Toy Soldier: A Spelljammer Saga

A series of novels set in the Spelljammer® fantasy universe

Appendix 1 - Espruar Glossary

aerakiir - "starsinger" - the name of Blackjack's flitter.

Ahk'Faerna - (plural) "duty of Art" - once used to describe the army of wizards and sorcerers employed by the elves during the time of Cormanthyr and Myth Drannor as a whole; an akh'faern serves in the Akh'Faer.

Aia'Ruan - "second starhand" - First Mate.  See also Ary'Ruan.  (See Appendix 3.)

alu'quesst - "water-nectar" - elven grog; see quesstiasa

alusfaen - blood; literally translated, "Water of Life."

alusfaen'inar - blood brother; those who have taken a blood brother oath are considered to be brothers as much as biological kin are.  See also teu'revanthas.

Alu'Tel'Quessir - "people of the water" - sea elves, adapted to aquatic life

Ar'Cor'Ruan - "highest (gold) legendary starhand" - Grand Admiral.  (See Appendix 3.)

Ar'hakavarn - "high orc" - a scro.  See hakavarn.

Ar'Ruan - "high (gold) starhand" - Captain.  A Commodore (leader of a group of Captains) is Ar'Ruan'Enna "high starhand (number) one".  (See Appendix 3.)

Ar'Tel'Quessir - "golden people" - sun or gold elves

Ary'Ruan - "high (silvery) starhand" - First Mate.  See also Aia'Ruan.  (See Appendix 3.)

Arvandor - the elven afterlife; heaven, where the gods dwell.  It is thought of as a beautiful sylvan forest.

Ary'Cor'Ruan - "high (silvery) legendary starhand" - Admiral.  (See Appendix 3.)

av - "aye" - a short form of avavaen used in the Elven Imperial Navy and other elven naval forces, which carries much more clearly across the length of a ship; see avavaen

av, quessir - "aye, sir" - see av

avar - father, daddy

avara - mother, mom, mommy

avavaen - yes; see av

Arshaalth - "high axe" - a rank within the Akh'Velahr and Akh'Faer between Nikerym and Kerym.  Roughly the equivalent of a 1st Lieutenant.

beryn fin - "time of discovery" - elven adolescence.  Since it lasts for several decades, elven youth can hardly be called "teenagers," although this period in their lifespan is roughly equivalent.  An elven adolescent is refered to as a berynfiness; plural berynfinessi.  See also malawain.

Cor'Ruan - "legendary starhand" - Rear Admiral.  (See Appendix 3.)

daoine - "starshine" - the name of Garan Oakheart's flitter.

elvarquisst - a sacred elven wine, used for ceremony and ritual by the elves but prized by all for its quality.  It is ruby-colored and magically distilled from sunshine and rare fruits.  "Utterly smooth, the liquor is nonetheless flecked with gold and has an iridescence of both color and flavor. It is highly prized at all times, but in the autumn rituals it is savored as if it is the gift of one final, perfect summer day."    Translated literally, "green-father-wine," perhaps implying a correlation to Rillifane Rallathil.

Espruar - the name for the elven language and alphabet.

etriel - 1. a noble elf-sister, a term of respect used for a noble elven lady or maid  2. she  3. female, a female  4. a title of respect within an elven military force, equivalent to “ma’am”

Etriellyth - "Little Lady," or "Queenie" - an affectionate nickname for the Nikym d'Quex Etrielle, the man-o-war on which Shaundar served as a Sy'Ruan and Teu'Ruan.

Evaliir'Kerym - "(great) song of the blade" or "bladesong" - a uniquely elven martial art that combines swordsmanship with arcane talent - practitioners are called kerymaeri, or "bladesingers".

ghaatiil'ren - "going West" - the term given to the end of an elven lifespan; when an Elder elf, with the moonbows of Sehanine in her eyes, is called home to Arvandor, she simply walks off, travels "West," and disappears, never to be seen again.

hakavarn - "orc" - from hakar, meaning "enemy," and vaarn, meaning "evil".  The roots of the word make the elven view on orcs abundantly clear.

Hinue ath Tel'Kerym - "Song of the Blade" - the manual that details the code and practice of bladesong, a uniquely elven martial art; see Evaliir'Kerym.

Koeh'lyth - "earth-child" - groundling.  (See Appendix 3.)

kerymaera - "bladesinger" - someone who practices the art of bladesong (Evaliir'Kerym); plural is kerymaeri; adjective is kerymaer.

kholiast - "mistress of stones" - a complex gold elven card game involving more than 1000 cards and a complex system of counting.

Khov'Aniless - "the Trio Nefarious" - the name given to the three mycaloths Aulmpiter, Gaulguth and Malimshaer who helped to rally the Army of Darkness that destroyed Cormanthor and Myth Drannor.

malawain - "unawakened" - in elven culture, an elf is considered an adolescent, or berynfiness, until s/he has a spiritual epiphany.  Those who pass the age of majority (about 100 years) without having such an epiphany are called the malawain.  They are viewed with some pity by other elves and often don't fit in.  See also beryn fin.

neh - no

Nikym - "dagger" - a title of rank in the Akh'Velahr or Akh'Faer given to the commander of a section, below Shaalth and above Iolaa.  Roughly the equivalent of a Platoon Leader.

Nikym d'Quex Etrielle - "The Queen's Dirk" - name of the ship on which Shaundar, Yathar, Garan and Sylria served under Captain Yvoleth.

niri - "little bears" - a large rodent native to Nedethil, about the size of a marmot; singular is nire (pronounced nee-RAY)

N'Tel-Quess - "not-People" - the term that the elves use to describe non elven races.  See also Tel'Quessir, Sha'Quessir.

N'Velahr - "Shadow-Soldier" - a member of an elven Special Forces unit, often called upon for infiltration, assassination, and espionage.  Plural N'Velahrn.

quessir - 1. people  2. a term of respect used for an honorable elven male, often of noble lineage; "my lord," or "sir"  3. he  4. male, a male  5. a title of respect within an elven military force, quivalent to “sir.”

quesstiasa - "nectar wine" - a potent elven spirit distilled under moonlight from fruit nectar and honey; used by the Imperial Elven Navy as part of their grog mixture instead of rum; see alu'quesst.

quinpah - a light elven dessert pastry, crispy on the outside and soft and buttery on the inside, glazed with honey.

reverie - a trance state that elves use instead of sleep to rest and rejuvenate, in which they often sit instead of lying down, and their eyes often remain open.  This is one of the ways in which elves maintain clear memories of all their experiences despite their very long lives.

