First there were Shem the noun, Tiqwah and article and Etgar and adjective. Now meet Qeren-Or “Em” Qeriah, the 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!
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”!
Finally, “Milhamah” reveals its first main villain, Deli!
Deli (pronounced duh-LEE) is a member of Bavel’s linguistic imperialism division. He is on a mission to silence the Holy Tongue Society.
While the jar and its carrier might appear to be a team, they are one combined being. Only the urn is sentient; the winged humanoid is a muscle-bound puppet that can’t think on its own. Rumors say both entities are thousands of years old.
Just like ancient Babylon, the new Bavel Empire obsesses over space and its stars. So Deli represents the water bearer Aquarius.
(The Aquarius symbol is on the character’s crown, and the cuneiform version is on its forehead. Ishtar Gate designs inspire the rest of the costume.)
One might wonder what Aquarius has to do with the grammar and language themes in “Milhamah.” But it does, as you’ll see!
Deli’s root letters are dalet-lamed-yod (דלי), which deals with water extraction. When he undergoes permutation, he has control over life, the tides, doors and more.
Watch Deli in action when “Milhamah” Episode 6 is published next week. Stay dry, Shem!
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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