In Update #21, "Mother May I? Part 2", we learn that while Shem 'Etzem's holy form may easily defeat the Bavel Macrostructure’s minions, it’s no match for Em Qeriah’s lack of seriousness. Will Shem’s hair-trigger temper prevent him from becoming the Evaluator of Names?
While this issue mostly continues the arguments and power struggles among the rising generation of Holy Tongue Society leadership and the old, it also shows how Shem can revert from his powerful, holy שום form back to his still-powerful, but baser עצם form.
Adam comes up for a good reason at the end of this update. Get ready to learn more in the next update!
(By the way, this webcomic will discontinue the numerical "Episode" system where some episodes last for multiple updates. While the next update would technically be Episode 16, this website's formatting plus ones like Webtoon and Tapas make the old system archaic. We'll just stick to numbering according to updates.)
Although it's not fully implemented, we updated the Wordpress theme to Toocheke Premium, which will allow us to use more Patreon and WooCommerce integration. If you've noticed that the site was slower recently, it's because we were trying to implement those features.
I'm hoping to ask around to figure out a way to have the site run reasonably quickly plus have our own online store and bonus webpages for Patreon subscribers only. By the way, please sign up for my Patreon! Even a dollar a month adds up...
Also, keep checking our wiki for updates. I've been adding beta sections to the Milhamah RPG storytelling game, plus there are all sorts of details about the comic there.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope to bring more updates soon!
While the battle continues, the evil urn Deli startles our heroes from behind. The villain seems to be reformed … but not in a good way! Will Tiqwah and Etgar find what they’re looking for in the aural grid before it’s too late?
This is Part 2 to “Slaughter in the Water,” and you can see the earlier part here.
Things get technical behind the scenes in this episode, as it starts to explain how the “Milhamah” characters weaponize their alfons to make blessing attacks outside of their own natural ability. Gradually readers will learn about these things over the next few episodes, but I’ll give a preview here.
Basically, Tiqwah and Etgar connected the speech balloon and the foundation glyph to their alfons to make new letters appear in the aural grid.
The aural grid shows sound frequencies, and Tiqwah and Etgar are looking for ‘Ivrit ones to do new attacks. The evil Bavel Empire try to scramble these ‘Ivrit frequencies to make it harder for the heroes to do this. (Though in Bavel’s perspective, they believe they’re actually unscrambling their own language!)
Anyway, it’ll be up to our heroes to find the correct sequence of letters needed — a shoresh root — to code in an alfon attack, or a blessing. Will they do this next episode? Maybe…
Meanwhile, what is Deli doing?
Etgar shot the urn in Episode 9, but now the fiendish jar is back. Well, it used an Akkadian curse called walа̄du. Deli’s natural shoresh root is dalet-lamed-yod (דלי). He’s using a permuted power caused by switching the letters around, (ילד). This undergoes a consonantal shift, as in Akkadian the same Semitic root is spelled waw-lamed-dalet (ולד).
The pink seal beneath Deli contains real Semitic letters and words. The Akkadian for walа̄du in the center. The Paleo-Hebrew and Ugaritic letters for (ילד) are in the middle orbit, plus the six different root permutations in Aramaic-style Hebrew script. The outer ring has the alef-bet.
So as the comic says, Deli permuted or switched his powers around to heal himself through a rebirth. Of course, since he’s from Bavel, he does this through the power of trickery and evil. Next episode you’ll learn the difference between the Holy Tongue’s Society’s truth-guided blessings and Bavel’s manipulative curses, and why it matters.
A side note
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This new episode’s first part isn’t exactly a slaughter, but good and evil go at it for another round. The last time “Milhamah: Fighting Words” had this much fighting between Shem and Deli, Shem took a walloping. Check and see what happens here…
Action scenes always take more time to design than talking head panels, but the end result is often satisfying. This time I tried to make things more dynamic by breaking the panel’s perspective with Shem’s “osteoblast” bone shard missiles.
I also added more sound effects and used the negative space outside the panels to contribute to the storytelling. I’ll probably do that more, especially in my remastered print edition. The goal is to begin selling copies in April with a couple of comic cons on the horizon!
Storywise, while Shem’s limited attack moves are a punchline here, I look forward to giving him more to work with in the scenes to come. Plus we need to see what Etgar and Tiqwah are doing in Episode 11 Part 2!
