- 'Actio' is the abbreviation Blan ultimately adopted for a type of device made by the Visitors and called a 'Dualfield Resonation
Displacement Component: Actio'. Prior to her discovering how to communicate with them, she had referred to them as 'crystal clusters' or 'crystal brains'.
Each Actio has an identifying number; for example, 'Actio 41' means 'Dualfield Resonation Displacement Component: Actio 41'. Actio devices were
manufactured by the method called 'A.C.T.I.O.' or 'ACTIO' (see next entry), but the devices themselves should not be confused with the method by which they
were made; Blan did not know about the ACTIO method when she chose to call the devices Actios.
- ACTIO or A.C.T.I.O.
- This is an acronym for 'Autonomous Coded Template Initiated Object'. It is a method of manufacture developed by the 'Visitors'
and described in Fulcrum of Power. It should not be confused with the Actio device (see previous entry). The ACTIO method was used
by the Vanantii to create their large sky ship and its 'Control', and by the Chanangii to build, first, the 'Communicor'
system and, later, the small sky ship and its Actio devices.
- Age of Desert and Poisoned Seas
- The Age of Desert and Poisoned Seas was the first post-war era immediately following the Catastrophic War. It lasted 20,000 years.
Those few who know about it might also refer to it as '50,000-30,000 BNW' (meaning '50,000-30,000 years before Nightless Week').
During most of this era there was little recovery from the devastation caused by the Catastrophic War. The few human survivors gathered into communities
reminiscent of those that had existed before civilization began.
- Age of Dust and Moving Seas
- The Age of Dust and Moving Seas was the second post-war era and followed the Age of Desert and Poisoned Seas. It lasted 10,000 years, from
30,000 BNW to 20,000 BNW (i.e. 30,000-20,000 years before Nightless Week). This era opened with massive alterations to the Earth's Crust
and outer Mantle, violence remembered afterward as the 'Cataclysmic Changes', caused by the gravitational and magnetic forces imposed by a series of passing
asteroids. As a result, Earth's axis of rotation and magnetic field were altered; violent volcanic activity, along with the impact of meteorites and small
asteroids, contributed to changes in the shape of the oceans and continents; alternating warm ages and ice ages helped to fashion the landscape and remove
traces of the past. Although this disruption continued throughout the era, albeit on a diminishing scale, some of humanity continued to survive, but only
five clans retained some vestigial memory of mankind's former civilization.
The Visitors arrived on Earth during the last ice age of this epoch.
- Age of Recovery
- The Age of Recovery was the third post-war era. It lasted 20,000 years and ended in the year of the Nightless Week (i.e.
from 20,000 BNW until 0 NW). Humans gradually reinvented their civilization, helped along by relatively stable geology and climate, and by the knowledge
brought to them by the 'Visitors' via the Illumen.
- Akrin is a principality on the southern coast of the continent of Orientala. Its people are
renowned for being skilled at both seafaring and mountaineering, and they live between the mountains and the sea. Its
climate ranges from alpine to tropical-maritime. The ruling family is called Pozakrin ('Poz' means 'leading family'
in the Akrinan language): the head of the family is the ruling prince, advised by the Council of Elders.
- The Ancross is a large Dabbinan four-mast warship (although all Dabbinan ships are designed
to be quickly re-rigged as schooners or as barques should the need arise). It is built in luxurious style for
the purposes of high diplomatic missions. It has a system of cables and winches which enable the skipper to sail her
almost single-handed from the poop, a skeleton crew being required only to keep lookout and to repair breakages. The sailors live in four-berth
cabins rather than the usual cramped bunks (or worse) found on most ships of the time, while officers and guests all have single-bed cabins worthy
of a ship's captain.
- Antarcar is (or was) the surname of a southern royal family, the leading family of one of the five organized clans to survive the
Cataclysmic Changes during the Age of Dust and Moving Seas. According to Akrinan legend, the Pozakrin
family is a cadet branch of the Antarcar family, and some say that the Pozakrins are its only surviving members.
- The longest archipelago in the known world, universally called 'the Archipelago', stretches across approximately four hundred
leagues of the Great Sea, from Port Fandabbin to Midsea Island. The Archipelago is
believed to be the remnant of an ancient mountain chain, altered and submerged by the Cataclysmic Changes.
- Arctequa Backbone
- The 'Arctequa Backbone' is the central, north-south spine of mountains that divides Western Arctequa from Eastern
Arctequa. The chain was mostly formed by the explosive collision of two tectonic plates at the beginning of the
Cataclysmic Changes (Age of Dust and Moving Seas), but many of its branches and outliers are of
volcanic origin. In particular, the southernmost mountain of the Arctequa Backbone, Mount Equa, is volcanic and covers part of the caldera of an earlier
volcano (Nantport harbour and the strait of Slave Island are what remains of this caldera).
- The continent north of Arctequa is called Arctica. Few people go there and little is known about it.
Apart from the small areas sometimes exposed as a result of a summer thaw or volcanic activity, Arctica is covered by ice.
The Chanangii are believed to have built one of the Communicors in Arctica, but its exact location has not yet been rediscovered.
- Austra County
- The region in the far south-eastern corner of Arctequa is known as Austra County. Like Proequa,
its neighbour on the other side of Mount Equa, Austra has an excellent harbour and fertile land within easy
reach of maritime transport. However, unlike sub-tropical Proequa which has a much larger population, and a longer history of civilization, Austra County
has a fully tropical climate and its jungles are mostly undeveloped.
- Bangar Island
- Bangar Island (pronounced Ban-gar) is on the southern side of the main harbour of Port Fandabbin. Like its neighbour, Nargar Island, it is
topped by a beacon fort, ostensibly to warn shipping about nearby rocks. However, both islands are decked with concealed
fortifications, and each contains a vast network of tunnels and caverns capable of housing many citizens in time of war.
Bangar Island is linked to other parts of Port Fandabbin by a network of subterranean waterways. These were created by the Dabbinans over many centuries
by adapting and extending a natural, underground river which has its source in Lake Glorz. The passages provide a means of secretly moving people, food,
and equipment around Port Fandabbin in time of war.
- Beehive was what Pelembras ('Pel') called the submersible 'escape' vessel that he built in enemy-occupied Belspire.
Made of timbers bound together with rope, and sealed with resin, it stood about one fathome [1.85 metres] high and had the same width (i.e. two paces).
It was designed to be covertly secured to the bottom of a river barge. As Shipwright General of Akrin, and having studied the major waterways of Arctequa
during the last war, Pel knew that the risks associated with using Beehive downstream from Belspire were acceptable, bearing in mind the urgent
need to get Blan and Memwin away from the enemy. Pel had invented various submersible vehicles in his early days, so he was well-prepared
to create Beehive in a hurry. Since creating Beehive, Pel has applied more of his submersible technology to help the Free Alliance.
- Boot Islands
- Four rocky islands on the northern and north-western sides of Port Fandabbin are called Shin, Ankle, Heel, and Toe Island, and collectively
the Boot Islands. As Shin Island rises no more than fifty fathomes [92.5 metres] above sea level, and the others no more than thirty
[55.5 metres], they appear low-lying against towering Nargar and Silver Islands. By ducal decree, the Boot Islands are reserved for wildlife,
particularly sea birds. The islands' extremely difficult terrain is unsuited to human habitation, and little would be gained by fortifying them.
Dabbin does, however, maintain a covert lookout position on Shin Island, and this can be reached from the citadel via a subterranean waterway.
- The ruling family of Krar has always used the surname Cankrar. 'Can' means 'leading family', and 'krar' refers to the sitar, the favourite
musical instrument of the original king. Long ago, the leader of each of the five organized clans to survive the Cataclysmic Changes
was elected clan king (hence the five 'original kings'), and these kings eventually became national leaders as their clans expanded, subdivided, and absorbed
unrelated itinerant families and loosely-bound communities. The five kings' families were the Antarcar, the Bel, the Cankrar, the Fairbonus, and the Jarlgem.
Only the Cankrar retain their royal domains to this day, the current head of the Cankrar family being Queen Rega. However, there are two branches
of the Cankrar dynasty: the royal branch, now led by Rega; and the grand viziers' branch, now led by Blancapaw.
Many centuries ago, a Cankrar king had twin sons and it became necessary to decide which of them would inherit the crown. One was about ten minutes older than
the other, and that was legally significant, but it was not considered to be conclusive. As it turned out, both twins grew up to be worthy leaders, but the second
twin possessed intellectual powers far beyond those of anyone else in the kingdom. For five years, the king and the Council of Nobles debated various alternatives,
and exhaustively consulted their citizens. At last, a new Constitution was drawn up under which power would be shared between the first twin, as king, and the second
twin, as grand vizier. The king would have the higher status, but the grand vizier would exercise many more of the powers of state, and would take the lead in matters
of international relations and, where necessary, warfare.
- Capital Chamber
- Capital Chamber is a large room in the top of Silver Tower, at the southwestern corner of Silver Castle,
the citadel of Port Fandabbin. The floor of the chamber is fifty fathomes [92.5 metres] above the top battlements of the castle,
one hundred fathomes above the castle's entrance, and two hundred fathomes above sea level. It can be reached by an elevator operated
by a team of animals (usually horses) and a system of pulleys; however, a new hydraulic elevator is now under construction.
A round room, with a diameter of twenty paces [18.5 metres], Capital Chamber has a slightly vaulted ceiling set about three fathomes above the floor.
Large windows afford all-round views of the port and beyond. The stone-paved terrace above the chamber is open to the sky and can be reached by a narrow,
spiral staircase. The terrace affords unrestricted views of Port Fandabbin, the surrounding countryside, and the nearby islands.
- Carlcan’s Heron
- Carlcan's Heron is the large, four-mast, Dabbinan warship currently on loan to Proequa. Last year, Carl lent her to Azimath for the voyage to
Nantport with Kem, Nwarpaw, Bonmar, Norsnette, and Aransette as passengers. Azimath then sailed the ship on a desperate mission to
Austra County and Slave Island. Later, when Azimath left Nantport with a fleet of warsloops, Carlcan's Heron
remained in Nantport to defend the harbour's entrance.
- Catastrophic War
- More than fifty millennia ago, an earlier civilization of humans was destroyed in what the Illumen have called the Catastrophic War. Powerful warlords
(in the guise of financial, political, and industrial leaders) deployed synthetic creatures with artificial brains to gain control over the world's resources
and human population, and to jostle with each other for dominance. This resulted in a period of war which eventually destroyed all but a few isolated vestiges
of the civilization and its technological achievements.
- Causeway Fort
- Causeway Fort guards the eastern end of the causeway between Silver Island and the landward city of Dabbinisca. Its purpose is to defend the island citadel
from landward attack should Dabbinisca be overrun. Its eastern gate (to the city) is strongly fortified and accessed only via a drawbridge across a moat. However,
the fort's western gate (to the causeway) is unfortified so as to facilitate a Dabbinan counterattack should the fort's eastern defences be overrun.
- Cave Island
- 'Cave Island' is the code name for an island in the eastern part of the Archipelago. The real identity of Cave Island is known only
to those specially authorized by the Duke of Dabbin, such as the members of his Citadel Legion. At sea level, the island conceals a large inner cavern which is
linked to Port Fandabbin via subterranean caverns and waterways. During the war of NW 790-795, the Dabbinans opened a secret exit from the inner cavern to the sea,
and dredged the approaches for shipping. This enabled them to smuggle supplies, and provided access for commando task forces when Port Fandabbin was besieged.
Cave Island sits above a marvellous system of underground caves, the largest of which is the spectacular Whirlpool Cavern.
- 'Chainer' is commonly used to refer to a member of the Order of Chains.
- The Chanangii (singular Chanangius) were a species of humanoid being that were adopted and genetically altered by the Vanantii
to undertake various roles for which most Vanantii were not physically capable. The Chanangii had the robust constitution needed to carry out heavy work
and to defend their sky ship. However, they were also highly intelligent and capable of great technical and scientific innovations of their own. Gifted
people of any species were able to qualify as Vanantii, but few Chanangii did so.
The Chanangii lived for up to 2,000 years, but they were reproduced by a method of cloning known only to the Vanantii of the highest 'grace'.
The remains of Charzagg, the last of the Chanangii to remain with Control, were discovered by Blan and Memwin last year. It is now believed that Charzagg
became a Vanantius at some time after he arrived on Earth, reached the 'third grace', and went on to design the Communicors and the Geodes, finally designing
and building the Actios.
- Chay-Enn River
- The Chay-Enn River flows out of the Chay-Enn Mountain range, and joins Southport River near the eastern border of Greater Dabbin.
It runs through an area that is usually well-populated (except in time of war when most of its people flee into the mountains or to Port Fandabbin), and
it provides the nomadic tribes with an important defensive barrier where their territory is most vulnerable to invasion. The river is also important
to the defence of Dabbin which has a longstanding alliance with the nomads, based on ancient kinship and a shared language (Tan-Chay-Enn).
- Citadel Castle (Proequa)
- Citadel Castle is the principal castle in Proequa City. It is where the Ducal Council meets in Council Chamber; and it is where Duchess Memwin spent her
early years, where her favourite haunt was the Citadel Library. It is also the castle from which the spectacular, spike-like Citadel Tower overlooks
the surrounding territory from a height of one hundred fathomes [185 metres] above the top of the citadel, two hundred fathomes above the highest parts of the
distant coastal ridge, and three hundred fathomes above the harbour just four miles away. Thousands of years ago, when Proequa was established and the citadel built,
other cities were far away and difficult to get to, so the generic name 'Citadel Castle' rarely caused confusion. These days, it is often wise to say 'Citadel Castle,
Proequa' to avoid confusion.
- Citadel Library (Proequa)
- The Citadel Library is located in Citadel Castle, Proequa, and contains collections of books, maps, artefacts and
exhibits acquired over several thousand years. The collections are on a par with those of the greatest national libraries
of the world, such as those of Krarisca, Port Cankrar, and Port Fandabbin; only the library at Belspire was considered superior to all others.
Citadel Library was where Memwin first set about training her mind, and where she developed a deep interest in many subjects.
- Citadel Tower (Proequa)
- The tower of Citadel Castle in Proequa City was called simply 'Citadel Tower' because, in ancient times, other citadels were almost unknown.
Viewed from a suitable distance, Citadel Tower looks like a spike coming out of the top of the city. Its top terrace overlooks Proequa from a height
of one hundred fathomes [185 metres] above the top of the citadel, two hundred fathomes above the highest parts of the distant coastal
ridge, and three hundred fathomes above the harbour just four miles away. Although its height above sea level is a mere tenth of that of Mount Equa,
the tower is still a breath-taking sight as it reaches up out of the tall castle and citadel below it. Memwin enjoyed viewing the world from the top of
the tower, and Praalis found it instructive whenever he visited Proequa.
- The Communicor system was developed by the Chanangii to exploit Earth's
energy potential during the ice age that prevailed at the time; it also served to enable separate colonies to
communicate across the Earth's surface. Blan believes that the system consisted of several parts: three great
Communicors (Occidental, Oriental and Arctic), a network of crystalline links between them, and the 'Crystal Caves'
or 'Geodes' which made up the regional communication points.
- Congress of Lieutenants
- When Nellinu's Southport Youth Spy Network expanded and became too much for him to manage alone, he invited his
most able agents to form a Congress of Lieutenants to advise him, and to make important decisions in his absence.
Mindful of how his parents' carefully laid plans for their family fell apart when the enemy invaded, he set
out to make sure that his own plans could, if necessary, be carried on without him; he wanted his network to have 'a life of its own'.
- Vanantii Expeditionary Ship Number 586 Central Control Processor is the device that governs the great sky ship parked at Belspire.
