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Saints Among Us - An alternate approach to Legacies

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  • Axelgear
    So, I said this next post would be about the Mana Economy. So here's the Mana Economy.


    Drips and Drams - Mana, Legacies, and the Awakened

    Let it not be said that economics is not a facet of Awakened life. Yes, whatever power the Awakened might possess, none of them are without need for something. Sometimes, these needs are esoteric - ranging from highly specific and rather strange sacraments for casting potent spells (can't really pop around to your neighbour to ask if they have any powdered saint bones, now, can you?) to breeding stock for their pet Proximus family - but such esoteric needs are usually niche products, or at least region-specific. While no dealer in rare antiquities, esoterica, or occult gewgaws will ever starve in an area that is host to a Consilium, such objects have highly fluctuating value. Instead, most regular Awakened commerce takes the form of a handful of specific goods: Rotes, services, Mana, and good old fashioned cash.

    Of all these goods, perhaps the most expensive are rotes (and other training) and services; these are the big ticket items of Awakened trade. Rotes are rarely traded for anything less than another rote or access to some particular Mystery. A gift of a new rote is often the price paid for a young mystagogue to rise from neokoros inferior to neokoros superior. Training in the Arcana or for Gnosis are similarly expensive.

    Likewise, services are the begrudging commodity of Awakened society; no sorcerer is an island and every cabal has skills it lacks. While Orders encourage their members to help one another out, rare is the Mage that will work for free (and the Mysterium outright rules working for free to be immoral).

    On both these fronts, members of Legacies are not unusual. However, when it comes to Mana, they are quite different.

    Mana is, at first blush, a relatively freely available substance. Hallows bloom it into existence; familiars can channel essence into Mana; a skilled thaumaturge can create Hallows outright; and, of course, every Mage can scour their Patterns. The idea that any Mage should ever feel deprived with Mana so seemingly plentiful may feel, at first, absurd.

    The truth is far from the fantasy. Hallows, like unused muscle, wane without regular use; in areas where they go unused, the Awakened may find only barrenness. When Awakened arrive to find Hallows, a balance between claimants and availability will form quickly... And then, very rapidly, see any further arrivals left without a source.

    Familiars and Hallow creation, meanwhile, are refined skills; requiring an Adept of Spirit or Master of Prime who is willing to sacrifice a piece of themselves for others. In the case of the latter, they also need to be willing to make enemies of every Awakened in the region as their Hallow produces a disruption of the local ley lines. For the former, there is the smaller cost of needing to find a willing spirit - no easy task in and of itself - and somehow get it across the Gauntlet, all while willing to serve the Mage and curbing its worst excesses. Rare is the spirit that happily agrees to serve as a Mana battery for its master in what amounts to an act of supernatural parasitism. While some are amenable to bargains - accepting payments of essence in exchange for larger meals of them in future - few are willing to let the act be taken for granted.

    As for scouring... It should be noted: Scouring hurts. Ripping out a piece of one's very being is not a gentle experience. Weeping tears of blood is not fun. Sapping oneself of strength or resilience or health is punishing. While some Mages may do it to test their endurance or out of desperation, no sorcerer does it when there's an alternative. Some Awakened may compare the idea to feeling the need to drive a nail through one's palm each time you have to fill up the gas tank of your car: You'll be able to drive but that bus is starting to look mighty tempting.

    And so, we arrive at the dram of Mana: The smallest coin in the Awakened economy.

    The Perfect Currency - Mana's Flow through Society

    Mana is the ideal currency. Individually, each dram of it is not worth much. At the same time, Mana is invaluable; the Awakened use it for everything from investigating Mysteries to powering their mightiest spells. While no Mage needs it all the time, every one of them needs it some time or another.

    Since Mana is used up when used, it also has a natural sink rate. This means that, although new currency is created ex nihilo, any that is used is eradicated. This means that inflation is held in check. There is always a demand for it, and as such, a low-end threshold to its cost.

