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Mages often converse in their own terms, whether handed down in a Tradition or made up to fill a certain niche. Some come from identifiable magical roots, while others seem to stem from no traceable origin.

Common Parlance

Acolyte: A servitor of a mage who does not perform magic, but believes in its power.
Arete (AIR-uh-tay): A mage's level of mystical understanding and connection to the Tellurian.
Ascension: The mythical state of enlightenment beyond human comprehension.
Ascension War, The: The conflict to determine whether the world would embrace magic, science or faith.
Arcane: A sort of unconscious "cloaking" effect that some mages possess, rendering them immune to scrutiny.
Avatar: A shard of spirit energy, tied to the human soul, perhaps from the Pure One(s) of the long-ago universe. Through the interaction of the Avatar with the universe, a mage performs magic.
Awakened, The: Blanket term for supernatural entities, including mages.
Awakening, The: The moment in which one realizes the power to change the universe.
Branding: A punishment in which the mage’s Avatar is marked.
Bygone: An otherworldly beast, such as a dragon, that has long since disappeared from Earth.
Cabal: A group of mages bound by some common purpose.
Censure: A punishment in which the mage is warned against future violations, similar to parole.
Chantry: A stronghold of mages.
Coincidental Magic: Magic cloaked in circumstance. Such magic appears like it "could be happened" coincidentally.
Convention: One of five groups forming the Technocratic Union: Iteration X, the New World Order, the Progenitors, the Syndicate and the Void Engineers.
Craft: A cultural faction of mages.
Deep Umbra: The aspects of the Umbra far beyond Earth, in deep space.
Demon: A name for a dangerous creature from the spirit worlds, possibly a spirit, possibly something else.
Dream Realms: Worlds fashioned from dreams kept alive.
Epiphany: A magical revelation or sudden insight into magic.
Familiar: A spirit given flesh, which bonds with a mage to serve and gain sustenance.
Focus: An item, act, phrase, gesture or similar artifice required to perform magic. Through the focus, the mage concentrates belief and will and causes magic to result.
Gaia: The Earth Mother, spirit of Earth as related by various naturalistic mages.
Gate: A magical doorway that allows passage between two places.
Gauntlet, The: The barrier separating the material world from the spirit worlds.
Gilgul: The rite of destroying an Avatar as well as a mage’s ability to do magic or to reincarnate.
Hollow Ones: A group that espouses post-modernism, the Gothic subculture and decadence in response to the declining world.
Horizon, The: The magical limit separating the Near Umbra and the Deep Umbra.
Hubris: The overwhelming pride that leads a mage to believe that he may challenge the cosmos itself, and that convinces a mage that his way is "the right way." Such hubris is often fatal, and it lies at the heart of the conflict between mages.
Initiation: A test to pass a young mage from the ranks of apprentice to full responsibility within a Tradition.
Mage: Term for a human who can work magic according to a discrete set of beliefs and practices, and thereby cause the world to change according to her desire. Magic: The act of altering the world through force of will and practice of belief.
Marauder: A mage given over to dynamism, and tainted by insanity.
Metaphysic Trinity: The universal forces of Stasis, Dynamism and Entropy.
Methodology: A sub-group within a Technocratic Convention.
Mystic: Having to do with magic.
Near Umbra: The parts of the Umbra around Realms and near the Earth.
Nephandus: A mage who has Fallen to dark service and seeks to return the universe to primordial chaos.
Node: A place of power where Quintessence flows freely and strongly.
Oracle: A legendary mage who has moved beyond the understanding of other magicians, perhaps even to Ascension.
Orphans: Mages who Awaken without formal training and who school themselves in their own magical techniques. Each Orphan discovers her own paradigm of doing magic.
Ostracism: A punishment declaring a mage separated from mage society.
Otherworlds: Realms outside the Gauntlet.
Paradox: The backlash of reality bending against magical change. Paradox can strike a mage directly, or it may build up subtly.
Paradox Realm: A temporary Realm created by a huge backlash of Paradox, wherein a mage must unravel the bizarre twisting of the universe to escape.
Paradox Spirit: A spirit entity that hounds a mage as a result of Paradox.
Path: A general term for destiny, or for a particular branch of magical practice.
Pattern: The metaphysical composition of an object, place, person or idea.
Procedures: Technocratic "magic".
Pure Ones: Legendary primordial beings from the dawn of creation; some mages believe Avatars to be pieces of the Pure Ones.
Pogrom, The: The Technocratic purge of supernatural elements.
Portal: A permanent Gate, allowing access to or from (not always both) a particular location. Portals can be keyed to allow only certain access or certain times of activation or any number of security measures.
Prime: The force of energy that describes all of reality's basic composit ion.
Protocols, The: A code of honor and set of rules held by the Traditions. Many Traditionalists feel desperate enough not to constrain themselves to all of the Protocols.
Quiet: A temporary (usually) delusional state brought on by Paradox and magic.
Quintessence: The energy of magic. All things are created from Quintessence and return to it. The building blocks of Prime energy.
Realms: The various worlds of the Tellurian.
Resonance: Mystical traces and attunements tied to magical actions, emotions, intent and desire. All magic carries Resonance, and Resonance reflects a mage's will in creating an effect.
Rote: A magical process handed down as a common (or at least well-used) practice.
Seeking: The quest for greater enlightenment.
Shade Realm: The Umbral component of a Shard Realm.
Shard Realm: A Realm or world corresponding to one of the nine elements of magic, sundered from Gaia long ago. Each is ruled by a Celestine and is thought to correspond with one of the planets, including Luna.
Sleeper: A person who has not yet Awakened to the fullness of the supernatural world.
Sphere: A particular element of reality that can be codified and manipulated with magic.
Static Reality: The "natural course" of reality, unaffected by the direction of magic. Static reality has become more and more constrictive as the world clamps down to a single paradigm and as reality becomes less accepting of change or magic.
Symposium: A meeting of the Technocracy.
Tass: Quintessence held in a physical object. Such an object can be used for barter, or to power magical effects.
Tapestry, The: A metaphor for reality as a whole.
Technocracy, The: The modern organization and conspiracy dedicated to furthering a scientific and rational basis for the world. The Technocracy hopes to make reality "safe for humanity" by removing random elements and dangerous foibles. It believes that humanity does not have the ability to cope with such elements on its own. As a result, the Technocracy (or Technocratic Union) strives to eliminate magical phenomena and to stop mages, whose powers they do not understand.
Tellurian: The whole of reality.
Tradition: One of the Nine Mystic Traditions, a group of mages sharing similar training and outlooks. The Traditions fight to preserve magic against the Technocracy, and to defend against the depredations of Marauders and Nephandi. These groups are the Akashic Brotherhood, the Celestial Chorus, the Cult of Ecstasy, the Dreamspeakers, the Euthanatos, the Order of Hermes, the Sons of Ether, the Verbena and the Virtual Adepts.
Tribunal: A gathering of Tradition mages to discuss important matters.
Umbra: The spirit world(s).
Umbrood: Any number of creatures and spirits that exist in the spirit realms.
Vulgar Magic: Magic that breaks the "laws of reality," like hurling flame, flying through the air or turning someone into a toad.
Wonder: An object of magical power. Some Wonders are simple objects that perform only a small trick or hold a tiny amount of Quintessence, while others are legendary artifacts capable of phenomenal feats of magic and holding great amounts of mystical energy.
Wyck: A common name for primordial magi and magic.

