Friday, January 15, 2010

Brief History of Kotini - Part 3

The First Scattering
The First Scattering immediately followed the big battle with the devil fish for Menedékhely. Beorn and I played a large role in that, with those able to fight on our side dwindling away and the number of devil fish masquerading as our deceased comrades increasing all the time. The last battle took place on The Cliff and ended with both Beorn and I being forced to retreat. We had been buying time for the last few citizens of the city to evacuate themselves to a safer place.

I have to tell you a little about the life cycle of a devil fish in order for you to better understand me, although I have already mentioned part of it in my second post regarding Beorn. Devil fish are live-born fish, like guppies. They grow and reproduce with a speed you wouldn't believe if they have a continuous food supply. Being genetically modified by my father, they were given an aggressive streak (which turned out to be too aggressive) to help their survival - that is, they could eat anything organic and would attack anything that had the potential to be food. The more they ate, the sooner the reproduced and the sooner they died. Maturity to reproduce occured quickly, but is not considered full maturity by the older fish.

If they were fed very little over large amounts of time, these fish were extremely long lived and did not die of old age. Full maturity was only reached at 20 years or so, when the fish discovered its ability to project an illusion of anything it ate whole and could masquerade as a human, (walking, talking, eating, etc) if it had eaten the whole human. It was these fish who had learnt to take on their illusory forms, whom we fought against.

Imagine seeing some of your closest friends pulled under water in a froth of blood, then minutes later, see them emerge apparently unchanged, but bent on killing you and all those around you. It was horrible, but this is what the devil fish did and how they earned their name.

Survival of the fittest? Ha! Those within the Lagoon Mountains were set on genocide. Those outside the Lagoon Mountains have other ideas. Somehow, they've managed to set themselves up as gods. Now its me set on genocide, unless I can find some other way to control these fish. The only good thing is that the fish can't live in salt water, so the Islanders will be safe from the fish unless they bring some back during a trade. They're my best bet as allies outside the Lagoon Ranges.

Anyway, let's get back to talking about the First Scattering shall we?

The remnants of the Old City fled south toward the hills above the South Valley Flood plains, almost due south of Menedékhely. Most of the people had been split up and wandered the land, doing their best to survive until enough of them gathered together to found the Second City. The only records of the First Scattering were distroyed along with the Second City, but from memory, they only record the relatively few families that survived the battle with the devil fish of the millions that had once lived in the Old City.

At the beginning of the flooding of Menedékhely, several hundred families agreed to travel south and attempt to cross the Southern Mountains and wait there until the devil fish had been destroyed or were no longer a threat. When it was safe, people would be sent to fetch them home. Sadly enough, everyone had forgotten by the time the Second City was built, too busy trying to survive and those people who had made the journey became the first of the Southerners. While Beorn and I had not forgotten, we had decided that it was probably safer for them there where the devil fish were less likely to get to them. Turns out we were wrong there.

Next time, you get to find out about the Age of the Second City.

Friday, January 8, 2010

about time

About time, Twylla! I thought you'd never get round to it. Maybe my subtle hints were too subtle for you? Joking, joking, but now that you've posted, I have to do something.

Unlike Twylla, I tend to be much more private, so I don't tell you everything about myself. Instead, I thought you might like to hear about the town of Raggedge today.

Raggedge is a small town with a population of maybe 800 people, situated at the base of one of the mountains of the Dividing Range, at the very western border of Inageam, within the Eastern Kingdoms. The town seldom gets any visitors, so if you ever decide to see the quaint little place, expect to be treated something like a VIP or a celebrity. The whole town will turn out to greet you and you will be invited to at least half the homes to have a drink of Raggrovage and have a bite of Raggrove-flavoured waffles.

This town is well known for an interesting thick green coloured beverage known as Raggrovage, after the wiry herb, Raggrove, usually found in this area. The plant has thick little leaves that is often used as an all-round cure medicinal plant or as a te. Raggrovage is usually drunk warm, sprinkled with wisps of a special herb (they refused to tell me the name of) that considerably sweetens this otherwise strong thick bitter drink. The locals tend to prefer to call it a tonic. Its taste is not unlike that of very strong green tea, mixed with a sprinkling of a variety of other things. I think it tastes much better when mixed with milk or cream, but each household makes it differently.

Raggrovage is an aquired taste that few people who grew up outside the town learn to appreciate. I don't mind it. It's certainly a good hot drink that warms you up on a bitterly cold day and the reception that comes with it is nice, especially if you've spent the last few weeks scrambling around the mountains.

The people of Raggedge rear goats, turkeys, geese, chickens, ducks and the occassional cow if they manage to get their hands on one. They make some awesome vegetable dishes - usually due to the seasoning they use and their spicy meat stew is something I wish other towns would learn from them.

Anyone have any questions about the town?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Brief History of Kotini - Part 2

Jo has been awfully patient with me. It's been my turn to post for ages... and she didn't say a word, just waited. Sorry, Jo! And also sorry to you, my lovely readers, for taking so long. I have absolutely no excuse. Sorry, sorry, sorry. I know, I'll give you a smiley face to make you feel better.
Happy now?

