The Smug Cuzeians

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Dewrad
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The Smug Cuzeians

Post by Dewrad »

In the grammar of Cuêzi, there is the following "no other human nation has been shown greater favor by the ilii than Cuzei". My question is: what made the Cuzeians so special that the ilii favoured them so? The Count of Years and its tale of Lerīmanio's jaunt to discover what a pen is aside, was it just a case of right place, right time? Why weren't the Qaraus similarly favoured? (And why did the ilii pretty much ignore Arcél until the Ktuvoks turned up?) I know highly-advanced beings and all that, but is there more to it than iliu inscrutability going on here?
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Re: The Smug Cuzeians

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(Actually, while I'm at it, this has been bugging me since I first read the Cuêzi grammar: the Cuêzi letter transliterated as x, indicating /x/, has a bar over it indicating that it's voiced. Given that the sound derives from Proto-Eastern *ɣ, was it still a voiced /ɣ/ when the alphabet was formulated? Or is it a coincidence on account of the proto-form having an eyebrow? Actually, if both of these propositions are true, it would be an awesome explanation of how the bar representing voicing was extrapolated.)
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Re: The Smug Cuzeians

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Dewrad wrote:(Actually, while I'm at it, this has been bugging me since I first read the Cuêzi grammar: the Cuêzi letter transliterated as x, indicating /x/, has a bar over it indicating that it's voiced. Given that the sound derives from Proto-Eastern *ɣ, was it still a voiced /ɣ/ when the alphabet was formulated? Or is it a coincidence on account of the proto-form having an eyebrow? Actually, if both of these propositions are true, it would be an awesome explanation of how the bar representing voicing was extrapolated.)


To answer the easy question first, it's just an eyebrow! That is, it's part of the glyph. But I love the idea of extrapolating it to a mark of voicing.

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Re: The Smug Cuzeians

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Dewrad wrote:In the grammar of Cuêzi, there is the following "no other human nation has been shown greater favor by the ilii than Cuzei". My question is: what made the Cuzeians so special that the ilii favoured them so? The Count of Years and its tale of Lerīmanio's jaunt to discover what a pen is aside, was it just a case of right place, right time? Why weren't the Qaraus similarly favoured? (And why did the ilii pretty much ignore Arcél until the Ktuvoks turned up?) I know highly-advanced beings and all that, but is there more to it than iliu inscrutability going on here?


The out-of-universe explanation is that when I wrote the original Count of Years, I was maybe a little too close to the Cuzeians myself. (I think it's all right for a conworlder to have some favorite cultures, but it's also very easy to let this get out of hand. All real cultures are some mixture of nice and nasty. If Aslan really exists, why the heck isn't he more directly involved in Calormen?)

What I'd say now is that the Cuzeians made a huge deal of their connection to the ilii, but that it shouldn't be taken that the ilii actually preferred them. They tend to have a hands-off attitude toward human cultures because they feel too much intrusion went wrong before. The stories of the iliu-ktuvok wars are a distorted reflection of earlier experiments where they guided human culture to a far larger degree— but this simply made the humans into second-class proxies in their war with the ktuvoks. They feel now that humans should mostly find their own way, but the price is that most human societies are pretty unpalatable to them.

They do try to influence human culture in subtle ways. This will come up in Diary of the Prose Wars. Mešaism and Endajué don't look much like iliu religion, but the ilii believe that they helped kick Endajué in the right direction. The Count of Years itself points out that the Methaiun, in their kwon way, worshiped the ilii. Arguably the Beic devotion cults, which arose after the ktuvok wars, are more their style than the first- and second-tier gods.

As for Arcél, part of it is probably just the poor logistics— they're far away from the advanced civilizations. (If you're Bé, sailing east gets you nowhere interesting.) Plus they may well have influence on the Minče or Eidnani that didn't get emphasized in the history books...)

(Someday I should really redo the page on Caďinorian paganism. That was the first one I wrote, and I think the mythology side has always been weak.)

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Re: The Smug Cuzeians

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zompist wrote:What I'd say now is that the Cuzeians made a huge deal of their connection to the ilii, but that it shouldn't be taken that the ilii actually preferred them. They tend to have a hands-off attitude toward human cultures because they feel too much intrusion went wrong before.

Accidentally, I read the Flaid article on Almeopedia (which, btw, was ridiculously slow today), which mentions they have good relations with the ilii. Is that also outdated?


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Re: The Smug Cuzeians

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jal wrote:Accidentally, I read the Flaid article on Almeopedia (which, btw, was ridiculously slow today), which mentions they have good relations with the ilii. Is that also outdated?


No, but flaids aren't humans. :)

(And yeah, the Almeopedia has been terribly slow for some time. I will have to ask Dreamhost about it.)

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Re: The Smug Cuzeians

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zompist wrote:No, but flaids aren't humans.

Ok, I wasn't sure about that. I mean, they're pretty humanoid, even if they are a different species than your run-of-the-mill "humans".


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Re: The Smug Cuzeians

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zompist wrote:(Someday I should really redo the page on Caďinorian paganism. That was the first one I wrote, and I think the mythology side has always been weak.)

Yes, you really should. :-D I'd be excited to see a revamped version of Cad’inorian paganism.

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