Martian hounds have a particularly keen sense of smell because they have a trio of noses spread equidistant across their faces, allowing them to simultaneously catch aromas in three directions.
The watering holes of Ledgrim, where young people are sent to fetch water for their clans, are notorious places to meet, socialize, and flirt. Young women who have not yet reached graduation into full-fledged warrior status primp and will sometimes wear full armor to the springs and pools, so that they might impress the males they meet with their martial prowess and their ability to defend and protect their potential mates.
When someone is “early to the water” they have attempted to get a jump on the competition so that they might have more time with a potential suitor. This phrase has grown to include anyone who gets an early start, and is not dissimilar to the earthly phrase, “the early bird catches the worm.”
There are several types of bees that roam the surface of Mars, but the honey of the striped bee is particularly sought after because of its smooth flavor and particular sweetness. Hives can be found hidden amidst rocky crevices and declivities, and the bees can be smoked out long enough to remove the honey without being attacked by the swarm. Originally a simile evolved comparing the sweetness of this honey on the tongue to the pleasantness of someone’s beauty or a longed for sight, such as water to a thirsty man or a landmark to a lost traveler. Eventually, this phrase was shortened.
This term indicates a woman who is married to one’s father, but who is not your biological mother. In the case where a biological mother is slain in battle or in defense of Ledgrim, the companion mothers will take up the rearing of the bereaved children.
It is likely that the companion mother will already have been involved in the upbringing of these children since they are often called to fill in when companion wives are assigned to various watches and outposts which take them away from their family.
Rattle Bones is a common Martian dice game that is played with five eight-sided dice carved with various symbols and runes. Traditionally these dice were carved from bones of the enemy, though they are sometimes carved from wood or even stone. Originally some priests or shaman of Galbran and pagan tribes used these dice for divination and when all dice turned to show a skull, that was considered to be a sign of death, and became known as “death’s throw”. Often this meant that prisoners would be killed or sacrificed instead of meeting some slightly less horrible fate.
Companion Wife is a term used to denote when a woman is married to the same man. The Muvari are a polygamist society due to the fact that females outnumber males at birth sixteen to one. For this reason, men are highly prized and not allowed onto the field of battle unless as a resort of great extremity. Because women execute the duties of war, their numbers dwindle so that the ratio of adult women to adult men usually settles at around a dozen to one—fully a quarter of women being lost in defense of Ledgrim. This ratio sometimes dips higher or lower, and the Technopriests keep a population tally, which they cross-reference with such factors as galbran and exile incursions, pesthule raids, and such natural causes as disease and accident.