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  • #16
    Originally posted by Michael View Post
    I like the Hermetics write-up a lot. It has a more naturalistic split between the Order and the Craftmasons, and it puts them in the world, rather than cloistered in their towers.

    As a suggestion, have you considered having the Hermetics become a more coherent Order around the the 18th/19th century? Like, there's a real historical movement there, between individual adepts who keep their ideas mostly to themselves, and the creation of organisations like the Free Masons which allow for more organised transmission (I mean, the Freemasons aren't really a mystical organisation, but there have been plenty of associated orders that were).
    It makes sense. The Hermetic writeup already mentions secret societies. As the Hermetic Schools are pushed further to the edges those societies would become more important. I like the name The Hermetic Schools, but I can see it partially phasing out in favor of The Hermetic Orders.


    I mean, that's not really much different to real life. You have events like the University of Paris telling their students to stop practicing necromancy. Plus, a lot of what comes down to us as Western ritual magic is really the ideas of law and theology that would have been taught at universities, applied to metaphysics.
    Indeed, that was the inspiration for this. Universities taught some very strange things in some very strange ways over the years. The main difference here is degree. In this case the records of the University of Paris or studies in sympathies and antipathies are what's left after the Technocracy scrubbed the history books.


    Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
      Note: Names in [brackets] are placeholders for Conventions and other names that may be changed later. The [Craftmasons] especially need a more academic name.


      The Hermetic Schools


      The Problem:

      The Order of Hermes is the prime example of 20th century ideas backdated and arbitrarily plopped into history. They get away with it more because they are introducing something rather than replacing it.

      Goals:
      • A Tradition for high ritual magic, arcane lore, scholarship, and knowledge
      • Predates the Traditions as an organization
      • Still involved with the discovery of subjective reality
      • Still brings forth the idea of will
      The Idea:

      The wizard, the wise old scholar who dredges magical knowledge from dusty and arcane tomes, was born of the scholars that rooted through monastic libraries for old roman texts. The wizard Tradition, then, will lean into that.

      Changes:

      The main change here is that the Hermetic Schools are not an organized alliance of mages with a specific character, but a network of mage scholars with a similar approach. They do not bring in the Sphere system as that has little to do with learning the hermetic arts. They also don’t pigheadedly insist on nine chairs for the council. They do bring in a parlance built for describing magic, even the magic they don’t understand, and that language does spread throughout the Traditions over time. The benefits of taking the minutes.

      They probably do still bring Certamen in, at least in some form. University professors used to have to defend their positions against challengers in their respective fields. Mathematicians would have mathematics duels. Mages would have magic duels.

      The Hermetics thoughts on Will come from the approaches they needed to take to get various incompatible styles of magic to work together.
      I disagree about them not introducing the Spheres. It seems very much like that's exactly the sort of thing that a bunch of scholars of magick would come up with, as a way of cataloging the magical Phenomena they investigate. Not to mention their interest in the power of names and of symbols.


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      • #18
        Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post

        I disagree about them not introducing the Spheres. It seems very much like that's exactly the sort of thing that a bunch of scholars of magick would come up with, as a way of cataloging the magical Phenomena they investigate. Not to mention their interest in the power of names and of symbols.

        I agree that a bunch of Scholars of Magic would come up with a system of terminology and categorization, I just don't think it would look anything like the Spheres. The spheres are too results oriented. They first and foremost communicate what a Mage can do. The Scholars language would more likely break things down by methodology and theory.

        Instead, I think the Spheres would originate in a shorthand Traditions Mages would use to communicate what they could do and plan strategies. If it had a pre-Traditions origin I think it would lie with the Verbena. With the strangeness of the Wildlands they'd have need a quick and dirty terminology to understand unfamiliar magic.

        Last edited by Ramnesis; 10-26-2022, 07:58 AM.


        Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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        • #19
          Would it not make a certain sense to just ditch Spheres as an in-setting concept?


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          • #20
            Originally posted by Michael View Post
            Would it not make a certain sense to just ditch Spheres as an in-setting concept?
            It would, and I nearly went down that path. In an early draft I stated it explicitly in the Hermetics writeup. I took it out because it wasn't the problem that I was trying to fix so it would be better to leave enough room that people could take it or leave it.


            Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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            • #21
              I havent read it all, I'll just post this before forgeting, and I'll read the rest, but in my games, the "Order of Hermes" was basically the "Traditions before the Traditions were cool", and they were basically the guys who were invited to join the Order of Reason but respectfully declined, saying that "we can do better". So, before either the Order of Hermes or the Order of Reason officially formed, like minded Mages gathered, exchanged knowledge, debated, formed groups, argued, and than they split into 2 unreconciable groups, that would be know as the Order of Reason and the Order of Hermes. And then, they fought. With words first. With violence shortly after. And then they went to war. And when the hermetics began to lose, they turned to those "undesirables" outsiders which they never in their wildest dreams ever considered siding with before, and formed the Traditions to fight with their most bitter enemies.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                Note: Names in [brackets] are placeholders for Conventions and other names that may be changed later. The [Craftmasons] especially need a more academic name.


                The Hermetic Schools


                The Problem:

                The Order of Hermes is the prime example of 20th century ideas backdated and arbitrarily plopped into history. They get away with it more because they are introducing something rather than replacing it.

                Goals:
                • A Tradition for high ritual magic, arcane lore, scholarship, and knowledge
                • Predates the Traditions as an organization
                • Still involved with the discovery of subjective reality
                • Still brings forth the idea of will
                The Idea:

                The wizard, the wise old scholar who dredges magical knowledge from dusty and arcane tomes, was born of the scholars that rooted through monastic libraries for old roman texts. The wizard Tradition, then, will lean into that.

                The Rewrite:

                The Hermetics are not the continuation of ancient knowledge cults, but the inheritors of them. They arose in the tangled time following the fall of the Western Roman Empire. In the wake of that fall, much of the knowledge and writings were left in disarray in monasteries and private libraries. The scholars and lords who poured over old Roman texts found a treasure trove of knowledge, both mundane and magical.

                What started as an informal network of scholars grew into an association. Scribes who could read and write the lost languages joined, bringing their own lost traditions with them. Using willpower and more than a little desperation these seekers hammered away at an ecclectic mix of secrets, lore, mathematics, and traditions until they wrested understanding away. Schools and competing philosophies were born and named around prominent Mages or philosophers. This knowledge spread across Europe and by the 1100s it was taught in universities. Many a young lord or merchant’s child received at least a partial education in the arts, while a smaller group of lords and prodigies continued on to master the harder levels that required something extra. This is very much like the spread of knowledge in our world and that’s no accident because this is also part of the history of the Technocracy.

                Within the Schools there was always a divide between those who were interested in what the hidden knowledge meant and those who were only interested in what it could do. The pragmatist schools leaned towards philosophies that were easier to use and more reliable, whereas the hermetic schools leaned more towards the philosophies that required special enlightened understanding or will. In the days before Paradox the Hermetics had the edge in power and visibility, while the pragmatics had the edge in numbers and understandability.

                That changed with the discovery of the consensus. While the Hermetics initially saw it as an idle curiosity a few members of the School of [Craftmasons] saw an opportunity. Using well timed challenges and coups they were able to unseat and disgrace their opponents in the public sphere. The next few decades saw a steady purge of Hermetics from positions of power and education. When they rallied and started to use their connections and secret societies to turn the tide, the [Craftmasons] and the [Celestial Masters] took their knowledge of the consensus to the [Gabrielites] and the [Explorators] and the Order of Reason was born.

                The Secret History:

                Prior to the founding of the Order, Europe was a much more magical place with various studies of magic and mystery taught in university or passed around in everyday life. The Technocracy has expunged much of this from history, though bits of it remain.

                Magical universities remain, though they are pared down and understaffed.

                Changes:

                The main change here is that the Hermetic Schools are not an organized alliance of mages with a specific character, but a network of mage scholars with a similar approach. They do not bring in the Sphere system as that has little to do with learning the hermetic arts. They also don’t pigheadedly insist on nine chairs for the council. They do bring in a parlance built for describing magic, even the magic they don’t understand, and that language does spread throughout the Traditions over time. The benefits of taking the minutes.

                They probably do still bring Certamen in, at least in some form. University professors used to have to defend their positions against challengers in their respective fields. Mathematicians would have mathematics duels. Mages would have magic duels.

