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The Other Five Paths (2e)

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  • The Other Five Paths (2e)

    This topic is the Second Edition counterpart to my original The Other Five Paths topic. For the overview, I'm using the Pathfinding blog entry as my template.

    The Paths

    As with the regular Paths, each of these new Paths is defined by a central dichotomy.

    Aretos: Theory and Practice
    Axios: Risk and Reward
    Kleos: Memory and Myth
    Mæstros: Authority and Duty
    Sophros: Growth and Decay

    The Watchtowers

    Aretos: the Watchtower of the Hermium ___ in the Realm of Utopia
    Axios: the Watchtower of the Adamantine ___ in the Realm of the ___
    Kleos: the Watchtower of the Tin Flute in the Realm of the Akasha
    Mæstros: the Watchtower of Brass and Flame in the Realm of the Elemental Nation
    Sophros: the Watchtower of the Wooden Chalice in the Realm of Elysium

    Path Stereotypes

    Aretos: Artisans and Alchemists
    Axios: Traders and Advocates
    Kleos: Sages and Bards
    Mæstros: Sorcerers and Evokers
    Sophros: Druids and Mediums

    Paths As Game Mechanics
    Path  Ruling Arcana  Inferior Arcanum 
    Aretos  Matter and Prime  Fate 
    Axios  Space and Fate  Life 
    Kleos  Time and Mind  Space 
    Mæstros  Forces and Spirit  Prime 
    Sophros  Life and Death  Time 
    To an Aretos on the Path of Excellence, the world is full of potential; when he looks at a slab of marble, he sees the sculpture that he can bring out of it. They summon Archetypes.

    To an Axios on the Path of Merit, the world is full of Opportunities and Connections. They summon the Stars guide him

    To a Kleos on the Path of Enlightenment, the record of the world is an open book, and she can read the stories that surround her. They summon Eidolons.

    To a Mæstros on the Path of Mastery, the forces in the world are alive with purpose. They summon the Djinn.

    To a Sophros on the Path of Balance, the cycle of the Seasons is everywhere, as everything is either developing or fading in turn. They summon Serpents.

    How To Use These Paths
    Here are four alternate settings to illustrate how these Paths might be used.

    Another World
    In this version of the Chronicles of Darkness, there are only five Paths; but instead of witches, wizards, alchemists, theurges, and shamans, you have artisans, traders, sages, sorcerers, and druids.

    The Ten Watchtowers
    In this setting, all ten Paths coexist, and have always coexisted. There is talk about “the Paths of the Soul” (Acanthus, Mastigos, Moros, Obrimos, Thyrsus) that supposedly favor the Subtle Arcana, and “the Paths of the World” (Aretos, Axios, Kleos, Mæstros, Sophros) that supposedly favor the Gross Arcana; but, like the distinction between Subtle and Gross, it's largely a theoretical distinction. Nonetheless, associations are drawn:

    Paths of the Soul
    Acanthus: the Name
    Mastigos: the Spirit
    Moros: the Shadow
    Obrimos: the Essence
    Thyrsus: the Heart

    Paths of the World
    Aretos: Earth
    Axios: Air
    Kleos: Void
    Mæstros: Fire
    Sophros: Water

    In this setting, the new Paths of the World get the common Elemental Mastery Legacies, and the original Paths of the Soul get a new set of Legacies based on the five parts of the soul.

    The World Has Changed
    In 2009, some sort of cosmic event occurred, and new mages started Awakening in large numbers to a sixth Watchtower, the Watchtower of Brass and Flame. But that was just the beginning: over the next two years, four more Watchtowers “came online”, one after the other. It has now been nine years since the first of the New Watchtowers erupted, and seven years since the last one did, and their appearances are as much a mystery now as they were then. No one speaks of “Paths of the Soul” or “Paths of the World”; rather, they're simply “the Old Paths” and “the New Paths”.

