Spirits and their classification
“Spirit” is a catchall term for amalgamations of Emotion that have gained some measure of autonomy, and possibly a degree of sentience.
To aid in their identification the Maesters have established this hierarchy. This is usually prefixed by the Emotion they are primarily formed from.
1 – Shade
More accurately referred to as a proto-spirit as it has not even achieved basic autonomy. A shade is simply a condensed area of Emotion, strictly tied to a source such as a location.
2 – Wisp
The lowest category of true Spirit. Much like a Shade it is still tied a source, for example around or inside a particular building. They lack a defined form and motive, having no measurable intelligence.
3 – Sprite
In common parlance these are often referred to as ghosts, as these are what they most closely resemble. To avoid confusion Sprite was chosen as the technical term. They will typically have a defined and consistent form (barring shape-shifter subcategories). Whilst they typically appear to have a motive or goal, they lack any real intelligence. They only act in accordance with the Emotion that they are formed from.
4 – Goblin
At this stage a Spirit is no longer a Genius Loci, IE it is not tied to its place of origin and may wonder freely. Whilst many stay in the vicinity of the place of their birth, they may be attracted to other locations with a similar Emotion. Whilst gained a full measure of autonomy, they only possess an animal level of intelligence.
5 – Boggart
Very similar to a Goblin, the key distinction being the level of intelligence displayed. A Boggart has a human or near human intellect. Whilst severely skewed by their constituting Emotion. They are typically capable of deception and deceit, if it furthers their goal. They often show some degree of Maester like ability.
6 – Djinni
Whilst originally titled “Demon” this was deemed too dramatic, and terrifying, for the general populace. As such a similar title was borrowed from the Islamic mythology. Not only possessing a tremendous intellect, they typically display an ability to manipulate the Dreaming to the same degree as a skilled AetherMaester. Every officer of the law fears the day they will be called to respond to a “code 6”. Quite how many of these Spirits exist is unknown, as it is theorised that with their level of intellect they are quite capable of hiding themselves, and enacting their Emotion in a more subtle manner than lesser Spirits.
Their are obviously exceptions to these categories, a particular spirit may have unique qualities stemming from the manner of its birth. For example some locations feature a Genius Loci spirit with the intelligence and power of Boggart, or even a Djinni, but are unable, to leave it’s home.
It has been noted that Spirits will sometimes form packs, typically consisting of a number of Goblins lead by a Boggart, using it’s superior intelligence and strength to coordinate it’s lesser cousins.
It struck me like a hammer blow the moment I rounded the corner. Before it was nearly overwhelming, now it was simply crippling. It drove me to my knees, and flooded my mind. Even with my eyes closed so tight the muscles on my face wear screaming their own pain, I could still see it in my mind. The Fear and the anguish running down the walls as a single viscous mass, pooling on the floor and trickling down towards the basement. Wisps rose like a smoke that choked the air, permeating and staining the walls obsidian black. And in the smoke before me, I saw, more felt, a face congeal, its edges and lines defined, by a darker shade still. And it fixed its two, impossibly black, eyes upon me
Excerpt taken the diary of Eugene Thurman regarding a rogue Maester experimenting with the intentional creation of Spirits.