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Rolfin's Orb
Book 8 - Opal

Glossary for 8th of 12 book series Some of the people, foods, places and things  mentioned in this glossary will be found in other books in the series. Some will not. Some are merely mentioned in passing and have no important part in story, however, I included all characters, including animals, into this glossary. Some will go on to be important in future books, but since they aren’t yet, they’ve been listed in the minor category column.


Main Characters:

Angus McAllister – Fiona’s Uncle – her father’s older brother – age 50, lives in Inveralba. Light brown hair with gray, blue eyes. Lives in a croft and has lots of cats.

Callum McAllister – 10 years old, brown eyes, dark brown hair, cousin to Fiona and Elspet

Elspet McAllister – 10 years old, reddish hair and blue eyes, cousin to Fiona and Callum, artistic, draws

Fiona Isabella McAllister – 11 years old, blonde hair, green eyes, lives in Inveralba and is a descendant of King Kegan and King Dugan.

Mairi Anna Ferguson McAllister – Fiona’s mum, makes honey from heather and bluebell and thistle.  Sells it in the shops to tourists and also sends it off to Edinburgh and Glasgow. She also is a good cook and works part time at McKenzie’s bakery in town.  Age 35, brown hair and fern green eyes

Drayton Steele – Descendant of King Dugan and Princess Isabella and owner of the necklace stolen from King Kegan – Age 19. Son of Shardow Steele and Penelope McAllister.

Jack Thomson/ Artur - Pearl – Pretending to be a brother of Johnny. He is actually Artur, one of King Kegan’s 12 men and hid the 3rd jewel, the pearl, in Seychelles. He is from Arabia with dark hair and eyes, about 32 years old.

Jacob Thomson/Gamlas – Opal – One of the 12 men who hid the 8th stone, opal, in Nepal. From Burell in Arabia, with Arab features – olive skin, dark eyes and hair. He is 26 years old.

Jared Thomson/Chessa – Amber – One of the 12 men, who hid the 7th stone, amber, in Mexico. From Burell in Arabia, with long dark brown hair that he wears in a pony tail, brown eyes. He is 28 years old.

Jason Thomson/Buntabi – Ruby – One of the 12 men, who hid the 6th stone, the ruby, in Jordan. From Burell in Arabia, with African heritage, so he has short, curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark brown skin. He is 31 years old.

Jeffrey Thomson/ Kitar -  Emerald – One of the 12 men, who hid the 4th stone, the emerald, in Yukon. From Burell in Arabia, but with Germanic descent, so has blond hair and blue eyes. His mother was Arabic, but his father was of Germanic blood who came to that land. He is 39, the oldest of the 12 men.

Jesse Thomson/ Pond - Spinel -  One of the 12 men, who hid the 2nd jewel, spinel in Iceland. From Burell in Arabia so he has dark hair and brown eyes. His is 27 years old

Jimmy Thomson/Cowan – Black Obsidian -Pretending to be the brother of Johnny. Is actually Cowan, one of King Kegan’s 12 most trusted me and he hid the 1st jewel in Hydra, Greece. He is from Arabia – so he has dark hair and eyes.

Johnny Thomson/ Alroy Cathmore - Posing as a tourist from London, come to Inveralba to fish and hunt – Age 37 – He has light brown hair and brown eyes – his ancestry is Persian. King Kegan’s scribe and author of the book the children found.

Julian Thomson/ Edwi – Topaz – Hid the jewel in Tasmania, one of the 12 men who hid the 5th stone, Topaz– has black hair and dark brown eyes and is 28 years old


Minor Characters:

Abbik – 8 year old monk living at Sikkipong Monastery in Nepal. Shaved head, brown eyes.

Princess Anna – Daughter of King Kegan, wife of Robert of Ferguson in Scotland and mother of Jorbi. Also ancestor of Fiona and Mairi. 14 at time of capture by King Dugan. 15 when she gave birth to Jorbi.

Argulig – A trow from Orkney. One of Phelan’s spies. Ugly, stunted creature with a squished face, long arms, yellowed toenails, and is furry. He can make himself invisible. Phelan takes over his body when necessary.

