Seeming: illusion called into being by a Grafter which acquires reality if many people believe strongly enough in it. This is really a case of mass hypnosis, but can have physical effects.
Seven Hypocrites of Mung: Mung was a city in the Eastern Canopy. The Hyprocrites were followers of Saint Loa, who after swearing fealty to him in Argos rescinded their decision and wished to return home.
Shanti: person calling the faithful to prayer at a Nurian temple. The shanti also leads some rituals. Practitioners of the Eastern Doctrine have no formal priesthood and look to the Focals for spiritual guidance. However some of the shanti (literally ‘temple singer’) have been known to give sermons and exhort their fellow citizens like Argosian priests.
Shillee: herd-dwelling mammal with small cloven feet that allow it to climb steep areas of the Tree with relative ease. Shillees eat moss and other plants and are kept by herders for their meat, milk and pelts.
Shortwheat: a type of barley-vine grown in the Eastern Canopy, drought resistant.
Sight [the]: the raw capacity or talent to be a Grafter. Someone with the Sight may experience premonitory dreams or visions.
Silesian bellweed: a hallucinogenic plant found in the North Fringes, toxic in high doses.
Som: a sedative made from purified Treespice, smoked to produce a lethargic state and vivid dreams. Highly addictive.
Sorceress of Nur: a Grafter who opposed Saint Loa in the Eastern Canopy. Her name has not been preserved but her machinations are legendary. She appears in so many different stories and over such an extended period that some scholars maintain the character is a composite.
Under the hood… About Seemings:
One of the themes I’ve touched on in passing in these stories is the ‘maya’ concept prevalent in Buddhism and in other religious philosophies. According to this theory the world is a collective illusion without actual permanence or reality. Without going so far as to ‘control the Matrix’, as it were, Grafters and sorcerers may influence the world-illusion to a degree, most particularly if they have the help of a great many other people. In other words, the more people believe in your personal illusion, the more it has a chance of crossing over into the larger ‘reality’ illusion shared by all. This shared creation may not last for long, but while enough spectators are held in its grip it acquires physical ramifications (enough people believing in Grafter fire may find for a brief moment that it burns.)
Though it’s certainly fun to play with such concepts in the physical world – Grafter fire, distracting Grafter ‘webs’, illusions and so on – the real danger associated with this power is its psychological, societal application. A clever tyrant adept in such sorcery might manipulate his people into believing in his version of what the world should be – and they, duped by his subtle Seeming, would help make it real. So dreams of empire, religious purity, racial superiority and other illusions are born… and stay with us, at least for a while.