The following terms are commonly used within PLANESCAPE products. Most are part of the cant, but others deal with the factions and important aspects of the planes.
ADDLE-COVE – A not-particularly friendly way to call someone an idiot, as in, “Did you hear what that addle-coved wizard wanted us to do?” Also a noun: “He’s an addle-cove!”
ANARCHIST – Another name for a member of the Revolutionary League.
ANTHILL – City or town.
ASTRAL CONDUIT – A wormhole through the Astral Plane connecting the Prime Material Plane and the Outer Planes.
ATHAR – A faction in Sigil, also called the Lost. Its members hold that there are no true powers. The local priests would like to see them get lost (see “lost”, below).
BANG AROUND – To hang around, or spend idle time in. Between adventures, bashers sometimes “bang around the Cage.”
BAR THAT – An almost-polite way to say “shut up,” or “don’t talk about that.” It’s quick, to the point, and can be used as a warning: “Bar that, Janos, there’s Dustmen over there.”
BARMY – Insane. As in, “The winds of Pandemonium’ll drive a body barmy if he stays too long.” Barmies are insane folks, especially those in Sigil, who’ve been “touched” by the impossible bigness of the planes.
BELIEVERS OF THE SOURCE – A faction in Sigil, also called the Godsmen. They believe that everyone’s got the potential to be a power.
BERK – A fool, especially one who got himself into a mess when he should have known better.
BIRDCAGE – A cell, prison, or anything that compares to it.
BLEAK CABAL – A faction with despondent members and a view that says life is meaningless. Also known as the Bleakers, the Cabal, and the Madmen.
BLINDS – The dead-ends of the Mazes, it also means anything impossible or hopeless, as in, “He’ll hit the blinds if he tries lying to the factol.”
BLOOD – An expert, sage, or professional in any field. A champion gladiator can be a blood, as can a practiced sorcerer. Calling someone a blood is a mark of high respect.
BOB – The business of cheating someone, whether it’s of their cash, honor, or trust. Good guides in Sigil warn a cutter when someone’s bobbing him. Thieves boast that they “bobbed a leatherhead on the street.”
BONE-BOX – The mouth, named because of its teeth, fangs, or whatever. “Stop rattling your bone-box,” is telling a berk to lay off the threats or bragging.
BOX – A rogue modron that has taken up residence in Sigil.
BRAIN-BOX – This slang refers to a berk’s head, usually in a crude or uncomplimentary way. “Go soak your brain-box,” is a common idiom, while “He banged his fool brain-box on it” means a berk finally figured something (obvious) out.
BUB – Booze, wine, or ale – usually cheap and barely drinkable.
BUBBER – A drunk, especially if he, she, or it has fallen on hard times. Bubbers don’t get any sympathy from most Cagers.
BURG – Any town smaller than Sigil, in size or in spirit – at least that’s how folks from Sigil see it. Other bodies don’t agree.
CAGE, THE – A common nickname for Sigil, used by locals. It’s derived from “birdcage,” so it’s a pretty harsh judgment on the place.
CAGER – A native or resident of Sigil.
CANNY – Smart or talented.
CASE, THE – The house or place where a cutter lives. Has a positive connotation as a nice or decent place.
CELESTIAL – An intelligent being native to the Upper Planes. Includes aasimon, archons, eladrin, guardinals, and more.
CENTER OF THE MULTIVERSE – A place that doesn’t exist; there is no true “center of the multiverse.” No matter where a body stands, he’s at the center of things (at least from his perspective).
CHANT, THE – An expression that means news, local gossip, the facts, the moods, or anything else about what’s happening. “What’s the chant?” is a way of asking for the latest information on a basher’s heard.
CHAOSMEN – A nickname for the Xaositects.
CHIV – A weapon, usually something with a blade.
CIPHERS – A nickname of the Transcendent Order faction, used because most folks don’t know what they’re talking about.
CLUELESS, THE – The folks who just don’t get it, usually primes. Use this on a planar and there’ll likely be a fight. Also an adjective, like calling someone a “clueless berk.”
COLOR POOL – Portals on the Astral Plane that give access to the Prime as well as the Outer Planes.
CONIES – Victims of the cony-catchers.
CONY-CATCHERS – Con-men, tricksters, or thieves looking for someone to peel.
CROSS-TRADE – The business of thieving, or anything else illegal or shady. “A cross-trading scum” is a thief who’s probably angered the Mercykillers.
