Nov 24



The following is a detailed description of terms and place names that you may encounter when reading episodes of The Framerunners:



Amenta – An Egyptian glyph meaning “the underworld” or “world of the dead”. The term, for Framerunners, is generally applied to a class of evil spirit beings and those humans they control. The Amenta are an ancient order of spirits that seek power and the destruction of others. They have been fought on our world and in other worlds for as long as records have been kept. The Amenta glyph has sometimes been used as a “brand” or tattoo on those who have sworn allegiance to the Amenta spirits. The glyph looks like this:




Base Image – The unique image a Framerunner uses to enter another realm. The base image is important because travel to a realm and back via a crystal is tied to that one image. Multiple reproductions of a scene provide multiple ways to reach the realm in question, but each “run” from any image to the realm in question sets the portal so that the next return trip is to the image and time when it was last used. Thus, framerunning from a particular base image sets the portal in the other world. If someone else frameruns to the same portal from a different time or place, then anyone returning via that portal goes to that new time or place…which may not be the one they intended! One additional consequence of this is that a single base image, used by different people but at different times, can cause someone to inadvertently time travel back to that base image in an earlier (or later!) time than the one they came from.

Cenurbus –  The capital city of Orbaratus. Cenurbus is where Polydora was secreted away at birth, and where the gateway to the resting place of the Masters was located.

Chocolate – An antidote to “frame fatique”, which occurs when anyone frameruns multiple realms in succession, or if a particular frame presents difficulties due to poor image quality or other aspects that make a “run” arduous, or if the Framerunner experiences injuries or general weariness while framerunning.

Crystals (a.k.a. “Sapphires”, “Gems”, “Stones”) – The jewels that allow a person to “framerun” a painting or drawing. These must be in physical contact with the person wishing to enter into the realm depicted in the painting or sketch. These same terms may be applied to other gems, such as the Guarding Stones on Orbaratus, or the crystal on Azarias’ staff, but unless otherwise specified, a “crystal”, or “sapphire”, or “gem” is assumed to be one of those used for framerunning.

Empath – One of the three primary categories of Framerunners, and by far the rarest (the other two being Navigator and Renderer). Empaths are the communicators; they can sense the presence of sentient and nonsentient beings and in many cases have telepathic capabilities. Jill Jonsson is an Empath.

Ferrubene – The original name for the master race, or The Masters (the Imperaferrum), on the planet OrbaratusThe Ferrubene were destroyed by warring among themselves after they had created their servants, the Ferrumari. The destruction of the Ferrubene was instigated by the Amenta.

Ferrumari – A race of brilliant and graceful beings from the planet OrbaratusThe Ferrumari were believed to have been a species created originally to be servants by an unknown master race on Orbaratus. That race died off, for reasons that remain unclear, leaving the Ferrumari as the only sentient species remaining on the planet. The Ferrumari are made entirely of metal. They are tall and graceful, with wings that fold back behind them. They are six fingered and six toed, with dual thumbs on their hands, making them extremely dextrous. All of the members of their race, with the sole exception of Polydora, were destroyed in great wars on their planet instigated by the Amenta.

Frame – The “edges” of any painting or drawing that form the boundaries through which a Framerunner passes in order to enter another realm; sometimes also referred to as a “portal”. The portal created by a base image visually appears in the realm visited as a window, often hanging in space, that disappears once a Framerunner is no longer in contact with his or her crystal. But, that frame/portal will reappear once the crystal is touched again, and it can be used to take a Framerunner back to the base image from which they came, unless the portal was last accessed from a different base image.

A portal remains open in any realm for a long time after the base image (painting or reproduction) that was used to reach that realm is not destroyed, but it will eventually fade. It is refreshed whenever a new person comes into the realm by that image or any reproduction of that image, but then the “refreshed” portal leads to the last base image used to framerun.

Thus a single frame, though a portal to a realm via numerous reproduced images, will still return a Framerunner to the unique image they used to travel through, unless someone else has come through in the meantime; in that case, a Framerunner may find him or herself in a place or time that they don’t know.

If any specific image is destroyed, however, and if it is the only base image for that frame/portal, the frame/portal in the realm visited is also destroyed. That is, if a base image is destroyed while you are visiting a realm, and if it is the only such image, then the only way back is to create a new painting through which to travel back. Most images have multiple copies, so a portal will not be completely destroyed even if a particular base image is destroyed; but the path back to that original base image is no longer there. Likewise, if a base image has never been used for framerunning, or has not been used in a very long time, no usable portal will exist in the realm depicted.

Framerunner – A person who enters a realm depicted in a painting or drawing. The term, originally taken from the Latin Fratrum Simulacrorum , or the “Brotherhood of Images”, is primarily applied to a member of the ancient order that has, over the centuries, guarded the secret of the crystals and sought to prevent their use by malefactors, or their accidental misuse by innocent bystanders who may come into possession of a crystal.

Fratrum Simulacrorum — The formal order of Framerunners that initiates those who have a need or desire to become Framerunners themselves in the service of others and for the good of humanity and all free folk of the Iconic Realms.

The Gallery – The informal name given the warehouse which forms the home base for Luke Lester and the Framerunners. Consisting of an enormous warehouse of images from different worlds/times/places, the Gallery provides portals to all of the known Iconic Realms, and is constantly being expanded as needed. Many of the images in the Gallery have been painted by past and current members of the Order, including Luke Lester, but there are also archival images of realms that were created hundreds and even thousands of years the past. The gallery’s holdings are maintained by Polydora.

