Dark Speech, and the Words of Creation
There exists a language so dire, so inherently full of spite,
malice, corruption, and hatred that it is simply called the
Dark Speech. This is the secret language of evil gods, so foul
and so potent that even demons and devils refrain from its
use, lest it consume them.
Not surprisingly, very few mortals know even a few words
of the Dark Speech. But those who do are wise to never
underestimate the power of words. The safest way to use the
Dark Speech is through spells such as dread word (see Chapter
6). Most characters must take the Dark Speech feat to
begin to learn the Dark Speech language.
The Dark Speech is extremely difficult to master. A
special feat is required to speak even a single word of it
correctly, for mortal tongues were not designed to utter
these words of pure evil. Some evil outsiders know smatterings
(or more) of the Dark Speech and need no feat to
To actually communicate by means of the Dark Speech—
that is, for a knowledgeable speaker to convey some information
to a knowledgeable listener—the speaker must take
great care, or both listener and speaker will be harmed.
There are no words in the Dark Speech for good concepts
such as kindness, mercy, and purity. However, evil characters
can speak of misery, anguish, hate, and betrayal with an
accuracy impossible in any other tongue.
Words of Creation
( Book of Exalted Deeds, p. 48)
You have learned a few of the words that were spoken to create the world.
INT 15, CHA 15, base Will save bonus +5,
You can use the Words of Creation to help cast good spells and create good magic items, and to enhance the process of creation (see Words of Creation in Chapter 2).
A nonevil creature that tries to utter the Words of Creation without learning them properly is affected as by a feeblemind spell, while an evil character is struck dead. Fortunately, it is impossible to make someone speak the Words of Creation against his will, because their pronunciation is so exacting.
WORDS OF CREATION
The Words of Creation are fragments of a lost language thought to be the precursor of the Celestial tongue. Very few celestials remember some of these words, and even fewer mortals have access to one or two of them as well. So great is their power that no mortal mind can comprehend more than three or four words, and no evil tongue can speak them or bear their sound. A character must take the Words of Creation feat to be able to use these words in any way.It is possible, though difficult, to communicate entirely using the Words of Creation. It has no words for evil concepts such as misery, despair, hate, and betrayal, while the subtlety of its terminology for beauty, kindness, and mercy is astonishing. It has no written form, and if transliterated into writing it loses all power and meaning.
In accordance with their original purpose, the Words of Creation can greatly enhance any process of creation. If they are spoken as part of the casting of a Conjuration (Creation) spell, the duration of the spell is doubled (as if the Extend Spell feat had been applied to it, but without increasing the spell’s level). Spells with an instantaneous duration are not affected. If they are spoken while using any Craft skill, they grant the crafter a +4
sacred bonus on the Craft check. These uses of the Words of Creation do not deal nonlethal damage to the speaker.
The Words of Creation help energize good magic items and spells. If used in conjunction with a good spell that has a verbal component, the Words of Creation increase the spell’s effective caster level by +1. If used when creating a good magic item, the
Words of Creation increase the item’s caster level by +1 without increasing the cost. Both caster level increases are considered sacred bonuses. Using the Words of Creation to enhance a good spell deals 1d4 points of nonlethal damage to the caster per 2 spell levels (none for a 0- or 1st-level spell, up to 4d4 for a 9th-level spell). Using them to enhance a magic item deals no nonlethal damage, since their use is measured out over a long period of time.
Each creature has a unique true name among the Words of Creation. No mortal is familiar with the countless true names of every creature in the world, no matter how extensively she has studied the Words of Creation. Nevertheless, a character familiar with the Words of Creation can research a specific creature’s true name if she has access to legend lore and either contact other plane or commune. Researching a true name is similar to
researching a new spell. It requires one week per 2 HD of the creature and an expenditure
of 1,000 gp per week. The character must cast (or have cast on her behalf ) legend lore once each week, but the material component cost is included in the research
cost. At the end of the research time, the character must cast commune or contact other plane, paying the XP cost for commune if applicable. Then she makes a Knowledge check, using the specialty appropriate to the target creature’s type (arcana for a construct
or dragon, religion for an undead, and so on). The DC for this check is 10 + the creature’s Hit Dice. If the check succeeds, the character has discovered the creature’s true name. If it fails, the character must go through the research process again if she
wants to keep trying. Once a character has discovered a creature’s true name, she can
exercise her power over that creature in a number of different ways.
• She can reduce the creature’s spell resistance by 4 or reduce the amount of its damage reduction by 5. This reduction lasts for 1 minute.
• She can cast teleport or greater teleport on the creature without including herself as a target of the spell.• She can gain a +6 bonus on her opposed Charisma check to
compel service from the creature after she summons it with aplanar binding spell.
Each of these actions requires a full-round action, which includes speaking the creature’s true name and a binding incantation in the Words of Creation. Uttering the incantation deals
5d4 points of nonlethal damage to the speaker. The character and the creature do not have to be in the same area or even the same plane—it is possible, for example, to reduce a creature’s spell resistance before using planar binding to summon it to the
Material Plane. The one exception is the teleportation function. which requires the character to touch the creature after speaking its true name and the incantation.