Worldbuilding Wednesday – a curse and a chant

In part six of The Box of Secrets, I again, as earlier in the story, wanted to put the curse and chant of a specific character in my own language. This meant writing the curse and chant and then translating it. As I have a limited vocabulary at the moment in this language (I can’t decide on a name, okay!), it also meant adding to the vocabulary words as needed.

This is one of the main things about language that fascinates me; by making what seems to be an arbitrary collection of sounds may contain information as diverse as asking what is for dinner or explaining the wonders of the universe. Someone else may use a different set of sounds and I would have no way of understanding even the simplest greeting. But I digress.

The curse

Don’t worry, this isn’t some curse word uttered in a bar after midnight!

As it is said by one of the “good guys”, I had to write a curse that would make sense from their perspective. In the end I decided on something simple:

The Darkness take your soul, servant of the dark.


This does not refer to “normal” darkness, for instance night time. The “Darkness” can be likened to the Lewjan (the Betrayer). Where dark (as in night time) is “vér” — think Khalver — and shadow is “dun”, the Darkness is a compound of these two words; “verdun”. “Verdun” is, therefore, only used in this specific context.

Servant of the dark

Just as Khalne means “servant of the light”, so Khalver means “servant of the dark” (Khalla = servant). Khalla vér/Khalla verdun was simply shortened to Khalver over time.


The soul is referred to as “ahma”, with mortals sometimes called “ahna”; ‘those who carry a soul’.

The curse “the Darkness take your soul, servant of the dark!”, will therefore read:

Se verdun hon sah ahma nehma, Khalver!


The chant

The chant — this one used to make someone known — is also quite simple with regards to its wording:

Show yourself, servant of the deepest Darkness.

One who has turned from the path to follow the Betrayer, show yourself.

Of valleys and depths

The word for deep/deepest was actually constructed ‘backwards’, working from the word for “valley” (elir), which was already in place.

I decided that the word for deep would be “elara”, which would mean that “elaras” would mean deepest.

The whole chant would, therefore, read:

Khalla sah s’elaras verdun nakhan han sah.

Agr elstanbrahta se tellaria na Lewjan nakhan han sah.

For my previous post about worldbuilding a chant, follow this link.

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.

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