Saint Ancelin's Stylus of Law

When Saint Ancelin returned from his long journeys to visit the folk that had been Awakened long before the Human folk, he brought back with him many skills and many ideas. One of the skills he had learned in his travels was writing to record thoughts.

He had seen how the Elves had developed a written script with an elegant and graceful style that fit their demeanor. He had seen how the Dwarves carved letters and runewords into stone to preserve them for all time. He knew that the Humans needed this skill as well, but they needed something better suited to them. By the time he had returned, he had devised a system of writing that he believed would fit Humankind.

This writing would be more permanent than the ink-on-paper of the Elves, which could be dissolved away with water. But it was not the "once and forever" of the Dwarven stone-carved language either. He developed a system of writing that involved a specially shaped stylus pressed into a wet clay tablet to form letters and word symbols. While still wet, the written text could be amended. Only after baking in a kiln would the words become as permanent as any the Dwarves could write. Ancelin envisioned a group of his people, elders perhaps, discussing and debating important things - writing and amending until they were all in agreement.
2oz (50g)
Cylindrical, 4in (10cm) long x 1/4" (60mm) diam
one end is flat; other end specially carved & plated
Base Price
Cost of raw materials: 3gp
Cost of artifact: Priceless
Raw materials & Components
Ironwood and gold.
(There may be copper plating beneath the gold plating on the stylus impressing edges.)

Ancelin's Written Language

The writing system Ancelin devised consists of letters made up of two basic shapes: a straight line stroke, and a curved stroke (similar to a parenthesis). Individual letters are formed by arranging these two shapes in prescribed patterns. In addition to letters used to spell out words, there are a few special words in the language that have single symbols and do not need to be spelled out - these include "Village", "Cooperation", "Responsibility", and "Law".

The language spoken by Ancelin and the Humans of the time evolved greatly over time to become the Common Speech of today. The changes are severe enough that most humans today find the old speech completely non-understandable. Furthermore, the written sympols for letters has also changed - incorporating elements of the written symbols of many other of the Folk as well as humans. As a result, very few humans today would be capable of reading an original text by Ancelin. Scholars refer to the spoken language of Ancelin and humans of his time as "Old High Humanic", and the alphabet and symbols he developed as as "Ancelic writing".

While it would have been possible to use quill and ink to record the written language of Ancelin on paper, his intention was for something more permanent. A soft clay table is prepared by setting wet clay into a shallow wooden or stone mold. A special stylus with a tip that features two edges: one straight and one curved is then used to impress the patterns of lines and arcs into the clay to form the letters. There are no moving parts to the Stylus - most common styli were carved from a single solid source material such as wood or soft stone.

Ancelin's Stylus

According to the Churches of Humanity, Ancelin carved the Stylus from Ironwood, but as he used it extensively to record his treatises, it began to wear down. Rather than carve a new one, he had craftspersons plate the impressing tip with a very thin sheet of copper. At some point, the copper sheet was either replaced or covered over with the gold sheet that now covers the edges of the Stylus.

But Ancelin, with the divine assistance of the Humanar, also imbued the stylus with a very special property: Whenever the stylus is used to record a Tenet of Behavior, or a Law of Humankind, any and all humans who either read the resulting tablet or are read to from the tablet are compelled to obey the stricture imposed by the writing. Only the strongest-willed of humans have ever been able to resist the desire to fulfill the law as Ancelin wrote it.

Ancelin's Stylus as a Relic

Because of the magical properties of Ancelin's Stylus, it is considered the most important relic left behind by the Saint, and thus the most important relic known to Humanity. Since the divisions in the Church of the Humanar, this has caused a great deal of tension. The True Church insists that, since it is after all the only "true" church, then it alone deserves to be the caretaker of such a powerful artifact. By True Church Law, the First Servant of the True Church is the only individual on earth permitted to even touch the Stylus. It is actually used by the First Servant wheever an edict is to be issued which is to be considered fundamental to the Church and its practices. (This has been an extremely rare event in the past several hundred years.)

The Enlightened Church and, to a lesser extent, the Reformed Church, would like to have the opportunity to make use of the Stylus for the same purpose, but as the True Church hierarchy considers those religions to be heretical, it has denied (if not flatly ignored) any requests from the newer Churches to do so.


Banner images by Vinson Tan ( 楊 祖 武 ) from Pixabay

Page background cathedral Image by 5163451 on Pixabay
Page background manor house image by Josef Pichler on Pixabay
Page background hut image by PamelaAndrey15 on Pixabay
Page background forest image by Waldkunst on Pixabay
Character portraits by RPGDinosaurBob on Hero Forge®


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