Glossary


By Dolores J. Nurss

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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.
 
Mabhrath: A folk-hero of many nations, who allegedly wandered about the coasts of the Sea of Holumbria and the Hystrediammian Sea, rescuing floundering colonies in the days of the Late Migration. Some claim that he captured and tamed a Vanyar for his main transportation.
 
Mabhratha: A nation north of the Hystrediammian Sea, bordered by (clockwise from the north) Pakashk, Darvinia, Suetenlynd, and Gazelistan. Allegedly founded by the folk-hero Mabhrath, where he finally settled down after his great travels and adventures. A largely rural land, its spare and rocky soil does not support much beyond subsistence farming in terms of general crops, but nurtures some of the finest vineyards in the world, and excellent olive trees. They derive most of their food from Darvinia, in exchange for wine and olive oil.

Mabhrathan:  Often confused with Mabhratha, this country lies considerably to the East, although they share the same folk hero, Mabhratha.  Mabhrathan, in fact, claims to be where Mabhrath came from.  Believed to be Cataln, Irish and Greek in origin, but archaeologists have not yet determined this beyond all dispute.  Mabhrathan is bordered to the north by Nimu Sea and Clomen, to the east and southby [not yet dreamed] and to the west by Tsariosh.  They are known for the skill of their stone sculptures and the quality of their marble and granite.

    Their own legends of Mabhrath describe him as a restless young man, a trickster and a breaker of rules.  They have a large collection of comical tales supposedly of his childhood and teens, sidestepping authority, deliberately misunderstanding instructions for his own ends, and generally outwitting those in charge of his supervision.  It apparently surprised no one when he departed on a voyage of exploration, never to return.  They have also imported many tales of his adult adventures from other countries, altered with their own impudent embellishments.  Although proud of their famous son, they rebuke disobedient children with "You are no Mabhrath" meaning, "You are not clever enough to pull this off,"  "Your disobedience has no justification," or "Don't think you can get away with this."

Mabhrathan Scorpion:  A large (22 to 30 centimeters) amphibious arachnid, believed to be a mutation of the Earthian scorpion, probably descended from stowaways among the last years of the Age of Migration.  Notable for its bright, spring-green exoskeleton, and its aquatic habits, dwelling in tide pools and in the bright green sea-grasses along the shore.

Mabhrathan Sea:  That spur off the Hystredemian Sea, between the islands of Mediterrae and the continental coast of Pakashk, Mabhratha, and Gazelistan.

magentine: An octahedron translucent crystal, of grey-green, magenta or cobalt blue color, which focusses, amplifies and/or stores psychic energy. Apparently, it changes the "signature" of psi-waves that pass through it from something accessible only to the more primitive regions of the brain to a form that a human being can consciously process.  Recent research indicates that it is in fact a form of cobalt-laden calcite that has doubled its four sides into an octagon, possibly by route of a dimensional shift imperceptible to human beings.
 
magentine cells: Octagonal slices of blue magentine crystals, interlocked and connected with silver conductors, used for memory-storage in Archives. Memory, in this case, includes facts, speculations, hunches, beliefs, values, emotions, shades of meaning, urges, imperatives, worries, and the entire gamut of what distinguishes human thought from primitive cybernetic data.
 
magentine technology: The science of applied paraphysics as focussed by magentine.
 
magicoin: The currency of Istislan, consisting of plastic coins in different colors (and for the sake of the blind) different shapes, each impregnated with magentine which holds the memory of its denomination for scanning machinery, rendering them impossible to counterfeit. Some people pierce and wear them, on strings or chains, or more conveniently on pins or clips. The denominations are: 1: purple, round, small. 5: Blue, pentagon, same size. 10: Green, triangle. 20: yellow, square, double the size of the green. 25: orange, rounded X shape. 50: pink, oval. 100: white, large round. 1,000: Black rectangle. 10,000: ripple-edged silver-gray oval.

Magorris:  A country in the Northeastern Continent, bordered to the west by Corriebhai, to the north by... [I haven't dreamed of any of the other countries bordering Magorris thus far.]  So far as anyone can construct, human presence here began with a Hungarian colony that began the construction of a great cathedral that might have fallen into ruin, or might have never been finished (archaeologists differ on this.)  By the time a Welsh colony came upon them, the survivors had dwindled into a small and sickly population due to malnutrition and inbreeding.  However, intermarriage with the new and larger colony, intermixed with a later Scottish colony and then a small band of Americans, restored them to robustness, while absorbing them.  These newcomers also brought new strains of crops, as well as botanists qualified to discover indigenous nutritional sources.

    Magorris exports rice, rye, dinyee, paprika, aluminum, porcelain, hasvin, basketry, rope, tengri, and piskisaw.  They are neither a rich country nor a poor one, but these days usually enjoy sufficiency, with enough margin to trade with other countries.

    They practice constitutional, parliamentary monarchy.  The two main religions are Roman and Episcopal Catholicism, but people often simply attend whichever church comes handiest.  Their language has roots in Gaelic and Welsh, with many borrow-words in English and Hungarian.

Mahigeet, Brian Peter:  Originally a peasant of the Caseda caste in Corriebhai and a cartwright by trade, his community chose him to be their reeve, to represent them to the nobles.  But he took it further than that.  Upon hearing that the nobility had acquired a taste for imported seafood, a wanderlust and a yearning for greater freedom overtook him at the very thought of the sea.  So he volunteered to lead a colony of fellow peasants to a new land, there to fish and trap for the nobles in exchange for financing the colony.

With permission and financing, he lead fwenty-two families on the long march to the sea, to Rakashko.  Some died along the way of unfamiliar heat and diseases, but most arrived in time to benefit from Rakashkan medicine.  Mr. Mahigeet knew better than to reveal his actual mission (since it would threaten Rakashko's lucrative trade)  and simply presented the colony as escaped slaves. Accordingly, nobody hesitated to teach them sailcraft and fishing, especially since they carried quite a bit of "stolen" currency with which to pay their way until they learned these crafts.  He never actually said that they were escaped slaves, he later said, but simply went along with local expectations.

