The TCoLD Universe

Text: The Universe and Inner-Workings of The Chronicles of Life and Death, as intended by author and creator Natasha Penn.

Hello! While writing the books and blogs set in the universe of The Chronicles of Life & Death, it has come to my attention that there are terms, systems, hierarchies, and other subtleties that may not be understood without reading everything in the series. I thought it best to create this page that compiles information on the series, and explains it, as well as I possibly can.

Jump ahead:

Species

In TCoLD, there are five species of note:

  • Lumekin (angels) – identified by feathered wings on their souls
  • Eskalekin (demons) – identified by leather/scaly wings on their souls
  • Koloreekin (fairies) – identified by the insect-like wings on their souls
  • Larruazalarekin(humans) – identified by their small, simple, white souls
  • Piztiak (animals) – identified by their small souls with few defining traits. These souls are just a tad larger than the average human soul.

(Human-given names are in parentheses.)

Fairies are a species of spirits who come from a neighboring galaxy. Angels, demons, and humans are the major species in TCoLD, as the few fairies involved in the search are lumped in with the former two. Because of this, fairies adhere to the hierarchies and politics of their group, since they sought asylum on that group’s home planet.

Did you know: the universal language of the spirits is Basque. Lumekin roughly translates to "with feathers," eskalekin to "with scales," koloreekin to "with colors," larruazalarekin to "with skin," and piztiak to "beasts." These are descriptions used when looking at one's soul, not at the individual's physical appearance. Pictured: a griffin with feathered wings as an example of angel souls, a dragon with leathery wings as an example of demon souls, and a butterfly with thin, membranous wings as an example of fairy souls.

Classes

The different classes are as follows:

  • Erregak (royals) – identified by royal headwear (crowns, tiaras, headdresses, etc.) worn on the cores of their souls
  • Gudariak (warriors) – identified by the weapons (swords, daggers, arrows, etc.) plunged into the cores of their souls

Royals are, as one would assume, spirits of high birth. They are the children of chieftains, monarchs, and coven leaders. Warriors are those who are not of royal lineage; for example, Giovanni and Sabryna are royal spirits, since their true parents are the leaders of Ninurta and Zulwini, respectively. Most groups are made up of warriors, who are not allowed to lead a group unless out of desperation. This is due to the fact that every true leader, AKA the leaders who originally led each group on their descent to Gaea (Earth), were all royals, and the only way the mission can be considered 100% successful is if the true leaders find the lost duo and bring them home. All fairies are warriors, as the royals of their home galaxy were massacred centuries before.

(Human-given names are in parentheses.)

Groups

The following are known groups of TCoLD:

  • the Semes Tribe (Phebeans)
  • the Enki Coven (Hermeans)
  • the Zeroua Court (Cythereans)
  • the Chandra Coven (Selenites)
  • the Huǒxīng Imperial Court (Martians)
  • the Iuppiter Court (Jovians)
  • the Ninurta Court (Cronians)
  • the Zulwini Tribe (Caelians)
  • the Havet Tribe (Poseideans)
  • the Nýchta Tribe (Plutonians)

Red text = demon-only [may include fairies]
Blue text = angel-only [may include fairies]
Green text = both major species [fairies included]
(Respective demonyms are in parentheses.)

As you can see, each group of spirits has a formal designation (the name of their group) and a colloquial designation (their demonym).

Hailing Planets

These groups descended from their respective celestial bodies:

  • The Nation of Semes (the Sun)
  • The High Coven of Enki (Mercury)
  • The Kingdom of Zeroua (Venus)
  • The High Coven of Chandra (Earth’s moon)
  • The Huǒxīng Empire (Mars)
  • The Kingdom of Iuppiter (Jupiter)
  • The Kingdom of Ninurta (Saturn)
  • The Nation of Zulwini (Uranus)
  • The Nation of Havet (Neptune)
  • The Nation of Nýchta (Pluto)

There are other celestial bodies mentioned in the series, but the above are the only ones who sent search parties to Gaea in search of the lost duo.

(Human-given names are in parentheses.)

