Languages of the Flanaess
AERDI (True Common)
The most widespread tongue in the Flanaess, Aerdi is directly derived from Middle Aerdi via Old Oeridian, and is sometimes called Modern Aerdi. Aerdi was the official language of the modern Great Kingdom, and is still considered the dominant language of the North Kingdom, Ahlissa, the Solnor Compact, the Sea Barons, the Pale, the Urnst states, Ratik, the Iron League (Onnwal, Sunndi, and Irongate), the Lordship of the Isles, the Bandit Kingdoms, and Nyrond (where the dialect is termed Nyrondal by linguists). The tremendous reach of the Great Kingdom in past centuries, from the Solnor to the Yatils, has established Aerdi as the standard communication medium across the Flanaess, so much that it is often referred to as the "Common Tongue." Aerdi is also a popular language in Tenh, Greyhawk, Hardby, the Wild Coast, the Pomarj, Dyvers, and the Shield lands.
Also called "Keolandish," Keoish is the primary language of the Sheldomar Valley, reaching up into Bissel. It is directly derived from Old Keoish, a combination of Old Oeridian and Ancient Suloise and is difficult to learn for non-natives. Though significant differences can be found in regional dialects, such as in the Ulek states (Ulek or lortmils Keoish) and the Hold of the Sea Princes (Jeklea Keoish), they are all mutually intelligible. The language is understood as far east as Greyhawk and Dyvers, and is the main accepted tongue amongst seafarers of the southern waters. Save for Aerdi, Keoish has more speakers than any other language in the Flanaess. Keoish is regarded as the official language of Keoland, the Gran March, and Bissel, and is the dominant human tongue in the Ulek states, Hold of the Sea Princes, the Yeomanry, and Sterich. Keoish is also widely spoken in Geoff, Ket, the Vale of the Mage, the Pomarj, Celene, Verbobonc, Dyvers, Greyhawk, and the Wild Coast.
Ferrond is the official language of Veluna, Furyondy, Dyvers, and Verbobonc, which made up most of the former Viceroyalty of Ferrond. A dialect of Ferrond known as Stamtaal is spoken in Perrenland. The third most common tongue in the Flanaess, after Aerdi and Keoish, Ferrond is also well-known westward into Bissel and Ket, northward into Perrenland and Highvale, and eastward to Greyhawk, the Shield lands, and even the Urnst states. Related to Aerdi and derived from Old Oeridian, Ferrond is a common trading language in the mid-western Flanaess, as well as on the shores of the Nyr Dyv. An archaic form of Ferrond is reputedly spoken in Blackmoor, and a corrupt dialect of Ferrond (with Orcish, Goblin, and Abyssal influences) is spoken in the western region of Iuz's empire.
Ancient Baklunish is the standard literary form of Baklunish used in the ancient Baklunish Empire. Today it is most often used in religion, mythology, and poetry. Ancient Baklunish is also the language of all official documents and courtly proceedings in Ekbir, Tusmit, and Zeif.
Many colloquial Baklunish dialects used in Baklunish lands (Ekbir, Ket, the Plains of the Paynims, Tusmit, and Zeif) are based upon Ancient Baklunish, and are collectively called Low Baklunish.
- ORDAI: This tongue shared by the Wolf and Tiger Nomads is derived from Ancient Baklunish, but is most similar to the Low Baklunish dialects spoken by the Paynims. Influence from both Arapahi and Spaenhah can be seen in this language. Ordai has a number of dialects and is also spoken by the Chakji and Guryik peoples of the north Drawmij coast.
- OSFARADD: Osfarrad is a Low Baklunish dialect spoken primarily in Zeif.
- ULAGHA: The language of Ull is a debased form of Low Baklunish.
The term "Flan," though many mistakenly consider it to be a monolithic ethnic group, is properly applied to several different cultures present in the Flanaess before the Great Migrations. Most scholars identify a minimum of four different human pre-migration cultures which have subsequently been lumped together under the term "Flan:"
- Northwestern (Spaenhah; Uirtag; Voll)
- Southwestern (Gyric; Druidic)
- Northeastern (Tenhah; Arapahi; Colten)
- Central (Ancient Sulmitic; Sulmitic; Aonian)
- SPAENHAH (Oeridian Alphabet): Oldest of the three official languages of Perrenland (the other two being Berzirsh and Stamtaal), Spaenhah (pronounced SCHPAYN-ah) is descended from Northwestern Flan, and therefore distantly related to Voll and Uirtag.
