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The Languages of Therra
An Overview of the Human Languages of the Continent of Jerranq



The astute reader will note that the number of human languages present on Jerranq are far less than the number of languages present on a similar swath of land on the real-life Earth. Jerranq itself encompasses an area roughly the size of Asia, which has known literally thousands of languages and distinct dialects over the course of its history and sports hundreds of such even now.

The reason for the dearth of languages in Jerraq can be traced to several reasons. First, the early history of Jerranq is dominated by two great empires, Amoria in the West and Xydlont in the East. These empires lasted thousands of years, and their influence was quite pervasive. In addition, in the West, the omnipresent spectre of the Deceiver and his armies forced the Free Nations to come together to some extent, especially when threat was imminent. Coordination of trade and, more importantly, large armies, required a common means of communication. As well, the fact that humans are a single race amongst many sentient races in Therra serves to bring humankind together with regard to culture and language. Further, the long-lived nature of some humans, as well as other races of Jerranq, allows more continuity of culture across vast expanses of time than on Earth.

Finally, and probably most importantly, the presence of magic has kept the number of languages to a minimum. Magic allows for much more intermingling of societies over longer distances. In addition, magic allows texts and tomes and lore to be preserved where they otherwise might have died out. As such, fewer languages have come and gone in Jerranq.

The Language Tree:

Set forth below is a tree of human languages in Therra.

Each of these languages is dealt with below, but of significance on the chart above are the facts that dead languages are noted in italics, and that non-human origins and influences of languages are not displayed above, though they are noted in the texts below.

Finally, the language spoken by evil humans in the service of the Deceiver, called Ghanuk, is not listed here, as that is a language that is not in use much after the fall of the Deceiver and is slowly fading away. Further, it's origins are almost entirely non-human. Ghanuk is, however, listed in the text below.

The Languages:

The human languages are listed hereinbelow alphabetically.


Akrib is a dead language. It is regarded as the first human language, though humans spoke before then the languages of their nearest and most friendly non-human neighbours. Akrib was written in cuneiform, and very little of it survives to the present day. The language was said to be a blend of Dwarvish, Elvish, and Draconic, and the written form was a hybrid of Draconic and Dwarvish. The secret language of Druids is said to have descended from Akrib.


Amorian grew out of Akrib, with the rise of the Amorian Empire. It was, as the Chansoba nations were conquered and absorbed into the Empire, modified over time to include Chansoba phrases and idioms, but the lore-hungry Amorians were most influenced by Elvish, and the language evolved from a blend of Akrib and pure Elvish to eventually become a language in its own right, and one regarded by many Jerranqi today as the most eloquent and pure human tongue ever devised.

That said, Amorian is a dead language, fallen with the Empire that spawned it. Nonetheless, it is well studied by mages and priests and bards, for the Amorian Empire left much lore from its fall, and those seeking to seriously study and delve into ancient lore are well advised to learn this language.

Ancient Morakki:

Ancient Morakki is a dead language. It was used primarily when the Morakki were settled on the Dead Coast before the Deceiver drove them out. They took this language with them on their emigration to Hagrog, but when they finally settled in the East, there was a concerted effort made by the rulers to break with the past and the language was slowly changed into its present form. Nonetheless, enough remains common between Ancient Morakki and High Morakki that a speaker of one can puzzle out some of the other.


Beltoni is a guttural language once spoken over a wide swath of land from Eastern Bleton west to the sea. It is now a rural language spoken only by the farmers and hillmen of Bleton and a few areas spread towards the Near Coast. The language spawned from Chansoba, but was influenced by the gnomish presence in the area in ancient times, and although a great many Chansoba words can be gleaned from Beltoni, it is different enough to be regarded as a language in its own right, and in theory a native speaker of Chansoba would have a difficult time understanding most of what a Beltoni-speaker was saying, and vice versa. The language is far enough removed from any Gnomic influence to prohibit any common understanding between speakers of those two languages.

Whether Beltoni had its own alphabet in the past is unknown. Currently, Beltoni uses the Amorian alphabet.


