Blackmoorian "Common" and language drift

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RobJN
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Blackmoorian "Common" and language drift

Post by RobJN » Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:58 am

So, you're a scion of the royal family of Blackmoor (this is New Blackmoor, by the way, which lies in a complex of caverns along the rim of the ice-covered glass-sided crater which is most* of what is left of Old Blackmoor).

So (as we said in the beginning), there you are, scion of the House of Andahar, lost somewhere on the continent of Brun. How would you communicate? What kind of language drift can three thousand years of isolation wreak on a Common tongue?

Having seen (but not studied in any depth) the gaps in syntax, spelling, and meaning in just a few centuries worth of drift between Old English and modern English, I wonder how different an "Old Blackmoor" speaker would be regarded amongst the "modern" Known Worlders. Would there be any sort of similarity? One word in, say, 10? 5? 100?

Yes, I know there is the whole comprehend languages spell thing to iron out all those wrinkles, but perhaps one of the lingering effects of the magical radiation of Lost Blackmoor is that those such spells.. simply won't work, sliding around the unfortunate Blackmoorian like water around a rock along the riverbed.

For the Sake of Plot, I've posited that Old Blackmoorian is closer to Ancient Elvish than any of the modern tongues, and of course, there are only a few fluent enough** in the language to hold a decent conversation with the Scion. The written form of language for New Blackmoor is Ancient Elvish, as those books were nearly all they were able to salvage in the hundreds of years following the Great Rain of Fire.

Thoughts? Insight?
Rob
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Re: Blackmoorian "Common" and language drift

Post by Havard » Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:19 pm

Wow, sounds like an interesting adventure idea!

The Hollow World boxed set says Thyatian is derived from Neathar and that it is possible for people who know one to communicate with those who know the other. If Blackmoorian is somehow related to Neathar, perhaps that would work the same way?

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Re: Blackmoorian "Common" and language drift

Post by cab » Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:29 pm

I had been considering keeping Thonian (as they'd presumably speak in Blackmoor) as the Lawful alignment language of the Known World era... Possibly having Afridhi as the Chaotic language, and something like Peshwari as the Neutral one. Using these ancient scripts as the secret languages of religious orders (far closer to what Gary Gygax intended alignment languages to be) has some mileage I think. Although I need to think this through a bit; I think I'd prefer 'pantheon' languages rather than 'alignment' ones.

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Re: Blackmoorian "Common" and language drift

Post by Hugin » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:02 pm

cab wrote:Using these ancient scripts as the secret languages of religious orders (far closer to what Gary Gygax intended alignment languages to be) has some mileage I think. Although I need to think this through a bit; I think I'd prefer 'pantheon' languages rather than 'alignment' ones.
Very interesting idea, cab! These ancient languages may have been (somewhat) preserved through religious tradition. Definitely worth exploring these possibilities!

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Re: Blackmoorian "Common" and language drift

Post by RobJN » Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:18 pm

Very interesting, the thing with the cultural alignment language tendencies. Nothing like worship to get things set down on stone/papyrus/parchment!

Oh, and Havard, actually, the adventure actually runs the other way: PCs (Known Worlders) are sort of saddled with the scion, who is (understandably) hit with a bit of culture shock, the noncommunication issue only adding fuel to the fire.

The adventure arc, as far as I've gotten to framing it, leads from the Lake of Lost Dreams, to the Lost Valley of the Hutaaka (did I spell that right?), to demon-haunted Alfheim. All the while pursued by Afridhi death cultists, Iron Ring slavers intent on capturing the scion, and at least one but probably more ethereal demons awaiting their chance to strike.

I should probably get this thing written....
Rob
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Re: Blackmoorian "Common" and language drift

Post by cab » Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:51 am

Okay... More thoughts...

'Alignment' tongues based on spheres of influence in ancient civilisations.

Hence:

Carnifex: Entropy
Afridhi: Energy
Nithian: Time
Thonian: Matter
Peshwari: Thought

Not sure about Nithianin this list...

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