From Humble Beginnings
Five primary languages are spoken across the Flanaess, wich Common the most prevalent. Most folk are multilingual, though barbarians and the uneducated often speak but one tongue. Adventurers always know Common and learn additional languages in the usual manner.
Baklunish, Ancient: An ancestor of Common, Baklunish bears little resemblance. Many colloquial Baklunish dialects (some used by the Paynims) are based upon the classical language and collectively called Low Baklunish. Ancient Baklunish, however, is the standard literary form of the language and is used in religion, mythology, and poetry. It is also the language of all official documents and courtly proceedings west of the Yatils. Despite this, Common is widely known and used in the west, especially by traders and the educated.
Common: A combination of Ancient Baklunish and the dialect of Old Oeridian spoken in the Great Kingdom was the basis of this traders’ tongue. Beginning centuries ago as Middle-Common, the language contained many obviously Oeridian elements, and the contributions of Baklunish grammatical structure and vocabulary are clearly identifiable. Regional variations were also pronounced, but all these elements became blended and standardized during the years of Aerdi dominance, resulting in the birth of the Overking’s Common Tongue, later simply called Common. Any traveler must learn Common or be greatly handicapped. Very often, a language must be translated to Common before it can be translated into another language.
Flan: Doubtless the oldest language still spoken to any considerable extent, Flan is used by the Tenha in a corrupt form, and the Rovers of the Barrens have a strange version of it. A stagnant language, it is hard to translate modern concepts (such as magic terms) into Flan.
Oeridian, Old: A young language, Oeridian took in few outside influences until a few centuries ago. As a result, translation into any language except Common is difficult at best. Many books and documents of the Great Kingdom were written in Old Oeridian, and in the far east the language is still widely known and used in speech and writing.
Suloise, Ancient: This ancient and widespread language became all but extinct after the Rain of Colorless Fire destroyed the Suel Imperium. Today it is rarely spoken, even by the few scholars who know the tongue. it exists in its written state for those who would delve into the surviving arcane tomes of the Suel people. Transliteration into modern tongues or alphabets is difficult, and dangerous when used in spellcasting, for the significance of certain inflections have been lost over the centuries.
Dialects and sublanguages worthy of note follow. Those who speak related languages may have some chance to understand dialects, but little chance to comprehend distorted, mixed tongues.
Cold Tongue: This dialect, also known as Fruz, is Ancient Suloise with Flan admixture, spoken by Ice, Snow, and Frost Barbarians. It has no relation to Common, and even speakers of Suloise find it difficult to understand.
Druidic: The druids’ tongue of the Flanaess shares roots with Flan, but it is specialized and static, focusing onlyon the natural world and agriculture.
Keolandish: This widespread dialect of Old High Oeridian has local admixtures. It is spoken in and around Keoland.
Nyrondese: This High Oeridian dialect of Common is spoken in rural areas of Nyrond. It is the primary language of peasants, shopkeepers, and other common folk who distrust outsiders. Learned folk speak Common as well.
Rhopan: The language of the Rhennee, Rhopan is also called “Rhennee cant” because it borrows many terms from other languages, including the argot of several thieves’ organizations. It is not related to any Oerthly tongue.
Velondi: This Old Oeridian tribal tongue is known to rural folk along the Furyondy-Veluna border. Those who speak only Common cannot understand it. It has no written form.