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 Phrases, Terms, and Items to Know

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Proteus Stark
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PostSubject: Phrases, Terms, and Items to Know   Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:10 pm

Baseborn/natural children: Bastards; illegitimate children.

Goodsister/brother: Sister/brother-in-law.

Free Folk: What the Wildlings call themselves.

Kissed by fire: Used by the free folk to describe people with red hair. The wildlings consider red hair to be lucky and very attractive. It is rare among the free folk and those who have it are said to be kissed by fire.

Crows: What the Wildlings call the members of the Night's Watch. It is a derogatory term.

Kneelers: Wildling term/insult for those living south of the Wall.

Spearwife: A wildling woman who is also a warrior.

Greensight: The ability to have prophetic dreams called "Green Dream". A person with greensight sometimes dreams as other people, but the "Green Dreams" are different, filled with symbolic meaning, images, and metaphors of what is to come. The meaning behind the dreams is not always obvious, but once someone has experienced one, they will see the fulfillment of their visions in the unfolding of the events around them.

Skinchanger: A person with the ability to enter the mind of an animal and control its actions. It is much easier for a skinchanger to do so if a bond exists between the two parties. A skinchanger able to enter the mind of a wolf or dog is known as a warg. The interaction between the skinchanger's and animal's mind will influence both personalities, with detrimental effects to the human if the animal’s influence is not fought. As yet, there has only been one known incidence of a skinchanger entering another human's mind, and only a simple-minded one at that. This incidence was particularly traumatic to the person involved, and difficult for the skinchanger. Such an event proves to be a moral and ethical dilemma.
An untrained skinchanger may unconsciously enter the mind of an animal, especially while sleeping, particularly if a bond exists. It is extremely traumatic if an animal is killed while its mind is inhabited by a skinchanger. If a skinchanger is killed while inhabiting a creature, a part of his consciousness will remain in the creature. Much fear and superstition exists around skinchangers, with many mistakenly believing them to be shape shifters. It is said the greatest of the skinchangers were the greenseers, who amongst many other things were also wargs. The greatest amongst them could wear the skin of any beast. One man in a thousand is born a skinchanger, and one skinchanger in a thousand could be a greenseer.

Paramour: The unmarried lover of a noble. Dorne gives a degree of social status to paramours, despite the "unchaste" nature of the relationship. Outside of Dorne, a paramour's status is less certain. They may be afforded the esteem granted in their homeland by the diplomatic minded, or they may receive a range of treatment from slight social disdain to moral condemnation.

Flowering: A girl's first menstruation/period. The blood is the seal of womanhood. It means that she is now fit to be wedded and bedded.

Gift of Mercy: The term the Faceless Men use for the granting of a quick, humane death to a person who is ailing or mortally wounded and destined to die a painful, lingering death otherwise.

Night Soil A euphemism for human or animal excrement. It is sometimes applied to weapons such as arrows to turn the wounds they inflict septic.

Oubiliette: A prison cell which is only accessible from above. It is impossible to escape an oubliette without help. Prisoners are often left in oubliettes to die of starvation.

Mhysa: A term in the old Ghiscari language that means "mother".

Bog devils: A derogatory name for the crannogmen, the reclusive people who dwell in the swamps of the Neck. The crannogmen are collectively referred to as bog devils by their enemies, specifically the ironborn. They are seldom seen but always lurking. Bog devils are associated with effective guerrilla tactics and most especially their poison arrows. The poisoned arrows of the bog devils need only scratch a man, and a few hours later he will be squirting and screaming as his life runs down his legs in gouts of red and brown. The bog devils poison the arrow shafts and are said to smear them with feces and worse things. Even when a man is grazed by a poisoned arrow and his wound treated by boiling wine the poison can still take effect, and cause him to die a slow and horrible death.

The Trial of Seven: Another form of trial by combat an offended party can demand during trial. It is linked to the Faith of the Seven and Andal tradition. The Andals believed that if seven champions fought on each side, the gods thus honored would be more likely to see justice done. If a man cannot find six others to stand with him, then he is obviously guilty.

Trial by combat (or trial by battle): A method to settle accusations in which two parties in dispute fight in single combat, possibly to the death.
   A trial by combat:
       May be requested at any point before or during a trial.
       May be advised against, but even sovereign lords and members of the royal family rarely consider denying such a request outright.
       May be converted into a trial of seven if the accuser (or, presumably, the accused) so demands. Available evidence suggests that this request, too, cannot be denied without severe political consequences. In any case, trials of seven are exceedingly rare, happening perhaps less often than once in a century.
       May be fought by the parties themselves, but it is not unusual for either or both parties to choose champions to fight in their stead.
       Ends when either party yields or is killed; or when the accuser takes back his accusation; or (presumably) when the accused declares himself guilty.


The bloody flux: Also known as the "Pale Mare" in Meereen, is the name given to dysentery in A Song of Ice and Fire. Its symptoms are fever, intestinal hemorrhages, and diarrhea. It is a well-known disease with little treatment beyond prevention (mainly quarantine and avoiding contact with carriers) and it has a very high mortality rate, having been described as killing three of each four men in armies.

