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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 Michelangelo, 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.

    The Aretos Awakening


    Realized Potential: Utopia in the Lie

    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
    Axios:
    Kleos:
    Mæstros:
    Moros:
    Sophros:

    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; 10-11-2018, 04:27 AM.


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    • #3
      Axios: the Trader
      Magic is risk and reward: to accomplish anything, one must be willing to give up something.
      We Awaken to the Watchtower of the Adamantine Scale in the Realm of the Divine Commonwealth.

      Traders and Advocates; Risk and Reward; Path of Merit

      Axios Awakenings


      The Contract: the Divine Commonwealth in the Lie

      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
      Life is no gift, its a bargain. You can live but you will die; you can feel joy but you will also suffer. It is just a tool. What you can do with your life is more important than the life itself.

      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 Adamantine Scale
      Aretos:
      Kleos:
      Mæstros:
      Mastigos:
      Sophros:

      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; 10-11-2018, 05:12 AM.


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

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        • #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


          The Epic: the Akashic Records in the Lie

          Kleos Magic
          Ruling Arcana
          Time and Mind

          Inferior Arcanum
          Space

          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
          Acanthus:
          Aretos:
          Axios:
          Mæstros:
          Sophros:

          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; 03-20-2018, 12:11 PM.


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          • #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


            The Regiment: the Elemental Nation in the Lie

            Mæstros Magic
            Ruling Arcana
            Forces and Spirit

            Inferior Arcanum
            Prime

            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
            Aretos:
            Axios:
            Kleos:
            Obrimos:
            Sophros:

            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; 03-20-2018, 12:08 PM.


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            • #7
              Sophros: the Druid
              Magic is the fertile soil of the garden of the world. We rule a time as Empresses flowering and splendid, fruits of Life’s magnificence. We grow old and as Hanged Men we fall on the black earth to sleep and grow again.
              We Awakened in Elysium, and took sustenance and shelter from the World Tree.

              He is a Druid tending to the crops and the trees. He doesn’t listen to spirits but to the song of life itself, the wisdom of growing sap and running blood. He doesn’t judge while wild beasts tear each other apart or when old trees take root in eyeless skulls. Blood is the life, blood is the nourishment of the dead and the root of life. He is the one who knows the herbs that heal and those who harm. No it’s not true, he knows they are one and the same and only dosage parts the cure from the poison.

              She is a Medium, a bridge between the living and the dead but also between wilderness and civilization. She offers herself to the ghosts speaking by her mouth and revels in the sensations her sight gives her. She knows the dead hunger for the sensations of the living and she gives them a chance to settle their business and return to the earth. Those who try to conquer her find her pliable and flowing, waiting for the appropriate time to escape. Everything has a season and everything has a time and yet the seasons pass and pass always the same.

              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.

              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.

              The Great Wheel: Elysium in the Lie

              Sophros Magic
              Ruling Arcana
              Life and Death: The Empress Hanging herself. Shades clothed in flesh and speaking through beasts’ cries. They are but two sides of the same coin. A stag runs through the woods leaving a trail of blood. His flesh will sing in the stomach of the hunter and flowers will grow along his bones. The Lie blinds Sleepers to the beauty of rot and they forgot life is nothing but growth and decay endlessly repeating. They sneer at the stinking swamp but Druids know. In the foulest mire grows the fairest lotus.

              Let other fear, Sophroï know they are immortals.

              Inferior Arcanum
              Time: Sophroï know that time moves forward but it clashes with their understanding. For Druids and Medium alike Time is a circle of growth and decay, each giving birth to the other, each becoming the other. In Elysium there is no beginning and no ends, no past and no future, only an endless cycle always in movement.

              Symbols and Myths
              The Empress and the Hanged Man. Growth and patience. Woman in her majesty clad with the stars and pregnant with the sun and her child descending into the world or into the grave. Gods of the Underworld who return to earth in the spring, images of rot and rebirth, life in death and death in life clad in emerald and gold.

