The Red Hand of Doom
Arrowgrass: A plentiful, sturdy wild grass of Avalon used by Elves for arrow shafts.
Blessed Nation: Also “the Blessed.” The Blessed Nation comprises all the Elf tribes of Avalon, ruled by male and female High Perfects with the help of a council of Exquisites and other Perfects. The current monarchs, as well as all High Perfects in living memory, have been of the Gilt Leaf tribe. Non-Elves colloquially refer to the High Perfects as the “king and queen.”
Boggart Law: Boggarts’ only “law” requires that new sensory discoveries be shared with all other boggarts. Their greatest crime is to hoard an item to oneself.
Cenn: A leader similar to a town mayor.
Cervin: The steed of choice for Elves, the cervin resembles a long-legged deer. Certain bloodlines and breeding stock are reserved for high-caste Elves; anyone of a lower caste or tribe risks execution for so much as touching one of these rare and beautiful creatures.
Clachan: A Kithkin, Halfling, or Gnome village.
Clique: Three or more Faeries bonded for life, the members of a clique share an empathic connection that extends to telepathy during times of extreme stress or emotion.
Crannog: A merfolk village built to offer access to both the river-dwelling inhabitants and landwalking visitors. Crannogs resemble small floating villages, but beneath the surface they extend all the way to the river bottom. The lower half of a crannog might contain a population of merrow many times larger than is apparent from above.
Daen: Commander of an individual pack and the Elf who receives directives from high command, decides on their implementation, and issues orders to the hunters under his or her command.
Deathcap: One of the hunting packs of the Gilt Leaf Elves.
Dreamstuff: Tangible thoughts and dreams visible only to the fae.
Elf Law: The laws of beauty. In vain Elvish society, beauty is prized above all else. Their laws elevate the beautiful and bring cruelty to all creatures below their standards.
Exquisite: The second-highest caste in the Blessed Nation; includes taercenns, courtiers, artists, and spiritual leaders.
Eyeblight: Any Elf who, through disfigurement, physical deformity, or traitorous deed, is judged unworthy of the name “Elf.” Such creatures are considered to be beneath even boggarts, and their lives are worth nothing to their kin.
Fae: Formal name of Avalon’s collective Faerie population, used in the context of their shared traditions, magic, and identity.
Faultless: The fourth and lowest but most populous caste of the Blessed Nation. This status is conferred upon any Elf of the minimum threshold of beauty and grace. Equivalent to basic acceptance within Elf society.
Festival of Tales: An annual event hosted in the Kithkin town of Kinsbaile for countless decades. A gathering for telling stories and making merry before the Aurora, an annual display of lights in the sunset sky.
Gilt Leaf: The strongest and greatest of the Blessed Nation’s Elf tribes, masters of the Gilt Leaf Wood.
Glamer: Illusion magic, most often used by the fae to beautify themselves, entertain one another, or incapacitate foes. It is sometimes used by Elves (dishonorably) to cover up their disfigurements.
Hemlock: The pack under the command of Daen Rhys, comprised of around a hundred hunters with Gryffid as the daen’s second.
Hunter: Trained to bear arms and follow orders, hunters comprise the largest percentage of the Blessed Nation, but are rarely of any caste higher than Faultless. Roughly equivalent to the modern term “soldier,” hunters include rangers, archers, and daens.
Immaculate: The third-highest caste in the Blessed Nation. Elves of this caste are seedguides, viziers, diplomats, and other important functionaries. Some daens are also granted this status as a reward for courage and service.
Lanes: Merrow term for the many interconnected rivers of Avalon. Also used as an oath, e.g., “By the Lanes!”
Lys Alana: The largest elf city in the Gilt Leaf Wood, Lys Alana is home to the majestic Dawn’s Light Palace.
Merrow Schools: The basic social unit among the merrows is the school. The Silvergill, Stonybrook, Paperfin, Weirwinder, and Inkfathom schools have their differences, but they still trade and associate with one another.
Moonglove: A flowering plant with blue-white blossoms that is source of a powerful poison highly prized by Avalon Elves, who are largely immune to its effects. Elves use moonglove aggressively in battle and it is the source of their famed and feared “deathtouch.” Moonglove is also essential to many important Elf rituals and magic, as well as etching when diluted.
Mornsong: A lesser tribe of the Blessed Nation, the Mornsong Elves are known all over Lorwyn as the finest musicians and vocalists anywhere. The greatest Mornsong singer of the current generation is Peradala, a Perfect.
Nation: See Blessed Nation. Also sometimes used colloquially to describe an Elf’s own tribe as a matter of pride: e.g., the “Gilt Leaf nation.”
Pack: A highly mobile and tightly organized squad of hunters commanded by a daen. Packs range in size from a dozen members to several hundred, and are given broad directives by tribal authorities or their taercenn. Most packs operate semi-autonomously with regular but infrequent dispatches to and from their superiors.
Perfect: The highest caste of the Blessed Nation. Perfects are the greatest of the Elves, including the most brilliant artists and leaders. The High Perfects are the equivalent of Elf monarchs and are chosen by their fellow Perfects to rule for life.
Scarblade: Elves trained in stealthy combat meant to maim and disfigure. The victim of a scarblade suffers a fate worse than death – they become eyeblights. Scarblades are usually employed by high-caste clients to deal with political enemies.
Seedguide: Elf druid-mages who serve as the Blessed Nation’s ambassadors to the Treefolk tribes.
Shapewater: Practiced only by the merrow, shapewater magic allows a merrow to manipulate water into solid, sustainable, and mobile shapes. Though these shapes are usually static, the water from which they are formed continues to move and flow through and around the source from which it comes, usually a river. Merrow ferrymen employ shapewater to move landwalkers across and along the many rivers of Lorwyn.
Taer: An honorable (originally Elvish, but also commonly used by most of Avalon’s varied tribes) and roughly equivalent to the English “sir,” it literally means “great.” Also a prefix added to ranks and titles to signify the superiority the same (e.g., “taercenn,” literally “great master.”)
Taercenn: The highest hunter rank, restricted to Exquisite Elves alone. An active battlefield general, supreme commander and authority over multiple individual packs. The taercenn usually has some political influence with the High Perfects as well.
The Rising: The process in which a tree becomes a Treefolk, and becomes sentient and mobile. Not all trees may have a Rising; they occur randomly.
Thoughtweft: A form of Kithkin magic that relies on shared beliefs, often reinforced with music or poetry. A Kithkin can feel and join in strong thoughtweft at a great distance.
Tribe: Generally used to describe the different intelligent species of Avalon, e.g., the Kithkin tribe or the Elvish tribe. Also used to describe different groups within a species, as in “Gilt Leaf tribe” or “Mornsong tribe.”
Velis Vel: The secret spawning ground of the changelings is Velis Vel Grotto. Velis Vel is a subterranean cavern encrusted with quartz crystals. Once a year, sunlight filters into a hole at the top of the grotto, flooding it with light. During this time changelings are drawn to Velis Vel, where they revert to their unknown natural forms.
Vinebred: Living creatures altered and controlled by their Elf masters via the parasitic nettlevine. Vinebred are often considered terribly beautiful works of art. The hunting packs of the Blessed Nation sometimes employ them as shock troops, while Perfects often create truly magnificent vinebred to use as guards and servants.
Warren: A boggart village, led by an auntie.
Winnower: Elf hunters charged with and specially trained to hunt down and eliminate eyeblights.
Yew: The most rare of all Treefolk species, reddish in color, which have needles rather than leaves. Colfenor is the last remaining of this kind on Avalon. The poisonous sap of yew trees is as deadly as it is rare.