A quick introduction to the terms used in Katabasis.
Aspect - Someone's inborn animalistic traits. In humans, this refers specifically to theriocephaly: Every human is born with the head of a tetrapod animal.
Binding Hoop - A tool that allows a witch to perform binding rituals. Hoops are often made by the witches who use them, and come in a variety of makes and sizes to suit different needs.
Binding Ritual - A magical process which can bind living things together in a variety of ways, depending on the ritual and its participants. The two binding rituals are Rises and Consumptions. Both require a tool known as a binding hoop.
Consumption - A binding ritual which physically merges two organisms. Consumptions aren't lethal for all forms of life, but between humans they're used as a grotesque method of execution- "killing two birds with one stone" so to speak.
Fae - An intelligent species, as predatory as they are mysterious. They use shapeshifting and voice-mimicry to lure in prey. Fae are typically solitary, but can form relationships with humans and tolerate more densely-populated habitats. Biologically, fae are alien compared to other forms of life.
Familiar - A fae who has taken part in a Rise. One half of a witch-familiar relationship.
Fledgling - Someone who has made a wish using one of the Firebird’s feathers. Fledglings are typically granted supernatural abilities, or transformed in some fashion.
Rise - A binding ritual which energetically merges a human and a fae. The new flow of energy provides benefits for both parties, but Rises are a big commitment and can be difficult to break.
Witch - A human who can use binding rituals. Only a percentage of witches working in the modern day have familiars.
World Tree - A mythical tree which the Firebird is said to roost in. Its location, if it exists at all, is unknown. Like the Firebird, it's a staple of myths and fairy tales from around the world.