Eltharin is the ancient language of the Elves. Eltharin was developed many millennia ago in a time when humans where still uttering primitive grunts and had yet to develop written language. In a similar manner to Khazalid (the language of the Dwarfs), it has remained almost unchanged for thousands of years; however unlike Khazalid, several variations of Eltharin are spoken by the different Elven kindreds. Eltharin is a divided language and several dialects are spoken by the various Elven kindreds. Though all these originated in Eltharin, some are so drastically different (being greatly changed by their isolation from Eltharin) that they could almost be called separate languages in their own right.
Lesser-known amongst the Elven languages is Anoqeyån, an ancient tongue used solely to shape the Winds of Magic into powerful spells, and is believed to be the closest surviving mortal language to the words spoken by the Old Ones. Eltharin in its many forms, is believed to have evolved from this powerful language, made simpler, more fluid and lyrical, and given mortal uses. Similarly, Eltharin forms the base for the primary human 'arcane language', the Lingua Praestantia, which was developed by Loremaster Teclis when he founded the Colleges of Magic.
Elven names are usually words in one form of Eltharin, though most of the literal translations are unknown and hence names of individuals shouldn't be included in the dictionaries on this page. Also, many Elven names remain the same in any form of Eltharin, such as Aenarion, Tyrion, Teclis, Finubar, Malekith, Morathi, Rakarth and Eltharion. In addition, many Elven names invented by Games Workshop (the maker of Warhammer) appear as a first name in Eltharin and a second name or title in English (the English title or name consists of two names). For instance "Caledor Dragontamer" , in which "Caledor" is the first name in Eltharin, and "Dragontamer" is the second name (a title in this case) and is made of two words Dragon and Tamer; showing that Caledor Dragontamer tamed dragons. Exceptions to this would be the names of the Phoenix Kings, many of whom have their second names/titles comprised of individual words, Imrik, whose title is "Dragon Prince of Caledor" and Alith Anar, whose name is comprised of two words and whose title is "Shadow King".
Elven writing is based on a series of runes which differ depending on the dialect, and in a manuscript, each rune flows together. To untrained eyes it can seem that one rune miraculously flows into another and some scholars have even claimed that various Elven writings (regardless of dialect) and individual runes have changed shape before their very eyes. This makes it very hard for humans or Dwarves (whose writing is very distinct and prominent, and much unlike the flowing Elven script) to decipher Elven writing of any considerable length. Human translations of Eltharin in Reikspiel, Bretonni and other Human languages have historically been full of missing or undecipherable sections; inaccuracies, and paragraphs of garbled nonsense. However by the same token, Elven writing is aesthetically distinct and even the lowliest peasant is able to recognise a rune of Elven origin, even if they can't understand the meaning of Elven writing itself.
Tar Eltharin is spoken by the Asur or High Elves and is the purest form of Eltharin, bearing the most resemblance to the language when it was first devised and spoken. Tar-Eltharin is also spoken in a more limited capacity by the nobility of the Druchii, as they are forced to learn the language of their ancestors and their hated kin as children. While all of the Asur speak Tar-Eltharin, the various kingdoms of Ulthuan speak various sub-dialects and have their own peculiar accents (though it is usually only the Elves who can distinguish between these), though this was more true in the ancient past and in modern times the various accents have merged a little.
Tar-Eltharin is based on a series of central (usually somewhat abstract) concepts represented by words called the Asai which are represented by fundamental runes called the Asun. From this set of fundamental concepts, the entirety of Tar-Eltharin comes. There is also a second, extremely numerous lesser set of words; the Onai which serve to give specific meaning to the more fundamental concepts. The Onai are represented by lesser runes called the Onun. However even when speaking specifically, the nature of Elven language is such (and this is true for all dialects) that it is still open to interpretation, depending on the inflection of the speaker and the context.
