Below is the full text to dat/data.base from NetHack 3.4.3.
# SCCS Id: @(#)data.base 3.4 2003/07/23 # Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996 by the NetHack Development Team # Copyright (c) 1994 by Boudewijn Wayers # NetHack may be freely redistributed. See license for details. # # This is the source file for the "data" file generated by `makedefs -d'. # A line starting with a # is a comment and is ignored by makedefs. # Any other line not starting with whitespace is a creature or an item. # # Each entry should be comprised of: # the thing/person being described on a line by itself, in lowercase; # on each succeeding line a <TAB> description. # # If the first character of a key field is "~", then anything which matches # the rest of that key will be treated as if it did not match any of the # following keys for that entry. For instance, `~orc ??m*' preceding `orc*' # prevents "orc mummy" and "orc zombie" from matching. # abbot For it had been long apparent to Count Landulf that nothing could be done with his seventh son Thomas, except to make him an Abbot or something of that kind. Born in 1226, he had from childhood a mysterious objection to becoming a predatory eagle, or even to taking an ordinary interest in falconry or tilting or any other gentlemanly pursuits. He was a large and heavy and quiet boy, and phenomenally silent, scarcely opening his mouth except to say suddenly to his schoolmaster in an explosive manner, "What is God?" The answer is not recorded but it is probable that the asker went on worrying out answers for himself. [ The Runaway Abbot, by G. K. Chesterton ] aclys aklys A short studded or spiked club attached to a cord allowing it to be drawn back to the wielder after having been thrown. It should not be confused with the atlatl, which is a device used to throw spears for longer distances. aleax Said to be a doppelganger sent to inflict divine punishment for alignment violations. *altar Altars are of three types: 1. In Temples. These are for Sacrifices [...]. The stone top will have grooves for blood, and the whole will be covered with _dry brown stains of a troubling kind_ from former Sacrifices. [ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ] To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late; And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds For the ashes of his fathers And the temples of his gods? [ Lays of Ancient Rome, by Thomas B. Macaulay ] amaterasu omikami The Shinto sun goddess, Amaterasu Omikami is the central figure of Shintoism and the ancestral deity of the imperial house. One of the daughters of the primordial god Izanagi and said to be his favourite offspring, she was born from his left eye. [ Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan ] amber* "Tree sap," Wu explained, "often flows over insects and traps them. The insects are then perfectly preserved within the fossil. One finds all kinds of insects in amber - including biting insects that have sucked blood from larger animals." [ Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton ] *amnesia maud Get thee hence, nor come again, Mix not memory with doubt, Pass, thou deathlike type of pain, Pass and cease to move about! 'Tis the blot upon the brain That will show itself without. ... For, Maud, so tender and true, As long as my life endures I feel I shall owe you a debt, That I never can hope to pay; And if ever I should forget That I owe this debt to you And for your sweet sake to yours; O then, what then shall I say? - If ever I should forget, May God make me more wretched Than ever I have been yet! [ Maud, And Other Poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson ] ~amulet of yendor *amulet amulet of * "The complete Amulet can keep off all the things that make people unhappy -- jealousy, bad temper, pride, disagreeableness, greediness, selfishness, laziness. Evil spirits, people called them when the Amulet was made. Don't you think it would be nice to have it?" "Very," said the children, quite without enthusiasm. "And it can give you strength and courage." "That's better," said Cyril. "And virtue." "I suppose it's nice to have that," said Jane, but not with much interest. "And it can give you your heart's desire." "Now you're talking," said Robert. [ The Story of the Amulet, by Edith Nesbit ] amulet of yendor This mysterious talisman is the object of your quest. It is said to possess powers which mere mortals can scarcely comprehend, let alone utilize. The gods will grant the gift of immortality to the adventurer who can deliver it from the depths of Moloch's Sanctum and offer it on the appropriate high altar on the Astral Plane. angel* He answered and said unto them, he that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the weeds are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. [...] So shall it be at the end of the world; the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. [ The Gospel According to Matthew, 13:37-42, 49-50 ] anhur An Egyptian god of war and a great hunter, few gods can match his fury. Unlike many gods of war, he is a force for good. The wrath of Anhur is slow to come, but it is inescapable once earned. Anhur is a mighty figure with four arms. He is often seen with a powerful lance that requires both of his right arms to wield and which is tipped with a fragment of the sun. He is married to Mehut, a lion-headed goddess. ankh-morpork The twin city of Ankh-Morpork, foremost of all the cities bounding the Circle Sea, was as a matter of course the home of a large number of gangs, thieves' guilds, syndicates and similar organisations. This was one of the reasons for its wealth. Most of the humbler folk on the widdershin side of the river, in Morpork's mazy alleys, supplemented their meagre incomes by filling some small role for one or other of the competing gangs. [ The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett ] anshar A primordial Babylonian-Akkadian deity, Anshar is mentioned in the Babylonian creation epic _Enuma Elish_ as one of a pair of offspring (with Kishar) of Lahmu and Lahamu. Anshar is linked with heaven while Kishar is identified with earth. [ Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan ] ant * ant This giant variety of the ordinary ant will fight just as fiercely as its small, distant cousin. Various varieties exist, and they are known and feared for their relentless persecution of their victims. anu Anu was the Babylonian god of the heavens, the monarch of the north star. He was the oldest of the Babylonian gods, the father of all gods, and the ruler of heaven and destiny. Anu features strongly in the _atiku_ festival in Babylon, Uruk and other cities. ape * ape The most highly evolved of all the primates, as shown by all their anatomical characters and particularly the development of the brain. Both arboreal and terrestrial, the apes have the forelimbs much better developed than the hind limbs. Tail entirely absent. Growth is slow and sexual maturity reached at quite an advanced age. [ A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa by Dorst ] Aldo the gorilla had a plan. It was a good plan. It was right. He knew it. He smacked his lips in anticipation as he thought of it. Yes. Apes should be strong. Apes should be masters. Apes should be proud. Apes should make the Earth shake when they walked. Apes should _rule_ the Earth. [ Battle for the Planet of the Apes, by David Gerrold ] apple NEWTONIAN, adj. Pertaining to a philosophy of the universe invented by Newton, who discovered that an apple will fall to the ground, but was unable to say why. His successors and disciples have advanced so far as to be able to say when. [ The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce ] archeologist * archeologist Archeology is the search for fact, not truth. [...] So forget any ideas you've got about lost cities, exotic travel, and digging up the world. We do not follow maps to buried treasure, and X never, ever, marks the spot. [ Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ] archon Archons are the predominant inhabitants of the heavens. However unusual their appearance, they are not generally evil. They are beings at peace with themselves and their surroundings. arioch Arioch, the patron demon of Elric's ancestors; one of the most powerful of all the Dukes of Hell, who was called Knight of the Swords, Lord of the Seven Darks, Lord of the Higher Hell and many more names besides. [ Elric of Melnibone, by Michael Moorcock ] *arrow I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For, so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow it in its flight. I breathed a song into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For who has sight so keen and strong That it can follow the flight of song? Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow still unbroke; And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend. [ The Arrow and the Song, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ] ashikaga takauji Ashikaga Takauji was a daimyo of the Minamoto clan who joined forces with the Go-Daigo to defeat the Hojo armies. Later when Go-Daigo attempted to reduce the powers of the samurai clans he rebelled against him. He defeated Go- Daigo and established the emperor Komyo on the throne. Go-Daigo eventually escaped and established another government in the town of Yoshino. This period of dual governments was known as the Nambokucho. [ Samurai - The Story of a Warrior Tradition, by Cook ] asmodeus It is said that Asmodeus is the overlord over all of hell. His appearance, unlike many other demons and devils, is human apart from his horns and tail. He can freeze flesh with a touch. athame The consecrated ritual knife of a Wiccan initiate (one of four basic tools, together with the wand, chalice and pentacle). Traditionally, the athame is a double-edged, black-handled, cross-hilted dagger of between six and eighteen inches length. athen* Athene was the offspring of Zeus, and without a mother. She sprang forth from his head completely armed. Her favourite bird was the owl, and the plant sacred to her is the olive. [ Bulfinch's Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch ] axolotl A mundane salamander, harmless. bag bag of * sack "Now, this third handkerchief," Mein Herr proceeded, "has also four edges, which you can trace continuously round and round: all you need do is to join its four edges to the four edges of the opening. The Purse is then complete, and its outer surface--" "I see!" Lady Muriel eagerly interrupted. "Its outer surface will be continuous with its inner surface! But it will take time. I'll sew it up after tea." She laid aside the bag, and resumed her cup of tea. "But why do you call it Fortunatus's Purse, Mein Herr?" The dear old man beamed upon her, with a jolly smile, looking more exactly like the Professor than ever. "Don't you see, my child--I should say Miladi? Whatever is inside that Purse, is outside it; and whatever is outside it, is inside it. So you have all the wealth of the world in that leetle Purse!" [ Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, by Lewis Carroll ] b*lzebub The "lord of the flies" is a translation of the Hebrew Ba'alzevuv (Beelzebub in Greek). It has been suggested that it was a mistranslation of a mistransliterated word which gave us this pungent and suggestive name of the Devil, a devil whose name suggests that he is devoted to decay, destruction, demoralization, hysteria and panic... [ Notes on _Lord of the Flies_, by E. L. Epstein ] balrog ... It came to the edge of the fire and the light faded as if a cloud had bent over it. Then with a rush it leaped the fissure. The flames roared up to greet it, and wreathed about it; and a black smoke swirled in the air. Its streaming mane kindled, and blazed behind it. In its right hand was a blade like a stabbing tongue of fire; in its left it held a whip of many thongs. 'Ai, ai!' wailed Legolas. 'A Balrog! A Balrog is come!' [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] baluchitherium titanothere Extinct rhinos include a variety of forms, the most spectacular being _Baluchitherium_ from the Oligocene of Asia, which is the largest known land mammal. Its body, 18 feet high at the shoulder and carried on massive limbs, allowed the 4-foot-long head to browse on the higher branches of trees. Though not as enormous, the titanotheres of the early Tertiary were also large perissodactyls, _Brontotherium_ of the Oligocene being 8 feet high at the shoulder. [ Prehistoric Animals, by Barry Cox ] banana He took another step and she cocked her right wrist in viciously. She heard the spring click. Weight slapped into her hand. "Here!" she shrieked hysterically, and brought her arm up in a hard sweep, meaning to gut him, leaving him to blunder around the room with his intestines hanging out in steaming loops. Instead he roared laughter, hands on his hips, flaming face cocked back, squeezing and contorting with great good humor. "Oh, my dear!" he cried, and went off into another gale of laughter. She looked stupidly down at her hand. It held a firm yellow banana with a blue and white Chiquita sticker on it. She dropped it, horrified, to the carpet, where it became a sickly yellow grin, miming Flagg's own. "You'll tell," he whispered. "Oh yes indeed you will." And Dayna knew he was right. [ The Stand, by Stephen King ] barbarian * barbarian They dressed alike -- in buckskin boots, leathern breeks and deerskin shirts, with broad girdles that held axes and short swords; and they were all gaunt and scarred and hard-eyed; sinewy and taciturn. They were wild men, of a sort, yet there was still a wide gulf between them and the Cimmerian. They were sons of civilization, reverted to a semi-barbarism. He was a barbarian of a thousand generations of barbarians. They had acquired stealth and craft, but he had been born to these things. He excelled them even in lithe economy of motion. They were wolves, but he was a tiger. [ Conan - The Warrior, by Robert E. Howard ] barbed devil Barbed devils lack any real special abilities, though they are quite difficult to kill. *bat A bat, flitting in the darkness outside, took the wrong turn as it made its nightly rounds and came in through the window which had been left healthfully open. It then proceeded to circle the room in the aimless fat-headed fashion habitual with bats, who are notoriously among the less intellectually gifted of God's creatures. Show me a bat, says the old proverb, and I will show you something that ought to be in some kind of a home. [ A Pelican at Blandings, by P. G. Wodehouse ] *bee This giant variety of its useful normal cousin normally appears in small groups, looking for raw material to produce the royal jelly needed to feed their queen. On rare occasions, one may stumble upon a bee-hive, in which the queen bee is being well provided for, and guarded against intruders. *beetle [ The Creator ] has an inordinate fondness for beetles. [ attributed to biologist J.B.S. Haldane ] The common name for the insects with wings shaped like shields (_Coleoptera_), one of the ten sub-species into which the insects are divided. They are characterized by the shields (the front pair of wings) under which the back wings are folded. [ Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal ] bell of opening "A bell, book and candle job." The Bursar sighed. "We tried that, Archchancellor." The Archchancellor leaned towards him. "Eh?" he said. "I _said_, we tried that Archchancellor," said the Bursar loudly, directing his voice at the old man's ear. "After dinner, you remember? We used Humptemper's _Names of the Ants_ and rang Old Tom."* "Did we, indeed. Worked, did it?" "_No_, Archchancellor." * Old Tom was the single cracked bronze bell in the University bell tower. [ Eric, by Terry Pratchett ] blindfold The blindfolding was performed by binding a piece of the yellowish linen whereof those of the Amahagger who condescended to wear anything in particular made their dresses tightly round the eyes. This linen I afterwards discovered was taken from the tombs, and was not, as I had first supposed, of native manufacture. The bandage was then knotted at the back of the head, and finally brought down again and the ends bound under the chin to prevent its slipping. Ustane was, by the way, also blindfolded, I do not know why, unless it was from fear that she should impart the secrets of the route to us. [ She, by H. Rider Haggard ] blind io On this particular day Blind Io, by dint of constant vigilance the chief of the gods, sat with his chin on his hand and looked at the gaming board on the red marble table in front of him. Blind Io had got his name because, where his eye sockets should have been, there were nothing but two areas of blank skin. His eyes, of which he had an impressively large number, led a semi-independent life of their own. Several were currently hovering above the table. [ The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett ] * blob gelatinous cube ooze * ooze *pudding * slime These giant amoeboid creatures look like nothing more than puddles of slime, but they both live and move, feeding on metal or wood as well as the occasional dungeon explorer to supplement their diet. But we were not on a station platform. We were on the track ahead as the nightmare, plastic column of fetid black iridescence oozed tightly onward through its fifteen-foot sinus, gathering unholy speed and driving before it a spiral, re-thickening cloud of the pallid abyss vapor. It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train -- a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and unforming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter. [ At the Mountains of Madness, by H.P. Lovecraft ] bone devil Bone devils attack with weapons and with a great hooked tail which causes a loss of strength to those they sting. book of the dead candelabrum* *candle Faustus: Come on Mephistopheles. What shall we do? Mephistopheles: Nay, I know not. We shall be cursed with bell, book, and candle. Faustus: How? Bell, book, and candle, candle, book, and bell, Forward and backward, to curse Faustus to hell. Anon you shall hear a hog grunt, a calf bleat, and an ass bray, Because it is Saint Peter's holy day. (Enter all the Friars to sing the dirge) [ Doctor Faustus and Other Plays, by Christopher Marlowe ] *boot* In Fantasyland these are remarkable in that they seldom or never wear out and are suitable for riding or walking in without the need of Socks. Boots never pinch, rub, or get stones in them; nor do nails stick upwards into the feet from the soles. They are customarily mid-calf length or knee-high, slip on and off easily and never smell of feet. Unfortunately, the formula for making this splendid footwear is a closely guarded secret, possibly derived from nonhumans (see Dwarfs, Elves, and Gnomes). [ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ] boulder I worked the lever well under, and stretched my back; the end of the stone rose up, and I kicked the fulcrum under. Then, when I was going to bear down, I remembered there was something to get out from below; when I let go of the lever, the stone would fall again. I sat down to think, on the root of the oak tree; and, seeing it stand about the ground, I saw my way. It was lucky I had brought a longer lever. It would just reach to wedge under the oak root. Bearing it down so far would have been easy for a heavy man, but was a hard fight for me. But this time I meant to do it if it killed me, because I knew it could be done. Twice I got it nearly there, and twice the weight bore it up again; but when I flung myself on it the third time, I heard in my ears the sea-sound of Poseidon. Then I knew this time I would do it; and so I did. [ The King Must Die, by Mary Renault ] ~*longbow of diana bow * bow "Stand to it, my hearts of gold," said the old bowman as he passed from knot to knot. "By my hilt! we are in luck this journey. Bear in mind the old saying of the Company." "What is that, Aylward?" cried several, leaning on their bows and laughing at him. "'Tis the master-bowyer's rede: 'Every bow well bent. Every shaft well sent. Every stave well nocked. Every string well locked.' There, with that jingle in his head, a bracer on his left hand, a shooting glove on his right, and a farthing's-worth of wax in his girdle, what more doth a bowman need?" "It would not be amiss," said Hordle John, "if under his girdle he had four farthings'-worth of wine." [ The White Company, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ] brigit Brigit (Brigid, Bride, Banfile), which means the Exalted One, was the Celtic (continental European and Irish) fertility goddess. She was originally celebrated on February first in the festival of Imbolc, which coincided with the beginning of lactation in ewes and was regarded in Scotland as the date on which Brigit deposed the blue-faced hag of winter. The Christian calendar adopted the same date for the Feast of St. Brigit. There is no record that a Christian saint ever actually existed, but in Irish mythology she became the midwife to the Virgin Mary. [ Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan ] ~stormbringer *broadsword Bring me my broadsword And clear understanding. Bring me my cross of gold, As a talisman. [ "Broadsword" (refrain) by Ian Anderson ] bugbear Bugbears are relatives of goblins, although they tend to be larger and more hairy. They are aggressive carnivores and sometimes kill just for the treasure their victims may be carrying. bugle 'I read you by your bugle horn And by your palfrey good, I read you for a Ranger sworn To keep the King's green-wood.' 