Camthian is a popular human language mostly spoken by the denizens of Camelot and its successor state, the Council of Camelan. Though not used in legislative or religious texts, Camthian is the most efficient way for people who either cannot read or do not see the need for such a skill to communicate.
Common Idioms and PhrasesSince this language has a deep oral tradition, many words and phrases have meanings beyond literal appearances. The Camelan culture has a deep influence on these terms, as well as what they commonly believe about the world. Listed below are a few of many examples that one may hear on their travels:
- "Beast broth": It's mostly used to describe the waters where beasts are birthed or gather, but can also describe Inkana or other liquids rich in aether. Usually a negative term.
- "Red": A flexible word, often paired with phrases to imply a immoral or illegal object, activity or person. Used on its own, it can serve as a curse of its own (especially when caught "red-handed" doing something unscrupulous). A deceptive offer is a "red herring" and words exchanged before a fight are "red words".
- "Scarce": A curse word with multiple uses, though most commonly used to call out someone for lying or making an extreme claim without the appropriate evidence. When supplies and morale are gravely low, soldiers will say this under their breath to refer to Famine, Horseman of the Apocalypse.
- To be "shown the beans": When a host eagerly welcomes visitors, only to come up with as many excuses as they can for why they should leave as soon as possible. Refers to a tradition prior to New Year where townsfolk throw beans to repel Conquest from their homes.
- "Scabbard-hugger": Someone who is too cautious to the point where they hinder their own progress or growth - someone ruining an adventure. It refers to the scabbard of Excalibur, which made its wearer invulnerable to attack. A person who is cautious by nature is simply called a "scabbard".
- "Sleeve": Someone who is overly protective of another far more capable than them. It is also implied that the person described is weak or spineless in some way, often following the object of their "protection" around all day and acting aimless without them.
- "Time to feed the sea": A common phrase from after the Fall of Camelot, it's used to call a bitter defeat on the speaker's end, with a resigned tone. Some use it to encourage someone to quit a mission that has no chance of success. It used to be "feed the lake" in reference to Sir Bedivere returning Excalibur to Lake Nuvanne, but the rhyming version grew more popular over time.
- "Tome-headed": Used to describe someone who habitually reads and writes, more than the speaker. Those called tome-headed are often implied to be antisocial, shy, forgetful or related to the mages.
The Camthian alphabet is mostly derived from that of Latin, though it has long been corrupted. For example, they have separate letters for v, u and w where these previously did not exist.