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Twisted Confessional | Everway

The Tongue

The Tongue is one of the unique and wonderful things about the Everway setting, and should be assumed to be used in every Everway Lexicon unless explicitly stated otherwise on the front page of that particular Lexicon. The fact of the Tongue's existence governs certain significant things about the Thousand Spheres - specifically, the words which are commonly available, and how places and people are named - removing this fundamental part of the Thousand Spheres significantly changes the look, feel, and flavor.

The Tongue draws from the vocabulary of English - a very useful source for the Tongue, as English is full of homonyms, heteronyms, synonyms, and all sorts of mongrelized borrow-words from double-handfuls of different languages. Everway games played in other languages should, of course, draw from the vocabulary of that language instead.

What this means to Lexicon players and other potential creators of material for the Thousand Spheres:

  • Choose carefully your names for people and places - most often, they should be names that actually exist in the English language, even if you might have to delve into the OED (Victor or Heather are okay; Alexander or Gandalf are not - Long Island or Springfield are okay; Manhattan or Akron are not). Names can be long and lengthy things, whole phrases or sentences, that wind up being shortened in speech. When names are not of the Tongue, there should be ample reason given for this divergence.
    • Even with an explanation and reason, only use odd, non-Tongue names for people and places sparingly; en masse they detract from the uniqueness and beauty of Everway's setting.
    • Conversely, names for non-humans are more commonly non-Tongue - Dragons, for instance, have their own language by which they name themselves, and Gods all get their own special names. Even here, though, there are often Tongue titles or descriptors for such things.
    • The Tongue does allow for the creating of new names for things (flora, fauna, objects, events, etc.) unique to a sphere. Again, use them sparingly, but know that the option is always there to add color and identity. Don't use these for naming things that already have words.
  • Languages other than the Tongue, especially those spoken and used by humans, are exceptionally rare and should be both used and referenced sparingly. Where they do exist, it's almost always due to some form of magical or other external interference - the language of a non-human creature; an actual "magical language"; a gift from the gods to a certain culture, subculture, or peoples; a sphere or group "cursed" to lose the Tongue and thus winding up with divergent languages similar to Earth.
    • The Tongue's existence in the Thousand Spheres is extensive, pervasive to the point that a child could literally be raised by wolves and still speak it - wherever a language other than the Tongue is used by humankind, there should either be a reason, or at the very least an acknowledgment of the mystery.
    • The miracle of the Tongue applies only to the spoken word. There are all sorts of various writing systems across Everway - numerous varying alphabets, hieroglyphs, codes, etc. some invented by mankind, others gifts from the gods.
    • Where another language exists, generally its name derives from within the language, rather than from the Tongue.