The Count of Years Commentary: 7    [ Text ]

The three wars

The creation of the trolls

Edāumiri = 'hard biters'. The V. is ebdu, from Elkarîl ebdunmak 'excavation-stealer'.

There are many stories about trolls, but no sure evidence that they still exist. However, Almea has any number of forgotten excavations and dark corners, so about all we can say is that there is no known nation or habitat of trolls.

6. The war of subcreations

Ecēlito = 'floating'

This could also be called the war of numbers; and one interpretation is that both sides realized that whoever could colonize the empty spaces of the land would have the edge in the next war. Since neither iliū nor ktuvoks were suited for these habitats, new species had to be created through genetic manipulation.

According to Cuzeian theology, subcreation (xudêrias) is a creature's imitation of and response to Iáinos's primal creation (dêrias). A created being can never achieve the sublimity or originality of the dream of Iáinos, but it can still create things of great power and beauty. The Thinking Kinds closer to the original creation-- the Einalandāuē and the iliū-- are best at it.

The council of Līxigōcas

Līxigocas = 'high face'; i.e., haughty.

Sindas Metōrex = 'city of the Metōre (river)'; this city is mythical.

Cêlamanio = 'powerful sword'.

Rōmonario = 'sad moon'.

Nōtulôdas = 'night awe'.

Siferisio = 'sand reed'

To the Cuzeians, a sodeyas should be ruled by a narrûos; thus all these leaders are kings. If all humanity were united, it would be ruled by a zîtenarrûos 'great king'; in practice this title could be used by any empire encompassing more than one sodeyas. (Later in Cuzeian history the general Maroūsias took this title-- but only after conquering a good number of Caďinorians.)

The order of speaking is significant. First the zîtenarrûos speaks; then Līxigōcas, the one with the grievance; then Nōtulôdas, the king of the Masāntigō, the ancestors of the Cuzeians.

Amnās put words in Līxigōcas's guts (yilindu) because the guts were seen as the seat of ignoble emotions, such as envy, fear, and lust. The will and the moral sense were found in the heart, so letting the words into his heart meant that he accepted and acted on them. The knowledge he gave to the elcari was true, and thus was given to the organs of perception.

Some Knowers have been wary of this passage, because Līxigōcas's words are repeated at length. Many editions of the Count of Years shorten his speeches, or add editorial asides contesting them. Of course this rather impedes the narrative, and most Knowers have felt that one should study Līxigōcas's words in order to be able to recognize and resist temptation. Anacūlato's moral was to the point:

Līxigōcas was able to convince the kings because he did not simply urge them to do evil things, but hid his intentions with words of piety and honor. Since we became corrupted, even the virtues can be used to lead us astray.

7. The war of corruption

This story (though it's based on an actual war) explains and motivates the Cuzeian theological doctrine of corruption (exlûrias, literally 'turning (against Iáinos)'. To the Cuzeians, iliū are unfallen and sinless-- they have never turned against Iáinos-- while the ktuvoks have always been evil. Men and elcari, however, have been corrupted; they have rebelled against Iáinos, and are liable to temptation and sin.

The account of the war indicates that the lineages rebelled to differing extents, and many Knowers maintained that different ethnicities differed in their intrinsic propensity toward evil, from the unfallen Meīrigō to the nearly irredeemable Laleîsigō (Eynleyni). We should note that the Masāntigō, the ancestors of the Cuzeians, were the third lineage to repent of their rebellion.

Other Knowers maintained that this was all ancient history, and that all men were equally prone to good and evil. These tended to coincide with the privatist party (including Beretos, the writer of In the Land of Babblers), annoying the pietists, who preferred to think of the Cuzeians as inherently superior (and yet in need of their spiritual direction).

For the idea of kings being killed to underline their failure, see the next chapter, under Metayu.

The war is also used to explain the different religions of mankind: the earlier a sodeyas repented of their rebellion, the more correct its religion. Again, note that the Masāntigō forget the name of Iáinos, but do not begin to follow any other god.

8. The war of chaos

The Cuêzi name for the Kara desert is Uxrâssex, after the iliu king. Uxrâssos is of unknown meaning.

Here Iáinos intervenes to end not only the war but the entire epoch of iliu-ktuvok wars. Symbolically, this marks the end of the ilian era of Almean history. In a sense, the vision of Iáinos--or is it Līxigōcas?-- is accomplished: from now on men, not iliū, will accomplish the great deeds of history.

Almeologists have speculated on what this watershed looked like from the ilian perspective. Did a long sequence of wars end up destroying the ilian economy, or lead them to tire of their stewardship? Or, more positively, they've been civilized for over 20,000 years; perhaps they've moved on to a new stage of development-- communing with other advanced species across the sky?

More soberly, the shrinkage of iliu habitats on the land should not be interpreted as a retreat: the iliū are not exiling themselves like the Eldar. Their main habitat is the continental shelf, and there they are as numerous as ever. Their land habitats are smaller because they chose to leave more room for humans, and because they need them less: instead of doing their own metallurgy and manufactures on land, they can trade for them with other Thinking Kinds.

A better case can be made that the ktuvoks suffered a catastrophic depression, perhaps losing their previous technological understanding. During the rise of Munkhâsh, they were able to teach their human slaves agriculture, animal husbandry, construction, and bronze-working; on the other hand, they did not seem to know iron-working, writing, or the wheel (much less, say, explosives or nuclear war).

Human culture suffered a complete collapse; humans simply disappeared in some areas, and were reduced to hunting and gathering elsewhere. In effect, this leaves us where the Historical Atlas begins: the iliū and ktuvok in their present habitats, keeping away from each other; men and elcari settling or re-settling Ereláe, beginning their long climb upward.

(The length of the period of barbarity is given here as 10,000 years, which can be taken as a round-number approximation. The 25,000 years given in the Atlas is based on other, more recent hints from ilian and elcarin sources.)

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