Uh, well, hello there!
It would appear that you have stumbled into my Vault – a place I have created to satisfy the curious and pacify the ‘geek’ in me. Whether you’re here on purpose or not – don’t worry, I will not lock the main gate until the hour strikes 25:00, but spirits know: then you’d better run! ;-)
Anyway, so this is the space on my website where I store the larger nuggets of information – the Treasury of Truth and ‘Intelligence’, if you like.
In short: as a place designed to help you discover something ‘extra’, you might come across sizzling sombre snippets of thoughts or conversation, enticing excerpts of the new and old, quirky quotes, letters, deleted scenes of perhaps peculiar entertainment value, the occasional obscure object of interest – and, of course, the official glossary to compliment the current book.
Please explore and enjoy at your leisure. To my knowledge, nothing in the Vault is breakable – and if a sly nimble thief has somehow managed to abscond with a particular scroll of information, or happens to have pocketed a certain word or definition, you are of course very welcome to contact me and I’ll see what I can do. :-)
Let the browsing begin!
This refers to the table of witches responsible for upholding the laws of existing covens and for recruiting new talent. Traditionally they have also been responsible for the training and guidance of the Key and the Lock.
The Academy of Maegus was to all intend and purpose destroyed during the former Battle for the Veils.
A group of independent landowning families, who joined fortunes with and lent their support to some of the Old Families during the Chaos War, either for financial gain or due to threat or for fear of other fractions. It has been known on occasions that such alliances were not entirely loyal as some did attempt to bank on more than one family until the strongest had been revealed. Sometimes, due to disagreements or heightened taxes, affiliations were also known to switch overnight.
The name given to the time around the most recent Battle of Veils. It is a time shrouded in historical mist and not much documentation survives.
The true name of ‘The Creator’, who is now largely forgotten by the people of Ostravah and replaced the Parthenon of Gods.
A gesture often used by the gangs of Imkarah as a way to swear truth. The person who wishes others to know they can be trusted, will hold out one arm with their palm up to signify that they will stake their limb to the fact. It is not a gesture used lightly.
In High Armearan, Alscara translates as ‘lock’.
This is a form of glitch that sometimes affects the Far Seers when they have known too much strain or are not properly prepared to receive a vision. In result, the vision in question cannot be trusted because it is viewed to be partly dream, partly truth.
It is distinguishable from ordinary visions because the Far Seer speaks aloud of what they see, something which is considered similar to talking in one’s sleep.
Rich in magic, this is a kind of Elemental spirit made flesh to safeguard the Sunerai people in return of tending and caring for the lands. Once many in number, the Ancients have now been harvested by the Venzoians for their magic and only one remain, the Guardian Orleara.
The Eikyr stallion bonded to Malandar Denarlin Cor’Esardan. Its prime colours are black and blue.
This is an ancient fight rule, which could be bestowed by the winner of a duel onto the loser in order to restore said person their full honour. This kindness was completely in the hands of the victor, and would traditionally only be granted if the defeated party had been seen to put up such a brave display of skills or valour that they could be said to stand equal to the victor.
The five iced-over, abandoned piers that stretch into the frozen ocean at Ivanor, Ocean’s End.
A strong but flexible variety of wood, commonly used to fashion Haitu as well as bows.
The magically imbued artefact that is used by the Twins to recalibrate the Veils every new millennium.
A general term for an eclectic array of magical items and devices, which were commonly used in the pursuit of specific magical weaves or abilities, either to enhance power/ability, or to function as common aids or tools.
Though many remain secreted throughout the lands, the knowledge of the existence of such items have been lost to the people of Ostravah, largely due to the scale of destruction that occurred when the Astrolabe sundered and ripped the Magic to shreds. The artefacts that presently survive are far and few between and, when found, their conditions tend to be poor. Many are now faulty or broken.
The following artefacts are known or speculated to still exist: The Vidaria Stones, The Fire of Stylos, The Amethyst Jewel, The Rod of Ages, The Dagger of Truth, Cahniamh’s Bracelet.
An artefact does not retain power indefinitely. It can be re-spelled, but if too old, it is simpler to create a new piece.
This item is known also as ‘The Sphere of Worlds’ or ‘The Astral Aide’ or simply ‘The Artefact’. It is the magical instrument used by the Twins to re-calibrate the veils and maintain the balance of peace in the realms.
This powerful item was usually held in custody by the Academy of Maegus who disguised its presence and shielded it behind a spell of illusion that would alter its appearance so that only the Twins would be able to locate it. During the last battle for the Veils, however, the Artefact was sundered into nine pieces, or shards, which split across the Nine Realms as the power was unleashed.
Carved or occasionally painted spells that neutralise all other magic. Of Elvern design, is it incredibly difficult to master as the wards are ‘live’ and can wreak destruction if handled by the unskilled.
Aquedian Wards are traditionally used to trap and neutralise the Magic of a Neidar Ba’raie, and may in extreme circumstances also be used to control criminals of strong magical Affinity.
The iconic name given to the fight that went on between Fabrano Icolor and Thain Phudor, approximately 500 years in the past, wherein most of the Ostravahn leading Families were annihilated or lost.
This is a term used in Ostravah, which refers to someone dying – for example, s/he passed Beyond an hour ago.
In certain situations, however, it may also be used to refer to myth – for example, by referring to witches using their third eye to learn about people by looking Beyond.
Also known as Metamorphic Porcelain Granite, this is an expensive near-indestructible rock that is mined solely in the Ostravahn Province of Kretoria. Cut and prepared in the mines by convicts, exposure to the fine dust very commonly inflicts the workers with a fatal blight of the lungs.
An alternative name for ‘The Brotherhood of Alérathnar’.
Found in the Elvern city of Eurenor, in the Realm of Heirah-Noor. Conarhven is the Elemental (or entity) that protects Pritariondahlir’s Gate from Venzoian attack.
To enter through the gate, one must pass on foot across the seal.
Found in the Elvern city of New Varranor, in the Realm of Heirah-Noor. Stagraine is the powerful Elemental (or entity) trapped and charged with protecting an Elvern landmark called ‘Ensejredan’s Gate’ from Venzoian attack.
Approximately the size of a woman’s palm, this is common pest that can be found throughout Ostravah. Is known for its’ sharp sting though it is not lethal.
A term used by the Sabén-Heshep to describe the Nine Realms.
A semi-domesticated bovine, indigenous to Ostravah, named for its red-brown skin.
Highly coveted for the superb quality of leather that can be produced, the hide is highly sought after and the ox now increasingly rare as there appears to have been a steady decline in numbers over the last decade.
An off-shoot of the River Mesatitan’s South-Western branch, that runs into the Province of Centina where it eventually disappears as it dips underground.
Also known as ‘Witch Ward Root’, this medicinal powder heralds from the tree of same name. The roots, if taken young, can be used to brew a painkilling tisane, and can also be dried and used for immediate pain relief by chewing like snuff.
This is an oath taken by the Guardians of the Upper Circle that they will protect and promote the peace with each other, particularly whilst in council in the Oratorio. This is to stand regardless of disagreements or other.
A space in-between worlds, this forms part of the Void. The Borderlands are largely an unknown place or may otherwise be thought of as a sort of ‘no man’s land’ or a void between realms. It is a place that is accessed by mortals only when the Veils need realigning. It’s a place that can be accesses only by the Key, the Lock, the Guardians and the Gods.
The magically erected border that separates the Void from the realms of the living.
This term refers to the final, ‘official’ capitulation of one duellist to another upon the completion of their fight. Commonly, this will be performed by the losing party, who bows deeply to the victor so as to signify their compliance with, and their respect for, the result.
If the victor so wishes s/he may then bow in return but it is not prescribed procedure. It is mostly a tradition upheld by Jackal Fighters so that the winner is clearly marked beyond contestation for the purpose of spectators claiming pay-out on wagers
This is a skill associated with the art of Veranto, whereby Masters of the art Veranto can reach for ‘salvation and death’
A highly complex skill to attain and perfect, this is attempted only by the 1st Grade Masters, who will perform preparations to lower their heart rate to conserve air and effect the necessary steps to enter an alternate state of mind.
A skilled practitioner will make the conscious decision to relinquish the need for breath for an extended amount of time, usually for the purpose of meditation or to unlock the mystic path leading to spiritual development and self-discovery.
A dangerous and commonly detrimental side-effect for the less astute, may be the lack of understanding of the process, in which case a person may lose himself or drift into a permanent comatose state, from which death is certain. The Breath of Eternity can also be embraced when attempting a Spirit Reach.
This is an informal Elvern way of addressing comrades in arms, particularly amongst the units of Hunters.
Sometimes referred to as the Lower Circle, but known as ‘Niedashal okh Herath’ in the lost language, this is a secret group of mortal men and women, who were traditionally sworn to aid the Upper Circle and protect the Astrolabe. This was an honour shared alongside ‘The Keeper of the Seals’.
The once-elite army having been largely annihilated during the Battle of Balance nearly a millennium in the past, now largely consists of just a handful of descendants who have lost the understanding of this once sacred duty and exists solely on the edge of lawlessness, with but a few unsupported myths to sustain their tarnished heritage.
