Glossary

A Note from the Author: On Too Many Words

This is a dictionary of all the strange terms used in Crux. Though I tried to avoid over-jargonosity, the aesthetics of the game and its mechanics involved using words in very particular senses, or words that were archaic. Then there are the plethora of words that have their origins in the Plasm, describing the people there and cultural elements. In the end, it is still a larger jargon than I'd originally planned for. I'm not upset with it, though: these words go a long way in developing the flavor of the game, and they're balanced by a very simple system.

The Dictionary

Each word is given with a very simple definition, and where appropriate (and I've remembered to), a link to where the word is used and explained best.

A

Aegis
A Rade associated with the Calyx and populated almost entirely by House Jen of of the Banna. The Aegis are fiercely protective of the Tell and the Shoal, and feel about them as parents for children.
Aetium (pl. Aetia)
A Realm whose inhabitants are Dawned. Aetia always have Raths.
Art
1. Magic. 2. A particular type of magic, within one of the schools of magic, such as Wortcunning (an Art of Sorcery) or Songsmith (an Art of Wizardry).
Asleep
A individual who is unaware of the nature of the Coil and who usually carries Lex.
Aspect
A trait which defines a character or element of the story in significant ways. See also Threshold and Numen.
Ather
A House of Tribe Banna, with members who are therianthopes, shape-shifters. The House's Septs are determined by the animal forms its members take.

B

Banna
The Tribe of Noom which are born and raised in the Tell. The Banna Houses are Jen, Peri, Tautha, Ather and Magog. Some Banna have the art of Crossing the Caesura.
Bosk
A magical wood that is easily shaped by magic and which can hold Feits and Raptures for later release. It is the Rath of Vertumn.

C

Caern
A collection of motes. A player draws motes from their Caern to determine whether actions succeed or not.
Caesura
The metaphysical wall that separates the Tell from the Plasm. It is also known as R'lyeh, the Worldwall, the Veil, and the Pause.
Chant
A ritual; magic performed by a group of individuals.
Coil
The world proper, containing the universe we know, the Tell, as well as the multiverse known as the Plasm. The Coil technically includes the Caesura as well, though it's rarely listed.

D

Dawning
1. The process by which a being (typically human Shoal) are awakened to the true nature of reality and the existence of the Plasm, Noom, and magic. 2. The ritual by which someone is Dawned, or awakened to the nature of reality, marked by the identification and experience of their Numen, among other things.
Dominion
One of the two halves of the Coil, either the Tell or the Plasm, but also used, occasionally, of the Caesura (the Third Dominion).
Draw
The act of drawing motes from your Caern in order to determine the success of an action.

E

F

Feit
Pronounced "fit" as in counterfeit. A known spell with a predetermined effect; one "throws" a feit. They are generally easier to cast than Raptures.
Focus
The subject matter which describes what an Art is about. For Sorcery, the Focus defines the components required, for Magery, the kinds of effects, and for Wizardry, the way in which a trance-state for channeling is accomplished.

G

Gather
1. Making a draw to create a magical effect. 2. Collecting Quiddity.
Ghedde
1. The largest CityRealm in the Plasm. 2. The Noom who founded the CityRealm.
Gulf
A Realm with no easy connections to other Realms, and whose inhabitants are often Shoal or Umnizi.

H

Hand
1. The number associated with an Aspect, comparable to the term "rank" in other games. 2. The number of motes chosen when making a Draw.
Heartstone
Solid Hyle, the Rath of Ghedde. It absorbs Quiddity, and is highly prized by Wizards who can use it to store Quiddity to power their Feits and Raptures.
Hyle
The "stuff" of the Caesura, it is a misty but supremely strong precursor to Quiddity. It reaches in tendrils called Leys through the Coil, those Leys acting as veins and arteries delivering change and stability to the Dominions. Hyle is also the substance which keeps Realms separate from each other and their Dominions.

I

J

Jen
A House of the Banna, whose members are tied to particular places. Almost all Jen belong to Rade Aegis.

