GLOSSARY of Terms
Here is a glossary of terms that are unique to the world of Elyden, or which otherwise carry specific meaning to Elyden that warrants further explanation.
I mention some words and phrases in a matter-of-fact way in my writings elsewhere in the site, and some people have asked me what this or that term are referring to. this is where you can find such information. Most of these entries are taken from the Encyclopaedia Elyden, though may have been edited for ease of reference.
In some cases I may add hyperlinks (such as the above link to the Encyclopaedia Elyden) to specific pages or media from elsewhere on the site for anyone who wants to read further into the matter. This may be if the subject is referenced in more detail on a specific page.
The below entries are listed in alphabetical order in two columns for ease of reference.
Born a merchant’s son, he admonished the merchant-lords of Korachan after discovering the Scripture of Shadow in a ruined temple of Talantehut on the island of Maleth, and stormed the temple of Cult of Life and Death, destroying the religion's heart in Korachan, paving the way for the rise of the Undying Machine.
He united the Korachani tribes and soon annexed and conquered various nations around the Inner Sea before his disappearance in 84 RM. Though he was thought dead by most, He in fact wandered the dune deserts of Kharkharadontis, finally dying at the hands of an otherworlder in 133 RM. He was later raised to a semblance of life by natives and confronted and defeated the Otherworlder Abezethibou in 209 RM before finding the Demiurge Rachanael’s tomb in Daekyn, where he was ritually slain by the recumbent Demiurge and reborn as an otherworlder in 231 RM.
In 331 RM he travelled to Porphyr, where he acquired great technarcane knowledge from the Demiurge Nyarloth’s descendant Teleanyara Apexeide, which he used to create the Leaden Throne in Daekyn to sustain Rachanael before returning to Korahcan with knowledge of Rachanael, and the Church of the Machine as we know it today was born.
He is prone to long bouts of melancholy and is known to retreat into obscurity for decades on end, during which a council of poweful figures, known as The Seven, rules in his stead,
ATRAMENTA, the: also 'the Shadow', The dark half of the Materia Omna, drawn out, alongside the Firmament, by the Great Shaper as the dream of creation came to to be. The Atramenta was partly used as material in the Shaping of Creation by the Two-and-Twenty Demiurges. It can also be used by shapers to power their supranatural acts.
The effects of the Atramenta upon the material realm and Elyden are subtle and its domains are that of the physical and change.
For more information on the Atramenta click here.
DEMIURGES, the: the creators and shapers of the material realm. Through corruption and dissemination the Demiurges appear in various religions and cults under various guises, generally as creator-figures in many cultures creation myth.
In the Mythologia Elyden, there are Two-and-Twenty Demiurges, created by the Great Shaper. They were powerful shapers and together crafted the Materia Omna into the material realm that we see and experience today. Though tasked to prepare Elyden for the appearance of the higher immortal races, they continued in their task even after reaching perfection, destroying that which they strived for and causing the immortal seeds to be born before their time. This led to the birth of the mortal races and the shattering of the Great Shaper's plan.
The Demiurges were punished and were stripped of their divine link, causing them to grow weaker. Many amongst them despaired or grew mad following this time, which is commonly regarded as the start of their downfall into languor and death.
Knowledge of the Demiurges is scattered though most scholars, intelligentsia and learned individuals know at least the basics of their history, and even the work-slaves and proletariat classes of the empire know fragments of the legends that surround them. In most religions and cultures traces of the Demiurges can be found though they are often corrupted by mistranslations and misinterpretations over millennia.
For more information on the Demiurges, click here.
FIRMAMENT, the: also 'the Helix'. The light half of the Materia Omna, drawn out, alongside the Atramenta, by the Great shaper' as the dream of creation came to be. The Firmament was partly used as material in the Shaping of Creation at the Two-and-Twenty Demiurges. It can also be used by Shapers to power their supranatural acts.
The effects of the Firmament upon the material realm and Elyden are subtle and its domains are that of the mind and constancy.
For more information on the Atramenta click here.
INNER SEA, the: the large sea around which are situated the Korachani empire, the Republic of Parthis and the Reformed empire of Sarastro. The Sea has an exit to the west, where it connects with the Sea of Orrida. An exit to the west, once leading into the Dark Sea, silted up around 200-years ago, negatively affecting trade and sea-traffic to the east.
