A living encyclopedia of technical and magical terms, slang, and more from the Anno Amagium Universe.
AKF (Arroyo Keeping Force): The Arroyo chapter of the Amagium’s Keeping Force, which polices magical crime throughout the city.
Akrasia: an urdoanomolous disorder that causes the subject to suffer from periodic, dimensional seizures, that also allows them to deliberately phase into the Faed. The seizures generally strand the subject in pocket dimensions; bubble-like environments in the Veil separating the Faed from reality.
Alchemy: A discipline of the Amagium focused on the development of drugs and other chemicals. The processes and results are generally more volatile than chemistry, but also more potent. Most modern drugs are produced through a combination of these processes.
Allopurgy: A ritualistic procedure that strips a subject’s wyrd, effectively turning them into an inurbanus. This punishment often accompanies sentences of life imprisonment.
Amagia: A practitioner of magic, by vocation, who serves the Amagium and its mission to regulate and police magic. Amagia are rigorously trained, generally from seven years of age until their early-to-mid twenties.
Amagiate: An adjective that connotates an affiliation with the Amagium.
Amagium: A global, a-political, and secular organization that licenses and moderates the use of magic. The Amagium’s stated mission is to prevent magic from being used for militaristic purposes or crime. Two Amagiums have existed and fallen, while the Third currently presides over the overwhelming majority of the developed world.
Angel: A typically benevolent egregore, shaped by the precepts of a religion–most commonly from the Abrahamic faiths.
Anima/Animus: A semi-sentient ‘knot’ of ambient elemental and metaphysical energy possessing unique properties. Magical practitioners can use these ‘spirits’ to perform spells beyond their normal, in-born capabilities. No two anima are precisely alike, requiring improvisation on behalf of the caster, but animathurges have learned to coalesce ambient energy into a number of reliable, purpose-driven spirits, and preserve them in treated glass crystals or other gems.
Animathurgy: The discipline of the Amagium dedicated to creating specialized anima.
Anticordance: A political sentiment that objects to Amagium rule, or at least certain aspects thereof. Most anticordance activists employ art, political movements, and peaceful protest to express their views, though riots and clashes with police are not uncommon.
Aos Sidhe/Si: The Irish “People of the Mounds.” Refers to royal elves of the fae courts. Few Fae compare in terms of raw power, beauty, grace, and political clout.
APD (Arroyo Police Department): The asfalis law enforcement agency that polices non-magical crime in Arroyo.
Artifice/Artificers: Technology that leverages magical energy, runic coding, or some combination thereof. Generally used to refer specifically to works of mechanical magic. This also refers to the discipline that trains Artificers, though asfalis citizens can gain licenses to perform basic artificing and runic coding as well.
Arcanet: A runic code-based equivalent to our internet.
Arcanism/Arcanists: Arcanism is a discipline of the Amagium devoted to magical research.
Archivism/Archivists: Archivism is a discipline of the Amagium devoted to curating and “moderating” powerful magical artifacts in an Athenaeum’s collection. There is some dispute over whether Keepers or Archivists see “more action.”
Asfalis: The general populace that submits to Amagium governance. Asfalis members of society are only permitted to use magic that has been ‘exempted’ by the Amagium.
Aspirant: A student enrolled in an Athenaeum who aims to become a full-fledged amagia.
Athenaeum: Amagium strongholds and training grounds.
‘Bani: Slang for inurbanus which is considered a mild slur.
Black Iron: A type of pure iron that has been metaphysically “purified” through enchantment, tremendously magnifying the properties that make it harmful to fae. Consequently, fae refer to it as “The Bane.”
Bluebie: Slang for a recent Athenaeum graduate or an amagia early on in their career. The phrase refers to the light blue robes aspirants wear during their matriculation.
Blunt: Purely spoken speech or hand gestures unaccompanied by urdic emanations. Generally considered crass, if not rude.
Cantrip: The middle ground between sorcery and contracts, cantrips do not rely on anima, but they are more structured sorcerous techniques that a person can easily cast after practice.
Chimera: An unnatural hybrid of two biological animals. Chimeras can occur naturally through unusual magical occurrences, or through deliberate magical experimentation.
Chapter: A discrete subsection of the Amagium’s Keeping Force. Chapters are typically distinguished by region, either by county or municipality depending on population density and other pertinent factors.
CIC (Confidential Interests Chapter): An international division of the Amagiate Keeping Force that acts as the Amagium’s intelligence agency and international law enforcement division.
