Strengths: Can "tap in" to the magical knowledge of their ancestors/family line to discover past information/research or receive minor insight/visions. Mages have an ability to sense magic, though it is mild. They can tell if magic has been cast in an area or on an object, or if the level of magic in an area is rising or falling. Detecting the caster or type of magic is not always possible, however.
Weaknesses: Often experience nightmares, flashbacks and unsettling visions of the lives of their ancestors. Magic is not innate to mages, but must be learned through study and mentoring. Can only wear cloth armor. (Just kidding on that last one.)
Lifespan: 150-200 years.
Susceptible to D13: Yes
Part of the Consortium: Yes
Race Leaders: Globally, the Mages are ruled by the mysterious Council of Thebes, a group of Archmages, who elect a leader amongst themselves. Who the actual leading Archmage is, at any given moment, is kept secret. The Council of Thebes tends to pull members from each of the bloodlines of the Mages, known as Arcana, who all jockey for better positions for their extended families within the mage hierarchy. One of the best ways of gaining those positions is by establishing and controlling local Covens, which tend to be dedicated to one or two causes, such as the education of young mages, research of a particular magical resource, or protection of an important asset. The local Coven, Liber Libelum, is dedicated to the cause of protection of the Convergence Library and its many secrets.
Faction Stance on Rogues: Mages upon entering Convergence are not initially considered to be rogue unless they state their desire not join the coven. They have 15 days to present themselves to the Speaker of the Convergence Coven or they will then be treated as rogues. If a rogue is found breaking Convergence's laws or Mage Law they will be hunted down and be brought to mage justice and a trial by their peers will be held before handing to the appropriate authorities. If the offense is grave the Council of Thebes will be notified; punishments doled out by the council vary but tend to be universally deadly. If you are a rogue, no access will ever be granted to the upper floors of the Library (where important arcane books are shelved) even if you have allied yourself with an allied faction.
Background: Unlike with Mutants, Mages, despite having existed throughout human history, have often been sought after by the rich and the powerful. There have always been sorcerers and alchemists, oracles and prophets at the sides of kings and generals. They amassed great wealth and power, and used both their influence and their power to shape human history.
Unfortunately, the Mages made one critical mistake that would change the course of their own history so dramatically that even today a great many of them refuse to speak of the issue. And that is this: Fearing the rise of the power of the vampires, fae, and other supernaturals via the myriad temples of Rome, they attempted to bring Rome under the sway of a monotheistic religion later to be known as Christianity. (In fact, the mages are the source of the "burning cross in the sky" seen by Constantine, interpreted as a divine sign to switch to Christianity.) The mages thought that it would be a small matter, one promoted by the current leader of their order, the Delphic Sibyl, who foresaw the destruction of much of the mages' competition via the influence of the Church. What she failed to see, however, is that while their competition was burning at the stake, so were the mages.
The Inquisition and subsequent Burning Times remain a terrible and constant lesson to that mages. Mage powers are passed through the blood, though it can skip several generations. And all mages have some ability to glean magical insight from a connection to their ancestors. This insight often presents in their dreams. However, to this day, mages still report nightmares of burning and torture which linger on, passed down from their ancestors from the Inquisition and the Burning Times. Dreams and cryptic visions from their ancestors are an important source of information to mages, but only one Arcana, the Fortuna, is known to regularly see the future.
Considering the horrors they underwent, it is no wonder that the mages -- once quite visible beside kings and queens, went drastically underground. Many of them obscured themselves within now-legendary secret societies, whilst others hid their knowledges within the rituals of cults and minor religions.
It is believed that at her St. John's Eve rites of 1874, voodoo queen Marie Laveau, a mage of considerable power, attempted to seal off the damaged section of the mage collective unconscious during a massive ritual involving a sanctified bonfire and twelve thousand onlookers. She failed, prevented by unknown forces, but the ritual left a massive rift in the fabric of magical reality. This rift, later widened by Aleister Crowley's early attempts to invoke Choronzon, brought a new age of Spiritualism and a re-birth of mage prowess during the late Victorian/Edwardian era. Mages tend to have lifespans of approximately 150-200 years, so many mages currently living would remember those times, or would have been instructed by mages from those times. To this day, London remains a stronghold of the mages, who have used popular culture such as "Harry Potter" to awaken many dormant mage bloodlines. Although a mage may be a mage, their powers /never/ come naturally, and must be learned through study or mentoring.
