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A Brief Glossary of Bonisagus Terminology

House Bonisagus, as the House most interested in the mechanics of magic, have developed a terminology all of their own to describe magic. Other Houses find conversations between Bonisagus magi as incomprehensible as Criamon chess.
  1. Auras and Aura Theory.

    Any given aura of any type has three important aspects to a Bonisagus: it’s Flux, it’s Resonance and it’s Stratification.
    a) Auric Flux: This is the internal cycle of an aura; the difference, for instance, between day and night, or peak to trough. Flux is defined as the difference in resonance between peak and trough in an aura cycle; an aura showing significant flux (>20% of it’s mean level) is referred to as Tidal. Flux is measured in Change in Resonance (DmQ or delta-milliThaums)
    b) Auric Resonance: This is the frequency of optimum magical resonance for an aura; in game terms, it’s score. It is measured in milliThaums (mQ) and is defined as the median point of an aura's flux.
    c) Auric Stratification: The formation of Regio or “levels of reality” in an aura. Stratification occurs when a single aura resonates at more than one level.
    d) Thaums: The unit of measurement of magical potential. The unit of reference is the aura of Durenmar, which at median flux resonates at exactly 1 Thaum. The standard unit of measurement is the milliThaum (mQ)

    As an example, we will take a magical aura which in game terms has an aura of 5 with no associated Regio. It cycles to 6 at midnight and 4 at midday. To a Bonisagus, this would be described as follows:
    “The Aura resonates at a median of approximately 500 milliThaums, with a delta of about 170 milliThaums flux on a diurnal cycle with peak at midnight and trough at midday. The aura resonates only at this level; there is no stratification.”
    There are two competing theories for how Auras form; Fluid Vis Theory and Probability Well Theory. For further data on these two theories see the “Excerpts from the Library of Durenmar” sections on the two theories.

    A Special Note for Followers of Probability Well Theory: Those who regard Auras as Probability wells measure their “depth” in terms of “change in local rigidity modulus of normality”, (DRmodN) which usually gives a similar figure to a resonance as the same baseline (Durenmar’s Aura) is used in both cases. DRmodN is usually expressed as a fraction; in the above example, a proponent of Probability Well Theory would describe the same Aura thus:
    “The Aura resonates at a median DRmodN of approximately 0.5, with a flux of about 0.085 either way on a diurnal cycle with peak at midnight and trough at midday. The aura resonates only at this level; there is no stratification.”
    Probability Well Theory is not actively taught at Durenmar, though the theoretical leaders of the House are not prepared to dismiss it out of hand.

  2. Spells and Magic in General Use

    Formula (pl. Formulae): Hermetic, formulaic spells, esp. when referring to commonly used and well known spells such as Pilum of Fire or Waiting Spell.
    Equivalent Formula: A spontaneous spell designed to duplicate a nonHermetic magical effect
    Abbreviated Formula: A rapid spontaneous casting of a formulaic spell under emergency conditions (referred to by the unenlightened as a “Fast-cast”)
    Utility: A spell designed to effect other spells, eg. Waiting Spell, Watching Ward, Spell
    Analysis Suite: A group of spells all designed to be cast together, complementing each other.
    High Art: Vim
    “Our Little Ritual”: The Parma Magica
    Destabilisation: loss of control (botch) of a spell or procedure.
    Pook-O (more correctly, Pook-U): Perseverance and Wisdom are the Keys to Understanding - quoted by Bonisagus to their less enlightened brethren. Often shortened to Pook, and used as a mild expletive.
    “At One with his Magic”: A polite euphemism for Twilight

  3. General Bonisagus Terms:

    The First House: House Bonisagus
    Artificers: Commonly used to refer to House Verditius but can apply to any magus who makes items
    The Faculty: The ruling council of the House
    The Universal Theory: Hermetic Magic
    Talking Shop: Theorist slang for a Tribunal meeting
    Dilletante: Theorist slang for a Trianomist
    LabRat or Retort Head: Trianomist slang for Theorists
    Pottering, or The Solitary Vice: Trianomist slang for Laboratory work
    Black Art: Diabolic or Hierarchic magic
    Theurgy: Church magic, i.e. miracles, etc.
    Our Master: Bonisagus
    Our Lady: Trianoma
    Archaeothaumatology: The search for the antecedents of magic in the Cult of Mercury, Greek history and Egypt. Refers also to the activities of Seekers.

  4. The Myth and the Reality of Bonisagus “Hobbies”

    It is something of a joke among the other Houses that for all their power and knowledge, Bonisagus magi haven’t the first clue about some pretty basic matters of human interaction. While it is true that according to the teachings of Bonisagus the desires of the flesh can be a distraction from the concentration required for true Art, it is far from true that the House consists solely of dirty old men and lecherous pederasts. Most committed members of the Trianomist tradition are fully aware of the uses to which a handsome face and smooth moves can be put and are not in the least bit backwards in using them wherever necessary. Owing, however, to the tendency in the Theoretical tradition to take apprentices of a bookish, solitary nature then train them in hothouse conditions for fifteen years before a career that as often as not is spent entirely in the lab, it is no wonder that a certain percentage of theoretically inclined Bonisagus magi are perhaps not entirely at their ease around members of the opposite sex.
    This has led to the myth of the Byzantine Pornography; the fallacious story that hidden in the Great Library of Durenmar is a cache of texts from Constantinople displaying acts better imagined than described, over which the senior Bonisagus pore with an entirely unhealthy glee. This story has been aggravated by Archmage Mausolus, who does indeed collect Byzantine texts, and numbers some extremely dirty books among his collection. The behaviour of one Archmage, however, should not reflect on the rest of his tradition, even if they do tend to be perhaps a touch on the naïve side regarding the ways of the world.