After three years most of the original colonial party (some opted to stay behind) supplemented with whatever children they'd borne in the interval, plus some new local marriages (and subtracted from with one divorce)  took off to cross the ocean and try their luck on other shores.  To this end they pooled their last money (both earnings and further funds secretly smuggled to them from their lords) to purchase the construction of the ship, "The Drunken Monkey", state of the art for the time, complete with an early version of a desalinator, and designed for great journeys.

They faced many trials and no few deaths on that crossing.  For the full tale, read "The Voyage of the Drunken Monkey", by Julia Meecker.

Eventually they settled, with the help of the Olovrmni who found them, and the Istislani who lionized them.  They set up their Corriebhai Colony on the southeastern coast of the Northeastern Continent, under Mahigeet's leadership.  However, dissent soon broke out when it became clear that he intended to keep his end of the bargain, canning and sending the rich new seafoods of this new shore back to Corriebhai.  The colonists had drunk deeply of the heady brew of freedom and wanted no part of the old bonds, not least because they had no desire to cross that ocean again!

So the majority of the colony split off and formed Skarfangers.  In the end Brian Mahigeet had to send his tribute by way of Istislan, which ultimately worked out to the best, for Istislan has many of the best mariners and finest ships in the world, and developed a keen interest in exploring this new trading opportunity. 

Mahigeet ended his days contented enough, surrounded by children and grandchildren, teaching them the importance of honor and of keeping one's word no matter what.

mainstreaming program: An attempt to see how Til-raised children would do when sent to live in foster-homes in the surrounding communities. A qualified failure, it did nevertheless result in interesting data that improved the education of future generations of children raised both in Til Institute and the Territories.
 
Mt. Maitreyya: (Pronounced Mai-trey-EE-ah) A mountain on the border between The Charadoc and Stovak, once rumored to be the tallest peak in the world before the discovery of taller mountains in the Southeastern Continent. Named by a Chinese Buddhist colony that once had a monastery built somewhere in its many caves and tunnels, long since lost. Believed by some uniquely Charadocian sects of Buddhism to be an avatar of the Buddha, petrified voluntarily by long meditation, and sentient, who will someday stir, causing unprecedented earthquakes that will change the face of the planet. In that time the mountain will give birth to itself, in the form of a baby girl in a cave near a road. It shall be ordained that a wanderer shall find and raise the child, who will usher in an era of enlightenment.
 
Manga, Dani: A renowned musician, excelling in Istislan Improv. Appreciated mainly for her signature sultry vocals and spur-of-the-moment rhymes, she also plays clarinet, saxophone, and oboe.
 
Mansport: A small seaside community in Til Territories, nestled in beside a small cove surrounded by the DiMedici Forest. Claims to be descended of the oldest mainland colony on Altraus outside Til Territories, although others dispute this claim. Fiercely independent, its economy derives largely from fishing. Its colors are silver-gray and rust.
 
Manuvia: An island-chain ruled by a parliamentary monarchy, trading primarily in dried fruit and fish, agar and other seaweed products and certain large shells extensively used for jewelry. A popular tourist-site.
 
Maple-Oat Marvel: A brand of oatmeal cookie popular in Til Territories, made with real maple syrup from maple trees descended from Earthian stock.
 
marathoner: A breed of horse bred to cover long distances at great speed without foundering. Usually chestnut or black in color, with watermark dappling on the hindquarters, often also displaying various white blazes.

Mardi Gras demon:  According to common belief in Dixie, an evil being who entices Mardi Gras celebrants to excesses during Mardi Gras.  Some believe that such demons need placated by mild cooperation during Mardi Gras, so that they will become too sated to distract anyone from devotions during Lent.  Others (especially priests and ministers) consider this the absolute worst course, playing right into their hands.  If possible, a Mardi Gras demon will try to entice the victim into a sinful death through hir vices, before e can repent in the Lenten season.

The more educated Dixians consider the Mardi Gras demon wholly incorporeal, whispering to hearts but not manifesting in any other way.  But popular drama, art, and comic books depict such beings as elaboratedly and richly dressed in clownish and billowing Mardi Gras costumes of many colors, elaborately brocaded, embroidered, beaded and/or bejeweled, wearing happy masks.  But if one were to take off the mask, one would reveal a rotting and maggot-ridden visage scowling at one.  This imagery, originally allegoric, has crept into the popular imagination, where people say that Mardi Gras demons animate the bodies of those who died of their excesses, and seethe with jealousy of living flesh, desiring all of the illicit pleasures that they cannot participate in, being dead things.

mazed: Slang term for intoxicated, or in any state not conducive to clear thinking.
 
Marechal-Mill�: A red wine produced in several countries with short growing seasons, especially in Borta and Toulin. Some find it quite palatable and complex, while others consider it a bit on the foxy side. The marechal-mill� grape, a stable, self-seeding hybrid cultivar, might include some concord grape in its ancestry.
 
marierva: A variety of seaweed consisting of long and slender green stalks, small round leaves edged in purple, and rosy purple bladders. Edible, if cooked sufficiently to break down the coarser fibers. Rich in trace minerals.
 
Marie T. Besmuth Institute for the Enablement of the Handicapped: A school and research facility on Carmina Island, Til Territories, dedicated to improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities. It has garnered a worldwide reputation for its creative, individualistic approach to helping people adapt to their obstacles. It also strives to debunk the perception that all abnormalities disable the one in possession of them, as well as the notion that what poses a disadvantage in some ways cannot in fact give advantages in other endeavors, by seeking out ways in which a client’s condition might actually constitute a blessing.
 
Marine Academy of Sunken Mountain Bay: An institution of higher education with ties to Til Institute, dedicated to teaching the Maritime Arts. It has no particular connection to the military concept of "marines", using the word as an adjective rather than as a modifying noun. Located in the Coral Peninsula of Carmina Island, overlooking Sunken Mountain Bay, many architects consider it one of the world's foremost exemplars of the Cliffside architectural style.
 
Marshwallow: A community of Til Territories next to Swamp Cove. Not as wet as Stilthome, it deals in peat and leather-tanning.

Martinez, Figgy:  Birthname Juan Walter Martinez.  The controversial "Johnny Appleseed of Novatierre".  A farmer in Alonzo Valley (rumored to be a grandson of Alonzo Hernandez) he began by planting a few fig trees offshore, on islands with a hotter climate than he could find in the valley, and guaranteed rainfall so that he would not have to maintain them, prizing the especially rich, sweet taste of figs grown in temperatures above the heat of the human body. He initially intended them for his own use, for his table and for market.

