Languages in Trinity differ from those found in normal settings; in fact, Trinity diverges almost entirely from the concept of racial languages. In their place, Trinity uses languages based upon its geography and the proximity of its populations: peoples who live near each other will develop a language together over time. By extension, other languages are developed to bridge the gap between geographic regions.
While the languages are not equally detailed, there is enough information to at least determine what races and regions will speak what languages.
- Modern Languages
- Dead Languages
- Common, Ancient
- 1 Modern Languages
- 2 Scripts
As their name would have it, these languages are still used in the modern day, regardless of when they were developed.
Common is just that; common. However, due to effects in the history of Trinity, there are three varieties of this language. Of these, only Eastern and Western are vaguely related; Ganymede Common has nothing in common with the other two. The Common languages are usually based heavily upon at least one Trade language, and possibly a regional language; this is due to the fact that they were developed last, after intercontinental travel had been established.
Communication in Common languages is difficult, as they simply lack the vocabulary for most communication. As such, any checks involving interpersonal communication (Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Gather Information, Mimic Voice, Perform [act, comedy, oratory, sing], and Sense Motive) with which the user is speaking in or attempting to understand a Common language suffer a -4 circumstance penalty.
This language is spoken by almost every intelligent being in the northern and eastern continents of Adnez. It is not necessarily simple, either, despite the fact that it is spoken by a wide variety of races. Eastern Common is loosely based on Ancient Common and strongly based on the Northlander Trade and Thunder Trade languages.
Eastern Common uses the Ancient Common script.
This language is spoken by almost every intelligent being in the western and southern continents of Adnez. Unlike it's cousin, the Eastern Common, Western Common is fairly simplistic, and trade languages may be used in its place to relay more complex concepts. It is strongly based on Tipan and the Western Trade languages.
Western Common uses the Tipan script.
This language is used by the majority of the inhabitants of Ganymede. It is an incredibly simplistic language, useful for conveying only the most basic of concepts. While it has grown more complex as the races of Ganymede have come together, it is slowly turning into a dead language due to the prevalence of those who speak Eastern Common on Ganymede.
Ganymede Common uses the Ganymede script.
Ancelari is not a spoken language; instead, it is entirely telepathic. As such, it can be used to convey incredibly complex concepts in a few moments. Due to its intensity, however, only those who are capable with psionics or who are highly intuitive can learn it. Ancelari sees use by those who need to be secretive with their communication, but is used rarely or never among the common people. In addition, the fact that Ancelari cannot be written severely inhibits its usefulness.
Ancelari is the language of choice for psionics.
Ancelari has no written form.
As the name would suggest, Arcanic is the language of users of magic. Based heavily off of Draconic, Arcanic is a highly logical and efficient language for conveying concepts relating in some fashion to the ideas of magic. Given that magic is highly systematic, Arcanic is relatively easy to understand, but it has literally hundreds of characters, each of which can be used in a variety of ways.
Arcanic is the language of choice for magic.
Arcanic uses the Arcanic script.
Assembly is a relatively recent language, developed for use in analytical engines and - in a more useful vein - by artilects. As the machines that were being built could not comprehend standard speech, would-be reckoners devised a language that could be easily represented by simply switches and logic gates. This language came to be known as Assembly, and is widely renowned for being incredibly useful when one wants to spell out an idea exactly. However, Assembly is rather difficult for many intelligent races to learn, and only artilects and coglings seem to ever really master the language.
Assembly is the language of choice for technology.
Assembly uses the Ronkan script.
When the Draenei came to Ganymede from the planar rift, they spoke their own language of unknown origin; they retain that language, though its use is slowly fading in light of other languages that are spoken by the Ganymede natives. Regardless, Draeneic remains a rich language, and is one of the few recognized purely racial languages in Trinity.
Draenic uses the Draenic script.
Spoken primarily by the inhabitants of Lotharien, Lotharie is a complex language that can also be very subtle at times, given that its speakers were enslaved for roughly fifty years under the illithids. When Lotharien was sunk, its speakers scattered, leaving it a relatively unused language until Kotrit Wayveri raised the continent. After the War of the Illusionist, the descendents of the original inhabitants returned, and remade their civilization, bringing the language back with them.
Lotharie uses the Lotharie script.
A language used by the various races of creatures that are heavily intune with the natural order, Sylvan is rapidly declining in use due to industrialization. In addition, it is rarely spoken outside of the woods where those who have spoken it for ages continue to teach it to their children. However, the druids - as a rule - tend to teach this language to their students, which ensures that the language will not die out.
Sylvan uses the Tengwar script.
