| ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!! CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives, and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot.
The Entities are several beings who exist outside our reality that are based on and feed off various fears. They do not exist within reality properly, but "next to it", and influence our reality by causing supernatural happenings - all supernatural phenomena in the world are simply extensions of them. These aspects can sometimes take the form of people, animals, monsters, or books. However, people and monsters also have wills of their own, not purely being driven by their entity.
These entities do not simply feed off of our fear, rather they are our fears made manifest. “These things... these forces, they are our fear. Deep fears. Primordial. Always looking for ways to grow and spread.” Not all their actions inspire fear, they are simply a part of the process, method to cause it. It is not only human fear that counts, but that of animals as well (particularly for The Flesh and The Hunt).
- "Imagine, you are an ant, and you have never before seen a human. Then one day, into your colony, a huge fingernail is thrust, scraping and digging. You flee to another entrance, only to be confronted by a staring eye gazing at you. You climb to the top, trying to find escape and, above you, can see the vast dark shadow of a boot falling upon you. Would that ant be able to construct these things into the form of a single human being? Or would it believe itself to be under attack by three different, equally terrible, but very distinct assailants?"
- Jurgen Leitner, MAG 80
Direct Manifestations Edit
Supernatural things can happen without an agent or object seeming to have caused it, just a spooky situation to be trapped in.
Some humans can become attached to an Entity and become empowered by it, gaining supernatural abilities related to their patron, but losing some or all of their humanity in the process. They are referred to as avatars. Most people fall to the powers through love or fear, though it can happen for other reasons such as debt.
Avatars and agents of a power can become physically dependent on it, suffering withdrawal effects, including death, if they go too long without feeding the entity that empowers them.
A death seems to be required for someone to become a full avatar. While they can still have powers before dying, the death increases them significantly. Eventually, most avatars will become unable to die or be harmed by conventional means, requiring something specific to their nature, or a Hunter, to put them down.
Aspects of the Entities can appear as animals, such as the Monster Pig (MAG 103).
Various artifacts can be imbued with an entity's power (such as a table, a coffin, etc). Books are both the most prevalent and the most powerful. According to Jurgen Leitner, books contain a ‘purer‘ essence of the Entities. They appear as regular books, can appear as any language or content, but sometimes with a distinct feel of being special or wrong. They can have a variety of effects, most commonly that if it is read to completion, it causes the reader to go through a gruseome end.
Other aspects of the Entities can be monsters who were not originally human, such as the NotThem, vampires, etc. Sometimes they consist in part of a human, such as The Distortion combined with Michael Shelley to create Michael.
Most entities have their own ‘ritual’, something that, if completed, will change the very nature of reality, allowing the entity to merge, to further and more completely exert its will and nature upon our reality. These rituals have the potential to bring other closely-tied entities along with it. It requires centuries for each Entity to build up the power needed for its ritual, and if it is stopped, it cannot try again until it rebuilds that power base. No ritual has ever succeeded yet.
Robert Smirke categorized all the disparate entities into 14 main categories. Each Entity is comprised of a variety of smaller terrors, some direct, some abstract, and some tend to bleed over between one Entity and the next. Whilst fears do change and are subject to place, time and culture, it is thought that they have remained fairly stable since the industrial revolution. Each entity also usually has more than one name to reference it/its concept.
These classifications are much like colours, infinite fears that can be grouped into a few categories - each entity can be separated to some degree, but the fears bleed/feed into one another around the edges, and within each entity are different shades of the same hue. This also works to explain why some entities oppose one another, their colours ‘clash’ like red and green or blue and yellow.
- “Like colours, but if colours hated me”
- Jonathan Sims, Head Archivist of The Magnus Institute, London, MAG 111
- This entity is fear of being watched, exposed, followed, of having secrets known, but also the drive to know and understand, even if your discoveries might destroy you. Fear that you’re suffering for the sake of something watching.
- The Eye's ritual is called "The Watcher's Crown."
The Spiral (Esmentiras, the Twisting Deceit, It Is Not What It Is)Edit
- This entity is fear of madness, that your world isn’t right, that your mind is lying to you. It deals with deception, lying, deceiving the mind and senses.
- The Spiral's ritual is called "Our Great Twisting".
The Lonely (Forsaken)Edit
- The fear of isolation, of being completely cut off and alone. Fear of being disconnected.
- This entity deals in the fear of death itself, uncaring and unstoppable.
- It has never attempted a ritual, presumably because it sees no need to.
The Stranger (I Do Not Know You)Edit
- Fear of the unknown. That creeping sense that something isn’t right.
- Manifests as objects pretending to be humans, like mannequins and taxidermied people.
- Its ritual is called "The Unknowing."
The Desolation (The Lightless Flame, The Devastation, Blackened Earth)Edit
- This entity deals in fear of pain, of loss, burning, fear of unthinking or cruel destruction.
- Acolytes are enriched by destroying the lives of people who had things to live for, destroying things before their potential is realized. In exchange, the cult members can create heat--but not fire--and gain the ability to make their skin run like wax.
- This entity feeds off of pure, unpredictable, unmotivated violence. Strong ties to war. Fear of not knowing, where, how, when or if pain will come but that it will. Can be violent like a frenzied killer or calm and regimented like soldiers firing on the battlefield.
- This entity deals in our fear of our own insignificance in this universe. Losing yourself in too much space.
- Its effects involve void, vertigo, and falling, but also anything to do with openness and open spaces, fears like Agoraphobia, fear of deep water.
The Buried (The Center, Choke, Too Close I Cannot Breathe)Edit
- The fear of claustrophobia, small spaces, of being unable to breathe and the underground and dust. Being at the centre of everything and it is all pushing down. Fear of being trapped without enough space.
- The Buried's ritual is called "Sunken Sky".
- Sims is the only entity who has ever successfully climbed out of the Buried.
- A manifestation of our very primal fear of the dark, of what lies beyond what we can sense. What might be in it?
- One of the oldest of the Entities.
- Its ritual is called "The Extinguished Sun."
The Corruption (Filth)Edit
- This entity is linked closely to our feelings of disgust, of feeling revulsion and fear of corruption, disease, filth.
- Manifests as mould, bugs, rot, decay, infection. The feeling of your skin crawling.
- Deals with fear of being controlled, entrapped, being trapped and not knowing it, and your will not being your own, of being manipulated.
- Manifests as spiders and spider webs and patterns like spider webs.
- It has never attempted a ritual, presumably because it likes the world as-is.
- Born from the fear of animals bred for meat.
- Manifests as strange bodies being twisted, reshaped, and butchered.
- Thought to be the newest of the 14, born around the time of the Industrial Revolution.
- The Flesh's ritual is called "the Last Feast".
- Hunting and chase and violence, this is an animalistic fear, very old and primal. Fear of being hunted, being prey.
- Less able to affect people due to our self removal from the food chain. Self-proclaimed (or functional) monster hunters run a strong chance of becoming Hunters and then having a need to hunt and kill monsters.
- The Hunt's ritual is called "The Everchase".
- The 15th Entity hypothesized by Adelard Dekker to be currently emerging.
- It deals with the fear of catastrophic change, the destruction of humanity and its replacement by something different, especially via mankind's own causing.
- Man-made elements are one of its hallmarks.
- Avatars of other Entities would like to try and stop it emerging if possible.