By Dolores J. Nurss
Note: This glossary changes constantly, receiving new entries all
the time. Most of these words will not crop up in all stories. I have
not written down all of the unusual words and terms that I have buried
in my notes, but have concentrated mainly on those most pertinent to
finished novels (which is why you will at first see more notes on Til
Territories and the Charadoc than any other cultures) though I am
trying to include as much as I can on missions, cultures and lands not
yet formally written about--hundreds of cultures exist in my notes, and
they all have their peculiar terminology. Please notify me if you find
anything unfamiliar in my tales that I haven't yet catalogued for this
letter. Thank you.
cacklebird: A tropical bird native to the Southwestern
Continent, about the size of a jay, slenderly built, with brownish-gray
feathers, white wing-tips, and black stripes or spots, along with a
black crest. Named for its distinctive call, which sounds like
high-pitched, mocking laughter. Known for elaborate mating ritual
displays--its characteristic "dance".
Camelot: A small collection of city-states loosely federated
under a monarchy, in a valley of the northern foothills of what on
Earth would have been the Himalayas. Citizens of the United Kingdom
colonized this country, along with the neighboring nations of Avalon
and New Scotland (also monarchies with blood ties to Camelot.) The
people speak a dialect of English. Camelot exports rice and wheat, as
well as some of the best woolen goods in the world.
Cana’a: A legendary hag of the Holumbrian Sea, said to whip up
storms by dancing wildly upon the waves. Some of the sailors which she
thus drowns, according to her myth, she eats, while others she makes
her zombie lovers. Folklore lists various means by which a mortal wife
can free a drowned husband from her clutches, all requiring courage,
cleverness, and/or great powers of endurance.
times sailors used to throw monkeys in miniature human clothing
overboard to placate her or trick her into granting safe passage (hence
the expression, “Not a monkey’s chance at sea”) but this barbaric
custom has lapsed with the return of more enlightened times. Although
the motif of actual human sacrifice to quell a storm has featured in
song and literature, no historical evidence exists to indicate that
this ever actually happened. In modern times, some sailors still do
toss sailor-dolls overboard, frequently stuffed with tobacco or some
other substance said to please Cana’a.
The chronicler would be remiss to not mention a theory that Cana’a in
fact is a demonized version of an early colony’s deity. At least one
island of Mediterrae openly worships Cana’a (and probably several
others do so in secret) not as an evil bringer of storm, but as a
sea-goddess who quells storms raised by her tempestuous sister,
Anicana’a. In her generosity, so her supporters say, she freely shares
her maritime cattle and herds her fish into the nets of those fishermen
who love her, as well as cultivating various shellfish and other
desirable sea-fare. In this very different myth she rescues sailors
rather than drowns them, although she does transform the choicest of
the lot into dolphins to follow her retinue, especially those who die
in maritime battles in the defense of a good cause.
Candlenut: A tropical bush with nuts so rich in oils that people
will ignite several in a bowl for a lamp. The nut also supplies a rich
source of omega-3 fatty acids, argenine, vitamin E, thiamine,
phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and potassium. It grows on
tall bushes/low trees, with broad, tri-lobed leaves.
Candy Hill: A mythical place featured in Charadocian folksongs,
where all features of the landscape are made up of sweets and other
delicacies, more referred to in wishful thinking than in any real
name of a candy resembling miniature human body parts, popular in the
2690's in Til Institute, particularly among adolescent and
preadolescent boys, until the manufacturer, Shocksweets, received too
many angry letters warning them that this time they'd gone too
far. They pulled the product when a housemother, in charge of a
traumatized child who'd arrived at Til in flight from real cannibalism,
chose to go to jail for shattering all of their windows with rocks,
reaping much negative publicity--which also boosted their close-out
sales of the product.
were made of fondant around a core of crunchy, sugar-crystalized wafer
"bone" and cherry syrup. They came in a mixed bag of vanilla,
chocolate, peach, almond, and taffy flavors, and included arms, legs,
torsos and heads. Torsoes, in addition to the main bone contained an
indented-cylinder wafer "ribcage" with a cherry inside. Heads,
inside a wafer shell, contained a whole walnut meat.
Canyon Beach: A beach in Til Territories at the foot of the
network of canyons descending from Cracked Mesa, across from Ambrey
Island. Notable as the approach to Ambrey Botanical Laboratories.
A desert region in The Charadoc, highlands cut off from rain high in
the Mountains of Fire, but occasionally sporting stony pools from
snowmelt sinking deep into the porous sandstone and seeping out again
in depressions in the rock. Originally formed of sandstone from
an ancient inland sea before volcanic activity reared the mountains up,
strong winds channeled through Gandralnarya Pass have carved it into
many canyons. Probably the most inhospitable land in the entire
continent, it is also the least inhabited by humankind, though a number
of plant and animals have adapted to it.
carder: A device much like a crediter, through which one can run an ID card for a security check or similar purposes.
Carpaya: A tall hardwood tree with short branches, red bark, and
obtuse leaves, native to the rainforests of the Southwestern Continent.
The wood is red to reddish-brown with a whorled chocolate grain;
although challenging to carve with its knots and irregularity, its
beauty makes it prized among woodworkers, who sometimes nickname it
The sap has many uses in the plastics
industry, as it polymerizes readily. It is also alleged to have healing
properties, being antibiotic, antiseptic, and anaesthetic, often used
among herbalist as a sealing dressing.
Carpodine: An antiseptic ointment made of iodine and a polymer of carpaya sap.
carrier flit: A flit equipped to carry cargo or passengers. It
requires a particularly strong levitator with special training to lift
it. Due to the wraparound grid of psi amplifiers encompassing the flit
body, it also requires a special structure upon which to park it.
Carmina Island: A large island in the Coral Gulf where medical
research and the medical care of Tilián agents takes place. The
isolation, inconvenient for normal health-care, is a safety precaution
necessary in light of the fact that agents are more likely than anyone
else to contract previously unknown diseases to which humankind has
little or no resistance. Some have alleged an additional political
motive for isolating agents who might babble international secrets
while in delirium or under anaesthesia.
Carmina Island is
also known for the Marie T. Besmuth Institute for Enablement of the
Handicapped, the Carmina Island Children's College, Goodwill College,
Cliffside Laboratories, Carmina Medical College and Medical Center, and
Sunken Mountain Bay Mariner's Retreat.
Carmina Medical College/Medical Center: A renowned teaching
hospital and medical research center run by Til Institute on Carmina
Island in the Coral Gulf. Specializes in diseases indigenous to
Novatierre. Except in emergencies, all agents of the Tilián receive
their medical treatment here while in Til Territories.
caseda: The skilled laborer caste of Corriebhai.
A secret dialect or code among the casedas of Corriebhai, used chiefly
to hide unofficial religion and beliefs based on a mixture of Gaelic
Paganism, Heathenism, and Anglican and Presbyterian Christianity.
Casedacant translates a deity's name or attributes, or some other
feature of legend or magic, from Gaelic into Corriebhaiani (the
official tongue of Corribhai, derived from several languages of India)
and thence chooses words from Skotseng with some phonetic similarity to
replace them, Skotseng being a recognized tongue among the peasantry
largely ignored by the overlords. The layers of translation often
add additional meaning.
cashew vine: A thick vine native to the alpine regions of the
Southwestern Continent. Like the cashew tree on Earth, it exudes an
irritating oil that causes itching and urticaria upon contact. It also
produces nuts very similar to the Earth cashew in flavor, though ovoid
in shape. Its leaves resemble three-lobed oak leaves, and are a dusty
green, turning a soft crimson in autumn.
