A Distant Light
A Distant Light
Chapter 20 Vanara
The Reader's Companion to the Year of the Red Door.
|Reader's Reference Start Page||Maps|
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Alonair -- One of the Firstborn of the Faerekind, a maker of fabulous statues and carvings of stone. It was Alonair who set before the Dragonkind the challenge of the Great Stone that preceded the first great conflict between Faerekind and Dragonkind and eventually led to The Fall and the Departing of Aperion's Host.*|
Altoria -- One of the smaller realms to the south at the edge of the world where the sea begins. To its east is Masurthia, to the north is the Great Bletharn Plains, and to the west is the Hinderland (or Hinderlands), a vast area of marshlands and bogs bordered by the impenetrable Tulivana Mountains.* (See Map of Altoria)
Attis -- Thought to be the name of the original builder of Tulith Attis, an ancient fortress near Lake Halgaeth in the Eastlands. It was later the name for the town at the base of Tulith Attis, all of which was destroyed during the Dragonkind invasion of 322 S.A.
(See Map of County Barley)
Banis -- A Firstborn Elifaen of the House of Elmwood. Father to Atlana, Esildre, and Navis. His wife, Tiryna, departed with Aperion. Banis did not join with any other houses during the Time Before Time and lived throughout the Vanara region. As his children became warriors for Cupeldain, Parthais, and Serith Ellyn, Banis served in their courts in various nonmilitary capacities. He was a staunch supporter of Parthais, serving as Vanara's Minister of Justice for many years. In the latter period of Parthais's reign, Banis was removed from his position for insubordination to the throne and became something of a recluse from the Vanaran courts until Serith Ellyn became Queen. He briefly served her as a judge, but moved to Duinnor early in the Second Age, and rarely returned to Vanara thereafter.*
Barley -- A rural county within the old Eastlands Realm south of Lake Halgaeth and just east of the Thunder Mountains, bordering the lands west of the ancient fortress of Tulith Attis. It is so named because of the main crop grown in the region. Barley was once merely the regional name for the area, but was adopted as the county name when the Eastlands Realm organized itself into counting districts for the purpose of performing the First Census. Nearly all of the lands encompassing Barley were once part of the vast Bosk estate holdings, but over time much of the former Bosk lands were sold or deeded away. Its principal town is Passdale, formerly known as Dalefath.
(See Map of County Barley)
Battalion -- A military unit normally consisting of between 1200 and 1800 men including military support staff (but often excluding civilian support personnel such as wranglers, blacksmiths, wagon drivers, etc.). The size and makeup of the battalion level military unit varies greatly from realm to realm, and from army to army. In Duinnor, a battalion is usually no less than 1500 soldiers, but in Glareth a battalion may have as few as 800 men. Several battalions may comprise an army unit or division. Battalions sometimes act as semi-autonomous units under a battalion general or other command responsible to a higher general or commander. Battalions are usually subdivided into companies, variously consisting of between 150-500 men. Sometimes battalions are organized in support of specific types of operations or duties. For example the 1st Battalion of the Kingsman Fourth Army is a Heavy Assault Battalion, while the Third Battalion of the Kingsman First Army is an engineering battalion, and specializes in fortifications, mapping, bridging, and the like, often in service to other units outside the First Army.
Buckmarl -- A type of large antlered deer or elk ridden by many of the Faere in the Elder Days and sometimes still. They are swift and light on the hoof, strong and nimble in the wood and on rocky mountainsides. They are renown for their ability to leap from crag to crag, much like a ram, with surefooted ease.
Cupeldain -- One of the Firstborn of the Faerekind and founder of the House of Fairlinden. It was Cupeldain who led the Faerekind to make a war of retaliation against the Dragonkind, against Aperion's command. He and those who followed him were punished by being stripped of their wings.*
Damar -- A warlord region in the Thunder Mountains that sprang up in the latter Second Age; it allied itself with Tracia during that realm's revolt against Duinnor's rule. Its people was ruled by the Cartu warlord clan, and its most powerful ruler was Lang Cartu, who made himself king over the Damar in the late Second Age.
Drago -- The ordinary class of Dragonkind. Mistakenly thought by some of the north as a separate race from the Alziekfria since the Drago and Alziekfria are different from one another in appearance and health. That is because the Drago do not regularly receive the darakal elixir and are thus more coarse in appearance and demeanor than those who rule. They suffer scales of the skin, thinning hair, and, should they suffer from the desert sickness long enough, their facial features change, most notable a thinning of the lips, thickening of the tongue, and the loss of the boney structure of the proboscis, resulting in a flat nose with narrow nostrils. As a result of the sickness, few Drago reach physical maturity, becoming increasingly weak and prone to illness, thus their mortality rate is quite high.
