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ID: 1446


November 10, 2005, 5:55 am

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This thread is for the development of rangerspeak, the dialect of the mountain rangers who guard the passes, known as munnum to those who hear it, for its resemblance to a mumbling noise…

In 1386 the King sent the first rangers up into the mountains. Their priority was to clear out the infestations of goblins and unpleasant life that had accrued near the centuries-neglected passes. Trade wagons took many weeks to get to their destinations travelling on the roads which bypassed the mountains, and the King wanted to open up the ancient monkish cart-routes.

Since then the rangers have lived up there, isolated, only occasionally encountering one another, keeping an eye on the merchants who use the passes and ensuring they’re not waylaid by nasty creatures.

In this isolation their dialect has diverged massively from the common tongue, and they are all but incomprehensible (when they speak at all).

This thread is for the development of rangerspeak, the dialect of the mountain rangers who guard the passes, known as munnum to those who hear it, for its resemblance to a mumbling noise…

> Verbs:

The pragmatic rangers have lost most of the inflections which riddle most modern languages. They use the same verb forms for all persons and numbers, though they still make some distinctions between tenses:

e.g. garas, to walk (originally weak verb)
garas - I/you/it/we/youse/they walk or will walk
garan - I/you/it/we/youse/they walked

e.g. humun, to eat (originally strong verb)
humun - I/you/it/we/youse/they walk or will eat
homun - I/you/it/we/youse/they ate

Conditional tenses are expressed by tone of voice.

> Nouns:

The only nounal inflection is to denote number, though this is most often accomplished by a vowel change,

jaras, human -> jaros, humans
halkob, goblin -> halkib, goblins

Genitive is implied by adjunction of words, e.g.
halkob-fran, lit. goblin clothes, becomes “the goblin’s clothes”.

> Other:

Adjectives are formed from nouns by the adjunction of -is, -irris or -umus. The choice of ending for a given adjective varies by region and personal taste. An adjective is applied by association: instead of saying “a fat man” one would say “a boulder-like man” and that way the adjective is formed from the noun. More abstract adjectives which are harder to form from nouns (e.g. “brave”) tend not to be used because the rangers are too taciturn to requrie such words.

> Pronunciation:

Since the language is a spoken one the written form given here is specifically tailored to mimic the pronunciation, that is there are no surprises. All letters are pronounced as one might expect (in English, of course!). Nouns tend to be stressed on the penultimate syllable, verbs on the first syllable, so:

kalARir sOWuntas, the deer are drinking

A Dictionary of Rangerspeak

abranas (abronas) - vb. to breathe
anukawor (-ir) - n. water
asmunas (-an) - vb. to encounter or meet
balob (-ab) - n. basin or valley
fakras (-os) - n. goat
frun (-an) - n. article of clothing
garas (-an) - vb. to walk
halkob (-ib) - n. goblin
halkobras (-ibros) - n. goblinkin
humun (homun) - vb. to eat
jaras (-os) - n. human
justor (-ir) - n. peak
kalaror (ir) - n. deer
numnanob (-ib) - n. giant
osuror (-ir) - n. river
sagrilas (-os) - n. ravine
sowuntas (-an) - vb. to drink
tacitas (no plural) - n. wind
tegurum (-am) - n. scree be added to: please feel free to add your own words, but try to keep in alphabetical order (within each post) and try to create words which fit with the sounds patterns and endings I have laid out above.

Additional Ideas (2)

ankeras (-an) - vb. clamber
dumanu (-un) - n. path or track
ferajas (-an) - n. to savage or attack
gutramor (-ir) - n. corpse
jukob (-ib) - n. merchant caravan
lalikiror (-ir) - n. thyme
malanor (-ir) - n. mountain
nayas (-an) - n. merchant
onurob (ib) - n. herb
osakas (-an) - vb. to obtain
ruyun (rayun) - vb. to have
saskyas (-an) -vb. to attempt
sanas (sarran) - vb. to be
usameras (-an) - vb. to gather

2005-11-09 03:55 AM » Link: [1446#6788|text]
Following a suggestion of Moonhunter I have begun to designate multiple names those things with which the rangers are more likely to have contact...

