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  • More Path Names!

    lately, I was toying with the idea of using the Path names as some kind of Archetypes, with them either defining the Inferior Arcana of the Path or being used as some sort of Yantra. Anyway, while thinking about it, I came to a surprising conclusion- I want more names! The reason is that I subject every such name to a certain sect of mages- the Archaic Archetype for the Diamond (Witch, Warlock, Theurge, Shaman, Alchemist), the Anarchic Archetype of the Nameless and Free Council (Enchanter, Psychonaut, Thaumaturge, Ecstatic, Necromancer) and the Tyrannic Archetype (Prophet, Watcher, Reckoner, Steward, Executor). Among the Tyrannic Archetypes, I felt strongly that each such Archetype favors one of the Exrachs upon the other (especially in the case of Watchers and Prophets), so I kinda want to think for names for the Archtypes of the other "Exrach parent". Even if I'll be convinced that those names aren't needed, I still think there should be names for Left Handed mages (which take the Paths' concepts to the dark extreme) and Scelesti names (which twist and mock the symbols of the original Archetypes), with maybe some names especially for the Scelesti (like Gatekeepers for Seer Scelesti).

    so- do you have any suggestions for the existing categories (or even new ones)?


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  • #2
    Archetypes- Five Paths, Many Ways

    The five Watchtowers shine brightly in the heavens, guiding the human souls toward enlightenment. The Supernal world cast its light and the shadows which are formed of it upon our reality, creating the so called Fallen World.Through the mystical event of the Awakening, mages learn to see through the Lie the Exrachs whisper to the world and find the Supernal in everywhere- and the five great categories of different symbols are what they call the Supernal Realms, with each such category has its own version of Awakening. While all the souls walk in one of the five great Paths toward the eternity, there are many Ways which intersect and split into and from those Paths- small variations of the great symbols of the heavens. Each such Way is a different interpretation of the symbols which define the soul of mage- and each such interpretation shapes the magic of the Awakened- both by coloring her magic and by defining its weak spots. There are 50 Ways as total, 10 per Path. The Ways, or Archetypes as they are sometimes called, are by themselves divided into 5 categories- the Archaic (which usually join the Diamond), the Anarchic (who lean toward the Nameless) the Tyrannic (who are blessed by the Exrach) the Harsh (who fall into the Left Handed) and the Perverse (who are touched by the Abyss). Unlike Paths, Ways could be changed through the journey of the mage, although those events are usually involved with the gain or lost of Wisdom or a better understanding of the world through Gnosis.


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    • #3
      The Acanthus

      The Path of the Lunargent Thorn is the Path of freedom- by throwing your old shackles of Fate and the bindings of Time, one can write his own story, a master of his own destiny for better or worse. The Fae represent that very idea- they bind Fate and see through Time, knowing how a story would end even before it started, and yet the mages of the Thorns manage to escape their manipulations and make stories of their own. While each of the Acanthus is cut by the Thorns and get lost in the Mists while Awakening, every one deals with the trickery of the Fae differently- and the Way they gain freedom forever shapes their souls.

      the Witch is the most common among the members of the Path. As one of the Archaic Ways, it is seen as the purest form of what being an Acanthus is. With them being a Balanced Archetype, they favor both Time and Fate equally, using them to fulfill their inner desires and weave the greatest stories mankind ever knew. During their Awakening, they sacrifice their own place in the Great Story of Life- no longer they are characters with a promised Happy End or Divine Punishment. Instead, they step outside of the story, becoming the catalysts which move the plot onward- or ever the writers of the said stories. Being a Witch means never being the center of the story, only giving the secrets of Time to both Heroes and Villains so they do their role, and binding curses and blessings with Fate to make sure their vision would become true. They are never bound by anything- freedom has its price, but also its pleasures. While they understand the flow of history more then anyone else, Forces are strange to them. That is the Deus Ex Machina, the unexpected plot twist when the gods themselves get involved in the story. According to the philosophy of the Witch, the lightning doesn't strike because clouds collide, but the clouds collide to produce the lightning. The idea the the world can act on its own to disturb their stories and plans simply doesn't work that Way of life.

      the second Archaic Way is the Druid. Like the Witches, the are also Balanced, treating Fate and Time equally. Unlike the former, they are less interested in being the catalyst of the stories by bringing chaos into the world. Instead, they prefer a rigid order and mysterious hierarchy, taking the role of the Wise Old Man in the Woods. They seek to make themselves into a part of the society, yet unbound by it- living by their own rules as a second, separate world within a world. While they take a more active role in the world of man, they are still apart from it- they guide young soul to greatness, gardening them like beautiful flowers until they'll bloom the most beautifully. They use the awe instead of dread in order to make others honor them, always searching after knowledge to make themselves wiser and bind Fate delicately so that every person would achieve his full potential. When the Awake, they usually free themselves through trickery instead of out rightly destroying their old shackles- they outwit the Fae, gaining the prize without paying the price, using old laws and rules even the Fae forgot while laughing in their face. Still, as wise as they are, still things are still beyond their grasp- Prime is strange to them. Prime is about unity- everything is one, all is connected by the divine essence of the gods. It represent perfect order, one which doesn't need rules to exist, and the Druid, who focus most of his efforts on making his own laws and separate himself from the rest of humanity, just can't accept the idea of a single truth.