In other news…
Just a reminder: You can also see “Milhamah” comics on Tapas and Webtoon. I’m trying to grow those subscriber bases, so if you use those sites, you can get automatic notifications when new episodes come along.
Also, you can vote for “Milhamah” on the Top Webcomics page site, which draws a lot of webcomic fans. I’ll be promoting this more in the near future. Help this series climb the ranks!
It might be a close call, but Tiqwah and Etgar manage to daze Deli and reunite with Shem. Then Tiqwah starts scolding her teammate for leaving his alfon training device behind. But will alfons be enough to stop Deli from drowning them underground?
This episode is a transitional one to a pivotal action scene, which I look forward to seeing play out. But first let me give a little background on the alfon.An alfon is a communication device and weapon that acts like a phone, radio, hologram viewer and sonic weapon. It listens to the atmosphere for conversations, even scrambled ones like Bavel uses to corrupt the communications for all other languages. Then, with the help of its user, the alfon can convert what it hears into weaponized commands.
I’ll have more news to come in the upcoming days about “Milhamah” happenings. See you then!
After learning about Semitic languages in November, our journey through the Joüon and Muraoka book continues. This time we’re going specifically through the history of ancient Hebrew.
Biblical Hebrew is fairly consistent throughout the centuries. The Bible’s writers, from earliest to latest, differ most in vocabulary. Some of the syntax also evolves, though it’s not that significant. Morphology, or word formation, changed the least due to stable consonants.
However, Joüon and Muraoka point out that the following Mishnaic Hebrew era strays farther from the biblical style conventions. However, they speculate that some Mishnaic-era writers still wanted to write in the Bible’s older style and format.
And they say Mishnaic Hebrew started to form after most of the Tanakh (Old Testament) was finished. The Mishnaic era also covers the period of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Jesus.
Joüon and Muraoka divide the biblical language into two eras: a “golden age” before the Babylonian exile and an era afterward. The authors acknowledge that some scholars think the entire Bible was basically written after the exile. But Joüon and Muraoka point out linguistic differences, such as the Bible’s later books spelling “Jerusalem” and “David” in a way earlier biblical books didn’t.
Hebrew’s relationship to ‘Milhamah’
The “Milhamah” webcomic doesn’t glean too much from this history. However, the character of ‘Aravah ‘Ivrit, whom I unveiled last week for Hebrew Language Day, embodies the language. Some of the details are in that post.
My art drew quite a few people from Facebook to this website. I even earned a Facebook like from the Academy of the Hebrew Language, which chiefly promotes the holiday in honor of Hebrew revivalist Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. Their resources are a great help to my comic research, and I let them know that.
Just in time for Hebrew Language Day, “Milhamah” is previewing a new character for 2019. Meet ‘Aravah ‘Ivrit!
‘Aravah’s character is based on the shoresh root ‘ayin-bet-resh (עבר) and its permutations. While it may be awhile till she appears in the webcomic, here are six things to know about her character in “Milhamah: Fighting Words”:
1. ‘Aravah is the embodiment of the Hebrew language who is leading an independence movement against the Bavel Empire. Her goal is to break Bavel’s global dominance by “mixing up the tongues,” or scrambling its communications.
2. She works with the paramilitary Holy Tongue Society but isn’t part of it. She has ties to numerous other anti-Bavel associations, including an alliance with the guardians of the Arabic language. Hebrew and Arabic share similar shoresh roots: עבר and ערב.
3. She set up a headquarters in a western territory called ‘Ever that’s home to expanses of old Wild West desert-like wilderness. This explains why she is dressed as a cowgirl.
4. ‘Aravah is pregnant and way overdue for unknown reasons. As a result, she is often famished and rarely engages in combat. Her baby, however, is known to teleport out of the womb to fight the enemy.
5. Her personality switches between pleasant and hot-tempered. Her opponents underestimate her as a boorish fool — and learn to regret that.
6. ‘Aravah likes it hot. Her main weapon of choice is a flamethrower, and legend has it that she can summon holy fire from heaven.
As we await 2019, look forward to seeing ‘Aravah ‘Ivrit in upcoming episodes of “Milhamah”!
Milhamah: Fighting Words
Feeling silenced by the world? Join the Holy Tongue Society’s linguistic warriors as they use ancient alphabet powers to fight speech stranglers, truth manglers and a rebuilt Tower of Babel. And get immersed in a story that prizes freedom, candor and fighting back against overwhelming odds.
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