Savage Miraya


bizama -- small winged vermin the size of a cat with a heart-gem on the back and sucker-like mouth.  They are a nuisance for the wingships, attaching themselves to the gasbags and feeding off the raidras gas.  An infested wingship may not sail until all the bizama have been eliminated.

damash -- a drink prepared from the fruit of the damash vine found only on the top of the floating islands of Miraya (but exported throughout the moons of Korash).  When drunk, it causes the drinker to fall sleep, during which time, his mind absorbs the knowledge of whomever he is sleeping with, including language.

glim-gem -- a gemstone which gives off constant illumination unless shattered.  Because the use of fire would be too dangerous beneath the floating islands of Miraya, glim-gems are used for lighting.

heart-gem -- gemstones literally imbedded in the flesh of the chests of most animals found on the moons of Korash; it is not a decoration but a part of their anatomy.  For a woman, the heart-gem functions as an erogenous zone.

Holix -- a miniature version of the Narse found atop many of the floating islands of Miraya.   (See Narse.)

Jakdak -- small two-headed animals the size of cats which live in the catacombs within the floating islands of Miraya.  They are surprisingly effective burrowers and dig quite extensive networks of small passages for their homes.  With their huge eyes and large bat-like ears, they appear cute and harmless, but in fact are extremely deadly, with powerful lungs by which they employ Y-shaped blowguns with a force equivalent to muskets.

Jampan -- a ferocious spidery animal the size of a rhinoceros with four long legs with claws which allow it to climb upside down beneath the floating islands of Miraya (but also found atop the islands).  It is covered with matted brown fur and its head has four eyes, two above the mouth and two below, the head itself constantly rotating so that it is impossible to say whether it is upside down or right side up.

Lan'lan -- somewhat humanoid beings originally from the moon Prinis, they have very long arms with hooked claws, and legs with hands instead of feet.  Hence, they are excellent climbers and are frequently employed working amongst the sails on wingships.  Each Lan'lan has two heads, a heart-gem, and often wears a cloak and hood with the faces covered by bandannas.  They speak with a musical piping sound, and form tight-knit communities, never mixing with those around them.

leister -- the principal hand weapon (and a nasty one!) of both the Kamir and Trayken, it is long and spear-like but with spreadable tongs on the end flanking a central glass spike, and backward projecting spikes on the ends of the tongs.  When used, the tongs and backward spikes grip the victim while the main spike kills.  It is similar to the leister employed by the Inuit of Northern Canada which was used for fishing.

Manatyr -- a colossal sea serpent that swims in the planet-wide ocean of Miraya and is the only creature large enough to reach the floating islands from the water far beneath.  Blue-skinned with a titanic 1000 foot long neck which branches into two necks at the top, the manatyr uses its two heads with upward curving beaks to feed off the bottoms of the floating islands, including the Kamir themselves.  So dangerous are these giant beasts that the Kamir train "manatyr watchers" to keep a constant look-out.

meshmel stone -- a vitreous black stone (like obsidian) found on many moons which starts out molten but which, on solidifying, retains a "memory" of its present altitude.  Thus, if raised or lowered, it seeks to return to its original altitude.  On Miraya, the islands originally floated in the sea but, over time, the sealevel dropped, leaving the islands air-borne because of the large mass of meshmel stone in their cores.  Meshmel plates are used on wingships, countering the weight of the vessels, and allowing the raidras gas in the balloons to lift the ships.  Obviously, the higher the source elevation the better the "quality" of the meshmel stone and the more expensive.

Narse -- a limb-less red serpent with wings like a dragonfly, a long neck and tail, and a body with thick plates on the belly.  The narse is the Kamir version of a horse.  Lacking limbs, it must constantly hover, never landing except in an accident, where, hopefully, the belly plates will protect it from injury.  It is controlled by reins attached to a device which puts pressure on the "heart-gem" at the bottom of its neck.

punch spike -- a hand weapon similar to the punch spike once used in India.  It is gripped in the fist with a bar across the knuckles from which two glass spikes protrude.

raidras gas -- a gas lighter than air and used to fill the balloons of the air-borne wingships.  Raidras gas comes from burning the immature leaves of the raidras bush, originally found only on the moon Donyr, but now cultivate on most of the moons of Korash.  The raidras gas alone would not be enough to cause the wingships to float, thus meshmel plates are also employed.  (See meshmel stone.)

silth whips -- double whips made of the strangely glass-like but flexible vines of the silth plant found only on the moon Shek.  The silth vine reacts to contact with flesh by coiling -- in the wild this is how it captures its prey -- and continues to do so even after it has been cut.  Thus it makes a very effective weapon, both as a sort of lasso and also for binding prisoners.  Guards wear gloves when handling these whips.  The silth whip can by rendered "inert" by prolonged drying, so that it no longer coils.

tal-stone -- gem stones found on all twelve moons of Korash (and Earth, too, apparently) which are used to teleport from place to place either on or between the moons. Each tal-stone seeks to return to wherever it was originally mined, taking the bearer with it. Lin is the only moon for which there is only one known tal-stone. Lacking that stone, the Trayken have never been able to reach that moon in their otherwise unstoppable wave of conquest.

vinala juice -- a delicious drink made from the fruit of the vinala vine cultivated only on Miraya.

wingship -- the main mode of transportation on many of the moons of Korash, the wingship is a large wooden ship which flies through the air, upheld by the combined effect of meshmel plates and a gasbag filled with raidras gas.  Horizontal masts extend from the sides like wings, giving it its name.  A single flush deck is flanked by raised round turrets along the starboard and larboard sides.  Lan'lans are frequently employed to manage the sails.  The number and quality of meshmel plates determine how high the wingship can ascend.  (See meshmel stone, Lan-lan, raidras gas.)

worm cannon -- a cannon employed by both the Kamir and the Trayken (but not the more primitive Fenoks and Fenfyr) which fires spiral bursts of energy called "flash worms" with devastating effect.  The flash worms are produced by a long "worm gem" placed inside the worm cannon, the energy spiral being the same length as the worm gem, and appearing seconds after hatches are closed, allowing energy to build up inside the cannon.  The flash worms lose energy to the atmosphere and thus are more effective close up, gradually fading with distant.  Also, they are useless when fired during a rain storm, for the same reason.

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Savage Miraya