• Sperethiel Dictionary
  • Sperethiel Dictionary Information on the language of Sperethiel, along with the words and phrases which are distributed throughout Shadowrun and Earth...

Sperethiel Dictionary

Information on the language of Sperethiel, along with the words and phrases which are distributed throughout Shadowrun and Earthdawn sourcebooks and novels, many of which are out of print. Therefore, the vared fragments of the language have been brought together for your edification, enjoyment, and reference.

Sperethiel, or Elvish, is spoken at all elven rituals and many ceremonies in the Fourth and Sixth worlds. Indeed, during the Rite of Pronouncement, when an elf attaining his majority names himself, the ceremony must be performed in Sperethiel (those elves who do not know the langauge memorize it phonetically). Many names are taken from Sperethiel nouns and descriptives. Sperethiel is a runic language, and much of the decoration on elven arms and armor consist of runes in Sperethiel etched on the item's surface. Written Sperethiel nearly died due to lack of writing materials during the Scourge of the Fourth World; although the intricate runes were preserved within the Blood Wood.


Elvish is perhaps the most complex language on earth, using multiple protocol codes (rising and falling), levels of emotional subtlety beyond any other language, and very efficient information transfer. A short phrase in Sperethiel would take several complex sentences in English.

Sperethiel has over a dozen declensions, some only used in poetry. There are multiple voices, including Indicative, Imperial, and Subjunctive (which has several forms; most common of which are the Normative [could/should/would constructions], Speculative and Poetic. Declension of nouns is by context, prefix, or both. The given rules are only guidelines.

The meanings of many words varies depending on context and intonation; phrasing also depends on the rank of who you are addressing: you wouldn't say the same thing in the same way to a social superior as to an equal or inferior.

Verb Forms
Conjugate verbs using affixes
Indicative Voice
Present Tense
First person
-it Second person (formal)
-ist Second person (familiar)
-at Third person
First person
-int Second person (formal)
-intas Second person (familiar)
-asta Third person
Imperative Voice
-osa Plural
-int Second person (formal)
-intas Second person (familiar)
-asta Third person

Noun Forms

Nominative: root with no prefix
Genitive: ti-
Dative: context or to- (long "o" as in "toe")
Accusative: context or té- (rhymes with "say")
Nominative: affix -sa
Genitive: ti-
Dative: context or so- (long "o" as in "toe")
Accusative: context or sé- (rhymes with "say")

adj. = adjective
adv. = adverb
conj. = conjunction
(for) = formal
(inf) = informal
(ins) = insulting
interj. = interjection
mod. = modifier
n. = noun
prep. = preposition
v. = verb


a conj. Or
aishar n. "He who looks for the truth" The prosecuting attorney in Tir Tairngire law.
aynk n. Foster-sister
Ar'laana n. "The Wait" A time, starting up to a week before the expected moment, where friends and family gather around an elf about to give birth.
Bele se'Farad n. The Great Hunt
belet adj. Passionate
Beletre adj. "The Passionate" Those who feel a single Passion guides the Followers on thier journey on each path.
Also, the name for both types of Tir Tairngire paladins.
Example: Beletre ti'Thystonius (The Passionate of Thystonius)
Bratach Falan n. Black Banner
Bratach Gheal n. White Banner
Brat'mael n. "Black Sun" A splinter faction of Rinelle ke'Tesrae
Cara'sir n. The official Sperethiel name for the Tir Tairngire city of Portland.
carromeleg n. An elven martial arts style.
Carromeleg is noted for its stances: a practitioner of the Elven martial art can judge the proficiency of his opponent by her stance. It is thus obvious to the merely skilled when they are facing a master, such as certain Great Elves. Practitioners with an awareness of immenient death may enter zathien, and assume a more natural, relaxed pose: such opponents are much more difficult to defeat, as they have already accepted death.
carronasto n. Stillness; non-motion.
celé n. A non-elf
celénit v. Insulting form of celé
Celisté n. "Bringer of Light" A college in Tir Tairngire (formerly the University of Oregon)
Cenesté n. "The Forsaken" The group of elves that broke from the Sinsearch tribe to form Tir Tairngire
cetheral n. A rare pearly, iridescent skin color unique to elves
Chaele ti'Désach n. "Days of Change" The term used when an elf moves from one Path on the Wheel of Life to another; which brings changes in behavior, clothing, Discipline, and sometimes mates.
chal'han n. A formal elven ritual of retribution, revenge, and/or to prove dominance; sometimes the word is used for plots of revenge or dominance in general.

