Lexember Day Three – Mama Bear

Mother Bear is our concept for today.

We’re going to start with bear, the actual word for it, which is nonggo

You can find this word in only a couple places in modern Bear or even in Old Bear: the Mountains in the far north were originally Nonggofa and now nonggofa means “northern cold” or “inhospitable and cold” or “angry and cold.”

The other place you can find it is in the name of the Mother Bear.


Prɘrta Nonggo, Mother Bear.  Neither of these words are used when talking to your actual mother or an actual bear; and actual bear would be called

Kruimjabrown-sharp, from kruimma (brown, obs., used only in formations now) and mimja, sharp

This is a way of describing things that are not sacred but near the sacred; that’s how even kruimma became a word not used directly. Now one says nuruw, which was once a word for dead leaves,

nurniew, leafs, and –nuruw, dead.


Prɘrta means, in closest translation, mother-est, the most mother, mother above all.  Your own mother would be Prer or prepre. 

This one came out kind of short.

Funerary Rites 33: Leave


There were, at the very least, not literal traps between the Solar in the back left of the downstairs and Senga’s room in the middle right of the upstairs, or at least not new ones.  Senga found that she was holding Erramun’s hand, and she found that he was holding very firmly to that hand.

She closed the door behind them and locked it.  She turned to look at him as he released her hand and dropped to his knees in the middle of her sitting room.  “Mistress.”  His voice sounded rusty; it hitched in the middle of the word.

“Erramun.”  She needed a manual for this.  Aunt Mirabella had clearly not seen fit to provide her with all of the things that she needed for this endeavor.  If it turned out she wasn’t really dead, Senga was going to have come very stern words with her. Continue reading

Lexember Day “Two” – Comfortable?

Today we’re going to move on to COMFORTABLE.

The word in Old Bear come from two words:

Tcha – this word, used almost entirely as a prefix by the time of Old Bear, means “Like, as, or with.”

Spes –

Spes comes from the Before Words word spezzi, which meant the best way to be; as a matter of fact, a few remaining records show that this was considered to be one of the major tenents of the faith of the Sunrise People*

Tcha-spes, like the proper way to be … Chaspis, comfort.

But wait, we don’t want comfort, we want to be comfortable

so we want to add a –fa to the end.  The -fa just means – is this way, or -is capable of being this way.

EXCEPT sfa is sort of an awkward way ot talking

so in words ending in s

it shifts,

thus, we end up with


now, as for pronounciation

first syllable rhymes with chap

second one sounds like piss, but with a zzzz’d out s

and then the third is nearly ‘za, like the end of pizza.



* Once again, our terms are limited by the Bear-centric historical records.  What we can tell – much of this is from hidden Elk records or from mentions in other nations’ histories – is that the Sunrise people were a people either before the spirits choce tribes, or before the spirits were known to people at all.  The Sunrise People were one of three groups – the other two being the  Moonlight People and the Earth People – known to speak the Before Words.



Haunted House 29 – Teamwork

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Trouble


The wagon rumbled on.  Mélanie stared at her Owner and tried to decipher something from his expression.  His eyes were closed. Sometimes he muttered into the gag, but it was nothing that made any sense.  Sometimes his eyes fluttered open, but he didn’t look at her.

Possibly, he was still drugged enough that he thought he’d imagined her there.  Possibly, he was drugged enough that he was seeing pink elephants and purple unicorns and hadn’t seen her at all.

She didn’t know.  So she waited and listened and hoped, held her breath with a Working sitting right on the tip of her tongue in case there was enough of a distraction, praying that Jasper would trust her and let her do what she had to or that, if his plan was already in action, her plan wouldn’t interfere with his in any bad manner.

She hadn’t been walking that long, had she?  She resisted the urge to look up, to twist around to look bout between the brutes’ feet.  Even if she could see the road without getting noticed, she didn’t know the area well enough to recognize any landmarks. She thought, though, that they ought to be almost there.

A groan from Jasper almost made her jump – it was loud, pained, distressed.  She bit her tongue and held still. Continue reading

Hidden Mall 47: Grabbed

The pathways got narrower the next level up – not that the stairway itself, individual treads held up by nearly-invisible cables, wasn’t a nightmare in and of itself – and shakier, and then they had one more stairway to go up, the ceiling looking like a pincushion of cables above them.

The last stairway was right next to a series of bodies, hung by the neck and looking like halloween decorations more than people.  One of them was wearing Abby’s favorite shirt, but it wasn’t her. Couldn’t be her. She was right here. She held a Liv’s hand and swallowed around bile.

The body closest to the stairs moved.  Not the Abby, a stranger, a hand reaching out towards Liv.  

Liv darted away, retching.  “It was dead,” she whispered to herself. “It’s dead.”

Continue reading

#Lexember – Day One (shhh) – “Keep Me Safe.”

Leave me a prompt here – http://www.lynthornealder.com/2018/11/30/lexember-is-coming/ 

We’re going to start with Safe!

