Not all races speak Common. Instead, each race (noted above in this chapter) lists the language or languages members o that race speak by default. A character’s race may also indicate what bonus languages they may select as a result of their race.
BONUS LANGUAGES BY CLASS
In addition to these racial languages and bonus languages, characters may select the following bonus languages based on class:
Alchemist: Orichalan Cleric: Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal and any other language relevant to their chosen deity (such a Terran for an earth god, etc.)
Witch: Sylvan plus Infernal and Abyssal if evil or Celestial if good
BONUS LANGUAGES BY REGION
In addition to bonus languages listed above based on race and class, other bonus languages must be selected based on a character’s starting region, as listed in Table XX: Bonus Languages by Region. Several languages are allowed only if both the region and homeland (in parenthesis) are met. For example, a character from the Valon region may select Orichalan only if his homeland is Malikarr. Similarly, only a character from the Elphand Lands may select Ghinoran only if his homeland is Damkina.
LANGUAGES AND ALPHABETS
In addition to details on the language speakers and written forms (if any), also listed here for convenience are regions where the language is the Common Tongue. Note that there are no Common Tongues in the following regions: Elphand Lands, Valley of the Ancients, Desert Lands, Ebony Coast, and Ament Tundra.
Alryan [Common Tongue: Roglaras]: This is the Common Tongue of the City State of the Invincible Overlord and the Roglaras. It is based on the tongues spoken by the Tharbrian, Altanian, and other barbarian tribes that founded the City State, heavily assimilating elements of Viridian. In its modern form it is written using Balozkinarian Runic, a unique alphabet developed by the Warrior-King Balozkinar (he of the horribly inaccurate calendar). Prior to the late 40th century, Alryan was written with a wild array of different alphabets depending on the writer, though most used a variant of the Viridian alphabet, and so only sages who speak and read both Alryan and Viridian can read most City State documents before that era.
Altanian [Common Tongue: Altanis]: Spoken by the red-skinned barbarian Altanians, this language is predominant in the Altanian Peninsula and is pervasive among the common folk of the region of the City State. Altanian is historically not a written language, though it could be phonetically written using Balozkinarian Runic.
Amazon: This is the language of the Amazons. It is never taught to men; an Amazon would rather bite out her own tongue than let a man learn how to speak Amazon. It is only taught to fellow Amazons. It is an ancient tongue, though has been greatly diluted by the long years of wandering of the Amazon tribes. Each tribe has a distinct dialect. Like Altanian, it is a barbarian tongue, and has no specific written form, though some tribes adopt local alphabets for their own use.
Antillian: A common, modern version of Ancient Antillian, this language is spoken in and around the city of Antil and is used as their trade language, though more folk of the region speak Altanian rather than Antillian.
Avalonian [Common Tongue: Valon]: The language of the people of Valon, and the language of Avalonian wizards, Avalonian uses the strange Aquan alphabet.
Demonic: This is the common tongue of the Demonbrood and other denizens of the Demon Empires to the south. Though there are many other languages spoken there, this is the most common. Demonic uses the Demonic alphabet and is derived from the ancient language of the Markabs, who created and kept the demonbrood as a slave race in prehistory. Demonic is not to be confused with Abyssal, which is the actual language of Demonic outsiders from the Netherworld.
Dorin: Spoken by Dorins and by related desert peoples, such as the desert elves and other humans, Dorin has become somewhat of a trade language of the desert. It is the Common Tongue in the Infinite Desert west of the Wilderlands. In its written form, however, it uses the ancient and alien Ignan alphabet, so it is most commonly only spoken, except by Dorins.
Dunael: This language is a bastardization of elven and Alryan, with a few loan words from Druidic, spoken by the human woodmen and rangers of Dearthwood. It uses the Elven alphabet, though it is infrequently written.
Ghinoran [Common Tongue: Lenap, Sea of Five Winds, Ghinor, Silver Skein Isles, Ghinor Highlands, Southern Reaches]: Spoken by the peoples descended from the Ghinoran Successor States of ancient Kelnore, Ghinoran is spoken as the Common Tongue throughout most of the southern Wilderlands. Ghinoran uses a unique and complex alphabet known as Glyphis, which some claim is a simplified form of the complex Glyphic writing of ancient Kelnore.
