Elvish (Shahla Elvish)
This version of Elvish, called ‘Shahla’ by the elves, is widely used by most educated humans. Most elves do not consider it ‘proper’ elvish. It is (in their view) polluted with scores of words, phrases and mispronunciations introduced by human, dwarves and halflings (even GOBLINS!) It is a nearly world wide ‘common language’ amongst the human educated. (Much as Latin was in Medieval Europe.) Any Elf can understand and speak with a Shahla speaker (though the elf often winces and it takes effort to not correct the errors!) There is even a written version of Shahla, that employs a simplified, non cursive, elvish script. And though there are minor differences between the Shahla used in Solista and the Shahla used in Palador, communication, in writing or by spoken word is easy. As a result, Shahla is the language of choice for Sages, Diplomats, Courts, Nobles and high class merchants. (The language of the market stall for travelers is often Goblin.) Amongst the elves, it is considered boorish to use Shahla with other elves. Instead they use, traditional or High Elvish. Note: There is some debate as to where the term ‘Shahla’ comes from and what, exactly, it means. Various translations include ‘Simple’ or ‘Infant/Baby Talk’ or ‘Ignorant’ or (most commonly accepted by non elves) ‘Mortal Elvish.’
High Elvish is the uncorrupted Elvish spoken by Elves. All Elves speak, read and write High Elvish. It is their native tongue. A Shahla speaker can follow a conversation in High Elvish, though the Elf speaker may have to slow down and repeat things from time to time, and for someone literate in Shahla, it may take time to work out the meaning of a paragraph in High Elvish. Wood Elves and Grey Elves have slightly different accents. (Notable only to each other and a handful of non-elf sages.) High Elven Script is a flowing ‘cursive’ style of lettering.
Some sages claim that Elvish is the oldest language on Titan. (Dwarven Sages dispute this!) What is certain is that there is an Archaic form of Elvish that many extant Elves only know as far as it pertains to Magic. This Ancient Elvish is, today, the Language of Magic and is used to study and cast spells by ALL Magic Users regardless of Race. Even the Dwarves grudgingly use Ancient Elvish, although with Dwarven runes. (Goblin Mages have a heavily corrupted form that is, according to Sages, the reason few Goblins ever become powerful Magic Users.)
The Dwarven language, spoken and written, is called ‘A-Rhuk’ which simply translates as ‘The Word.’ All Dwarves, everywhere, speak A-Rhuk. Oddly, as Sages have noted, there are no regional accents or foreign vocabulary found in different Dwarven populations. A guttural language that is difficult for many non Dwarfs to speak, it is not commonly spoken by outsiders (the most notable exception being Halflings of Stout descent.
Dwarven writing uses an angular, blocky, runic type alphabet and style. It is (according to Sages) closely related to Common Goblin lettering. Who stole it from who can start arguments that have lead to blood letting!
‘Goblin’ the language, is universal amongst the Common Goblins regardless of where the individual goblin comes from, though there may be a regional accent or some odd local vocabulary. It is a true ‘Common Tongue’ and many human travelers, sailors and merchants use it. The Goblin alphabet is closely related to the Dwarven runic alphabet.
Hob-Goglin is related to, though divergent from, ‘Classic’ Goblin. It is distinct enough to be considered by most Sages as a separate language, but Goblins and their Hob-Goblin cousins can muddle through a conversation, with some effort.
This is a distinct language of its own, though there are words that clearly have their origin from Goblin. Communication with a Bug Bear requires speaking Bug-Bear or there being another common language known to both parties. Additionally, Bug-Bears of north Solista have a different language then the Bug-Bears of south Palador.
The Giants of Solista have their own dialect that is a cross of Gallenic, spoken amongst the Barbarians of Gallena, and corrupted Goblin. Some are more versed in the human tongue, though very few are fully proficient in Goblin.
Kobolds have their own language, though there is no written version. It is a corrupted form of HzzzSarth, and Kobolds can communicate with Lizardmen. Almost all Kobolds also speak Goblin and if they are literate (unusual) it will most likely be in Goblin.
