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Akaviri Script

Author: 
Tailin Sero and Proweler

Introduction:

Some symbols and the style of some symbols of the Akaviri Script resemble those of the “Divine Script”, that is the script found on the Eye of Magnus and various items associated with Apocrypha.
 
The script has only ever appeared in the Akaviri Diary/Messenger’s Diary found in a display case behind the Countess of Bruma’s throne in TES IV:Oblivion. The diary is believed to have belonged to an Akaviri messenger during the Akaviri invasion of northern Tamriel in 1E 2703.
 
“I’ve come into the possession of a diary written by an Akaviri messenger. I suspect that the text within can lead you to the ruins [Fort Pale Pass].”
~Narina Carvain, Countess of Bruma, 3E 433
 
The Countess provides the so called translation of the Akaviri text, however, the symbols found in the original text have not yet been matched to those of the translated version.
 

Character Map:

The numbers assigned to each symbol or group of symbols are arbitrary and are not supported by any lore. The numbers are only there to assist with discussions about the symbols and should not be taken as that symbol’s translation.
 
The images found in Sky Haven Temple during the main questline of TES V:Skyrim were added below as well.
[The symbols found in the Messenger’s Diary in TES IV:Oblivion]
[The images found in Sky Haven Temple in TES V:Skyrim]
 
It should be noted that while the symbols found in Sky Haven Temple are known to be Tsaesci (Dragonguard), the script in the Messenger’s Diary is only ever referred to as “Akaviri”.
 
Symbols of Interest:
D1: This symbol is almost identical to the #2 symbol on the Divine Script character map.
E7: This symbol is similar to the letter “D” in the Dragon Alphabet.
A7: This symbol is very similar to the #1 symbol on the Divine Script character map.
#1: This is the only symbol to have a known translation. It means “Dragonborn”.
 
Please note that some of the symbols are similar to one another. The following is a list of those symbols.
  • A6, B2, B6, C6, D6, E2, E6, H6
  • A7, B8, C2, F9, G1, G9, H9, I1, I2, I3, I4
  • D4, E4, F4
  • A2, A8, D2, D8, E8, F8
  • A4, C8, F1
  • A3, B3, B9, C3, D3, E3, F3, G6, H7
  • G4, G5
  • D9, E9
  • D5, H1
  • G3, H2
  • B7, C7, D7

Text Orientation:

It is highly suspected that the text is written in vertical columns, written from right to left (similar to traditional Eastern Asian scripts.)
This as yet to be officially confirmed.
 

Translation:

These lines of dots and dashes appear at the top-right corner of both pages of the Messenger’s Diary. The significance of these is unclear however a plausible explanation is that these are dates.
Assuming that these are indeed dates then it might be possible to work out which dates these refer too.
 

Binary Hypothesis:

If one assumes that the dots represent zeros and the slashes ones we end up with two lines. These are “t00011” and “t000111”. In binary this translates into “3” and “7”. Whether by coincidence or by design, the first two entries of the translated version of the diary (as seen in-game) are “Day 3” and “Day 7”. 
 
The translated version of the diary also contains entries for Days 8, 9, and 11 as well. This means that there are missing pages in the untranslated version of the Messenger’s Diary. This implies that Akaviri (or at least the Tsaesci) knew and used binary numerals. 
 
Unfortunately it is uncommon to use a binary notation with a varying number of digits. This concern may be addressed by assuming that “t…” stands for day and is not part of the actual binary number.
 
It has also been speculated that the ( _ ) symbol represents a full stop. Given the sentence length and structure.
 
The following are the two images found within the untranslated version of the Messenger’s Diary accompanied by the in-game translations of the first two entries, Day 3 and Day 7, of the diary.
 
Page 1:
“Day Three
It is with a heavy heart and a trembling hand that I pen this latest entry. It has been several days since I have seen anyone else on the road from our garrison at Grey Ridge. The road is lonely and treacherous. I am rationing my supplies to prepare for a tough path ahead. As long as Reman Cyrodiil's army hasn't located our headquarters at Pale Pass, the journey should be fairly uneventful. I admit, I am nervous. It is an honor to be selected to carry these orders to our fort, but sending me alone is a calculated risk. While it is not my own life I am worried about, it is the importance of the contents of the orders that aggrieves me. If they are somehow lost, the fort will not know that their supplies are going to be delayed by a month. Without that knowledge, the fort may choose to press the attacks on the front line as their supplies dwindle. They are counting on those supplies to be there sooner. I must not fail getting this message there. The slate rock that the orders have been carved upon for safety weighs me down; it is a constant reminder of the more than physical burden that I carry.”
 
Page 2:

“Day Seven
It has been two days, and I have finally arrived at Dragonclaw Rock. The huge formation is a welcome and invigorating sight. The giant stone appears to reach down from the north and strike at the heart of Remus' forces like our armies have been doing for the better part of a year now. I have still encountered no one else on this trail. I hope that as I head due west along the narrow path, I will find someone who can give me some news as to how our men are faring in the war.”