adventures in dysthymia

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Invented History

When I speak of creating a thorough backstory for my novels, especially the fantasy ones, it includes working on the language and alphabets, a la Tolkien. Now, I wouldn't necessarily go as far with it as he did (not being a linguist, after all), but I recognize the need for some structure there. In my Malvern Trilogy (and the upcoming Mora sequel-esque trilogy), I mostly borrowed from Polynesian and other Oceanic languages, attempting to be fairly consistent about how the words might have changed over time (but not being too fussy about that).

However, for the second Malvern novel, VALLEY OF VISIONS, I needed a completely different language, invented largely from scratch, for the ageless sorcerer Hurasu to create for his people. I will admit that I borrowed some from ancient Etruscan for this, while trying to maintain the concept that it was a logical invented language, not an organic one. Of course, there would have been an alphabet created to go with it.

I have not gotten around to working up a definitive version of that alphabet. It may not be needed --- it certainly wasn't for the novel. I did, however, create a system of numerals that the people of the valley used. It is possible that Malvern might introduce them to the Mora people (the more-or-less Polynesians with whom he has settled). Or maybe not, but I am ready if need be. The numbers use a base-twelve system, not base-ten as we are accustomed to. There are many advantages, really, to using 12 but I mostly wanted it to be, well, a bit alien to us. Hurasu did, after all, come from another world. Here they are:


I did not need to make these up but it's kind of fun, and it makes it all more 'real' to me. If it seems more real to me, then perhaps I can convey that in my writing. The more well realized my worlds are, the better.

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