Ruin Tongue

The language of Rack and Ruin

  • The Rack and Ruin — official term in state propaganda
  • The Rack — slang term in the luvian underclasses
  • The Black ‘n’ Blue — slang term in the nisir underclasses
  • Aranu — term used among belgas, but with additional spiritual connotations, denoting their separation from the mother dragons
  • Geistod — a rare term murmured by even rarer solescents
  • Rackenrune— a universal term among scholars
  • The Ruin — used by hunters outside the cities
  • Ismuth — derived from smother + ice-mother + christmas — used by more isolationist communities of belgas, ghul and nisir
  • Rakenring — used among non-solescent classes. Wrongly believed to be a variation of “recknoning”. The root is actually wring — referring to the squeezing of a sponge — itself referring the etymology of fungus (meaning sponge) — since fungi are key components of interplant communication.
  • The Knack of Brewing (The Knackers) — northern nisir slang
  • The Smack ‘n’ Chewin’ — Hosian nisir slang
  • The Stack of Doing — southern nisir slang
  • Flying Jack — Malenaut nisir slang
  • Pretevez — used by the Cult of Ilium, along with the more formal “Rack and Ruin”. Translates as “turning of the black soil” — the legend that Ilium raked the most fertile of soil in order to plant new seeds, and to plant herself, forever, in this world.
  • The RickRack— by faro. Made universal by faro migration and sociability.
  • Right hand/wing/tendril in a downward claw, signifying rain, seeding and menace. Positioned in front of, and shadowing the left eye (if referring to the event chronologically, as a historical occurrence marking the difference between one age and the next), or the right eye (if referring to the event as a moment of tragedy with emotional connotations)
  • Left hand positioned in front of the solar plexus, with fingers spread according to the specific phase of the Rack and Ruin (fingers tight for the initial destruction; each finger spread for a twenty year increment after the event). The left hand should waver — signifying the flow of time, the trembling of terror and the windblown leaves. The wavering of the left hand is the most important part of the mudrā, and one must practice for decades to perfect the motion. It is a sign of one’s status.
  • Torso hunched at the abdomen — a pose balanced between submission and newborn growth. Some initiates remove ribs/fibre/scales to achieve the necessary angle.
  • Legs bent, with one foot steady and the other pressing topside to the floor. A position of vulnerability, signifying stumbling but also propulsion. Those without legs must perform an equivalent “self-crippling” on one side of their bodies.

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A serial that explores identity and fixation, told by the denizens of three nations. In the wake of the Rack and Ruin untold species unite to survive in a landscape of extremes. The gods are dead, survived by their fetiches — objects of obsession and fate.