The NetHack Docs

The NetHack Docs are fully cross-referenced versions of the documentation and data files that come with NetHack (see the Official NetHack Home Page for more information.)

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	SCCS Id: @(#)data.base	3.4	2001/09/01
	Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996 by the NetHack Development Team
	Copyright (c) 1994 by Boudewijn Wayers
	NetHack may be freely redistributed.  See license for details.

        For it had been long apparent to Count Landulf that nothing
        could be done with his seventh son Thomas, except to make him
        an Abbot or something of that kind.  Born in 1226, he had from
        childhood a mysterious objection to becoming a predatory eagle,
        or even to taking an ordinary interest in falconry or tilting
        or any other gentlemanly pursuits.  He was a large and heavy and
        quiet boy, and phenomenally silent, scarcely opening his mouth
        except to say suddenly to his schoolmaster in an explosive
        manner, "What is God?"  The answer is not recorded but it is
        probable that the asker went on worrying out answers for himself.
                The Runaway Abbot, by G. K. Chesterton

aclys, aklys
        A short studded or spiked club attached to a cord allowing
        it to be drawn back to the wielder after having been thrown.
        It should not be confused with the atlatl, which is a device
        used to throw spears for longer distances.

        Said to be a doppelganger sent to inflict divine punishment
        for alignment violations.

        Altars are of three types:
        1.  In Temples.  These are for Sacrifices [...].  The stone
        top will have grooves for blood, and the whole will be covered
        with dry brown stains of a troubling kind from former
        The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

        To every man upon this earth
        Death cometh soon or late;
        And how can man die better
        Than facing fearful odds
        For the ashes of his fathers
        And the temples of his gods?
                Lays of Ancient Rome, by Thomas B. Macaulay

amaterasu omikami
        The Shinto sun goddess, Amaterasu Omikami is the central
        figure of Shintoism and the ancestral deity of the imperial
        house.  One of the daughters of the primordial god Izanagi
        and said to be his favourite offspring, she was born from
        his left eye.
                Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan

        "Tree sap," Wu explained, "often flows over insects and traps
        them.  The insects are then perfectly preserved within the
        fossil.  One finds all kinds of insects in amber - including
        biting insects that have sucked blood from larger animals."
                Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton

*amnesia, maud
        Get thee hence, nor come again,
        Mix not memory with doubt,
        Pass, thou deathlike type of pain,
        Pass and cease to move about!
        'Tis the blot upon the brain
        That will show itself without.
        For, Maud, so tender and true,
        As long as my life endures
        I feel I shall owe you a debt,
        That I never can hope to pay;
        And if ever I should forget
        That I owe this debt to you
        And for your sweet sake to yours;
        O then, what then shall I say? -
        If ever I should forget,
        May God make me more wretched
        Than ever I have been yet!
                Maud, And Other Poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

*amulet, amulet of *
See also: amulet of yendor
        "The complete Amulet can keep off all the things that make
        people unhappy -- jealousy, bad temper, pride, disagreeableness,
        greediness, selfishness, laziness.  Evil spirits, people called
        them when the Amulet was made.  Don't you think it would be nice
        to have it?"
        "Very," said the children, quite without enthusiasm.
        "And it can give you strength and courage."
        "That's better," said Cyril.
        "And virtue."
        "I suppose it's nice to have that," said Jane, but not with much
        "And it can give you your heart's desire."
        "Now you're talking," said Robert.
                The Story of the Amulet, by Edith Nesbit

amulet of yendor
        This mysterious talisman is the object of your quest.  It is
        said to possess powers which mere mortals can scarcely
        comprehend, let alone utilize.  The gods will grant the gift of
        immortality to the adventurer who can deliver it from the
        depths of Moloch's Sanctum and offer it on the appropriate high
        altar on the Astral Plane.

        He answered and said unto them, he that soweth the good seed
        is the Son of man; the field is the world, and the good seed
        are the children of the kingdom; but the weeds are the
        children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the
        devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers
        are the angels.  As therefore the weeds are gathered and
        burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
        [...]  So shall it be at the end of the world; the angels
        shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
        and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be
        wailing and gnashing of teeth.
                The Gospel According to Matthew, 13:37-42, 49-50

        An Egyptian god of war and a great hunter, few gods can match
        his fury.  Unlike many gods of war, he is a force for good.
        The wrath of Anhur is slow to come, but it is inescapable
        once earned.  Anhur is a mighty figure with four arms.  He
        is often seen with a powerful lance that requires both of
        his right arms to wield and which is tipped with a fragment
        of the sun.  He is married to Mehut, a lion-headed goddess.

        The twin city of Ankh-Morpork, foremost of all the cities
        bounding the Circle Sea, was as a matter of course the home
        of a large number of gangs, thieves' guilds, syndicates and
        similar organisations.  This was one of the reasons for its
        wealth.  Most of the humbler folk on the widdershin side of
        the river, in Morpork's mazy alleys, supplemented their
        meagre incomes by filling some small role for one or other
        of the competing gangs.
            The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

        A primordial Babylonian-Akkadian deity, Anshar is mentioned
        in the Babylonian creation epic Enuma Elish as one of a
        pair of offspring (with Kishar) of Lahmu and Lahamu.  Anshar
        is linked with heaven while Kishar is identified with earth.
            Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan

ant, * ant
        This giant variety of the ordinary ant will fight just as
        fiercely as its small, distant cousin.  Various varieties
        exist, and they are known and feared for their relentless
        persecution of their victims.

        Anu was the Babylonian god of the heavens, the monarch of
        the north star.  He was the oldest of the Babylonian gods,
        the father of all gods, and the ruler of heaven and destiny.
        Anu features strongly in the atiku festival in
        Babylon, Uruk and other cities.

        The most highly evolved of all the primates, as shown by
        all their anatomical characters and particularly the
        development of the brain.  Both arboreal and terrestrial,
        the apes have the forelimbs much better developed than
        the hind limbs.  Tail entirely absent.  Growth is slow
        and sexual maturity reached at quite an advanced age.
        A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa by Dorst

        Aldo the gorilla had a plan.  It was a good plan.  It was
        right.  He knew it.  He smacked his lips in anticipation as
        he thought of it.  Yes.  Apes should be strong.  Apes should
        be masters.  Apes should be proud.  Apes should make the
        Earth shake when they walked.  Apes should rule the Earth.
                Battle for the Planet of the Apes,
                        by David Gerrold

        NEWTONIAN, adj.  Pertaining to a philosophy of the universe
        invented by Newton, who discovered that an apple will fall
        to the ground, but was unable to say why.  His successors
        and disciples have advanced so far as to be able to say
                The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce

        Archeology is the search for fact, not truth. [...] 
        So forget any ideas you've got about lost cities, exotic travel, 
        and digging up the world. We do not follow maps to buried 
        treasure, and X never, ever, marks the spot.
                Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

        Archons are the predominant inhabitants of the heavens.
        However unusual their appearance, they are not generally
        evil.  They are beings at peace with themselves and their

        Arioch, the patron demon of Elric's ancestors; one of the most
        powerful of all the Dukes of Hell, who was called Knight of
        the Swords, Lord of the Seven Darks, Lord of the Higher Hell
        and many more names besides.
                Elric of Melnibone, by Michael Moorcock

        I shot an arrow into the air,
        It fell to earth, I knew not where;
        For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
        Could not follow it in its flight.

        I breathed a song into the air,
        It fell to earth, I knew not where;
        For who has sight so keen and strong
        That it can follow the flight of song?

        Long, long afterward, in an oak
        I found the arrow still unbroke;
        And the song, from beginning to end,
        I found again in the heart of a friend.
                The Arrow and the Song,
                  by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

ashikaga takauji
        Ashikaga Takauji was a daimyo of the Minamoto clan who
        joined forces with the Go-Daigo to defeat the Hojo armies.
        Later when Go-Daigo attempted to reduce the powers of the
        samurai clans he rebelled against him.  He defeated Go-
        Daigo and established the emperor Komyo on the throne.
        Go-Daigo eventually escaped and established another
        government in the town of Yoshino.  This period of dual
        governments was known as the Nambokucho.
        Samurai - The Story of a Warrior Tradition, by Cook

        It is said that Asmodeus is the overlord over all of hell.
        His appearance, unlike many other demons and devils, is
        human apart from his horns and tail.  He can freeze flesh
        with a touch.

        The consecrated ritual knife of a Wiccan initiate (one of
        four basic tools, together with the wand, chalice and
        pentacle).  Traditionally, the athame is a double-edged,
        black-handled, cross-hilted dagger of between six and
        eighteen inches length.

        Athene was the offspring of Zeus, and without a mother.  She
        sprang forth from his head completely armed.  Her favourite
        bird was the owl, and the plant sacred to her is the olive.
            Bulfinch's Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch

        A mundane salamander, harmless.

bag, bag of *, sack
        "Now, this third handkerchief," Mein Herr proceeded, "has also
        four edges, which you can trace continuously round and round:
        all you need do is to join its four edges to the four edges of
        the opening.  The Purse is then complete, and its outer
        "I see!" Lady Muriel eagerly interrupted.  "Its outer surface
        will be continuous with its inner surface!  But it will take
        time. I'll sew it up after tea."  She laid aside the bag, and
        resumed her cup of tea.  "But why do you call it Fortunatus's
        Purse, Mein Herr?"
        The dear old man beamed upon her, with a jolly smile, looking
        more exactly like the Professor than ever.  "Don't you see,
        my child--I should say Miladi?  Whatever is inside that Purse,
        is outside it; and whatever is outside it, is inside it.  So
        you have all the wealth of the world in that leetle Purse!"
                Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, by Lewis Carroll

        The "lord of the flies" is a translation of the Hebrew
        Ba'alzevuv (Beelzebub in Greek).  It has been suggested that
        it was a mistranslation of a mistransliterated word which
        gave us this pungent and suggestive name of the Devil, a
        devil whose name suggests that he is devoted to decay,
        destruction, demoralization, hysteria and panic...
                Notes on Lord of the Flies, by E. L. Epstein

        ...  It came to the edge of the fire and the light faded as
        if a cloud had bent over it.  Then with a rush it leaped
        the fissure.  The flames roared up to greet it, and wreathed
        about it; and a black smoke swirled in the air.  Its streaming
        mane kindled, and blazed behind it.  In its right hand
        was a blade like a stabbing tongue of fire; in its left it
        held a whip of many thongs.
        'Ai, ai!' wailed Legolas.  'A Balrog!  A Balrog is come!'
                   The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

baluchitherium, titanothere
        Extinct rhinos include a variety of forms, the most
        spectacular being Baluchitherium from the Oligocene of
        Asia, which is the largest known land mammal.  Its body, 18
        feet high at the shoulder and carried on massive limbs,
        allowed the 4-foot-long head to browse on the higher branches
        of trees.  Though not as enormous, the titanotheres of the
        early Tertiary were also large perissodactyls, Brontotherium
        of the Oligocene being 8 feet high at the shoulder.
                Prehistoric Animals, by Barry Cox

        He took another step and she cocked her right wrist in
        viciously.  She heard the spring click.  Weight slapped into
        her hand.
        "Here!" she shrieked hysterically, and brought her arm up in
        a hard sweep, meaning to gut him, leaving him to blunder
        around the room with his intestines hanging out in steaming
        loops.  Instead he roared laughter, hands on his hips,
        flaming face cocked back, squeezing and contorting with great
        good humor.
        "Oh, my dear!" he cried, and went off into another gale of
        She looked stupidly down at her hand.  It held a firm yellow
        banana with a blue and white Chiquita sticker on it.  She
        dropped it, horrified, to the carpet, where it became a
        sickly yellow grin, miming Flagg's own.
        "You'll tell," he whispered.  "Oh yes indeed you will."
        And Dayna knew he was right.
                The Stand, by Stephen King

barbarian, human barbarian
        They dressed alike -- in buckskin boots, leathern breeks and
        deerskin shirts, with broad girdles that held axes and short
        swords; and they were all gaunt and scarred and hard-eyed;
        sinewy and taciturn.
        They were wild men, of a sort, yet there was still a wide
        gulf between them and the Cimmerian.  They were sons of
        civilization, reverted to a semi-barbarism.  He was a
        barbarian of a thousand generations of barbarians.  They had
        acquired stealth and craft, but he had been born to these
        things.  He excelled them even in lithe economy of motion.
        They were wolves, but he was a tiger.
                Conan - The Warrior, by Robert E. Howard

barbed devil
        Barbed devils lack any real special abilities, though they
        are quite difficult to kill.

        A bat, flitting in the darkness outside, took the wrong turn
        as it made its nightly rounds and came in through the window
        which had been left healthfully open.  It then proceeded to
        circle the room in the aimless fat-headed fashion habitual
        with bats, who are notoriously among the less intellectually
        gifted of God's creatures.  Show me a bat, says the old
        proverb, and I will show you something that ought to be in
        some kind of a home.
                A Pelican at Blandings, by P. G. Wodehouse

        This giant variety of its useful normal cousin normally
        appears in small groups, looking for raw material to produce
        the royal jelly needed to feed their queen.  On rare
        occasions, one may stumble upon a bee-hive, in which the
        queen bee is being well provided for, and guarded against

        [ The Creator ] has an inordinate fondness for beetles.
                attributed to biologist J.B.S. Haldane

        The common name for the insects with wings shaped like
        shields (Coleoptera), one of the ten sub-species into
        which the insects are divided.  They are characterized by
        the shields (the front pair of wings) under which the back
        wings are folded.
                Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal

bell of opening
        "A bell, book and candle job."
        The Bursar sighed.  "We tried that, Archchancellor."
        The Archchancellor leaned towards him.
        "Eh?" he said.
        "I said, we tried that Archchancellor," said the Bursar loudly,
        directing his voice at the old man's ear.  "After dinner, you
        remember?  We used Humptemper's Names of the Ants and rang Old
        "Did we, indeed.  Worked, did it?"
        "No, Archchancellor."

        * Old Tom was the single cracked bronze bell in the University
        bell tower.
                Eric, by Terry Pratchett

        The blindfolding was performed by binding a piece of the
        yellowish linen whereof those of the Amahagger who condescended
        to wear anything in particular made their dresses tightly round
        the eyes.  This linen I afterwards discovered was taken from the
        tombs, and was not, as I had first supposed, of native
        manufacture.  The bandage was then knotted at the back of the
        head, and finally brought down again and the ends bound under
        the chin to prevent its slipping.  Ustane was, by the way, also
        blindfolded, I do not know why, unless it was from fear that she
        should impart the secrets of the route to us.
                She, by H. Rider Haggard

blind io
        On this particular day Blind Io, by dint of constant vigilance
        the chief of the gods, sat with his chin on his hand
        and looked at the gaming board on the red marble table in
        front of him.  Blind Io had got his name because, where his
        eye sockets should have been, there were nothing but two
        areas of blank skin.  His eyes, of which he had an impressively
        large number, led a semi-independent life of their
        own.  Several were currently hovering above the table.
            The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett

* blob, gelatinous cube, ooze, * ooze, *pudding, * slime
        These giant amoeboid creatures look like nothing more than
        puddles of slime, but they both live and move, feeding on
        metal or wood as well as the occasional dungeon explorer to
        supplement their diet.

        But we were not on a station platform.  We were on the track ahead
        as the nightmare, plastic column of fetid black iridescence oozed
        tightly onward through its fifteen-foot sinus, gathering unholy
        speed and driving before it a spiral, re-thickening cloud of the
        pallid abyss vapor.  It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster
        than any subway train -- a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic
        bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes
        forming and unforming as pustules of greenish light all over the
        tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic
        penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its
        kind had swept so evilly free of all litter.
                At the Mountains of Madness, by H.P. Lovecraft

bone devil
        Bone devils attack with weapons and with a great hooked tail
        which causes a loss of strength to those they sting.

book of the dead, candelabrum*, *candle
        Faustus: Come on Mephistopheles.  What shall we do?
        Mephistopheles: Nay, I know not.  We shall be cursed with bell,
        book, and candle.
        Faustus: How?  Bell, book, and candle, candle, book, and bell,
        Forward and backward, to curse Faustus to hell.
        Anon you shall hear a hog grunt, a calf bleat, and an ass bray,
        Because it is Saint Peter's holy day.
        (Enter all the Friars to sing the dirge)
                Doctor Faustus and Other Plays, by Christopher Marlowe

        In Fantasyland these are remarkable in that they seldom or
        never wear out and are suitable for riding or walking in
        without the need of Socks.  Boots never pinch, rub, or get
        stones in them; nor do nails stick upwards into the feet from
        the soles.  They are customarily mid-calf length or knee-high,
        slip on and off easily and never smell of feet.  Unfortunately,
        the formula for making this splendid footwear is a closely
        guarded secret, possibly derived from nonhumans (see Dwarfs,
        Elves, and Gnomes).
        The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

        I worked the lever well under, and stretched my back; the end
        of the stone rose up, and I kicked the fulcrum under.  Then,
        when I was going to bear down, I remembered there was
        something to get out from below; when I let go of the lever,
        the stone would fall again.  I sat down to think, on the root
        of the oak tree; and, seeing it stand about the ground, I saw
        my way.  It was lucky I had brought a longer lever.  It would
        just reach to wedge under the oak root.
        Bearing it down so far would have been easy for a heavy man,
        but was a hard fight for me.  But this time I meant to do it
        if it killed me, because I knew it could be done.  Twice I
        got it nearly there, and twice the weight bore it up again;
        but when I flung myself on it the third time, I heard in my
        ears the sea-sound of Poseidon.  Then I knew this time I
        would do it; and so I did.
                The King Must Die, by Mary Renault

bow, * bow
See also: *longbow of diana
        "Stand to it, my hearts of gold," said the old bowman as he
        passed from knot to knot.  "By my hilt! we are in luck this
        journey.  Bear in mind the old saying of the Company."
        "What is that, Aylward?" cried several, leaning on their bows
        and laughing at him.
        "'Tis the master-bowyer's rede: 'Every bow well bent.  Every
        shaft well sent.  Every stave well nocked.  Every string well
        locked.'  There, with that jingle in his head, a bracer on
        his left hand, a shooting glove on his right, and a
        farthing's-worth of wax in his girdle, what more doth a
        bowman need?"
        "It would not be amiss," said Hordle John, "if under his
        girdle he had four farthings'-worth of wine."
                The White Company, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

        Brigit (Brigid, Bride, Banfile), which means the Exalted One,
        was the Celtic (continental European and Irish) fertility
        goddess.  She was originally celebrated on February first in
        the festival of Imbolc, which coincided with the beginning
        of lactation in ewes and was regarded in Scotland as the date
        on which Brigit deposed the blue-faced hag of winter.  The
        Christian calendar adopted the same date for the Feast of St.
        Brigit.  There is no record that a Christian saint ever
        actually existed, but in Irish mythology she became the
        midwife to the Virgin Mary.
                Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan

See also: stormbringer
        Bring me my broadsword
        And clear understanding.
        Bring me my cross of gold,
        As a talisman.
                "Broadsword" (refrain) by Ian Anderson

        Bugbears are relatives of goblins, although they tend to be
        larger and more hairy.  They are aggressive carnivores and
        sometimes kill just for the treasure their victims may be

        'I read you by your bugle horn
        And by your palfrey good,
        I read you for a Ranger sworn
        To keep the King's green-wood.'
        'A Ranger, Lady, winds his horn,
        And 'tis at peep of light;
        His blast is heard at merry morn,
        And mine at dead of night.'
                Brignall Banks, by Sir Walter Scott

        A classical Mesoamerican Aztec god, also known as Mixcoatl-
        Camaxtli (the Cloud Serpent), Camaxtli is the god of war.  He
        is also a deity of hunting and fire who received human
        sacrifice of captured prisoners.  According to tradition, the
        sun god Tezcatlipoca transformed himself into Mixcoatl-Camaxtli
        to make fire by twirling the sacred fire sticks.
                Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan

candy bar
        Only once a year, on his birthday, did Charlie Bucket ever
        get to taste a bit of chocolate.  The whole family saved up
        their money for that special occasion, and when the great
        day arrived, Charlie was always presented with one small
        chocolate bar to eat all by himself.  And each time he
        received it, on those marvelous birthday mornings, he would
        place it carefully in a small wooden box that he owned, and
        treasure it as though it were a bar of solid gold; and for
        the next few days, he would allow himself only to look at it,
        but never to touch it.  Then at last, when he could stand it
        no longer, he would peel back a tiny bit of the paper
        wrapping at one corner to expose a tiny bit of chocolate, and
        then he would take a tiny nibble - just enough to allow the
        lovely sweet taste to spread out slowly over his tongue.  The
        next day, he would take another tiny nibble, and so on, and
        so on.  And in this way, Charlie would make his ten-cent bar
        of birthday chocolate last him for more than a month.
                Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl

s*d*g*r* cat
        Imagine a sealed container, so perfectly constructed that no
        physical influence can pass either inwards or outwards across its
        walls.  Imagine that inside the container is a cat, and also a
        device that can be triggered by some quantum event.  If that event
        takes place, then the device smashes a phial containing cyanide and
        the cat is killed.  If the event does not take place, the cat lives
        on.  In Schroedinger's original version, the quantum event was the
        decay of a radioactive atom.  ...  To the outside observer, the cat
        is indeed in a linear combination of being alive and dead, and only
        when the container is finally opened would the cat's state vector
        collapse into one or the other.  On the other hand, to a (suitably
        protected) observer inside the container, the cat's state-vector
        would have collapsed much earlier, and the outside observer's
        linear combination has no relevance.
                The Emperor's New Mind, by Roger Penrose

*cat, kitten
        Well-known quadruped domestic animal from the family of
        predatory felines (Felis ochreata domestica), with a thick,
        soft pelt; often kept as a pet.  Various folklores have the
        cat associated with magic and the gods of ancient Egypt.

