Once I completed Chapter X for Beneath the Vault of Stars (BVS), I remember thinking, “Holy smokes! This could be a real thing!” I thought pretty much the same thing after finishing Chapter X for Between the Lion and the Wolf (BLW), too. And now I’ve finished Chapter XI! Chapter XII started off as an overlong hunk of Chapter XI.5, so I shifted some stuff around. Details that probably no one’s too terribly concerned about…
I’ve got a bunch of stuff mapped out for Chapters XII and beyond, and I just hope I can fit it all in before it’s finished. We’re already looking at more than 100K words for BLW: I’m curious to see if we top out around 200K or if I can tell the story with fewer words. Like I’ve said before, while I admit I can be a little…florid from time to time, ideally, I want to tell the story with the right amount of words: not too terse, not too verbose. As I explore (or create) this world, I discover there’s more to it—to its history—than I anticipated. Weird how that happens!
Anyway, with Part I finished, with Part II roughly 1/10 finished, and with a boatload of details to flesh out at least a few of the next few chapters, I’m hoping I can make time to pound out the next couple hundred paragraphs soon! Though I’ll also admit, as I scour the horizon for the path to the last page of BLW, I’m concerned—no, curious—to see what becomes of Book III!
I’ve received a little feedback from a few people who’ve read at least parts of BVS, and while it’s been generally positive, I understand the snippets of created language might come across as somewhat daunting. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but my intention was to provide enough contextual clues to communicate a speaker’s mood (if nothing else). Where necessary (or useful), I’ve tried to include inline translations. I do remember one passage, though, where I just skipped all of that:
“Theshahal ëth shir nitsar, Âsrufin,” he breathed. “Ëth seyit, al mazhëthu, hish? Sarad al sofer al shir, á sarad al seyit al nirest…”Beneath the Vault of Stars, Chapter XV.3
What the heck does all that mean? That’s a fair question, so I’ll answer it here.
Thesh can mean “world” or “realm,” in literal or figurative senses. What appears as the suffix ahal means “my.” Theshahal, therefore, means “my world.” (In this use case, it’s figurative.) Ëth means “you” (used as the subject), and shir nitsar means “have” (shir) “become.” Âsrufin is directly translated in a prior chapter as “Firebird,” initially Gandhan’s nickname for his daughter. It’s built from the word âsru, “fire,” and fin, “bird.” Thus, the first sentence could be translated: “You have become my world, Firebird.” Transliterated, we’d have: “My world you have become, Firebird.”
Ëth seyit, al mazhëthu, hish? means “You know I love you, right?” (Hish represents an affirmative response.) Sarad al sofer shir, á sarad al seyit al nirest means “I think I always have, and I think I always will.” Transliterated, we’d have: “You know I love you, right? Always I think I have, and always I think I will.”
That’s just one example where, perhaps, I could have done a better job of providing context, but my goal with that scene was to communicate the tender sentiment Kalas held regarding Zhalera.
In contrast, consider the “wolf-monster’s” last words to Valderïk, as well as his response:
Zhi âsru tayitimu! it thought at Valderïk with such malice both Kalas and Tsharak somehow heard its words and recoiled.
“I’ll see you there!” laughed the commander as the wolf snapped his neck.Beneath the Vault of Stars, Chapter VI.4
Zhi represents the definite article “the.” We’ve defined âsru above (“fire,” in case you forgot!). Tayitimu combines the present tense of “enjoy” (tayit) with the nonspecific subject “it” (imu). Transliterated, we have: “The fire enjoy it!” Even without knowing that, however, from Valderïk’s fatalistic response, one might infer (correctly) the wolf is suggesting the commander visit a place with…unseasonably warm temperatures. Wink, wink; nudge nudge…
I intend to include an appendix at the back of either BLW or the third volume. Probably the third (which I haven’t even started, much less finished!). Still, hopefully a few notes here and there will help shed a little light on the “native language” these people speak.
Look at this T-shirt!
Last thing: I ordered one of the T-shirts I designed. I need to tweak the colors (the blue comes across too strong, too hard-edged), but overall, I like it! (It goes pretty well with the bookmarks I recently had printed!) (It’s not washed-out like it appears in this lighting!)