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Which of the new names do you use and why?

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  • Which of the new names do you use and why?

    So the M5 post below got me thinking specifically about which of the new, proposed names for the Traditions work for me and which ones don't. And I was wondering what other players/storytellers prefer.

    In my case, I really like the Society of Ether. It just seems like the right change to make. The Sons of Ether made sense as a name for a Victorian Tradition, but science and academia nowadays is a much more open and inclusive field. The Etherites are very likely to have recruits of any gender, and moreover, a lot of those recruits are not going to be happy considering themselves "Sons" of anything. "Society of Ether" still keeps a Victorian feel, but is more representative of the Tradition on a whole.

    I also like the Akashayana/Chakravanti change. Those names have been around since the first Tradition books, and have historical weight. "Akashic Brothers" always seemed like an awkward translation to me, (especially because they have women), while "Chakravanti" seems like a better reflection of the Tradition on a whole: given how much focus the splat books place on the South Asian philosophical and religious inspiration.

    (I do like to keep Euthanatos as a name for the subgroup of mages who do feel more kinship with the Greek or Celtic branch of the Tradition, but since the South Asian branch is by far the more influential, Chakravanti feels more appropriate as the umbrella name.)

    This is hypocritical, but I'm not a fan of Sahajiya as much. Sahajiya appeared in the Cult of Ecstasy book, and I appreciate how the Ecstatic practices have routes in Tantrism and similar practices. But the Cult of Ecstasy has always struck me as a Tradition that progresses with the times. It makes sense to me that they'd decide to change their name, since they have so often in the past, but I feel like they're less likely to go backward.

    But I might be biased, because I have a very difficult time remembering how to spell Sahajiya.

    I don't really understand the "Mercurial Elite" thing. I agree that virtual reality didn't end up being quite the thing that it seemed like it was going to be back in the nineties, but I don't feel like "Virtual Adepts" is that dated a name. I could buy it as an attempt by the Virtual Adepts to annoy the Hermetics, but otherwise, it just doesn't really work for me.

    I have mixed feelings on Kha'vadi/Dreamspeakers. I think it makes complete sense that the Dreamspeakers would be tired of the way that they're dismissed, caricaturized, and lumped together by the rest of the Traditions, so I like the thought of Kha'vadi. But it also seems kind of personal? If that makes sense. Like Kha'vadi seems like a name that the Dreamspeakers would use among themselves, but not necessarily welcome outsiders to use. I also feel like, given the racial tensions that underlie the Dreamspeakers' relationship with the other Traditions, that I would not have a white Dreamspeaker use "Kha'vadi" to describe herself.

    So in my case, I definitely use Society of Ether, Akashayana, Chakravanti, and Kha'vadi, in the specific circumstances described above, but I don't tend to use Sahajiya or Mercurial Elite.

    What do you use in your Chronicles?

  • #2
    I largely like the name changes and I agree with much of what you said above.

    I'd largely use the Akashyana and Chakravanti as opposed to their prior names except perhaps for specific factions such as perhaps the occasional all-male temple who persist in calling themselves the 'Akashic Brotherhood' and calling one another "Brother" as well as the (sub-)faction of the Chakravanti who involve themselves with greek mystery cults and karmic serial killers may still use the title of 'Euthanatos', if only as a euphemism.

    I can understand the concerns over Sahajiya and I also freely admit that part of my trouble is my difficult remembering it but even more then the prior traditions I think that the titles such as 'Sahajiya' and 'Cultists of Ecstasy' can co-exist. The tradition has been a loose federation in the best of days, only barely held together by an ecstatic thread. I can easily imagine multiple groups of the tradition openly brandishing their own titles with 'Sahajiya' being their formal Tradition title and 'Cultists of Ecstasy' being an informal term of address. I dunno but I can easily imagine a Hermetic preferring to recognize a Sahajiya Tradition representative at their table while a Hollow One prefers to get 'The Real Shit' from a Cultist of Ecstasy. As far as the tradition is concerned... do as you like and don't break our rules of conduct too badly.