CO: Commanding officer.
Court: A Seasonal Court of the Faed. There are four courts divided into two alliances. Autumn and Winter comprise the Unseelie Alliance, Spring and Summer the Seelie Alliance.
Coitianta Sidhe (Coisi): Common elves. They are generally less beautiful and not as magically powerful as their royal relatives, the Aos Si.
Contract: A magical spell that requires the cooperation of an animus.
Daemon: A runic code-based program or app run on incanters and symphones.
Demon: A malicious egregore that naturally preys upon humans. Most demons are affiliated with a specific religion, and more interested in antagonizing adherents of that faith.
Discipline: A focus of magical study within the Athenaeum that determines an Aspirant’s ultimate profession.
Divination: Spells focused on predicting the future, peering into the past, or remote viewing. Divination does not have a dedicated discipline within the amagium as it is considered risky and largely unreliable.
Domination: A broad, comprehensively illegal category of magic that allows a caster to compel an individual to feel, think, or act against their own volition. Domination is often paired with alchemy to induce a drugged state, or illusory enchantments to obscure the thrall’s (victim’s) senses. Altered states make thrall’s easier to manipulate or more susceptible to the dominus’ (perpetrator’s) will.
Dominus: A practitioner of domination magic.
Drum-Out: Slang for an Aspirant who was dishonorably dismissed from the Athenaeum before receiving their Amagia license.
Dysviria: An urdic disorder that prevents the subject from channeling energy through their wyrd efficiently. Severe cases of dysviria are minor inconveniences for most asfalis people, but even a mild, untreated case of dysviria can be an existential impairment for amagia.
Echo: a semi-sentient, psychic imprint created by extreme emotional energy. These entities are not truly alive, but will often manifest as convincing facsimiles of living beings. Often believed to be ghosts, or the source of hauntings, though a person does not need to perish in order to create an echo.
Egregore/Egregoric: An entity born of collective belief, or the psychic subconscious of a region. These entities are typically non-biological, some particularly powerful egregores adopt physical bodies or possess living creatures.
Eminence: A fae’s loose equivalent to a wyrd, or a physical object’s Inherence. Refers to an individual fae’s magical influence within the Faed. A fae’s eminence sharply declines in reality, and increases when their dominant court is in power.
Emanations: A standard component of polite speech. The speaker uses their wyrd to provide psychic inflections and emphasis on spoken words and gestures. Strong emanations can carry images or invoke emotions in the people who receives them. Emanations can be directed at a single person, or projected to a crowd. Like speech, they carry throughout the ether and can be felt by local wyrds.
Enchantment: A long-term piece of magic that involves meticulously binding several contracts to an object, resulting in a single, semi-stable spell. Enchantments can also refer to shorter term spells (typically contracts) that enhance or modify a person’s physical and mental properties.
Entropathy: Both a type magical crime and the Keeping Force division that polices it, entropathy refers to the creation of inherently dangerous enchanted objects.
EOI: Keeper abbreviation for “Entity of Interest,” often used when tracking fae, intelligent egregores, or other sentient supernatural entities.
Erebus: A mythical force of caustic energy that warps and degrades everything it touches. Some Fortean amagia hypothesize Erebus as an army, while others suppose it to be an encroaching plane of existence, like the Faed, devouring everything it comes into contact with. Erebus is often linked to both xenomantic theorists and eschatological writings.
Erebyssal: A mythological/theoretical category of entities that originate from the plane of Erebus.
Ether/Etheric: Metaphysical energy; the raw essence of magic. Etheric magic encompasses urdic magic and anima, though the term ether itself usually refers to energy that has not been shaped by a wyrd, Inherence, Eminence, or animus. As these ‘differentiated’ forms of ether are expended (via sorcery, contracts, or other spells), the energy becomes raw ether again, until other metaphysical forces act upon it.
Exempt/Exemptions: Magic that has been exempt for asfalis use. Includes magic that is restricted to non-Amagium professional licenses (doctors, scientists, firefighters, engineers).
Exus: Shortened from the Latin “Exustus,” referring to being consumed by fire. As a caster performs magic for a sustained period of time, their wyrd becomes more efficient at intaking anima and casting spells, eventually entering a state of impaired judgement. Even though magic becomes easier and more powerful, exus takes a toll on the caster’s body, mind, and wyrd, and can even lead one to use their own health and life force to continue using magic.
Fae: Originally an abbreviation for the Fair Folk, this term refers to an enormous class of magiforms that dwell in an adjacent dimensional plane known as the Faed.
