Language & Culture of the Five Nations

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Hello all, it's been a bit since I've posted on here, but I've got a topic I've been contemplating recently that I'd like your opinions on (and perhaps the His Infernal Bovinity could weigh in on the subject).



Recently, in my own games, I've been playing with language invention (simple stuff; no real grammars, just naming languages which if you know your stuff could take potentially just a couple of minutes to make) for the cultures that inhabit my worlds, which has been a great boon to distinguishing the flavor of different societies. I was wondering, even though presumably all of the Five Nations speak a common language (Common Galifaran, perhaps?), exactly how distinct are each of the Five Nations culturally? I know they were all separate nations before Galifar absorbed them, but I'd like to know just how separate they were/are again. Thoughts?


I was wondering, even though presumably all of the Five Nations speak a common language (Common Galifaran, perhaps?), exactly how distinct are each of the Five Nations culturally? I know they were all separate nations before Galifar absorbed them, but I'd like to know just how separate they were/are again. Thoughts?


For the sake of story as much as anything else, I play them as fairly culturally distinct. Bear in mind that Sarlona originally had twelve distinct cultures, and that the human settlers of Khorvaire come from these different roots. Adding diverse languages doesn't particularly help the game mechanically, but personally, I'm all for having the occasional enclave where people speak a Nulaka dialect of old Common amongst themselves. Likewise, it's a thing I'd emphasize in the outlying reaches. You could easily have a particular Lhazaar Principality that is still culturally Rhiavhaarian, and in the Across Eberron articles I noted that the humans of Valenar still hold to Khunan traditions.

So in my opinion, the nations were first drawn from different cultural roots; adapted to the distinct environments they were planted in; and even when united under Galifar, further evolved based on the role they played within the united kingdom: Karrnath as the primary source of the armed forces, Aundair as the center for magical research, Breland as the industrial center, Cyre as the seat of culture and leadership, and so on.

If you'd like a more in depth answer from me in particular, you could ask on my Eberron Q&A.
If they are rather culturally distinct, that would lead to two things:

1.) An easier fragmentation when the civil war comes
2.) Actual command of Galifaran army units would probably be heavily biased towards either Karrnath (since they have the officer academies) or Cyre (as they are the culture most linked with Galifar's rule).

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If they are rather culturally distinct, that would lead to two things:

1.) An easier fragmentation when the civil war comes
2.) Actual command of Galifaran army units would probably be heavily biased towards either Karrnath (since they have the officer academies) or Cyre (as they are the culture most linked with Galifar's rule).


Certainly, as discussed in the "How Does Thrane Actually Fight" thread. Bear in mind that Karrn the Conqueror tried to unit the Five Nations back in the day and failed. Tied to this is the fact that IMO, the reason the major assets of the kingdom were spread out as they were was because the culture of the region was already naturally inclined in that direction. In other words, Karrnath has always been the most martial of the nations; once Galifar was established they simply made it the seat of the united royal army and started educating officers from the other nations there. The people of Thaliost always had the greatest understanding of arcane magic. And while it's never been discussed, I'm inclined to say that the people of Daskara (pre-Galifar Thrane) were actually strongly tied to the Sovereign Host; that they were a devout folk by nature, and it's simply the case that when Bel Shalor devastated their land (remember, that lasted a year), the Sovereigns did nothing while the Flame came to their aid. And So they embraced the faith with the same passion they'd previously offered the Sovereigns. Remember that Tira herself was a paladin of Dol Arrah. Which may mean that there's a lot of old largely abandoned Sovereign shrines around modern Thrane.
I was wondering, even though presumably all of the Five Nations speak a common language (Common Galifaran, perhaps?), exactly how distinct are each of the Five Nations culturally? I know they were all separate nations before Galifar absorbed them, but I'd like to know just how separate they were/are again. Thoughts?


For the sake of story as much as anything else, I play them as fairly culturally distinct. Bear in mind that Sarlona originally had twelve distinct cultures, and that the human settlers of Khorvaire come from these different roots. Adding diverse languages doesn't particularly help the game mechanically, but personally, I'm all for having the occasional enclave where people speak a Nulaka dialect of old Common amongst themselves. Likewise, it's a thing I'd emphasize in the outlying reaches. You could easily have a particular Lhazaar Principality that is still culturally Rhiavhaarian, and in the Across Eberron articles I noted that the humans of Valenar still hold to Khunan traditions.

So in my opinion, the nations were first drawn from different cultural roots; adapted to the distinct environments they were planted in; and even when united under Galifar, further evolved based on the role they played within the united kingdom: Karrnath as the primary source of the armed forces, Aundair as the center for magical research, Breland as the industrial center, Cyre as the seat of culture and leadership, and so on.

If you'd like a more in depth answer from me in particular, you could ask on my Eberron Q&A.



I could see Cyrans using some sort of "Old High [language] in ceremonial things, or the like, and I definately think that some places could be like modern day Ireland or even Whales, linguistically.
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