Languages

Common

The Lingua Franca of Tenebris Realm.  The mother tongue of the Human race, this language became so common due to the staggering percentage of the world’s population being comprised of humans.  As it became evident that Humans would always be the dominant culture, if only by sheer scale of numbers, it became necessary for anyone who wanted to be a part of the larger picture to learn their tongue.  Its original name has been lost to time after it was renamed “Common” to suit its universal nature.

Commonly Spoken by: All Races

Difficulty To Learn: Intermediate

Elvish

The second most commonly spoken language in the realm.  Most Elves outside of their own home city, Lightvale, do not speak their mother tongue outside their own homes and favor the use of Common.  It is not unheard of for some Elves who have not lived in Lightvale for several decades to lose much of their Elvish to some extent. The language is also used for official business in Elven parliament and written in legal documentation.  This creates an issue for those who do not speak it well, as they will need to either hire a translator to read their contracts or trust the word of whoever drafted it. Elvish survives in many cities outside Lighvale today, if only due to the fact that its melodic sounds and steep learning curve sound makes any who speak it appear to be more attractive and educated than those who don’t.

Woodland Elves are known to speak traditional Elvish in the wilds.  Lack of contact with races outside of their own kin has left them tragically unfamiliar with Common or other languages.  When Woodland Elves eventually make their way into greater civilization, they have a hard time integrating.

Commonly Spoken By: Elves, Humans, Changelings, Gnomes, Dwarves, Demons, Constructs, Jelwari, Glisari

Difficulty To Learn: High

Orcish

Orcish is almost never spoken by any race other than the Orcs themselves.  This is due partly to its lack of utility considering the scarcity of areas which speak the language, and partly to its unattractive history.  Being a former slave race, most consider Orcish to be a lowborn language. Despite its reputation, it is a romantic and poetic language. The language underwent many drastic changes during the course of its history, especially during the period of the race’s enslavement.

Many Orcish phrases have double meanings, derived from the manner in which Orcs were forced to speak in the presence of their masters to communicate freely without being lashed.  As more generations were brought up in enslavement and were taught this codified way of speaking, it melded with the language and became the language itself. Because of this, most Orcish does not translate very well and Orcs who live outside of clans opt to teach their children Common to give them a leg up in broader society.

Commonly Spoken By: Orcs, Changelings, Goblins, Constructs

Difficulty To Learn: Low


Dwarvish/Gnomish

Dwarvish and Gnomish are spoken widely across the realm almost as commonly as Elvish.  The mining and heavy industry fields are dominated by the Dwarves and Gnomes and as such it is saturated by these languages.  Those who wish to invest in Dwarven mines or a Gnomish workshop will need to speak the respective language in order to do business.  

Because Dwarves and Gnomes are so closely related, their sibling roots can also be detected in their languages.  Derived from a common ancestor, the languages share many cognates as well as grammar conventions. As such, most Gnomes speak Dwarvish and most Dwarves speak Gnomish due to the ease with which they can learn the opposite language.  

Commonly Spoken By: Dwarves, Gnomes, Humans, Elves, Changelings, Constructs, Demons, Glisari, Djinn

Difficulty To Learn: Intermediate


High Demonic

Spoken exclusively within the Lyerian Empire by demons loyal to the Obsidian Throne.  It is not impossible to learn this language, but most demons are reluctant if they aren’t outright refusing to teach non-demons their sacred tongue.  Named for being the successor and of over 15 different demonic dialects spoken across the lands occupied by demons before the rise of the Obsidian Throne.  The languages were more or less wiped from the demon lands when the empire came to power. Remnants of the old tongues were preserved in the form of expressions, metaphors, and some loan words that managed to slip into the language from those that survived the cultural assimilation that took place in the empire.

Demons who leave their homelands often do not speak High or Low Demonic especially when in their deceitful forms.  The language’s guttural rumble and tell-tale hiss is easy to identify and is a clear tell for anyone suspected of being a demon in disguise.

Commonly Spoken By: Demons, Tieflings

Difficulty To Learn: High

Low Demonic

Low Demonic is a name used to classify all the dialects of High Demonic spoken outside of the empire in the independent states that managed to secede from the empire.  While they mostly share vocabulary and grammar conventions, there are so many different accents and dialects that it is not unheard of for two demons from the different areas of the Realm not being able to understand one another due to the subtle differences in their Low Demonic.  Luckily, learning any form of Low Demonic is a reliable gateway to learning the others given the pains are taken.

