March 25, 2014

THE THIRD CHILD

“…My people, the First Child, had forsaken Them, and the Second Child had proved a catastrophe, nearly destroying the world before the gods called it home to The After. With only the beasts to amuse Them, the Divine Siblings found the world, once more, a very dull spectacle. They agreed to create a third generation of Child. Because of the defects of the Second Child, which had been spawned in anger and noncooperation, the Divine Siblings agreed to share resources and skill. They created the Third Child with four distinct faces in Their four distinct images.

“There was little mystical clay left for the creation of the Third Child, but Schöpfer divided what she scrounged into four equal portions to share with Her Siblings. She mixed her quarter with snow and rocks, creating the face of a people that was hard and strong, with eyes of ice. She claimed the mountainous lands in the North of the world for the face she called Nord, and taught the hearty people to hunt for sustenance or pull nourishment from the ground.
“Muumba mixed His clay with shadow, creating the face of a people that was sleek and enigmatic. He claimed the Southern lands of the world for the face of Kusini Watu, in the hope that the sparse beauty of desert sands and the lush splendor of forest flora would provide artistic inspiration. Because of His fondness for spiders, He made Kusini Watu long of limb. Because He adored aesthetics, He made Kusini Watu beautiful.
“Seisakusha mixed Her clay with the gilded sands of sun-spattered beaches. Seeking the right balance of light and dark, She sculpted a golden face, framed it with hair as dark as the fathomless deeps, and called it Shimabito. Settled in the Eastern parts of the world and gifted with love and dreams, Shimabito was surrounded by the bounty of Seisakusha’s ocean domain.
“The heat from Creador’s Celestial Flame scorched His clay and browned it, a coloring Creador found pleasing, though He typically eschewed decorations as impractical. He shaped His clay into a face that would be functional and utilitarian, gave it flames for hair, and borrowed emeralds from Schöpfer to use as eyes. When finished, He was pleased, for this face He called Oestean looked very much like Him. The face was clever and volatile. As volatile as fire.
“And thus the Third Child was born.
“The gods called Their Child Humanity. Because the Divine Siblings lacked the custodial fortitude to attend spirited immortals like the First Child properly, They severely limited Humanity’s span of life and capacity for willfulness. Humanity lived in perpetual fear of Death, and the Divine Siblings exploited this fear, offering the Third Child immortality in exchange for utter, unquestioning obedience. Humanity, greedy to prolong its life, accepted the offer without hesitation. But the immortality offered to the Third Child was a sham. Even if Humanity managed the perfect docility demanded by the gods, its immortal reward applied only it its soul, and only for as long as that soul remained in The After as captive nourishment for its creators.
“Despite its short life and finite soul, Humanity excelled at many things, though at nothing so much as destruction. It wreaked havoc upon the land, the sea, the air, and itself, but its voracious appetite and considerable talent notwithstanding, Humanity lacked the indomitable will of the First Child or the sheer destructive power of the Second Child, and failed time and again to eradicate itself. Its entire existence became a farce of blunders, a delightful spectacle that kept the gods howling with laughter. For a time. Eventually the Divine Siblings did as gods do.
“They became bored.
“They turned their attention away from the world, confident that the Third Child would never be competent enough to destroy itself, an assertion the proved correct for a time.
“But then you were born…” —Wicasa the sage
You will know it is the end when he is come.
He is the reviled son of all and harbinger of the Great Storm—
A tempest of blood and death that will drown the world.
Know him by the dead Bastards at his feet and the storm in his fist.
He is the bearer of woe,
The shadow of death in the skin of the Third Child.
Fear him, for he is doom.
Hold him, for he is salvation.
–The Stormbringer Revelation

March 25, 2014

THE SECOND CHILD

“Enraged by the rejection of the First Child, The Divine Siblings turned on one another, each convinced that the others were responsible for the willfulness corrupting Their progeny. For thirteen days and thirteen nights They squabbled, but all to no end. In wrath, They withdrew to their private realms in The After, each determined to create fierce and dutiful offspring.

