The Unprinted Glossary for Salvage (Peridot Shift Book Two)

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Because of the rising cost of paper, and because Salvage was already the longest entry in the Peridot Shift trilogy, I elected not to include the glossary in the book. But I've also been told that having the glossary on-hand for Flotsam was very helpful, so I don't want to not offer the glossary in some way. My artist/designer brain keeps imagining some sort of Peridot Encyclopedia, with illustrations, backstory, and expansive explanations of some of this strange world's workings (either through alchemist researchers or mythological and religious tales) but that's an enormous undertaking that will have to wait until there's a demand for it other than my own sense of "wouldn't it be nice?"

Instead, I offer the glossary for Salvage here in a blog post, where someone can hopefully find it if they need it. As Cast Off is closer in length to Flotsam, it is my hope that it can be included in the book again. If not, there will be another blog post glossary offering through this website after that book is published.

Please enjoy this glossary, but beware of spoilers!


May contain spoilers. Entries for Peridot’s superpowers beings are listed under the “Religion” section of this glossary.

Characters 

Amos Ekinax: Absent-minded professor and alchemist. Has read so many books. Likes his tea hot. Would probably find your troubles fascinating. Rakkar. Orange-brown chitin, blue nose spines, silver-white side shaved hair. Pronouns: he/him.

Annie: Daughter of a royal employee in the palace at Diadem. Playmate of Crown Princess Emeranth. Later, assistant to the royal dressmaker. Cutter. Warm brown skin. Pronouns: she/her.

Bill: Transporter of totally innocuous cargo and owner/operator of The Folly. Cutter. Brown, wrinkled skin. Pronouns: he/him.

Behn: Bouncer at the Firespout Triumphant Lounge. Not on duty the evening Talis stops by to visit Tisker. Rakkar. Orange-red chitin, blue nose spines. Pronouns: he/him.

Broste: Paternus. Runs a crime ring in Subrosa. Cutter. Light brown skin, reddish-brown eyes, black hair. Pronouns: she/her.

Catkin: Tutor for Emeranth (and Annie) in the capital. Lapidary in Rakkar mines beneath Heddard Bay. Attendant at Molten River Memorial Library in Lippen. Breaker. Lavender skin, green eyes. Pronouns: they/them.

Chel: Captain of ship Im Ufite Rantor commissioned by Eneil zur Selki. Bone. Brown skin with an ochre tint and patches of albinism. Pronouns: she/her.

Demir: High-ranking member (Patron) of the Veritors of the Lost Codex. Official of the Imperial Court. Ambassador to the Yu’Nyun refugees. Cutter. Glittery pale. Well fed, well cared for, and well attended. Permanent polite sneer. Pronouns: he/him.

Dug: Former first mate of Wind Sabre. Works in ruby, sapphire, and emerald mines of Heddard Bay. Highly skilled with cutting edges. Somewhat skilled at reining in Talis’s impulses. Talis’s closest friend. Full name is Dukkhat Kheri. Bone. Dark brown skin. Blue, black, and purple plumage. Pronouns: he/him.

Emeranth: Crown Princess and heir to the Cutter Empire. Cutter. Brown skin. Pronouns: she/her.

Eneil zur Selki: Merchant who contracted Im Ufite Rantor to carry out a salvage operation on behalf of an unknown party. Vein. Creamy brown skin with waist-length colorless hair. Pronouns: they/them.

Faelyn: Wife of Paternus Grimm in Subrosa. Cutter. Pale skin, brown eyes, and green-dyed hair. Pronouns: she/her.

Faha: First mate of ship Ketszali het Parantu commissioned by the Temple of the Feathered Stone in service to Onaya Bone. Bone. Brown skin. Pronouns: they/them.

Fiyal Tazrian: Historical king of Bone people, negotiated treaties over placement of border with Cutter Empire that heralded a mostly stable peace for generations. Said some pretty smart stuff, too. Bone. Near-black skin, black and gray short tightly curled and textured hair and facial hair. Dark brown eyes with darts of green. Pronouns: he/him.

Fens Yarrow: A Cutter man from the nineteenth generation post Re-Creation who built a weapon in order to kill the Five. Executed by Onaya Bone for his intended deicide. His weapon disappeared, but some Veritors hold that it was completed, and that it is possible to find and use it. Pronouns were he/him.

Flinch: Paternus. Runs a crime ring in Subrosa. Cutter. Brown skin, brown hair, brown eyes, Pronouns: he/him.

Grimm: Paternus. Runs a crime ring in Subrosa. Cutter. White skin, red hair, green eyes. Pronouns: he/him.

Hankirk: Former captain of the Imperial naval service. Heir to Fens Yarrow’s dubious legacy. Member of the Veritors of the Lost Codex. Assistant to Hrrin’ru’taetin in Diadem and counsel to Crown Princess Emeranth. Grand architect of Talis’s frustration. Cutter. Pale, very well-moisturized skin. Pronouns: he/him.

