This refers to the practice of exiling undesirables. In some tribes it was traditional to take the unsuspecting person, who was soon to be exiled, out on a patrol and stake them to a dune in the desert, leaving them without water and awash in sand—hence the term ‘dry and awash’.
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.
Above: Depicts a thumb protection device which is used by some Martian tribes.
“Paying the enemy” is a term that is used by the Muvari and some others of the Martian tribes, which means to return some of the misery that the enemy has already inflicted. These crossbows are known for their power and require levers to pull back the cable in order to fire. Levers sometimes break and a taut cable will snap forward unexpectedly, or sometimes a crossbow will be fired when an extremity is not clear of the cable, and a finger will be lost. The phrase “Cutting of your thumbs to pay the enemy” developed, which loosely has a similar meaning to the Earthling idioms “Robbing Peter to pay Paul,”, denoting an action which has little meaning because of the cost associated with it.