Aons are a writing system used by the Aonic peoples of Arelon and Teod on Sel. They are logographic, meaning they represent words and meanings, as opposed to an alphabet which represents sounds. Instead of being an invented system like most scripts, the Aons already existed and were discovered through trial and error.
Aons were all referred to as “Aon insert name here” such as Aon Rao or Aon Ene. They were disyllabic with two hard vowels.
It is also possible to combine Aons, resulting in strengthened or combined powers. However, it is incredibly difficult to combine or convert Aons with other types of Investiture. This is speculated to be because Aons rely so heavily on geography for their power, and would therefore have to be completely recreated in order to be used anywhere other than Arelon and surrounding areas.
All Aons are based on Aon Aon, which itself was based off the shape of Arelon. The straight horizontal line at the top represented the northern coastline; the curve to the right, the Atad Mountains; the dot in the center, Lake Alonoe. All Aons shown below are pre-Reod and are thus incomplete since the chasm line to the bottom right of the Aon is not present.
”First, Language—Ars Arcanum
This Aon serves as the starting point for all other Aons.
Examples: AonDor, Aonic
”Truth, Fact—Ars Arcanum
”Breath, Air—Ars Arcanum
”The Direction West—Ars Arcanum
Examples: The City of Ake
”Beauty, Handsomeness—Ars Arcanum
Examples: Aor Plantation
”Unity, Cohesion—Ars Arcanum
”Light, Illumination—Ars Arcanum
Aon Ashe, when drawn correctly, will emit a bright light, without heat, that is enough to illuminate a large room. Most rooms in Elantris had metal plates inscribed with Aon Ashe that would glow brighter and more steadily than any lantern.
”Grace, Smoothness—Ars Arcanum
”Silence—Inferred from deleted material
”The Direction North—Ars Arcanum
Examples: The City of Ato
”Power, Energy—Ars Arcanum
Aon Daa is the preferred offensive weapon of the Elantrians. When drawn successfully a burst of light is emitted that warps and twists the air around it. The light then strikes its target with considerable explosive force.
Examples: Daa Plantation
”Stability, Security—Ars Arcanum
”Gold, Metal—Ars Arcanum
This Aon includes several circles that represent forests in the south of Arelon.
”Steadfast, Immovable—Ars Arcanum
”Superior, Lofty—Ars Arcanum
”Protection, Safety—Ars Arcanum
In AonDor, Aon Edo creates a thin wall of light. The wall serves as a barrier, drawing more power from the Dor to resist anything pushing against it with equal strength.
Examples: Edo Plantation
”Fire, Warmth—Ars Arcanum
Aon Ehe is one of the few Aons that has an origin myth associated with it. When the Aonic peoples first migrated to what would become Arelon, the people were initially afraid of the vacant city of Elantris. King Rhashm (later Raoshem) wanting to overcome this fear chose Elantris as the center of his kingdom. Decades later the Shaod began to take people, including the princess, Elashe. She claimed to have seen Aon Ehe inscribed on a coal in her hearth the day after she was taken. This has led to the belief that a rock or piece of coal inscribed with Aon Ehe is good luck and provides protection against winter spirits.
”The most inspiring of all Aons, a symbol for those with a creative heart and an unhindered mind—Lenehe, fifth century poet
A common practice among poets and artists was to take a new name after a certain stage in their development and Ehe was a common root that was used. Examples of this are the poets Lenehe and Ehen, the artist Ehelan, and the philosopher Mehen. The reasoning being that it represents the passion, and inherent danger, of artistry.
In AonDor, Aon Ehe creates a column of fire, and is one of the strongest destructive Aons even without modification. The size and direction of the column are determined by the size of the Aon when drawn and the way that it faces. It is often drawn on the floor so the column is directed upwards. The column is maintained for only a few seconds, unless certain modifiers are used. Before the Reod, scholars were able to create lamps that would continue to burn no matter what, even underwater. It was occasionally used in warfare although Aon Daa is accepted as the superior weapon. When used as a modifier it can create a ward that will start other Aon chains. It is a useful Aon, however its complexity makes it difficult for less skilled practitioners. It was the first Aon to be "fixed" by adding the Chasm line.
Aon Ehe when used in conjunction with other Aons is used to represent warm food or warm beds were available for sale. It also serves as a symbol for danger, whether or not that danger is related to fire, such as an unsafe bridge. Since it represents one of the primal elements, it is often used in scientific writings.
