The Empty Vessel - Maps and Appendices



Person List (Contains spoilers!)

Written in an elegant hand in the common script of Ithka.

GISHNA ILOR’HOSMYR: High Matron, ancient at twelve hundred years, suspected to not be as blind as she says, suspected illicit trading with foreign sources.

MAUNYN ILOR’HOSMYR: Prime consort and headmaster of Isilmyr, rumored to be the father of numerous children in the east valley and even Halkamas proper, something of a libertine though a fierce and dangerous warrior.

JULISSA ILOR’HOSMYR: Gishna’s eldest daughter and heiress.

SAUGRAEN ILOR’HOSMYR: Gishna’s eldest son, the Son of Hosmyr, suspected to be conducting a secret affair with Lissae Ilor’Vakayne, Vakayne’s heiress.

TAUL LOR’TOSHTOLIN: Master tender and Prime Consort of Lor’Toshtolin.

RYLDIA LOR’TOSHTOLIN: Matron of Lor’Toshtolin, owner of Zeldra.

PEMZEN LOR’TOSHTOLIN: Son of Toshtolin, suspect origin despite formal matron declaration.

VOLDIN LOR’VAMTRIN: East Valley master tender, instructor.

SILLA LOR’VAMTRIN: Matron of Lor’Vamtrin, a modest East Valley house, one of ten influential valley matrons advocating for a return to valley life.

BALNISS LOR’NEVTAR: notary, fifth level scribe, diviner, suspect behavior.

THENSIL (ILOR’HOSMYR): Chief Diviner of Ilor’Hosmyr, the primary architect of the effort to fix the taint plaguing his house.

SINNIN: Thensil’s assistant and prior of the secret scriptorium.

YAUREN LOR’NADRIL (REN): minor henchmen of Maunyn Ilor’Hosmyr.

JOUMINA ILOR’ZAUHUNE: High Matron, daughter of Yethva (who ruled only ten years and died in winter), granddaughter of Solaya, a formidable matron. Oversaw the razing of the Zalkamas outer walls and construction of myriad markets, including the jewel of Vaidolin, the Rilanik or Sapphire market.

ZAIDRA ILOR’VAKAYNE: High Matron for most of her 900 years, has produced three daughters in the span of fifty years, suspected of a conspiracy to place all three on the high council as high priestesses, born of a murky and weak line.



Notes from a volume on the Mornae stored in the supreme hierophant’s private library in Peraptis, chief city of the Arcanite League.

ACCORDS: the highest form of Mornae agreement or law.

ACOLYTE: a female Mornae preparing to be a priestess and anointed at her naming.

ALCAR: The vanalo founders of Saylassa, the ancestral root of the Mornae, people who have evolved to use energy from the sun and related forces as their magic, star-travelers, builders of the great engines.

APPRENTICE: a diviner in training, any Mornae in training to a guild or other organization.

ARMS OF THE WORLD: Two thin stretches of land joining Saylassa and Vailassa, between the Vel and the Moon Sea.

ASTERA: a medicinal flowering crop grown by Mornae.

BAIKAL: a race of giants in northern Vailassa, followers of multiple gods but primarily Barka, god of the seas and storms.

BARKASSE: the great eastern ocean, named for the local sea god, Barka.

BARONA: the bear constellation, also called The Mauler, the Mother Bear.

BEDOR: largest moon, forty-five-day cycle.

BEYTOL: the ancient dueling arena located on a blackrock island between Isiltrin and Isilalan.

BLACKROCK: unique material called kith by the Mornae. Most mountains in northern Vailassa consist of the material. It produces the ore used to make blacksteel.

BLACKSTEEL: called kithaun by the Mornae. An enchanted metal forged by Mornae sorcerers from the purest blackrock ore found in Vaidolin.

BLADES OF TAIYRA: twin kithaun blades of an ancient Hosmyr priestess.

BLOODHOUSE: a Mornae house bound to another through reciprocal consortships.

BLUE FIRE: an outpouring of Dark energy appearing as blue flames. Can only be extinguish by the summoner.

BULOR: mountain range bordering the south of the east valley, the fourth arm.

