TRAVELLERS GUIDE TO
by CHRISTY MARX
"ch" is pronounced as in "church".
"gh" at the end of a word has the pronounciation of the "ch" in "loch", but slightly more guttural.
The apostrophe affects syllable emphasis: when modified by a single, lower-case letter in front of the apostrophe, the single letter is given very short emphasis (example, n'logoth) when occurring in the middle of a proper name, it causes the main emphasis to be placed on the syllable immediately before the apostrophe (example: Olor'in)
WORDS/PHRASES Crear Kulai n'logoth (cree EAR koo LIE nuh LOGth) = "Where is Kulai?" (literally: "In what place is the existence of Kulai?")
chalim (CHAL im) = honorary title for the most important member of the Pyran race. Literally means "heart-soul". The Chalim's very existence is crucial to the health and vitality of the entire race. A Chalim is the spiritual/physical catalyst in the all-important regeneration ceremony.
chaermooth (chair MOOTH) = a word that is nearly impossible to translate into English because of the myriad levels of meaning and conceptual elements. The closest, strictly literal translation would be "straight path". But it contains elements of fate, destiny, self-determination, duty, honor, adherence to truth, an unalterable goal, purity, necessity, divine mission, and "that which may not be set aside". Kulai's need to stop Paiyin is her chaermooth.
ralanagh (rah lah NACH) = swear word with roughly the same usage as "shit" or "damn".
krolla (KROH lah) = large, central line of head-scales
mahar (mah HAR) = first dorsal line of head-scales (line of scales on either side of krolla)
tak (tahk) = second dorsal line of head-scales (second line of scales from krolla on either side of head)
ADDITIONAL CULTURAL ELEMENTS Colors are applied to the head-scales of Pyrans for a variety of reasons. Colors and designs can be worn as simple decoration.
But certain segments of the Pyrus culture use colors to denote rank, status or function.
Military leaders tend to wear a red or orange stripe on the krolla and tak.
Telepaths wear a pattern of blue-greens on the krolla, mahar and tak line of scales (central, first and second dorsals)
Traditionally, a Chalim forswears wearing any color, but may for formal occasions add a small amount of white to the krolla (center of the head).
MORE ABOUT THE CHALIM An average member of Kulai's race lives about 300 years. Kulai has an extended lifespan which is a part of the unique abilities with which she was born and which make her a Chalim. She is already 342 and will live another 200 or so years. By her standards, she's in the prime of her strength. Being a Chalim involves more than mere leadership. The Pyrans share a common psychic bond, a sense of shared existence (not shared thought or emotions, but something more basic than that). The presence of a Chalim generates a critical element of the bond which keeps the race strong, healthy and able to procreate. Without a Chalim, the Pyran race would lack a crucial catalyst and very likely would not survive long, unless a new Chalim were born in time.
No matter where she is, Kulai can sense whether or not her people continue to exist, and they, to a lesser degree, can sense her existence.