Mr. and Mrs. Argyll – Neighbors of Angus in Inveralba

Charlemagne – Charlemagne (742 or 747 – 28 January 814) (also Charles the Great[1]; from Latin, Carolus Magnus or Karolus Magnus), son of King Pippin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, was the king of the Franks from 768 to 814 and king of the Lombards from 774 to 814. He was crowned Imperator Augustus in Rome on Christmas Day, 800 by Pope Leo III and is therefore regarded as the founder of the Holy Roman Empire (as Charles I). Through military conquest and defence, he solidified and expanded his realm to cover most of Western Europe and is today regarded as the founding father of both France and Germany and sometimes as the Father of Europe. His was the first truly imperial power in the West since the fall of Rome.

Cloudwaltzer - Dragon that belonged to Lehimna, Zerahemna and Lephimah, black.

Nellie McAllister Crawford – Fiona’s great aunt on her father’s side, age 72, sister to Catriona and Penelope, oldest of the 3 sisters. Aunt of Drayton Steele

King Dugan - Descendant of King Bartolf, evil king, who lived in Zanaad, North Africa. Father of Ithgar and Jorbi (birth father).

Princess Isabella - Daughter of King Kegan, wife of Colin of Ferguson and mother of Ithgar. 16 at time of capture by King Dugan. 17 when she gave birth to Ithgar.

Kandarash – His name means ‘eagle who soars’; he is the head monk and spiritual leader of the Sikkipong Monastery in Nepal. Elderly, shaved head, tanned, wears sandals

King Kegan  - Descendant of King Rolfin – good king, he lived in Burill on the Arabian Peninsula and left, taking his family to Scotland and built Castle Athdara. Father of Isabella, Anna, Cerdic, Gelis, Rayad and Gilian. Married to Queen Sarmantha. Died at age 43. Son of King Abbasan and his wife, Queen Nadia.

Lephimah – Wizard, Son of Zerahemna, lives in Xilia and is now caretaker of Cloudwaltzer, the black dragon.

Marmaduke – One of Angus’s cats

Alastair McAllister – Younger brother of Elspet, 3 years old, brown hair, brown eyes

Anne McGregor McAllister – Callum’s mother - knits gloves and sweaters, uses Elspet’s mum’s wool and sells the things she knits to tourists that pass through and stop in the village shops. 36 years old, brown eyes, mousy brown hair

Catriona McKenzie McAllister – Elspet’s mother. She has a spinning wheel and spins wool from their sheered sheep. Spins it into wool, cards it, and then she sells the wool to knitters etc. She knits things for her own family Age 29, red hair, blue eyes

Elsie McAllister - Runs McDougal’s B&B

Jamie McAllister Elspet’s father. He herds sheep and a few highland cows. Age 32

Malcolm McAllister – Callum’s father – is a gillie. When people come to the highlands to shoot grouse, partridge, or hunt a deer, or want to go fishing, he takes them and shows them where the best places are. He has a few hounds that he uses to scare out the grouse. He often brings home fish he’s caught in the loch and streams for his family and also venison. Age 38, brown hair, brown eyes

Malcolm McAllister – Younger brother of Elspet, 6 yrs old, red hair, blue eyes, also called Wee Malcolm

Murdoch McAllister – Callum’s younger brother, age 5, dark brown hair, brown eyes

Shona McAllister – Callum’s sister, age 2, fair hair, brown eyes

Chief Wizard Nahimena of Xilia- current chief wizard

Wizard Phelan - King Dugan’s evil wizard, wizard of Xilia

King Rolfin - Owner of the original orb – good king, brother of Bartolf. Lived originally in Hadrumetum, near Carthage, but fled and moved to Burill on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula(Yemen)

Samothi – Was chief wizard of Xilia befire Nahimena

Queen Sarmantha – Wife of King Kegan, mother of Princess Anna, Princess Isabella, Prince Cerdic, Princess Gelis, Prince Rayad and Princess Gilian. Comes from Viking stock, born in Norway.  Her father, King Aluric, did trading with Kegan’s father, Abbasan, and when Kegan and she met, they fell in love. She had fair hair, violet eyes, and was 35 when she died. Her mother was Queen Finna.

