(updated weekly)

Aether, the

A plane of existence that runs parallel to the material realm, yet close enough that the two may, with effort, be bridged. The Aether is home to the strange and powerful spirits known as daemons.

agimat

Also known as anting-anting. A school of enchantment deriving from Filipino tradition that features the use of amulets implanted beneath the caster’s skin.

alchemy

The marriage of magic and chemistry, often influenced by philosophy. Deals mainly in the transmutation of both mundane and magical substances.

aletheia

A magical substance which, when inhaled in its gaseous form, yields supernatural insight. Outlawed by Ordo Arcanus outside its use by officially authorized pythias.

anting-anting

See agimat.

apostasy

A term used by Ordo Arcanus to describe any magic act which violates the laws of the order.

apostate

One who commits apostasy.

Arcadia, New Jersey

The headquarters of Ordo Arcanus East, hidden deep within New Jersey’s Pine Barrens.

athame

A ceremonial dagger, typically used in goetia rituals, often alongside a wand.

Auctoritas Magicae, the

A diplomatic body formed to keep peace between the major magic factions in North America, protect and maintain order within the greater magic community, and dictate interfaction law.

binding magic

See goetia.

chronomancy

Magic that utilizes the manipulation of relative time across space. It’s a common saying among magi that “We can’t turn back time or bring back the dead,” but in truth it’s unclear whether magic could be used to reverse time, since the practice is outlawed and there have been no known documented attempts.

cogimancy

The magic of mind-reading and mental manipulation.

daemon

A spirit from the plane known as the Aether that may be subjugated, and its supernatural powers put to use, by a skilled practitioner of goetia. Daemons range in power and influence from lowly imps to the deities of mythologies long lost.

daemonology

See goetia.

Delphi, Illinois

The central headquarters of Ordo Arcanus, located fifty miles southwest of Chicago, Illinois. The city is shared with mundanes, its supernatural attributes hidden from their perception by glamors.

divination

A catchall term for any of a number of magic traditions used for the purpose of attaining supernatural insight, especially into the future.

diviner

One who practices divination.

enchantment

The imbuing of inanimate objects with magic energies and abilities.

excitatory gnosis

The technique of achieving gnosis by way of stimulation and heightened arousal, for example through dancing or frantic drumming.

execration

See maleficium.

factionless

A term for mages who belong to none of the major factions.

glamor

A type of enchantment that projects an illusion, altering the appearance, but not the substance, of an object, a place, or a person.

goetia

The craft of subjugating and commanding daemons. An ancient and common school of magic.

gnosis

The altered state of mind a mage must achieve in order to manipulate reality.

hex

A spell cast using maleficium.

Homunculus

A human-like entity, alchemically constructed and endowed with artificial life. Their creation is forbidden by interfaction law.

inhibitory gnosis

The method of achieving gnosis through relaxation techniques, for example meditation.

magus

Less formally, “mage.” A person who practices or is capable of practicing magic.

maleficium

A school of magic devoted exclusively to causing harm to the human body. Its use is banned by interfaction law.

Nameless

A derogatory and politically incorrect term for Ordo Arcanus members who are not descended from First House, a.k.a. traditionally powerful, families. See also Rising House.

necromancy

Magic that focuses on communication with shades and exploration of the liminal realm between life and death. Largely the purview of the sect Hekate Aristokratia. Contrary to popular mundane conceptions, it does not tend to include resurrecting the dead, which violates interfaction law, is regarded as immoral by most Aristokratians, and has historically been pursued almost entirely by practitioners of alchemy.

Martial Magus

A member of the Order of Martial Magi.

mundane

Non-magical in nature. Also, a person incapable of practicing magic.

Occultation Protocols, the

A section of interfaction law which states that no mage, except out of utmost urgency, may practice or discuss magic in such a way that it is perceived and/or apprehended by mundanes, and that any such use of magic must be reported immediately to the authorities so that actions may be taken to contain the incident. Designed to protect the magic community from detection and persecution by mundanes.

Order of Martial Magi, the

An order of mages who have developed their magic specialties for use in combat. They serve Ordo Arcanus as special enforcement agents.

prima materia

An alchemical term for the primordial substance from which all other substances derive.

pythia

One of a class of diviners who receive supernatural insight while under the influence of aletheia vapors. They are specially trained to withstand the vapors’ maddening effects.

ratcatcher

A factionless bounty hunter contractually employed by major-faction enforcers to exploit a loophole in the section of interfaction code that forbids faction-aligned enforcement agents to carry out arrests on faction-specific charges in neutral territory.

Rising House

The politically correct term for Ordo Arcanus members who are not descended from First House, a.k.a. traditionally powerful, families. See also Nameless.

telekinesis

A common school of magic involving moving objects with the mind through the use of deep gnosis. Most mages have some capability in this area, but few can do more than move small objects short distances, and even then intense concentration is usually required.

theurgy

See goetia.

transmute

To transform one substance into another. A term of art used most often in the context of alchemy.

tranquilization

A form of cogimancy sanctioned for use by enforcement departments of the major magic factions on especially dangerous criminals. Involves the erasure and rudimentary reprogramming of a subject human’s mind, usually for the purpose of transforming them into a pliable worker or soldier.