A rite possibly derived from ancient draconic rites to determine dominance or superiority; chal'han proper is the province of Great Elves.

The goal of the Game is to use pawns (hirelings, bondservants, etc.) to symbolically show influence over seven aspects of your opponent's existence: their Past, Present and Future, the Loves and Hates, their Physical and Spiritual selves. This proves that if the player had wished to, they could have destroyed their opponent completely.

The strictures of the Great Game are thought to be encoded in a work or tome known as The Rites and Rituals of Challenge, but one is that the pawns cannot be harmed directly by either player. Threatened, injured by other pawns, put in exceedingly dangerous situations, but not killed or harmed outright.

There are two forms of the ritual: Chal'han che is the form were the opponent survives at the end, his life intact but his honor in tatters. Chal'han se is the deadly form, that usually ends with the death of the opponent. Naturally, to make the Game more interesting, your opponent has to guess which form you're using.

The Ritual
From the focus of my heart, I call the words
Of anger spoken and desire revealed
By my Challenge of word and deed
By my blood consecrate the name invoked
Thy shape and form decreed never was

On thy Physical form, I call the words of rendering
On thy Hates, I invoke Justice, thy anger unappeased
On thy Past in shadows, I shine the light revealed
On thy Loves and joys, I gift seperation
On thy Spirit, I speak abandonment
On thy Future, I bring fear and grief
On thee I invoke all

The winds shall erase thy name
The sands the traces of thy path
The sun the coolness of they shadow
And unto the waters I command they essence
Thy Shape and Form decreed never was