        So Ulthar went to sleep in vain anger; and when the people
        awakened at dawn - behold!  Every cat was back at his
        accustomed hearth!  Large and small, black, grey, striped,
        yellow and white, none was missing.  Very sleek and fat did
        the cats appear, and sonorous with purring content.
                The Cats of Ulthar, by H.P. Lovecraft

        Of all the monsters put together by the Greek imagination
        the Centaurs (Kentauroi) constituted a class in themselves.
        Despite a strong streak of sensuality, in their make-up,
        their normal behaviour was moral, and they took a kindly
        thought of man's welfare.  The attempted outrage of Nessos on
        Deianeira, and that of the whole tribe of Centaurs on the
        Lapith women, are more than offset by the hospitality of
        Pholos and by the wisdom of Cheiron, physician, prophet,
        lyrist, and the instructor of Achilles.  Further, the
        Centaurs were peculiar in that their nature, which united the
        body of a horse with the trunk and head of a man, involved
        an unthinkable duplication of vital organs and important
        members.  So grotesque a combination seems almost un-Greek.
        These strange creatures were said to live in the caves and
        clefts of the mountains, myths associating them especially
        with the hills of Thessaly and the range of Erymanthos.
                     Mythology of all races, Vol. 1, pp. 270-271

        I observed here, what I had often seen before, that certain
        districts abound in centipedes.  Here they have light
        reddish bodies and blue legs; great myriapedes are seen
        crawling every where.  Although they do no harm, they excite
        in man a feeling of loathing.  Perhaps our appearance
        produces a similar feeling in the elephant and other large
        animals.  Where they have been much disturbed, they
        certainly look upon us with great distrust, as the horrid
        biped that ruins their peace.
                Travels and Researches in South Africa,
                        by Dr. David Livingstone

cerberus, kerberos
        Cerberus, (or Kerberos in Greek), was the three-headed dog
        that guarded the Gates of Hell.  He allowed any dead to enter,
        and likewise prevented them all from ever leaving.  He was
        bested only twice:  once when Orpheus put him to sleep by
        playing bewitching music on his lyre, and the other time when
        Hercules confronted him and took him to the world of the
        living (as his twelfth and last labor).

        Name of a family (Chameleonidae) and race (Chameleo) of
        scaly lizards, especially the Chameleo vulgaris species,
        with a short neck, claws, a grasping tail, a long, extendible
        tongue and mutually independent moving eyes.  When it is
        scared or angry, it inflates itself and its transparent skin
        shows its blood:  the skin first appears greenish, then
        gradually changes color until it is a spotted red.  The final
        color depends on the background color as well, hence the
        (figurative) implication of unreliability.  [Capitalized:]
        a constellation of the southern hemisphere (Chameleo).
            Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal

        When an ancient Greek died, his soul went to the nether world:
        the Hades.  To reach the nether world, the souls had to cross
        the river Styx, the river that separated the living from the
        dead.  The Styx could be crossed by ferry, whose shabby ferry-
        man, advanced in age, was called Charon.  The deceased's next-
        of-kin would place a coin under his tongue, to pay the ferry-

chest, large box
        Dantes rapidly cleared away the earth around the chest.  Soon
        the center lock appeared, then the handles at each end, all
        delicately wrought in the manner of that period when art made
        precious even the basest of metals.  He took the chest by the
        two handles and tried to lift it, but it was impossible.  He
        tried to open it; it was locked.  He inserted the sharp end
        of his pickaxe between the chest and the lid and pushed down
        on the handle.  The lid creaked, then flew open.
        Dantes was seized with a sort of giddy fever.  He cocked his
        gun and placed it beside him.  The he closed his eyes like a
        child, opened them and stood dumbfounded.
        The chest was divided into three compartments.  In the first
        were shining gold coins.  In the second, unpolished gold
        ingots packed in orderly stacks.  From the third compartment,
        which was half full, Dantes picked up handfuls of diamonds,
        pearls and rubies.  As they fell through his fingers in a
        glittering cascade, they gave forth the sound of hail beating
        against the windowpanes.
                The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas

        A Chinese rain god.

chromatic dragon, tiamat
        Tiamat is said to be the mother of evil dragonkind.  She is
        extremely vain.

See also: elven cloak, oilskin cloak
        Cloaks are the universal outer garb of everyone who is not a
        Barbarian.  It is hard to see why.  They are open in front
        and require you at most times to use one hand to hold them
        shut.  On horseback they leave the shirt-sleeved arms and
        most of the torso exposed to wind and Weather.  The OMTs
        [ Official Management Terms ] for Cloaks well express their
        difficulties.  They are constantly swirling and dripping
        and becoming heavy with water in rainy Weather, entangling
        with trees or swords, or needing to be pulled close
        around her/his shivering body.  This seems to suggest they
        are less than practical for anyone on an arduous Tour.
        The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

        I wandered lonely as a cloud
        That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
        When all at once I saw a crowd,
        A host, of golden daffodils;
        Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
        Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
                I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, by William Wordsworth

        Darzee and his wife only cowered down in the nest without
        answering, for from the thick grass at the foot of the bush
        there came a low hiss -- a horrid cold sound that made
        Rikki-tikki jump back two clear feet.  Then inch by inch out of
        the grass rose up the head and spread hood of Nag, the big
        black cobra, and he was five feet long from tongue to tail.
        When he had lifted one-third of himself clear of the ground,
        he stayed balancing to and fro exactly as a dandelion-tuft
        balances in the wind, and he looked at Rikki-tikki with the
        wicked snake's eyes that never change their expression,
        whatever the snake may be thinking of.
        'Who is Nag?' said he.  'I am Nag.  The great God Brahm put
        his mark upon all our people, when the first cobra spread his
        hood to keep the sun off Brahm as he slept.  Look, and be
                Rikki-tikki-tavi, by Rudyard Kipling

        Once in a great while, when the positions of the stars are
        just right, a seven-year-old rooster will lay an egg.  Then,
        along will come a snake, to coil around the egg, or a toad,
        to squat upon the egg, keeping it warm and helping it to
        hatch.  When it hatches, out comes a creature called basilisk,
        or cockatrice, the most deadly of all creatures.  A single
        glance from its yellow, piercing toad's eyes will kill both
        man and beast.  Its power of destruction is said to be so
        great that sometimes simply to hear its hiss can prove fatal.
        Its breath is so venomous that it causes all vegetation
        to wither.

        There is, however, one creature which can withstand the
        basilisk's deadly gaze, and this is the weasel.  No one knows
        why this is so, but although the fierce weasel can slay the
        basilisk, it will itself be killed in the struggle.  Perhaps
        the weasel knows the basilisk's fatal weakness:  if it ever
        sees its own reflection in a mirror it will perish instantly.
        But even a dead basilisk is dangerous, for it is said that
        merely touching its lifeless body can cause a person to
        sicken and die.
        Mythical Beasts by Deirdre Headon (The Leprechaun Library)
          and other sources

        He was dressed in a flowing gown with fur tippets which had
        the signs of the zodiac embroidered over it, with various
        cabalistic signs, such as triangles with eyes in them, queer
        crosses, leaves of trees, bones of birds and animals, and a
        planetarium whose stars shone like bits of looking-glass with
        the sun on them.  He had a pointed hat like a dunce's cap, or
        like the headgear worn by ladies of that time, except that
        the ladies were accustomed to have a bit of veil floating
        from the top of it.
                        The Once and Future King, by T.H. White

                "A wizard!" Dooley exclaimed, astounded.
                "At your service, sirs," said the wizard.  "How
        perceptive of you to notice.  I suppose my hat rather gives me
        away.  Something of a beacon, I don't doubt."  His hat was
        pretty much that, tall and cone-shaped with stars and crescent
        moons all over it.  All in all, it couldn't have been more
                        The Elfin Ship, James P. Blaylock

        A mythical feathered serpent.  The couatl are very rare.

        This carnivore is known for its voracious appetite and
        inflated view of its own intelligence.

        If you want to know what cram is, I can only say that I don't
        know the recipe; but it is biscuitish, keeps good indefinitely,
        is supposed to be sustaining, and is certainly not entertaining,
        being in fact very uninteresting except as a chewing
        exercise.  It was made by the Lake-men for long journeys.
                The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

        A big animal with the appearance of a lizard, constituting
        an order of the reptiles (Loricata or Crocodylia), the
        crocodile is a large, dangerous predator native to tropical
        and subtropical climes.  It spends most of its time in large
        bodies of water.

croesus, kroisos, creosote
        Croesus (in Greek: Kroisos), the wealthy last king of Lydia;
        his empire was destroyed when he attacked Cyrus in 549, after
        the Oracle of Delphi (q.v.) had told him:  "if you attack the
        Persians, you will destroy a mighty empire".  Herodotus
        relates of his legendary conversation with Solon of Athens,
        who impressed upon him that being rich does not imply being
        happy and that no one should be considered fortunate before
        his death.

        Warily Conan scanned his surroundings, all of his senses alert
        for signs of possible danger.  Off in the distance, he could
        see the familiar shapes of the Camp of the Duali tribe.
        Suddenly, the hairs on his neck stand on end as he detects the
        aura of evil magic in the air.  Without thought, he readies
        his weapon, and mutters under his breath:
        "By Crom, there will be blood spilt today."

        Conan the Avenger by Robert E. Howard, Bjorn Nyberg, and
          L. Sprague de Camp

        "God save thee, ancient Mariner!
        From the fiends, that plague thee thus! -
        Why look'st thou so?" - With my cross-bow
        I shot the Albatross.
                The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor

crystal ball
        You look into one of these and see vapours swirling like
        clouds.  These shortly clear away to show a sort of video
        without sound of something that is going to happen to you
        soon.  It is seldom good news.
        The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

        Curses are longstanding ill-wishings which, in Fantasyland,
        often manifest as semisentient.  They have to be broken or
        dispelled.  The method varies according to the type and
        origin of the Curse:
        4.  Curses on Rings and Swords.  You have problems.  Rings
        have to be returned whence they came, preferably at over a
        thousand degrees Fahrenheit, and the Curse means you won't
        want to do this.  Swords usually resist all attempts to
        raise their Curses.  Your best source is to hide the Sword
        or give it to someone you dislike.
        The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

        A pack of snow-white, red-eared spectral hounds which
        sometimes took part in the kidnappings and raids the
        inhabitants of the underworld sometimes make on this world
        (the Wild Hunt).  They are associated in Wales with the sounds
        of migrating wild geese, and are said to be leading the souls
        of the damned to hell.  The phantom chase is usually heard or
        seen in midwinter and is accompanied by a howling wind.
                Encyclopedia Mythica, ed. M.F. Lindemans

        And after he had milked his cattle swiftly,
        he again took hold of two of my men
        and had them as his supper.
        Then I went, with a tub of red wine,
        to stand before the Cyclops, saying:
        "A drop of wine after all this human meat,
        so you can taste the delicious wine
        that is stored in our ship, Cyclops."
        He took the tub and emptied it.
        He appreciated the priceless wine that much
        that he promptly asked me for a second tub.
        "Give it", he said, "and give me your name as well".
        Thrice I filled the tub,
        and after the wine had clouded his mind,
        I said to him, in a tone as sweet as honey:
        "You have asked my name, Cyclops?  Well,
        my name is very well known.  I'll give it to you,
        if you give me the gift you promised me as a guest.
        My name is Nobody.  All call me thus:
        my father and my mother and my friends."
        Ruthlessly he answered to this:
        "Nobody, I will eat you last of all;
        your host of friends will completely precede you.
        That will be my present to you, my friend."
        And after these words he fell down backwards,
        restrained by the all-restrainer Hupnos.
        His monstrous neck slid into the dust;
        the red wine squirted from his throat;
        the drunk vomited lumps of human flesh.
                The Odyssey, (chapter Epsilon), by Homer

See also: sting
        Is this a dagger which I see before me,
        The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
        I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
        Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
        To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
        A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
        Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
        I see thee yet, in form as palpable
        As this which now I draw.
                Macbeth, by William Shakespeare

dark one
        ... But he ruled rather by force and fear, if they might
        avail; and those who perceived his shadow spreading over the
        world called him the Dark Lord and named him the Enemy; and
        he gathered again under his government all the evil things of
        the days of Morgoth that remained on earth or beneath it,
        and the Orcs were at his command and multiplied like flies.
        Thus the Black Years began ...
                The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien

        Demogorgon, the prince of demons, wallows in filth and can
        spread a quickly fatal illness to his victims while rending
        them.  He is a mighty spellcaster, and he can drain the life
        of mortals with a touch of his tail.

        It is often very hard to discover what any given Demon looks
        like, apart from a general impression of large size, huge
        fangs, staring eyes, many limbs, and an odd color; but all
        accounts agree that Demons are very powerful, very Magic (in
        a nonhuman manner), and made of some substance that can squeeze
        through a keyhole yet not be pierced with a Sword.  This makes
        them difficult to deal with, even on the rare occasions when
        they are friendly.
        The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

        A wolflike wild dog, Canis dingo, of Australia, having a
        reddish- or yellowish-brown coat, believed to have been
        introduced by the aborigines.
        Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language

        Dispater is an arch-devil who rules the city of Dis.  He is
        a powerful mage.

        The djinn are genies from the elemental plane of Air.  There,
        among their kind, they have their own societies.  They are
        sometimes encountered on earth and may even be summoned here
        to perform some service for powerful wizards.  The wizards
        often leave them about for later service, safely tucked away
        in a flask or lamp.  Once in a while, such a tool is found by
        a lucky rogue, and some djinn are known to be so grateful
        when released that they might grant their rescuer a wish.

*dog, pup*
See also: hachi, slasher, sirius
        A domestic animal, the tame dog (Canis familiaris), of
        which numerous breeds exist.  The male is called a dog,
        while the female is called a bitch.  Because of its known
        loyalty to man and gentleness with children, it is the
        world's most popular domestic animal.  It can easily be
        trained to perform various tasks.

*door, doorway
        Through me you pass into the city of woe:
        Through me you pass into eternal pain:
        Through me among the people lost for aye.
        Justice the founder of my fabric mov'd:
        To rear me was the task of power divine,
        Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.
        Before me things create were none, save things
        Eternal, and eternal I endure.
        All hope abandon ye who enter here.
                The Inferno, from The Divine Comedy of Dante
                        Alighieri, translated by H.F. Cary

        Xander: Let go!  I have to kill the demon bot!
        Xander Double (grabbing the gun): Anya, get out of the way.
        Buffy: Xander!
        Xander Double: That's all right, Buffy.  I have him.
        Xander: No, Buffy, I'm me.  Help me!
        Anya: My gun, he's got my gun.
        Riley: You own a gun?
        Buffy: Xander, gun holding Xander, give it to me.
        Anya: Buffy, which one's real?
        Xander: I am.
        Xander Double: No, I am.
            Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Episode 5.03, "The Replacement"

*dragon, *xoth
        In the West the dragon was the natural enemy of man.  Although
        preferring to live in bleak and desolate regions, whenever it
        was seen among men it left in its wake a trail of destruction
        and disease.  Yet any attempt to slay this beast was a perilous
        undertaking.  For the dragon's assailant had to contend
        not only with clouds of sulphurous fumes pouring from its fire
        breathing nostrils, but also with the thrashings of its tail,
        the most deadly part of its serpent-like body.
        Mythical Beasts by Deirdre Headon (The Leprechaun Library)

        "One whom the dragons will speak with," he said, "that is a
        dragonlord, or at least that is the center of the matter.  It's
        not a trick of mastering the dragons, as most people think.
        Dragons have no masters.  The question is always the same, with
        a dragon:  will he talk to you or will he eat you?  If you can
        count upon his doing the former, and not doing the latter, why
        then you're a dragonlord."
                The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula K. Le Guin

        Many travelers have seen the drums of the great apes, and
        some have heard the sounds of their beating and the noise of
        the wild, weird revelry of these first lords of the jungle,
        but Tarzan, Lord Greystoke, is, doubtless, the only human
        being who ever joined in the fierce, mad, intoxicating revel
        of the Dum-Dum.
                Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs

        Dwarfs have faces like men (ugly men, with wrinkled, leathery
        skins), but are generally either flat-footed, duck-footed, or
        have feet pointing backwards.  They are of the earth, earthy,
        living in the darkest of caverns and venturing forth only
        with the cloaks by which they can make themselves invisible,
        and others disguised as toads.  Miners often come across them,
        and sometimes establish reasonably close relations with them.
        ... The miners of Cornwall were always delighted to hear a
        bucca busily mining away, for all dwarfs have an infallible
        nose for precious metals.
        Among other things, dwarfs are rightly valued for their skill
        as blacksmiths and jewellers: they made Odin his famous spear
        Gungnir, and Thor his hammer; for Freya they designed a
        magnificent necklace, and for Frey a golden boar.  And in their
        spare time they are excellent bakers.  Ironically, despite
        their odd feet, they are particularly fond of dancing.  They
        can also see into the future, and consequently are excellent
        meteorologists.  They can be free with presents to people
        they like, and a dwarvish gift is likely to turn to gold in
        the hand.  But on the whole they are a snappish lot.
            The Immortals, by Derek and Julia Parker

earendil, elwing
        In after days, when because of the triumph of Morgoth Elves and
        Men became estranged, as he most wished, those of the Elven-race
        that lived still in Middle-earth waned and faded, and Men usurped
        the sunlight.  Then the Quendi wandered in the lonely places of the
        great lands and the isles, and took to the moonlight and the
        starlight, and to the woods and the caves, becoming as shadows
        and memories, save those who ever and anon set sail into the West
        and vanished from Middle-earth.  But in the dawn of years Elves
        and Men were allies and held themselves akin, and there were some
        among Men that learned the wisdom of the Eldar, and became great
        and valiant among the captains of the Noldor.  And in the glory
        and beauty of the Elves, and in their fate, full share had the
        offspring of elf and mortal, Earendil, and Elwing, and Elrond
        their child.
                The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien

eel, giant eel
        The behaviour of eels in fresh water extends the air of
        mystery surrounding them.  They move freely into muddy, silty
        bottoms of lakes, lying buried in the daylight hours in summer.
        [...]  Eels are voracious carnivores, feeding mainly at
        night and consuming a wide variety of fishes and invertebrate
        creatures.  Contrary to earlier thinking, eels seek living
        rather than dead creatures and are not habitual eaters of
            Freshwater Fishes of Canada, by Scott and Crossman

        But I asked why not keep it and let the hen sit on it till it
        hatched, and then we could see what would come out of it.
        "Nothing good, I'm certain of that," Mom said.  "It would
        probably be something horrible.  But just remember, if it's a
        crocodile or a dragon or something like that, I won't have it
        in my house for one minute."
                The Enormous Egg, by Oliver Butterworth

        ... Even as they stepped over the threshold a single clear
        voice rose in song.

                A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
                silivren penna miriel
                o menel aglar elenath!
                Na-chaered palan-diriel
                o galadhremmin ennorath,
                Fanuilos, le linnathon
                nef aear, si nef aearon!

        Frodo halted for a moment, looking back.  Elrond was in his
        chair and the fire was on his face like summer-light upon the
        trees.  Near him sat the Lady Arwen.  [...]
        He stood still enchanted, while the sweet syllables of the
        elvish song fell like clear jewels of blended word and melody.
        "It is a song to Elbereth," said Bilbo.  "They will sing that,
        and other songs of the Blessed Realm, many times tonight.
        Come on!"
           The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

electric eel
        South-American fish (Gymnotus electricus), living in fresh
        water.  Shaped like a serpent, it can grow up to 2 metres.
        This eel is known for its electrical organ which enables it
        to paralyse creatures up to the size of a horse.
           Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal

        Elementals are manifestations of the basic nature of the
        universe.  There are four known forms of elementals:  air, fire,
        water, and earth.  Some mystics have postulated the necessity
        for a fifth type, the spirit elemental, but none have ever
        been encountered, at least on this plane of existence.

*elf*, elvenking, elven archeologist, elven cave*man, elven healer, 
elven samurai, elven wizard
        The Elves sat round the fire upon the grass or upon the sawn
        rings of old trunks.  Some went to and fro bearing cups and
        pouring drinks; others brought food on heaped plates and
        "This is poor fare," they said to the hobbits; "for we are
        lodging in the greenwood far from our halls.  If ever you are
        our guests at home, we will treat you better."
        "It seems to me good enough for a birthday-party," said Frodo.
        Pippin afterwards recalled little of either food or drink, for
        his mind was filled with the light upon the elf-faces, and the
        sound of voices so various and so beautiful that he felt in a
        waking dream.  [...]
        Sam could never describe in words, nor picture clearly to
        himself, what he felt or thought that night, though it remained
        in his memory as one of the chief events of his life.  The
        nearest he ever got was to say: "Well, sir, if I could grow
        apples like that, I would call myself a gardener.  But it was
        the singing that went to my heart, if you know what I mean."
           The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

elven cloak
        The Elves next unwrapped and gave to each of the Company the
        clothes they had brought.  For each they had provided a hood
        and cloak, made according to his size, of the light but warm
        silken stuff that the Galadrim wove.  It was hard to say of
        what colour they were: grey with the hue of twilight under
        the trees they seemed to be; and yet if they were moved, or
        set in another light, they were green as shadowed leaves, or
        brown as fallow fields by night, dusk-silver as water under
        the stars.
                The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

        'Put off that mask of burning gold
        With emerald eyes.'
        'O no, my dear, you make so bold
        To find if hearts be wild and wise,
        And yet not cold.'

