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  • Primordial newcomer
    started a topic Tyranny of the exarchs

    Tyranny of the exarchs

    One thing I've learned reading over the threads of mage is that the supernal reflects truths. Much like spirits in the shadow, these Truths simply follow their nature (whether good or bad). Of course, they also seem to have much more agency and understanding of things beyond their nature.

    For the exarchs, though, I have a question. It's made pretty clear, or at least even the seers agree, that they are tyrannical truths. the Eye IS surveillance, the general IS conflict/violence, and so on.

    But despite being seen as "evil" are they really in a sense we understand? Wouldn't any other supernal being work to further their domain if they could like the exarchs? Or is the difference that they represent their truths as what they are through tyranny?

    I guess what I mean is, is the Eye really just the truth of surveillance, or the platonic Truth of surveillance limiting our actions by fear of being seen? Or is it simply a god being that through the faults of humanity managed to overtake everything else, therefore making them only tyrannical in the sense humanity has allowed it to get there? Are the exarchs truly consciously being evil as we understand it, or are they simply doing what they can to remain the dominant Truths?

  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    Now that I'm not selling a house.

    The problem with this take is that it pretends that Ascension into the Exarchial ranks has it's predication on the Exarchs being involved with and more trying to take the best advantage they can with a problem with the world they currently haven't solved for themselves.

    Before getting into this, I will take a second to note that I am going to flirt a little too much with the fallacy of assigning human thought, reasoning, and motivation to the Exarchs-while I do buy that the story of them having been mages who seized the heavens and broke the world to keep everyone else out is valid, the general point is that the idea is more powerful than the reality, and that even if the Exarchs weren't something other in the first place, being a symbol god means there's limits to applicability-but on the other hand, they chose to be tyrants, and this sort of train of thought matters for dealing with the real world, so we'll go forward with the flirtation.

    Also worth noting, before we start really addressing this, is that while there are lots of ways to attain Ascension thanks to cracks and loopholes in reality, for our purposes we're gonna keep it simple and talk about it by way of the archmaster route. So with that said:

    The thing of the matter is that Ascension happens regardless of the Exarchs, much like Awakening happens regardless of the Exarchs. It's not common, sure, but the thing of the matter is the heavens are still seizable despite the (current) best efforts of the tyrants-all they can do for addressing the sheer possibility of it is increase the difficulty and otherwise be quite irate about it. And the kicker to that is, without reasonable intervention, any Seer who becomes an archmaster knows that. Archmasters are nations unto themselves who play with both the Pentacle and the Seers alike as best serves their needs, and generally flip the bird at any of the gods in the Supernal that may act against them because they realize how much closer to peers they are with such beings that not. The Exarchs haven't figured out how to completely lock the heavens off from any tower builder-arguably, they never will, even by their own nature, because a tyrant must, by definition, be a have tyrannical force over something.

    The Exarchs's answer to the fact that they can't stop Awakening was to ensure a perpetuity of cults who submit themselves to their lust for control over the last freeholds in reality, of which the Seers are the most recent-but if the Exarchs could ever actually finish that goal of Conquering the Watchtowers*, then there'd be no need for the Seers or other Exarchial Cults because people wouldn't Awaken anymore. The threat is over, from their eyes.

    The Exarch's answer to being unable to stop Ascensions is to realize that minor Exarchs allow them to tighten the grip on reality by getting into specific tyrannies that cut off rabbit holes, that offer "assistance" to members who are most likely gonna be able to make the leap regardless means that they can manipulate, trick, and guide them into the role of Minor Exarchs rather than possibly aiming for a form of godhood more comparable to them (cause even among the Ascended, there's orders of magnitude regarding purviews, and thus hierarchs even amognst gods-hierarchies that are thankfully fixed thanks to the nature of Ascension for the Exarchial desire), and that by maintaining the interest in grouping together, they continue to kick down more of them while still giving more advantages to the ones they've accepted as useful eternals underlings who they'll just have to accept were going to make the leap.

    But, like, let's not have all of that sugar coat the fact: they promise trickle-down enlightenment for their cults for the same reason the 1% of our worldwork to make trickle-down economics sound effective, the same reason any tyrant promises that loyalty to the tyranny will be rewarded-so they can have a ready and willing base of people who will fight the people who are calling bullshit on the obvious as well as each other while they go about their fuck-a-billy day of launching themselves into space for the funsies and enacting their dreams of even further exploitation, consumption, and control.

