Most people in Thule are bilingual to a greater or lesser extent. They know the language of their home city or tribe and converse fluently in that tongue.
They also know some amount of “Common” or “Low” Atlantean, a simple version of the High Atlantean language. Speakers of Common Atlantean get by with a couple of thousand words and some standard phrases, but can converse well enough for all but the most complicated or nuanced concepts. The more isolated barbarians have little use for a common language, and it’s not unusual to find that particularly reclusive or hostile tribes don’t understand any Atlantean at all.
Languages commonly encountered in Thule and the surrounding lands include:
- Low Atlantean: The “common tongue” of Thule and nearby lands.
- High Atlantean: When Atlantis reigned as the supreme power in the lands of the Atlantean Sea, its language was known by all but the most isolated and backwards savages. The waning influence of Atlantis in the current day means that Atlantean is slowly fall- ing out of use throughout Thule. It is still a language of scholarship, science, and many occult studies.
- Dhari: The language of human tribes and cities of Dhari ethnicity. The written form is based on the language of the serpent-people.
- Dwarven: The language of the dwarf race. Its runes are used (rarely) as the basis for writing in Nimothan and Giant.
- Elven: The language of the elven people. It is im- portant in arcane studies.
- Kalayan: The language of humans of Kalayan ancestry, most notable the city of Quodeh. Kalayan was strongly influenced by Elven and still uses the Elven alphabet.
- Lomari: Humans of Lomar speak this tongue. It is unrelated to any other languages in Thule.
- Nimothan: Human tribes and cities of Nimothan descent speak this language. The written form is based on dwarven runes.
- Urgan: The primitive language of the beastmen, gnolls, and the more intelligent beasts and apes. There is no written form.
- Benthic: A prehuman language spoken by the ancient civilizations of the seas. The written form is a fantastically ancient glyph system referred to as Pnakos, known principally for its appearance in the Pnakotic Manuscripts.
- Draconic: The language of the serpentmen. Debased forms of this tongue are spoken by troglodytes and kobolds.
- Giant: An old and almost forgotten language, rarely encountered in the current day.
- Rakshasan: The proud and cruel race of rakshasas do not teach their language to people of lesser races, but a few libraries in Thule hold examples of their writings.
- Abyssal and Infernal: Not native to the Earth, and known only because demons, devils, and other creatures from parallel dimensions sometimes find their way into the world.
- Celestial: The language of the gods and their servants. The holiest tomes and scrolls in existence contain passages written in Celestial.
- Mi-Go: Known to only a handful of scholars and cultists, most of whom are not entirely sane. The strange and sinister mi-go are among the most widely traveled of the extraterrene races that visit the Earth, and their language—generally unpronounceable by humans—serves as a common tongue among the alien races that occasionally visit Thule.