TTLG|Jukebox|Thief|Bioshock|System Shock|Deus Ex|Mobile
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 26 to 40 of 40

Thread: The Glyphs- Where do they come from?

  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Stath MIA
    Warning: prolonged exposure to Glyphs may lead to the following: increased aging, glowing symbols forming, obsession with living forever, and death. If you experience any of these symptoms please contact you're local First Keeper.
    Heh heh.

    ke2_idle6: "So tired...what would it hurt to use the Invertamus glyph for a different purpose than intended. I'm not so sure others haven't done similar things already. Even Elder Cronen, he must be well over 90, but he looks and acts--but...I should not talk so...."

    ks2_idle8: "I feel woozy again. If I tell them, I'll be sent to the infirmary for who knows how long. Not there, never again. No, this time maybe I'll take Bernard up on his offer...that glyph that helps quiet the mind and fortify the body...."
    SM3doversjournal: "Keeper Dover - Journal Entry Number 2136
    I should have known better than to bring it up in front of the entire council. Still, my words had some effect, at least now there is the resolution forbidding it. I believe that will cause many to think twice should the temptation arise. Meanwhile, we should all be on the watch for the telltale signs - the dead animals, their life forces drained. It is not a love of creatures that compels me to speak out. No, they are pitiable, but inconsequential. I can only speculate on how long a Keeper could extend a normal lifespan in this way...a hundred...two hundred years? Maybe longer. But it would take more than vermin to accomplish that. And I, now that I posses the knowledge, can I truly say I too am not tempted? This is why I cannot remain silent. That, and the glyph that Elder Beryl speculates must exist - though we have yet to find - one that enables shape-shifting. What a potent elixer of glyph magics that would be."
    AULdiocenletters: "The Letters of Diocen, Book 5
    To the Council- I am nearing the end of my ability to serve as Interpreter. My apprentice, Caduca, though blind, is highly gifted. She should be my successor when my time is ended. For the future, the prophecies are clear and rife with warnings. With the help of the young acolyte that chose thievery over us, we shall eventually overcome the first two trials. Then a third dark age will approach, but here the glyphs are not so clear. Interpreting this third trial will be Caduca's life work, and her eventual undoing. She knows this, and accepts her fate with dignity and balance. Interpreter Diocen

    To the Council- This will be my last missive. The glyphs have taken all from me. I hope my efforts have not been in vain, and that my warnings have not fallen on deaf ears. I await a resolution on the matter of the glyphs I have postulated. If there is a Glyph of Transmutation, then there is terrible danger. A shape-shifter glyph would be too much a temptation for any Keeper. We must scour the old texts for any references to such a glyph. It is possible that early Keepers found it...but that the knowledge was lost. And it is how that knowledge might have come to be lost, that brings me great unrest. Interpreter Diocen"

    And just as Astrology became Astronomy, until the early teachings became too divergent from the later teachings that they broke off from each other, the art of magic of the Thief Universe has become a scholarly affair, but in this case, the magic is not a superstition, nor will it ever become non-scientific. I would presume that in the future, with this new Dark Age, enough knowledge may be lost that there could be an increase in ignorance, and there will be more scoffers among those who have no aptitude for magic, and have not witnessed a real demonstration of power. And no one ever thinks the crystals are magic, so they are taken for granted as completely normal.

  2. #27
    Registered: Apr 2009
    Location: Atlantis
    All hail Jtr7, King of Quotes! That's pretty much what I had envisioned, but I hadn't considered the effects of the Dark Age on magic, indeed maybe magic will cease to be a science and slowly fade from social awareness:
    "some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth." -Galadriel
    But we won't no for sure until Thief 4 comes out.

  3. #28
    I really hope they are privy to the original devs' notes and design documents, and any other insightful documentation, like if they actually had someone taking minutes of their meetings, for example, and emails.

    That is, if it's tied right into established canon and not a reimagining.

  4. #29
    Registered: Apr 2009
    Location: Atlantis
    Indeed, the Glyphs are a vital part of the Thief Universe, though what roll they would play in Thief 4 I am unsure of, after their probable destruction in DS.

    That actually brings up an interesting question, what became of the Glyphs after DS, how were they undone? Perhaps whatever inter-dimensional portal they were passing through into our realm was sealed by the Sentients.

