Creator's Note on Languages
The world of Dominaria is so huge with so many different countries and peoples that I have split Common (and a few other languages) along regional lines. I realize some people may think this complicate things, but given the history of my world and all of the different countries it really helps the feel of the world. It gives each region a distinctive feel and allows DMs to emphasize the differences between regions. Sub-regions within countries can also have their own languages, allowing the natives to converse without giving away secrets and making regional Guilds even more clannish abroad. Don't worry though, given the map I have I don't think I take it too far, and many languages can be understood by people who speak related languages with an INT check.
Overall, this really allows me to give flavor to my world and really emphasize how far ranging adventures can get. Also it really tends to make the party 'voice' more important and helps people out who have good back-stories (allowing them to take multiple languages or a specific regional tongue. The back-story is really important here, characters who have spent their entire lives in Arcadia shouldn't know the Mountain Tongue from the northern Imperium for example. But enough of my rambling, on to the languages. Note that I've included the intended feel of some of the more common languages, giving an accent to them or changing diction for each one will help a lot.
Any language bolded is a 'primary language' which denotes it as the most important language in the region. All of the other languages are listed for regional/country intricacies and for history's sake. They need not be used.
The Languages of the Common Races
This table so far excludes the tongues of the Northmen, Otarians, minor Easterling states, and the Southern Islanders of the west.
|Imperial||Albia, Amacidia, Andor, Aryth, Cormyr, Illyria, Malkier, Ramosia, Strakenland, The Dragonlands, The Tionne Hegemony, Onea, Velmorra||Near universal language in the West dating back to the 2nd Imperium as currently spoken. Nearly universal second language outside of the countries listed (in the West).|
|High Imperial, "Chant"||Albia, Amacidia, Aryth, Cormyr, Illyria, Ramosia, The Tionne Hegemony, Onea||Court Language of the Imperiums. Any member of a High House (and most Low Houses), Court official, high-raking military officer, powerful trade magnates and guild heads, and any of the powerful Court hangers-on (noble Knights and Bards and such) will speak High Imperial. High Imperial stems from Imperial but many words, phrases, and even motions or items have subtle meanings, people speaking Imperial Common will be able to basically understand High Imperial but only a DC 25 Sense Motive check will reveal the full meaning.|
|Ramosi||Ramosia, Andor||Ramosia was independent until the formation of the 3rd Imperium so most Ramosian commoners, especially in rural areas, speak Ramosian Common.|
|Cormyri||Cormyr, Amacidia, Onea||The now ancient tongue of the Kingdom of Cormyr is spoken only by very few (usually learned or noble) Cormyrians. The Cormyri people have spoken Imperial Common since the middle period of the 1st Imperium (2nd Age) so it should be stressed that this is nearly a dead tongue and outside of Cormyri scholars and nobles it exists only in some books, old or important inscriptions, and tombs from the era.|
|Illyrian||Illyria, The Tionne Hegemony||As with Cormyri, Illyrian dissapeared within a few centuries of the Republic of Illyria merging with Cormyr into the 1st Imperium. Illyrian became the mother tongue for modern Imperial. It is, by and large, spoken only by the Illyrian nobility and scholars. An interesting wrinkle here is that ever since the reign of John I Tionne of Illeria became Emperor during the 2nd Imperium, Illyrian became the secret tongue of the Palace Guards was used to cipher Imperial military dispatches. This practice continues in the Tionne Hegemony.|
|Inerian||Aryth||A cross between old Illyrian and the tongue of the Grey Elves spoken in the Aryth Vale as the common tongue. Aryth was the only part of the Imperium that did not use Imperial as the basic language of trade and legal documents, although trade with the outside world was mostly conducted in Imperial or Beldroni.|
|Northern||Malkier, Strakenland||"Northern Speech" or the "Tongue of the "Northmen" is the language that comes from the first men who settled the plains beyond King John's Wall. In modern times, any 'true' northman speaks it and most of the rural communities only speak it. City dwellers tend to speak Imperial as well but many books, histories, and holy texts originating in the north are written in Northern.|
|Velmorran||Velmorra, Albia||A dying language that was on its last legs during the 3rd Imperium, Velmorran is making a comeback in the recent generation. It is seen mostly in the extensive works produced during the Velmorran Hegemony during the 2nd Age, but some more ethnic shops and establishments now hang their signs in Velmorran or Velmorran and Imperial.|
