Reference:RAWA/Book(s) of Birenni
Personal email, dated May 30, 2013
Hey RAWA, I was wondering if I could ask you to put on your D'ni Historian hat for just a minute, because I have a small bit of canon confusion that I'm hoping you could resolve.
I'm working on updating and professionalizing the content on the Guild of Archivists website, and I wanted to work out some confusion in the official source material regarding Lalen, Hemelin, and their finding of the book/Book/Books/books that provided a cure for the plague in the 2200s.
First, I've seen official sources refer to the discovery as finding the "lost Book of Birenni" and the "lost Books of Birenni". The old black-background Cyan website and the old DRC website called them the Books of Birenni, but the DRC notebook on King Hemelin in Uru calls it the Book of Birenni. Which is correct, or under the circumstances are they interchangeable? Also, am I right to assume that in either case Birenni was the author, and not the name of the Age?
Second, I also wanted to clarify the year in which Lalen and King Hemelin got married. The painting of Lalen on the old DRC site (http://web.archive.org/web/20040207171238im_/http://www.drcsite.org/img/laleninfo.jpg) has some flavor text on it that says they got married the day the plague was officially declared to be cured. Since that happened 6 years after they found the Book/Books, that would imply they got married in 2268 DE. But the DRC notebook in Uru says they got married "on that day" in 2262, implying they got married the day the Book/Books were first found.
I'm assuming the DRC notebook is at fault in at least the second case here, since it would make more sense for Lalen and Hemelin to get married once the plague was officially cured. I was hoping you could set me straight on all of this, though, because I've been going in circles on it for a long time now, and finally decided it was probably best to just ask ;).
(Also, if you're feeling extra generous, any chance of finding out what D'ni artist made the painting of Lalen? :))
Guild of Archivists
<blows dust from D'ni Historian hat>
<coughs uncontrollably until the dust settles>
Yes, Birenni was the author. He had written many Ages for the Guild of Healers. In this case, Book and Books are somewhat interchangeable. Many of the "Old Books" had been lost, several of them were Books written by Birenni (so: Books), but only one, ultimately, provided the cure (so: Book). I guess it depends on how specific the context is, whether it's referring to the Books of Birenni as a group, or specifically the Book of the Age where the cure was found.
As for the year of the marriage of Hemelin and Lalen, there are three credible but conflicting dates that have been found. According to some accounts, they were wed in 2260, and it was the fact that they were married that gave Lalen the access that helped her recover the Old Books. Other accounts give the date 2262, when the Books were found. Still others give 2268, when the plague was declared cured.
Given the credibility of the various sources, it seems most likely that all three are in some way correct: that they were first married in 2260 with little fanfare while the King was ill, that they renewed their vows publicly in 2262 as a sign of hope to the people when the Books were found, and then renewed their vows yet again with the great celebration-to-end-all-celebrations, all the fanfare, etc. in 2268 when the plague was officially cured.
Hope that helps,
RAWA/ Dr. Watson