Dragon -- Terrible, fire-spitting creatures spawned by Morgasir during the Time before Time. Most of the dragons, along with Morgasir and a host of his followers, were destroyed by Beras in a great conflict, but some escaped into the bowels of the earth and into far places. Legend has it that the dragons sired a race of slaves to serve them, and, when the dragons were destroyed, the slaves were set free, becoming the Dragonkind.
Dragonkind -- Mortal inhabitants of the southern deserts, calling themselves Drakyr. Their legends tell that they were created as offspring of Morgasir's dragons, to serve as slaves. When Morgasir was destroyed, along with most of his creatures and followers, these people survived by eking out a living in the deserts, shunned and despised by the Faerekind in the fertile lands of the north. Eventually, they multiplied and built great cities, developed engineering and mathematics, writing, and other arts. Since the time of their first great king, Kalzar, the Dragonkind have warred with those of the northern lands.*
Duinnor -- A northwestern realm, taking its name from the ancient name for the river that flows along its northern bounds. Among the smallest of the Realms, it is nonetheless densely populated, and, as the ruling realm of the Unknown Kings, it is the most powerful of all the realms. Its chief city is Duinnor City.* (See Map of Duinnor)
Eastlands -- Also called "Eastland," "Eastlands Realm," or "the Old Eastlands Realm." The realm that lies south of Glareth and north of Tracia, extending from the coast of the world to the Thunder Mountains in the west. After the Seven Realms were established in the Second Age, it suffered many misfortunes including droughts, floods, plagues, and invasion. Its capital was at Colleton on the coast, once an important trading port. However, in spite of the rich natural resources of the lands, the inept rule of its kings prevented the Eastlands from becoming very strong. After the demise of King Inrick II, the Eastlands became a protectorate of Glareth Realm.* (See World Map)
Edgewold -- An agricultural and trading town of Men located in the west near to the Plains of Bletharn on the Long Road from Altoria to Duinnor. During the late Second Age, it feuded with nearby Westlawn when that town was overtaken by Wickermen rebels. Eventually, Edgewold was garrisoned by an army from Duinnor which saw to its defense and eventually overthrew the Wickermen rebels.
(See Map of Forest Islindia)
Elifaen -- The Fallen Ones; those of the immortal Faerekind who refused to leave the world at the command of Aperion and who were "scathed," meaning they were stripped of their wings for their disobedience. This event is usually referred to as "the Fall," or sometimes "the First Scathing."*
Glareth -- One of the Seven Realms, located in the northeastern coasts and borders the Old Eastlands Realm. Its chief city is Glareth by the Sea. Renown for its maritime trades, it is closely allied with Vanara and has strong trade ties to Duinnor. * (See Map of Glareth)
Gray Guard -- The elite household guard of Queen Serith Ellyn. They perform many duties pertaining to the Queen's protection as well as serving as Palace Guard. They report directly to the Queen's Chancellor and under him they perform a variety of tasks besides guarding the Queen. It is believed that some of their activities are clandestine in nature, perhaps involving spycraft or covert reconnaissance activities.*
Great Stone -- A square block of marble some 120 feet in height, width, and length. It was quarried some time during the Time Before Time by Dragonkind King Kalzar. The Great Stone precipitated events that led to the Fall of the Faere.* (See Map of the Dragonlands)
Heneil -- Legendary warrior, builder, son of Silmain (first king of the Elifaen), husband to Lyrium of the House of Fairfir. Twin brother of Pellen. Heneil assisted in the rebuilding of Linlally during the First and Second Ages. He also rebuilt and enhanced the fortress of Tulith Attis. He formed an alliance with Men and helped put down the Pinewood Uprising. He was killed at Tulith Attis when it was besieged by the Dragonkind during the Great Dragonkind Invasion.*
Iridelin -- The great river that flows from Vanara southward along the eastern slopes of the Tulivana Mountains to the sea. It is an important trade route between Vanara and Altoria. Its headwaters are at the Falls of Tiandari in Linlally, and it normally flows high enough for substantial traffic to move along it in the form of boats and barges. Many stretches have towing roads built along its banks so that teams of horses may draw boats upstream. There are a few places along it that are too swift or shallow for heavy boats, with shoals and rapids through narrow canyons, but these are flanked upstream and downstream with towns where boats disembark their cargos for transport overland the short distance to the next embarkation town. The river passes out of Vanara and into Altoria at Gander Falls and widens so that sailboats may make the upstream voyage. Near the coast, the river joins into a vast marshland called the Hinderlands, continuing past the Altorian city of Draymoor to empty into the Craggy Sea.* (See World Map)
Islindia -- Also known as the Lady of the Wood, Queen of the Wood, and the Princess of Sorrows. Islindia was Princess of Halethiris during the Age of Strife and the early First Age. Through an enchantment intended by her father, King Ilex, to restore Halethiris to the glory of the Time Before Time, Islindia was inadvertently given the power to bring about the past for one day each month. This ability brought her to Secundur's attention, who became infatuated by her beauty. Secundur captured Islindia and tried to force her to become his concubine, but she resisted. In an effort to punish her, he murdered her lover which served to make her even more resolute in her refusals. Still, Secundur continued to entreat her to be his, but she despised him and rebuffed him. She was rescued by her kin, but Secundur destroyed Halethiris with a withering blight. Only she, her father, King Ilex, and her uncle, Solstice, survived the blight Secundur put upon the forest. It is said that Islindia and her father were cursed to remain in the ruins of that place until the world was remade, at which time their spirits could be free.* (See Map of Forest Islindia)
Janhaven -- A trading town in the western parts of the Eastlands Realm in County Woodland at the foothills of the Thunder Mountains, situated along a route to Duinnor and also on the north-south trade route with Tallinvale. Its fortunes were increased when Seamus Furaman located a trading company there and steadily expanded his business operations throughout the region. In the late Second Age, when Triumvirate Redvests invaded the Eastlands and nearby County Barley, many refugees from the invaded lands fled to Janhaven. Although the Redvests made several attempts to take the town, they never succeeded against the coalition of fighters operating out of Janhaven.
