Reading Five: Zeburajan Script and Texts
The Zeburajan Script
The Zeburajan script current in Sinduin's age is visually very similar to that of pre-Unity times, although the orthography has been heavily influenced by Incudean scripts, particularly Teivan in the Sainika style. A full Zeburajan glyph has six vertical lines resembling Chinese hexagrams, with the bottom line encoding a vowel sound and the top five encoding a consonant sound. More specifically, the top two lines encode membership in one of four consonant groups: Hard, Soft, Long and Short. Hards are voiceless plosives, softs are voiced plosives, long are consonants which can appear in syllable-final position, and short are the remaining miscellaneous consonants. In binary terms, with 0 standing for a broken line and 1 for a solid line, and the order of lines from top to bottom being mirrored by number order left to right, Hard consonants are coded 10, soft = 01, long = 11, short = 00. Lines three to five encode the order of the consonants within each group, with the order being that of the traditional Horgothic letter order rendered binarily. Thus:
The five-line scheme has three empty spots, which are covered by a vowel companion, a nominal marker, and an -i ending for the diphtongs ai, ei, oi, ui. (The rest of the vowels are marked by the sixth line as explained above). Hooks on the top lines in certain glyphs stand for the long teneva m, n, v, h in Teivan, as well as for the silent consonant (the hook here being on the z; note that the silent vowel uses the sixth line as the other vowels do) and for the plural marker (hook on s). In the old days, the hooks were used as capital letters to begin sentences, but under Incudean influence this new usage replaced it. No special distinction exists for the preposition u (which is accompanied by a vowel companion) or the word ath and nas. The a vowel is always written out, even in closed syllables. None of the Teivan ideographs is superscripting or abbreviations of common words employed.
Below is the full set of Zeburajan consonants and vowels in the traditional Teivan order:
|s||s||nas is spelled normally: nas|
|t||t, th||ath is spelled with a vowel companion: 7at|
|u||u||the preposition u is spelled normally: 7u|
|I||-i||Used after a, e, o, u to denote ai, ei, oi, ui|
|U||unwritten||the silent vowel (see silent consonant below)|
|S||varies||the plural marker|
|H||unwritten||the silent consonant (see silent vowel above)|
|7||unwritten||the vowel companion|
|\||unwritten||the nominal marker|
Needless to say, Zeburajan is not used by any population of Inculae, but it's still relatively visible in Incudea. There are a number of reasons for this: 1) The script is ubiquitous in the territory of Oxytania, and since that nation borders the Incudean capital, the number of Inculae who do tourism there is enormous. Tourists will see the script on signs and labels, though many are surprised to find that beneath this veneer, the bulk of the writing is in Teivan ; 2) Outside of Oxytania, widely available Zeburajan brands (mostly dairy products) feature the script prominently; and 3) the Zeburajan expeditionary forces display the script in their banners, which flutter in many a planet. It's also important to note that although the Zeburajans use Teivan in their daily lives, they still render proper names and a few other important terms in their native script.
Text One: Public Stations
Among the tridimensional trains operated by BSPM Corp. on the Silver Planet, Rayhorn (kontrumidon) is especially popular with tourists. The train is Zeburaja-themed, its name references the gamma rays which once, ironically enough, made the Silver Sisters shudder at the mention of the Oxylords. At any point that Rayhorn passes Oxytanian territory, it displays all of the local stops in the Zeburajan script, so a clueless passenger might have to open her console quickly to figure out where she is, or just wait until the train enters the enarchy again! Here is a stretch of station names in Zeburajan (with glyph by glyph transliteration so you can see how the hexagrams work, with NM representing the nominal marker), in Teivan, and in English:
|Glyph by glyph||Po-n-che-ve-bo||Fla-za-kins-NM-E-ru-i-ri||Zis-NM-Ta-nia-ri||I-jil-NM-Mar-je-rrei-n||So-hon-NM-Kau-li-n-ge||Ter-ner|
|Teivan||poncevebo||FazaS 7erUri||zis tanyri||7ijil mrjerEn||sohon kwlinge||terner|
|English||Ponchevebo||Furry Hills||Forest Center||Marjerein City||Cowling Hall||Terner|
Text Two: Declaration of Surrender
In the year 1749 AD, Oxytania found itself at war against Incudea. It took one bloody day, the so-called Broken Battle, to settle the issue. The Zeburajan version of their declaration of surrender, which is in mixed Teivan and Zeburajan characters (these latter marked green in the transliteration), begins as follows:
Vions aul vuilins nu Oksitania he Gras Kaulinge, tainei Oksikins he Zeburrajaportion. Vions melgam, gundiaspaukum aul Grase Oksitania cholmaram nalba he midonis nu eshul albon ha boi sath. Boi boi vions melgam, gundiaspaukum aul Nanyare he zind sachoi derfiana beth Kanvioraisul Pashma he Sodontur ja tizi raunum, zelum Flak Juse, doch me ele maun e nu vions. Tior nia midon pashlajaiter, albaurum vions ena.
