Shifting Isles Glossary

Glossary of terms found in the Shifting Isles novels. Items with a hyperlink lead to pages within the encyclopedia, where you can find more information. A bold word within a definition indicates it has its own definition in this list.

Agoran – an Isle, originally the southwestern region of the land before the Breaking of the World; an anarchist society (no government, free market, property rights, etc.)

Agorani – of or pertaining to Agoran

Agori – a person who lives on or originates from Agoran

Andria – an Isle, originally to the east of the land before the Breaking of the World, when it was under Ceynesian rule; Andria is now its own monarchy with a parliamentary House of Lords

Andrian – a person who lives on or originates from Andria

Auriel – sixth month of the year; originally (and still, by tradition) part of the summer season before the Breaking of the World

‘Ax and fawn’ – expression used often by Falsiners, referring to the god Zhagos, who is depicted carrying an ax and sheltering a small animal

beykana – a white, winged horse, bred exclusively on Falsin, and sold to Jadu’n for the use of the magi, where the beykana become renkana

BioTech Enterprises – company on Agoran owned by Dr. Graeden Crawford; specializes in nanorobotics and bioengineering based on studies of Tanasian telekinesis

blues – fiat currency on the Isle of Erostil

Book of Creation – chronicle of the creation of the universe by the One, including the creation of the lesser deities and the initial formation of the world known to Man; originally recorded by the magi of Jadu’n, the Book was the inspiration for the Jaduan Historical Society to continue recording historical events, and thus led to the compilation of Faneck’s Histories

Breaking of the World – an event that took place on the 5th of Sulinel in the year 2952; Father Zhagos struck the land three times with his mighty hammer and broke it into separate Isles, thus beginning the shift cycle; source of the Tanasian superstition of threes

‘By the Lady’ – oath often used on Erostil in place of other curses or profanities, referring to the goddess Inadra

Ceynes – an Isle, the largest, originally the central region of the land before the Breaking of the World; under imperial rule

Ceynesian – a person who lives on or originates from Ceynes

Children of Kalos – another name for the magi

Circle of Seven – gathering of seven magi, combining their powers to strip the magic from one of their fellows

cohabitation contractAgorani free-market version of a marriage license, not mandatory in order to ‘marry’ but outlines the agreements (finances, responsibilities, roles, etc.) made between the couple upon the event of their union, as well as terms for ending the contract (divorce)

Collision – part of the shift cycle, when two Isles come in contact with one another in a process similar to our plate tectonics; thanks to advanced technology and mathematics developed by the Agori, the shift cycle and Collision events are predictable almost to the second (with a margin of error to account for whether coastlines strike directly or if the contact is entirely below sea level)

Creator – alternate name for Skelroth

Denmer University – oldest and most respected university on Agoran, located in Morbran City in north-eastern region of the free Isle

Divinity Square – popular location in the center of downtown New Haven, near the west coast of Agoran; contains statues to the gods and Gates to each of the other Isles, though the Gate to Tanas is chained off (and later destroyed/now an empty frame)

Donlar – Rexton Donlar of Agoran was both a medical doctor and a mage; he is credited, amongst other things, for the discovery of a formula for calculating the use of anesthetic medicines, keeping patients unconscious for as short a time as possible

Dunsberg – city in the mountains of northern Agoran, east of Norton and west of Morbran City; often cold and snowy

Eagle guard – branch of the Tanasian armed forces, ranking above the Hawk guard but below the Elders

Eastside Security – free market insurance and personal defense agency, in competition with Hawkeye Agency

Elder – highest ranking official on Tanas; seven Elders sit on a Council and have complete governmental control

Elisel – eighth and final month of the year; originally (and still, by tradition) part of the fall season before the Breaking of the World

emlarisFalsiner word for diamonds

Erosti – a person who lives on or originates from Erostil

Erosti Leisure Guild – organization that trains and certifies guildmates and guildmistresses on the Isle of Erostil

