A totem is a disk of base metal without substance that holds the imprisoned spirit of magical creatures. These metal prisons are products of the totemization process in which a supernatural being was stripped of their magical faculities and imprisoned as a lifeless image of their former self. Though the effect of the anti-magical totemization is not lethal, it was the only device that could physically "Un-Name" magical creatures by separating magical essence from physical matter. A Nameless creature was powerless, and thus the given magic of any being was rendered useless.

The glossy coat of PermaSeal on the totem ensured that the victim would remain eternally, even giving them the ability to endure the lack of oxygen and fiery destruction. This can clearly be seen from the totems sent to Murz where victims spent an eternity gazing at the scenic vista. Those which ended up in Hades were taking interest by the evil spawn there who used the countless totems for their playthings. Eventually their interest lagged. Even though the victims could still feel pain within their totems, they could not struggle against the torture. Finally, the hellish creatures stuck them into puddles of blistering acid and left them alone. Though those entrapped in the totems never really grew numb to the constant agony, they found other things to occupy their minds. For example, one later rescued victim had spent many centuries composing several light operettas in their head.

Totemization had been found to be cheaper and easier than torture and much more space efficient. Historians speculate, that in a world of entirely good and bad, this process would be very close to the bottom of the list of really bad things.

Many victims of the totemization process were freed when Yannick was defeated in 1067 and magic returned to the land, ushering in the Second Age of Magic.