Musril is not technically classed as a dead language, but its prospects do not look good.
It is Farynshire’s native language, and it has never been spoken beyond the Daggerrock Mountains in the rest of England. Even within Farynshire’s borders it is considered a niche language: both English and Welsh are spoken more widely and are generally more prevalent in everyday life.
Keeping it on life support are the Riversouth Scribe. The Scribe is situated in the White Palace in the city of the Meyrick, and is a collective of Musril scholars, academics and experts. The head of the group is also, confusingly, called the Scribe. The Scribe’s self-defined role is to preserve, defend and promote the integrity of Musril. Riversouth is the only place where Musril is spoken widely, although even here it is spoken as more of a patois with plenty of English and Welsh in the mix. Schools in Riversouth teach Musril, but few students opt to carry on learning the language passed secondary school age.
The spoken language may be on the wane, even within the county’s borders, but written Musril is more widespread, particularly in geographical names: towns, villages, and natural features such as rivers, mountains and woods. The Scribe in Riversouth has campaigned to have Musril on all road signs in Farynshire, with mixed success. In the area around Rookpot, English is usually the only language on a sign, unless a place name has Welsh or Musril elements (such as Wessentor or Cwm Purne). In the mountains, Peaks and foothills all the signs are written in English and Welsh, with a smattering of Musril in Wild Wolvern Mey where Riversouth’s influence was once dominant and now lingers in place names that include the Mey element (Meyvale, Bremey, Mistymey etc.). In Riversouth itself the signs are written in Musril, with a small English translation included on the most important and life-saving ones.
Musril’s survival and future may lie in a surprising place. One of the most interesting revelations that has come from the re-emergence of the wolvern is the confirmation that Musril is spoken by the other Peoples. It appears that Musril is the only language spoken by the wolvern, and it has enabled clear communications between the Bloon Peaks Clan and the expeditions sent from Rookpot to learn about them. The expeditions have brought back many wonderful and intriguing objects (many on display in Rookpot Museum’s Cold Earth Exhibition), and these have included fascinating examples of wolvern Musril writings.
This revelation has had a dramatic impact on the Scribe. They have believed themselves to be the guardians of the purest form of Musril, forever battling the corrupting influences of the foreign invaders, English and Welsh. Mischievous and provocative academics in Rookpot University have pointed out that the wolvern version of Musril must be more pure, because it is completely uncontaminated by other languages. To their credit, once they had gotten over their initial indignation, the Scribe’s curiosity took over, and they sent representatives to join the Museum expeditions to the wolvern clans in the Bloon Peaks both as translators and in order to learn about the wolvern Musril.
There has not yet been conformation that the foresteens or seafolk speak Musril, but Diggers from Rookpot Museum, and academics from Rookpot University, are engaged in research projects to investigate this further. The implications of the research are very exciting: Musril could be the common language between the Peoples, and it could be the key in reaching out to establish good relations. It also raises questions, the main one being how can the Peoples speak the same language?