Re: Writing

From: Nils Weinander <>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 11:10:54 +0200

Much interesting stuff in this thread. I have been meaning to write a few lines about East Isles scripts, but... Now Alex writes:
> A popular sport is, who has rebus-writing, and who's logosyllabic?
> Come to that, who has a "pure" syllabary? I certainly see the
> East Isles as having a non-alphabetical script, and not an outright
> logographic one, so it (or they) could be any of the above.

There are (of course) many scripts in the East Isles. I know of five, but only two of them are canonical (i.e. Greg-approved). He liked the myths I wrote about the two I invented, so they may hold some promise...

The oldest Vithelan script is used in the Yederjalif, an ancient holy book, describing the rites of the High Gods, the vedas of Vithela to make a RW comparison. It is extremely difficult to learn, because reading it (must be read aloud I think) means direct communion with the High Gods. That in turn means that the reader experiences a state of Liberation while reading. I think the script is a huge set of complex runes. I don't know if they are syllabic or logographic, but the main point is that they are mystical/magical (divine mysticism).

When knowledge of the Yederjalif faded, the Kadijalif was written to expand upon and explain the Yederjalif, the Upanishads of Vithela to continue the analogy. The script of the Kadijalif is also very difficult and magical in nature. I think it looks like complex mandalas: one figure is an entire text that must be taken in and understood as one.

The third script (my idea, thus unofficial) was invented by Fenvalo, a student of Larn Hasamador. His progress was slowed by his weak memory, so he decided to write down the master's teaching in order to be able to review it. First he mastered the Yederjalic script but found that it could only be used for writing about the High Gods. Then he learned the Kadijalic script but found that it didn't help since he couldn't write down a lecture until it was completed, and at that tiem his memory was failing him. So finally he meditated and fasted and came up with rebus writing, drawing picures based on sound likeness.

The fourth script (also my idea) was invented on Mokato in its imperial days. After a rather embarassing incident, the chamberlain of the Grand Steward received the script as a gift from Hobimarong. The characters represent a consonant/ vowel combination, (with single letters added later). The inspiration is the indian devanagari script.

The fifth script (Greg Fried's idea) was invented by the Thellini sages. Given their logical outlook I think it is alphabetic. It is written in a spiral from the center of the sheet outwards.

I think the most common writing material in the East Isles is palm leaves, bound together with strings through holes in both ends (like used in RW southern India).

Nils Weinander
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End of The Glorantha Digest V8 #95

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