        'I would but find what's there to find,
        Love or deceit.'
        'It was the mask engaged your mind,
        And after set your heart to beat,
        Not what's behind.'

        'But lest you are my enemy,
        I must enquire.'
        'O no, my dear, let all that be;
        What matter, so there is but fire
        In you, in me?'
                The Mask, by W.B. Yeats

erinys, erinyes
        These female-seeming devils named after the Furies of mythology
        attack hand to hand and poison their unwary victims as well.

        The two-headed giant, or ettin, is a vicious and unpredictable
        hunter that stalks by night and eats any meat it can catch.

        At first only its tip was visible, but then it rose, straight,
        proud, all that was noble and great and wondrous.  The tip of
        the blade pointed toward the moon, as if it would cleave it
        in two.  The blade itself gleamed like a beacon in the night.
        There was no light source for the sword to be reflecting
        from, for the moon had darted behind a cloud in fear.  The
        sword was glowing from the intensity of its strength and
        power and knowledge that it was justice incarnate, and that
        after a slumber of uncounted years its time had again come.
        After the blade broke the surface, the hilt was visible, and
        holding the sword was a single strong, yet feminine hand,
        wearing several rings that bore jewels sparkling with the
        blue-green color of the ocean.
                Knight Life, by Peter David

expensive camera
        There was a time when Rincewind had quite liked the iconoscope.
        He believed, against all experience, that the world was
        fundamentally understandable, and that if he could only equip
        himself with the right mental toolbox he could take the back off
        and see how it worked.  He was, of course, dead wrong.  The
        iconoscope didn't take pictures by letting light fall onto
        specially treated paper, as he had surmised, but by the far
        simpler method of imprisoning a small demon with a good eye for
        colour and a speedy hand with a paintbrush.  He had been very
        upset to find that out.
                The Light Fantastic, by Terry Pratchett

eye of the aethiopica
        This is a powerful amulet of ESP.  In addition to its standard
        powers, it regenerates the energy of anyone who carries
        it, allowing them to cast spells more often.  It also reduces
        any spell damage to the person who carries it by half, and
        protects from magic missiles.  Finally, when invoked it has
        the power to instantly open a portal to any other area of the
        dungeon, allowing its invoker to travel quickly between

eyes of the overworld
        ... and finally there is "the Eyes of the Overworld".  This
        obscure artifact pushes the wearer's view sense into the
        "overworld" -- another name for a segment of the Astral Plane.
        Usually, there is nothing to be seen.  However, the wearer
        is also able to look back and see the area around herself,
        much like looking on a map.  Why anyone would want to ...

        Then it appeared in Paris at just about the time that Paris
        was full of Carlists who had to get out of Spain.  One of
        them must have brought it with him, but, whoever he was, it's
        likely he knew nothing about its real value.  It had been --
        no doubt as a precaution during the Carlist trouble in Spain
        -- painted or enameled over to look like nothing more than a
        fairly interesting black statuette.  And in that disguise,
        sir, it was, you might say, kicked around Paris for seventy
        years by private owners and dealers too stupid to see what
        it was under the skin.
                The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett

floating eye
        Floating eyes, not surprisingly, are large, floating eyeballs
        which drift about the dungeon.  Though not dangerous in and
        of themselves, their power to paralyse those who gaze at
        their large eye in combat is widely feared.  Many are the
        tales of those who struck a floating eye, were paralysed by
        its mystic powers, and then nibbled to death by some other
        creature that lurked around nearby.

flesh golem
        With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected
        the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark
        of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet.  It was
        already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against
        the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the
        glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow
        eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive
        motion agitated its limbs.

        How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how
        delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I
        had endeavoured to form?  His limbs were in proportion, and I
        had selected his features as beautiful.  Beautiful!--Great God!
        His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and
        arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and
        flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances
        only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that
        seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in
        which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight
        black lips.
                Frankenstein, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

        With this thou canst do mighty deeds
        And change men's passions for thy needs:
        A man's despair with joy allay,
        Turn bachelors old to lovers gay.
                The Magic Flute, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

fog cloud
        The fog comes
        on little cat feet.

        It sits looking
        over harbor and city
        on silent haunches
        and then moves on.
             Fog, by Carl Sandburg

        Rest! This little Fountain runs
        Thus for aye: -- It never stays
        For the look of summer suns,
        Nor the cold of winter days.
        Whose'er shall wander near,
        When the Syrian heat is worst,
        Let him hither come, nor fear
        Lest he may not slake his thirst:
        He will find this little river
        Running still, as bright as ever.
        Let him drink, and onward hie,
        Bearing but in thought, that I,
        Erotas, bade the Naiad fall,
        And thank the great god Pan for all!
                For a Fountain, by Bryan Waller Procter

        One hot summer's day a Fox was strolling through an orchard
        till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine
        which had been trained over a lofty branch. "Just the thing
        to quench my thirst," quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he
        took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning
        round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with
        no greater success. Again and again he tried after the
        tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked
        away with his nose in the air, saying: "I am sure they are
                Aesop's Fables

        Fungi, division of simple plants that lack chlorophyll, true
        stems, roots, and leaves.  Unlike algae, fungi cannot
        photosynthesize, and live as parasites or saprophytes.  The
        division comprises the slime molds and true fungi.  True
        fungi are multicellular (with the exception of yeasts); the
        body of most true fungi consists of slender cottony
        filaments, or hyphae.  All fungi are capable of asexual
        reproduction by cell division, budding, fragmentation, or
        spores.  Those that reproduce sexually alternate a sexual
        generation (gametophyte) with a spore-producing one.  The
        four classes of true fungi are the algaelike fungi (e.g.,
        black bread mold and downy mildew), sac fungi (e.g., yeasts,
        powdery mildews, truffles, and blue and green molds such as
        Penicillium), basidium fungi (e.g., mushrooms and puffballs)
        and imperfect fungi (e.g., species that cause athlete's foot
        and ringworm).  Fungi help decompose organic matter (important
        in soil renewal); are valuable as a source of antibiotics,
        vitamins, and various chemicals; and for their role in
        fermentation, e.g., in bread and alcoholic beverage
                The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia

        And so it came to pass that while Man ruled on Earth, the
        gargoyles waited, lurking, hidden from the light.  Reborn
        every 600 years in Man's reckoning of time, the gargoyles
        joined battle against Man to gain dominion over the Earth.

        In each coming, the gargoyles were nearly destroyed by Men
        who flourished in greater numbers.  Now it has been so many
        hundreds of years that it seems the ancient statues and
        paintings of gargoyles are just products of Man's
        imagination.  In this year, with Man's thoughts turned toward
        the many ills he has brought among himself, Man has forgotten
        his most ancient adversary, the gargoyles.
        Excerpt from the opening narration to the movie
                Gargoyles, written by Stephen and Elinor Karpf

        1 November - All day long we have travelled, and at a good
        speed.  The horses seem to know that they are being kindly
        treated, for they go willingly their full stage at best
        speed.  We have now had so many changes and find the same
        thing so constantly that we are encouraged to think that the
        journey will be an easy one.  Dr. Van Helsing is laconic, he
        tells the farmers that he is hurrying to Bistritz, and pays
        them well to make the exchange of horses.  We get hot soup,
        or coffee, or tea, and off we go.  It is a lovely country.
        Full of beauties of all imaginable kinds, and the people are
        brave, and strong, and simple, and seem full of nice
        qualities.  They are very, very superstitious.  In the first
        house where we stopped, when the woman who served us saw the
        scar on my forehead, she crossed herself and put out two
        fingers towards me, to keep off the evil eye.  I believe they
        went to the trouble of putting an extra amount of garlic into
        our food, and I can't abide garlic.  Ever since then I have
        taken care not to take off my hat or veil, and so have
        escaped their suspicions.
                Dracula, by Bram Stoker

        Geryon is an arch-devil sometimes called the Wild Beast,
        attacking with his claws and poison sting.  His ranking in
        Hell is rumored to be quite low.

        And now the souls of the dead who had gone below came swarming
        up from Erebus -- fresh brides, unmarried youths, old men
        with life's long suffering behind them, tender young girls
        still nursing this first anguish in their hearts, and a great
        throng of warriors killed in battle, their spear-wounds gaping
        yet and all their armour stained with blood.  From this
        multitude of souls, as they fluttered to and fro by the
        trench, there came a moaning that was horrible to hear.
        Panic drained the blood from my cheeks.
             The Odyssey, (chapter Lambda), by Homer

        The forces of the gloom know each other, and are strangely
        balanced by each other.  Teeth and claws fear what they cannot
        grasp.  Blood-drinking bestiality, voracious appetites, hunger
        in search of prey, the armed instincts of nails and jaws which
        have for source and aim the belly, glare and smell out
        uneasily the impassive spectral forms straying beneath a
        shroud, erect in its vague and shuddering robe, and which seem
        to them to live with a dead and terrible life.  These
        brutalities, which are only matter, entertain a confused fear
        of having to deal with the immense obscurity condensed into an
        unknown being.  A black figure barring the way stops the wild
        beast short.  That which emerges from the cemetery intimidates
        and disconcerts that which emerges from the cave; the
        ferocious fear the sinister; wolves recoil when they encounter
        a ghoul.
                Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo

*giant, giant humanoid
        Giants have always walked the earth, though they are rare in
        these times.  They range in size from little over nine feet
        to a towering twenty feet or more.  The larger ones use huge
        boulders as weapons, hurling them over large distances.  All
        types of giants share a love for men - roasted, boiled, or
        fried.  Their table manners are legendary.

gnome*, gnomish wizard
        ...  And then a gnome came by, carrying a bundle, an old
        fellow three times as large as an imp and wearing clothes of
        a sort, especially a hat.  And he was clearly just as frightened
        as the imps though he could not go so fast.  Ramon Alonzo
        saw that there must be some great trouble that was vexing
        magical things; and, since gnomes speak the language of men, and
        will answer if spoken to gently, he raised his hat, and asked
        of the gnome his name.  The gnome did not stop his hasty
        shuffle a moment as he answered 'Alaraba' and grabbed the rim
        of his hat but forgot to doff it.
        'What is the trouble, Alaraba?'  said Ramon Alonzo.
        'White magic.  Run!'  said the gnome ..
                The Charwoman's Shadow, by Lord Dunsany

        "Muggles have garden gnomes, too, you know," Harry told Ron as
        they crossed the lawn.
        "Yeah, I've seen those things they think are gnomes," said Ron,
        bent double with his head in a peony bush, "like fat little
        Santa Clauses with fishing rods..."
        There was a violent scuffling noise, the peony bush shuddered,
        and Ron straightened up.  "This is a gnome," he said grimly.
        "Geroff me! Gerroff me!" squealed the gnome.
        It was certainly nothing like Santa Claus.  It was small and
        leathery looking, with a large, knobby, bald head exactly like
        a potato.  Ron held it at arm's length as it kicked out at him
        with its horny little feet; he grasped it around the ankles
        and turned it upside down.
          Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J. K. Rowling

        Now goblins are cruel, wicked, and bad-hearted.  They make
        no beautiful things, but they make many clever ones.  They
        can tunnel and mine as well as any but the most skilled
        dwarves, when they take the trouble, though they are usually
        untidy and dirty.  Hammers, axes, swords, daggers, pickaxes,
        tongs, and also instruments of torture, they make very well,
        or get other people to make to their design, prisoners and
        slaves that have to work till they die for want of air and
             The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

god, goddess
        Goddesses and Gods operate in ones, threesomes, or whole
        pantheons of nine or more (see Religion).  Most of them claim
        to have made the world, and this is indeed a likely claim in
        the case of threesomes or pantheons:  Fantasyland does have
        the air of having been made by a committee.  But all Goddesses
        and Gods, whether they say they made the world or not, have
        very detailed short-term plans for it which they are determined
        to carry out.  Consequently they tend to push people into the
        required actions by the use of coincidence or Prophecy, or just
        by narrowing down your available choices of what to do next:
        if a deity is pushing you, things will go miserably badly until
        there is only one choice left to you.
        The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

gold, gold piece, zorkmid
        A metal of characteristic yellow colour, the most precious
        metal used as a common commercial medium of exchange.  Symbol,
        Au; at. no. 79; at. wt. 197.2.  It is the most malleable
        and ductile of all metals, and very heavy (sp. gr., 19.3).
        It is quite unalterable by heat, moisture, and most
        corrosive agents, and therefore well suited for its use in
        coin and jewelry.
             Webster's New International Dictionary
                  of the English Language, Second Edition

gold golem
        The bellows he set away from the fire, and gathered all the tools
        wherewith he wrought into a silver chest; and with a sponge wiped
        he his face and his two hands withal, and his mighty neck and
        shaggy breast, and put upon him a tunic, and grasped a stout staff,
        and went forth halting; but there moved swiftly to support their
        lord handmaidens wrought of gold in the semblance of living maids.
        In them is understanding in their hearts, and in them speech and
        strength, and they know cunning handiwork by gift of the immortal
                The Iliad, by Homer

See also: gold golem, flesh golem
        "The original story harks back, so they say, to the sixteenth
        century.  Using long-lost formulas from the Kabbala, a rabbi is
        said to have made an artificial man -- the so-called Golem -- to
        help ring the bells in the Synagogue and for all kinds of other
        menial work.
        "But he hadn't made a full man, and it was animated by some sort
        of vegetable half-life.  What life it had, too, so the story
        runs, was only derived from the magic charm placed behind its
        teeth each day, that drew down to itself what was known as the
        `free sidereal strength of the universe.'
        "One evening, before evening prayers, the rabbi forgot to take
        the charm out of the Golem's mouth, and it fell into a frenzy.
        It raged through the dark streets, smashing everything in its
        path, until the rabbi caught up with it, removed the charm, and
        destroyed it.  Then the Golem collapsed, lifeless.  All that was
        left of it was a small clay image, which you can still see in
        the Old Synagogue." ...
            The Golem, by Gustav Meyrink

        "Who'd care to dig 'em," said the old, old man,
        "Those six feet marked in chalk?
        Much I talk, more I walk;
        Time I were buried," said the old, old man.
                Three Songs to the Same Tune, by W.B. Yeats

        Why had I been wearing Grayswandir?  Would another weapon have
        affected a Logrus-ghost as strongly?  Had it really been my
        father, then, who had brought me here?  And had he felt I might
        need the extra edge his weapon could provide?  I wanted to
        think so, to believe that he had been more than a Pattern-ghost.
                Knight of Shadows, by Roger Zelazny

        ANOINT, v.t.  To grease a king or other great functionary
        already sufficiently slippery.
                The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce

        The gremlin is a highly intelligent and completely evil
        creature.  It lives to torment other creatures and will go
        to great lengths to inflict pain or cause injury.

        Suddenly, Wilson thought about war, about the newspaper
        stories which recounted the alleged existence of creatures in
        the sky who plagued the Allied pilots in their duties.  They
        called them gremlins, he remembered.  Were there, actually,
        such beings?  Did they, truly, exist up here, never falling,
        riding on the wind, apparently of bulk and weight, yet
        impervious to gravity?
        He was thinking that when the man appeared again.
                Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, by Richard Matheson

grid bug
        These electronically based creatures are not native to this
        universe.  They appear to come from a world whose laws of
        motion are radically different from ours.

        Tron looked to his mate and pilot.  "I'm going to check on
        the beam connection, Yori.  You two can keep a watch out for
        grid bugs."  Tron paced forward along the slender catwalk
        that still seemed awfully insubstantial to Flynn, though he
        knew it to be amazingly sturdy.  He gazed after Tron, asking
        himself what in the world a grid bug was, and hoping that the
        beam connection -- to which he'd given no thought whatsoever
        until this moment -- was healthy and sound."
            Tron, novel by Brian Daley, story by Steven Lisberger

        The samurai's last meal before battle.  It was usually made
        up of cooked chestnuts, dried seaweed, and sake.

        Hachi was a dog that went with his master, a professor, to
        the Shibuya train station every morning.  In the afternoon,
        when his master was to return from work Hachi would be there
        waiting.  One day his master died at the office, and did not
        return.  For over ten years Hachi returned to the station
        every afternoon to wait for his master.  When Hachi died a
        statue was erected on the station platform in his honor.  It
        is said to bring you luck if you touch his statue.

        A triangular stringed instrument, often Magic.  Even when not
        Magic, a Harp is surprisingly portable and tough and can be
        carried everywhere on the back of the Bard or Harper in all
        weathers.  A Harp seldom goes out of tune and never warps.
        Its strings break only in very rare instances, usually
        because the Harper is sulking or crossed in love.  This is
        just as well as no one seems to make or sell spare strings.
        The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

        After breakfast was over, the ogre called out: "Wife, wife,
        bring me my golden harp."  So she brought it and put it on
        the table before him.  Then he said: "Sing!" and the golden
        harp sang most beautifully.  And it went on singing till the
        ogre fell asleep, and commenced to snore like thunder.
        Then Jack lifted up the copper-lid very quietly and got down
        like a mouse and crept on hands and knees till he came to the
        table, when up he crawled, caught hold of the golden harp and
        dashed with it towards the door.  But the harp called out
        quite loud: "Master!  Master!" and the ogre woke up just in
        time to see Jack running off with his harp.
                Jack and the Beanstalk, from English Fairy Tales,
                  by Joseph Jacobs

heart of ahriman
        The other three drew in their breath sharply, and the dark,
        powerful man who stood at the head of the sarcophagus whispered:
        "The Heart of Ahriman!"  The other lifted a quick hand
        for silence.  Somewhere a dog began howling dolefully, and a
        stealthy step padded outside the barred and bolted door. ...
        But none looked aside from the mummy case over which the man
        in the ermine-trimmed robe was now moving the great flaming
        jewel, while he muttered an incantation that was old when
        Atlantis sank.  The glare of the gem dazzled their eyes, so
        that they could not be sure what they saw; but with a
        splintering crash, the carven lid of the sarcophagus burst
        outward as if from some irresistible pressure applied from
        within and the four men, bending eagerly forward, saw the
        occupant -- a huddled, withered, wizened shape, with dried
        brown limbs like dead wood showing through moldering bandages.
        "Bring that thing back?" muttered the small dark man who
        stood on the right, with a short, sardonic laugh.  "It is
        ready to crumble at a touch.  We are fools ---"
                Conan The Conqueror, by Robert E. Howard

hell hound*
        Hell hounds are fire-breathing canines from another plane of
        existence brought here in the service of evil beings.  A hell
        hound resembles a large hound with rust-red or red-brown fur,
        and red, glowing eyes.  The markings, teeth, and tongue are
        soot black.  It stands two to three feet high at the shoulder
        and has a distinct odour of smoke and sulphur.  The baying
        sounds it makes have an eerie, hollow tone that sends a shiver
        through any who hear them.

        Messenger and herald of the Olympians.  Being required to do
        a great deal of travelling and speaking in public, he became
        the god of eloquence, travellers, merchants, and thieves.  He
        was one of the most energetic of the Greek gods, a
        Machiavellian character full of trickery and sexual vigour.
        Like other Greek gods, he is endowed with not-inconsiderable
        sexual prowess which he directs towards countryside nymphs.
        He is a god of boundaries, guardian of graves and patron deity
        of shepherds.  He is usually depicted as a handsome young
        man wearing winged golden sandals and holding a magical
        herald's staff consisting of intertwined serpents, the
        kerykeion.  He is reputedly the only being able to find his way
        to the underworld ferry of Charon and back again.  He is said
        to have invented, among other things, the lyre, Pan's Pipes,
        numbers, the alphabet, weights and measures, and sacrificing.

        "Hezrou" is the common name for the type II demon.  It is
        among the weaker of demons, but still quite formidable.

        Greek physician, recognized as the father of medicine.  He
        is believed to have been born on the island of Cos, to have
        studied under his father, a physician, to have traveled for
        some time, perhaps studying in Athens, and to have then
        returned to practice, teach, and write at Cos.  The
        Hippocratic or Coan school that formed around him was of
        enormous importance in separating medicine from superstition
        and philosophic speculation, placing it on a strictly
        scientific plane based on objective observation and critical
        deductive reasoning.
                The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition

        Hobbits are an unobtrusive but very ancient people, more
        numerous formerly than they are today; for they love peace
        and quiet and good tilled earth:  a well-ordered and well-
        farmed countryside was their favourite haunt.  They do not
        and did not understand or like machines more complicated
        than a forge-bellows, a water-mill, or a handloom, although
        they were skillful with tools.  Even in ancient days they
        were, as a rule, shy of "the Big Folk", as they call us, and
        now they avoid us with dismay and are becoming hard to find.
                The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

        Hobgoblin.  Used by the Puritans and in later times for
        wicked goblin spirits, as in Bunyan's "Hobgoblin nor foul
        friend", but its more correct use is for the friendly spirits
        of the brownie type.  In "A midsummer night's dream" a
        fairy says to Shakespeare's Puck:
                Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck,
                You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
                Are you not he?
        and obviously Puck would not wish to be called a hobgoblin
        if that was an ill-omened word.
        Hobgoblins are on the whole, good-humoured and ready to be
        helpful, but fond of practical joking, and like most of the
        fairies rather nasty people to annoy.  Boggarts hover on the
        verge of hobgoblindom.  Bogles are just over the edge.
        One Hob mentioned by Henderson, was Hob Headless who haunted
        the road between Hurworth and Neasham, but could not cross
        the little river Kent, which flowed into the Tess.  He was
        exorcised and laid under a large stone by the roadside for
        ninety-nine years and a day.  If anyone was so unwary as to
        sit on that stone, he would be unable to quit it for ever.
        The ninety-nine years is nearly up, so trouble may soon be
        heard of on the road between Hurworth and Neasham.
                A Dictionary of Fairies, by Katharine Briggs

        A homunculus is a creature summoned by a mage to perform some
        particular task.  They are particularly good at spying.  They
        are smallish creatures, but very agile.  They can put their
        victims to sleep with a venomous bite, but due to their size,
        the effect does not last long on humans.

