English Words And Terms

This is a list of word usages in the books.

    AcolytosGreek for "acolyte" (pl. acolytoi), the Lady's designation for free humans in Her city. Elsewhere in the Underworld, humans are slaves.
    Aureus(pl. aureii) A Roman gold coin. An aureus is worth 25 denarii (silver coins).
    Avvoca OrdineThe avvoca is a written Gypsy code for business and negotiation in the Underworld. All families are expected to abide by the avvoca, which is different from the ancient covenants that guarantee Gypsy freedom from slavery.
    Black NectarPerhaps the most wicked and decadent nectar of all, the blacks are derived from the poppies growing in the banks of the Lethe river in Elysium. The flowers suck up the magical properties of those dark waters and act to wash away the memories from the imbiber.
    Bliss KittenBliss kittens are rare slaves who are trained to serve like a cat, in a style popular with Egyptian mistresses. True bliss kittens are also addicted to nectar, which makes them very expensive to maintain, but nonetheless among the most pleasurable and decadent of all submissives in the Underworld.
    Blue-Violet BeautyBeauty is a nectar derived from blue poppies, normally Elysian poppies. Blue is a relaxing, transporting variety (see nectar section in opposing column). Rhyming Blue Beauty has the additional property of inducing rhymes into the conscious mental state of the user.
    Braking UmbrellaWhen rebellious angels dive in the clouds, they must use some form of safe braking device to slow their gentle descent velocity. Balloons are more often used by the boys than the frilly umbrellas.
    brandingThe practice of branding in the Underworld dates to the arrival of Lilith. The new Queen ordained that the chaotic, overwhelming flow of human souls from Earth would be shut down to a more refined, filtered trickle, emphasizing quality over quantity. Laws were passed that all humans were required to be registered in the Court excepting Gypsies, and thenceforth fine human slaves were more jealously guarded as expensive private property. Branding was further encouraged by the Court as a way of enforcing ownership. The first brand for a slave, by tradition, is in the center of the sacrum. The second owner's brand is to the left, and the third owner's mark is to the right.
    ChérieThis is the feminine of "beloved" in French, a pet name given by a French mistress.
    Desire-bodyAlso called "desire-structure", this refers to the body as a vessel for energy in the desire-world (the Underworld). On Earth, bodies are composed of material stuff, while in Heaven bodies are composed of thought-vibrations, and in the Underworld bodies are composed of desire. "I feel, therefore I am." Feelings are said to be twice as intense in the desire-world as on Earth, and every sensation of pleasure and pain is ten times more nerve-jangling than in lofty, mental Heaven.
    Desire-world (or Desire-realm)The Desire-realm is synonimous with the Underworld, a realm where physical forms are composed of desire-level vibration. Feelings of pain and pleasure are magnified many times over in the Underworld compared to the dull experiences in the material Earth plane.
    Desirous kinehexA desirous kinehex is a fundamental succubus spell that pulls something to her, using the magical force of her desire, guided by her will.
    DomusA domicile, or home, to the Romans, is a common term in the Underworld.
    Ebon collarAn Ebon collar is a special magically forged collar used by Hell's Court as punishment, or as a long-term control mechanism for criminals and captives. The collar is paired with a dreaded Ebon wand. When the wand is pointed at the collar, or is even in its proximity, the wearer of the collar feels ringing in the ears, constriction in the throat, suffocation, and excruciating, mind-splitting pain.
    FacesittingThis is oral sex with one partner sitting on top of the other's face, commonly employed by succubi as a technique of training a slave through the seductive effect of her sex (see also Veneration).
    FledglingA fledgling is a young succubus in training with a mistress. Even in the rebel splinter sects of succubi, Lilith's original tradition of mentor and fledgling is maintained.
    FatesThe Fates are held to be three elder witches: Clotho, Lachesis, and Astropos, daughters of Nyx, who hold profound influence over the weave of the tapestry, and therefore the paths of souls. In the books, even the greatest gods and devils are not considered exempt from the will of the Fates, and the threads of the tapestry cannot be overly snipped and muddled without the risk of snarls and snapbacks.
    FeyThe Fey are the elves, fairies, nymphs and dryads of old, most of whom left Earth long ago to live only in the Underworld. (See Fey in Gods and Factions section.) The Fey are divided into the Seelie and Unseelie courts.
    Final DeathFinal death refers to going to the void, where no resurrection or rebirth is known. The term is most often used by the vampires.
    Gordian KnotThe Gordian Knot refers to an intractable, impossible problem only solved by "thinking outside the box".
    Great WarRefers to the war between Heaven and Hell. Since antiquity, Lord Deus and Lord Hades have engaged in a war for the souls of humanity. While angels and the children of Hades and Lilith cannot manifest directly on Earth, they can possess and whisper through the medium of the dream world. Sometimes the war also spills over into the realms of the Heaven and the Underworld in the form of spies or military sorties and skirmishes. Heaven also maintains an ambassador in the Underworld, although not vice versa. Both sides hold prisoners from the other side.
    GymnasionA Greek term for a gymnasium, from the Greek gymnos, meaning naked.
    Hateful kinehexA fundamental succubus spell that pushes something away from her, using the magical force of her desire.
