SPOILERS AHEAD! …if you haven’t yet read The Lightbringer Series. (From the appendices of The Blood Mirror. Terms are accurate up to the beginning of that novel.)
abaya: A robe-like dress, common in Paria.
Aghbalu: Both a Parian dey (city-state) and its capital city, this inland region is mountainous, its inhabitants known for their height and blue drafting, as well as a fierce independence from the coastal Parian deys.
ah¯dar qassis gwardjan: A green drafter-warrior-priest and servant of the green goddess/god Atirat.
Akomi Nero: A river in Blood Forest that originates in the Ruthgari Highlands.
alcaldesa: A Tyrean term, akin to ‘village mayor’ or ‘chief.’
Amalu and Adini’s: Chirurgeons’ clinic on Big Jasper. Amalu and Adini are famous for making a fortune treating nobles and Colors for two decades, then freeing their slaves and taking a religious oath to treat the poor.
Am, Children of: Archaic term for the people of the Seven Satrapies.
Amitton: An Atashian city north of Sitara’s Wells.
Anat: God of wrath, associated with sub-red. See Appendix, “On the Old Gods.”
Angar: A country beyond the Seven Satrapies and the Everdark Gates. Its skilled sailors occasionally enter the Cerulean Sea. The Angari are matrilineal, remarkable for their blond hair and fair skin, sailing skills, emphasis on hygiene, and brewing of an alcohol from honey.
Ao River: A river on the border of Blood Forest and Atash.
Apple Grove: A small town in the interior of Blood Forest, a part of the White Oak patrimony for generations.
aristeia: A concept encompassing genius, purpose, and excellence, and often the demonstration thereof.
Aslal: The capital city of Paria. The Eternal Flame, at the heart of the city, was lit by Lucidonius at his inauguration as Prism.
ataghan: A narrow, slightly forward-curving sword with a single edge for most of its length.
Atan’s Teeth: Mountains to the east of Tyrea.
Atan’s Town: An extinct village on the coast of what is now Tyrea. Legend holds that it was wiped out in a storm of fire. Some scholars believe this to be a symbolic interpretation of a massacre after Atan’s Town resisted Lucidonius’s forces. Others believe it was a literal magical storm.
atasifusta: The widest tree in the world, believed extinct after the False Prism’s War. Its sap has properties like concentrated red luxin, which, when allowed to drain slowly, can keep a flame lit for hundreds of years if the tree is large enough. The wood itself is ivory white, and when the trees are immature, a small amount of its wood, burning, can keep a home warm for months. Its usefulness led to aggressive harvesting, and this, coupled with slow growth, caused its extinction.
Atirat: God of lust, associated with green. See Appendix, “On the Old Gods.”
Aved Barayah: A legendary ship. Its name means ‘the fire breather.’ Gunner was its cannoneer for a time in his youth. It was during his service here that he is said to have killed a sea demon with a miraculous shot.
aventail: Usually made of chain mail, it is attached to the helmet and drapes over the neck, shoulders, and upper chest.
Azûlay: The capital city of Paria; the satrapah and Nuqaba live there.
balance: The primary work of the Prism. When the Prism drafts at the top of the Chromeria, he alone can sense all the world’s imbalances in magic and can draft enough of its opposite (i.e., balancing) color to stop the imbalance from getting any worse and leading to catastrophe. Frequent imbalances occurred throughout the world’s history before Lucidonius came, and the resulting disasters of fire (see ‘Atan’s Town’), famine, and sword killed thousands if not millions. Superviolet balances sub-red, blue balances red, and green balances orange. Yellow seems to exist in balance naturally.
bane: An old Ptarsu term, can be either singular or plural. It may have referred to a temple or holy place, though Lucidonius’s Parians believed they were abominations. The Parians acquired the word from the Ptarsu.
Barrenmoor: An expensive whisky. Distilled by the same process as Crag Tooth, its rival, Barrenmoor evinces a smoky, medicinal, seaweedy nose with flavors of peat and salt.
beakhead: The protruding part of the foremost section of a ship.
beams: See ‘Chromeria trained.’
Belphegor: God of sloth, associated with yellow. See Appendix, “On the Old Gods.”
belt-flange: A flattened hook attached to a pistol so it can be tucked securely into a belt.
belt knife: A blade small enough to be tucked in a belt, commonly used for eating, rarely for defense.
bich’hwa: A ‘scorpion,’ a weapon with a loop hilt and a narrow, undulating recurved blade. Sometimes made with a claw.
bichrome: A drafter who can draft two different colors.
Big Jasper (Island): The island on which the city of Big Jasper rests just opposite the Chromeria, and where the embassies of all the satrapies reside. At the time of the Lucidonian expansion, inhabited by the Ptarsu and enslaved pygmies.
binocle: A double-barreled spyglass that allows the use of both eyes for viewing objects at a distance.
Blackguard, the: An elite guard at the top echelon of the Chromeria. The Blackguard was instituted after Lucidonius with a unique dual purpose: to guard the Prism, and to guard the Prism from him-or herself. Though they are commonly seen as bodyguards for the Prism (and at times the White, and at other times all of the Colors), the exact nature and extent of their duties is little known.
Black River: A tributary of the Great River.
blindage: A screen for the open deck of a ship during battle.
Blood Plains, the: An older collective term for Ruthgar and Blood Forest, so called since Vician’s Sin caused the Blood War between them.
Blood War, the: A series of battles that began after Vician’s Sin tore apart the formerly close allies of Blood Forest and Ruthgar. The war was seemingly interminable, often starting and stopping, until Gavin Guile put a decisive end to it following the False Prism’s War. It seems there will be no further hostilities. Also known as the Blood Wars among those who differentiate between the various chapters and campaigns of the long struggle.
Blue-Eyed Demons, the: A famed company of bandits whose king Gavin Guile killed after the False Prism’s War.
blunderbuss: A musket with a bell-shaped muzzle that can be loaded with nails, musket balls, chain, or even gravel. Devastating at short distances.
