Campaign of the Month: March 2016
Ptolus, City by the Spire
The languages spoken and read in throughout the world of Praemal are numerous and varied. Most of the major idioms appear in the list below.
Common (Imperial): A variation of Old Prustan, this language could be called “New Prustan.” Carried throughout the known world by the men and women who forged the Empire of Tarsis, it is now common in every land. If nothing else, it provides a way for people to conduct trade without the need of translators or spells.
Draconic: Vying for oldest language with Elder Elvish and Dwarvish, Draconic has always been spoken by dragons. Many other creatures have since picked it up—some reptilian in nature, others not. Quite a number of magical works are written in Draconic.
Dwarvish: Unlike the language of the elves, Dwarvish has remained almost entirely unchanged in the thousands of years of dwarven civilization. A modern dwarf could find an ancient scroll of her most distant ancestors and would be able to understand the vast majority of it. The fact that their mother tongue has for so long remained unchanged says more about dwarves than their language. Dwarvish words are typically short, with many compound word constructions that create new words as needed.
Elvish: A newer tongue based on an older version, Elvish is surprisingly different from its parent language, Elder Elvish. Modern Elvish is, in fact, no closer to Elder Elvish than it is to Halfling or Gnomish. It is a lyrical, beautiful language that almost sounds (particularly to humans) like singing when spoken correctly. Elvish boasts a huge and very precise vocabulary.
Gnomish: Gnomish also derives from Elder Elvish. Some say it has been influenced by Dwarvish, but this is true in only minor ways.
Halfling: The language of the halflings descends from Elder Elvish and an ancient language of humans called Westron (see below). It is a far simpler tongue than its predecessors.
Litorian: A gruff language, Litorian is interesting because it seems unrelated to any other tongue spoken in the world.
Orcish: Interestingly, this language is a mixture of Westron and Abyssal. Originally, orcs spoke Abyssal, taught to them by their creator, the Dread One. After his destruction, they fled west, where they became heavily influenced by the cultures there.
Palastani: A rather simple language, Palastani is once again coming into vogue, after having faded considerably during the height of the Empire of Tarsis.
Nallish: This crude, simple language is used by the people of Nall and the barbarian tribes of the east.
Undercommon: This derivative of Elder Elvish is mixed with Abyssal and Draconic. Originally, it was the language of the dark elves. It has since become almost unrecognizable as related to any of its roots.
Abyssal: The language of Hell itself, spoken by demons and their fiendish ilk. Thousands of years ago the Dread One, Eslathagos Malkith, adopted this language and taught it to his creations and servants. It remains common among many aberrations and other monstrous beings.
Charad: The Charad Titans, who visited the shores of the Whitewind Sea six millennia ago, had their own extremely sophisticated language. It is known only to a handful of elven scholars today.
Elvish, Dark: Like Elvish, this language has Elder Elvish as its root, but it has deviated from it so much that today it is not very similar to Elvish. It has many subtly different words for betrayal, but no words for charity or benevolence.
Elvish, Elder: Virtually a dead language, the original tongue of the elves may be the oldest language in the world. With a very few exceptions, no one speaks it any longer. The letters in Elder Elvish also represent numbers, which makes it easy to craft double meanings with words and numbers.
Old Prustan: An old language of humans, Prustan sounds harsh when compared to those derived from Elder Elvish. This tongue shares a few similarities with Dwarvish, but not many. Today only scholars speak it.
Uraqi: Another human tongue, Uraqi is very different from Old Prustan and even Westron, having originated in ancient Kellisan, far to the south. It is spoken almost exclusively in Uraq and along the coast of the Southern Sea (a relic of the fact that Uraq conquered most towns and cities along that coast long ago).
Westron: Perhaps the oldest human language— older even than Old Prustan—is Westron. Some scholars believe it was a common tongue of much older times, long before the Empire. Some believe the language was given to humans by the Creator himself.