Hierarchy & Soul Identity

While on Gaea, each group adheres to this basic hierarchy:

“Oinordekoa” – Leader
(Prince/Princess/Chief/Priest/Priestess)

“Tenientea” – Lieutenant
(Royal Advisor/Headman/Matron/Vicar)

“Mezularia” – Telepath
(Psychic/Mindreader)

“Zaldi” – Teleporter
(Porter/Runner)

“Zaharrena” – Elder
(Trainer/Mentor)

“Jarraitzaile” – Member
(Warrior/Scout/Defender)

(Various titles/slang terms used to address these positions are in parentheses.)

Leader – Always a royal; their word is law. When a leader claims territory for their group, they are granted the ability to sense all movement within their borders. They can identify any angel, demon, fairy, or human that enters or exits, and they can unlock the potential of a yet-to-be awakened spirit in a human’s soul. True leaders are identified by the bright green hexagram (six-pointed star) brand on their souls; these same brands are white for leaders who are not recognized as the true heir, and black for impeached leaders.

Lieutenant – Can be of either class; leader often delegates through them. If the leader is killed or removed, lieutenants step up as temporary leader. Identified by the bright blue, upside-down equilateral triangle, with a circle at its center.

Psychic – The chief messengers/communicators; answer only to their leader and lieutenant. Often delegates orders on their behalf (quicker than calling/texting) and is almost always linked with their group’s porter. Each psychic has a specific “special” ability that is unique to them; for example, Desideria has visions of the future, while Dream has telekinetic abilities. Identified by the indigo upside-down equilateral triangle inside of a circle.

Teleporter – Usually the youngest member of the leadership, though not intentional. They are the leadership’s main form of transportation; they can teleport to anywhere on Gaea so long as they have either been there themselves or have the coordinates. Similarly to leaders, they can also sense movement within their group’s territory; however, this is only the case when their leader has claimed territory. Each porter has a unique porting style; some have visual elements that appear with them, such as shadows for Pixie or lightning with Chris, and others have auditory elements, like an earthquake with Bruno or a song with Wellington. Identified by the bright red square with an upside-down equilateral triangle at its center.

Elder – The more senior members of the group, usually those who held a position of leadership at some point. Some groups have a system where they cycle through leaders on a regular basis in an effort to find their true leader; for example, the main Poseidean chief will step down after ten years and form their own sub-tribe. For the Jovians, princes sit on the throne for five years before stepping down. In both instances, the retiring leaders are revered by the rest of the group and expected to contribute to educating its youth–they lead training sessions and take on disciples. This is not the case for an impeached leader, however: they are usually neglected following their removal from their position. There is no soul brand for retired spirits; each group is relatively small, so they are all aware of each other’s rank. Impeached leaders, however, may sport a black hexagram on their soul until the true leader is recognized.

Member – These are just the normal spirits of the group. They take orders from any of the above listed spirits, and may live by their own inter-member hierarchies. The most common one in established groups is a system in which the older the spirit, the more likely they are to be listened to. In newer groups, such as the Zeroua Court and Semes Tribe, the inter-member hierarchy is based primarily on tenure and secondarily on age; for instance, Mona and Karia were the last members of the Semes Tribe to be recruited. Normally, Karia would take orders from Mona, as Mona is her elder, but Karia’s rank as psychic puts her above all but Dane and Fletcher. This means that, of the unranked members, there is technically no one above or below Mona, but she would still respect members like Jason and Spencer, who were the first Phebeans of this generation.

Did you know: Esnatzen - Soul Awakening. A spirit that has been sent to Gaea in search of the lost duo can be identified by their souls. Normal human souls are about the size of a lacrosse ball; they are white in color and have no discernible blemishes. Spirits can see the souls of all living beings, and can determine if a human is carrying the dormant soul of a spirit--or if they have "potential." Souls with potential are a bit larger--the size of a wiffle ball--and will glow faintly. Spirits can only identify potential members of their own group, and even then only their leader can unlock that spirit's potential, or "awaken" their true self. Upon their awakening, the new spirits' eyes and soul will glow a bright white as they are reminded of their purpose.

Soul Markings

There are two major components to souls: their surface and their core. Some markings only ever occur on the core, and others are plastered across the surface. Soul surfaces are transparent enough to allow the viewer to see the core; the core is mostly solid. By default, a spirit’s soul is visible to all who can see it–but some have learned to conceal certain markings, and others to alter its appearance altogether. This makes it difficult to be identified.