Faed: A physically fluid plane of existence that is immediately adjacent to reality. Unlike reality, the Faed has incredibly thick ether that is semi-intoxicating to full humans; half-fae are immune to this side-effect.
Familiar: A semi-sentient companion bound to a caster’s wyrd. Familiars are most typically animals that have been trained to form a life partnership with their human handlers. In the Keeping Force, “Familiar Units” are comparable to K9 units, as the most common benefit of a Familiar’s bond is the ability to perceive the world through the companions’ senses, making them well-suited for entropathy and vice cases. Familiars are not always animals, however. There are cases of constructs (golems, tulpas, and chimeras) acting as familiars, as well as certain relics that have acquired pseudo-sentience through powerful Inherences.
Focus: A tool (usually but not always enchanted) that is used to focus, reshape, or enhance the effects of a spell.
Focaline: A restricted alchemical drug used to treat dysviria with moderate potential for addiction and abuse.
General Patrol: The least prestigious division a Keeper can be assigned to, entailing neighborhood patrols, responding to asfalis calls, and other basic police work.
Gestures: A standard component of polite speech. Hand gestures developed in tandem with emanations, with the former helping the speaker structure their wyrd into the latter.
Glamour: Spells (typically contracts) that change one’s visible appearance. Simple, cosmetic glamours (similar to make-up) are universally exempt, but more involved spells that radically alter a person’s appearance, like wearing a mask, or undergoing surgery, are generally restricted.
Guardian: A relatively new discipline of the Amagium that specializes in using magic for disaster response and emergency aid.
Gygax Process: a revolutionary breakthrough in magical energy production. By using specialized artifice, (see “Gygen” and “Gyve,”) Animathurges can draw etheric energy from ambient, naturally occurring forces (condensation, electrical charge, solar, geothermal, and wind energy) to produce a stable, highly versatile form of power for artifice and simple contracts.
Gygax Engine (“Gygen”): Abbreviated slang for a Gygax Engine; a magical generator that performs the Gygax Process energy into a stable, “standardized” form of energy for powering energy grids.
Gygax Vessel (“Gyve”): An extremely versatile type of anima that can be put to innumerable purposes, similar to batteries. Gyves are the most common type of exempt anima the world over. Like batteries, some gyves are small and replaceable, while others are enormous and incredibly expensive. Small gyves are generally used for simple kinetic contracts.
Halfborn: A highly derotagory term for half-fae humans.
Half-fae: The current parlance used to refer to people of mixed fae and human parentage. Unlike their full fae parents, half-fae are capable of lying, but it causes them tremendous pain. All half-fae have an incredible allergy to iron that can prove fatal with prolonged, or severe exposure.
Halfie: A mild slur for half-fae humans.
Incanter: A piece of artifice that runs off of runic code and performs functions equivalently to a computer.
Inherence: A field of magic energy that gradually builds up around places and inanimate objects, comparable to the wyrds of living creatures. Inherences often serve as “the soil” for permanent enchantment magic. Inherences also accumulate a certain reactivity to their owner/primary user’s wyrd, making them easier to use as a focus. Objects with powerful Inherences often develop Quirks.
Inhibitor Tattoo: Tattoos made with invisible inks that are applied to each human’s wrist at birth in accordance with global Amagiate law. These tattoos cause a wyrd to naturally disperse, leaving the user capable of basic emanations, but nothing more.
Inurbanus: A person with an inhibited wyrd, incapable of articulating emanations or performing spells of any kind. It should be noted that inurbani still have wyrds, and the precise mechanics of this ‘disability’ are unknown, though some speculate inurbanism is an extreme form of dysviria.
Keeper: An amagia who has followed the Discipline of Peacekeeping, specializing in magical law enforcement.
License: Metal cuffs, bracelets, or vambraces that selectively nullify Inhbitor Tattoos, allowing a person to use exempt sorcery and contracts. Licenses also record which kinds of magic were used, and when. Amagia licenses allow access to a much broader range of magic than asfalis licenses, to the point that they are nearly incomparable.
Leath Sidhe: A term originally used to refer to half-fae of human and Aos Sidhe parentage, though academics have incorrectly started applying the term to all half-fae. This is a well-intentioned attempt to develop language that is more respectful of people with mixed fae parentage, but many half-fae born from other types of creatures (ogroids, satyrs, etc.), find it insulting.
