Glossary of Terms
Currently, this glossary covers terms introduced in Books 1-2, and thus may contain spoilers. (Book 3 coming soon!)
Thaumaturges who have lost control of the magic they channel, but instead of dying, have been changed. They are usually much more magically powerful than they were in life, and almost always have physical mutations. Some Aberrants merely mutate into a dangerous beast-like being, rabid for death and destruction. Some mutate into grotesque or phantasmagorical forms, and have esoteric magical effects. Some mutations remain minor, while the mind and powers are twisted insidiously.
Uniformly, an Aberrant is no longer human, having lost their previous thoughts and desires. Almost all Aberrants are malicious, even those with seemingly benign effects. It is believed one is more likely to break and become an Aberrant with a corrupted Will from casting immoral magics.
A stone with a hole worn through the middle by natural means, it is said that adder stones impart clarity of mind and vision, and one can look through the hole to reveal illusions. Useful on their own, or as a component in spells.
Mixed with honey, it creates a strong sticky substance. It can be cleared through applying oil.
A ritual form of spellcasting that uses organic and inorganic components to create magical concoctions. The most common method of performing alchemy is through the use of a cauldron to create potions, philtres, draughts, and tinctures. It is the least expensive way to save a particular magic for instant use at a later time, but not the most efficient way. As with all ritual spells, the magic woven into alchemical concoctions is semi-permanent.
All-purpose antidote potion
A mild antidote to common poisons and venoms, the all-purpose antidote is best used on mild irritants, or to buy time for a more thorough solution to serious toxins. It can be used in lieu of a sobering potion to diminish the effects of alcohol.
Animation spells give temporary and false life to an inanimate object, such as in the case of the Glasshopper’s eponymous confections.
Also known as a calming potion, this is a weaker and less addictive version of the elixir of peace. The University infirmary keeps a large amount on hand for students struggling with stress.
Suppresses the urge to cough. As coughing is often useful to clear liquid from the lungs, this philtre is used when there are extenuating circumstances, like broken ribs, that may cause more damage.
A magical institution, teaching “secrets” of magic and the arcane.
A craft of magic that embeds a pre-cast spell in an object for later release, or enchantment—changing the object’s state. Battle wands, light crystals, and self-cleaning chamberpots are examples of artifacts. Enchantments and Wards are a sub-set of Artificery.
A drilling artifact created in Osham. Though meant for mining and construction, it can also be utilized to brute-force wardbreak.
An area of greenery around southwest Gilbratha.
Ball of light spell
Causes a spherical section of the air to glow with the illusion of a ball of light. Brightness, color, size, and location can be controlled.
A humanoid magical creature that is dangerous to humans, and attacks with their voice through incapacitating screams and songs with a soporific effect.
Bark skin potion
Grows a protective layer of bark over the skin of the drinker, while still allowing them most of their range of motion. While not as strong as plate mail armor, it is much lighter, and more effective than chainmail against atmospheric attacks. When damaged, chunks of bark will fall off, which can be useful against spreading attacks like rotting curses or acid.
A wand-shaped artifact charged with offensive spells. For law enforcement, this is most commonly a stunning spell.
Beast cores, which resemble raw gems, are harvested from dead magical beasts, and can be used to power spells in place of other sources of energy. They come in many different colors, though the color itself is not as important as the brightness and clarity, with brighter and clearer cores being easier to drawn energy from.
Beast cores contain a total energy value of thousands of thaums, up to millions of thaums, and are generally rated either by their total energy value, or their per-second capacity if they were drained completely over the course of an hour.
When drained, beast cores will shatter and crumble, and cannot be recharged. Due to this, they are a rather expensive source of power, and are most commonly used for emergencies, for high-power spells that make it inconvenient to use lesser sources of power, or by those who have the coin to spend in exchange for convenience.
Beast cores become exponentially more expensive as their quality increases, similar to celerium.
A figure shrouded in mystery and fear, the beast king is sleeping in Silva Erde, deep below the ground. While details about him are vague, diviners consistently find that if he wakes from his long sleep, calamity will follow.
Draws the attention and interest of the victim.
Black star sapphire
A gem that can be used (as can many gems) as a Conduit. It is not as robust as celerium. As components, star sapphires can be used in space-bending spells, and it is said that a black star sapphire was used in a spell to travel within and through shadows faster than any mortal could otherwise move.
These Aberrants spread their anomalous effect, physically or otherwise, expanding their area of influence. If allowed to get out of control, they can cause true devastation. The first priority for this type of Aberrant is containment.
Blood clotting potion
Poured on a wound, clots blood and can stop excessive blood loss. It can allow someone to wait till medical attention arrives when otherwise they might bleed out. Not typically considered a battle potion, because it dos not have offensive effects.
The Blood Emperor was the leader of the Third Empire, also known as the Blood Empire. His invading forces, from an unknown land beyond the northern ice oceans, conquered the continent about three hundred years ago. His empire was eventually overthrown, but his policies shaped much of modern society even after the Third Empire’s downfall. However, atrocities committed in the name of learning and power caused a severe backlash against all forms of blood magic and its practitioners.
Blood print vow
A spell that binds two or more parties to an agreement spoken while casting, bound by a thumbprint of blood. If at least one of the vowers cannot cast magic, a third party binder must be present to do so.
Boosts blood regeneration, but takes time and places strain on the body.
A powerful race with strong affinity to magic, now extinct, or close to it.
If distance is measured in meters, a divination spell with the base cost B will require B x distance/100^(B/100) thaums to cast.
Forces calm and docility on the target.
An herb. Commonly smoked, it is addictive and gives a raspy, deep voice over time.
An apocalyptic event that destroyed civilization over ten thousand years ago, and which is still shrouded in mystery.
Allows a non-living object to partially blend in with its surroundings.