The Asun are as follows:
- Ahrain - Shadows, night, stealth, secrets, perfidiousness
- Asur - Asuryan, The Eternal Flame, rebirth, Lordship, the Phoenix, the High Elves
- Cadaith - Grace, power, music of the stars
- Caladai - The line of Kings, the Dragons of flame
- Ceyl - Law, order, justice, passion, sword that draws blood
- Charoi - Strength, ferocity, mane of hair
- Cynath - Chill, death, silence, loneliness
- Cython - Lileath, the serpent, wisdom, knowledge, futility
- Daroir - Remembrance, memory, the strength of stones
- Elthrai - Doom, hope, inexorable fate
- Elui - Ending, denial
- Harathoi - Youth, boundless energy, jealousy
- Lacoi - Might, glory, fear of death
- Lathain - Storm, wrath, gently falling rain which brings eternal sleep
- Lecai - Light, nobility of the soul, lightness of being
- Menlui - Water, life, majesty, weakness, torrential rain, thunder in the distant mountains
- Minaith - Skill in arms, spirituality, the Lost Way
- Oriour - Blood, birth
- Quyl-Isha - The tears of Isha, sorrow, mercy, endurance, mourning for lost children
- Sarathai - The rune of the World Dragon, defiance, something that is unyielding
- Sariour - The moon, magic, fortune, evil deeds, destruction wrought by nature
- Saroir - Eternity, infinity, the flame of love that burns all it touches
- Senlui - Swiftness, accuracy
- Senthoi - Unity, loyalty, broken promise or oath
- Sethai - Flight, wind, cry in the far mountains
- Thalui - Hatred, vengence
- Thanan - Hidden power, inner strength, indecisiveness
- Urithair - Destruction, conquest, sacrifice, innocence
- Yenlui - Balance, harmony, Chaos
These are known Tar-Eltharin words, in alphabetical order. It should be noted that many of these words are common to many languages, particularly those relating to magic, which exist unchanged in the Dark Tongue of Chaos, in the Lingua Praestantia spoken by Imperial Wizards invoking their spells, and in the ancient Elven language Anoqeyån, now only spoken in the incantations of High Mages.
- Aethyr - The Winds of Magic, the Realm of Chaos
- Aqshy - The wind of fire, red
- Asai - Greater words
- Asrai - Wood Elves
- Asun - Greater runes
- Asur - High Elves
- Azyr - The wind of the heavens, blue
- Chamon - The Wind of metal, yellow, gold
- Dhar - Dark or Chaotic magic
- Druchii - Dark Elves
- Elthin Arvan - The Old World
- Ghur - The wind of beasts, brown, amber
- Ghyran - The wind of life, green
- Hysh - The wind of light, white
- Onai - Lesser words
- Onun - Lesser runes
- Qhaysh - High magic
- Shyish - The wind of death, purple, amethyst
- Sith Rionnasc'namithshir - "Star Gem of the Sea", An Elven fortress that existed at the mouth of the River Reik, the site of modern day Marienburg in the Wasteland. Destroyed during the War of the Beard.
- Ulgu - The wind of shadow, grey
- Ulthuan - The Island home of the Asur
Main article : Druhir.
Druhir is the dialect of Eltharin spoken by the Druchii or Dark Elves and is based on the original Eltharin dialect spoken in Nagarythe in the time before the civil-war called The Sundering split the race of Elves in two.
Fan-Eltharin is the dialect of Eltharin spoken by the Asrai or Wood Elves. Little is known about this form, although it is known that the language has changed much over the millennia because the Asrai have spent all that time in isolation in Athel Loren in the Old World. Fan-Eltharin has grown to resemble the Asrai themselves in their inextricable link with the magical forest. Asrai never speak Fan-Eltharin in front of outsiders, (and the Asrai speaking to outsiders is a rare occurrence in itself) preferring instead to speak in the native tongue of the member of the race they are talking to. All Elves have a natural affinity for language so this is not a difficult feat.
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