Leximancer: An amagia who has declared the Discipline of Legislation. Leximasters must master language, both for the purposes of coding exemptions and writing legislation. Like asfalis lawyers, leximancers come in a staggering number of varieties with unique specialties within this discipline.
Lexiclave: An Amagium-run building that updates, maintains, and grants licenses to asfalis peoples. Lexiclaves typically release license updates quarterly, in sync with the equinoxes and solstices. Long wait times are common, and lexiclaves are frequent targets of Unbranded terrorism, viewed as bastions of magical oppression.
Liminal Space: An area in reality or the Faed where the dimensional Veil is always weak, allowing for easy passage between the two planes.
Magic: A catch all-term used in reference to actions that disrupt ‘the Resting Laws,’ such as foundational electromagnetic, kinetic, and chemical forces in the world. Magical phenomenon can be interchangeably described as “contranormal,” “paranatural,” “paranormal,” or “supernatural.” Magic encompasses xenomancy, but the word is occasionally used in exclusive reference to Etheric magic.
Magicarcerum: A prison for dangerous magical criminals, such as malefactors.
Magiforms: An entity chiefly comprised of magical energies as opposed to strictly biological, or urdobiological bodies. This category includes fae, egregores, and abstract magical constructs.
Malefactor: A criminal who has used magic to commit violence against another person.
Medithurge: An amagia who has graduated from the medical discipline working as a healthcare provider focusing on urdic injuries. Medithurges also earn an asfalis MD as part of their training. The title is abbreviated as Med.
Medisoph (Soph): An amagia who works as a nurse or urdomedical technician.
Monstrum & Malefaction (M&M): A prestigious division of the Keeping Force dedicated to tracking violent magical lawbreakers (malefactors), and harmful magical creatures. Keepers in this specialty tend to see more violence than any other division.
Morphopathy: The crime of transforming a human or animal body against their will, or altering one’s own body with violent purpose. Certain cities have dedicated detectives for this crime, but it is generally rare enough that it is covered by M&M or Entropathy divisions instead.
Obscene: Historically, obscene magic referred to spells that used an excessive or grossly inefficient amount of urdic energy. Now it has become Keeper slang for any spells that are extremely powerful, or effectively overkill. It is often used as a criticism by instructors, and a compliment from fellow aspirants.
Omen: magically, an omen refers to a symbolic marker present in a divinatory spell. In Keeper slang, it refers to an officer who is considered bad luck by colleagues.
Opus: A hobby, task, or other activity that rapidly recovers a wyrd’s strength and integrity. Each person possesses a unique opus.
Patron: An entity that provides another entity with favors or power in exchange for a binding vow of some sort. Patronage can refer to any such relationship, but the term ‘Patron’ takes on special significance in regards to Strangers and Xenomancy.
Paxigratian: A subsect of Catholicism founded in the time of the Second Amagium whose doctrine reconciled Christian beliefs with Amagiate rule of law.
Prosopon: The branch of the Keeping Force responsible for self-policing. They are always masked when performing official duties, and work “undercover in plain sight” the rest of the time. [Comparable to the internal affairs division of a police department.]
Psuedo-Mortality: Fae can be slain but they never truly die. Depending on how their life was ended (how violently, what weapon or magic was used), a fae will gradually reconstitute itself in the Faed, in the heart of their Court.
Quirk: an anomalous urdic or physical deformity or compulsive behavior resulting from prolonged exposure to the Faed or other intensely magical environments.
Reagent: An ingredient used to catalyze magical interactions. Technically, anima qualify as reagents, but no one ever refers to them as such; usually the term is reserved for inanimate objects such as animal parts, herbs, minerals, and other materials used in alchemy, artificing, enchanting, and ritual magic.
Relict: An urdo-biological creature from an earlier epoch when magic was more plentiful. Most relicts are endangered species, and most sentient Relicts have taken refuge in the Faed. [Note: A good way to think of Relicts is as AA’s equivalent to Cryptids; hypothesized, mythologized, but based on flimsy evidence.]
Resting Laws: Refers to natural physical and chemical processes in the universe; the standard operating procedures and parameters for reality, unaffected by magical energies. The Resting Laws are unreliable in the Faed, the Veil, and other areas that have been subject to intense magic.
Ritual: an involved piece of magic that often involves multiple contracts and acts of sorcery to form a single, more impressive spell with far-reaching effects. Rituals require comparable effort and focus to enchanting, but generally produce a short-term result.
