ARYLYN DRAMATIS PERSONAE
Afa (name means ‘storm’) Simon: He is originally from French Polynesia and came to Arylyn in 1856 when he was 33. By the time William arrives, age has left him stooped and weak, but he somehow still maintains the lush gardens around his home. He is also the most creative raha’asra on Arylyn.
Bar Duba: He is native born to Arylyn and possesses features typical those types of individuals with Mediterranean dark skin and hair. In addition, he is the councilor for Cliff Air and is known to enjoy his food and dislike folk who are long-winded.
Break Foliage: A native born magus who is also born politician. He’s a small, weasel-like man with a nasally voice who represents Cliff Fire on the Village Council. He and Zane Blood generally vote together, and Rukh can’t stand either of them.
Daniel Karllson: Native born, but his parents are not. They are Trace and Magnus Karllson, and he is their only child. When William was discovered in the Far Beyond, Daniel’s parents were asked to help evaluate this potentially powerful asrasin. They wanted Daniel to experience life in the world outside of Arylyn’s shores, but he was initially hesitant to go. At the time, he had no belief that the Far Beyond could teach him anything. It took Jason Jacobs, his best friend, weeks of hounding to convince him to temporarily leave Arylyn. Then Daniel saw Star Wars, and his world changed. He became a proud participant in all things nerdy. He also became a good friend to William Wilde and later on, he fell in love with Lien, who also accompanied the Karllsons to the Far Beyond.
Daniella Logan: Native born, but like her older sister, Karla, she has blue eyes. She doesn’t like enrune and tends to be quiet until people get to know her.
Emma Lake: A young native born girl, and one of Selene’s earliest friends on Arylyn.
Fiona Applefield: She was originally from England and kidnapped to Sinskrill when her lorethasra flowered to life. For decades, she was the only raha’asra on the island (other than the Servitor), and consequently, for the past sixty years, she has functioned as a battery for the rest of the mahavans. She is also Serena and Selene’s grandmother.
Jake Ridley: He was originally a rich snob, athletic, good-looking, and smart, but life hasn’t been kind to him. Growing up, he and William disliked one another. Much of this is because Jake was a bully. Yet, he can also be quite charitable and loving, especially to his brother, Johnny. His rivalry and distaste for William continued through high school but, they have to set aside their differences when they’re both kidnapped to Sinskrill since both are raha’asras. There, the two of them forge a tight bond and become the best of friends. His parents are Steven and Helen Ridley.
Janine Dale: A native born blacksmith.
Jason Jacobs: He was born in New Orleans to Randall and Amelia Jacobs but entered a saha’asra at age nine. In that moment, his lorethasra came to life. He would have died, but his great-great grandfather, Odysseus Louis Crane III (Mr. Zeus), discovered him. Jason moved to Arylyn, and that was also the last time he saw his parents or the rest of his family. He doesn’t speak of why that occurred. He and William are close friends.
(An interesting historical note: Jason’ great-grandmother, Layla, was the only daughter of Odysseus and Edith Crane. Layla was half-black and married a white Cuban Hispanic. They had seven children, including a son, Sonny who married Julia, a member of the Cherokee tribe. Sonny and Julia had three sons and one daughter, Amelia—Jason’s mother. She married Randall Jacobs, whose family hails from Scotland and Germany.)
Jean-Paul Bernard: A flamboyant, somewhat obnoxious Frenchman. He was once a pot-smoking hippie from Paris, France before emigrating to Arylyn. He loves to surf and taught Serena how to do so. She considers him one of her only friends on Arylyn. He is married to ThuDuc Thu.
Jeff Coats: A farmer murdered by the mahavan, Evelyn Mason, during her scouting mission to Arylyn.
Jimmy Webster: A native born restaurateur. He owns and operates Jimmy Webster’s Restaurant.
Julius O’Brien: He is originally from Montserrat, British West Indies, but his parents moved to Jamaica when he was young. He was a bit of a black sheep, falling into the Rastafarian life, of which his parents disapproved. Later, he chose to pursue civil engineering at Purdue University, but on a trip home to visit family in Jamaica, he came in contact with a saha’asra and had to emigrate to Arylyn. He helps rescue William and Jake from Sinskrill and later takes part in the battle to free Travail and Fiona.
Karla Logan: Native born, but like her younger sister, Daniella, she has blue eyes and wears glasses. Her grandfather was a rector in the Episcopal Church in the United States. She loves enrune and often plays the sport with Serena and Lien.
Lien Sun: She is originally from China, but as a teenager, she found herself on the wrong side of the Communist Party. She fled and ended up in a saha’asra in Beijing. Luckily, Peter Magnus Karllson was visiting the city at the time and saved her by bringing her to Arylyn. She originally stayed with Mr. Zeus for the first three years of her life on Arylyn, but when he moved to the Far Beyond to determine William’s eligibility for Arylyn, she moved in with the Karllsons and pretended to be their foreign exchange student. She loves to sing but is a terrible singer. She also prides herself on not being a nerd, although she is one.
Lilian Care: Originally from England, she moved to Arylyn in the 1940s, shortly after the end of WWII. She once worked as a governess and has been Lilith’s mayor for the past five years.