The previous Ostravahn time line, referred to as, ‘Before Unity’.
An ancient magical artefact, purportedly lost, though Visentor Tan'Xaviar claims to know of its location.
It is supposedly a golden bracelet of design, which can be separated into two individual pieces of jewellery that will allow lovers to communicate if their have a segment each. It is however speculated that the artefact may also simply be used to spy on conversations and judge the true feelings of other people.
A former, locally governed State situated to the north-east of present day Etruia. Cantagu was destroyed during the Chaos War.
The vast group of mainly Human librarians who work in the Library of Life situated in the Sabén-Heshep Realm. The Caretakers maintain everything to do with the history of the Nine Realms and the races.
A flavoured, spicy tobacco grown just west of Nedarrah, Ostravah.
An Elvern term for the few of their own people who are caught in illegal acts. If the crime is severe the guilty party is erased from all records, their personal belongings and items that might from a link to them are destroyed, or - in mediating circumstances - may be sold back to family. A cast-out is usually executed either as Sport like a slave, or in 'honour', by a Hunting Squad.
If the crime committed is of a magical nature, the cast-out may also be forced to outlive their life as a slave controlled by Aquedian Wards.
A robust Zanzierian wine, widely agreed to be of excellent quality.
This refers to a dark time of history circa 500 years in the past, where the Realm of Ostravah was locked in the war between two warriors: Fabrano Icolor and Thain Phudor.
During this time, as the war escalated, most of the old noble families had been drawn into the strife and had thus begun to war also between themselves over issues of loyalties and rights too. It lead to horrendous feats of genocide where many old nobles were pushed beyond the point of survival. This in turn gave rise to the opportunistic 'new nobles', who mainly sprang from peasants or distant, marginalised bloodlines.
The war, according to history, was so bloody that in the end, Phudor was slain by foul means just to bring about the truce. This in turn later lead to the first six provinces signing the Declaration of Unity.
Occasionally referred to as a 'Charmer', this refers to a prostitute who works in the street. The signatures of their trade consists of a scarlet mask and a red garter. They are also commonly particularly scantily clad and considered very improper - mostly by other women.
A popular breed of dog, much resembling a bloodhound but of gracile body with a deep chest. The breed is used for sport.
The title given to the leader who presides over the Council of Historic Preservation amongst the Story Makers in the Realm Sabén-Heshep. Since this is a title that grants a person the ultimate power, they are required to have, and uphold, an outstanding attention to detail, just as they must be known to possess a continued selfless objectivity in every aspect of their role.
The Chief of Vectors' duty is to control the petitions for alteration to time and events, also reviewing the pathways of change, and overseeing the flow created by a magical artefact, known as the Tapestry of Time.
Men and women of Ostravah who make notes for the historical records and maintain and copy out old books and documents. They also work at the Etruian University as lecturers in multiples subjects.
Their uniform consists of: blue, black and green robes and floppy, semi-pointed hats bearing the ribbon/s of their expert subject.
This is a mysterious, unsubstantiated item about which little is known or understood in present time. Yet according to the barmaid Heneia Weldranchi this magical construct may be used to travel vast distances across land (and maybe even time) once a person gains access through an artefact known as a Way Star. To make such a thing possible, instructions dictate that one requires blood from the body and concentration of the mind.
This is the title given to the person (or persons) who work as overseer of the Laws, either on behalf of the king or independently.
The role requires extensive, expert knowledge in the complexities of Ostravahn laws and etiquette, although these are also officially documented to disallow misinterpretation.
A Code Warden may also function as a mediator in disputes or grievances between people who carry argument over minor problems of domestic or official origins, although this is not a primary requirement of office and tends to be looked down upon by the older Code Wardens, who operate strictly in an advisory capacity and do no lower themselves to direct involvement.
The words are said to refer to the exact way a Master of the 1st Grade must be able to control their mind and body to become one with their Art. It is a balance just as it is to walk the path between 'all and nothing' and knowing thereby how to sink into alignment in order to rise above to become 'more'.
The collective name given to the many serfs and peasants who rose up to fight and further themselves, either their own cause, or that of their lords' during the Chaos War.
In reward for joining the strife, many were promised new freedom and status, most of which were granted due to the utter destruction of the old system.
A wild fowl of medium size, hunted both for eating and to cull numbers as the shrill call may deafen a person.
A sect of the Goddess Endar'Cha's devout followers. The group consists of physically crippled, former soldiers or criminals, who now travel the realm, seeking out recruits for the cause and to spread the goddess' gospel. It should be noted that their methods are known to be less than lawful and that they are commonly feared - facts which overall renders the group very successful in procuring riches for Endar'Cha's temples.
There is a saying amongst soldiers who go to battle, that all is never lost, for even if they are maimed beyond continued duty, a person will have a future with Endar'Cha who embraces the needy and the rejected.
When someone meets a member of the royal family, one must pause three paces from said person/s and take a knee without fault, eyes lowered in respect. One does not speak nor arise until given leave to do so.
The Maker's world, created at the dawn of time to become the home of the nine minor races.
People use the term 'going to the dark lands', in place of 'death' or 'the afterlife'.
It is however also believed to be an actual place that can be reached by traversing the Void though no one can say to have gone there. It is a place which is largely seen in a spooky superstitious light as it is the home of the dead. However, the Dark Lands is nevertheless understood to herald safety for the deceased, yet for a spirit to prove themselves worthy of eternal peace, it is commonly held that each spirit must traverse the Void - and, if found wanting or unsuccessful, may end up irreversibly trapped in the Borderlands of the In-between.
An Ostravahn week has 7 days, named mostly in honour of kings, but also on two occasions, after momentous events *.
A city lost in the passages of time, known now only in tales.
Also known as the Pyramid of Tiers, this term is used by Spell Weavers to describe the level of their Affinity and the strength of their ability to manipulate (or Persuade) the flow of Magic into spells.
It is a system that is largely to be seen much like a step-pyramid, where in each step represents a level of Affinity, known as a 'Tier'. There is a total of 7 Tiers and thus a Spell Weaver of the 1st Tier, is commonly known to be an apprentice or to possess only a weak level of Affinity, whereas a 6th Tier Weaver, is known to be powerfully strong in their Affinity.
Weavers of the 7th Tier are rare as they are said to see 'beyond' the Weaves to the Fabric of Creation itself, thus rendering most of their 'Persuasions' of instant effect. Most 7th Tiers are of Elvern descent. The 7th Tier Weavers are respected and very much looked up to, although they have also been known to lose control and/or go mad.
Also known as 'The Document of Unity', this is the peace treaty that was signed at end of the Chaos War by just 6 of the now-existing 15 provinces. It saw a beginning of a new era, wherein the first senate was chosen to govern the Realm alongside a chosen monarch.
The Declaration thereby replaced the previous, rather random system, where a multitude of nobles and the old families were seen to wield similar power in small fractions across the individual provinces, known then as 'States'. The Declaration saw 'the people' given a voice for the first time in recent memory, largely because of the separate fraction known as 'The Commoners', who'd risen up and fought as a separate, independent army against the Old Families.
Since the Commoner's Army managed to exit the war rather more gracefully than many of the unaffiliated nobles or indeed most of the Old Families, the time of signing was also a chance for many a Commoner Leader to claim money and lands, and most importantly, titles of nobility. Upon that day, to symbolise a new beginning, a recalibration of the old timeline was effected to begin anew as from that point. Across the Ostravahn provinces, the year that ended the war and saw the signing of the declaration, is now known as Year 0 P.C.W. (Post Chaos War).
This is a race beheld solely in the Ostravahn realm as fantasy horrors of myth. They are said to hide in shadows and rumoured to eat dogs and babies. They are used as nursery scare stories to keep the children in bed.
The tribes are made up of a number of nomadic families or villages, which seem to fluctuate in size and numbers all depending on seasons and circumstances. They inhabit the western-most provinces of Ostravah, stretching across Deb'Aran and Yellow Snake, but carry ties into the northern parts of Centina and even the unchartered areas of Broken Shards.
There are rumours of renegade mercenaries and criminals hiding in plain sight amidst these tribes but nothing has ever been proven and the people are touchy about the subject when confronted.
A once locally governed independent State, situated south-west of present-time Etruia. The state was destroyed during the Chaos War, and the area is now known as Centina
A jewellery set owned by Ostravahn Crown Princess Iambre Actarione. It consists of a veil-comb, earrings and necklace.
It is thought to have been a gift of bribery to the Royal House from the Baron of one of the first Centinae mines in his pursuit of tax-free trading with the capital, and the set is special because of the flawless, large centrally-set rose-cut ice-blue diamond that decorate the individual pieces.
'A thumb' = 1 inch
'A hand' = 6 inches
'A foot' = 12 inches
'A pace' = 2 yards
'A rod' = 2.5 yard
'A league' = 6 miles.
Lengthy distances may also be measured in days, hours or moons (a moon being commonly known to last from one night to the next, but can also be taken to mean a full month, depending upon the realm)
People of the priesthood who are elected to serve the Gods in the capacity of a direct link. Each god has one Oracle at a time.