Cassandra syndrome: 1) (parapsychological)The unconscious
impulses which cause one who predicts the future to veil the prediction
in obscure words or images, so as to prevent any warning from averting
and therefore disproving the prediction.
(2) (psychological) A form of hysteria found in women whose intuition has gone unheeded far too long.
castale: (Pronounced kasTAYley) Chestnut wine or ale. Fermented
from the mash left over after pressing chestnuts for oil. Some like it
from roasted mash, others prefer it “raw”.
castanero: One who makes various products from chestnuts. Some
chestnuts e selects for selling as is, or for candying. The rest e
presses for chestnut oil, which e might sell as is, or infused with
tarragon or lavender, or make into soap, candles, lotion, and/or
biofuel, depending on the quality. The mash e then might sell as is to
enrich finishing feed for ranchers, grind into flour for cooks, or make
chestnut syrup from it. Alternately e might ferment from the mash
(roasted or raw) castale, castavín, primera and/or segunda. It takes an
expert castanero to know which chestnuts to employ for which use, and
to blend them properly.
These chestnut products
originated in Alonzo Valley and see wide use in Til Territories, but
their popularity (and import) have spread to Istislan and surrounding
territories as well, where they have become integral to Istislan
cuisine in wholly original recipes. Naugren also now prizes chestnut
confections, but bans all of the alcoholic products except for
denatured castavín for cooking purposes, which merchants must only sell
in tiny bottles containing a certain percentage of salt added to make
it undrinkable, useful only for flavoring.
castavín: A cordial made from the mash left over after pressing
the oils out of chestnuts. Unlike Primera, the castanero doesn’t
distill it by heat. Rather, e freezes the product after partial
fermentation, concentrating both the flavor and remaining sugars. Not
only do people tipple castavín, they also use it as a flavoring for
cakes, cookies, candies, and pastries, or dribble it on top of ice
caste, Charadocian: One's status in Charadocian society, as
determined by how much one's family as a unit pays in taxes, the
increments strictly defined in monetary amounts per year. The higher
the caste, the more votes one has. Strict sumptuary laws restrict
certain variations in garments to certain castes, so as to make it
evident who deserves how much respect for how much of a contribution.
Anyone found wearing garments appropriate to a higher caste must spend
one year in prison per degree above oneself, plus suffer the loss of
one vote per degree.
Castle Stark: A forbidding dwelling built directly into cliffs
overlooking the Nissenwaters, with towers that come out and then up
from the cliff-face at right angles. Said to be inhabited by an
irascible and possibly dangerous old hermit, in actuality the Von Stark
family has held it quietly for generations. Legal investigations as to
whether they have been running an illegal website not associated with
Archives, or possibly manufacturing personal computers, keep getting
bogged down for inexplicable reasons.
casuarina: A breed of tree so remarkably like the casuarina of
earth as to be practically indistinguishable, a pseudo-conifer common
to the subequatorial tropics. It has long, shaggy needle-type foliage
and a woody fruit resembling a dense cone. The casuarinas of Novatierre
sport multiple trunks more often than not.
The Cattlewade: A broad and shallow river of Alonzo Valley, Til Territories, named for the cattle that graze beside it and sometimes ford it.
Cave of Changes: A difficult-to find cave in the juncture
between Mount Seascarp and Shandow Ridge, considered crucial in the
training of oracles, for reasons which the oracular community never
specify. Legends abound, that it might in fact consist of a whole
network of caverns, that it amounts to a gigantic geode, or more than
one such, that it contains potentially fatal levels of magentine, that
it has become haunted with the ghosts of everyone who has ever tried to
plunder it, etc., can fill volumes in the folklore library.
Cauldron Bay: A bay on the Northwestern Coast of Til Peninsula,
angled in such a way as to bring two currents into collision, with
violent results. It is slowly but surely expanding.
Century Point: A village on a spur of land on the southeastern
side of the Nissenwaters, founded in the year 2200, known mainly for
the craftsmanship of its boats. Its colors are oyster and white.
certification: Licensing or authorization to perform in a complex career, such as agent, doctor, barrister, et cetera. A diploma.
Cha' Choya: A proud, nomadic and somewhat warlike people who
herd cattle across the northern plains in the eastern half of the
Northeastern Continent. Known for their annual festivals and their
artistic if inaccurate oral histories.
The Chair: Among agents of the Tilián, the chair in which one
sits during debriefing; hence "to take The Chair" means to be
debriefed. It is a large, comfortable piece of furniture, slightly
tipped, which can sustain a person in a trance state, with arm rests.
Either or both arm rests terminates in a rod of magentine sculpted for
comfortable grip, attached by conductors to a similar rod in the facing
chair. As the agent and the debriefer each grip these rods and sink
under the influence of trance-inducing debriefing music, the rods
convey psychic impressions of all the agent's recent travels,
condensed, from the mind of the agent to that of the debriefer (a
specially trained psychometrist) who then conveys it to Archives.
Chamree, Sea of:
The Eastern "cat ear" or "horn" of the Oceana Equitorus. On earth
it would be to the east of India. Named for a baby girl who died
at sea, some say pulled off of a ship by a wave, some say who died in a
colony that accidentally transferred right into the middle of the
ocean. No one now knows anything for certain of the ancient
tragedy, although the name seems to indicate that Chamree belonged to
some girl of Asian-Indian descent.
Chanay: A nation on and above the eastern peninsula of the
Southwestern continent, on the shore of the Lesser Ocean, and the first
on the eastern peninsula to not also have a western shore on the Sea of
Byssinia. Originally colonized by French settlers from a single
commune, who gave the country its name, they soon after welcomed a
Swedish expedition that had survived a sea-landing but lost most of
their supplies. The Swedish settlers, composed of winter Olympic teams
and their families, wrote many longing ballads about the snow and
slopes that they left behind on Earth, causing future generations to
mythologize Earth as a planet of ice and steep precipices that one must
traverse to prove oneself worthy of a paradise hidden behind the
highest mountains. Other colonies gradually constellated around these
two main groups.
Chanay's economy depends mainly on the
mining of iron and manganese, and the production of steel and steel
products. Til Intervention generations ago inspired them, through the
Chanayans' own passionate esteem for physical fitness, to embrace the
cleanest standards of the metallurgic industry in Novatierre.
large feline native to the island of
Borta/Toulinn, probably close kin to the lions of the mainland.
Distinguished by its stripes, which change color according to the
season, apparently triggered by shifts in temperature. Throughout most
of the year it has reddish brown fur streaked in black shading to
chocolate at the edges. In the first frost the fur between stripes
starts to bleach,
going through phases of burnt orange, orange, amber-gold, straw, and
ivory, eventually paling to pure white by first
snow. The dark stripes remain unaffected. The fur also thickens,
becoming downright shaggy. Thawing reverses the process. A predator not
to be trifled with, it actually derives most of its diet from fishing,
but will not turn its nose up at a lamb or child.
Channel Islands: A pair of islands to either side of the
Altraus tram, in the channel between Carmina Island and Til Penninsula,
Til Territories. Channel Island #1 lies to the South, Channel Island #2
lies to the north. Both are sparsely inhabited and unincorporated
either to the Carmina Island community or the nearby mainland town of
Chapelbodlian: A believer in or practitioner of Chapelbody.
The national religion of Corriebhai Colony. The name, in
Casedacant, means "Oathkeepers." While it follows a pantheon
derived from Celtic, Heathen, and Christian sources, it does not
require literal belief in any of its stories, and indeed some of its
theologians consider literalism heretical, although still practiced in
outlying communities. Most Chapelbodlians believe in a "First
Cause" with many manifestations; indeed, one can belong to another
religion altogether and Chapelbody simultaneously.
