Author Topic: Writing Cavilish  (Read 3840 times)

Writer

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Writing Cavilish
« on: May 16, 2004, 04:20:16 AM »
Quote from: "Help read"

....and the Merchant Houses pass along a knowledge of how
to write the trade-ciphers associated with Cavilish to their agents and
merchants...


So I can write in Cavilish, but what -can- I write?  Obviously I cannot write epic novels or journals, but what about...

1) Legal contracts, including mergers and weddings?
2) Complete description of an outfit of some sorts?
3) Warning signs?
4) Newspaperesque gossip about people?

Or can I just write whatever I want to write using these 'trade-ciphers'?

Anarchy

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Writing Cavilish
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2004, 04:30:35 AM »
I think by that they mean a few notches in a length of wood.

Any advanced form of writing by a commoner is outlawed, so an X may mean 10 and a I means 100, dont expect to write out legal papers, etc (not that anyone would know what they are). Only major merchent houses with ties to the templars are allowed to write, and only then their major merchents.
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wizturbo

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Writing Cavilish
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2004, 04:33:50 AM »
The merchant class -cannot- automatically read and write.

The "trade-ciphors" that are assosiated with cavilish are a basic form of mathematics, there is no coded basis for them, but i'm assuming it would provide a merchant with suitable skill to do basic math assosiated with trade.

Bestatte

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Writing Cavilish
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2004, 08:52:26 AM »
err - ciphers are symbols. Letters of the alphabet are symbols. Cavilish is a series of symbols specific to their language. It is their written language.

The "Writer" guy who started the thread says he -can- write Cavilish. I have to take this to mean that his character has that skill on his skills list for whatever reason.

Taking the leap from assumption to a given -

Writing is something that writers will probably not do in public, unless they're templars or nobility, even if they have permission to read and write by virtue of their status in society.

I can think of many reasons to write, and things to write about:

If your character has a hobby, or a side-line (like herbalism for example) they might want to keep track of their hobby or sideline. Formulae (recipes) for things, practical use of whatever they collect, interesting artifacts they've picked up - things to document their progress, and to keep inventory for their House in case they should die and the House wants to take the loot to their sekrit display room.

Legal contracts, absolutely. Trade agreements between other houses, totally. Sale or purchase of a slave or concubine, etc. etc. etc. I remember one slave was given such a parchment, that declared the condition of his enslavement to whoever was able to read it. This supposedly was to protect the slave in case of trouble. Sorta like - "If this slave misbehaves, come to me directly about the problem. If you take action without my permission, you will answer to me instead. Oh yeah and if you find him outside the gates, disregard the above and bring me his head."

Not warning signs, but perhaps letters of warning to your fellow reader/writers. Perhaps you have reason to not use the Way to tell your cousin in the other town about something. Or perhaps you and his player simply don't play at the same times. But you gotta send word to him that there's an assassin after his ass, or that the shipment of steel will take trade route X instead of Y because of a threat in the area. So you send an employee across the world with a letter of warning to deliver to the other guy's aide, who you know to be trustworthy and will deliver it to the other guy. I've been the courier on a few of these kinds of things before. Good fun!

Gossip? Meh. Maybe in the warning letter to the other guy across the world you could add a little "oh yeah and check this out - our esteemed sister Senior Agent Muffypuffle's been spicing up a wee too much lately and got caught with her knickers around her ankles by Chosen Lord Snotnose's aide in his military barracks."

But I don't think you'd spend that much time writing much gossip, since it would need to be read by someone and the odds that the recipient will give a shit about gossip (as opposed to actual important plotline-changing news) are slim.

marko

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Writing Cavilish
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2004, 10:15:54 AM »
To further what Bestatte said - just keep in mind that cavilish is the language of merchants.  

It would be lacking in descriptive and poetic terms while it would be heavy on numerical representations.  The language would be heavy on detailed information (size, mass, weight, location, quantity, quality, calibre, condition, etc) while lacking such things as a dozen words for 'shadow.'

I believe cavilish is the perfect language to write contracts, bills of sale, establishing treaties, ledgers, and that sort of thing.

