Within the World of Darkness there are a number of people capable of making
what they wish of the world around themselves. They reweave the threads of the
tapestry within which we all exist, by the power of their wills. They call
themselves Mages, and are just one part of the hidden, supernatural World of
Darkness that also includes Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts and Faeries.
Who Are Mages?
Even before the beginnings of human history there have been wonder-workers
amongst us, tribal shaman, discoverers and explorers helping to make life
safer and more comfortable. Prometheans bringing fire from the gods, shining
like beacons in the darkness. They are Mages, their feats are Magick.
Humanity, as a whole, is unaware of the world within which they live. They
live their lives as if asleep but Mages have awakened to the possibilities
surrounding them. Each of us has within our deepest being an Avatar that, once
Awakened, can tap into reality. Mages believe that, at some point, all
humanity can awaken, and that it is the Mages' responsibility is to ensure
that this "Ascension" occurs.
But, not all Mages see Ascension in the same way, some believe that
individuals will find their own way there, others believe that the masses must
be shepherded to Ascension. Some Mages believe that Ascension must be made to
happen and others that Ascension will occur when the time is right. These
differing views cause conflict between the factions within Mage society, and
we are now fighting in the Ascension War.
Static Reality And Magick
Reality is like a large rubber sheet that has a reliable form, but it can be
distorted if the right sort of pressure can be brought to bear and, in weak
points, be broken through. These distortions eventually snap back, with lesser
or greater repercussions to those responsible and their immediate surroundings.
Millennia ago, reality was patchy and loose, each small society was isolated
from each other, with their own rules. As societies grew and met others their
views of reality, or paradigms, clashed until one became dominant. The Age of
Reason within which we now live has a global paradigm (or Consensus) that is
highly restrictive. Some Mages are inheritors of paradigms pre-dating this
static world view and their actions oppose consensual reality.
The power of the Consensus gives reality a strength and resilience to push
back against those working Magick. Mages must be careful that their acts do
not affect reality adversely, they use Coincidental Magick that appears to be
part of static reality. But on occasion Magick is Vulgar, an affront to which
static reality reacts with Paradox, punishing the Mage responsible. The
strength of the consensus is such that even in the absence of any mundane
witnesses such Vulgar magick still reaps paradox.
There are several groups involved in the Ascension War, the
Technocracy, the Traditions, the Marauders and the Nephandi.
- The Technocratic Union - inheritors of
the global paradigm that has created static reality, "protecting" the
masses from "reality deviants"
- The Council of Nine Mystic Traditions -
advocates of personal ascension and freedom, inheritors of ancient
and alternative paradigms
- Marauders - completely chaotic, individualistic, and probably
insane, Mages dwelling somewhere out on the fringe of reality
- Nephandi - pursuers of corruption for corruption's sake,
Descension rather than Ascension.
In addition there are others, many of whom have either never been
involved with or have withdrawn from the Ascension War.
- Loners - individuals following their own path, defectors, hermits
- Crafts - small groupings of Mages with a common cultural paradigm
- Infernalists - those who have traded their souls with Infernal
- Hedge Wizards - unawakened sorcerers using precise rituals within
the confines of static reality
The Spheres of Magick
Just as the belief structure of the massed sleepers builds static reality, the
paradigms of Mages influence the way they view Magick. Mages performs their
arts by knowing and understanding both what they want to achieve and
how to achieve it. Over many hundreds of years this has become codified
within the concepts of the Spheres of Magick. Different groups of Mage may use
different terminology, but they all recognise what the others mean when they
refer to a specific Sphere.
- Correspondence - the relationships between positions and
- Entropy - the cycle of birth, growth and death,
probability and change
- Forces - all forms of energy
- Life - the patterns within all living things
- Matter - the patterns within non-organic material
- Mind - the study of sentience
- Prime - the ebb and flow of raw magick
- Spirit - accessing the Otherworlds and the denizens
- Time - the relationships and perception of the passage of
This information has been distilled from Mage: The Ascension,
Sons Of Ether -
Speakeasy Chantry -
The Guild of Creative Thought -