No announcement yet.

The Other Five Paths (2e)

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Dataweaver
    started a topic The Other Five Paths (2e)

    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.

  • DeadGuy
    some new ideas :
    KLEOS: Rulig Arcana Time and Mind - learning is just the recall of things you knew in the Future.

    inferior Arcanum Space - all minds are connected even across time itself ( the forseeing and correct prediction of the future , the repeat of history) as such Distance has no meaning.

    Maestros: Rulig Arcana Forces and Spirit - The forces of the universe have a Soul ! Theire Language are Fire and Lightning and they are imbued with a literal Spark of Life that is burning to bright and to hot , to be contained in a fleshy Shell.

    inferior Arcanum Prime - The supernal for all its glory is empty without the souls that are reflected in it .

    Leave a comment:

  • Dataweaver
    Taking some inspiration from the naming of the Mæstros Realm, I'm thinking of calling the Axios Realm “the Divine Commonwealth”.

    In other news, Storyteller's Vault is about to open a section for Chronicles of Darkness, including Mage: the Awakening, and I'm thinking of publishing this as soon as I can finish it. Does anyone who has contributed text object to me doing so? If I go through with this, I'm certainly going to do my best to give credit where credit is due; but spreading any income I make off of it to contributors isn't going to be feasible.

    Leave a comment:

  • DeadGuy
    just some idea : Axios: watchtower of adamantine scale (a symbol of trading)

    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 wile living is more important , than live in itself.
    Last edited by DeadGuy; 03-23-2018, 11:46 AM.

    Leave a comment:

  • ganonso
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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

    Leave a comment:

  • Dataweaver
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • ganonso
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Dataweaver
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Hardwire99
    Nice, I like it.

    Leave a comment:

  • ganonso
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Dataweaver

    Leave a comment:

  • ganonso
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Deinos
    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?

    Leave a comment:

  • Dataweaver
    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.

    Leave a comment: