Immortal Beings

A painting of a woman with a long braid in elaborate robes and a man with white hair and white robes; behind them is a river and mountains in the distance. A painting of a man with long black hair holding a blue-haired woman; they are on a junk boat that is under the ocean.

Character Chart

There's a lot of characters in these books, but the most important are the extremely powerful Colors. This diagram is accurate at the beginning of book one - a different version is in book two, but it has minor spoilers, so I decided not to share it here.


I am a visual person with low spatial intelligence, so if my characters spend a significant amount of time in a place, I need a map to keep things straight! The color versions were made by me, during world-building (with modifications as I wrote), in Google Drawings. The ink drawings I made to include in the book - I'm sharing both here as the originals have a little extra detail.


This glossary is for all published Immortal Beings books - I have done my best to keep it spoiler-free.

Hyperlinked names open my suggested pronunciations, via Youtube or Google Translate, in a new tab. (The translations you will see in Google Translate are not always relevant - you can read my Language Note if you want to know more).

Aarti – the third justice disciple.

Aashchary – Born to Neela 82,000 years after creation, Aashchary became the Goddess of Thought through her own efforts. She was noticed by Aka, who wished to marry her. She took him as a lover but only accepted his proposal when she discovered she was pregnant. During her marriage, she held the title Sun Empress. She was murdered under mysterious circumstances while pregnant, leaving behind one living daughter, Jin.

Achamba – An immortal creatures that resembles a massive snake, it is native to Jeevanti.

Ah – a large island south of the Crescent Moon.

Aka – Once a drop of blood, Aka became the first Red immortal 26,000 years after creation. Aka became the first God shortly after mortals appeared in the world, and eventually the Sun Emperor, ruler of all, after he confined the immortal creatures to the Underworld. He has been married three times (see Goddess of Lightning, Aashchary, and Goddess of Flight) and has had six acknowledged children (see Gang, Salaana, Karana, God of Belief, Jin, and Guleum). His first lover (though they never married) was Noran, and she is the mother of his eldest son.

Ankhbayar – a Bear People apprentice.

Ao – Once part of the midnight ocean, Ao became the first Indigo immortal 31,000 years after creation. Ao is famous for turning into a dragon and is called the Sea Dragon. He is worshipped by mortal sailors though he denies being a god. He is married to Miko and has thirteen children and more than twenty grandchildren. He disowned Nanami 86,000 years after creation.

Atsuko – daughter of the Moon Deer, sister of Miko, lady Atsuko has run her father’s household since her mother’s death. A White immortal.

Bai – Once a piece of white quartz, Bai became the first White immortal 25,000 years after creation. He is known as the First because he was the first being to appear in the world. He invented writing, art, music, and mathematics and is so known as the Scholar. He became obsessed with martial arts after the death of his love, Noran, and was also called the Great Warrior. After he retreated from the world, many immortals believed he had died. Bai has pure white hair and gray eyes; he is slightly above average height and is extremely fit.

Batu – a young Bear People hunter.

Bando – the peninsula separated from the Zhongtu region by the Byeong Mountains. Bando is a mortal nation as well as an immortal region and claims an unbroken line of rulers for 40,000 years.

between – how immortals refer to the time lost during teleportation; between is remembered only by the sense of time passing.

Bijalee – see Goddess of Lightning.

Black – the ninth color, black magic changes the essence of things. See Hei.

Blue – the sixth color, blue magic reads thoughts. See Neela.

Bulgae - immortal creatures that resemble dogs made of fire.

Byeong Mountains – mountain range that forms the border between Zhongtu and Bando.

Cave of Shadows – the name of He Who Walks in Shadow’s hideout. Although the hideout must sometimes be moved, to avoid Salaana’s disciples, it is always a cave.

Chattaan Kile – a fortress made by Bai that sits on cliffs in southern Jeevanti.

