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. This dictionary was originally
found on the
website, now inactive.
- 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
- 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
- BURG - Any town smaller than Sigil, in
size or in spirit - at least that's how folks from Sigil see it. Other bodies
- 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,
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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 - 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- REVOLUTIONARY LEAGUE - A faction in
Sigil that wants to see all the other factions destroyed. Also called the
- 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
- 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
- SINKERS - Another name for the
- SOCIETY OF SENSATION - A faction that
believes life's got to be experienced to be understood. Also called the
- 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
- VORTEX - A passage between an
environmental extreme on the Prime Material and the corresponding Elemental
- 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."