The Parliament of Hours
There are a plethora of languages spoken within the State Isles: when you take the Linguist feat, you may pick from one of the following Languages, or a different language if you have the GM’s approval.
The State Standard language is also known as Common, Eclectic Common, or Trade Common. It is an amalgam of many of the various languages spoken within the State Isles, including Brusich, Capetian, and Occitorio. Presumably, the language arose naturally when trade amongst the various State Isles began to increase, out of the necessity for a common language that each individual culture could understand. As a result, State borrows from (as well as influences) the various “official” languages of the State Isles, and is understood by almost everyone within the region, as well as in many countries outwith the State Isles, owing to the region’s capacity for trade and exploration.
Brusich (“BROOJS-sick”) is primarily spoken by those State Isles that were under rule from the former Brusich Empire. It is unique among the languages spoken in the State Isles inasmuch as an outside cultural force is very apparent its vocabulary and grammar, which includes words etymologically similar to those found in Breqaer/Mrosrajy, and cultures around the Arctic Belt, owing in part to a mix in royal families from these countries. As such, Brusich is harder to understand than most State-like languages.
Capetian (“kah-PAY-shan”) is spoken by the islands under rule from the former Capetian Kingdom, and consists of light, fluid speech that is considered elegant by most other cultures within the State Isles – in fact, in areas where it is familiar – such as in Montmarais – it is considered a mark of high intellect and cultural standing to speak (and more importantly write) Capetian.
Occitorio (“ox-ih-TOE-ree-oh”) was not the lingual product of a particular State Isle kingdom like its sister languages Brusich and Capetian, but developed around a small archipelago system that was never occupied by Capetian rule despite its proximity to the kingdom. This archipelago remained independant and unruled by an overall dictator, allowing the language that would become Occitorio to evolve and diversify. As a result, it bears a great deal of similarity to Capetian, but is often regarded as sounding more “base” and “vulgar”.
The northern countries of Mrosraju and Breqavitch both use the same language, but in each, there are minor differences — Mrosrajy (“mros-RAI-yay”) avoids the use of “hard” sounds, and is written in a more fluid style, whereas the Breqaer (“BREH-kerr”) tongue is more forceful, gruff-sounding. Understanding one “dialect” of the language allows one to understand the other, but it is considered a mark of significant disrespect to use Breqaer to speak to a denizen of Mrosraju, and vice versa.
Bocinai (“BOE-see-NAI”) is a collection of languages spoken among various tribes in the the southeastern country of Maiain, recently occupied by a coalition of independent city-states among the State Isles. Bocinai is noted for its “heavy” and “hollow”-sounding phonology, being that native speakers tend to speak with much more breath and pacing than speakers of State languages. Bocinai is written largely phonetically.
Albarlat (“al-barr-LAT”) is spoken primarily by the Nideharab (“nee-DAY-HAH-rab”) culture located far to the south-east of the State Isles, close to Maiain, and is also occupied by State culture as is that society. Albarlat is an ancient language which is related to Aasimot and Barazhad, and it is elevated within the society to an artform in and of itself: there exist “linguist-artists” within Nideharab whose art is to enunciate particular historical or cultural poems and passages in particular fashions before a crowd. The written word is given similar treatment, with scribes and authors being something of a prominent and priveliged position.
Logiston (“LOE-gih-ston”) is a kind of language used by Warforged, some types of machines, and the people that work with them (such as Artificers). All modern Warforged are created with this language “built in”, to the extent that they immediately understand it when it is communicated to them. Warforged can “speak” the language by transmitting pulses of energy not unlike radio communication between one another (resulting in a completely non-verbal form of communication), but there is a spoken form of the language available to Artificers that allows for communication between a Warforged and non-warforged units. Similarly, there are devices that can transcieve Logiston and interpret it into other languages. Logiston is a very rudimentary constructed language that lacks vocabulary for concepts that were previously considered “unhealthy” for Warforged workers to have, such as notions of divinity, identity, and so on, but efforts are being made to introduce and standardise new vocabulary for these ideas — for the moment, however, Logiston must make use of loanwords from other languages in order to convey them, which depends upon the individual Warforged being able to comprehend these other languages.
