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The Orders in Augustan Rome

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  • The Orders in Augustan Rome

    If one were to run a Mage game set around the time of Forsaken by Rome (~10 AD) would the Five Atlantean Orders, the Seers of the Throne, and an absolute ton of nameless orders be around? Or would they still be following the Darshanas with various mystery cults - some very clear predecessors of the Orders?

  • #2
    I think you'd have fairly crystallized Diamond Orders, but cults to the Exarchs aren't formally collected under one banner yet.

    In Rome of that time, I think the most prominent thing is going to be how Praetorian is beginning to form and making ready to destroy Diadochi.

    As I understand, something resembling modern Seers of the Throne doesn't appear until something like the 18th century, promoted by the policies of Hegemonic.


    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
    Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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    • #3
      Also worth noting that instead of the Mysterium, you would have the Pancryptiates and Keepers of the Word (or possibly predecessors of these).


      Politeness is the lubricant of social intercourse.

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      • #4
        The Four Orders of the Diamond are around, as are the Tyrannoi (predecessors to the Seers of the Throne). Also, if I were you, I would set it in the late Republic period (ca. 80 BCE-30 BCE). Much more interesting than the golden years of Augustus.


        “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by saibot View Post
          Also worth noting that instead of the Mysterium, you would have the Pancryptiates and Keepers of the Word (or possibly predecessors of these).
          Were the Tremere still an Order at that time? Or did they not even exist in the pre-Hollow form yet?

          Originally posted by Penelope View Post
          Also, if I were you, I would set it in the late Republic period (ca. 80 BCE-30 BCE). Much more interesting than the golden years of Augustus.
          I think there's something to say for having the aesthetic of Rome without the drama so the mages can be solely focused on their own affairs.


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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          • #6
            I don’t think the Tremere became an order till the Dark Ages or at least the very late Imperial period.


            “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

              Were the Tremere still an Order at that time? Or did they not even exist in the pre-Hollow form yet?



              I think there's something to say for having the aesthetic of Rome without the drama so the mages can be solely focused on their own affairs.
              Yeah, but I guess I just feel more connected with Republican Rome (minus the bad parts like women not actually having their own names). But I suspect given the OP’s screen name that they are familiar enough with Roman history to make their own judgment.


              “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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              • #8
                By 10 CE the Orders weren't done "cooking" - The four Great Cults you saw in To The Strongest have intermingled and the early forms of the five (Ladder, Arrow, Guardians, Keepers, Pancryptiates) Orders are starting to emerge but have various degrees of development. The Keepers of the Word have been a fully-fledged Order for a while, for example, but the mages who later magical historians will call Silver Ladder... Aren't. They haven't organized yet. Even the Orders that exist aren't "The Diamond" yet and the various philosophical debates (platonism vs gnosticism, Atlanteans vs Tyrannaoi) haven't been settled. They've also started in on incorporating other cultures at the edges of their territory, all of which bring different perspectives and not of of whom agree with the Orders, sometimes to their eventual detriment.

                The Tremere aren't a Diamond Order until 700ish CE, well into the future. They then get expelled in 1100ish, and the Keepers and Pancryptiates merge in 1250ish.


                Dave Brookshaw

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
                  By 10 CE the Orders weren't done "cooking" - The four Great Cults you saw in To The Strongest have intermingled and the early forms of the five (Ladder, Arrow, Guardians, Keepers, Pancryptiates) Orders are starting to emerge but have various degrees of development. The Keepers of the Word have been a fully-fledged Order for a while, for example, but the mages who later magical historians will call Silver Ladder... Aren't. They haven't organized yet. Even the Orders that exist aren't "The Diamond" yet and the various philosophical debates (platonism vs gnosticism, Atlanteans vs Tyrannaoi) haven't been settled. They've also started in on incorporating other cultures at the edges of their territory, all of which bring different perspectives and not of of whom agree with the Orders, sometimes to their eventual detriment.

                  The Tremere aren't a Diamond Order until 700ish CE, well into the future. They then get expelled in 1100ish, and the Keepers and Pancryptiates merge in 1250ish.
                  Thank you. Your second paragraph confirms what I thought about the Tremere chronology.