              The Awakened Tarot tells the card of the Sophros is the Empress. She is young and glorious, full of idea and surrounded by lush life. She commands with grace and beauty and strength beyond the dictates of thought. Endless is the cup of her love and thus she commands to everything that lives and orders the locusts away from the crops and sends them against her foes. Their mystery card is the Hanged Man. She knows the wisdom of sacrifice and the necessity of patience. Fruits ripen and rot each in their time and speed must be tempered by reflection. She knows trials, flee her palace from a forest hut and old and wrinkled delivers to the grave the children she has delivered to life.

              Sophroï understand each stage of the cycle has its gods, rotting and resplendent and they invoke one after the other. They wail for Persephone when she is abducted by Hades but celebrates her as the Queen of Underworld before feting her return in the Spring. They talk to the ancestors, the ghosts who are the family and subsist as long as their clans endure. They meditate on the changing faces of those deities who die and are reborn just like corn and grain. All gods are interpreted along these lines and there is no difference between Osiris who fathers Horus while dead, Xipe Totec covering his jade bones with the golden skin of a sacrifice and John Barleycorn flowing in the bowl after rising to the sky.

              Yet they are not wild. The symbols they invoke can be frightening to a society who forgot sacrifice but they are the fundaments of civilization. Grinding the grain, seeding the earth, slaughtering the lamb and brewing the beer are what distinguish man from animals. Burying the dead too and hoping they will be reborn. They build their own idols of bones and grave-dirt and celebrate life’s end as they celebrate its beginning.

              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: Growth and Decay are at war within each of us and Sophroï Arrows understand that wielding one is the same as wielding the others. They consider the foe carefully, learning the cycles they follow, seeing the living pattern before pruning it with the right force.
              The Free Council: Life and Death are humanity’s oldest friends. Yes ants milk other insects but we are the only ones to have crafted whole species for our service and our consumption. Yes elephants have graveyards, but we are alone in finding new ways to send our departed to their final destination. Sophroï Councilors not only find meaning in the advent of GMO but also in the crafts that made humanity the masters of the natural world.
              The Guardians of the Veil: Yes Life gives you the power to hide your trace before a false face and learned instincts and Death can be used to rip the souls of the unworthy. Sophroï Guardians have other ways and other tools. They create gardens of delight where the weak will err without end, they create monsters and ghosts to frighten those who would sully the light of Awakening. Understanding that Magic is Fragile, those Guardians tend prospects as sacred flowers, and they don’t hesitate to dive into the swamp to fetch them.
              The Mysterium: Magic is alive, it is born, it grows, it decays and its death gives it birth anew. Sophros have moved beyond disgust and they seek the places of the earth where death gives birth to life. They study the undead and the mysteries of sacrifices, follow cryptids back to their lairs and understand better than anyone the wisdom of suffering. They pursue paths other find abhorrent, gladly pay prices in flesh and blood to unlock ruins and satiate ancient ghosts.
              The Silver Ladder:Rejoice for Life has been shaped by the hand of Mankind! Rejoice for Death is a transformation and you’ll never truly die! Life and Death are the two great extremes, but we tame animals and send our dead into the beyond with jewels and spells to make them kings. Druids thearchs know how to seed and how to harvest and if they have their way man will be given a new Eden where they will rejoice with their eyes wide open.
              Seers of the Throne: The Lie is built on greed and fear, two things the Shapers have in surplus. They can craft things so beautiful they entice people from the path to Awakening, drowning them in desire and contentment. They can blight crops, ruin figures and instill the fear of death to frighten away into blissful sleep. Each bargain with them bring Sleepers in contact with what they have been taught to fear or be disgusted and Shapers believe for themselves all glories of Life are for the taking.

              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 World Tree
              Aretos:
              Axios:
              Kleos:
              Mæstros:
              Thyrsus:

              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; 03-20-2018, 12:03 PM.


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


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

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


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

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                      • #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.

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                        • #13
                          Done.

                          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.


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                          • #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?

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                            • #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.


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