        "Tothapis cut him off.  'Be still and hearken.  You will travel
        aboard the sacred wingboat.  Of it you may not have heard; but
        it will bear you thither in a night and a day and a night.
        With you will go a homunculus that can relay your words to me,
        and mine to you, across the leagues between at the speed of
                Conan the Rebel, by Poul Anderson

        But as for Queequeg -- why, Queequeg sat there among them --
        at the head of the table, too, it so chanced; as cool as an
        icicle.  To be sure I cannot say much for his breeding.  His
        greatest admirer could not have cordially justified his
        bringing his harpoon into breakfast with him, and using it
        there without ceremony; reaching over the table with it, to
        the imminent jeopardy of many heads, and grappling the
        beefsteaks towards him.
                Moby Dick, by Herman Melville

See also: unicorn horn
        Roland hath set the Olifant to his mouth,
        He grasps it well, and with great virtue sounds.
        High are those peaks, afar it rings and loud,
        Thirty great leagues they hear its echoes mount.
        So Charles heard, and all his comrades round;
        Then said that King: "Battle they do, our counts!"
        And Guenelun answered, contrarious:
        "That were a lie, in any other mouth."
                The Song of Roland

horned devil
        Horned devils lack any real special abilities, though they
        are quite difficult to kill.

See also: horsem*
        King Richard III: A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
        Catesby: Withdraw, my lord; I'll help you to a horse.
        King Richard III: Slave, I have set my life upon a cast,
                          And I will stand the hazard of the die:
                          I think there be six Richmonds in the field;
                          Five have I slain to-day instead of him.
                          A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
                King Richard III, by William Shakespeare

*horsem*, rider*, death, famine, pestilence, war, hunger
        [Pestilence:] And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals,
        and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four
        beasts saying, Come and see.  And I saw, and behold a white
        horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given
        unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

        [War:] And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the
        second beast say, Come and see.  And there went out another
        horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon
        to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one
        another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

        [Famine:] And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the
        third beast say, Come and see.  And I beheld, and lo a black
        horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his
        hand.  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say,
        A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley
        for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

        [Death:] And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the
        voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.  And I looked, and
        behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death,
        and Hell followed with him.  And power was given unto them over
        the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with
        hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
             Revelations of John, 6:1-8

        The first of five mythical Chinese emperors, Huan Ti is known
        as the yellow emperor.  He rules the moving heavens, as
        opposed to the dark heavens.  He is an inventor, said to
        have given mankind among other things, the wheel, armour, and
        the compass.  He is the god of fortune telling and war.

hu*h*eto*l, minion of huhetotl
        Huehuetotl, or Huhetotl, which means Old God, was the Aztec
        (classical Mesoamerican) god of fire.  He is generally
        associated with paternalism and one of the group classed
        as the Xiuhtecuhtli complex.  He is known to send his
        minions to wreak havoc upon ordinary humans.
             after the Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan

        Humanoids are all approximately the size of a human, and may
        be mistaken for one at a distance.  They are usually of a
        tribal nature, and will fiercely defend their lairs.  Usually
        hostile, they may even band together to raid and pillage
        human settlements.

human, human archeologist, human cave*man, human healer, human monk, 
human samurai, human wizard, acolyte, apprentice, archeologist, 
arch priest, attendant, cave*man, chieftain, guard, healer, grand master, 
master kaen, monk, ninja, nurse, page, *priest*, ronin, samurai, shopkeeper, 
student, thug, warrior, *watch*, wizard, player
        These strange creatures live mostly on the surface of the
        earth, gathering together in societies of various forms, but
        occasionally a stray will descend into the depths and commit
        mayhem among the dungeon residents who, naturally, often
        resent the intrusion of such beasts.  They are capable of
        using weapons and magic, and it is even rumored that the
        Wizard of Yendor is a member of this species.

        What of the hunting, hunter bold?
        Brother, the watch was long and cold.
        What of the quarry ye went to kill?
        Brother, he crops in the jungle still.
        Where is the power that made your pride?
        Brother, it ebbs from my flank and side.
        Where is the haste that ye hurry by?
        Brother, I go to my lair to die.
                The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling

ice devil
        Ice devils are large semi-insectoid creatures, who are
        equally at home in the fires of Hell and the cold of Limbo,
        and who can cause the traveller to feel the latter with just
        a touch of their tail.

         ... imps ... little creatures of two feet high that could
        gambol and jump prodigiously; ...
                The Charwoman's Shadow, by Lord Dunsany

        An 'imp' is an off-shoot or cutting.  Thus an 'ymp tree' was
        a grafted tree, or one grown from a cutting, not from seed.
        'Imp' properly means a small devil, an off-shoot of Satan,
        but the distinction between goblins or bogles and imps from
        hell is hard to make, and many in the Celtic countries as
        well as the English Puritans regarded all fairies as devils.
        The fairies of tradition often hover uneasily between the
        ghostly and the diabolic state.
                A Dictionary of Fairies, by Katharine Briggs

incubus, succubus
        The incubus and succubus are male and female versions of the
        same demon, one who lies with a human for its own purposes,
        usually to the detriment of the mortals who are unwise in
        their dealings with them.

*iron ball, *iron chain
        "You are fettered, " said Scrooge, trembling.  "Tell me why?"
        "I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the Ghost.  "I
        made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my
        own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.  Is its
        pattern strange to you?"
        Scrooge trembled more and more.
        "Or would you know," pursued the Ghost, "the weight and
        length of the strong coil you bear yourself?  It was full as
        heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago.  You
        have laboured on it, since.  It is a ponderous chain!"
                A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

        Ishtar (the star of heaven) is the Mesopotamian goddess of
        fertility and war.  She is usually depicted with wings and
        weapon cases at her shoulders, carrying a ceremonial double-
        headed mace-scimitar embellished with lion heads, frequently
        being accompanied by a lion.  She is symbolized by an eight-
        pointed star.
                Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan

        Now Issek of the Jug, whom Fafhrd chose to serve, was once
        of the most lowly and unsuccessful of the gods, godlets
        rather, in Lankhmar.  He had dwelt there for about thirteen
        years, during which time he had traveled only two squares up
        the Street of the Gods and was now back again, ready for
        oblivion.  He is not to be confused with Issek the Armless,
        Issek of the Burnt Legs, Flayed Issek, or any other of the
        numerous and colorfully mutilated divinities of that name.
        Indeed, his unpopularity may have been due in part to the
        fact that the manner of his death -- racking -- was not
        deemed particularly spectacular. ... However, after Fafhrd
        became his acolyte, things somehow began to change.
                Swords In The Mist, by Fritz Leiber

        The shopkeeper of the lighting shop in the town level of the
        gnomish mines is a tribute to Izchak Miller, a founding member
        of the NetHack development team and a personal friend of a large
        number of us.  Izchak contributed greatly to the game, coding a
        large amount of the shopkeep logic (hence the nature of the tribute)
        as well as a good part of the alignment system, the prayer code and
        the rewrite of "hell" in the 3.1 release.  Izchak was a professor
        of Philosophy, who taught at many respected institutions, including
        MIT and Stanford, and who also worked, for a period of time, at
        Xerox PARC.  Izchak was the first "librarian" of the NetHack project,
        and was a founding member of the DevTeam, joining in 1986 while he
        was working at the University of Pennsylvania (hence our former
        mailing list address).  Until the 3.1.3 release, Izchak carefully
        kept all of the code synchronized and arbitrated disputes between
        members of the development teams.  Izchak Miller passed away at the
        age of 58, in the early morning hours of April 1, 1994 from
        complications due to cancer.  We then dedicated NetHack 3.2 in his
                        Mike Stephenson, for the NetHack DevTeam

jabberwock, vorpal*
        "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
          The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
        Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
          The frumious Bandersnatch!"

        He took his vorpal sword in hand;
          Long time the manxome foe he sought --
        So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
          And stood awhile in thought.

        And, as in uffish thought he stood,
          The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
        Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
          And burbled as it came!

        One, two! One, two! And through and through
          The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
        He left it dead, and with its head
          He went galumphing back.
                                Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll

        In Asiatic folktale, jackal provides for the lion; he scares
        up game, which the lion kills and eats, and receives what is
        left as reward.  In stories from northern India he is
        sometimes termed "minister to the king," i.e. to the lion.
        From the legend that he does not kill his own food has arisen
        the legend of his cowardice.  Jackal's heart must never be
        eaten, for instance, in the belief of peoples indigenous to
        the regions where the jackal abounds. ... In Hausa Negro
        folktale Jackal plays the role of sagacious judge and is
        called "O Learned One of the Forest."  The Bushmen say that
        Jackal goes around behaving the way he does "because he is
                Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore

        Nothing grew among the ruins of the city.  The streets were
        broken and the walls of the houses had fallen, but there were
        no weeds flowering in the cracks and it seemed that the city
        had but recently been brought down by an earthquake.  Only
        one thing still stood intact, towering over the ruins.  It
        was a gigantic statue of white, gray and green jade - the
        statue of a naked youth with a face of almost feminine beauty
        that turned sightless eyes toward the north.
        "The eyes!" Duke Avan Astran said.  "They're gone!"
                The Jade Man's Eyes, by Michael Moorcock

        Large, flesh-eating animal of the cat family, of Central and
        South America.  This feline predator (Panthera onca) is
        sometimes incorrectly called a panther.
         Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal

        I do not care to share the seas
        With jellyfishes such as these;
        Particularly Portuguese.
                Lines on Meeting a Portuguese Man-o'-war while
                        Bathing, by Michael Flanders

juiblex, jubilex
        Little is known about the Faceless Lord, even the correct
        spelling of his name.  He does not have a physical form as
        we know it, and those who have peered into his realm claim
        he is a slime-like creature who swallows other creatures
        alive, spits acidic secretions, and causes disease in his
        victims which can be almost instantly fatal.

        The kabuto is the helmet worn by the samurai.  It was
        characterized by a prominent beaked front which jutted out over
        the brow to protect the wearer's face; a feature that gives
        rise to their modern Japanese name of 'shokaku tsuki kabuto'
        (battering-ram helmet).  Their main constructional element
        was an oval plate, the shokaku bo, slightly domed for the
        head with a narrow prolongation in front that curved forwards
        and downwards where it developed a pronounced central
        fold.  Two horizontal strips encircling the head were riveted
        to this frontal strip:  the lower one, the koshimaki (hip
        wrap), formed the lower edge of the helmet bowl; the other,
        the do maki (body wrap), was set at about the level of the
        temples.  Filling the gaps between these strips and the shokaku
        bo were small plates, sometimes triangular but more commonly
        rectangular in shape.  Because the front projected so
        far from the head, the triangular gap beneath was filled by
        a small plate, the shoshaku tei ita, whose rear edge bent
        downwards into a flange that rested against the forehead.
           Arms & Armour of the Samurai, by Bottomley & Hopson

        The katana is a long, single-edged samurai sword with a
        slightly curved blade.  Its long handle is designed to allow
        it to be wielded with either one or two hands.

        The ki-rin is a strange-looking flying creature.  It has
        scales, a mane like a lion, a tail, hooves, and a horn.  It
        is brightly colored, and can usually be found flying in the
        sky looking for good deeds to reward.

king arthur, *arthur
        Ector took both his sons to the church before which the
        anvil had been placed.  There, standing before the anvil, he
        commanded Kay:  "Put the sword back into the steel if you
        really think the throne is yours!"  But the sword glanced
        off the steel.  "Now it is your turn", Ector said facing
        The young man lifted the sword and thrust with both arms; the
        blade whizzed through the air with a flash and drilled the
        metal as if it were mere butter.  Ector and Kay dropped to
        their knees before Arthur.
        "Why, father and brother, do you bow before me?", Arthur asked
        with wonder in his voice.
        "Because now I know for sure that you are the king, not only
        by birth but also by law", Ector said.  "You are no son of
        mine nor are you Kay's brother.  Immediately after your birth,
        Merlin the Wise brought you to me to be raised safely.  And
        though it was me that named you Arthur when you were baptized,
        you are really the son of brave king Uther Pendragon and queen
        And after these words, the lord rose and went to see the arch-
        bishop to impart to him what had passed.
           Van Gouden Tijden Zingen de Harpen, by Vladimir Hulpach,
                Emanuel Frynta, and Vackav Cibula

knife, stiletto
        Possibly perceiving an expression of dubiosity on their
        faces, the globetrotter went on adhering to his adventures.

        -- And I seen a man killed in Trieste by an Italian chap.
        Knife in his back.  Knife like that.

        Whilst speaking he produced a dangerous looking clasp knife,
        quite in keeping with his character, and held it in the
        striking position.

        -- In a knockingshop it was count of a tryon between two
        smugglers.  Fellow hid behind a door, come up behind him.
        Like that.  Prepare to meet your God, says he.  Chuck!  It
        went into his back up to the butt.
                Ulysses, by James Joyce

knight, human knight
        Here lies the noble fearless knight,
        Whose valour rose to such a height;
        When Death at last had struck him down,
        His was the victory and renown.
        He reck'd the world of little prize,
        And was a bugbear in men's eyes;
        But had the fortune in his age
        To live a fool and die a sage.
                Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miquel de
                  Cervantes Saavedra

        The race of kobolds are reputed to be an artificial creation
        of a master wizard (demi-god?).  They are about 3' tall with
        a vaguely dog-like face.  They bear a violent dislike of the
        Elven race, and will go out of their way to cause trouble
        for Elves at any time.

        The typical policeman of 1920's movies, the Keystone Kop was
        modeled like the English "bobby", with a long brass-buttoned
        overcoat, carrying long nightsticks that he (more often than
        not) whapped himself with, rather than anyone else.  The
        Keystone Kops were very slapstick-like, relying on speed and
        numbers to achieve their comedy, rather than sophisticated

        "I am not a coward!" he cried.  "I'll dare Thieves' House
        and fetch you Krovas' head and toss it with blood a-drip at
        Vlana's feet.  I swear that, witness me, Kos the god of
        dooms, by the brown bones of Nalgron my father and by his
        sword Graywand here at my side!"
           Swords and Deviltry, by Fritz Leiber

        A Japanese harp.

        Out from the water a long sinuous tentacle had crawled; it
        was pale-green and luminous and wet.  Its fingered end had
        hold of Frodo's foot, and was dragging him into the water.
        Sam on his knees was now slashing at it with a knife.  The
        arm let go of Frodo, and Sam pulled him away, crying out
        for help.  Twenty other arms came rippling out.  The dark
        water boiled, and there was a hideous stench.
           The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

*lady, offler
        Blind Io took up the dice-box, which was a skull whose various
        orifices had been stoppered with rubies, and with several of
        his eyes on the Lady he rolled three fives.  She smiled.  This
        was the nature of the Lady's eyes:  they were bright green,
        lacking iris or pupil, and they glowed from within.

        The room was silent as she scrabbled in her box of pieces and,
        from the very bottom, produced a couple that she set down on
        the board with two decisive clicks.  The rest of the players,
        as one God, craned forward to peer at them.

        "A wenegade wiffard and fome fort of clerk," said Offler the
        Crocodile God, hindered as usual by his tusks.  "Well,
        weally!"  With one claw he pushed a pile of bone-white tokens
        into the centre of the table.

        The Lady nodded slightly.  She picked up the dice-cup and held
        it as steady as a rock, yet all the Gods could hear the three
        cubes rattling about inside.  And then she sent them bouncing
        across the table.

        A six.  A three.  A five.

        Something was happening to the five, however.  Battered by the
        chance collision of several billion molecules, the die flipped
        onto a point, spun gently and came down a seven.  Blind Io
        picked up the cube and counted the sides.

        "Come on," he said wearily, "Play fair."
                The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett

        When he came to himself he told his mother what had passed,
        and showed her the lamp and the fruits he had gathered in the
        garden, which were in reality precious stones.  He then asked
        for some food.

        "Alas! child," she said, "I have nothing in the house, but I
        have spun a little cotton and will go and sell it."

        Aladdin bade her keep her cotton, for he would sell the lamp
        instead.  As it was very dirty she began to rub it, that it
        might fetch a higher price.  Instantly a hideous genie
        appeared, and asked what she would have.  She fainted away,
        but Aladdin, snatching the lamp, said boldly:
        "Fetch me something to eat!"
                Aladdin, from The Arabian Nights, by Andrew Lang

        With this the wind increased, and the mill sails began to turn
        about; which Don Quixote espying, said, 'Although thou movest
        more arms than the giant Briareus thou shalt stoop to me.'
        And, after saying this, and commending himself most devoutly to
        his Lady Dulcinea, desiring her to succor him in that trance,
        covering himself well with his buckler, and setting his lance
        on his rest, he spurred on Rozinante, and encountered with the
        first mill that was before him, and, striking his lance into
        the sail, the wind sung it about with such fury, that is broke
        his lance into shivers, carrying him and his horse after it,
        and finally tumbled him a good way off from it on the field in
        evil plight.
                Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miquel de
                  Cervantes Saavedra

        They had splendid heads, fine shoulders, strong legs, and
        straight tails.  The spots on their bodies were jet-black and
        mostly the size of a two-shilling piece; they had smaller
        spots on their heads, legs, and tails.  Their noses and eye-
        rims were black.  Missis had a most winning expression.
        Pongo, though a dog born to command, had a twinkle in his
        eye.  They walked side by side with great dignity, only
        putting the Dearlys on the leash to lead them over crossings.
                The Hundred and One Dalmatians, by Dodie Smith

        In the morning, as they were beginning to pack their slender
        goods, Elves that could speak their tongue came to them and
        brought them many gifts of food and clothing for their
        journey.  The food was mostly in the form of very thin cakes,
        made of a meal that was baked a light brown on the outside,
        and inside was the colour of cream.  Gimli took up one of the
        cakes and looked at it with a doubtful eye.
        'Cram,' he said under his breath, as he broke off a crisp
        corner and nibbled at it.  His expression quickly changed,
        and he ate all the rest of the cake with relish.
        'No more, no more!' cried the Elves laughing.  'You have
        eaten enough already for a long day's march.'
        'I thought it was only a kind of cram, such as the Dalemen
        make for journeys in the wild,' said the Dwarf.
        'So it is,' they answered.  'But we call it lembas or
        waybread, and it is more strengthening than any foods made by
        Men, and it is more pleasant than cram, by all accounts.'
                The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

        The lowliest of the inhabitants of hell.

leocrotta, leu*otta
        ... the leucrocotta, a wild beast of extraordinary swiftness,
        the size of the wild ass, with the legs of a Stag, the neck,
        tail, and breast of a lion, the head of a badger, a cloven
        hoof, the mouth slit up as far as the ears, and one continuous
        bone instead of teeth; it is said, too, that this animal can
        imitate the human voice.
                Curious Creatures in Zoology, by John Ashton

        The Irish Leprechaun is the Faeries' shoemaker and is known
        under various names in different parts of Ireland:
        Cluricaune in Cork, Lurican in Kerry, Lurikeen in Kildare
        and Lurigadaun in Tipperary.  Although he works for the
        Faeries, the Leprechaun is not of the same species.  He is
        small, has dark skin and wears strange clothes.  His nature
        has something of the manic-depressive about it:  first he
        is quite happy, whistling merrily as he nails a sole on to a
        shoe; a few minutes later, he is sullen and morose, drunk
        on his home-made heather ale.  The Leprechaun's two great
        loves are tobacco and whiskey, and he is a first-rate con-man,
        impossible to out-fox.  No one, no matter how clever, has ever
        managed to cheat him out of his hidden pot of gold or his
        magic shilling.  At the last minute he always thinks of some
        way to divert his captor's attention and vanishes in the
        twinkling of an eye.
                A Field Guide to the Little People
                               by Nancy Arrowsmith & George Moorse

        But on its heels ere the sunset faded, there came a second
        apparition, striding with incredible strides and halting when
        it loomed almost upon me in the red twilight-the monstrous mummy
        of some ancient king still crowned with untarnished gold but
        turning to my gaze a visage that more than time or the worm had
        wasted. Broken swathings flapped about the skeleton legs, and
        above the crown that was set with sapphires and orange rubies, a
        black something swayed and nodded horribly; but, for an instant,
        I did not dream what it was.  Then, in its middle, two oblique
        and scarlet eyes opened and glowed like hellish coals, and two
        ophidian fangs glittered in an ape-like mouth.  A squat, furless,
        shapeless head on a neck of disproportionate extent leaned
        unspeakably down and whispered in the mummy's ear. Then, with
        one stride, the titanic lich took half the distance between us,
        and from out the folds of the tattered sere-cloth a gaunt arm
        arose, and fleshless, taloned fingers laden with glowering gems,
        reached out and fumbled for my throat . . .
                The Abominations of Yondo, Clark Ashton Smith, 1926

        The chamber was of unhewn rock, round, as near as might
        be, eighteen or twenty feet across, and gay with rich
        variety of fern and moss and lichen.  The fern was in
        its winter still, or coiling for the spring-tide; but
        moss was in abundant life, some feathering, and some
        gobleted, and some with fringe of red to it.
                Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore

* light
        Strange creatures formed from energy rather than matter,
        lights are given to self-destructive behavior when battling

gecko, iguana, lizard
        Lizards, snakes and the burrowing amphisbaenids make up the
        order Squamata, meaning the scaly ones.  The elongate, slim,
        long-tailed bodies of lizards have become modified to enable
        them to live in a wide range of habitats.  Lizards can be
        expert burrowers, runners, swimmers and climbers, and a few
        can manage crude, short-distance gliding on rib-supported
        "wings".  Most are carnivores, feeding on invertebrate and
        small vertebrate prey, but others feed on vegetation.
                Macmillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia

        Loki, or Lopt, is described in Snorri's Edda as being
        "pleasing and handsome in appearance, evil in character, and
        very capricious in behaviour".  He is the son of the giant
        Farbauti and of Laufey.
        Loki is the Norse god of cunning, evil, thieves, and fire.
        He hated the other gods and wanted to ruin them and overthrow
        the universe.  He committed many murders.  As a thief, he
        stole Freyja's necklace, Thor's belt and gauntlets of power,
        and the apples of youth.  Able to shapechange at will, he is
        said to have impersonated at various times a mare, flea, fly,
        falcon, seal, and an old crone.  As a mare he gave birth to
        Odin's horse Sleipnir.  He also allegedly sired the serpent
        Midgard, the mistress of the netherworld, Hel, and the wolf
        Fenrir, who will devour the sun at Ragnarok.