Guarding Stones (a.k.a. “Sealing Stones”) –  These are the three sapphires set on either side and above the gateway into the resting place of the Masters on Orbaratus. When any of them are removed, their ability to hold the Masters in suspension and prevent the gateway from being breached is compromised.

Howler – a shorthand name for the Amenta spirits. They are so-called because their presence is often accompanied by an eerie animal-like howling, particularly if someone or something is recognized by them as an enemy (as most of the Framerunners are).

Imperaferrum – The name, in the language of the Ferrubene, that The Masters gave themselves once they succumbed to the Amenta.

Iconic Realms – The sum total of all worlds, time-tethered or otherwise, that can be visited by a Framerunner. Typically this does not refer to our own world, since its status is unique, but to all those that can be visited from our own.

Keeper – Honorary title given to Polydora. She is the primary caretaker of The Gallery.

The Masters – The name of the original race of intelligent beings to inhabit the planet Orbaratus. See “Ferrubene”.

Mazerunning – A shorthand term used for Framerunning a looking glass, or mirror. Mirrors in our world or in any of the Iconic Realms open onto other mirrors, also in that specific realm. The “space” that connects mirrors is referred to as the Maze, and is a very confusing space to enter. Mirrors can allow one to step quickly from one place to another, but it can be hazardous, as the placement of the mirrors in the Maze is not always logical, and one can easily become disoriented. Glassrunning is usually only used for fast escapes and/or temporary hiding rather than travel.

Navigator – One of the three primary categories of Framerunners. Navigators are those gifted with a strong sense of direction, excellent mapping skills, and almost always the strongest ability to framerun nearly any image. Navigators are the only ones that are typically undaunted by Mazerunning. They are also extremely skilled at detecting and returning to open frames in any Realm. Sam Deckard is a Navigator.

Orbaratus – The home planet of the race of synthetic beings known as the Ferrumari. Polydora is the last of the Ferrumari: a survivor of the great wars that were instigated by the Amenta and that destroyed much of her planet. The planet was first imagined and painted by 20th century dystopian artist Acasi Simaov.

Order – a shorthand reference to Fratrum Simulacrorum, or the Framerunners’ order.

Pilgrim – any being from one of the Iconic Realms that ends up, whether intentionally or not, in our world. If possible, Framerunners try to return Pilgrims to their own realm as quickly as possible, lest their presence here (and absence from their original realm) cause problems between the Realms.

Piper (a.k.a. “Piper of Dreams”) – An enigmatic figure who appears both in our world and in the Iconid Realms. Thought initially to be a malefactor, his appearance tends to signify a breach of some sort, and often can be used as a signal that something is amiss in the Iconic Realms.

Plaza of the Masters – The plaza located on a peak in Cenurbus where the lore of the Masters (a.k.a. the Ferrubene) was kept. Also, at the edge of this plaza, and set into the side of the mountain, was the gateway leading down to the resting place of the Masters.

Portal – Another name for a “frame”. The terms are often used interchangeably, and both refer to the actual anomaly in space/time that opens whenever a Framerunner is in contact with one of the crystals and views a framerunnable image.

Renderer – One of the three primary categories of Framerunners. Renderers are the true artists among the Framerunners. They are able to imagine and render (draw/paint) images that can be framerun, usually quickly and under pressure. They may also reproduce lost works so that a Realm that otherwise might not be accessible becomes so again. Luke Lester is a Renderer.

Sealing Stones – See “Guarding Stones”.

Spook (a.k.a. “Apparition”) – Informal name for a spirit being in a visual form. These can be benign (e.g., the Piper’s “familiars”) as well as malignant (e.g. the Amenta, or Howlers).

Time-Tethered – A world among the Iconic Realms that one can visit, but that is directly linked to our world. Changing anything in such realms (as can happen when Framerunning an historical painting of a real place, time, and/or people) can directly alter reality in our own world; thus Framerunning a time-tethered realm is extraordinarily dangerous and must be done with extreme caution.





  1. Elanor

    Dear Blue Wizard, hello! Today I read through all the stories again from the beginning, and enjoyed them a lot. I then read through this glossary once more. I am wondering why you call Polydora a “synthetic” being. What does that mean? Also, since even a very simple sketch can be framerun, I wonder why those who are not Renderers can’t draw an image that can be framerun.

  2. Jef Murray


    Thanks for the note, and sorry it took me so long to notice your comment!

    The term I use in the glossary for Polydora (i.e., that she is a “synthetic” being) was chosen because of aspects of Orbaratan ancient history that will be revealed in Episodes 9.1 and 9.2, so I’ll ask for your patience until then.

    Those who are not Renderers can certainly draw images that can be framerun, but it’s a matter of degree and accuracy. A true Renderer can capture the “heart” of a place they wish to framerun much better than others, and worlds that they create are much more complete and detailed. It’s a distinction of degree rather than a gift that one either has or has not. The other two Framerunner talents are similar: there are folks with virtually no empathic talents, but many of us have some. And there are those who have terrible navigational/directional capabilities, but most of us have some. These talents are, however, very important to the ability of members of the Framerunner order to carry out their goals, so they are nurtured among young folk particularly so that nascent talents can be brought into full fruition.


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