This elaborate tale touches on a diverse array of disciplines. The author, A4, did include a bibliography of sorts (it was a list of obscure ancient texts that are now lost to time). After consulting with several colleagues I was able to formulate a list of modern references for those interested in delving deeper into the underbelly of the Far Forest Scrolls. Sincerely, RC Novotny PhD

No one at Far Forest Scrolls has any affiliation to the references or websites listed below.

1. Plato’s Republic:

Special thanks to Professor David Roochnik of Boston University for reading the passage relating to Plato and providing feedback on the translation. Plato and his teacher Socrates are the only historically known people mentioned in the trilogy. In Book Two, Chapter Four, Scroll Nine Plato and his Republic were discussed by the Blue Kirvella Dragons. As an interesting side note, the names of the Council of Kirvella all relate to ideas in Plato’s Republic. The Greek translation of their names:

Plato

 

1. Eide (forms)                                              2. Noesis (intellection)

3. Chiffre (math)                                        4. Dianoia (thought)

5. Contatto (sensible things)             6. Pistis (trust)

7. Eikones (images)                                  8. Eikasia (imagination)

 

 

 

 

2. A candle in the sky:

The story that the mystic from Jaa tells in Book One, Chapter Eight, Scroll One is actually from ancient Greece. In the tale, the mystic uses the example of several candles to deduce that our sun is, in fact, just a star that happens to be closer than the billions of other stars in the sky. Thanks to the late and great Professor J. Rufus Fears. His lecture on the Great Courses website, “Famous Greeks” recounts this story. Link: The Great Courses

candles

 

3. Tangled web:

Indra’s Net is a Buddhist concept that is prevalent in the search for the last pair of Power Crystals (Book Three, Chapter Seven, Scroll Eight). Philosopher Alan Watts explains the Buddhist concept of universal interconnectedness that is Indra’s Net: "Imagine a multidimensional spider's web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dewdrop contains the reflection of all the other dewdrops. And, in each reflected dewdrop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad infinitum. That is the Buddhist conception of the universe in an image."

In the Far Forest Scrolls the poem they read on their challenge states:

“Each jewel is reflected in all the others.Arachne

You can’t touch one without touching another’s.

And so it goes.

Interconnectedness is imposed.

Appearance is but a reflection of reality.

Consciousness is the light, in actuality.”

 

For those of a younger generation, YouTube: Indra's Net video

 

Roman Tomb

 

 

 

4. Roman/Latin Epitaph:

In Book One, Chapter Two, Scroll Five the reader is exposed to an ancient text on a Knight grave (it is Latin). According to Professor Robert Garland of Colgate University the Latin text on the headstone was a common epitaph in ancient Rome.

The headstone in the scrolls read, “Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo.” Professor Garland’s translation: “I didn’t exist, then I existed. I don’t exist now and I don’t give a damn!” Hunter and I discussed whether to put the translation in the body of the text (the author A4 did not). Ultimately we decided not to include it.

 

 

 

 

tunnel fire

 

5. Out of body:

At the end of the trilogy (Book Three, Chapter Eight, Scroll Seven) one of the characters undergoes an “out of body experience.” As I looked into this issue via books and email with, among others, Dr. Sam Parnia, MD PhD, I was amazed with the accuracy of the near-death experience included in the book compared to our current understanding. “What Happens When We Die. A Groundbreaking Study into The Nature of Life and Death.” by Dr. Parnia, has more information. Apparently, this is a cross-time and cross-cultural experience. Also fascinating is Dr. Jeffrey Long’s book, “Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences.”

 

 

6. Breathable liquid:

BellaeOne of the challenges on the quest for the magic crystals involves a main character being immersed in a breathable liquid (Book Three, Chapter Four, Scroll Three). Believe it or not, this is not science fiction. There are certain substances within the perflourocarbon (PFC) family that have been used in research as liquid breathing agents.

The fact that the liquid used in the story came from an electrical storm field adds credence to the notion that such a substance was known in ancient times. This is because PFCs are organic compounds in which hydrogen atoms are replaced by halogens such as fluoride. One method for synthesis of this breathable liquid is electrochemical fluorination, which could potentially happen in the electrical storm fields described in Book Three.

Oxford Journals, British Journal of Anaesthesia, Volume 91, Issue 1 Pages 143-151.

Link: Oxford Journal - Liquid Ventilation

 

Siwa Oasis7. Thirsty? Lost? Follow the birds:

While wandering in the desert on their first quest (Book Three, Chapter One, Scroll Three) the characters follow birds to find a life saving oasis. This story is remarkably similar to an account perpetuated by the Ancient Greeks about Alexander the Great.

The Egyptian god Ammon (equal to the Greek god of Zeus) was said to live in the miraculous Siwa Oasis. Since Pharaohs were believed to be divine, Alexander went on a pilgrimage through the desert to speak with the oracle at Siwa and be proclaimed the son of Ammon. On his way, Alexander became lost in the desert and only found his way by following a flock of birds. Once at Siwa he was predictably labeled Ammon’s son, thus being legitimized in the eyes of Egyptians as their ruler/Pharaoh.

 

8. Lavish Linguistic Labyrinth:

It would be impossible to review all the linguistic convolutions in the Far Forest Scrolls (actually, it would be a novel in itself). The name of every character, location and landmark has a hidden meaning. Please refer to the excellent blog by Nox Young-Thomas: http://hiddenfarforestscrolls.blogspot.com

We wanted to include a few of the more salient examples. When our heroes are on their quest, they run into several different symbols that represent words or concepts. Dr. Isaiah James, a linguistic expert, discovered the “symbols” are actually a complex combination of several foreign languages.

Dr. James: “In each symbol A4 combined languages from at least two of the Hellenic, Sino-Tibetan, Afro-Asiatic or Altaic traditions. A4 then diligently weaves the words into one amalgamated representation.