- UIRTAG (Oeridian Alphabet (Blackmoor): Named after the Uirtag people of the Burneal Forest, Uirtag is a descendant of Northwestern Flan. Blackmoor also holds a few speakers of this tongue, though most linguists consider the version spoken in Blackmoor to be a different dialect. Uirtag is distantly related to Spaenhah and Voll.
- VOLL (Oeridian Alphabet): Descended from Northwestern Flan, Voll is the name given to the language originally spoken by the Flan tribes of the Vale of Luna, or ancient Voll (Veluna). The language survives today only as the official language of the Church of Rao in Veluna. All major works of the faith are written in Voll, and all services and rituals are performed in the tongue. Raoan sects outside of Veluna rarely use Voll in services, but nearly all the god's priests have at least a working knowledge of the language. Distantly related to Uirtag and Spaenhah, Voll is compatible with neither of its living cousins.
- GYRIC (Oeridian Alphabet): Gyric is the official language of Geoff, and has few speakers outside of that realm, though Sterich and the Yeomanry do have a few Gyric-speaking communities. Gyric is descended from Southwestern Flan, along with its sister tongue, Druidic.
- DRUIDIC (Ogham Script): Spoken only by the Druids of the Old Faith, as well as other druidic traditions, Druidic is derived from Southwestern Flan, along with its sister tongue, Gyric. Druidic however, far more closely resembles its ancestor, though it is far more specialized, focusing only on the natural world, agriculture, and other matters of concern to the Old Faith. Though Druidic and Gyric share a number of words, the two are not mutually intelligible.
- TENHAH (Pictograms): Tenhah, like Arapahi and Colten, is descended from Northeastern Flan. Tenhah is the official language of the Duchy of Tenh, and is sometimes reffered to as Modern Flan by eastern scholars. Speakers of Tenhah can also be found in Stonehold, though their primary language is Fruz.
- ARAPAHI (No Script): Arapahi and its sister tongues, Tenhah and Colten, are descended from Northeastern Flan. Arapahi, which has numerous dialects, is the dominant languages of the Rovers of the Barrens, and is also spoken to some extent in Stonehold, though Fruz is the primary language of that land.
- COLTEN (No Script): A descendant of Northeastern Flan, Colten is closely related to both Arapahi and Tenhah. Spoken chiefly by Coltens tribes in Stonehold, the language has numerous dialects.
Now a dead language, Ancient Sulmitic was the chief language of the Flan kingdoms of Sulm and Itar. Ancient Sulmitic is the oldest known example of a Central Flan language, and is the direct ancestor of modern Sulmitic.
- SULMITIC (No Script): Named after the ancient kingdom that once ruled the Bright Desert, Sulmitic bears little resemblance to its ancestor, Ancient Sulmitic. A member of the Central Flan language family, Sulmitic is spoken by the Flan tribesmen of the Abbor-Alz, and is unintelligible to speakers of its closest living relative, Aonian.
- AONIAN (No Script): Also known as Headlander, Aonian is the language of the Ao'n Iornadh (the "People of the Dreaming"), the isolationist Flan tribes of the Headlands. A Central Flan tongue, Aonian bears little resemblance to its closest living relative, Sulmitic.
Ancient Sueloise became all but extinct after the destruction of the Sueloise Empire. Today it is only spoken by the Scarlet Brotherhood and a few scholars. Ancient Sueloise exists in its written state for those who would delve into the surviving tomes of Suel arcana. Transliteration into modern languages is difficult, and perilous when used in spellcasting, as the significance of certain inflections has been lost over the centuries.
- AMEDI (No Script): Amedi is a corrupt form of Ancient Sueloise. Found only among the Suel natives of the Amedio Jungle, it is somewhat similar to Rasol; its few written symbols are Sueloise alphabet characters.
- TAREG (No Script): Named for the strongest Sueloise tribe of the Bright Desert, Tareg is derived from Ancient Sueloise, and is spoken by all Sueloise Bright Desert tribes, though each has its own dialect.
- RASOL (No Script): Rasol is primarily spoken by the Suel tribes of Hepmonaland. Derived mainly from Ancient Sueloise, Rasol is also heavily influenced by Olman, which supplied most of the proper nouns related to jungle life. Rasol has few phrases dealing with life outside the jungle environment, and many higher concepts are missing from the language. Like its cousin Amedi, Rasol's few written characters are from the Sueloise alphabet.
- LENDORIAN (No Script): An obscure dialect of Suloise (influenced by Aerdi and full of nautical terms), Lendorian was spoken only by humans of the Lendore Isles before they were deported by the elves of that realm in 583 CY. Spoken only by human refugees of the Isles now, Lendorian is unrelated to Fruz and has no written form.
