Forces is one of nine Spheres of magic in Mage: The Ascension. The Order of Hermes has occupied the Seat of Forces in the Council of Nine Mystic Traditions since its founding. The Shard Realm of Forces maps physically to Mars.
Overview[edit | edit source]
Forces is the Sphere of energetic Patterns, among them heat, light, vibration, radiation and gravity. In effect, Forces are constructs of Quintessence in motion. Every force has its own unique properties, but they all share the common root of Prime swirling through a Pattern. Although modern physics disputes the old lines between matter and energy, the venerable study of Forces transcends human politics. Science considers certain forces to be the absence of others, while mystical Traditions usually consider negative and positive forces (like heat and cold) to be opposite but independent entities.
To utilize the Archspheres of Forces, the mage has to understand that all Force patterns are parts of a greater, unified Pattern of all Forces within the Tellurian. To master them, they have to travel to a place (usually the Shard Realm of Forces), where they can experience this Pattern. This means that the mage exposes themself to all possible combinations of Force patterns, a process that is usually lethal.
Marks[edit | edit source]
Mages who dabble in Forces often carry a palpable aura of energetic command, with a Resonance that often alters their environments in uncanny, elemental ways. The precise sort of manifestation often depends upon the wizard's specialty.
Energies associated with Forces tend to be yellow, orange or red in color.
Limits[edit | edit source]
Forces is prone to heavy Paradox, thanks to its universal and often blatant altering of reality.
Paradigmatic Interpretations[edit | edit source]
Below is a short representation how the Sphere of Forces is interpreted by the various magickal factions within the World of Darkness.
- Akashic Brotherhood: The Akashic Brotherhood views Forces as the natural interaction of the Five Agents (the five elements). By imitating the spirit of the Agents, the Akashic can utilize qualities of the Five Agents in himself, for example in Do postures. Other practices include using an aiding or antagonistic Agent to either help or block Force Patterns.
- Celestial Chorus: The Celestial Chorus speaks of Forces as different "Angels" that serve the One and police Its creation. These Angels govern the interaction between the Patterns within Creation and regulate the flow of Quintessence. Each Angel has its own capabilities of creation, preservation and destruction and all together keep the world in motion. Quite a few Choristers begin their study of Prime with the study of Forces.
- Cult of Ecstasy: The Cult of Ecstasy refers to Forces as the "Illusion of Different States" and associate it with "Wrath" among the Nine Sacred Passions. The Ecstatic moves outside the realm of reason into the realm of transcendence to change his perceptions of a Force Pattern and therefor change it into the wished form. As the Self is also an illusion, these changed perceptions can then be transferred to another person.
- Dreamspeakers: The Dreamspeakers practice Forces by channeling the destructive influence of the greater spirits of the world away from their people by asking them and thanking them for their generosity and mercy. Forces is often used in concert with magic that asserts authority and influence.
- Euthanatoi: The Euthanatoi refer to Forces as Teias, the "Shining Power" that is immanent in the motion of the Wheel and constitutes the active elements of the current lokha. Most Euthanatoi, however, stay away from Forces, seeing it as the domain of the gods and practicing only its first levels.
- Order of Hermes: The Hermetics regard Forces as the Ars Essentiae (also named Ars Virium). Seeing it as a traditionally masculine Sphere, the Hermetics treasure Forces as the light that burns away ignorance and opens the way for enlightenment. It is sword of Ascension itself, the purgatory of those who deny magic, the whip that punishes the wicked and the weapon and shield against the many enemies of the Order. Hermetics carefully cultivate Forces, mainly for the reason that it clearly gives them away as someone extraordinary, someone with the power to shape the cosmos itself according to his Will.
- Sons of Ether: The Sons of Ether call Forces "Energetic Physics". The numerous forms of application of energy result in a variety of gadgets, Wonders and similar creations that utilize Forces for their Effects.
- Verbena: The Verbena celebrate Forces at Litha, the summer solstice. Forces are connected to the forces of nature, to sun, thunderstorms and rushing rivers. Most Verbena use sympathetic examples of these forces (i.e a candle) to manipulate greater Patterns of the same force of nature (i.e a forest fire).
- Virtual Adepts: The Virtual Adepts put a great deal of effort into the study of Forces, seeing it as a natural extension of Correspondence. Gravity is the bending of space-time matter, electricity is the flow of energy from place to place and heat is the exchange of energy. Through their greater focus on technology, most Virtual Adepts are more comfortable using man-made Force Patterns.
