Extan is a language used by an unknown civilization, presumably originating in a land to the east of the Dain and Zea continents.
The word ‘Exta’ is a visual approximation of the first four symbols of the most famous text of the language, the so called ‘Testament to the Fall’
Currently 30 distinct Extan characters are recognized. They are represented as lines extending from each other exclusively at right angles. The letters are currently grouped by the character in the middle, in most cases a straight vertical or horizontal lines of different lengths with additional lines sprouting on one or both sides. Assuming the symmetry of the alphabet, there are several missing letters, which may appear in not yet discovered documents. Thanks to numbered pages of one of the documents, it is known that the numerical system is very similar to the one currently in use, with ten characters used in a cyclical pattern.
Extan seems to follow the usual sentence structure, with strings of symbols separated by empty spaces and interspersed with long vertical lines indicating sentences. There is lack of any other interpunction and language morphology and syntax are mostly unknown.
Study of the language
There is a limited source data for scholars to try and re-create Extan. The most well-known and complete specimen is the ‘Testament to the Fall’, found in the man-made structure buried in easternmost cliffs of Dain, dubbed the Sky Tower. It is 10134 characters long and in addition to the established 30 symbols includes several that appear only once, an oddity considering the length of the text.
Other texts are rarely found on the small oceanic isles appearing after a Yellow Storm passes through an area. Since close appearance of a Yellow Storm spells doom for all but the most competent seafarers (see: Stormbrave
), exploring a quickly sinking isle during its aftermath is a danger very few undertakes. Still, four additional short texts were found this way and are now under scrutiny of the Erwy University scholars, looking as much for knowledge, as for proof of falsehood and exaggerated sailor tales. So far, only two of the texts were confirmed to be authentic, as several sentences were identical to those from the ‘Testament’.
Origins of the language are unknown. Based on where the text fragments are found, the current theory assumes the existence of a far eastern advanced civilization that witnessed a catastrophic supernatural event leading to extreme dispersal of their infrastructure (such as the Tower, buried in the Erwy cliffs), and possibly creation of the Yellow Storm phenomenon. Some go a step further and assume the civilization lived in floating cities, which fell to the ocean floor. When made public, those theories caused a significant concern about the increasing use of sefia in everyday life, especially with the Zean mines now exporting their product to Dain.