Linguistics Skill

From ThornsWiki

Vita is a world full of different people groups and different cultures, and the known world consists of Ten Kingdoms, some of which are still bright and vibrant and some of which have been destroyed or closed themselves off from their neighbors. While there are only a handful of races, there are a number of languages and dialects.

Estuan is considered the common tongue among all races in the Six Kingdoms, and all of the major magical Universities do most of their teaching in Estuan. Business and Politics are conducted in Estuan. Among the lower races, Tek and Riverword are common trade languages. While Tek is technically a pidgin, many wicks, especially tyat, have made Tek practically their own language. Riverword, while Bastian in origins, is the trade language spoken on ships and in rivers, on lonely trade routes through isolated mountain passes.

And, of course, there is Monite—the language of magic. A language that is written, spoken, and signed, Monite is unique in that while it could be considered available to all races, it's useless to humankind.

Progressing Through Linguistics

There are three levels of the Linguistics Skill: Broken, Conversational, and Fluent. Moving through these levels of linguistic understanding is the same as progressing through an Aptitude Skill or Focus Skill: meaning, progress is made through actively using the language in your character's story.

Much like Aptitude and Focus Skills, the Linguistics Skill can be progressed through narrative exploration of the language throughout your threads on Thorns.

Broken | Conversational | Fluent


When a Language is at the Broken level, your PC knows some words, enough to string together a haphazard sentence and communicate, though they are often either using the wrong pronunciation or, worse yet, the wrong word entirely. This is the beginning grasping at a language, so grammar and sentence structure are still mysterious. You can recognize the alphabet, but may not be able to put those letters together to spell a word properly. Your PC is most likely illiterate or elementary-level in terms of being able to read.


When a Language is at the Conversational level, your PC knows enough to join a conversation, though you can still get lost for the right word or pronunciation at times. You understand more than you can speak at the moment, but at least now you make sense. Your character can get confused by long conversation and while your PC is now literate, their reading level most likely doesn't match their actual age. Or, if nothing else, they aren't reading any technical manuals in this Language.

Your character may know some slang, but idioms and nuances are still limited at the Conversational level, even if your character has the basic grammar and structure and pronunciation down, some turns of phrases will still be very confusing or odd, especially the culturally-specific ones.


When a Language is at the Fluent level, your may as well have been born speaking it, if they weren't already. Your character knows all the words and the pronunciation nuances. If so desired your character could be a translator or a delegate in the country of the language you have mastered. Idioms, slang, and other abstract ways of speaking make total sense once your character is fluent.

Making Progress

All progress through Languages must be made through role play. A player must provide evidence of language use in the following rubric:

  • To go from no knowledge to Broken (i.e. to learn a new Language) or from Broken to Conversational, a player must write 2 threads of study (1 collab/1 solo max).
  • To progress from Conversational to Fluent, a player must write 4 threads of study (2 collab/2 solo max).

This "study" could simply be use of that language in a thread, whether it's learning from another player or awkwardly trying to trade your pistol for a kenser in a marketplace in Hox.

Note: Leveling up your Mental Aptitude a new tier gives your character an additional language slot at Broken each time you go up a tier. You can choose to “spend” that single slot to move an existing Broken language to Conversational or an existing Conversational language to Fluent instead of gaining a new knowledge when you raise a Mental tier.

Language Starting Packages

What and how many languages are available to your character upon creation depend on two factors: your PC's Kingdom of origin and their Mental Aptitude Skill.

  • Poor Mental Aptitude Skill - Your character begins play with one Fluent language, one Broken language
  • Average Mental Aptitude Skill - Your character begins play with one Fluent, one Conversational (or two Broken) languages.
  • Good Mental Aptitude Skill - Your character begins play with two Fluent (or one Fluent, two Conversational) languages.
  • Excellent Mental Aptitude Skill - Your character begins the game with two Fluent, one Broken (or one Fluent, two Conversational) languages.

Language Options by Race

Galdori automatically begin play with Fluent Monite as a Language, so long as they are adults. Student Galdori under the age of 16 begin play with Conversational Monite.

Galdori have access to all languages of the Six Kingdoms, depending on their Kingdom of origin. Again, Estuan is the official language of the Six Kingdoms and many of the Kingdom "local" languages have fallen out of use with galdori societies in general. With staff permission, depending on the galdor's education and profession, a galdor character may ask to begin play knowing the language of Shotha or Naulanon.

Galdori may not begin play Fluent in Tek without moderator permission.

Passives may not begin gameplay knowing Monite. Even learning the language as it is currently known in game has no effect—they are incapable of using magic and knowing Monite at any level confers no benefits to a passive other than knowing when someone else is casting a spell in their vicinity.

A Gated passive must begin play Fluent in Estuan.

A free passive can begin play Fluent in the language of their choice, depending on their backstory. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask the staff!

All wicks (who aren't parse) begin play with Conversational Monite, which suits their casting style and allows them to cast all of the spells from the Spoke's Almanac regardless of proficiency level with that Focus Skill.

While Estuan is still the most common language spoken among wicks, a wick may choose to begin play Fluent in Tek, which is a pidgin mixing Deep Tek with Estuan. Some wick tribes, such as the Deep Water tribe, still speak Deep Tek and a player is welcome to be from one of the many tribes that still speak this ancient wick language anywhere in the Six Kingdoms.

Anhau is currently undiscovered and no wick player may begin play speaking Anai wick.

Tyat pidgin is almost a language in and of itself, but one can never truly be fluent in its ever-changing ways. Any wick may begin play with Broken or Conversational in Tyat Tek, but no player may become Fluent.!

Many of the local Kingdom languages are spoken almost exclusively by humans, so a human character may choose any of the original languages of the Six Kingdoms as their Fluent language depending on where their character was born. That said, business and trade are still mostly conducted in Estuan, so keep that in mind.

Tek is available to humans who have a lot of contact with wicks.

Monite is not available to humans without good reason and moderator permission, as, again, they can do nothing with it other than recognize when someone is speaking it to weave a spell.

Raen are in a unique situation where they begin play with the knowledge of the body they occupy, so as a player, you must carefully consider both the starting race a Raen possesses as well as their country of origin.

Monite is not available to Raen at the beginning of play. Though a Raen may remember their magical origins if their original soul was a galdor or a wick, the mona may not at all agree to complying to their casting of spells, so this is a risk one must consider when taking Monite as a language.