The index page will help in defining and explaining the characters, settings, language, and cultures of this amazing place.

The index will grow with each new installment in the Maiyochi series so that the reader will always be up to date and have easy reference to information and details that will make your reading experience more enjoyable.

Maiyochi Chronicles Index (Book 1)

Aggipoor

The first “city” encountered by Raymond and Hanshee on their journey west.

The Blue Towers (Mountains)

The Blue Tower Mountains is the name bestowed upon the western mountain range by the eastern nations. They are also known as The Blue Towers or simply “the Towers.” They have proven a barrier for thousands of years between those who live to their east, and the “People of the Earth,” who inhabit their western slopes and the grasslands beyond, to whom they are known as the Blue Mountains.

Cafran

A senior acolyte, a “priestling,” who has worked to attach himself to Jusaan in an attempt to insure his own rise in the priesthood. His position is customarily that of a mentee or assistant. Although he is senior among Jusaan’s staff, he is regarded by his mentor as little more than a servant.

 

The Clans

Clans are family groupings that can number into the hundreds, with the occasional clan numbering near a thousand. This is very rare for, in a clan approaching this size, wise and able heads of large families are encouraged to form their own clans, separating from the main group and thus ensuring that the numbers in any one group remain manageable. In this way the clans have spread out over a large and varied landscape. From the high mountains, to the foothills, and onto the grasslands, the marshes, and deserts, Hanshee’s people inhabit and thrive in almost every environment west of the Blue Mountains.


Clan Duva is a large clan inhabiting the foothills of some of the highest peaks in the western mountains. They consider themselves a warrior clan, a set of skills which flowed naturally from those that made them some of the greatest hunters among their people. They also are considered great healers, having developed an expertise in the many plants, lichens, fungi, minerals, and organic materials of their environment, often mixing exotic and complicated remedies for treating various wounds and ailments. In their trading with other clans, they expanded their knowledge by embracing many new herbs, minerals and organic byproducts which allow them to create truly wondrous potions, many unheard of even in the more “civilized” lands.

 

The Crossing

The term refers to that period when Clan Pith came to accept their banishment and began their migration from their ancestral homes in the western foothills and plains of the Blue Mountains. There is a gap in the mountain range, a place inhabited for centuries by an extremely barbaric and ferocious people, whose few remnants eke out a living by using subterranean water flows known only to them, scrounging for what little plant life still managed to survive the desert conditions of the hills, and cannibalism. But for these cave dwellers, few and widely dispersed, the gap is now uninhabited and dotted with the remains of the ancient civilization that flourished there under different conditions.


At the time of the migration of the Pith it was characterized by extremely dry and rocky ground, making very difficult travel for approximately two hundred miles, and although it once served as a passage from east to west through the mountains, the sparse and dangerous conditions marked it as a route few would consider unless caught in the most desperate of circumstances.

It was through this gap that Usaid successfully led the remnants of the Clan of Pith, in what is now referred to as “The Crossing.”

 

Dula

One of the clans, or families, of the People of the Earth. It is the clan to which Hanshee was born. The influence of Clan Dula is such that it leads Tribe Dula, the largest and strongest tribe of the western slopes of the Blue Mountains.

 

Galin

Galin is a senior officer in the service of the Nation of Pith. He is a Commander, one of seven such commanders that are answerable ultimately to the King. He is the leader of the First Expeditionary Legion. His command numbers approximately two-thousand warriors, with their equipment, along with the craftsmen, cooks, and other support staff necessary to see to an almost constant state of readiness. His ego is outsized, and he considers his command, the FEL, to be the best trained, equipped, and disciplined of the many commands. In this he is probably correct. From this initial number, he has chosen approximately 150 tested warriors to form an elite command. These he dispatches as needed, but also takes pleasure in leading personally, on occasion.

 

Galin is a physically imposing figure and a very accomplished warrior. He is charming and charismatic, a natural leader of men, and a keen student of human behavior. He is highly ambitious, as is noted by his swift rise to be the youngest of the seven commanders. His accomplishments are not empty, as he is also arguably the most capable of the commanders. It is his long-term desire to bring the military council under his thumb and, though not of direct royal blood, he feels that even the throne is not beyond his reach.

