Chronicles of Neverael
Languages of Antegaea
There are a few main languages spoken in Antegaea today.
Low Tongue: The Low Tongue is a bastardized form of High Atlaneian mixed with a healthy dose of colloquial terms and slang. Add in 1200 years of cultural drift and you have something which, structurally, is reminiscent of High Atlaneian but is otherwise different enough to be distinct from it. The Low Tongue employs a common alphabet originally derived from the Atlaneian but allowed to drift over time and then re-codified about 200 years ago as part of the trade laws passed by the Great Concordance. The alphabet is, therefore, similar but distinct from the Atlaneian.
High Atlaneian: High Atlaneian evolved, primarily, from the Sidhe tongue spoken over 8000 years ago – with heavy influences from the numerous tribal dialects of the Beast-Tongue spoken in Antegaea by early Humans. Structurally, it is believed to be closer to the Beast-Tongue. Phonetically, it is believed to be derived more so from the Sidhe language. High Atlaneian borrows it’s alphabet from the Sidhe language – with very little difference between it and the original Sidhe characters.
Zhirilyc: The origins of this language are somewhat mysterious – it is believed that it was introduced to the people of the Frostblight by Ravel Izhendarc I as a means by which the various tribes assimilated into his growing Empire could communicate more freely. Where the Izhendarc Emperor learned the language is unknown – some speculate that he recovered writings in the language from the same fallen star that is supposed to have given him his mysterious powers. This language, once introduced to the tribes of the North, spread like wild-fire. Zhirilyc uses its own strange set of characters – about 30 such characters. While the language itself is harsh on the tongue and alien to the ear, it is easy to master and seems to readily assimilate words from other languages into it’s structure.
Quaghai: This language is spoken amongst the merchant clans and mercenary bands in the far away land of the Jinn peoples. It is a subtle language which employs a complex, flowing script which is unique to itself. The language is unique in that it not only has verb conjugations to represent gender, singulars, and plurals but also the elemental associations of a word. Only the most powerful association is denoted in a word unless the speaker is placing special emphasis on the elemental descriptor in question and it’s association with the word. A different descriptor can subtly change the meaning of a word entirely.
Ursidhe: Another language originally derived from the extinct Sidhe tongue, Ursidhe is spoken by the Fomoraei. The language uses an alphabet derived from its Sidhe progenitor but the sentence structure is much different and the vocabulary is, if anything, even more complex and precise. Honorifics, special qualifiers, and descriptors make up a very large portion of this language and the tone of a speaker in conjunction with the specific placement of said qualifiers and honorifics and even the arrangement and order of specific letters and words can drastically alter the meaning and undertones of a statement. Special dialects of this uniquely precise language are spoken within households and only members of that household are allowed to learn the dialect in question. Though the Fomoraei have had little exposure to outsiders, they treat all outsiders as being from a rival family unit – not allowing them to learn their language at all. The complexity of the language itself makes learning it a very difficult proposition at best.