Hrrin’ru’taetin: Yu’Nyun Representative of Culture and Integration (and let’s be real, that last should be ‘interrogation’). Lives and attends court in Cutter Imperial capital of Diadem to represent the Yu’Nyun refugees whose ships were destroyed by Peridot’s Gods at Nexus. Yu’Nyun. Gray-white carapace. Pronouns: xe/xin/xist.

Illiya: High Priestess of Onaya Bone at the Temple of the Feathered Stone on Fall Island in Bone territory. Formerly an interrogator for hire. Bone. Warm brown skin, bleached hair, green, red, and brown plumage. Pronouns: she/her.

Jace: Captain of The Folly, Bill’s cat. Orange mackerel patterns across body, wings, and tail. Pronouns: he/him.

Jasper: Merchant and fence that operated out of Subrosa’s Corrugated District. Breaker. Pinkish gray skin. Pronouns: he/him. Deceased.

Jeska: Junior priestess of the Temple of the Feathered Stone on Fall Island. Direct assistant to High Priestess Illiya. Bone. Pale skin, auburn hair, brown, red, and yellow plumage. Pronouns: she/her.

Jones: Shipbuilder of Subrosa. Built Wind Sabre, among others in his portfolio. Impatient, proud, and cranky. Cutter. Pronouns: he/him.

Kirna: Assistant to Amos Ekinax. Knows a lot more than he gives her credit for. Performed her own alchemical gender transition. Can’t find her favorite hair clip (it’s already in her hair). Rakkar. Berry pink chitin, blue nose spines, rust-streaked blonde hair. Pronouns: she/her.

Liara: Shop attendant at Zeela’s House of Antiquities in the Platform District of Subrosa. Vein. Lavender-contoured pale skin. Pronouns: she/her.

Lilac: Go-between for the Tempest and Zeela ni Pris, carrying transcriptions of radio broadcasts from outside Cutter skies while the borders were closed. Creamy yellow skin with teal tones in her pebbled-textured skin. Hazel eyes. Light brown hair. Pronouns: she/her.

Lita: Royal servant to Crown Princess Emeranth. Cutter. Pronouns: she/her.

Neen: Ilum at Halcyon Advent University on Haelli. Vein. Pink skin with bluish undertones. Pronouns: she/her.

Nisa: Manager at Heddard Bay Harbor office. Accountant extraordinaire. Rakkar. Gold, peach, and mottled cream carapace with red-streaked black hair. Uses a wheel chair. Pronouns: she/her.

Oren: Bouncer at the Firespout Triumphant Lounge on duty the evening Talis stops by to visit Tisker. Rakkar. Yeellow-orange chitin, blue nose spines. Pronouns: he/him.

Reian: Seniormost shop attendant at Zeela’s House of Antiquities in the Platform District of Subrosa. Vein. Lavender-contoured pale skin. Pronouns: she/her.

Scrimshaw: Nickname given to the former linguist who accompanied Wind Sabre’s crew during their escort mission to Fall Island. Disassociated from Yu’Nyun. Goste of Subrosa. Pink-white carapace, dark blue sapphire eyes. Pronouns: xe/xin/xist (as Yu’Nyun linguist), ghi/ghin/ghist (at the hands of Hrrin’ru’taetin), and si/sin/sist among the crew of Fortune’s Storm.

Sekkai: Captain of ship Ketszali het Parantu commissioned by the Temple of the Feathered Stone and in service to Onaya Bone. Bone. Black hair and plumage with bleached blonde, pale skin. Pronouns: she/her.

Serit: Shop attendant at Zeela’s House of Antiquities in the Platform District of Subrosa. Vein. Lavender-contoured pale skin. Pronouns: she/her.

Sophie: Former engineer of Wind Sabre. Grew up on a colony airship with too many siblings and overprotective aunts. Talented mechanic and designer of successful capstan and winch systems to make large airships more manageable for smaller crews. Nanny, housekeeper, and thief. Cutter. Pale, freckled skin. Pronouns: she/her.

Talis: Former captain of Wind Sabre. Dock worker at Heddard Bay Harbor. Thief, killer, and professional worrier. Cutter. Light brown skin. Pronouns: she/her.

Tisker: Former pilot of Wind Sabre. Front manager at Firespout Triumphant Lounge, a gambling house in Avurlaza, and busboy and dishwasher at two other establishments that apparently haven’t figured out he can cook. Pickpocket. Grew up as an orphan in Subrosa until he asked Talis for work aboard her ship. Cutter. Bronze skin. Pronouns: he/him.

Talbot: Business associate of Talis. Owns a ship but spends most of his time operating a smuggling ring and fencing business out of Subrosa. Passionate about grooming and pickpocketing. Likes a challenge. Cutter. Pronouns: he/him.

Vennika: Doctor and physician aboard Im Ufite Rantor. Takes the moral high-ground. Bone. Dark skin. Pronouns: she/her.

Vessin: An elderly man who serves as an informant for the Temple of the Feathered Stone. Arthritic. Bone. Dark brown skin. Pronouns: he/him.

