Had a really interesting and nice morning at church today. The sermon also helped me make progress on a plot matter for my Other World novels that I’ve been trying to think about how to resolve for some time.
The novel involves Prester Jhon, the Samarl of Samarkand, who (in the novel and contrary to belief back then) does not reside in either Asia or Africa but on an entirely different world which is identical to our world at the time but is not inhabited by humans or animals common to our world. It is geographically and geologically identical, but biologically it is very different.
Anyway, because of the underlying religious theme(s) running through the novels (the Byzantines look to this “Other World” and to Prester Jhon – called John by the Byzantines, to help them fight both the Persians and the Muslims, but Jhon has more than enough deadly threats in his own world to contend with) I’ve been looking to develop a sort of Other World analogue to the Eucharist. Because Christianity, miracles and Orthodoxy all play a role in the Other World as well, and because there is a secret underground movement of Christians in Jhon’s own world. It’s a secretive movement, but it exists, sort of like China’s Christian movement but it is almost entirely underground. Maybe in that sense it is far more like the ancient Christians in the early Roman Empire than in China.
In any case I wanted an analogue to the elements of the Eucharist. So at church today the sermon made me think of some things and I started making notes. This is what I came up with.
The secret Christian movement in the Other World (they aren’t really Christians as we think of it, but it’s as close as I can briefly summarize the concept) develop an analogue to the Eucharist but do so almost by accident. The elements they develop are these:
KURIAL – Kurial is a bread similar in some respects to the Lembas bread of the Elves in Tolkien. But it also shares properties with the Manna of the Exodus and the Eucharist. It always tastes warm when eaten even if it is cold. It is a dark brown bread with white flecks throughout and it tastes somewhat bitter. The word is Eldeven (being derived from the Eldeven linguistic root, uria, for “ground up,” and “of the Earth”) but it also shares roots with the Greek term Kurios (Lord) and Cure (Latin). When Kurial is consumed it inspires trances and mystical visions of God. It fills the stomach, alleviates hunger, and provides sustenance for 4 days (if an entire loaf is eaten). It can also, sometimes, cure disease and speed healing from injury. It provides a great deal of physical energy and strength and occasionally promotes abilities and capabilities in those who have consumed it of an almost superhuman or miraculous nature. Humans (the Byzantines) also call it Maræne, the Manna of the New World.
EKLANSÖS – Eklansös is a golden colored wine (although not a true wine, it is as close as I can describe) which is also thick and both sweet and salty tasting. On occasion it glows if brought into proximity with Kurial. The word is Eldeven, being derived from the Sidhelhic roots lan, and sos, which mean “secret” and “drink.” But it is also related to the Greek terms, Ekklesia, meaning “gathering or congregation” and Angelos, meaning “messenger.” When Eklansös is consumed it inspires numinous dreams and visions and prophecies in one’s sleep. Eklansös will also alleviate thirst for 3 days, helps to prevent or ward off disease, and makes one calm and relaxed and at peace after it is drunk. Usually a single cup or bowl of Eklansös will suffice for these purposes. The Byzantines also call it Soræ which means the Drink or Wine of the New World.
If Kurial and Eklansös are used to fertilize and set a newly planted tree or the seed of a tree then the resulting tree will grow large, strong, tall, and true, and it will be disease free. These trees are called Umman trees. If the tree is a fruit or nut tree then this is called a Thummąn tree, which means Miracle Tree. The leaves, sap, and fruit or nuts of Thummąn trees can be used to produce extraordinary foods and medicines. Umman and Thummąn Trees are extraordinarily long lived and all kinds of life will flourish in and around the tree. But Umman and Thummąn trees will not grow in close proximity to one another. So as far as is known it is impossible to produce an Umman or Thummąn forest.
Also I made some good progress on Eldeven Arts, Crafts and Sciences.
I have divided Eldeven Art into the following categories: Drama, Poetry, and Song, with other Arts being Architecture and Building and Sculpture.
I have divided Craft into these categories: Craft (being almost any type of high-skill craft) and Illumination and Invention.
The Eldeven Sciences are: Eldyll (Earth and metallurgy), Laral (life and natural sciences), and Glośon (what we would call chemistry, though it is really both organic and inorganic chemistry).