Blan, of course, shortened the name to 'Control' and those who know about it follow her example. Control's 'synthetic intelligence' is of a level far beyond
anything created by humans, and it was built to the design of the Vanantii using the ACTIO method. As the ship number might imply, there could be many other
'Controls' out in the cosmos somewhere. Control came to Earth by accident, so the information it has about the previous human civilization, and about the
Catastrophic War, must have been in its memory already; in other words, it must have come from earlier visits to Earth by other Vanantii craft which did
manage to get away and report their findings to the Supreme Council of the Vanantii. Control appears to be contained within a large tablet of crystalline
'rock' measuring approximately twenty-four paces in length [about 22 metres], fifteen paces in width [about 14 metres], and standing three-quarters of a fathome
high [about 1.4 metres]. It is surrounded by four subsidiary units of the same size and appearance, all within the lower chamber of the sky ship.
- Council Chamber (Proequa)
- The Council Chamber in Citadel Castle, Proequa, is the room in which the Ducal Council meets. When Blan went there, it was lavishly furnished:
deep carpets, a huge mahogany conference table, and numerous mahogany chairs; the chairs were padded with cushions packed with cotton and lined
with silk; the walls were lined with heavy, colourful tapestries depicting former rulers, including tragic Fenfenwin, Memwin's mother. According
to Count Tor, the only change since then has been the addition of a tapestry depicting Duchess Memwin reading from a large book.
- Dabbin is a duchy on the western coast of Arctequa. The current ruler of Dabbin is Duke Carlcan (b. NW 754), head of the Fandabbin
family. Dabbin's core territory lies south of the Tan Mountains, west of River Glorz,
and north of Southport River, but its protection and law are accepted by communities for many leagues beyond those boundaries, in the region called
'Greater Dabbin'. In time of war, most of Dabbin's population seeks refuge in Port Fandabbin, or in the forts along the coast, or in the secret ravines
and caves of the Tan Mountains.
- Dabbinan Court of Crimes
- All crimes committed within Greater Dabbin, including its territorial waters, are tried before the Court of Crimes. There are a total of eleven judges,
including the president of the court, but most cases only require three of them. The president of the court is the duke, but he does not usually participate
unless the crime is of particular public interest or the penalty severe (as in the case of piracy).
- The mainland city portion of Port Fandabbin is called Dabbinisca. To those who come from sparsely populated Occidentala, the city looks enormous;
Dabbinisca is about fifty times the size of Nessport, the largest town within one hundred leagues of Blan's birthplace. The walled city stretches along
the coast for seven miles and reaches as far as one league inland. After the destruction of old Belspire in NW 792, Dabbinisca became the largest city
in Western Arctequa and the second-largest (after Port Cankrar) in all Arctequa.
- Dragon boat
- A dragon boat is rugged longboat designed especially for speed and durability in rough seas. Typically, each end of the vessel is identical, so the
boat can be reversed without being brought about (the rowers merely change position). A carved 'dragon head' rises high up at each end, like a snake about
to strike; this to unsettle enemies (if the boat being full of archers and spear throwers is not enough). Each boat can hold up to twenty seated oarsmen
who are usually also armed as archers, and a typical dragon boat will have standing room for another ten soldiers (for when the water is calm enough).
Dragon boats are designed to be carried aboard large ships in much the same way as standard longboats. However, they are increasingly deployed in flotillas,
unattached to any particular ship.
- Ducal Council
- The Ducal Council consists of five counts and five countesses elected by the aristocracy and merchants of Proequa. Its current function is to act as
the guardian of the child duchess, Memwin, and to administer the duchy on her behalf. It meets in the Council Chamber in Citadel Castle.
- Earth Wizard
- In Krar, any kind of scientist employed by the government is called an 'earth wizard'. Before the Geodes were discovered, a small corps of earth wizards
was engaged in a wide variety of scientific exploits, such as the study of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and magnetic devices. However, since the
discovery of the Geodes, many more earth wizards have been recruited and trained to deal with them, and the designation 'Earth Wizard' has become synonymous
with those who operate and maintain Geodes.
- Fairbonus is the family name of the leading clan of Occidentala. For thousands of years, the senior member of the senior branch of the family would become
king. However, the senior branch died out in BNW 525, and none of the other branches was considered prominent enough to provide a new king. Occidentala then
became a land of independent counties ruled by elected officials, and public expression of aristocratic titles was abandoned. Nwarpaw (Blan's mother) and
Nightsight are members of the same branch of the Fairbonus clan (Nightsight's father is Nwarpaw's seventh cousin).
- Fandabbin is the name of the leading family of Dabbin. The senior member of the family has always
been accepted as the ruling duke, the current duke being Carlcan (b. NW 754) son of Joldor son of Kascan. The family is very large and includes
Serunipa (b.NW 768).
- Fathome (measurement)
- An 'Earth fathom' or 'fathome' has long been standardized to equal one-thousandth of a mile [i.e. a 'sea mile' or 'geographical mile' of
1,850 metres, so a fathome is 1.85 metres or 72.83 inches]. By tradition, the fathome is used to measure vertical distance rather than horizontal distance
for which the 'pace' is used; the concept of the fathome started as a measure for plumb lines in terms of arm spans.
- Finger (measurement)
- A 'finger' was originally the width across the middle joint of the little finger (i.e. the interphalangeal articulation between the Proximal
and Intermediate phalanges of the little finger), and hence it varied from person to person. The requirements of trade caused the measurement to be standardized
as one-hundredth of one fathome [i.e. 1.85 centimetres, or a little less than 3/4 inch].
- Fluted Cloud
- Fluted Cloud is an Akrinan quimal. Admiral Wayhooay used it as his flagship when he returned to Arctequa from Akrin earlier this year.
- The old barque from Nessport was renamed Freedom when it was restored. Azimath had it fitted out with kite sails for reaching and running, and with
a leeboard for shallow water. Azimath, Kem, and Nwarpaw set out in Freedom to rescue Blan from Jerkin and his pirates.
- Garden Chamber, Dabbin
- The Garden Chamber holds the main library of Silver Castle, Port Fandabbin, where Kem and his companions first met Carlcan Fandabbin.
It overlooks the ground level of Silver Garden in the centre of the castle. The chamber is about fifty paces [46.25 metres] wide and
one hundred paces long. Its roof, six or seven fathomes [approx. 12 metres] above the floor, is slightly domed, and is supported by many
- Gateway, the
- The Gateway is a navigable passage through the barrier reef dividing the shallower waters of the Archipelago from the deep, open sea
to the north. This quarter-mile wide gap is the only safe access within one hundred leagues of the Arctequan coast for ships approaching the Archipelago
from the north. It should not be confused with Gateway Island which lies at the entrance to Nantport harbour in Proequa.
- Geodes (also called a 'Crystal Chambers') are communication devices created by the Chanangii. They were rediscovered by Black Knight prior to the war of
NW 790-795. 'Geode' is always written with a capital G to distinguish it from the natural geological formations called 'geodes'.
- The giganbee is a huge bee found in the tropical jungles of south-eastern Arctequa. A fully-grown giganbee is the size of a human fist and will sting
perceived intruders with great enthusiasm. Although the orbears fear giganbees, they risk the painful stings to collect the bees' resinous, black honey
which has powerful medicinal properties. Giganbee honey is one of the orbears' two principal medicines, the other being the leaf of the Poultice Plant.
- Glorz Glory
- Glorz Glory, a four-mast warship, is the flagship of the Dabbinan river fleet. Like all the larger warships of the river fleet, it has a battle
deck (fortified platform) which can be hoisted up the main mast while the other three masts are rigged (square or fore-and-aft). A team of lookouts keep watch
from the battle deck when the ship is sailing at speed in hazardous waters, especially downstream. The battle deck is also used in wartime to allow the fleet
commander to direct military operations both ashore and on the river.
- Guild of Barge Skippers
- All skippers carrying passengers or cargo on River Polnet and its tributaries belong to the Guild of Barge Skippers. The guild serves as their trade
organization, as skippers are almost always owners or part owners of their craft; it is also their professional body for the purposes of regulating such
matters as training and safety. The guild members elect their own council which coordinates regular meetings with representatives of the various riparian
duchies, counties, and republics. These meetings serve to maintain a workable legal framework for trade and travel up and down the rivers.
- Hillside Inn
- Hillside Inn is a massive hotel of five levels built into the southern slope of a lone hill which stands above the riverbank on the north side of
the confluence of Plupo and Polnet rivers. Tended lawns lead down from the hotel to the ferry dock. The hotel serves as the principal stopping-off point
for any river trader, messenger, courier, barge crew, or vacationer whose journey may take more than one day; the hotel is usually fully occupied, or nearly so,
because the river system is by far the easiest and cheapest means of long-distance travel in the region.
Although there is no town as such, the hotel is nonetheless the centre of a thriving community of traders, manufacturers, and farmers who live and
work up and down the north bank of the Plupo. The hotel stables are also used by numerous international courier services, and by fast messengers on
state business. The area north of the Plupo is technically under the jurisdiction of the city state of Quolow, although most matters are dealt with
at a local level by an elected, regional council.
The manager of Hillside Inn is a cousin of both Quirretan the well-known farmer and dog trainer, and President Questan.
- The Illumen were originally a group of gifted humans selected as pupils by Charzagg's faction of the Chanangii. He hoped that humans might one day
develop an intelligent civilization fit for the community of the galaxy. He also saw this as long-term insurance for the completion of the sky ship's mission.
At first, these pupils were taught a few basic skills, and how to decipher glassy record sheets made by Charzagg for their benefit.
After the demise of the Chanangii, the Illumen formed a society of wise people, and that is when they started to call themselves 'Illumen' and their
senior members 'Lights'. The Illumen played an important role in helping bring humanity back out of the 'dark age' that followed the Catastrophic War, but
they maintained a low profile among other humans. Although political and social leaders were numbered among them (one being the first Grand Vizier of Krar),
they were sworn not to use their superior knowledge to dominate their fellow humans. From the earliest days, they predicted the birth of a human who would
have the mental and ethical aptitude to join the ranks of the Vanantii and to complete the mission of the sky ship (Vanantii Expeditionary Ship 586).
However, by about BNW 1200 the Illumen were so few, and so widely dispersed, that they all but disappeared from human history. All the same, the man who
played the most crucial role in defining Praalis' career was, unbeknown to Praalis, the Illumen Grand Light Wykukyte (pronounced 'Why-koo-kai-tay', which
name can be translated as '498A'), the grandfather of Grand Light Zite ('500A') who secretly helped Praalis find some of the Visitors' records in Belspire library,
and who now advises Blan. So, the Illumen have played an important part in the chain of events that led to Blan's adventure and to her rise to prominence.
- Inner Wall
- Although there are other walls called 'inner wall' in a local context, such as the one surrounding the citadel in
Proequa City, the expression 'Inner Wall' (with capital letters) refers to the defensive wall dividing Dabbinisca
from Township Farms. The broad top of Inner Wall serves as a military highway between the coast and Junction Bastion
on Outer Wall. Inner Wall defends the city from any attack via Township Farms; it also allows the movement of troops between
the harbour fleet and Junction Bastion away from congested city streets.
- Jarlgem is the surname of one of the two southern royal families, and the leading family of one of the five organized clans to survive
the Age of Dust and Moving Seas. Although the Jarlgems' kingdom was mysteriously 'lost' before the Nightless Week, and has not been heard
of for more than eight hundred years, there are members of the Jarlgem family still around today, notably the famous pirate-queen Penntrafa, her descendants,
as well as Pennammith and Pencar, the children of her nephew Penndarah the 'Red Pirate'.
- Junction Bastion
- Junction Bastion is so called because it stands at the junction of Port Fandabbin's Outer Wall and Inner Wall. It is a roundel fort of immensely strong
construction. Its location, at the eastern end of Inner Wall, makes it a more central point of defence for Port Fandabbin than the eastern gate because
it is closer to the naval facilities at River Docks. The bastion rises five fathomes [9.25 metres] above the top of Outer Wall which itself averages about
ten fathomes above Outer Plain. The upper terrace of the roundel is equipped with ten huge catapults, all set on a circular railway so they can be moved around
to aim in any direction.
- Dominating the western side of the eastern continent of Orientala, Krar is the richest and most populous nation in the world. It is a constitutional monarchy,
traditionally ruled by the Grand Vizier under the nominal leadership of the monarch. However, since the Massacre of the Nobles in NW 714, when the constitution
was illegally abandoned, the monarch has ruled under the malign influence of the Order of Chains.
The capital of Krar is Krarisca, 'the city of a thousand towers', which stretches five leagues along both sides of a mile-wide river. The two halves
of the city are linked by sixteen stone bridges constructed at one-mile intervals along the river; each bridge is adorned with its own buildings and docks.
Each of the northern half and southern halves of the city is enclosed by a dark granite wall. An isthmus-like spur of the southern wall stretches up the side
of a tall hill to enclose Royal Castle, the military headquarters of the kingdom.
After the Massacre of the Nobles, the city and its life underwent many changes. First, the cherry trees that had lined the long avenues of Krarisca were
destroyed on the pretext that falling branches posed a danger to traffic; however, leaked documents show that the real reason was to clear the streets for
mounted troops to more easily suppress popular unrest. Also, public musical performances were banned on the pretext of anonymous complaints about noise, although
some say that this was part of a policy of suppressing any gatherings that might become foci for political dissent. Furthermore, the use of the city's
finest institutions, such as its world famous Sports Academy, were increasingly priced beyond the means of ordinary citizens as the wealth and prosperity of
the country became increasingly concentrated in the hands of Chainers, their cronies, and the compliant rich. Similar effects were experienced in
other towns and cities across Krar; however, because the Chainers have preferred to remain a relatively small, tight-knit group, they have never had the numbers
to spread too far beyond the larger towns, and their influence has been patchy in the poorer and more remote regions.
The elite of Krarisca speak the Kraran language with a distinctive accent, often described as 'songlike'. Praalis taught this accent to Blancapaw (although
she did not become aware of its significance until she came to Arctequa), and her excellent aural powers have enabled her to use it very effectively when she
has come into contact with Kraran soldiers.
- A league [5,555 metres] is equal to three Arctequan miles, or thirty stadia, or three thousand fathomes, or six thousand paces.
- Mangrove Robin
- First built for Branken Fandabbin (NW 690-778) in NW 732, Mangrove Robin is the four-mast Dabbinan warship that Admiral Nargin assigned to Serunipa
upon her appointment as a full naval captain. As Branken's granddaughter, Serunipa feels a special attachment to the ship. The ship is comparable in size and power
to the greatest ships of the Dabbinan navy, such as Glorz Glory, Carlcan's Heron, and Southswan, albeit not as large as Ancross, and
significantly smaller than a Kraran quimal. Mangrove Robin was almost destroyed late last year, but it has now been restored and modernized, with many
additional features inspired by the luxurious fittings aboard Ancross.
- Midsea Island
- Midsea Island is located in the Great Sea near the western end of the Archipelago. Stretching roughly three miles from east to west, and
two miles from north to south, the island features two hills of which the tallest, on the east side, is crowned with a watchtower. On the northern side of the island,
at the end of the valley between the two hills, a sandy cove affords the only safe haven for small craft; the island is otherwise surrounded by steep cliffs and
treacherous waters. Visiting ships must anchor north of the island and send longboats ashore. Following a long period of fruitless conflict and rival claims,
the island was recognised as neutral territory, and this has been supervised by the Dabbinan navy which patrols the Archipelago to facilitate fishing and to
discourage pirates. Intrepid pirates nonetheless manage to use the island from time to time to repair their ships or hide their booty.
- There is only one accepted measure of a mile: the Arctequan or Great Sea Mile of two thousand paces [1,850 metres].
This measurement is based on the angular distance of one minute of the Earth's circumference (which is believed to have been stable at 21,600 miles for the last
20,000 or so years).
