Khoisa Family of Languages

Overview of Language Mechanics

The Khoisa Family: An ancient language of poets, warriors, and mages, the languages of the Khoisa family are uniformly beautiful to listen to and lend themselves to marvelous songs and music. Found largely across the ocean in the environs of the Kistathian Empire, the Khoisan languages are written in a beautiful Khistathian calligraphy that has a +5 DC for individuals who are not natives to understand – in a similar quirk, there are no penalties for skilled readers of one of the Khoisa family languages to understand to understand the writings of another of the Khoisa languages. Due to the long history of the language and the rich magical culture of Kistath many mage learn Kistathian in order to benefit from the lore than has been accumulated and preserved in that language.

  • Islander: Spoken by the peoples of the islands between the Heartlands and Kistath, as well as along the coasts of Ith, Islander has become a patois of Na’Dene, Kistathian, and Ti-Ann. During the time of the Black Empire the people of Khoisa were among the most honored of sailors and explorers, finding many of the settlements that had already been founded by the Ithians in their own age-long travels. They travelled far and wide and were responsible for the vast majority of settlements on the islands in the great oceans. As such, individuals speaking Islander and Kistathian or Ti-Ann can speak to each other with a DC15 check, and Islander uses Khoisan calligraphy for written communication with the result of there being only a +5 DC penalty for written communication between readers skilled in one. Speakers of Kistathian gain no bonus trying to speak or read it – the Ancient form is far more influenced by Shian and uses Shianese glyphs instead of Khistathian calligraphy (which can be read by scholars of Ancient Shian with a DC25 check, though understanding will be poor). (C)
  • Kistathian: The language of the Kistathian people and empire, Kistathian is a poetic and fluid language that has been spoken since the days of the White Empire. The values of Kistathian culture have helped preserve the written and spoken language in a somewhat stable form – far more stable than is found is languages like Westron which have change dramatically over far less time. (C)
  • Medjai: In the deserts plains of Kistath the Medjai nomads roam far and free, speaking their own language and keeping their own customs. Scholars suggest that Medjai is the purest of the Khoisa languages given the often reclusive nature of the Medjai nomads and their reputation for fiercely repelling enemies and outsiders. This theory is supported by the strong differences between Medjai and Sautani – there is a +5 DC penalty to translating between the two. Medjai is also a primarily spoken language, attempting to write, read, or transcribe it garners an additional +5 DC penalty. (C)
  • Sautani: The primary language of Old Tierna and Tiernaese colonies, Sautani is a complex and subtle language that is strongly gendered and has a deeply hierarchical structure of imperatives and supplications. Since the Mad God’s War and the destruction of large portions of Tierna it has become a fiercely defended piece of the Tiernaese people’s past. (C)
Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: