Nothing brings a community together more than communication. The spoken word remains one of the most cohesive factors in the development of civilization. Without the ability to speak to someone, it is difficult to establish a common ground, and violent difficulties may ensue. Listed here is a brief summation of the languages available to players.
Horizon Alliance Languages:
Common – Spoken by nearly all the descendant of the refugees, regardless of race, this universal language is the standard for communication among all of them. The letters are simplistic and easily recognizable. It was not invented by the refugees, but like all languages has evolved over time. It would be difficult, but not impossible, for someone who remained on the continent to converse with a native of DawnHaven using common. It’s origin dates back to the onset of the great war, when diplomacy was more than just an empty hope to the masses.
Gnomish – A complicated language which is made even more difficult to learn by the accelerated speed most native speakers use in this tongue. Besides gnomes, dwarves most commonly speak this language, hailing form the same region on the old continent. When it is written coherently, and not scribbled as a side-note on scratch paper, the letters are
an eclectic combination of curly and rigid.
Dwarven – A language with hard consonants and rigid structure, dwarven resembles its speakers quite a bit. Aside from their deep baritones, dwarven is most commonly spoken by gnomes, having come from the same mountain kingdoms. The runes are sharp;y angled and read from bottom to top.
Elvish – A flowing language that sounds more like a conversational song if spoken by someone fluent, Elvish is spoken primarily by Elves and their Half Elf descendants. The letters merge into one another making a smooth pattern.
Human – The individual origins of each language are lost to time, but some scholars joke that humans have their own language simply so as not to be left out. It borrows characteristics from the other languages just enough that anyone fluent in all of them them would be utterly confused trying to decipher it in their context. Human is spoken almost exclusively by humans and Half Elf people. Elf, gnome, and dwarf ears can with effort glean partial understanding of the meaning however. Human text uses the same letters as common.
The Mahi-Tahi Peoples
Fork-Tongue – This is a parallel to the “common” language spoken by the Horizon Alliance in many respects. But the Mahi-Tahi have lived as an intermingled society for far longer, and the sub categories are closer to being distinct dialects than completely separate languages. Anyone fluent in Fork-Tongue is capable of understanding and communicating with someone else that has any of the dialects, but the occasional concept or word might translate differently. All three use the same alphabet.
Vishkanya – Vishkanya speak in long running sentences at a constant pace, making it difficult to tell where one ends and another begins. Their vowels are drawn out, and while they have no direct translation for lying, they have many different concepts for varying levels of truth.
Wyvaran – Wyvaran language is, they claim, the oldest of the three. It is often spoken with deep inflections and drawn out pauses.
LizardFolk – Lizardfolk have a dialect of Fork-Tongue that includes more bodily expression to convey the concept. Their expressive tails and frills are all part of the language to them, and some of that subtlety can be lost on other races, although the Wyvaran are fairly adept at interpreting it if not recreating it. In addition to the Fork-Tongue alphabet, Lizardfolk have a pictographic system used to record past events. Vishkanya and Wyvaran can learn the pattern to interpret the full meaning of a display of these pictographs, but many often settle for the general idea conveyed by the set.
There are increasing number of people living in both empires that are making an effort to learn each other’s language. There are significant stumbling blocks, but it has been shown to be possible. A majority of the subtleties of the physical language of the Lizard folk is lost on the Horizon Alliance speaks, and the Mahi-Tahi often lose themselves trying to follow a gnome whose is not slowing down for clarity. It is more common for a foreigner to try and learn the language of the other than force them to learn theirs, be it out of security concerns, lack of aggression, or honest curiosity.