Thursday, 8 June 2017

Ballads of War 1x38 & 1x39

New revelations for our group...

I guess you may request some explanations. Short answer to your questions is 'yes, I did spend some time actually translating the dialogues into Quenya'. Ahem.

Long answer. The other day I recalled the origin of the word 'Eldar', tying the concept with Prof. Tolkien's work. So my intention was to fill in the blanks GW left about Eldar culture with even more Tolkien stuff. I said that the language of the Eldar is called Eldarissa, and also that for the purpose of this story I was using Quenya to represent it. Well, now you see that I meant it :P

It's an accepted convention in comic storytelling to simply translate any foreign languages in the balloons. But my approach is quite more movie-like, which is consistent with other stuff I have done in earlier pages (remember, the eagle on the Arbites helmet or the marines not having back banner). So I really wanted the reader to have an immersive experience. Yeah, back in the day I had that much time. Sigh.

Why Quenya over Sindarin? I originally had a more complex plan in which each Eldar Craftworld used a different Sindarin dialect (all of them essentially Sindarin, but slightly different in some terms) and then used Quenya as a lingua franca to allow communication between all the different Eldar branches. Of course that was literally too much for my poor comic, so I discarded the idea in a very early stage. One Eldar language was just fine for my purposes here. But I kept the concept and had intention to talk about that (in the metanarrative I was using, as in the examples you have already seen).

So again, once I decided to keep it reduced to just one language, why Quenya? Just mere artistic reasons. Quenya seemed more elegant as a choice, it felt more natural to me as the speech of a decadent, fallen empire, torn to shards but still wonderful, graceful in each detail. It talked more of the past than of the present. I guess it also makes sense in Tolkien's universe, and Quenya it's not called the High Speech without a reason. So it was settled. Quenya. I bought a grammar method (yes, they do exist) and, with the help of Christopher Tolkien's books and annotations on his father's work, it was feasible to me to get access to a reasonable vocabulary to express the ideas and concepts needed for the story.

I inserted some GW expressions: for example, Rillietann is the word they use for Harlequin (it sounds unsettlingly Sindarin to me, but I hope you'll indulge me for this time, hehe). If you wanna play the game, you may find some familiar lexemes also used in the Lord of the Rings. Full words as sinome or utúlie; dagor as in Dagorlad; or the lexeme in Ikenepalan (it doesn't show quite well in this declination, but in future pages you'll see the word Ikenepalantar to refer to the Eldar Farseer, which you may relate to the Palantir, you know, wink, wink).

OK, I've gone this far and I haven't even talked about what's happening in these pages. First thing is that I wanted to show a new dimension of the Great Harlequin. Let's face it, we have a character wearing a grimacing mask who apparently worships some Laughing God, and we have to believe that not only he's not insane, but he's some respectable guy with a truly important mission in life. We needed to see him in context. An alien context, right, but something that offers us real perspective. The man is really well considered among his own, to say the least. The somehow messianic vision the other Eldar have of him serves to relate to his position, to tell us that something bigger is going on around him. Well, the other option would be that the Eldar have real fear of clowns. Space coulrophobia. But well, for the moment let's stick to the first option.

These pages serve that purpose. You can see that I was unfortunately too busy translating stuff to a fictional language to pay real attention to how an Eldar ship should look in the inside. I'm afraid it looks too Apple, white plain surfaces, while it should look intrincate, in the fashion we now portray Elves in pop culture. The videogame lift makes me chuckle now, I guess I found it cool back in the day. For the rest I'm keeping it into Biel-Tan colours, white and green, with thorns and that kind of iconography.

Not much else to say. Just notice that they are talking about a new character, a Farseer Ellinderelion. You can bet you'll meet him soon...


Until that moment, HERE you can have a look at the whole story so far :)

12 comments:

  1. Great stuff! And love the justification of using Quenya ;)

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    1. Thanks! Still more sentences to be subtitled :D

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  2. Hah, it's pleasant to see how a character is fleshed out even more. The way you tackle this does remind me a bit of the way they do this in JRPGs. With a whole setting surrounding the revelations.
    You're doing a fabulous job on storybuilding here, you would probably make a great GM.

    I'm not really surprised to hear there's a Quenya translater. After all, many other make-up languages have one build by fans, like Klingon for example.

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    1. Thank you, that's my real motivation, building a solid background in which I can set my storytelling. I enjoyed the whole process thoroughly!

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  3. The amount of work you put into this always astounds me. But what is the Quenya word for "shuriken catapult"?

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    1. Oh, but I was young and had no responsibilities when I did all this! :D :D
      I have a cheating answer for that; GW had the word 'tuelean' for 'shuriken catapult', as stated in the 2nd Ed Wargear manual ;) (also 'buanna' for the shuriken cannon).
      What would you think it may be an accurate term in English to be translated into Quenya? Given that 'shuriken' means 'sword hidden in user's hand', just that would be quite a challenge to turn into Quenya!! :P

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  4. Brilliant. Had a good catch up today :)

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  5. Esto necesita algun link donde estén todas seguidas para verlas de golpe porque el dia que me despisto y me salto alguna siempre me quedo con cara de tonto! jajaja
    Muy bueno! :)

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    1. ¡Jaja, bueno al final de cada post enlazo la etiqueta "Comic", ahí puedes seguirlo todo del tirón! Pero sí, estoy pensando la forma de ponerlo todo de una sentada cuando haya colgado todo lo que llegué a hacer. A ver cómo lo hago...

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