Template:Simple box Poneglyphs (歴史の本文（ポーネグリフ） Pōnegurifu?, literally translated as "Text of History"; Ponecliff in 4Kids dub, and Ponegliff in the VIZ Media translation) are mysterious stone blocks with history inscribed on it as strange letters and are scattered among the islands of the Grand Line. It is said the only person left in the world who can read them is Nico Robin.
These blocks are inscribed with the script of an ancient language.
Abilities and Powers
The blocks have no real power themselves, however, the words they contain have the power to change the world.
Each one tells a piece of a history long forgotten. This history includes the mention of (at least) two weapons of mass destruction: Pluton and Poseidon. There are two types of poneglyphs: the ones which carry information about how to reach the other poneglyphs and the stones which carry the records of the "True History". Only when the stones are read as one, will they fill in the Void Century of the world. In the eyes of the World Government, they are dangerous artifacts and despite declaring the stones dangerous because of the weapons, the reality is that the ideals of the fallen Kingdom written on some of the stones are far more dangerous then any of the weapons.
|— Words inscribed on the Shandora ruins.|
The stones are left in the attention and care of the descendants of the ancients as seen in both Alabasta and Shandora. The shandorian Poneglyph was a fiercely guarded treasure of the Shandorian people and they felt a deep visceral connection to it, (namely the bell built around it) that was passed down up to the present era where the descendants of those who fought and died to protect it still put their lives on the line to reclaim it - along with their homeland - even though they had forgotten about the existence of the poneglyph itself. They still cherish what it represents a great deal, and the shaman of their people openly wept upon hearing they had fulfilled the wishes of their ancestors by passing its information on to Nico Robin, and freeing them from their centuries long burden.
Unlike its Shandoran counterpart that was guarded by its people to protect the information in contained, its clear that the hidden nature of the Alabasta poneglyph was to conceal its existence from the people, and not protect it, as Alabasta is a member of the World Government united against the creators of the poneglyph. This is also inferred by Nico Robin in her conversation with the King of Alabasta, Cobra, when she scoffs at and rebukes his statement about a hereditary charge of the monarchy to 'protect' the stone, although he himself is truthfully unaware of the deeper reasons or motives of its concealment decided long before his time.
However, only when the stone has been read by someone willing to take the read passage to the ends of the Earth, are those guarding them allowed to be free of the burden. In order to prevent these historical facts from being lost forever, they had carved them into these poneglyphs, which are indestructible. Regardless, to reach and decipher the Rio Poneglyph is the ultimate goal of Nico Robin, and it has brought herself much unwelcomed attention.
It has also been revealed that Gol D. Roger was able to follow the passage because he could hear "the voice of all things". He apparently managed to uncover the path. Though Roger told Whitebeard the story behind the Will of D., he and his crew seemed to have kept the details of the history a secret, although due to the dangers the remaining crew members pocessed, the Marines could not let the crew simply walk away when they were discovered. However, it is unknown if they know about the crews knowledge of the Void century or whether this was because of the strength of the crew itself.
List of Known Poneglyphs
|Ohara||Located in Ohara, this poneglyph included information about the Void Century, including the name of the lost civilization, though it has yet to be said what the name is.|
|Unknown||While she was on the run as a teenager, Robin found a poneglyph in a wooded area. Its precise location was not revealed, the poneglyph was not named and its contents are unknown.||An unnamed poneglyph.|
|Alabasta; in the underground passage of the temple in Alubarna.||The poneglyph supposedly tells the location of Pluton. Nico Robin never wanted to give Crocodile the ancient weapon so she lied by telling the history of the land which is not found in the poneglyph.||The poneglyph within Alabasta's royal tomb.|
|Shandora; ruins||Ancient text akin to a poneglyph is inscribed on a wall which Robin found within a set of ruins in Upper Yard and are instructions. However, she didn't refer to it as a poneglyph so it is unknown if it is considered one.||Ancient text within the ruins.|
|Shandorian Golden Belfry||A poneglyph was part of the Shandorian Golden Belfry and it revealed to Robin another dark secret. This poneglyph spoke of how to locate another ancient weapon, Poseidon, which is much later revealed to be in Fishman Island as the Mermaid Princess.|
|Ryugu; This poneglyph is located in the back woods of the Sea Forest in the Ryugu Kingdom.||Robin believed that the poneglyph on Fishman Island may hold vital information to understanding the Void Century. When she found it, she remarked that it was different than the other poneglyphs she had found. It read more like an apology letter than a primary historical text. The message was written by a man from the surface known as "Joy Boy". In the message, he is apologizing to the people of Fishman Island for breaking his part of a promise, which involved returning to Fishman Island to carry out Noah's purpose.|
According to Robin, the Rio Poneglyph (真の歴史の本文（リオ・ポーネグリフ） Rio Pōnegurifu?, literally translated as "True Text of History") is the message carried by all the poneglyphs along the Grand Line. It contains the true history of the One Piece world (including the "Void Century" that is forbidden to be researched). In order to find it, one must take all other passages from the other Poneglyphs with them on their travels, and it is only completed upon reaching the end of the world, in other words, the island Raftel. Gol D. Roger seemed to have accomplished this task, according to Rayleigh, though it is uncertain if the other members of the Roger Pirates (i.e. Shanks, Buggy) know the world's history.
The stones were written to perserve the events of the Void century. After the Void century ended, the stones were left in the guardianship of the ancients' descendants, who guard them from people who seek to destroy them. The World Government, in an attempt to cover up the previous 100 years made it illegal to research and decipher poneglyphs.
