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Re: Field Research in the Land of Midnight

From:Fabian <rhialto@...>
Date:Thursday, July 1, 1999, 21:44
ok, lets try this again with teh line wrapping fixed.

on an unrelated note, I placed an alternate navigation on my webpages.


The Langues of Midnight

All we know of the languages of this realm is attested in a few place
names, some of which are held in common with the names of their rulers.
Even this information is incomplete. While Lord Mitharg undoubtedly
rules a land known locally as Mitharg, it can only be speculated what
the native name for the Plains of Blood is, or indeed, what the native
word for 'blood' is.

There are three distinct human cultural groups in the Land of Midnight.
The 'Free' are in the south, and are known to have a heroic warrior code
in the style of the early Anglo-Saxons. The 'Foul' live mostly in the
north. Little is known of this group, and field research is dangerous. A
Witch-King rules this vast empire, covering over a third of the
habitable area.

The third group of humans are the 'Targ'. They are few in number, mostly
nomadic. Their chief leader, and ruler of the only sizeable settlement,
is known only as the Utarg of Utarg. Their language is known to be
different, and the title 'Utarg' can be analysed. 'Targ' is their name
for themselves as a tribe. 'U-' is a prefix indicating leadership or
importance. As nouns do not inflect for number in this language, the
title can be translated as 'the important person of the important
people'. This people is nominally allied with the Free, and some of
their culture is apparent in surrounding Free communities.

In addition, there are at least two groups of sentient non-human. The
'Fey' are scattered in forests throughout the inhabitable world, and are
nominally allied with the Free. Theirs is the only language of this
world to have the /T/ and /D/ sounds. Our field researchers are
convinced that they have their own language, but the Fey will not speak
of it to them; our only knowledge so far is in the place names. Vowel
harmony is suspected as a key feature in the language, demonstrated in
teh personal name Corleth and the place name Thimrath.

The skulkrin are small humanoids with a cruel temper. Except for being
allied with the Foul, little is known of them. They do not have any
known language of their own, but use the Mannish tongue. Ice Trolls also
inhabit Midnight, but they too have no language of their own; second
hand reports from our informants tells us that they have, on occassion,
demonstrated a very limited Mannish vocabulary. It is unknown if this
represents a low intelligence, or if they have their own language.

Finally, Dragons inhabit Midnight, and are highly magical. They would
make ideal informants, if only these proud creatures could be persuaded
to work. Curiously, most of these (99%) are basically unintelligent fire
breathing lizards, but a rare boon grants high intelligence to select
individuals. It is not known how these individuals acquire language;
certainly not from their parents, as there are no reports of intelligent
dragons ever mating (this may be due to the danger involved in acquiring
such reports). Perhaps it is the nature of magic in Midnight that grants
this skill.

Rule One: Question the unquestionable,
ask the unaskable, eff the ineffable,
think the unthinkable, and screw the inscrutable.