“And thus the Second Child was spawned.
“Without the contribution of Her siblings, Schöpfer improvised the Second Child’s Face of Stone. There was little of the mystic clay left beneath the Amaranthine Mountains, so using her mighty axe, Griselda, She hewed a slab from the mountain itself and chiseled it until she was satisfied with its comely facade. It lacked the utter physical perfection of the First Child, for indeed, the goddess lacked both the artistry and aesthetic of Her brother, Muumba.
“She had no access to the Divine Waters of the Sea Eternal, so She filled the veins of Her creation with snowmelt, creating the face of daughters called the Walküren, as hard as rock and cold as ice. That the Walküren might learn compassion, Schöpfer gave them Wulframn puppies to play with and nurture. She taught this face of the Second Child all She knew of hunting and fighting and gave it a vast soul, for a warrior’s greatest weapon is her will. The greater the soul, the greater the will. Still, She denied this face immortality, for war as sport requires a wager of life, otherwise it is just butchery.
“Muumba created the Second Child’s Face of Air from night and ether, and in the image of His cherished spiders. He poured liquid night into its veins and called it Anonzi. Anonzi excreted the sticky stuff of shadow and spun it into extravagant webs of breathtaking beauty, but the Second Child’s Face of Air lacked the physical might and fortitude of the Walküren. After all, what is shadow and ether compared to the unyielding might of stone? Still, Anonzi had many gifts. It was as fast as the wind and a master of stealth and subterfuge. It was also engendered with a near-infinite soul, for Muumba knew that art and creativity are born of the soul.
“Seisakusha decided to create The Second Child’s Face of Water from the richest bounties of the sea. For thirteen days and nights, She scoured Her realm, land and sea alike, gathering exceptional gems and minerals to create Dragón, the fiercest face of the Second Child, or, for that matter, any face of any Child that has come before or since. Dragón was the zenith predator of land, air, or sea, so mighty that the goddess Herself feared its potential for destruction. To keep Dragón tractable, She gave it limited intellect and no soul whatsoever, for rebellion is born in imagination, and imagination lives in the soul.
“Creador had seen Golanv the Raven mate with a female of the First Child and decided that a similar flesh-to-flesh joining would be the most efficient way to create progeny. He disguised Himself as a First Child. In this guise, he crept down to the world and lived with my people, the First Child, while he sought a mate. For thirteen nights and twelve days he searched. On the thirteenth day, he came upon a village where a female was held prisoner in a cage. Her name was Locura, and she raged against Her captivity, shrieking and smashing into the black wooden bars of her prison. The moment Creador’s eyes fell upon her, He burned with an all-consuming lust, the first time He had felt such want in the whole of His immortal life.
“‘Why is that beautiful female caged so?’ He demanded of Nahuel, the leader of my people during that time.
“‘Locura is mad,’ Nahuel told Creador in disguise. ‘Because she is brash and foolish and eager to gain power, she ignored the wisdom of our sage and took a Walk with Fate before her soul was strong enough to bear the wisdom of time. Whatever Fate showed her shattered her wits. Oft times she is lucid and appears well, but the day always comes when a profound lunacy seizes her, and then, she must be caged for her protection and ours.’
“Creador did not particularly care about the female’s mental state. The face in the cage was beautiful to Him, so He freed her and took her to mate. The tale of Creador’s Reluctant Wife is an old unpleasant story, but important, for it details Locura’s insanity. Nahuel believed it was that immaculate madness that attracted the volatile god of fire in the first place. Though Creador rescued her from captivity, Locura could resist the charms of a god. No mortal could. She was an ant standing against an avalanche of passion and her divine lusts buried her. Creador took her in blood and fire.
“For thirteen days and thirteen nights the world trembled from the power of Locura’s screams. Her insides burned as her belly swelled with Creador’s bastard scion. She died in agony, giving birth to Creador’s Bastard, the Second Child’s Face of Fire.
“Creador’s Bastard was a savage, deformed hybrid of living fire and First Child flesh. It was a thing without a soul, and like all such creatures, its lack inspired utter terror in those in possession of a soul. It was nearly invulnerable, immortal.
“And thus the Divine Siblings created a Second Child with faces dictated by Their aesthetic preferences. But those faces were petty and contemptuous of one another. Because they had been spawned of pettiness and anger, their propensity for destruction was without limit. For a time the gods watched the Second Child tear and rend and burn the world with perpetual war. But gods are fickle beings, and soon The Divine Siblings’ anger towards each other cooled. They came together to watch the Second Child’s rampant destruction. But the time came when the Second Child’s antics threatened to eradicate not just itself, but all life in the whole of the world.
“And the gods grew bored…”
–Wicasa the Sage

March 25, 2014

THE FIRST CHILD

“The beginning, if there is one, is beyond us. Our knowledge begins with The Divine Siblings and Their adventures in the After, where, for an eternity of eternities, They matured in contentment. Schöpfer hunted. Muumba sang. Seisakusha fishing. Creador built. But eventually, They did as gods do.

“They grew bored.
“To break the monotony of eternity, the Divine Siblings created the world and filled it with simple creatures of the basest instincts. For a time, They were content to watch Their creatures grow and transform. Some sprouted feathers and took to the sky. Some grew fins and learned to breathe water. Still more perished altogether, unable to adapt to the world as it changed around them. The evolutions proved fascinating to behold, but for all their many adaptations, not a single beast developed a wit or soul, and therefore could not nourish the Divine Siblings with intellectual sport or spiritual sustenance. Time passed.
“The gods grew bored.
“One day, while swimming with Her favorite pod, Seisakusha became fascinated by the nurturing relationship between dolphin calf and cow. The affection displayed through the familial bond inspired Her. She Sent her thoughts to Her Siblings, scattered throughout the After in Their individual realms, ‘Sister! Brothers! Let us make a Child!’
“In the West, Creador toiled at His smithy. He paused to wipe sweat from His burning brow, and then Sent thoughts back to His sister: ‘What is a Child?’
“In the wilds of the North, Schöpfer nocked an arrow to her mystical bow Tomorrow, and then took aim at one of the giant snow bears roaming Her realm, Amaranthine. She exhaled, released the arrow, and a moment later, the giant white bear fell down dead, a golden shaft through its heart. The day’s hunt complete, She bent Her thoughts toward Creador and the others and Sent, ’You remember children, Brother. The beasts make them. A male beast mounts a female and plants its seed in her. That seed grows into a whole new beast, one made up of bits of the male and bits of the female. It’s how they simulate immortality.’
” ‘It sounds messy,’ Creador Sent.
“’A Child?’ Muumba Sent from the Crooning Wood in the South. ‘Oh, this sounds like a grand undertaking! Our Child shall be the most beautiful creation We have fashioned yet!’
“With the gods in agreement, each returned to His or Her domain to prepare.
“Schöpfer knew of a rare and mystical clay deposit deep beneath the Amaranthine Mountains, a rich crimson adobe, dense enough to take and hold the spark of immortal life. For thirteen days and thirteen nights, the one-breasted goddess dug. Physically, She was the mightiest of the Divine Siblings, and She tore through the rock and turf with Her massive bare hands, mining the mystical loam and packing it into wagons. When She had done, She summoned Her companion Radulf, the leader of the Wulframn, a pack of giant, intelligent wolves with wings like a raven’s.
“Schöpfer bade Radulf’ and his pack to fly the loaded wagons to Her brother’s realm in the South, and the Wulframn obeyed, spreading their silky black wings and launching into the indigo skies of the AFter. For thirteen days and twelve nights they flew. On the thirteenth night they reached the Crystal Hall, deep within the Crooning Wood, where Muumba lived and created divine works of poetry and art and song.
“’Hallo, Brother,’ Schöpfer said upon delivering Her precious cargo. ‘Here is clay for You to shape in Our image.’
“’Asante, Sister,’ Muumba said. He showed the Wulframn where to deposit the clay, bid them all farewell, and went to work.
“For thirteen days and twelve nights Muumba molded the rich red clay with His eight clever hands, sculpting only the comeliest of His siblings’ features onto the faces of the Child. On the thirteenth night He gazed upon His finished work, one hundred faces of stunning beauty, the first of my people. But those faces were shells, hollow and without life. Muumba packed them onto the backs of His favorite spiders and led them across a silken web that stretched from the Southern shores of the Crooning Beach all the way to the Nephrite Isle on the Sea Eternal, home to Seisakusha when She was not ranging the emerald deeps. He found His sister lounging on a jade beach, dreaming rapturous dreams and sunning Her long virescent tail in the golden rays of the sun.
“’Habari, Sister,’ Muumba said upon delivering the hollow faces. ‘Vessels for You to fill with the Waters of Life.’
“’Arigatō, Brother,’ Seisakusha said. She showed the spiders where to leave the lifeless vessels and bid them all good day so that She could get to work.
“For thirteen days and thirteen nights Seisakusha drank deeply of the Sea Eternal, passing the divine waters through Her serpentine body, transforming it into the raw, sludgy fluid of existence, which She then poured into each face of the First Child. But immortal life is ignited by Celestial Flame, so Seisakusha summoned Her brother, the god of fire, to lend the Child His spark. But Creador could not travel Muumba’s webs, for He burned too hot and would melt them away. Nor could He swim or fly.
“But He could build.
“For thirteen days and thirteen nights Creador assembled lumber from the Spirit Wood to bridge the Sea Eternal. He met Seisakusha on the Nephrite Isle and Their siblings arrived shortly thereafter to witness the birth of my people, the First Child of the gods.
“’ Kon’nichiwa, Brother,’ Seisakusha said to Creador. ‘A Child for you to ignite with life.’
“’Gracias, Sister,” Creador said, and filled Himself with with Celestial Flame. The halo of fire about His head grew so bright that even His Siblings had to shield Their eyes or risk blindness.
“Creador stood before each face of the Child in turn, kissing all one hundred sets of cold, crimson lips. One by one, the first of my people opened their eyes, which blazed with the golden fire of eternal life. When He had done, Creador stepped away from the First Child and joined His brother and sisters to gaze upon one hundred faces so exquisite that even the gods wept to behold them.
“And thus my people, the First Child, were born.
“The gods loved us. And we returned that love with all of our hearts.
“And so it was for a time, but then the gods did as gods do.
“They grew bored.
“In Their complacency, the Divine Siblings took our love for granted and after a time, ignored us. Despite the neglect, we grew and learned and reproduced. We had souls beyond measure and lives unending. Over time, we, the First Child, came to resent the forced worship of gods we rarely saw. By the time the gods realized we had moved beyond Them, it was too late. The First Child needed Their love no longer. We refused to heed Them, refused even to be named by Them, and we told Them so.
“’We are your children no longer. We are duende.’”
–Wicasa the Sage

