Languages

Common
Throughout the Hesperean Sea, and in fact the wider world, the trade tongue of man is the language of the Draegneans. It is so widespread that few even recognize its origins and simply consider out the ‘common tongue’ of mankind.

Prattle
That is not to say the Draegneans have nothing to call their own. Over the centuries of trading, exploring and bargaining these island-hopping traders have developed a short-hand system of clipped words, gestures and expressions that is nearly a language unto itself. Known as ‘prattle’ or trade-tongue, it can greatly shorten negotiating time and convey numbers and terms with a detail few languages can rival.

Prattle can also be used to send simple messages without words across distance, or more subtle wordless statements up close. if both parties understand prattle, you receive +5 to you Bluff check to pass messages unseen.

Using prattle is also a sign of respect to Draegnean merchants, and a situational Diplomacy bonus of +2 can be given to a buyer who makes an offer in such a way.

Pellan
While rarely used today in the fields or hill-country of Pellenoi, the court language of the Aerinorn empire started there. Now it is mostly used for imperial documents, high court functions and the epic poetry that many Aerinorns are so proud of.

Usually only scholars, poets or court scribes are truly fluent in Pellan any more. But many idioms, honorifics, and terminology from the homeland are still in use today. Understanding these phrases, and tasteful use of them can give a speaker up to a+2 situational Diplomacy bonus in the right environments.

Iss
The iron men of the Ismenni have spent so many years traveling and trading with the Dreagneans that the common tongue is spoken in every facet of their life. But in song, and stories, and in oaths, only the words passed down from the jotunn will do. Iss is a formal, highly structured language ill-suited to everyday use. But in formal circumstances and ritual occasions it driving rhythms and harsh consonants seem appropriate. Ismenni rulers, elders and bards are often impressed by those who know the proper honorifics, and a well-spoken introduction can give a speaker a +2 situational bonus to Diplomacy. if it was merely memorized and the speaker can not follow up in the tongue, the bonus can siftly change to an equal penalty.

Valessi
The language of those beyond the Crocodile Gates is known only to a few in the Hesperean Sea, and is openly spoken by even fewer. It is said that the truths of their shadowy religion are revealed in the shape of their words, so they are as closely guarded as their rituals. It is commonly spoken only in Valessan homes or in their fellowship halls. The children are taught the language only as part of their doing of age, so that they might truly understand the significance of their mother tongue.

The restrictions on the use of the Iss language make it difficult to determine when it is proper, and using to try and curry favor may easily back-fire on the speaker.

Racial languages
Most of the races that share the region with mankind — elves, dwarves, etc. — have their own languages as well. Very few of these people travel without a fair understanding of the common tongue, and perhaps other human languages as well. In general, elves feel the human tongue is unsuited to proper pronunciation of their language. Dwarves speak their own language little — and prefer others never do — but write and carve extensively with their runes.

The halflings have no language of their own, but do have a complex series of trail markers and signs of their own device. Gnomish is little more than a dialect of the sylvan tongue with a fair amount of specialized vocabulary. Gnomish poetry, for example, leans heavily on made-up words which often end up as part of daily speech.

Orcs, goblins and others of their kind all speak widely variable dialects of the Blacktongue. While it is difficult for even members of neighboring tribes to understand one another, the root language is the same for all. The ritual script used by their shamans is much more regular, but it is seen by few and understood by even fewer.

Both the draaken and kobolds use a variant of the ancient draconic languages, but have developed separate alphabets for the written word. This has provided for much speculation on the relationship between the two.

Other languages
Languages like the planar, elemental, and monstrous languages are used by few outside their respective species. Sea elves are fond of the the aqua language for its underwater functionality, but abhor the fact that they share a common language with the sahuagin. They, in turn, revile this fact as well and usually share what thoughts they need in gesture-language derived from sharks.

The invading tieflings speak a derivative of Abyssal as their ‘native’, akthough it is strongly flavored by slang terms from the many worlds they’ve helped the Baorn devour.

Languages

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