Braxos: A legendary city thousands of years old, cut off from the Seven Satrapies by the Cracked Lands, which were reputed to have been formed with magic during the Ptarsu expansion centuries before Lucidonius.
brightwater: Liquid yellow luxin. It is unstable and quickly releases its energy as light. Often used in lanterns.
Brightwater Wall: Its building was a feat to match the legends. This wall was designed by Aheyyad Brightwater and built by Prism Gavin Guile at Garriston in just days before and while the Omnichrome’s army attacked.
Briseid, the: An epic of Blood Forest.
Broken Man, the: A statue in a Tyrean orange grove. Likely a Ptarsu relic.
burnous: A long Parian cloak with hood.
caleen/calun: A diminutive term of address for a girl or female slave/boy or male slave, used regardless of the slave’s age.
Cannon Island: A small island with a minimal garrison between Big Jasper and Little Jasper. It houses artillery and, it’s rumored, magical defenses.
Cerulean Sea, the: The sea the Seven Satrapies circle.
cherry glims: Slang for red-drafting second-year students.
chirurgeon: One who stitches up the wounded and studies anatomy.
Chosen, Orholam’s: Another term for the Prism.
chromaturgy: Literally ‘color working,’ it usually refers to drafting, but technically also covers the study of luxins and will.
Chromeria, the: The ruling body of the Seven Satrapies; also a term for the school where drafters are trained.
Chromeria trained: Those who have trained or are training at the Chromeria school for drafting on Little Jasper Island in the Cerulean Sea. The Chromeria’s training system does not limit students based on age, but rather progresses them through each degree of training based on their ability and knowledge. So a thirteen-year-old who is extremely proficient in drafting might well be a gleam, or third-year student, while an eighteen-year-old who is just beginning work on her drafting could be a dim.
darks: Technically known as ‘supplicants,’ these are would-be drafters who have yet to be tested for their abilities at the Chromeria or allowed full admission to the school.
dims: The first-year (and therefore lowest) rank of the Chromeria’s students.
glims: Second-year students.
gleams: Third-year students.
beams: Fourth-year students.
cocca: A type of merchant ship, usually small.
Colors, the: The seven members of the Spectrum. Originally each represented a single color of the seven sacred colors; each could draft that color, and each satrapy had one representative. Since the founding of the Spectrum, that practice has deteriorated as satrapies have maneuvered for power. Thus a satrapy’s Color could be appointed to a color she doesn’t actually draft. Likewise, some of the satrapies might lose their representative, and others could have two or even three representatives on the Spectrum at a time, depending on the politics of the day. A Color’s term is for life. Impeachment is nearly impossible.
color matchers: A term for superchromats. Sometimes employed as satraps’ gardeners.
color-sensitive: See ‘superchromat.’
color wight: A drafter who has broken the halo. They often remake their bodies with pure luxin, rejecting the Pact between drafter and society that is a foundation of all training at the Chromeria.
conn: A title for a mayor or leader of a village sometimes used in far-northern Atash, but more common in Blood Forest.
Corrath Springs: A small port city on the coast of Ruthgar.
Corbine Street: A street in Big Jasper that leads to the Great Fountain of Karris Shadowblinder.
corregidor: A Tyrean term for a chief magistrate; from when Tyrea encompassed eastern Atash. Now used for regional governors or even the leaders of larger cities.
corso: A title for the drummer on a galley.
Counselor to Kings, The: A manuscript noted for advocating ruthless treatment of opponents.
Cracked Lands, the: A region of broken land in the extreme west of Atash. Its treacherous terrain is crossed by only the most hardy and experienced traders.
Crag Tooth: A fine whisky with a sublime nose hinting at rose and cinnamon, made in distilleries at the edge of Blood Forest in the highlands above Green Haven. It evinces orange and raisin flavors under powerful chocolate.
Crater Lake: A large lake in southern Tyrea where the former capital of Tyrea, Kelfing, sits. The area is famous for its forests and the production of yew.
Crossroads, the: A kopi house, restaurant, and tavern, the highest-priced inn on the Jaspers, and downstairs a similarly priced brothel. Located near the Lily’s Stem, the Crossroads is housed in the former Tyrean embassy building, centrally located in the Embassies District for all the ambassadors, spies, and merchants trying to deal with various governments.
cubit: A unit of volume. One cubit is one foot high, one foot wide, and one foot deep.
culverin: A type of cannon, useful for firing long distances because of its heavily weighted cannonballs and long-bore tube.
Cwn y Wawr: The ‘Dogs of Dawn,’ a Blood Forest martial company of archers, tree climbers, green drafters, and masters of camouflage. A semisecret society found in the deep parts of Blood Forest.
dagger-pistols: Pistols with a blade attached, allowing the user to fire at distance and then use the blade at close range or if the weapon misfires.
Dagnu: God of gluttony, associated with red. See Appendix, “On the Old Gods.”
danar: The currency of the Seven Satrapies. The average worker makes about a danar a day, while an unskilled laborer can expect to earn a half danar a day. The coins have a square hole in the middle, and are often carried on square-cut sticks. They can be cut in half and still hold their value.
tin danar: Worth eight regular danar coins. A stick of tin danars usually carries twenty-five coins—that is, two hundred danars.
silver quintar: Worth twenty danars, slightly wider than the tin danar, but only half as thick. A stick of silver quintars usually carries fifty coins—that is, one thousand danars.
den: One-tenth of a danar.
darks: See ‘Chromeria trained.’
Dark Forest/Deep Forest: A region within Blood Forest where pygmies reside. Decimated by the diseases brought by invaders, their numbers have never recovered, and they remain insular and often hostile. Few Chromeria drafters have ever returned from trips to the Dark Forest.
darklight: Another term for paryl.
dawat: A Parian martial art: ‘circling strike.’
Dazen’s War: Another name for the False Prism’s War, used by the victors. Dazen Guile’s defeated armies and disinterested observers sometimes call it simply the Prisms’ War.
Deimachia, the: The War of/on the Gods. A theological term for Lucidonius’s battle for supremacy against the pagan gods of the old world.
Demiurgos: Another term for a Mirror; literally ‘half creator.’