    Hey! I'm now a full blown member! YAY!!
    Last edited by Stath MIA; 28th Apr 2009 at 21:23. Reason: Sudden Relization

  5. #30
    Haha! Congrats!

    Yeah, I'm wondering if The Eye opened full and projected all the extraplanar glyph magic back through the dividing membrane into it's plane of origin, and closed.

    I suppose that the Keepers only assumed the Glyphs were unwritten FOREVER because they could not fathom what else could explain why the all the Prophecies completely ceased, and there was nothing at all beyond what we know as Day 9, ending with the bereft and hopeless Keepers left with nothing. Their version of the Mayan Calendar December 21, 2012.

    The "Mark" upon Garrett of a key symbol suggests hope of another chance, and a lock that may not even yet be accessible or may not even exist yet.
    Last edited by jtr7; 28th Apr 2009 at 21:38.

  6. #31
    Registered: Sep 2008
    Location: In the Present Perfect
    Quote Originally Posted by Stath MIA View Post
    But in a universe where magic occurs naturally, wouldn't the study and application of magic technically be considered a science, Magicology maybe?
    Well, yes. But actually there are to kinds of magic, to my mind at least, in the Thiefverse: Glyph or Glyph-ish, and Elemental. Under Glyph and Glyphish I mean the Keeper, the Pagan and the Hammer/Mechanist magics. The fact that all three have distinct shapes which they retain after being cast, kind of makes me feel they are connected somehow. Maybe they are just different schools of the same magic.
    The fact that the Glyphs didn't work after the ?end?, but the Hammer and Pagan magics did... Well a) we don't know that for sure, b) perchance the Final Glyph did but create a sort of Glyph-dampening field, which might have not affected the other schools. But this is just my rambling
    With Elemental magic we clearly see different schools, schools which do conduct experiments and such. With the Hammers and the Pagans, we see no experiments, and the Keepers seem to suppose that every Glyph was discovered by the Ancient Keepers, and the Present Keepers' job is to find their writings about them.

  7. #32
    I'd say elemental magic is universal and basic, and the Glyphs are an encyclopaedia of fine control of natural magic going beyond the elemental stuff. There is a heavy overlap of Glyphs with the elemental. I'd say the Mages are too specialised, though it works for them. The Keepers have a broader palette and have to choose not to use certain Glyphs, but they are there. Knowing something of the nature of The Eye, and what happened in the Old Quarter, the attuning to The One with his flesheye, and what the Trickster was going to do with them, and then the Final Glyph, it seems surprisingly basic for the Keepers to only use Elemental Wards to contain The Eye, with Elemental Talismans to break them, which constantly give off their elemental essence without needing replenishment.

    The Hammer and Pagan magics are also specialised, the Hammers most of all. They were still recently discovering new magic and it may be their conservatism that has left them behind the other factions.

  8. #33
    Registered: Apr 2009
    Location: Atlantis
    Elemental Magic=basic natural magic which can occur without intervention
    Glyph+Glyph-ish Magic=focused man made/man synthesized magic, requires rituals or drawing to call upon
    That the way I see it. There is probably a good deal of overlap between the two, maybe the Ancient Keepers/others even refined Glyph-ish magic from the elemental magic.

    Herr_Garrett- so maybe activating the Final Glyph torched all magic, I hadn't even considered that. But I guess it would actually make sense, with the Keepers powers on the fritz they would be incapable of properly maintaining the Balance so maybe they decided to deal an equally devastating blow to all the factions simultaneously.

  9. #34
    Man, the Pagans and Hammerites might feel forsaken by their gods, and they'd have to rely on ingenuity and plain tools more than they were used to. I wonder if they'd start executing or sacrificing their own to root out the sin or seek appeasement? How much anger and loss of faith vs. humility, self-flagellation, and devotion among the Hammerites? More splintering? Pagans starving?

    And just as elemental magic is pure and divided into four principals, the Glyphs may be a way of mixing them like alchemy without needing the physical ingredients and recipe. Each Glyph is a self-contained and automatic recipe only needing intent and activation, and not just from the humans. The Pagan magic is another way of doing the same things, but with a great difference of motive and philosophy, a fundamentally different reason and comes not from the four principals, but the already mixed plants and rocks. Animals barely come into it, and seem only there as servants to the plants.

