Here’s one for you. Yellow Teeth Remain Sharp, head of state of the Empire of Perfection, right? Wields the contents of the vaults of the Citadel of Rosepetals, right? Maybe the only entity in the Mother Countries with enough identity to treat with the Tower of Tongues as anything like equal. Not formally immortal, not Undying, yet preserved by action of certain ancient artifacts or practices; effectively Yellow Teeth Remain Sharp is forever preserved at the cusp of age. We’re all familiar with this. Yellow Teeth Remain Sharp, the Last Prefect, is surrounded by a cabal of Undying advisors, but possesses might both magical and military, with a fine athame.
Now this is my question: is Yellow Teeth Remain Sharp a man, a woman, or a mojh? Human, or litorian? Check Living Memory. Go ahead. Or I can do it, either way. Let’s both.
From the memories of In’trr Rrith’rr, litorian warchief and dedicated servant of Yellow Teeth Remain Sharp. He recalls his master as a female litorian, draped with magical jewelry. The eighth of Sixthmonth, DY 1292. They’re outside a long tent made of skin, Yellow Teeth Remain Sharp’s mobile headquarters. The army is off down the hill. In’trr Rrith’rr heard her speak words of encouragement, a little improvised oratory beginning “time cannot wither the achievements of this day…”
With me? Now. In’trr Rrith’rr is eating a plate of stew. Track that backwards, find the kitchen-boy Et who served that plate. While Yellow Teeth Remain Sharp and In’trr Rrith’rr are meeting, Et is on the other side of the canvas, polishing Yellow Teeth Remain Sharp’s flatware. He was within earshot, heard the oratory. Hear it through his ears.
Oh my, you say. It doesn’t sound the same. Tones different, inflections different, fucking text is different (“your achievements today will endure for ever…”) and, my oh my, it’s definitely not the voice of a female litorian. Et heard a masculine voice, human or verrik or giant.
Better than that, though, I can do. Try the memories of Owls Nest Hidden In the Boughs (that’s “Owls” not “Owl’s,” “Nest” is a verb), applevendor, on the first anniversary of the Battle of Fool Hill. Compare it to his sister’s viewpoint, Owls Swoop Towards Mice, who stood next to him. I’m talking about the first anniversary of the Kil Orn massacre, Yellow Teeth Remain Sharp’s speech to the crowd. Both of them heard, or afterwards remembered hearing, a tall mojh orate. It orated simply, but effectively, and spun a little web of trust out of nothing. Thirteen hundred words in, one three six one eight words in, to be precise, starting counting with “thank you, Captain High-Heart.” Compare. Boughs heard “he” and Mice heard “she.” Or anyway they remember that. If Living Memory could be trusted, which it can’t. But it fits in with my theory, you see? The Last Prefect is artificial; he or she or it swims through perception like a spell, like a process. It interacts with everyone a little differently, so there’s minor variations. The pavers-over and smoothers-of-history “correct” most of Living Memory, but little things fall through the cracks.
There is no real Yellow Teeth Remain Sharp, it’s all sophisticated ontological illusion! Reality is a lie! Pass the damn whisky.
SEE Fire-In-Water Land, Living Memory (Gaps In), the Most High