    I'm going to fully admit that I don't understand the term "Kha'vadi" well enough to speak to it and it's implications but I can definitely imagine that the tradition has long lost its patience with the European Council and are more then willing to shed the moniker of 'Dreamspeaker'.

    As far as the Mercurial Elite and the Virtual Adepts go... I personally don't like ME as much but that's just a taste thing. Some time ago I wrote a post with some of my preferred alternatives as well as the idea that the tradition might actually eschew a collective title both because of their proud independence streak *and* to avoid granting any one name any particular power over them. That said, I would encourage my VA/ME players to proudly call themselves whatever they like and I for one always thought that the 'Masked Legion' had a fun ring to it while also providing a double reference to both Anonymous and the story of Legion.


    • #3
      Oh, I like your thoughts about Sahajiya a lot. It does make sense to me that the Cult would show a different face based on who they're dealing with at the time. I'll try to incorporate that next time. It might work for me.

      "Masked Legion" is an amazing name! I wish I'd thought of that!


      • #4
        It’s worth noting that Technocracy Reloaded did NOT refer to the Virtual Adepts as Mercurial Elites.

        “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband


        • #5
          Glad ya liked and it and I did not know that they were called the VA in TR but that's interesting.


          • #6
            I don't use any of them, mainly because I am old and want you kids to get off my lawn because your new fangled rock and/or roll music is bothering my pet dinosaur.

            More seriously, while I have some younger members use Society, they are still officially the Sons of Ether because A) a lot of them like to play up their sense of tradition, and B) I have my own internal militant feminist faction, the Electrodyne Divas (based on a sidebar in the original tradition book) who have long used it as a rallying cry and I hate to take that away from them.

            As for the Dreamspeakers, I have, since the original tradition book, always taken that to be the closest modern English translation for a term/phrase Naioba and Star of Eagles invented in the language used to speak with the spirits of the Umbra. Because that language is incomprehencable to anyone without Spirit magic, they all use whatever the local equivalent to "We Who Walk In/Speak With The World/Realm Of Spirits/Dreams" when speaking to others. So a Sioux medicine woman, a Japanese shinto priest, and a South African healer are all going to use totally different names, but they all express the same idea. Dreamspeakers is just what the English speaking world - and the game, since it is published in English - uses. Spanish, French, Chinese, etc. should all use their own translations of the original phrase. I feel that trying to assign them a name from Tamil culture in southern Asia is questionable and totally misses the point of what the two founders were trying to create.

            Likewise the Euthanatos. The name was specifically chosen to honor Cygnus Moro, the Greek member of the First Cabal whose life drew new members to the tradition and death helped unite them. Ignoring that feels wrong, and also implies that the tradition's non Hindu parts are somehow lesser or irrelevant.

            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


            • #7
              I am using all of the new names and I am *trying* to get my group to catch on. The player of an old Etherite will roll his eyes and say "Children of Ether". Another player in-character challenged the Kha'vai name, which inspired me to look it up.
              I think it is quite fitting and reaches beyond the stereotype


              • #8
                Me. I use all of them. But, I make sure the name changes are part of the game and also that NPC mages have differing opinions of them.

                For example, some of the younger khavadi only know of the dreamspeakers as khavadi and think dreamspeakers is some sort of a mystic title. And then there's like a part of the world where the term khavadi never caught on, because of the spirit mages in the area only having a loose alliance with the traditions (and in many cases still distinguishing between themselves as spirit talkers and the tradition Mages as dreamspeakers). The sudden name change would just be confusing to them so the local dreamspeakers just call themselves dreamspeakers except in official papers.

                The akashayana, for convenience, tend to call themselves the closest equivalent to akashic brotherhood in the language they speak when talking to outsiders unfamiliar with the akashayana term, akashayana always having been their name for themselves.

