From Ascension Sojourns
Table of Contents
Common Terminology

Definitions from M20.


acolyte: A loyal and appreciated mortal; also called an ally by mages who dislike the religious overtones of the formal rank

adept: A mage who’s displayed significant skill with the mystic Arts. Often called a Professor among the Etheric Tradition

apprentice: An aspiring or newly Awakened mage who’s in the early stages of her training. Capitalized, the word becomes a Council title for a low-level Tradition mage.

Arcane: Capitalized, Arcane refers to a mysterious field or effect that obscures the existence and identity of a person, place, or thing.

Archmaster: A powerful magus whose mastery of the Spheres displays lifetimes’ worth of study and practice. Always a rare breed, Archmasters are practically mythic these days. Referred to among Etherites as a Master Scientist

Arete: Commonly pronounced as either ahr-eh-TAY or AIR-eh-tay, this word reflects the quality of excellence and Enlightened Will that allows a mage to alter reality through his Arts.

Art, Arts, the: Common term for magick; also used as a synonym for Sphere (eg. the Art of Forces).

Ascension: Transcendence to a higher state of existence. Seen as both a personal goal (in which the mage achieves self-Ascension) and a global one (in which mages elevate humanity as a whole to an Ascended state). Few mages, however, agree about what Ascension actually looks like or what that higher state means. Ascension, then, is more of an ideal than an accomplishment.

Ascension War, the: Centuries-long conflict between Awakened factions that strive to determine the ultimate form of reality on Earth. Supposedly won and lost several times, this goal – like Ascension itself – is more of a nebulous concept than a measurable goal.

astral: Dealing with mystic consciousness, usually when projecting that consciousness beyond the physical form, shaping worlds with consciousness, or both. (See also Three Worlds.)

Avatar: The “inner god” that guides a mage, an Awakened Avatar allows a mage to rework reality.

Awakened, the: Common name for mages in general; also used to refer to Night-Folk who also possess paranormal abilities.

Awakening: The state of waking up to one’s power to rework reality and perform True Magick.

awareness: Sensitivity to supernatural/ paranormal forces, often experienced as unusually acute perceptions and feelings about things most people cannot see.

Tradition Terms: A

Agent Smith: Generic Technocrat, especially a Black Suit or MiB.

Arcanopath: Someone who pursues magick and/ or knowledge without concerns about ethics, morality, or consequences. (See Faust.)

Ascension Warrior, the: (metaplot) Mysterious figure who claimed to have been a reincarnated member of the First Cabal – its Great Betrayer. Having survived Gilgul, the Warrior declared vendettas against both the Traditions and Technocracy, leading to assaults on several Horizon Realms and Constructs as well as Horizon itself. Though eventually declared an imposter, this Ascension Warrior caused catastrophic setbacks for the Traditions as a whole. (See Doissetep, Fragile Path, Horizon, Porthos.)

Avatar Storm: (metaplot-NOT IN PLAY. HAPPENED, but only briefly. Not currently an issue.) Metaphysical storm that made/makes travel beyond the Gauntlet difficult and dangerous.

Technocratic Terms: A

Adamite: Unmutual Technocrat who feels superior to unconventional personnel due to appearing normal. (See biomod, clone, cyborg, natural, steelskin, etc.)

Adjustment: Syndicate term for a subtle inspired Procedure (that is, coincidental magick).

amalgam: Group of Technocratic operatives; a Technocrat cabal.

apparatus: A Technocratic instrument.

Avalon: Symbol of the Technocratic ideal; in Arthurian myth, the island where King Arthur awaits England’s hour of great need.


belief: The force of faith and conviction that allows a mage to rework reality; even after Awakening, a mage must believe powerfully in something. (See focus, paradigm, practice.)

bodhisattva: A profoundly enlightened person – not always a mage –who has decided to stop short of personal Ascension in order to help other beings. (See Oracle.)

Burn, the: An explosion of Paradox energies.

Bygone: Supposedly mythic creatures, rarely seen on Earth but common in human legendry (dragons, chimeras, unicorns, etc.).

Tradition Terms: B

bani: Council honorific meaning “of the House of…” Example: Spider Chase, bani Verbena.

Black Hats & Mirrorshades: Derogatory term for Technocrats and the Technocracy.

bongo: Short for “bongo-beater” – that is, a hippie, shaman, or neotribalist, particularly of the Ecstatic or Dreamspeaker Traditions; derogatory.

Boom Stick: Wand, staff, or device used to cast spectacularly vulgar spells.

Technocratic Terms: B

“Be seeing you”: Sarcastic reminder to remain loyal to the Technocracy… or else.

BFG: Big Fucking Gun; any hand-held distance weapon capable of unleashing incredible force.

biomod: Bio-modification, a.k.a. organic enhancement.

Black Suit: Preferred and gender-neutral name for a field agent of the NWO. (See Black Hats & Mirrorshades, Boys in Black, MiB.)

Bottom Line, the: The Syndicate paradigm for reality; often phrased as “maximum profit, minimum risk.”

Boys in Black: Reference to NWO operatives; somewhat derogatory.

burn: To sanitize a person, place, or thing.


cabal: A small gathering of mages who often work together; a family or clan of associated willworkers.

Caern: A Node guarded by tribal werewolves.

Chantry: A place where mages make their homes; a mystic stronghold. (See Construct.)

chaos magic(k): Eclectic, unorthodox, personalized, and often improvisational mystic practice; despite common misconception, NOT magick based on evil forces or malevolent intentions.

chi: Life-essence energy, generated and channeled through various mystic practices; also spelled ch’i. (See Quintessence.)

coincidental magick: An act of magick that can be passed off or regarded as some perfectly natural coincidence if witnessed by someone who does not understand or believe in magick. Magick that works within the dominant paradigm. (See vulgar magick.)

consensual reality: Reality as most human beings understand it, agree upon it, and experience it. Also called Earthly reality. (See dominant paradigm.)