    This means that many bonds of Awakened society are held together by alliances forged by dependence upon Mana; each Mage being allotted a certain aliquot of the whole based upon whatever their circumstances. Even those who hold Hallows cannot claim all the contents for themselves, as there will be a constant need to remove excess Mana to prevent the Hallow from "clotting" with tass. These agreements prevent the overflow but also limit even the people who hold the Hallow to a limited supply.

    While no Awakened would trade service for a dram of Mana, or a rote, or an Artifact, many will trade such things (or regular supplies of such things in the case of service) for a regular stream of Mana. The bonds of these Mana supplies are the glue that hold Awakened society together and keep open lines of communication between certain cabals.

    Legacies and the Mana Economy

    So what of the role of the Legacy in the Mana economy?

    Legacies grant the power of Oblations; transforming the Mage who performs them into their own Hallow. The effects of such a boon cannot be understated; freed from dependency on other Awakened, they come unhinged from the Mana economy.

    The importance of this cannot be understated. The Mana economy underpins much of Awakened society; cabals who hold Hallows frequently exert political influence by subtly reminding their allies whose teat they suck at. These connections are vital for maintaining peace, in a way, because a society that trades is one that can wishes to risk going to war, especially not with itself. Political coalitions are built on these bonds.

    Sorcerers who join a Legacy stand outside these bonds; they are independent and free. This means that they can speak far more freely than most other Awakened can, and are far harder to bend through political exertion. This is not to say they are somehow incorruptible or not subject to other threats and bribes, but such threats need to be made overt. Generally speaking, being the recipient in a Mana trade is something of which the subject is keenly aware; self-censorship is the natural by-product. Legacy members do not experience such natural reflexes.

    For this reason, many Legacy members have reputations for being outsiders; popular figures who can voice the zeitgeist without fear of reprisal. This grants them more allies and, in turn, makes them even harder to threaten.

    In this way, a lack of dependence on Mana can make a given Mage into a one-person political party. As Digger priest Gerrard Winstanley put it, freedom is the man who will turn the world upside-down. Therefore, it is no wonder he hath enemies.

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  • Axelgear
    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
    Question: If Swapping Souls around transmits the "Tremere" Legacy, what stops them from forcibly converting other Mages? Is there an "and they accept the change" clause, or is this a legitimate threat?
    Theoretically, it's a legitimate threat and something many Mages live in fear of - the Tremere are always on a kill-on-sight list, despite the threat they offer Mages personally being limited - but in practice, it is exceptionally rare. It takes a Master of Death to dislodge an Awakened soul, and a soulless Mage retains an intimate sympathetic connection to their lost soul. Since the virus can be expunged by returning the stolen soul to its place before it is consumed, the result is as likely to be the Consilium's Sentinels falling on their enemy like fire from Heaven.

    The result is that Tremere are rarely stupid enough to try this gamble. Even when successful, and it rarely is, the result is disastrous, as the inevitable result is constant Veil violations. Not only do the Tremere have Mages from other Caucuses regroup and fall upon them when so nakedly unveiled, they usually end up attracting the hatred of other supernaturals. The Tremere either then scatter or are overwhelmed by Mages motivated by a mixture of righteous fury and the realization that their dead (or converted and soon to be dead) peers no doubt left behind a lot of shiny trinkets.

    As such, most Tremere will maybe try this tactic on very new Awakened or Solitaries, but members of Orders (and ESPECIALLY Seers) are typically off-limits.

    Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
    Nevermind, didn't look where I was.
    I'm fairly sure that wasn't an insult but...

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  • Mrmdubois
    Nevermind, didn't look where I was.

    Leave a comment:

  • Vent0
    Question: If Swapping Souls around transmits the "Tremere" Legacy, what stops them from forcibly converting other Mages? Is there an "and they accept the change" clause, or is this a legitimate threat?

    Leave a comment:

  • Axelgear
    Well, it's 1 AM on a Friday. Why not Legacies?

    Elaboration on the previous post, I think. This post on initiation. In the next post, the Mana Economy.


    Mages seeking to join a Legacy face two possible avenues. The first is the "usual" path for Legacies; seeking a trial and enduring it to initiate themselves into a Legacy. The second is not even considered by most Mages; it is the Left-Hand Path, a quick and certain path to power, but also to degeneracy and evil.

