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Glossaryseraphina

Allsaints—all the Saints in Heaven, invoked as a unit. Not a deity, exactly; more like a collective

apse—part of a cathedral behind the quire and altar (and Golden House, in Goreddi cathedrals), often with radiating chapels

ard—Mootya for “order, correctness”; may also denote a battalion of dragons

Ardmagar—title held by the leader of dragonkind; translates roughly to “supreme general”

aurochs—large, wild cattlebeast; extinct in our world, but existed in Europe until the Renaissance

binou—type of bagpipe, used in traditional Breton music in our world

cloister—peaceful garden surrounded by a colonnade, where monks may engage in peripatetic meditation

Comonot’s Treaty—agreement that established peace between Goredd and dragonkind

Daanite—homosexual; named for St. Daan, who was martyred for that particular quality, along with his lover, St. Masha

dagged—deep scalloping, as of houppelande sleeves

dracomachia—martial art developed specifically for fighting dragons; according to legend, it was invented by St. Ogdo

Golden House—model of Heaven found in the center of Goreddi cathedrals and larger churches

Golden Plays—dramas depicting the lives of the Saints, put on by the guilds of Lavondaville during Golden Week

Golden Week—cluster of Saints’ days at midwinter, bookended by Speculus and Treaty Eve. It is traditional to see the Golden Plays, walk circuits around the Golden House, hang Speculus lanterns, throw parties, give gifts to friends and charities, and make grandiose pronouncements for the coming year.

Goredd—Seraphina’s homeland (adjective form: Goreddi)

Heaven—Goreddis don’t believe in a singular deity, but they believe in an afterlife, the dwelling of Allsaints

houppelande—robe of rich material with voluminous sleeves, usually worn belted; women’s are floor-length; a man’s might be cut at the knee

ityasaari—Porphyrian for “half-dragon”

Ker—council of dragon generals that advises the Ardmagar

Lavondaville—Seraphina’s hometown and the largest city in Goredd, named for Queen Lavonda

Mootya—language of dragons, rendered in sounds a human voice can make

nave—main body of a cathedral, where the congregation gathers for services

newskin—dragon who is inexperienced at taking human form and living among humans

Ninys—country southeast of Goredd (adjective form: Ninysh)

oud—lutelike instrument, common in Middle Eastern music in our world, often played with a pick, or plectrum

Porphyry—small country, almost a city-state, northwest of the Southlands; originally a colony of dark-skinned people from even further north 

psalter—book of devotional poetry, usually illustrated; in Goreddi psalters, there’s a poem for each of the major Saints

pygegyria—Porphyrian for “bum-waggling”; an acrobatic variation of belly dancing

pyria—sticky, flammable substance used in dracomachia for setting dragons on fire; also called St. Ogdo’s fire

Quighole—dragon and quigutl ghetto in Lavondaville

quigutl—subspecies of dragon, which can’t transform. They are flightless; they have an extra set of arms and terrible breath. Often shortened to “quig.”

quire—enclosed area behind the altar of a cathedral (or behind the Golden House in a Goreddi cathedral), where the choir and clergy sit facing each other on benches

saar—Porphyrian for “dragon”; often used by Goreddis as a short form of “saarantras”

saarantras—Porphyrian for “dragon in human form” (plural form: saarantrai)

sackbut—medieval ancestor of the trombone

St. Bert’s Collegium—once St. Jobertus’s Church, now a school in Quighole where saarantrai scholars teach mathematics, science, and medicine to those brave enough to attend

St. Capiti—patroness of scholars; carries her head on a plate

St. Clare—patroness of the perceptive

St. Gobnait’s—cathedral in Lavondaville; St. Gobnait is patroness to the diligent and persistent. Her symbol is the bee, hence the skep in her cathedral.

St. Ida’s—music conservatory in Lavondaville; St. Ida is the patroness of musicians and performers

St. Masha and St. Daan—the lovers; often invoked in anger, perhaps because it’s safe— it’s hard to imagine paragons of romantic love actually smiting anyone

St. Ogdo—founder of dracomachia; patron of knights and of all Goredd

St. Vitt—champion of the faith; this one will smite people, particularly unbelievers

St. Willibald’s—covered market in Lavondaville; St. Willibald is the patron of marketplaces and news 

St. Yirtrudis—the heretic; it’s an open question how there can be a heretical Saint

Samsam—country south of Goredd (adjective form: Samsamese)

shawm—medieval instrument similar to an oboe

skep—old-fashioned beehive made of woven straw

Southlands—three nations clustered together at the southern end of the world: Goredd, Ninys, and Samsam

Speculus—Goreddi holiday on the winter solstice, intended to be a long night of reflection

Tanamoot—dragons’ country

transept—wings of a cathedral built perpendicular to the nave

Treaty Eve—celebration commemorating the signing of Comonot’s Treaty, concurrent with New Year’s Eve

Ziziba—very distant land indeed, far to the north; home to many strange beasts such as crocodiles and camelopards (adjective form: Zibou)

(source: Seraphina glossary within the novel, used for informational purposes only)

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