Consensus, the: Common term for reality as most people agree upon reality. Regarded by the Technocracy as the ideal, safe state of humanity, though other mages use the term as well. (See consensual reality, dynamic paradigm, Masses, paradigm, Sleeper.)

contrary: Crazy wisdom role that reverses expected modes of dress and behavior (often, but not always, through crossdressing, androgyny, deliberate confusion, backwards speech, saying the opposite of what is meant, etc.) in order to subvert expectations about what is. Sometimes used as an instrument for mystic focus. (See shaman.)

Construct, construct: Capitalized, refers to a Technocratic base or Horizon Realm; without capitalization, the term refers to an artificially constructed person.

Convention: Capitalized, refers to one or more of the five divisions within the Technocratic Union.

Council of Nine Mystic Traditions, the Council: The full title of the Nine Traditions, united into a single group; also used to refer to the leadership of that group. countermagick: Metaphysical dodge in which a mage tries to undo the effects of some other mage’s magick before that magick takes effect. (This is more a game term than a setting term; players may use it, but characters rarely, if ever, do.)

Craft: Capitalized, refers to a large sect of allied mages who refuse to join the Traditions, Technocracy, Marauders, or Nephandi. (See Disparates.)

Creation: When capitalized, the term refers to everything that exists – as in “all of Creation.” (See Tellurian.)

crazy wisdom: Overcoming limitations through apparently (and/ or dangerously) irrational actions and behavior. By confronting so-called common sense and social taboos, a practitioner breaks on through boundaries of personal fear and normative culture. (See contrary, Left-Hand Path.)

Custos are boon companions, the acolytes, familiars, servants and sidekicks who follow mages on their mystick pursuits. Though unversed in the arts of True Magick, custos form a valuable part of mage society. These followers are more than simple "allies" — they often spell the difference between survival and damnation! Plural: custodes -Consor, old term for custos, no longer used.

Tradition Terms: C

certámen: Formalized wizards’ duel, used for sport or to resolve disputes.

Colony, the: (metaplot) Secret stronghold of the New Horizon Council.

Cray: Old-form name for a Node.

cyberdork: Old-school computer mage.

Technocratic Terms: C

CACS, “Cacks”: Computational Anomalies Corrections Specialists, a cross-Convention division dedicated to neutralizing computer-based hazards among the Masses.

Cancelation: Capitalized, a death sentence.

Cipher: Capitalized, a near-mindless Iteration X worker; in general, an unEnlightened grunt servitor.

citizen: A valued but low-level and unEnlightened Technocracy employee, usually unaware of who and what she serves; the lowest rank aside from ciphers. (See extraordinary citizen.)

clone: Artificial, lab-grown organism, typically human or animal, created from cell samples to replicate the basic biological characteristics of a non-artificial original. Sarcastically referred to as carbons or carbon copies, after an obsolete replication technology. (See construct, Victor.)

Colony: A Horizon Construct in extraterrestrial orbit.

Construct: Capitalized, a Technocratic stronghold (a.k.a. a Chantry); lower case, an artificially created or enhanced operative or organism. (See biomod, clone, cyborg, etc.)

Control: The Technocratic ideal; the embodiment of the Technocratic ideal; also an enigmatic figure/ group named Control, who embodies and enforces the Technocratic ideal.

Convention of the White Tower: The foundation of the Order of Reason, beginning on Mar. 1, 1325; the Declaration of the White Tower, ratified on Mar. 25, 1325, officially founded what would eventually become the Technocratic Union.

Convention: One of the five divisions within the Technocratic Union.

cyborg: Mechanically enhanced organic operative, usually human but occasionally animal.


Deep Umbra: The metaphysical aspect of outer space. (See Horizon, Void.)

demon: A malignant and/or Infernal spirit. (Note: not Demon, Capitalized)

Descent: Capitalized, the dark mirror of Ascension; an ideal of decay, corruption, and oblivion rather than transcendence.

Device: Capitalized, a hypertech gadget that employs independent Enlightened Procedures; in mystic terms, a magical item based around technology. (See fetish, Talisman.)

Digital Web: The metaphysical aspect of the Internet, generally considered alive. Also called netspace and Webspace.

Disconnection: The state of drifting from Earthly existence; suffered by people who travel for too long in the Otherworlds.

Disembodiment: An extreme state of Disconnection, in which the traveler loses his physical form and exists only as Ephemera.

Disparate Alliance: A recent and secretive alliance of Disparate Crafts. Currently, this Alliance includes the Ahl-i-Batin, Bata’a, Children of Knowledge, Hollow Ones, Kopa Loei, Ngoma, Sisters of Hyppolyta, Taftani, Templars, Wu Lung, and various unaligned orphans. Disparate, Disparates, the: Large sect of unaligned mages; originally an insulting term, reclaimed as a badge of honor. (See Craft, orphan.)

dominant paradigm: What many Sleepers think of as “just the way things are.” Mages subvert, transform, and transcend dominant paradigms simply by existing, although some work to reinforce it. (See coincidental magick, Technocracy.)

dynamic reality: Reality in flux; the static state of reality being radically moved or shifted – in short, magick. (See entropic reality, static reality, Metaphysic Trinity, and other associated listings.)

Dynamism: Capitalized, the metaphysical force of change within the Metaphysic Trinity. Also known as the Wyld. (See Entropy, Stasis.)

Tradition Terms: D

Dante that: To “Dante that” is to do something in as cool as way as possible.