                The Hermetics thoughts on Will come from the approaches they needed to take to get various incompatible styles of magic to work together.
                Superb! Yes, indeed this is my view. Both the "Order of Hermes" and the "Order of Reason", in my pov come from medieval Europe "magic guilds" if you will, who had no central structure, but who were rather part of the same "cultural zeitgeist", and at some point they were all the same. I liked your definition of "philosophers" and "pragmatics" forming the basis of what would become the split and the formal organization of the two groups, as they start getting at each other's throats - and this is a much more organic approach, since both groups form as a reaction to the other, as opposing forces forming and taking shape out of that conflict.

                It begins with academic debates, and I would suggest that the [Craftmasons] (not as a formed or official group, but rather as a "school of thought") to perhaps be the primary drive towards it, with the ["Ascendants"] being the school of thought antagonizing them.

                The idea would be that, among those scholars, debate would start as to what exactly should be accomplished with Magic; the [Craftmasons] arguing that Magic should be used to the betterment of humankind, while the ["Ascendants"] argued that the Material was an illusion, and that Ascension was the sole purpose of existance; to the [Craftmasons], the ["Ascendants"] were aloof fools who cared not about the real world except for their religion, while for the ["Ascendants"] the [Craftmasons] were fools that could not see the "karmic wheel of life" (I know I know, that's not european hermetic esoterism, Im just using it as hyperbole) and did not recognize the importance of individual Ascension, thus risking stagnation into the trappings of power.
                Meanwhile, some individual scholars would be caught in the cross fire of the heated debate, and once violence started to erupt, were forced to pick a side. For example, many pragmatics who did not share the [Craftmasons] school of thought because they just simply didnt care at all about the "betterment of humankind", they just wanted to use the Arts to fill their pockets, eventually decided that it was best to join the other pragmatics against those "ascetics fools" in order to better preserve their self interests; those would eventually band togheter to form the one so called [High Guild] group inside the OoR.

                As for the "Hermetic Schools", I would say that those are much more a matter of geography than of specific philosophies; so for example, the "Society of the Rod" (fictional just made name) would be the small group of scholars from the university of Marseille; the "Cabbalistic Scholars" would be the scholars from Bavaria, and so on, so forth.

                As the conflict OoR OoH forms, the final Hermetic Houses that comprises the Order end up being those that survive the onslaught, or that are fused togheter due to political or economic reasons - for example, both of this fictional groups from Marseille and Bavaria could band togheter after a meeting of their members, where they decide that the ["Pragmatics"] must be expelled, and their heresy must be academically purged; and those 2 universities band togheter to form the "House Flambeau" (for example). The pragmatic students from both universities however, bitter for being "excommunicated", exchange letters, and decide to form the "Society of Free Thought", and start to organize symposiums in several european universities, to discuss about the importance of using the arts for the "Greater Good", and the newly formed "House Flambeau" reacts to this using it's resources and influence to try to convince lords to deny those pretenders passage, until finally one of the pragmatics is arrested to face a church judgement... And this is the beggining of the end...

                Something like that.

                By the way, I also dont like [Craftmasons]. I was thinking about the Knights Hospitallers for this role. Or perhaps the Franciscan Order of the Catholic Church, or perhaps both; the Knights could later on turn into the Gabrielites, and the Franciscans into the [Craftmasons] (with a better name, or perhaps Hospitallers even)

                Edit: one interesting point to make, this also has another additional bonus to it, since we can make the other traditions hold a grudge towards the Order of Hermes saying that "you guys were the ones that caused the Technocracy". An uneducated opinion, for sure, but one that adds spice to game
                Last edited by Kakost; 11-13-2022, 02:37 AM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                  The Chorus

                  The Problem:

                  By sheer numbers, Catholic and Muslim paradigms should outnumber just about everyone else. Instead, the main monotheistic Tradition is dominated by a fringe group that rejects just about everything either religion believes. The group is also sometimes considered responsible for things done in the name of Christianity despite not being beholden to Christianity.


                  Notes:

                  I’m using The Church as shorthand for the Catholic Church because the struggle described in this section is largely taking place in Europe.

                  Goals:

                  The Celestial Chorus needs to have a place for two kinds of characters. It needs to have room for Mages with a more traditional monotheistic paradigm and it needs to have room for Mages who see the "real truth" behind those religions. Verisimilitude requires the first group, but many players (particularly those who’ve had bad experiences with Christianity) need the option of the latter. In typical 90s fashion the Chorus was written with the latter in mind. There was no need to choose, though.
                  • Write the Chorus as an ecumenical alliance
                  • Keep the meta-religion but reduce its impact
                  • Make sure the Chorus doesn’t dominate the Traditions
                  • Sideline the most influential faction of mages in Europe until the Order of Reason has momentum.

