A Pattern of Shadow and Light Glossary | Official Author Website of Melissa McPhail

A Pattern of Shadow & Light Glossary

Warning – this page may contain spoilers.

This glossary for the series A Pattern of Shadow & Light is ever expanding. If you don’t find a term here that is used in the book, please email us. Underlining within definitions denotes words that may be found in this glossary.

Adendigaeth (aden´– di gay´uth) [Old Alæic] 1 Rebirth, regeneration 2 A festival in celebration of the Winter Solstice lasting varying lengths but traditionally ending on the Longest Night.

Adept (a´-dept) n. [Old Alæic] 1 One born with the instinctive ability to sense and compel one of the five strands of elae 2 A race of such persons, each with attributes intrinsic to the strand of elae that modified them [an Adept of the third strand] 3 A Healer, Nodefinder, truthreader, or Wildling.

Alir (ah -leer´) n [Agasi] 1 lit: heart-light 2 The path followed by an Adept during the course of his life; also referred to as the path of destiny, especially in the vernacular of the Palmers 3 Indicating either of the Two Great Paths of elae able to be followed by an Adept inducted into the Vestian Sorceresy. See Paths of Alir.

Angiel (ahn gēl´) n. [Old Alæic] The Maker’s two blessed children, Cephrael and Epiphany, who were made in the Genesis to watch over His worlds.

Annwn (an´ wen) n. [Old Alæic] The Otherworld where all life was formed and where the Maker resides. At the gates of Annwn stand the Extian Doors. On the Longest Night, the angiel open the Extian Doors to allow all the waiting souls to journey through Annwn, that they may learn the secrets of death and Return.

Ascendant n. [Cyrenaic ascendere, to climb] A priest or cleric serving the Prophet Bethamin. Ascendants are marked by tattoos denoting their rank and function.

Atrophae n. (at´ tro fay) [Cyrenaic átroph, not fed ] A cursed object created with mor’alir patterns designed to bring harm or illness. An atrophae can be formed of anything into which a pattern can be indelibly inscribed.

Avieth (ay´ vee uth) n. [Old Alæic, bird] A third strand Wildling race of shapeshifters with the ability to asssume two distinctly separate forms: human and hawk.

Awaken (ah wā´ ken) v. [Old Alæic] Adepts who have Returned Awaken to their inherent abilities usually during the transition of puberty but sometimes as early as two years of age.

Balance (bal´ans) n. [<Veneisean <Cyrenaic, bilanx two+scale] The term used to describe the highest force of cause and effect in the realm of Alorin; the natural laws of the realm which define how far the currents may be twisted out of their natural paths by wielders of elae before manifest retribution is incurred by the wielder. These laws are of much consideration among the various Adept guilds and a topic of intense speculation and theorization.

Catenaré (ca-ten ah´-ray) n. [Old Alæic, catēna, a chain] The second ranking of Adept enrolled at the Sormitáge University. Adepts wear the Catenaré cuff until they pass their Invocation Trials to advance to Maritus status, usually a span of five to ten years of study.

Celantia (se lan´ tee-ya) n. [Markhengari, box] A box formed of constantly shifting patterns developed by the Elf realm of Markhengar, often used for the capture and imprisonment of criminals.

Cephrael (sef´ray-el) n. [Sobra I’ternin] The Maker’s blessed son. Ascribed as the Hand of Fate, Cephrael is responsible for administering the Maker’s ultimate justice. See also angiel.

Companions – See Fifty Companions

Deyjiin (day´zhen) n. [Old Alæic] The power that roams Chaos and the dimension of Shadow, antithesis of elae.

Devoveré (de-voh ver´-ay) n. [Old Alæic, to vow] The fourth ranking of Adept enrolled at the Sormitáge University. Adepts are awarded their Devoveré ring (often called a Sormitáge ring) upon successful completion of the Devoveré Trials. Gaining a Devoveré ring automatically entitles an Adept to membership in the guild respective to their strand.

