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.
A swift goat, bred for racing. Goat-racing has become a popular
pastime in Dhalzinje, where seasonal fires have necessitated breeding
an unusually swift caprid.
radio: A device for harnessing radio-waves as a means of
communication, banned throughout Novatierre by international treaty,
due to its deleterious effect on neurology. One of those lost
technologies, like nuclear fission, which Til Institute takes great
pains to discourage from ever surfacing in rediscovery. Research
continues into a good magentine substitute.
The popular belief, however, that all radio-equipped devices were
“radioactive” is probably a myth, as is the notion that widespread
radiowaves drove the entire populace of Earth insane. There were
doubtless rational pockets in many places of the world, most notably
isolated mountain villages. As for rumors that the Ancients used the
same kind of radiowaves to cook food as to send messages to devices
held right up against the skull, well, anyone can see how patently
absurd that would be, and if we can see it, surely our ancestors could,
Raigboth: A country known for the quality of its wines. Located
on the western coast of the Northwestern Continent, occupying the
penninsula that separates the Greater Ocean from the Bay of Weissel,
bordered to the north by Arundel and _______. [I know there’s more on the country somewhere in my notes, but I cannot find it.]
Rain, Mt.: A mountain on the east side of Alonzo Valley, Til
Territories, from which the Winterwash flows. As its name implies, it
gets an awful lot of precipitation, although actually most arrives in
the form of snow.
rainbow dove: A
bird descended of Earthian pigeon stock, bred for iridescent feathers,
which has gone feral throughout the eastern continents. Revered
in Darvinia as messengers of Timora.
A "flying fish" of a little less than a meter length, with highly
iridescent scales and fins, which travels in small schools throughout
the southern oceans. The iridescence and gliding habit protect it
from diving birds, who mistake the bright-colored, leaping flashes for
fire. Largely controlled and herded by Aliens, who trade the
scales to human manufacturers of paint.
rainbow wolf: A midsized carnivore of the Northwestern
Continent, strikingly similar to the wolf of Earth. Named due to its
staggering variety of possible colors (usually one or two per wolf,
plus a pale gray throat and underbelly) of every imaginable hue of fur.
Rare among carnivores in having color vision, and a somewhat atrophied
sense of smell when compared to other predators.
random association program (RA): An Archives command which
causes Archives to randomly select information which at some time has
been associated with whatever word or phrase has been typed after the
command: RA. Basically, a rather sophisticated search engine.
A tropical nation to the northwest of the peak of the Sea of
Chamree. Founded by the Rakashko Society, a multiethnic,
multireligious vigilante organization in Delhi, India, dedicated to
protecting several neighborhoods from crime in the increasing absence
of formal law enforcement, as social order collapsed worldwide in the
last days of Earth. The society quickly evolved into a
cooperative for growing community gardens and raising small livestock
in an urban environment, recycling materials of all kinds, training
each other in home remedies, bone-setting and midwifery, and helping
each other to survive any way they could.
As soon as possible they got hold
of blueprints for transfer technology and their mechanically-inclined
members built a device immediately. They had to guard it night
and day from thieves, some of whom merely wanted it for the metal and
other raw materials, but they had the strength and the firepower to do
this; among other things they concocted their own gunpowder and
manufactured their own weaponry.
When it came time to launch, the
elders conferred among themselves, selected those with the most wisdom,
the most knowledge, and the most leadership capability to go with the
younger colonizers, and the rest stayed behind to guard their departure
at the expense of their own lives. Their names to this day are
etched on the walls of the original transfer device, now preserved as
Rakashko has a reputation for its
complex and beautiful treehouses. The area in which they landed
endures frequent flooding, both from monsoon rains and the sea, but the
forests have adapted to this with stout trunks, high-ridged and deeply
anchored roots, and wide crowns far above the highest floods.
While they have some buildings on higher ground, Rakashkans lead
primarily arboreal lives, cultivating a vast network of interconnecting
living bridges. The woven homes are cool and shady, and the
people lithe and strong with much climbing. It is not uncommon
for young men to bear an elder or a crippled cousin about in a large
leather carrier on his back.
The economy of Rakashko revolves
around spices, nuts, fruits, rice, tea, rope (derived from several
kinds of vine fibers) and especially carved wood products.