Erostil – an Isle, originally to the south of the land, between Jadu’n and Agoran, before the Breaking of the World; an exotic, tropical paradise; a constitutional democracy

Faldris – first month of the year; originally (and still, by tradition) part of the winter season before the Breaking of the World

Falsin – an Isle, originally the northernmost reaches of the land before the Breaking of the World; a place of constant snow and ice and little sunshine; organized into clans and under the rule of a king; where the white beykana are bred before they’re sold to Jadu’n

Falsiner – a person who lives on or originates from Falsin

Faneck – Alasair Faneck of [Tanas, and later of] Agoran was a key member of the Jaduan Historical Society, dedicating his life to chronicling the history of the world; sometimes mistakenly referred to as having been Andrian as he settled on Andria with his husband for many years

Faneck’s Histories – collection of volumes chronicling the history of the world from the time of its creation by the gods; originally inspired by the Book of Creation, Faneck’s Histories are often presented as a continuation of that ancient volume

Father – alternate name for either Zhagos or Kalos

‘Father’s love’ – oath often used on Jadu’n in place of other curses or profanities; refers to the god Kalos

Filday – sixth day of the six-day week; named for the time when the world was created and the deities’ labors neared their end

Freedom – ship in the Libertas fleet based on Agoran, owned and operated primarily by the Crawford family

Garis – celestial body also known as the Mother’s moon, created by Mother Nyses from the everlasting fire

Gate – a portal made of starglass; each Gate is paired, so they have exclusive destinations

Gateway – name for property owned by Benash Rothbur and his descendants, located in the hills above New Haven, Agoran; contains a Gate that leads to Tanas, its counterpart hidden away on a mountainside; land originally claimed by Jevon when the Tanasian rebels arrived on Agoran in The Prisoner (Shifting Isles, Book 1), Benash saved up to buy the property from him when all the other rebels decided to move as far as possible from the Gate connecting to Tanas; the property now includes a large house that serves as a transition place or retreat for any rebels who manage to escape Tanas

Gents – popular restaurant / gay night club in New Haven

Grove Laboratories – research facility in competition with BioTech Enterprises

Guildmate – title of a trained and certified male member of the Erosti Leisure Guild; essentially, an exceptionally talented prostitute also trained in music, dance, acting, cooking, massage, etc.

Guildmistress – title of a trained and certified female member of the Erosti Leisure Guild; essentially, an exceptionally talented prostitute also trained in music, dance, acting, cooking, massage, etc.

Hallern – district (similar to a county) near the northern end of Tanas

Hampston Journal – highly-respected and widely-distributed science and technology magazine on Agoran

Hawk – nickname for Officer Benash, in particular, or for any member of the Hawk guard, in general

Hawk guard – branch of the Tanasian armed forces, ranking above citizens but below the Eagle guard

Hawkeye – free market insurance and personal defense agency on Agoran, owned by Benash Rothbur, and later run by Charlie Crawford

holotable – surface capable of displaying holograms that can be manipulated by hand

Inadra – Lady of Passions; conjoined twin sister of Inaria, and daughter of Nyses, Kalos, and Zhagos; patron goddess of the Isle of Erostil

Inaria – Lady of Purity; conjoined twin sister of Inadra, and daughter of Nyses, Kalos, and Zhagos; patron goddess of the Isle of Andria

Indisar – an Isle, originally to the southeast of the land before the Breaking of the World; a desert wasteland; under monarchic rule; they shun the Seven and instead worship their One True God, Aj’lan (a false and non-existent deity)

Indisari – a person who lives on or originates from Indisar

Indisarian – of or pertaining to Indisar

Jadu’n – an Isle, originally near the southern coast of the land before the Breaking of the World; also known as the Hole in the Ocean, as it is a valley almost entirely below sea level; home of the magi