                  The Rewrite:

                  The single biggest change here is that the Chorus is not a secret meta religion hiding within real religions. That is far to niche an idea to be a unifying thread for the Tradition. Instead, the Chorus is precisely what it needs to be for Modern Mage: an ecumenical alliance of religious Mages that work together for protection. That's how they formed in the face of the Order of Reason and that is what they are now.

                  As for the Meta-Religion, instead of originating in 2000 BC, it originates around 100 BC as a fictional mix of gnostic and other contemporary groups. It never claimed to be a true religion but sought for a truth that it claimed other religions pointed towards. Finally, it never hid itself in other religions but would just be a group of fringe scholars with strange ideas that never claimed to be Christian, Muslim, etc. This gives these Seekers a connection and character that ties them in with the history of modern Monotheism without putting them in the driver’s seat.

                  The Chorus was one of the last Traditions to fully to come together in its modern form. The Seekers, unused to being in the direct crosshairs of the [Gabrielites], joined almost immediately and spread the word as wide as they could, quickly bringing in heretical groups of Christians and the Jewish mages of Europe. The response of the more mainstream Christian mages was mixed. Many, shocked at the disappearance of a city, offered aid and counsel but only a smaller number joined. Those within the hierarchy of the Church condemned the actions of the [Gabrielites] but would not support the Traditions. The [Gabrielites] were still believers, or so they thought, and should be brought to heel not fought. They underestimated the [Gabrielites]’s zealotry, they underestimated it’s influence within the Church, and they underestimated the tools the other Conventions could bring to bear.

                  The [Gabrielites] responded badly. They used their influence in the Church to try to embed their own views within the Church and get all sorcery declared as heresy (see the Malleus Maleficarum). When their theology was condemned by the Inquisition (yes, really. See the Malleus Maleficarum), they had their allies use the new media (the printing press) to fan the flames of division within the Church*, turning an internal dispute into the Protestant Reformation. That schism caused shockwaves through Europe, both politically and metaphysically, causing war and outbreaks of paranormal and demonic activity.

                  *The [Gabrielites] did not cause the dispute. It was already there.

                  The [Gabrielites] made gains with the people during this chaotic time, but they also tipped their hand. Though Catholic and Protestant mages still squabbled with each other, they saw the [Gabrielites] as a true threat and joined the Chorus in droves. This may have been the first misstep that eventually led to the ousting of the [Gabrielites] from the Order. Even so, the largest faction of Mages was sidelined before they could put a stop to the Order of Reason. By the time they did organize the Order had a foothold.

                  The Secret History:

                  There’s a time of metaphysical instability around the Reformation, with lots of strange activity, some demonic, some not. It would last for at least a century. Whether it was caused by the consensus, the weakening of the Church, or opportunistic Nephandi is not clear.

                  There is a real-world legend that Martin Luther once banished a demon by dropping his trousers and showing off his butt and I thought it fitting to play into that. Whether it is true in real life or not, it definitely happened in the WoD.

                  Changes:

                  Without a 4000 year old cult to bring forward the ideas of the Pure Ones, there are no Pure Ones in Traditions lore. That’s not a terrible loss. The Chorus also won’t bring in the idea of Avatars, so that will have to come from elsewhere if it comes in at all.

                  The Chorus does not have a faith over dogma policy. That makes no sense in Mage. It does have a 'don't actively fight each other' policy.

                  I’ve largely left Islam out of this story. Muslim mages were present in the early Chorus, but I suspect that far more of them joined the Batini. They only started joining the Chorus in numbers when the Batini receded.

                  I don’t actually have a reason to call them the Celestial Chorus, I just don’t have a better name.
                  Ahhh, ok. I was about to say that last part. Yes, I fully agree. Muslim mages should not primarily be part of the Chorus. Muslim mages should go for the Batini. The "ecumenic alliance" should mostly be about Christian designations, with some eventual Jews.

                  For the Muslims, the Batini should have that role, as "ecumenic muslims", holding for instance jews, a few christian Batinis but mostly, Shia and Sunni.

