it matches the mood of the sound of the dulcimer very well.
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