Glossary of Terms
The Arm: a group of armed men assembled by the sheriff to hunt down criminals.
Armsman: a professional soldier. This term is broad, encompassing anyone from infantry to cavalry and levied commoners to knights.
Baalgûl: spawns of Felled, baalgûl are the sworn enemy of the First Order. They are humanoid in appearance, with various monstrous qualities (scales, fur, fangs, claws, snout, tails, beast legs, horns, etc.). They tend to be slightly larger than most humans, and are vicious fighters. They speak their own tongue, dark speech, though a few have been known to speak common as well. Baalgûl wield steel weapons, though they usually possess natural weapons that are just as deadly, and are also gifted with natural defense. They form the bulk of Felled’s dark army. Also known as ‘gools’ for short.
Bailiff: an officer of the king charged with local administrative authority. Above a reeve, but below the sheriff.
Bergmen: the tribal barbarians of the Frozen Lands, and natives of Hibernia.
Builder: the magical artisans of the world, these casters can craft anything from exquisite jewelry to flying castles.
Burnout: when a gifted character forcefully loses all connections to magic. This can happen when a caster draws too much energy through himself, or through a ritual in which the target is burnt out.
Caster: a gifted person trained by the Guild in the magical arts.
Cimmerians: men and women who worship the fallen god Felled. They are not openly tolerated by any societies and are killed if discovered. They form secret cults within towns and cities, doing the deeds of their dark lord, and live in hidden enclaves out in the wild. Some even cooperate with baalgûl and Morathandul, though they are just as likely to be killed by them. Through sinister rituals, the honored followers are said to gain dark powers as their corruption increases. This can have superficial effects like red or black eyes, horns, unnatural skin discoloration, glyph tattoos, and other strange corruptions. Also called ‘taintlings’.
Common: the language spoken by the majority of the known world; also known as the trade tongue.
Dark Speech: the language spoken by baalgûl.
Enforcer: battle mages of the Guild, their primary ability is destruction. They may become war machines, assassins, Hunters, or double as an Inquisitor. This role is greatly limited, as having too many Enforcers can sometimes be a dangerous thing.
Esalel: the god worshiped by the First Order. He is the older brother of Felled, and creator of the planes. He resides in the plane above, the Vale, and is also known as the First, the Creator, and the Forger of Stars. His symbol is a hand wielding a hammer over an anvil, ringed by celestial stars. Common holy symbols simply depict a great hammer.
Felled: the god of darkness and death, he is the archenemy of the First Order and the patron deity of baalgûl and Cimmerians, his worshippers. Also known as the Fallen, the dark lord, and the Abyssal.
The First Order: the primary religious institution of the world that worships Esalel.
Gifted: to be born with the potential to learn and use magic. Children discovered to be gifted are bound by law to be trained in the Guild.
The Guild: the institution in charge of finding, training, and monitoring all casters. They are neutral to all kingdoms, and are granted extraterritorial rights to the lands they own.
The Hammer: the military branch of the First Order, the Hammer is the only full time standing army, and is completely supported by the Hand.
The Hand: the monastic branch of the First Order, the Hand runs the monasteries and chapels.
Hundred Court: deals with fights, fraud, disputes over small debts, and thefts of household goods and animals. Held twice a month. Overseen by the bailiff.
Hunters: men and women employed by the Guild to locate and capture or kill rogue casters and spellflares. Some hunters are casters themselves, though many are just talented killers.
House: a noble family. Only landowning nobles may form a house. The ruler of a house is known as a lord.
Inquisitors: often paired with hunters, inquisitors are Guild casters who are called in to interrogate rogue casters or casters suspected of breaking Guild law. They may also be hired to discover truths in important cases, though their price is high.
Jail: the county prison, where suspected felons are held until the sheriff’s tourn.
Knight: a soldier who has taken vows of knighthood. Knights are addressed as ‘sir’.
The Law-Pledge: an oath every man takes at the age of twelve to uphold the law and join a tithing.
