Bookmarks

I went on with translitterating the english parts of the Habnn book. Apart from diaries of adventures and explorations, which I’ll save for a later time, there are several references to the properties of the book which I tried to summarize in a working theory.
This ‘linking’ seems to be quite different from the D’ni’s and also, in some ways, similar. We start pretty much the same way: a blank book. This book is primed with a material, possibly a crystal, to make it receptive to links. The first link sets a ‘cornerstone’ for all the following ones, and can be done both by describing a far off place or by marking the spot you’re standing in; this marking is usually done by priming a landmark (natural or hand-made), or by making a carving in stone, or any other semi-permanent feature. Most books tend to go with the ‘random’ start for reasons I’ll explain later. Also, and this is interesting, it seems that almost any item can be primed for linking, not just books.

This is the interesting part. The actual linking is done by touching a peculiar spot, just like linking panels, except these aren’t panels but drawings or words, and usually look as if written in a sort of glittery ink. And there can be TONS of them, leading anywhere in space, time and Ages; at times I have to be particularly careful not to touch one by mistake. Yeesha’s multi-panel books pale in comparison.

Why is the first link so important then? Because all subsequent bookmarks (such are called by our writer) are stored as location relative to the first link. If the first link goes kaputt all the others do to, much like descriptive and linking books. The random starting point is more stable as it’s not tied to a specific place in time and space.

Now, I hear you say, if the coordinates are age, space and time, why would it matter if the statue was destroyed 20 years later? It would still be there 20 years ago.
In fact, that would not destroy the link. But if the priming of the landmark (which is done with the same crystal as before, or one with similar properties) is removed at any moment in time, the link is gone. You might see why this is not so terrible on secondary or temporary links, but makes it important for primaries.
Nice security feature by the way: if your book is stolen, just remove the cornerstone and your enemies wil never benefit from it.

Now, secondary links, or bookmarks. They too can be tied to a primed landmark (usually done with landmarks that have already been primed, for redundancy) or just, as I said, letting the book ‘calculate’ the offset from the primary link. This leads to an interesting feature called backlinking. Actually, Touya uses the name for two things: the first is the ability to calculate the ‘distance’ between your primary spot and your destination, thus allowing one to write a bookmark without being on the spot; the second is the ability to track down all the people who tied a bookmark to a primed landmark and link to them. Of course there are ways to prevent this, such as allowing ‘usage rights’ on the landmark (the text is a bit hazy on how this is actually done), but it’s a staggering idea nonetheless.

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