Nonhuman Languages

Overview of Language Mechanics

Non-Human Languages: These are the most common of the languages spoken by non-human races. The Old versions of these tongues often date back to the time of the White Empire, while the Ancient versions date back to the time of the Sundering – prior to this most races used either Demonspeech (see below) or just simply spoke in whatever magical language most suited their nature, their mood, or the circumstance. Unless otherwise noted, and with Demonspeech being the obvious exception, knowledge of one of these languages provides no knowledge of any of the others.

  • The Dark Tongue: Spoken by the Goblin, Troll, and Giant races this language is a corrupted mixture of Faerie, Dwarrune, and Kens (Skilled speakers of those languages have a DC10 check to understand or speak the Dark Tongue). It is a constantly changing language, 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. The written form is simple and incapable of conveying complex concepts and uses a mixture of different pictograms and glyphs both drawn and inspired by its root languages. (Glyphic)
  • Demonspeech: An unfortunate colloquial term for a style of speech most commonly found among a variety of supernatural creatures and spirits (including angels, devils, demons, dragons, many elementals, etc). This speech is actually a form of highly limited psychic and spiritual awareness that allows the speaker to understand intent and meaning from any type of formal communication and also communicate in return – often being considered a native speaker. It is possible for mortals to learn, though it requires being skilled in True Speech, High Kens, Enochian, El’aum, and Sh’aur, as well as having one or more Arcane, Divine, or Psychic levels. Levels of 6+, as well as being skill in the True Runes, allows understanding of written language as well though they are not able to write in the language being written. There is no written form of Demonspeech nor are there any “Old” or “Ancient” versions of it.
  • Dwarrune: This is the ancestral language of the Dwarves, the Dwimmervolk, and the Dwarrow. It is considered a deep secret of their people and few outside of those three races speak or read the language. Steeped in tradition and ceremony, Old Dwarrune dates back to before the Sundering, while Ancient Dwarrune dates back to Ages of Creation. Its written form is predictable set of runic futharks, though many dwarves also learn True Runes. (E)
  • Faerie: The language of the creatures and the peoples of Fae, it is used by the Elves and their various cousins who inhabit both Faerie and the Mortal Realms. Old Faerie dates back to before the Sundering, while Ancient Faerie stretches back to the Ages of Creation. The written form is a beautiful and complex series of logograms and glyphs that are more art-form than writing, that results in +5 DC to read, +10DC for non-native speakers. (C)
  • High Elven: The formal language of the elves, few aside from them speak it to any significant degree – it is mainly used in formal situations and confined to the learned among them. The Sha’Achtar of the Shadowlands speak Old High Elven, with a subtly different syntax (+5DC), which predates the Sundering, while Ancient High Elven is as old as Ancient Faerie. It is difficult for non-natives to speak or read (+5DC) and uses the same script as Faerie. (C)
  • Kens: The language of the Shadowlands, held and used in common by all those who live there under the reign of the High Lord. This includes the Anakim, the Daemons, the Dwarrow, the Erynine, the Sh’Achtar, and the Sh’dai. Old Kens dates back to the time of the White Empire, while Ancient Kens dates back to before the Sundering. It has its own relatively simple and direct writing system. (S)
  • ‘Khar: A guttural languages of growls, hisses, coughs and snarls used by the Rakshasa, the mythical race of cannibalistic beast-folk from the Wars of Binding. ‘Khar is Moderately Difficult (DC15) for non-Rakshasa (or Goblin- and Troll-Kin) to speak due to its harsh treatment of the throat and vocal chords. The written version uses the Istarian alphabet. (S)
  • The Old Tongue: The other close relative to Senzar, the Old Tongue is a somewhat corrupted and idiosyncratic version of Senzar that is spoken by the ancient race of Beastmen (who while human are often considered non-human by their cousins). They can understand, at Disadvantage, Senzar and Tsath-Yo, but the opportunities for doing so are uncommon at best. There is no written form, just simple pictoglyphs and signs used as trail-markers and other forms of graphic, static warning. Speakers outside of the Beastmen are rare, though not unheard of – mostly being travelers who have reason to travel through the Wall of the World, the Ice Wastes, and other old wild places. (Glyphic)
  • Serth: The language of the Serpent Kings and their degenerate descendants, the Lizard Men, Serth is a sibilant language that has changed little over the ages. Old Serth dates back to the time of the Second City, while Ancient Serth dates back to the time of the Serpathian Empire. It is Difficult (DC15) for non-Serpent Folk to speak, though speakers of Serth have Advantage when trying to understand Ti-Ann. Serth has a complex written language of thousands of complicated glyphs such that it is a +5DC to be able to read and write it. (C)
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