Note: This glossary changes constantly, receiving new
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
in my notes, but have concentrated mainly on those most
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.
Originally slang for anyone banished from the compulsively
nation of Corriebhai Colony, it has come to more
specifically mean a
network of organized crime throughout the southern horn of
Northwestern Continent composed largely but not exclusively
exiles and their descendants. More than a cynical
criminals, the Fallen Angels have their own satanic or
counter-religious culture, believing themselves damned to
and therefore with nothing left to lose in anything 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."
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
three years in manual farm labor, but one has some freedom,
negotiation, to break up the time period into segments to
one's life-goals. This does not include the hands-on
farmwork that teenage students get, along with lectures
on subjects such as botany, animal husbandry, or soil
also goes a long way towards growing the nation's food.
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
turn. Others feel glad of having put in their time but
desire to extend it. Philosophers of Diemtran believe
who have never collaborated in the lives and deaths of other
have never fully lived nor can die with full satisfaction,
themselves. Diemtran citizens believe that most of the
experienced by other countries come from lack of hands-on
experience in the majority of the population, despite having
much the same social problems as everybody else.
Farmer's Revolt: A revolution early in Tili�n
farmworkers imported from Latin American Countries demanded
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
care, farm-equipment and other fruits of technology. Led by
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
within their protection and depends on their berries to help
through winter. The finchbrush, in turn, thrives on
guano and the warmth generated by their warrens.
Fireworks Hill: One of the foothills of the eastern
Valley spur of the Altraus Mountains, and the site of the
display put forth every ten years at the conclusion of the
Valley Christmas Fair. Situated between Mt. Proud (the first
mountain of the sub-range) and Pass Hill, it overlooks the
River. It sends off a spur to the east, forming Spring
Novo Durango. The closest community is Parsonville, within
Valley to the west.
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
spices, amtahten, canned vegetables, and tar-peat.
fisheran, (plural: fisherani): A person who makes hir
living by fishing.
A moveable feast of Darvinia, in late Spring, signaled by
majority of the flowering trees begin to shed their petals,
wind with their pastel colors and fragrance, one of two main
in honor of Timora, Goddess of Transitions.
this day, couples who have been living together will
engagements, ready for the transition from the sweetness of
to the fruitfulness of marriage. (One must understand
Darvinians regard couples who do not precede marriage with
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
a depressant neurotoxin at its prey, to which it is
paralyzes prey small enough for the snake to eat, but merely
human beings drowsy, although it has been known to cause
toddlers to stop breathing. The main danger from
for humankind, comes of the highly flammable nature of this
mist. In confined spaces, it has even been known to
Multiple subspecies exist, the
most common being the Common Flying Snake (orange with green
with considerable variation) and the Black Glider (Black
iridescences of green, blue, and orange or red.) Less
the Holy Snake (white with violet-red spots) the Copperwing
with rust, orange, and green diamondlike markings) and the
Gardener (Green with purple, rose, and rust markings in a
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.
Deity of the Fallen Angels crime syndicate, and some others
slums and street-cultures throughout the southern horn of
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
Final Consolation, Cheerleader of the Damned, Lady of the
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
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
actors, writers, and scientists. Many mental patients
her, and some mundane people in perfectly respectable
especially in the more speculative branches of the banking
And many worship her simply because their families raised
them to do so.
fossil fuels: A wide range of natural fuels that
Earth but not on Novatierre. Various forms of biomass would
under anoxic conditions, and then transform through millions
of geologic heat and pressure into the chief solid, liquid,
fuels of the Ancients. However, the decomposing microbes of
produced a slightly yet significantly different result that
convert into fuel in quite the same way under similar
although they can create something sort of resembling
intermediate step of peat.
coastal town in the southern end of The Charadoc.
the account of the residence, it is not, historically, part
Charadoc, and has legal standing as a duty-free port.
to the Charadocian government, it has always been part of
nation, and is a hotbed of smuggling. In practical
smuggled through Freeport often fill in crucial economic
therefore the government only enforces the law when it sees
good reason. However, neither does it expend much in
the way of
civil services to the region; Freeport has no pavement, an
volunteer fire department, no educational or cultural
any kind, and no formal police force.
sect of Heathenism, which worships Friggo, a variation on
Freyr. A fertility-cult which celebrates pleasure and
its ethics revolve around furthering the pleasure and
abundance of all
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.
deity of the Friggist pantheon. A variation on the
deity Freyr, with many of the same myths. However,
lost some of the old tales and replaced them with new ones
Novatierran settings and circumstances. They also
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
snack food, made by pouring a thin, seasoned batter of
flour in gridlike patterns into a skillet full of melted
flipping it frequently and adding more drizzles of batter
until one has stacked up a sort of crispy, crumbly biscuit.
mythical humanoid supposedly indigenous to the cold wastes
Northwestern Continent, varying in height according to local
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
sluggish with frost. Anthropologists believe that the
draw the name from Earthian mythology, for a Novatierran
intended to hearten settlers by making winter danger seem
easily circumvented by cleverness, when in fact winter posed
dangers for ill-prepared colonies, and wiped out more than a
Futbol: A sport played in the Charadoc,
resembling standard football/soccer, except that 1) The
allow ancient American-style body-checks, so long as neither
feet, nor knees touch the other player, and 2) the field is
deliberately not even, nor is it always strictly rectangular,
on circumstances. Teams must change sides every fifteen
minutes. In a tourament, each game must be held at a
location, usually in the countryside, made into a temporary
the addition of markers, goals, and portable bleachers.
professional teams often selecct land at the base of a cliff
topped by the bleachers, to give their fans a better
years have seen a move to establish regular futbol stadiums,
like golf courses, with artificial hills, sand-traps, and rock
formations, but most fans consider that boring.