The Texas Vampire universe is founded on a science-based theory, which was vetted with top animal metabolism and behavioral experts. Every attempt has been made to stay consistent with that theory.
Terminology used in the Texas Vampire universe is taken whenever possible from medieval Spanish, supplemented by modern Spanish. The only exception is that patrones are given an honorific appropriate to their esfera‘s ethnicity, e.g., don in Texas, madame in New Orleans, lord in England, etc.
Adelantado mayor. Governor. The head of an esfera‘s civilian hierarchy.
Alferez mayor. al-FEH-reth. Military commander-in-chief, overseeing all warriors in an esfera.
Bandolerismo. Banditry. Vampiros owing allegiance to no patron and living outside the esfera‘s laws.
Cachorro/cachorra/cachorros/cachorras. cah-CHO-rroh. “Cub.” Immature vampiro, who is unable to shape-shift except to feed.
Comitiva. “Retinue.” Assemblage of prosaicos attached to a single esfera, patrón, or vampiro.
Commandery/commanderies. Garrison of vampiro warriors. A large, stable esfera has a commandery in every major city (e.g., Dallas, Houston, Austin, etc.) and also at every major strategic point, such as border crossings. They are rarely staffed by mesnaderos, since those are always concentrated near the patrón. Usage primarily taken from medieval Spanish military orders.
Compañero/compañera/compañeros. “Companion.” Someone who drinks vampiro blood regularly but has not become a vampiro. A compañero always has greater strength, speed, senses, and healing powers than a prosaico. The anticipated lifespan is a century, while surviving two centuries is extremely rare.
Compañía/compañías. com-pah-NYEE-ah. A company or team of vampiro warriors. Mesnaderos compañías are named for their commander, while compañías from a commandery are usually named for their city. A compañía‘s size can vary considerably, from a dozen vampiros, up to a hundred or more.
Concubino compañero. A compañero whose duties are confined to those of sex slave.
Cónyuge. CON-yuh-heh. “Spouse” or “partner.” Life mate, to whom a vampiro is linked by a psychic bond of total trust. The creation of this bond cannot be forced in any way.
Creador. “Creator.” Sire of a vampiro.
Cumbia. A flirtatious Tejano dance in which couples circle the dance floor.
El Abrazo. “The Embrace.” The entire process of becoming a vampiro.
Escudero. “Shield bearer.” Squire.
Esfera/esferas. “Sphere,” as in “sphere of influence.” A vampiro territory, which does not necessarily exactly coincide with a present-day geophysical territories. Esferas’ boundaries are fluid and frequently fought over. The basic concept is adapted from gangster territories in Prohibition Chicago and New York.
Heraldo. “Herald.” Herald, who is also a diplomat and a spy. Usage is taken from medieval and Renaissance Europe.
Hijo/hija/hijos. E-hoh. “Son/daughter/sons.” A vampiro sired by a specific creador.
La Lujuria. “Lechery.” The Rut. Upon awakening as a vampiro, every cachorro will undergo weeks or months of insanity during which their only goal is to obtain blood and emotion.
Mesnadero/mesnaderos. A vampiro warrior and a member of a patrón‘s personal guard. Taken from medieval Spanish, for a member of the royal household guard.
Nuestro Señor. “Our liege-lord.” The formal form of address for a patrón, used by his dependents. Taken from Spanish.
Patrón/patrona/patrones. pah-TRON, pah-TROH-nes. The ruler, who is an absolute monarch, of an esfera. He is also usually the creador of all the esfera’s vampiros.
Prosaico/prosaica/prosaicos. “Prosaic” or “mundane,” similar to the Society for Creative Anachronism’s usage. A mortal human, neither vampiro nor compañero. If he has drunk vampiro blood, it happened so rarely and in such small quantities that it has not affected his everyday life in any noticeable manner.
Santiaguista. san-tyah-GIS-tah. A member of the Order of Santiago, formally known as Saint James of the Sword, one of the three great Spanish military orders and the richest. Santiago based its rule on St. Augustine’s but remarkably incorporated married knights, not as confrères but as full members. Like other military orders, it had convents of nuns but some sisters were married. The term is used both as a noun and as an adjective.