    Joining a Legacy - The High Path

    When the Awakened speak of joining a Legacy, many misunderstand. The word makes one think of joining an organization; a cult, a religion, a political party, a sect. But to join a Legacy is not to simply declare one's allegiance; it is a reshaping of a Mage's Gnosis and their very soul. When a Mage joins a Legacy, they join a piece of themselves to a Supernal symbol in the form of a narrative, and vice versa; the aspirant becomes the god and the god the aspirant. This transformation takes place in the form of a trial.

    Trials, like Awakening Mystery Plays, are unique things; no two are identical, never quite incorporating the same actions or features entirely. However, as with Mystery Plays, the trials of initiation always have commonalities; common motifs tied to the Legacy in question. Each one incorporates both the symbols of the Legacy the Mage wishes to join, and those of the Mage themselves.

    Unlike Mystery Plays, trials of initiation are not entirely obvious in their mystical nature; the Mage's soul remains very much within the Fallen World and many speak of seeing the trial only in hindsight, after the prize was won. While most trials become clouded with omens, of the sort which often attract the attentions of the Awakened, rare is it that the Awakened knows what they are witnessing until after the journey is over. Other Mages often see these omens, but only the one being tested will find an opportunity to join themselves to the Legacy.

    The forms trials take depend on the Legacy and the Mage in question, as noted before, but there is something of a similarity to them in that all follow a kind of narrative structure: Every trial begins when the Mage's attention is first captured by the core thesis of the Legacy; this need not be their first exposure to it and rarely is. Instead, it begins when the Mage starts to truly comprehend and intuit the idea on an instinctual level; incorporating it into their Gnosis. Once this is achieved, the next part of the trial comes when circumstances are right; when the Mage might feasibly be placed in the right narrative circumstances to initiate the trial.

    This is easier for some Legacies than others. Many Legacy members with students train them by trying to create the right circumstances to induce a trial, in the hopes that, once their student intuits the symbol of the Legacy, they can instantly begin their trial.

    Once the circumstances are right, the initiate then begins a quest in which they seek the Legacy's foundational truth. They will be frustrated at every turn; struggling to overcome obstacles in which the character is invited to either take the easy route (inevitably betraying the Legacy's symbolism in the process) or embrace its ideals and struggle on. This is a test of resolve, ideological resolution, and strength, for these obstacles are rarely gentle. A Mage chasing a Legacy rumoured to be carried by the first kings of Atlantis may find themselves following an old 19th century journal of an explorer to travel through the Sahara in search of Ruins of the Time Before; braving sandstorms and hostile desert spirits and constantly having to choose between pushing on alone to get ahead of them or endure them at their worst to save their assistants and followers. Pushing ahead alone here would see the Mage become lost in the desert; another casualty claimed by the wastes, to become bleached bones a future aspirant may encounter to guide their way.

    Mages who join a Legacy often call such things being tested by the Legacy itself; as if the symbol does not wish to be joined with the unworthy. Those who succeed are rewarded at the end of their journey with power and glory. Those who fail are rarely seen again.

    Oftentimes, each Legacy has a familiar sort of narrative that members within it recognize and try to guide their pupils towards. The aforementioned regal Legacy sees all its members chase relics of the past; each only finding the Legacy after discovering some grand new temple lost to history. The Dreamspeakers almost always see their members face down some grand Astral entity, such as their people's heroic founder or the manifestation of their own madness, and claim might through their victory. Despite these commonalities, though, simply attempting to recreate the joinings of others will not work; only those who have already internalized a Legacy's ideals can properly join it.

    The Left-Handed - The Low Path

    The trial is the most common way for Mages to join new Legacies. It is not the only one. Trials of initiation are difficult; many Mages who chase them may never actually join a Legacy. This produces the temptation to take shortcuts.

    For the Awakened who want a shortcut, there are many that exist. The most obvious two are acamothic bargains and the Tremere virus.

