I'm looking for a more general term to describe any sort of weather or weather-like condition which includes reducing visibility, specifically those which do so to what might be considered a dangerous degree (see examples at the end), but which isn't necessarily associated with a specific form of such conditions in common usage.

This word would be used for the purpose of naming a magic item in a fantasy game setting with the word or phrase referring to the conditions it causes. The effect of the item will be to create an extremely localized area (<50ft radius) of condition appropriate to the place it's used in so to reduce visibility to near zero in the area of effect. It would be determined on a case-by-case basis what the exact form of this condition would be based on the location its used.

Many words I'm finding are ones that I would ordinarily think of as subsets of fog to describe what you'd get on a cold, wet morning ("haze", "mist") in that their common usage tends to imply humidity-related conditions and so wouldn't necessarily work for something like a blizzard.

A good choice would be a word(s) that refer to weather or weather-related conditions specifically without automatically being associated to a specific form. A good secondary option would be one that implies any sort of visibility-reducing / obscuring condition, but again without implying a specific form of such. In either case, the implication should be that vision is hindered by the weather itself (or the side effects of said weather, such as reduced light levels), and not because of anything inherently magical about the weather.

Because I'm looking for this in the sense of naming an object and not to use in a particular sentence, any part of speech should work as long as it can be made to fit in a magic item name of some sort, such as Staff of {word} or {Word}ing staff. It does not have to result in an alliterative name (but bonus if it can), nor does it have to be associated to a specific form of item (ring, orb, periapt, etc. are all acceptable. I'll figure out which is appropriate later).

Examples of effects that this item might produce would include, but are not limited to:

  • sandstorms in a desert
  • blizzards on a mountain / during the winter
  • fog or monsoon in a swamp or other humid location
  • plumes of smoke near a volcano or around a smoky campfire, or smog if applied in a more modern setting
  • a whirlwind kicking up an obnoxious amount of leaves in a forest or pollen in a meadow
  • Nebulosity Staff. Hazing Staff
    – Lambie
    Dec 5, 2021 at 18:00
  • Maelstrom. &6more Dec 5, 2021 at 21:41
  • "Reduced visibility" is the most general term. I suggest you consult a weather glossary. But I don't think you're really looking for the correct technical term and therefore this is totally subjective and fantastical; therefore I'm voting to close as Opinion Based. Dec 6, 2021 at 17:51
  • "Bell of Blindness" probably goes too far beyond "reduced visibility" but "Blinding Bell" might have a nice ring to it!
    – Papa Poule
    Dec 7, 2021 at 0:06
  • Murk. [noun]: an atmosphere in which visibility is reduced because of a cloud of some substance. [Vovabulary.com] But you might feel that 'the Staff of Murke' looks better. Dec 7, 2021 at 10:27

1 Answer 1


Staff of Obfuscation

obfuscation, n.

2. Something that darkens or obscures a situation, facts, etc.; an instance of darkening or obscuration.

Source: Oxford English Dictionary (login required)

  • 1
    Orb of Obfuscation:-)
    – Jim
    Dec 6, 2021 at 5:57
  • 1
    Sounds like the Ministry of Disinformation. Dec 7, 2021 at 10:28
  • @EdwinAshworth - and that is the problem. Need a usage note of sort here. Obfuscation connotes disguise by changing the apparent form of something, not disguise by concealing it entirely.
    – stevesliva
    Dec 16, 2021 at 4:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.