    The Hammerites only deal with Fire as a primary, Earth as the main element to impose their will upon, with Water and Air serving the others: Air to feed the Fire, and Water to temper the metals, and to be converted to steam (Air) in the boilers, to serve their machinations.
    Last edited by jtr7; 29th Apr 2009 at 19:47.

  10. #35
    Registered: Apr 2009
    Location: Atlantis
    Precisely what the Keepers would have wanted, a house divided cannot stand. The more anarchy the Keepers could unleash within the factions the longer it would take any of them to make a move for power, a move which they would have a hard time predicting and stopping without their own powers. Those devils were prepared for everything!

  11. #36


    Glyphs acting on their own--or reacting to unbalanced, stressed, and emotional Keeper thoughts, with the scribes that are not ready for what's occurring, not just because they are young in knowledge and experience, but also because even the Elders cannot prepare them. Odd language for Glyph Masters to speak of them so, and not only this one time:
    KCoddglyphs: "Glyphwarden Ruehan- Have you heard of any further untoward behavior on the part of the glyphs in the Scribarium? Be sure to make note of exactly which scribes and which glyphs have proved difficult. Notify me immediately should any further changes occur."
    This has always nagged at me for understanding:
    AULalbrechwritings:"The Writings of Albrech, Volume Three
    Who shall watch the watchers? Who shall keep the Keepers? Alas, there is no one. No one to watch us. No one to keep us. This conclusion fills us with dread. For even a Keeper should not be left unchecked. So it became our work to plan for the worst possible contingencies. If at some distant time in the future, should the Keepers become unbalanced, then only our work now would stand in the way of disaster. This is why we labored so long and hard to create the Last of All Glyphs. Yet our best thinkers were not satisfied. What if, for some reason unknown, it came into play too soon? Before these future Keepers had a chance to complete an important task? So we devised the Sentients, each a separate key, each with a will of its own. The Heart, the Crown, the Paw, the Chalice, and the Eye. They would not consent to the journey, which would culminate in their annihilation, until the time was ripe and the One was present. To ensure success, five Keepers were recruited to make the crucial sacrifices. And so, the Last of All Glyphs, our safeguard, stands ready against Keeper corruption. I hope we have done service to the future. May the Unwritten Times never come."
    Is that what Garrett or a destined successor could do? Accomplish something important the Keepers became too unbalanced to do themselves, stopped short by losing their way, needing to lose it all, and leaving the task unfinished? Is that task still important, and does it still need accomplishing? Or was that line of thinking just a possibility they thought of that didn't itself come to pass?

    The Pagans revel in Chaos, but not when it's against them, and they would have to adapt or die. Without prophetic instructions from the Pagan leaders before it happened, the Pagans might slay their leaders as fears foment, the war with the Hammerites might spike, escalated to a last person standing fight.

    After the civil war had already begun, only for them to calm down for awhile with the return of their Artifacts, this may come to full fruition:
    OQtowerletter: "Brother Anvil- At thy services this morning, thou should address the issue of our fallen clocktower. Your flock will no doubt have heard of its toppling, and wilt be wondering if the Builder hast abandoned us. 'Tis not the case, for I feel His presence most heartily! Indeed, I believe the clocktower wast his way of calling us to war 'gainst the Pagans! For if we do not, then the whole city may fall as the clocktower did. Yes, the Builder hast sacrificed a beloved building to awake his sleeping flock! To arms 'gainst the heathens! Let thy hammers swing! Brother Agnus"
    And/or...Garrett would be the biggest target, and utterly screwed, requiring all his Keeper training--ALL of it, hieroGlyphs included--if he's able to find the lock he is the key to, a well-spring of magic attuned only to him, until he can grasp the principles enough to rebuild something. Who he was will have to die, though he could retain his Mastery of thieving, but never enjoy doing it against everyone for only the sake of stealing again. A new character arc, learning what it means to be a Keeper, and running for his life, and each obstacle he overcomes teaches him more and more about being the true First Keeper that all other First Keepers were labeled "surrogates" for.

    The Keepers could now become a different kind of underground society, living in their network of tunnels, knowing them better than anybody could discover in decades, giving them time to plan. Thanks to Solabusca for finding this inspiration:

    They could become the greatest knowledge-merchants in The City, could work at the Grand Library, become informants and spies, devise new systems of cataloguing information, create self-serving technology from what they learned from the Precursors, Hammerites, and Mechanists. And preserve the remnants of their Order, until a day may come when they could be reestablished, but now they are bereft and vulnerable, and many will die, go to prison, flee The City, or adapt successfully.