Lucas Shaw: He is originally from Charleston, South Carolina and retains the accent of his blue-blood forebears. He emigrated to Arylyn in the 1920s. He is a member of the Village Council and represents Cliff Water.
Maxine Knight: She is originally from a small town in Indiana. She runs Ms. Maxine’s, the best place for ice cream in all of Arylyn.
Odysseus Louis Crane III aka Mr. Zeus: At the time of the events of William Wilde and the Necrosed, he is 134 years old, but he only appears to be in his sixties. He has a deep, soothing voice, a long white beard, and looks like a wizard. He emigrated to Arylyn in 1878 and married another emigrant to Arylyn, a black woman named Edith Naomi Merle. However, when their only child, Layla, proved to be a normal—a person without asra—they took her to the Far Beyond and raised her there. Edith never returned to Arylyn, though. She died somewhere in Mississippi, and Mr. Zeus has never explained how she passed away, although he’s let slip that she died at the hands of a necrosed.
A more detailed biography of Mr. Zeus:
Mr. Zeus’s great-grandfather, Lucius George Crane, emigrated to the American Colonies in the mid 1700’s. He settled in Savannah, a young town in what later became the state of Georgia. Lucius worked as a fisherman, but when the Revolutionary War erupted, Lucius joined the Continental Army. Later, after the war’s conclusion, Lucius bought land near Augusta and became a farmer, founding the plantation Aria. By the time Mr. Zeus’ father, Odysseus Louis Crane II, inherited the plantation, it had five hundred acres of land and almost 35 slaves.
Decades later, the Civil War broke out, and Mr. Zeus’s father joined the Confederate Army, serving in the 6th Regiment, the first unit mustered from the state of Georgia and commanded by a good friend of the family, Colonel Arthur Colquitt, whom his father had met while the two men were studying at Princeton. Mr. Zeus’ brothers, both of whom were much older than him, joined the Confederate Army as well, but they were assigned to the 19th Regiment. His eldest brother, Joshua, was killed at Cedar Mountain, while Jeb died at Second Manassas. His father learned that they had expired when the 19th and the 6th both fought at Antietam. He wrote home to Mr. Zeus’ mother (Miriam Francis Crane) that his heart was empty. All he had seen was death and suffering, and soon after, he died at the battle of Fredericksburg. Later, General Sherman burned Aria to the ground, leaving Mr. Zeus’ family destitute.
After the surrender of the Confederacy, Miriam married Zachary Thomas, a local plantation owner whose entire family had also perished during the war. Mr. Thomas adopted Zeus and his sister, Ruth Esther, and moved the family to California in 1866. He wanted a fresh start and no memories of a way of life that had died in a flood of fire and blood. They moved to Santa Barbara, where Mr. Thomas, took his remaining savings and bought land. He established an orchard and grew oranges. Within 12 years, the family was living prosperously. Mr. Zeus’ mother had several more children, a girl, Susan and a boy, James. Ruth Esther married a local lawyer, the son of a well-to-do family that had been in Santa Barbara for many years.
As for Mr. Zeus, at twenty-six he was sent east to take a tour of Europe, but he never arrived. Instead, he came across a saha’asra in New York City, in a swampy field that would eventually become Central Park. His lorethasra came alive, and Afa Simon brought him to Arylyn.
Peter Magnus Karllson (aka Magnus): He is from Sweden and looks like his Viking forebears. When his lorethasra came to life, it broke his heart to have to leave his family. He spent years hating what had happened to him, but eventually Trace arrived, and his life changed. He married her within nine months of their meeting, and they have a son, Daniel. When William is discovered, they accompanied Mr. Zeus to Cincinnati in order to expose Daniel to the wider world beyond Arylyn’s borders. In addition, Magnus discovered Lien in China and brought her to Arylyn prior to the events of William Wilde and the Necrosed.
Rail Forsyth: A scout in the Ashoka Irregulars.
Robert Weeks: A native born blacksmith who helps build Arylyn’s cannons.
Seema Choudary: She is a small, quiet Indian woman originally from what became the Krishna District in Andhra Pradesh after the end of the British Raj. Her caste is Kamma, which Rukh and Jessira find interesting. She emigrated to Arylyn in the early 1900s when she was still in her teens and is the councilor for Cliff Earth.
Selene Paradiso: Serena’s younger sister, and they share the same parents. She is aware of this shared lineage—the fact that they’re true sisters and that the Servitor is their true father. Until escaping to Arylyn, she didn’t know about her grandmother, Fiona Applefield. William and Jake think of her as their little sister.
Serena Paradiso: She was born on Sinskrill to Axel Paradiso and Cinnamon Bliss. However, at age 11, when she passed her Tempering, she was taken from Cinnamon and given to Axel’s wife, Alaina, to become her daughter. She eventually became a bishan, but not until after she saw her birth mother, a woman she loved with all her heart, whipped to death in front of her eyes. This event is the main reason why Serena became so hard, ruthless, and a consummate liar.