*longbow of diana
        This legendary bow grants ESP when carried and can reflect magical
        attacks when wielded.  When invoked it provides a supply of arrows.

looking glass, mirror
        But as Snow White grew, she became more and more beautiful,
        and by the time she was seven years old she was as beautiful
        as the day and more beautiful than the queen herself.  One
        day when the queen said to her mirror:

                "Mirror, Mirror, here I stand.
                Who is the fairest in the land?" -

        the mirror replied:

                "You, O Queen, are the fairest here,
                But Snow White is a thousand times more fair."
                Snow White, by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm

lord carnarvon
        Lord Carnarvon was a personality who could have been produced
        nowhere but in England, a mixture of sportsman and collector,
        gentleman and world traveler, a realist in action and a
        romantic in feeling.  ...  In 1903 he went for the first time
        to Egypt in search of a mild climate and while there visited
        the excavation sites of several archaeological expeditions.
        ...  In 1906 he began his own excavations.
                Gods, Graves, and Scholars, by C. W. Ceram

lord sato
        Lord Sato was the family head of the Taro Clan, and a mighty
        daimyo.  He is a loyal servant of the Emperor, and will do
        everything in his power to further the imperial cause.

lord surt*
        Yet first was the world in the southern region, which was
        named Muspell; it is light and hot; that region is glowing
        and burning, and impassable to such as are outlanders and
        have not their holdings there.  He who sits there at the
        land's-end, to defend the land, is called Surtr; he brandishes
        a flaming sword, and at the end of the world he shall go forth
        and harry, and overcome all the gods, and burn all the
        world with fire.
                        The Prose Edda, by Snorri Sturluson

        Lugh, or Lug, was the sun god of the Irish Celts.  One of his
        weapons was a rod-sling which worshippers sometimes saw in
        the sky as a rainbow.  As a tribal god, he was particularly
        skilled in the use of his massive, invincible spear, which
        fought on its own accord.  One of his epithets is lamfhada
        (of the long arm).  He was a young and apparently more
        attractive deity than Dagda, the father of the gods.  Being
        able to shapeshift, his name translates as lynx.

        These dungeon scavengers are very adept at blending into the
        surrounding walls and ceilings of the dungeon due to the
        stone-like coloring of their skin.

lycanthrope, were*, human were*, *were
        In 1573, the Parliament of Dole published a decree, permitting
        the inhabitants of the Franche-Comte to pursue and kill a
        were-wolf or loup-garou, which infested that province,
        "notwithstanding the existing laws concerning the chase."
        The people were empowered to "assemble with javelins,
        halberds, pikes, arquebuses and clubs, to hunt and pursue the
        said were-wolf in all places where they could find it, and to
        take, burn, and kill it, without incurring any fine or other
        penalty."  The hunt seems to have been successful, if we may
        judge from the fact that the same tribunal in the following
        year condemned to be burned a man named Giles Garnier, who
        ran on all fours in the forest and fields and devoured little
        children, "even on Friday."  The poor lycanthrope, it appears,
        had as slight respect for ecclesiastical feasts as the French
        pig, which was not restrained by any feeling of piety from
        eating infants on a fast day.
                The History of Vampires, by Dudley Wright

        To dream of seeing a lynx, enemies are undermining your
        business and disrupting your home affairs.  For a woman,
        this dream indicates that she has a wary woman rivaling her
        in the affections of her lover. If she kills the lynx, she
        will overcome her rival.
                10,000 Dreams Interpreted, by Gustavus Hindman Miller

magic marker
        The pen is mightier than the sword.
                Richelieu, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

magic mirror of merlin
        This powerful mirror was created by Merlin, the druid, in ages
        past, when trees sang and rocks danced.  It protects all who
        carry it from magic missiles, and gives them ESP.

mail d*emon
        It is rumoured that these strange creatures can be harmed by
        domesticated canines only.

        Normally called Manannan, Ler's son was the patron of
        merchants and sailors.  Manannan had a sword which never
        failed to slay, a boat which propelled itself wherever its
        owner wished, a horse which was swifter than the wind, and
        magic armour which no sword could pierce.  He later became
        god of the sea, beneath which he lived in Tir na nOc, the

        The gnats of the dungeon, these swarming monsters are rarely
        seen alone.

        First insisting on recognition as supreme commander, Marduk
        defeated the Dragon, cut her body in two, and from it created
        heaven and earth, peopling the world with human beings who not
        unnaturally showed intense gratitude for their lives.  The
        gods were also properly grateful, invested him with many
        titles, and eventually permitted themselves to be embodied in
        him, so that he became supreme god, plotting the whole course
        of known life from the paths of the planets to the daily
        events in the lives of men.
                The Immortals, by Derek and Julia Parker

        The marilith has a torso shaped like that of a human female,
        and the lower body of a great snake.  It has multiple arms,
        and can freely attack with all of them.  Since it is
        intelligent enough to use weapons, this means it can cause
        great damage.

        The god of war, and one of the most prominent and worshipped
        gods.  In early Roman history he was a god of spring, growth in
        nature, and fertility, and the protector of cattle.  Mars is
        also mentioned as a chthonic god (earth-god) and this could
        explain why he became a god of death and finally a god of war.
        He is the son of Jupiter and Juno.
                Encyclopedia Mythica, ed. M.F. Lindemans

master assassin
        He strolled down the stairs, followed by a number of assassins.
        When he was directly in front of Ymor he said: "I've come for
        the tourist." ...
        "One step more and you'll leave here with fewer eyeballs than
        you came with," said the thiefmaster.  "So sit down and have
        a drink, Zlorf, and let's talk about this sensibly.  I
        thought we had an agreement.  You don't rob -- I don't kill.
        Not for payment, that is," he added after a pause.
        Zlorf took the proffered beer.
        "So?" he said.  "I'll kill him.  Then you rob him.  Is he that
        funny looking one over there?"
        Zlorf stared at Twoflower, who grinned at him.  He shrugged.
        He seldom wasted time wondering why people wanted other people
        dead.  It was just a living.
        "Who is your client, may I ask?" said Ymor.
        Zlorf held up a hand.  "Please!" he protested.  "Professional
                The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett

master key of thievery
        This skeleton key was fashioned in ages past and imbued with
        a powerful magic which allows it to open any lock.  When
        carried, it grants its owner warning, teleport control, and
        reduces all physical damage by half.  Finally, when invoked,
        it has the ability to disarm any trap.

master of thieves
        There was a flutter of wings at the window.  Ymor shifted his
        bulk out of the chair and crossed the room, coming back with
        a large raven.  After he'd unfastened the message capsule from
        its leg it flew up to join its fellows lurking among the
        rafters.  Withel regarded it without love.  Ymor's ravens were
        notoriously loyal to their master, to the extent that Withel's
        one attempt to promote himself to the rank of greatest thief
        in Ankh-Morpork had cost their master's right hand man his
        left eye.  But not his life, however.  Ymor never grudged a
        man his ambitions.
                The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett

        Any large, elephantlike mammal of the genera Mammut, Mastodon,
        etc., from the Oligocene and Pleistocene epochs, having
        conical projections on the molar teeth.
                Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary
                        of the English Language

meat*, huge chunk of meat
        Some hae meat and canna eat,
        And some would eat that want it;
        But we hae meat, and we can eat,
        Sae let the Lord be thankit.
                Grace Before Meat, by Robert Burns

        Medusa, one of the three Gorgons or Graeae, is the only one
        of her sisters to have assumed mortal form and inhabited the
        dungeon world.

        When Perseus was grown up Polydectes sent him to attempt the
        conquest of Medusa, a terrible monster who had laid waste the
        country.  She was once a beautiful maiden whose hair was her
        chief glory, but as she dared to vie in beauty with Minerva,
        the goddess deprived her of her charms and changed her
        beautiful ringlets into hissing serpents.  She became a cruel
        monster of so frightful an aspect that no living thing could
        behold her without being turned into stone.  All around the
        cavern where she dwelt might be seen the stony figures of men
        and animals which had chanced to catch a glimpse of her and
        had been petrified with the sight.  Perseus, favoured by
        Minerva and Mercury, the former of whom lent him her shield
        and the latter his winged shoes, approached Medusa while she
        slept and taking care not to look directly at her, but guided
        by her image reflected in the bright shield which he bore, he
        cut off her head and gave it to Minerva, who fixed it in the
        middle of her Aegis.
                Bulfinch's Mythology, by Thomas Bulfinch

        "What is it, Umbopa, son of a fool?" I shouted in Zulu.
        "It is food and water, Macumazahn," and again he waved the
        green thing.
        Then I saw what he had got.  It was a melon.  We had hit upon
        a patch of wild melons, thousands of them, and dead ripe.
        "Melons!" I yelled to Good, who was next me; and in another
        second he had his false teeth fixed in one.
        I think we ate about six each before we had done, and, poor
        fruit as they were, I doubt if I ever thought anything nicer.
                King Solomon's Mines, by H. Rider Haggard

        Roman god of commerce, trade and travellers.  He is commonly
        depicted carrying a caduceus (a staff with two snakes
        intertwining around it) and a purse.

        The ancestors of the modern day chameleon, these creatures can
        assume the form of anything in their surroundings.  They may
        assume the shape of objects or dungeon features.  Unlike the
        chameleon though, which assumes the shape of another creature
        and goes in hunt of food, the mimic waits patiently for its
        meals to come in search of it.

*mind flayer
        This creature has a humanoid body, tentacles around its
        covered mouth, and three long fingers on each hand.  Mind
        flayers are telepathic, and love to devour intelligent beings,
        especially humans.  If they hit their victim with a tentacle,
        the mind flayer will slowly drain it of all intelligence,
        eventually killing its victim.

        Made by Dwarfs.  The Rule here is that the Mine is either long
        deserted or at most is inhabited by a few survivors who will
        make confused claims to have been driven out/decimated by humans/
        other Dwarfs/Minions of the Dark Lord.  Inhabited or not, this
        Mine will be very complex, with many levels of galleries,
        beautifully carved and engineered.  What was being mined here
        is not always evident, but at least some of the time it will
        appear to have been Jewels, since it is customary to find
        unwanted emeralds, etc., still embedded in the rock of the
        walls.  Metal will also be present, but only when made up into
        armor and weapons (wondrous).
        The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

        The Minotaur was a monster, half bull, half human, the
        offspring of Minos' wife Pasiphae and a wonderfully beautiful
        bull. ...  When the Minotaur was born Minos did not kill him.
        He had Daedalus, a great architect and inventor, construct a
        place of confinement for him from which escape was impossible.
        Daedalus built the Labyrinth, famous throughout the world.
        Once inside, one would go endlessly along its twisting paths
        without ever finding the exit.
                Mythology, by Edith Hamilton

        Originating in India (Mitra), Mithra is a god of light who
        was translated into the attendant of the god Ahura Mazda in
        the light religion of Persia; from this he was adopted as
        the Roman deity Mithras.  He is not generally regarded as a
        sky god but a personification of the fertilizing power of
        warm, light air.  According to the Avesta, he possesses
        10,000 eyes and ears and rides in a chariot drawn by white
        horses.  Mithra, according to Zarathustra, is concerned with
        the endless battle between light and dark forces:  he
        represents truth.  He is responsible for the keeping of oaths
        and contracts.  He is attributed with the creation of both
        plants and animals.  His chief adversary is Ahriman, the
        power of darkness.
                The Encyclopaedia of Myths and Legends of All
                        Nations, by Herbert Spencer Robinson and
                        Knox Wilson

        Mithril!  All folk desired it.  It could be beaten like
        copper, and polished like glass; and the Dwarves could make
        of it a metal, light and yet harder than tempered steel.
        Its beauty was like to that of common silver, but the beauty
        of mithril did not tarnish or grow dim.
                The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

*mitre of holiness
        This helm of brilliance performs all of the normal functions
        of a helm of brilliance, but also has the ability to protect
        anyone who carries it from fire.  When invoked, it boosts
        the energy of the invoker, allowing them to cast more spells.

        Forged by the dwarves Eitri and Brokk, in response to Loki's
        challenge, Mjollnir is an indestructible war hammer.  It has
        two magical properties:  when thrown it always returned to
        Thor's hand; and it could be made to shrink in size until it
        could fit inside Thor's shirt.  Its only flaw is that it has
        a short handle.  The other gods judged Mjollnir the winner of
        the contest because, of all the treasures created, it alone had
        the power to protect them from the giants.  As the legends
        surrounding Mjollnir grew, it began to take on the quality of
        "vigja", or consecration.  Thor used it to consecrate births,
        weddings, and even to raise his goats from the dead.  In the
        Norse mythologies Mjollnir is considered to represent Thor's
        governance over the entire cycle of life - fertility, birth,
        destruction, and resurrection.

See also: slime mold
        Mold, multicellular organism of the division Fungi, typified
        by plant bodies composed of a network of cottony filaments.
        The colors of molds are due to spores borne on the filaments.
        Most molds are saprophytes.  Some species (e.g., penicillium)
        are used in making cheese and antibiotics.
                The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia

        And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
        Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever
        he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that
        sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech;
        he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall
        stone him with stones.
        And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off
        from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto
        Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.
        And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes
        from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill
        him not:
        Then I will set my face against that man, and against his
        family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after
        him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.
                Leviticus 20:1-5

        "Listen, man-cub," said the Bear, and his voice rumbled like
        thunder on a hot night.  "I have taught thee all the Law of
        the Jungle for all the peoples of the jungle--except the
        Monkey-Folk who live in the trees.  They have no law.  They
        are outcasts.  They have no speech of their own, but use the
        stolen words which they overhear when they listen, and peep,
        and wait up above in the branches.  Their way is not our way.
        They are without leaders.  They have no remembrance.  They
        boast and chatter and pretend that they are a great people
        about to do great affairs in the jungle, but the falling of
        a nut turns their minds to laughter and all is forgotten.
        We of the jungle have no dealings with them.  We do not drink
        where the monkeys drink; we do not go where the monkeys go;
        we do not hunt where they hunt; we do not die where they die...."
                The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling

        ... the Mumak of Harad was indeed a beast of vast bulk, and
        the like of him does not walk now in Middle-Earth; his kin
        that live still in latter days are but memories of his girth
        and majesty.  On he came, ... his great legs like trees,
        enormous sail-like ears spread out, long snout upraised like
        a huge serpent about to strike, his small red eyes raging.
        His upturned hornlike tusks ... dripped with blood.
                The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien

        But for an account of the manner in which the body was
        bandaged, and a list of the unguents and other materials
        employed in the process, and the words of power which were
        spoken as each bandage was laid in its place, we must have
        recourse to a very interesting papyrus which has been edited
        and translated by M. Maspero under the title of Le Rituel de
        l'Embaumement. ...
        Everything that could be done to preserve the body was now
        done, and every member of it was, by means of the words of
        power which changed perishable substances into imperishable,
        protected to all eternity; when the final covering of purple
        or white linen had been fastened upon it, the body was ready
        for the tomb.
                Egyptian Magic, by E.A. Wallis Budge

mummy wrapping
        He held a white cloth -- it was a serviette he had brought
        with him -- over the lower part of his face, so that his
        mouth and jaws were completely hidden, and that was the
        reason for his muffled voice.  But it was not that which
        startled Mrs. Hall.  It was the fact that all his forehead
        above his blue glasses was covered by a white bandage, and
        that another covered his ears, leaving not a scrap of his
        face exposed excepting only his pink, peaked nose.  It was
        bright, pink, and shiny just as it had been at first.  He
        wore a dark-brown velvet jacket with a high, black, linen-
        lined collar turned up about his neck.  The thick black
        hair, escaping as it could below and between the cross
        bandages, project in curious tails and horns, giving him
        the strangest appearance conceivable.
                The Invisible Man, by H.G. Wells

*naga*, *naja*
        The naga is a mystical creature with the body of a snake and
        the head of a man or woman.  They will fiercely protect the
        territory they consider their own.  Some nagas can be forced
        to serve as guardians by a spellcaster of great power.

        A Japanese pole-arm, fitted with a curved single-edged blade.
        The blades ranged in length from two to four feet, mounted on
        shafts about four to five feet long.  The naginata were cut
        with a series of short grooves near to the tang, above which
        the back edge was thinned, but not sharpened, so that the
        greater part of the blade was a flattened diamond shape in
        section.  Seen in profile, the curve is slight or non-
        existent near the tang, becoming more pronounced towards the

        "With his naginata he killed five, but with the sixth it
        snapped asunder in the midst and, flinging it away, he drew
        his sword, wielding it in the zigzag style, the interlacing,
        cross, reversed dragonfly, waterwheel, and eight-sides-at-
        once styles of fencing and cutting down eight men; but as he
        brought down the ninth with a mighty blow on the helmet, the
        blade snapped at the hilt."
        Story of Tsutsui no Jomio Meishu from Tales of Heike

        Not only do these demons do physical damage with their claws
        and bite, but they are capable of using magic as well.

        Nalzok is Moloch's cunning and unfailingly loyal battle
        lieutenant, to whom he trusts the command of warfare when he
        does not wish to exercise it himself.  Nalzok is a major
        demon, known to command the undead.  He is hungry for power,
        and secretly covets Moloch's position.  Moloch doesn't trust
        him, but, trusting his own power enough, chooses to allow
        Nalzok his position because he is useful.

        1.  Valley between Duesseldorf and Elberfeld in Germany,
        where an ancient skull of a prehistoric ancestor to modern
        man was found.  2.  Human(oid) of the race mentioned above.

neferet, neferet the green
        Neferet the Green holds office in her hidden tower, only
        reachable by magical means, where she teaches her apprentices
        the enigmatic skills of occultism.  Despite her many years, she
        continues to investigate new spells, especially those involving
        translocation.  It is further rumored that when she was an
        apprentice herself, she accidentally turned her skin green, and
        has kept it that way ever since.

        (kinds of) small animal, like a lizard, which spends most of
        its time in the water.
                Oxford's Student's Dictionary of Current English

        "Fillet of a fenny snake,
        In the cauldron boil and bake;
        Eye of newt and toe of frog,
        Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
        Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
        Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
        For a charm of powerful trouble,
        Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."
                Macbeth, by William Shakespeare

        A Japanese broadsword.

        The Norns were the three Norse Fates, or the goddesses of fate.
        Female giants, they brought the wonderful Golden Age to an end.
        They cast lots over the cradle of every child that was born,
        and placed gifts in the cradle.  Their names were Urda,
        Verdandi, and Skuld, representing the past, the present, and
        the future.  Urda and Verdandi were kindly disposed, but Skuld
        was cruel and savage.  Their tasks were to sew the web of
        fate, to water the sacred ash, Yggdrasil, and to keep it in
        good condition by placing fresh earth around it daily.  In her
        fury, Skuld often spoiled the work of her sisters by tearing
        the web to shreds.
                The Encyclopedia of Myths and Legends of All
                        Nations by Herbert Spencer Robinson and Knox

        A Japanese flail.

        A female creature from Roman and Greek mythology, the nymph
        occupied rivers, forests, ponds, etc.  A nymph's beauty is
        beyond words:  an ever-young woman with sleek figure and
        long, thick hair, radiant skin and perfect teeth, full lips
        and gentle eyes.  A nymph's scent is delightful, and her
        long robe glows, hemmed with golden threads and embroidered
        with rainbow hues of unearthly magnificence.  A nymph's
        demeanour is graceful and charming, her mind quick and witty.

        "Theseus felt her voice pulling him down into fathoms of
        sleep.        The song was the skeleton of his dream, and the dream
        was full of terror.  Demon girls were after him, and a bull-
        man was goring him.  Everywhere there was blood.  There was
        pain.  There was fear.        But his head was in the nymph's lap
        and her musk was about him, her voice weaving the dream.  He
        knew then that she had been sent to tell him of something
        dreadful that was to happen to him later.  Her song was a
        warning.  But she had brought him a new kind of joy, one that
        made him see everything differently.  The boy, who was to
        become a hero, suddenly knew then what most heroes learn
        later -- and some too late -- that joy blots suffering and
        that the road to nymphs is beset by monsters."
            The Minotaur by Bernard Evslin

        Also called Sigtyr (god of Victory), Val-father (father of
        the slain), One-Eyed, Hanga-god (god of the hanged), Farma-
        god (god of cargoes), Hapta-god (god of prisoners), and
        Othin.  He is the prime god of the Norsemen:  god of war and
        victory, wisdom and prophecy, poetry, the dead, air and wind,
        hospitality, and magic.
        As the god of war and victory, Odin is ruler of the Valkyries,
        warrior-maidens who lived in the halls of Valhalla in Asgard,
        the hall of dead heroes where he held his court.
        These chosen ones will defend the realm of the gods against
        the Frost Giants on the final day of reckoning, Ragnarok.
        As god of the wind, Odin rides through the air on his eight-
        footed horse, Sleipnir, wielding Gungner, his spear, normally
        accompanied by his ravens, Hugin and Munin, who he would also
        use as his spies.
        As a god of hospitality, he enjoys visiting the earth in
        disguise to see how people were behaving and to see how they
        would treat him, not knowing who he was.
        Odin is usually represented as a one-eyed wise old man with a
        long white beard and a wide-brimmed hat (he gave one of his
        eyes to Mimir, the guardian of the well of wisdom in Hel, in
        exchange for a draught of knowledge).