March 25, 2014

Glossary for Full-Blood Half-Breed

• Abominación: (Lengüoeste) Abomination.
• Adiós: (Lengüoeste) Goodbye.
• “Adanedi nihi galvquodi-adanvdo gvdodi Adelohosgi.” (The First Tongue) Give your soul to the Prophet.
• “Aduidv odanvdv, aduidv adanvdo, aduidv galvquodi adanvdo. Ayv uyanvdv nasgi sudalegi adanvdo. Ulisaladodi. Advgi ayv. Gohiyudiyi aquatseli wili.” (The First Tongue) Open mind, open heart, open soul, open body. I call upon element spirit to rise, hear me and obey mine will.
• Ahora: (Lengüoeste) Now.

• Amigo: (Lengüoeste) Friend (formal, used mostly by pura-sangre or highborn Oesteans).
• Aondoshaji furaha: (Kikwetu) Killjoy.
• Arigatō: (Kokugo) Thank you.
• Asante Sana: (Kikwetu) Thank you very much.
• Ashi-Kobushi: (Kokugo) Fist & Foot. The Martial Arts system practiced by the people of the Higashi Shima and worshippers of the goddess, Seisakusha.
• Azagaya: (Lengüoeste) Javelin-type throwing spear used by Oestean warriors.
• Baba: (Kikwetu) Father.
• Babu: (Kikwetu) Grandfather.
• Bailaor: (Lengüoeste) Male flamenco dancer.
• Bastardo: (Lengüoeste) Bastard.
• Bitte: (Nordzunge) Please.
• Bo: (Kokugo) Type of staff weapon used by Shimabito or warriors trained in Ashi-Kobushi.
• Bouda: (Kikwetu) A tribe of renowned blacksmiths and feramancers (shape-changers) who dwell in Fisi Msitu, (the Hyena Forest), in Hatarimsitu.
• Buena suerte: (Lengüoeste) Good luck.
• Buenos noches: (Lengüoeste) Good night.
• Bushi: (Kokugo) Shimabito knight, or warrior recognized for superior skill.
• Caballero (m)/Caballera (f): Oestean knights.
• Caballo: (Lengüoeste) Horse.
• Cabron (m)/Cabrona (f): (Lengüoeste) Highly insulting Oestean slur too vulgar for literal translation.
• Campesino: (Lengüoeste) Derogatory term for a farmer or rustic.
• Chico (Lengüoeste) Boy.
• Círculo del Triunfo: (Lengüoeste) Circle of Triumph. The circular intersection surrounding the Phoenix-Rising Amphitheater in Santuario del Guerrero.
• Ciudad Vieja: (Lengüoeste) Old Town. The poor neighborhood in the Westgate quadrant of Santuario del Guerrero.
• Cojones: (Lengüoeste) Literally means eggs. Is used as a slang term for testicles, though it is applied to both males and females to denote courage. Or lack of it.
• Combatedanza: (Lengüoeste) Dance of Combat. Martial Arts system practiced by people of the Reinos del Oeste and worshippers of the god, Creador.
• Courtesanos: (Lengüoeste) Courtiers.
• Culo: (Lengüoeste) Slang for buttocks.
• Dai Sensei: (Kokugo) Master teacher or high priest, professional of high rank.
• De Nada: (Lengüoeste) You’re welcome. Don’t mention it.
• Doktrin der Dreizehn: (Nordzunge) Doctrine of the Thirteen. The Schöpferite holy text.
• Don/Doñas: (Lengüoeste) Honorific. Roughly equivalent to Lord/Lady.
• “Du! Hergekommen, du!” (Nordzunge) You! Come! You!”
• Duru-Mbili: (Kikwetu) The Circles. The symbol for the air element and the Muumban holy emblem. A silver circle with a gray circle in its center.
• Eisenfaust: (Nordzunge) Iron Fist. Martial Arts system practiced in the Nordländer and by worshippers of Schöpfer.
• El Espectro Bendecido: (Lengüoeste) The Blessed Specter. The spirit of The One God that infuses the Santosian faithful.
• El Libro Sagrado de Verdades: (Lengüoeste) The Sacred Book of Truths. The Creadorian holy text.
• El Puño del Guerrero: (Lengüoeste) The Warrior’s Fist.
• Enano: (Lengüoeste) Dwarf.
• “Eres ingenuo?” (Lengüoeste) Are you naïve?
• “Eres un tonto?” (Lengüoeste) Are you a fool?
• “Estás ciego?” (Lengüoeste) Are you blind?
• “Estás esperando Golanv?” (Lengüoeste) Are you waiting for Golanv?
• Esposa: (Lengüoeste) Wife.
• “Es yo?” (Lengüoeste) Is it me?
• Felicitaciones: (Lengüoeste) Congratulations.
• Feliz Cumpleaños: (Lengüoeste) Happy Birthday.
• Festival del Año Nuevo: (Lengüoeste) The New Year Festival.
• Festival de los Muertos: (Lengüoeste) Festival of the Dead. An Oestean annual tradition of celebration, where folk dress in costume and honor the spirits of their dead ancestors.
• Fiesta de Cumpleaños: (Lengüoeste) Birthday party.
• Fisi Msitu: (Kikwetu) Hyena Forest, a wood in the Nchi za Kusini.
• Fräulein: (Nordzunge) A single woman or young girl.
• Freund/Freundes(pl): (Nordzunge) Friend.
• Glückwünsche: (Nordzunge) Congratulations.
• Gracias: (Lengüoeste) Thank you.
• Großmutter: (Nordzunge) Grandmother.
• Großvater: (Nordzunge) Grandfather.
• Hermana: (Lengüoeste) Sister. Honorific used to address a Creadorian or Vile Creadorian (Santosian) Priestess.
• La Guerra de la Condenación: (Lengüoeste) The War of Judgment.
• Habari: (Kikwetu) How are things?
• Halbrasse: (Nordzunge) Half-blood.
• Herr: An honorific used to address Nord males. Roughly equivalent to Master or Señor.
• Híbrido: (Lengüoeste) Mongrel or Cur. Literally means hybrid, a slur used to reference a person of blended ancestry.
