Before we begin any explanation of the D'ni numbering system we need to remind ourselves of how we count here on Earth.

Most of us use a numbering system with 10 symbols:

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9.

Because these are the only symbols we have, if we want to count to numbers higher than 9 we have to use a system of indicators that tell us how often we have use the set of symbols.

The first repetition is indicated by adding a '1' to the front to the symbols and resetting the sequence and to give us: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.

The second repetition is indicated by adding a '2' to the front to the symbols and resetting the sequence to give us: 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29.

We can continue to add indicators until we get to 99.

To continue further we add a new indicator to the left and reset the sequence to give us: 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109.

You probably recognise these indicators as being the units, tens and hundreds.

The D'ni numbering system only has 5 symbols:

These symbols equate to the symbols we know as: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4. Again the counting system uses indicators to keep track of the number of times the symbols repeat themselves. The difference with the Riven system is that, unlike the decimal system, these indicators are integral to the base set and are generated by rotaing each of the base symbols 1 quarter turn anti-clockwise.

If we turen the D'ni symbol for 1 a quarter turn anticlockwise we get:

Which is equivalent to the decimal number 5.

We can now begin to count again by superimposing the base symbols on top of the indicator for 5:

This set of symbols equates to 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and is calculated thus: 5 + 0 = 5, 5 + 1 = 6, 5 + 2 = 7, 5 + 3 = 8, 5 + 4 = 9.

The next indicator is the D'ni symbol for 2 turned on its side and equates to the decimal number 10:

Once again we can count again by superimposing the base symbols on top of the second tally register:

This set of symbols equates to 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and is calculated thus: 10 + 0 = 10, 10 + 1 = 11, 10 + 2 = 12, 10 + 3 = 13, 10 + 4 = 14.

Continuing the process takes us all the way up 24 giving a complete set of symbols: