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"Notes on Zelazny's Dilvish the Damned Universe" Topic

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1,253 hits since 1 Apr 2019
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tsofian02 Apr 2019 1:30 p.m. PST

Dilvish notes
Upon reading the two volumes of the Dilvish stories by Zelazny the background is a bit sparse but there is actually a surpri, as a race of sing amount there
Let's start with Monsters
Although never seen, dragons are mentioned, and in such a manner as to make it seem likely they exist as real threats.
Undead certainly do, with both zombies and vampires playing key roles in stories. Wraiths are also mentioned and the Doomed Legions of Shoredan may not be classical undead, but are not exactly living either.
Dilvish meets a werewolf, so were creatures exist
A very large fire elemental is encountered but from the discussion around it the four standard types appear to exist
Cockatrices are rare but mentioned.
Both Elves and Half Elves are obviously in this universe.

Salamanders as a race of magical armor smiths are noted by Lance as having made his armor

Demons and Devils
Both of these types of interplanar being exist. They can be summoned

Magic users are the center of this setting. Jelerek is the prime driver for Dilvish and the major plot lines. There is a society of magic users. Magic is not an uncommon phenomenon, as it is even used to treat mange in horses.
Both Offensive and defensive magics exist
In addition there are a number

Magic Items
These are magical rings, armor, swords, blasting rods, staves and other items. It doesn't appear that they are particularly uncommon.

The Changing Land is a Cthulhu mythos story. The Castle Timeless has an Old One living in it. He is grabbed up by Elder Gods. The Hounds of Tindalos make an appearance.
There are a number of other Gods, including a Goddess of harvests and two opposing Minor Gods. There is also a God that appears to look over flocks and mountain folks.
The priestess of the Goddess appears to have some spell casting ability
A God King previously lived, probably a thousand or more years before. He was tremendously powerful and capable of building a fortress that would never decay, and cursing a huge army into marching forever through some sort of endless wasteland

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian02 Apr 2019 4:55 p.m. PST

Hmmm. I loved Zelazny's work, but I think I skipped these novels…

goragrad02 Apr 2019 6:13 p.m. PST

Good solid reads.

tsofian06 Apr 2019 4:05 p.m. PST

The first book, Dilvish the Damned is a number of excellent short stories that span a couple of decades of Zelazny's career. There are a number of absolutely fabulous stories here. The Bells of Shordan is a favorite. The Changing Land is a full novel and is also well worth reading. They may not be as well known as the Amber series but they are well-crafted stories.

tsofian22 Apr 2019 2:35 p.m. PST

I've decided on two of Jelerek's other strongholds. One will be an island of some sort but the other will be a cursed city While he was alive Jelerek held the curse in check. The inhabitants lived to protect him, as he was all that stood between them and a horrible death at the hands of the awful curse. Once he died the curse became active. The city is now an empty wasteland. The curse stalks across the world finding those who called the city home but were not there when Jelerek fell

tsofian26 May 2020 4:26 p.m. PST

More Notes
In the past
2500 years ago, there was the end of the Emperor of the World, Hohorga. His capital in the Citadel of Rohoring in the Land of Rohoringhast. He was a God Emperor and existed since the creation of the world (was one of the First). Five hundred years before that Jelerak had contested with Hohorga and was defeated and made a slave (much like a Taken, from Black Company). The World Empire included several client states, including Jandar and Shoredan. Shoredan was in rebellion and set a vast host to besiege Rohoringhast. Hohorga trapped the host using ensorcelled bells and have been in a placeless place since that time.

Jelerak is several thousand years old. He was originally a white wizard, but was turned to darkness by Hohorga. Before that occurred Jelerak had performed a tremendous service for the Great Old Ones. Exactly what that service was is unknown, but it was so important that the Great Old Ones owed a debt to him that took millennia to discharge. Jelerak was associated with the High Court at Jandar for the period both and before his transformation to evil.

The ancient empires were quite likely evil. Semirama has no issues with killing slaves, or human sacrifice. She also was a high priestess of the Great Old Ones and described as a "sister" and "lover" by Tualua. This implies that she was from a line that interbred with the Great Old Ones and if nothing else were not adverse to the actions of these beings.

"Common"-This is the language of the previous Empire of Hohorrga. It was used in the successor states that followed and is the main language of wizards. As such it is highly conserved and has changed very little over time and space. There are some regional dialects but not many and they differ little from the mother tongue.

Mabrahoring: Language of Hell and demons

High Elvish; Language of the Elvish Community, difficult to learn, rarely used semi archaic.

Common Elvish or Elfin-Language most often used by elves in the Elflands

Blackwold; Highly agglutinated language, spoken in Baran's homeland

Desert Tribes- a sibilant tongue

Col of the West-Westrim
The West, under Lylish, Col of the West

East Marches-Malacar the Mighty
Dilfar, Strongly fortified city, Known for red wine production
Bildesh, Wine producing region a tawny vintage
Maestar, On a steep ridge by the Pass of Reshth
Mycar, On the river Kethe
Portaroy, An ancient altar site is located nearby

Other Eastern towns
Tugado and Qaran, these are between Portaroy and Maestar, but are not listed as part of the East Marches.

The North Countries
Seem sparely populated


Sea Coast

There are islands off the coast

Murcave-Far to the East, minor domain

Two mountain ranges

Jelerak fortresses (total of at least 7)
Tower of Ice-Destroyed and Riley is still entrapped
Castle Timeless-Has vanished
Red Keep
"At the Edge of the World"

Korel-High Priest of Babrigore

Mildin Mistress of the Caer Devash coven

Thelinde: Daughter of Mildin

Merde, Red Wizard of the South

Holrun, the youngest member of the Council of mages

Rawk, archivist of the council of mages, very old

Taksh'mael-Keeper of the flocks A minor god in mountains Northeast of the Eastern Marches
Babrigore-The temple that cared for Jelerak after the fall of Hohorga. The temple appears to be og Good alignment. They have more than one temple. The high priest of each temple must go on a pilgrimage and is often of middle years or older when he accepts his position.
Witches that worship the Moon Goddess
There is at least one coven at Caer Devash. They appear to be somewhat druidic in nature, being able to both talk with animals and transform into them.

tsofian11 Jun 2020 9:05 a.m. PST

I've worked up a map. It has a LOT of blank spaces on it. I used a maximum of 100 miles per day for travel for Dilvish and Black. There are several cities and towns mentioned, as well as three ranges of hills or mountains. Only a few rivers are mentioned, so I added some.

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