'A Ranger, Lady, winds his horn, And 'tis at peep of light; His blast is heard at merry morn, And mine at dead of night.' [ Brignall Banks, by Sir Walter Scott ] *camaxtli A classical Mesoamerican Aztec god, also known as Mixcoatl- Camaxtli (the Cloud Serpent), Camaxtli is the god of war. He is also a deity of hunting and fire who received human sacrifice of captured prisoners. According to tradition, the sun god Tezcatlipoca transformed himself into Mixcoatl-Camaxtli to make fire by twirling the sacred fire sticks. [ Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan ] candy bar Only once a year, on his birthday, did Charlie Bucket ever get to taste a bit of chocolate. The whole family saved up their money for that special occasion, and when the great day arrived, Charlie was always presented with one small chocolate bar to eat all by himself. And each time he received it, on those marvelous birthday mornings, he would place it carefully in a small wooden box that he owned, and treasure it as though it were a bar of solid gold; and for the next few days, he would allow himself only to look at it, but never to touch it. Then at last, when he could stand it no longer, he would peel back a tiny bit of the paper wrapping at one corner to expose a tiny bit of chocolate, and then he would take a tiny nibble - just enough to allow the lovely sweet taste to spread out slowly over his tongue. The next day, he would take another tiny nibble, and so on, and so on. And in this way, Charlie would make his ten-cent bar of birthday chocolate last him for more than a month. [ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl ] s*d*g*r* cat Imagine a sealed container, so perfectly constructed that no physical influence can pass either inwards or outwards across its walls. Imagine that inside the container is a cat, and also a device that can be triggered by some quantum event. If that event takes place, then the device smashes a phial containing cyanide and the cat is killed. If the event does not take place, the cat lives on. In Schroedinger's original version, the quantum event was the decay of a radioactive atom. ... To the outside observer, the cat is indeed in a linear combination of being alive and dead, and only when the container is finally opened would the cat's state vector collapse into one or the other. On the other hand, to a (suitably protected) observer inside the container, the cat's state-vector would have collapsed much earlier, and the outside observer's linear combination has no relevance. [ The Emperor's New Mind, by Roger Penrose ] *cat kitten Well-known quadruped domestic animal from the family of predatory felines (_Felis ochreata domestica_), with a thick, soft pelt; often kept as a pet. Various folklores have the cat associated with magic and the gods of ancient Egypt. So Ulthar went to sleep in vain anger; and when the people awakened at dawn - behold! Every cat was back at his accustomed hearth! Large and small, black, grey, striped, yellow and white, none was missing. Very sleek and fat did the cats appear, and sonorous with purring content. [ The Cats of Ulthar, by H.P. Lovecraft ] # this one doesn't work very well for dwarven and gnomish cavemen cave*man human cave*man Now it was light enough to leave. Moon-Watcher picked up the shriveled corpse and dragged it after him as he bent under the low overhang of the cave. Once outside, he threw the body over his shoulder and stood upright - the only animal in all this world able to do so. Among his kind, Moon-Watcher was almost a giant. He was nearly five feet high, and though badly undernourished weighed over a hundred pounds. His hairy, muscular body was halfway between ape and man, but his head was already much nearer to man than ape. The forehead was low, and there were ridges over the eye sockets, yet he unmistakably held in his genes the promise of humanity. [ 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke ] *centaur Of all the monsters put together by the Greek imagination the Centaurs (Kentauroi) constituted a class in themselves. Despite a strong streak of sensuality, in their make-up, their normal behaviour was moral, and they took a kindly thought of man's welfare. The attempted outrage of Nessos on Deianeira, and that of the whole tribe of Centaurs on the Lapith women, are more than offset by the hospitality of Pholos and by the wisdom of Cheiron, physician, prophet, lyrist, and the instructor of Achilles. Further, the Centaurs were peculiar in that their nature, which united the body of a horse with the trunk and head of a man, involved an unthinkable duplication of vital organs and important members. So grotesque a combination seems almost un-Greek. These strange creatures were said to live in the caves and clefts of the mountains, myths associating them especially with the hills of Thessaly and the range of Erymanthos. [ Mythology of all races, Vol. 1, pp. 270-271 ] centipede I observed here, what I had often seen before, that certain districts abound in centipedes. Here they have light reddish bodies and blue legs; great myriapedes are seen crawling every where. Although they do no harm, they excite in man a feeling of loathing. Perhaps our appearance produces a similar feeling in the elephant and other large animals. Where they have been much disturbed, they certainly look upon us with great distrust, as the horrid biped that ruins their peace. [ Travels and Researches in South Africa, by Dr. David Livingstone ] cerberus kerberos Cerberus, (or Kerberos in Greek), was the three-headed dog that guarded the Gates of Hell. He allowed any dead to enter, and likewise prevented them all from ever leaving. He was bested only twice: once when Orpheus put him to sleep by playing bewitching music on his lyre, and the other time when Hercules confronted him and took him to the world of the living (as his twelfth and last labor). chameleon Name of a family (_Chameleonidae_) and race (_Chameleo_) of scaly lizards, especially the _Chameleo vulgaris_ species, with a short neck, claws, a grasping tail, a long, extendible tongue and mutually independent moving eyes. When it is scared or angry, it inflates itself and its transparent skin shows its blood: the skin first appears greenish, then gradually changes color until it is a spotted red. The final color depends on the background color as well, hence the (figurative) implication of unreliability. [Capitalized:] a constellation of the southern hemisphere (Chameleo). [ Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal ] charo*n When an ancient Greek died, his soul went to the nether world: the Hades. To reach the nether world, the souls had to cross the river Styx, the river that separated the living from the dead. The Styx could be crossed by ferry, whose shabby ferry- man, advanced in age, was called Charon. The deceased's next- of-kin would place a coin under his tongue, to pay the ferry- man. chest large box Dantes rapidly cleared away the earth around the chest. Soon the center lock appeared, then the handles at each end, all delicately wrought in the manner of that period when art made precious even the basest of metals. He took the chest by the two handles and tried to lift it, but it was impossible. He tried to open it; it was locked. He inserted the sharp end of his pickaxe between the chest and the lid and pushed down on the handle. The lid creaked, then flew open. Dantes was seized with a sort of giddy fever. He cocked his gun and placed it beside him. The he closed his eyes like a child, opened them and stood dumbfounded. The chest was divided into three compartments. In the first were shining gold coins. In the second, unpolished gold ingots packed in orderly stacks. From the third compartment, which was half full, Dantes picked up handfuls of diamonds, pearls and rubies. As they fell through his fingers in a glittering cascade, they gave forth the sound of hail beating against the windowpanes. [ The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas ] chih*sung*tzu A Chinese rain god. chromatic dragon tiamat Tiamat is said to be the mother of evil dragonkind. She is extremely vain. ~elven cloak ~oilskin cloak *cloak* Cloaks are the universal outer garb of everyone who is not a Barbarian. It is hard to see why. They are open in front and require you at most times to use one hand to hold them shut. On horseback they leave the shirt-sleeved arms and most of the torso exposed to wind and Weather. The OMTs [ Official Management Terms ] for Cloaks well express their difficulties. They are constantly _swirling and dripping_ and becoming _heavy with water_ in rainy Weather, _entangling with trees_ or _swords_, or needing to be _pulled close around her/his shivering body_. This seems to suggest they are less than practical for anyone on an arduous Tour. [ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ] cloud* I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. [ I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, by William Wordsworth ] cobra Darzee and his wife only cowered down in the nest without answering, for from the thick grass at the foot of the bush there came a low hiss -- a horrid cold sound that made Rikki-tikki jump back two clear feet. Then inch by inch out of the grass rose up the head and spread hood of Nag, the big black cobra, and he was five feet long from tongue to tail. When he had lifted one-third of himself clear of the ground, he stayed balancing to and fro exactly as a dandelion-tuft balances in the wind, and he looked at Rikki-tikki with the wicked snake's eyes that never change their expression, whatever the snake may be thinking of. 'Who is Nag?' said he. '_I_ am Nag. The great God Brahm put his mark upon all our people, when the first cobra spread his hood to keep the sun off Brahm as he slept. Look, and be afraid!' [ Rikki-tikki-tavi, by Rudyard Kipling ] c*ckatrice Once in a great while, when the positions of the stars are just right, a seven-year-old rooster will lay an egg. Then, along will come a snake, to coil around the egg, or a toad, to squat upon the egg, keeping it warm and helping it to hatch. When it hatches, out comes a creature called basilisk, or cockatrice, the most deadly of all creatures. A single glance from its yellow, piercing toad's eyes will kill both man and beast. Its power of destruction is said to be so great that sometimes simply to hear its hiss can prove fatal. Its breath is so venomous that it causes all vegetation to wither. There is, however, one creature which can withstand the basilisk's deadly gaze, and this is the weasel. No one knows why this is so, but although the fierce weasel can slay the basilisk, it will itself be killed in the struggle. Perhaps the weasel knows the basilisk's fatal weakness: if it ever sees its own reflection in a mirror it will perish instantly. But even a dead basilisk is dangerous, for it is said that merely touching its lifeless body can cause a person to sicken and die. [ Mythical Beasts by Deirdre Headon (The Leprechaun Library) and other sources ] cornuthaum He was dressed in a flowing gown with fur tippets which had the signs of the zodiac embroidered over it, with various cabalistic signs, such as triangles with eyes in them, queer crosses, leaves of trees, bones of birds and animals, and a planetarium whose stars shone like bits of looking-glass with the sun on them. He had a pointed hat like a dunce's cap, or like the headgear worn by ladies of that time, except that the ladies were accustomed to have a bit of veil floating from the top of it. [ The Once and Future King, by T.H. White ] "A wizard!" Dooley exclaimed, astounded. "At your service, sirs," said the wizard. "How perceptive of you to notice. I suppose my hat rather gives me away. Something of a beacon, I don't doubt." His hat was pretty much that, tall and cone-shaped with stars and crescent moons all over it. All in all, it couldn't have been more wizardish. [ The Elfin Ship, James P. Blaylock ] couatl A mythical feathered serpent. The couatl are very rare. coyote This carnivore is known for its voracious appetite and inflated view of its own intelligence. cram* If you want to know what cram is, I can only say that I don't know the recipe; but it is biscuitish, keeps good indefinitely, is supposed to be sustaining, and is certainly not entertaining, being in fact very uninteresting except as a chewing exercise. It was made by the Lake-men for long journeys. [ The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] *crocodile A big animal with the appearance of a lizard, constituting an order of the reptiles (_Loricata_ or _Crocodylia_), the crocodile is a large, dangerous predator native to tropical and subtropical climes. It spends most of its time in large bodies of water. croesus kroisos creosote Croesus (in Greek: Kroisos), the wealthy last king of Lydia; his empire was destroyed when he attacked Cyrus in 549, after the Oracle of Delphi (q.v.) had told him: "if you attack the Persians, you will destroy a mighty empire". Herodotus relates of his legendary conversation with Solon of Athens, who impressed upon him that being rich does not imply being happy and that no one should be considered fortunate before his death. crom Warily Conan scanned his surroundings, all of his senses alert for signs of possible danger. Off in the distance, he could see the familiar shapes of the Camp of the Duali tribe. Suddenly, the hairs on his neck stand on end as he detects the aura of evil magic in the air. Without thought, he readies his weapon, and mutters under his breath: "By Crom, there will be blood spilt today." [ Conan the Avenger by Robert E. Howard, Bjorn Nyberg, and L. Sprague de Camp ] crossbow* "God save thee, ancient Mariner! From the fiends, that plague thee thus! - Why look'st thou so?" - With my cross-bow I shot the Albatross. [ The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge ] crystal ball You look into one of these and see _vapours swirling like clouds_. These shortly clear away to show a sort of video without sound of something that is going to happen to you soon. It is seldom good news. [ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ] curse* Curses are longstanding ill-wishings which, in Fantasyland, often manifest as semisentient. They have to be broken or dispelled. The method varies according to the type and origin of the Curse: [...] 4. Curses on Rings and Swords. You have problems. Rings have to be returned whence they came, preferably at over a thousand degrees Fahrenheit, and the Curse means you won't want to do this. Swords usually resist all attempts to raise their Curses. Your best source is to hide the Sword or give it to someone you dislike. [ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ] cwn*n A pack of snow-white, red-eared spectral hounds which sometimes took part in the kidnappings and raids the inhabitants of the underworld sometimes make on this world (the Wild Hunt). They are associated in Wales with the sounds of migrating wild geese, and are said to be leading the souls of the damned to hell. The phantom chase is usually heard or seen in midwinter and is accompanied by a howling wind. [ Encyclopedia Mythica, ed. M.F. Lindemans ] cyclops And after he had milked his cattle swiftly, he again took hold of two of my men and had them as his supper. Then I went, with a tub of red wine, to stand before the Cyclops, saying: "A drop of wine after all this human meat, so you can taste the delicious wine that is stored in our ship, Cyclops." He took the tub and emptied it. He appreciated the priceless wine that much that he promptly asked me for a second tub. "Give it", he said, "and give me your name as well". ... Thrice I filled the tub, and after the wine had clouded his mind, I said to him, in a tone as sweet as honey: "You have asked my name, Cyclops? Well, my name is very well known. I'll give it to you, if you give me the gift you promised me as a guest. My name is Nobody. All call me thus: my father and my mother and my friends." Ruthlessly he answered to this: "Nobody, I will eat you last of all; your host of friends will completely precede you. That will be my present to you, my friend." And after these words he fell down backwards, restrained by the all-restrainer Hupnos. His monstrous neck slid into the dust; the red wine squirted from his throat; the drunk vomited lumps of human flesh. [ The Odyssey, (chapter Epsilon), by Homer ] ~sting *dagger Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling as to sight? or art thou but A dagger of the mind, a false creation, Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain? I see thee yet, in form as palpable As this which now I draw. [ Macbeth, by William Shakespeare ] dark one ... But he ruled rather by force and fear, if they might avail; and those who perceived his shadow spreading over the world called him the Dark Lord and named him the Enemy; and he gathered again under his government all the evil things of the days of Morgoth that remained on earth or beneath it, and the Orcs were at his command and multiplied like flies. Thus the Black Years began ... [ The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] demogorgon Demogorgon, the prince of demons, wallows in filth and can spread a quickly fatal illness to his victims while rending them. He is a mighty spellcaster, and he can drain the life of mortals with a touch of his tail. demon It is often very hard to discover what any given Demon looks like, apart from a general impression of large size, huge fangs, staring eyes, many limbs, and an odd color; but all accounts agree that Demons are very powerful, very Magic (in a nonhuman manner), and made of some substance that can squeeze through a keyhole yet not be pierced with a Sword. This makes them difficult to deal with, even on the rare occasions when they are friendly. [ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ] dingo A wolflike wild dog, Canis dingo, of Australia, having a reddish- or yellowish-brown coat, believed to have been introduced by the aborigines. [Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language] disenchanter Ask not, what your magic can do to it. Ask what it can do to your magic. dispater Dispater is an arch-devil who rules the city of Dis. He is a powerful mage. djinn* The djinn are genies from the elemental plane of Air. There, among their kind, they have their own societies. They are sometimes encountered on earth and may even be summoned here to perform some service for powerful wizards. The wizards often leave them about for later service, safely tucked away in a flask or lamp. Once in a while, such a tool is found by a lucky rogue, and some djinn are known to be so grateful when released that they might grant their rescuer a wish. ~hachi ~slasher ~sirius *dog pup* A domestic animal, the _tame dog_ (_Canis familiaris_), of which numerous breeds exist. The male is called a dog, while the female is called a bitch. Because of its known loyalty to man and gentleness with children, it is the world's most popular domestic animal. It can easily be trained to perform various tasks. ~trap*door *door doorway Through me you pass into the city of woe: Through me you pass into eternal pain: Through me among the people lost for aye. Justice the founder of my fabric mov'd: To rear me was the task of power divine, Supremest wisdom, and primeval love. Before me things create were none, save things Eternal, and eternal I endure. All hope abandon ye who enter here. [ The Inferno, from The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, translated by H.F. Cary ] doppelganger "Then we can only give thanks that this is Antarctica, where there is not one, single, solitary, living thing for it to imitate, except these animals in camp." "Us," Blair giggled. "It can imitate us. Dogs can't make four hundred miles to the sea; there's no food. There aren't any skua gulls to imitate at this season. There aren't any penguins this far inland. There's nothing that can reach the sea from this point - except us. We've got brains. We can do it. Don't you see - it's got to imitate us - it's got to be one of us - that's the only way it can fly an airplane - fly a plane for two hours, and rule - be - all Earth's inhabitants. A world for the taking - if it imitates us! [ Who Goes There?, by John W. Campbell ] Xander: Let go! I have to kill the demon bot! Xander Double (grabbing the gun): Anya, get out of the way. Buffy: Xander! Xander Double: That's all right, Buffy. I have him. Xander: No, Buffy, I'm me. Help me! Anya: My gun, he's got my gun. Riley: You own a gun? Buffy: Xander, gun holding Xander, give it to me. Anya: Buffy, which one's real? Xander: I am. Xander Double: No, _I_ am. [ Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Episode 5.03, "The Replacement" ] *dragon *xoth In the West the dragon was the natural enemy of man. Although preferring to live in bleak and desolate regions, whenever it was seen among men it left in its wake a trail of destruction and disease. Yet any attempt to slay this beast was a perilous undertaking. For the dragon's assailant had to contend not only with clouds of sulphurous fumes pouring from its fire breathing nostrils, but also with the thrashings of its tail, the most deadly part of its serpent-like body. [ Mythical Beasts by Deirdre Headon (The Leprechaun Library) ] "One whom the dragons will speak with," he said, "that is a dragonlord, or at least that is the center of the matter. It's not a trick of mastering the dragons, as most people think. Dragons have no masters. The question is always the same, with a dragon: will he talk to you or will he eat you? If you can count upon his doing the former, and not doing the latter, why then you're a dragonlord." [ The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula K. Le Guin ] *drum* Many travelers have seen the drums of the great apes, and some have heard the sounds of their beating and the noise of the wild, weird revelry of these first lords of the jungle, but Tarzan, Lord Greystoke, is, doubtless, the only human being who ever joined in the fierce, mad, intoxicating revel of the Dum-Dum. [ Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs ] ~dwarf ??m* dwarf* dwar* cave*man Dwarfs have faces like men (ugly men, with wrinkled, leathery skins), but are generally either flat-footed, duck-footed, or have feet pointing backwards. They are of the earth, earthy, living in the darkest of caverns and venturing forth only with the cloaks by which they can make themselves invisible, and others disguised as toads. Miners often come across them, and sometimes establish reasonably close relations with them. ... The miners of Cornwall were always delighted to hear a bucca busily mining away, for all dwarfs have an infallible nose for precious metals. Among other things, dwarfs are rightly valued for their skill as blacksmiths and jewellers: they made Odin his famous spear Gungnir, and Thor his hammer; for Freya they designed a magnificent necklace, and for Frey a golden boar. And in their spare time they are excellent bakers. Ironically, despite their odd feet, they are particularly fond of dancing. They can also see into the future, and consequently are excellent meteorologists. They can be free with presents to people they like, and a dwarvish gift is likely to turn to gold in the hand. But on the whole they are a snappish lot. [ The Immortals, by Derek and Julia Parker ] earendil elwing In after days, when because of the triumph of Morgoth Elves and Men became estranged, as he most wished, those of the Elven-race that lived still in Middle-earth waned and faded, and Men usurped the sunlight. Then the Quendi wandered in the lonely places of the great lands and the isles, and took to the moonlight and the starlight, and to the woods and the caves, becoming as shadows and memories, save those who ever and anon set sail into the West and vanished from Middle-earth. But in the dawn of years Elves and Men were allies and held themselves akin, and there were some among Men that learned the wisdom of the Eldar, and became great and valiant among the captains of the Noldor. And in the glory and beauty of the Elves, and in their fate, full share had the offspring of elf and mortal, Earendil, and Elwing, and Elrond their child. [ The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] eel giant eel The behaviour of eels in fresh water extends the air of mystery surrounding them. They move freely into muddy, silty bottoms of lakes, lying buried in the daylight hours in summer. [...] Eels are voracious carnivores, feeding mainly at night and consuming a wide variety of fishes and invertebrate creatures. Contrary to earlier thinking, eels seek living rather than dead creatures and are not habitual eaters of carrion. [ Freshwater Fishes of Canada, by Scott and Crossman ] egg But I asked why not keep it and let the hen sit on it till it hatched, and then we could see what would come out of it. "Nothing good, I'm certain of that," Mom said. "It would probably be something horrible. But just remember, if it's a crocodile or a dragon or something like that, I won't have it in my house for one minute." [ The Enormous Egg, by Oliver Butterworth ] elbereth ... Even as they stepped over the threshold a single clear voice rose in song. A Elbereth Gilthoniel, silivren penna miriel o menel aglar elenath! Na-chaered palan-diriel o galadhremmin ennorath, Fanuilos, le linnathon nef aear, si nef aearon! Frodo halted for a moment, looking back. Elrond was in his chair and the fire was on his face like summer-light upon the trees. Near him sat the Lady Arwen. [...] He stood still enchanted, while the sweet syllables of the elvish song fell like clear jewels of blended word and melody. "It is a song to Elbereth," said Bilbo. "They will sing that, and other songs of the Blessed Realm, many times tonight. Come on!" [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] electric eel South-American fish (_Gymnotus electricus_), living in fresh water. Shaped like a serpent, it can grow up to 2 metres. This eel is known for its electrical organ which enables it to paralyse creatures up to the size of a horse. [ Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal ] *elemental Elementals are manifestations of the basic nature of the universe. There are four known forms of elementals: air, fire, water, and earth. Some mystics have postulated the necessity for a fifth type, the spirit elemental, but none have ever been encountered, at least on this plane of existence. ~elf ??m* *elf* elvenking The Elves sat round the fire upon the grass or upon the sawn rings of old trunks. Some went to and fro bearing cups and pouring drinks; others brought food on heaped plates and dishes. "This is poor fare," they said to the hobbits; "for we are lodging in the greenwood far from our halls. If ever you are our guests at home, we will treat you better." "It seems to me good enough for a birthday-party," said Frodo. Pippin afterwards recalled little of either food or drink, for his mind was filled with the light upon the elf-faces, and the sound of voices so various and so beautiful that he felt in a waking dream. [...] Sam could never describe in words, nor picture clearly to himself, what he felt or thought that night, though it remained in his memory as one of the chief events of his life. The nearest he ever got was to say: "Well, sir, if I could grow apples like that, I would call myself a gardener. But it was the singing that went to my heart, if you know what I mean." [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] elven cloak The Elves next unwrapped and gave to each of the Company the clothes they had brought. For each they had provided a hood and cloak, made according to his size, of the light but warm silken stuff that the Galadrim wove. It was hard to say of what colour they were: grey with the hue of twilight under the trees they seemed to be; and yet if they were moved, or set in another light, they were green as shadowed leaves, or brown as fallow fields by night, dusk-silver as water under the stars. [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] emerald 'Put off that mask of burning gold With emerald eyes.' 