Rakashkans boast that anything anybody else can make of metal they can
make of wood, reed, or vine. They have bred four varieties of
flying or climbing chickens, and also raise suarvalui (singular
The chief cultural contribution of
Rakashko is their shadow-theaters. They manipulate puppets behind
taut white curtains, with lamps behind these to cast them into
silhouettes. They create many stuning effects by shifting the
lamps and their colors, bringing figures closer to or father from the
screen, introducing translucent background screens of various
topography, and sometimes generating smokes or mists. Sometimes
smells in the form of incense or aerosols help tell the story, with
ample ventilation in the airy theater to clear these away between
acts. A band plays background music while the chorus sings part
of the story, the rest of the story being implied by the action.
Writers take care that the action and the lyrics avoid redundancy, and
sometimes the lyrics seemingly contradict the action for deliberate
ironic effect. (For instance, singing praise of a prince's filial
piety while depicting him murdering his father.) Separating each
scene in the shadow-play are clowns who come from behind the screen for
brief "distractions", with an intermission in the middle. Almost
always these crack jokes seemingly irrelevant to the story, but which
later turn out to impart vital information. No tourist should
ever visit Rakashko without seeing at least one shadow-theater
ration flour: A finely powdered grain-based food containing all
essential human nutrients. Used in emergency supply kits, special
diets, aid-shipments to distressed areas, and as the basis for
breakfast biscuit and other fast foods.
A rodent of the NorthEastern Continent, which feeds primarily on seeds,
starchy roots, and fruit, about a quarter-meter in length, including
its long tail. In color it varies from black to white, through
the full range of grays, sometimes with a brownish or yellowish cast,
depending on the variety. The throat, belly, and inside thighs
are usually white or pale gray. It has strong hindquarters and
can make great leaps at need, and elongated, sensitive ears.
The Rat's Nest:
A notorious collection of taverns in Novo Durango, along the margin
between downtown and the industrial district, intermittently in
business. Situated illegally in various condemned buildings,
buildings under construction, or closed for renovation (originally and
frequently in the basement of an old, fire-damaged
bread-factory) the coalition that runs it
make enough profit to periodically pay off fines whenever caught.
They delay the inevitable discovery that they're back in business, in
between arrests, with a detachable sign, moveable decor and
furnishings, and illusionists. Naturally, being in the habit of
evading the law to exist, they do not refrain from hosting a variety of
illegal activities, yet less harm comes from them than one might
expect, as too much actual violence, despite the fantasies they cater
to, would be bad for business.
their bakery location, pillars uphold the floor over the
wide storage cellar, and sheets of plywood attached to these, separate
the area into many smaller bars; they use variations of this plan
frequently in other locations, as well. The bars all have themes,
creating an ambience of a rough, rebellious, and/or violent counterculture, either from
history (such as pirate, Viking, wild west, Valley Vigilante, or
Alroyan) or fiction (such as orkish, Sanctuary, Serenity/Firefly, or
Thieve's Guild.) Individual bars run under separate management,
and shift with individual fortunes. The owners of each bar has a
vote in the coalition.
recognition-point: A chemically-sensitive spot on a Til I.D.
card. When pressed by the owner's finger, it recognizes hir unique
biochemical signature and activates the card for use.
recorder: A small, hand-held device for recording and playing
back sounds, the sounds being stored upon a dab of sound-gum which is
then sprayed with a fixative within the machine.
recycler: A household appliance which shreds and repulps paper.
It may also incorporate into the paper pulp lint, scrap cloth and some
forms of vegetable matter.
redbark tree: A tall tree native to Altraus, with reddish-brown
bark periodically shed in long coils. The bark makes a pleasant,
semisweet tea that feels cool in the throat like mint, although the
flavor more closely resembles anise. It has long, deciduous leaves,
oblong or pointed.
red deer: A species of deer imported to Novatierre from Earth
and gone feral, found on all continents. Generations of adaptation have
resulted in many variant subspecies.
The corruption of altruism by the gradual expectation of reward, till
the "benefactor" expects immoral or criminal return "as an expression
of gratitude", arguably in excess of benefits received. Named
after an Old Earth entrepeneur, a manager of a restaurant and a series
of hotels, well-renowned for his generosity in sending money back to
his original village and financing numerous charitable causes, until he
was caught loading a dead underage girl and another in danger of dying
into a car. They turned out to have been slaves, used for sex and
manual labor, from the "beneficiary" village.
