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.
Lab Ruins: A portion of Til Institute, once used for scientific
and pseudoscientific research, seriously damaged by the Full Moon
Rebellion. The Tili�n have left them unrepaired, out of respect for the
people who died in the horrible experiments there, and as a monument to the
extent to which they will go to purge evil from their midst. Any other
reasons cannot be substantiated and doubtless amount to urban legends.
lady: 1) Somewhat archaic term for a female of good manners.
2) A noble title or term of respect for a female in some communities.
Lady of the Mast: Mythical Charadocian figure who causes trees to flower and bear fruit by dancing amidst the branches.
A large, white bird, with black markings and long, distance-eating
wings, native to the mountains of the Southwestern Continent.
Non-migratory. Layered with fat against the cold. Feeds on
fish and amphibians. Has a sharp point on the end of its beak for
cracking ice and penetrating frozen mud. Vestigeal webbing on its
toes might indicate descent indeed from sea birds that flew inland to
nest in higher cliffs.
The winter solstice, as celebrated in Darvinia. The decor uses
many motifs in common with Christmas, New Years, and Yule, most notably
evergreen festoons, red berries, tinsel, glittery ornaments, fireworks,
bonfires, firedancing, and candles. But in fact it marks the
culmination of festivities designed to cheer up Timora, their goddess
of transitions. The climactic party happens on solstice night,
and ends with a loud cheer when the sun rises again, followed by a day
of rest. On the subsequent nightfall everyone gathers in far more
quiet services, to give thanks that the day did indeed last longer than
the day before.
A tall fern that grows in both the Northeastern and Northwestern
Continents, known for its roots, from which one can make a strongly
flavored syrup or sugar. The flavor resembles a cross between licorice,
new mown hay, cloves, and resin, with a sharp bite to it. Laren also
refers to a beverage made from this syrup, sometimes with spices added,
often used as a mixer in alcoholic drinks, especially when disguising
liquor of inferior quality.
Late Migration: An important but ill-documented period of
history when the last known colonies left Earth for Novatierre in the
early twenty-second century. Historians and archaeologists still
struggle to separate myth from fact about this era, but it is known
that during this period the three papacies discovered each other and
established Trinity Cathedral, Til Institute first launched its Mission
of Lovequest in clearly defined terms and established the Charter of
Til, and the first ship from Istislan (The Beauty Queen) reached Til
Territories, establishing their present alliance.
legal psychometrist: A psychometrist trained to use hir abilities in forensic science.
letter-cylinder: Within Til Territories the Tili�n send mail via
Archives, but beyond the reach of Archives they correspond via written
messages sealed into letter-cylinders. These cardboard tubes are coated
with a hardened, weather-resistant resin and sealed with airtight cork
plugs and wax. Postal service costs more than in the 20th century as a
result of the heavier weight and more expensive materials, but
cross-country travel faces too many challenges on Novatierre to entrust
letters to flimsy paper envelopes. Global communication, therefore,
does not flow nearly as smoothly on Novatierre as on Earth (especially
since an international treaty has banned radio-waves, due to their
deleterious effects on neural tissue. Research continues in
alternatives through magentine effect, though without much scope.)
levitation: The psychic Gift of the levitator.
levitator: One whose psychic gift enables hir to lift hirself in
the way that a telekinetic lifts objects. As a rule, levitators can
only achieve a slight hover by themselves, but can achieve flight
through the use of magentine. However, since they experience an
overpowering inclination to translate this lift to the magentine focus,
they would wind up dragged along uncomfortably by the arm of the hand
holding the focus, were it not encased in some device that they could
ride. See "flit".
library: A hangout and social center for bibliophiles--those who
prefer the ambiance and feel of books over reading a console-screen.
Although libraries specialize in antiques or marvels of the bookbinding
art, they also provide machinery to bind on the spot any text which one
wants printed from Archives.
A small, somewhat isolated village in the Charadoc Mountains, which
puts forth the claim (by oral tradition, so far unsubstantiated by
written records) of being the first permanent Mountainfolk colony on
Novatierre. Named for a major Andean city in Earth.
Originally planned to become the capitol of a Mountainfolk nation that
never came into existence.
Little Misty: A small, slender island off the Altraus coast,
between Storm Garden Peninsula and Misty Island. Uninhabited and often
shrouded by fog, it is nevertheless a popular destination for romantic
Living-Leaf Friendlan: Held by some to be the successors to
Fireheart Friendclan, they are a small but highly influential group,
consisting of Bowie Tchaka Clamfischer, Harloi Tomaz Stettenbach, �lin
Layne Katchuri, and Joel Dann Tinnack, all of whom signed together in
the year 2742. Some consider Michael 1 Merrillson, a latecomer, as the
fifth member of Living-Leaf, although he is not technically a sworn
member of the Tili�n (and yes, his middle name really is a number; it’s
complicated.) Their emblem is a green leaf, veined in silver and umber,
on an umber ground, haloed in a narrow pointilistic haze of silver.