    Scelesti are not fools. Legacies offer power. Tremendous power. Given how often Scelesti are loners, the access to additional arcana, the sanity-protecting nature of attainments, and the power of Legacy Oblations are twice as useful for them as they would be for any Pentacle sorcerer. For those willing to take a shortcut and risk eternal branding as an outcast by their fellows, there is much to be gained; immediate temporal power, greater insight into the Mysteries, and independence from other Awakened. A tempting offer, especially for those who are already familiar enough with the darkest powers to know such bargains are possible and to seek them out.

    The Tremere, meanwhile, can initiate other Mages into their Legacy with remarkable ease; a simple matter of stealing a soul and plopping in another. This act of spiritual musical chairs instantly transmits the Tremere virus; bending the Mage's Gnosis and inverting it; turning the Mage's emptied shell of a self into a sucking nothingness that feeds anything that enters it to the Abyss.

    In truth, the Tremere are not a Legacy in their own right, but more like a common thread of illness which may, like a retrovirus, transmit with it some of its previous host's information. By devouring other Legacies, the Tremere have integrated these Reapers into their own viral propagation; creating the Houses they are familiar with today.

    Both these paths have tremendous perils, to oneself and others, but they require no trial; no alignment of the Gnosis with some ideal which may or may not happen. Acamoths grant Legacies. The Tremere inflict them. Temptation enough for any brave and amoral soul. No trial is necessary for any of these methods, but each is so damaging to the soul that to join one is a sin against Falling Wisdom, as is gaining any attainments, as they represent further mutilations of the soul. Likewise, many of the Oblations of these Legacies are brutal, cruel, or simply disgusting. They may require Wisdom rolls in their own right.

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  • Saints Among Us - An alternate approach to Legacies

    Yeah, I'm at it again. It's been a long day and this is how I unwind.

    Having a conversation with a friend earlier while scribbling some experiment notes, we got to discussing Legacies. They're something of a point of consternation with us both: Legacies are so central to Mages, and yet have so many flaws. For example, they're so personal - something as pure as how one sees magic itself - and yet the expectation is that the Awakened join an existing school of thought. This seems difficult to pair up with there being outright dozens of Legacies listed in the books alone, yet alone however many might actually exist in the world of the Awakened.

    Given that we have Legacies coming up as a big topic in one of our games, it became a point of discussion. We got talking and came to the same conclusion pretty much at the exact same time. I went on to ponder this through my lunch break and ended up outlining what I consider to be a fun way to view Legacies in Mage.

    This view and approach doesn't actually change Legacies much. Mechanically, they're identical. The only difference is how difficult it is to join one and, through that, a number of consequences emerge.


    Legacies: The Legendary

    What is a Legacy? In the most mundane sense, it is something that will live on after the Mage is gone. In this sense, the word choice is apt, for no matter what is said about those who attain this exalted status, their words and deeds will live on through those who witness their passing.

    In this alternate approach, Legacies are rare things. It is expected that most Mages may not join one; indeed, most do not. To found a Legacy is no small thing; it requires a flash of true Supernal (or Abyssal) insight, deep enough to change one's very Gnosis; to bend the shape of one's soul. This act is rarely gentle or pleasant; it comes, like Awakening, seeming as a bolt from the blue, transforming those it touches. Once the Mage in question is properly transformed, they may return to their fellows, to show them that they have found a new way.

    Legacies are not things that may be taught, or at least they may not be taught with any degree of ease or high rate of success. Legacies are personal things; transmutations of the very soul itself. They cannot happen unless mind, soul, and Gnosis are aligned; reshaping the identity of a person. To found a Legacy requires some profound symbolic act that bends the Mage's soul to better resemble the Supernal symbol they emulate and embody. This may be the result of a lifetime of effort, or it may happen after a single traumatic experience, but anyone who founds a Legacy is often already identifiable as symbolic for the ideals with which they will soon become synonymous.

    After founding a Legacy, a Mage may return to their fellows and show off their incredible new blessings and, in doing so, demonstrate their enlightenment. Inevitably, the Mage's life is forever altered.

