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Author Topic: Writing Implements  (Read 8652 times)
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Ganinon
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« on: 25 December 2007, 07:39:23 »

Overview: Writing utensils are an important part of the world. Without it there could be no written evidence of anything. Experiments, books, anything that has been written down would not be around without something to write with. Most of the following are now rarely used. The Quill is currently the most widespread and most used utensil used today. Included, below are the Reed Pen, the Stylus, the Quill, Chalk and Slate, Charcoal, the Brush, the Dip Pen, and the dwarven Rune Chisel. Each has a description and a small amount of the history of the utensil.                               
                                                                 
                                            Reed Pen

Overview: The Reed Pen was one of the first writing utensils to be used wide spread. It is still used today sometimes to make large words. The nib of the pen doesn't last very long, and this led to the making of the Quill. Reed Pens can be made from any hollow thing, but reeds that grow near the shore of any body of water are the common material used in making. The size can vary though none are commonly used when it falls below 6 Nailsbreadths in length. This may be due to the fact of the ready supply of reeds and the simplicity of making your own. Writers who use Reed Pens sometimes live by a body of water, just so they can make their own pens and not have to buy them.

                               The Stylus
Overview: The Stylus is an uncommon writing utensil at present time. Vast amounts of humans aroung the world used this during the Era of Consolidation until the end of the Era. The Stylus is pushed into clay tablets, leaving a wedge shape. The wedges can be made into symbols, and writing using these symbols is called birdtrack. The Stylus is commonly made out of reed, though it can be made out of anything stiff and is able to be cut. The wedge shape just needs to be cut and then the shape can be pushed into clay or other material that can hold an impression. 
                     
                                The Quill
Overview: The Quill is the common writing utensil of Caelereth. A long Howling Goose feather, the most common feather used but others are chosen for different thickness of lines, dipped in ink can write a full 2 lines before you have to dip the feather again. The feather is usually between 2 Palmspans to a Fore. Most Quills are pulled from the left wing so that the feathers are curved outward for a right-handed writer. Though they do pull from the right wing for the left-handed writers. Most Quills have feathers left on them, but for the poorer writers the feathers may be stripped off, leaving the shaft. It works just as well, it just does not look fancy. As for Royalty, they have beautiful Vévan’már, Cuuloo, or Haloen feathers to use.

                                 Chalk and Slate
Overview: Chalk and Slate are used to together to write. It is most commonly used for school. The chalk, which is a white rock, when scraped on Slate leaves a dust behind it. Slate is a cheap black rock that lasts longer than any other known rock when being scraped against. A long board of Slate is called a blackboard. The dust that is left behind can be wiped off easily with a wet cloth or with an “chalk eraser.” This eraser is a small block of wood with a layer of think cloth attached to it.

                                          Charcoal
Overview: Charcoal can be used to write and draw, though it is usually used for drawing. The charcoal leaves a dark dusty line behind it and is used to make sketches and outlines for pictures. The most common type of charcoal is wood charcoal. It is made by burning Urban Trees, not to the point of fire but rather, until they turn black. The pieces of wood are cut to a smaller size, about the size of a reed pen and they are burned to different degrees to produce darker and lighter shades.       

                                 The Brush
Overview: The Brush is by artists who paint pictures. There are a variety of sizes of brushes depending on how fine a line the artist wants to add. The hair for the brush comes from goats and pigs. Their hair is placed inside a metal ring that is has sap in the bottom that dries and hardens to keep the hairs from falling out. The paint is made from different plants that when ground up and have water added to them become a certain color. The Brush is then dipped into the paint and then applied to the paper or canvas being used for the painting. 

                                   Dip Pen
Overview: The Dip Pen is the most recent writing utensil to be made. It is uncommon for someone who is not of royalty or nobility status to have a Dip Pen. It is called a Dip Pen since it has to be dipped often. There is not ink reservoir to hold ink and slowly let it out. The reason these are so special are that they can use colored ink. This colored ink is made similarly to paint, but less plant is used and more water is added. The only problem is if you do not wash it after use, the left over ink will dry on and make it harder to use each time, until finally it can't be used.


                                                  Rune Chisel
 Formed from a tempered metal rod about the thickness of a human forefinger and about a palm long, the Rune Chisel is one of the odder 'writing' implements in our list. It's a short and comparatively delicate implement which can look downright dainty in the sturdy dwarven hand, poised ready for the Runehammer - its inevitable partner - to descend.

