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Dai-Ichi


Ned

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Would anyone like to speculate or share lore about the 'dai-ichi' which appear only - as far as I can tell - in 'A History of My Black Horse Troop', encountered as the troop ascend into the Mislari Mountains:

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Often the dai-iCHi ambushed us. Horses died, though men were only wounded by the irritating sprites.

My current thinking, as I work up Mislari material, is to have them be micro-Aldryami from above the tree line - associated with krummholz or scattered patches of low-growing dwarf trees. Despite their small form they're very distinct from Pixies, as they're wingless, joyless and aggressive. Tiny, twisted elves scrambling over the rocks to repel those that would defile their solitude and disturb their tenuous hearing of Aldrya's Song. Life would be more bearable for the brown elf versions, as their short waking season would be pleasant, but the evergreens might be fiercely unhappy.

Now, I like this, but am very open to better ideas, previous thoughts or nudges elsewhere.

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I can only add that "dai-ichi" is "number one" in Japanese. Seems a strange name for anything found in the Mislari mountains, but your own explanation would fit very well with their description as sprites. Killing demon horses of darkness seems like a sun power.

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It could also be 大, also usually read "dai" in compound words and meaning "big". Which would make them "the big ones" or possibly "the giants". Or a joke about their tiny size?

Edited by Eff
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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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The Caroni, goat Hsunchen, live in those mountains, but wouldn't seem likely to be described as "irritating sprites".

--

The Silver best-selling The Children of Hykim offers over 150 pages on Glorantha's shape-changing totemic animal people, the Hsunchen. "Magisterial ... highly recommended" - Nick Brooke. "An amazing labor of love" - Evan Franke, Exploring Glorantha. "A deep dive" - Joerg Baumgartner. "Excellent sourcebook, well-written and well-researched" - Niall Sullivan.

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1 hour ago, Brian Duguid said:

The Caroni, goat Hsunchen, live in those mountains, but wouldn't seem likely to be described as "irritating sprites".

But if they didn't want to directly engage the trespassing Westerners directly, the spirits their shamans could round up to harass and misdirect Ethilrist's company might be.

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The Japanese stuff is great. A tangent makes me desperate to give them an Algonquian ambience but haven't made it past "Da-shi" in Ojibwe, "the many" or "the quantity," "the collective." I love the notion of them being either very small or sometimes very large, the primal original inhabitants of the range. Since some stories suggest that the Mislari were made to separate Maker from proto-elf and proto-dwarf nations from each other, maybe the ones who survive into history have characteristics that we'd associate with both today. Either way, my gut is that Ethilrist got his "goblins" from somewhere.

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28 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

The Japanese stuff is great. A tangent makes me desperate to give them an Algonquian ambience but haven't made it past "Da-shi" in Ojibwe, "the many" or "the quantity," "the collective." I love the notion of them being either very small or sometimes very large, the primal original inhabitants of the range. Since some stories suggest that the Mislari were made to separate Maker from proto-elf and proto-dwarf nations from each other, maybe the ones who survive into history have characteristics that we'd associate with both today. Either way, my gut is that Ethilrist got his "goblins" from somewhere.

A relict Genertelan population of red elves? 

Some sorta rock-gremlin? 

The aforementioned Hsunchen? 

Some sort of Storm spirits? (Inora's depiction with lots of little creatures around her comes to mind)

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Could this Dai-ichi have been some input by Tadashi Ehara?

Possibly.  Specifically because he's of Japanese descent?  Not necessarily.

!i!

[Edit:  To be fair, Glorantha is full of real-world cultural borrow-words (and some pseudo-linguistic gobble-di-gook) that appear un-tethered to the people who used them.]

Edited by Ian Absentia
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carbon copy logo smallest.jpg  ...developer of White Rabbit Green

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9 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

Possibly.  Specifically because he's of Japanese descent?  Not necessarily.

 

Can’t say I recall very many Japanese puns or words used by Tadashi in the editorials of Different Worlds where he ran the shop. Granted, it has been a while. Perhaps I misremember.

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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7 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Dai-Ichi Life Insurance are the third largest such company in Japan, active in the USA from 1975.  Is it possible that their sales personnel were a persistent nuisance to Greg? 

Then I'll stick with micro-Aldryami and ensure they're associated with species found in montane Japan. Without any reference to bonsai, of course...

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Bonsai actually recreate some conditions of low cover rocky ground, as actually found in mountains, so it feels right. Bonsai runners it is for me now. It explains why all of the casualties were (white) horses. They could not reach higher, to the riders!

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18 hours ago, scott-martin said:

... the primal original inhabitants of the range. Since some stories suggest that the Mislari were made to separate Maker from proto-elf and proto-dwarf nations from each other...

Ooh, not seen this. Can you point me towards it, please?

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While this crosses over into theme of Your Dumbest Theory thread, my brain couldn't help but notice.

Dai- is often used to mean big, large, arch-

Ichi is the number one.

So it could be said to be Best First. Or in pseudo latin:

Spoiler

Optimus Prime

 

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6 hours ago, Ned said:

Ooh, not seen this. Can you point me towards it, please?

The mountain story now called "The Rockwoods" is one of my obsessions so beware . . . surface may be slippery. Internal evidence suggests it was collected from the Arstola, which suggests that we're specifically talking about the Mislari twist in the range here. But I love your scrub goblins up there helping to ensure that nobody tries to cross. Maybe these elves are red, maybe they even retained a few echoes of the "lost" white elf way up above the tree line.

2 hours ago, Tindalos said:

Your Dumbest Theory

Maybe we've been reminded over the years that it's easier to find a smart theory than a dumb one. However I love this one because it means that the Hound talks with the voice of [spoiler]StarScream[/spoiler], which is highly valuable character work.

Edited by scott-martin
tag breaks second time on page, maybe funnier this way
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37 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

My thought about something that kills horses but merely annoys or mildly hurts people might be some kind of (possibly large) flying insect-like creature that comes in flocks. Like a perhaps scarier gnat.

Well, the tsetse flies would be a good fit, but thematically they're better associated with Pamaltela, which has its own anti-horse thing going on.

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

My thought about something that kills horses but merely annoys or mildly hurts people might be some kind of (possibly large) flying insect-like creature that comes in flocks. Like a perhaps scarier gnat.

Broo flies. 🙂

 

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44 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Biting gnats can make a real number on reindeer, too.

 

26 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Broo flies. 🙂

 

We have reindeer botfly in the RW that lay parasitic eggs under the skin and in the tissue, so it's pretty close!

Not sure that really fits the "sprite" description though. If they were insects, wouldn't they just have written that? Unless we're dealing with some kind of Timinit subrace (but then, why the Mislari mountains specifically? Wouldn't they be doing better along Valind's Glacier or in the boreal forests?)

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

I always wonder whether this is an actual reference to "Optimus Maximus", a title of Jupiter.

It's possible. Unfortunately, Denny O'Neil (the guy who named him) has said that he doesn't recall coming up with the name, so there's no real way to know.

Also, random aside, but before he became Optimus Prime he was a simple dockworker named either "Orion Pax" or "Optronix," depending on where you look; either one would probably make a good name for a seemingly simple Lunar dockhand or other laborer...

Back on topic, them being "sprites" definitely suggests something more like a pixie than a mundane insect, and Wikipedia notes this about pixies:

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Pixies are drawn to horses, riding them for pleasure and making tangled ringlets in the manes of those horses they ride.

These ones might have just been particularly malicious about it, perhaps spooking and stressing out the horses; horses are notoriously prone to suffering health problems in conditions like that, and it's easy to imagine that more than a few would die under such treatment.

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