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The Other Five Paths (2e)

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  • That was also the section that i was going to add the Saints and Heroes of Elysium.


    • Right. Also, the part where you discuss their magical style would be a good place to put a reference to what sorts of materials and weapons they favor for their Path Tools (see Materials box, p.121).


      • As for Building the Druid's Mystery: I see them favoring Stamina and Composure due to their tendency to endure, and Wits for the stereotype of the “wise woman” and her perception. They're likely to favor Crafts and Medicine (with the former leaning toward older crafts like pottery and woodworking) as well as Survival and Animal Ken.


        • For stereotypes (in this case, Beyond the World Tree), I'd also provide a stereotype for the Thyrsus, as they're the existing Path that's most likely to be confused with the Sophros. A quick blurb highlighting how their views differ would go a long way.

          EDIT: I've gone ahead and added a classic Path stereotype entry for each of these Paths, based on which one needs to contrasted the most. Aretos: Moros. Axios: Mastigos. Kleos: Acanthus. Mæstros: Obrimos. Sophros: Thyrsus.
          Last edited by Dataweaver; 03-10-2018, 12:27 PM.


          • Another note: the initial italicized section? That's 2e's equivalent of 1e's “___ on the Path of ___, Scions of the Watchtower of ___ in the Realm of ___, Kingdom of ___ and Abode of ___”. It should be kept brief: two one-sentence paragraphs, one describing how the Path conceptualizes magic and one naming the Realm and Watchtower. Further elaboration coming in later sections.


            • Great stuff, I am most certainly planning on mages in my next chronicle as being split between the old and new paths. Any idea on what active mage sight for these guys would be like, especially for Axios?


              • For Time as the Inferior Arcanum of the Sophros I would like to propose something a bit more esoteric

                "Inferior Arcanum: Time. Sophroï knows 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."

                EDIT: Basically rereading the 2nd path descriptions, the Inferior Arcanum is described as something who doesn't exist in the Supernal Realm of the Path and thus is not easily understood by the Path, not something they think they shouldn't do.


                • Implemented.


                  • Sophroï
                    The Druids
                    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.

                    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.

                    Sophroï Magic:
                    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 knows 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. To admit Time exists and can be influenced would be renouncing to their cyclical viewpoint and assign things true beginnings and true ends.

                    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.

                    Druids in the Orders
                    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.

                    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.

                    Guardian 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.

                    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.

                    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.

                    My Sophroï. I will need some days and reflection for the three example characters. I think the third will be some kind of immortal who basically dies, go to the Underworld for some time, and is reborn again.


                    • Nice, I like it.


                      • I'm going to borrow liberally from this, though I'm not going to use it all as written.

                        A couple of nitpicks: first, you're overdoing the tarot references. In the core book write-ups, the tarot cards are confined to the first part of the Symbols and Myths section. You've got them all over the place. Second, you've ignored the Realm and Watchtower. Granted, they don't appear much in the official write-ups; but they do appear.
                        Last edited by Dataweaver; 03-20-2018, 12:01 PM.


                        • Actually the Tarot references are also in the Ruling Arcana for Acanthus and Thyrsus (Wheel of Fortune and Moon) and it's the latter one I used as a model but I see what you say.

                          For the Realm and the Watchtower I see personally a swamp. While Death has authority on ghosts I feel like the Moros have more thematic links to Shades and Death as an unsubstantial force.

                          On another subject I must develop but have some reasoning on the Inferior Arcana

                          Aretos: Fate: I don't think it's the chaotic nature of Fate that they don't understand. Utopia is the realm where you build yourself as well as exterior things. There is no Fate but what you craft for yourself, not exterior destiny puts on you.

                          Axios: Life: Well that one is difficult. In the Firmament there is no Life but for advocates and merchants there must be inhabitants Perhaps it's a Fae like situation where life is maintained by a series of oaths and contracts which means the Axios cannot understand how to control biological processes for they don't see them as independant things?

                          Kleos: Difficult too. Perhaps something in the veins of the Sophroï with Time? Places are not important in the Akasha, what's important are stories and stories are universal. Places are the set and the set cannot move without changing the story? Space as an inferior Arcanum is rather weird.

                          Maestros: Prime: Magic is alive in the Elemental Nations, as if everything you interact with has a Spirit and a will. Sorcerers understand there are ways to create magic from the inanimate but they don't really understand it. Magic for them must be fought, tamed or befriended.
                          Last edited by ganonso; 03-20-2018, 05:06 PM.


                          • Part of the difficulty with the Axios is that the fundamentals are back up in the air. The Firmament is a holdover from the days when Space/Fate was being presented as astrologers; no more. I don't know what the Axios Realm is anymore; but it isn't the Firmament.
                            Last edited by Dataweaver; 10-11-2018, 04:51 AM.


                            • Inferior for Mæstros isn't Spirit; that's one of their Ruling Arcana. Their Inferior Arcanum is Prime.


                              • Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                                Part of the difficulty with the Axios is that the fundamentals are back up in the air. The Firmament is a holdover from the days when Space/Fate was being presented as astrologers; no more. I don't know what the Axios Realm is anymore; but it isn't there Firmament.
                                Something to consider because you described them as Merchants. Why not look to the Unchained? Pacts, bargains and transactions are not things emphasized in the Mastigos write-up so that part of the demon myth is up for grabs. Their realm could be just like Arcadia a place of Contracts, where Life is no more than commodities to be traded away, not some eternal truth.