                  And in here, I would like to add another point: just like we have the Gabrielites being christian zealots, I believe a group of islamic zealots in too in proper place; now, this group can NOT be part of the Traditions, since they are zealots who hate non muslims; they cant be part of the OoR or the Techies either, since those are a collection of atheists, pagans and kafirs that is intolerable to them.

                  I suggest those guys to be the Taftani craft, or some such to play this role.

                  I would also like to add another craft, but one that

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                    The Chorus


                    Without a 4000 year old cult to bring forward the ideas of the Pure Ones, there are no Pure Ones in Traditions lore. That’s not a terrible loss. The Chorus also won’t bring in the idea of Avatars, so that will have to come from elsewhere if it comes in at all.
                    The idea of Avatars could come from either the Batini (they already have a similar concept).

                    In truth, I've always had a hard time telling the difference between the Batini and the Choristers. Their paradigms are so similar that the only real difference I could point out is mundane Christianism x Islam, which never made much sense to me after both join the same team, excluding if that's generated due to an artificial division (which would ironically run absolutely contrary the the core concepts of both) for political reasons.

                    I mean, there are many traditions who formed as umbrellas to different groups with a far more greater divide between them than that that could possibly be between the Batini and the Chorus

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                      I haven't really touched the Batini, partly for the same reasons I didn't do much with the Akashics. I don't have a plan for them, but I do have a few comments:

                      1) Having them accept Islam as the creator advancing the peace they were supposed to advance was a clever idea. I can't speak to the theological accuracy, but it neatly sidesteps the idea that the religion is a lesser understanding of the truth.

                      2) I don't think they need to start as a hybridization of Akashics and CoX (I think it was CoX), but if they are it is a good reason to handle them as a syncretic Tradition like the Hermetics or Verbena
                      Yes to all points. I particularly never liked that crazy story about the fusion of an Akashic and one Cox into a single entity being their founder. I'd much more like to have them coming into being as part of an organic evolution of what middle east history has to offer, both before and after islam. Zoroatrism would be a good start, since it's the closer to their idea of "Unity" that anyone could ever get from the ancient world - perhaps even more so than islam itself. Zoroatrism is not monotheist of course, it's a dualist religion, but unlike say Taoism which sees the entire world as a sort of eternal balancing between opposite forces, for Zoroatrism those two Divines do not represent any sort of balance, but rather a fight between good and evil, therefore this "balance" relies on the active victory of one side; one side represents balance, order, unity, ascension; the other side however represents solely destruction, corruption and descent.

                      Zoroatrism also forms a better ground for the proto Batini wars against the "Devil Kings".

                      Added to this, we could also have influences from the many arabic pagan cults of the middle east that existed before Islam, althought those could end up being clumped togheter into the Taftani (who are in a desperate need of further expansion), so that theTaftani would basically be akin to "Middle East Verbena".

                      In regards to the muslim world, I would also like to suggest a new faction that would play the role that the Gabrielites played to the Celestial Chorus; and that role is that of fanatic zealots. I'll call this new thing as the [Janissaries] until I find a better name.

                      So, while the Batini are tolerant and inclusive towards pretty much everybody just like the Chorus is, the Janissaries are... Well, a lot less palatable to outsiders, pretty much like the Gabrielites.

                      Unlike the Gabrielites thou, the Janissaries never joined the Order of Reason and, in fact, became their biggest enemies - and perhaps they are still the biggest thorn in the Technocracy's feet to this day, even more so than the beated Traditions. And they would be behind much of the islamic beligerance in the modern world; they outright reject technocratic paradigm, but ultimately lost much of their influence - the sleeper sheiks have iPhones and BMWs, and the awakened ones actively work for the Syndicate. So the Janissaries lost the elites of their holdings, but they instead turned to do what the old Order of Reason did at the very beggining: they instead turned to the masses, and now the Salafists sleeper branches born out of their efforts indoctrinate younglings into a fanatic approach of islam that preaches never ending Jihad against the infidels, mostly against that big "Iblis Al-Qadin" (Satan) know as the "USA" (which for the Janissaries represent the incarnation of their most hated apostate enemies, the Order of Reason), much to the dismay and appaling reproach of the Batini.

