Book of Words: terms for reading The Witch at Sparrow Creek

Some of the early readers of my debut novel The Witch at Sparrow Creek have suggested that it might be helpful if there were a dictionary of sorts with terminology that is specific to the novel. I recall when my dad and uncle came back from seeing the David Lynch 1984 Dune film, they had received a card at the movie that had some details about the characters, planets, families, and other important ideas of the film. It was kind of a cheat sheet for people who wanted to get into Frank Herbert’s world through the film but who hadn’t had a chance to go deep in his novels or needed a refresher.

I think the dictionary a terrific idea and had already begun one a few years ago. The next novel will reveal many new details about the world in which Jim and his companions live.

In the meantime (and cautious of spoilers) here is a teaser dictionary to illuminate this novel and to intrigue those who haven’t yet picked it up. Some of these ideas will not be fully revealed until the sequel!

Thanks everyone for your support – hope you’re all enjoying the book!

Book of Words for The Witch at Sparrow Creek

Craft(s)
The ability to manipulate reality; the words “power” or “magic” will sometimes refer to the same. Specifically mentioned in The Witch at Sparrow Creek are Witchcraft and Waycraft – there are more crafts.

Dracon
A legendary gunsmith. Weapons crafted by Dracon are so rare that they are said by many not to exist.

Hunters (also Ridder, also Ghost Killer)
Humans who have received gift(s) of power from the Great One. These Hunter’s gift(s) of power cannot be achieved through mastery of the Waycraft or self-discipline but only granted as a gift; however, a gift of power makes mastery of the Waycraft easier. Ithacus Falk and Jim Falk both are considered Hunters.

Jitters
1. Equivalent to getting “the creeps”. 2. As a Hunter, when Jim Falk refers to the Jitters, he is feeling a mental trail and gains a kind of link to the movements and whereabouts of his prey. His Jitters are greatly enhanced by consuming certain leaves.

Katakayish
These are the indigenous peoples who inhabit the wilderness about Sparrow. Their name means “the last people of the river”.

Killers
These mysterious beings are rumored to have emerged from the evil that somehow survived the Flood of Waters.

Old Bendy’s Men
Mostly, this nomenclature refers to the Killers; however, a second class of beings that differ from the Killers is also often described by the same. Old Bendy’s Men are rumored to be evil men from the Wydder. They are also sometimes called demons or spooks.

Power(s)
Abilities to manipulate reality – can be derived from the Evil One, given by the Great One, or learned as a skill.

Simples
There are any number of powders and elixirs derived from herbs and substances that are used in enhancing the practical aspects of weapons and medicines or tools. If you add a simple to your coffee, you will get sharper. If you pour a simple on your whet stone, you will get an extra sharp blade. Specifically mentioned in this novel are Rootfire, Apoplexy, and Inhere.

Specials
1. A  trans-formative concoction sometimes used toward an offensive or violent purpose – for example to turn a pinecone into an explosive. Some specials are said to be so powerful that they can change water to wine. 2. Can refer to any small weapon that has a crafted property.

Spinway(s)/wise
The primary line of reality in which Jim Falk and the characters in “The Witch at Sparrow Creek” exist.

Splitway(s)/wise
1. Any line of reality that flows from past events, used to describe paths of events that can share origins (see Crossways). In different directions. 2. Broken. Having different outcomes. 3. An understanding of reality that accepts a multiplicity of outcomes. “She thinks in splitways”

Spook
A generic term for mysterious entities that reportedly eat babies, horse’s heads, and other things…

Straightway
A theoretical ideal line of reality out of which no Splitway comes. Also known as The Way, The One Way, One’s Way, The One Path, The Way or Path of the Ancient One(s), The Way of the Great One.. It is thought that all splitways will one day converge with the straightway, this event is called the Great Crossway alternatively known as the meeting of Earth and Heaven.

Way(s)
Indicates energies and actions that are aligned with the ideal line of reality.

Wydder (Wyddr or W’ddr)
This word designates the reality into which Jim’s father, Ithacus Falk, was dragged by Old Bendy’s Men (AKA the Killers). The word is derived from the Katakayish language – Wy = sky + d’ddr = the sound of thunder after lightning. The word literally translated means something like “Sky Cracking”

Witch
A human (man or woman) who derives reality manipulating powers from the Evil One. The witch has no powers of his or her own. They can only be achieved by making a pact or becoming “in league” with the Evil One.

Witchword
Spell, incantation, prayer, or symbol used by a witch to manipulate reality. Also The Witchword. The words appear as nonsensical scribbles to those who cannot rightly read them.

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