Glossary

Here’s quick refresher on some of the terms that appear during the early chapters of the story. More detailed entries on specific subjects crop up between episodes (you can also find them on the archives page).

The Aether
According to science, a higher realm, or dimension, that reacts to human awareness and observation. According to others, a series of layered spiritual planes and the dwelling place of souls.

Aethex
A swarm of molecular machines used for information-gathering and surveillance, as well as visual projections. A form of ‘utility fog’, aethex can also form rudimentary physical forms.

Alchemium
A common form of ‘programmable matter’, a material that can change its shape according to programmed instructions. Often used as a currency outside of the Cities.

The Branded
A term sometimes used to label those who embrace the nihilistic ideals of the Erebus, based on the twelve-winged symbol such individuals are said to carry somewhere on their body.

Cellular
A portable computer with minor shapeshifting properties. Often worn on the wrist or attached to the back of its owner’s hand. Multiple cellulars can link together to form a more powerful device. Seelie cellulars have a hexagonal aesthetic.

Elixium
Nanorobotic medical aid that can help cure a large variety of ills, from infections and drug overdoes to major physical injuries. Because of its miraculous powers, it has itself become a sought-after narcotic.

The Erebus
An unknown force that spreads across the world like a cancer, bringing with it hopelessness and despair. Often associated with a mournful dirge, which some refer to as the ‘Adagio to Erebus’, that pleads for the end of the world.

Malkuth
A self-contained city the size of a mountain, once sealed to the outside world but now open to those deemed worthy enough of its technological wonders. One of seven such arcologies.

The Old World
The period of human history before the rise of the arcologies. The period of transition between the old era and new is shrouded in mystery, thanks to a period of global catastrophe referred to as ‘the Great Cataclysm’, where the ocean rose up to obliterate the bulk of human civilisation.

Torsten
A small, riverside town a hundred kilometres north of the City of Malkuth. Torsten acts as a cultural crossroads and trading point between the vagrant tribes of the surface, the denizens of the underground catacombs, and the City’s emigrants.

Seelie
A philanthropic organisation representing an alliance between humanity and the Sidhe, who are dedicated to revitalising the ruined world and protecting it from cataclysmic forces. They gained fame – and infamy – for their vital role in the Apostle Wars.

The Sidhe
Spirits from a higher realm, who spent thousands of years avoiding contact with humans, but have now emerged from hiding to ally themselves with them, in the hopes of saving the world from the Erebus.

The Sophist Aristocracy
A powerful nobility who use Old World business practises to increase their power and influence. They oppose the easy life promised by modern technology, and believe people should earn their place in society through hard work.

Theia
The Moon, now much closer to Earth than in recorded history, has taken on this identity to reflect its continual descent.