Gishmesh [Common Tongue: Tarantis]: Spoken by both the Gishmesh and Paldorian tribes of Tarantis, Gishmesh uses the Tarantine alphabet, descended from misunderstood runes of ancient Kelnore. Gishmesh has been adopted by traders from Karak as the language of the Wilderlands.
Karakhan: This highly structured and complex language uses a system of glyphs and figures said to be handed down since the founding of the Kingdom of Karak by the First Dynasty more than 30 millennia ago. Karakhor, he written form of the language, is nearly impossible for non-native speakers to learn.
Karzulun: A cousin tongue of Karakhan, this language is spoken by the savage tribes south and east of Tarantis. There is no written form, though the tribal priests often use ancient pictograms found on large black stones in their religious ceremonies.
Orichalan [Common Tongue: Isles of the Blest]: This harsh language is said to be based on the speech of dragons. Though the Orichalan Dragon Lords have all but been extinguished, those of Orichalan blood have maintained the language, though they normally use it only among themselves, and in secret when not in their native lands. Orichalan uses the Draconic alphabet.
Skandik [Common Tongue: Isles of the Dawn]: The language of the Skandiks is a simple language that normally has very few shades of meaning, though they have dozens of words for “boat,” “water,” “axe,” and “blood,” each with a subtle distinction. Though they do not live near any dwarven homeland, at some point the Skandiks adopted Dwarven Runic as their alphabet.
Tharbrian: The Tharbrian language is the language of the nomad Tharbrian people and is a beautiful and musical language, despite the coarse nature of many of its speakers. Many ancient tales and songs were composed in Tharbrian. Tharbrian is historically not a written language, though it could be phonetically written using Balozkinarian Runic or, more readily, Tharbriana Script.
Tharbriana: This language is a close cousin of Tharbrian, as the Tharbriana are descended from settled Tharbrians. As Alryan borrowed heavily from Tharbriana, so too does modern Tharbriana borrow heavily from Alryan. There are also no few loan words from Elven, Dunael, and Skandik in the language. Tharbriana is written using the beautiful Tharbriana Script, developed by Tharbriana bards in the first centuries after the founding of Modron.
Tlalic: This strange language is a polyglot language based on the language of many races that have come to need a commonly understood magical language. It is not well suited to common conversation or trade, being more focused on precise descriptions of things arcane. The language is spoken almost exclusively among wizards in Tula and knowledge of it is a prerequisite to study in any of the schools there. Tlalic uses the Draconic alphabet.
Troll: In the Wilderlands the troll races have their own tongue, distinct and unrelated to Giant. It is a guttural tongue with much hooting and screeching. There are many different words for “eat,” each depending on context, and not a single word dealing with “hygiene,” “diplomacy,” or “love.” All Diplomacy checks made while speaking Troll suffer a -2 penalty. There is no written form, though the ancient predecessor of the tongue had a complex and rich written form.
Viridian [Common Tongue: Viridistan]: Spoken in and around Viridistan, Viridian (along with Tharbrian and Altanian) is the basis for the Alryan tongue. Viridian is the debased and common version of High Viridian, primarily based on the tongue of the ancient Wild Men who were conquered and later assimilated the True Viridians. Viridian is spoken by many merchants as Viridistan has for so long been a center of commerce. Viridian uses the Viridian alphabet, a variant of Infernal with influence from Aquan.
High Viridian: High Viridian is spoken by nobles of Viridistan. High Viridian itself is a debased form of Ancient Viridian, though unlike the completely bastardized Viridian tongue High Viridian remains based solidly on Ancient Viridian with merely borrowings from the ancient language of the Wild Men. High Viridian is spoken by the nobles and gentry of the Falling Empire; commoners who speak simple Viridian can usually make out what a speaker of High Viridian is saying when they are being patient and speak slowly. High Viridian uses the Infernal alphabet.