Lizard Man (HzzzSarth)
HzzzSarth is a difficult language for a human to master. The structure of the Lizaed Man’s mouth and tongue is very different then any of the other non reptile races. A human, or similar race, can learn to understand HzzzSarth, but speaking it is at best heavily garbled. Most Lizardmen also speak either Goblin or the local Human ‘Common’ though pronunciation issues caused by a lack of lips can make comprehension difficult. The most common communication is conducted with a proxy language that the Lizard man understands while speaking HzzzSarth to someone who understands it. The HzzzSarth have a written language of their own, though it is hieroglyphic in nature and does not lend itself to tasks like business transactions..
The Shharguhhhnn have their own language that is unrelated to any other. The educated Shharguhhhnn usually speak one of the Human Common languages. However, since contact with humans is generally through sailors that could be from anywhere, and Sea Devils are often nomadic, the human language spoken may not correspond to the immediate locales languages. Some Shharguhhhnn can speak a bastardized version of Lizardman.
In Solista there are four commonly spoken languages. These are prevalent in different geographic areas and amongst different ethnic and cultural groups.
This is the name most commonly given to the language (and dialects) of the Barbarians of Gallena. Despite the common belief of ‘civilized’ Solistans, there IS a written form that employs a variation of the Dwarven Runic Alphabet of A-Rhuk. Spellings and vocabulary does vary amongst the different clans, and very few of the common barbarians can read or write more then their name in Gallenic.
A language widely used by humans, halflings (and others) dwelling in the south, central region of Solista. There is a written form, but grammar and spelling is, at best, loose! This is the language of the common people, and even in areas east or west of the primary Narian heartland, it is generally understood. (Recommended PC language.)
The ‘common’ language of western Solista. Used by most natives of the area in day to day activities, it has no generally accepted written form. (Several sages have undertaken to correct that but so far there is no universally accepted written form.) Businesss and Government uses Shahla OR (to the consternation of many) Ilsharan.
Widely used in eastern Solista (South of Gallena) it shares many root words with Gallenic and, after Narian, is the second most widely spoken human language of Solista. It employs the Narian alphabet for its written form but most commoners are illiterate. Rhun is the language favored by the Kostric Faith (all branches) though their clerics will use whatever reaches the most people in the area they operate.
The languages of Palador come from different roots then those of Solista.
The original language of the Caliphate of Balaghad, the home of the brothers Truel, Jhidda and Fharn to whom Bala revealed himself. In the centuries since the fall of the Caliphate and the rise of the Empire of Ilshar and the Caliphate of Trusk, it has evolved into what is today called ‘Ilsharan.’ Balagha remains the language of poetry, literature, music and learning throughout civilized Palador, but is not commonly used in the markets or streets.
A simplified version of Balagha. It is the language of most people in Ilshar, Trusk and even the Solistan Colonies. Along with Goblin, it is spoken by most travelers and merchants in Palador.
Virtually no one outside of Zamora speaks Zamoran. Traders entering Zamora, or coming from Zamora, use Goblin as their common tongue. The language is ancient and has several variations. ‘High’ used by the Priests, Rulers and Wizards. ‘Middle’ which is a written hieroglyphic form and ‘Low’ which is the language of the common Zamoran. That has its own written form! A cuneiform style found nowhere else and seems to be derived from older, forgotten languages.
The language of the nomadic tribes of Central Palador. These horsemen generally refuse to learn any other languages. Instead forcing traders to learn theirs if business is to be conducted. Linguistically it is unique and, according to Sages, unrelated to any other (known) language of Titan. There is no written form.
The jungles and wilds of Katraal are home to dozens of tribal groups. These people share a common linguistic ancestor (causing Sages to speculate that there was an ancient kingdom or nation in the area.) This ancestor seems unrelated to Yttral or Balagha or Zamoran. Though there are many dialects and accents, there is enough similarity that it is possible to learn a ‘basic’ Katraal and manage to communicate (albeit clumsily) with most of the tribes. So far, no written form has been found.