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Babington cipher fonts

Babington cipher fonts

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Babington text



The font here called Babington is the cipher famously used by Mary, Queen of Scots, when she was imprisoned by and plotting to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, which cost her her life. Or, more correctly, it is one of several ciphers that Mary used with different correspondents. This particular cipher is the she one used in a letter of 1586 where a forged postscript was added to trick Thomas Babington, the recipient, into revealing the names of co-conspirators, not to Mary was he thought, but to Elizabeth's spymaster, Francis Walshingham, who was intercepting and reading the letters. It has been named for Thomas Babington.

To make life harder for anyone trying to break the cipher, it includes meaningless null characters that can be thrown in at random to foil frequency analysis (or just to use for punctuation, in our case) and nomenclators -- single letters that mean an entire word. This results in the ciphertext potentially having far more than the expected 26 letters, which will stymie amateur cryptanalysts.

The font is interesting for historical reasons, of course, but it's also excellent for gaming uses. It's not a common script; few people except cipher geeks are at all famliair with it. It's the opposite of Wintertree's runes, hieroglyphs, etc., in that way. This makes it perfect for a foreign or alien alphabet in virtually any genre of game. The various forms of the alphabet included here give you many options to choose from. The nulls and significators take it to the next step of difficulty in breaking, which might be important if the players routinely tear through simple substitutions.

The package contains two fonts: Babington and Babington Alien. The former has normal and calligraphic forms; the latter normal and outline. Included documentation, along with describing the history of the cipher and giving some ideas for gaming uses, includes a complete character map for all of the alphabet letters, nulls, and significators (single characters for common words) that make up the font.

UPDATE: A third font, sometimes described in books as the cipher used by Mary, Queen of Scots, has been added to this package. The original has only the alphabetic letters, with no numerals or punctuation, making it rather questionable for use as a cipher, and there is no apparent actual connection to the real ciphers she used. But it's an interesting alphabet nonetheless, and has been included here under the name Mary. Incidentally, the uppercase and lowercase of the italic (calligraphic) forms have slightly different slants, so using Wintertree's free program TextJiggler on them to produce random capitalization will result in a more realistic look.

Babington calligraphic

FONT LICENSE INFORMATION: Wintertree fonts are licensed as ordinary commerical fonts. This means you can install the font on your computer to use with programs such as word processors, design tools and similar applications, and use it for creation of print or PDF documents, images (JPEG, TIFF, PNG, etc.) and logos. In other words, you can use the Wintertree fonts to make things with and sell the things you make, but you can't sell the font itself in any way, or use it as a web font (@font-face). Credit is gratefully appreciated but not required.

The font used for the title text in the product graphic is Remington, from The Vaults of McTavish.

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File Size:
15.04 MB
Original electronic
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
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These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Last Updated:
December 23, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on December 03, 2017.