Rualith - "little star" - Shaundar's childhood name.  It is customary among some elves to give a child an affectionate nickname in childhood.

Ruamarillys - "starflower" - the name of Captain Madrimlian's elven man-o-war ship.

ruan - "starhand" - a sailor of the stars; a spelljammer.  (See Appendix 3.)

Ruan'lian "starhand-master"; sometimes Ruan'lianna "starhand-mistress" (only correct for a female commander, though Ruan'lian is also correct) - the enlisted leadership in the Imperial Elven Navy; for example, the Boatswain, the Artillery Commander, the Sail Master, etc.  (See Appendix 3.)

shalaquin - a long-necked elven instrument somewhat akin to a vielle.  It is plucked or strummed like a lute, and string tension (tuning) is controlled by a ratcheting wheel.

Sha'Quessir - "elf-friend" or "friend of the People" - a non elf honored by a place of status and respect in elven society, usually by virtue of some great deed done for the Elven People or their allies.

Sy'Ruan - "copper starhand" - Midshipman.  (See Appendix 3.)

Tel'Quessir - "the People" - the name that the elves use for themselves.  See also N'Tel-Quess, Sha'Quessir.

Teu'Cor'Ruan - "high (silver) legendary starhand" - Vice Admiral.  (See Appendix 3.)

Teu'Ruan - "high (silver) starhand" - Lieutenant.  (See Appendix 3.)

Teu'Tel'Quessir - "silver/spirit people" - silver or moon elves

teu'revanthas - "soul-friend" - a friend of the spirit, so close as to be almost family.  See also alusfaen'inar.

Appendix 2 - Orcish Glossary

Ar'Darrak -  "Argent Champion" - right hand of the Overlord (Gor'Tath'Karr); military leader of the Scro Empire.  See also Tath'Darrak.  (See Appendix 4.)

cha - enemy, foe 

da - "slave" - a servant or underling who is beneath one's notice 

Da'Kryl - "servant of the sword" or "samurai" would be the closest translation to this term for a sworn scro warrior trained in a specific combat art similar to kendo and a code similar to kenjutsu.  A Master of the style is referred to as a Da'Kryl Tarrak'karr "Da'Kryl Warlord" and addressed as Karr ("sir," or "my lord.")

darrak - "champion," "guardian" or "defender" -  one who stands in defense of another, or several others, especially by force of arms.  Since scro justice is often carried out by force of arms, it also refers to someone who advocates for another in a court of law.  See also Tath'Darrak, Ar'Darrak.

dek - bone; see also nardek

durka - mother, mom

durkarr - father, dad

garra - "gay" - a derogatory term for a homosexual male, also carrying the implication of being "weak," "effeminate," "soft" and "cowardly."  An insult demanding a lethal defense of one's honour. 

gor - "high" - used to indicate lordship or command (adjective)

Gor'karr - "High Lord" - the title given to an Admiral or Fleet Commander.  (See Appendix 4.)

Gor'tar - "high warrior"; the equivalent of "Lieutenant."  (See Appendix 4.)

Gor'Tath'Karr - "high clan lord" or "Overlord" - the ruler of the Scro Empire.  (See Appendix 4.)

graf - a hot, dark and bitter drink that is actually a form of coffee, usually prepared with cinnamon, cloves, pepper and cardamom.  Women drink it with cream and honey; men generally drink it black.

gul - "yes" or "aye"

gul, karr - "aye, sir" 

gurt - "twig" - racial slur for an elf, referring to their thin and frail builds when compared to orcs and scro.

harak - "honour," "honourable," "nobility," or "courage" 

harak'cha - "honourable foe" - an honourific given to an enemy who has defeated one in honourable combat.  The title is one of respect and carries an implication that the scro or orc who uses it will obey the one called by it, within reason.

karak'tar, nor lakaar! - "honourable warrior, my gratitude" - a traditional toast offered in ritualistic acknowledgement of soldiers and warriors who gave their lives in battle. 

hargol - a scro "subtle" dish, consisting of marinated meat strips in lightly peppered egg noodles and a herb-and-oil dressing.

karr - "sir" or "lord" - a term of respect used for a noble who outranks the scro speaking, or for a commanding officer in a military.  Also used as part of a title to indicate leadership.  Plural karrek.  See also karra.

karra - "my lady" - a term of respect used for a lady of quality or a noblewoman.  Since females do not serve in the scro military, it is not a military term.  See also karr.

Karr'tar - "lord warrior' - a Captain.  (See Appendix 4.)

na'kor - "blood brother" - a sworn blood brother and brother-in-arms.  This term has great meaning in scro society.  A na'kor is considered to be your closest kin, and loyalty to your na'kor is the highest virtue there is among the scro, having precidence above all other oaths and fealty-bonds.

nardek - a woodwind instrument that superficially resembles a recorder or a chanter, with an unusually fat double reed instead of a blow-hole.  It is traditionally formed of the leg or arm-bone of a worthy foe.  Some have wires to hook around tusks for ease of play, and its fingering is similar to that of a penny whistle.  Its sound is like that of a duduk or a saxophone.

nor drakaar - "my appreciation" is the best translation, though inflection and context change its meaning, since the concept of gratitude is a complex one in Orcish.  Some forms of gratitude imply subservience, some a debt owed, and some an agreement of equals who are doing a favour for each other.  It is an Orcish equivalent of "thank you."

nor lakaar - "my gratitude" is the best translation, though inflection and context change its meaning, since the concept of gratitude is a complex one in Orcish.  Some forms of gratitude imply subservience, some a debt owed, and some an agreement of equals who are doing a favour for each other.  It is an Orcish equivalent of "thank you."

ryll - a peppery breakfast egg pie; something like a meaty quiche.

scro - the name that the orcs descended from Dukagsh use for themselves.  They tend to be stronger, more intelligent, and more cultured than average orcs.

spirra - "dandelion(s)" - a racial slur for an elf or elves, referring to the dandelions that they ate whenever possible in Raven Talon Prison Camp and to the fact that they grow where they are not wanted, like weeds.

tar - "one who fights; warrior" - 1. a scro male who has come of age and is recognized as a full member of the tribe.  2. a soldier. (See Appendix 4.)

tark - "brick" - a mild orcish insult roughly translating to "blockhead"

tarrak - "war" - an extended conflict between multiple peoples or nations.

