Languages of Atharill
There are four principle dialects of Athara: Ril, Driss, Ryn, and Northern. Players must select one of the dialects. Devoting two slots to Athara means the character is well versed in the nuances of each dialect. All dialects use the same script (Athara). Speakers of all dialects may communicate freely with each other with the following distinctions:
Ril – This dialect, most common in Rildenon, is steeped in the Whaythradian holy language Rudraess. Speakers of Ril may understand 30% of anything spoken or written in Rudraess. Note: the Sabanian order, as an offshoot from Whaythrad, also uses Rudraess.
Driss – The Driss dialect is scholarly and eloquent. Due to Daradhat’s importance as a center of learning, and the intellectual pursuits of it’s citizens, Driss has adopted numerous words and phrases from all the known languages on Atharill. Because of this, speakers of Driss may understand 15% of any other language spoken on Atharill.
Ryn – Neutral and to the point, Ryn is notable for it’s tendency to drop superfluous words from sentences and sometimes even the tense, leaving only the root of verbs. For example: when asked “where are you going,” someone from Ryn might respond, “(To) go Perhinelm.” Of course, tenses still exist and are used for clarification. Most consider Ryn to be quirky, but locals simply think of it as practical. Speakers of Ryn may quickly and efficiently communicate with each other, which is useful in combat situations, and will not suffer any sort of penalty for verbally conveying relatively complex strategies on the fly.
Northern – Northern is a gutter dialect, more a collection of slurs and obscenities than a language, and just one step above thieves cant. On occasion, speakers of other dialects may have a difficult time understanding a heavy northern accent. Speakers of Northern may deliberately saturate their speaking with northern slang. When doing so, there is a 75% chance to mislead or confuse someone not familiar with the dialect.
Siwaren – The tongue of the original lineage of elves on Atharill. Siwaren has a wispy, soft, lightly aspirated sound, and is preserved only amongst some Half-elves that retain a connection to their ancestry. Siwaren speakers understand 50% of what Scharr speakers say or write. The Siwaren script is a beautiful and ornate calligraphy.
Scharr – When the elves abandoned Atharillian society and moved into the mountains, they found themselves in direct conflict with various orc tribes that had inhabited that region for centuries. Over the years, the language of the Scharr elves has developed from a fusion of Siwaren and various orc tongues. This gives Scharr a unique sound, shifting suddenly and often between elegant elvish and guttural orcish sounds. This causes many unfamiliar with the Scharr to believe that they are constantly becoming enraged when speaking. Scharr is written in the same script of Siwaren, but it has degenerated into a hasty, short-hand scrawl. Scharr speakers understand 50% of what Siwaren speakers say or write.
Ghayld (Dwarven Common) – The common tongue adopted by all dwarves on Atharill. There are numerous, clan-dependant dialects of Ghayld.
Other Languages on Atharill
Dyenathwar (Ancient Atharillian) – An ancient language brought by the settlers of Atharill. During the golden era on the island-continent, Dyenathwar was the language of the rulership and the learned. It is thought to be the most elegant of all languages, but is exceedingly complex and tortuous. It consists of an elaborate system of declension and word transmutation and has all but been lost in it’s spoken form because of this complexity. A few dusty tomes containing the rules to the Dyenathwar are still kept in the Great Library of Daradaht, and only a handful of Ildrissan linguists maintain an understanding of the language. Only characters hailing from Ildrissor, with an intelligence greater than 12, can learn Dyenathwar. They must devote two proficiency slots to learn this exceedingly difficult language. Because it is associated with central Atharill, and thus the fall of the old kingdom, the language and those who understand it are often viewed with suspicion.
Gnoll, Orc, Kobold, etc – Each race generally has their own language broken into various dialects. Characters may only learn these languages if they have had regular contact with it. Unless they belong to the race in question, this usually only gives a 50% understanding owing to diversity of culture and dialect.
Aahat’Khaa – The language Aahat people of Ildrissor. Native to Atharill long before the first settlers from overseas, Aahat’Khaa predates all other forms of language in the region. Yvoraa’Khaa, the language of the Yvoraas, is lost, along with the Yvoraa culture.
Rudraess – The scriptural language of Whaythrad and Sabanis.
Plague-Speak – A code language maintained by the Cult of Dys. Constantly in flux, this is only understood by active members of Dys, and contains a mixture of modern, arcane and old-world languages, and is deliberately designed to confuse listeners.
Thieves Cant- Thieves Cant does exist on Atharill. See PHB for details.