Languages

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Literacy

GURPS 4th Edition no longer uses Literacy/Illiteracy for low tech settings like Eldritch Dreams. Players should only refrain from purchasing written comprehension in their native language if they feel that their character would naturally have not been schooled by their parents or community.

The Oranic Family of Languages

High Oran is the lingua franca of trade, and is widely spoken by aristocrats, artists, merchants, and the wealthy, especially among Humans. Low Oran is a somewhat different dialect used by peasants, slaves, and “barbarian” cultures such as the Boreans and Farrians. Both of these come from Old Oran, a dead language known only to scholars and mystics, but occasionally used by Shamans (think Gaelic or Old English).

All three Oranic languages count as Broken forms of each other at comprehension levels of Accented or Native, for purposes of both reading and writing. They share the same alphabet and sentence structure, though grammar and vocabulary have changed a great deal over the centuries.

Old Oran has a few things in common with Ancient Phaetian, the lingua magica of Elidh (think Latin or Ancient Greek). Most scholars dismiss this as simple evidence that Old Oran was spoken before the Year of Daemons. Comprehension of Ancient Phaetian at Accented or Native grants Broken understanding of Old Oran… but not the other way around.

Near-Oranic Relatives

Forrin and Fossa are spoken by Baccari and Foss, respectively. Like Earth’s so-called “Romance Languages”, they share an alphabet with the Oranic dialects (with one or two minor changes and strange punctuation, like French or Spanish), but their grammar and vocabulary have diverged to the point that Oranic speakers can no longer understand them by default.

Forrin is lilting and poetic, and rarely taught to non-Baccari. Fossa is actually comprised of four distinct dialects: Fossa-Erg for all clades of craftsmen and engineers, Fossa-Russ for all clades involving agriculture or the products thereof (tanners, millers, etc.), Fossa-Pelt for the Clade of Scouts (the Foss military), and Fossa-Kheem, for the Clade of Alchemists. Each dialect of Fossa at comprehension levels of Accented or Native counts as Broken comprehension of the other three.

Non-Oranic Languages

Arktongue is the guttural tongue of the Arktos and does not, as far as anyone knows. have a written form. Murm is the hissing language spoken by the Meerin, and while each tribe has its own dialect, these do not generally differ enough to present any problems communicating (the differences are mainly in accent and tone). Unlike the Arktos, the Meerin have a written language, as evidenced by the grafitti one finds in their lairs.

Coranese is spoken by Corians from the far south. It is a relatively straightforward language, but shares no alphabet, sentence structure, grammar, or punctuation with any Oranic or Oranic-descended languages, having apparently come from a separate ancestor.

Languages

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