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.

packing-foam:  A lightweight, compostable material, full of miniscule airholes, in which to pack fragile objects for mailing.  Two main categories exist: corn-based and fungus-based.

    Corn-based packing-foam is sprayed around the object one intends to protect, filling the spaces between it and its container.  While holding its form in transport, it can later be easily broken away with bare hands to free the object from containment.  It has the advantage of being the most protective form of packing-foam, but the disadvantage of being edible to cockroaches and other vermin, and sometimes arrives infested.  It also cannot be reused.

    Fungal-based packing form is grown into specific shapes ahead of time in mass-production, either to cup objects of a similar size and shape, or as pellets or squiggles to pour into a container around the protected object.  The former can be nearly as protective as the corn-based foam.  The latter is not quite as protective, yet effective enough for low-stress transportation.  Both have the advantage of reusability and of being toxic to vermin, but must be kept out of reach of teething children and animals who might chew on it, as it is also toxic to them.

Pakashk:  A nation on the coast of the Mabhrathan Sea, bordered by (from east to south, clockwise) Llandan, Darvinia, and Mabhratha.  The original colony came from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, beginning with Homer Minto, the maintenance man of a resort on Lake Pakashkan, which became increasingly popular with the rich as one of the few pockets remaining of relatively undamaged wildlife.  With funding from rich guests, Minto built a transfer-device and not only managed to trasport the guests and their families, but insisted on bringing along all of his friends, family, and neighbors willing to risk the journey.  Soon after a party of Goan engineers from India, a Venetian collective, and an extended Hungarian family, found and combined forces with the first colony, to form the core of the nation known today.

Olives from Pakashk have a reputation as the finest in the world.  Yet one should not overlook the quality, also of her wines, cheeses, almonds, peaches, and bread.  Saltwater fishing there has an excellent reputation, and the coastal-towns have a glowing reputation as a vacation destination, often drawing tourists in a circuit with nearby Darvinia, as the one thing Darvinia cannot offer is a beach.

palm nut: A palmlike tree bearing large nuts somewhat reminiscent of Earth’s coconut, except very dark and ovoid, and somewhat flattish. The meat resembles coconut, too, but also very sweet almond with a touch of vanilla.

palmseed:  The grain of the cooking-palm, which is actually not a palm but a grass.  Borne in loose, feathery ears, each grain is small but plump and juicy, amber-brown to orange-brown in color.  Rich in monosaturated fat, sugar, and complex starch, it has a nutlike taste, as well as high levels of vitamin E, beta carotene, amino acids, and antioxidants.  It can be used whole, or pressed for oil and then dried and powdered for a sweet flour used in desserts.

papiyea reed:  A reed indigenous to the temperate rivers of the Northwestern Continent, a soft bluegreen with fanning, feathery yellow seed heads, usually reaching a height of two or sometimes even three meters tall.  Of primary interest as a material for making paper, particularly a high quality writing paper called Roseau, but reeds unsuitable for this purpose, AKA "industrial papiyea", find much use as packing material and insulation, although for the later purpose it requires soaking in a fire retardant, as it is quite flammable.  The rhisomes are edible, and some enjoy them pickled or cooked in butter, but mostly those left over from the pith and paper factories go to farms as animal feed.

 papulsa: A Charadocian dish made of potatoes in a creamy bean sause, often richly seasoned with regional herbs.
Paradisian shoes: Shoes, sandals, or short boots fastened by a monkstrap, common in but not exclusive to Paradisio.
Paradisio: A tropical nation, initially colonized by Italians but long since absorbing other influences, which occupies most of the western spur of the bifurcated Southwestern Continent, bordered to the west by the Gulf of Byssinia, to the east by the Lesser Ocean, and to the north by _____ and _______. [My map shows nation-shapes delineated, but without names as yet.] A lush, beautiful country, rich in both agriculture and manufacturing.
One of its most striking characteristics comes of its seismic geology, coupled with the peculiar superstition that it’s bad luck to rebuild any structure toppled by an earthquake. No such superstition, however, bars gardening in and about the ruins. Thus the cities of Paradisio abound in ruins overgrown with flowering vines, sheltering gardens of vegetables or flowers, often shaded by wild or cultivated trees, right in the middle of urban districts and surrounded by very new structures replacing the old. The demand for new and improved buildings has made Paradisio a mecca for architects.
parallel Earth: See Transfer World.
paraphysics: The science which governs the psychic interactions between the sentient mind and the physical environment, including but not limited to other sentient minds. Physics as applied to what had once been categorized as "paranormal".
park-reserve: A large private park, often fostering game for hunting, but also cultivated for picnics and other pleasures.

parrot:  A large, colorful bird, with much variation in plumage and large, nut-cracking beaks, indigenous to Earth and originally brought over to Novatierre as pets, due to their ability to imitate human speech.  Now large populations of parrots have gone feral in Novatierre, particularly in tropical regions.