Cinanestial n. "Skywing" The Tir Tairngire national airline.
cirolle prep. To travel
co adj. To. Shifts to con before a vowel.
dae v. Loose
Dae'mistishsa n. "Loose Followers" Those elves who have a less restrictive interpretation of the Elven Paths, as opposed to the Sa'mistishsa
daron n. To die
delara n. Quiet or serene
draesis n. Wheel
Draesis ti'Morel n. "The Wheel of Life" The central symbol of the Elven Ways and Paths
dresner n. "Assistant" Term used to refer to a kinswoman or close friend who helps out during the last month of pregnancy and the birth.
ehlios n. "Arguer for the accused" The defense attorney in Tir Tairngire law
eidolon n. Phantom
elaishón n. An elven pastry, with a strawberry filling (and something else), and a natural vanilla glaze.
Ele Arandur n. "Council of Princes" The ruling body of Tir Tairngire
Eoerin n. Wise; Scholars of Elven spiritualism
faskit n. Legal code; law
Glerethiel Morkhan Shoam n. "Keeper in the Monkey House," "Inbreeding Causes Stupidity," and a third meaning that's untranslatable but pretty filthy (look up [b]morkhan[/b]) a racist sit-com produced in Tir Tairngire in 2052, with some of the gags delivered in Elvish.
goro n. "Outsider" One who is not a subject of the Elven Court; A stranger
goro'imri n. "Are we not outsiders?" A village of outcasts in the Northern Reaches of the Blood Wood
goronagee n. One apart, especially an elf not part of an elven group
goronagit n. Insulting form of goronagee
goronit n. (ins) Barbarian
-ha adj. Suffix indicating emphatic repetition
Example: versoniel-ha, "a real butthole"
heng v. To speak or understand a language
heron v. To be alive; to exist
Huro ke'Envar n. "The Society of Healers" A group of that name exists in both the Blood Wood and Tir Tairngire
Iarmhidh n. The Sperethiel name for County Meath in Tir na nÓg
im v. To be
imiri n. Memory of something; memorial
Imiri ti-Versakhan n. "Memory of the Enemy" A citadel in the Australian Outback guarded by the Mimis, alternately known as the "Citadel of Memory" and the "Citadel of Remembrance"
This term is in an Australian dialect of Sperethiel
irenis n. Casteless; indicating no rank
-it adj. Derisive suffix, becomes -nit after a vowel
ke adj. "Of the", changes to k' before a vowel
leäl n. A very indelicate word for a very close aquaintence.
laés n. A memory-erasing drug used by Tir Tarngire border patrols and paladins to deal with intruders they do not wish to kill or imprison outright.
laésal n. A tree which bears golden cherry-like fruit that is sweet and produces mild euphoria. In place of a cherry's pit, the fleshy red center is filled with small dark seeds. When powdered and added to food or drink (wine made from laésal fruit is especially effective) whoever ingests the substance briefly falls into a deep sleep and permanently forgets the last few hours. These memories cannot be recovered by any known method. Used by Blood Warders to deal with intruders they do not wish to kill or imprison outright, as laésal is native to the Blood Wood.
li mod. (for) Interrogative suffix
Example: li-ha "Is that not so?"
llayah adv. Okay; sure. Literally, "I agree with you" or "I will do it"
makkaherenit n. A young and foolish person
makkalos n. Stupidity
makkanagee adj. Willfully stupid
masa'e n. "Birth Seed" A piece of fruit shared after the birth of a child
Masae Seorach n. "Birth Seed of the Sundering"
medaron n. Death
mel'thelem n. Locus (a specific type of magical artifact, for more, please see the Artifact Index)
meleg v. To feel in a physical manner
Mellakabal n. "Shining Ones" Used exclusively in the context of Tesrae ke'Mellakabal ("Citadel of the Shining Ones")
meraerth n. Warrior
Meraerth ke'Tolo n. "The Spirit Warriors"
mes n. Path
Mes ti'Cirolletishsa n. Path of Travelers
Mes ti'Maeaerthsa n. Path of Warriors
Mes ti'Perritaesa n. Path of Sages
Mes ti'Raeghsa n. Path of Lords
Mes ti'Telenetishsa n. Path of Scholars
milessaratish n. Servant-soldier; bondsman. In Sixth World usage, a field agent or covert operative.
By the laws of the Seelie Court, this status is accorded to those who stay under their roof and accept their coin.
mis v. To follow
mistish n. Follower
Mistish Farad n. The Hunters; Literally "Followers of the Hunt"
morel n. Life
morkhan n. A fornicator of swine
nagé adj. Willful
-nagee adv. Willfully
niach mawryn n. "Child bond" The link between two unmarried parents and their child
od conj. And
ozidan v. To leave behind
pechet prep. Except for
perest v. To have
perritaesa n. Scholar
qua (inf) Interrogative suffix
raé n. (inf) An elf
raegh n. Lord(non-specific)
raén n. (for) One who is of the people; an elf
ranelles n. Family, coworkers; also the name given to cells in Rinelle ke'Tesrae
resp v. To listen
Respitish od Telenetish n. "Those Who Listen and Learn" The council of the Jae'Helastri Ranelle
reth n. Elf; Literally, "Listener of Harmony"
reth'im n. Elven culture; Literally "To Be Elven"
reve n. Alderman. Plural reves
-ri mod. Interrogative suffix, also used rhetorically.
rillabothian n. An unresolved chord in music. Poetically, an unresolved situation in a relationship
rinellé n. Rebel; deserter
Rinelle ke'Tesrae n. "Rebels of the Citadel" A rebellious group within Tir Tairngire, often translated as "Rebels of the Spire" or "The Citadel's Exiles"
sa adj. Strict
sallah n. Silence; non-speech
Sa'mistishsa n. "Strict Followers" Those who adhere to the more strict and traditional Elven Paths
samriel n. Discomfort, implying necessary discomfort as in medical treatment
se mod. Positive prefix
Se'har Maera n. "High Prince" The leader of Tir Tairngire
semeraerthsa n. "Warrior (of the paths)"; a follower of Mes ti'Meraerthasa
Se'ranshae Elenva n. Star Chamber
serathilion n. Attraction that cannot be denied; demanding desire
serulos n. Machismo; childish masculinity
sersakhan n. friend
se'-shepetra n. An Elven dish made from duck
shatatain n. A combat stance in carromeleg
shay n. Forest
Shay ke'Sallah n. "Forest of Silence" The name for a network of encrypted messages used by Rinelle ke'Tesrae
sielle adv. Yes; Literally "It is the way of things"
speren n. Harmony; peacefullness
sperethiel n. Speech; also Elvish, the Elven language
Taéngelé n. A distilled hard liquor made of honey and anise; sweet with a pleasent bite of licorice, it's what ouzo always wanted to be when it grew up. Described as full-bodied, with a healthy ethanol kick. Surprisingly, hangovers occur much less frequently than with mead. Made locally in Tir Tairngire. There are several different brands.
Tarislar n. "Remembrance" An Elven enclave in Seattle
teheron n. Life; existence
téch interj. Common curse word equivalent to "damn" or "drek"
teleg v. Maintain a condition
Example: telego carronasto, "keep still"
telene v. To learn
tesetilaro n. "Son of the dragon"
Tesetelinestéa n. "Skull of the Dragon" Offical name of Crater Lake in Tir Tairngire
tesrae n. citadel or holding
Tesrae k'Ailiu n. "Citadel of Magic"
thelem n. Law of nature
thiel n. Music. Poetically, a pleasing sound.
Tir Nan Og n. "Land of the Young" in Gaelic-Sperethiel, an early name for Tír na nÓg
Tír na nÓg n. "Land of Youth" The Gaelic-Sperethiel name for the first Elven nation in the Sixth World
Tir Tairngire n. "Land of Promise" The Gaelic-Sperethiel name for the major Elven nation in North America in the Sixth World
-ti prep. Of. Shifts to b' before a vowel.
-tish adj. "One who", as in "One who (verb)" or "One who is a (noun)"
Often, an it is inserted between a consant and the suffix.
Example: telegitish "keeper"
vereb'he n. Destiny of the people to prosper
veresp v. To reply; to answer
versakhan n. Enemy
Versakhan ke'Raegh n. "Enemy of the Lords" A poster on Shadowland
wineg n. (ins) An ork or troll (as in troglodyte)
-ya mod. A negator suffix
zarien n. Zen-like satori state
zathien n. A transcendental state, achieved either through centering oneself or the awarenss of imminent death.