But after awhile the project took on a life of his own.  He planted fig trees on every island he could reach around the coast of Til Territories.  When he heard of a castaway surviving till rescued on fish and his figs, he redoubled his efforts and forgot all about profit.  He also started to expand to other kinds of fruit trees and those food crops of Earth that could best grow wild on Novatierre in the places that he could reach.

By now a considerable faction wanted to stop him, on the grounds that his invasive species could have devastating impact on the ecology of Novatierre--perhaps resulting in the collapse of this world, too.  But he also had begun to receive funding--and saplings, and seed--from supporters.  When his opponents finally got an injunction on him, he hopped on a ship headed for Rhioveyn, where supporters financed his operations even farther afield, with even more variety.

No one will ever know how many trees, of how many kinds, Figgy Martinez eventually seeded around the world.  Some of them did indeed do harm, and some integrated seamlessly into local ecologies.  He also inadvertently inspired an entire class of agents who deal with mitigating environmental damage.  He, himself, to his dying day, described himself as an agent in his own right, doing his part to ensure human survival in Novatierre.

mast: A tropical event during which a high percentage of fruit trees all happen to bear ripened fruit at once. Unlike harvest seasons in more temperate climates, it takes a trained botanist to predict when mast will next occur.
 
mastara: A spice-tree found only on the islands of Samina-Ved. The long, sharp oval leaves, a yellowish green in color, grow in roseate-fashion. The bark is a deep, almost purply reddish brown and the wood a sort of pale copper with rust grain. The tree grows short and elaborately twisted, and so the wood does not serve for large purposes, but makes beautiful burled small objects, highly prized because nobody cuts a mastara tree down until it finishes bearing fruit.
 
At first the early colonists regarded the fruit (dark burnt orange, glossy, ovoid but coming to a sudden, sharp point, capped by a coronet of leaves) as worthless, being sour and painfully aromatic to taste. But someone discovered that if one dried it all the way to hardness it became sweet, and when diced it became a delicious seasoning. It tastes somewhat like tamarind and raspberries, with a sharp bite of cloves and lemon. A little goes a long way, which is just as well, because its rarity makes it expensive. So far nobody has succeeded in growing it anywhere else in the world.
 
master’s wood: See Carpaya.

Matyas the Monster:  Ninth monarch of Magorris.  A notorious tyrant, who gathered around him a corrupt army of mercenaries, rewarded by gifts of land (and the peasants upon it) as well as marriage (for however long they wished, be it an hour or a lifetime) with any woman of their choosing in the kingdom.  With this army he dissolved parliament, and then demanded crushing taxes from the people, or extracted bribes, and by this means kept his mercenaries happy and his lifestyle extravagant.  After awhile, however, he had to spend increasing time suppressing insurrections, and got little joy out of his palaces.

After his death, with permission from his son and the reinstituted parliament, people refused (with armament if necessary) to make any transaction with his mercenaries except for those few who had fallen in love with and stayed faithful to their wives and who had gradually reformed--if these were willing to free their serfs and make restitution for their crimes.  The rest, cut off from resources, became outlaws with all hands against them, and after briefly supporting themselves with robbery, one by one found themselves hunted down and executed, or fled the country altogether.

However, Matyas did not leave behind only a heritage of horror.  Music, theater, and art flourished under his patronage.  Indeed, culturally, his reign was called the Tarnished Golden Age.

mayfly: A delicate insect with transparent purple wings, which exists mostly as a purple larvae until late spring, when it emerges from its cocoon to live, fly, and mate for one day, before laying eggs and dying.
 
maypeach: The first gatherable berry in the plains of the Northwestern Continent--round, light orange, fuzzy and large, ripening before the summer. But its astringency makes it unfit for eating. The juice, however, makes an excellent antiseptic and astringent.

Mdzes Yanacapuna:  The annual gathering of community representatives, shepherds, wool-buyers, and anyone else interested, which takes place in the Autonomous Mountainfolk Region of Altraus.  It rotates yearly as to which village hosts it, at the onset of sheep-shearing season, whenever that might fall in the spring or late winter of a given year.

Its original and still primary purpose is to gather the representatives and elders to decide legal and societal issues that affect the larger community, such as grazing paths, infrastructure, protection from wildfire, etc.  But it has also become a gathering-time for shepherds to shear their flocks together, and to market the wool.

Over the years a general festival atmosphere has layered onto this, with itinerant merchants setting up stalls for every kind of goods that they can transport, housewives setting up outdoor kitchens and selling their wares, buskers and entertainers passing the hat, and portable bars selling all manner of home-brewed beers, wines, and spirits.  Games and sporting events, as well as singslams, pitch the villages against each other in friendly competition.  Weddings often take place at the Mdzes Yanacapuna, and business deals, public declarations of adoptions, and occasionally public declarations of divorce.  Evenings often end with dances and revelry.  It is no coincidence that births in the Autonomous Mountainfolk Region tend to spike around November.

meadow-shrimp: Nickname for edible insects with large hind legs--the Novatierran equivalent of grasshoppers, crickets, or locusts. A rich source of argenine, protein, and certain B vitamins.
 
medical trances: Those mind-states which stimulate the immune-system or otherwise promote healing, induce rest, lessen pain or assist in diagnosis.
 
meditation classes: Required classes in meditation techniques, primarily used to govern psychic abilities, but also employed for inducing study-trances, managing pain and sharpening concentration, among other things.
 
Meditations of the Hermits: The scripture of the Disciples of the Hermit, a compendium not only of the thoughts of Wayne Moranescu, their founder, but also of several generations of his successors and commentators. It has a general Gnostic/Platonic bent, warning of the depravity and deceitfulness of this world, and extolling the desirability of the next.
 
Mediterrae: A nation composed of an island chain roughly equivalent in location to Earth’s Italy and parts of Tunisia, plus scattered additional islands between, colonized by multiple waves of transfer-immigration, the largest coming from Israel. This chain divides what on earth would be the Mediterranean Sea, from which it derives its name. Novatierran cartography, however, designates the western portion as the Holumbrian Sea and the eastern portion as the Sea of Hystrediamma.
 
