Monday, April 29, 2019

Selmati Verse and Writings

When I began my Holy Selmat campaign, one of the players requested a small collection of sayings and writings that they might be familiar with related to the ever-important faith of the party. I was reminded of it while reading this Coins and Scrolls article. It's a neat trick to include textual artifacts like that, especially if you find yourself apt to it, especially if it slots nicely into a campaign theme of textual research.

I won't post most of the readings I offered my players, in part because many of them are blatant rip-offs of Hebrew and Persian sayings or some slightly altered poems. However, below you will find some of the remainder. If the campaign ever concludes, I'll put together a post linking to all the summarized texts that the party has studied. In writing those I got to grapple with the lore in the setting that most interested me and which informed much of what the party has interacted with, though indirectly and changed by years.

The following represents works made in Holy Selmat, as well as by those who left to the continent of Niv, and as such spans a variety of styles and contexts.

(See also Riddles of Holy Selmat and In-Character Monster Manual)
“A man may fall many times and get up, if the Translator shall help him. But if he shall attempt to stand on his own, he shall remain fallen and not know why.” -Harlan, prince of Sikoly

“The number 17 is a slanted number, like the roofs of rain-slicked climes, in the style of those who live there. We derive this from the sum of 10+7, where the stability in ten removes some of the potential of the seven, but also from 20-3, where the imperial number (see section 20,) is deprived of an essentializing element. A scholar also sees here 15+2, 12+5, and even 7+7+3, where the power of essentially low-glancing numbers adds into something that is grand without raising its glance. But in these we see also no humble mien. It is a watchtower number, not a penitent. It is a witness to crime...”
-the last section of the uncompleted manuscript of the Book of Aderyn.

"It all fades and falls away
Night-ink seeps through frabjous day
Where all are touched, when all cry out,
The tears, the tearing, the clout of fray.
Each mother bears a smaller child
Each city sacked grows dry and wild
Tongues confuse, all fusion fails
Covered idols rise, profane, defile.
The names of God run thin and strange
Fools the shibboleths exchange
None know the alien, ally themselves
Against forgotten forms, they change."
-Tradition, by Jehu of Jamarta

“10 Beetles and justice are hidden.
Beetles and justice are myriad.
Often are truths occulted
Beneath the rock and the root.

11 Beetles and justice are hidden.
Beetles and justice are many to be forgotten.
Often are truths hidden though they sun on rocks
And serve as roots.”
-The Fates of God, 21:10-11

“315. With one hand you grab at your fresh wisdom, and with the other you grab at your brothers’ throats.”
-the 2,000 offenses against Who Has Forgotten

“The good you do today will not excuse you tomorrow.”
-Harlan, prince of Sikoly, recited at all Sommelier meetings

"An old cat’s stare, a spider’s hair,
The grease from a witch’s frying pan,
The facts and sums from slates of scum
Is how one makes a chemic man.
You need a sad and empty heart
You need a sad and scary plan
To ask the devil for his chart
He made to make a chemic man.
You need a will as strong as God’s
Unaccounted in his plan
The fuzz from pregnant belly buttons
To make that cruel and chemic man."
-To Make a Chemic Man, child's song

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