• Hijo(s): (Lengüoeste) Son(s).
• Infiel: (Lengüoeste) Infidel.
• Intérprete: (Lengüoeste) A Santosian Hearkener. Literally means, “Interpreter.”
• Interpretación: (Lengüoeste) An Intérprete’s Hearkening. Literally means, “Interpretation.”
• Ira de Dios: (Lengüoeste) God’s Wrath. The symbol for the fire element and the Creadorian religious emblem. A simple circle, usually scarlet. The Santosian (or Vile) Ira de Dios has a small, tear-shaped flame in its center.
• “Kuss mein arsch.” (Nordzunge) Kiss my ass.
• Ki: (Kokugo) The life force. Also called pnuema, spirit or soul.
• Kondo Wazimu: (Kikwetu) The Battle Frenzy.
• Kumite: (Kokugo) A sparring match for bushi and followers of Ashi-Kobushi.
• Kurimata: A cloven arrowhead used by bushi.
• Kwanza ya Magharibi Hekalu za Muumba: (Kikwetu) First Western Temple of Muumba. Santuario del Guerrero’s foremost Muumban temple.
• La bola en La taza: (Lengüoeste) The ball in the cup.
• La Caja de Majestades: (Lengüoeste) The Royal Box. A section of arena seating reserved for royalty and nobility.
• La Llama de Creador: (Lengüoeste) Creador’s Flame. The flame within the Santosian Ira de Dios.
• Liebchen: (Nordzunge) Sweetheart or beloved.
• Loco: (Lengüoeste) Crazy.
• Maga/Mago: (Lengüoeste) Honorific given to Oestean mancers.
• Magier: (Nordzunge) Honorific given to Nord mancers.
• Magomusuko: (Kokugo) Grandson.
• Mashujaa: (Kikwetu) A Kusini Watu knight. Literally means hero/champion.
• Maizi: (Kikwetu) “The understanding,” an herb used to open the consciousness of an elemancer.
• Mbwa-Chotara: (Kikwetu) Mongrel or half-breed.
• Mein freund: (Nordzunge) My friend.
• Mir verzeihen: (Nordzunge) Forgive me.
• Mi querido: (Lengüoeste) My love or beloved.
• Mjukuu: (Kikwetu) Grandson.
• Mpumbavu: (Kikwetu) Fool.
• Mtu aliyetengwa na jamii: (Kikwetu) Pariah.
• Musuko: (Kokugo) Son.
• Musume: (Kokugo) Daughter.
• Muy bueno: (Lengüoeste) Very good.
• Naginata: (Kokugo) A type of Shimabito spear.
• Ngoma ya Kifo: (Kikwetu) Dance of Death. Martial system practiced in the Nchi za Kusini, or by worshippers of the god, Muumba.
• “Nie! Du stück scheiße!” (Nordzunge) No! You piece of shit!
• Niño/Niña: (Lengüoeste) Pet name for boy/girl.
• Nōgaku: (Kokugo) A style of dance drama theater performed in the Higashi Shima.
• Nyusu: (Kokugo) Promise. The Seisakushan holy text.
• Nzuri: (Kikwetu) I am good.
• Obaasan: (Kokugo) Grandmother.
• Oeste Verdadero: (Lengüoeste) True West. An affluent neighborhood in the Westgate quadrant of Santuario del Guerrero.
• Okan: (Kokugo) Crown.
• Okasan: (Kokugo) Mother.
• “O solamente tú?” (Lengüoeste) Or is it just you?
• Otanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu: (Kokugo) Happy birthday.
• “Ocultarás?” (Lengüoeste) Will you hide?
• Padre: (Lengüoeste) Father.
• Pastor de Cagada: (Lengüoeste) Shit Shepherd. A slang term.
• Penique: (Lengüoeste) Penny.
• Pequeñas Pirámides: (Lengüoeste) Little Pyramids. A section of Santuario del Guerrero peopled mostly by folk of Kusini Watu heritage.
• Perdón: (Lengüoeste) Pardon.
• Perdonarme: (Lengüoeste) Pardon me.
• Perdonarnos: (Lengüoeste) Pardon us.
• Perilla: (Lengüoeste) A style of beard where the hair is trimmed down to a pointy knob, like the fur on a goat’s chin.
• Perros traidores: (Lengüoeste) Traitorous dogs.
• Por Favor: (Lengüoeste) Please.
• Prelado: (Lengüoeste) Prelate. High official in the Creadorian or Santosian (Vile) church.
• Prima del Duende: (Lengüoeste) People with ancestral ties to the duende. Literally means, Cousin of the Duende.
• Pronto: (Lengüoeste) Quickly.
• Pura-Sangre: (Lengüoeste) Oesteans of Pure blood.
• Radimkukile: (Kikwetu) The Lightning Lance, an order of knights in Kavunchi.
• Ritter: (Nordzunge) A Nord knight.
• Reinblut: (Nordzunge) A Nord of pure blood
• Schweigen, mein brüder und schwestern! Schweigen! (Nordzunge) Quiet my brothers and sisters! Quiet!
• Sensei: (Kokugo) Teacher, clergy, or another figure of authority.
• Sí: (Lengüoeste) Yes.
• Sisi Kusema Chuma: (Kikwetu) We Speak Steel. The motto of House Kamau.
• Steinkreis: (Nordzunge) The Stone Circle. The symbol for the earth element and Schöpferite holy emblem. A quartered circle, usually green on a field of brown.
• Tempel der Göttin Stone: (Nordzunge) Temple of the Stone Goddess. Santuario del Guerrero’s foremost Schöpferite temple.
• Turista: (Lengüoeste) Tourist.
• Ungläubige: (Nordzunge) Nord heretic.
• Vati: (Nordzunge) Dad or daddy. Informal
• Vato: (Lengüoeste) Friend or good friend. Slang.
• Vivienda: (Lengüoeste) A tall multi-floored tenement or apartment building.
• “Willkommen, bruder! Willkommen zum haus Des Eines Gottes, Furchtloses!” (Nordzunge) Welcome brother! Welcome to the house of The One God!
• Zasshu: (Kokugo) Mongrel/mixed breed.