Futhark; Oeridian Alphabet (Frost Barbarians)
Also known as the Cold Tongue, Fruz is the language of the Thillonrian peninsula. Speakers of Fruz can also be found in Ratik and Blackmoor. Derived from Ancient Sueloise, Fruz is marked by significant influence from Northeastern Flan, especially in the Hold of Stonefist. Five different dialects are known, one for each of the barbarian tribes (Snow, Frost, and Ice Barbarians of the Thillronian, plus the Sea Barbarians in Blackmoor), in addition to Stonehold. All dialects are mutually intelligible, though the Stonefist dialect shows far more outside influence (from both Colten and Arapahi). Though derived from Suloise, Fruz bears little resemblance to its ancestor.
Rhopan is spoken by the nomadic Rhennee, and is sometimes called Rhennee Cant, because it borrows many terms from other languages, including the argot of several thieves' organizations. Rhopan has no known relatives, though some scholars have tried linking it to Central Ancient Flan.
An obscure Oeridian tribal language, Ferral is now spoken only by officials of the Iron League. Ferral is not considered a living language, as it is used chiefly for military command and identification purposes. Many fear that this code-tongue had been compromised by agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood, but rumor has it that a magic-laced version is being developed in Irongate.
Nyrondese is the collective term for local dialects in Nyrond. These dialects derived from Old Nyrondese, the tribal dialect of Old High Oeridian spoken by the Oeridian tribes of Nyrond previous to their conquest by the Aerdy tribe. Nyrondese is unintelligible to speakers of Aerdi. Nyrondese is mainly spoken in rural areas of Nyrond, where it is the primary language of peasants, shopkeepers, and other commoners. Learned folk speak Aerdi as well.
The native tongue of the Olman peoples of the Olman Isles and the Amedio Jungle, this language can also be heard among current and former Olman slaves in the Hold of the Sea Princes. Current slaves are forbidden from speaking their native tongue. The Olman alphabet is actually a vast collection of complex pictograms.
STAMTAAL (see FERROND)
Technically this is not a different language (though it usually sounds so to non- Perrenlanders), but a dialect of Ferrond, characterized by some elements of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation drawn from Flannic languages. Stamtaal is chief of Perrenland's three official tongues (the other two being Berzirsh and Spaenhah), and is spoken throughout the nation. It usually takes a month for speakers of Ferrond to be able to speak Stamtaal with reasonable fluency, while it takes speakers of Stamtaal about half that time to achieve similar fluency in Ferrond-until then, an Intelligence check of DC 10 is needed to understand the basic meaning of a communication.
Also known as Berzirkish, Berzirsh is one of Perrenland's three official languages (along with Spaenhah and Stamtaal). Derived from Old Oeridian, Berzirsh was brought to Perrenland by Oeridian tribes who were absorbed by Flan locals in the later phases of the Great Migrations. Heavily influenced by Flanic Spaenhah and Baklunic Ordai, Berzirsh bears little resemblance to any Oeridian tongue other than Velondi.
SPAENHAH (see FLAN)
Oldest of the three official languages of Perrenland (the other two being Berzirsh and Stamtaal), Spaenhah (pronounced SCHPAYN-ah) is descended from Northwestern Flan, and therefore distantly related to Voll and Uirtag.
A minor language derived from Old Oeridian, Velondi is spoken by many rural folks along the Velverdyva. This tongue is descended from the tribal dialect of Oeridians who settled in the Velverdyva valley before the Great Kingdom established a foothold in the region, and is thus nearly one thousand years old. Velondi has no written form.
Old Human Languages
The tongue is spoken by the Aerdi tribe of Oeridians, which became the common speech for their Great Kingdom. A number of scholars maintain a distinction between Middle Aerdi and Old Aerdi, which was a tribal dialect of Old Oeridian spoken by the Aerdi before the rise of the Great Kingdom proper. Middle Aerdi was prevalent throughout much of the Flanaess, and is the direct ancestor of both Modern Aerdi and Ferrond.
Also known as Old High Oeridian or High Oeridian, and spoken by many Oerid tribes. Now regarded as a dead language, Old Oeridian eventually evolved into Aerdi. Many books and documents of the early Great Kingdom were written in Old Oeridian, and the language is still widely known among sages and scholars of the eastern Flanaess.
SULMITIC, ANCIENT (see FLAN)
Now a dead language, Ancient Sulmitic was the chief language of the Flan kingdoms of Sulm and Itar. Ancient Sulmitic is the oldest known example of a Central Flan language and is the direct ancestor of modern Sulmitic.