Archives for posts with tag: Shofi

The political system in O (the “western lands”) is a four-thousand-year-old empire, the SolTanZoZon – “the Empire of the Pure Way”.

After an indefinite period of time known as the Clouded Era, the empire was created, and in some ways based upon, the lost ancient civilisation of the race known as the ‘Metallic ones’.

The empire was initially created by armies of clans originating in the geo-political centre of the continent, the Metallic city of LuinShar. These clans followed certain traditions, and grouped together in Marks — a Mark is thus an association of like-minded clans.

At the centre and summit of the city — well over 1,000 metres above sea-level — is the SuMu, the sacred, Metallic citadel. Here, the court (the GoMin-U) is housed.

The emperor – the ShionDo (the “lord over the lords”) – is a dynastic ruler. When, for whatever reason, a dynasty comes to an end, a new dynasty must be inaugurated.

The organisations responsible for inaugurating a new dynasty are known as the Five Bodies. These are all ancient, pre-imperial institutions, and were all based in the SuMu, a place considered sacrosanct by even most degenerate warlord of the Clouded Era.

The Five Bodies are:

ShimThet – the ancient “celestial” police force, who used to police the SuMu.

ShoKun – the Mark of the Hatching Egg, who since time immemorial, have been responsible for collecting the blood of all aristocratic families, and of overseeing the matrimonial arrangements of the clans of the western lands. Their responsibility is to ensure the “purity of the blood” of the people of O. Their headquarters is based in the complex of buildings around the great Library of Blood, up in the SuMu.

ViwaShar – the Mark of the Five Towers. The body of people who, before the formation of the empire, guarded the SuMu from any external threat. With the foundation of the empire, the Five Towers Mark becomes an organisation dedicated to guarding and serving the emperor, and of ensuring continuity across dynastic changes. The ViwaShar organise the emperor’s household, and supply him with his personal bodyguard.

MarZom – the political body responsible for governing the Marks. The empire is a clan-based system. Each clan is governed by its aristocratic head, and each noble clan is known as an hereditary House. The heads of the clans (Isens) are in turn governed by the head of whichever Mark the clan belongs to. The heads of the Marks meet in council and are governed by the MarZom.

MuKesho – a highly revered monastic body, whose monks and nuns were responsible for guarding and maintaining many of the most precious buildings of the SuMu. Above all, the MuKesho are responsible for the metal books — books of sublimely complex signs, known as “hypergrams”, or “Shofi” — which are the indecipherable texts of the Metallic ones, and are stored in SharAmor, the “sacred tower”, at the absolute centre of Shar.

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Perhaps most of the worlds of all the universes possess no language, and are dumb, utterly inexpressive – silent as the airless moon – but O-yon is not like this.

Language is born of language | Languages possess architecture, and in O-yon, there are many lost and buried tongues, branches that are broken from the tree or do not blossom, or blossoms which, caught in the desert of time, become like fragile fossils, dry, perfect, but without scent…

In O-yon, it is said, there was a time before speech, but of that time, necessarily, we are ignorant || Then came the oldest language, the hypergrammatic language of the Ancients, the ‘Metallic ones’ | Their mysterious characters, inscribed in metal books, without date, without lexicon, are too complex for modern minds to comprehend, and so their beautiful, miraculous world remains closed to us, a matter of yearning, debate and controversy.

After the Ancients, came the LateAncients, whose language, made up of ‘Gonfi’ – ideograms – permits us the tantalising sense that we may understand their greater minds, and even that we might touch the glory of their forebears, the Metallic ones. For it is into the Gonfic LateAncient language that certain key Metallic books are said to have been translated, and of these books, the most wonderful book of all, the book of Metallic sutras, known as AmorZineZirIramOAram­TanZo, which means, transcripted into our common tongue, The Sacred Book of the Whole World of the Word of the Law of the Beautiful and Simple Way – the book to which all signs are ultimately drawn, and from which all signs ultimately proceed.

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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