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.
A bipedal mammal, native to the steppes and grasslands of the
Northeastern Continent's midlands. It stands about a meter tall,
with a rabbit-like head (with ears usually in downward position unless
listening for danger) a thick-to-chubby body, and thick, powerful lower
legs with which it hops. It bears thick brown fur with white
spots, prized by hunters.
kapoc tree: A tall, substantial tree originally imported from
earth and now gone feral throughout most tropical regions, often also
cultivated. Thorny and buttressed, with palmate composite leaves,
merchants covet the water-resistant fluff within its seed pods, as
padding or insulation material. A decoction of its bark has been used
as a diuretic, aphrodesiac, headache remedy, and a treatment for
Kalorcabori: A tropical nation in the northeast corner above the Oceana Equitoris, shaped by river deltas and volcanic flow. [My globe shows other nations delineated as bordering it, but no names.]
Major exporters of rice, coconut, raisins, sugar, glass, carvings of
wood and stone, brocades, dyes, gold, copper, aluminum, a wide range of
trace minerals and gemstones, and a variety of woods for carving,
lumber, dye, and perfume.
Governed by a monarchy of five kings or queens, based on reincarnation rather than heredity. Whenever a monarch dies, the Angelic Priesthood will scour the countryside, until they find a baby born as close as possible to the time of the death. They will take him and raise him or her with intensive training in ethics, statesmanship, warcraft, economics, science, and whatever else they think the child might need for the times, giving him or her the same name as the deceased, regardless of gender. (These names are Anstel, Kimari, Mordo, Vengal, and Chenjala.) Upon attaining maturity, he or she becomes one of the monarchs, who decide by consensus or vote the policies of the nation. Officilly distinguished by numbers, the monarchs of each generation often acquire popular descriptives, such as Anstel the Artistic, Mordo the Shy, or Vengal Gold-Finder.
kanona: (1) A light to medium bluegreen reed native to the shores of the Oceana Equitoris, but which has since spread to every nation with a compatibly warm shoreline. Some cultivars have even been bred specifically for cooler waters. Cultivated for the particular suitability of its pith for making a soft yet strong rayon, it also grows columns of trumpetlike flowers with curling petals, mostly in purples, but some also in pink, blue, light green or yellow. Flower-shops abound with these in spring, in every nation where kanona grows, because farmers must cut them off before they fruit (except for those plants selected for seeding) to get the maximum viable fiber from the weeds. The papery fruit has an onionlike shape with compartments inside full of pale, thin seeds. No part of the plant is either toxic or particularly digestible.
rayon fabric made from the kanona reed, whether woven or knit.
Absorbent, breathable, soft and strong, it has succeeded commercially
all over the world, except among those "allergic" to it. Those
descended from the peoples along Old Earth's Mediterranean coasts seem
to have the highest incidence of intolerance to its proteins.
A woolly high-altitude cactus indigenous to the Mountains of Fire,
particularly in canyons. Underneath the white spine "wool" it
varies in color from light green to light bluish green. It grows
short and wide, but produces long, dangling peach-colored fruits that
often reach the ground. It propigates in the wild by animals
eating the fruit and passing the indigestible seeds. Some who
cultivate it for the fruit (also called kanya) will leave the seeds for
a week in a jar of undiluted vinegar to aid in germination. The
fruit itself tastes somewhat bland when fresh, but when dried in strips
(which turn it a translucent rosy-orange) the flavor and sweetness
concentrate. Some in the Charadoc nickname it Canyonland Candy.
keepcrete: Once a proprietary name, now a general term for a type of concrete/resin blend with high durability.
