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A Quick Guide to The Stonewiser Series

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Sariah: An exceptionally gifted stonewiser, our reluctant heroine has a knack for getting in and out of dangerous situations. When she discovers lies in the sacred stones, she must challenge the powerful Guild that owns her, the stones she serves, the goddess she worships and even her own prejudices to find the truth. Along the way, she must defeat the corrupt Guild, restore justice to the Domain and save her world from obliteration before the war escalates, the rot destroys the land and her enemies kill her.

Kael: Sariah's unlikely ally is a Domainer rebel leader, a fierce and able warrior who is not just a descendant of the ancient house of Ars, but also a land-healer and a roamer. He defies old prejudices—not to mention his better judgment—to become Sariah's blanket mate and free his people from injustice.

Alista: Kael's oldest sister is blind by virtue of a tragic past and lives in the Goodlands with her son Setti.

Anton: Originally from the Bottom Islands, Saltsted's brew master is also an underground wage master for the forbidden games pilgrims and natives like to play. He is Paulo's twin brother and is also hooked to Sapi.

Aya: Kael's mother was a powerful stonewiser who died under mysterious circumstances.

Arron: Sariah's former master is one of the Guild's wealthiest stonewisers, the Speaker of the Guild's ruling Council and second in command after Mistress Grimly. Sariah's escape from Arron, together with her attempts at discovering the stone truth, has led Arron to take over the Shield and hunt Sariah across the Domain and the Goodlands.

Ashmid: One of Sariah's many masters, Ashmid is a mediocre stonewiser with a liking for canundro, coin and power.

Belana: The pale, blind woman who, together with her twin sister, Telana, wields the Prism's power in order to serve a mysterious purpose in Grimly's Mating Hall.

Deleon: A marcher for the Domainer settlement of Meron.

Delis: A Domainer hunter belonging to the executioners' itinerant tribe who, upon refusing her orders to assassinate Sariah, takes the stonewiser as her "donnis," or pet.

Eda: The stunning Domainer, keeper of the Enduring Woods, is also Sariah's dangerous rival.

Eneis: One of the four Wisdom sages venerated by the Hounds in the Bastions, Eneis is known as The Teacher. His Wisdom is always expressed in questions.

Elestor: A marcher for the Domainer settlement of Sadona.

Eliazar: Eliazar son of Ars, also called Ars, was Kael's father.

Enita: Atica's Marcher can be very helpful to Sariah, but she has plans of her own.

Grimly: A powerful stonewiser, the head of the stonewisers' Guild for the last forty years is a master of secrecy and deceit. She is the Guild's Prime Hand and presides over the Council and the Guild's Halls.

Gudo: A free-range stonewiser who serves the Domainer settlement of Panadam.

Horatio Maliver: The deposed leader of the Guild's army—the Shield—has a dark past with Sariah and a proven knack for treason. He's searching for his lost son, who is also Kael's nephew.

Hounds: The mysterious creatures who guard the land beyond the Bastions are fierce warriors pledged to follow the Wisdom and protect the sacred secret sheltered in their midst. They are also known as Meliahs' hounds.

Ilian: The first of the Hall of Scribes, Ilian was Sariah's brutal breaker and first mistress and is a loyal follower of Arron, the Guild's most recent Speaker.

Jania: A marcher of the Domainer settlement of Urises.

Jol: The keeper of the saba is a formidable warrior from the Bastions pledged to Sariah's mission. He leads a group of lethal fighters who call themselves Meliahs' Hounds.

Julean: Once the Shield's second in command, Julean is now Mistress Grimly's sworn man, commanding her guard.

Kemere: A Domainer runner who is partial to Lazar, Kael's youngest brother.

Lazar: Kael's dazzling younger brother is a water-seeker and a runner.

Leandro: A failed Domainer roamer whose wised game pieces hold the clues to Sariah's search. He may or may not be insane, dead, or imprisoned.

Lexia: A stonewiser who was trapped with Sariah in the Mating Hall, Lexia has secrets of her own.

Lorian: The first of the Hall of Numbers is also a member of the Guild's ruling Council.

Malord: The most experienced of the Domain's free-range stonewisers, Half-man Malord masks his vast experience, knowledge, and considerable stonewising power behind the crippling injuries he suffered years ago on the Shield's quartering block.

