ARMAGEDDON
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Languages
* Allundean, Elves
* Anyar, Humans
* Bendune, Humans
* Cavilish, Humans
* Heshrak, Gith
* Kentu, Halflings
* Nrizkt, Mantises
* Mirukkim, Dwarves
* Sirihish, Humans
* Tatlum, Humans

* Return to the General Documentation


There are ten languages in the Known World: nine demihuman tongues plus the language of the mantises. Of the demihuman languages, there are five human tongues and one each of the dwarves, elves, halflings, and gith. The languages have various relations to each other, and more can be learned by searching the help on that language's name.

Sirihish is considered to be the "common" tongue of the realms, and is typically spoken as a standard in the city-states.

Languages are special skills which can only be learned by listening to those who can speak the language better than you. The learning curve is highly bent, so that one will require a very long time to finally understand the basics of a language, but then will learn very quickly.


Allundean

The elvish speech is known as Allundean to its speakers. It was first recorded as a language in during Year 70 of the Dragon's Reign, during that time when the Dragon's servants collected vast reserves of knowledge of the world for the [now lost] Library which he was intent on constructing. It is likely that Allundean existed for one or two centuries before that time as a complete language. Before that time, the elvish tribes were too small and too far apart on the outskirts of the Empire of Man for any linguistic conventions to be established.

With the Dragon's arrival in the Known World and the subsequent and speedy fall of the Empire, the elvish tribes banded together for a short while (perhaps two hundred years). While closely grouped, the tribal tongues grew more and more related, eventually becoming what is now recognized as Allundean.

This language shares the peculariarity of Bendune and Cavilish in that seven vowels are used for speaking, but no vowels are used in the written form of the language.


Anyar

The speech of the northern tribes folk, collectively known as the Anyali, is called Anyar. It is a soft, slurred language punctuated with whistles, pops and tongue clicks, and seems to bear little to no relationship to other languages of the Known World, except for words such as sirihish trade terms, which have crept into it.

There is no known written version of Anyar, with the exception of a few scattered runes used to leave camp markers.


Bendune

The language of the nomadic tribesmen of the Known World is called Bendune. It bears some resemblance to the elvish speech, and even more to the language known as Cavilish. The real history of linguistic development is most likely that the tribal tongues became united at Gol Krathu several Ages before the arrival of the Dragon into a more primitive form of Bendune. It was not until many years later that the elvish and Cavilish tongues were certain to have existed.

While most contemporary desert tribes are composed of refugees from the city-states or of elvish nomads, the Allundean and Sirihish languages are far more common in the wilderness that they once were. On the fringes of the Known World, however, most still speak Bendune.

The richness of the language derives from its highly concrete nature, coupled with an incredible array of sentence structures to describe various states of being. Different nouns thus typically yield entirely different sentences. Bendune follows in the nomadic language convention of using seven vowels for speaking and no vowels for writing.


Cavilish

Part of the so-called "nomadic" group of languages, this tongue was evidently descended directly from Bendune. It shares most of the same characteristics such as vowel usage, but possesses a sentence- structuring approach more similar to that of Sirihish or Tatlum.

The legendary dune traders of ages past, once travelling merchants of nomadic heritage who spoke Bendune, settled in the city-states at Gol Krathu and Vrun Driath somewhere in the neighborhood of one thousand years after the Dragon's departure from the Known World. At once they began to adopt the languages of their customers, who spoke mostly Sirihish. Within their homes, however, they continued to use their native Bendune speech. With the passage of generations, the younger family members, eager to assimilate more fully into the culture of the city-states, made increasingly larger use of Sirihan language structures. And, as time wore on, their native Bendune became so changed that it was categorized by scholars as its own language.

Because of the history of Cavilish, it is sometimes referred to as the "Merchant's Tongue," since it is used almost exclusively by the current members and owning families of Merchant Houses.


Heshkrak

Heshrak is the language of the gith. It appears to have been descended somehow from the Allundean tongue, though where the split in the languages would have occurred is too difficult to determine--undoubtedly it was an extremely long time ago.

Because of the hostile nature of gith culture to other demihumans, it has been of the greatest challenge to compile any useful information on the language which they speak.

What is known is that the written and oral aspects of the language are far more integrated than any other in the Known World, where nineteen phoenetics are used in both forms, and vowels (of which there are five) appear to be standard and identically used.

The most probable history is the common folklore which holds that the gith are a forgotten tribe of elves who lived beyond the Known World for some several eons and evolved under extraordinarily harsh conditions into their present form. Requiring a strong sense of culture to assist them in maintaining their lives in the face of a high death rate, their written language was greatly developed. A strong central culture would also explain the lack of fragmentation this language has suffered.


Kentu

The language of the halflings is called Kentu. It is a fabulously diverse and rich language which is very foreign to all other tongues in the Known World. Its history is entirely unknown, and it appears to have absolutely nothing in common with other ways of speaking, which puts to shame all theories of the one "mother tongue" that some have argued was the progenitor to all subsequent languages.

The Kentu language uses a staggering twelve vowels and thiry-one phonetics. There does not appear to be a written form of this language, possibly due to the powerful ties which halfling cultures enjoys. This tongue relies heavily on cultural metaphor, and thus is difficult for others to comprehend. This reliance causes many halflings a great deal of trouble when learning the languages of other races.


Mirrukim

The language of the dwarves is known as Mirukkim by its speakers. It apparently emerged as a language at about the time of the Dragon's departure from the Known World. Before that time the linguistic conventions were scattered, non-uniform rules used by handfuls of people at any given instant.

There are striking resemblances between Mirukkim and very old human languages (predating Tatlum). It is not unreasonable that the Mirukkim tongue was once a unified language similar to Kenessesh or some other extremely ancient human speech. The dominance of the Empire of Man (during which dwarves were most probably used as slaves) and the arrival of the Dragon quite possibly caused much of the fragmentation of Mirukkim. That it ever re-appeared is strong testimony to the dwarvish dedication to long, hard tasks.

The written form uses identical syllabic rules as does the spoken version, which is also similar to Kenessesh and Old Tatlum. There are five vowels in each form, using only six consonant symbols decorated by various accentuations.


Nrizkt

The language of the mantises is called Nrizkt. It has absolutely nothing in common with the demihuman languages, being composed of various clicks, whines, and pops which are almost impossible for demihumans to produce.

All evidence suggests that Nrizkt has been in existence since long before even Old Tatlum. The mantis tribes were virutally undisturbed by the Empire of Man and the reign of the Dragon as they did not live in stable civilizations until very recently. There is almost no contact between the mantis tribes and demihumans, and when such contact occurs there is often misunderstanding (the mantises may well assume any ambassadors from demihuman lands are in fact the evening meal). These circumstances appear to have preserved the Nrizkt language throughout the ages, and will no doubt continue to do so until a distant time in the future.


Sirihish

The language called Sirihish is the "common" tongue of nearly all humans and is the unifying cultural element among all races of the Known World. In fact, many historians consider the societies of Allanak and Tuluk to be a single society because of their common linguistic traits (i.e. the use of sirihish).

Sirihish is quite obviously derived from Late Tatlum, which was the bastardized form of the ancient speech left to the humans after the Dragon's departure from the realms of mortals. It possess the largest vocabulary, is broadest in aspect and in potential meaning, and is the most capable of abstraction of all the known languages.


Tatlum

Tatlum is the ancient language from which Sirihish was derived. Though for a time after its demise among the populace it was spoken among scholars, it is now spoken almost exclusively by the templars of Allanak and Tuluk. Indeed, for anyone to speak this language other than a templar is a crime punishable by death in both of the city-states.


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