A Fellport Language Primer

Fellport sits at the crossroads of the world, with ships arriving daily from ports near and far. Everyone speaks Common to some degree, as everyone knows at least enough to get by, and it has the most flexibility for adding new terms, but you can't take five breaths without hearing snippets of a wide variety of other languages on the streets of Fellport. The many libraries associated with the College contain works written in languages both ancient and obscure. Anyone with a talent for languages can write their own meal ticket in Fellport.

In an attempt to provide a pocket guide to languages in the greater Fellport region, this list scratches the surface while covering most of the common tongues. Do not mistake it for an exhaustive list. Just across the Middle Sea to the south, several cultures battle and compete for resources, and none of their languages appear on this list, as they speak Common and trade with Fellport far more rarely than others.

(I've listed modern language equivalents where they apply. Yes, some are still in flux. The world grows as I discover it, and some areas are still a misty grey with "Here There Be Dragons" written over them in an ancient script.)

Common Languages Around Fellport

  • Common: A trade language which borrows from most other languages. Widely spoken throughout every country. Uses the Latin alphabet. (American English)
  • Gladlam (Elven and Gnomish): Elven is the mother tongue of the pair, while Gnomish presents more as an Elven dialect native to Forest Gnomes. Anyone who speaks one can speak the other fluently, but with a distinct accent based on what clan or family they learned from. Rock Gnomes know Gnomish as a traditional language that everyone speaks, but they tend to speak Steinrede or Common in day-to-day conversations. Uses Elven script. (Tolkien's Sindarin with occasional German terms)
  • Latin: Spoken in the Republic of Ionia, and widely spoken across the region from when Imperial Ionia "civilized" the land. Common in historical documents. (Latin)
  • Linguaté: Language of the Hominae Vitae (Halflings), highly derivative of Latin, but distinct, like the relationship between Spanish and Portuguese. Most residents of the Dales speak both Linguaté and Steinrede. (Vulgar Latin with some Italian and German influences)
  • Okulari: Language of the Plains, and native tongue of the Okulari lands. Mainly oral, with great detail around trade, horses, travel, archery, weather, and wind. Very few written works, but uses Elven script. Specific kanji-like symbols represent names, particularly with nobles. (Turkish with Japanese influences)
  • Occam: The common tongue spoken in the Dunhill Confederacy, though every clan has their own unique words and dialect. Some clans even use letters that others don't. The alphabet is a cross between Runic and Latin. (Gaelic Languages with a wide array of influences)
  • Pel: Water speech used as the common tongue in the Nelendi Kingdom and its underwater trade partners. Derived from Aquan and Elven, it uses a more flowing form of Elven script that resembles patterns in the sand created by waves. (No modern analog yet)
  • Steinrede (Dwarven): Spoken by Dwarves and very commonly spoken in areas around the mountains. Uses the Runic alphabet, and it contains many terms for earth, stone, metal, crafting, and brewing. Easily carved into stone using all straight lines. (German with Norse terms)
  • Tow'ani: A common trade tongue from the many islands on the far side of the ocean. These deeply-tanned, heavily-tattooed stocky humans have a wide variety of cultures and countries, but most in Fellport refer to them as Islanders. (still deciding - te reo or Hawaiian as a base? Some other Polynesian language might work better as I learn more.)

Less Common Languages Around Fellport 

  • Aquan: Derived from Primordial. Native to denizens of the Elemental Plane of Water and mother tongue to Pel. Uses Elven script.
  • Brak'val (Orcish): Derivative of Dwarven and influenced by Occam. Native to the mostly Orcish tribes in Barbary, north of Dunhill. Contains many terms for battle, weapons, tactics, and treasure. Uses the Runic alphabet. (Dutch - The language name is literally "A fall into brackish water". Barbary natives have a dark sense of humor.)
  • Deep Speech: A chaotic language, native to intelligent aberrations, mind flayers, and beholders. Also used in deep underground societies.
  • Draconic: Native to Dragons and Kobolds, used by Draconic Sorcerers, and common in magical tomes. Uses a more ancient version of the Runic alphabet, made with talon-like curved lines. (Proto-Germanic)
  • Druidic: A secret tongue used by Druids. Uses Ogham symbols of lines and hashmarks. (Ogham)
  • Infernal: Native to most Tieflings and all Devils. Extraplanar in origin. 
  • Thieves’ Cant: Not a language on its own, Thieves' Cant provides a shared lexicon of terms inserted into normal speech to convey hidden meaning in mundane communications using another language. It also includes subtle hand signs to communicate prepositions and relationships between the spoken code words.
  • Thispek (þispek - Giant): Spoken by all types of Giants with regional variations. Most speak other languages as well. Uses the Runic alphabet, but an older variation than standard Steinrede. (Old Norse)
  • Yazi (Goblin): Native to Whitemarch, the Goblin Kingdoms, north of the mountains and east of Okulari lands. Whitemarch officials obsessively record nearly everything on paper, clay, or stone. Derivative of Okulari. Uses a bastardized, angular Elven script which Okulari speakers have a hard time reading. (Azeri)

Other Extraplanar Languages

  • Abyssal: The language of Demons.
  • Celestial: Spoken by Angels and most denizens of the higher planes.
  • Primordial: Mother tongue of the Elemental languages of Aquan, Auran, Ignan, and Terran.
  • Sylvan: Native to fey and shadow creatures. Also commonly spoken among Wood Elves.
Note: I'm struck with how following the language roots leads to cultural and biological offshoots. In particular, Draconic to Dwarven provides an interesting angle that fits with my mythology, but I haven't considered the direct ramifications of this link before. Same with Okulari to Yazi.

Also Note: I wrote up this list a few years back as a player reference, but I've expanded and embellished it this week. I wanted to add more native language names rather than reductive humanocentric names like "Goblin" or "Dwarven". This is still very much a work in progress, but I like it so far.

Part of T.W.Wombat's Lore 24 project, detailing the world around Fellport.
For all city posts, see the Fellport Index. For posts about the wider world, see the Beneterra Index.

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