New Ability Venichi Code

Dear all,
My Verditius has set himself up in a large town under the name Brutus Venichi. He is planning to recruit local people to be his eyes and ears, and for the trusted cut-out people to communicate with him he is devising a code language. This is partly because he wants to have more private messages, but also because he doesn't speak the language very well. Once the code has been translated into the local dialect he will be able to read anything they write.

The code will be a collection of symbols that represent words/nouns which people can say or draw. Things like numbers, man, woman, wealthy etc.

As these are symbols and not words, Artes Liberales is not needed - each level gives the ability to read and write that detail of code.

Level 1 - convey basic information about groups of people and places
Level 2 - convey basic information about different activities
Level 3 - convey basic information about bargains and deals
Level 4 - convey more detailed information.

As yet there is no level 4 as this is not a full language, however as it is used it will grow as new situations are uncovered.

Do you think that this is too restrictive, or should each level contain more detail? The code can't be too complex at lower levels because it is meant to be taught to uneducated people in poor conditions. I haven't seen Art & Academe yet - does this book have something similar in it?

Inventing a whole code language is pretty complicated...

Sounds like something similar to the cipher of the Trianomae magi might service you. They use a code to encrypt their Lab texts and notes, which requires a roll + Latin score against the encoding maga's Intrigue total (see book for exact details).

Check out the relevant section in HoH:TL p20-21.

Otherwise there are various thieve's languages like the Argot used by the beggar king magus in the Paris section of Lion & the Lily.


(language nut)

This puts me in mind of the verious pictorial Thieves signs, Gypsies signs and Tramps' signs of legend.

essentially codes and pictograms left as clues, & warnings

However a lot of these were probably 19th Century romaticism of 15th Century concepts.

Extremely. At least if its supposed to be able to handle just about anything another language can on a 1:1 basis.

It might be not restrictive enough.

What you´re doing is basically reinventing the Chinese/Japanese Kanji system. Thats a HUGE thing.
Something to get across only the most basic of concepts, thats not a problem. But you´re making it into a full language. That IS a problem.

There have existed some "alphabets" like what you´re proposing through history, except they were extremely simple in comparison. Pretty much limited to at most your level 3.
And using from just a few dozen signs up to a couple of hundreds.
You may want to think through it practically, how would you do something like it yourself?
An example, if i draw a direction arrow combined with a number and a person in the middle of a step, followed by a house combined with a number, followed by a person combined with a number, that should be rather simple to follow and handle. Likewise, many other very simple things are easy to include, but you also have to make it easy to learn and use, and once you start hitting difficult or less "solid" concepts, thats when the troubles will begin for most people.

They existed, AND then became "romanticised" more or less.
Local "thieves signs" are still in use in lots of places today.

I was thinking of creating the first few levels myself, then over a few years it mutating into something more comprehensive as people needed to convey more information.

The system is really for informants to use, generally about people, places, condition of items etc. It's not going to be used for long discussions or to relate theology. I understand that it would be impossible to create a large and comprehensive list which is why it would be limited to nouns and some verbs.

Lol, good choice.

And good luck with it... I doubt it will be easy.