A note on pronunciation: all of the letters should be pronounced. For example, Arenabe is four syllables, not three.
Simply put, the man considered second in rank to the chief of the Bured nation (the Monabe). However, the factors influencing his rise to power are the same as for any other warrior or chief: he must be strong, capable, and charismatic enough to gain followers who will back his ambitions. He is expected to be the Bured champion on the battlefield but also to have a large, wealthy tribe, and an extensive network of subordinate tribes who owe him their allegiance. In practice, then, the Arenabe may actually be better than the Monabe in some respects (e.g. a better fighter but with less experience in leadership). Rivalry between the Arenabe and the Monabe is not uncommon; the expectation is that eventually the Arenabe will supplant the Monabe and take his place.
The continent east of Telmonteio. The inhabitants of the Telmonteian peninsula, as well as Gavere and Biresh, are descended from Arimonteian explorers and colonists.
A weapon that launches hefty bolts using the power of a pair of torsion springs. It is large enough to be effective against structures and vehicles as well as men.
see military units
see military units
A populous nation residing west of the Berinomo River.
cabiya n.; pl.: cabiya
A Bured animal, usually with long hair and pointed ears. It is used in all the same ways as horses (for riding, to carry burdens, and to pull vehicles). It is difficult to use in conjunction with horses, who frequently spook at the smell of cabiya.
A hero of Telmonteian myth known for his unsurpassed strength who was finally defeated when his enemies buried him beneath a mountain.
Capan adj., n.; pl.: Capans
Semi-nomadic natives of the far southern coast, grasslands, and mountains of Telmonteio. Most are shepherds and fisherman, but a significant percentage of the population has given up the Capans’ traditional way of life to become active citizens of Esseduin.
The leader of a Bured tribe, who is always a man. He makes and enforces policy for the tribe, passes judgment in disputes, leads the warband in battle, and distributes plunder to individual warriors in accordance with their merit. He often comes to power because he is the best and most aggressive member of the warband (and may have to demonstrate as much physically). Men who retain the position of chief past their prime are able to do so if they have also demonstrated good leadership in other respects (which may be measured by anything from the amount of plunder won on raids to the tribe’s overall prosperity to its ascendancy over enemies). Successful chiefs also have the support of a strong nalenga.
see military units
In Telmonteian myth, a champion of the lost city of Kiltrey (somewhere in southern Tannequa) who went mad and slew his king and comrades.
A Telmonteian unit of measurement describing the distance between a man’s elbow and the tip of his middle finger. Though the unit is standardized for certain official uses, it is most often used as an approximation.
In Esseduin, a low-ranking military officer in command of a squad.
In Esseduin, coins are minted in three metals (gold, silver, and copper) and five sizes. In order of increasing size, these are the knot, the cob, the burl, the spalting, and the heart. Knots and cobs are copper coins; five knots equal a cob, and three cobs are worth one silver burl. Three burls make a silver spalting, and two spaltings make a gold heart.
The native language of the Niksityen.
The Niksity god of death of all types, including violent deaths in war.
A Capan root denoting “river.”
A Capan object of remembrance: a series of colored beads or gems strung onto a short thread or chain that may (but need not) be worn as a bracelet. The ring-like clasp with red beads on either side represents the Capan god (Queihan); the owner of the fenoya adds another bead for each member of his family, colored according to their relationship (e.g. yellow for cousins).
An explosive weapon developed, manufactured, and owned exclusively by Esseduin. It consists of a hollow disk, like two plates a little larger than a man’s palm welded together. The disk is made of thin metal and filled with a proprietary mixture of chemicals and powders that explode upon contact with the air. Typically the firepod is thrown and detonates upon impact, when the metal casing is punctured. Those who wield this weapon (using a braided sling) are called “firepod-slingers.”
The Niksity goddess who brings both good and bad fortune. While she can be seen as a benefactor or adversary, she is also strongly associated with random chance.
The Knights of the Golden Rose are an order based in the Montaui capital of Coryton. Admittance to the order is extremely rare and limited to men who have accomplished extraordinary feats (usually military in nature) on behalf of Montau. New members are coopted by current members and approved by the queen. The order’s insignia is etched or inscribed upon a member’s primary weapon.
The Bured word for “migration,” which they undertake every two or three generations. The Hadrenga is something of a ritual affair, as it is frequently instigated by the command of the Bured oracle (the Praedenga).
A Bured unit of measurement: the standard length of the handle of a battleaxe, roughly equivalent to a cubit and a half in Telmonteian terms.
The Telmonteian god. He is imagined as the spouse of Lavelline but is given no other personality or myths. Properly speaking, the Telmonteians do not worship their gods so much as admire them as exemplars of an idealized existence of calm and serenity to be emulated by humankind.
The Telmonteian goddess, consort of Kerebith.
In Esseduin, a member of the king’s elite guard whose primary role is the protection of the king and his family. Merlins wear uniforms of dark gray trimmed with silver.
A Telmonteian unit of measurement equivalent to 3,500 cubits.
Esseduin’s army and special forces utilize the following organizational and command structure:
A squad = 11 men led by a curant.
A platoon = two squads (22 regular soldiers, plus two curants) led by a sergeant.
A company = two platoons (50 men) led by a lieutenant.
A battalion = 4 companies (204 men) led by a captain.
A brigade = 4 battalions (820 men) led by a brigadier.
Like most common soldiers, officers at the rank of sergeant or higher have a specialty (e.g. as archers, cavalry, pikemen, etc.) but can be assigned to lead any unit of the appropriate size.
