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A Guide to Land of the Dead Terminology

June 9, 2009

Here begins the first of what should come to be many, many information-based blog posts about the new Land of the Dead.

The Land of the Dead brings lots of new things: new Public Quests, new Lairs, new Tokens, a new Dungeon, new game mechanics, new Lore and bringing it all together, new terminology.  While the inspiration for the Lore comes from Games Workshop, the terminology comes from real life.  Here’s a breakdown of a lot of the new terms, their real-life history and their phonetic pronunciation (when available) since I’m sure everyone will be butchering that in voice chat.  :p

Have fun!


Land of the Dead Terminology


Ankh (angk) – a tau cross with a loop at the top, used as a symbol of generation or enduring life.

Cartouche (kahr-toosh) – an oval or oblong figure, as on ancient Egyptian monuments, enclosing characters that represent the name of a sovereign.

Scarab (skar-uhb) – a gem cut to resemble a beetle.


Asp – any of several venomous snakes, esp. the Egyptian cobra or the horned viper.

Carrion (kar-ee-uhn) – of or pertaining to dead and putrefying carcasses; feeding on carrion.

Chasseur (sha-sur) – one of a body of cavalry or infantry troops equipped and trained for rapid movement.

Coleopter (koh-lee-op-ter) – the largest order of insects comprising the beetles and weevils and being distinguished by a pair of forewings that are usually hard and rigid, are never used for flight, and serve as a protective covering for the delicate flight wings and the upper surface of the abdomen

Scarab (skar-uhb) – any scarabaeid beetle, esp. Scarabaeus sacer, regarded as sacred by the ancient Egyptians.

Ushabti (yoo-shab-tee) – a figurine placed in an ancient Egyptian tomb to serve as a slave for the soul or as a substitute for the soul in performing forced labor.


Arbalest (ahr-buh-list) – a powerful medieval crossbow with a steel bow, used to shoot stones, metal balls, arrows, etc.

Arquebuse (ar-ke-bus) – early muzzle-loaded firearm with a matchlock used in the 15th to 17th centuries; forerunner of the rifle.

Falx (falks) –  a Latin word meaning sickle, but later used to mean any number of tools with a curved blade that was sharp on the inside edge.

Glaive (gleyv) –  a sword, especially a broadsword.

Guisarme (gi-zahrm) – a shafted weapon having as a head a curved, double-edged blade with a beak at the back.

Kard – a straight, single-edged blade usually no longer than 16 inches having no guard and the handle usually being made of bone, ivory or horn; a stabbing weapon with a reinforced point that could penetrate chain mail.

Khanjar (khan-jahr) – a curved dagger sharpened on both sides.

Khopesh – composed of three main parts: the hilt, a straight and unsharpened section of blade finishing in a curved crescent shape with the sharpened edge.  The khopesh evolved from the epsilon or similar crescent shaped axes that were used in warfare.  This makes the khopesh not a true sword (which evolved from daggers), but a specialized battle-axe.  However, unlike an axe, the khopesh did not make push-cuts, but rather slashes.

Kris (krees) – a short sword or heavy dagger with a wavy blade.

Kukri (kook-ree) – a large knife having a heavy curved blade that is sharp on the concave side.

Masakari – ancient Japanese battle-axe used by warrior monks.

Ranseur – a polearm with a spear-tip affixed with a cross hilt at its base, the hilt is often crescent-shaped giving the appearance of a trident, however the hilts do not usually have a cutting edge.

Sagaris – a battle-axe with a slender handle that could be used one-handed.

Scimitar (sim-i-ter) – a curved, single-edged sword of Oriental origin.

Scutum (skyoo-tuhm) – a large, oblong shield used by the heavy legionaries of ancient Rome.

Soliferrum – a heavy, hand-thrown javelin made entirely of iron and also used as a polearm.

Talwar – Indian sword roughly the equivalent of the saber.

Trident (trahyd-nt) – a three-pronged spear.

Urumi – a long sword made of flexible steel, sharp enough to cut into flesh, but flexible enough to be rolled into a tight coil.


Aerie (air-ee, eer-ee) – the nest of a bird of prey.

Airship / Dirigible / Zeppelin (dir-i-juh-bul, zep-uh-lin) – a large dirigible (designed for or capable of being directed, controlled, or steered) balloon consisting of a long, cylindrical, covered framework containing compartments or cells filled with gas, and of various structures for holding the engines, passengers, etc.

Canopic Jars (kuh-noh-pik) – jar used to hold the viscera of an embalmed body during the mummification process.

Expedition (ek-spi-dish-uhn) – an excursion, journey, or voyage made for some specific purpose, as of war or exploration.

Fount (fownt) – a spring of water; fountain.

Funerary (fyoo-nuh-rer-ee) – of or pertaining to a funeral or burial.

Glyph (glif) – a symbolic figure that is usually engraved or incised.

Hierophant (hahy-er-uh-fant) – an official expounder of rites of worship and sacrifice; any interpreter of sacred mysteries or esoteric principles; mystagogue.

Khepra – major god of egyptian mythology, considered to be the embodiment of the Sun; prinicipally depicted as a whole scarab beetle.

Lapis (lap-is) – Latin for stone, usually used to refer to minerals or gem; sometimes used to refer to Lapis Lazuli which is a medium to dark blue mineral.

Myrmidon (mur-mi-don) – a person who executes without question or scruple a master’s commands.

Necropolis (nuh-krop-uh-lis) – A city of the dead; a name given by the ancients to their cemeteries, and sometimes applied to modern burial places; a graveyard.

Obelisk (ob-uh-lisk) – a tapering, four-sided shaft of stone, usually monolithic and having a pyramidal apex.

Ossuary (osh-oo-er-ee) – a place or receptacle for the bones of the dead.

Papyrus (puh-pahy-ruhs) – an ancient document, manuscript, or scroll written on this material.

Quarry (kwawr-ee, kwor-ee) – an excavation or pit, usually open to the air, from which building stone, slate, or the like, is obtained by cutting, blasting, etc.

Quay (kee, kwey) – a landing place, esp. one of solid masonry, constructed along the edge of a body of water; wharf.

Reliquary (rel-i-kwer-ee) – a repository or receptacle for relics.

Stela (stee-luh) – an upright stone slab or pillar bearing an inscription or design and serving as a monument, marker, or the like.

Tomb (toom) – a monument for housing or commemorating a dead person.


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