How would you describe abyssal? As in how it sounds?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Scarab Sages

I'm just looking for a way to describe abyssal specifcally chanting in it and all I'm able to think of is "gutteral" so does anyone else have a way to describe abyssal and how it sounds?


Probably not like any real language. More like a lot of growling and screaming noises.


Harsh and guttural.

Like a death metal growl.


There is tonal music and atonal music. There are tonal languages, but abyssal is an atonal language- it encodes meaning in it's lack of a tonal center.


Abyssal is spoken by a broad group by size and shape, traveling great distances and across a wide variety of throats, so I assume it sounds pretty different from speaker to speaker and would need to focus on consonant sounds more than anything else.

Coarse throat singing with a rattling cough, punctuated by low clicks and keening whistles. A group chanting in the language together would produce a concussive burst with each rasping bellow and hissed shriek.


Also consider: the language is called Abyssal and thus was developed in the Abyss. What are the qualities of that plane? Chaos, Evil; a place of torment where through enduring suffering and inflicting pain on others are your means of advancement. Perhaps find ways to incorporate these elements into the sound of the language:

1. Wailing and gnashing of teeth

2. A constant tone of anguish, pain, or conversely intimidation and oppression

3. Atonality stemming from an element of pure Chaos

4. The hissing, popping sounds of fire between words

5. Howling/screaming

6. Hard, harsh pronunciations, like a form of torture to the listener


Like this!


Derklord wrote:
Like this!

Yes, Attila seems appropriate.

I prefer Tatiana from Jinjer, though.


I'm pretty sure the written form of abyssal is a mixture of that font that heavy metal bands use for their logos and Zalgo text.


EldonGuyre wrote:
Derklord wrote:
Like this!
Yes, Attila seems appropriate.

*blink blink* What? That's not Attila, that's Dead - you know, originator of corpsepaint, buried his stagecloathes before a gig, kept a dead crow in a plastic bag on tour to get that smell of death in his nose before going on stage, cut his forearms with broken glass during concerts, shot himself because the cut wrists took to long to bleed out, that guy?

Edit @ PossibleCabbage: I think you mean Black Metal!


Derklord wrote:
EldonGuyre wrote:
Derklord wrote:
Like this!
Yes, Attila seems appropriate.

*blink blink* What? That's not Attila, that's Dead - you know, originator of corpsepaint, buried his stagecloathes before a gig, kept a dead crow in a plastic bag on tour to get that smell of death in his nose before going on stage, cut his forearms with broken glass during concerts, shot himself because the cut wrists took to long to bleed out, that guy?

Edit @ PossibleCabbage: I think you mean Black Metal!

Sorry, that was the old video, then. I didn't look too close - my connection is garbage right now. I saw that it was published in 2012, long after Dead was gone.


Klingon. It sounds like Klingon.


Zhayne wrote:
Klingon. It sounds like Klingon.

Or even that it sounds like what Klingon would sound like if Klingons had invented Klingons instead of humans.


It's one of the oldest, possibly the oldest language in the world. I give it even odds of sounding like Ancient Sumerian.

Scarab Sages

Well I've been following this for awhile and its given me some nice ideas. Thanks for the help to all who've posted.


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Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul!

: )


Death metal mixed with ominous latin chanting


Yes, there's nothing quite as tempting as a succubus whispering sweet nothing in your ears in the loud growls and snarls of a Metal veteran.
Well...
At least I can't imagine every speaker has to sound like they've spent decades gargling broken glass and burning coals.

Some probably do sound like that, but only because it suits their nature and purpose (see : Metal vocalists). More of an accent than anything else, I guess ?

I expect it sounds foreign to everyone, but not that alien.
Rich and complex too, though that's not as obvious. Just strange, with a weird rythm, probably a few sounds usually not part of the listener's language - we have those after all, with certain language using sounds no other language group does. I'd assume Abyssal just happens to have some of those for every language ever.

While Infernal just has to be devilishly intricate (hah), with the very slightest variation in tone or cadence having potential heaps of hidden meanings, by definition the quintessentially trickiest of language, I'd suppose Abyssal would just be an absolute mess.
Exceptions upon exceptions, rules that apply so rarely they're only there to be broken, an infinity of dialects with new ones being born and dying all the time, an ever expending, horrendously redundant lexicon.
Almost certainly giving the speaker a tremendous amount of freedom to improvise, coin neologisms as fits their current purpose, etc.
One over inflated alphabet, but mixing every conceivable kind of symbol , from ideograms to letters to overly complex hieroglyphs- probably some non-written ones, as well, be it braille-like grooves and indents in the very support or whatever else . Several reading directions depending on context, meaning and the weather and boy if you thought our antique boustrophedon writing convention was a strange idea just wait till you see what the demons get up to.

And yet somehow, impossibly so, perfectly functional.

So, yeah. Think of all those languages you don't speak and aren't sure you could identity by ear, if you've ever even heard them : a mix of all of those.


Nyerkh wrote:

I'd suppose Abyssal would just be an absolute mess.

Exceptions upon exceptions, rules that apply so rarely they're only there to be broken, an infinity of dialects with new ones being born and dying all the time, an ever expending, horrendously redundant lexicon.
Almost certainly giving the speaker a tremendous amount of freedom to improvise, coin neologisms as fits their current purpose, etc.

Sounds like English as described by every other country.

Scarab Sages

Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Nyerkh wrote:

I'd suppose Abyssal would just be an absolute mess.

Exceptions upon exceptions, rules that apply so rarely they're only there to be broken, an infinity of dialects with new ones being born and dying all the time, an ever expending, horrendously redundant lexicon.
Almost certainly giving the speaker a tremendous amount of freedom to improvise, coin neologisms as fits their current purpose, etc.
Sounds like English as described by every other country.

I was thinking the same thing.


I’d imagine Abyssal would sound like German spoke in reverse...

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