I recently finished reading Indelible by Dawn Metcalf. It was a good read but when I first starting reading I was a little confused about the world of the Twixt. My brain tends to work in mysterious ways and likes facts. It also likes dissecting information until it makes sense. So I went through the entire book and put together a handy little cheat sheet for Indelible explaining the world and all the things that go with it, in an effort to make it easier to understand.
If there is anything I got wrong or needs to be changed or added please drop me a line in the comments. Also let me know what you all think.
Warning : It does contain minor spoilers so you have been warned.
The Twixt, Humans & Traditions
The Indelible universe is made up of the Twixt. The Twixt is a hidden part of the world that contains magic and supernatural creatures. It is comprised of all of the places on earth where magic still exists. The creatures that live in these magical places are called the Folk. Humans are unable to see the Folk unless they have the sight. The sight is rare and often passed down through bloodlines. The Folk are made up of a wide variety of creatures such as aether sprites, guilderdamen and bain sidhes. Each and every individual Folk has a true name. A true name* is very important because once it is bestowed it makes up the entire essence of a creature. The Twixt and the Folk have their own rules, rituals and traditions. A council governs their actions.
A long time ago before the industrial revolution the Twixt and humankind shared the world and were united in safeguarding the places and the people who kept magic alive. They used to have pacts sworn between them for things like protection. However due to a series of events the Folk became greedy and humans tried to use the Folks’ true names to trap them. These events led to the Folk being pushed to the edges of the world and magic was slowly forgotten.
The balance between humans and Folk is very important because it keeps the world in equilibrium and safeguards against corruption and decay. So in an attempt to protect both humankind and the Twixt, the council created a system in which they could preserve the delicate bond between humans and Folk. They took the true names of the Folk and fashioned them into signaturae. Signaturae are special marks made up of individual symbols. Folk can claim humans and Scribes** will place their unique signatura upon their skin. Once a human is claimed by an individual Folk, the human now becomes their responsibility and ties the two together preserving the balance and keeps magic anchored in the world. The more humans claimed the more magic is present in the world. By placing these invisible signaturae on humans the council was able to minimise the risk of exposure of the Twixt and prevented humans from using the folk’s true name against them, whilst keeping magic alive.
The Rules of Signaturae
- Every single individual Folk has a unique signatura.
- Anyone of the Folk can order a mark to be placed on a human as long as they have a legitimate claim and pay the fee.
- To make a claim on a human, the Folk need to go through the proper channels and place an order with the Bailiwick***
- Signatura must be given voluntarily and they have no power unless they are given freely to the wearer.
- Folk can only lay claim to a humans inside their purview or territory.
- Humans can be claimed by more than one Folk.
- Signaturae also allow Folk to see which humans have been claimed and who has claimed them. So that other Folk do not risk offending the original patron.
* For example Rumplestilskin. A true name has power and can be wielded to entrap the owner
** There are two scribes amongst the Folk. Indelible Ink & Invisible Inq. Their job is to draw signaturae on living beings. Inq marks those who have undergone profound life-changing experiences that affect them deeply whereas Ink marks those who have survived life-changing experiences. Scribes are also not born they are made