Rough Telepathy removes the requirement for proximity and context, functioning on a telepathic plane that moulds feelings, desires, admonitions, running commentary, and imagination into uniform signals using a series of spells. Heterogeneous inputs from anywhere are revealed to participants anywhere as images, displayed on standardized scrying mirrors.
The Realm is a loose and affectionate term for all that governs and produces the state of Rough Telepathy. The Realm emerged out of the historical battles of the Priests of the West and the Priests of the East.
As elder Priest of the West and Timekeeper David Mills recounted:
“The Priests of the West were the Darpanauts; the Priests of the East were the European telephone consortium…they didn’t really care about the users. And the Priests of the West worked from the bottom up…. We were Priests of the West, very definitely, and everybody else in the room—to a man—were all Priests of the East.”
The Realm is thriving, drastically changed as it may be, but the Priests of the West are aging and membership across their many sects and orders has declined. Factional squabbling is the rule. This decline is to some extent due to the growing power of the Merchants, in addition to the Priest’s homogeneous stubbornness in the face of changing attitudes toward Rough Telepathy and its social role and purpose.
The Book is the unwritten collection of how things exist at any moment across The Realm.
The Coven refers to the many orders, sects, and guilds that work to enable Rough Telepathy. These maintain instruments of divination, keep records, interface between the Warring Kingdoms and the Merchants, store the Unique Runes and Talismans, and write and test spells that govern The Realm. Further information on the Coven is documented under Actors of the Realm.
The Ritual Festivals are the regular ceremonies that bind members of various orders, sects, and guilds across the Coven. Each has its preferred temples of practice, worship, and creation, but all engage in ritual festivals. Ostensibly these festivals serve as fora for discussion of the standardizing and testing of spells, the ratification occult protocol, and for building consensus on key technical and political concerns of The Realm. However, the festivals are often equally focused on carnivalesque gallivanting, bawdy jokes, and copious alcohol drinking. The osmotic layer of sociality is as powerful a factor in determining the future of The Realm as are the spells themselves. Examples of Ritual Festivals include IETF meetings, NANOG meetings, RIPE meetings, ICANN meetings, IGF and ITU conferences, Shmoocon and various Cons, and a seemingly ceaseless string regional gatherings and workshops.