The Council of Nine Mystic Traditions, or simply the Traditions, are the default player characters and protagonists in the Mage: The Ascension setting. The Traditions are a collection of magical traditions united by a common theory of magical Spheres, as well as a common purpose: the defense of magic and myth against the oppressive, static and safe Technocratic paradigm of predictability and control.
The council has traditionally maintained a seat for each Sphere, with certain Traditions (the Solificati and Ahl-i-Batin) leaving the council, only to be replaced by newer Traditions (the Sons of Ether and Virtual Adepts).
The Traditions largely formed in reaction to the foundation of the Order of Reason. The Daedaleans considered magi dangerous, and wanted to eliminate magick and other supernatural phenomena from reality, as well as providing the tools for enlightenment into the hands of the common man. This threatened the power structure to which magi (particularly the Order of Hermes) had been accustomed, so they banded together with other magi in order to present a unified front against the Daedalean menace.
- Ahl-i-Batin (Batini), represented by Ali-beh-shaar
- Akashic Brotherhood, represented by Wu Jin
- Chakravanti (Euthanatoi), represented by Chalech
- Chœur Céleste, represented by Valoran
- Dream-speakers, represented by Star-of-Eagles and Naioba, until Naioba's death
- Order of Hermes, represented by Magister LaSalle
- Seers of Chronos (Sahajiya), represented by Sh'zar the Seer
- Solificati, represented by Diplomate Luis de Estes
- Verbenae, represented by Nightshade of Harrowgate
To celebrate the new alliance, the Traditions formed the First Cabal, composed of one representative from each Tradition.
In 1470, the Solificati representative, Heylel Teomim, betrayed the other members of the Cabal to the Order of Reason. His reasoning was that only through such a tragedy could the Traditions truly be united. He was correct, to a degree. The other Traditions voted to Gilgul Teomim. Shortly afterwards, the Solificati abandoned the Traditions and disbanded.
After a time, the Greek faction of the Chakravanti held prominence, and the Tradition was simply known as the Euthanatoi (Euthanatoi being the plural form of the singular Euthanatos).
The Chœur Céleste, also known at the time as the "Chorus Celestial," became known as the more accurately-translated Celestial Chorus.
Dream-speakers lost their hyphen and became simply Dreamspeakers.
The Euthanatoi and Verbenae gradually became called by their singular forms – the Euthanatos and the Verbena – even within their own Traditions. Only older Hermetics still use the old forms.
Victorian Age Edit
Toward the end of the 1800s, the Technocratic Union's Electrodyne Engineers were becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the modus operandi of the Union. In 1904, they abandoned the Technocracy and joined the Traditions as the Sons of Ether, filling the seat of Matter vacated by the Solificati. The Traditions were Nine once again, for the first time in nearly four hundred years.
But it was not to last.
Modern Nights Edit
The Ahl-i-Batin had become increasingly irritated with the Council and their unwillingness to help them defend the Middle East from the depredations of the Technocracy. Sometime during or following World War II, they quietly left the Traditions. Those that noticed assumed they had either been wiped out or had simply vanished.
Since then, the Nine have been whole, and strong.
The Traditions are the backbone of the Council. The modern Council is comprised of:
- The Akashic Brotherhood are mystical martial artists whose meditations grant them insight into the seat of the Mind.
- The Celestial Chorus, holding the seat of Prime. The Choristers are religious mystics, all adhering to faith in the One.
- The Cult of Ecstasy who hold the seat of Time are practitioners of ancient ecstatic rites to see beyond reality.
- Dreamspeakers are the holders of the seat of Spirit and are the shamans and tribal willworkers of history.
- The Euthanatos hold the seat of Entropy and are enforcers of the karmic wheel of rebirth.
- The Order of Hermes, who hold the seat of Forces. The order are traditional high mages of the medieval European form, claiming descent from Hermes Trismegistus.
- Resembling stories of mad scientists, the Sons of Ether left the Technocracy after the Michelson-Morley experiment, and have since held the Matter seat in the Traditions.
- Verbena mages are the inheritors of traditions of blood and enlightenment from druidic rituals to the world tree; they hold the seat of Life.
- Newest of the traditions, the Virtual Adepts are mages who utilize the power of telecommunications in their mastery of Correspondence.
There are also several cross-Tradition factions to which a mage may claim membership. Members of these factions have likely received training with multiple Traditions and claim membership in several. The Neo-Tradition Reformation Front, for example, is trying to modernise the Council as a whole: its members are often Akashic-Virtual Adepts or Dreamspeaker-Sons of Ether.