Greyscale: A disease that can leave flesh stiff and dead and the skin cracked and flaking, mottled black and grey and stone-like to the touch. The tongue and lips turn to stone. It generally affects children, especially in cold damp climates. The victims are disfigured but also rendered immune to the rarer fatal form and to the grey plague. The Free Folk consider people who survive greyscale unclean.

Redspots: A common childhood disease similar to chickenpox.

The shaking sickness: Causes its sufferers to twitch, tremble, and have violent seizures. Such seizures are often treated with dreamwine and leeching with the belief that they are caused by bad blood resulting in rage.

Landed knight: A knight that takes residence in a keep with accompanying land. They have their own peasants and men-at-arms, and may even take sworn swords.

Battle fever: A euphoric feeling of fearlessness and invincibility, almost akin to feeling drunk, which comes over a warrior fighting in battle.

The finger dance: A game played by the ironborn of the Iron Islands. The finger dance is played by at least two people and consists of throwing a hand axe at each other. One must catch the axe or leap over it without missing a step. The name comes from the fact that the game usually ends with a dancer losing one or more of his fingers.

Greensick: Mostly means suffering from seasickness but it can also refer to being hung over.

Guest right: An ancient and sacred tradition, that goes back thousands of years in Westeros to the First Men. The guest right is a sacred law of hospitality. When a guest, be he common born or noble, eats the food and drinks the drink off a host's table beneath the host's roof, the guest right is invoked. Bread and salt are the traditional provisions. When invoked, neither the guest can harm his host nor the host harm his guest for the length of the guest's stay.

Name day: The Westerosi equivalent to a birthday. The day a child is born he/she is also given a name that day so a person's age is recorded with his/her name day as the beginning. The only exception is for free folk births, as they do not name their children until their child reaches the age of two.

Maegi: A woman of Essos who practices blood magic. Blood magic is very powerful, but enjoys an awful and possibly well-deserved reputation. It is hated, mistrusted and forbidden by the Dothraki, who claim that the maegi lie with demons. They may sometimes go so far as to kill anyone even assumed to be maegi, as to prevent said maegi from 'cursing' them with evil magic. Maegi often show a remarkable capability of telling one's future, usually from a drop of blood. According to Mirri Maz Duur, the word means "wise".

Milk brother: (Or milk brothers) Usually refers to two infants of different parents who were nursed simultaneously by the same woman.

The iron price: In ironborn culture refers to warriors acquiring possessions by taking them from defeated adversaries, rather than purchasing items with currency, which is referred to as the gold price.  It is closely associated with the ironborn's Old Way of raiding and reaving. Thralls and salt wives are acquired only through reaving, never through transactions.

Lackwit: Mentally handicapped. They are frowned upon by society in Westoros. Many of the males become Fools for nobles.

League: A measure of distance, equal to three miles.

Little birds: Network of spies all over the Seven Kingdoms and perhaps beyond.

Magnar: Means 'lord' in the Old Tongue.

Queen of Love and Beauty: In the Seven Kingdoms, tradition holds that the victor in a tournament may select any woman present and name her the Queen of love and beauty, crowning her with a wreath of flowers and dedicating his victory to her. The victorious knight often chooses a woman he loves or intends to court, and it can be a source of scandal if the victor crowns a woman already bound to another man, or if a married man crowns someone other than his wife.

Rhaesh Andahli: The Dothraki term for Westeros. It means land of the Andals.

Rock wife: In Ironborn culture a rock wife is an ironman's true spouse. A rock wife is ironborn. An ironman is allowed only one ironborn rock wife; however he may keep several salt wives, non-ironborn women who have been captured on raids.

Salt wife: A concubine. Unlike Dornish paramours, salt wives have a low status in the society of the Iron Islands, on the same level of thralls.

Thrall: An indentured servant in the Iron Islands. Thrall may only be obtained by paying the "iron price" (capturing them by raiding) under the Old Way. They are not slaves since they may not be sold and they may not be obtained by paying the "gold price." Their children may be free if they are drowned to the Drowned God.

Rookery: Refers to where ravens are kept by maesters of the Citadel. The maester of each castle in the Seven Kingdoms usually tends to its own flock of ravens. When the master needs to send a message he will fetch a raven, or ravens, from the rookery. The maesters chambers are normally located below a castle's rookery.

Solar: Refers to a loft, upper room or upper part of a medieval house.

Sparrow: (Or sparrows) When there are more than one, is the name the poorest of those sworn to the Faith of the Seven took during the War of the Five Kings.

A Slave of R'hllor: A man or woman who has been purchased in the Free Cities to serve the temple of R'hllor. In Volantis these slaves have tattooed flames on their cheeks and forehead to display that they are servants of R'hllor. Although in the Red faith, all members believe they are all servants or slaves to R'hllor. The slaves become priests, temple prostitutes, servants or even join the temple guard known as the Fiery Hand. If a slave of R'hllor is ever captured by Slavers, the temple will ransom them back from the slavers.

Stone men: People inflicted by greyscale in the area known as the Sorrows.

