A distant plateau with a glorious spire soaring into the sky, higher than the eye can see. Botaram is eagerly sought by the Strasmin, and is venerated by the Oistrem, who strive to keep the Strasmin from reaching it. This has been going on for endless cycles, for time beyond memory.
An inner voice that speaks to the Oistrem, offering advice and strength, and which has the power to direct their actions. Some Oistrem, notably Chax, have the ability to disobey the Craisht, and may even be able to negotiate with it.
A foul odor, according to Jack Vance.
A fragmented substance that appears in the skies each morning. Strasmins feed by drawing the essence of the Chimmer into themselves via their frenting rods. Oistrem find Chimmer to be disgusting and inedible.
A sensitive eye may detect faces in the Chimmer. What are they trying to say?
An Oistrem tag meaning “Broken-armed, shameful coward.” Chax gave himself this tag at a time when he was feeling low and sorry for himself.
A period of time which is roughly equal to a generation of Strasmin and Oistrem. When the last Strasmin has joined the Eirefrast and the last Oistrem has died, the old cycle ends and the world rests for a time before producing another generation, which starts a new cycle.
An event near the end of a cycle where any Strasmin who have reached Botaram abandon their material forms and return to the Strasmin home as heroes, joining the immortal ancestors.
A tool with many uses, created by a Strasmin while in training. It is a weapon, a focal point for various rituals, and a channel for feeding on Chimmer. It is also employed in a mysterious way when a Strasmin reaches Botaram.
A winged, chitinous critter which is an important source of food for the Oistrem.
See the Cast page entry for Chax.
A pattern of behavior followed by the Strasmins on their quests to Botaram. A path, in conjunction with a Strasmin’s natural abilities, is supposed to give the Strasmin the best possible chance to reach Botaram despite the Oistrem patrols.
A ritual in which a Strasmin can assimilate the spirit of a slain comrade and thus give that comrade’s spirit a chance to reach Botaram and participate in the Eirefrast.
See the Cast page entry for Aun.
A colossal formation, dark, thorny and formidable, that drifts above the surface of the world. It is the home and spawning point of the Oistrem, and among its many spines are the records of the names of nearly all the Oistrem who have ever lived.