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"Germanic " Flan and "Celtic" Ancient O

 
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NorkerMedic
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:04 pm    Post subject: "Germanic " Flan and "Celtic" Ancient O Reply with quote

Germanic Flan


Hoch : " high"

Drachensgrab: dragon's tomb in Flannish. Grab is German for tomb. Drachen is obvious.

Eiger: ogre in German and Flannish

Some other Flan words seem to fit this trend.


Is Flannish the basic source of Germannic type names and words in the Flanaess?

Flan influenced the Cold Tongue, IIRC.

I don't see anything "Celtic" about the Flan language scraps we see in the published material. Nothing Amerindian, either.


But Fragarach , as in the magic sword, is an Ancient Oeridian name meaning " final word."
It is obviously inspired by the sword of the same name from Irish mythology, the "Answerer" of Mannan Mac Lirr.

It's not much to go on.
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to treat Oeridian as German because of the title "herzog," (there's an Oerth Journal article on Ahlissa or Zelradton that decided to make herzog a title of Flan origin, likely for the reasons you mentioned, though it seems unlikely to me that the Great Kingdom would retain Flan titles).

Some 3rd edition sources treat the Celestial language as Latin (or, at least, bad Latin). Latinate words could have then entered Common and Keolandish through inspired religious texts like the Book of Incarum and Book of Exalted Deeds.

Treating Flan as German, Oeridian as Latin, and Suel as conlang gibberish works pretty well with canon, though. Then Common and Keolandish are Romance languages (maybe French and Romanian respectively) and something like English might be spoken in Perrenland. Suel could be Greek, I guess.

Really, probably the most parsimonious idea is to say that Oeridian, Flan, Suel, and Baklunish are all conlangs and any resemblance to real languages is coincidental. I did that a little while ago when I suggested that "despotrix" came from gibberish Suel roots instead of sharing the real-world meaning.

There ought to have been multiple Flan languages. Some fan sources distinguish between a Western Flan tongue spoken in Geoff (Welsh?) and an Eastern Flan tongue spoken in Tenh.

The best rationale for Flan as Celtic is Druidic words like the bardic colleges from 1e and the shillelagh spell, though it's possible that druids adopted Oeridian at some point. The Druidic tongue might also have Sylvan Elfin influence (Flan might have been derived from Sylvan and/or High Elfin and Suel from Gray Elfin,).

In general, outside of Tenh, Geoff, the Country of Ulek, Rovers, Bright Desert nomads, Abbor-Alz hillmen, maybe Perrenland, maybe the Yeomanry, conceivably Veluna etc. the Flan are so marginalised that I expect their only linguistic contributions to be place names and whatever animals and plants (and sapient races) the migrants were unfamiliar with, and specialized Druidic/Bardic terms. I know that's a fairly long list of exceptions but it leaves the Great Kingdom and Keoland as nations that mostly displaced the Flan rather than blending with them.

Roger E. Moore's notion that words like Olve, Dwur, Jebli etc. were Flan seems unlikely to me. Why would Flan words come into widespread use? One possible reason is that the migratory Oerids weren't familiar with demihuman races until they entered the Flanaess, though they would have known about orcs and goblins at least (perhaps they didn't distinguish between them at first, though, using a word meaning "humanoid" until the Flan taught them the difference). Gary Gygax said he intended them to be archaic Common, which makes sense to me, although Paul Stormberg argued they were Gnomish based on the fact that gnomes use it in either The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun or The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. I can imagine gnomes adopting loanwords from Flan or archaic Common, though; this seems more likely to me than humans widely adopting racial words from Gnomish. They could of course be both Flan and archaic Common if the Aerdi learned the words from the Flan.

Many sources present the Thillonrian barbarians as of pure Suloise descent, giving the appearance of genocide or ethnic cleansing against whatever Flannae lived there before. In which case, why bother learning to communicate with them? Unless there was a period of peace first. Carl Sargent's unpublished Ivid the Undying treats the Thillonrian barbarians as ethnically Flan instead, though an editor might have changed that. There's an argument that we should treat references to ethnic purity with a grain of salt. The Thillonrian peninsula is pretty isolated but the Duchy of Urnst is in the middle of the Flanaess and should probably be more mixed.

I like the idea that Fragarach was stolen by Kelanen from the Celtic pantheon and brought to Oerth. Perhaps the word exists in Oeridian as a loanword from the actual Gaelic spoken on other planes.


Last edited by rasgon on Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NorkerMedic
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback!


Isn't there a significant Flan influence or background element in the North Province of Aerdy?

Good idea about Kelanen stealing swords!
That's fun.
It may have been part of his quest to attain apotheosis.
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NorkerMedic wrote:
Isn't there a significant Flan influence or background element in the North Province of Aerdy?


Many in North Province/Kingdom are of Flan descent, but my impression is that the conquering Aerdi houses of Naelax and Torquann eradicated their native culture and imposed Aerdi language and values. (Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, page 73: "After eradicating most of the vestiges of the previous Flan culture, they founded the court at Eastfair in 503 OR (142 CY), and began setting up a state heavily steeped in the dogma of Hextor.")
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NorkerMedic
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That makes sense.

Another possibility is that Drachensgrab is a Flan place-name, but translated into Old Common.
The monster and race names may be Old Common as well. You say Gygax suggested that was his intent?


Old Common would then be something like a Germannic/Hunnic mashup.

Oeridian+Baklunish

Of course, none of these real world comparisons matter that much. I'm just think of naming styles.
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NorkerMedic wrote:
You say Gygax suggested that was his intent?


I was trying to find the source, and it's this thread, where ScottyG quoted him:

ScottyG wrote:
Quote:
Finally, I was hoping you could provide some information on the intent of the unique names for demi-humans and humanoids in the WoG (Euroz, Jebli, dwur, etc.). I've heard a few ideas, including that they were supposed to be Gnome of Flan. Did you have anything particular in mind when you came up with the names.


Only how words change over time, and to get away from the then-and-now trite names for those races, orc, goblin, dwarf, and so on.


I interpreted the "words change over time" as meaning an archaic form of Common, but I suppose that's open to interpretation.

Apparently the idea that they were Flan came from Skip Williams in Dragon #200.
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NorkerMedic
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skip Williams, and that late, eh?

I may rethink some things about the Flan language.
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Page 106:

Sage Advice wrote:
In WGR5 Iuz the Evil, the words "celbit" and "jebli" are applied to tribes of orcs in the land of Iuz, but didn't an earlier WORLD OF GREYHAWK products use these names in a different manner?

Actually, there are no authoritative definitions for either of these names in print anywhere (at least none I know about). Nevertheless, these words are Flan names for two humanoid races: "Celbit" is the Flan word for kobold and "jebli" is the Flan word for goblin. Here is a more complete list of Flan names, courtesy of reader Gene Weigel of Albany, N.Y.:

Orc: Euroz
Goblin: Jebli
Ogre: Eiger
Gnoll: Kell
Kobold: Celbit
Hobgoblin: High Jebli
Elf: Olve
Dwarf: Dwur
Halfling: Hobniz
Gnome: Noniz

Gene gleaned these names from the original WORLD OF GREYHAWK boxed set (TSR product #1015).
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