AOAR members believe strongly in the exisitence of God or "I AM" as they call him. This stems from their founder, Johannes Agrippa, whose is said to have received visions from God even at a young age. It is believed that God bestowed upon humanity perfect rituals that were recorded by ancient mystics long ago, but their secrets where scattered into various lesser magical rituals as man was not deemed ready for them. The AOAR believes that it is their duty to restore these lost rites and thus bring about a golden age of mankind.
The AOAR was founded in 1873 by Johannes Agrippa, after he left a previous magical order he was invited to. The main headquarters of the order is in Amsterdam where Johannes lived and the original copy of the Book of the Aeon Rites is stored. After his death in 1888 , the order experienced turmoil and with no charismatic leader to guide them, the order slowly dwindled down to a handful of faithful members who kept the order and its research alive.
The order experienced change in the 1960s and 1970s, when they recieved a massive surge in their membership. This was the era of a renewed interest in spirituality and the occult and the AOAR glady accepted the new members and to this day they extensively research ancient magical traditions to reconstruct what they believe are the idealized forms of the Aeon Rites granted by the Creator for the benefit of mortals.
The order is a compassionate, community-minded organization that honestly believes it is doing what's best for all of humanity, and its members are prone to lecturing other sorcerers for what the AOAR perceives as selfishness. The AOAR receives tithes from its members, investments, and other endeavors and uses it to support lodges for its members to study and also provide scholarships, grants, and charity for the less fortunate. The AOAR seeks out recruits who are not only studious and intelligent, but also compassionate and selfless. They have no qualms persuading potential sorcerers from other groups to abandon their group's "inferior" rituals and magic and to join them instead. This has earned them the nickname "poachers" among some sorcerers.
Like most mystery cults, there are different degrees of initiation in the AOAR. The lowest degrees are the Outer Level known as the Pubils and contains those of first to third degree. The middle degrees are the Inner Level known as Fratres and Sorores and contain the fourth to sixth degrees. The high degrees within the physical order are the Supreme Level known as the Magisters. The ultimate thenth degree is the Secret Watchers, consisting of their deceased inner circle, including Agrippa. These Secret Watchers have allegedly manifested at meetings on a number of occasions to offer direction or advice, but the manifestations are not predictable or reliable.
The order's magic is known for being very formulaic/ritualistic and "high ritual" is bit of an understatment for them. All magic is to be performed according to the Book of Aeon and it makes ample use of pythagorean numbers and shapes, astrological positions, English, Hebrew, Latin, and Enochian. The AOAR claims that only their order has knowledge of what they call "True Enochian" and that the Order of Hermes and other groups use a lesser version of the language.
Among Supernaturals and MortalsEdit
Most mortals see the group as an altrusitic and charitable non-profit group and only know little about rumors of its magical work. The Arcanum has records on the order, but they are outdated and based on earlier reports. The Society of Leopold is suspicious of the order, but cannot deny that its altruistic ventures makes it popular enough that it cannot do anything to them without public outcry. The biggest upset with the society is when an eigth degree AOAR member joined the Sons of Tertullian in 1948. He ignited a war with the AOAR that lasted for years and resulted in the order's membership decreasing to only 10 members until its resurgence in the 1960s. The AOAR still holds a grudge against the Sons for this even in the Modern Nights.
The AOAR is often approached by other sorcerers for assistance with magic or obtaining information and knowledge about a particular occult phenominon. The AOAR is happy to provide this information, but usually ask that they be allowed to recruit one of their members as a price. This, alongside their obnoxious "holier than thou" attitude, has made them little friends among sorcerers.
Out of all mage factions, House Ex Miscellanea of the Order of Hermes maintains the closest relationship with the AOAR. The hermetics holds the order in high regard and believe them to be truly studious and talented wizards. While they do not understand how such talented and dedicated individuals could be so dedicated to Linear magic and blind to the true power of Dynamic magic, they nonetheless believe that they have some hidden purpose in the world. Some hermetics believe that the Secret Watchers might actually be powerful Mages that are guiding the order to preserve magic in the world.
Besides a few skirmishes in the past, the two groups tend to keep their distance from each other. A pack of Bone Gnawers however have taken it upon themselves to protect one of the order's temples, called Saint Simon's Rest, in Boston unbeknownst to the Order.
Most other supernaturals that know about the group tend to disregard them. Given how small they are and focused on altrusitic endeavours, they play little role in the politics of the supernatural world. Many see them as a hold over from a bygone era and a offshoot of the Golden Dawn.