English: Chair
English: Chair (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Interpreting Languages Chair

“Sitting in this chair for the first time, I could understand the language of the man-beasts before me. What we once presumed was growls and snarls hid a rich and detailed method of talking. The words changed depending on so many factors, the position of the head, the social rank of both the speaker and the listening. It was incredibly complex and very old. I had no idea. They viewed us as linguistic children, but still were willing to forgive us for our errors. It turns out we were killing their children-eggs by polluting their waters. This is something I could fix and because of the chair, I knew just how to let them know this.”

Interpreting Languages Chair
Power Level: Major (5)
Activation: Appropriate Action
Approximate Age: Several – 8 years
Condition: Damaged (2)

The Interpreting Languages Chair (ILC) is something many kingdoms desire. Those that desire peace can use it to facilitate talks and negotiations. Those that desire war can use it to send threats that can be understood by the enemies. In its simplest for, the ILC translates the languages into a form that one sitting within can understand and to communicate in a way that someone standing directly in front of it, at a maximum distance of 10 feet, can understand. To use the chair, one simply sits within and directs their attention to someone within range.

The power of the ILC can translate any communication method used within ten-foot range. Some chairs have been tweaked to allow for non-verbal communication as well, but these are not as common. There are rumours of one that even allows for mind-to-min communication, but this has not been confirmed by any kingdom as of yet. The chair itself comes in many forms, as regular chairs. One kingdom had a negotiation room where every chair was an ILC and no-one suspected as their chairs were of varying quality and design. It has though become a custom for the chair to be marked in some way to indicate it has translation abilities, to prevent accidental use, but this is not required.

The major downside of the ILC is that the words communicated are translated literally, where ever possible. Cultural idioms and quirks are not communicated and may be lost in the translation. Because of this a basic knowledge of diplomacy and of the culture being addressed is recommended. Thankfully, it is pretty obvious when the chair is being used. This does not prevent mistakes from being made by the one using the chair and some words, such as profanities may have no direct correlation. For continued diplomatic relations a proper interpreter is required, but to begin with, the ILC is a valuable tool in any diplomats arsenal. Another disadvantage is the chair, despite being a magical item, suffers wear and tear like a normal seat and as such can be easily broken or damaged.

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