Not quite the same as a Vessel, the Oracles are believed to speak the will of their chosen deity as they open themselves to be touched; it is no longer understood that this process remains a hazard to the Oracle's health, because the Power they link with is of course pure Chaos, and will sooner or later drive them insane.
Because of their status and demand these are itinerant workers who will reside for a time at one particular temple so that people may petition them with questions, fears, etc.
The Gods do not use the Oracles as Vessels, because ironically the priests do not lend themselves as figures of enough power, nor worth.
Seen in Ostravah as mythical creatures out of fables and kids' stories. They may be in used in reference to scare kids from being naughty but everyone knows they don't exist.
A lost method of forging indestructible weapons, particularly from Dragon Silver. Some claim that the name 'dragon forged', refers to the signature style used only by actual Dragons. Most people of Ostravah hold this tale to be founded upon water and dust.
Also known as Dragon Metal.
This is an extremely rare, immensely valuable metal which is coveted for weapons, jewellery, badges of honour, and other kinds of symbols of standing, like: pins or buckles, or decoration on harnesses, etc.
It has been named Dragon Silver for its elusive origins and pure liquid shine that is known to hold its own hue when seen under firelight. It is near-impossible to destroy and manipulate, and requires master smiths to work it.
Dragon Silver can be manipulated but not smelted and nor will it fuse with other pieces to form a larger design of Dragon Silver. Most pieces that are found are usually the size of a child's palm and is commonly incorporated into other, softer metals to form durable edges in weapons, or they are worked at great cost and skill to form highly-priced pieces of jewellery. Most existing Dragon Silver items are old and, bar a few, were manufactured in days long past.
The name referring to its tough, durable conformation, this is a very pale, silvery wood that is extremely hard to work and priced for the use of, amongst other things, shields and haitu.
The tree now grows only in the mountainous region of the Esardan Province. When cut and sanded it reveals an almost iridescent pattern of stripes and circles when seen in direct sunlight. It does not make good firewood and carries no trace of growth lines.
A creature that resembles a small dragon but has the shape of a large worm. It is a creature of small intelligence and no magic, though it is fierce. The origins of the Draken'Dah is rumoured to have been rooted in the mating of dragons who didn't manage to gain control over their magic and hence remained little more than animals.
This refers to the sort of dreamlike state of mind that the Guardians of the Upper Circle experience whilst they are suspended in the magically induced sleep that protects them between each millennium.
It is one of the Guardians' invisible strengths/powers bestowed by the Maker, which allows them to know that which transpires across the Nine Realms whilst they hibernate. It also serves to help them see the moves of the Mad Ones (the Gods), and though the Guardians cannot influence anything whilst in this dreamscape, it nevertheless serves as a direct insight into the state of affairs, which makes them neigh-on omniscient as they are called by the Quickening to rise up in answer to oaths and promises.
Seeing these events in the Dreamscape is an ability that is linked also the Sight and to their Rune Magic - other direct powers descendant from the Maker Himself so to aid their fight and enhance their existing abilities.
An upper cast type of Venzoian
Every sailor's nightmare, this is a monstrously thick type of plant that travels up the rivers and may clot-up the waterways unless culled.
A fair-sized inn situated in one of the better streets of the newer Zanzier Town.
The guild of licenced diamond- and precocious stone traders, who operate throughout the Ostravahn Realm.
A fabled creature of 18+ hands, it most closely resembles a horse, though it is born of no world, prefers a carnivorous diet, remains faster and more intelligent.
Eikyr bond with only one person. They carry natural armoured scales on 50% of their body and sport sinuous horns rising from the poll, as well as a tail of razor-sharp strands that will flog the skin off of most other living things.
As a creature not susceptible to the working of magic, these animals are prized, particularly by the Elvern race who 'made' them, but Eikyr will also be found serving the Guardians of the upper Circle.
Rumoured in Ostravahn myth to carry only heroes, they hold similar status in books and stories, to dragons or griffins.
A type of spirit that the Elvern people trap and bring from the Void to serve as mystical guards.
Originating from the Void, an Elemental is an incorporeal entity that can travel between realms. There are theories that the Elemental are the lost souls of people who got lost/stuck in the Void. They are magically very powerful and notoriously hard to control, but on their own they cannot influence much due to their lack of mass. If powerful enough, a Spell Weaver may use/bind an Elemental to serve in similar capacity as an artefact.
This is a term for the group of people who have achieved full 1st Grade Mastery of Veranto (sometimes excluding the Art of Kizano).
As a true 1st Grade Master of Veranto, a person is automatically extended a vote and a seat within the council, although it should be noted that this does not make them part of the inner circle, also known as the Initiation Circle.
The validity of a new apprentice will be discussed within the Enclave, and the overall decision is then referred to the Initiation Circle.
On occasions, the Enclave will also consider petitions, i.e. if a person carries the affinity and places their name forward rather than having been 'discovered'. However, the final decision to grant apprenticeship lies with the Elders and as an 'institution' it does not bend to pressure, nor politics, or bribery.
If a candidate is suitable according to the laws, then the candidate will be claimed and trained 'to the best of their ability and scope'; however, if a candidate is selected, yet proves unsuitable or develops 'unworthy' or 'undesireable' traits, this candidate is immediately struck off and their training henceforth terminated. This act is irreversible.
The Masters have a secret manor house at Rhincedale-On-Beach, a location known only by the three Grades of Masters.
A monument of power and protection that is found in the Elvern realm of Heirah-Noor. Imbued by the power of a trapped Elemental, it acts a gateway that cannot be breached by Venzoians.
An Ostravahn river that springs from the Sea of Erin’Dran, to flow south-west.
The Sabén-Heshep term for Armageddon
A celebrated historic hero and once the sole Knights Commander of the Legions before the provinces of Ostravah united.
He is the reported victor of the Chaos War and of the final battle wherein he and his supports were grossly outnumbered, yet still he defeated and executed Thain Phudor, a once-friend-turned-adversary. Because of his victory, Icolor is heralded as the supposed saviour of the realm and as 'Father' of the document that brought about the Union of Provinces
Each deity controls a concept - i.e. beauty, hate, illness, etc.
In the realm of the Sabén-Heshep, this term is used to describe a person who is born with powerful magical sight or vision. Usually the sight manifests when a child is very young, often by showing them something very mundane i.e. someone tripping over just before it happens. It is then honed through specific training using spelled diamond shards to focus their attention and meditation for clarity. The very powerful can see the future of events unfolding within their own realm and also the events that are set to take place in all of the Blessed Lands (The Nine Realms).
A person of talent will gradually be overwhelmed by their visions unless a real Master is found to anchor and guide them.
A Far Seer never talks during a vision - if they do the vision will be viewed as flawed or as 'an inaccurate viewing'. This is referred to as an 'amalgamation' - dream and vision combine.
A celebrated occasion on the calendar, this can fall either at the darkest time or the lightest (winter or summer). It is essentially an official honouring of the Gods or a sort of thanks-giving, but many other events are also celebrated during this prescribed week, such as naming days, weddings, etc.
The military battalion that was ordered to march on the Horn Uprisings about 10 years ago. They all wear a red tattoo of the Zanzier eagle on the neck.
Rare pearls, desired for their golden hue
This refers to an old-fashioned token by which one might 'purchase' goods or favours. It would often be issued in lieu of change or as a gesture of good-will to be redeemed at an appropriate time and place
A fleck is an old-fashioned term; a bit of slang for the lowest possible value ever given to a coin, but it derived originally from the days where coins were in short supply and the idea of 'change' was almost unheard off.
A fleck was a token of trust, most often not of monetary value per se, but it served in lieu of money and could instead usually be exchanged for objects or favours.
In current times, it can refer both to a tiny monetary value, barely worth its' own weight or (more crudely) as a direct reference to intercourse - courtesy of a king who was once notorious in his pursuit of prostitutes and was said to have paid each one 'with the honour of his company' - or 'a fleck' - so to symbolise the sexual transactions for what it were. This notion has since then led to the development of the common swearword
A salute of sword or chosen weapon before the start of one-to-one combat.
In the illegal combat of a jackal fight, this is the proof by which a contestant is said to be winner. First Touch can be made to any part of the body, but must be performed with a strike of the Haitu.
The term that is used to describe an oath-breaker. If foresworn, you are commonly punished by death if the offence is against the Crown.
As a foresworn offender has no right to a trial, they are commonly 'sentenced' to a year in an oubliette, whereupon they are brought forth for execution. Each foresworn candidate will be given the opportunity to confess and to pray for forgiveness before sentence is carried out. The Foresworn are burned at the stake, but the King may show mercy and have the foresworn executed before the fire is lit.
An ancient tradition, whereby a day of rest is 'given' to domesticated hunting animals, i.e. cats. On this day the animal is allowed to hunt for its' pleasure.
A place like an inn or a hostel, which a millennium past was well known as the home of a common magical devise (or artefact) known as 'A Traveller's Gate' or 'A Way Star'. Gate Houses used to feature in prominent positions across the Realm of Ostravah and would offer the affluent traveller or official messenger the means by which to reach their destinations with convenience, speed and in safety. Now only few remain and most Gate Houses no longer feature a working Way Star.