Parsonville: A rural village in Alonzo Valley, Til Territories. Their community colors are yellow and green. Founded by a religious leader whose name has become lost to history, some claim that Parsonville was the first settlement on the Novo Durango Cape, and cite as evidence the proximity of Fireworks Hill. However, excavations in the vicinity of Stanley House, on the other side of Fireworks Hill, indicate an older settlement there, the probable root colony for Parsonville, not to mention the originators of the Alonzo Valley Christmas Fair, celebrated with fireworks on Fireworks Hill to commemorate the colonization of the area. Objections that this ancient settlement lies outside of Alonzo Valley may be met by the existence of a broad and easy pass into the Valley, whereby the original settlers must have migrated into the richer farmland that Alonzo Valley afforded.

More problematic would be indicators that the Stanley House community appears to have been Pagan, but the Christmas Fireworks might have originated in or conflated with a Yule observation.  It might also explain why a Christian Religious leader would lead followers out into a separate settlement.  Nothing indicates violence between the two, however.  Indeed, trade seems to have gone on between them freely.  The original settlement might have died out for any of a number of reasons inherent in attempting to colonize what for them was an alien planet.

Archaeologists still debate whether Parsonville predated or spearheaded the Hispanic settlements that Alonzo Valley is most known for.  Some genealogical evidence indicates that the Stanleys were Hispanic on the distaff side.
Pathworn, Mt.: A foothill of the Altraus Coastal Range, small enough to allow hikers to reach the top without excessive trouble and in easy stages, yet tall enough to command a gorgeous, unobstructed view of the Coral Gulf. A popular destination, covered with numerous paths.
Peace of Byssinia, The: The conclusion of the century-plus Vendetta Wars in 2698. When supplicated by every separate clan in Byssinia, the Tili�n sent two agents per clan (husband and wife, usually) to Byssinia in 2693, to live among the people and help broker a peace. Initially fighting continued, and the agents fought alongside their clans; all suffered bereavement in one form or another before the end--only thus could they truly understand the Byssinians on a level that could win their trust.
The final peace treaty involved elaborate rituals to placate the dead, continued established ritual to support the peace, and the weaving of a complex net of economic interdependency, exogamy, and shifting ceremonial roles, plus the establishment of a new clan, the Staff Clan, composed of members formerly of each of the old clans, to judge disputes and maintain order, with special rules to keep Staff Clan from becoming too powerful in its turn. The Peace of Byssinia is one of the high points of Tili�n diplomacy.
pearl cockatoo: A nut-eating bird closely resembling the cockatoo of Earth in beak, bone-structure, and distribution of plumage, native to the jungles of the southern horn of the Northwestern Continent. It can grow to as much as a meter in length from crest to tail. The plumage is an iridescent white, with blushes of color on the cheeks, tail, and undersides of the wings, in very subtle colors, predominately a pale pink, though also occurring in peach, gold, amber, sage green, and pale blue. The feet are a deeper pink, the eyes black, and the beak is a pale olive-gray with hints of blue.
The pearl cockatoo is formally released from captivity in the funeral rituals of Xarthikae, to signify the release of the soul from the body. To dream of a pearl cockatoo is believed to either herald a death or a transition to a better situation; to dream of a dying pearl cockatoo signifies to the Xarthikante danger of losing an opportunity.

peluchikalor:  A large, brightly-colored  bird of varying plumage, found in scattered temperate and alpine zones throughout the world.  Originally thought to be native to Novatierre, we now know that they are the descendants of Earth-native parrots, who have gone feral and adapted to colder climates by adopting fluffier feathers and a layer of fat.  Their beaks have also undergone some adaptation to local seeds.

peluchipetite:  A small bird, usually plumed in lime green, sky blue or yellow, with a yellow, white, or salmon pink breast, with distinctively fluffy feathers in cold weather.  Once thought indigenous to Novatierre, genetics have shown that they are, in fact, feral Earth parakeets who have adapted to Novatierre.