CASSAN: the second largest moon but only a third the size of Bedor, a fifteen-day orbit.

CONSORT: the bound mate of a priestess, implies the physical and psychological binding of the partners in an unbreakable contract.

CONSORT MOONS: the five ecliptic orbit moons in order of size: Bedor, Cassan, Yalloc, Lovan, Suvae.

CYCLES: the future, the time to really live, to do the things one's role demands. Especially for priestesses. Mornae and Alcar define a cycle as a thousand years on Saylosse. It is a relative term usually tied to a cosmological event that takes around one thousand years to complete or appear. For the Mornae, it also provided a guide as to when a priestess should have her first child--and then the next. Taking a cycle to replenish. Mornae often perform a reverie and sorcerers store their memories in tablets every cycle.

DALASTRE: primary tower of Zalkamas citadel's core.

DALKAMAS: city and region ruled by Ilor'Daushalan.

DARK: the magic associated with Vai and blackrock.

DARKLIGHT: A form of energy visible only to creatures with affinity to the Dark.

DARKSIGHT: innate ability to see darklight.

DAUTHENASTE: a bright planet eclipsed every hundred years by Vauthenaste, the assassin. Dauthen is revered for its slow and steady progression, considered the 'first' of stars.

DIVINER: in ancient times the entry level rank of a sorcerer. In current times, the only recognized rank. They act as magistrates, ministers, and scribes.

DORGIST: a small market on the border between Zalkamas and Velkamas, near the upper bridge to Velkamas.

DRAGONLANDS: a large region of southeast Vailassa, once the most advanced and populous region of the world.

DREKNAE: a Mornae word meaning forsaken of the goddess.

EON: a random Alcar period based on the duration of a particular constellation’s ascendancy. Usually between eight to fifteen cycles long.

FALL (of Saylassa): the destruction of Saylassa and the chaos that followed. A period of 2000 years as the waste advanced to its current boundary.

FORTHAI: the goddess of gentle nature, meadows, flowers, small animals, a favorite of herbalists.

GATES (of Vaidolin): the four official entry points to the crater.

GAUKASO: Mornae word meaning too much of a good thing, too many priestesses in a family or house.

GAUN: the ninth star of any constellation in the Mornae system of celestial categories.

GAUNASTRE: tower of Zalkamas citadel's core.

GAURATH: the sea serpent constellation, a market in western Zalkamas.

GENALO: Alcar word meaning ordinary human beings, without any gift.

GODDESS: for the Mornae, the goddess is the power they discovered in the region of Vaidolin, represented by the moon, Vai. Some treat the term in a more anthropomorphized way or as a personal entity.

GUHLA: an herb with sedative qualities.

GUILD: a cooperative for tradesmen.

HALKAMAS: city in the lower right quadrant of the crater, ruled by Ilor’Hosmyr.

HALN: southeast sector of Saylassa.

HALNICOR: the designation for those Alcar serving in Haln.

HIGH COUNCIL: the ruling council of high priestesses and their consorts. The Voice has the tie breaking vote. The high matrons sit on the council, along with their consorts. An invention five hundred years after the Fall of Saylassa. The high council rules on disputes or problems which affect all Vaidolin or Mornae as a whole.

HIGH HOUSE (ILOR): a Mornae prefix for a high house. One of the five ruling houses of Vaidolin after the Fall. All other houses must declare allegiance to one of the high houses.

HIGH MATRON: the matron of a high house.

HIGH PRIESTESS: a priestess who has summoned the Dark through multiple calls culminating in the 'hum'.

HOSIN: the fox constellation, sigil of Ilor’Hosmyr.

HOUSE (lor or lorisse): a Mornae prefix meaning house. The base political entity within Mornae society. Lead by a matron and includes her consort, children, and relations. Other priestesses within a House are not matrons. However, some priestesses can be granted their own house if theirs was absorbed in the past and they have the means to be independent. It is only in the last three thousand years that large sprawling houses have come into being. In the past, most matrons preferred to focus on smaller bloodlines. Also describes the estate or lands owned by a house. A house owes allegiance to a high house and no other but may work under another for practical purposes.