Sioned O’Sullivan: She is originally from Ireland and came to Arylyn when she was twenty-three. She is a raha’asra, and William’s and Jake’s originally instructor in Jayenasra, the Beautiful Art. By the time William arrives on Arylyn, she is over 140 years old.
Sile Troy: Native born to Arylyn. He works as a farmer with a plot of land in Janaki Valley. His wife is Jennifer Troy, a singer and a baker, and his grandmother is Sioned O’Sullivan. Sile agrees to take on Serena as an apprentice farmer, acting as her master.
Stacey Cloud: A scout in the Ashokan Irregulars.
ThuDuc Thu: Originally from Saigon, Vietnam, he emigrated to the United States as part of the Vietnamese boat people in 1978. Shortly thereafter, he emigrated to Arylyn. He is married to Jean-Paul Bernard.
Trase Karllson: Born in Ethiopia, and her birth name is Hanan Malak Abdullah (‘merciful angel’ in Arabic). She was engaged to a family friend at age fifteen, but after she was attacked by her fiancé’s older brother, she had to flee, fearing an honor killing. She entered a saha’asra, and its glory calmed her pain. She stayed there, preferring to die, but Mr. Zeus saved her. As a result, she has a deep and abiding gratitude for him. On Arylyn, she eventually met Peter Magnus Karllson. They have a son, Daniel.
Travail Fine: He is a young troll, only about 200 years old. He was tricked into coming to Sinskrill by a prior Servitor, and with his fear of open water, he was trapped there. As a result, he has a deep and abiding hatred for Sinskrill and all mahavans. Like all trolls, he is massively built, quiet and solitary, and a Justice. In addition, he was William’s and Jake’s protector and teacher during their time on Sinskrill, and they love him for his friendship. Fiona Applefield was once his bishan and has always acted in his best interests, although on Sinskrill they kept their friendship secret.
Ward Silver: He is a native to Arylyn and master of multiple Elements: Fire, Earth, and Water and Spirit. He is young and is the one who eventually teaches William how to properly braid his Elements.
William Wilde: Born in the mountains of North Carolina but moved to Cincinnati, Ohio when he was ten. As a result, his mountain accent sometimes still comes through. His parents, Kevin and Jane Wilde, were killed by the necrosed, Kohl Obsidian. It was assumed that his brother, Landon, was similarly murdered. These events started William on the long road to becoming an asrasin. He is also a raha’asra.
Zane Blood: A native-born man who has an overabundant sense of self-worth, much of it undeserved. He is the councilor for Cliff Spirit, and he and Break Foliage are allies on the Village Council.
The island was discovered in 7545 B.C. At the time, it was volcanic and uninhabitable, but in 6257 B.C., a small colony of asrasins was eventually established there. Most were magavanes—followers of Shokan—and fleeing the Nusrael, the catastrophic war amongst the asrasins. At the time, the island was a relative backwater given its active volcanism, tortured landscape of flowing lava and erupting sulfur vents, and its meager lorasra. As a result, it was largely ignored during the worldwide war. However, as the battles raged on, other asrasins who had once scorned the island chose to settle there.
The Nusrael eventually settled down to a low-level conflict, and the island was once again forgotten as many of its inhabitants rejoined the larger world. But as the millennia passed, more and more saha’asras were slowly bereft of lorasra, and Arylyn became one of the few places in the world that could sustain the life of those with lorethasra. It was permanently settled in 2039 B.C. with the founding of the village of Lilith. The volcano at the island’s heart was put to sleep through the asra of the dwarves, and several sithes of elves beautified the place when they planted forests and jungles on the once barren hills and valleys of Arylyn.
In the centuries that followed, with the ongoing failure of all the world’s saha’asras, the island was conceived as the final home of the magi. A sithe of elves and creche of dwarves—the descendants of those who had helped tame the island—was allowed to live there as well. By 533 AD, no other community of magi existed in the world.
Still, the passage of time did not leave Arylyn untouched. The saha’asra dwindled, the lorasra faded, and the elves and dwarves living there eventually died out. They became nothing more than Memories. The island’s magi population shrank as well, and by the time William Wilde enters the island, it has become a shadow of its former self, although its inhabitants don’t seem to realize it. Nevertheless, it remains a place of peace, beauty, and grace.
Lilith is governed by an elected council with one councilor representing each of the five Cliffs upon which the village is built. The councilors serve for three years. In addition, the mayor who oversees the government, is chosen in a village-wide election. Lilith, though, basically governs itself without much input from the Village Council. This was actually the intention of Lilith’s founders.
The current Village Council:
Mayor: Lilian Care.
Cliff Air: Bar Duba
Cliff Fire: Break Foliage
Cliff Water: Luke Shaw
Cliff Earth: Seema Choudary
Cliff Spirit: Zane Blood
Charybdis Way: A narrow pass that cuts across the western slopes of Mount Madhava. It is south of the Jaipurana Pass, and the Riven Road extends through both of them.
Chimera Seed: A blocky bridge that connects Cliff Spirit with Cliff Water. Carved into the posts of the bridge are figures of fantastical creatures who Rukh and Jessira recognize as Chimeras from their home world of Arisa. No one knows how such carvings came to be.
