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ishmaelion
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« on: 09 May 2012, 02:00:49 »

Trollish or TRULTRUL

Overview

The Trollish language is a primitive, animalistic language that is defined by harsh, brutal and extremely loud sounds. Slobbering, snorting and growling are among the most common ways for a troll to produce words. This has often yielded the thought that trolls do not speak at all, but merely let loose all their orifices in (often despicable and filthy) different ways to communicate. That a true language system underlies these brutal and gruesome sounds has baffled scholars in whole Sarvonia. Despite difficulties researching the language (being eaten does not exactly motivate scholars to plan field trips up the Troll Mountains), the knowledge that we have about the language is growing as time passes. In this entry the specifics of the TRULTRUL language will be explained with several examples of this fascinating tongue.  



Research History

Research on TRULTRUL, or Trollish, has led many researchers to dead ends in the past. The primitive and animalistic quality inherent to the language long seemed to be beyond the grasp of scholars. However, since Mandrick Mizzle published his (now utterly famous) On Trollish Phonology, the field of Trollish Studies has leaped forward and is now in a new era of discovery and contemplation. Much of the information below can be found in On Trollish Phonology, although Mizzle wrote the book with a focus primarily on phonology (as the title suggests). It may well be that new features of the will come to the fore in the time to come.

Origin

The origin of the language of the trolls is hard to indicate. As trolls live all over Caelereth (Most tribes may be found on the Sarvonian continent, but some inhabit Cyhalloi and Nybelmar as well) it is impossible to speak of TRULTRUL in the sense that all trolls speak the same language. The language described below is mainly the language used by the Kloighut, or Mountain Trolls. This tribe lives in the Troll Mountains in north-eastern Santharia. Mandrick Mizzle, our leading expert on Trollish, has spent many years trying to approach these trolls and listen to their speech. In his book On Trollish Phonology Mizzle reasons that as the language of the trolls shows such an enormous conservative nature it might well be that the primitive language spoken by the Kloighut reflects the Trollish language in general, that is, spoken by all trolls in Caelereth. This has, up to this day, neither been verified or falsified. Mizzle does state that dialectal variations are unavoidable considering the distance between the different tribes, the isolated character of the tribes and the time that has passed without inter-tribal contact. More research will have to be carried out on the speech of the other Trollish tribes, like the Ighut, Ghereghut and Ighmeshut.


Principles

The research of the Trollish language was thrust into existence by the discovery that the random seeming grunts and hisses of the trolls were in fact part of a language system. This language system has, since that groundbreaking discovery, been researched on a very sporadic basis (as it is not easy to blend into troll society) and the knowledge that we have is limited. It is, however, the believe of some scholars that this limited knowledge perfectly reflects the way that trolls regard their language, or any language for that matter. Trolls are very close to animals in the way they behave and interact with the world around them. This animal nature is reflected in their language. The vocal chords of the average troll are mainly used to growl and snort, so the language is based on growls, snorts, hisses and other animal sounds (as long as it is very loud and impressive). The vocabulary of the trolls is limited to a set of primitive words which they use for just about everything. Primitive, in this sense, means that the lexicon is limited to semantic items which are essential to a primitive culture. Words such as animal (MOSH), troll (TRUL), death (MARGH), day/night (KHOLEM/MARGHOGH) are primitive in the sense that a primitive culture would develop them at an early stage. Words such as argumentative, corrosion, subtle, etc. are words which will not be found in the Trollish language. As troll society does not seem to have changed dramatically during the last ages, so has the language remained in a conservative state. It is possible that the trolls do not see the need for more words as they can interact with one another without difficulty. If trolls has been a species fond of trading and interactions with other species it might have developed a completely different TRULTRUL, with much more influences of other languages and lexically quite advanced. The only exceptions to the primitive vocabulary seem to be the words with a religious connotation. This is of no great surprise, as troll religion underlies their entire society. This religious vocabulary shows the interwoven nature of religion and life in Trollish society, as religious terms (inner sight (GHUAKOL), shaman (KLOHMAGHI), etc.) seem to be part of this primitive word-set.