The sea inlet that bisects the main area of Gilbratha from the Lilies—the rich area where many of the nobles and socialites live—to the east. The Charybdis Gulf is dangerous, containing magical water beasts that will drown a swimmer and even capsize small fishing boats, yet despite this remains a large source of income and food, especially for the poorer citizens.
A powerful Aberrant that is contained within a sundered zone, the Cinder Stag still manages to affect the world outside the sundered zone with karmic flames of retribution that can follow a chain of cause-and-effect back to its source.
Facilitates the three main elements of magic. It places a physical boundary around a spherical domain controlled by the thaumaturge, signifying that the things within are theirs to trade away and change as they wish.
Two-legged dragon-like creature with a rooster’s head. (And more or less the shape of a chicken.) Weasels are their natural enemy. Can be the familiar of a witch.
Cold box artifact
Sometimes referred to as an ice box, this is an artifact which keeps the contents placed within it chilled or frozen by siphoning out their heat.
Compass divination spell
Uses a two halves of a spelled, linked bone disk as a sympathetic beacon and a stick with one burnt end. Using one half of the bone, the burnt end of the stick will point toward the other half, like a compass.
Comprehensive Compendium of Components
A restricted book that contains its namesake, including components that are illegal and unethical.
Concussion-modified fireball spell
Adds a force effect to the fireball spell, similar to an explosion.
Concussive blast spell
Shoots ball of force which expands and weakens with distance, but can cause severe damage to a human (particularly their internal organs) or even break through walls at close range. It is often visible as a waver or fogginess in the air, but much less conspicuous than a fireball or stunning spell.
Channels the thaumaturgic energy being converted as a spell is cast. For most sorcerers, this is a celerium crystal, which is resistant to the destructive effects of channeling magic. Witches may use their familiars as Conduits, and those sorcerers who cannot afford celerium may use lesser gems, such as diamonds or sapphires.
Contact stunning spell
Set into a ring artifact, releases the spell on firm, sudden contact, like a punch.
A complex, finicky spell that allows the caster to demonstrate an action as one of the inputs of the spell. The spell will continue this action, exactly, for as long as it is empowered. It is good for things like stirring a pot continuously, spinning thread, or weaving cloth, which require relatively simple, repetitive movements.
Law enforcement, named for the copper nails in the soles of their boots, the distinctive sound of which announces their approach wherever they go.
Specific path of magic: Sorcerer, Artificer, Witch, Magician, Shaman, Animist, Gestura, etc.
Causes deafness, usually temporary, though some variations will persist for a period of time after the caster stops focusing on the hex. Some variations can be used to some effect against a banshee in place of a vibration-canceler.
They possess living beings.
Dingleberry bushes are named for their small, hard brown fruits that smell like feces and rot even before they fall to the ground.
A concentrated alchemical concoction that will dissolve other substances it comes into contact with, the dissolving tincture has many variants that can be adapted to the type of material the alchemist wishes to dissolve. Similar to a strong acid, but more versatile.
Special magical sight of the divination realm, which reveals that which might not be seen with the normal eye. It is a catch-all term that includes any ocular enhancements, such as the ability to see in the dark.
Doorjamb alarm ward
A small ward spell, carved into the underside of a door, will alert the caster when the door is opened.
Dorienne invisibility spell
A spell that uses the self-camouflaging dorienne fish to create true invisibility through which light can pass. The dorienne fish itself sees through its skin and adjusts its pigment on one side of its body to what it sees on the other to appear invisible.
A magical component.
A miniature dragon creature. Not as intelligent or powerful. Can be the familiar of a witch.
Draught of borrowed gills
This concoction allows someone to breath underwater by dropping a small, living fish into a mucousy concoction and then gulping the whole thing down whole. The fish is kept alive within a bubble of potion within the stomach for a few minutes, during which time the fish’s ability to filter oxygen from water is transferred to the drinker’s lungs.
When the fish dies and the draught’s effect wears off, the drinker must expel the water from their lungs quickly to avoid drowning. Often, use of this potion in dirty water can lead to complications and long-term side effects, so it should not be used recreationally.
Often practiced by shamans, it is a form of divination that sends their consciousness into the dream of another, most often for exploration or healing purposes.
Dreamless sleep spell
Keeps one from dreaming, using crystal and eagle feathers as components, and cast on the pillow Siobhan uses, or anywhere under her head. Uses alcohol and herb tincture as the Circle, which evaporates quickly and isn’t uncomfortable to sleep on.
A creature of living wood, shaped like a humanoid woman. They come in different sub-species of trees, and can be very small when young. Sometimes they disguise themselves as trees before the unwary or unobservant, and short bursts of activity are often followed by long periods of “sleep.”
A game where the pieces shoot fake spells at each other and dodge attacks under the control of the players.
Dysentery sustaining potion
Diluted in large amounts of water, will keep a patient with diarrhea or dysentery hydrated with a small amount of calories and the immediately necessary electrolytes and minerals, and slightly slows the rate of expulsion, allowing absorption.
Earth disintegration and stone creation spell
One of Professor Lacer’s practice exercises. Dirt or stone can be turned to sand and back again to stone using either transmutation, which creates the effect through natural processes, or through duplicative transmogrification, which copies the properties of existing material.
Magical beast with a very tough hide.
A deadly, flesh-eating plant with purple-streaked flowers whose long, tapered petals open and turn to follow prey as it passes, releasing sweet-smelling pollen into the air. They lure their prey with their beauty and the soporific properties of their pollen.
The five known Elemental Planes are accessible through planar portal spells from the mundane plane, where humans and other mundane races live. Each Elemental Plane corresponds to an element: Radiance, Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. Creatures, plants, and even the water and soil from the Elemental Planes will be imbued with the energy of their plane, and are powerful spellcasting components. Each Elemental Plane has sapient creatures, some of which are humanoid and can even cross breed with humans.
Beings from the Elemental Planes. On the mundane plane (Earth), they are most often encountered as the familiars of witches, who use them as a Conduit to channel magic. When sapient and humanoid, they have specific labels.
Elixir of Euphoria
An alchemical concoction which, in low doses, combats depression, but is more often sold recreationally for the eponymous euphoria.
Elixir of peace
Imparts a sense of well-being, and can be used in small doses to combat depression and anxiety, or for its recreational effects in larger doses. It is used in war to give soldiers who are dying some peace in their last moments.
A general-purpose ward. A more expensive and inefficient defense than setting wards against more specific spells or incidents.
Horse with partial magical lineage. They are extremely expensive, but don’t look much different from a normal horse.
A luxury leaf for smoking. They are dark blue. The smoke is smooth and calming, great for blowing smoke rings, but nonaddictive.
Ever-inking pen artifact
Comes as a set with an inkwell. Spelled to automatically refill the ink cartridge of the pen with ink from the inkwell whenever not in use. More expensive ones refill based on the rate of expenditure, and some very expensive ones maintain a folded space within the pen’s ink cartridge, so the user never needs worry about their inkwell running dry.
Fabric cutting spell
This spell creates a short-range slicing blade of air that extends outward in an arc, the shape of which can be controlled to some degree by the caster’s Will. Unlike many similar spells, it doesn’t require the target to be within the Circle, as it uses compressed air as the cutting edge. At longer distances the cutting edge, visible as a faintly glowing shimmer in the air, degrades severely.
With practice and enough power, it can be used to overcome the inherent magical barrier that living creatures possess, and injure a human or animal.
Fever Reducing potion/balm
Cools the head, with some cooling to the body as well, along with pain relief. Encourages comfort, allows sleep, and should be given in conjunction with a sustaining draught.
A powerful race with strong affinity to magic, now close to extinct. They were supposedly so agile they could dance between raindrops without ever being hit.
Finger bone divination
Human finger bones can be used in (illegal) divination, after being processed and etched with symbols and glyphs. The diviner will shake them while casting the divination, throw them, and then read the spell’s output in the way they have fallen, with certain glyphs in certain positions or crossing others. Depending on the amount of bones and what output options have been etched into them, this type of divination can have nuance and impart a greater amount of information than similar methods like dice-throwing or card reading.
Shoots a ball of fire at about 12 meters per second.
Fractionally increases movement speed, but not reaction speed.
A more powerful version of the skin-knitting salve, this potion is meant to seal larger wounds, ideally after the use of the blood-clotting potion.
Small birds that blink in and out of visibility with every flap of their wings.
A high class, bespoke clothing shop.
Casting magic at will, without the stabilizing external Word of a physical spell array, a ritual, or special movements. The Word, and sometimes the Circle as well, is instead held solely in the mind. This feat is extremely difficult, and only a few are proficient in it.
Garden of wonders
An element of a children’s tale, which the University Menagerie seems to exemplify.
A spell which creates temporary tentacles growing from a solid, nonliving surface. Used to bind or obstruct movement from a distance, and often employed as a nonlethal method of detainment. Gone wrong, can strangle a victim to death.
Gold duplication spell
A duplicative transmogrification spell that copies a source of matter. As with most attempts to create matter through magic, only the most skilled thaumaturges can create a truly perfect copy that will have the same magical properties as the original, and thus duplicated gold or other substances are often worth less than the authentic originals.
Fruit from a magical tree that closely resembles a gold-skinned apple, and are said to improve organ function and thus increase a person’s lifespan.
Magical animal. Mucus can be used as a thickening agent in most salves and lotions, especially those meant for the face.
Small humanoid creatures with spiky backs, large strange eyes, and small razor-sharp claws. They seem to have a great desire to fly, and collect feathers, steal eggs, and other futile attempts to reach the skies. They are sentient and somewhat trainable, but not considered sapient.
Group proprioception potion
Lets everyone who drank from the same batch instinctively know where the others were for a period of time. Its main component is a magical sea lichen that connects and disconnects any singular part of itself at will, still somehow communicating with the greater whole to capture prey and then confine it until it starved to death.
Grubb’s barrier spell
A weak barrier spell that only protects against physical projectiles, with a minimum requirement of under 200 thaums to cast.
Creature with the head and wings of an eagle, with the body, legs, and tail of a lion. Can be domesticated and flown.
Minnow-sized fish that glint as if they are made of precious metals polished to a high sheen.
Creates a simple gust of wind, with the size and speed depending on the size of the Circle and the amount of power fed to it.
A magical humanoid. They have a natural predilection to the dark, and good night vision. They have some facility with hexagon/hexagram spells, dealing with balance. Hags who integrate with society may sell good luck talismans (or cursed objects.)
Taken in doses of a liter or more, this draught rehydrates, replenishes electrolytes, and mitigates the pain of a hangover. The University infirmary stocks many doses.
Harrow Hill Penitentiary
Gilbratha’s jail, a stout stone building in the shape of a cross, within a circular wall that encloses the grounds.
Minty. An alchemical concoction that relieves headache pain and helps to rejuvenate the senses.
Generalized healing potions, of which there are many different variations of different strengths and capabilities, are an extremely effective method to preserve an injured or ill patient’s life. They can be used for most types of wounds or illnesses, and are both convenient and practical. However, due to the price of components—many of which are from the Plane of Light—and the abundance of magical energy packed into these potions, they are expensive.
Is sometimes bright neon green.
This curse causes the target’s blood vessels to rupture and encourages excessive, forceful blood loss. It can sometimes be recognized by the shape of its glowing force as it travels.
A measure of scale for maximum Will capacity. It is measured by a crystal ball in an array that filters incoming energy and outputs a portion of it as light through the glowing crystal. It’s the most widely-used metric, likely due to the fact that Will-capacity is the easiest to test, and often shows correlation to the overall caliber of a thaumaturge’s Will. The brighter the light, the more power (thaums) is being channeled per second.