Chansoba is an ancient and now-dead language, spoken by the ancient barbaric peoples of Central and Southern Jerranq. In reality, there were many different dialects of Chansoba in ancient times, though they were similar enough that different groups could invariably communicate with one another. Chansoba died out when the Amorian Empire conquered much of the Chansoba-speaking lands and the Deceiver conquered the rest. The language survived in evolved forms amongst the Bletonese as Beltoni and the Wolf Riders as Wolgir. As many of the Chansoba-speaking peoples were largely illiterate, few examples of the language in its ancient form survive today, except as referenced in ancient Amorian documents. Chansoba had no written language, using a system of evolved pictoglyphs, but Amorian was adopted by the Chansoba-speaking peoples as they became literate or conquered.

Of note, the wagon riders of Northern Jaggarth speak a secret language that is believed to be a modifed form of Chansoba. The dialect is called Wain, and uses its own secret alphabet as well.


What is called Common in Western Jerranq is actually officially known as Low Imperial. It is descended from Amorian to be sure, but also includes a polyglot of vocabulary from a bewildering variety of languages. The language formed in the years between the fall of Amoria and the Mandarins and the rise of the Antorian Empire. Without a single power to unite the South, merchants and traders became the delineators of language, and Common grew out of the dialect of Amorian spoken in the Antoria region. As traders travelled, they added to the language, melding in elements of Beltoni, Elvish, Dwarvish, even a few words of Orcish and Goblin. When the Empire of Antorium arose, Low Imperial followed the Empire and eventually made its way through most of the Free Lands of Western Jerranq. Emigrees from the continent brought the language to Onlor. Eventually, the Religion of Indolle enshrined the language as the official Trade Tongue of Western Jerranq, and it remains the most widely spoken human tongue outside of Morakki lands.

Common uses the Amorian alphabet.


Ghanuk is the language of evil humans who served the Deceiver. Spoken primarily in the Lost Kingdoms and amongst humans serving in the Deceiver's armies, Ghanuk is directly traceable to Orcish with some elements of Goblin and Giant thrown in and mixed with Amorian. Nonetheless, the bulk of the language is Orcish, and speakers of one can grasp broad concepts by a speaker of the other. The written form of Ghanuk is in the Orcish alphabet. The language is not much in use after the fall of the Deceiver.


Girish developed on the Isle of Giroirum, and is a hybrid of High Imperial and Indagi. This reflects the Isle's dual nature as a member of the Heynosht region and also as a one-time province and protectorate of the Anotian Empire. Nonetheless, what started out as a dialect of Antorian has grown into a language all its own. Girish borrows fairly evenly from both languages, and is a younger language, not having had time enough to veer wildly from either. As such, speakers of either High Imperial or Indagi can understand about half of what is being said. Girish uses the Amorian alphabet however, and so native speakers of Indagi cannot read it.


Evolved from Low Morakki and spoken by the Raft Folk of the Oto Sea, Hakoani borrows a bit from Aquan and from Lothuk, but is primarily rooted in Low Morakki and a speaker of one can understand most of what a speaker of the other has to say. Hakoani uses Morakki characters for writing.

High Imperial:

Descended from Amorian, and more purely so than Common (or Low Imperial), High Imperial is reserved for religious ceremonies, state functions, and academic dialogue. It's Earthly approximation is, of course, Latin. High Imperial shares much in common with ancient Amorian, and a person learned in one of the two languages can certainly, with effort, understand the other. However, High Imperial is quite removed from Common, though root words are shared due to their common parent.

High Imperial uses the Amorian alphabet.

High Morakki:

High Morakki is spoken by the nobility and upper castes of Morakki society. It is a language handed down by the Emperors in Xydlont in their effort to forge a new identity in their new homeland after having fled the West. The language bears much in common with Ancient Morakki, and speakers of one can often understand speakers of the other with some difficulty. High Morakki is written using characters similar to Ancient Morakki.

Of note, High Morakki is fairly distinct from Low Morakki, a means to keep class distinctions intact in the hierarchical Morakki society, and a speaker of one will understand very little of the other. Even the characters of the written form are wildly different.


Indagi is spoken by the native islanders of the Heynosht Archipelago. As would be expected of island societies, there are hundreds of dialects of Indagi spoken today, some fairly far removed linguistically from others, especially for those islands most isolated both from other islands and outside contact. Indagi is clearly related to Ancient Morakki, and this meshes with those who theorize that the Heynosht Islanders descended from Morakki who emigrated to the islands in ancient times. The language is now so far removed from Morakki, that other than some vague root words and syllables, there is no commonality between the two.

Indagi has been heavily influenced by Aquan, due to the islanders' close proximity to the sea and their occasional alliances with various seafolk. In fact, the written form of Indagi uses a modified Aquan alphabet.