March 25, 2014

Names and Languages

Surnames

In the Thirteen Kingdoms, surnames are won, earned or purchased.  Until a name is acquired, one uses the surname of the last ancestor to earn a surname, but with a prefix meaning, “of the.”  In the Reinos Del Oeste, that prefix is Del.

In the Nordländer, the surname prefix is, Von.  In the Nchi ya Kusini, it is Za.  And in the Higashi Shima, it is, No.   The prefix is capitalized only if the last named ancestor is the parent.

 

Languages

There are five languages spoken in the Thirteen Kingdoms:

  1. Kikwetu is spoken by the Kusini Watu in the desert lands of the South.
  2. Kokugo is spoken by the Shimabito in the Eastern Islands.
  3. Lengüoeste is the language of the Oesteans, the people of the West.
  4. Nordzunge is spoken by the Nords, mountain folk of the North.
  5. The First Tongue is the oldest language, a language of power, used to summon and control the elemental forces of nature. It is spoken by elemancers throughout the Thirteen Kingdoms and believed to be the tongue spoken by the gods.  Translations from the First Tongue are extremely difficult and tend to be imprecise.  Intonation and tone of voice, specific intent of the speaker, and physicality are all nearly as important to the exact translation of The First Tongue as the words themselves.  Therefore, the words and phrases here are loose transliterations.
March 25, 2014

The Kingdoms

THE NORDLÄNDER

“The Northlands”

Winterewiger “Eternal Winter”
o Cities:
• Krystalgatter “Crystal Gate” *
• Kristallspitzen “Crystal Peaks”
• Ruhmberg “Glory Mountain”
• Reicheländer “Rich Lands”
• Heldstadt “Town of Heroes”
• Sonniges Tal “Sunny Vale”
• Tiefersee “Deep Lake”

Eisesland “Ice Land”
o Cities:
• Königliche Stadt “The Royal City” *
• Kalteströme “Cold Streams”
• Schildkrötezehe “Turtle Toe Valley”
• Gefrorenes Zehedorf “Frozen Toe Village”
• Kaltesmeer “The Cold Sea”
• Hoffnungsvolle Stadt “Hopeful City”

THE NCHI YA KUSINI
“The Southern Countries”

Kavunchi “Dry Lands”
o Cities:
• Mji a Dhahabu “The Golden City”*
• Peponi City “Paradise”
• Almazi City (Named for its Almazi mines)
• Kamedunia “Barren Turf”

Hatarimsitu “Dangerous Woods”
o Cities:
• Bandari Salama “Safe Haven”*
• Kandopori “By The Wood”
• Amani ya Kijiji “The Peaceful Village”
• Fisi Msitu “Hyena Forest”

Simbadola “Land of the Lion”
o Cities:
• Kandobahari “By the Sea” *
• Ekundumapwa “Red Beach”
• Buluumaji “Blue Water”
• Matumaini Pya “New Hope”

THE HIGASHI SHIMA
“Islands of the East”

Raimei-Yama “Thunder Mountains”
o Cities:
• Takai Teien “The High Garden” *
• Fukai Umi “Deep Sea”
• Tokage Machi “Lizard Town”
• Chiisai Tokage “Little Lizard”
• Shippo “Tail (Lizard’s)”
• Azumi “Safe Child”

Hama-Be “By the Sea”
o Cities:
• Kaigara “Seashell” *
• Kaigan Mura “Seaside Village”
• Kai Hinansho “Clam Shelter”
• Kara Gin “Silver Shell”

