Euphemisms

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“She’s had one too many baths, ehh?”

The constellations of Mernvan include one very important figure: Saem, the bather. Throughout most of the year, Saem is an easily identified constellation in the northern skies. Religiously, Saem is associated with Har’Shaem, a night goddess of physical love and desire.

Calling a women a “bather” or saying she takes “too many baths” thus has nothing to do with her personal hygiene, but instead either her promiscuity or profession, that of a prostitute.

Depending on the region, this could be a simple jest ( Urn, Lurnog, Nivehal ), a mild insult unfit for casual dinner conversation (Urn,Lesser Farnia), or something that could start a bar fight, especially if the topic is the listeners mother ( Hul – people have been hung for less ).

“Two bags.”

Larger cargo airships have two gas envelopes helping to keep them aloft, and calling one a “two bags” is merely a coarse sailor term of affection for the ship. Since the envelopes are typically called “bags” anyway, this is hardly a stretch.

The other possible connotations of the phrase are not lost on port denizens, and many a foul joke uses this to great effect. In the most northern areas ( Migiland ) a particularly well-endowed or promiscuous sailor may be called an “old two bags.”

“The ink has gone sour in the hand.”

“Engine’s gone green.”

Eldritch Engines are finicky devices, requiring well crafted components of high tolerances to operate efficiently. The slightest impurities in the materials used can cause strange effects and alter the engine irreparably. The most common impurity in the casing used for the conduits is aelmyug, a bluish mineral composed largely of Earth and some Metal. It has a high specific affinity, and is nearly ubiquitous in the raw amalgam quarries.

If the concentration of aelmyug rises above approximately 0.2% in the finished casings, it bonds to the amalgam microstructures and absorbs, rather than channels, eldritch currents. This in turns transmutes the casing into rigshalgam, an energy dense alloy with a distinct iridescent green hue. The process is slow, and can be witnessed in person if one is looking at an engine running under such conditions. It is generally described as a dark greenish “mold” growing over the surface of the device.

The problem, of course, with an engine made of rishalgam is that it is highly unstable. Once the ratio of rishalgam to amalgam reaches a certain point, a cascading decomposition of the casing is inevitable, releasing all the stored energy in a fiery purple blast of eldritch lightning.

In short, saying that the situation is that the “engine has gone green” means catastrophic failure is imminent. This fact, among other coincidental factors, means that a light purple is the preferred color for ‘okay’, ‘go’, or ‘situation normal.’

Euphemisms

Chronicles of Mervan XorinDelfar