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Spirit of the Wind
Writing and LanguageAcitan writing uses an expanded version of the Vai script, and their language is similar to Swahili, but many of the words are said with distinctive trills and chirps. Sentence structure is similar to that of the English language. In addition to the common glyphs, acitan synthesists (synthesia is relatively common among acitan) have created a language of pure feelings and thoughts that can be felt by looking at particular glyphs. Rather interestingly, these glyphs have almost exactly the same effect on all synthesist acitan, despite the fact that the effects should vary. Some of these glyphs have been weaponized by lone acitan, but such actions (except in the most dire circumstances) are illegal in most settlements.
Calligraphy is an important art form among the acitan, with the traditional style being one of flowing organic shapes. Some acitan buck the tradition by introducing jagged and geometrical forms, but generally such deviations are uncommon, as the acitan seem to be preprogrammed to love flowing organic shapes. Most of the most highly prized acitan calligraphy is deliberately altered slightly to evoke feelings associated with the subject being written about uses a form of applied synthesia (even acitan without synthesia will sometimes experience faint ghosts of the syndrome), and written in different colors that seem to blend seamlessly together.
Acitan synthesists are considered savants in the area of calligraphy. Many have described the writing process as recording glyphs floating around them, and sometimes they will use their fingers to manipulate glyphs in the air, lining them up or moving them out of the field of vision. Such is very rare, and those acitan are in high demand in many areas, because they often also have superb eidetic memories and the ability to create mental constructs that they can interact with in the visual and auditory realms. The most brilliant acitan ever have been the savants; they have been integral in dozens of breakthroughs.
Despite this, acitan savants have a major disadvantage: The Distance is greater for them than any other acitan. The most talented savants among the acitan often feel like eldritch creatures from Beyond, seeing things in a different scope than all but the most enlightened mortals--their minds often stretch across entire continents and through eons when thinking about things like consequences of major decisions. Sometimes this turns into flat-out arrogance, but many of those savants channel their emotional distance from life around them to try and become a benevolent being, if one often inscrutable and distant.
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