Apr 12, 2021 12:10 AM
A Nick invents early celestial navigation and goes out and meets Azan
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That’s so cool. He wonders if the Azani gods do any of that.

He draws some Azani constellations in return; they all have stories from one part of the country or another.

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"Interesting how you mostly make different constellations from us. Perhaps what we see in the stars reflects our upbringing, or just what we're familiar with."

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“Both, probably! If you follow the regional origins of stories and constellations and so on, you can sort of get an idea of the difference and similarities between local cultures.”

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"I suppose all the stories about boats and sailing are rather telling, for us. I find never going out to sea to be deeply strange."

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“I’m perfectly comfortable hearing about it from the shore, thank you. I’ll be as strange as that makes me.”

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He just laughs.

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Maki grins and keeps writing. “Don’t you have anyone who stays on land all the time?”

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"A lot of people stay on land much of the time - farmers and pig herders - say, what are you doing with that, anyway?"

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“Taking notes? I’m writing down what you’ve been telling me.”

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"'Writing'. Those aren't - Those are just lines."

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“Yeah! They’re lines that mean what you said, and anyone who can read Azani can look at this and learn it.”

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"...Clever! Oh, my, clever. Sounds difficult, mind."

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“Not very! Most Azani learn to read and write as small children.”

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"No disrespect to children, but I quite frankly doubt that."

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“It’s just representations of sounds, if you understand the language and know the letters you can just sound things out.”

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"Well, if you can memorize sounds for a shape, I suppose it might end up being a workable system. It's better than pictures because pictures can mean a number of different things, is that it?"

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"Something like that, and it's easier to copy writing than pictures."

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It sounds sort of similar to what he's doing to mark the stars, to be honest.

"Fascinating. Sounds like a pretty big time investment though - and I do like my wandering."

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"Yeah, paper doesn't do so great in water."

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"We have ways of sealing things from the salt and wet but they are not actually very cheap or convenient, yes."

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"It might still be worth it to be able to write anything down at all. You could make your own script, even, you just have to decide what shape goes with each sound."

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"And put my ideas down in a form where someone could copy them... Hmm. Well, that's trade for you. You want to learn how to build a real boat?"

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"Well, I want to learn how to make those metal tools. You need special things for the boat, and probably the same for metal, but," shrug. "The metal will make many things much easier."

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Maki can find him a metalworker!

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