Very small people, who outwardly seem indistinguishable from humans, but are argued to be a different species due to their facility with certain magics.
A component in some spells, human fingernails are illegal due to the restrictions against blood magic.
Humphries’ adapting solution
An alchemical concoction that can be spelled directly into the veins to take the place of blood in a blood-loss emergency. Expensive, and the shelf-life isn’t super long, so it may not always be on hand. Can also be used to keep creatures from the Plane of Water alive on the mundane plane, which was its original purpose.
Multi-headed snake. The number of heads ranges from two to nine, with more heads generally indicating a more powerful, intelligent creature, as information processing and bodily processes are divided among the heads based on their individual priorities and specialties.
A predatory, large, shaggy cat that lives near the northern ice oceans.
Ignore pain spell
Muffles pain slightly, allows mind to detach from the focus pain draws, effects wear off quickly once spell is released, but it can allow someone to prepare to heal themselves. Recommended strongly against using this to do things like set bones or put sockets back into place, in case the sudden shock of pain causes the caster to lose control of the spell. Muffles pain by about 15%, so of moderate usefulness. May be good for exercise pain. Esoteric magic.
A curse that removes the victim’s ability to successfully complete intercourse, either through removing their libido, or suppressing their physical ability to copulate.
Improved hearing spell
An esoteric spell that uses hands cupped behind the ears to gather and direct amplified sound, and thus improve selective hearing.
Makes physical damage less likely over a set diameter. Very expensive, but nebulous and thus not very powerful. Still can make a difference, either over time, or in dangerous circumstances.
Giants, who are known for building megalithic monuments.
A sometimes fox, sometimes woman. In human form, the kitsune will still have her tails, more depending on how old and powerful she is, up to nine. They often use their tails to cover their bodies, wrapping around it in place of clothing, and are considered seductively attractive, though they do not appear often in Siobhan’s part of the world.
A magical creature known for stealth and ambushes. Its silk is highly coveted for its transparency and use in camouflage or invisibility cloaks.
Has sedative saliva, which is dried, powdered, and used as a component in stunning spells. Upon release from the spell, the treated saliva quickly degrades and becomes inert.
Landrum’s nourishing draught
As with many spells, there are multiple variations of the nourishing draught.
Should be diluted in large amounts of water, which will thicken with the concoction. It contains vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, as well as some complex sugars/starches. When given frequently, will keep the patient hydrated and with the resources their body needs to continue fighting. The nourishing draught should be created over low heat, to avoid killing the vitamins. Sometimes, it is then dehydrated for long-term storage.
Some versions also induce repeated swallowing, for patients who are insensate and cannot wake to drink. For those with extended nausea, some versions can also help them keep something down, though not stop diarrhea.
A non-celerium crystal made into an artifact spelled to release light on command. The rich use them in place of candles or lamps, as they are much brighter and require less maintenance. But, though they also last longer than a candle or lamp, they are expensive enough that the common person cannot afford to buy one, even if it would save them money in the long run.
Light can be used as a source of magical power just like heat, matter, and kinetic force. Converting light within an area to magical power will create an area of darkness, as the light is absorbed before it can pass through or be reflected.
Lino-Wharton messenger spell
A power spell with several pre-requisites. It binds a raven to a controller, allowing the controller to speak through the raven at a distance to transmit messages, or to complete simple tasks.
Liquid fire potion
When exposed to air, this potion catches fire.
Liquid stone potion
Expands like an aerosol foam and hardens quickly upon contact with air. Can be used as a barrier or a splint for broken bones, among other things. Not permeable to air, or malleable once hardened, so it can suffocate if it lands on the face. Liquid stone’s expansion is purposefully inhibited when in contact with living flesh so that those who carry it do not accidentally entomb themselves if a vial breaks accidentally.
It is softer than normal stone, similar with a similar durability as sandstone.
Loomis anti-awareness field
A spell, in artifact form on Siobhan’s heirloom Conduit ring, that dissuades people from noticing or remembering a small object.
A scholar who focuses on the stories of old, on the little-known or forgotten facets of magic and the creatures who use it.
A powerful Aberrant.
When breathed in, this philtre creates a sealed bubble inside the lung, which can apply internal pressure to a puncture wound and keep someone from drowning in their own blood.
A type of skin-walker, lycanthropes take on and off the skin of a wolf, transforming into the animal at will. Divested of their wolf skins, they lose the ability to transform. A Lycanthrope’s animal skin can be used to give a thaumaturge a lesser version of the animal-transformation skill practiced by the skinwalkers themselves, or as a component in taming and binding spells.
A person who uses magical artifacts rather than cast spells themselves. Often derided as scammers, charlatans, and unworthy by “true” thaumaturges. An artificer who uses their own artifacts is not considered a magician.
A curse spoken with a wronged person’s dying breath with brings long-term misfortune to the cursed party. These are considered baseless superstitions by most.
A root plant whose tuber takes the shape of a humanoid being, and which can incapacitate and even kill with their cry if pulled from the muffling earth. They grow more expensive with age, and can be difficult to keep alive. They enjoy being sung to, and may die if not given enough personal attention even if conditions are otherwise optimal. The mandrake root’s similarities to the human form make it valuable for spells that would otherwise need a human, such as simulacrum or surrogate spells, and they are most well known for their ability to receive, as a surrogate, a curse transferred from a human victim. They are also used in hallucinogenic spells and concoctions.
Map-based location divining spell
A divination spell that guides a drop of spelled mercury over a place-anchored map to find a location based on a sympathetic connection.
Repairs mundane objects, but requires all the pieces as well as components that would otherwise be required to mend the objects by hand. The mending spell is able to achieve somewhat finer control and dexterity than one might with their hands and fingers.
