Cants and Argots

Overview of Language Mechanics

Cants & Argots: These are not languages for the most part, but are instead patois consisting various bits of slang from a variety of languages, unrelated in any way. Used either to provide easier communication in some circumstances (Mercenary’s Argot), as well as coded speech in others (Thieves Cant). With the sole exception of Fingerspeech, which has its own unique nature, these various languages are of only limited usefulness when discussing matters that fall outside the purview of the profession that uses it.

  • Fingerspeech: A rather rare language, it is unclear when or where Fingerspeech was first developed. Totally silent, the language’s medium is primarily movements of the fingers combined with other body language. Its elements are phonetic in nature, allowing to be used with any languages grammar and words. Due to this it requires double skills checks in needed, one for the Fingerspeech and the other for the language being “spoken” (similarly to how Calligraphy would be used with a language). Primarily tonal languages like Shian, Faerie, and Kens are a +10DC to be understood in Fingerspeech, +5DC if skilled in Slight of Hand, and only suffer no penalty if they have Expertise in Slight of Hand. (None)
  • Mercenaries Argot: Used on battlefields and in mercenary companies across the Realms, Mercenaries Argot provides a medium for parlay and other negotiation. It is very simple, always changing language that has no written form. If a speaker was attempting to communicate with someone from another era, it would be Very Difficult (DC25) at first, but would eventually become clear for everyone involved. (None)
  • Sailorspeech: Used on board sea- and airships across the Realms, Sailorspeech is patois that provides a medium for communication for seamen, skylars, and those that deal with them on a specific set of topics and tasks. It is very simple, always changing language that has no written form. If a speaker was attempting to communicate with someone from another era, it would be Very Difficult (DC25) at first, but would eventually become clear for everyone involved. (None)
  • Thieves Cant: In use by the various organizations that operate in some way in the “night trade.” It would be wrong to say that there is a single universal “Thieves Cant” it is instead that there are a number of common elements and for those that speak the language it is a simple enough process to pick up on each new city or region’s nuances (DC10 check until done so). Thieves Cant does have a written form, as well as its own version of Fingerspeech, but both are limited to very simple content – mostly for identification and signaling and little else. Filled with slang and nuance, if a speaker was attempting to communicate with someone from another era, it would be Very Difficult (DC25) at first, but would eventually become clear for everyone involved. (Glyphic)
  • Tinkertalk: Spoken fluently by the wandering Tinkerfolk it is a patios of every other language found in the realms, human and non-human. Many other travelers, innkeeps, and merchants learn a few phrases to aid in the dealings with the Tinkers and occasionally each other as well. Sometimes mistaken the language for that of the Traderfolk, that is far more jealously guarded by an equally itinerant but for more reclusive and private people. There is no written form, and it would Very Difficult (DC25) to Nearly Impossible (DC30) to understand anyone more than a handful of generations apart in time. (Glyphic)
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