An ancient title that has traditionally fallen to the noble family that resides in Ivanor. A very long time ago, this title belonged to the Elvern.
A scientist who lived before the Chaos War.
Well-known and respected in his field, he is considered the most reliable source of reference when studying the details about an earthquake that struck when the Veils nearly fell a millennium ago. This happened in the year 283 B.U. (or Before Unity) and it is generally not well documented.
The term used by the Sabén-Heshep to refer to people with prescient abilities. As a rule it is known that you should command your Gift or it will command you.
An alcoholic drink similar to gin, enjoyed in Ostravah.
A hardy type of tree that will grow on its own or develop as part of a group. It is particularly common in arid, desolate areas, as it does not require much rain. It is happy to share space with its' smaller cousin, the heinar.
This is the 'term', Alérathnar the Maker's children, the First Race, have commonly adopted to style themselves.
They are the creators of the nine races.
The Gods are generally venerated as such throughout Ostravah, either in elaborately-built temples, or else through prayer by the simple way-side alters or trees 'borrowed' by locals to centre their worship on one, or more deities.
Chaotic of nature, they often prove fickle with their attention and promises, but are also seen to hold real power in day to day life - and people will speak their names to curry goodwill and favours.
Through particularly focused piety, a person may also draw down a deity's attention and help them manifest. A person may also offer themselves as a Vessel, to serve as eyes and ears for a deity.
A large ancient guest house in the town of Zanzier. It also serves as a rather strange - and not always particularly interesting nor organised - museum of items great or small.
The Golden Ball Guesthouse presides in the exact place of an original Gate House and it still possesses a functioning Way Gate, situated within the oldest part, which also doubles a veritable treasure chamber.
The Gate Chamber is known only to caretaker and owner Reano, and his 'assistant' Heneia Weldranchi.
Though not an official term for the time, it is widely considered by traditionalists to be the correct name for a period before the Chaos Wars that lingered on the old system of power, whereby leadership required sanctity and respect under one supreme ruler, who was known to govern most of the then-independent provinces indirectly through various measures of perhaps questionable origin.
It created a stiff adherence to notions of what was 'right and proper', everything became dependent upon honour, whilst life in turn embraced regimented order and rigidity right up until the Chaos Wars buried the old traditions to see the Throne and Senate introduced as the new rulers of the modern world.
The name given by the Sabén-Heshep to their sun. E.g. they would commonly say: 'the golden eye is riding high/low', or 'the golden eye is on the ascend/past noon/on the descend.'
An award to honour outstanding, professional excellence amongst the Guild of Tailors throughout Ostravah. This badge is only for the most distinguished craft people and is the upper most honour to strive for within this circle.
An ancient language which is largely forgotten and has barely a written record to prove it existed.
Also known as the Guardians' Pavilion: their sanctuary and resting place during the Long Sleep - this vast mausoleum is situated in the Void, protected from Gods and races alike.
It is also the place where the Veils are pulled back together each millennium with the help of the Twins who operate the Astrolabe to recalibrate the magic used to re-knot the fabric of cosmos, so that it may stand for another thousand years.
The emblem adopted by the Ostravahn medics. It will commonly be displayed over shops, upon their satchels and cloaks of office.
A term used by older soldiers or professionals to characterise recruits or people new to a task or trade.
Also known as Guardians of the Upper Circle, they are Alérathnar the Maker's selected avatars, re-born and raised to immortality, to stand the defenders against both Gods and the Venzoian race.
The Guardians are therefore directly linked to the Maker, who has given them power and Sight to promote equilibrium and balance the scales against Chaos.
Due to the power of magic and names, each Avatar is commonly known by a name given them by the enemy, which is of little used for other than a descriptive by which they may know each Guardian.
The Long Sleep and the Sight are both bestowed by the Maker. Each Guardian is marked by individual runes that link them to the Maker through power and oath, acting both a bond, as well as weapon and protection. The power of the runes is infinite as long as the Maker is infinite.
The Kuferi translation of the word Guardian is 'Saew-Nebdar'Hotep.
A practice sword fashioned from a strong reed-like material - partly carved and partly woven into a flexible rod, just under three-feet. It is commonly used for practise so to avoid lethal injuries on the training ground and it has become the preferred weapon of choice to settle the challenges of honour or to partake in an illegal fight.
An old name for 'Death'. Death is often understood to ride 'The Horned Beast'.
A person who possesses the unconscious ability to link with the remaining Ostravahn magic to manipulate minor things, often of a medical nature. They may also sometimes cleanse away pests and are often known to show an affinity for growing plants. All Hedge Wizards are male. Their female counterparts are Witches.
A tree with leathery dark leaves, the heinar starts as a hardy shrub of the same family as the glinthorne tree. When a shrub, it flowers in late summer and autumn in an abundance of thistle-like flowers that are covered in barbs with body-numbing toxins. If disturbed the barbs will dislodge and float in the air. If too much contact is endured, the event may be fatal to a person. Once a grown tree the leaves carry similar poisonous quality, but with less potency. The heinar is most often only found in non-populated areas.
Twin Kaisor sword of Silviata. Belongs to Guardian Malandar Denarlin. In the Elvern tongue, the name Heruvar translates to 'Hunting Enemy'. The sword is an artefact, impervious to magic.
Crown Princess Iambre's famed great-grandmamma who was rumored to be a fury on and off the battle-field, particularly after the pre-mature death of her husband (Londragas of Holborn). Her standard was the royal leopard: a huge red beast on a midnight background with scarlet scroll-work carefully stitched as border. In modern terms it is considered flamboyant.
Complicated spells and drawings used to protect and guard monuments, buildings, people and even items.
To ensure their continued power, a hex is usually tied to an Elemental.
An ancient, long-dead language, spoken at the time of Era Armearan throughout all of Ostravah and beyond. It is partly the root language of 'King's Speech', the language which is currently spoken in Ostravah.
For those who study linguistics, High Armearan carries many descriptive words, which must be pronounced not only with the correct infliction but also with the correct use of context, as it is the context and not always the word that will lend the difference between personal opinions, the ideology of others, and/or the understanding of a topic.
A sword stance, commonly applied when two fencers prepare to engage. There are five stances, running from the 1st to the 5th High Ready. Each stance differs and will be selected by the individual to suit the situation, combat style and expected level of aggression. The chosen stance will also determine the footwork needed to perform effectively, yet this can be used against an opponent if a sword player is proficient and skilled in the art of feigns and deception.
A form of poetic rendition, used primarily before and around the Chaos Wars to record in written word, an account of something momentous. It is often presented as stanzas and must be translated semi-back to front. This is now considered a dead art/language. Many instructions for personal guidance and development of the State of Veranto have been written in this prose.
Catalessa - trance
Novissariar - novices
Ni - or
Noi (pl) - not
Deviansa - deviant
A large plant that grows a single flower with a deep centre that contains a sticky substance known to attract and trap insects. It is a common plant, found throughout the 9 realms, but used in Ostravah to produce a sweet vanilla-inspired scent, favoured my many women for the reasonable price tag. If the flowers are not harvested prior to feeding on insects, the scent is less pure and the end product may be cheaper to procure.
This is the Ostravahn equivalent of a rewards. An Honour most often takes the shape of a ribbon. They are a particular favour with the peoples of the eastern provinces and are bestowed primarily for 'knightly conduct and bravery'. Often the ribbon is then attached to the right sleeve of uniforms or coats in order to display a person's rank and achievement.
A dispute on taxes between three nobles and the Senate, which lead to strife approximately 10 years ago. Ending in a bloody uprising that threatened to sow chaos across the eastern provinces unless stopped, the 5th Sabres of Zanzier were sent in as the unit charged with 'cleansing' out the dissenters.
Eventually the revolutionaries were stopped but many locals were killed in the ensuing skirmishes and since matters were never really politically settled, the problems still flare up from time to time, though on a much small scale.
Superstitious, fictional idea that prevails in Ostravah. It is believed that Death rides 'The Horned Beast'.
The 4 major breeds of Ostravahn, are as follows: the Rayon - typically of a dun or black coat - is commonly bred in the Province of Centina. The Kaldun - the most common breed, found in variety of colours – may be located throughout the continent. The Afhpar - rare and desired for its metallic coat and formidable attributes - is only bred in the Yellow Snake district and rarely sold to outsiders. The Arrow – commonly of a grey coat – is considered of a slightly more refined breed than the Kaldun, but may equally be found throughout the Ostravahn continent.
A person who willing or unknowingly allows one of the deities to use their body as a platform for interaction. It is currently the only way the Gods carry any ability to influence matters in the realms directly, and then only through the limited abilities afforded them by their Host. This is not a permanent condition but a person who has been 'used,' is often irrevocably damaged once the deity takes its leave.
A group of Elvern warriors who are not only hunters in the traditional sense of the word, but also charged with the protection of their realm through martial and magical arts.
They ride Eikyr to patrol the lands. In times long past the Hunters would also occasionally be involved in raiding parties where new slaves would be procured.