Elven Tor: A large, rocky hill where the Elven Memory comes to collect those who are on their pilgrimage to examine Arylyn’s history.
Guanyin Bridge: A reflective, silvery bridge made of an unknown material. It traverses River Namaste at the base of Cliff Spirit where the river recollects after plunging down Lilith’s cataracts.
Jaipurana Pass: A mountain pass skirting the northwestern shoulders of Mount Madhava. It is north of the Charybdis Way, and the Riven Road extends through both of them.
Janaki Valley: The name means ‘mother’ in Hindi, and it is a mystical valley of fertile fields and lush orchards. It is where the bulk of Lilith’s crops are grown, and all magi hold the valley in reverence.
Lakshman Bridge: A stone bridge that traverses River Namaste near the enrune fields. The name may be derived from that of Rama’s brother, Lakshmana, in the ancient Indian epic poem, the Ramayana.
Lilith: The only village in Arylyn. It is built upon terraces carved into five cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. The five Cliffs are Cliff Air, Cliff Fire, Cliff Water, Cliff Earth, and Cliff Spirit, and each one is bifurcated by a set of Main Stairs. They also all contain a number of smaller stairs and bridges to connect the various terraces of each Cliff.
Clifftop: The area atop the Cliffs. It’s Lilith’s industrial and mercantile core.
The Village Green: The heart of Lilith. It sits at the point where Clifftop eventually runs into the Main Stairs of Cliff Spirit and that portion is shaped like a ship’s prow.
Linchpin Knoll: A small hill near Clifftop where all the known anchor lines that connect Arylyn to the rest of the world are located.
Mount Madhava: It is the only true mountain on Arylyn, visible from nearly every vantage point on the island. It had once been an active volcano until a creche of dwarves calmed it. The descendants of those dwarves would go on to live in a set of villages they built within the mountain’s broad shoulders.
Riven Road: A rugged road that branches off Sita’s Song north of Janaki Valley. From there, it extends around the western and northwestern shoulders of Mount Madhava by passing through Charybdis Way and then Jaipurana Pass. From there, it leads to Arylyn’s northern beaches and watchtowers.
River Namaste: The river that feeds Janaki Valley. The waters collect from the foothills that surround Mount Madhava. From there, the river flows through Janaki Valley and tumbles over the cataracts, spreading like a fine mist across Lilith’s Cliffs before recollecting at the base of Cliff Spirit. The waters then sweep north through a narrow canyon lined with statues of great figures from Arylyn’s past.
Scylla Pass: A mountain pass on the northwestern slopes of Mount Madhava. It branches of the Riven Road and parallels Jaipurana Pass before rejoining Riven Road north of Jaipurana Pass.
Sita’s Song: A long road that runs through Janaki Valley and all the way to the southern base of Mount Madhava.
Village of Meldencreche: It was the last, living dwarven village on Arylyn before the dwarves became a Memory. It sits within the bulk of Mount Madhava and the Dwarven Memory resides there.
*On Arylyn, those who wish to progress in a profession start out as apprentices. From there, they become journeymen. Finally, they become adepts, or masters.
Enrune: The national game of Arylyn. It utilizes speed, physicality, and skill with asra. The latter is actually the most important attribute for success in enrune.
Treatises on Travel—A Translation: A translated book about anchor lines.
The Intervention: A very boring book about the Nusrael. William discovers it in the library. The librarian advised him to never open the book’s pages, but William didn’t listen. He wishes he had.
SINSKRILL DRAMATIS PERSONAE
Adam Carpenter (went by the name Adam Paradiso in the Far Beyond): The powerful Secondus to his true brother, Axel. He was also Serena’s Isha during her pilgrimage as a bishan in the Far Beyond.
Axel Carpenter: Raised to the status of Servitor over twenty years ago when he successfully maintained his position on the Servitor’s Seat. He is the unopposed leader of the mahavans.
Brandon Thrum: Born to two nameless drones. He is a Walker and was once Serena’s fiercest supporter when he thought she might become a Village Prime.
Darren Pyre: Fire Prime. An old mahavan. He served as Adam’s Isha.
Devon Carpenter: Prime of Village Bliss.
Evelyn Mason: An intense, young Rider with auburn hair that billows about her head when her passions run away with her. She was also once Serena’s supporter on Sinskrill, but she now wants to do nothing more than kill Serena, who she believes a traitor.
Gold Imbue: Tender Prime. Like all mahavans, he can be casually cruel.
Hannah Yearn: Captain of the Deathbringer. Competent but risk-averse and Brandon replaces her command of Deathbringer before the battle at Lilith.
Josiah Danks: The foreman who replaced Justin Finch upon his demotion.
Justin Finch: A Sinskrill foreman who disliked William and Jake enough to fight them. He was broken to the rank of peasant for striking those considered of higher rank than him.
Mary Commons: Justin Finch’s fiancé before he was broken to the rank of peasant for fighting William and Jake.
Rail Swift: Rider Prime. He is a known coward who hides during a conflict.
Sherlock Carpenter: Prime of Village Paradiso on Sinskrill. He died shortly after lashing Jake.