Vitnir (Frankie): Smuggler captain and bounty hunter who makes regular border runs across all territories on behalf of Zeela ni Pris, among others. Bone. Rosy, dark brown skin. Black hair with iridescent plumage. Has one replacement eye, designed by Ada Ziryab based on technological specs provided by Zeela. Pronouns: she/her.

Wallis: Captain of Diadem’s guard. A decent sort. Young, still idealist. Cutter. Brown skin. Pronouns: he/him.

Yuna: Shop attendant at Zeela’s House of Antiquities in the Platform District of Subrosa. Vein. Lavender-contoured pale skin. Pronouns: she/her.

Zeela ni Pris: Businesswoman offering expensive and hard-to-find items out of the Platform District of Subrosa. Owns Zeela’s House of Antiquities. Provides transcriptions of radio broadcasts from outside Imperial borders to anyone interested in the truth. Vein. Pale cream skin with purple undertones, with thick & shiny colorless hair often dyed in a gradient. Moonstone-colored eyes. Pronouns: she/her.

Vessels 

Im Ufite Rantor: Barque-hulled airship of Bone construction. Crimson hull with gold trim and satin-varnished goldenwood decks. Twin engines and lift balloons. Built for operation by a crew of at least six hands. Name means ‘Raptor of Fire’ in Matriaherat, or ‘Soul Blade’ in Aherat, with more variations in the meaning across the other Bone dialects.

The Folly: Small, private cargo airship, owned by Bill. Single engine and lift balloon. Equipped with ballast and buoyancy upgrades to easily make border runs around patrols.

Fortune’s Storm: Barque-hulled airship of Bone construction. Crimson hull with gold trim and satin-varnished goldenwood decks. Twin engines and lift balloons. Upgraded for operation with specialized capstans that allow for operation by a minimal crew of two at a time.

Ketszali het Parantu: Closed system ship designed for low-to-no atmo sailing. Hinged canvas cover can enclose the weather decks to protect the airship’s crew from extreme conditions. Triple lift balloons, wide-range ballast and buoyancy systems. Commissioned by High Priestess Illiya of the Temple of the Feathered Stone at Fall Island on behalf of Onaya Bone.

Lonesome Lad: Galley merchant vessel of Cutter construction operating in Imperial skies. Double lift balloon, triple engine. Crewed by a dozen hands. Equipped with ballast and buoyancy upgrades to easily make border runs around patrols.

Mothcatcher: Barque-hulled airship of Bone construction. Crimson hull with gold trim and satin-varnished goldenwood decks. Twin engines and lift balloons. Built for operation by a crew of at least six hands.

Peridot’s Chosen: Galley imperial vessel of Cutter construction fitted for salvage work and for battle. Double lift balloon, triple engine. Crewed by two dozen hands.

Rascal: Long and lean sloop of Bone design. Owned by Captain Vitnir. Designed for stealth and speed, with more cannons than cargo space. Operates with a small crew.

Silus’ Sake: Heavyweight trawler making regular runs along a circuit of Cutter islands. Occasionally takes on passengers for a small fee. Crewed by a half-dozen hands.

Wind Sabre: Carrack hulled airship once crewed by Talis, Dug, Tisker, and Sophie. Wrecked after the battle of Nexus and sunk while en route to Heddard Bay.

Locations 

Ainteague: A Vein island situated somewhere along the open Bone-Vein border.

Assessor’s Hall: A long stretch of alley in Subrosa, adjacent to the Corrugated District, where pawnshop kiosks crowd the relatively dark passages.

Avurindo: An area of Lippen on Heddard Bay in Vein/Rakkar skies, featuring restaurants, shops, galleries, and museums, catering to tourists and visitors. Largely, it has formed since the battle of Nexus resulted in increased traffic to Heddard Bay. The museums and galleries were the former laboratories of the minor alchemists of Lippen, who grew more profitable and moved into the library district and the larger facilities there.

Avurlaza: A looping tunnel which forms the gambling district of Lippen on Heddard Bay, featuring funhouses, casinos, and bars.

Boland: A rural island located in Rakkar “skies” which is home to several farms and a Breaker-run university teaching ecology and animal husbandry and medicine.

Chapel of the First Soul: A speak-easy styled chapel dedicated to Meran. Located in the basement freezer of a bakery in Talonpoint on Fall Island.

Diadem: The Cutter territory capital and home to the Emperor and his family.

Docked Tail: A crappy little watering hole in the Red Candle District of Subrosa. If you’re looking for quality food, keep walking. If you’re looking for a quiet corner to conduct some business out of earshot of the Rosan guards, come on in.

Fall Island: The center of Bone religion, a desert island where Onaya Bone’s greatest temple was built (by her). Location for the great conference of Bone tribal leaders and traditional test of adulthood for Bone youths, held every five years. Sand flows continuously off the edge of the island, but never reaches flotsam. Instead it flows back to the island’s underside and feeds up through its center again. Cities are located along the island’s coast, on carefully maintained stilts to avoid being swept over the side by the shifting sands. The center of the island has many dangerous predators in addition to extreme conditions.

