Glossarium


Glossarium:

i.e. Terms of Note within the World of "Souls Foreclosed"
  • Angels
    Immortal beings created by the Nameless God to serve as His heralds and warriors, made from a bodily shell of earthen clay, a full skeleton of human bones and wooden wings, a stray Soul, and the Nameless God's own blood. Their creation is said to have inspired jealousy in the Lords of Goab, who then sought to make their own Angels to use as an immortal honor guard. Archeological evidence strongly suggests that such experiments (albeit unsuccessful) did indeed take place. Their role in the downfall of the ancient Goabite empire is hotly debated among scholars.
     
  • The Angelic Remnant
    A vessel filled with the charred ash of a slain angel, revered as a holy relic by a sect of heretics in the mountains of Torquemada. The vessel is said to miraculously stay filled even when ash is removed from it. The ash itself appears to possess certain medical properties which can affect a human's endocrine system when consumed, changing their hormonal balance in a way not fully understood by modern medicine. As the vessel has been seized by the Church's Inquisition, no scientific testing has been done to verify these claims.
     
  • The (United) Church
    A powerful sect infamous for its cruel dogmas that emerged in medieval Tyvia from the then thriving cult of the Nameless God, after the death and subsequent hallowing of Godfrey. With the colonization of the New World, the Church became Norra's most dominant religious and political force, leading to the war of Norran Independence against Tyvia. Before the Norran Civil War, the Church was headed by a council of five vampire Lords, with Godfrey XIV. as its figurehead, the "Necropraetor" (i.e. "First Among the Dead"). Its symbol of devotion is the Ring of Nails.
     
  • The Choir Deck
    The Uyulala Choir's most sacred artifact, a deck of cards depicting the likenesses of former Voices through Sigil calligraphy.
     
  • Cycle of Rebirth
    The natural cycle of life and death wherein a dead body sinks into Sheol to decompose and become new soil, whereas the untethered Soul drifts into the Well of Souls to be dissolved and then reformed to seek a new body. The Church denies the existence of such a cycle.
     
  • Demons of Lucifer
    Humans that enter a pact with the deity Lucifer, which allows them to act according to their maximum possible potential. Demons bear the marks of Lucifer i.e. horns that grown upon their forehead, a dexterous tail, and skin of an unnatural red hue - some of them are said to even grow fangs, claws, or webbed skin between their fingers or underneath their arms as part of the transformation. Unlike the immortal Angels of the Nameless God, Demons are still mortal, acting as a way for Lucifer to take physical influence in the material world for as long as their natural life-span allows them to.
     
  • Devil Eyes
    A mostly benign quirk of nature which allows some beings to see Souls and even the realm of Limbus. Some cases be triggered by great shock or trauma, associated with witnessing a large number of deaths in rapid succession, while others simply occur spontaneously. Many of those afflicted with Devil Eyes think of themselves as "cursed" and do not seek training to hone them. The deity Lucifer also possesses such eyes, hence the name.
     
  • The Divine
    A class of immortal ancient beings that not much is known about, capable of supernatural feats without the apparent use of Sorcery or other forms of human-accessible reality-warping. Many of them are (or were) worshipped as gods, such as the Nameless God or the Prime Voice of the Uyulala Choir. Modern society in the "civilized" world is split along the line of belief in only one benign deity (condemning all others as falsehoods or evil spirits of a lower rank) and denial of the divine altogether (dismissing all deities as quirks of nature or exceptionally powerful humans) - in both of these schools of thought, the deity Lucifer is considered an agent of chaos that seeks to harm mankind by leading its weakest members astray.
     
  • Heaven
    The supposed residence of the Nameless God (or just "God" according to Church scripture) which lies beyond the realm of Limbus according to Godfrey's vision.
     
  • The Inquisition
    The martial arm of the Church in Norra, deployed to combat "heresy" and other acts of insubordination against their rule. Its members can be identified by their characteristic tall hats and dark coats.
     
  • Limbus (or "Purgatorio")
    A realm betwixt life and death, where Souls linger before passing on to be reborn.
     
  • Liturgy
    A form of reality-warping similar to Sorcery, invented and perfected by Godfrey's followers after his death. Using the Tongue of Prayer, certain phrases are repeated ad nauseam, speaking them into reality. These spells grow in effectiveness with the faith their wielder has in their effect and in the validity of the teachings that set the groundwork for them. Godfrey's vision of Heaven, so it is theorized, acts as a load-bearing pillar for them.
     
  • The Lords of Goab
    An ancient civilization of slave-keeping master Sorcerers, said to have been destroyed by the first Demon of Lucifer for their attempt to recreate Angels from human sacrifices.
     
  • The Nameless God
    A deity that is said to have created the material world, or at the very least many of the living beings that populate it. He is a reclusive figure, appearing to communicate with humans less and less frequently over the course of history, withdrawing from the world almost entirely. A prophet of His teachings became the foundation of a cult that took the Old World by storm after the fall of its lynchpin empire, which in turn laid the groundwork for Godfrey's United Church.
     
  • Necromancy
    A school of reality-warping teachings both sorcerous and liturgical that aims to stall death itself in various ways, primarily for the material benefit of the wielder himself. Most commonly used by Vampires to stall their own bodies' process of decay by siphoning the energy of stolen Souls, or to create undead servants from slaves that would have passed away from the exhaustion of labor. While necromancy can avert impending death, it cannot reverse it - a Soul that has passed on into the Cycle of Rebirth cannot be returned to its former life.
     
