Athasian sayings

Kalak was known throughout the city states not only as a tyrannical Sorcerer King, but also to have originated many pithy sayings now in common use thoughout known world.

Most bards are not assassins, but most assassins are bards. A statement of fact about bards. Also a bad apple spoils the bunch.

Hang an Erdlu’s head, buy rat’s meat. To advertise erdlu meat but replace with rat’s meat. Merchants that cheat their customers. Someone cheated by a merchant in terms of the quality of the product uses this idiom.

Whip in the hand or the lash on the back. Dog eats dog. Enslave or be enslaved. This saying describes ruthlessness in personal or business dealings. Can take positive or negative connotations depending on the context.

A nobleman would rather die than allow insult to his king. This has a non literal idiomatic meaning. Death before dishonor.

Slave’s words. An opinion unworthy of consideration. A stupid or foolish statement.

Silent slaves speak no treason. This idiom refers to the threat of slave revolts, periodic events which terrify slave holders. When this idiom is used, it means finding the ringleader instigating slaves and removing or killing him.

Magic charms the married woman. Kalak claims that the moral decay of Tyrian society is caused by magic. This idiom also refers to charm type spells making married women fornicate with members of the Veiled Alliance, who according to Kalak and his templars do this kind of thing.

Mark not the flesh of a bed slave. If disobedient, call a mindbender. Highly trained bed slaves are worth a lot of money, so whipping them reduces their value. Mindbenders can adjust the attitude of the disobedient slave. Idiomatically this means ‘don’t destroy your own property’. This idiom can be used for any expensive slave, not just bed slaves.

Best not provoke the Dragon. Don’t pick a fight you can’t win. Don’t bite off more than you can’t chew.


Ooh this is a fun idea. How about a few adaptations of exotic Earth sayings to Athas:

You think like a kank thief. - implies a cunning, fast thinking person, adapted from an old Bedouin expression.

Trust in the templars, but tie your inix. - Self-explanatory, adapted from an old Arabic expression.

A hunter of sitak whistles the prettiest tune - Nibenay expression, from an old Czech expresion, it roughly means “When someone wants something from you, they will tell you what you want to hear”.

A calm sea does not make an expert sailor - Common silt-skimmer proverb, from West Africa.

Seeing nightmare beasts in every shadow - implying someone has gone paranoid.

Ask not for whom the belgoi calls, it calls for thee - adapted from the Scottish poet John Donne, It means “Don’t think too hard about when death will come”.


I’m curious what thoughts emerge when you read these :sunglasses:

You do not fill a halfling belly. Beware of leftover.

Careful with those abstract paintings.


“Go look for the dragon”
Depending on context, the saying means either looking for trouble or go f$#k yourself


“Drinking the king’s water”
To do something foolish that’s likely to get you killed

“Taming the Dragon”
Attempting an impossible task

“A halfling’s wage”
To do something for free

“Speaking elven”
Trying to screw someone over

“Gone the way of Yaramuke”
To fail or cease to exist

“With the orcs now”
To be dead


A templar can’t serve two kings You cannot do or accomplish two things simultaneously, From the Yiddish proverb “you can’t dance at both wedding at the same time” (originally “with one butt/pair of feet”)

Two drakes can’t share the same den Two strong people cannot coexist in the same place, though city-dwellers usually use their own version; two sorcerer kings cannot rule the same city from the proverb “two tigers can’t share the same mountain”

The song of the lirr follows the call of the kes’trekel one trouble followed by another, from the proverb “when it rains it pours”