Mediterrae produces accomplished mariners, eagerly hired all over the world, and have pioneered wind-powered seacraft easily competitive with Old Earth’s motorized vessels. They have also established a reputation as the world’s finest suppliers of glasswares, ranging from the 
eminently practical to the purely artistic. 

Meecker, Julia:  Istislan historian of the twenty-fourth century.  She launched her career at the age of seventeen, when she first became fascinated with Brian Mahigeet and his colony from Corriebhai.  She volunteered at the refugee camp first set up for his party, and got to know him.  While he gracefully declined her underage flirtation, he did enjoy regaling her with tales of his great voyage, supplemented with comparisons between his own culture and that of Istislan, both favorable and critical.  She wrote everything down faithfully, and combined it with interviews of the other passengers of the Drunken Monkey, while it remained fresh in the minds of the participants.  Thus she scooped more seasoned reporters with her poorly structured but meticulously researched articles.

Essential Data soon recruited her for a youth interest column, and paid a scholarship for her to study journalism in college.  But by her second year she changed her major to history.  Essential Data continued her scholarship, however, so long as she contributed a monthly article on the latest historical findings.

Her bestsellers include "The Early Days of Xarthikae", "Transfer: Space, Time and Passion at the Dawn of the Migration", "Who Was Mabhratha?"  "Tragedy and Transcendance: the First Oracles"  "A History of the Teeth of Cana'a, in Legend and in Fact",  and the controversial "Sibling Love/Sibling Rivalry: Our Relationship with Til Throughout the Ages".  And eventually she went back and collected all of her youthful notes and articles, improved the grammar and structure but kept the facts intact, added follow-up interviews, and published "The Adventures of the Drunken Monkey."

Melle:  Called the Beloved of the Gods.  According to Darvinian mythology, she is a human woman, mother of two of the Uponae.  Theto, God of Fate, knew in his soul yet not in his head that he needed some counterbalance, and so he went sleepwalking among humankind and made love to Melle, who gave birth to  Daio, God of Chance.  But then Horo, God of Time, wanted a more deliberate and self-determining counterbalance to Theto than to leave all opposition in the hands of Chance alone.  And so, fully conscious, he lovingly and deliberately courted Melle, to beget upon her Ario, God of Choice and Free Will.

Although not a goddess herself, many supplicate her as an intercessor, to persuade Time to be on their side, to lull Fate to sleep or else move him to show them favor, to bring Chance under her discipline and his desire to please her, and to ask Ario to strengthen them.  She does not have her own shrines, but people do sometimes carry medals of her, portrayed as an ordinary woman, holding the hands of Daio and Ario as children.

melody-wraith: A subclass of supernatural being in the legends of the Southwestern Continent. There some believe that if an artist of any kind allows hir artform to drive hir to hir death, e will become a kind of voracious ghost tied to hir particular passion. In the case of obsessed musicians, they become melody-wraiths. They will sing people to sleep or into a state of helpless hysterics, depending on the type of music, in order to suck out of their victims the life-force that they undervalued when alive. They never quite get enough to experience life itself again, however. This is a kind of damnation that they cannot escape until they decide to let go of their passion, which they will never do. The victims generally survive the first few attacks, though often visited with vivid dreams and nightmares afterwards, but if the attacks continue they themselves will become obsessed musicians and the cycle will start over.
 
memsir: The honorific address for a hermaphroditic person, equivalent to "sir" or "ma'am".
 
Mendoza, Amelia Edelman: Also known as St. Amelia of Altraus. Visionary, mystic, theologian, and writer. Author of “Meditations on a New World”, “The Abundant Desert of God”,”Trusting the Tempest” and “The Martyrs of Madness: Through the Darkness and into Light”.
 
mentor: Tili�n children are encouraged at an early age to choose a teacher, counselor or houseparent as their mentor. This relationship is lifelong, inspirational and in many ways parental.
 
Merchant Caverns: A legendary place, alleged to exist somewhere in Stovak, where thieves, fences, and smugglers gather to trade wares, fix prices, and otherwise engage in commerce among themselves before fleecing the world at large, not to mention socializing. Marriages have purportedly taken place there, as well.
 
According to folklore, it exists in the highest mountain in the world. But since geologists have not yet made a comprehensive survey of all the world’s mountains, that would be kind of hard to prove.
 
Merdeth: Nation on the “Snout” of the Southwestern Continent, largely marshlands or jungle, but also notable for its sky-islands: high, steep plateaus, each with its own unique ecosystem, cut off from the surrounding countryside. Economically isolated and self-sufficient until the discovery of rich magentine deposits in its rivers, apparently washed in from many parts of the continent.
 
Much controversy surrounds the origins of human populations in Merdeth. For a long time most of the world accepted, at face value, the claims that the dominant ethnicity of the region, a blend of two colonies (Scottish and Egyptian) had founded Merdeth and subsequently become invaded by a diminutive people out of Africa, possibly either !kung, Ef� or Mbuti, soon subdued by superior technology.
 
However, this second group has always maintained that they came first, had begun with the superior technology, but became overwhelmed by sheer numbers and physical strength in a surprise-attack by those who stole from them all that they had. They have, they said, been forced to live under primitive conditions ever since.
 
Further research has indicated that the Scottish group came from an expedition that stole a transfer device from Edinburgh University and quite possibly didn't know how best to prepare for transfer, or else didn't have much time to escape, while the Egyptian group had fought off an army trying to steal their own transfer device, escaping ultimately only by the act of transfer itself, ahead of schedule, and may have arrived equipped with little besides weaponry.
 
Meanwhile, we have also discovered records of one Meredith Ekianga, from the short-lived Nation of Itury, a physicist who, with financial help from The Pygmy Fund, had built a transfer device and fled the collapse of Earth with five Ef� and Mbuti villages, in a well-planned launch, generations before either of these last-minute and desperate expeditions. We cannot prove that the colony landed in Merdeth, but circumstantial evidence makes a strong case for it.
 
meritocracy: The Charadocian system of government prior to the Egalitarian Revolution. The principle behind meritocracy is that the people who most support the government should receive the most votes. Taxes, therefore, are voluntary, but the greater the contribution, the more votes the person has. Votes may also be added by the attainment of degrees, honors, medals and awards, and may be lost through criminal convictions or votes of censure.
 
