IFAQ: Creating Languages

My new book Exploring Eberron is available now on the DM’s Guild. You can find a FAQ about it here. I am currently working on a longer article about the Nobility of Khorvaire, but as time permits I like to answer interesting short questions from my Patreon supporters, so here’s one from Samantha:

How do you pick the names for the Overlords? They seem to all have a common thread or convention, and I’m dying to know what it is.

The answer is tied to a broader question of worldbuilding, which is how deep do you go in creating languages for a world? Exploring Eberron includes a Goblin glossary, compiled with help from Don Bassingthwaite and Jarrod Taylor. The bulk of that glossary was developed by Don when he was working on his Legacy of Dhakaan novels, but he built it on the foundation I’d established in previous sourcebooks. The answer is that I almost never go deep into creating a language; but my goal is to be distinctive and consistent. I don’t usually bother to create a full dictionary of hundreds of words. But I establish a simple set of rules and keep track of existing words, and use the existing words as a foundation going forward.

So for example, here’s a few we came up with developing the 3.5 Eberron Campaign Setting.

Elvish. The elves use a lot of diphthongs, especially ae and ai. Words often have a soft flow, and V and L are common letters: Vadallia, Valaestas, Valenar, Vol. We quickly established Shae as “City”, Taer as “Fortress”, and “Pylas” as “Port.” This is important for worldbuilding, because you want consistent naming conventions for places when you are creating maps—even if you don’t yet no the culture. Elvish words are usually multisyllabic, and L, S, and R are common end letters… Tairnadal, Aerenal, Valenar. However, you have a few short names, usually formed on -ol—Vol, Shol.

Goblin. An immediate goal was for Goblin to feel harsher than Elvish. Goblin also uses a lot of diphthongs, but generally with repeated vowels—duur, ghaal, guul. It blends sibilance with harsh k and kh sounds—Shaarat’khesh, Taarka’khesh, Kech Shaarat. As seen in two of those three examples, glottal stops are common. As with Elvish, we immediately settled on place names, so draal was “city”; Rhukaan Draal, Cazhaak Draal, again with the harsher sound, dipthongs, and hard k’s. We started with those few basic words: duur is “dirge“, shaarat is “sword”, taarka is “wolf”, volaar is “word”, ghaal is “mighty” and could be attached to a people (ghaal’dar) or thing (ghaal’duur). We had Shaarat’khesh, the “silent blades” and Kech Shaarat, the “Keepers of the Blade.” But the point is that at the time, we didn’t have too much more than that. Until Don came along, we DIDN’T create a extensive Goblin dictionary; it was simply the case that when you needed to make a new Goblin word, you wanted to look back over the words that already existed and to make a word that feels like it fits the same pattern. So again, for me, the vital element is consistency.

So with that in mind, how did we pick the names of the overlords? Well, even before picking their names, we established the idea that every overlord would have a common title. The overlord’s actually names would be ancient and people might be superstitious about using them. Beyond that, part of the issue of using alien languages is that players can have trouble remembering them. “Rak Tulkhesh” is a jumble of sounds; “The Rage of War” immediately says this is an angry warmonger. So for most of them, the TITLE came first: The Rage of War, the Voice in the Darkness, the Keeper of Secrets, the Shadow in the Flame. In then developing their actual names, it’s the same process as for Goblin or Elvish: establish basic principles and make sure you stick with them. So…

  • Most overlords have a monosyllabic first article and a multisyllabic second article: Rak Tulkhesh, Sul Khatesh.
  • Like Goblin, overlord names often combine harsh consonants with sibilants—Tulkhesh, Oreshka. However, overlords generally DON’T use diphthongs or glottal stops.
  • Ul, kh, and sh are common; Sul Khatesh, Tul Oreshka, Rak Tulkhesh. Part of the concept is that while they’re usually broken into short-name long-name, to some degree each syllable has power… it’s actually Rak-Tul-Khesh and Tul-Or-Esh-Ka. This plays to the idea that on some level the name of an overlord is an incantation… which explains why you DON’T want to say their names!

There are exceptions to all things. Eldrantulku the Oathbreaker uses a single word in both name and title, but you can still imagine his name as El-Dran-Tul-Ku. Dral Khatuur has a diphthong in her name. She probably should have been Dral Khatur; I admit that this was just a case where *I* liked the look and feel of Khatuur… Dral-Kha-Tuuuuur.