Docian (dos´ see-an) n. [Old Alæic docilis, readily taught, equivalent to doc (ēre) to teach + -ian] The first ranking of Adept enrolled at the Sormitáge University. Adepts wear the Docian collar from their earliest years until they pass the Invocation Trials to advance to Catenaré status.

Drogue wolf (droag) n. [Origin unknown] A sentient animal, larger and more intelligent than a common wolf, which roams the mountains of Agasan. It is most often found in the Navárrel, the Geborahs and the wild ranges of the Hallovian plateau.

Drachwyr (drak´wēr) n. [Old Alæic] An Adept of the fifth strand of elae: the drachwyr were banished to the icy edges of the realm in the year 597aV. Also called a Sundragon.

Eidola (eye dohl´ la) n. [Old Alæic, eidolon, phantom] A mutated lifeform that possesses great strength and is difficult to harm and kill. It receives its lifeforce and animation from a binding to a superior life form, such as an immortal.

Elae (e-lā´) n. [Old Alæic, elanion, life, force; the power of life] 1 The itinerant (roaming) energy that, in its accumulation and formation, creates the pattern that becomes the foundation of a world 2 Pertaining to any of the five codified strands of this energy, each with distinctly separate attributes.

Epiphany (ē pif´fany) n. [Sobra I’ternin] The Maker’s blessed daughter. Epiphany is the speaker of the Maker’s will and is often turned to in prayer by those seeking divine blessing. See also angiel.

Espial (espy´-al) n. [Cyrenaic espyen <es- + spähen, to spy] See also Nodefinder. The term used to describe a Nodefinder of the highest degree who has gained license from the Espial’s Guild to travel between the realms.

Fhorg (forg) n. [origin unknown] One of the Wildling races most notably known for their use of blood magic.

Fifty Companions n. [Colloquial] The name given in reference to the Adept survivors of the Battle of the Citadel on Tiern’aval.

Hal’alir n. [Agasi, light of the heart] In the Vestian Sorceresy, ‘The Path That Casts Infinite Reflections.’ Adepts following hal’alir wield the lifeforce primarily towards constructive or creative aims.

Healer (hēl´er) n. [Old Alæic haelan > hal whole] An Adept of the first strand of elae who has the ability to see the life patterns of living things and compel the creative forces of the first strand to alter them.

Khoda Panaheh (lay) n. [Kandori, “God protects”] 1 A tattooed mark upon the forehead which is gained when an Adept of the royal lines of Kandori takes the oath of immortality and works the Pattern of Life.

Leis (lay) n. [Old Alæic leis] The shortest pathway available to a Nodefinder when using the Pattern of the World to travel, often connecting spaces within a small geographic area.

Literato n. [Old Alæic literati, learned, scholarly] A scholar at the Sormitáge University whose focus is on research of the strands of elae or into the history of the realm or the Adept race.

Maestro n. [Old Alæic, master] A teaching scholar at the Sormitáge University.

Maritus (Mer´i-tus) n.. [Old Alæic maritum, act worthy of praise] The third ranking of Adept enrolled at the Sormitáge University. Adepts wear a Maritus bracelet until they’ve completed their thesis and passed the Invocation Trials to advance to Devoveré status, often a span of five to ten years.

Marquiin (mar kwen´) n. [Myacenic, chosen] A truthreader who has been chosen by the Prophet Bethamin to be cleansed in a “purifying” ritual involving, in part, the insertion of Bethamin’s Fire into the Adept’s mind.

Merdanti (mer dan´tē) n. [Agasi] 1 An impossibly hard black stone named for the region of Agasan in which it is found 2 A weapon forged using the fifth strand of elae and made from this stone.

Malorin’athgul (muh lor´en – ath´gool) n. [Old Alæic, they who make the darkness] A race of beings from beyond the known Realms of Light who were birthed by the Maker to balance Creation by unmaking the universe at its far unraveling fringes while it is constantly expanding at its core.