Atheist Chapelbodlians play a
sacred role in the community. Far from rejecting their atheists
as heretics, the
congregation considers them "pure spirits" who follow the ethics
without promise of reward or fear of punishment. They also regard
them as tragic, as their personal brand of integrity cannot afford them
the comfort of a Higher Power to assist them. (most Corriebanty drama
and literature includes an atheist character somewhere.)
Believers in Higher
Powers see their incapacity to perceive deity as a divinely ordained
sacrifice or martyrdom, to maintain the utmost honesty among the more
fortunate members of the congregation. People say that they
volunteered before birth to serve this difficult function, though they
themselves cannot remember or believe it.
Chapelbody holds praxis as far
more important than belief, and "faith" to them mainly means "keeping
faith" with their principles. Everything revolves around
integrity and honesty--to do exactly what you say you will, no matter
what, for the well-being of family, the community, and one's
afterlife. To tell only truth. To seek truth in any form it
takes, and to accept it unflinchingly. To examine oneself
frequently and ruthlessly. To earn the trust of others.
Concealment of intention or fact
is allowed, but never overt lying under any circumstance, not even to
save a life; folklore tells of people living an accursed existence
because somebody else lied on their behalf, warping the shape of
reality around them. Chapelbodlians believe that lies strain the
very fabric of reality, even tear it, with dangerous results, both in
this life and thereafter.
They embrace fiction and mythos,
however, as a particularly mystical form of truth, and hold all of the
arts as sacred, an homage to "the truth beyond the facts". They
especially prize a wabi sabi aesthetic that sees the beauty in the
worn, imperfect, or aged. Their visual artists cultivate
particularly the skill of portraying an elderly person's life story in
They believe in an afterlife
created by one's choices. The more integrity one has exhibited,
the more pleasant and rational one's after-existence, subject to one's
own control, shapable into whatever one wants. One also has the
strength to act supernaturally in the lives of the living, at least
through intuitive guidance and nudges to chance.
The more dishonest one has been
in life, however, the more chaotic the afterlife and the more helpless
the spirit. The most egregious sinners tumble eternally through
madness and fear; joys exist only to randomly crumble or be torn away
from them, and hideous experiences crash into them at any moment,
unpreventably. Chapelbodlians see this not as a punishment but a
Some believe that this afterlife
manifests in reincarnation. Others speculate on an astral state
where all of this takes place. Still others see transfer worlds
as having been generated by human choices. Some believe that it
manifests here, in this life, and that no literal afterlife
exists. No one particularly cares which version anyone else
believes in, and if one can come up with yet another variation, others
will listen as an entertainment.
One may regain sanctification,
after sin, by a period
of silence and reflection, in addition to reparation with interest
wherever possible. They say that this gives language and
reality itself time to rest and recuperate. It might last for a
it might last for years, depending on the gravity of the offense, and
be imposed by self or others. If one receives such a sentence
from the community and refuses, the community might have to banish the
person, either permanently or until they return and face the
music. On the governmental level this can lead to exile from the
pious Chapelbodlians, in fact, spend their evenings, after the last
light fades from the sky, in voluntary silence, in case they have inadvertently
said something that will later turn out to be untrue, or if they have
unconsciously hidden a truth from themselves. Those who do this say
that they wake up every morning feeling refreshed for the day.
The Charadoc: A mountainous Aristocracy (what the natives
call "Meritocracy") in the Southwestern Continent, known for its
coffee, chocolate, wine, tobacco, fishing industry, ore of aluminum,
lead, sulfur, nitrates, and rare minerals, and a sturdy if inferior
silk. Also known for elaborate sumptuary laws and a couple of notable
operas. Terrain varies from tropical rainforest to alpine, with some
high desert. The name means “Mountains of Fire”.
Charadocian Buddhism: A sect of Buddhism adhered to by the
descendants of Tibetan Chinese colonists in The Charadoc, who emigrated
to Novatierre to secure religious freedom. It has some local
peculiarities, such as the belief that souls do not only reincarnate in
animal life-forms, but also as plants or even minerals.
In the latter case the soul goes into the stone or geographic feature.
Only enlightened beings can become mountains, unperturbed by passions
or desires, impervious to pain or delight, overlooking the striving
life-forms below and by their compassionate meditations moving as many
as listen towards right thinking. Some of these bide their time awhile
before incarnation into a body, others have finished with flesh for
Charadocian Buddhists believe that the Buddha came to Old Earth one
final time as a man named Maitreya, right before the death of that
planet, but will visit humankind the next time in Novatierre, as a
woman called The Maitreyya (Mai-trey-EE-a) to promote a new era of
enlightenment on a new planet.
Charadocian Catholicism: A hybrid religion or religions
native to the Charadoc, not officially recognized by any pope or
patriarch. Officially, various different chapels belong to various
rites under the Roman, Orthodox, or Collegiate pontifs, especially the
Assyrian rite, and few parishioners refer to themselves as Charadocian
Catholics, the name being an invention of cultural anthropologists. But
in practice, they have all blended together into a more or less
distinct belief system, tending to favor the Roman calendar and prayers
with an Orthodox bent towards independence from authority and a
Collegiate syncretism to the point of incorporating many folk beliefs
under the general umbrella of the religion, some of which have little
or no biblical or traditional justification.
Charadocian pastry: Called this only outside the Charadoc,
it is a flaky turnover with a sweet filling made from a fungus tolerant
of high levels of heat and acid. This fungus releases psychoactive
chemicals producing euphoria, drowsiness and hallucinations.
Charadocian silk: See cheir silk.
Charadocian wrestling: A very formalized martial art,
practiced exclusively for performance. Combines traditional wrestling
with kicking and foot-hooking, delineating certain areas of the body as
off-limits for any touch. Rather than pinning the opponent down, the
wrestler wins by forcing the opponent to make bodily contact with all
four padded corner-posts in succession. The opponent may undo each
touch by forcing the wrestler to touch the same post, at any time, but
this does not count towards his own score until he has cleared his own
Traditionally, the wrestlers approach each other initially with their
hands extended slightly to either side of the body, palms outward, to
simultaneously display an absence of weapons and to poise for attack—a
simultaneous gesture of courtesy and threat.
Charter of Til: The central document of Til law, defining
the purposes and limits of government, and the rights and
responsibilities of the citizenry. To change any point of the Charter
of Til requires a two-thirds majority confirmation from the General
Electorate, which almost never happens.
chaummin: A cheap and potent alcoholic beverage distilled
from various tree saps, most especially the chaummin or sugar-sap tree.
It resembles a somewhat maple-flavored rum with a resinous aftertaste.
chaummin tree: Also known as the sugar-sap tree, it grows
to low to mid-canopy heights in the midrange of mountains. It has
broad-spreading branches, medium-green palmative leaves, grayish beige
to grayish green bark that wrinkles with age but does not form cracks
or plaques, and a light, brittle, rose-beige wood better suited to the
smokehouse than the carpenter's shop.