Mermaid Pier: Chief pier of Domestica, Til Territories, named for a restaurant that used to reside on it.
 
Mermaid Restaurant: A legendary seafood restaurant, now defunct, once built upon a pier on the coast of Domestica. Alleged to have served the definitive, gourmet version of Captain Thomas Knight’s recipes.
 
Metal Clan: The proper name for a coastal clan of Byssinia known for its metalwork. (Calling them Tin Clan is considered derogatory.) They depend largely on imported metals, and stick close to their harbors, but the incredibly beautiful and durable work which they produce–and sell at a profit--more than makes up for their expenditures. They do not receive much respect among the other clans, since they have done business with virtually every other clan, at some time or other, as weapons dealers, which has branded them as universal traitors.  Nevertheless, everyone needs their wares. They have also made widespread marriage ties to the other clans (something not nearly as eagerly mentioned as marriage ties to Book Clan.)

Micah‘s Gap: A mountain-pass in the Charadoc, leading from farmland to high desert.  Most of the residents are either descendants of Micah Koros, who founded an inn, there, or those who have married such descendants.  The people of Micah's Gap marry guests at the busy inn.

Michawna (adjective):  Identifies Zarm-Michawn as the place or culture of origin for a human being, human trait, institution, style, or sentiment.  To apply this adjetive to an inanimate object, however, would insult the entire nationality.

m           Michawna, (nationality): A person of Zarm-Michawn. 

          Michawna (race):  The majority of citizens in Zarm-Michawn also belong to an ethnicity also called Michawna.  Characterized by dark skin color, varying from ebony to terracotta; straight, thick, coarse hair; widely spaced, large eyes with pupils that can slit horizontally or vertically at need, in black, brown, hazel, green or amber; mesomorphic builds; everted lips; and a characteristic "arrow" facial profile, dominated by a large, hawkish nose with large nostrils.               

                    Long known to spring from a mixture of Old Earth races, DNA testing has recently revealed that the Michawnas can also claim descent of a number of species, confirming old legends that the Ancients recruited volunteers for experiments in human gene-splicing.

                    Study of these genes have confirmed the legend that the Michawnas were crossed with eagles, but that is only part of the picture.  They were crossed with several kinds of raptors, and like these birds their eyes include a pecten and a second fovea to improve both near and far vision.  They have also been crossed with tarsiers (also well-endowed with sight) as a primate bridge for the avian genes, plus goats (horizontally extending the pupils greatly increases their peripheral vision.)

                    Contrary to the legend, their hawk noses do not come from hawks, but dogs.  Michawnas have had sufficient canine genes spliced in to give them a vastly superior sense of scent, detailed and nuanced, accurate for miles, with special sinuses containing sensitive olfactory tissue, causing the jutting profile of the face.

                    According to legend (but with no documentation found thus far) the ancients had to abandon experiments in heightening hearing, as children born with this gene found the noise of largely urbanized Earth unbearable.  Some committed suicide.  Others sought surgery to induce deafness, or, failing that, pierced their own eardrums.  All of the survivors requested, and received sterilization.  We do know for certain that Michawnas today have the normal range of hearing typical of the rest of humanity.

                    Other modifications seem to have come from human stock.  Michawnas in general have an advantage in building muscle, and in converting fat into energy for increased endurance.  The price has been a tendency among females to develop fine moustaches, and among males to gain weight mainly in the buttocks, hips, and lower belly.

                    They have paid a somewhat higher price as well.  The Michawna’s finely tuned hormones can easily go out of balance.  In the sciences they have contributed quite a bit to endocrinology, out of necessity.  Add to this that enhancements of creativity have necessitated grafting in genes associated with bipolar condition and schizophrenia, only partially mitigated in the laboratory, and you have issues with mental stability which need careful attention to psychological hygiene. Psychiatry is another medical specialty prized in Zarm-Michawn.  Once feared as  potential supermen, they instead live quietly, and largely among their own, enjoying their advantages and transcending their disadvantages.

The Midlands: That portion of the Charadoc midway up the mountains, characterized by deciduous forest and farmland. Most of the nation’s food grows in this region.
 
Mid-Migration: That historical period, roughly considered to be the mid to late 22nd century, when the majority of human beings lived on Novatierre but at least 50% still had contact with Earth in some fashion. While scholars generally accept 2131 as the beginning of the Mid-Migration era, debate remains lively as to when the Late Migration era began, due to a decline in documentation during the transition. That period saw the discovery and cultivation of the greater portion of those Novatierran plants of modern commercial use, the beginning of organized nations on Novatierre, and the spread of the first vaccines for indigenous Novatierran diseases.

The Mighty Rail:  The largest overland transportational infrastructure in Novatierre, a railroad system put together with the cooperation of many nations, each of whom have responsibility to maintain their part of it.  Extending from Holumbria in the west to Tashkara in the east, it passes west from Holumbria through Llangdan, Darvinia, Lludlowe, Duerlongh, thence to Naugren, then curves a bit east and south through Tremarnion, south through Aistruli and Clomen, then east again through [unnamed as yet], Noran, Gueymaial, and ending in Tashkara.

The Mighty Rail Treaty:  A binding agreement between the nations regarding The Mighty Rail.  Each nation shall maintain the rail in good order, on penalty of invasion from neighboring countries on the rail.  Each nation shall contribute materials and the cost of maintenance of the rail in proportion to the length of rail within their territories.  No nation shall transport troops, weaponry, or the machinery of war into any other nation, except when that country has failed to maintain their portion of the rail, on penalty of carpet-bombing from all other nations on the rail.  No one shall sabotage the rail regardless of whom they might war with, on penalty of finding themselves at war with all other nations on the rail.  If any terrorists should independently damage the rail, stations, or trains upon the rail, all nations, including any who might benefit from such terrorism, must cooperate in speedily apprehending and punishing the culprits.  The penalty for such acts can range from exile to an isolated island or country in a different continent, to death, depending on both the severity of the crime and the redeemability of the criminal, with judgment coming from the nation most offended against.  Any nation may build domestic railroad systems connected to The Mighty Rail, but they have sole responsibility for materials and maintenance for these.  No nation has ever broken The Mighty Rail Treaty in the history of Novatierre.

