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Drow use of languages

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Main article: Languages

In shortEdit

  • Use Common (--) whenever there are no kivvils (= surfacers) around.
  • Use Elven (-el) when enemies/surfacers around. For conversation.
  • Use Undercommon (-un) when dealing with other UD races.
  • Use Sign language (-si) when on patrol. For commands.
  • Use "Drow words" if you want when speaking Common amongst other Drow. Some people find it to give an extra touch.
  • Use Animal language (-an) with care, and be prepared to give a satisfying explanation when you are asked about using it.

Thorough ExplanationEdit

(by 4SakN)

The way I have always played it and viewed it is pretty much listed above through various posts; but I'll try to summarize it here. This is of course only my opinion; though based upon a bit of research on the variations :wink:

As far as what different languages are, these are the "definitions" so to speak:

-Xa (Xanalress)Edit

-xa (Xanalress) is the Drow Language. It is just not feasible to use it at all times. In Udos Dro'Xun speaking in "talk" is speaking Drow since it is our world. Outside the walls of Udos, "Talk" should be considered as true Common (or Undercommon); and -xa as Drow in order to "fit in" with other races and surface players.

-SI (Sign language)Edit

-si (Sign language) should only be used on raids and in tracking and combat preparation, as Drow tend to guard this language carefully. They would not want others to "interpret" it and learn their secrets. Though in emergencies it is useful for a quick command and such.

-Un (Undercommon)Edit

Drow would never speak Undercommon language unless they had to communicate with a lower "base" race, since the very existence of this tongue is an insult to Xanalress. This is kind of along the lines of "If we ignore it, it isn't there." The Drow do nothing to stop Undercommon because without it their lives would be more difficult (slaves couldn't communicate between themselves, work would be more difficult, trading would falter, etc), but they also don't use it unless they have to.

TALKEdit

Talk become Tricky; since it can mean many different things. In reality "Talk" is Surface Common; since the majority of the server is Surface races. but Drow can easily use it to mean one of the other languages as long as there are no surfacers around or they emote it being something else. I'll list below my general views on its use.

In Udos: Use talk as Xanalress. It is easiest and our addition of a few drow words creates a more immersive environment this way; making it interesting.

In Combat: Use talk just for the ease of communications; since any scripted language is almost impossible to keep up with. If anyone such as surfacers is around; be sure to emote this being a different language... If it is PvP combat I would switch to undercommon or Elven in order to maintain the realism and keep them from hearing your orders; otherwise stick to the Drow Combat commands since they won't know them. this also adds to the tension of the PvP since they are seeing "common" and yet they cannot translate it

Anywhere else: Use talk as Surface common. If your drow does not speak common; role play as if you cannot understand what is said in plain talk. This is necessary since the majority of the server speak common; we need to allow this concession in order to maintain the quality and fun or RP .

Other Languages from ClassesEdit

Those above are the "normal" languages all Drow get. Along with them, there are other "specialty" languages that Drow can gain depending on class:

-DR (Draconic)Edit

Draconic language on Arelith is not really "True Draconic", so it ought to be used cautiously depending on the situation. All Drow wizards and kobolds have variants of it, but those are not the same.

-AB (Abyssal)Edit

Abyssal is not a Drow language. It is important to recognise this as often I see Yathrin RPing their use of this "pure" tongue as being above other beings. This is flat untrue. Other Underdark races and surface Clerics of the CE alignment will know it as well.

-TH (Thieves cant)Edit

Technically speaking, Drow would not learn Thieves cant since it is a creation of the thieving guilds of the surface world. It is up to the individual Drow to determine whether they will use this or not. If used, bear in mind it is much like sign language: Basic and not meant for carrying on conversations, but rather quick orders or warnings only.

-AN (Animal)Edit

Again, Drow with Druidic levels or ranger levels would "technically" never have had opportunity to learn Animal, as it is really a combination of animal empathy and the "natural" surface world. Up to the individual Drow to role play how much of a connection to the natural world they are able to maintain in order to pick this language up; but bear in mind that the world Drow live in isn't entirely "natural" and it lacks that basic connection that surface Druids have allowing them to speak this. Faerzress Is the magical energy that permeates the Underdark and does many things:

  • Blocks Teleportation attempts
  • Interferes with Scrying
  • Imbues Drow with their Innate Abilities (saturation)
  • Imbues other races with the same (Duergar, Svirfneblin, etc)
  • Provides life-giving energy to the plant and fungal world of the Underdark (as opposed to Light-using surface plants)

In other words, the Underdark is not a "natural" environment as the surface is. The last one is especially important as it shows the main reason why Drow do not have "Druids" as they are on the surface... Drow can have a Druidic equivalent that knows much of their own world, tends to food sources within the caverns, and draws power directly from Faerzress; but to date no one has really role played this well.


(from Korrim) As for animal, I think it's okay to use it - although underdark Animal would be distinctly different from surface Animal. I disagree with you on the point that 'there is no common method of communication between underdark creatures' - there is equally no such between surface creatures. Rather, I would say that animal is not a language - more a system of communicating common emotions through mental signals, body language etc etc. I would also say that the way each druid speaks Animal to each specific creature, and in each specific form, would be different in shape but nevertheless mutually understandable. I.e. the signals are the same.

But, yeah. You shouldn't be able to understand surface Animal.

-IN (Infernal)Edit

If you are a Drow and you have the Infernal language; just go remake now because you are just plain wrong. Drow are chaotic race with worship of Lloth who resides in Abyss. Infernal is the language of Lloth's enemies.

Other LanguagesEdit

As far as other languages go: Celestial, Dwarven, Gnomish, and Halfling; no Drow should have any of these anyway so they should never come into question.


Drow Language Edit

Common Drow words


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