Languages

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Archaean

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Archaean is the common tongue used by the nations of Archaea (i.e., Thrace, Rugeland, Vharsa, and among the Kurags), and by the few nonhumans who mingle in those predominantly-human societies. While the basic structure of the language is consistent across most of Archaea, there are some variations in dialect from region to region.

Gothic

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Gothic is the primary language of the Goth clans in western Archaea. Gothic is unusual among modern human languages because it is a descendant of Thane, the primary language of a civilization which once spread over most of western NUM prior to the rise of the Khultheans. Of course, like most modern languages, it has absorbed much of its vocabulary from Khulthean, but the pronunciation and sentence structure are still much closer to that of Thane than any other living language.

Haruka

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Alates natively speak two distinct languages. The language used in everyday interaction is Haruka. Haruka is a complex tongue, and while the basic structure of the language is consistent across all of NUM, there are some variations in dialect from tribe to tribe. Alates from distant tribes may have trouble communicating with each other in Haruka, due to the differences in pronunciation and even vocabulary. Haruka may be written using a simple script, but written Haruka is rarely encountered. The Alates greatly revere the spoken word, and are averse to writing anything down. Only the least important messages are allowed to be written: any message or information of importance must be spoken aloud.

Khitaj

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Khitaj is used throughout the nations of Khitai (i.e., Scythia, Cinnabar, Kazarahn, and Symeria), and is commonly used as a trade language in neighboring regions. The basic structure of the language is consistent across all of Khitai, but each kingdom has a peculiar dialect. However, speakers of different dialects can usually make themselves understood to each other.

Khulthean

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Khulthean is an ancient language from which most modern human languages derive. Several religious texts are written in the angular Khulthean alphabet, and many of the larger and more respected religious sects use Khulthean during their rituals and ceremonies. It is known that the Khul use a debased form of Khulthean, but it is unknown what the relationship is between these wasteland-dwelling barbarians and the ancient Khultheans who set down the foundations of Human civilization.

Killillirukau

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The second language native to Alates is Killillirukau. Killillirukau is a much simpler language than Haruka, and is used by the Alates to communicate across great distances. Killillirukau has a much smaller vocabulary than Haruka, but it is syntactically redundant: the same word may be spoken six or more times in a single sentence. Two Alates flying in a clear sky may communicate with each other in Killillirukau from as far away as ten miles. Killillirukau has no formal alphabet, but it may be transliterated using the Haruka script.

Mabrahoring

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Mabrahoring is an ancient language known mainly by wizards, demons, dragons, and other such entities who value linguistic precision. Mabrahoring is an extraordinarily formal language, and it is quite difficult for a human to pronounce it properly.

Shaen

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Shaen (sometimes called Jayen) is a logographic alphabet used exclusively by druids. It has no verbal component, and is strictly a written language. Druids are very protective of the secret of Shaen, and only teach it to other druids. Some ecclesiastical scholars theorize that Shaen is an offshoot of Volex Pem, but without their being able to translate it this is merely conjecture.

Thane

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Thane (sometimes called High Archaean) is a dead language which exists only in the form of writing on ancient scrolls and monuments. It was the primary language of a civilization which once spread over most of western NUM prior to the rise of the Khultheans. Popular folklore says that finding an inscription in Thane is bad luck.

Volex Pem

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Volex Pem is an ancient logographic language, older and less commonly used than Khulthean. The most ancient and revered religious texts are written in Volex Pem, but it is rarely used in public rituals.

Zinjan

The zinjan of the Mrisinnian jungles speak a sibilant language which is difficult for non-zinjan to learn. The zinjan have no written alphabet, although they do use pictographs to record the history of their tribes and their leaders. They also use pictographs to mark dangers or leave scouting notes for other zinjan. For example, a drawing of three spears over a wavy line indicates, "clean water may be found three spear-throws distance in that direction".