Tokar: A long, loose shapeless sheet that is worn in Ghiscari cities by the wealthy. It must be wound around hips and under an arm and over a shoulder to keep it on. It is wrapped this way to carefully display the dangling fringes which are usually adorned with some decoration. If wound too loose, the tokar might unravel and fall off. If it is wound too tight, it might tangle and trip the wearer. Even if wound properly the wearer must hold the tokar in place with their left hand and walking requires small steps and great balance to prevent tripping and falling.

Trebuchet: A type of catapult.

Valonqar: The High Valyrian word for "little brother".

Vanguard: The leading part of an advancing military formation. It has a number of functions, including seeking out the enemy and securing ground in advance of the main force.

Veil of tears: Can be an expressive way of referring to the living world. For example, in Westeros saying that someone has “passed from this veil of tears” means that that person has died.

Castellan: An occupation and title granted by a lord. It confers responsibility for defense of a castle, fort or city and is therefore often given to warriors that are trusted by their lord.

Firemilk: A medical ointment, often used to clean a wound. It is poured directly onto open wounds and burns on contact. In Westeros boiling wine is used instead if Firemilk is unavailable.

Kingscopper: An herb used for healing.

The Milk of poppy: A medical drink, an opiate made by Maesters from the Poppy flower and white in color thus its name "milk of the poppy". The Milk is used as a pain killer or anesthetic in Westeros. Normally given to those mortally wounded or in great pain. It has a quick effect of causing sleep, even for people in great pain. Milk of the Poppy seems to have some sort of strong undesired collateral effect, probably of addictive and/or incapacitating nature, for we have seen characters prefer to go through strong pain instead of consuming it.

Myrish fire: A medical ointment, that originated in the free city of Myr. It is often used to clean a wound and burns on contact. Myrish fire wines are drunk to help with digestion.

Vinsonge: A medical drink. Made by Maesters it is used as a painkiller.

Greycap: A poison. It is made from toadstool.

The strangler: A rare poison, which makes the person unable to breathe. The knowledge of how to make the poison is known to the alchemists of Lys, the Faceless Men of Braavos and the Maesters of the Citadel. The Asshai'i have a name for the plant and the Alchemists of Lys a name for the crystal but to the maesters it is known as the strangler. The poison is made from plants that are only found on islands in the Jade Sea. The leaves of the plant are picked and aged, then soaked in a wash of limes, sugar water and rare spices from the Summer Islands. The leaves are then discarded, but the liquid is kept and thickened with ash and allowed to crystallize. It turns a deep purple color.

Sweetsleep: A drug that gives the gift of painless death. In small doses it can be used to moderate fits. Three doses of sweetsleep will cause the victim to slip into a sleep that they will never wake from. It is very sweet and best used in sweet foods, such as cakes, pies and honeyed wines.

The tears of Lys: A rare and expensive poison dissolved into liquids. It is clear, sweet as water and leaves no trace. The effects of the poison cause a sickness in the bowels and belly, eating away at them.

Widow's blood: A poison. It shuts down the bladder and bowels until the person dies from the body's own poisons.

Blue winter rose: A flower that grows in the glass gardens of Winterfell. It is pale blue and is described to be the colour of frost.

Sourleaf: A foul tasting plant that's leaves are chewed in a similar fashion to chewing tobacco. Chewing it causes a pinkish froth to form on the lips, and later unwanted juices are spat out. Chewing sourleaf stains one's mouth and turns the teeth blood red, causing people who chew sourleaf to exhibit a "red smile". Chewing sourleaf can dull pain.

Shade of the evening: A thick, blue wine, peculiar to the warlocks of Qarth. It is made from the inky blue leaves that grow on the black-barked trees found around the House of the Undying. It is deep blue and viscous, flowing like honey. It has an unappetising smell and initial taste, having been compared to ink, spoiled meat, and rotten flesh, but upon swallowing tastes like all things its imbiber has ever tasted, and more. It is used heavily by the warlocks of Qarth, whose lips have been turned blue by its extended use.

Moon tea: A type of herbal tea that is used in the Seven Kingdoms as well as beyond the Wall to prevent or abort pregnancies. It is made generally by maesters and wise women out of the flower tansy, mint, wormwood, a spoon of honey, and a drop of pennyroyal.

Wildfire: A volatile liquid that can burn for a long time. Once wildfire takes fire, the substance will burn until it is no more. It will seep into cloth, wood, leather, and even steel so that they take fire as well. Wildfire will burn even when floating on water, it is typically commissioned for use as a weapon of war, though Alchemists will sometimes use wildfire torches as a display of power.

The Wine of Courage: A mixture of nightshade, bloodfly larva, black lotus root and many secret things. It is created by the Astapori and given to the Unsullied at every meal from the day they are cut. It is a numbing agent that makes the taker feel less and less with every consumption.

Dragonglass: Obsidian.

________________________________________________________________

For true: For real; really.

Valar Morghulis: 'All men must die'. This is a customary saying in Essos.

Valar Dohaeris: 'All men must serve'. The proper reply to Valar Morghulis.

'A man/woman grown': Basically a grown man/woman.

________________________________________________________________

When giving one's age:

15 is 'five and ten'. 22 is 'two and twenty'. This follows for all numbers.
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