Deora Neamh: ‘Heaven’s Tears’—a waterfall in Blood Forest.
dey/deya: A Parian title, male and female respectively. A near-absolute ruler over a city and its surrounding territory. (Equivalent to the Atashian/Tyrean ‘corregidor.’)
dims: See ‘Chromeria trained.’
discipulae: The feminine plural term (also applying to groups of mixed genders) for those who study both religious and magical arts, usually at the Chromeria.
drafter: One who can shape or harness light into physical form (luxin).
Dúnbheo: Also known as the Floating City.
Elrahee, elishama, eliada, eliphalet: A Parian prayer meaning ‘He sees, he hears, he cares, he saves.’
Embassies District: The Big Jasper neighborhood that is closest to the Lily’s Stem, and thus is closest to the Chromeria itself. It also houses markets and kopi houses, taverns, and brothels.
epha: A unit of measurement for grain. (Approximately thirty-three liters.)
Ergion: An Atashian walled city a day’s travel east of Idoss.
Eshed Notzetz: The tallest waterfall in the Seven Satrapies.
Everdark Gates, the: The strait connecting the Cerulean Sea to the oceans beyond. It was supposedly closed by Lucidonius, but Angari ships have been known to make it through from time to time.
evernight: Often a curse word, it refers to death and hell. A metaphysical or teleological reality, rather than a physical one, it represents that which will forever embrace and be embraced by void, full darkness, night in its purest and most evil form.
eye caps: A specialized kind of spectacles. These colored lenses fit directly over the eye sockets, glued to the skin. Like other spectacles, they enable a drafter to draft her color more easily.
False Prism, the: Another term for Dazen Guile, who claimed to be a Prism even after his older brother Gavin had already been rightly chosen by Orholam and installed as Prism.
False Prism’s War, the: A common term for the war between Gavin and Dazen Guile, where ‘False Prism’ refers to Dazen.
Fásann Ár Gciorcal: The Greenveil family motto, meaning ‘Our Circle Grows.’
Fealty to One: The Danavis motto.
Feast of Light and Darkness, the: A celebration of the equinox, when light and dark war over who will own the sky. Because the religious calendar is tied to the lunar calendar, the feast is sometimes as much as a month off the solar date of the equinox.
Fechín Island: An island in Blood Forest at the Black River confluence.
Ferrilux: God of pride, associated with superviolet. See Appendix, “On the Old Gods.”
firecrystal: A term for sustainable sub-red, though a firecrystal doesn’t last long when exposed to air.
firefriend: A term sub-red drafters use for each other.
Flame of Erebos, the: The symbolic pin all Blackguards receive: as a candle must be consumed to provide light, so too the Blackguards’ lives require sacrifice to be of use to Orholam.
flashbomb: A weapon crafted by yellow drafters. It doesn’t harm so much as dazzle and distract its victims with the blinding light of evaporating yellow luxin.
flechette: A tiny projectile (sometimes made of luxin), with a pointed end and a vaned tail to achieve stable flight.
foot: Once a varying measure based on the current Prism’s foot length. Later standardized to twelve thumbs (the length of the foot of Prism Sayid Talim, who decreed the standardization).
Free, the (see disambiguation with ‘Freed, the’ below): Those drafters who reject the Pact of the Chromeria to join the Omnichrome’s army, choosing to eventually break the halo and become wights. Also called the Unchained.
Freed, the (see disambiguation with ‘Free, the’ above): Those drafters who accept the Pact of the Chromeria and choose to be ritually killed before they break the halo and go mad. (The closeness of this term with ‘the Free’ is part a deliberate linguistic war between the pagans and the Chromeria, with the pagans trying to seize terms that had long had other meanings.)
Freeing: The release of those about to break the halo from incipient madness; performed by the Prism every year as the culmination of the Sun Day rituals. A sensitive and holy time, it is accompanied by both mourning and celebration. Each drafter meets personally with the Prism for the ritual. Many refer to it as the holiest day of their lives. The pagans take a different view.
frizzen: On a flintlock, the L-shaped piece of metal against which the flint scrapes. The metal is on a hinge that opens upon firing to allow the sparks to reach the black powder in the chamber.
gada: A ball game that involves kicking and passing a ball of wrapped leather.
galleass: Originally a large merchant ship powered by both oar and sail. Later, the term referred to ships with modifications for military purposes, which include castles at bow and stern and cannons that fire in all directions.
gaoler: One in charge of a prison or dungeon.
Gargantua, the: A veritable floating castle, it was Ilytian pirate king Pash Vecchio’s flagship, with one hundred and forty-one light guns and forty-three heavy cannons.
Garriston: The former commercial capital of Tyrea at the mouth of the Umber River on the Cerulean Sea. Prism Gavin Guile built Brightwater Wall to defend the city, but his defense failed, and the city was claimed by Lord Omnichrome, the Color Prince, later the White King, Koios White Oak.
Gatu, the: A Parian tribe, despised by other Parians for how they integrate their old religious customs into the worship of Orholam. Technically their beliefs are heresy, but the Chromeria has never moved to put the heresy down with anything more than strong words.
gciorcal: A traditional dance of the Blood Forest pygmies involving paired, spinning dancers.
gemshorn: A musical instrument made from the tusk of a javelina, with finger-holes drilled into it to allow different notes to be played.
ghotra: A Parian headscarf, used by many Parian men to demonstrate their reverence for Orholam. In old Parian tradition, a man’s hair is a sign of his virility and dominance and thereby his glory. Most wear it only while the sun is up, but some sects wear it even at nighttime.
giist: A colloquial name for a blue wight.
gladius: A short double-edged sword, useful for cutting or stabbing at close range.
Glass Lily, the: Another term for Little Jasper, or for the whole of the Chromeria as a collection of buildings. A reference to how the seven towers turn to follow the sun.
gleams: See ‘Chromeria trained.’
glims: See ‘Chromeria trained.’
gold standard: The literal standard weights and measures, made of gold, against which all measures are judged. The originals are kept at the Chromeria, and certified copies are kept in every capital and major city for the adjudication of disputes. Merchants found using short measures and inaccurate weights are punished severely.
