True Names are reflections of the primal Nomenclature, the divine Laws that govern reality by the decree of the Judges. They resonate with the Decree of Ren, the part of the soul governed by the True Name.
At the simplest level, a name is a word ascribed to an entity or object as a label distinguishing one thing from similar things. A thing can have any number of names in any number of languages, all of which hold equal weight from a magical perspective. On the opposite of the spectrum are "false" names, euphemisms and deliberate titles that are used to avoid the sympathetic connection between a person and the title. Calling the True Fae "The Kindly Ones" is an example for this.
A true Name, however, is significantly more potent and can be further divided into two parts: the true Name, which is a metaphysical blueprint of that being in reality, and the True Name (capitalized), the deeper patterns of symbolic meaning beyond the understanding of mortals and immortals alike and from whom the true Name is but a syllable. There is as much mathematics as linguistics embedded in such words, assembling every name and nickname and distinguishing property of a thing into a symbolic representation greater than the sum of its parts, one that evolves as the life of a person changes and new experiences shape its character. Nearly every being in existence has a true Name and a True Name, although some (like the true Names of the most alien and powerful beings, like Luna, the Chthonians, Qashmallim and similar entities) are unapproachable beyond the magics the Shan'iatu themselves once wielded, while others are made out of multiple, often contradicting truths (like the denizens of the Abyss). Some beings, like the Arisen, have lost their True Names, either to their Judge or Temakh, or having it consumed alongside everything else by Ammut. Reclaiming the True Name is only possible through Apotheosis or the Ascent.
The full arsenal of True Name magic has been lost to history. The miracles the Lost Guild once called into being in a united chorus can never be recreated. Likewise, True Names are beyond the approach of the Arisen, who were merely craftsmen and artists, not the masters of the art themselves. Instead there are three ways true Names may be utilized.
- The first, and most common, are Ren-based Soul Affinities every Mummy can possess, although only the highest levels (Ren 5) qualify as True Name magic
- The second are the Guild Affinities of the Akhem-Urtu, who once mastered the art
- The third are Utterances that use Names as a way to utilize their power.
Once, there was a way to use true names (as well as True Names) to create seba, but this secret is lost.
- , p.86-87
- , p.3