    Science and Magic
    This setting combines these Paths with Gifted Science from Mage Chronicler's Guide. That is, the Aretos, Axios, Kleos, Mæstros, and Sophros aren't Mages who Awakened to Watchtowers; they're Gifted Scientists who have Actualized different Utopias:

    • the Aretos are the Path of Engineering, builders of the Singularity
    • the Axios are the Path of Utility, advocates of the Market
    • the Kleos are the Path of Society, founders of the Republic
    • the Mæstros are the Path of Physics, seekers of Type V Civilization
    • the Sophros are the Path of Biology, tenders of the Garden

    Thanks to Dave Brookshaw and Malcolm Sheppard for devising these Technocratic Utopias while writing the Mage Translation Guide; it's unfortunate you had to cut them for space.

    Thanks also to malonkey1 for the sigils.
    Last edited by Dataweaver; 02-03-2018, 11:37 AM.

  • #2
    Aretos: the Artisan
    Magic is a discipline, where raw potential is conceived and then refined into actualized truths.
    We Awaken to the Watchtower of the Copper Mallet in the Realm of Utopia

    There is an apocryphal tale about the Renaissance sculptor Michaelangelo, when asked about the difficulties he faced when sculpting his greatest creation, David. Supposedly, he replied that it was simplicity itself: the statue was already in the block of marble from the start; he merely had to remove the pieces that didn't belong. This is the methodology of those who walk the Path of Excellence: they seek out untapped potential in the world around them, then set to work turning that potential into actuality. As Artisans, they seek to communicate the wonder and beauty they see; as Craftsmen, they're constantly tempering their products to remove impurities and to bring them closer to perfection.

    Aretos Magic
    Ruling Arcana
    Matter and Prime. The world is founded on a duality: Truth and Reality, Theory and Practice, Supernal and Phenomenal, Prime and Matter. Prime provides the blueprints for the Aretos' works, and Matter supplies the raw materials used to implement those plans.

    Inferior Arcanum
    Fate. The unpredictable, chaotic nature of this Arcanum runs counter to the orderly mind of the craftsman.

    Symbols and Myths
    The Emperor prince of the material world and The Star light of the night. The two cards are linked in a way. The Emperor is the stereotypical powerful man but the Star depicts an act of blessing an creation. One creates by taking and ordering and the other by giving and letting grow.

    Artisan Works
    Three Artisans

    Artisans in the Orders
    The Adamantine Arrow: Artisans in the Adamantine Arrow are the consumate drill instructors, driving themselves and their charges toward perfection. Here, their works are the warriors that they train every bit as much as the weapons they wield.
    The Free Council: Libertine Artisans tend to be connoisseurs and collectors, seeking out the greatest arts and crafts produced by humanity so that they may learn from them.
    The Guardians of the Veil:
    The Mysterium:
    The Silver Ladder:
    Seers of the Throne:

    Artisan Legacies
    Existing Legacies: Uncrowned Kings, Daksha, Scions of God, Transhuman Engineers, Tamers of Stone, Forge Masters
    New Legacies: Tamers of Iron?

    Building an Artisan's Mystery

    Beyond the Copper Mallet

    Designer's Notes: Leonardo da Vinci could well have been an Aretos. The Path deals with alchemists, artists, engineers, blacksmiths, and other similar professions, and its artisans practice crafts as diverse as sacred geometry to knot tying. The four-dot Imbue Item Attainment is very common among the Aretos; and if Supernal Alchemy (from Tome of the Mysteries) is still a thing in 2e, it's also quite common on this Path.

    More to come.
    Last edited by Dataweaver; 03-10-2018, 11:34 AM.


    • #3
      Axios: the Trader
      Magic is risk and reward: to accomplish anything, one must be willing to give up something.
      We Awaken to the Realm of the Hermuim Mirror in the Realm of the Firmament.

      Traders and Advocates; Risk and Reward; Path of Merit

      Axios Awakenings

      Axios Magic
      Ruling Arcana
      Space and Fate. To the Axios, Space isn't primarily about distance or geometry; it's about Sympathetic Links: what is important to a person? Likewise, Fate isn't about manipulating probabilities; it's about a person's intentions and promises.

      Inferior Arcanum

      Symbols and Myths
      The Lover is a given as the original design of the man between two women indicates choices and social situations. The Magician is associated with Mercury and could work as the Fate card with an emphasis on the trickster-role.