Jaduan – a person who lives or studies on Jadu’n; of or pertaining to Jadu’n

Jaduan High Council – another name for the Vakti, the ruling council on Jadu’n

Kalos – Father of Healing; a lesser deity created by Skelroth; brother to Zhagos and mate to Nyses; one of the fathers of the Twins, Inaria and Inadra; patron god of the Isle of Jadu’n

kasat – pain-relieving drug

kuryavsuFalsiner word for ‘wolf pup’

Lady – alternate name for either Inaria or Inadra; also a title for members of the Vakti, the Jaduan High Council

laiversi – flavor of tea that originates from Andria

Libertas – name of a fleet and its flagship, based on Agoran, owned and operated primarily by the Crawford family

Lord – alternate name for the god Thrysundir

magi – men born with magical powers (singular: mage); those who study magical craft on Jadu’n; also known as the Children of Kalos

Marday – second day of the six-day week; named for the time when Skelroth created Mother Nyses

marriage scar – upon being taken as a wife, a Tanasian woman has her husband’s name cut into her left shoulder to identify her as his property

Master – common title for a Rajali mage

Mate – short for Guildmate, title of a trained and certified male member of the Erosti Leisure Guild

Mistress – short for Guildmistress, title of a trained and certified female member of the Erosti Leisure Guild

Mother – alternate name for the goddess Nyses

Mourning Day – alternate name for Reconstruction Day

New Haven – city near the west coast of Agoran

Norton – popular snow resort town in northern Agoran, east of New Haven and west of Dunsberg

Nyses – Mother of Storms; a lesser deity created by Skelroth; mate to both Zhagos and Kalos; mother to the Twins, Inaria and Inadra; patron goddess of the Libertas fleet from Agoran

Oaks Pass – city near the east coast of Agoran

One – alternate name for Skelroth, the Creator

Others – a name sometimes used to represent the lesser six deities as a group

padhaak – energy-boosting drug

Partri – fourth month of the year; originally (and still, by tradition) part of the spring season before the Breaking of the World

Pascatin – river running through Tanas; passes to the east of the city of Sonekha, near the Pit

Pit – a mass grave on Tanas, where the dead are dumped and periodically burned; located to the east of the city of Sonekha

Rajali – a fully trained and certified mage

Reconstruction Day – name for the Tanasian holiday, also known as Mourning Day, recognizing the anniversary of the Breaking of the World (5th of Sulinel); auspicious day for getting a woman with child, for the sake of rebuilding the Tanasian population, which has a high mortality rate

renkana – a winged horse, originally pure white from Falsin, but now having taken on color and belonging to a mage of Jadu’n

rhaks-anak – ancient tribal dance of Falsin

S.P.I.R.I.T. Division – division of Hawkeye Agency; stands for Security Provision Integrating Real-time Invasive Telepathy; utilizes an imperfect telepathic connection to victims of violent crime to seek out and aid those victims, hopefully before the crime can be completed

Sarthi – rank of the magi; a novice mage in training

Sehryl – celestial body also known as the Father’s sun, created by Zhagos from the everlasting fire; the primary source of light and heat for the world during the day

Seven – a name for all the deities (Skelroth and the lesser six) as a group

Seventh Daughter’s Seventh Son – prophecy out of Jadu’n that predicts certain lives and events

sevganiFalsiner term for ‘lifemate’

shifting / shift cycle – a process similar to our plate tectonics; after the Breaking of the World, the land was no longer anchored as one mass, and instead became separate Isles that shift across the globe, sometimes grazing coastlines or directly colliding (see also: Collision); thanks to the advanced technology and mathematics developed by the Agori, the shift cycle and Collision events are predictable almost down to the second

Shysais – fifth month of the year; originally (and still, by tradition) part of the summer season before the Breaking of the World

Siksanimage in training; ranking above a novice but below a fully certified Rajali; also known as a priest of the Seven

Siresday – third day of the six-day week; named for the time when Skelroth created the Fathers