    Seers becoming Exarchs isn't a case of the system working like it's supposed to so much as it is a loss the Exarchs work to make acceptable.

    It's tempting, given the humanist core of Chronicles, to look for empathy in all corners underneath the monstrosity, and boy howdy wouldn't it just be nice if the Exarchs were just Surveillance or Violence or Tribalism or Blind Faith, and that all the tyranny stuff was just an unfortunate consequence of them being what they are. It happens with just about any bad guy you come across in Chronicles.

    But they're not. They are Symbols of Tyranny first. If they were ever human, they decided to embody, become, ascend into the symbolhood of Tyranny, and transcended their selves by perpetuation of the Lie. Regardless of how that shakes out, the point is that the question of "Are the Exarchs conciously being evil, or are they simply doing what they can to remain the dominant truths?" is ignoring the fact that the answer is both, because their goal is to be on top to the conseqeunce of everything else below.

    And as for the bit on the Guardians or Ladder-look, I am the first the point out that Mages are Monsters, and a particular breed of asshole at that. I'm disinclined to let people keep a view of Awakening as a game of saviors and superheroes and otherwise miss or disregard the horror of the game or the lessons we can learn from it. The Orders and Sects of the Pentacle Alliance are not good people, however good their ambitions may be.

    But that little stinger at the end, that implied moral and ethical relativism in equation to the Seers, the Exarchs-that little question of what things they're trucking with.....it's a bad taste in the mouth. Even amongst monsters, there are limits. Even among assholes, there's "Dude, too far."

    Anyways, answering that, the answer "probably less than you think". While each order has a particular relationship to the matter and how it's best maintained and developed, the general sort of point to all of them is true agency is predicated on not being obeisant to things the destructively deny you that agency. Even if they truck with morally and ethically ambiguous beings and methods, the general point is that they try to keep their hands on the wheel.

    It's good to learn sympathy for the devil, but there comes a time to recognize that for every devil that's just an angel strangling on their noose, there's still devils who are just assholes in need of a boot to the face.

    *Fucking fairies.
    Very intriguing read! I didn't consider both interpretations being equally true. And you pointing out they chose to become symbols that are specifically "TYRANNY through X" does mean, given human origin, they are evil (I assume that, reality editing or not, whatever you ascend to as a Truth accurately reflects not only what you made Truth, but the character behind the actions made in order to ascend). Even with no human origin, at least a spirit of the shadow representing tyranny has a chance, albeit a low one, to expand his nature to more benevolent resonances (though, the reverse is true. Is one truly good if it's simply following its very nature?), an exarch on the other hand, is a supernal truth with much more agency regarding what it represents and yet follows it anyway.

    And that makes complete sense regarding why seers can ascend the pyramid. I tend to forget that the exarchs "victory" over the Fallen is more a frequent struggle to stay on top than anything else. It makes sense they would end up taking advantage of their weaknesses (as you said, letting other seers ascend to forms of tyranny). And finally, while yes, they DO good occasionally, I realize the seers do only what is necessary to maintain their supremacy. No true philanthropy going on.

    Also, perhaps I am TOO indulgent in sympathy for devils, even when there is no goodness to be found

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    The hostility of the Exarchs is them constantly plotting your destruction. Needing to toe a line under their gaze (while they still have use for your talents that are reliably bent in their service) still probably amounts to a lot less pressure than that.
    Maybe. Like, I could see either version.

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael View Post

    I think it's implied that they do have to worry about the Exarchs.
    The hostility of the Exarchs is them constantly plotting your destruction. Needing to toe a line under their gaze (while they still have use for your talents that are reliably bent in their service) still probably amounts to a lot less pressure than that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    My read of the material on the whole is that while they get less pressure from not needing to worry about the hostility of the Exarchs,
    I think it's implied that they do have to worry about the Exarchs. Seers are supposed to ascend via Exarchal Grace, but privately Tetrarchs clearly don't buy that and pursue an ascension that the Exarchs can't deny via the Golden Road.