        Anyone who has met a gluttonous, nude, angry ogre, will not
        easily forget this encounter -- if he survives it at all.
        Both male and female ogres can easily grow as tall as three
        metres.  Build and facial expressions would remind one of a
        Neanderthal.  Its small, pointy, keen teeth are striking.
        Since ogres avoid direct sunlight, their ragged, unfurry
        skin is as white as a sheet.  They enjoy coating their body
        with lard and usually wear nothing but a loin-cloth.  An elf
        would smell its rancid stench at ten metres distance.
        Ogres are solitary creatures:  very rarely one may encounter
        a female with two or three young.  They are the only real
        carnivores among the humanoids, and its favourite meal is --
        not surprisingly -- human flesh.  They sometimes ally with
        orcs or goblins, but only when they anticipate a good meaty
                het Boek van de Regels; Het Oog des Meesters

oilskin cloak
        During our watches below we overhauled our clothes, and made
        and mended everything for bad weather.  Each of us had made
        for himself a suit of oil-cloth or tarpaulin, and these we
        got out, and gave thorough coatings of oil or tar, and hung
        upon the stays to dry.  Our stout boots, too, we covered
        over with a thick mixture of melted grease and tar.  Thus we
        took advantage of the warm sun and fine weather of the
        Pacific to prepare for its other face.
                Two Years Before the Mast, by Richard Henry Dana

oilskin sack
        Summer passed all too quickly.  On the last day of camp, Mr.
        Brickle called his counselors together and paid them what he
        owed them.  Louis received one hundred dollars - the first
        money he had ever earned.  He had no wallet and no pockets,
        so Mr. Brickle placed the money in a waterproof bag that had
        a drawstring.  He hung this moneybag around Louis' neck,
        along with the trumpet, the slate, the chalk pencil, and the
        lifesaving medal.
                The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White

        But at the end of the Third Age a troll-race not before seen
        appeared in southern Mirkwood and in the mountain borders of
        Mordor.  Olog-hai they were called in the Black Speech.  That
        Sauron bred them none doubted, though from what stock was not
        known.  Some held that they were not Trolls but giant Orcs;
        but the Olog-hai were in fashion of body and mind quite unlike
        even the largest of Orc-kind, whom they far surpassed in size
        and power.  Trolls they were, but filled with the evil will
        of their master:  a fell race, strong, agile, fierce and
        cunning, but harder than stone.  Unlike the older race of the
        Twilight they could endure the Sun....  They spoke little,
        and the only tongue they knew was the Black Speech of Barad-dur.
                The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien

oracle, delphi, p*thia
        Delphi under towering Parnassus, where Apollo's oracle was,
        plays an important part in mythology.  Castalia was its
        sacred spring; Cephissus its river.  It was held to be the
        center of the world, so many pilgrims came to it, from
        foreign countries as well as Greece.  No other shrine rivaled
        it.  The answers to the questions asked by the anxious
        seekers for Truth were delivered by a priestess who went into
        a trance before she spoke.
                Mythology, by Edith Hamilton

orange, pear
        What was the fruit like?  Unfortunately, no one can describe
        a taste.  All I can say is that, compared with those fruits,
        the freshest grapefruit you've ever eaten was dull, and the
        juiciest orange was dry, and the most melting pear was hard
        and woody, and the sweetest wild strawberry was sour.  And
        there were no seeds or stones, and no wasps.  If you had once
        eaten that fruit, all the nicest things in this world would
        taste like medicines after it.  But I can't describe it.  You
        can't find out what it is like unless you can get to that
        country and taste it for yourself.
                The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis

*orb of detection
        This Orb is a crystal ball of exceptional powers.  When
        carried, it grants ESP, limits damage done by spells, and
        protects the carrier from magic missiles.  When invoked it
        allows the carrier to become invisible.

orb of fate
        Some say that Odin himself created this ancient crystal ball,
        although others argue that Loki created it and forged Odin's
        signature on the bottom.  In any case, it is a powerful
        artifact.  Anyone who carries it is granted the gift of
        warning, and damage, both spell and physical, is partially
        absorbed by the orb itself.  When invoked it has the power
        to teleport the invoker between levels.

goblin king, orcrist
        The Great Goblin gave a truly awful howl of rage when he
        looked at it, and all his soldiers gnashed their teeth,
        clashed their shields, and stamped.  They knew the sword at
        once.  It had killed hundreds of goblins in its time, when
        the fair elves of Gondolin hunted them in the hills or did
        battle before their walls.  They had called it Orcrist,
        Goblin-cleaver, but the goblins called it simply Biter.
        They hated it and hated worse any one that carried it.
                The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

        Orcus, Prince of the Undead, has a ram's head and a poison
        stinger.  He is most feared, though, for his powerful magic
        abilities.  His wand causes death to those he chooses.

orc*, * orc, uruk*hai
        Orcs, bipeds with a humanoid appearance, are related to the
        goblins, but much bigger and more dangerous.  The average orc
        is only moderately intelligent, has broad, muscled shoulders,
        a short neck, a sloping forehead and a thick, dark fur.
        Their lower eye-teeth are pointing forward, like a boar's.
        Female orcs are more lightly built and bare-chested.  Not
        needing any clothing, they do like to dress in variegated
        apparels.  Suspicious by nature, orcs live in tribes or
        hordes.  They tend to live underground as well as above
        ground (but they dislike sunlight).  Orcs can use all weapons,
        tools and armours that are used by men.  Since they don't have
        the talent to fashion these themselves, they are constantly
        hunting for them.  There is nothing a horde of orcs cannot
                het Boek van de Regels; Het Oog des Meesters

orion, sirius
        Orion was the son of Neptune. He was a handsome giant and a
        mighty hunter. His father gave him the power of wading
        through the depths of the sea, or, as others say, of
        walking on its surface.

        He dwelt as a hunter with Diana (Artemis), with whom he
        was a favourite, and it is even said she was about to marry
        him. Her brother was highly displeased and often chid her,
        but to no purpose. One day, observing Orion wading through
        the sea with his head just above the water, Apollo pointed
        it out to his sister and maintained that she could not hit
        that black thing on the sea. The archer-goddess discharged
        a shaft with fatal aim. The waves rolled the dead body of
        Orion to the land, and bewailing her fatal error with many
        tears, Diana placed him among the stars, where he appears
        as a giant, with a girdle, sword, lion's skin, and
        club. Sirius, his dog, follows him, and the Pleiads fly
        before him.
                Bulfinch's Mythology, by Thomas Bulfinch

        The osaku is a small tool for picking locks.

        Owlbears are probably the crossbreed creation of a demented
        wizard; given the lethal nature of this creation, it is quite
        likely the wizard who created them is no longer alive.  As
        the name might already suggest, owlbears are a cross between
        a giant owl and a bear.  They are covered with fur and

        And lo! almost where the ascent began,
        A panther light and swift exceedingly,
        Which with a spotted skin was covered o'er!

        And never moved she from before my face,
        Nay, rather did impede so much my way,
        That many times I to return had turned.
                Dante's Inferno, as translated
                        by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

        Conan cried out sharply and recoiled, thrusting his companion
        back.  Before them rose the great shimmering white form of Satha,
        an ageless hate in its eyes.  Conan tensed himself for one mad
        berserker onslaught -- to thrust the glowing faggot into that
        fiendish countenance and throw his life into the ripping sword-
        stroke.  But the snake was not looking at him.  It was glaring
        over his shoulder at the man called Pelias, who stood with his
        arms folded, smiling.  And in the great, cold, yellow eyes
        slowly the hate died out in a glitter of pure fear -- the only
        time Conan ever saw such an expression in a reptile's eyes.
        With a swirling rush like the sweep of a strong wind, the great
        snake was gone.
        "What did he see to frighten him?" asked Conan, eyeing his
        companion uneasily.
        "The scaled people see what escapes the mortal eye," answered
        Pelias cryptically.  "You see my fleshy guise, he saw my naked
            Conan the Usurper, by Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp

        The mine is full of holes;
        With the wound of pickaxes.
        But look at the goldsmith's store.
        There, there is gold everywhere.
                Divan-i Kebir Meter 2, by Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi

        Ye Piercer doth look like unto a stalactyte, and hangeth
        from the roofs of caves and caverns.  Unto the height of a
        man, and thicker than a man's thigh do they grow, and in
        groups do they hang.  If a creature doth pass beneath them,
        they will by its heat and noise perceive it, and fall upon
        it to kill and devour it, though in any other way they move
        but exceeding slow.
                the Bestiary of Xygag

        They live in "schools." Many times they will wait for prey 
        to come to the shallow water of the river. Then the large 
        group of piranhas will attack. These large groups are able 
        to kill large animals... Their lower teeth fit perfectly 
        into the spaces of their upper teeth, creating a tremendous 
        vice-like bite... Piranhas are attracted to any disturbance 
        in the water. 

pit, spiked pit
        Amid the thought of the fiery destruction that impended, the
        idea of the coolness of the well came over my soul like balm.
        I rushed to its deadly brink.  I threw my straining vision
        below.  The glare from the enkindled roof illumined its inmost
        recesses.  Yet, for a wild moment, did my spirit refuse to
        comprehend the meaning of what I saw.  At length it forced --
        it wrestled its way into my soul -- it burned itself in upon my
        shuddering reason.  Oh! for a voice to speak! -- oh! horror! --
        oh! any horror but this!
                The Pit and the Pendulum, by Edgar Allan Poe

pit fiend
        Pit fiends are among the more powerful of devils, capable of
        attacking twice with weapons as well as grabbing and crushing
        the life out of those unwary enough to enter their

platinum yendorian express card
        This is an ancient artifact made of an unknown material.  It
        is rectangular in shape, very thin, and inscribed with
        unreadable ancient runes.  When carried, it grants the one
        who carries it ESP, and reduces all spell induced damage done to
        the carrier by half.  It also protects from magic missile
        attacks.  Finally, its power is such that when invoked, it
        can charge other objects.

                Hey! now! Come hoy now! Whither do you wander?
                Up, down, near or far, here, there or yonder?
                Sharp-ears, Wise-nose, Swish-tail and Bumpkin,
                White-socks my little lad, and old Fatty Lumpkin!

        Tom called them one by one and they climbed over the brow and
        stood in a line.  Then Tom bowed to the hobbits.

        "Here are your ponies, now!" he said.  "They've more sense (in some
        ways) than you wandering hobbits have -- more sense in their noses.
        For they sniff danger ahead which you walk right into; and if they
        run to save themselves, then they run the right way."
                The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

        Portals can be Mirrors, Pictures, Standing Stones, Stone
        Circles, Windows, and special gates set up for the purpose.
        You will travel through them both to distant parts of the
        continent and to and from our own world.  The precise manner
        of their working is a Management secret.
        The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

        Poseido(o)n, lord of the seas and father of rivers and
        fountains, was the son of Chronos and Rhea, brother of Zeus,
        Hades, Hera, Hestia and Demeter.  His rank of ruler of the
        waves he received by lot at the Council Meeting of the Gods,
        at which Zeus took the upper world for himself and gave
        dominion over the lower world to Hades.
        Poseidon is associated in many ways with horses and thus is
        the god of horses.  He taught men how to ride and manage the
        animal he invented and is looked upon as the originator and
        guardian deity of horse races.
        His symbol is the familiar trident or three-pronged spear
        with which he can split rocks, cause or quell storms, and
        shake the earth, a power which makes him the god of
        earthquakes as well.  Physically, he is shown as a strong and
        powerful ruler, every inch a king.
                The Encyclopedia of Myths and Legends of All
                  Nations, by Herbert Robinson and Knox Wilson

        POTABLE, n.  Suitable for drinking.  Water is said to be
        potable; indeed, some declare it our natural beverage,
        although even they find it palatable only when suffering
        from the recurrent disorder known as thirst, for which it
        is a medicine.  Upon nothing has so great and diligent
        ingenuity been brought to bear in all ages and in all
        countries, except the most uncivilized, as upon the
        invention of substitutes for water.  To hold that this
        general aversion to that liquid has no basis in the
        preservative instinct of the race is to be unscientific --
        and without science we are as the snakes and toads.
                The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce

        Where am I?
                In the Village.
        What do you want?
        Whose side are you on?
                That would be telling.  We want information ...
                information ...
        You won't get it.
                By hook or by crook, we will.
        Who are you?
                The new Number 2.
        Who is Number 1?
                You are Number 6.
        I am not a number!  I am a free man! 
                The Prisoner, by Patrick McGoohan

        Known under various names (Nu, Neph, Cenubis, Amen-Kneph,
        Khery-Bakef), Ptah is the creator god and god of craftsmen.
        He is usually depicted as wearing a closely fitting robe
        with only his hands free.  His most distinctive features are
        the invariable skull-cap exposing only his face and ears,
        and the was or rod of domination which he holds,
        consisting of a staff surmounted by the ankh symbol of
        life.  He is otherwise symbolized by his sacred animal, the

*purple worm
        A gargantuan version of the harmless rain-worm, the purple
        worm poses a huge threat to the ordinary adventurer.  It is
        known to swallow whole and digest its victims within only a
        few minutes.  These worms are always on guard, sensitive
        to the most minute vibrations in the earth, but may also
        be awakened by a remote shriek.

        The woodlands and other regions are inhabited by multitudes
        of four-legged creatures which cannot be simply classified.
        They might not have fiery breath or deadly stings, but
        adventurers have nevertheless met their end numerous times
        due to the claws, hooves, or bites of such animals.

quantum mechanic
        These creatures are not native to this universe; they seem
        to have strangely derived powers, and unknown motives.

        Quasits are small, evil creatures, related to imps.  Their
        talons release a very toxic poison when used in an attack.

        Many, possibly most, Tours are organized as a Quest.  This
        is like a large-scale treasure hunt, with clues scattered
        all over the continent, a few false leads, Mystical Masters
        as game-show hosts, and the Dark Lord and the Terrain to
        make the Quest interestingly difficult.  [...]
        In order to be assured of your future custom, the Management
        has a further Rule:  Tourists, far from being rewarded for
        achieving their Quest Object, must then go on to conquer
        the Dark Lord or set about Saving the World, or both.  And
        why not?  By then you will have had a lot of practice in
        that sort of thing and, besides, the Quest Object is usually
        designed to help you do it.
        The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

        One of the principal Aztec-Toltec gods was the great and wise
        Quetzalcoatl, who was called Kukumatz in Guatemala, and
        Kukulcan in Yucatan.  His image, the plumed serpent, is found
        on both the oldest and the most recent Indian edifices. ...
        The legend tells how the Indian deity Quetzalcoatl came from
        the "Land of the Rising Sun".  He wore a long white robe and
        had a beard; he taught the people crafts and customs and laid
        down wise laws.  He created an empire in which the ears of
        corn were as long as men are tall, and caused bolls of colored
        cotton to grow on cotton plants.  But for some reason or other
        he had to leave his empire. ...  But all the legends of
        Quetzalcoatl unanimously agree that he promised to come again.
                Gods, Graves, and Scholars, by C. W. Ceram

        Maltar: [...]  I remembered a little saying I learned my first
        day at the academy.
        Natalie: Yeah, yeah, I know.  Winners never quit and quitters
        never win.
        Maltar: What?  No!  Winners never quit and quitters should be
        cast into the flaming pit of death.
                Snow Day, directed by Chris Koch,
                  written by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi

raijin, raiden
        The god of thunder.

human ranger, ranger
        "Lonely men are we, Rangers of the wild, hunters -- but hunters
        ever of the servants of the Enemy; for they are found in many
        places, not in Mordor only.
        If Gondor, Boromir, has been a stalwart tower, we have played
        another part.  Many evil things there are that your strong walls
        and bright swords do not stay.  You know little of the lands
        beyond your bounds.  Peace and freedom, do you say?  The North
        would have known them little but for us.  Fear would have
        destroyed them.  But when dark things come from the houseless
        hills, or creep from sunless woods, they fly from us.  What
        roads would any dare to tread, what safety would there be in
        quiet lands, or in the homes of simple men at night, if the
        Dunedain were asleep, or were all gone into the grave?"
                The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

rat, * rat
        Rats are long-tailed rodents.  They are aggressive,
        omnivorous, and adaptable, often carrying diseases.

        "The rat," said O'Brien, still addressing his invisible
        audience, "although a rodent, is carnivorous.  You are aware
        of that.  You will have heard of the things that happen in
        the poor quarters of this town.  In some streets a woman dare
        not leave her baby alone in the house, even for five minutes.
        The rats are certain to attack it.  Within quite a small time
        they will strip it to the bones.  They also attack sick or
        dying people.  They show astonishing intelligence in knowing
        when a human being is helpless."
                1984, by George Orwell

        But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
        That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
        Nothing further then he uttered -- not a feather then he fluttered--
        Till I scarcely more than muttered, 'other friends have flown before--
        On the morrow *he* will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
                Then the bird said, 'Nevermore.'
                                The Raven - Edgar Allan Poe

*ring, ring of *
        Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
        Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
        Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
        One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
        In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
        One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
        One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
        In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
                The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

        Robes are the only garments, apart from Shirts, ever to have
        sleeves.  They have three uses:
        1.  As the official uniform of Priests, Priestesses, Monks,
        Nuns (see Nunnery), and Wizards.  The OMT [ Official Management
        Term ] prescribed for the Robes of Priests and Nuns is that
        they fall in severe folds; of Priestesses that they float;
        and of Wizards that they swirl.  You can thus see who you
        are dealing with.
        2.  For Kings.  The OMT here is falling in stately folds.
        3.  As the garb of Desert Nomads.  [...]
        The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

        Bilbo saw that the moment had come when he must do something.
        He could not get up at the brutes and he had nothing to shoot
        with; but looking about he saw that in this place there were
        many stones lying in what appeared to be a now dry little
        watercourse.  Bilbo was a pretty fair shot with a stone, and
        it did not take him long to find a nice smooth egg-shaped one
        that fitted his hand cosily.  As a boy he used to practise
        throwing stones at things, until rabbits and squirrels, and
        even birds, got out of his way as quick as lightning if they
        saw him stoop; and even grownup he had still spent a deal of
        his time at quoits, dart-throwing, shooting at the wand,
        bowls, ninepins and other quiet games of the aiming and
        throwing sort - indeed he could do lots of things, besides
        blowing smoke-rings, asking riddles and cooking, that I
        haven't time to tell you about.  There is no time now.  While
        he was picking up stones, the spider had reached Bombur, and
        soon he would have been dead.  At that moment Bilbo threw.
        The stone struck the spider plunk on the head, and it dropped
        senseless off the tree, flop to the ground, with all its legs
        curled up.
                The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

rock mole
        A rock mole is a member of the rodent family.  They get their
        name from their ability to tunnel through rock in the same
        fashion that a mole tunnels through earth.  They are known to
        eat anything they come across in their diggings, although it
        is still unknown how they convert some of these things into
        something of nutritional value.

rogue, human rogue
        I understand the business, I hear it: to have an open ear, a
        quick eye, and a nimble hand, is necessary for a cut-purse; a
        good nose is requisite also, to smell out work for the other
        senses.  I see this is the time that the unjust man doth
        thrive. <...> The prince himself is about a piece of iniquity,
        stealing away from his father with his clog at his heels:  if
        I thought it were a piece of honesty to acquaint the king
        withal, I would not do't:  I hold it the more knavery to
        conceal it; and therein am I constant to my profession.
                Autolycus the Rogue, from The Winter's Tale by
                        William Shakespeare

        The rothe (pronounced roth-AY) is a musk ox-like creature with
        an aversion to light.  It prefers to live underground near
        lichen and moss.

*royal jelly
        "'Royal Jelly,'" he read aloud, "'must be a substance of
        tremendous nourishing power, for on this diet alone, the
        honey-bee larva increases in weight fifteen hundred times in
        five days!'"

        "How much?"

        "Fifteen hundred times, Mabel.  And you know what that means
        if you put it in terms of a human being?  It means," he said,
        lowering his voice, leaning forward, fixing her with those
        small pale eyes, "it means that in five days a baby weighing
        seven and a half pounds to start off with would increase in
        weight to five tons!"
                Royal Jelly, by Roald Dahl

rust monster
        These strange creatures live on a diet of metals.  They can
        turn a suit of armour into so much useless rusted scrap in no
        time at all.

*saber, *sabre
        Flashed all their sabres bare,
        Flashed as they turned in air,
        Sab'ring the gunners there,
        Charging an army, while
        All the world wondered:
        Plunged in the battery smoke,
        Right through the line they broke;
        Cossack and Russian
        Reeled from the sabre-stroke
        Shattered and sundered.
        Then they rode back, but not--
        Not the six hundred.
                The Charge of the Light Brigade,
                  by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

        The horseman serves the horse,
        The neat-herd serves the neat,
        The merchant serves the purse,
        The eater serves his meat;
        'Tis the day of the chattel,
        Web to weave, and corn to grind,
        Things are in the saddle,
        And ride mankind.
                Ode, by Ralph Waldo Emerson

        Japanese rice wine.

