Instruments of the Realm


Spells are the shared methods for implementing Rough Telepathy across alchemetric systems. Spells are written, tested, and documented by various sects and orders. The IETF, one of the largest and oldest orders in the Coven, is its most prominent spell keeper, responsible for the formal drafting and maintenance of foundational spells since the early days of Rough Telepathy. In recent years, Merchants have increasing sway over determining changes to spells, and introducing new spells altogether. Similarly, it has been revealed that Warring Kingdoms use dark arts and trickery in attempts to subvert and weaken various spells, with the purpose of harnessing them for Invasive Telepathy.

Unique Runes

Unique Runes initiate participants into The Realm, giving them an identity and a place from which to engage in Rough Telepathy. Anyone participating in Rough Telepathy needs a Unique Rune. Unique Runes are distributed to participants by Fiefdoms, who in turn receive allocations of Unique Runes from one of five Regional Telepathy Registrars. There are two types of Unique Runes:

Unique Rune of the Fourth Order is the original and formative Unique Rune, still commonly in use. All existing Unique Runes of the Fourth Order were created simultaneously in the late 1970’s by the Numberkeepers, at a time when Rough Telepathy was a small and speculative effort tightly affiliated with the Warring Kingdom of the United States. There were then and are now 4.3 billion Unique Runes of the Fourth Order, a number which cannot be increased. The early Numberkeepers believed 4.3 billion would be more than enough. However, this number is no longer sufficient to provision the masses hungry to never disengage from participation in Rough Telepathy, and the Merchants eager to harness Rough Telepathy as a “feature” in new and often unnecessary consumer products. This shortage has caused considerable headache among the Fiefdoms, the Regional Telepathy Registers, and the Coven.

Unique Rune of the Sixth Order was created in the mid-1990’s, as a plentiful alternative to Unique Rune of the Fourth Order. There were then and there will forever be 340 undecillion Unique Runes of the Sixth Order (3.4×1038, a magical number that doesn’t exist). This quantity allows near infinite participation, in theory. In practice, problems remain. The Numberkeepers created Unique Rune of the Sixth Order with a different shape, different behavior, and different assumptions than Unique Rune of the Fourth Order. To use Unique Rune of the Sixth Order in successful Rough Telepathy requires rewriting and reconfiguring many supporting spells originally written to conform with Unique Rune of the Fourth Order. Further, Unique Rune of the Sixth Order does not signal on the same plane as Unique Rune of the Fourth Order, meaning that without the aid of complex translation spells and alchemetric translation infrastructure, all participants in Rough Telepathy must use either of the Fourth Order or of the Sixth Order if they are to remain on the same Rough Telepathic plane. To date, the Coven and various Numberkeepers have relied on admonitions, scoldings, and entreaties appealing to honor and responsibility among Coven members as techniques to promote the switch to Unique Rune of the Sixth Order. This has worked slowly, about as well as you’d expect.

Runic Mantras

Runic Mantras are the translation of Unique Runes into memorable words or phrases, a process used for telepathic invocation. Participants incant a Runic Mantra, along with its Talisman (in the form of: RunicMantra.Talisman), using a Scrying Mirror. This incantation connects them to a domain of ideas, images, and imaginations.


Talismans are identifiers placed as a suffix at the end of a Runic Mantra. Talismans signify rough and usually meaningless affiliations. Examples of Talismans are .com, .net, and .edu.. The Order of ICANN, which governs Talismans, Runic Mantras, and Unique Runes, recently ruled to allow Merchants to buy custom Talismans, a fee collected by the Order of ICANN.

Scrying Mirrors

Scrying Mirrors are the alchemetric infrastructure – the material tool – used by the masses to engage in Rough Telepathy. Scrying Mirrors allow participants to signal and receive telepathic images. In the last ten years, Scrying Mirrors have become increasingly powerful and portable, allowing affluent participants in regions well-provisioned with alchemetric infrastructure near-constant opportunities to participate in Rough Telepathy.

Temporal Oracles

Temporal Oracles are finicky creatures in touch with Universal Statefulness, who provide NTP and other supplicant spells with knowledge of exact time at any given moment. (NTP is a core spell that provides The Realm a sense of unity by synchronizing time between all participants.)

The closer an incantation of NTP is to the voice of a Temporal Oracle, the more trustworthy it is deemed. While few incantations speak directly to a Temporal Oracle, those not in direct contact rely on information from incantations more proximate, and work to average many answers from more proximate sources, thus producing a very close approximation of Oracular time.

Invasive Telepathy

Invasive Telepathy is the use of Rough Telepathy to spy and break trust. Invasive Telepathy is often accomplished by harnessing weaknesses in core spells, or by taking advantage of the many shortcuts and errors made when average participants invoke complex spells. The practice is frequently associated with the Warring Kingdoms, since large-scale Invasive Telepathy requires great resources and secrecy. The Guardians Guild works to create cryptographic spells and techniques that prevent Invasive Telepathy. Their relationship to the Warring Kingdoms fluctuates between open hostility and anxious ambivalence.