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.
fairy-globe: An herb native to moderately high elevation mountain rainforests of the Southwestern Continent, it is a ground-hugging plant, spreading on thin, woody runners, with small, globular leaves and tiny white blossoms that open only at night. The stems range from green to dark reddish brown, and the leaves are reddish-amber to olive.
Its strong oregano-like aroma makes it useful as an insect-repellant and a seasoning in small quantities, though it tends towards bitterness. Sometimes used in beers brewed in the Spine of Byssinia, it is said to ward off vampires when taken thus internally; however, those unaccustomed to the taste find such beverages disgusting or even emetic.
It prefers shady conditions and plenty of water, is heat-tolerant, and hardy to light frost. Gardeners have discovered that it makes a wonderful ground-cover for shady areas of the landscape, especially in the vicinity of still water, as its odor tends to ward off mosquitos but not bees.
fairy-rain: According to Alonzo Valley folklore, when rain appears to fall while the sun still shines, the borders between worlds has thinned and fairies can cross over into our world, and vice versa.

Fallen Angels:  Originally slang for anyone banished from the compulsively upright nation of Corriebhai Colony, it has come to more specifically mean a network of organized crime throughout the southern horn of the Northwestern Continent composed largely but not exclusively of such exiles and their descendants.  More than a cynical consortium of criminals, the Fallen Angels have their own satanic or counter-religious culture, believing themselves damned to eternal chaos and therefore with nothing left to lose in anything they do.  They worship Fortuna Lokidottir, the Queen of Chaos.

fanatic: Legally defined in Til as "One so caught up in the pursuit that he tramples his goal."

faralkenari:  A small yellow songbird, native to Earth, once kept as pets.  It has gone wild in the eastern horn of the Southwestern Continent, but sometimes flocks have wandered over into the western horn.  Some have been recaptured and made pets once again.

farm-draft:  The Diemtran Empire guarantees every citizen the basics of survival, defined as food, shelter, water, medical care, and basic education.  All else one must earn.  To make this possible everyone must serve the farm-draft at some point in their lives, barring severe and intractable disability.

For most people this means serving three years in manual farm labor, but one has some freedom, with negotiation, to break up the time period into segments to fit around one's life-goals.  This does not include the hands-on training in farmwork that teenage students get, along with lectures while working on subjects such as botany, animal husbandry, or soil dynamics, which also goes a long way towards growing the nation's food.

The farm-draft has many adaptive options for the disabled, such as seed-sorting or records-keeping.  Through long experience they have pioneered new ways to make farmwork accessible to the blind, the mentally ill, amputees and the developmentally disabled, and many of their techniques have garnered interest in other countries.  They have deaf crews guided by a code of flashing lights and refugee crews guided in their own tongues.

Many carry their education in the farm-draft over into careers, growing luxury items not on the list of guaranteed commodities, or becoming agriculture teachers in their turn.  Others feel glad of having put in their time but have no desire to extend it.  Philosophers of Diemtran believe that those who have never collaborated in the lives and deaths of other creatures have never fully lived nor can die with full satisfaction, themselves.  Diemtran citizens believe that most of the troubles experienced by other countries come from lack of hands-on farming experience in the majority of the population, despite having pretty much the same social problems as everybody else.

Farmer's Revolt: A revolution early in Tili�n history, wherein farmworkers imported from Latin American Countries demanded the right to own the land they worked and the fruit of their own labors, to be sold but not donated to the scientific community in return for medical care, farm-equipment and other fruits of technology. Led by Alonzo Hernandez.
Fat Tuesday: Moveable feast. The day before Ash Wednesday, celebrated in the Charadoc as a last fling before Lent. People don masks that are socially understood to conceal their identities, even if in actuality they do not. They might also don clothing inappropriate to their role or stature in society; no one enforces the sumptuary laws on this day. They thus become free to engage in normally frowned-upon behaviors, such as pranking or promiscuity, so long as they do not engage in violence, theft, or the damage of other people's property. Firecrackers commonly come into play. While many engage in drunkenness, others find the donning of a mask sufficient to release the inhibitions by itself.
Fertile River: The main river of Alonzo Valley, nourishing the fertility of that rich land. Its tributaries include the Dancer River, the Cattlewade, The Winterwash, and the Annie River. The Rhallunn River splits off from it just as it reaches Novo Durango, through which it passes. Eventually it empties into Alonzo harbor.
ferryan: Someone who ferries people, vehicles, and/or goods from one shore to another, by boat, raft, or barge.
feyn: Calm, especially calm weather or calm seas. The word originated in Rhioveyn, and spread by way of their merchant seamen.
fidimeshka: A shrub in the rainforests of the Southwestern Continent, of medium to large size. Leaves grow in needle-like spiral clusters, but soft. The bark is pale beige, peeling, and frequently cracked, exuding a resin with a pinelike scent. The bark, burnt and mixed with alcohol, makes a good, lightfast ink. The resin has sometimes been used for an asthma remedy.
Field The: As a concept, capitalized, wherever an agent of the tili�n works in hir capacity as agent. Used in the same sense that an actor might refer to The Stage or a musician to The Business.
field lark: Any of several species of migratory song-bird, known the world over, which lives off of field insects and prefers sunny, open spaces.
Field pharmacology: That branch of pharmacology that specializes in creating medicines in the Field, i.e. through herbs, household chemicals, etc. Curative biochemistry without benefit of laboratories.