Pronunciation

TRULTRUL words are presented with capitals to indicate the loud nature of the language. As indicated above, trolls basically construct their words using (loud) animal sounds. It is often hard to distinguish words from basic growling or grunting. Scholars, like the famous troll-expert Mandrick Mizzle, have endeavoured to create a list of the types of pronunciation common to most TRULTRUL words. Mizzle's On Trollish Phonology is a hefty work comprising of a detailed description of all TRULTRUL phonology. The following sounds are most common to Trollish vocabulary and each reflect a basic animal sound:

- The Growl: a sound is created at the base of the throat and is accompanied by a baring of teeth. The guttural sounds emitted this way form the basis of the Troll phonemic system. For example: ZAGHAKHA 'mmm, tasty, yummy' comprises of two distinctly Growling sounds; GH and KH.

- The Spit: a harsh stop is created by emitting a short, powerful burst of air (mostly accompanied by a good amount of spittle) whilst pronouncing a T, P or K. For example: UT 'clan, tribe, group'; the final sound of this word is a very loud, clearly pronounced T.

- The Slobber: as the name suggests, these sounds are often accompanied by a large amount of saliva. A slick, slobbery noise which is produced with pursed lips and an active tongue. For example: MOSHMOSH 'food'; the SH sound is very frequent in words with a connotation of 'food' or 'meat', probably due to the over-salivating nature of the Trollish digestive system.

- Hisses: There are two different types of hisses: The first is used in TRULTRUL words and comprises of a outflow of air through clenched (and often bared) teeth. This is represented by a normal S in Trollish words. For example: SNI 'little, small, lesser, weak'; This type of hiss is often accompanied by a nasal sound (M or N) which causes the Trollish nose to dip down (this probably has some societal significance which we have not yet been able to discern).  
The second type of Hiss (also called Mizzle's Hisses) is the hissing sound used between words. The semantic load of this hissing will be discussed in the next paragraph. This type of hiss is always an inward flow of air through clenched teeth. At first no real significance was attributed to this hissing between words until Mandrick Mizzle published his On Trollish Phonology. In this publication he discusses the usage of Mizzle's Hisses and opened a whole new insight with regards to the complexity of the Trollish language.

- Scraping: All vowels sound as if they are pronounced while the Troll is scraping stones in his throat. This probably has a very logical anatomical explanation, but, as a dissection of a troll has not yet been possible, we do not know where this eerie scraping noise comes from. This Scraping is often impossible to reproduce by other species, but shouting the vowels with a very hoarse voice will get people halfway.

It should be stressed that the sounds described above form the largest part of the Trollish phonemic system. It does not constitute the entire pronunciation as trolls will use every type of sound producible by all types of orifice (yes, all types) to make itself heard by other trolls.


Syntax

Trollish is a Statement Language, which means that instead of fully crafted sentences it relies heavily on context-sensitive short statements (with Mizzle's Hisses a lot of subtleties can still be inherent to these statements). This reflects the nature of the trolls; there is an enormous focus on the present and almost no need to delve into the past or imaginary future. It had been assumed that trolls have an alternative way of communicating to one another, as the limited vocabulary of their language would be insufficient on a day to day basis. The language itself would then only be used when larger groups converse and when trolls command other trolls. This has proven to be a misconception. TRULTRUL is the day to day language of all trolls, enabled by a language system which underlies the spoken words, Mizzle's Hisses.

Below is an example of one of the few Trollish conversations that we have successfully transcribed. The exact translation of this sequence of TRULTRUL has long been difficult to discern, but through the work of Mizzle, a new understanding of the conversation has been reached. (note: Mizzle's Hisses have been added between /.../, more on these types of hisses can be found below)

"AAGHUT /Friendly Hiss/ KHEGH!
KLOH /Predatory Hiss/ MOSH /Unknown Hiss/ NIKHNIKH
5 [Troll lifts five fingers] TRULTRUL MARGH! /Sad-Mourning Hiss/
LAGH KHOLEM /Opposition Hiss/ MARGHOGH!
AAGH! /Spurring Hiss/ AAGH! /Spurring Hiss/ ZAGHAKHA /Hostile Hiss/ MOSH"



- Klohtrul of the Kloighut tribe addressing his fellow trolls during a hunt  -

Literal Translation (without taking the hisses into account):

Wartribe, beware!
Big animal trees/forest
5 Trolls death
Not day night
Attack! Attack! Yummy animal

Interpreted Translation (with interpretation of Mizzle's Hisses):

"Hear me, oh wartribe!
A fierce creature dwells in the forest;
Five trolls have died (because of it)
Not today, but this night we will attack!
Attack! I desire the death of this beast!"

