The Spiral is one of the fourteen main Entities. It is based on the 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.
Jurgen Leitner and his assistants refer to it as "Es Mentiras" ("It is lies"). Its aspects refer to it as "It Is Not What It Is". It has also been called "the Twisting Deceit".
The Spiral is associated with fractal patterns, hallucinations, doubt of sanity, impossible geometry, and maddening realms and dimensions.
- MAG 8: Burned Out (Partially; Ivo Lensik's father)
- MAG 19: Confession (Father Burroughs)
- MAG 20: Desecrated Host (Father Burroughs)
- MAG 26: A Distortion (Michael/The Distortion)
- MAG 27: A Sturdy Lock (The Distortion)
- MAG 38: Lost and Found (The fractal pot)
- MAG 46: Literary Heights (The Lichtenberg Figure)
- MAG 47: The New Door (Michael/The Distortion, Helen Richardson)
- MAG 74: Fatigue (Michael/The Distortion)
- MAG 85: Upon the Stair (A Man Who Wasn't There)
- MAG 91: The Coming Storm (Partially; The Lichtenberg Figure)
- MAG 100: I Guess You Had To Be There (Partially; Robin Lennox)
- MAG 101: Another Twist (The Distortion, Gabriel, The Great Twisting)
- MAG 126: Sculptor's Tool (Gabriel, The Distortion (mentioned))
- MAG 141: Doomed Voyage (Partially; the carpet)
- MAG 146: Threshold (The Distortion)
- MAG 78: Distant Cousin (Michael/The Distortion)
- MAG 79: Hide and Seek (Michael/The Distortion)
- MAG 99: Dust to Dust (Michael/The Distortion)
- MAG 160: The Eye Opens (Partially)
- The Distortion: The most commonly encountered aspect of The Spiral, the Distortion is self-described as "a door that would open to all the places that were never there." It can appear anywhere it wishes, including underneath solid surfaces, standing alone with no attached structure, and taking the place of other doors, and can take a variety of forms, always trying to get people to enter it. It was permanently altered after Gertrude Robinson's interference in The Great Twisting, wherein a human was given an accurate map to its interior and guided to its core, causing it to be remade from a door into a door and a person.
- Michael: The Distortion's first human component. As a human he was an archival assistant to Gertrude Robinson, who she sacrificed to The Distortion to disrupt The Spiral's ritual.
- Helen: The Distortion's second human component. As a human she was a real estate agent who it ensnared. At the end of MAG 101, she replaces Michael after his personal ties to the Magnus Institute leads the greater Distortion to remove him.
- The father of the narrator of MAG 8 also encountered someone whose "all the bones were in his hands" in 1996 (before The Distortion became Michael), which matches Sasha's description of Michael's distorted form in MAG 26.
- Gabriel: An Avatar of the Spiral, also known as The Worker of Clay. He was the mastermind behind The Great Twisting in the late 2000's, and committed suicide when it failed.
- The Lichtenberg Figure: A creature taking the form of a man with flashing Lichtenberg fractal organs. It tormented Michael Crew until he exploited the connection between Lichtenberg figures, lightning, and The Vast to trap it in the book Ex Altiora.
- The Fractal Pot: A jiajang-era ceramic pot of Chinese make decorated in crisp geometric blue lines that repeat perfectly even as they grow smaller and denser. It takes things from its owner, along with all memories and evidence of those things, save the memories of its owner. It may be the residence of a being of the Spiral rather than an artefact itself, as one of its victims witness long, thing finger with dirty nails emerge from the interior.
- The Pattern Rug: A rug with a pattern separate from this being. The pattern can remove itself from the rug and flow across other things in a mess of diamonds, swirls, and colors, a process that is painful to living creatures and can pull them apart from the inside. It is unclear to whether the rug is powered by the Spiral or the pattern is a Spiral creature that merely resides upon the rug while not hunting.
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This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives, and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.
Its ritual is called "Our Great Twisting". It took place in Zemlya Sannikova (Sannikov Land), where the entire island is defined by impossibility and structures that should not be able to exist. Gertrude Robinson stopped the ritual by sacrificing her assistant Michael Shelley to merge with The Distortion and become the being we have met as Michael. (MAG 101)
Gertrude Robinson used the statement from MAG 126: Sculptor's Tool in her research to formulate the counter-ritual, presumably taking inspiration from Gabriel saying that The Distortion does not have a name and would hate to have one, and using that as a weakness to exploit.
Connections with other Entities
- Its allegiances are difficult to fully know. It seems to want balance or a delay in events as Michael explained in the tunnels when combating Not Sasha.
- It also helped the real Sasha fight a manifestation of The Hive.
- It seems to be in a tentative alliance with Beholding (although this seems only to prevent other Entities from gaining power). While Michael helped the archives earlier on to foil others' plans, he said he wanted neither the circus nor the archives to "win", making it convenient for him to kill Jon himself before the Stranger could. Helen, on the other hand, is revealed in season 4 to be regularly helping the archive staff.
- It seems to actively fight against The Corruption, and more frequently against The Stranger.