"Bright Morning"
(The Elven equivalent of "Good Morning")

Telegit thelemsa.
"You strictly follow the laws of nature."
(A greeting)

Siselle. Thelemsa-ha.
"It is the way of things. I follow the laws of nature very strictly."
(The response to the above)

Respar sallah tishay a imar makkanagee-ha.
"Don't listen to the talk of one who is or is to be really willfully stupid."

Makkanagee morkhan.
"Willfully stupid fornicator of swine."
(An insult)

Ozidano teheron, milessaratish. Imo medaron co versakhan.
"Leave behind your existance, servant-soldier. To be death to my enemies."
(a formal dismissal from an elven Lord or Lady. The proper response is a ritual recasting of the words.)

Ozidanit makkalos, telegetish t'imiri ti'teheron.
"I leave behind stupidity, Keeper of the Memory of Life."

Melegit samriel qua?
"Are you feeling discomfort?"

Serulos makkanagee! Thorn, verespo! Melegit samriel qua, versoniel!?
"Childish willfully stupid machismo! Thorn, answer me! Are you feeling discomfort, asshole!?"

Versionel-ha! Carronasto telego morkhan...
"Real asshole! Keep still you fornicator of swine..."

Ni hengar Sperethiel.
"I don't speak Elvish."

Heronasta od darnasta, pechet imiriso ozidanastet.
"You live and you die, except for the memories you leave behind."

Gerelan-o té-makkalos-ha, goro.
"Forgive my stupidity, outsider."

Se-curo ja-riné.
"The Chaos."

Se-curo ja.
"The Chaos."

Speratemel rel timaan perest? Hellon Sperethiel.
"Communication is for all to have. Share the language."

Tan'ath lie armma diesk cycampeth waregram'cen.
"Obscure the power of this ward. Dull the images, the potency of what you cover."

Imo herme, od imo raeint sa.
"Be well, and be true to yourself."

Imar raen. Imar semeraerth. Cirollar Draesis ti'Morel. Miriat tela li? Thiesat tekio tore li?
" I am an elf. I am a Warrior (of the paths). I walk the Wheel of Life. What does that mean? Who does that say I am?"

