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“First the ice falls and then the snow
In hallowed halls, a prince laid low
Cloth’d in shadow, the betrayer reigns
A city of sorrow, the lion is slain”
—The present year's foretelling quatrain according to Via Astra (translated from Classical)[3a]
Book of Sigmar-0

The Cult of Verena gave rise to recordkeeping among the Great Tribes of the Reik Basin[2b]

Classical is spoken by Human academics of all kinds. It is the first recorded Human language of the Old World – over 3,000 years old – used in most scholarly texts of the Empire including wizard grimoires and many holy books.[4a] Since it is an old tongue favoured by academics, it is rarely spoken anymore.[1a]

Dubious Origins

According to History of the Cults of the Empire by Hieronymus of Nuln, while it is well known that the founding of the Empire was the starting point of Human civilisation in the Old World, Scholars of the Tilean city-states claim that it was their ancestors that were the true civilisers, with scrolls and records dating from that early time.[2a]

The academics assert that, much like the fertile Reik Basin to the north, the drier lands to the south were also populated by tribes of Humans. However, unlike the northern tribes, who were invaders from foreign soil, Tileans argue that their ancestors had long inhabited their lands, and cite the myths of great Tilean cities supposedly founded during the occupation of the Old World by the Elves as proof.[2a]

The legacy of this mythical civilisation was the written word, which Tilean ancient texts suggest was gifted to them by Verena, the Goddess of Wisdom. Whatever the origin of this ancient written language, it is now called Classical, and its modern equivalent is still used across the Old World as the primary script of academic study, and as a common tongue between enlightened folk of all Old World nations.[2a]

Thus, long before the great city-states of Tilea had been wrought, it is claimed there was an intellectual elite that could read and write in the south of the Old World. As most of their early settlements were built in and around the ruins abandoned many centuries ago by the Elves, the Tileans also reason their ancestors must have translated the impossibly complex runes of that race. From these translations the Tileans then claim to have learned the founding principles of modern philosophy, medicine, theology, astronomy, and, most importantly, they believe they uncovered many new Gods.[2a]

Whatever the truth, the Tileans were an adventurous and curious folk, and soon organised expeditions to explore the surrounding lands. When they eventually encountered the northern tribes, they brought with them knowledge of their written language and Gods, and had a broad-reaching impact upon the ancestors of the Empire.[2a]

Lexicon

  • Comes – Companion[4b]
    • Sigmar named the twelve tribal chiefs his ‘counts’, which modern Scholars claim can be sourced in the Classical word comes, meaning ‘companion’, for they were his companions on the battlefield against the Greenskins and against the Chaos tribes from the north.[4b]
  • Via Astra – By Way of the Stars[3a]
    • Acilius Geminus wrote this lurid little tome. Within it, he laid out detailed charts and timelines using his theories of stellar motion and astrological omens. His timeline stretches several thousand years forward, each year having a corresponding cryptic quatrain.[3a]

Trivia

  • Classical's real-world counterpart is the ancient Greek and Latin languages.

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Core Rulebook
    • 1a: pg. 96
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Tome of Salvation
    • 2a: pg. 10–11
    • 2b: pg. 12
  • 3: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Career Compendium
    • 3a: pg. 21
  • 4: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition: Core Rulebook
    • 4a: pg. 125
    • 4b: pg. 272

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