        For hundreds of years, many people believed that salamanders
        were magical.  In England in the Middle Ages, people thought
        that fire created salamanders.  When they set fire to damp
        logs, dozens of the slimy creatures scurried out.  The word
        salamander, in fact, comes from a Greek word meaning "fire
                Salamanders, by Cherie Winner

        Ildefonse left the terrace and almost immediately sounds
        of contention came from the direction of the work-room.
        Ildefonse presently returned to the terrace, followed by
        Osherl and a second sandestin using the guise of a gaunt blue
        bird-like creature, some six feet in height.

        Ildefonse spoke in scathing tones:  "Behold these two
        creatures!  They can roam the chronoplex as easily as you
        or I can walk around the table; yet neither has the wit to
        announce his presence upon arrival.  I found Osherl asleep
        in his fulgurite and Sarsem perched in the rafters."
        "No matter," said Rhialto.  "He has brought Sarsem, and this
        was his requirement.  In the main, Osherl, you have done well!"

        "And my indenture point?"

        "Much depends upon Sarsem's testimony.  Sarsem, will you sit?"

        "In this guise, I find it more convenient to stand."

        "Then why not alter to human form and join us in comfort at
        the table?"

        "That is a good idea."  Sarsem became a naked young epicene
        in an integument of lavender scales with puffs of purple hair
        like pom-poms growing down his back.  He seated himself at
        the table but declined refreshment.  "This human semblance,
        though typical, is after all, only a guise.  If I were to put
        such things inside myself, I might well become uneasy."
                Rhialto the Marvellous, by Jack Vance

        The name Sasquatch doesn't really become important in Canada
        until the 1930s, when it appeared in the works of J. W. Burns,
        a British Columbian writer who used a great deal of Indian
        lore in his stories.  Burn's Sasquatch was a giant Indian who
        lived in the wilderness.  He was hairy only in the sense that
        he had long hair on his head, and while this Sasquatch lived a
        wild and primitive life, he was fully human.
        Burns's character proved to be quite popular.  There was a
        Sasquatch Inn near the town of Harrison, British Columbia, and
        Harrison even had a local celebration called "Sasquatch Days."
        The celebration which had been dormant for years was revived
        as part of British Columbia's centennial, and one of the
        events was to be a Sasquatch hunt.  The hunt never took place,
        perhaps it was never supposed to, but the publicity about it
        did bring out a number of people who said they had encountered
        a Sasquatch -- not Burns's giant Indian, but the hairy apelike
        creature that we have all come to know.
                The Encyclopedia of Monsters, by Daniel Cohen

*sceptre of might
        This mace was created aeons ago in some unknown cave,
        and has been passed down from generation to generation of
        cave dwellers.  It is a very mighty mace indeed, and in
        addition will protect anyone who carries it from magic
        missile attacks.  When invoked, it causes conflict in the
        area around it.

        A sub-species of the spider (Scorpionidae), the scorpion
        distinguishes itself from them by having a lower body that
        ends in a long, jointed tail tapering to a poisonous stinger.
        They have eight legs and pincers.
                Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal

        Since early times, the Scorpion has represented death, darkness,
        and evil.  Scorpius is the reputed slayer of Orion the Hunter.
        [...]  The gods put both scorpion and hunter among the stars, but
        on opposite sides of the sky so they would never fight again.
        As Scorpius rises in the east, Orion sets in the west.
                365 Starry Nights, by Chet Raymo

*scroll, scroll *
        And I was gazing on the surges prone,
        With many a scalding tear and many a groan,
        When at my feet emerg'd an old man's hand,
        Grasping this scroll, and this same slender wand.
        I knelt with pain--reached out my hand--had grasp'd
        Those treasures--touch'd the knuckles--they unclasp'd--
        I caught a finger: but the downward weight
        O'erpowered me--it sank. Then 'gan abate
        The storm, and through chill aguish gloom outburst
        The comfortable sun. I was athirst
        To search the book, and in the warming air
        Parted its dripping leaves with eager care.
        Strange matters did it treat of, and drew on
        My soul page after page, till well-nigh won
        Into forgetfulness; when, stupefied,
        I read these words, and read again, and tried
        My eyes against the heavens, and read again.
                Endymion, by John Keats

        Shades are undead creatures.  They differ from zombies in
        that a zombie is an undead animation of a corpse, while a
        shade is an undead creature magically created by the use
        of black magic.

shaman karnov
        Making his quarters in the Caves of the Ancestors, Shaman
        Karnov unceasingly tries to shield his neanderthal people
        from Tiamat's minions' harassments.

        The Chinese god of Mountains and Seas, also the name of an
        old book (also Shan Hai Tjing), the book of mountains and
        seas - which deals with the monster Kung Kung trying to
        seize power from Yao, the fourth emperor.
                Spectrum Atlas van de Mythologie

        As the shark moved, its dark top reflected virtually no
        light.  The denticles on its skin muted the whoosh of its
        movements as the shark rose, driven by the power of the
        great tail sweeping from side to side, like a scythe.  
        The fish exploded upward.
        Charles Bruder felt a slight vacuum tug in the motion of
        the sea, noted it as a passing current, the pull of a wave,
        the tickle of undertow.  He could not have heard the faint
        sucking rush of water not far beneath him.  He couldn't
        have seen or heard what was hurtling from the murk at
        astonishing speed, jaws unhinging, widening, for the
        enormous first bite.  It was the classic attack
        that no other creature in nature could make -- a bomb from
        the depths.
                Close to Shore, by Michael Capuzzo

        A Japanese stabbing knife.

        With a single, savage thrust of her spear, the warrior-woman 
        impaled the fungus, silencing it.  However, it was too late:  
        the alarm had been raised[...]
        Suddenly, a large, dark shape rose from the abyss before them, 
        its fetid bulk looming overhead...The monster was some kind of
        great dark worm, but that was about all they were sure of.  
                The Adventurers, Epic IV, by Thomas A. Miller

        A skeleton is a magically animated undead creature.  Unlike
        shades, only a humanoid creature can be used to create a
        skeleton.  No one knows why this is true, but it has become
        an accepted fact amongst the practitioners of the black arts.

        "That dog belonged to a settler who tried to build his cabin
        on the bank of the river a few miles south of the fort,"
        grunted Conan. ...  "We took him to the fort and dressed his
        wounds, but after he recovered he took to the woods and turned
        wild.  -- What now, Slasher, are you hunting the men who
        killed your master?" ...  "Let him come," muttered Conan.
        "He can smell the devils before we can see them." ...
        Slasher cleared the timbers with a bound and leaped into the
        bushes.  They were violently shaken and then the dog slunk
        back to Balthus' side, his jaws crimson. ...  "He was a man,"
        said Conan.  "I drink to his shade, and to the shade of the
        dog, who knew no fear."  He quaffed part of the wine, then
        emptied the rest upon the floor, with a curious heathen
        gesture, and smashed the goblet.  "The heads of ten Picts
        shall pay for this, and seven heads for the dog, who was a
        better warrior than many a man."
                Conan The Warrior, by Robert E Howard

slime mold
        Slime mold or slime fungus, organism usually classified with
        the fungi, but showing equal affinity to the protozoa.  Slime
        molds have complex life cycles with an animal-like motile
        phase, in which feeding and growth occur, and a plant-like
        immotile reproductive phase.  The motile phase, commonly
        found under rotting logs and damp leaves, consists of either
        solitary amoebalike cells or a brightly colored multinucleate
        mass of protoplasm called a plasmodium, which creeps about
        and feeds by amoeboid movement.
                The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia

        And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and
        drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward
        the army to meet the Philistine.
        And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone,
        and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that
        the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face
        to the earth.
        So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with
        a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there
        was no sword in the hand of David.
                1 Samuel 17:48-50

*snake, serpent, water moccasin, python, pit viper
        Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field
        which the Lord God had made.  And he said unto the woman, Yea,
        hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
        And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of
        the trees of the garden:  but of the fruit of the tree which is
        in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of
        it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent
        said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  for God doth
        know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be
        opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  And
        when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it
        was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one
        wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also
        unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

        And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou
        hast done?  And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I
        did eat.  And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou
        hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above
        every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and
        dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:  And I will put
        enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her
        seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
                Genesis 3:1-6,13-15

        Ah, never shall I forget the cry,
            or the shriek that shrieked he,
        As I gnashed my teeth, and from my sheath
            I drew my Snickersnee!
        --Koko, Lord high executioner of Titipu
                The Mikado, by Sir W.S. Gilbert

        Sokoban (Japanese for "warehouse person") is a puzzle-type
        game where the player must push around treasure to a goal
        area.  It apparently won first prize in a Japanese programming
                Xsokoban web site

*soldier, sergeant, lieutenant, captain
        The soldiers of Yendor are well-trained in the art of war,
        many trained by the Wizard himself.  Some say the soldiers
        are explorers who were unfortunate enough to be captured,
        and put under the Wizard's spell.  Those who have survived
        encounters with soldiers say they travel together in platoons,
        and are fierce fighters.  Because of the load of their combat
        gear, however, one can usually run away from them, and doing
        so is considered a wise thing.

*spear, javelin
        - they come together with great random, and a spear is brast,
        and one party brake his shield and the other one goes down,
        horse and man, over his horse-tail and brake his neck, and
        then the next candidate comes randoming in, and brast his
        spear, and the other man brast his shield, and down he goes,
        horse and man, over his horse-tail, and brake his neck, and
        then there's another elected, and another and another and
        still another, till the material is all used up; and when you
        come to figure up results, you can't tell one fight from
        another, nor who whipped; and as a picture of living, raging,
        roaring battle, sho! why it's pale and noiseless - just
        ghosts scuffling in a fog.  Dear me, what would this barren
        vocabulary get out of the mightiest spectacle? - the burning
        of Rome in Nero's time, for instance?  Why, it would merely
        say 'Town burned down; no insurance; boy brast a window,
        fireman brake his neck!'  Why, that ain't a picture!
                A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, by Mark

        The Book of Three lay closed on the table.  Taran had never
        been allowed to read the volume for himself; now he was sure
        it held more than Dallben chose to tell him.  In the sun-
        filled room, with Dallben still meditating and showing no
        sign of stopping, Taran rose and moved through the shimmering
        beams.  From the forest came the monotonous tick of a beetle.
        His hands reached for the cover.  Taran gasped in pain and
        snatched them away.  They smarted as if each of his fingers
        had been stung by hornets.  He jumped back, stumbled against
        the bench, and dropped to the floor, where he put his fingers
        woefully into his mouth.
        Dallben's eyes blinked open.  He peered at Taran and yawned
        slowly.  "You had better see Coll about a lotion for those
        hands," he advised.  "Otherwise, I shouldn't be surprised if
        they blistered."
                The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander

        Eight legged creature capable of spinning webs to trap prey.

        "You mean you eat flies?" gasped Wilbur.
        "Certainly.  Flies, bugs, grasshoppers, choice beetles,
        moths, butterflies, tasty cockroaches, gnats, midges, daddy
        longlegs, centipedes, mosquitoes, crickets - anything that is
        careless enough to get caught in my web.  I have to live,
        don't I?"
        "Why, yes, of course," said Wilbur.
                Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White

*spore, *sphere
        The attack by those who want to die -- this is the attack
        against which you cannot prepare a perfect defense.
                                        --Human aphorism
                The Dosadi Experiment, by Frank Herbert

See also: *aesculapius
        So they stood, each in his place, neither moving a finger's
        breadth back, for one good hour, and many blows were given
        and received by each in that time, till here and there were
        sore bones and bumps, yet neither thought of crying "Enough,"
        or seemed likely to fall from off the bridge.  Now and then
        they stopped to rest, and each thought that he never had seen
        in all his life before such a hand at quarterstaff.  At last
        Robin gave the stranger a blow upon the ribs that made his
        jacket smoke like a damp straw thatch in the sun.  So shrewd
        was the stroke that the stranger came within a hair's breadth
        of falling off the bridge; but he regained himself right
        quickly, and, by a dexterous blow, gave Robin a crack on the
        crown that caused the blood to flow.  Then Robin grew mad
        with anger, and smote with all his might at the other; but
        the stranger warded the blow, and once again thwacked Robin,
        and this time so fairly that he fell heels over head into the
        water, as the queen pin falls in a game of bowls.
                The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, by Howard Pyle

*staff of aesculapius
        This staff is considered sacred to all healers, as it truly
        holds the powers of life and death.  When wielded, it
        protects its user from all life draining attacks, and
        additionally gives the wielder the power of regeneration.
        When invoked it performs healing magic.

        Up he went -- very quickly at first -- then more slowly -- then
        in a little while even more slowly than that -- and finally,
        after many minutes of climbing up the endless stairway, one
        weary foot was barely able to follow the other.  Milo suddenly
        realized that with all his effort he was no closer to the top
        than when he began, and not a great deal further from the
        bottom.  But he struggled on for a while longer, until at last,
        completely exhausted, he collapsed onto one of the steps.
        "I should have known it," he mumbled, resting his tired legs
        and filling his lungs with air.  "This is just like the line
        that goes on forever, and I'll never get there."
        "You wouldn't like it much anyway," someone replied gently.
        "Infinity is a dreadfully poor place.  They can never manage to
        make ends meet."
                The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster

        Then at last he began to wonder why the lion was standing so
        still - for it hadn't moved one inch since he first set eyes
        on it.  Edmund now ventured a little nearer, still keeping in
        the shadow of the arch as much as he could.  He now saw from
        the way the lion was standing that it couldn't have been
        looking at him at all.  ("But supposing it turns its head?"
        thought Edmund.)  In fact it was staring at something else -
        namely a little dwarf who stood with his back to it about
        four feet away.  "Aha!" thought Edmund.  "When it springs at
        the dwarf then will be my chance to escape."  But still the
        lion never moved, nor did the dwarf.  And now at last Edmund
        remembered what the others had said about the White Witch
        turning people into stone.  Perhaps this was only a stone
        lion.  And as soon as he had thought of that he noticed that
        the lion's back and the top of its head were covered with
        snow.  Of course it must be only a statue!
                The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

        There was the usual dim grey light of the forest-day about
        him when he came to his senses.  The spider lay dead beside
        him, and his sword-blade was stained black.  Somehow the
        killing of the giant spider, all alone and by himself in the
        dark without the help of the wizard or the dwarves or of
        anyone else, made a great difference to Mr. Baggins.  He felt
        a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of
        an empty stomach, as he wiped his sword on the grass and put
        it back into its sheath.
        "I will give you a name," he said to it, "and I shall call
        you Sting."
                The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

        There were sounds in the distance, incongruent with the
        sounds of even this nameless, timeless sea: thin sounds,
        agonized and terrible, for all that they remained remote -
        yet the ship followed them, as if drawn by them; they grew
        louder - pain and despair were there, but terror was
        Elric had heard such sounds echoing from his cousin Yyrkoon's
        sardonically named 'Pleasure Chambers' in the days before he
        had fled the responsibilities of ruling all that remained of
        the old Melnibonean Empire.  These were the voices of men
        whose very souls were under siege; men to whom death meant
        not mere extinction, but a continuation of existence, forever
        in thrall to some cruel and supernatural master.  He had
        heard men cry so when his salvation and his nemesis, his
        great black battle-blade Stormbringer, drank their souls.
                The Lands Beyond the World, by Michael Moorcock

        The Shinto chthonic and weather god and brother of the sun
        goddess Amaterasu, he was born from the nose of the
        primordial creator god Izanagi and represents the physical,
        material world.  He has been expelled from heaven and taken
        up residence on earth.
                Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan

        Samurai plate armor of the Yamato period (AD 300 - 710).

        The tengu was the most troublesome creature of Japanese
        legend.  Part bird and part man, with red beak for a nose
        and flashing eyes, the tengu was notorious for stirring up
        feuds and prolonging enmity between families.  Indeed, the
        belligerent tengus were supposed to have been man's first
        instructors in the use of arms.
        Mythical Beasts, by Deirdre Headon (The Leprechaun Library)

        The Egyptian god of the moon and wisdom, Thoth is the patron
        deity of scribes and of knowledge, including scientific,
        medical and mathematical writing, and is said to have given
        mankind the art of hieroglyphic writing.  He is important as
        a mediator and counsellor amongst the gods and is the scribe
        of the Heliopolis Ennead pantheon.  According to mythology,
        he was born from the head of the god Seth.  He may be
        depicted in human form with the head of an ibis, wholly as an
        ibis, or as a seated baboon sometimes with its torso covered
        in feathers.  His attributes include a crown which consists
        of a crescent moon surmounted by a moon disc.
        Thoth is generally regarded as a benign deity.  He is also
        scrupulously fair and is responsible not only for entering
        in the record the souls who pass to afterlife, but of
        adjudicating in the Hall of the Two Truths.  The Pyramid
        Texts reveal a violent side of his nature by which he
        decapitates the adversaries of truth and wrenches out their
                Encyclopedia of Gods, by Michael Jordan

        Men say that he [Thutothmes] has opposed Thoth-Amon, who is
        master of all priests of Set, and dwells in Luxor, and that
        Thutothmes seeks hidden power [The Heart of Ahriman] to
        overthrow the Great One.
                Conan the Conqueror, by Robert E. Howard

        Methought I saw the footsteps of a throne
        Which mists and vapours from mine eyes did shroud--
        Nor view of who might sit thereon allowed;
        But all the steps and ground about were strown
        With sights the ruefullest that flesh and bone
        Ever put on; a miserable crowd,
        Sick, hale, old, young, who cried before that cloud,
        "Thou art our king,
        O Death! to thee we groan."
        Those steps I clomb; the mists before me gave
        Smooth way; and I beheld the face of one
        Sleeping alone within a mossy cave,
        With her face up to heaven; that seemed to have
        Pleasing remembrance of a thought foregone;
        A lovely Beauty in a summer grave!
                Sonnet, by William Wordsworth

        1.  A well-known tropical predator (Felis tigris): a
        feline.  It has a yellowish skin with darker spots or
        stripes.  2.  Figurative: a paper tiger, something that is
        meant to scare, but has no really scaring effect whatsoever,
        (after a statement by Mao Ze Dong, August 1946).
                Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal

        Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
        In the forests of the night,
        What immortal hand or eye
        Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
                The Tyger, by William Blake

tin, tin of *, tinning kit
        "You know salmon, Sarge," said Nobby.
        "It is a fish of which I am aware, yes."
        "You know they sell kind of slices of it in tins..."
        "So I am given to understand, yes."
        " come all the tins are the same size?  Salmon
        gets thinner at both ends."
        "Interesting point, Nobby.  I think-"
                Soul Music, by Terry Pratchett

tin opener
        Less than thirty Cat tribes now survived, roaming the cargo
        decks on their hind legs in a desperate search for food.
        But the food had gone.
        The supplies were finished.
        Weak and ailing, they prayed at the supply hold's silver
        mountains: huge towering acres of metal rocks which, in their
        pagan way, the mutant Cats believed watched over them.
        Amid the wailing and the screeching one Cat stood up and held
        aloft the sacred icon.  The icon which had been passed down
        as holy, and one day would make its use known.
        It was a piece of V-shaped metal with a revolving handle on
        its head.
        He took down a silver rock from the silver mountain, while
        the other Cats cowered and screamed at the blasphemy.
        He placed the icon on the rim of the rock, and turned the
        And the handle turned.
        And the rock opened.
        And inside the rock was Alphabetti spaghetti in tomato sauce.
                Red Dwarf, by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor

        Gaea, mother earth, arose from the Chaos and gave birth to
        Uranus, heaven, who became her consort.  Uranus hated all
        their children, because he feared they might challenge his
        own authority.  Those children, the Titans, the Gigantes,
        and the Cyclops, were banished to the nether world.  Their
        enraged mother eventually released the youngest titan,
        Chronos (time), and encouraged him to castrate his father and
        rule in his place.  Later, he too was challenged by his own
        son, Zeus, and he and his fellow titans were ousted from
        Mount Olympus.
                Greek Mythology, by Richard Patrick

tourist, elven tourist, human tourist
        The road from Ankh-Morpork to Chrim is high, white and
        winding, a thirty-league stretch of potholes and half-buried
        rocks that spirals around mountains and dips into cool green
        valleys of citrus trees, crosses liana-webbed gorges on
        creaking rope bridges and is generally more picturesque than
        Picturesque.  That was a new word to Rincewind the wizard
        (BMgc, Unseen University [failed]).  It was one of a number
        he had picked up since leaving the charred ruins of
        Ankh-Morpork.  Quaint was another one.  Picturesque meant --
        he decided after careful observation of the scenery that
        inspired Twoflower to use the word -- that the landscape was
        horribly precipitous.  Quaint, when used to describe the
        occasional village through which they passed, meant fever-
        ridden and tumbledown.
        Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on the discworld.
        Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant "idiot".
                The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett

        The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say
        on the subject of towels.
        A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing
        an interstellar hitchhiker can have.  Partly it has great
        practical value.  You can wrap it around you for warmth as
        you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie
        on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus
        V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it
        beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of
        Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down down the slow heavy
        River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it
        round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze
        of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mind-bogglingly
        stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't
        see you - daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can
        wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of
        course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean
                The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,
                  by Douglas Adams

        Towers (brooding, dark) stand alone in Waste Areas and
        almost always belong to Wizards.  All are several stories high,
        round, doorless, virtually windowless, and composed of smooth
        blocks of masonry that make them very hard to climb. [...]
        You will have to go to a Tower and then break into it at some
        point towards the end of your Tour.
        The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

        I knew my Erik too well to feel at all comfortable on jumping
        into his house.  I knew what he had made of a certain palace at
        Mazenderan.  From being the most honest building conceivable, he
        soon turned it into a house of the very devil, where you could
        not utter a word but it was overheard or repeated by an echo.
        With his trap-doors the monster was responsible for endless
        tragedies of all kinds.
                The Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux

        The trapper is a creature which has evolved a chameleon-like
        ability to blend into the dungeon surroundings.  It captures
        its prey by remaining very still and blending into the
        surrounding dungeon features, until an unsuspecting creature
        passes by.  It wraps itself around its prey and digests it.