Examples: Ehe Plantation
”Focus, Center—Ars Arcanum
Examples: Torena, Ena Plantation
”Wit, Cleverness—Ars Arcanum
The shape of Aon Ene is supposed to represent the two opposing sides of an argument, it is made up of two halves that are made up of the same symbols, only reversed.
In modern usage Aon Ene has come to mean intelligence in a general sort of way. Scholars note however that originally it referred to cleverness or the ability to out-wit and out-think an opponent. It was a symbol that was often used to refer to trickster figures, which were called "enefel," literally "Wit Killers" or those who kill with wit. During the Middle Era a group of storytellers, who took the name Enefel, began spreading stories of the wonders of Elantris. Some believe the Enefel were agents of the Elantrians who sought to expand their influence and quell the suspicion the rural populace felt towards them. Over time, this group of storytellers developed into a group of scholars that collected stories and histories. By the Late Era several distinct groups of scholars and philosophers had emerged. Aon Ene's association with these groups prompted the expansion of its meaning.
When used in AonDor, Aon Ene emits what is commonly referred to as the "Light of the Mind." Anyone who is touched by the light has their mental capabilities enhanced. They can memorize more quickly, reason more clearly, and stave off the mental-diminishing effects of illness or lack of sleep. It can also be used as a Linking Aon, joining lists of Aons together and determining when their effects will activate. It is used extensively and any Master of AonDor is skilled in its use. This is similar to how logicspren, which are drawn to debate, are used for timing in fabrials.
”No wealth of gold and silver can purchase a keen mind, but the man of wit will often find treasures beyond what mere lucre can provide.—Enelan, a scholar from a hundred years before the Reod
While traditionally Aon Ene is associated with books and scholarly research, it has also become associated with merchants and bankers, in response to the quote above. The former do not approve of what they see as the appropriation of the symbol they claim for their own by the latter. This conflict is in part responsible for Ene's decline in popularity in naming, though traditionalists do sometimes use it.
Ene is also one of the major constellations that can be observed in the night sky above Arelon. It includes Sel's pole star.
This Aon includes a "wiggly" line that corresponds to the shape of the Aredel River.
Examples: Eno Plantation
”Willpower, Endurance—Ars Arcanum
”Gift, Endowment—Ars Arcanum
”Body, Flesh, Muscle—Ars Arcanum
”Trust, Reliable—Ars Arcanum
Examples: Iadon, Iad Plantation
”Helpfulness, Aid—Ars Arcanum
”Mercy, Forgiveness—Ars Arcanum
Examples: Idos Domi, Ido Plantation
Aon Ien was used in AonDor as the basis for healing. To maximize its potential, however, specialized modifiers were required to target the body part that needed to be healed and specify how the healing should take place.
”Time, Age—Ars Arcanum
Examples: Kaa Plantation
”The Direction East—Ars Arcanum
Examples: The City of Kae
”Calmness, Solemnity—Ars Arcanum
Examples: Kaise, Kai Plantation
Examples: Kie Plantation
When drawn in AonDor, Kii causes the guilty to feel pain.
Examples: Mai Plantation
”Thoughtfulness, Caringness—Ars Arcanum
”Sight, Clarity—Ars Arcanum
When drawn in AonDor, the circle in the center of the Aon "ripples like water" and then clears, showing a magnified view of what is on the other side. By placing their hand on the center of the circle, an Elantrian is able to move the Aon, thereby changing what is magnified.
Examples: Nae Plantation, Naen
Aon Omi is a common root in Arelene words such as affection, care, passion, piety, zeal, and loyalty. It is also a fairly common root for names as well, especially among those of the Korathi faith. Korathi priests often use it as a base when they choose a new name on joining the priesthood.
”The most perfect of Aons, fully incorporating the base of Aon Aon and spinning it into a complex icon that is artful and complicated, yet somehow simple at the same time.—Enelan
Aon Omi is perhaps most well-known for its association with Shu-Korath. When Korath (known in JinDo as KoWho) began teaching of Shu-Keseg in Arelon he chose Aon Omi to represent God, who he named Domi, calling it a "Thing of Beauty". He hoped to quell the rivalry his followers felt towards the Elantrians and so chose what they saw as a "heathen symbol" to show how all people should be accepted into the religion. Current Korathi priests view the use Aons in their religion as evidence that all people and beliefs can be united through love.
Korath asked an Elantrian smith he was acquainted with to forge him a silver pendant of the symbol. Wearing an Aon Omi pendant was fairly common occurrence by the time of the Restoration of Elantris, and the exchanging of pendants was a common practice during Korathi marriage ceremonies.