It is not known how long Lothuk has been spoken by the Ice People of the far north, due to their insular nature and isolated location. Loremasters studying Lothuk (likely named after Lothar, God of Frost) are convinced that it derived from Akriba, but was heavily influenced by Ancient Morakki as well. Some speculate that when the Morakki first emigrated to Hagrog, they had trade and contact with the Ice People, and possibly introduced their own language to them.

Lothuk is a difficult language to speak, with most words comprised of many syllables. It is thought that the complexity and length of words allows Ice People to communicate more easily in the midst of howling winds or over long distances, as it is much easier to mis-hear a short word than a long one.

Written Lothuk is in the form of a very simple alphabet that is rune-like, suitable for carving onto the ivory and bones that serve as written media for the Ice People.

Low Morakki:

Essentially the Morakki "common tongue", Low Morakki is used amongst the lower and middle classes and for every day dialogue even by the nobility. Although birthed from Ancient Morakki, it has evolved severely over time, and is now quite different from its root language. In addition, it is quite different from High Morakki, both spoken and written, and few speakers of only Low Morakki can read or understand much of High Morakki (which is just how the Morakki nobles prefer it).


Almost a dead language, Mandarini evolved during the Mandarin occupation of Western Jerranq. Related to High Morakki, the Mandarins sought to separate themselves physically, economically, and culturally from the Emperor in the East, and so blended High Morakki with a bit of Amorian and other Western languages and then twisted the whole into their own language. The result was a means for the Mandarins to communicate with each other. Mandarini is not yet considered a dead language because it is spoken in high circles by the nobility of Amabong as a means to keep a distinct identity from Xydlont. The Emperors have been none-to-pleased about this long-standing insult to their rule, but as long as the language is not spoken in the presence of Xyndlonti nobles, the insult is not a grave one. The language is different enough from High Morakki, as was its intent, so as to be not understandable by a speaker of that tongue.

To speak Mandarini to a Xyndlonti noble is tantamount to a sentence of death.

Mandarini uses High Morakki characters in its written form.


The Mindari speak a language that is probably the closest thing to Ancient Morakki in present day Jerranq. They were some of the first to flee the old Morakki homeland when the Deceiver arose, and their isolation on Mindari Isle has helped to keep their language relatively pure. That is not to say that millenia have not worked their changes upon the language. Mindari is not Ancient Morakki by any stretch of the imagination. But many phrases and words can be easily traced to Ancient Morakki, and a speaker of one could fairly easily pick up and eventually learn the other.

The Mindari have a written language that also uses glyphs and characters that have evolved from ancient Morakki, and again whose lineage can be seen even by casual observation.


Thaneeri is a combination of Wolgir and Lothuk, which sheds no light on whether ancient Thaneer descended from the Ice People or the Wolf Riders. However, linguists are certain that the language is a combination of both, and the dearth of ancient Thaneeri texts makes it difficult to determine which of the two was brough into the region by Thaneer and which intruded upon the language over time through trade and contact.

The only native speakers of Thaneeri are, of course, the various clans of Thaneer. The Thaneeri use a runic alphabet, likely learned from the Dwarves of the Aynayjor Mountains.


Vashti is spoken by the nomads of the Wylag Desert and the East Wastes. It is a combination of Ancient Morakki and the elemental languages as spoken by the genies, and speakers of Ancient Morakki and of Aquan, Ignan, Terran, or Auran can all pick out words and phrases from a Vashti speaker. Written Vashti uses current Morakki characters.


An offshoot of both Amorian and Beltoni, Vilgumese is spoken almost exclusively in Vilgum, and even then mostly in the rural north or amongst Vilgum rulers and nobility. The language is dissimilar enough from Beltoni that speakers of one cannot understand the other. Vilgumese uses the Amorian alphabet.


Guttural and harsh, Wolgir is spoken almost exclusively by the Wolf Riders of the Wolf Lands. They have kept their language fairly intact over the centuries due to their conservative society and their tendency to commune and worship their ancestors as spirits, which promotes preservation of the language in its ancient forms. While the Wolf Riders claim their language was taught to them by wolves, Therran etymologists insist the language is an offshoot of Chansoba.

Wolgir uses its own alphabet, and etymologists have not been able to determine where they got this from. Of course, the Wolf Riders claim that the wolves taught them their alphabet.


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