Ancient Mystery Languages

  Within the standard AD&D™ publications at least one hundred sixty-nine racial, class, alignment, and other languages are

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identifiable, including common, undercommon, common dragon, druidic, thieves' cant, ninja, but extending to such exotics as oni, babbler, hybsil, and moon dog.  As if this were not enough, the MyWorld referee has created a number of "dead" languages, in which ancient texts may be written, which are therefore studied (read and write only) by sages, mages, and theologians, but not spoken by anyone.  These languages are identified and described here.  Normally a proficiency slot (non-weapon) must be spent on each language which the character desires to read and write; these therefore take such proficiency slots, but do not consume standard language slots.  As to the other one hundred sixty-nine tongues, the players may feel free to peruse the various monster listings and player materials to discover these (or check the Dungeons & Dragons Random Language Selection Chart in the Dungeon Master's Reference Materials on this web site).

Ancient Common:  Over the past several thousand years, the common tongue has changed in both pronunciation and orthography.  Consequently, certain writings from ancient times are not easily deciphered by modern characters.  However, unlike other languages, any speaker of common has a chance to decipher any given passage (not more than a paragraph) of ancient common equal to his intelligence as a percentage.

Cor:  The ancient tongue of the high elves, this was used for numerous texts on magic items, arifacts, and spell research from elven wizards.  There are also some early theological writings connected with good and chaotic religions extant in this language, so it is known to a few specialists among clerics, especially elven clerics in addition to those interested in the magic connection.

Dodala:  The tongue of the more recent of the two primary collections of ancient holy books, usually referred to as the Dodala texts, from which many modern religions are drawn.  Many devout magi regard it essential to understanding the spiritual nature of magic, although the primary scholars are clerics.

Dor:  The only language used in druidic texts, it is also studied for its applications to "natural magic" and peripheral religious texts.

Kagon:  A synthesized language created by the arch-mage Kagor to record his spell research and secrets, it was taught to his disciples and is used almost exclusively for magic.

Leibnar:  This dead language once thrived in its own city, and large portions of scriptures are extant in translations thereto, as well as many expositions thereon.

Lotch:  Once the "universal language of scholarship", it is called the language of theology due to the vast amount of exposition written in its day.  Some conservative scholars still write theological works in this tongue.  Of course, some magic is also recorded in this language.

Shodan:  Principle tongue of a group of ancient mystery religions, sometimes regarded as cults, in which is written additional theological texts and rebuttals and some less popular views and explanations of both religion and magic.

Siepath:  This is the language of a past people among whom a strong movement arose for a fundamental pacifistic orthodox religion.  A great deal of religion and theology is recorded in this tongue, but little magic.

Silkt:  Language of the ancient drow magi, many magical texts and spell research materials are written therein, and a little religious material related to evil faiths.

Sobar:  The most common language among ancient magical texts and spell notes, it was also used for a few magic mystery religion fusions.

Teek:  Illusion was developed primarily among the peoples who spoke this language, and most of the basic illusionist texts are written therein.

Vebar:  Probably the oldest extant language, the earliest collection of good scriptures is written in Vebar (and usually called the Vebar texts).  As with Dodala, there are those who consider it indispensable for the serious study of magic quite apart from its theological importance.

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