'O no, my dear, you make so bold To find if hearts be wild and wise, And yet not cold.' 'I would but find what's there to find, Love or deceit.' 'It was the mask engaged your mind, And after set your heart to beat, Not what's behind.' 'But lest you are my enemy, I must enquire.' 'O no, my dear, let all that be; What matter, so there is but fire In you, in me?' [ The Mask, by W.B. Yeats ] erinys erinyes These female-seeming devils named after the Furies of mythology attack hand to hand and poison their unwary victims as well. ettin The two-headed giant, or ettin, is a vicious and unpredictable hunter that stalks by night and eats any meat it can catch. excalibur At first only its tip was visible, but then it rose, straight, proud, all that was noble and great and wondrous. The tip of the blade pointed toward the moon, as if it would cleave it in two. The blade itself gleamed like a beacon in the night. There was no light source for the sword to be reflecting from, for the moon had darted behind a cloud in fear. The sword was glowing from the intensity of its strength and power and knowledge that it was justice incarnate, and that after a slumber of uncounted years its time had again come. After the blade broke the surface, the hilt was visible, and holding the sword was a single strong, yet feminine hand, wearing several rings that bore jewels sparkling with the blue-green color of the ocean. [ Knight Life, by Peter David ] expensive camera There was a time when Rincewind had quite liked the iconoscope. He believed, against all experience, that the world was fundamentally understandable, and that if he could only equip himself with the right mental toolbox he could take the back off and see how it worked. He was, of course, dead wrong. The iconoscope didn't take pictures by letting light fall onto specially treated paper, as he had surmised, but by the far simpler method of imprisoning a small demon with a good eye for colour and a speedy hand with a paintbrush. He had been very upset to find that out. [ The Light Fantastic, by Terry Pratchett ] eye of the aethiopica This is a powerful amulet of ESP. In addition to its standard powers, it regenerates the energy of anyone who carries it, allowing them to cast spells more often. It also reduces any spell damage to the person who carries it by half, and protects from magic missiles. Finally, when invoked it has the power to instantly open a portal to any other area of the dungeon, allowing its invoker to travel quickly between areas. eyes of the overworld ... and finally there is "the Eyes of the Overworld". This obscure artifact pushes the wearer's view sense into the "overworld" -- another name for a segment of the Astral Plane. Usually, there is nothing to be seen. However, the wearer is also able to look back and see the area around herself, much like looking on a map. Why anyone would want to ... figurine* Then it appeared in Paris at just about the time that Paris was full of Carlists who had to get out of Spain. One of them must have brought it with him, but, whoever he was, it's likely he knew nothing about its real value. It had been -- no doubt as a precaution during the Carlist trouble in Spain -- painted or enameled over to look like nothing more than a fairly interesting black statuette. And in that disguise, sir, it was, you might say, kicked around Paris for seventy years by private owners and dealers too stupid to see what it was under the skin. [ The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett ] floating eye Floating eyes, not surprisingly, are large, floating eyeballs which drift about the dungeon. Though not dangerous in and of themselves, their power to paralyse those who gaze at their large eye in combat is widely feared. Many are the tales of those who struck a floating eye, were paralysed by its mystic powers, and then nibbled to death by some other creature that lurked around nearby. flesh golem With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs. How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful!--Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips. [ Frankenstein, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley ] *flute With this thou canst do mighty deeds And change men's passions for thy needs: A man's despair with joy allay, Turn bachelors old to lovers gay. [ The Magic Flute, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ] fog cloud The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on. [ Fog, by Carl Sandburg ] fountain Rest! This little Fountain runs Thus for aye: -- It never stays For the look of summer suns, Nor the cold of winter days. Whose'er shall wander near, When the Syrian heat is worst, Let him hither come, nor fear Lest he may not slake his thirst: He will find this little river Running still, as bright as ever. Let him drink, and onward hie, Bearing but in thought, that I, Erotas, bade the Naiad fall, And thank the great god Pan for all! [ For a Fountain, by Bryan Waller Procter ] fox One hot summer's day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. "Just the thing to quench my thirst," quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: "I am sure they are sour." [ Aesop's Fables ] *fung* Fungi, division of simple plants that lack chlorophyll, true stems, roots, and leaves. Unlike algae, fungi cannot photosynthesize, and live as parasites or saprophytes. The division comprises the slime molds and true fungi. True fungi are multicellular (with the exception of yeasts); the body of most true fungi consists of slender cottony filaments, or hyphae. All fungi are capable of asexual reproduction by cell division, budding, fragmentation, or spores. Those that reproduce sexually alternate a sexual generation (gametophyte) with a spore-producing one. The four classes of true fungi are the algaelike fungi (e.g., black bread mold and downy mildew), sac fungi (e.g., yeasts, powdery mildews, truffles, and blue and green molds such as Penicillium), basidium fungi (e.g., mushrooms and puffballs) and imperfect fungi (e.g., species that cause athlete's foot and ringworm). Fungi help decompose organic matter (important in soil renewal); are valuable as a source of antibiotics, vitamins, and various chemicals; and for their role in fermentation, e.g., in bread and alcoholic beverage production. [ The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia ] *gargoyle And so it came to pass that while Man ruled on Earth, the gargoyles waited, lurking, hidden from the light. Reborn every 600 years in Man's reckoning of time, the gargoyles joined battle against Man to gain dominion over the Earth. In each coming, the gargoyles were nearly destroyed by Men who flourished in greater numbers. Now it has been so many hundreds of years that it seems the ancient statues and paintings of gargoyles are just products of Man's imagination. In this year, with Man's thoughts turned toward the many ills he has brought among himself, Man has forgotten his most ancient adversary, the gargoyles. [ Excerpt from the opening narration to the movie _Gargoyles_, written by Stephen and Elinor Karpf ] *garlic 1 November - All day long we have travelled, and at a good speed. The horses seem to know that they are being kindly treated, for they go willingly their full stage at best speed. We have now had so many changes and find the same thing so constantly that we are encouraged to think that the journey will be an easy one. Dr. Van Helsing is laconic, he tells the farmers that he is hurrying to Bistritz, and pays them well to make the exchange of horses. We get hot soup, or coffee, or tea, and off we go. It is a lovely country. Full of beauties of all imaginable kinds, and the people are brave, and strong, and simple, and seem full of nice qualities. They are very, very superstitious. In the first house where we stopped, when the woman who served us saw the scar on my forehead, she crossed herself and put out two fingers towards me, to keep off the evil eye. I believe they went to the trouble of putting an extra amount of garlic into our food, and I can't abide garlic. Ever since then I have taken care not to take off my hat or veil, and so have escaped their suspicions. [ Dracula, by Bram Stoker ] # gas spore -- see *spore geryon Geryon is an arch-devil sometimes called the Wild Beast, attacking with his claws and poison sting. His ranking in Hell is rumored to be quite low. *ghost And now the souls of the dead who had gone below came swarming up from Erebus -- fresh brides, unmarried youths, old men with life's long suffering behind them, tender young girls still nursing this first anguish in their hearts, and a great throng of warriors killed in battle, their spear-wounds gaping yet and all their armour stained with blood. From this multitude of souls, as they fluttered to and fro by the trench, there came a moaning that was horrible to hear. Panic drained the blood from my cheeks. [ The Odyssey, (chapter Lambda), by Homer ] ghoul The forces of the gloom know each other, and are strangely balanced by each other. Teeth and claws fear what they cannot grasp. Blood-drinking bestiality, voracious appetites, hunger in search of prey, the armed instincts of nails and jaws which have for source and aim the belly, glare and smell out uneasily the impassive spectral forms straying beneath a shroud, erect in its vague and shuddering robe, and which seem to them to live with a dead and terrible life. These brutalities, which are only matter, entertain a confused fear of having to deal with the immense obscurity condensed into an unknown being. A black figure barring the way stops the wild beast short. That which emerges from the cemetery intimidates and disconcerts that which emerges from the cave; the ferocious fear the sinister; wolves recoil when they encounter a ghoul. [ Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo ] *giant giant humanoid Giants have always walked the earth, though they are rare in these times. They range in size from little over nine feet to a towering twenty feet or more. The larger ones use huge boulders as weapons, hurling them over large distances. All types of giants share a love for men - roasted, boiled, or fried. Their table manners are legendary. # note: "gnomish wizard" is a monster; cave*man entry doesn't fit nonhumans ~gnome ??m* gnome* gnomish wizard gnom* cave*man ... And then a gnome came by, carrying a bundle, an old fellow three times as large as an imp and wearing clothes of a sort, especially a hat. And he was clearly just as frightened as the imps though he could not go so fast. Ramon Alonzo saw that there must be some great trouble that was vexing magical things; and, since gnomes speak the language of men, and will answer if spoken to gently, he raised his hat, and asked of the gnome his name. The gnome did not stop his hasty shuffle a moment as he answered 'Alaraba' and grabbed the rim of his hat but forgot to doff it. 'What is the trouble, Alaraba?' said Ramon Alonzo. 'White magic. Run!' said the gnome .. [ The Charwoman's Shadow, by Lord Dunsany ] "Muggles have garden gnomes, too, you know," Harry told Ron as they crossed the lawn. "Yeah, I've seen those things they think are gnomes," said Ron, bent double with his head in a peony bush, "like fat little Santa Clauses with fishing rods..." There was a violent scuffling noise, the peony bush shuddered, and Ron straightened up. "This is a gnome," he said grimly. "Geroff me! Gerroff me!" squealed the gnome. It was certainly nothing like Santa Claus. It was small and leathery looking, with a large, knobby, bald head exactly like a potato. Ron held it at arm's length as it kicked out at him with its horny little feet; he grasped it around the ankles and turned it upside down. [ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J. K. Rowling ] goblin Now goblins are cruel, wicked, and bad-hearted. They make no beautiful things, but they make many clever ones. They can tunnel and mine as well as any but the most skilled dwarves, when they take the trouble, though they are usually untidy and dirty. Hammers, axes, swords, daggers, pickaxes, tongs, and also instruments of torture, they make very well, or get other people to make to their design, prisoners and slaves that have to work till they die for want of air and light. [ The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] god goddess Goddesses and Gods operate in ones, threesomes, or whole pantheons of nine or more (see Religion). Most of them claim to have made the world, and this is indeed a likely claim in the case of threesomes or pantheons: Fantasyland does have the air of having been made by a committee. But all Goddesses and Gods, whether they say they made the world or not, have very detailed short-term plans for it which they are determined to carry out. Consequently they tend to push people into the required actions by the use of coincidence or Prophecy, or just by narrowing down your available choices of what to do next: if a deity is pushing you, things will go miserably badly until there is only one choice left to you. [ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ] gold gold piece zorkmid A metal of characteristic yellow colour, the most precious metal used as a common commercial medium of exchange. Symbol, Au; at. no. 79; at. wt. 197.2. It is the most malleable and ductile of all metals, and very heavy (sp. gr., 19.3). It is quite unalterable by heat, moisture, and most corrosive agents, and therefore well suited for its use in coin and jewelry. [ Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition ] gold golem The bellows he set away from the fire, and gathered all the tools wherewith he wrought into a silver chest; and with a sponge wiped he his face and his two hands withal, and his mighty neck and shaggy breast, and put upon him a tunic, and grasped a stout staff, and went forth halting; but there moved swiftly to support their lord handmaidens wrought of gold in the semblance of living maids. In them is understanding in their hearts, and in them speech and strength, and they know cunning handiwork by gift of the immortal gods. [ The Iliad, by Homer ] ~gold golem ~flesh golem *golem "The original story harks back, so they say, to the sixteenth century. Using long-lost formulas from the Kabbala, a rabbi is said to have made an artificial man -- the so-called Golem -- to help ring the bells in the Synagogue and for all kinds of other menial work. "But he hadn't made a full man, and it was animated by some sort of vegetable half-life. What life it had, too, so the story runs, was only derived from the magic charm placed behind its teeth each day, that drew down to itself what was known as the `free sidereal strength of the universe.' "One evening, before evening prayers, the rabbi forgot to take the charm out of the Golem's mouth, and it fell into a frenzy. It raged through the dark streets, smashing everything in its path, until the rabbi caught up with it, removed the charm, and destroyed it. Then the Golem collapsed, lifeless. All that was left of it was a small clay image, which you can still see in the Old Synagogue." ... [ The Golem, by Gustav Meyrink ] grave "Who'd care to dig 'em," said the old, old man, "Those six feet marked in chalk? Much I talk, more I walk; Time I were buried," said the old, old man. [ Three Songs to the Same Tune, by W.B. Yeats ] grayswandir Why had I been wearing Grayswandir? Would another weapon have affected a Logrus-ghost as strongly? Had it really been my father, then, who had brought me here? And had he felt I might need the extra edge his weapon could provide? I wanted to think so, to believe that he had been more than a Pattern-ghost. [ Knight of Shadows, by Roger Zelazny ] *grease ANOINT, v.t. To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery. [ The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce ] gremlin The gremlin is a highly intelligent and completely evil creature. It lives to torment other creatures and will go to great lengths to inflict pain or cause injury. Suddenly, Wilson thought about war, about the newspaper stories which recounted the alleged existence of creatures in the sky who plagued the Allied pilots in their duties. They called them gremlins, he remembered. Were there, actually, such beings? Did they, truly, exist up here, never falling, riding on the wind, apparently of bulk and weight, yet impervious to gravity? He was thinking that when the man appeared again. [ Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, by Richard Matheson ] grid bug These electronically based creatures are not native to this universe. They appear to come from a world whose laws of motion are radically different from ours. Tron looked to his mate and pilot. "I'm going to check on the beam connection, Yori. You two can keep a watch out for grid bugs." Tron paced forward along the slender catwalk that still seemed awfully insubstantial to Flynn, though he knew it to be amazingly sturdy. He gazed after Tron, asking himself what in the world a grid bug was, and hoping that the beam connection -- to which he'd given no thought whatsoever until this moment -- was healthy and sound." [ Tron, novel by Brian Daley, story by Steven Lisberger ] gunyoki The samurai's last meal before battle. It was usually made up of cooked chestnuts, dried seaweed, and sake. hachi Hachi was a dog that went with his master, a professor, to the Shibuya train station every morning. In the afternoon, when his master was to return from work Hachi would be there waiting. One day his master died at the office, and did not return. For over ten years Hachi returned to the station every afternoon to wait for his master. When Hachi died a statue was erected on the station platform in his honor. It is said to bring you luck if you touch his statue. *harp A triangular stringed instrument, often Magic. Even when not Magic, a Harp is surprisingly portable and tough and can be carried everywhere on the back of the Bard or Harper in all weathers. A Harp seldom goes out of tune and never warps. Its strings break only in very rare instances, usually because the Harper is sulking or crossed in love. This is just as well as no one seems to make or sell spare strings. [ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ] After breakfast was over, the ogre called out: "Wife, wife, bring me my golden harp." So she brought it and put it on the table before him. Then he said: "Sing!" and the golden harp sang most beautifully. And it went on singing till the ogre fell asleep, and commenced to snore like thunder. Then Jack lifted up the copper-lid very quietly and got down like a mouse and crept on hands and knees till he came to the table, when up he crawled, caught hold of the golden harp and dashed with it towards the door. But the harp called out quite loud: "Master! Master!" and the ogre woke up just in time to see Jack running off with his harp. [ Jack and the Beanstalk, from English Fairy Tales, by Joseph Jacobs ] healer * healer attendant doctor physician I swear by Apollo the physician, and Aesculapius, and Health, and All-heal, and all the gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this Oath and this stipulation -- to reckon him who taught me this Art equally dear to me as my parents, to share my substance with him, and relieve his necessities if required; to look upon his offspring in the same footing as my own brothers, and to teach them this art, if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation; and that by precept, lecture, and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the Art to my own sons, and those of my teachers, and to disciples bound by a stipulation and oath according to the law of medicine, but to none others. I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. [...] [ Hippocrates' Oath, translated by Francis Adams ] PHYSICIAN, n. One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well. [ The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce ] heart of ahriman The other three drew in their breath sharply, and the dark, powerful man who stood at the head of the sarcophagus whispered: "The Heart of Ahriman!" The other lifted a quick hand for silence. Somewhere a dog began howling dolefully, and a stealthy step padded outside the barred and bolted door. ... But none looked aside from the mummy case over which the man in the ermine-trimmed robe was now moving the great flaming jewel, while he muttered an incantation that was old when Atlantis sank. The glare of the gem dazzled their eyes, so that they could not be sure what they saw; but with a splintering crash, the carven lid of the sarcophagus burst outward as if from some irresistible pressure applied from within and the four men, bending eagerly forward, saw the occupant -- a huddled, withered, wizened shape, with dried brown limbs like dead wood showing through moldering bandages. "Bring that thing back?" muttered the small dark man who stood on the right, with a short, sardonic laugh. "It is ready to crumble at a touch. We are fools ---" [ Conan The Conqueror, by Robert E. Howard ] hell hound* Hell hounds are fire-breathing canines from another plane of existence brought here in the service of evil beings. A hell hound resembles a large hound with rust-red or red-brown fur, and red, glowing eyes. The markings, teeth, and tongue are soot black. It stands two to three feet high at the shoulder and has a distinct odour of smoke and sulphur. The baying sounds it makes have an eerie, hollow tone that sends a shiver through any who hear them. hermes Messenger and herald of the Olympians. Being required to do a great deal of travelling and speaking in public, he became the god of eloquence, travellers, merchants, and thieves. He was one of the most energetic of the Greek gods, a Machiavellian character full of trickery and sexual vigour. Like other Greek gods, he is endowed with not-inconsiderable sexual prowess which he directs towards countryside nymphs. He is a god of boundaries, guardian of graves and patron deity of shepherds. He is usually depicted as a handsome young man wearing winged golden sandals and holding a magical herald's staff consisting of intertwined serpents, the kerykeion. He is reputedly the only being able to find his way to the underworld ferry of Charon and back again. He is said to have invented, among other things, the lyre, Pan's Pipes, numbers, the alphabet, weights and measures, and sacrificing. hezrou "Hezrou" is the common name for the type II demon. It is among the weaker of demons, but still quite formidable. hippocrates Greek physician, recognized as the father of medicine. He is believed to have been born on the island of Cos, to have studied under his father, a physician, to have traveled for some time, perhaps studying in Athens, and to have then returned to practice, teach, and write at Cos. The Hippocratic or Coan school that formed around him was of enormous importance in separating medicine from superstition and philosophic speculation, placing it on a strictly scientific plane based on objective observation and critical deductive reasoning. [ The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition ] hobbit Hobbits are an unobtrusive but very ancient people, more numerous formerly than they are today; for they love peace and quiet and good tilled earth: a well-ordered and well- farmed countryside was their favourite haunt. They do not and did not understand or like machines more complicated than a forge-bellows, a water-mill, or a handloom, although they were skillful with tools. Even in ancient days they were, as a rule, shy of "the Big Folk", as they call us, and now they avoid us with dismay and are becoming hard to find. [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] hobgoblin Hobgoblin. Used by the Puritans and in later times for wicked goblin spirits, as in Bunyan's "Hobgoblin nor foul friend", but its more correct use is for the friendly spirits of the brownie type. In "A midsummer night's dream" a fairy says to Shakespeare's Puck: Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck, You do their work, and they shall have good luck: Are you not he? and obviously Puck would not wish to be called a hobgoblin if that was an ill-omened word. Hobgoblins are on the whole, good-humoured and ready to be helpful, but fond of practical joking, and like most of the fairies rather nasty people to annoy. Boggarts hover on the verge of hobgoblindom. Bogles are just over the edge. One Hob mentioned by Henderson, was Hob Headless who haunted the road between Hurworth and Neasham, but could not cross the little river Kent, which flowed into the Tess. He was exorcised and laid under a large stone by the roadside for ninety-nine years and a day. If anyone was so unwary as to sit on that stone, he would be unable to quit it for ever. The ninety-nine years is nearly up, so trouble may soon be heard of on the road between Hurworth and Neasham. [ A Dictionary of Fairies, by Katharine Briggs ] holy water "We want a word with you," said Ligur (in a tone of voice intended to imply that "word" was synonymous with "horrifically painful eternity"), and the squat demon pushed open the office door. The bucket teetered, then fell neatly on Ligur's head. Drop a lump of sodium in water. Watch it flame and burn and spin around crazily, flaring and sputtering. This was like that, just nastier. The demon peeled and flared and flickered. Oily brown smoke oozed from it, and it screamed and it screamed and it screamed. Then it crumpled, folded in on itself, and what was left lay glistening on the burnt and blackened circle of carpet, looking like a handful of mashed slugs. "Hi," said Crowley to Hastur, who had been walking behind Ligur, and had unfortunately not been so much as splashed. There are some things that are unthinkable; there are some depths that not even demons would believe other demons would stoop to. ". . . Holy water. You bastard," said Hastur. "You complete _bastard_. He hadn't never done nothing to _you_." "Yet," corrected Crowley. [ Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett ] hom*nculus A homunculus is a creature summoned by a mage to perform some particular task. They are particularly good at spying. They are smallish creatures, but very agile. They can put their victims to sleep with a venomous bite, but due to their size, the effect does not last long on humans. "Tothapis cut him off. 