Core Markings

Notches – notches depict the age of the body carrying them. A notch is added for each Gaean year since the spirit’s latest rebirth. Twenty years old = 20 notches.

Wings – one of the four main details spirits look for. Wings show a spirits species–either angel, demon, or fairy. The size, colors, and other distinctions vary with the spirit.

Class-specific additions – another of the four main details. Royal spirits may sport crowns, headdresses, tiaras, wreaths, etc., while warriors will have a weapon plunging through their core.

Surface Markings

Rank symbol – the third of the four main details. Leadership symbols are displayed here, and are opaque enough to allow the viewer to see through to the core.

Planet insignia – the fourth and final detail that spirits look for when meeting one another. The symbol of their planet is displayed here, large and opaque.

Soul mate bond – a tiny heart located in the lower right quadrant of the soul. These markings will vary in color and style, and are unique to the spirits involved in the bond.

Depicted: a light grey sphere labelled "normal human soul" above a line that reads, "two-point-five inches." Next: a bright white sphere labelled "soul with potential" above a line that reads, "two-point-nine inches." Final: a deep blue opaque soul with waves, a bright green hexagram, and a silver crescent moon across the surface. Its core is small and black, with a multi-pronged crown resting on top and black wings behind it. Eighteen tally marks are carved into the core. A small black heart is outlined and disappearing in one fluid motion at the lower right quadrant of the surface. The image sits above a line that reads "fourteen-point-five inches."

The following is the above example shown in video format. There is no audio.

Territory, Traits, & Adaptation

When the spirits first descended nearly ten thousand years before the events of Aquarius, most found the conditions on Gaea to be far different from their home planets. They came to realize that the best way to combat Gaean weather was to find willing human vessels and merge with them. As each group integrated with humans from different backgrounds, they claimed the territory they adapted to. Every spirit group has persistent traits–traits they retained–and learned traits. Please note that the “learned” traits are not reflective of the peoples with which these groups merged with, but rather the environment where they resided.

Phebeans

Hail from: the Sun
Integrated with: the first nations of the southeastern continental U.S.–mainly those who would later be known as the Timucua and the Calusa.

Persistent traits

Volcanic Adaptation

  • can handle extreme temperature and hazardous terrain
  • immune to fire, lava, and burns
  • resistant to poison and noxious gas
Learned traits

Plains Adaptation

  • can survive in areas with little concealment, i.e. prairies and plains
  • exceptional vision and speed
  • can survive harsh weather phenomena, i.e. tornadoes and firestorms

Modern territory: Florida panhandle


Hermeans

Hail from: Mercury
Integrated with: the first nations of the Amazon who will eventually be known as the Amanayé.

Persistent traits

Atmospheric Adaptation

  • lungs acclimate to any gaseous mediums
  • lungs filter out non-gaseous substances with ease
  • immune to airborne toxins and sickness
Learned traits

Aerial Adaptation

  • immune to vertigo and altitude-related sickness
  • adapts to extremely high or low air pressure
  • enhanced lung capacity
  • resistance to colder temperatures

Forest Adaptation

  • enhanced agility, endurance, and stealth
  • instinct geared toward hunting and trapping
  • tree climbing
  • immune to acrophobia

Modern territory: Brazilian states of Acre, Amazonas, and Roraima


Cythereans

Hail from: Venus
Integrated with: early Gauls who would eventually be known as the Aquitanians

Persistent traits

Volcanic Adaptation

  • can handle extreme temperature and hazardous terrain
  • immune to poison and noxious gas
  • resistant to fire and burns
Learned traits

Forest Adaptation

  • enhanced agility, endurance, and stealth
  • instinct geared toward hunting and trapping
  • tree climbing
  • immune to acrophobia

Valley Adaptation

  • enhanced strength for climbing
  • high tolerance to cold

Modern territory: Northwestern Wyoming, southeastern Idaho


Selenites

Hail from: the Moon
Integrated with: early Africans who would later be known as the Yoruba.

Persistent traits

Darkness Adaptation

  • nocturnal
  • night vision
  • enhanced senses and stealth
Learned traits

Wetlands Adaptation

  • immune to poison and disease
  • speed swimming

Aquatic Adaptation

  • can breathe underwater
  • can endure extreme water temperature and pressure
  • can swim well regardless of current

Modern territory: UNKNOWN


Martians

Hail from: Mars
Integrated with: the early Ainu people.