Figgy:  See Martinez, Figgy.

Fig Tree, feral:  See Martinez, Figgy.
File of Shame: A record held in Archives of every action done in the name of Lovequest that in fact led to consequences opposite or antithetical to Lovequest. A history of Til fanaticism, preserved to warn and humble the Tili�n and to flavor Archives with caution against similar crimes in the future.

finchbrush: A dense, thorny, berry-cane shrub that can cover miles , native to the northern reaches of the Northeastern Continent and resistant to cold, salt, and manure-burn.  Known for producing an abundance of tiny, purply-red drupes, which winter freezing dries and concentrates in sweetness while maintaining its ample vitamin C content.  It has glossy, evergreen leaves, ovoid, cupped and pointed, with two prickles on either side.  In winter finchbrush produces small lavender-to-pink four-petal flowers with yellow stamens, very popular among every kind of pollinator.

Some farmers have experimented with using them for hedges, but not only do they quickly become invasive, the bee finches that they host can also become aggressive in defending them from pruning.  Farms had to be abandoned, along with the experiments.

They derive their name from their symbiotic relationship with the bee finch, which nests extensively within their protection and depends on their berries to help them get through winter.  The finchbrush, in turn, thrives on bee finch guano and the warmth generated by their warrens.

Fireworks Hill: One of the foothills of the eastern Alonzo Valley spur of the Altraus Mountains, and the site of the fireworks display put forth every ten years at the conclusion of the Alonzo Valley Christmas Fair. Situated between Mt. Proud (the first true mountain of the sub-range) and Pass Hill, it overlooks the Fertile River. It sends off a spur to the east, forming Spring Plateau above Novo Durango. The closest community is Parsonville, within Alonzo Valley to the west.
Fireheart Friendclan: A registered friendclan of considerable historical importance, consisting of (in order of signing) Jaquar Hughes il'Dawes, Randall Jonah Kramer, Deirdre Evelynne Keller, Jesse Amadeo Vrede, Merrill Augustus Ambrey, Don Dilal Khmi, Lisa Elsbeth Katchuri and Suzanne Charlotte. Their emblem is a red heart with orange flame picked out in gold, on a white ground.

Firenja:  A nation of  the Northwestern continent, bordered to the north by Xarthikae, to the east by Oolang-Gyorny and the Gulf of Istislan, to the south by  Istislan, and to the east by (from south to north) by Dhalzinje, Zeteca, and Xarthikae.  Thought to historically host the colony of origin for the Oolang-Gyorny people.

            Although much of its eastern portion lies in the marshes of the Plague Belt, it  also has a good deal of hilly, higher ground, leading into the foothills of the Zetecan range, with many a pleasant farming village.  It enjoys  many technological advantages and an above-average public transportation system of trains and buses, although these might close down, in full or in part, at any time, should the government decree danger from a contagious outbreak.  The notorious firenjan fear of contagion, although fraught with superstition and unnecessary practices, does have a firm basis in reality.

          Firenja exports rice, tea, coffee, tropical fruits, spices, amtahten, canned vegetables, and tar-peat.

