Hive World Terra


Warning: This definition may contain spoilers from any number of Games Workshop novels or source books.

Khazalid: The language and runic script of the Dwarfs of the Old World. Thousands of years ago, this language was unique and bore no resemblance to any other, but the Dwarf migrations and their wide-spread construction across the length and breadth of the Old World has brought them into contact with a great many people, and so Khazalid has exchanged words with other languages. The most notable that the Dwarf tongue has influenced are Reikspiel, Norscan and the so-called Dark Tongue spoken by cultists and agents of the Ruinous Powers.

Reikspiel and Norscan have gained their dwarfish influences from long centuries of trade and inter-relationship - Dwarfen craftsmen and merchants frequently live in Empire and Norse communities and become polyglots - trading their words and borrowing and amending Reikspiel and Norscan terms into Khazalid. The Dark Tongue borrows from Khazalid to express many of its magical and mystic ideas - a great many Khazalid runes express mysteries and the language has a harsh sound which appeals to the Followers of Chaos. The same principle applies to the trival dialects of the Goblinoids - who frequently steal words from Khazalid purely because they like the sounds - the words themselves often have completely different meaning to the original Dwarfish.

Khazalid is written using a runic script which bear the same name. They have an angular quality which is a holdover from when they were only carved, not written or painted. Even now, when parchment is more readily available, the Dwarfs cling to their traditions and write Khazalid predominantly on beaten metal scrolls, usually the softer metals such as gold and copper. Due to this, cursive forms and calligraphy which might be found in Reikspiel or Cathayan wrightings are not found in Khazalid works.

Khazalid is a reflection of the Dwarfen personality - the language is functional and often expresses extremely complex and largely untranslatable concepts in single pictograms. Khazalid has a base alphabet and a number of pictograms and glyphs. Many Khazalid documents use a style which incorporates both the use of alphabet runes and the pictograms - a simple document is most frequently written using only the alphabet runes - letters are often written on hide or wood in this style. More important or formal documents are recorded on metal 'books' using ritual runes and pictograms. The most famous of these are the Dammaz and Zagaz-Kron - the Books of Grudges and Remembering respectively. These record the history of the Dwarfs as a race, and entered into the Dammaz-Kron is the name of everyone who has ever crossed the dwarfs in any way, whether a defeat in battle or a broken agreement. Khazalid texts are written by Runescribes, those who know the script and its uses and secrets; save for those magical uses known only to Runesmiths. Most of the general Dwarf populace cannot write Khazalid runes, as Dwarfs rarely write individually, save to make contracts and bonds.

Khazalid uses no grammatic cases and no pronouns such as 'the' or 'it' - these ommissionms occur as frequently in speech as in texts as Dwarfs lack the time for such unnecessary words.

Where Khazalid words have been rendered into Reikspiel within the Encyclopedia, this is indicated by a Kh. abbreviation.

Source: White Dwarf: Issue 152 by various

Submitter: Simguinus