Mor’alir n. [Agasi, dark of the heart] In the Vestian Sorceresy, ‘The Path of Shadows’; Adepts following mor’alir wield the lifeforce towards destructive aims.

Na’turna (nah toor´nah) n. [Old Alæic < nare turre, of the earth] A non-Adept; mortal.

Node (nod) n. [Old Alæic nodus, knot ] The points where the Pattern of the World conjoins. Nodes connect places in vastly different geographic regions and allow a Nodefinder to travel great distances within a few steps. In the realm of Alorin, nodes also connect to the neighboring realm of T’khendar due to the nature of the latter’s formation.

Nodefinder (nod-fin´der) n. [Old Alæic nodus, knot + findan, find] Adept of the second strand of elae who sees the points where the Pattern of the World conjoins (called nodes) and can use these points to travel vast distances; see also espial.

Quorum of the Sixth Truth n. [Origin Unknown] A defunct order of fifth strand Adepts that held power in Cyrenaic times. The quorum are believed to have been involved with extensive experimentation on Adepts and na’turna in pursuit of understanding of their native gifts.

Order of the Glass Sword n. The spy network of the Empire of Agasan.

Palmer n. [Caladrian, pilgrim] A religious order devoted to the study of alir and the influence or interference of destiny or fate upon an individual’s path.

Paths of Alir n. [Agasi, heart-light] (also called the Two Great Paths) Referring to any of the valid paths an Adept inducted into the Vestian Sorceresy can follow. The commonly known paths are chrys’alir, the Mirror Path; hal’alir, The Path That Casts Infinite Reflections; mor’alir, The Path of Shadows; san’gu’alir, The Path of Blood; and ver’alir, The Blind Path (a rare path).

Patterning (pat´ərn·ŋ) v. [Veneisean patrun, patron, hence something to be imitated, pattern] The codified methodology encompassing the use of patterns to compel the strands of elae to move against their natural course, an action (also called wielding) which is often erroneously referred to as magic.

Qhorith’quitara (Cor´ith kee-tar-ah) n. [Old Alæic] The collection of apocryphal books derived from the Sobra I’ternin.

Raedan (ray´ dan]) n. [Old Alæic raedan, to guess, read, counsel] 1 One trained to read the currents of elae and thereby able to discern the workings of patterns and their effects throughout the realm.

Realm (relm´) n. [Veneisean, realme (altered by assoc. with reiel, royal) < Cyrenaic, regere, to rule] 1 A kingdom 2 One of the thousand linked worlds, each represented by an elected Seat and four Vestals in the governing cityworld of Illume Belliel 3 The realm of Alorin.

Return (Returned, Returning) (rē turn´) n. [Veneisean, retorner] An Adept who has died and been reborn. See also Awakening.

Revenants n. [unknown] The remnant entities created by the Warlocks of Shadow and then abandoned; vampiric creatures who feed off the lifeforce of the living.

Sanctos n. [Caladrian sanctus, hallowed] In the Caladrian belief, sanctified ancestral spirits who watch over their descendants.

Shamshir’im (sham´sheer – eem) n. [Nadori saber, sword + ‘im, belonging to] The name for M’Nador’s espionage network of spies, wielders and assassins headed by the Adept wielder and consul to Prince Radov, Viernan hal’Jaitar.

Simulacra (sih´muh – lack´rah) n. [Agasi simulācrum, likeness] A glass device for capturing and presenting patterns in three dimensions. Patterns forged within the glass will waken to a fourth strand flow of elae.

Sobra I’ternin (soh´brah – e – turn´en) n. [origin unknown] The ancient text, most often attributed to the angiel Cephrael, which details the natural laws of patterns in thaumaturgic application. The book is itself written in patterns and has yet to be fully translated. Many Orders are dedicated to its study, translation and adaptation for use in the Adept Arts.