fisheran, (plural: fisherani): A person who makes hir living by fishing.
flametree: A low to midsize tree with lanceolate leaves, white-to-grey bark and somewhat knotted branches. In autumn the leaves turn golden with scarlet edges, but that's not where the name comes from. In spring the tree sprouts blossoms on the knobs of the branches which fan out long, flame-shaped scarlet petals from a black center.
flamingo: A large, long-legged, long-beaked, marsh-nesting bird, indigenous to the warmer latitudes around the world. Different breeds have different colors of plumes, in different patterns, in such variety that no ornithologist has ever catalogued them all. Indeed, some propose that interbreeding constantly produces new patterns and palettes.
Hatters and other artisans greatly covet their plumes, but find them challenging to hunt, as the elder males of a flock will divebomb a predator while the rest escape. Flamingos show extraordinary intelligence, even strategy, and have a penchant for teaming up, one bird distracting the hunters while another glides around from behind for a sneak-attack.
flash blizzard: A blizzard that plunges down unexpectedly from snow-topped mountains to warmer lowlands, too quickly to thaw before dropping its entire load of snow at once in a small but highly concentrated area.
flat: A 2D picture, often much cheaper to develop than a standard picture-cube.
flaxenthistle: A tall, prickly weed, gray-green and hairy, until recently uncultivated, with flowers of orange-yellow bristles radiating from a central capsule in a globe. The long, complex leaves have fluted edges that peak intermittently throughout their length in sharp points. Of interest mainly for its fiber, which produces a fabric resembling a superior sort of linen.
flit: A magentine device that enables a natural levitator to fly much higher and farther than possible on hir own power. It comes in three main designs: a chair-sort upon which one sits for slow, low-level flight; the swifter sled or belly-board design, which one lays upon for higher, faster, long-range flight, and (most recently developed) the versatile but less stable body-harness, designed to be worn.
flower-cloak: A capelike garment consisting of four "petals", or panels.. Two larger panels cover the back and chest, while two others overlap these, extending from the shoulders and over the arms. Some people belt the front panel for convenience, but this rarely comes into fashion. Also called a petal-cloak.

Flower-Petal Festival:  A moveable feast of Darvinia, in late Spring, signaled by whenever the majority of the flowering trees begin to shed their petals, filling the wind with their pastel colors and fragrance, one of two main festivals in honor of Timora, Goddess of Transitions.  Traditionally, on this day, couples who have been living together will announce engagements, ready for the transition from the sweetness of first love to the fruitfulness of marriage.  (One must understand that Darvinians regard couples who do not precede marriage with cohabitation as rash and unreliably impulsive.)

flying saucer: A design of GEM popular in Til Territories in the 2630's, now considered a valuable antique. The circular "Flying Saucer" design came out during a fad for 20th century "Western World" folklore.

flying snake:  A reptile found in forests along the coast of the Mabhrathan Sea.  Not a true snake, though probably closely related, descended from an early offbranch in ophidian evolution.  Although it prefers to slither, it does have vestigial legs normally tucked out of the way  The front legs attach to the body with webbing, which the snake can extend in order to glide.  The back legs help propel the glide.

The flying snake hunts by spraying a depressant neurotoxin at its prey, to which it is immune.  This paralyzes prey small enough for the snake to eat, but merely renders human beings drowsy, although it has been known to cause babies and toddlers to stop breathing.  The main danger from flying snakes, for humankind, comes of the highly flammable nature of this venom mist.  In confined spaces, it has even been known to explode.

Multiple subspecies exist, the most common being the Common Flying Snake (orange with green patterns, with considerable variation) and the Black Glider (Black striped with iridescences of green, blue, and orange or red.)  Less common are the Holy Snake (white with violet-red spots) the Copperwing (coppery with rust, orange, and green diamondlike markings) and the Devil's Gardener (Green with purple, rose, and rust markings in a roughly hexagonal pattern.

focus: A piece or crystal of magentine, sometimes faceted, often amplified with circuitry and/or disguised as jewelry (the circuitry being mostly silver) which focusses psychic power. Since, unlike electricity, psi-emissions are not harmful to human tissue except under extreme circumstances, insulation is unnecessary except to prevent short-circuits (which in themselves do not present the same problems as with electricity, since global conductivity can improve the function of a focus for reasons difficult to explain in a mere glossary).

Folk of the In-Between:  Theological term, from the Angel Faith of Kalorcabori, for humankind on Novatierre.  In their belief, the fall of Earth was the Apocalypse,.  All who remained on Earth and died with it faced judgment and now reside either in Heaven or Hell.  Those who fled to Novatierre, on the other hand, became the Folk of the In-Between, neither blessed nor damned, bound to reincarnation on the planet of their choice for all eternity.

Forested Community of DiMedici: Formal name for Dimedici.

forest fox:  A small arboreal carnivore of the Southwestern Continent, usually found in wooded areas.  It has reddish-brown fur spotted in ochre-rimmed taupe, with a bushy tail, pointed ears, and a pointed muzzle.  It has retractable, curving claws, so that it can alternate between climbing and running on the ground.

Forest Giant: A tall volcanic core hill rearing up in DiMedici Forest, its bare red-ocher rock conspicuous above the trees.

