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2023 Reader Question 105

2023 Reader Question 105 published on 10 Comments on 2023 Reader Question 105

Sorry that “we don’t know for sure, but rumors say this” is the answer to so many of these history questions. That’s what happens when you can’t write down your history and have to rely on oral tradition for centuries. Most of the “legend has it” stories have some sort of truth in them, but a lot of actual history can get twisted through the years.

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Who’s this guy?

Considering that the Bohemian lions on his coat of arms are facing the wrong way and the “hatching” looks a lot like bends sinister, too, we’re unlikely to find much written (human) history of him …

The lions aren’t facing the “wrong” way; they’re just not facing the default way. They’d have to be blazoned (described) as rampant to sinister instead of just rampant. The other two quarters look to me like they’re bendy sinister.

The fact that he’s running past a Ren Faire sign is a clue that he’s not historical. He’s a re-enactor who designed his own arms like they do in the S.C.A. But those arms wouldn’t be accepted in the S.C.A. because they declare descent from two noble lines: one with bendy sinister arms, and one with Bohemian lions rampant to sinister. S.C.A. rules only allow quarterly divisions in ways that don’t make such claims.

And, apparently, this re-enactor happens to be a Bohemian lion using a medallion to look human and amusing himself by emblazoning his actual identity on his shield.

Oral traditions can actually be very accurate. I’d say the more likely culprit of the complete lack of reliable history of non-humans/members of the mythical community/avalonians, is their diaspora.

Between hiding among humans by use of medallions, and hiding FROM humans, and being hunted en masse in various ways, the history to be gained from an oral tradition would have died with its users.

An oral history requires a group of people to remain a group for multiple generations, telling their stories over and over. The accurate stories are told and retold by members dedicated to keeping the history of the people, spread as lectures to everyone, and the inaccurate stories simply fail to perpetuate.

Now picture this: You’re a gryphon, an expecting mother in the middle ages. Alone, as your mate was killed by a knight for glory a season ago. More and more human settlements are being made and growing. Nearly every year you must pack up and move further and further because humans are laying waste to lands that were once your own. You hear of these magnificent medallions the Sphinxes are making, that might allow you and your children to hide amongst the humans. Live as them. Survive.

You’ve seen the wonders humans can do. It wouldn’t be a bad life. More importantly, you will not die by a glory-thirsting arrow. Your children will never remember having been anything else.

You weep as the caves of your ancestors are stolen by humans, as your forests are cut down and burned. You know that the history of your mother and her mother, stretching far back to the times before humanity roamed the earth, will die with you. You cannot tell your children they are anything but human. Not even in the quietest whispers.

They are born human, mercifully human. You find work as a washer-woman. You tell your children fairy tales every night. Tales of noble gryphons and evil dragons and wise sphinxes.

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