        I think that I shall never see
        A poem lovely as a tree.
        A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
        Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
        A tree that looks at God all day,
        And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
        A tree that may in Summer wear
        A nest of robins in her hair;
        Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
        Who intimately lives with rain.
        Poems are made by fools like me,
        But only God can make a tree.
                Trees - Joyce Kilmer

tripe, tripe ration
        If you start from scratch, cooking tripe is a long-drawn-out
        affair.  Fresh whole tripe calls for a minimum of 12 hours of
        cooking, some time-honored recipes demanding as much as 24.
        To prepare fresh tripe, trim if necessary.  Wash it thoroughly,
        soaking overnight, and blanch, for 1/2 hour in salted water.
        Wash well again, drain and cut for cooking.  When cooked, the
        texture of tripe should be like that of soft gristle.  More
        often, alas, because the heat has not been kept low enough,
        it has the consistency of wet shoe leather.
                Joy of Cooking, by I Rombauer and M Becker

        The troll shambled closer.  He was perhaps eight feet tall,
        perhaps more.  His forward stoop, with arms dangling past
        thick claw-footed legs to the ground, made it hard to tell.
        The hairless green skin moved upon his body.  His head was a
        gash of a mouth, a yard-long nose, and two eyes which drank
        the feeble torchlight and never gave back a gleam.
        Like a huge green spider, the troll's severed hand ran on its
        fingers.  Across the mounded floor, up onto a log with one
        taloned forefinger to hook it over the bark, down again it
        scrambled, until it found the cut wrist.  And there it grew
        fast.  The troll's smashed head seethed and knit together.
        He clambered back on his feet and grinned at them.  The
        waning faggot cast red light over his fangs.
                Three Hearts and Three Lions, by Poul Anderson

*tsurugi of muramasa
        This most ancient of swords has been passed down through the
        leadership of the Samurai legions for hundreds of years.  It
        is said to grant luck to its wielder, but its main power is
        terrible to behold.  It has the capability to cut in half any
        creature it is wielded against, instantly killing them.

See also: *muramasa
        The tsurugi, also known as the long samurai sword, is an
        extremely sharp, two-handed blade favored by the samurai.
        It is made of hardened steel, and is manufactured using a
        special process, causing it to never rust.  The tsurugi is
        rumored to be so sharp that it can occasionally cut
        opponents in half!

twoflower, guide
        Twoflower sprang off the bed.  The wizard jumped back,
        wrenching his features into a smile.
        "My dear chap, right on time!  We'll just have lunch, and
        then I'm sure you've got a wonderful programme lined up for
        this afternoon!"
        "Er --"
        "That's great!"
        Rincewind took a deep breath.  "Look," he said desperately,
        "let's eat somewhere else.  There's been a bit of a fight
        down below."
        "A tavern brawl?  Why didn't you wake me up?"
        "Well, you see, I - what?"
        "I thought I made myself clear this morning, Rincewind.  I
        want to see genuine Morporkian life - the slave market, the
        Whore Pits, the Temple of Small Gods, the Beggar's Guild...
        and a genuine tavern brawl."  A faint note of suspicion
        entered Twoflower's voice.  "You do have them, don't you?
        You know, people swinging on chandeliers, swordfights over
        the table, the sort of thing Hrun the Barbarian and the
        Weasel are always getting involved in.  You know --
                The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett

        Yet remains that one of the Aesir who is called Tyr:
        he is most daring, and best in stoutness of heart, and he
        has much authority over victory in battle; it is good for
        men of valor to invoke him.  It is a proverb, that he is
        Tyr-valiant, who surpasses other men and does not waver.
        He is wise, so that it is also said, that he that is wisest
        is Tyr-prudent.  This is one token of his daring:  when the
        Aesir enticed Fenris-Wolf to take upon him the fetter Gleipnir,
        the wolf did not believe them, that they would loose him,
        until they laid Tyr's hand into his mouth as a pledge.  But
        when the Aesir would not loose him, then he bit off the hand
        at the place now called 'the wolf's joint;' and Tyr is one-
        handed, and is not called a reconciler of men.
                        The Prose Edda, by Snorri Sturluson

        Umber hulks are powerful subterranean predators whose
        iron-like claws allow them to burrow through solid stone in
        search of prey.  They are tremendously strong; muscles bulge
        beneath their thick, scaly hides and their powerful arms and
        legs all end in great claws.

*unicorn, unicorn horn
        Men have always sought the elusive unicorn, for the single
        twisted horn which projected from its forehead was thought to
        be a powerful talisman.  It was said that the unicorn had
        simply to dip the tip of its horn in a muddy pool for the water
        to become pure.  Men also believed that to drink from this horn
        was a protection against all sickness, and that if the horn was
        ground to a powder it would act as an antidote to all poisons.
        Less than 200 years ago in France, the horn of a unicorn was
        used in a ceremony to test the royal food for poison.

        Although only the size of a small horse, the unicorn is a very
        fierce beast, capable of killing an elephant with a single
        thrust from its horn.  Its fleetness of foot also makes this
        solitary creature difficult to capture.  However, it can be
        tamed and captured by a maiden.  Made gentle by the sight of a
        virgin, the unicorn can be lured to lay its head in her lap, and
        in this docile mood, the maiden may secure it with a golden rope.
        Mythical Beasts, by Deirdre Headon (The Leprechaun Library)

        Martin took a small sip of beer.  "Almost ready," he said.
        "You hold your beer awfully well."
        Tlingel laughed.  "A unicorn's horn is a detoxicant.  Its
        possession is a universal remedy.  I wait until I reach the
        warm glow stage, then I use my horn to burn off any excess and
        keep me right there."
                Unicorn Variations, by Roger Zelazny

valkyrie, human valkyrie
        The Valkyries were the thirteen choosers of the slain, the
        beautiful warrior-maids of Odin who rode through the air and
        over the sea.  They watched the progress of the battle and
        selected the heroes who were to fall fighting.  After they
        were dead, the maidens rewarded the heroes by kissing them
        and then led their souls to Valhalla, where the warriors
        lived happily in an ideal existence, drinking and eating
        without restraint and fighting over again the battles in
        which they died and in which they had won their deathless
                The Encyclopaedia of Myths and Legends of All
                        Nations, by Herbert Robinson and Knox

vampire, vampire bat, vampire lord
        The Oxford English Dictionary is quite unequivocal:
        vampire - "a preternatural being of a malignant nature (in
        the original and usual form of the belief, a reanimated
        corpse), supposed to seek nourishment, or do harm, by sucking
        the blood of sleeping persons. ..."

        Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, was the daughter of
        Jupiter and Dione.  Others say that Venus sprang from the
        foam of the sea.  The zephyr wafted her along the waves to
        the Isle of Cyprus, where she was received and attired by
        the Seasons, and then led to the assembly of the gods.  All
        were charmed with her beauty, and each one demanded her
        for his wife.  Jupiter gave her to Vulcan, in gratitude for
        the service he had rendered in forging thunderbolts.  So
        the most beautiful of the goddesses became the wife of the
        most ill-favoured of gods.
                Bulfinch's Mythology, by Thomas Bulfinch

        Vlad Dracula the Impaler was a 15th-Century monarch of the
        Birgau region of the Carpathian Mountains, in what is now
        Romania.  In Romanian history he is best known for two things.
        One was his skilled handling of the Ottoman Turks, which kept
        them from making further inroads into Christian Europe.  The
        other was the ruthless manner in which he ran his fiefdom.
        He dealt with perceived challengers to his rule by impaling
        them upright on wooden stakes.  Visiting dignitaries who
        failed to doff their hats had them nailed to their head.

*vortex, vortices
        Swirling clouds of pure elemental energies, the vortices are
        thought to be related to the larger elementals.  Though the
        vortices do no damage when touched, they are noted for being
        able to envelop unwary travellers.  The hapless fool thus
        swallowed by a vortex will soon perish from exposure to the
        element the vortex is composed of.

        The vrock is one of the weaker forms of demon.  It resembles
        a cross between a human being and a vulture and does physical
        damage by biting and by using the claws on both its arms and

        The samurai warrior traditionally wears two swords; the
        wakizashi is the shorter of the two.  See also katana.

wand of *, *wand
        'Saruman!' he cried, and his voice grew in power and authority.
        'Behold, I am not Gandalf the Grey, whom you betrayed.  I am
        Gandalf the White, who has returned from death.  You have no
        colour now, and I cast you from the order and from the Council.'
        He raised his hand, and spoke slowly in a clear cold voice.
        'Saruman, your staff is broken.'  There was a crack, and the
        staff split asunder in Saruman's hand, and the head of it
        fell down at Gandalf's feet.  'Go!' said Gandalf.  With a cry
        Saruman fell back and crawled away.
                The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien

        Suddenly Aragorn leapt to his feet.  "How the wind howls!"
        he cried.  "It is howling with wolf-voices.  The Wargs have
        come west of the Mountains!"
        "Need we wait until morning then?" said Gandalf.  "It is as I
        said.  The hunt is up!  Even if we live to see the dawn, who
        now will wish to journey south by night with the wild wolves
        on his trail?"
        "How far is Moria?" asked Boromir.
        "There was a door south-west of Caradhras, some fifteen miles
        as the crow flies, and maybe twenty as the wolf runs,"
        answered Gandalf grimly.
        "Then let us start as soon as it is light tomorrow, if we can,"
        said Boromir.  "The wolf that one hears is worse then the orc
        that one fears."
        "True!" said Aragorn, loosening his sword in its sheath.  "But
        where the warg howls, there also the orc prowls."
                The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

See also: mjollnir
        They had come together at the ford of the Trident while the
        battle crashed around them, Robert with his warhammer and his
        great antlered helm, the Targaryen prince armored all in
        black.  On his breastplate was the three-headed dragon of his
        House, wrought all in rubies that flashed like fire in the
        sunlight.  The waters of the Trident ran red around the
        hooves of their destriers as they circled and clashed, again
        and again, until at last a crushing blow from Robert's hammer
        stove in the dragon and the chest behind it.  When Ned had
        finally come on the scene, Rhaegar lay dead in the stream,
        while men of both armies scrambled in the swirling waters for
        rubies knocked free of his armor.
                A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin

        Day after day, day after day,
        We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
        As idle as a painted ship
        Upon a painted ocean.

        Water, water, everywhere,
        And all the boards did shrink;
        Water, water, everywhere
        Nor any drop to drink.
                The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor

        Oh what a tangled web we weave,
        When first we practise to deceive!
                Marmion, by Sir Walter Scott

        When he came to himself again, for a moment he could recall
        nothing except a sense of dread.  Then suddenly he knew that
        he was imprisoned, caught hopelessly; he was in a barrow.  A
        Barrow-wight had taken him, and he was probably already under
        the dreadful spells of the Barrow-wights about which whispered
        tales spoke.  He dared not move, but lay as he found himself:
        flat on his back upon a cold stone with his hands on his
                The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

wizard of yendor
        No one knows how old this mighty wizard is, or from whence he
        came.  It is known that, having lived a span far greater than
        any normal man's, he grew weary of lesser mortals; and so,
        spurning all human company, he forsook the dwellings of men
        and went to live in the depths of the Earth.  He took with
        him a dreadful artifact, the Book of the Dead, which is said
        to hold great power indeed.  Many have sought to find the
        wizard and his treasure, but none have found him and lived to
        tell the tale.  Woe be to the incautious adventurer who
        disturbs this mighty sorcerer!

wolf, *wolf, *wolf cub
        The ancestors of the modern day domestic dog, wolves are
        powerful muscular animals with bushy tails.  Intelligent,
        social animals, wolves live in family groups or packs made
        up of multiple family units.  These packs cooperate in hunting
        down prey.

        The Usenet Oracle requires an answer to this question!

        > How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could
        > chuck wood?

        "Oh, heck!  I'll handle *this* one!"  The Oracle spun the terminal
        back toward himself, unlocked the ZOT-guard lock, and slid the
        glass guard away from the ZOT key.  "Ummmm....could you turn around
        for a minute?  ZOTs are too graphic for the uninitiated.  Even *I*
        get a little squeamish sometimes..."  The neophyte turned around,
        and heard the Oracle slam his finger on a computer key, followed
        by a loud ZZZZOTTTTT and the smell of ozone.
                Excerpted from Internet Oracularity 576.6

*worm, long worm tail, worm tooth, crysknife
        [The crysknife] is manufactured in two forms from teeth taken
        from dead sandworms.  The two forms are "fixed" and "unfixed".
        An unfixed knife requires proximity to a human body's
        electrical field to prevent disintegration.  Fixed knives
        are treated for storage.  All are about 20 centimeters long.
                Dune, by Frank Herbert

wraith, nazgul
        Immediately, though everything else remained as before, dim
        and dark, the shapes became terribly clear.  He was able to
        see beneath their black wrappings.  There were five tall
        figures:  two standing on the lip of the dell, three advancing.
        In their white faces burned keen and merciless eyes; under
        their mantles were long grey robes; upon their grey hairs
        were helms of silver; in their haggard hands were swords of
        steel.  Their eyes fell on him and pierced him, as they
        rushed towards him.  Desperate, he drew his own sword, and
        it seemed to him that it flickered red, as if it was a
        firebrand.  Two of the figures halted.  The third was taller
        than the others:  his hair was long and gleaming and on his
        helm was a crown.  In one hand he held a long sword, and in
        the other a knife; both the knife and the hand that held it
        glowed with a pale light.  He sprang forward and bore down
        on Frodo.
                The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

        The Wumpus, by the way, is not bothered by the hazards since
        he has sucker feet and is too big for a bat to lift.  If you
        try to shoot him and miss, there's also a chance that he'll
        up and move himself into another cave, though by nature the
        Wumpus is a sedentary creature.
                wump (6) -- "Hunt the Wumpus"

        They sent their friend the mosquito [xan] ahead of them to
        find out what lay ahead.  "Since you are the one who sucks
        the blood of men walking along paths," they told the mosquito,
        "go and sting the men of Xibalba."  The mosquito flew
        down the dark road to the Underworld.  Entering the house of
        the Lords of Death, he stung the first person that he saw...

        The mosquito stung this man as well, and when he yelled, the
        man next to him asked, "Gathered Blood, what's wrong?"  So
        he flew along the row stinging all the seated men until he
        knew the names of all twelve.
                        Popul Vuh, as translated by Ralph Nelson

        A distant cousin of the earth elemental, the xorn has the
        ability to shift the cells of its body around in such a way
        that it becomes porous to inert material.  This gives it the
        ability to pass through any obstacle that might be between it
        and its next meal.

        The arrow of choice of the samurai, ya are made of very
        straight bamboo, and are tipped with hardened steel.

        Yeenoghu, the demon lord of gnolls, still exists although
        all his followers have been wiped off the face of the earth.
        He casts magic projectiles at those close to him, and a mere
        gaze into his piercing eyes may hopelessly confuse the
        battle-weary adventurer.

        The Abominable Snowman, or yeti, is one of the truly great
        unknown animals of the twentieth century.  It is a large hairy
        biped that lives in the Himalayan region of Asia ... The story
        of the Abominable Snowman is filled with mysteries great and
        small, and one of the most difficult of all is how it got that
        awful name.  The creature is neither particularly abominable,
        nor does it necessarily live in the snows.  Yeti is a Tibetan
        word which may apply either to a real, but unknown animal of
        the Himalayas, or to a mountain spirit or demon -- no one is
        quite sure which.  And after nearly half a century in which
        Westerners have trampled around looking for the yeti, and
        asking all sorts of questions, the original native traditions
        concerning the creature have become even more muddled and
                The Encyclopedia of Monsters, by Daniel Cohen

        Japanese leather archery gloves.  Gloves made for use while
        practicing had thumbs reinforced with horn.  Those worn into
        battle had thumbs reinforced with a double layer of leather.

        The samurai is highly trained with a special type of bow,
        the yumi.  Like the ya, the yumi is made of bamboo.  With
        the yumi-ya, the bow and arrow, the samurai is an extremely
        accurate and deadly warrior.

        The zombi... is a soulless human corpse, still dead, but
        taken from the grave and endowed by sorcery with a
        mechanical semblance of life, -- it is a dead body which is
        made to walk and act and move as if it were alive.
                W. B. Seabrook

        The zruty are wild and gigantic beings, living in the
        wildernesses of the Tatra mountains.

Alphabetical index

[a] [b] [c] [d] [e] [f] [g] [h] [i]
[j] [k] [l] [m] [n] [o] [p] [q] [r]
[s] [t] [u] [v] [w] [x] [y] [z]


aclys, see aklys
acolyte, see archeologist
amaterasu omikami
amnesia, see maud
amulet of *
amulet of yendor
amulet, see amulet of *
ant, see  ant
apprentice, see archeologist
arch priest, see player
ashikaga takauji
attendant, see player


bag of *, see sack
bag, see sack
baluchitherium, see titanothere
barbarian, see human barbarian
barbed devil
bell of opening
blind io
bone devil
book of the dead, see candle
bow, see  bow


candelabrum*, see candle
candy bar
cat, see kitten
cave*man, see player
cerberus, see kerberos
chest, see large box
chieftain, see player
chromatic dragon, see tiamat
croesus, see creosote
crystal ball


dark one
death, see hunger
delphi, see p*thia
dog, see pup*
door, see doorway
dragon, see xoth


earendil, see elwing
eel, see giant eel
electric eel
elf*, see elven wizard
elven archeologist, see elven wizard
elven cave*man, see elven wizard
elven cloak
elven healer, see elven wizard
elven samurai, see elven wizard
elven tourist, see human tourist
elven wizard
elvenking, see elven wizard
erinys, see erinyes
expensive camera
eye of the aethiopica
eyes of the overworld


famine, see hunger
flesh golem
floating eye
fog cloud


gecko, see lizard
gelatinous cube, see  slime
giant eel
giant humanoid
giant, see giant humanoid
gnome*, see gnomish wizard
gnomish wizard
goblin king, see orcrist
god, see goddess
gold golem
gold piece, see zorkmid
gold, see zorkmid
grand master, see player
grid bug
guard, see player


healer, see player
heart of ahriman
hell hound*
horned devil
horsem*, see hunger
hu*h*eto*l, see minion of huhetotl
huge chunk of meat
human archeologist, see archeologist
human barbarian
human cave*man, see archeologist
human healer, see archeologist
human knight
human monk, see archeologist
human ranger, see ranger
human rogue
human samurai, see archeologist
human tourist
human valkyrie
human were*, see were
human wizard, see archeologist
human, see archeologist


ice devil
iguana, see lizard
incubus, see succubus
iron ball, see iron chain
iron chain


jabberwock, see vorpal*
juiblex, see jubilex


king arthur, see arthur
knife, see stiletto
knight, see human knight
kroisos, see creosote


lady, see offler
large box
leocrotta, see leu*otta
lieutenant, see captain
long worm tail, see crysknife
longbow of diana
looking glass, see mirror
lord carnarvon
lord sato
lord surt*
lycanthrope, see were


magic marker
magic mirror of merlin
mail d*emon
master assassin
master kaen, see player
master key of thievery
master of thieves
meat*, see huge chunk of meat
mind flayer
minion of huhetotl
mitre of holiness
monk, see player
mummy wrapping


naga*, see naja*
neferet the green
neferet, see neferet the green
ninja, see player
nurse, see player


oilskin cloak
oilskin sack
ooze, see  slime
oracle, see p*thia
orange, see pear
orb of detection
orb of fate
orc*, see uruk*hai
orion, see sirius


pestilence, see hunger
pit fiend
pit viper
pit, see spiked pit
platinum yendorian express card
priest*, see player
pudding, see  slime
purple worm
python, see pit viper


quantum mechanic


raijin, see raiden
rat, see  rat
rider*, see hunger
ring of *
ring, see ring of *
rock mole
rogue, see human rogue
ronin, see player
royal jelly
rust monster


s*d*g*r* cat
saber, see sabre
samurai, see player
sceptre of might
scroll *
scroll, see scroll *
sergeant, see captain
serpent, see pit viper
shaman karnov
shopkeeper, see player
slime mold
snake, see pit viper
soldier, see captain
spear, see javelin
spiked pit
spore, see sphere
staff of aesculapius
student, see player


thug, see player
tin of *, see tinning kit
tin opener
tin, see tinning kit
tinning kit
tourist, see human tourist
tripe ration
tripe, see tripe ration
tsurugi of muramasa
twoflower, see guide


unicorn horn
unicorn, see unicorn horn


valkyrie, see human valkyrie
vampire bat, see vampire lord
vampire lord
vampire, see vampire lord
vortex, see vortices


wand of *, see wand
war, see hunger
warrior, see player
water moccasin, see pit viper
wizard of yendor
wizard, see player
wolf cub
wolf, see wolf cub
wolf, see wolf cub
worm tooth, see crysknife
worm, see crysknife
wraith, see nazgul