Some older versions of D&D had Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic as languages, but didn’t fully expand on their role. How would you make them distinct from Infernal, Abysmal, and/or Celestial for Eberron?

PERSONALLY, how I’d make them distinct is by making them nonexistent. There’s a number of reasons why I wouldn’t use these in my campaigns.

First, I usually find that having too many languages tends to get in the way of a story instead of making it more fun. The last thing I want is for the adventurers to meet a crucial NPC but then find no one can speak to him. This CAN be fun if it’s a specific part of the story — they need to play charades to figure out the directions to the dragon’s lair, or they need to find the one sage in the region that can read ancient Orc. But I don’t want that to be a part of EVERY ADVENTURE. As a result, I tend to REDUCE the number of languages in the game, focusing on the idea of “common tongues” — Common as the common language of Galifar, Goblin as the common language of Galifar, Giant as the common language of Xen’drik, Riedran as the common language of Sarlona. Exotic languages are EXOTIC and may play an interesting story role — the gnolls will be impressed if you actually speak gnoll — but any Znir gnoll will understand Goblin.

But beyond that, ALIGNMENT languages are especially weird for Eberron, where we try to downplay the role of alignment and play up personal choice. It’s not like you are born lawful and go to lawful school where they teach you to speak Lawful. You could make it the language of Daanvi, and in the 3.5 ECS many planes have languages. But in my Eberron, any immortal that WANTS to be understood WILL be understood. When the couatl appeared to Tira Miron, it didn’t speak Common; it just SPOKE, and she UNDERSTOOD. When you finally make it to the Amaranthine City of Irian, I don’t WANT you to find that you don’t understand anything the crowds are saying. The planes aren’t just mundane alien worlds, they are UNIVERSAL SYMBOLS — and as such, I say that if an immortal wants to be understood, it WILL be understood. I don’t mind having planar languages as the MOST esoteric of the esoteric languages; if you find a SCROLL from Mabar, maybe it’s written in Mabaran. And to be clear, an immortal CAN speak a mundane language if that serves its purpose. But that’s a conscious choice.

So having said all that, it’s not what I would do, but on that principle of EVERYTHING HAS A PLACE, if I HAD to put alignment languages in Eberron, I would say that they are fundamentally magical languages; they are universal languages — the speech of immortals — but are only understood by people who share the outlook of the speaker. So perhaps a Shavaran angel of the Legion of Freedom DOES speak Chaotic, which means that any creature with a chaotic alignment understands it perfectly and no one else understands it at all. It is the language of FREEDOM, understood by any free spirit. But it’s not a language you can LEARN; it’s part of the I’m-an-embodiment-of-chaos aspect of the immortal. If a player character could speak it, it would be through some kind of magic item or supernatural gift.

As a fun side note: sometimes soldiers or emergency service personnel use a “pointy-talky” card to facilitate communication with people when they have no common language. When we were developing the RPG Phoenix: Dawn Command we created a pointy-talky for Phoenixes to use on their missions; I’m going to share that now on my Patreon!

43 thoughts on “IFAQ: Creating Languages

  1. Was Riedran originally a trade language in Sarlona or did it arise whole cloth under an amalgamation effort when the Unity formed? Is Quori used like a divine language in Riedra or is it more secretive than that? It seems the language is an option for Sarlonan characters but then again so is Undercommon in Khorvaire and the average peasant outside the Marches isn’t taking that one into their mind.

    Are words like Dar and Dul Riedran or loaner words from Quori?

        • There are at least some goblins with the Heirs of Dhakaan who claim to have lived in the caves near Korth in Five Nations, not to mention that the ruins of the Dhakaani Empire aren’t just limited to Breland, Darguun, Droaam, and Thrane.

          It would only make sense for the Dhakaani Empire to have dominated most of Khorvaire since they were responsible for fighting with the dwarves of the Mror Holds and pushing back the dragonborn to Q’barra along with the orcs to the fringes of the continent.

