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USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author S.M. Schmitz

Sci-fi Romances and Mythic Fantasies with a little bit of heart and a whole lot of snark

Mythology Glossary for Blades of Ash

As part of the augmented reality feature of Storms of Fate & Fury, welcome to the mythology glossary for Blades of Ash!

 

This glossary contains information about the gods, goddesses, monsters, and places in the different mythologies I’ve used to create The Unbreakable Sword universe. It occasionally includes the relationships I’ve created for this story (the Norse and Irish gods probably didn’t really hate each other).

 

 

 

Aesir—in Norse mythology, this is the name of one of the race or tribes of gods (the other being the Vanir). Most of the Norse gods we’re familiar with are from the Aesir, such as Odin and Thor. In this series, the Aesir are the historical enemies of the Tuatha Dé (the Irish gods) and the Olympians (the Greek gods).

 

Ahriman—also known as Angra Mainyu, Ahriman is the god associated with evil in Zoroastrianism (Persian religion). Based on the teachings of Zarathustra (whose Greek name is Zoroaster, which is where we get the name of the religion), Zoroastrianism is a dualistic religion of good and evil, with Ahura Mazda, the good god, being in a constant struggle against Ahriman, the god of evil.

 

Ahura Mazda—in Zoroastrianism, Ahura Mazda is the god of good and light who rules over their heaven. He will triumph over Ahriman in their final battle of good versus evil.

 

Aonghus—in Irish mythology, Aonghus is the son of the Dagda and a god of love and beauty.

 

An (Anu)—supreme god of the Sumerian pantheon. An is associated with assigning roles to lesser deities.

 

Apollo—Greek god associated with poetry, music, archery, the sun, and a bunch of other things because he’s apparently quite the catch. His twin sister is Artemis.

 

Aqrabuamelu—the “scorpion men” of Sumerian mythology that guarded the gates of the sun god, Shamash. They were described as having the head and torso of a man but the body of a scorpion. In this book, the scorpion men are extremely powerful and destructive.

 

Ares—Greek god of war and son of Zeus. His sister is Athena and in my universe, they share a close relationship based on good-natured teasing, particularly about Ares’s libido. 

 

Artemis—Greek goddess of the hunt and virginity and twin sister of Apollo.

 

Asgard—the home of the Aesir, a race of gods in Norse mythology that includes Odin and Thor. Valhalla, Odin’s famous golden hall of the dead, is in Asgard.

 

Athena—the Greek goddess of war, wisdom, arts, justice, weaving…this woman can do it all. In Greek mythology, Athena never takes a lover and is known as a virgin goddess. I retained that characteristic for my universe (she’s asexual). Her best friend is the Irish goddess Badb, and in the world I’ve created, the Irish and Greek pantheons are related and consider one another cousins.

 

Avesta, the—this is like the Zoroastrian Bible. It is written in the Avestan language, and is the only surviving text in that language.

 

Aži Dahaka—also known as Zahāk, this is the name of one of Ahriman’s sons that takes the form of a serpent with three heads (because, clearly, they wanted to convey this guy was evil). In some sources, he appears more like a human, but he’s always evil…and, really, anything associated with snakes has to be evil, right? Lugh will back me up on this.

 

Badb—one of the triune of goddesses who formed the Mórrígna in Irish mythology. Each of them represented a different aspect of warfare, with Badb representing the fear and confusion of battle. In an anthropomorphic twist, she takes the form of a crow whose battle cry causes panic on the battlefield. In the Unbreakable Sword universe, Badb’s love interest is Lugh, and her best friend is the Greek goddess of war, Athena.

 

Balor—in Irish mythology, Balor (also known as Balor of the Evil Eye) is a monstrous king of the Fomorians, one of the supernatural races that fought for control of Ireland. The eye in the middle of his forehead could cause massive destruction with a single look (I have no idea how). A prophecy that he would be killed by his grandson prompted him to lock up his daughter, Ethniu, so she could never have children, but Cian comes across this tower, is like, “Whoa, total babe…and she’s locked up, so I bet I can score,” and he does. They end up having a brief affair that results in the birth of three sons. Balor attempts to drown the babies, but one survives who grows up to become the god, Lugh. And go figure, Lugh ain’t too happy about his grandpa trying to drown him. He does eventually kill the guy, and who can blame him?