People prize it mainly for its sap, which runs clear and sugary from
first frost to spring; after that it becomes cloudy and takes on
off-flavoring that spoils its usefulness. Tappers derive from it sugar,
syrup, and a distilled beverage also called chaummin.
chaummin sugar: Sugar made from chaummin sap, which has a slightly resinous maple flavor.
chava: A coarse and somewhat ragged-leaved plant of the
Northwestern Continent’s plains, light green. Hardy to drought, frost,
and heat. Requires full sun, and prefers slightly alkalinic soil. The
pith is a delicate sea-green, translucent, juicy, and delectable, with
a flavor somewhat like a mild version of broccoli with a hint of
almond. The rind of the stems makes excellent paper with a slight
cheir silk: A filament drawn from the cocoons of an easily
husbanded caterpillar native to the Charadoc, which (when allowed to)
matures into a sea-green butterfly with purple-striped wings. This
silk, considered inferior to the Truesilk made by silkworms preserved
from Earth, is actually quite sturdy and warmth-conserving, if a little
coarse. However, it cannot be uniformly schapped, nor does it hold dye
evenly. It has a greasy rather than glossy appearance. But it is
nonetheless an important fiber for large segments of Novatierre's
chemical heater: A
device for safely heating inside tents and other emergency shelters,
although not all of them are actually safe. (One should look for
a stamp certifying its reliability from Gueymaial, Istislan, Llangdan
Naugren, Tambour, or Til Institute, as non-certified heaters are
sometimes poorly insulated or release gases unsafe in poor
ventilation.) The most common design features an insulating base,
a chemical reaction chamber, two bottle feeds into the chamber, a
telescoping radiator tube in the middle, and tubing from the radiator
to a small vent found in modern all-weather tents, all of which may be
separated for packing. It operates by combining chemicals that
produce heat when reacting together.
Cheneh, Merle: Leader of the Full Moon Rebellion. Married to
a developmentally disabled man who suddenly went missing, she tracked
him down to a laboratory where he had “volunteered” in experiments that
led to his painful death. This inspired her to provoke a series of
riots culminating in the Full Moon Rebellion. Although justly arrested
for the excesses of her violence, and subjected to formal
rehabilitiation, Til nevertheless owes her a debt of gratitude for the
sweeping and necessary reforms that followed after.
chevon terrine: A pressed paté of ground goat meat, butter, and herbs, served spread on toast or half-melted on potatoes.
A tropical, coastal nation of the Southeastern Continent, sharing its
northern border with Dixie, located directly under the western lobe of
the continent. Colonized initially by a contingent of Russian
Jews, its name most probably derives from "Shehecheyanu", a Yiddish
blessing for new homes and propitious changes.
Cheyanou chiefly exports wood,
chocolate, kiro flavoring, sugar, saava, tea, tin, iron, limestone,
niobium, lead, and zinc. They are a capitalist democracy with a
strong educational system, and have retained a sophisticated level of
technology, including electricity, widespread plumbing, telephone
lines, and a local computer network. Their advanced medicine
their careful filtration of water and inspection of food has left them
largely unscathed by the chronic plagues and parasitic infections that
drain the energy of their neighbors. However, offers to share
their advancements, at a reasonable price, or even at times out of
charity, have been met with suspicion and not accepted.
A small village of the Charadoc, appearing relatively
insignificant today, but in fact it is the last remains of the hub of
what had once been an impressive (for our standards) internet web in
the days of the Mid-Migration, and occasionally farmers for miles
around still dig up bits of plastic-wrapped wires that had once
connected computers brought from Earth.
This fledgling net, however, soon
became abandoned when it became haunted. Apparently a medical
simulation, used in combatting all of the new infectious diseases, came
to life and interfered with anybody's continued use. (This might
have been some form of magentine effect, but no one is quite sure how
to test the hypothesis, at this late point.) A senior technician
became convinced that his deceased daughter, having died of the latest
disease under study, had become trapped in the network, and so he set
the central broadcasting station on fire and smashed every computer he
could find. The rest of the community, finding the manifestations
too disturbing to allow work, soon joined him till not a computer
remained. Or so the legend goes.
Modern day Chicamoq today remains
a minor hub of sorts, having a trading post which distributes
manufactured goods from more developed parts of the country.
Those who do not work in trade are either subsistence farmers or their
relatives, the latter employed in cooking and brewing from the family
produce for travelers coming in for trade, or sometimes performing
child labor: A form of employment in Til Territories
much more regulated than adult labor. Children may only be employed
through Archives, which will automatically terminate further employment
if it detects any deleterious changes in the child's scholastic or
medical records. This naturally limits the hours, risks and
requirements of any job that a minor takes on. Children may only be
employed on a temp basis and may refuse further offers of employment
once they finish a short-term task. It is illegal to employ any minor
beyond the reach of Archive's monitoring. Children in Til Territories
are legally guaranteed food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical
attention, and so need work only to finance their pursuits and
child-grade consent: In Tilián law, the limited but
inalienable right of children of initiation-age to engage only in
activities (beyond a set range of common requirements) that they
consent to, unless refusal constitutes a threat to their well-being,
present or future. For instance, for the sake of a child’s future
well-being, a houseparent may impose upon a child the requirement that
e take up a study demanding discipline, but the child may refuse piano
lessons in favor of karate, provided that expense, time, and other
factors are comparable. Child-grade consent only extends to what a
child may refuse; it does not give a child license to engage in
activities which the parent considers harmful. Many activities
desirable to children require prerequisite studies that they must
complete before doing as they please, such as admission to the Amsi'en
Amusement Park (with exceptions made for the cognitively impaired.)
children's college: An elementary school with some
college-like features, such as different classrooms for different
categories of study, and some choice of electives.
Children’s College: The first children’s college founded
in Til Territories, located in the southernmost cape of Carmina Island,
originally for the families of those Carmina Island and Domestica
residents who did not want to send their children to Til Institute for
Children’s Hospital: A hospital and medical center
within Til Institute for the treatment of minors. While filling the
day-to-day needs of the thousands of orphans raised in Til Institute,
it has a worldwide reputation for treatment of the physical and
psychological traumas of abused, abandoned, and neglected children.
Chinese Charadocian: A person descended of Chinese or
Tibetan colonists, born in the Charadoc. Because their ancestors had
the foresight to bring boats and extensive fishing gear with them in
transferring over to Novatierre (figuring that, in a planet with even
more ocean surface than Earth, landing near or in water seemed more
likely than not) they were able to quickly establish a fishing industry
along the coast of the Charadoc, giving them an economic advantage
disproportionate to their numbers. They have founded virtually every
port of any importance in that nation and are widely respected.
Chinese New Year, Charadocian: Due to the financially
influential presence of a Chinese-descended minority along the coastal
region of the Charadoc, the fiscal year in the Charadoc begins with
Chinese New Year, which is celebrated with parades, parties, dancing,
ceremonial foods and rituals (including burning "money"` which is
usually fake) even by uplanders who have never laid eyes on a person of
A bean or capsule-shaped candy alternating bands of chocolate with
bands of candy of another flavor. The original Chocabee combined
chocolate with butterscotch. The most common flavors available
today are anthelma, butterscotch, cherry, coconut, czyf, five-spice
(often dyed blue) mint, pome, praline, raspberry, superchocolate
(alternating bands of light and dark chocolate.) tangerine, walnut and
vanilla, not to mention the variety pack.
chorizo: A spicy sausage popular, among other places, in
Alonzo Valley, but pervasive throughout the world as Novatierre’s
equivalent of old Earth's hot dog.
Chou Tzi: Warlord turned statesman, credited with
unifying Diemtran (first by conquest and later by diplomacy) founding
Pentapolita, and commanding the digging of the Diemtran Canal which,
completed after his death, elevated the Diemtran Empire from an
impoverished nation to a major economic force. Dimunutive in stature
and build, Chou Tzi became proverbial for his skill at using
intelligence to gain the upper hand in physical contests.
A novorodent resembling a cross between a weasel and a
guinea-pig. A master of gaining access even through the tiniest
of apertures, it has stowed away on ships since the Early Migration
Era, so that today no one can tell where it might have originated,
beyond the fact that DNA shows it clearly Novatierre-indigenous.
