Within the World of Teréth End, literacy is a skill shared by a privileged few. Most communities do well enough without ever having to put quill to paper or recognize the letters and words of their own language. Literacy doesn’t usually become an issue until these people have business, legal, or tax dealings with areas that depend on written contracts, laws, and accounting. For the latter group, a provisioner of writing implements and supplies is invaluable. The Lexigrapher is a purveyor of paper, books, scrolls, and printing equipment.
In some locations, the general craft of the Lexigrapher is further divided into several specialties (e.g., Bookbinder, Cartographer, Papermaker, Printmaker).
- Codex (Codex). Any handwritten book whose pages are bound together.
- Folio (Folio). An oversized book.
- Grimoire (Grimoire). A book of magical writings.
- Palimpsest (Palimpsest). A parchment whose content has been removed by scraping so that it can be re-used.
- Roll (Roll). A short roll of parchment, papyrus, or paper on which content is written in a single column that starts at the paper’s end.
- Scroll (Scroll). A long roll of parchment, papyrus, or paper on which content is arranged in columns perpendicular to its length.
Parchment is made from split sheep skin. The grain (wool) side of the sheep’s skin is made into a soft leather called “skiver” (used for bookbinding, hat linings, etc.). The lining of the skin (if suitable) is made into parchment. If the lining is not suitable for parchment, it is made into chamois or suede.
Vellum is made from calf skin, but is also made from deer, goat, and lamb skins. Unlike parchment, vellum is not split, but rather crafted from the entire skin. To make vellum, the skin is scraped and worked smooth with pumice and chalk (to whiten the hair side of the vellum, which is normally darker). Despite this effort, vellum remains distinguishable from parchment due to the uneven surface and hair marks. When used to make books, it is common practice to alternate the facing of the vellum sheets throughout the book.
Linen rag paper is made by boiling and bleaching old linen clothes. The moist and balled-up rags are then left to sit, ferment, and rot for a few months. Following this stage, the rags are ground into a fine pulp and then pounded with wooden staves in a large vat; this turns the pulp into a creamy substance. A wooden frame mold with a fine wire mesh is then dipped into the vat and allowed to drain, removing water from the pulp. The mold is then carefully shaken so that the pulp spreads evenly across the wire mesh. A second person (i.e., coucher) then removes the “paper” from the mold and onto a piece of felt. More pieces are made this way until the “post” consists of about 144 pieces of wet paper. A well-run paper “mill” of 20 workers can manufacture about 3,600 posts of 144 sheets a year.
- Paper, Vellum, Small: 12-36d (1 sheet)
- Paper, Vellum, Large: 48-144d (1 sheet)
- Paper, Parchment, Small: 10-30d (1 sheet)
- Paper, Parchment, Large: 24-72d (1 sheet)
- Paper, Linen Rag, Small: 5-15d (1 sheet)
- Paper, Linen Rag, Large: 18-54d (1 sheet)
- Paper, Papyrus1: 2-6d (1 sheet)
The following items are for blank materials. It is common for important or religious book bindings and scroll cases to be elaborate decorated. The costs of those embellishments are not covered here.
- Codex, Vellum, Thin: 275-825d (40 pages)
- Codex, Vellum, Average: 475-1425d (80 pages)
- Codex, Vellum, Thick: 625-1875d (120 pages)
- Codex, Parchment, Thin: 250-750d (40 pages)
- Codex, Parchment, Average: 425-1275d (80 pages)
- Codex, Parchment, Thick: 500-1500d (120 pages)
- Codex, Rag, Thin1: 75-225d (40 pages)
- Codex, Rag, Average1: 130-390d (80 pages)
- Codex, Rag, Thick1: 190-570d (120 pages)
- Scroll, Parchment (Roll & Spool): 20-60d + 15-45d/ft (1 df length x 1/2 df width)
- Scroll, Vellum (Roll & Spool): 25-75d + 20-60d/ft (1 df length x 1/2 df width)
1 A standard paper codex quarto is 3/4 df long x 5/8 df wide
Maps are uncommon in the lands of the Old Empire and with the exception of navigational maps, are of notoriously bad quality (despite their cost). Maps and atlases (very rare) were almost without exception made with vellum. Since most maps of quality were made for navigation it was important they be made with the most durable materials available. Lexigraphers do not usually design maps, but rather make commissioned copies on behalf of Cartographers.