In AonDor, Aon Omi would emit a pure white light. Anyone touched by this light would have their negative emotions removed, replaced with a feeling of serenity and peace, making actively maintaining a sense of hatred difficult. It is peculiar in that it requires the Elantrian drawing it to feel sincere affection for those around them, making it one of the few Aons that requires anything except the ability to draw it. When used as a modifier it will link lines of Aons together or, if used correctly, serve as a minor power enhancer.
Examples: Ore Plantation
”Spirit, Essence—Ars Arcanum
In AonDor, Aon Rao serves as a power amplifier. The Elantrian Metropolitan District, made up of Elantris and its four Gate Cities, served as a massive Aon Rao that targeted the Elantrians and the Aons they created.
Aon Rao is also one of the constellations in the Arelene night sky.
”Punishment, Retribution—Ars Arcanum
”Wealth, Affluence—Ars Arcanum
”Intelligence, Learning—Ars Arcanum
Examples: Saolin, Sao Plantation
”Chastisty, Faithfulness—Ars Arcanum
”Loyalty, Service—Ars Arcanum
”Transform, Change—Elantris Glossary
Aon Shao can be used to create illusions that are tied to pieces of clothing. To do so however requires the extensive use of modifiers. Something changed by Aon Shao would stay permanent if taken to another Shardworld.
”Order, Organized—Ars Arcanum
”Royal, Majestic—Ars Arcanum
”Travel, Transportation—Elantris Glossary
Aon Tia can be used to transport an Elantrian from one point to another. With the correct modifiers the Elantrian can fix the distance and direction that is to be traveled. When completed the Elantrian grabs the center of the Aon, which becomes solid, and is enveloped by the Aon’s light. They then appear where they directed the Aon to take them. There were a number of metal plates inscribed with this Aon scattered throughout Elantris. An Elantrian would only have to place their hand at the center of the Aon to be transported to another region of the city. However, this Aon can be dangerous. If an Elantrian were to designate their arrival area in the middle of a wall, body of water, etc., without knowing, Aon Tia would transfer them and they could get end up in quite the predicament. Aon Tia can be used to transport off-world.
Examples: Tii Plantation
”The Direction South—Ars Arcanum
Examples: The City of Toa
In addition to Aons, there is also an Aonic Alphabet, in which each letter is a single sound, that is used for sounds that can't be produced from Aons. Brandon never fully developed that alphabet, but it is similar to the Korean writing system Hangul.
- Firefight Miami signing
— Arcanum - 2015-01-08#
- Firefight signing Miami
— Arcanum - 2015-01-08#
- RoW Release Party
— Arcanum - 2020-11-17#
- Elantris chapter 49#
- Elantris chapter 7#
- Elantris Alternate Ending Material
— Brandon's website - ?#
- Elantris chapter 62#
- Elantris Ars Arcanum#
- Description of Aon Ehe
— Arcanum - 2008-04-25#
- Brandon's Blog 2008
— Arcanum - 2008-08-21#
- Rhythm of War Preview Q&As
— Arcanum - 2020-10-21#
- Elantris chapter 19#
- Elantris chapter 53#
- General Signed Books 2015
— Arcanum - 2015-12-18#
- Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A
— Arcanum - 2009-07-08#
- Elantris chapter 55#
- Chris King interview
— Arcanum - 2013-09-24#
- Brandon's Blog 2008
— Arcanum - 2008-04-16#
- Elantris chapter 61#
- Elantris chapter 32#
- The Emperor's Soul - Day 101#
- Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017
— Arcanum - 2017-09-23#
- Stormlight Three Update #2
— Arcanum - 2016-03-28#
- Elantris chapter 25#
- Elantris chapter 345#
- Oathbringer release party
— Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
- General Twitter 2015
— Arcanum - 2015-12-02#
- This information comes from deleted material and may not be correct.
|Characters||Raoden · Sarene · Hrathen · Dilaf · Galladon · Eventeo · Kiin · Iadon · Roial|
|Places||Opelon · Arelon · City of Elantris · Duladel · Fjorden · Teod · JinDo · Svorden|
|Magic||AonDor · Aons · Dakhor · ChayShan · Seons · Skaze · The Shaod · Forgery · The Pool|
|Mythology and Lore||Devotion · Dominion · The Dor · The Reod · Shu-Korath · Shu-Dereth · Shu-Keseg|