Writing Every Day in March: Day 1

“Curse tablet, storehouse inventory, duty roster, curse tablet, inventory, inventory, drawing of a horse, curse tablet with a drawing of a horse.”

You may remember from November that the Realmgardic Period —

Photo by Andy Hay. via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

— is basically Realmgard’s Bronze Age, influenced rather heavily by Mycenaean Greece — i.e., the period of history that Homer* is writing about in the Iliad.

*Full disclosure: very little can be said about Homer with any certainty or historical verifiability, to the point that plenty of credible scholars hold that there wasn’t a Homer and it probably is more helpful to think of “Homer” as a style or school, rather than a person.

Ahem.

So, basically, think of the language our good friends Melisa and Annie are dealing with today as sort of like Linear B.


“So,” Matilda Lyte says, standing amid the ruins. “Here we are. Again.”

Previously the site of the Lyte Brigade’s first great victory over the bandit siblings Wulfbert and Wulfhild, the ruins are once again being excavated and catalogued by a team from the Porthaven Ministry of Antiquities led by several professors from the University of Porthaven, including the Lyte Brigade’s previous companion, the badger Wilderling Melisa Grevling.

In addition Melisa, the team from the University includes Melisa’s associate Jonas Darkstone and Jonas’ young daughter Annie, a pink-haired Half-Elf girl with a brain the size of Pelayo and a clear aversion to looking people in the eye.

“It’s not so bad,” Nolan offers. “This is the easy money we’ve ever made. All we have to do is wait around in case of danger. And so far the only danger we’ve had is when Pela cut her finger peeling potatoes for dinner last night.”

“Hey,” Pela interjects, holding up her bandaged finger. “It really hurt, okay?”

Falcata reaches down to give Pela a consoling pat on the shoulder.

“Are you kidding, Nolan?” Matilda asks her brother. “You just know they’re going to dig too deep and awaken some kind of slumbering evil.”

“That sounds like something out of a Ronan Wayfarer story,” Tancred notes.

“I prefer Krimson Katja,” Amara notes. “I suppose a showdown with some sort of ancient horror would be rather thrilling, though I think I’d prefer to avoid it.”

Up to now, the Lyte Brigade’s primary duty has to be stay out of the way as the archaeologists carry out their excavation. The most excitement so far came when a particularly arachnophobic worker from the Ministry got a spider on himself.

The Lyte Brigade gathers around Melisa as he lays out a collection of ancient tablets from the site on her table. Annie hops onto a stool beside her to help.

The Lyte Brigade gathers around Melisa as he lays out a collection of ancient tablets from the site on her table.

“Let’s see,” the Wilderling archaeologist mutters, making her way through the clay and stone tablets. “Curse tablet —“

“I knew it!” Matilda exclaims, though her vindication quickly fades to a lingering regret over being right all the time.

Melisa continues looking through the ancient tables.

“— Curse tablet, storehouse inventory, duty roster, curse tablet, inventory, inventory, drawing of a horse, curse tablet with a drawing of a horse, graffito that says —“She holds up the tablet for Annie to decipher.

“Uh,” the girl says, examining the tablet, “Khalkeus is a jerk.”

“Now, Professor,” Tancred ventures, “I can’t help but notice very many curse tablets. Should we be worried? Are, perhaps, those curses directed at us?”

“Well,” the Wilderling woman answers, “inscriptions like Ten thousand maledictions upon whomsoever disturbs my slumber are pretty common in Realmgardic-era tombs and burial grounds.”

“Oh,” Tancred says, the colour draining from his face.

“Don’t worry,” Annie assures the Lyte Brigade. “There’s no indication that this site is a tomb or a burial ground. All the evidence so far suggest that this was some kind of military outpost.”

“Oh, good,” Tancred says.

“Of course,” Annie continues happily. “That doesn’t preclude the possibility that there’s still some kind of burial ground nearby for the outpost.”


FYI: that header drawing consists of real Linear B glyphs, but they don’t say anything either in English or in Mycenaean — I couldn’t find any real examples of Linear B that I liked for a header image, so I just threw something together and it didn’t seem worth the hassle to make them actually mean anything.

And there you have it, day one of March 2023.

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