|Mantaéri||Mantaér||The oldest language on Dominaria, brought by the first settlers of the Westlands. It is much different that other human languages, many of those changed by time or contact with other species. Mantaéri people speak it nearly exclusively in their cities, and while most cosmopolitan Mantaéri can speak Imperial most commoners cannot.|
|Beldroni||Beldron||The language of the Beldroni cities and the Sword Coast. The language contains an oddly high number of swear words but all are used in ordinary conversation.|
|Arcadian||Arcadia, Andor, Selucia, Felix, Concord, Rishdan||Arcadian is the universal language across the Arcadian Empire.|
|Andoran||Andor||The Ancient Language of the Lion Kingdom is a barely remembered secret spoken now only by the Wizards of the Red Tower and the follow on guilds they have throughout Mantaér and Arcadia.|
|Selucian||Selucia, Rishdan||A thorough bastardization of Arcadian and Easterling that developed before Arcadia ever conquered Selucia. Your average Selucian is bilingual (Selucian and Arcadian) so it is now a regional language. Many Rishdani Guilds use it as a trade language.|
|Easterling||The Southern Caliphate, Kwazarmia, Sura, Cimmeria, the Slave Coast||The Language of the Enlightened, "Aluhah Al-Mustanir", is the common tongue in the Eastlands.|
|Kwazarmi||Kwazarmia, The Slave Coast||The Language of the Pantheon, "Aluhah Al-Thaadejhah", is the common tongue of all cities that fall under the Pantheist League, and is spoken in the Slave Coast as well.|
|Dhazanti||The Dhazantar Steppes, The Aktar Fells, the Ruul Valley||The language of the Steppe people of Dhazantar, it is also used to trade in Ruul.|
|Gutter Argot||All||Gutter Argot is an insane combination of human and demihuman languages spoken throughout the underworld of humanity. Gutter Argot is spoken in back alley sales and back room deals in every corner of Dominaria inhabited by Humans. Due to the nature of the language, each person has their own little nuances and puts their own spin on it. Therefore, even with the language, a DC 10 INT check every time a new person is spoken to in Gutter Argot.|
|High Elven||The Elven Kingdoms; High Elven Clades in the Eastlands and Westlands||Alendari, or "High Elven" is the basic language of the elves, stemming from the language of the Alendar.|
|Orostadë||Wood Elf Clades, the Cormyri Vale, and the Realm of Talanir||"High Orostran" is the language of the Orostran elves and the Sel'Daru. This language is identical to the Sylvan.|
|Shea-laer||Sea Elf and River Elf Clades||"Water Song" is the language of the Kesir'dan'Shea. The language is identical to the Aquan.|
|Mith'dan||The Grey Elf havens and Elven Clades of the Northlands||"The Grey Chant" is the language of the Kyrinvae and the Mith'klades.|
|Drow||Dark Elf Clades, the Elven Kingdoms||A varied descendant of the black tongue of the Drow of old.|
|Drazante||Drow Clades||The true tongue of the Drazante'ez'iyakow who brought the first war to Dominaria|
|Dwarven||The Dwarven Kingodoms and nations of the Verge Mountains||The language of the ancient Dwarf Empire of Angletmär that unified the Dwarves of the Verge and sent missionaries to every mountain on Dominaria. This language subsumed the earlier dwarf languages, and still includes elements of them.|
|Deep Dwarven||Deep Dwarf settlements and temples, also several city-states||The last of the "Old Tongues" of Dwarves, a language that lived on in the deep places of the Verge and beyond.|
|The Fire Tongue||Temples to Moradin and the Dwarven Gods||The language of the Fire Priests and Forgefathers of Moradin and the Dwarven Gods, identical to Ignan.|
Note, these languages are also spoken by goblins and most trolls in these areas. Note, Orcish should be described as a runic language, where key sentence concepts are written as runes and things such as qualifying statements, object pronouns, personal pronouns, possessives, and so on are added as smaller symbols, shapes, or accents. A sentence may be only two or three characters long. The language is incredibly hard to decipher and learn for a non-Orc compared to Elven, although is is easy for a Dwarf to learn as their language is also runic.
|Orcine||Orcinium and the other orc nations of the southern Verge||Notes|
|Arixan||The Arixo Wastes||A dialect of Pardian|
|Pardic||The Pardic Mountains and the Skirk Ridge||Notes|
|Skardian||The Empire of Skardia and the other orc nations of the northern Verge||Notes|
Western River Clades
The Beldroni Clade
The Novan Clade
The Najiki Clades
|Dominaria Campaign Settingv
||Races, Languages, Classes, Magic, Religion, Literature and Lore
||History, Geography, Climate, and Politics, Factions, Calendar and Holidays, Cosmology and the Planes
|Dungeon Master's Guide
||About, Items of Legend, Bestiary, Currency and Consumables, Law in Dominaria, Sample Places, NPCs, Variant Rules, Adding to Dominaria
||Then marched the last of the Goldenshields, King Andrew's faithful. They stood, two score against a tidal wave, and fell among the statues of Cartaan's heroes. The last of the Blaedrome died screaming in defiance of the Flood.
|—Atrolina of Nurimsford's Apocolyptica, 722 2A
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