penitential monastery: A monastery set up solely for those whose vices can only be resisted by total abstention from opportunity. They are usually exclusive as to category, such as monasteries for pederasts or rapists. No one is admitted without a written confession and the surrender of all legal rights outside of the monastery. Persons of the category formerly victimized by the inmates are not allowed within the premises for any reason whatsoever, and the inmates are never allowed out; many take a vow to not leave even in the event of an emergency, to die rather than risk falling back into their otherwise irresistible sins. The monks or nuns otherwise lead comparatively normal monastic lives (if somewhat heavy on the penances) and may in this setting become productive citizens.
Pentapolita: The capitol city of the Diemtran Empire, strategically located where the Diemtran Canal pours into Diemtran Bay. Founded by a colony established through a coalition of five American Indian tribes (Hopi, Zuni, Pueblo, Apache, and Navajo) the city consists largely of adobe structures, the maintenance of which the government subsidizes as an important entry-level foundation for employment. Most citizens remember performing plastering and adobe repair as their first, youthful job. Leather awnings typically shelter most windows from the sun, and may be drawn downwards to protect the openings during a storm.

pepit:  A hairy vine which grows enormous yellow and orange fruits, which may be eaten green, while the rind is tender, in summer, but which also last all through winter when the rind hardens.  Once thought to be a native crop of Novatierre, genetic tests have proven that it is, in fact, a hybrid cultivar of curcurbita pepo, a relative to Earth-native squashes, pumpkins, and zucchini, gone feral.  This makes sense, as the colonists prized curcurbits for their ability to keep through winter with vitamins intact.

peripatetic class: A class conducted while strolling, hiking, or otherwise staying mobile. Especially recommended for hyperactive students.
petalcloak: A capelike or poncholike overgarment in four panels or "petals" joined at the neck, usually made of dense wool. The front and rear panels lie underneath the side panels, which protect the arms. Sometimes a person wears the front panel belted to the body; fashions vary from year to year.
peri-gnat: a tiny winged insect of the tropics, with iridescent green/gold wings, notorious for its parasitic offspring (see eyeworms.)
personality profile: A program that analyzes all personal data submitted to Archives in order to estimate who would best be suited for whatever work comes up (as in careers, agency missions, temp-jobs or classes.)
Peshawr Productions: An automotive and motor vehicle firm, that also performs military contracts and research for the Charadocian government.

pheasant:  A large game bird, with feathers of many patterns and colors, native to Earth and brought to Novatierre by hunters.  Found especially in the Borta/Toulin island region and the English mountains.  A desert-hardy variety has bred in Holumbria.

Mt. Phantom: A hill south of Til Institute where the Tili�n mine magentine. Though rumored to be haunted by miners killed in a cave-in, it more likely developed a small gregor-force from their last hours, creating a psychic imprint of who they used to be.
phonics class: In Til Institute, a child who has attained speech may enroll in phonics class, provided that e has the kind of mind that best responds to phonics as preparation for reading. Many consider enrollment in this class to be a rite of passage, but not all students go through it.
photo: A mechanically created image of something actual, in light-images duplicated on permanent medium, usually of a holographic nature in Til Territories, but two-dimensional throughout much of the world. May be monochromatic or polychromatic.
picture-cube: A holographic photo, cubical in shape, usually in a size suitable for holding in the hand. It starts as a flat which one might easily carry in the wallet, but pressure on a trigger point will spring it into 3D, and a second pressure will return it to a flat.
pine sparrow: A small, brown-gray bird indigenous to alpine areas of the Southwestern Continent. It has a melodious one-note call.
  When predators fly overhead, it will land on a conifer branch, tuck in its head and fluff out its feathers, and thus resemble a pine cone.

pine whiskey: 1)  A turpentine-like derivative of pitch pine sap, much too flammable for use as a turpentine, but sometimes used, with caution, as a fuel or fuel-additive.  Like the same derivative of the Jeffrey pine of Earth, it consists of almost pure n-heptane.  Named in irony, as it is much too toxic for  consumption.