          • Also, this line from the Eberron Campaign Guide would clinch the Empire of Dhakaan controlling some portion of the area around Karrnath and the Talenta Plains for some period of time (assuming it means the Ironwood Mountains are meant to be the Ironroot Mountains):

            “At its height, the empire controlled a contiguous area stretching from the Shadow Marches in the west to the Endworld and Ironwood mountains in the east.” (ECG, p. 33)

        • The Dhakaani Empire dominated most of the hospitable land in Khorvaire. It extended east to the Ironroot Mountains and filled what are now the Five Nations. Regions known to have been left out are the Marches, the Towering Wood, Q’barra, Lhazaar, and the Demon Wastes. Consider that the EMPIRE — not just goblins, but the Empire itself — endured for significantly longer that humans have BEEN on Khorvaire.

  2. Awesome! I loved your article on language use for Eberron games, and this looks like it will handy for stuff, especially names.

  3. Thanks, this answered my question perfectly! And I’m incredibly impressed with the depth you went with language and name creation.

    Would you see languages like Celestial, seen kind of like “dead languages” by most Khorvairans, used in prayer and ancient scripts more than anything else?

    • Exactly so. In my opinion, Celestial fills much the same role for vassal and purified clerics that Draconic does for wizards; it may be used in prayers, in formal rituals, ancient inscriptions. As I suggested with gnolls, an angel may be IMPRESSED if you speak Celestial, even if it can make itself understood to anyone. Likewise, a Lord of Dust my have a formal conversation with a warlock in Abyssal, and the spell the warlock learns may use Abyssal words. The tomes in the library of Ashtakala are likely written in Abyssal.

  4. Hey, Keith!

    As always, some questions.

    I remember that in some old article you talked about Daelkyr language and how the words could change/evolve and yet the person that knows the language understand. In a oneshot that I made in Q’Barra I use this when my players found a cult there in their village, but I think I don’t use it in full potential. How would you use this in a story?

    Can you talk about orcish language too? Maybe if you have in some lost notes there, give the name of Sovereign and Dark Six in orcish. I think that there is only Baalkan, Baaldra and Ollarasht (Traveler would be great).

    • Maybe if you have in some lost notes there, give the name of Sovereign and Dark Six in orcish. I think that there is only Baalkan, Baaldra and Ollarasht (Traveler would be great).
      That’s a complicated cultural question that would have to be a different article, because it’s not as simple as “What do they call them.” Much like the Rusheme tradition described in City of Stormreach, the Marcher tradition of the Host doesn’t use the Nine and Six of the Pyrinean Creed.

    • Keith on Twitter briefly suggested that Baaldra might be a combination of Dol Arrah and Boldrei. I’ve got an orc PC who I’ve fleshed out with the following:

      – Baaldra the Protector is the righteous defender of the hearth and home (Boldrei + Dol Arrah)
      – Baalkan the Beastlord celebrates the hunt and martial prowess (Balinor + Dol Dorn)
      – Garu-Umesh the One Eyed celebrates violent rages and meticulous vengeance. (Mockery + Fury)
      – Ollarasht the Fateweaver gives good fortune and preserves important souls in her web. (Olladra + Keeper)
      – Rokhanari the Wise taught the orcs primal and divine magic to protect and preserve themselves. (Arawai + Aureon)
      – Typhon the Storm’s Wrath represents the destructive storms that wrack the Shadow Marches and the temptation to unfettered arcane power. (Devourer + The Shadow)

      This leaves out Onatar, Kol Korean, and the Traveler. Imo the orcs don’t recognize the Traveler as divine, because the stories about Sora Kell put her as something separate rather than someone to venerate.

      • I can’t promise I won’t come up with something different when I sit down and think about it, but this seems like a solid interpretation to me! And I agree regarding the Traveler.

        • Whenever that happens I’ll just say my orc gal is from a culturally different tribe with different interpretations, I don’t see the Shadow Marches as the kind of place to have a lot of doctrinal unity

          • That’s definitely what I was thinking and a reason I didn’t want to just list names – because the Shadow Marches definitely DON’T have doctrinal unity. There may be a few specific deities that are shared across tribes, but it is VERY likely that overall groupings very dramatically – that one tribe ONLY worships Baalkan, another ignores Baalkan, etc, etc. Just look at the dispersion of Cults of the Dragon Below; the Marcher Vassals are just as diverse. Essentially, “It’s complicated.” But no question that what you’ve described her is an absolutely valid path a Marcher could follow!

      • So this right here answers a question I’ve always kind of shoved to the back burner. Love this stuff, Joseph Meehan, and I’m stealing it for my own games.

