The Dung-Haters have certain numbers which they are forbidden to name. They refer to them only by various euphemisms, and even then are uneasy about so doing. The numbers I have been able to discover, and their euphemisms, are as follows:
- 34 – dead man.
- 220 – brother.
- 284 – sister.
- 100,000 – lack.
- 10,000,000 – craw.
Some of these uses have been picked up by other inhabitants of Teleleli.
The sage Hekabe points out that all these numbers are sufficiently large that hunter-gatherers will be unlikely to use them in daily life. She suggests that the taboo may derive from some conflict between hunter-gatherers and farming folk, but is at a loss as to why these numbers were chosen and not others. The Dung-Haters themselves have no explanation either (or, at least, none that they will offer outsiders).
It is notable, however, that 220 and 284 are known on Earth as ‘amicable numbers’: the factors of 220 add up to 284, and vice versa. This fact is unknown throughout most of Teleleli and the lands around, since pure mathematics (as opposed to its applications in engineering, magic and other fields) is an almost non-existent art.
At least those versions in which there are holodecks.
They’re presented as being completely life-like. So there’s no reason not to go and live in one.
And most people’s ideal world would be like poorly-written pornography.
As I noted a while ago, a local far-right group called Australia First had (wrongly) decided I’m the person behind a blog that opposes them. The story was covered here (I’m the unnamed “incorrectly identified man”).
Anyway, after I got lawyers and threatened to sue them, they’ve admitted they were wrong.
However, rather bizarrely, they now say that the person who they thought I was, is in fact my brother, and that I’m partly responsible for the blog. They’ve also stated they’re going to delete various articles, but (so far) haven’t actually deleted them.
I can’t decide whether they truly believe what they’re saying, or are ‘playing silly buggers’ in the hope that I’ll get worn out and give up.
I am a bit worn out, but I’m not giving up. From what I can see, the material on their site is still libelous. So, unless they make further changes, it’s off to court.
Some time after the appearance of the Harbingers, a madness will effect all women in the capital, such that they attempt to eat their own infants. This may be ended by extraordinary supplications to the gods, such as the building of great temples filled with precious stones.
Then the rulers will go mad with cruelty, having the innocent torn apart by wild horses. They will believe passers-by to be trees or vines, and mutilate them with axes
Then the women of the capital again become mad and eat their own infants- or, if their infants are already eaten, themselves- but this time there will be no remedy.
Then the women will become birds, the land will become barren, and the empire will fall.
(thanks to noisms for his research on this topic)
I have a guest post on ‘Poetry and Fantasy’ on Nicholas Rossis’ blog. You can read it here.