Archeoc is the language of ancient Eretania, the golden Empire that spanned almost the entirity of Greatland, from the end of the Imperial Age, to the middle of the Age of Plague. It belongs to a chronological family of Languages known as "The Imperial Languages" because it existed and promulgated during the Imperial Age of Greatland. It's ethnic language family is rooted in Midaly, a direct successor to the Proto-Archeoc language known as "Arxenne" in Ienpokan. What makes Archeoc so special, is that it is not only the basis of 90% of all Midalian, Zuudi and Caspernian languages and dialects, but it is also the only remaining Imperial Language that is completely deciphered.
'Archeoc,' in the words of Hedron Gadolfini, perhaps the Greatest Linguist that Greatland has ever known, 'is like a treasure chest; a treasure without a chest is unguarded, apt to be stolen by those who would sell it at street value, and spend it quickly, and fruitlessly. A chest without a treasure is simply an empty wooden vessel. Thus Archeoc is our chest, and the treasure is our history, waiting to be opened and delved into. Only those who take the time to study and learn this great language will have the privilege to draw from the chest.'
Though Eretania began as a humble Midalian City State, a vassal of the more powerful Deniewier Consortium, a Teutonian Imperial-Age hegemony, Eretania had extensive cultural and social influence throughout Midaly. Midaly was a breadbasket - fertile south-lands at the Midalian Delta, lush forests and rich mineral mines. Her people were a hardy, cultured sort, well fed on Ienpokani intellectualism from conquests in ages past, and hardened by eons of a dedicated, dutiful work ethic.
When the Deniewiers in Teutonian began to die off (genetically poisoned by years of incest) their grip on Eretania began to waver. The Eretanians, slowly gaining confidence in their position quickly usurped the upper hand, utilizing their status as a vassal state to fend off threats from larger, rival empires, while conveniently ignoring that same status to forge alliances and treaties with other Midalian states under the noses of their Teutonian overlords.
Marastia, the modern day city of March, was the first ally, and the seat of the most powerful banking families in all of Midaly. Tethis, the small Midalian Delta Kingdom was the second, Avilon and Awis, the sister cities on the western border of Eretanian were quick to ally with Eretanian and bolster her already teeming ranks. To the east, Kereulais - the city of Saint Dorn, was happy to hop aboard the quickly growing Midalian ship. When the last of the Deniewiers died in a bloody rebellion (cleverly staged by the Eretanian Special Forces, under the approval of Senatorial Consuls) the last of the great Teutonian Hegemonies of the Imperial Age collapsed, sending the once powerful Empire into a spiraling path into anarchy.
It was at this point that Eretania broke free. Mobilizing her great hosts, Eretanian legions were deployed to all points of the compass. Eastern Teutonia, desperate for a bit of stability was brought under Eretanian rule with only token resistance. The Zuudi people in the southern half of Midaly who had spent years carving out a foothold were subjugated, and their provinces confiscated (later giving rise to the landless "Halzuud" people.) Midaly went from a powder keg to a violent explosion in under a year, as the secret allies (or by this time not-so-secret-allies) set out to conquer their neighbors.
Carried with them, and eventually to all corners of Greatland, was Archeoc. a language that would not only define a great empire, but later, Greatland.
To understand Archeoc as it was intended, we must jump back to the early-middle of the Classical Age, to a time long before the conquests of the Deniewiers and the emergence of Midaly as a power, and Archeoc as a language of the Imperial Age.
Midalians, dating as far back back as the classical age, had always referred to themselves as "Arxeotrowpos" or "The Oldest People" in Classical Ienpokani and their language as "Arxenna" or "Old Speak." While Taur records concerning early Midaly are scarce, we know somewhere in the middle of the Classical Age they were conquered by the First Ienpokan Hegemony, rebelled, were set free and then conquered shortly thereafter by the Great Ienpokan Confederation. The Confederation collapsed quickly after it's formation, setting Eretania and Midaly free once more for several decades, before coming under fire from the city state of Tokos and Basil Jubileus. Eretania once more, fell under Ienpokan rule, and continued to be under their rule, begrudgingly, for another four hundred years as Basil Jubileus was executed, Tokos burned to the ground, and his rule transferred to the last Great Ienpokan Hegemony of the Classical Age, the Golden Hegemony.
The Fall of the Golden Hegemony marked the end of the Classical Age. The once-subjugated lands of Greatland no longer felt threatened by the Ienpokans and instead, with newfound purpose began to impose boundary restriction on their neighbors, edging closer and closer to war on massive scales. The Ienpokan occupation of much of Greatland had brought peace and prosperity to certain places, the likes of which was felt Greatest in Midaly.
Banking, trade, commerce, and Ienpokani culture flourished in these places. New methods of crafting and engineering came to the mainland with the introduction of Ienpokani Mathematics and Sciences, the arts blossomed and people became interested in seeing plays and visiting art galleries, all in Ienpokani themed arenas or stadiums. But all of this luxury came at a price.
Many of the Midalian States had lost their identities as nations.
There were those who had not totally lost their identities. Eretania, was ostensibly, the most profoundly rejective of Classical Ienpokani values. Though it was so virulent and powerful that it could not simply be ignored. Though this language known as "Arxenna" (ironically enough, it's name being only known in Ienpokani) was a language completely native to the people of Midaly, it had warped and mutated with Ienpokani influence. In some regions more than others though; the degree of Ienpokani infused with Arxenna waxed and waned naturally, as one generation in one area would use less Ienpokani borrowings, while another generation in another area might use more. At it's greatest disparity, the borrowings might have been as much as 50% of the language, and at it's smallest as much as 15%.
The important part of this statistic is that Archeoc is, in every way, a fusion of not only two languages, but two cultures. Words are borrowed as life deems necessary. Ideas are expressed and brought to life by words, and are shared by words. Ideas that one culture has no native conception of, may be brought to them, by the alien words of another culture, digested by that native culture and then implimented into their society. The transition from Arxenna into what we might call "Early Archeoc" is a milestone for a paradigm shift in Midalian, specifically Eretanian culture and thinking.
The natural evolution of Early Archeoc over time, were manifold. We believe that the Arxenna language was highly Agglutinative, having words with syllables regularly in the double digits. While Archeoc retains these agglutinative tendencies, it is not nearly to the extreme that the Arxenna language is believed to have been.
Arxenna and Archeoc are both highly inflected languages, with a general SOV word order. That being said, Archeoc is known to have movable parts with no strict word ordering to determine grammatic correctness. However, meaning and emphasis is portrayed by differing word orders. This is believed to be true of the Arxenna language as well.
With natural changes to the phonetics of the language (more detail later) the syllabary changed. While the original Arxenna alphabet remains largely indecipherable, it is believed to have had over a hundred consonent-vowel/consonent-consonent combinations, ten free-floating vowel sounds, and ten stand alone consonent sounds. This has been largely simplified and cut down by the time of Early Archeoc, and by the time of modern Archeoc the syllabary is less than half of that number.