The King and Queen of Oxytania and Clan Cowling on behalf of the Oxylords and the Zeburajan race. We recognize that the Phylarchy of Oxytania consists of the head and the horns of the great eshul1, and of nothing more. Furthermore we recognize that Nanyare, and as much land around it as is deemed proper by the Division of Consolidation and Statistics, belongs to the Silver Enarchy and is in no way our land. By [our] four austere horns we swear this.1. eshul is a land or territory that is taken to have been (or still be in some mystical sense) a hero or demigod of old. In this case it refers to the core Oxytanian territory, which resembles a horned Zeburaja head.↩
Later on the declaration gives an account of King Belasko's dream, an old prophecy that had much to do with the events of 1749. The Incudean authorities demanded that Oxytania clarify the contents of the dream, and this is what the Zeburajans had to say about the matter at this point:
Kral ena me fedima nu Vuil Belasko. Hul nui fedim rania shen likan aul faucha nu bralemeth albon in Grond Rik morganis. Hul nui madiam aul ena vas varaprisshul dian portion, glongum aul inokorgom hulpalas, gibom ath sechanis. Ena likan nui hasturfelam ha ino murde baim mir likan ha shen vais tara prel atins, boi dodas. Varapris nui pegam, ha shai ath dikenam, fenas sechan boi taron hogingram rui boi albon. Vuil Belasko nui rich fatam kisos tekesh rash monka tranhul. Azu ena dikenanlikan nui felam romi, ha ino hul brusiam u chath ninfa mir boi likan ha vutins vas miny dodaster, doch proin palun. Hiach mishail nui brusiam tons, tapum mir likan ha enakins metetum oin zind sunyul kisos mishailins impom akluchama nu mith lokes genri nai kundonja. Ena jotutum, Vuil Belasko vas vin josam tior ena fedima nevis hul oin terni hejaim doch, fenas morgan nui gainam ukinuria. Aul "Vliamsha risoi noshaum aul elu me rangrotunharbin nu rui tuk cha shulins nu Oksitania bashsilim vlui, nas teneziodem mahim. Vutins varam proin likanis, felam bashfurra kenjolikmo. Mishailins nuriam portionis foiniondamianden tuk dond sachoins nu vions tonem vlui ha noshaum aul mith portion u foiniondaimian mar tara fenas vlui ansham, bashziodem krem ashi mir tuk hetenvailam Zeburrajaglidia."
This is the true dream of King Belasko: he dreamt of a likan, which is what the Truegrey priests called the great creepers. He realized that it was the last of its race, and perceived how it boasted of its power and subjugated the other beasts. It so happened that this likan died, and three likan emerged from its entrails and one of them was smaller than the others and weaker. This latter disappeared, and the other two remained, but it so happened that the smaller of the two devoured the larger. King Belasko was frightened, as the incident seemed terrible to him. Then the remaining likan died as well, and three more likan emerged from it in the same manner, and they were all very weak and unlike their progenitor. Then several mishail appeared and they surrounded the three likan, and these were torn to pieces with great fear, as the mishail took advantage of the fact that each likan was alone, so it was easy to beat them. Now, King Belasko was very grieved by this dream even though he did not understand it fully, until a priest revealed its meaning, saying "You ought to know that this is the sign that has been given of what will befall the people of Oxytaia if they continue to fall short. They will all end like the likan, dead through their dissension. The mishail are the eastern nations, which will hover over our lands, and know also that each nation in the east is small but they will assemble and end by crushing the three which represent the Zeburajan people."
Text Three: Dairy Advertising
Labels of Oxytanian milk products, some of which are readily available even in the Storms, use the native script as a calling card. Below is a blurb promoting Sauvuil Milk. The text showcases several trigram-shaped punctuation marks.
Dauki neda hombatum vions kral aul junom paupalunis, dochom saupalunis, huibam kanvior sui. Azu ninfa bionditer tran varapris me hond? Ankonevrianglar la Kanviorans tior veta chemonglari nu vions aul Veta Sauvuil. Lum ath shaitresoma dian kinarsikians elbo dochomand.
Since youth we are taught: respect your fathers, obey your mothers, defend the empire. But how best to do the latter? By nourishing the Inculae with our wholesome milk. Sauvuil Milk. Another contribution from your most obedient vassals!
Text Four: Armor Forge
Oxytanian expeditionary banner designs are often tattoed on designated standard bearers. On special occasions, however, or on the eve of actual battle (an increasingly rarer occurrence), larger "banners" are produced. As an example we can see below a gigantic armor forge set ablaze by a Fefal unit. In the image, the top line of each glyph has burned away at this point.