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Author Topic: Derivation of Deryni  (Read 656 times)

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Offline revanne

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Derivation of Deryni
« on: June 26, 2017, 04:41:09 am »
Having just read KK chat from last night, I,  too, seem to remember having read somewhere that Deryni is a corruption of Kheldouryni, the region of Kheldour being where the Deryni first appeared after the destruction of Caerisse. But I don't  know where I read it.
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Offline DesertRose

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Re: Derivation of Deryni
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 07:18:12 am »
I think it's somewhere in Codex, but the way KK reacted in chat, I'm wondering if the Codex explanation isn't a Rob-ism.  She said in chat that she formed the word "Deryni" from the Welsh word for "oak," which Jemler looked up and is spelled "derw" and pronounced "Dare-oo." 

But I do think when she initially dreamed it all up, she had no idea then how far it would all go, so who knows whether that was a Rob-ism or whether that was something she and Rob came up with together to give an in-universe etymology for the word.

Offline Laurna

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Re: Derivation of Deryni
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2017, 12:20:51 pm »
Interesting! After I read in chat that KK derived the word from the Welsh word Oak, I instantly thought of Druid. I looked up the translation for Druid in Welsh and got the word Derwydd. (Wikipedia translates that to Oak-Knower / Oak-Seer.)

Offline Evie

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Re: Derivation of Deryni
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2017, 01:59:41 pm »
I also get the impression fairly often that there are things about the Deryniverse that KK came up with once upon a time but which she has long since forgotten, either due to not having written it down or writing it down so long ago that she's forgotten she even has that bit of backstory in her notes.  (Alaric's and Duncan's line of descent from Camber among other things, alluded to in the preface to one of her short stories but then never mentioned again, and seemingly forgotten now.) This seems to be one of those times. It could be that Rob also noticed that coincidental similarity between "Deryni" and "-dour" place names and created that in-world etymology to explain Deryni origins, but I think it's equally likely that he and KK came up with that together when coming up with the Codex (or at least that he floated the idea by her and she approved it), but that she's long since forgotten it, since the Codex was originally written several years ago, and she's had no reason since then to revisit that particular bit of information.  Sometimes, having read the books much more recently than she wrote them, we remember fine details about her world that she has long forgotten. When she was still writing TKD, I used to get emails from her asking for reminders of things, such as if she'd ever mentioned Meraude's hair and eye color, or which book and scene certain events had taken place in, so she could go back and read them to refresh her memory of certain details that she thought might be relevant to things she was writing in TKD.
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Offline revanne

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Re: Derivation of Deryni
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2017, 04:16:50 pm »
Interesting! After I read in chat that KK derived the word from the Welsh word Oak, I instantly thought of Druid. I looked up the translation for Druid in Welsh and got the word Derwydd. (Wikipedia translates that to Oak-Knower / Oak-Seer.)

Fascinating. In modern Welsh pronunciation Derwydd is something like Derooyth, which is not so very far from Deryni, and one could easily see how the one could be derived from the other.
We visited Stonehenge yesterday, and it being the Summer Solistice, there was a ceremony going on within the stones, where the general public are no longer allowed. Judging by the costumes of those present it appeared to be some sort of druidic ritual.


"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Derivation of Deryni
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2017, 06:24:10 pm »
A druidic ritual would have been held on the summer solstice.  It would have been interesting to see.

Of course, so would Stonehenge in general.   :)
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Offline DesertRose

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Re: Derivation of Deryni
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2017, 06:44:16 pm »
From what little I know of the Druidic tradition, holding a solstice celebration/ritual at Stonehenge would be an undertaking of deep respect and intense spirituality for them, and depending on the group, they might allow respectful observers or they might not want observers at all, since it isn't exactly a show put on for the benefit of observers but rather a deeply spiritual experience held at a site with marked historical sacred significance to them.

Not trying to be rude, here, just saying that while Stonehenge might be open to tourists, the Druids' solstice observances maybe not so much.

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Derivation of Deryni
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2017, 09:11:58 pm »
Sorry, I meant no disrespect. As a person fascinated by Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and medieval history, I spoke from an historian's perspective, as one who would like to understand the rituals and their meaning.  Kind of a virtual fly on the wall, and not intruding.
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Offline Laurna

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Re: Derivation of Deryni
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2017, 11:17:25 pm »
The time of sunrise changes by only a few minutes in the days after the solstice. Being as there a thousands of visitors on the day of solstice, I can well see where a private ritual would be held a day or two later. Very cool that you can go there, revanne. Stonehenge is most definitely on my list of places to visit.

I think that it makes good sense when starting a new story with a race of skilled, wise,  mages, that KK would begin with what in the real world represents ancient wisdom and Magic. Such as Oak trees. Wonderful. Has KK ever stated where she got her familiarity with Welsh names and places?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 03:33:30 am by Laurna »

Offline revanne

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Re: Derivation of Deryni
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2017, 02:57:45 am »
Sorry, I should have been a bit clearer. The general public are kept at quite a distance behind  the outer perimeter of the stones. The group in question were within the stones, within plain sight, where the stones allowed, but not within earshot and in fact quite private although not secret. Quite a good situation,  I would think, for anyone wanting to dispel lurid imaginings about their activities. I overheard one of the site stewards telling someone that "they" ((he didn't  define "they", but it clearly meant the current group and presumably also other genuine druid and/or pagan groups) were no trouble because the site was considered a holy place and therefore treated with respect. They were clearly there with permission.

There has been considerably trouble over the years with drunken revellers visiting Stonehenge at dawn on the summer Solistice  (less enthusiasm for the midwinter sunset!) , necessitating a considerable police presence (although these would be unarmed police) all of which must be very distressing for thone to whom this is an act of worship.
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline DesertRose

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Re: Derivation of Deryni
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2017, 10:32:52 am »
Sorry, I meant no disrespect. As a person fascinated by Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and medieval history, I spoke from an historian's perspective, as one who would like to understand the rituals and their meaning.  Kind of a virtual fly on the wall, and not intruding.

I didn't mean to imply that you would be disrespectful at all, just that the ritual itself might not be open to observers per the wishes of the people conducting it.  :)

Offline drakensis

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Re: Derivation of Deryni
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2017, 03:12:18 am »
I think it's somewhere in Codex, but the way KK reacted in chat, I'm wondering if the Codex explanation isn't a Rob-ism.  She said in chat that she formed the word "Deryni" from the Welsh word for "oak," which Jemler looked up and is spelled "derw" and pronounced "Dare-oo."

The entry for Deryni in the 2nd edition Codex lists the word as "Deryni (or Derynii or Dourynoi or Les Derynois)" and suggests the name is derived from the Heldurnii (or Kheldourynoi) who repelled the Byzantyun expansion north of the river Eiran in 253, with help from the 'sea people' who'd settled the west coast of what we know as Kheldour from Caerisse and were described as Magi.

 

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