(AL-aind dev-LACE-ee): Baron of Francais. A southern marcher lord
Alarion Aravon (A-LAIR-ion
AIR-a-von): Youngest son of House Aravon, ruling house of Sevakand. Nickname:
Alexian Walker (A-LEX-ee-an):
Earl of Renland, head of House Walker
Alloq (AL-lock): Drug used to
dull pain, most often mixed with wine. Addictive if used long enough, and
hallucinogenic to a certain extent
Anatel (AN-a-tell): Southeastern
corner of Mosain province, held by Zenan Lord Anatel. His sigil is a running
Anavar (AN-a-var): God of
healing. His priests wear green and are known as Navri.
Common language of Nemistak
An-Utah (U-tah): Southern marcher
province renowned for its red sands. Founded by a descendent of ancient
Cheyenne ancestry and named for a region on Earth because of the resemblance
found in its queer, colorful rock formations. It is also the center of the
Great-grandson of Sarah Linden, founder of House Aravon and first King of
Bahia (Bah-HEE-ah): A Mosaini
orvi, Traven’s mistress
Bapst: Easternmost of the major
Senit tribes and accounted the fiercest. They ride dun horses.
Beldon: A southern march and the
repository of most of Ariel’s known iron ore reserves, name for Torian Beldon,
one of the original Founders. It is renowned for its armor and weapons and to
a lesser extent its glass. Held by House Pilot.
Blood: Generic term for any
person born into the family of a ruling House
Boondie (BOON-dee): Generic term
for anyone judged odd or insane. Taken from Bundar, the planet where the
galaxy once sent its incurably insane.
(BOR-is): A minor marcher lord’s third son, he fought entry challenge to the
Comman at the age of eighteen. He is a friend and mentor to all three royal
Bren Shea: Duke of Heravin and
uncle to the royal sons
Buddhán (Boo-DAHN): God of peace,
accounted one of the greater gods. His Chosen wear blue and are known as
Cath: A sect of Crizan despised
on both sides of the march. They breed white horses.
Chosen: General term for a
priest or priestess of any god
Citadel: The three-hundred meter
high rock platform adjoining the plateau of Yarom, containing the Aravoni
palace, which also is generally known by the same name
Claira (CLARE-ah): Sev’
of House Aravon, Alarion’s mastra of spies
Comman (CO-man): The elite
Aravoni bodyguard originally founded as the Commandos, Sarah Linden’s personal
bodyguard. They evolved into a five-hundred man regiment restricted to sons of
noble Houses, who fight entry challenge to the death like any Mreen. They are
awarded a black turban and abandon their names and their House affiliations
for those of House Aravon.
Any member of the Comman
The awesome upheaval of wind and waves caused by the quadriennial conjunction
of Ariel’s three moons
Casmir Gregor (CAS-meer
GREG-ore): Eldest son and heir of the Duke of Kiel and a Young Lord who lives
in Hostage House
Covan (CO-van): A small Senit
tribe given to breeding golden horses coveted as a mark of distinction among
Safehouses established "under the crescent" painted above the door where the
poor and indigent can find shelter
Crizan (Creh-ZAHN): The
Unrepentant, those who fled the atheistic rule of Sarah Linden shortly after
the Hadí were overthrown. Their only common link is a belief in the same One
God, but their beliefs and worship practices are defined by tribe, and vary
wildly, as evidenced by the Messiah legend, which some believe to be prophecy,
and others history. They are nominally ruled by the Archbishop of Nemistak,
whose seat is in Ro’om and who is elected by the tribal elders from candidates
presented by each tribe.
Crusades: A series of campaigns
fought by kings of Sevakand against the cross-bearing Crizani tribes in
(DAY-man): Earl of Beldon
Daniel: Archbishop Gabrial’s
Honorific bestowed upon all members of a household guard after successfully
fighting entry challenge and swearing oath to the House
Dome: Oldest building on Ariel.
It was erected as the control center for the spaceport when
Farreacher grounded on Ariel. Its three upper floors are used now to
house visiting dignitaries; the understory, carved from solid rock, contains
House Aravon’s war room.