Llanmyfyllyfwyn (Old Elven)
Llanmyfyllyfwyn (“lan-MIH-fay-LIFF-win”) is an archaic language supposedly spoken by an ancient elven culture that is still passed down amongst many Elven and Eladrin families today. Not all elves speak Llanmyfyllyfwyn, however, and greeting an elf using the language when they have not been taught it can cause anything from embarrassment to hostility. Within the last century, a controversial “New Elven” dialect has arisen from various sources that supposedly seeks to “modernise” the language, taking what was formerly considered an unpronouncable language and simplifying the grammar, spelling, and vocabulary; examples of such modernised spellings and grammar changes are “Llanmyfyllyfwyn” being changed to “Lynne Myvel Elfen”, the name “Afonalaw” to “Ilfinyllor” and “Afon Gwneuthurwr” to “Elfenothyr”. Proponents of this dialect tend to include Eladrin seeking a connection to their ancestral heritage, as well as displaced city elves and half-elves — in recent years, even humans and other races have begun using the new dialect on the assumption that it is a legitimate development of Llanmyfyllyfwyn, and using it to lend a more “mysterious” air to various things – especially things aimed at elves themselves, which, to proponents of Old Elven, tend to think of as being kitschy and culturally improper, as many believe the new dialect to be anything from a “diluted” version of the language to outright bastardisation. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to find human children with supposed “elven” names such as Eolantyr, Hanthiriel, and Lyssyria, despite these being impossible linguistic constructs in Llanmyfyllyfwyn.
Ket Er Da (Dwarven)
Ket Er Da is spoken primarily by dwarves and their associated races (duergar and azer), although it is not unknown for some people outside the culture to speak it. The language has some influence from Northern languages like Mrosrajy/Breqaer, but is unique linguistically for its distinct phonology; for example, some constructs in the language require deep, baritone vibration in the vocal chords to be pronounced correctly, and for some speakers (including many dwarves themselves), this is biologically impossible, resulting in a stigma against them for being “undwarven” and closing off a sizable amount of vocabulary to them.
Iokhar (“YO-karr”) is a language spoken primarily by draconic races, including dragonborn and, according to myth, by dragons themselves. There is little surviving evidence of how the language was actually spoken before the collapse of the Iokharic empire, and so most of what has come to be known as Iokhar is an attempted reconstruction of the language based on findings from within the remnants of the empire as well as the language passed down through dragonborn families.
Aasimot (“AH-zih-mote”) is considered to be “the language of the gods” by scholars of magic and religion, and as such is never used in everyday parlance within the cultures that utilise it (such as Maiain and Nideharab). Nonetheless, the religion is used by clerics, paladins, invokers, and similarly religious figures as a means by which to show respect to their deities. Not all religious figures utilise Aasimot, however — many cultures are unaware of the existence of the language, or else utilise common parlance or their own religious tongues in their practices. A superstition of dubious accuracy states that when divine beings speak Supernal, anyone listening to the message instinctively understands it, as though it had been spoken in their own language.
Barazhad (“bah-ra-ZJAD”) is purportedly the “language of creation”, the tongue that was spoken in order to bring the world into manifestation, and the method of communication employed by the Primordials. Barazhad grew alongside the language of Aasimot, and enjoys very similar cultural myths and legends that its sister does – some of these include that merely speaking the “true name” of an thing can bring it into existence, and that reciting a person’s “true name” will give the speaker control over that person.
Iber Resh (Abyssal)
Iber Resh (“EE-burr RESH”) is the language of devils, although its exact source is unknown; some claim it to be a corruption of Barazhad (indicating a potential syncretism between the concept of “evil” within religions being equivalent to the Primordials), while others suggest that Barazhad stems from a form of Aasmiot (which hints at the problem of evil being addressed by “evil gods” rather than the Primordials). In any case, the language has now become synonymous with evil and depravity; many creatures considered “monsters” by civilisation, such as Gnolls, speak forms of Abyssal, strengthening the cultural idea that it is a cursed tongue.
Wolshoon (“woel-SHOON”) is the language of the primal world, employed by those who have a connection with some aspect of the natural order of life. It has often been compared to Barazhad in terms of usage, but while Barazhad is used in reference to primordials, Wolshoon is used in reference to primal spirits, the very essence of the world itself, rather than those who created or shaped it. Similarly to Aasimot and Barazhad, Wolshoon is rarely used in common parlance, but is instead employed by druids and shamans in their practices. Technically speaking, there is no one language singularly known as Wolshoon — instead, the word is used to describe the act of communing with the primeval world in various forms.
“Deep Speech” is the epithet given to a collection of multiple “languages” utilised by denizens of the Far Realm, and the people who wish to communicate with them. Technically speaking, there is no one uniform language spoken by the Far Realm’s inhabitants, nor is spoken communication the only type – instead, “Deep Speech” comprises a series of sounds, gestures, and even thoughts that are held in the minds of the participants during communication, not to mention various other modes of communication both unknown and incomprehensible to even the most learned linguists. Most humanoid creatures have access to a limited form of “Deep Speech” as they lack the necessary means by which to fully utilise the language (organs, knowledge of particular verbalised concepts, understanding of cultural gestures, among other things), and what little vocabulary is used during communication is a miniscule part of the overall whole. It is virtually impossible to create a primer for the language, as there is very little consensus as to how to it should be spoken, written, or interpreted — the only possible way of learning it is through direct communication with those who already know it.