Frigia: A World in Ice
The languages spoken in Frigia at first appear to be very different, from the heavy and structured tongue of the Hyborian to the suprisingly floral and deeply descriptive Mabden, then to the subtle, complex Elan; but truth be told, all 3 major languages share a common root. Each language can be learned, along with a few sub-languages related to each and practiced by certain peoples throughout Mabh; but no matter what language a person speaks, a successful Linguistics check (DC 20 in most cases) can decipher the basic concepts someone is attempting to get across no matter which language they are speaking due to the root similarities of each tongue. There are exceptions to this with certain languages, which are noted in the list below:
Mabden: Root Language
Spoken by the city dwelling Mabden and to an extent by the nomadic, tundra spanning Mabden, this language is considered the universal trade tongue and is the most common language known in all of Mabh. It is a deep, highly descriptive language which is often contradictory of form.
Nomadic: Sub-language(es) of Mabden
This category actually encompasses several dialects closely related to the universal Mabden tongue, spoken by the nomadic tribes that constantly travel through the heart of Mabh. For the most part these tongues are more simple and to the point but reference nature more closely as well as the spiritual world. When choosing nomadic, the player must choose a specific area/tribe to learn (see DM)
Hyborian: Root Language
This heavy, almost guttural tongue is at once un-melodic and structured of form. It is the Hyborian national language and every Hyborian child regardless of status is taught it from birth.
Brut: Sub-language(es) of Hyborian
This category also encompasses several different languages but these only bear a passing relation to Hyborian. These are the languages spoken by the Brut, and each animal subtype speaks their own dialect. These languages have been supressed by the Hyborian government for years but they are still spoken in private and, as in the rat tongue, are used as a black market language for the shadowy Hyborian underground.
The Brut languages are more closely related to the grunts, caws and howls of animals than to Hyborian, and so they are one of the few tongues that cannot be interpreted by a person that knows the root languages. Also, these languages are hard to pronounce by other humanoids, and anyone not native to the tongue spoken receives a -2 penalty to most social checks when speaking it.
Elani: Thoughtful and subtle, the Elan language suits its speakers well. As the tongue of telepaths, it references emotional and mental conditions far more often than other languages. Unlike most of the languages of Frigia, it also bears a complex subtext of gestures, physical cues, and social graces that are difficult for most other races to even pick up on, much less master.