 

Basri—usually written as Baßri, this is the name of the land where Azi Dahaka lived in a super fortified fortress. Not much is really known about it, but if an evil snake creature lives there, the whole land must be dark and scary and evil, too, right? In this universe, I’ve made it into the realm of Ahriman so that it’s like a Zoroastrian Hell.

 

Bifröst—the rainbow bridge of Norse mythology that connects Asgard (the realm of the gods) with Midgard (the realm of humans…you know, Earth). Heimdall, one of the Aesir, constantly watches over it to warn everyone if the giants attack.

 

Cú Chulainn—Lugh’s son and one of the greatest heroes of Irish mythology. Like most heroes of every single mythology, he’s a bit of a player with a massive ego.

 

Daevas—in Zoroastrianism, these are either evil spirits or “false gods.” In my universe, I’ve made them demigods who serve Ahriman.

 

Dagda, the—also called “the good god” because he was good at everything, the Dagda is one of the oldest members of the Tuatha Dé. A benevolent god, he’s often depicted in a somewhat comical way and is often dragging his enormous mallet around in a cart… only the writers of these stories were clearly using symbolism here, if ya know what I mean. As such, he’s depicted as a god of fertility and abundance. Ahem.

His magical cauldron, one of the four treasures of the Tuatha Dé, never emptied, and his magical pigs could be eaten again and again. In this universe, he is the father-figure of the Irish gods and can control the winds, even creating tornadoes when in battle.

 

Dian Cécht—a god of medicine and healing in Irish mythology, and a bit of an asshole, to be honest. When King Nuada loses his arm in battle, Dian Cécht makes him a new one out of silver, which is all peachy, right? Except Dian Cécht’s son, Micah, grows up and is an even better medicine and healing god, because he’s able to make Nuada a new arm out of skin and blood and bone. But Dian Cécht can’t deal with his son being better than him, so he kills him. No, seriously.

 

Druid—druids served many functions among the Celts, including teachers, priests, and magicians who could foretell the future.

 

Falias—one of the four magical cities of the Tuatha Dé in Irish mythology. The Stone of Destiny originated from this city.

 

Findias—one of the four magical cities of the Tuatha Dé in Irish mythology. Nuada’s sword originated from Findias. In my universe, it’s where the spirits of the gods and demigods live after their deaths.

 

Fomorian—a supernatural race in Irish mythology, the Fomorians are mostly known for being the enemies of the Tuatha Dé. But Lugh, one of the most famous Irish gods, is actually half Fomorian through his grandfather (and mother).

 

Freyr—in Norse mythology, Freyr is a member of the Vanir who comes to live with the Aesir in Asgard (along with his sister, Freyja) at the end of a war between the Vanir and Aesir. Freyr is a god of fertility, fair weather, and prosperity.

 

Gorias—one of the four magical cities of the Tuatha Dé. In my universe, some of the Irish allies (such as the Egyptians and Greeks) live here, while others make their new homes in Murias. The Spear of Lugh originated from this city.

 

Gungnir—Odin’s spear. I mean, it’s a spear…what else can I say about it?

 

Gunnr—in Norse mythology, this is a name of one of the Valkyries, who would collect the fallen heroes in battle to bring them to Valhalla.

 

Hades—Greek god of the underworld and brother of Zeus and Poseidon. Hades isn’t really evil, but he can be short-tempered and usually doesn’t have any patience for his brothers’ antics.

 

Heimdallr (Heimdall)—one of the Aesir who watches over the Bifröst to warn everyone if the giants attack. He also possesses the gift of prophecy and has exceptionally good hearing and eyesight.

 

Horus—Egyptian god associated with falcons (which is why he can transform into one in my universe). He’s also associated with kingship.

 

Ifing River­—in Norse mythology, this is a river that separates Asgard from Jötunheim (the realm of giants).

 

Imhullu—in Mesopotamian mythology, this is Marduk’s wind weapon. Imhullu was a net that would create fierce winds when cast.

 

Ishtar—Sumerian goddess of sexual love and warfare. Not really sure how those two attributes got smashed together, so I’m guessing the Sumerians took their fighting really seriously.

 

Jötunheim—in Norse mythology, this is the realm of giants.

 

Lethe—one of the rivers that runs through the Greek underworld and is associated with forgetfulness. It is sometimes called the river of oblivion.

 

Lia Fáil—one of the four treasures of the Tuatha Dé, the Lia Fáil (also known as the

Stone of Destiny) would proclaim the rightful king. It originated from Falias, one of the four magical cities of the Tuatha Dé.