      Among the Anarchic Ways, the Enchanter is the most common one. Tricksters and happy-go-lucky, they usually seem as foolish, mentally unstable, or both. This is not quite true. While they usually seem too trusting or too eager to help, it is because during their Awakening they found something the other Archetypes lack- hope. Leaning toward Fate, they believe that an Happy Ending is always an option- all they have to do is make sure that it would happen. When facing two different options, they would usually find the third one. They'll weave complicated plans and bind dozens of destinies in order to avoid the worst case scenario, punishing the villainous while rewarding the righteous. They see themselves as the "good fairy", giving people a chance to free themselves from their dark fate and fulfill their dreams. While they Awake, they usually deal with the Fae in the most catastrophic Way- they don't like the how their stories is going to end, and so they write a new one. They crush whole castles and kill both the evil queen and the prince charming. While Time could be useful, it is useless for them comparing to Fate- knowing how a story may end could destroy hope, and with it the very chance for a better future. It is better just to invent your own ending. Their weak spot is found in Mind magics- being an Enchanter means recognizing the importance of the human emotions and the freedom of mankind. Treating thoughts and dreams like computer programs means loosing hope in the ability of people to save themselves, and there is no greater antithesis to the Enchanter then this.

      On the other side of the Anarchic Archetypes stands the Diviner. Where the Enchanters represent hope against all chances, the Diviner is all about fatalism and determinism. Gifted with Time more then any other magic, they have seen both the beginning and the end of the universe. They know every little dirty secret and every piece of information thought to be lost forever. They are oracles and soothsayers, fortune tellers and cloud readers. They don't see Fate as important in shaping the stories of the world, for they already know how the story would end- Time flows into eternity, and we all just flow with it. One can't fight against the endless- and so freedom must be found in another way. By acknowledging how little influence they have upon the River of Time, they recognize that freedom can be found only through knowledge. By knowing the End, one knows that no matter what would happen the prophesy would come true. Through their despair, they find new hope. By recognize how small they are, they become great. For that reason, they are very careful with their prediction- give a person too much information, and the despair would paralyze him. Give him just enough despair, and he would walk more proudly then before. Through their Awakening, the Fae give them strange visions and dark dreams, showing them both their birth and death, hoping to make them surrender to their fears and let the Fae to decide their own Fate. Instead, the Diviner accept his place in the world, slipping through their chains to become something better- greater- then himself. Because of their Far Sight, they don't give much importance to Matter. What meaning does a gold has. if a thousand years ago people used rocks? Diamonds were nothing more then coal, and eventually it would return to its form. Nothing can stand the touch of time, and everything turns to dust. Why should one speed that process?

      The most respected Tyrannic Way is named after the Exrach responsible for it- the Prophet. Those who walk in that way are first and foremost Time magicians, and they represent that attitude through their vision of history. Like the Diviners, they agree that Time is greater then mankind- but they don't agree with their fatalistic view. What is history if not the deeds of mankind? For better or worse, people has changed history- but not every person can do so. No, history is a did done by the collective efforts of thousands of generations, guided by the selected few to decide the course of Time. Fate is meaningless, for why should one try to manipulate the fate of a single person if by standing in a key point he could control thousands? While being a king could be thought as the best Way to rule the many, the truth is that it isn't the king who rules- but the kingmaker. Kings rise and fall, but the Prophet survives it all, telling their story as another rule come to take the place of the former. The Prophet separates its destiny from the one of his nation, and by doing so it would survive its inevitable fall and come to rule another one. During their Awakening, they don't listen to the stories of the Fae- instead, they submit them to their will, enslave their stories to their own gain and step on their skulls toward greatness. By doing so, they draw the attention of the Exrach of Time, who give them a prophesy of His own- you have been chosen to change history, Make sure to not fall as your kingdom. For the Prophets, Space is seen as oddity. What is the meaning of location and connections in the great ocean of Time? What does it matter what belongs to whom, and how the nation is called today? Boundaries are fluid things. Definitions drawn in the masses. No place is special- everything is one through the lens of the Prophet, and his prophesies would change the world no matter where he is.