- Mount Equa
- Mount Equa is a dome-shaped volcano at the southernmost end of the Arctequa Backbone. It is generally believed to be extinct. It rises three thousand fathomes
[5,550 metres] above sea level and dominates the landscapes of Proequa, Austra County and Slave Island. Although it is located on the equator, it is permanently
capped with snow. A spur on its western side terminates in the hill on which Proequa City is built. The mountain was formed during the upheavals of thirty thousand
years ago when it buried much of the remains of an earlier volcano.
- The principal port of Proequa is called Nantport, also Tantport. The reason for the two names is lost in history, or perhaps there is no reason. Some speculate
that the two alternate names arose from the fact that 'ta' and 'na' sounded the same in the ancient Proequan language. On the other hand, the name of the ruling
family has always been 'Tant', never 'Nant', and the name of the port is always written as 'Nant' in official documents. Another common confusion arises from the
distinction between 'Nantport' and 'Nantport Harbour'. The former refers only to the town and dockland stretching along the water's edge, whereas the latter refers
to the body of water surrounded by mainland Proequa and Gateway Island.
- Nargar Island
- Nargar Island is on the western side of Port Fandabbin. Like its neighbour to the south, Bangar Island, it is topped by a beacon fort, ostensibly to warn
shipping about nearby rocks. However, both islands are decked with concealed fortifications, and each contains a vast network of tunnels and caverns capable of
housing many citizens in time of war. Nargar Island is linked to other parts of Port Fandabbin by a network of subterranean waterways. These were created by
the Dabbinans over many centuries by adapting and extending a natural, underground river which has its source in Lake Glorz. The passages provide a means of
secretly moving people, food, and equipment around Port Fandabbin in time of war. Nargar Island is by far the largest of the three fortified islands, and has
the capacity to hold the greatest number of refugees.
- Navigation Committee
- The Navigation Committee of the large sky ship at Belspire (that is, Vanantii Expeditionary Ship Number 586) was made up of the twenty most senior Vanantii
aboard. They all passed away more than twenty thousand years ago, but Control holds their mental processes in its memory, and this enabled them to communicate
with Blan when she was in a Separation trance.
- Nightless Week
- The Nightless Week was a period of cosmic upheaval 801 years ago when swarms of highly magnetic and radioactive meteoroids passed close to the Earth causing
'nightless' periods, one of which lasted for about a week. The event gave rise to mysterious changes in the genetic code of various species, including that of
human beings. The most obvious change for humans was that the skin complexion of the newly born was no longer determined by ancestry, but by random influences.
The social consequences included the adoption of a new calendar, with the year of the Nightless Week becoming Year Zero (or 'NW 0').
- Ninden is the name of the Jarlgem royal sabre, preserved for posterity by a wayward ancestor of Penndarah's family. Pennammith saved it after
her father's murder, and she handed it over to her brother, Pencar, when she deemed the time right.
- Occidentala is the (little-used) formal name of the continent west of Arctequa. Although numerous mariners have circumnavigated the world over the last
five millennia, the lands and coasts of the western side of Occidentala are little known by those living around the Great Sea, except for the belief that they
are either inhospitable or inaccessible (depending on whom one asks). The same applies to the lands and coasts of the eastern side of the eastern continent,
Orientala. Most people think of Arctequa as the 'central' continent, probably because that is where civilization was reborn during the Age of Recovery.
- The orbear is a hybrid of orang-utan and bear, arising from genetic mutation at the beginning of the Age of Dust and Moving Seas (circa 30,000 BNW).
The appearance of an orbear is closer to that of an orang-utan than to that of a bear, but adults grow in size and power to rival or exceed that of the
largest bears. One of the most senior orbear matriarchs is Ooggah.
- Order of Chains
- The Order of Chains is a secret society based in Krarisca. The full story of the origin of the Order is a mystery known only to a few insiders.
Count Prokkanix I was the Grand Master at the time of the Massacre of the Nobles, and some say that he was the one most responsible for turning what
was previously just a clan of petty criminals into a sophisticated secret society having enormous influence within the government and commerce of Krar.
The core beliefs of the Order are: all outsiders can and should be manipulated into serving the Order's interests, and that there are no ethical constraints
on how to deal with outsiders. There are a number of levels of membership, all limited to those who are members of the founding clan or who come from families
with a strong historical connection to the founding clan; the closer his connection, the higher a talented member is likely to rise in the ranks.
The highest rank is the Grand Master, followed by the Masters. The Masters jostle for seniority through a complicated process of patronage, cronyism, and
achievement; this provides a measure of internal democracy. The Grand Master is the highest authority, but he needs a certain level of consensus and support
from the Congress of Masters. Ordinary members, under the rank of Master, are sworn to obedience and have no direct say in policy. Members of the order are often
called 'Chainers'. Although the Chainers allow the (usually young) women in their employ to believe that advancement to membership is possible for them, there
is no evidence to suggest that a woman has ever been accepted as a Chainer. Even Sakscren did not become a member; although, in her case,
once she had married the heir to the throne, it was not necessary because the Chainers needed her as much as she needed them.
- Orientala is the formal name of the continent east of Arctequa. Although numerous mariners have circumnavigated the world over the last five millennia,
the lands and coasts of the eastern side of Orientala are yet little known by those living around the Great Sea, except for the belief that they are either
inhospitable or inaccessible (depending on whom one asks). The same applies to the lands and coasts of the western side of the western continent, Occidentala.
Most people think of Arctequa as the 'central' continent, probably because that is where civilization was reborn during the Age of Recovery.
- Outer Plain (Dabbin)
- Outer Plain is the area of lower ground, a shallow valley of sorts, which provides a treeless, mile-wide, buffer zone between the Outer Wall of Port Fandabbin
and the wooded hills of Dabbin's hinterland. Used in peacetime for raising horses and sheep, it contains some homestead and daytime shacks, and is divided by many
fences. However, in wartime, it provides a defensive area where an approaching army (any strangers, for that matter) can be monitored by the guards on Outer Wall.
- Outer Wall (Dabbin)
- Outer Wall protects the northern and eastern sides of Dabbinisca, and then follows the crest of a natural ridge southward to Southport River. With the deep
trench along its eastern side, the wall is the principal landward defensive barrier around Port Fandabbin. It rises ten fathomes [18.5 metres] above Outer Plain,
but less than that above the city which is built on the same high ground. The trench along the outside of the wall is another ten fathomes deep in most places,
so attacking soldiers would have to scale a twenty-fathome barrier to attack the defenders at the top of the wall. The outer face of the wall is perfectly smooth,
and so hard that no known form of catapult missile can damage it. As in the case of Inner Wall, the highway atop Outer Wall is wide enough for ten carriages abreast,
or for a significant cavalry charge to dislodge enemies who might have succeeded in getting up there.
- Pace (measurement)
- A pace, originally one marching step, has been standardized as a half-fathome [92.5 centimetres]. By tradition rather than by law, the pace is used to measure
horizontal distance (that is, across land or, by analogy, sea) rather than vertical distance (for which the fathome is used).
- Pelfa is the name of the country on the northern border of Akrin. Like Akrin, it is a maritime nation, albeit less populous and less powerful. Its rulers
call themselves kings and are indeed independent rulers; however, for ceremonial purposes outside their own territory, they are considered to be lower in status
than the princes of Akrin, and no higher than the dukes of Dabbin and Proequa. Nonetheless, Pelfa and Akrin have friendly relations with each other, and a similar
history of alliances and treaties with other countries, including Krar. They often cooperate in matters of external affairs. The capital of Pelfa is
Pelfisca (usually called 'Pelfa City'), and its people call themselves Pelfans.
- Polnet Mountain Port
- Polnet Mountain Port is the port closest to the mountains from which the Polnet River flows (the Arctequa Backbone). The port is near the top of the valley
that lies between Upper Polnet Range (to the south) and Great Polnet Range (to the north), both of which join the Arctequa Backbone to the east. Upstream of
Polnet Mountain Port there are numerous bridges crossing Polnet River, but no ports; downstream, there are ports, but no bridges.
- Port Fandabbin
- Port Fandabbin is the main population and trading centre of Dabbin, and it serves as the principal city for all the lands along Southport River as far upstream
as its confluence with Polnet River. The name is often used to refer to the whole area containing the walled city of Dabbinisca, the main harbour and adjacent islands,
Township Farms, and River Docks. For a long time it was the third largest city in Arctequa, after Belspire and Port Cankrar; it became the second largest when
Belspire was destroyed in NW 792.
- Poultice Plant
- The poultice plant is a large-leafed, medicinal plant used by the orbears. It is found in tropical jungle in the south-east of
Arctequa. It is one of the orbears' two principal medicines, the other being giganbee honey.
- Pozakrin is the surname of the ruling family of Akrin ('poz' means 'leading family'). The current prince of Akrin is Telkooay III
('Telko', b.776) great-grandson of Elkooay III whose sister, Silquooay (NW 686-714), Praalis' tragic fiancée, was murdered by agents
of the Order of Chains in the Massacre of the Nobles (described in the Prelude to Grand Vizier of Krar: Strings of Destiny.
According to Akrinan legend, the Pozakrin family is a cadet branch of the Antarcar family; some say it is the only surviving branch.
- Praamamouth Tower
- Praamamouth Tower is a castle at the mouth of the River Praama. The castle is on the south side of the river, ten leagues south of Colonial Palace in Port Cankrar.
It is about four hundred paces [370 metres] square at its base. The northern and eastern walls of the castle serve as docks for ships as large as quimals. The castle
is topped by a watchtower which also serves as a lighthouse for ships approaching Port Cankrar from the south. A Geode was housed in the castle just before Black Knight
started his war of conquest in NW 790, and it remains there to this day.
- Proequa is the name of the small, densely-populated duchy in the far southwest of Arctequa. For millennia it has been a world-class focal point for
international trade, and for the dissemination of leaning and language. The Common Maritime language now used throughout the known world started as a
simplified form of the ancient Proequan language, and gained popularity as a result of the prominence of Proequan merchants in maritime trade. The capital
is Proequisca, more commonly called 'Proequa City', and its principal port is called Nantport (or Tantport). Nantport Harbour is one of the great harbours
of Arctequa, comparable with those of Port Cankrar and Port Fandabbin. The duchy is ruled by the hereditary head of the Tant
family; when the head of the family is a child, the duchy is ruled on her behalf by the Ducal Council, as in the case of the current duchess, Memwin (b.795)
daughter of Fenfenwin.
- The quinquemali or 'quimal' is a huge warship with five gigantic masts. Most Kraran quimals are about one stadium [185 metres]
in length and twenty to twenty-five paces abeam [i.e. around 20 metres], and hence significantly larger than other ships (except Queen
Rega's royal flagship which has seven masts). Akrinan quimals tend to be longer and faster than Kraran quimals, although every quimal
is very fast when the wind is behind her. A quimal will usually carry at least five hundred crew and soldiers, but can carry up to one thousand
if necessary. A quimal is fitted with many large catapults, and these can be used with devastating effect against both naval and landward targets;
however, the Kraran navy is inhibited by the shortage of skilled mariners to meet the needs of its huge fleet. The names of most modern Kraran quimals
end in 'sha' (meaning 'warship' in Kraran); for example, Beamsha, Baysha, Sandsha, Tensha, and Pitsha. As for the
Akrinans, they are a maritime people with no shortage of mariners for their navy, and the names of Akrinan quimals are more colourful: for example,
Fluted Cloud, Sunrise Plume, and Floating Feather.
- Quolow Defence Legion
- The armed forces of the Republic of Quolow are collectively called the 'Quolow Defence Legion'. The nominal head of the legion is the President
of the republic, but responsibility for day-to-day business is divided between three generals and one admiral. In peacetime, the busiest commander is the
admiral. This is because Quolow has been engaged by the other riparian states to patrol the whole of the Polnet River and its tributaries on their behalf
for the sake of the vital river trade.
The three generals are respectively responsible for the City Guard, the Country Guard and the Commando Guard. Each of these has a small corps of
professional officers and a much larger corps of reservists who are incrementally called up as the prospect of war approaches. Next in rank to the generals
are the brigadiers, one of whom is the paymaster; notwithstanding his title, the paymaster is responsible for all the administrative functions of the legion,
including budgets, payroll, supplies, and records. The office of paymaster would be a powerful position in the hands of an ambitious person, but it is
invariably given to one who is, by reason of advanced age and sombre experience, beyond much ambition.
- Quolow Guild for Search and Rescue Dogs
- Questan and his cousin Quirretan are both patrons of the Quolow Guild for Search and Rescue Dogs. The difficult terrain in the vicinity of Quolow
(especially in the marshes, in the labyrinthine tunnels under and around the city, and in the barren lands around North Plupo Range and Chay-Enn mountains)
has always driven a great need for search and rescue services, so the guild is as old as the city itself.
Members of the guild train their dogs to understand
and obey instructions given in a secret language known only to guild members and their dogs.
- Rescue Companions
- The eleven companions who set out from Midsea Island with Count Nargin to rescue Blancapaw were called the 'Rescue Companions' by Azimath. They were
Kem and his wife, Nwarpaw; Bonmar; Azimath and his fiancée, Starinette; the twins, Norsnette and Aransette; Nightsight; the brothers, Camb and Pyran; and
the reformed pirate, Crowmar.
- River Docks
- River Docks stretches three leagues along Southport River, from the river's mouth in the west to Seventh Fort in the east. River Docks is Dabbin's port
for trade with the other nations with access to Southport River and its tributaries; the two most important nations in this respect are Belspire and Quolow.
River Docks also serves as a naval base for a significant fleet of warships, to defend Dabbin's inland interests.
- Royal Castle
- Royal Castle is the military headquarters of the Kingdom of Krar. It stands about two leagues south of the Krar River, high in the hills
overlooking Krarisca. A spur of the city's southern wall reaches up a tall hill to enclose the castle as though it were an island joined to
the city by a narrow isthmus. Until recently, it was Black Knight's headquarters in Krarisca, but it has now been taken over by Queen Rega's Chainer advisers.
It is the location of a number of Geodes and the workplace of the most senior Earth wizards.
- Seventh Fort
- Seventh Fort is a bastion of natural granite which has been fashioned and adapted over the years into one of the strongest fortifications around Port Fandabbin.
It is located where Outer Wall meets Southport River, three leagues from the sea. It is therefore both the easternmost fort of River Docks and the southernmost
bastion of Outer Wall.
- Silver Castle (Dabbin)
- Silver Castle is the citadel of Port Fandabbin and the home of the ruling family. The citadel consists of a complex of
fortifications dominated by the castle keep. The castle is built on Silver Island's flat top, an area approximately three-quarters of a mile
square. Externally, the keep appears to be a blocky structure five hundred paces [462.5 metres] square and fifty fathomes [92.5 metres]) high,
except at its south-western corner where Silver Tower reaches up another fifty fathomes to overlook the port from more than two hundred fathomes
above sea level. There is a large garden called Silver Garden in the centre of the castle keep. Most of the castle's accommodations
are not in the keep, but in the passages and chambers delved into the rock beneath the castle. The island, castle, and tower are of granite (not silver),
but flecks of quartz in the rock give them a silvery-grey appearance. When the sun is at an appropriate angle, an observer in a ship twelve leagues away
may see the top of the tower shining like a star.
The only public access to the citadel is via a railway track on which carriages are drawn by cables. The carriages are hauled up the steep incline on
the eastern side of the castle and through a tunnel opening just below the foot of the castle's outer wall. Then, they pass underneath the keep and into
the courtyard on its western side where the official entrance to the keep is located. Within the courtyard, the cables are wound around two horizontally
suspended wheels, each turned by a team of elephants. The railway then follows a semicircular path before descending to the causeway through another tunnel.