Redlark: A community in the DiMedici Forest, on the Eastern side
of The Nissenwaters, named for the migratory birds that nest there
every Spring. Its colors are red and black.
redlark: A small red songbird with a black collar and black
chevrons on the wings, (as well as white wing tips) of migratory habit,
which spends the first half of the year enjoying spring and summer
above the equator, and the second half of the year enjoying spring and
summer south of the equator. It subsists on insects and nectar, and
lays eggs during both springs.
redlife: Animal life-forms.
red magentine: The most commonly used form of magentine, having
a deep magenta or cherry color, employed to focus psychic energy.
It is of higher grade than green magentine and lower than blue
red trumpet: A wildflower common to alpine forests in the
SouthWestern Continent, known for its red, scarlet, or burgundy-brown
trumpet-shaped flowers. A yellow variety grows among the southern
mountains of the Mountains of Fire.
reed pith: A renewable resource, commercially grown, used for
packaging material. Also used to cushion artifacts from an
rehabilitation: In the most serious cases, when the Tili�n judge
a criminal unlikely to be deterred from crime by simple punishment, or
if his crime has deleteriously altered his personality, they will
sentence hir to formal rehabilitation. They will not release hir until
they have succeede in restructuring hir personality to function within
the parameters of society.
Much more often, however,
informal rehabilitation comes in to play. In these cases the judges tailor
punishments to the crimes, accompanied by all applicable steps to cure
those conditions which led to the crimes in the first place.
rehabilitation center: An institution that holds prisoners
accused of crimes, tries their cases and, if they prove guilty, decides
upon their sentences or rehabilitative needs.
reintegration class: A structured boarding school for children
whose virtues have, through overexuberance and lack of discipline,
become vices. In other words, children who engage in unruly and
inappropriate behavior for laudable reasons, especially those who have
eluded supervision by running away from their legal guardians to pursue
their goals. The course of study simultaneously rewards their better
moral impulses while reining them in to the discipline necessary to
make such impulses effective.
The Tili�n isolate this
school from the mainstream of Til Institute. As a first test, the
children must make their way to the school on their own; this determines
whether they are well-meaning enough for this kind of program to work
effectively. Those who do not arrive will be redirected into programs
for more delinquent children, once they have been tracked down. After
the initial freedom of arrival, discipline becomes strict, yet still
geared to the active, inquisitive, and thrillseeking child.
Resurrection of Souls: The Alonzo Valley version of All Soul’s
Day or Dia De Los Muertos, celebrated on November 2. Since, in that
part of the world, it falls in late spring, the abundance of flowers
all around are said to signify the blossoming of the souls of those recently buried in death, like seeds.
Resthaven: A small town at the western end of the Great Gulf
Road, named for the relief travelers usually feel to reach the end of
the road. Largely mercantile in its economy, it also barters tools and
vegetables for dried fish, treasure-coral, and woven seaweed products
with the otherwise self-isolated Disciples of the Hermit.
retinitis nyctophilia: A painful sensitivity of the retina to
light, caused by a Novatierran-native virus that normally co-exists
harmlessly in most persons, but becomes destructive to the weaker eyes
of an albino or (less commonly) those of a person with pale blue eyes.
It can also be triggered in the eyes of normal persons if subjected to
extreme light-exposure under artificial conditions.
rhallunn: 1) Soggy.
3) Rotted from neglect.
5) Resigned to depression.
6) Embracing victimhood as an absolution from responsibility.
7) Accepting of and resigned to the negative assessments of others in regards to one's character or performance.
8) Settling for pity in lieu of love, to the point where one’s quest for pity drives any chance of love away.
Rhallunn Marsh: Marsh fed by offshoots of the Rhallunn River,
bordered to the east by the Rhallunn River and Swamp Cove, to the west
by Defy Ridge at the foot of the Silver Slopes and Mt. Seascarp, across
a channel from Outlaw Island. It has one community, the village of
Stilthome. Contrary to its bad reputation, it actually provides a
wealth of wild rice and clams, and provides habitat for many beautiful
and valuable birds.