K

L

Lescence
A liquid which is capable of carrying information like a CD. It is the Rath of Sova, and sometimes the lifeblood of House Ratch.
Lex
The force of stasis which allows the Tellish people to resist magic and reshape the things they see. Lex is also the cause of the Secret War, because it has been transforming the Plasm.
Ley
A stream of Hyle which transports Quiddity, Lex, stasis, and change throughout the Coil. It reaches into the Tell as well as the Plasm, from its source in the Caesura, and is the vital system on which the Compact depended. It further keeps Realms separate, particularly in the Plasm.

M

Maestro
An expert in magic. This term applies across the board, and is used of sorcerers, mages, and wizards alike.
Magery
The School of magic which derives its power solely from the Mage himself. Its effects are limited by the Nature of its Focus. adj. Also magery.
Magog
A House of Tribe Banna, whose members are monsters of various sorts.
Mote
1. The colored tokens used in draws. 2. Any measurable quantity of Quiddity. 3. A point, in the sense of "he has 3 motes of green".
Mundy
Also known as norms, sleepers, and muggles, mundies (from mundane) are people oblivious to the true nature of the Coil, blind to magic, and usually very strong sources of Lex.

N

Noom
A non-human inhabitant of the Plasm (from Numen).
Numen
As one Plasmal poet put it, the "shape of your soul", a Numen is the symbol of one's strengths, weaknesses, and the source of their happiness. In some ways, it is very much like a totem, but not restricted to the animal or natural world.

O

P

Peri
A House of Tribe Banna, composed of Noom who are associated with particular activities and objects, such as leprechauns and their connection to cobbling shoes. The Septs of this House line up by skill, with a Sept for weaving, one for smithing, one for gardening, and so on.
Plasm
The other half of the universe, containing innumerable Realms, and where magic and transformation are the most important laws. Often called the Otherworld. adj. Plasmal.

Q

Quiddity
The fundamental energy which underlies all of reality, and which powers all actions and processes.

R

Rade
A group or organization with particular political and ideological approaches to the Broken Compact, the Tell, and the Shoal.
Rath
A substance unique to a Realm, with magical properties of some kind, and often characteristic of the nature of the Realm. Three well known Raths are Heartstone, Bosk, and Lescence.
Rapture
A spontaneous spell, created and cast on the fly; one "weaves" a Rapture. They are much more difficult to cast than feits, and only Maestroes can weave them reliably.
Realm
A "pocket universe"; a region of the Plasm distinct from other regions by the themes and laws of nature which operate. There are high fantasy Realms, space opera Realms with laws of nature comparable to science fiction, and Realms with all other sets of laws you can imagine.

S

School
One of three ways of producing magic, either Sorcery, Magery, or Wizardry.
Sept
A social or "racial" division within a House. Only some Tribes and Houses have Septs.
Shoal
1. Generally, humans of the Tell who are unaware of the true nature of the Coil, the Noom, and magic. 2. Sometimes, any undawned being. 3. Technically, the Tribe whose members started life unDawned, and who are often still Asleep.
Sorcery
The School of magic which requires components to provide the Quiddity which powers its Feits and Raptures. adj. Sorcerous.
Spell
A generic term for a magical effect, including both Feits and Raptures.

T

Tautha
A House of Tribe Banna, whose members are related to social activities and people. Septs divide the House along lines of social role, from aristocrats to laborers to the homeless.
Tell
The universe as we know it, filled with diamond mines in third world countries, skyscrapers in urban metropolises, satellites slowly moving towards the edge of the solar system, and all that. adj. Tellish.
Tenet
The philosophy or ideology on which an Art is based. The Tenet is often very closely related to the Art's Focus.
Threshold
A measure of a character's strength in a particular color, as well as of how much damage they can take in that color.
Tribe
The "races" of the Coil, mostly seen and recognized in the Plasm. In most cases, one's Tribe is based on one's Numen.

U

V

W

Wizardry
The School of magic which draws its power from the surrounding area. adj. Wizarding.

X

Y

Z