    As for the other idea, either the ancient Keepers were too focused on their own demise (highly unlikely), or they didn't expect or believe any magic other than the Glyphs would cease. No reason to believe the Glyphs spilled magic over onto the other factions as a fringe benefit for them, ascribing the source to their deities.


    Tidbits on how the Factions view each others' magics...:
    PAGhamstatue: "Woodbine- Bes you not touch the ruby Hammer Statuette you founded in them ruined factory wall. Bes it fullsy of Hammerhead magics and poison. It bes curses them earth all arounds it. Only them hand of them Trickster himself can takers it away. I bes feared what would happen if a Pagan touchered it. Them Hammerheads must have lefted it there on purpose to danger us, and tempting us with them golden shines. Dyan"
    That one reminds me of a story I was told by a Navajo-Apache native about the fear of curses from the Hopis. Her immediate family's dwelling was below a mesa, and one day they spotted some items resting near the precipice. They went up to look at what it was that had been placed there, and it was various odd items, and I can't remember if there were figurines and bowls with some kind of contents among the items. Fearing a curse from the Hopis, they destroyed the items.

    OQburiedseedletter: "Brother Severence- 'Tis gone from bad to worse! We managed to bury the body - finally! But the graveyard hast become quite o'ergrown with plants of all types. No manner of ax nor blade can halt their unnatural growth. We fear 'tis Pagan magics. But we know not how they accomplished it! Do please advise us, if thou hast any idea how to proceed. Most vexedly, Brother Archibald"
    I still want to know who shipped the Pagan Sapling, if that matters really, but who it was ordered from and where from?
    OQburntreenote: "Brother Vault It hast come to our attention that the Pagans art after a small tree that recently arrived by boat to thy district, Docks. 'Tis imperative they don't obtain it! If 'tis anything like the Pagan magics thus far, 'twill be bad for us indeed. The cursed thing is being held by the City Watch. Methinks they must side with the Pagans, or perhaps greed hast o'ercome their sense of righteousness. If though thinkest an offer of more money would set things aright, then 'twould be a goodly plan. Brother Ondilot thinkest we should burn the tree in a furnace. That the furnace, most blessed vessel of the will of the Master Builder, will destroy the tree and consume its terrible magics. 'Tis a furnace in the Tavern there in Docks--and perhaps, by the Builder's grace, 'twill do the job. Though, 'tis a poor substitute for a Hammerite furnace. Brother Constance"
    DOCblessedground: "Hyssop You wills get them saplinger tree! Bes a rare centuried plant that will helping us. Whens you having the sapling, bringer it to them abandoned Inn – heres in our territory in Docks. There bes a patch of ground there I blessed. Plant them sapling there, and it bes will bringer us them powers rooted in them deeping earth. Dyan"
    I made them enchantings with my magicer wand to raising them undead again. Them hammerheads bes battling them all day and nights! Bes a good thinger I do. It bes keeper them from burying friendsy Alfred in thems Hammerfool graveyard. Bes I no want him buried in a hammer spot. Bes I want him to resting in goodsy earth – where hims flesh can feeders them trees and vines. If I coulds just getting to them cornerstone - and bes starting the greensy. Then the hammery graveyard bes will turn greens and goodsie. Then will let friend Alfred bes buried there. But bes too risky – them hammers bes too manied. I bes must stay hidings in them sewers in Old Quarter for nows. It bes safe for me there – and I bes close enough to raising more undead with my magicer wand.
    I bes not able to get to them cornerstone agains. Bes a hammerhead near theres. What bes I will do? At least I still havers my magicer wand – I bes will keep raisings them undead to stoppers them hammerheads. Them Woodsie Lord will guider me."
    OQzombieletter: "Brother Severence- Twould be much appreciated if thou wouldst advise us on a matter that hast arisen here. A devout woman hast come to us and asked if her brother might be buried in our sacred burial ground. To this we readily agreed, as the woman dost come to services every day. But, no sooner didst we attempt the burial, when a plague of undead didst set upon us! Twas so many that we didst retreat to the safety of the chapel. After gathering forces anew, we smote the zombies – and right well! Yet each time we fell these putrid foes, a new wave of them dost arise from the ground. 'Tis a curse of some kind, to be sure. If thou hast some advice, then, I pray thee, bring it forth soon! Brother Archibald"