Lizzie's Gizzard-Grater: Beer
spiked with a shot of vodka, a twist of lemon, and some grated
horseradish. Claims that it cures the common cold are medically
Llangdan: A country on the isthmus between The Lesser Ocean and
the Holumbrian Sea, roughly similar in location to Earth’s France. A
region known for fine wines and gourmet foods, it also has an
impressive level of technology and a lucrative manufacturing base.
However, it also suffers from labor shortages, and rumors persist of
slavers making up the deficit.
Lliarshiam Islands: A large, volcanic island, with scattered
islands around it, between the Northwestern and Southwestern
Continents. Vulcanism and ocean has created an environment rich in a
variety of gemstones, corals, pearls, gold, silver, and obsidian.
Lliarshiam also exports glass, fish, sea-vegetables, and a dizzying
array of handicrafts. Tourists are advised to study the many complex
customs of the Liarshiamites, but if they do their homework, it makes a
lovely destination for vacations. Although a rigidly hierarchical
society, the ruling classes are much too preoccupied with besting each
other socially to do much harm to the lower classes, who pretty much
manage their own affairs.
Lludlowe: A nation between Suetenlynd and Duerlongh, above the
Duerlongh sea, made up of European folk from colonies of several
nationalities, not all of them as yet historically determined. The
culture rewards industriousness, conformity, and regularity. Although
not the most innovative people in the world, other nations do seek them
out for their solid manufacturing base, and they hold many factories
owned by foreign interests.
lobby: A block of twelve people dedicated to expressing the
needs of a specific interest group in the creation of laws, each under
a ceiling limiting the amount that they can spend, adjusted for market
fluctuation by an annual vote of the citizenry. Unlike the historic
lobbies of Old Earth, these do not influence a separate category of
representatives, but help to formulate the laws themselves.
lobster: An enormous, red, fully aquatic, hard-shelled
water-beetle (about two to three feet in length) of much cleaner habits
than the smaller land roach, and greatly esteemed for its meat.
Lonely Scientist Canyon: A canyon in the Beaux Cliffs region of
Novo Durango, known as the location where Gerald Robinson landed with
his daughter, Amy, and lived for the rest of his life.
Lost Colony Hill: A hill South of Til Institute, allegedly
haunted by a colony destroyed by its own dark rites and superstitions.
Folklore disagrees, however, as to the details. Too many conflicting
accounts exist to list here.
Lost Colony River: A river which flows from Lost Colony Hill. Its high temperature and sulfur content suggest a hot spring somewhere on the hill.
Lovequest: The lifelong service of Love as a quest rather than
as an emotion. Lifelong dedication to express love for humanity via
Lovequest vow: A vow recited by all Tili�n upon initiation and
thereafter whenever they need refreshment on their ideals. Printed on
the first page of all legal documents of Til, and many non-legal ones,
such as the index of this glossary.
The Lovequest Cannon: An antique cannon salvaged from Earth.
Newly initiated Tili�n often make their Lovequest vows while laying
hands upon this cannon. Corrosion has made many beautiful patterns on
the old metal, and has also rendered the cannon inoperable as a weapon
of war. It is therefore considered a symbol of hope that time and
nature will similarly transform violent humankind to become a thing of
beauty rather than of mayhem.
luck-dolls: Little dolls made by Mountainfolk, about the size of
one's smallest finger, made of the stocks, leaves, and/or husks of
staple crops, bound together and decorated with brightly-colored thread
or yarn. At the doll's waist the long ends of these threads are then
pin-woven into ribbons, so that the dolls may be bound onto a variety
of objects as luck-charms. Believed by some to provide housing for
benevolent ghosts or spirits.
Lumne: A small island off the coast of Vanikke, but legally the
southernmost island of the nation of Toulin. Known for clannish and
independent residents who have little contact with the outside world,
living on subsistence farming and fishing, homeschooling their children
and homespinning their own yarns and thread.
Lunablossom: A night-blooming vine preferring moist, warm
conditions, known for its large white blossoms, somewhat cupped in
configuration, the buds globular. Does not tolerate frost very well.
Very fragrant, somewhat like a cross between violets and gardenias.
lurk wolf: A mid-sized predator, canine in appearance, lean in
build, native to the jungles of the Southeastern Continent. Dark in
color (varying from a bluish charcoal to a dark reddish brown on the
verge of black) it has a reputation for stealth and strategy in how it
stalks its prey. It has a short, velvety fur, prized by the hunter, but
difficult to find, and almost impossible to trap.
Lyanfa: A village in the Charadoc, known as a hub for mail
carriers, road workers, and other government employees. Once a ritual
center for the old Hill Cults, and a place of sanctuary for accused
criminals. The Charadocian government, a couple centuries ago, felt it
necessary to exterminate its population as the only way to stop the
Hill Cults, after which it sent in colonists of more orthodox faith.