Most frequently taupe or golden-beige in color, with a gray-white
underbelly, it also comes in rosy-beige or peachy-beige, gray, and
white mottled with black. Furriers use the pelts for trim and
sometimes sewn together for entire garment-linings, and many a sailor
will attest to its satisfactory flavor, but breeders prize the chuff
especially for its speed, as it might well be the fastest animal native
popular gambling-game throughout Novatierre, taking advantage of the
mating-rituals of this animal. A female chuff in heat will climb
to a windy place and send off a pherome to summon males to her; the
first one to arrive wins the privilege of reproducing with her.
This ensures that the species naturally selects for speed, which brings
advantage in eluding predators.
So chuff-racers place a female in
heat at the elevated goal-line with a fan behind her, and then release
the male chuffs to find her. Not only do the betters who selected
well make money on the victory, but so does the victor, permitted to do
what comes naturally at the end of the line. This ensures
well-bred chuffs for future races.
The racetrack, usually indoors,
consists of many twists and turns (to display the grace and agility of
the racers) before rising to the peak at the end, where the
female awaits in wire cage. Passing a finish-line triggers
a sensor to briefly open a gate for the winner, and to immediately drop
curtains around the victory-couple to ensure privacy among those
cultures of more delicate sensibilities, although some of the earthier
communities consider the "victory frolic" part of the show, with much cheering for the winner.
Some cultures permit toddlers
onto the track to play and explore, before being removed from the room
for the actual race. This allegedly insures survival to adulthood
and future fertility, but one must stop at the age where a child can
speak sentences of more than two words, lest he or she grow up
impulsive and uncontrollable.
Church of the Seven-Day Sabbath: A proverbial,
fictitious church, sarcastically referred to whenever anyone claims to
object to an action on moral grounds, when the hearers suspect laziness
as the real motive.
churizo: A dessert consisting of sweet batter squirted
through a serrated pastry gun into molten grease, where it writhes
about frying into a dough snake with crispy ridges. The cook then
dredges it in powdered sugar and sweet spices and serves it up hot.
cinnamon cake: a dessert popular in Alonzo Valley. A
highly spiced, soft cookie with a dark, crunchy topping, seasoned
mainly but not exclusively with cinnamon.
cistern: A household device found in most Tilián
kitchens which stores potable water from either rain harvesting,
distillation of wastes, or a civic plumbing system, in an earthenware
tank that suffuses it with healthy minerals, while letting less-healthy
sediments settle out and unpleasant purifying chemicals evaporate. It
dispenses from a filtered spigot or directly back into the pipes,
depending on a switch. In case of disruption of the water mains, the
cistern can supply a week's supply of water for two by itself.
A blend of whatever citrus juices come to hand, sweetened and sometimes
fortified with rosehip tea or jujube pulp. Various commercial
frozen concentrate blends find markets wherever the technology exists
to ship refrigerated products, although in many countries it comes
dear, used only for medicinal purposes, or as a winter tonic.
A medium-soft cheese from Arundel, made of goat or sheep milk curdled
with citrus juice. Orange enjoys the most popularity for eating
out of hand, but tangerine also has its defenders, and chefs usually
prefer lemon or lime.
Civilization Point College: A college affiliated with
Til Institute, located on the eastern shore of the Coral Gulf, somewhat
north of Sandurste. It was the first adult educational establishment
that the Tilián built outside of Til Institute proper, on the other
side of the Great Gulf Road, in what was jokingly (and somewhat
snobbishly) referred to as the “edge of civilization”.
clarevoyant: According to official opinion, one who
unconsciously receives telepathic information which gives clues to a
probable future event seemingly out of nowhere. (According to this
theory) the possessor of an unreliable "pseudogift", less effective
than straightforward research. Some researchers, recently, have begun
to refute this mainstream opinion, with mounting evidence that some
clarevoyants do indeed capture glimpses of possible futures without any
trace of unconscious telepathy whatsoever.
clay flute: A home-made wind instrument fashioned from
clay, popular among young people in a variety of communities, including
Til Institute. The forms vary from utilitarian tubes to very artistic
renderings of animals, fruits, or other motifs, and the materials range
from true clays to artificial resin-based claylike substitutes.
A low-growing woody shrub which grows on sunny rock or cliff-faces,
with the aid of especially strong, corrugated roots. It grows in
mats of dense twigs and small, succulent leaves of dark
graygreen. Of interest mainly for long, juicy tubers, often
exposed, also corrugated with a thick, reddish skin. When peeled
and sliced into starlike cross-sections, however, these fry up into a
nutritious, starchy vegetable, high in vitamin C, potato-flavored with
Cliffside Laboratories: Medical/biological laboratories
built into the cliffs of Carmina Island facing the channel between the
island and Domestica. Many of its staff employees live in Domestica,
while most of its researchers live in Carmina itself.
Cliffside Style: An architectural style pioneered in the
late twenty-fifth century, with the discovery of new ways to permeate
porous stone with stabilizing resins, without having to part the stone
from its position in the earth first. This led to exploring the
possibilities of delving dwellings and other establishments into the
living stone of sea-cliffs, even to adding water-tight windows below
sea-level. The style derives its name from Cliffside Laboratories, its
Clomen: A country on the Mighty Rail, bordered to the north by Aistruli, to the northeast and east by[not yet dreamed] to the south by [not yet dreamed]
and Mabhrathan, and to the east by the Nimu Sea. Founded by a
group of debtors from different countries, pressed into building a
large transfer-device by Lloyds of London, but fleeing in it with their
families instead. Ruled by a Council of Clans and economically
managed by a network of aid and trade pacts between these clans.
The Council meets once a month, and elects a new Presider each
time. No Presider can serve back to back terms.
Rail, Clomen had a reputation for being suspicious of outsiders, and
people in other countries would tell Clomenite-Jokes about this.
But they have such strong bonds of trust between their own, and such
strong codes of honor, that they cannot imagine anyone not raised in
the clan system comparing for integrity. Since the rail, however,
their superb beach front and mineral baths have made them a tourist
destination, and this has boosted the economy. Tourists, however,
are carefully confined to spa-towns.Clomen also has one of the world's largest xenoslums, Brivalutat.
Cloned ivory, distinguished from natural ivory by bioluminescence, due
to genetic modification. On Old Earth bans against the harvesting
of ivory began in the late twentieth century, due to the approaching
extinction of the elephant and narwhale, so an enterprising geneticist
named Wolfgang Hauser obtained the fresh tusk of an elephant who had
died of pneumonia in captivity. He then extracted DNA from its
pulp with which to clone crime-free ivory, splicing in genes from
tomopteris plankton to produce a golden shimmer in dim light. It
soon became proverbial among inspectors of cargo and others enforcing
the ivory ban that "If it doesn't glow, it doesn't go." That
saying lingers today among a number of cultures and subcultures, and
has come to mean, "If it doesn't meet our standards, we won't sell it."
A ground-hugging herb, with triple and sometimes quadruple leaves, and
dome-clustering flowers of white, rose, or violet, which provides
excellent fodder and fixes nitrogen in the soil. Native to Earth,
many colonists brought clover-seeds with them for use as a cover-crop,
and many more accidentally brought the seeds along within small round
burrs attached to their clothing, with the result that it has gone
feral over large areas of Novatierre.
The blossoms are sometimes blended
with butter for a sandwich spread, or boiled into a tea. The
whole herb may be used for a vanilla substitute. Sometimes used
medicinally to control fever.
Cocoa Diablo: Hot chocolate mixed with a generous dollop of chili-pepper jelly, usually made from the habañero or jalapeño chili, plus several shakes of cinnamon.
code: A combination of letters and numbers which identify a person to Archives.