        I especially appreciate the leaving out of Onatar, Kol Korran and the Traveler, though I must admit special kudos must be given for weaving the other two family members of the first two into a believable Marcher deity.

  5. ECS mentions that Dragonmark Houses are responsible for Common being as standard as it is. Do you think they make any particular EFFORT to shape language in a particular way?

    (I can see some snobbish old Gnome going out of his way to make sure some loanwords don’t show up in house publications so they won’t take root and “corrupt” the language. Maybe call him “Courriel”…)

  6. Off topic, but I wasn’t sure where else to ask.
    You’ve previously discussed the possibility of fitting Planescape’s Sigil into Eberron’s cosmology and I’ve been trying to figure out some ways to do just that. Not really crossover, so much as dropping off the city into the Eberron setting.
    Do you have any advice or thoughts of how you would go about doing this, if you wanted to do so?

    • I personally wouldn’t drop Sigil into my Eberron because I feel that it’s fundamentally engrained into the broader planar mythology of the wider multiverse. Exploring Eberron adds the Immeasurable Market of Syrania, which for me fills the same ROLE of being a crossroads for planar commerce, a place that can connected to anywhere in the material plane and where you could find an efreeti and an angel arguing about the price of tea… but it’s tied to the specific planes of Eberron. But if you wanted to add Sigil itself, it doesn’t seem that hard; All you need to do is add a door!

  7. I’ve thought about this for many years actually, glad to see a bit behind the screen so to speak about the design ideas.
    I’ve always felt there were a bit too many sh sounds between both quori, overlords, and goblinoids. It is a minor thing, but it does bother me a bit, as it makes them sound a bit too similar in my opinion. For example (and not exhaustive by any means) il-Lashtavar, Lhesh Haruuc, Rak Tulkesh… I know the difference, but players who don’t necessarily read the books might get a bit confused.
    Fortunately, I don’t mind using the material as inspiration for my own stuff, so it’s all good.

    • I’ve always felt there were a bit too many sh sounds between both quori, overlords, and goblinoids.

      You’re not wrong. I’d counter with the argument that Goblin and Orc are far older than Common and could in fact have evolved from Abyssal; but from a concrete standpoint, the primary distinction is the use of diphthongs and glottal stops in Goblin.

        • In my opinion, Orc and Goblin are derived from the same root (which might well be Abyssal). The few Orc words we have — Ghaash’kala, Kalok Shash — have a similar sound to both Goblin and the Overlords. With that said, in my Eberron Orc is largely a dead language; the Demon Wastes is one of the few places it’s still spoken.

          With that in mind, I’d probably allow someone who speaks Goblin and someone who speaks Orc limited communication, using an Intelligence check to convey general meaning.

  8. Hello there and thank you for your time! Would you be able to tell us more about the variety of (originally) human names – personal names as well as family-based surnames – that can be found in the nations of Khorvaire?

    I’ve seen a few lists such as “names for an Aundairian” or “names for a Karrnathi” flying around, though I can’t find a canon source backing this up at the moment; but I’ve been struggling to see how the names presented sound different from one another, and what sort of clue to look for that would say “oh, that sounds more like a traditional name for X place” or “this one is particularly favoured in X”. It might be because I’m not a native English-speaker. If there is real world inspiration or a logic between the naming variations in the former Five Nations, I’d love to know what it is so I can give more local flavouring to the NPCs of my Eberron campaign!

    I’m aware the Five Nations (and more) probably followed the Galifarian name morphology and conventions, and humans originated in the same place; but considering how long they’ve been around and if we compare this to how language and naming trends actually evolve in reality, it would seem logical that regional variations have developped between, say, Breland and Thrane. If this is not the case in Khorvaire/Eberron, then nevermind!

    • There’s list of names for each nation in the 3.5 sourcebook Five Nations. I didn’t work on that book, so I don’t actually know the conventions they used in developing it, I’m afraid.

      • Ah so that’s where the lists are from, thanks! I don’t have all the books from 3.5 so I couldn’t find the source.

        Welp, I guess it’ll stay a mystery! If you have your own canons and conventions for flavouring names depending on region of origins, feel free to share. In any case, thank you for your reply!

  9. Were there ever any “rules” established for healing naming or language conventions?

    We only have a handful of clans names, Ghallanda, Jorasco, Boromar, the lesser known ones named in Forge of War, Abramam, Hulrar, Sindrekel.