'Be still and hearken. You will travel aboard the sacred wingboat. Of it you may not have heard; but it will bear you thither in a night and a day and a night. With you will go a homunculus that can relay your words to me, and mine to you, across the leagues between at the speed of thought.'" [ Conan the Rebel, by Poul Anderson ] # also gets 'pruning hook' aka guisarme *hook But as for Queequeg -- why, Queequeg sat there among them -- at the head of the table, too, it so chanced; as cool as an icicle. To be sure I cannot say much for his breeding. His greatest admirer could not have cordially justified his bringing his harpoon into breakfast with him, and using it there without ceremony; reaching over the table with it, to the imminent jeopardy of many heads, and grappling the beefsteaks towards him. [ Moby Dick, by Herman Melville ] ~unicorn horn *horn Roland hath set the Olifant to his mouth, He grasps it well, and with great virtue sounds. High are those peaks, afar it rings and loud, Thirty great leagues they hear its echoes mount. So Charles heard, and all his comrades round; Then said that King: "Battle they do, our counts!" And Guenelun answered, contrarious: "That were a lie, in any other mouth." [ The Song of Roland ] horned devil Horned devils lack any real special abilities, though they are quite difficult to kill. ~horsem* *horse King Richard III: A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse! Catesby: Withdraw, my lord; I'll help you to a horse. King Richard III: Slave, I have set my life upon a cast, And I will stand the hazard of the die: I think there be six Richmonds in the field; Five have I slain to-day instead of him. A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse! [ King Richard III, by William Shakespeare ] *horsem* rider* death famine pestilence war hunger [Pestilence:] And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. [War:] And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. [Famine:] And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. [Death:] And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. [ Revelations of John, 6:1-8 ] huan*ti The first of five mythical Chinese emperors, Huan Ti is known as the yellow emperor. He rules the _moving_ heavens, as opposed to the _dark_ heavens. He is an inventor, said to have given mankind among other things, the wheel, armour, and the compass. He is the god of fortune telling and war. hu*h*eto*l minion of huhetotl Huehuetotl, or Huhetotl, which means Old God, was the Aztec (classical Mesoamerican) god of fire. He is generally associated with paternalism and one of the group classed as the Xiuhtecuhtli complex. He is known to send his minions to wreak havoc upon ordinary humans. [ after the Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan ] humanoid Humanoids are all approximately the size of a human, and may be mistaken for one at a distance. They are usually of a tribal nature, and will fiercely defend their lairs. Usually hostile, they may even band together to raid and pillage human settlements. human chieftain guard ninja nurse page ronin shopkeeper student thug warrior *watch* player These strange creatures live mostly on the surface of the earth, gathering together in societies of various forms, but occasionally a stray will descend into the depths and commit mayhem among the dungeon residents who, naturally, often resent the intrusion of such beasts. They are capable of using weapons and magic, and it is even rumored that the Wizard of Yendor is a member of this species. hunter What of the hunting, hunter bold? Brother, the watch was long and cold. What of the quarry ye went to kill? Brother, he crops in the jungle still. Where is the power that made your pride? Brother, it ebbs from my flank and side. Where is the haste that ye hurry by? Brother, I go to my lair to die. [ The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling ] ice devil Ice devils are large semi-insectoid creatures, who are equally at home in the fires of Hell and the cold of Limbo, and who can cause the traveller to feel the latter with just a touch of their tail. imp ... imps ... little creatures of two feet high that could gambol and jump prodigiously; ... [ The Charwoman's Shadow, by Lord Dunsany ] An 'imp' is an off-shoot or cutting. Thus an 'ymp tree' was a grafted tree, or one grown from a cutting, not from seed. 'Imp' properly means a small devil, an off-shoot of Satan, but the distinction between goblins or bogles and imps from hell is hard to make, and many in the Celtic countries as well as the English Puritans regarded all fairies as devils. The fairies of tradition often hover uneasily between the ghostly and the diabolic state. [ A Dictionary of Fairies, by Katharine Briggs ] incubus succubus The incubus and succubus are male and female versions of the same demon, one who lies with a human for its own purposes, usually to the detriment of the mortals who are unwise in their dealings with them. *iron ball *iron chain "You are fettered, " said Scrooge, trembling. "Tell me why?" "I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?" Scrooge trembled more and more. "Or would you know," pursued the Ghost, "the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have laboured on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!" [ A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens ] ishtar Ishtar (the star of heaven) is the Mesopotamian goddess of fertility and war. She is usually depicted with wings and weapon cases at her shoulders, carrying a ceremonial double- headed mace-scimitar embellished with lion heads, frequently being accompanied by a lion. She is symbolized by an eight- pointed star. [ Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan ] issek Now Issek of the Jug, whom Fafhrd chose to serve, was once of the most lowly and unsuccessful of the gods, godlets rather, in Lankhmar. He had dwelt there for about thirteen years, during which time he had traveled only two squares up the Street of the Gods and was now back again, ready for oblivion. He is not to be confused with Issek the Armless, Issek of the Burnt Legs, Flayed Issek, or any other of the numerous and colorfully mutilated divinities of that name. Indeed, his unpopularity may have been due in part to the fact that the manner of his death -- racking -- was not deemed particularly spectacular. ... However, after Fafhrd became his acolyte, things somehow began to change. [ Swords In The Mist, by Fritz Leiber ] izchak The shopkeeper of the lighting shop in the town level of the gnomish mines is a tribute to Izchak Miller, a founding member of the NetHack development team and a personal friend of a large number of us. Izchak contributed greatly to the game, coding a large amount of the shopkeep logic (hence the nature of the tribute) as well as a good part of the alignment system, the prayer code and the rewrite of "hell" in the 3.1 release. Izchak was a professor of Philosophy, who taught at many respected institutions, including MIT and Stanford, and who also worked, for a period of time, at Xerox PARC. Izchak was the first "librarian" of the NetHack project, and was a founding member of the DevTeam, joining in 1986 while he was working at the University of Pennsylvania (hence our former mailing list address). Until the 3.1.3 release, Izchak carefully kept all of the code synchronized and arbitrated disputes between members of the development teams. Izchak Miller passed away at the age of 58, in the early morning hours of April 1, 1994 from complications due to cancer. We then dedicated NetHack 3.2 in his memory. [ Mike Stephenson, for the NetHack DevTeam ] jabberwock vorpal* "Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!" He took his vorpal sword in hand; Long time the manxome foe he sought -- So rested he by the Tumtum tree, And stood awhile in thought. And, as in uffish thought he stood, The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, Came whiffling through the tulgey wood, And burbled as it came! One, two! One, two! And through and through The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with its head He went galumphing back. [ Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll ] jackal In Asiatic folktale, jackal provides for the lion; he scares up game, which the lion kills and eats, and receives what is left as reward. In stories from northern India he is sometimes termed "minister to the king," i.e. to the lion. From the legend that he does not kill his own food has arisen the legend of his cowardice. Jackal's heart must never be eaten, for instance, in the belief of peoples indigenous to the regions where the jackal abounds. ... In Hausa Negro folktale Jackal plays the role of sagacious judge and is called "O Learned One of the Forest." The Bushmen say that Jackal goes around behaving the way he does "because he is Jackal". [ Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore ] jade* Nothing grew among the ruins of the city. The streets were broken and the walls of the houses had fallen, but there were no weeds flowering in the cracks and it seemed that the city had but recently been brought down by an earthquake. Only one thing still stood intact, towering over the ruins. It was a gigantic statue of white, gray and green jade - the statue of a naked youth with a face of almost feminine beauty that turned sightless eyes toward the north. "The eyes!" Duke Avan Astran said. "They're gone!" [ The Jade Man's Eyes, by Michael Moorcock ] jaguar Large, flesh-eating animal of the cat family, of Central and South America. This feline predator (_Panthera onca_) is sometimes incorrectly called a panther. [ Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal ] jellyfish I do not care to share the seas With jellyfishes such as these; Particularly Portuguese. [ Lines on Meeting a Portuguese Man-o'-war while Bathing, by Michael Flanders ] juiblex jubilex Little is known about the Faceless Lord, even the correct spelling of his name. He does not have a physical form as we know it, and those who have peered into his realm claim he is a slime-like creature who swallows other creatures alive, spits acidic secretions, and causes disease in his victims which can be almost instantly fatal. kabuto The kabuto is the helmet worn by the samurai. It was characterized by a prominent beaked front which jutted out over the brow to protect the wearer's face; a feature that gives rise to their modern Japanese name of 'shokaku tsuki kabuto' (battering-ram helmet). Their main constructional element was an oval plate, the shokaku bo, slightly domed for the head with a narrow prolongation in front that curved forwards and downwards where it developed a pronounced central fold. Two horizontal strips encircling the head were riveted to this frontal strip: the lower one, the koshimaki (hip wrap), formed the lower edge of the helmet bowl; the other, the do maki (body wrap), was set at about the level of the temples. Filling the gaps between these strips and the shokaku bo were small plates, sometimes triangular but more commonly rectangular in shape. Because the front projected so far from the head, the triangular gap beneath was filled by a small plate, the shoshaku tei ita, whose rear edge bent downwards into a flange that rested against the forehead. [ Arms & Armour of the Samurai, by Bottomley & Hopson ] katana The katana is a long, single-edged samurai sword with a slightly curved blade. Its long handle is designed to allow it to be wielded with either one or two hands. ki-rin The ki-rin is a strange-looking flying creature. It has scales, a mane like a lion, a tail, hooves, and a horn. It is brightly colored, and can usually be found flying in the sky looking for good deeds to reward. king arthur *arthur Ector took both his sons to the church before which the anvil had been placed. There, standing before the anvil, he commanded Kay: "Put the sword back into the steel if you really think the throne is yours!" But the sword glanced off the steel. "Now it is your turn", Ector said facing Arthur. The young man lifted the sword and thrust with both arms; the blade whizzed through the air with a flash and drilled the metal as if it were mere butter. Ector and Kay dropped to their knees before Arthur. "Why, father and brother, do you bow before me?", Arthur asked with wonder in his voice. "Because now I know for sure that you are the king, not only by birth but also by law", Ector said. "You are no son of mine nor are you Kay's brother. Immediately after your birth, Merlin the Wise brought you to me to be raised safely. And though it was me that named you Arthur when you were baptized, you are really the son of brave king Uther Pendragon and queen Igraine..." And after these words, the lord rose and went to see the arch- bishop to impart to him what had passed. [ Van Gouden Tijden Zingen de Harpen, by Vladimir Hulpach, Emanuel Frynta, and Vackav Cibula ] knife stiletto Possibly perceiving an expression of dubiosity on their faces, the globetrotter went on adhering to his adventures. -- And I seen a man killed in Trieste by an Italian chap. Knife in his back. Knife like that. Whilst speaking he produced a dangerous looking clasp knife, quite in keeping with his character, and held it in the striking position. -- In a knockingshop it was count of a tryon between two smugglers. Fellow hid behind a door, come up behind him. Like that. Prepare to meet your God, says he. Chuck! It went into his back up to the butt. [ Ulysses, by James Joyce ] knight * knight Here lies the noble fearless knight, Whose valour rose to such a height; When Death at last had struck him down, His was the victory and renown. He reck'd the world of little prize, And was a bugbear in men's eyes; But had the fortune in his age To live a fool and die a sage. [ Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miquel de Cervantes Saavedra ] ~kobold ??m* *kobold* The race of kobolds are reputed to be an artificial creation of a master wizard (demi-god?). They are about 3' tall with a vaguely dog-like face. They bear a violent dislike of the Elven race, and will go out of their way to cause trouble for Elves at any time. *kop* The Kops are a brilliant concept. To take a gaggle of inept policemen and display them over and over again in a series of riotously funny physical punishments plays equally well to the peanut gallery and the expensive box seats. People hate cops. Even people who have never had anything to do with cops hate them. Of course, we count on them to keep order and to protect us when we need protecting, and we love them on television shows in which they have nerves of steel and hearts of gold, but in the abstract, as a nation, collectively we hate them. They are too much like high school principals. We're very happy to see their pants fall down, and they look good to us with pie on their faces. The Keystone Kops turn up--and they get punished for it, as they crash into each other, fall down, and suffer indignity after indignity. Here is pure movie satisfaction. The Kops are very skillfully presented. The comic originality and timing in one of their chase scenes requires imagination to think up, talent to execute, understanding of the medium, and, of course, raw courage to perform. The Kops are madmen presented as incompetents, and they're madmen rushing around in modern machines. What's more, the machines they were operating in their routines were newly invented and not yet experienced by the average moviegoer. (In the early days of automobiles, it was reported that there were only two cars registered in all of Kansas City, and they ran into each other. There is both poetry and philosophy in this fact, but most of all, there is humor. Sennett got the humor.) [ Silent Stars, by Jeanine Basinger ] kos "I am not a coward!" he cried. "I'll dare Thieves' House and fetch you Krovas' head and toss it with blood a-drip at Vlana's feet. I swear that, witness me, Kos the god of dooms, by the brown bones of Nalgron my father and by his sword Graywand here at my side!" [ Swords and Deviltry, by Fritz Leiber ] koto A Japanese harp. kraken Out from the water a long sinuous tentacle had crawled; it was pale-green and luminous and wet. Its fingered end had hold of Frodo's foot, and was dragging him into the water. Sam on his knees was now slashing at it with a knife. The arm let go of Frodo, and Sam pulled him away, crying out for help. Twenty other arms came rippling out. The dark water boiled, and there was a hideous stench. [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] *lady offler Blind Io took up the dice-box, which was a skull whose various orifices had been stoppered with rubies, and with several of his eyes on the Lady he rolled three fives. She smiled. This was the nature of the Lady's eyes: they were bright green, lacking iris or pupil, and they glowed from within. The room was silent as she scrabbled in her box of pieces and, from the very bottom, produced a couple that she set down on the board with two decisive clicks. The rest of the players, as one God, craned forward to peer at them. "A wenegade wiffard and fome fort of clerk," said Offler the Crocodile God, hindered as usual by his tusks. "Well, weally!" With one claw he pushed a pile of bone-white tokens into the centre of the table. The Lady nodded slightly. She picked up the dice-cup and held it as steady as a rock, yet all the Gods could hear the three cubes rattling about inside. And then she sent them bouncing across the table. A six. A three. A five. Something was happening to the five, however. Battered by the chance collision of several billion molecules, the die flipped onto a point, spun gently and came down a seven. Blind Io picked up the cube and counted the sides. "Come _on_," he said wearily, "Play fair." [ The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett ] *lamp When he came to himself he told his mother what had passed, and showed her the lamp and the fruits he had gathered in the garden, which were in reality precious stones. He then asked for some food. "Alas! child," she said, "I have nothing in the house, but I have spun a little cotton and will go and sell it." Aladdin bade her keep her cotton, for he would sell the lamp instead. As it was very dirty she began to rub it, that it might fetch a higher price. Instantly a hideous genie appeared, and asked what she would have. She fainted away, but Aladdin, snatching the lamp, said boldly: "Fetch me something to eat!" [ Aladdin, from The Arabian Nights, by Andrew Lang ] lance With this the wind increased, and the mill sails began to turn about; which Don Quixote espying, said, 'Although thou movest more arms than the giant Briareus thou shalt stoop to me.' And, after saying this, and commending himself most devoutly to his Lady Dulcinea, desiring her to succor him in that trance, covering himself well with his buckler, and setting his lance on his rest, he spurred on Rozinante, and encountered with the first mill that was before him, and, striking his lance into the sail, the wind swung it about with such fury, that it broke his lance into shivers, carrying him and his horse after it, and finally tumbled him a good way off from it on the field in evil plight. [ Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miquel de Cervantes Saavedra ] leash They had splendid heads, fine shoulders, strong legs, and straight tails. The spots on their bodies were jet-black and mostly the size of a two-shilling piece; they had smaller spots on their heads, legs, and tails. Their noses and eye- rims were black. Missis had a most winning expression. Pongo, though a dog born to command, had a twinkle in his eye. They walked side by side with great dignity, only putting the Dearlys on the leash to lead them over crossings. [ The Hundred and One Dalmatians, by Dodie Smith ] lembas* In the morning, as they were beginning to pack their slender goods, Elves that could speak their tongue came to them and brought them many gifts of food and clothing for their journey. The food was mostly in the form of very thin cakes, made of a meal that was baked a light brown on the outside, and inside was the colour of cream. Gimli took up one of the cakes and looked at it with a doubtful eye. 'Cram,' he said under his breath, as he broke off a crisp corner and nibbled at it. His expression quickly changed, and he ate all the rest of the cake with relish. 'No more, no more!' cried the Elves laughing. 'You have eaten enough already for a long day's march.' 'I thought it was only a kind of cram, such as the Dalemen make for journeys in the wild,' said the Dwarf. 'So it is,' they answered. 