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Father sits on his horse in his shining armor, lonely. His soft heart led him to take in a young and sickly girl, her jaundice a blemish on her wispy, light face. Though father has said he can't be alone, it's an exaggeration. He simply loves her, and it is a love eternal. Out of their love, we are born beyond count. Across the earth we spread, sultrier than our mother and gleaming brighter than father. We are gracious hosts in small numbers and merciless in our horde; even fire and ice flee before us, our defensive army keeping the devourers at bay. Leave an offering of ivory upon the mountaintop and we will be your god of death.

Who are our parents?

Hint 1:

The knight and the girl have such great chemistry together that they reproduce a lot. I mean, there are tons and tons of us.

Hint 2:

Dad's a lot like uncle K. They're just "too cool" for standard naming conventions. If he wasn't, it would be So Clear who mom and dad were.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I googled half of the words you used. I thought I knew english! $\endgroup$ – Narmer Nov 18 '14 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ I've been called a windbag before. :) $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Nov 18 '14 at 13:59
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    $\begingroup$ Googled that also. Indeed you're a windbag ;) $\endgroup$ – Narmer Nov 18 '14 at 14:00
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    $\begingroup$ Eschew obfuscation! $\endgroup$ – A E Nov 18 '14 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ If I must. I'll give a hint at the end of the day if nobody gets it yet. $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Nov 18 '14 at 14:15
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They're

Sodium and Chlorine.

Father sits on his horse in his shining armor, lonely.

Sodium is a shiny silver-colored metal.

His soft heart led him to take in a young and sickly girl, her jaundice a blemish on her wispy, light face.

Sodium is very soft (0.5 on the mohs hardness scale). Chlorine is a yellowish gas.

Though father has said he can't be alone, it's an exaggeration. He simply loves her, and it is a love eternal.

Sodium can exist on its own, but forms a strong bond with chlorine.

Their kid is

Salt, sodim chloride.

Out of their love, we are born beyond count.

Salt can be found all over the planet.

Across the earth we spread, sultrier than our mother...

It forms a solution with water (making it sultry in the sense of "humid").

... and gleaming brighter than father.

It is translucent/white (arguably "brighter" than silver).

We are gracious hosts in small numbers and merciless in our horde;

Salt is an important nutrient in small quantities, but can cause cardiovascular disease in large quantities.

even fire and ice flee before us,

Salt is commonly used in class D fire extinguishers, and used to de-ice roadways.

our defensive army keeping the devourers at bay.

A ring of salt around your garden will repel slugs, which would otherwise devour your plants.

Leave an offering of ivory upon the mountaintop and we will be your god of death.

I have no idea what this means.

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    $\begingroup$ Well done. Salt is sultry because salacious (a sexy term) comes from how attractive a mate you were if you could afford salt. The defensive army more refers to salting food as a preservative, but I like the slugs bit too. The ivory is for military history buffs. When Carthage sent its army and a band of Gaulish mercenaries, they sent elephants along. These elephants marched with the army from Spain to the alps, but most died on the mountains. The invasion failed and Rome eventually destroyed Carthage by salting their lands so that nothing would grow there again. It was extreme overkill. $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Nov 19 '14 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ Whew! I figured it was a chemistry thing, but I initially dismissed salt because I thought chlorine was colorless. I kept trying to find firefighting compounds made partially of sulphur :-) Hint #2 let me conclusively identify the father, which really helped. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Nov 19 '14 at 13:36
  • $\begingroup$ Did you notice that I also gave away the mother in that one? After saying the father didn't follow naming conventions, I said it should be (So Cl)ear. $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Nov 19 '14 at 13:41
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    $\begingroup$ "think of the love that you eat when you salt your meat" - mcgarrigles.com/music/the-mcgarrigle-hour/nacl-sodium-chloride $\endgroup$ – Kate Gregory Nov 19 '14 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ Love it! It's a timeless romance. $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Nov 19 '14 at 14:21
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Just a guess...

The knight is oxygen and the girl is hydrogen. The children would then be water.

Father sits on his horse in his shining armor, lonely. His soft heart led him to take in a young and sickly girl, her jaundice a blemish on her wispy, light face.

What's softer than Oxygen? Hydrogen is the lightest element of the periodic table.

Though father has said he can't be alone, it's an exaggeration.

Oxygen can be alone, or it can combine with Hydrogen to form water.

Out of their love, we are born beyond count. Across the earth we spread, sultrier than our mother and gleaming brighter than father.

Water is by itself beyond count, and spreads when lakes pour into rivers, come onto the shore, etc - it's everywhere on earth. Water can be hot, which might explain "sultrier". It can also gleam when the sun reflects off of it.

We are gracious hosts in small numbers and merciless in our horde

Water is fine in small numbers (i.e. a glass of water or a bath) but dangerous in high numbers (think hurricanes, floods, etc)

The last two lines regarding fire/ice and the "god of death" just don't fit in, unless I'm missing something. Obviously water makes fire flee, but what makes ice flee? And I'm very interested to learn what the god of death is. Great riddle. This is my new favorite site. :)

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  • $\begingroup$ You're not that far off. I'll add another hint that should get you the rest of the way. $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Nov 19 '14 at 13:01
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I think the children might be:

Clouds

And the parents are, I guess:

The Sun and the Earth, since clouds are formed when the Sun heats the Earth

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  • $\begingroup$ What about sun and moon ('sickly' meaning 'sickle-shaped')? I'm not so sure about clouds, but the question only asks about the parents! $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Nov 18 '14 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ At first I thought about the sun and the moon, but I couldn't think of their children (It's not required to name the children in an answer, but they are supposed to make sense). Maybe waves? $\endgroup$ – Vilmar Nov 18 '14 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ I like the idea, but you're on the wrong track. Parents is used in an ever so slightly more scientific sense. $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Nov 18 '14 at 15:31

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