Great Chain (of being), the: A theological term for the order of creation. The first link is Orholam himself, and all the other links below (creation) derive from him.
great hall of the Chromeria, the: Located under the Prism’s Tower, it is converted once a week into a place of worship, at which time mirrors from the other towers are turned to shine light in. It includes pillars of white marble and the largest display of stained glass in the world. Most of the time, though, it is filled with clerks, ambassadors, and those who have business with the Chromeria.
great hall of the Travertine Palace, the: The wonder of the great hall is its eight great pillars set in a star shape around the hall, all made of extinct atasifusta wood. Said to be the gift of an Atashian king, these pillars are made of trees that were the widest in the world, and their sap allows fires to burn continually, even five hundred years after they were cut.
Great River, the: The river between Ruthgar and Blood Forest, the scene of many pitched battles between the two countries.
great yard, the: The yard at the base of the towers of the Chromeria.
Green Bridge: Less than a league upstream from Rekton, drafted by Gavin Guile in seconds while he was on his way to battle his brother at Sundered Rock.
green flash: A rare flash of color seen at the setting of the sun; its meaning is debated. Some believe it has theological significance, citing Karris Atiriel’s sighting of it the evening before the battle in Hass Valley. The previous White, Orea Pullawr, calls it ‘Orholam’s wink.’
Green Forest: A collective term for Blood Forest and Ruthgar during the hundred years of peace between the two territories, before Vician’s Sin incited the Blood Wars.
Green Haven: The capital of Blood Forest.
Greenwall: The massive defensive wall surrounding Dúnbheo.
grenado: A clay flagon full of black powder with a piece of wood shoved into the top, with a rag and bit of black powder as a fuse.
grenado, luxin: An explosive made of luxin that can be hurled at the enemy along an arc of luxin or in a cannon. Often filled with shot/shrapnel, depending on the type of grenado used.
Guardian, the: A colossus that stands astride the entrance to Garriston’s bay. She holds a spear in one hand and a torch in the other. A yellow drafter keeps the torch lit with yellow luxin, allowing it to dissolve slowly back into light, so the colossus also acts as a lighthouse. See also ‘Ladies, the.’
Guile palace: The Guile family palace on Big Jasper, distinct from their residence on Jaks Hill. Andross Guile has rarely visited his home in the time Gavin has been Prism, preferring to reside at the Chromeria. The Guile palace was one of the few buildings allowed to be constructed without regard to the working of the Thousand Stars, its height cutting off some of the light paths.
habia: A man’s long garment, most common in Abornea.
Hag, the: An enormous statue that comprises Garriston’s west gate. She is crowned and leans heavily on a staff; the crown and staff are also towers from which archers can shoot at invaders. See also ‘Ladies, the.’
Hag’s Crown, the: One of the towers over the west gate into Garriston.
Hag’s Staff, the: The second tower over the west gate into Garriston.
haik: An outer garment that wraps around the body and head. Commonly worn in Paria.
Harbinger: Corvan Danavis’s sword, inherited when his elder brothers died.
Hass Valley: Where the Ur trapped Lucidonius. Karris Atiriel (later Karris Shadowblinder) saved his army there, after climbing through the mountain passes at night to strike the Ur’s camp from behind at dawn.
haze: A narcotic. Often smoked with a pipe, it produces a sickly-sweet odor.
Hellfang: A mysterious blade, also known as Marrow Sucker and the Blinder’s Knife. It is white-veined with black and bears seven colorless gems in its blade.
hellhounds: Dogs infused with red luxin and enough will to make them run at enemies, and then lit on fire.
Hellmount: A snow-capped peak far to the southwest.
hellstone: A superstitious term for obsidian, which is rarer than diamonds or rubies, as few know where the extant obsidian in the world is created or mined. Obsidian is the only stone that can draw luxin out of a drafter if it touches her blood directly.
Highland: A small town at the top of a volcano’s rim on Seers Island.
hippodrome (Rath): A stadium dedicated primarily to horse and chariot races, the hippodrome in Rath occasionally operates as a public gathering place for executions and other important state functions.
hullwrecker: A luxin disk filled with shrapnel. It has a sticky side so that it will adhere to a ship’s hull and a fuse to allow the attackers to flee before it explodes, often punching a hole in the ship’s hull and spraying shrapnel in toward the crew.
Idoss: An Atashian city, now under the control of the White King’s armies.
Incarnitive luxin: A term for luxin when it is incorporated directly into one’s body. This is forbidden by the Chromeria as debasing or defiling Orholam’s work (the human body itself) with man’s work, and is seen as a slippery slope to trying to fully remake the body and become immortal. In certain cases, the luxiats have turned a blind eye to more minor or prosthetic uses.
Inura, Mount: A mountain on Seers Island, at the base of which the Third Eye resides.
ironbeaks: A term for explosive luxin-and will-infused birds, which drafters use to attack opponents at a distance.
Ivor’s Ridge, Battle of: A battle during the False Prism’s War, which Dazen Guile won primarily because of Corvan Danavis’s brilliance.
Izîl-Udad: The current Nuqaba’s husband, the head of the family that had her mother assassinated. Now a cripple, rumored to have been pushed down the stairs by his own wife after he’d beaten her one too many times.
Jaks Hill: A large hill in the city of Rath overlooking the Great River, notable for its wealthy estates. Castle Guile dominates the area.
jambu: A tree that produces pink fruit.
Jasper Islands/the Jaspers: Islands in the Cerulean Sea. The Chromeria is on Little Jasper. Legend has it that the Jaspers were chosen for the Chromeria by Karris Shadowblinder after the death of Lucidonius because they were part of no satrapy, and therefore could be for all the satrapies.
javelinas: Animals in the pig family, often hunted. Giant javelinas are rare, but can reach the size of a cow. Extremely dangerous and destructive, giant javelinas are believed to have been hunted to extinction in all satrapies except Tyrea. Both species have tusks and hooves and are nocturnal.
jilbab: A long and loose-fitting coat, often with a hood. Often worn by Parians and occasionally Aborneans.
jinni-yah: A female jinn or immortal.
ka: A sequence of movements to train balance and flexibility and control in the martial arts. A form of focusing exercise or meditation.
kaptan: Ptarsu for ‘head’ or ‘leader,’ cognate of ‘captain.’