                  “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the responses! Dave's explanation is more or less what I thought, but I wasn't sure if an Augustan game would assume a base of To The Strongest (Darshanas and Cults) or modern Orders and Nameless Orders.

                    And while late Republican Rome is very close to my heart, Isator Levi is exactly right - the game idea is more about "Mages in Ancient Roman culture doing Mage stuff" than Mages getting involved with Cicero and the Triumvirates.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
                      By 10 CE the Orders weren't done "cooking" - The four Great Cults you saw in To The Strongest have intermingled and the early forms of the five (Ladder, Arrow, Guardians, Keepers, Pancryptiates) Orders are starting to emerge but have various degrees of development. The Keepers of the Word have been a fully-fledged Order for a while, for example, but the mages who later magical historians will call Silver Ladder... Aren't. They haven't organized yet. Even the Orders that exist aren't "The Diamond" yet and the various philosophical debates (platonism vs gnosticism, Atlanteans vs Tyrannaoi) haven't been settled. They've also started in on incorporating other cultures at the edges of their territory, all of which bring different perspectives and not of of whom agree with the Orders, sometimes to their eventual detriment.

                      The Tremere aren't a Diamond Order until 700ish CE, well into the future. They then get expelled in 1100ish, and the Keepers and Pancryptiates merge in 1250ish.

                      It's only my own fanon based on the 1E books, but I was seeing differently creation of Roman Orders. History of Awakened topic nicely sum ups this:

                      Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                      323-321 BCE: With death of Alexander, the Empire is in flux. Tyrannoi - self-interested splint of Darshanas that want to rule the Sleepers - start to make moves to size the control of it. The war oriented ones called themselves Diadochi, after their Sleepers counterparts that rage war for succession of Empire. Those mages are fueling the everlasting conflict, under General patronage. ( To The Strongest - Dark Eras )

                      321- Onward BCE: Empire is split under the four kingdoms - the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt, the Seleucid Empire in the east, the Kingdom of Pergamon in Asia Minor, and Macedon - that rage by 40 years war of succession. Rome use opportunity to slowly take a more prominent stance on the area. ( To The Strongest - Dark Eras )

                      Circa 300 BCE: Tremere are small cult ( later Nameless Order ) that wander Europe beyond the Alexander Empire, keeping to themselves unless they need supplies or to replenish their numbers. They study the Subtle Arcana in search of the secrets of the soul, but they aren’t Reapers — not yet. They keep customs they believe date from before the Fall, and are most notable in this period for possessing a full command of High Speech. They can speak and write about any subject in that language or at least rumors says so. ( To The Strongest - Dark Eras, Nagaraja Legacy write-up )

                      Circa 300 BCE: Phoenix Brethren, Gnostikon Darshana coalition from across once Alexander Empire, emerges The Adytum of Mystery, wanting to create New Atlantis in the Shadow Realm. It was a united effort of Greece, Egypt, Persia and the rest of the Hellenistic mages from various Gnostikon cults. In a frighteningly short period of time, they succeeded in laying the groundwork for this vast and noble metropolis. Some of records indicate that these initial efforts took less than a week. In response to the construction of the Adytum, Tyrannoi from all across the Hellenistic World began working on a plan to take over it by making deals with exceptionally powerful spirits. However, well before any of these plans came to fruition, the Adytum vanished and the few of its builders who returned to the Fallen world were broken in mind and body. What’s more, anyone looking for city would be touched the same mysterious illness. Searching for Cursed Metropolis was banned in decade after it, and in half of century all concrete traces of it were forgotten, even when modern Mysterium cultivate rumors on higher levels of it of Orders hierarchy. ( Mysterium and Seers of Throne )