  • Norran Civil War
    A conflict between followers of Lord Judex Savounarola II. and those of Godfrey XIV. borne from Savounarola's bid for power over the political affairs of Norra, wanting to rid himself from Godfrey's influence. The war split Norra into two states and two churches, and only formally ended after the death of Savounarola at the hands of Lucifer's Demons and the subsequent "military intervention" by a rejuvenated Godfrey in 1877.
     
  • The Old World
    A name for the three connected continents that house Tyvia, Fiore da Laguna, Pareildas, Goab, Amshedroul, and many more of the world's great kingdoms of historical importance to the scholars of those realms. Once upon a time one great empire united its Westernmost reaches. When a naval route from Pareildas to the continents of Norra and Suris was established, the names "Old" and "New World" were coined, as those soon-to-be-conquered continents had been previously unknown to the residents of the "Old World". See the section "Maps et al" for more.
     
  • Possession
    When a wounded Soul is adrift in Limbus it may seek out a living being to attach itself to, wrestling with that being's own Soul for control of the body. While some of these stray Souls act out of malice, most of them simply seek a living body to occupy since they are incapable of recognizing their own Death. The Sorcerers of the Uyulala Choir are said to be experts in tending to such cases, separating the wounded Soul from the possessed body and healing them both. Church exorcisms have a much lower rate of survival for the person possessed.
     
  • Saintsthorn
    A plant native to Tyvia capable of inflicting tremendous pain with its poisonous barbs, cultivated by the Church for use in necromantic spells. Folklore suggests a link to Godfrey's death and the spread of Saintsthorn from his body.
     
  • Sheol
    The realm of the dead, where bodies and bones return to after death, said to be devoid of all color and light.
     
  • Sigils
    An ancient form of reality-warping that predates Sorcery using special glyphs to later material conditions of objects or beings. Sigilcraft is believed to be a dead art, only practiced by very few individuals in modern times.
     
  • Sorcery
    The art of warping reality via secret formulae, first mastered by the Lords of Goab. Some sources claim that Angels were the first to teach Sorcery to mankind, others see Lucifer as the originator of the art. While most everyone can understand the workings of Sorcery with proper teaching, only a few are able to master the art of wielding it effectively, and even fewer are able to utilize it without the crutch of so-called Circular Wards, meta-physical aids that rely on repetition of fleeting sigils to stabilize and direct the path of a given spell. Prodigies of modern Sorcery in the "civilized world" often seek training in special academies, favoring consistency over imagination.
     
  • Souls
    The ephemeral half of every living creature (man, beast, or deity alike), allowing them to think and act independently. A living being's Soul is tethered to the material realm by that being's body, and naturally returns to Limbus to be reborn when separated from that body by death or other means. However, over the course of history mankind has found many ways to manipulate Souls to keep them from entering the Cycle of Rebirth, for goals both noble and nefarious. The necromantic Soul Tether is perhaps the most well-known of them.
     
  • The Tongue of Prayer
    The antiquated language of a fallen empire, nowadays used by the Church in its scriptures as well as in their necromantic spells and liturgical wards as passed down by Godfrey XIV.
     
  • The Uyulala Choir
    A cult following the divine Prime Voice located in Goab. After the fall of the Lords of Goab, the Uyuala Choir began guarding the ruins of their empire and salvaging their Sorcery to use it for good. They are said to be expert Sorcerers who can extract and bind aspects of Souls to material objects, or even fit an entire Soul into a mere thimble. Their knowledge is transferred from one generation to the next by a priest called a Voice, chosen at a very young age and inducted into their secret arts by their predecessor.
     
  • Vampires
    A derogatory term referring to the members of the Church's upper echelons, a class of powerful necromancers who have extended their life spans dramatically at the cost of their subjects' lives. Most Vampires grow elongated, fang-like canines, and all of them exhibit a strange relationship with their own reflections.
     
  • Vigorous Blood
    A condition of the body where wear, tear, and injury seem to only affect it very temporarily. Wounds close at a rapid pace, limbs can be reattached without need for surgical intervention, and broken bones mend within minutes if allowed to rest. It is theorized that Vigorous Blood is evidence of divine heritage; that a person born with it could be a so-called "nephilim" (born from the union of man and angel); that primal humans all carried Vigorous blood a long time ago; that its presence in a body is the sign of the "Savior" (according to Godfrey); that any child could potentially be born with it and never notice because of the generally low-risk lifestyle most cultures encourage among their people; that cases are far more prominent but unexamined because witnesses were not deemed credible; or that only a sinister ritual would allow the birth of such a child. There has been no conclusive evidence to support or disprove any of these theories.
     
  • The Well of Souls
    A location within Limbus where Souls are cleansed and reborn. It is said that the deity Lucifer is cast deeper and deeper into the Well with every Death.
     

MAPS et al:

Slightly inaccurate map (Norran border mislabeled) from Colonial Times newspaper

(Chapter VII)
 

Hand-drawn map of Imperial Tyvia (by Miss Turnpenny)

(Chapter VIII)
 

Print map of eastern Norra, post re-unification (all 16 States labelled)

(Chapter IX)