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 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
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
feather is the feather of choice. Though, to name other feathers that are used,
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.
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
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
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.
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.
4th Rising Sun 1670
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