2)  Slang for any excessively potent moonshine, above 100 proof.

pink paste: Colloquial term for a muscle-relaxant/refrigerent drug, in the form of a porphyry-pink paste, having a sharp, bittersweet flavor with notes of orange and mint. Easily synthesized, it is often abused.
Mt. Pioneer: A mountain overlooking Mirabecca’s Village and Mirabecca’s River, no doubt named by someone proud of becoming a colonist on Novatierre.
pirate: A member of a bandit gang whose main modus operandi is to prey on small merchant ships, coastal businesses, and retirement islands, especially in the vicinity of Til Territories, which produces wares much-coveted by the rest of the world. A sizeable portion of the pirate trade involves smuggling technologically sensitive materials stolen from the Tili�n to cultures not ready to handle them but more than willing to pay for them anyway.

piskisaw:  A salty, pungent, fishy sauce made from dried tengri, fermented bean juie, mustard, and a little horseradish.  Associated with manliness in numerous cultures, and considered an aphrodesiac for men, although with the unfortunate side effect of spoiling a man's breath (men customarily use it the day before a tryst.)  In some countries folklore warns mothers not to serve it to daughters under the age of puberty, lest they grow up to become lesbians (after that age they're assumed sufficiently formed not to change one way or the other.)  In films from the English Mountains, to depict a woman eating, with great relish, food liberally seasoned with piskisaw means to imply that she is a lesbian or bisexual.  However, many communities use piskisaw liberally on the food of men, women, boys and girls, without any sexual connotations whatsoever.

pitch pine: A variety of conifer native to mountainous regions in the Southwestern Continent. A pyrogenic variety with deep roots, its highly flammable nature evolved as a means to clear out underbrush; its roots survive fires hotter than competing plants can stand. Used commercially for its high pitch content.
Pixie: A rural village of Alonzo Valley whose community colors are rose and blue. It lies between the curvatures of the Annie River and Blessingview Cliff, with Annie’s Spring to the south.
According to one legend, travelers to Parsonville got lost, or “pixy-led”, on their way to Parsonville, crossing over the Fertile River and (thinking they were crossing back again) over the Annie River as well. There they found themselves in a greener meadowland than that which they sought, and decided to settle it.
A different legend attributes the name of the community to its founder wandering lost, in serious danger of dying of thirst, when she saw or hallucinated tiny pixies dancing before her. Following them led to the discovery of a spring that saved her life, and from it spilling a river previously hidden by a slope.
The farmers who settled there are mostly of Irish/Mexican descent and have carried along many legends of their mixed heritage, as celebrated in the annual Pixie Storytelling Festival.

Pixie buds:  An Altraus flower, domesticated in Pixie for its buds.  It has fuzzy, medium-green leaves resembling those of the pin oak only longer and somewhat floppy.  When allowed to bloom, the flowers have many purple petals leading to an orange center, but they are usually harvested while the buds still resemble purplish-green little garlic cloves.  And it does have a taste resembling onions and garlic, made stronger and more complex when fermented.  The fermentation process leaves it prone to a probiotic fungus with a flavor resembling Roquefort cheese.  According to legend, Annie Moraga discovered how to prepare this in a dream.  Some have hypothesized that this might be the carefully guarded secret ingredient to Alonzo Valley's notorious onion wine.  Used in cheesemaking.

The Plague Belt:  A marshy region rimming the Gulf of Istislan, including parts of United Tribes, Xarthikae, Firenja, Dhalzinje, and Istislan, and all of Oolang-Gyorny.  Named for the wide variety of pestilences that breed in the marshes, to which Earth-originating human beings have poor resistance.

plastic: A flexible polymer adaptable to a wide range of uses, synthesized from various resins and other botanicals. Plastic from Earth usually comes from “petroleum”, a fossil exudate, no equivalent of which has so far been discovered in Novatierre. Doctors recommend care in the handling of plastic antiques from Earth, as some of these are carcinogenic or have other toxic effects.
play clay: A polymer clay based on an acrylic-like natural resin of the bluebonnet tree.

pocket squirrel:  A gray, beige, rust, taupe, black, or cocoa-brown fist-sized arboreal rodent of the tropics of the Southwestern Continent, known for its exceptionally fluffy tail.  When hunted by a predator, the pocket-squirrel runs with its tail upright; predators snap at the tail and their teeth slip right through the long fur, allowing their prey to escape.  Although many assume that a pocket squirrel gets its name from being of a size to fit in a pocket, it is in fact a marsupial, and comes by its name due to the pouch in the female belly.

poison-frog, poison-toad: One of any number of amphibians whose skin exudes a potent neurotoxin. These frogs and toads are usually bright in coloration as a warning to those who would prey on them--a kind of reverse camouflage. Most of them can be found in the rainforests of the Southwestern continent, though some species live in the Northeastern Continent and Altraus as well.
poison-palsy: Any of a variety of neurological or debilitating conditions caused by cumulative exposure to lead, cyanide, mercury, or other toxic substances in the course of employment as a miner.