The marsh proper is erroneously
associated with the slum called Rhallunn which, although built on soft
and unreliable ground, is actually to the east of Rhallunn River. The
word “rhallunn” means “soggy”, but has come to have a connotation of
moral disintegration with its association with Rhallunn Slum.
Rhallunn Slum: Most commonly called simply Rhallunn. A community
to the east of the Rhallunn River (not in or next to the marsh as is
popularly supposed--in fact the communities of Sportsman's Cove,
Commune of the Greenwood Box and Marshwallow Village come between it
and the river.) It lies south of Wish Cove, north of Modrian's Tangles
and southwest of Shadowdancer Beach. It is technically the easternmost
outpost of Novo Durango.
Although much disparaged, it has
actually produced two notable theaters ("The King and the Fox Inn" and
"Neptune Theatre") and sports on its western margin a thriving artistic
community which is not a slum at all. Rhallunn has never acquired any
village colors. The artists in the community, when asked about this,
will claim the entire rainbow.
rhiobh: Rhioveynian word for a storm. Applied in other languages
as well for a storm at sea, due to linguistic distribution from
Rhioveyn: If, on Earth, you took the Japanese Islands (including
those ceded to Siberia after WWII) and combined these with the Siberian
Coast up to the Aniur River, you would have the equivalent land-mass of
They are a wealthy people, due to their
monopoly on Truesilk. Despite their wealth, they are not a world power,
thanks to an isolationist attitude that wants nothing to do with
the rest of the world save trade. They are known for their "Color
Society" clubs and rich dyes to match the quality of their fabrics.
A broad, meandering river in the plains of Vanikke Numerous
cities line its banks, most notably the capitol, Gastenheber, at its
mouth, and Nuvelle Parie roughly at its center. Of great
commercial importance throughout the early days of Vanikketan history,
the discovery and development of taroleum and vehicles fueled by it
reduced its relevance.
Robinson, Amy Camilla: Founder of Robinson Laboratories, she was
the first biologist to begin the systematic study and categorization of
indigenous life on Novatierre, with an emphasis on sea-life. One of the
earliest colonists on the planet, and one of our most influential
Robinson, Gerald Edward: A major contributor in NASA's research
into reconstructing the Transfer Technology discovered by Consuelo and
Fobos Tercos, after Technological Laboratories departed from Old Earth.
Recent documentary archeology has revealed that at one point he had
actually worked in Technological laboratories, before its relocation to Novatierre, directly under Consuelo
Tercos, herself, but got dismissed when her brother discovered that
Robinson had had an affair with her. This confirms a colorful legend
previously thought without basis. It has surprised many historians, due
to a number of letters about Dr. Robinson, asserting that ever since
the death of his wife, Myrtle, he felt no call to live as a social
animal, and that his work had expanded to fill out his life. (We know
this because we have found his notepad (a compact form of computerized device) and it stored not only copies of
his own letters and emails, but also those of a number of people whose
privacy he invaded by hacking.) Apparently, however, Consuelo Tercos
also spent long hours in the lab, and they were not themselves machines
of science, nor legends of a fabled past, but creatures of flesh and
blood. Evidence also has surfaced that they were both bipolar, and
psychologists have often commented on how people with this disorder
tend to find and fall in love with each other.
Myrtle Robinson, she had died of cancer, diagnosed during her
pregnancy. She had refused chemotherapy--a dangerous remedy of the
time, where one poisons fast-growing cells and hope that the rest of
the body survives--so as not to injure the baby; she died shortly after
Amy Robinson's birth. Gerald Robinson often
referred to Amy as his “Pearl of Great Price” for this reason.)
Plenty of documentation exists to show that Robinson later worked for
the United States of America, under NASA, on their own
transfer-project. He received many commendations, but he also became
increasingly unstable. Some accounts infer that the urgency of his
work, and his dedication to saving humanity, drove him to abuse
stimulant drugs, while others say that he did not need any outside
influence to unhinge him, and that the manic phase of bipolar condition
can imitate stimulant intoxication convincingly. Whatever the
case, he found himself fired over some incident that nobody recorded in
any detail beyond the official statement about “dangerous egregious
behavior inappropriate to the laboratory environment”. He himself
registered a protest that his supervisor, Abdul Al'Aalem, fired him in
order to steal his research, but Dr. Al'Aalem personally assured him
that he didn't care who got credit so long as the job got done.
