Glossary for Weave the Lightning

Bourshkanyan Dictionary

Including (some) linguistic derivations

Bourshkanya                    Fascist state in which Weave the Lightning takes place.  {From Czech, bouřka země (bourshka zemye) = thunderstorm land}. Bourshkanyan (adj) – the people of Bourshkanya are Bourshkanyan

bozhk (pl. bozhki)            Someone with a storm affinity; a storm mage. Typically used for a State-trained mage who has demonstrated control of their storm affinity (at least a copper-bolt).

bozhskyeh storms           Thunderstorms in which (some of) the lightning is actually Gods’ Breath, which carries storm energy and can be used by an imbuement mage to create new magical objects.  {From Czech: božský = divine, heavenly; divine thunderstorm = božské bouřka (bourshka)}

cizii (adj)                            imprudent in storms, not respecting the Storm Gods, foreign. {From Czech cizí: foreign, alien, strange, unfamiliar}

cizli (n)                                foreigners or people who don’t respect the Storm Gods

loupak                                Sweet, cardamom-filled crescent rolls coated with poppy seeds.  (Czech)

Lesnikraj (n)                      Country with which Bourshkanya fought a devastating war roughly 20 years before Weave the Lightning begins. {From Czech, Les = forest, wood, woods; kraj = region}. Lesnikrayen (adj)

nuzhda (pl. nuzhdi)         The intense, desperate need used to “power” an imbuement or create one.  {From Russian, нужда; Czech, nouze = need, want, poverty, necessity, distress, destitution, pl: needs = нужды ~ nuzhdi}

ponchiki                             Round balls of fried dough usually dusted with powdered sugar (~Russian donuts). Tasty sweet street food — though you’ll be hard pressed to get much sugar on them with the rationing in Bourshkanya.

rezistyent (pl. rezistyenti)             A member (or presumed member) of the resistance, acting against the Stormhawk’s regime.  A traitor to the State. {From translation of French résistant = Russian, резистентный (rezistentnyy -> rezistyentnye)}

sousednia                          Neighboring reality where storm-blessed bozhki create nuzhda weaves in order to imbue. A reality of needs and ideas, which has only a mild connection to physical objects /space. {From Czech, sousední; Russian, соседний ~sosedniy = neighboring, adjacent, nearby, bordering}

sousedni-cues (n)            bleed-through into sousednia from true-life; used by some storm-blessed mages to read/anticipate true-life actions.

sousedni-dislocation      separating one’s true-form and sousedni-shape in ‘physical’ distance

sousedni-shape                how a person appears in sousednia.  (Often in contrast to their true-form.)

strazh (pl. strazhi)           A bozhk who works with an imbuement mage during imbuements to ground them and control any overflowed storm energy, thereby making it safer to imbue. Typically a strong storm-touched bozhk with a high bolt-level and an affinity to protection nuzhda, capable of creating a specific type of nuzhda weave (strazh weaves) that can catch overflowed storm energy from an imbuement and channel that energy safely into the ground.  {From Czech, stráž; Russian, стража ~strazha = guard, watch, sentry}

Tayemstvoy                      The Bourshkanyan regime’s secret police.  Colloquially called: “hawks” (respectful); “red shoulders” (derogatory)


Other In-World Words

Darknight (n)                     Winter solstice holiday

Gods’ Breath                     Magical lightning from bozhskyeh storms.  See storm energy. Color appears red-gold to someone with a strong enough storm-affinity.

mundane                           Colloquial term for someone with no storm-affinity.

red shoulders (n)             colloquial term for Tayemstvoy. Adj form is hyphenated (e.g., “he’s a red-shouldered hail-eater!”)

Slavni Cirkus                     Celka’s circus

smoke-form (n)                colloquial description of the sousedni-shape of a person with no storm-affinity.

Stanek pistol (n)             Side-arm carried by Bourshkanyan Army and Tayemstvoy officers. Similar to a Colt 1911 pistol.

storm affinity (n)             a person sensitive to storm magic; a storm mage or bozhk.

storm-blessed                   A bozhk able to see and interact with sousednia. During a bozhskyeh storm, they may be able to create new magical imbuements.

storm blood (n)                someone with a storm affinity colloquially has “storm blood” in their veins.

storm energy (n)              The raw energy from Gods’ Breath (lightning in a bozhskyeh storm), which is necessary to crystalize nuzhda weaves to create an imbuement.  A bozhk channels storm energy through themselves and into their weaves in order to imbue.

storm temple                    Religious gathering place for Bourshkanya’s dominant religion, which worships the Storm Gods and their Miracles. Typically an asymmetric building with one wall / face that opens up on a square containing a storm tower (lightning rod).

Storm Gods                       The primary gods revered in Bourshkanya; always referenced in plural.

Stormhawk (n)                 (1) the popular name used by Bourshkanya’s dictator, Supreme-General Kladivo; (2) a hawk said to herald bozhskyeh storms, which rides the wild currents of such storms; (3) a 2-headed stormhawk is used as a symbol for the Tayemstvoy.

storm-mad (adj)               an imbuement mage who loses true-life (usually as a result of overflowing storm energy into themselves from too large or uncontrolled an imbuement) is considered storm-mad.

storm-mark                       the lightning strike filigree left behind on physical objects where an imbuement mage called down Gods’ breath.  The equivalent mark left on a person is called a storm-scar. Similar in appearance to a Lichtenberg figure.

storm pendant                 common religious item in Bourshkanya. Typically made of a conducting metal that can be charged by rubbing with a “charging cloth” to produce a spark, which is commonly used in prayer to the Storm Gods.

storm services                  Religious services performed by a storm speaker, typically at a storm temple on Storm Day.  (This could become a tongue twister, easy.)

storm-scar (n)                   the lightning strike filigree burned into an imbuement mage’s flesh, starting at the base of their skull and extending in a roughly radial pattern across back and shoulders and down to the arm(s) holding the imbued object. The size of the scar is proportional to the amount of storm energy pulled from the strike (in a controlled strike, this is equivalent to the size of the nuzhda, though a mage can inadvertently pull less or more). In subsequent imbuements involving an amount of storm energy less than or equal to that wielded before, the mage’s storm-scar brightens (becoming more red if it has faded somewhat) and can become slightly more intricate, but does not grow.  Strazh mages can also end up storm-scarred from grounding an imbuement mage that overflows storm energy.

storm-thread (n)              connection an imbuement mage feels to a bozhskyeh storm. This manifests physically in sousednia during a storm.

storm-touched (adj)       A bozhk capable of controlling nuzhdi enough to activate imbuements, but incapable of seeing sousednia is considered storm-touched.

true-life                              The reality visible to everyone (in contrast to sousednia, visible only to storm-blessed bozhki).

true-form                           A person’s physical appearance (often used in contrast to sousedni-shape).

Uhersky rifle                     Bourshkanyan bolt-action rifle; standard issue to modern infantry.

Wolf (the)                          The resistance leader, from the design of a running wolf that signs resistance leaflets.


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EMPIRE. REVOLUTION. MAGIC.

Gerrit is the son of Bourshkanya’s Supreme-General. Despite his powerful storm-affinity and the State’s best training, he can’t control his magic. To escape the brutal consequences, he flees.

Celka is a travelling circus performer, hiding both her link to the underground and her storm-affinity from the prying eyes of the secret police. But Gerrit’s arrival threatens to expose everything: her magic, her family, and the people they protect.

The storms have returned, and everything will change.

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