Disneyrians: Sarcastic name for a person (Awakened or otherwise) obsessed with pop culture fantasy and magick; also known as a Princess (not exclusive to female mages) or Prince Charming (likewise).

Doissetep: (metaplot) Legendary Hermetic stronghold: the oldest and most powerful of its kind, second only to Horizon in size and scale. Self-destructed when the Ascension Warrior brought internal tensions to detonation point, Doissetep has been associated with the Tower card in Tarot and is regarded as a symbol of majestic hubris.

doxed: Fouled by Paradox; also, fuckdoxed, especially when referring to persistent Resonance or Paradox effects.

Dram: A measure of Tass.

Technocratic Terms: D

Daedalean: Old name for a Technocrat of the Order of Reason; from Daedalus, the legendary Greek artisan.

Data: When capitalized, refers to the Technocratic version of the Correspondence Sphere. The Data Principle (or Sphere) employs information as a bridge between people, locations, and events.

datacrawl, the: A streaming feed of important data that moves slowly across the peripheral vision of an operative’s glasses, visor, or viewscreen; officially referred to as the Visual Data & Analysis Spectrum (VDAS, pronounced veee-DAS).

Deep Universe: Technocratic name for the Deep Umbra; outer space.

default: Syndicate euphemism for an assassination.

Degree Absolute: Termination and erasure from the Union’s ranks; also called Degree 7 and the seventh degree.(See Cancelation, default, Room 101.)

Deviant: Short for Reality Deviant; also RD.

Dimensional Anomaly: Technocratic name for the Avatar Storm.(Not in metaplot here.>

Dimensional Science: Technocratic version of the Spirit Sphere, based upon exploring and controlling alternate dimensions and their associated energies.

Dispatch Center: A mundane front for a Technocratic operation; occasionally called a safe house.

drycleaning: Handling a problem without employing violence.


Earth, Earthly: Capitalized, refers to both the planet and its human-dominated state of reality.

Enlightenment, Enlightened: Capitalized, another term for Awakening – commonly but not exclusively used by the Technocracy. In lower case form, enlightenment simply refers to the state of profound understanding.

Enlightened Science: Alteration of apparent reality models based upon advanced scientific principles and understanding; in other words, technomagick. (See hypertech, Inspired Science, reality physics.)

entropic reality: Reality in corruption and decay, often as perceived and/ or created by Entropic magicks or other forces from the Underworld. (See Jhor.)

Entropy: Capitalized, the metaphysical force of decay through which things pass before being cycled back into Dynamism; also the name of the Sphere that deals with such forces.

Epiphany: The moment of Awakening; an “AHA!” experience that opens the mage’s eyes to new potential.

Essence: The personality of an Avatar, defined as either Dynamic, Pattern, Questing, or Primordial; known by Technocrats as an Eidolon.

Tradition Terms: E

Ecstatic: Capitalized, a member of the Cult of Ecstasy.

Elite: Capitalized, a Tradition mage who’s been Awakened since the 1990s and survived the Week of Nightmares and its aftereffects; also a term for respected Virtual Adepts.

Technocratic Terms: E

EDE: Extra-Dimensional Entity; an alien; a spirit.

Eidolon: As noted above, the Technocratic view of an Avatar’s Essence.

Empowerment: Realization of the power of an Enlightened mind and Inspired Science; in mystic terms, the Awakening. Also, a preferred term for what Reality Deviants call Ascension.

enhancement: Artificial upgrades to an existing organic structure. (See biomod, cyborg.)

Enlightened Anthropic Principle, the: Technocratic theory that human beings create the conditions of a human-based reality through conscious and subconscious accord; in short, the belief that people – especially Enlightened people – create and maintain reality as we know it.

exo: Scut-talk for an obvious cyborg; also ExoJock.

extraordinary citizen: Valuable yet unEnlightened Technocratic operative; also a person who can understand and/ or witness Inspired Science without having to be Enlightened or Processed first.


Fallen, the: Euphemism for the Nephandi or for other mages who pursue Descent instead of Ascension.

familiar: A spirit that has taken on solid form in order to become a mage’s companion.

Fetish: Capitalized, an object imbued with a ritual significance and/ or spirit-based powers; in sexual terms, a practice or situation of intense fixation and potentially magickal focus.

focus: The combination of belief, practice, and instrument through which a mage focuses her magick. (See paradigm.) (Like countermagick, this is more of a game term than a setting term.)

Tradition Terms: F

Faust: A proud and/ or careless wizard, especially one who deals with bad bargains and/ or Infernal powers; also a derogatory term for a Hermetic mage.

First Cabal, the: A hand-picked group of nine representatives for the first official Traditions Council; betrayed from within and half-slaughtered, its survivors scattered afterward. Considered a bad omen for the budding Council, but also considered an inspiration by later mages.

Fragile Path, the: A metaphor for a mage’s journey to Ascension and for the ideal behind the Traditions as a whole; from the book of that name by the late Archmaster Porthos Fitz-Empress. (See Great Betrayer, First Cabal, Porthos, WWPD?)

Technocratic Terms: F

Frankensteinian: Scut-talk for a scientist (usually a Progenitor or Void Engineer) whose theories and/ or practices are extreme and disturbing even by Technocracy standards; sometimes an adjective: “You were acting pretty Frankensteinian back there…” Also called a Star-Eater, Mad Doctor, or Moreauvian.

Friends of Courage: Clandestine but (in)famous group of idealistic Technocratic dissidents dedicated to purging corruption within the Union; named for legendary rogue Secret Agent John Courage. (See Project Invictus.)

Front Lines, the: Earthly reality, so named for its RD infestation.

Front: Base of Technocratic operations among the Masses, disguised as a mundane business, home, or other location. (See Dispatch Center.)


Gate: A temporary magickal bridge between places. (See Portal.)