                      297- 283 BCE: Demetrius of Phalerum, Athenian orator, student of Theophrastus and Aristotel, is banished from his homeland after ten years of governing Athens and living Thebes behind him, comes to the court of Alexandria. Under the rule of Ptolemy I Soter he creates Library of Alexandria. Even if he probably were not the sorcerer, his students and colleges were - and they all created Gnostikon Darshana cult of preserving and trading all knowledge. Even after the exile of Demetrius by the Ptolemy II, cult inside the Library thrive. This group would call itself Keepers of the Word and created first known Atheneum in Great Library of Alexandria. In years to come, Keepers would spread on all former Alexandrian Empire, by the trade of books it copied and preserved. ( Fan, based on Mysterium )

                      264-241 BCE: First Punic War. When Rome and Carthage were fighting on supremacy on Mediterranean Sea, mages joined on both sides of conflict. Members of Adamantine Arrow Darshana fought side by side with Sleepers and against one another. Roman Awakened, as part of Legions, formed tight cult, spreading in all Republic Army. They were one voice, one body and one mind inside Sleepers conflict. And they won with their decentralized half-brothers in Carthage military. ( Fan )

                      241 BCE: On the final return to the Italy, first European Caucus of Adamantine Arrow has gathered, from the veterans of this long lasting war. In the shadows of Rome, Arrows sworn to defend the Republic, both Sleepers and Awakened. Keepers of the Word and Pancryptiates already took first steps in the city.( Fan )

                      241-218 BCE: Seeing how effective and dangerous newly created Adamantine Arrow Order has become, the local Omphalos Darshana’s cults - worshipping Great Ladder of hierarchy - started to be afraid on their position. For years they infiltrated Roman Senate and elite - so they know vampires had secret nation under the proper Rome. It took almost a decade of debate on what to do with this situation. And then they find out that Phulakeion Darshana - the Guardians called New Constructionist - had infiltrate the Rome and it’s heart - Sanate – also steering it in to souls prison they though it should be. Finally, Omphalos cult leaders see past their difference and organized a meeting on which they understand they need a strong opposition to both Guardians and Arrows threat. Going after popular Atlantis tale in occult circles, they used Silver Ladder to Heavens as their symbol. From Mantra Sadhaki they taken idea of Supernal Beings – Dragons – that teach humanity their true capabilities and role in greater hierarchy of cosmos. First European Silver Ladder Caucus have gathered. After the Kindred they wanted they own, secret nation - but not under the Rome, but inside it. First European Cryptopoly have started. Both Atlantis and Dragon become symbol of Silver Ladder unifying Orders under their Diamond dogma and leading them to recreate utopia in Rome – even when opposed by both Guardians and vampires in it. ( Guardains of Veil and Fan )

                      218-201 BCE: Second Punic War. When Hannibal challenged Rome, almost all of Adamantine Arrow joined Legions in defend of Republic, before his army would crash the Italy. With enemies at their doorstep, occult conflicts were paused. The more armies gone to South, the more inside the Sanate itself the other war was done - free of Arrows watchful eyes, young Silver Ladder were fighting with Guardians over the vision for the Republic. This secret conflict quickly changed idealized forefathers of Tearchs in to power hungry stereotype of Lions that need to much. But the occult war made Guardians into caucus itself, going for every help they could grasp for - using the tools of their brothers in other countries, they started first Roman Labyrinth to gain support. Both new Orders gathered people, influence and backing by proxy of their cults inside Rome’s elite. Keepers of the Word and Pancryptiates do not take active role in this occult conflict, they were strengthening their positions in Rome. ( Fan )

                      201-145 BCE: After winning second time with Carthage, and being distracted by other conflict with post-Alexandrian powers, Roman Adamantine Arrow understand it cannot all the time be on war, leaving Rome to other four Orders. They set a part of war veterans as peace keeping guard in the Rome itself, to watch over rest of Awakened and train new recruits. From those the stable Rome’s Arrows caucus have flourished. Rest of the Arrows started to convert they brothers from their own Darshana cults everywhere the Legion went, to fill their ranks on long war campaigns. Other Orders followed this tactics and by the end of Third Punic War all five Orders would become semi-consolidated organizations across whole Empire. Silver Ladder used it’s Atlantis oratory as means to validate it’s rule in governing the unstable alliance to be formed. Roman Republic entered it’s Golden Age with five Diamond Orders the modern mages would easily recognized. ( Fan )