The Sea was the cradle of civilisation in Elyden following the dawn of the Fifth Age and most major empires and civilisations appeared around its shores.
Like all other seas in Elyden, the Inner Sea has been slowly shrinking throughout the course of the Fifth Age. Coastal settlements that witnessed the rise of the Korachani empire now lie ruined, dozens if not hundreds of miles inland surrounded by dead earth. Ancient mysteries have been unearthed in this way, with antediluvian ruins brought to the surface by the seas’ retreat, exposing riches and ruins that were better-left sunken.
KORACHANI EMPIRE, the: Korachan has dominated life in the Inner Sea for millennia, since its founding by the Archpotentate Malichar over 4,000-years ago. Born the son of a wealthy merchant, he was shipwrecked on the island of Maleth in -23RM and escaped as a prophet after reading from the Scripture of Shadows that was kept there. He disbanded the Cult of Life and Death and toppled its main temple in -2 RM, after which he united the 7 major city-states of Korachan behind his banner.
8 decades of conquest followed this time, during which the nations of Azazem, Laaskha, Vaalk, and Pelasgos were subjugated. He disappeared for over 200-years following his victory in Nárthel in 84 RM, during which he defeated an otherworlder in combat, was slain, reborn as an otherworlder and resurrected the Demiurge Rachanael in the deserts of Kharkharadontis, before returning to Korachan in 331 RM.
In his absence the empire had degenerated into a chaotic place, with different groups and individuals vying for control. This time became known as the Reign of the Empty Thrones and it ended only upon his return to the capital, which had been moved to Khadon by then. With him he brought word of the newly-resurrected Demiurge Rachanael and the Church of the Undying Machine, as he became known, spread from there, rapidly spreading to its foreign conquests, colonies and beyond, remaining one of the most powerful religions in Elyden to this day.
At the height of its power between 2800 - 3050 RM Korachan had dozens of colonies across Elyden and controlled all of the Inner Sea, save for Parthisan resistance in the south west. It had perfected the refining of umbra, and technarcane engines became ubiquitous across the Inner Sea. It was trading across the Gate of Erebeth with eastern Meniscea and the west of Sammaea, and across the Iapetan Sea with the far east of Llachatul and the south east of Sammaea, as well as distant Bror. But it was not to last, and through corruption, mismanagement of resources and slowly decreasing sea levels (resulting in the silting up of the Strait of Nárthel, which was devastating to its eastern sea trade) the empire found is borders dwindling, losing first Almagest in 3014 RM and subsequently Venthir and Sarastro and the majority of its southern territories.
Today it survives like a wounded beast, belligerent and dangerous though all who look upon it know that it is breathing its last.
MATERIA OMNA, the: the font from which all else was created. Both the Atramenta and the firmament are two different sides of the Materia Omna, and were drawn out from it by the Great Shaper during the First Age of Creation. The Two-and-Twenty Demiurges used it to fuel their shaping of the universe and ultimately the creation of the world of Elyden.
Shapers and those sensitive to the Materia Omna can actually see the Materia Omna. This is most commonly interpreted as an alternate reality that is superimposed over our own world, sometimes called the integument. This appears differently to all shapers, though is most sometimes described as a prismatic film that covers the material realm.
SHAPER: shaping is the ability to perceive and manipulate at least a part of the Materia Omna to achieve various supranatural effects. Most have the potential to see and shape but simply lack the training to do so, though a few are born without the senses to perceive or manipulate the Materia Omna - these individuals are called nulls. It is difficult to categorise shaping for two reasons - it is an invisible and undetectable force to those who aren’t trained and its sensory stimuli appear to be unique to each shaper. Different shapers manifest different ‘abilities’ and see the Materia Omna differently as a result, making it very difficult to categorise use and across the world.
Shapers can actually see the Materia Omna. This appears differently to all shapers, though is most sometimes described as a prismatic film that covers the material realm - the integument.
Even the ability to view the integument can be considered a supranatural power - through the integument shapers (and those who can see the integument) can view the world as it truly is: an individual who, through shaping, has warped light to appear invisible is visible in the integument; they can see in the dark by looking at the integument; and so-on. Shapers alone can exert a mental force on the integument to move or otherwise manipulate it, resulting in supranatural effects - shaping.
