Lore - Language

Ere’s languages are closely linked to its history. As old masters were defeated, alliances made and events changed the world, the lexicon of the world. Below is a brief discussion of the languages of Ere, their origins and common usages. Unless noted otherwise, the languages in the Player’s Handbook are used in the same way as they are therein.

Obviously, common is the primary tongue used in the world, stemming far back to Saint’s Landing when Hessa taught the first peoples a common language so that they could all understand one another. It was all but list during Draconic Control before resurfacing as the Imperial language of the Vishnari Empire. Common in the present day is quite far removed from Imperial, after being corrupted and reinterpreted over more than a thousand years. Common is spoken and understood everywhere but Mon Sulus Kime.

As stated, Imperial was the tongue of the Vishnari Empire. In the present day, knowing Imperial and especially being able to speak it is regarded of a sign of education and fine breeding. Unsurprisingly, hailene of any station do their level best to ensure their children know Imperial, oblivious to the irony of speaking the tongue of the Empire their ancestors warred with.

Ancient even in the time of Saint’s Landing, draconic was the only official language on Ere during the bulk of Draconic Control and as a result, a mass of older written material was put down in draconic. This, draconic is a scholarly language as well as remaining the antic tongue of dragons. Spell chants, incantations and mantras are often in draconic. Words like ‘fais’ (life/soul) and ‘fri’ (still) appear often in the common names of spells.

A deliberately corrupted and clipped version of draconic, spoken by the first dwarves as an insult to their would be dwarven masters, dwarven has remained largely unchanged since it’s inception. To dwarves, words have power and to alter their language would be to alter their world.

More of a code than a language, Halfling is Common with it’s own grammatical structure and a large helping of slang that sounds like word salad to those who haven’t been taught. Halfling families all have their own slight variations of the language that functions as an accent. They teach this version to close friends who they consider family.

The woodland language passed down to the peoples of her realm by Sylph the First. It is still spoken within her domain, by Sylph Reborn’s druids, and has been adopted, by whatever mechanism, by those spirit beasts advanced enough to speak.

Also called Low Sylvan or Dog Sylvan, Elven is the language of elves, miare and fey on Ere proper. It is removed from Sylvan by some five hundred years and borrows heavily from common. Most elves born in cities or towns never learn elven, but elves that remain living in their own cities and Elfhames speak it almost exclusively.

The language that stems from the dark mind of the King of Shades, Kaydan is spoken only among those who are part of the secret, true face of the Kaydan church and is generally only known to outsiders who are dedicated to fighting them.

Somewhat misnamed, Islander only applies to the island chain of Mon Sulus Kime, where it is the common and official tongue. This language barrier, coupled with the Kimeians’ refusal to learn Common or teach Islander has hurt trade in that part of the world.

Phrase Book

“Ash me” – strong oath.

“Ash my soul.” – very strong oath.

“Blood be stilled.” – expression of shock or unpleasant surprise.

“Blood to ice.” – expression of horror or extreme disdain

"Dice Priest" – cleric of Pandemos.

“Story spinner” – proper title for a bard or any entertainer who merely tells stories and sings songs. Sometimes used in a derogatory manner as slang for liar.

“Turn to ash.” – very caustic curse, not for polite company.

Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition © Wizards of the Coast
World of Ere and related original content © Landon Porter