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Parlez-Vous Mephit?
Being a True and Accurate
Account
of the Mephit Code :
The Diplomatic Language of the Planes

* SEND A MEPHIT TO A FRIEND OR FOE *

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If you were sent a Lightning Mephit as a gift,
Should you be Flattered, Angry or Terrified?

Scholar MimirMephits are often sent by Lower Planar spellcasters, fiends and powermongers of Sigil to their enemies to convey messages. The variety and quantity of mephits sent relays the message in the form of an ancient code, the dark of which is laid bare below. The recipients of such mephit messages are free to do what they will with the elemental creatures; keep them, enslave them, or destroy them; the meaning's the same. Mephits are never sent to friends or allies, as anyone who's ever met a mephit understands.
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Air

A warning to beware, for the giver intends to surprise the recipient with an ambush or political treachery. This gift is usually timed to arrive when it's already too late to prevent the inevitable. Lower Planar diplomats fear the sudden breezes in their rooms caused when an air mephit appears.Ash Mephit

Ash

A rude message that the giver doesn't even think the recipient is worth corresponding with any more. Often sent by someone who wants the last word in an exchange.

Dust

This gift represents a subtle threat, with the connotation that shows that the sender has recognised some plot of the recipient against him. [CLICK HERE TO SEND A DUST MEPHIT TO A FRIEND OR FOE...]

Earth

A sign that the giver will not concede to demands; a stubborn answer of 'No!' to a request.

Fire

Displeasure at an enemy's actions, ranging from disapproval to downright fury depending upon how many mephits are sent.

Ice MephitIce

The recipient is forbidden to enter the giver's home. This can include Realm, Layer or even Plane, at the giver's discression. The more ice mephits that are sent, the harsher the punishment for breaking this restriction will be.

Lightning

A warning to the recipient to reconsider tactics, as the giver has a hidden ally who can swing matters. This often turns out to be a hollow threat, so the sender is either sure of himself and his ally, or bluffing.

Magma

A gift of gloating, when the giver has bested the recipient at some intellectual or diplomatic challenge. [CLICK HERE TO SEND A MAGMA MEPHIT TO A FRIEND OR FOE...]

Mineral

Signifies a willingness to compromise on some point and a corresponding exchange of power or lands. A request for more direct communication.

Mist

A mysterious warning that someone close to the recipient is an assassin. This message is used to encourage paranoia and insecurity between the recipient and his allies. [CLICK HERE TO SEND A MIST MEPHIT TO A FRIEND OR FOE...]

OozeOoze mephit

A sarcastic gift, sent by a spellcaster who is sure the recipient is far weaker than he. Often this gift is insulting enough to goad the recipient into making a mistake. [CLICK HERE TO SEND AN OOZE MEPHIT TO A FRIEND OR FOE...]

Radiant

Request for a truce; in effect the 'white flag' of mephit messages.

Salt

A blatant declaration of open warfare.

Shadow

An enemy of the recipient has discovered his plans, has subverted and is now manipulating them to his own ends. For a fiend, it's one of the most feared messages, because they never can tell which of their many enemies, and which of their many plans and schemes this concerns. This make a lot of recipients nervous, paranoid, and generally makes them change plans or make mistakes. The shadow mephit can, of course, be used for bluffing, but it's seldom done, for the senders fear that if this rare mephit is used too often, it will be taken for bluffs too much, and then won't be useful as bluffs.
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SmokeMephits

A gesture of insolence and contempt that amounts to a declaration of a vendetta. [CLICK HERE TO SEND A SMOKE MEPHIT TO A FRIEND OR FOE...]

Steam

A message of agreement; the opposite of the earth mephit message, except there's the connotation of a gloating 'I told you so' to the acceptance. [CLICK HERE TO SEND A STEAM MEPHIT TO A FRIEND OR FOE...]

Void

A message which never turns up (seeing as there's no such thing as a Void Mephit). The expression: "Got a Void Mephit" means to receive no response.

Water

A sarcastic message sent when the spellcaster has evaded a trap or plot of the recipient's. Formally the answer to an air mephit, if the giver survives the ambush.

The Cant Dictionary - Learn more of Sigil's mysterious cant language

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Consult the Mimir Again
Consult the Mimir Again

Article copyright 1998-1999 by Jon Winter
Expands on information given in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Vol. I
Thanks to Zak Arntson for the inspiration and the mephit artwork,
and Jeremiah Golden for the ooze mephit