                      In fact, the ultimate radicalization of the Janissaries may well be the reason why the Batini ultimately left the Traditions, much more so than the technocratic encrochment in Middle East, with the Batini trying (without much success) to contain the excesses of the [Janissaries] that yes, while fighting back against the Union with some limited success, are causing havoc and turmoil in their lands, much more so than even the Techies themselves.

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                      • #26
                        One more addendum: in my games, I could NEVER EVER explain things like WW1, WW2 or the Bolshevik Revolution. And the reason for this is that, if those nations are all either controlled or HEAVILY influenced by the Technocracy, why would the Union ever push towards both World Wars and the insanity of the Cold War - or at least not try to prevent them?

                        And my response has always been "Technocratic Civil Wars".

                        And I did came with an interesting solution: the ressurgence of the Craftmasons.

                        Yes, in my game settings the Craftmasons are purged by the OoR in the Order's infancy; however, there is a problem thou, which is that: you can kill a person, but you cant kill an idea.

                        Therefore, althought the Craftmasons were officially terminated inside the OoR, their ideals remained for a very very long time after their official demise.

                        Sympathetics inside the OoR remained for centuries, breeding a conspiration inside the conspiration, and just like in the real world the Masons claim to be "spiritual descendants" of the Templars, so too would the ["Craftmasons"] ressurface time and again.

                        The first time this happens is during the French Revolution. The OoR is taken by surprise as massive numbers of their ranks defect in order to join the roguish faction that formed in the revolutionaire France, and this movement was the OoR real baptism by fire. Not the traditions, not the Janissaries of the middle east, not the Wu Lung in China (I'll also talk a bit about them). No. The defining moment for the OoR was the French Revolution, when a ghost of the past came back to haunt them, and in such a display of strenght that it shook the very foundations of their world.

                        Little did they know however, that these "Neo-Craftmasons" had already did the same in the independency of the USA, but that was considered a minor event by the central leaders of the OoR, and the infiltrated rogue Craftmasons quickly worked to have the Order support that war.

                        But during the French Revolution, the Craftmason Conspiracy was made clear after centuries of working in the shadows and infiltrating the Order.

                        But eventually they were defeated and overthrowed. And this time, this ghost would be put to rest.

                        Or so did the Order thought.

                        Because, the [Craftmasons] would come back yet another time, again taking the now Technocratic Union by surprise.

                        It began with a plan for a "short war" in the Balkans. "It will take no more than 3 weeks", is what many graduated technocrats affirmed. The plan was to use this "short war" as cover for literal witch-hunts of traditionalists.

                        And so, the trap was sprung. A serbian natiinalist assassinates the austrian royalty. The system of alliances plunges the world into WW1.

                        Unkowingly to most of the Technocracy, this was a very detailed plan set in motion by the same "cultural zeitgeist" that ignited the flames of revolution in France 1 century before: "Neo-Craftmasonship".

                        This time, it these Neo-Craftmasons did more than just indoctrinating the masses like they did in France; they learned several valuable lessons back then.

                        Instead, they set the pieces of their game in place to plunge the world into the most brutal war humanity had ever conceived, with the goal of destroying the power bases of the Technocracy, while simultaneously using the ensuing chaos to spread the fires of revolution, upon which they would rebuild the world from the ashes of war into their dreamed Utopia.

                        The "Neo-Craftmasons" expected for all the european empires to utterly crumble and descend into open revolution, which they would guide towards their goals, but the Technocracy managed to mostly avert that, while at the same time finding a true powerhouse as the seat of their power in the USA, changing their position from the british empire into it. For the Neo Craftmasons however, not all was lost, since they ended up successful in Russia, and thus they defected en masse from the Technocracy in order to join their newly formed rogue group centered at Moscow, with the firm purpose of using their power grip over the USSR in order to slowly spread the revolution towards the rest of the world.

                        As for paradigm, those "Neo Craftmasons" are Tecnocrats. Their schism towards the rest of the Union is political, not philosophical. They retain somewhat the same worldview of the ancient [Craftmasons] that the "arts" (now enlightned science) must be used for the betterment of the masses.

                        Now, WW2 could be viewed as Nefandic influence, but here again I prefer it to be the "Masons" influence yet again, so basically WW2 would be a Mason plan, after seeing how well WW1 (The Great War at that tjme) went for what they were hoping, they decided to do it again. So, another "Great War" would help spread their revolution they thought.