- Map, Basic Local (Folio): 300-900d (2 panes, 1 df length x 3/4 df width)
- Map, Detailed Local (Folio): 750-2250d (3 panes, 1 df length x 3/4 df width)
- Map, Basic Remote (Folio): 600-1800d (2 panes, 1 df length x 3/4 df width)
- Map, Detailed Remote (Folio): 1500-4500d (3 panes, 1 df length x 3/4 df width)
- Map, Basic Local Nautical (Scroll): 100-300d (2,1/2 df length x 1 df width)
- Map, Detailed Local Nautical (Scroll): 1600-4800d (2,1/2 df length x 1 df width)
- Map, Basic Remote Nautical (Scroll): 2000-6000d (2,1/2 df length x 1 df width)
- Map, Detailed Remote Nautical (Scroll): 3250-9750d (2,1/2 df length x 1 df width)
Movable Type print presses were once available throughout the Old Empire of Dekàlas, but since the fall the only machines that have been maintained and continue operation are located in Oð and Panæð. All other regions of the Old Empire have resorted to woodcut and clay type printing in the years since the war. Maintenance and operation of the presses was a guarded secret of the Printing Guilds. When trade routes dried-up and precision replacement pieces, inks, and papers could not be acquired, the presses fell into disrepair or disuse.
Dekàlan movable metal type was developed in Oð in the 10th century HK by Kard Inçord, a Roðite scribal priest with a fondness for wine. The press was supposedly inspired by Inçord’s observation of a wine press near Vullinshrith. To create the type, eachDekàlic syllable was carved into the end of a steel punch and hammered into a copper blank. The impression was inserted into a mold that was filled with an antimony, bismuth, and lead alloy. The resulting cast was affixed to a lead base, creating a reverse “letter” plate. Collections of these type plates were created and sold as font sets. Most of these “sets” were created in the City of Oð, though by the late 12th century HK most were produced in Taldàna. Movable Type presses were a significant Yrūn development, unprecedented by both the Dwürden and the Eylfāe.
- Bill, Small: 10-30d + 6-18d per print† (1 typeset press, 1/4 df x 1/3 df)
- Bill, Medium: 40-120d + 8-24d per print† (1 typeset press, 1/2 df x 1 df)
- Bill, Large: 70-210d + 10-30d per print† (1 typeset press, 1 df x 1,1/4 df)
- Woodcut, Small: 25-75d (1 block, 1/4 df x 1/3 df)
- Woodcut, Medium: 60-180d (1 block, 1/2 df x 1 df)
- Woodcut, Large: 150-450d (1 block, 1 df x 1,1/4 df)
† Price for movable type press and linen rag paper
Almost all of the following supplies are created by artisans other than the Lexigrapher. Many of these supplies are made by guilded specialists which ship their goods to distant ports. High quality inks are often imported from northern Tassèrus. Likewise, the engineer craftsmen of eastern Lyrast are famous for their precision instruments (e.g., compasses, protractors, rulers) which are shipped to ports worldwide.
- Chalk: 1/2d (6 sticks)
- Compass, Silver, Small: 80-240d
- Compass, Silver, Large: 140-420d
- Ink, Pot of Black: 10-30d (4 fl oz)
- Ink, Pot of Red: 17-51d (4 fl oz)
- Map Case, Waxed Leather: 50-150d (water resistant)
- Map Case, Waxed Leather (Tooled): 75-225d (water resistant)
- Map Case, Bone: 100-300d (water resistant)
- Map Case, Bone (Carved): 140-420d (water resistant)
- Personal Seal, Brass: 48-144d
- Personal Seal, Silver: 130-390d
- Personal Seal, Gold: 900-2700d
- Protractor, Silver: 75-225d
- Quill: 1/4d (12 feathers)
- Ruler, Wood: 2,1/2-7,1/2d (1 df)
- Ruler, Silver: 18-54d (1 df)
- Sealing Ribbon: 5-15d (4 df)
- Sealing Wax, Brown: 1-3d (4 oz)
- Sealing Wax, Red: 4-12d (4 oz)
- Stylus, Silver: 20-60d (1 point)
- Stylus: 1/2-1,1/2d (for wax tablet)
- Writing Desk, Portable: 42-126d
- Writing Tablet, Slate: 2-6d
- Writing Tablet, Wax: 3-9d