Thomas White: A Tender occasionally in charge of William and Jake during their time on Sinskrill.
Trina Batter: Walker Prime. She often works with Darren Pyre, the Fire Prime. They have a true son, Aaron Batter, who is a Spirit Master, which is an embarrassment to both of them.
Tristan Winegate: A young Tender who had initially supported Serena in her bid to become a Village Prime. He died at the teeth and claws of a small tribe of unformed.
The island was founded as a refuge for the mahavans in 3659 BC but not permanently settled until 1943 BC. Originally Sinskrill was a barren land with a climate similar to the Faroe Islands. As a result, the first inhabitants had to import much of the fauna and flora. They planted tough grass and heather to hold the soil of the lowlands and then forested the hills with lodge pole pines, spruce pines, feltleaf willows, black cottonwoods, green alders, beech, caneloes, and hard log marten. The work might have gone easier with the aide of a sithe of elves. However, since mahavans tend to enslave any woven race they encounter, that proved impossible.
Nevertheless, the island flowered. It is known that at one time, tens of thousands of mahavans once called Sinskrill home. This included Amethyst, a smaller island off the coast of Sinskrill. However, a combination of the fading of the world’s lorasra and the foolish importation of several large, powerful tribes of unformed led to the devastation of the mahavan population.
By modern times, all of Sinskrill’s northern villages have been abandoned, and so, too, was Amethyst. The only remaining places of habitation exist along the island’s southern coast. The rest of Sinskrill has been given over to wilderness. In essence, the island has returned to its roots as a rocky place full of rugged mountains. It has once more become a hard place for a hard people, a fact in which the mahavans take great pride.
Of note, there are no rats, mice, frogs, gnats, or mosquitoes on Sinskrill. The early settlers wisely chose against allowing pests onto the island.
GOVERNMENT AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE
The government is fairly simple in that the Servitor is the island’s unquestioned sovereign. This unchallenged rule is felt to be ordained through the will of Sinskrill’s god, Shet, who supposedly chooses the island’s next ruler upon the death of the prior Servitor. This happens when a mahavan manages to sit upon the Servitor’s Chair for a full minute, thus earning Shet’s blessing. Any mahavan can make the attempt but lack of success can be painful and earn the enmity of the new Servitor. As a result, it is generally only the Secondus who tries for the Chair, and from that point on, the newly raised Servitor—regardless of whether they are male or female—is referred to as ‘liege’, and they take the surname ‘Carpenter’.
Of course, like all places, Sinskrill contains politics and a wise Servitor plays each faction off another. In this case, the wise Servitor plays each collegium—around which mahavan society is structured—and their respective Primes, against one another.
Every mahavan belongs to a single collegium, and there is one for each Element. In addition, the various collegia have different levels of respect amongst the overall mahavan population.
Those belonging to the Fire Master collegium are known as Seres, and they the finest warriors on Sinskrill, with training in unarmed and armed combat. The Air Masters are called Walkers, and they are the Servitor’s spies. They are also in a constant conflict with the Seres for dominance in Sinskrill. Those from the Water Master collegium are known as Riders. They cleanse the water of impurities, such as heavy metals that seep down from the northern mountains as well as lorasra that flows from Shet to Sinskrill. The lowest ranking collegium belongs to the Earth Masters, who are known as Tenders. They are essentially farmers.
As for the Primes, they are mahavans of note who are given command over a collegium or one of Sinskrill’s villages. In this case, Paradiso or Bliss since the Servitor rules Village White Sun directly. The village Primes are also adopted by the Servitor into his/her family and take on the surname ‘Carpenter’.
In addition, there is a fifth group of mahavans, Spirit Master, or Spiritualists. However, they are of quite limited power and prestige and are not afforded an independent collegium.
Of interesting note, Servitors tend not live as long as other mahavans, and no one knows why. Some have speculated that it might be due to the fact that upon their elevation, a newly made Servitor is transformed into both a thera’asra and a raha’asra, a fact not widely known.
An even less known secret—one known only by Servitors and a few of the Secondus’s—is that, in addition to their abilities as asrasins, all Servitors and some of the Secondus’s have the power of an unformed.
*It should be noted that mahavans believe themselves to be superior to all magi, especially when it comes to physical conflict. Recent events have not borne out this viewpoint.
Bishans: Shills who have progressed deep into their training. They are tested a final time at age eighteen after their pilgrimage, and those who pass are made mahavans. However, just as important as completion of the pilgrimage is how such an accomplishment was managed. It is the latter that often determines into which collegium a newly minted mahavan is accepted.
Demolition: The Servitor’s ship.
Drones: This is the status of all children at birth, including those born to mahavan parents. Their status remains unchanged until the age of ten when they are given three attempts to pass a Tempering. Failure on all three occasions leads to stripping where they still have some of their lorethasra but can no longer link to lorasra in any meaningful fashion. From that point on, their life path is forged and they work as peasant farmers, largely under the regulation and control of the Tenders.
*All drones take the surname of the village in which they were born. In addition, boys are eventually sent to a different village from their birth.
