serev (n.): Blood, or other primary life-fluid (e.g., myneni crystalplasm, codramaju suspension, mezuar sap, etc. – even, to stretch a metaphorical point, digisapience electricity.)
A word notable for its use in many metaphor-based compounds and etymological cousins, notably seredar (“blood-person”, or paramedic); seredhain (“blood-war”, or war of extermination/genocide); seredáné (“blood-precursor”, or genetic parent); sereglés (“blood-key”, or biometric security system); sereqártill (“blood-price”, or weregeld); seredelefí (“blood-oath”, a contract secured on one or both parties’ lives); and saráv (justice).
“We don’t speak to our gods, and they don’t speak to us.”
“Why? The last time we asked them for something and they heard us, Venirek Sky-Hammer punched our world so hard that everything died. And it’s not that we’re not grateful, but that’s the kind of miracle you only want occasionally. That, and it’s not like they have a lot to say to us, skyhammer and bloodwind and old starry-eyes. We tell their myths to children and what they learn – bein’ kaeth – is that they want to grow up to punch things that hard. That, and to die well enough to get into Mak-Rekken, the afterlife of glorious eternal battle.”
“Not what you might call a well-rounded spirituality. For that, we have the Eight Bloody Sages.”
“Not gods. The old ones, lost in myth – except when they’re not. The eight oldest of us, the ones who survived everything Paltraeth could throw at them, each other and the rest of us included. Rage, Greed, Cunning, Clan, Lust, Fire, Death, and Being Too Damn Bull-Headed To Quit, Ever.” The old kaeth smirked. “It sounds better without translation. They don’t have other names. They don’t need other names.”
“And never just the Eight Sages. They’re the Eight Bloody Sages. Because they’re born in blood, and alive through blood, their own and their enemies. Because blood is truth and blood is life and life’s wisdom comes through blood. And because if you don’t listen well enough when they speak, your own blood pooling around the remains of your guts’ll be the last thing you ever see.”