Languages developed slowly over time in the world's history. Originally, there were the basic languages: Quenya, Runic, Ronkan, Ancient Common, and their ilk. As civilization spread, however, and new lands were reached, a language barrier was encountered. To solve this problem, languages known as "Trade languages" were developed. These were not methodically created - instead, the most common method of addition to a Trade language was by usage between fishermen or merchants. Over time, however, the various regions of the world required something more universal than a Trade language, and thus were the Common tongues born.
Each of the trade languages is named after the ocean or sea upon which it was primarily used.
Communication in Trade languages is difficult, as they simply lack the vocabulary for most communication. As such, any checks involving interpersonal communication (Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Gather Information, Mimic Voice, Perform [act, comedy, oratory, sing], and Sense Motive) with which the user is speaking in or attempting to understand a Trade language suffer a -2 circumstance penalty.
Of the trade languages, the Glacial Trade tongue was the first to be developed. It was spread originally by selkies who sailed the southern seas from their homeland in the Skipstones, and it was their proclivity towards travel was crucial in the development of the language. Glacial Trade is based upon Lynaen and Tipan, though it borrows a good deal from Ronkan for technical terms.
Glacial Trade uses the Lynaen script.
Lotharic Trade developed out of the region surrounding Lotharien, which includes western Ashkar and Molandum. Lotharic Trade is almost exclusively based on Lotharie and Tipan.
Lotharic Trade uses the Tipan script.
Northlander Trade was developed by the races of eastern Molandum, northern Chaliraz, and eastern Ashkar. It draws heavily from Quenya and Ancient Common, though it draws upon Vesuvan for grammatical rules, which are much more mutable than either parent language and easier to learn given their intuitive nature.
Northlander Trade uses the Tengwar script.
Thunder Trade is spoken by inhabitants of southeastern Adnez. It is based primarily on Lynaen and Ronkan, though it borrows somewhat from Quenya and Fey.
Thunder Trade uses the Ronkan script.
Where spoken word was developed, so, too, was the written word. Unlike languages, however, scripts are far from unique; in general, most languages from a given region use the same script, albeit differently. Trade languages, likewise, use the script of one of the languages upon which it is based, and this is even more true for the Common languages.
Some languages develop their own script, such as in the case of Arcanic. These scripts are developed because of a specific need for something more complex than the general scripts devised by those seeking to communicate with their neighbors.
Arcanic script appears to be more formulaic than most other scripts, primarily because it was developed to be so. The script is currently used only by the language of the same name, wherein each character represents an idea or concept, rather than a single sound. Pronouncing these characters aloud is incredibly difficult, as so much as a single tiny variation can change the entire meaning and, therefore, the sound of the character.
Lotharie script was developed long after the actual language itself, as many of its speakers possessed at least minor telepathic abilities, and many of its speakers were enslaved by the illithids long ago, who forebade writing. As such, the script is modelled after how the language itself sounds.
The Lynaen script was developed by the gnomes of the Blue Hills, and was then picked up by the halflings and selkies, who shared the area. Its characters are relatively simple, easy to scribe, and easy to tell apart, making it an ideal character set for written works. Due to the selkies being exposed to both Lynaen and Tipan, there was a mild mixture of characters, and as such it can be difficult at times to determine which is which.
When the Ronkan Empire was formed, there was found to be a need for a new language. The language of the dwarves was too limited; that of the gnomes was too sparse; and that of the humans was insufficient. Thus was a new language devised, one with which all of the technological concepts that were being found could be easily conveyed. Thus was Ronkan devised, both a spoken and written language.
Runic is the language of choice for the dwarves, who established it; it is also used by the orcs, who were at war with the dwarves for a time in the time of the Woodland League. Runic is a fairly straightforward script, and is utterly without elegance - it favors function over form, much as its creators.
Developed by the elves in tandem with their spoken language, the tengwar is the most elegant script in Trinity. However, the fact that it uses very little variation in its characters gives the vast majority of those who would read it a good deal of trouble. Regardless of that, however, a number of languages use the Tengwar script, and even those that do not sometimes utilize the tengwar's method of indicating vowels in conjunction with their own characters.
Tipan script is an elegant, flowing script, with few sharp edges. Strangely enough, it share some characteristics with the Tengwar script, despite the fact that they were developed independently. This script was developed by clavats once a shared language had developed on the continent of Distarin. Since then, the general helpfulness of the clavat people has placed them in an excellent position to be those who form the languages that would allow the language barriers to be broken. As such, almost all languages that had some amount of contact with Distarin are at least partially based on Tipan, and a good number of them use the Tipan script.