Field Research in the Land of Midnight
|Wednesday, June 30, 1999, 21:20
This is what happens when you get too deeply involved in a classic
The Langues of Midnight
All we know of the languages of this realm is attested in a few place
some of which are held in common with the names of their rulers. Even
information is incomplete. While Lord Mitharg undoubtedly rules a land
locally as Mitharg, it can only be speculated what the native name for
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.
are in the south, and are known to have a heroic warrior code in the
the early Anglo-Saxons. The 'Foul' live mostly in the north. Little is
of this group, and field research is dangerous. A Witch-King rules this
empire, covering over a third of the habitable area.
The third group of humans are the 'Targ'. They are few in number, mostly
Their chief leader, and ruler of the only sizeable settlement, is known
the Utarg of Utarg. Their language is known to be different, and the
can be analysed. 'Targ' is their name for themselves as a tribe. 'U-' is
indicating leadership or importance. As nouns do not inflect for number
this language, the title can be translated as 'the important person of
people'. This people is nominally allied with the Free, and some of
is apparent in surrounding Free communities.
In addition, there are at least two groups of sentient non-human. The
scattered in forests throughout the inhabitable world, and are nominally
with the Free. Theirs is the only language of this world to have the /T/
sounds. Our field researchers are convinced that they have their own
but the Fey will not speak of it to them; our only knowledge so far is
place names. Vowel harmony is suspected as a key feature in the
demonstrated in teh personal name Corleth and the place name Thimrath.
The skulkrin are small humanoids with a cruel temper. Except for being
with the Foul, little is known of them. They do not have any known
of their own, but use the Mannish tongue. Ice Trolls also inhabit
but they too have no language of their own; second hand reports from our
tells us that they have, on occassion, demonstrated a very limited
vocabulary. It is unknown if this represents a low intelligence, or if
have their own language.
Finally, Dragons inhabit Midnight, and are highly magical. They would
ideal informants, if only these proud creatures could be persuaded to
Curiously, most of these (99%) are basically unintelligent fire
lizards, but a rare boon grants high intelligence to select individuals.
is not known how these individuals acquire language; certainly not from
parents, as there are no reports of intelligent dragons ever mating
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.