Lord Shet: The god of Sinskrill. He is also the lord of raha’asras and master of all Elements. His compiled wisdom is found in Shet’s Council. Most asrasins believe him to be a myth.
Isha: One who trains a shill or a bishan.
Mahavans: the elite asrasins of Sinskrill. It takes years of forging to create one. Once a bishan is elevated to the status of mahavan, they can exchange their village surname for that of their parents, or even that of the collegium into which they were accepted. Most choose family.
Shill: A drone who has passed their Tempering. At age fifteen, shills are retested and those who pass become bishans. They have two chances to pass and failure leads to stripping.
THE FAR BEYOND
DRAMATIS PERSONAE IN THE FAR BEYOND
WIZARD BILL’S WANDERING WONDERS
*The circus that William, Jason, and Serena join in order to temporarily escape Kohl Obsidian.
Bill Londoner: Portly, co-owner of Wizard Bill’s Wandering Wonders. He gave William, Jason, and Serena a job when they were on the run from Kohl Obsidian. He’s married to Nancy Londoner, and he enjoys his beer. Known as Mr. Bill by his employees.
Dubrovic Family of Tumblers, the: A supposedly famous family of tumblers from Croatia. In reality, all of them are American gymnasts who are unrelated to one another and thrown together by the manic madness of Mr. Bill for his circus.
Elaina Sinith: a beautiful, mysterious woman who claims to be a witch from a village called Sand. This inevitably leads to the joke that Elaina is a ‘sand witch’. She works at Wizard Bill’s Wandering Wonders as a fortune teller.
Jane Smith: Seamstress at Wizard Bill’s Wandering Wonders.
Jimmy Hanson: The cook at Wizard Bill’s Wandering Wonders. He’s not too bright but very loyal to Bill and Nancy.
Luc Dubrovic: A gymnast who is supposedly the head of the famous Dubrovic Family of Tumblers from Croatia. In reality, his name is Stanley Wilson.
Nancy Londoner: The tall, slender co-owner Wizard Bill’s Wandering Wonders. She was the one who pushed her husband, Bill, to give William, Jason, and Serena a chance to join their circus.
ST. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL
*The high school that William, Jason, Jake, Daniel, and Lien attended. Serena joins them at the beginning of their senior year.
Principal Alfred Walter: School principal.
Mrs. Gertrude Nelson: Biology teacher. She has a pet boa and William is terrified of the animal.
Jeff Setter: Defensive captain of the St. Francis High School football team.
Mrs. Jennifer Clancy: English teacher. She is later put on bed rest during her pregnancy.
Mrs. Katherine Wilkerson: William and Serena’s homeroom teacher. She has a yearly winter sweater contest that she holds right after the Christmas holidays.
Lance Owens: Wide receiver on the high school football team. Jason dusts him in a sprint, which earned him the interest of Coach Rasskins.
Mr. Mike Farther: Jason’s homeroom teacher.
Father Richard Jameson: Religion teacher who takes them to a church in Over-the-Rhine in downtown Cincinnati.
Mr. Robin Cleating: Substitute English teacher when Mrs. Clancy is put on bed rest.
Vice-Principal Roger Meron: A bulldog of a vice-principal who’s more clever than most realize.
Sonya Bowyer: Jake Ridley’s longtime girlfriend in high school. William had a crush on her until Serena walked into his life.
Coach Steve Rasskins: Head football coach at St. Francis.
Steven Aldo: Part of Jake’s group of friends at St. Francis. As such, he’s not expected to show much in the way of friendship toward William, but he subtly does so anyway.
Mr. Thomas Callahan: American History teacher and speaks like it’s still the 1950s.
Aia: Once a small kitten who helped kill Kohl Obsidian. A Kesarin. She is bonded to Rukh.
Helen Ridley: Mother to Jake and John Ridley. Married to Steven Ridley.
John Aaron Ridley: Jake’s little brother, and he used to go by ‘Johnny’. He was born with a neurodegenerative condition that has slowly limited his mobility. Jake loves him fiercely.
Shon: A Kesarin. He is bonded to Jessira.
Steven Ridley: Father to Jake and John Ridley. Married to Helen Ridley.
*All beings who are created through the work of lorethasra and lorasra are collectively known as ‘woven’. In addition, most woven have an instinctual understanding of the Elements that asrasins lack. However, once a task is identified, it is often the asrasins that accomplish the deed. For instance, in the founding of Arylyn, once the dwarves and elves showed what was needed, it was the magi who performed the work.
Antalagore the Black: The greatest of all dragons. He betrayed Shet and was eventually killed by Sapient Dormant for his treason.
Dwarves: Mountain dwelling woven. They live in large matrilineal villages, which they name a creche. Their ability to bring calm and peace—a skill they share with those around them—extends to the dragons who often share a mountain range with them. Shet has a special hate for dwarves.
Elves: Live in large groups they call sithes. Generally smaller than humans but swifter. Arrogance is often an adjective associated with them.
Holders: Magavenes woven into assassins meant to kill other asrasins, specifically mahavans. Their greatest weapon is the Wildness, an ability to impart energy into their weapons and render them capable of cutting through nearly any weave or substance.
