Return of the Long Night
Alliance: A powerful political mercantile league which holds sway over much of the western region of the hemisphere. The Alliance has recently made their first overtures to governments in Jaiman, Emer and Falias.
Andraax [Ir. “first-claw”]: One of the three founders of the Order of Loremasters. Andraax is a renowned philosopher and historian, having penned numberless tomes chronicling the early ages of the world. While apparently not an Elf, Andraax was immortal. His final fate is unknown; some say that he is dead; others claim that we went insane (after either the Wars of Dominion or a journey to the East).
Aargirpiri An area in the north-western part of Xa-ar, they are a cluster of islands. They are a bridge between the mainland and the Mur Fostisyr (S. “Land of Blue Light”). These isles, interestingly enough, are known as the Aargirpiri (K: “ Isles of Blue Light”).
Changramai: A philosophy/religion and school of unarmed combat, named for the legendary Master Changrama. Masters of the fighting techniques are known as Changramai Monks. Only a single school/monastery is known to exist, in a remote location (in northern Emer) where devout youths travel to learn the subtle arts of mind and body control. In what might seem (to outsiders) to be a contradiction, Changramai warrior monks make themselves available for a variety of mercenary jobs, including bodyguard.
Channelling: One of the three ‘Realms of Power’ (along with the Essence and Mentalism) which make up the arcane forces of Kulthea. Users of Channelling are able to cast spells by tapping into the inherent power of the god they worship.
Charón, Moon: Third largest moon orbiting Kulthea, home of the Dark Gods (q.v.). The third largest moon, Charón cycles every twenty-one days. Charón is supposedly the home of the Dark Gods, evil deities worshiped by dark cults and followers of the Unlife. See also various moons of Kulthea and astronomy.
Dark Gods: Beings similar in power to the Lords of Orhan but with evil intent. They may be allied with the Unlife, for they seek to undermine and pervert the peoples of Kulthea — or they may merely seek followers to gain power for themselves. Their home is the moon Charón. Additional hints and stories are known about The Dark Gods.
Demons: Creatures from other worlds or planes of existence, brought here against their will or to do violence. They come in many forms but all are dangerous.
Dragonlords: Beings of incredible power, age and intelligence, they are supposedly dragons, but able to assume human form, aided by artifacts called the Dragonhelms. There are six true Dragonlords, known by their colors: Black, White, Red, Green, Silver, and Gold.
Eidolon: A beautiful palace and city built upon a great disk suspended in the sky above the trade port of Sel-kai in NE Emer. It serves as a port for the realm’s skyships.
Erlini: (Ir. ‘growers’) Less lordly than the Iylari (q.v.), the Erlini Elves are nevertheless graceful beings who have a deep harmony with the earth and all natural growing things. Immortal, they never age and maintian a carefree attitude throughout their lives. See further information on the races of the Shadow World.
Essænce (or Arcane Power): is the raw magical energy that exists on Kulthea. The force which — in its primal state — includes all forms of ‘Spell Power’ (for the realms of Mentalism and Channeling also use Essence, but in different forms), as well as flows of force which permeate the world. The Flows are linked in origin and substance to ‘Spell Power’ and many other Kulthean phenomena. This magical energy flows like a river upon and within Kulthea. The flows of Essænce can create barriers that interfere with travel and can provide energy for spell users.
It is assumed that in the beginning of Kulthea the three realms of magic were basically the same or a unified energy and the ability to utilise the Essænce is extremely rare.
Essence: One of the three ‘realms’ of the ‘Essænce’; the elemental force tapped by spell-users (“Magicians”) directly.
First Era: The time period from the beginning of civilization (the birth of the Althan Race) until the downfall of the K’ta’viir Empire (ended with the Interregnum). Sometimes referred to as the First Era of Ire (FEI), referring to the ire of evil.