The same structure is used for firepod-slingers and archers but only goes as high as company. For cavalry, the unit sizes are the same, but the terms used are patrol (squad), troop (platoon), squadron (company), and regiment (battalion).
There are 300 men in the special forces, divided into six companies, each with its own lieutenant. The brigadier and the major are able to lead multiple companies.
The most powerful chief in the Bured nation as such things are reckoned (by his physical prowess, cleverness, reputation, and the strength of his tribe and allies). He is neither appointed nor elected to his position; he seizes it and retains it as long as no one else is able to take it from him. His ability to do these things also grants him the authority to issue directives to the Bured nation as a whole, though most matters of law and policy are left to the individual tribes.
The elite warriors in a Bured warband, who are also often the most loyal to the chief.
Niksity adj., n.; pl: Niksityen
An ethnic group comprising the populations of nations west of the Ioris Mountains, especially Douveille and the Thiry Islands. The Niksityen once occupied far more extensive territory until they were pushed back by the arrival of Arimonteian explorers and adventurers. There has been bad blood between the Niksityen and their Telmonteian neighbors (especially Gavere, Biresh, and, to a lesser extent, Rashek) ever since.
see military units
The most important oracle among the Buredna. It may be asked for solutions to challenges or dilemmas with which the nation is confronted, or it may offer advice of its own accord. It is somehow portable, but exactly what it is, how it is consulted, and how it is moved are carefully concealed from outsiders.
The Niksity and Telmonteian languages contain a fair amount of profanity. Niksity vulgarities tend to be imperative verbs that bid the subject do or suffer something distasteful. The Telmonteians, on the other hand, prefer nouns (e.g. pench: a disgusting substance; noth: a loathsome person) or adjectives which are usually participial; thus, butching and vishing are technically based on the verbs butch and vish, which are far less common in usage than the participles. The Capan language has almost no profanity at all, and what does exist is employed only in the most extreme circumstances.
The sole god worshiped by the Capans, who maintain a number of altars but no images of him.
racha n.; pl: racha
A Bured weapon, usually used in pairs (one in each hand). A racha is a thin, single-edged blade, a little longer than a man’s hand, mounted on a short handle. It is held so that the blade emerges from the handle just above the wielder’s hand, then curves around the outside of his knuckles.
see military units
Read and find out.
A Thirian technical term for the mother of one’s children; see also syatu.
In Esseduin, a segment of the military belonging to a separate command structure from the regular army. It is led by a brigadier, though the force is smaller than a brigade. Men in the special forces maintain a high level of ability with a variety of weapons and tactics, making them useful in a greater range of situations than regular troops. The symbol of the special forces is a red wyvern on a field of white.
see military units
see military units
A military officer immediately beneath a curant and serving as his second. While a curant may be assigned to a squad, the sub-curant is usually promoted from within a squad.
A Thirian technical term for the father of one’s children; see also shevurna.
The continent extending from the Kereck Ocean in the west to the Jurien Ocean in the east. The term is often used more specifically of the nations settled by Arimonteians (who then termed themselves Telmonteians): Tannequa, Montau, Timbourney, Kenda, and Rashek (the Telmonteian Peninsula), plus Biresh and Gavere.
The native language of the Thiry Islands, cognate to Dapondrac.
An independent, semi-sovereign polity among the Buredna. Every Bured man, woman, and child belongs to a tribe, which is not necessarily based on kinship (though it may have originated that way). The tribes are typically named for their physical location and may retain an ancient name even after the Buredna have migrated to a new home.
A tribe is led by a chief, but when the warband is away, authority devolves to the Turinaben. In either case, a leader is expected to show strength above all and may gain followers and secure his or her position by force of will rather than a strict vote. Since the men of a tribe sometimes spend long stretches of time away from home on raids, the tribe’s agriculture, husbandry, craftsmanship, and mercantile profession are dominated by women. Each tribe has its own subculture, its own economic strengths, and its own preferences in choosing leaders.
While it is relatively rare for someone to change tribes, it can generally be done without much fuss – for example if a person from one tribe marries one from another; in this case, the choice of tribe is left to the wife, who might face the additional challenge of moving her business, while the husband would simply be incorporated into a new warband. It is possible for one tribe to “absorb” another, usually because the weaker chief has been forced to abdicate his position; the absorbed tribe then ceases to exist. More often, a powerful and ambitious chief who leads a strong tribe offers protection to lesser tribes, who then owe allegiance to him. He can thereby extend the scope of his power without destroying lesser tribes or taking over responsibility for their day-to-day affairs.
see military units
In a Bured tribe, the woman considered wisest or most capable by the other women; she becomes the tribe’s ultimate authority when the chief is unavailable. Even when he is, the Turinaben can still arbitrate legal disputes. Parties to such a dispute may bring their case either to her or to the chief if they have some reason for a preference. However, the Turinaben’s rulings can be appealed to the chief for a final decision.
The Niksity god of the natural world, including the earth, sea, and animals.
The principal military unit of the Buredna, consisting of every able-bodied man in a tribe. Men who are unable to fight must learn a trade, which is considered effeminate.
A hero of Telmonteian myth, known by a variety of names (including Willak and Willis) in different countries and most famous for wielding a river as a weapon to defeat his enemies.
The Niksity goddess who presides over dangerous, invisible powers like the wind and weather. Sometimes she is thought of as a caretaker of souls.