A few examples:

 

death symbol

 

For the “Death” symbol, he used the Arabic and Japanese words for death and combined them into one token representation. The red arrows point out the Arabic letters embedded within the Japanese character for “death.”

Arabic: الموت

Japanese: 死

 

after death symbol

 

For the “After Death” depiction he used the same two languages. The Arabic letters are circled in red over the Japanese characters for “after death.”

Arabic: بعد وفاة

Japanese: 死後

 

life symbol

 

For the “Life” portrayal he used the Greek and Arabic. Blue arrows point out the Greek letters hidden within the Arabic word for “life.”

Greek: ζωή

Arabic: الحياة

 

faith symbol

 

For the “Faith” symbol he used Hebrew, Japanese and Arabic. The Japanese character for faith has Arabic (circled in green) and Hebrew (circled in red) weaved around it.

Japanese: 信 “trust” or “faith”

Arabic: إيمان

Hebrew: אמון

 

The use of Middle-Eastern and Eastern languages two hundred and sixty years before the Europeans Niccolò and Maffeo Polo traveled east is miraculous.

 

9. Geographic gala:

There are a multitude of amazing examples of geographic realism. A few of them deserve special mention.

A. First: the giant crystal caves of Book Three, Chapter Seven, Scroll Six. On their last quest the League of Truth travels to a cave filled with unbelievably enormous crystals. We have definitive proof such crystals exist. Today they can be found in Naica, Mexico’s Cueva de los Cristales (Cave of Crystals).

Link: Giant Crystal Link: Giant Crystal Cave

There is some evidence a similar cave existed a thousand years ago on an island off the Western coast of Africa. It was destroyed many centuries ago.

 

Cappadocia

 

 

 

B. The second example is Cappadocia. A4 was obviously very taken with the rugged and beautiful landscape of Cappadocia in modern day Turkey as he names a region of Verngaurd after it. The spectacular landscape of Cappadocia was formed by a series of volcanoes and then sculpted by wind and rain. These forces result in the sculpted fairy chimneys and fabulous rock formations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

desert

 

C. A third example is the Desert of Calor. The description of the conditions sustaining the Desert of Calor in the book are nearly identical to the Patagonian Desert in Argentina. In both the story and Patagonia a mountain range creates a “rain shadow” that absorbs/inhibits moisture from reaching the desert (the Andes in Argentina and the Aard Mountains in Verngaurd). That mountainous barrier combined with a particular ocean current creates a desert next to the ocean.

 

 

10. Greeks and Romans:

gladiatorThere are innumerable Greek and Roman influences besides the epitaph mentioned above.

Politeia: the name A4 uses to describe the public meetings held in the wild Rebelde Plains of Verngaurd. Politeia is an ancient Greek (mostly Athenian) concept describing the civic duty of its citizens to participate in their democracy. It was every man’s obligation to participate.

Zenia or Xenia: this was the term A4 used to describe the accommodations provided for the competitors from all over Verngaurd during the Tournament of Flags. In ancient Greece Xenia referred to the concept of a divine mandate/need to provide hospitality to guests.

Timay is an Ancient Greek concept, translating loosely into “honor.” In the Far Forest Scrolls it means the same thing for the devout Proliate warriors.

The Retiarian Division in the Far Forest Scrolls refers to one of the two divisions of the Piscium army. Their name and their equipment are modeled after the Roman Gladiators, retiarius (they fought with a weighted net and trident).

 

arachne

 

 

Arachne: ἀράχνη in Greek means, appropriately enough, spider. In Greek mythology Arachne was an upstart girl who took on the gods (specifically Athena) in Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Book VI). As retribution Athena turned her into a spider. The fifteen books of the Metamorphoses were finished in AD 8. In Verngaurd Arachne has a female human head and upper torso that flows into a spider’s body.

 

 

 

 

11. Military Terminology and Equipment:

Greek FireLiving at the height of medieval times both the author, A4, and his readers would have been intimately familiar with the nomenclature of European warfare at the time. For the modern reader these terms can be unfamiliar and confusing.

A few examples: besagew: protective armor, a roundel that protected joints. champron: armor to protect horses face. cuisse thigh armor for knight. destrier: war horse. gauntlet: armor for hands. greaves: lower leg armor. pauldron: shoulder armor.

Ancient Byzantine Flame Thrower: In Book Two we see an example of ancient Middle-Eastern military technology. During the later stages of the Battle of Trepas, the Knights and Northern Dwarves find themselves facing a vastly superior enemy force and roll out ancient flame throwers in a desperate attempt to survive. The flamethrower described in the scrolls is remarkably similar to ones used in Byzantium. The recipe they used was kept secret and known as Greek Fire.

Dr. Kenneth Harl has an excellent course on Byzantium as part of the Great Courses series: The World of Byzantium.

 

12. Spinning Siege Engine of Death: In Book Two, Chapter Three, Scroll Seven we see a fascinating and unique siege engine. Squire Scelto is introduced to the massive Proliate siege engine, the diezmar. This device is basically a large spinning wheel with eight large slings that would hold a rock/other projectile. The wheel would spin the large projectiles around and around. Once an adequate speed was reached a sharp blade would be engaged and cut the slings. The result was a quick and fierce concentration of eight projectiles on one area.

A similar siege engine existed in ancient China. An excellent illustration can be found in: Joseph Needham & Robin D.S. Yates "Science and Civilisation in China", Volume 5 Chemical and Chemical Technology; Part 6 Military Technology: Missiles and Sieges, Section 30, Illustration #69 page 201 “Reconstruction of Ma Chün’s ‘centrifugal flywheel ballista” 1994 Cambridge University Press

(Civilisation is an alternative spelling of Civilization in England)