Where Is My Mind
Language is a marker of tribal identity
“Language is a powerful marker of tribal identity. Language seems to be a way that we draw rings around our tribal societies, establishing identities and maybe preventing eavesdropping by others, But what is most remarkable is that language diversity is found where people are most densely packed, not most spread out.”
Palladium Fantasy has 10 distinct major spoken languages, and 7 distinct written languages. (Core Book pg. 50)
Dwarven is one of the oldest languages in the Palladium World. It is spoken by all known subterranean races, including dwarves, kobolds, gnomes, and troglodytes. It has a written language/alphabet (not practiced by most kobolds and troglodytes) and is known to many elves, but is considered a “dead” language by humans and most other people. Also a language commonly used for the construction of magic items and rune weaponry.
Elven/Dragonese is the universal language of the Palladium World. It is spoken by all elves, titans and dragons, many humans (particularly nobility and the educated), dwarves, Wolfen, Rahu-Men, and demons, as well as by royalty, men of magic, scholars, merchants and even dimensional travelers of all races. It is the oldest known written language in the world and is considered the “classic” language of the educated, nobility, students of magic, and merchants around the known world. If you learn only one language, this should be it. It will give you the most distance.
Faerie Speak is a sing-song language spoken by all faerie folk, including goblins and hob-goblins, although goblins hate speaking it (they prefer Gobblely). There is no written language.
Giantese (also known as Troll) is a rough, grunting, spoken language known to all true giant races, including the Algors, Jotan, Cyclops, Nimro, and Gigantes, as well as Trolls and some ogres. Most giants also speak Gobblely.
Gobblely is a guttural tongue spoken by all goblins, hob-goblins, orcs, and ogres. Most faerie folk can understand Gobblely at 70% proficiency, but can’t speak it. It does not have a written language.
Human: Eastern: Includes the Timiro Kingdom, Eastern Territory, Phi, Lopan, and scattered clans and outposts in the Old Kingdom and Great Northern Wilderness. In general, Eastern is a good language to learn, since it is widely used and easy to pick up.
Human: Southern Dialect: Includes the people from the Land of the South Winds and many of the Yin-Sloth Jungle tongues (many of the jungle languages don’t have any form of writing). Of the human tongues, this one is slightly more difficult to learn than the others, but do not let that discourage you, especially if you plan on adventuring in the Yin-Sloth Jungles or in the south seas. The vast majority of adventurers active in this region don’t actually know Southern, and have to speak with the natives in Eastern or Elven, which only makes the natives resentful. It also gives the locals leeway to take advantage of you, so head them off at the pass and learn to speak as they do. You’ll be thankful for it, especially if you’re trying to break into the South-Winds drug trade or haggling deals with the pirates who infest the southern waters.
Human: Northern: Spoken by the people of Bizantium, human colonies, tribes and outposts in the Northern Wilderness, and the occasional Wolfen or Algor. It is the least known of the human languages worldwide. Most Bizantians also speak Elven. Of the human tongues, it is the least used throughout the world. Oddly enough, though, it is also a language you will find spoken in every major trading city in the world, thanks to the extensive trade routes of Bizantium sailors. Bizantium captains and crews are famous for their fluency in multiple languages, but they have also taken steps to assure that wherever they go, there is at least some area where they can speak their mother tongue and feel a bit more like they are at home. Northern is a language you usually are born into. Very few non- Bizantium people ever learn it because it is more worth their while to learn Eastern or Elven, languages any self-respecting Bizantium sailor or soldier also knows.
Human: Western or Western Empire: Right now, this is the most commonly spoken human language in the world. It is the official tongue of the Western Empire and its colonies in the Old Kingdom, Ophid’s Grasslands, Yin-Sloth Jungles and Baalgor Wastelands. Since everybody wants to do business with Western interests, practically every merchant from the Eastern Territory, Timiro, Land of the South-Winds and Bizantium knows it. Western is an unusual and complex language that allows for many nuances and different shades of meaning. It is said that those fluent in Western are naturally better liars and manipulators, because their very language makes it easy to say something without really committing to it. Over time, this has made it so that people in other countries automatically distrust anybody speaking in Western, calling it the “language of liars.” Not too terribly far from the truth.
The trick about learning any of the human tongues is that lots of humans will treat you solely on the kind of language you speak. Westerners and Southerners in general don’t like Easterners and Northerners. If you know this and have a number of languages to speak, switching tongues in the right company can take you far. Each Human language has its own form of written word. Many humans, particularly nobility, scholars, men of magic, and merchants, also speak Elven.
Wolfen: A guttural language that also involves growls, grunts, whines, howls and body language. It is used primarily by the canine races (Wolfen, Coyle, Kankoran), Bearmen, Algor giants, and some trappers, rangers and non-Wolfen people who live or work in the north. It is a difficult language to master so all races not listed above are -10% to speak it. The Wolfen’s written language is also unique and difficult to master; -5% to all but Diabolists.
Other Languages of note
Demongogian is the language of Gargoyles, Brodkil, Daemonix, Deevils, demons and supernatural beings of all kinds, as well as minions of Wormwood.