A Charadocian song, recognizable by its locrian mode and 7/4 beat, with
seemingly nonsense-lyrics in a rhyming cant that in fact give clues to
the hidden location of a supply-stash or treasure. Usage began
towards the end of the Charadocian Revolution, but has continued ever
Codilla to the Eight Conditions: The requirement that a society must be able to cope with its deviants in a constructive manner in order to qualify as healthy.
Collegiate Patriarchy: One of the three main branches
of the Catholic or Sacramental Christian Churches, and the most
liberal. The Collegiate rite originated under the mistaken impression
that the last Pope had died in Earth's collapse without naming a
successor, so a gathering of theologians, bishops, cardinals, and
leaders of non-Catholic sacramental faith gathered as they found each
other, and elected a new Pope. Eventually all sacramental Christian
churches with little or no tie to the original Pope gathered under this
rite. The Collegiate Pope traditionally makes no rulings, himself, but
arbitrates disputes and moderates theological debates.
colors: See "village colors"
combustor: One with the psychic gift of combustion.
combustion, psychic: The ability to translate mental
energy into a controlled burst of heat and/or light. The Gift is much
prized in industry but little regarded in information-gathering, since
it tends to dampen telepathic or related talents. One of the few Gifts
which burns significant amounts of calories, it renders a combustor
either underweight, or by overcompensation, overweight. Combustors tend
to suffer minor physiological imbalances and risk disorders such as
alkalinosis and glycogen depletion.
A city of Clomen, on the Bay of Peace. A hub of international
commerce, both in shipping and by rail, as well as a popular tourist
destination due to its warm and pleasant beach and several world-class
hot spring resorts. It also has the best university in Clomen, as
well as a renowned school of architecture and a sculptor's collective
that has included many famous artists in its membership. Within
its borders it also holds the famous or notorious xenoslum, Brivalutat,
behind high concrete walls topped with rolls of barbed wire, much
etched and painted with graffitti.
Coming of Age: The combination of the Adulthood Tests
with a personally tailored ordeal and ritual in order to graduate a
person from childhood to adulthood.
commoran: An institution where otherwise unwanted or
orphaned children are raised with the specific goal of creating devoted
servants of Lovequest. Translates literally as "community mold for a
commoran association: An organization of alumni from a
commoran. Some remain quite active throughout a member’s life, while
others barely exist except on paper.
Commune of the Greenwood Box: A community between
Sportsman’s Cove and Swamp Cove in Til Territories, grown out from the
original commune from which it derives its name. Its founders used a
green-painted box (not an evergreen box from wood that never died, as
some have said) as a ballot box, a lottery box, a shaker for Bingo, and
a kind of oracle (putting inside a variety of possible answers to a
question, plus one blank to signify a correct answer that they had not
yet conceived of.) The box eventually became the symbol for the civil
contract of the community. It perished in a museum fire in 2604.
conchy-sharps: Slang term for concentrated stimulants, such as crystalline cocaine or methamphetamine.
A large raptor of the Western Continents and Southeastern Continent,
having an average wingspan of four meters The back, wings and
tail are usually black or dark brown, with a a white or pale blue
belly, throat, legs, and underside of wings and tail. The head
varies in color among different breeds, usually of a light tone.
coney: A common name for any small, vegetarian creature
with longish ears and back legs larger and more powerful than the front
ones, on the various continents of Novatierre. Most are marsupials, but
many are not. Pretty much all of them make good eating.
console: Keyboard by which one ties into Archives. All
consoles in Til Territories tie in to Archives, by law; there are no
P.C.s. Sometimes the word “console” also refers to the screen,
especially when inlaid into a desk or wall.
Constantin of the Angels:
Born Constantin Gabrochenya, in Kalorcabori in 2391, he became known to
the world as Constantin of the Angels in 2414, when he declared himself
the prophet of a new religion for a new world. He performed
numerous miracles as proof, and developed quite a following, who gave
to him generously. The first miracle was to burst a rock and let
flow a river of fresh water that saved the countryside from a
drought. He also caused a volcanic explosion that sent two lava
flows into the ocean, creating a harbor valuable to this day. He
said that he could send angels to do his bidding or to seek information
for him, any time, anywhere.
his powers did not come from angels. He had discovered a large
deposit of magentine, whose properties were not well-known by that
populace. We do not know whether he heard of magentine from
travelers, or whether he discovered what he could do with it for
himself, but most historians suspect the latter, for he used it in a
most unorthodox manner. He built up a powerful gregor-force by
conducting human sacrifice in the presence of the psigenic mineral,
harnessing the shock and fear of his victims to commit acts of
destruction, which at first he used seemingly for the benefit of the
community, seducing more and more into his cult of power and
conquest. Soon no one in Kalorcabori could stand up to him.
financing from increasingly manipulated "donations", he built for
himself a pleasure-palace, later known as the Murder Palace of
Kalorcabori. Here he lived a sumptious lifestyle, and threw
extravagant parties. Many clamored for a chance to attend, for it
meant a leap in prestige and wealth for those who survived the
night. Some, however, came unwillingly coerced.
Many of the poor also vied to
become servants at the palace, especially among the most desperate and
increasingly downtrodden, for they reaped excellent pay while alive,
and their widows and orphans received generous compensation if they
died. Constantin encouraged them to share in the festivities when
finished with their duties; if they did so, they could enjoy the same
benefits--and risks--as the guests.
the night would conclude with a lottery among all participants,
conveying wealth or position on some, and doom on the others.
Constantin forbade any to leave before the lottery. He himself
would draw on behalf of any who had passed out. He would lead or
carry those whose luck ran out downstairs, and they would never be seen
again. At first he kept up a pretense that he had sent them on to
a paradise of abundant resources and happiness, but people stopped
believing that after awhile.
A number of groups and
individuals conspired to kill Constantin. He discovered all or
most of them, and disposed of them publicly and explosively.
Finally an explosion of his palace, with him inside, in 2445, ended his
reign of terror. To this day nobody knows whether somebody set
off the explosion on purpose, somehow evading detection, or whether his
gregor-force became too great for him to control. Some legends
say that a servant-girl with great power of her own conspired to
participate in every lottery until she lost, with the intention of
using her own murder to turn his force against him. Who can say
what really happened?
conversation club: A social institution much-prized in
Istlslan, imported in recent years to Til Institute. Various clubs
advertise their general focus in the classifieds of local newspapers,
and so kindred souls find their regular meetings and engage in
conversations with each other. The original topic or focus often falls
by the wayside in time, being mainly a means to filter towards people
of similar tastes and temperament.
cooking palm: A short, thick "palm tree" (actually a
sort of giant grass, similar to bamboo, but with a feathery burst of
frond-leaves at the top, making it look palm-like) native to the
lower levels of rainshadow slopes in the Charadoc mountains, with
edible, sweet, orange to orange-brown grains, in loose, drooping ears,
rich in oil in their own right, and
a very oily, tender, edible "heart". The oil finds much use in
in the lowlands, and many recipes use the ground or whole seed in
confections. Millers usually grind the seeds after first pressing
the sweet, saturated oil from them, much used in pastries and
cosmetics. Another confection--very rich--is the candied palm
Coral Gulf: The shallow gulf which separates Til
Territories from Til Peninsula. Greatly overgrown with the
rainbow-colored Treasure-Coral and dotted with islands, it demands
exacting skill to navigate.
Coral Island: A thin sliver of island, almost bladelike,
off the coast of Carmina Island in Til Territories, composed entirely
of treasure-coral. Uninhabitable, but very beautiful, especially when
the sun sets behind its translucent material.
