As most Prometheans lack the experience of "growing up" and learning about appropriate human behavior, those who follow Aurum seek to gain the experience and tools they need to understand humanity. Many Mimics measure themselves against their Lineage’s demiurge creator; some seek to become like them, others to avoid their pitiful example. Naysayers say that the Refinement of Gold is pointless and dangerous; Prometheans are simply not close enough to human to even begin to understand human nature.
Because of its nature of dealing with humanity, many Prometheans find themselves as Mimics either at the beginning or end of their Pilgrimage. Those who find it at the beginning tend to have been created around large urban areas, where there are plenty of humans to encounter. Those who turn into Mimics towards the end of their Promethean journey believe the path holds the last key pieces of ending their Saturnine Night.
The Transmutations available to the followers of Aurum make life as a Promethean easier, but there is a danger in a Mimic believing that they are are they need, and that the Pilgrimage is a matter of "fake it 'til you make it". They will come to understand that the Refinement of Gold is a chance to learn about humanity; an internship among those amongst whom they will one day live. The connections and bonds they form in this role, however, make it harder to accept they are outsiders and move on as the Disquiet and Wasteland inevitably takes hold.
As befits their name, the Mimics strive to make themselves mirrors of humanity. Their practices revolve around adopting human routines in order to gain insight into their importance.
- The Mimic prides themself on the little rituals of human life; sleeping, shaving, brushing their teeth. Reading the paper religiously over morning coffee. They may even take this to an extreme, regularly visiting the bathroom just to sit and ponder, or get a new haircut every other week just to pick up on others conversations.
- They often develop an affinity for religious services as they focus on more Ephermal and difficult to understand aspects of humanity. The sense of community and kinship they find in places like churches usually interest a Mimic. However, some get fixated, believing they are on the cusp of some great understanding, making it easy for Cults to recruit them.
- Schools are a natural place for a Promethean to gravitate. They tend to prefer high schools or colleges, as those themselves attending are in the process of transforming. A Mimic can mingle with them and piggyback on lessons of how to be a productive member of society (at least, in their mind). Depending on their role, they may enroll as a student, tutor, or just lurk in the campus library.
- Finding a place among humanity can be difficult for Prometheans. They lack the connections of friends, family, and other such things most humans take for granted. One place where a stranger can immediately start building relationships is at a workplace. For this reason, followers of Aurum seek employment as a means to practice the roles of their Refinement.
- The heart of Aurum is empathy. Whilst some of this comes with the Refinement, it is also a skill that needs to be practised and one that needs to be kept once they no longer walk the path of gold. This is one reason why Mimics always encourage charity. Another is the opportunity to make a meaningful connection with a person and cause positive change for them without the inherent problems a long-term relationship would have for them.
Many Refinements focus on some aspect of the Promethean condition, but not Aurum. A Mimic’s focus is outward; they strive to remember that they are observing humanity in order to understand it, not just aping human behavior unthinkingly. Rather than playing a game of dress-up, they are doing research among a foreign people, trying to learn their language and their customs. They try to balance immersion with objectivity, taking baby steps as they grasp each aspect of humanity and try it on like a new article of clothing.
The danger is that the Mimic’s adaptions give them some measure of control over humans, which can ironically lead to them dehumanising people. A Mimic’s influence over humans is not subtle, ultimately being destructive. The more they push any given person to do what they want, the more damaged they are by the brute force of the Mimic's control. Similarly, the ability to mimic humanity runs the risk of them forgetting what they really are. They have every reason to want to forget the realities of their existences; losing themselves in humanity is an easy way to do it.
Instead, a Mimic strives to form the sorts of bonds that their condition usually denies them. They make friends, take a job, or even enter a romantic relationship for as long as they can before Disquiet inevitably creeps in. Those following the Refinement of Gold find these moments invaluable in their Great Work, as short-lived as they may be. The focus on empathy and relationships also affects how they interact with other Prometheans, some of whom seek the Mimic out in order to have someone to talk to who isn’t focused on their condition.
- Companion: The Mimic focuses on forming equal relationships with the humans he encounters. He may choose one person and attempt to become her friend or lover, or he may focus on membership to a group of people or a small community. Challenges exist with both. The goal is to develop intimacy and practice normal human interaction, which can be difficult while things like Disquiet and Torment loom.
- Follower: While inhabiting this role, the Promethean is learning to trust others, a lesson that can be very difficult for the persecuted to learn. She finds someone to act as her teacher, surrogate parent, employer, or master and does her best to defer to his judgment and authority..
- Leader: The most difficult of Aurum’s three roles, the Leader requires that the Promethean find at least one person willing to trust him. Most keep it one- on-one, becoming a mentor or a “big brother,” developing a close bond with someone who can use his help, although the most ambitious Mimics attempt to ascend to a position of authority in a group.
Ulgans and Galateids are most often seen on the path of Aurum, as their very natures lead them to constant human contact. In contrast, Frankensteins are rarely seen with the Refinement of Gold, as they are usually spurned by humanity because of their appearance and attitudes.
Known Practitioners of Aurum are:
- PTC: Promethean: The Created Rulebook, p. 50-53
- PTC: Web spoiler, June 8, 2006
- PTC: Promethean: The Created Second Edition, p. 42-44