Tarrak'karr - "Warlord" - a General or equivalent.  (See Appendix 4.)

tarrak'za - "War Chant" - a ritualized series of chants, gestures, weapons drills and calls particular to the warriors of individual tribes.  Effectively an Orcish custom similar to a New Zealand haka

tarrak'zabu - "warpriest" - a priest who serves Dukagsh, founder of the scro, trained in both arcane and divine magic.  Only males may serve in this role.  See zabu.

tath - "clan" or "tribe" - the central social unit of scro society.  "Tath" might refer to the immediate clan members in a given family, especially among the nobles, or it might refer to the whole clan, including their constituents.  Plural tatha.

Tath'Darrak - "Clan Champion" - the military leader of a clan and right hand to its Almighty Leader.  (See Appendix 4.)

Tath'karr - "Clan Lord" - an Almighty Leader of one of the 24 Tribes.   See also Zabu'karr.  (See Appendix 4.)

Tethka Tarrak - "The Art of War" - a book attributed to Dukagsh that is considered a classic work in scro society, detailing the arts, practices and philosophy of the ideal scro warrior.  It reads like a combination of Sun Tzu's Art of War and Myiamoto Musashi's Go Rin No Sho ("Book of Five Rings").

toregkh - a necklace of teeth taken from enemies whom a scro has killed by biting out their throats with his tusks.  Though this practice is considered barbaric by many other cultures, to the scro it is a sign of respect for the foe so slain.

Valdok - "guide" - an older friend or mentor who goes into the jungle with the  initiate of a Zabbak'Tarr to aid him in his challenges.  See also Zabbak'Tarr.

zaba - 1. "priestess" or "seeress" - a title given to a female orc or scro who serves divine powers.  Priestesses are often trained in arcane magic as well, though they do not serve as tarrak'zabu.  2. "holy," "sacred," "blessed" or "taboo;" an adjective used to describe a female touched by the gods in some way.  See zabu.

Zabbak'Tarr - "Rite of the Warrior" - a Rite of Passage in which a scro warrior coming of age proves himself by going naked or almost naked into the jungle armed with nothing but his claws and teeth, and must slay a great predator to prove his worth as a warrior.  Often boys do not survive and warriors who do not succeed at the hunt are not recognized as adults by the tribe. The rite is overseen by the Warpriests and the Priestesses of Luthic, and guided by a Valdok

zabu - 1. "priest" or "shaman" - a title given to a male orc or scro who serves divine powers.   2. "holy," sacred," "blessed" or "taboo;" an adjective used to describe a male touched by the gods in some way.  See tarrak'zabu, zaba, Zabu'Karr.

Zabu'karr - "Almighty Leader" - the Clan Lord of one of the 24 Tribes.  See also Tath'karr.  (See Appendix 4.)

Appendix 3 - Ranks of the Imperial Elven Navy

The Imperial Elven Navy is structured very similarly to the British Royal Navy of the Napoleanic Wars.

There is a firm division between the officers and the enlisted.  Officers tend to come from elven nobility, while the enlisted come from commoner elves.  The only exception to this is if a common elf distinguishes himself in combat; but at that point, if he is receiving a promotion to an officer's rank, odds are that he is also receiving a knighthood (or equivalent) from an elven Crown somewhere; which makes him noble.

There are several officers' ranks but only two enlisted ranks.


Grand Admiral - Ar'Cor'Ruan "highest (gold) legendary starhand" - this rank is given only to one elf; the commander of the Imperial Elven Navy

Admiral - Ary'Cor'Ruan "high (silvery) legendary starhand" - this rank is given to the commander of a fleet in each individual crystal sphere

Vice Admiral - Teu'Cor'Ruan "high (silver) legendary starhand" - an Admiral, in a larger fleet, will have two sub-Admirals who answer to her.  The Teu'Cor'Ruan, or Vice Admiral, commands the portion of a fleet that engages the enemy in combat.  This position is given to the sub-Admiral with the most seniority.

Rear Admiral - Cor'Ruan "legendary starhand" - an Admiral, in a larger fleet, will have two sub-Admirals who answer to her.  The Cor'Ruan, or Rear Admiral, commands the portion of a fleet that remains behind while the first portion engages the enemy in combat.  This position is given to the sub-Admiral with the least seniority.

Captain - Ar'Ruan "high (gold) starhand" - the commander of a ship.  The Captain designated to command a flotilla or other small group of ships, though technically not of any higher rank than any other Captain, is referred to as a Commodore (Ar'Ruan'Enna, or "high starhand (number) one").

First Mate - Ary'Ruan "high (silvery) starhand" or, more commonly, Aia'Ruan "second starhand" - the second-in-command of a ship.

Lieutenant - Teu'Ruan "high (silver) starhand" - most of the senior officers aboard a ship will carry this rank.

Midshipman - Sy'Ruan "copper starhand" - this is the most junior of the officer's ranks, assigned to the children of officers when they join a ship, and automatically conferred on anyone designated as a spelljammer.


Master or Commander - Ruan'lian "starhand-master"; sometimes Ruan'lianna "starhand-mistress" (only correct for a female commander, though Ruan'lian is also correct) - this rank is given to the enlisted leadership; for example, the Boatswain, the Artillery Commander, the Sail Master, etc.

Enlisted Crew - Ruan "starhand" - you need to be considered experienced crew to carry this rank, however.

Green Crew - Koeh'lyth "earth-child" - until elven crew have earned the designation of Ruan, they are called by this elven variation of "groundling"; unless, of course, they are officers' children and begin their careers as Sy'Ruani.

Appendix 4 - Ranks of the Scro Military & Aristocracy

The Scro culture is a military one, and like with feudal Japan, there is no real differentiation between their aristocracy and their military, and no division between their military forces.  Society is highly stratified in that the males of the 24 Tribes command the nation, with an Overlord who leads them all.  Most positions change hands through combat, often to the death, but the stratification of Scro society sometimes designates who can challenge for which position.

