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Monday, October 24, 2011

Lords of Kobol - An Incomplete Glossary

In the months before publication, I began to think a glossary might be in order, thanks mostly to all the Greek names and places.  Eventually, I let it slide as I realized my work wasn't nearly as dense as Tolkien's Silmarillion (for which you do need that glossary).

So, here are some of the entries I completed, with comments afterward.  There will be some Book One - Three spoilers.

Read on after the JUMP!

AD - "Ante Diluvian," meaning "before the flood."  The Kobollian calendar uses the Great Flood as the dividing line between pre-Flood times and post-Flood times.  For example, the human vessel Draco landed in Scythia in the year 257 AD.

Aetos - (Olympian: "Eagle")  The name of the large transport aboard Olympus.  It was in excess of twenty meters long with a shining, golden hull.  Its twelve wing panels were able to extend and collapse and expand and contract depending on the mission needs.  It could hold a few dozen people if needed and it operated (like dartships) on technology that not even the Kobollians were ever able to match.  It made its first appearance to the Kobollians on the day of the Great Flood when it was piloted by Zeus and later Hermes to ferry hundreds of people away from the City of the Gods to the Cambunian Mountains southwest of the city and near what would later be the Tomb of Athena.  The sight of the golden craft overhead, soaring and expanding its wings, led to the Kobollians' adoption of the ventral view of the Aetos as their symbol and seal.  This stylized bird symbol was later adopted by the Twelve Colonies and its origin altered to fit the nascent myth of the phoenix.
Arrow of Apollo - An arrow of Apollo's supposedly used in the Battle of Elysian Fields, but the god himself was uncertain of this.  According to legend, it was retrieved from a dead Draco soldier, bejeweled, coated in gold and then put on display in a Delphi museum.  Five millennia later, Apollo retrieved it and installed two computer chips.  The chip in the head was keyed to a mechanism that would open the Tomb of Athena's door (although Apollo destroyed the door's access panel in anger and grief).  The chip in the shaft was keyed to activate the computer projection system housed in the Sagittarius statue within the tomb.  At the time of the exodus, Apollo gave the arrow to Stephen Acastus who brought it with him aboard the Galleon.

Atlantis - A volcanic island off the coast of Illyria.  Millennia before the destruction of Larsa, it was taken by the Palatine Empire and the Founder's Monument was carved into the mountainside.  Upon the arrival of the Olympians in the post-apocalyptic world, they took ownership of Atlantis and forbade any humans from going there.  The Olympians established a secondary base there, including resurrection equipment, communications array and a nuclear interdiction arsenal (see ETIM).  Atlantis was destroyed in 5,610 PD when Ares detonated a nuclear warhead within the compound, causing the primary volcano to erupt catastrophically.

("The Palatine Empire," you may ask?  That's some old Larsa business that may be addressed in the future.  I'm still vacillating between "Palatine Empire" and "Republic of Tiber."  Hmm.)

Attican - One of the predominant languages spoken on Larsa before the nuclear holocaust.  It is the language used by the Olympians and taught to the Kobollian humans.

Calydon - City in Taurus that served as the home of Artemis for many centuries.  Famed for their pork products.

(Mythology fans will laugh at that last line.)

Chara - (Olympian: "Happiness")  The word referring to the feeling of euphoria given off by a Lord of Kobol if that Lord happened to be in a moderate-to-good mood.  If the Lord was angry, fear was the emotion generally experienced by humans nearby.  If the Lord was saddened or fearful, humans would usually feel sad or afraid, too.  Sexual arousal produced sexual arousal in humans, as well.  Oftentimes, nausea accompanied negative emotions.  The Chara effect was created by Hera's genetic alteration of the Olympian's pheromones and how they were interpreted by humans around them.  The range of a Chara could vary from god to god and from mood to mood.  The stronger emotions usually had a greater radius.

Cimtar Star Cluster - A grouping of stars just outside the Orion Arm of the Galaxy.  Contains the Cyrannus Star System, future home of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol.

Cyrannus Star System - A double binary star system within the Cimtar Star Cluster containing dozens of planets, including gas giants and habitable worlds.  Future home of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol.

Dartship - Small craft carried aboard Olympus (or later built by Olympians) that could transport one or two people comfortably at great speeds.  Like the Aetos, its propulsion and technology was beyond what the Kobollians ever achieved.

