One who wields mastery of one or more of the Natures—Mysterious Ways that allow manipulation of the manifestations of the essential self (Body, Mind, Spirit, Soul).
Beyond The Twain:
Often used as a euphemism to suggest something is so wrong as to be unthinkable. It refers to the endless spanse of non-existence that sprawls beyond the reaches of the Hoop and into Infinity. It is devoid of creation and is composed of unthought concepts that wish to undo creation.
From time to time the Hoop expands to encompass and manifest the stuff Beyond the Twain, which brings unraveling dissonance to the world. Many believe that this might have been what happened to cause the Twister to become broken, just before she made her people.
There are even schools of thought that suggest that the Woe are such concepts from Beyond the Twain that accidentally got woven when The Mover awakened. Not everything from Beyond the Twain is bad, but most such definitely don’t fit in this world.
Generally, this is any place where a break has occurred that makes passage from the Lands to the other realms possible. More specifically it is most often used to describe a rupture that allows access from the Twain into any of the Lands.
A terrible creature from the Twain that has entered our lands via a Breach.
It is believed that what was left of the ancient peoples of old returned to the Songs that sired them, where they remain as spirits serving them. For the most part this usually refers to the Brokkur, elemental beings who hold the secrets of craft, and the Iktom. There are legends which say that deep within Dream are a few Creuwryona who will come when come close to the Gathering Time. Collectively these relatives of Men are called the B’te and some people, skilled in the right combinations of Mysteries and/or talents, can call them to the world and beseech them for aid. B’te must always be treated with the respect of an uncle, aunt, or grandparent: if the B’te speak ill of you, the Principles will never be in your favor. The proper term for a B’te that has taken you as a relative is “G’Neus”.
It is said that the great craftsman M’Assaad was embraced by a G’Neus who taught him the art of clockwork. With its help he further refined this skill into contraption. He became the first contraptioneer and made Salduun strong.
Calling the Weave:
An attempt to create new magics by mixing more than one Way in a dangerous and unorthodox stunt.
A clockwork construction powered by steam, compressed air, or little bits of elemental energies, made with the goal of making a task easier or mimicking some effects of the Mysterious Ways. Most often found in Salduun, the Wu Towns, and some areas of Barata.
Commonly a governing structure consisting of Elders who help make decisions. Most groups govern by council of one form or another. For one to say “I Bear for the Council” is to directly request an audience with the Council of the area.
A title applied to those thought to be filled with wisdom and knowledge. Such people are often assigned to council positions. Note that the title of Elder has little to do with age and, though rare, there are those of young age who have been rewarded with this title.
The four Elements—Earth, Fire, Air, and Water the Mysterious Ways necessary for the sustaining of existence and life. Earth is the base, holding the others together. Fire warms the land, and is both the blood and the driving force of the land’s evolution. Air directs the fires and nourishes the breath. Water cleanses and soothes, shapes and seeds. It keeps the earth from getting too hot, stills the flame, and nourishes the land.
One who wields mastery of one or more of the Elements, which are Mysterious Ways that allow manipulation of the manifestations of the world (Earth, Fire, Air, Water).
The four Essences—Weave, Moment, Space, and Truth—are the Cycle of existence. Weave is the fabric that all things exist within, and that exists in all things. Moment is the dynamic force upon which the strands of the Weave travel. Space provides a container that supports the Weave as its strands travel along time. Truth is the controlling force, laws which direct and control Space and time, so that they may shape the Weave in order for existence to be.
One who wields mastery of one or more of the Essences, which are Mysterious Ways that allow manipulation of the manifestations of reality.
People who, out of greed for power, have given themselves over to the terrible forces from the Twain. They often wield perversions of the Mysteries. The Given grow monstrous and twisted due to their exposure to the Unktehila. In time they cease to be human at all. Some suggest that as soon as they make the pact their humanity is stripped from them, and what remains is a shell inhabited by dark forces. In any case, once Given, a person is not redeemable and is considered an enemy to balance and life.
The forms the Given take differ across the world due to the natures of individual pacts. The most common type is known as a Dul Ah’gallaan, sometimes called headsmen or barrowlords.
The bounding rim of existence as it passes through cycles. It is often visualized as a great medicine wheel with the Weave as a vast spider’s web spanning it. The Hoop not only turns, it also expands while the Weave within gets tighter. When the Weave tightens around a person they are considered to be woven. Their actions are limited but fated to have profound effects upon the world. The turning of the Hoop ensures that in time many new things will come to exist in the world. It also ensures that old terrible things, cast into the Twain, the space between strands, will eventually return.
Unnatural beings that threaten to rend reality, leftover from bygone ages. This is generally synonymous with the Ok’o-wibiyrn, though there are old stories of things that found their way into the world, things that didn’t come from Ok’o-wi that were cast into the Twain. This word may also refer to things from Beyond the Twain.
The presence of Horrors is known to cause great discomfort to those things that are rightly of the world. They create a dissonance and disturb the process of through and emotion. People become erratic and can even be driven completely insane by nearness to these beings.
