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« on: February 22, 2010, 02:20:22 PM »

The Cadaverous Earth Glossary

Out of Character

Inspired by Elven Doritos' example.  Still unfinished.

Abysm - the Great Rictus, the Hungry Void, the World-Wound: Massive canyon in the extreme south of the Cadaverous Earth, home to unfathomable monstrosities.

Aether, the: Psychic energy-well from which all witchcraft draws its power; the collective unconscious.

Anthropophagoi: Headless, barbarian inhabitants of the Mewling Moors.

Aurelian Tundra, the: Icy northern region of crustacean philosophers, thawing monstrosities, and frozen ruins.

Automata: Semi-sentient clockwork robots.

Banehulk: Gigantic, regenerative experiments and warmachines created by the Poxbgringers and infected with hundreds of diseases.

Barrow Scrub: Northerly region of tombs and cold hills, inhabited by moon-worshiping skinchangers.

Beast Gods: Nameless, elemental deities of salt and nacre slumbering beneath the waves of the Fevered Ocean.

Behemoth: Ancient war-machines now found rusting in the Shatters.

Blanchphage: Condition of apathy and wasting sickness created by the eldritch fallout from Etiolation.

Blightings: Sadistic savages that dwell in the Screamwood and hunt alongside albino wolves.

Bloodletter, the: Mad god of battle and slaughter; patron of assassins, murderers, and warriors.

Bloodwood Tree: Vampiric tree with sap for blood and sentient, psychopathic fruit.

Bluebottle Archipelago: Fetid jungle islands in the extreme south.

Boilwinds: Super-heated maritime storms that cause the sea to boil.

Bricoleurs: Morbidly artistic grave-spawn who build their bodies out of bones and viscera, like macabre hermit crabs.

Cestoids: Hideous wormfolk, former masters of the known world, and builders of huge subterranean cities; now a pariah race.

Cestoid Imperium, the: The mighty empire of the wormfolk, brought low by the fabled Witch Army of Moroi at the close of the last aeon.

Changelings: Monstrous pack-hunters who disguise themselves as children and kidnap the young of other species to reproduce.

Chained Ones, the: God-like entities of immense power who were sealed away in a ritual called the Great Fettering and who may be stirring in their prison...

Chattelchatter: The human form of Spiderchatter, used by the slaves and overseers of Dolmen, as well as visiting merchants and dignitaries.

Chelicerae Mountains: Northern mountain-range near Dolmen, riddled with ruinous cestoid cities.

Crepuscle - The Mottled City, City of Red and Black: Anarcho-capitalist trading hub with an enormous, possibly haunted maze at its center.

Cultivar Technocracy, the: A defunct empire of arcanists renowned for their eldritch bioengineering abilities; their living cities rot along the Serrated Coast.

Daeva: An immortal creature native to the Cadaverous Earth.

Dementia Epidemics: Bouts of mental illness that break out in Moroi.

Demon: Any one of a number of different creatures not native to this universe.

Dire Maggot: Gorgefly larva.

Dolmen - City of Spiders: Tiered necropolis-cum-capitol of the lilix gynocracy.

Dour Erg: Vast wasteland and part of the Slaughter-lands; the location of many mythic ruins.

Eidolons: Malformed grave-spawn incubi who maintain facades of youth and vitality through sexual parasitism.

Elder Tree, the - the God-Tree: A massive, primordial tree with arcane sap, punctured and penetrated by the vampiric machines of the Resin Merchants of Moroi.

Erebh - City of Abysm, City of the Basalt Towers, City of the Fell Breath: Ragged, precariously situated city in the extreme south, renowned for its alchemists and archaeologists.

Esurience, the - the World's Navel, the Sea's Gullet, the Eternal Maelstrom, the Perpetual Tempest: Gargantuan whirlpool and unending anticyclonic storm in the middle of the Fevered Ocean, caused by either a hole in the seafloor or a portal to some other dimension.

Etiolation: Slaughter-lands region and former battlefield drained of all life and colour.

Eyeblight: A strange disease that results in eye-like lesions and is transferred by eye contact; oddly, provides immunity from geist infection.

Fecundity, the - the Cancer-forest: Malignant, overgrown oases cropping up across the wasteland.

