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Bassek Language

Magic of the Ancients

That language- it puzzles me. It is unlike anything I've ever seen, even when compared to other ancient languages found in the region. And what bugs me the most, is that even magic seems to be unable to grasp what it means.
— Ahmed Bilin, researcher in Baseikan studies.

The Bassek language was used by the Baseikans during the totality of their empire. Traces of it are exclusively found on monuments, artefacts and buildings, which hints that its use was likely sacred.

What is Known Today

Studies and research into who the Baseikans were are rarely fruitful, notably because none of their writings have been deciphered. Only a small college of dedicated historians and archeologist, settled in a small town not far from Ignar, are actively working to find a key that would allow to translate their language.

The language contains hundreds of signs, which are believed to have both vocal values as well as ideographic. But because Bassek has no deciphered parent language, historians are unable to decipher even a single logogram.

Sudden Death

It is a general consensus amongst historians that the Baseikan's met a violent and abrupt end. There are no traces of a steady decline.
We just know that one day they were here, living among their fantastic cities, and the next they vanished. I have no idea what might've caused their downfall.
— Dijan, student of Ahmed Bilin

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More Than a Language

Warning: The following section contains spoilers for those who play in this setting.

There is a great power in the writings of the Baseikan. In an age before magic, they had found a way to bind Ontis to the Material Realm, forcing them to do their biding, all through the power of language and words. Bassek was their finest invention, a tool that allowed them to catch the very essence of a being, and tie it to an object or place.

The very act of using Bassek required years of training and learning. Learning the art of manipulating words, to make every creature kneel before you, was not given to anyone.

But the Baseikan's grew too confident, too reliant on their great power, until eventually what had helped them prosper for thousands of years led to their downfall.
Cypro Minoan by unkown

Cover image: by Mohammad Ali Berenji


Author's Notes

A short little article to dip my toes back in the worldbuilding bath! I have a great many things planned for the following month(s), and I hope that life does not throw too many wrenches my way.

Anyway, languages are hard, and every time I talk about one I have to resist the urge to conlang. I don't know anything about languages. It would be hell.

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22 Feb, 2021 22:31

I have a soft spot for ancient languages and the linear symbolic scripts (linear A, Phaistos Disc script) still feel special and mysterious. Though conlanging is hard, fingers crossed for getting more of the mysterious stuff into it.

Introducing my challenge entry, with my cat as the main character and visitor to the tavern.
23 Feb, 2021 10:22

Same here, and the fact that these languages haven't been deciphered makes it all the more interesting. Thank you for the kind words!

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
23 Feb, 2021 20:35

One does not have to conlang to create an interesting language concept, my friend. You did it with a few paragraphs! The concept is really intriguing, but I understand if you wouldn't want to expand on it. Great work!

Let us unite against the enemies of Album!
23 Feb, 2021 22:45

Thank you <3! I could probably add some details and mechanics on how the writing works, but I feel like these are among the things best left in shadow, to keep that sense of mystery ^^

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
23 Feb, 2021 23:06

Man, it's always the lifelikeness of Interarcanum which always draws me in. Love it so much! Excited to see what's next, so hope you find a big enough magnet in case those wrenches get thrown!

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides! Check my Summer Camp ramblings out here
24 Feb, 2021 08:58

Gosh, I think this has to be one of the kindest comment I ever got ;-; it means so much!! I’m hoping to get another article out by the end of the day :D

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
24 Feb, 2021 19:17

This was a very interesting and informative article! I find it really cool that a language could be used to force other creatures to bow down before the speakers. Kind of frightening, but fascinating!

~TimeBender~Check out the first chapter of my newest book on World Anvil (Spoiler I'm posting the entire book for free): 1/The First Rule of Monsterborn Adoptions
25 Feb, 2021 11:50

Thank you, I'm glad to hear that! Languages aren't really my strong suit so I'm happy to know I could make it interesting :D

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
26 Feb, 2021 01:17

I hope no more wrenches get thrown your way, TC. <3   This is such an interesting article - you've really captured the heart of the language here, I think. I love the fact that historians have not been able to decipher it yet. Imagine if they found something like the Rosetta Stone that unlocked the language for them.

26 Feb, 2021 13:09

I hope so too!   And thank you so much, that really means a lot :'0 ! The writings eventually being deciphered will likely be a big campaign event, considering the power that the language has

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
30 Mar, 2021 10:53

Oh. Oh yes. Great power, mysterious downfall, the answer and key to the knowledge dangling just out of reach. I love it. And this article is so well written too. Im now very curious about all things Basikian. BRB, gonna go feed my curiosity.

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
30 Mar, 2021 11:00

:'00 thank you so much aah!! I don't have much about Baseikan's just yet but! I recommend reading "Nadjima Caves" and "Plot: Traces of the Past" !   Hopefully the article about the Baseikans will arrive some time soon :D

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!