The Migration: That collective human movement when everyone who could transferred from Earth to Novatierre to escape ecological collapse, in no particularly organized fashion.
 
mind-blast: (v) To attack telepathically. (n) A telepathic attack. The effects of a mind-blast ranges from headache, confusion, panic-attack, suicidal or self-destructive ideation (dismissed quickly by inherently healthy individuals, but a danger to the insecure or unstable) and mild shock symptoms, to death by cerebral hemorrhage or severe shock. It is usually involuntary, the result of untrained telepathy, very difficult to harness deliberately as a weapon.
 
mind-change: Term for the rumored experience of certain corani, alleged to have undergone deliberate Black Clam poisoning in the hopes of experiencing accellerated intelligence. A dangerous process which no one would actually undertake and which could have no positive result even if one could survive it.
 
mind-cripple: Derogatory term or slur for one born without psychic Gift, or one who has lost it through concussion or other trauma. Not used by polite company.
 
Mindladen River: A tributary of the Spumehoof River, which winds around Homesick Hill. In all probability the same depressive who named Homesick Hill also named the river.
 
minimal strain tub: A device for extreme first aid, in which one attempts to reduce the stresses on the autonomous system to prevent imminent collapse, prior to moving the patient to more active life-support.
 
Mirabecca River: That river which approaches Mirabecca’s Village, although in fact the river that actually bends around the village (or rather, around the mesa upon which the village resides) is an offshoot, the Salt River.
 
Mirabecca’s Village: A village founded by Mirabecca Biancello, on a mesa above the DiMedici/Stormgarden region, when she gave up on her unsuccessful career as an artist in favor of her true vocation as a farmer and community leader.
 
mirras: An herb native to Duerlongh, that favors sloping ground on the rain side of a canyon or hill. A succulent with broad leaves that grow in a flat corona-pattern close to the ground. In spring it sends up slender stems that eventually droop at the end with small, purple flowers resembling orchids. When crushed, the leaves send off a scent like sycamore leaves. The juice of the leaves has been used to treat mouth lesions in cattle.
 
Miss Chinese Charadoc: The winner of a beauty contest in the Charadoc, held the morning of the Chinese New Year, of which the only eligible candidates are unmarried young ladies of Chinese descent and high caste. Scandals have occurred a couple of times when light-skinned Mountainfolk girls have managed to get to the finals before becoming exposed as imposters.
 
mission (of agency): A task or goal that an agent of the Tili�n undertakes, with the understanding that its sole purpose must be the service of Lovequest, and that the mission might change in any way (even to the point of reversal) if on-the-spot observation reveals a better way to serve the common good.
 
mistletoe: A generic name for any number of parasitic plants which feed off the branches of trees, generally having small, leathery leaves but not necessarily related.
 
Misty Island: The island opposite mainland Robinson's Beach, once occupied by the earliest-known non-Tili�n colony in the vicinity of Altraus, which eventually died out, it is believed, due to the inability of so small a colony to sustain itself. Situated in what is now known as Aborigine Canyon along the Abo River, the former colony is now a rich excavation site presided over by the Misty Island Anthropology College.
 
On the opposite shore lies the Misty Island Ecological Training Center. Small, scattered private dwellings dot the island, but they have not incorporated into a village. Two cable gondolas serve the island, one to Robinson Laboratories on the mainland and one to the weather station on Goat Island.
 
Misty Island Ecological Training Center: A small college on Misty Island, under the general umbrella of Til Institute, which takes advantage of the island’s closely-packed microclimates to train students in a variety of ecologies.
 
Modrian, Benjamin Allen: A legendary leader in the early colonization of Alonzo Valley, reputed to have repelled invaders who coveted the fertile land.
 
Modrian’s brambles: A very thorny berry, native to limestone slopes in Altraus, too bland for popular consumption although favored among the wild kingdom.
 
Modrian’s Rangers: A citizen’s militia allegedly raised by Benjamin Modrian for the defense of Alonzo Valley. According to legend, they had an uncanny ability to melt into terrain that others could not traverse.
 
Modrian's Tangles: The north slope of Guardian Hill, stretching on down towards beach, consisting of intricately eroded limestone outcroppings, canyons, gullies, and mesas, completely blanketed with Modrian’s brambles.
 
Molchis: A nation occupying that peninsula that would have been the Isthmus of Turkey on Earth. Although they share a border only with Tsariosh, they are on good trade-terms with Gazelistan across the Hluros strait. To the north they have the Duerlongh sea, with the Hystrediamma sea to the south.
 
They are known especially for their tremendous variety of medicinal herbs and other horticultural anomalies, horse-breeding, and Molchian Folk music.
 
Molchian folk music: Molchian folk is written in either Dorian or Molchian modes. Cello and kettle drums form the "bones" of the music, a wide range of other stringed intruments supply the "flesh" and shrill, loud flutes contribute the "hair". It often follows exuberantly tragic themes.
 
Molchian mode: A nine-note scale, usually beginning on A and including A#.

Molchian whiskey:  A distilled alcoholic beverage made from malted oats, originating in Molchis.

Moonberry Bush: A rainforest shrug of the Southwestern Continent, named for its large, white berries, which, being mildly toxic, have emetic properties. The bush has long, lanceolate leaves, sometimes with small, round lobes at the base, of a deep green verging on black. It also bears thorns. It blooms white in the spring.

moon-mites:  A wood-eating beetle native to the rainforests of the Southwestern Continent, but having spread wherever men have exported lumber from that land.  Most varieties are charcoal-gray or brown-gray, some with chevrons on their wings of red, rust, or orange.  They have a preference for barkless surfaces, and will seek out the bare wood of dead trees, or exposed strips and ends of fallen ranches.  They get their name from their habit of nibbling round dents into wood, leaving paths that look cratered like the moon.  They often mark lumber and thrive in sawmills, but do not affect the strength of the wood, as they only browse the surface.  Some cultures consider their marks a blemish, while others seek affected wood as especially beautiful.
 