Mara: The eldest surviving owner of Targamon Farm, one of the first rot-infected areas in the Goodlands, is rescued from the Shield by Sariah and Kael.

Meliahs: The goddess of the sacred stones, whom Sariah is pledged to serve, is the world's creator, the land's protector, and the stonewisers' patroness. She thrives on her devotees' labor and sweat.

Metelaus: Kael's older brother is Ars' marcher or main leader. He is husband to the formidable Torana and father to nine children, including the powerful child-stonewiser Mia.

Mia: Kael's young niece is also Sariah's most promising pupil. Her untapped powers are enormous and perhaps even more powerful than Sariah's.

Neron: Treodes's highest official is the pilgrim greeter at the Bottom Islands, his lord's most faithful supporter and also the commander of Treodes's forces.

Nico: A young villager who meets Sariah while conscripted to labor in Ruminara's infamous Canundro fields.

O'amur: A marcher for the Domainer settlement of Tar'edan.

Olden: The first of the Hall of Epics, Olden is also a member of the Guild's ruling Council.

Orgos: The marcher of the Domainer settlement of Alabara is a shrewd and ruthless trader who has an ongoing quarrel with Kael.

Orm: A marcher for the Domainer settlement of Panadam.

Paulo: A pilgrim guide at the Bottom Islands, Paulo is Anton's twin brother and is also hooked to Sapi.

Petrid: The leader of the Domain's executioner tribe is also the bracelet's custodian.

Poe: One of the four ancient Wisdom sages venerated by the Hounds at the Bastions, Poe is known as The Dreamer.

Sapi: This wealthy Bottom Islands innkeeper is one of the leads of Treodes's amazing choir. She has many men hooked to her enterprises, including Paulo and Anton.

The Sisters, Belana & Telana: Twin sisters, one completely pale, the other dark, who wield the Prism's power in order to serve a mysterious purpose in Grimly's Mating Hall.

The Sages: Even though they have been dead for generations, these mysterious ancient stonewisers who lived during the time of the execration have imprinted themselves into the stones as intrusions to influence the search for the stone truth and the future. Their collective teachings are comprised in a series of proverbs called The Wisdom. The sages hold the clues that can help Sariah to learn the truth she needs, but they might also have plans of their own. The sages are: Poe, the Dreamer, Vargas, the Lawman, Eneis, the Teacher, Tirsis. the Seer, and the powerful Zeminaya.

Telana: The dark sister who wields the Prism's power in order to serve a mysterious purpose in Grimly's Mating Hall is Belana's twin sister.

Tirsis: One of the four ancient Wisdom sages venerated by the Hounds at the Bastions, Tirsis is known as the Seer and belonged to the Hall of Masons. Her Wisdom is gentle and kind.

Torana: The wife of Kael's older brother, Metelaus, Torana is also Mia's mother.

Torkel: A ferocious Hound warrior, Torkel is Jol's brother and Mia's keeper.

Treodes: The powerful and mysterious ruler of the Bottom Islands is known as Treodes the Stone Eater. He is reputed to loathe stones and stonewisers.

Uma: The first of the Hall of Healing, Uma is also a member of the Guild's ruling Council.

Vargas: One of the four ancient Wisdom sages venerated by the Hounds at the Bastions, Vargas is known as the Lawman. Her Wisdom is harsh and bloody.

Zadaam: A free-range stonewiser who serves the Domainer settlement of Tar'edan.

Zeminaya: The intrusion who sometimes haunts Sariah's mind was a marcher and became the First Shield at the time of the execration. She was also the sage in charge of the trial that ended with the execration and the original builder of the wall. Generations after her death, her intrusion has a mysterious purpose.

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Adanton: A town in the Goodlands, located near the Black Hills.

Alabara: Ruled by Orgos of Alabara, this rough Domainer settlement known for its rickety vertical construction is a red dye trading center located in the northern Barren Flats.

Ars: The Domainer settlement from which Kael hails was once one of the foremost noble houses of the Old World and it is still a most respected name in the Domain. Ars is an example of the Domainers' determination to endure despite the rot, a modest but thriving settlement favored by its location next to the Crags, one of the last rock formations enduring in the Rotten Domain.

