Note on Language Groups: The following is a list of language groups on Therafim, rather than a comprehensive listing of all possible languages. To know one of these language groups is to be able to have at least a working knowledge of the various dialects and pidgins that are connected to that language, or to be able to pick them up fairly quickly after some exposure and practice. Regardless of language listings in any Monster Manual or other sourcebook, all races on Therafim know only languages from these groups, unless they are intended to be utterly incomprehensible to others. While there are specific racial and regional languages, they are considered to be a part of the larger language groups listed below.
Abyssal - Used primarily by chaotic and evil outsiders, and also by maddened cultists. Uses the High Tongue Alphabet.
Aquan - Used primarily by aquatic creatures. Uses the Elemental Alphabet.
Auran - Used primarily by aerial creatures, including flying Beastfolk. Uses the Elemental Alphabet.
Axios - Used primarily by lawful outsiders and organizations. Most laws are recorded in this language, and many formal cases are fought using it as well, as it has the best vocabulary and terminology for such matters. Uses the High Tongue alphabet.
Carnivon - Used primarily by many beastfolk, especially the those based on carnivorous species. Uses the Runic alphabet.
Celestial - Used primarily by good outsiders and among good organizations. Uses the High Tongue alphabet.
Common - The language originally given to the people of Therafim by the gods, and so used by almost everyone who lives or visits the surface of Therafim. Also used by many planar creatures as their lingua franca, in those few instances where they are not able to use some form of telepathic communication. Uses the High Tongue alphabet.
Discordian - Used primarily by chaotic outsiders and among rebel and anarchist organizations. Uses the High Tongue alphabet.
Draconic - Used primarily by dragons, scholars, and many fallen civilizations. Not surprisingly, it uses the draconic alphabet.
Druidic - The secret language of druids, which allows them to communicate with each other, and also with all the animals in their lands or guardianship (magic is still required to speak to animals outside of a given druid's land). Uses the Runic alphabet.
Giant - First spoken by the titans, this language is primarily used by giants of all types, and by dwarves. Uses the Elemental alphabet.
Goblin - Used primarily by goblinoid races. Uses the Elemental alphabet.
High Imperial - The language of the Iron Throne and Cho-Lin Empires. Each dialect varies somewhat in local usage, but they are close enough that they are mutually intelligible. Uses the Draconic alphabet.
Ignan - Used primarily by fire-based creatures. Uses the Elemental Alphabet.
Infernal - Used primarily by lawful and evil outsiders, and as the secret tongue of many evil conspiracies. Uses the High Tongue alphabet.
Kar-Kravis - One of the less common languages, Kar-Kravis is in use by the humans of both Crescent and Hydra as a way of cultural identification. It has been kept carefully secret from the serpentfolk of Hydra and the minions of the undead from Necropolis on Crescent, and so can be used with some accuracy to identify if someone who looks like they are a part of the human peoples of Hydra and Crescent really is. It is also used for major financial interactions, keeping it in use primarily by nobility, royalty, trustworthy mercenaries, and wealthy merchants. Uses the Draconic alphabet.
Literacy - Literacy is not common on Therafim. Unless a given race or class is noted otherwise, it should be assumed that a given character is illiterate. Literacy is always an available bonus language for all races, though it is not listed on the bonus language lists. If someone is Literate, then they can read and write in all languages that they know.
Nord - This language is spoken by most humans and many other people in Rimevast and northern Summer Country and Autumn Land. It is especially common on the Bloodwit Delta of Rimevast, the northern Freeholds of Autumn Land, and Northwood in Summer Country. Uses the Elemental alphabet.
Parselmouth - Used primarily by reptilian and arachnid races, and also by the drow. Uses the Draconic alphabet.
Runnertongue - Used primarily by many beastfolk, especially those based on hoofed species, and by many nomadic peoples. Uses the Runic alphabet.
Squeak Speak - Used primarily by many beastfolk, especially those based on rodents and lagomorphs. Uses the Draconic alphabet.
Sylvan - The language spoken by the fey courts, and also used by Elves and Gnomes. Uses the Runic alphabet.
Terran - Used primarily by subterranean creatures and those with strong ties to the earth, including most Underdark races. Uses the Elemental Alphabet.
Trade Tongue - The language the humans brought to Therafim, now used primarily for trade purposes (since humans built some of the largest trade centers on Therafim), as the principle language of Bazram, and by Halflings. Uses the Draconic alphabet.
Undercommon - Where Common was given to the people of Therafim by the powers that created the world, Undercommon is an adaptation of that language to the strange and chaotic world of the Underdark and the depths of the seas and oceans, which has caused it to be heavily influenced by planar and elemental languages. It uses the High Tongue alphabet.
Wildlander - Noted for its extreme simplicity, Wildlander is used by many savage humanoids, such as orcs and thri-keen. Uses the Runic alphabet, though mostly just for decorative purposes and for basic trail markings and messages.
Alphabets of Therafim
Draconic - The base of draconic language, this alphabet is actually a series of pictograms and characters, making it more of a dictionary than an alphabet. The draconic alphabet lends itself very well to complex descriptions, and especially descriptions of quantity and quality. It is also the source of the numerical system used throughout the majority of Therafim as well as the planes, and is the source of the concept of 'zero.'
Elemental - A simple, blocky set of characters based upon the language of the elemental planes. This alphabet - actually a combination of letters and characters - was born out of a need for characters that could be fit together to create descriptions of the incredibly complex process of primal creation in as simple and compact a manner as possible, and so each word formed with this alphabet is a masterpiece of brevity and simplicity. It completely lacks a numerical system, since such things are meaningless in the infinite expanses of the elemental planes.
High Tongue - The first language, originally created in the higher planes as a form of preserving wisdom, and then adapted to the use of others. It is an incredibly easy to learn alphabet, being born out of the primal need for sentient beings to communicate and understand each other, and the languages based upon it are equally easy to learn. However, its number system lacks the concept of zero. The Dark Speech is the ultimate corruption of this alphabet, and is found mixed into the Abyssal and Infernal languages.
Runic - Born from the complex and poetic culture of the fey, the runic alphabet has very simple characters, but these can be strung together in many complex ways to form a vast variety of words, sentences and patterns that are as decorative as they are informative. There is no end to the vagaries of creation, and so there is no zero in the runic numerical system, which is based on the High Tongue system.