Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Youngest Mage to Awaken

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Youngest Mage to Awaken

    In the published material who was the youngest mage to awaken and how old were they?

  • #2
    They've said that children are born awakened but the vast majority go to sleep. Some very young children are awake, from the description, I assume four and five year olds.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Astromancer View Post
      They've said that children are born awakened but the vast majority go to sleep. Some very young children are awake, from the description, I assume four and five year olds.
      Interesting. Do any of them actually develop their powers?

      Comment


      • #4
        I seem to remember Dante (the Virtual Adept character) being stated to have awakened in the womb... or it might have been a vat (I think he was supposed to be a Technocrat project).


        Comment


        • #5
          IIRC the resolved version that cleaned up some of the early contradictions is that Dante was born naturally, but his mother died in childbirth and the Progenitors took over raising him, leading him to both remember being Awake in the womb, and being a Technocracy experiment; working with actual Progenitor created individuals that awakened and sought freedom thinking he had the same origin as them.

          In either case, it is the official stance that Dante Awakened before birth, and is the youngest mage in the books for it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Book of Secrets has a section on Child Mages that addresses this phenomenon: pp.115–116. The opening paragraph starts with the premise that everyone is Awake in the womb, but most become Sleepers sometime after birth — presumably before they reach the toddler stage. A rare few, including Dante, never go to Sleep and have always been Awakened. If Dante is unique in that regard, is probably that he has memories from back then: most peoples' memories don't go back before 3 years old.

            So ultimately, the answer to the question is that there isn't a youngest age at which a mage Awakened, because the assumption that people started out Asleep and then had to Awaken turns out to be false.

            On the other hand, there's the flip side to this: if an Awakened infant can be lulled to Sleep, can the same happen to grown-ups? What would it take for a mage to lose Arete?


            Comment


            • #7
              So a naturally mystically sensitive 13 year old awakening with the right stimulus wouldn't be out of place. Neat.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                The opening paragraph starts with the premise that everyone is Awake in the womb, but most become Sleepers sometime after birth — presumably before they reach the toddler stage.
                The phrasing is more that everyone Awakens at birth than was already Awake then. Which is good because every human fetus being a mage would be a nightmare for the setting to try to deal with.

                Of course the start of that section is one of those really annoying old WW style things where it's written with all sorts of vague language that avoids saying if something is true or not in the setting (despite not being written from a clear in-character source to imply unreliable narrator), instead of discussing it as more of a dial for STs to use where how true it is can be played out. Then it treats it as true anyway for one paragraph, and then it doesn't actually matter to any of the rest of the discussion of child mages.

                Originally posted by omenseer View Post
                So a naturally mystically sensitive 13 year old awakening with the right stimulus wouldn't be out of place. Neat.

                Such a character isn't out of place in the sense of being a phenomenon foreign to mages, but they'd still be a relative rarity, and face a lot of baggage (whether playing them from that point, or later as an adult mage that grew up with it). Young mages tend to have a lot of power to go with their lack of emotional development, and a lot of people want to decide for the child mage what's best for that power; including potential "internal" sources like past lives or an Avatar seeking a pliant mage to control.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                  The phrasing is more that everyone Awakens at birth than was already Awake then. Which is good because every human fetus being a mage would be a nightmare for the setting to try to deal with.
                  The exact phrasing is: “According to certain philosophers, all infants are born Awakened and then get lulled to Sleep by the demands and structures of the human world.” Make of that what you will; my understanding of the phrasing is that it implies that they're already Awakened by the time they're born, not that the act of being born Awakens them.

                  As for the difficulties of Awakened fetuses, I'm not particularly worried: “Awakened” and “Sleeper” technically refer to the status of one's Avatar; but what that Avatar can do is largely channeled through its host's cognitive facilities; and infants generally don't have enough of those to do anything with the fact that they're Awakened until a good while after birth. Phrased another way: you need a Focus to work magick; and as a rule, most infants don't know enough about the world to form a Focus. So whether or not they're Awakened tends to be a moot point.

                  Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                  Of course the start of that section is one of those really annoying old WW style things where it's written with all sorts of vague language that avoids saying if something is true or not in the setting (despite not being written from a clear in-character source to imply unreliable narrator), instead of discussing it as more of a dial for STs to use where how true it is can be played out. Then it treats it as true anyway for one paragraph, and then it doesn't actually matter to any of the rest of the discussion of child mages.
                  Agreed. The point is that there are characters who functionally were always Awakened, in that if they ever had a eureka moment where they came to realize that they had the power to change the world, it's not something they can recall: their memories simply don't go that far back.
                  Last edited by Dataweaver; 02-02-2021, 04:40 PM.


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                    The phrasing is more that everyone Awakens at birth than was already Awake then. Which is good because every human fetus being a mage would be a nightmare for the setting to try to deal with.

                    Of course the start of that section is one of those really annoying old WW style things where it's written with all sorts of vague language that avoids saying if something is true or not in the setting (despite not being written from a clear in-character source to imply unreliable narrator), instead of discussing it as more of a dial for STs to use where how true it is can be played out. Then it treats it as true anyway for one paragraph, and then it doesn't actually matter to any of the rest of the discussion of child mages.




