Up until now I’ve posted a 500-1000 word essay near the end of each week. I’ve also been writing a glossary definition a day for Homecoming‘s Facebook page. Why not combine them?

From now on I’ll try to post a definition a day as well as the longer, weekly pieces, but for the moment let’s just catch up. Here are the definitions I’ve already posted on Facebook:

BUTTERFLY CAT: A Riyan ambush predator, lion-sized but striped in shades of green. Like most native Riyan wildlife it evolved from a six-limbed ancestor, but the two foremost limbs have evolved into killing claws near the mouth.

KHARFUN SYNDROME: A disease which in Humans is rather like flu, but which in R’il’nians and many R’il’noids is deadly. It destroys the motor nerves, working in from the periphery of the body and leaving paralysis, acute pain and uncontrolled muscle spasms. A vaccine and treatment were developed after the initial epidemic killed many of the R’il’nai and most of the R’il’noids descended from Jarn. Eventual death is due to respiratory paralysis.

MAUNGS: Aliens adapted to higher gravity, higher temperatures and greater air pressure than Humans. They are peaceful but symbiotic in nature, and one of the symbionts is parasitic on Humans in its early, insect-like stage. R’il’noids are not affected, and are able to detect and remove the parasite from Humans if it is caught early enough.

R’IL’N: a planet sterilized by a nearby nova some two hundred thousand years ago. The human-like inhabitants, the R’il’nai, fled in several groups to other stellar systems, but the groups lost touch with each other.

R’IL’NAI: (group noun; singular is R’il’nian.) Alien beings, very human-like in appearance and capable of interbreeding with Humans. Non-aging past maturity but not immortal, with psychic powers and great empathy. Very low reproductive rate, with women ovulating about once a century. Women change from an androgynous appearance as ovulation approaches, but are sexually receptive throughout their cycle.

R’IL’NOIDS: R’il’nian-Human hybrids with more than half of the active genome R’il’nian-derived. Most have esper abilities and are non-aging. Although many are sterile, others are fertile and can produce offspring with a wide variety of active R’il’nian genes.

RIYA: A planet settled by the R’il’nai during their original flight from R’il’n. The native fauna, which does not include birds, has evolved from a six-limbed ancestor

TINERAL: an animal widespread as a pet on Riya prior to the epidemic. They are born kitten-sized, but continue to grow throughout their life spans. Wonderful singers, with an instinctive sense of harmony and voices that resemble our instruments. They are feathered and resemble a winged monkey physically. Tinerals can fly as juveniles but are too heavy to fly as adults.