Fortuna Lokidottir:  Deity of the Fallen Angels crime syndicate, and some others in various slums and street-cultures throughout the southern horn of the Northwestern Continent, spreading outwards from Skarfangers. Her titles include Queen of Chaos, The Fickle One, She Who Does As She Pleases, the Dark Flirt, The Astral Whore, The Final Consolation, Cheerleader of the Damned, Lady of the Streets, Lover of Outcasts, The Beautiful Torment, and She the Spice.

Said to be the daughter of Loki and a runaway ex-nun from an unnamed "other country", abandoned at birth in an alley of Skarfangers and suckled by a stray dog.  She fought her way to the top of the street-cuture foodchain, whereupon her father, pleased to see that she'd earned his attention, revealed her divine origins and annointed her as Queen of Chaos.

No two depictions of her resemble each other, though they usually include some chaotic element, such as multicolored hair, hair of snakes, limbs of different creatures or of unusual number, etc.  She can appear to be anybody.  She is pansexual and follows no rules.  You cannot be her friend or her enemy, only hope to stay on her good side as long and as often as you can.  She never finds the same thing amusing twice.  She suffers readily from boredom and everyone else suffers from her solutions to this scourge--or conversely reap opportunity from it.

Her devotees find her exciting and grotesquely beautiful, the consolation for their damnation.  They will endure anything with the hope that at any moment she can take a whim to change their fortunes.  They embrace their pleasures with gusto in the moment, and accept their losses philosophically. They believe that nobody else will have them.  Many believe that she will wreak vengeance on anyone who tries to leave her fold, while others believe she doesn't care.  Most, however, agree that only a fool would try to guess her reaction to anything at any given moment, that one should just accept that she's in charge and hold on for the ride.

Believing in the Hell of Chaos taught by the Chapelbody religion that cast them out,  Fortunists embrace their damnation.  They say that all chaos has an opportunity hidden in it somewhere, and that if you are clever, you can find it.  They consider Fortuna the source of all creativity.  Some consider her the original source of reality itself, stripped of her memory when she became too inconvenient to the other gods, and thrust down into a mortal fetus until her son-father should find her again.

Not all of her worshipers are outlaws, contrary to popular stereotype.  Many are artists, actors, writers, and scientists.  Many mental patients also follow her, and some mundane people in perfectly respectable professions, especially in the more speculative branches of the banking industry.  And many worship her simply because their families raised them to do so.

fossil fuels: A wide range of natural fuels that evolved on Earth but not on Novatierre. Various forms of biomass would decompose under anoxic conditions, and then transform through millions of years of geologic heat and pressure into the chief solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels of the Ancients. However, the decomposing microbes of Novatierre produced a slightly yet significantly different result that could not convert into fuel in quite the same way under similar conditions, although they can create something sort of resembling Earth's intermediate step of peat.
Founder's Fair: A locally observed holiday in Homestead Village in honor of the founding of their community on March 9, 2217. Conducted much like any county fair, except with more dancing, music, feasting and intoxication.
fox: An inaccurate term used on every continent for any small predator with a canine appearance. Some of the most prevalent varietis, per continent, are the rock fox (Altraus) big-eared fox (Southeastern Continent) spotted fox (southeastern continent) and buff fox (Northeastern Continent)
Free Outlaws:
A sizeable segment of the Alroy Cult obstensibly under �Alroy�s� leadership, but in fact paying him mere lip-service except under special circumstances. Authority generally comes from elders in the family, if at all.

Freeport:  A coastal town in the southern end of The Charadoc.  According to the account of the residence, it is not, historically, part of the Charadoc, and has legal standing as a duty-free port.  According to the Charadocian government, it has always been part of the larger nation, and is a hotbed of smuggling.  In practical terms, goods smuggled through Freeport often fill in crucial economic gaps; therefore the government only enforces the law when it sees a really good reason.  However, neither does it expend much in the way of civil services to the region; Freeport has no pavement, an ill-equipped volunteer fire department, no educational or cultural institutions of any kind, and no formal police force.

Free Sacrament Rite: O
ne of the rites under the Collegiate Patriarchy of Catholicism in Novatierre. The Free Sacramentalists believe that anybody can be saved who serves Jesus, knowingly or unknowingly, and hence will share their sacraments with anyone. They are probably the most liberal of all the rites under any of the three Patriarchies. They evolved after the bombing of the Vatican on Earth, among Catholics who believed that the Pope had perished without a successor.
free system:
The educational system practiced in Til Institute. Rather than reducing grading to 3-10 generalized categories (as in A, B, C, D, or F) the tili�n prefer to write complicated evaluations of the individual strengths and weaknesses which the student has exhibited in each class--for instance, stating that, in learning a certain foreign language, the student developed an impressively above average vocabulary but never quite mastered future tense verb conjugation. This improves the Personality Profile�s ability to match citizens to jobs (including the complex matter of finding the right agent for the right mission) but makes it difficult to send transcripts to non-Til universities that are not equipped with Archives.
A close-knit group of friends who decide (usually in childhood) to register as a legal family. They must have been committed to each other for five years at their inception (four for children too young to remember not being part of the group) although similar requirements are not expected of later additions. They rarely have ties to blood kin, except in the case of adult-formed groups.