Tam Sinclair – a man who lives in Orkney

Penelope McAllister Steele – Drayton’s mother and wife of Shardow Steele, who is now dead, age 51. Youngest of the 3 sisters, Nellie McAllister Crawford and Catriona McAllister McAllister

Shardow Steele – Drayton’s father – dead

Tompak – Another monk at monastery

Yeti – snow monster that lives in mts of Nepal

Wizard Zerahemna - King Kegan’s wizard, from Xilia, long nose, eyes sparkle like diamonds, but his iris are white, long dark brown hair that hangs down his back, wears purple hat and robe decorated with symbols from Xilia



Castle Athdara -Built by King Kegan on the shores of Loch Doon near today’s Inveralba

Barcelona, Spain - Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia, an autonomous region in Spain. It is located in the comarca of Barcelonès, along the Mediterranean coast (41°23N 2°11E) between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs. It is 160 km (100 mi) south of the Pyrenees mountain range. Legend attributes the Carthaginian foundation of Barcino to Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal. About 15 BC, Romans redrew the town as a castrum (a Roman military camp) centred on the "Mons Taber", a little hill nearby the contemporary city hall (Plaça de Sant Jaume). The Roman Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino was outshone by the province's capital Tarragona but some important Roman remains are exposed under the Plaça del Rei, entrance by the city museum, Museu d'Història de la Ciutat and the typically Roman grid-planning is still visible today on the map of the historical centre, the Barri Gótic ("Gothic Quarter"). Some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated in the cathedral butted up against them [1]; the basilica La Seu is credited to have been founded in 343. The city was conquered by the Visigoths in the early 5th century, by the Moors in the early 8th century, reconquered from the emir in 801 by Charlemagne's son Louis who made Barcelona the seat of Carolingian "Spanish Marches" (Marca Hispanica), a buffer zone ruled by the Count of Barcelona. Barcelona was still a Christian frontier territory when it was sacked by Al-Mansur in 985.

Burill – name of King Rolfin’s kingdom in the Arabian peninsula after he moved from Hadrumetum

Mt. Everest – Mount Everest is the highest mountain on Earth, meaning its summit is higher above sea level than that of any other mountain. Its summit ridge marks the border between Nepal and China. The summit of Mount Everest is rising at a rate of around 2.5 centimeters per year.

Frankincense Trail - Frankincense and myrrh, aromatic resins from spindly trees, were once highly prized from Rome to India, and deemed essential for a host of uses ranging from religious to cosmetic to medicinal. According to Christian belief, the three wise men who traveled to Bethlehem to worship the Christ Child brought gold, frankincense and myrrh as gifts. Thanks to the domestication of the camel, a complex trade network evolved to transport the priceless resins from the remote valleys, where the trees grew, to the markets where kings and emperors vied for the finest grades.

Haggis Haunt Water Park – Fiona, family and friends go here to have fun and play.

Himalayas - The Himalaya is a mountain range in Asia, separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. By extension, it is also the name of the massive mountain system which includes the Himalaya proper, the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush, and a host of minor ranges extending from the Pamir Knot. The name is from Sanskrit himālaya, a tatpurusha compound meaning "the abode of snow" (from hima "snow", and ālaya "abode"; see also Himavat). Together, the Himalaya mountain system is the planet's highest and home to all fourteen of the world's highest peaks: the Eight-thousanders, including Mount Everest. To comprehend the enormous scale of Himalaya peaks, consider that Aconcagua, in the Andes, at 6,959 m, is the highest peak outside the Himalaya, while the Himalaya system has over 100 separate mountains exceeding 7,200 m. The Himalaya stretches across five nations, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. It is the source of three of the world's major river systems, the Indus Basin, the Ganga-Brahmaputra Basin and the Yangtze Basin. An estimated 750 million up people live in the watershed area of the Himalayan rivers, which also includes Bangladesh.

Sikkipong Monastery – Has huge gates with two wooden doors, massive stone wall encloses it, lots of woodwork, silverwork and goldwork.