Carriages are manoeuvred on and off the railway at each end with the help of horses, so the railway can carry a succession of carriages, one after the other,
with little delay between them. There are, of course, many other ways to enter the vast complex of chambers hidden within the island, but all except
the railway are either secret or heavily guarded and restricted.
- Silver Caves (Dabbin)
- Silver Caves is the name of the underground system of waterways beneath Port Fandabbin. The name refers to the specks of quartz in
the rock which shine like silver in torchlight.
- Silver Dock (Dabbin)
- Silver Dock is a boat dock within Silver Caves. It is the closest one to the citadel, and is the first one reached by the underground
river. It marks the beginning of Silver Caves, and is located somewhat north of Silver Island's coast, albeit inside the same rock formation.
- Silver Garden (Dabbin)
- Silver Garden consists of six open terraces within the keep of Silver Castle. The main terrace at ground level is three hundred paces [277.5 metres] square;
and there are five terraces surrounding the main terrace, each ten paces [9.25 metres] wide and seven fathomes [12.95 metres] above the one below. The terraces
all feature many skylights for the benefit of the accommodations below them. A system of mirrors ensures that maximum sunlight is admitted to most parts of the
garden at all times of the day.
- Silver Island (Dabbin)
- Silver Island is a flat-topped, rocky outcrop, about two (sea) miles square and a hundred fathomes [185 metres] high. It is located in the middle of the
harbour of Port Fandabbin. Its largest fortification is Silver Castle. However, a vast network of caves and tunnels is hidden beneath, including the Silver Caves
from which an underground river provides access to the other island strongholds around the harbour. The natural tunnels and caves, adapted and extended by the
Dabbinans over many centuries, provide refuge for the civilian population of Port Fandabbin when the city is under siege.
- Silver Tower (Dabbin)
- Silver Tower is at the south-western corner of the keep of Silver Castle. The lower fifty fathomes [92.5 metres] of its height is hidden within the structure
of the keep, but the upper fifty fathomes appears to emerge seamlessly from the keep and taper toward the top terrace from which Port Fandabbin and its surroundings
can be viewed from a height of more than two hundred fathomes above the sea. Immediately beneath the top terrace, and connected to it by a small spiral stairway,
is the Capital Chamber which serves as the duke's headquarters in time of war. Capital Chamber can be reached from the ground floor by stairs as well as by elevator.
The elevator is raised and lowered by teams of animals operating a winch. Taking the elevator to the top of the tower can be a frustrating experience for anyone in
a hurry; there are strict safety protocols enforced by a duty supervisor, and following these takes time. However, the one-stage elevator in the tower is quicker
than the multiple-stage, counterweight elevators as used elsewhere in Port Fandabbin, such as those used to reach the forts on Nargar and Bangar Islands.
Blancapaw and Pelembras are currently designing a faster, hydraulic lift for the tower, powered by a waterwheel set in the underground river.
- Sirsette Manor
- Sirsette Manor is a barony on the mountain border of Austra County. The manor house is the habitation closest to the secret mountain path between Proequa and
- Slave Island
- Slave Island is located three leagues off the southern tip of Arctequa. It was formed from the remains of an ancient volcano, its position
being on the southern side of the caldera. It is the base for about twenty thousand pirates, and more than one hundred battle-ready ships.
Another thirty thousand family members, and a large but varying number of servants, slaves, tradesmen, and others, also live on the island. Almost all the
population lives around the bay in the north of the island which also provides a safe haven for the ships. The south is sparsely inhabited, a mixture of
forest and rocky peaks reaching as high as three hundred fathomes [555 metres]). The island is surrounded by treacherous reefs which all the local skippers
learn to navigate, but discourage others from doing so, and this provides the island with its most effective means of defence against any large-scale invasion.
- Southport Youth Spy Network
- The Southport Youth Spy Network is an organization of child spies formed by Nellinu. He started by recruiting friends who lived in his area, near the confluence
of Polnet and Southport rivers, but the network grew rapidly as his lieutenants recruited their own friends who, in turn, recruited others. The network has proved to
be an invaluable asset of the Free Alliance in its struggle against the invaders from Krar.
- The Southswan is a Dabbinan supply ship. It is used to patrol the Archipelago as far as Midsea Island, its mission often being to replenish the
Dabbinan warehouse there. The former Chief Admiral, Count Nargin, would often disguise himself as a merchant passenger when sailing in Southswan to inspect
the Dabbinan naval defences across the Archipelago.
- Stadia (length)
- One stadium (also known as a 'cable') is two hundred paces [185 metres]. There are ten stadia in one mile.
- Sunken Kingdom
- The Sunken Kingdom is the name of an area of submerged land off the eastern coast of Arctequa. Few people know when or how it became inundated, or
what happened to its inhabitants. However, those who sail close enough to those treacherous waters can see the tops of ruined towers poking up above the waves.
- Supreme Court of Slave Island
- The pirates of Slave Island have their own legal system and their own court which they call the 'Supreme Court of Slave Island'. Most of their law, as well
as their court procedure, is adopted from other countries and then liberally adapted to their own peculiar needs and preferences. Pirates tend to know a lot about
the criminal laws of the countries they visit; of the many pirates who gain practical experience of foreign laws, some manage to escape to tell their tales.
- Swampland Castle
- Early in the war of NW 790-795, Black Knight decided to develop Swamp Lake into a base for quimals. The place is about halfway along Harbeet River in
Southern Punandin, and it is nominally under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Congloot City. By the time the war ended and Black Knight had withdrawn his forces
from Western Arctequa, a large dock had been constructed at the northern end of the lake; however, the short waterway (called Swamp Stream) that links the lake
to the river had not yet been dredged, so shipping could not reach the dock from the river. The dock then fell into the hands of an ambitious and ruthless criminal
called Tenmar who converted it into his own stronghold, called himself a 'baron', and called his new fortress 'Swampland Castle' (although the name is so generic
in the regional dialect that local people often substitute 'Swamp Castle' or 'Swampside Castle' for 'Swampland Castle').
- Tan Mountains
- The Tan mountain range is on the northern border of Dabbin, and it is the source of both the Glorz River and the Tannic River.
The coastal foothills, and those near the upper reaches of the Glorz and Tannic rivers, are the most densely populated areas
of Dabbin outside of Port Fandabbin itself. There are many secret valleys and caves in the mountains where the local population
can take refuge in time of war.
- The ancient language of the Dabbinans is called Tan-Chay-Enn. The name reflects the historic origins of most of the
Dabbinan peoples: that is, an amalgamation of the Tan tribes from the north, the Chay tribes from the deserts south of Southport River, and the Enn tribes from
the steppe to the east of the Chay homeland.
- The Tant family is the ruling family of Proequa. Although surnames in Proequa are usually passed on from the
male line, female rulers have always adopted the Tant name and passed it on to their children. One of the many ways in which Memwin is unusual is that she has adopted
both her father's surname (Cankrar) and her mother's surname (Tant), and she uses whichever one suits her purpose at the time. The surname 'Tant' should not be confused
with the name 'Tantport' by which Nantport is also known. As 'tan' meant 'leading family' in the ancient Proequan language, some scholars say that the name 'Tant' was
shortened long ago, before Proequa was settled, and was formerly 'Tantollanette' ('Tollanette' being an ancient name for the Polnet River).
- See Nantport.
- Township Farms (Dabbin)
- Township Farms is an area used for intensive agriculture (for example, market gardens) and is capable of supplying a major portion of the food needed
by the population of Port Fandabbin. Its northern boundary, Inner Wall, is more than four miles long; its eastern boundary, the southern half of Outer Wall,
is eight miles long; its western boundary is twelve miles of coast; and its southern boundary is Southport River or, more accurately,
the defensive wall north of River Docks. Township Farms contains an area of between forty-five and fifty square miles, depending on what exactly
is included and how it is measured. Originally part of the Southport River delta, a desert of sand dunes divided by numerous waterways,
the area was altered over many centuries: irrigated, fertilized, and cultivated mostly for vegetables. In addition to the farm buildings, there are also many
villas in Township Farms occupied by city workers and mariners not engaged in agriculture.
Except for the navigable channel that separates Bangar Island from the mainland, the sea floor along the coast of Township Farms slopes away very
gradually from the broad, sandy beach; ships can not come close to shore, and longboats need to be hauled a long way through the shallows before they
can be drawn up onto the beach. Even so, small fortifications have been installed at regular intervals along the beach so that an invasion that way might be
delayed until the civilian population of Township Farms is evacuated.
- The Vanantii (singular 'Vanantius') are a higher order of intelligent being from far away in the cosmos. A number of them landed on Earth nearly twenty-three
millennia ago. As Blan discovered, being of the Vanantii was (and is) determined by one's state of mind rather than by one's membership of any particular species.
The evidence suggests that most of the Vanantii were frail by comparison with their Chanangii allies, and required controlled conditions to survive (at least,
this was the case for those aboard the sky ship stranded on Earth). The Vanantii did not long survive on Earth, whereas the robust Chanangii carried on for about
two thousand years. By proving that she had a sufficiently high intellect and ethical commitment, Blan became a member of the Vanantii and thereby gained access
to some of Control's secrets. However, she entered only at the first of five levels of 'grace', and she must strive to reach the higher levels. Only at the fifth
and highest level of grace will she have full access to Control's secrets, and each level is more demanding than the last. Achieving the fifth level will involve
the ultimate obligation: to complete the sky ship's mission by reporting the findings of the expedition to the Supreme Council. This will be a difficult mission
indeed, given that the sky ship is disabled, and that there has been no contact with other Vanantii since before the sky ship landed here!
- The Vanantii and the Chanangii are collectively referred to as the 'Visitors'.
- Wall Stream/Gulley (Dabbin)
- Wall Stream flows under Outer Wall, half-way between Junction Bastion and Seventh Fort. The stream flows in Wall Gulley which parts a broad neck of higher
ground stretching from the hills east of Outer Plain to the north-south ridge on which Outer Wall is built. As Wall Gulley approaches Outer Wall from the east,
the stream is dammed by the wall, and it forms a modest reservoir there. A long culvert allows some of the water to flow under the wall, so that the reservoir
will not overflow and cause flooding in Outer Plain during the rainy season. On the western side of the wall, the stream emerges from the culvert and veers
somewhat south-west where it eventually flows into Farms Dam, the principal water-supply reservoir of Township Farms, and then into Southport River. However, to allow
the vital fresh water supply from Wall Stream to reach Farms Dam, the defensive trench along the east side of Outer Wall is discontinued for several stadia on either
side of Wall Stream; this exposes the wall to enemy siege engines and makes Wall Stream the weakest point in Port Fandabbin's defensive shield against attack from
the east, as was discovered early this year when Outer Wall was nearly taken during the first Kraran attack.
- A warsloop is a fast vessel equipped with a massive 'kite' sail to enhance its speed downwind and on reaching courses. Smaller than warships, but larger than
dragon boats, warsloops typically carry a crew of thirty. They have been specially designed for naval warfare, particularly hit-and-run commando missions.
Although they sail well on the high seas, they excel in shallow water where an enemy warship can not follow, and where dragon boats are no match.
Azimath led a fleet fifty warsloops out of Nantport with great success.
Warsloops can be mass produced to a relatively simple design, and a fleet of warsloops will carry enough spare parts to ensure rapid repairs en route, and
even the speedy construction of new vessels to replace losses.
- Whirlpool Cavern
- Whirlpool Cavern is by far the largest known cavity in the rock beneath 'Cave Island'. At three hundred fathomes [555 metres] below sea level, it is also the
deepest (as far as anyone knows). It serves as the westernmost terminus of Port Fandabbin's subterranean communication and transport waterway. The whole rock roof
of the cavern is coated with luminous micro-organisms which glow in a surreal impression of a blue sky with white clouds, thus giving a 'daylight' atmosphere. The
lake that fills the cavern (except for a narrow ledge used as a dock) swirls around a central whirlpool which is thought to take the river further out into the
Archipelago where it flows into the sea from the side of an underwater cliff. The rock above the cavern is honeycombed with other caves and tunnels which have been
adapted to provide to sea level for travellers and their luggage; people and cargoes are hauled up and down across thirty successive stages by cadet officers of
the Citadel Legion.
- Aransette and Norsnette are twin sisters from Nessport, identical except for their colouring (which ceased to be an inherited trait
of humans after the Nightless Week). The twins, born in Nessport on 30th November, NW 783, were still students when they were abducted by Jerkin's
pirates. Both sisters are ninety fingers tall, strong, and have slightly aquiline faces. Aransette has blonde, wavy, shoulder-length hair; her eyes are black and
her complexion is pale. After a brief attraction to Crowmar, Aransette fell in love with Pretsan.
- Arbitha is Jerkin's house manager. Her sister Callika also works for Jerkin. Arbitha was born in Slave Island
on 14th July, NW 713. In NW 740, she married a pirate with whom she had eight sons in the course of the following twenty years. All her sons grew up to be ruthless
pirates but have since joined forces to develop a lucrative gold mine in the south of Slave Island.
Thirty or so years ago, Arbitha slew her abusive husband with his own cutlass when he took a cudgel to their youngest son. She was sentenced to be drowned
(a lenient judgement by pirate standards - as one judge said, "Slaying one of our own must be punished, but a mother of eight replacements should not suffer the worst...").
Events took a different course, however, and Arbitha found herself in Dabbin where she eventually took employment as Jerkin's assistant. Later, she was joined by her sister,
Callika. Both sisters returned to Slave Island with Jerkin when he fled Dabbin to set up as a pirate. By that time, Arbitha's crime and sentence had been forgotten (and
the record of it 'lost'). Short, and now frail, Arbitha has one visible tooth which appears to jab outward from her lower gum as she speaks.
- Arnapa Bel (aka Arnapa Sirsette, and other aliases)
- Arnapa is the half-sister of Carlcan Fandabbin (they had different fathers). Her parents, Prince Arnata LXI and Princess Arnapa, ruled Belspire until they
were murdered by members of the Order of Chains soon after the city was captured by Black Knight's army in September NW 792. Arnapa was born in Belspire
in NW 768, and had a supremely happy (but somewhat undisciplined) childhood and youth. Encouraged by her half-brother and his wife, her dear friend Parn, she
started training as a spy. When Parn became Spymaster General of Dabbin, Arnapa was her second-in-command, but they worked as equals: Parn coordinated operations
from Port Fandabbin while Arnapa, a master of disguise, operated as chief field agent. Parn, who had great organizational skills, did not wish to travel, so they
agreed that Arnapa would present herself to Dabbin's allies as the 'Spymaster General'. When Parn was murdered, Arnapa had to take on both roles, as well as
impersonate Parn when necessary to keep the murder secret.
Arnapa's grandfather was Arnata LX (NW 690-778) who, with his sister, Selnipa (NW 695-789), met Praalis in Port Cankrar in NW 715. They both feature in his diaries.
Arnapa's appearance varied greatly with her disguises. Now that she has finally been able to assume her role as ruler of Belspire and to rebuild the city, all
can see her as she really is. A mere itemization of her features (height 95 fingers; dark-brown, straight hair; pale-brown eyes; pale complexion; athletic build) belies
the fact that she is a woman of great beauty and extraordinary allure (which has proved useful to spying career, as in the case of her affair with Black Knight).
Arnapa, Nightsight, and Zeep have now formed an interesting threesome the exact nature of which has become the subject of considerable light-hearted gossip in
- Born in Kelpvill on 2nd August NW 765, Azimath is a skipper, shipwright, explorer, and Master Navigator of international renown. He comes from a long line of
Master Navigators and maritime innovators. In NW 742, Azimath's father, whose name was Almakant, met Praalis during a visit to Proequa; he remained there as Praalis'
student for nearly two years until Praalis left on a secret mission in the East. Praalis taught Almakant much of what he had discovered during his seventeen years
of study in the great libraries of Arctequa, leaving out only the secrets of the Communicors and the Separation. This knowledge enabled Almakant to equip his son,
Azimath, with knowledge far beyond that of any other mariner of the time, and this undoubtedly helped Azimath undertake many intrepid adventures and to establish
himself as the world's most famous navigator and explorer.