 

Hanshee (Haan-she)

(Other names; Maiyochi, Panther, Harbinger)

     

Hanshee is a young warrior from the Dula clan, one of many “Clans” that inhabit a large area of land beyond the crest of the Western Mountains. 

Several related clans are referred to as a “Tribe,” and the many tribes, collectively, are referred to as “People of the Earth.”


From his earliest memories, Hanshee has been trained first in survival, then in unarmed combat and, lastly, with a wide variety of weaponry.


Relative to survival, he has been required to learn about the plant life, not only in the region inhabited by his clan, but in the adjacent territories as well. He is familiar with the nutritional, medicinal, and psychopathic properties of a large number of plants, be they grasses, vines, shrubs, or trees, from the mountains, the foothills, the plains, and the desert. As his people are not adjacent to a coastline, he is not knowledgeable about coastal plants. His skill with medicinal plants rivals that of the greatest healers of his people. It can be expected that his travels have broadened his exposure and experience so that he now has skills and knowledge to surpass that of these healers. He has also learned how to find and extract usable water, even in a dry environment, how to shelter himself against the elements, and how best to endure exposure if shelter cannot be found or constructed.


He has been taught to hunt in the broadest sense of the word. This could mean knowing which bugs most probably dwell under which rocks, and which ones can be safely consumed, if only in small quantities. He has been taught to hunt larger animals also. He learned to identify all manner of animals and their passing from their prints, their droppings, how they marked their way - even from their scent. He first hunted the smallest of these with just his hands, before graduating to a rock, and then a stick. The stick was used for digging and clubbing as opposed to throwing. Once he had shown the ability to survive with these basic implements, he was allowed to sharpen the end of a wooden stick on a rock and “stab” at his prey. Only when these rudimentary lessons were thoroughly absorbed was he taught the use of a “short blade,” or knife, then a “tall blade,” or spear. Finally, he was taught how to make and use the bow.   


Relative to combat, he was taught first the human form, its strengths and vulnerabilities, and how best to use this knowledge to defend and attack. Again, a thorough mastery of the ability to both defend and attack, using the body as the only weapon, was required prior to the student being introduced to the weapons of war. Weapons training began with a rock, and proceeded through sticks long and short, various blades – knives, short swords, long swords - and various other weapons, again ending with the bow. To achieve mastery over so many skills can take many years of constant and unrelenting training. Failure to grasp a lesson in a timely fashion could mean death and through the years, many of Hanshee’s young brethren had perished, unable to conquer the environment into which they were sent. In this way, it was assured that those who survived and triumphed were the ablest to be found among his people. Those who could not triumph were not branded as “less,” for in their society all were valued as long as they contributed to the well-being of the clan.


When a young warrior exhibited the physical attributes of strength, speed, agility and stamina, along with intelligence above their peers, they could hope to be subject to “The Testing.” This does not happen often, as The Testing is so brutal that the council of elders must have knowledge of a threat to all of the People of the Earth before it can be justified.

 

Harbinger (see Hanshee)

 

Jusaan

As a priest of “The One Spirit”, member of the Council of Nine, and newly appointed military liaison, Jusaan is one of the most powerful citizens of Pith. This is not enough for him. He is extremely ambitious, highly intelligent, and very manipulative.


Although well-versed in all aspects of the priesthood, it cannot be said with certainty that Jusaan is a believer in a supreme deity. What he does believe in is a life of luxury with little if any strenuous physical activity, where he is catered to by those around him; a life of influence where, though bereft of any real accomplishments, he is held in high esteem and deferred to by the masses; a life of power. The first two are supplied by his position in the priesthood. He believes that the third will be realized with his ascension to the position of High Priest. All of his schemes and machinations are aligned with that goal.

 

League (as a measure of distance)

One league is the rough equivalent of three miles.


Lucius

A sergeant with the First Expeditionary Legion, confidant and right-hand-man to Galin. A trusted subordinate, highly intelligent, skilled in stealth and in hand-to-hand combat with multiple weapons, Galin has used him in many capacities, including as a courier, a spy, and an assassin. It was Lucius who led the patrol that captured Raymond and Hanshee in the southern foothills of the Ursal Mountains.