In all fairness we should include his own account as to why NASA
“I have made some political choices in my life that make
me suspect. Certain people have convinced others to bar me from the
final experiments. Subtly, politely, through a forest of subterfuges,
but I have noticed. I know.
"And it does not help, you must understand, that my research has grown
more and more 'arcane', as far as they're concerned. It makes them
squirm, but that won't stop them from using my results, even if they
don't want to admit where they come from. Few of my stupid colleagues
can even understand me unless they spend hours poring over reports that
it took me minutes to type! I am well quit of them all. Do not take it
amiss, old friend, that I find no joy in any company, anymore, except
my darling daughter. Sometimes I find it hard to reach out even to her,
but at least her childhood excuses incomprehension, and she listens
raptly and without prejudice to anything which I might try to explain
(We have found no addressee for the letter excerpted above. Some
historians believe it might have been a “Dear Diary” sort of entry, or
even intended for an imaginary friend. Others speculate that he found a
way to contact Consuelo Tercos, but erased the address in his copies
lest her brother trace it to him. But there could well have been
someone else in his life that he kept contact with on a regular basis.)
Gerald Robinson continued research on his own, and quickly learned how
to improvise his own equipment. Indeed, he admitted quite frankly in
his own writings that he stole much of it, under the rationalization
that soon all property rights would become a moot point, anyway, and
better the equipment should fall into hands that knew how to make the
best use of it. For he suspected the coming end long before he
Then he made a discovery never matched before or after in magentine
technology: an application that not only bent space but also time,
which revealed many feverish little glimpses of the past, and also
sometimes snatches of the strongest, most probable futures.
He saw, beyond doubt, that current events had finally closed off every
possible future for a habitable Earth, and that enormous suffering
would inevitably accompany the slow decline. He did not want that
future for his daughter. So he built himself a transfer device in his
own home, all by himself. At first he worried about the tremendous
power surge that it would take to operate it. Then he laughed at his
own scruples and made secret connections to every line in the
neighborhood; he wouldn't stick around to pay the bill.
In what little he caught of the future, he also saw a great city in the
northern coast of Altraus. There he witnessed advanced applications of
the technology that the Drs. Tercos had just begun to explore—surely
there lay the colony that they planned to seed upon a new earth! Since
Consuelo Tercos had mentioned the general Altraus area as a possible
site for a colony, he deduced that she would go there, and that this
city would eventually spring up from her efforts.
“There no one will exclude me, far from the politics of this sick old
world!” he wrote. “Not once I prove myself, not once I stand there
waiting, ready to greet everyone as they arrive—no one will ever leave
me out again!”
Evidently he saw Novo Durango. He might have glimpsed no other cities
in his random sitings. He might not have wanted to go to Istislan even
if he did see it, considering the bad blood between him and its
founder. But some do argue that he never fell out of love with Consuelo
Tercos, and sought her there, in the new world.
With a great deal of seed and gardening equipment, chickens, goats, and
everything else needed to survive, plus reams and reams of scientific
information in his notebook, Robinson took his daughter to the exact
location of where he saw the city. For in that also he surpassed all
others in transfer technology, in that he could select his arrival
He departed, with his daughter, on the anniversary of his wife's death.
He had no way of knowing that the first landing had already occurred on
an island many miles away. He emerged from the transfer in a canyon in
the middle of unpopulated brushland, with no companion save a five year
old girl and an encapsulation of what had survived of the Library of
(The home that he built there remains to this day, in Lonely Scientist
Canyon, in the heart of Novo Durango, preserved as a museum.)
Robinson had no diversion except to teach Amy, or take her on hikes to
explore the new land, especially down to the beach, which she loved.
She especially liked his stories of the sea. She grew up into a
confident, self-sufficient woman, while her father, slowly going mad,
dug up all the information that he could, in his encapuslated lore,
about oceanography (since he knew no other way to perceive wonder
except through science) to dangle before Amy as Christmas presents,
birthday presents, anything presents, knowledge the single thing that
he owned to give. And she loved him, and forgave him for the days when
he sat and cried and did nothing and made no sense at all. Gradually
their roles switched and she took care of him; she gardened and fished
and cataloged shells all alone, and kept them both alive.
