A great deal of magic is based on the principle of linkage. The most common kind of linkage is called abstraction, in which an object is linked to a description of itself, either physically written on the object, or superimposed in a mental visualization.

Using physical ideograms enables strings or substrings of ideograms to be subsequently linked to each other, for an effect called mirroring, in which two objects act as if they were one object. Mirroring is a key component of most clockwork devices, linking a moving gear in one of the great gearhouses of the city to the driving gear of the device. Mirroring is also commonly used in biomancy.

Using visualized ideograms as opposed to physical ones allows the user to mentally change the visualized ideogram. Depending on the degree of change and the user's skill, this may break the link… or it may change the object to match.

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