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    I do have to wonder how many Tetrarchs manage to make it as far as Golden Road Ascension, even by the standards of archmasters on the whole. My read of the material on the whole is that while they get less pressure from not needing to worry about the hostility of the Exarchs, that comes at the cost of needing to fulfil duties in running the Seers of the Throne that can occupy time that other Seekers are more free to devote to the Mysteries.

    Sure enough even the minimum of Ascended Tetrarchs would lend itself to the point that the Exarchs are tolerant of new additions to their ranks, I'm just considering that such tolerance extends only to the minimum.

    Leave a comment:


  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Now that I'm not selling a house.
    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post

    ArcaneArts very interesting perspective there. I neglected to view tyranny through the view point of as vice. Admittedly I've been looking at it purely through the view of "form of oppressive gov. through authoritarianism"

    Still though, I do agree the Iron Pyramid certainly displays the exarchal need to stay in power. But, it also does show that one CAN rise through the ranks and even get to the exarchs side, as confirmed by the Hegemonian seer who ascended after creating the Hive Soul (I believe he is the Progenitor now). Now that's a nitpick of an argument I'll admit, since OVERALL the pyramid keeps seers squabbling over petty (comparatively) power plays, but it's there. Also funny you mention the pentacle using other related supernal symbols. I bet the Ladder and Guardians have some shady supernal dealings (not to mention, I wonder what beings the Council trucks with, considering Democracy Seeks Truth)
    The problem with this take is that it pretends that Ascension into the Exarchial ranks has it's predication on the Exarchs being involved with and more trying to take the best advantage they can with a problem with the world they currently haven't solved for themselves.

    Before getting into this, I will take a second to note that I am going to flirt a little too much with the fallacy of assigning human thought, reasoning, and motivation to the Exarchs-while I do buy that the story of them having been mages who seized the heavens and broke the world to keep everyone else out is valid, the general point is that the idea is more powerful than the reality, and that even if the Exarchs weren't something other in the first place, being a symbol god means there's limits to applicability-but on the other hand, they chose to be tyrants, and this sort of train of thought matters for dealing with the real world, so we'll go forward with the flirtation.

    Also worth noting, before we start really addressing this, is that while there are lots of ways to attain Ascension thanks to cracks and loopholes in reality, for our purposes we're gonna keep it simple and talk about it by way of the archmaster route. So with that said:

    The thing of the matter is that Ascension happens regardless of the Exarchs, much like Awakening happens regardless of the Exarchs. It's not common, sure, but the thing of the matter is the heavens are still seizable despite the (current) best efforts of the tyrants-all they can do for addressing the sheer possibility of it is increase the difficulty and otherwise be quite irate about it. And the kicker to that is, without reasonable intervention, any Seer who becomes an archmaster knows that. Archmasters are nations unto themselves who play with both the Pentacle and the Seers alike as best serves their needs, and generally flip the bird at any of the gods in the Supernal that may act against them because they realize how much closer to peers they are with such beings that not. The Exarchs haven't figured out how to completely lock the heavens off from any tower builder-arguably, they never will, even by their own nature, because a tyrant must, by definition, be a have tyrannical force over something.

    The Exarchs's answer to the fact that they can't stop Awakening was to ensure a perpetuity of cults who submit themselves to their lust for control over the last freeholds in reality, of which the Seers are the most recent-but if the Exarchs could ever actually finish that goal of Conquering the Watchtowers*, then there'd be no need for the Seers or other Exarchial Cults because people wouldn't Awaken anymore. The threat is over, from their eyes.

    The Exarch's answer to being unable to stop Ascensions is to realize that minor Exarchs allow them to tighten the grip on reality by getting into specific tyrannies that cut off rabbit holes, that offer "assistance" to members who are most likely gonna be able to make the leap regardless means that they can manipulate, trick, and guide them into the role of Minor Exarchs rather than possibly aiming for a form of godhood more comparable to them (cause even among the Ascended, there's orders of magnitude regarding purviews, and thus hierarchs even amognst gods-hierarchies that are thankfully fixed thanks to the nature of Ascension for the Exarchial desire), and that by maintaining the interest in grouping together, they continue to kick down more of them while still giving more advantages to the ones they've accepted as useful eternals underlings who they'll just have to accept were going to make the leap.

