THE QUILL

DESCRIPTION - METHOD OF PRODUCTION - AREA OF PRODUCTION - USAGE

The Quill is a common writing utensil of Caelereth. A long arrowhead goose feather is the most common feather to be used. Nobility, however, prefer the hard to find, howler goose feather. When these are dipped in ink they can write a full two lines before you have to dip the feather again. The feather is usually between two palmspans to a fore. Most Quills are pulled from the left wing so that the feathers are curved outward for a right-handed writer. The majority of Quills have the barbs left on them for decoration, but there are some that have the barbs stripped off. The only remaining decoration is a small tuft at the top. This prevents ink from being absorbed by the extra fluff and allows a smooth, round surface for the writer to hold onto. The barbs that are stripped off can be used in some pillows and blankets. Most that buy these 'shafts' are those that use Quills on a daily basis, such as scholars and merchant.

The Quill

Picture description. A Quill made out of an arrowhead goose feather. Picture drawn by Seeker.

Description. The words of a skilled writer often seem to say "Read This!" A well crafted Quill for royalty is quite a beautiful sight. All the barbs remain on it, and it is usually very well-kept.

The more common Quill is made with an
arrowhead goose feather. The black feather is usually pointing out to the right, over your shoulder, if you are writing with one. A well-kept Quill have all the barbs still smoothly angled toward the top. The tip will be a clean, white colour. If, however, the Quill is not well kept, the barbs may be in disarray and the tip be stained with ink that the user did not clean off.

Sometimes, a Quill that will be used often, such as those used by scholars, will have the extra barbs removed. This allows the writer to have a better grip on the 'shaft' and helps prevent creating a mess of white, feathery fluff being mixed with sticky, black ink. The results of this could be disastrous to the writer and ruin an entire page of work.

Method of Production. The feather can be plucked from any fowl, though the
arrowhead goose feather is the feather of choice. Though, to name other feathers that are used, garthook, taenish, and the al'syrr sandbird are some of the other common feathers. The al'syrr being used mostly in the dry desert areas, where other birds are uncommon. Among aristocracy, a howling goose, vévan’már, cuuloo, or haloen feather is chosen for a more elegant appearance. A good Quill usually is a few nailsbreadth wide and fore long, but the Quill will become smaller with use. The tips can be cut to different widths to create thinner or thicker lines. Most people have their preference of the thickness. Some like a thinner more neat writing, while other prefer a dark, heavy line that is easy to read.

Once the feather is plucked the point is cut at an angle and it is also cut along the sides so the feather is projected left. The projection is then split for about a grain to allow a gap for the ink to flow into. When dipped, a few drops of ink cling to the nib and the Quill can be dragged across the paper to create the line. After around a page, the shaft begins to splinter, producing a jerky line and the shaft must be re-cut. Some who want to make their Quill last longer will continue writing until the shaft has almost no use, at which point they will often buy a new Quill.

Another variation of the Quill is one that has a metal nib on it. The metal nib is two prongs which allow a small amount of ink to build up. The nib has to be dipped every three or four words to ensure that writing is readable. The main reason for the metal Quill to be made is to keep from having the trouble of re-cutting a feather.
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Area of Production. The Quill is the most common writing tool all over Caelereth, though different cultures may have other forms of writing, such as the dwarven rune-carving. A major producer of Quills is the Llaoihrr tribe. They use the arrowhead goose for traveling purposes and can acquire their feathers quite easily. Both feathers that fall out naturally and ones that are plucked are used. Fallen feathers are more commonly used for making the 'shafts' because they clean straight edge of the barbs tends to be hard to find. The plucked ones are usually the ones with barbs left on.

Some specialty Quills are made to appear more expensive. They are skillfully dyed to appear similar to those used by royalty. Someone that has been around such Quills often can easily spot the difference. To those that have not seen a beautiful haloen Quill, it will still appear real. These Quills will have a higher price, though not as high as an authentic Quill with one of the real feathers.

The area that each feather is plucked from depends on the bird. The
arrowhead goose, for example, would have the feather plucked from its flight feathers. The cuuloo bird would have it's feather plucked from the tail. The haloen bird would also have the feather plucked from the tail. If the feather is around the general length and thickness needed, then it is suitable to be created into a Quill. Return to the top

Usage. The Quill is used for writing. It leaves long, sharp letters demanding to be read. The tip is cut at an angle allowing ink to flow into the shaft of the feather. The tiny little holes the goose used for transporting blood are the cause of the ink flowing upward. With every stroke the ink in the feather is slowly used, until the feather needs to be dipped again. These writing implements can run for a high price, or can be cheap enough for most to buy. The price usually depends on what feather is used, and how well they are cut.
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 Date of last edit 4th Rising Sun 1670 a.S.

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