Em Qeriah debuts in ‘Mother, May I?’

For the first time since last summer, the Milhamah: Fighting Words saga finally progresses as we get the 20th comic update, “Mother, May I?”

This latest update will be the start to Milhamah Issue #3, and it picks up right after the battle against Deli, which starts at Update #5. Much to Shem’s dismay, Tiqwah decides to meet up with Em Qeriah, a sort of mother figure in the Holy Tongue Society. But what sort of secrets does Qeriah know, and what is she hiding in her underground library?

This is the first time we all get to see the Arqah Archives. Arqah is mainly based off the ארק shoresh root, which deals with the ground and earth. And while it’s not a Hebrew pun, it’s sort of a coincidental play on words with the “Ark” of the Covenant, a precious vessel hidden in a holy sanctuary. And Em Qeriah naturally spends time down there since her shoresh is קרא, an anagram of ארק.

Putting the next scene in the archives is no coincidence. Expect to get a little backstory on Shem and the world’s background in the next few updates. But more than anything, my goal for the Issue #3 arc is to show readers a tangible Milhamah fantasy world, and not just refer to it in exposition.

Series update

So the hiatus is over, and soon you’ll be seeing many more updates to the story in the coming months, with some new character concepts interspersed. But here’s the thing — we need more readers! So if you’re reading this and think this series should take off (and acquire more resources to do so), we have a favor to ask:

  1. Tell your friends who are into comics and fandom about Milhamah. Bring up the comic on forums and social media. Get people curious!
  2. Join Eric’s Patreon. Soon I’ll be integrating Patreon into this website, which means I can offer subscribers extra perks and work-in-progress previews. Even if every regular reader gave $1 per month, it would go a long way toward upgrades!
  3. Join our forum. We’re opening up posting topics to anyone right now, so let’s build a community. Discuss Milhamah or discuss cultural topics like games, comics and more. Don’t be a stranger!

So help me keep fighting to get the word out!

 

War, pestilence… and a famine of content

The year 2020 has been quite an apocalypse. So why not use some of that inspiration and stay-at-home time to work on “Milhamah: Fighting Words” projects and content? I’ll begin with an apology for no recent content. In March, I moved up my wedding day and got married, less than 48 hours before a government-ordered lockdown began.   But after a six-month hiatus from creating “Milhamah” characters, I’m feeling rested and ready to start new progress. Though upcoming comic cons may be canceled, this is a time to sow my talents for a harvest to come. Here is what I plan to do:
  1. I’m finalizing the script for “Milhamah” Issue 3: The arc will begin after the Deli battle and introduce new characters like Em Qeriah, as well as the enemy Guf soldiers. Shem and Tiqwah will also explore a bit of life in the capital city of ‘Ir Reshumim, and meet a new, mysterious figure.
  2. I’m working on Shem and Tiqwah animations for some “Milhamah” arcade minigames. The games will include a twin-stick arcade game as well as a SkiFree game with a twist. Here is a sample running animation: A Tiqwah running animation
  3. I’m drafting a tabletop RPG/game in the “Milhamah” universe. This game will use special 12-sided dice that are based on Hebrew alphabet ciphers: Red is Atbash, blue is Albam, and green is Akhbi. By rolling dice, flipping them over or switching colors, players may maximize their roll results to form letter combos and improvise solutions to obstacles in the game.
Customized 12-sided Hebrew dice are used in an upcoming "Milhamah" RPG.

More about the dice

So how did I come up with the dice? Throughout the ages, biblical commentators and mystics have used all sorts of alphabet ciphers to interpret (and often misinterpret) Hebrew literature. For instance, some scholars believe that the Atbash cipher is used in the biblical book of Jeremiah, where Sheshakh is a hidden codeword for Bavel. The cool part is that the three chosen ciphers are cyclical, so that by using all three of them, you return to the same Hebrew letter. For instance, א -> Atbash -> ת -> Albam -> כ -> Akhbi -> א. For now I’ll be making my own dice with blank Chessex dice and custom labels on a desktop cutting machine — at least until I find a freedom-friendly supplier to mass manufacture them at a reasonable price. The goal will be to sell the RPG book and the dice in 2021.  Expect more “Milhamah” comic art to come soon!

Meet Em Qeriah, the enthusiastic interjection!

First there were Shem the noun, Tiqwah and article and Etgar and adjective. Now meet Qeren-Or “Em” Qeriah, the interjection! Em Qeriah is the Holy Tongue Society's interjection. Qeren-Or is the fourth revealed member of the Holy Tongue Society. In the linguistic world of “Milhamah,” she represents two things. One is the interjection part of speech, which makes up exclamations. Due to her nickname, “Em” (or mother), she also represents the em qeriah, Hebrew for the mater lectionis.
Qeren-Or may be an old, but she’s energetic enough to lug around heavy scrolls, a teleprompter staff and a squash purse. The particular scroll on her back is the Miqra, her most prized scroll is the Sefer Milhamah, a Dead Sea scroll that reveals the enemy’s secret military operations and how to beat them. Em Qeriah spends most of her time in an underground library in Arqah, below Heleq’s Binyan headquarters. While she might clown around with cutting jokes, she’s forgotten more than you’ll ever know. Don’t underestimate her!

More Qeriah design notes

In terms of Hebrew etymology, Qeriah’s name comes from “millat qeriah,” which means interjection. Many of her clothing patterns have subtle exclamation point patterns.
Her shoresh root is (קרא), which generally refers to reading or calling out. In “Milhamah” she is a comical character, who is boisterous and always bragging about her reading, while only sometimes understanding. Her teleprompter cane and squash motifs are also inspired by this root.
Look forward to Qeren-Or’s debut in “Milhamah” Issue No. 3 and in webcomic updates to come!