HYDIRA: the smallest star in the blossom constellation.

IRONWOOD: a kind of tree found in northern Vailassa with black bark that is difficult to cut and must be forged like metal. It has evolved to coexist with blackrock and the ecology of the area.

ISILALAN: a phase of the moon Vai, also an academy run by Ilor'Daushalan.

ISILAYNE: a phase of the moon Vai, academy run by Ilor'Vakayne, the original academy, also the darkest part of the goddess’s face.

ISILMYR: a phase of the moon Vai, academy run by Ilor'Hosmyr.

ISILTRIN: a phase of the moon Vai, academy run by Ilor’Zauhune.

ISILURRA: a phase of the moon Vai, academy run by Ilor’Roturra.

JABRA: a Yatani or nomad word meaning female elder or master.

JABUN: a Yatani or nomad word meaning male elder or master.

JALESSIN: the river that forms the western border in the West Valley.

JELATAR VALLEY: a massive glacier valley located above the west valley.

KALARON REBORN: Savra's consort, father of the Vakayne bloodline, a compliment for a male

KALASTRA: Halkamas market, the snowflake constellation, sometimes the reaper, associated with death in some tribes.

KALENEON: the fifth eon since the founding of Saydolin by the Alcar. Kalen, the Seer, is the ascendant constellation for the next twelve thousand years.

KALKO: a Mornae strategy game like chess. The pieces usually have kithaun inlays which add a secondary level of challenge as the players compete to control the enchantment within the pieces.

KIKUNEH: ancient standing stones located just south of the crossroads at the Southern.

KISAN: the twins or hound constellation, the sigil of Lor’Kiseyl.

KISEYL HOUND: a shadow hound trained over cycles by Lor’Kiseyl.

KITH: the blackrock of northern Vailassa.

KITHAUN: blacksteel, enchanted material forged by Mornae sorcerers.

KITHVYRAE: another name for the Mornae, the enchanted people, people of the black rock. Most attuned to the goddess.

KITHVYRAE NA’SEN: the assassin's hour.

KNIGHT: the first political rank achievable by a male Mornae. In the past, a martial role and a requirement to be consort or sorcerer. In current times, a preferred rank for consideration as a consort. Mostly symbolic.

KNIGHT’S HOUR: when the Knight constellation is above the temple spire.

KURTHU: derogatory term for a returned colonist, a creature larger than rats but smaller than jackals. They travel in packs of hundreds. Plague-bearers, they despoil any land they settle in.

KUXUL: a native Vailassan tribe known for its fierceness, often captured as opponents in tournaments.

LANASSIN: the first river (from the crater) to cut across the East Valley.

LETHA: a healing root with a sharp, pungent smell.

LITANIES: series of invocations recited by Mornae to focus their minds especially when using the Dark.

LORISSE: house, shortened to "lor'" when used as a prefix for a house name. "Ilor'" is used for the so-called high houses.

LORISSE KA’VYRAE: a common Mornae saying: house above all, house above all others.

LYKOLA: a region of the Dragonlands known for its plants, especially cotton.

MAETAR STEEL: a lesser form of kithaun devised by Maetar Lor’Zashtrin after the Fall when the purest kithaun became difficult to forge.

MAKAR: a north Vailassan tribe.

MATRON: the female head of a house.

MAUSSIN: the river running the length of the East Valley along the Bulor range.

MAVIR: the boar constellation.

MELKAH: god of nature, forests, beasts, cruel nature.

MORNAE: a branch of Alcar who separated to pursue magic more freely. Focused on the practice of the Dark or vaiyin, exiled from Saylassa in the fourth eon.

MULKANI: northern tribe, mostly extinct, said to interbreed with Moon Sea demon dogs, known for cyst-covered skin and decaying odor.

NAUKVOLIN:  a communal council of priestesses and their consorts. They resolve disputes and provide guidance to their members. Naukvolins are also a part of the Mornae’s crafting heritage by pooling their zaeress together to share with and supplement their community.

NAUKVYRAE: "the faithful people", a secret group of dissenters within Vaidolin who denounce those they think are promoting non-Mornae ideals, traditionalists.