Firespout Triumphant Lounge: A gambling house serving upperclass Rakkar businesspeople, politicians, and socialites. Located in the Avurindo district of Lippen on Heddard Bay.

Flotsam: A trapped layer of loose objects at the bottom of Peridot’s gravity well.

Frostcap: An island in Cutter skies, located toward Peridot’s outer atmo between the islands of Diadem and Rosa. Features a mountain range and cold weather precipitation. Hot springs make it a vacation destination, and the island capital is shopping heaven for upper class elites who can afford the marked-up prices.

Gladstone: An island located in Rakkar “skies” which relies on many imports brought in by trading airships.

Haelli: The Vein capital island. Features several universities, museums, and expansive tourism districts.

Heddard Bay: A volcanic island located in close proximity to Nexus and Peridot’s ocean, which was once only habitable because the dense stone protected its underground residents from the discomforts of being so close to Nexus. The dense stone also seemed to prevent the Divine Alchemists from noticing that they had a bunch of minor alchemists living on their doorstep. Before Nexus stopped making visitors feel like they were going to be torn apart and crushed at the same time, its major export was illicit alchemical cargo, smuggled out in barrels of mussels. All other supplies they needed were purchased with the riches of Lippen’s gemstones.

Horizon: The centralized altitude at which most cities and settlements on Peridot have been positioned. There was an organized effort across all four territories to migrate all activity on the planet to one plane, to simplify maps and avoid turbulent winds above and below. However, some poorer communities, or those dependent on features of a non-Horizon island, still live off this plane.

Jones’s Shipyard: Subrosa’s only shipyard, available for repairs, upgrades, and new constructions. Doesn’t come cheap, and aside from the fact that it’s the only shipyard in Subrosa, the work is so good, Jones could charge double what he does if he wanted to.

Kasrespazi: Lippen’s enormous, circular hub cavern from which all traffic can be directed to the various extremities of the city’s other districts. Houses the towering timepiece, Ra-Kaz. Offers information booths and other small kiosks but is mostly a commuting space.

Lippen: The subterranean city of Heddard Bay. Population is about ten thousand, comprised of Rakkar, Bone, and Breaker populations. And recently, three Cutter folk.

Molten River Memorial Library: Located in the library district of Lippen, leases and maintains about a half-dozen library spaces for private Rakkar clients, almost all of whom are minor alchemists. Really, it’s a miracle the place hasn’t burned down or exploded.

Nexus: Collection of energy released during the Cataclysm, which holds Peridot’s loose tectonic remnants together. The home of Peridot’s deities.

Nize: Island chain in Vein skies. Connected by navigable aqueduct bridges. Mostly agricultural, with a small city built around its shipping port.

Peridot: An unusual planet whose natural course was altered through an alchemical ritual for power transference.

Platform District: A section of Subrosa. Constructed and maintained by a business co-op of Vein merchants and business owners. Constructed with exposure to open air, from solid wood.

Postal Office: Officially, the office from which couriers and mail are directed about Subrosa and beyond. Unofficially, a great place to get a lead on some under-board work.

Provi Tur: An urban city island in Vein skies. Previously it held steady trade with the Cutter government and businesses but has been struggling economically since the Imperial border closing. Its main business now comes from Bone border patrol ships refueling and changing crews.

Ragtown: District of Subrosa with clothing shops offering both new and second-hand clothing (or third-hand, or fourth- or . . . well, let’s just say some items match the district’s name more than others) along with some dry goods shops whose owners are just as confused as everyone else on how they ended up there.

Rosa: A smallish island in Cutter skies, a trading post turned metropolis, located convenient to the border crossing into Bone territories. Populated by all five races of Peridot. Crowded, and prosperous.

Skybluff: An island in Cutter skies, located along the trade winds just down airstream from Diadem. Primary export is fish caught in the island’s large water system. Primary imports are ice and salt.

Subrosa: “Bottom-hanged” undercity located beneath the island Rosa. Cutter skies.

Talonpoint: Port city of Fall Island, a densely packed but well-organized cluster of housing, hospitality, civil offices, and businesses arranged along streets which diagonally spoke outward from a central ‘green’ in which public addresses, events, and markets are held. High stone walls surround the city to keep the blowing sand of Fall Island’s desert out of the streets.

Temple of the Feathered Stone: Central temple of Onaya Bone on Fall Island. Features a communing chamber where supplicants may be permitted to speak directly to the goddess via video feed. Center of operations for the priestesses’ intelligence network.

Tined Spoon District: A section of Subrosa, adjacent to the Platform District, almost entirely dedicated to restaurants and bars.

Trade winds: Zone of strong winds that were created by Silus Cutter when the Divine Alchemists arranged the islands at Horizon altitude, to aid airships in circumnavigating Nexus quickly and reliably. When the Tempest released the Yu’Nyun gas at Diadem (during the events described in Salvage), the trade winds moved the gas around Peridot’s largest islands before anyone could issue a warning.