    But, like, let's not have all of that sugar coat the fact: they promise trickle-down enlightenment for their cults for the same reason the 1% of our worldwork to make trickle-down economics sound effective, the same reason any tyrant promises that loyalty to the tyranny will be rewarded-so they can have a ready and willing base of people who will fight the people who are calling bullshit on the obvious as well as each other while they go about their fuck-a-billy day of launching themselves into space for the funsies and enacting their dreams of even further exploitation, consumption, and control.

    Seers becoming Exarchs isn't a case of the system working like it's supposed to so much as it is a loss the Exarchs work to make acceptable.

    It's tempting, given the humanist core of Chronicles, to look for empathy in all corners underneath the monstrosity, and boy howdy wouldn't it just be nice if the Exarchs were just Surveillance or Violence or Tribalism or Blind Faith, and that all the tyranny stuff was just an unfortunate consequence of them being what they are. It happens with just about any bad guy you come across in Chronicles.

    But they're not. They are Symbols of Tyranny first. If they were ever human, they decided to embody, become, ascend into the symbolhood of Tyranny, and transcended their selves by perpetuation of the Lie. Regardless of how that shakes out, the point is that the question of "Are the Exarchs conciously being evil, or are they simply doing what they can to remain the dominant truths?" is ignoring the fact that the answer is both, because their goal is to be on top to the conseqeunce of everything else below.

    And as for the bit on the Guardians or Ladder-look, I am the first the point out that Mages are Monsters, and a particular breed of asshole at that. I'm disinclined to let people keep a view of Awakening as a game of saviors and superheroes and otherwise miss or disregard the horror of the game or the lessons we can learn from it. The Orders and Sects of the Pentacle Alliance are not good people, however good their ambitions may be.

    But that little stinger at the end, that implied moral and ethical relativism in equation to the Seers, the Exarchs-that little question of what things they're trucking with.....it's a bad taste in the mouth. Even amongst monsters, there are limits. Even among assholes, there's "Dude, too far."

    Anyways, answering that, the answer "probably less than you think". While each order has a particular relationship to the matter and how it's best maintained and developed, the general sort of point to all of them is true agency is predicated on not being obeisant to things the destructively deny you that agency. Even if they truck with morally and ethically ambiguous beings and methods, the general point is that they try to keep their hands on the wheel.

    It's good to learn sympathy for the devil, but there comes a time to recognize that for every devil that's just an angel strangling on their noose, there's still devils who are just assholes in need of a boot to the face.

    *Fucking fairies.

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Please don't make these kind of posts personal, anyone. These forums are meant to be fun and the first key to fun is respect.

    Leave a comment:


  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    Satchel, I didn't mean to offend you. I'm studying for a math exam, and I'm really bad at math. I'm sorry that I offended you.

    I get all your points, I didn't realize the angle you meant at earlier. I thought you were simply assuming the myth is real. I didn't know you meant with it relating to the mages of modern times. I also learned a lot of new things from your reply, as I am very new to Mage lore compared to my favored game lines

    Again. I'm really sorry. I didn't mean for this thread to be frustrating for you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leliel
    replied
    There's also a good way to shoot any attempt to bothsame thearchs and Seers; only one side has hero worship of the people who, if the Atlantis myth is literal actual truth, only edited the Supernal Realms so that everyone could Awaken and possibly become rivals, and then do nothing else. Not the Seers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
    Sorry for the late reply.
    You saw fit to ping me after Levi decided to continue to stomp on my failure of conveyance, so sure, I'll go in for one more reply before I ask that you let me leave this conversation.

    Satchel, I understand that's the mythology, but mythology is not hard truth.
    I am talking about the symbolic connotations of symbolic entities. The factual history of events is buried behind a thousand thousand sea changes in a war for reality that is more art than science. These events were "ancient" thousands of years ago, and Manifest Complication crept into the world on the waves of the actions that made them never have been.

    The metaphysical archaeology involved in piecing together a definite record of events is complicated by the fact that some number of people looking to Ascend in a post-Fall universe do so by trying to build replicas or successor states of the city that started it all. Even setting aside how this is the very biggest sort of "it's what you need it to be for your game" element, there is by design simply not enough content in the books to establish "hard truth" about the Time Before and the Fall, besides speculation about the place of Gold Laws and the Profane Forms in that world.