Special K

What happened to "magick"? Of the mages left on Earth, few know enough about Avatars and Prime theory to even recognize that the Awakened Avatar allows for a very different sort of magic than Sleeper sorcery. You speak in strange tongues – you make gestures with your hand – your enemy bursts in flames! Was it Awakened magic or sorcery? Who can tell? When someone changes the world through practice and will, it’s magic. Perhaps it was a conceit of hubris to ever think that Awakened mages were somehow special and superior to others with their "True Magick."


Adept: A mage with a fair degree of aptitude and power — though now some of the most powerful mages left on Earth.
Apprentice: A mage who has not been initiated, but who studies the forms of a Tradition.
Bani: An honorific indicating a mage's Traditional affiliation: "Nightshade bani Verbena."
Barabbi: A mage who joins the ranks of the Nephandi.
Celestine: A great spirit, essentially a god.
Consor: A potent ally of a mage, but one who is not a mage himself.
Deacon: A common title for a founder of an established Chantry.
Disciple: The initiated beginners of the Traditions. Disciples can perform limited magic, and they are accepted as Tradition members.
Errant: A mage whose Chantry and cabal have been destroyed.
Fellow: A full member of a Chantry, but not a founder.
Incarna: Greater spirits; the servants of the Celestines. For all intents and purposes, demigods.
Lord: An Umbrood spirit less powerful than an Incarna but greater than a Preceptor or Minion.
Master: A mage of great power and ability, who has reached the pinnacle of one or more Spheres. Such mages are extremely rare on Earth, as most work their highly dangerous magic in the more pliable spirit worlds.
Mentor: A mage who teaches another.
Minion: A low-ranking Umbrood spirit.
Pedagogue: A Hermetic tutor of great fame, usually quite powerful and surrounded by students.
Preceptor: An Umbrood spirit that is less powerful than a Lord, but more powerful than a Minion.
Primus: "First One," used to refer to the founders of the Traditions and the current living heads of said Traditions. In the wake of the destruction of Doissetep and Concordia, many Traditions are without Primi.
Rogue: A renegade mage.
Sentinel: A mage who guards over a Chantry but is not a member.
Technomancer: A mage of a mystic Tradition who uses the trappings of technology, but combines them with mystical understanding. Not to be confused with a Technocrat, a mage who relies wholly on the theories of science and technology.
Tutor: Mages who have become proficient teachers. This term denotes some respect.

Old Form

Certamen: Formalized, non-lethal magical dueling, used to settle disputes between mages.
Curtain, The: The "false" reality in which Sleepers believe. An Awakened entity has passed "through the Curtain" to the wider world.
Custos: A non-mage who works with or for a cabal or Chantry.
Fallen One: A Nephandus.
Grog: A familiar form of the term custos.
Magus: A mage. Plural magi.
Postulant: A mage who serves the Oracles and attempts to join their ranks.
Turb: A gang of Grogs.
Vis: Quintessence.

Vulgar Argot

Black Hats & Mirrorshades: The Technocracy.
Bloodwork: Any magic that requires great effort, or that actually requires the use of blood.
Copperfield: Playing off a magical effect as a mere trick or coincidence.
Crystal Wavers: "New Age" magicians who have no understanding of real magic.
Doxed: To have accumulated too much Paradox energy.
Dram: A unit of measure for Quintessence.
Faust: A mage who bargains excessively with spirits, especially dangerous ones.
Freak: A dangerously insane mage.
Fry: To attack someone with magic, most often with the Sphere of Forces.
Goin' Satanic: To Fall and join the Nephandi.
Grayface: A Technocrat or any mage who is excessively Static.
Juice: Quintessence.
Merlin: An old mage, especially one locked outside of Earth.
Mundane: A normal human.
Nuke: An assault from a Paradox Spirit.
Pit Bulls: Derogatory term for werewolves.
Technobabble: A derogatory term for the magic of the Technocracy.
Wyld & Fried: An insane mage, generally a Marauder.

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