CUTTER – A complimentary term that refers to anybody, male or female. It suggests a certain amount of resourcefulness or daring, and so it’s a lot better than calling someone a berk.
DARK – Anything secret is said to be dark. “Here’s the dark of it,” is a way of saying “I’ve got a secret and I’ll share it with you.”
DEAD, THE – Another name for the Dustmen.
DEAD-BOOK – A body in the dead-book is dead. Some people have others “put in the dead-book.”
DEADER – Anyone in the dead-book.
DEFIERS – Another name for the Athar.
DOOMGUARD – A faction in Sigil that believes in entropy and decay. Also called the Sinkers.
DUSTMEN – One of the factions of Sigil. They believe everybody’s dead. Also called the Dead.
FACTION – One of the 15 philosophical groups that rule Sigil.
FACTIONEER – A general term for any faction member.
FACTOL – The leader of a faction.
FACTOR – One of the factol’s high-up advisers or a body who’s dedicated his life to the faction. Usually in the highest position of power in a faction, and often considered for the job of factol if the old one steps down or is otherwise removed.
FACTOTUM – A dedicated member of a faction.
FATED, THE – A faction that holds that if they’ve got something, it’s because it belongs to them. This doesn’t always sit well with others. Also called the Takers or Heartless.
FEEDING THE WYRM – The act of executing a prisoner. Specifically, a unique type of execution carried out by the Mercykillers.
FIEND – Primarily refers to baatezu, gehreleths, hordlings, tanar’ri, and yugoloths, but sometimes includes any intelligent being native to the Lower Planes (night hags, imps, quasits, and the like).
FRATERNITY OF ORDER – A faction in Sigil, also called the Guvners. They believe that knowing physical laws gives a cutter power over everything. Not the kind of folks to argue logic with.
FREE LEAGUE – A faction whose members live their lives as they please, with no allegiance to others. Some folks figure that makes them untrustworthy right there, but they’re pretty useful as mercenaries. Also called the lndeps.
GARNISH – A bribe, as in “Give the irritating petty official a little garnish and he’ll go away.”
GATE – Another term for a portal. All gates in Sigil are generally called portals. This term is also used in a general sense to describe any sort of passage between one plane and another.
GATE-TOWN – A burg on the Outlands that has a gate to another Outer Plane. Each plane has one gate-town, and the town often has the same basic appearance, outlook, and attributes as the inhabitants, architecture, and terrain of the corresponding plane.
GHOST – A prime who visits the planes via astral spell. Since it involves little physical risk on the prime’s part, it’s often considered cowardly and even distasteful by planars (the prime hasn’t even deigned to come to the planes with his actual body). The term “cord babies” is also used, though less frequently.
GIVE ‘EM THE LAUGH – To escape or slip through the clutches of someone. Robbing a tanar’ri and not getting caught is giving it the laugh.
GIVE THE ROPE – What happens to condemned criminals who don’t manage to give the law the laugh. Usually thieves are the only folks who use this term.
GO TO THE MAZES – A idiomatic curse meaning “go away” and wishing a terrible fate upon the berk as well.
GODSMEN – Another name for the Believers of the Source.
GRAYBEARD – A sage or scholar. This term refers to the stereotypical wizened old man but can apply to any learned intellectual.
GREAT RING, GREAT WHEEL – The Outer Planes, often depicted in maps and diagrams (which are often misleading) as a ring. This also refers to their infinite size, another allusion to the endlessness of a ring.
GREAT ROAD – A series of permanent, always-active gates scattered throughout the Outer Planes. The Great Road connects all the Outer Planes, although the gates themselves are so spread out that it’s said it would take many lifetimes to walk the entire Great Road. A few of the gates are linked by paths, but most are not connected in any way.
GULLY – A potential victim of a peel, a gullible sod.
GUVNERS – Another name for the Fraternity of Order.
HARDHEADS – Another name for the Harmonium.
HARMONIUM – A faction of the planes, also called the Hardheads. Its slogan could be, “Do it our way or no way.”
HEARTLESS, THE – Another name for the Fated.
HIGH-UP – Powerful. This refers to a spell, position, or anything else with plenty of power that can theoretically be measured. Also a person of money and influence. Factols, for example, are high-ups. It’s bad form to call one’s self this; it’s a phrase others bestow.
