You guys are great, and I love the Auran Empire setting. I especially like the correspondence Mr. Macris has set up between languages in the setting and real-world historical tongues. So I have to ask: do you have a bunch of polyglots working on your products? You see, I like to translate the alphabets appearing in RPG products when I can. Most are simple substitutions, using runes or hieroglyphs to represent English letters and forming English words, but I believe I've translated the Jutander map from page 187 of Lairs & Encounters and it seems to me to be in a version of Old Norse or some sort of Scandinavian mash-up! This is, frankly, an exceptional treat for me, but it has me wondering: are the cuneiform maps also in a non-English language? Are there other foreign language passages hidden throughout the maps? I cannot tell you how pleasantly surprised I was to discover the Jutlander runes forming a foreign language poem! You folks are the real deal, nerds' nerds, and I'm very happy to support your company.
Thanks for this awesome message! It's always such a pleasure when these easter eggs get discovered. I'm not a polyglot by any means, but I do love studying ancient cultures and constructing languages and backstory for my world.
To answer your questions:
1) The poem on the Jutlander map is in an approximation of Old Norse. The poem reads Sky dons her black cloak. The slayer of dragons awakens from the sleep of the sword. By dawn the grass is red with the dew of slaughter. I translated that as "Himlen sätter på sin svarta kappa. Baneman drakar vaknar från sömnen av svärdet. Vid gryning gräset är röd med dagg slakt." The cartographer then converted it into runes.
2) The inscriptions on the Elven map (p.184) are Welsh, which I used to represent Argollean. "dau gemau mawr llygaid ar gerflun / gwarchod gan ysbrydion" translates as two great emeralds on the statue lie / guarded by those who refuse to die.
3) The inscriptions on the Zaharan map (p. 185) are a mix of Akkadian and Sumerian but they do not say anything meaningful unless my cartographer added some easter eggs on his own.
4) The inscriptions on the Auran map (p. 186) are all written in Classical Auran using an Etruscan-inspired font. UTH ES ALTER ZERAN GËDOS URAGASIN means "What lies beyond the bronze doors of Uragasi" The rest are the names of castles - from the top, Forest-Castle, Wise-Castle, Fort-Castle, Sister-Castle, and Defense-Castle. "Fort-Castle" is itself a pun: A fort's castle is a keep and Turos Tem is the home base for our Keep on the Borderlands-style introductory module about exploring the borderlands...
5) The inscriptions on the Caravan map (p. 188) are based on Ancient Berber script, though they do not say anything meaningful. The images are the real constellations of the Auran Empire setting, which were detailed later in an Axioms update.
- 1 The Void (no stars at all)
- 2 The Empress (a crown-shaped set of 5 stars)
- 3 The Cowl (a hood-shaped set of 6 stars)
- 4 The Eye (four stars with a 5th bright star in middle)
- 5 The Manticore (7 stars forming a stick figure of a lion with an arched tail)
- 6 The Scorpion (7 stars forming a stick figure of a scorpion)
- 7 The Naga (5 stars forming a stick figure of a coiled but rearing serpent with a female head)
- 8 The Prince (9 stars forming a stick figure of a man with a sword)
- 9 The Wolf (stick figure of a wolf)