Protean's Speech


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


How do you think they talk? As creatures of chaos, I'm sure they, aside from looking weird, also talk weird. But I'm out of ideas on how can I impart on my players (Legacy of Fire) their chaotic nature, so suggestions are welcome. :)

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I'd take some inspiration from this blog.


Maybe like the Tamarians?


Ahh, I remembered I read somewhere that they speak/talk like that but how to represent that while talking?


I'd use obscure words, hiss like Gollum, gnarl my hands into claws, arch forward, and purr in a high-pitched slightly drugged voice. Emphasis on the hissing and purring.

But then I act out all my voices. A hissing falsetto would be enough.


It could be a real challenge, because first thing I'd do is give each Protean its own, unique speech style. From there things get complicated.

Contributor

Wes nailed it pretty well in that blog, I'll say that. :)

I've usually portrayed their speech as often bereft of punctuation, and extraordinarily stream of consciousness in style. Their words wander and if possible try to incorporate some sort of harmony or poetry that pops out of something that at first seems to meander without any reason. The key thing to remember is that the proteans aren't insane, they simply don't think and process information in the same way most other races do. The Weaver from Meiville's 'Perdido Street Station' is a good example of something to take some inspiration from.

Here's one example that I used at one point:
When posed with that question, the imentesh Ille’narshek, pilgrim of the Chorus of Crystalline Flame, stated the following answer in its own sing-song oratory, “You are not of the Maelstrom now shackled and rigid such a poor and limited thing but speak with me spark of the mortal spheres and as with all things you can be so once again. Please, let me free you.” - from somewhere, I forget which source this appeared in.

"And though we hide within the very depths of this plane fearful for the revenge of both our enemies their spawn and our own kind brooding and waiting we have seeded the depths with children of our own, and it is they who will prepare the way for us.
—Hymn of Sanguine Harmony, keketar protean of the Chorus of Malignant Symmetry - appeared in Kobold Quarterly on the web

I'd also give unique speech patterns and physical effects of their speech to proteans of imentesh or keketar rank tailored to their specific chorus, some thematic to match their particular philosophical schtick.


Speak of these things I will sing of them I will to you such fragile creatures of flesh and bone hidden behind screens of glass like windows into another world. Speak of these I will and in turn speak into you / strumming harmonics upon the patterns of ions and fimbrae synapses the heart of your selves.

*soft hiss, changing pitch and volume like a contemplative murmur*

We speak/create. These are the same.

Expression.

Expression art emotion creation destruction the birth of life from words ideas generated in the minds of explorers a thousand years hence struggling to understand words carved into the walls of the Ossuary or functional death upon liquification and painted upon those very same walls. These are all the same. Words telepathy bodymotiontensefacialfeaturesnimbushalowhirlingsymbols u pon the crown of a keketar's whirling dervish mind these are the same fragile ones of another reality entirely.

*click, rustle of scale on scale, subaudible laughter and amusement*

Have you learned, or shall my instruction become instruction of teeth on the tangible?


Hymn of Entropic Electrons wrote:


Have you learned, or shall my instruction become instruction of teeth on the tangible?

That line is both beautiful and frightening.

Contributor

Todd Stewart wrote:
Wes nailed it pretty well in that blog, I'll say that. :)

Wes wrote the blog, not the speech. :)

And if you want to see a more substantial conversation with a protean, stay tuned to the novel line--we should have something in the coming year that will tickle your fancy...


James Sutter wrote:
Todd Stewart wrote:
Wes nailed it pretty well in that blog, I'll say that. :)

Wes wrote the blog, not the speech. :)

And if you want to see a more substantial conversation with a protean, stay tuned to the novel line--we should have something in the coming year that will tickle your fancy...

Was a nice speech. :D

And as for the last part, I have only one thing to say, "Spill the beans to that mortal and then NDA the heck out of him! Four other of my forum alts agree!"

>:D


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I worked up a speech for a amphisbaenic protean (caste unknown) that has recruited my players' characters to affect a yugoloth plot (yes, I'm using yugoloths, proteans, and daemons in the same setting. To quote Twisp: "SACRILEGE"). They don't know if the protean is trying to get them to stop the yugoloth plot, further the yugoloth plot, or what, especially because each head speaks at the same time (or as well as I can make it seem that way) and seems to say something that contradicts the other. The two heads aren't as random as previous examples are, since the PCs need to be able to figure out what they are trying to say, but I try to have one head tend to use strange word choices.

Examples of Hnengwa-a-Aif's (the protean) speech:

Hnengwa: The baernaloth creators of the yugoloth are extinct millions of years ago.
Aif: The baernaloth have not yet been birthed by the universe.

Hnengwa: Androcriex sings a dance of oblivion that shall end the universe in time.
Aif: Androcriex is of no importance.

(The first time the PCs use a magical mirror to contact Hnengwa-a-Aif after finishing a seemingly pointless mission. They see the Hnengwa-half biting off flesh from a limp Aif-half): Ah, sorry good fellows I was enjoying a feast before the bore Aif arrives to drink all the wine of our blood and birth us again.

Contributor

I think the key to protean dialect is to write anything you please so long as the following can come after and make logical sense:

Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter's remark seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

I think the key to protean dialect is to write anything you please so long as the following can come after and make logical sense:

Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter's remark seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English.

You mean they speak like politicians?

Contributor

Zaister wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

I think the key to protean dialect is to write anything you please so long as the following can come after and make logical sense:

Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter's remark seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English.

You mean they speak like politicians?

Hmm, let's see....

“I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.”

"I am a jelly donut."

I think the answer is "Yes."


"It's a terrible waste to lose one's mind. How true that is."

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