The Traditions

It's much easier to be different when there are other people, different just like you, around. Mages are certainly no exception. Those mages grouping together to share common mystic principles developed their own council and unified system of magic. From the roots that they've handed down, they have established magical Traditions. The Traditions have their disagreements over theory and style, certainly, but they have found,
especially lately, that it is often more productive to work together — at least on the surface — toward their common goal of defense against forces that would destroy magic and myth.

The Council of Nine, made up of one member from each established Tradition, serves as the official governing force of the Traditions. The Council's purpose is to guide the actions of the Traditions as a whole, to serve as a watchdog for mages' activities and look out for the well-being of mages and Sleepers alike. In truth, the Council lias hide effect on the dally life of the average Traditionalist. Its ideals tend to filter down to individuals; its active goals tend to be achieved by small groups of disciples taught by mages close to the Council.

On an individual level, the Traditions serve a variety of purposes in a mage's life. The Traditions help a mage to learn, give her moral and magical support and help her understand and define the structure of her beliefs. A Tradition mage can also expect to be part of a group of people who will back her up and shelter her in sticky situations. On the other hand, Traditions usually expect their members to be helpful in return.

In the modern age, the Traditions hold dear the various practices of magic handed down from many cultures and legacies. All believe, however, that it's important to keep magic alive and to give Sleepers the choice of a magical world. From the highest seats of Tradition thinking in the Horizon Realms, to the individual apprentices who dream of a better world, the Traditions defend a world where people can believe in wonder, mysticism and spirituality. The Technocratic Union has no room for such vagaries, and the Masses have chosen to live in a safe and static world.

Not all mages choose to become part of a Tradition, however. Some prefer to work and live by themselves, figuring out solutions to their problems and celebrating success alone. These Orphans don't get the benefits of being part of a discrete group, but they don't have to deal with the more difficult parts of being social, either.

Akashic Brotherhood — Philosophical martial-arists, the Warring Fists espouse a union of mind, body and spirit through personal discipline.

Celestial Chorus — The schismatic Singers desire renewal of the original One, restoring the world to a whole and perfect form with their dogmatic faith.

Cult of Ecstasy — Seeking an altered consciousness through entrancing music, dance and experience, the Ecstatic pursue liberation of flesh and soul.

Dreamspeakers — The Spirit-Talkers embody the harmonious — although sometimes dangerous or terrifying — ways of primal existence in concert with nature and the spirits. They follow the paths of shamans and medicine men.

Euthanatos — Drawing inspiration from Hindu beliefs and responding to the suffering of an overcrowded uncaring world, the Deathmen (and women) bring release to the pained and death to evil.

Order of Hermes — Rational and studious, the Wizards of the high Order of Hermes practice carefully refined formulaic magic handed down over centuries. Their magic derives from a set of forms built through rigorous application of mystical principles.

Sons of Ether — Laboratories of weird science ?nd fringe technology embody the lunat ic inspirations of the Mad Doctors, who pursue the cast-off remnants of discredited science and cutting-edge alternative systems.

Verbena — Primal and deadly, the misnamed Pagan of the Verbena delve into the primal nature of life, birth, blood and sacrifice in their communion with potent forces.

Virtual Adepts (Technocratic Division during the Roaring Twenties) — The pioneers of a new vision for reality strive to open the minds of the Masses with their renegade actions as Hackers and virtual world-builders.

Hollow Ones — Drawing from the nihilistic corners of a dying culture, the Soulless use a hodge-podge of their own making in the pursuit of escape while the world crumbles toward Armageddon.