Realm of the Stars Appendix I: Glossary of Terms
Academy, The: Formally the Academy of Carann, a prestigious boarding school commonly attended by young nobles and the children of wealthy Guildsmen.
Adept: A person who possesses a variety of psychic and mystical abilities. Some adepts' powers are innate; in others they are latent but can be awakened via mysticism. Adept abilities require training and experience before they can be consistently used.
Alealam Alliance, The: Theocratic state located coreward of the Empire and far from the Dozen Stars, governed according to a philosophy of personal enlightenment and the universal kinship of humanity. Because its founding prophet preached against the corruption and tyranny of the Empire, the two states have been at odds since the Alliance's inception, occasionally erupting into open war.
Alien: One of a number of nonhuman sapient species; aliens are uncommon in most of the known galaxy and, with some exceptions, most species are treated with suspicion.
Ast: Particle found in the names of Dozen Stars nobility; for titled nobility, it typically proceeds the name of the planet whose title their family holds.
Aurann: A planet in the Dozen Stars, capital of Aurann Duchy. A harsh world famous for its military.
Baron: The lower level of titled nobility in the Dozen Stars; a baron presides over a single planet and is answerable to the duke of their duchy, though in practice they are generally given leave to preside over their barony's internal affairs as they see fit.
Beam Rifle: A ranged weapon which fires a concentrated bolt of energy. Beam weaponry is the most common form of armament in most of the known galaxy.
Canon, The: The recognized sacred text of the Church.
Carann: A planet in the Dozen Stars, capital of Carann Duchy and the Kingdom as a whole. The monarch of the Dozen Stars traditionally also serves as duke or duchess of Carann.
Church, The: Formally the Church of the Cosmic Lord, the predominate religious body in human space; though headquartered in the Empire, it has chapters across the galaxy.
Convent: A monastic order of Holy Sisters.
Council, The: Formally Council of Dukes, a body consisting of the twelve Dukes of the Dozen Stars or their chosen representatives; they advise the monarch, vote on matters concerning the entire kingdom (though the monarch reserves the right to overrule any vote that isn't unanimous) and must confirm a new monarch before they take the throne.
Cyborg: A person whose body has been significantly enhanced by technology. Though technically legal in the Dozen Stars, becoming a cyborg is socially frowned upon; cyborgs are more common, and cybernetic technology more advanced, in the Empire.
Dozen Stars, Kingdom Of: Feudal nation founded by Artax after declaring independence from the Empire; as the name implies it consists of twelve core star systems and a larger number of subsidiary ones.
Dueling Sword: The preferred sidearm for nobility of the Dozen Stars, these weapons are energized during combat, allowing them to absorb incoming fire and slice through most materials with ease. All nobles are expected to be at least somewhat familiar with this weapon, and dueling is a popular sport – and means of settling disputes – among this class.
Duke: The higher level of titled nobility in the Dozen Stars; a duke or duchess presides over a duchy consisting of one of the original twelve planets of the kingdom and a number of subordinate colonies.
Emperor, The: Head of state of the Empire. In theory the Emperor is appointed – and can be dismissed – by the Senate; in practice for the last several centuries, the Emperor has held the true power.
Empire, The: Formally the United Empire of Humanity, the oldest extant human nation in the galaxy and, though fallen from the height of its power, still the largest and commonly considered the strongest. Though ostensibly a constitutional monarchy, in practice it is ruled autocratically by the Emperor.
Evil One, The: Deity regarded as antagonistic by the Church, associated with entropy and destruction and said to dwell in the gulf between the stars.
Eye of the Lord: A legendary mystic gemstone owned by the Prophet, said to have been the medium through which he received the Lord's revelation. The Prophet took the Eye with him when he vanished, and its current location is unknown.
Fosterage: Institution by which a noble house in the Dozen Stars raises a child not related to them by blood; if the fostered child has no living biological family, they will typically be permitted to use their foster family's surname and be given full legal rights as an adopted child.
Guilds, The: Large mercantile organizations found throughout the Dozen Stars, each specializing in a particular good or service. Though not considered noble, the larger guilds – including the Mining, Manufacturing, Spacing, Entertainment, and Security Guilds – each wield power in their own sphere comparable to that of a noble house.
Guildsman: A member of one of the Guilds, typically used to refer to a representative of high standing. Guildsmen may be recognized by their distinctive silver suits.
High Prelate: A high-ranking cleric of the Church who typically has authority over all Church activities in a nation or Imperial province.
Holo: A lifelike three-dimensional recording, used for communication and entertainment.
