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.
Jenji: Charadocian name for people of longstanding hybrid ethnicity, of mingled African and European descent. No one can now trace whether the original colonists arrived already mingled in their membership, or combined two or more separate small colonies to increase their chances of survival, and if the latter, which nations they came from, if indeed Africa and Europe, or from the Americas, or any combination. What we do know is that, by the time the Age of Migration ended, a collection of villages in the Charadocian lowlands, long isolated by spurs of mountains and a rocky, inhospitable shore, consisted entirely of people of mixed ancestry, and had been so for as long as anyone could remember.
Nor does their name give a clue, for it derives from the Charadocian word for ginger, referring to the light golden-brown color of their hair, kinky in texture, although full brunettes and redheads are not unknown. Their skin varies from a similar ginger tone to light sepia, and eye color varies from green to brown-black, with blue eyes rare but possible. They tend to have African features and European bone-structure, but might have the reverse, or either.
Whatever cultural distinction they might once have had has faded out of memory. Their oldest tales refer to the swift disintegration of their books in the humid rainforest, and an interval of lost literacy. At this point they practice, with one notable exception, the same culture as their fellow Charadocians around them, although they tend to marry among themselves, extolling the loveliness and versatility of richly textured hair, and finding those without it less than beautiful. The rare straight-haired child tends to leave the Jenji villages behind upon maturity.
That exception would be an emphasis on herblore which has discovered more about the botany of the Charadoc, and its practical applications, than any other people. They have traditions involving alleged communication with plants, which might have come from either Africa or South America, pointing to no clear origin. Researchers have garnered quite a bit of medical information from contact with this people.
jewel-dove: Before the discovery of transfer-technology spread to common knowledge, some people believed that human life would best survive in space-stations orbiting the dying earth. Some of these, knowing that, of all birds, only pigeons and doves can swallow in zero gravity, bred pigeons for increased iridescence and beauty of plumage, to serve as pets already adapted to life in three dimensions. The space-station colonies never got off the ground, so to speak, but the resultant pigeons, marketed as "jewel-doves" became quite popular as pets anyway, and craftspeople also bred them for their feathers.
Many of these pets came to
Novatierre with various colonies. Some of these colonies, facing
starvation, themselves, freed their pets to fend for themselves,
sometimes with a cynical eye to observe whatever the animals might find
edible. Enough of these feral birds survived to populate the
cliffs of every habitable continent in Novatierre, plus whatever cities
that erected tall buildings.
jewelmallow: A succulent, thorny, ground-spreading plant that
grows along the seaward side of Altraus beach dunes and lives off of
the moisture in fog. It sends up pithy stems covered in tiny
translucent water-storing bladders. At the ends of thesegrow the fleshy
"petals" of pseudoflowers guarding small true flowers. These "petals"
(actually leaves) come in pink, red or purple and are similarly beaded
in water-bladders, creating a jewel-like effect. The pith is edible,
jone: A horizontal rod in a barn or a toolshed, usually of metal or wood, from which one hangs farming tools.
Jorge‘s Jojoba: A mechanical substance company based in Altraus Valley, that by the third generation of family ownership has come to deal in a much wider variety of lubricants and other industrial fluids than jojoba oil. Founded by Jorge Alvarez, who had the foresight to bring with him twenty jojoba seedlings from Earth (ten male and ten female) gathered over as wide a territory as he could manage before transferring over to Novatierre, for maximum genetic diversity.
A mountainous country on the northern cost of the that penninsula
otherwise filled by Holumbria, rich in magentine, limestone, marble,
and zinc. It also does thriving business in lumber, cattle, dairy
products, and leatherwork. It produces good wine on its rockier
slopes, potatoes on the more fertile slopes, and corn, stone fruits,
and vegetables in its small plains and valleys.
Named for Jorun Inglorius, wife of the nation's founder, the explorer Manuel Inglorius: an oracle who searched all of Novatierre for this spot, in between frequent trips back and forth to Earth throughout his life, while that still remained possible. Records indicate that these two might have grown up in the original Technological Laboratories colony, two of the kidnapped genius children, and that their original names might have been Jorun Weylynd and Manuel Serrano.
No one now knows what Manuel Inglorius/Serrano sought. Like most oracles in the early days of Novatierran colonization, he eventually went mad and left his reasons unrecorded. Nevertheless, he certainly found a benign region to leave to his wife and heirs, and perhaps that is enough.
Jorun Inglorius herself has a local reputation
for her sculptures in the native stone. Although of middling
skill, they have a certain primitive expressiveness and appeal.
Folklore of Jorun attributes mystical powers to them, each statue
having its own properties. Allegations that the Jorunians worship
these "idols", however, are false. The natives insist that one
merely supplicates them the same way one might ask a favor of a
powerful neighbor. The primary religion of the region, in fact,
is a sort of Catholic-influenced Protestantism interwoven with elements
of the Earthian New Age movement.
journal: An account of one's life required of every member of
the Tili�n from initiation onward, programmed into Archives. When in
the Field or otherwise isolated from consoles, Tili�n are hypnotized to
commit the high points of their experiences to a specific kind of
memory, summoned later at hypnotic suggestion and transferred to
Archives by aid of a psychometrist specially licensed for the task.
One's journal remains confidential until twenty-five years after one's
A magical charm, popular among the more darkly-inclined sorcerors among
the Mountainfolk of the Charadoc, allegedly made from fragments of
wind-polished bones from criminals who had climbed to Gandralnarya Pass
in penance for their crimes but who, unforgiven, died in the sand-laden
gale. Few true juchach'akai now exist, passed down from parent to
child, since the practice of asking the mountains for forgiveness ended
generations ago, but many frauds can be had at steep prices on the
black market. Those in the know say that no one with a true
juchach'akai would ever sell it, not if they were starving.
Two peaks that stand to either side of Gandralnarya Pass in the
Mountains of Fire. They originally had separate, distinct names,
but the persecution of the Hill Cults have eradicated these from
memory. Apparently they were considered goddesses in their day.
juegarroz: A refreshing rice-based soft drink, similar to horchata.
jungle-hog: A large herbivore of the Southwestern Continent, about two meters tall at the shoulder. Characterized by a slightly prehensile snout, on average about twelve centimeters long (longer for the female, shorter for the male) with which it grasps “handfuls” of plants to feed upon or carry home to its nest. It also has scoop-curved tusks, somewhat flattened in cross-section, ideal for digging up roots and fungi, but with which it can also fight. Has a hide mottled in large patches and sometimes an occasional stripe or spot, of white, black, taupe, rust, gray, ochre, and/or cream. No two jungle-hogs match. Prefers to nest in hollows under large tree roots, although it has been known in sparser land to dig into hillsides. Prefers, for this reason, old-growth forest.