Page 55. " His birth-name must be forgotten "

It is relatively common in fantasy literature to give power to names. The concept, drawn from folklore, is based on  the notion of true names,  whereby a person's true name is a powerful magical weapon against them; this seldom applies to objects. In works from Larry Niven's The Magic Goes Away to Andre Norton's Witch World, wizards and witches keep their names secret to keep from their being used against them. In the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett, the Librarian hides his name to keep from being turned back to a man. This concept was also used in the Doctor Who episode The Shakespeare Code.


Page 55. " it all ends in blood feuds. "

A blood feud is a cycle of retaliatory violence, with the relatives of someone who has been killed or otherwise wronged or dishonoured seeking vengeance by killing or otherwise physically punishing the culprits or their relatives. Historically, the word vendetta has been used to mean a blood feud. The word is Italian, and originates from the Latin vindicta (vengeance). In modern times, the word is sometimes extended to mean any other long-standing feud, not necessarily involving bloodshed. In literature, a famous example of a blood feud  is Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, centred on a blood feud between two families in Verona, Italy - Capulet and Montague.

Page 55. " and at the very top, an attic "

Originally, the attic of Georgian houses was reserved as accommodation for the servants and the children. The basement housed the kitchen and pantry; the dining room was located at ground level, while the drawing room - the most important area of the house -  was usually located on the first floor. Bedrooms were on the second floor.

Page 56. " the Crystal Palace radio mast "
Crystal Palace Transmitting Radio mast
GNU Free Documentation LicenseCrystal Palace Transmitting Radio mast - Credit: TV boy

Crystal Palace is a residential area in South London, named from the former local landmark, The Crystal Palace, which occupied the area from 1854 to 1936. The area is located approximately 8 miles south east of Charing Cross, and offers impressive views over the capital. The area  includes one of the highest points in London. Two television transmitter masts make the district a landmark location, visible from many parts of the London area.

Google Map
Page 58. " a thick Arran jumper that "

Aran jumper
Creative Commons AttributionAran jumper - Credit: Lisa Dusseault
The Aran is a style of jumper that takes its name from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. It is sometimes known as a fisherman sweater. A classical fisherman's sweater is a bulky garment with prominent cable patterns on the chest, often cream-colored. Originally the jumpers were knitted using unscoured wool that retained its natural oils (lanolin) which made the garments water-resistant and meant they remained wearable even when wet. It was primarily the wives of island fishermen who knitted the jumpers.

Page 58. " Azerbaijan? The capital's Baku. "

Azerbaijan map
Public DomainAzerbaijan map - Credit: Alfio
Formally the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Until 1991, Azerbaijan was a part of the Soviet Union (USSR). The capital city is Baku and the country shares borders with Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Iran and Turkey. Azerbaijan is a secular and a unitary republic with an ancient and historic cultural heritage. Azerbaijan was the first successful attempt to establish a democratic and secular republic in the Muslim world.


Page 59. " That's where the Zoroastrian faith began "


Farvahar, Persepolis
Public DomainFarvahar, Persepolis - Credit: Roodiparse

 Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster (aka Zarathustra, in Avestan) founded in the early part of the 5th century BCE. The term Zoroastrianism is, in general usage, essentially synonymous with Mazdaism, i.e. the worship of Ahura Mazda, exalted by Zoroaster as the supreme divine authority. The political power of the pre-Islamic Iranian dynasties lent Zoroastrianism immense prestige in ancient times, and some of its leading doctrines were adopted by other religious systems. The Faravahar (or Ferohar) is one of the primary symbols of Zoroastrianism; nowadays it is said to be a reminder of one's purpose in life, which is to live in such a way that the soul progresses towards frasho-kereti, or union with Ahura Mazda, the supreme divinity in Zoroastrianism.  and is believed to be the depiction of a Fravashi (guardian spirit).


Page 60. " the plains east of Bohemia "

 Bohemia  is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands, currently the Czech Republic and with its capital in Prague. In a broader meaning, it often refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia, especially in historical contexts, such as the Kingdom of Bohemia.

