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  • Seers

    So this might sound like a stupid question, but - is it possible for a cabal to form up made of multiple orders which -include- a member of the Seers of the Throne in 2nd Edition? I recall that the relationship between the Diamond and the Seers in 2e is supposed to be less 'openly hostile', but I had to wonder if it was possible for one to work closely enough with a Seer to develop that kind relationship (naturally with the assumption the Seer will eventually stab you in the back). (I naturally assume this is entirely impossible between a Free Council and a Seer, but I am a bit curious about the others). Or would this be the kind of thing you would assume would be occurring only if the Seer was masquerading as another order or as an apostate?

  • #2
    It seems unlikely but it also doesn't seem like anything would make it impossible. While cabals can get mystically aligned together, that's not a given and boiled down they're just a group of mages ranging from 2 to 30. If I was doing it with the seer being open I'd make sure it was under suitably weird circumstances, such as a no man's land scenario where the mages are cut off from the world as they know it, or are under attack by a strange force and must band together.

    The masquerading thing would be possible too. Apparently the Guardians do that as well.


    • #3
      Possible? Sure. Pretty damned unlikely, though. The Seers have their own little command structure; one which doesn't play nice with the ideas of the Pentacle. Service to the Exarchs rankles with three of the five Pentacle Orders in a direct way and the other two in indirect ones and, unless the Seer was lucky, their Exarchial commandments would eventually get in the way of things. Not to mention that being in a cabal with a Seer is social, political, and perhaps literal suicide for a Pentacle Mage, as all their peers would suspect them of being a Seer stooge and complicit in the acts of their cabal-mate.

      More likely is that Seers and Pentacle Mages can form alliances of convenience or even friendships, but such things are as doomed as anything, since everyone knows it's just a matter of time until one of them has to screw over the other.


      • #4
        I have always said that the Seers are totally playable in a Pentacle cabal. However, I would put all pressure on the players to either -

        1) Explain to me how this alliance came to be OR, much more likely

        2) How you're masquerading as a Pentacle/Nameless Mage.


        • #5
          The Diamond Orders and Seers of the Throne practically define themselves in opposition to each other; odds are anyone mixing with the others is doing so as either an infiltrator or a defector.

          That said, there's incredibly rich story potential in a threat large enough to make both sides uncomfortably cooperate.

          Call me Regina or Lex.

          Female pronouns for me, please.


          • #6
            I played in a game where the local Pentacle and Seers shared seats on the governing Council using an optional model from Sanctum & Sigil. While I don't think it ever actually came up in that game, it is theoretically possible, if extremely unlikely, for Seer and Pentacle mages to share a cabal/pylon.


            • #7
              It's funny you mention this, because the Diamond and the Throne have actually allied with eachother throughout history.

              The circumstances are usually very dire when they occur, but ultimately the Atlanteans need rebel Mages fighting for global Ascension as much as they need willing slaves of the Exarchs to rule over the Fallen World. Their combined Shadow Histories give shape to the Exarchs and the Oracles, and when that mystical symbolism is treatened they're more than willing to unite to crush that which threatens their power.

              Noted, they WILL need to go back to fighting against one another eventually. But that level of conflict can be anything from an all out war to a battle of proxy. (Noted, this doesn't extend to the Free Council. Since they don't draw Supernal Sympathy from the idea of Atlantis and because both the Diamond and Seers subjugate and subvert human mystical symbols to fuel their Atlantean Paradigm they have so sympathies for the Throne and just barely tolerate the Diamond and only because they share the goal of Global Ascension for humanity.)

              My personal favorit way to allow Seers of the Throne to join Pentacle Cabals is to create a rank in the Tetrarchy known as an Ambasador (or something to that extent.) Their sole purpose is to act as emissaries for the Throne amongst the Pentacle just in case emergencies emerge that required a truce (such as Scelesti, Reapers, or the Bound.) This position is primarily used though as a punishment for Seers who anger the Tetrarchy or Ministries since at best they will be distrusted by both the Pentacle and Seers, and at worst they will become targets for both sides who wish to see violence escalate between the Sects. It's because of this that all Seers desperately avoid the position since it's universally considered a death sentence. Thus, the poor sap in question is left with some very interesting choices. If they serve the Throne well they'll be swaped out for someone else to take the heat, but they will have an antagonistic role for the rest of their Cabal. However, what will happen if genuine friendship grows between the Cabal mates? How will this effect their loyalty when they're already there as punishment?


              • #8
                I don't see it lasting long, especially if it started to work out for the Cabal, as both sides would see it as a threat to their ways and eventually try to destroy all involved.


                • #9
                  Perhaps your mixed cabal has been asigned custody of an imprisoned Pangean. Neither the Seers nor the Pentacle want to see the creature unleashed. But they won't have "the other side" have full control over the prison so a mixed group of mages guards the prison.

                  You can make guarding the Pangean as involved as you want to. Maybe it's as simple as checking the Wards every day. And it does not otherwise affect the story.
                  Or maybe Spirits and cultists make attempts to free the old god. And keeping it imprisoned becomes a tricky plot point in your story.

                  For a sample Pangean take Harvest:


                  That thread has another Pangean called Fox. But if Fox escapes, I don't see even the combined efforts of the Seers and Pentacle locking her back up.
                  She scary!


                  • #10
                    If it worked with your story you could place the Mages in an out of the way place, a place where they are the only Mages present and the Orders and Seers don't have a larger presence. That way you could side step most of the larger issues, at least for a while and then introduce them after the Cabal has formed.
                    ​Beyond that I would have to recommend the mutual threat or a great mystery that requires the resources of all the characters to resolve. Fear & greed are great motivators.

                    ​As for which Orders would work best with a Seer, not the Free Council. Part of their underlying principles is 'destroy the lie', focusing on fighting the Seers and all who serve the Exarchs.


                    • #11
                      There's another option for players who want a Cabal that's not limited by Sect: Make one or all of the charcater's involved be Heretics.

                      The ideology of the Orders grant shared Supernal Symbolism and a wealth of knowledge and resources to learn from. But ultimately the mysteries are the true goal of every Order, and sometimes the pursuit of a personal mystery means taking strange bedfellows. If Mages become disenfranchised with their Order's practices enough or develops their own unique interpretation of their doctrine then Heretics emerge that are of the Orders but more willing to cross party lines and act against the common traditions of the Sects.

                      For instance, if you want a Pentacle Chronicle with Seers in the Cabal then maybe make those Seers Heretics who believe the Exarchs are not Supernal Tyrants but rather the true faces of the Oracles, pairs of lovers, siblings, or friends who built the Watchtowers in tandem with their respected Arcana but have been twisted and chained to Thrones of Tyranical Symbols crafted by the greed and superiority complex of Invisible Master who truly rule and guide the Iron Pyramid. Supernal Puppet Soverigns who can maintain the Tetrarchy's perfect lie until they gain the power and knowledge to enter the Supernal Paradice themselves. These Heretics would secretly work with the Pentacle to transform the Fallen World into a Fallen Paradice. A place where Sleepers who fear or cannot handle the dangers and harsh truths of magic can live happy lives free from Supernal Tyrany, and have the meant to Awaken to the true reality when they are ready. Ideals that would be punishable by the most creative of deaths should their true beliefs and practices ever see the light of day.
                      Last edited by Dusksage; 03-15-2017, 12:34 AM. Reason: Spellcheck