Abridged History of the 10th Age
Arunë is a world divided; the world encompasses many various cultures, each of which have their own customs and language. As far as the Vale-lands go, language is fairly uniform, but once one sets out into the wider world, a confusing array of tongues present themselves.
As a further note, many people of Arunë share a lettering system developed by the First Men of Miles. This leads most northern languages to be easily learned in their written form; thus, someone proficient in a Milean language automatically gains read/write any other Milean languages they learn.
The Milean Language Family
- North Varan. Related to the language used by the fallen kingdom of Teral (Old North Varan), this dialect of Varan is now spoken by it’s descendants, particularly Valelanders.
- Proper Varan. Also called High Varan, this language is used in Thyrnesse and is only a stones’ throw away from North Varan in structure. As such, anyone who becomes fluent in North Varan may also become fluent in Proper Varan for free. As this language is descended from Old Varan and through there from Archaic Varan, this is the common trade-tongue of the North. Merchants speak it, and any reasonably educated person in the North is likely to be bi-lingual in their home tongue as well as Proper Varan.
- Dorlic Varan. Spoken, of course, in Dorlan, this is a relative of North and Proper Varan (so much so that those who speak either of those tongues can understand Dorlic but not speak in it) that is commonly used throughout the Moonholme Bay region. While most educated folk in Dorlan also know North Varan and Eylic, Dorlic Varan is by far the most prominent tongue there.
- West Varan. Spoken along the Sun Shores, West Varan is descended from Imperial Varan along the same lines as the current “High” Varan, save it has integrated many elements of the native western languages. Simplification of the complex High Varan forms and major vowel shifts have rendered the two languages mutually unintelligible.
- Old, Archaic, and Imperial Varan. Old Varan is simply a more ancient varient of the currently spoken common tongue of Proper Varan. Archaic Varan is the language of the Seventh and Eighth Ages, spoken in the heartlands while Imperial Varan is the speech of the Second Empire. The language of the Fourth Age (and thus the First Empire) has been lost.
- Eylic. Spoken by the Eylas of Weyland as well as the people of Agstowe, Eylic is less strongly related to Varan, and thus requires separate training and study to understand. Though Eylic utilizes the alphabet of the First Men, it is structurally closer to the dwarven Ordric languages. However, many people who speak Eylic speak a variant of Varan as a secondary language.
- Llyric. Spoken by the peoples of the Free Cities, Llyris, and Stonemark (along with several regions of Clauland, which is split between Llyric and Eylic), this language is closely related to the goblin-tongue known as Murathus which is spoken beyond the Straights of the Moon. Llyric has been most heavily influenced by Eylic, developing a close kinship with that language. For this reason, most speakers of Llyric are bi-lingual, also speaking Eylic. The same is not necessarily true of native Eylic speakers.
- Murathas The goblin tongue spoken by Moon Goblins and Hobgoblins, Murathas is unrelated to Haktish or the Night Tongue, languages that were instilled upon the goblins by their slavery under the Trollish kingdoms.
The Gigantine Languages
The languages descend from those spoken by the giants tend to dominate the far north, mixing with those of the dwarves. There are several disparate groups of Gigantine, each having spawned a general language-family. In some instances, Gigantine tongues have mixed with Trollish ones – these are used particularly by Ogres and other demi-Giants.
- Ogartic. This is the tongue spoken by the Ogres and other demi-giants (note that even some trolls speak Ogartic) and is a harsh tongue related to ancient Omylos.
- Gnollish. A variant of Ogartic, it is unclear when or how this language was disseminated amongst gnollish tribes. Most likely affected by their interaction with the ogres of the North and the fact that their place-of-origin was the extreme Northlands. Gnollish bears a close relationship to Haktish as well, due to the interaction between gnolls, orcs, and goblins and most gnolls speak Haktish in addition to their own tongue.
- Attalon. The language of pixies, sprites, atomies, griggs, and other small faerie-folk from the Night Age. This is its own language which has been HEAVILY influenced by Golnian, Operan, and Valelan.
Oprani Languages: This subset of the Gigantine tree includes the languages of men that have descended from the gigantine tongues, particularly those of the Valelans. Due to the Valeli interaction with dwarves in the Third and Fourth Ages, much of the Oprani languages bear a strong Harnholmr influence.
- Aideaona. Related to elvish, dwarvish, and vanished Iss’an, Aideaona is spoken in the Untamed Regions, the Aideon, Thalasson and Koraki.
- Golnian. This language is based both in form and alphabet on Second Kingdom Gigantine. IT is a human tongue, spoken by the men and women of Golnia, near Umbrinol.
- Operan. Closely related to Ogartic, Operan is spoken in the kingdom of Opria and the lands that lie directly around it. It is a close relative of Golnian, and shares many cognates.
- Valelan. Spoken in the Skin-changer kingdoms of the far north; related to Ogaratic through close descent.
The Talën Language Family
The language tree used by most elves in the north, Talën utilizes a modified Milean alphabet. The elvish language has changed remarkably little over the past centuries (probably due to the long lifespan of each individual elf) meaning that many ancient Talën histories are still comprehensible.
- Ävedic Spoken by the elves of Oronë, Ävedic is the purest form of Talën in the north, descended directly from the so-called Mother Tongue of elves. This language is also spoken by most Anuneiä as a secondary cross-elven language.
- Ävestic. Spoken by Dosä of the north, this is a degraded form of Talën that has warped over the ages. It contains a disproportionate amount of vocabulary relating to the forest and to plants. Avestic is not closely related to Avedic or Sole, and thus speaking this language does not grant any particular insight into the other two. However, it IS related to the dialects of the Refusers and the Reavers, granting a moderate understanding of those tongues.
