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mizis kalo du darzhn mizis zhin kenapo te kith vare qi zhin kena ne te javu tharos vare dimi sizal te javu maq kalon sizal sho tsogama i labranma sizal ba fir tapma sizal sho tsosh sholma sho ragno zhis kalo lutvo kaba folodma lut lutvo zha kithd darzhro chids lidn i li darzhro lin lutvo sho vilo raqbibma lutvo sho vilim shapd tsoga lutvo lut zhi po mizin zhis lidjs nosh zhi i nadj zhi tazlkon zhi i

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Dear Dr. Stacey,

I found this manuscript in a museum archive, apparently forgotten for many years. It hasn’t been studied enough to warrant a name, but I’ve come to call it “The Nameless Hero,” or “galtine-mizi” in its own language, for reasons that will be clear in the reading.

It’s written in the Darzhran language of south Runlatia, using the familiar scribal cursive script. I’ve attached a translation and primer about the language. It’s really a fascinating piece – it raises more questions than it answers.

It was apparently received by the museum in 1817 after being in private collections for years. They estimated that it was written in the 11th century, but I would probably put it a few centuries earlier. At some point, most of the manuscript was lost – only 4 and a half pages remain. Apparently these were lost very early. None of the private collectors recorded having any more pages. Based on the content, I would guess that the remainder was lost shortly after it was written. The story goes that these were salvaged from a fire meant to destroy the monastery and its contents. This could be apocryphal, but I am inclined to believe it. At least, it makes a compelling story if it is true.

Compared to other works in the region and time period, this work is actually quite simple. The letter shapes are the work of an experienced scribe, but it seems rushed. I found a few obvious errors in the text – repeated words or mis-spellings. Only the minimum work was done to place the ascenders and descenders of the words. More careful examples of the scribal cursive show that every line is planned so that it matches the other lines. This manuscript is only written in pen, while usually there would be painted illustrations or even gold leaf inlays for works of this type.

Let me know what you think.

Your friend,

Ryan Russell
Dept. of Runlatian Studies

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