A Distant Light
A Distant Light
Chapter 23 The Scribblers
The Reader's Companion to the Year of the Red Door.
|Reader's Reference Start Page||Maps|
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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)
Common Speech -- Also referred to as the Common Tongue. It is the common language of Men and Elifaen, and the native language for most Men of the eastern realms. It became the standard language of trade and commerce during the Second Age and as its use spread the former languages, particularly the Ancient Speech, fell into disuse. It is a heterogeneous language made up of many aspects of the Ancient Speech and various dialects, combining words and phrases brought by Men to the world with those spoken by the Elifaen.
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.*
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."*
Elrasil -- A hunter of the First Age who discovered the Gate of Griferis and led King Parthais there. Later, he was made a warden of Vanara under Queen Serith Ellyn.
Fellfaere -- Elifaen warriors of Vanara, renown for their cold efficient fighting skills.
Foxdire -- Also called Sigh Mortabilis, or Grave's Breath.
1. A hardy perennial plant known for its pale red or orange blossoms that grow in a frond, somewhat resembling the tail of a fox, and poisonous white glutinous berries, similar in appearance to those of mistletoe. It is most often found in shady mountain lowlands or woodland dales where there is ample moisture. In the west it is known as Sigh Mortabilis, while in other parts it is commonly called Grave's Breath due to the powerful medicinal extract made from its berries.
2. A medicinal extract or tincture made from the berries of the foxdire plant, also called Sigh Mortabilis or Grave's Breath. In minute amounts, carefully administered, it is used to make a patient calm or even unconscious, particularly during surgery or other painful procedures. In greater quantities, or carelessly administered, it may cause deep and prolonged unconsciousness, perhaps lasting for days, and even death. Symptoms of overdose include shallow breathing, cold skin, and complete lack of response to any external stimuli. Those of the Elifaen are particularly sensitive to foxdire, even in small amounts, and it has been used as a poison on numerous occasions or even as a method for suicide.
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 Bell -- A great iron bell made by Heneil and placed within a special chamber of Tulith Attis supposedly embued with magical qualities.*
Greenfar -- An isolated town on the outskirts of Forest Islindia, shielded from the world and under the protection of the King of the Wood (Islindia's father).
(See Map of Forest Islindia)
Griferis -- "Place of Judgment," the legendary place where future kings and queens are supposedly judged for fitness to rule. * (See Map of Vanara and Shatuum)
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.*
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.*
Lady Moon -- A name sometimes given to the moon. In legend Lady Moon(or sometimes Lady Luna) was wife to Sir sun.Another name for Lady Moon.*
Lerse -- A tributary of the River Saerdulin located south of Tallinvale and north of the Fengal River. The Lerse marks the old boundary of the territory west of the Saerdulin that was disputed by the Old Eastlands Realm and Tracia Realm in the Second Age.* (See Map of Tracia)
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)
Lyrium -- A Firstborn Faere who, with her sister Myrium, was the founder of the House of Fairfir. In the Time of Strife, Lyrium became renown for her gift of Sight, which enabled her to foresee portents of things to come.*
Melnari -- A mysterious small group of people, neither Man, nor Elifaen, nor Dragonkind. They are very few in number, perhaps less than a dozen, and are long-lived, perhaps immortal as the Elifaen are. Some regard them as troublemakers, and others refer to them as mystics, although that term is somewhat inaccurate. However, in addition to their keen intellects, they do possess strange abilities and powers, similar to some of the older Elifaen.*
Nimwill -- Scribe and court chronicler of Parthais during his reign as King of Vanara. As such, he attended and personally recorded many events that took place within the Royal Court, and he also traveled with Parthais to record his various exploits and experiences. Nimwill was with Parthais when he executed those accused of murdering Cupeldain, and was also with the king during his many campaigns in the Dragonlands as well as other parts of the world. He was at the Battle of Tamkal Plain when King Parthais slew King Salkasin, and he was in Masurthia when Parthais forced King Barindon and Queen Therona to make peace. Nimwill also accompanied King Parthais to see the legendary place called Griferis.*
Nowhere -- The land of the Nowhereans, a diminutive people sometimes called Pixies in a derogatory manner. It was located in the western Thunder Mountains.