A group (or unit) will typically consist of seven warriors in total: 2 Spell Weavers, 1 healer, 3 weapons fighters and 1 trapper. All hunters are classed as 'proven warriors'.
The Elvern word for Hunters is 'Vaanatai' (pl) - [Vaah*NAH*Tie]
A large feline domesticated by the nobles of the Tuxaman province and sold throughout the realm for large sums. They are primarily bred for hunting, but also for protection. The hunting cat is bred in three varieties: the Melascan hunter is spotted, the Frascar hunter is striped and the D’con hunter a mixture of spotted and herringbone.
An execution team, usually consistent of 5 elite warriors, gathered especially to hunt down felons or noble prisoners who have been found guilty of a crime and sentenced to death. The choice of death if often extended to those of noble descent as an act of final regard for their crest and with the view that the condemned may choose to die fighting rather than suffer the humiliation of an execution. This honour is not offered to the Foresworn whether noble or not.
This is type of low caste Venzoian, perhaps most accurately referred to as their equivalent of a dog, albeit that the Hyatt are of keen intelligence and possess the ability of limited, basic reasoning. They are bred for hunting and ferocity.
Often referred to as 'Soldiers', they are usually controlled by a larger, more powerful and intelligent Venzoian, commonly a Soul Eater. The name Hyatt translates into 'Creeper' in High Armearan.
They have bony-ridged spines and a short bony tail, yellow-green feral eyes, flat elongated faces with simple slits for noses. They are ascetic-looking with red-scaled hides, of humanoid form with virtually featureless faces, gracile and long of arm and leg, but with the usual characteristic dark talons and long awl teeth that marks Venzoian Rippers. They prefer darkness and heat, and are known by some under the common Venzoian name of 'Night Crawlers'.
Hyatt hunt in 'Cults' with one leader - the strongest - running at front position to take down the prey and claim first feed. They eat only live creatures, but do not discriminate. To hunt they flicker: disappearing and reappearing to remain little more than a thing caught from the corner of the eye until too late. Like all Rippers they excrete a scent that raises fear in their prey. They communicate only through growls and hisses amongst themselves, but may bay to attract others.
They can be killed by Kaisor Steel only.
The order of elder 1st Grade Masters of Veranto who are responsible for upholding the laws and swearing-in new students.
Discussed in the Conclave first, there must be absolute agreement before an elder for the Initiation Circle is chosen. The total number may fluctuate at any given time but there are rarely more than five elders at any one moment.
When a decision has been sent from the Enclave that a new apprentice can be accepted, the Initiation Circle makes the final decision. The title of Mentor then usually falls to the person who either discovered the possible candidate, or to the one who is deemed to have affiliation, e.g. family ties or a personal interest in the pursuit. The Elders are also the people who discards candidates. It is a judgement that is final.
This is the ancient High Armearan codex of the Brotherhood of Alérathnar. The words will roughly translate as, 'Fight well and die another day'.
The name given to the resistance army supporting Thain Phudor during the Chaos War. They are reported to have outnumbered the champion, Fabrano Icolor's supporters 5:1.
Captain Bilandro Metavo's company's motto, and by coincidence also the parting words between Guardians of the Upper Circle.
The High Armearan codex translates roughly as, 'Expect the unexpected' or 'Till we met again' depending on the infliction and situation.
Captain Insandar Drehstaran's red-hulled, two-mast clipper. It sports a very life-like rendition of an Eikyr as a figurehead.
An illegal duel between two combatants, set up either for entertainment or to settle outstanding grievances of a personal nature.
In order to render a Jackal won and to settle wagers, the only rule is that one party must score the 'first-touch' with the Haitu. The Bow of Salute is also commonly used to complete the challenge, but not always.
A desert-dwelling people of Shariz who were nearly wiped from existence when most of their women were killed during an uprising in honour of their 'one true god', Inkar'Chi.
This is a society known to raid their females from others whilst they are still children so that they can raise them loyal to their warrior clans. Female scalps were demanded by Head-Cleric Gannar to appease Anchan'Chi for the affront of having had to fight for his rightful position amongst the rest of the Parthenon. Other deities 'demanded' tributes of less detrimental nature.
The Sabén-Heshep equivalent to the Elvern word 'soul' and their version of the Ostravahn equivalent of the word 'spirit'.
Named after the smith who first forged one. This is a type of blade that constitutes pure Dragon Silver. Folded and forged by the legendary smith himself by alleged use of magic, each blade has been made with its' name somehow etched into the steel.
A Kaisor sword is rare, but may come in a variety of designs.
The ancient method of being able to use a sword the instant it is drawn from the scabbard. It is a mastery of the weapon that relies upon minimal movement and precision. With a focus on economy, the sword's master will thus be able to kill an opponent in one fluid move.
In the hand to hand combat technique, Kizano, which sometimes incorporates a weapon, sometimes not, the Karta is the collective name for a series of Kizano stances and moves all named according to specific traits.
Chronicler, usually charged with taking the Astrolabe back to the Witches, where it is given back to 'nature' until the next time. Usually this honour falls to the Lock, whose descendants will pass down the scripture in readiness to guide the new Lock and Key to the location of the Astrolabe once it's needed again.
Translates to Tarvia and Alscara in High Armearan - so called because they must fit perfectly to succeed in their task.
Always twins for their shared Affinity and commonly females of royal descent, this fated duo have commonly been handed into the care of the Witches to be trained and instructed from early childhood in the nature of their sacred duty.
The Key and Lock are required to perform their birth task in the Upper Circle, manipulating the powers of the Astrolabe to recalibrate the Veils of cosmos to hold for another 1000 years.
Usually the key is the strongest. Usually the Lock and her descendants will be the next Keeper(s) of the Seals.
The Mark is circulated and commonly used throughout all of Ostravah. It is printed and regulated by the Royal Mint, which answers directly to the King's treasurer.
Current language spoken throughout Ostravah. Derived from High Armearan it is a very much simplified version that has been further bastardised by local slang and dialects.
It is common to recognise a person's origins on the basis of their accents.
Usually bestowed upon the wrist of a noble lady or a person of worth to show one's deference and respect.
An unarmed martial arts skill that has roots in self-defence, evasive manoeuvres, and to a lesser point, attack. A true Kizano Master may injure or kill an opponent at their leisure. The fighting method may incorporate weapons - for example, swords or spears.
Kizano can consist of an individual isolated form or a series of flowing moves. The latter is known as Karta.
Examples of moves:
The highest military rank in Ostravah. There are currently four Knights Commanders, one titled for each point of the compass. It is a merit bestowed by the King, who may also strip said rank away again. On occasions, as per example, when times call for it, this is a rank that may be inherited.
Each Commander is responsible for the recruitment, training and order of their given quadrant and may not be directed in military matters by another Commander unless orders arrive directly from the King himself.
A rare winged predator.
The language of the Sabén-Heshep Elvern people.
A spicy tea, popular in past times and winning a come-back, due to its calming and warming effect upon the spirit.
Unfortunate noble who got tangled up with Param of Masran in his quest for female perfection. In the end she was the one who opened his eyes to his flaws, but by then even she did not want him though she loved him.
A tiny arachnid that cohabitates with others in one web. They regulate a hive system that serves to protect a queen. The web can often be found to spread for miles though the strands that connect are not seen.
The leading crime syndicate of Lakeside, Imkarah, so titled as it is literally governed by the best current knife fighter. Anyone may challenge at any time, but losing means death to the challenger.
This is the set of ethical rules that have been instilled upon the Guardians of the Upper Circle through their oaths to Alérathnar the Maker.
The first and most prevailing rule, prohibits the Guardians from exercising random feats of violence or cruelty on the general populations of the Nine Realms. Nor are they permitted to kill mortals unless the person is recognised as a Vessel, or looks to harbour intention that might hinder or harm the overall Veil agenda.
Specific paragraphs include:
An Ostravahn well-loved tale about a newly-raised knight who, seeking name and fame, set out to slay the supposed evil trickster dragon known as Ruby Spinner, only to learn that the creature is in fact a cursed, beautiful maiden, who cannot help the evils she does. They fall in love and he tries to save her (but of course he can't because dragons cannot be saved, and she will not tell the truth for fear of his rejection) and so the quest is never completed. Eventually he dies whilst trying to save her from herself. In the end she is alone, and the morale of the story goes never to trust a dragon.
A huge magical structure situated and regulated by the Sabén-Heshep Elvern. It houses the all the chronicles and the total historical account of all the Nine Realms, as well as the Tapestry, and employs thousands of attendants who keep order and help maintain the vast network of information. The Librarians often specialise in a particular time period or event and spend their lives in service to their work.
Another term for a particular type of bodyguard who is sworn to protect their Charge at all cost. It is a duty which is often wrapped in clandestine purpose that few will be privy to the circumstances of.
Thus a 'Shield' will have only one Charge and will consider their duty to this person sacred above all else, usually due to a special relationship between the two, though not exclusively so.
It should be noted that as time passes, a Shield may decide to marry or have a partner and children, should they wish - yet few embrace this second type of commitment, since their work will rarely allow them the time nor freedom to focus on such frivolous normality. The Shields who enter into outsider relationships regardless, often find that the pressure on time and the strain of secrecy combined, prove too much for both parties, and that the new bond formed will soon after naturally break apart.