 

Maiyochi (May-oh-chee)

 In many cultures there are stories about individuals who are pivotal in the history and development of its peoples. Sometimes stories of these individuals are cloaked in the mists of time, their achievements so long past as to bear the mantle of legend, or even myth. In other cultures there are prophets who tell of events that have yet to occur and people, great men or women, who by word or deed are destined to change the way people live, think, or believe. These heroes are spoken of in myth and religion as saviors of and for their people - whose presence and actions point the way toward salvation and a brighter future.   


To Clan Duva, and all the People of the Earth, the Maiyochi is spoken of not as a ‘savior’, but more as a uniter. In the distant past, it was the unity of the people that saved them and led them to great achievements. It is this same unity that corrupted them and caused them to, while purging the corruption, reevaluate and come to terms with who and what they are. They are a people not united, who realize the value and the strength of unity. Their wisest elders have prophesied about a time when “The People” will be under great threat; when only in unity can their culture have a hope of survival. The prophets have all told of the Maiyochi, the ‘unifier’, who will make it possible for the clans to once more join into one people, this time without fear of the greed and corruption that condemned their earlier effort; successful in destroying their enemy and securing their freedom, but which seduced them down the road leading toward self-destruction.

 

Ochos

The ochos is a plant indigenous to low and middle elevations. It is apparently widespread, as it has been noted from the lands West of the Blue Towers to east of the Ursal Mountains. It is a versatile plant whose starchy white inner root, when properly prepared, can provide sustenance for long periods of time. The outer root, just beneath the skin, is a deep red in color and contains a toxin that in sufficient quantities can lead to paralysis, unconsciousness, and death. When processed, this red portion is referred to as ‘blood dust’ and has a wide array of medicinal uses. The leaves also produce a stimulant which can be accessed by simply chewing or by a process of distillation which produces a more potent powder form.

 

Pith (the Nation of Pith; the Pithian Empire; the “clan of the jackal”)

The term “Pith” refers to the exiled Clan of the People of the Earth, the Nation of Pith and its capital city.

 

Raymond Covington

He represents the ‘average guy’. A single African-American male in his mid-20’s with no real family ties except for his parents, whom he rarely sees, and his dog Bruin. He works as a research analyst for a medical insurance firm. He considers his job an exercise in repetitive paper-pushing, providing no stimulation to an otherwise curious and active mind.


He is athletic, having played both football and basketball in high school, and football at the small college he attended. He continues to work out regularly, lifting weights at a local gym and taking martial arts classes in Shuri-Rhu karate. With regard to the opposite sex, Ray has never been too serious, however his feelings are beginning to change and he finds no solace in the shallow relationships that he cultivated in the past. More and more he finds himself thinking about exploring a more serious, deeper, relationship should the right woman come along.


Raymond considers himself an adventurer, on a small scale. He hikes the nature trails in the nearby parks, sometimes does overnight camping trips with a slew of conveniences, and is an avid fisherman. Had he the time and resources, he sees himself traveling extensively to the less industrialized parts of the world; South America to the Amazon basin or the slopes of the Andes, Africa and a safari on the Serengeti, or maybe a trip “down under” to the Outback or the Great Barrier Reef. They all look so fascinating on the TV programs he watches and in the magazine articles and books he reads.


He is an avid reader, enjoying all types of material from sports, politics and history to entertainment and current events. His taste in books leans toward fast- paced adventures. He prefers fiction of all kinds - contemporary, historical, detective, techno-thrillers - but he has a soft spot for science fiction and fantasy.


Raymond is friends with Frank Bishop, Douglas Abrams, and Wendell Martin. These friendships have lasted since childhood.

 

Tabba

A plant known to Hanshee and his people, it is used for medicinal purposes as well as for both subtle and intense stimulation. The leaf, when chewed, increases focus and lessens fatigue. When distilled into a white powder, it is used in conjunction with other herbs to promote healing, and alone as a powerful stimulant to temporarily boost strength and stamina. It is so effective in this latter function that Raymond would refer to it as ‘powdered adrenaline’.

 

Thessilli (theh-seh-lee)

Sister city of Aggipoor and Went, located just west of Aggipoor. The three cities are located southeast of the Ursal Mountains and make up a southern- pointing triangle. Though much smaller and less advanced than many of the nations that surround them, their prime location provides them with resources and opportunities for trade that could elevate them into an economic and military force in years to come. This potential has also made them a target of conquest for Pith.

