An ancient and no longer-functional Keeper glyph

Primal (also known as Glyph Magic) is a mysterious energy directly connected to the City itself. It can be likened to the City's life essence, and thus includes the energy of every living and non-living thing in it, being described as "a pervasive field of energy that exists in every stone of the City, every lungful of air". It is also rumored to be possible tap into the power of the Primal and use it as a form of energy, but most who have attempted this have failed.

Only a select few have ever been proven capable of sensing the Primal, let alone using it to constructive effect. Among these were the original Keepers, an order as ancient as The City itself. The Keepers once used this energy to empower their glyphs, in order to secretly influence the balance of power in the City of their time.

The crystallized form of Primal energy, the Primal Stone

History[edit | edit source]

Sometime between BRy436 and BRy459, the legendary Sneak Thief activated the Final Glyph, completely severing the Keepers' connection with the Primal. With the power returned to the earth, every glyph in existence was erased, and all human access to Primal energy was lost. This rapid and irreversible shift caused a period of fear and uncertainty which thereafter came to be known as the Dark Age.

Three centuries later, House Northcrest came into power, and sometime around NRy772, the Primal reawakened in the form of the Primal Stone. It was Baron Samias Northcrest who excavated the now-crystallized energy, and as a result House Northcrest soon became the sole authority on the Primal.

It was at this point, however, that the Northcrest line began to falter. Having been killed in battle, Samias was unable to begin experimenting with the Primal. His son Harland failed to accomplish much either. Elias Northcrest, however, actively began studying the applications of the Primal, conducting various experiments and even converting large parts of his family home into an underground laboratory and ceremony room. Eventually, the Baron hoped to harness the power of the Primal to bring about a golden age of industry, and abolish the old gods for good.[1][2]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • In both the age of the Keepers as well as more modern times, Primal energy has shown the ability to be tainted when meddled with. In addition, direct exposure to humans almost always proves destructive, if not outright fatal.
    • This was first seen during the events of Thief: Deadly Shadows, when the rogue Keeper Gamall used Glyph magic to steal the bodies of others in order to increase her own lifespan,[3] but at the cost of becoming an abomination.[4]
    • In more modern times, Erin absorbed the Primal following the events at Northcrest Manor, and was subsequently experimented on at Moira Asylum. The resulting negativity manifested as a corrosive, poisoned form of Primal energy, the effects of which can be seen in both the Gloom and the Freaks.
    • Exposure can also cause sterility due to the rapid aging process--Baron Elias Northcrest was lucky enough to suffer this least-destructive of effects.[5]

References[edit | edit source]

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