                      145 BCE: Ptolemy VIII expelled all foreign scholars from Alexandria, leading to diaspora of Keepers of the Word cult on the Mediterranean Sea area, and becoming of it the proper global Order. ( Fan )

                      145-121 BCE: Relative peaceful time bring back much of Adamantine Arrow legionists, with new recruits from conquered region, in flux shaping Awakened community. With growth in all local Orders numbers, mages started power struggles, that also coincidence with start of Sleepers general populace unrests in Rome. ( Fan )

                      121-59 BCE: As Rome have new threats of Celts and Germans, Adamantine Arrow started it’s next campaigns and, as a result, introduced next foreign mages to it’s forming ethos. Without Arrows hard supervision, other Diamond Orders start a series of infightings, squabbling over the lead in Roman society. Connected with Sleepers rising problems, Awakened become more ruthless in their study of Mysteries. To end the rising disputes, there is selected first Ruling Council and it’s Hierarch, based on Arcadian Mysteries traditions. First Consilium is officially created. ( Fan, based on the Adamantine Arrow and To The Strongest - Dark Eras)

                      59-44 BCE: Gaius Julius Caesar, young military commander from Iberian Penisula ( modern Portugal and Spain ), raise in Roman army, showing himself as brilliant strategist. With each won battle, his fame is rising, and so his social status. In less than 15 year he become de facto leader of the Republic. And Adamantine Arrow loves his authoritarian rule. ( Adamantine Arrow )

                      50 BCE: Rumors of vampires draw Tremere to Egypt, where an ancient vampire enslaves them and sends them in search of occult resources. During one such journey they encounter the Bound that initiates them into the contemporary Legacy. One of theories says this being is or is related to Strix.
                      From there on Tremere consume and destroy other Reapers – in secret, for now. ( To The Strongest - Dark Eras, Nagaraja Legacy write-up )

                      48 BCE: Caesar’s burning and sacking Alexandria. Great Library is largely damaged. Many of precious Artifacts in it’s Atheneum is stolen. Keepers of Word and Panscryptiates are accusing Arrows of this “barbarianism”, even if they know that Caesar was not Order’s member. ( Fan )

                      44 BCE: When the Arrows almost felt second opening for they Order, senators seeing Caesar as megalomaniac, murderous him when he want to proclaim Empire on the steps of Senate in the Ides of March of 44 BCE. Awakened community is shattered and divided on future of Rome. ( Adamantine Arrow )

                      44-27 BCE: Infighting and civil war of Rome after murder of Caesar make Awakened to rethink they position in the Republic. Many fled Consilium, to go on the skirts of Empire, free of political fights. Other stays in Rome. Legions are also divided between pretenders “to Throne” and travel across the Empire. With the influx of fully educated and organized mages from Rome to rest of provinces, the Consilium and Orders systems are spreading. ( Fan )

                      27-14 BCE: On 16 January 27 BCE Augustus Caesar has finally become first Rome Emperor. His ruling, after bloody era of civil war, was relatively peaceful for the Empire. In a few years Roman Consilium returned to almost normal functioning. Guardians caucus made firm investigation in to still expanding city of Rome’s hierarchy of power. They soon found out Awakened sect that was very close to the Augustus circles. They called themselves Seers of Throne and probably were descendent from the Tyrannoi of Alexanders era. Rest of Diamond Orders found out their new enemy couple weeks later, when the Caucus of Guardians left the Rome to spread itself on the whole Empire and prepare to shadow war with new, organized enemy. ( Guardians of Veil )
                      Last edited by wyrdhamster; 01-30-2021, 02:43 PM.


                      My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
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                      • #12
                        So I guess the reasonable follow up question is -

                        Do you folks think I should use the standard Awakening 2e template for Ancient Rome (Orders) or the To The Strongest (Darshanas and Great Cults) template when running this?

                        Or should I come up with my homebrewed mix?

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                        • #13
                          Use the template from To the Strongest.


                          “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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