Superstitious Telelenes will avoid certain combinations of letters under any circumstances. It is said that, when the gods gave humans the power of reason, neither were sure that it was a gift and not a curse. Therefore they agreed that humans could tell the gods they wished to lose their intelligence, by speaking or writing certain things. It is no great inconvenience to avoid any of these ‘forbidden’ combinations of letters, as they are not words, but meaningless phrases such as roflmao and wtf.
As rare as horseshit and twice as tasty.
By this saying an inhabitant of Teleleli will express their skepticism as to the stated rarity or value of an item, particularly one offered for sale.
Among many of the inhabitants of Teleleli, there is a set of practices for responding to being spurned in love. Although these practices are formalised, they are generally heartfelt.
The entire process may take only a few days, or as long as several weeks. It is not believed that a longer period indicates a greater amount of unhappiness.
The unhappy lover will first take themselves to a graveyard. Members of those sects who believe graveyards to be part of the world of the dead will stay just outside the graveyard. Their friends (and perhaps relatives) will arrive and ask them to come home, to which they will announce “I do not wish to live.”
Friends will bring food to the lover daily, at roughly the same time. No one speaks during these visits, including the lover themselves. The lover may leave notes indicating their needs, which are written on scented paper as if they were love letters. During this period the lover often weeps silently.
Eventually the lover will meet their friends and relatives outside the graveyard, and announce “I do not wish to eat.” They will now dwell near their own home, but outside. For example they may stay on the roof, or in the courtyard if one exists. During this period the lover fasts, and often groans with hunger and sadness. Their friends and relatives will visit them daily, and speak ill of the beloved. The lover does not respond.
After a time the lover will greet their friends inside their home, and say “I do not wish to sleep.” The friends now arrange a sort of celebration. All who attend, especially the lover themselves, will eat and drink to excess. It is usual to swear, fight and vomit during these events. No one will speak of the beloved.
Eventually the lover (and likely many others) will fall asleep or pass out. When the lover awakens, they are assumed to have been cured of their grief.
It is fashionable among the upper classes of Teleleli to disdain mirrors, and instead to live in houses with special ‘mirror-rooms’, in which servants imitate one’s movements and expressions. The chief mirror-servants, each of which plays the role of one member of the household, should appear to be idealised versions of the person they are mirroring. It is even more desirable to have extra servants especially to play the roles of frequent visitors to the house. Less senior mirror-servants will play extra roles as required.
People with the wealth to hire this many servants never dress themselves. Thus there is no danger of a person, for example, misapplying cosmetics due to not being able to see their reflection.
A corpse brings no butterflies.
This means that a person in trouble will attract new and unsavoury acquaintances.
That which we call the ‘missionary position’ is, in Teleleli, known as The Congress of Serpents.
It is rumoured that some wizards who are well-versed in the ways of the extra dimensions Yafir and Yiraf have invented a series of non-Euclidian sexual positions.
There is a type of robot which can both disassemble itself, and have sexual intercourse. As such, they have invented sexual positions with no equivalent among biological creatures. It is not known why they were so designed. It was not to serve as concubines to creatures of flesh, since they utterly refuse to do so. Nor do they reproduce in this fashion. Some speculate that they are intended to drive humans and similar beings mad with envy.
In Teleleli it is believed that gold, silver and copper are all the same metal. It is believed that it is created as gold, but may be degraded by contact with dragons, who rub it to harden their otherwise soft underbellies.
The fact that silver and copper have been found underground suggests that dragons spend much of their lives buried in the ground.
In Teleleli and the lands around, it is believed that shooting or falling stars are dragons. It is said that when a dragon’s life is at an end they fall to the earth, but in their pride they disdain to touch the ground and so use their baleful breath to set fire to themselves.
Eunuchs are largely unknown in Teleleli, save as refugees from other lands, since they are a product of strong and united governments or churches, and indeed only those which have grown old in power and wickedness, and no such thing is found in the city. The exception to this rule is certain men who choose to castrate themselves and serve a god who is neither male nor female. But they do not call themselves eunuchs.
Eunuchs are valued because they are said to lack ambition, since they cannot have children who they wish to find positions for, nor wives to urge them to greater efforts, nor women they wish to impress. Thus, it is said, they may make good advisors, and also may be entrusted with tasks such as trimming the king’s beard or preparing his food. For if an empire is of sufficient antiquity to produce eunuchs, it is certain that the ruler must constantly guard against assassination.
Those eunuchs who come to Teleleli may make their living as singers, since eunuchs may sing low like men or high like women. Further, if they were castrated before puberty their voices may retain the clear tone of a boy.
Some mystics of Teleleli claim to worship not the gods, but “the unborn within the gods.”