Overlord - Gor'Tath'Karr "high clan lord" - ruler of the Scro Empire.  Only the Almighty Leaders, the Argent Champion, Champions of the 24 Tribes, and Da'Kryl warriors may challenge for this position.  A challenge is almost always fought to the death.

Argent Champion - Ar'Darrak - "silver champion" - military leader of the Scro Empire and right hand to the Overlord.  He is empowered to command the Clan Champions and the armed forces of the various clans under the authority of the Overlord, but he does not outrank the Almighty Leaders and they may refuse his commands.  He is appointed directly by the Overlord but any of the Almighty Leaders or Clan Champions may challenge his appointment through test of arms.  Defeating the Argent Champion does not mean that his opponent replaces him; it means that the defeated Argent Champion may not remain in the position and a new one must be appointed.

Almighty Leader or Clan Lord - Zabu'Karr "Almighty Leader / Holy Lord" or Tath'karr "Clan Lord" - an Almighty Leader is the lord of one of the 24 Tribes.  There is some minor prestige in leading one of the eight "Elder Tribes" (see Appendix 5).  He is the ruler of the clan and may choose as many of the clan's females as he can support financially, and defend by arms, for his wives.  Though all scro technically answer to a clan except for mercenaries and pirates, only the actual family members of one of the 24 Tribes (someone who actually bears the surname) may challenge for the position of Almighty Leader.  This challenge is often fought to the death among the more brutal and nastier clans, but the more benevolent ones are more interested in preserving the clan's strength.

Clan Champion - Tath'Darrak "Clan Champion/Guardian" - the military commander of one of the 24 Tribes.  He is the second-in-command to the Almighty Leader and leads in his absence.  Traditionally, his job is to lead the armed forces while the Almighty Leader heads politics.  He can have as many wives as he can financially support, as long as the Clan Lord doesn't decide to take them.  Only a full member of the tribe may challenge for this position.  This challenge is not often fought to the death but maiming may be involved.

Fleet Commander or Admiral - Gor'karr "High Lord" - Fleet Commanders are generally drawn from very capable military leaders or sons of the Almighty Leader and Clan Champion.  Even a common scro may aspire to this position if he is a truly brilliant strategist and combatant with a modium of political savvy, though this makes him a noble and he is then expected to marry at least one noblewoman of the tribe.  The Fleet Commander of the Tarantula Fleet was one such young aristocrat.  This position is appointed from Captains by the Clan Champion, or may be assumed by the Champion himself.  A scro with sufficient political backing among the Fleet and an axe to grind may also demand the right to challenge for this position.  This challenge is almost always to the death.

General or Warlord - Tarrak'karr "Warlord" - Ground-based military commanders who answer to Fleet Commanders.  The Fleet Commander generally appoints his Generals, so they may be drawn from the aristocracy or the commoners, but these positions may also be challenged for under the same conditions as that of Fleet Commander.  More than one disgruntled General has sabotaged a Fleet Commander's career, then challenged to replace him. 

Captain - Karr'tar "Lord Warrior" - the most capable males of a clan's aristocracy, and the most capable commoners, are appointed to the position of Captain by any of the superior ranks.  A Captain appointed by a Fleet Commander serves in the Navy and a Captain appointed by a General serves in the Army.  Any rank above that decides in which capacity a Captain serves.  An exceptional orc, ogre, or other humanoid (not scro) may occassionally be granted the equivalent of this rank, though this is usually for political expediency rather than any real respect of their abilities (when a chieftain commands the loyalty of a large force, for example.)  An Almighty Leader's sons may be given this position upon their coming-of-age.  This is the lowest position that may speak in a Council of the Tribes.

Commander or Lieutenant - Gor'tar "high warrior" - about the equivalent rank of Lieutenant.  Most of the males of a clan's aristocracy, and some of the more capable commoners are appointed to this rank.

Warrior or "Grunt" - Tar "warrior" - the rank and file of the scro armed forces and the males of the society; in other words, everyone else who is not a thrall or servant.

Appendix 5 - The 24 Scro Tribes

By tradition, there are 24 Tribes, or Clans, of Scro, reputedly descended from the 24 Captains that followed Dukagsh in his legendary escape from the Imperial Elven Fleet.  Since scro lead violent lives, sometimes clans have been wiped out, and sometimes clans have wiped out other clans.  The number, however, remains consistent.  There is some minor degree of additional prestige granted to the eight surviving "Elder Tribes" (marked with an asterisk in both lists,) and they are listed first in the order of precidence.  It is highly unusual for an Overlord to come from any but the Eight Elder Tribes, though it does happen.

Scro Clans (the 24 Tribes)

 As of the Second Unhuman War ("The War of Revenge.")  The Eight Elder Tribes are marked with an asterisk:

1. Baneblood*
2. Blackblade
3. Blackclaw

4. Bloodaxe* - the present ruling clan of the scro, under Overlord Narok Bloodaxe.  Garik Bloodaxe was the warden of the Raven Talon Prison Camp.  They have a long-running feud against the Bloodfists.

5. Bloodfist* - a clan known for its philosopher warriors and unusually merciful hand.  Clan of Dorin Bloodfist (former Champion, then Almighty Leader,) and Corin Bloodfist (Almighty Leader.)  Bolvi Bloodfist becomes Clan Champion.  This clan will succeed the Frostbanes eventually (Book Four "Sweet Water & Light Laughter")
6. Bonecrusher
7. Darkhand
8. Deathtusk

9. Doomspear - a clan known for its sturdy ground pounder warriors.
10. Dragonclaw
11. Dragonslayer
12. Elfbane*

13. Frostbane - the clan that succeeds the Bloodaxes following the War of Revenge.
14. Grimcleave
15. Hellguard
16. Ironlaw
17. Ironmaul
18. One-Eye* - a clan known for its shamans, priestesses and Warpriests.