A sandwich-cookie made in Istislan. They make the outer, soft and
crumbly cookies primarily of oat flour, coconut-butter, and brown
sugar, around a creamy filling made with different local tropical
fruits and spices. It's consiered uncouth to eat only one flavor
cookie at a time; one should have at least two, of different
flavors. No one knows for certain whether these were first made
by a cook named Kim, or for a loved one of the original cook, or
whether the name has some other etymology, though several families
claim to have invented them, each with their own accounts as to their
A bush of the Southeastern Continent, most notably of the western
coast, especially the portion tucked under the western lobe. It
has waxy, dark green leaves, long and ovate-pointed, with a purplish or
russet central vein. Valued for its fruits, which are also called
kiros. This fruit is a deep, purply red, often almost black or
brown. round and small, resembling cherries but in flavor sort of nutty
and yet roselike. Some say it resembles the taste of the kola nut
of Earth; like that nut, it does contain caffeine. The seeds are
also edible, although much more powerfully flavored and quite bitter
when chewed straight. However, an extract of the seed makes an
excellent flavoring, especially in sweetened foods. People have
chewed the seeds for energy and relief from hunger in emergencies.
A brown liquer made from the fruit and the seed extract of the kiro,
originally distilled in Cheyanu, with a distinctive nutty, roselike
flavor. Usually served mixed with carbonated water and poured
over crushed ice. Said to be beneficial for digestion and (in
small quantities) for minor ailments of the stomach.
kiwi creams: A popular confection of Til Territories, consisting of a froth of eggs, cream, and kiwi-fruit syrup in fondant cups.
The legendary Damien the Bard
supposedly came from Koboros, as its last survivor. We have no
documentation to confirm this, but the performer did seem to have an
intimate knowledge of the region.
Another legend places Koboros as a hub for a death-cult. Archaeology confirms that such a cult briefly took place for a matter of months, replacing prior structures with white marble, but as a very late development, after Koboros ceased to have inhabitants of a regular nature. No practitioner of this cult actually was born in Koboros, it seems.
Older evidence does indicate
widespread belief in sorcery among Korborans throughout its history,
but framed synchretically within Charadocian Catholicism. None of
these beliefs included the worship of Death, although some beliefs
concerned death deeply, more so than one might expect in a less
Ample evidence, and eye-witness
accounts, confirm that parts of Koboros became, for awhile, a hospital
of the Egalitarian Army. However, suggestions to build a
permanent hospital there have met with resistance. The very
remoteness that recommended it during the revolution now argues against
it. And the ghost-faith of the common soldier, a comfort during
war, has become another mark against it, as most people now believe
that Koboros is the most haunted corner of The Charadoc.
Korean Rite: One of the rites of the Collegiate Patriarchy of Novatierran Catholicism. The Korean Rite originated from North Korean colonists, practicing that version of Catholicism permitted by their original Communist government, with some mutations along the way. They are, in many ways, the strictest of the Collegiate sects. They had already elected their own Pope before finding the others who eventually coalesced into the Collegiate Patriarchy, and this man eventually became the third Collegiate Patriarch, after the other two died in the exigencies of the Age of Migration.
Kottira: [Consulting my notes on this country, which came up because it borders the Diemtran Empire, revealed mainly that I have let my filing system really go to pot! I have four dreams listed in my index as having taken place there, but the only one that I have in the computer is not in that list, and I could find none of them in the files in their corresponding year. All I know for sure is that it contains chaparral, desert, and mountains; and that Jake and Randy served a mission there.]
krakre noin et dil:
A small flatbread or large cracker of finely ground oat and wheat
flours, salt, butter, baking soda, and buttermilk infused with onion
and dill. Aficionados claim that when made right, it evaporates
on the tongue like a soft, dry cloud. Cheap in its native Borta,
it becomes quite expensive when imported, due to the care necessary in
packing and sealing to make sure that it arrives unbroken and with its
original texture intact.
kusmet: A sort of cross between brandy and applejack, fermented
from the cider of a variety of fruit (especially stone-fruits) blended
and then distilled by freeze-concentration in the winter. Originally
from Toulin, but now popular in other countries as well. The taste
varies widely, but connoisseurs judge kusmet on the harmony, balance,
and complexity of flavors.