A Lexicon of the Tapestry

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There are a number of terms within the Tapestry whose meaning is shifted from what we are familiar with here on Earth. Because the story thread of On the Outside weaves through three different time periods, this lexicon is broken up into terms that are common to all three, as well as terms that are specific to each.

Contents

[edit] Common Woven Terms, Sayings, and Concepts

  • Barrier (n): One of the four types of fringe which mark the outer limits of a realm. Barriers are places where the terrain grows impassable, such as the thick walls of vegetation that ring much of Hanar, as well as the impassible craggy cliffs on either side of Nur.
  • Border (n): One of the four types of fringe which mark the outer limits of a realm. Borders are places where the edge of one realm directly abuts the edge of another realm, allowing free and easy travel between the realms. Examples include Nur and the Nameless Hills, which rise prominently to the north and south of Black Lake. Travel between realms which share a border is so easy that such realms are said to be "threaded" to each other.
  • Boundary (n): One of the four types of fringe which mark the outer limits of a realm. Boundaries are places where geography gets confused and turns in on itself. Those attempting to move forward out of a realm at a boundary find themselves turned around and wandering back in, sometimes from a different area of the realm's fringe all together.
  • Brink (n): One of the four types of fringe which mark the outer limits of a realm. Brinks are places where the realm just sort of stops, trailing off into a hanging gray mist. None who enter the mist ever return.
  • Empire (n): A conglomeration of realms ruled over by a single governing body.
  • Fringe (n): The outer edge of a realm. There are four types of fringes: barriers, borders, boundaries, and brinks.
  • Frontier, The (n): Refers generally to the sum total of all realms which cannot (or have not) been settled. It is generally thought that there are more undiscovered threads on the frontier than in settled realms.
  • Frontier Realm (n): An unsettled realm.
  • Great Tapestry, The (n): A formal name for the Tapestry. Sometimes extended for greater pomp or poetry to "The Great Tapestry of Being" or "The Great Tapestry of Realms."
  • Kith, Kin, and Kind (n): A generalized term that refers to the whole body of inhabitants of the Tapestry. The equivalent of saying "mankind" or "humanity" on Earth. More specifically, "kith" refers to one's friends or chosen family, kin refers to one's birth family, and kind refers to all people everywhere of whom an individual is but one.
  • Known Realms, The (n): The spread of realms that are generally aware of each other and are somewhat well explored.
  • Loom, The (n): A reference to the superstitiou and/or spiritual idea that the Tapestry is not only a weave of geography, but a weave of individual fates. The loom or "the Loom of Fate" is the device upon which such fates are rendered. Some believe that fates and destinies can be altered and that, in doing so, one is reweaving one's own thread of destiny on the loom.
  • People of the Thread (n): The formal name of a group of nomadic wanderers which travels from realm to realm, entertaining, begging, or trading goods.
  • Realm (n): A discrete piece of geography in the Tapestry, with its own biome and climate. Unlike on Earth, realms are connected to one another by threads, which do not necessarily bear any direct relationship to direction and topography.
  • Realms of the Warp (n): Can be an alternate term for the Known Realms. Can also refer specifically to those known realms which are settled and civilized.
  • Shuttle (n): A special condition or item that serves as the key for a particular thread. In order to walk the thread, the suttle must be possessed or performed before embarking. Examples include a scarecrow in Vashtinral which, if circled closely three times widdershins will have transported the circler to a similar cornfield in Beldenshire; and cellar door in the ruins of Fort Prick that is known to open onto a musty root cellar if opened normally, but opens into a secret cave in North Sarbenia if a particular key is turned in the door first.
  • Slip (n): Slang term for a slipthread.
  • Slipthread (n): A one-way thread, leading from one realm to another, but not back. An example is a scarecrow in Vashtinral which, if circled closely three times widdershins will have transported the circler to a similar cornfield in Beldenshire. The reverse is not true.
  • Tapestry, The (n): The sum total of all the threads and realms in the world.
  • Thread (n): A means of travel between two realms. Often takes the form of a road or "way," but can take the form of a "gate" or "passage" -- portals and tunnels that lead between realms respectively. Can also take the form of a border shared by two realms, which allows easy travel back and forth. Also, less commonly, can take the form of a "strange thread," which usually involves performing some arcane shuttle and finding oneself in another realm somewhat abruptly.
  • Threaded (adj): Colloquial term referring to two realms which share a border. Example: The realm of Nur is threaded to the realm of Black Lake and vice versa because they share a common border.
  • Threader (n): Slang term referring to one of the People of the Thread. Sources differ on whether this is intended as a perjorative.
  • Warp and Weft, The (n): Can refer to the whole of the creation, as with "The Tapestry." May refer more specifically to the range of human action and morality, or to the range of things that are natural. Can also be used when invoking the universal principles of Warp and Weft in an oath, ephitet, or other turn of speech.
  • Warp, The (n): The organizing, civilizing, preserving principle of the universe. Society and law are of the Warp, as are stability and steady fortune. Not seen as a deity, per se, but rather as a natural force and urge of the world.
  • "Warp preserve us!": A common cry of dismay.
  • Weave (n): A pronoun used to refer to some person, place, idea, or situation that is part of the Tapestry.
  • Weaver, The (n): A hypothesized unseen creator deity who is weaving the Tapestry, or who wove the Tapestry long ago.
  • Weft, The (n): The chaotic, surprising, changing principle of the universe. Art and travel are of the Weft, as are upheval and changes of fortune. Not seen as a deity, per se, but rather as a natural force and urge of the world.
  • "Weft curse you!" (n): A common oath in the Tapestry.
  • "Weft take you!" (n): A common oath in the Tapestry
  • Woven, The (n): Refers to the whole of the inhabitants of the Tapestry. Not used as frequently as "kith, kin, and kind."