Gauntlet, the: Metaphysical barrier between Earthly reality and the Penumbra.

Genius, the: Capitalized, the Technocratic term for the Avatar. gnosis: Intuitive and/ or initiated knowledge and awareness of the true nature of reality. (Not to be confused with the spiritual awareness Trait in Werewolf: The Apocalypse.)

Gnosticism: One of various related beliefs about an imperfect Creation that can be transcended through enlightened knowledge/ awareness (gnosis) of one’s higher state of being.

Tradition Terms: G

Gandalfian: A Hermetic mage; typically an insult directed at self-important Hermetics (that is, most of them); also, Dumbledore (See also: Merlin).

Gilgul: Destruction of a mage’s Avatar, often as a punishment; from the Hebrew, “metamorphosis.”

Grand Convocation, the: Gathering of mages from around the world between 1457 and 1466; foundation of the Council of Nine.

Great Betrayer, the: (metaplot) Heylel Teomim Thoabath (“The Abomination”), Solificati representative with the First Cabal; betrayed the Cabal, supposedly to reveal the Council’s innate vulnerability to corruption. The Ascension Warrior claimed to be Heylel reincarnated; truth of that claim remains unknown.

Technocratic Terms: G

Genegineering: Advanced genetic engineering, often used to biomod operatives, constructs, or other organisms; a Progenitor specialty.

Genius, the: As noted above, the Technocratic view of an Avatar.

Great Deep, the: Slang for the Deep Universe


hedge magician, hedge wizard: Dismissive term for people who use a limited form of magic, as opposed to Sphere-based Arts; sometimes also known as a sorcerer. (See Sleepwalker, static magic, True Magick.)

hero: “Someone worth singing about;” a person who steps beyond limits and becomes a legend. High Ritual Magick: Formalized and elaborate mystic practice based upon discipline, accomplishment, scholarship, and control; what people typically think of as wizardry or magic(k). (See mage, shaman, technomancer, witch.)

Horizon, the: A thicker form of Gauntlet that surrounds Earth’s atmosphere, enclosing the many Otherworlds surrounding Earth. According to theory, there may be another Horizon out beyond the Moon as well.

Horizon Realm: An Otherworldly Realm, typically constructed through powerful magick. Technocratic Realms are called Horizon Constructs.

hubris: Overwhelming pride that leads people to excess and ruin.

hypertech: To paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke, sufficiently advanced technology that’s indistinguishable from magic; in short, technomagick. (See Enlightened Science, Inspired Science.)

Tradition Terms: H

Home Turf: A Horizon Realm sympathetic to Tradition mages and their practices.

Horizon: (metaplot) The original center of the Council; a massive Otherworldly stronghold. Symbolizing the Traditions’ unity, it was attacked and destroyed twice in the late 1990s and is now believed to be lost.

Technocratic Terms: H

HIT Mark: One of a series of cybernetic killer robots; also scut-talk for a ruthlessly unsubtle killing machine.

hypermath: Principles of esoteric mathematics, often beyond the minds of unEnlightened people. (See hypertech, Inspired Science, Primal Utility, reality physics.)

hypernarrative: Archetypal figures, tropes, or other elements that reoccur in human lore and media; deep-rooted pieces of humanity’s subconscious that can be used to convince or seduce a person or society. Also refers to a sense of interacting with the hypernarrative, allowing a person to live the story. (See Mythic Threads.)


Incarna: A spirit entity of godlike power. (See spirit, totem, Umbrood.)

Infernal: From the Underworld; when capitalized, refers to malevolent and corrupting metaphysical forces or entities.(See demon.)

Infernalist: Someone (not always a mage) who makes pacts with Infernal powers.

Initiate, initiate: A person who has been introduced to the deeper levels of reality and the mystic/ Technocratic cultures involved in it. Sometimes capitalized when referring to a low-ranking mage.

initiation: The introduction, through test and ceremony, of a person into an occult society.

instrument: When referring to magick, an instrument represents the tools and activities involved in a focus: belief inspires practice, which employs instruments to provide focus. The Technocracy often calls its instruments apparatuses, and many other technomancers use that term as well.

Technocratic Terms: I

ice-pack: A cold killer, usually from the NWO.

influence: Manipulation of one or more of the nine essential principles of reality, a.k.a. the Spheres; also a term for social clout (for instance, influence within the FBI).

Inner Circle: The highest level of Technocratic command and control, from which all other elements of the Technocratic Union descend. (See Ivory Tower.)

Inspired Science: Theories and practices of advanced reality Procedures – a.k.a. technomagick. (See Enlightened Science.)

Iterator: Short for a member of Iteration X.

Ivory Tower, the: The predecessor of the NWO; also, the apparent citadel of the Inner Circle… and thus, of established Technocratic leadership.


Jhor: Entropic Resonance; the death-taint affecting mages who deal intimately with the Underworld and Entropic reality.

Tradition Terms: J

Juice: Slang for Quintessence.


Technocratic Term: K

Kamrad: Capitalized, the Socially Conditioned citizens of Iteration X; lower case, a common name for low-ranking citizens of all Conventions.


Left-Hand Path (LHP): Mystic practices that employ unorthodox and forbidden elements (sex, drugs, violence, intoxication, the breaking of taboos, etc.) as tools for enlightenment; pursuit of rebellion and sensation as opposed to orthodoxy and asceticism. (See Right-Hand Path.)

Technocratic Term: L

lab rat: Scut-talk for a Technocrat who spends most or all of his life in a lab or Horizon Construct, far from the realities of the Front Lines.

LERMU: Living Entity Reality Modulator Unit; Void Engineer operative genegineered to perform better in the Deep Universe. Considered the origin of Sleeper myths about gray aliens.