- Translated by Mandrick Mizzle, On Trollish Phonology, appendix C -

As you can see, the hissing between words can carry different semantic loads to the words and even indicate markedness or focus. The translation by Mizzle demonstrates how a string of utterances can be interpreted as full-fledged sentences.



Mizzle's Hisses

When trolls speak they frequently create sharp intakes of breath between words. These intakes of breath are produced with clenched teeth which creates a hissing sound. Although more research still has to be done on this subject, it seems as though these hissing sounds convey deeper meaning and context to the spoken words. Past researchers have posed the theory that these hissing sounds between words were caused by the bad shape of most troll teeth. Mizzle, however, has shown that this conception is quite erroneous, as the hiss is not always used between words and by pointing out that the semantic load of the different types of hisses is a conscious element of the Trollish language. This hissing aspect of the language points to the animalistic and primitive nature of the language, as it is akin to the growling/mewing/hissing sounds made by animals all across Santharia. They can be threatening, soothing, calm, etc.
For example the TRULTRUL sentence:

- ZAGHAKHA /Friendly Hiss/ SNITRUL (lit. 'yummy human/elf') would probably mean 'nice human' or even 'friend'.
 
- ZAGHAKHA /Predatory Hiss/ SNITRUL would be indicating that the human or elf in question is being sized up for their nutritional value.

- ZAGHAKHA /Hostile Hiss/ SNITRUL would mean that one should start running, as the troll is using ZAGHAKHA to indicate that it is intending to slay that particular person.

It should be obvious that the true complexities and nuances of troll language is difficult to discern, as there are more than fifty different types of Mizzle's Hisses attested in his On Trollish Phonology. It may well be that the true meaning of TRULTRUL is lost to all other races, but the study of Mizzle's Hisses can lead to a better understanding of this fascinating race.

Non-Verbal

Numerals: As encountered in the example of TRULTRUL above, trolls can count. They, however, do not have words for the different numerals (it is unclear whether the concept of calculating is known to Trolls, as the last researcher who tried to get a troll to add and subtract was subtracted himself). Numbers below 10 are shown by lifting the required number of fingers. So, for example, if a troll wants to indicate that he saw three pebbles, he would raise three fingers and say aloud SNIGHSNIGH. Ten lifted fingers means either 'ten' or 'a lot'.

Here/There/Yonder & This/That: trolls create the basic distinction between close by and far away by either pointing at their feet to indicate closeness, pointing to a distant ( but still observable) spot to indicate 'there' and stretching their full hand towards a general direction to indicate 'yonder'. 'This' and 'that' are indicated by pointing at the object in question. It is, however, not clear if trolls have a notion of the difference between 'this' and 'that'. Pointing at objects could also always mean 'that', without an inherent understanding of the difference between the locations of multiple objects.

  

Vocabulary

Below are the words that our researchers have gathered so far. It should be noted that trolls are capable of combining words to indicate something for which they do not have one single lexical item. The different types of Mizzle's Hiss2 have not been included in the table, but can, as discussed above, subtly change the meaning of each word. Here is the list:

(Insert troll vocabulary here)
« Last Edit: 28 May 2012, 16:30:48 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 09 May 2012, 04:06:32 »

A nice start, Ish, covering some basics, so what's there is quite helpful! cool

I would recommend to flesh it out a bit here and there, for example to provide certain names for specific recurring sounds (and examples on how to write those), which then can also help to construct further vocabulary as you then have some bits you can use. Say, like the "choppy chortle", the "cackling grunt", the "question grumble" or the "snake hiss" - could even be named after a researcher who distilled a sound out of sentences like "Gormin's whiz-hiss", something like that. Just to give you an indication in which direction that could go. I guess having some of these ground grunts would be a funny way to present the language and have a toolbox at hand for further use - what do you think?
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« Reply #2 on: 11 May 2012, 04:39:49 »