For more on the Materia Omna click here.
SURRACH, the: lit. ‘many lands’. Korachani name for the land of Saviud, which occupies a 4,000,000-square-mile area in the north-west of Sammaea, bordering Izabal, Erebeth, Cyhlagharr, Khalhat, and the Daened Sulrach, some 6,000-miles away from the politicking of Korachan. The region is known for its many disparate city-states and small demesnes of loosely allied people.
Some 2–millennia past Korachan was exploring the immediate world, funding colonisation efforts in many regions, including the Surrach. Major efforts at colonisation were made in c. 2300 - 2400 RM, but due to more pressing matters at home as well as difficulties in area the empire was attempting to exploit led to the abandonment of the colonisation effort, though many groups chose to remain there. Some ruins and relics of this original century of colonisation efforts remain, largely in ancient fortresses and harbours, some of which are still in use to this day. Elsewhere, various imperial ruins can be seen.
TECHNARCANA: techniques and processes that marry knowledge of the Materia Omna (usually specifically of either the Atramenta or Firmament) with more traditional aspects of science and technology.
Most commonly this takes the form of engines and machines that are powered by supranatural elements. Around the Inner Sea this is most commonly in the form of umbraeum or umbriska gas, both of which are used as fuels. More complex engines, though not necessarily less common are engines that tap into the forces of the Materia Omna to produce results that may mimic the feats that only shapers would otherwise be capable of. Indeed, such machines may at times have in their core the body of a shaper or other creature that is otherwise sensitive to either the Atramenta or the Firmament. Such machines can take the form of Iron Mantles, which are orthoses or suits worn by shapers to enhance their abilities, or heart engines, where often unwilling shapers are surgically grafted to archaic engines, where they are used as little more than a power source.
Technarcana is responsible for many otherwise ubiquitous aspects of life around the Inner Sea, including the manufacture and distribution of dross, purification of air, cloning techniques, the construction and maintenance of ambulants, the application of advanced orthoses (including softsuits and hardsuits), amongst many others.
The origins of technarcana lie with the teachings of the Demiurge Nyarloth, whose passion was in mechanics and crafting automatons and was a keen student of both the Atramenta and the Firmament, particularly keen on their implementations with his constructs. In 331 RM the Archpotentate Malichar sojourned in Porphyr, a land with many links to the Nyarloth’s ancient creations and his domains, with demiurnes gathered in Daekyn, and learnt many technarcane secrets there, eventually taking them with him to Korachan. Those secrets were rapidly disseminated throughout the empire, from which they soon spread and began to evolve to match the different cultures around the Inner Sea region and beyond.
UMBRA: 1. Colloquially referred to as ‘Shadow-stuff’. The raw physical form of the Atramenta which, through various technarcane means, can be refined into umbriksa: itself a common base for a myriad of different manufactured substances.
In its natural state it is a sticky coal-like substance, though it is often found buried deep, where pressure has hardened it into a stone-like substance that can be mined or otherwise extracted (see 2. below), becoming more tar-like in texture following prolonged contact with the air. It ranges in colour from black to brown and is often streaked with yellow or red, from sulphur and nickel impurities.
Being the physical representation of the Atramenta it can be altered through alchemical and technarcane application or be refined by purposefully-constructed machinery, to a myriad different forms and functions, most common of which is umbriska.
It is fundamental to the operation of various technarcane machinery and engines, and is also the base of the many cloning traditions amongst varying nations such as the Korachani empire and Parthis, amongst others. It is also used in the creation of vat-born creatures and is invaluable in the grafting of mechanical orthoses and the transplantation of organs and limbs, largely due to its ability to negate hyperacute rejection in transplants.
2. also ‘Shadow-Iron’. A different form of umbra, though commonly (if incorrectly) used interchangeably with umbra. A metal-like substance of Atramental roots that can be mined and quarried. Unlike duststone, which is weakened by the Atramenta, shadow-iron inherits far more sought-after properties – it is light and easy to work, strong, and maintains a very sharp edge. The metal is expensive and, when treated, is of great industrial and military value.
UNDYING MACHINE, the : colloquial name for the deity of the Korachani empire. Though unbeknownst to most, the Undying Machine in in fact Rachanael, one of the Two-and-twenty Demiurges.