[edit] Archaic Terminology

  • Dominion, The (n): A pantheon of gods, patrons of the realm of Black Lake. After their power was eroded in a protracted war with the Autumn Tribes of Nur, the powers of the Dominion were reborn in the body of Helhet Tum, God-King of the Empire of Black Lake.
  • Songweaver (n): Another term for a minstrel, dancer, or other musical performer.
  • Storyweaver (n): Another term for a storyteller, actor, or other narrative performer.
  • Thorne-Crone (n): One of the witches in the service of the Blackthorne Lord.

[edit] Prison Cant

  • Durance (n): The time an inmate spent in the Prison.
  • Incarceration, (The) (n): The theoretical event which snatched away the inmates to the Prison.
  • Inmate (n): One of the unfortunates incarcerated in the Prison at the end of the Arcane Age.
  • Jailbreak (n): An event during which some of the Prisoners break back out into the Tapestry.
  • Jailers, The (n): The postulated creators of the Prison and perpetrators of the Incarceration.
  • Prison, The (n): A bleak, oneiric maze of twisting stone tunnels in which the inmates awoke at the end of the Age of Mysteries.

[edit] Modern Vernacular

  • Age of Enlightenment (n): Alternate term for the Age of Reason, popular among certain self-indulgent members of the social elite.
  • Age of Exploration (n): Alternate term for the Age of Reason favored by schools focused on training expeditions to the frontiers.
  • Age of Learning (n): Alternate term for the Age of Reason favored by schools focused on the study of the natural world.
  • Age of Mysteries (n): The era preceding the Age of Reason, in which true magic was epidemic and kith, kin, and kind huddled in small societies from the terrors that awaited on the fringes. The Age of Mysteries is commonly understood to have ended during the Great Vanishing, when magic and its vile spawn inexplicably retreated from the Tapestry.
  • Age of Reason (n): The current era, in which many advances in thought and utilimancy have lead to the widespread expansion of empires and the general spread of kith, kin, and kind.
  • Arcane Age (n): Alternate, abbreviated term for the Age of Mysteries.
  • Bright Age (n): Alternate, abbreviated term for the current era. Particularly popular among sages of the Bright College of Northern Sarbenia.
  • Bright College (n): A center of learning established over a century ago, the Bright College of North Sarbenia is home to the Council of Sages -- one of the most respected gatherings of academics in the entire Tapestry.
  • Dark Age (n): Alternate, abbreviated term for the Age of Mysteries. Particularly popular among sages of the Bright College of Northern Sarbenia.
  • Daybreak (n): Alternate term for the Retreat. Particularly favored by the sages of the Bright College of Northern Sarbenia.
  • Lock & Key, The (n): An inter-realm constabulary force of the Tapestry.
  • Mazes, The (n): A secret, twisted, enigmatic dream realm that seems to be the place to which the corrupting influence of true magic retreated at the end of the Age of Mysteries.
  • Mnemomancy (n): Alternate term for true magic
  • Retreat, The (n): The event which signaled the end of the Age of Mysteries and the beginning of the Age of Reason, in which the corrupting influence of true magic -- and the monsters who wielded it -- retreated from the Tapestry, leaving kith, kin, and kind in peace.
  • Sophic Age (n): Alternate, abbreviated term for the Age of Reason.
  • Talismancy (n): An alternate name for Utilimancy.
  • True Magic (n): The chaotic, corrupting power which various monsters and tyrants possessed in the Arcane Age, and which they leveraged to prey upon kith, kin, and kind.
  • Utilimancy (n): The art of creating organic talismans which perform specific functions. Sometimes also applied to the the talismans themselves, or to the Utilimantic force which causes such talismans to function.
  • Vanishing, The (n): Alternate term for the Retreat.
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