Cheng – Once magma, Cheng became the first Orange immortal 27,000 years after creation. He has not been seen since 83,000 years after creation and is called the Sleeper.

Cheolmun Pass – a narrow pass in the Byeong Mountains, which form the border between Zhongtu and Bando; Bai famously killed 300 mortal soldiers here.

Cold Peaks – a mountain range forming the border between Zhongtu and Ehkoron.

Colors – how the first nine immortals are known collectively. Also, the way the essential natures of immortals are categorized. All immortals can identify their natures by a set Color, though it is only obvious in the appearances of the Nine Colors and their offspring.

Crescent Moon – a long island east of Bando; the Moon Deer lives here.

Dalagoi – Immortal creature that resembles a fusion of serpents and eagles, they are native to Ehkoron.

Dawa – Zi’s third disciple.

deity – an immortal who has mortal worshippers. The beliefs of those worshippers amplify the power of the deity but can also limit their abilities if the mortals specifically believe a deity cannot do something. Disciples of a deity thus spend much time ensuring the worshippers’ beliefs align with their deity’s goals. Deities are properly addressed as “divinity.”

disciple – immortals who follow and learn from another immortal are called disciples; most deities have disciples.

diviner – a mortal who can read other beings; they can see a being’s essence, thoughts, feelings, and sometimes future.

Dushtbandar – Immortal creatures that resemble monkeys and hoard both valuables and bones, they are native to Jeevanti.

Earth – one of the three realms in the world, the others being the Heavens and the Underworld.

Ehkoron – the northernmost region of Earth, north of the Cold Peaks.

Eun-ji – the 48th justice disciple. Color unknown.

Forever Child – a mortal whose cognitive ability does not surpass that of a child around age five or six; they usually are quite short with facial features that remain childlike as well.

Ganbold – a Bear People hunter.

Gang – Full name Sunlight Glints on Steel, Gang is the son of Noran and Aka and the first born-immortal. He was declared God of War at his birth 57,000 years after creation. He was trained in martial arts by Bai between 4,000 and 15,000 years of age. A Red and Yellow immortal.

Gate to the Underworld – a red gate made by Aka to control passage between the Underworld and Earth; to open it, one must have the key Kunjee.

god/goddess – see deity.

God of Belief – the son of Aashchary and Aka born 92,000 years after creation, he died as an infant; his full name was Mind Brighter than Sunlight. A Red, Orange, and Blue immortal.

God of Destruction – see Karana.

God of Pleasure – see Xiao.

God of War – see Gang.

God of Wind – see Guleum.

Goddess of Beauty – see Jin.

Goddess of Flight – mother of Guleum, she is the current wife of Aka and the current Sun Empress; she is an Orange immortal who was once a bird.

Goddess of Justice – see Salaana.

Goddess of Lightning – the first wife of Aka, and the first Sun Empress, she was a White immortal who was once lightning. She committed suicide. Her children are Salaana and Karana.

Goddess of Thought – see Aashchary.

godsbane – an herb that grows in the valley where Noran was killed that can poison immortals in five ways.

Godsmarket – a marketplace in the Sun Palace where immortals sell and trade goods.

Golden Phoenix – an immortal creature that was once the patron of a Bando.

golem – a magical construct that has a singular purpose.

Gomi – the fifth child of Ao and Miko, she is married with children. A mostly Indigo immortal with a little White.

Great Ladies – a mountain range that forms the border between Zhongtu and Jeevanti.

Great Willow – A magical willow made by Bai 29,000 years after creation. It amplifies power. and is worshipped by mortals in Liushi. Tea made from its leaves grants clarity and insight; it is particularly popular with scholars and magistrates.

Great Warrior – see Bai.

Green – the fifth color, green magic heals. See Haraa.

Guleum – The youngest son of Aka and the Goddess of Flight, Guleum was named the God of Wind at his birth 97,000 years after creation, but he does not yet have any mortal worshippers as he has not yet reached his majority. His full name is Sunlight through the Clouds. A mostly red with some orange immortal.