Poleitestas:  A Novatierran-original sect of Hinduism which, rather than different families having devotions to separate deities in the pantheon, encourages multiple devotions, with special attention to the interactions between the various deities, with holidays celebrating various relationships.  The sect encourages communal living in largely self-sufficient multifamily ashrams, with a strong yet fluid social hierarchy.  The pantheon is viewed as also living this way.

Once a major religious presence in The Andemonetas, it dwindled nearly to extinction due to a series of conflicts, till it lacked enough members to farm the ashrams.  It was thought extinct indeed for several generations, but a few families passed on the traditions.  Finally, in 2680, Joawa Khalq revived the sect and it spread rapidly.

policean, policeani: The singular and plural terms for a law-enforcement officer.
Policia: 1) The Tili�n police department.
2) The forensic arts.
3) The subculture of law enforcement.
4) Policeani as a category.
5) All of the above.
Policia Territoria: A loose confederation of law enforcement officers, volunteers, and expert advisors, working in the far-flung corners of Til Territories. Some allege that this also includes some vigilantes, but reforms reduce this complaint more with every year.
pome: A tropical fruit-tree of the Southwestern continent, of medium height, with graceful, slender limbs and lemon-shaped, emerald-green leaves having pronounced veins. The bark is silvery-gray to silvery white; the younger branches are slightly glabrous. Carpenters value the white wood wherever they desire a high degree of flexibility and tensile strength.
The fruit of the pome comes in the size of a small grapefruit, with a tough, purply-pink to deep rose peel and pinkish white flesh that is crisp and chewy, somewhat chestnut-like in flavor only much sweeter.
Pomin: A temperate climate tree, distantly related to the pome. Shorter and thicker in the trunk, and deciduous, the fruit looks very similar, but has a thinner skin and softer, whiter flesh with a more apple-like flavor.

Pone:  A cakelike bread made in Dixie, of any coarse-ground whole grain (usually, rice, swamp-corn, oats, rye, or a combination) bound with egg or okra, and made with butter, sour milk or buttermilk, and baking soda.

portaconsole: A portable or notebook console. Requires frequent downloading into Archives and does not independently store information for very long. This flaw has allegedly been deliberately engineered in.
Port Iris: A major port in the coast of Toulin. Founded on the fishing industry (especially cod and lobster) and equipped with a fully automated cannery run on wave-action hydroelectricity. Named for a flowering marsh that has long since been dredged and turned into part of the harbor.
possession-trauma: The aftereffects of having been telepathically possessed. Can include hormonal and other biochemical imbalances, alterations in respiration, anomalies of heart-rate and other distortions of the autonomous nervous system. Also usually involves headaches, memory-loss, and confusion.

potato mush:  A mush made of potato-flour, salt and water, distinguished from "instant mashed potatoes" by the absence of dairy products, although often enriched with the oils of stapleseed, nuts, or sesame seed.  Often eaten on journeys where butter won't keep.

