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Codex entry: The Emergent Compendium

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Codex text

Messere Darvies, you said that a scholar's life is not for everyone. Now I understand—I couldn't be more frustrated by the marvel I have sent you. Chief among its pre-Tevinter strangeness, the volumes are automatos: new entries appear of their own accord, with no scrivener's quill in sight. When a mage consultant says it's impossible, but your own eyes see it happen—and often—it's clearly a wonder.

But the content! Each new addition is single image created unseen, accompanied by a line of gibberish. And what bogglers these imitari! Records of the mundane and the fantastic with no rhythm or weight. I have observed a dragon in flight, a man in regal robes but of a complexion I have never seen, countless peoples at the moment of death, and no end of devices I cannot fathom in the least. The only image remotely familiar was extremely so: mine own wife! But the babble of the legend gave no hint to the significance, and that volume has since vanished.

I cannot imagine the purpose, or the library that could hold what has surely been accumulated. It would be as though transcribing the individual birds of a flock twittering about you. A dozen images appeared as I wrote this, and by the time you hold this, they will be lost in a thousand more. To be granted the world at once both intimate and distant is almost unbearable. I know so much is there, but can never know it, myself. It makes one feel very small, indeed.

The newest pages:
-A newborn of Rivaini complexion subtitled "bE qlK"
-A hornless Qunari with tightly braided hair, subtitled "viqpbkle abfi vlskb beQ"
-My wife again! Subtitled "illc x akxypre obe ,prqflz qplM"
-Two shadowed spheres among stars subtitled "aboofqp iboxE'kbC px bpmfizb kX"

—The notes of Scholar Bodaliere on The Emergent Compendium in the Original Tongue, author unknown


The codex contains a reference to Twitter, the internet based social networking service, and the "library" it discusses refers to the internet or "world wide web" itself. The "gibberish" phrases are encoded in a simple transpose cypher, where each letter of the alphabet is shifted three places backward. The phrases maintain correct capitalization and punctuation, but are written backwards. To determine the transpose, we see that the single letter 'x' appears in lowercase, which tells us that this should be transcribed to the letter 'a'. In order, the deciphered phrases are:

-"Not He"
-"The envoy lied honestly"
-"Post coitus, her husband a fool"
-"An eclipse as Fen'Harel stirred"

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