    We know Ghallanda means helpful hound.

    We don’t really have any other sources of the halfling language, the true meaning of Ghallanda and the names of dinosaurs led me to believe they just usually translate things to common, in a similar manner of First Nation’s people; Sitting Bull’s actual name being Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake for instance.

    I’m rambling but to get back to the point, were there ever any rules with the Halfling names of Eberron?

    • There hasn’t been a deep dive into Halfling language, no. The main aspects would be polysyllabic and flowing. It’s a running joke that halflings cram a lot of meaning into words; “Ghallanda” doesn’t just mean “helpful hound“, it means “the helpful hound who appears where needed the most.” The novel City of Towers includes the following exchange…

      “Jholatanda!” Jode called. The stranger’s rattail braid was the mark of a Talentan scout, and Jode hailed him in the halfling tongue. This salutation could be interpreted many different ways, depending on the relationship between the speakers and the time of day; under these circumstances, it could be generally translated to ‘Greetings, one who is not my brother in blood but yet might become one in friendship.’
      The stranger studied him, then blew on his blade – a symbolic preparation for battle. “This is my ground, orasca.” His voice was high and raspy. In this place, the word ‘orasca’ meant ‘one who seeks to steal my livelihood’ or ‘lizard-meat seller’ – or in the case of a dispute between lizard-vendors, both.

  10. As the resident language experts of Khorvaire would the gnomes of Zilargo have a Tower of Babel analog for how languages came to be? Perhaps even tied to the story of the feyspire Pylas Pyrial?

    Cults of the Dragon Below that think the true universal language came from Xoriat or other planar shenanigans involving language are neat things to throw in that I hadn’t really considered until this post!

  11. In the time before humans came to Khorvaire and after the fall of the Dhakaani Empire, would Gnome have been the trade language along the coastlines of Khorvaire (as the gnomes developed sailing early) or would it still have been Goblin, with the gnomes maintaining Gnome for themselves instead?

    Also, as Elven is the language of Thelanis, do fey naturally speak it and if so would gnomes and elves meeting each other have already shared a language?

    • Also, as Elven is the language of Thelanis, do fey naturally speak it and if so would gnomes and elves meeting each other have already shared a language?
      The gnomes of fifth edition don’t have the Fey Ancestry trait and don’t innately speak Elven. While the idea was added in 4E to account for the fey nature of 4E gnomes, I personally don’t believe that gnomes come from Thelanis. What’s noted in Exploring Eberron is the idea that some gnomes IMMIGRATED to Thelanis through Pylas Pyrial; that you can find gnomes in Thelanis specifically in the Feyspires. But they aren’t native fey and thus don’t naturally speak Elven. I am in fact PLAYING a Pyrial gnome in an Eberron game—the Maverick artificer I mentioned in a previous article—and for that character I SWAPPED Gnome and Elven, because the character grew up in Pylas Pyrial and would have learned Elven instead of Gnome. But again, the idea is that Pyrial gnomes are gnomes-that-went-to-Thelanis, not that Zil gnomes are gnomes-that-went-to-Eberron.

      With that said, it means that there were a small group of gnomes that spoke Elven and would have an easier time interacting with the Aereni, sure. But it wasn’t widespread.

      In the time before humans came to Khorvaire and after the fall of the Dhakaani Empire, would Gnome have been the trade language along the coastlines of Khorvaire (as the gnomes developed sailing early) or would it still have been Goblin, with the gnomes maintaining Gnome for themselves instead?

      To me, the answer is derived from the fact that Goblin remains a widespread language while Gnome is not. If Gnome became the dominant trade language of the interregnum, I’d expect the Ghaal’dar to speak Gnome, and they don’t. Goblins were still the bulk of the population of Khorvaire even after their Empire fell, and even the Marcher orcs spoke Goblin. So I think it’s a case of the gnome sailors learning the common language of their primary customers, rather than the population learning Gnome to be able to deal with them.

      • Yep, that tracks on both accounts. Sorry I was working from the belief gnomes came from Thelanis! So in the current vision they’re much like goblins, orcs, halflings, etc where their origin is unclear and they’ve had a history on Khorvaire which gets hazy back far enough?

