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L'étude des symboles ou la symbologie.

The disciple archivist Pyphollo Zeps received the third volume of the study of symbology by the akenak Azazor with a smile.

“What a prolific researcher” he thought as he watched akenak Azazor slip away from his martial step. “When he has a goal, he really goes for it with all his heart!”

Without further ado, he isolated himself in his favourite corner of the Academy at the end of the upper floor to dive into reading without being disturbed.

He read the whole thing in one go and was a little stunned. All these interlinked theories made him dizzy! From simple symbols, Azazor was eventually speculating on… all fields! Pyphollo identified a thorny problem: how should he classify this? Societies and cultures? History? Xylology? Kamic mysticism? Quest for the Dragon?

“What a mess!” he moaned disheveling his mop. He struggled to his feet and headed for the office of his superior, Chancellor Euphanyx Apotheps, who still held the Chair of History while awaiting a new appointment. The latter agreed to take a look at the essay of akenak Azazor, no doubt having in mind his previous historical works through the Fyros tribes and the streets of Pyr.

– He's right, she said after a moment, the triangle with a dot is a fundamental fyros symbol.
– ney talumetimakos?
– ney, that's a way of representing the four pillars.
– The four? With a… triangle?
– Honour, Discipline and Justice for the points, and for the dot in the central square, Truth!
– Oh… subtle!
– Isn't it?
– But then does it have something to do with this observable magic glyph? Is really this… “Symbology” a seam of Truth?
– Now, that wouldn't be safe to say, in my opinion. We need the advice of experts in the various fields of study being discussed. Check whether the conclusions echo their own knowledge.
– Of course, I see.
– You're in charge, talumetimetos! Here: I draw up a list of Masters for you to visit, bearing my seal. First you'll go to Daeronn Cegrips, Grand Master of the Chair of Knowledge.
– akep talumetimakos!

So Pyphollo walked out of the office with a cheerful step, leaving Euphanix to her duties. Although… No sooner had he left the room than he saw her putting a rimmelyx on her desk to clean it up… “Damn Euphanix!” he thought, “The years and responsibilities do not alter her impetuosity!”

Huge stroke of luck, Grand Master Daeronn was there! He handed him the three heavy varynx leather bound volumes and the invitation to read them, stamped with the seal of the Chancellor, to ask for an evaluation of the knowledge they might contain.

The old entomologist grunted and squealed as he noisily handled the scrolls. Pyphollo was fascinated by the dance of his eyebrows. Sometimes one would stand up and then the other would do the same, or they would come together in a single bar, his forehead all wrinkled and his nose stuck to the leather, or they would stand up at once, eyes wide open, arms outstretched and head back. And with his mouth he made so many faces that the disciple had the impression of contemplating a frahar absorbed in the analysis of an artifact just fallen from the Canopy.

He was in the third volume when he cried out: “Haaa! Hey-ho! Aw, hell no! dey! dey! dey!”
Wham! He unloaded all the bindings into the arms of the astounded disciple, who almost toppled on his bottom.
– Master Daeronn! What's wrong!?
– That needs a bit of discipline though! Discipline! What's such a way of interpreting, of picking here and there what one wants? he exclaimed, making grand gestures. Otherwise I'm going to theorize about the moods of the queen of kitins by deciphering the backs of caprynis!
– What!? I don't understand!?
– But come on! No kitin in the Desert !? And yet to which people does the hooonooor of discovering the first nest of kitins belong? What' s the point of making a map of the Ancient Lands if you only retain what suits you!
– Honor? Um… ah… ah… I…
– ney honor! You think it's our fault, you too!? But nooot at all. Kitins are everywhere, you hear me? Everywhere under the Bark, they're teeming, and would have come out sooner or later! he hissed at his interlocutor, eyes threatening.
– Besides, he continued, look at the white kitins, known as “from the depths”, recently. Are they sparing the Desert? deeey.

Pyphollo remained dazed for a good two minutes in the corridor, then took another one to tidy up the pages of the symbology study, before timidly leading to the neighbouring office of the same Chair of Knowledge, at Master of Xylology Ulyton Meros'.