Moraga, Annie: Founder of the town of Pixie in Alonzo Valley, allegedly due to witnessing tiny humanoid beings dancing on a spot where she approached and found water, after nearly perishing for its lack.
 
Moranesco, Wayne David: AKA The Hermit, founder of the controversial religion, the Disciples of the Hermit. According to his followers, he felt led to escape the decadent and self-indulgent ways of the Tili�n by living in a cave in a sea-cliff, subsisting off of sea-vegetables and fish. Discovered by Millicent Hodges (who later became his wife) she spread his teachings of asceticism and prayer to others, who joined him in creating a network of part cave, part driftwood structures built directly onto and into the cliffs, connected by bridges, walkways, stairs and ladders. Contrary to popular belief, none of his recorded words ever said anything about human sacrifice; though some statements have been quite broadly interpreted to admit the possibility, such allegations do not hold up to critical scrutiny. Sociologists now agree that this practice began several generations after Moranesco’s demise.

Morgo:  A large  aquatic reptile, varying in length from a meter and a half to two meters, in green, blue-gray, olive brown, or a combination, native to the southeastern coast of the Northeastern Continent, with varieties best suited for saltwater, freshwater, or both.  Freshwater morgos particularly favor cattlewades and watering-holes frequented by large vegetarian animals, because they bury their eggs in rotting vegetation to heat them, and have a preference for vegetarian manure as giving off especial heat.  This matters to morgos more the cooler the climate.  For the same reason those not in the tropics favor waterways fed by hot springs, or dark-stone shallows.

Rumors that a morgo can eat a man whole have no basis in fact, although it has been known to bite off the foot or hand of an unwary swimmer; at most it could eat an unattended baby.  For the most part, however, morgos eat fish, water-rats, sea-birds, and whatever small creature happens upon the wrong watering hole.  Although they give off a strong, unpleasant, fishy smell, one should not rely on scent alone to protect oneself, as  other odors can mask it.

mortanda: Murderousness. The quality of murder, as distinguished from the act or fact.
 
mosquito: 1) Small, flying insectoid, native and widespread to Novatierre, that sucks blood from other creatures, and breeds in roots and moist tropical soil, where its maggots’ castings provide an important source of iron for surrounding vegetation, and those that do not make it to adulthood further nurture the plants. In Altraus and the surrounding islands, it particularly favors laying its eggs inside the upper root of the unviga, which benefits from the pool of blood regurgitated for the sake of the larvae. The Novatierran mosquito carries a number of indigenous pathogens, some of which have adapted to human blood.
 
2) An invasive insect carried to Novatierre from Earth in contaminated water brought by settlers, also a bloodsucking species, which brought with it and can still carry a number of Earth-native pathogens.
 
3) A soldier armed with a blowgun.
 
Mountainfolk: A branch of Earth’s “Mongoloid” race, descended from Inca and Sherpa astronaut-trainees recruited by the U.S. and Russia for a joint colonization of Mars (never achieved) based on the hope of thawing the scant but adequate frozen oxygen on that planet. Mountainfolk tend to live in mountainous regions, being more adapted to and comfortable in high altitudes.
 
They have medium-bronze complexions and straight black hair, full or partial epicanthal folds, round skulls, slanted prominent cheekbones and sharp chins. Although mostly stocky, they have some rangy genotypes as well, probably due to interbreeding with Russians and Caucasian Americans. They have enormous ribcages and a strong capacity to oxygenate blood.
 
Mountainfolk deer: A large domesticated deer, stocky in build, bred for meat and labor, raised chiefly in the Altraus mountains by people of Mountainfolk descent.
 
Mountain Maiden: A class of mythological beings in the folklore of The Charadoc. A form of oread, mountain maidens may choose to appear at tall human height, but they are by nature giants. Legend ascribes to them the appearance of rock and/or soil, with hair like distance-shrunken forest, or an appearance of snow, or really of any mountainous material. Sometimes they are one with a mountain-feature, especially passes or gaps.
 
They can befriend mortals, but are very dangerous to miners or users of metal, which they treat as despoilers. Folklore warns against seduction, for they only seduce those they hate, poisoning with their embrace. (This has so sunk into the cultural consciousness that often miners afflicted with lead poisoning or other hazards of their work will first realize it through nightmares of romancing a mountain maiden.) However, you can win safe passage from the mountain maidens by restoring metal to the earth. They also favor shepherds, especially of livestock in the camel family, with protection and guidance to rich summer fields.
 
Some anthropologists consider them vestigeal deities from the older banned mountain cults. Others believe that they never did have full divine status, but constituted a subordinate category of supernatural being. The truth in fact probably varied from village to village, in the steep and isolated valleys of that range.
 
Mountain Maiden’s Knees: A pass in The Charadoc, between two steep but round-topped peaks. Deep folds in the slope on each side have led the imaginative to see the peaks as resembling gigantic, folded legs, with knees drawn up.
 
Mountains of Fire, The: Translation of the name "the Charadoc" for a nation of the Southwestern Continent, in reference to the volcanic activity of its mountain range.
 
Mountain of the Red Buck King: A mountain of Altraus named for a legendary giant red deer with an enormous treelike rack. Alleged to have a head the size of a curled-up man and the rest of the body in proportion, folklore has it that he can turn into a tree at need, and that he rules all of that mountain and the nearby Hunter’s Forest. A number of people have claimed to have seen him, over generations and far longer than the lifespan of any deer. His legend has probably grown out from hunter’s tales of the One That Got Away.

Mudaliar, Baba Mukunda:  An influential, tragic hero of Corriebhai's history and legends.  Born on Earth, he witnessed, at the age of four, traumatic violence, as his family shot their way out of a siege on their mansion, on their way to the helicopter that would bring them from  Chennai, India, to their secret workshop in Paisley, Scotland, where they had built a large-scale transfer-device.  In the process, his mother fell from a gunshot wound while carrying him, but his father swept him up and continued running with him.

We now know that his early experiences, combined with exposure to the rich magentine-veins of Corriebhai, which they and their workers colonized, in all probability made an untrained oracle of him.  The many legends of the wonders which he worked, and the uncanny insights purportedly imparted to him through his devotion to the goddess Parvati, could well have happened, explainable by the many gifts of an unfocused oracle.  History also shows that his family trained him in computer programming, as well as in everything that they could learn or discover of magentine technology.

