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Alferic Runes

Alferic Runes
 
THE ALFERIC RUNES or rianar (singular riana, meaning both "carving" and "mystery") comprise a system of magical writing native to the Elves known as Sarithin. The rianar are designed as a graven system of letters, but are also scribed in ink. Each system of letters is based on a phonetic symbolism, but the rianar runes are -- like those of the Norse Futhark and the Celtic Ogham -- glyphs that function as ideograms. Each rune joins together (ogmaro) trees, birds, stones, times of the year, herbs, and abstract concepts into a web (ohma). The term ogham, which I take from the Irish Druidic term, does not simply refer to the "letters" and their phonetic values, but to the whole complex of correspondences which those marks invoke, and so we refer to the Rianar not as an "alphabet" but as an Alferic Ogham (1). This polyvalent quality of word-meanings characterizes Elvish languages at every level. For example, the word riana itself has multiple meanings and can be taken as a verb form as well as a noun form: "mystery," "treasure," "hiding," as well as "carving."
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