tanelos is set on a world that is home to two warring states: the first (the Archniniei Imperium), a benevolent feudal empire ruled by an empress and her vassals; the second (the Terionach Union), a belligerent, expansionist confederacy of principalities.
The mind-gifted on this world possess one or more of four basic mindpowers:
- telepathy and the ability to sense at a distance ("farsensing" cf. May, "kithing" cf. L'Engle, and passive excorporeal excursion)
- mental force - mass and energy - and the ability to teleport physical objects ("psychokinesis/creativity" cf. May, and active excorporeal excursion cf. Eddings)
- the ability to see through time ("prolepsis" cf. May, plus the destinon gift)
- the ability to manipulate minds ("coercion/redaction" cf. May, or the "forced rapport"; A. McCaffrey, C. S. Friedman, K. Kurtz and M. Z. Bradley have written extensively on this)
The Archniniei have a very liberated and open policy towards the mind-gifted (which May calls metapsychic operants); the Terionach are very fascistic and nationalistic, but promotes the first two categories of mindpowers while oppressing, ostracizing, and otherwise persecuting the latter two. In our story, the Union has been waging a series of wars of gradual conquest against the Imperium, and predating against its allies on land and sea, for centuries. Its people are very Machiavellian and ruthless expediency is the basis of their social order and prestige. About 100 years before the beginning of my novel, the second nation occupied Tane-Los (the Citadel of Blood), a very important city and formerly the central port of the Imperium.