19. Rageclaw*
20. Reaver
21. Starstrike

22. Voidlord

23. Warguard*

24. Wrackblood*

The Original 24 Tribes

Also called "The Elder Tribes," only eight of them (marked with an asterisk) survive to the time of the Second Unhuman War.  These are believed to be the original surnames or epithets of the 24 Captains who served directly under Dukagsh:

1. Baneblood*
2. Blacktusk
3. Bloodaxe*
4. Bloodfist*
5. Bonescream

6. Darkstar
7. Deathblood
8. Diremaul
9. Elfbane*

10. Elfrender
11. Hammerfall
12. Hellroarer
13. One-Eye*
14. Painforged
15. Rageclaw*
16. Starwrath
17. Stoneskull
18. Thunderaxe
19. Venomclaw
20. Voidborn
21. Warcry
22. Warguard*
23. Wargmaw
24. Wrackblood*


Appendix 6 - Bell Time Aboard Ship

Watch Schedules and Ship's Bells

shipsbell.gif (2586 bytes)As early as the 15th Century, a bell was used to sound the time onboard a ship. (Time, in those days, was kept with an hourglass.) The bell was rung every half hour of the 4 hour watch. A 24 hour day was divided into six 4 hour watches, except the dog watch (16:00 - 20:00 hours) which could be divided into two 2 hour watches to allow for the taking of the evening meal.


Middle Watch

Midnight to 4 AM (0000 - 0400)
Morning Watch4 AM to 8 AM (0400 - 0800)
Forenoon Watch8 AM to Noon (0800 - 1200)
Afternoon WatchNoon to 4 PM (1200 - 1600)
First Dog Watch4 PM to 6 PM (1600 - 1800)
Second Dog Watch6 PM to 8 PM (1800 - 2000)
First Watch8 PM to Midnight (2000 - 0000)

The bells were struck for every half-hour of each watch, with a maximum of eight bells. For instance, during the Middle Watch you would hear the the following:

00:30 1 bell
01:00 2 bells
01:30 2 bells, pause, 1 bell
02:00 2 bells, pause, 2 bells
02:30 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 1 bell
03:00 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 2 bells
03:30 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 1 bell
04:00 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 2 bells

At eight bells your watch was over! All other 4 hour watches followed this same procedure except the Dog Watches.

At the end of the First Dog Watch, only four bells were struck, and the Second Dog Watch bells were struck like this: 6:30 PM, one bell; 7 PM two bells; 7:30 PM, three bells; and at 8 PM, eight bells.  However, this last was a tradition developed in the British Royal Navy after the Nore Mutiny, the beginning of which was signalled by the ringing of five bells during the middle of the two dog watches; so in the Spelljammer® universe, since that tradition never would have needed to be developed, the dog watches are rung in the normal sequence of eight bells.


Bell Time on Shipboard
Time - A.M.Time - A.M.Time - A.M.Time - P.M.Time - P.M.Time - P.M.
1 bell - 12:301 bell - 4:301 bell - 8:301 bell - 12:301 bell - 4:30

1 bell - 8:30

2 bells - 1:002 bells - 5:002 bells - 9:002 bells - 1:002 bells - 5:00

2 bells - 9:00

3 bells - 1:303 bells - 5:303 bells - 9:303 bells - 1:303 bells - 5:30

3 bells - 9:30

4 bells - 2:004 bells - 6:004 bells - 10:004 bells - 2:004 bells - 6:00

4 bells - 10:00

5 bells - 2:305 bells - 6:305 bells - 10:305 bells - 2:305 bells - 6:30

5 bells - 10:30

6 bells - 3:006 bells - 7:006 bells - 11:006 bells - 3:006 bells - 7:00

6 bells - 11:00

7 bells - 3:307 bells - 7:307 bells - 11:307 bells - 3:307 bells - 7:30

7 bells - 11:30

8 bells - 4:008 bells - 8:008 bells - noon8 bells - 4:008 bells - 8:00

8 bells-midnight


Appendix 7 - Spelljamming® Navigation


Since spelljamming takes place in three dimensions, we must draw upon the terminology of underwater and aerial navigation in order to accurately reflect course headings, directions, and deck commands to the Sail Crew (or, the things that that Bo'sun bellows and expects the crew to understand).

When turning a craft in three dimensions, the commands to do this must be given separately for each dimension, so each one needs its own term.

When a ship turns left or right (port or starboard) from the level of its gravity plane, that is known as the ship's yaw.

The angle a ship is tilted up or down from the level of its gravity plane is known as its pitch.

If you ran a line from the point of a ship's bow along its gravity plane to the place where its rudder would be (or is, if it's water-landing capable), the angle at which is spins around this is known as its roll.  Think of your dog rolling over on his back and the term makes sense!  In sci-fi dramas where a ship takes "evasive maneuvers," it is usually rolling.

Aviation manuals offer the following diagram (the arrows show the spinning of each axis):


Or, this wonderful fish picture might help to clarify for those who struggle with physics:


Giving a command to turn in a particular way is therefore often given according to pitch, roll, or yaw.  These might be given in degrees of a circle "Pitch 45 degrees, yaw ten degrees, roll 120 degrees!" which can be shortened to "Pitch 45, yaw ten, roll 120!", degrees of a circle with a direction from the gravity plane also indicated up to a maximum of 180 degrees, which is the limit of a semi-circle "Pitch five (degrees) up, yaw ten (degrees) starboard!", or as the facings of a clock, especially when speaking of the yaw "I've got a bandit on my six!"

Such commands might also be given according to the traditional nautical terms we are more familiar with "Hard to starboard!" or "Full astern!"

Most of the pitch and roll would be controlled by the spelljammer at the helm, who would direct the ship to travel in a certain way through the force of her or his will, and some of the yaw would be controlled that way as well.  However, most of the yaw, and some of the pitch and roll would be controlled by the sail crew.  Tying down and opening certain sails at certain times (or paddling oars on one side and not the other, and so forth) would change the aerodynamics of the ship, which would affect its ability to make those adjustments.  Otherwise, rigging your ship in the Spelljammer® universe would have no effect on the maneuverability of your craft.  The exception to this is, of course, one man craft such as flitters, where a sail crew is not needed.  The direction of the ship is therefore entirely in the hands of the helmsman.  Lacking a need to communicate a complex series of commands between several people, as well as smaller size, makes for a better maneuverability class.