Siniscal. Seneschal. Responsible for the patrón‘s entire household and its accounts. The siniscal can also call out the esfera‘s warriors. Taken from 14th-century Spanish, but rooted in 9th-century Visigothic.
Vampiro/vampira/vampiros. Vampire. Someone who survives on emotional energy carried through human blood. Mature vampiros can shapeshift to at least one other form (if only mist) and are resistant to telepathic suggestions.
Vampiro mayor/vampira mayor/vampiros mayores. “Elder vampire.” A vampiro who has lived for at least three hundred years, can walk in full daylight, and drinks less than a quarter cup of blood per day (except in times of great physical need). He also becomes more and more difficult to detect, even with the heightened senses of other vampiros mayores.
Vampiro primero/vampira primera. “Primary vampire.” The vampiro that a compañero is principally interested in drinking blood from. The compañero becomes utterly loyal to that vampiro, when fed from him long enough. The amount of time needed to form this bond is extremely varied.
A Quick Guide to Pronouncing Spanish
Pronounce almost every vowel and almost every consonant.
If there’s an accent over a vowel, emphasize that syllable.
Spanish words are usually pronounced with the stress on the second to the last syllable unless an accent indicates otherwise. Therefore patrón is pronounced pah-TRON, not PA-tron; and patrones is pah-TROH-nes (which is why it doesn’t need an accent over the “O”).
Unlike English, each vowel has basically only one sound.
A as in “father.”
E as in “ten.”
I as in “he.” (If found before a vowel, it’s almost like the “y” in “you.”)
O as in “hot.” At the end of a syllable, “O” has a soft sound like the “O” in “note” but without the glide; when it’s followed by a consonant in the same syllable, it has a harder sound, like the “O” in “organ.” (See the examples below with patrones (soft “O”) and patrón (hard “O”).)
U as the “oo” in “fool.”
The biggest exceptions to the pronouncing every vowel are: (1) “U” when it follows a “G” or “Q” and precedes an “E” or “I”: the “U” in this case is silent; with “G” it indicates that the “G” has a hard sound (pronounced like “go”), and not the usual soft sound (which is like “home”); and (2) two vowels side by side are pronounced with one sound (“elided”) unless one of the vowels has an accent. This means that Santiaguista is pronounced san-tyah-GIS-tah, not san-tee-yah-guh-IS-tah; and compañía is pronounced com-pah-NYEE-ah, not com-pah-NYAH.
When followed by an “E” or “I”, “C” is pronounced like “th” (as in “think”) in Castilian Spanish but has an “s” sound (like “cent”) in American Spanish. When it’s followed by an “A”, “O”, “U”, or a consonant, it’s pronounced like “c” in “come.”
When followed by an “E” or “I,” “G” is pronounced like the “H” in “home”; when it follows an “A,” “O,” “U” or a consonant, “G” sounds like “go.” Therefore cónyuge is pronounced CON-yuh-heh, but Rodrigo is roh-DREE-goh.
“H” is silent in Spanish; thus hijo is pronounced E-hoh.
“J” is pronounced like a soft “H”, similar to the “ch” in the Scottish “loch.” In Spanish, Mexico and Texas are spelled Méjico and Tejas (hence Tejano for its native culture).
Double “L” is considered a separate letter in the Spanish language. It’s pronounced somewhat like “lli” in “William” in Castilian Spanish, but like “y” in American Spanish. Don Rafael pronounces caballero as cah-bah-LLYEH-roh, not cah-bah-YEH-roh, nor cah-bal-LEH-roh.
“Ñ” sounds like the “ny” in “onion.”
Double “R” is pronounced with a trill or rolled like a Scottish “R” (and is treated as a separate letter in Spanish). Thus, cachorro is pronounced cah-CHO-rroh, not cah-CHOR-roh.
“X” is pronounced like “ks” in “axis,” never like “gz” in “exult.”
“Y” pronounced like “I” in “bit”; but when preceding a vowel, it’s pronounced like “Y” in “yes.”
“Z” is pronounced as “th” (as in “think”) in Castilian Spanish but has an “s” sound (like “cent”) in American Spanish. Therefore Don Rafael pronounces “alferez” as al-FEH-reth, not al-FEH-res.