Mermaids are a magical cephalopod. They lure prey by sticking tentacles above water and making them look like a human woman, who asks for help. When the victim gets too close, the “mermaid” suddenly comes apart into a mass of tentacles that grab them and drag them into the water to be eaten.
A powerful Aberrant that the Red Guard has been unable to destroy or contain. It is a void-black form, which destroys everything it touches, but moves very slowly. The Red Guard uses space magic to adjust its path and evacuation to keep people safe from it.
A more complex version of the continue-motion spell, the mimeo-motion spell allows duplication of the copied motion in multiple places. It is used most commonly for mass-producing books.
Causes the victim trouble reading, comprehending, and focusing. As with all harmful spells classified as jinxes, it is not permanent, and cast lightly, the victim may not realize they have been affected.
Mirrored healing spell/Flesh-mirroring spell
Using blood of the injured person as a Sacrifice, this spell can mold flesh and bone to match the mirrored side of the body, and thus heal injuries without the need for rare and expensive components.
Uses glyphs “blood,” “mirror,” and then the physical part in need of mirrored healing, like “tooth.” One large Circle around the whole area, and then two inner Circles, meeting in the middle, one which has the good side and one the injured side. Uses a pentagram inside a pentagon, for the combination of transmutation and transmogrification this spell requires. Relies more on the Will and Sacrifice than the clarity or complexity of the written Word. Requires a detailed, focused image of what the caster wants to happen. Using the the wounded person’s own blood is especially efficient.
Mnemonic-link tracking spell
Creates a sympathetic link between an object and the target, but depends on the caster’s extreme familiarity with the target, and best augmented by an item that has a direct connection to the target.
Moonbeams & fairy wings
Moonbeams and fairy wings, harvested (from the Menagerie) at night, have mind-altering (recreational drug) effects.
Commonly used in their dried form, similar to pepper, moonseeds are berries from a twining vine. The moonseed vine is nocturnal, growing off-white berries that resemble the pitted moon once dehydrated.
An extraordinarily powerful sorcerer who lived over a thousand years before. He has many incredible feats to his name, some based in reality and others in fiction, and has become enough of a household name that he’s occasionally used in curses, E.G. “Myrddin’s crusty black butthole.”
This type of Aberrant is the most difficult to deal with, as they use stealth, memetic control, or subversion.
Okora’s instant cottage
A spell that raises material from the ground to create a small cottage in the shape of a small model cottage used as a component. Size is dependent on power input and spell array parameters. It is easiest to cast with loose material that can be compacted together, such as snow or mud.
Orbs and Amulets
The Conduit shop at the north end of Waterside market
Young sapling that can uproot itself and move short distances. Sometimes confused for a dryad, but an osher has no humanoid form and is not considered to be intelligent.
Paired Movement Ward
When the ring holding a banner to the base of the spell is ripped away, the sympathetically linked counterpart held elsewhere also detaches. Spell must be cast ahead of time, with both halves of the pair together.
Paper bird spell
Used to send letters or messages. The paper birds are spelled to take flight and deliver themselves to set destination or recipients. Unsuitable to fly in heavy winds or rain. They are created from special ingredients that make Siobhan feel they are not as practical as she suspected.
The special paper used to make them requires flicker-feathers from the sparrow-like bird of the same name, which the University cultivates in the Menagerie.
Password puzzle artifact
In the Night Market, inside a component shop, a stone puzzle disk that must be solved with magic to make the center rise up, allowing access to the warehouse in back and the half-troll, Harvester.
The home of the High Crown, the head of the Thirteen Crown Families and leader of the country of Lenore. It is built atop the white cliffs, to the northeast of Gilbratha.
Perimeter alarm ward
Alerts the caster within when a perimeter has been breached.
Philtre of darkness
After brewing, when this concoction is suddenly exposed to air (e.g. when the bottle is smashed) the roiling liquid within bursts into clouds of magical darkness, which not even powerful night-vision can penetrate.
An incredibly rare spell component, the ashes of a phoenix that has reached the end of one of its many life cycles are used to incubate the phoenix’s egg as it rebirths itself. They are used in powerful healing and fire spells, and even supposedly spells that can effect one’s destiny. Most famously, they were said to have been used by Myrddin to resurrect his recently-deceased lover. They sell for about a hundred gold crowns per gram.
A shaped spell that, unlike the area-effect concussive blast spell, is focused on penetrative power, and can gouge out a few inches of stone in a narrow diameter.
Humanoid creature with very delicate, multi-petaled flesh wings that constantly regenerate, dropping dandruff and little peels of dry skin. This “pixie dust” is an expensive magical component, and many humans keep them to harvest it. They are intelligent and mischievous, even sometimes malicious, prone to irritation and insults.
Planar Divination-Diverting Ward
Protects against divination. The recipient will feel pressure under any type of divination/scrying attempt, and can add their Will to the artifact’s inherent shielding capabilities to divert stronger and more determined attempts. The ward does not directly oppose a scrying spell, but turns aside, deflects, and hides instead, using its connection to the five Elemental Planes. The effects may also spill into the physical world, making it harder for people to notice and focus on the user.
When actively diverting, the disks may be painful as they consume the user’s blood for power.
A portal to one of the other Planes.
Plane of Radiance
One of the five known Elemental Planes, the Plane of Radiance hosts the element of Light in its many forms and connotations. Creatures and plants of the radiant element are very valuable spell components, and the most powerful, sentient Elementals from the Plane of Radiance are often called angels. The Plane of Radiance has sympathetic connections to the ideas of light, cleanliness, knowledge, strict justice, and healing.
A curse word, referring to the Elemental Planes.
A wooden block that unfolds into a chair and desk made out of hundreds of smaller segments, created by Liza. She sells them for ninety gold.
Potion of feather-fall
It uses a (preferably white) feather as a main component, and seems to reduce the effects of gravity on the imbiber, allowing them to jump from a high place without injury.