(See Map of the Western Eastlands)
Kajarahn -- Also called the "Free City," located in the northwestern deserts of the Dragonlands, known in former times as Alaberbra.* (See Map of the Dragonlands)
Kingsman -- A member of the King's Army of Duinnor, the best trained and most professional force in the Duinnor military.*
Linlally -- The ruling city of Vanara. Founded and built by Cupeldain, it was enhanced by the carvings and statues of Alonair. It was originally the name only for the palace that Cupeldain built atop the Falls of Tiandari, but later became the name for the larger city that grew up around and below the palace along the banks of the Iridelin River. Since it is a place of governance, and the oldest city of the Elifaen, it is an important city to all of the Realms. In the latter Second Age, Duinnor commonly stationed armies there, ostensibly for defense purposes since Linlally is the closest major city to the Dragonlands.
(See Map of Vanara and Shatuum)
Lizard -- A derogatory term for a Dragonkind person.
Masurthia -- One of the Seven Realms. It is on the southern coast of the world between Altoria and Tracia. Masurthia was formed of territories that came under the rule of the Kingdom of Solsorna during the First Age.* (See Map of Masurthia)
Megrinor -- The great mountains of Vanara, stretching from Shatuum to the Dragonlands. Among the notable peaks of the range is the great Mount Cassos. Also within this range is the fabled Mount Algamori. A lesser range, bordering directly upon the northern Dragonlands, is the Blue Mountains, which join the Megrinor range to the Tulivana mountain range along the eastern borders of the Dragonkind. These three ranges form a kind of box around the western, northern, and eastern boundaries of the Dragonlands, with the Craggy Sea to the south.
(See Map of Vanara and Shatuum)
Passdale -- A town in County Barley of the Eastlands Realm on the banks of the Bentwide River. It was located on the site of a small settlement known as Dalefath which was destroyed in the Dragonkind Invasion of 322 S.A.
(See Map of County Barley)
Redvests -- A name for the soldiers of the Triumvirate of Tracia due to their reddish surcoats, capes, and tunics.
Saheed -- A given name among Men, particularly of the Tallin and Markal lineages.
Secundur -- One of the Firstborn. He was believed to be a follower of Morgasir but escaped the destruction that befell his teacher. Known as the Lord of Shadow because he shuns light. Ever the provocateur of discord among people, he is held responsible for many of the world's woes, including the perpetual strife between the Dragonkind and the peoples of the northern lands. It is said that he provoked Kalzar to attack the north, and later provoked Cupeldain to retaliate. He also frequented Vanara, and spoke lies and rumors to Ormace and others when Cupeldain sought to have the Forty-Nine gathered. Later, King Parthais granted to Secundur a remote region northwest of Vanara later known as Shatuum, those mysterious forbidden lands bordered northwest Vanara and southwest Duinnor territories. There, Secundur slowly gathered his might, breeding foul creatures and hatching dark plots against other lands.