    Being a Legend

    Every Mage who founds a Legacy is a living legend. They are people who went out into the wilderness, braved the frontiers of magic, and came back transformed. Though they are not so exalted as to attain the same legendary status as an Archmaster, every Mage who has founded a Legacy is a noteworthy figure; not attaining the demigod-like status of those who sought the Threshold, but certainly holding sufficient awe and respect as to be considered akin to a holy person and great sage; a living saint.

    To found a Legacy represents an arduous task. No two are ever the same; each is the culmination of complete immersion in one's magic. Few come out of it with their Wisdom entirely intact or their perspectives completely human any longer; a Mage whose Legacy sees them in tune with the natural world may find they spend more time talking to plants and animals than people. The power of Oblations sees them engage in ritualized behaviours far more often than other Awakened, and their expansive new yantras increase the complexity of their magic. In addition, few can remain pure enough to avoid the temptation of openly using their Legacies before Sleepers. It is this capacity alone that sees many Legacy members develop cults which see them as outright divinities.

    Those who join a Legacy are rewarded with similar status, though some would say that there is slightly less awe, even if there is no less respect. This doesn't keep other Awakened from fawning over the living saint, but it does feel like there is less of a gulf between them. The apostle is never quite as famous as the messiah.

    [Takeaway: Every Mage with a Legacy is important. In a Consilia of a hundred, maybe five or six will have a Legacy and, of them, many will be students to one of the others. This dearth of Legacies makes them significantly more impressive and, as such, word of their impressive powers spreads far and wide. They are essentially Mysteries unto themselves, and other Mages will chase tales of them.]

    [This also means that Legacy membership has a line of transmission. When Legacies are common, access to knowledge about a given Legacy is hard to come by, and not in the "I have to hunt rare antiquities" way. Just plain knowing a Legacy exists is difficult, because there isn't much reason for this information to spread. Those interested in cataloguing obscure Legacies aren't the most popular writers. On the other hand, Awakened who can do things other Awakened can't are going to be spoken about far and wide.]

    Becoming a Legend

    To found a Legacy and to join it are not entirely dissimilar experiences; the only difference is that the latter knows there is a path, while the former had to stumble upon it.

    No-one knows precisely what causes the transformation of the soul. As with the Awakening, the master is as clueless as the apprentice to the real cause, and one cannot force the hand of epiphany. Legacy members can try and guide their uninitiated brethren into enlightenment, but they largely do so by trying to make the proverbial lightning strike twice; repeating the same actions that led to their own soul-bending transformation. A Wiser master knows that there is no shortcut to enlightenment; that it must come from within the student and not without. These mentors prefer simply to train their student so that, when epiphany does come for them, they will be ready.

    What, precisely, causes the epiphanic transformation of a Mage's soul will vary from Mage to Mage, but many Legacies with long histories swear that certain commonalities appear for their Legacy. The Tamers of the Rivers come close to drowning; Dreamspeakers endure an ecstatic dream; Orphans of Proteus endure life as a plant or animal, with all its pains and misfortunes; Bene Elohim successfully forge their own angelic spirit into being, and so forth. Many mentors try and replicate these experiences, with mixed results.

    [There is no way to initiate into a Legacy that is guaranteed. PCs are exceptional, so if the ST says it'll happen, it'll happen, and this shouldn't feel strange. However, for most Mages, joining a Legacy is a process that can take a lifetime, if they ever manage it at all. Some will succeed, but many will not.]

    Outside of taking extreme measures to test oneself, of course, the saying "There is no shortcut to enlightenment" is not, strictly speaking, true. It would be with the caveat of there being no shortcut that does not cost one's soul or sanity, but here we are.

    Awakened desperate for the power of a Legacy may seek it in other ways. While the "legitimate" methods of seeking may never turn fruit, there are more guaranteed ways. All they cost is one's immortal soul.

