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C11 P68 – Code

C11 P68 – Code published on 13 Comments on C11 P68 – Code

The letter, written in Pamaru, contains a coded message. Which kinda makes it a code within a code. Below is the message in plain English, followed by the process I go through to convert English to Pamaru. Pamaru doesn’t use the same sentence structure, nor does it have words for “a” or “the,” and it has modifiers for verbs depending on tense, and adjectives to modify nouns.

TEXT IN SPOKEN ENGLISH:

‘The Captain has us adrift. The crew thinks a gam is in order, maybe at our home port. We need a new topsail. I’m hoping for something in yellow.’

TEXT IN EQUIVALENT PAMARU STRUCTURE:
(Subject – object – verb, w/ tense & adjective modifiers):

Captain us (present)adrift. Crew gam, perhaps at (home)port, (future)need (present)think. We (new)topsail (present)need. I for (yellow)sail hope.

NOTES FOR TRANSLATION

Tense applied as a modifier to verb at start. (Future = No, Present = ni, Past = ne)

Negative = me. Can be on its own as the word “No,” or combined with a verb. (“to not” a verb, such as “do not” or “know not”)

  • I = I, mine = yato
  • you = ye, your = yeto
  • he = yi, his = yito
  • she = yo, her = yoto
  • us/we = yu, our = yuto
  • them = yai, their = yaito

TRANSLATED LETTER IN PAMARU

Ozh a yu nilozot. Izhit voki, mekuzaku vapa menai-kazk, noizi nikata. Yu nitu-raik-waio ni’izi. I vur kipo-waio aole.

Which, said aloud, would sound like this:

Download Link

THE CODE ITSELF

The idea for this code came from the role-playing game, 7th Sea.  (Which, for those interested, there is a Kickstarter for a new, overhauled update of said game running right now!)  Specifically, there was a code used for a secret society that utilized places and names that were common-place to the culture.  Using that idea, I researched nautical terms and came up with various equivalent meanings, which would be easy for Blue and Una to incorporate into their conversations or written correspondance, back in their pirate days.

Here’s what I came up with:

Directions based on sails

  • Jib is at the front of the boat = EAST
  • Spanker is at the back of the boat. = WEST
  • Mainsail is at the bottom of the mast = SOUTH
  • Topsail is above the mainsail  = NORTH

Titles in one context could stand for people or things in a different context

  • Captain = Guild
  • First mate = police
  • Cargo = mark
  • Carpenter = A helpful contact or go-between
  • Dunsel = Someone that is useless or irrelevant
  • Crew = You and me

Similarly, certain kinds of situations or objects that a crew might encounter on the seas could be applied to the con they were trying to run.

  • Adrift = someone isn’t where they’re supposed to be
  • Aground = This mission has gone wrong.  Get out.
  • Bilge = The deal isn’t as good as thought.  Abandon the task.
  • Fair wind = Good opportunity
  • Storm clouds = Use caution
  • Anchor = Wait and observe.
  • Baggywrinkle = Lay on the charm
  • Beach = Hard sell
  • Broadside = Both should make the sell
  • Chafing = I tried, but had no luck.  Your turn.
  • Come about = This isn’t working.
  • Masthead = Be on lookout
  • Bearing = Go to or meet at
  • Gam = A meeting
  • Home port = safe place

Finally, prior to attempting any con, they would pick out a few safe places to meet, in the event that something went wrong.  These places would be identified by colors.

  • Yellow = Nikiwa shrine
  • Green = Gambling den or bar
  • Blue = Dock
  • Red = Clock tower

An example of how this code would be used is:

“I thought we had a fair wind coming in, but we nearly ran aground on a hidden reef.  Captain saw it last minute.  Good thing, since we lost our carpenter in an earlier storm, so we would have been stranded if we’d hit it.  Once we got our bearings, we decided to head for our home port. We needed a new jib anyway.  It was a relief to see those green hills coming home.”

Translates to:

“I thought this was a good opportunity, but the Guild might be onto us and our contact is compromised.  We have to get out right now.  Get to the safe house, the gambling den we identified in the east part of the city.”