Coral Peninsula: A peninsula of Carmina Island in Til
Territories, really a coral atoll that became attached to the
volcanically-formed island. It curves around the famously beautiful
Sunken Mountain Bay.
coran: "Heart Person". A hero. One who has been heroic in a noble cause, especially Lovequest.
corn beer: A fermented but undistilled beverage made from corn, popular in both western continents and Alonzo Valley.
A hinged metal kitchen utensil, common among the lower castes in the
Charadoc, which compresses a cornmeal dough into a thick, spoonlike
A thick spoon made of cornmeal, fat, salt and water, tightly compressed
and then baked hard. The user eats with it (usually a bean dish)
until the juice from the food softens the scoop, and then e eats the
scoop and takes up another.
Corpus Christi: A
holiday recognized by most Catholic rites, celebrating the incarnation
of God in the form of Jesus Christ. It is traditionally observed in
June or July, depending on the local liturgical calendar. In Til
Territories, especially Alonzo Valley, it is celebrated with a feast of
turkey in chocolate sauce as the main course, with the lighting of many
candles to signify the many lights that spread out from the flame of a
single communion. People exchange gifts at this time, and a highlight
of the celebration is the breaking of a piñata, said to signify how
Christ allows his body to be broken in order to shower his followers
corrie: A small, wild relative of the llama, found in
all the highest mountain-ranges of Novatierre. Some have speculated
that they descend from earth-stock gone feral, grown small and adapted
to Novatierre. Others maintain that they are a native parallel
evolution and not actually related to llamas at all. So far no one has
had the time or the funding to trace their genomes.
A nation in the English Mountains, originally settled in a steep cirque
valley, or corrie, but which has since spread out to an entire network
of fertile valleys. Settled by unemployed or low-income Scottish
colonists, financed and technologically supported by well-to-do patrons
from India, who saw the value of a large work-force in their
endeavor. Although the patrons soon set themselves up as royalty
over their Scottish subjects, they promised that someday all would be
brothers in a democratic government, once certain conditions could be
local religion, a Hindu derivative, primarily worships Parvati as their
supreme deity, but with elements of rituals derived from
Anglicanism. The faithful consider a sheer-sided mountain on the
upslope edge of the original cirque, Wisdomstone Mountain, to be her
especial province, and the sign tht Corriebhai is the center of
largely self-sufficient nation, rich in soil, lumber, and mineral
resources they do little trade with the outside world. However,
they will deal in wool, a subtly flavored salt, silver, copper,
bauxite, cobalt, nickel, zinc, a variety of gemstones, and magentine,
whenever they desire goods from the outside world. The wool of
Corriebhai is of the highest quality, treasured all the more because it
rarely comes available on the world market.
Corriebhaiani: A citizen of Corriebhai.
Corriebanty: A citizen of Corriebhai Colony.
Upon reading of the joys of seafood in its various forms, a lord of the
Corriebhai developed a desire to try it, sent far abroad for every kind
on the market that he had ever heard of, and discovered it delectable
beyond his imagination. Seafood soon became a fad among the rich and
powerful in landlocked Corriebhai, but the taste quickly grew
Some proposed sending a colony of
peasantry to an uninhabited stretch of shore, but the politics got
complicated. Finally, a leader among peasants, named Brian Mahigeet,
proposed going to the Northwestern Continent. After a long foot
journey down from the mountains, his party reached the shores of
Rakashko, where they learned sailcraft and sea-fishery, funded by their
At the end of three years they set sail in the Drunken Monkey, and
after a long and perilous voyage reached Olovrmn. The reclusive
Olovrmni watched them in secret, until they seemed about to set up
permanent residence, whereupon the colonists found themselves
surrounded by armed, silent men. Upon seeing women and children among
the colonists, and all in dire need, the Olovrmni (still keeping them
all under guard) brought food, water, medical supplies and replacement
clothing of the local sort, and then, still making no attempt to
communicate with the colonists except by gesture, escorted them on a
several-day's journey to Istislan.
The Istislani made them instant
celebrities, impressed by the hardships of their journey. The citizens
voted to help them find uninhabited and up north, on the eastern coast,
opposite the side where they originally arrived.
Here they throve, but unrest soon
followed. One group of loyalists faithfully sent tribute to Corriebhai
each year, in the form of canned seafood, transported by way of the
merchants of Istislan. The rest called them fools for remaining in
servitude when no one could enforce their bonds, and seceded. But the
small nation of Corriebhai Colony still exists to this day, still
singing the praises of conveniently absent and therefore ever-noble
overlords, meanwhile minding their own affairs pragmatically and
efficiently, and still sending canned fish.
Corriebhai Colony, under a
consensus government, sends the fish free of charge, but their economic
base is white collar work and law enforcement. They have a
reputation as having the most honest people in the world, and
businesses, charities and governments of other nations will pay extra
at times to employ them over their own citizens. This integrity
has become enshrined in the local Chapelbody religion. It has
also become a strict feature both in upbringing and schooling, as the
national economy depends on it. The culture sees oathbreakers and
liars not only as damned on their own account but also as national
Naturally this builds up a
sizeable Shadow-response. The exiles from Corriebhai Colony, the
"Fallen Angels", are as unwelcome as their more sought-after ethical
Corridor Yellow: A passage out of damper-net range in the Department of Rehabilitation, leading to a misdemeanor courtroom.
A controversial project, spearheaded by a number of indigenous tribes
of the Americas and their allies, in the Early Migration period, to
seed every habitable continent in Novatierre with ravens and
crows. Some also introduced jays, nuthatches, jackdaws and
magpies, but not with the approval of the main group. They
believed that humanity could not get a permanent foothold on a new
world without birds of the cordivae family present on the planet as a
spiritual ally, believing ravens especially crucial to creating
This put them in conflict, not
only with farmers of other traditions who consider these birds a pest,
but also with some indigenous Europan occultists, who consider ravens
and crows evil. A "war" ensued, but as it took place entirely on
the astral plane, historians are hard put to find any impact on anyone
other than the principles. In the end, apparently, the Americans
won, for one can now find crows and ravens throughout Novatierre, and
other corvids in various localities, much to the consternation of
farmers and the delight of the lovers of these insolent, intelligent
costa: An informal sport popular among the Tilián,
played in the surf-line of a beach. Three pairs of poles define the
playing field, each pair being joined by lines held up by floats. The
game is played with an oil-filled ball of approximately the same weight
as the surrounding water. Starting at the middle line, each team tries
to get the ball over the opposite team’s line. The few rules only
forbid dangerous maneuvers; they do not dictate team size or length of
play, and there is no official, professional version of the game.
Council of Clans:
The ruling body of the nation of Clomen. Each clan rules itself
and forges a network of pacts with other clans around itself, and sends
a representative, chosen by its own rules, to the Council of Clans to
govern affairs beyond the scope of individual clans, such as the
maintenance of the road and rail, protection of the borders, the
settling of disputes, negotiations of marriages (all clans are
exogamous, with the newlywed couple going to which of their two
clans needs their combined skill-set the most--a delicate and complex
matter to resolve) and international trade. Higher education and
apprenticeships also take place outside of one's clan, although one is
expected to return
nation of Clomen does not have a president or leader per se.
Every month the Council of Clans elects a new presider. No one
can serve two terms back to back. Real power in the country takes
much more subtle paths; a sharp ambassador must keep a feel for who
really has the most influence in any given affair, and watch for shifts
in the political currents.