NIGHTSTEED: the shadow mount, a constellation, the mount of an Isilayne knight, a shadow shaped like a horse.

NISHMUR STEEL: the least form of kithaun devised by Nishmur Lor’Lauxyn after the Fall when the purest kithaun became difficult to forge.

NOLESTIN: Halkamas market.

NONASIN: a market run by Harlath under the sign of the winter rose.

NYENTA: a large river that runs down the center of the south valley and joins the Southern.

ORLIN: the spider constellation.

PALORIT: South Valley village.

PIRADOLIN: Ruined Mornae colony in central Vailassa, south of the Moon Sea.

PRIESTESS: a female Mornae who has passed the first trial of the temple. The first political rank achieved by Mornae women.

PRIME CONSORT: the consort of a high matron. May retain the title while the heiress is underage.

PUUL: a fruit tree or vine imported ages ago from the north of Saylassa. Known to the Juula but altered greatly.

RELKAMAS: Ilor’Roturra's city within the crater.

RIL: Mornae root syllable for strength, metal, forging, perseverance, sturdy.

RILANIK: the forge constellation, also the formal name of the Sapphire market

RIN: the eighth star of any constellation in the Mornae system of celestial categories.

RINASTRE: the thinnest tower of Zalkamas citadel.

ROTIN: the ram constellation, the sigil of Ilor’Roturra.

RULKAMIT: a far South Valley village on the Southern.

SAVRA REBORN: a Mornae woman who possesses great qualities, a rare compliment.

SAYIN: Alcar word for the sun and light-based magic.

SAYLASSA: the central and largest continent, once a vast desert until it was made to bloom by the Alcar’s engines and magic.

SAYLOSSE: fifth planet orbiting Say.

SAYTHELAUN: sunlight-infused material.

SELKAMIT: an East Valley village.

SENTINELS: the four stars visible during the goddess dawning.

SILVERPINE: a northern tree with softer wood often used for furnishings, has a silver-colored rings.

SQUIRE: any Mornae man in training to be a knight, member of one of the five academies.

TARASIL: the blossom constellation. East market in the third-tier district of Zalkamas.

TELAUGIR: blue wolf, a star in the shadow wolf constellation which often appears blue, also a tavern in Outer Halkamas.

TELKASIN: a north valley village near a younger ironwood forest the Mornae can still harvest.

THEKASNE: the Wilderlands, untamed lands to the north of Vaidolin, home to mythical beasts and monstrous creatures.

THERASTE: a "star" comet, returns every 150 years.

THERON: the fourth celestial body.

THERONAL: first appearance of Theron after winter, the day Hosmyr vassals make their public oath.

TIER: a subdivision within a Mornae high house. Particular to Ilor'Zauhune and Ilor'Daushalan.

TOL: the thirteenth star in a constellation, root for words like tolunsal, son of the mind, learning, teaching, knowledge.

TOLZAERUN: the sorcerer constellation.

UNDERDARK: lowborn word for the underground cities or ruins.

UTHKAEA: ancient name for the Dragonlands before the Alcar engines sundered it.

VAI:  the sixth moon of Saylosse that travels on a southwest to northeast orbit across Vailassa. A moon with a gaseous appearance that changes color. Physical representation of the goddess of the Mornae. Represents the Dark magic practiced in this part of the world known as Vaiyin in other cultures.

VAIDOLIN: the region of the black crater in northern Vailassa, region settled by the Mornae. Divided into six regions: one for each high house and its vassals and one for the temple and Isilayne.

VAIKA: a Mornae term of endearment meaning "little goddess”.

VAILASSA: the eastern continent across which Vai makes her path.

VAILESSO: a large band of land at the center of Vailassa called the Moon Sea by natives. Very tall, thick grasses grow there—like sugar cane. The grass grows out of a layer of water much like reeds in a pond. Ancient lava rivers made of basalt and black rock cross it from east to west.

VAILURIATH: the largest public sanctuary in Halkamas, near Isilmyr.

VAISSANA: an unconsorted or widowed priestess dedicated to serving in a sanctuary or school.

VAISSIN: the river flowing in the deep ravine surrounding the temple district.

