Civilization is simultaneously a tangible thing and an abstract concept. It is structures of habitation, commerce, learning, and war but also social ties and customs and culture and art. Everywhere people gather and live under a set of customs and rules to govern their interactions and behavior, Civilization blossoms.
Civilization is an important concept to The Races of The Whorl. It is the thing that separates them from the Monsters that live cast out and savage. Civilized behavior is what keeps people under the good graces and auspices of The Gods, particularly the twin goddesses of fortune and misfortune, the currents of luck, ambition, profit, and loss that govern the complex social web from which Civilization is built. Lakshmi and Jyestha live within the currents of Civilization, both the physical structures and abstract ones. Anyone can travel to their realm simply by going somewhere civilized and behaving civilly.