Arete represents a mage's ability to perform dynamic magic. Technocrats call it Enlightenment. Unlike Sphere ratings which determine which aspects of reality a mage can influence, Arete represents the force with which a character can do so. In game terms, the Arete score is the dice pool used when casting an effect. As the mage's Arete increases, they are both less likely to fail and can experience more spectacular success. Arete is also used as a roll in some cases where generic magical ability is required or the degree of awakening is considered such as crossing the Gauntlet in metaphors where the Avatar Storm exists.
A character starts with an Arete of one which can be increased with freebie points. A starting Arete of three is not recommended for newly Awakened characters or those shortly out of apprenticeship. Arete can be increased by spending experience points, performing a Seeking, or a combination of the two with the latter being the default. During a Seeking, the character is challenged to show self-development to their Avatar. The form of a Seeking will differ by Avatar and paradigm and may take the form of puzzles, challenges, unresolved issues, or any other form the Avatar chooses. A system is not provided for Marauder, or Nephandic Seekings.