Council of Lobbies: The chief governing body of Til
Institute. Any group may form a lobby for any cause, but each lobby
faces limits on the number of voting members, advertising budget and
advertising means. It is common practice to attempt to circumvent this
by forming numerous related lobbies and voting as a block. However,
these often refuse to continue to vote as a block after settling the
initial issue that brought them together, which keeps politics
The council of lobbies draft bills for the
forumlation of laws–local and specific laws for Til Peninsula, as well
as vaguer guideline laws for Til Territories. Then they narrow the list
down to the twelve most pressing bills to present to the voters
quarterly. Then they must run these past the Court of All Barristers to
make sure that the laws do not contradict the Charter of Til. They then
must choose the replacements for any bills so ruled out, until they
have twelve bills agreed on by all. Then, on the midpoint of each
season, they submit the bills to the General Electorate.
While Til Territories does accept federal law guidelines from Til
Institute and pays a nominal tax (in exchange for numerous benefits)
each township decides upon its own internal system of government,
varying from anarchy to monarchy. The four most common patterns (in
order of prevalence by communities as units, rather than by population)
are variations of consensus-models, democracies,
patriarchal/matriarchal clans, and theocracies. However, any citizen
who does not like the rules of hir own community enjoys a guarantee of
freedom to try out some other community without interference. The
largest community outside Til Institute, Novo Durango, is democratic.
courtesy room: A small room in which to retire for
informal conversation, comfortable but not elegant, often furnished by
favorite, unfashionable pieces and decorated with keepsakes of strictly
sentimental value. A common feature among high-end dwellings in the
coyote: A descendant of feral Old Earth dogs. Coyotes
run wild throughout the Northwestern Continent. Believed to have
originated from pets brought along by a colony called The Tribe. The
most predominant bloodlines seem to be Border Collie, Standard Poodle,
and Australian Shepherd, with other sorts in the mix.
Coversea: A small community in Til Territories, by
Sapphire Bay in the DiMedici Forest Peninsula. It has built quite a
reputation for the quality of its maritime carpentry. Many consider
Coversea’s shipwrights and boatwrights the finest in the world. Its
colors are sea green and burnt umber.
Cracked Mesa: A Mesa on the east side of the Coral Gulf, between Mount Sentinel and Rosemary Hill, liberally fractured by numerous canyons.
credit: Archive's record in numbers of how much you
have been paid, from which may be subtracted how much you owe. Not to
be confused with the 20th century concept of credit as how much you
hope you will eventually be able to pay. Financial transactions in Til
Territories occur via Archives, without objects changing hands.
crediter: A hand-held device which ties in to Archive's
financial records. To use it for transactions, a person first presses a
spot on hir I.D. card which confirms by body chemistry that the person
holding it is, indeed, the owner. E then inserts the card into a slot
on the crediter. The crediter ties into that person's financial record.
The person types on the crediter's keypad how much credit e wishes to
transfer to the account of the owner of the crediter. The crediter
signals Archives to subtract money from the cardholder's account to pay
into the crediter-owner's account.
cribber's lettuce: A shade-loving herb that grows wild along the east coast of the Northwestern Continent, especially in rainy forested areas. It grows low to the ground in rosettes or heads, with broad oval leaves in medium to light green, a bit on the bluish side. It is edible and somewhat juicy, with a mild flavor slightly suggestive of cruciferous vegetables.
It derives its name from the workers--cribbers--who would go ahead of construction crews to dig and lay foundations in Toulin and later in Vanikke. They would salvage as many edible herbs as possible from the sites before digging, while their wives checked snares for animals captured overnight. Then, while the men worked on digging foundations, the women would prepare the meat and vegetables for the noon meal, when their children would join them. Cribber's lettuce made up the bulk of their vegetable intake.
Crispair College: A college affiliated with the Tilián,
in Fragrant Valley, east of the Coral Gulf, nestled at the foot of Mt.
Crispair and Mt. Zephyr. It has an excellent astronomy department, but
also a reputation as a party-college.
Crispair Community: A village in Til Territories,
located in Fragrant Valley. It was founded independent of Til Institute
initially, by a colony of Irish citizens. Due to the isolating nature
of the surrounding hills, it coexisted side by side with Til Institute
for about a century before Til Institute knew of its existence, though
herb-traders traveling up the Zephyr river knew it well. Now it is
mainly known for Crispair College, its merry observation of a wealth of
holidays, and its cozy bed & breakfasts, but it still does a lively
trade in locally grown herbs.
cross-country class: A Tilián-style of class involving
groups of students traveling on foot cross-country, over the space of
days, according to maps issued to them at the start. Many stops along
the way provide lessons, food, rest, and shelter at need, and the
overall route has been designed with multidisciplinary education in
mind. Although not nearly as arduous as non-tilián tend to believe,
some tests can be dangerous and fatalities have occurred. In most
cases, however, children look forward to cross-country classes as a
recreational break in the routine.
Crown of Neyth: A band of gold studded with raw beryls.
The chief treasure of the nation of Neyth. The monarch of Neyth wears
it only on ceremonial occasions or while pronouncing a major decision.
Created in a ritualized manner under instructions from a local prophet,
Neythians believe that it conveys particular wisdom to the rightful
heir of Neyth.
crystal: Term commonly used to refer to one's personal magentine crystal focus.
Crystalia Boulevard: The central street of Daweijia,
the wealthiest district of Sargeddohl, known for its hotels, night
life, and jewelry emporiums. Named for Crystalia Atmos, the first
president of the Charadoc
csyf: A vine native to [not
yet dreamed, just that I was an agent there, working with
refugees. The land had both desert inland and a semitropical
coast.] The vines and leaves are hairy and sage in color,
with new leaves and tendrils of lime green. The leaves have a
ragged appearance resistant to strong winds, and the tendrils have a
notoriously powerful grip. It flowers with large, white-throated
purple trumpet-shaped blossoms with crimson or burgundy stamens ending
in golden pollen.
Cultivated mainly for its long, starchy fruit, which has been known to
grow as much as a meter long, though most reach half to two-thirds of
that, roughly the width of an apple (or a plum in the smaller versions)
lumpy and often curving as it grows, tapering towards the end. It
adds considerable length during the monsoons, or with regular
irrigation. The skin is a dark sepia color, and becomes loose and
papery when fully ripe. The flesh is a deep purple or indigo
color, with a flavor much like sweet potato with a hint of
vanilla. Travelers dry it in slices, pierced and strung together,
for it retains considerable vitamin C even when dried, as well as
vitamins A and K and an impressive list of healthful minerals and
phytochemicals, along with a concentrated degree of complex
carbohydrates. People also serve it as a hot, buttered vegetable,
or eat it fresh and raw.
The root has medicinal value as a diuretic and a blood thinner, and is
being researched for its alleged property of reducing blood
pressure. Craftsfolk weave the vines into surprisingly durable
furniture, once dried and hardened.
In its natural state csyf grows
at the base of sea-cliffs, on beaches above the modern tidal line
. It has a high tolerance of salt and in fact, in cultivation, it
needs a mineral-rich sea-sandy soil amended with composted seaweed to
thrive. If grown inland it requires regular misting.
cultural immersion: The act of immersing oneself into a
culture so well that one can not only pass as a native but think and
feel as a native. Considered indispensable to agents of the Tilián, who
must alter cultures from within, as opposed to imposing changes from
Cumenci: A small Charadocian village alongside an
important mountain road. Known mainly locally for the quality of its
chaummin trees and the products of its sap.
curse-time: In Gazelistan, the weeks of the waning
moon, said to be the ideal time to kill or strip away what one does not
desire. While more peaceful citizens use this phase for activities like
weeding, dieting, or cleaning house, assassins and families committed
to vendettas plan their murders for this time. Gazelistani police
regularly call in the reserves at this time of the month, when tempers
flare and the streets run with blood.