Atica: The Domainer settlement of Atica is located at the foot of the wall on the eastern-most tip of the Goodlands. While the inhabitants of Atica toil to repair the wall for the Shield, they also thrive from their often illicit dealings with the Goodlands.

The Barren Flats: The vast expanse of the Rotten Domain is composed of this flat geography, a great plain flooded with the rot's brew, which is a caustic mix of toxic water capable of melting flesh, muscle and bone in moments. The Barren Flats are feared for their treacherous mud pools, shifting currents and ability to trick even seasoned travelers into endless, deadly wanderings.

The Bastions: A forbidden mountain range in the Goodlands' northern fringes, these towering cliffs protect the high altitude plateau sheltering the Hounds, a mysterious people who protect an ancient secret.

The Bottom Islands: These little known islands are thought to exist off the coast of the Goodlands as reported by pilgrims who maintain they travel there to worship the islands' infamous ruler, Treodes.

The Crags: One of the last rock formations spared by the rot, these ragged cliffs are located at the western end of the central Barren Flats, next to the settlement of Ars.

The Domain: See Rotten Domain.

The Ends: The eastern part of the Barren Flats is where the inner tribes of the Rotten Domain dwell.

The Enduring Woods: The only remaining forest in the Rotten Domain is the all-important main source of rot-resistant wood for the inhabitants of the Rotten Domain. The trees here bear pods instead of fruit, and a beautiful and influential forester manages the forest.

The Goodlands: A vast territory under the rule of the Guild, this land of crops and plenty is separated from the rot-afflicted areas by an extensive wall and protected by the Shield, an army that upholds the ancient covenant forbidding trespassers from entering. But times are changing for Goodlanders. The wall may be broken and the rot is on the move.

Jacoa: The extensive plains of Jacoa comprise some of the most fertile and productive areas in the middle Goodlands.

The Keep: An extensive fortress located in the Goodlands, the keep is the seat of the powerful stonewiser Guild that rules the Goodlands.

The Mating Hall: The most infamous of all of the Guild's halls, the Mating Hall is a secretive place which imprisons banished stonewisers for a sinister purpose.

Nafa: A Domainer settlement where Sariah and Kael journey to find the lost roamer Leandro, who may or may not hold the key to Sariah's search.

The Principal Road: Is the main north-south road in the Goodlands.

The Rotten Domain: An expansive geography which once contained the glorious cities of the Old World, the Rotten Domain has been ravaged by the rot and is now a desolate landscape flooded with knee-high poisonous water, often obscured by the Barren Flats' noxious gases, and populated with only a few surviving species, such as man-eating eels and giant snails. Condemned to exist in this stark and inhospitable territory, Domainers live in the isolation of their impoverished floating settlements, defying the odds, attempting to heal the rotten soil and dreaming of reclaiming a healthy land.

Ruminara: This prosperous village renowned for its canundro fields is located at the foot of the Southern Range in the Goodlands.

Saltsted: This sea town in the Goodlands is known as a jumping-off point for pilgrims wanting to travel to the mysterious Bottom Islands.

The Southern Range: An extensive chain of high altitude mountains stretching throughout the southern Goodlands, the range spans all the way from the Rotten Domain in the east to the sea in the west.

Urises: This Domainer settlement is located in the eastern part of the Barren Flats.

Targamon Farms: A farm in the Goodlands which has fallen victim to the rot.

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Bursting Stones: Stones wised to function as weapons.

Canundro: The term is used to refer to a popular type of cane that can be processed into a highly intoxicating and addictive drink of the same name.

Clinging Stones: Stones wised to maintain a connection with another stone.

Deck: A Domainer's most common dwelling is a deck, a one-room shack with weaved walls and a thatched roof, built over rot-resistant logs harvested from the Domain's Enduring Woods. Domainer decks provide versatile shelter which can be strung together to accommodate growing families and create large settlements, smaller camps and traveling caravans as necessary. Domainers usually wear a harness and pull their decks behind them wherever they go. Occasionally, Domainers ride their decks, poling as they go, but only if they can find one of the Barren Flats' erratic currents.

