Kari & Doug takes place in (insert shocked gasp here) a world that's not our own. As such, there is a fairly large number of terms that our protagonists take for granted, that may not make sense to the average reader. So here goes.
- A village in the Outer Realms, characterized by its inhabitants' flair for eccentric headgear and the well-known "Arbenheithut Spiced Oatmeal Derby," an event that occurs once a decade, whereby oatmeal chefs from across the continent gather in an effort to make the world's greatest spiced oatmeal. The winning entry is declared the greatest oatmeal in the universe until such time as the next competition. The village is also known for its Riddlist beliefs and its itching powder exports.
Arbenheithut is also known for its isolationism. Outside of the Oatmeal Derby, the village magically conceals itself from all but its own citizens and winners of the Derby. None except the Riddlist elders of the village know the reasoning for this.
Arbenheithut is also home to a strong magical tradition. The magically inclined among the Arbenheithutians are the ruling class of the village, with raw magical ability creating the power structure. A special importance is also placed on twins, in honour of the village's founders.
The citizens of Arbenheithut traditionally worship the goddesses Krysa, Dheela, and Phrex.
- Basteglon, Sacred Rubber Chicken of
- Riddlist holy artifact, lost since before the founding of Arbenheithut. An object steeped in mystery, and reputed to be an item of great power. Thought by those among the Pragmatist sect of the Riddlists to contain the answer to the Riddle of Ultimate confusion. Thus, this goup sees the chicken as a holy grail of sorts.
- The tallest man to ever exist, who stood at 23'7". He is venerated by followers of the Billian religion.
- Billian Order, the
- Official religion of the Hidden Village of the Descendents of Bill, outlawed in the MDoCPP. It involves much veneration of Bill's way of life, in attempts to someday reach his full height through spiritual enlightenment. Followers are said to grow with their faith in Bill, with the most pious reaching a full height of 23'6".
- Council of Etiquette
- Ruling body of the Kingdom of Manners. The seats of the Council are occupied by the hereditary rulers of the Houses which govern the various territories of the Kingdom, with each House representing its own branch of well-mannered behaviour. As a governing body, the Council is concerned mainly with the classification and dispersal of proper manners in all events. When the Kindom is at peace, the ruling monarch is outranked by the Council with regards to policy. In wartime, however, the power of the Council is diminished, as the monarch is in charge of the Kingdom's army.
- Hidden Village of the Descendents of Bill, the (aka Billton)
- A village nestled in the Land of Trees Taller Than Bill. Residents range in average height between 7'8" and 13'3". Life follows a strict Billian Code, a life of simplicity and pious veneration, with Billian holy days as days of rest.
Deities worshipped in the Hidden Village include Grug, Kilane, Phrex, and Bill (though the latter is not a member of the non-Billian pantheon).
- Kingdom of Manners, the
- Realm on the eastern edge of the continent, dedicated to the perfection of etiquette at all costs. The prevalent role of chivalry and other well-mannered acts (according to the standards set forth by the Council of Etiquette) have infuriated the MDoCPP for centuries, and open warfare over which realm is better behaved has recently been reported in some border states.
The system of succession for the crown of the Kingdom is an interesting one. Generations ago, the founders of the great Houses which rule the various provinces of the Kingdom laid out a rotating monarchy. A set progression of one House to the next in terms of leadership was devised, and has been in place since. At the time of the monarch's death, the heir to the seat in the Council of Etiquette from the House next in line is crowned as monarch. Assassination attempts upon Mannerian monarchs is rare, as such would be considered rather rude. Not to mention that even the most discreet assassination tarnishes the image of the House found to have produced the assassin.
The gods worshipped in the Kingdom with the greatest frequency are Mefli, Kilane, and Dheela.
- Monarchist Domain of Correctly Political Perceptions, the (aka the MDoCPP)
- The realm on the western edge of the continent that strives towards political correctness in everything they do. Seeing as politically correct terms are sometimes prohibitively long (eg the name of the Domain), a dialect of acronyms and compound words has evolved. This so-called "Newspeak*" allows the populace to communicate in a much more concise way, with the added bonus of coded transmissions due only to dialect.
Within the MDoCPP, Krysa and Mefli recieve the lion's share of worship.
- Outer Realms, the
- A small group of city-states and hidden villages on the southern landmass of the continent.
- Pilgrimage, the
- Arbenheithutian tradition which functions as a banishment and sacrifice to the goddess Krysa. For the Pilgrimage, one citizen is selected as Kilane's chosen and barred from returning until the unfortunate can return bearing a token from the chief god's shrine in the Schlep Empire. The Pilgrimage is never successful, almost always fatal, and amuses the ice-goddess immensely. A citizen is sent on the Pilgrimage once every ten years, at the exact midpoint of two Arbenheithut Spiced Oatmeal Derbies.
- A search for the answer to the Riddle of Ultimate Confusion, a mind-puzzle dating to the era of the long-past Tottemen Empire. Two sects exist within. First are the Introspectionists, a group who looks within for the answer, using logic to find the elusive solution. The second sect are known as the Pragmatists, who seek the solution without, attempting to find the legendary Rubber Chicken of Basteglon.
- Schlep Empire, the
- Mysterious realm on the northern edge of the continent, sealed off from the rest of the world, and generally enigmatic.
- House Settines (SET-in-eez)
- Largest House in the greater scheme of the Kingdom of Manners' nobility, reigning House of the southernmost province in the realm. Settines occupies the seat of Table Manners in the Council of Etiquette. It is currently the next House in line to hold the throne of the Kingdom, a matter of worry for the current High seat. This is because his heir and daughter has left the House to become a mercenary. Normally, this sort of situation would result in an assassinated heir, as death is the only way to leave the House. Unfortunately, the heir-turned-mercenary has proven to be far too able a warrior for any assassin sent by the House.
The patron of the House is Krysa.
- Enigmatic beings who live in the forest marking the border between the Kingdom of Manners and the Outer Realms. None know their motivations. Recently, a small group seems to have left this forest to seek fortunes abroad. The Kingdom of Manners is watching these so-called refugees closely.
The Tiger-folk are known to worship a single god, though none outside their number knows which. Most speculate that their worship lies with Grug or Phrex.