      Trader Wares
      Three Traders

      Traders in the Orders
      The Adamantine Arrow:
      The Free Council:
      The Guardians of the Veil:
      The Mysterium:
      The Silver Ladder:
      Seers of the Throne:

      Trader Legacies
      Existing Legacies: Subtle Ones, Threnodists, Tamers of Winds, Sphinxes, Thrice-Great, House of Ariadne?
      New Legacies: Tamers of Light?

      Building a Trader's Mystery

      Beyond the Hermium Mirror

      Designer's Notes: This Path is partially inspired by Mage: the Ascension's Syndicate, but generalized from economics to also include diplomacy, and to downplay the exploitative aspects (unless the Trader in question is a Seer; in that case, their ability to influence value for their own ends are on full display). The Path is built around the synergy between Sympathetic Connections of Space and the intensions, promises, and oaths of Fate. Also consider the mantra of Full Metal Alchemist's Law of Equivalent Exchange: “Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost.”

      More to come.
      Last edited by Dataweaver; 03-10-2018, 11:36 AM.


      • #4
        Fantástico! That means Fantastic in my native tongue


        • #5
          Kleos: the Sage
          Magic is a fable that has been told before, and will be told again.
          We Awakened to the sound of the Tin Flute and studied the Akashic Records. Hear the lessons we have learned.

          Sages and Bards; Memory and Myth; Path of Enlightenment

          Kleos Awakenings

          Kleos Magic
          Ruling Arcana
          Time and Mind

          Inferior Arcanum

          Symbols and Myths
          Both interpretation of The High Priestess, the intuition or the bookish knowledge can work for the bards. As for the Time, Judgement is both interpreted as something coming back from the past or a messenger. It could present a dilemma: Keep knowledge secret or disseminate it?

          Sage Fables
          Three Sages

          Sages in the Orders
          The Adamantine Arrow:
          The Free Council:
          The Guardians of the Veil:
          The Mysterium: Sages are most numerous in this Order, due to its focus on collecting knowledge.
          The Silver Ladder:
          Seers of the Throne:

          Sage Legacies
          Existing Legacies: Perfected Adepts, Daoine?, House of Ariadne?, Pygmalions, Stone Scribes, Skalds, Tamers of the Cave
          New Legacies: Ecstatics who channel Zeitgeist?

          Building a Sage's Mystery

          Beyond the Tin Flute

          Designer's Notes: This Path is populated by storytellers and historians; but most of all, it's populated by teachers. An adage common to this Path is that if you cannot explain what you know to somebody else, you don't really know it.

          Likewise, the Path seems to be focused on the past; and while there's some truth to this, the reasoning is that you need a solid grounding in what came before in order to achieve a better future — or, more pessimistically: if you fail to learn from the past, you're doomed to repeat it.

          More to come.
          Last edited by Dataweaver; 03-10-2018, 11:38 AM.


          • #6
            Mæstros: the Sorcerer
            Magic is the Will to Power.
            We Awakened to the Watchtower of Brass and Flame in the Realm of the Elemental Nation.

            Sorcerers and Evokers; Authority and Duty; Path of Mastery

            Mæstros Awakenings

            Mæstros Magic
            Ruling Arcana
            Forces and Spirit

            Inferior Arcanum

            Symbols and Myths
            The Tower is apt because they’re the lightning and the fire and command to the elements. There is a reading of the Tower card where what breaks the edifice is not thunder from above but something escaping from within. The Chariot is a reminder that the power should not be mastering you but also depicts an act of taming appropriate for the path.

            The Supernal World seen by the Mæstros is one of flame, lightning, freezing cold, and crashing sound, like the Aether; but they move with purpose, filled with an alien intelligence that can be contacted and coerced into doing the sorcerer's bidding. The inhabitants are made of the same purposeful energy, elemental beings such as the creatures of smokeless flame known as the djinn. Brass, bronze, and copper have Supernal weight for this Path, as do knives.

            Sorcerous Bindings
            Three Sorcerers

            Sorcerers in the Orders
            The Adamantine Arrow:
            The Free Council:
            The Guardians of the Veil:
            The Mysterium:
            The Silver Ladder: Sorcerers tend to gravitate towards the Silver Ladder, as the notion of a hierarchy of authority is highly compatible with the Path of Mastery.
            Seers of the Throne:

            Sorcerous Legacies

            Existing Legacies: Clavicularius, Tamers of Fire
            New Legacies: Tamers of Sand?