Tatsu No “Land of the Dragon”
o Cities:
• Emerarudo Shi “Emerald City” *
• Kadan “Flower Bed”
• Kadō “Art of Flower”
• Tatsu Shi “Dragon City”

Hana-Soshite-Mori “Blossoms and Forest”
o Cities:
• Heishi Kishibe “Soldier’s Shores” *
• Aoi-Sango “Blue Coral”
• Hanabira “Rose Petal”

THE REINOS DEL OESTE
“Kingdoms of the West”
Prosperidad “Prosperity”
o CITIES:
• Santuario del Guerrero “Sanctuary of the Warrior” *
• Playa Blanca “White Beach”
• Nueve Aldea “New Village”
• Abundante “Bountiful”
• Duende Asilo “Duende Asylum”

Dulce Aire “Sweet Air”
o CITIES:
• Valle Verde “Green Valley” *
• Altos Cerros “High Hills”
• Laga Dulce “Sweet Lake”
• Tierras Lobos “Lands of the Wolf”

Solbesado “Sun-Kissed”
o Cities:
• Tierras Dioses “Lands of the Gods” *
• Rocas Rojas “Red Rock”
• Por el Mar “By the Sea”
• Mar Verde “Green Sea”

Sombra del Montaña “Shadow of the Mountain”
o Cities/Towns:
• Pared de Hierro “The Iron Wall” *
• Lago Oscura “Dark Lake”
• Fantasmaderas Forest “Haunted Wood”
• Ciudad Fantasmas “Haunted City”
• Ciudad de la Plata “Silver City”
• Malaroca: “Evil Rock”

*Capitol City.

March 25, 2014

Who’s Who in Full-Blood Half-Breed

HOUSE KAMAU “THE QUIET WARRIOR”

(Named for Blackspear’s 13 paladíns) Del Darkdragon:
A warrior disciple at Temple Seisakusha. Age: 16
Ethnicity & Origin: Blended—Oestean/Nord/Kusini Watu/Shimabito. Born in Santuario del Guerrero, Prosperidad.
Religion/Fighting System: Observes all four religions/blend Eisenfaust, El Combatedanza, Ashi-Kobishi, and Ngoma ya Kifo.
Totem: The Kamau thunderbolt.
Weapons: Sunderbones, a bo staff. Storm, a manced sword. Beauty, a bow.

Rebelde (“Rebellious”) the Darkdragon:
Paladin’s father. A mancer, blacksmith, and Black Spear champion. Age: 41
Ethnicity & Origin: Blended–Oestean/Kusini Watu. Exiled from his birth land, Mji a Dhahabu, the capitol of Kavunchi. Currently resides in Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Muumban/Ngoma ya Kifo.
Totem: Black dragon clutching a Kamau thunderbolt in each claw.
Weapons: Dragonclaw, a sword, Dragontooth, a Black Spear, several throwing daggers.


Jambiax (Named for the jambia dagger) the Phantom:
Paladin’s paternal grandfather. An elemancer. Age: Unknown—really old.
Ethnicity & Origin: Kusini Watu of Mji a Dhahabu, Kavunchi.
Religion/Fighting System: Muumban/Ngoma ya Kifo.
Totem: Black spider with a Kamau thunderbolt on its abdomen.
Weapons: Kunguru (Raven), a mancer’s staff.

Mbarika (“Ugly Truth”):
Jambiax’s Familiar. The white raven is a conduit of spiritual energy allowing Jambiax to Hearken to the tidings of shades.

THE LINE OF MAYUMI “TRUE ARCHERS”
Walküre (Named for the demi-goddesses, the walküres) the Cruelarrow of Mayumi’s Line:
Paladin’s mother. An archery champion and bowyer. Age: 38
Ethnicity & Origin: Blended–Shimabito/Nord of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Seisakushan/Ashi-Kobushi.
Totem: Two arrows crossed.
Weapons: Mercy & Compassion, katana & wakizashi swords. Felicie, a longbow.

Suki (“Loved One”) the Skullbender of Mayumi’s Line:
Paladin’s maternal grandmother. Origami artist. Age: 63
Ethnicity & Origin: Shimabito/ Hanabira in Hana-Soshite-Mori.
Religion/Fighting System: Seisakushan/Ashi-Kobushi.
Totem: The Mayumi arrow crossed with a spear.
Weapons: Skullbender, a bo staff.

THE LINE OF GROßEMÄNNER “THE BIG MAN”
Zwergfuchs (“Fox the Runt”) Von Hammerhead:
Disciple at Temple Seisakusha. Age: 17
Ethnicity & Origin: Nord of Kalteströme in Eisesland. Current resident of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Santosian, converted from Seisakushan/Ashi-Kobushi.
Totem: A leaping white fox on a field of scarlet with a gold border.
Weapons: Unnamed Black Spear.

THE LINE OF HERTZ “HEART”
Drud (“Strong”) von Wildboar:
Warrior disciple of Schöpfer. Paladin’s best friend. Age: 17
Ethnicity & Origin: Blended–Nord/Shimabito. Born in Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Schöpferite/Eisenfaust.
Totem: The Hertz mace.
Weapons: Thumper, a quarterstaff.

Alwin (“Elf Friend”) von Wildboar:
Drud’s father. Chicken butcher. Age: 45
Ethnicity & Origin: Nord. Born in Hoffnungsvolle Stadt in Eisesland. Currently resides in Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Schöpferite/Eisenfaust.
Totem: Boar’s head above the mace.
Weapons: Bonecrusher, a mace.

THE LINE OF IZUMI “ENDURING”
Hisa (“Enduring”) no Littletree:
Drud’s mother. Chicken butcher. Age: 40
Ethnicity & Origin: Shimabito. Born in Chiisai Tokage in Raimei-Yama. Currently resides in Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Seisakushan/Ashi-Kobushi.
Totem:
Weapons: Little Oak, a bo staff.

HOUSE XIMENA “HEARKENING”
Pía (“Pious”) Del Comely:
Zwergfuchs’ sweetheart. A Santosian Priestess. Age: 21
Ethnicity & Origin: Oestean, with Duende-kin features, of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Santosian/El Combatedanza.
Totem: The Ximena white eagle clutching a Santosian Ira de Dios.
Weapons: Sacrifice, a staff.

