- For other meanings of Fate, see Fate (disambiguation).
Fate is one of the ten Arcana of Mage: The Awakening, and the Subtle ruling Arcana of Arcadia. Its purview covers all aspects of destiny and probability, though it cannot predict the future; that is the purview of the Gross Arcana of Time. Common uses for Fate are creating good or ill fortune, bestowing blessings and curses, mystically sealing an oath, or predicting or influencing random events. This last effect is not always clear; mages often differ over whether using Fate to predict a coin toss, for example, informs of the outcome or creates it. The Arcanum of Fate grants perception and control over the threads of fate. It deals with the bestowing of blessings or curses, the swearing of inviolable oaths, and the ability to perceive the destinies of others (though not their future). A mage learned in the ways of this Arcanum can level a geas on another, forcing this person to do the mage’s whim. They may increase their luck or that of another to incredible levels, or decrease the fortune of a foe. The control over the strands of fate granted by this Arcanum makes it quite attractive to the Acanthus; they are deeply reliant on fortune in their itinerant lifestyles.
Blessings, curses, destiny, fortune, chance, luck, oaths, order, chaos, and probability.
Nature and Power
The Arcanum of Fate is the Subtle Arcanum of the Supernal Realm of Arcadia, a realm that also generates the power of Time. Arcadia is a place of chance and risk; taking no risk while in the realm of the Fae will lead to disaster, so will too many leaps into the unknown without looking or thinking about the consequences. There are two things that can be done to ward this off. One is simply to moderate one’s risks, to do what is likely if you’re not certain the consequences of said actions, will go in one’s favor. This works for a time, but eventually random will catch up and something will go wrong, often disastrously. Arcadia teaches one to have faith, but not blind faith. The second and better route is to tip the scales of fate in one’s favor, to increase with magic the odds of success; this can be achieved by the use of the Arcanum of Fate.
Within the Fallen World, actions carry less risk, the material realms do not actively seek to foil the works of their inhabitants, and so Fate carries less power. The rise of the Abyss has weakened that power still, but chance still plays its part in the Fallen World.
When one takes a good long look at the universe, its easy to see why luck has been so important to us. Conditions on Earth were just right for life to begin, the Earth is on an exacting orbit around the sun, a few thousand miles either way and it would either be too hot or too cold for life to exist on this planet as we know it. Dinosaurs, the species that would have kept us as small rodents scurrying in the earth were all wiped out by a chance asteroid causing their extinctions, and our race has been fortunate enough not to have received such an end, so far. The entirety of human history is one long history of coincidental cause and effect which could have changed human existence if the event had gone differently. Destiny’s hand is evident behind the nature of the world, and our existences upon it.
On less grand scales, the Arcanum of Fate allows for the altering of the luck that runs mundane society. A mage can bless themself or others with great luck, influence events to bring an object into his possession, imbue an object with good or bad luck, act perfectly in social situations, bind oaths that must be fulfilled on pain of poor luck, and send others on Geasae that draw a similar punishment. He/she may induce chaos in a given area, creating extremely improbable events that serve to make Sleepers more open to the idea of the supernatural, and so make them induce less Paradox. They may forge Dooms - objects, places, conditions, events, or even people which cause bad luck to a specific person when interacting with them - or they may forge Godsends, similar happenings, locations, objects, or creatures that bring protection to a specific person when that person is around. They may even change the destinies of people, altering the fate of a living being or object any way they please.
If it will help, use your imagination to visualise the concept of fate. If you think of time as a body of water, think of fate as the currents, eddies, tides, and waves of the surface of the water.
Levels of Mastery
The power of the first level of mastery, an Initiate of Fate may use Mage Sight to detect the peculiar resonance of threads particularly woven into the fabric of destiny. They may examine common themes or links between objects, places, or people. The mage can mitigate bad luck to an extent, nullifying small factors of probability rather than making events, such as rolling dice or flipping a coin. Finally, they may perform relatively inconsequential changes to their fate or that of another, enough to inconvenience or ease a happening rather than overtly harming or helping.
