Miscellaneous Questions

[Moderator's Note: This is a trio of questions, covering miscellaneous topics]
[ that I have received for the Professor. The first covers ]
[ domesticated animals, the second covers the Urunen, and ]
[ the third covers Vra. ]
[ Sorry for the slow period. I have been a bit under the ]
[ weather. Haven't been out for almost a week. Things ]
[ should return to normal now. ]

Question 1
>Worry of the Moment
>If hma and hmelu are essentially sheep and cow analogs for Tekumel. What
>animal fills the ecological role taken by goats on Earth - able to leap
>from rock to rock on very barren hills - hardier than sheep. I'm sure
>that they are scampering around on the high barren hills on the north of
>For that matter. Why has man often had sheep, cows and _pigs_. What is
>good about pigs for farmers? What is the equivalent on Tekumel?
>Yours Urbanly
>Paul Snow

The Hmelu and the Hma fill the places of goats and sheep. Hmelu milk
(and sometimes the much thicker and more oderiferous Hma's milk) fills
the posaition of cow's milk on earth. The Kaika bird fills the ecological
niche of the chicken (turkey, etc.). There is no direct equivalent of the
cow. Large amounts of meat are usually got from the Tsi'il, which cannot
be completely domesticated. No pigs!

[Moderator's Note: I commented to the Professor whether it is necessary to ]
[ have direct corollaries on Tekumel to Earth. He responds.]
[ I didn't mean this to invalidate your question, Paul, but ]
[ I just wanted to make sure I was clear on the subject. ]

Why SHOULD there be exact equivalents of every earth creature on Tekumel.
Look at ancient Mesoamerica and South America: no cows, pigs, goats, sheep,
chickens, etc. Deer and turkey were what the Aztecs and the Maya had. No cow,
no milk. So the usual European patterns were missing there, too.

Question 2:

[Moderator's Note: New list member John Nowicki asks the following... ]

>I've always been curious about the Urunen, since I encountered them in
>the Swords & Glory books. Their culture is so radically different from
>most of the races on Tekumel (the lower status of the military in their
>society, for starters). Given their geographic seperation fronm the Five
>Empires, do they have much contact with the rest of Tekumel? Is there
>even a very strong awareness of their existance on the part of the
>Humans, Pe Choi, etc..? What is their relationship with the Hokun, who
>live relatively near to them?
>Outside of politics/interaction issues, I always had the feeling that
>their isolation may have left them with a greater level of historical
>(and perhaps technical) knowledge than the rest of the spacefaring
>races. At least, they would have avoided some of the cataclysms (i.e.
>Ganga) or serial conflicts that wrack the region of the Five Empires
>Finally, what is their religious situation. I have a vague remembrance of
>their clerics being held in far lower esteem than in human society. Do
>they worship some fariation of the standard pantheon, or something
>different? I've always been interested in any race that see the "gods" as
>something other than traditional deity (i.e. the Mihalli Aluja's comments
>at the end of "Flamesong")

The Urunen are interesting. They are so far from "north Tekumel" that
they had little idea of the great human empires there. They are reachable
only via tubeway car, and this is perilous at best. Their society is quite
different from those of north Tekumel. They do not worship the same
pantheon found in the Engsvanyali-derived cultures of the Five Empires.
They get along with some Hokun and are in perpetual combat with other
Hokun states (there are several). There isn't much on them, outside of
the Bestiary and the Sourcebook. A couple of high officials from Avanthar
found their way down there via tubeway car after Dhich'une took over
Avanthar. The Urunen were hospitable but puzzled. These exiles were so
lonely and so lost away from their familiar surroundings that they finally
left -- in spite of the obvious dangers of returning to Tsolyanu.

Question 3:

[Moderator's Note: Paul Snow sent this question in on Vra. ]
>Greetings from Nikun hiSayodla,
>Lacking the current political map of southern Tsolyanu I have requested a
>fellow follower of the Doomed Prince (Arksa hiJagetlu of the Standing Stone
>Clan from Jakalla) to describe it to me. He reports the following :-
>>The isle of Vra is actually split into two provinces. The boundary line
>>starts below
>>Lornis on the west coast, rises to run SSW-NNE so as to pass in between
>>and the town of Vra, and then goes east to end on the east coast about a hex
>>above Vra town. The northern province (containing Lnoris) is called Sine
>>(accent on the e) and the southern province is called, again, Vra.
>I assume that my esteemed and learned uncle is correct in this matter but
>it leads me to ask the following questions.
>What is the story behind the separation of Vra into two regions?
>I presume that one is governed from Lnoris and the other from Vra.
>[Can anyone comment on the etymology of Sine and Vra ?]
>Does the partition of Vra into two provinces of Tsolyanu cause any
>political complications or frictions for the government of Vra? I had
>assumed that Imperial authority would be centred in the City of Vra with
>taxes etc. administered from there. Is there intense rivalry between
>the two Imperial Governors?
>If the boundary line passes through the fertile region of Avanthe's Table
>then which province lays claim to the greater part of the area's riches?

The etymologies of Sine and Vra are not known -- lost in history. Probably
even pre-Engsvanyali and even First Imperium.The division into two
provinces was certainly Engsvanyali and was done for ease of adminis-
tration. Vra and Lnoris are clearly two separate ancient power centres.
(I once heard a legend that there had been warfare between them at some
unguessably early time in mythological history. I could never find any
sources, however.) Now there is really little rivalry between these
provinces; the rulers of Vra itself seem to have triumphed, economically,
over the inhabitants of Lnoris. It's pretty much one country nowadays:
rather like Kent and Surrey. Vra seems to be the richer of the two
provinces, and its agricultural products are more widely famed than
those of its sister-province. Nobody seems to mind very much. The real
provincial governor resides in Vra, while the governor of Lnoris is
much less important.

Chris Davis Moderator, The Blue Room blueroom@prin.edu
The Blue Room's FTP site: nexus.prin.edu Open 24 hours a day, except when
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