Fetch - the Murderfolk: Psychopathic creatures who live only to kill; created by the Red Rain.

Fevered Ocean: Boundless western ocean, subject to Boilwinds and home of dreaming horrors.

Filchspeak - Alleyspeak: A thieves' cant composed mostly of Shambles; spoken as the formal tongue of Lophius.

Firesong Marches: Southern desert roamed by sand-rays and nomads.

Fleshmongers: A guild of slavers and brothel-keepers in Macellaria.

Fleshtree: Tree-like things with arms for branches and mouths for knotholes; commonly pruned by Treeherds for graft material.

Flicker - Fingerspeak: A hand-sign version of Filchspeak used by thieves to deliver silent messages.

Geist: A form of imbecilic but dangerous grave-spawn able to levitate a few feet from the ground that can infect others with its condition; includes gibbergeists (constantly babbling), cacklegeists (laughing), sorrowgeists (who weep tainted tears), bramblegeists (covered in thorns), and fettergeists (covered in chains), among others.

Ghilan: Common grave-spawn strain caused by the consumption of parasite-infested human meat; noted for their yellow, slitted eyes and sensitivity to sunlight.

Ghul-bar: A bar tailored specifically to grave-spawn, serving raw meat and blood as well as alcohol - typically closed during the day.

Gland River: Major river that empties into the Sallow Seas.

Glatch - Hagspeech: The guttural, agglutinative language of the hagmen, noted for its many pronouns.

Gloom Coast: The south-western coast of the Cadaverous Earth.

Glyph: Any eldritch symbol.

Glyph Parlor: An eldritch tattooist's shop; found prominently in the Skin Markets of Macellaria.

Gorefly: Large bloodsucking insect similar to a giant assassin bug; breeds and dwells inside sand-rays in a mutualistic relationship.

Gorgefly: A putrid fiend resembling a grotesque hybrid of obese giant and flesh-fly able to vomit forth a stream of eldritch fluid that rapidly decomposes living flesh.

Gorgon: A snake-haired, female race of beings whose black-eyed gaze drives men mad.

Graft: Tissue from another creature fused by eldritch means to a body.

Graft-peddlar: A dealer in raw materials for grafts.

Graftpunk: A heavily grafted individual.

Grave-spawn - the Nightfolk, the Unmen, the Halfmen: Undead of the Cadaverous Earth.

Hagmen: Amphibious, hermaphroditic creatures of the southern swamps known for their many gods and hatred for the leechkin.

Haunt: Shambolic corpse revivified by one of the tempestas mali.

Hells: Nightmarish otherworldly dimensions.

Hellspeak: Language of demons; spoken as the common tongue in Skein.

Hex: A spoken spell, as opposed to a glyph.

Hextongue - Witchtongue: The language of witchcraft and incantation, a pidgin of Shambles and Hellspeak; spoken as the common tongue in Moroi.

Hirud - the Ravager Worm: Dark godling and ur-deity of the cestoids; fossilized corpse visible at the center of Etiolation.

Homunculi: Demonic pets of the magisters of Skein, bound by warded silver chains and glyph-etched collars.

House of Shadows, the: Guildhouse of the Shroud in the Gloomwell district of Murmur Isle, on Lophius

Ingurgitatrix: A worm-like parisatoid whose host is driven to eat voraciously, feeding the creature; occasionally employed as an unusual means of assassination or execution.

Invocation: The process through which symbols are imbued with puissance in witchcraft.

Jangle: A stripped-down version of Shambles with added hand-signals; used by merchants for conducting business efficiently.

Jatayi: A near-extinct tribe of vulturine humanoids with a taste for rotting flesh who make their livings telling tales and singing songs.

Jinni: A race of fiery spirits from the depths of the earth who served as mercenaries during the Membrane Wars.

Leechdance: The bizarre, gestural "language" of the leechkin.

Leechkin: Monstrous and apathetic race of vampiric, hermaphrodite beggars and savages with mouths on their palms, known to become enraged when deprived of blood.

Lesion Sea: Inland sea and home to various aquatic abominations

Lilix: Fanatical matriarchal spiderfolk known for their extreme sadism, taste for blood, and convoluted politics.

Lophius - the Corsair City, City of the Lamprey: Bayou city of canals and shipwrecks-turned-churches infested by pirates, gangsters, and slave-traders.