Velhan: A very nice, very safe, city on the island of Sias Tor, deep in Vein skies, near the outer reaches of Peridot’s atmosphere, very near to a cluster of Bone islands which have long patrolled the nearby skies and kept them free of trouble. Features snow-covered mountains which attract Bone tourists for downhill sports, as well as hot springs which attract families to come along. Tea houses, vacation lodges, and bath houses make Velhan a desirable place to visit for those with leisure time and the means to enjoy it.

Vuur Artaak: The volcano making up most of Heddard Bay’s landscape. Its thermal energy and pressures have been rerouted by the Rakkar engineers (and alchemists) to provide energy to the city and to increase the rate at which precious gems form.

Ytima: A shore-side community on a very small Bone island, barely noteworthy. Family owned xercoles ranchers, small schools, and a light but sustainable textiles trade. Population less than a few hundred, outnumbered by their xercoles flocks.

Religion 

Alchemy: The practice of manipulating elemental forces to control reality. The dangerous practice is taboo among mortals, enforced most actively by Onaya Bone.

Arthel Rak: God and creator of the Rakkar. Associated with the element of fire. Shows up to encourage Rakkar alchemists to continue their experiments, but no one has seen him since the Battle of Nexus. Pale yellow chitin with orange contours. All-black eyes. Golden hair. Pronouns: he/him.

Cataclysm: Catastrophic event which caused the planet to explode, destroying all life except for the five beings that committed the alchemical transference responsible.

Divine Alchemists: An honorific term for the Five.

The Five: Refers to the five alchemists, Onaya Bone, Silus Cutter, Helsim Breaker, Lindent Vein, and Arthel Rak, whose transference ritual in ancient history gave them high-level control of elemental magic, immortality, and the power to create life.

Gods-That-Remain/Four-That-Remain: An honorific term for the Divine Alchemists who survived the events leading up to and including the Battle at Nexus. The count of “four” is open for debate.

Helsim Breaker: God of the Breaker people. Alchemically proficient with the element of life. Has a tendency to show up in unexpected places to lend assistance to those in need. Pebbled skin is pale. Eyes are gray. Hair is white. He has muttonchops and large tusks protruding from his lower lips. Pronouns: he/him.

Ketszali: An enormous, six-eyed male raven created by and favored by Onaya Bone. Sometimes, Ketszali was sent by Onaya Bone to deliver messages which she spoke through him. Miiiiiight also have just been Onaya Bone taking another form, as no one has seen Ketszali since before the battle of Nexus. Purple and green iridescent black feathers. Razor-edged beak. Pronouns: he/him.

Lindent Vein: God and creator of the Vein people. Blind. Disdainful of eyesight. Alchemically proficient with the element of water. Pale blue skin with purple undertones. Lavender and translucent hair. Pearl-white eyes (usually covered with lace). Pronouns: he/him.

Meran: A mysterious woman who wields alchemy and a stranger, unknown power. Seems pissed about something. Warm brown skin marked with a pattern of brilliant-blue lights. Her eyes are a matching brilliant-blue. Dark, textured hair with relaxed curls in a mix of loose, braided, and locked sections.

Onaya / Onaya Bone: Goddess and creator of the Bone people. Associated with the element of earth. Has a romantic past with Silus Cutter, though they are not currently affiliated. Stripped of her powers by Meran at the battle of Nexus. In human form, she has eyes that go from dark purple to magenta based on her mood, dark brown skin, and black hair with golden streaks and raven-like plumage. In raven form, she has a pair of brown eyes to either side of her beak, and four magenta eyes forming a diamond in the center of her chest. Pronouns: she/her.

Re-Creation: The action taken by Peridot’s five deities to make Peridot inhabitable again, and to create the peoples, flora, and fauna which can be found there afterward.

Silus Cutter: God and creator of the Cutter people. Associated with the element of air. Killed by the Yu’Nyun invasion fleet almost a year before the events described in Flotsam and the battle of Nexus. Sparkling gold skin, warm auburn hair in intricate braids across the crown, with many locked sections from ear to nape. Pronouns: he/him.

Wind Festival: A Cutter holiday worshipping Silus Cutter, who provides the winds that allow the airships to travel between Peridot’s otherwise isolated islands. Often celebrated with a parade in Diadem, which Silus Cutter sometimes attended. Just in case he does not appear, and in other cities holding smaller parades, a chosen person dresses to represent the god in the parade’s central float (usually a golden-beamed airship or a cloud decorated with an excess of gold sequins or metallic powder). At home, children are often given gifts, to draw a connection between the gift of wind that Silus Cutter gave his people, and parents’ gift of life to their children.

Groups and Affiliations 

Alchemists: When spelled with a lowercase “a,” refers to the amateur researchers, experimenters, and anthropologists who study what knowledge of alchemy they can find, develop their own methods, and eagerly publish papers on their discoveries. Often, these are Rakkar. Almost always, they are self-taught. Frequently, they bear the scars of their efforts.