HIPPED – Stranded. “Hipping the rube” means stranding someone by sending him through a one-way portal.
INDEPS – The common name for members of the Free League.
INNER PLANES – The Elemental Planes (Air, Earth, Fire, Water), Paraelemental Planes (Ice, Magma, Ooze, Smoke), Quasielemental Planes (Ash, Dust, Lightning, Mineral, Radiance, Salt, Steam, Vacuum), and Energy Planes (Positive and Negative). They are planes of elements and energy, as opposed to those of concepts and alignment.
JINK – The goal of the poor: money or coins. “That’s going to take a lot of jink!” means an expensive bit of garnishing.
KIP – Any place a cutter can put his feet up and sleep for a night, especially cheap flophouses in the Hive or elsewhere. Also, to “call kip” is to make a place a body’s home, at least for a while.
KNIGHT OF THE POST, KNIGHT OF THE CROSS-TRADE – A thief, cheat, and a liar – clearly not a compliment unless, of course, that’s what the basher wants to be.
LANN – To tell or inform. See “well-lanned”.
LEAFLESS TREE – The gallows, which is where some berks wind up after they’ve been scragged.
LEATHERHEAD – A dolt; a dull or thick-witted fellow. Use it to call someone an idiot. Also an adjective: “a leatherheaded sod.”
LOST – Dead. “He got lost” means he ain’t coming back without a resurrection.
LOWER PLANES – Also called the dark planes, or nether regions – the Abyss, Acheron, Baator, Carceri, Gehenna, the Gray Waste, and Pandemonium, the planes of evil alignment. Fiends inhabit these dismal planes.
MADMEN, THE – Another name for the Bleak Cabal.
MAZES, THE – The nasty little traps the Lady of Pain creates for would-be dictators. It’s also come to mean any particularly well-deserved punishment, as in, “It’s the Mazes for him and I can’t say I’m sorry.”
MARK – To make note of something, as in “Spies guard the portal and mark who comes and goes.” To be marked is to be identified, as in “That berk was marked as a Guvner.”
MERCYKILLERS – A faction of Sigil that believes in absolute justice. Also called the Red Death.
MINDER – A bodyguard. As in, “He’s not so tough, but there’s a couple of minders watching over him.”
MUSIC – A price a cutter usually doesn’t want to pay, but has to anyway. As in, “Pay the music, or you’ll never find your way out of here.” Not a literal amount.
NAMER – Someone who belongs to a faction in name only, paying lip service to its philosophy but not dedicated to its principles.
NICK – To attack, cut, or strike someone, often used in threats. It’s also used to indicate inflicting other injury upon a sod, such as stealing from him, as in “I nicked him good, and got his chiv.”
OUT-OF-TOUCH – Outside of the Outer Planes. A body who’s on the Elemental Plane of Water is ‘out-of- touch.’ This vernacular comes from Sigil, which is considered to be the center of the multiverse by those who adopted this phrase.
OUT-OF-TOWN – Like the phrase above, this one’s used by Cagers to describe a body who’s on the Outlands.
OUTER PLANES – The Abyss, Acheron, Arborea, Arcadia, Baator, the Beastlands, Bytopia, Carceri, Elysium, Gehenna, the Gray Waste, Limbo, Mechanus, Mount Celestia, the Outlands, Pandemonium, and Ysgard. The planes of concept rather than element.
OUTSIDERS – Clueless primes who don’t yet know how things work on the planes (and especially in Sigil).
PARK YOUR EARS – To eavesdrop, spy upon, or just simply listen intently. “He parked his ears in the Hall of Speakers to keep up with the very latest chant.”
PATH – A means of planar travel that requires actual physical movement. Commonly known paths include the rivers Styx and Oceanus, Mount Olympus, the World Ash Yggdrasil, and the lnfinite Staircase of Ysgard.
PEEL – A swindle, con, or trick. It’s often used as a verb. Peeling a tanar’ri is usually a bad idea.
PEERY – Suspicious and on one’s guard. What a basher should be if she thinks she’s going to get peeled.
PETITIONER – A mortal who has died and reformed on the plane of his alignment and/or deity without memory of his former life. A petitioner’s ultimate goal is to become one with the plane he’s occupying, although no one (not even the petitioner) knows the whole dark of this.
PIKE IT – A useful, all-purpose rude phrase, as in, “Take a short stick and pike it, bubber.”
