>As for a classification errors-I realise that many sages may use
>runes as a shorthand for describing things-but runic associations
>are a kind of basic 'truth', rather than being subjective, so
>whilst, for example, an uz could lose the darkness rune, she
>would have to do some pretty extraordinary things to do so.
Yes, the problem is that while there is a basic truth about runic associations they aren't scientifically defined absolutes. We know dragonnewts aren't associated with the man rune but how about morocanth? or herd men?
I'm inclined to take John Hughes's suggestion a bit further and say humans are associated with the man rune plus a rune based on the mythical tribe they came from. So Dara Happens are man and sun, Orlanthi are man and storm, Ernaldans are man and earth, Praxians are man and beast. Then morocanth are also man and beast but herd men are just beast.
Clearly a morocanth has much more to do to lose the beast rune than a bison rider but all that indicates is that the two runes aren't equally balanced in many individuals and groups.
Another interesting borderline case is the Aldryami. As a group they are associated with man and plant. While this is pretty straight forward for elves and dryads I'm not so convinced about runners and pixies. Then there are odd things like mobile plants who the Aldryami count as one of themselves but surely don't have a man rune.
>Yeah, that's a perfectly good rationalisation if you accept that
>Mostali look like little old men.
I wouldn't go as far as that description - short, stocky mature men.
>Although, again, you might wonder whether
>(orthodox) Mostali would even fully comprehend the idea of growth (or
>maturity). And it would beg the question as to why non stasis-associated
>humans grow to resemble Mostali as they decay, age and change.
I'm sure the Mostali understand growth and maturity. It's a problem caused by chaos breaking the world machine. They've even had to adopt the pattern themselves to replace dwarves damaged and destroyed. Very unsatisfactory, but when they fix the right bit they'll be able to build mature dwarves from scratch. Untill then they keep the immature dwarves safely hidden away.
>The wikipedia article on dwarves (or more properly dwarfs, apparently)
That's an academic debate for English professors. Some English words ending in "f" are pluralised by changing the "f" to "ves" others aren't. Tolkien goes into the subject in detail in one of the appendixes to Lord of the Rings.
-- Donald Oddy http://www.grove.demon.co.uk/
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