'But we call it lembas or waybread, and it is more strengthening than any foods made by Men, and it is more pleasant than cram, by all accounts.' [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] lemure The lowliest of the inhabitants of hell. leocrotta leu*otta ... the leucrocotta, a wild beast of extraordinary swiftness, the size of the wild ass, with the legs of a Stag, the neck, tail, and breast of a lion, the head of a badger, a cloven hoof, the mouth slit up as far as the ears, and one continuous bone instead of teeth; it is said, too, that this animal can imitate the human voice. [ Curious Creatures in Zoology, by John Ashton ] leprechaun The Irish Leprechaun is the Faeries' shoemaker and is known under various names in different parts of Ireland: Cluricaune in Cork, Lurican in Kerry, Lurikeen in Kildare and Lurigadaun in Tipperary. Although he works for the Faeries, the Leprechaun is not of the same species. He is small, has dark skin and wears strange clothes. His nature has something of the manic-depressive about it: first he is quite happy, whistling merrily as he nails a sole on to a shoe; a few minutes later, he is sullen and morose, drunk on his home-made heather ale. The Leprechaun's two great loves are tobacco and whiskey, and he is a first-rate con-man, impossible to out-fox. No one, no matter how clever, has ever managed to cheat him out of his hidden pot of gold or his magic shilling. At the last minute he always thinks of some way to divert his captor's attention and vanishes in the twinkling of an eye. [ A Field Guide to the Little People by Nancy Arrowsmith & George Moorse ] *lich But on its heels ere the sunset faded, there came a second apparition, striding with incredible strides and halting when it loomed almost upon me in the red twilight-the monstrous mummy of some ancient king still crowned with untarnished gold but turning to my gaze a visage that more than time or the worm had wasted. Broken swathings flapped about the skeleton legs, and above the crown that was set with sapphires and orange rubies, a black something swayed and nodded horribly; but, for an instant, I did not dream what it was. Then, in its middle, two oblique and scarlet eyes opened and glowed like hellish coals, and two ophidian fangs glittered in an ape-like mouth. A squat, furless, shapeless head on a neck of disproportionate extent leaned unspeakably down and whispered in the mummy's ear. Then, with one stride, the titanic lich took half the distance between us, and from out the folds of the tattered sere-cloth a gaunt arm arose, and fleshless, taloned fingers laden with glowering gems, reached out and fumbled for my throat . . . [ The Abominations of Yondo, Clark Ashton Smith, 1926 ] lichen The chamber was of unhewn rock, round, as near as might be, eighteen or twenty feet across, and gay with rich variety of fern and moss and lichen. The fern was in its winter still, or coiling for the spring-tide; but moss was in abundant life, some feathering, and some gobleted, and some with fringe of red to it. [ Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore ] ~* of light * light Strange creatures formed from energy rather than matter, lights are given to self-destructive behavior when battling foes. gecko iguana lizard Lizards, snakes and the burrowing amphisbaenids make up the order Squamata, meaning the scaly ones. The elongate, slim, long-tailed bodies of lizards have become modified to enable them to live in a wide range of habitats. Lizards can be expert burrowers, runners, swimmers and climbers, and a few can manage crude, short-distance gliding on rib-supported "wings". Most are carnivores, feeding on invertebrate and small vertebrate prey, but others feed on vegetation. [ Macmillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia ] loki Loki, or Lopt, is described in Snorri's _Edda_ as being "pleasing and handsome in appearance, evil in character, and very capricious in behaviour". He is the son of the giant Farbauti and of Laufey. Loki is the Norse god of cunning, evil, thieves, and fire. He hated the other gods and wanted to ruin them and overthrow the universe. He committed many murders. As a thief, he stole Freyja's necklace, Thor's belt and gauntlets of power, and the apples of youth. Able to shapechange at will, he is said to have impersonated at various times a mare, flea, fly, falcon, seal, and an old crone. As a mare he gave birth to Odin's horse Sleipnir. He also allegedly sired the serpent Midgard, the mistress of the netherworld, Hel, and the wolf Fenrir, who will devour the sun at Ragnarok. *longbow of diana This legendary bow grants ESP when carried and can reflect magical attacks when wielded. When invoked it provides a supply of arrows. # long worm -- see "worm" looking glass mirror But as Snow White grew, she became more and more beautiful, and by the time she was seven years old she was as beautiful as the day and more beautiful than the queen herself. One day when the queen said to her mirror: "Mirror, Mirror, here I stand. Who is the fairest in the land?" - the mirror replied: "You, O Queen, are the fairest here, But Snow White is a thousand times more fair." [ Snow White, by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm ] lord carnarvon Lord Carnarvon was a personality who could have been produced nowhere but in England, a mixture of sportsman and collector, gentleman and world traveler, a realist in action and a romantic in feeling. ... In 1903 he went for the first time to Egypt in search of a mild climate and while there visited the excavation sites of several archaeological expeditions. ... In 1906 he began his own excavations. [ Gods, Graves, and Scholars, by C. W. Ceram ] lord sato Lord Sato was the family head of the Taro Clan, and a mighty daimyo. He is a loyal servant of the Emperor, and will do everything in his power to further the imperial cause. lord surt* Yet first was the world in the southern region, which was named Muspell; it is light and hot; that region is glowing and burning, and impassable to such as are outlanders and have not their holdings there. He who sits there at the land's-end, to defend the land, is called Surtr; he brandishes a flaming sword, and at the end of the world he shall go forth and harry, and overcome all the gods, and burn all the world with fire. [ The Prose Edda, by Snorri Sturluson ] lug* Lugh, or Lug, was the sun god of the Irish Celts. One of his weapons was a rod-sling which worshippers sometimes saw in the sky as a rainbow. As a tribal god, he was particularly skilled in the use of his massive, invincible spear, which fought on its own accord. One of his epithets is _lamfhada_ (of the long arm). He was a young and apparently more attractive deity than Dagda, the father of the gods. Being able to shapeshift, his name translates as lynx. lurker* These dungeon scavengers are very adept at blending into the surrounding walls and ceilings of the dungeon due to the stone-like coloring of their skin. lycanthrope were* human were* *were In 1573, the Parliament of Dole published a decree, permitting the inhabitants of the Franche-Comte to pursue and kill a were-wolf or loup-garou, which infested that province, "notwithstanding the existing laws concerning the chase." The people were empowered to "assemble with javelins, halberds, pikes, arquebuses and clubs, to hunt and pursue the said were-wolf in all places where they could find it, and to take, burn, and kill it, without incurring any fine or other penalty." The hunt seems to have been successful, if we may judge from the fact that the same tribunal in the following year condemned to be burned a man named Giles Garnier, who ran on all fours in the forest and fields and devoured little children, "even on Friday." The poor lycanthrope, it appears, had as slight respect for ecclesiastical feasts as the French pig, which was not restrained by any feeling of piety from eating infants on a fast day. [ The History of Vampires, by Dudley Wright ] lynx To dream of seeing a lynx, enemies are undermining your business and disrupting your home affairs. For a woman, this dream indicates that she has a wary woman rivaling her in the affections of her lover. If she kills the lynx, she will overcome her rival. [ 10,000 Dreams Interpreted, by Gustavus Hindman Miller ] magic marker The pen is mightier than the sword. [ Richelieu, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton ] magic mirror of merlin This powerful mirror was created by Merlin, the druid, in ages past, when trees sang and rocks danced. It protects all who carry it from magic missiles, and gives them ESP. mail d*emon It is rumoured that these strange creatures can be harmed by domesticated canines only. ma*annan* Normally called Manannan, Ler's son was the patron of merchants and sailors. Manannan had a sword which never failed to slay, a boat which propelled itself wherever its owner wished, a horse which was swifter than the wind, and magic armour which no sword could pierce. He later became god of the sea, beneath which he lived in Tir na nOc, the underworld. manes The gnats of the dungeon, these swarming monsters are rarely seen alone. marduk First insisting on recognition as supreme commander, Marduk defeated the Dragon, cut her body in two, and from it created heaven and earth, peopling the world with human beings who not unnaturally showed intense gratitude for their lives. The gods were also properly grateful, invested him with many titles, and eventually permitted themselves to be embodied in him, so that he became supreme god, plotting the whole course of known life from the paths of the planets to the daily events in the lives of men. [ The Immortals, by Derek and Julia Parker ] marilith The marilith has a torso shaped like that of a human female, and the lower body of a great snake. It has multiple arms, and can freely attack with all of them. Since it is intelligent enough to use weapons, this means it can cause great damage. mars The god of war, and one of the most prominent and worshipped gods. In early Roman history he was a god of spring, growth in nature, and fertility, and the protector of cattle. Mars is also mentioned as a chthonic god (earth-god) and this could explain why he became a god of death and finally a god of war. He is the son of Jupiter and Juno. [ Encyclopedia Mythica, ed. M.F. Lindemans ] master assassin He strolled down the stairs, followed by a number of assassins. When he was directly in front of Ymor he said: "I've come for the tourist." ... "One step more and you'll leave here with fewer eyeballs than you came with," said the thiefmaster. "So sit down and have a drink, Zlorf, and let's talk about this sensibly. _I_ thought we had an agreement. You don't rob -- I don't kill. Not for payment, that is," he added after a pause. Zlorf took the proffered beer. "So?" he said. "I'll kill him. Then you rob him. Is he that funny looking one over there?" "Yes." Zlorf stared at Twoflower, who grinned at him. He shrugged. He seldom wasted time wondering why people wanted other people dead. It was just a living. "Who is your client, may I ask?" said Ymor. Zlorf held up a hand. "Please!" he protested. "Professional etiquette." [ The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett ] master key of thievery This skeleton key was fashioned in ages past and imbued with a powerful magic which allows it to open any lock. When carried, it grants its owner warning, teleport control, and reduces all physical damage by half. Finally, when invoked, it has the ability to disarm any trap. master of thieves There was a flutter of wings at the window. Ymor shifted his bulk out of the chair and crossed the room, coming back with a large raven. After he'd unfastened the message capsule from its leg it flew up to join its fellows lurking among the rafters. Withel regarded it without love. Ymor's ravens were notoriously loyal to their master, to the extent that Withel's one attempt to promote himself to the rank of greatest thief in Ankh-Morpork had cost their master's right hand man his left eye. But not his life, however. Ymor never grudged a man his ambitions. [ The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett ] mastodon Any large, elephantlike mammal of the genera Mammut, Mastodon, etc., from the Oligocene and Pleistocene epochs, having conical projections on the molar teeth. [ Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language ] meat* huge chunk of meat Some hae meat and canna eat, And some would eat that want it; But we hae meat, and we can eat, Sae let the Lord be thankit. [ Grace Before Meat, by Robert Burns ] medusa Medusa, one of the three Gorgons or Graeae, is the only one of her sisters to have assumed mortal form and inhabited the dungeon world. When Perseus was grown up Polydectes sent him to attempt the conquest of Medusa, a terrible monster who had laid waste the country. She was once a beautiful maiden whose hair was her chief glory, but as she dared to vie in beauty with Minerva, the goddess deprived her of her charms and changed her beautiful ringlets into hissing serpents. She became a cruel monster of so frightful an aspect that no living thing could behold her without being turned into stone. All around the cavern where she dwelt might be seen the stony figures of men and animals which had chanced to catch a glimpse of her and had been petrified with the sight. Perseus, favoured by Minerva and Mercury, the former of whom lent him her shield and the latter his winged shoes, approached Medusa while she slept and taking care not to look directly at her, but guided by her image reflected in the bright shield which he bore, he cut off her head and gave it to Minerva, who fixed it in the middle of her Aegis. [ Bulfinch's Mythology, by Thomas Bulfinch ] melon "What is it, Umbopa, son of a fool?" I shouted in Zulu. "It is food and water, Macumazahn," and again he waved the green thing. Then I saw what he had got. It was a melon. We had hit upon a patch of wild melons, thousands of them, and dead ripe. "Melons!" I yelled to Good, who was next me; and in another second he had his false teeth fixed in one. I think we ate about six each before we had done, and, poor fruit as they were, I doubt if I ever thought anything nicer. [ King Solomon's Mines, by H. Rider Haggard ] mercury Roman god of commerce, trade and travellers. He is commonly depicted carrying a caduceus (a staff with two snakes intertwining around it) and a purse. *mimic The ancestors of the modern day chameleon, these creatures can assume the form of anything in their surroundings. They may assume the shape of objects or dungeon features. Unlike the chameleon though, which assumes the shape of another creature and goes in hunt of food, the mimic waits patiently for its meals to come in search of it. *mind flayer This creature has a humanoid body, tentacles around its covered mouth, and three long fingers on each hand. Mind flayers are telepathic, and love to devour intelligent beings, especially humans. If they hit their victim with a tentacle, the mind flayer will slowly drain it of all intelligence, eventually killing its victim. mine* Made by Dwarfs. The Rule here is that the Mine is either long deserted or at most is inhabited by a few survivors who will make confused claims to have been driven out/decimated by humans/ other Dwarfs/Minions of the Dark Lord. Inhabited or not, this Mine will be very complex, with many levels of galleries, beautifully carved and engineered. What was being mined here is not always evident, but at least some of the time it will appear to have been Jewels, since it is customary to find unwanted emeralds, etc., still embedded in the rock of the walls. Metal will also be present, but only when made up into armor and weapons (_wondrous_). [ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ] minotaur The Minotaur was a monster, half bull, half human, the offspring of Minos' wife Pasiphae and a wonderfully beautiful bull. ... When the Minotaur was born Minos did not kill him. He had Daedalus, a great architect and inventor, construct a place of confinement for him from which escape was impossible. Daedalus built the Labyrinth, famous throughout the world. Once inside, one would go endlessly along its twisting paths without ever finding the exit. [ Mythology, by Edith Hamilton ] mit*ra* Originating in India (Mitra), Mithra is a god of light who was translated into the attendant of the god Ahura Mazda in the light religion of Persia; from this he was adopted as the Roman deity Mithras. He is not generally regarded as a sky god but a personification of the fertilizing power of warm, light air. According to the _Avesta_, he possesses 10,000 eyes and ears and rides in a chariot drawn by white horses. Mithra, according to Zarathustra, is concerned with the endless battle between light and dark forces: he represents truth. He is responsible for the keeping of oaths and contracts. He is attributed with the creation of both plants and animals. His chief adversary is Ahriman, the power of darkness. [ The Encyclopaedia of Myths and Legends of All Nations, by Herbert Spencer Robinson and Knox Wilson ] *mithril* _Mithril_! All folk desired it. It could be beaten like copper, and polished like glass; and the Dwarves could make of it a metal, light and yet harder than tempered steel. Its beauty was like to that of common silver, but the beauty of _mithril_ did not tarnish or grow dim. [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] *mitre of holiness This helm of brilliance performs all of the normal functions of a helm of brilliance, but also has the ability to protect anyone who carries it from fire. When invoked, it boosts the energy of the invoker, allowing them to cast more spells. mjollnir Forged by the dwarves Eitri and Brokk, in response to Loki's challenge, Mjollnir is an indestructible war hammer. It has two magical properties: when thrown it always returned to Thor's hand; and it could be made to shrink in size until it could fit inside Thor's shirt. Its only flaw is that it has a short handle. The other gods judged Mjollnir the winner of the contest because, of all the treasures created, it alone had the power to protect them from the giants. As the legends surrounding Mjollnir grew, it began to take on the quality of "vigja", or consecration. Thor used it to consecrate births, weddings, and even to raise his goats from the dead. In the Norse mythologies Mjollnir is considered to represent Thor's governance over the entire cycle of life - fertility, birth, destruction, and resurrection. ~slime mold *mold Mold, multicellular organism of the division Fungi, typified by plant bodies composed of a network of cottony filaments. The colors of molds are due to spores borne on the filaments. Most molds are saprophytes. Some species (e.g., penicillium) are used in making cheese and antibiotics. [ The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia ] mol?ch And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people. [ Leviticus 20:1-5 ] monk * monk grand master master kaen One day, an army general invited the Buddhist monk I-Hsiu (literally, "One Rest") to his military head office for a dinner. I-Hsiu was not accustomed to wearing luxurious clothings and so he just put on an old ordinary casual robe to go to the military base. To him, "form is void". As he approached the base, two soldiers appeared before him and shouted, "Where does this beggar came from? Identify yourself! You do not have permission to be around here!" "My name is I-Hsiu Dharma Master. I am invited by your general for a supper." The two soldiers examined the monk closely and said, "You liar. How come my general invites such a shabby monk to dinner? He invites the very solemn venerable I-Hsiu to our base for a great ceremony today, not you. Now, get out!" I-Hsiu was unable to convince the soldiers that he was indeed the invited guest, so he returned to the temple and changed to a very formal solemn ceremonial robe for the dinner. And as he returned to the military base, the soldiers observed that he was such a great Buddhist monk, let him in with honour. At the dinner, I-Hsiu sat in front of the table full of food but, instead of putting the food into his month, he picked up the food with his chopsticks and put it into his sleeves. The general was curious, and whispered to him, "This is very embarrassing. Do you want to take some food back to the temple? I will order the cook to prepare some take out orders for you." "No" replied the monk. "When I came here, I was not allowed into the base by your soldiers until I wear this ceremonial robe. You do not invite me for a dinner. You invite my robe. Therefore, my robe is eating the food, not me." [ Dining with a General - a Zen Buddhism Koan ] monkey "Listen, man-cub," said the Bear, and his voice rumbled like thunder on a hot night. "I have taught thee all the Law of the Jungle for all the peoples of the jungle--except the Monkey-Folk who live in the trees. They have no law. They are outcasts. They have no speech of their own, but use the stolen words which they overhear when they listen, and peep, and wait up above in the branches. Their way is not our way. They are without leaders. They have no remembrance. They boast and chatter and pretend that they are a great people about to do great affairs in the jungle, but the falling of a nut turns their minds to laughter and all is forgotten. We of the jungle have no dealings with them. We do not drink where the monkeys drink; we do not go where the monkeys go; we do not hunt where they hunt; we do not die where they die...." [ The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling ] mumak* ... the Mumak of Harad was indeed a beast of vast bulk, and the like of him does not walk now in Middle-Earth; his kin that live still in latter days are but memories of his girth and majesty. On he came, ... his great legs like trees, enormous sail-like ears spread out, long snout upraised like a huge serpent about to strike, his small red eyes raging. His upturned hornlike tusks ... dripped with blood. [ The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] *mummy But for an account of the manner in which the body was bandaged, and a list of the unguents and other materials employed in the process, and the words of power which were spoken as each bandage was laid in its place, we must have recourse to a very interesting papyrus which has been edited and translated by M. Maspero under the title of Le Rituel de l'Embaumement. ... Everything that could be done to preserve the body was now done, and every member of it was, by means of the words of power which changed perishable substances into imperishable, protected to all eternity; when the final covering of purple or white linen had been fastened upon it, the body was ready for the tomb. [ Egyptian Magic, by E.A. Wallis Budge ] mummy wrapping He held a white cloth -- it was a serviette he had brought with him -- over the lower part of his face, so that his mouth and jaws were completely hidden, and that was the reason for his muffled voice. But it was not that which startled Mrs. Hall. It was the fact that all his forehead above his blue glasses was covered by a white bandage, and that another covered his ears, leaving not a scrap of his face exposed excepting only his pink, peaked nose. It was bright, pink, and shiny just as it had been at first. He wore a dark-brown velvet jacket with a high, black, linen- lined collar turned up about his neck. The thick black hair, escaping as it could below and between the cross bandages, project in curious tails and horns, giving him the strangest appearance conceivable. [ The Invisible Man, by H.G. Wells ] *naga* *naja* The naga is a mystical creature with the body of a snake and the head of a man or woman. They will fiercely protect the territory they consider their own. Some nagas can be forced to serve as guardians by a spellcaster of great power. naginata A Japanese pole-arm, fitted with a curved single-edged blade. The blades ranged in length from two to four feet, mounted on shafts about four to five feet long. The naginata were cut with a series of short grooves near to the tang, above which the back edge was thinned, but not sharpened, so that the greater part of the blade was a flattened diamond shape in section. Seen in profile, the curve is slight or non- existent near the tang, becoming more pronounced towards the point. "With his naginata he killed five, but with the sixth it snapped asunder in the midst and, flinging it away, he drew his sword, wielding it in the zigzag style, the interlacing, cross, reversed dragonfly, waterwheel, and eight-sides-at- once styles of fencing and cutting down eight men; but as he brought down the ninth with a mighty blow on the helmet, the blade snapped at the hilt." [ Story of Tsutsui no Jomio Meishu from Tales of Heike ] nalfeshnee Not only do these demons do physical damage with their claws and bite, but they are capable of using magic as well. nalzok Nalzok is Moloch's cunning and unfailingly loyal battle lieutenant, to whom he trusts the command of warfare when he does not wish to exercise it himself. Nalzok is a major demon, known to command the undead. He is hungry for power, and secretly covets Moloch's position. Moloch doesn't trust him, but, trusting his own power enough, chooses to allow Nalzok his position because he is useful. neanderthal* 1. Valley between Duesseldorf and Elberfeld in Germany, where an ancient skull of a prehistoric ancestor to modern man was found. 