 

The Test

During “The Test,” young men, and sometimes women, are singled out for even more intense training and testing; all of the aforementioned physical and survival skills must be taken to an even higher level. Along with this is rigorous testing of their courage, their cunning, their tenacity, their creativity, their intuition, and their strength of will. Should they excel in these areas also, they would be tutored and evaluated by a special council of elders to ensure that, in achieving all that could be achieved in the realm of survival and conquest, they still understood their people and their ways, they had not succumbed to the selfishness and barbarism sometimes required to persevere, and relinquished their humanity. Hanshee not only endured the constant physical, mental, and emotional rigors of The Test, he flourished! So much so that, when evaluated by the Council of Elders, it was not believed that one so accomplished could remain so…human. They tested him again and again, their evaluations lasting far longer than any in their recorded memory. When the last hurdles had been crossed, and the gathered Elders were, to a person, satisfied that the young warrior who stood before them was the finest and soundest, physically, mentally, and emotionally, that they had, in their collected wisdom, ever known, the title of Maiyochi was bestowed.

 

The Tribes            

The different tribes are collections of clans brought together by ties of blood or loyalty. Though all “People of the Earth” are of the same ancient ancestry, by dispersing the way that they have over thousands of years, they have developed many distinctions between them.

 

Although each tribe is self-sufficient, they have managed, depending on their environment, to develop specialized skills which over time have led many clans to be seen as experts in specific areas. Although each tribe engages to some degree in cultivating the land, the tribes of the plains are the acknowledged masters of farming. They still hunt and fish to some degree but in many cases, it is easier to trade from their abundance of produce for the meat and tools that they need. This trade usually takes place with a tribe from the foothills, a region more heavily forested and teeming with the game and streams that made the clans that inhabit these lands expert hunters. And though the tribes from both the plains and the foothills can make and use their own tools, many of the high mountain tribes have developed secret ways of mining, smelting, and producing implements from many different metals. Renowned for their strength and durability, these tools are traded to other clans for whatever is needed. In this way the tribes each contribute to the betterment of all and, though separate and distinct, maintain a loose bond of one people.

      

The many tribes all consider themselves People of the Earth, which they refer to as their “Mother.” They understand nature as a giver and sustainer of life as well as a harsh and merciless task master whose lessons, if learned well, will allow a clan to prosper. But woe unto those who would shun her teachings and approach her with disrespect, for Mother’s many lessons can be condensed into two: life and death. You will learn one or the other.  

      

Though of one people, there is still much conflict between tribes, and between clans within tribes.

Within the clan proper, the patriarch serves as the “Chief”, making important decisions concerning the movements of the clan, the forming of alliances with other clans and tribes, when and how adversaries will be dealt with, and arbitrating disputes between their own families. The adversarial relationships between tribes have sometimes escalated to open hostilities, with tribal warfare being not uncommon. This is usually a condition between individual clans, but with the complexities of the various alliances, there have been cases where battles rivaled those of city-states, with the dead numbering into the hundreds. At some point in their history, probably in response to some particularly savage and costly conflict, the major tribes held a conclave, choosing from among their numbers a council of sorts. This council, chosen for their wisdom and foresight, are referred to as the “Elders” and, though having no say in the affairs of the individual clans, they have come to exert a great influence over things seen as impacting the whole.

 

Ursal Mountains

So named for its resident bear population, this mountain range extends south from Stronghold to just north of Olmire and northeast of the Inland Sea. These are the first mountains that Raymond and Hanshee encounter. They evaded the guardsmen of Aggipoor in their eastern foothills and were captured by the forces of Pith on their eastern slopes.  

 

Usaid (Oo-sade)

Legendary Warrior-Priest of the ancient clan of Pith.

 

Went

Sister city of Aggipoor and Thessilli, located south of the other two. The three cities are located southeast of the Ursal Mountains and make up a southern- pointing triangle. Though much smaller and less advanced than many of the nations that surround them, their prime location provides them with resources and opportunities for trade that could elevate them into an economic and military force in years to come. This potential has also made them a target of conquest for Pith.

 

Language

 

Dajee (Hanshee’s tongue)

    Honor or Duty. When responding to a "thank you”, “It is fitting” or “I do what is fitting.” Also, “You will find welcome here.”

 

Mulit (Hanshee’s tongue)

Fool