Karsos Mountains, the: Tyrean mountains running east and west that border the Cerulean Sea.
katar: A type of punch dagger, it has a cross-grip and a hilt that extends up on either side of the hand and forearm. With this allowance for the fist and its reinforced tip, it is made for punching through armor.
Kazakdoon: A legendary city/land in the distant east, beyond the Everdark Gates.
Keffel’s Variant: A set of rules for Nine Kings to make the game especially quick.
Kelfing: The former capital of Tyrea, on the shores of Crater Lake.
khat: An addictive stimulant, a leaf that stains the teeth when it is chewed, used especially in Paria.
kiyah: A yell used while fighting to expel breath, tightening the trunk and empowering the body’s movement.
kopi: A mild, addictive stimulant, a popular beverage. Bitter, dark colored, and served hot.
kris: A wavy Parian blade.
Ladies, the: Four statues that comprise the gates into the city of Garriston. They are built into the wall, made of rare Parian marble and sealed in nearly invisible yellow luxin. They are thought to depict aspects of the goddess Anat, and were spared by Lucidonius, who believed them to depict something true. They are the Hag, the Lover, the Mother, and the Guardian.
Laurion: A region in eastern Atash known for its silver ore and massive slave mines. Life expectancy for the enslaved miners is short and conditions brutal. The threat of being sent to the mines is used throughout the satrapies to keep slaves obedient and docile.
league: A unit of measurement, six thousand and seventy-six paces.
léine: A close-fitting smock sometimes worn by Blood Foresters.
Library of Azûlay: An ancient library in Paria, the building itself is more than eight hundred years old, and built on the foundations of another library at least two hundred years older. The Nuqaba generally resides in Azûlay, though she has residences elsewhere.
lightbane: See ‘bane.’
Lightguard, the: Andross Guile’s personal army, nominally established to defend the Jaspers, answering only to him. Mercenaries, ruffians, veterans, and any others willing to fight for Andross Guile. Primarily washed-up Blackguards and the sons of poor nobles. Even their clothing is in contrast to—some would say a mockery of—the Blackguards’: white jackets with big brass buttons and medals.
lightsickness: The aftereffects of too much drafting. Only the Prism never gets lightsick.
lightwells: Holes positioned to allow light, with the use of mirrors, to reach the interiors of towers or sections of streets.
Lily’s Stem, the: The luxin bridge between Big and Little Jasper. It is composed of blue and yellow luxin so that it appears green. Set below the high-water mark, it is remarkable for its endurance against the waves and storms that wash over it. Ahhana the Dextrous was responsible for designing it and engineering its creation.
linstock: A staff for holding a slow match. Used in lighting cannons, it allows the cannoneer to stand out of the range of the cannon’s recoil.
Little Jasper (Island): The island on which the Chromeria resides. Became the site of the Chromeria after Vician’s Sin.
Little Jasper Bay: A bay of Little Jasper Island. It is protected by a seawall that keeps its waters calm.
loci damnata: A temple to the false gods. The bane. Believed to have magical powers, especially over drafters.
longbow: A weapon that allows for the efficient (in speed, distance, and force) firing of arrows. Its construction and its user must both be extremely strong. The yew forests of Crater Lake provide the best wood available for longbows.
Lord Prism: A respectful term of address for a male Prism.
Lords of the Air: A term used by the Omnichrome for his most trusted blue-drafting officers.
Lover, the: A statue that comprises the eastern river gate at Garriston. She is depicted in her thirties, lying on her back, arched over the river with her feet planted, her knees forming a tower on one bank, hands entwined in her hair, elbows rising to form a tower on the other bank. She is clad only in veils. Before the Prisms’ War, a portcullis could be lowered from her arched body into the river, its iron and steel hammered into shape so that it looked like a continuation of her veils. She glows like bronze when the sun sets, and a land entrance to the city comes through another gate in her hair.
Luíseach: A Blood Forest term for the Lightbringer.
luxiat: A priest of Orholam. A luxiat wears black as an acknowledgment that he needs Orholam’s light most of all; thus he is sometimes called a blackrobe.
luxin: A material created by drafting from light. See Appendix.
luxlord: A term for a member of the ruling Spectrum.
Luxlords’ Ball, the: An annual event on the open roof of the Prism’s Tower.
luxors: Officials empowered by the Chromeria to bring the light of Orholam by almost any means necessary. They have at various times pursued paryl drafters and lightsplitter heretics, among others. Their theological rigidity and their prerogative to kill and torture have been hotly debated by followers of Orholam and dissidents alike.
magister: The term for a teacher of drafting, history, and religion at the Chromeria. It always retains its masculine ending: magister, not magister or magistra as appropriate. This is a relic from when all teachers were male, female drafters being considered too valuable for teaching.
mag torch: Often used by drafters to allow them access to light at night, it burns with a full spectrum of colors. Colored mag torches are also made at great expense, and give a drafter her exact spectrum of useful light, allowing her to eschew spectacles and draft instantly.
Malleus Haereticorum: ‘Hammer of Heretics.’ The title for a luxor commissioned to destroy heresy.
Mangrove Point: A village on the border between Blood Forest and Atash.
match-holder: The piece on a matchlock musket to which a slow match is affixed.
matchlock musket: A firearm that works by snapping a burning slow match into the flash pan, which ignites the gunpowder in the breech of the firearm, whose explosion propels a rock or lead ball out of the barrel at high speed. Matchlocks are accurate to fifty or a hundred paces, depending on the smith who made them and the ammunition used.
matériel: A military term for equipment or supplies.
merlon: The upraised portion of a parapet or battlement that protects soldiers from fire.
Midsummer: Another term for Sun Day, the longest day of the year.
Midsummer’s Dance: A rural version of the Sun Day celebration.
millennial cypress: A tree known for its immense age and ability to grow in damp conditions.