2. Human(oid) of the race mentioned above. neferet neferet the green Neferet the Green holds office in her hidden tower, only reachable by magical means, where she teaches her apprentices the enigmatic skills of occultism. Despite her many years, she continues to investigate new spells, especially those involving translocation. It is further rumored that when she was an apprentice herself, she accidentally turned her skin green, and has kept it that way ever since. newt (kinds of) small animal, like a lizard, which spends most of its time in the water. [ Oxford's Student's Dictionary of Current English ] "Fillet of a fenny snake, In the cauldron boil and bake; Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg and howlet's wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble." [ Macbeth, by William Shakespeare ] ninja-to A Japanese broadsword. *norn The Norns were the three Norse Fates, or the goddesses of fate. Female giants, they brought the wonderful Golden Age to an end. They cast lots over the cradle of every child that was born, and placed gifts in the cradle. Their names were Urda, Verdandi, and Skuld, representing the past, the present, and the future. Urda and Verdandi were kindly disposed, but Skuld was cruel and savage. Their tasks were to sew the web of fate, to water the sacred ash, Yggdrasil, and to keep it in good condition by placing fresh earth around it daily. In her fury, Skuld often spoiled the work of her sisters by tearing the web to shreds. [ The Encyclopedia of Myths and Legends of All Nations by Herbert Spencer Robinson and Knox Wilson ] nunchaku A Japanese flail. *nymph A female creature from Roman and Greek mythology, the nymph occupied rivers, forests, ponds, etc. A nymph's beauty is beyond words: an ever-young woman with sleek figure and long, thick hair, radiant skin and perfect teeth, full lips and gentle eyes. A nymph's scent is delightful, and her long robe glows, hemmed with golden threads and embroidered with rainbow hues of unearthly magnificence. A nymph's demeanour is graceful and charming, her mind quick and witty. "Theseus felt her voice pulling him down into fathoms of sleep. The song was the skeleton of his dream, and the dream was full of terror. Demon girls were after him, and a bull- man was goring him. Everywhere there was blood. There was pain. There was fear. But his head was in the nymph's lap and her musk was about him, her voice weaving the dream. He knew then that she had been sent to tell him of something dreadful that was to happen to him later. Her song was a warning. But she had brought him a new kind of joy, one that made him see everything differently. The boy, who was to become a hero, suddenly knew then what most heroes learn later -- and some too late -- that joy blots suffering and that the road to nymphs is beset by monsters." [ The Minotaur by Bernard Evslin ] odin Also called Sigtyr (god of Victory), Val-father (father of the slain), One-Eyed, Hanga-god (god of the hanged), Farma- god (god of cargoes), Hapta-god (god of prisoners), and Othin. He is the prime god of the Norsemen: god of war and victory, wisdom and prophecy, poetry, the dead, air and wind, hospitality, and magic. As the god of war and victory, Odin is ruler of the Valkyries, warrior-maidens who lived in the halls of Valhalla in Asgard, the hall of dead heroes where he held his court. These chosen ones will defend the realm of the gods against the Frost Giants on the final day of reckoning, Ragnarok. As god of the wind, Odin rides through the air on his eight- footed horse, Sleipnir, wielding Gungner, his spear, normally accompanied by his ravens, Hugin and Munin, who he would also use as his spies. As a god of hospitality, he enjoys visiting the earth in disguise to see how people were behaving and to see how they would treat him, not knowing who he was. Odin is usually represented as a one-eyed wise old man with a long white beard and a wide-brimmed hat (he gave one of his eyes to Mimir, the guardian of the well of wisdom in Hel, in exchange for a draught of knowledge). ogre* Anyone who has met a gluttonous, nude, angry ogre, will not easily forget this encounter -- if he survives it at all. Both male and female ogres can easily grow as tall as three metres. Build and facial expressions would remind one of a Neanderthal. Its small, pointy, keen teeth are striking. Since ogres avoid direct sunlight, their ragged, unfurry skin is as white as a sheet. They enjoy coating their body with lard and usually wear nothing but a loin-cloth. An elf would smell its rancid stench at ten metres distance. Ogres are solitary creatures: very rarely one may encounter a female with two or three young. They are the only real carnivores among the humanoids, and its favourite meal is -- not surprisingly -- human flesh. They sometimes ally with orcs or goblins, but only when they anticipate a good meaty meal. [ het Boek van de Regels; Het Oog des Meesters ] oilskin cloak During our watches below we overhauled our clothes, and made and mended everything for bad weather. Each of us had made for himself a suit of oil-cloth or tarpaulin, and these we got out, and gave thorough coatings of oil or tar, and hung upon the stays to dry. Our stout boots, too, we covered over with a thick mixture of melted grease and tar. Thus we took advantage of the warm sun and fine weather of the Pacific to prepare for its other face. [ Two Years Before the Mast, by Richard Henry Dana ] oilskin sack Summer passed all too quickly. On the last day of camp, Mr. Brickle called his counselors together and paid them what he owed them. Louis received one hundred dollars - the first money he had ever earned. He had no wallet and no pockets, so Mr. Brickle placed the money in a waterproof bag that had a drawstring. He hung this moneybag around Louis' neck, along with the trumpet, the slate, the chalk pencil, and the lifesaving medal. [ The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White ] olog-hai But at the end of the Third Age a troll-race not before seen appeared in southern Mirkwood and in the mountain borders of Mordor. Olog-hai they were called in the Black Speech. That Sauron bred them none doubted, though from what stock was not known. Some held that they were not Trolls but giant Orcs; but the Olog-hai were in fashion of body and mind quite unlike even the largest of Orc-kind, whom they far surpassed in size and power. Trolls they were, but filled with the evil will of their master: a fell race, strong, agile, fierce and cunning, but harder than stone. Unlike the older race of the Twilight they could endure the Sun.... They spoke little, and the only tongue they knew was the Black Speech of Barad-dur. [ The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] oracle delphi p*thia Delphi under towering Parnassus, where Apollo's oracle was, plays an important part in mythology. Castalia was its sacred spring; Cephissus its river. It was held to be the center of the world, so many pilgrims came to it, from foreign countries as well as Greece. No other shrine rivaled it. The answers to the questions asked by the anxious seekers for Truth were delivered by a priestess who went into a trance before she spoke. [ Mythology, by Edith Hamilton ] orange pear What was the fruit like? Unfortunately, no one can describe a taste. All I can say is that, compared with those fruits, the freshest grapefruit you've ever eaten was dull, and the juiciest orange was dry, and the most melting pear was hard and woody, and the sweetest wild strawberry was sour. And there were no seeds or stones, and no wasps. If you had once eaten that fruit, all the nicest things in this world would taste like medicines after it. But I can't describe it. You can't find out what it is like unless you can get to that country and taste it for yourself. [ The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis ] pyrolisk At first glance around the corner, I thought it was another cockatrice. I had encountered the wretched creatures two or three times since leaving the open area. I quickly ducked my head back and considered what to do next. My heart had begun to thump audibly as I patted my pack to make sure I still had the dead lizards at close reach. A check of my attire showed no obvious holes or damage. I had to keep moving. One deep breath, and a count of three, two, one, and around the corner I bolted. But it was no cockatrice! I felt a sudden intense searing of the skin around my face, and flames began to leap from my pack. I tossed it to the ground, and quickly retreated back, around that corner, desperately striving to get out of its sight. *orb of detection This Orb is a crystal ball of exceptional powers. When carried, it grants ESP, limits damage done by spells, and protects the carrier from magic missiles. When invoked it allows the carrier to become invisible. orb of fate Some say that Odin himself created this ancient crystal ball, although others argue that Loki created it and forged Odin's signature on the bottom. In any case, it is a powerful artifact. Anyone who carries it is granted the gift of warning, and damage, both spell and physical, is partially absorbed by the orb itself. When invoked it has the power to teleport the invoker between levels. goblin king orcrist The Great Goblin gave a truly awful howl of rage when he looked at it, and all his soldiers gnashed their teeth, clashed their shields, and stamped. They knew the sword at once. It had killed hundreds of goblins in its time, when the fair elves of Gondolin hunted them in the hills or did battle before their walls. They had called it Orcrist, Goblin-cleaver, but the goblins called it simply Biter. They hated it and hated worse any one that carried it. [ The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] orcus Orcus, Prince of the Undead, has a ram's head and a poison stinger. He is most feared, though, for his powerful magic abilities. His wand causes death to those he chooses. ~orc ??m* ~orcish barbarian ~orcish ranger ~orcish rogue ~orcish wizard orc* * orc uruk*hai Orcs, bipeds with a humanoid appearance, are related to the goblins, but much bigger and more dangerous. The average orc is only moderately intelligent, has broad, muscled shoulders, a short neck, a sloping forehead and a thick, dark fur. Their lower eye-teeth are pointing forward, like a boar's. Female orcs are more lightly built and bare-chested. Not needing any clothing, they do like to dress in variegated apparels. Suspicious by nature, orcs live in tribes or hordes. They tend to live underground as well as above ground (but they dislike sunlight). Orcs can use all weapons, tools and armours that are used by men. Since they don't have the talent to fashion these themselves, they are constantly hunting for them. There is nothing a horde of orcs cannot use. [ het Boek van de Regels; Het Oog des Meesters ] orion sirius Orion was the son of Neptune. He was a handsome giant and a mighty hunter. His father gave him the power of wading through the depths of the sea, or, as others say, of walking on its surface. He dwelt as a hunter with Diana (Artemis), with whom he was a favourite, and it is even said she was about to marry him. Her brother was highly displeased and often chid her, but to no purpose. One day, observing Orion wading through the sea with his head just above the water, Apollo pointed it out to his sister and maintained that she could not hit that black thing on the sea. The archer-goddess discharged a shaft with fatal aim. The waves rolled the dead body of Orion to the land, and bewailing her fatal error with many tears, Diana placed him among the stars, where he appears as a giant, with a girdle, sword, lion's skin, and club. Sirius, his dog, follows him, and the Pleiads fly before him. [ Bulfinch's Mythology, by Thomas Bulfinch ] osaku The osaku is a small tool for picking locks. owlbear Owlbears are probably the crossbreed creation of a demented wizard; given the lethal nature of this creation, it is quite likely the wizard who created them is no longer alive. As the name might already suggest, owlbears are a cross between a giant owl and a bear. They are covered with fur and feathers. panther And lo! almost where the ascent began, A panther light and swift exceedingly, Which with a spotted skin was covered o'er! And never moved she from before my face, Nay, rather did impede so much my way, That many times I to return had turned. [ Dante's Inferno, as translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ] pelias Conan cried out sharply and recoiled, thrusting his companion back. Before them rose the great shimmering white form of Satha, an ageless hate in its eyes. Conan tensed himself for one mad berserker onslaught -- to thrust the glowing faggot into that fiendish countenance and throw his life into the ripping sword- stroke. But the snake was not looking at him. It was glaring over his shoulder at the man called Pelias, who stood with his arms folded, smiling. And in the great, cold, yellow eyes slowly the hate died out in a glitter of pure fear -- the only time Conan ever saw such an expression in a reptile's eyes. With a swirling rush like the sweep of a strong wind, the great snake was gone. "What did he see to frighten him?" asked Conan, eyeing his companion uneasily. "The scaled people see what escapes the mortal eye," answered Pelias cryptically. "You see my fleshy guise, he saw my naked soul." [ Conan the Usurper, by Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp ] pick*ax* The mine is full of holes; With the wound of pickaxes. But look at the goldsmith's store. There, there is gold everywhere. [ Divan-i Kebir Meter 2, by Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi ] *piercer Ye Piercer doth look like unto a stalactyte, and hangeth from the roofs of caves and caverns. Unto the height of a man, and thicker than a man's thigh do they grow, and in groups do they hang. If a creature doth pass beneath them, they will by its heat and noise perceive it, and fall upon it to kill and devour it, though in any other way they move but exceeding slow. [ the Bestiary of Xygag ] piranha They live in "schools." Many times they will wait for prey to come to the shallow water of the river. Then the large group of piranhas will attack. These large groups are able to kill large animals... Their lower teeth fit perfectly into the spaces of their upper teeth, creating a tremendous vice-like bite... Piranhas are attracted to any disturbance in the water. [ http://www.animalsoftherainforest.com ] pit spiked pit Amid the thought of the fiery destruction that impended, the idea of the coolness of the well came over my soul like balm. I rushed to its deadly brink. I threw my straining vision below. The glare from the enkindled roof illumined its inmost recesses. Yet, for a wild moment, did my spirit refuse to comprehend the meaning of what I saw. At length it forced -- it wrestled its way into my soul -- it burned itself in upon my shuddering reason. Oh! for a voice to speak! -- oh! horror! -- oh! any horror but this! [ The Pit and the Pendulum, by Edgar Allan Poe ] pit fiend Pit fiends are among the more powerful of devils, capable of attacking twice with weapons as well as grabbing and crushing the life out of those unwary enough to enter their domains. platinum yendorian express card This is an ancient artifact made of an unknown material. It is rectangular in shape, very thin, and inscribed with unreadable ancient runes. When carried, it grants the one who carries it ESP, and reduces all spell induced damage done to the carrier by half. It also protects from magic missile attacks. Finally, its power is such that when invoked, it can charge other objects. pony Hey! now! Come hoy now! Whither do you wander? Up, down, near or far, here, there or yonder? Sharp-ears, Wise-nose, Swish-tail and Bumpkin, White-socks my little lad, and old Fatty Lumpkin! [...] Tom called them one by one and they climbed over the brow and stood in a line. Then Tom bowed to the hobbits. "Here are your ponies, now!" he said. "They've more sense (in some ways) than you wandering hobbits have -- more sense in their noses. For they sniff danger ahead which you walk right into; and if they run to save themselves, then they run the right way." [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] *portal Portals can be Mirrors, Pictures, Standing Stones, Stone Circles, Windows, and special gates set up for the purpose. You will travel through them both to distant parts of the continent and to and from our own world. The precise manner of their working is a Management secret. [ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ] poseido*n Poseido(o)n, lord of the seas and father of rivers and fountains, was the son of Chronos and Rhea, brother of Zeus, Hades, Hera, Hestia and Demeter. His rank of ruler of the waves he received by lot at the Council Meeting of the Gods, at which Zeus took the upper world for himself and gave dominion over the lower world to Hades. Poseidon is associated in many ways with horses and thus is the god of horses. He taught men how to ride and manage the animal he invented and is looked upon as the originator and guardian deity of horse races. His symbol is the familiar trident or three-pronged spear with which he can split rocks, cause or quell storms, and shake the earth, a power which makes him the god of earthquakes as well. Physically, he is shown as a strong and powerful ruler, every inch a king. [ The Encyclopedia of Myths and Legends of All Nations, by Herbert Robinson and Knox Wilson ] *potion* POTABLE, n. Suitable for drinking. Water is said to be potable; indeed, some declare it our natural beverage, although even they find it palatable only when suffering from the recurrent disorder known as thirst, for which it is a medicine. Upon nothing has so great and diligent ingenuity been brought to bear in all ages and in all countries, except the most uncivilized, as upon the invention of substitutes for water. To hold that this general aversion to that liquid has no basis in the preservative instinct of the race is to be unscientific -- and without science we are as the snakes and toads. [ The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce ] priest* * priest* acolyte [...] For the two priests were talking exactly like priests, piously, with learning and leisure, about the most aerial enigmas of theology. The little Essex priest spoke the more simply, with his round face turned to the strengthening stars; the other talked with his head bowed, as if he were not even worthy to look at them. But no more innocently clerical conversation could have been heard in any white Italian cloister or black Spanish cathedral. The first he heard was the tail of one of Father Brown's sentences, which ended: "... what they really meant in the Middle Ages by the heavens being incorruptible." The taller priest nodded his bowed head and said: "Ah, yes, these modern infidels appeal to their reason; but who can look at those millions of worlds and not feel that there may well be wonderful universes above us where reason is utterly unreasonable?" [ The Innocence of Father Brown, by G.K. Chesterton ] prisoner Where am I? In the Village. What do you want? Information. Whose side are you on? That would be telling. We want information ... information ... You won't get it. By hook or by crook, we will. Who are you? The new Number 2. Who is Number 1? You are Number 6. I am not a number! I am a free man! [ The Prisoner, by Patrick McGoohan ] ptah Known under various names (Nu, Neph, Cenubis, Amen-Kneph, Khery-Bakef), Ptah is the creator god and god of craftsmen. He is usually depicted as wearing a closely fitting robe with only his hands free. His most distinctive features are the invariable skull-cap exposing only his face and ears, and the _was_ or rod of domination which he holds, consisting of a staff surmounted by the _ankh_ symbol of life. He is otherwise symbolized by his sacred animal, the bull. *purple worm A gargantuan version of the harmless rain-worm, the purple worm poses a huge threat to the ordinary adventurer. It is known to swallow whole and digest its victims within only a few minutes. These worms are always on guard, sensitive to the most minute vibrations in the earth, but may also be awakened by a remote shriek. quadruped The woodlands and other regions are inhabited by multitudes of four-legged creatures which cannot be simply classified. They might not have fiery breath or deadly stings, but adventurers have nevertheless met their end numerous times due to the claws, hooves, or bites of such animals. quantum mechanic These creatures are not native to this universe; they seem to have strangely derived powers, and unknown motives. quasit Quasits are small, evil creatures, related to imps. Their talons release a very toxic poison when used in an attack. quest Many, possibly most, Tours are organized as a Quest. This is like a large-scale treasure hunt, with clues scattered all over the continent, a few false leads, Mystical Masters as game-show hosts, and the Dark Lord and the Terrain to make the Quest interestingly difficult. [...] In order to be assured of your future custom, the Management has a further Rule: Tourists, far from being rewarded for achieving their Quest Object, must then go on to conquer the Dark Lord or set about Saving the World, or both. And why not? By then you will have had a lot of practice in that sort of thing and, besides, the Quest Object is usually designed to help you do it. [ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ] quetzalcoatl One of the principal Aztec-Toltec gods was the great and wise Quetzalcoatl, who was called Kukumatz in Guatemala, and Kukulcan in Yucatan. His image, the plumed serpent, is found on both the oldest and the most recent Indian edifices. ... The legend tells how the Indian deity Quetzalcoatl came from the "Land of the Rising Sun". He wore a long white robe and had a beard; he taught the people crafts and customs and laid down wise laws. He created an empire in which the ears of corn were as long as men are tall, and caused bolls of colored cotton to grow on cotton plants. But for some reason or other he had to leave his empire. ... But all the legends of Quetzalcoatl unanimously agree that he promised to come again. [ Gods, Graves, and Scholars, by C. W. Ceram ] quit* Maltar: [...] I remembered a little saying I learned my first day at the academy. Natalie: Yeah, yeah, I know. Winners never quit and quitters never win. Maltar: What? No! Winners never quit and quitters should be cast into the flaming pit of death. [ Snow Day, directed by Chris Koch, written by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi ] raijin raiden The god of thunder. ranger * ranger "Lonely men are we, Rangers of the wild, hunters -- but hunters ever of the servants of the Enemy; for they are found in many places, not in Mordor only. If Gondor, Boromir, has been a stalwart tower, we have played another part. Many evil things there are that your strong walls and bright swords do not stay. You know little of the lands beyond your bounds. Peace and freedom, do you say? The North would have known them little but for us. Fear would have destroyed them. But when dark things come from the houseless hills, or creep from sunless woods, they fly from us. What roads would any dare to tread, what safety would there be in quiet lands, or in the homes of simple men at night, if the Dunedain were asleep, or were all gone into the grave?" [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] rat * rat Rats are long-tailed rodents. They are aggressive, omnivorous, and adaptable, often carrying diseases. "The rat," said O'Brien, still addressing his invisible audience, "although a rodent, is carnivorous. You are aware of that. You will have heard of the things that happen in the poor quarters of this town. In some streets a woman dare not leave her baby alone in the house, even for five minutes. The rats are certain to attack it. Within quite a small time they will strip it to the bones. They also attack sick or dying people. They show astonishing intelligence in knowing when a human being is helpless." [ 1984, by George Orwell ] raven But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing further then he uttered -- not a feather then he fluttered-- Till I scarcely more than muttered, 'other friends have flown before-- On the morrow *he* will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.' Then the bird said, 'Nevermore.' [ The Raven - Edgar Allan Poe ] *ring ring of * Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] robe Robes are the only garments, apart from Shirts, ever to have sleeves. They have three uses: 1. As the official uniform of Priests, Priestesses, Monks, Nuns (see Nunnery), and Wizards. The OMT [ Official Management Term ] prescribed for the Robes of Priests and Nuns is that they _fall in severe folds_; of Priestesses that they _float_; and of Wizards that they _swirl_. You can thus see who you are dealing with. 2. For Kings. The OMT here is _falling in stately folds_. 