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Pymary, also called spellery or the Arts, is the use of the language Old Tainish to manipulate the physical properties of materials - called Aspects - through the khert in order to achieve otherwise unlikely ends.


In Unsounded, the whole of reality exists atop a spectral scaffolding called the khert. This ceaselessly shifting spectral plane contains all unalterable natural Laws, governing Time, Dimension, Gravity, and other phenomena crucial to a stable and functioning world. In addition to these are alterable laws called Material Aspects.

Aspects are the objective physical attributes of physical Materials. They are metadata that describe how Materials physically behave and interact with other materials and the world. Aspects include Temperature, Colour, Density, Contour, Weight, State, Opacity, Brightness, Momentum, Direction, Volume, and so on.

While pymary cannot cause the spontaneous creation of Aspects or materials, it can manipulate Aspects that are already present. In this way, a wright can physically shift the world via spoken commands in order to achieve a desirable effect. A wright might, for instance, concentrate the local Temperature on a warm day to start a fire, or take the Contour from a sword to create a ranged, cutting vector. Much more benign reassignments are common and incorporated into daily society and technology, such as switching the Colour of objects, removing unpleasant smells, or siphoning the Temperature from a closed container to create a refrigerator.

Aspects come in an array of categorizations. Core Aspects, for example, will destroy any material they are siphoned from since they render that material no longer functional in reality. For instance, removing the Solidity from a block of stone leaves its State undefined. The stone cannot exist without a defined State, and the khert will dissolve it from the physical world.

Mythology dictates that the Aspects of the world were first defined by the Gefendur Twin Gods, who spoke the First Language, Old Tainish. Using this language, wrights can convince the khert to obey their commands and manipulate Aspects.


Because pymary is intrinsically dangerous, each government has its own laws dictating how it may be used, and no wright may legally write original spells. Instead, in every country there is an official database of spells created by the authorities and taught in all universities. These spells exist inside the khert itself, and are called forward by wrights with trigger phrases. The spells then accept spoken local variables and manifest, using the presumably available Aspects to perform their function. Deviating from these approved spells is a serious crime.

Because the manipulation and isolation of Aspects can become quite complicated quite quickly, most wrights are thankful to have these pre-written and tested spells, which have saved countless lives since they were first put into practise. Composing spells is a tedious, dangerous enterprise.

Nevertheless there is an alternate method of pymary called gruftgramary which relies on reverse engineering to access the khert and manipulate Aspects via a new form of Tainish. Wrights who practise this strange art are called gruftgrammers, or greywrights, and face criminal charges if they are caught in the act.

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