In her twenties Amy Robinson met the first explorers from the colony of
Technological Laboratories. Excited, she dragged the young men and
women back to the home which her father had built. But Gerald Robinson
just laughed wildly at them, said, “More hallucinations!” and then
turned back to the garden, pulling up invisible “future weeds” to stop
them before they grew.
Amy Robinson never convinced him that they hadn't landed on the wrong
planet. Yet even after she married, she insisted upon living close to
her father. She established her laboratory nearby and lived outside of
Til Institute proper. She never neglected the strange old man, who'd
fought such a lonely fight to stay just sane enough to care for one
little girl. He died of old age, well-cherished and, in his own way,
Robinson Laboratories: A world-class marine biology laboratory
founded, in the earliest days of the Great Migration, by the tragic and
courageous Dr. Amy Robinson. Found on the southernmost end of
Robinson's Beach, built into the sea-cliff, north of the Beau Canyon
Complex, across a channel from Misty Island.
Robinson’s Beach: A stretch of beach along the Altraus Coast,
fronting the Beau Cliffs region of Novo Durango, facing Misty Island.
First explored by Amy Robinson and her father Gerald, it now hosts
Robinson Laboratories in its southernmost end. Locals often identify a
North Beach and South Beach, but cartographers have never delineated a
division between the two, nor is any such marker apparent to the
Robinson’s Retreat: An island of the Altraus Coast, just beyond
Misty Island and Goat Island, alleged to have harbored Amy Robinson’s
home away from home whenever she wanted time to herself. Now occupied
by scattered homes that consider themselves a village. They have no
dominant trade to speak of, consisting largely of retirees, writers,
and subsistence-farmers. Their colors are black and turquoise.
rock fox: A rabbit-sized carnivore of Altraus, with a long
muzzle, pointed ears, and a bushy tail, with gray fur marked with small
white or pale gray spots between curving dark gray stripe. No two have
the same pattern. Rock foxes dwell mainly in rocky land and feed
primarily on lizards.
rock-rat: A rodent about two feet long (half of that tail) which
thrives on rocky, high-altitude slopes, subsiding on caches of
wildflower seeds, supplemented by the eggs of birds and reptiles when
he can get them. Found exclusively in the Charadoc Mountains.
rock raven: A large, glossy-black raptor which lives mainly off
of reptiles caught while sunning themselves on rocks--hence its
preference for nesting in stony outcroppings. In the interest of
balance, these same reptiles often prey on the rock raven's eggs.
rock salmon: A pink-fleshed saltwater fish, silvery with gray
mottling (sometimes opalescent) averaging about a meter long, which
prefers to breed in rocky shoals throughout the world's tropics. No
relation to salmon brought from Earth.
A vine found on the cliffs of Altraus, particularly on the northern
side. A fleshy succulent with strong roots and tendrils, it grows
in pockets of soil on cliff or rock-faces, sending out long creepers to
find the next pocket of soil. It flowers with fleshy "petals" of
coral to rose color, with small true petals of aqua color within,
nearly obscured by a showy burst of amber-gold to bright yellow
stamens. Esteemed primarily for its fruits, somewhat resembling
cactus fruits, with a deep purply-magenta flesh having a raspberry-like
flavor. Eaten as is, or fermented into wine or brandy--the poorer
the conditions, the fewer the fruits yet the better the flavor.
Roman Patriarchy: One of the three main branches of Catholicism
or Sacramentalist Christianity. This Pope claims direct spiritual
lineage from St. Peter the First. The Roman Patriarchy in Novatierre
differs from the pre-Migration Pope in setting aside the claim of
infallibility that Popes had taken up only a few centuries before, in
order to welcome as brothers the other two Popes as they emerged in the
Age of Migration. Otherwise the religion remains little changed from
the Earth original.
romeo lark: A small gray bird with bright green patches on the wings and tail, who sings larklike warbles only at night.
A hoppiing, treedwelling rodent, about the size of a chipmunk, with a
squirrel-like body, a kangaroo-like head, and a long, prehensile tail,
in various shades of beige, usually matching the bark of the trees in
which it dwells. Not, as often supposed, a marsupial.
Although native to the southeastern woods of the Northeastern
Continent, it has inadvertently stowed away with shipments of lumber to
many locations all over the world. While it can live off of bark
indefinitely (without thriving; it cannot reproduce on a bark diet) it
greatly prefers nuts and seeds and some tender sprouts, and so does not
pose a hazard to forestry, although sometimes killed off out of fear
that it will destroy a woodlot.