Potion of moonlight sizzle
A potion that lets off a soft blue, bright glow that mimics the light of a full moon from its sizzling bubbles when the bottle is shaken. It’s powerful enough to illuminate a small room on its own, and when sold at a reasonable price, much more affordable than light crystals or candles.
Potion of night vision
Allows one to see more clearly in the dark, in monochrome.
Skilled in divination, have a single large eye in the middle of their head. It’s said the best prognos diviners can see into the past to discover the identity of a criminal, but that’s a myth. They are simply perceptive. They mature slowly and have longer lives than most humans.
A luxury food.
Puzzle band rings
A wedding ring, historically used to keep women from cheating on their husbands, with the thought that they would be unable take the ring off for their infidelities and then fit the ring back together in time to keep their misdeeds secret.
Quintessence of quicksilver
The powder of a potion boiled down into a solid and then crushed. It temporarily frenzies the mind, making you smarter and granting a liquid creativity. Gives the illusion of power and lowers inhibitions. The effects of a single dose last about six hours on those who haven’t built up a tolerance, and the come-down crash lasts a day or two. Long-term users lose their ability to focus and display various memory problems, becoming dependent on quintessence of quicksilver to function normally.
The progenitor of the Order of the Radiant Maiden. She is a powerful Elemental from the Plane of Radiance. These humanoid, often-winged beings have been referred to as angels.
A powerful Aberrant that is contained within a sundered zone, but still manages to meet people. It has three eyes, each of which are said to see the future. All prophecies that it gives come true, but it seems that the Red Sage can either choose who it meets through a sort of subtle summoning (and thus control the prophecies it gives) or it chooses what to prophecy—it can be bribed to give a better fortune. However, in coming true all prophecies cause great suffering and destruction, if not to the recipient then to the people and world around the recipient. Two of its prophecies—and eyes—are in constant use, and ensure its continued existence and ability to affect the world. The Red Guard facilitates the prophecies from its third eye coming true to try and mitigate the damage, and attempts to control who can meet the Red Sage.
This potion boosts the body’s natural immune response, lending some of its power to boost the healing effect and taking the rest from the stored energy and nutrients of the injured person’s body. It will struggle to fix anything larger than a small dagger wound, a bone fracture, or a hand-size burn. It takes time to work and is uncomfortable, and cannot be used in quick succession, but is much cheaper than a real healing potion.
Uncovers non-physical illusions and can see through non-magical darkness. Usually cast via a wand, issued to some coppers. A revealing spell shoots vibrational and magic waves, which penetrate and bounce back to the wand.
A divination spell with the base of a map-based sympathetic divination, but which targets instead the other sympathetic end of the connection which is being used to scry. Used to find the finder, historically most often in warfare.
Boosts organ function and energy levels. Can be used for many different illnesses, but is expensive due to its high magical load.
A basin for far-viewing, a type of divination that uses water to see distant places, generally from the point of view of another surface of water. The basin can be used to contact other powerful diviners if they cast at the same time, with the same intent. Far-viewing in this manner does not transmit sound.
What you give up for the effect of a spell. It can be an object, like a blob of mud used to create a brick, or energy, like the heat from a flame. Components can have either a natural or a sympathetic link to the effects of the spell.
A variation on conjuration/elemental binding used in the Second Empire.
Artifacts that contain the parameters to not only cast a spell, but to gather and transform the energy for that spell as part of their activation and release process. Creating a self-powered, or self-charging, artifact is a Grandmaster-level feat said to be pioneered by Myrddin, who supposedly came up with several methods, some of which have now been lost.
Self-powered artifacts cannot cast truly endless spells, as eventually the spell array breaks down—and more quickly with heavy use, but they are still widely coveted.
Self-cleaning chamber pot artifact
Cleans and dries the nether regions, then processes the waste, removing the liquid from fecal matter and dehydrating urine into a thick paste, which it stores in a sealed container for later removal. An auxiliary spell keeps the smell from filtering out away from the chamber pot.
A low-growing succulent plant from the Plane of Radiance. Its juicy leaves grow in complex rosettes, glimmering with tiny motes of light that travel beneath the semi-transparent skin along with the water and nutrients. It is technically a “low-light” plant in the Plane of Radiance, and thus is able to survive on the mundane plane in areas with bright sunlight and long days, or with the help of artificial sunlight sources. They propagate by sending out root offshoots that grow into new baby plants.
Shades are predatory creatures that take humanoid forms and live in barren, arid areas such as deserts, where they will prey on the sleeping or stalk the lost traveler until they collapse from exhaustion. They are made of a fine powder which can be gathered and used as an expensive magical component.
An esoteric ritual spell that gives the user control of their own shadow, allowing it to move, stretch, and take unnatural shapes. “Life’s breath, shadow mine. In darkness we were born. In darkness do we feast. Devour, and arise.”
A thaumaturge who specializes in contacting the spirit realm for the purpose of divination, as well as certain types of mental healing and wards. They often use mind-altering or hallucinogenic substances to facilitate contact.
Shipp Evidence box
Metal cube meant to put evidence in stasis. Has a transparent setting to allow examination of the contents within.
Simple locking spell
Learned from one of the warding books Katerin bought Siobhan, this spell locks a container that can be opened and closed, without need of a key or even a physical locking apparatus. Does not stop one from breaking in physically or magically, but will require some extra effort.
Simple unlocking spell
Used to bypass either mundane locks, or negate the simple locking spell. Cannot unlock a locking spell cast with greater power.
A variation on the water falling spell, used to draw off liquid and thus clear the airways. Esoteric magic taught to Siobhan by a hedge-witch.