Soglia-varcarés / soglia’re (So´-lee AHR´-ay) [Caladrian, bridge across the earth] Nodes or leis magically constructed into permanent portals that anyone can travel with or without a Nodefinder present and with or without any Adept talent. Soglia’res bridge two specific points, only those two points, and cannot be used to travel anywhere else but between those two points.

Sorceresy (also Vestian Sorceresy) The predominant school of Adept learning in the far eastern land of Vest. The Vestian Sorceresy believes all Paths of Alir have equal merit, but they’re known for their Blackshard Council and its extensive exploration of mor’alir (the Path of Shadows).

Stanza segreta (Caladrian, secret room) The term given to a leis which a Nodefinder has pinned to his personal life pattern or to an object in his possession, the use of which allows the Nodefinder to secret away or store items for later use. Colloquially called a “coach.”

Strand (strand´) n. [Agasi, strônd] 1 Any of the parts that are bound together to form a whole [the strands of one’s life] 2 Referring to any of the five composite aspects of elae and its five attributive fields of energy (respectively: strand 1:creative energy, 2:kinetic energy, 3:variant energy, 4:energy of thought, 5:elemental energy).

Tethys – Goddess of the Sea worshipped by sailors, especially from the Island of Jamaii.

Thread (thred) n. [Old Alæic thræd, to bind] A colloquial term used when speaking of a group of four men of a specific race, as opposed to a string, which is a grouping of six.

Tiern’aval (teer´- navol´) n. [origin unknown] An island city, one of the Free Cities of Xanthe, which vanished at the end of the Adept Wars circa 597aV. The city’s fate remains a mystery.

T’khendar (tuh – ken´dar) n. [origin unknown] The realm created by the Adept wielder Malachi ap’Kalien out of Alorin’s own aether, which sacrilegious act resulted in fierce denouncement from the Council of Realms and indirectly, his later madness.

Truthreader (trooth´ rēd er) n. [Old Alæic treowe, true + raedan] An Adept of the fourth strand of elae who is able to hear (and sometimes see) the thoughts of others and is thereby able to discern the time, place and form of any occurrence in their memory, i.e. its truth.

Tyriolicci (teer´e-oh – lee´chee) One of the Wildling races of the Forgotten Lands. See Whisper Lord.

Vestal (vest´-al) n. [Cyrenaic, vestir, to endow] 1 An Adept elevated and empowered with the responsibility of enforcing the laws, regulations, activities and codes of his respective strand of elae, and of overseeing all Adepts subject to it 2 One of five highly-trained and advanced Adepts elected as voting members of the Council of Realms, ranking just below the Seat of the realm in authority.

Weld (weld) n. [Cyrenaic, welden, to be strong] The most major joints in the Pattern of the World. All leis and nodes connect through a weld, thus a weld allows travel to any location. Welds also form the joints between the realms and thus allow travel from realm to realm.

Whisper Lord n. [Collq.] One of the Wildling races (also called Tyriolicci) known for their frenzied fighting style and ability to make small skips through time.

Wielder (wēld´ər) n. [Cyrenaic, welden, to be strong < Old Alæic, valere, a show of strength] A person of any race who uses patterns to compel one or more strands of elae, thereby influencing the strand’s properties to create the effect he has postulated; a sorcerer in the realm of Alorin. Adepts and men alike become wielders through intensive training and study.

Wildling (wahyld´-ling]) n. [Old Alæic wilde] 1 (Collq) An Adept of the third strand of elae 2 Any of the twenty-seven non-human races whose native abilities are attributed to the third strand of elae but who may or may not be possessed of paranormal abilities.

Zanthyr (zan´thur) n. [Old Alæic] An elusive Adept of the fifth strand of elae; zanthyrs can shapeshift between two forms: one human, one animal. Many have been seen to work elae. The extent of their abilities is unknown.