– What's that got to do with xylology? Ulyton dubiously asked, raising his head after going through several pages of the first volume.
– It will come later, Master, the disciple softly replied.
Minutes passed, Ulyton turned the pages of the second volume at a gentle and regular rhythm. However, his bald forehead was verging on the color of a kirosta in Scorched Corridor.
– I repeat my question: what does this have to do with xylology? he asked, staring inquisitively at the disciple.
– Forgive me Master… Wait, I'll… show you directly.
Pyphollo searched awkwardly in the third volume for the pages where the akenak had made hypothesis on atysian typology. His hand trembled nervously because this was also the passage that, it seemed, Daeronn had not liked.
Ulyton read conscientiously again, and the more he read, the more his complexion now turned to the Matis “hermit of Primes” and his forehead wrinkled with questions.
Phypollo wasn't overconfident, expecting the worst…

But that's not what happened, Ulyton sighed, crossed his arms, his chin leaned upon one hand. He was thinking. His gaze crossed that of the disciple as if looking for answers. Pyphollo stared at him with his mouth open, hanging upon what he was going to say.
– Is this true? All researchers do agree that we live on immense roots?
The disciple didn't know what to answer.
– I visited boreholes on the four continents, the master said, putting up a front again. It is true that the textures in the deep wood are not the same depending on whether you are in the Desert or in the Lakes. The dry bark of the Desert is quite friable, it is dug quite easily, unlike the lake soil which rests on a hard and watertight base. Forest and Jungle, as for them, their textures are similar and those I think the closest to a certain normality.
Pyphollo, relieved to see the Master at his reasoning, nodded his head while quickly taking notes on a capryni vellum.
– It's obvious that to search for fyrak, I would dig under the Desert. And even in its hottest part, under the canyons, even under the Flaming Forest. The heat comes from underground, ney that's for sure.
– On cons, the master continued, I'm skeptical about his concept of the “Prime Roots type root”. It doesn't make sense to me. Besides, most homins are wrong: Prime Roots are not roots, they are cavities!

After this interview, Pyphollo regained some hope about the value of study. The xylologist had undoubtedly been affected, more than he had deigned to admit. Good. He moved up to the Chamber of Honour, Chair of the Sword. There he found the talumetimos of Magic, in this case Fyros saddled with a Matis name, Chiargio Rorinia. As with the previous masters, Pyphollo politely explained his visit, seal of the Chancellor in support. Then while the Master took the time to read, he studiously prepared to take notes.

– Hmmmm… He really masters magic, this… Azazor? the Master grumbled as he pretended to read the author's name on the last scroll.
– ney Master, he's a legionnaire you know. Not exactly the kind of homin you want to upset.
Chiargio didn't bat an eye.
– No because… still, about magic, it's full of inaccuracies and omissions there! he grumbled as he mechanically turned the pages over in the opposite direction. And… supposedly, they did their research together!? But what is this team of no-hopers?
Pyphollo didn't like the tone this Master used at all. He said nothing, his lips pursed. He was doing all this on purpose, he was sure of it.
– These runic visions are well known, Chiargio continued as if nothing had happened. We visualize them on the target of a spell, at the moment of impact. The phenomenon is stable, modulated according to three power levels: on anum lo, di anum on, anash anun on.
Pyphollo remained stoic, but a glint in his eye betrayed his curiosity.
– But he would find nothing useful in this phenomenon to win battles, Chiargio declared.
– Usefulness in battle is not the subject of the research, intervened the disciple, but don't you think, Master, that we can attribute each of these symbols to a people and, by extension, to a type of landscape?
– dey.
– Ah? But still, they are sometimes disturbing of coincidences!
– Because, for offensive magic anyway, the phenomenon is invariant: whatever the spell used, whatever the sap or even the nature of the caster, whatever the target, whatever the place of execution… we all and always see the same sequence! he said, weighing on these last words. So no valid correlation in my opinion, he concluded.
– And… what about the other magics?
– The legionnaire can exhaust his eyes on them, whatever floats his boat.

Although very unpleasant at first, the talumetimos of Magic surprised him in the end by giving him a written recommendation for a new track that Euphanix had not foreseen for his route: the alchemists. Pyphollo therefore went opposite, to the Chamber of Discipline, Chair of Alchemy. He was received by the homine Ibissedos Diolus.