Persistent traits

Subterranean Adaptation

  • enhanced hearing, strength and endurance
  • night vision
  • sensitive to seismic waves
Learned traits

Environmental Defiance

  • can walk around in the daytime
  • resistant to pressure changes
  • immune to temperature changes
  • decelerated aging
  • poison immunity
  • sleeplessness

Modern territory: Japan, North and South Korea, northeastern China and southeastern Russia


Jovians

Hail from: Jupiter
Integrated with: the early Italic tribes of the Italian peninsula, mainly the Latins.

Persistent traits

Plains Adaptation

  • can survive in areas with little concealment, i.e. prairies and plains
  • exceptional vision and speed
  • can survive harsh weather phenomena, i.e. severe thunderstorms and cyclones
Learned traits

Fallout Adaptation

  • immune to contaminants
  • immune to radiation

Modern territory: Western Georgia (U.S. state), southern South Carolina


Cronians

Hail from: Saturn
Integrated with: the early Trojan refugees who would later be known as the Etruscans.

Persistent traits

Valley Adaptation

  • enhanced strength, endurance, and agility
Learned traits

Desert Adaptation

  • heat resistance
  • cold immunity
  • reduced need for sustenance

Fallout Adaptation

  • immune to contaminants
  • immune to radiation

Modern territory: Southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, northwestern Arizona


Caelians

Hail from: Uranus
Integrated with: the early Eurasian nomadic people.

Persistent traits

Arctic Adaptation

  • cold immunity
  • adjusted breathing capacity
Learned traits

Desert Adaptation

  • heat resistance
  • reduced need for sustenance

Environmental Adaptation

  • adapts to most environments and conditions
  • increased stealth and awareness

Modern territory: NONE


Poseideans

Hail from: Neptune
Integrated with: the early Niitsitapi people.

Persistent traits

Arctic Adaptation

  • cold immunity
  • adjusted breathing capacity
  • immune to attacks or events that lead to or cause sensory discomfort or deprivation

Desert Adaptation

  • reduced need for sustenance
Learned traits

Plains Adaptation

  • can survive in areas with little concealment, i.e. plains and tundra
  • exceptional vision and speed
  • can survive harsh weather phenomena, i.e. severe blizzards and thundersnow

Modern territory: Montana, North Dakota, the southern halves of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, and the Yukon.


Plutonians

Hail from: Pluto
Integrated with: the Iberian people.

Persistent traits

Arctic Adaptation

  • cold immunity
  • adjusted breathing capacity
  • enhanced durability and stamina
  • immune to attacks or events that lead to or cause sensory discomfort or deprivation
Learned traits

Urban Adaptation

  • adapts to heavily polluted areas
  • enhanced balance, stamina, and durability
  • heat resistance

Fallout Adaptation

  • immune to contaminants
  • immune to radiation
  • weapon improvisation
Group traits are laid out on a table and compared to the average human. Spoiler alert: on a scale from -10 to +10, humans are at 1's across the board (except for "need for sustenance" in which they're in the lead at +3). At the bottom is a brief description: Gaeans were included as a control. Let's say the average human has 1's across the board, +3 need for sustenance, are susceptible to everything life throws at them. The average spirit's stats are 3x the average human's. The stats shown are just the basis for the average spirit from the above groups.
Statistical scale is from negative ten (-10) to positive ten (+10). Average human is at +1 in all categories except for “need for sustenance” where they’re at +3; they also have no night vision and are susceptible to all of the above presented conditions. Please leave a comment if you have any questions regarding this table.

Well, I think that’s everything! Everything I can think of at the moment, at least. I’ll go ahead and add information to this page as I recall it, or if any new information requires its own page then I will add a note to this page. I hope the information I provided gave you a better understanding of my series and its characters. If you haven’t already then check out Aquarius, the first book in the related series; my mini-series, which are related to TCoLD; and check back frequently for birthday biographies, updates on the next book, and more!

Check out this Vocal-exclusive lore teaser.

Down Arrow icon by Icons8
Graphics and video made on Canva

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