Since a Shield does not 'earn' a wage per se, on occasion a Charge may decide to pay a Shield's family a substantial amount of money for their services, should they die in line of duty, but this gesture is a discretion rarely spoken off.
It is commonly held that a 'Shield' rarely retires from old age.
An old term, referring to those 'of light inside'.
A historical figure; a hero - purportedly Elvern - who rescues his friend/partner Retscar the Red from a sea serpent. He is also reported to have 'rescued the day' by leading an enemy armada into a whirlpool using magic. Then he married a princess.
A crown prince who was given the name 'of Holborn' because he was the official protector of the area.
He was Princess Iambre's great-great grandsire who married Hesaura, a fierce Kheltian high-born. He was assassinated during a spurt of instability, triggering the reign of Queen Hesaura the Blood Crown.
A medium-sized Ostravahn Marchland feline
An old proverb that translates, 'Magic looks after its own', yet the original older translation is perhaps more succinct, 'Magic gives life to its own'.
The Guardian name for the Gods.
An inherent, interlinked feature of the Nine Realms, magic 'flows' in invisible bands across and through the entire world of Dallancea without interference from the Veils. Yet in the previous battle for the Veils where the Astrolabe was shattered in the feat of betrayal that lost the Upper Circle their Second-in-Command, the magic was torn and shredded in the backlash of power driven from the damaged artefact.
In some realms there was enough warning to staunch the tear and warping before it became detrimental to existence, however in the millennium in-between the disaster and the present, time has all but wiped the knowledge of magic's from the minds of people in Ostravah.
Theory goes that the magic might be restored when the Artefact (The Sphere of Worlds) is re-assembled, but it remains speculation.
The level and power needed to manipulate or 'Persuade' a spell into life, is categorised and understood by referring to the Pyramid of Seven Tiers, whereby a Spell Weaver's Affinity is measured.
The more powerful Weaver will belong on a higher Tier, and it possible that training and focus may help a Weaver climb the Tiers to reach their full potential but the higher the Tier, the deadlier the metier becomes.
The product of a spell might materialise through the aided use of gestures, words, objects, and/or visualisation.
Examples of Weaves:
This is the traditional Ostravah symbol of marriage.
The man gives the woman a torque as a symbol of their union - the break in the torque symbolising where their relationship began, and where it will complete at the end of life, with death severing the bond.
The torque can be of any material and as elaborate or plain as desired. It usually depends on the wealth of the husband to be.
A title given to the person in each castle or manor house, who oversees the traffic of messenger birds. Red Wings are popular for their compact size, sturdy build and intelligent disposition. They are also known to be more reliable than pigeons or ravens. The Master also distributes letters and/or messages, and generally all other traffic to do with dispatch and envoys.
An evergreen tree that grows in hot humid areas. After thirty years of growth the tree produces seeds that can be collected when ripened or harvested whilst green, depending on the use you seek to make of them.
The ripened seeds are ground for spice, used in many dishes to add a spicy, slightly sweet taste.
The fresh seeds are commonly harvested to produce an illegal drug that is diluted for the smoke houses to sell at high prices. The tobacco form, steeped in water, is smoked from a water pipe to induce that is known as 'the red haze'. It is highly addictive.
A name given to the liquid product derived from the fresh green seeds of the Megaar tree. If collected from the mature tree whilst still green and in the pods, the seeds are a potent hallucinogenic and ultimately poisonous if ingested.
To provide the most potent poison, the seed can be seeped and the liquid cooked until reduced. The syrup that forms is sweet and thick, but will require only one precise measurement into wine (or food) in order to incapacitate the mind and body of a person near instantly. Highly addictive, the effects are different from person to person, but one doze is commonly enough to form a dependence.
Possible effects: red vision, hallucination, bad withdrawal, confusion, muscle spasms and pain, chills, reduced vision, slurred or impeded speech, indifference, addiction, build-up of poison in the blood (discolouring), irregular bodily temperature or lack of sensation, death.
It is hypothesized that one or two cases of nobles suddenly no longer able to mind their seats in the Senate, may in fact have been down to someone deliberately poisoning them in order to remove them from office.
On the timeline, it refers to the point prior to, and around, the Chaos War.
Sticky sweets wrapped in a honey-glazed pastry
Ostravahn weights are issued from the royal mint according to Senate rules. King's Marks form the currency of Ostravah and can be formed either as 'plates' or 'coins'. The metal used to cast the Marks also determine value as currency may be platinum, gold, silver or bronze.
A climbing thief who uses only rope and skill to scale walls
Names are understood by some to be precious commodities as they may be used by those of Affinity to affect the person. It is therefore a common courtesy amongst Spell Weavers and people of realms where magic is still powerful, to never speak their full name to another person. Thus, when new acquaintances are made, unless another is present to make the introduction between the parties, the name is kept private until such a time that another may speak it so as to never give a stranger power over your mind and body.
If a person mistakenly happen to speak their own name, even in greeting to another, a gifted Weaver may use the name offered to invoke compulsion to follow his or her instruction when and where directed to do so. This power is referred to as 'Calling a Name' - and is fortunately a difficult skill to master as it takes power to perform.
A name must be freely given. In other words, the Weaver cannot force another to tell them their name in order to use it as this pollutes the Weave, hence rendering the Calling void.
An Elvern term for the people, who are 'unfortunate' enough to be born with magic 'within'.
The dreaded title translates most commonly as, 'talent without law/the talent of no law' or 'the one without rights' - however the correct term is in fact 'the lawless reservoir'.
The name in the lost language, which was given to the army of 'the lower circle' that protects the Astrolabe (The Sphere of Worlds) and who fights for the Upper Circle.
Refers to the vast continent of the world 'Dallancea' that is created my Alérathnar the Maker, but on which the 'ownership' and 'right to rule' is ever-contested by the chaos-driven first race, the Gods.
Each realm is now separated by the Veils of Time to protect the future of the nine 'lower' races' and their way of life, - not only from the Gods but also from each other.
The Gods now exist in exile.
It is impossible for the people of each realm to pass past the Veils into the realms of others. Each realm is mostly inhabited by one race, however due to the placement of settlements and people at the time of the Veils' forging, some realms support a number of races. Thus, for example, one will find Humans co-inhabiting with Elvern, effectively 'sharing' the Sabén-Heshep Realm.
A collective title that used to refer solely to all the old families of Ostravah, who also happened to be the major land owners. However, after the demise of many during the Chaos War, and the new elevated status of many commoners who had risen in status during the strife, the title now largely refers to anyone who got rewarded for their efforts at the time where the Document of Unity was first signed - be they once peasants, mercenaries or merchants.
Since the agreement set out in the Document of Unity, the descendants of these 'lesser' nobles, can now claim the same status as the old nobility.
Interestingly, however, there is within the higher circles still the notion of differentiation - whereby some members of the so-called 'old families' will still think of themselves as the 'old nobles' - and therefore 'rightful nobles - thereby, indirectly also implying a difference between the old and new, both in ancestry and in class. Often members from either group will look down their noses at the other.
It should be noted that to have bestowed the title of 'Noble' upon you during present times, is virtually unheard of. It is a largely antiquated award and the king will mostly bestow alternative, modern versions of honour upon a person of merit. Thus the term 'Noble', remains also a rather exclusive title - which to most also means that they will never be considered equal, regardless of standing.
Out of what was once nine dominant families, now only the Valdérans, the Patricians and the Sihnarians survive.
They are a group of people that due to their ancient roots, may on occasions be referred to as the 'Old Nobles', and they seem to be generally considered 'better' than the new nobles due to die-hard snobbery.
The old families were the original wielders of power at the dawn of the Chaos War - often the 'rulers' of their own 'States', commonly through an extended network of friendships and blood ties with neighbouring provinces. During the Chaos War however, some of the older families became known the 'Affiliated Nobles' and some as the 'Unaffiliated Nobles'. This split brought much damaged to the families internally as people would often lean towards different alliances, thus breaking eons of internal unity, because the name was no longer enough protection.
An ancient treaty between Humans and Elvern, signed upon the Humans finally throwing off the yoke of slavery, winning them Ivanor, whilst simultaneously pushing the Elvern further east.
The treaty favoured the Human victors heavily, forcing the Elvern into sanctions, with the one concession that the remaining Heirah-Noor Elvern were allowed to hunt oath breakers and criminals for sport and slaves.
The treaty lasted a pitifully short 5 years before ingenuity found the Elvern restored from the defeat.
He is a figure from a tale. In the story he left home in search of the most beautiful woman in the world but never accomplished such a thing because whenever he settled on a choice, another lady, even more beautiful and accomplished, would catch his eye.
The way of referring to the choice of following a magic-related 'profession' or becoming a Spell Weaver
One of the surviving Ostravahn families that can trace its roots back to times prior to the Chaos War.
The Patricians herald mostly from the Tuxama Province, but may be found throughout the Provinces. Patricians are typically involved with politics
Their Code is, 'Family Before Honour'.
The act of dying ~ moving on. May also be referred to as 'gone/going Beyond'.