Gumiho – Immortal creatures that resemble beings with fox-ears and nine fox tails, they are one of the few creatures that breed. Their native land is unknown, but they distinguish themselves into clans, and are also called Kitsune and Huli Jing.

Habito – Tiny immortal creatures that look like leaves, they are native to Crescent Moon.

Haraa – Once a leaf, Haraa became the first Green immortal 29,000 years after creation. Haraa is known as the Warden and is the ultimate doctor for all immortals. She is the mistress of the Wood Pavilions, which has only one rule for its many guests: Do not damage the plants.

He Who Walks in Shadow – the best thief in the world and Nanami’s onetime master.

Heaven- one of the three realms in the world, the others being Earth and the Underworld.

Hei – Once a shadow, Hei became the first Black immortal 33,000 years after creation. Hei is now known as the Night God and invented marriage with his wife, Zi, 46,000 years after creation. He has one child, Xiao. He is the master of New Moon Manor along with his wife.

He Who Walks in Shadow – the best thief in the world and Nanami’s onetime master.

Huli Jing – see Gumiho.

Hyun-ju – a young Gumiho (or debatably, a Kitsune/Huli Jing).

Ichimi – the eldest daughter of Ao and Miko, Ichimi is also Salaana’s lover. She is skilled with a tessen and considered both beautiful and tactful. She was once married, but her husband left her when she suffered a miscarriage. A mostly Indigo immortal with a little White.

immortal being – a being that will not (it is believed) die of old age; the oldest immortal being is Bai, who is 75,000 years old as of this tale. Immortals can be formed spontaneously, from anything, when they persevere in existing. The oldest nine immortals (the Colors) each formed 1000 years apart; after that, an immortal appeared spontaneously each year. It is commonly believed that this change accounts for the dramatic decrease in power between the first nine and all subsequent immortals. All power an immortal has can be categorized as one or more Colors. Immortals can also be born if at least one of their parents is an immortal. In this case, the born immortal gains access to their parent’s power pool. If the family members compete for their pool of power, it comes down to will and need. Immortal pregnancies last 1000 years and born immortals reach adulthood after 4-6,000 years. As adults, Immortals age due to trauma, stress, or grief.

immortal creature – (almost) all immortal creatures were locked in the Underworld through Aka’s efforts; the first to be locked up was the Korikami 75,000 years after creation and the last was the Golden Phoenix 82,000 years after creation.

Indigo – the seventh color, indigo magic nullifies Yellow (influence thoughts), Violet (influence emotion), and Black (influence essence).

Infinite Jug – an artifact made by Hei which dispenses limitless alcohol.

Jamyang – A Forever Child who Jin helps.

Jeevanti – The westernmost region of the world, it is known for a colorful aesthetic and rich, spicy food. Neela, Haraa, and the Goddess of Lightning (the mother of Salaana and Karana) all came to be in Jeevanti.

Jin – Full name Sunlight turns Petals Gold, Jin was declared Goddess of Beauty at her birth. She was born 95,000 years after creation and has been worshipped since becoming an adult at four thousand years old. After the murder of her mother, Aashchary, the second Sun Empress, Jin was raised by her grandmother Neela. When she came of age, her father Aka insisted that she return to the Sun Palace to live. Of average height with an idealized figure, gold eyes and black hair, Jin is considered the most beautiful living immortal.

Jyuichimi – the eleventh (or tenth, excluding Nanami) child of Ao and Miko, she is married; Jyunimi is her twin sister. A mostly Indigo immortal with a little White.

Jyunimi – the twelfth (or eleventh, excluding Nanami) child of Ao and Miko, she is married with a child; Jyuichimi is her twin sister. A mostly Indigo immortal with a little White.

Kaihachi – the eighth child (or seventh, excluding Nanami) of Ao and Miko; Kaihachi is married with children. A mostly Indigo immortal with a little White.