Mad, the: Euphemism for the Marauders.

mage, magus: In Awakened terms, a person who understands how to manipulate reality through force of Enlightened Will; also True Mage. From the ancient Persian and Greek terms for a Zoroastrian priest.

magic: Impressive but limited acts of illusion or alteration that fit into static reality even though they’re apparently supernatural. (See hedge magician, static magic, Stasis.)

magick: The Art and Science of reworking reality through force of Awakened/ Enlightened Will and knowledge; also called True Magick. Sometimes spelled without the “k,” leading to confusion between Static and Dynamic forms of magic(k).

Marauder, the Marauders: Metaphysical schizophrenics whose impressions of reality are so disconnected from the Consensus that they effectively exist in their own reality wells. (See Quiet.)

Masses, the: The majority of human beings; unEnlightened people – that is, Sleepers. Originally used by the Technocracy, the term is not exclusive to that group. (See mundane, normative culture.)

meme: An idea, concept, belief, or message that has a life of its own and spreads itself through thoughts and cultures.

Metaphysic Trinity, the: Name for the interplay between the forces of change (Dynamism), form (Stasis), and decay (Entropy). Known by some primal mages as the Triat of Wyld, Weaver, and Wyrm.

microcosm and macrocosm: The paradigm that says that small things mirror larger things and that all things are connected on some level. Epitomized by the saying “As above, so below.”

mundane, mundanes: Often refers to a Sleeper or the Masses.

mystic: When used to refer to mages, “mystic” describes willworkers with a magickal – as opposed to technological – approach to reality and the Arts.

Mythic Threads: Elements of legend, folklore, and mythology that resonate deep in human consciousness and thus have strong ties to reality even when they seem magical. Tarot cards, astrology, vampires, and demonic possession all hold Mythic Threads. (See hypernarrative.)

Tradition Terms: M

Meatspace: Old Virtual Adept term for the physical world; considered laughably dated by many 21st century mages. Also plain old meatspace.

Merlin: Slang for a powerful and/ or self-important old-school wizard; more respectful than Gandalfian or Dumbledore.

MiB: Man in Black.

Technocratic Terms: M

Magic Man: Sardonic name for a successful Syndicate operative.

market correction: Syndicate term for Paradox effects, based upon the view of reality as an open market of ideas.

Masspeak: Putting things into terms the Masses would understand – that is, using buzzwords and mundane terms, not Technocratic jargon.

Mediation: A Technocratic term for Seeking, wherein the Technocrat works through mental puzzles in order to unlock deeper understanding from within her subconscious mind. (That, at least, is the official view of what’s going on…)

Methodology: A division within a Technocratic Convention.

mutual: Cooperative and reciprocal; acting in ways that respect one’s fellow Technocrats and the Technocracy in general.(See unmutual.)


Nephandus, Nephandi: “Dark reflection” mages who pursue the Path of Descent; infamous for corruption, temptation, misdirection, and deception.

neotribalist, neotribalism: Person or philosophy based on living outside normative culture, typically in tribes of like-minded people; typically embracing postmodernist or modern primitive subcultures and activities (body modification, alternative art festivals, vagabond lifestyles, techno-tribal fashions and rituals, etc.).

Night-Folk, the: Catch-all name for vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and other supernatural/ paranormal creatures of the Earthly plane. (See Reality Deviant.)

Node: Knots of primal energy, where Quintessence wells up and Tass manifests. Nodes often appear in places charged with massive emotional discharges and/ or natural harmony or corruption.

normative culture: Mainstream, normal society within the technological/ industrial world. The Masses and the ideas that epitomize them. Typically considered derogatory.

Tradition Terms: N

netizen: Awakened member of the Digital Web’s regular community.

New Horizon Council, the: (metaplot) Attempt at rebuilding the Council of Traditions.

nuke: To blast someone with vulgar destructive magick.

Technocratic Terms: N

natural: An un-enhanced human (as opposed to a construct),born and raised in the mundane world before joining the Technocracy. (See Adamite.)

newlife: A Technocrat’s existence after she becomes an initiated member of the Technocratic Union, typically marked by a new identity and the end of her previous unEnlightened existence.


Oracle: Legendary mages who’ve either Ascended or else stopped just short of Ascension in order to help (or hinder) life on Earth. Often considered a myth. (See bodhisattva.)

Order of Reason, the: Original form of the Technocratic Union, active between 1325 and 1897.

Orphan, orphan: Self-Awakened and/ or unaffiliated mages who pursue their own practices and agendas. Considered dangerous wild cards by the Traditions and Technocracy. The orphan label tends to be capitalized by those factions but not by many other mages, who consider that term to be insulting.

Otherworlds, the: Collective name for the various worlds beyond the Gauntlet. (See Three Worlds, Umbra, etc.)

Technocratic Terms: O

oldlife: The identity and lifestyle pursued by a Technocrat before she entered the ranks of the Technocratic Union; typically discarded upon full membership within those ranks.

Op: Short for operative.

Operative: Capitalized, an Enlightened agent of the NWO who specializes in espionage; uncapitalized, any Enlightened member of the Union’s middle ranks.


paradigm: A model of reality that reflects a system of belief. (See focus, practice, instrument.) Paradox: The force of conflicting realities, created when a mage performs magick poorly or overreaches the boundaries of the Consensus; also called the Paradox Effect. Paradox Realm: Small Realm created by the forces of Paradox in order to isolate an offending mage from consensual reality.

Paradox Spirit, Paradox Entity: Bizarre, personified manifestation of Paradox that punishes mages who invoke the Paradox Effect; supposedly formed from humanity’s collective unconsciousness… or collective nightmares.

paranormal: Catch-all term for uncanny forces, used by people (like Technocrats) who don’t like using terms like “magic” or “supernatural.” Path, the: Poetic term for a mage’s journey from Awakening to Ascension.

