Stranded astronaut, Garvey Dire, first encountered Lana Shar when he helped free her from a stasis loop he discovered while stranded on Mars and seeking shelter from an impending storm. Hurled back in time with her, Garvey discovers himself in an ancient Mars populated with rival tribes, strange artifact technology, and fearsome creatures beyond his imagination.
Despite this sudden shift in realities, Garvey becomes intrigued with this six-foot-tall warrior woman who introduces him into the Muvari Tribe. To his great chagrin, Garvey Dire discovers that this woman is married to a council member of the tribe–a renowned and wealthy trader. He immediately puts aside his amorous inclinations and this is aided by his introduction to the widowed Ntashia, Lana’s sister.
Later, when Lana’s husband is murdered by a group of conspirators, Lana, following the tradition of first seeking out the brother-in-law to marry her and take on the responsibility of her children, also becomes of the wife of Garvey Dire. Since the ratio of women in the Muvari Tribe is sixteen to every male, polygamy is not only encouraged but required.
An old saying which is known and used among a number of the tribes, but particularly among the Munothi. Some scholars suggest that this saying has been altered from ‘man’ to ‘woman’ when the male population dwindled so rapidly and severely that females became the protectors and warriors.
The dangers of the outdoors are so prevalent that the Muvari and most other of the Martian Tribes have grown to consider all things associated with the outdoors as undesirable. Having a dusky shade of skin is not considered undesirable, but having skin that is darkened by the sun, whatever the initial shade, is thought to be unhealthful and a sign of ill health. It is also often associated with criminality because exiled criminals are often ejected from the shelters of underground living and forced into the out of doors. Many Muvari suffer severe sunburns from just short exposure to the sun. For these reasons, the members of the Muvari Tribe are careful to cover their heads when going into the out of doors.
The triumvirate of Technopriests, as the title indicates, has traditionally maintained three leaders. However, Orja Gath usurped this position and refused to replace the other two leaders, elevating herself to the sole position of presidential power among the Technopriests. So, in this case, Orja Gath is referred to as the entire triumvirate.
An alcoholic beverage which is actually fermented from the fat worms that are found plentifully in the algae pits of Labyrinth.
Though oswagi are able to run down much larger prey and are known for separating and hunting humans, they often hunt the large canyon skelks.
This phrase indicates ten men- each toe equals one man. If a Martian were to say ‘one foot’ that indicates five men. Ten feet equals fifty men, and twenty feet indicates 100 men.