            Building a Sorcerer's Mystery

            Beyond Brass and Flame

            Designer's Notes: This Path comes directly out of Mage Chronicler's Guide, the Watchtower of Brass and Flame. The Mæstros are willworkers: their Will be done.

            Mount Qaf would actually make for a better Emanation Realm than the actual Supernal World the Mæstros interact with on a regular basis, largely because it's more of a place than an environment. Suggestions for this Watchtower's Realm are welcome.

            More to come.
            Last edited by Dataweaver; 03-10-2018, 11:39 AM.


            • #7
              Sophros: the Druid
              Magic is the Wheel on which the world turns, bringing the balance of Life and Death to the universe.
              We Awakened in Elysium, and took sustenance and shelter from the World Tree.

              The Great Wheel can be seen everywhere and permeates existence itself. The very cosmos turns upon the wheels bringing life, death and rebirth to the stars. The Sophros are the caretakers of the wheel and insure that the balance is maintained. They have existed in one form or another since the dawn of man documenting the turning of the wheel. Since its infancy man’s journey upon the wheel started and with each turn of the wheel man enters a new age. The ancient Greeks wrote about the ages of man starting with the Golden Age, the creation. It progresses through the Silver, Bronze and it will end with the Iron Age. These wide reaching views can be broken down further but they show the bigger picture.

              It could be said that everything is on an individual wheel, as each man starts his life thus starting his wheel. He starts in the spring of life progressing though his summer, autumn and finally his winter. However this is not and individual wheel is just represents his position on the great wheel. Looking at the wheel we know that the closer you get to the center of the wheel the faster the wheel turns giving the perception of an individual wheel. Stepping away from the wheel we see that what appeared as an individual wheel is contained within the section of mankind. The further we step out the more insignificant the things at the center appear.

              The Sophros know that man’s time on the wheel will end giving birth to something new. We do not fear the end, we celebrate it, as it is proof that the wheel is turning. We are continually fighting the lie that we have a choice in how it turns, we do not. The path on the wheel is forever consistent with our position on the wheel. The ride will end when it is supposed to and nothing can stop that. Even those that claim immortality will face an end and when they do it will be seen that their path was only slightly further from the center than everyone else’s.

              Sophros Awakenings
              Sophros awakenings are usually the result of an event that would change the Great Wheel in some way. This could be a premature death that the awakening interrupts, it could be the blatant misuse of the Time Arcanum setting into motion a chain of events meant to repair the fracture. These events in and of themselves seem to be already marked upon the Great Wheel they just appear in a different place. It is unknown if the marks are new because of the event or if they were always there.

              Sophros Magic
              Ruling Arcana
              Life and Death: They are the basis of balance, representing the eternal wheel: Elysium energies.

              Inferior Arcanum
              Time: all things happen in their own time, and the Sophros must honor that. Thus, messing with the flow of time is hard for them.

              Symbols and Myths
              The Empress, mother of nature. The Hanged Man can be read as a period of rest and growth. When you get it in a reading the message is generally stay put. For druids attuned to the seasons it could be an interesting dilemma: Whether to force growth or decay or let it happen on its own.

              Druidic Brews
              Three Druids
              Brenden, an avid hiker, loves the majestic scenes of the mountains. I was on the mother of all hikes that his life changed. At the end of the Pacific Crest Trail after crossing the Bridge of the gods he mis-stepped and tumbled into the canyon below. At the bottom his mind slipped into darkness and his consciousness journeyed to Elysium. He awoke with the ability to heal his own body. His style of magic expounds on the feeling one gets from being outdoors. He is an adrenalin junky and enjoys stimulating that feeling in others. As a member of the Adamantine Arrow he now defends the nature he loves with the fierceness of nature itself.

              Adaline was awakened in collage as she studied to get her Doctorates of Internal medicine, her dream was to become a surgeon. With the powers of Life and Death at her disposal she has gained the acclaim that she always desired. As one of the few druids to take to being a Free Council she marries science, technology and magic to make the world around her a better place. Closely watched by the Guardians she holds the line not to be crossed even though she knew she could have saved the ones that she let slip into death. But even at that she was able to help guide the soul and make the most out of death.

