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Frostfall, 3E 432

Author: 
Douglas Goodall

The Roll Call

Dhavin (chair)
Vandril Indoril (your humble scribe)
Arielle Woodhouse (presenter)
Julius Cadiusus (present)
Varinturco (present)
Shahavra (present)
Ulrorn Blackbeard (present)
Gondyr Armentine (present)
Jo'Hamiir (present)
Orphala Orethi (present)
Artonia Melus (present)

Review and Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were strongly approved for their superior flammability and absorption.

The Pledge and Call to Order

Those present lead each other in the LAHS pledge. Dhavin mutters something about bears that could be construed as a call to order.

A Spontaneous Presentation

The clean-shaven Ulrorn Blackbeard requests the floor. As silence (or ongoing chatter) is taken for agreement in Cyrodilic law, the floor is granted. Ulrorn apologizes for his behavior at the previous meeting, pleading an excess of drink and some childhood training in the Art of Conjuration.

Three Motions from the Chair

Dhavin moves that Ulrorn is kind of a jerk. The motion is seconded. A vote is taken without debate. The motion passes unanimously, 10-1.

Dhavin further moves that, due to the series of events that prematurely ended last month's meeting, Ulrorn should buy the first round. This motion also passes unanimously, 10-1.

Finally, Dhavin moves that after the untimely fire at the Broken Arrow Tavern and Grill, we shall henceforth be known as the Lusty Argonian Historical Society after our quaint new location. The motion passes 6-5.

Presentation: Arielle Woodhouse on the Dragon Break

The lively and entertaining Arielle Woodhouse proposes several theories about how the existence of so-called "Dragon Breaks" could be determined once and for all (as if any serious scholar still believed in such a ridiculous notion). Her arguments depend on whether Akatosh controls time for "everything" or if the various et'Ada (and "perhaps certain related natural processes, like the oceans and falling dust and things like that") could still act when Akatosh is broken or sleeping or having a smoke or whatever it is he does or does not do during these alleged "breaks."

For instance, Arielle suggests that if tapestries and paintings from the later part of the First Era showed the constellations differently, this could be taken as evidence that time continued in some sense, at least for the et'Ada in the heavens.

Arielle presents flaky evidence for this notion consisting of sketches of various paintings and tapestries of constellations (or that coincidentally have some stars in the background). These sketches are densely covered with lines, dates, overlays of modern constellations, etc.

I gently remind Arielle that few paintings (not to mention tapestries!) survived from the First Era, certainly far fewer than the number of defaced sketches she brought, so the whole point is moot. Unfortunately, Arielle continues to believe the paintings are genuine, even though she admits that some of them are mere copies of earlier works.

Jo'Hamiir suggests that Arielle look at the works of some obscure and irrelevant Khajiit who hid some kind of secret message in tapestries. The significance of these hidden messages is lost to the LAHS as the betmer rambles (for longer than it takes me to go through two mugs!) about fanciful relationships between the constellations and the moons and towers of all kinds.

Your humble scribe moves that Jo'Hamiir has been taking the sugar again. Most unfairly, the motion is not seconded.

Arielle moves that Jo'Hamiir prepare a presentation on this topic. Dhavin seconds the motion, and, most unfortunately, it passes. (I, for one, have heard just about as much as I can take of what passes for "scholarship" among the beast races.)

Jo'Hamiir makes an appeal based on a busy work schedule, but, alas, his appeal falls on blunt ears.

Julius draws upon his archeological experience at Dwemer ruins. He points out that Dwemer Orreries often contain metal plates with constellations engraved upon them. These plates, he assures the LAHS, show the stars in roughly the same location they are in today. Since the Dwemer left 600 years before the first so-called "Dragon Break," this strongly suggests that the stars do not move, and that Arielle is completely and utterly wrong. Again. Arielle does not have an adequate response to these objections, and, desperate to save her crazy theory, she suggests that the Dwemer were somehow engraving the stars of the future rather than those of the present day.

Varinturco suggests that the painters were merely ignorant of astronomy or perhaps idealized the constellations for artistic effect. Arielle claims this is unlikely because of various "consistencies among the inconsistencies" (!) in the tapestries and she returns to pointing at the sketches and talking about Akatosh-knows-what because I stopped listening at this point in favor of few rounds of cards with Gondyr. Your humble scribe remains undefeated, and Gondyr falls further in debt.

Arielle's passionate, truthful, and exciting presentation with immediate implications for our daily lives is too intense for many present, especially once the food arrives. The end of her presentation is met with loud snores of approval and favorable chewing sounds.

Gondyr moves that Arielle should have a few more drinks.

Dhavin moves that Gondyr has ulterior motives. Ulrorn seconds the motion with a humorous gesture.

Before Dhavin's motion can be voted on, Arielle moves her (still full) mug at Ulrorn's head. Her motion easily passes without a vote, revealing the quality workmanship of the tavern walls. After having passed, the motion is redundantly seconded by an empty mug and two chicken bones.

A serving girl takes the floor and moves that the LAHS "quiet down." She withdraws the motion after receiving a sum of twenty Septims.

Second Presenter Absent

Thoroth surprised no one in failing to show up again. Therefore, whatever drunken ramblings he will try to pass off as a presentation will have to wait for another night.

The Debate

The evening's debate was on whether a Daedra's protonymic changes or remains constant.