                    Such a character isn't out of place in the sense of being a phenomenon foreign to mages, but they'd still be a relative rarity, and face a lot of baggage (whether playing them from that point, or later as an adult mage that grew up with it). Young mages tend to have a lot of power to go with their lack of emotional development, and a lot of people want to decide for the child mage what's best for that power; including potential "internal" sources like past lives or an Avatar seeking a pliant mage to control.
                    That's something I was a bit confused about. I was reading the wiki entry on Avatar and it says they are a natural part of the Mage, but then talks about them as if they are separate entity looking for a good match. Am I missing something?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                      Phrased another way: you need a Focus to work magick; and as a rule, most infants don't know enough about the world to form a Focus. So whether or not they're Awakened tends to be a moot point.
                      What about Wild Magick?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wild Magick is the exception. It's also rare, outside of Marauders. It is, by definition, not something you can make happen. The one time when it's most likely to happen for a non-Marauder is during the Awakening; and I liken that to the Avatar breaking through a barrier and releasing the pent-up energy that was used to break through. With infants, there is no barrier and no pent-up energy, so no Wild Magick. Usually.


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by omenseer View Post

                          That's something I was a bit confused about. I was reading the wiki entry on Avatar and it says they are a natural part of the Mage, but then talks about them as if they are separate entity looking for a good match. Am I missing something?
                          Whether the Avatar is a natural pay of the mage or a separate entity is an open question, with evidence to support both views. The most likely explanation is that it's a natural pay of you; but it's usually a part that had a previous existence separate from your current existence; and that at some point, that previously separate thing became one of the building blocks in your nascent soul, making you “you”.

                          One form of child mage described is the exception to this: a new Avatar, with no prior existence. Such new Avatars start out with what amounts to True Faith, until such time as the world stomps it out of them.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                            As for the difficulties of Awakened fetuses, I'm not particularly worried: “Awakened” and “Sleeper” technically refer to the status of one's Avatar; but what that Avatar can do is largely channeled through its host's cognitive facilities; and infants generally don't have enough of those to do anything with the fact that they're Awakened until a good while after birth. Phrased another way: you need a Focus to work magick; and as a rule, most infants don't know enough about the world to form a Focus. So whether or not they're Awakened tends to be a moot point.
                            Before you even get to the magical capacity of fetuses and infants, there's the issue of their impact on Reality Zones/Consensus if they're Awakened and all they know is the womb and early sense memories. Even today, with vastly increased average lifespans meaning a lot more adults around, fetuses and infants make up one of the largest groups of people, with one of the most homogeneous cultural experience (that is, they have almost none). You do not have to go back in time very far for them to become a dominant force in shaping reality. That by itself is plenty of reason not to assume that the "natural" state of a human is Awakened and that they have to Sleep via early life experience.

                            Then, as Aleph notes, even if ~0.5% of Awakened fetuses demonstrate Wild Magic, that's still millions of Wild Magic using fetuses. On top of this are any of the potential influences that could result in more structured magic developing faster than a fetus should be able to by our real world understanding; a past life providing the Focus for example. No matter how rare any of this is, we are talking about, conservatively, around 750 million little Awakened beings out there between fetuses and infants on their way to falling Asleep.

                            It's a mess of consequences that it's far easier to simply treat the idea as untrue than to try to work up an additional layer of setting assumptions to keep all of them in check.

                            The point is that there are characters who functionally were always Awakened, in that if they ever had a eureka moment where they came to realize that they had the power to change the world, it's not something they can recall: their memories simply don't go that far back.
                            Agreed up until the memory part. That doesn't feel specified anywhere to me, and Dante the NPC exemplar of a character Awake in the womb is stated to have memories from before birth. While one could argue whether the beginning of his memories inherently came after his Awakening, or trust his subjective experience that it was a simultaneous event, it doesn't seem to be a core aspect of the narrative point of child mages that they can't remember that far back.

                            Originally posted by omenseer View Post
                            That's something I was a bit confused about. I was reading the wiki entry on Avatar and it says they are a natural part of the Mage, but then talks about them as if they are separate entity looking for a good match. Am I missing something?
                            The books are kind of all over the place on this. This was a big part of the Revised metaplot actually: Avatars are natural, but not inherent, to humans. When, exactly, they get attached isn't exactly specified, but everyone is supposed to get one. There is even a class of unique spirit that exists solely to perform this task. However, there was a break in the system, and instead of it being a seamless process where a mage's avatar was indistinguishable from the mage, the matching process started developing gaps, and avatars started developing unique identities related to their mages, but separate from them, which has been steadily getting worse esp. after the 15th Century when the spirits responsible for the process suddenly were barred from doing so and avatars started doing the process for themselves instead.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                              It's a mess of consequences that it's far easier to simply treat the idea as untrue than to try to work up an additional layer of setting assumptions to keep all of them in check.
                              Agreed. Adult Awakenings being a messy, traumatic, business (for countless supernatural reasons usualy tied to the Avatar) it's not that rare.

                              As said, there are SO MANY Awakened if you count all fetuses, that even extemely rare supernatural problems would be more common among them than among regular mages - even if the chance it's lowered significatively. You would have to reduce the chance of these problems of Awakening to almost non-existence to justify this not being a serious issue.

                              One could invent "Avatars crashing barriers" and whatnot to explain why Awakened fetuses never seem to have any problem. But I don't like to give so much of a special treatment. I don't want to invent a *different* (womb-only) type of Awakening to explain why fetuses are all mages, which it's in and of itself a bizarre idea.

                              And I know very well where that idea comes from. It's from the popular idea that children are born without Banality and preconceptions. Castaneda had the idea that babies were able to *see* (the real Reality). It's not that rare.

                              But do you really want to give them Arete/Spheres, potentially abusive Avatars, or other Mage stuff...for them to be able excert any of these capacities? Wouldn't be better to interpret babies being "Awakened" in the same vein as werewolves are "Awakened beings" - not counting as sleepers, yet not mages in any shape or form.
                              Say babies have the Awareness Talent, then they *react* to magic because they can sense it.
                              That should cover most of these beliefs that say babies are Awakened w/o the complications mages tend to bring to the table.
                              Last edited by Aleph; 02-02-2021, 10:07 PM.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X