Inveralba -Village where Fiona and her family and friends live in the highlands of Scotland

Loch Doon- a loch (lake) near Inveralba, Scotland

Nepal – The Kingdom of Nepal is a landlocked Himalayan country in South Asia, bordering the People's Republic of China to the north and India to the south, east and west. Nepal has the distinction of being the world's only Hindu state, with over eighty percent of the people following this faith. For a relatively small country, the Nepali landscape is uncommonly diverse, ranging from the humid Terai in the south to the lofty Himalayas in the north. Nepal boasts eight of the world's ten highest mountains, including Mount Everest on the border with China. Kathmandu is the capital and largest city. The exact origin of the name Nepal is uncertain, but the most popular understanding is that it is derived from Ne (holy) and pal (cave).

Truro, Cornwall, England - The bustling cathedral city of Truro is a city for all seasons and for all interests. From the flowing rivers to the picturesque Georgian streets, the 18th and 19th century town houses and the magnificent Victorian Cathedral that dominates the city there is something for everyone. Truro derives its name from the Cornish Tri-veru, meaning three rivers, and developed as a tin port between the Truro River and the rivers Kenwyn and Allen. There has been a town here since the 12th century when Richard Lucy, Chief Justice of England in the reign of Henry II, built a castle at the top of what is now Castle Street. Remains of the castle were found during excavations for the cattle market that was held there until recent years. It is now the site of the Courts of Justice, the County Courts for Cornwall. By the 14th century Truro was an important inland port and one of the five stannary towns in Cornwall. Copper and tin were assayed and stamped here twice a year and then shipped from the port. The Black Death arrived in the late 14th century and with death and a mass exodus the town was neglected. In both the 17th and 18th centuries Truro was quite industrialized with tin smelting, an iron foundry, pottery, a tannery and carpet and wool making. The rivers were essential to all this industry and it would have been a busy place. It was in the 18th and 19th centuries that Truro flourished. Tin prices increased and wealthy mine owners built elegant town houses. Truro was called the London of Cornwall and the Assembly Rooms on High Cross, with a theatre as well, were the centre of this high society. Queen Victoria granted Truro city status in 1877, three years before the laying of the cathedral's foundation stones. The cathedral was built on the site of the 16th century parish church.

Xilia - Kingdom where the wizards come from.  The rivers look like gold when the sun shines because they are filled with tiny bubbles of air. The leaves are perfect shaped and no insects eat them. The flowers are brilliant and the birds sing perfect melodies. All animals live with the wizards in peace and harmony and it is a land of fruit and honey on every table.                                                                                                                      .


Food -

Aalu wala – cubed potatoes with chili, cumin, coriander, lamb, beef, chicken, mutton and pork

Anise -An annual, aromatic Mediterranean herb in the parsley family, cultivated for its seedlike fruits and the oil obtained from them and used to flavor foods, liqueurs, and candies.

Chili -The pungent fresh or dried fruit of any of several cultivated varieties of capsicum, used especially as a flavoring in cooking. Also called chili pepper.

Cinnamon - the dried aromatic inner bark of certain tropical Asian trees in the genus Cinnamomum, especially C. verum and C. loureirii, often ground and used as a spice.

Cloves – A flower bud of this plant, used whole or ground as a spice.

Coriander - The seedlike fruit of this plant, used whole or ground as a flavoring for food and as a seasoning, as in curry powder.

Cumin - The seedlike fruit of this plant used for seasoning, as in curry and chili powders.

Dal Bhat – A dish of rice and lentils

Dudhbari – Sweetened milk balls in pistachio flavored cream with syrup

Garlic- An onionlike plant (Allium sativum) of southern Europe having a bulb that breaks up into separable cloves with a strong distinctive odor and flavor.

Ginger - A plant (Zingiber officinale) of tropical southeast Asia having yellowish-green flowers and a pungent aromatic rhizome

Momos – Tibetan dumplings

Pulau – rice, onions, cinnamon, cashews and sultanas

Sikarni – sweet spiced yogurt with pistachios

Tumeric - an East Indian perennial herb (Curcuma longa) of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) with a large aromatic deep yellow rhizome