    Hell horseA great black horse that breathes with the fires of the Underworld, snorting smoke and sulfur. The Hell horses are birthed by Epona, the great mare who lives amongst the ogre tribes in the vast wastes of the Mare Mortis. Lord Hades impregnates Epona at His whim, and she gives Him horses. Lord Hades enjoys impregnating Epona, wishing His realm to be an extension of Himself.
    HungerRefers to the succubus need to feed to survive. The Hunger is very much like a human or vampire hunger, except the discomfort and need is magnified to the point of madness in the desire-realm. Hunger is sated most often by sex, but can also be kept at bay with Hell's fruits, foods, and nectars. Eating in the way of a human has unfortunate side effects, however, since succubi and most Underworld species do not need, digest, or absorb food like creatures in the material realm.
    ImpluviumMany a Roman-style home (domus) has a pool where water is gathered by running off of the roofs. In some cases, heat can be applied to these waters via various schemes.
    Love-takingThis is a succubus term for sating Hunger, among others. (See Hunger.
    Messenger birdEach succubus has a personal messenger bird, summoned with a basic spell learned by any fledgling with an ounce of magical abilities. In antiquity, the birds were considered a sacred gift from Lilith, representing all of the souls of the birds swallowed by the sacred serpents of Lilith on Earth.
    Mistress, mistressThis is the term for a female slave owner, or for the mentor of a succubus fledgling. The term is capitalized only when used as part of a proper name.
    NectarPowders produced by processing the many different flowers of the Underworld.(See opposing column - mechanics.)
    NecromancyNecromancy is death magic, practiced by Anubis, as well as many devils and sorceresses in the Underworld. Vampires practice necromancy in the earth realm, and the vampire arts of soul transference between Earth and the Underworld is a form of necromancy.
    PatapoufA patapouf is an overweight resident of the Underworld who has an addiction for foodstuffs, especially pastries and pies made from Underworld fruits such as apples, raisins, cranberries, and pomegranates. (See entry in mechanics section.) Normally, the living souls in the Underworld do not need or desire to eat.
    PumA term used by Theodorah for the female sex organ.
    SlaveA slave is a legal classification for all humans who live under the aegis of Lord Hades and Hell's Court, excepting old family Gypsies. (See mechanics section on opposite panel.) Germanic synonyms are sklave/sklavin or (f)/sklaven/sklavinnen. koritsi Kariola used as a term for female sex slaves, agori kariola would be male bed-slaves. A kouros kariola would be a male bed-statue, a slave who is not allowed to touch, only receive. A kore kariola would be the female version. In French, the term is esclave du lit, or esclave de chambre.
    Spring FestivalA festival around the holiday of Easter, known in the Underworld as Ostara, the Lady's Day. Ostara is a Germanic name for Easter, which occurs in the books on the Spring Equinox, March 21. The word Ostara is just one of the names applied to the celebration of the spring equinox on March 21. The Venerable Bede said the origin of the word is actually from Eostre, a Germanic goddess of spring. The Spring Festival then is celebrated by the succubi as a competitive event, in celebration of the original two fledglings, Ereshkigeh and Astaarteh, who completed their Mistress Tests under the tutelage of Lady Lilith during this season.
    Stairway to HeavenThe stairway is a spiritual thought-construction that starts at the top of Mount Purgatory in northwestern Elysium. Over the centuries, the angels have found more direct and less laborious routes to move souls between the upper and lower realms, but the original stairway still stands. Powerful archangels in the Underworld can translocate their mental bodies to the base of the stairway during times of need, at the expense of the magical abandonment of their desire-forms.
    TapestryThe tapestry is a weave of cause and intention that closely underlies the desire-world (Underworld). Living entities appear like multi-colored threads in the tapestry. Gifted trackers, witches, and magicians can see these threads, but can only touch them and try to influence them at their peril. The law of equal and opposite reactions applies in the tapestry, but the reactions are often unpredictable and surprising, even for the gods(see also - Fates).
    Tartarus mothsTartarus moths are a rare species of moth that feeds and lays eggs only in preserved undead flesh.
    Tenebris luxThe tenebris lux or "shadow light", is a fundamental succubus spell that forms a glowing ball of light above her head, which burns with her desire energy.
    VénérationVénération is usually synonymous with the arts of performing oral sex on a succubus, which is intended to indundate a slave, incubus, or other object of desire with the addictive and mind-influencing fluids of a succubus sex. This tradition is for the express purpose of influencing a soul into long-term subservience and adoration.
    VoidWhen human souls die on earth, they may translate into a desire-form in the Underworld, or to a mental form in Heaven. The void, in common Underworld parlance, is the next level of energetic dissolution. To "go to the void" means to suffer this final death. Like a black hole, the void is a space that cannot be divined, even by the titans. The void goes beyond all the realms of vibration, and all souls go to the void when the body can no longer hold the soul, unless other arrangements are made to prevent such an event.
    WyrmThe wyrms in the Underworld are raised by Nyx wyrm mother in her mountain abode in eastern Tartarus, at the headwaters of the Acheron river.

