Language is one of the great, confounding factors in the restoration of Zenáthras.  At the height of the Era of Heroes, the entire world spoke a single, unified tongue based on the arcane language of magic.  But with magic's failure and the thousand-years of isolation between many cultural groups, this has changed drastically.  Many of the languages share roots buried deeply in the old common language, but others are flavored heavily by the language spoken by a group's patron or the traditional racial language of the founder group or even the ancient writings found in the ruins which some cultures took refuge in.


Tongues of Zenáthras

High Draconic (Rauj): The language of the true dragons.  It is the universal language of the Council of Wyrms and, thanks to their power and influence, is the closest thing to a 'common tongue' to be found in Zenáthras.  While by no means universal, most city officials and merchants will either speak the language or be able to quickly find someone who can.  It is used in the Council of Wyrms, the Tide Princes, and the Tyrancy of Geddephron.  A debased (though still intelligible) version is used in Tholaqua.

Elven (Vessa): A pidgin of tongues including the old common language, the sylvan tongue, and the ancestral elven, the modern elven language is terse but mellifluous.  Noticeably different dialects are used in Idyle and Marukeem.

Deep Elven (Vethe): Much more similar to the original ancestral elven tongue, it lacks any of the sylvan influence and also shows far more variation, as changes in the language have been able to propagate quickly through the relatively small group of speakers.  It is used in Old Lastra.

Orluhn: A highly musical language that conveys much of its meaning through the rhythms and tempos with which it is spoken.  It was developed by the patron of Dwallutham, the simurgh Dantalus, when he was teaching the tenants of culture to the ogres.  It is used in the Chorate of Dwallutham.

 Sylvan (Besh'a): Like High Draconic, it is one of the few languages to have survived the fall of magic intact, being taught to the people who now use it by native speakers, though the Fey maintain that no one else ever gets the accent quite right.  It is used in Estruaza.

Dwarven (Zhurk): Even during the Era of Heroes, the dwarves continued to learn their own ancestral tongue in addition to the common language.  With the fall of the old order, they seem to have reverted to a language built primarily around reclaimed vocabulary and syntax from old dwarven.  Noticeably different dialects are used in Tythald Gate and Zharad Gruene.

Imbaran: Distantly related to the old common tongue, a skilled linguist could discern many of the interjections, profanities, invectives, and slang words that now comprise the bulk of the language's vocabulary.  It is used in Imbara.

Halftalk: Language cut and streamlined with brutal efficiency, halftalk is as unpoetic a tongue as you can imagine, with extraneous words chopped out brutally.  It is a manufactured perversion of the old common, enforced on the people by the Tiger Lords.  There are even words that certain castes are not permitted to use, on penalty of having their tongues cut from their mouths.  It is used in Skunting.

Hessa: A truly bizarre language that seems to have its roots in both High Draconic and Sylvan, it is often vaguely disconcerting for listeners as words in the language can have wildly different styles of pronunciation, juxtaposing musical sibilants with harsh, coughing fricatives.  It is used in L'r Tost.

Ysic: Descended from the original frost giant tongue, but mixed with a healthy dose of old common, the language is famous for the number of different accents speakers have.  Every isolated city has its own, distinct patterns of speech, and the wandering bands of males often form new ones as accents from several different origins mingle together.  It is used in Voad.

Trud (Gurslch): The language of the frost trolls.  Due to the long lifespans and limited imaginations of most trolls, it has changed very little since ancient times.  It is spoken in Möth Unvidia.

Jyve: A mixture of the old common and ancestral language of the hobgoblins.  Like its creators, it is noted for being extremely precise but lacking any real sense of poetry.  It is spoken in Jyvestra.

Chithonic: A thoroughly scrambled patois of High Draconic, the old common tongue, and bits of language acquired from pilgrims over the centuries, Chithonic is one of the most diverse and flexible tongues in the world.  It is used in Kyth.

Orcish (Haudagd): Theoretically based on the old orcish tongue, there's really no good way of tracing its origins.  All that is known is that the language is very good for screaming and loud music.  It is used in Barren Haven.

Old Common (Tarkot): Studied in records and often come across in ruins, it is the language that dominated the world before the end of the Era of Heroes.  It is not known to be actively used anywhere.

Goblinoid (Fuggi): Despite being spread across large areas and quite isolated, many groups of goblins have been shown to possess astoundingly universal tongues.  Though accent and dialect vary wildly, it is possible to learn enough 'general' goblinoid to communicate with roughly three-quarters of all known groups and learn to communicate quite quickly with the rest.


Planar Tongues

Celestial: The language of heaven, spoken by angels, archons, azata, and agathions.

Abyssal: The language of hell, spoken by demons, daemons, demodand, and qlippoth.

Infernal: The language of damnation, spoken by devils.

Protean: The language of chaos, spoken by the proteans.

Aquan: The language of rain and sea, spoken by the water elementals.

Auran: The language of wind and cloud, spoken by air elementals.

Ignan: The language of flame and ember, spoken by fire elementals.

Terran: The language of stone and dirt, spoken by earth elementals.