– What!? Me to get you the Sulyrus tablet out!? dey! she protested.
– But…
“Why?” Pyphollo would ask… The word remained in his mouth while memories flowed into his head: Sulyrus… Zecado Sulyrus! Renowned imperial alchemist; falsely kidnapped by Akilia Ash Storm in 2544; proved to be a traitor to the Empire in 2551, when trying to kidnap Senator Abycus Zekops. Could Chiargio have played a trick on him?
– Besides, that's completely obsolete! This modeling has never produced any tangible results!
– Just a moment! It's not a question of using it in alchemy, but of evaluating its “symbolic substance”, explained Pyphollo with a vague gesture.
– What are you talking about? I should have had it thrown in the belly of the Forge with the rest!
– Oh… dey not do that, in the name of Truth!
– Truth? What truth can come from a traitor?
– Please, talumetimos, if this tablet is of no use to alchemy, then you know that its place is undoubtedly in the archives, whoever wrote it and whatever its contents.

Thanks to his prudence and perseverance, Pyphollo finally convinced Ibissedos. Out of politeness, he waited to say goodbye to the alchemist before giving his full attention to the tablet. Painted on a board of light-coloured olansi wood, two columns put in relation at each line a sign with a root word of the fyrk language transcribed in the mateis alphabet.





Underneath were engraved the following lines:

ha fyrash ûr eps atalmeyu
justified nomenclature

Pyphollo walked towards the Chancellor's office, so absorbed in his thought that he hurtled in unannounced. No sooner had he raised his head than the shot went off and the projectile grazed his locks.
– Ah talumetimètos, you've finished your investigation, she said as if nothing had happened while making a reel to her rimmelyx before blowing on the muzzle of the barrel.
– ta… ta… talumeti… Isn't that a bit dangerous? What if it had been a Master… or a Senator!
– Bah dey dital detal, I recognize your step the moment you approach the end of the corridor. But it could also have been a murderer… who would have pretended to be you! she said a bit mocking, gently tidying the weapon in a drawer.

The disciple made his report, his superior listened while sharpening a blamyx that she had pulled out of a slit in the side of her skirt.
– Here it is talumetimakos. So, in conclusion, it is a mixed reception from the specialists. But nevertheless this intuitive approach of “symbology” does not seem uninteresting to me.
– Without the endorsement of a Chair Master, the dossier is too light. It obviously lacks a more solid foundation. It would require a better cultural knowledge of symbols, I would say mainly Fyros and Tryker, the last peoples to adopt writing.
– ney… but then wouldn't the akenak have lost its spontaneity? His deductions follow one another with the playfulness of a sprightly capryni, but they call out to me! I believe in the virtue of intuition. To sum up, the general postulate would be that the symbolic was born from the ancient and deep influence of our environment and that therefore the interpretation of the symbolic could lead us on the opposite path and reveal the secrets of our environment!
– The first part of your postulate is a simple obviousness… Let's hope that the second part doesn't lead you to a dazing emptiness!
– Hahaha ney, but… dey : for example these magic glyphs, of which we have here a proof that someone has studied them, do we see them because they exist? Or would they be a projection of our thinking?
– I don't know, magic is not my cup of tchaï. On the other hand, look, she resumed, pointing her sword at the bottom of the tablet Pyphollo was holding, it says: “justified nomenclature”.
– Exactly, I was about to come to that… What does it imply? There would have been previous researches, dey? But conducted by whom?
– By… predecessors… I know what to look for! Follow me!" she said, rising with an impulse.

They went down into the basement, with torches, into the older archives. Euphanix consulted a register, then took a few steps among the rows of shelves. She took out of a drawer a small box, which was filled with amber cubes, each in its own compartment. After examining their numbering, she took one of them out carefully.
– Consult this cube talumetimètos, if it doesn't answer your questions, it will certainly add others!
– künos akep talumetimakos!
– Don't be so enthusiastic! According to the register, it's gibberish.

Pyphollo returned to his favourite corner. There he crouched down on the floor, his back to the wall, as usual. Preciously holding the cube with his fingertips, he let his gaze fog up far inside, as he had learned. The flow of memories began to be born in him, first a sweet perfume, then a soft sound that took the form of a homine's voice, announcing:

To our regent Leanon..,
Prelude to the quest for the Great Dragon
Fundamental Magic Arcana
By the Order of the Pyromancers

————
Small firk/Common glossary
ney : yes
dey : no
talumetimakos : Chancellor of the Academy
talumetimètos : Disciple of the Academy
talumetimos : Master of the Academy
akep : thank you
fyrak : the Great Dragon
dital detal : young idiot
künos akep : many thanks
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