One of the things I’ve heard, from readers kind enough to give me feedback on Malmaxa, is how complicated some of the words within the tale are. To that end, Malmaxa includes a Glossary – however most never realize it is there till they reach the end of the book, when it serves less of a purpose than it could.
Bear in mind Malmaxa is an epic tale – as such there is significant world and culture building. Though exposition could serve to detail concepts, I prefer to let things gradually reveal themselves. Naturally, this clashes with some readers, who want to know – and know now! For them the Glossary should help provide that “fix”, while doing so in the same tone as the tale. In other words, the glossary is not translated into current day English but instead remains true to the world of Malmaxa.
Something I would like to stress is that these words are not entirely figments of my over-active imagination. Along with the names of the many characters, they have meaningful origins – though I leave it up to you to find these out, should you have sufficient interest.
Now, for readers of the sample, here are a few of the stranger words definitions – extracted directly from the Glossary itself.
A metallic appearing object, worn as a pendant suspended around the neck. They are spiritually bound to their bearer and are held to be sacred instruments of the Gods. Chukrah are flat hexagonal shaped discs comprised of six twisting segments meeting in the center. The color of a Chukrah when worn, particularly when activated, determines the class of the wearer.
A thorough and all-encompassing investigation. Common usage refers to the detailed investigation Herbalists perform on the entrails and organs of beasts, to ensure they are safe for consumption.
The term describing the first match of one Seizen to another.
In Seizen speech neither herb, nor Herbalist utilize a silent “h”.
A Seizen matched to a Herbalist Chukrah. The Herbalist class specializes in the identification and gathering of herbs, which they utilize in the manufacture of curative and other potions. Herbalists, as the principle caregivers of the Seizen, are commonly called on to perform cinctures.
Herbalists are also called Healers.
A versatile, loose fitting, scarf like garment made from a single piece of densely woven cloth. Hijath are normally about two feet wide and four to six feet long but vary according to the size of the wearer. The most common use for a hijath is to protect the head, neck, and shoulders from exposure to the elements. They are made from a variety of materials ranging from simple linen to finest silk. Those worn by women are generally more colorful than men’s are.
Large, longhaired, domesticated beasts suited to drawing wagons or carts. This is their primary purpose. They are invariably in matched breeding pairs. Jumenta hair, once harvested and woven, is extraordinarily strong.
The distance a Warrior can march in about an hour.
A wildly variable alcoholic beverage made from various combinations of herbs, ale, partly fermented grain mash, and aged spirits. Its potency varies from mildly alcoholic to extremely intoxicating. Mahahsee is often served mulled, or heated.
The approximate pronunciation is “mah hah see”.
The unique symbol used to identify every Seizen. The word “symbol” is used interchangeably with “mark”.
Each Seizen is tattooed down both arms with their marks of ancestry. These are the symbols of their mother’s mothers and their father’s fathers, for twelve generations. Seizen are granted two new marks, one feminine and one masculine, once each cycle until they reach twelve. The number of marks a child bears determines their age. Children are referred to collectively by the number of marks they bear, for example, “the fifth-marked” refers to any children bearing five marks on each arm.
A term used to describe two distinct and completely unrelated unions.
Primarily: The union between a Seizen and a Chukrah. This bond lasts until the Seizen dies, at which time the Chukrah becomes unbound. It is correctly termed a “Chukrah match”, though this form is seldom used.
Secondarily: The union between a man and a woman. This is correctly termed a “Seizen match”, though the correct term is seldom used. Matches between Seizen are made during the Convocation.
Commonly: Any union formed between a man and a woman during the Convocation, regardless of age.