Mighty beings that are servants of the Weaver and Spinner. Each Iktom was given a domain of existence to watch over and maintain. Iktom come in many forms, but may be identified by the presence of multiple appendages and the ability to distort the Weave, imposing their vision of reality on the world around them.
Iktom are generally thematic spirits who have a task that they maintain. Most are static, living in their own Folds in Dream or within the traveling lands. Entrances to their Folds can be found in caves and similar natural passages all around the world. Sometimes people stumble into the realm of an Iktom. Sometimes they are lured.
Iktom are also master manipulators. Because they have been given the general task of maintaining the Weave, they can draw others into plots and tricks that may be generations in the making. Even whole generations of people may be lured into a plot concocted by an Iktom to fix an existing or forthcoming imbalance. In most cases the Iktom have the best interest of the world at heart. This does not generally mean they are out to help mankind. Many have developed a distinct dislike for the chaotic nature of men. Some suggest that this is because men are on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Iktom. They are spirits of patterns and control of that pattern, where men are spirits of change. In any case the Iktom are keepers of ancient and forgotten knowledge and brave men are wise to seek them out and pass their tests.
A craftsman skilled in the making of contraptions. The Makers of Saalduun are even considered a separate social class who vie for attention from the council to fund their projects. They run the great forges that maintain the quality of living in the Salduun empire. Maker also refers to those who can only store the Mysteries in constructed objects
The Great Hares. These mighty and intelligent rabbits serve as powerful steeds and durable farm beasts throughout most of Ehdrigohr. Common parlance uses “riding hare” and “war hare” more often since the coming of The Still.
The Mysterious Ways:
Sacred forces that come together like the threads of a great web to form the world. Some people have the talent or skill of manipulating the Mysterious Ways to great effect. They are divided into four categories – Elements, Natures, Principles, and Essences.
The four Natures—Body, Mind, Spirit, and Soul—are the manifestations of self-existence. Body is the container and vehicle. Mind is the effective flow of the self—the power to reason, change, and intuit. Spirit is the will of the self—the motivational and directing forces of a person’s being. Soul is the essential self where the lessons of existence are stored for study so that a new body can be chosen to learn lessons yet unlearned. Those who practice the Natures are called Adepts.
One who wields mastery of one or more of the Principles. These are Mysterious Ways which are the manifestations of Fate: Life, Love, Honor, and Destiny. The Principles are generally controlled through various forms of sympathetic rituals. As the principles are truly the embodiment of relationships, so too are their use.
The four Principles—Life, Love, Honor, and Destiny—are Mysterious Ways which are necessary to give purpose to existence. Life is the basis of existence. Love provides the blood and dynamism of existence. Honor directs love and nourishes the passions. Destiny cleanses existence, makes the scars on the Weave that require life, all while providing the paths that Honor will choose from, so that life can further itself.
The unbounded non-existence of the age before the first turning of the Great Hoop. WhatMoves made creation by shattering this emptiness with substance. There are those that believe that all that is wrong with the world is because the material nature of the world causes it. Destroying everything and returning to The Quiet is their goal to free all from suffering. An older term for this is “Sni”. Pronounced “SHNEE” it is generally translated to a concept of “without” or “subtraction” or “negative”.
The largest categorical grouping of the Mysterious Ways. These are the Elements, the Essences, the Natures, and the Principles.
A term used by storytellers to refer to large untamed areas. It is adopted from the terminology of the Essentialists who use it to refer to the concept of non-realized, unbounded, space that is devoid of creation.
Shivers are perversions of the Elements and the Natures, mixed with twisted manifestations of life. The majority come from the places where the Woe slumber, their bodies still producing corruptions far beneath the world where the Withering can’t reach. They invariably find their way to the surface and hide from the Withering in dark places. They venture out at night, seeking to devour the peoples of the world.
Shivers come in a multitude of forms and sizes. It is rare for the larger or more powerful among them to venture forth, for even the slightest encounter with sunlight can be devastation for them.
Typically a Shiver is a form of infection. Larval Shivers must find hosts to attach to initially. As a Shiver grows in age it becomes more “pure,” gradually processing the original host’s form into something more useful to it. Their name comes from the pronounced shaking and wrenching that people notice in a host who has begun to transform from infection by one of the more common lesser Shivers.
No matter what the original form of the host creature was, when the shiver has taken hold it becomes bizarre. There may be faces scattered across the hide, weeping sores, necrotic appendages of sundry other creatures, or its form may be composed of swarming creatures—anything is possible. Whatever form a Shiver takes is nightmarish. It is thought that they actually feed on the nightmares of humans and that is why they are drawn to the places where people dwell.
Since so many Shivers originate from beneath the earth they frequently infect burrowing creatures, rodents, colony creatures and insects, which soon become monsters. Others make their way to the surface in a more larval form and find surface hosts to infect. These Shivers are more dangerous as their intelligence—normally that of a rabid animal—is typically magnified by that of the host. There are still others that do not need an animal host, preferring to pervert the flora of the land. Beyond those are the truly frightening creatures that can infect and manipulate nearly any form of matter.