Yesenia (“Creador Sees”) the Morrowsight :
Pía’s great aunt. A powerful Intérprete. Age: Ancient
Ethnicity & Origin: Oestean of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Santosian/El Combatedanza.
Totem: The Ximena white eagle in flight.
Weapons: Sacrifice, a staff.

HOUSE HISOKA “RESERVED”
Ren (“Water Lilly”) the Quicksteel:
Seisakushan Monk. Age: 52
Ethnicity & Origin: Shimabito of Kara Gin in Hama-Be. Currently resides in Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Seisakushan/Ashi-Kobushi.
Totem: The Hisoka Kraken.
Weapons: Suzumebachi & Hari (Hornet & Stinger), katana & wakizashi swords.

HOUSE JAGER “THE HUNTSMAN”
Isooba (“Walks With Stealth”) von Joyful:
Paladin’s neighbor and sometimes rival. A Schöpferite disciple. Age: 17
Ethnicity & Origin: Blended—Nord/Kusini Watu, born in Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Schöpferite/Eisenfaust.
Totem: The Jager Hunting Spear.
Weapons: Unbeatable, a quarterstaff.

Tau (“Lion”) von Joyful:
Isooba’s brother. A Muumban disciple. Age: 15
Ethnicity & Origin: Blended—Nord/Kusini Watu, born in Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Muumban/ Ngoma ya Kifo.
Totem: The Jager Hunting Spear.
Weapons: Swift, a staff.

HOUSE PROSPERO “FORTUNATE & SUCCESFUL”
Urbano (“Of the City”) Del Spicebringer:
A Seisakushan disciple. Heir to powerful House. Bully. Age: 17
Ethnicity & Origin: Oestean of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Santosian, former Seisakushan who studied Ashi-Kobushi.
Totem: The Prospero Bumblebee.
Weapons: Rib-tickler, a long sword.

Efraín (“Fruitful”) the Spicebringer:
Urbano’s rich and powerful father. Patriarch of House Prospero. Age: 47
Ethnicity & Origin: Oestean of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Santosian/El Combatedanza.
Totem: The Prospero bumblebee on a field of orange.
Weapons: Shademaker, a short-sword.

HOUSE LUPINA “TRUE WOLF”
Agota (“Good”) the Moonhunter:
Urbano’s mother and Efraín’s wife. Matriarch of House Lupina. Age: 43
Ethnicity & Origin: Oestean of Santuario del Guerrero
Religion/Fighting System: Santosian/El Combatedanza.
Totem: The Lupina Wolf: A black wolf silhouetted against a full, silver moon on a field of crimson.
Weapons: Littlefang, a short-sword.

Enriqueta (“Ruler of Home”) Del Moonhunter:
Urbano’s sister. Age: 16
Ethnicity & Origin: Oestean of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Santosian/El Combatedanza.
Totem: The Lupina Wolf.
Weapons: Moonbeam, a short-sword.

Paquita (“Free”) Del Moonhunter:
Urbano’s sister. Heir to House Lupina. Age: 23
Ethnicity & Origin: Oestean of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Santosian/El Combatedanza.
Totem: The Lupina Wolf.
Weapons: Long-arm, a spear.

Milagros (“Miracles”) Del Moonhunter:
Urbano’s sister. Age: 11
Ethnicity & Origin: Oestean of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Santosian/El Combatedanza (presumed).
Totem: The Lupina Wolf.
Weapons: None.

HOUSE BERNARDO “BOLD AS THE BEAR”
Honestus (“Honor”) the Ironbear of House Bernardo:
King of Prosperidad. Age: 53
Ethnicity & Origin: Oestean of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Creadorian/El Combatedanza.
Totem: Golden bear on a field of scarlet.
Weapons: Maximiliano, the Great Sword of House Bernardo.

Regio (“Royal”) Del Ironbear of House Bernardo:
Prince of Prosperidad. Age: 33
Ethnicity & Origin: Oestean of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Santosian/El Combatedanza.
Totem: A bane in flight.
Weapons: Grace, a staff.

Veraz (“Truth”) Del Ironbear of House Bernardo:
Prince of Prosperidad. Age: 9
Ethnicity & Origin: Oestean of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Creadorian/El Combatedanza.
Totem: The Bernardo golden bear.
Weapons: None yet.

THE LINE OF KALTERHUND “THE COLD DOG”
Karl (“Man”) von Whitewolf
Zwergfuchs’ friend. Santosian disciple. Age: 34
Ethnicity & Origin: Nord of Kristallspitzen in Winterewiger.
Religion/Fighting System: Santosian (former Schöpferite)/Eisenfaust.
Totem: White hounds head.
Weapons:, Amalia, an axe.

Jürgen (“Farmer”) the Loyal
Karl’s brother. Red Cloak. Santosian cleric. Age: 36
Ethnicity & Origin: Nord of Kristallspitzen in Winterewiger.
Religion/Fighting System: Santosian (former Schöpferite)/Eisenfaust.
Totem: White dog’s head on a field of brown.
Weapons: Conradine, a staff.

THE LINE OF AYA “WOVEN SILK”

Esmeralda (“Emerald”) N’Illustrious:
Paladin’s neighbor. Age: 17
Ethnicity & Origin: Blended—Shimabito/Oestean of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Santosian (formerly Seisakushan)/none.
Totem: The Aya sailing ship.
Weapons: None

Chiyo (“A Thousand Generations”) the Illustrious:
Esmeralda’s mother. A merchant . Age: 38
Ethnicity & Origin: Shimabito of Kadō in Tatsu No, currently resides in Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Seisakushan/Ashi-Kobushi.
Totem: The Aya sailing ship.
Weapons: An unnamed bo staff.

HOUSE ODALIS “WEALTHY”
Jorge del Rollinghills:
A friend of Urbano. Age: 15
Ethnicity & Origin: Oestean of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Creadorian/El Combatedanza.
Totem: The Odalis Cornucopia.
Weapons: Ramona, a quarterstaff.