Holy Sister: A female cleric of the Church who belongs to an order which has taken monastic vows; Holy Sisters cannot marry or hold noble titles. Also called nuns.
Izdakan: A flying reptilian creature native to Katanes; they can be domesticated, and adults grow large enough to carry human riders. Also called Katanain Dragons.
Kaf: A popular beverage in the Dozen Stars; it is typically served hot and functions as a mild stimulant.
Katanes: A planet in the Dozen Stars, part of Tantos Duchy.
Kern: A planet in the Dozen Stars, capital of Kern Duchy.
Knight: An elite warrior in personal service to a titled noble of the Dozen Stars; most knights come from the ranks of the nobility, though it is not unknown for a particularly distinguished commoner to be granted this honor.
Legions, The: The military forces of the Empire, known for their organization and ruthlessness.
Lord, The: Deity venerated by the Church, considered the embodiment of light and life and associated with the stars.
Mech: An automaton created to serve a specific function, ranging from combat training to medical examining to holo recording. It is illegal across the known galaxy to create a mech possessing true artificial intelligence, or one whose primary purpose is actual combat.
New Year: Holiday in the Dozen Stars which recognizes the turning of the year and is also said to commemorate the Kingdom's declaration of independence from the Empire and the first appearance of the Lord to the Prophet.
Nobility of the Dozen Stars: The ruling class of the Kingdom of the Dozen Stars, consisting of two levels. Titled nobility are the monarch, dukes and barons of the Kingdom and their immediate families; lower nobles do not hold individual titles but fill out much of the Kingdom's bureaucracy and military officers.
Orlanes: A planet in the Dozen Stars, capital of Orlanes Duchy. A watery, tropical world whose duchy is considered one of the most powerful in the Kingdom.
Patricians: The noble class of the Empire; patricians hold the overwhelming number of Senate seats and can be found in most administrative positions and in the officer corps. Powerful patrician families are known as gentes (singular gens).
Pervai: An alien species of avian derivation found in small enclaves in the Dozen Stars and Realtran. They resemble elegant humanoids with feathers for hair and clawed fingers, and commonly find work as dancers, singers or artists.
Praetorians: Cyborg warriors created in the Empire, consisting of a human brain (typically that of a decorated veteran soldier) implanted in a powerful robotic body. Praetorians serve as shock troops and the personal bodyguards of the Empire and may also be found protecting important Imperial officials aboard.
Priest-King: Popular term for the rulers of the Alaelam Alliance. Considered offensive by the Alaelam themselves, who consider their leaders to be neither priests nor kings and instead term their governing body the Conclave of Disciples.
Prophet, The: Semi-legendary founder of the Church, considered to have spoken directly with the Lord and scribed most of the Canon based on this experience.
Realtran Kingdom: Powerful nation neighboring the Dozen Stars and traditionally allied to it, founded by Mariga the Great, a contemporary of Artax. A constitutional monarchy which divides power between a hereditary monarch and democratic parliament.
Realtran Prime: Capital planet of the Realtran Kingdom, from which the Kingdom takes its name.
Regent: The ruler of the Dozen Stars in the absence of a sitting monarch, typically elected from the Council of Dukes. Though a regent may convene and preside over meetings of the Council, they lack the full authority of the monarch and cannot issue direct orders to their fellow dukes or override a council vote.
Royal Guard, The: Elite fighting force responsible for protecting the monarch of the Dozen Stars and ensuring the security of the royal palace.
Sakran: A planet in the Dozen Stars, capital of Sakran Duchy. Sakran is a mild, temperate world and its duchy is traditionally regarded as one of the most powerful in the Kingdom.
Senate, The: Legislative body of the Empire; in theory senators are elected by popular vote among their constituencies, but in practice senate seats are only open to patricians. Officially the senate appoints, and outranks, the Emperor, but in practice it holds prestige but little real authority.
Tannen City: The capital city and largest spaceport on Katanes.
Tantos III: A planet in the Dozen Stars, the capital of Tantos Duchy. A gloomy, fog-bound world whose rulers have traditionally held close ties to the Guilds.
Tantos Station: A space station in the Tantos System; formerly an Imperial military outpost, now a sprawling bazaar where it is said anything can be bought for the right price.
Tashir: A planet in the Dozen Stars, capital of Tashir Duchy. An arid world whose people are known for their opulence and love of high culture.
Terra: Also called Earth; the legendary homeworld of humanity. Also known as Old Terra or Lost Terra. No human in the known galaxy has set foot on it in millennia, and popular opinion holds that it was destroyed long ago.