This comes from something that is referred to, when linguists talk about it at all, as the Before Words. It’s a common ancestor to several languages, including those that fall under “Bear” – Bear, Cat, and Fox – those that fall under “The Leege” – Deklegion and Haloran, Thuthion and Roasti – and two other sets.

Interestingly, while Elk falls under this, it does so only very remotely and there is a great deal of argument therein.

But back to safe.


ðeckk is from the Before Words, meaning “to look over, observe.”

This became thechk in Oldest Bear*, which means “guard.”

This word split: theach became “protect”, while theek became “observe, study.”

(in both cases, the central vowels are pronounced as two separate vowel sounds)

Old Bear uses toa before a verb to implore or command a non-specific target, such as if one was asking the world to rain.

It uses ro before a verb to suggest it is happening to oneself or one’s group, where one’s “group” is a close-knit – a marriage or siblings or a small team.”

(there is also a personal pronoun for only-I, but it is generally considered rather antisocial to use it, and it is only used in magery/wizardry in situations where one wishes to remove oneself from the group around one and cut off all connections.)

Thus keep me/we safe

toa ro theach

except that we need agreement.

Again, this is asking the world.  So (world) guard me, is toa ro theachow.  


*Old Bear is considered the root language of Bear, Cat, and Fox languages, which it is.  What it is not, linguistically, is any closer to modern Bear than it is to modern Cat or Fox, nor was it begun by the Bear people any more than any other of the two.  Oldest Bear is an older form of that language


Haunted House 28 – Trouble

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Turnabout


Mélanie held her breath as the woman tried to slow down the horses.  Did she need another Working? Did she need a weapon? The last time she’d tried defending herself properly – well, that had ended up with her in this situation, if she was looking at the big picture.  

“Damnit…”  The smaller woman muttered.  “I left something back in town, I’m sure of it.”

“What?”  The bigger woman asked through a yawn.  Yawning was good. Yawning meant that the nothing to worry about, just rest part of Mélanie’s Working was getting through to at least one of them.  “What made you think about that now? We’ve been on the road for an hour, haven’t we?”

“I don’t know.  I just – you know, sometimes I get this sense?”

“Your spider sense.  I remember. You’re not a spider though.  At all. You’re sort of…”

Mélanie mouthed a curse.  Of course the awful woman with have some sort of magic power against being tampered with.  It couldn’t just go smoothly, could it? Continue reading

Funerary Rites 32: Control


“I have to ask again, are you an idiot?”

“You don’t have  to be an asshole.  I know how Keeping works, you giant shit, so you can back off and just assume I’m not asking or talking about the bond.  Obviously you’re protective of her.  Obviously you have to obey her.  That has nothing to do with the way you’re looking at her right now.”  Ezer rolled his eyes and flapped that away with a wave of his hand. “Anyway.  There’s a job.  It’s a recon, and if you, mister, can listen and follow a plan, then we could use you.  If you can’t, then you’re staying back here.”

“You can’t give me orders,” Erramun snarled. Continue reading

On the Edge

They had always lived on the edge.

Iai had heard of other families where they did not; on occasion, they had wandered inland and met such families.  They traded in things that one could farm in a stable, calm environment; they sold things that required land and water in different ratios and which often would not do well quite so close to an edge.

But Iai’s family lived on the edge.  Their home was built such that if one walked out onto the roof, in one direction would be the inland, and in the other direction, one would be looking down over the edge into the river far below.   Their front porch let one sit with one’s toes dangling off into the air.

Of course, there was not much time for such things.  There were always the iaini-bird eggs to gather, down along the thin edges of cliff where only Iai’s family and others like them could make their way.  There were the ronuno and apree herb-plants to collect, those things that wanted the droppings of the iaini-birds and the misted air from the waterfall below.  There were the nets to drop down, down, down, to haul back up full of lost goods from upriver, full of fish and shellfish and all sorts of goodies.
Then there was all that to trade to the inlanders for their mutton and chicken and grain, things that could not grow on cliffs or hanging off the edge, like Iai, like Iai’s brothers Ronu and Pree.  The cycle of collect and trade, collect and trade worked like their safety lines, like the railing on the porch and on the roof – it was a bit frayed, a bit thin at times, but in the end, they managed to keep from falling over the edge.
But, feet on a ledge barely wide enough to be seen, leaning down into the iaini-bird nest to gather eggs and ronuno, Iai never forgot exactly how close that edge was.

Written to Oct. 18’s Thimbleful Thursday Challenge

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Hidden Mall 46: Goodbye

They all stared off into space for a moment, thinking – or at least Abby was – about being betrayed by one of their own, by someone who looked just like their best friend, the boy they liked – or themselves.  Abby broke the silence, unable to stand contemplating that any longer.

“So what about the pendant -”  She meant to scoop one of them out of her neckline, but both of them tangled together.  “The woman at the first booth, the one Liv sold a regret to, she gave me this.” Continue reading