1. The main character of the story is a priest in a religious order. They have at least some degree of hierarchy (they are sort of a combination religious order/group of scholars, so I can draw on my experience in academia). I don't feel like making up my own list of nonsense words for ranks, mainly because I don't expect my readers will remember them any better than I will, but I barely understand the Catholic clerical hierarchy, let alone other religions'. Furthermore, I am a bit apprehensive about using something obviously Christian, because too often it seems (or maybe it's just me reading too much Mercedes Lackey) a strongly-organized religion comes off as a Catholicism-clone. So, any information about how organized religions work like organizations (with an emphasis on the highly-structured ones) would be helpful
2. As mentioned in a previous post, I am trying to use the set of American wildlife, rather than the set of Eurasian wildlife (or the mish-mash that one gets when the writer doesn't pay attention) typical of your average fantasy novel. I just read an interesting passage in a reference book that had an interesting and useful idea. It mentioned the fact that it is now believed that hunting by newly-arrived humans may have contributed to the decline and extinction of many of the large mammals native to the Americas during the last Ice Age. It pointed out that this didn't happen as much in Eurasia because the wildlife was used to humans and was more cautious around them. Thus, when humans started to domesticate animals, they had a wide selection of large animals (horses, cattle, oxen, camels, donkeys, etc.) to work with. So, now I want to look at the things living in the Americas as of the last Ice Age (about 100,000 to 10,000 years ago) and see if anything looks interesting. Any links?