 

Lugh—One of the greatest heroes of Irish mythology, Lugh is half Fomorian (the Tuatha Dé’s bitterest rivals) and half Tuatha Dé. When he arrived on the doorstep of the Tuatha Dé in Tara, they were reluctant to admit him, but he alone could proclaim he was a master carpenter, smith, bard, harper, historian, hero, and magician. He was admitted into their kingdom and earned the epithet, “the one of many skills.” I’ve dubbed him the “master of all things.” Lugh’s spear is also one of the four treasures of the Tuatha Dé, and it plays an important role in the Unbreakable Sword series. His love interest in this story is Badb. There’s some disagreement as to Lugh’s role in Irish mythology; one of the theories is that he was portrayed as a sun god, so I’ve adopted that characteristic for this series.

 

Macha—one of the triune of war goddesses who comprises the Mórrígna. She may be the same goddess as “Morrigan” whose name means “queen of phantoms.” As one of the Mórrígna, she is written into this series as Badb and Nemain’s sister.

 

Marduk—Mesopotamian god and patron of Babylon, he is associated with water and magic.

 

Midgard—in Norse mythology, this is the name for the realm of humans (Earth).

 

Mimir’s Well—Mimir is a god associated with knowledge and wisdom, and even though he’s beheaded during the Aesir-Vanir war, Odin—like the pervy creep he is—carries the severed head around with him, and it conveys wisdom to him. I mean…what the hell?

Mimir has a well that grants wisdom to whomever drinks from it, and this is how Odin loses his eye. He offered it as a sacrifice so he could drink from the well and gain knowledge. Dude…

 

Mjölnir—Thor’s famous hammer. Loki bets the dwarves Sindri and Brokkr that they can’t make something as beautiful as Freyr’s ship or Odin’s spear, and they accept his challenge (demanding his head if he loses). Not wanting to lose his head, he transforms into a fly and bites Brokkr’s eyelid so hard, it bleeds. When Brokkr, who was working the bellows, stops for a moment to wipe his eyes, Sindri has to pull the hammer from the fire, resulting in a shorter handle.

 

Mnemosyne—in Greek mythology, there are two groups of gods: the Titans (older gods) and the Olympians (younger gods) who fight a ten-year civil war. The Olympians win and cast most of the Titans into Tartarus (a deep abyss where the bad guys of the world go for eternal torment. Oh, and the Titans.). Mnemosyne is a Titan, but since there’s not supposed to be a way out of Tartarus, I had her imprisoned in Hades. She is a goddess of memory (which is why we call certain memory aides “mnemonic devices”).

 

Montu—Egyptian god of war associated with falcons and bulls.

 

Murias—One of the four magical cities of the Tuatha Dé. Murias is the city where the Dagda’s Cauldron comes from, and in this series, it is the home of all the Tuatha Dé.

 

Nemain—one of the triune of war goddess who comprises the Mórrígna. We know very little about her, but her name may translate as “frenzy of war.” As one of the Mórrígna, she is written into this series as Badb and Macha’s sister.

 

Nergal—Mesopotamian god of war and pestilence who eventually becomes a god of the underworld as well. He’s clearly multi-talented.

 

Ninurta—Mesopotamian god of victory in war and agriculture. He has an enchanted spear, Sharur.

 

Njörd—in Norse mythology, Njörd is one of the Vanir and is associated with the sea and wind.

 

Nóatún—in Norse mythology, this is Njörd’s home.

 

Odin—oh, Odin. Okay, so he’s the one-eyed All-Father of the Aesir, right? But the guy’s kind of an ass. I mean, he’s a god of wisdom and war, but he gives up an eye just to drink from Mimir’s Well so he can be smarter than everybody else. He literally gets into a bragging match with Thor about how many women he’s seduced (and Thor is his son, so ew…and they’re both married, Odin to Frigg and Thor to Sif. They’re both asses.)

But wait: it gets better. Freyja loves jewelry, and one day, she sees four dwarves making the most beautiful necklace she’s ever seen. The dwarves refuse to sell it but agree to give it to her if she’ll spend one night with each of them. Loki tells Odin, who gets all pissed off about it and orders Loki to steal the necklace. Odin refuses to return it to her—claiming she debased herself by sleeping with the dwarves even though he’s out having kids with giants and the-gods-know what else—unless she agrees to stir up hatred among men and cause all these deadly wars. She accepts his conditions because the bastard stole her necklace.

