Number's up.

From: Alex Ferguson (alex@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Fri 09 Feb 1996 - 01:19:09 EET


While the numbers of one's enemies may be unlucky, or bad, the most likely
candidates are those religions which one has supplanted, or come into most
intimate contact with, rather than those of foreign enemies. So the usual
suspects for Dara Happa are the proto-Lunar Pelandans, and the Pentans --
not that we know what their magic numbers are. Terran precedent, though,
suggests a lunar connection with the numbers 3, 5, 7, and 9, to assorted
degrees and for various reasons. 7 and 9 are the ones of this lot
most likely to be ill-favoured, particularly 7. I note that Umatum
is the thirteenth figure in the top row of the God's Wall -- whichever
end you're counting from -- so it well may be Very Bad. (Yes, I know
13 is not the most original of candidates. Anyone have any idea why
the _Orlanthi_ think 13 is unlucky? None of the terrestrial connotations
seem to apply in this case.)

Peter's rejection of Unlucky 5 as Too God Learnerish while nominating 88
is puzzling, as 88 seems to be of enirely parochial Sartarite significance.

Eight seems likely to be a good DH number, being the terran number of
"solar increase", as Graves would have it, the number of Yelm's planetary
sons, and Ghod knows what else.

Aforesaid Peter quoth himself:

>> Five is Truth according to the Yelmists.

> It's from the GRAY where Plentonius talks about the
> Ten Members of the Celestial Court and their properties. Aether
> Primolt is Ten and Athletics is Eight (I think), frex.

Oh yes, that! It had never occurred to me that this was intended
to be interpreted numerologically (duh), but looking at it again it
seems to be make sense read this way.

Fans of Pythagorean triples will notice that in this system,
Beauty combines with Joy to produce Truth; I bet I can summon a
qualified sybaritic poet to testify to this being the case.

Squarely,
Alex.

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