Google Map


Page 62. " Pipes or lyre, choral voice or sistrum rattle "


Homer playing the Lyre
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeHomer playing the Lyre - Credit: Urban

The lyre  is a stringed musical instrument well known for its use in classical antiquity and later. The recitations of the Ancient Greeks were accompanied by lyre playing. The lyre of Classical Antiquity was ordinarily played by being strummed with a plectrum, like a guitar or a zither, rather than being plucked, like a harp. The fingers of the free hand silenced the unwanted strings in the chord. The lyre is similar in appearance to a small harp, but with certain distinct differences.

Tabor pipe
Public DomainTabor pipe - Credit: U.S. federal government
The pipe describes a number of musical instruments, historically referring to perforated wind instruments.

A choir, chorale, or chorus is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform.

Sistrum rattle
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSistrum rattle - Credit: Lalupa
A sistrum is a musical instrument of the percussion family, chiefly associated with ancient Iraq and Egypt. The sistrum was a sacred instrument in ancient Egypt. Perhaps originating in the worship of Bast, it was used in dances and religious ceremonies, particularly in the worship of the goddess Hathor.


Page 66. " the key events of the Crusades "


Crusader cavalry
Public DomainCrusader cavalry - Credit: Panotxa

The Crusades were any of the military expeditions, sanctioned by the Pope, undertaken by European Christians in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims.



Page 69. " The books are written in Middle English "

Middle English is the name given to the English Language between 1100 and 1500.

Page 69. " Coptic works on the Egyptian rituals of the deads "

 Coptic is an Afro-Asiatic language, written in the Greek alphabet but descended from ancient Egyptian. It was extinct as a spoken language by about 1600 AD but survives in the Coptic Church. The Egyptian burial customs were very complex and involved rituals and spells.

Page 71. " Rattus norvegicus, sir "


Rattus Norvegicus
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeRattus Norvegicus - Credit: Liftarn

Rattus norvegicus is one of best known and most common rats, also called the brown rat.  With rare exceptions,  the brown rat lives wherever humans live, particularly in urban areas. Although brown rats may carry a number of pathogens  which can result in disease, they are sometimes mistakenly thought to be a major reservoir of bubonic plague, a possible cause of The Black Death. However, the bacterium responsible is commonly endemic in only a few rodent species and is usually transmitted by rat fleas - common rodents include ground squirrels and wood rats. However, brown rats may suffer from plague, as can many non-rodent species including dogs, cats, and humans.


Page 72. " the Medical Institute of Lincoln's Inn "
Lincoln's Inn Gate
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeLincoln's Inn Gate - Credit: Christine Matthews

The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. Lincoln's Inn is situated in Holborn, in the London Borough of Camden; the nearest tube station is Chancery Lane. Lincoln’s Inn comprises of several buildings which are used both by barristers and solicitors and other professional bodies.

Page 72. " from behind a Bunsen burner "


Bunsen burner
Public DomainBunsen burner - Credit: NASA

A Bunsen burner is a gas burner, widely used in scientific laboratories, consisting of a metal tube with an adjustable air valve at the base. It is named after its inventor Robert Wilhelm Bunsen, a German chemist (1811-99).


Page 73. " pentacles and the art of runes "

Runestone in Sweden
Public DomainRunestone in Sweden - Credit: Wiglaf
 Runes are the characters of several alphabets used by ancient Germanic peoples from the 3rd to the 13th century. Among early peoples writing was a serious thing, full of magical power. The Germanic peoples  used a runic alphabet as their form of writing, using it to identify combs or helmets, make calendars, encode secret messages, and mark funeral monuments. Runes were also employed in casting spells, as to gain a kiss from a sweetheart or to make an enemy's gut burst. In casting a spell the writing of the runes was accompanied by a mumbled or chanted prayer or curse, also called a rune, to make the magic work.

Page 73. " to pound out mixtures of incense "


Burning incense sticks
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBurning incense sticks - Credit: David Wilmot

 Incense is an aromatic substance, such as wood or a gum, that is burned to produce a pleasant odour.