      The other Tyrannic Way is chosen by the Ruin- the Way of the Natairajan. Those Fate mages are sometimes seem as more fatalistic then even the Diviners, having none of the hope of the more cheerful Enchanters. The Natairajan knows that there is only one ending to all of the existing stories in the world- and it is not Happily Ever After. This whole world is one single tragedy- every success is doomed to fail, even birth ends up in death. Even the universe moves toward an ultimate ending- the entropy always rises, and the eternal Doom always floats above everything. Even Happy Endings are, after all, endings- the story stops and doesn't move on, and the characters are as good as dead. While that philosophy is pretty dark, most members of that Way aren't nihilistic- instead, they celebrate the story as it moves on, living the life the best as they can. They don't care for the destruction they bring and the Fates they seal, for eventually all is going to End. Time means nothing for them, for they know that it only moves according to the song of Fate- time isn't eternal. Nothing is. All would end in a single, dark spot. When they Awaken, they draw the notice of the Ruin by ignoring all the signs and the lures of the Fae- promises of wealth and love don't draw them from they search for the ultimate end, and they rush toward it while ignoring the pain of the Thorns in their Flesh. Those who go straight trough the labyrinth find the Ruin wait for them, dancing Her mad dance and laugh with pleasure. They are the chosen ones, she says to them, the only ones to know the truth of the world. This Fallen World is theirs as long as it exist, and they should live their life for the fullest, dancing the dance of Destruction with Her. Because of their attitude, they have trouble in understanding Death. What is the meaning of Death as an ending if Fate is the one to end it? What transition means if everything is doomed to end? Why should one invest so much time in understanding the nothingness, when the world itself is so beautiful? One should live her life, not invest too much effort in how it would end.

      The Archetype of the Puppeteer is one of the Harsh Ways. Leaning toward Fate, they consider anything and anyone as part of their pawns and dolls made to satisfy their desires. Their point of view could be seen as almost sociopathic, binding the lives of others through strange pacts and twisted magics. Time isn't seen as that important to them, considering the very little effect it has upon direct control over others. For them, gaining freedom is by becoming like the strange Fae themselves, twisting the stories of others to serve their own story. Only the strongest can escape their own strings, and anyone who isn't strong enough is the one to blame for being so easily manipulated. Their Awakening includes them going through the more dangerous of Arcadia- they are abused by the Fae, and risk their very soul to be mutilate by the hunger of the Old Gods. They actively fight for their freedom, find their ability to shape Fate inside themselves through a moment of crises, making the former lord into a servant. Unlike certain Mastigos, they don't seek after a total control over their victims- Fate binds, no controls. The puppets are aware for them being hopeless- which can give them a chance for freedom by themselves, and if it may involve the death of the former Puppeteer so be it. This is the natural order of things. Considering the effort they invest at controlling humans, Spirit is seen as a weird part of the world. Spirits are, after all, the "self" of beats and inanimate objects. The Puppeteer doesn't recognize that regular people have emotions or will of their own, and that only the cruel Fate rules them. Understanding that items have passions of their own? That's too much for them.

      The second Harsh Way is the Archivist. Those who belong to that Archetype are motivated by constant their desire for knowledge- any by gaining it at any price. They are detached figures, who look upon the thousands of births and deaths of the world without a single tear being shed. The see themselves as historians, people with the moral obligation to record every little deed done by mankind to make sure ti would escape the jaws of Oblivion. They rarely intervene with the event, fearing to disturb the natural curse of events, which is why they avoid the use of Fate. Time, however, is a very useful tool for them- for it allows them weaving the history of mankind in the most faithful way possible. While they may not sound cruel, the problem is that they have a very harsh way to look upon the world- they know what events are needed to happen, and if someone intervene with their calculations they see it as their role in the world to fix things to how they are meant to be- those who are meant to die would die. Those who escaped their death should be stopped. The story was already written, the end was decided- and those who defy it would be erased from the Grand Book of Humanity. During their Awakening, they face ultimate annihilation- they see how everything they cared about turns to dust and erased from history, leaving them all alone with only the Fae as their company. The Fae taunt them, promise them that if they would only serve them they would fix everything. Instead, they decide to sit down and write each and every of their memories- for memory is what makes the man whole. The defy the will of their tormentors by leaving everything behind, and without their former anchors they can finally focus on immortalizing the great deeds and dark horrors of humanity. Because of their abstract way of life, Life is a stranger in their philosophy. The body would rot and fade away. Life would vanish in less then a second. Saving another person's life or causing his death would ruin thousands of prophesies. Let Time do its own- while they would just record it.