People typically only become Shivers when they’ve died outside a sacred area or when sleeping in a blighted land. Such incidences allow the unmanifested larval Shivers to take root.
The most feared type of Shiver in civilized lands is the skinwalker, who takes the flesh of victims and wears it as a sort of hazard suit, allowing it to walk in daylight briefly. The skins rot and burn relatively quickly from light exposure, so a skin walker will go typically go through many victims before it’s caught. Whole villages have been burned due to the suspicion of a skinwalker being among them.
The current age where the people have managed to gather and the Woe have not awakened.
A term for using the Mysterious Ways to move about by entering one of the Traveling Lands, moving a distance, and exiting back into the Waking Land. This is normally done because some Traveling Lands allow for quicker travel or they allow travel without being seen. Stepping comes, however, with significant perils of its own.
Having an inborn power to affect one very focused part of the Mysterious Ways without formal training or conscious effort.
A general term for the other realms that exist alongside the realm where the people exist (known as the Waking Land). While it usually requires significant use of the Mysteries to enter the Traveling Lands there are scattered places where people can pass from one realm to another.
Between the strands of the Great Weave, but within The Hoop, are the infinite spaces of the Twain. A multitude of bound spanses of emptiness, it was where the Twister’s brood were cast at the end of the War of Sorrows. In time the Twain will be woven and all those imprisoned will be in the world again.
Turning is the term used to refer to the time periods when the Woe would awaken and turn the world upside down. When this happened the Shivers would rampage and the Woe would destroy everything in their paths.
One of the four genders. Two-Spirits are people who have a male and female soul essence in their physical shell. They often maintain a gender role of caretaker, mediator, counselor in families. In the case of death of one member of a family they will often adopt the remaining gender roles to fill that gap.
These are Iktom who were tainted during the War of Sorrows. They have gone mad, and tend to twist and pervert their domains whenever they can touch the world.
Such creatures are dangerous to be around; they will pursue their focus to the detriment of all other things. Mad Iktom are generally more powerful than Sorrows, but only in a particular way. Beware of knowledge gained from such a being, for they may be lies and half truths. No Iktom ever tells the whole truth, but the Unkhtom—as they are called—tell truths meant to harm or pervert a goal.
One of the more common names for Ok’o-wi, the dark thing that lies in the Twain. She sends her Breachers to find ways into the world to bring her through. Also called the Twister, Sica-Wi, and myriad other names across the languages of the peoples.
A general term for the world that the people live in as opposed to the Traveling Lands where spirits roam.
Also known as the “Noble Beasts.” In times long past, it is said that these were the stewards of the earth and they served the Song BryahdWhoShapeEarth, who had instilled her love for the earth in a certain number of animals that would help her tend the land.
These creatures were Mastincala (the Hares), N’ga (the Serpents), Mahto (the Bears), and Sunka (the Dogs). Of the lot, the Mastincala and Sunka have tried the most to help man since the Upheaval, and travel with him through his trials.
N’ga and Mahto help, but only after great trials have been passed. They refused to live among man’s tribes and cities, and require those that would learn their secrets also live lives of solitude. Mahto has developed a fondness for the men of the north, and introduced them to the path of the Bearwalker to aid them as they brave the dark things that lurk in the frigid lands of the White.
The smaller categorical parts of individual schools. For example, the Ways of the school of Elements are Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.
Another term for Principalers. In some territories it is associated with a Principaler known to frequently use the Principles for selfish or material gain. This is not the meaning of the term however. It is worth noting that in some places “Principaler” carries this connotation, and Witch is the more common positive term. The Urali, in particular, are known to use Witch exclusively for both good and bad and frown on the use of the term Principaler as divisive.
People who have gone to the ways of darkness. Possessed of great evil power, they have been so corrupted that the sun burns their flesh and the moon causes them discomfort. They tend to remain completely covered when around others to protect themselves and hide their scars.
Withen can be synonymous with Given, though many Withen have found ways to steal power from the Breachers and still retain their human nature, or have chosen to directly serve a Sorrow. Most believe it’s not long before such a being is Given…at the very least they’re a curse waiting to happen.
A great curse, made by WhatMoves in a bygone era, that causes all creatures of horror and true evil to burn until dead when exposed to the light of the sun.
Terrible, colossal creatures that sleep deep beneath the earth. They are foulness made manifest, and traditionally awakened to “break” the world whenever the people began to gather and form large communities. The Still has apparently brought an end to this cycle.
No one knows where the Woe came from. Some believe they are powerful Iktom that were broken during the War of Sorrows, and others think they are what happened to the wise beings known as the Creuwryona during the War of Sorrows. Others think that they were actually the first spawn of Ok’o-wi and they were so terrible that she buried them deep within the earth, thinking them stillborn.
A theory that had grown traction with scholars over the last couple of generations is that they are from Beyond the Twain and accidentally were trapped in the world during the Upheaval and the slight expansion of the Hoop that occurred at that time. Whatever the nature of their origins, they are so terrible that the areas beneath which they sleep are blighted for miles around.
Someone who seems to benefit from unusual luck is said to be woven and chosen by the Spinner and Weaver for great things.