Friggist:  A sect of Heathenism, which worships Friggo, a variation on Freyr.  A fertility-cult which celebrates pleasure and abundance, its ethics revolve around furthering the pleasure and abundance of all creatures. 

Although very pro-animal, Friggists are not vegetarians; they do, however, strictly require that livestock enjoy a happy, healthy life, and consider the meat of a mistreated animal as unclean.  They also require hunters to treat prey with respect and to use primitive, difficult methods to which only the weakest of prey animals would succumb. 

They observe few sexual restrictions, opposing forcible relations, intercourse with minors, and unprotected sex with anyone unmarried to oneself.  They allow incest only among those over the age of thirty and sterile but will punish only a partner over thirty; all others they will simply separate often sending the person miles away to another community.  Marriage can be multiple, serial, and of any gender.

They celebrate solstices, equinoxes, and special regional holidays reflective of the local agricultural cycle.  Most Friggists live in rural communities.  Urban Friggists keep gardens if they can, container gardens if they have no access to land, and grow sprouts if all else fails.  They consider it a tragedy, weakening of the soul, if they cannot eat something raised by themselves, a loved one, or a friend at least once a month.

Friggo:  Chief deity of the Friggist pantheon.  A variation on the Heathen deity Freyr, with many of the same myths.  However, Friggists have lost some of the old tales and replaced them with new ones with Novatierran settings and circumstances.  They also claim that Friggo and certain other Heathen deities escaped Ragnarok to Novatierre, having dodged their prophecied deaths through foreknowledge, but pretending to believe in fate to throw their enemies off.

fritterfluff:  A snack food, made by pouring a thin, seasoned batter of wholegrain flour in gridlike patterns into a skillet full of melted butter, flipping it frequently and adding more drizzles of batter each time, until one has stacked up a sort of crispy, crumbly biscuit.
Verb. To behave in a frivolous manner. To play. To do something lighthearted, especially with others. To neglect responsibility in favor of something fun. Alternately, to break free of unnecessary drudgery in favor of much-needed recreation and creativity (especially in the usage of more rebellious modern writers.)
An insult. Someone whose frivolousness renders their intellect useless. A self-made idiot.

frost-giant:  A mythical humanoid supposedly indigenous to the cold wastes of the Northwestern Continent, varying in height according to local legend, but always much taller than human.  Most stories portray them as foul-smelling predators who eat human flesh (or each other if they get desperate) but easily tricked, as their brains have allegedly become sluggish with frost.  Anthropologists believe that the stories only draw the name from Earthian mythology, for a Novatierran invention intended to hearten settlers by making winter danger seem foolish and easily circumvented by cleverness, when in fact winter posed very real dangers for ill-prepared colonies, and wiped out more than a few.
Full Moon Rebellion:
A revolution that began under a full moon, which did not so much change Tili�n policies and politics as force them to live up to the policies that they already had. A complete and bloody change of leadership instigated to counteract widespread violation of human and ecological rights in the name of research.

Futbol:  A sport played in the Charadoc, resembling standard football/soccer, except that 1)  The rules allow ancient American-style body-checks, so long as neither hands, feet, nor knees touch the other player, and 2) the field is deliberately not even, nor is it always strictly rectangular, depending on circumstances.  Teams must change sides every fifteen minutes.  In a tourament, each game must be held at a different location, usually in the countryside, made into a temporary field by the addition of markers, goals, and portable bleachers.  The more professional teams often selecct land at the base of a cliff or bluff topped by the bleachers, to give their fans a better view.  Recent years have seen a move to establish regular futbol stadiums, somewhat like golf courses, with artificial hills, sand-traps, and rock formations, but most fans consider that boring.
1) Any beautiful gift from the sea, ranging in value from pearls to a pretty swirl of seaweed on the beach. Coral, driftwood, interesting flotsam and jetson, etc.

2) A small, brightly-colored fish, considered by some too bony to eat, by others accounted delicious.
Fyvel Pier:
A small fishing-village some ways east of Novo Durango, between Stormgarden Penninsula and Jewelmallow Marsh. A popular retreat for agents. Known for Fyvel Pier Representational College, St. Harrison's Catholic Chapel and The Silverfoam Inn.

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