Lords Revenant: The wealthy human industrialists who rule Somnambulon, having bound themselves long ago to the zehrer.

Macellaria - the City of Bodysnatchers, the Maggot City: Walled desert scavenger-city known for its Skin Markets, abundant catacombs, and giant watchdogs.

Madwine: A hallucinogenic yellow liquor with a tendency to drive its drinkers permanantly mad if imbibed too heavily; the favored drink of decadents and libertines.

Magister: Nobleman of Skein marked by their masks, their homunculi, and their living towers; noblewomen are known as magistra.

Mantids: Vaguely insectoid nomads of the Firesong Marches and elsewhere known as skilled duellists and tinkers.

Marainein - City of the Wasting God: Gloomy theocracy ruled by immortal cultists of a leprous, senile deity.

Marrowmoth: A species of gigantic insect with sallow, red-veined wings that feeds on bone marrow.

Melmoth the Wanderer: Enigmatic deity of travel, roads, and doorways.

Membrane Wars, the: Very ancient transdimensional war that lasted many centuries.

Midnight Isles: Chain of islands shrouded in eternal darkness.

Morbis - the Carrion Tongue: Language of the dead noted for its thirteen noun classes expressing various levels of animacy, life, death, and un-death.

Moroi - the Gaunt City, City of the Elder Tree: City of junkies and witches built around the variously fossilized, burnt, or exploited husks of gigantic trees whose sap is an arcane drug.

Moth-Kings: The five sorcerous, demon-possessed rulers of Skein; rarely seen outside of their palace.

Naghini: Race of conjoined twin snakefolk native to the Bluebottle Archipelago, noted for the dualistic religious and political structures.

Nectar - Ichor, Resin: An eldritch drug that expands a witch's mind; the sap of the Elder Tree in Moroi.

Oneiroi - Dreamspawn: Bizarre manifestations of mortal nightmares spawned by the Suppuration.

Oorls: Curious crustacean philosophers of the Aurelian Tundra.

Ophidians, the: A gang of the Serpentside district in Lophius who tattoo themselves with scales, split their tongues, sharpen their teeth, and remove their ears; ruled by the gorgon Nyssa.

Pallid Decimation, the: Ancient cataclysm when the dead first rose from their graves and the cestoids seized power; possibly connected to Hirud.

Piranha Rat: Large, hairless rat with razor-sharp teeth; known to travel in swarms.

Quick, the: Living creatures; usually used in reference to humans.

Radula River: A prominent river that runs from the Slouching-devil Mountains to Lesion Sea, passing through Crepuscle and Skein.

Ravener: A flesh-eating spirit that haunts Hunger Rock in Lophius.

Red Rain, the: Eldritch precipitation that transforms all who drink it into the murderous fetch.

Resin Merchants: Ruthless merchant-rulers of Moroi and dealers of Nectar.

Robber Guilds: Scavenger bands based out of Macellaria.

Sallow Seas, the: Corsair-infested waters near Lophius.

Sea of Whispers, the: Cold northern sea, frozen for much of the year.

Screamwood: Blighted woodland of pallid trees in the northeast of the Cadaverous Earth.

Serrated Coast: Jagged western coastline haunted by xsur and sirae.

Serpentine: The hissed language of the naghini.

Shaaltalethiel: Oracular, many-winged daeva fed on blood and milk in the Shrine of the Sighing Winds.

Shades: Sapient, immortal corpse-parasites destroyed by sunlight.

Shadowmancer: A witch specializing in shadow-witchcraft, such as the summoning of tenebrals.

Shadowmilk: A liquor obtained from tenebrals that tints the tongue, lips, and eyes of the drinker black and grants the ability to see in the dark (even in perfect lightlessness).

Shaik-toruch - Sand-rays: Huge, hovering carrion-feeders whose bodies are home to vampiric, symbiotic insects.

Shambles - Magpie: A pastiche language spoken across the Cadaverous Earth

Shatters, the: Slaughter-lands region filled with rusting war-machines worshipped as deities by primitive tribesmen.

Shrine of the Sighing Winds, the: A community of ascetics in the Slouching-devil Mountains.

Shroud, the: Elite assassins guild that operates openly in Lophius.

