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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Oddities In Sembia Word Usage?

I am currently making my way through Sembia: Gateway To The Realms and am on book four of the seven part series. So far I am enjoying the series but today I wanted to point out some oddities in some Realms' specific words.

I first noticed them in The Butler: Resurrection by Paul S. Kemp, one of the short stories in The Halls of Stormweather(THoS) the anthology and book one of Sembia. Kemp uses the word "lurienal" to refer to the halfling language. For those who don't know, if the halfling language ever is referred to by name it is generally "luiric", and is presumably named for the nation of Luiren whose vast majority of its population being hin (ethnic term haflings use to refer to themselves by). Mayhap Kemp was just unaware of the already existing term of luiric, which seems to have existed at-least by 1999, THoS having been released in early 2000 both of these terms may have come into existence around the same time. Lurienal itself looks as if it tries to be the language of Luiren, but puts the i after the r instead of before. So far, I have not seen this word anywhere else.

Another word found in the same story by Kemp is "thayvian" in reference to a person of Thay. Not as obscure, Thay gets more attention in lore, this may sound queer to any familiar with the vastly more popular term "thayan". Again I thought that belike Kemp had simply created his own term because of the absence of knowing the common word. Thayan can be attested at least as far back as 1992. I thought these were all flukes of Kemp's but in Black Wolf by Dave Gross (Sembia #4, 2001) the author refers to a thayvian rug. Note that in Lord of Stormweather (Sembia #7, 2003), also by Gross, he instead uses the more popular Thayan. Again, maybe Thayvian exist elsewhere, but I have yet to encounter it outside of the Sembia series.

It could be that these are dialectal terms used by Sembians. What are your thoughts?

One we know is a word of "ancient Sembia" is the word wolmoner which literally means "vigil man" and originally meant bodyguard and advisor but as of the 14th century DR it generally meant a servant but could also be a bodyguard or even a spy.--

You can track my current progress here.

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