(DON-oh-var BAL-ee-mar): Second son of House Ballymar and heir to the province
Elam Thunderwalker (EE-lam):
Chief of the Cohapt sect of the Uhnit tribe of the Crizan
Evan Ballymar (EV-an BAL-ee-mar):
Count of Nerin
Entry challenge: The bloody
ritual by which din’ of any House win the right to stand in the
bodyguard of that House. It is a fight to the death or surrender between rival
Er: God of knowledge. His priests
wear dust-brown robes and are known as Evri.
Evion (EV-ee-on): Largest and
second brightest of Ariel’s three moons
Falal (Fah-LAL): The judge of
souls and one of the greater gods. He sends souls either to rebirth or to the
eternal, lightless clutch of Shaitan. He is equated with the sun, especially
in southern lands.
Farouk Sahd (Fah-ROOK SAWD):
Sheik of Mosain, elder brother to Zenan
Fate: Goddess of destiny, sister
to Seev and Shaitan. The most feared goddess of all. Her Chosen wear orange
and are known as Fatri.
Farreach: Eastern marcher
province, famous for grain and timber. Held by House Major.
The spaceship which brought the original colonists to Ariel
Flosh (FLAWSH): Literally, gutter
trash, a contemptuous term
Founders: The original founders
of Ariel, the colonists who are almost a legend to their descendants
(FRAN-case): One of the seven southern marcher provinces, between Heravin and
Utah. Held by House devLacey.
Freeborn: Those born without
House affiliations. They wear a plain white turban and are looked down on by
those lucky enough to be associated in any capacity with a Great House. During
the Wars of Succession, those born outside the protection of the Houses were
usually the first to die.
Fenn Major (FEN): Eldest son and
heir of the Duke of Farreach and a Young Lord of Hostage House
Gabrial: Archbishop of Nemistak
whose personal mission is to convert the heathen Sevakandi by fire and clear
the way for the Messiah
Ghoul: Contemptuous term bestowed
upon any inhabitant of the Citadel who is not Aravoni, sev’, or din’.
Most are minor officials or bureaucrats responsible for the paperwork of
running the government.
Golden Charter: The difficult
agreement reached between House Aravon and the peers which ended the Wars of
Succession. In it both monarch and peers are bound to the rule of law as
agreed upon in open council called by the King. A consensus of seven of the
eleven peers is required to make law. Any seven voting against the King can
overturn his decision.
(GRAZE din AIR-a-von): Sarjent of the White Mreens, Alarion’s regimental
Great Dance: The eternal game of
Great House: Any of the twelve
principle families of Sevakand, including the royal house
Gunter (GOON-ter): Chief of the
Natan Rob (NAY-ton ROBB):
Ambitious warrior of the Covan tribe
Habb: (HAHB) A bay stallion
belonging to Zenan Lord Anatel
Hadí (Hahd-EE): Religious zealots
who began on the rim world Cannell and carried their campaign of conversion to
the stars. They conquered Ariel in the year 2367 (Earth calendar). Overthrown
in rebellion by the colonists in the year 2429 (Aravoni Reckoning Year 1),
their rule left such a scar on the Arielan psyche that to call someone a Hadí
can spark a duel to the death.
Hael (HAY-el): An orphaned boy
from the Mreen barracks recruited by Grays to be Alarion’s body squire
Hall of Gods:
Audience hall of the King of Sevakand, constructed of materials stripped from
and the remains of the Hadí temple.It takes its name overtly from the
crystal masks of the gods that line the upper floor galleries, and covertly
from the unofficial title bestowed upon Sarah Linden long after her death of
"mother of gods."
(hair-a-AH-nee) A royal decree establishing primogeniture, ending the right of
the peers to choose their own successors
Eldest son and heir of the Baron of Francais and a Young Lord of Hostage House
Haván (Hav-AHN): Title of the
heir to Sevakand
Hebraik (Heh-BRAKE): Descendents
of Ariel’s small Jewish population, they fled into the Hebron mountains at the
onset of Hadí rule and never came out. They survive by trading with all sides,
allying with none. Most Sevakandi look down on them for clinging to a
religion, but find them less odd than the Crizan, who fled after
the Hadí had been overthrown.
Hera: Smallest and dimmest of
Ariel’s moons, it casts a reddish light and runs in a high eccentric orbit
Heravin (HAIR-a-vin): One of the
southern marcher provinces, between Mosain and Francais. Held by House Shea.