Mirrormen: Soldiers in King Garadul’s army who wear mirrored armor to protect themselves against luxin. The mirrors cause luxin to shear off and disintegrate when it comes in contact with them.
Molokh: God of greed, associated with orange. See Appendix, “On the Old Gods.”
monochromes: Drafters who can draft only one color. (See ‘bichromes’ and ‘polychromes.’)
Mot: God of envy, associated with blue. See Appendix, “On the Old Gods.”
Mother, the: A statue that guards the south gate into Garriston. She is depicted as a teenager, heavily pregnant, with a dagger bared in one hand and a spear in the other.
mund: An insulting term for a person who cannot draft.
murder hole: A hole in the ceiling of a passageway that allows soldiers to fire, drop, or throw weapons, projectiles, luxin, or fuel. Common in castles and city walls.
nao: A small vessel with a three-masted rig.
Narrows, the: A strait of the Cerulean Sea between Abornea and the Ruthgari mainland. Aborneans charge high tolls on merchants sailing the silk route, or simply between Paria and Ruthgar.
near-polychrome: One who can draft three colors, but can’t stabilize the third color sufficiently to be a true polychrome.
Nekril, the: Will-casting coven that laid siege to Aghbalu before being destroyed by Gwafa, a Blackguard.
non-drafter: One who cannot draft.
norm: Another term for a non-drafter. Insulting.
nunk: A half-derogatory term for a Blackguard inductee.
Oakenshield Fortress: The old, original fortress in Ruthgar on Jaks Hill, which eventually became known as Castle Guile, Corinth Castle, Rath Skuld, and finally simply the Castle.
Odess: A city in Abornea that sits at the head of the Narrows.
old world: The world before Lucidonius united the Seven Satrapies and abolished worship of the pagan gods.
oralam: Another term for paryl, meaning ‘hidden light.’
Order of the Broken Eye, the: A secret guild of assassins. They specialize in killing drafters and have been rooted out and destroyed at least three times. The pride of the Order is the Shimmercloaks, or Shadows, pairs of purportedly invisible, unstoppable assassins.
Overhill: A neighborhood in Big Jasper.
Ox Ford: The site of a disastrous battle in the White King’s War.
Pact, the: Since Lucidonius, the Pact has governed all those trained by the Chromeria in the Seven Satrapies. Its essence is that drafters agree to serve their satrapy and receive all the benefits of status and sometimes wealth—in exchange for their service and eventual death before they break the halo.
Palace of the Divines: The residence and meeting place of Dúnbheo’s Council of the Divines.
parry-stick: A primarily defensive weapon that blocks bladed attacks. It sometimes includes a punching dagger at the center of the stick to follow up on a deflected blow.
pathomancy: Related to hex-casting, the reading or manipulation of emotions directly via orange drafting. Forbidden by the Chromeria.
Pericol: A city on the coast of Ilyta.
petasos: A broad-brimmed Ruthgari hat, usually made of straw, meant to keep the sun off the face, head, and neck.
pilum: A weighted throwing spear whose lead shank bends after it pierces a shield, preventing the opponent from reusing the weapon against the user and encumbering the shield. They are becoming more rare and ceremonial.
polychrome: A drafter who can draft three or more colors.
portmaster: A city official in charge of collecting tariffs and managing the organized exit and entrance of ships in his harbor.
Prism: There is only one Prism each generation. She senses the balance of the world’s magic and balances it when necessary, and can split light within herself. Other than balancing, her role is largely ceremonial and religious, with the Colors and the satraps all working hard to make sure that Prisms rarely turn their fame into political power.
Prism’s Tower, the: The central tower in the Chromeria. It houses the Prism, the White, and superviolets (as they are not numerous enough to require their own tower). The great hall lies below the tower, and the top holds a great crystal for the Prism’s use while he balances the colors of the world.
promachia: The institution of giving nearly absolute executive powers to a single person (the promachos) during wartime.
promachos: Literally ‘he [or she] who fights before us,’ it is a title that may be given during a war or other great crisis. A promachos may be named only by order of a supermajority of the Colors. Among other powers, the promachos has the right to command armies, seize property, and elevate commoners to the nobility.
Providence: The care of Orholam over the Seven Satrapies, and his intervention on behalf of its people.
psantria: A stringed musical instrument.
pygmies [of Blood Forest]: A rare, fierce people of the Blood Forest interior, they claim common ancestry with the people of Braxos. Almost extinct. Their taxonomy is debated, with some saying they are related to humans only as mules are to horses. They can interbreed with humans, though with great danger if the mother is the pygmy, death in childbirth being the norm. Some Blood Forest chiefs and kings in the past claimed that pygmies were not human, and as they weren’t, they deemed the killing of pygmies a morally neutral or even laudable act. The Chromeria declared pygmies human and such killing to be murder, but pygmy numbers have never recovered from a number of massacres and human diseases.
pyrejelly: Red luxin that, once set alight, will engulf whatever object it adheres to.
pyroturges: Red and/or sub-red drafters who create wonders of flame, known particularly for their wonders in Azûlay.
qassisin kuluri: Possibly an early incarnation of the Order, ‘the color warriors [or assassins].’ The exact provenance of the term is lost to history.
Rage of the Seas, the: An Ilytian galley.
raka: A heavy insult, with the implication of both moral and intellectual idiocy.
Raptors of Kazakdoon, the: Flying reptiles from Angari myth.
Rath: The capital of Ruthgar, set on the confluence of the Great River and its delta into the Cerulean Sea.
Rathcaeson: A mythical city, on the drawings of which Gavin Guile based his Brightwater Wall design.
Rathcore Hill: A hill opposite (and somewhat smaller than) Jaks Hill in the city of Rath. The hippodrome is carved into its side.
ratweed: A toxic plant whose leaves are often smoked for their strong stimulant properties. Addictive.
Red Cliff Uprising, the: A rebellion in Atash after the end of the False Prism’s War. Without the support of the royal family (who had been purged), it was short-lived.
reedsmen: Drafters used to propel skimmers.