Azimath is about 100 fingers tall. He has short, black hair, grey eyes, a pale complexion, and is noted for his high 'intelligent' forehead. His ensign
displays three white stars on a dark blue canvas; the same ensign has been used by his family for many generations.
- Arn Bel
- Arn Bel was one of the five original kings who represented the five clans that survived the Catastrophic War and subsequent disasters (the other four original
kings were Antarcar, Cankrar, Fairbonus and Jarlgem). It is thought that he was born in Arctequa sometime in the 5th or 6th millennium BNW (i.e. before Nightless Week),
and certainly the most notable achievement of his life was the founding of the city of Belspire as the capital of the whole of Arctequa. Most of the ruling families
of Arctequa, and many other notable families, claim descent from Arn Bel in one way or another, but only the ruling princes of Belspire retain the Bel surname.
- Belampaw (Bela)
- Bela is one of Blancapaw's best friends in Prom Village; they grew up together, and both played lute at village concerts (Bela still does). Like Blan,
Bela was born in Prom Village in NW 793, and the 'paw' suffix in her name suggests that she is a first-born daughter. Like most other women in Prom Village, Bela
is shorter (in her case, by ten fingers) and somewhat stockier than Blan. Bela and Blan are third cousins through their mothers. Bela greatly admires Blan,
and is always glad to sing her praises. Blan is hopeful that Bela will soon be able to take a vacation in Port Fandabbin for a joyful reunion.
- Binpin was a corrupt Prime Minister of Dabbin, until he absconded and went over to the enemy. He is thought to have become very wealthy by taking bribes
from anyone who would pay them, including agents of the Order of Chains. He was born in Dabbin in NW 743 and is Jerkin's first cousin. A 'Wanted'
poster issued by the Dabbin police describes him as: "About 96 fingers tall; short hair, greying from brown; green eyes; brown complexion; puffy face".
- Black Knight
- The title 'Black Knight' has been used by every male heir to the throne of Krar, but Cakrocken Cankrar is the only one whose real name has been
all but replaced by the title (he tolerates the title, but prefers to be called 'Great One'). He was born in Krarisca on the 2nd January, NW 745, his parents being
King Paadoc (NW 681-745) and Queen Sakscren (NW 684-745). Cakrocken is unusually tall (112 fingers [approx. 6 feet 9.5 inches]), but his massively muscular build makes him
appear truly gigantic. His size and aggressive demeanour should be enough to identify him. However, for those who need further details, he has kept his head shaved
since the age of sixteen (some say that he started to go bald then), his eyes appear (to most observers) to be yellow, and his complexion is medium brown. He is also
very athletic, even into his mid-fifties. His cunning, power, and speed make him a most dangerous warrior in single combat, and yet he is also a brilliant strategist
and military commander. Until recently, he was Supreme Commander of the Kraran army and navy, and is still revered (and feared) as such by most of the rank and file
(despite his notoriously unpredictable behaviour).
Cakrocken exhibits a curious mixture of self-discipline, wisdom, and emotional naivety. Blan believes that the last is the result of his unfortunate
upbringing: unloved, except for a very restrained relationship with his much older sister, Queen Rega, who lacked any nurturing instincts;
and thrust into the unloving, manipulative hands of the Order of Chains whilst being far too smart to bow to their indoctrination, or to accept their authority.
Nonetheless, as the grandson of King Caroc (NW 647-716) who was universally revered and affectionately known as 'the old king', and of Queen Encala
(NW 645-712) who also earned the love and respect of her people, Cakrocken might still have some of the ancient Cankrar virtues hidden beneath the all too obvious flaws
in his personality.
Blancala (Praalis' mother) and Queen Encala were first cousins, so Black Knight is Blan's third cousin, once removed (as well as being a more
distant cousin on the Cankrar side).
Black Knight has sired many children, including Borckren and Craskren. However, he still believes in the phoney 'prophesy' that a 'Destined Princess'
would become his wife, queen, and mother of his dynasty. After first convincing himself that Fenfenwin was his 'Destined Princess', he abandoned that
idea when she offended him by (seemingly) committing suicide just to avoid him (she was actually murdered by Craskren, but Black Knight did not know this).
Later, he targeted Blan as his 'Destined Princess'. When Blan managed to thwart his ambition, he started to think that Fenfenwin had perhaps been his
'Destined Princess' all along and that their child, Memwin, was therefore his destined successor. That did not end his continuing lust for Blan, or his wish to
neutralize her power as a lawful grand vizier, but the need to possess her no longer seemed so urgent. All this does annoy Blan somewhat, but she tolerates it
because it fits her overall strategy of enhancing Memwin's political stature, as well as supporting anti-Chainer forces within the Kraran leadership.
Black Knight has had constantly changing moods concerning the Order of Chains: sometimes he has sought to embrace it, as when he encouraged Borckren
to enter its ranks; sometimes he has seen it as his rival, as when he deliberately puts its members in harm's way. Now that he is held prisoner by the Order,
Blan hopes that his attitude to it has become permanently negative.
- Blancala (NW 658-714) was Praalis' mother. She was murdered along with her husband, Grand Vizier Pelundlis (NW 652-714), in the Massacre
of the Nobles. She was a first cousin of Queen Encala (NW 645-712), the 'old queen'.
- Blancapaw (Blan)
- Blan was born in Prom Village on the 21st June, NW 783. Her father was to Kem Cankrar (then known as Kem Pondarath [i.e. first son of Pondar]), and her mother
was Nwarpaw Fairbonus. Blan's name has several parts: 'bla' means 'beautiful' in the local dialect, and it means 'of the highest order' in Kraran; 'n' is a meaningless
interfix in both languages; 'ca' is also meaningless in the local dialect, but means 'noble spirit' in Kraran; and 'paw' means 'first-born daughter' in Royal Occidentalan
(the ancient language of Central Occidentala). At seventeen years of age, Blan had finished her schooling and was self-employed in various crafts which she used to fund
her scientific experiments. Blan is now the lawful grand vizier of Krar, having been installed by her predecessor (i.e. her grandfather, Praalis) with the consent of her
father who wished to be passed over for the position.
A short description of Blan's appearance is as follows: she is tall (over 100 fingers, and still growing); she has long, 'flowing', light-gold hair; she has 'huge',
sky-blue eyes; she has a pale (or, as her friends joke, 'pink') complexion with a tendency to blush easily; and she has a 'round', 'engaging' face. All agree that she
is distinctive, not merely because of her beauty or picturesque appearance, but because she has what some describe as a compelling 'presence' or 'magnetism' which commands
trust and loyalty.
- 'Blansnette' is the nom-de-guerre used by Blan last year when she travelled north from Proequa in an attempt to reach Port Fandabbin overland.
The journey did not go as planned, but she found new friends, such as Questan, Pinja, and Pretsan.
- Blonderimel is the self-appointed 'pirate lawyer', and has been a 'Justice' of the Supreme Court of Slave Island for as long as anyone can remember.
Despite his distinctive appearance, his origin is shrouded in mystery, as are his qualifications for doing what he does. He is very tall and lean with unusually
long fingers; his hair, beard, and moustache are all silvery white; his eyes are almost colourless; his complexion is extremely pale ('as near to white as could
be possible for a human'); and he makes a practice of wearing white clothes, except for the brown frames of his spectacles. He carries a large white tome and
frequently refers to it when making a point; everyone assumes that it contains a definitive text on 'Pirate Law', but nobody has thought to question its
content or relevance.
- Bonmar was apprentice brewer to Kem before they both set off for Arctequa. He was born in Prom Village in June, NW 772; his father is
Tolanber, currently the Mayor of Prom Village, and his mother is Tanrock. Bonmar went to sea aged fourteen and became a Master Mariner by age twenty-one.
His career as a mariner ended when he lost his right leg to a shark while saving the life of his skipper, and he thereafter became a legend in maritime circles as
'Bonmar the Shark Fighter'. He has been described as short (91 fingers) and very thick-set, yet also 'wiry'; his hair is short, dark-brown, and thinning; his eyes
are bright blue; his complexion is very dark. His family is an example of the genetic impact of the Nightless Week: Bonmar is very dark, his father is quite pale,
and his mother is 'red' (or ochre), in each case a complexion randomly acquired shortly after birth.
- Borckren (Count)
- Apart from Memwin, Borckren was the most talented of Black Knight's many children, and one of the most evil (second only to his twin brother,
Craskren). He was born somewhere in Krar in NW 766, and brought up by the Order of Chains in which he rose to the rank of Master. At the same time as he was rising
through the ranks of the Order of Chains, he also rapidly rose to head the Kraran secret police. He is now officially 'missing', but the Free Alliance leadership know
that he was killed last year, near the mountain pass between Austra County and Proequa.
Borckren has been described as being 101 fingers tall; with short, black, curly hair; brown eyes; and a very aquiline face. He did not look very much
like his father, but he was nearly identical in appearance to his less able twin, Craskren.
- Bracken Fandabbin is a merchant, and a captain in the Dabbinan Navy Reserve. He is a good friend and third cousin of Carlcan Fandabbin, and the older brother
of Admiral Serunipa Fandabbin. He has a wife and three teenage children; his parents are Arnaken (born Jan. NW 716) and Carnatina (born NW 733);
his grandparents are Branken Fandabbin (NW 690-778) and Selnipa Bel (NW 695-789); his other sister is Salnipa (born NW 755). He was born in Port Fandabbin in
NW 753 and he is described as: 103 fingers tall; hair the colour of 'salt and pepper', short and straight; brown eyes; light-brown complexion; he is
strong enough to match swords (at least in training practices) with his cousin Carlcan, an expert swordsman.
- Callika used to be Jerkin's 'ship's doctor'. Her sister Arbitha also worked for Jerkin. Callika was born in Slave Island
in September, NW 718. She married long ago and became a widow without having any children. She followed her sister, Arbitha, to Dabbin where she trained in the
ancient arts of healing before returning to Slave Island with Arbitha and Jerkin. She has been described as 'short, frail, and notable for her eerie laugh'.
- Camb and his twin brother, Pyran, both mariners, are friends of Nightsight and regularly join him as crew members on Azimath's
voyages. The twins were born in Kelpvill in NW 770.
- Cammanth was a ruthless spy, hired by Borckren for the Order of Chains. She was not a Chainer, but she aspired to membership. Born in Eastern Arctequa in NW 781,
she had a relatively happy and blameless childhood. However, when she was sixteen, she left home in darkly mysterious circumstances. She met Blan in Slave Island
last year, participated in kidnapping Praalis and Blan, and was slain by Olette whilst trying to murder Pennammith, Pencar, and Callika.
Cammanth has been described as: 95 fingers tall; wavy, neck-length, light-brown hair; green eyes; pale complexion; and a 'broad' face.
- Carlcan Fandabbin (aka Carl)
- Carlcan Fandabbin ('Carl' to his friends) is the current duke of Dabbin, and the hereditary head of its government. He was born in Port Fandabbin in
October, NW 754. His grandfather was Kascan (NW 679-751) who met Praalis in Port Cankrar in NW 715. Carl's father was Joldor (NW 712-789), and his mother was called
Arnapa (NW 733-792), as is his half-sister, Princess Arnapa of Belspire (born NW 768). Carl's wife, Parn (NW 763-799), and their unborn child were murdered by agents
of the Order of Chains.
Carl is quite tall (105 fingers [approx. 6 feet, 4.5 inches]), as were all of his ancestors; and his wavy, golden hair is almost shoulder length (which was the
fashion when he was a youth, but is no longer common among men); he has blue eyes and a pale complexion (unlike Kascan). He has an athletic build. His manner is
slightly foppish (when not in battle) which seems to be a family trait (it was certainly shared by Joldor and Kascan).
The famous Fandabbin colours are blue and gold, and Carl ensures that these are always displayed atop Silver Tower.
- Carnus was a short, massively muscular, Kraran soldier and gladiator who liked to call himself the 'Evervictor'. He had a wife and daughters in Krar, but
sired numerous offspring in Arctequa by his rape victims. He raped Blan, and Memwin poisoned him by way of revenge. He lingered for a while, until put out of
his misery by order of his commander who considered the whole matter an inconvenient distraction.
- Charzagg was the last of the Chanangii from the Visitors' sky ship. His remains were discovered by Blan and Memwin. It is believed that he
was the only Chanangius from the sky ship to qualify as a Vanantius, achieving the 'third grace' some time after his arrival on Earth. He designed the Communicors
and Geodes and, near the end of his life, he designed and built at least one small sky ship, the one that Blan discovered in the orbears cavern. Why he
returned to the mother sky ship at (what is now called) Belspire before finishing his work, and why he built the smaller sky ship so far away, is not yet
understood. Blan speculates that Charzagg was, at that time, the sole survivor of his people on Earth and that he felt that his life was coming to a close.
As for the distance, it is possible that he had finished his work and sent the ship on an unmanned test-flight just before he passed away; primitive peoples
could have dragged the ship into the orbears' cavern through a long-since collapsed entrance, dismantled some of the superstructure and, finding no viable use
for it, abandoned it. Blan hopes to discover the truth when she reaches a higher order of 'grace' within the Vanantii.
- Comupin is a Dabbinan commando. He was attached to the ship Ancross when it sailed north to Harbeet River early this year. Comupin was in the same
Dabbinan commando unit as Digdor, Prulin and Terukin. He is the oldest of the four and has a
six-year old son in Port Fandabbin.
- Crannicko was a coffee-house proprietor in Slave Island. After discovering gold in the south of the island, he has opened a general store there to serve
the prospectors. As a consequence, he has already become the second-richest person in Slave Island and is rapidly catching up with the pirate leader.
- Craskren was Black Knight's son and was given the title 'Count', but he never achieved the high rank of his near-identical twin brother,
Borckren. This was not because Craskren lacked cunning or ability, but because the only person who really trusted him was Borckren
(Black Knight did not). Craskren was brought up by the Order of Chains and became a member, but he never achieved the rank of Master, even
though he was one of the Order's most intrepid and successful spies. He was only very slightly shorter than Borckren, his eyes were grey rather than brown,
and his hair very dark brown rather than black, but most people found it difficult to distinguish the twins unless they were seen together at close range.
Craskren is officially 'missing', but the Free Alliance leadership know that he was slain by Zeep and Neep while attempting to murder Memwin.
- Crowmar and Tenmar had the same father, a confidence trickster who disappeared soon after Crowmar's wealthy mother became pregnant with Crowmar. However, in
NW 763, she died soon after Crowmar was born. Tenmar, who was already an adult, used this opportunity to secretly sell the baby Crowmar to slavers and to seize the
inheritance left to Crowmar by his mother (Tenmar's step-mother). The slavers must have somehow lost possession of Crowmar because he turned up on the doorstep of a
childless widow in Slave Island (at least, that was her story!). When she passed away, Crowmar was fourteen and old enough to join a pirate crew, which he did,
and eventually worked his way up to the rank of captain-at-arms (i.e. the officer in charge of shore parties), although his innate wisdom drove him to learn also
how to sail and to navigate. When Jerkin arrived in Slave Island as a newcomer, and therefore had to offer above-average incentives to get a crew,
Crowmar took up the offer. Crowmar welcomed the extra money, and also guessed that Jerkin was likely to be less demanding than more experienced pirate captains.