nologsor (ir) - n. aurora
brisas (-an) - n. sun
mun (-uan) - n. evening
asen (asin) - n. morning
stankas (-an) - n. V-shaped valley
umillor (-ir) - n. fertile lake basin
kugidor (-ir) - n. large enclosed lake
gmab (-ob) - n. sheer rockface
kandor (-ir) - n. climbable but tricky rockface
sulondor (-ir) - n. crag
kundas (-an) - n. precipitous track up a rockface
ankeras (-an) - n. a difficult climb
ufas (-an) - n. exposed tarn
renakas (-an) - n. sheltered tarn
daa - n. the prevailing wind


There are twelve points of the compass which pretty much any ranger will know. Each ranger also has his own individual set of ideas for navigation. For instance rangers in the high passes are much more likely to use the names of constellations to define directions than those who live in the misty valleys and cannot see the stars.

The following directions are those commonly used by the mid-mountain rangers, and makes references to peaks which can be seen from there. Obviously the direction "towards Muradin" is no use to someone standing on top of Muradin.

Kis - along the spine of the mountain range (the line 6 - 12 in the diagram)
Daa - in the direction of the prevailing wind (10 in the diagram)
Kis-ki - along the spine but in a northwards direction (12 in diagram)
Kis-ko - along the spine but in a southwards direction (6)
(Kis-ji - from the northern spine)
(Kis-jo - from the southern spine)
Daa-ren - in the opposite direction to the prevailing wind (4)
Senash-ki - in the direction of the Shenael forest (2)
Muradin-ki - towards the peak Muradin (11 although can be 10 or 12 depending on where in the mountains you are)
Golgin-ki - towards the peak Golgin (5)
Fenrin-ki - towards the peak Fenrin (7)
(There are many more directions based on the locations of peaks)
Jukob-ki - in the direction the merchants' caravans take (9)
Asur-ki - in the direction of the river Asur (8)
Nologsorki - towards the direction of the aurorae (1)
Teguru - on the scree-side (3) (this side of the mountains tends to be more weathered and hence have more scree)
Brismu - (lit. sun in the evening) in the direction of the setting sun (3)
Brisasen - (lit. sun in the morning) in the direction of the rising sun (9)

2005-11-09 03:55 AM » Link: [1446#6789|text]
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Comments ( 5 )
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Voted MoonHunter
November 9, 2005, 9:55
Now we are talking here. Colangs are exceptionally fun to do, if you have the time, patience, and understanding. Only really dedicated players will use it once you have it, though you as the GM can utilize in a variety of notes and such.

That is why I always use a couple of "tells" and a few shortcuts to designate a language rather than the language itself.
Voted Mourngrymn
November 9, 2005, 10:00
This is great. I wish I could totally do this myself, but alas i am lazy when it comes to the mechanics of this. I tried already. I did come up with a very simple Thieves cants once that I will try and locate, but it was no where near this complete.

Good job.
Voted Ancient Gamer
January 16, 2007, 16:18
I could have sworn I commented on this half an hour ago!

Oh well: It is the little details like this that makes a setting come to life. Thinking back on the years gone by, I realize that the key to success lies in the trivia.
Voted valadaar
April 22, 2013, 11:51
Love the level of detail here. Of course I love these type of things:)
Voted Murometz
October 17, 2014, 16:00

Yeah, wow, so darn *specific* and pleasantly detailed!

Cant of the Mountain Rangers!! Every time I start thinking that no one loves world-minutiae like I do, I come across something like this, and marvel :)


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Ancient Gamer

While travelling near the edge of a forest the air is filled with the wailing of battle horns. Soon a large group of mounted cavalry will gallop by in a panicked rush. Some will spot the party and shout "Flee! Flee for your very lives!"

Several minutes later, hundreds of running infantrymen will be spotted. A large group of white clad knights fiercely chanting a battle song is in full pursuit. One of the white knights carries a banner of a white horse on a black background. The horse is rearing under a gold crown, indicating the presence of the Paladin Prince. As the horrified infantrymen struggle to flee into the forest, the zealots charge into their midst and cut them down by the tens and hundreds.

Encounter  ( Plains ) | December 8, 2004 | View | UpVote 0xp

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