Reader's Reference

for

Volume 3  A Distant Light



Volume 3
A Distant Light



Chapter 3

A Close Call


You can find more complete and detailed information within
The Reader's Companion to the Year of the Red Door.
Reader's Reference Start PageMaps
The Main Characters
FAQAbout the Reader's Companion


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)

Bailorg -- (Braig Bailorg Denuth Delcorman) One of the Elifaen, perhaps a Firstborn, but not a member of any known House. He was a mysterious figure, an acquaintance of Pellen in Duinnor during the early Second Age. He was also seen from time to time in various courts, traveling extensively throughout the realms. It is suspected that he traveled into the Dragonlands on several occasions. He was reported to have spent a great deal of time in the region of Shatuum as well, and is thought to have been present with the Dragonkind at the Battle of Tulith Attis, after which he disappeared for many years.*

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)

Belsalza -- During the late Second Age, King of the Dragonkind. Son of Salzadur and supposedly a descendant of Kalzar the Great. Belsalza rejected the reforms of his father, rebuilt the armed might of the Dragonlands, reunited the sundered tribes, and renewed war against the north.


Bosk -- One of the Ancient Honored Houses of Men, though not a Named House. It is descended from the earliest Men that arrived on the world's shore. The family estate is located in County Barley of the Old Eastlands Realm. Its most famous member was Bilaylin the Hammer who fought and died at Tulith Attis. His descendants were granted vast land holdings not far from Tulith Attis.


Certina -- One of the so-called "Familiars." She accompanied Collandoth in the world during the Second Age. Certina's form was that of a small owl, no bigger than one's hand.


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)

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."*

Faere -- Properly speaking, the First Ones, meaning the children of the spirit of the Earth. Those beings who came to inhabit the world in the Time Before Time and who embodied the joy and harmony of creation.*

Fallendine -- A Familiar in the form of a vulture.*

Familiar -- Familiars are the mysterious creatures that are companions to members of the Melnari race. They have unusual abilities, including the ability to communicate directly with others without the need of speech, although they prefer to communicate only with their particular Melnari companion.*

Fetch -- A sweet and potent liquor distilled from a blend of barley and other malt grains, fruit, and honey. It is peculiar to the region of County Barley, and a specialty of that region. Sometimes called "Barley Water."


Fisenwold -- An abandoned city on the eastern edge of the Plains of Bletharn. Once a city of commerce and culture, it was located on one of the main east-west trade routes.*   (See Map of the Thunder Mountains)

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)

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)

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.*

Nasakeeria -- A forbidden land surrounded by the bones of those who attempt to enter therein, for whoever does so falls victim to a mysterious and powerful gush of flame that rapidly springs forth from the ground and consumes the interloper's flesh so quickly that his bones are thrown outward and back across the border.*   (See Map of Nasakeeria and Middlemount)

Redvests -- A name for the soldiers of the Triumvirate of Tracia due to their reddish surcoats, capes, and tunics.


Robigor -- (Robigor Ribbon) Tradesman of Passdale, County Barley, in the Eastlands. Twice Mayor of Passdale, he was responsible for the rebuilding of the bridge across the Bentwide located in Passdale and for increasing trade and commerce in the region by his dealings with various traders, farmers, and merchantmen. Father of Robby the Younger, and husband to Mirabella Tallin of the House of Fairoak.


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.*

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)

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)

Tulith Morgair -- A small beacon tower or keep on the west side of the Thunder Mountains. It is situated at the cliff end of a shoulder of a mountain that juts westward and overlooks a ford of the River Missenflo along the old road to Fisenwold. It was built by Danthis of Duinnor in the early Second Age as a part of a line of keeps that were to guard the trade routes to Duinnor. A battle took place below it along the banks of the Missenflo when a small loose knit army of men and Elifaen tried in vain to stop the eastward march of Dragonkind during the invasion of 322 S.A.. The keep was abandoned and soon fell into disuse and ruin. By the late years of the Second Age, it was all but forgotten.
   (See Map of the Thunder Mountains)

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)

Winterford -- Young man of Martin Makeig's Hill Town people. Winterford was a midshipman under Makeig aboard the Golden Swallow. He was aboard during the Battle of Grisland Strait and was with Makeig's surviving group after the loss of their ship and during their subsequent escape from Tracia. He and his fellow shipmates eventually settled in Hill Town, in the Thunder Mountains.


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*Many of these entries are abridged versions of those found within
The Reader's Companion
to the
Year of the Red Door.

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