In addition to the modern living languages listed above, there are a number of ancient or dead languages that exist primarily in written form. They may be selected using the Read Language skill (they are not free through the Literacy or Educated feats). Learning to read an ancient language often has some prerequisites, which are discussed below in the description of the ancient languages. The primary prerequisite to learning an ancient or dead language is having access to a book or work large enough from which the ancient language can be studied (Judges discretion). It ordinarily takes one year to learn to read an ancient language given a proper source, unless one has a tutor who can teach the language, in which case the time equals the number of skill points spent in months. Unless otherwise noted, learning to read an ancient language requires spending 4 skill points on the Read Language skill, plus the time spent in study.
Ancient Antillian: Spoken by the extinct people of Antil, this language uses the Elven alphabet. To learn this language, in addition to having access to a book containing the language, one must know how to read Antillian. Sources of Ancient Antillian are plentiful and this is perhaps the easiest ancient language to learn. Many spells related to animals and plants and animal summoning can be found in texts written in Ancient Antillian.
Ancient Draconic: Spoken and written by dragons. A source text is nearly impossible to find. The primary source would be to be tutored by an ancient dragon directly, which brings its own difficulties. Dragon Disciples often seek to learn this language. Many powerful and ancient spells are written in Ancient Draconic. Reading Draconic is a prerequisite.
Ancient Viridian: One of the few languages on this list that is not quite dead, Ancient Viridian is spoken by the remaining Viridians (though there are only two) and by high priests of Armadad Bog during high rituals. Many religious tracts dedicated to Armadad Bog are in Ancient Viridian, so securing a number of books from which the language can be learned is less difficult than with other ancient languages—though such books are not for sale and priests of the god hunt any person stealing such works. Ancient Viridian uses the Infernal alphabet with a strange Aquan influence. To learn Ancient Viridian, a character must first be able to read Viridian, Infernal, and Aquan.
Auld Trollish: Remnants of this ancient tongue can be found upon ages-worn stelae throughout the Wilderlands from easternmost Karak to the Sunset Isles and from the Great Glacier to the shores of the Searing Seas. Modern trolls have little to do with these text-ridden stones, and often consider them taboo when they consider them at all. Sages find what little they can decipher from them to be most disturbing indeed. Auld Trollish is a difficult tongue to grasp, requiring 6 skill points to learn.
Elder Tongue: The language of the ancient race said to have populated the Wilderlands. The alphabet of the Elder Tongue is Galactic, an alien alphabet not designed for human pronunciation. This language can only be learned if a character has a rank in Knowledge (eldritch arcana) and can read Draconic, Terran, Aquan, Ignan, and Auran. Several ancient artifacts written in the Elder Tongue are reported to exist that hold the secrets of epic magic.
Kelnoran: This ancient language is highly complex and uses the near-indecipherable language of Glyphic on which the Ghinoran alphabet of Glyphis is said to be based. To learn to read Kelnoran, one must first speak and read Ghinoran. One must also have access to a source text. This will prove the largest barrier as few surviving works are written in Kelnoran, though it is rumored that the library at Damkina has a collection of such tomes
Logii: This language is the logical language of the ancient Philosophers based on pure reason. It is written in a precise and unique mathematical alphabet called Physik. Most tracts written in this language were destroyed in the War of the Pious and Philosophers. Learning to read Logii takes 6 skill points due to its cryptic nature and razor-sharp logic unless the student possesses 10 ranks in Knowledge (physical universe).
Markab: This language is altogether alien, and often uses pictograms. The spoken language is written in Ancient Demonic, an alphabet from which the modern Demonic language is derived. Learning to read Markab requires 6 skill points due to its alien nature.
Tlanitlan: This tongue was spoken by a now vanished human race, once said to have lived in and ruled much of the southern Wilderlands centered on the fallen city of Tlan. Many great wizards and clerics were said to have been from this people, including Kukalan the Storm King. Ancient scrolls, histories, and treasure maps are written in the strange pictographs of this language.