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Mortal Glossary
The world of The Mortal Instruments is a magical one. Mortals walk the earth ignorant of the secretive shadow world. Shadowhunters, part-angel and part-human, maintain peace and protect humans from the dangers of downworlders and demons.

Burned into the skins, runes are used by the shadowhunters to fight demons. Each rune is a mark that must be painfully carved into the skin. Some are permanent, but most disappear after they're used.

Runes possess great power and without them shadowhunters become vulnerable. Each mark has a specific purpose and use. Placement of runes is also important, as the closer it is made to the shadowhunter's heart the stronger its effectiveness. The parabati rune pairs two shadowhunters together and allows them to draw on each other's powers. The mendelin rune is an invisibility rune which can be used to hide people or objects from mundanes.Other more simple runes are more self-explanatory like the fire or acid rune.

Known by several designations, downworlders are part-human and part-demon. Downworlders are separated into several factions including warlocks, werewolves, and vampires.

Sometimes referred to as nephilim, shadowhunters can be traced back to the Bible. Several thousand years ago, a demon invasion threatened humans with extinction. To save the human race, a warlock summoned the Angel Raziel for help. Raziel mixed some of his own angelic blood with that of a human in what became known as the Mortal Cup. Those who drank the blood from the Mortal Cup became the first shadowhunters. The mandate of the shadowhunters was and shall always be to protect the mortal world from demons and rogue downworlders. Shadowhunters are governed by the Clave and call Idris their home country.

Mundanes or mundies are ordinary mortal humans. They are neither part of the Shadow world, nor can they see beings from that dimension. Demons appear to mundanes as something ordinary like a dog or even another human being. Glamours can be placed on objects or buildings to obscure them from mundanes, like in the instance of the shadowhunters' New York Institute. If bitten by a vampire or werewolf, a mundane can be turned into a downworlder.

Vampires, also referred to as Night Children, are downworlders. Like the myths and legends, must consume blood to survive, but only rogue vampires drink the blood of humans. Like werewolves, vampires do not have demon blood, but are instead infected by demonic disease. Vampires can mesmerize mortals and have been known to use this power to control and capture human prey. If bitten by a vampire, mundanes can contract the demonic disease and consequently be turned into a vampire.

Warlocks are the only downworlders who can cast magic or possess demon blood as they are the direct offspring of humans and demons. Because of their hybridism, warlocks cannot procreate. Most warlocks possess a physical abnormality or a 'demon's mark' such as goat feet, cat eyes, bat wings or lizard tails.

Werewolves, sometimes called Children of the Moon or Lycanthropes, are downworlders who shapeshift into wolves. Like vampires they are human, but have been infected by a demonic disease. Werewolves possess the strength and power of wolves whether in their human or wolf form. If a mundane is bitten by a werewolf, it can contract the demonic disease and turn into a werewolf.

The Clave
Short for the Conclave, the Clave is the governing body of the shadowhunters. They hand down curses as punishment for breaking laws. The Clave meet at Alicante, capitol of Idris. Every fifteen years, the branch of the Clave called the Council signs the Accords.

New York Institute
The New York Institute is a sanctuary for shadowhunters. It is located in a gothic cathedral in New York City, but a glamour makes it invisible to ordinary humans. There are several Institutes around the world designed to offer shadowhunters refuge while away from their home country of Idris.

New York Pack
The New York Pack is a collective of werewolves who live in the Chinatown section of Manhattan.

The Circle
The Circle began as the Circle of Raziel, named for the angel who created the race of shadowhunters. A group of young shadowhunters led by Valentine Morgenstern founded the group dedicated to wiping out all downworlders in an effort to purify the world and protect the shadowhunters. Most of the original members of the Circle abandoned Valentine when his directive became overwhelmingly extreme.

Silent Brothers
The Silent Brothers are archivists, but that is not all they do. They can read minds and are among the most feared of all demon hunters. They walk in darkness and do not speak, but they can crack a mortal's mind for good or detrimental purposes.


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