Serith Ellyn -- Firstborn Elifaen, Queen of Vanara, daughter of Parthais of the House of Fairlinden. Serith means "most high." The beginning of the Second Age is marked at the start of her reign. She and her brother Thurdun were exiled by King Parthais, and they were later the targets of his agents whose orders were to hunt them down and kill them both. Parthais was no less cruel to his own people who pleaded for deliverance from his tyranny. Serith Ellyn secretly raised an army and managed to position it well within Vanara without being detected. In a bold and swift night attack, she led her army into Linlally and stormed the White Palace where she slew her father.*
Shadowbane -- A rare and mysterious tree of the Time Before Time. It is said that light passed through its leaves so that it did not provide shade and, at night, the leaves glowed with a soft light, dispelling any shadow (hence its name). Its wood was used to form magic staffs of early conjurers, the most famous rod being Swyncraff.*
Swyncraff -- A magical staff or rod that obeyed its master by remaining in any shape as long as its owner desired. It could be as hard as steel or as supple as rope.*
Tallin -- Surname of Men whose lineage goes back to the first Men who came ashore in the world. They eventually became the powerful Named House of Tallin, and under Lord Danig Tallin. It was also due in great part to his efforts that the people of Tallinvale and Tallin City became prosperous and secure.*
Tallinvale -- A small but fertile valley along the eastern foothills of the Thunder Mountains in southwestern Eastlands. It is situated just north of territory in dispute, claimed both by Tracia and by the Eastlands. Tallin City, the ancient home of the family that gives its name to the region, is a prosperous and thriving center of agriculture and commerce, due chiefly to the guardianship of Lord Danig Tallin. Tallin City and Tallinvale are often used interchangeably.
(See Map of the Western Eastlands)
Teracue -- (Artais Teracue) General of the Kingsman Fourth Army in the late Second Age.*
Thurdun -- Son of Parthais, brother of Queen Serith Ellyn of the House of Fairlinden.*
Tracia -- One of the Seven Realms, located to the southeast of the world along the coasts where Men first settled. Its chief city is Forlandis. In the late Second Age, Tracia suffered a series of revolts and uprisings, culminating in the overthrow of the Ruling Prince by the so-called Triumvirate and its army of Redvests (named for the color of their uniforms).* (See Map of Tracia)
Triumvirate -- Also known as the Redvest Triumvirate for the reddish uniforms, surcoats, tunics, and banners of its soldiers. The Redvest Triumvirate is a trio of rulers that took power in Tracia in 853 S.A. during the civil war that drove out the Tracian Ruling Prince Lewtrah and his brother Prince Lantos after years of unrest.*
True Ink -- A magical ink that fades and becomes invisible if what is written with it is false.*
Tulith Attis -- An old abandoned fortress in County Barley, of the Eastlands. It was the site of a siege and subsequent massacre during the Great Dragonkind Invasion, and events there precipitated much discord between Men and Elifaen.* (See Map of County Barley)
Tulivana -- (The Tulivanas) A virtually impenetrable mountain range running north and south from Vanara to the sea and to the west of Altoria. To the south, it rises up from the sea to the west of the Hinderlands. In the north, they bend westward into the Blue Mountains and the Megrinor Mountains. Along its eastern feet runs the Iridelin River, from Vanara to Altoria, feeding the Hinderland marshes before emptying into the Craggy Sea. To the west of the Tulivana range are the deserts of the Dragonkind. From north to south, its slopes are sharp and rugged with frequent earthquakes and avalanches and a few volcanoes. With its narrow and easily defended passes, the Tulivana Mountains make a natural strategic barrier against Dragonkind incursions. There have been only a few times in history when the Dragonkind managed to break through in large numbers, including the Great Invasion that took place in the early Second Age.
(See Map of the Dragonlands)
Vanara -- One of the Seven Realms and the most ancient of all, believed to be among the first places where the Faerekind of the world lived. It was in Vanara that the Faerekind built their first cities, before the Fall. It lies to the south of Duinnor and just north of the Dragonlands, separated by a rugged range of mountains from the deserts.* (See Map of Vanara and Shatuum)
Westlawn -- Town in the western edge of the Plains of Bletharn. It was overtaken by devotees of the cult of Wokan, called Wickermen, and entered into a feud with the neighboring town of Edgewold. The resulting hostilities led to a major battle involving armies from both places and, joining with the Edgewold fighters, Kingsman forces of Duinnor. It was at Westlawn that the Wickermen created a monster from the choking vines that they propagated.
(See Map of Forest Islindia)
Wickermen -- Worshipers of Wokan, spirit of the grasping vine, which is a form of kudzu. The Wickermen made woven armor from the vine and planted it throughout the fields of their enemies.
Wokan -- Dark spirit of the grasping vine. Wokan was worshipped in various places, but its most notable adherents were those of the Wickerman rebellion who took over the town and region of Westlawn in the west. There a mysterious sorcerer invoked Wokan to infest neighboring fields with a vine known as "kudzu." In Wokan's name, the sorcerer conjured a monster made of the flesh of men and tendrils of the vine. The monster almost immediately killed its creator, whose name remains unknown. That same day, it was destroyed by fire set upon it by a Kingsman army.
*Many of these entries are abridged versions of those found within
Year of the Red Door.
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