One of the major elements of The Fifth Era of Man is the usage of semanifestures by the Progenitors known as Prae and Erudatta. This special ability, while having all the appearance of magic, is rooted in the experience of a highly-advanced scientific society.
The term semanifesture is a portmanteau of manifestation and semantics ("of or relating to meaning in language"). Its use in the story is intended to mean "the creation of written symbols to produce a visible form." Each semanifesture, once complete, has different, unique properties.
"At this, the warrior reached out and extended two fingers. A twist of its wrist produced a six-inch halo of amber light that hovered midair. After a few gestures, the circle filled with angular symbols. As the curiously-detailed nimbus pulsed, it expanded until it became a six-foot-tall barrier which separated the swordsman from the others."
-- The Fifth Era of Man, Chapter 7
Below are a series of digital representations of various semanifestures employed throughout the book.