(See Map of the Thunder Mountains)
Parthais -- Third King of Vanara, son of Cupeldain, father of Thurdun and Serith Ellyn.*
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.
Saerdulin -- A major river of the east, running from its headwaters, Lake Halgaeth, through the old Eastlands Realm into Tracia and then to the sea. In the early Second Age, it was a major transport route for goods.
(See World Map)
Saerdulin, Battle of -- (Battle of Saerdulin) Sometimes included in descriptions of the Battle of Tulith Attis, this battle took place a week or a fortnight after Tulith Attis was sacked (sources disagree), and took place on the western bank of the Saerdulin at the confluence of the River Lerse, with the south bank of the River Lerse on the northern flank of the Dragonkind forces. The Dragonkind, thinking that the two rivers protected their flanks, sought to force the combined armies of Glareth, Vanara, and Duinnor into a frontal assault against their more advantageous defensive position. However, sufficient forces under the leadership of Navis and Esildre of Elmwood managed to swim the Saerdulin and Lerse Rivers under cover of darkness. They then attacked the Dragonkind's unprotected rear flanks, wreaking havoc and panic. The carefully timed rear assault weakened and disorganized the Dragonkind forces, allowing the simultaneous frontal assault to succeed. As a result, the Dragonkind were decimated and utterly destroyed, with very few, if any, Dragonkind escaping. (See Great Invasion)
Salkasin -- King of the Dragonkind from 960-970 F.A. killed by King Parthais of Vanara at the Battle of Tamkal Plain.*
Seafar -- A House of Men who originally settled in the northern coastal regions of Tracia but later settled mostly around the Bransondale region. They eventually resettled in Vanara and rose to great prominence as the most powerful House of Men in that Realm.*
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.*
Shatuum -- A forbidden land on the borders of Vanara and Duinnor along the western edge of the world ruled by Secundur.
(See Map of Vanara and Shatuum)
Sir Sun -- A name sometimes given to the sun. In legend, Sir Sun was husband of Lady Moon.*
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)
Tamkal Plain -- A flat desert expanse in the northeast of the Dragonlands, between the Nalamain Hills and Almedian. It was the site of a famous battle of the First Age.* (See Map of the Dragonlands)
Tamkal Plain, Battle of -- A famous battle that took place in the First Age, sometimes called the Battle of the Kings. It came about after King Salkasin of the Dragonkind sought to establish a line of keeps and fortresses along the northern borders of the Dragonlands. Vanara, fearing that these would be used to protect an invading army, began a campaign to disrupt their construction and to destroy those already completed. King Salkasin led a large army north and east, seeking to swing around the Nalamain Hills to outflank the Elifaen. However, learning of this, King Parthais of Vanara led his own army into position ahead of the Dragonkind and met them on the Tamkal Plain within sight of the Nalamain Hills. It was a short but intense battle, and the only time when kings of the Dragonkind and Vanara would personally face one another. Parthais won the contest, killing Salkasin and beheading him while his troops routed the rest of the Dragonkind. This decisive battle resulted in many years of relative peace during which the Dragonkind engaged in a series of internal power struggles. With the death of King Salkasin, the lineage of Kalzar would be broken until the Second Age when it would be revived by Salzadur.
Teracue -- (Artais Teracue) General of the Kingsman Fourth Army in the late Second Age.*
Thunder Mountains -- A mountain range between the Eastlands and the middle Plains of Bletharn, south of the Carthanes and stretching into the foothills within Tracia and Masurthia. The Thunder Mountains are named for the noise once made by its most feared inhabitants, the trolls.
(See Map of the Thunder Mountains)
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)
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)
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)
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.
*Many of these entries are abridged versions of those found within
Year of the Red Door.
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