 The cutting edge at one end is usually honed to the width of a babe's thumbnail (two or three grains), while the other end is slightly 'mushroomed' to form a striking head.   The chisel is placed against the face of the rock tablet upon which the dwarf (for yes, this style of writing is almost solely the preserve of the Thergerim) has scribed faint chalk lines to guide him, and struck lightly with the Runehammer to flake away straight chips of rock.
« Last Edit: 01 March 2008, 04:13:31 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged
Ganinon
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« Reply #1 on: 25 December 2007, 07:40:00 »

what other sections do i need for this? I could not find a template for gear and tools.
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #2 on: 25 December 2007, 16:01:44 »

For gear you don't really need much more than Overview, Description, Usages, Myth/Lore if possible, and Production perhaps, as you already have it, I'd say.
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Ganinon
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« Reply #3 on: 26 December 2007, 04:12:08 »

ok then comments welcome. I will see if i can think of any myth but it will be kinda hard to think of with such a simple items.
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Niccoli
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« Reply #4 on: 28 December 2007, 13:05:59 »

You may in fact mention that the nib of a pen is made of metal and in some cases requires frequent sharpening.
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« Reply #5 on: 29 December 2007, 01:44:29 »

Eh? Only the Howling Goose feathers are used? That doesn't sound like much fun and would also severely limit who would have these quills...Maybe note that others are used all over Caelereth but in the Santharian kingdom these howling goose feathers are the most commonly used....
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Bard Judith
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« Reply #6 on: 30 December 2007, 00:30:12 »

This is inconsistent:  either a quill is the most common writing tool as thick-barreled feathers are easily available from any barnyard fowl, or Santharian technology has graduated to 'artificial quills' using metal nibs.  Or we could be at a time in history when both are used, depending upon availability and cost - the approach I think most likely.  What will NOT work is some sort of fusion where you have added a metal tip to an organic feather.

As an artist and calligrapher, I have made and used both authentic feather quills and dip nibs and am familiar with how they look and work.

Metal tips, or nibs as they are properly called,  are not 'sharpened' - a nib is formed by two slim steel 'prongs' which allow the ink to flow between them and a small 'tongue' which acts as a tiny reservoir for a few drops of ink, held by surface tension.  The nib must be dipped back into the inkwell every three or four words.   I have some of my grandmother's nibs which still work perfectly - the only reason they might choke up is if ink is allowed to dry on the nib, thus making the pen 'sputter'.  Washing and drying the metal restores it to full function.

Feather quills work slightly differently.  One must choose a large feather with a wide shaft to begin with.  The shaft must then be cut across at an angle close to the bottom (technically the calamus) and part of the sides cut away, so that a curved projection is left.  That projection is then split for about an inch upwards (towards the 'down' and vanes of the feather) to provide the gap for the ink to flow.  When dipped into ink, a few drops cling by surface tension to the curved shaft of the quill and run down the split as the nib is stroked along the paper.  It can never be 'pushed', as a modern ballpoint can be, but must always be dragged, producing that unique variation in line which characterizes a feather quill's calligraphy.

After about a page or so, the substance of the shaft, which is rather like a delicate fingernail, begins to splinter and peel, producing a jerky, scratchy line.  At this point the quill must be recut (not 'sharpened') to give a clean line again.  Thrifty or miserly sorts who want to make their quills last longer will, of course, continue writing until the nib is almost completely useless - thus the descriptions in old books of scratchy handwriting characterizing a stingy personality!

I hope that helps clarify the workings of feather and metal quills, and you are welcome to use whatever lines or phrases are helpful for the entry.   

Regards from the bard,
Judith
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Ganinon
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« Reply #7 on: 30 December 2007, 04:32:34 »

Thanks Judith. illl see if i can get this straightened out.
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Ganinon
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« Reply #8 on: 30 December 2007, 04:55:39 »

Hopefully, it is more consistant now. Thanks for straightening that out before i got a ton fo comment and had it worked up in the wrong way.
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Bard Judith
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« Reply #9 on: 30 December 2007, 05:21:33 »

Could you add 'Taenish' and 'Garhook' as feather sources?  Our Santharian chickens are pretty large, and the garhook/turkeys are common barnyard birds here as well.

Don't we have other geese besides the Howling one? Oh, and I'd use 'nobility' rather than royalty.  I'm sure we must have some beautifully-plumaged birds in the jungles of Krean or other continents that might provide special quills that would be used for royalty! 
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"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
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« Reply #10 on: 30 December 2007, 05:34:22 »

Added. And now i will take a look at Some 'pretty' feathers to be used.
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xerampelinae deicida
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« Reply #11 on: 31 December 2007, 17:38:08 »

You are limiting yourself by having your nibs made out of only metal. You should reed about pen nibs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nib_%28pen%29

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Bard Judith
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« Reply #12 on: 31 December 2007, 19:55:47 »

Xera, I see only one other type in that rather brief entry - the reed pen.  So far this entry is about the Quill, with a digression to the modern form of nibbed pens.

Perhaps though, Gan, it might not be a bad idea to expand this entry to 'Writing Implements of Sarvonia' - it wouldn't be that much more work and would be a very helpful resource.   You could then have the separate headings in order more or less chronologically:

REED PEN

STYLUS

RUNECHISEL (for the dwarves)

QUILL

CHARCOAL

BRUSH

DIP PEN


Any thoughts on the matter?  I'd be happy to continue working with you on this if you are interested!




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Ganinon
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« Reply #13 on: 02 January 2008, 06:48:14 »

Hmm...That does sound like a good thing to do. I accept your offer. I'll see if I can get some research done on these things. Start from the top i guess...or bottom...or the first one. :D
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Ganinon
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« Reply #14 on: 05 January 2008, 06:43:37 »

I added what i have so far on the reed pen, and i want to make sure that everything so far seems consistant and correct.
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