Updated and fleshed out, I hope you like it! grin
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« Reply #3 on: 11 May 2012, 07:21:51 »

I've given you an aura, Ishmaelion ... I love your work here on the TrulTrul language, with its use of grunts, hisses, slobber and so forth to convey meaning. It almost makes me think of dogs in some way, if they had a spoken language interspersed with such things. Just a thought ... are there any bodily movements (fist clenches, head on the angle, and the like) that also contribute to the syntax and understanding of the language?

In any case, great work :)

Edit: forget posting in styrash, posting in trultrul is the way to go :D
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« Reply #4 on: 11 May 2012, 23:41:21 »

Hello.  This is looking good so far.   :)

Quote
The vocabulary of the Trolls is limited to a set of primitive words which they use for just about everything.
Quote
The only exceptions to the primitive vocabulary seem to be the words with a religious connotation.
Could you elaborate a little on these two points?  I'm not quite sure what "primitive" means in this context.  It might help to include some examples too. 

The phonology seems to be much more alien than I had expected from looking at the spellings of the words, which is nice.  However, the list seems to be of classes of sounds, rather than individual sounds.  Although it's probably not necessary to have a list of sounds in the entry itself, having such a list available somewhere, perhaps at the vocabulary thread, might help with creating new words.  Some rules regarding how the sounds combine to form syllables should be useful too, if you have time for it. 

Quote
Trolls do not use sentences as such, and an analysis of TRULTRUL syntax would yield little more than a firm headache.
That's a very interesting statement if it is true.  But it would also contradict the next section, where the examples were referred to as sentences.  ("Utterance" is a useful word if you want to avoid being specific about whether it is a sentence, phrase, or whatever).  Could you provide more (and hopefully longer) examples of TRULTRUL speech?  I'm curious about how this no sentences thing works. 

There's one more issue I want to bring up.  The various trollish tribes are located quite far from each other, in some cases on different continents, so they really shouldn't be all speaking the same language.  Perhaps this entry merely documents the language of one group or tribe of trolls? 
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« Reply #5 on: 13 May 2012, 15:41:46 »

Wow, I have Aura! (don't really know what it is... *feeling like a fossil again*) Thanks Dek!  I'll take a look at the non-verbal side of TRULTRUL and see what comes out of the magical trollish top-hat.

Mina, thank you for your comments! I'm working on it as we speak  grin I'll elaborate on the 'primitive' words. The sentence/syntax thing is something I'll be expanding in the next update, it already didn't ring completely true the first time I wrote it down. Trollish is a Statement Language, which means that instead of fully crafted sentences it relies heavily on context-sensitive short statements (with Mizzle's Hiss2 a lot of subtleties can still be inherent to these statements). This reflects the nature of the Trolls, there is a enormous focus on the present, and almost no need to delve into the past or imaginary future. I'll update that section and add our very first TRULTRUL 'story'  thumbup

I'll compose a list of Trollish sounds and their orthography, although I would indeed want to ban that from the language entry itself as it could crowd the essential aspects of the Trollish language.

Heheh, I don't suppose I can get away with this being Proto-TRULTRUL? rolleyes The tribe-geographical-problem is a good point. I would like this entry (as it is based on the book by our dear Mandrick Mizzle) to be based on a tribe that is not completely obscure, but also not as influenced as the Ghereghut Tribe, as they have trade with other races. Just a thought though, the other side of the argument would be that the Ghereghut Tribe is the most well-known and accesible tribe of stinky Trolls out there. We'll see how it develops, shall we?

EDIT: I added the Trollish text to the entry, more updates will follow in the coming day!
« Last Edit: 13 May 2012, 18:35:38 by ishmaelion » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: 13 May 2012, 20:54:26 »

Quote
The sentence/syntax thing is something I'll be expanding in the next update, it already didn't ring completely true the first time I wrote it down. Trollish is a Statement Language, which means that instead of fully crafted sentences it relies heavily on context-sensitive short statements (with Mizzle's Hiss2 a lot of subtleties can still be inherent to these statements). This reflects the nature of the Trolls, there is a enormous focus on the present, and almost no need to delve into the past or imaginary future.
Well, that's less exotic than before, but on the other hand, it's also sounds a lot more realistic.  I can see something like that working for the language of a less intelligent species. 