              Jose is more interested in challenges one faces after death then what had happened before. Although he doesn’t just study the death of a body, he feels that everything essentially experiences death. When a building erodes and falls to the ravages of time, is that not a death in and unto itself. With this in mind he studies decay of material was fervently as he studies the death of a body. As an archeologist he has had the pleasure of studying the remains of a dead culture, he has wiped away the decay and witnessed the beauty of the original piece, if only for a moment before the spell allows it to return to its new and equally beautiful state/ And yes he never misses Día de Muertos.

              Druids in the Orders
              The Adamantine Arrow:These druids go by several name, Eco terrorist, Militant Druids, Tree huggers, whatever name you want to call them they are the protectors of the natural world. There are several organization that have sprung up in support of these druids namely green peace and PITA.
              The Free Council: Those that join the free council use the innovations of man to mask their gifts, providing covers for their magic. They excel in the medical profession due to their understanding of the process of Life and Death. However they are closely watched that they do not cross the line, they must not change the Great Wheel. A life that must end needs to return to the fields of Elysium.
              The Guardians of the Veil: Life and Death are extremely suited to the views of the Guardians. Life is uniquely suited to the covert surveillance that the guardians are famous for. The use of the Death Arcanum as punishment for committing treasonous acts only strengthens their fear factor.
              The Mysterium: The Druids hold a solid footing amongst the Mystagogues Sages. Not only for their knowledge of Life and Death but for their relentless tracking of historic events. They have cut a place for their beliefs into every culture and civilization. They have played the role of Tribal Shaman, Village Healer, Wise Hermit and modern Doctors. The Wise Sages are been sought out for all sorts of matters and are generally looked at as the holders of the secrets of Life and Death. That is because they are.
              The Silver Ladder:The Druids of modern time have lost some of the foothold that they had with the théarchs. Once they were considered the Wisest around and therefore natural judges. A druid that has found himself a place within the ladder lends his wisdom to the enlightenment of all mankind.
              Seers of the Throne: are masters of growth and decay, two processes that makes them uniquely suited to cater to the mortal charges of the Seers. Not only rot and decay will bring fear to most people but controlling the food supply makes you lord over pretty much everyone.

              Druidic Legacies
              Existing Legacies: Orphans of Proteus, Walkers in the Mists, Sodality of the Tor, Dreamspeakers, Tamers of Rivers, Thread Cutters
              New Legacies: Tamers of Trees?, Tamers of Blood?

              Building a Druid's Mystery

              Beyond the Wooden Chalice

              Designer's Notes: The Sophros are based on chthonic mythology (where I use the term in its original meaning, as opposed to the “of the Underworld” sense that Mage has been using): Persephone is a good touchstone to use. They deal in nurturing in the Spring and harvesting in the Fall, the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

              More to come.
              Last edited by Dataweaver; 03-10-2018, 01:52 PM.


              • #8
                I'll have more later; but feel free to start commenting.


                • #9
                  Aretos: Theory (Prime) and Practice (Matter) .


                  • #10
                    Implemented. It goes beyond the relationship between Prime and Matter; but it certainly includes that.


                    • #11
                      Perhaps for Kleos: honor/glory/renown or memory. Elysium might also be an alternate for its Realm.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Exthalion View Post
                        Perhaps for Kleos: honor/glory/renown or memory. Elysium might also be an alternate for its Realm.
                        Memory and Myth

                        I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
                        An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
                        Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.


                        • #13

                          OK; I've got preliminary notes up for each Path. I intend to flesh out each one to match the Path write-ups found in M2e; but bear in mind that I'm not much of a writer. I will not object if anyone else wants to take a crack at any of the write-ups, as long as you're OK with me cutting-and-pasting your work into one of these write-up posts (possibly with editing, certainly with attribution). I intend to follow the format found in M2e.


                          • #14
                            If you are looking for a second sobriquet for Sophros, might I suggest Mediums? Death themed without being Necromancers. And for the "they summon the" part, what about Spectres or Wraiths?


                            • #15
                              That's a little too Death-themed. Remember, Life and Death; the cycle of the seasons, with Spring and Summer aligning with Life while Autumn and Winter align with Death. Persephone is in the Underworld only one season of the year, maybe two; she's in the land of the living for at least two others.