Part of the joy of a good fantasy book is to see how the author uses language to describe the fantastical elements. There are many schools of thought, from conlanging (con-lang = constructed language) to descriptive names. I use a bit of both in this book. Role-playing games s well have amazing terminology, words bent and hammered or made up to accommodate wondrous concepts. Another great source of glossary words is organizational jargon. My Bloodlust books, the first two in the Domains of the Chosen series, have an extensive glossary, crafted to capture the feel of the Chosen and the Gladiatorial games, and the language these groups use.
Warbound: The Shield Maiden, the third book in The Domains of the Chosen (Out in ebook format on amazon — July 17) series focuses on another jargon-rich organization: the Legions. I wonder how much a potential reader can glean from the words I am adding to the glossary this time around.
[Click]ka: A Kirifan word that combines the ideas of a traitor and a flaunter of sacred traditions. (Note: The [click] represents a tongue click which is used in some real-world languages, I added [click] and [pop] to some Ithal’Duin languages to differentiate them from that of the Domains and Pre-Reckoning fragment languages.)
Angelfall: 459 AR. The Angelfall is considered the event that began the civil war between the Chosen that lasted from 459-462 AR. It is called the Angelfall because of the dramatic death of Chosen Aitheria who was overpowered and thrown from the east balcony of the Hall of the Chosen, in full view of the Grand Arena crowds.
Arkelian Converter: An Arkelian converter creates pure elements (not the scientific kind!) from base elements. Elemental earth, air, fire, and water all have special properties that make the intense and difficult process worthwhile.
Creepers: Tainted crustaceans that creep out of the oceans and paralyse their prey and then suck out the brain and soft innards. They have a probiscus that can chew through bone and shell.The Kirifans herd them and eat them.
Daer: Daer is an underground city built like the Shadow-elf cities of old, one of several such places built in the Domains. Daer is a free city, and does not fall under the rule of the Chosen. Daer is Sadira’s home city.
Fologi: The Fologi are large cetaceans that have developed a symbiotic relationship with the Kirifans and the tainted coral of the Spires. Fologi are intelligent. Fologi Gifted also exist. They look like Dolphins, but are more predatory. They are cannibalistic and devour the enemies of the Kirif. They have shown themselves capable of sinking most ships. Kirifan burial often includes allowing the Fologi to feast on the dead.
Flashstones: Enchanted stones that emit a bright flash and a boom, thrown like a grenade. They are used in training instead of regular grenades.
Gallian Road: an extension of the Great Western Way, that passes out through Marius’s Wall and into the tainted lands beyond.
Honeybursts: A tasty fruit that grows in the scrub south of Kirif.
Hundath: A type of slave soldier used by the Kirif. The Hundath wear light armour and are armed with vicious, crude weapons. They are plied with drugs and instilled with religious fervour, hoping that their deeds earn them the right to be reincarnated as one of The Blood when they die or davance further on the great wheel. The drugs also give the Sword-Bearers a measure of control over these berserkers. The Vvath use them as expendable shock-troops.
Jika/Jika’Ri: The Jika is a cerimony, a form of ritual mass combat that takes place between the spires. Jika’Ri is the drug that is used in this combat, giving the drinker incredible strength and swiftness while slowly draining them of life. Kirifan elites carry Jika’Ri and will use it in war, if the situation is dire.
Kirrute: Trees are rare near Kirif. Instead the land is dominated by gigantic grasses called Kirrute. The Kirif harvest immature Kirrute and use it to make a tough form of wicker.
Khazak Khrim: Khazak Khrim is a fortress that once guarded an important nexus of trade routes. When the Reckoning came, the Dwarves were cut off from the rest of the Empire and force to rely on their own devices. They became increasingly isolationist. This coincided with the creation of the Vvath swords, the famed Blades of Khazak Khrim, which could store the spirit of the Dwarves who forged them. Later it was discovered that the spirits in these blades could overwhelm the wills of other who wielded them. The Dwarves of Khazak Khrim then began to gift these magnificent weapons to the chieftans of neighboring tribes, creating the Sword-Bearers.
Makarim: Makarim are massive tusked creatures. Picture a cross between a triceratops and wooly mammoth. They are used as beasts of war by the Vvath.
Pershing’s Gap: In 1117 AR a massive force of The Pale ambushed the Ninth, Fifteenth, and Twenty-First Legions, nearly destroying them. Legate Vintillius Legarda managed to rescue the remnants of the Ninth and hold The Pale at bay, using a series of three narrow gaps, until reinforcements could arrive. Although considered a great Victory for the Legions, the cost was prohibative.
Shield Maiden: An honoured ancestor from long before the Reckoning. The Shield Maiden is remembered for defending the only passage into Krass.
Shugothoth: Shugothoth is a sentient disease born of the experimentation of the Vvath and wild magic. The Vvath were attempting to breed more powerful war animal, subjecting them to the taint. During the process an accident occured and the Shugothoth was born. It is an magical contagion that can waro the patterns of its host. Dwarves and the gifted are immune to the disease.
Spikers: Spikers are artifice weapons that fire a variety of metallic darts. They use a combination of air power, springs, and magic. Think of them as a faster firinh crossbow.
Shockpucks: A shockpuck is a munition used to simulate a cannon round in training. It delivers a painful shock to a small area.
Short File Escort: A type of Legion specialist. The short file is made up of Legionnaires the size of a Quickling. They reinforce the front-rankers, filing gaps, bracing, and attacking enemy formations close to the ground. They are often called cappers, since good short files wreak havoc by inflicting crippling leg injuries on enemy soldiers.
Sword-Bearers: The Vvath Sword-Bearers are shells controlled by the blades they wield. Within each sword is the spirit of the Dwarf who forged it, whose will eventually overcomes and destroys that of the wielder. A Sword-Bearer separated from the blade for more than a day becomes either vegetative or berserk. Some Sword-Bearers have a stable of shells, bodies that they wear, conditionned to different purposes.
The Sword Bearers control the rest of the Vvath empire. The leaders of each nominally independent province or state are all Sword-Bearers. The Sword-Bearers are also the priests of the Vvathi God.
Sword-Bearers are all skilled fighters, having honed their swordsmanship as living Dwarves and also retaining any skills from the bodies they absorb. They are able to to push their host bodies to supernatural limits. The Blades of Khazak Khrim are also able to disrupt or cut the weaves of spells directed at the wielder or the blade.
Some Sword-Bearers develope other powers, especially if they absorb a Gifted host.
Vvath: In their own words the Vvath are a loose alliance of tribes and nation states that Dominate the South-western parts of Ithal’Duin. In reality they are a full blown empire ruled by the Dwarves of Khazak Khrim, an ancient fortress that survived the Reckoning intact. While Khazak Khrim is ruled by noble families, the Empire is held together by the Sword-Bearers who act as priests of the Vvathi God. The Vvath are very advanced, enough to challenge the Domains.
Vespath: A type of Vvath slave soldier. Vespath use bows and blowguns, firing into the enemy from amidst the rolling mass of of Hundath. They are chosen for swiftness and precision. Vespath are occasionally used as skirmishers on their own. They need less supervision than the berserk Hundath.