There is a way that information travels among the world. News, legends, stories, ideas – all of it is carried through the work of the Bard’s Guild, often linked to the Messenger and Envoy guilds, and the agents that they collectively send out will bring word and news back, or pass it along, and inevitably it ends up in the Broadsheets that are published by the Guild and passed out for free to the people – even in Sibola, though much more secretively.

Literacy is low on Wyrlde, by and large, and so there are entertainments – songs, dances, orations, poems, and even simple Readers who share the news and keep the thoughts of the Empire connected.

The typical amount of time that it takes news to travel from Dorado to Sibola is generally a week. For more common or routine deliveries, it can take up to three, so the average time for most information and news traveling from one location to another is around two weeks.

There are other somewhat common ways that some people are able to communicate, if they have the funds, over great distances. Of course, there is also just plain, old fashioned, every day, run of the mill magic, too.


Messengers carry letters both of grand import and lesser, but also, they carry the memorized words. These are folks who will take down the thoughts and feelings of people and convert them into written language and then travel to deliver the letter, and even read it to the recipient if they cannot.

Messengers can be found in any village, town, or City, and usually a Messenger guild will have five to ten staff at any given time.


The most widely spoken language in the Empire, stretching into the Savage lands and the Sea Realms and Anilia, is Common. Common is more formally known as Guild Cant. It is not a full language, but a means and way by which merchants who travel and ply the waters, the lands, and the sky can communicate and keep records and do their business. To that core set have been added additional words, and it has essentially grown into a basic, simple language that is able to be used in most places, as there is usually someone who speaks it. Most folks otherwise speak the language of their homeland.

As a result, only about a fifth of the population in any given area is literate, and while that number increases in the Cities, it drops dramatically in villages or smaller settlements. It is then made worse by a lack of cross-national literacy. This does not apply to mathematics, however, which are widely taught in the Tanjins.

One of the reasons for this is the use of official languages and scripts, as each of the major Cities has its own official, required language and writing system, in no small part due to hostility towards Sibola and the history around it. Akadian scholars are often enraptured by their studies of the glyphs and runes and ideographic semantic symbology of Caligulan that even they do not get around to much literacy. Caligulan is an unreadable script to those without magic and magic itself has assorted scripts that it uses.

While the history of the spoken language is fascinating, it had significant impact on the development of the writing systems. Ancient uses only a small set of some twenty-six letters with strange additional figures that appear as well. It was not adopted later, and when Belial created the Progenic basis, he included and used a structured Alphabet that has remained the basis ever since. Though the Alphabet has remained mostly intact, the lettering systems have not.

As a result, learning a written language is just as involved and challenging as learning a spoken one. There are people who can read one language they may have never heard spoken, and people who can speak a host of languages and never able to read any of them.

P25690#y1The Linguistic History

All languages on Wyrlde stem from one language that was spoken over all of Wyrlde for several hundred years called Ancient, though we think they called it Ingish. It does not seem to have roots in common with other languages, and tradition holds that it is the language of the Powers. One thing seems to remain true: if you are not from Wyrlde and you are reading this, odds are very good you speak Ancient.

During the early years of the Reign of Belial, a new language, constructed by Belial and Pallor, was put into place. Called Progenic, it was ultimately combined with Ancient and became the parent language called Colonial. Progenic-derived languages are still spoken, and Progenic is the forebear of Thulian, Lemurian, and other languages of the Foe.

Progenic is deeply important, however, because it used a structure that is very different from Ancient in how it assembles language and speech, using a system of prefixes, suffixes, roots, and additions that deeply influenced all languages spoken today except perhaps Dragon, but no one has survived asking them about their language.

Colonial is still used today as the parent language of the Planar roots, and is the mother language of the Hyborian peoples, though theirs has shifted over the centuries into Hyborian. Each of the assorted forms there has several additional branches as well for each of the dimensions. During the God’s War, to reduce the enemy understanding of plans and messages, Colonial was shifted into a more coded form that used some of the same mechanisms as Progenic but followed more of the core basis of Colonial and created Mortalian. It has recently been shown to be the parent tongue of the Exilian peoples, which has strong similarity to Old Kahokian.

Mortalian spawned five languages: Elfin Cant, a shorthand combining gestures and single syllable sounds that was used during combat operations during the God’s War; Dwarfin Cant, a symbolic language of complex markings that helped them to convey ideas with people they would never meet about how to build or construct, or manage something, as well as a form of shorthand for taking notes at speed that were exact; Old Shanty, which is the parent tongue of both Islandian Shanty and Kerisian Shanty, which are only varied in the way that sounds are spoken within the water; Old Kahokian, which interacted with Hyborian over the years and became what we hear today from them; and finally Journian, which was the language that evolved out of Mortalian during the Bleak Journey and was ultimately the language that founded Sibola.

Many of the earliest records of Sibola show the slow shift and the occasional leap into what we now call Old Sibolan over a few hundred years. Old Sibolan was a direct change from Journian, and many words that were previously slang became common terms, and some common terms vanished.

Old Sibolan led to Akashik and Aztani, with Aztani leading into Qiviran later on as it reacted to Mid Sibolan. Mid Sibolan was a direct result of an Imperial Decree that sought to regiment and formulize the language after the Akashik and Aztic Rebellions. It is from Mid-Sibolan that we reached Imperial as it is spoken today, and also the sister languages of it – Durian, Dorian, and Lyrik, also called Lyonian. The Syndics of Durango developed out the Shadow Cant used by the underworld, and Imperial is the basis of the Guild Cant, also often called Common, which serves as the essential lingua franca of the world – hence why it is called Common.

