The following glossary is provided as reference to the terms in Voice of the Vespers:
Proprietors are the select few who have Vespers. They are the privileged of society. The rulers of cities populated with commoners. Each Proprietor has a Vesper specific to them that they can contact for guidance, comfort, or strength. Because of their unique abilities, Proprietors have elevated to the highest social class. Cities are often occupied by several Proprietors, each taking their designated area as their quarter, often times fighting for more territory, or making back room negotiations.
Each Proprietor has a symbol and color associated with them. Often times, they wear the symbols as tokens on a necklace, or ring. Sometimes, (as in the case of Dartagnon) they craft their symbols as large as a logo on a building to show off their prominence. Proprietors in the Voice of the Vespers universe include Salem, Dartagnon, Caesar, Lazarus, Saturdae, Penelope, Victor, and Jorn. (The Geminis are often considered Pseudo-Proprietors because they each contain half of a Vesper in their head, however, they are both commoners and the insertion of the Vesper was done in a highly dangerous experiment)
Vespers are considered by many to be synonymous with soul. Vespers live in the Elder Flex, and only Proprietors have a connection to them. Each Proprietor has a specific Vesper that they connect with in the Elder Flex for advice, strength, clarity, or a certain amount of clairvoyance. Where the Proprietor only has the memories of their current lifetime, their Vesper retains all of their past experiences, and bestows that experience, and subsequent wisdom, upon the Proprietor. The Vesper is a proverbial bank of knowledge and experience which the Proprietor can draw upon. Past life experiences have therefore become frequently discussed topics of conversation among Proprietors.
Commoners are the regular citizens of the city. They are the normal, the mundane, and the unprivileged. Most commoners that live in the city reside within a Proprietor’s quarter. The commoners depend on their ruling Proprietor for protection, law enforcement, and stability in the quarter. Often times, commoners become zealots of their ruling Proprietor and enlist themselves as minions.
Minions have certain social privileges and obligations. First, they are a social class above commoners allowing them to maintain a higher standard of living. Second, they are the simple law enforcement of the quarter. Minions have a hierarchy of command and only the most trusted regularly have contact with their ruling Proprietor, often reporting the Minion stationed above them instead of the Proprietor directly. Notable Minions in Voice of the Vespers have allegiance to specific Proprietors. Caesar’s Minions of note include Jezebel, Drig, and Reg. Dartagnon’s Minions of reputation are Gemini One and Gemini Two (although each holding half of a Vesper in their head, the Geminis are considered by many to be Pseudo-Proprietor Minions). Lazarus maintains several research Minions on his staff including Explin. Penelope’s Minions are elite bodyguards, two of note are Bren and Tymn. Saturdae has a handful of Minions that maintain the security in her quarter, but she prefers a more hands-on approach to ruling.
The Elder Flex is a term that actually refers to a location. The Elder Flex is an alternate dimension. Often referred to as “the space between” it was discovered three hundred years ago when meditation techniques spread the gaps of space between particles, revealing another dimension located within that space. It is only reachable by a certain mediation technique called “Tapping”.
Tapping is a meditation technique that allows a Proprietor to project themselves into the Elder Flex. Note that it is not possible to physically enter the Elder Flex.
First, the Proprietor places their specific symbol on a geometric design that is attached to their vesper in someway. Sometimes, they are simple drawings, but often, they are elaborate woodcarvings or paintings commissioned by the Proprietor for tapping purposes.
Second, the Proprietor focuses inward and lifts the fold of space apart with their mind, seeking the space between. This can take hours with a novice or seconds with an experienced tapper.
Then the Proprietor is projected into the Elder Flex. The Elder Flex is a dangerous place with the soul remnants of explorers who’s spirits are trapped there forever. At this point, it is possible for the Proprietor to speak directly to their Vesper.
To leave the Elder Flex, the Proprietor must use a mental escape sequence commonly referred to as a “key” after the common shape of it’s manifestation, though variations have been known to occur. Some of the worst mishaps in Elder Flex exploration have happened when this sequence was performed in error.