THE TONGUES OF VAARN

Hegemonic Standard – The language of bureaucracy, taxation, legal contracts, debt, and edicts. The official tongue of the New Hegemony, and therefore the ‘official’ tongue of the occupied areas of Vaarn as well. Not widely heard outside of Gnomos and the southern badlands. 

Vaarnish – The lingua franca of Vaarn and the surrounding regions. Vaarnish is the linguistic bridge between nomad tribes, Cacklemaw clans, Hegemony troops, the denizens of Gnomos, the vertiginous theocracies that roost within the Great Wall, and all other corners of this vast blue ruin. Spoken by many, but the mother tongue of few, Vaarnish is considered by linguists to be a descendent of Low Autarkic, with loan-words plucked from the Faatongue, Hegemonic Standard, and the obscure Vaarnish dialects spoken atop the Wall, in isolated mountain communities, and in the fishing hamlets that scatter the Gulf of Vaarn. Vaarnish is the language of haggling in the shaded souk, of traveller’s talk around the water hole, of arguments in wine bars and of whispered love in moonlit gardens. 

The Faatongue  – The language of the Faa nomads. Does not have a written form; appears to be directly derived from nomad-tongues that were old even before the Fall of the Titans. Dialects of the Faatongue abound, some nearly incompatible with one another, but if taken as one entity, the Faatongue is the most widely spoken language in Vaarn. Faatongue is the language of open spaces; of sandstorms and patience and praying for rain. The Faatongue is notable for its strange and fluid concepts of time and distance, and its vast number of words for differing shades of blue.

LogLang – The internal syntax that drives synths; also functions as their mother tongue and private speech. LogLang is expressed using mathematical propositions, and statements can be encoded into circular fractal glyphs, in the flickering of infrared beams, or in sub-audible hums. Biological creatures can learn to read the written form of LogLang, although speaking fluently is impossible without a synthetic brain and the ability to emit infrared light. LogLang is believed to be a simplified form of Titancreed, hastily assembled by the synths in the confused years following the Titanomachy.

Noospeech – Noospeech is commonly known as ‘truth tongue’, and is the language used for psychic communications. There is no ‘spoken’ form of this language, nor can it be written down. Some claim this is the universal language shared by all sentient beings. Noospeech is very difficult to lie in, as the listener will have access to your internal moods and beliefs as they hear your words; however, it is known that lying is not impossible, if one is trained in the correct methods and imbibes the right drugs.

Cacklegab – The speech of the loathed Cacklemaw matriarchies. Raucous and harsh. Has ten words that describe the sensations of biting into warm flesh, and no word for ‘love’. Difficult to pronounce if you don’t have a muzzle. 

Autarkic – The now-dead language spoken by the Autarchs and their subjects. The stratified caste system of the Autarchy resulted in a stratified language, where slaves and lower caste citizens were only permitted to speak Low Autarkic. The High variant is an entirely different tongue, sharing only a few characters. 

Low Autarkic pictograms and audio recordings can be widely found across Vaarn, and some aged synths and planeyfolk still fluently speak Low Autarkic. Due to the shared vocabulary with modern Vaarnish, most residents of Vaarn can understand at least some of the Low Autarkic script they see around them. High Autarkic, however, is an imposing monolith of a tongue, studied only by certain orders of monks, and by scholars with an interest in Vaarn’s deepest vaults. 

Most obscure of all is the variant script of High Autarkic that was reserved for the husbands, wives, and consorts of Autarchs, a secret court-language of high-born spouses. Scant written examples of this secret tongue have survived, but a complete lexicon of the Consorts’ High Autarkic would be worth its weight in gold to the right collector.

Kilian Eng

Titancreed – The language spoken by the mighty Titans, and their human and synthetic subjects. This language is not simply dead: it was violently killed by the same AIs that birthed it, and even attempting to learn Titancreed is fraught with danger. The Titancreed’s lexicon was sustained by the Titan AIs’ ego-engines and general-syntax-drivers, and when those great minds went mad, their Titancreed went mad along with them.

Fragments of their speech are stored within the archives of many ruins throughout Vaarn, but unpacking the concepts encoded within can be very dangerous, for the seeds of compulsive insanity are sown throughout the Titans’ last messages, and they can grow unchecked in the minds of synths and humans alike. Language viruses have been discovered in Titancreed messages that can re-format a biological or synthetic brain within hours, transforming kind and meek scholars into emotionless murderers. It is not known whether these logic traps were intentionally laid, some final revenge on whoever might come to pick the machine gods’ bones; or if they simply represent the dying thoughts of great minds that were always beyond our ken.

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