asterway is a generic term that can refer to either:
Those individuals who have descended to Excilior
directly, by means of excilation
Anyone who is an inhabitant of the planet.
uring the Age of Darkness
, there were no humans on the planet that did not arrive directly via excilation
. Those refugees found themselves in an untamed world where the only other humans were other men who had previously arrived by the same method. Those men had no means of communicating with, or returning to, the planet from which they originated. So in that sense, they were truly and utterly cast off by their parent society
Beginning with the Age of Cervia
, the population of Excilior
began to slowly grow, for the first time, of its own accord. Excilation
in no way abated, but over centuries a situation arose whereby those arriving in the dropships
were but a tiny fraction of the overall population. When this first came to pass, the term casterway
briefly went out of fashion - and it was certainly considered poor form to refer to Excilior
-born individuals as casterways
Scope of Use
But through the march of millennia, the old term came back into vogue. Eventually, it was no longer used to refer strictly to those who had directly descended in dropships
, but to also include anyone who was descended
from a dropship
passenger. And over the course of all world history, there was only one person - Cervia Polonosa
- who can truthfully claim that she had not arrived via dropship
and she had not descended from someone who had.
The term casterway
historically carried a resentful connotation. But it's been many years before anyone ruminated too closely on the emotions engendered in that word. Today, it's more likely to be used either with a sense of home-world pride, or with general indifference.
asterways comprise at least eight distinct ethnic groups. While their populations and territories have grown, shrunk, and shifted over millennia, the most recent estimates of their demographics are as follows:
is neither a nationality nor a true ethnicity. Therefore, it can be fairly rare to hear it anymore in common parlance, unless the speakers are specifically addressing matters in which the worldwide population would naturally be thought of as one. In daily conversation, it's much more common to hear someone referred to by their nationality, their race, or even a region or neighborhood from which they hail.
Use of the term is most common when discussion turns to the Absents
. Just as casterways
can refer to the entirety of a population that is, quite literally, stranded on Excilior
. The Absents
are, presumably, the people who have arranged to have the casterways stranded. For this reason, it's most natural to hear the planet's inhabitants refer to themselves as casterways
during those times when the subject matter turns to the Absents