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  • Seer takes on enlightenment

    Something I realized when browsing TV Tropes is that a high Gnosis low Wisdom mage is a fundamentally perceptive and knowledgeable being with great insight into spiritual truths and cosmic philosophy, and fundamentally does not care overly much about how they use that insight to achieve their goals or the consequences along the way.

    Thinking on it, I realized that while I can see the Pentacle acting like that when they stop caring, I have a disconnect with the Seers; they too prize truth and cosmic insight, but they're all about using that for very materialistic ends. So I was wondering how you would play them as justifying their desire for material gain and power with the fact that increasing their Gnosis fundamentally requires them to stop focusing on the material and mundane power in favor of seeing past the Lie (assuming they even care).



  • #2
    You make it sound like playing the game of reality for the tyrant god-concepts isn't an inherent drip-feed of truth and cosmic insight stabbed right into your ajna.

    Being a Seer comes with benefits, including seeing things as they are.


    Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
    Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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    • #3
      There seems to be a divide between the materialistic Seers and the Seers who are in it for the cosmic enlightenment, with the former generally transitioning into the latter (or more likely dying before that). It's noticeable that the Seer book has a recurring theme of characters being forced to give up their material benefits for greater enlightenment.


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      • #4
        Is that the main reason people join. I think I remember Chicago by night saying that the threatened a Newly Awakened Mages Family and Self. If the don’t join

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        • #5
          Access to the gods is a reason to join, material resources and slaves is a reason, threats and extortions are a reason. There’s a lot more reasons.

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          • #6
            Material benefit is, for the lower ranks, generally considered the rightful reward of service as much as easy access to mystical power. The wealth becomes less relevant to most Seers as their mastery of the mystical arts grows, generally.


            Revlid wrote:
            Yes, hollowing out your humanity to become an utterly utilitarian asura is the exact suggestion I would expect from you, Aiden.

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            • #7
              Initially, Seers think they are signing up for this



              Eventually, they discover they inaverdently also signed up to become this (but far less cheesy)



              When this happens, they realize they will now have to balance out the two roles, they have walked too far down this road to ever turn back. Reactions vary, from pangs of self loathing, to hatred of the Exarchs, even guilt for all they sacrificed and fear from knowing it will never stop.

              Where the Pentacle see a cave, the Seers see a giant, underground slave mine. The applicants are the snitches, hoping to incur some favor with the management. Some get promoted to wardens, it then becomes their duty to make sure the precious, precious crop of human misery is delivered in a timely fashion and each try to outdo the other, clawing for ever higher status. They get the first pick of the food rations, they get bigger portions, more comfortable beds and don't have to do the back breaking labor so long as they literally whip others into shape. But they are only fooling themselves, in the end, that mark of power they are so proud of is just another slave brand, seared into their souls.

              They learn the secrets of the mines as they gain experience. Where tunnels lead, where the horrible monsters hunt, what caves have poisonous gas, where the secret passages lie and much more. But unlike the slaves who would use this knowledge to plot an escape, they use it to oppress their charges. The Seers know they were born and raised in the mines, they know they have no clue what the outside looks like. Perhaps they could escape, but then the masters would set the hounds to stalk them through the wilderness and they would probably die before arriving in a settlement. But even if they made it, then what ? They know nothing of how cities work, they would be nothing, they would die destitute and meaningless in an unknown land. In the mines they have comfort, power, purpose. And so when the masters charge them to become the jailer of some old gods in the tunnels, they acquiesce. Yes, this being delights in eating humans, sometimes it will ask for a baby to cannibalize, or an old slave or even a Seer's loved ones. They WILL get their wish, whether the Seers cooperates or not.

              Its about trying to get on the master's good graces, about becoming their confidant, to one day leave the mines because they were given a job to run one of the master's businesses in town and also got a decent house as a bonus. Its about catching a break before they break.

              Lastly, its about realizing many more have chosen this path, but the master's boons are limited. Its about understanding they made themselves into an island, unable to trust in anyone ever again, for neither prisoners or wardens will provide comfort in their darkest times. Its about hoping, desperately, that this will truly be worth it, that is what I feel Seer enlightenment is all about.
              Last edited by KaiserAfini; 03-05-2019, 01:29 AM.


