The notion of a hypergram…

Zysoshin, consulting a lexicon he has found in the ashes of a burnt-out tower, discovers more than he bargained for…


Zyso knew exactly where he wanted to be in the book, which item he wished to look up first: word.

He expected to find a definition – a definition, to Zy, was the solution to a puzzle, the telling of a secret, the exposure of the heart of a mystery. But what he found was simply a greater puzzle, and more secret and mysterious.

On the relevant page – the pages were indeed very thin, but very strong, too – he found word, alright, but above it, and apparently belonging to it, was an odd pattern. It was very complex, rather like a spiderweb, with many branches, radiating out from a core; only the pattern was not regular like a web, there were curious forkings and asymmetries, and at the ends of some branches there were more symbols, which in turn put forth further branches, like a tree that has a fruit from which another tree has already begun growing.

Zy stared dubiously at this pattern for a few moments. He turned the book through 90°, and looked at it sideways.

Then he turned to the words below the pattern.

This is what they said:

word: MidImperial. Tentative [probable] de-evolution [catastrophic] from iram (LateAncient Phonetic – Clouded Era); tentative [probable] de-evolution/derivation from LateAncient ‘iram’ gram – and here, there was a much smaller and simpler pattern printed in the line of normal MidImperial text, which then went on: – conjectured tentative [possible] de-evolution [catastrophic] from Ancient ‘beauty moving’ hypergram [degree of decypherment: minimal, conjectural, tenuous; effectual cypheration, 98%]. See tertiary, secondary and primary expositions below.

Zy looked up into the frozen woods around the tower for a moment, and then looked down at the tiny, detailed text again.
Well, this was gobbledygook. It was definitely very grown-up, Zy could see that – only grown-ups could write such things. But what did such things have to do with words? Already beginning to half-regret his decision to open the lexicon, Zy read on.

Probably one of the most important complex hypergrams (Shofi) in the extant Ancient set, and certainly one of the most beautiful, the ‘beauty moving’ hypergram represents the Zigorian Mountains for any potential expositor. It appears to be regarded by LateAncient symbologists as a “Shi-Shofi”, or “master hypergram” in our Paper terminology, and as such is an object of reverence for the LateAncients, and of mystery for us, their Paper imperial descendants.

The evidence for a coherent line of disintegration from the ‘beauty moving’ Shofi through to the ‘Iram’ Gonfi is purely formal. (For conjectured lines of de-evolution from the ‘beauty moving’, through the ‘intermediate’ early-LateAncient quasi-hypergrams (zu-Gonfi), to the ‘Iram’ Gonfi, see primary exposition.) However, there is no question that certain clusters of strokes (Gon) from the ‘Iram’ Gonfi are present in the outer radial motif of the ‘beauty moving’ hypergram. Whether these Gon function in a similar fashion in both Ancient and LateAncient linguistic arrays is impossible to determine at this time.

Formally, we see in the ‘beauty moving’ Shofi a typical ‘snowflake’ hub (although, of course, with five key veins only), although the hub here is both unusually elaborate and uncharacteristically symmetrical. From the hub, the array develops along the five radii into an inflorescence which is at once highly excited in terms of gramic momenta and extremely economic in terms of calligraphic resources.

In terms of proven decypherment, the ‘beauty moving’ Shofi is one of the most recondite and enigmatic of the Ancient system. And yet, on the level of intuition alone, expositors are almost universally agreed that this Shi-Shofi is of profound importance within the OnDomin language. The sheer density of Gon suggest a level of activity that is virtually unique among Shi-Shofi. No other Shi-Shofi, perhaps, makes the Paper linguist so regret his own limitations, or so wonder at the hypergrammatic language of the Metallic ones.

Gonfi present [definite] in the ‘beauty moving’ Shi-Shofi: builder, constructor, house, load, bearer, worker, shape, shaper; way, road, direction, horizon; spring, river, estuary, flow; point, line, gauge; base, core, foundation, ground; beauty, destination, journey, leap, move, mover, moving.

Gonfi present [probable] in the ‘beauty moving’ Shi-Shofi: truth, lie, real, false, value, aim, approach, desire, master, slave, song, silence, metal, dust.

Gonfi present [possible: first rank (primary)] in the ‘beauty moving’ Shi-Shofi: energy, transfer, balance, imbalance, light, lightless, endless, ended, harmony, disharmony, struggle, peace, unstill.

Gonfi  present [possible: second rank (ancillary)] in the ‘beauty moving’ Shi-Shofi: voice, mark, sound, system, form, point, draw, divide, drive.

Gonfi  present [doubtful] in the ‘beauty moving’ Shi-Shofi: wild, free, trapped, wall, darkness, prison, howl, cry, call, wind, destroy, fire, break, shatter.

Na-Gonfi  present [conjectured (probable)] in the ‘beauty moving’ Shi-Shofi: Beauty Moving. Built Light. Flowing House. Real Direction. Endless Direction. River Direction. River Destination. Free Base. Beauty Builder. Truth Horizon. Fire Journey. Song Bearer. Free Road. Metal Endless. Ended Dust.

Na-Gonfi  present [conjectured (possible)] in the ‘beauty moving’ Shi-Shofi: Beauty Transfer. Song Wall. Song House. Song Silence. Endless Silence. Trapped Silence. Ground Silence.

Na-Gonfi  present [conjectured (doubtful)] in the ‘beauty moving’ Shi-Shofi: Master Darkness. Shape Spring. Divided Fire. Fire House. Fire Song. Light Cry. Slave Cry. Free Fire. Free Voice. Dust Voice. Dust Approach. Slave Dust. Beauty Dust…

Excerpt from Fire House, Volume 6 of Dustless

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