The Edge of Night
Facilitating trade and travel, causing wars and conflict, and fascinating scholars and poets, language is a driving force behind much of history. It is one of the most recognizable distinctions between cultures, and much of the history of peoples and bloodlines can be traced through the changes and relationships of the written and spoken word.
Living languages are common among widespread and active communities, spoken and written conversationally, and because of their constant activity are frequently evolving and developing slang and local dialects.
Also called “High Imperial”, Astellae is spoken throughout the Illanti Empire as the language of law and government, though it is spoken conversationally only in Old Illant.
Also known as “Low Imperial”, Kassiani is the lingua franca used throughout all provinces of the Illanti Empire and even beyond by traders, explorers, and diplomats. It is the second tongue for many Imperial citizens, and is the primary language in Mareium, Anthisi, and Mesounon.
Sejana is the language of the Seja people of the northern province called Kymbria. It is the primary language for most Seja, and is a common sound in neighboring provinces and lands.
Kathari is the primary language in Near and Far Katharos, all the WItchlands, and in ports along the Akyron Sea.
Roushantar is the language of the nomadic Roushanti. Despite the wide-ranging Roushanti mercenaries and travelers, few foreigners pick up this language, save for a few merchants who do extensive business with Roushanti tribes.
A debased pidgin with many dialects, Deldari is the corrupted descendant of the elegant and precise language once spoken by the old Deldari Empire. Today it is spoken in various forms throughout the many successor states that once were lands under the rule of the Deldari priest-kings.
The lingua franca of the East, Musain is the primary language of the Parivar and is spoken as a secondary language by many of the cultures on the continent of Usca.
The shared language of the Ashadieh and the Rahmani. Adani is geographically widespread, but its use is usually confined within families and small communities that have preserved it, and is widely unfamiliar to strangers.
Oriva is the common tongue in Elei, sometimes used for trade in the nearby Imperial provinces Mesounon and Valis.
Spoken primarily by the Marahim and the island inhabitants of the Neyshan Isles.
The language of the Maer is widespread across the continent of Ves, and is the primary language of the Imperial province Salora.
The language of the Amaer is also a common second language among the Vale Maer.
The language of the Marach is also used by the Black Maer. It is related to both Virden and Hyrne, but has significant influences from both the Illanti Empire and the remnants of the old Deldari Empire, and is quite unique.
Dead languages are not used conversationally and rarely change, but are well-attested and recorded in written and oral histories.
This ancestor of Astellae was spoken during the last centuries of the Old World and throughout history of the First Illanti Empire. Though no longer in common use, it is found in many songs, inscriptions, and other historical sources.
Illyrian was spoken by the Illyr before they were integrated into the Illanti Empire long ago. It has largely disappeared, save among scholars and keepers of lore, though it had some influence on the development of Kassiani.
Haradan is considered the parent language of Musain and Sashini, thought to have branched off from Old East Common long before the rise and fall of the Deldari Empire.
Isham is a holy language now preserved in the rituals of the Eein Oracles. It was also the language of the peoples living between the rivers Tashan and Heleph before they were conquered and dispersed. It is the early ancestor of Oriva and Adani.
The formal dialect of Thrymna was used most among priests, elders, and kings. Its use was a sign of respect and learning in the old days of the Iron Folk. For many years it was also the only form of Thrymna to have a written form, and today it survives almost exclusively in ancient inscriptions.
Thrymna Skaldic was the informal language of commerce, song, and personal interaction in the days of the High Kings among the Maer and Amaer. It is largely forgotten today, fracturing long ago into Virden, Hyrne, and Aval. It had no written form for most of its history, inscriptions and literature being reserved for Thrymna Runic, but for a short period it saw use of a common written form before itself falling out of use.
Lost languages are known (or at least widely believed) to have once existed, but are not now known by any mortal mind or spoken on any living tongue. If there are written records of these languages, they also are lost to memory and decay.
Old West Common
Scholars theorize about one of the earliest tongues spoken by mortal men, originating on the continent of Ves and spreading north and west. No records of this language are preserved, but it is likely that this, combined with influence from the Elder Races, gave rise to Illanti and Illyrian.
Old East Common
Another unattested language, nonetheless accepted as fact by most scholars, Old East Common was once spread across Usca and Ontes, and blended long ago with the languages of the Elder Races to eventually give rise to Isham and Haradan.
Thrymna is the language allegedly spoken by the earliest High Kings of the Maer and Amaer. Over time it split into two dialects – the formal Runic and the informal Skaldic – that eventually became distinct languages not long before the schism that split the Iron Folk into separate cultures.