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.

Yaio of Sand:  The Darvinian God of Consequences. Said to be the child of all of the consorts of Timora, Goddess of Change, simultaneously

Theto of Fate feared that only a monster could be born of such a birth, and persuaded Horo, who is Time, to slay him in the womb, and Daio of Chance especially dreaded his coming.  Daio it was who searched the world till he found a long, thin needle strong enough to penetrate the womb even of Timora, and together with Horo went hunting for her.

But Ario Who Chooses learned of this, and hid Timora in a desert far to the south, in the Southeastern Continent, and there she gave birth to Yaio in the lee of a sandune.  And there he grew up, blackened by the heat, becoming as harsh as his environment, and yet finding joy in the overcoming of the many perils that faced him, and the rewards that he could reap from hard work.

For a terrifying time nothing in Novatierre changed, while Timora sheltered her child and bore none after him, hidden from her mates.  Crops neither ripened nor rotted, but nobody hungered to eat it, anyway.  Children did not grow and adults did not age, and every day dragged through unvarying routines, until the people cried out in their boredom for the gods to welcome The Supreme Goddess back.  Meanwhile Horo languished on the brink of death, yet never able to die, without her rescusitating hand. 

At last Theto confronted the people, saying, "Do you really want this terrible deity to descend upon you?  He will follow his mother everywhere, and wreak punishment and horror upon us all!"

Then up spoke Ario, saying, "Yet he will also reward, and reward generously, those who earn his favor.  For in the desert he has taken Shi'h to wife, the spirit of Sand, and she wears down yet also polishes.  She is Justice, Theto, and whether we fear her or not, we must also love her."

The people cried out yes, bring him with his mother and his spouse, for, even horror would be preferable to nothing ever changing again.  And so the gods brought Yaio out of the desert, and with him his spouse, a force of nature become a goddess from his cherishing.

Daio and Yaio are eternal enemies, each seeking to outwit the other.  Sometimes one succeeds, and sometimes the other.  Darvinians say that we are the dice in their hands, but Yaio help us to rig the dice.

Yaio is depicted as a black man of the desert, with his tightly-curled hair cornrowed and braided into a tight bun at the nape of his neck, for he looses nothing. He wears desert robes of gradient stripes of black and white merging between into gray.  In art he holds a whip in his left hand and a lucious melon in his right, freshly sliced open and ready for feasting.  His face is stern and yet not without pity; some even paint tears upon his cheeks, for it often grieves him what people call on him to do.  Yet businessmen often hire statues made with him smiling, for they hope to see their hard work rewarded.

One may build him a temple or a chapel anywhere, but one must plan it carefully and construct it meticulously, with all angles right and all finishes flawless.  He will only accept, as offerings, something which the supplicant has made or grown with hir own hands.

yakuthansa:  An aquatic bush with long, lush leaves and brown-to-gray bark, native to rivers and creeks of the western fork of the Southwestern Continent.  It usually first sprouts on the banks of a body of water.  Then, as it grows rapidly and its need for water increases, its branches droop and root underwater, sending up new shoots as the older roots grow tall and buttress-like.  It must always have some roots in drier soil, and as it matures, some roots underwater. 

When ready to flower, it sends juicy green shoot straight up from its branches, each of which blossoms with small, three-petaled white flowers of intense fragrance, very attractive to polinators.  These eventually produce small reddish-black berries, with more seed than flesh in them, popular among birds but not human beings.  Nevertheless, farmers use these vitamin-rich berries as suppliments to chicken-feed.  Locals also reduce the sap in order to make a strong glue.

yam fosta: A buttery, peppery dish of shell-shaped noodles made of yams, sweet potatoes or sometimes pumpkin or squash pulp.
yancha:A thorny vine widespread in the rainforests of both horns of the Southwestern Continent. It has very large, fluted and ripply dark green leaves rich in vitamin A, but unfortunately also high in solanum and hence inedible. A long, lime-green, curving thorn grows under each leaf. People will break off these thorns, and split them down a natural indentation in its sides; it will not split through the tough base, however. This makes them convenient for use as hair pins. It blooms in small clusters of very fragrant and waxy cream-colored flowers. Chandlers will use these to scent candles. They grow tiny red berries that are toxic, but can make a potent poison for hunting darts.
Yolinn: A political/philosophical/religious movement of Samina-Ved, teaching that all human beings are expressions of God, and that therefore oppression of any human being is blasphemy. Part of valuing all human beings entails rewarding their work commensurate with its importance, and valuing those who do menial but necessary tasks as essential to society as a whole.
Yu, Leona: A renowned 27th Century artist, known for making masterpieces in the Dark Realism style, often in underrated media; she is also listed among the foremost artists in the Industrial Folklore movement. Her most famous works are “Night Skirmish on Black Velvet”, “Dawn over Dominique Mountain” (crayon encaustic) and the controversial “The Unconsummated Communion” which portrays a detailed crucifix in folded gum wrappers. (Some critics called it blasphemous, while others said that it made an important statement about those who go through the motions of Christian worship, but do not follow through in how they lead their lives, comparing Communion to something chewed but not swallowed.)

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