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Since not everyone has the book, here's a short glossary of various terms that will get tossed around. The really important ones are in bold.

The five major philosophical divisions among the Imperators -- Heaven, Hell, the Dark, the Light, and the Wild. Most Nobles follow the code of one of these philosophies.

The Cammora
Lord Entropy's mortal servants. They serve any Power in exchange for favors, and are notoriously corrupt.

Sometimes an Imperator will take some piece of land on Earth, and imbue it with its spiritual essence. This pulls that place off into a mystical pocket reality, which is called a chancel. The chancel rite also permits that Imperator to embed pieces of its soul into humans and thus enNoble them.

The Code Fidelitas
The law of the Nobilis, imposed on them by Lord Entropy. The rules: Thou Shalt Not Love Another (note that status as an Anchor is not admissible as evidence of love), Thou Shall Harm None Who Has Done No Harm (including Excrucians and their shards, people who are planning evil, and so on -- if they haven't done it yet, you are not allowed to punish them for it), Treat No Beast as Your Lord (people count as beasts; you're not supposed to even pretend to submit, nor should you accept insults from humans), Protect No Power From the Justice of the Court, and Serve They Imperator Before the War, and the War Before Thyself. Anything you do in aiding the Cammora or have the Cammora do for you is not a crime, even if it breaks one of the above rules. Generally, limit your punishment according to the Sevenfold Precept (you may visit seven times the harm a being has done upon it). The law exists to generate plot, not to stop you from doing interesting things. Your characters will almost certainly break it sometimes. They should just try to be sneaky about it, or expect a strong reaction from the witnesses.

The universe, more or less. There are also the Lands Beyond Creation, from which the Excrucians came to wage war against Creation.

The Dark
The Dark is the cosmic principle of human self-destruction. Dark Imperators and Powers work for the destruction of mankind collectively and the death of humans individually, but are not always evil--heroism and self-sacrifice are Dark principles, too.

The Excrucians are the beings from the Lands Beyond Creation, who are trying to destroy reality. They are inhumanly beautiful and totally antithetical to reality.

An Imperator is one of the godlike entities that make up Creation. They govern/are made of the concepts that form reality, and come from a variety of factions. All Nobles gain their miraculous powers from the shard of an Imperator's soul embedded within them.

Heaven is the realm of perfect beauty, and where the angels live. It's important to keep in mind that the angels are servants of beauty, rather than perfect good as a cosmic principle--though they do think that justice is a form of beauty.

Hell is the domain of the fallen angels. They are very dangerous but not universally malicious: they followed Lucifer to Hell for philosophical reasons, though that philosophy does exalt suffering and corruption.

The Light
The Light is the cosmic principle of human self-preservation. Light Powers and Imperators are frequently but not perfectly benevolent. While they always seek the preservation of mankind, they are quite certain that their ends justify any means and tend to focus on humanity as a whole rather than any individual.

Lord Entropy
Lord Entropy is the Imperator who has been appointed ruler of the Earth for the duration of the Excrucian War. He's pretty much entirely corrupt, and he likes it that way. Everything he touches or controls is slowly and inevitably corrupted as well.

Mythic and Prosaic Reality
There are two ways of looking at the universe in the Nobilis game. One is the worldview of prosaic reality, in which reality is much as we players understand it: physics, chemistry and so on. The other is the worldview of mythic reality, in which things are understood in animistic terms. In Prosaic reality the Earth is a planet floating in space, and the sun doesn't shine at night because we are in the shadow of the Earth. In Mythic reality, the Earth is a fruit hanging off the World Ash, and the Sun doesn't shine at night ever since the Sun and Night quarrelled and had a falling out. Most spirits perceive Mythic Reality, and most humans perceive Prosaic Reality. Nobles can operate freely in both worldviews, which gives them a tremendous edge both when doing magic and when renewing their driver's license at the DMV.

Nobles are humans who have had a piece of an Imperator's soul embedded within their heart. This gives them a miraculous command over some aspect of reality -- such as Chains, Roads, Freedom, Laughter or Blades -- and they act as viceroys for their Imperator while it conducts its war in the spirit realm. They are also called Sovereign Powers or Powers.

Powers, Sovereign
AKA Nobles

The Wild
The Wildlords are also entities from outside Creation, but unlike the Excrucians they are devoted to its defense. They value freedom, chaos, and wildness.

The World Ash
The World Ash Yggdrasil is the great tree that makes up Creation. The Earth hangs as a fruit from one of its branches. Hell lies at its roots and Heaven sits in the topmost branches.

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Last edited 12 June 2006 2:13 pm by Theresa (diff)