Rekton: A small Tyrean town on the Umber River, near the site of the Battle of Sundered Rock. An important trading post before the False Prism’s War. Now uninhabited after a massacre by King Rask Garadul.
Rozanos Bridge, the: A bridge on the Great River between Ruthgar and the Blood Forest that Blessed Satrap Rados famously burnt, so that his troops had no choice but to win or die.
Ru: The capital of Atash, once famous for its castle, still famous for its Great Pyramid.
Ru, Castle of: Once the pride of Ru, it was destroyed by fire during General Gad Delmarta’s purge of the royal family in the Prisms’ War.
Ruic Head: A peninsula dominated by towering cliffs that overlooks the Atashian city of Ru and its bay. A fort atop the peninsula’s cliffs guards against invaders and pirates.
runt: An affably derogatory term for a new Blackguard inductee.
sabino cypress: A tree that grows to massive heights, often found in marshes.
salve: A common greeting, originally meaning ‘Be of good health!’
Sapphire Bay: A bay off Little Jasper.
satrap/satrapah: The title of a ruler (male or female respectively) of one of the seven satrapies.
scrogger: Slang for a small rodent.
sev: A unit of measurement for weight, equal to one-seventh of a seven.
seven: A unit of measurement for weight, equal to the weight of a cubit of water.
Seven Lives of Maeve Hart, The: A Blood Forest epic.
Shadow: Another term for a member of the Order of the Broken Eye who can use a shimmercloak.
Shadow Watch: A secretive martial drafting society based in Ruthgar.
Sharazan Mountains, the: Impassable mountains south of Tyrea.
shimmercloak: A cloak that makes the wearer mostly invisible, except in sub-red and superviolet.
Sitara’s Wells: An Atashian town north of Ruic Head. In otherwise arid land, its numerous artesian wells have made it a stop for traders and travelers for all of recorded history.
slow fuse/slow match: A length of cord, often soaked in saltpeter, that can be lit to ignite the gunpowder of a weapon in the firing mechanism.
Skill, Will, Source, and Still/Movement: The four essential elements for drafting.
Skill: The most underrated of all the elements of drafting, acquired through practice. Includes knowing the properties and strengths of the luxin being drafted, being able to see and match precise wavelengths, et cetera.
Will: By imposing will, a drafter can draft and even cover flawed drafting if her will is powerful enough.
Source: Depending on what colors a drafter can use, she needs either that color of light or items that reflect that color of light in order to draft. Only a Prism can simply split white light within herself to draft any color.
Still: An ironic usage. Drafting requires movement, though more skilled drafters can use less.
spectrum: A term for a range of light (for more information on the luxin spectrum, see the Appendix); or (capitalized) the council of the Chromeria that is one branch of the government of the Chromeria (see ‘Colors, the’).
spidersilk: Another term for paryl.
spina: The center line of a hippodrome, which often has a raised platform for announcements, demonstrations, and executions.
spyglass: A device using curved, clear lenses to bend light to aid in sighting distant objects.
star-keepers: Also known as tower monkeys, these are petite slaves (usually children) who work the ropes that control the mirrors in the Thousand Stars of Big Jasper to reflect the light throughout the city for drafters’ use. Though well treated for slaves, they spend their days working in two-man teams from dawn till after dusk, frequently without reprieve except for switching with their partners.
Stony Field: A border town between Blood Forest and Atash.
Strang’s Commentary: The authoritative work of theology, teleology, and epistemology (in that order) by Aldous Strang, the full opus fills one thousand scrolls.
Strong’s Commentary: The authoritative work of epistemology, teleology, and theology (in that order) by Albus Strong, pupil and rumored illegitimate son of Aldous Strang, the full opus fills one thousand and one scrolls.
subchromats: Drafters who are color-blind, overwhelmingly male. A subchromat can function without loss of ability—if his handicap is not in the colors he can draft. A red-green color-blind subchromat could be an excellent blue or yellow drafter. See Appendix.
Sun Day: A holy day for followers of Orholam and pagans alike, the longest day of the year. For the Seven Satrapies, Sun Day is the day when the Prism Frees those drafters who are about to break the halo and go mad. The ceremonies usually take place on the Jaspers, when all of the Thousand Stars are trained onto the Prism, who can absorb and split the light, whereas other men would burn or burst from drafting so much power.
Sun Day’s Eve: An evening of festivities, both for celebration and for mourning, before the longest day of the year and the Freeing the next day.
Sundered Rock: Twin mountains in Tyrea, opposite each other and so alike that they look as if they were once one huge rock that was cut down the middle.
Sundered Rock, Battle of: The final battle between Gavin and Dazen Guile near a small Tyrean town called Rekton on the Umber River.
superchromats: Extremely color-sensitive people. Luxin they seal will rarely fail. Overwhelmingly female.
Sword of Heaven: The luxin-imbued lighthouse of Azûlay.
Tafok Amagez: The Nuqaba’s elite personal guard, composed entirely of drafters.
tainted: One who has broken the halo, also called a wight.
Tanner’s Turn: A village on the border of Atash and the Blood Forest.
targe: A small shield.
Tellari separatists: Rebels behind the burning of the Great Library three hundred years prior to Prism Guile, they also attempted to destroy the Lily’s Stem.
telos: A man’s end or his highest good.
Tenling Rise: A hill in Blood Forest.
thobe: An ankle-length garment, usually with long sleeves.
Thorikos: A town below the Laurion mines on the river to Idoss. Serves as the center for arriving and departing slaves, the bureaucracy necessary for thirty thousand slaves, and the trade goods and supplies necessary to the mines, as well as the shipping of the silver ore down the river.
Thorn Conspiracies, the: A series of intrigues that occurred after the False Prism’s War.
Thousand Stars, the: The mirrors on Big Jasper Island that enable the light to reach into almost any part of the city for as long as possible during the day.
Threshing, the: The initiation test for candidates to the Chromeria. Through subjecting the initiates to things that most commonly instigate fear and providing appropriate spectra of light, it usually reveals the initiates’ ranges of drafting ability (with some uncertainty around the edges).
Threshing Chamber, the: The room where candidates for the Chromeria are summoned to be tested for their abilities to draft.