Bone: Peoples created by Onaya Bone during the Re-Creation. On average, they are the second tallest of Peridot’s peoples. Iridescent feathers mix in with their hair. Skin tones range from white to black. Eyes range from gray to purple. Fingernails, when allowed to grow, curve sharply as talons. Elders form their Leadership Council and convene every five years to renew relations as part of a meeting of the kin lines, during which trial hunts are held. Their economy is based in agriculture, shipbuilding, services to the Vein, metalworking, and raw materials, as well as textiles.Cutter: People created by Silus Cutter during the Re-Creation. Shorter than the Bone and taller than the Rakkar. Eyes are typically brown or hazel, tinting redder or greener. Skin tones range from white to dark brown, but all have a sparkling effect as if brushed with gold dust. Innately given to wanderlust. Primary exports are shipbuilding, glow pumpkin sprouts, water, and aeronautical equipment. Most populous of all Peridot races. Government is a monarchical empire, with heavily ingrained (and often corrupt) bureaucratic infrastructure for local and regional management.

Breaker: Peoples created by Helsim Breaker during the Re-Creation. Tusked from the lower jaw. Largest of the peoples of Peridot. Pebbled skin might be a grayish tone of purple, brown, blue, or red. Eyes come in all colors. As far as anyone knows, the Breaker may be immortal. Pacifists, highly sensitive to the mood and health of those they interact with. Patient crafters. No organized government.

Brickawitches: Folksy term, often self-described, for those who have not made a name for themselves in their alchemical studies. Term used most often by those suffering from imposter syndrome. Many brickawitches are extremely competent, they simply lack funding of patrons and libraries versus those who declare themselves alchemists.

Rakkar: The peoples created by Arthel Rak. Petite compared to other peoples of Peridot. Rose, red, yellow, and orange skin tones. Eyes come in many colors, but often only a line shows at the rim, and outsiders often mistakenly believe their eyes are solid black. Protective chitin plating covers most of the face, neck, elbows, and knees. Resistant to the effects of high heat, smoke, and toxic chemicals. Adapted for subterranean life. Agoraphobia is common, and socially accepted. Rakkar are expert engineers and inventors. Defiant of the taboo against alchemical research (although cautious). Their primary (legal) exports are precious metals and gems mined from their volcanic islands. Exports also include a wide range of alchemical services, supplies, remedies, and inventions that would endanger the life of anyone caught trading them.

Imperials: A term used to describe those working in service to the Cutter Empire.

Tempest: A charity organization that has taken root in the subcities of Cutter skies to aid victims of Imperial oppression. There are rumors that they are also an organized militia force.

Vein: Peoples created by Lindent Vein during the Re-Creation. Almost all are born blind. Four arms: two smaller, more nimble “primary” arms and two larger, stronger “secondary” arms. Tall, often on par with the Bone. Skin tones range from white to brown, often with cool undertones. Eyes are always white, even in sighted people. Primary exports are technologies backward-engineered and developed from discovered pre-Cataclysm devices. Governed by an elite class, determined by academic accomplishment.

Veritors of the Lost Codex: A cult of Cutter folk who have interpreted an ancient text to mean that the Cutter folk were the only people that existed pre-Cataclysm. Hold the Five in disdain and research, plot, and act with the intent to make Cutter folk the dominant—or for some members, the only—people on Peridot. Have a large following among the rich and powerful, and may be embedded in the highest levels of the Cutter empire.

Yu’Nyun: Bipedal, chitin-plated, digitigrade, bilaterally symmetrical alien visitors to the planet Peridot. Gray-white exoskeletons are engraved and, in the upper classes, carved to reveal deep blue tissue beneath. Eyes can be yellow, orange, red, pink, blue, purple, white, or black. Interested in understanding how Peridot came to be and how it continues to function. Technologically superior to those on Peridot.

Minor Alchemists: Those who practice the taboo alchemical experiments in direct violation of the decree of the Divine Alchemists. Largely autodidactic, prone to catastrophic accidents as a result of misinterpretation of available texts (usually pre-Cataclysm artifacts) on the subject.

Goste Putrol: Task force of Subrosan rats sent by Paternus Flinch to catch the cryptid that’s been sighted wandering about Subrosa’s alleys.

Paternus: A leader of a crime ring, gang, or other organization in a subcity. Requires a certain number of henchmen, thugs, and levels of agents to pose a threat and earn the honorific. Name, in Rat dialect, meant to equate to the high society Patron title.

Patron: A high-ranking member of Cutter Imperial society, similar to a Lord though is dependent not only on family lineage but on standing among peers in terms of military or political accomplishments and services rendered on behalf of the Empire.

Rats: Name given to immature agents of crime bosses and gang leaders in Subrosa and other subcities of Cutter skies.

Other 

Arthelian: The name of the core modern Rakkar language.

Arthelian names for the five days of the week: Helsturn, Silasturn, Nayasturn, Arkturn, Linturn

Aherat: A dialect of the Bone language centralized in the canopy villages of the jungle islands at the Widdershins border with Cutter skies.