Aarón del Rollinghills:
A suitor of Paquita Del Moonhunter. Age: 26
Ethnicity & Origin: Oestean of Santuario del Guerrero.
Religion/Fighting System: Creadorian/El Combatedanza.
Totem: The Odalis Cornucopia.
Weapons: Verónica, a short-sword.

February 13, 2014

Q&A on Suvudu

Here is a Q&A I did with Matt Staggs over at Suvudu. Click HERE to read the full interview.

Screen shot 2014-02-14 at 4.45.44 PM

February 11, 2014

Hydra Files: ‘Creating Reality for Fun and Profit”

Here is a piece I wrote for Suvudu on worldbuilding.

 

Creating Reality for Fun and Profit–Does Worldbuilding Make One a God?

I can only speak from personal experience, but hell yes, worldbuilding does make one a god.

Kind of.

All the gods I’ve ever met are considered divine because they create universes and fill them with worlds of self-sustaining, evolving life. They make rules to govern the physical properties of their realities and invest their sentient creations with a moral code.

If some character decides to break that moral code, these gods have the ability to turn their lives into a great, steaming pile of suck. Sometimes these divine pranksters will screw with the lives of their creations just for kicks, ‘cause from what I hear, immortality gets pretty tedious. And right or wrong, gods get away with bloody murder. Why?

Because they are gods and they make all the rules.

Writers of *speculative fiction create reality as well. We call it worldbuiliding And just like the divine ladies and gents I mentioned above, the worldbuilder creates worlds and fills them with all sorts of life. We also screw with the fates of our creations. In typical bored higher being fashion, we make things hardest and most tragic for the characters we love most. Because it’s more interesting that way. We make rules pertaining to the laws of nature that differ—sometimes drastically—from the physical laws written by whomever scribed the story of our universe.

In my construction of The Thirteen Kingdoms—the world that debuts in the first book of The Stormbringer RevelationFull-Blood Half-Breed—I had to manage all sorts of details like star constellations, geographic economics, even the types of shoes most likely to be worn by a poor immigrant living in the eastern quadrant of the fictional city Santuario del Guerrero. You have no idea how much minutiae a god must work through to make his or her world a kick-ass realm where all the kids want to go hang.

For life to succeed, it must be able to reproduce and adapt to its environment. The writer-god, if he or she is successful, creates life that does this. Our creatures and characters procreate. The elf is the perfect example of this. As far as we know, the elf was born of ancient folklore, but has endured through the years, showing up time and again in literature and popular media and evolving into several distinctive families. Tolkien’s elves mark a huge step in the evolution of this creature. Legolas and his kin are to their ancient folksy forbears as modern humanity is the Cro Magnon. Even in my world of the Thirteen Kingdoms, there exists a race of graceful creatures called, the duende, which are descended of Tolkien’s lithe and beautiful elves. It was Tolkien’s ideas that impregnated my imagination, giving birth to my duende, just as the creatures of European folklore impregnated his imagination, giving birth to the first children of Eru. As worldbuilders, the lives we imagine beget other imaginary life.

Finally, gods make up physical laws to regulate nature in the worlds they create. Whomever wrote the story of our existence, created the laws of physics and those laws cannot be broken. At least not without really wreaking havoc with the fabric of existence and perhaps completely annihilating reality as we know it. Which would suck.

Writers, likewise create rules to govern the natural worlds we imagine. We incorporate physics but alter it to accommodate our magic systems. Don’t roll your eyes Sci-Fi fans, your stories have magic systems as well. You call it future science/technology but it serves the same purpose as spell-based sorcery or potions-based witchcraft or the elemental-based system of Full-Blood Half-Breed. To break the laws of magic we have established is to betray the reader who has invested years in our worlds and characters. It typically destroys the universe for the reader. And that really sucks.

So, with my tongue quite firmly in my cheek, and speaking on behalf of my fellow worldbuilding gods, I ask only that you acknowledge our literary divinity. Worship us if you must, but we would much rather you simply enjoyed the worlds we’ve built for your enjoyment and the characters keeping them safe for you. If you’re looking for a world to enjoy, I highly recommend the Thirteen kingdoms. There is a Full-Blood Half-Breed residing there whose life just took a turn toward the epic, and the story of his adventures is one kick-ass read. Really. You can trust me.

I am, after all, a god.

 

*Speculative Fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, weird fiction, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as related static, motion, and virtual arts.

 

Cleve Lamison is an award-winning writer, director, and actor who began his career with Shenandoah Shakespeare, receiving international acclaim for his portrayal of Othello. His writing has won or been a finalist for the Mary Roberts Rinehardt National Drama Award, the Pilgrim Project Playwriting Grant, Scriptapalooza’s TV Drama Award, the American Accolades Award, and the New York Theatre Workshop’s Van Lier Fellowship. Of his short films, The Story won first place at the Denver was a runner- World Film Festival and Jack for President up in the New York City twenty-four-hour filmmaking contest. Connect with Cleve on Facebook and Twitter.

More about Full-Blood Half-Breed:

In Cleve Lamison’s hard-hitting debut, two young men divided by an intense hatred—yet marked with a common destiny—have the power to save the world . . . or destroy it.

It’s been two thousand years since the bastard spawn of the god Creador lost their war to enslave humankind, transforming the Thirteen Kingdoms into a violent world where the martial arts are exalted as sacred gifts from the gods—and honor is won through arena blood sport.

Paladin Del Darkdragón, a sixteen-year-old warrior-in-training, is a “half-breed.” His battle against pure-blood bullies like Fox the Runt has forced him to master the four fighting forms. But when he blends them, he is condemned as a heretic by authorities and banished from the training temples. Seeking redemption, he enrolls in the arena games, savage trials that end in death.

This year’s games mask an old plot driven by a new prophet. With a horde of Creador’s Bastards and an army of fanatics led by Fox the Runt at his command, the Prophet will bend the world to his will or burn it to ash.

Paladin faces an impossible choice: redeem his honor in a fight he can’t hope to survive, or abandon his loved ones to perish in the sweeping holy war consuming the Kingdoms.