      The Hag is the most common among the Acanthus of the Perverse Way. When they Awake, they walk to near to the Abyss and see the stories mankind has forgotten. The oldest among the Fae, the Fomori, walk there- and they whisper to the soul of the mage. They tell them about a world without law, a world in which true freedom could be achieved. Those who listen to well are devoured by the dark giants, but some are wise enough to keep their distance while hearing their stories. They learn from them the secrets of making both Time and Fate into their own slaves, turning them from masters into tools, and they use those tools when they deal with the younger Fae- turning their takes into horror stories which defy every rule about how a story should be told. Then, they use the same powers against their old teachers, sealing them back in their dark prison- for the main lesson they are taught is that everyone are being betrayed. Ironically, the Hag is a Balanced Archetype, for it breaks the rules of both Fate and Time. Because of their constant fear of betrayal, they distant themselves from everything they hold dear and destroy anything which keep clinging to them. They remind people of the oldest stories they ever known- stories about danger, and fear and sorrow. Stories in which the hero always died for putting his trust in the wrong hands. The gods are cruel and time is even crueler- and so they use their magics to defy their will. They don't try to make a story of their own- why should they bother? It is better to return the world to its primordial state, the time before the gods, where there was ultimate freedom- for without law and binding oaths, betray would lose its meaning. Considering their focus upon the Primordial essence of the universe, Prime is seen as a frighting element. It is the power of the gods, the sign of their rule, the new order which tamed the chaos. Touching it would burn their fingers with holy fire, and first part in returning the world to its primal state is by destroying that cursed element.

      Finally, the last Way if the Acanthus is the Astrologer. A Perverse and Balanced Way, they look upon the midnight skies and search for the meaning of their life in the shining stars. Yet, the cold stars don't answer to their prayers, until they understand that the true master of Time and Fate aren't the stars- but the darkness which between them. The formless Void is the source of ultimate freedom, for it decides the movements of the stars- and by doing so the Fate of mankind and the way it counts Time. They believe that physical form confines and stops the person's true potential, and seek to become one with the eternal darkness- the only thing which is immune to both Time and Fate. They seek enlightenment in the madness and fear of others and of themselves, using the mad dreams they experience from watching the stars as a source of inspiration. For them, madness is a gift, and they work the best they can to make the world as crazy as they can- for through it, the true formless freedom could enter the world. The stories they tell are surreal dreams weaved from the depths of their subconscious, fulfilling the will of the alien gods which come from beyond the stars. When they Awaken, they dare to look beyond the trickery of the Fae and see the dark Void which lurks in their heart. They send their hand toward that dark light and free it, letting its cold fire to consume the story which once bound it. Through it, they see the invisible powers which move the stars, and look upon Earth from their point of view- how that small, pale dot is a meaningless scrap of celestial dust, moved according to the will of alien entities. Only by joining that endless, by becoming one with the ultimate darkness, can the mage escape the rule of those Elder Gods- and rule Earth as they do. Considering the cold and distant place from which their powers come, Forces is seen as their very antithesis. The stars may burn brightly, but the light you see is the light of a dead star, twisted by space and Time. The stars don't move through Forces, but through the will of the Dark Gods. All the fire and lightning and thunder of the universe won't be able to fill the Endless Darkness. Even science support the claim that without Dark material the universe couldn't exist- and as such, Forces is no more then a very gross simplification of the perfect Void.

      (a note- while some of those Ways seem to belong to a certain sect of mages, it isn't necessary how it works. An Archaic mage could join the Seers, and an Anarchic Archetype can choose to walk the Left Handed Path. Even the Perverse Ways can resist the taint of the Abyss on their souls and choose to join a different sect. Changing a Sect won't necessary change the Way of the mage- as long as their philosophy is the same. It doesn't to say that the Diamond trust those who come from Tyrannic, Harsh or Perverse Ways, or even the Anarchic Archetypes for that matter, but refusing to accept them would be equivalent to sending them to their enemies. So while they do accept them- they do a lot to encourage them to seek Enlightenment in the "right" Way)
      Last edited by LostLight; 03-27-2015, 12:50 PM.


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      • #4
        I love your description of Ways as multiple Paths Archetypes - even if I do not think the Inferior Arcanum is needed, in any way. Keep it up, I wait for your more ideas!


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        • #5
          That was the idea- the Inferior Arcana is such a minor part of the writeup, so if someone just likes those Archetypes as example for different interpretation for the Path but not the way Inferior Arcana is tied into them, it could be easily removed. Also changed Hexer to Natairajan, meaning "Lord of the Dance". I think it works better for the ones chosen by the Ruin (at least, in the way I view Her)


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