Animals –

Tibetan snow cock – a bird that lives in the Himalayas

Himalayan monal – a pheasant that lives in the Himalayas

Snow leopard - the snow leopard is strikingly different from the common leopard. Although it has similar rosettes and broken-spot markings, they appear less well defined and are spaced further apart. The fur is long and woolly and helps protect the cat from the extreme cold of its generally mountainous habitat. The general ground coloration of the cat is predominantly grey with brownish/yellow tinges on its flanks and lighter, often white fur on its belly, chest and chin. The head, which sports small ears and a distinctive heavy brow, is rounded and comparatively small for its body size, which can be up to 1.3 meters length and weigh up to around 70kg. The long tail, which can measure as much as 900cm, helps the cat balance as it moves over rugged and often snowy terrain. The powerful limbs of the snow leopard are relatively short for its body size and are supported by large, powerful paws. The snow leopard is to be found in the mountainous regions of central Asia, ranging in the north from Russia and Mongolia down through China and Tibet into the Himalayan regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Its main prey is that of wild sheep such as Bharal (Blue Sheep) and Argali, goats, including Markhor and Ibex. Other prey taken includes Musk Deer, marmots, various species of hare and birds

Wolf -   A carnivorous mammal of the family Canidae, especially the gray wolf of northern regions that typically lives and hunts in hierarchical packs and prey on livestock and game animals.

Goral – a goat antelope of the Himalayas

Yak – a wild shaggy haired ox


Plants –

Himalayan poppies – blue flowers that grow in the Himalayas

Saxifrage – The common name for several members of the Saxifragaceae, a family of widely varying herbs, shrubs, and small trees of cosmopolitan distribution. They are found especially in north temperate zones and include many arctic and alpine species. The true saxifrages (genus Saxifraga and some species of other genera), also called rockfoils, comprise a large group of low rock plants including several species cultivated as rock-garden and border plants—e.g., the strawberry geranium ( S. sarmentosa ) native to E Asia, which propagates by runners like the strawberry.

Sheep sorrel - a medium-sized plant with tiny reddish flowers and arrow-shaped leaves; flowers tiny, reddish, clustered on slender stalk up to 20 inches long, in late spring; fruits tiny, inconspicuous, yellow-brown, in papery wrappers; leaves arrow-shaped, pointy-tipped, up to four inches long, with a pair of narrow, pointed lobes pointing outward from the leaf’s base.

Wood sorrel – known as Khatta-mitha in Nepal – medium-sized plant with small three-parted leaf and heart-shaped leaflets; flowers yellow (other edible species' flowers have other colors), less than 3/4 inch across, radially-symmetrical; leaves three-parted palmate-compound, less than one inch across, on long, slender stem; slender stalk usually up to 8 inches tall.

Lady’s slipper – Wildflower in the orchid family

Fein-kamal- Wildflower that grows just below the snow line

Primula – Herb, ornamental flower, blooms in spring with purple, yellow, white, red and pink flowers. Grows in high alpine climates.

Cobra lily - The Cobra Lilly is one on the most prized of all plants in a Carnivorous collection. Developing huge pitchers up to 60cm long the Cobra makes a very impressive specimen plant. The Cobra Lily was given its name because of the unusual pitchers that curve upwards, has a rounded head and has two projections coming from the mouth that appear like fangs.  The Cobra Lilly is truly one of nature’s wonders. The Cobra Lilly comes from areas where cool running water permeates the ground and therefore the plant is not very tolerant of high temperature. Cobras are considered challenging to grow and much is dependant on where the plant is kept.


Odds and Ends

Lime green tourmaline - Tourmalines are precious stones displaying a unique splendor of colors. According to an ancient Egyptian legend this is the result of the fact that on the long way from the Earth’s heart up towards the sun, Tourmaline travelled along a rainbow. And on its way it collected all the colors of the rainbow. This is why nowadays it is called the "Rainbow gemstone”.   However, the name "Tourmaline” has been derived from the Singhalese expression "tura mali”, which translates as "stone of mixed colors.” The very name already refers to the unique spectrum of colors displayed by this gemstone, which is second to none in the realm of precious stones. Tourmalines are red and green, range from blue to yellow. Often they show two or more colors and are cherished for this parti- or multi-colored appearance. There are Tourmalines which change their color from daylight to artificial light, others display chattoyance. No Tourmaline exactly resembles another one: this gemstone shows many faces and is thus excellently suited to match all moods and tempers. It does not come as a surprise, then, that ever since ancient days it has been attributed with magical powers. Tourmaline is supposed to be an especially powerful influence on love and friendship, lending them permanence and stability.

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