Covens are an important unit of mage society, though no mage is ever forced to be in a coven (except, perhaps, by family pressure). Some covens are specific to only one particular mage bloodline, and other covens may convene for administrative, rather than magical purposes. The head of a coven is known as the Speaker, due to the fact that they are meant to 'consolidate many voices into one'. The governing body of all mages is the Council of Thebes. Very little is known about the Council save for the fact that they have never met anywhere near Thebes. Additionally, it is the Council of Thebes which appoints Mage ambassadors to the Consortium.
Mages and Mutants, infamously, do not get along due to ideological and class differences. It is believed that the mages joined the Consortium not only because they need humanity in order for new mages to be produced (Mage - Mage pairings are always sterile or human), but very largely because they are worried about the other supernatural races using them as scapegoats and ending up with a revisiting of the Burning Times.
Mages tend to pride themselves on mystery and secrecy, as well as on their ancestry. Due to the events of the Burning Times, they also tend to be paranoid and prone to over-preparing for disaster. No particular Arcana is completely "good" or "evil". They have a long history of interaction with the Fae, and there is some speculation that the first mages learned from the Fae. When the Mages and Fae have a falling out, things tend to get weird and hairy very quickly. Mages are one of the few races (besides the Fae and Underkin) which could enter the Fae realm of Avalon, but the realm itself would tend to siphon off their powers and so...most of them tended to avoid it.
Notable Mages and Historical Mage Groups include:
The Delphic Sybil
Merlin the Timeless
The Black Hand Inquisitors
The Red Cabal
Kindly read the following additional information as it will help you when applying: COVEN MAGE IMPORTANCE.
The major families of mages are known as the Arcana, and each has their own speciality. Minor or non-standard Arcana may be created via approval of the admins. Mages must choose their Arcana and then get an additional two casted magics to begin the game. Bloodlines do not always beget the same Arcana, though it is typical and common for them to do so. So a family of one Arcana may have a black sheep of another Arcana. It is only the potential to BE a mage which is passed through the bloodline.
.:The Nineteen (XIX):.
One of the most powerful of the Arcana, "The Nineteen" has nothing to do with how many members this Arcana has. Rather, it is a reference to the nineteenth card of the tarot major arcana, The Sun. Often denoted as "XIX", members of the Nineteen believe that the learning of magic brings not only personal enlightenment, but exists to reign above those without powers, either in benevolence...or, should they not submit to being ruled, then by whatever means necessary. The Nineteen are often charismatic and persuasive, and they range from royal sages to the leaders of cults.
The Nineteen have the ability to convince a person that almost any fact is true, though the more preposterous and complicated the lie, the more time and magical energy they need to put into that innate spell. They can not use it to convince a person to DO anything. They can not use it to convince a person to believe they have done something they have not, nor can it be used to change opinion. Correct examples of use include, "Bob is an adulterer" or "This rain is blood". However something like, "You have forgotten your childhood" or "You now enjoy pineapple pizza" requires a change in what the person does, or changes an opinion rather than a fact, and will not work. This ability works primarily while the person is in the Nineteen's presence, though they will likely continue believing it outside of that presence if they are not given weighty evidence to the contrary. Although the Nineteen must speak the thing they wish the person to believe, the source is immediately forgotten once they are out of the Nineteen's presence.
.:The Hermitage (IX):.
Mages of the Hermitage are not so much a bloodline as birds of a feather, since Hermits do not tend to find mates. They are loners among the Mages, those who have chosen to go it alone. Hermits are some of the most mysterious and enigmatic of Mages, often only revealing themselves to those they deem "worthy". Others perceive them as speaking in riddles, though it is postulated that Hermits are speaking perfectly normally, they are just so estranged from society that what is normal to them is not normal to others. Above all, Hermits are known as guides, leading those led astray back to their proper paths. A preponderance of Hermitage mages being born to a particular bloodline rather than the dominant Arcana generally means that Arcana is in danger of dying out. Although long shunned in mage society, Hermitage mages are now highly sought after due to the diseases and mental trauma of the age, and there is a re-evalulation of belief that perhaps Hermitage mages in a bloodline do not mean it is dying so much as evolving to a higher order.
Hermits have Clarity of Mind, which means they can dispel insanity or confusion, natural or magical, from any person they touch. Clarity is easy to perform through touch as long as they are touching, but can also be casted. This casted Clarity has a duration, however, and the more magical energy put into the spell, the longer it lasts. This also means that Hermits infected with D13 often do not show symptoms, and thus, some Hermits are batshit insane without seeming batshit insane.
If ever there were such a thing as "good witches", they would likely belong to L'Etoile, The Star. Most recently known as Hippies, the Mages of L'Etoile range from simple naturalists, wandering the woods nude and communing with nature, all the way to somewhat notorious hedonists known for deviant, even cruel sex magic and an affinity for drugs. At one end of the spectrum, L'Etoile want to enjoy the bounty of the world, and at the other end...they want to control it via the use of addictive bliss.
