***Warning: This glossary contains SPOILERS. If you prefer a spoiler-free reading experience, we suggest leaving this until after you finished the book. ***
An laoch cróga - Gaelic for ‘the brave hero or warrior.’
A leanbh - Gaelic for ‘my child.’
Amadán - Gaelic word for an idiot.
Blood eagle - An ancient Norse method of torture and execution, performed by cutting and
breaking the ribs of the victim and forming them into a semblance of bloody wings. The lungs would be pulled through the wounds and salt poured into the chest cavity. A punishment reserved for the worst traitors to the Fomorian race.
Céad míle fáilte - Gaelic for ‘a hundred thousand welcomes.’
Chupacabra - Meaning literally ‘goat-sucker’, a legendary South American creature, said to drink the blood of livestock.
Dubh Linn - The old Norse from which Dublin got her name. It translates to 'black pool or lake'; the ancient site adjacent to Dublin Castle where the Vikings decided to settle. The actual black lake was filled in during the late seventeen/early eighteen hundreds.
Eitr - The blue-tinged, opalescent venom in a Fomorian’s bite, it has an adverse effect on humans (see Thrall). In Fomorians, the exchange of eitr heightens sexual orgasm in a biological incentive to mate and reproduce.
Elatha - A Fomorian moon god, whose blessing of the red fog permitted the Vargs to walk the earth during full moon.
Félag (pleural félagi) - Old Norse word meaning ‘fellowship’ or a ‘bringing together of strengths’. On reaching maturity, Fomorian male litter-mates born to different fathers undergo a ceremonial branding and contest one another in battle to establish dominance. Thereafter, the blood-brothers are sworn, one to the other, in a lifelong bond of allegiance, which included the sharing of a single mate.
Form - A nightclub built on the site of the original Dubh Linn. Neutral territory (see Haven Law).
Fomor - A mythical, subterranean world, in which the Fomorians have been condemned to dwell forever by the Morrígan’s powers. Fomorians retain their immortality only as long as they maintain contact with Fomor. If they walk the earth outside of the full moon, they age instantly and die a slow, agonising death.
Fomorian - A mythical, semi-divine race that were the first inhabitants of Ireland. Gods of chaos and wild nature, they have been variously described as grotesque beasts and as beautiful men. Defeated in battle by the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Fomorians were driven beneath the sea, never to walk the land of Ireland again. What is not written in the myths is that over millennia, cracks appeared in their underground prison, the Tuatha Dé were forgotten, no longer worshipped, and fissures, conduits to the surface, developed, leading to black lakes, through which the Fomori began to escape and terrorize the human people in the form of giant, wolf-like creatures. The people of Eblana kept wolfhounds as protection and stayed clear of the known dangers of the black lake where the wolves appeared at full moon in a haze of red fog. But one fateful night, a large fleet of Viking settlers arrived and moored their longboats on the black lake, unsuspecting of the dangers. That full moon, something happened. The Fomori possessed the souls of every man, woman and child on board the boats, using the power of the full moon to cleave themselves to human forms in an attempt to finally free themselves of their curse and roam the land they considered was rightfully theirs. Thus began the second great reign of the Fomori, into which our characters were born, a reign that was to last until a terrible battle once again drove them below ground, cursed to live out their immortality in their subterranean prison, or die an agonising death above ground.
Fostbrodir - Old Norse for blood brother or sworn brother.
Haven Law - An ancient pact, agreed between the Ancient gods and the Fomorians, establishing the sacred ground of the Dubh Linn as neutral ground, following the Morrigan’s prophecy that to spill Fomor blood on the site would bring about an apocalypse for all humanity.
Laeknir - Old Norse term for a healer.
Latent - A human female believed to be a carrier of Fomorian bloodlines. Identified by the presence of the genetic anomaly of tapetum lucidum, or eyeshine. On reaching maturity, latent females develop a sensitivity to the full moon and are drawn to sites on the surface of the earth where the male wolves appear. Rumoured to be the offspring of Thegn who have broken their vows of celibacy and mated with human women.
MacTire - Gaelic word meaning wolf, literal translation, son of the earth. The King of the Fomorian race. Pierced nipples denote his royal status. In ancient Ireland, suckling the King’s nipples was a demonstration of submission.