Flows of Essence (or ‘Essænce’): Invisible bands of radiation which sweep across the world in shifting patterns, they are the source of Essence power but can be dangerous to tap directly. The sites of some continuous Flows are often locations of holy places or centers of power for certain cultures.
Focus: A location where the Essence is particularly concentrated. See the text for details of the effects of a Focus.
Furlong: A unit of distance equal to 220 yards
Garks: A race of sub-human, apelike beings.
Greater Focus: A major concentration of Essænce Radiation, Greater Foci are sometimes marked by the ruins of ancient structures (various lost cultures were able to perceive the Essence and erected ‘temples’ to mark such areas).
Gryphon College: A small, little-known center of learning in northwest Rhakhaan.
Haalkitaine: Capital of Rhakhaan (q.v.), located at the foot of the Grey Mountains.
Interregnum: Period between the First and Second Eras when Kulthea was essentially an uncivilized wasteland.
Iorak: One of the Lords of Orhan; god of Craftsmanship.
Iron Wind: An unseen evil force centered in Jaiman. Its minions include the secretive Priests Arnak and the vicious Iron Messengers.
Iruaric: Language of the Lords of Essence, essentially a ‘dead’ tongue now, known by very few.
Iylari [Ir. “beautiful- “]: A race of immortal beings resembling mannish peoples, but generally more graceful and beautiful. They are one with the earth, and many possess Essænce powers of one type or another. Their exact origins are unknown, although it is generally accepted that they predate most mannish cultures yet antedate the Althans. There are actually three sub-groups of Iylari Elves, the Linæri, the Loari, and the Dyari. See further information on the races of the Shadow World.
Jerak Ahrenreth: [Ir: “Secret Circle”] Rumoured to be an occult organization of eight lords who desire to control the peoples of Emer through a variety of means, including the Dark Arts, political manipulation, deceit, and assassination.
K’ta’viir [Ir. “lord-of-essænce”]: Racial name of the High Althans, a (supposedly) extinct race which ruled Kulthea — and much of the galaxy — ages ago.
Karilôn: Hidden home of the College of Loremasters.
Kulthea [Ir. “Shadow-world”] — the world.
Leathes: Capital city of the duchy of Prevan in northwest Rhakhaan. Home of Kalen Avanir.
Lethys: Largest city in Rhakhaan, located in the south of that realm on the coast. In SEI 6820 the capital of Rhakhaan was moved to Lethys after Haalkitaine was nearly destroyed by fire from the sky. The capital was returned to Haalkitaine in TEI 1001.
Laan: A race of lordly men, generally tall and dark-haired, believed to be indigenous to Jaiman. In the Third Era they are far less numerous than the generally shorter and more stocky Shay peoples. See further information on the races of the Shadow World.
Lords of Essence (aka K’ta’viiri): Men and women imbued with great power over Essence, probably because of irradiation by strong Flows of Essence in the youth of the race. They no longer exist, having destroyed themselves in a civil war ages ago.
Lords of Orhan: A pantheon of (more or less) benevolent godlike beings who make their home on Kulthea’s largest moon. While not truly omnipotent, they are very powerful, and faithful worshippers are able to access the Lords’ powers via ‘Channelling.’. Additional information is known on The Lords of Orhan.
Loremasters: Sages, keepers of wisdom, advisers. All possess power over Essence, but are reluctant to wield it flagrantly except in dire need. Ubiquitous yet rarely obvious, they consider themselves the stewards of civilization on Kulthea. Further details on Loremasters can be seen in the many rumours that abound about them.
Malvin Tesea: [Ir. “endless seas”] Name given to the two oceans which divide the eastern and western hemispheres of the planet. These bands of water are the widest in the world and have a number of mystical associations (including the idea that they are the edge of a flat earth…) They correspond with a particularly powerful Essence Barrier.
Money: In the Shadow World, most advanced cultures use a gold/silver/bronze/copper/tin coinage, each coin being worth about 1/10th of the denomination preceding (e.g., a silver piece is equal to ten bronze pieces). Each coin weighs around a half-ounce. As a very rough comparison, one bronze piece would be about equivalent to a dollar in terms of buying power.