Gondyr argues that the protonymic is an "essential" part of a Daedra and that changing the protonymic would change the Daedra. Since the Daedric "Princes" have been unchanged (with the possible exception of Malacath, of course) for many years, this suggests (to Gondyr's fevered imagination) that the protonymic is "as unchanging and eternal as the Admantium Tower."

Ulrorn shows unexpected insight when he says, "Its name may change, but if you banish a Scamp, it's still a Scamp." After some slurred explanations, he is apparently asserting that the changes necessary to alter a Daedra's protonymic are smaller than the changes necessary to alter a Daedra's nature. Or, in other words, Azura would still be the morning and evening star, even if her protonymic changed. Boethiah would still govern insights, even with another protonymic. Etc. Gondyr tries to argue against Ulrorn (which is surely not a difficult task), but he is distracted by a passing serving girl and loses the floor.

Shahavra tells a fanciful tale about an unfortunate Dagi who lazily summoned the same daedroth twice and painfully learned that the protonymic only works once. This would favor the idea that the protonymic does change, if the Khajiit were not all liars.

Dhavin points out that various Daedra have had their protonymics discovered in the past. He argues that since no Daedra "Princes" are currently enslaved, this suggests that the protonymic is, as he puts it, a "one trick pony."

Ulrorn moves that Dhavin spends too much time with horses. Ulrorn withdraws this motion under threat of Dhavin's long memory and fertile imagination.

Julius idly asks if Aedra have protonymics. Varinturco boldly asserts that of course Aedra have protonymics (and, in fact, the fool argues that all living things do!), but that the protonymics of Aedra, men, and mer cannot be "spelled, pronounced, or ennumerated" in the Mundus. Not only would it be ineffective, it would be literally unknowable. Varinturco claims to be quoting a book by some crazy Altmer who lives in a giant clock, as if that gives his argument any additional weight. Varinturco rambles on about a "neonymic" (?) that is some kind of second protonymic, but he is, fortunately, interrupted.

Gondyr moves that Varinturco has had too much to drink. The motion is seconded by your humble scribe, but, alas, no vote is taken.

Arielle wonders if the act of banishment (due to the alleged dissolution of spirit) changes the nature of a Daedra enough to change their protonymic.

Quiet, beautiful Orphala (if only she were not an Orethi!) tells a poignant, if all too brief, story about a Daedra she met in Tear who feared banishment because he feared losing his love for another Daedra. Apparently, he believed that if he were banished, he would no longer be in love, for in the process of re-forming himself, he might forget his love or lose it. Orphala was not sure of the precise meaning of his words, but this suggests that the process is traumatic enough to change a Daedra's protonymic, if not their basic nature.

In light of this story, Gondyr and Dhavin enthusiastically agree with Arielle's theory. Even I, your humble scribe, cannot recall a counterexample for this idea, though I doubt anything regarding the Daedra it is so simple.

Dhavin moves that the LAHS vote on the idea that banishment itself changes the protonymic. The motion passes unanimously, in spite of Varinturco's repeated attempts to take the floor and discuss his "neonymic" notion.

Your humble scribe moves that this unprecedented agreement is a cause for celebration. This motion also passes unanimously.

Drinking ensues.

Just to spoil the rare consensus, Artonia recalls a story about the mysterious disappearance of the Battlespire several years ago. She heard a rumor from one of her aunts who was a Battlemage at the time (see what passes for scholarship these days?) that Mehrunes Dagon invaded the Battlespire(!), and he could resist his protonymic because he changed it or added some kind of surname (Varinturco begins shouting about that neonymic nonsense here again, but he is rightfully ignored). To prevent Mehrunes Dagon from reaching the rest of Tamriel, the Battlemages broke the moorings, thus the "disappearance" (if the "Battlespire" was ever more than legend, anyway). This is no less plausible than any other story I've heard over the years, but how anyone could know the truth of it when there were no survivors (or public evidence of any kind) is beyond my understanding. In conclusion, Artonia asks whether forward-thinking Daedra could change their protonymic or add some kind of surname to protect themselves from mortals who have learned their true, invocational name.

Varinturco finally gets his chance to take the floor, adding his febrile imaginings to Artonia's rumor. He claims to have met a survivor of the Battlespire (a man named, apparently, Chimer--and if that does not discredit this fanciful tale, I don't know what will). This "Chimer" (who is not a mer!) claims that Mehrunes Dagon did, indeed, attack the Battlespire (after cursing him to live forever or some such nonsense), and that he did, indeed, add a surname (or "neonymic" as Varinturco insists we call it) to his protonymic for additional protection. Varinturco goes on and on about the alleged trials of this "Chimer" and some nameless hero (we've all heard that one before!), but there's no point recording it for posterity when the fool is obviously making it all up.

Varinturco ends his rambling by moving that the LAHS summon Mehrunes Dagon, politely ask him his protonymic (and neonymic), banish him, summon him again, and "see if it works." This practical and entirely harmless motion fails due to laughter preventing a quorum.

Motion to Adjourn

Dhavin moves to adjourn on the grounds that Varinturco's motion would not have been humorous if the hour was not far too late. The motion is seconded and passes.

Gondyr makes one final, desperate move towards Arielle, but the motion trips and falls 0-1 due to Ulrorn's foot.