PIKE OFF – To anger someone, as in, “Once he discovers he’s been peeled, he’s going to be really piked off.”
PLANAR – Any being native to a plane other than the Prime Material Plane. These are living beings, not petitioners.
PLANAR CONDUIT – A wormhole-like connection that links two layers of the same plane, or (rarely) two layers of two different planes.
PLANE-TOUCHED – A planar crossbreed. Any offspring of a planar native and a human. Tieflings are plane-touched, as are aasimar and genasi. Alufiends and cambions are also considered plane-touched.
PLANEWALKER – A cutter who travels the planes looking for adventure, jink, or glory – a plane-traveling adventurer. Usually, to refer to someone as a planewalker carries a tone of some respect, for such individuals are considered capable, knowledgeable, and experienced.
PORTAL – A doorway allowing passage to (and possibly from) another plane. These are always found in bounded spaces like archways, and always re- quire a key. Also called gates.
POWER – A being of incredible might, drawing energy from those who worship it and able to grant spells to priests. Also called a deity or god. Someone a body shouldn’t ever mess with.
PRIME – The Prime Material Plane or someone from that plane. Also a single prime-material world.
PROXY – A mighty servant of a power – usually a former mortal servant of that power.
RED DEATH – Another name for the Mercy-Killers.
REVOLUTIONARY LEAGUE – A faction in Sigil that wants to see all the other factions destroyed. Also called the Anarchists.
RIDE – An adventure, task, or undertaking. As in, “What’s the ride today, boss?”
RUBE – A naive or clueless person, but not necessarily a prime. Sometimes this term’s used to describe any non-Cager.
RULE OF THREES – One of the fundamental rules of the multiverse: Things tend to happen in threes.
SCAN – Look, listen, or learn. “Scan this, berk,” can mean “listen up,” “look at this,” or “check this out.” “Scanning the chant” is learning the latest news.
SCRAGGED – Arrested or caught.
SCREED – A monotonous tirade, or someone who gives one. If used to refer to a person, it means someone who speaks at length without any real knowledge, or simply an argumentative person. As in “Don’t listen to him, he’s just a screed.”
SENSATES – Nickname for the Society of Sensation.
SIGNERS – A faction nickname for the Sign of One.
SIGN OF ONE – A faction whose members figure that everybody is the center of his own universe. Also called the Signers.
SINKERS – Another name for the Doomguard.
SOCIETY OF SENSATION – A faction that believes life’s got to be experienced to be understood. Also called the Sensates.
SOD – An unfortunate or poor soul. Use it to show sympathy for an unlucky cutter or use it sarcastically for those who get into their own rnesses.
SODDING – A derogatory term used to stress magnitude. A “sodding idiot” is an amazingly stupid berk.
SPARKLE – Specifically a diamond, but also any gem.
SPELLSLINGER – A wizard.
SPIV – An individual who lives by his wits (rather than having regular employment).
TAKERS – Another name for the Fated.
THOUGHT GUILD – An unflattering reference to a faction, used by those who don’t believe in factions at all.
TOP-SHELF – Great or best, as in “The really top-shelf pubs are all in The Lady’s Ward.”
TRANSCENDENT ORDER – A faction in Sigil. The formal name for the Ciphers, who believe that the truest responses occur when a body acts without thinking.
TUMBLE TO – To understand, figure out, or find out something. A body better tumble to the dark of Sigil before he bangs around on his own.
TURN STAG – To betray somebody or use treachery. Saying “He turned stag” is about the worst thing that can be said about a cutter.
TWIG – To take a liking to, as in, “One particular deva twigged to the idea of interfering with the Blood War.”
UNITY OF RINGS – The theory that everything forms a logical ring or circular pattern of sorne kind, as illustrated by the Outer Planes in particular.
UPPER PLANES – Arborea, Arcadia, the Beastlands, Bytopia, Elysium, Mount Celestia, and Ysgard. The good- aligned planes.
VORTEX – A passage between an environ- mental extreme on the Prime Material and the corresponding Elemental Plane.
WELL-LANNED – Connected, in-touch, or otherwise blessed with numerous friends, allies, and informants.
WIGWAG – To chat or talk.
XAOSITECTS – A faction in Sigil. Another name for them is the Chaosmen, which does a pretty good job of describing their point of view.
YAWN, THE – The state of being bored: “This place gives me the yawn.”