Kaijyusan – the thirteenth (or twelfth, excluding Nanami) child of Ao and Miko. A mostly Indigo immortal with a little White.

Kairoku – the sixth child of Ao and Miko; Kairoku is married with children. A mostly Indigo immortal with a little White.

Karana – Full name Sundered by Sunlight, Karana is the younger child of the Goddess of Lightning and Aka. He was declared the God of Destruction at his birth 78,000 years after creation. With the exception of the Cult of Karana in Jeevanti, Karana is not worshipped by mortals. Instead, statues of him are made with closed eyes, so that his attention will not fall where they are placed. A mostly Red immortal with some White.

Kitsune – see Gumiho.

Kuanbai River – “The wide, white river,” the Kuanbai starts in the Great Ladies and ends at the Double Bay. Bai’s spring is a tributary of the river.

Koch-ssi – an immortal creature with an affinity for plants.

Korikami – the first immortal creature that Aka locked in the Underworld.

Korikami’s Tomb – once the home to the Korikami, this large volcanic mountain now holds the Gate to the Underworld.

Kunjee - Kunjee is the key that allows one to pass through the Gate to the Underworld. It is a vermillion sun pendant.

Kyumi – the ninth (or eighth, excluding Nanami) child of Ao and Miko; she is married. A mostly Indigo immortal with a little White.

Land of Winter – a large island north of Crescent Moon, it is dominated by the Korikami’s Tomb.

Laughter in the Shadows – full name of Xiao.

Light Hands – the name for disciples sworn to Salaana.

Liushi – coastal city in Southern Zhongtu on the Kuanbai River; contains the Great Willow.

Luye – the second beauty disciple, Luye was a born immortal whose parents tried to win favor with the Sun Emperor by sending her as a concubine to the Sun Court. Color unknown.

magic – the word immortals use for their associated powers. All magic is categorized by the Color over which it has dominion and comes with an associated ability. The first nine immortals – originally known as the Colors – have significantly more magic than all other immortal beings, but all immortals have some magic.

Maoyi – city on the southern tip of Zhongtu region famous for its street food.

Mind Brighter than Sunlight – full name of the God of Belief.

Miko – the third daughter of the Moon Deer; according to legend she was seen by Ao while swimming in the sea, and the two immediately fell in love; she married to Ao 70,000 years after creation and is called the Sea Queen by mortals. She has thirteen children and over twenty grandchildren. A White immortal.

Moon Deer – a White immortal (many to believe the second, after Bai) who will remember and keep all secrets told to him; his home is Tsuku. His wife died long ago; he has three daughters, notably Atsuko, who runs his household, and Miko, who married Ao, and many grandchildren. A White immortal.

Mount Korikami – see the Korikami’s Tomb.

Mos Lake – a large lake in the Cold Peaks where Nanami hides the Infinite Jug.

Mudanren – immortals creatures that look like peonies, they are native to Zhongtu.

Nanami – also known as Nanami the Thief. Once the seventh child of Ao and Miko, born 74,000 years after creation. Nanami was disowned after she was caught stealing her aunt Atsuko’s magical hair stick 86,000 years after creation. She was the first disciple of He Who Walks in Shadow until they had a falling out 94,000 years after creation. Short and slight, Nanami has navy hair and eyes, a round face, and favors plain trousers and tunics. A mostly Indigo immortal with a little White.

Neela – Once a dayflower, Neela became the first Blue immortal 30,000 after creation. She had one daughter, Aashchary, and has one surviving grandchild, Jin. Neela travels Earth as she wishes in a caravan and is called the Wanderer.

NeeNee – Jin and Xiao's nickname for Neela.

New Moon Manor – the residence of Zi and Hei, New Moon Manor floats in the Heavens; it was made of shadow and twilight 40,000 years after creation.

Nika – the 42nd justice disciple. Color unknown.