A word from the Aravoni House tongue, closest in meaning to Bravo! or Well
Hostage House: The body of eldest
sons of the peerage brought to Yarom as hostages to peace in the provinces.
The building itself sits on the first ledge below the western cliff wall of
the Citadel, directly below the royal ways.
House Aravon (AIR-a-von): The
ruling House of Sevakand, tracing its descent from Sarah Linden. House sign:
silver sunburst and three arrows under an arch of seven stars on a
House Ballymar (BAL-ee-mar):
Ruling House of Nerin province. House colors: blue, black and gold. House
sign: Unicorn leaping a crescent moon
House Corbinay (COR-bin-ay):
Ruling House of Tanistan province. They control all ship-borne trade on Ariel
by dint of licenses and a monopoly on shipbuilding. House sign: ragged green
sail on white background
House devLacey (dev-LACE-ee):
Ruling House of Francais province. House sign: silver nova enchained on a
(GREG-ore): Ruling House of Kiel, self-styled the Forge of the Sun, for Kiel’s
desert heat and their relentless pursuit of Crizani raiders. House sign: black
anvil on red sun
House Major: Ruling House of
Farreach province, taking its name from the now-unused military rank of its
founder. House sign: gold oak leaf on brown
House Pilot: Ruling House of
Beldon province, founded by the grandson of the pilot of the Farreacher.
House sign: gold sailing ship’s wheel on gray
House Sahd (SAWD): Ruling House
of Mosain. House sign: gold curved saber and shattered sword on green
House Shea (SHAY): Ruling House
of Heravin province. House sign: green tree on black background
House Toyev (TOY-ev): Ruling
House of Sind province, accounted hotheads with long memories. House sign:
silver moon in eclipse on gray background
House Walker: Ruling House of
Renland province. House sign: blue mailed boot on green background
Ruling House of Utah province. House sign: black wolf inside a red arch on a
Ivanar Gregor (EYE-van-ar
GREG-ore): Earl, later Duke of Kiel
Jon Ellay (JON EL-lay): Mayor of
Jeram (JER-am): Chief of the
Covan tribe of the Crizan
Josia (Jo-ZI-a): Chief of the
eastern Bapst, the fiercest of all the Crizani tribes
Joyhouse: Legal houses of
prostitution, inhabited by women who have chosen to be there, usually to
escape lesser-rank marriages or because they like the freedom to choose their
own sex partners
Kanara (Can-AHR-ah): Mastra of
Protocol for House Aravon, she manages the Hall of Gods and all matters
related to the functioning of the King’s court
’Kandi: Common language of
Sevakand, a trader tongue incorporating words from most of the other seven
Kane Major (CANE): Duke of
Farreach, nicknamed the Iron Duke. He is the most powerful of the eastern
marcher lords, ambitious and power-hungry.
Kay: Common unit of measure
everywhere on Ariel, equivalent to one kilometer
Title of war leader of a Crizani tribe
Kevan Toyev (KEV-an TOY-ev):
Eldest son and heir of the Earl of Sind and a Young Lord of Hostage House
Invocation against the intervention of the gods, accent on the last syllable
Kiel (KEEL): One of the seven
southern marcher provinces, renowned for the quality of its glass sands and
the treachery of its ruling family, House Gregor
Lars: Healer to the Covan tribe
Lord Worley (WHIRL-ee): One of
Veran’s regents, later Earl of Snowsden
Lukas Pilot: Eldest son and heir
of the Earl of Beldon, he is a Young Lord and resident of Hostage House
Luran (LURE-an): A major tribe of
the western Crizan who ride bright bay horses and wear black
March: The border provinces
between Sevakand and Nemistak
(MARK-us): Earl of Sind, hotheaded and a fighter
Marsin (MAR-sin): God of war,
accounted one of the greater gods. His Chosen wear grey and are known as
Marsri. They never carry weapons but are deadly in unarmed combat.
A corruption of the older word "master," it is now an honorary title most
often given to people in charge of a household or agency
Medár: (meh-DAR) A person chosen
to stand as sacrifice for a Great House in any dispute that might otherwise
lead to war. It is a position of great honor, giving that person coveted House
affiliation and access to many secret councils. Few Houses let themselves be
maneuvered into actually losing a medár. House Corbinay forever disgraced
itself by using a medár to assassinate a King.