    Left-Handed Legacies often promise their members power but, in truth, they are rarely materially any more or less powerful than other Legacies. Their true power is the ease with which they initiate. Scelesti Legacies frequently require nothing for initiation beyond an agreement and a willingness to suffer agonizing pain; a compact made with an acamoth before it burrows like a gnawing maggot through the Mage's soul; greedily chewing holes and vomiting its noxious anti-reality into the wounds. The Scelestus who made the bargain experiences nightmarish and unfathomable torment in the form of violent visions of the Abyss that soften their mind and soul and Gnosis into a fractured and broken state, allowing the nightmare within it to reconstruct the pieces into a more pleasing mandala.

    Likewise, the Tremere offer similar short roads to power; an exchange of one's soul into eternal damnation, in exchange for an easy road to the power to seek the deepest mysteries of all; those of the soul itself.

    Many Left-Handed Legacies make such promises; a guaranteed initiation at a terrible price. For those Awakened for whom ethics are a secondary matter to speeding their enlightenment, these Legacies offer quick and easy paths to power.

    [Left-Handed Legacies suddenly make sense. After all, why join a Scelesti Legacy that makes you marginally better at handling spirits when it so horribly pollutes your soul? The answer is speed. Legacies offer power but it's power that is difficult to attain through "legitimate" channels. Left-Handed Legacies are a shortcut. The Abyss invites you in with gently smiling jaws.]

    The Politics of Legacies

    To be a member of a Legacy is to never be ignored. This can be as much a curse as a blessing. A politically savvy sorcerer can transform their Legacy into a kind of divine mandate; drawing other Awakened around them with the promise of insights no others can offer. Many Atlantean Awakened fall into the trap of assuming insight and knowledge in one area comes with insight and knowledge in all areas, or a similar level of development in areas of ethics and virtue. This makes them formidable political figures, especially since they must already have some requisite measure of enlightenment to join their Legacy in the first place.

    Furthermore, Legacy members have a reputation for independence that is uncanny even among the Awakened. Access to a third primary arcanum, as is the case for many of them, grants a great deal more freedom to experiment and act in ways others often end up envying. Likewise, the power of Legacy Oblations to produce Mana irrespective of surroundings means that even relatively weak members of Legacies sit outside the Mana economy, or even turn themselves into living Hallows; selling the Mana from their own eternal wellspring for favours. Not many choose to do the latter - it has too many uncomfortable intimations of not owning one's own body and soul - but the possibility remains.

    Every Order also has its own views of Legacies, both within and without its members.

    The Silver Ladder - The Best Within Us

    Thearchs who join a Legacy are a triumph for their Order; the natural prestige that comes with having a thearch emerge as a Legacy Awakened sees the Caucus's political clout blossom, and their word lends weight to the political ideals of the Order. Such Awakened often become evangelists; though they rarely deny tutelage on the basis of Order alone, they are unlikely to offer their noblesse to any who violate the Order's precepts. In addition, the power of attainments tends to allow such thearchs to more readily gather cults around them, swaying Sleepers with obvious displays of their divinity. That more than one such character has fallen to Guardian knives is a point of contention between the Ladder and Guardians that may never be healed.

    On the other hand, thearchs are frequently rather chilly towards Legacy members from other Orders, unless said Mages are willing to offer a very open ear to the advice of thearchs. The political power such Awakened often wield invites envy from those climbing the Ladder, and a proud thearch will rarely be willing to humble himself to gain access to the wisdom of anyone who does not follow at least the spirit of the elemental precepts. More than one Legacy has been branded Left-Handed in a region from thearchs finding its membership to be distasteful rather than any actual crimes.

    The Mysterium - Keepers of Hidden Truths

    A mystagogue who joins a Legacy can expect to become an object of study. It is... Not entirely a comfortable position to be in. While the Mysterium will inevitably tend to offer greater latitude and favour on those who prove to have clear and unique enlightenment, the Order has trouble avoiding the curiosity it is so renowned for. Mages who are known to be members of a Legacy often end up poked and prodded, sometimes literally, by their fellow mystagogues for a chance to study them like a relic or dusty old tome. For this reason, it is not unheard of for mystagogues to conceal their transformation from most of their fellows, but such concealments rarely last.