Nimi – the second daughter of Ao and Miko; she is married with children. A mostly Indigo immortal with a little White.

Nine Colors – see Color.

Nisei – immortal creatures with butterfly wings.

nishikai powder – A magical powder made from nishikai shells. Nishikai are immortal creatures that escaped Aka’s attention for they exist only in the deep ocean. They are harvested by the Sea Dragon and the powder of their shells can make anything grow or shrink in size.

Noran – Once a grain of yellow sand, Noran became the first Yellow immortal 28,000 after creation. She was Aka’s lover, the mother of Gang, and Bai’s unrequited love. She was killed by mortal bandits 58,000 years after creation.

Olli the Spider – an immortal creature that was defeated by Gang.

Only Monkey – an immortal creature that serves the Achamba and resembles a monkey, it is native to Jeevanti.

O’o – the largest city in Crescent Moon.

Orange – the third color, it nullifies the powers of White (knowing the essence), Red (feeling emotion), and Blue (reading thoughts). See Cheng.

Po – a large island south of Ni.

Red – the second color, red magic feels emotion. See Aka.

Rang Pariyon – Immortals that look like tiny beings with butterfly wings, they are native to Jeevanti.

Sanctuary Caves – originally made by Cheng and then supplemented by Bai, this caves are worshipped by mortals for restoring things to their natural state, including curing most diseases as long as the ill remain inside.

Salaana – Full name Sunlight’s Allure, Salaana is the oldest child of the Goddess of Lightning and Aka. She was declared Goddess of Justice at her birth 76,000 years after creation. She is a fierce deity who is known to be harsh and decisive, making her equally revered and feared among mortals.

Sanmi – the third child of Ao and Miko, she is married with children. A mostly Indigo immortal with a little White.

Scholar – see Bai.

Sea Dragon – see Ao.

Sea Palace – the underwater residence of Ao, the Sea Palace is contained within a magical dome of air.

Sea Serpent – an immortal creature that Bai rode.

seer – a mortal who sees the past and the future; this sight interferes with their sense of reality and they often struggle to communicate and coexist with others.

Sleeper – see Cheng.

Sonam – mother of Jamyang (the Forever Child who Jin helps).

Sowon Gold - an artifact made by Noran; mortals will do their best fulfill the wishes of anyone holding Sowon Gold.

Sun Emperor – see Aka.

Sun Empress – the title of Aka’s wife. There have been three, the Goddess of Lightning, Aashchary, and the Goddess of Flight (current).

Sun God – see Aka.

Sun Court – the immortals who live in the Sun Palace.

Sun Palace – the city in the Heavens that contains Aka’s residence and those of his children; it was made of light from the setting sun 46,000 years after creation.

Sundered by Sunlight – full name of Karana.

Sunlight Glints on Steel – full name of Gang.

Sunlight Turns Petals Gold – full name of Jin.

Sunlight through the Clouds – full name of Guleum.

Sunlight’s Allure – full name of Salaana.

Taitou – the largest mountain in Crescent Moon.

teleport – the word immortals use when they magically move from one place in the world to another. Teleporting takes a great deal of power; the average immortal can only teleport once a day and it takes them about an hour. Bai is famous for being the best at teleporting – he can teleport in five minutes and has teleported as many as thirty times in a single day.

true dream – an immortal dream that revisits actual memories that an immortal rejects as their history. It is accompanied by a high fever, can last indefinitely and can be deadly, particularly to immortals who need to eat or drink.

Tsuku – in Crescent Moon, Tsuku is the home of the Moon Deer and his family.

Underworld – one of the three realms in the world, the others being the Heavens and Earth.

Violet – the eighth color, violet magic influences emotion. See Zi.

Wanderer – see Neela.

White - the first color, white magic knows the essences of things. See Noran.

White Mountain – Bai’s origin and home, the White Mountain is the tallest mountain on Earth and is perpetually snow-capped. It is on the border of Ehkoron and Zhongtu.