Mechanics Of The Living Underworld

  • Calendar

    The day and night cycles in the Underworld mirror those of earth, although they are somewhat shorter due to the smaller radius of the Underworld within the bounding sphere of the earth realm. The light that falls over the Underworld in a cycle is the higher energy solar radiation that penetrates the shell of the Earth surface, which collides first with the material and produces heat, and then again with the desire-realm, which takes the form of light in the desire-realm spectrum.

    There is also a backlight in the Underworld night, the radiation passing through and hitting the inside of the veil on the other side. The seasons arise from the same solar differences as Earth, but on lower level energies that penetrate across the higher wavelengths. In Tartarus, when the weather turns tempestuous with spring, they say the storms are from Lady Lilith bedding the King. The days of the week go either by the common tongue, as in English, or by the Latin names for days especially in Tartarus: dies Lunae, dies Martis, dies Mercurĭi, dies Jovis, dies Venĕris, dies Saturni, and dies Solis.
  • Fighting

    Swords and blades are the traditional and preferred method of mortal combat in the Underworld. Since the desire body is structured differently than a body on Earth, deep bleeding cuts and systemic poisons are far more dangerous than shock, blunt trauma, or even a musket ball. Death comes first to the combatant drained of all life energy.

    That mystical, magical passion, the very motivating life force of souls in the Underworld, is drained quickest by opening the veins and arteries that supply it to the limbs. Fire, withering death magic, and other destructive magics are also effective ways to win a fight, but one must know the mystical resistances and vulnerabilities of the bodies of different species.
  • Food And Patapoufery

    Wine, tea, poisons, and other liquids are sometimes drunk in the Underworld for the purpose of pleasure, health, or some form of decadence. While dense foodstuff is not needed or especially desired by souls in the Underworld, some consume anyway, whether from a passing impulse for pleasure, or from a full-on impulse for gross gluttony.

    Underworld food and drink is imbued with magic and emotional energies. It is not digested in the stomach as on Earth, but rather melts directly into the flesh and conduits of the desire-body in curious, magical, and sometimes surprising ways. Dense food goes straight to the flesh, conveying a long-lasting ethereal weight or anchor in the desire-body. When Lord Hades abducted Persephone to make her his wife, he fed her pomegranate seeds, and thenceforth she was trapped in the Underworld for as many months of every year after.

    "Patapoufery" (the French term for lump, or fatty) is a common fetish in the Underworld, especially in Dis. Patapoufs enjoy gross indulgence in oral pleasure and seek to fill their bellies with as much sweet pastries and sugars as possible. These specially baked forms of Underworld food offer a drowsy, heavy, delicious, almost comforting pleasure, even while blocking the belly and converting directly into fat. The patapouf fetish is appreciated by some incubi, but especially by devils for the abundant, yielding flesh.

    The body of a dedicated patapouf is the grandest, most glorious canvas for pain that any devil can hope for. Occasionally a devil will pay for the privilege and pleasure of practicing his or her art form on such abundant flesh. More commonly, competent devil surgeons are in demand. The patapouf will be the payer, since the flesh at some point will become so heavy as to render her immobile, and will need to be removed if she is to go on living.

    Succubus patapoufs are especially addiction-prone. They can sometimes be seduced, cajoled, contracted, or coerced into poufing by a wealthy devil. Patapoufery is very expensive, and so is the surgery to reverse the effects. The funds to import the rare flours, sugars, and spices must come from somewhere. A patapouf mistress is often short on funds. Some will seek a fledgling to pouf for the express purpose of prostituting her prettier, younger flesh.
  • Marriage

    The Mistress Test is only the penultimate rite of passage for a young succubus. Her crowning achievement and purpose in life is her marriage to a son of the Lord. Marriage is required for succubi by the law of Lord Hades, but most succubi require no coercion. Incubus seed is said to be like a fire-melted vial of the finest nectar, burning the womb and sending any woman into an unforgettable ecstasy.

