First and foremost, we carve the handle, crimp, and ferrule of our to be Giibaka.

Second, peel the galiil into thin strips.   Third, take the hardening resin, apply it inside the ferrule, and put each galiil hair into the hardening resin. Do not heat the resin.   Fourth, take the remainder of the galiil and grind it with a stone until it becomes pure resin. Put the resin in a small wooden container.   Fifth, take your resin and heat it until it becomes thick.   Sixth, when your resin's viscosity becomes high, create a small mist within the container, add your desired powder, and shut it. We're going to leave it like this for 14 days.   Seventh, take your near-complete giibaka, plant it in the ground exposed to sunlight and leave it there for four hours.   Lastly, design your giibaka in a way that is special to you and our ancestors. This Giibaka, in particular, will remain with you until you die.
—Ramiikii Jo'yukaya, "Creating a Traditional Giibaka"

Vraii'jashuk are masters of calligraphy. And it's no wonder that some of Infernus's most beautiful calligraphy comes from them. But the style of their calligraphy is exotic and almost impossible to replicate. This cause is two-fold; Vraii'jashuk use a special tool and ink in their calligraphy. The giibaka, a special ink brush that is hand-made from valuable metals that uses a special ink derived from the galiil plant.   There are two types of Giibaka: traditional and contemporary. Traditional giibaka are the more sought-after of the two.

Traditional Giibaka

Traditional giibaka are always hand-made by an individual Vraii'jashuk. These giibaka always use nothing less than gold in their creation. In some rare cases, they may even use kolm'zul. They have intricate designs, always telling a brief story from the Elder Rule when the giibaka originated. These giibaka also use the galiil in their creation.   The galiil is a plant native to Niil'vrai'kiin Jo'saahish, more specifically Niil'vrai'kiin kii Jasaa'ad. Although the plant is native to the desert, it is scarce and difficult to cultivate. However, a single galiil can provide enough materials for 12 giibaka. The plant's cuticle is finely cut into strings that become the hair of the brush. The rest of the giibaka is crushed into a paste that has resin-like qualities that are heated up into a highly viscous liquid. When water is added to this liquid, always in mist form, and left to dry, it becomes a hard ink stick.   Traditional giibaka are time-consuming to make, use rare and valuable materials, and can only be used with a single type of ink. In addition, they can only be made with the galiil plant, which is only found in the deeps of the most hostile environment in Infernus. As such, they are incredibly expensive to those looking to buy one and are rarely sold by Vraii'jashuk outside of special occasions. One such occasion is the Kaz'miir Iinai'nai Mid-Summer Festival, where a traditional giibaka sold for 6.3 million Ru'vah (3.15 million USD).

Contemporary Giibaka

Contemporary giibaka are giibaka that are, in the Vraii'jashuk's words, "low-quality" giibaka. These giibaka are still hand-made, but they are not designed with the same materials or designs a traditional giibaka would. Additionally, they are also made by multiple Vraii'jashuk, lessening their cultural value. These use common metals such as aluminum or even stone and wood instead of metal. They also may or may not use galiil for the head, and those that do not use galiil, can not use the galiil ink. They are much cheaper than traditional giibaka, but these are still rare, giving them a hefty price tag.   Although contemporary giibaka are still sought after for those unable to afford a traditional giibaka, no Vraii'jashuk would ever be caught using one.

Cover image: Shutterstock image 280619771 by Derek R. Audette


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