  12. Elven is the language of Thelanis. Is that primordially true, i.e. did Elves speak that language prior to their enslavement by the Giants? Was Giant (Aside: Before the fall of Xen’drik were there multiple Giant languages for each realm?) the language that the slaves were supposed to use with their masters, while Elven was preserved as the language they used among themselves? I’m reminded of a bitter joke from the Cold War era: A man asks a Pole if he speaks Russian. The chilly reply: “in Poland, everyone UNDERSTANDS Russian, but no one SPEAKS it.” Also, if Elven is the language of Thelanis, are Elves born knowing it, or must it be taught to children like any other language? Given the Aerenali devotion to doing everything perfectly acording to the wayss of their ancestors, I would imagine that Elven uses few, if any, loan words from other languages. In our world, Icelandic maintains absolute linguistic purity. If there’s a new concept that needs to be accomodated, say, from a new technology, they don’t uses Greek or Latin roots the way most European languages do. Instead, they have an academy that coins a new word based on roots from ancient Icelandic. I could easily imagine a group of official Aerenali linguists who do the same for Elven.
    Also, do the drow speak a Giant language, Elven or some creole of the two?

    • It’s not a question with a simple answer… so much so, that I had to write an ENTIRELY NEW IFAQ to answer it. So check that out for my answer to all of these.

  13. Do languages in Eberron make the distinction between 2nd person familiar and formal that most European languages do? English dropped the 2nd person familiar (thou/thee/thy) and uses you/you/your for everybody. Tolkien, in one of the LOTR appendicies said that the Hobbist dropped the 2nd person formal from their version of the Westron tongue, so when Pippen went around addressing everyone including Denethor familiarly, lots of people assumed he must be nobility among his people. So, do yo uenvision any Eberronian languages as using that distinction, or having once had it, and dropped it?

    • It’s not something I’ve considered in the past, and it’s not something I have the time to properly consider now. What’s YOUR opinion on it?

      • Well, since you asked… I’d say that a distinction between forms of the 2nd person (and there’s no reason there need be only two!) would be a facet of very hierarchical societies, specifically ones with little upward mobility. I’ll admit this doesn’t necessarily historiclly follow – French still has the familiar/formal distinction today, though English does not. Of course, if you’re running a campaign for English speakers, getting them to observe the distinction, since modern English lacks it would be hard.

        So, if I had an Eberron campaign, I’d decree that Human Common did have the thou vs. you distinction BUT that it started to fall away with the rise of the Dragonmarked Houses (“We’re not nobles, but we’re as good as they are!”) and really started to disappear in the Last War, where a commoner could suddenly be thrust into an officer’s position. It probably holds on a bit more in Karrnath, and is almost entirely gone in Breland (Is the democratic movement in Breland cause or effect of the democratization of language?) Which one went away, the familar or the formal? For ease of converying it to English speakers, I’d say the familiar (thou) went ay – “Now every man’s a king!”
        How about other languages? Again, IME, I’d say that the Dar have the distinction, possibly with multiple levels, as a reflection of the eusocial bond. Every Dar knows their place, and instinctively knows how to address another Dar of whatever rank. Good luck to the human who tries to imprss the Dirgesinger of the Kech Volaar with their command of Goblin language…but screws up the form of address to her!
        As for Elves, IF there is a distinction in pronouns in that language, it would also suggest that anyone of Fey Ancestry instinctively knows how to address another person of Fey Ancestry. But maybe not – an Elf could know the words but still have to be told (Pssst…that’s a ranking member of House Jhaelian…and he’s prickly about how he’s addressed!)
        Other folks: I think the Zil might retain distinctions, but the Mror dwarves probably don’t. The Zil have held their land for a long time; the Mror were driven out of their homes in the depths. Barbarians don’t have much use for hierarchy, so I’d say the halflings don’t make a distinction. Q’barrans, no; Lhazaarites, yes. Riedrans, definitely; Adarans, no.

  14. Such was my query as well. It was established in your novels that the Xen’drik Drow speak a form of Giantish, and barring a handful of words and phrases, I wish there was a more comprehensive list of both common and Giantish words and phrases for giving the Xen’drik Drow a ‘closer to home’ feel than using the dodge I’ve heard that some have used by tying Lolth’s web and them speaking Faerunian Drow. It’s what made characters like Xussasar and the meaning of her name both unique, and memorable. I hope this is something that can be explored some day. It’s like trying to find Aquan words for flavor now…great introductions to it in novels, but that’s where they lay.

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