Gol D. Roger's attempt
|— Gol D. Roger|
Roger managed to successfully follow the path of the Poneglyphs and decipher their meanings, leaving at least one message along the way to encourage others to follow his path. However, his crew, although knew the true history, choose not to awaken any of the ancient weapons.
The Demons of Ohara
The researchers on Ohara decided to study their islands Poneglyphs in an attempt to discover the missing history of the world. However, they were limited by the greater lack of access and knowledge of the Poneglyphs and sent out researchers to find more information on them, knowing the study of the Poneglyphs were illegal.
Nico Olvia along with thirty three other archaeologists, set out to sea. Sadly, their attempt failed and their were intercepted by the Marines leaving only Olvia as the soul survivor. On board the ship they found information which allowed the Marines to trace Olvia's origins back to Ohara and CP9 unit was sent to investigate. The World Governement had always been against the scholars because of their knowledge but researching the Poneglyphs meant they had an excuse to act against them.
Olvia escaped the Marines thanks to the help of Jaguar D. Saul and managed to return to Ohara in time to warn her comrades about the Marines heading their way. However, CP9 had already arrived on the island and a Buster Call attack commenced after Clover revealed that he had discovered the knowledge held by the Ohara Island Poneglpyh. Ohara was destroyed, wiping out the entire Island and its inhabbitants except Nico Robin who managed to flee in the process, leaving the fate of the Ohara Poneglyph a complete mystery.
During her time on the run, Robin was known to have read at least one poneglyph and researched constantly into finding others.
Crocodile targeted the Alabasta Kingdom because of its Poneglyph, which was known to contain information on the whereabouts of Pluton. He then went about creating the Baroque Works syndicate in an attempt to bring down the Alabasta Kingdom and claim Pluton. He employed Robin to read the Poneglyph of Alabasta.
When Robin finally got the chance to read this Poneglyph, however, Robin lied about its contents, which caused Crocodile to turn against her. Due to the battle between Monkey D. Luffy and Crocodile, when the fight ended the Royal Tomb where the Poneglyph was held became unstable and began collapsing around them. Robin was saved by Luffy along with King Nefertari Cobra, however the Poneglyph was buried in the process.
Robin traveled with the Straw Hats, claiming Luffy was responsible for her continue existence. During her time she traveled with the Straw Hat Pirates to Skypiea where two more poneglyphs were held. The first held the details of where to find the second, the second contained details about Poseidon and a message written by Gol D. Roger telling further researchers to keep going forward. According to Gan Fall, he had no idea how Roger managed to reach the poneglyph on top of Giant Jack or when he did the feat itself. Robin informed the Shandians that their duty to protect the stone was over and freed them from their ancestors burden in the process. However, Robin was left with more questions then answers about Gol D. Roger himself.
During the Sabaody Arc, Roger's first mate, Silvers Rayleigh, mentioned to Robin during the Straw Hats' meeting with him that he knows what the Void Century is and solved the mysteries of the poneglyphs. He admits that saying what it is would take away the impact or any further interpretations of the lost history. He tells Robin to search out the poneglyphs and draw her own conclusions regarding the history. He offered Robin the chance to hear the information from him, however, she declined his offer and chose to continue to find the poneglyphs for herself.
Anime and Manga Differences
The first artifact to actually be recognized as a poneglyph was seen in Alabasta in Episode 123.
However another poneglyph was seen in Episode 102, this one also in Alabasta, when Luffy, Zoro, and Chopper were lost in the desert and fell through the top of an ancient ruin where a poneglyph was seen half buried in the sand. It bears no significance to the series since it was found in a filler episode.
- Upon his death, the real life pirate Olivier Levasseur had tossed a cryptogram from the scaffolding into the crowd and told them if they could figure out the message, his treasure (now valued at £160,000,000 in today's money) would be theirs, a treasure that to this day has never been found. This seems to have been part of the inspiration for Roger's legendary death speech, as Roger himself had delivered the message to find his treasure, and notably the poneglyphs are also part of a grand cryptogram leading to the end of the Grand Line.
- The Hieroglyphs were the ancient text of ancient Egyptians, seem to be one of the biggest influences on the Poneglyphs. When their civilisation was wiped out, so was the knowledge on how to read their alphabet. Its not until the Rosetta Stone was discovered that researchers could figure out how to read the text.
- After World War II, many books containing the ideals of the Nazi party were locked away or destroyed because they held dangerous ideas. There was a fear that these books would inspire another generation to repeat the partys actions. The Nazis party themselves were also guilty of destorying books that they themselves felt underminded the partys ideals, books by individuals such as Sigmund Freud were destoryed because the party did not approve of the ideas presented within the pages.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 41 Chapter 398 and Episode 278, Robin is seen reading a poneglyph in an unknown area as a teenager.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 22 Chapter 202 and Episode 123, the first Poneglyph seen in the series.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 22 Chapter 203 and Episode 123, Robin lies to Crocodile.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 29 Chapter 272 and Episode 174, Robin finds a wall with ancient the Poneglyph of Shandora.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 22 Chapter 201 and Episode 194, The Poneglyph of Shandora mentions Poseidon.
- One Piece Manga — Vol. 66 Chapter 649, Robin deduces that the Mermaid Princess is Poseidon.
- One Piece Manga — Vol. 64 Chapter 628, Nico Robin finds the Ryugu poneglyph.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 32 Chapter 301 and Episode 194, Robin talking about the Rio Poneglyph.