Landon Vent: He is the merged consciousness of Landon Wilde, William’s older brother, and Pilot Vent, the holder who became Kohl Obsidian.
Necrosed: Monstrous woven created thousands of years ago by Shet at his fortress, Clarity Pain. They were meant to be the antithesis of dwarves, bringing fear rather than calm and death rather than peace. Since holders were assassins meant to kill asrasins—specifically mahavans—Shet wished to turn their power on the magavanes. Thus, he captured a large group of holders and tortured them until he created the first necrosed, Grave Invidious. Shokan, though, placed a curse upon the necrosed, such that they are in a continual state of decay and rot.
Necrosed can enter long periods of catatonia, measured in decades, before cycling to awareness, and when they do, an insatiable hunger for flesh and lorethasra fills them.
The exact number of necrosed is unknown but it is likely small. Nevertheless, all woven and asrasins fear the necrosed, and it is believed that no one except a holder can kill one of the undying monsters.
Grave Invidious: The first necrosed and the keeper of Shet’s temple, Clarity Pain. He is also the protector of Shet’s sword, Undefiled Locus
Kohl Obsidian: He was once a holder named Pilot Vent but was transformed into a necrosed by Sapient Dormant, the Overward of the Necrosed. Kohl would go on to kill William’s family, thus setting him on the road to becoming an asrasin.
Manifold Fulsom: A large, powerful necrosed.
Sapient Dormant: Overward of the necrosed. Created by Overlord Shet. He was born in Clarity Pain, and one of his first acts is to slay the dragon, Antalagore the Black.
Scourskin: Extinct on Earth, but their species still lives on in Seminal. They are a short, blue skinned race of woven with heads that look like catfish. They live off of therasra and are among the stupidest and weakest of all woven.
Trolls: Powerful, intelligent woven. They are universally massive and have horned heads. Throughout history, they have served as Justices, possessing an ability to see to the heart of the matter and render a judgment that can never be unknown. It is a power all asrasins respect. Of interesting note, they procreate by parthenogenesis.
Unformed: Shape-changing woven. They can take on the form of nearly any animal, regardless of size. They generally live in small tribes of 40-50, which are led by a Prime—either male or female. Each Prime is supported by a Secondus, a powerful ally who can later become a threat.
They have a first name and a last name, the latter of which is that of their tribe.
However, their surnames frequently change since unformed move about quite often. Their allegiances shift from tribe to tribe, whose territories also tend to rapidly change. As a result, unformed don’t bother remembering their lineage. It is unimportant. For unformed, nothing is truly fixed.
One bite from a Prime can transform nearly any other woven into an unformed. Only asrasins, holders, and necrosed are immune.
*An interesting aside:
Most of the dangerous animals on Sinskrill, such as wolves, are actually unformed. In addition, the bears who come over from Amethyst, are also unformed. The unformed were brought to Sinskrill long ago by a Servitor whose name was intentionally forgotten.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
*Brief history of asrasins: It is thought that many of the gods and goddesses of the ancient pantheons, such as those from Sumeria, Babylon, Egypt, and China were actually asrasins of some sort. Those ancient warlords waged horrific wars of conquest, dominance, and enslavement upon the rest of the world, especially normals, those without lorethasra. But when Shokan inspired the magavane servants of the mahavans to overthrow the rule of Overlord Shet, an event known as the Nusrael—the Catastrophe—the asrasin control of the world began to crumble.
Asra: Magic or more specifically, enchantment.
Asrasin: General name of the magic practitioners. In ancient times, all children of a single asrasin parent had the potential to become an asrasin. In the modern era, this certainty has been lost. Nevertheless, there are still several ways to become an asrasin. Most commonly, a potential wielder of asra is born within a saha’asra to asrasin parents. Then there are those who have the potential to become asrasins but are born outside saha’asra. These individuals generally lead normal, unremarkable lives, although many mention that experience frequent bouts of ennui, as if they are perpetually unfilled. However, if such an individual is exposed to a saha’asra, their lorethasra stirs to life, and they have to go to a saha’asra that contains a sufficient amount of lorasra to sustain them or face imminent death. The only two such places today are Arylyn and Sinskrill.
Braid: A magical spell or creation. Also called a weave.
Clarity Pain: Overlord Shet’s temple stronghold and place where he created the necrosed.
Council of Magavane: The asrasins who fought to free humanity. They were inspired by Shokan and Sira. Later on, they became the progenitors of the magi of Arylyn. Interestingly, prior to Shokan’s and Sira’s arrival, most who called themselves magavanes were servants of the mahavans. An unsubstantiated rumor states that the magavanes also enacted a plan to slowly drain the world’s saha’asras of power to further erode mahavan dominance.
Five Elements, the:
Fire: crackles and smells like sulfur.
Air: hisses and pulses as it distorts the air.
Earth: rustles like ivy.
Water: possesses a rushing sound, like a breaking wave.
Spirit: White but with flecks of color that are reflective of an asrasin’s natural moral tendencies.
Far Beyond, the: the world outside the borders of a saha’asra.