Wood Pavilions – The home of Haraa, the Wood Pavilions are a section of forest with twenty-odd copper-roofed buildings. They are known for wild parties and hedonistic living but is also the best place to go for healing.

Xiao – Full name Laughter in the Shadows, Xiao was declared God of Pleasure at his birth. He was born 95,000 years after creation and has been worshipped since he came of age. He has no disciples but is popular with mortals. Most of his parents’ temples have a small shrine to him. Tall and lightly muscled, Xiao has long black hair and lavender eyes. He is usually smiling, and his dimples are famous. Xiao, along with Jin, is called a useless god in the Sun Court.

Xiezhi – An immortal creature that resembles a cross between a bull and a lion, it is native to Zhongtu.

Xiling – Once the capital of the largest mortal country within the Zhongtu region, Xiling was burned to ash by Karana for reasons known only to him.

Xuezei – immortal creatures that drink blood.

Yellow – the fourth color, yellow magic influences thoughts. See Noran.

Yeppeun – the first beauty disciple, Yeppeun was a mortal courtesan who ascended to immortality after dying of a fatal disease at the age of twenty. Color unknown.

Yonmi – the fourth child of Ao and Miko, she is married with children. A mostly Indigo immortal with a little White.

Zhongtu – the largest region on Earth, to the east of the Great Ladies and the south of the Cold Peaks; the Wood Pavilions are here.

Zi – Once twilight, Zi became the first Violet immortal 32,000 after creation. Zi is now known as the Moon Goddess and invented marriage with her husband, Hei, 46,000 years after creation. She has one child, Xiao. She is the mistress of New Moon Manor along with her husband.

Language Note

The immortals speak a divine language and understand all mortal languages spoken to them. There are as many mortal languages in this world as in our own; because I am more interested in studying existing languages than creating my own, I drew names from the real-world languages whose cultures and myths inspired elements of this world. The cultures in the book are very loosely derived from ones in our world. Zhongtu is derived from China, Tibet, and Thailand; Ehkoron from Mongolia; Jeevanti from India; Bando, Po, Ah, and Ni from Korea; the Crescent Moon and the Land of Winter from Japan.

Just like in our languages, words shift and change. When I write a name in English – such as the White Mountain – the characters know what it means (just like the name Joy has a clear meaning in English). When I use a different language – such as the Kuanbai River - it represents a meaning that has shifted or is no longer used, and the characters may or may not be aware of its roots (just as only linguists and history buffs will know a town called Chester was probably once a fort). Some names I took wholly from a language (Bai means white in Chinese), while others are variations I created (Salaana, whose full name is Sunlight’s Allure is derived from “phusalaana” or allure in Hindi). Others have ambiguous etymologies – Gang means steel in Chinese and his children have pseudo-Chinese names, but being named by Noran, I think Gang is really a shortening of “gangchoel” which is steel in Korean. I wanted to convey different characters’ self-identification with different cultures or regions of their world – which is why Ao and his family, who feel tied to the Crescent Moon, all have pseudo-Japanese names while Zi and Hei associate with Zhongtu. Some characters have transplanted themselves – Haraa is from Jeevanti (Haraa means “green” in Hindi) but lives in Zhongtu. And a few names I created without regard to their meaning – the city Xiling could have a few meanings in Chinese, but I choose it for its sound rather than its possible meanings.

Xiao and Jin have full names (Laughter in the Shadows and Sunlight Turns Petals Gold) with obvious meanings, but their nicknames (Xiao being Laughter 笑; Jin being Gold 金) are not immediately clear (even to Chinese readers since I used Roman characters without diacritics). However, you now know the title of the book refers to the vow that they make in chapter two and all that unfolds because of it. At any rate, if I have made a mistake in my use of various languages, please forgive me and know my intent to celebrate and reference the influences on this book.

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