    While I'm willing to accept that if it were real, the exarchs would keep their symbolic tyranny due to how they ascended even if they edited reality, we don't know if that's actually how it went down.
    I will point out it is kind of condescending to talk about how you're "willing to accept" something that is textual to the way Ascension works as further clarified by the guy who developed the line for several years up through the start of Second Edition.

    Like, of course we don't know if that's how it "actually" went down; the story could be pure metaphor, the Exarchs are the scarier and more active Big Brother to the phenomenon of "'the Mysterium' is a Shadow Name for the order of mages who worship magic," the way they treat their favorite slaves casts doubt on the question of if they were ever human, and the list of things you might have to do to complete the Golden Road Ascension includes several similarly impossible stuff to "yank several Old Gods out of Heaven and bring a realm of horrors beyond imagining into confluence with the rest of the world."

    The record of events is deeply obscure and only debatably useful compared to the current and thematic perspectives on the Iron Seals, especially given that the Atlantis myth is something the proto-Diamond pieced together within the span of recorded history, based on shared elements of their constituents' own mythologies. If these people ever existed, the world they inhabited is long gone and their only legacy is the system of self-serving power and corruption that steers the world today. I'm talking about mythology because these are mythological characters who happen to have magical potency and agency in this game about cultivating, exercising, and reigning in magical potency and agency.

    I actually agree Isator Levi on this one. Their really isn't a problem with mages beings shown as having done something incredibly ignorant or stupid. From my understanding, that's actually a theme of the so called Wise.
    My point is not that mages would be shown to have done something incredibly ignorant or stupid. My point is that if that was the thrust of a story they tell themselves about the Fall, it would look very different than the one we have even before accounting for the Pentacle being marginally less megalomaniacal than the Seers.

    The naming scheme for the ranks of Scelesti was made up by the Sects to snare Nefandi who don't realize calling yourself a Baalim is a sucker's game. The Tremere being found out as Reapers is a major part of the reason Awakened study and general knowledge of the soul has been set back and made taboo as it is. You think the Guardians or the Ladder wouldn't take "we were prepared to unmake our entire earthly grounding to seize Heaven, but Those Guys beat us to the world above the clouds and knocked down the beanstalk behind them" as a moral lesson about Why The Unworthy Must Be Steered Away From Awakening or Why You Need To Be Better At Manipulating Your Fellow Mages that's so perfectly encapsulated it might as well come wrapped with a bow on?

    Also, reading the Silver Ladder supplement, there is a sub theme of complete arrogance and destructive ambition that rival if not beat the seers own. I would not be surprised at all if the "good" mages lied just so they can justify their ambitions
    As enunciated above, I am literally saying that there would be a better Lie ready-made for the Awakened to tell themselves about Atlantis and the Exarchs' role in it even in the face of the Ladder's "hubris is a coward's word" attitude.

    The théarchs are often bastards, yes. They're also the ones responsible for selling the Atlantis myth and the political systems that claim descent from it to the rest of Awakened society. Mythmaking is part of their job. There's having sustained moments of moral blindness and then there's being bad at your job.

    Leave a comment:


  • nofather
    replied
    Aside from mages who are just obsessed, the origins of the Exarchs is mostly a concern for Seers, who are sort of taken in by the "if you work hard, you too can become a boss" propaganda.

    Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
    That the Exarchs were once human mages who Ascended; that's the part that's mere conjecture, driven among the Pentacle mostly because the Seers of the Throne believe it. The Seers believe it mostly because that way there's a chance they can be Exarchs, too.
    Worth keeping in mind that this opens the door to the possibility that, if something rose up and became the symbols of tyranny at all, it might not have been Mages or even human.

    As alluded earlier, I think their weirdness seems to be unique. Fitting for their symbols, but still unique. To go back to fire, fire spreads, yet in this case, it's not spreading, at least in any way comparable to the Exarchs. There might be more info about Supernal entities to contradict it, but there might not. Regarding the original subject, I think that while one could argue aspects of their nature being helpful, especially in moderation, that tyranny isn't about moderation and their emphasis on that really hinders any arguments for them not being evil except for more abstract or non-human entities, or those that simply stand to profit from their existence like Seers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    I'll just point out that a lot of dictionary definitions of "tyrant" include just straight up "cruel or oppressive ruler". Somebody in a legitimate position of power can still fit the bill based on how they got up there.

