90: Rogan

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The Earther appeared willing to stay quiet and listen, so Rogan continued.

“Trin has much older Osril cultures, peoples such as the Alyrhians and the Old Parhans. Some of them are cultures which have been evolving on Trin for thousands of years. But Trin suffered a series of global catastrophes that hit close together and emptied out whole territories and entire nations, in some cases. I won’t go into the details, but it was the majority of our world population that died. In the centuries since, we haven’t recovered to the billion or so souls we once were.”

Jack blinked. “The majority of your world’s population was killed?”

“Aye,” Rogan nodded. “We didn’t understand what happened until Earthers worked out what killed your dinosaurs. A rock like that also hit us, only it was smaller and much more recent. It was followed by a nasty plague, and then just as people were getting back on their feet, a supervolcano out in the area equal to your British Columbia. In total, our population was cut by more than ninety percent. Less than a hundred million remained, worldwide.”

That number almost got past him. He tried to imagine ninety percent of Earth’s population dying. Would civilization even survive such a thing?

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“But you’re saying your ‘Kelsies’ came after that?”

“In essence. The word certainly came more recently. But a mixture of Celtic cultures already existed on Trin from various tribes who came during Greek times, long before the catastrophes. Since most of them died, the great majority of Kelsie ancestors came after the disaster. Scots and Irish and Welsh and Bretons all mixed together with the few survivors, so the word came about to describe the mixture of all of them as they blended together.”

“You mostly sound Scottish though.”

Rogan nodded. “That’s because the largest wave was during the Lowland Clearances, so Scots English became Kelsie English, the language of the North and South Sassenach provinces. The Gaeligs speak a tongue more akin to Irish Gaelic, because the largest wave of their ancestors  came during the Potato Famine. But our Gaelig has elements of the Welsh and Breton tongues and the earlier relatives in it.”

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Something clearly bothered Jack about his explanation, but the man didn’t voice his concern. But if he didn’t say it, Rogan couldn’t answer it.

Whatever it was, wasn’t the question he asked, since it was asked with a wry smile. “So I should expect everyone to speak like a Scot on your world?”

Rogan laughed. “Not at all. Only in the Kelsie Provinces. In addition to Scots and Irish, a great many English came. They settled in other emptied-out territories such as the region around the Imperial Capital. Our dialect and theirs haven’t mixed, so they still sound somewhit English while we still sound somewhit Scot. We call the ones in the Capital region the ‘Anglics’, but there’s other English speaking groups in other places.”

Jack was shaking his head, but it didn’t seem to be in rejection. Just amusement.

“Since we’ll be headed to the capital region, you’ll mostly encounter Anglics. There’s no majority language in the Dominion, but English has become one of the larger language groups. A full quarter of the Dominion’s naval ships use English, including all the ships in the Imperial Fleet. Folks whose mother tongue is the Old Parhan language are only the fourth largest ethnic in the capital region now.”

They stayed silent for a time as Rogan concentrated on finishing his meal. He suppressed a chuckle when he noticed Jack shaking his head again, and noticed it was because of Simkit finishing off her second limb of rugit. The woman had an entire side of the animal on a tarp in front of her. Although he had known her since her teenaged years, Rogan still found the woman’s appetite amazing as well, so he easily understood Jack’s thoughts.

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