It is known that Dragons have their own language, and on occasion we hear vague, unconfirmed tales that there are other beings that speak languages unknown to us just as the language of dragons are. We keep hoping one will teach us, but thus far they seem more interested in the kill it first and talk later sort of exchange.

The Cants are special, private languages used within their respective professions. Note that Common is a stunted language, with a limited vocabulary, so the cants often add additional terms known only to those within the same language, making them often mostly unintelligible to others. The Cants also do not have a written form in the traditional sense. They do usually have a set of marks that are ideograms, stylized expressions of a concept, that are used in some cases – rumored to have been borrowed from the Exilian.

The Distinctions

One of the more key things about all the languages on Wyrlde is that they are heavily dependent on prefixes and suffixes but in distinct ways. For some, it is only nouns, for others it is only verbs, for yet others it is both. The suffixes and prefixes format changes from languages to language, and how they are applied does as well. Combined with historical metaphors and kennings and the like, the various languages are no longer able to be understood unless they speak common.

A secondary and equally troubling aspect is that there are several words that are not affixed and are conjugated according to a seemingly arcane set of rules that vary from language to language. These are notably such things as pronouns, but also simple prepositions such as “the”, “and”, “or”, and “but.

The affixes are what can change a given root into a noun, a verb, an adverb or adjective, and even demonstrate the possessive – which can be complex since they impact the object being possessed, not the possessor. This is easily described and ultimately simply taught, and greatly speeds up education and learning of language compared to some historical sources but does fundamentally contribute to the near unintelligibility of all the languages since each language has its own set of basic or core root words, of which there is a comparatively short list for most purposes.

Complex terms that combine multiple concepts into a single word become very difficult in many languages, as that sort of compound word forming isn’t possible in most of them.

On the other hand, some of the languages are wonderfully musical and poetic, and poetry is a rarity in art form and function.

Common is a curious thing, using a much simpler linguistic base (there are only about eight hundred roots in Common) that is very much suited more to trade than anything else. At the Convocation, Sibolian is spoken, and it remains the de facto “universal language” for much of the Bright Lands.

Standard Spoken Languages

The list of Languages available in Wyrlde is as follows:













Rare Spoken Languages

Some languages are very uncommon to hear someone know, and nearly all of them have some strange tale to be told of how they were learned.

Foe Languages include:






Planar Languages include the following:









Elemental Cants







Shaded Tongue




It is known that Dragons have their own language, and on occasion we hear vague, unconfirmed tales that there are other beings that speak languages unknown to us just as the language of dragons are. We keep hoping one will teach us, but thus far they seem more interested in the kill it first and talk later sort of exchange.


The vast majority of people in Wyrlde are educated in the home, usually by one or both parents, and learn much of their knowledge from rote and immersion. Those from steadings, hamlets, and villages are unlikely to have had a chance to attend a Tanjin and are most likely to be illiterate. Those in Towns and Cities are more likely to have a chance, and about one fifth to one third of those there will be literate in at least one language – not always the one they may speak.

Each of the major languages has its own particular way of writing their language, often due to a formal law and or edict for how businesses is to be conducted. Here, we use a particular set of flexible rules that provide a rough guide to the language, with the conventions for using certain letters and then the representations for those letters provided.

Written Languages
















Scholarly Written Languages

Scholarly Languages are those that have a greater difficulty being learned and are used mostly by those who study old manuscripts and records. They are dead Languages, not spoken by anyone.




Old Kahokian

Old Sibolan

Old Shanty


Old Planar



Mid Sibolan



If there are things that the people of Wyrlde enjoy almost universally, it is smoked meats, good bread, and coming up with extraordinarily creative imprecations regarding the Powers That Be.

Soil, sand, smoke, and stone!

Antelle’s Ass!

Qetza’ s Balls!


All of Tarnation!

Gallae’s great gazongas!




Chicory Hickory Liquory Lapse!

Ah, turdbossoms!

Ya Mafa!

Even the Clerics get into it, though they tend to create them for Powers That Be other than the one they serve.

The Powers That Be are not beloved on Wyrlde. This is forever an understatement, and it is the role of Clerics to restore the faith in them, to prove that they can be turned to, can be valued, can be worshipped.

It is much more difficult than it sounds.

Regular Courtesies

Among the norms that one will find worldwide are Please and Thank you, a greeting that is often specific to the area, and the celebration of festivals around the same time.

Greetings and Honorifics vary by realm, and you can find them in the description of the realm. Not using a greeting or honorific, or using the wrong one, is a major mistake, and can create a sense of being rude and discourteous. Most homelands have traditional parting sayings. These common courtesies include a variety of aspects, covered under the realms listing.

Communication Devices

Scryorbs: Spheres, or orbs, crafted from large crystals and ingrained with differing abilities, they enable people to see each other and communicate across great distances. They are always made in matched sets, that are always only linked to each other. It is said the Rulers of all the Realms have one gifted to them by the Powers That Be, that they were waiting for them at Zefir when they arrived.

Scrying Mirrors: Known because some junior Clerics let slip the secret, most of the major Clergy are able to stay in touch through the use of scrying mirrors. Some say that these mirrors may be able to do more than merely allow communication – either way, the Temples neither confirm nor deny this, they ignore it, pretending such things don’t exist.

I can say that I have seen one, and they look pretty but I am not sure I could hold my arm like that.

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