Month: There are five month/seasons a year on Kulthea, each 70 days long and beginning when the great moon Orhan is new. They are, beginning with new year’s day: winter, spring, summer, autumn, fall.
Navigators: Guilds of men and women who serve as guides and travel expediters — for a price. By using their magical Compasses, they are able to locally control the weather and the very Flows of Essænce to create favorable travel conditions. They also have the power to teleport clients (willing to pay their fee) directly to a desired destination, utilizing a power they call a ‘Jump’.
Nexus: Headquarters of the Navigators, located in the center of Iyxia.
Nomikos: A library and group of scribes whose center is an isle off south-central Jaiman. They are one of the few institutions in Jaiman besides the Loremasters whose fame is widespread. See more detailed information on Nomikos and the links to current adventure.
Party Note:Nomikos was a location of adventure for the party. Refer to Adventure Log
Old Race: a name by which some cultures of Emer refer to the Lords of Essænce. The Shay and Jameri sometimes call the Laan by this name.
Older Ones: Not to be confused with the ‘Old Race’ (q.v.), these are the mighty Demons of the Void, a.k.a. Agothu, a race (or races) of beings totally alien to this plane of existence.
Ondoval: one of the K’ta’viiri, former head of the Jerak Ahrenreth.
Ordainer: A Demon beyond the Pale. Manlike in form but over twenty feet tall, usually associated with fire or ice. Some have wings or a prehensile tail. All are cruel servants of darkness.
Orhan, Moon: Name given to the largest moon which circles the World of Kulthea. Orhan has a thick, cloud-filled atmosphere, so it often has a soft, white, featureless appearance. It is the reputed home to The Lords of Orhan. See also various moons of Kulthea and astronomy.
Orhan & Charón: A game not unlike Terran chess, it features a circular board representing Kulthea. Two players control the higher pantheons of the two moons. They transport to various areas and move about, trying to cast the opponents back to their respective homes. Each god has specific moving abilities and power level regarding its ability to overcome opponents. Pieces may ‘team up’ to cast out a foe. Playing time is 1-5 hours.
Portal: Generic name given to the ‘doorway’-like phenomena on the Shadow World. Portals of various design dot the globe, all of which allow instantaneous transport from one to another. They are arcane and impossible to control; only the very experienced dare use them.
Quindera: Stringed instrument resembling a lute but more difficult to play well.
Quin: One-fifth of a circle, an important unit in Kulthean geometry.
Quintar: The Kulthean day is divided by many cultures into five parts, called quintars. These are in turn subdivided into five hours each, making a 25-hour day. Timekeeping begins at midnight and the predawn quintar, followed by morning, midday, evening, and night.
Rhakhaan: One of the ancient Six Kingdoms of Jaiman, given the Phoenix helm and related artifacts by the Loremasters in the Second Era. It was originally in the south-central portion of Jaiman, but has since expanded its borders to include some of the old lands of Zor and U-Lyshak.
Saralis: One of the ancient Six Kingdoms of Jaiman, given the Wyvern helm and related artifacts by the Loremasters in the Second Era. It was located in the northwest region of Jaiman.
Party Note:Saralis was a location of adventure for the party and their first exposure to the epic troubles facing the Shadow World.
Sa’Kain, Comet: planetary body that returns to Kulthea on a regular basis (rumoured to be every fifteen centuries). Seen at times of change, the Comet Sa’Kain is considered a harbinger of great evil or great crisis. Its image is seen in historical images (art), as well as being part of stories and lore from ancient times.