The second level of mastery gives an Apprentice of Fate the power to bring about minor curses or give themself a little good luck, helping or hindering in a crucial task. They may bestow their perception of destiny onto another or create a field of protective luck around themselves causing bullets to go astray or melee weapons to slide off them and not slice through them. They may imbue themselves with exceptional luck in a social situation, allowing them to say and do the right things in a given interaction. They can create plausible twists in the skein of fate, creating events that are reasonably likely, or they may cause a machine to function perfectly for a time. Lastly, the mage picks up the basics of swearing an oath, a magical contract that grants the mage strength of will to perform feats of great mental fortitude when the oath demands it, at the cost of poor fortune if they act against their oath. Apprentices of Fate may use special conjunctional effects. A mage may give another spell a "conditional duration," causing it to last slightly longer than normal at the expense of setting a condition under which the spell will cease earlier. The more easily the condition may be met, the greater the boosted duration of the spell. Fate spells with conditional durations are the only spells which can affect living creatures indefinitely (other spells with conditional durations may not).
Disciples of Fate, using the third level of mastery, may grant their shield of protective luck to others, or bless them with minor good fortune in a similar manner to the blessings the mage could lay on themselves previously. They may alter the terms of an oath, changing the nature of their service (but not alter it completely), or imbue certain objects with good or bad luck to anyone using or handling them. The mage may conceal a great destiny from the eyes of other Fate users, or change the appearance of that destiny so it seems to be a different sort of fate. Finally, the mage may bless themselves with incredible luck, gaining the ability to perform feats of amazing luck that defy credulity.
Adepts of Fate, use the fourth level of mastery, which grants them even greater luck than before. The mage may unbind souls chained to a specific place by a wielder of the Arcanum of Death or other supernatural being or power, allowing a soul to be removed from a soul jar or unbound from a creature to which it has been reattached. The mage gains the power to sanctify the oath of another in the place of that person (if said person cannot use the Arcanum of Fate to such a degree). Finally, the mage gains the power to completely annul a magical oath, freeing them or another from the bindings of an unwanted oath or forcibly parting another from an oath they wish to hold up. The mage also gains an increased hardiness against supernatural attempts to control their actions or bind them in oaths. This applies to all supernatural powers of the type, not just Awakened magic. Adepts of Fate are also "Unfettered," gaining a special connection to their own destiny. They are supernaturally aware of being targeted by certain magical effects which would disrupt their destiny, and may instantly attempt to disrupt them with a counterspell.
Masters of Fate can lay Geasae upon others, an unbreakable oath with dire consequences for any who would seek to escape or avoid it. They may also break such compulsions, freeing them or another from service. The mage may create a Doom, a magical object, creature, happenstance, place, or time that gives bad luck to a specific person when that person interacts with it, or may create a Godsend, an article of similar nature that grants protection to them or another when it's near. The mage may bestow incredible bad luck on another person, causing them to fail at everything they try whilst under the power of the spell. The mage can radically alter the fate of another person, changing the course of their life in a severe way, create random happenings of bizarre and unusual things, opening the minds of Sleepers to the impossible for a little while and reducing their ability to generate Paradox.
Archmaster and Above (●●●●●●+)
Archmages are rare but not unheard of. They don’t follow the same rules as the other ranks. Archmages become Avatars of the Arcanum they studied, living embodiments of the Watchtower their power comes from. They become conduits for power and are no longer barred from their power by the Abyss and so aren’t subject to Paradox. They take on the physical characteristics of their Arcanum. Archmages can cast all the spells from Initiate to Master, without using any Mana, and in any preferred duration. They effectively gain the powers of a God, including limited immortality (e.g. they stop getting older, and become immune to all diseases), but they’re still human beings and as such can be killed just like anybody else should they become careless. They still suffer penalties of their Inferior Arcanum.
The ability to see the strings of fate becomes a part of their visual spectrum, when they walk into a room their very presence can shift the fortunes of any others present, except other Archmages. The shield of probability becomes absolute, letting them walk in the midst of fiery battle without a scratch, and nobody can break an oath made to an Archmage, be they mortal or supernatural. Archmages can alter the destinies of even metaphysical concepts, ideas, or philosophies; such as key concepts within magic, vampires, or werewolves, causing them to rise or fall as they will (though often at their own risk, since many such beings are spoken for by a higher power). They could gain the ability to lay Geasae upon whole cities' worth of people at the same time, creating a mass of people who must obey or risk damnation. The Archmage can utterly destroy or completely confirm a person’s destiny, and not just alter it as he/she pleases, wrecking all the significance they once had, or strengthening it so it can’t be changed at all.
In Conjunction With Other Arcana
A Fate condition can also be combined with Time magic to set a "conditional trigger" whereby a spell's effect is delayed, starting automatically when the condition is met. A spell delayed only with Time magic must be triggered by the mage. The same mastery of Fate may also be used to define targets to be exempted from an area effect spell.