Friday, June 2, 2017

Thriddle Font Conflict

When Thriddle had the opportunity to investigate Earth colonial documentation, they went into decades of friction on the variety of fonts and the meaning those different fonts meant.

As background, Thriddle have no record of a Thriddle culture prior to their life as slaves among the Lamorri invasion forces. Thriddle were librarians, clerks, and messengers with at least eleven full planetary occupations, Jorune being the last in a long line. Occupation involved delivery of an elite Lamorri governing force with Cleash and slave races occupying key sites to ensure Lamorri access to the conquered planets resources and subjugation of the native race. Other than this general summary of Lamorri methods, Thriddle have effectively concealed the existence of Lamorri with a layer of deception called "Shantha B". This deception involves suggestions that Shantha had once warred with a second sentient race, now extinct. On a world with two dozen races, it has been a very acceptable lie.

But the original Allonkarb cryo-bin discovery included a small container, approximately .5m-square. Thriddle had insinuated themselves into the Dharsage's structure because they unparralleled  superior skills as archivists and field iscin. This container was obscured from Allonkarb's human and boccord troops in the flurry of discoveries that were flowing from the vault, including a stock of 'new' Earth-tec weapons and devices that played directly in Allonkarb's conquest of his new Empire of Burdoth. By comparison with the wonders of these tools of military victory overshadowed one small box, which had markings Thriddle correctly translated as library data with readers similar to a few already in the possession of the Tan Iricidi thriddle of the Mountain Crown.

In the seclusion of a back hall of the Mountain Crown, and under direct supervision of the Somar, Thriddle discovered a library that was intended to serve as the seed library of Terran Colonial information repositories with instructions for translation of the digital information into older technologies including personal media, arts, and the technology of information dispersal to future generations of colonists. This included detailed information of the non-electronic media, including print with the attendant technologies of paper making, typesetting, printing, bookbinding, and examples of what had existed before the advent of digital media, which was already a few centuries old at the time of the Colonies on Jorune.

Cover of Forest Thriddle textbook for Burdoth History
This was the point where the different fonts created a schism in the scholarly halls of Tan Iricid. Thiddle text was written in one font which was a simulation of one scholar's hand-printed texts from the Lamorrid era. To do anything different from the official font was considered to be a sign of imperfect education – the writers had not yet leaned to use "real" writing and were tolerated with the same condescension as most races view children learning to write basic letters, sentences, paragraphs, and manuscripts.

But the Colonial documentation showed thousands of typefaces and the Somar directed a decades long study to find the "real" typeface of the Colony. A generation long conflict between the elite of Tan Iricid and their primary competitors from Gauss Valley. Forest Thriddle seers believed that the use of different fonts reflected a diversity of human history where typefaces represented information about the author's culture, language, and purpose. Forest Thriddle welcomed the expansion of documentation with thousands of fonts, which Tan Iricidi reflected as proof of their Forest cousins inferiority.

The Font Debate was a driving force behind the development of an independent archive of non-Triddis documents by the Forest Thriddle and proliferation of duplication techniques that quickly spread outside Thriddle scholary circles. While hand copied scrolls continued to hold the highest level of regard by all nations, particularly with issues of diplomacy and trade, the technologies of type-setting and increasingly popular periodicals offering news, querrid reports, and fiction. The technologies of printed created an economic boom with farmers who could produce crops specifically for varieties of paper ranging from fine rag and linen stock for documents intended to be read and reread for generations, to the cheapest possible sheets for use in disposable fiction and entertainments. A similar boom came with source developers for inks that ranged from long term archive fluids to cheap formulations that cold fade away in a few years after a page was printed.

The techniques used for disposable publications ranged from finely engraved type faces for the most primitive block-press techniques, to recreations of equipment powered by water-wheel driven belt systems to set type from molds, and shown in the ancient Colonial references. While this elevated single color text production to a mass market phenomena, color reproduction had a similar boom with such old Terran techniques as serigraphy (silk screen printing) and linoleum carve blocked techniques.

Cover of 380-page report in proper Triddis.
Thriddle research gave them a fascination on the apparent availability cheap metals on the Colonial homeworld, compared to the scarcity of metals in the crust of Jorune.

Forest Thriddle creation of teaching materials from the disposable media has resulted in lines of 64 page student textbooks to carry uniform information to students who come to new schools, increasing the literacy of nations who carry the programs. Although rejected by Tan Iricid authorities, the drive of literacy spawned thousands of cheap publications with stories of romance, adventure, history, and intrigues between the races and classes within those cultures.

This disposable literacy has been decried by the Somar and initiated Thriddle of the Mountain Crown as a corrupting influence on general dependability of printed media, and that 'fiction' by its very nature clouds real documentation of the subjects of their poorly written narratives.


Maybe I'll do a longer version of this in a future issue of Sholari.


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  2. Joe,
    This is fantastic! Keep up the great work. I've been running a game for over a year now, set in the sub-equatorial region of Jorune on the opposite side of the planet from Burdoth. This blog has been a wonderful source of inspiration