This is also why it is theoretically possible for a ship to operate with just its helmsman, but at a significantly reduced maneuverability class if the ship is not designed to be used in this way.  The sails (or oars, or whatever) don't tilt or dip or release at the right times, and turning becomes much more arduous, potentially even damaging the craft if done too suddenly at an angle that the ship is not properly prepared to do.

Setting a Course:

Setting a course is a different cup of tea.

Navigating a ship without a compass is possible, but generally, a boat so doing follows coastlines.  This is simply not possible in wildspace.

Modern aircraft and submarines, who navigate in three dimensions, do so through the use of radio technology, which of course, is not present in the Spelljammer® universe.

So we must rely on basic tall ship navigation, which involves using dead reckoning, compass directions, and some method of detemining pitch, which would involve a variation of the sextant or astrolabe.

Dead reckoning is  is the process of calculating one's current position by using a previously determined position, or fix, and advancing that position based upon known or estimated speeds over elapsed time, and course. (Source: Wikipedia).  This is navigating using landmarks and counting distance and time.  This is the reason that keeping time on a ship accurately is so important.  This works in spelljamming just as it does at sea.

A compass determines which direction one is travelling in, but it needs a point of orientation.  This created a unique problem for spelljammers, since there is no magnetic north in space.  However, the Arcane overcame that difficulty by creating a device that orients to the crystal shell of a given sphere and points towards the sphere's centre, called a stellar compass.  If the needle is spinning in circles, you know that you are at the centre of the sphere.  The device is a needle suspended in a clear globe, the diametre of which is marked with a band showing all the traditional compass directions in the nautical tradition (North, South, East, West, and points between) as well as the degrees of a circle; and a band that crosses it directly at the North and South, showing "Up," "Down," and all the degrees of a circle.

A nautical sextant would have limited application in space, since it measures the distance between two objects, one generally being in the sky (say, the sun) and one being the horizon (which doesn't exist.)  Instead of using the horizon, in order to make use of a sextant, a navigator would have to arbitrarily choose an object to focus on instead of the horizon in order to fix a position, perhaps by using the centre body of a sphere in place of the horizon, and the planet that you are headed for in place of the sun or other celestial object.  This has very little application in a sphere with chaotic planetary movement!

However, an astronomical sextant, designed to measure the angles between stars, would be very useful.  The only problem is that they are huge and heavy, so only large ships would have the room for them,  and only ships supplied by an excellent budget would be able to afford them.

Astrolabes, which measure the distance and angles of visible objects from a specific point (on earth, a specific latitude, but in space, a specific planetary point or other landmark) would have some application in space if you were at all familiar with the sphere, but very little if you were not or if the sphere is at all unusual in its structure.

There is a magical item that exists in the Spelljammer® universe known as a celestial astrolabe, which instantly maps the sphere you are in as a "holographic display", but of course, those are rare, and even more prohibitively expensive.

There is also an item known as a spelljamming sextant, detailed in the War Captain's Companion, which has three lenses to fix positioning instead of two, and lining all of them up would therefore compensate for the stable position of the horizon not being present in space.

Last, a ship's navigator would have to keep track of the planetary movements in each sphere in order to take accurate measurements and make precise calculations, so if (s)he were unfamiliar with the sphere, this would complicate matters even further.  Magical aids to fixing position and determining the locations of other people or items may be able to provide the missing elements in those situations.

In short, this is a much more complicated process, involving a more eclectic skill set than planetary navigators might require!  And if you spend a lot of time exploring the surfaces of planets, (s)he would have to know something about that as well.

For pictures of some navigational aids that would have been put to use, see the Photos for Book Two.


Spelljamming distances and sizes are measured by hex or hex-lengths, which is about 500 yards.  The name comes from spelljamming tactical maps and charts, which are divided into hexes for ease of conversion (of a three dimensional navigation system to two dimensions.)  A mile is 1760 yards, and therefore about three and a half hex. 

At spelljamming speeds, all ships travel at the same rate, which is 100 million miles per day, or 350 million hex.  Only when nearby another gravitational body does a spelljammer's own speed based on his magical power, or tactical rating, become important or relevant.  Spelljamming vessels automatically slow to tactical speeds when encountering other gravitational bodies.

Appendix 8 - Spelljammer® Crystal Spheres

Phlogiston Currents:

Realmspace leads to Spiralspace and Dragonspace, but not Scrospace.

Scrospace leads to Dragonspace and Spiralspace, but not Realmspace.

Dragonspace leads to Realmspace, but not Scrospace or Spiralspace.

Spiralspace leads to Realmspace, Dragonspace, and Scrospace. 



Realmspace is the sphere that contains the Forgotten Realms® campaign setting, which is located on the world of Toril.  It is the sphere in which our story begins, on the world of Garden.

Sun - Type H  Fire

Anadia - Type B  Earth

Coliar - Type G  Air

Toril - Type E  Earth,  Moon (Selune) &  Cluster (Selune's Tears); principle world of the sphere.  Evermeet, and the lost empire of Cormanthyr and the destroyed city of Myth Drannor, are located here.  Selune is called "Leira" by its inhabitants and is the location of the "Battle of Leira." Selune's Tears is the location of "Aces High", the Imperial Elven Navy Elite Flight Academy; Dragon Rock, which becomes the port-of-call for Sable's ships in "Sweet Water & Light Laughter;" and as of the end of "A Few Good Elves," it becomes the location of the Rock of Bral (Type A  Earth); location of the Rock of Bral spaceport to which the crew of the Dragonfly was taken at the end of "A Few Good Elves"; also the location to which they return to join the Permafrost Project; also the location to which Shaundar returns at the end of "Brothers in Arms"; also the port-of-call for Sable's ships in "Sable's Privateers."  Before the events of "A Few Good Elves," this mobile asteroid base was part of Spiralspace.

Karpri - Type D  Water; this waterworld is the planet around which the Karpri Base orbits, where one of the battles in "A Few Good Elves" takes place.

Chandros - Type F  Water

Glyth - Type E  Earth; this beholder and illithid slave world contains a very unusual ring formation; location of the "Battle of Glyth's Rings."

