So here’s my first report on progress, a little earlier than scheduled. In future, I’m going to try to post something every Sunday, so we’ll see how that works out.
First task was to go public with my intentions, as part of the accountability thing. That meant an explanatory post on this website, followed by an email to those on my mailing list. Well… if you leave these things to languish untouched for years, there are bound to be a few cobwebs in dusty corners and technological weirdness.
It’s almost three years since I last posted here, or even looked at the site. Everything was out of date, so I set out to update a few plugins. Three mouseclicks later, the site vanished. Poof. Gone. No error message, just a blank screen.
It took me about an hour to find a way to get it back (by renaming the plugins directory, actually). Poof, there it was again, minus the plugins, naturally. Another hour of careful work, and a few more poofs and renamings, and I finally had a robust and fully updated website. Then I installed a decent Backup plugin, and backed up. I’m still working on minor details like widgets and whatnot, but at least everything is there and more or less functional now. So I wrote my post, and up it went.
Task number two was to email my mailing list. I hadn’t sent an email for so long that my account had been put into suspended animation. Everything was still there, but I couldn’t send any emails until my account was approved again. I emailed to ask for approval and lo, it was done in precisely four minutes – well done, Mailerlite! Off went my email, and now I was committed to this task of reviving a neglected series.
The third task, and it’s a mammoth one, is to compile a proper series bible, with notes on all the people, places, customs, religions, you name it. I never made one before because I actually carried a lot of detail in my head, with scribbled notes for the less memorable details. Happily, I discovered that I used Scrivener to write with almost from the start, which is the ideal place for all those scribbled notes. And some of them are completely over the top. Here for your amusement are my notes on the languages of the Brightmoon world, southern hemisphere, western half (all that’s covered in this series):
‘In the Karningplain, everyone of all ranks speaks Later Kashinorian. There was also an Elder Kashinorian. The Petty Kings had numerous languages, now more or less defunct, although a few are still spoken locally: Grivordian; Kannick Old Script; Kannick Revised Script; Herramish; Old Murthian; Trithordinish; Messhantian.
In Bennamore, everyone of all ranks speaks Bennamorian. So do the Port Holdings, although they also have local working dialects.
The Vahsi, Icthari and Blood Clans have their own languages. The Blood Clans have words derived from the plains (eg clava).
The kyles and holdings of the western coast have three principal dialects. At the Keep, the official language is High Mesanthian, which is the language used publicly by the Tre’annatha. The northern servants speak Low Mesanthian.
The Tre’annatha have three languages of their own, which are all tonal. One is familiar, used only with one’s own Court members. One is peremptory, used to address servants or anyone of lower rank. One is formal, used to address anyone of equal or higher rank, or in official situations. To outsiders, they speak either High or Low Mesanthian.
In the Thar-briana hills, the language is Brianese, although there are a dozen or more different variants, mutually intelligible in ring style (each group can understand its immediate neighbours, but nothing beyond that, while they can understand their neighbours… and so on).
Drakk’alona has its own language, Rin-dryar, derived from High Mesanthian, with elements of western Brianese and Mursh’atar. Some otherwise unexplained aspects are believed to descend from one of the secret Tre’annatha languages.
West Minaar uses Minaarese. East Minaar speaks both High and Low Mesanthian.
In Mesanthia, everyone of all ranks speaks High Mesanthian. Merchants and lawyers use a fossilised form of Middle Mesanthian for formal interactions, although this is dying out. Most people also speak Low Mesanthian, a creole derived from the numerous slaves brought to the city during the Empire. High and Low Mesanthian have become the ‘lingua franca’ for the whole area covered by the former Empire — the northern coast as far as Drakk’alona, and the Two Rivers Basin of the northern Plains of Kallanash. High Mesanthian is the language of the educated and those of high rank, while Low Mesanthian is used by middle and working class people. There is also Archaic High Mesanthian, otherwise known as the old language or hoshain dorssht.
Most places in the Two Rivers Basin also have their own languages. In Caxangur they speak Xangur, also spoken as a dialect variant in Wetherrin. The southern canals speak something that sounds like Old Gantian. The northern canals speak a variety of Ghanxhur dialects. The desert folk have click languages.
The people of Hurk Hranda speak Hrandish, which has male and female forms.’