L'Etoile's Mages can bring pleasure with a touch. More than that, if they touch an object, they can make that object bring immense pleasure to the next person who touches it. The downside of this? The more they use this power, the less they can feel physical pleasure...themselves. The downside is not normally cumulative, but will "heal" in time, though in some extreme cases, it has been known to be cumulative and permanent.
.:The Hanged Men(XII):.
It is almost universally accepted amongst Mages that there are is no more reviled Arcana than the Hanged Men. At least, none which is still considered still existing. Once, this was said to be a tossup between several Arcana, but an ancient merger of the Arcana of Death and the Hanged Men has left the Hanged Men with the sole claim to fame. The Hanged Men are Mages who have taken the lessons of the Burning Times and now use pain and suffering to power their own magic. This suffering may be their own, such as self-flogging, or the suffering of others. They have such a natural affinity for causing pain that they have usurped the Judgement as hounds and watchdogs of the Council of Thebes.
Not only can they use pain to fuel their magic, allowing them to cast for longer should those around them be suffering, they can also use their power to temporarily cut off their own ability to sense pain. They will still be injured, but they won't feel it until their innate spell wears off.
Mages often forget about Temperance, likely the oldest of the Arcana. Steeped in the mysticism of the shaman and the tribal healer, the mages of Temperance heal the spirit and the physical, whereas the Hermits heal the mind. The healing powers of Temperance often bring them fame, and, at the same time, exhaustion. Hounded by the sick, Temperance Mages often learn early to be subtle about their powers. Not all of it is magical, though. Through the generations, Temperance Mages have passed down arcane secrets of herbal medicine. They have been at the forefront of the race to cure D13, with the Mage known as Devik (gender unspecified) heading up the Marigold Project. Temperance Mages can go too far, however. It's Temperance which first discovered Necromancy, or so some legends say. The healing abilities of Temperance have infused their very bodies.
They, themselves, heal very rapidly and can even regenerate an entire lost limb within a few days time. Even without Healing magic, they can turn their natural healing abilities outwards to heal other mages, but only other mages, though it will leave them without the ability to heal themselves for several hours to several weeks, depending on how much energy they expend. Temperance mages spend half as much energy when utilizing Healing Magic, and may, thus, cast it more times than a normal magus.
.:The Papessa (II):.
Members of the Papessa (so named for the High Priestess card that inspires them) often go unseen by the other Arcana, though unlike the Hermitage, it's not because they are reclusive. Instead, it is that their dedication to a singular obsession keeps them from being as social as most. The Papessa are dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, all knowledge, rather than specifically magic. Throughout history, they have worked closely with humans, taking on roles as teachers, mentors, inventors and philosophers. They encourage humans to develop their own intellectual potential whilst at the same time growing their own personal libraries. While it is believed that most of the Papessa do this for beneficent reasons, it is theorized that other Papessa wish to fuse science and magic, which if done, would make them the most powerful of all Arcana and the new ruling class of mages. There is always a suspicion that the Papessa elite are close to mastering Transdimensional Alchemy, though none of them would ever admit to the fact. They are indeed, one of the most secretive of Arcana, and their libraries are rarely shared. Papessa have a tendency to get "lost" in their research, an an intellectual project, puzzle, or task has been known to so consume one's attention that they have fallen ill due to thirst, starvation, or exhaustion. Many, though not all, Papessa have gravitated towards the newly formed Adepts of Ada, finding in their technological preoccupation with technology and AI a kindred thirst for knowledge.
Because of their dedication to knowledge, the Papessa may remotely utilize their libraries to find information on almost any subject. They may do so from afar by the utilization of a rune on their skin, which is connected to a rune inside the library, allowing them to project a physical hologram of themselves into their library to look things up. This requires their total concentration. In addition, the Papessa may "loan" any single knowledge-based skill to a person for the duration of a scene. So, for instance, they could loan their knowledge of mathematics at journeyman to someone, allowing them to do complex equations. They must touch the person to use this skill, and may only do one skill at a time. The person loses the knowledge when the scene is done. Almost all Papessa have an Eidetic Memory, and they may utilize this for free.
.:The Justice (XI) aka Battlemages:.