Lupine: a race of wolfmen found exclusively in the Frozen Lands.
Manorial Court: deals with local customs, disputes between tenants, and infringement of the lord’s rights. Overseen by the reeve.
Morathandul: or Fallen Kin, were once Namyrians but have been corrupted by Felled. They are the darkness to the Namyrian’s light. Cruel, powerful, and deadly, they are the elite of Felled’s forces. Rarely seen, and rarely leaving survivors, they can manipulate shadows to their will and strike fear into the bravest men with a look from their black eyes.
Namyrian: also known as the First Walkers, they were the original race of Men created by Esalel. As close to pure in essence as any mortal could be, the Namyrians wielded great power, though the continued spread of Felled’s corruption diminished their numbers. Now, the only survivors have isolated themselves in Ithradel, and have all but faded into legend.
Reeve: the lowest member of the official authority chain, the reeve is who each communities’ chief tithing-man reports to. They oversee manorial courts.
Roth: Feral baalgûl, driven mad by an over abundance of corruption.
Seekers: casters employed by the Guild that travel the world to identify gifted children and have them sent to local enclaves for training. They also keep an eye out for budding spellflares, which must be killed on sight.
Sheriff: the king’s chief officer in a county. He receives the kings writs and carries out the king’s orders.
The Sheriff’s Tourn: a bi-annual court held in each country to determine the guilt of suspected criminals. Overseen by the sheriff.
Spellflare: a person born with the extremely rare ability to wield magic with no training. They are greatly feared and are actively hunted by the Guild, and killed on sight. Also known as flares, wild mages, and blights.
Tithing: a group of 10 men in a community responsible for reporting crimes. A member is referred to as a tithing-man, and each tithing is led by a chief tithing-man, or simply chief.
Tower: a facility owned by the Guild that houses and trains casters. It also serves as the Guilds headquarters for the region it oversees. Most Towers are actually more like small fortified villages and each is different, though they all have a massive tower at it’s center.
Viceroy: the leaders of the Guild. Mysterious, powerful, and above all else, dangerous.
Watchers: casters employed by the Guild. Masters of Vision, they are responsible for monitoring other casters’ actions, and identifying rogue casters.
In the world of Hibernia, social class and rank mean a lot. If you want to flatter and not seem like a complete outsider, it’s a good idea to know how to address people properly.
Lord of a House: Lord+surname. Gareth Bourne would be addressed as “Lord Bourne.” The first name may be included, but it must be followed by the surname. “My lord” is also acceptable.
Wife of Lord: Lady+surname. Meryn Bourne would be addressed as “Lady Bourne.” The first name may be included, but it must be followed by the surname.
Son or Daughter of a Lord: Lord/Lady+first. Danyl Bourne would be addressed as “Lord Danyl.” Seryla Bourne would be addressed as “Lady Seryla.”
Knight: Sir+first. Peredur Clerkson would be addressed as “Sir Peredur.” Knights are never address as Sir followed by just a surname.
Common Man/Woman: Mister/Miss. No need to follow either title with a first or last name. Common folk are either addressed directly by the first name or as “Mister” or “Miss.”
Priests/Monks: Friar+first. Friars almost never invoke their surnames, and in this setting, they are not addressed as “Father.”
Bits of Information
Members of the Hand are known as either friars or monks; the two terms are synonymous. They are addressed as Friar ____.
The number two is considered bad luck to followers of the First Order since there are two gods, brothers, and the second one (Felled) is the evil one. Particularly superstitious folk prefer to finish in third place instead of second, for example. Or the second child is considered less lucky than the first. Twins hold a particularly bad omen; the first born twin is considered blessed, but the second one is bound to be evil or have a poor life.
Thanes’ gold coins are minted with the eagle, House Heldor’s sigil.
In Galway, when a warrior dies, it is customary to throw his sword into a body of water. This tradition is associated with the Old Ways. They believe that the sword will join the slain warrior when he crosses into Gwyn Yrae (gwin-uh-RAY).