Thundering Falls: An enormous waterfall at the intersection of the Great River and the Akomi Nero. The city of Verit is right at the base of the falls.
Tiru, the: A Parian tribe.
Tlaglanu, the: A Parian tribe, hated by other Parians, from whom Hanishu, the dey of Aghbalu, chose his bride, Tazerwalt.
torch: A red wight.
translucification, forced: See ‘willjacking.’
Travertine Palace, the: One of the wonders of the old world. Both a palace and a fortress, it is built of carved travertine (a mellow green stone) and white marble. Notable for its bulbous horseshoe arches, geometric wall patterns, Parian runes, and chessboard patterns on the floors. Its walls are incised with a crosshatched pattern to make the stone look woven rather than carved. The palace is a remnant of the days when half of Tyrea was a Parian province.
Tree People, the: Tribesmen who live (lived?) deep in the forests of the Blood Forest satrapy. They use zoomorphic designs, and can apparently shape living wood. Possibly related to the pygmies.
tromoturgy: A form of hex-casting, ‘fear-working’ or ‘fear-casting’ banned by the Chromeria, as are other forms of direct manipulation of emotions; man being created in the likeness of Orholam, any assault on the dignity of man’s body (violence, murder) or his mind (emotion-casting, torture, slave-taking) is considered sinful—except as allowed by just-war theory and the rights of rule: a city can imprison a thief where citizens doing so would be punished, et cetera. In general, the Chromeria takes a harder line toward things magical, especially manipulation of emotions and minds, as such things generate a natural terror and distrust among those the Chromeria would rule. Luxors were a noted exception to this blanket prohibition, allowed ‘a righteous fear-casting.’
Túsaíonn Domhan: ‘A World Begins’—the name of a piece by a legendary Blood Forest woodwright.
Two Hundred, the: Apocryphal. Two hundred of Orholam’s progeny who rebelled and came to the world to rule over men and magic.
Two Mills Junction: A small village in Blood Forest, not far from the border of Atash.
tygre striper: Also known as the sharana ru, said to be carved sea demon bone. Sources contest that the even rarer whalebone makes superior weapons. It is the only known mundane material that reacts to will, becoming hard or flexible depending on the user’s will.
tygre wolves: Fierce creatures of deep Blood Forest, untamable, but able to be directed by will magic.
ulta: In the Order’s religion, a man’s highest goal, his life’s purpose and final test.
Umber River, the: The lifeblood of Tyrea. Its water allows the growth of every kind of plant in the hot climate; its locks fed trade throughout the country before the False Prism’s War. Often besieged by bandits.
Unchained, the: A term for the followers of the Color Prince, those drafters who choose to break the Pact and continue living even after breaking the halo.
Unification, the: A term for Lucidonius’s and Karris Shadowblinder’s establishment of the Seven Satrapies four hundred years prior to Gavin Guile’s rule as Prism.
Ur, the: A tribe that trapped Lucidonius in Hass Valley. He triumphed against great odds, primarily because of the heroics of El-Anat (who thereby became Forushalzmarish or Shining Spear) and Karris Atiriel (later Karris Shadowblinder).
urum: A three-tined dining implement.
vambrace: Plate armor to protect the forearm. Ceremonial versions made of cloth also exist.
Varig and Green: A bank with a branch on Big Jasper.
vechevoral: A sickle-shaped sword with a long handle like an axe’s and a crescent-moon-shaped blade at the end, with the inward bowl-shaped side being the cutting edge.
Verdant Plains, the: The dominant geographical feature of Ruthgar, enabling the farming and grazing that give Ruthgar its immense wealth. The Verdant Plains have been favored by green drafters since before Lucidonius.
Verit: A town on the Great River at the base of Thundering Falls.
Vician’s Sin: The event that marked the end of the close alliance between Ruthgar and Blood Forest, and purportedly led to Orholam’s raising White Mist Reef and the mist itself at the center of the Cerulean Sea.
Wanderer, the: Andross Guile’s flagship during the fight to save Ru.
warrior-drafters: Drafters whose primary work is fighting for various satrapies or the Chromeria. Usually far inferior in drafting to the Blackguard, who are the foremost warrior-drafters in the world.
water markets: Circular lakes connected to the Umber River at the centers of the villages and cities of Tyrea, common throughout Tyrean towns. A water market is dredged routinely to maintain an even depth, allowing ships easy access to the interior of the city with their wares. The largest water market is in Garriston.
Weasel Rock: A neighborhood in Big Jasper dominated by narrow alleys.
Weedling: A small coastal village in Ru close to Ruic Head.
wheel-lock pistol: A pistol that uses a rotating wheel mechanism to cause the spark that ignites the firearm; the first mechanical attempt to ignite gunpowder. Some few smiths’ versions are more reliable than a flintlock and allow repeated attempts to fire with repeated pulls of the trigger without manual cocking as flintlocks require. Most, however, are far less reliable than the already-unreliable flintlocks.
Whiteguard, the: The term for the Omnichrome’s personal bodyguard. Most likely a jab at the Blackguard, whose black denotes humility in excellence.
widdershins: Counter-sunwise spinning.
willjacking/will-breaking: Once a drafter has contact with unsealed luxin that she is able to draft, she can use her will to break another drafter’s control over the luxin and take it for herself.
will-blunting: A form of drafting used to directly attack another’s will by connecting emotionally and intellectually with them, and thereby forbidden as an assault on man’s mind and dignity.
Wiwurgh: A Parian town that hosts many Blood Forest refugees from the Blood War.
wob: A term for a Blackguard inductee.
wyrthig: A Blood Forest term for a falsehood or tall tale.
zigarro: A roll of tobacco, a form useful for smoking. Ratweed is sometimes used as a wrapping to hold the loose tobacco to allow use of both substances at once.
ziricote: A type of wood.
zoon politikon: “Political animal.” From the Philosopher’s treatise, The Politics. His theory was that man can only reach his telos, his end or highest good, when in a community, specifically a city large enough to meet all his needs: physical, social, moral, and spiritual.