A dish made of a blend of mashed root vegetables with butter and cream,
sometimes with salt, pepper, nutmeg, anthelma, cinnamon, and/or
allspice. The roots might include potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams,
nagaios, chagos, parsnips, yacons, turnips, arrowroot, ground nuts,
breadroot, manioc, carrots, fennel, celeriac, taro, cassava, purified
catawlba, rutabaga, and/or ginger, or indeed roots not yet revealed to
rookie: An agent on hir first mission, generally required to be accompanied by a veteran agent.
rookie mission: An agent's first mission, usually something comparatively easy and routine.
Root-Gypsy Village: A rural community of Alonzo Valley whose
community colors are magenta and brown. Situated to the east of the
Fertile River, between the entry points of its tributaries, the Dancer
river and the Cattlewade, with Mt. Rain to the east of the village and
The Winterwash to the south. According to legend, it derives its name
from a Roma family who brought along potatoes, turnips, and beets from
Earth and planted them at that site. (Some say carrots rather than
A tall, thick-stemmed, grasslike plant, native to the rainforests of the
Southwestern Continent. It varies from one to twelve meters high,
depending on how far it must grow to reach a patch of sunlight.
It somewhat resembles a sort of twisty, vinous cornstalk in appearance,
though its fibrous kernels look more like barley, and its bitterness
makes what little food value it might have worthless even for
fodder. However, its long leaves, green with reddish-purple
streaks, carries a strong fiber useful for cordage and a kind of tough
canvas for tents and sacking. As it cannot tolerate full sun, and
needs the complex biochemical fungal interactions found around the
roots of trees, it resists cultivation in the normal sense, and so sees
use primarily on a gathered, folk basis.
A singularly durable paper made from the papiyea reed, smooth in tooth,
creamy white without bleaching, and archival in quality.
rose knot: A way of knotting up a handful of fabric to look like
a rose, fashionable in the late 24th and early 25th century in Til
Territories, especially to accent a sash, raise the hems of skirts or
tunics, shape loose fabric tight, gather back full sleeves, or draw
close a neckline. A bridal veil might sport a whole cluster of
rose-knots. The late 25th century considered them decadent, yet they
have lingered on in art to the present day, symbolically conveying
indulgence and sensuality. Modern interior decorators often employ them
on drapes and canopies.
A Novatierran mutation or cultivar from Earth stock, the rose lime has
a rosy or orangey blush when ripened, and is much esteemed for the
richness of its flavor, intense lime with hints of orange, fully tart
and yet with a hint of sweetness. Chefs covet it above all other
citrus. The rose lime gimlet is the signature cocktail of the
Oxhead Inn in San Alvarronu�ez.
In Kalorcabori, a penitant, formally engaged in a year dedicated to
relearning a lifestyle alternative to hir prior evil ways. Roshykos
live for that year in a sort of halfway-house run by monastics of both
sexes, often former roshykos, themselves, giving them pragmatic classes
and mystical disciplines, with unpredictably timed rites of passage to
bring the roshyko to the next level. They also receive extensive
counseling, both in the group and one on one. They hold down
supervised jobs, and at first give all of their pay to the institution
retraining them and/or reparation to past victims, but gradually get to
keep a little for themselves, plus some money set aside to aid their
eventual transition into mainstream life. Roshykos ger respect
and patience for their decision but not trust, lest opportunity put
them in temptation's way before they can handle it, nor can they expect
forgiveness until they have finished earning it.
rubyberry: A glossy, globular berry of a dark purply-red color,
most closely resembling a blueberry in taste, with a faint gingery
bite. It has small, dense, yellow-green leaves, simple, ovate, and
opposite, deeply creased down the middle. The thorny wood is useless
for anything but fuel.
rude program: Colloquial term for an answering program which,
when it recognizes a caller's code as belonging to someone declared
persona non grata to the one receiving the call, will tell hir that
communication with hir is not desired and then hang up on hir. If the
caller attempts further communication on the same day, the program
automatically notifies policia of harassment.
rum laren: A popular mixed drink, consisting of rum, laren, a squeeze of lime, and sometimes spices.