Quote
I would like this entry (as it is based on the book by our dear Mandrick Mizzle) to be based on a tribe that is not completely obscure, but also not as influenced as the Ghereghut Tribe, as they have trade with other races. Just a thought though, the other side of the argument would be that the Ghereghut Tribe is the most well-known and accesible tribe of stinky Trolls out there. We'll see how it develops, shall we?
Well, the Mountain Trolls could be an alternative.  There's no mention of interactions with other races besides raids, but they are located in the Troll Mountains, so they're probably easier for a Santharian researcher to get to than the Ghereghut, at least.  Interestingly, the Ghereghut seem to have originated as a group of Mountain Trolls that got cut off from the rest of the tribe during the Troll War and ended up at the Tandala Highlands, so their languages are probably related. 

I see that you've added the story.  So far I'm noticing that there seems to be a hiss following each word.  Although hisses are apparently meant to be a rather prominent part of the language, I don't know if you really intended the language to have this much hissing.  Some also seem rather unnecessary or redundant, particularly "LAGH /Negative Hiss/". 

I'd also like to suggest a slight change to the terminology.  Since there doesn't seem to be any hisses besides the two types of Mizzle's Hisses, it's probably alright to drop the name and just call them hisses.  This allows Mizzle's Hiss2 to be renamed to "Mizzle's Hisses", which is not only easier to write, but probably also more accurate, since they seem to be a group of sounds, rather than a single sound.

Edit: If you're creating new words too, having words for "this/here" and "that/there" should be quite useful.  If I remember correctly, linguists think that such words are some of the earliest to appear, so they should be appropriate for TRULTRUL.  Unless pointing and other forms of signing is involved in the language too, which I guess could be the case seeing as "5" is (according to Mizzle's interpretation) indicated by holding up five fingers. 
« Last Edit: 13 May 2012, 21:22:12 by Mina » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: 14 May 2012, 12:30:35 »

*loves the creativity in this and jumps on the aura-wagon as it goes by*
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« Reply #8 on: 14 May 2012, 23:03:42 »

Thank you Bard!

Mina: thank you for your great comments, they really help me to clear the fog of war inside my brain.

What do you think of it now? I added some non-verbal elements and incorporated all your comments. grin
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« Reply #9 on: 16 May 2012, 04:07:12 »

Wow, with all these additions and further details here and there this has really become an absolutely great entry, Ish! Looks like all questions on this fascinating tongue are left unanswered :D

Some fixes:

grey ... repetitions, unclear
yellow ... changes
orange ... comments

- The term "Trolls" should be written "trolls", as you also write "humans" and not "Humans".

- Fantastic additions at the Pronunciation section with all those animal sound descriptions: I love the Growl, Spit, Slobber (MOSHMOSH is one of my favourite words, but I also dig SNIGHSNIGH e.g.), Scraping and the Hisses, even Mizzle gets immortalized in these definitions! Splendid!

- *haha* Really love the final hunting speech translation you added there, which sounds very human - especially if you contrast it with the primitive Trollish version... lol

To fix:

Quote
it might well be that the primitive language spoken by the Kloighut might reflect the Trollish language in general

Quote
Mizzle does state that dialectal difference are unavoidable considering the distance between the different tribes (also, it should be "differences")

Quote
until Mandrick Mizzle published his On Trollish Phonology

Quote
"produceable" --> Shouldn't this be "producible"? Not sure, but I guess so.

Quote
Below is an example of one of the few Trollish conversations that we have successfully transcribed.

Quote
Past researchers have posed the theory that these hissing sounds between words were caused by the bad shape of most Troll teeth.

