Friday, November 18, 2016

Languages Of Mu

It's been a long while since I've written anything about Mu, but the Sword & Sorcery bug has nibbled on me again, so here are some notes about the primary languages in the setting along with a little about the cultures that use them. Don't expect any in-depth discussion about the grammar and diction of these languages. I'm just a mediocre college grad with a useless Journalism degree, not J.R.R. Tolkien or M.A.R. Barker.

Naacal (Low and High):

There are two major dialects of the language of the people of Mu. Low Naacal is spoken by much of the population. Since it is the guttural, common tongue of illiterate peasants and slaves, there is no written version. On the other hand, High Naacal is almost exclusively spoken by Mu's ruling class and priesthood. It's hieratic written script is taught only to the scions of the wealthy, and the various temples have their own hieratic variants. Per custom, a Naacal noble would not sully their tongue by speaking the low tongue. If the need arises for them to communicate their wishes to the low-born, they have servants to do that for them. It is death for any low-born to attempt to learn the high tongue.


A brash and younger civilization, far across the ocean, Atlantis is fast becoming Mu's primary economic and military rival. Great distance and the South American continent keeps Mu and Atlantis from all-out war, but both great empires plot against each one another over trade and resources. Atlantis also has its own rich tradition of sorcery making Atlantean a major language of magical scholarship.


Thousands of years earlier, the Hyperborean civilization ruled what we would eventually call Greenland. Once a lush and tropical jungle empire, Hyperborea is now buried under the great seas of glacial ice that creep down from the world's poles. Once it was the abode of mighty sorcerers like Eibon and Klarkash-Ton, whose occult works survived the coming of the Ice Age and are still studied by scholars of magic to this day. The decedents of Hyperborea, who have long since fallen into barbarism and dwell upon the glaciers and tundra of the northern lands, speak a broken, pidgin version of their ancestor's tongue. Prized for their strength and endurance, slavers from Mu and Atlantis often prey upon ethnic Hyperborean settlements for new stock.


Handed down by a line of priests and sorcerers, Aklo is said to be the language or the gods themselves, or rather, it is as close as the mere minds and tongues of mortal humans can approximate. Used in high ritual prayer and magical spells, Aklo appeals for the attention of the Old Ones to evoke their mighty power and bend reality to their will. Any wishing to learn magic or aspires to high rank in any of the temples would be wise to learn this tongue.

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