The overall pattern of his legend shows him as a compassionate man who used "extraordinary" gifts for the well-being of his people.  Eventually, however, he became more and more unstable, tormented by anxiety attacks and sudden fits of rage, fear, or depression.  When he accidentally slew his own daughter, mistaking her for a gunman when she came to urge him to eat, he left the palace,  weeping for Mother Parvati to bring her back to him.  He was last seen scaling Wisdomstone Mountain, and is presumed to have died there.  Legend says that his spirit found his daughter and apologized to her, and that somewhere else in the world, he, his daughter, and his mother, have reincarnated as triplets.  The legend warns that no one should ever seek them out, for they are best left ignorant of the past.

Mulberry, The: A semi-fastfood restaurant/coffeeshop and popular hangout for young Tili�n. Founded generations ago by a fan of George Orwell as a gathering-place for agents with a sense of irony, it has since become fashionable for agent wanna-be's, while real agents prefer the more discreet comforts of The Silverfoam Inn.
 
mundipresent: Present in this world, in tangible reality. A theological term.

Murder Palace of Kalorcabori:  Home of the notorious Constantin of the Angels--a fabulous pleasure-palace built on the profits of his exploitation of a gregor-force built on the shock and fear of his murder-victims.  Here he would hold the fabulous, decadent parties that lured in his prey.  Said to hold, in the basement, a room entirely lined with magentine, where he would make his sacrifices to himself. 

An explosion destroyed the entire building in 2445, killing Constantin and all of his cronies, effectively ending his reign of terror.  No one knows whether any one of several plots to destroy him succeeded, or whether this was just a side-effect of the gregor-force, grown too great for him to control.

We know little about the architecture of the palace, except that it had a dome and several towers, and many gardens, and was said to be beautiful.  Some say it luminesced at night, the walls like frozen moonlight.  We do know something of the ballroom, for a picture of that survives.  All other depictions of the palace have not survived an era where people destroyed every trace that they could find, convinced that such pictures could carry bad luck from traces of the gregor-force.

Murphy, Sister Agnes Anne: Also known as St. Agnes of Hillhollow. A sister of the Blessed Sacrament, she came across a collection of families preparing to immigrate to Novatierre, during a home visit to Ireland.  (No record survives as to what country she worked in before this visit.) On learning that no priest in their community would dare to accompany them in their somewhat dubious transfer device, and realizing that these families had no other choice except to starve or leave, she sent her convent a request to join them as the next best thing to a priest, and transferred with them the same hour. No one knows whether her order sent back permission or not, or even, in those tumultuous times, whether the request arrived.
 
Sr. Agnes Murphy's faith, courage, and good cheer kept the colony going through its struggles to survive, which became easier once they discovered the larger, Til-sponsered colony in Alonzo Valley. Alleged miracles took place.  Mt. St. Agnes is named for her, and the immigrants which she accompanied settled in what is now Hillhollow Village. She is considered the patron saint of Hillhollow.
 
Music Room, The: A room of the Silverfoam Inn, stocked with an impressive array of handcrafted musical instruments, some with priceless carving or inlay work, all of superior quality and tone. Guests may congregate here to listen, perform or jam with others, or (if opportunity arises) to play quietly to themselves.

muskmelon:  Although named after an extinct earth vine which it resembles, the muskmelon is native to Novatierre, originating in Tsariosh.  It is a thick, hairy vine with round, ruffled, scalloped leaves.  The blossoms are white or pale green, with five petals, and yellow stamens, giving off a touch of the perfume for which the fruit is noted.  The fruit is large and round, varying in size from softball to basketball, and has a fluted husk of pale gray-green, covered with an insect-repellant powder.  This dust alone would make it commercially valuable, but the real prize is the inedible, oily flesh of the fruit, light orange in color. 

Once one refines the bitter saponins out of its oil (often then used in the making of strong cleansers) one has a sublime perfume, at once musky, honeyish, and yet refreshing.  Some consider it the most popular fragrance in the world, though its fashion has waned somewhat in recent years.  A number of religions scent lamp-oil and candles with it for ritual use.  Some have precribed the essential oil, in minute doses, as a remedy for a variety of unrelated diseases; however, it has shown no efficacy under scientific scrutiny beyond acting as an emetic, and a rather dangerous one at that.  The Tili
n do not include it in our materia medica.

mussel:  A bivalve mollusk, longer than it is wide, usually dark gray but sometimes dark blue, golden or beige, often used as a foodsource.  An invasive species from Earth.  When word came back from Novatierre that many colonies perished almost instantly from landing in ocean (which, after all, makes up most of Novatierre's mass) many of the Mid to Late Migration colonists converted boats into transfer-devices, just in case.  Quite a number of these, unbeknownst to the colonists, carried plankton in their bilge, including mussel eggs. 

Even those who knew of such a possibility did not expect anything to come of it, because the life-cycle of the mussel includes a brief parasitic period attached to certain species of fish found only on Earth.  However, some of these varieties also came to earth, often as aquaculture livestock.  Many of these early aquaculture experiments failed, due to inexperience with the local weather, when storms tore down dams or sea-walls, or flooded areas unexpectedly, releasing the fish into the wild.

For the record, Aliens consider mussel plankton a delicacy, and will travel many miles to any current rich in it.  They consider mussels the finest contribution that humanity has made to Novatierre.

Mustard.  A wildflower common to the Southwestern Continent in temperate regions, proliferic with large, amber-to-orange blossoms in almost roselike double or sometimes triple rings of thick petals.  These petals have a sharp, peppery flavor that can be mashed and boiled, with vinegar and spices, into a bright yellow sauce that early colonists said made a passable substitute for the mustard of their homeland.  Whether that is true or not no one can now tell, for the plant went extinct on Earth long ago.  Mustard of Novatierre grows half a meter to a meter tall, depending on conditions, with dark green, hairy pinnate leaves and stocks.  All parts except for the blossoms and seeds are inedible, but not toxic enough to cause more than indigestion.

mycobacterium pseudobacchae: The organism responsible for Tipsy Fever.
 
Myers, Alexander: An early marine biologist who first began the classification of sealife on the shores of Novatierre.
 

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