Quote
Mizzle, however, has shown that this conception is quite erroneous

Quote
pointing out that the semantic load of the different types of hisses is a conscious element of the Trollish language

Quote
...as the last researcher who tried to get a Troll to add and subtract was substacted himself... (Nevertheless the joke gets across: lol)

Anyway, this really turned out great I have to say, Ish! Very comprehensive, very clear as well, reads entertaining and has a lot of fresh ideas :) Now we know why we let you study linguistics! Bravo! clap clap clap Aura +1, like it very much!  thumbup
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« Reply #10 on: 16 May 2012, 04:20:16 »

Quote
This tribe lives in the Troll Mountains in northern Sarvonia.
It's actually in Santharia, in the province of Enthronia. 

Quote
It is, however, the belief of some scholars ...

Quote
The different types of Mizzle's Hisses have not been included in the table, but can, as discussed above, subtly change the meaning of each word.

Hmm, how well-researched is TRULTRUL grammar?  The entry doesn't really give any details on it, which I can understand given that its main source is apparently meant to be a book on phonology.  But it looks like it might be possible to get some information from analysing the text, assuming that Mizzle's interpretation is accurate.  Of course, there's also the question of whether Mizzle or anyone else would have bothered to try analysing it...
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« Reply #11 on: 16 May 2012, 04:47:48 »

Quote
Looks like all questions on this fascinating tongue are left unanswered
  angry

 :D

Thanks for the praise, I must say that I couldn't have done it without the great comments by Mina. I'll incorperate the comments right now  thumbup

Mina, there hasn't been a lot of research on trollish, but you are right, some things about troll grammar might be said when analysing the samples of text in Mizzle's book. I wanted to evoke the sense that research on Trollish had been a dead end study until Mizzle arrived with his comprehensive phonological work, and that this happened quite recently, so that the study is still in an infantile phase. Might be something for future research  :)
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« Reply #12 on: 16 May 2012, 05:25:27 »

lol Yeah, little typo there, eh?
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« Reply #13 on: 16 May 2012, 07:50:39 »

I inserted your comments thumbup grin

Mina, what do you think? Is it necessary to add a part about the lack of proper grammatical analyses in the Trollish field of study?
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« Reply #14 on: 16 May 2012, 13:28:08 »

Hmm, that's a little specific.  If there's going to be anything like that, maybe you should talk about the state of research on TRULTRUL in general.  I didn't realise until reading your previous post, for example, that the research wasn't going anywhere until Mizzle came along, although it was clear that he's a very important researcher.  Having that mentioned in the entry itself would be nice.  A quick overview on how much is known about the various aspects of the language would be great too. 
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[11 September 2016, 23:17:33]

[11 September 2016, 23:15:27]

[11 September 2016, 22:58:56]

[03 September 2016, 22:22:23]

[02 September 2016, 04:06:03]

[02 September 2016, 02:44:27]
Members
Total Members: 1040
Latest: leaftanya12
Stats
Total Posts: 144681
Total Topics: 11052
Online Today: 54
Online Ever: 226
(06 November 2012, 05:38:23)
Users Online
Users: 0
Guests: 57
Total: 57

Last 10 Shouts:
14 September 2017, 09:40:04
Hello all! It's been a minute since I poked my nose in here. Can't remember if I ever did anything useful.
09 May 2017, 14:17:18
Ah, too bad that internet is so restricted in China, Ferra. Can't be much fun surfing the web that way if Big Brother's watching you... Hope you enjoy your stay nevertheless!
03 May 2017, 17:41:19
Hi, dear Arti and other developers!

This year I am in China and cannot use any Google services including YouTube. For this reason I stopped uploading new Nepris videos. I can also not read any comments there.

It just crossed my mind that this information might be useful to you.

Cheers

F
26 March 2017, 12:48:56
Hello to anyone that might read this. :)
22 December 2016, 02:38:16
Merry Christmas everyone!
29 November 2016, 01:45:48
Hey all!
11 November 2016, 09:19:02
Calling all developers; come help me write the New-Santhala article ^^
15 September 2016, 02:24:10
Still no problems here, Erutan...
14 September 2016, 14:55:28
Still having trouble accessing the RPG side, anyone else? Or is it just me?
27 August 2016, 21:17:33
Short note: We had a bit of downtime Friday/Saturday night due to a server change. Site went online first, message boards took a while longer - now everything should be back to normal.
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