Garden - Type A  Earth (Liveworld); Nedethil is a large (Type C) planetoid in Garden's roots; Paeceon is an Imperial Elven Navy military base located near Nedethil on a Type A diskworld at the end of a root of Garden

H'Catha - Type C  Water



Spiral is the location of the Raven Talon Prison Camp, and was the location of the Rock of Bral as of "A Few Good Elves" and the officially-published Spelljammer® novel "The Maelstrom's Eye."   I have extensively mined the geography of Paul Westermeyer's "Bralspace" from the Beyond the Moons Spelljammer® website, but have ignored the politics because they are inconsistant with my story.

A navigational detail which becomes integral to "A Few Good Elves" is that there are distinctive constellations marked on the crystal shell which form a sort of zodiac.  They are:

1 o'clock - Scavver
2 o'clock - Kraken
3 o'clock - Starbeast
4 o'clock - Kindori
5 o'clock - Neogi
6 o'clock - Dragon
7 o'clock - Sarphardin
8 o'clock - Giff
9 o'clock - Beholder
10 o'clock - Eagle
11 o'clock - Griffon
12 o'clock - Lion

The crew of the Dragonfly attempted to use the Beholder constellation as a navigational landmark to locate Ironpiece.


Sun - Type C  Fire

Barre Sinister - Type A  Earth

Scavverbone - Type A  Earth

Red Belt

Shipwrecker - Type B  Earth

Green Belt

Barbuda - Type C  Water

Minial's Arch - Type B  Earth

Blue Belt

Numeliador - Type B  Earth

Violet Belt

Diamondhammer's Stake - Type A  Earth

Gods' Marbles - Type A  Earth

Grainfields - Type A  Earth

Rock of Bral - Type A  Earth; location of the Rock of Bral spaceport to which the crew of the Dragonfly was taken at the end of "A Few Good Elves"; also the location to which Shaundar returns at the end of "Brothers in Arms"; also the port-of-call for Sable's ships in "Sable's Privateers."  After the events of "A Few Good Elves," this mobile asteroid base becomes part of Realmspace.  This is consistent with "The Cloakmaster Cycle," the officially published Spelljammer® novel series.

Spiral - Type C  Earth; location of the Raven Talon Prison Camp in "A Few Good Elves".

Flicker - Type A  Earth

Unipaxala - Type A  Earth

Grey Belt

Ironpiece - Type C  Earth; gnomish world to which the crew of the Dragonfly were trying to flee in "A Few Good Elves".  They never reach their destination.



Dragonspace is the sphere in which my homebrewed campaign setting, Draconia, is located.  It becomes much more significant in "Sable's Privateers".  For now, its primary significance is that the secret N'Velahrn base discussed at the beginning of "Brothers in Arms," where Shaundar and Yathar receive their training is located on Permafrost, a frozen water flatworld on the edge of the crystal sphere. 

Dragonspace is also significant because by prevailing phlogiston currents, the scrp must pass through it or Spiralspace to get to Realmspace and the other members of the Radiant Triangle (the big three campaign worlds.)  It also provides passage to Greatspace, Krynnspace, and a few other significant spheres to the elves.

It is important to note that dragons and dragonkin of all kinds are abundant here, and generally, dragons of suitable elemental type will be found on every planet in this sphere.   The homeworld of the allyri is also located in this sphere.

Aurel (The Sun) - Type J   Fire; Irregular star-shaped gate to the Elemental Plane of Fire

Sumask - Type C  Earth

Azuria - Type E  Water

Draconia - Type G  Earth,  3 Moons (Ardath, Valdemar, Warlock); rotates east to west instead of west to east, so the sun rises in the west and sets in the east; homeworld of the allyri; location of the city of Alarah.

The Rocks - Type A & B  Earth; mostly this terrain is atmospherically poor, and is best suited to spacefaring life (radiant dragons, anyone?)

Adonia - Type E  Earth (Liveworld); intelligent, giant and often predatory plant life dwells in abundance here; site of the training mission in "Brothers in Arms."

Ballock (The Wandering Star) - Type E  Fire; Irregular Orbit

Permafrost - Type E  Water (Iceworld); location of the N'Velahrn base where the Permafrost Project is established and trained for in "Brothers in Arms."

The Stars - Type A  Fire



Home sphere of the Scro Empire; burial site of Dukagsh, founder of the scro race, for whom the principle world of the sphere is named.  Our campaign had free license to do whatever we liked with this sphere, since the canon sources have limited themselves to describing Dukagsh as "a harsh world," and explaining that the tomb of legendary hero Dukagsh is fixed in a stationary orbit around the planet Dukagsh's North Pole.  Even fan material rarely mentions it; only a novel series called "The Bri'kerzz Sweep" touches on it at all, describing the destruction of Dukagsh's Tomb by the protagonist's ship, and there is nothing on the sphere's statistics itself.  Hence, we were free to engage in full-fledged flights of fancy.  This sphere is the primary location of the events of "Brothers in Arms."

Gruumsh's Eye (The Sun) - Type J  Fire; the planets in this sphere orbit this coin-shaped flatworld, creating an effect like a slowly closing and opening eye.  The "bright side" of the sun causes summer, while the "dark side" causes winter, with the Eye appearing as a half-closed eyeslit during spring and fall.  The natives refer to this process as "Gruumsh's Wink" and use it to tell time: "My son has seen Gruumsh wink six times as of today!"  Also, extradimentional travel is not possible on the dark side of the Eye, so one cannot teleport or gate etc. to or from Dukagsh in the winter months.

Dukagsh - Type F  Earth (Liveworld),  Moon (Luthic); periodic dangerous space storms of mist and solar winds often make approach by spelljamming ship difficult.  This planet is a tropical jungle climate teeming with an overabundance of life, much of which is predatory.

Tarrak Gar - Type B  Air/Fire; "harbinger of war" this comet loops in a rapid elliptical orbit between Gruumsh's Eye and Bahgtru's Teeth, throwing off solar winds, mist, and electromagnetic interference that it gathers from Gruumsh's Eye as it goes.  It creates solar weather that varies from rapid winds to dangerous tempests throughout the sphere, especially around planetary bodies.

Shargaas - Type F  Water (Rings); this very dark world water world is almost invisible from Dukagsh; hence its name, inspired by the orcish god of thieves and darkness.  Since it is abundant with aquatic life that would be at home in the deepest depths of most oceans or Underdark seas, passing spelljamming ships often land in the rings, which are a belt of obsidian asteroids, to resupply.  Occasionally kua-toa tribes attack fishing spelljammers, and every once in a while, an aboleth is inspired to take slaves.