                My in game joke is that the VA representative seeing all the renaming and hearing the Hermetic representative justification for keeping the old name (and his talk about Hermes the trickster) decided to declare his tradition the Mercurial Elite (subtle hint that they were the real tricksters)... Which, the adepts randomly decided to go with because "internet". And now it's stuck, though a lot of them really actually prefer the old name but are going with it for the lulz

                And because of the above statement, I will now add children of Ether to the proposed names that lost to sons of ether


                • #9
                  Now that In on the topic:

                  The euthanatos in my setting who prefer "euthanatos" are not vocal about it because of the whole voormas thing.

                  The cult of ecstasy have other terms for themselves that caught on in different parts of the world, with cult of ecstacy only being the most well known and popular.

                  Most mages, even the verbena mages, aren't sure what their representative was thinking with verbenae, the most popular theory being that the adjustment may help direct the tradition to gaining more numbers.

                  Even the chorus is actually written Caelestem Chorum in their Latin works, with the name generally translated into whatever language is being used.


                  • #10
                    Akashayana is good, though it refers to the Tradition itself rather than the members. Chakravanti is good in theory, but I want to understand the etymology, as I’m not sure how/if it works. The singular Chakravat is fine, but it looks to actually be a different word.

                    Society of Ether is an obvious one. Very hard to argue with.

                    Sahajiya is okay but probably unintuitive for a lot of English-speakers, who will gravitate to easier terms.

                    Honestly, my least favorite has always been Verbena, which is a bizarre name, considering it’s a common garden herb. It’s like naming the Tradition “marjoram” or “oregano” or “pennyroyal.” Very hard to take seriously if you’ve ever done any gardening. Yet this one doesn’t seem to have been given an alternative name, unless there’s something I don’t know.
                    Last edited by Black Flag; 06-30-2020, 12:15 PM.


                    • #11
                      Order of Hermes
                      Estatics (Cult of ecstasy)
                      Society of Ether
                      The Cycle (Euthanatos) (Turners of the great wheel, Weavers of Tapestry... Anyone got any cool ones? Please share)
                      Celestial chorus.
                      Tech wizards (Virtual adepts)

                      Akashayana (I don't actually know much about the old AB and the meaning here and I'm not going to pretend I do, so I'm gonna assume it's fine)
                      Dreamspeakers: I don't know what'll sound inclusive without being patronizing. Kha'Vadi is blatantly a shitty idea. I personally think Dream speakers sounds really cool, but I get the wanting to change.
                      Verbena- Again, I don't care for em/don't understand the change, so I'll only throw in a cent: Translatable names, rather than foreign names, are superior for purpose.

                      But really, I call all "tradition mages" Reality Deviants and I assign them Alphanumeric codes for processing.

                      Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.


                      • #12
                        I use all of them....when I use Traditions at all, most of my games are Craft games.

                        'Dreamspeakers' have a thousand different names because they're not really a Tradition they're just where the OoH shoved everyone who didn't fit into the other catergories they made up.


                        • #13
                          Honestly the Dreamspeakers, by their very nature, are probably the most difficult to offer a collective name for given there, well, everything.

                          The closest that I think one might be able to get might simply be 'The Seat of Spirit', similar to how the Cultists and Adepts might ape so many titles so as to require being simply called the Seats of Time and Correspondence respectively.

                          Although I'll also repeat that I'm no expert of the "Kha'vadi" and its etymology or the studies of indigenous peoples and/or (their) animist practices and religious traditions so... yeah this is one of the ones I feel least competent speaking on.


                          • #14
                            Kavadi literally means "burden". It refers to the oblations and ordeals of a spiritual journey. Add an H and a ' and you have Kha'vadi.


                            • #15
                              I use most of the new names, although often as alternative names. When it comes to SoE, that stands for Society of Ether. Society is just as "Victorian" a word as Sons, so I've simply retconned it so that they went from Electrodyne Engineers to Society of Ether. They were never Sons, except maybe in some weird parallel dimension where presidents are actors and reality-stars.

                              Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.