Merc (MERC): Second largest of
Ariel’s moons but the brightest
Messiah: A hotly-debated term
among the Crizan, used to describe a person believed to be the savior of the
faithful. Some tribes believe that the "New Books" of their religion tell his
history; others believe the New Books are prophecy, and eagerly await the
Messiah’s coming, believing that he will lead them on a bloody conquest of
Michal Shea (MY-kal SHAY): Only
son and heir of the Duke of Heravin. Cousin to the royal sons.
Mir: (MEER) A corruption of the
older term "mister," now a general term of address for male commoners
Mosain (Mo-SANE): A southern
marcher province where the rebellion against the Hadí began. Held by House
A corruption of the older term "mistress" or "missus," it is now a general
term of address for women of uncertain rank
Mreen: A corruption of the older
term marine, which Sarah Linden’s militia called themselves after the Earth
Alliance troops. Every House maintains a standing army varying from several
hundred to several thousand Mreens. They fight entry challenge and can be
identified by the turbans they wear, generally in the main House color, with
the exception of House Aravon, whose Mreens are the only ones allowed to wear
Mt. Sinon (SIGH-non):
The Crizani holy mountain where God is said to have left a footprint in the
red sands. Its monastery serves as a neutral sanctuary to any comer. Here all
Archbishops are elected, though they rule from Ro’om.
Mustav (MOO-stahv): Keeper of the
Seal of House Aravon, controller of the King’s schedule
Navara (Neh-VAHR-a): Only
daughter of Sarah Linden and founder of the Temple of Anavar, the god of
Nemistak (Nem-is-TAHK): The lands
held by the Crizan and claimed as a province by House Aravon
Nerin (NER-in): A northern
province comprised of rolling, stony hills best suited for grape-growing. Held
by House Ballymar.
Devi (DEV-ee): Goddess of
fertility, accounted one of the greater gods. Her Chosen wear yellow and are
known as Devri.
Nightwing: A small black bird
native to Ariel that was genetically enhanced during the Hadí war to make it
capable of speech and limited reasoning abilities. They are used extensively
as messengers and small spies within the walls of rival Houses, usually for
private communications not suited for the signal mirrors.
Onetree Walkingwolf: Eldest son
and heir of the Earl of Utah and a Young Lord of Hostage House
Orvi (ORE-vee): A corruption of
"whore" slyly bestowed upon the courtesans of the court of Sevakand. Fiercely
competitive and utterly ruthless, their presence at court ensures that sex is
a weapon without real value for those plotting against the royal House.
Pacifica: Goddess of the sea and
wind, sister to Thundershaker. One of the lesser gods, but powerful in
Tanistan. Her Chosen wear parti-colored lavender and white and are known as
Peer: Collective term for the
scions of the eleven Great Houses of Sevakand, reserved to provincial leaders
Petra (PET-ra): Rev to the Covan
Puhk (pook): Creature of
mythology native to Nerin. Supposedly a bony spirit that wails and scratches
at doors and waits for unwary travelers caught by the night
Rasir (rah-SEER): A recorder,
usually associated with the Temple of Fate. They witness official events and
announce each hour from the pinnacle of the temple, calling Fate’s kind regard
on the community.
Rev: Crizani term for priest or
Renland: An eastern province
famed for the quality of its horses, especially the big draft horses bred
there. Held by House Walker
Ronal (ROAN-ahl): A Bapst warrior
exiled from his tribe
Ro’om (Ro-OHM): The Senit holy
Royal ways: Part of the royal
palace within the Citadal. Its upper floors form the private residence of
members of House Aravon in residence in the Citadel. The bottom floor houses
the Hav’an’s audience hall and certain administrative offices such as that of
the Mastra and the Keeper of the Seal.
Revered as the mother of gods, leader of the rebellion against the Hadí, later
military governor of Ariel until her death. Her grandson Aravon was the first
king of Sevakand.
Sarjent: A Mreen rank one step
above ordinary din’
Seev: God of death, brother to
Fate, he is held in contempt by most, in fear by a few, but accounted one of
the greater gods. His Chosen wear red and are known as Seevri.
