Dredged the Cess

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A Muvari way of saying putting two and two together. Legend tells of a wife, Lyeen of the Kimald Clan, who became jealous of her companion wife and the amount of attention she was getting from her husband. In a fit of jealousy induced acrasia Lyeen stabbed her companion wife to death and threw her and the dagger which she had used into the cesspools beneath Ledgrim. Some bloody tracks were found that led investigators to the cesspool which they dredged, first finding the discarded dagger which had been a gift from Tik Kimald to his wife Lyeen and was engraved with her name. Further dredging brought up the body of Xoxey Kimald and this was considered enough evidence to convict Lyeen before the Chief Judges of the Muvari.

The rest of the story is rarely related, but of equal interest. Despite her transgression, Lyeen was apparently a quite attractive woman and could be devastatingly charming when she wanted to be. She convinced her husband to help her escape, which he did, loosing her from her cell before she was slated to walk into the lava pits. He found her a secret cavern in the Dark Quarter and visited her every week. Lyeen bore Tik five children over the next four years (Muvari gestational periods are shorter than those of Earthings). When she was finally discovered she fled Ledgrim altogether with her five children. They fell in with a Sand Tribe, and Lyeen married a second time to one of the males. Eventually, Tik was able to recover three of his children, but he never knew the fate of the other two.

 

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Presenting Swords

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It is a common custom for families to purchase their daughters swords and present them upon their graduation from the Weapons Academy, a required training for all Muvari young women who are in good health. Though sword training is in the Muvari curriculum from a very young age, the practice swords are generally made of wood until they reach the Weapons Academy. In the meantime, a popular practice of young Muvari women is to carry saps carved from the Kantha Mushroom, which has a long and fibrous stem. Kantha mushrooms are not particularly tasty and all but inedible unless consumed when they are at the stage of their initial sprouting. However, they grow very quickly and quite tall, and the stems are used to make furniture and any other number of wood products, including these saps. It is also a source of pride for the Muvari to carve elaborate designs upon these saps and paint them in colorful ways. Young men will also carve these saps, though this activity is frowned upon for the Muvari society does not want to instill the martial instinct in the males for fear that they will take unnecessary risks that might lead to an untimely demise and thereby reduce the male population which is already severely diminished.

 

Armistice Gap

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There is a legend of a Muvari warrior who was spurned by her husband when she could not bear him a male heir. In her sorrow, she threw herself into Armistice Gap thinking that she would fall to her doom. Instead, she fell upon the ledge and later another man heard her cries and fished her out of the Gap.

The legend tells that the man was so smitten by the beautiful Faris Sonja that he made her his own wife. She changed her name and let herself be considered dead, until years later after she had borne her new husband seven children, her former husband encountered her in the market one day and died in shock because he thought he had seen a ghost.

 

Orastus

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The Fejuvisite city is named after the founder who was named Orastus, and each succeeding leader takes the name of Orastus as well. Orastus is known for its above ground millet production, with which it does a brisk trade with Ledgrim for steel implements and weapons.

Orastus is covered with nets to impede pesthule attacks. The residents worship a variety of gods, but most notable is  Yiyoo who is the goddess of fertility and bountiful harvests.

 

Aubrey Arthur and the End of All Magic

Despite the title calling this ‘the end of all magic’ I would maintain that this book has perfectly captured the magic of storytelling.  Russ Anderson Jr and Michael Fogg tell a great story with vivid and vibrant language.

Though this book by no means feels incomplete, I’m pleased to see that this is part of a planned series! I read this one with my nine-year-old daughter and we both enjoyed it quite a bit.

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