Great Dying, the: The one hundred and eighty-five year period of time in the Middle Ages when most of the magical races perished. Most historians date the Great Dying to approximately 1209-1394 AD. The cause is unknown but likely due to the ongoing fading of the various saha’asras throughout the world.
Jaycik Kornavel: Author of the Lore of Itihasthas. He is reputed to have been a magavane and personal friend of Shokan and Sira.
Jayenasra: The Beautiful Art. An ancient word to describe the use of asra. The term has fallen out of use.
Ley lines: Arterial or root like systems that extend from primal nodes and spread lorasra throughout a saha’asra. They can become corroded or corrupted over time and are maintained through the work of adepts in the Elements of Water, Fire, and Spirit. However, proper repair or installations of new ley lines can only be done by a raha’asra.
Lorasra: The asra contained within a place. It is a phenomenon that asrasins use to create their braids and weaves. When it is polluted, it is called therasra.
Lore of Itihasthas, the: Author Jaycik Kornavel. A book written sometime between 6200-5000 BC about the Nusrael and ancient asrasins.
Lorethasra: The asra or magic contained within a person. Lorethasra rests upon five primeval Elements: Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and most importantly, Spirit. In essence, these are the five Elements of classical Buddhist thought, but what the Buddhists thought of as ‘void’, asrasins recognize as Spirit. All asrasins can bend these Elements to their will, although they are usually adept at two or perhaps three of these forces.
Magavane: Asrasins who were inspired by Shokan and Sira and came to believe that mundane humanity deserved more than enslavement. They formed the Council of the Magavanes and fought the lords of the Mahavana Axis.
Magus: Name for those asrasins from Arylyn. They descend from the magavanes.
Mahavan: The ancient asrasins who once ruled the Earth. The greatest of them was Shet. In their view, all lesser asrasins and woven are fit for nothing but servitude. As for normal humans, those without lorethasra, they were meant for nothing more than slavery. The mahavans eventually formed the Mahavana Axis as a counter to the Council of the Magavanes.
Mahavana Axis: The enemy of the Council of the Magavanes.
Nomasra: Any object imbued with lorasra.
Nusrael: “The Catastrophe”. The ancient war among the asrasins the beginning of which was heralded when Shokan inspired the magavanes to fight for freedom.
Overlord Shet (Set as Egyptians called him): The greatest and most powerful of all mahavans. At one point, he was the acknowledged, unchallenged ruler of the world. For now, he resides on Seminal and is still the god of the mahavans of Sinskrill.
Primal Nodes: Nomasras that are repositories of lorasra. From a primal node, lorasra extends into a saha’asra through ley lines, which can variously be likened to an arterial or root system. Primal nodes can only be created by a raha’asra or a skilled adept in Spirit.
Raha’asra: A type of asrasin who can create lorasra. Such an individual is often quite powerful.
Saha’asra: Places of magic.
Seminal: A mythical world where Shet is said to have fled following his defeat at the hands of Shokan and Sira. Little is known about the world except that lorasra is said to be unconstrained there. Somehow, it is perpetually made, and the plants and creatures of this world have adapted to it in their own fashion. However, the lorasra is so potent that it can be too much for even an asrasin to safely use. There are said to be lakes of lorasra in Seminal that are deadly to all creatures.
Shokan: The great enemy of Shet. The Lord of the Sword. Husband to Sira, the Lady of Fire.
Sira: The great enemy of Shet. The Lady of Fire. Wife to Shokan, the Lord of the Sword.
Thera’asras: Asrasins who are masters of all Elements. However, their control of Spirit isn’t at the same level as a raha’asra’s.
Theranom: Special nomasra vessels specifically designed to contain therasra, which would otherwise pollute the environment.
Therasra: Lorasra that has become polluted from use. It can easily destroy the environment by distorting trees, bushes, plants and even animals and people.
Undefiled Locus: Overlord Shet’s sword. The weapon was somehow turned against him during his final battle with Shokan and Sira, thus leading to his defeat. Shet left Undefiled Locus within the heart of Clarity Pain, guarded by Grave Invidious, the greatest of his necrosed, until the god’s return.
Woven, the: Magical races created by asrasins.
*The ancient mother tongue of the asrasins. This is a partial list of some of the surviving words from that language.
Asrasin: General name of practitioners of Jayenasra.
Bishan: Young master. The term has fallen out of favor in Arylyn but is still used in Sinskrill.
Hastha: The past.
Itihasthas: That which has happened.
Isha: Masterful instructor, meant to convey teacher in the ways of life. The term has fallen out of favor on Arylyn but is still used in Sinskrill.
Jayen: Beauty made alive.
Lor: Secret. Hidden.
Maga: Servant of greatness.
Maha: One who wields greatness.
Mayna: Someone of interest.
Nome: That which is malleable.
Rashasra: Most High. God.
Saha’asra: Place of magic.
Shev: To submit.
Shevasra: The language spoken in ancient times. Translated as submission to asra.
Shill: Incompetent person with potential. The term has fallen out of favor on Arylyn but is still used in Sinskrill.
Thera: One who wields power.