Dechopem - A home entertainment and communications device that predates the Stream.  Its name is a compound of the Attican words "decho" (meaning "receive") and "pempo" (meaning "send").

Draco - A Larsan "sleeper ship" captained by Phillip Anaxo.  It was built to hold hundreds of humans in a cryogenic sleep until after the Human/Cylon war was over and the radiation subsided.  Six thousand years after its departure, the Draco landed outside Larak in 257 AD and remained there until its destruction by Prometheus in 210 PD.

Draco - A collection of villages in Scythia between approximately 200 AD and 200 PD.  Named after the Larsan vessel that landed outside Larak, the human escapees of the nuclear holocaust taught the reemerging human survivors various skills and arts as well as a monotheist faith.  Centuries later, this faith became known to the Twelve Tribes as well as the Olympians.  Prometheus led a Draco force of 250,000 into Sagittarius where they were defeated by the Lords of Kobol.  Over the next twenty years, Ares led Olympian forces into Scythia with the express purpose of wiping out the Draco.  Their battle symbol was a dragon, taken from the origin of their name.  

Earth - Planet scouted by Larsan interstellar probes approximately 7,000 years AD and the intended destination of the Olympus after their escape before its FTL was damaged.  Later selected for the Thirteenth Tribe's destination when they left Kobol.

(This is Earth I, of course.)

Elysian Fields - Large plains in central Sagittarius bordered by the Parnon Mountains on the west and the Bay of Pylos on the east.  Site of the famed Battle of Elysian Fields in 200 PD.  With more than 300,000 dead, the people imbued the site with spiritual significance.  In popular parlance, Elysian Fields evolved into a metaphysical locale for the afterlife.

Eos - One of two faster-than-light vessels that departed Earth to return to Kobol nine hundred years after the exodus of the Thirteenth Tribe.  It was one of the original 26 FTL ships used to ferry Megarans to Earth, preserved as a kind of museum or monument.  It carried one thousand Earthers and was lost near the Lion's Head Nebula.  The Pegasus left a buoy behind to lead the Eos in the right direction but there is no evidence they ever found it.  It was named after the goddess Aurora.

ETIM - "Extra-Terrestrial Interdiction Missile."  Low-yield nuclear warheads created by the Olympians to deflect asteroids on collision courses with Kobol.  The ETIM program was developed after the Argolis Asteroid Strike that nearly wiped out the City of the Gods and caused what later was referred to as the "Great Flood."

Fardan - Ancient Larsan city in central Illyria.  The planet's oldest civilization sprung there and built large stone temples and pyramids.  After the nuclear holocaust, the Olympians covered the temples and later ordered the construction of the city of Olympia on it to prevent future detection.

(Check out the "Deleted Scenes" post below for more on Fardan.)

Gates of Hera - A mountain formation west southwest of the City of the Gods in the Cambunian Mountains.  It consists of a smooth central mound with two nearly equal pillars on opposite sides.  In the rockace at its base, the Tomb of Athena was carved.  Originally named "Gates of Hu" ("Hu" meaning "gods"), it was later renamed once Hera, in exile, had her home constructed there.  For centuries, she (and later Hecate) lived there until she accepted death.  Hecate stayed there, too, until Zeus discovered she held decadent and violent parties.  The home was razed.  Two millennia later, Athena, in despair, leapt from the central mound onto a rocky platform about a hundred meters below the Gates and above the Tomb of Athena.

Great Flood - Refers to the crash of an asteroid into the Argolis Sea.  The resulting tidal wave killed tens of thousands of Makarans and nearly wiped out the collective settlement of all Twelve Tribes beneath the crashed Olympus.  This event marked the descent of the Olympians from the mount and their entry into the lives of the human survivors.  The date of the disaster was near the Vernal Equinox and, as such, was commemorated in subsequent years as Founding Day, the first day of spring and the first day of the new year.  

Larsa - Birthplace of mankind; civilization all but destroyed in a nuclear war between humans and mechanical Cylons.  Remnants of humanity survived in Scythia and later spread throughout the world within several millennia.  Later referred to as "Kobol" by some of the Twelve Tribes and this name was adopted by the Olympians, as well.

