This is the Correspondence Sigil.
This is the handwritten Chinese character “惑”, which means confuse, mislead, baffle, or lost.
See here: 惑 - Wiktionary
I feel pretty stupid for not realizing it before. Oh well, it does mean "confuse".
Now I fear I am becoming one of those gullible scholars driven crazy by it…
All we can really tell is that it was hand brushed at some point in the history of the language, as opposed to the more angular and simple marks of a language pressed into clay.
It really is amazing how very small changes will make it be the entirely wrong word. I think the example I was given was to compare “stop” and “go”.
And as I’ve always pictured the correspondence to be written in blood with a brush, well…
More Correspondence Rorschach, linked elsewhere because I can’t seem to get the HTML working here.
This is fascinating. I don’t know much about the fallen cities, though it was earlier today that I was reading other threads discussing their actual names.One of the ideas that came up was that the Fourth City was Shangdu, owing to its mix of Mongolian and Chinese influences. Also something about the Gracious Widow, though I can’t remember the details.
"What is the Correspondence? […] They say it’s the last accounts of the last days of the Third City, strung in beads on cord in a code no-one living understands."
, the idea that Chinese script is notably similar to the Correspondence makes me wonder…
Was the Correspondence imported to China after the Third City fell? Or were Chinese characters (in the ‘Fallen London’ universe) based upon less-dangerous variants of The Correspondence itself?
(Either way, a nice find zbr308 & mayexist! I would never have picked that similarity myself.)
Well, it is called the Language of Xanadu. And, if memory serves, we know there’s more than one form of the Correspondence - the original, “pure” form, and so-to-speak “bastardised” forms used by creatures lower on the Great Chain. Perhaps some of the sigils we know came from, say, Fourth City-era research and adaptation. And we Scholars start with those characters - already re-interpreted and re-drawn to be comprehensible to human readers - and work backwards. shrugs