Skyscar, the: Soul-corroding aurora borealis and poorly sutured portal to the Hells.

Sinew River: A major river passing from the Chelicerae Mountains to the Fevered Ocean, passing through Dolmen, Somnambulon, and Crepuscle.

Sirae: Vicious gullfolk raiders of the Serrated Coast known for their sonic hexcraft and insatiable appetities.

Skein - City of Silk, the Clockwork City: Scientific and economic power known for its living towers and its demon-summoning aristocrats.

Slouching-devil Mountains: Brooding mountain range full of ancient machines, arcane fossils, and warped beasts.

Somnambulon - The Sleepwalker's City: Grim industrial city of zombie factory-workers ruled by vampiric nobles, with a carnival shanty-town at its edge.

Sons of the Peacock, the: A gang of cutthroat scholars and nectar-junkies who rule Chelke in Lophius; tattoo their bodies with hundreds of vividly colourful eyes.

Soul Tinker: A minor arcanist who deals in summoning and binding incorporeal spirits; a type of gutter-witch.

Southern Swamps: Putrid marshland inhabited by demons, leechkin, hagmen, and worse.

Spectre-plague: A strange disease that slowly turns the flesh and organs (though not bones) of its sufferers transparent; otherwise benign.

Spiderchatter - Lilix: Language of the lilix, composed mostly of chittering; unspeakable by humans.

Star-Gods: Gods said to dwell in the light of dead stars; worshiped primarily by grave-spawn.

Striga: Goddess of blood and vitality; her largest temple is in the Pulsetown district of Macellaria.

Suppuration, the: Mysterious rupture in physical reality in the extreme east; gives birth to chimerical, often bloodthirsty monstrosities.

Tallow Plains: Unstable region near Moroi where geography flows like molten wax.

Tempestas Mali - "Evil Storms": Clouds of sentient arcane radiation that roam the Slaughter-lands, reanimating the dead and ravaging the environment.

Tenebral: An elemental formed from the shadow of a living creature.

Thrum: A powerful stimulant that endows the user with near-superhuman speed; high doses cause the skin to ripple and quiver with gooseflesh.

Tissue-Shop: A graft workshop.

Treeherd: One who herds fleshtrees.

Twilight Cities: The nine remaining cities of the Cadaverous Earth, built mostly along the eastern fringe of the Slaughter-lands, though some dot the western coasts.

Vampire Plate: A symbiotic organism that feeds off the nutrients in a host's blood via small tendrils while providing protection in the form of a viscous carapace that flows over the host's body before hardening into tough armour.

Verlum: Bloated spider-goddess of the lilix.

Warworm: Cestoid war-machine resembling a huge armored centipede bristling with weapons.

Watchdogs of Macellaria, the: Three colossal undead hounds created by the mad magister Orlando Petrifax that guard the three gates of Macellaria.

Waxborn: Amorphous shapeshifters of the Tallow Plains that subsume other creatures and reproduce by fission.

Weeping Lady, the: Goddess of sorrow and mourning whose acolytes provide funerary services and sing a lament for the dying world.

Witch: Any practitioner of witchcraft (male or female).

Witchcraft: The semiotic spellcraft of the Cadaverous Earth, based on symbolism.

Xsur: A hideous and bestial cross between bat, manta ray, and reptile able to paralyze its prey with pain-inducing screams.

Yzsch - the Wasting God: The demented, diseased deity of Marainein whose pus endows extended life.

Zehrer: Extradimensional, symbiotic soulsucks who grant their hosts long life, flight, strength, telepathy with other zehrer-bonded individuals, and pyrokinesis (amongst other powers) in exchange for the eventual consumption of their souls; zehrer exist in a hive-mind.

Zerda: Nomadic, tortoise-riding, large-eared foxfolk of the Firesong Marches.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 10:00:18 AM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2010, 02:52:52 PM »

This basically oozes pure awesome.
When you don't have to worry so much about explaining everything you can just take all your tiny cool ideas and put them together like, and the identity of the campaign somehow manifests through the gestalt identity of all the entries.
Anyway, very cool. Temporis mali wasn't mentioned directly, only indirectly under haunt. Bad Times? Like the Suppuration and Etiolation etc.?
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2010, 03:01:29 PM »

Out of Character

Added!