    OQzombieletter2: "Brother Archibald Thou didst right in contacting me. As for the woman and her departed sibling, 'tis unlikely they art as pious as presented. For, to be sure, thou art sorely besieged with Trickster magics.
    There is no remedy, save checking the area for any Pagan Shamans. Beware, these cursed purveyors of the Trickster's enchantments art dangerous indeed. Only a Shaman wouldst have the power to have set upon thee the plague of undead thou hast suffered.
    I will pray thee finds the offending Shaman soon, and bringest unto him most forcefully, the teachings of the Builder. Brother Severence"
    A Shaman includes the Ocean in his/her desire for power to curse manfools. Curses are big among Pagans in all the games, and somewhat among Hammers:
    PAGcurses: "Cursings on the Manfools Oh Woodsie Lord, oh Trickster, oh Greens and Leafy King, bes you giver my curses them power of them woods and the speed of them winds. Giver you my curses them potent of the seas. For the cityman who beated his horse. Be cursing him with them blackening sickness. I bes burn them cornsilks on that fullsy moon - and whisper them words that bringers on them bruising. He bes dead by next moon. For the cityman who choppered them trees. Be cursing him with them itchings. I bes offered them mice to the itch ivy patch - and they spirits be finders the cityman. First he bes itch and itch. Then soon the madness bes follow. Bes I thanker you, Trickster, greensy father of us all."
    There's more, but this has been plenty, so lastly (for this post, heh heh):
    PagNothingGrowsHere_001000: m03c0101: Seesie? Bes nothing can growing here. Not even them blood vine or butter weed.
    PagNothingGrowsHere_002000: m03c0102: I seesie. Do you thinks--?
    PagNothingGrowsHere_003000: m03c0103: Thinkers me them Hammerheads put curses on it!
    PagNothingGrowsHere_004000: m03c0104: Shaman bes the only one with magics to fight the Hammerheads....
    PagNothingGrowsHere_005000: m03c0105: Or them priestess, Dyan....
    PagNothingGrowsHere_006000: m03c0106: Yes, but she bes busy with more important works.
    PagDyanLarkspur_001000: m03c0201: How bes it done?
    PagDyanLarkspur_002000: m03c0202: First, Dyan, Priestess of Wood, givers enchantment, and beset them minds....
    PagDyanLarkspur_003000: m03c0203: Yes?
    PagDyanLarkspur_004000: m03c0204: Then the manfools, thinker they bes acting of them own free will, does whatever we wants...
    PagDyanLarkspur_005000: m03c0205: Ha, stupid weaksy manfools. And then?
    PagDyanLarkspur_006000: m03c0206: Then, after the magics wear off, the damage bes done, and if there bes a problem....
    PagDyanLarkspur_007000: m03c0207: Larkspur seals them deal with more other...persuasions....
    PagDyanLarkspur_008000: m03c0208: Yeah, or he bes just kills them.

    Last edited by jtr7; 29th Apr 2009 at 22:53.

  12. #37
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2021
    The glyphs, based off the document "on glyphs" are for the most part, slightly artistically modified , Chinese Seal Script, which i'm currently studying. For instance, the glyph for "tree man" is a near identical copy of the chinese seal for "Sei" life. This pattern repeats itself in Rain, woman, danger, gold etc etc.

  13. #38
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2021
    Ya, the more I read this document, the more I realize that they are just modified chinese seals.

    the implications of this, is that you could use this as an actual language following chinese grammar in which a word is made up of 2 seals that modify each other to change meaning. As for pronounciation?? who knows. Assumedly you could just run a written language that has no actual pronunciation and instead just concepts . Like "tree + flame = forest fire" etc... an entirely pictography language..
    Pretty cool. I'm gonna take my amateur Linguistic skills and get to work on this right now actually.

  14. #39
    Registered: Oct 2020
    Location: Russia
    Necromancy is such a beautiful art...
    You got me intrigued, I'm looking forward to it, 1001games.

  15. #40
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    earliest known info about them is in the kathra-din era/precursors not sure if anything predates those civilizations in thief lore

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts