Alpha: The dominant Dragon in a wild pride. While partnered dragons believe the Warden is the Alpha, each dragon knows which of them is the Alpha.
BackFart: 1) Dragons will sometimes accidently release gas that combusts. 2) Expletive 3) An epithet - A derogatory name for a stupid person.
Bamboo: This is not terrestial Bamboo, but it is bascially the same plant (Bamboo was on Terra long before the Dinosaurs). Bamboo is used for poles and supports, as well as the young being used for food.
Beast: Any non dragon animal that is not domesticated or a pet.
Bond: A mental link between a human and a dragon or other animal.
Bonding Arena: The location in a warren where full fledged young dragons are introduced to potential partners. Usually, there is a gallery around the arena, so Warren Folk can watch the process. These events usually occur in the spring, 2 years after the dragon's birth.
Bonding token: Ryders select people who are appropriate and have bonding potential as they move about the Ward. They give tokens to those people, so they can be admitted to a Bonding Arena when it is time.
Bongo: The Bonding Gong. It is sounded when a young dragon is ready to bond. It is the signal to everyone with a bonding token to hurry to the bonding arena.
Bug, The: The smartest person in the group, a brainiac, a crazy mad genius.
Captain: A leader you truly respect (or are totally making fun of).
Circuit: A game played by two Wings. An ariel version of roller derby. A course is laid out that the wings fly around. In each one of four rounds, each side has a Point. The point earns one point for every opponent they pass, and five points for every time they pass the opposing point. The members of the wing interfere with each other's flights, try to stop or slow down the point, and protect each other from the other wings.
Chirp: A small (1to 2 Kg) dragon like saurian. It has warp abilities.
Chivalry: The Kerrenese Honor Code is part of the colonist's culture. Everyone follows it, to some degree. Only Ryders are held to it. It has five components: Honesty, Co-Operation, Duty, Loyalty, and "Word"
Clusters: Fortified Towns where people live and work. Usually surrounded by farmland.
Cluster Folk: Those that live in a cluster, rather than a village or warren.
Councilor: Those that assist a Warden in leading a Warren and Ward.
Coyn: A round disk with the picture of a trade good. See Credit.
Crescent Knife: These curved knives are made from the Claws of a dead dragon. Normally, only Ryders or Highborns will have these weapons.
Crafter: Those that make things.
Credit: Kerren society is one with out money. That is not completely true, but it is one without convential money. Every member received what they needed from the central supply as approved by Warden or the Prime, as a reward for services they perform for the Ward/ Cluster/ Village and reflecting the prosperity of the Ward/ Cluster/ Village. Peoples basic needs are met. Some people recieve additional goods and services as rewards for extra services OR if they turn their surpluses back to central supply for trade purposes.
Some personal barter occurs between members, as crafters often made more than the Ward needed and Ryders trade services and duties. However, most economic actions are taken care of by the Central Supply for each Warren or Cluster. However, since the plague, there has been an introduction of the concept of credit.
The Credit concept was adopted when Wards could no longer produce everything they needed due to deaths from the Plague. Traders kept track of which Wards received which goods from which Wards. Eventually Traders would take the personal barter goods and created credit for the individual crafters, who would get goods from those who had credit with the same Trader. If a Ryder gets things from a Trader, his purchase is credited against his Wing or a they trade an excess good they received for being a good Ryder to the Trader]. Traders control the flow of goods between each Ward, even though they contract with Ryders to move some goods.
This system has worked for several hundred years. Some Wards are trying to find a way to take Traders out to the intra-ward trading. They are issuing coyns, each round piece representing a single good coyns for chairs, chickens, meals, etc, have those images on them. This new idea has received mixed interest from Traders and everyone else alike. The Traders hate coyns, unless they can issue them. Warders just hate this whole credit/coyn issue.
Crew: a) Kerren societies word for Team or Group. A crew of Ryders is call a wing. b) A given persons group of friends they can count on.
Ecology of Kerren Brief: The ecology of Kerren is in a Saurian Phase, with megafauna (big animals) dominating. Saurians are smooth skinned, partially warm blooded (they are endo thermic, but need help in regulating temp), reptilike animals. In northern or colder climes, they have proto feathers to create a bizzare fuzzy coat to keep them warm. They come in hundreds of different sizes and types. Insectoids and fish are also present. The insects are about 500% bigger than their terrestial counterparts. Fish, like Saurians, come in hundreds of different sizes and types. The only mammals and birds on this world come from Terra. The terrestrial animals that came with the Humans have found some nitches. Most of these animals are pet animals: Dogs, Cats, and Raptors. A few of these animals have escaped into the wild, but they really have not made a notable impact upon the environment. The cattle and goats all died off early of either predators and then disease. The Rats never survived out in the wilds because the native rat like dinosarus. The Terran insects have not been able to compete with their larger Kerran cousins. The Saurians still rule the ecology.
GMs: If you need to know the general animals, take a terrestrial environment, instead of mammals, birds, and such, make them Saurians and about 50% bigger than their Terran counterparts. Every native creature has one set extra limbs, so Saurians and Dragons have six, insects eight, Sprinkle in a few odd creatures, like a megafauna (big dinosaur) and a dragonlike critter (Leapers, Swimmers, etc), and you have the animals. The plants are pretty much the same as Terra's, just larger.
Edge: A Wingleaders Lieutenant
Eye or Red Eye: Colloquilism for Kerros V.
Fark: 1) Warm Dragon feces pellets, 2) Expletive 3) An epithet - for a ignorant and "green" person.
Firstdown: This is the name for the area where humans first came to Kerren. It is an area north of the Prime Warren, where the traditionally the High Ward council meets.
First Wing: The warrens best wing. Sometimes an unofficial title, other times it is earned by scoring Zhan taken or by some tournament.
Football: Or what Americans know as Soccer. A common game on Kerren. It is played with 7 people crews on a 50 meter field. Only the goalie can use their hands. Dragons, despite their interest in the ball, are forbidden from playing due to an edict nearly 300 years old.
Free Ward: An independent Cluster or set of small Cluster outside the boundaries of any Ward with a Warren.
Gaming: There are a number of distractions Warren folk like to participate in. Gambling is a favorite past time. There are hundreds of dice games, the most popular being liars dice, poker dice, and a few Yatzee like games. Darts for points are especially a Ryder favorite. Outragous bets have been known to be made on Tournament outcomes. Note: Cluster and regular folk game as well, just for fun rather than goods, credit, or duty positions.
Gip: The primary farm animal on Kerren, used for food and for leather products. A Gip is a one meter long (and nearly that wide), six limbed, broad backed saurian. It is a herd herbivore with a Goat-like ability to eat everything. In a world of huge, fast carnivores (some of which can fly), the Gip opted to defend itself by having a very thick hide on its back (not yet a shell) and the ability to outbreed any species on the planet. If it was not for all the carnivores, they would overbreed and eat all available plant matter.
Glass: A substance that the locals can casually make. With their knowledge of advanced technologies, they can make glass stronger than we can today with less technology. Optics item and mirrors are commonly available (telescopes and binoculars are indespensible survival items.
Glowgoo: It is a fungus, that when infecting a plant, causes it to be bio-luminescent, a greenish white light. The fungus kills most other plants as it forces water through them. Glowgoo frequently is found in areas after a Zhan storm and adds to the errie aspect of Grey Lands. The fungus combines with an air moss, becomes lightmoss.
Goggles: Eye gear frequently worn by Ryders.
Gray Dragons: Zhan infected Dragons, usually wild.
Gray Land: This is an area where every plant and animal is Zhan infected. They are normally quite small, but in areas far away from Wards or some small islands, they can get quite big. To add to the errie effect, they are often filled with Glowgoo.
Gray Man: A Zhani or Zhan infected human.
Grounder: A warren word for those who live on the ground, i.e. not in a warren and ride dragons. Not a complimentry term for Cluster folk and Village Folk.
GroundShaker: The Largest Animals on Kerren. This semi-aquatic herd animal is 500 tons of herbavore. A 30 member herd can strip a biome fairly clean in only a few days.
Gulliver, The: This is the gloomy guy of a given saga; the one that is always predicting the worst results. The name comes from an early Saga or two, he was the colonists who was constantly foreseeing doom and gloom .
Hand Fasting: The marriage tradition on Kerren. It is based on the Celtic ceremony, where people vow to stay together for one, three, or seven years. After that time they can renew their vows or walk away without any repercussions.
HangGliders: Rigid wing personal flying devices. A favorite past time for Warrenfolk without Dragons and very adventurous Cluster folk. Requires an athletic or vehicle trait/skill to use.
Hard Leather: Hard leather is made by boiling, adding tree resins to, and curing the leather. Thicker pieces are shaped from slabs of peeled Gip Hide. The resulting product is almost as hard and strong as good iron and is the commons substitute for metal and plastic. While the "generic color" of Hard Leathers are a deep brown (the default color of the resins), they can be laquered/ stained to almost any color. Thus certain pieces of riding gear are laquered to match each the wing's colors as a set.
Hawking: This is a popular past time on Kerren. Raptors, being endangered on Earth- even as domesticated critters, came along with the other Terran animals. Many people on the ship thought that it would be ideal to revive hawking in their new lower tech society. The idea was to use them as pets and as hunting/ pest control. (Well that was there intended idea, the real idea was to save the critters from extintion on Terra). When they got here, Hawking seemed ideal. There is always a lot of rabbit sized game (or rat sized insects). They should be food items themselves, but raptors are too fast for Gliders and other Kerren flyers. But they are in danger when they rest and breed (trees and cliff dwelling is a bad survivial habit for smaller animals on Kerren). Originally, this was a hobby for the Warren folk, but the Dragons tend to try and snack on the raptors. The highborns not in the Warren and other folk took on the hobby and saved them.
Healer: Those that heal the body and mind.
Heart Bond: 1) The bond link between two people, 2) The mark of true love.
Hexapod: A six limbed animal, usually six legs or four legs and a wing. All Saurians on Kerren are Hexapods.
HighBlood: Those of prestigious families that came from a warden or a famous Ryder ancestor. They live in and are supported by the Warren even if they are not currently Ryders.
High Ward Council: A council with representatives from each Ward. It deals with issues that effect every Ward.
High Warden: The leader of the Ward Council. The defacto leader of Kerren.
Honor Code: This code is part of the Kerrenese colonist's culture. Everyone follows it, to some degree. Only Ryders are held to it. It has five components: Honesty, Co-Operation, Duty, Loyalty, and "Word"
Humans: These are bipedal creatures that traveled to Kerren, from Homeworld (Earth) in ships that could sail the stars. They are 1.8 M tall, 80 KGs heavy (females 1.7 75Kg), with a great deal of diversity in coloration and temperment. A typical Kerren has a coffee cream (light, light tan) skin coloration, wavy dark hair, green eyes (with vaguely Asian looks to them), and is of a medium build. However, the full spectrum of human variations is still present, but just rarer.
Kerren: The planet of the Ryders. Pronounced "Care-en" with a roll of the "r" sound.
Kerros: Terran Name for the Kerrenese Sun
Kerros IV: Kerren's official designation
Kerros V: The red planet in a near orbit. It can be seen every summer (Northern continent) moving across the sky. Also known as Mars, DragonEye, or just Eye.
Kites: The favorite toy of children on Kerren. There is almost always a wind of some degree to play in. More elaborate kites are made to look like Dragons.
Leather: There are two types of leather in Kerren today, soft and hard. All leather comes from Saurians, Soft leather is only tanned and beaten to make it soft and flexible. Hard leather is made by boiling, adding tree resins to, and curing the leather. The resulting product is almost as hard and strong as good iron and is the commons substitute for metal and plastic. Most everyday leather is made of peeled Gip hide, with nicer hides from other Saurians used for soft leather.
Lightmoss: An air moss with a symbiotic fungus. The fungus glows as the moss processes moisture. Frequently placed in Warrens and other inside areas.
Little Wing: A wing with less than a full seven riders.
Marker Station: These are five to fifteen meter tall round towers, which are normally three to five meters in radius. They are built along certain warp routes when there is either a great deal of repetative landscape or great distance between destinations. They function as landmarks to help Ryders navigate. They also serve as way stations, where a dragon can rest in relative peace and supplies can be cached.
Mars: Colloquilism for Kerros V.
Metal: Kerren is a metal poor planet, though it has an adequate supply of Alluminum. While there are a few mines and such, there is little in the way of metal in the possession of individuals. Metal items are normally tools, plows, and the occasional personal item. Metal items are normally kept in the family and passed on to children. Most items that would be made of metal are made of processed Saurian leather that is nearly as hard as metal.
Monsters: Plants, animals, dragons, or humans, infected by a Zhan. The Zhan grants them a number of dangerous capabilities.
OldThing: Originally the slang word, but now the official designation, for EarthTech or things from the Days of the Ship. There are still caches of OldThings stored in the older Warrens. The Computer is still used upon occasion at FirstDown. There are still books and source of OldThing technology out there, should the colonists REALLY need it.
Omega: 1) The lowest of the low in a wild Dragon pride. 2) It is also the person of the lowest social standing in a Warren (or other group).
Outcast: A ryder who is no longer part of a Ward. These people have been cast out by the council, usually for some major criminal or traitorous action. They roam the countryside as either brigands or knights errant. Dragons are social critters, they do not like to be away from their wing or warren. Usually they will desert their outcast upon the first mating call, but not always.
Outland: An area that is away from a cluster or Warren, but within a Ward.
Outlander: Those who live outside a cluster or warren.
OutWalkers: Wilder with non traditional bond beasts
Parachute: Something every beginning Ryder must wear and many older Ryders do as well, especially if they are only imprinted and not bonded. To work well, requires an athletic or vehicle trait/ skill.
Paragliders: Advanced Parachutes that allow for more controlled flights. Requires an Athletic trait or Vehicle trait to control properly.
Partners: A human and a dragon or any bonded beast.
Pennant: Each wing will have a pennant made up of their wing colors and emblem. It is normally a meter or two in length, about half as wide. This is brought out on formal occasions, tournaments, and when a given member of a wing is brought before the high council. It is considered a crime for members of one wing to mess with another wings pennant. Notes: Some Wards have their own pennants with their single ward color and their emblem if any.
Pet Beast: A cat, dog, or hawk, an animal that a cluster or outland person might have as a pet. Warders do not keep such animals as pets, as Dragons dislike them, usually making snacks of them.
Pinger: This is a baseball sized object with a winding key. Once wound and set off, it creates an electrical ping that attracts Draconians and Saurians. Certain models create noise as well, that chirping noise that is effective in drawing saurians.
Preserver: Practioners of Preserver Thought. All the Colonist on Kerren are practioners of this School of Moral Thought.
Preservationism: The more formal name for Preserver Thought.
Preserver Thought: There is no "religion" on Kerren (or Earth of their era) as most of us 21C natives would think of it; there are only "Schools of Moral Thought" (similar to Confusianism). This is "School of Thought" that molds Kerrenese Society, based on preserving community and ecology, for a sustainable society.
Pride: A group of Dragons that live together. Dragons group themselves in groups of seven.
Prime: A Highblood that is in charge of a Free Ward.
Pulps: Cheap books made with paper covers. They specialize in meladramatic "sagas" that are not truly sagas. Real books are bound in firm leather.
Radios: Each ward has one radio that allows communication with other nearby wards. Some Wards have radios that can reach the First Ward. Radios are not used very often, as they attract the attention of Draconian and Saurian life.
Religion: See Preserver Thought: There is no "religion" on Kerren (or Earth of their era) as most of us 21C natives would think of it; there are only "Schools of Moral Thought" (similar to Confusianism).
Ribbon Drop: Ribbon drop is both a training exercise and a tournament game. A lightly weighted ribbon is dropped. The point is to strike the ribbon multiple times before it hits the ground.
Rice: One of two Terran crops that have succeeded on Kerren. Rice is the staple of their diet.
Rider: Anyone who rides a Dragon.
Rook: A place where Dragon eggs are kept.
Rules, The: The Honor Code that is part of the Kerrenese colonist's culture. Everyone follows it, to some degree. Only Ryders are held to it. It has five components: Honesty, Co-Operation, Duty, Loyalty, and "Word"
Ryder: A person who has imprinted with a Dragon, who is their partner.
RyderMate: These are the lovers and mates of those who have places in the Warren.
Sagas, The: A saga is a story that details some part of the history of Kerren. There are hundreds, if not thousands of Sagas, each one telling an important event, the life of a notable person, or some interesting/ entertaining event. They are told to instruct the young in the history of the world, to teach important lessons about life and destiny to the youth, and to entertainment all. The tradition of the sagas evolved from someone teaching history to smaller children, by telling them stories rather than making them memorize. The stories stayed with people longer than the facts, and have since replaced the facts. However, sagas are carefully memorized to prevent them from being distorted.
SAGA- Knowledge of the Sagas can be used to provide answers of the questions that plague the characters. Characters could remember similar situations from the past, taking hints from the actions and feelings of others, with a successful KNW Saga DR.
Saurian: The Dinsoaur like creatures that make up the bulk of the animals on Kerren.
Saurian Leather: Leather from Kerren native Saurians. When boiled and treated, it can be as hard as metal.
Scales: These are the wing wardens assistants and apprentices.
Scarves: Many Ryders wear scarves with their wings colors and emblems. While this is always done in a tournament, some have taken to wearing them everyday.
Scooby, The: A label from the Sagas. A person, who whines and tries to avoid danger. In the Sagas, The Scooby still follows his friends into danger.
Sigma: This is the wild dragon of a pride that constantly bucks for the alpha position. The sigma in a group is the troublemaker.
Sitebee: The second site that the original colonists set up. This site has been totally abandoned by the Kerrenese. Besides having no potential warren location within a quick wing, it is actually in a GroundShaker Migratory Path.
Sitecee: This is the third original colonist set up. It was the smallest of the three and primarily a research site. The Cluster of Undercliff has grown around it, making Sitesee an area or neighborhood inside the cluster. Sitecee is what the lower ground town is called.
Slayer: A person who has taken a vow to slay all Zhan or die trying.
Soy Beans: One of two Terran crops that have succeeded on Kerren. They are eaten boiled and out of the shell, processed, and as a milk substitute for drinking and cheese. They are also used to feed Gips. These plants have spread into the wilds and now grow their naturally.
Trader: See Credit
Tournaments: Kerren sporting events revolving around Ryders and Dragons. Most events are races of speed, or agility, or endurance. Ribbon Drop shows skill in striking Zhan. There are frequently paraglider events. Ground events include mock duels (bare handed or knives), archery and crossbow events, and Football games. Tournaments are normally within a single wards wing and clusters, but sometimes two or more wards compete. (Remember since a wing can travel to anywhere in the world in an hour or so, you can have a tournament anywhere. The winners technically get nothing more than bragging rights, but Wardens have been known to give winners special goods or compensation.
Vow, The: A suicidal commitment to down all Zhan monsters and kill them, so nobody else has to loose their family or friends.
Wall of Fire: a series twelve semi-active volcanos on the western continent in one short mountain range. 12/08/06
Ward: An area of geography, including a Warren, several nearby Clusters, possibly a few Outlander villages, and some wild lands.
Warder: Anyone living in a Warren.
Warden: The leader of a given Ward.
Warren: The cliff side caves that the Ryders live in with their Dragons.
Warp: The sparkling blue place that is sideways of Kerren. Dragons and many Saurians can enter this to travel great distances along its flows in a few moments. It is theorized that Zhan come from the world on the other side of the Warp.
Warp Storms: See Zhan Storms
Wild Thing: A Ryder living hard and fast on the edge of life and death.
Wild: Areas that have not people.
Wilder: Those who make a living by hunting and tracking in, and traveling through the forest
Windmills: The most popular source of Power on Kerren. There is almost always a wind in the valleys and mountains of the Wards They run pumps and mills. They run tools in shops (like water wheels did in the early industrial revolution). They run elevators. And in a few places, they are still running generators.
