Sunday, 21 October 2012

Languages of Porphyra

This list and attached descriptions details the languages of Porphyra, both native and part of the Landing.  If a dialect is deemed different enough by the GM, a DC 10 Linguistics check should be required to be able to understand the language by a speaker of the parent tongue.

Common- the language of the Landed humans, spread as a lingua franca throughout Porphyra in the milennia since the Calling.
Elven- The ancient forest people have several different dialects of their language, due to Landed elves coming from other dimensions; a DC 8 Linguistics check is needed to understand one from the other.  Different dialects hold sway in The World Tree, Iluriel, and Meynon.
Giant- An economical, direct language evolved from the elemental tongues, the language of Giants (called Artaganar in that tongue) is spoken by many races associated with these huge beings, such as ogres, trolls, cyclopes and ettins.
Goblin- The language of the goblinoid races, including bugbears, goblins and hobgoblins, as well as variant races of these.  The language  (and the humanoids themselves) has resisted influence by deists and elementalists, staying apart and neutral in most areas.
Old Porphyran- spoken by the aboriginal humans of  Porphyra
before the Calling, and still today by the Zendiqi, Siwathu, and Ghadabi.  Many old ruins contain script in this writing.

AbolethSpoken by the fearsome deep-sea creatures and those of similar ilk, it can also be heard in a highly debased form in certain dark corners of the Rainbow Isles, for reasons best not looked into.
Aklo - Probably not native to Porphyra, human speakers of this bizarre tongue are likely to have to answer to local good churches as to why that freakish language is coming from a 'normal' mouth...
Celestial – Spoken in patois in the Holds of the Celestial Parishes, and the ecclesiastical language of The Middle Kingdoms and Meynon.  Clerics of good deities often use it for private conversations.
Draconic - An ancient, but highly mutable tongue spoken not only my the elusive, magnificent dragons, but by reptilian humanoids such as kobolds, troglodytes and serpentfolk.  If dialects differ, truces are held until the variances are ironed out, in true cold-blooded fashion.
**Note that wizards cannot substitute Draconic as a bonus language**
Druidic - The druids, who kept a middle road between the warring deists and elementalists, use this tongue between themselves and their naturalistic spiritual forces.
Dwarven - Dwarves are exclusively Landed peoples, with a rigidly
common language between the various clans.
Elemental Tongues - Spoken by devotees and derivatives of The Four, the arcane elements of magic: Aquan, Auran, Ignan and Terran.    Commonly spoken in Zendiqi lands, and available to wizards as a bonus language, instead of Draconic.
Gnoll - There are two dialects of this highly vocalized tongue; the more complex dialect of the civilized Anpur, and the common yapping version of gnolls found across Porphyra.
Gnomish - A mishmash of dwarven nouns and elvish verbs, it has been suspected, but not proven, that gnomes had small colonies on Porphyra before the Calling, from dimensions unknown.
Halfling - The Halfling tongue has spread mostly from ancient Enoria, where the halflings served elemental masters and overthrew them to establish the Bulwark. It is a quick language, conveying much.
Orcish – Sounding like Elvish spoken with a mouthful of broken teeth, the connection between the languages- the connection between the races themselves- is lost in the mists of Porphyra's ancient history.
Samsariyu: On the original world of the land of the Lotus Blossom Steppes, the mysterious
blue-skinned Samsaran, servants of karma, are seen as the primordial teachers of mankind.
This is evidenced by the language shared by the Landed humans of the Steppes and the Samsaran, called Samsariyu, the "Language of the Ancestors".  Spoken by humans only in that land, all Samsaran on Porphyra use this tongue.
Sylvan – Heard among many forest-dwelling beings and sentient plants, the xesa are the only race to have attempted to place it into a readable script.
Undercommon - The patois of the Underdeep, based mostly on the dwarven dialect of the Duergar, but spoken by others such as hhundi, morlocks, and some intelligent beasts.
Abyssal Spoken in dark chambers where demons are summoned, and by those who wish to deal with those foul beings.  Heard sometimes in the gutter halls of G'sho'laa'n'rr.
Boggard - The xenophobic frog-folk have their own unpleasant-sounding language distantly related to Draconic.
Catfolk - Simply going “Meow, meow” to a catfolk will likely end up badly.  Qit'ar and other sentient felines often also speak this tongue.
Dark Folk - Insane-sounding mutterings of the three clans of dark folk people of the Underdeep.
Grippli - Seemingly a dialect of Boggard, the tree-frog people are quite friendly with those humanoids that learn their tongue.
Infernal The bureaucratic language of the acquisitive devils, and those who would sell their souls for power.  Sometimes used as a court language in the cities of the Empire of the Dead.
Mahr-The ancient language of the Mahrog, the primitive proto-humans of the forests and subterranean lands.
Maenad- A beautiful, expressive language from the Maenad Isles of Sharia, many sailors learn this tongue as a matter of convenience.
Malite - The hateful alien speech of the invaders from another dimension, those in the diplomatic corp are required to learn its rudiments.  Somewhat similar to Protean.
Manxic- The truly alien language of an alien people, this strange tongue is the home language of the Femanx, rulers of the Advent Imperiax.  They guard it closely, as much of their technology depends on detailed instruction in that technical tongue.
Ophiduan- Long separated from their draconic brethren, this sibilant tongue is useful to know in the Underdeep, to minimize misunderstandings common in their endless House Wars.
Protean - The court language of Erkusaa, and of some few extremely chaotic races and beings.
Sign language - A communication form for the deaf, and for those who wish to communicate silently.  Quite common in the Jheriak Continuance, even in ordinary households.  Note that this language is
useless in situations where the 'speakers' cannot see, such as darkness.
Sphinx - an ancient scholarly tongue heard mostly in their territories in Siwath, or on ancient tomes and tombs in the south.
Strix- The hissing, chirping language of the airborne strix people of the Birdman Mountains, knowing this tongue rarely spares humans their hatred-fuelled wrath.
Tengu - Another avian language, Tengu us nearly impossible to speak for other humanoids; found mostly in the Lotus Blossom Steppes.
Xeph - Found spoken by the xeph of Sharia, the Pinnacle Lands, it is known for having no punctuation, being spoken very rapidly.
Zif - The chittering language of the gastopodic zif people; for politeness' sake, they rarely speak it around others.  The written form resembles swirls of sand.

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