Commonly Spoken By: Demons, Elves, Humans, Dwarves, Gnomes, Constructs, Glisari, Changelings, Djinn
Difficulty to learn: Low

Jan

After the pall of twilight, and near annihilation of the Jelwari, the number of people who could speak Jan met a sharp decline; the language soon found itself confined within Jardens walls for nearly two centuries. The language has almost all but perished from the tongues it formerly rested upon (Elves, Asrai, and Glisari) as it became lost in history.

Now, the only ones who commonly speak it are those who lived within Jardens walls.

Commonly spoken by: Jelwari, Glisari,

Difficulty to learn: High. Language (3+)

Base language: Estonian


Elder Glisarian

After the disappearance of the sun goddess Surna, and the subsequent scattering of the Glisari people, the Glisari tongue saw a sharp decline in overall practice across the realm.  Few Glisari around today can recall their mother tongue as most were born after the disappearance, and thus the only ones who carry on its heritage are those Glisari whose elder’s survived the scattering and managed to preserve their knowledge of the language and pass it down to their children who in turn pass it on to theirs and so on and so forth.  

The language can be learned by Non-Glisari although it extremely difficult, if not impossible, as the Glisari tongue is not exclusively verbal as other languages are.  Somatic components (bodily movement) plays an important role in communication in Elder Glisarian, especially one’s posture. Elder Glisarian is spoken in monotone and inflection is conveyed through the state of the speaker’s posture.  For example, a slightly hunched back conveys an interrogative statement while an arched back conveys emphasis. It is extremely rare for Non-Glisari to be able to speak this language though not unheard of.

Commonly Spoken By: Glisari

Difficulty to learn: High

Draconic

Draconic is spoken, obviously, by Dragons but also by those descendant of dragons.  Wyrms are known to speak Draconic though it hasn’t much use in broader society outside of speaking to Dragons or other Wyrms.  This language is as ancient as the world itself. It is said that, during the Cradle of Life period, Draconic was treated as Common is today and was spoken by gods and mortals alike.  As Dragons and Wyrms have grown more scarce, so too has their language. Non-Dragons and Non-Wyrms speaking this language is a rare sight indeed, due in part to its rarity of practice and how difficult it is for most races to replicate its odd sounding tone.

Commonly Spoken By: Dragons, Wyrms

Difficulty To Learn: Very High

Gobbin’

The goblin tongue is a very simple thing to learn.  As Goblins do not possess a terribly high mental capacity, their language is reflecting of this.  Grammar is barebones and vocabulary is limited. Most words can be used for most things. For example the word for “sharp”, can be used to describe anything that is uncomfortable to the touch such as something actually sharp like a blade or something extremely hot or cold like ice or fire.

The Goblin language, aside from being used by Goblin kind itself, has also been adopted by the scum of lower tier society in most major cities.  Since the language is easy to learn and most people do not speak it, it makes a handy tool for thieves and other nerdowells to communicate without fear of being eavesdropped upon by prying ears or Peacekeepers.

Commonly Spoken By: Goblins, Orcs, Humans, Elves, Changelings, Constructs, Dwarves, Gnomes, Djinn, Glisari, Jelwari

Difficulty to Learn: Low

Faeish

The language of the Fey Folk is an odd language indeed.  It was created during The Golden Age, when the Fey were born, and persisted until the time when Surna vanished and the fey were decimated.  The language is relatively simple to learn, no more difficult than any other mortal language, however the catch is that there is no verbal component of this language, there is only written Faeish.  Fey, beings of pure magic and light, had the ability to communicate with one another through telepathy and so did not have the need to speak any language until they first came across other species whom they could not make understand their mental messages.  

Written Faeish has no alphabet, and instead consists of symbols that each mean something different.  They have no sound assigned to them, only meaning. Scholars from all over the realm have been able to translate Faeish into Common and other languages with the aid of helpful fae and some deductive reasoning, and have thus created several indexes to help tabulate the language into more easily understandable terms.

Commonly Spoken By: Fae, Elves, Humans, Gnomes, Dwarves, Glisari, Jelwari

Difficulty To Learn: Intermediate

Unlisted

Races without mother tongues or languages that the majority of their people speak.  This includes Changelings (who adopt the language of whichever race they live most closely with), Constructs (Who speak whatever language they spoke in life), Djinn (Who speak whichever languages to which they are first introduced), Afflicted (Who speak the language of their race), and Beastkin (Who speak Common).