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Art: Alethi Glyphs



Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers.

Alethi Glyphs
Artwork here.
I’m not much into the glyphs and trying to decipher them. I have been far more involved and interested in the transliterative alphabets we got for Alethi and Thaylen in the past books, and trying to pull useful meanings from the encoded text. Glyphs are cool, but I am willing to let others do the work of puzzling them out and identifying phonemes. 

Without looking closely at the chart, I’ll just say that it looks very similiar to what we’d seen before, either given by Dragonsteel and the text so far, or deciphered by other readers. In fact, this is apparently titled “page 2,” which means it likely follows directly from the page in the previous book. I’ll have to take a look at them side by side, but for now I’ll give my attention to Nazh’s commentary.

Speaking of which, this is by far the most verbose Nazh has ever been.  I’m glad to get more from him, but much of his humor was contained in the terse commentary and offhand notes added to the materials he collects. I’m not sure if I enjoy the longform essay as much. It feels a little bit like it’s trying too hard with all those parentheticals.

Regardless of that…The obviously important piece of this picture is the reveal about the glyph for Roshar. A superposition of “Light of Tavast,” “Light of Koravari,” and “Light of Rasan” has been used to indicate the planet. 

First of all, this gives us a name for Cultivation’s vessel, at least in Alethi form. Koravellium Avast, “She Who Brings the Dews at Dawn” joins Tanavast. I’m going to call her Kora for short. Tantalizingly, she’s given a surname or title of Avast, which sure sounds like a close association to Tanavast. I look forward to learning more about her and her history.

It’s also worth noting that this glyph for Roshar was necessarily created after the arrival of humans and their god Odium to the system, and it’s hard to think it would predate Odium becoming heavily invested here.

As for Nazh’s translation, I do have some skepticism about the “Light of” being repeated separately each time. I’d need to spend a little more time with it to see how the pieces were put together, but it seems just as likely that the names were arranged separately or together around “Light” as a reference to the planet or system’s investiture in general, rather than specifically to its component parts. 

I also think it’s likely that “friendly cremling” is a reasonable etymology for “love” given what we know of the planet, and the ancient nature of the Sleepless.