LanguageOf the eighteen most commonly spoken languages of Vinramar, many use a shared alphabet. Below is an outline of the nine scripts and their appropriate languages. Some are tied to a specific region, some to a specific race or creature. Since each region has its own common tongue in Vinramar, a character will begin the game knowing the language of the region in which they were born, in place of knowing “Common,” as the Player’s Handbook instructs. Consider choosing to learn languages of other nations as well: such a skill will often come in handy when abroad.
Each script is presented with a small example of how it is written. Beneath the example and translation are listed the languages that use the script for their alphabet. Each language is described in terms of its type: regional, racial, or planar. Regional languages are spoken by creatures of a certain region, racial languages are spoken mainly by the members of a certain group of races, and planar languages are spoken by inhabitants or former inhabitants of other planes of existence.
The races and percentage of the world’s population that speak each language are also described. Goliaths, half-elves, half-orcs, humans, shifters, and tieflings are “regional speakers,” meaning they primarily speak some variation on the language of their region of origin. Others speak primarily a cultural or racial tongue, as enumerated below.
The Arroch script evolved from the Mardellom script and changed through the millennia to suit the human calligraphers of Arochos in Arrochule. Language has always been a central point of Arrochulian identity, and the written word of the human servants of the jhareth has lasted thousands of years, through war and plague. It is one of the oldest scripts developed by mortals. Three languages use the Arroch script as their alphabet.
“Then daunted Rephell drove the wind with flighted spear,” first line of “The Rephell Saga,” by the ancient poet Olar’ael
Type: Regional (Arrochule)
Type: Racial (bugbears, goblins, and hobgoblins)
Type: Regional (Iluithum)
The cultures of the West derive their written words from the ancient Mottan scholars, who developed and continued the use of characters that eventually became the Mottalodín, the alphabet used by the majority of the literate west, in four languages.
"The dreams of man arrive as the twilit moon,” Mottan proverb
Type: Regional (Motta)
NORLYTHIN (When Written)
Type: Regional (The Norlythe)
Type: Regional (Trenstmund)
Type: Regional (Wellusk)
Syrocule became a literate region over the slow progress of centuries. Their letters in the Syriod script reflect a detail and finesse that is characteristic of many parts of their culture. The human colonies in Goltaraim spread the use of Syriod, and today it is among the more common written alphabets in Vinramar. The nations of Goltaraim and Syrocule use it.
“No burden comes upon a man whom nature has not prepared,” Syroculan proverb
Type: Regional (Goltaraim)
Type: Regional (Syrocule)
In the beginning, the dark beings stole the first words of creation from Loragg. The daemons slowly adapted the hieroglyphic characters to their own foul use, until after thousands of years they had little in common with the letters of the Hallowed Tongue. The Baeltor script is the standardized configuration of the pictographic characters, as set down by the vampire emperor Volgothyde in the Years of Silver. Variations of this script are still used in the vampire dialect, and when setting to writing the unholy tongue of the daemons.
“At dawn of days no fowl had perched nor wind in meadow flew, but all stood silent when the Lord of Winter’s trumpet blew. Lord Daemoth called, and life took wing, the great creatures and small, but no mouth thought to praise the Lord for his waking call,” The first lines of Nablachol Vollog, the creation myth of the Daemothites
Type: Racial (vampires)
ZHOROCH (UNHOLY TONGUE)
Type: Planar (natives to Morvugol and Nettlesor), Racial (daemons)
The eladrin’s love of art and language brought many artifacts to Vinramar that bore the letters of the Feywild kindreds. Adapted and evolved over many millennia, the Elannin script bears this otherworldly heritage. Elves and formorians also use the script, but their Sylvandrae dialect makes the characters more angular for easier carving in wood and stone.
“Keep root to branch and earth to sky,” first line of an elvish prayer to Forlortha
Type: Racial (eladrin)
Type: Racial (elves)
When the ancient ancestors of the dwarves first taught the dragonborn to speak, their tribal societies flourished together. Each civilization grew to astounding heights, and the dragonborn eventually devised their own letters in imitation of the Maahivek runes. The script was developed for convenient writing in dirt or sand, and so each letter uses the thumb-claw to make a dot, then the other two claws to draw lines beside it. The dragonborn and kobolds use this runeset for their language.
“The strongest arm needs an eye,” Kyrvol proverb
Type: Racial (dragonborn, dragons, and kobolds)
Thousands of years ago, a race of gifted engineers and craftsmen called the Maahiset discovered a power in geometry and symbols. The runes of the Maahiset allowed them to contact other planes, increasing their might and learning in the primitive world. Their descendants became the azer, dwarves, giants, ogres, and orcs (known collectively as Maahisites). The dwarves and their cousins the azer maintained a part of the sophistication of their Maahiset fathers, while the other darker kindreds fell into ignorance and barbarism. The two main branches of the Maahisites developed unique languages that share a runic alphabet inherited from their forbears.
“Hold fast, waste not,” motto of the dwarven stronghold Ykhel
Type: Racial (azer and dwarves)
Type: Racial (giants, ogres, orcs, and some half-orcs)
Loragg himself created the letters of the Hallowed Tongue, known as the Mardellom (in reference to his father’s palace in Mardelthwaide). This sacred script is used to write in the language of the gods, and is the racial tongue of the jhareth.
“Silent hand and silent sword lifted from mountain loft,” first line of the evensong prayer to Jharell
Type: Planar (Salvendum and the High Realm), Racial (jhareth)
The Heathfolk have for years been among the most expert rhetoricians and poets of Vinramar. Their words are as sacred to them as the prayers of the zealot. Their prominence in the world is largely due to their powers of speech. The language Roccurish, spoken by heathfolk and halflings, uses the spidery Yaelchalas script, a treasure to the highland races.
“Where fly the fowl, there creatures prowl,” proverb of the heathfolk rangers
Type: Racial (halflings, and heathfolk)
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