Megara - Small city founded by Aurora circa 3,100 PD as a home for the Kobollian Cylons, also known as the Thirteenth Tribe.  It was here that the Cylons continued to improve themselves and eventually developed natural procreation.  The evacuation of the Thirteenth Tribe in 3,553 PD left just over five thousand people in the city.  The population would hold steady until the Final Exodus in 5,610 PD when much of the city managed to be evacuated from Kobol, but without their resurrection equipment.

Mount Olympus - A peak in the Cambunian Mountains in northwest Galatia.  The Larsan vessel Olympus crashed into the side of this mountain and remained there for nearly six thousand years. 

Olympus - Can refer to the vessel that carried Zeus, et al, from Larsa, the advanced computer system on that vessel, or the abode of the gods atop Mount Olympus.  Kobollians, naturally, intend the latter definition when they refer to Olympus. 

Ordos Desert - Large desert in central Galatia, primarily located in the nation of Scorpio.  The size of the desert shifted over the millennia leading to occasional skirmishes among surrounding tribes and nations for access to rivers and Lake Kopaida.  

PD - "Post Diluvian," meaning "after the flood."  The Kobollian calendar uses the Great Flood as the dividing line between pre-Flood times and post-Flood times.  The Final Exodus of mankind from Kobol, for example, took place in the year 5,610 PD.

Pegasus - One of two faster-than-light vessels that returned from Earth to Kobol nine hundred years after the exodus of the Thirteenth Tribe.  It was one of the original 26 FTL ships used to ferry Megarans to Earth, preserved as a kind of museum or monument.  It carried one thousand Earthers back to Kobol, though the majority died before their arrival.  A portion died of radiation poisoning and the rest died from a form of encephalitis.  Named after Ares' horse at the Battle of Elysian Fields.

Psilon - Ancient Attican name for artificial organic lifeforms on Larsa.  Name was later adjusted to mean "Psychically Linked Organism."  Twelve of these Psilon models were first made, including Cronus, Rhea, Hyperion, Theia and so on.  From them came Zeus and his contemporaries, as well as the mechanical Cylons.

(It was my intent that "Cylon" be sorta like "gin and tonic" in the Hitchhiker series.)

Stream - A worldwide network allowing for the transmission and reception of all manner of information and data.  It was developed about one millennium before the Final Exodus.  For the first few centuries, access to the Stream was conducted via processors and computers.  After that, the Streamset allowed more immersive interaction with the Stream.  The Streamchip provided total immersion a few decades before the Exodus.

Tomb of Athena - Located in the Cambunian Mountains west southwest of the City of the Gods and carved into the base of the Gates of Hera.  Its origin goes back to the Great Flood when evacuees from the city were ferried to the mountains near the Gates to avoid the tidal wave from the Argolis Asteroid.  A young man named Kanul was aboard the Aetos as it launched the last time and he saw Athena killed as the wave crashed into the city.  Later, at the Gates of Hu, he decided a tomb for her should be carved into the mountainside.  Even after she was found to be alive, Kanul led an effort to create the tomb as a monument to her immortality and to express that, the door would always remain open.  Inside, twelve sarcophagi were arrayed in a circle along the interior to represent the people from the Twelve Tribes that died in the Flood.  A statue of each tribe was later placed at each empty casket and a statue of Athena on a column was placed at the center.  Before the Final Exodus, Apollo installed a computer system and a kind of Streamset planetarium using an artifact arrow of his own and an altered statue of Sagittarius.  The arrow activated a display and narration of how to find the Thirteenth Tribe, which left Kobol some two millennia prior.  This display was later altered by Hecate while she was under the influence of God.  Shortly after her alterations, refugees from the City of the Gods approached and she convinced the representatives of the Twelve Nations to be sacrificed to ensure mankind's survival.  Athena, dazed by the destruction she had witnessed and the departure of her beloved humans, happened upon the sacrificing and climbed atop the Gates of Hera, from which she leapt to her death.  Apollo, Hecate and Alexandra Gideon witnessed her death and Apollo placed Athena's body inside and closed the door.  He then destroyed the opening mechanism he himself had installed just months before.

There you go.  A few new tidbits for you.  Please download Book Three now and get ready for Book Four next week.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the LoK Glossary. As I was getting deeper into Book II (I will soon be finished reading it) I was thinking that there should be a dictionary of terms, such as Chara, even though I was quite familiar with Greek and Roman mythologies, and was hoping that there would be at least a cursory one at the end of Book III. This helps a lot, as I was never one to mind looking things up I was not familiar with.