Party Note: your initial arrival, via spacecraft, saw the comet and a strange occurrence in space. “Though it is impossible your own eyes reveal what the ship’s mechanical sensors cannot. A huge rift in space has opened and from it spews vileness that cannot be contained by the very universe. Shapes seem to writhe in space, flowing like a disease as it spreads bathing the comet, its tail flaring bright, which has so recently caused your own ships undoing as well as the blue green planet and its moons that seemed the only haven in this hostile sector.“
Salufis Tree / Salufi flower: A fabled tree whose bloom is said to cure evil curses. The tree is long thought to have died out, though rumours of a single tree remaining alive, away from the eyes of the living, have persisted. It is a small, brownish plant, that grows as a stunted dark sapling in the coldest and driest places of the world. The bloom (the Salufi flower) is known to have been a deep golden in colour, and is thought to only bloom on the tree once per year, when the moon shines mostly deeply upon the bud. Each tree produces at most a few flowers each season, and occasionally only a single bloom survives to be of medicinal use.
Party Note: The party was cursed by an ancient lich, who they awoke when exploring the Tomb of Velik-Mah. This Lich bore an ancient staff of great evil, later identified as Staff of the Forsaken, whose touch places a dark evil curse upon the victim’s soul. The only know cure was the Salufi blossom, which the party sought and recovered from a cavern deep within the Bridge Caves, in the Isle of Blue Light.
Second Era: Time period beginning with the founding of the College of Loremasters and lasting nearly 7000 years. The Second Era concluded with the Wars of Dominion, in which the Unlife was driven into hiding. Sometimes referred to as the Second Era of Ire (SEI) or just Second Era (SE).
Sel-kai: A city-state in northeastern Emer, and one of the most widely-known trade centers in all the West. It is famous for its skyships — sailing ships which can also fly through the air — and the cloud city of Eidolon which hovers over the main city and seaport of Sel-kai.
Sellin: The gold coin minted by Sel-kai. A silver coin is a tenth sellin; the plural term is sellini.
Shaal: One of the Lords of Orhan; god of the Seas.
Star Iron: actually an alloy forged using metal gathered from certain meteorites. It is extremely strong once worked, though it invariably has a dull, dark grey appearance. The recipe has been lost with the First Era. See also Metallurgy for more information on metals found on Kulthea.
Steardan: Winged horses which serve as mounts for the legendary Cloudlords of Tanara, they are similar to Pegasi, yet relatively unintelligent.
Tanara: One of the ancient Six Kingdoms of Jaiman, given the Pegasus helm and related artifacts by the Loremasters in the Second Era. Tanara is sheltered on three sides by mountains and on the fourth by the sea. Thus Tanara is effectively cut off from surrounding lands.
Teris: One of the Lords of Orhan; god of travel and messages.
Tethior: Craftsman, artificer, smith and Iylar master of the Essænce, Tethior created some of the most powerful artifacts in the history of the world. They include the The Ilarsiri (seeing stones) and the helms, pendants and swords given to the six kingdoms of Jaiman. It is believed that Tethior was killed in the Wars of Dominion.
U-Lyshak: One of the ancient Six Kingdoms of Jaiman, given the Sea-drake helm and related artifacts by the Loremasters in the Second Era. It was located in the southwest region of Jaiman. U-Lyshak is long detroyed, but a new kingdom of Helyssa is rising in that region.
Unlife: The Enemy of life on the Shadow World; an evil force whose source is unknown. Acting always through minions, it seeks only the destruction of all life. It is theorized that the Unlife is in fact anti-energy, consuming life force and the very Essænce.
Urulan: One of the ancient Six Kingdoms of Jaiman, given the Unicorn helm and related artifacts by the Loremasters in the Second Era. Urulan was located on a large island off the eastern coast of Jaiman, and populated almost entirely by Elves. It is now a haunted, desolate place.
Wars of Dominion: Conflict which marked the end of the Second Era between the minions of the Unlife and the Free Peoples, led by the Loremasters.
Historical information is available on Wars of Dominion.
Week: Ten days is the amount of time it takes for the second moon Varin to go from new to full and back to new, and is called a ‘week’ in many Kulthean cultures.