This is why I got a mediocre mark in Latin - that should be temptestas mali (probably the wrong damn declension too, but whatever) - "Evil Storms."
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2010, 08:18:30 PM »

Hmm I should do this too... awesome work
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2010, 09:56:11 AM »

Hmm, can't remember reading much about the Sirae... Was that just touched upon, or did you actually write about them directly?
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2010, 10:04:33 AM »

Out of Character

They've been mentioned a couple of times but haven't been fully written up.  They're a bit like harpies with seagull heads and wings.  The jatayi consider them abominations, and they sometimes get into "acoustic duels" with xsur.  They also attack ships sailing near the coast.
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2010, 06:33:55 PM »

o_O that is a lot of terms! smile I really like how succinct yet descriptive the explanations are.

"Shaaltalethiel: Oracular, many-winged daeva fed on blood and milk in the Shrine of the Sighing Winds."

Those sound very interesting! Any more info on them?
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2010, 07:13:18 PM »

As it happens, yes!  There's only one left alive, and it speaks its prophecies in a dead language...

Shaaltalethiel

Deep within the Slouching-devil Mountain range, northeast of Mulcatra, seven hundred carven steps wind up from a ragged, impromptu settlement to the Shrine of the Sighing Wind, where the leonine, many-winged, human faced daeva Shaaltelathiel coos its sibilant riddle-prophecies. Cared for by mute monks, the dove-feathered and soft-voiced creature '“ possibly the last of the shedim '“ sleeps for nearly twenty hours a day. In exchange for offerings of milk and raw meat Shaaltelathiel bestows upon petitioners a single revelation, a cryptic poem murmured in an antique mode of High Cerulean, which must be translated using the Shrine's extensive library. The temple itself is a beautiful and ancient structure smelling of incense and herbs from the alpine garden. Many of its corridors are carved into the Slouching-devil Mountains themselves, though in their elegance and delicacy they are a far cry from the brutish, brooding tunnels that riddle the Mountains' bowels; carved stones trap the wind and turn it into ethereal, chaotic music that haunts the halls. The 'town' at the base of the staircase is little more than a camp for petitioners, though there are some quasi-permanent buildings that sell provisions and supplies, and traders occasionally set up booths peddling talismans and charms to the superstitious, particularly white feathers they claim to belong to the daeva.
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2010, 04:12:25 PM »

Steerpike


As it happens, yes!  There's only one left alive, and it speaks its prophecies in a dead language...

Shaaltalethiel

Deep within the Slouching-devil Mountain range, northeast of Mulcatra, seven hundred carven steps wind up from a ragged, impromptu settlement to the Shrine of the Sighing Wind, where the leonine, many-winged, human faced daeva Shaaltelathiel coos its sibilant riddle-prophecies. Cared for by mute monks, the dove-feathered and soft-voiced creature '“ possibly the last of the shedim '“ sleeps for nearly twenty hours a day. In exchange for offerings of milk and raw meat Shaaltelathiel bestows upon petitioners a single revelation, a cryptic poem murmured in an antique mode of High Cerulean, which must be translated using the Shrine's extensive library. The temple itself is a beautiful and ancient structure smelling of incense and herbs from the alpine garden. Many of its corridors are carved into the Slouching-devil Mountains themselves, though in their elegance and delicacy they are a far cry from the brutish, brooding tunnels that riddle the Mountains' bowels; carved stones trap the wind and turn it into ethereal, chaotic music that haunts the halls. The 'town' at the base of the staircase is little more than a camp for petitioners, though there are some quasi-permanent buildings that sell provisions and supplies, and traders occasionally set up booths peddling talismans and charms to the superstitious, particularly white feathers they claim to belong to the daeva.



That is quite possibly the coolest thing I've read all week!

You deserve this:


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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2010, 04:41:45 PM »

Haha thank you!  That's fantastic!
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2010, 11:15:33 AM »

Steerpike


Gland River: Major river that empties into the Sallow Seas.

Radula River: A prominent river that runs from the Slouching-devil Mountains to Lesion Sea, passing through Crepuscle and Skein.

Sinew River: A major river passing from the Chelicerae Mountains to the Fevered Ocean, passing through Dolmen, Somnambulon, and Crepuscle.


There doesn't seem to be much written about these, at least not compiled in one place.
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