After the events at Midsea Island last year, Crowmar reformed and joined the Rescue Companions and the Free Alliance. He has now been reinstated
to his mother's inheritance along Harbeet River, and has married Olette. Crowmar and Olette have been accepted by the Free Alliance as Baron and Baroness of
Crowmar is described as being about 100 fingers tall and of a robust constitution; he shaves his head to appear less conspicuous than he would with his natural,
very bright orange hair; his eyes are brown, and his complexion is 'red'.
- Digdor Tant
- Digdor (born NW 779) was a Dabbinan commando attached to the ship Ancross on its voyage to Harbeet River early this year. Others in the same unit included
Prulin, Comupin, and Terukin.
Digdor's older brother is Dolmen Tant. The brothers' family originated in Proequa, and Memwin is their cousin. Their grandfather,
Digtan (NW 726-792), migrated to Dabbin from Proequa after an adventure in Krar during which his father, Deltan, perished (this was the very same Deltan Tant
who met Praalis in Port Cankrar in NW 715).
Born and brought up in Port Fandabbin, Digdor is 103 fingers tall and very powerfully built. He met Kwannette when she was rescued from
Swampland Castle and they have since married and moved to her family farm by Harbeet River.
- Dolmen Tant
- A former commando, Dolmen (born NW 772) is an infantry officer in the Dabbinan army. He was promoted on the battlefield straight from lieutenant to brigadier for
helping to save the life of Duke Carlcan Fandabbin.
Dolmen's younger brother is Digdor Tant. The brothers' family originated in Proequa, and Memwin is their cousin. Their grandfather,
Digtan (NW 726-792), migrated to Dabbin from Proequa after an adventure in Krar during which his father, Deltan, perished (this was the very same Deltan Tant
who met Praalis in Port Cankrar in NW 715).
Born and brought up in Port Fandabbin, but widely travelled as a commando, Dolmen is 101 fingers tall; he is leaner and more 'wiry' than his brother.
- Durukin is a Kraran army commander. When Blan first met him, he was newly appointed to the first level of the general staff, and commanded a small
task force consisting of a brigade of three hundred commandos, five hundred bridge builders, and four hundred support troops, assisted by two thousand horses.
He is a protégé of Senior General Utukin, and he belongs to the same clan as his mentor. He has a wife and baby in Krar. Born in Krar in NW 765,
Durukin is 102 fingers tall, and lean with a 'wiry' build. He looks younger than his age, but he has a quiet charisma that overcomes any first impressions that he
might not be old enough to hold such a senior rank.
- Ekkanix (General)
- Ekkanix was the most senior member of the highest (third) level of the Kraran general staff. Unlike his distant cousins, Prokkanix and Kaggonix, he was never
formally a member of the Order of Chains, although he did cooperate with the Order and, being of the right clan, he would have been welcomed as a member had he
wished to join. However, he prided himself on being a purely 'military' man. He was Black Knight's second-in-command, and took over as supreme commander when Black
Knight was ousted, but he lacked his former master's strategic ability. He was born in Krarisca in NW 741.
- Fairbonus was the family name of the ancient kings of Occidentala. It is the family name of Blan's mother, Nwarpaw, and of
Nightsight (whose father was Nwarpaw's seventh cousin). The idea of a monarchy in Occidentala is now merely a historical curiosity,
and none of the many people called Fairbonus would ever think of claiming the crown.
- Marshal Fanchay is the senior Dabbinan cavalry commander. Although his ancestors have lived in Dabbin for many generations, he is the senior member of the
senior branch of the Fanchay family, the leading family of nomads from the deserts south of Dabbin, and is still considered by them to be their nominal leader.
- Fandabbin is the family name of the rulers of the Duchy of Dabbin. The name is shared by many Dabbinans, including Duke Carlcan
and his distant cousins, Serunipa and Bracken. The Fandabbin family is said to be one of the cadet branches of the
- 'Farlooayah' was what the young Praalis called his jet-black stallion. After the Massacre of the Nobles in NW 714, the loyalty and
endurance of this horse enabled Praalis to escape to the coast. When Praalis set sail for Arctequa, Farlooayah carried out his master's instruction to return
to Akrin, the land of his birth, where he was welcomed and cared for as a hero by Silquooay's brother, Prince Elkooay III.
- Fenfenwin Tant
- The tragic Fenfenwin was Memwin's mother. Born in NW 773, she became Duchess of Proequa in NW 792 when her father and grandfather were both
slain defending their land against Black Knight's invasion. Fenfenwin held out bravely for two years. Then, in April, NW 794, Proequa was finally overrun, and
Fenfenwin was taken prisoner. Black Knight became besotted with her and convinced himself that she was the 'Destined Princess' of legend. In his mind, at least,
they married (perhaps under Kraran law, but not by Proequan law) and Memwin was conceived. However, in July of that year, Black Knight was called away urgently when
his second siege of Port Fandabbin was broken after a stunning Dabbinan naval victory. He never entered Proequa again. When Memwin was born on 24th January, NW 795,
Black Knight sent Borckren by his fastest quimal to collect Fenfenwin and Memwin and bring them to him at his new headquarters in the Tan Mountains. However,
Craskren was already in Nantport harbour aboard a quimal equipped with a Geode; so, hearing about Memwin and about Borckren's mission, he disguised himself as
his brother and set out to find and murder the baby Memwin. Craskren found Fenfenwin and proceeded to torture her to reveal Memwin's whereabouts, unaware that
Memwin was in the next room with the midwife and a young nurse. The midwife, Ancluin, hearing Fenfenwin scream, told the nurse to take the baby away. "The future
of Proequa is entrusted to you, young woman, so let no power stop you, nor any haughty authority dissuade you, until you have delivered this baby to Count Tor
in person," Ancluin instructed the nurse. No sooner had the nurse climbed through the window than Craskren burst through the door. Ancluin, fearful that he would
discover that Memwin was not far away, launched herself at him. She put up a good fight, which captured all of Craskren's attention for a vital minute, long enough
for the nurse to take the baby under the cover of the nearby woods. But the midwife was no match for Craskren. He overpowered her and proceeded to torture her most
cruelly to get her to talk. She did not say anything, nor did she scream; she endured in silence, her last thought being that, just perhaps, Memwin would be safe and
that Proequa would be free again. Before he left the scene, Craskren arranged the bodies of Fenfenwin and Ancluin to make it look as though they had committed suicide
together. Much of the truth became known to Count Tor when a full investigation was made after the war, but it was only last year, when Craskren tried again to murder
Memwin, that the exact facts could be put together with certainty.
- Galnet was a freelance procurer of female slaves for the Kraran army (or anyone else who paid well). Blan had the misfortune to meet him
at Hillside Inn last year, and to become one of his victims.
- Gardolinya was for many years the estate manager at Sirsette Manor near the border of Austra County. He has now been accepted by the people of Austra,
and recognized by the Free Alliance, as Count of Austra, an office that has been vacant since the last count was slain at the beginning of the war of NW 790-795.
Born in Austra County in NW 725, Gardolinya served the Free Alliance by impersonating the late Baron Sirsette on behalf of Spymaster General
- Born on the banks of the Tannic River in NW 722, Gerfentica was a well-known character around Port Fandabbin, often seen driving her messenger
chariot along Outer and Inner Walls and on the main highways, her white hair lifted by the breeze. She joined the Port Fandabbin messenger and taxi service
to make ends meets for herself and her ten-year-old son after she was widowed in NW 770. Her son, Gertannin, grew up to join the army
and rose to the rank of brigadier before losing his life in the defence of Wall Gulley early this year. Gerfentica, finding the body of her only child,
sacrificed her own life in a heroic charge onto the enemy siege tower. This action saved the day for Port Fandabbin and gave Carlcan Fandabbin a chance to
repel the attack. Gerfentica is honoured as a Heroine of Dabbin.
- Brigadier Gertannin was born at Port Fandabbin to to Gerfentica in NW 760. He was one of the most able first-level generals of the
Dabbinan land army, and he had excellent prospects of further promotion. Sadly, he was killed in action defending the Wall Gulley section of Outer Wall.
- Count Glinlorz is a former admiral who was at one time the Dabbinan ambassador to Akrin, during which time he was based on the Ancross. He is now
ambassador to the cisalpine Free Alliance countries, although that has drawn him into action as a military commander in the western foothills and mountain
slopes of the Arctequa Backbone. He was born at Port Fandabbin in NW 750, but his ancestral family home is near the source of the Glorz River.
Glinlorz has been described as being 102 fingers tall and having a 'rugged' build; he has red hair and a full, red beard.
- Grentchnir, a eunuch, is Jerkin’s bodyguard. Jerkin had another bodyguard called Zanandir who was so similar in appearance to
Grentchnir that many thought them brothers, but there was no known relationship between them. Grentchnir believes that he was born in NW 753 in one of
the islands south of Slave Island (perhaps Langardam).
Grentchnir is 122 fingers tall (!), and he is also very broad and extremely muscular.
- Gritsus was the gladiator defeated last year by Pretsan at the Kraran army camp arena in Belspire.
- Jerkin comes from a well-off family who had a farm mid-way along Glorz River. As a young man, Jerkin went to Port Fandabbin where he secured employment
as a clerk in a merchant's office. He learned much about shipping in that role; he also discovered that he had a talent for managing other people: choosing
the right people for a job, knowing what he wanted them to do (even if he could not do it himself), and then delegating the tasks to them. It is believed that
shady dealing on his part (quite probably involving embezzlement) resulted in a falling out with a criminal gang and led to his castration. He refused to testify
against the perpetrators, no doubt for fear of retribution as well as the fear of exposure of his own crimes. Suspicion fell on him and he lost his clerical job,
but his family connections eventually secured him a job as a eunuch in the duke's harem. Finding the harem poorly managed, he used his wits, his managerial
talent, and a lot of dirty tricks to work his way up to the top position of head eunuch and harem manager where there seemed to be almost unlimited opportunities
for corrupt profits. However, he knew that he might be caught out at any time, so he planned, as his escape route, a new enterprise as a pirate captain,
using his knowledge of maritime trade. He made his move just in time. Pretending to treat his key staff to a night-time cruise around nearby islands of the
Archipelago in a chartered barque, he set sail from Port Fandabbin with Arbitha, Callika, Grentchnir, Zanandir, and the supposedly hired crew. But the barque
had been secretly bought by Jerkin the previous year, and the mariners aboard were pirates who had been hired by Jerkin's agent in Slave Island. Once the ship was
out of sight of the watchers on Bangar and Nargar Islands, it changed course and made for Slave Island.
Jerkin is a cousin of Binpin, the corrupt former Prime Minister of Dabbin. Jerkin was born in Dabbin in November, NW 745. He has been described as 95 fingers
tall, with straight, short, 'sandy' hair, brown eyes, a pale complexion, and he is very, very fat. Jerkin's most important historical achievement was to kidnap
Blan and bring her to the doorstep of greatness.
- Kaggonix is a Master of the Order of Chains. He is a descendant of Prokkanix I, and a cousin of
- Vice Admiral Karkron was the Kraran commander at the Battle of Mangrove Creek. He was defeated by the combined forces of Azimath and Palnooay. After that,
he escaped through the mangrove swamps to seek a living in Arctequa.
- Shipwright General Karldros is Krar's chief naval architect. Despite his allegiance to the Kraran war effort, he helped Pelembras escape from the Kraran
camp at Lake Quolow.
- Kem is Blancdapaw's father, and the son of Praalis (aka Pondar) and Redrook.
He was born in Prom Village in March, NW 750, and married Nwarpaw in NW 781. He is described as being 103 fingers tall, with a 'red' complexion, green eyes; and
short, red, thinning hair. He is a quiet, thoughtful man, and highly intelligent, but he has no ambition to succeed his father as grand vizier. He recently
put it this way: "A great leader should be able to connect easily with all kinds of people, and Blan has a lot of talent in that regard. I think she must get
it from her mother, because I tend to be confused by the behaviour of strangers. I am confident in my own fields, as a Master Brewer and amateur
scientist, and with the people I know very well; but I am not suited to being a public figure, much less one who leads a nation.
- Kwannette is the older sister of tragic Prannette. Kwannette was born in Southern Punandin in NW 778. She is 94 fingers tall, has a 'red'
complexion, green eyes, and a broad face; she has short, dark, wavy hair. She was abducted by Tenmar in NW 797, and was tortured and abused by him as a sex slave
for three years, until she was freed by Blan, Digdor and others from the Ancross. She has recently married Digdor and the two of them are restoring her
late parents' farm on Harbeet River, near Swampland Castle, as well as several adjoining properties that they have acquired.
- Memwin is the (nominal) 'ruling' duchess of Proequa (and, when it suits her to mention it, rival claimant for the crown and throne of Krar). She is the daughter
of Duchess Fenfenwin (NW 773-795) and Black Knight. Fenfenwin was the great-grand-daughter of Pontan, one of a group of friends met by Praalis in Port Cankrar in
NW 715. Memwin was born in Proequa City on the 24th January, NW 795, but she was soon taken away by her mother to what was believed to be a secret location in
the foothills of the Arctequa Backbone, about ten leagues north of the city. However, Craskren found them there and murdered Fenfenwin.
Memwin was saved by the bravery and quick thinking of Ancluin, the elderly midwife.
Memwin will be seven in a few months time, but is already the height of an average ten-year-old. Her appearance is otherwise unremarkable, except for
one thing: her face leaves no doubt that she is related to Black Knight, her father.
- Count Nargin was, until his recent retirement, the chief admiral of the Dabbinan navy. He was also acknowledged to be Dabbin's most experienced and skilful
navigator. He has now retired to his estate in Township farms; and Serunipa Fandabbin has replaced him as chief admiral.
Nargin was born in Port Fandabbin in August, NW 742. He is described as being about 101 fingers tall (he was probably a finger or so taller in his prime),
with a 'brown' complexion, grey eyes; and short, grey hair (formerly brown).
- Neep is one of the two Proequan heralds; the other is her twin sister, Zeep. The twins were born in NW 772, and grew up to be very tall
(107 fingers) and extremely powerful. Both sisters have gold-coloured hair, but Neep's complexion is dark, whereas Zeep's is pale. Unlike her sister, Neep is
married and now has a newborn daughter.
- Nellinar was born by Southport River in NW 792. He is an excellent swimmer. He and his older brother, Nellinu, have enrolled in
the Spy School at Belspire. Their parents have also moved to Belspire at the invitation of Princess Arnapa, and are engaged in helping rebuild the city.
- Nellinu was born by Southport River in NW 790. A natural leader, he founded the Southport Youth Spy Network which has been a major contributor to the
success of the Free Alliance in repelling the latest Kraran invasion. He and his younger brother, Nellinar, have enrolled in Spy School
at Belspire. Their parents have also moved to Belspire at the invitation of Princess Arnapa, and are engaged in helping rebuild the city.
- Nightsight (real name: Grigoni Fairbonus)
- Nightsight is a Master Mariner and, as his nickname suggests, famous for his exceptional powers of vision, especially in the dark. He is a close comrade of
Azimath and sailed on almost all of the latter's voyages until last year. The two men grew up together in Kelpvill where they were born
in NW 765 (September, in Nightsight's case). Nightsight's father happens to be Nwarpaw's 7th cousin, although such a relationship is considered very distant
even by the standards of Occidentala.
Nightsight is described as being 98 fingers tall, lean, and dark, with green eyes and a shaven head; his face is very aquiline. Although not a man of
great physical presence or good looks, he has a charm which has attracted Arnapa and, some have suggested, Zeep (who is otherwise well-known for not being
particularly interested in having male friends).
- As with her twin sister, Aransette, Norsnette was a student when she was kidnapped by Jerkin and brought into
contact with Blan. She was born in Nessport on 30th November, NW 783, and is described as being 90 fingers tall, with a very dark complexion from which her
light-blue eyes make an interesting contrast; her hair is long and brown, and her face slightly aquiline. She is romantically involved with Bonmar.