I do not think cavilish is a good language for rumors, keeping a personal journal (it could be done, but I would keep it limited on the verbose side), or poetry.

Angela Christine

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Writing Cavilish
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2004, 06:06:35 PM »
If you have read/write on your skill list then you are almost certainly in a clan.  That is one of the perks of taking those advertised templar/noble/merchant house family member positions, and it is a good perk.  So if you aren't sure what sorts of things your character can write in certain languages, your clan imm would be the logical person to ask, cc the mud account too, they like that.



By way of a semi-derailment, I think you could do some freaky free verse poetry or rap in Cavilish.  For example, a line about how the love of your life spurned your gifts and turned you away might read, "Offer refused, merger incomplete."  :twisted:  


AC
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Gilvar

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Writing Cavilish
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2004, 07:13:55 PM »
I imagine written cavilish would have to do with things like supplies, orders, etc. If you have numerous accounts you'd need some way to identify between people, etc.

Written cavilish probably has words for things like sold, buy, merchant things like that. And then maybe proper nouns for people? Not sure.

Secret Reader

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Writing Cavilish
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2004, 09:08:36 PM »
I know of an immortal-written journal that is done in cavilish. When I played a character who spoke cavilish I was told that if I wanted to write a journal or do anything along those lines I was more than welcome to.

Tamarin

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Writing Cavilish
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2004, 12:14:11 AM »
Alright, so the masses aren't allowed to write, because muk and tek say so.  There are WAY more people living outside those confines, I would imagine.  What about those people?  The ones who have lived and thrived free of opression?  The nomadic tribes whose traditions flourish despite the existence of so-called sorcerer kings?  Would they not have found a way to write down bendune or anyar or the like into a written language, seeing as they have no one to prevent them from doing so?
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Sir Diealot

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Writing Cavilish
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2004, 02:10:18 AM »
Typically, I don't think wandering nomadic tribes developed written-language very fast on Earth.  Relate that over to Arm, and they're in a harsher world, with even more focus on survival and even less time for 'mental' pursuits.

Note: This is just inference, Arm is Not Earth obviously, and it's entirely possible for them to have a language it just, personally, doesn't seem probable.
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Angela Christine

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Writing Cavilish
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2004, 02:24:22 AM »
Quote from: "uberjazz"
Alright, so the masses aren't allowed to write, because muk and tek say so.  There are WAY more people living outside those confines, I would imagine.  What about those people?  The ones who have lived and thrived free of opression?  The nomadic tribes whose traditions flourish despite the existence of so-called sorcerer kings?  Would they not have found a way to write down bendune or anyar or the like into a written language, seeing as they have no one to prevent them from doing so?


Not way more.  From what I remember from the last time population stats were posted, there are about 1 million people in the world, and more than nine hundred thousand of them live in the two city states.  Most people live in the cities.

That still leaves thousands and thousands of people living outside the cities.  Why don't they develop or maintain writing?  Some of them probably do.  Most don't, because they are to busy on survival needs to find a really good source of ink.  

The Australian aboriginies lived on their continent untroubled by outsiders, much less psychic tyrants, for thousands of years.  The did leave some markings, but I don't think they had formal writing.  

Plenty of long-lived historical cultures had no writing.  Even among those that had writing, wide-spread literacy was rare.  People have better things to do.  It isn't necessary for everyone to learn to read and write, you can perserve knowledge with just a few lore-keepers that dedicate themselves to such things.  The strong learn to hunt and to fight.  The cunning and keen-eyed might learn to find and gather important raw materials.  The nimble-fingered  learn to craft fine goods (or steal them from others).  Why force every child, including the ones with ADD, dislexia, or other learning disablities, to spend thousands of hours learning to read and write?  It isn't important to their economy, so there isn't a pressing need to maintain widespread literacy.  The problem with keeping just a few lorekeepers is that a single disaster can wipe them all out, leaving the surviving members with some written records, but no one well versed in reading and writing.  

