593: Voynich Manuscript
Title text: Wait, is that the ORIGINAL voynich manuscript? Where did you GET that? Wanna try playing a round of Druids and Dicotyledons?
As the comic explains, the Voynich Manuscript is a very detailed book written in an unknown script, describing plants and recipes, most of which lack a real-world analog. Over the past few decades, linguists and cryptographers have unsuccessfully attempted to decode the book.
Dungeons and Dragons is a fantasy role-playing game with extremely detailed descriptions of fantastical worlds.
After being shown the Manuscript for the first time by Megan, Cueball argues that it should be obvious that it's just an ancient Dungeons and Dragons rulebook, seeing as human tendency to invent fantastical worlds must have also existed in the past.
After concluding this, the title text then asks, shocked, how Megan got her hands on the original manuscript, and then suggests playing Druids and Dicotyledons, presumably the game defined by the manuscript.
- [Weird root vegetables surround a strange script.]
- [Megan holding up book.]
- Megan: This is the Voynich manuscript - a book, allegedly 500 years old, written in an unrecognized script. It's some kind of visual encyclopedia of imaginary plants and undeciphered "recipes".
- [Cueball opens the book.]
- Megan: It could be a hoax, a lost language, a cipher, an alien text, glossolatia - no one knows.
- Cueball: No one? But it's obvious.
- Megan: ...Obvious? Linguists and cryptographers have been stumped for decades.
- Cueball: They forget. Human nature doesn't change.
- Cueball: Just imagine someone found a book from our time, full of lists, illustrations, tables, and long, dry descriptions of nonexistent worlds written in an invented language. What have they found?
- Megan: ...Dear Lord. It is obvious.
- 500 Years Earlier:
- [Three people are standing around pawns and a die. One is holding a sheet of paper, another is holding a book, the third is holding a scythe.]
- Person #1: Forsooth! I concoct an elixir of courage.
- Person #2: Nae! The source booke sayeth that requires some wolfsbane!
- Person #3: Your druid doth lose two points.