Skelroth – shortened name for Skelale’kel-oishaugh’en-ar’Rhyvnekoth, the supreme deity; the Creator of All

snowmother – term on Falsin for a woman who plays a motherly role in place of one’s biological mother

social rankings database – one of a few free-market, competitive services that allow people to list public information and ratings on others, including job history, criminal records, credit scores, insurance risks, etc. (similar to the way users are ranked and rated on sites such as Ebay, so that people can make informed decisions about others with whom they might do business)

Solday – first day of the six-day week; named for the time when Skelroth was alone in the Void

Soldis – second month of the year; originally (and still, by tradition) part of the winter season before the Breaking of the World

Sonekha – name of a city on Tanas; also the name for the nearby underground prison (now collapsed and abandoned)

starglass – a celestial substance crafted into portals, using a combination of Agorani technology and Jaduan magic; paired sections of starglass allow a person or object to travel from one location to another as simply as stepping through a doorway; shimmers like starlight, but neither reflects anything before it nor allows a view to what lies beyond it; destruction of one half of a pair causes the other half of the pair to shatter into dust; neither solid nor liquid, but looks to be both; feels neither hot nor cold, neither wet nor dry

Subhadin – celestial body also known as the Father’s sun, created by Kalos from the everlasting fire; provides sparkling light but little heat, and travels a wayward path unlike its counterparts

Sulinel – third month of the year; originally (and still, by tradition) part of the spring season before the Breaking of the World

sunslight / sunsrise – refers to the light / dawning of the two suns, Sehryl and Subhadin

Tanas – an Isle, originally to the west of the land, just above Agoran, before the Breaking of the World; once a tentative democracy and now a supposed commune under the rule of the Council of Elders

Tanasian – a person who lives on or originates from Tanas

Tarvin – seventh month of the year; originally (and still, by tradition) part of the fall season before the Breaking of the World

‘thaw-born’ – Falsiner word for a bastard child

‘thrice-damned’ – curse on Tanas originating from their suspicion of and hatred for things that come in threes thanks to the three strikes of Father Zhagos’s hammer that caused the Breaking of the World

Times Cross Station – formerly a train station in Oaks Pass on Agoran, now a site for Gates to Andria, Jadu’n, Ceynes, and Erostil; the Gate from there to Tanas was destroyed from the Tanasian side years ago, and no Gates were ever built there to Falsin or Indisar

Thrysday – fifth day of the six-day week; named for the time when Skelroth created Thrysundir

Thrysundir – Lord of Action; a lesser deity created by Skelroth

twel’night – two weeks (as each week has six days)

Twins – a name for the twins Inaria and Inadra as a pair

Twinsday – fourth day of the six-day week; named for the time when the Twins came to be

umlaan – primary ingredient in most burn remedies

University Hospital – hospital in downtown New Haven, right next to Divinity Square

Vakti – the Jaduan High Council, comprised of seven women whose magical ability is limited to sensing the existence of those who will become magi; they also hold all governmental power on the Isle of Jadu’n

Vhais – capitol city of Tanas, where the Council of Elders reside; located south of Sonekha (approximately two days’ walk)

Void – vast emptiness in which Skelroth kindled the everlasting fire, from which originated the lesser deities and the world known to Man

Westfield – city in southeastern Agoran made of a voluntary commune; relatively impoverished and lacking in technology

wingback – term for flying on a renkana

wrap – a garment worn by Tanasian women, in undyed white; comprised of a full-length skirt, with a long piece of cloth that crosses from the hip, up over the opposite shoulder, and is tucked in at the back; unmarried women have the cloth over the left shoulder, while married women wear it over the right, thus leaving the left shoulder exposed to display a woman’s marriage scar

yangkemi – addictive drug from Falsin, made of finely ground human bone; silver-grey in color

Zhagos – Father of Stone; a lesser deity created by Skelroth; brother to Kalos and mate to Nyses; one of the fathers of the Twins, Inaria and Inadra; patron god of the Isle of Falsin

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