Dalemark Still II

Philip.Belben at pgen.com Philip.Belben at pgen.com
Thu Nov 9 11:56:37 EST 2000

Here's a thread that I must have missed when it first appeared.  Not that that
will stop me diving in...  This being Dalemark, I'm likely to start by
disagreeing with Tanaqui :-)

Tanaqui, quoting Ven:

>+ Secondly Old Ammet. I've always found him a bit of a puzzle -- is
>+ his sphere land or sea?
> Sea. There's a link to land, with waving wheat looking like sea and coming
> under his influence on occasion (the stale bread, the Gift to the Sea of the
> wheat-figure), but the land seems mostly to fall within Libby Beer's remit.
> She's fertility and solidity... and he's undulating stuff. I know he raises
> islands, but not major continents ;-)

Well, for a start, it is Libby who raises islands!  Their titles, are:  Ammet,
"The Earthshaker" and Libby, "She who raised the Islands" - both land titles in
my view.  And it was Libby's powerful name that raised a new island for Mitt in
Drowned Ammet.  (Ammet's lesser name turned Al into a patch of wheat, and his
powerful name dealt with Kankredin 200 years later)

Actually I think they're both firmly land based, although I won't deny water or
sea associations.  The traditional associations (for use in harvest festival
dolls, offerings, etc.) are fruits for Libby and grains for Ammet - both land
harvest items.  Even in Holand - a major fishing port as well as a trade centre
- there is nothing to do with the harvest of the sea in the way Libby and Ammet
are venerated.  I don't recall anything of the sea in the Holy Islanders'
worship of them either.

> I don't know that the characters of Tanamil and Robin fit at all well with
> Libby Beer and Alhammitt. You'd also expect it to be mentioned in the shrine
> - names are crucial, so why isn't Tanamil there with YNYNEN? Possibly, it's
> a name eroded by time.

I would go further than this.  I think that Ammet and Libby are definitely not
Tanamil and Robin.  (And not even Elthorar suggested that one!)  A Robin-Libby
connection I think has no evidence either way, but there are definite things
that suggest Tanamil is not Ammet:

When the various peoples in and of Dalemark came together and Tanamil appeared
to them all (just after Tanaqui undid the first bond) Tanamil was haled by many
titles, but Earth Shaker or variants thereof weren't among them.

(And titles from that period do survive into modern times - The One, Grand
Father, etc.)

If Tanamil is Alhammitt, why didn't he give this name, or the shortened Ammet
form, to Closti's children when they first arrived?  In DA he definitely
considers this to be his name when Mitt asks.

I think the clue to Ammet and Libby comes from Gull's wanderings.  One of the
things he says to Tanaqui when he is helping her get upriver is that he has
explored a lot of the "land" - presumably Dalemark - and that Tanaqui wouldn't
believe some of the strange Undying they have there.  I think of Ammet and Libby
whenever I read this passage - other parts of Dalemark presumably have other
Undying, but Ammet and Libby are the only ones who enter into any of the other

> I keep willing Mitt to call Libby Beer's name before his mind's eye. I have
> such a suspicion that it's along "Hildrida" lines.

:-)  What a splendid thought.

On the subject of Ammet and Libby, what is the nature of the bindings upon them?
They are bound to respond to their names; but they seem also to be bound to be
inactive unless called upon in this manner.  Anyone have any thoughts?



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