Pattern: Metaphysical form of an object, body, or energy. (See Quintessence.)

Penumbra, the: Spiritual reflection of Earth’s material reality, just on the other side of the Gauntlet; perceived and experienced in different ways by different people. (See Vidare.)

Pogrom, the: The Technocracy’s violent, systematic purge of Reality Deviants; from Russian, “to bring thunder.”

Portal: A permanent Gate, typically guarded by puzzles, wards, guardian creatures, and/ or other precautions.

posthuman, posthumanism: The stage beyond natural humanity, or the philosophy of transcending humanity, often through technological achievement.

practice: With regards to mages and magick, practice reflects the activities and rituals a mage uses to focus her beliefs; also known as a magickal style. (See belief, focus, instrument, paradigm.)

Prime, Primal Force: The essential energy of Creation; also the name of the Sphere that employs those energies. (See Quintessence.)

Procedure: Capitalized, a Technocratic focus for technomagickal spells.

Pure Ones, the: Legendary beings said to have been angels, splinters of gods, or some other mystic entities. (See Avatar, the Wyck.)

Tradition Terms: P

Path of Thorns, the: Old-form version of the term Fragile Path, referring to an individual mage’s path only.

Porthos: (metaplot) Properly known as Archmaster Porthos, this Hermetic wizard was supposedly the most powerful mage alive. Porthos was more than slightly insane, and though he wasn’t quite a Marauder, that insanity pained him greatly. In spite of it, Porthos spoke up for, and inspired, younger Tradition mages. Believed killed on Nov. 10, 1997, by the destruction of Doissetep, which he supposedly contained through a massive act of self-sacrifice. (See Ascension Warrior, Fragile Path.)

Potter, Potterize: To cheapen something magickal and/or wondrous; to employ pop cultural tools or rituals; or to view magick as gee-whiz Pollyanna. Obviously (and unfairly) derogatory.

Protocols, the: Laws of conduct that theoretically govern all Tradition mages.

'Technocratic Terms: P

Panopticon, the: (metaplot) A cross-Convention elite force of operatives assigned to track down and eradicate the Sphinx and its allies, often using extreme force.

PLE: Post-Life Entity; a ghost.

Pogrom, the: As noted above, the violent suppression and removal of Reality Deviant factions. (In certain metaplot options, the Pogrom has been suspended or has ended; in others, it’s still in full force.)

polishing: Subconscious Mind-based Procedures, often used to Process someone without his conscious realization.

Precepts of Damian, the: Essential code of ethics and operations for the Union as a whole.

Primal Utility: The psychological hypermath juncture between human desire and reality physics; in short, the Syndicate’s version of the Prime Sphere.

Primal Force: The core energy within all things; in Reality Deviant terms, Quintessence.

Primium: Secret alloy created for hypertech Devices; also used to undo the effects of Reality Deviant metaphysical variations. (In game terms, a metal that grants innate countermagick.)

Process: A common application of Inspired Science (that is, a technomagickal spell); also, the act of using Processing on someone.

Processing, Processed: Social Conditioning employed to affirm and ensure loyalty to the Technocratic Union; also, to have been so Conditioned.

Project Invictus: Secret group of Technocratic idealists purging Nephandic infection and hubris from within the Union. (See Friends of Courage.)

prole: Dismissive scut-talk referring to a low-ranking citizen.


Quiet: A state of metaphysical disconnection and insanity, often caused by overuse of magick. Marauders exist in permanent Quiet.

Quintessence: The raw concentrated essence of Creation – its Fifth Essence. Also known as Primal Force, Quintessence manifests in Patterns through the interplay of Dynamism and Stasis. (Entropy breaks those Patterns down.)


Rashomon Effect, Rashomon Syndrome, the: Term for the realization that everyone has different perceptions of reality, and that no definitive form of reality exists. From the Japanese play and movie of the same name.

Reality: Capitalized, the word refers to a personified or even conscious form of reality – Reality as a being, not a state.

Reality Deviant, RD, Deviance: Technocratic terms for entities, acts, and creatures (including mages) who deviate from the Union’s ideal form of reality. Originally used only within the Technocracy, the term Reality Deviant has entered wider usage when referring to supernatural enemies.

Realm: Capitalized, refers to a place in the Otherworlds that has consistent identity and form.

Resonance: Metaphysical feedback; traces of past actions and magickal spells. Commonly (and often erroneously) known as karma, Threefold Return, and “payback is a bitch.” Right-Hand Path (RHP): Pursuit of enlightenment and magick through righteous action, virtue, and asceticism in accordance with mortal, divine, or moral laws. Originally referred to one of two different approaches to Tantric Arts, now often applied to reputable forms of magick; opposed to the so-called disreputable Left-Hand Path.

ritual: An established series of activities that have a greater purpose behind them. Some rituals are simple (knocking on wood), whereas others are incredibly complex and restricted to certain people (a High Mass).

rote: A time-honored magickal spell.

Tradition Terms: R

Road Warrior hippies: Neotribalists. Derogatory and used by outsiders, often when referring to Ecstatics, Dreamspeakers, and Verbenae.

Rogue: When capitalized, refers to a mage who has quit her sect, renounced Tradition membership, turned on her former allies, or gone mercenary.

Rogue Council, the: (metaplot) Mysterious group or entity that began sending out clues and messages to apparently random mages around 2002; also known as (or affiliated with) the Sphinx.