    Outside the Order, mystagogues tend to be little different; the only difference is that they are a bit more obtuse and likely a bit less forthcoming on the gifts (read: bribes) to be paid for becoming an object of fascination. Mystagogues, especially egregorists, are rivaled only by members of the Adamantine Arrow for pursuing sacred insights and being willing to bow before almost any master. Somewhat worryingly, the Mysterium frequently gives shelter to Left-Handed Legacies as well; preferring the terrible wickedness they inflict with their existence over the possibility of the loss of the knowledge they represent.

    The Adamantine Arrow - Legends In Their Own Lifetime

    The talons of Atlantis's great dragons believe in the endless and eternal struggle. More than any Order, they see Legacies as proof of the rightness of their philosophy. After all, is every Legacy not forged through arduous struggle? For this reason, to the Adamantine Arrow, Legacies are badges of distinction not for the powers or insights they may grant, but by what their mere existence represents: A demonstration that struggle truly does bring transformation, growth, and evolution. For this reason, the Arrow frequently holds a special status in reserve for their members who can this grand achievement. Likewise, the Arrow's membership tends to look distinctly down on those who took the short path. Many talons hold a special disgust for Scelesti and Reapers not merely for their cruelty, but for their capitulation in the face of the grand struggle of the self.

    Being so used to service to others, the Arrow is, strangely, no different in its treatment of those who carry Legacies outside the Order to those within; according fame based on the amount of endurance and self-control the sorcerer demonstrated to attain their great position. Arrows tend to listen when a Legacy bearer speaks; not because they necessarily see the speaker as somehow better than most, but because the mere possession of a Legacy is a sign of successful struggle. Every warrior knows when to pay respects.

    The Guardians of the Veil - Uncertain Illumination

    For the Guardians of the Veil, be they friend or foreigner, Legacies represent a theological crisis. Whether within or without the Order, Legacies are a troublesome spot for the Guardians. After all, on the one hand, is not here proof of the possibility of their messiah? Awakened whose magic may be used before the Sleeping masses without incurring the Abyss; it feels too good to be true. Are not these Awakened clearly holy saints whose magic demonstrates their Wisdom?

    Alas not. If Legacies were the answer to the question of the Hieromagus, the Eschaton would be long since immanentized. Yet the Guardians of the Veil face a dilemma just the same. The attainments of Legacies allow the performance of magic before Sleepers; a violation of the Veil and yet one with no clear direct harm. The question of whether it is morally acceptable for Mages who belong to Legacies to use their attainments before Sleepers may seem like a settled question - rare is the Guardian who answers yes at first blush - but when the time comes to actually deal with those who have violated this protocol, the cowl-wearing assassins often stumble. The idea of killing those able to perform magic without Paradox, however little of it, is ghastly to all but the most hardened Epopt. For this reason, Guardians often feel anxiety in the presence of Legacy members. They are everything and nothing of what they want all at once.

    The Council of Free Assemblies - Humanity is Magical

    The Free Council believes that humanity as a whole is magical. It is, then, not surprising that many libertines end up joining Legacies that can draw clear parallels to Sleeper beliefs, be they followers of ancient shamanic traditions or something considerably more modern. Libertines see those of their own who draw upon such symbolism to attain transformation to be exemplars of their kind; proof that humanity can truly glimpse divinity. They often become lauded and defended pillars of the community, as their attainments frequently let them take up positions of known supernatural importance in Sleeper communities; something that offends the Guardians to no end. For libertines, however, this smashing of the Lie so blatantly can be a heroic act.

    Outside the Free Council, Mages who attain Legacies are treated with the same curiosity they receive from all others, but libertines tend not to quite have the same level of reverence. They tend to end up treating other Awakened with respect but ultimately it remains their actions that prove their worth. There is, at the end of the day, little difference in a libertine's eyes if a Magister is a member of a Legacy or not; she's still a pompous windbag sitting atop of a throne, and all thrones deserve to crumble.


    Phew. So, that was a lot.

    In summary:

    -Reduce the number of Mages with Legacies.
    -Make joining Legacies harder and require more time investment.
    -Mages who join thus became more politically notable.
    -Legacies begin to feel more natural.