Bahgtru's Teeth - Type A  Earth; these asteroids are a favourite site for scro prison camps, goblin and kobold mining colonies, and pirates.



Caer'Thunspace is an ancient sphere which connects to Greyspace in a two-way flow, leads to Realmspace in a one-way flow, and is accessible from Spiralspace and Dragonspace.  It is the home to ancient elven cultures that may predate the Crown Wars of Toril and a variety of magically and technologically adept species and cultures.

Jarak-Korath - Type H  Fire - the sun at the center of the sphere is actually an immense glowing golden dragon, usually sleeping in an ouroboros shape.  "He" is believed by some to be the creator of the sphere.  His light is spiritual more than physical, as is his warmth.  Civilizations live on his body with no ill effects.  The metallic dragons of the sphere regard him as their creator, and worship him inasmuch as dragons can be said to worship anything.

Inkala - Type G  Water - This enormous water body, like Karpri, has no land whatsoever, and it has an odd orbit that takes it around the sun in a winding spiral pattern rather than a circular path.  The primary race of the world is a species of lizardperson known for their magical abilities, and they consider any species without natural magical abilities to be developmentally challenged.  Their expressions sometimes confuse humanoid observers because they seem counter-intuitive.  Inkali lizardfolk are also known to eat elves as a delicacy.

Kord'dok - Type C  Earth - This floating mountain in the Void was called "Dwarf-home" in Ancient Dwarvish and at the present it is inhabited almost entirely by dwarves and rock gnomes and svirfneblin.  However, unbeknownst to most of the rest of the world, there is a colony of dwarves who keep drow slaves in secret.

Caer'Thun - Type E  Earth,  Moon (Sira-Korath) &  Moon (Corellon's Moon) - Caer'Thun is the primary world of the sphere and the location for part of "Sable's Privateers"and "Sweet Water and Light Laughter".  Significant  cultures include Vel'adyn and Vel'malayn (high and green elven; home of Valrik and Kaymen); Tohvas'niras (grey elven); Inhidia (human Amazonian); the Terranen (human empire); Val'tarrak (scro); Dwarvenforge (dwarven); the City of Tornn (human) and Symerin (elven/mixed; city-state of mages.)  One of the most significant landmarks is a giant mountain range known as the Iron Hills; the largest of which is Mount Syriak, an enormous pointed rock that pierces the stratosphere.  Sira-Korath is actually the egg of Jarak-Korath, and she is the "goddess" of the chromatic dragons.  Though ovoid, it is her "top" face that is turned steadily towards Caer'Thun and therefore the moon appears round and waxes and wanes, just like any other moon.  Corellon's Moon is actually in a crescent shape which neither waxes nor wanes, and naturally there is an IEN base on it; though the dark side is inhabited by drow.  The erratic orbit of Inkala causes a major eclipse on Caer'Thun about once every twelve years that lasts an entire day.

The Jewels - Type E  Earth - This enormous reflective asteroid cluster is visible from Caer'Thun as a cluster of about a dozen large stars (planets) of varied colours in their night sky, harbinging dusk and dawn.  Spelljammers would find it much less romantic, in that it is mostly infested with merchants, free-traders and pirates who make a living through the Jewels being the only significant planetary body on the way to the primary after a great deal of empty Void.  Part of the body is inhabited by kindori riders, and another part by star selkies.  No one knows whether it used to be a whole planet once or was always in its current form.

Trinhea - Type H  Earth (Liveworld) - Trinhea was a teeming green liveworld until it, and the goddess of nature in the sphere, was destroyed by defiler mages out of Athas (Dark Sun).  However tragic these events, the two enormous starfly plants which used to grow on the worlds poles survived the experience, though not without considerable damage.  This is the first major body of the sphere after a lot of empty Void and so the IEN permits almost anyone to land here, but under strict supervision that may involve random cargo hold searches for no reason.  Location of the Battle of Trinhea in "Brothers in Arms".



Beyond the Moons Spelljammer Website, accessed October 8 & 9, 2011.

Boyd, Eric L. and Mona, Erik.  Faiths and Pantheons.  Copyright (c) 2002 by Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

Cunningham, Elaine.  Radiant Dragon, The.  Copyright (c) 1992 by TSR, Inc.

Grubb, Jeff.  Concordance of Arcane Space, The.  Copyright (c) 1989 by TSR, Inc.

        -----   Lorebook of the Void.  Copyright (c) 1989 by TSR, Inc.

Henson, Dale "Slade".  Realmspace.  Copyright (c) 1991 by TSR, Inc.

Moore, Roger E.  Maelstrom's Eye, The.  Copyright (c) 1992 by TSR, Inc.

Appendix 9 - Flavours of the Cosmos


 Graf is a strong orcish stimulating drink, always served at the morning meal and often served throughout the day.  Males drink it strong, black and bitter; females add honey and heavy cream.  (My husband, however, prefers the female version.)  In the evening, strong alcohol is often added (usually rum, brandy or sake.)  Essentially, it is chai spice in coffee!



1 pot strong black coffee

7 cardamom pods

1 level tsp whole cloves

1 level tsp whole peppercorns

2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon

1 heaping tsp ginger

Optional Ingredients (Female Version):

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp heavy cream or whipped cream (or non-dairy substitute)


Grind up the cardamom pods, cloves and peppercorns with a mortar and pestle.  Add the cinnamon and ginger and mix thoroughly.  Steep 1 tbsp as tea in the pot of black coffee for at least 20 minutes.  Add honey and cream if desired (or your favourite spirit() and drink!


*Note - Dukagsh, the orcish homeworld, is damp and tropical, so wheat, rye and corn do not grow well there.  Alcohols made from such are therefore expensive and are not often used culturally except for special occasions.*

Spreecast Interviews

In these Spreecast interviews and clips, I answer questions about the nature of the world and my direction for it in the "Toy Soldier Saga."


A Few Good Elves Reading - Prologue 

Other Important Links of Reference

Elven Deities

Evermeet, Island of Elves

Orc Deities


Spiralspace (Bralspace) - please note that political information is not relevant to the "Toy Soldier Saga"

Warpriest of Dukagsh