Demesnes: Over many generations, the industrious inhabitants of the Rotten Domain have created patches of healthy, productive land to augment their miserly food supplies. The location of these demesnes is kept secret so that the Shield cannot find and destroy them. The arduous process of building and developing a new demesne entails the location of a water source among the rot's corruptive brew, the use of wised stone to claim the space from the rot, the growing of a hearty, thick-rooted bush that promotes land development and the knowledge and oversight of an experienced land healer.

Domainers: The people who live in the Rotten Domain are easily identifiable because their irises don't match.

The Domes: Two domed temples rise on the high plateau atop the Bastions, guarding the Hounds' most precious treasures. The Dome of the Coming is the Hounds' main receiving temple. The Dome of the Going is where the Hounds keep their most valuable secret.

Donnis: An archaic term used only among some of the ancient Domainer tribes, which loosely translates into the word "pet," describing the unique and complicated relationship between a donnis and his or her adonnis.

The Execration: The defining historical event that marks the collapse of the Old World and the beginning of the Guild's current rule. It began with a trial in which Domainers were accused and convicted of bringing the rot to the land and condemned to the misery of the Rotten Domain. The wall was raised and the populations were divided and isolated from each other.

The Executioners: A nomad tribe composed of outcasts from other Domainer tribes, the executioners make their living by executing criminals convicted from the other tribes inhabiting the Rotten Domain.

The Gathering: A meeting of Domainer leaders is called a gathering. Gatherings are convened to discuss matters concerning more than one tribe, such as issues of war and protection, supplies, collaboration, justice and more. A gathering includes the marchers or territorial leaders of the different tribes and their stonewisers if and when a tribe has procured the services of the rare free-range stonewiser.

Guardian Stones: Stones wised to connect with a main stone that issues a warning to the stonewiser who originally wised the stone.

The Guild: Founded to gather and train stonewisers, the Guild now rules the Goodlands by virtue of the power of the stones it holds and interprets, the wealth it has accumulated, and the formidable army that it commands.

Goodlanders: People who live in the Goodlands.

The Halls: The powerful Guild is divided into halls where stonewisers are trained into specialized functions, including the Hall of Scribes, the Hall of Epics, the Hall of Numbers, the Healing Hall and the infamous Mating Hall.

The Hall of Stones: The keep's grandest building is the Hall of Stones. It houses the Guild's Prime Hand, the Council's great meeting hall and the Sacred Vaults.

Hepa: A hallucinogenic drug used to heighten the senses, manipulate and seduce.

Intrusion: A mysterious occurrence by which a stonewiser imprints the stones with a likeness of his or herself and projects it into the future.

Keep: The Guild's seat is an extensive fortress which shelters the Hall of Stones, the different stonewiser halls, the Sacred Vaults, warehouses, workshops, orchards, pools, gardens and stables, among many others, protected by a formidable wised wall and patrolled by the Shield.

Keeper: A specially appointed warrior pledged to protect the Hounds' Saba and lead in the Hounds' sacred purpose—Meliahs' restoration.

Land Healer: A Domainer raised and trained to heal the rot from the land, land healers must develop demesnes for their tribes, supervise their development and protect them from harm. Land healers continually observe and study the natural world and the rot in search of a cure.

Lease: A stonewiser who is granted in service to another stonewiser is called a lease. Proceeds from a lease arrangement go the leased stonewiser's hall. A lease is mandated to serve his or her master in all ways, including wising stones for the master's profit as required.

The Loop: This wild, powerful current flows in shifting and unpredictable patterns throughout the Barren Flats, providing Domainers the occasional opportunity to ride their decks instead of pulling them.

Main Shield: This honorific title applies to the commanding officer in charge of the Shield, the Guild's formidable army.

Marcher: In the Domain, a territorial leader is called a marcher. He or she is the head of settlement, is in charge of resource distribution, and represents his or her people at the gathering.

The Mating Hall: The most infamous of all of the Guild's halls, the Mating Hall is a secretive place which imprisons banished stonewisers for a sinister purpose.

Memory Stone: A memory stone stores a person's favorite recollections. Domainers have the rare ability to imprint memory stones for themselves, although they need the services of a stonewiser in order to draw out the memory from the stone. Traditional Domainers will almost always wear memory stones around their necks.

The New Blood: The people who live beyond the wall are called the New Blood and are relegated to the Rotten Domain. They are easy to identify because their irises don't match. They are also called Domainers.

