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  • Signs of Awakening

    I have seen several references to mages looking for signs of Awakening in Sleepers but I've never been clear on what kind of signs can be seen. I know it is impossible to magically predict an Awakening, but what mundane indicators are visible to the mage?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Newes View Post
    I have seen several references to mages looking for signs of Awakening in Sleepers but I've never been clear on what kind of signs can be seen. I know it is impossible to magically predict an Awakening, but what mundane indicators are visible to the mage?
    In the plainest of terms, the fact that two of the three common patterns of Awakening are often an extended pursuit of either the subject of a specific obsession or a general retreat from the everyday concerns of human life is likely to provide a couple of useful flags.


    Resident Sanguinary Analyst
    Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Satchel View Post
      In the plainest of terms, the fact that two of the three common patterns of Awakening are often an extended pursuit of either the subject of a specific obsession or a general retreat from the everyday concerns of human life is likely to provide a couple of useful flags.
      On the plus side, these are also traits that may be indicative of terrorism, which the civic minded Mage would wish to keep an eye on anyways.


      Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
      Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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      • #4
        I forget if it was one of the books or in a development blog, but supposedly the soul "sparks" when an Awakening starts.

        ​Now, whether or not there happens to be a mage present at the time, who also happens to have a spell active to detect such a phenomenon, on the other hand...

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        • #5
          I'm not real clear on the details myself, but my earlier impressions were that they used mundane methods to watch for people looking for answers to the right kind of questions. Doing things like hacking Google to watch for certain keywords in searches that are appropriate to the Awakening experience.
          ​Again not clear on the details but my impression was that the Ladder and Guardians created lures that would attract those trying to make sense of the world after Awakening.
          ​Perhaps hang out at local churches and watch for people suffering a crisis of faith, or previously uninterested people looking to religion for answers to the supernatural.
          Last edited by 2ptTakrill; 01-13-2018, 02:03 AM.

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          • #6
            It depends on who's doing what and how organized and dedicated mages in the area are. If they caught all or even most of the Awakenings there would never be whatever their opposite faction is.

            You can have contacts keep tabs on psychiatric holds, police responding to strange calls, or depending on where you operate, if you operate among Sleepers at all, you might have connections there. Someone who works at a university could keep an ear out for people who suddenly attend counseling centers. I believe someone in one of the developers actual plays found some Supernal symbolism in art someone had put out and decided to track it down to the source.

            The problem is if someone is going through their awakening your presence or investigation might disturb it and cause something to go wrong (though you might want that). And of course since the Awakening requires one to overcome obstacles rather than balk from them, they might not seek outside help. And responding to even a fraction of 'someone is acting weird' calls in the Chronicles of Darkness is more likely to lead to depression or death than suddenly finding a new mage.

            Sounds like after they find one, they follow them quietly until it's over then try and recruit.

            There's a bunch of goals or factions about setting up the opportunity to Awaken, the Guardians, Silver Ladder and Adamantine Arrow have them. Not sure what the Free Council does, and the Seers probably get messages from their masters about when a worthy Awakening is going to happen.
            Last edited by nofather; 01-13-2018, 03:59 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Knowbody View Post
              I forget if it was one of the books or in a development blog, but supposedly the soul "sparks" when an Awakening starts.

              ​Now, whether or not there happens to be a mage present at the time, who also happens to have a spell active to detect such a phenomenon, on the other hand...

              I suspect PMS pings when a mage starts to awaken, so any mage nearby should become aware of it.Active mage sight might tell them what path they are on or something if they are using the correct one or two related to the path?

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              • #8
                I was actually interested in what signs mages look for to indicate a person is a likely candidate to awaken in the future, not signs that they had begun to awaken (admittedly, upon rereading my post, that does not seem to be what I was asking). I was under the impression it was actually fairly obvious to any mage when someone was actually beginning to awaken around them, so no mundane signs are needed (I think I read that in more than one source). But what does a mage in a cryptopoly or labyrinth or or other system look for to decide how to treat someone as a possible future mage?
                I think Satchel may have been answering my actual question instead of my written question, though considering the rarity of awakenings the signal to noise with that system seems it would be impractically high.

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                • #9
                  The signs that someone might Awaken in the future are the same that they are already in the process of doing so, just toned down. While it's the case that some Awakenings happen in moments of spontaneous enlightenment a la Zen, most future Awakened possessed a degree of obsessive curiosity, drive, and self-assurance before their Awakening.

                  These don't need to be all-consuming, but the idea that there's "something more" to discover, some Mystery to grasp, is a common trait among the Awakened-to-be.

                  Beyond that, different Orders also see different qualities as more conducive, filteres by their own biases. The Silver Ladder, for example, sees as most worthy and most likely to Awaken those who reject the control systems of the Lie and decide to try and make their own rules. Guardians choose potential recruits from those who possess what they see as a moral fortitude; willing to bypass the Lie's control over them by rejecting false morality and embracing moral necessity, no matter the cost. Arrows embrace those unafraid of any challenge; courageous without being stupid, and refusing to let supposed limitations go unchallenged, be they social, physical, or intellectual. Mystagogues likely double-down on curiosity, and follow those who are hungry for occult knowledge to the point of suffering for it. Libertines, Nameless, and others likely choose based on their Techne or similar sensibilities.

                  How many of these people actually Awaken is deliberately not gone into by the books, and how much is due to those qualities vs. having the personal attention of a Mage is up for grabs, but they all seem to have in common that the person has a spark of potential to put aside the Lie that binds them and chase the Truth.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                    In the plainest of terms, the fact that two of the three common patterns of Awakening are often an extended pursuit of either the subject of a specific obsession or a general retreat from the everyday concerns of human life is likely to provide a couple of useful flags.
                    I would disagree and say that before a person awakens they likely wont obsess or retreat anywhere since they have yet to get in game terms an obsession. I would say that most awakenings happen during a some form of trauma though, either spiritual or physical. Therefore you would be on the look out for those who have experienced or are experiencing that. People who have encountered the supernatural, breaking points from magic etc. This is why cults/cryptologies etc are created, to expose people to events/the truth and see what happens to them.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by totalgit View Post
                      I would disagree and say that before a person awakens they likely wont obsess or retreat anywhere since they have yet to get in game terms an obsession.
                      There's an entire sidebar discussing common patterns of Awakening on page 61 of the corebook. The one you're leaning toward is the Sudden Noise Theory, but one of the other two is literally called the Nascent Obsession Phenomenon.


                      Resident Sanguinary Analyst
                      Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                        There's an entire sidebar discussing common patterns of Awakening on page 61 of the corebook. The one you're leaning toward is the Sudden Noise Theory, but one of the other two is literally called the Nascent Obsession Phenomenon.
                        Thanks. I had completely forgotten about that insert.

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