Wing Colors: Each wing has a two (or more) colors that are theirs. One of those colors is always the traditional color of their ward. Most wings will have an emblem, based on a dragon, other animal, or a weapon, in addition to their colors. A few wards have their own distinct emblems. Wings in those wards incorporate that emblem into their wings emblem. These bits of heraldry allow people to identify Ryders at a distance.
Wing Leader: The leader of seven Ryders and their Dragons.
Wing Warden: Those who are in charge of the care and feeding of dragons.
Wing: A group of seven Dragons. Wild dragons form Prides of seven, which is probably where the number for a wing came from.
Wood: A very common material for personal goods. Kerren has little in the way of good Hardwoods (they have yet to evolve). The local Evergreens are the only real hardwoods and they are as strong as soft pine. However, given the use of laquers and resins (from the advance knowledge of chemistry), these coatings can make furniture and wooden items quite strong and beautiful.
XXXXX YYYYY ZZZZZZ
Zhan: Egg shaped jello like creatures sized from chicken eggs to footballs that appear in Zhan Storms. They start with a long string or ribbon that allows them to float/ fall slowly to the ground. When they reach the ground, they slowly ooze (slower than a standard walking pace) about, infecting any plant or animal they have contact, changing them into dangerous monsters. Zhan die as they infect things, giving up their life to infect other living things. Some think this is how Zhan spawn. (Note Zhan drown quite quickly if they are in water deeper than they area 5 cms.)
Zhan Monster: Lifeforms that come into contact with Zhan become infected by the Zhan. The infected lifeform, be it plant, animal, dragon or human, begins to change. Such infected creatures develop new abilities and an incredible hunger for meat. Those things they attack, but do manage to kill and eat, frequently become infected and the cycle continues.
Zhan Storms: The ill weather that occur before, and during when the Zhan come from the other side of Warp. From the clouds, lighting flashes not to the ground but to other clouds. From such lightning struck clouds, Zhan string emerge.
Zhan String: The 1 to 5 meter ribbons or strings that are attached to Zhan emerging from the storms with that allow them to slowly fall to the ground. They wither and dry within a day of the Zhan reaching the ground. They are only infectious if they are consumed.
Zhani: 1) a Zhan Monster, 2) more specifically, a human infected by Zhan.
Things to Add
Entry on Plague
Entry on Oldthing ancient technology Expanded
Entry on Common Law (that of tradition and the Ward council).
Entry on Guest Courtesy
Entry on Duels
Entry on Geography of Kerren... Tends to be high mountain valleys, the terrain is normally pretty rugged.
Entry on religion.. pretty vauge.. force like.. spirits reincarnate .. travel the warp...
Entry on various aspect of technology
Entry on Food
Entry on the Savior/Kid- Onterio
Entry on weather: Rolling weather through the valleys. More wind than would make a ballon of any kind possible.
Entry on personal weapons: Knife/ cutter blade
Entry on Dragon back weapons, Crossbow, bola, and Lance
Entry on Mating Flight:
Change Hard Leather to Metal and Plastic.
Add Death Rites, music, and food to the things to do list.
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? Responses (9)-9
Wow. You really HAVE done a lot of work on Kerren. I knew you had a large amount to build upon, but man. Good work. I'm hoping to see more of this setting, as I loved the books by McCaffery.
Just the format alone, does it for me! I have an encyclopdia fetish. I love this format!! A world's almanac, so to speak. Nice Moon.
An interesting read - not too useful to me directly, but also an excellent inspiration.
Unless you are running Kerren, or similar world, this piece won't be useful for you. However, as an example it is priceless.
I have found that an encyclopedic dictionary like listing is an excellent addition to a world pack. It is fast and easy to read and use. While players might not read a full description, most of the one or two line entries they will read. It gives you little details to dangle infront of your players. And, if your world is not a general DnD fantasy, built with the standard Tolkein fantasy tropes or psuedo medieval, para european fantasy world, you really need to get your players up to speed. This sort of arrangement makes that possible.
And if it it's heavily linked to more material, as I suspect it will be soon, then it will be even more useful
And Manfred knows me so well. Of course, I need to put out some of it.
love this SIMPLE, FUN, AND INFORMATIVE format. I have to do this for Haracon, soon!
Updated: updated a bolding