From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes"
Subject: (urth) 5HC: Shadow Children in the Lupiverse? Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 16:26:20 -0700 Okay, I'm dumb and I admit it; I hadn't remembered that the Shadow Children actually _call_ themselves humans. Now I do. But are they really? And if they are, _who_ are they? You're going to think about halfway through this message that I am making another really dumb mistake. Maybe I am, but not the one you think I'm making, as you'll see. The most-relevant quotes are as follows. Ace pb p. 95; the Old Wise One talking: "You would say that these sing. There is the Song of Many Mouths and All Full, The Bending Sky-Paths Song that none may come, The Hunting Song, The Song of Ancient Sorrows we sing when the Fighting Lizard is high in the summer sky and we see our old home as a little yellow gem in his tail... "...when _we_ sing, it is not the air that shakes. We shake extension, and I am the song all the Shadow children sing, their thought when they sing as one. Hold your hands before you thus, not touching. Now think of your hands gone. That is what we shake." Sandwalker said, "That is nothing." "That which you call nothing is what holds all worlds apart. When it is gone, all the worlds will be born." Well, now. That last sounds just a teeny weeny bit like the cyclical universe Wolfe talked about in Nutria's interview selection, doesn't it? H'mmm ... Anyway, what I got when I was this far was that they were colonists who'd been there some time, and came from a world with a yellow sun, and so were, in all probability, humans or human- descended. Anyway, then on to pages 125ff; again the (or an) Old Wise One to Sandwalker: "Now humans - my race - actually travelled in [starcrossers], cruising among the stars before the long dreaming days. We came here that way. "... We either came recently or a long, long time ago. I'm not sure which. "... We had no songs when we came here - that was one of the reasons we stayed, and why we lost the starcrosser." "You coulcn't have gone back in it anyway..." "We know. We've changed too much ... we once looked as you do now." It is in this passage also that the Old Wise One informs Sandwalker that "You come of a race of shapechangers -- like those we called werewolves in our old home."  One more observation on why the Shadow children stayed: "For this we have given up everything, because this is more than everything, though it is only an herb of this world...Long ago in our home, before a fool struck fire, we were so -- roaming without whatever might be named save the sun, the night, and each other. Now we are so again, for we are gods, and things made by hands do not concern us." [129-31] Okay, so what's going on here? Possible explanations exfoliate: It's _fairly_ clear, though, that the Shadow children are the first, French, colonists. They came to Ste-Anne, and found the godleaf, which a) gave them Amazing Psychic Powers[tm] b) are way cool hallucinogens that made them _think_ they had Amazing Psychic Powers. They also x) found the abos y) hallucinated the abos Annoyingly, almost any combination of these is possible, as is the somewhat vaguer possibility that the Shadow children are not the French at all but a much earlier round of colonists -- among the names the great WOO remembers for their ancient home are "Atlantis or Mu -- or Gondwanaland, Africa, Poictesme, or the Country of Friends." The one good thing to emerge so far is that Ste-Anne & Ste-Croix clearly can _not_ be Urth and Lune, thank the Increate!, because people come and go between them and Earth fairly regularly without any apparent time travel. Well, anyway. I'm jiggy with this so far, but then I remember: hey, this is all something Victor/"Marsch" wrote, and it's not at all clear that we have _any_ reason to trust him. Another possibility occurs to me -- perhaps the abos are not shapeshifters at all, but humans, either the French or someone earlier, who -- under the influence of the godleaf -- have gone totally native, forgotten technology (and thus the ability to use tools is not physiological but simple unfamiliarity), and generally become _different_ by Lamarckian evolution. This is still more like a bunch of questions than it is like a model, but at least I think they're starting to be coherent questions... --Blattid PS: Are there any other Cabell references in Lupine texts...?) --