World Building (Talents, Languages, Cultures, and More)   Posted by Game Master.Group: public
Game Master
 GM, 42 posts
Fri 1 Nov 2019
at 19:30
World Building (Talents, Languages, Cultures, and More)
Introduction: This thread will be limited to the world of Midgard, the setting in which "Vikings and Valkyries" takes place in, and will include initially information on languages, but also on cities, regions, peoples, monsters, and deities that the player characters may encounter in their adventures.

Section A. Languages

Norscan is spoken throughout the Norse Kingdoms. All player-characters are assumed to be perfectly fluent in this common language. Other Midgard languages include Kvenish, Firian, and Troll speech. Because of their shared language, the Norse Kingdoms of Midgard also share a very rich oral tradition of rhyme and poetry, with intricate wordweaving a fitting pastime for skalds and princes. The following section lists all the major languages of Midgard, including the main nonhuman tongues.

Human Languages:

Norscan: The common tongue of the Norse realms, used in the Three Kingdoms, Valkya and Faroy. It is also the native language of the Aesir gods.

Kvenish: The native tongue of the Kvenir nomads.

Firian: The native tongue of the Fir barbarians.

Hungolese: The native tongue of the Hungol tribes.

Imperial Tongue: The language of the Golden City, used as a common tongue in the so-called civilized nations of the South, which were once provinces of a now fallen empire

Nonhuman Languages:

Alfan: The beautiful and poetic native language of Elves (as well as Merfolk and other related beings); it is also the tongue of the Vanir gods.

Dwarvish: The secret, often enigmatic native language of Dwarves and Duergar.

Jotunian: The crude and coarse native language of Giants, Half-Giants and other Giant-kin.

Trollish: The even cruder and coarser native language of Trolls and other Troll-kin.

Section B. Starting Languages, Fluency, and Literacy

For simplicity’s sake, all player-characters are assumed to be perfectly fluent in Norscan. With the exception of Berserkers (who only speak Norscan), all warriors start the game with one extra spoken language in addition to Norscan; this may be either a human language (such as Firian or Imperial) or a nonhuman language (such as Alfan or Dwarvish).

Hunters and other specialists start the game with two extra languages (with Kvenish being the language of choice for Hunters).

Magicians start the game with three extra languages in addition to Norscan. At least two of these three languages must be Nonhuman; in the case of Elves and Dwarves, these three languages include their native tongue. Other languages can be learned during play, as per the rules given in the Maze Masters Guide.

All non-magician characters are assumed to be illiterate. Literacy is extremely rare in Midgard and is regarded as an almost wizardly form of knowledge. The only form of writing known in the Norse lands is the sacred runic alphabet, which is only taught to (and used by) magicians, including Dwarves and Elves.

The only other system of writing which exists in the wider world is the imperial alphabet, used by the so-called civilized scholars of the South and generally unknown in the Norse; the only ones who’d have a reason to learn it would be the magicians – and they have no reason to do so, since they have the sacred runic alphabet. And no, neither the Giants nor the Trolls have anything resembling a written language.