Language

Included here are languages, language-specific words, phrases and proverbs used so far in the Fractured Tapestery. Also included are some of the “Dee-isms” uttered by Demelza in The Blighted City.

 

Languages

Antik rukhir – Antik rukhir is the dead language of the Umbral Era. The name is used in all pre-modern and modern languages of the Vorinsian Arkh, although it is more frequently referred to as umbral runes. A variant of antik rukhir was discovered by Jalis in Lachyla, varying slightly to the runic symbols found across the Arkh.

Middle Sosarran – The language once used throughout the Vorinsian Arkh, Himaera, and a couple of other lands of Western Sosarra. The language evolved into Modern Sosarran during the late Third Age, and spread into Himaera during the beginning of the Fourth Age, slowly replacing what would later become known as Old Himaeran. The title Middle Sosarran is somewhat erroneous, as the language did not reach all lands of Sosarra. Only slight spelling and pronunciation differences occur between Middle and Modern Sosarran, making the older language quite easy to translate.

Modern Sosarran – The most common language spoken across the majority of the continent of Sosarra in the late Fourth Age, although the likes of Sardayan and Khalevali are also still used, albeit to a lesser extent.

Old Himaeran – The original language of Himaera which was gradually replaced as Middle Sosarran trickled into common use in the early Fourth Age, half-way through the Days of Kings. Some words of Old Himaeran are etymologically cognate with the languages of the Arkh, though many words bear no resemblance to their Arkhosian counterparts at all.

Old Tribal – Dating as far back as the early Third Age and possibly the late Second Age, Old Tribal mostly only exists in the Fourth Age in the slightly modernised versions of the names of the months and seasons.

Old Himaeran Words

Ay Ben Aevyknesa – An Old Himaeran phrase meaning I Am Eternity, which is engraved into the blade Ammenfar.

Blaydos – The Old Himaeran word for sword or blade.

Morta – The Old Himaeran word for death, etymologically cognate with the Sardayan word mortas as well as the Khalevai word mardis and a couple of other regional variants..

Oanvaeld – An Old Himaeran word which best translates as kingdom, although literally translates as one world. Oan is possibly cognate with the Sardayan en, while vaeld is cognate with wald (meaning forest, wood), which is still in use in the names of several forests within the Arkh.

Oerenos – A word found on the blade Ammenfar preceding Lachyla Oanvaeld. After Jalis is gifted a book from Sabrian written in Old Himaeran, her studies hint that Oerenos best translates as Protector, Guardian, and other similar words.

Yldireth – The Old Himaeran word for king.

The Ammenfar Inscriptions
Ammenfar Blaydos
Mallak Yldireth
Oerenos Lachyla Oanvaeld
Ay Ben Aevyknesa

Words From The Vorinsian Arkh

Edel – A Vorinsian word meaning noble or nobility, from one of the Old Tribal languages of the Third Age. Edel is used in the phrase Eagerness ended the Edel, which hails back to when Vorinsia invaded Sardaya and Khalevali and absorbed the two lands into the Vorinsian Arkh.

Krig – A term used across the Vorinsian Arkh and Himaera to describe a thing or situation which is particularly unpleasant. The word krig is an evolution of the Old Tribal word kreag, which means disease.

Lajdie – The Middle Sosarran spelling of lady, found on the tomb of Cunaxa Chiddari.

Li Gardine dessa Mortas – This is the Sardayan equivalent of the Gardens of the Dead, spoken by Jalis when she and her friends were stood in the Lachylan graveyard.

Malan-gamir – An obscene and extremely suggestive phrasal word in the Sardayan tongue. When Jalis hissed this at Oriken, he knew what it meant and, being Oriken, took it literally and inoffensively.

Mynerales – The Middle Sosarran spelling of minerals, as used in the title of Cleve Hauverydh’s book, On The Nayture Of Mynerales.

Nayture – The Middle Sosarran spelling of nature.

Sios – A polite title used when addressing a man. More commonly heard in the lands of the Arkh.

Siosa – A polite term of address for a woman. The feminine form of sios.

Siosi – The diminutive of siosa is used to address a girl. It is also sometimes used disparagingly against both women and men.

Sked – A Sardayan word meaning faecal matter or to describe something that is truly awful, an example being sked-hole. A less common usage of sked is as a verb, meaning to defecate.

Proverbs, Phrases & Colloquialisms

Chasng dragons / Dragon chase – When someone says they’re chasing dragons or are on a dragon chase, they’re suggesting that they’re on a fool’s errand, in the pursuit of something which likely doesn’t exist. In the lands of the Arkh and Himaera, dragons are mythological creatures. They exist only in the stories of the Taleweavers. Dreaming Dragon Brae in lower Scapa Fell is so named because the wooded hill is shaped like the back of a sleeping dragon, although no one knows how the worn stone block ended up on the crest of the hill, nor has anyone seriously attempted to shift it and look beneath.

The divine rod points to treasure and trap alike – A proverb dating back to the early years of the Arkh. The subject of the proverb – the divine rod – is often mistaken as referring to the copper rods used by water diviners, but in fact is a euphemism for male genitalia. The objects – treasure and trap – are also euphemisms, this time for female genitalia. The suggestion is that one should be mindful of what one hopes to find by pointing one’s rod when seeking treasure (or, more accurately, thinking with one’s genitals when attempting to court a lady.)