Once considered to be nearly extinct, the Order of Hermetic Justice have their roots as the mages who accompanied great kings into battle, increasing the abilities of their forces from afar. However, when the Burning Times came, the Order changed. No longer were there kings to assist. Instead, they worked in increasing their own martial prowess, and blending it seamlessly with their magic. Eventually, they sought out the Cu Chulainn to learn the secrets of the great magical fae weapons. Although they were not able to reproduce those, the Justice were able to develop the Schildar. My sacrificing one of their magics permanently into the ink used to create the Schildar, which takes the form of a tattoo, they instead get a significant boost to strength, speed, or resilience. The Schildar allows accomplished Justice mages to go toe to toe in battle with such infamous creatures as vampires and shifters. During the Victorian Era, the Justice re-formed as the Order of Hermetic Justice under the auspices of the Council of Thebes who in return for an oath of loyalty installed them as the law enforcement arm of the mages as a whole. They are extremely loyal both to the Council and to any Coven they join, and there are said to be NO rogue Justice. (The other Justice pretty much just show up and kill them if they go rogue.)
For each level of the Schildar, the Justice picks one of the three traits, Strength, Speed, or Resilience/Endurance to significantly increase. For comparison, the Schildar promotes them to being /almost/ as fast as a normal vampire, /almost/ as strong as a shifter, and /almost/ as resilient as a Cyborg or Underkin. Buying levels of the Schildar costs the same as buying a magic and is a casted magic. Only one level of the Schildar may be active at a time, but may be applied at the beginning of the day. If you have the Schildar active before entering a scene, noting what trait you have active in your titler is requested. To change traits mid-scene, the Schildar must be re-cast. Like illusion, you do not have to do the RP for this every time, just simply note in your titler which trait is currently cast.) The Schildar counts as a casted magic for the purposes of total casted magics.
.:The Onmyoji (I):.
It might be strange to think that of the mages, the Arcana of "The Magician" seems to terribly under-represented. By the onset of D13, this Arcana was gone, rumor having said that they had died out long ago. This was patently untrue. The Onmyoji did not die out. They were suppressed. And not by some malicious entity, but by their own hand. Long ago, the bloodline of the Onmyoji appeared in Asia, concentrated mostly in India, China, and quite heavily in Japan. It is from Japan that they take their standard name, mostly because that is the place where they rose to the most power and became the most organized. They became standards at the Imperial Court, and within noble families, trusted advisors who conducted unseen magical wars to assist their patrons (and themselves) to grow in power. However, with the age of the industrial revolution approaching science became at odds with "superstition". The Onmyoji began to worry that they might become the victims of purges similar to those of their European brethren ages earlier, with the Inquisition. As such, they had their bloodline sealed. It was rendered dormant and undetectable in their children, and their children's children. Many believe that this was a power beyond what the Onmyoji themselves could achieve, and that they, in the end, had to get help from the Fae to complete the sealing. What was traded to the Fae, for they do nothing for free, in return for this favor...nobody knows. However, recently, the Onmyoji bloodlines have begun to re-awaken...and with a vengeance. After becoming connected to their past as all mages are, they have begun to seek out the local Covens, in order to train and reconnect. But many of them report dreaming of a strange and distant land, with magical features and peoples, one that matches no known Earthly realm. The Onmyoji are best known for enslaving the Yokai to do their bidding, through the use of Calligramancy, through a spell known as "Taming the Fifth Element" (not related to the movie of the same name). This spell has, unfortunately, been lost to time....for now. But, as this was a source of immense power for them, it's certain they'll be trying to recover it.
The Onmyoji are powerful, but also limited. Because of the Imperial laws surrounding their lives in the past, they developed only certain magics, Calligramancy, and Onmyodo. Onmyodo is a combined Elemental magic. It allows you to manipulate all four elements, Water, Wind, Fire and Earth, instead of learning each individually. However, only two of these may be used in any one spell, and while it would not be as draining as someone who had those two Elemental Magics separately, it will still be draining (about half as draining to use two elements instead of one). An Onmyoji can start with either Full Onmyodo (four elements). Or they can start with Calligramancy and Half Onmyodo (two elements), though they must specify which two elements upon taking. Full Onmyodo costs 12 xp for level 2, and 24 xp for level 3. Half Onmyodo costs 10xp for level 2, and 20xp for level 3. They may learn other magics over time at the usual rates. They can not start with any other magics or magic combinations. Note also that the Onmyoji are just awakening, and should take into consideration that they are probably still learning their magics.
.:Fortuna (X):.(This Arcana is restricted.)
Oh, Fortuna. The Mages of Fate are rare, and many Mages believe that this Arcana has been cursed since the days of the Dephic Sybil. They are an elusive group and little has been written on them in the annals of history.
The meekest of Fortuna's children have minor oracular and divination abilities. Those who have grown the most powerful? They have the ability not only to see the future, but to know which threads to pull to change Fate's course.