Post Chaos War.
This is the abbreviation commonly found on historic documents and diary entries to indicate the year of the new time line that was affected after the signing of the Declaration of Unity in the Realm of Ostravah.
The group of surviving nobles and peasants who co-wrote the Document of Unity post Chaos War.
A group of now-unaffiliated nobles, who are the descendants of the Commoners who fought and part-won the Chaos War and were offered titles and deeds in exchange for peace upon the signing of the Document of Unity. Some Older Nobles still view them as 'opportunistic lessers' who should be stripped of their honour and returned to the fields where their ancestors worked during the feudal times.
A Venzoian term, used as a collective name for the Guardians of the Upper Circle.
A Veranto technique, also known as Soul Reaching, by which two Masters may communicate within a conjured parallel of reality, reach through heavy meditation and discipline.
Oft the Guardian way of referring to the millennium event wherein the Veils of Time are renewed.
It is also and expression used by the Elvern of Sabén-Heshep, in relation to a Weave in the tapestry that appears to have no alternative outcome but one set path. Such an event can be magically altered by the Council of Historical Preservation but only at great cost and never lightly.
A temple Adept, who has been assigned a particular house or client upon request to serve on behalf of their chosen deity.
A magical portal guarding the access to Selvaari Dahr in the Elvern realm of Heirah-Noor. It is guarded by the Elemental Conarhven.
The Realm of Ostravah is made up of provinces, which all have a number of elected senators and councillors attached to the King. Together the King and Senate rule the provinces, the King acting as an ambassador for the nobles and the old families, and the Senate on behalf of the common people.
Before the Chaos War the nine principal 'States' were ruled from individual seats of power within their own domain. The current Crown can trace its lineage directly back to the Document of Unity, which was originally signed by just 6 of the existing States before the lands carved up by war were assigned the status of 'province's.
The current 15 provinces are as follows: Carlundula, Centina, Deb'Aran, Etruia, Esardan, Horn, Imkaria, Kevettiago, Khelt, Penzalia, Tarléon, Tolec, Tuxama, and Zanzier.
The scale by which a Spell Weaver's Affinity and power is measured. The more skilled, the higher the Tier they can claim.
A dragon-like creature native to the Venzoian Realm. Not very bright but very fearsome. Looks much like a dragon in body, but is covered in razor burrs and has a disc-like head without eyes and a hugely wide mouth with shark-like rows of teeth. It has two tails and has an undulating flight. It navigates by echo-location.
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A large bird from the family of 'Scavengers'. Raven Beaks are well-known for the white and blue markings upon wings as well as for their endurance when in flight. As an alternative to the red Winds they are used for carrying messages over long distances.
The usual five stances applied by sword fighters upon facing each other.
Large, fast feline, sometimes tamed and used in for hunts
A historical figure; hero. He was purportedly dumped into a sea serpent's lair by an enemy but was rescued by his friend/partner Lirahnor the Bright-eyed of Black Castle Tower. Together they are reported to have rescued the day by using magic to lead the enemy armada into a whirlpool. He then lived to married a princess.
The term used to describe the hallucinations experienced when smoking Megaar.
Commonly used messenger bird the size of a raven. Sports a dark plumage with red-tipped wing feathers. Particularly well-suited for messages of substance as well as for long distance travel.
A level of existence in the Venzoian Realm, Aellnaron.
An ancient document located in a Tuxaman library, it lists a handful of artefacts in detail including information of their use and pit falls.
One of the ancient families known to have perished during the Chaos War.
They were the ruling elite of the State that is now the Zanzierian Province, but which then encompassed most of Western Ostravah to include southern Tuxama, eastern Yellow Snake, Penzalia, Deb'Aran and Centina (then Devotier).
The family was ruled by the prime patriarch, also referred to as the Sovereign-General.
It is documented that the Rigahrancei were betrayed by Fabrano Icolor, though the details surrounding the deed are sketchy.
An old military rule, by which once decreed, the highest commanding officer of the personal forces of a royal, will have the right to retain or claim the command over his or her troop of soldiers, who might otherwise by default of location or need, have fallen under the command of another.
Their duty will thereby be to follow the order of their own commander, irrespective of need or demands from higher ranking officers. Only the commanding officer has the right to dissolve the Right of Command as it cannot be contested even by the royals themselves. Yet is should be noted that the Right of Command, as a courtesy, will usually never be invoked by any officer unless under the strict orders of their royal charge.
It is commonly a command given during war times or when difficult circumstances merit the use. As an exception to the rule, any of the four Knights Commanders may null the command but only after a specific length of time, upon which the command may safely be deemed superfluous to need - e.g. when no perceivable threat to royal safety is found.
A dried up river that used to run across the former state of Cantagu to cut the Province of Penzalia in half. It may sometimes also be referred to as the Enju.
A large grey animal native to the Sabén-Heshep realm. When domesticated it is used to transport goods and people. It resembles a rhino.
One of the major water ways traversing the Ostravahn realm.
The Sabén-Heshep name for the 'Cleft Trail Finder'.
The concept of a rune is many-faceted, but it is always magic-related. Runes may take the form of letters, numbers, words, geometric patterns, pictograms and glyphs - or indeed a mixture of these. The primary function of a rune is to generate or store magic where none is naturally found, or where a Weaver's attention is perhaps warranted elsewhere. Runes can also serve to strengthen a Spell Weaver or a spell.
Many artefacts may carry runes.
A stretch of Ostravahn river that flows west out of Lake Etruia.
A narrow salt-water inlet that cuts the Ostravahn continent from the north to become the Ervardun River.
The ten cathedra chairs found within the Grand Oratorio in the Upper Circle where the Guardians sit in conference.
A term loosely used to describe the highest ranking nobles and those with direct family ties to the Etruian Royal Family.
A person who is able to use the remaining magic to contact spirits and manipulate contact with other realms.
An ancient noble title, which was originally given to people of the Ostravahn Realm as a reward for their services - similar to that of a knighthood bestowed upon a man in recognition of his military services.
Around the time of the Chaos War, the name had become synonymous with that of any other family - the Sihnarians having cultured inter-related alliances and marriages to form a tight 'community', with power and money at their disposal.
One of the three surviving old families to come unscathed through the Chaos War, the Sihnarians have loosened up the strings of their formerly strict concept of how and what a Sihnarian should or shouldn't do. Hence it is now allowed for them to marry outside the group, providing their alliance is of equal or higher standing. No matter the name of the descendants, it is held fact that they are first and foremost still of the Sihnarian line.
Traditionally, the Sihnarians were associated with supply and information.
Their Code is 'All Can Be Bought'.
A large arachnid that weaves strong webs that can be harvested to create fabric and ropes though the skill is not widely known.
Twin Kaisor sword of Heruvar. Belongs to Guardian Malandar Denarlin. In the Elvern tongue, the name Silviata translates to 'Silver Song'. An artefact, the sword is impervious to Magic.
A title given to the women in service of the Gods, specifically one particular God over all the rest.
In the past it was a widely popular profession when times were hard, as the temples would provide shelter and safety. It was also popular for a family to offer up one virgin daughter to an order of choice in exchange for favour, but now it seems mainly older women, widows or spinsters who choose the calling.
Once sworn in, the woman relinquishes any male company for the remainder of their lives; should the promise be broken it leads to banishment and worse.
A measurement commonly used to tally the yield of a harvest. It is roughly equivalent to a ton or one hundred and fifty bushels.
A particular 'virulent' brand of leaves that contrary to the name does not mean that it is smoked by slaves, but rather that the one who smokes it will eventually become addicted and hence 'a slave'.
It is very pricy and also smells faintly like death
A place where people go to smoke/ingest intoxicating drugs. The parlours are widely known to offer both legal and illegal substances and carry very little regard for the plight of their customers, providing the pay and do not bring trouble.
The parlours can often be smelled before seen, the unseen cloud of pungent smoke often having been referred to as 'the smell of sweet decay of the bodies and minds of the addicts within'.
Can be woven and Persuaded in a number of manners and to various grades of skills, ability and difficulty - all in accordance with a seven level tier system known as the Deck of Persuasion
Tier 1 is the lowest or easiest level
Tier 7 is the highest or most complex level
This refers to the cast of people who've chosen the Path of Magic. Their Affinity may be weak or powerful but they are all able to manipulate - or Persuade - the external flows of magic in a way that produce the desired result.
All Spell Weavers train towards the 7th Tier of the Pyramid of Persuasion but only few reach the top.
Often used as curses or to compare with something nasty because most snakes carry highly potent toxins or deadly venoms.
Aptly named for its' bold colouring, the snake is known to grow between 4 to 6 feet in length and remains slender of girth. It preys on smaller animals but has been known to attack people or larger animals if threatened. Its signature move is to freeze just before it strikes and its bite may prove fatal even to larger animals like cows or horses.
Relatively passive and not easily disturbed, if startled, this viper has been seen to exhibit extreme aggression at the warmest times of day - however it is mostly a shy creature, which is rarely seen. It inhabits rocky outcrops, from where it preys on smaller animals like rats, hares, or lizards, though it has also been known to kill cats or dogs. It appears to hypnotise its prey before striking, but this is in fact not the case.
