World:Diaspora/Languages and Regional Benefits
For the sake of mutual intelligibility among party-members, all PCs know a language called "Blanding," which replaces Common on their list of known languages. Blanding, also called "Trader's Cant," is derived from a pidgin of Norse and Algonquin which arose out of Viking exchange with the cultures of the New World. Since the Norse were the dominant global traders for centuries and still remain prominent, Blanding is used widely by merchants the world over, and has taken on a life of its own, borrowing from many other languages.
Other Human Languages
Human languages (which are used by a number of other races), are included based on their usefulness to the PCs in this campaign. For instance, it is exceedingly unlikely that the characters will encounter speakers of any Australian Aboriginal tongue, but it would be hard to avoid meeting anyone who speaks Yucatec Mayan. Each language is included based on how globally prominent it is, and how prominent it is in the New World and Cahokia specifically. Consequently, there are more New World languages available than Old World languages.
Apachean (Script: Nahuatl) - Prominent in the Southwest of North Vinland; in Cahokia, spoken by Apache and Navajo mercenaries and immigrants, and those who have had frequent dealings with people of that region, such as some Pochteca (Aztec merchants)
Arabic (Script: Arabic) - Prominent throughout the Middle East and parts of South Asia; spoken in the Cahokia's Caravanserai
Blanding* (Script: Runic) - A pidgin of Norse, Algonquin, and a number of other languages, used by Vikings (Norse traders) and their clientele throughout much of the world
Cantonese (Script: Chinese) - Prominent in Southern China and parts of South and Southeast Asia; spoken in Cahokia's Chinatown
Greek (Script: Greek) - Prominent in Eastern and Southern Europe; in Cahokia, spoken by some immigrants and those who have had frequent dealings with people of that region, such as some Vikings (Norse traders)
Iroquois (Script: Iroquois) - Prominent in Eastern and Northeastern North Vinland; in Cahokia, spoken by Iroquois traders, pilgrims, and a few immigrants
Mapuche (Script: Quipu) - Prominent in the southern Andes and the Pampas; in Cahokia, spoken by Mapuche mercenaries, and those who have had frequent dealings with people of that region, such as some Incan traders
Mandarin (Script: Chinese) - Prominent in Northern China and parts of North and Central Asia; spoken in Cahokia's Chinatown Mississippian (Script: Iroquois) - Prominent in Central North Vinland; spoken in Cahokia's Old Town
Nahuatl (Script: Nahuatl) - Prominent in Southern and Southwestern North Vinland; spoken in Cahokia's Merchant Quarter Norse (Script: Runic) - Prominent in Northern Europe; spoken in Cahokia's Norse Quarter
Runa Simi (Script: Quipu) - Prominent in the Andes and throughout Western South Vinland; spoken by some immigrants and those who have had frequent dealings with people of that region
Sanskrit (Script: Sanskrit) - Prominent in India and other parts of Asia; in Cahokia, spoken by South Asian traders, immigrants, and mercenaries
Shoshone (Script: Nahuatl) - Prominent in North Vinland's Rocky Mountains; in Cahokia, spoken by immigrants, traders, and mercenaries from that area
Souix (Script: Iroquois) - Prominent in North Vinland's Great Plains; in Cahokia, spoken by immigrants, traders, and mercenaries from that area
Swahili (Script: Arabic) - A Bantu/Arabic pidgin prominent on the east coast of Africa and in other trading hubs of Sub-Saharan Africa; in Cahokia, spoken by Middle Eastern and African traders and others who have had frequent dealings with people of that region
Tupi (Script: Mayan) - Prominent in the Amazon basin and parts of the Caribbean; in Cahokia, spoken by Tupi and Guarani mercenaries and immigrants, and by some Mayan merchants
Yucatec (Script: Mayan) - Prominent in the Yucatan and throughout the Caribbean, on the North Coast of South Vinland, and in places along the Amazon river and Amazonian coast; in Cahokia, spoken by Mayan traders and immigrants
* All PCs know Blanding; it replaces Common on their list of known languages.
As the name implies, flavor languages are included for flavor purposes. If it is important to your character's backstory to speak some language other than the ones included, you may know one or two other languages at no cost, but it doesn't provide you with any tangible in-game benefits. The lists of flavor languages for each region are not exhaustive, but you may want to query if you wish your character to speak a language that is not listed.
Keep in mind that there are fewer prominent human languages in the world of Diaspora than there are in the real world, partially for game/mechanical reasons, but also because history has run its course somewhat differently than it did in our world. Because of this and the increased interconnectedness of the world, many real-world languages remain less fragmanted than they otherwise would be. In other cases, some languages have been marginalized out of existence, or else never came to be. For example, because England has been a stronghold of Norse power for many centuries, their is no separate and distinct "English" language but rather a Britannic dialect of Norse -- which is actually the dominant dialect in the Norse Commonwealth, due to Britain's central location.
In addition to their normal allotment of languages, all PCs gain one free bonus language, to make up for the profusion of languages in the setting.