You may have noticed that to progress past a certain level in the Chantris Library, you must have a Lesser Word. Please Note: Lesser Words are something you really only know about if someone has told you, or if you've gotten to the relevant bits of Chantris lore. They are not generally spoken about, even within the family.
What is a Lesser or Greater Word?
The Great Words of Chantris are the Kept, secret words from the Primal Cant. They are defined in ao-chantris/5. There are other words that might be defined as Great words that are not on that list. A Great word is anything with a very broad definition — 'truth' for example, may not be one of the listed Kept Words, but is too sweeping, important and general in definition to be considered anything but a Great Word.
A Lesser Word should generally be a noun, and a noun with a specific meaning. As an example, 'honesty' is far more specific than 'truth' and would work as a Lesser Word.
Every Chantris has a place in their soul where a Lesser Word can take root; it is something that resonates with their personality and sense of self and is therefore highly personal and almost never discussed. There are two ways this can happen: one is by simply knowing what that Lesser Word is; the shape and sense of it, without actually KNOWING the word in the Primal Cant. In this case, the propco can issue you a token. The other is to know the word, its sound and exact meaning in the Primal Cant, and to embody it. In this case, it is set as a 0-point gift on your sheet using WOP-LW, and then can be used as a pre-requisite not only for higher levels of access to the hidden library, but also as a pre-requisite for an individualized, signature gift (that would cost points) based on the meaning of the word.
Once a Lesser Word is found, it should to some extent influence its bearer. This effect is purely color, but please consider it deeply.
Who defines what Lesser Word I Can Have?
You must +submit to staff to get your personal Lesser Word defined. If you are not in a position to obtain it as a 0-point gift (i.e., you don't have CHA-PC), ask the propco to give you a +token for it after staff have approved it. Once you do have it as a gift (WOP-LW), you will be asked to come up with at least a 5 pt signature gift to go with the word.
How does my character obtain their Word?
The traditional method is to find your word during the secret rites of Initiation. In this case it is preferable for you to work out the confirmation of your lesser word with staff before RPing the initiation ritual. If you entered play with Initiation already done and in your background, you should probably go ahead and talk to staff sooner rather than later to confirm your Lesser Word.
Note that it is not required to undergo Initiation to find your Lesser Word if you have CHA-PC; in fact, it is possible to find a Lesser Word that is set on you via WOP-LW and then undergo Initiation separately, find a DIFFERENT Lesser Word via the rite, and then RP a conflict of the two within your soul. This would be purely a color effect, as the second lesser word would likely never be given to you as a gift.
What are the Secret Rites of Initiation Again?
They are SECRET! Talk to Talia about it OOCly.
What if I speak my Lesser Word?
That would be Bad. The GMs would probably need to be consulted as to effects. This would represent a failing of Chantris Duty, and possibly the loss of your word, but could have a tremendously potent and awesome short-term effect.