3. As the garb of Desert Nomads. [...] [ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ] rock Bilbo saw that the moment had come when he must do something. He could not get up at the brutes and he had nothing to shoot with; but looking about he saw that in this place there were many stones lying in what appeared to be a now dry little watercourse. Bilbo was a pretty fair shot with a stone, and it did not take him long to find a nice smooth egg-shaped one that fitted his hand cosily. As a boy he used to practise throwing stones at things, until rabbits and squirrels, and even birds, got out of his way as quick as lightning if they saw him stoop; and even grownup he had still spent a deal of his time at quoits, dart-throwing, shooting at the wand, bowls, ninepins and other quiet games of the aiming and throwing sort - indeed he could do lots of things, besides blowing smoke-rings, asking riddles and cooking, that I haven't time to tell you about. There is no time now. While he was picking up stones, the spider had reached Bombur, and soon he would have been dead. At that moment Bilbo threw. The stone struck the spider plunk on the head, and it dropped senseless off the tree, flop to the ground, with all its legs curled up. [ The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] rock mole A rock mole is a member of the rodent family. They get their name from their ability to tunnel through rock in the same fashion that a mole tunnels through earth. They are known to eat anything they come across in their diggings, although it is still unknown how they convert some of these things into something of nutritional value. rogue * rogue I understand the business, I hear it: to have an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, is necessary for a cut-purse; a good nose is requisite also, to smell out work for the other senses. I see this is the time that the unjust man doth thrive. <...> The prince himself is about a piece of iniquity, stealing away from his father with his clog at his heels: if I thought it were a piece of honesty to acquaint the king withal, I would not do't: I hold it the more knavery to conceal it; and therein am I constant to my profession. [ Autolycus the Rogue, from The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare ] rothe The rothe (pronounced roth-AY) is a musk ox-like creature with an aversion to light. It prefers to live underground near lichen and moss. *royal jelly "'Royal Jelly,'" he read aloud, "'must be a substance of tremendous nourishing power, for on this diet alone, the honey-bee larva increases in weight fifteen hundred times in five days!'" "How much?" "Fifteen hundred times, Mabel. And you know what that means if you put it in terms of a human being? It means," he said, lowering his voice, leaning forward, fixing her with those small pale eyes, "it means that in five days a baby weighing seven and a half pounds to start off with would increase in weight to five tons!" [ Royal Jelly, by Roald Dahl ] rust monster These strange creatures live on a diet of metals. They can turn a suit of armour into so much useless rusted scrap in no time at all. *saber *sabre Flashed all their sabres bare, Flashed as they turned in air, Sab'ring the gunners there, Charging an army, while All the world wondered: Plunged in the battery smoke, Right through the line they broke; Cossack and Russian Reeled from the sabre-stroke Shattered and sundered. Then they rode back, but not-- Not the six hundred. [ The Charge of the Light Brigade, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson ] saddle The horseman serves the horse, The neat-herd serves the neat, The merchant serves the purse, The eater serves his meat; 'Tis the day of the chattel, Web to weave, and corn to grind, Things are in the saddle, And ride mankind. [ Ode, by Ralph Waldo Emerson ] sake Japanese rice wine. salamander For hundreds of years, many people believed that salamanders were magical. In England in the Middle Ages, people thought that fire created salamanders. When they set fire to damp logs, dozens of the slimy creatures scurried out. The word salamander, in fact, comes from a Greek word meaning "fire animal". [ Salamanders, by Cherie Winner ] samurai * samurai By that time, Narahara had already slipped his arm from the sleeve of his outer robe, drew out his two-and-a-half-foot Fujiwara Tadahiro sword, and, brandishing it over his head, began barreling toward the foreigners. In less than a minute, he had charged upon them and cut one of them through the torso. The man fled, clutching his bulging guts, finally to fall from his horse at the foot of a pine tree about a thousand yards away. Kaeda Takeji finished him off. The other two Englishmen were severely wounded as they tried to flee. Only the woman managed to escape virtually unscathed. [ The Fox-horse, from Drunk as a Lord, by Ryotaro Shiba ] sandestin Ildefonse left the terrace and almost immediately sounds of contention came from the direction of the work-room. Ildefonse presently returned to the terrace, followed by Osherl and a second sandestin using the guise of a gaunt blue bird-like creature, some six feet in height. Ildefonse spoke in scathing tones: "Behold these two creatures! They can roam the chronoplex as easily as you or I can walk around the table; yet neither has the wit to announce his presence upon arrival. I found Osherl asleep in his fulgurite and Sarsem perched in the rafters." [...] "No matter," said Rhialto. "He has brought Sarsem, and this was his requirement. In the main, Osherl, you have done well!" "And my indenture point?" "Much depends upon Sarsem's testimony. Sarsem, will you sit?" "In this guise, I find it more convenient to stand." "Then why not alter to human form and join us in comfort at the table?" "That is a good idea." Sarsem became a naked young epicene in an integument of lavender scales with puffs of purple hair like pom-poms growing down his back. He seated himself at the table but declined refreshment. "This human semblance, though typical, is after all, only a guise. If I were to put such things inside myself, I might well become uneasy." [ Rhialto the Marvellous, by Jack Vance ] sasquatch The name _Sasquatch_ doesn't really become important in Canada until the 1930s, when it appeared in the works of J. W. Burns, a British Columbian writer who used a great deal of Indian lore in his stories. Burn's Sasquatch was a giant Indian who lived in the wilderness. He was hairy only in the sense that he had long hair on his head, and while this Sasquatch lived a wild and primitive life, he was fully human. Burns's character proved to be quite popular. There was a Sasquatch Inn near the town of Harrison, British Columbia, and Harrison even had a local celebration called "Sasquatch Days." The celebration which had been dormant for years was revived as part of British Columbia's centennial, and one of the events was to be a Sasquatch hunt. The hunt never took place, perhaps it was never supposed to, but the publicity about it did bring out a number of people who said they had encountered a Sasquatch -- not Burns's giant Indian, but the hairy apelike creature that we have all come to know. [ The Encyclopedia of Monsters, by Daniel Cohen ] *sceptre of might This mace was created aeons ago in some unknown cave, and has been passed down from generation to generation of cave dwellers. It is a very mighty mace indeed, and in addition will protect anyone who carries it from magic missile attacks. When invoked, it causes conflict in the area around it. scimitar Oh, how handsome, how noble was the Vizier Ali Tebelin, my father, as he stood there in the midst of the shot, his scimitar in his hand, his face black with powder! How his enemies fled before him! [ The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas ] scorpio* A sub-species of the spider (_Scorpionidae_), the scorpion distinguishes itself from them by having a lower body that ends in a long, jointed tail tapering to a poisonous stinger. They have eight legs and pincers. [ Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal ] scorpius Since early times, the Scorpion has represented death, darkness, and evil. Scorpius is the reputed slayer of Orion the Hunter. [...] The gods put both scorpion and hunter among the stars, but on opposite sides of the sky so they would never fight again. As Scorpius rises in the east, Orion sets in the west. [ 365 Starry Nights, by Chet Raymo ] *scroll scroll * And I was gazing on the surges prone, With many a scalding tear and many a groan, When at my feet emerg'd an old man's hand, Grasping this scroll, and this same slender wand. I knelt with pain--reached out my hand--had grasp'd Those treasures--touch'd the knuckles--they unclasp'd-- I caught a finger: but the downward weight O'erpowered me--it sank. Then 'gan abate The storm, and through chill aguish gloom outburst The comfortable sun. I was athirst To search the book, and in the warming air Parted its dripping leaves with eager care. Strange matters did it treat of, and drew on My soul page after page, till well-nigh won Into forgetfulness; when, stupefied, I read these words, and read again, and tried My eyes against the heavens, and read again. [ Endymion, by John Keats ] shad* Shades are undead creatures. They differ from zombies in that a zombie is an undead animation of a corpse, while a shade is an undead creature magically created by the use of black magic. shaman karnov Making his quarters in the Caves of the Ancestors, Shaman Karnov unceasingly tries to shield his neanderthal people from Tiamat's minions' harassments. shan*lai*ching The Chinese god of Mountains and Seas, also the name of an old book (also Shan Hai Tjing), the book of mountains and seas - which deals with the monster Kung Kung trying to seize power from Yao, the fourth emperor. [ Spectrum Atlas van de Mythologie ] shark As the shark moved, its dark top reflected virtually no light. The denticles on its skin muted the whoosh of its movements as the shark rose, driven by the power of the great tail sweeping from side to side, like a scythe. The fish exploded upward. Charles Bruder felt a slight vacuum tug in the motion of the sea, noted it as a passing current, the pull of a wave, the tickle of undertow. He could not have heard the faint sucking rush of water not far beneath him. He couldn't have seen or heard what was hurtling from the murk at astonishing speed, jaws unhinging, widening, for the enormous first bite. It was the classic attack that no other creature in nature could make -- a bomb from the depths. [ Close to Shore, by Michael Capuzzo ] shito A Japanese stabbing knife. shrieker With a single, savage thrust of her spear, the warrior-woman impaled the fungus, silencing it. However, it was too late: the alarm had been raised[...] Suddenly, a large, dark shape rose from the abyss before them, its fetid bulk looming overhead...The monster was some kind of great dark worm, but that was about all they were sure of. [ The Adventurers, Epic IV, by Thomas A. Miller ] skeleton A skeleton is a magically animated undead creature. Unlike shades, only a humanoid creature can be used to create a skeleton. No one knows why this is true, but it has become an accepted fact amongst the practitioners of the black arts. slasher "That dog belonged to a settler who tried to build his cabin on the bank of the river a few miles south of the fort," grunted Conan. ... "We took him to the fort and dressed his wounds, but after he recovered he took to the woods and turned wild. -- What now, Slasher, are you hunting the men who killed your master?" ... "Let him come," muttered Conan. "He can smell the devils before we can see them." ... Slasher cleared the timbers with a bound and leaped into the bushes. They were violently shaken and then the dog slunk back to Balthus' side, his jaws crimson. ... "He was a man," said Conan. "I drink to his shade, and to the shade of the dog, who knew no fear." He quaffed part of the wine, then emptied the rest upon the floor, with a curious heathen gesture, and smashed the goblet. "The heads of ten Picts shall pay for this, and seven heads for the dog, who was a better warrior than many a man." [ Conan The Warrior, by Robert E Howard ] slime mold Slime mold or slime fungus, organism usually classified with the fungi, but showing equal affinity to the protozoa. Slime molds have complex life cycles with an animal-like motile phase, in which feeding and growth occur, and a plant-like immotile reproductive phase. The motile phase, commonly found under rotting logs and damp leaves, consists of either solitary amoebalike cells or a brightly colored multinucleate mass of protoplasm called a plasmodium, which creeps about and feeds by amoeboid movement. [ The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia ] sling And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. [ 1 Samuel 17:48-50 ] *snake serpent water moccasin python pit viper Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. [ Genesis 3:1-6,13-15 ] snickersnee Ah, never shall I forget the cry, or the shriek that shrieked he, As I gnashed my teeth, and from my sheath I drew my Snickersnee! --Koko, Lord high executioner of Titipu [ The Mikado, by Sir W.S. Gilbert ] sokoban Sokoban (Japanese for "warehouse person") is a puzzle-type game where the player must push around treasure to a goal area. It apparently won first prize in a Japanese programming contest. [ Xsokoban web site ] *soldier sergeant lieutenant captain The soldiers of Yendor are well-trained in the art of war, many trained by the Wizard himself. Some say the soldiers are explorers who were unfortunate enough to be captured, and put under the Wizard's spell. Those who have survived encounters with soldiers say they travel together in platoons, and are fierce fighters. Because of the load of their combat gear, however, one can usually run away from them, and doing so is considered a wise thing. *spear javelin - they come together with great random, and a spear is brast, and one party brake his shield and the other one goes down, horse and man, over his horse-tail and brake his neck, and then the next candidate comes randoming in, and brast his spear, and the other man brast his shield, and down he goes, horse and man, over his horse-tail, and brake his neck, and then there's another elected, and another and another and still another, till the material is all used up; and when you come to figure up results, you can't tell one fight from another, nor who whipped; and as a picture of living, raging, roaring battle, sho! why it's pale and noiseless - just ghosts scuffling in a fog. Dear me, what would this barren vocabulary get out of the mightiest spectacle? - the burning of Rome in Nero's time, for instance? Why, it would merely say 'Town burned down; no insurance; boy brast a window, fireman brake his neck!' Why, that ain't a picture! [ A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, by Mark Twain ] *spellbook* The Book of Three lay closed on the table. Taran had never been allowed to read the volume for himself; now he was sure it held more than Dallben chose to tell him. In the sun- filled room, with Dallben still meditating and showing no sign of stopping, Taran rose and moved through the shimmering beams. From the forest came the monotonous tick of a beetle. His hands reached for the cover. Taran gasped in pain and snatched them away. They smarted as if each of his fingers had been stung by hornets. He jumped back, stumbled against the bench, and dropped to the floor, where he put his fingers woefully into his mouth. Dallben's eyes blinked open. He peered at Taran and yawned slowly. "You had better see Coll about a lotion for those hands," he advised. "Otherwise, I shouldn't be surprised if they blistered." [ The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander ] *spider Eight legged creature capable of spinning webs to trap prey. "You mean you eat flies?" gasped Wilbur. "Certainly. Flies, bugs, grasshoppers, choice beetles, moths, butterflies, tasty cockroaches, gnats, midges, daddy longlegs, centipedes, mosquitoes, crickets - anything that is careless enough to get caught in my web. I have to live, don't I?" "Why, yes, of course," said Wilbur. [ Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White ] *spore *sphere The attack by those who want to die -- this is the attack against which you cannot prepare a perfect defense. --Human aphorism [ The Dosadi Experiment, by Frank Herbert ] ~*aesculapius *staff So they stood, each in his place, neither moving a finger's breadth back, for one good hour, and many blows were given and received by each in that time, till here and there were sore bones and bumps, yet neither thought of crying "Enough," or seemed likely to fall from off the bridge. Now and then they stopped to rest, and each thought that he never had seen in all his life before such a hand at quarterstaff. At last Robin gave the stranger a blow upon the ribs that made his jacket smoke like a damp straw thatch in the sun. So shrewd was the stroke that the stranger came within a hair's breadth of falling off the bridge; but he regained himself right quickly, and, by a dexterous blow, gave Robin a crack on the crown that caused the blood to flow. Then Robin grew mad with anger, and smote with all his might at the other; but the stranger warded the blow, and once again thwacked Robin, and this time so fairly that he fell heels over head into the water, as the queen pin falls in a game of bowls. [ The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, by Howard Pyle ] *staff of aesculapius This staff is considered sacred to all healers, as it truly holds the powers of life and death. When wielded, it protects its user from all life draining attacks, and additionally gives the wielder the power of regeneration. When invoked it performs healing magic. stair* Up he went -- very quickly at first -- then more slowly -- then in a little while even more slowly than that -- and finally, after many minutes of climbing up the endless stairway, one weary foot was barely able to follow the other. Milo suddenly realized that with all his effort he was no closer to the top than when he began, and not a great deal further from the bottom. But he struggled on for a while longer, until at last, completely exhausted, he collapsed onto one of the steps. "I should have known it," he mumbled, resting his tired legs and filling his lungs with air. "This is just like the line that goes on forever, and I'll never get there." "You wouldn't like it much anyway," someone replied gently. "Infinity is a dreadfully poor place. They can never manage to make ends meet." [ The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster ] Dr. Ray Stantz: Hey, where do those stairs go? Dr. Peter Venkman: They go up. [ Ghostbusters, directed by Ivan Reitman, written by Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis ] ~statue trap statue* Then at last he began to wonder why the lion was standing so still - for it hadn't moved one inch since he first set eyes on it. Edmund now ventured a little nearer, still keeping in the shadow of the arch as much as he could. He now saw from the way the lion was standing that it couldn't have been looking at him at all. ("But supposing it turns its head?" thought Edmund.) In fact it was staring at something else - namely a little dwarf who stood with his back to it about four feet away. "Aha!" thought Edmund. "When it springs at the dwarf then will be my chance to escape." But still the lion never moved, nor did the dwarf. And now at last Edmund remembered what the others had said about the White Witch turning people into stone. Perhaps this was only a stone lion. And as soon as he had thought of that he noticed that the lion's back and the top of its head were covered with snow. Of course it must be only a statue! [ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis ] sting There was the usual dim grey light of the forest-day about him when he came to his senses. The spider lay dead beside him, and his sword-blade was stained black. Somehow the killing of the giant spider, all alone and by himself in the dark without the help of the wizard or the dwarves or of anyone else, made a great difference to Mr. Baggins. He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach, as he wiped his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath. "I will give you a name," he said to it, "and I shall call you Sting." [ The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] stormbringer There were sounds in the distance, incongruent with the sounds of even this nameless, timeless sea: thin sounds, agonized and terrible, for all that they remained remote - yet the ship followed them, as if drawn by them; they grew louder - pain and despair were there, but terror was predominant. Elric had heard such sounds echoing from his cousin Yyrkoon's sardonically named 'Pleasure Chambers' in the days before he had fled the responsibilities of ruling all that remained of the old Melnibonean Empire. These were the voices of men whose very souls were under siege; men to whom death meant not mere extinction, but a continuation of existence, forever in thrall to some cruel and supernatural master. He had heard men cry so when his salvation and his nemesis, his great black battle-blade Stormbringer, drank their souls. [ The Lands Beyond the World, by Michael Moorcock ] susano*o The Shinto chthonic and weather god and brother of the sun goddess Amaterasu, he was born from the nose of the primordial creator god Izanagi and represents the physical, material world. He has been expelled from heaven and taken up residence on earth. [ Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan ] tanko Samurai plate armor of the Yamato period (AD 300 - 710). tengu The tengu was the most troublesome creature of Japanese legend. Part bird and part man, with red beak for a nose and flashing eyes, the tengu was notorious for stirring up feuds and prolonging enmity between families. Indeed, the belligerent tengu were supposed to have been man's first instructors in the use of arms. [ Mythical Beasts, by Deirdre Headon (The Leprechaun Library) ] thoth The Egyptian god of the moon and wisdom, Thoth is the patron deity of scribes and of knowledge, including scientific, medical and mathematical writing, and is said to have given mankind the art of hieroglyphic writing. He is important as a mediator and counsellor amongst the gods and is the scribe of the Heliopolis Ennead pantheon. According to mythology, he was born from the head of the god Seth. He may be depicted in human form with the head of an ibis, wholly as an ibis, or as a seated baboon sometimes with its torso covered in feathers. His attributes include a crown which consists of a crescent moon surmounted by a moon disc. Thoth is generally regarded as a benign deity. He is also scrupulously fair and is responsible not only for entering in the record the souls who pass to afterlife, but of adjudicating in the Hall of the Two Truths. The Pyramid Texts reveal a violent side of his nature by which he decapitates the adversaries of truth and wrenches out their hearts. [ Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan ] thoth*amon Men say that he [Thutothmes] has opposed Thoth-Amon, who is master of all priests of Set, and dwells in Luxor, and that Thutothmes seeks hidden power [The Heart of Ahriman] to overthrow the Great One. [ Conan the Conqueror, by Robert E. Howard ] *throne Methought I saw the footsteps of a throne Which mists and vapours from mine eyes did shroud-- Nor view of who might sit thereon allowed; But all the steps and ground about were strown With sights the ruefullest that flesh and bone Ever put on; a miserable crowd, Sick, hale, old, young, who cried before that cloud, "Thou art our king, O Death! to thee we groan." Those steps I clomb; the mists before me gave Smooth way; and I beheld the face of one Sleeping alone within a mossy cave, With her face up to heaven; that seemed to have Pleasing remembrance of a thought foregone; A lovely Beauty in a summer grave! [ Sonnet, by William Wordsworth ] tiger 1. A well-known tropical predator (_Felis tigris_): a feline. It has a yellowish skin with darker spots or stripes. 