Airship: Transportation vessels featuring hot air lift balloon systems, turbines, steam engines, and sails. Required for long distance travel through Peridot. Designed and built by all races, primarily by the Bone and Cutter folk.

Annual Shareholders’ Gala: Annual high society event for Rakkar across all of their island cities, basically an awards ball for economic prosperity. There’s one for each island and those who take home awards get to rise another notch in business and social circles. The usual people tend to win each year, but even those with no hope of winning have little choice but to show up and be seen.

Arkh bills: Currency of the Rakkar economy. Printed on lightweight paper and embossed with textured writing for the benefit of their Vein neighbors and others with limited visual senses.

Atmo: Short for ‘atmosphere,’ refers to the inhabitable areas of Peridot’s skies, where one may breathe unassisted and temperatures support life.

Cliff grackles: Bony game fowl that nest in caves beneath island cliff edges. Often can be caught while roosting from inner tunnel networks.

Coffee: Gods-rotted expensive beverage for those not living on a civilized island.

Colony ship: Airship habitats for town or city-sized populations of Cutter folk who prefer not to settle down on stationary islands. Often, these ships travel on a regular circuit between islands where they may stop to refuel and trade. Their primary export is ship craft, engineering developments for patent, textiles, entertainment (music and theater), and other products that do not require large tracts of land or heavy ­resource use.

Common: A trade language based heavily on Cutter but incorporating some pidgin from other peoples who have participated in trade enough to contribute borrowed words (mostly Vein and Bone).

Clockwise: The direction of natural spin of flotsam around Nexus. Opposite of widdershins.

Duskfey: Tiny bioluminescing pests that feed on vegetation, especially glow pumpkins.

Electrocancellation barrel: One-of-a-kind contraption which used a magnetically generated discharge to disrupt electron-based conduction of energy.

Faw’n: Contraction of “Father Wind” and a familiar term for one’s natural or adopted father, used mainly by Cutter children.

Glow pumpkins: Enormous gaseous gourds that emit purple light during nighttime hours and golden light during daylight hours. Cultivated on stations across Peridot to provide additional lighting.

Golden zephyr dragon: From Cutter historical fantasies, a large winged sauropod that warriors often were said to have tamed to allow them to ride them through the skies. These apparently preceded the invention of airships.

Hoarbeast: A ravenous creature created by Silus Cutter to clean up the waste that falls to flotsam. Their tentacles provide them with a strong, steady grip while crawling across the detritus, and their powerful jaws are ringed with many sharp teeth, as are their throats, allowing them to chew through almost anything that finds its way down. They have a preference for flesh, and are sensitive to movement, making salvage work in the flotsam layer dangerous for one more reason (as if getting trapped and freezing alive was not enough). With absolutely no basis in reality, they have become a sort of boogeyman for Cutter children, possibly because of the similarity of a child’s bed in shape with the ships that sink to flotsam.

Ilum: A tenured position for instructors and researchers at Vein educational facilities.

Low’n: Contraction of “Loving Wind” and a familiar gender-neutral term for one’s natural or adopted parent, used mainly by Cutter children.

Mantas: Smooth-hided flighted creature with bioluminescent signals in a translucent camouflaging body with long trailing tendril tails. Feed off small insects and other pests. Curved beak, tridactyl feet for gripping perches.

Matriaherat: An archaic Bone language, not currently spoken.

Maw’n: Contraction of “Mother Wind” and a familiar term for one’s natural or adopted mother, used mainly by Cutter children.

Mermaids (also, Zalika): Beings who were caught by Onaya Bone performing forbidden acts and stripped of their soul and turned into flighted aquatic beings who live and hunt in the stationary storms across Peridot’s skies. They have a long, powerful tail, and flesh-webbed wings. Androgynous with alto and soprano vocalizations, agonized facial expressions, clawed hands, and a taste for flesh.

Ni: An element of Vein naming used to indicate use of feminine pronouns.

Pal: An element of Vein naming used to indicate use of masculine pronouns.

Pale coats: A derogatory term for Imperial officers, referring to their pale blue uniform jackets.

Pneumatic self-torquing lock hammer: one-of-a-kind contraption designed for manipulating locking mechanisms.

Prayerlocks: Knotted segments of hair maintained by Cutter folk in honor of Silus Cutter, often gripped, twisted, rubbed, tugged, or otherwise to invoke his blessing, as both a pious act, and one of superstition. They are formed in young children as soon as their hair is long enough, and others may be formed later in life. As is the nature of hair (and especially of hair often tugged), ’locks will occasionally fall out entirely and new ones started. Often decorated with beads or metal rings sold by Wind Monks in various markets.

Presscoins: Cutter currency. Smelted and minted precious metal, stamped with the official seal of the Empire on one side, and a portrait of the ruler, or ruling family, on the other. Pressed in copper, silver, or gold.

Pygmy frond wyrm: A small tube-shaped creature that looks more like a clump of marsh grass than a creature. It is covered with tiny photosensitive spots on its body. It has a central nervous system and ganglia but no obvious brain.

