Haloed Bane

Translation Choices

This page houses descriptions (defenses even) of certain translation choices made when going from Horgothic to English (and back again.)

Kanvior, Empire, Anvil, Incudea

The dominant species in Sinduin's universe is called throughout these pages the Inculae (sg. Incula). Their polity is called Incudea (adj. Incudean). These are all translations of one basic term, kanvior, and related terms (kanviora, kanviorden.)

The most obvious way to translate the Horgothic word kanvior is as "empire." To understand why this is not the translation used in these documents, it is best to give a bit of historical background.

From time immemorial the Inculae understood the word kanvior to mean a particular impulse toward imposing an order on as wide an expanse as possible, and the organizational structure necessary to make this impulse bear fruit. What isolated the concept from all others was its universality. Inculae adopted this impulse as their banner, a national obsession. Alone of all the races in the universe of Belklaun, they simply called themselves kanviorans, the people of kanvior.

The understanding of the term, though not the attitude it expressed, was profoundly altered by Incudean contact with the Merciless Myriad of Dolentis. The Dolens were the greatest empire at the time, and yet, they treated the word kanvior as taboo and would not refer to their domains by that word. Dolentian scholars taught Inculae that the basic meaning of the word kanvior was “anvil.” The revelation came as a shock to Inculae, who heretofore had called the implement in question a forge-rock (lurronhatau). However, the Incudean view was not at all incorrect. A true empire is like a great anvil, the Dolens argued. All action is directed toward it, all force becomes what it must become by pushing against it, by striking down on it. Lights emanate from the anvil in the process, and the anvil never breaks. The Myriad believed that they would only deserve to be called a kanvior, the kanvior, when they accomplished universal supremacy.

But it was Incudea’s destiny to become the Empire and to fulfil her chosen name. The reader can now see why using the word “empire” would not suffice. “Anvil” would be even less satisfactory, since it lacks in English the all-important spiritual element. Looking over at the possibilities, we thought it best to derive our translation from the Latin word for anvil: “incus.” The positioning of Latin within Earth's languages and the significance of its speakers for the earthly concept of empire are undeniable. “incus” originally derives from a stem “incud,” from which we derive our translation for kanvior, Incudea, playing on the resonances with Earth nations and cities (Chaldea, Arimathea, etc.) and also pointing to another Latin concept, “dea” or goddess, which is key in the development of Incudean civilization (specifically in reference to Tarte, our Magna Mater). The species term "incula" (plural "inculae") is an admittedly dubious derivation from "incus" on the basis of the Latin diminutive “culus, cula, culum.” It expresses the idea that every competent kanviora is a small instance of the universal anvil and that she is thus exposed to attacks that, far from breaking her, will bring lights to all the worlds.

For other nations bent on control beyond their own civilizations, the word kanvior has been translated as "empire." We include in this category such states as the Myriad itself, the Glassic Empire and that of the Martuta.

Before concluding it is worth noting that the Myriad seemed to fear achieving their universal empire. If all comers eventually broke at the anvil, so that only it was left, then according to their own metaphors there would no longer be lights. Stasis would ensue. Thankfully, we Inculae are a practical race not given to such idle speculations. Metaphors should always aid, never hinder.