Technocratic Terms: R

reality crime: Violating the laws of established Consensus with metaphysical/ paranormal phenomena; in plain English, using magick or other supernatural powers. (See Deviance, Reality Deviant.)

reality physics: Esoteric laws of cause and effect; the deep principles underlying elementary physics; scientifically applied metaphysics; in other words, technomagick. (See Enlightened Science, Inspired Science, hypermath, hypertech.)

Reprogram: To use extreme Social Conditioning in order to purge unmutual and disloyal behavior; in short, Technocratic brainwashing.

Room 101: a.k.a. the White Room, Black Room, or Red Room; general name for a heavily secured chamber used for Social Conditioning, intimidation, interrogation, and punishment; your worst nightmare.


sanctum: A specially prepared safe, ritual, or laboratory space; sometimes capitalized, especially when referring to a space that has been magickally prepared.

Scientist: Capitalized, refers to high-status Enlightened technomancers, especially within the Technocracy and Society of Ether.

Seeking: A mage’s Avatar-guided internal quest for further enlightenment.

shallowing: Temporary time or area where the Gauntlet thins out, making passage easier between Earth and the Otherworlds.

shaman: Mystic who communicates and intercedes with spirits. Originally referring to a specific type of Siberian healer/seer, the word is now a general term for spirit-oriented “visionpeople” who undergo symbolic or literal death-and-rebirth experiences. (See totem.)

Sleeper: A person who has not yet Awakened to the greater scope of reality. (See Masses, normative culture.)

Sleepwalker: Someone who possesses awareness but has not yet fully Awakened; a visionary Sleeper who might possess unusual talents but not Sphere-based magick. (See bodhisattva, consor, hedge magician.)

Solificati, the: Sect of alchemists with an extremely confused history and identity; currently identified with both a Disparate Craft and a House of Hermes.

Spheres, the: Capitalized, refers to the nine elements of reality (or areas of understanding that deal with those elements) through which mages work their Arts. Generally considered to comprise Correspondence, Entropy, Forces, Life, Matter, Mind, Prime, Spirit, and Time, although they are often known by other names within the Technocracy. (See Art, Tenth Sphere.)

spirit: In lower case form, an entity or force from outside material reality; sometimes considered the fifth element, soul essence, or the immaterial energy behind passion and emotion. Capitalized, the Sphere that deals with such energies and entities.

Stasis: The metaphysical principle of form, set in motion by Dynamism and broken down by Entropy. (See Metaphysic Trinity.)

static reality: The momentum of reality, guided by the beliefs of humanity and setting what is possible into the form of what exists. True Magick, by definition, disrupts static reality, reworking it to fit a mage’s desires.

Tradition Terms: S

Speaker: Capitalized, a member of the Dreamspeakers, especially a political activist or rebel shaman.

Sphinx, the: (metaplot) Elusive entity that encouraged/encourages unity and Ascension among disillusioned Tradition mages; sent out untraceable messages marked with a disappearing sphinx, indicating riddles to be solved. (See Rogue Council.)

step(ping) sideways: To mystically slide through the Gauntlet and enter the Penumbra.

Technocratic Terms: S

Sanitize: To cleanse paranormal Resonance from a Node or RD tendencies from a person (again, see Social Conditioning); also, to purge all data, clues, and living things from a raided location. (See sweep ‘n’ sack.)

Scut-talk: Technocratic slang and/ or insults; often considered mildly (and sometimes seriously) unmutual.

Six Degrees of Separation: Scale of trust and loyalty within the Technocracy; Degree 1 reflects maximum trust, whereas Degree 6 reflects impending dismissal. (See Degree Absolute.)

sleep-teacher: Device used to download information into the mind of a sleeping agent.

Social Conditioning: Method of Mind-based influence, employed to ensure loyalty and understanding; also, a system of mental triggers and suggestions used to purge disruptive individuality, assure conformity, and initiate a newcomer into the Technocratic paradigm; also, a form of punishment used to modify the behavior of a Reality Deviant or unmutual Technocrat, dedicating him to the Technocratic cause. (See Processing, Reprogram.)

steelhead: Insulting name for an obvious cyborg; also, a stubborn or fanatical Technocrat.

steelskin: An obvious cyborg, derogatory.

Subtle Influence, Subtle Procedure: Inspired Science or hypertech employed so as not to seem too advanced for the Masses. (In game terms, coincidental technomagick.)

superstitionist: Obvious insult for mystic mages or their devotees.

Supervisor: Capitalized, an upper-ranking Technocrat, specifically one assigned to direct and monitor teams of subordinates.

sweep ‘n’ sack: Extreme raid in which operatives smash into a place, kill everyone, confiscate all property and data, and either replace it with false materials, data, and clones, or else sanitize the entire location.

Symposium: Assembly of high-ranking Technocrats, used to govern and direct operations within a given region or facility.


Talisman: Capitalized, a magickal item that contains its own mystic power. (See Device, Fetish.)

Tapestry, the: A metaphor for reality.

Tass: Physical form of Quintessence, often coalescing around Nodes or in supernatural creatures, taking shapes that seem appropriate to the source in question (toadstools in a forest glade, water in a fountain, blood in a creature’s veins, etc.).

Technocracy: In lower case form, a government or philosophy driven by science and industry; capitalized, the short-form name for the Technocratic Union.

Technocrat: Lower case, a person devoted to scientific/technological solutions in government and society; capitalized,a member of the Technocratic Union.

Technocratic Union, the: Powerful faction of Enlightened technomancers dedicated to the benevolent domination of humanity. Divided into five Conventions – Iteration X and the New World Order, Progenitors, Syndicate, and Void Engineers – this faction employs invention, subversion, and force in pursuit of global control.

technomagick: Reality-alteration (that is, magick) through a scientific/ technological focus.

technomancer: A mage who employs technomagick; from the Greek, “to envision through knowledge-craft/ skillful work.” Not capitalized unless it refers to a member of the Technocracy.