                        What they didnt know is that this time, it were their ranks that were infiltrated, but this time it were by nephandic forces.

                        Anyway, WW2 ends, and what happens between 1945 and 1991 is the final chapter of the "Technocratic Civil War", upon which the Technocracy, centered in the USA, fought against the rogue technocratic group of the "Neo Masons", centered in the USSR and China.

                        Meanwhile of course, the Traditions are still in the middle of the crossfire, because in this specific case, the enemy of my enemy, is also my enemy.

                        Anyway, that's my 2 cents out of it all.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Kakost View Post




                          Ahhh, ok. I was about to say that last part. Yes, I fully agree. Muslim mages should not primarily be part of the Chorus. Muslim mages should go for the Batini. The "ecumenic alliance" should mostly be about Christian designations, with some eventual Jews.

                          For the Muslims, the Batini should have that role, as "ecumenic muslims", holding for instance jews, a few christian Batinis but mostly, Shia and Sunni.

                          And in here, I would like to add another point: just like we have the Gabrielites being christian zealots, I believe a group of islamic zealots in too in proper place; now, this group can NOT be part of the Traditions, since they are zealots who hate non muslims; they cant be part of the OoR or the Techies either, since those are a collection of atheists, pagans and kafirs that is intolerable to them.

                          I suggest those guys to be the Taftani craft, or some such to play this role.

                          I would also like to add another craft, but one that
                          If I recall correctly, the Taftani are supposed to be based on pre-Islamic beliefs in that region.


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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                            If I recall correctly, the Taftani are supposed to be based on pre-Islamic beliefs in that region.
                            Yes, but since those pagan pre islamic faiths were driven into extinction, I'd believe that so would the Taftani's connection to those dead cultures. So I imagined that they could be absorbed into islamic culture with a different purpose from the Batini, or, that the pre islamic mage cults, forcibly converted to islam (or simply exterminated when refused), would be absorbed by the Batini, either willingly or forcefully, and the Taftani would simply be yet another islamic faction, who could play this role of being zealots - they already have this ideology of basically causing "mass Paradox" as a form of resistance against the Techies, so I figured that they could be reinvented for such a role, it would fit perfectly.

                            By it may well be that we could just simply keep the Taftani untouched as they are, and to claim that yes, they still cling to long dead traditions of extinct cultures - which to me is at best odd, considering how hard would it be to recruit newly awaken mages from a population that is almost exclusively muslim - and in the few exceptions, are jews or christians, but NEVER pagans. So, trying to preach about the Moon God to a bunch of monotheistic students wouldnt be the healthier thing to do...

                            But ok, the Taftani could remain as they are - even thou I think it's a silly idea - but we could add those [Janissaries] zealots as another craft, the ones who recently would be pushing for the most extremist Wahabist views of Islam nowadays (but I still think the Taftani would be a better fit for the job)

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                            • #29
                              Given the passing similarities between the Taftani and the stories in 1001 Nights, I took a look at the history of the latter to see if there was any inspiration to be had.

                              First and most importantly, the first direct mention of the compendium was in the 900s AD and it was explicitly described as a collection of stories nobles would tell after dinner. There is no evidence that it had much cultural significance beyond that. Because of that this looks like a rare case where we can say a fictional group inspired a real world element without trampling over everything. If we assume that in Mage the Taftani are the inspiration for the 1001 Nights stories that would mean they go back to at least the 700-900s AD.

                              There are also some thoughts that the stories started as Hindu stories told through an Arabic or Persian lens. That's not a certainty, but that kind of cultural mixing would be a good reason for the formation of a unique group of Mages. It also explains how those Mages could survive as the region they come from was not completely dominated by one culture or the other (for a given value of dominated).

                              That's probably where I would start when figuring out an origin for the Taftani.

                              The Batini I am less sure of because they should be much more tied into Islam without being representative of Islam itself.


                              Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                                The Batini I am less sure of because they should be much more tied into Islam without being representative of Islam itself.
                                The Batini would probably be very hardly connected to Islamic Sufism, which is the esoteric study of islam. It's a more philosophical and metaphysic study of islam than the "popular" adherence of either Sunni or Shia.

                                It would be more or less the difference between reading the Bible and going to the church, and being a theology philosopher.

                                Batin literally means "hidden knowledge".

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