- Born in the countryside near Nessport, in April, NW 748, Nwarpaw belongs to one of the many branches of the Fairbonus family. Her parents moved to Prom Village
soon after her birth and she grew up there, eventually becoming Head Teacher and marrying Kem in NW 781. Their only child and daughter is,
of course Blan. Although Nwarpaw is still officially 'on leave' as Head Teacher of Prom Village school, she intends to formally retire so
that she can remain in Arctequa to help her husband and daughter in the fight against the Order of Chains.
Nwarpaw is described as being 95 fingers tall, of dark complexion, with green eyes; and her hair is light brown, short, and wavy.
- A cousin of Arbitha and Callika, Olette was a self-employed spy in Slave Island when she met Blan last year. Now she has married
Baron Crowmar who has always fancied her, and she is helping him develop his estate around Swampland Castle.
Olette was born in Eastern Arctequa in NW 780. She is described as being 97 fingers tall, with a 'red' complexion, blue eyes, and straight,
dark-brown, shoulder-length hair.
- Ooggah is one of the most senior, and possibly the most senior, of the orbear matriarchs. Her exact age is shrouded in mystery,
but she is believed to be well over sixty years of age. Her principal residence is the great cavern at the confluence of Pitpet Brook and Panners Stream
in the jungle of Austra County.
- Admiral Palnooay is an Akrinan naval commander, second in rank to Admiral Wayhooay.
- Duchess Parn was Spymaster General of Dabbin before she married Carlcan Fandabbin, and she continued in that office until she was
murdered by an assassin sent on the orders of Prokannix IV some time after war broke out in NW 799. However, the assassin was killed and Parn's murder
has so far been kept secret by Duke Fandabbin, helped by his sister, Arnapa, a master of disguise, who has masqueraded as Parn at public functions.
Parn was born in Port Fandabbin in NW 763. She has been described as being very beautiful, 95 fingers tall, and having a pale complexion with
brown eyes, and straight, dark-brown hair. She was a close friend and mentor of Arnapa.
- Pelembras (aka 'Pel')
- Pelembras ('Pel' to close friends) is the Shipwright General of Akrin. He is also a professional inventor and engineer, an amateur potter, and
a keen boating enthusiast. Born in Akrin in NW 750, he is described as being of pale complexion, short (only 84 fingers) and stout. He has a wife and daughter
When Telko's father, Elkooay IV (NW 733-798), became terminally ill, Pel solemnly promised the old prince that he would watch over Telko as though the lad
were his own son. He has since extended this obligation to include Blan, both for Telkooay's sake and because Blan has won his admiration and loyalty on her
- Pelundlis the Just
- Pelundlis [stress 'und'] was Grand Vizier of Krar until murdered by a Chainer gang in the Massacre of the Nobles. He bestowed his medallion of office on
his son, Praalis, just before he died.
- Pencar and his sister, Pennamith, are the orphaned children of Penndarah the 'Red Pirate'. Pencar now owns the famous Jarlgem
royal sword, Ninden and, for all anyone knows, is also the rightful heir to the Jarlgem kingdom (assuming that the kingship went to the male line, which was
usually, but not always, the case in ancient times), should that land ever be rediscovered. He was born in Slave Island in NW 788. At age twelve, when Nightsight
first met him, Pencar was 87 fingers tall, but he is now 93 fingers and looking increasingly adult. Otherwise, his appearance is unremarkable. However, he has
impressed many with his keen mind, courage, and determination. Pencar and Pennammith operate one of the Actios for Blan.
- Pennammith ('Penna')
- Penna and her brother, Pencar, are the orphaned children of Penndarah the 'Red Pirate'. When her parents were murdered, and
their property stolen by envious pirates, Penna saved her father's sword, Ninden, and hid it along with his famous red clothes. At the time,
she did not fully understand what the sword represented, but having once heard her father say that the sword would belong to Pencar one day, she
resolved to ensure that his wish would be carried out in that respect, even though everything else was lost.
Penna was born in Slave Island in NW 786. After her parents' murder, and a period of begging in the streets to feed herself and her brother,
she gained employment (aged eight) as a kitchen maid in Jerkin's house (somewhat before Jerkin actually took up residence there).
At age fourteen, Penna was described as being 90 fingers tall and unremarkable in appearance.
- Penndarah was the richest, most successful, and most popular pirate in Slave Island; that is, until he and his wife were murdered
and their property stolen in unsolved crimes, leaving their two children Pennammith (then only six years old) and
Pencar (just four years old) begging for food in the streets.
Penndarah was known as the 'red' pirate, after the colour of his distinctive clothes. He was, in fact, a descendant of a
disgraced member of the Jarlgem family, one of the two royal families of the southern hemisphere. He was the nephew of Penntrafa.
- Penntrafa Jarlgem
- Penntrafa is Penndarah’s aunt. She built a commercial empire as a self-made pirate captain, based in Langardam Island
south-west of Slave Island, and she now owns and commands a fleet of five ships. However, she operated as a pirate in the southern seas and
(whether by design or by chance) never attacked the property or people of the Free Alliance nations (at least no evidence can be found of it), so she has
now been able to conclude a treaty with the principal Free Alliance countries. She will spend a considerable part of her fortune on the repair of war damage
in Arctequa, in exchange for the recognition of Langardam Island as a sovereign nation, with her as its first Captain President. Although of slight build,
no taller than Pencar was at age twelve, her missing finger and the scars on her face testify to the ordeals that she went through to climb to the top of
her former profession. She has four children, twelve grandchildren, and (so far) three great-grandchildren.
- General Pentabin is the commander of the Dabbinan infantry for the defence of the eastern side of Township Farms, including the adjacent stretch of
the Outer Wall. He played an important part in the Battle of Wall Gulley on the 14th January, NW 801.
- Pikkin was Deputy Prime Minister of Dabbin. He was a traitor, a secret agent of the Order of Chains, and under the direct command of Borckren.
Pikkin has been described as 'tall and cadaverous' and was probably in his mid-forties when he died in prison (the official report stated that the cause
of death was infection of an arrow wound to his neck).
- Pinja is the teenage daughter of a farmer from the border region of Greater Dabbin, near the easternmost source of the Tan River which flows north
from the Tan Mountains (not to be confused with Tannic River which flows south). Blackmailed into slavery by Prime Minister Binpin, she was sold by Pikkin
to the Kraran army for the entertainment of victorious gladiators. As a 'prize girl' her path soon crossed that of Blancapaw and, in due course,
she escaped to Quolow with the help of Blan's friends. There, she met Questan and helped him defend his city. She now has a handsome salary as
an adviser to President Questan on matters of concern to children and new adults. She is now reunited with her parents and siblings who have sold their farm
at Tan River and have joined a project to develop new farms around the western shore of Lake Quolow.
- Plantlo is a village headman and leader of a regional council of headmen in Southern Punandin, north of the Harbeet River.
He established a refugee camp at Swamp Lake (by Harbeet River) for people forced to flee their homes due to the effects of volcanic
activity triggered by the Chainers' experiments with the Oriental Communicor. With the support of the Dabbinan government and of Baron Cromar,
Plantlo is using Swampland Castle as his headquarters for the process of re-housing the refugees in safe areas of their own territory rather than
resettling them in foreign lands.
- Plashanette is a small, well-behaved, Proequan mare. Her home is in the ducal stables in Proequa City. She was chosen by Blan to afford Memwin her
first ride in the countryside.
- Pokk was a particularly nasty pirate in Jerkin’s crew. Whilst nastiness could be a good basis for a pirate's advancement, Pokk
held the lowest status aboard because he was not very bright. He fought with Blan and, although four fingers shorter than she, got the better of her
because he was so much stronger. However, his success was immediately curtailed by an incensed Arbitha who stuck a shard of broken metal into his back.
Pokk was born to a slave girl in Slave Island in NW 761. Nobody knows the identity of Pokk's father, but the girl's owner had one of his eunuch's
'fed to small sharks' soon after Pokk's birth when it was discovered that the 'eunuch' was not really a eunuch at all.
- Pollukin is a Kraran cavalry centurion recently promoted by General Utukin to the highest level of 'First Spear' (colonel). Like his older
brother, General Durukin, Pollukin is a professional soldier who believes that his first loyalty is owed to the Kraran commonwealth
rather than to any particular leader. He looks very much like his older brother and has an equally businesslike manner.
- 'Pondar' was the alias used by Praalis when he settled in Prom Village. This was to thwart the efforts made by the Order of Chains
to track him down and kill him.
- Poolzus was a centurion in the Kraran army and specialized in gate-keeping duties. He was the supervisor of the eastern gate of the
Kraran army camp at Belspire when Blan was held prisoner there as a 'prize girl'. A sports enthusiast, Poolzus had attended the Port Cankrar
Games and had admired and remembered Pretsan's skill in the equestrian contests. This helped Pretsan and Memwin secure Blan's escape from the camp.
It is believed that Poolzus has returned to Krar.
- 'Portancot' was an alias invented by Pencar for Nightsight. To confound eavesdroppers, and avoid any chance
that someone might link Nightsight's presence on Slave Island with knowledge of Blancapaw's captivity there, Pencar declared that 'Portancot' had come
from Langardam Island which was notorious for its many strange peoples and accents.
- Praalis Cankrar is the former Grand Vizier of Krar. Under the Kraran constitution, the hereditary office of grand vizier is equal to that of the
king in all respects except ceremonial primacy. Praalis inherited his office when his father died in the Massacre of the Nobles (NW 714), and assigned
it to his granddaughter, Blancapaw, last year.
Praalis was born in Krarisca in January, NW 680. In his heyday, he was described as being 105 fingers tall, having a brown complexion, with grey
eyes, and short, red hair; his round face shared distinctive characteristics with those of his forefathers and, indeed, with both Kem and Blan (Telkooay
noticed these characteristics when he first saw Blan). Praalis has become very frail in his old age. When he was taken prisoner by Jerkin in February,
NW 795, his hair and beard were silvery white and he had lost two fingers in height. However, after five years of captivity, he had lost another three
fingers in height (if measured lying down, because he can no longer stand straight). When captured by Black Knight last year, he sustained a
badly broken left thigh bone which has only partially healed. A journey to Belspire is being planned so he can take advantage of Control's healing powers.
Praalis' mother was Blancala (NW 658-714), cousin to Queen Encala (NW 645-712); and his father was Pelundlis
the Just (NW 652-714). Praalis' first love and fiancée was Princess Silquooay of Akrin (NW 686-714). Many years later, he married Redrook (b. NW 710)
with whom he had one child, Kem (b. NW 750), the father of Blancapaw.
- Prakkin was one of Borckren’s spies. He was a ruthless murderer who helped Borckren recruit and corrupt innocent girls to be
tools of the Order of Chains. Born in Krar in NW 777, Prakkin was described as being 97 fingers tall, having a brown complexion, with brown eyes, and brown,
shoulder-length hair tied at the back; he had a distinctive, narrow face. When Prakkin tried to murder Jerkin, Olette slew him.
- Prannette and her older sister, Kwannette, were born into a family of farmers from River Harbeet in Southern Punandin.
In NW 797, Kwannette was kidnapped and her were parents were murdered by Tenmar's men (posing as pirates). Prannette, just 14 years old at the time, was
misled into believing that Jerkin was behind the pirate attack, so she set out to find Jerkin. It took her three years to find Jerkin. She persuaded
Arbitha to take her on as a kitchen maid in Jerkin's house, just as Blan arrived there. She tried to help Blan escape, but she was murdered
by Prakkin to prevent her from getting in the way of his plan to take Blan to Black Knight.
Blan says of Prannette, "She was about my age, 95 fingers tall; she had short, wavy hair, almost red; she was pretty, with a broad face, green eyes,
and a pale complexion which was no more suited than my own to that harsh, equatorial sunshine".
- Pretsan is a very large and athletic Kraran cavalryman, and an equestrian champion at the Port Cankrar Games. Memwin persuaded
him to change sides and rescue Blan, so Pretsan is now in the confusing position of being a Kraran cavalryman, under the (constitutional) authority of the
Grand Vizier, who is fighting against other Kraran cavalrymen acting under the (unconstitutional) authority of the queen. This is because the queen's war of
conquest in Arctequa is illegal under the nation's legitimate constitution which confers the power to wage war on the grand vizier alone. Although Pretsan
is still only a corporal, he can operate much as he likes because he is the only Kraran soldier to have formally changed sides from the queen's army to the
grand vizier's army.
Pretsan was the youngest of five brothers and three sisters. He was blessed with exceptional athletic abilities which should have justified a
place at the world-famous Krarisca Sports Academy. However, his parents (and all his siblings) were (and remain) poor peasants who could not afford to send
him there, so he joined the army for a living and to find some outlet for his talent. Having no influential connections, he found himself cleaning out
stables, but a chance opportunity to show off his riding skills led to his selection for the cavalry. In fact, it was General Utukin who, coming out
of his command post for some fresh air, saw Pretsan riding a warhorse not far away (they were galloping across a field so the newly-trained stallion
could be delivered to his designated cavalry officer). Utukin brusquely ordered his adjutant, "That rider! See to it that he is placed in a fighting
cavalry unit!" Utukin then turned back to his command post and gave the matter no more thought. The adjutant did as he was told.
- Prokkanix I
- Count Prokkanix I was said to be the founder of the Order of Chains and its first Grand Master. Actually, the criminal network had been active
in Krar for many years, but Prokkanix I brought it to prominence, largely as a result of his influence over Countess Sakscren and his
success in orchestrating her marriage to the king's son and heir, Prince Paadoc (NW 681-745). Prokkanix, along with Sakscren, instigated the
Massacre of the Nobles in NW 714.
- Prokkanix IV
- Prokkanix IV is the great-grandson of Count Prokkanix I. He is a Master of the Order of Chains, and is in position to be its
next Grand Master, once his ailing father, Prokkanix III, passes away. Prokkanix IV, the 'younger Prokkanix' as many call him, is an utterly ruthless
master of deception and intrigue, and is the chief strategist behind the Order's current activities.
- Prulin is a Dabbinan commando; he was attached to the ship Ancross when it sailed north to Harbeet River early this year. Prulin was in
the same Dabbinan commando unit as Digdor, Comupin, and Terukin. He is the smallest of the
four of them, and the best underwater swimmer.
- Pyran and his twin brother, Camb, both mariners, are friends of Nightsight and regularly join him as crew members on Azimath's
voyages. The twins were born in Kelpvill in NW 770.
- When Quolow came under siege last year, General Quassow was near the end of his career, held the rank of brigadier, and was Paymaster of Quolow
Defence Legion. He had been an effective front-line commander in his early career, but he no longer sought glory; he merely hoped to keep his office job
until his retirement. That changed when his superior officers were all slain during the assault on the city, and it fell to Quassow to make the critical
decision: to whom should he turn for advice. His decision to seek out Questan proved wise, and thus Quolow was saved.
Quassow has now been elected Vice-President of Quolow. However, he will remain in the Legion with the higher rank of general in charge of the City
Guard until his retirement. After that, he intends to apply all his time to his political duties with a view to taking over as president when Questan finally
- Questan 'the Elder'
- Questan was the president of Quolow ('the only republic for a hundred leagues') during the war of NW790-795. He was in his late seventies then, when
he personally led the Quolowan forces into battle. He is now president again, and this has been confirmed by his recent election by an overwhelming majority
of citizens, the only opponents being supporters of his corrupt predecessor.
In his younger days, Questan was a keen dog trainer, and is still a patron of the Quolow Guild for Search and Rescue Dogs. He has many cousins
(for example, the manager of Hillside Inn) living along the Polnet and Plupo Rivers and in the foothills of the Arctequa Backbone.
- Quirretan, a cousin of Questan, is a patron of the Quolow Guild for Search and Rescue Dogs. He has a farm near to Hillside Inn at
the confluence of the Plupo and Polnet rivers.