    The wedding day is a day like no other. No expenses are spared for the ceremony dedicating the union to Lord Hades and Lady Lilith. The bride and groom go into seclusion on their honeymoon, when the incubus fills his bride over and over for a week or more, uniting with her in ritual carnal pleasure. After the proceedings, the bride is forever addicted to her husband, who becomes (for her) like a living embodiment of the Lord. The husband can become addicted as well to his wife, depending on the agreement and his exposure to her essences in turn.

    A married succubus is typically expected to maintain house, home, coins, and slaves. Unlike in modern Earth, marriage almost always happens once for a young succubus. Such is the power of incubus seed that a succubus will sometimes commit suicide upon the death of her husband. Fledgling relationships with incubi before marriage can be treacherous. The rule of thumb is no more than once a month, or at most once every two weeks, with the same incubus.

    Lesbian and gay weddings are unheard-of and unrecognized by Hell's Court, but some couples in the Lady's hidden city are handfasted in the ancient Britannic tradition. Military succubi in Hell's army have a formal exemption from the rite of marriage, although most marry anyway and work around the difficulties. Such succubi typically have military husbands, so their times apart are the same as any other military household.
  • Money

    "Money" is generally not used as a word in the Underworld, with preference to "coins" or "chips". Roman coinage is the official metal currency of Hell's Court, while the Fey have local currencies of their own. The gold aureus, or aurei in the plural, is equal to 25 denarii (singular denarius), which are silver coins with a weight of around 4 grams. For the purposes of the books, 1 aureus is roughly $100 in modern terms.

    For example, if Lieutenant Phare's military pay for years of field work, plus special services, is over 1600 aurei, that is the equivalent of $160,000 in the Underworld capital city. The common way to state a price is "two aurei and twenty", or "two and twenty". Prices for a slave are typically from 50 au. untrained to 500 au. for a well-trained, beautiful young human of any race or ethnicity, especially with talents. A slave might be professionally trained for around 50 au.
  • Nectar

    Nectar is distilled from the flowers of the Underworld, especially poppies. Nectar can be liquified via chemical extraction, or ground with porcelain pestles into a fine powder. The nectar is weighed on precise brass scales and packaged in a variety of containers that may adjust the flavor, like casks of wine.

    In ancient times, nectar was forbidden for all humans. Only the privileged titans were allowed to partake of nectar, the "food of the gods". Over time, the divines shared nectar with their loved ones, who gave nectar to others, and the laws no longer apply.

    Blue nectar is arguably the most popular and cheapest. Blue poppies grow in vast fields in Elysium, and will grow almost anywhere in the Underworld. Blue is a peaceful nectar inducing a full-bodied pleasure and numbness. Excessive nectar can cause persistent throat numbness, which is considered a desirable quality for certain specially trained slaves.

    Red nectar is known for stimulating lust to a fever pitch, and is often used as a tool to seduce or heighten arousal. Purples are said to be hallucinogenic and mind-altering, and are often used by witches and shamans as components for divinations and ritual. Goldens deliver enhanced energy and sleeplessness.

    True black is the rarest and most expensive nectar, since it is derived from poppies that only grow on the banks of the Lethe River. The black poppies absorb the magical quality of that storied river through their roots. The nectar banishes memories, as if the user is imbibing the concentrated waters of the river itself. The nectar replaces lost memories with a pure, tingling, addictive pleasure.
  • Slave Society

    The ancient institution of slavery is alive and well in the Underworld. All humans under the aegis of Lord Hades and Hell's Court are required to justify their existence by serving a child of the Lord and the Lady, whether a succubus, incubus, divine, demon, or devil. All legitimate slaves must be registered with a name and papers in Hell's Court. While the institution of branding is not legally mandated, it is standard practice to protect ownership.

    Old family Gypsies are the only humans with an official exception thanks to ancient covenants with the Lord of the realm. The Seelie and Unseelie Fey also take bonded human servants to various degrees. Hell's Court does not enforce the registration laws in the Fey lands because those humans typically are surrendered for the annual tithe, so they are registered anyway.
  • Tithe

    Traditionally, the Fey pay a Tithe annually to Lord Hades as a price of their neutrality. Versions of Tam Lin and other folktales/ballads make clear that if a human tithe isn't paid, then a fey or fairy will have to be the tithe.

    This is considered an grave, almost unacceptable circumstance, at least in the Seelie Court. To avoid tithing any of their precious own, the Fey try to maintain a steady flow of charmed and seduced human souls into their realms, via the same ancient portals by which they left the Earth realm in former centuries.

    These portals are a valuable commodity. In the books, the interchanges between Fey and humans is crimped by the War and vampire activities, causing the tithe to be skipped by the Seelie Court. This leads to unfortunate circumstances for Titania and Oberon. Lord Hades and Lilith are not known for pity.