VAITHERON: a dusklight oath (the goddess's dusk) in which a man is knighted by a matron for a special purpose.

VAIYIN: the Dark power. Not to be perceived as wicked or evil, simply unseen by the naked eye, behind the veil of sensory reality. A contrast to sayin which has a visible component.

VAIZERA SOR’ANTHIA KA: a saying in the old Mornae tongue, “Let the goddess alone be your shield”.

VAIZORA: the goddess dawning every ten days.

VAIZOREN: the goddess's path across Vailassa.

VAKENON: a tall peak behind Velkamas, the "great lion of the north”.

VALMASIN: an ancient clan of sorcerers who specialized in helping the Mornae judge the fitness of their newborns to bear their house name.

VANALO: people or person with a divine gift or power, magic.

VASSAL: among the Mornae a house subject to a high house or another house, usually for financial reasons.

VEL: the fifth star of any constellation in the Mornae system of celestial categories.

VELKAMAS: the city in the northwest part of Vaidolin's crater, ruled by the fifth high house.

VOICE (of the goddess): the most powerful rank of a Mornae priestess. Since the fifth accord also a title for a priestess elected by the high council as leader. Symbolic role.

VORAVIN: pure, true. Often refers to the ideal Mornae.

VOYDO: a north Vailassan tribe.

WILDERLANDS: the vast wilderness to the north of Vaidolin, said to be occupied by monstrous beasts and magical creatures

XEL: the fourth star of any constellation in the Mornae system of celestial categories.

XELASTRE: a tower of Zalkamas’s citadel, houses the main library.

YAINKAMIT: small East Valley village on the Fringe.

YALEN: the fist constellation.

YALLOC: the fourth largest consort moon, barely visible.

YATANI: descendants of the Yuleh, an ancient vanalo tribe known to possess life sorcery.

YATHLIN: a village in the near north valley.

ZAER: Mornae root syllable for power, magic, the unknown, highest form of knowledge.

ZAERESS: transformed power held by an object, usually a person, but any organic or inorganic thing. The natural state of magic in a vessel capable of holding it.

ZALKAMAS: city in the northeast of Vaidolin's crater, ruled by the second high house.

ZAULARIM: the Great Owl, a mythical creature. Month when the Owl is dominant. Usually falls between northern late spring and early summer.

ZAUNASTE: the owl constellation.

ZAYSTERA: a cluster of stars appearing as the lead star in the Tolzaerun constellation.

ZELAUN: the shadow wolf, a legendary creature, and a constellation of the northern sky.

ZELDRA: one of three founding orders.


The Accords

Glyphs interpreted by Thensil, Chief Diviner of Ilor’Hosmyr, Third High House of the Mornae, and transcribed by Barras, a fifth-degree scribe.


The First Accord

A Mornae matron rules her bloodline with the support and aid of her consort. The word of a matron is life or death to those within her house.

No one is above a matron except the goddess.


The Second Accord

A council comprising the matrons of every house will be called once a decade.

Each matron casts the votes of her house in council based on the number of priestesses and knights of her bloodline.

The council deliberates on matters affecting the goddess’s domain and surrounding regions. A matron rules her house absolutely.


The Third Accord

A common temple and academy are established to ensure the success of our people.

A minimum yet demanding standard must be set.

The court is established for the rectification of grievances and to maintain the peace of the goddess.


The Fourth Accord

Lor’Daushalan takes full responsibility for the construction, maintenance, and security of Vaidolin’s gates.


The Fifth Accord

Five high houses will rule in the crater and valleys.

The high council will replace the common council of all houses.

Every matron will oath her house to one of the high houses for a minimum period of a year.

The high houses will be ranked by the number of priestesses and knights within it. These are the number of votes a high matron may use in the high council.

Each High Matron is responsible for the safety and protection of Mornae within her city. Each High Matron may determine the structure and laws of her city as she sees fit.

Any vassal, branch, or house which threatens the peace of the goddess will be uprooted and cast out of the sacred crater, beyond the black rock, to weep and sorrow over their lack of devotion. If determined by high council, they may be publicly executed upon the goddess’s face.

Let none oppose it.