It is easier to maintain an oral history.  Telling and listening to stories doesn't usually occupy your hands, your eyes, or 100% of your attention the way that reading and writing do.  So you can pass along oral history while doing mundane tasks.  Oral history doesn't take up room in your backpack the way scrolls do.

We're playing a text game so text seems important to us, but a society can get along well without literacy.  


AC
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins

Lirs is lazy

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Writing Cavilish
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2004, 07:43:25 AM »
I agree with AC.  I come from a culture who have been literate for only just over a hundred years, and this only because it was introduced by a colonising nation.

Much like the aborigines we relied on storytellers and Tohunga (wisemen) to keep our history and family lines.  Carvings and weavings used in the tribal meeting houses also kept the history of the tribe.

While I think it's entirely possible that some of the tribes of Zalanthas have developed language I don't think it is necessarily a given.  Literacy has more than one connotation and in my country some still choose to use traditional ways to keep sacred histories.

Impska

  • Posts: 152
Written cavilish
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2004, 01:18:54 PM »
Quote from: "Secret Reader"
I know of an immortal-written journal that is done in cavilish. When I played a character who spoke cavilish I was told that if I wanted to write a journal or do anything along those lines I was more than welcome to.


At one point, I was highly encouraged to keep a journal as a merchant family member, in written cavilish. I found myself stuck in the dilemma of having always pictured cavilish as a highly mathematical tongue.

The way I handled it at the time was to try to logically figure out how I could do it. First, since it's not a language necessarily meant for documenting history or stories, I figured that it would take a lot more effort to write a journal in it. You might have to use several trade-oriented words to get the meaning of one usually simple word across. Like "love" or other abstract terms that wouldn't be necessary for contracts/bills of sale/stock lists, etc. Rp-wise, your journal may very well be three or four times as long as it might be in the more appropriate written sirihish form.

I kept this RP in my head and emotes, though, rather than when writing the actual text. Afterall, you're writing that journal to be read, and I could see it being highly annoying to both read and write if you were busy trying to figure out how one would say something in written cavilish.

Another way to handle it might be to just picture cavilish as having an alphabet of some kind and going from there, assuming that most words in spoken cavilish are spellable.

In the end, there's been no "official Immortal reply" on this question, however, there are precedents in the game for journals, detailed contracts, letters, text books, etc in written cavilish.  You may wish to email your clan Imm and ask if they have a particular preference as to what you should and should not do. Afterall, I could see different clans taking isolated liberties with how far they develop and stretch the written language to suit their own ends.
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sarahjc

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Writing Cavilish
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2004, 02:26:36 PM »
I've never actually thought of writing Cavilish as a numerical text at all. I just thought it was the speech that merchants used.  As the history it states, it is more of a mixture between Sirihish and Bendune, than anything else, sort of the adapted language of traders as they settled out of tribes into Sirihish speaking lands. The way I see it, if merchants are using the language in a general fashion discussing things other than the cost and selling goods, why not use it in the written form as well.

If my history is correct the templars allow the merchant families the ability to read or over look it as it is needed for trade. Though they are for all intents and purposes not truly literate in the public sense or reading books and writing stories, journals, letters ect... I think it would be in bad taste for a literate merchant to start reading and writing journals and such in public. But, I don’t see how the templars would be able to regulate how the written word is developed and how much of it is used outside trade agreements and sales ledgers. It seems sensible to assume that if Merchant houses have the money, the education, the legal "thumbs up" and the time. Why wouldn't they train their own to read and write a full language? Is it not a distinct advantage and something that is forbidden to all Commoners?

I don't see a problem with written Journals or Letters and Documents being kept in written Calivish, I just don't think it should be public knowledge if you do. But that is just my opinion.
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crymerci

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Writing Cavilish
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2004, 02:30:07 PM »
Quote from: "Bestatte"
Writing is something that writers will probably not do in public, unless they're templars or nobility, even if they have permission to read and write by virtue of their status in society.


I don't think this can be emphasized enough.

Though a family-member of Salarr, Kadius, etc. enjoys a high social status and many protections, they are still commoners.  And while it's no secret among the upper echelons of society that they can write, I don't know that it's something you want to advertise publicly.
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