Sometimes confused for mermaids, sirens are not in fact associated with aquatic animals, but with avians. Sirens have brightly colored feathers that sprout from the scalp and sides of their face where ears and hair would be on a human. They are best known for their mesmerizing voices, which are said to cause sailors to steer their ships into submerged rocks or even directly into cliff-sides in an attempt to get closer to the enchanting sound of the siren song.
Largely carnivorous, sirens are intelligent beings and those who are willing to integrate into human society are rare and coveted for their abilities.
An alchemical concoction that mends small cuts over the course of about an hour. It can heal a deep scratch, cut, or a second-degree burn, but not a serious wound, and most (less expensive) versions will leave minor scarring.
A creature used in cautionary tales to children, which can take over a person’s form and replace them.
Created by Siobhan based on a Practical Casting exercise, it uses the glyphs “line,” “movement,” and “circle” to send a projectile revolving around a central axis. When it is released, the projectile shoots out, similar to a stone out of a shepherd’s slingshot.
Smoke cloud philtre
A battle philtre that creates a sudden and thick smoke cloud when released from its container. Considered a battle potion.
This potion speeds up the process of filtering alcohol from the body, but can cause an overwhelming need to urinate and, if overused, lead to dehydration.
Sound muffling spell
Creates a bubble of stilled air that suppressed the ability of vibrations to travel through it, and thus muffles sound.
This type of magic can bend, and even fold space. They are extremely difficult and expensive. If a smaller area is filled with more space than it could normally hold, that space must come from somewhere, which will in turn be smaller than it normally is. There are usually visually-disorienting signs of the spell when you try to gain perspective or mentally measure the space.
Artifacts charged with firework-like sparks of light. Can start a fire, with the right tinder, be used as a distraction, a signal, or a threat, though the spark-shooting spell is a non-combat spell.
Speer’s philtre of stench
A powerful, physically painful stench that causes tears, mucus buildup, and vomiting, like a combination of a stink bomb and pepper spray. Used as crowd control to non-lethally incapacitate a large number of people. It has magical as well as physical properties.
Ephemeral, small and often harmless beings, it is argued whether spirits are technically “alive” or merely accumulations of a concentrated type of magical energy over time, or perhaps imprinted residue from once-living beings. They may be summoned and contracted, but often have little ability to exert influence on the mundane world. Shamans often communicate with spirits to gain information through their particular brand of divination.
Useful for trapping spirits for communication or contracting. There are many variations on this type of Circle.
Tiny, insect-winged humanoids. They have some measure of intelligence, but are not considered sapient “people,” rather more akin to interesting bugs.
A wood with properties from the Plane of Radiance, it can be used in regenerative and healing spells, as well as other spells using the Radiant attribute, or for its beauty. As it can be molded into an accessory while still living, it is rather valuable. As an accessory, sometimes is used to enhance beauty through improving health.
Red projectile spell. When high-powered, can leave scorch marks and a little steam or smoke at the point of impact. Uses a combination of low-current electricity and sedative material (the powdered saliva from a Kuthian frog), contained within a field of force, to incapacitate the target.
Summoning is said to slightly skew fate to cause a being that meets your requirements to come into contact with you. It has inconsistent results, and clarity of wording and intention is very important. One can summon spirits, animals, or even another person who has the capability to help you with a certain problem. Once summoned, you may come into contact with a being that meets your requirements as if through coincidence after some time has passed, or more directly and immediately. Some question the efficacy, hypothesizing that the vagueness of most types of summoning rituals leads to false interpretations of fulfillment.
The strongest barrier spell known to man. From the outside, it looks like a perfect white dome, with all light reflected. They are used to quarantine Aberrants that cannot be killed. The sundered zones cannot be exited by the thing they were created to contain or anything tainted by them, but can technically be entered by sapient creatures who are able to give their informed consent.
Powerful, humanoid elementals from the Plane of Air, given to song, laughter, and knowledge carried on the wind.
Known for its dryness, a line of standing stones through this desert signifies Lenore’s border to the east.
The Bitter Phoenix
A tavern with a private back area where people partake of the illegal quintessence of quicksilver, and a powerful diviner will sell you information or make connections for the right price.
The Black Wastes
An area where dangerous magic has infected the land itself. The environment shifts rapidly, with deadly and mutated land, flora, fauna. Time spent in the Black Wastes causes paranoia, hallucinations, and makes it difficult to find your way.
The Charmed Highlands
An area where celerium is mined.
The main University building, where the classes are held, and which also contains the supervised casting rooms. It looks like a coliseum made of white stone, with shimmering spelled windows and tall columns. It is huge and towering, and laid out in rings, like a cross-cut of a tree stump.
The Dawn Troupe
A powerful Aberrant which is not contained within a sundered zone. It manifests as a group of wealthy, attractive horse-riders with weapons and musical instruments. This Aberrant appreciates intelligence and talent, and will give boons to those who meet it and impress it. The Dawn Troupe can be bargained with, and never breaks its promises. The Red Guard has agreed not to attempt to contain it, and as long as it receives a certain amount of people interacting with it—usually to attempt to gain one of its boons—it does not leave a certain area to go on a hunt. The Red Guard allows people to know about the boons so they will risk their lives to try for one.
A shop in the Night Market which secretly sells, in the back room, items from the Elemental Planes. Their supplier, Harvester, is a half-troll.
The Gervin Family
The Fourth Crown Family. They control much of the textile industry, as well as the high-end fashion industry.
Gilbratha’s slums, which get worse further toward the south of the city. The Mires are named for the sticky, stinking waste that lines the streets and wafts from the canals. They spread beyond the bounds of the white cliffs, which have been sunk, broken, or taken apart for use as building materials on that side of the city.
The Nightmare Pack
A gang consisting mostly of non-humans, which holds territory that houses a large percentage of non-humans. They are led by Lord Lynwood, a lycanthrope, and his adopted prognos sister, Gera.
The Red Guard
A special, semi-autonomous branch of law enforcement which handles rogue magic beyond the abilities of the normal coppers. Their operations are confidential.