Anyway, let's get down to the next bit of history. Last time I blogged, I gave a brief history of the First Landing. Come to think of it... there hasn't been a second landing yet, so I don't know why it's the 'first'. Then again, there may be more landings some time in the future, if the rest of the galaxy rediscovers us. Won't that freak the Lagooners out?

Again, please note, this is only the history known according to the Lagooners. I haven't yet met up with and discovered the respective histories of the descendants of the Blynde Follow and Super Sonic.

Ok, here we go, the Age of Menedékhely, comprising of two sub-sections:
- The Founding of the Old City (btw, Old City and Menedékhely will be used interchangeably)
- The Golden Age of Menedékhely

Founding of Menedékhely
As the majority of those aboard the Aisley were scientists of various kinds and skilled workers, they were quick to appoint themselves leaders, although not without a few scuffles and debates. The first leader by vote of majority, was known as Dr Earl Thomas Grey, a medical doctor. He wasn't a real earl, just given the fanciful name by his parents. Although not the highest ranking man amidst those on board Aisley, he certainly was the highest ranking man with enough wits and common sense to help the people rather than play power games.

According to the oldest city records I could find and according to my subsequent calculations, the ship Aisley made her emergency landing in what is now known as The Valley or by its alternate name, the Dark Forest.

The forest here, according to the records, is incredibly dense, such that beneath the canopy, it is like night time all day round. The earliest records tell of the ship having landed near the southern edge of the valley where the mountains were pitted with thousands of caves. Those who ventured within the caves seldom survived to come out, even if they were clever enough to use the ball and string method. Stories tell of monsters within the caves.

Anyway, Dr Grey formed expedition teams who found a way around the caves and to the sharp roofed mountains of what we now call the Northern Mountains. Looking down what came to be known as The Cliff - a sharp spur of rock that jutted out over the Old City, they saw a circular shaped plain amidst the mountains, with a hilly country to its west. There was water and the land here looked like a good place to settle.

The survivors of the wrecked Aisley stripped the ship and took everything they believed would be of use, as nobody ever wanted to return to the Dark Forest again. Too many of them had already perished to unseen predators that lurked in the dark, waiting to snatch individuals that strayed from the main camp.

After many days, maybe 10 - the records at this point were corrupted so I am making a guesstimate here, they reached the plain. One of the graphic designers got together with someone who knew how to sew and they made a makeshift flag out of what scrap cloth they had of red, green, blue and white. Dr Grey planted the flag in the centre of the plain and declared the city, their new home, Menedékhely, meaning a sanctuary or haven.

The Golden Age
The survivors of the landing, the first generation of those aboard the Aisley set up and organised the city, writing the laws and manner of procedures for those to come after them. The subsequent generations were careful to follow their elders' advice and slowly built up a great city where many types of science were investigated and researched. Others explored the surrounding terrain and discovered themselves encircled by mountains everywhere, thus the theory that remains until today that the world was almost wholly made up of mountains.

Despite Menedékhely remaining the only city, the city was divided into segments that allowed trade between the specialists, enabling the people to work together in unity for the survival of their people. The city prospered and grew until it encroached upon the hilly country just west of the city that became known as Adensa. Family houses were common within the city and those with the same family name would live together in ever larger houses, passing down their particular family's history from generation to generation.

Some areas of Adensa was a bit like a retirement home, where those no longer able to work were housed and taught some of the younger generations and then buried amidst the extensive (now non-existant) cemetaries upon the mountainsides. The rest of Adensa and the area around Tobbles Hill, which was where I was made or born (whatever you want to call it), was farmland that provided for the entire city and population of Adensa. All families were required to take part in farm maintenance according to the time they were rostered on, so that everyone would be aware that the farms were what allowed the city to survive.

With the increase in prosperity came increased research into all sorts of technologies, including genetics. With the failure and trouble caused by the Rockmen produced by Monty Clodigger, research upon humans was forbidden, although continued by some, including my father, in secret.

The First Landing covers approximately 100 years of history. The founding of Menedékhely another 100 or so. Somewhere during this time, the ancestors of the Lagooners experienced their first series of freak storms and did their best to account for what they believed to be an anomoly in the weather. There are not many records of the first Great Storms. The Great Storms were discovered (by me) to recur every 200 years or so, although why no one else bothered to study them, I don't know. Anyway, 8 Great Storms occured during the Golden Age, ending with the one at the end of the age. So, the Golden Age, according to me and what I gathered from the city records, spanned an approximate 1650 years, give or take several decades.

The Golden Age ended two decades after my father made me and my fishy cousins (ie the devil fish) and I predicted the next series of Great Storms which swept the fish into the city, resulting in the First Scattering. The Old City had never been flooded or threatened to be flooded by the Great Storms until the one that ended the Golden Age. Beorn and I discovered that the devil fish were intelligent enough to direct the flood water over The Cliff in order to flood the city.

More details of the First Scattering will be coming soon...