              New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.


              The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

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              • #8
                KaiserAfini nailed it. I'll also add that once they realize exactly what it is they've signed up for, they realize that if they ever stop it's all gone. Sure the Exarch's might ask them to sacrifice their lover, but if they fail, the Exarch's will take EVERYONE they care about, and then take their POWER as well. I'd argue that many of them continue down the path out of fear and cowardice. Fear that the consequences for turning against the Exarch's will be worse than what the Exarch's are asking them to do.
                But yes, early on, they get hooked with magical power, material wealth, status, sex, slaves, anything and everything. Never all they could want though, just enough to wet their appetites, enough so they see continued service will bring continued rewards. And if they catch their superior faltering, tear him down and you can take his place, look at how much MORE he has than you, that could be yours.
                As mentioned though, many are converted by force. Whether through fear, pain, threat or whatnot. Those serve because they fear the price of failure, they know what they are doing is wrong, but at least it's not happening to them, or to those they care about. They know that it will happen to them if they don't do as they are told.
                There's also those who serve because it's what they should be doing, the Exarch's are literal gods after all, just think of all the things humans have done because "It's what God wants" and you can imagine what Seers might do in service of the Exarch's just because they've been told that's what the Exarch's want.

                In summary, each Seer likely has their own unique combination of reasons for service, some would love a chance to escape and turn against their masters. Other's will die for the cause no matter what is asked of them. Many more are somewhere in between. Personally I see no reason a Seer COULDN'T have high Wisdom, though it would certainly be difficult. Most will likely have lower Wisdom on average than comparable Pentacle mages, but not universally so.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TenguGrib View Post
                  KaiserAfini nailed it. I'll also add that once they realize exactly what it is they've signed up for, they realize that if they ever stop it's all gone. Sure the Exarch's might ask them to sacrifice their lover, but if they fail, the Exarch's will take EVERYONE they care about, and then take their POWER as well. I'd argue that many of them continue down the path out of fear and cowardice. .
                  Is the relationship established between a Seer and an Exarch such that the Exarch can withdraw the effects of an awakening if the Seer goes Rogue? Or by taking their power do you just mean withdrawing the extra advantages of being a Seer?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Newes View Post

                    Is the relationship established between a Seer and an Exarch such that the Exarch can withdraw the effects of an awakening if the Seer goes Rogue? Or by taking their power do you just mean withdrawing the extra advantages of being a Seer?
                    The second, most of a Seers power comes from the horde of followers, slaves, and hangers on that Seers tend to pick up over their career. They could definitely revoke the Prelacy merit, and send agents to recover any artifacts the Seer might have in their possession, as well as invading and claiming any Sanctums and their respective Hallows or Demesnes.

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                    • #11
                      To me the quintessential Seer is the one from Imperial Mysteries (if I remember her correctly, its been ages since I read the book). She has power, she has a gigantic Chantry handed down from her predecessors, its packed to the brim with servants, luxuries and magical gear. She even has an Artifact that The Eye made especially for her. And she absolutely HATES the Exarchs. So why didn't she turn back ? Not because she is too deep into the game, but because she wanted to Ascend in a way that would let her take revenge on them. Seeing someone so high up resent them so much made the Seers click for me.

                      A source of inspiration I recommend is the mines escape arc right at the beginning of the Feng Shen Ji manhua. The way they are set up, how the wardens are cruel Stepford Smilers, how its all organized and how even the unassailable owner is but another prisoner of the gods really captures the feel of the Iron Pyramid.


                      New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.


                      The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
                        "awesomeness"
                        I really like that take. I might add a Seer like that in my city.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
                          To me the quintessential Seer is the one from Imperial Mysteries (if I remember her correctly, its been ages since I read the book). She has power, she has a gigantic Chantry handed down from her predecessors, its packed to the brim with servants, luxuries and magical gear. She even has an Artifact that The Eye made especially for her. And she absolutely HATES the Exarchs. So why didn't she turn back ? Not because she is too deep into the game, but because she wanted to Ascend in a way that would let her take revenge on them. Seeing someone so high up resent them so much made the Seers click for me.
                          Sorry to say but that is more or less entirely wrong. Though it's maybe more interesting.


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