So, you’ll get Una’s explanation in the next page, but if you want to get the nitty gritty of it, you can always decode it from here. 🙂

SECRET LANGUAGES

It seems like coming up with codes and languages is something a lot of people have done, especially as kids.  I once talked to someone that had come up with a way of communicating entirely by lip gloss names.  So “Berry bubble-gum lemon” had an intelligible meaning, despite sounding like utter nonsense.  Other times, the code itself is a prank, such as when James Veitch scammed a scammer and got them to use a “code” that made them sound absolutely ridiculous in the process, as he reveals in that 10 min video I linked.

Have you ever come up with a code? How did you develop it, and who did you share it with?

 

13 Comments

Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

Code translation for those who want it fast.

“The [GUILD] has us [SOMEONE IS OUT OF PLACE]. [YOU AND I] thinks a [MEETING] is in order, maybe at our [SAFE PLACE]. We need a new [NORTH]. I’m hoping for something in [NIKIWA SHRINE].”

Probable meaning:

“Someone in the Guild is being weird. Meet me at our designated safe spot, the Nikiwa shrine in the north.”

I wonder if he’s talking about Pakku or someone else.

But how will people earn their Code Breaking Merit Badges if you just TELL them?? 😉

I am a ruiner, I ruin things.

Ruiner? No. Just a sharer of knowledge. Folks can earn their Merit Badges some other way. (I hope I didn’t make you feel bad! I realized afterwards that my tone might have been ambiguous in text.)

I’m kidding too, no worries. 🙂

I was also that kid who raised their hand to every. single. question. the teacher asked. I am, in fact, a ruiner of bell curves and of reasonable expectations. So it entertained me that I was depriving others of their Merit Badges.

I love how insanely detailed you are about every aspect of this world. And that you mention your thought process for it so that everyone else can appreciate it.

Also, I love Una’s expressions in this page.

I love Una’s expressions in pretty much EVERY page. Una is just fun to draw.

I confess…in a future page that I recently completed, I cheated on the Pamaru and just filled in gibberish…and it’s been HAUNTING me. I may have to go back and fix it so the words are real words.

It wasn’t exactly a code but my brother and I did play around with reversing our names to come up with fantasy style nicknames. He was Niloc and I was Alegna. We even let a couple of friends join in, but mostly those nicknames didn’t stick. Except that my brother still calls me Legs to this day and I might on occasion call him Nil in return.

Oh and I once made up my own sorta runic version of an alphabet with one sqiggly thing per letter of our alphabet. I was ten and so didn’t realize that there might be other options besides the usual twenty six letters.

I tried that naming technique when I was a kid, but “Nibor” doesn’t sound nearly as cool as “Niloc” and “Alegna.” Your names were oddly suited to reversal!

I think runic style letters are pretty creative for 10!

It’s funny how a different perspective it can be when it’s your name versus someone else’s. I hated the sound of my reversed name. But then I’m kinda particular about my name and acceptable versions thereof. I can’t stand being called Angie but don’t mind the longer versions like Angelica or Angelina and have learned to accept stuff like angel and Ange.

Back when I was ten was when I started getting really interested in mythology and the Hobbit so I guess that had some influence on things. 😉

I never made up a code or a secret language (that I remember), but I did come up with a “theory” (read: fun story) that my friends and I were all reincarnations of magical people from “before history reset itself because an evil person made all the magic go away”. Me and my best friend were the reincarnations of two of a set of triplet magical princesses, the third one of which had gone evil and would show up in the future (we took turns guessing which of our bullies was her). I was “Princess Rose” and she was “Princess Sapphire”. And then we decided that our new friend was the reincarnation of our cool dragon friend “Saphira” (this was -YEARS- before Eragon and I was just that bad at thinking of names) who belonged to Princess aSapphire but was really a friend, and we would role-play (before I knew the meaning of that word outside of That Thing My Parents Used To Do A Lot) out “scenes from our past lives” that I had “remembered”.

It got to a point where it was -like- a code because there were times as a child that, being a stubborn little git, I refused to refer to myself (or anyone else) by my/their ‘false name’ from ‘this era’ and pranced around insisting on calling my friends ‘Sapphire’ and ‘Saphira’ and myself ‘Rose’.

Oh, man, those were such embarrassing days >.>

You all sound like the coolest children ever. <3

Thank you 😀

It still boggles my mind that the girl who hated dresses, makeup, and everything girly was super obsessed with being a princess. Of course I was a princess who went out and rode dragons and rescued people with magic, but I was a princess, thank you very much.

I wish I knew more about you as a kid. Creative people are often vrey fun children.

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