- Solia. Closely related to Avedic, Sole is the primary tonuge of the Anuneia settlements. The largest differences are in pronounciation and vocabulary, though there are several formative differences as well. While Oroneia don’t necessarily speak Sole, Anuneia DO speak Avedic.
- Valtamä. Spoken along the Sturm Shores and the Coast of the Sun, Valtamä is a common language of the West formed from debased Solë conjugation. It was spread due to the many merchants from Vesimä that traveled throughout the region. Those who speak Solë can often understand Valtamä, though cannot necessarily reply in kind.
- Roskat. The many dialects of the Refusers, untainted by interaction with the languages of the First Men, all fall under a heading known as Roskat. It has evolved down quite a different track than the mainstream Elvish tongues like Sole or Avedic. However, it bears some similarity to Avestic, and speakers of Roskat can understand a good dela of Avestic speech.
- Mäidic. Also called the Arcane Language, Mäidic is a preserved version of the language developed by the First Men and passed on to the elves. This language is spoken by spellcasters the world over, as it is what allows the manipulation of energy through magic. It is often said that the act of speaking and acting are united in Mäidic.
The Ordric Language Family
Ordric is a family of spoken languages used by the dwarves (and developed independently of the language of the First Men before the two races had any contact) which utilizes a series of runic scripts that were developed for carving into stone (thus making them highly linear). Knowing how to read and write one Ordric language does not imply knowledge of the phonetic and rune-system of any other.
- Orthr This is the most common language spoken by the dwarves, and serves to unite the entire dwarven race, as almost every dwarf speaks it at least as a secondary tongue.
- Snallr This is a northern trade-tongue spoken in the Changer Kingdoms. Supposedly a blending of Orthr and Valelan brought into usage by the landing of the dwarf explorer Olfar in the Fourth Age.
- Malic This Ordric language is spoken by the gnomes; it uses the same alphabet and diacritical marks as Runic/Orthr but has a unique grammatical structure that is unrelated to either. Being able to speak or read/write Malic does not imply familiarity with any of the other Ordric languages.
- Western Orthr. This tongue is spoken both by the dwarves of the Sun Shores and Craftsmans Reach as well as many of the men there. A variant version (known as Durgr Orth) is spoken by gnomes of that region.
- Runic The written language of the dwarven peoples, Runic is shared amongst every settlement. It has no spoken equivalent, though the alphabet is re-used to create the other languages. Rather, Runic uses a discreet set of religious rules and is primarily used to engrave craftswork (both with magical seals and signatures of the maker) and to write religious texts.
The Khemren Language Family
Khemren was a precursor language to the Milean tongues and was spoken by the relatives of the First Men that settled the desert lands in the south. Thus, many southern kingdoms (particularly the Dominions of Ishtria) use descendants of the Khemren language.
- True Khemren. Never used except for ceremonial purposes and mostly forgotten, True Khemren is the closest language to that written on the Pillar of Miles that remains extant in the world. Now a monumental language for death-memorials of the Ishtrians.
- Desert Khemri.
- Trident Khemret.
- Ishtrian Khemret.
- South Mugharian.
The Kuilrede Language Family
These tongues are related to the ancestral Kuilrede speak of the Greensward. Most hobbits speak the local language of the larger countryside in which they live. However, many also speak a variant of Kuilrede amongst themselves. Kuilrede is mostly comprehensible by speakers no matter what version of it they are listening to. However, responding in kind can be an issue. Thus, anyone who speaks a variant of Kuilrede can UNDERSTAND all other strains.
- Dalrede. Spoken by the halflings of the Vale-lands, it is sometimes used by the gnomes of that region as well. This version of the halfling language is colloquial and not very ordered. The normal rules of grammar are relaxed, and many phrases and conjugations are shortened.
- Walrede. Spoken by halflings of Seagard and Thyrnesse as well as those in the northern regions of Agstowe and Teral.
- Kjelrede. The halflings of the Sun Shores speak Kjelrede, a less complex version of the language that has been heavily influenced by its exposure to West Varan.
The Trollish Languages
These tongues are spoken by goblins, Trolls, and all goblin-kin. They have splintered since the original Troll Night-Tongue, which has long since been lost by the Trolls (though texts are still sometimes written in it to occlude their meaning).
- Haktish. This language is a descendant of the Night-Tongue which was spoken amongst the goblin slaves of the old Troll kingdoms. There are hundreds of variants of this language, many mutually unintelligible. When one comes upon an orc or goblin, it is likely that his language of origin is some form of Haktish. There are hundreds of variations of this language, but almost all are mutually intelligible.
- Elazik. The language of orcs; many orcs speak Haktish and Elazik, and the languages are related but not interchangeable. Leaders of orcs are more likely to know Haktish, as they interact with other creatures. Few goblins bother to learn this slave-tongue. Elazik has thousands of variations; there are as many versions of the language as there are tribes of orcs. Generally, they are able to communicate with one another, though that is not even necessarily true.
The Wyrm Tongues
Few of these languages are spoken in this day and age, except by Wyrms. Other creatures that speak Wyrm-Tongues include Kobolds.
Ancient Aluran, Aluran.
The Zhongguon Language Family
- Zhongguo. The trade language of Diaojiong, Zhongguo is spoken by all of its merchants and even some people in Mugharia. It has influenced Murathas slightly through Ugudun and the traders that land in the Moon Kingdoms and has an extremely strong influence on Moon Ogartic, to the point where it is now considered to be a Zhongguon language.
- Moon Ogartic. The language of the Moon Ogres; this was once similar to Northern Ogartic, but centuries of lying directly in the path of Zhongguon traders has given it a strange south-eastern flavor and many of the normal conjugations have been rebuilt into something resembling Zhongguon.