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Tar-Eltharin is the language of the Asur (High Elves). Tar-Eltharin is the most pure form of Eltharin (the original Elven language from which all their languages descend), and so is sometimes referred to as just Eltharin, especially by outsiders. In contrast, the Asrai (Wood Elves) speak Fan-Eltharin and the Druchii (Dark Elves) speak Druhir.
Origins and offshoots
Eltharin was developed many millennia ago in a time when humans where still uttering primitive grunts and had yet to develop written language. Much like Khazalid (the Dwarf language), the Eltharin, as spoken by the High Elves, has remained largely unchanged over the eons.
As the Dark Elves and Wood Elves split from the Asur and their languages changed over time, the form of Eltharin spoken by the High Elves came to be known as Tar-Eltharin.
Eltharin itself may have evolved from Anoqeyån, an ancient tongue used solely to shape the Winds of Magic into powerful spells, which is believed to be the closest surviving mortal language to the words spoken by the Old Ones.
Tar Eltharin is the purest form of Eltharin, bearing the closest resemblance to the language when it was first devised and spoken. Tar-Eltharin is also spoken in a more limited capacity by the nobility of the Druchii, as they are forced as children to learn the language of their ancestors and their hated kin. While all of the Asur speak Tar-Eltharin, the various kingdoms of Ulthuan speak various sub-dialects and have their own peculiar accents (though it is usually only the Elves who can distinguish between these). This was more true in the ancient past than in modern times, when the various accents have merged somewhat.
Tar-Eltharin is based on a series of central (usually somewhat abstract) concepts represented by words called the Asai which are represented in written form by fundamental runes called the Asun. From this set of fundamental concepts, the entirety of Tar-Eltharin comes. There is also a second, extremely numerous lesser set of words; the Onai which serve to give specific meaning to the more fundamental concepts. The Onai are represented by lesser runes called the Onun.
In a manuscript, each rune blends together. To untrained eyes it can seem that one rune miraculously flows into another and some human scholars have even claimed that various Elven writings (regardless of dialect) and individual runes have changed shape before their very eyes. This makes it very hard for humans or Dwarfs (whose writing is very distinct and prominent, and much unlike the flowing Elven script) to decipher Elven writing of any considerable length, even if writing is instantly recognizable as Elven in origin.
The Asun are as follows:
|Ahrain||Shadows, night, stealth, secrets, perfidiousness|
|Asur||Asuryan, The Eternal Flame, rebirth, Lordship, the Phoenix, the High Elves|
|Cadaith||Grace, power, music of the stars|
|Caladai||The line of Kings, the Dragons of flame|
|Ceyl||Law, order, justice, passion, sword that draws blood|
|Charoi||Strength, ferocity, mane of hair|
|Cynath||Chill, death, silence, loneliness|
|Cython||Lileath, the serpent, wisdom, knowledge, futility|
|Daroir||Remembrance, memory, the strength of stones|
|Elthrai||Doom, hope, inexorable fate|
|Harathoi||Youth, boundless energy, jealousy|
|Lacoi||Might, glory, fear of death|
|Lathain||Storm, wrath, gently falling rain which brings eternal sleep|
|Lecai||Light, nobility of the soul, lightness of being|
|Menlui||Water, life, majesty, weakness, torrential rain, thunder in the distant mountains|
|Minaith||Skill in arms, spirituality, the Lost Way|
|Quyl-Isha||The tears of Isha, sorrow, mercy, endurance, mourning for lost children|
|Sarathai||The rune of the World Dragon, defiance, something that is unyielding|
|Sariour||The moon, magic, fortune, evil deeds, destruction wrought by nature|
|Saroir||Eternity, infinity, the flame of love that burns all it touches|
|Senthoi||Unity, loyalty, broken promise or oath|
|Sethai||Flight, wind, cry in the far mountains|
|Thanan||Hidden power, inner strength, indecisiveness|
|Urithair||Destruction, conquest, sacrifice, innocence|
|Yenlui||Balance, harmony, Chaos|
These are known Tar-Eltharin words, in alphabetical order. It should be noted that many of these words are common to many languages, particularly those relating to magic, which exist unchanged in the Dark Tongue of Chaos, in the Lingua Praestantia spoken by Imperial Wizards invoking their spells, and in the ancient Elven language Anoqeyån, now only spoken in the incantations of High Mages.Needs Citation
|Aethyr||The Winds of Magic, the Realm of Chaos|
|Aqshy||The wind of fire, red|
|Azyr||The wind of the heavens, blue|
|Cadai||Gods of the heavens|
|Chamon||The Wind of metal, yellow, gold|
|Cytharai||Gods of the underworld|
|Dhar||Dark or Chaotic magic|
|Elthin Arvan||The Old World|
|Ghur||The wind of beasts, brown, amber|
|Ghyran||The wind of life, green|
|Hysh||The wind of light, white|
|Mirai||The Elven underworld|
|Rhana Dandra||The apocalypse|
|Shyish||The wind of death, purple, amethyst|
|Sith Rionnasc'namithshir||"Star Gem of the Sea", An Elven fortress that existed at the mouth of the River Reik, the site of modern day Marienburg in the Wasteland. Destroyed during the War of the Beard.|
|Ulgu||The wind of shadow, grey|
|Ulthuan||The Island home of the Asur|
- 1: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (2nd Edition): Realms of Sorcery, pg. 49
- 2: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (6th Edition), Needs Citation