Rak Menna Drog: A lost civilization of Rakkar. The only evidence of their existence are translated texts from the ancient underground pyramids, referencing them as a terrifying enemy that used the skin and bones of their victims to create their clothes and jewelry.

Ra-Kaz: An enormous, towering timepiece in the center of Kasrespazi in Lippen on the island of Heddard Bay. Used to track the time and moderate activity within the city through a system of water-filled chambers that quickly spread the clockwork vibrations to areas that would otherwise be out of range of hearing the chimes and movements.

Sally bar: Slang for ‘salvage bar’. Tool for wedging, levering, and severing.

Salvage gear: Suit, helmet, gloves, lines, winches, and communication wiring which allows a person to (almost) safely visit flotsam to retrieve lost items.

Sand toad: A red-brown, rough-scaled amphibian that burrows in desert sand. It has a sweet-smelling growth on its nose, which it leaves above the sand to attract insects.

Sarrowfiend: A predatory falcon that stalks its prey from the shadows of outer atmo to hide its silhouette.

Self-winching grapple cannon: Elbow-braced cannon to launch a tined-projectile connected to winch-wound wire, designed to reel a loaded net or bag through a narrow shaft.

Silski: The core Cutter language. There are a large number of dialects but all are based on Silski’s vocabulary and grammar.

Simula: (Plural also simula) Yu’Nyun-produced android capable of being programmed for both appearance and behavior. Can be controlled by a circlet device that interfaces with its cranial drive. When inert, simula appear Yu’Nyun in shape, with translucent gel-filled skin over a mechanical skeleton. May or may not include organic matter in the gel mixture.

Sirenia: Large roving beasts of the sky which feed on vegetation. Bioluminescing signaling across their body, large fins for display. They attain buoyancy through a balance between inflatable gas organs and consumed ballast.

Skyfauna: Term referring to any of Peridot’s creatures that make their home in the open skies. Some may roost to sleep, but generally skyfauna refers to those who spend the majority of their life flying, coasting, or blown without ground to support them.

Slips: Localized wind systems that travel faster than the air around them.

Starsharks: Air fauna that spends its adolescence floating between islands thanks to buoyant glands of gas in their many appendages. They lose their buoyancy as they mature and older star sharks are found on cliff faces beneath islands where they feed on other nesting lifeforms and congregate for procreation. The mouth in the center of their body is filled with a saw-bladed set of flesh-rending teeth.

Starship: Fully enclosed ships designed for the vacuum of space, capable of long-range travel between stars.

Stormwater depot: Supply stations set up within the storm clouds to collect rainwater for use across Peridot, especially for steam engines. Visited by water trawler airships, and also by smugglers and pirates as a place to hide.

Tocks (autochthonosauri): Feathered saurids who live and hunt in the wilds of Rakkar volcanic island jungles. Created by Arthel Rak. Extremely territorial. They are often preyed upon by large flighted creatures and stay within the trees of their native jungles. Feathers are patterned in shades of white, black, gray, and purple.

Trade Winds: A stable system of winds at Horizon, established by Silus Cutter after Re-Creation, along which an airship could navigate around Peridot. Islands and cities along this route have a distinct economic advantage over others and, as a result, are large population centers.

Tripolarizing kiparcoiled band-conducted electroionic nimbofauna deterrent: Illicit alchemical device designed to protect ships that travel within storm systems from the predatory creatures that live therein. Operates by absorbing and re-channeling the electric currents of storm system lightning and unstable polarization of the air.

’tronics: Referring to the backward-engineered technology from the civilization predating the Cataclysm.

Tunnel mole: Effectively blind, the tunnel moles dig expansive tunnel systems on islands with rich soil. They are considered good luck for farmers, despite the fact that they often eat the roots of any crops they cross.

Undercity: A city that is suspended from the bedrock of one of Peridot’s floating islands. Usually to access mineral deposits, but sometimes as a matter of increasing the useable space on an island. Some are motley and/or ramshackle, as with Subrosa, while others are developed, properly constructed, and maintained.

Widdershins: Direction counter to the natural spin of flotsam around Nexus. Opposite of clockwise.

Xercoles: Large dromedary-like gryphon, with webbed feet well-suited to walking in difficult terrain. They can be domesticated if their flight feathers are kept clipped but tend to become aloof and skittish when they are allowed to regrow. Their wooly hairs are often harvested for textile manufacturing and take dye exceptionally well.

Yu’keem: The language of the Yu’Nyun. Refers to both the spoken and written systems. Appears not to have dialects or slang in its current form, perhaps as a result of one socioeconomic class departing the Yu’Nyun planet generations ago and developing along extremely rigid societal guidelines and aided (or limited) by the absolute authority of their computer-stored libraries.

Zalika: See ‘Mermaids’.

Zepherion ferret: Small slender rodent noted for the spectacular eyesight that allows them to hunt even smaller prey while gliding on updrafts.

Zur: An element of Vein naming used to indicate use of neutral or non-binary pronouns.