The venom is potent and has been used by assassins in the past as there is no known antidote, however, since it leaves the victim's tongue purple and swollen, the cause is easily recognised.
Bitter beverage, drunk hot or cold, but best with honey to sweeten the effect on the pallet.
A horse purchased by Guardian Malandar Denarlin when passing through Round Stead. The mare is so named after the star on her forehead, by he claims her true name is 'Layliana'.
A ghost called by necromancy. Sometimes an Elemental may be incorrectly named a Spectre too.
Another name for the Astrolabe.
The way of the warrior or way of the sword.
A slightly derogatory name for the Elvern of Sabén-Heshep.
In High Armearan, Tarvia translates as 'Key'.
A Kheltian brew. Fermented. Made from potatoes (allegedly).
A term used for men and women who work in and around the Gods' temples. Their roles vary, but they essentially oversee spiritual sermons, upkeep and offerings.
An Adept is gender specific to the deity they serve - thus a man would never serve as an Adept for any of the female deities, and vice versa for the women.
When an Adept is put forward to a wealthy patron or becomes assigned to a specific household, they are often referred to as a Priest/Priestess. As a Priest/Priestess, the individual is allowed to represent all the deities, male or female, where rites require - i.e. at funerals.
A quarter = a measure of time.
A 'blink' or a 'heartbeat' are terms used as standard denominations for short
intervals that cannot be measured to accurate effect.
In a new moon = refers to a full month or the passing of a month.
The hours of the day are known as 'The Hour of -'
In Ostravah the current year is 797 PCW - though across the other realms who've retained timelines in reflection of the millennium events, the year reads 12997 P.P.V.E. (Post Principal Veil Event)
An ancient title bestowed upon a royal body guard or 'life-shield'. The words Translate roughly as: One of those (T'lexarai), who lays down their life (Vitalionai) before the crown (Corunan).
In old times it was not uncommon for a ruler of an individual State to have more than one Shield to protect them, in which case the title would revert to the plural of 'T'lexarai'.
Commonly a Shield's identity is kept by a few people as possible
The Elemental tied to the Cleft Trail Finder. It may also grant a person access to the Route of Ages, however, the power needed is costly, and the result unpredictable.
An old magical crossing that would take a Spell Weaver - and indeed anyone with the ability to pay - fast and safely across the River Mesatitan. It now no longer exist.
A large gazelle known for its' superbly soft skin.
A travelling Ostravahn event, where an ongoing jousting competition moves throughout the year from town to town across the provinces. Participants will travel with the game sort to speak, attending as many or as few as they wish in an effort to gather points and win fortunes. The prestigious overall prize can be claimed at the final stage which takes place in Etruia City.
It is very much a place to be seen and nobles gravitate towards these events in efforts to garner allies and trade opportunities.
Also referred to as 'the Alscara' and 'the Tarvia', these two people are fated to be born every 1000th year in order to aid in the magical event of renewing the Veils of the Realms
A new fast-growing crop (grain) that was cultured in Khelt.
A group of (often) smaller landowners or holders of titles, who did not like to align themselves with any of heavy fractions during the Chaos War. Their strident neutrality earned them their name, which on occasion went across their family ties and demands.
In present times, unaffiliated nobles are usually loyal firstly to the Ostravahn Crown before that of any one other institution, but personal ties to their provinces of origin as well as that of respect towards the realm's deities, may sometimes colour their constitution towards others. Some serve in the capacity as King's Advisors at Court.
A term used for the standard group of Elvern Hunters.
A noble title bestowed upon the King's most trusted servants - this name does in fact also belong to one of the three supreme families to exit the Chaos War unscathed.
Like the Sihnarians, members of this family may choose to marry someone of a different name, however they remain first and foremost Valderan.
As a family, the Valdérans are known to be great ambassadors and negotiators. They pride themselves on being the founders of the United Provinces.
The majority of the family heralds mostly from the southern provinces.
Their Code is: 'Unity to the Death'.
The magic that happens every 1oooth year, where the Veils of Time must be recalibrated and restored, or else part by the pull of cosmos to disintegrate and break apart.
The magical barrier that separates the nine races of the vast continent Dallancea, once shared. The Veils were wrought by the maker for the protection of the races. They use the force of the cosmos and must be re-calibrated every 1000 years, by applying the Artefact of Time, also known as The Sphere of Worlds.
A large bell found in Etruia City, which chimes every hour and is the clock which the citizen set standard time by.
Also referred to as 'Night Crawlers'.
They are one of the nine races. They herald from the Realm of Aellnaron.
A semi-latent link to the remaining broken flows of Ostravah, which some gifted people might draw upon if their skill is nurtured and honed. They may thus use their 'gift' to pull upon training and meditation to enter a heightened state of consciousness that gives them enhanced skills such as speed, tolerance to pain, strength, stamina, calm, focus and distance.
It is also known as 'The Secret Arts' by some.
There is a discussion amongst the Masters, how far a skilled practitioner may go or indeed should go. If pushing one's talent past strength and power, a person may burn themselves out, which means that they would forever lose the ability to rekindle the Link and benefit from the Veranto.
Apprentices are usually young, rising from Level 3 through to Level 1, before they progress to become Adepts, again through the Levels 3 to 1. After this, the student may be awarded the Level of Master, again with a reference to three levels - a Master of the 1st grade being the highest attainable degree.
To 'drink from the fountain of Veranto' is an expression that refers to the blessed ability to access the Veranto at any level.
It is not recommended that a person sinks themselves too deeply in to a Link at any one time as this may have detrimental effects, not only on health but also on the ability to access the skill later.
A person who has allowed themselves to become 'possessed' by a deity. The Vessel will rarely retain any recollection of the event after the god takes leave of them.
In most cases the Vessels may go insane after. Often others will refer to them as 'having been touched by the chaos beyond'.
An ancient 2nd Tier artefact what consists of many ordinary-looking stones. The artefact uses blood and synchronised timing to activate and will allow two people or more to step past the boundary of the circle created to meet within a private, conjured void to discuss matters of desire.
The person who possesses the 'lead stone' is the one in charge of 'opening' the 'void' as well as closing it.
A dimension beyond the Nine Realms, where Magic flows like air. The Guardian Oratorio is situated within the Void and exist like a place in-between.
The Void is thought chaotic and forsaken, a place where the spirit of the diseased passed-on, must navigate given penance to reach the blessed Dark Lands. It is also widely believed that the Gods reside in the Void, however this is not exactly correct.
An ancient military direct, which allows all power of command to transfer to a member of the royal family.
Another name for the Chaos War, this one specifically indicating that for all the madness, only really two people fought, and the rest came about as others rallied to their sides.
Also referred to as a Way Gate. It
This is a 7th Tier artefact that is designed to help people travel between long distances, through a contraption called 'the Cleft Trail Finder' / 'the Route of Ages', which in turn is guarded by 'the Trail Guide'.
In the past most Way Stars could be accessed through Gate Houses, where the magical artefact would be tied to the location usually in the form of a giant travelling compass rose set into the floor or wall of the designated 'Gate Room'.
Since almost a full millennium, most Ostravahn Way Stars have been destroyed or rendered structurally unsound for use due to the tear in magic.
Not usually something that would have affected an artefact because the magic is tied to the object not the flows of nature, the Way Stars were compromised because they tie their power with the Void.
A horse purchased by Guardian Malandar Denarlin in the town of Round Stead.
Also referred to as the White Killers.
A supposedly Tarléon-based guild of assassins. Highly skilled but inconveniently subjective in their approach, they sell their skills to the right bidder, for the right price, yet if a commission is declined, it is not uncommon that the person who sought their aid is soon after found dead.
Said to wear white, the truth of the matter is that they are only referred to as 'white' due to the climate of their province of origin. It is (bizarrely) considered a high honour to have a White Assassin sent for you, as their status conjure near-glorified ideas of respect.
The guild of killers, though self-regulated, is in fact controlled by the current lord of Ivanor as little more than a means of generating extra revenue, but this is not a known fact.
If a White assassin betrays their own they will be hunted till dead.
The heraldry of the ruling house, Actarione.
Also a powerful, large feline that has been used to breed extremely fine hunting cats. Once hunted for their exquisite pelt, the animal has now been adopted as the protectors of the Holborn family.
Throughout Ostravah it is now illegal to hunt or harm the White Leopard.
The official term for a reputable female medic.
Once the caretakers of the Astrolabe, they were the known healers and known users of magic through nature. Then governed by the Academy of Maegus, the witches were linked across the Realms via Covens that used to aid the Guardians of the Upper Circle and the Brotherhood of Alérathnar, in so doing, safe keeping and training the Tarvia and the Alscara in the use of their given power, also familiarising them with the many facets of the Astrolabe and instructing them in its use.
Many thinking the covens at fault for the disaster that shook the realms during the previous Veil Event, the witches endured severe persecution in the chaos after - to the point where now little remains of the former covens but a few hedge wizards, wise-women and shamans. The ones that remain are still trained by the codex and their memories passed down through the ages via songs - but their link to the elements is greatly reduced.