Scatch: Mangled slang for “Meascach,” an initially-respectful, ancient Celtic term for half-fae. Now, it is the most offensive slur possible for half-fae humans. Considered hate speech by humans. The term “meascach” is still periodically employed by archaic fae, however, bearing its original connotation of respect.
Sorcery: Magic powered solely by one’s wyrd, without the assistance of anima.
Soft Spot: An area in reality or the Faed where the dimensional Veil is particularly thin, allowing for easy travel between the two. Unlike liminal spaces, where the Veil is always thin, soft spots thin and thicken seemingly at random.
Soul: Fae assert that biological animals have souls, which they lack. This distinction supposedly accounts for an animals’ “unfettered will,” translating to their ability to lie, but it also accounts for animals’ mortality, versus a fae’s pseudo-mortality. Since Fae are incapable of lying, it is widely accepted that humans do in fact have souls. But the precise nature and ontology of a soul is a topic of intense scholarly, scientific, and magical debate.
Spell: A discrete instance of structured magic, such as a cantrip, contract, ritual, or enhancement.
Stranger: Theorized and much-mythologized entities that are said to originate from the plane Erebus. Strangers supposedly act as patrons to xenomancers. It is unclear whether the patronage of a Stranger is required to silence one’s wyrd (see “Tace Opus”), or it is the other way around. But every xenomancer “speaks” for a Stranger.
Sympathy: A near-universal principle in magical practice and studies. Usually, it describes and exploits the metaphysical relationship between a part of a thing and its whole to effect interactions remotely.
Sym: As a prefix, an abbreviation for sympathy magic and sympathetic artifice. When used alone, it usually refers to a symphone.
Symphone: A communication device that operates on sympathetic properties and advanced runic code. [Analogous to symphones and smart phones.]
Symvision: A viewing screen that operates on sympathetic magic. [Same thing as a television.]
Tace Opus: “The Silent Work,” or silencing one’s wyrd, is the process through which one becomes a xenomancer. According to myth and scholarship, a tace opus represents the symbolic severance between the caster and their humanity. This can be an instance of severe, life-altering trauma (either inflicted or self-inflicted), an atrocity committed in the name of a patron, or another act of perversion and estrangement, such as prolonged exclusion and silence.
TMAW (Tactical Magic and Weapons): A TMAW Squad or TMAW Team is a division of Keeping Force chapters that specialize in abnormal, high-risk situations, such as riot control or urban terrorism. Unlike other Keeping Force units such as ventures (relegated to 3 people), TMAW teams vary in size. [NOTE: Think Magic SWAT Team and you are right on the money.]
Unbranded, The: A radical terrorist sect of anticordance activists who believe the Amagium must be violently overthrown.
Urdic/Urdo: A prefix pertaining to wyrds and other magic of biological origin. The term “urdic magic” is often used to specify a specific subset of etheric magic.
Venture: The most pervasive building block of the Amagiate Keeping Force. A three-person team of Officers, Detectives, or other Keepers. Three men deployments are necessary as many common rituals require at least three participants. The number also affects chain of command. Each venture has a CO (commanding officer) who has de facto authority, but single, direct commands can be over-ruled via a consensus between their juniors.
Veil, The: An interdimensional membrane between the Faed and reality. The Veil houses everything from errant pocket dimensions to dreams, to the collective unconscious. Material ontology within the Veil is tricky; most pocket dimensions enjoy the same kind of physicality as the Faed and reality, while other constructs are entirely metaphysical. Namely, the Veil is believed to house both the minds of dreamers and humanity’s theorized Collective Unconscious.
White Iron: a pearlescent metal that appears only in the Faed, also known as “Fae Iron.” Unlike Iron and Black Iron, White Iron is usable (and even coveted) by Fae, as well as being highly reactive to sorcery. Unlike many other faen materials, White Iron does not degrade in reality.
Wishglass: An exceedingly rare crystal that appears only in the Faed. Unlike the majority of other faen materials, Wishglass does not degrade in reality.
Wyrd: The metaphysical field of magical influence and any associated biological organs which allows an entity to effect magical change. No two wyrds are alike, and urdic talents vary wildly between individual members of a species.
Xenomancer/Xenomancy: A hypothesized and much mythologized-form of non-etheric magic. Since xenomancy does not leverage ether, it is not beholden to the same principles of all other forms of magic. Xenomancy is “silent,” meaning it cannot be detected through etheric ripples. Rather than altering or suspending The Resting Laws, it is believed to tear them, or impose a higher order of resting law that supersedes them. [The best analogy for understanding xenomancy is to think of it as we think of any kind of magic.]