Tellurian, the: The whole of reality; all Creation.

Tenth Sphere, the: Theoretical unifying principle behind the nine Spheres; heavily debated but not yet conclusively discovered.

Three Worlds, the: The three layers of the Otherworldly Umbrae; regions of consciousness (the Astral, or High, Umbra), nature (the Middle Umbra), and death (the Low, or Dark, Umbra). Likened to the Metaphysic Trinity (High = Dynamism, Middle = Stasis, Low = Entropy), though the Three Worlds are composed of all three principles. (See Umbra, Underworld.)

totem: Spirit entity that takes a special interest in a person or group, often conferring favors upon the chosen party. Usually, but not always, linked to an animal or natural force. (See shaman.)

Traditions, the: One or more members of the Council of Nine Mystick Traditions. Currently, these Traditions are the Akashic Brotherhood (a.k.a. the Akashayana), Celestial Chorus (Singers or Choristers), Cult of Ecstasy (Sahajiya), Dreamspeakers (Kha’vadi), Euthanatos (Chakravanti), Order of Hermes (Hermetics), Sons/ Society of Ether (Etherites), Verbena (Verbenae), and Virtual Adepts (VAs).

Transhumanist, transhumanism: Person or philosophy dedicated to moving beyond human physical, and social limitations, usually through technology.

Tradition Terms: T

Tribunal: Catch-all name for three types of gatherings of Council mages, usually to settle legal matters and/ or sit in judgment of crimes and determine punishments.

Twist: Slang for Resonance.

Technocratic Terms: T

Threat Null: (metaplot) Perhaps the greatest threat the world has ever known… and only certain Void Engineers even know it exists.


Umbra, Umbrae: One or more of the Three Worlds; from the Latin, “Shadow.”

Umbrood: Any non-human inhabitant or native of the Umbra. The term is considered insulting by shamans and spirits, but it’s often employed by Hermetics and technomancers.

unAwakened, unEnlightened: When using capitalized A or E, the phrase refers to people who have not yet fully Awakened. Also un-Awakened/ un-Enlightened.

Uncle Al: Aleister Crowley, (in)famous occultist, sarcastically referred to by many mages as “Good ol’ Uncle Al.”

Underworld, the: Capitalized, the Low Umbral region of death and Entropy.

Technocratic Terms: U

UID: Universal Identification Designation, typically consisting either of two letters and a series of numbers (e.g.KD61643), a binary code (1001010110), or possibly a fragment of genetic code. Often stamped or engraved on badges, skin, and personal or assigned property; in short, a Technocrat’s official name.

unconventional personnel: Enhanced, biomodded, or artificially created operatives. (See clone, construct, cyborg, LERMU, etc.)

Union, the: Short for the Technocratic Union.

unmutual: Not reciprocating the Union’s generosity; disloyal; ungrateful; destabilizing morale or optimum efficiency; a person or construct presenting a threat within the Union.

uplift: The process by which a superior party raises another group above its previous physical or mental limitations, bringing on a new, progressive state of evolution.


Vidare: The outlook through which a person views the Penumbra; also affects a traveler’s destination within the Otherworlds.

Void, the: Capitalized, the deepest reaches of space; the principle of ultimate Oblivion; the utter absence of possibility; primal chaos; and the heart of the Underworld – all of which, in essence, may be the same thing. Sometimes called the Absolute, especially by Nephandi.

vulgar magick: Drastic, obvious alterations of reality; the opposite of coincidental magick.

Technocratic Terms: V

Victor: Genegineered construct, meant to upgrade the human condition; noted for extreme good looks, physical capability, and unfortunate quirks of personality and mental stability. (See clone, unconventional personnel.)

Void: Capitalized, a historical term for the Deep Universe, undiscovered frontiers and uncharted regions; also, scut-talk for one or more Void Engineers, suggesting that such operatives are devoid of personality or avoiding other Technocrats and their concerns.

Void Adaptation: Technocratic name for Disembodiment.


whiteout: Paradox backlash in the Digital Web. The Great Whiteout refers to a massive crash on Nov. 10, 1997, that significantly changed netspace. (See entries below for Ascension Warrior, Doissetep, Porthos.)

wild talent: Reflexive, unconscious, unpredictable, typically chaotic expression of unschooled mystic talent; one of the primary reasons people fear orphans and Marauders. (See Will.)

Will: Sometimes capitalized, will or Will refers to the force of determination and comprehension that allows a mage to alter reality through conscious choice, as opposed to wild talent.

willworker, will-worker: A person who works her will upon Creation… that is, a mage.

witch: Primal mystic who employs a combination of instinct and Old Ways of commoner witchcraft as opposed to High Ritual Magick. Among Sleepers, also a common term for disreputable (not always female) practitioners of the Arts.

Wyck, the: Legendary name for the first primordial mages, descended from the Pure Ones; often translated as “the Wise (Ones).”

Tradition Terms: W

Week of Nightmares, the: (metaplot) First week of June, 1999; mass nightmares and visions greet the rise of a horrific, mysterious, godlike entity. After that entity rampages across India and Bangladesh, the Technocracy nukes it; this, in turn, kicks off the Avatar Storm as well as ending several hundred thousand lives. (NOTE: the Avatar Storm is not a -current- metaplot here. It only existed for a year-and-a-day.) See Current Effects)

witch-war: Internal scrap or rivalry between allied mystic factions (Tradition or otherwise).

WWPD?: “What Would Porthos Do?” Half-sarcastic question when confronting a daunting challenge or puzzling enigma; essentially translates to “You’d have to be insane to figure this out.” Tends to piss off older mages, especially Hermetic ones who may have known Archmaster Porthos and revere him, despise him, or both.