TelleKurre – also called KurreTelle – was the primary language of the areas subject to the Domination, the empire of the Dominator in the northern continent. TelleKurre also referred to the ethnic group who spoke the language natively. A major regional vulgate of TelleKurre was known as UchiTelle. The spelling of names was free-form and difficult to translate: it "is one of those languages where various letter combinations can represent identical sounds" as Croaker complained centuries later.
Before Croaker's Annals[edit | edit source]
During the White Rose Rebellion, TelleKurre armies and their leaders fought against the White Rose and her forces in the Great Forest. Some or perhaps all of them were led by King Broke, the Dominator's subordinate who had a ruby embedded in his skull. However, some soldiers among the White Rose's forces also spoke TelleKurre (and UchiTelle) so their culture did not seem to be monolithically in support of the Dominator. At the Dominator's defeat, King Broke was killed and buried in the Barrowland. The victors went on to burn cities and to transport women and children. The entire TelleKurre language was therefore rooted out and eventually became extinct. It was replaced with other languages, including Forsberger. For the next 370 years, only some of the White Rose ghosts which haunted the Barrowland still spoke the language.
The Black Company[edit | edit source]
Three hundred and seventy years after the Dominator was imprisoned in the Barrowland, the only native speakers of TelleKurre reappeared: the Ten Who Were Taken and the Lady. They would speak this language among themselves to maintain privacy during the years of the Lady's Empire. For example, Soulcatcher and Shapeshifter conversed with the Hanged Man in TelleKurre when he arrived at the Stair of Tear to reinforce the Black Company. Croaker attempted to eavesdrop nearby but did not understand a word despite his extensive education.
Port of Shadows[edit | edit source]
During the Black Company's time at Aloe, a number of documents written in Tellekurre play a modest role in certain events. Following the Battle of Charm, the Lady mandated the use of Tellekurre in her empire's internal documents, especially official rescripts of orders given to the Taken. The Limper received one such rescript containing orders to assist the Black Company in rooting out Tides Elba, but wrote a pejorative statement directed at the Lady on it. It was obtained by Croaker, who surmised that the Limper wanted it stolen so he could ensnare the Company in an accusation of theft, but Croaker had several copies made, returned the original to its place, and hid a copy on the body of Tides Elba for the Lady to find, resulting in the Limper being punished.
Later, while trying to determine the source of the numerous Tides Elba copies captured in the region, the Company uncovered a hidden Ressurectionist outpost. Two wooden containers were found bearing carvings that dated them to the Domination, and inside were journals in Tellekurre detailing how the copies were made. The discovery of the documents facilitated the resolution of the Resurrectionist plot to create a Port of Shadows for the Dominator, as Mischievous Rain returned to Aloe soon after, located the Resurrectionist stronghold in the Ghost Country, and led the assault against it.
The White Rose[edit | edit source]
Raven could interpret and write texts in both TelleKurre and UchiTelle. When he entered the Barrowland in spirit form, the ghosts of White Rose soldiers who haunted it screamed at the intruder in their native TelleKurre, as well as UchiTelle and lesser-used languages.
Shortly before the Battle of the Barrowland, the wizard Bomanz was freed from the Barrowland. Although he was neither a native speaker of TelleKurre nor a contemporary of the Ten or the Lady, he taught himself their language using whatever limited documents from the period he could get his hands on. However, he could not read the regional dialect UchiTelle.
Words[edit | edit source]
Only a single example of Tellekurre is provided. In Port of Shadows, Croaker witnesses Laissa call Mischievous Rain "Koneko", which Croaker's sudden temporary ability to fully understand spoken TelleKurre translates to "Kitten". The names Mischievous Rain gives to her children (Shin and Baku), cat (Ankou), and the Tides Elba copies trained by the Tower to find more copies (Shironeko and Kuroneko), may also be Tellekurre, but their meanings are not stated.
In The White Rose, when Croaker uncovers the original names of the Lady and her three sisters, it is remarked that one of the sisters' names could be translated into "Credence", and that the original name was likely more elegant.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Some of the implied TelleKurre names in Port of Shadows are Japanese. Shironeko and Kuroneko translate to "White Cat" and "Black Cat" respectively, Shin is "Heart", and Baku is "Tapir". Ankou's name appears to have no equivalent in Japanese, however, and is instead most likely derived from a Breton personification of death.