- Quontifa, the former president of Quolow, was killed when the Kraran army stormed the southern precinct of his city. He was a corrupt man and his
loss was mourned only by the business cronies who profited from his presidency.
- Quoosh is a particularly talented search dog. Under the leadership of President Questan, she became a war heroine as early as NW 792 when she was
only a year old. When Questan retired, after the end of the war, Quoosh was reassigned to Questan's cousin, Quirretan, another patron of
the Quolow Guild for Search and Rescue Dogs. When Blan was kidnapped by Kraran army slavers at Hillside Inn, Quoosh again served the Free Alliance by helping
Questan and Memwin track the kidnappers.
- Redrook is Blan's grandmother, Kem's mother, and Praalis' wife. She was born in Prom Village in October, NW 710. In her prime, she was described
as being 94 fingers tall with a very pale 'red' complexion, dark-blue eyes, and black hair. Now she is frail and stooped, needs a walking frame to move more
than a few paces, and her hair is silver-grey. However, she was in good enough health to make the sea voyage to join Praalis in Port Fandabbin earlier
- Rega Cankrar (Queen)
- Rega is Queen of Krar. She is the daughter of the late King Paadoc and his wife, Sakscren. Rega's younger brother is Black Knight.
Unlike either of her parents, Rega spent much of her youth in earnest study, and travelling the country to learn about the plight of the ordinary people.
She discovered that the common folk were afflicted by injustice as a result of the influence of the Order of Chains, and she resolved to plot against
the Chainers. However, two things happened to bring matters to a head: first, when Black Knight was born, he was consigned to the Order of Chains for indoctrination;
second, her parents ordered her to marry one of the Prokkanix clan and refused to consider her protests. Furthermore, the king ordered that
her prospective husband would be the successor to the throne, and that Rega would be his obedient queen. This was the tipping point for Rega. She resented
the prospect of being forced to marry (she already had a lover, Countess Taar), but it is fair to say that her main concern was the good of the kingdom
and its people. The dramatic events of the year NW 745 and their legacy today would fill a book, but it is a story that will have to be told another time.
Suffice to say, for now, that Rega plotted the overthrow of the king and queen, and slew them in the course of a confrontation; then, with the
help of a diverse assortment of allies, she took the crown for herself and banned the Order of Chains. The people of Krar rejoiced, and conditions for them
improved dramatically over the next few years. However, Rega's personality soon became increasingly unstable, and the Order of Chains worked on her weaknesses
until she accepted the scheming Masters of the Order into her confidence. The Order's power and influence increased again and, one by one, Rega's reforms were
undone or undermined. After its brief period of renaissance, Krar sank back into its dark age.
Rega was born in Krarisca in November, NW 724. She is described as being lean and eighty-five fingers tall; her complexion is very pale; she has very light,
yellowish eyes, and her hair has always been white and curled. People would always remark on the great contrast between the huge, dark figure of Black Knight,
and the small, pale figure of his sister; no other adult Cankrar had been as large as Black Knight, nor had any been as small as Rega. However, looking
carefully, past their size and complexion, their beauty or their plainness, one can see a common theme in the faces of all the royal Cankrars.
- Admiral Sakkrint was (and, technically, still is) a senior Kraran naval commander. When Black Knight slew his High Admiral, Sakkrint was next in line for
the position, but Black Knight elevated the less senior Taksak instead. Sakkrint was in charge of the blockade of Slave Island until he was captured in a ruse
designed by Blancapaw. He was taken to Port Fandabbin where he is being kept in considerable comfort under 'house arrest' while he decides which side he
- Countess Sakscren was the mother of Rega and Black Knight. With the help of the Order of Chains, Sakscren married Paadoc,
the heir to the throne of Krar, after getting him hooked on drugs. Then she was instrumental in drugging the king, and having him confined to a secret asylum, so
she could rule through the Regent, the doting and dependent Paadoc. She, with Grand Master Prokkanix I, orchestrated the Massacre of the Nobles, and then
allowed the Order of Chains to infiltrate every part of Kraran government and commerce. For thirty years she presided over the rape of Krar by the Chainers and
their cronies, those willing to support their crookedness in exchange for the enrichment of their families. However, in NW 745, Sakscren and her misguided husband
were killed in a fight with their daughter, Rega.
- Selnipa Bel
- Selnipa was the sister of King Arnata LX of Belspire, and was Serunipa's grandmother. She was born in Belspire in NW 695. When she was twenty, she went with
her county's delegation to treaty negotiations in Port Cankrar where she met and shared an adventure with Praalis who had recently arrived there after fleeing
the Massacre of the Nobles. Selnipa married Branken Fandabbin not long after this.
Selnipa was described by Praalis as being "a very pretty young woman ... No more than twenty years of age ... lean and athletic (giving the impression
that she could spring from place to place with little effort)" with lively eyes "as though a torch danced to a merry tune across those pools of pale honey,
at once both demanding and seductive". Selnipa passed away peacefully in Port Fandabbin at the age of 94, one year before Black Knight's invasion of
- Serunipa Fandabbin
- Chief Admiral Serunipa is the most senior officer in the Dabbinan navy, having been promoted from captain to admiral (one of seven) less than a year ago, and
then to replace Chief Admiral Nargin upon his retirement. Her flagship is Mangrove Robin. She has one sister, Salnipa (b. NW 755), and one brother, Bracken
(b. NW 753). She has a cottage in Township Farms where she keeps her pet dog, but she has become very close to Carlcan and they now spend a lot
of time together.
A late addition to her parents' family, Serunipa was born in Port Fandabbin in NW 768. It has been noted that, although Serunipa is somewhat older than
Blancapaw, and they can be easily distinguished at close quarters, the two women are of the same height, have the same complexion, the same hair and eye colour,
and they have a similar build and facial shape. It is not surprising, then, that strangers often ask if Blan and Serunipa are sisters.
- Silquooay Pozakrin
- Princess Silquooay ('Silky' to her friends) was the tragic fiancée of the young Praalis. She was murdered by members of the Order of Chains
during the Massacre of the Nobles at Kanand Castle on the 21st March, NW 714. She was born on the 21st June, NW 686, daughter of Telkooay I (NW 653-714), the
ruling prince of Akrin, who was also assassinated in the infamous massacre. Her older brother, Elkooay III (NW 680-745), succeeded their father as ruling prince.
When Blan's husband, Telkooay III ('Telko') was recovering from an almost fatal wound inflicted by Black Knight, Silquooay appeared to speak to him in a dream,
urging him to find Blan.
- Starinette is the fiancée of Azimath the Navigator. She was born in Kelpvill in December, NW 780.
She is described as being 97 fingers tall, with a 'red' complexion, light-brown eyes, and brown, shoulder-length hair. Her face is slightly narrow,
with a 'high intelligent brow', a feature she shares with her fiancé.
- Admiral Taksak was a first-level (i.e. junior) Kraran admiral when he was elevated to the most senior rank of High Admiral by Black Knight,
seemingly on impulse, after the massive prince had slain the previous High Admiral, seemingly by accident. In fact, although Black Knight was quite capable of acting
on wild impulse, his choice of Taksak had been carefully calculated. The prince constantly assessed the abilities and loyalties of his underlings, and he had deduced
that Taksak, a well-trained mariner and a practical leader, with no known connection to the Order of Chains, would be his best choice.
The latest news is that, having retreated around the north of Arctequa during high summer, it is understood that Taksak has succeeded in bringing the bulk of
the Kraran navy back to Port Cankrar and nearby ports with little loss (beyond that already suffered in skirmishes with Free Alliance fleets).
- Tarmar is the owner and skipper of a trawler operating out of Slave Island. His ancestors originated from the Punandin region, but have belonged to
the Slave Island pirate community for many generations. Tarmar's father was one of the earliest of the pirates to branch out into legitimate business when
opportunities for piracy started to decline. For the assistance he gave to Pencar at a critical time, Tarmar has been granted landing rights in
- Telkooay III Pozakrin (aka 'Telko')
- Telko is the ruling prince of Akrin. His most recent predecessors were Elkooay IV (NW 733-798), Telkooay II (NW 705-787), Elkooay III (NW 680-745), and
Telkooay I (NW 653-714). Telko was born in Akrinisca in March, NW 776, and assumed the throne at the age of 22, shortly before setting sale for
Arctequa with Black Knight's armada.
Telko is 108 fingers tall, has a pale complexion, and remarkable purple eyes. After being left for dead by Black Knight, the uncontrolled growth of
Telko's hair and beard created a reasonably effective disguise for him (he was usually clean-shaven and his hair short-cropped) until he was reunited with
Blan outside Port Andin.
- Tenmar was an unscrupulous businessman who became a local potentate in Southern Punandin, north of Harbeet River, by allying himself with the
Order of Chains. He acquired his first wealth by seizing his infant half-brother's inheritance, having sold the baby to pirates. He went on to
augment his wealth through predatory money-lending and 'protection' racketeering, and he grew very fat in the process. He acquired Swampland Castle
and held Kwannette prisoner there as a sex slave for three years. He was caught out by Blan and her friends, and he is now serving life
imprisonment, the Dabbin Court of Crimes having convicted him of a long list of offences. By day, he works in the salt mines; by night,
he endures restless sleep in a crowded dungeon. He is no longer fat, but has the appearance of a very tired old man. His half-brother, who
resembles him not at all, is none other than the famous Crowmar (who is now recognized by all the nations of Western Arctequa as the Baron
of Swampland Castle). Tenmar's property has been restored to his victims or their heirs.
- Terukin is a Dabbinan commando. He was attached to the ship Ancross when it sailed north to Harbeet River early this year. Terukin was
in the same Dabbinan commando unit as Digdor, Prulin and Comupin. He is arguably the best
of the four at bush craft. Although a new recruit to the commandos, he had been a hunter in the Tan Mountains, and he has an exceptional talent for
tracking animals and people in the wild.
- Tolen was the name of the captain of the guard at Swampland Castle. He was an employee of Baron Tenmar and had five
other guards under his command. An intelligent man with few moral scruples, he could be relied upon to follow orders if well paid to do so.
His chief loyalty was to himself, however, and he was very ready to surrender when the odds appeared to be against him. For assaulting Blan, he
has been sentenced to two years of supervised labour in Baron Crowmar's post-war reconstruction programme.
- Count Tor is President of the Ducal Council in Proequa, and Duchess Memwin's chief guardian. An orphan without a surname, he started his career as
a common soldier and soon proved that he was an able leader, rising to become the most senior Proequan general in the war of NW 790-795. He fought
alongside the likes of Questan the Elder and Carlcan Fandabbin. Unable to prevent the capture of Memwin's mother, Fenfenwin, when Proequa was overrun
in April, NW 794, Tor fought on in the hills and forests until the war was won and the enemy forces retreated into Eastern Arctequa. Meanwhile,
thanks to the heroism of midwife Ancluin, Tor was able to hide the baby Memwin from the enemy.
- Utangar, a magician and actor in peacetime, served as a First Spear Centurion in the Kraran army before deserting and joining the Kraran
Resistance and its East Arctequan allies. After Telko lost his memory as a result of an injury inflicted by Black Knight, Utangar was the one who
helped him remember who he was, and then helped him to escape to the West to find Blancapaw. Utangar is a man of much practical knowledge and charisma who uses
those attributes selflessly. Although badly injured, he is thought to be continuing his work for the Resistance deep within enemy territory.
Telko described Utangar as a man of stocky build and dark complexion, very strong, but having the ability to look frail when that suited
the role he was playing.
- Utukin was a First Spear (i.e. highest level) centurion in the war of NW 790-795 during which he met and nearly crossed swords with President Questan of Quolow.
He admired the methods used by Questan, Tor, and Fandabbin: that is, using smaller, better-trained armies, rather than trying to overwhelm with numbers.
By the time the current war started in August, NW 799, Utukin was a middle ranking (second-level) general in charge of a Kraran army in the Belspire area.
He was wounded in action and had to return to Krarisca for a time. In August, NW 800, having recovered from his wounds, he was forced to return to Arctequa on the
same ship as his ultimate superior, the fearsome and unpredictable Black Knight. Unlike a number of others before (and after) him, Utukin survived this ordeal.
Furthermore, when he arrived at his command in October, he received orders from Black Knight promoting him to the senior (third-level) of the general staff and
giving him command of the advance on Belspire. Later, in the confusion created by Blan's manipulations, Utukin assumed overall command of the Kraran Royal Army
and was instrumental in bringing about a truce.
Utukin is a career officer with a systematic approach to military strategy. He is not as brilliant as Black Knight, but he does not allow his own prejudices
to get in the way of the objective pursuit of victory at minimum cost to both victor and vanquished. He is a patriot, his first loyalty being to the Kraran
commonwealth rather than to any single ruler, and it is this disposition that has enabled Blan to deal with him.
- Vildmaru is a boy from the Chay-Enn Riverland where he had been looking after a small marina when he was recruited by Nellinar into Nellinu’s
Southport Youth Spy Network. Vildmaru has been awarded a generous scholarship by Duke Fandabbin in recognition of his work for the Free Alliance.
He has joined Nellinu and Nellinar as a foundation student at Arnapa's new spy school in Belspire.
- Wayhooay is the most senior Akrinan admiral. He was born in Akrinisca in NW 749 and, although a second cousin of Telko's late mother,
he bears little resemblance to his prince. Wayhooay is described as a thickset man, slightly more than a fathome in height, with a
grizzled, battle-scarred, and somewhat fire-damaged face. He commanded the Akrinan fleet on behalf of the ailing Prince Elkooay IV in the war of
NW 790-795, and he was second in command and mentor to Telko in the expedition of NW 799-800. He has a daughter in Akrin who is
about the same age as Blan.
- Whitestorm is Zeep’s war horse. The mare is 96 fingers tall to the top of her withers; her coat is white with grey
- Zanandir was one of Jerkin’s bodyguards. Probably born somewhere in Arctequa in NW 749, or thereabouts, he was huge:
121 fingers tall, very broad, and extremely muscular. Despite looking very much like Grentchnir, the two colleagues were not related. They did,
however, both enter Jerkin's service at about the same time, when he was working for Fandabbin.
- Zeep Herald and her twin sister, Neep, are the hereditary heralds of Proequa (the surname and occupation are the same
by coincidence). Born in Proequa in NW 774, they are both very tall (107 fingers) and extremely robust, and they are almost identical in
appearance, except for their complexion: both have golden hair, but Zeep has a pale complexion, whereas Neep has a dark complexion. Zeep is unmarried
(Neep is married and has a six-month-old daughter). The Herald family name is the only one in Proequa to have been passed down the female line for
the whole of the last 500 years, and in that time every generation of Heralds has supplied at least one official herald.
- Zite (pronounced 'Zee-tay') is the last of the Illumen. She lives in an ancient Illumen temple in the Chay-Enn Mountains.
She learnt about Praalis from her grandfather, Ooeikuketi (pronounced 'Why-koo-kay-tee'), even before the Massacre of the Nobles. At the end
of his long life (142 years), her grandfather met Praalis in Port Cankrar and charged him with a quest to discover the knowledge and enlightenment
that had been brought to Earth by the Visitors, as well as the lost art of the Separation. Zite later met and helped Praalis on his visit
to Belspire Library in NW 730, when she was there in the guise a library assistant. Later, before she settled in the Chay-Enn Mountains, she found one of the Geodes
(long before Black Knight discovered the others) and took the most important working parts with her.
Zite's name means 'first-born of generation 500', 'zi' being 500 in the secret language of the Illumen, and 'te' being the first letter of their
alphabet (Ooeikuketi means 'third-born of generation 498'). Zite is said to have been very beautiful in her youth, but she is now extremely old (150 years)