 

Ogma—Irish god believed to have created a writing script called Ogham. As such, I’ve turned him into a god of poetry and language.

 

Olympus—home of the Greek gods known as the Olympians, with Zeus at the head of the pantheon.

 

Osiris—Egyptian god of the afterlife and underworld and father of Horus.

 

Pabilsag—not much is known about this ancient Mesopotamian god, but he may have been a warrior and healer.

 

Perses—Titan god of destruction.

 

Poseidon—Greek god of the sea and brother of Zeus.

 

Skadi—in Norse mythology, she is a goddess associated with winter and skiing and is married to Njörd. But it’s not a happy marriage as she longs for the mountains if she lives by the sea with him, and he longs for the sea if he lives in the mountains with her. They eventually split because of this.

 

Sif— in Norse mythology, Sif is Thor’s wife. An earth goddess, she is best known for her beautiful blond hair, which Loki infamously cut off as a prank…and not surprisingly, Thor didn’t take it too well and threatened to kill him. Loki got away with his life after promising Thor he’d have a golden…wig?...made for her. The same dwarfs who make Sif’s new hair make Mjölnir as well as several other gifts for the gods.

 

Sumerians—ancient Sumer is the birthplace of human civilization, and was located in present-day Iraq. The Sumerians had a rich, complex polytheistic religion similar to the other pantheons in this series. Sumer was in a region known as Mesopotamia, and the other cultures (Akkad, Babylon, and Assyria) all influenced one another. I often use “Mesopotamia” instead of Sumer in this glossary, because the god, goddess, or place name is found in more cultures than just Sumerian.

 

Svadilfari—so…this is the stallion that fathers Sleipnir, Odin’s eight-legged horse, after Loki transforms into a mare and, um, mates. He and his rider ride around the wall of Asgard to ward off any potential invaders, and I imagine Svadilfari spends most of his time trying to forget that hot mare he hooked up with was really Loki in disguise.

 

Tara—Irish mythological site, specifically a small hill where early settlers built their first structures. I use Tara to refer to all of what is now Ireland.

 

Thor—Norse god of thunder, storms, and fertility, Thor probably shares the top-honor of being the most recognizable Norse god along with his father, Odin. He defends Asgard with his hammer, Mjölnir, and is also known for being a protector of humans. He’s married to Sif and has a short temper but is easily placated.

 

Thrym—in Norse mythology, Thrym is a king of the giants who steals Mjölnir and tries to get Thor and Loki to bring him Freyja in exchange for the hammer. Instead, Thor dresses up as a woman (yeah, apparently, Thrym was blind), and they trick him into getting Mjölnir back.

 

Tuatha Dé Danaan—also known as the Tuatha Dé, this is the name of the race of gods in Irish mythology. It translates as “tribe of the goddess Danu,” who was most likely a fertility goddess. No myths involving Danu still exist.

 

Utukku—in Sumerian mythology, these are evil spirits.

 

Valhalla—one of Odin’s halls. Famously portrayed as having a golden roof, slain warriors are brought to Valhalla by Odin’s Valkyries. Here, they fight each day in preparation for Ragnarok and those who fall again rise each night when they all dine with Odin himself. Peachy afterlife, huh?

 

Váli—one of Odin’s many illegitimate kids, who Odin fathers simply to avenge Balder’s death even though Hödr didn’t mean to kill Balder and is also one of Odin’s sons. See? Odin is an ass.

 

Valkyrie—in Norse mythology, the Valkyries ride winged horses into the battles of Midgard in order to collect the bravest slain warriors. They bring them to Valhalla where they train each day, and if they are killed again, they rise at night to feast with Odin. The slain warriors are preparing for Ragnarok, which seems pretty pointless since everybody is doing to die anyway (except for one man and one woman who supposedly repopulate the earth).

 

Vanaheim—one of the nine realms in Norse mythology and home to the Vanir.

 

Zarathustra—prophet whose teachings form the basis of Zoroastrianism.

 

Zeus—Greek god of sky and thunder and supreme god of the Olympians, Zeus is best known for wielding his lightning bolt and his numerous affairs with both mortal and immortal women.

 

Ziggurat— a rectangular tower with a flat top in Mesopotamia, kind of like a pyramid without the pointy part. Ziggurats sometimes had temples on top of them.

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