The Surior Mountains
An area where celerium is mined.
The Thaumaturgic University of Lenore
The most prominent and prestigious arcanum in the country, and the only one that can give a Mastery certification. It is matched in status only by Pendragon Palace, and looks down upon the city from atop the northern side of the white cliffs. Its grounds are extensive, and its structures include areas dug into the white cliffs themselves.
Every year, thousands of students, both new to magic and who have come from other arcanums to achieve their Mastery certification, take the entrance exam.
The Westbay Family
The Second Crown Family. They control the Gilbrathan coppers, and often have influence in the army as high-ranking commanders.
Timed alarm spell
Cast on a time-keeper such as a pocket watch, goes off at a set time to alert anyone nearby to the conditions of the spell being reached.
A gargantuan, powerful, humanoid being prevalent in the early days of recorded human history, who survived the Cataclysm. A Titan might simply walk by and decide to crush half a human city like child kicking an anthill. They had enormous appetites and were entirely omnivorous, in the true meaning of the word. Extremely magically powerful. Now extinct.
A large, expensive book created with high-quality material meant for channeling magic. It has very thick pages, with a spell array drawn on each page. This allows the holder to carry portable spell arrays, open to any particular page, and cast the spell as quickly as they can place any necessary components and/or Sacrifices. Each tome usually carries between 12-20 spell pages.
Turtle creation spell
Uses a turtle egg and duplicative transmogrification to create an anatomically-correct, edible, dead turtle.
Under-bed dust bunnies
A magical creature that is spontaneously generated from the fluffy dust under a bed in a magical environment. Supposedly.
A magical, horse-like beast with a valuable horn on its head. The pegasus is the progressed form of a unicorn, the wings growing after an intense accumulation of magic.
Unnamed subtle curses
Uses sea spray gathered on a moonless night. “I swam through an ocean of uncertainty.”
A wand artifact with multi-purpose spells meant to be widely useful for a variety of emergency situations, not simply battle.
A sentient, magical, humanoid being, who often prey on humans for their blood. They often have blood-red hair, pale skin, and a mouth full of canine teeth. They are weak to things from the Plane of Radiance, and a common weapon against them is water imbued with energy from the Plane of Radiance. They have a natural predilection to the dark, and good night vision.
Vibrational self-calming spell
Esoteric, rather than using a written spell array, it uses the hands over the chest to form the Circle, and the vibration of the voice as a sympathetic component for forcibly calming the body. The longer you draw out the hum, the further it “stretches” your body into a calm state. Repeat ad nauseam.
A pseudo-alchemical concoction, but more commonly classified as “kitchen magic,” this spell marginally boosts the rejuvenating effects of caffeinated beverages. Better quality base materials take the wakefulness magic more smoothly, just as in standard alchemy.
Ward against untruth
The strongest legal wards against lies create a moderate vague compulsion, and are thus utterly useless against a strong thaumaturge who can imbue their lies with their Will. Illegal wards create stronger compulsions, but are considered blood magic as they take away the free will of a human.
A specialist in diverting, subverting, and breaking wards.
A sprawling market within Gilbratha proper that has a lot of shops in the streets around. People of all ages and races can be seen, as well as thaumaturges who practice many different crafts, a testament to Gilbratha’s diversity. Sells everything from food to magical animals. There are stalls as well as shops, with stalls being cheaper, but shops having a better selection.
Whiskerton’s Whiskey of Well-being
An expensive magical whiskey guaranteed to impart an additional sense of warmth and wellbeing by the shot, in addition to the standard effects of liquor.
Gilbratha is built within a gargantuan circle of white stone cliffs that have been drawn up from the ground in what is undoubtedly a legendary feat of magic. These cliffs are intact to the north, but have sunk, crumbled, and been demolished for other purposes toward the poorer south.
The Thaumaturgic University of Lenore as well as many Crown Family houses have been built into and atop the cliffs, and nearer the bottom are many buildings placed on the staggered plateaus. Tubes run down from the University to transport people and goods, powered by magic.
The Will makes magic possible. The stronger a thaumaturge’s Will, the more power they can channel, the less defined the Word needs to be, and the less power will be lost in conversion from input to effect. There are different facets to a strong Will.
Caused by over-exertion when casting magic. It starts with headaches, dizziness, and inability to concentrate. With more moderate strain, judgment is impaired. Sometimes thaumaturges display difficulty modulating emotions, with rapid swings from one to the other. Then hallucinations, with the more severe ones resulting in paranoia and even accidental harm to oneself or others. Beyond this, Will-strain damage is irreversible, and results in complete insanity and at times, the loss of higher brain functions. In extreme circumstances, loss of control while casting will lead directly to a “break” and the creation of an Aberrant.
While it doesn’t actually increase intelligence, it will temporarily make the drinker more aware and improve performance in situations that require multitasking. In too high a dose, it can cause overstimulation through increased sensory input. It is somewhat addictive.
A thaumaturge who uses a summoned contracted creature, often from one of the Elemental Planes, to cast spells, rather than using an inanimate Conduit like sorcerer.
The Word guides the transformation of energy or matter, steering the effects of a spell. It can be any type of instruction, though with sorcery it is most often written into the Circle as an array of glyphs and numerically-significant symbols. These are often supplemented with speech or written instructions, especially for complex effects.
Magical herbalism, the study of plants and herbs, specifically for their healing and magical properties.
Wound cleansing potion
There are many different versions of this potion, and they come in different strengths and act in different ways. Uniformly, however, they work to clear the wound of dirt and debris, as well as kill any infectious agents such as viruses or bacteria. Formerly, this was understood to be overwhelming the “bad humors,” and so, wound-cleansing potions often have strong scents due to components like distilled alcohol and herbal oil extracts.
Used to help dyes stay color-fast.