The Old Blood: The people who live in the Goodlands are often called the Old Blood. They have matching eyes and are also called Goodlanders.

The Old World: This term usually refers to the world as it was before the rot destroyed the land.

The Prism: The mysterious prismatic stone is part of the most sacred stone of them all and has astounding capabilities that only Sariah can wise.

The Quartering Block: This massive stone located in the courtyard of the Shield's fortress is used to net punishment as prescribed by the Guild.

Roamer: A Domainer trained to infiltrate the Goodlands in defiance of the Guild and the Shield, in order to procure forbidden goods and information.

The Rot: Scalding, caustic and stinking, this thick destructive flow is ravaging the world.

Runner: The fierce Domainer warriors are renowned for their ability to run the Barren Flats' knee-high waters for days at a time. They are reputed as versatile fighters practiced in a variety of weapons, which include not just the sword but also the sling and the serrated fangs of the Domain's deadly rotfish. They wear body suits made of the Domain's special weave, which is able to repel the rot's brew.

Saba: The Bastions' Hounds use this respectful title to address the person they believe is the foretold leader of Meliahs' restoration, the Hounds' most sacred cause.

Sabita: The Bastions' Hounds use this respectful title to address the person they believe may be an alternative or a challenger to the anointed Saba.

Seventh Stone: This legendary stone holds the final clues that will complete the tale told by the seven twin stones, the only stones capable of revealing the truth about the events leading up to the execration.

The Sacred Vaults: A series of secured cellars beneath the Guild's keeps, the Sacred Vaults store gifted stones, invaluable riches and prized Old World antiques.

The Seven Twin Stones: The sequential tales told in these seven pairs of stones are the only tales capable of revealing the truth of the events leading up to the Execration.

The Shield: The Guild's powerful army, the Shield is pledged to hunt rogue stonewisers and to keep Domainers and the rot out of the Goodlands by whatever means necessary. The Shield's warriors wear a distinctive copper, leather and wood shield over their bodies.

Simmering Fire: A very powerful type of fire generated when a trained stonewiser wises a particular kind of stone, simmering fire is a valuable if expensive service that Guild stonewisers offer to the Goodland's population. Traditionally, simmering fire is used to clear the land in order to set up cultivation fields, a quick option that spares farmers the huge amounts of labor and sweat otherwise required.

Stones: Wised stones are capable of storing tales, from simple recollections, to documents, agreements, legends and stories, an invaluable resource of information, justice and wisdom for a world under siege by the rot. Depending on what kind of information they store, there are different kinds of stones, including memory stones, guardian stones and tracking stones, among many others.

The Stone Eater: A mysterious leader from a faraway land reputed for his hatred of stonewisers and feared for his odd eating habits.

The Stone Madness: A disease that often strikes stonewisers whose minds are overcome by the strain of a difficult wising.

The Stone of Creation: The most sacred stone of all, the stone of creation was the stone used by Meliahs to create first the world, humankind and stonewisers. It is also the most coveted of stones and it is believed to have amazing powers.

Stone Tales: Stories, messages and agreements in the form of words or images that are stowed in wised stones. They can only be witnessed by stonewisers, born and trained to witness the tales in the stones.

Stonewiser: In a world devastated by the rot, stonewisers are the only people who by birth and training are capable of imprinting and retrieving the tales preserved in the stones, the history passed down through the generations. Stonewisers are the truth's pledged protectors, the only link between the past and the present, order and chaos.

The Third Covenant: This ancient decree established the Guild's absolute rule after the execration, invested the Shield with the order to protect the Goodlands from the rot, and forbade Domainers from traveling outside of the Rotten Domain under the punishment of death.

Tracking Stones: Stones wised to track a specific person or persons.

Twin Stones: These stone pairs must be wised together in order to surrender their tale.

Warning Stones: These types of stones can be wised to provide different kinds of warnings.

The Wisdom: A series of proverbs comprising the founding sages' teachings to the mysterious Hounds, the people who live in the land beyond the Bastions.

Wised Stones: Sacred stones that store messages, personal narratives, covenants and record the history passed down through the generations. The tales stored in the stones serve as witness to the truth and as the basis for justice. Stone truth is valued above anyone's word.

Wising: The process by which a born and trained stonewiser witnesses the contents of a stone tale.