Friday, March 3, 2017

"Excuse me, can you repeat that in Olde Arcane?"

On Friday's I have been watching and enjoying more, more the new series on NBC "Emerald City".  It is yet another re-telling of the Wizard of Oz story.  As you can imagine I am a HUGE fan of Mistress West aka The Wicked Witch of the West played by Ana Ularu.

Mistress of the Western Fields, Vessel of Truth and Solace, Wicked Witch of the West
(though one wonders if Fairuza Balk was unavailable)
What I have been really enjoying is the conlang, Inha, the language spoken by all the witches in Oz.
You can read more about that here and check out the website of the creator David J. Peterson who also created Dothraki.

All witches in Oz are born knowing this language. There are for variants (fire-south, wind-east, stone-north, water-west)  but all witches understand it naturally.


I love this idea.  In my own games I never quite took it this far, but I have always played it that all witches can recognize another witch instantly.

This got me thinking about magical languages in RPGs.
In the real world the written word of magic was always held by the scholars and the clergy. So predominantly in Latin.  Most of the books in the Western tradition of magic were in Latin with some other in Arabic and Hebrew.    In D&D the obvious choices for magical languages are Draconic and Elvish.    In my own games, I have used Irish Gaelic as the language of "faerie magic".

Witches though would not have a learned language like these. All their writings, when written at all, would be in their own native languages.  But the idea of a language they are all born knowing is a very, very compelling on to me.
Personally, I like to think that witches have more in common with each other regardless of alignment than say a witch and a wizard of the same alignment.  This could be my biases showing. Very likely it is.  What really unites a people is language.

While in game design terms I could justify a "Witch language", after all Druids and Theives have their own languages, I don't think I will.  If I did I would also give all wizards the draconic language for free.  In fact there is MORE reason to do that. Hmm.  Ok. From now on all Wizards get "Auld High Wyrmish" (can you tell I have been reading a lot of old Dragons lately) for free.  This gives them a chance to speak Draconic.

Now one thing I can justify is giving the Sisters of the Aquarian Order their own language.
They start to train girls at a very young age, they have their own planet and history. A history that goes back thousands of years or more.

Speaking of which.

The Sisters of the Aquarian Order is on sale again for GM's Day.  Pick up a copy and let me know.



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