The province of Bian Jing is inspired in Mongolia, Huo is inspired in China, Hawa is inspired in the Arab region, and the water tribes are inspired in the Celtic culture. The book is fantasy and completely fictional, but I used some local elements to spice it up.  

In this section you will find words used in the book typical of the mentioned cultures, which are not names or places.

Arisaid: Wrapped garment typical of Celtic women, still used in Scotland in occasions.

Borts: Salted meat Mongolian style. The meat is pulverized after being dried out by salt and the elements.

Bride price: Present of money, valuable objects or properties given to a bride´s parents by the groom.

Erhu: Musical instruments similar to a violin, but with only two strings.

Ger: Tent characteristic of Mongolia. Its construction is very peculiar because it doesn´t need internal columns (for normal sizes) or external poles. The Russian version of them are called yurts, the design is similar but not exactly the same. They are very efficient.

Jian: Name given by the Chinese to their swords. There is not one type, but many. The common characteristic is that they are double-edged swords. Single-edged (curved) swords are called Dao.

Kumis: Alcoholic beverage made out of mare´s milk, typical of Mongolia. It has a very low graduation, about 4%. It is considered to have great nutritional values. In the area both adults and kids drink it.

Kang: Platform typical of the north of China. It usually takes a whole wall and it is six feet wide. Small coils are burnt underneath and the surface is kept warm. Most of the life of a family in winter happens over the kang. They eat, sleep, and the kids play games sat over the platform.

Mahr: Present of money, valuable objects or properties given to a bride by the groom to be used at her sole discretion. She has the right to use it and sell it (or expend it in case of money) without further consultation.

Nanmu: (From Wikipedia) Nanmu was used in architectural woodworking and boat-building due to its resistance to decay. The wood dries with little splitting or warping. After drying the wood is of medium-density and does not change shape. Nanmu can be sanded to a mirror finish.

The Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City is the inspiration for the Hall of Heyi. It used to have six columns made out of nanmu.

Speculum mirror: The action of this tale is located in a parallel world, but at about 1000 BC in relation to China and its technology. Many things are out of era, but I tried to stay around that date (+-300 years). At that time there was no glass in China, they were in the bronze period. Mirrors were done out of polished bronze or speculum (alloy done with 2/3 of bronze and 1/3 of tin), the latter was polished to be highly reflective. Tin was hard to find though and these mirrors was used only by royalty.

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