How these bodies slowly grow, yet quickly die – The translation of an old Sardayan proverb favoured by Jalis’s mother. When musing over the inhabitants of the Gardens of the Dead, Jalis reverses the phrase to become How these bodies quickly grow, yet slowly die, given how the corpses seem to be decomposing at a very slow rate.

Keep your blade sharp, but your wit sharper – A saying quoted by Oriken while getting on Jalis’s nerves in the Chiddari tomb. The saying goes back long before the formation of the Freeblades Guild, and was probably coined by soldiers or militia early in the Days of Kings or before.

Lively as a lyre – A saying which was once commonly heard during the Days of Kings, meaning that a person is in good health. The phrase was unwittingly used by Dagra while he was under the influence of the first stage of the blight and unknowingly connected to Gorven’s consciousness. When someone dies in Lachyla, the process of coming back to life and completing the turning is swift, whereas one who contracts the blight suffers much different and longer effects if they remain alive throughout the transition.

Not the brightest sunfish in the rockpool – Said as a defensive clause by Wayland about Demelza before pointing out her strengths. The suggestion is that the person to which the saying refers is not particularly quick of wit or intelligence.

The patience of Ederron – Henwyn has the patience of Ederron, or so Maros claimed to Wymar. The saying dates back to Ederron, the second prophet of the Dyad, who spent his life travelling the Vorinsian Arkh and spreading word of his gods. By all accounts, he was a very patient person.

Quill-scratcher – A pejorative term used to describe someone who works in a sedentary job with lots of paperwork.

Retrieve, return, report, relax – A phrase of the Freeblades Guild pertaining to the ideal simplicity of a contract, although some contracts end up being far from simple.

The smart bee sips not from the fallen flower – A proverb quoted by Jalis to Oriken when she presumed him to have done something foolish. Whether or not he did so is a question Oriken would rather put to bed, so to speak.

Swords and horses – A saying which was commonly heard during the Days of Kings. But, in the post-Uprising days of Himaera, children playing with makeshift horses and wooden swords in preparation for becoming fighters in later life occurs much less than it once did, and so the saying has fallen mostly into disuse. The meaning is that what one may lose while fighting with a sword, one may gain while on horseback, or vice versa.

Tail-tucker – A colloquial word for coward.

There is no grief greater than that for the dead heart – An old proverb whose meaning speaks for itself. It was said by Lewin, the child-monk, of King Mallak Ammenfar shortly after the tragic monarch passed into the true death.

When in the Folly / When dead in Lachyla – These were both unfinished sentences said by Oriken. One would assume that the full sentences are most likely to be “When in the Folly, do as the Folly-folk do,” and “When dead in Lachyla, do as the Lachylans do.” Oriken must have heard a similar phrase used for Temera, the capital of the Vorinsian Arkh.

Dee-isms

The verbal malaproprisms made by Demelza are legion. Included here are the majority of Dee-isms from The Blighted City.

Chalice – This is the name Eriqwyn thought she heard Demelza give her for the female outlander. Since Demelza does occasionally pronounce a name correctly, the chances are that she may have actually said Jalis rather than Chalice, but Eriqwyn just heard it wrong.

Contrabibialities – Demelza’s antonym of ‘convivialities’. Not even the goddess knows where she heard that word.

Dagger – This is the name Demelza gave for Dagra, disseminated from Eriqwyn to Wayland, who used it (along with the other mispronounced names of the freeblade trio) when he confronted them on the main street of Lachyla.

Feeble Whats? – It will take Demelza a while before she can say “Freeblades.” When she first hears the word, she responds with, “Feeble whats?”

The Keeler – Demelza’s way of saying Lachyla, which Oriken once accidentally mimicked before correcting himself.

Melemancer – When Jalis explains that Demelza’s feyborn abilities mark her as an elemancer, Demelza plays little girl for a moment and says melemancer, because it sounds a bit like her name.

The Melza – While some people refer to themselves using the definite article the prior to their name, Demelza takes that quirk a step further by malappropriating the first syllable of her name from De to the, shortening her name to Melza and referring to herself in the third party as the Melza. Everyone was happy when this was replaced by Dee, including Demelza herself.

The Orc King – Orcs, of course, only exist in the stories of the Taleweavers, but Demelza was sure that Jalis and Dagra were calling their friend the Orc King. Later, when Demelza meets the freeblades again, Oriken vehemently denies being either an orc or a king.

Saddier – This is how Demelza initially pronounces Sardaya, despite having only just heard Jalis pronounce it correctly.

Sara – When Jalis tells Demelza there are many places of wonder across Sosarra, Demelza thinks Jalis has actually said, “There are many places of wonder across a Sara.”

Tail-whiffer – Even down in the secluded southern reaches of the Deadlands, Demelza has heard of Taleweavers. Unfortunately, she calls them tail-whiffers. It is unclear whether she knows the difference between tail and tale, or can grasp the vocal distinction between whiff and weave, but perhaps the day will come when she manages to utter Taleweaver correctly.

Waynan – No one knows how Demelza could mispronounce the last syllable of Wayland’s name, especially given how she has no problem in saying, “Land”.

Why, Ma? – Of all the misspoken names Demelza has uttered, perhaps turning Wymar’s name into a question is the most eyeball-rolling of them all.

Bonus Oriken-ism

Arachnorism – In the world of Verragos, it’s not only Dee who mispronounces words. Occasionally, it also happens to Oriken. Arachnorism is how he thinks anachronism is pronounced. This is possibly due to his fear of spiders.