History and Related Tongues

The current language of Sperethiel spoken in the Fourth and Sixth worlds, was developed from an older and more complex language, possibly developed in the early Fourth or even Third world. The current usage in the Sixth world was brought by the Great Elves; possibly to form a sense of cultural identity. It should be noted that I do not include mere accents or oddities of speech (like the Southern Drawl in United States English). Regional accents have existed in Sperethiel, however: the elven lands north of the Elven Court in the Fourth Age were known for their awkward, halting cadences, and there is apparently a regional dialect in Sixth World Australia.

Related Langauges

Quite literally, Irish Sperethiel. This is the formal, courtly language of the elves of Tir na nÓg, a specialized tongue rarely used outside of ceremonial and political circles. The less fun parts of my days often involve sorting out what's gaelic and what's Elvish and what's a bastard of the two, which is a joke. Laugh. Louder!
Gaelic Sperethiel
A form of Sperethiel using many Gaelic languages words and intonations or grammar, used almost exclusively by residents of Tir na nÓg; and possibly nearby elven communities in Wales and Scotland as well.
Precursor Sperethiel
An older, more complex language of which Sperethiel is derived from. It is also possible that Sperethiel is a degenerate version of this tongue. Speculation places it's origin from the early (Pre-Scourge) Fourth World or earlier.

Heres are presented words and phrases in an unknown language (or languages). They may be from the Sperethiel precursor language; insofar as they resemble given forms of Sperethiel without being at all translatable (a note: these may also be Theran or some other derivative of Sperethiel or it's Precursor.):
¿N'e'quea che tsemena mettakas q'en demell?
Te meravilhas, Har'lea'quinn?
Que't destrui e't coton?
M'aela j-taam querm talar!
Alamestra (This is most likely a type of alcohol)
Invae (Insect spirits)

Theran Glossary

The elves exiled from the Wyrm Wood before the Scourge, who would become the Heavenherds, travelled to the isle of Thera. These early Therans spoke Sperethiel, but as the centuries of their removal from the Elven Court grew and more non-elves flocked to the island nation, the language developed and changed, incorporating many words from other cultures around the Selestrean Basin. Those who understand Sperethiel can get the gist of what is being said in Theran, but will miss the particulars, as Theran has incorporated many words from other languages around the Selestrean Sea. In a similar manner, Throalic, a cousin of Theran (and thus perhaps descended from Sperethiel or a common precursor) has incorporated many Theran words due to the former occupation of Barsaive by the Empire before the Scourge, and Or'zat, or Traveler's Orkish, has incorporated many Throalic words. Therefore, it's not inconceivable that a Sperethiel word may pop up in any of these langauges, albeit likely bastardized.


akarenti n. Provincial spymaster.
bellaripila n. A vicious Theran ball game, where two teams of twenty-four players, each wielding narrow bats, attempt to drive a small leather ball through a goal area guarded by the other team. The team best able to inflict injury on the other team usually wins.
confectio n. Performance mixing theatre, dance, combat and sometimes public executions.
custos n. City wardens responsible for policing within Great Thera.
fabrika n. A building in which slaves make various goods in a frenzy of self-destructive efficiancy, empowered by a jinari spirit bound within the walls.
ghareez n. Member of a cadre of windling torturers and inquisitors, feared throughout the Empire for their cruelty.
ianatori n. Customs officials working for the Arbitorium.
karinthini n. Arbiter-General, head of the government bureaucracy.
kedate n. Courier in the service of the Arbiter-General.
laverna n. Representative to the Conclave. The plural form is lavernae.
nehr'esham n. "The Center of the Mind," the community of magician-scholars who became the Theran Empire.
praetor n. An inquisitor/diplomat in the service of the Arbiter-General, responsible for ensuring that Arbitorium officials perform their duties adequately. The plural is praetori.
preces n. A meat-eating rabbit prone to sudden, deadly attacks on any living creature of any size when in heat.
stipatori n. Attendants who serve the First Governor.
strategos n. A rank in the Theran army, in charge of a division. Roughly equivalent to captain.
thera n. "Foundation," the name of the Empire, and the isle upon which it was formed.

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