Mo ghrá - Gaelic for ‘my love.’
Morrígan - Mythological Irish Goddess of battle. Fought with the Tuatha Dé Danann against the Fomorians and prophesied the end of the world. Has been known to take animal form, as a raven or a wolf, and has appeared in Irish mythology as a beautiful young woman and as an old crone. Sometimes depicted as a trio of female Goddesses. She foretold the death of the hero Chú Chulainn (see Setanta), with whom she had a complicated love-hate relationship.
Plamás - Gaelic word for smooth-talking manipulation.
Rave - The human explanation for the addiction that has taken root in Dublin city is that a new, mind-altering drug, Rave, is circulating, one that causes nail discolouration and renders users sensitive to the effects of the full moon, leading to violence and rampant sexual activity. Users are referred to as C’ravers.
Ravener - A hideous, harpy-like creature with a curved beak and razor talons, resembling a mutated raven. They are the piranhas of the skies, the Morrígan’s guardians keeping the Fomorians in line. They hunt from the skies of Fomor.
Setanta - Mythical Irish hero, who, as a child, killed Culann’s fierce hound in self-defense and offered to take the dog’s place, gaining him the name Chú Chulainn (hound of Cullen). Mortally wounded, Chú Chulainn tied himself to a stone with his own entrails so he could die upright, and it was only when a raven landed on his shoulder that his enemies believed him dead. The Raven was understood to represent the Morrígan in animal form, guarding the hero’s death.
Sláinte - Gaelic word meaning ‘health.’ A traditional drinking toast.
Skuldalid - Derived from the old Norse word for family, the members of the Fomorian King's elite vanguard are collectively known as the Skuldalid.Viciously loyal to MacTire. Originally six, Brandr, Fite, Rún and Tyr are the four remaining members. Crys was killed by the Morrígan’s slayer, and Knutr, his félag, driven insane, was imprisoned in Fomor for the safety of all.
Tá brón orm. Maith dom é, mo ghrá - Gaelic for ‘I am sorry. Forgive me, my love.’
Tapetum lucidum - A reflective layer found behind the retina of many nocturnal, hunting animals. It improves night vision and causes a characteristic eyeshine when a light is shone on the eyes in the dark. The colour shows inter-species variations. Not normally found in humans.
Thegn - Genetic runts of the Fomorian race, their human traits are dominant and they lack the ability to take Varg form. Not subject to the Morrígan’s curse, the Thegn can walk the earth, independent of the full moon, and like the Vargs, they are immortal, unless they lose their heads or have their hearts ripped out. The defect becomes apparent at puberty, at which time the Thegn are forced into a monk-like existence, living to serve the Vargs and endure a life of celibacy, in order to prevent the weakening of the Fomorian blood line. They can be freed from their oath and allowed to reproduce with humans, but all ties to the Fomorians are severed. They cannot return to Fomor.
Thrall - A human who has been bitten and is addicted to the eitr in a Varg’s bite. Characteristically, Thralls are affected by the full moon, are attracted to the colour red and develop a black staining of the half-moons of the nail bed. The Thrall become subservient, sex-crazed slaves to their wildest urges. In some, especially bitten men, the eitr unleashes deep-seated, violent impulses. Many Thrall are driven insane by the addiction, which may have contributed to the lore of full moon madness and lunacy.
Tír na nÓg - Translates from Gaelic as ‘land of the young’, a mythical land of eternal youth and beauty, without sickness.
Tuatha Dé Danann - Mythological race of pre-Christian Irish Gods, who defeated the Fomorians and drove them beneath the sea.
Untame - Fomorian beasts in their most primitive incarnation. These are the creatures who did not merge their souls with those of humans, therefore they lack the humanity of the hybrid Fomorians and are feral. They were caged and pitched against one another in dog-fights for the amusement of the Fomorians.
Varg - A Norse word for wolf, used to describe Fomorians in their beast form. Red-eyed, they have limited colour vision, but see the colour red vividly.
Vargrliker - Old Norse for one who takes on or assumes a wolf’s body. An insult, with the implication that they are not a true wolf, but an imposter. Also used to mean a traitor.