Protocols work in a profoundly different manner than sorcery, although many of the effects are very similar. Instead of manipulating the raw essence around the caster, Protocols act as a sort of programming language, allowing commands to be sent to the Pattern Spiders (or, in Autochthonia itself, the Design Weavers). The fate-controlling constructs then re-write reality as per their instructions. Alternatively, Protocols can bypass the Pattern Spiders/Design Weavers and allow the Protocol weaver to re-write reality personally, although doing so is significantly more strenuous. The advantage of the latter is that Protocols can work on creatures outside fate.