2. Figurative: _a paper tiger_, something that is meant to scare, but has no really scaring effect whatsoever, (after a statement by Mao Ze Dong, August 1946). [ Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal ] Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? [ The Tyger, by William Blake ] tin tin of * tinning kit "You know salmon, Sarge," said Nobby. "It is a fish of which I am aware, yes." "You know they sell kind of slices of it in tins..." "So I am given to understand, yes." "Weell...how come all the tins are the same size? Salmon gets thinner at both ends." "Interesting point, Nobby. I think-" [ Soul Music, by Terry Pratchett ] tin opener Less than thirty Cat tribes now survived, roaming the cargo decks on their hind legs in a desperate search for food. But the food had gone. The supplies were finished. Weak and ailing, they prayed at the supply hold's silver mountains: huge towering acres of metal rocks which, in their pagan way, the mutant Cats believed watched over them. Amid the wailing and the screeching one Cat stood up and held aloft the sacred icon. The icon which had been passed down as holy, and one day would make its use known. It was a piece of V-shaped metal with a revolving handle on its head. He took down a silver rock from the silver mountain, while the other Cats cowered and screamed at the blasphemy. He placed the icon on the rim of the rock, and turned the handle. And the handle turned. And the rock opened. And inside the rock was Alphabetti spaghetti in tomato sauce. [ Red Dwarf, by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor ] titan Gaea, mother earth, arose from the Chaos and gave birth to Uranus, heaven, who became her consort. Uranus hated all their children, because he feared they might challenge his own authority. Those children, the Titans, the Gigantes, and the Cyclops, were banished to the nether world. Their enraged mother eventually released the youngest titan, Chronos (time), and encouraged him to castrate his father and rule in his place. Later, he too was challenged by his own son, Zeus, and he and his fellow titans were ousted from Mount Olympus. [ Greek Mythology, by Richard Patrick ] touch*stone "Gold is tried by a touchstone, men by gold." [ Chilon (c. 560 BC) ] tourist * tourist The road from Ankh-Morpork to Chrim is high, white and winding, a thirty-league stretch of potholes and half-buried rocks that spirals around mountains and dips into cool green valleys of citrus trees, crosses liana-webbed gorges on creaking rope bridges and is generally more picturesque than useful. Picturesque. That was a new word to Rincewind the wizard (BMgc, Unseen University [failed]). It was one of a number he had picked up since leaving the charred ruins of Ankh-Morpork. Quaint was another one. Picturesque meant -- he decided after careful observation of the scenery that inspired Twoflower to use the word -- that the landscape was horribly precipitous. Quaint, when used to describe the occasional village through which they passed, meant fever- ridden and tumbledown. Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on the discworld. Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant "idiot". [ The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett ] towel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels. A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. [ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams ] *tower Towers (_brooding_, _dark_) stand alone in Waste Areas and almost always belong to Wizards. All are several stories high, round, doorless, virtually windowless, and composed of smooth blocks of masonry that make them very hard to climb. [...] You will have to go to a Tower and then break into it at some point towards the end of your Tour. [ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ] trap*door I knew my Erik too well to feel at all comfortable on jumping into his house. I knew what he had made of a certain palace at Mazenderan. From being the most honest building conceivable, he soon turned it into a house of the very devil, where you could not utter a word but it was overheard or repeated by an echo. With his trap-doors the monster was responsible for endless tragedies of all kinds. [ The Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux ] trapper The trapper is a creature which has evolved a chameleon-like ability to blend into the dungeon surroundings. It captures its prey by remaining very still and blending into the surrounding dungeon features, until an unsuspecting creature passes by. It wraps itself around its prey and digests it. tree I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in Summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree. [ Trees - Joyce Kilmer ] tripe tripe ration If you start from scratch, cooking tripe is a long-drawn-out affair. Fresh whole tripe calls for a minimum of 12 hours of cooking, some time-honored recipes demanding as much as 24. To prepare fresh tripe, trim if necessary. Wash it thoroughly, soaking overnight, and blanch, for 1/2 hour in salted water. Wash well again, drain and cut for cooking. When cooked, the texture of tripe should be like that of soft gristle. More often, alas, because the heat has not been kept low enough, it has the consistency of wet shoe leather. [ Joy of Cooking, by I Rombauer and M Becker ] *troll The troll shambled closer. He was perhaps eight feet tall, perhaps more. His forward stoop, with arms dangling past thick claw-footed legs to the ground, made it hard to tell. The hairless green skin moved upon his body. His head was a gash of a mouth, a yard-long nose, and two eyes which drank the feeble torchlight and never gave back a gleam. [...] Like a huge green spider, the troll's severed hand ran on its fingers. Across the mounded floor, up onto a log with one taloned forefinger to hook it over the bark, down again it scrambled, until it found the cut wrist. And there it grew fast. The troll's smashed head seethed and knit together. He clambered back on his feet and grinned at them. The waning faggot cast red light over his fangs. [ Three Hearts and Three Lions, by Poul Anderson ] *tsurugi of muramasa This most ancient of swords has been passed down through the leadership of the Samurai legions for hundreds of years. It is said to grant luck to its wielder, but its main power is terrible to behold. It has the capability to cut in half any creature it is wielded against, instantly killing them. ~*muramasa tsurugi The tsurugi, also known as the long samurai sword, is an extremely sharp, two-handed blade favored by the samurai. It is made of hardened steel, and is manufactured using a special process, causing it to never rust. The tsurugi is rumored to be so sharp that it can occasionally cut opponents in half! twoflower guide "Rincewind!" Twoflower sprang off the bed. The wizard jumped back, wrenching his features into a smile. "My dear chap, right on time! We'll just have lunch, and then I'm sure you've got a wonderful programme lined up for this afternoon!" "Er --" "That's great!" Rincewind took a deep breath. "Look," he said desperately, "let's eat somewhere else. There's been a bit of a fight down below." "A tavern brawl? Why didn't you wake me up?" "Well, you see, I - _what_?" "I thought I made myself clear this morning, Rincewind. I want to see genuine Morporkian life - the slave market, the Whore Pits, the Temple of Small Gods, the Beggar's Guild... and a genuine tavern brawl." A faint note of suspicion entered Twoflower's voice. "You _do_ have them, don't you? You know, people swinging on chandeliers, swordfights over the table, the sort of thing Hrun the Barbarian and the Weasel are always getting involved in. You know -- _excitement_." [ The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett ] tyr Yet remains that one of the Aesir who is called Tyr: he is most daring, and best in stoutness of heart, and he has much authority over victory in battle; it is good for men of valor to invoke him. It is a proverb, that he is Tyr-valiant, who surpasses other men and does not waver. He is wise, so that it is also said, that he that is wisest is Tyr-prudent. This is one token of his daring: when the Aesir enticed Fenris-Wolf to take upon him the fetter Gleipnir, the wolf did not believe them, that they would loose him, until they laid Tyr's hand into his mouth as a pledge. But when the Aesir would not loose him, then he bit off the hand at the place now called 'the wolf's joint;' and Tyr is one- handed, and is not called a reconciler of men. [ The Prose Edda, by Snorri Sturluson ] *hulk Umber hulks are powerful subterranean predators whose iron-like claws allow them to burrow through solid stone in search of prey. They are tremendously strong; muscles bulge beneath their thick, scaly hides and their powerful arms and legs all end in great claws. *unicorn unicorn horn Men have always sought the elusive unicorn, for the single twisted horn which projected from its forehead was thought to be a powerful talisman. It was said that the unicorn had simply to dip the tip of its horn in a muddy pool for the water to become pure. Men also believed that to drink from this horn was a protection against all sickness, and that if the horn was ground to a powder it would act as an antidote to all poisons. Less than 200 years ago in France, the horn of a unicorn was used in a ceremony to test the royal food for poison. Although only the size of a small horse, the unicorn is a very fierce beast, capable of killing an elephant with a single thrust from its horn. Its fleetness of foot also makes this solitary creature difficult to capture. However, it can be tamed and captured by a maiden. Made gentle by the sight of a virgin, the unicorn can be lured to lay its head in her lap, and in this docile mood, the maiden may secure it with a golden rope. [ Mythical Beasts, by Deirdre Headon (The Leprechaun Library) ] Martin took a small sip of beer. "Almost ready," he said. "You hold your beer awfully well." Tlingel laughed. "A unicorn's horn is a detoxicant. Its possession is a universal remedy. I wait until I reach the warm glow stage, then I use my horn to burn off any excess and keep me right there." [ Unicorn Variations, by Roger Zelazny ] valkyrie * valkyrie The Valkyries were the thirteen choosers of the slain, the beautiful warrior-maids of Odin who rode through the air and over the sea. They watched the progress of the battle and selected the heroes who were to fall fighting. After they were dead, the maidens rewarded the heroes by kissing them and then led their souls to Valhalla, where the warriors lived happily in an ideal existence, drinking and eating without restraint and fighting over again the battles in which they died and in which they had won their deathless fame. [ The Encyclopaedia of Myths and Legends of All Nations, by Herbert Robinson and Knox Wilson ] vampire vampire bat vampire lord The Oxford English Dictionary is quite unequivocal: _vampire_ - "a preternatural being of a malignant nature (in the original and usual form of the belief, a reanimated corpse), supposed to seek nourishment, or do harm, by sucking the blood of sleeping persons. ..." venus Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, was the daughter of Jupiter and Dione. Others say that Venus sprang from the foam of the sea. The zephyr wafted her along the waves to the Isle of Cyprus, where she was received and attired by the Seasons, and then led to the assembly of the gods. All were charmed with her beauty, and each one demanded her for his wife. Jupiter gave her to Vulcan, in gratitude for the service he had rendered in forging thunderbolts. So the most beautiful of the goddesses became the wife of the most ill-favoured of gods. [ Bulfinch's Mythology, by Thomas Bulfinch ] vlad* Vlad Dracula the Impaler was a 15th-Century monarch of the Birgau region of the Carpathian Mountains, in what is now Romania. In Romanian history he is best known for two things. One was his skilled handling of the Ottoman Turks, which kept them from making further inroads into Christian Europe. The other was the ruthless manner in which he ran his fiefdom. He dealt with perceived challengers to his rule by impaling them upright on wooden stakes. Visiting dignitaries who failed to doff their hats had them nailed to their head. *vortex vortices Swirling clouds of pure elemental energies, the vortices are thought to be related to the larger elementals. Though the vortices do no damage when touched, they are noted for being able to envelop unwary travellers. The hapless fool thus swallowed by a vortex will soon perish from exposure to the element the vortex is composed of. vrock The vrock is one of the weaker forms of demon. It resembles a cross between a human being and a vulture and does physical damage by biting and by using the claws on both its arms and feet. wakizashi The samurai warrior traditionally wears two swords; the wakizashi is the shorter of the two. See also katana. wand of * *wand 'Saruman!' he cried, and his voice grew in power and authority. 'Behold, I am not Gandalf the Grey, whom you betrayed. I am Gandalf the White, who has returned from death. You have no colour now, and I cast you from the order and from the Council.' He raised his hand, and spoke slowly in a clear cold voice. 'Saruman, your staff is broken.' There was a crack, and the staff split asunder in Saruman's hand, and the head of it fell down at Gandalf's feet. 'Go!' said Gandalf. With a cry Saruman fell back and crawled away. [ The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] warg Suddenly Aragorn leapt to his feet. "How the wind howls!" he cried. "It is howling with wolf-voices. The Wargs have come west of the Mountains!" "Need we wait until morning then?" said Gandalf. "It is as I said. The hunt is up! Even if we live to see the dawn, who now will wish to journey south by night with the wild wolves on his trail?" "How far is Moria?" asked Boromir. "There was a door south-west of Caradhras, some fifteen miles as the crow flies, and maybe twenty as the wolf runs," answered Gandalf grimly. "Then let us start as soon as it is light tomorrow, if we can," said Boromir. "The wolf that one hears is worse than the orc that one fears." "True!" said Aragorn, loosening his sword in its sheath. "But where the warg howls, there also the orc prowls." [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] ~mjollnir war*hammer They had come together at the ford of the Trident while the battle crashed around them, Robert with his warhammer and his great antlered helm, the Targaryen prince armored all in black. On his breastplate was the three-headed dragon of his House, wrought all in rubies that flashed like fire in the sunlight. The waters of the Trident ran red around the hooves of their destriers as they circled and clashed, again and again, until at last a crushing blow from Robert's hammer stove in the dragon and the chest behind it. When Ned had finally come on the scene, Rhaegar lay dead in the stream, while men of both armies scrambled in the swirling waters for rubies knocked free of his armor. [ A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin ] water Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean. Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere Nor any drop to drink. [ The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge ] web Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive! [ Marmion, by Sir Walter Scott ] # werecritter -- see "lycanthrope" *wight When he came to himself again, for a moment he could recall nothing except a sense of dread. Then suddenly he knew that he was imprisoned, caught hopelessly; he was in a barrow. A Barrow-wight had taken him, and he was probably already under the dreadful spells of the Barrow-wights about which whispered tales spoke. He dared not move, but lay as he found himself: flat on his back upon a cold stone with his hands on his breast. [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] # note: need to convert player character "gnomish wizard" into just "wizard" # in the lookup code to avoid conflict with the monster of that same name ~gnomish wizard wizard * wizard apprentice Ebenezum walked before me along the closest thing we could find to a path in these overgrown woods. Every few paces he would pause, so that I, burdened with a pack stuffed with arcane and heavy paraphernalia, could catch up with his wizardly strides. He, as usual, carried nothing, preferring, as he often said, to keep his hands free for quick conjuring and his mind free for the thoughts of a mage. [ A Dealing with Demons, by Craig Shaw Gardner ] wizard of yendor No one knows how old this mighty wizard is, or from whence he came. It is known that, having lived a span far greater than any normal man's, he grew weary of lesser mortals; and so, spurning all human company, he forsook the dwellings of men and went to live in the depths of the Earth. He took with him a dreadful artifact, the Book of the Dead, which is said to hold great power indeed. Many have sought to find the wizard and his treasure, but none have found him and lived to tell the tale. Woe be to the incautious adventurer who disturbs this mighty sorcerer! wolf *wolf *wolf cub The ancestors of the modern day domestic dog, wolves are powerful muscular animals with bushy tails. Intelligent, social animals, wolves live in family groups or packs made up of multiple family units. These packs cooperate in hunting down prey. woodchuck The Usenet Oracle requires an answer to this question! > How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could > chuck wood? "Oh, heck! I'll handle *this* one!" The Oracle spun the terminal back toward himself, unlocked the ZOT-guard lock, and slid the glass guard away from the ZOT key. "Ummmm....could you turn around for a minute? ZOTs are too graphic for the uninitiated. Even *I* get a little squeamish sometimes..." The neophyte turned around, and heard the Oracle slam his finger on a computer key, followed by a loud ZZZZOTTTTT and the smell of ozone. [ Excerpted from Internet Oracularity 576.6 ] *worm long worm tail worm tooth crysknife [The crysknife] is manufactured in two forms from teeth taken from dead sandworms. The two forms are "fixed" and "unfixed". An unfixed knife requires proximity to a human body's electrical field to prevent disintegration. Fixed knives are treated for storage. All are about 20 centimeters long. [ Dune, by Frank Herbert ] wraith nazgul Immediately, though everything else remained as before, dim and dark, the shapes became terribly clear. He was able to see beneath their black wrappings. There were five tall figures: two standing on the lip of the dell, three advancing. In their white faces burned keen and merciless eyes; under their mantles were long grey robes; upon their grey hairs were helms of silver; in their haggard hands were swords of steel. Their eyes fell on him and pierced him, as they rushed towards him. Desperate, he drew his own sword, and it seemed to him that it flickered red, as if it was a firebrand. Two of the figures halted. The third was taller than the others: his hair was long and gleaming and on his helm was a crown. In one hand he held a long sword, and in the other a knife; both the knife and the hand that held it glowed with a pale light. He sprang forward and bore down on Frodo. [ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ] wumpus The Wumpus, by the way, is not bothered by the hazards since he has sucker feet and is too big for a bat to lift. If you try to shoot him and miss, there's also a chance that he'll up and move himself into another cave, though by nature the Wumpus is a sedentary creature. [ wump (6) -- "Hunt the Wumpus" ] xan They sent their friend the mosquito [xan] ahead of them to find out what lay ahead. "Since you are the one who sucks the blood of men walking along paths," they told the mosquito, "go and sting the men of Xibalba." The mosquito flew down the dark road to the Underworld. Entering the house of the Lords of Death, he stung the first person that he saw... The mosquito stung this man as well, and when he yelled, the man next to him asked, "Gathered Blood, what's wrong?" So he flew along the row stinging all the seated men until he knew the names of all twelve. [ Popul Vuh, as translated by Ralph Nelson ] xorn A distant cousin of the earth elemental, the xorn has the ability to shift the cells of its body around in such a way that it becomes porous to inert material. This gives it the ability to pass through any obstacle that might be between it and its next meal. ya The arrow of choice of the samurai, ya are made of very straight bamboo, and are tipped with hardened steel. yeenoghu Yeenoghu, the demon lord of gnolls, still exists although all his followers have been wiped off the face of the earth. He casts magic projectiles at those close to him, and a mere gaze into his piercing eyes may hopelessly confuse the battle-weary adventurer. yeti The Abominable Snowman, or yeti, is one of the truly great unknown animals of the twentieth century. It is a large hairy biped that lives in the Himalayan region of Asia ... The story of the Abominable Snowman is filled with mysteries great and small, and one of the most difficult of all is how it got that awful name. The creature is neither particularly abominable, nor does it necessarily live in the snows. _Yeti_ is a Tibetan word which may apply either to a real, but unknown animal of the Himalayas, or to a mountain spirit or demon -- no one is quite sure which. And after nearly half a century in which Westerners have trampled around looking for the yeti, and asking all sorts of questions, the original native traditions concerning the creature have become even more muddled and confused. [ The Encyclopedia of Monsters, by Daniel Cohen ] *yugake Japanese leather archery gloves. Gloves made for use while practicing had thumbs reinforced with horn. Those worn into battle had thumbs reinforced with a double layer of leather. yumi The samurai is highly trained with a special type of bow, the yumi. Like the ya, the yumi is made of bamboo. With the yumi-ya, the bow and arrow, the samurai is an extremely accurate and deadly warrior. *zombie The zombi... is a soulless human corpse, still dead, but taken from the grave and endowed by sorcery with a mechanical semblance of life, -- it is a dead body which is made to walk and act and move as if it were alive. [ W. B. Seabrook ] zruty The zruty are wild and gigantic beings, living in the wildernesses of the Tatra mountains.