    A lot of your modern mages probably care less about the origins of the Exarchs than they do about things like how an Avatar of the General will try and escalate hostilities in Afghanistan, or a Shadow of the Chancellor will look to contaminate the Temenos Realm of Charity with mercenary, transactional attitudes. The Shrouds of Observation, guidance towards the Tutor to the Hollow Ones, the enslavement of the Myrmidons.

    Also the stuff more specifically targeted at mages themselves, harassing them into greater caution and secrecy where possible.

    There could very well be Truths in the Supernal, up to the level of gods, that in the grand scheme of things constitute a more horrible reality than the Iron Seals. Even then, I would think the Pentacle would regard them as functionally more terrible, worse as identities, in how they intervene in such intricate manners. The Exarchs take the symbolic functions of tyranny a lot further to the extent of actively functioning as tyrants over the cosmos.

    I'd say that among more esoteric and mystically minded mages, that kind of thing ends up being a worse crime than the actual outcomes of things like power through violence or dogmatic faith and what have you; the Exarchs upend the normal order of reality where the Supernal constitutes essential truth, underlying meaning and pure Form while the Phenomenal gets to be where things actually happen, in favour of a form where they more actively dictate the way things play out in the world. There could be a Supernal symbol corresponding to the worst kinds of pain imaginable, but it's not actively contacting mages to get them to commit torturous atrocities in exchange for power (or at least not systematically).

    That might be a theoretical basis for Diamond mages to think that there might be something severely wrong with the Exarchs, possibly to the extent of them being former Phenomenal beings inhabiting the Supernal via some bizarre means. Although I think there could also be Diamond mages who hold to the idea that the contact between Seers and Exarchs is more a function of a long period of innovation and organisation by the Seers to harness particularly potent symbols, even to the point of creating circumstances that allow such symbols to create Ochemata with some greater frequency. Those mages might think that if the Seers could be disabled at large, the Exarchs would lose the means to be so overt.

    I think the Free Council might be one where there could be a more widespread view that it's faulty to ascribe moral agency to the Exarchs; that there existence reflects a deeper problem in patterns of human behaviour.

    Leave a comment:


  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    Sorry for the late reply.

    Satchel, I understand that's the mythology, but mythology is not hard truth. While I'm willing to accept that if it were real, the exarchs would keep their symbolic tyranny due to how they ascended even if they edited reality, we don't know if that's actually how it went down. I actually agree Isator Levi on this one. Their really isn't a problem with mages beings shown as having done something incredibly ignorant or stupid. From my understanding, that's actually a theme of the so called Wise.

    Also, reading the Silver Ladder supplement, there is a sub theme of complete arrogance and destructive ambition that rival if not beat the seers own. I would not be surprised at all if the "good" mages lied just so they can justify their ambitions

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    Right, but the mythology is the mythology
    I'm saying that the Pentacle can call them tyrants or symbols of tyranny without holding that they were usurpers in any capacity, let alone formerly human.

    Originally posted by Satchel
    at that point in the mythology, nobody had ever Ascended before
    I don't think that's really a detail in the original stuff.

    Originally posted by Satchel
    If the consequences of Ascension were known in the Time Before, our hypothetical once-human Exarchs take a very different place in the narrative than just "they were working with the rest of the Diamond's mythic forebears and screwed them over at the finish line"
    Well I think there are a couple of things to that. For one, Ascension happening does not necessarily mean the consequences are easily understood. After all, Ascensions happen in the modern day and mages don't really understand the consequences; one of the consequences seems to be becoming more difficult to understand (or at least investigate).

    The other is that the form of the Exarch Ascension could have been fairly different from what came before, with both the number that went up at once and the magical construct used to accomplish it.

    Originally posted by Satchel
    the blindness of the other Atlantean mages enters the moral dimension of gross ignorance, stupidity, or evil.
    Is there something the matter with that?

    Originally posted by Satchel
    It's worth knowing that these things are esoteric, but it doesn't really need to be pointed out in response to a discussion of the mythological basis for calling the Exarchs tyrants in a classical sense.
    Apart from needing to account for sects who don't believe in that backstory, I think it focuses a bit too much on a strict definition of the term tyrant that does not match how it would often be casually used.

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