Rafe Corbinay (RAYFE COR-bin-ay):
Eldest son and heir of the Duke of Tanistan and one of the Young Lords of
Sera: A white mare belonging to
(Sir-A-vion COR-bin-ay): Duke of Tanistan, known to have engineered the
assassination of King Merinon, Veran’s father, but was never convicted.
Title proudly borne by the servants of any House in Sevakand. Their ancestors
saved themselves and their children by swearing service to the owners of
embattled farmsteads fighting for survival in the aftermath of the Hadí War.
Although the original oath was for eternal service for all the generations of
the House, modern sev’ are allowed to foreswear service if they choose.
Few do, as association with any House is considered far more prestigious than
the white turban of a freeborn.
Sevakand (Sev-a-KAND): Ariel’s
single continent was originally named Sevik’s Land for James Sevik, captain of
the Farreacher. In the present day the name refers to the land north of
the march between the Hebron mountains in the east and the Sea of Storms to
the west. As a kingdom it claims all of the eleven great provinces ruled by
the peers as well as Hebron and Nemistak, which are occupied respectively by
the Hebraizik and the Crizan.
Shaitan (Shay-TAHN): Known as the
Eater of Souls, he is the one inescapable god, taking souls judged by Falal to
be without redemption. He has no priests but is accounted one of the greater
gods, feared by all because those he takes are not reborn into a new life.
Shattered Lands: A region of
Nemistak where the land is broken into thousands of criss-crossing ravines
running for hundreds of kay in every direction.
Shem: Abbot Francistino of the
Mt. Sinon Monastery in Nemistak. A quasi-Jesuit, his order is all that remains
of the Catholic tradition on Ariel.
Signal heights: The promontory of
rock jutting above the Citadel, housing the Aravoni signal mirrors
Samel: Warrior of the Covan tribe
Sind: An eastern province famous
for wine and spotted horses, it is also one of the breadbaskets of Sevakand.
It is ruled by House Toyev.
mare belonging to Alarion Aravon
Earl of An-Utah, a southern marcher lord with a mystical bent
(SNOWS-den): Icy province at the top of the world inhabited by tough survivors
of the Hadí war, it ekes out a living selling ice, fish, and peat cut from its
S’Dane: Head of Aravoni
S’Dav: Commander of the White
S’Gillam: Lord Marshal of
Sevakand, commander of the King’s armies
Stoneshaker: God of earthquakes,
little known outside Utah, one of the lesser gods. His Chosen wear black and
are known as Shakri.
Sweetsmoke: The most common
painkilling drug in use on Ariel. Effective whether inhaled or mixed in wine
or food, it can be fine-tuned to a surprising degree, with effects lasting
from a few minutes to several hours.
Westernmost of the southern provinces, held by House Corbinay and famous for
The Thousandth God: Husband to
Fate, the joker feared by all the rest for his unpredictability. He has no
priests and no temple save a pillar on the Street of Temples in Yarom.
Thomas Jonison: Rev to the Cohapt
sect of the Uhnit tribe
Traven Aravon (TRAY-ven): Second
son of House Aravon after Veran and elder brother of Alarion. Nickname: Tray
Thundershaker: God of journeys,
long out of favor
Tovarin (toe-VAHR-in): ’Kandi for
Uhnit (OO-nit): A major western
tribe of the Crizan, given to breeding black horses and raiding weaker tribes
Vanok Hills (VAN-ock):
The low hills north of Ro’om, site of an epic battle between House Aravon and
Veran Aravon (VAIR-an): Eldest
son of House Aravon and King of Sevakand
Wars of Succession:
Thirty-year period of constant warfare commencing thirty-seven years after the
death of Sarah Linden, when the hereditary commanders of the Citadel troops
withdrew their regiments to begin carving out kingdoms of their own. It ended
when Aravon Linden managed to conquer all of the warring lords and establish
House Aravon as preeminent.
White turban: A somewhat
contemptuous term for anyone born outside the influence of a Great House. It
encompasses all freeborn citizens of Sevakand, those not sev’.
The capitol city of Sevakand, once the spaceport
Zenan Lord Anatel (Zeh-NAHN):
Second of House Sahd, younger brother of Sheik Farouk of Mosain, holder of
Anatel in his own right. Nickname: Zevya (ZEV-ya)