pouchcat: A medium-to-small sized, quadrupedal, carnivorous marsupial, with small pointed ears, nonretractable claws and a short muzzle. Comes in an ochre/gold/orange-tan striped variety, a blue-grey variety with pale grey underbelly, and a brown/black variety with barely discernable reddish-black stripelike spots. Found in most lands.
prayer-cloth: A small square of silk or fine linen printed with the image of a saint and blessed, carried as a sacramental.
primary atmosphere: Alien term for the ocean.
primera: An extremely potent (100-165 proof) alcoholic beverage made from the first moments of distillation from the mash left over after hot-pressing all the oil out of chestnuts. The castanero roasts and ferments the mash.
primitive-intuitive movement: A movement in art emphasizing inspiration over traditional concepts such as harmony and balance, often involving repetitions of stylized representational motifs.
Principles of Primary Tolerance: A set of ethical principles taught to schoolchildren at Til Institute designed to foster tolerance in their hearts and prevent schoolyard bullying.
pre-revolt: Anything in Tili�n history that predates the Full Moon Rebellion.
Pri Tefari: A major port of the nation of Zarm-Michawn in the southernmost tip of the Southeastern Continent. A center for the trade of mineral wealth and rare woods and the transition-point between two oceans.
prophet: One who knows or fortells events, divines hidden paths, or comprehends solutions to problems in ways explainable neither by logic nor by magentine effect--presumably by divine or spiritual inspiration. Caveat: Not everyone called a prophet is a prophet.
pseudomonas aeruginosa: A pyogenic, motile, gram-negative bacilli with polar flagella, saprophytic but also capable of infecting humankind. Native to Earth, settlers inadvertantly carried it to Novatierre, where it came to thrive in tropical conditions the world over. Pseudomonas may be readily diagnosed by the bluish-green color of pus from the site of infection. Colloquially called "jungle-rot".
pseudosilk: Any of several varieties of fibers drawn from the cocoons or webs of insects native to Novatierre, generally considered inferior to the Truesilk from certain worms imported from Earth.
psiconductive mesh: A mesh of circuitry conductive of magentine power, used to enclose larger magentine mechanisms on the industrial scale, to amplify, control and evenly distribute the energy.
psigenic drugs: Drugs which stimulate psychic ability and/or repress psychic shields. Mostly restricted by law, they can cause brain-damage or coma if used too frequently or in excess. (That isn't why they are restricted, however, but because of their potential for invasion of privacy.) The exceptions are those drugs with a history of social context, such as alcohol (psygenic under some circumstances and antipsigenic under others) or peyote.
psi-spell: The forcible imposition of thoughts and/or impulses on an unwilling party through psychic means. It is so difficult to accomplish that its illegality is practically moot.
psychic ecology: That science which studies the effect of psychic phenomena on the general environment, most particularly the effect of the introduction of sentience to a planet laced with magentine.
psychic probe warrant: A legal document authorizing telepaths of policia to investigate the thoughts of unconsenting (and probably uninformed) persons. Not granted without serious cause. Admissible in court only as circumstantial evidence, as the results can become so symbolic as to provide no hard evidence at all. More often useful to help direct the course of an investigation.
psychometric band: A band worn about the forehead, attached to a console's circuitry, to provide augmented physical contact with Archives, which a psychometrist uses to commune with Archives on a deeper level than standard language can provide for. Not to be confused with a psychedelic music group of the same name, which throve during the Industrial Age Folklore craze.
psychometrist: One with the psychic Gift of psychometry.
Psychometrist’s Museum, The: A museum in Til Institute dedicated specifically to artifacts saturated with psychic residues perceivable only to psychometrists. Some objects, in fact, have been deliberately created as storehouses of psychometric information, though they might appear to the average person as mere rubber stamps or blocks of wood.
psychometry: The ability to perceive psychic residues left on inanimate objects by those persons who have handled them. They can also work more closely with Archives than other people, not being restricted by language.
psychosensitive: Susceptible to psychic influences.
psygraph: To take a mental photograph of something in an instant, to replay in detail later. Someone trained in this skill can take in a room at a blink, and later describe everything in that room in detail for you later, from the print on the tablecloth to the pictures on the wall. Most Tili�n and all agents of Til study how to do this.
psygraphics: The discipline of psygraphing.

pteridograminoid:   A botanical group found in Novatierre but not on earth.  It is monocotyledonous, like grasses, but the leaves eventually become complex, separating out into fernlike formations.  Many have commercial value.  On the whole, they tend to prefer humid conditions, although botanists have observed exceptions, most notably in the plains of the Northwestern Continent.

Pueblo Karakulya:  A community in the Autonomous Mountainfolk Region.  Settled by Mountainfolk shepherds, it exports some of the finest wool in Altraus, as well as bright and beautiful hand-woven woolen brocades and tapestries, as well as felt and cheese.  Their village colors are Magenta and Violet.

Purple cheese:  A cheese originating in the Alonzo Valley village of Pixie, mingled with crushed, fermented pixie buds, which give the cheese a slightly mauve caste and vein it with a flavorful fungus known to prefer this flower.  It has a strong flavor for a semisoft cheese, but a pleasant one, popular in recipes, especially sauces.  The rumors that it might have subtle psychotropic effects have never been verified by science.  Granted, nobody has ever paid for an investigation.

The Purple Mantles: In theory, an elite corps of police or military special forces serving the Charadocian government, specially trained to fight organized crime. In fact, they are mainly employed against insurgents and dissidents, act autonomously, and range from highly trained spies to untrained conscripts, depending on perceived need. They have been accused of torture, assassination, and massacre, but charges remain difficult to prove for a variety of reasons. Their official uniform consists of street clothes augmented by an oval purple serape (in hot weather this is a very lightweight, token garment reaching only to the diaphragm) but conscripts often merely wear a purple ribbon draped around their necks. One can, in fact, discern the level of training a Purple Mantle has attained by the quality of this serape--if he bothers to wear it at all.
purple ribbon: The token of a conscript deputized under the Purple Mantles, worn about the neck. Although legally considered Purple Mantles themselves, these conscripts seldom have much if any training and are basically cannon-fodder or hired goons.

Previous Installment Main Page Next Installment