- Ahl-i-Batin: The Ahl-i-Batin see Forces connected to Hod. Most Batini do not tend to utilize Forces, seeing it as blatant and vulgar to use it. In the rare cases that they decide to focus on it, they channel energies out of the Unity or diverging existing Forces Patterns to their will to increase their own subtlety.
- Kopa Loei: The Kopa Loei call Forces Ke'kai'huna, the "Magical Tides of the Sea". Seeing it as the element of motion that moves the sea, drives lava through volcanoes and guides the winds, the Kopa Loei regard Forces in an eternal dance with each other. Their influence is slowing or speeding up the dance, but the Kopa Loei cannot generate new rythms, meaning that they are unable to form new Forces patterns.
- Sisters of Hippolyta: The Sisters of Hippolyta study Forces with a main focus how their bodies interact with Force Patterns and how this energies can be used and redirected for the sister's benefit.
- Taftâni: The Taftâni call Forces Atash - Fire, the highest manifestation of Truth within this world. With Forces, Taftâni can challenge druj, willfully invoking Paradox through the summoning of firestorms to prove their devotion to Truth above everything else by burning the false Consensus away. 
- Templars: The Templars see Forces as manifestations of the Wrath of God and themselves as His harbingers. During their days with the Order of Reason, the Templars mainly utilized the offensive aspects of Forces. As they now act independently, they have learned the value of camouflage and secrecy that Forces offer.
- Wu Keng: The Wu Keng see Forces as the aspect of Yang. Wu Keng use the wildly fluctuable energies of Forces with vigorous discipline, tempering them according to their will and guiding them through their internal balance.
- Wu Lung: The Wu Lung call Forces Yao Su, and it is under the purview of the Tiger School. The Wu Lung use the transformative and destructive cycles of the five Elements as metaphors for the different states of Force Patterns. Members of the Tiger School use Forces to enforce the edicts of the Dragon School, punishing Sinners and combating demons.
The Technocratic Union calls Forces the study of Force-based Paraphysics. Spread through all five Conventions, Forces is derived from the common mathematics of energy physics. The Union can control all forms of energy, recognizing them as springing from the same essential sources. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but with the science of Forces, it can be constructed from existing elements, transformed into something else or returned to Primal Essence. Whether kinetic or potential, all such energy can be manifested in any of the states desired.
Standard Powers[edit | edit source]
- Perceive Forces: The mage becomes privy to Force patterns around them, transcending the limits of human sensory organs.
- Control Minor Forces: The mage can alter existing forces within sensory range. Applications are varied and allow a mage to warp light to make things invisible, change their colors by altering the spectrum of localized light, render them silent by bending sound waves in their vicinity, manipulate currents of electricity, make fires dance according to specific images and spread.
- Transmute Minor Forces: The mage can manipulate Patterns of Forces, allowing them to convert forces into other types, shift their intensity radically, or even create force from nothing.
- Control Major Forces: The mage can manipulate Force patterns on a wider scale, allowing them to use former effect on more than one Pattern. This allows them to change the weather, insulate a whole building or area of forest from fire and electricity, divert light into a series o rooms, banish all sounds from a huge cavern, or render a Chantry invisible to normal sight.
- Transmute Major Forces: The mage can use their power on nearly all Force Patterns within their surroundings, summoning storms of fire, massive charges of electricity, shadows that blot out entire city blocks, and typhoons even in the midst of a calm day.
Archspheres[edit | edit source]
- Economy of Forces: The mage can feel what was the original cause for a Force Pattern to form.
- Sense Universal Forces: The mage can sense the interplay of Force patterns within the whole Tellurian.
- Plate Tectonics: The mage can collect all forces acting upon a Pattern and modify them, allowing them to sink continents or raise new landmasses.
- Toss Around Realms: The mage can influence the Forces that interact with the Umbra, allowing them to push around Umbral Realms.
- Alter Universal Forces: The mage can manipulate the interaction of the Shenti themselves, devise entire new forces or alter existing Forces to their liking.
References[edit | edit source]
^ Level 1
|Perceive Forces||Pg. 165|
|Perceive Forces||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 515|
^ Level 2
|Control Minor Forces||Pg. 165|
|Manipulate Forces||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 515|
^ Level 3
|Transmute Minor Forces||Pg. 165|
|Transmute Minor Forces||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 516|
^ Level 4
|Control Major Forces||Pg. 166|
|Control Major Forces||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 516|
^ Level 5
|Transmute Major Forces||Pg. 166|
|Transmute Major Forces||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 516|
^ Level 6
|Economy of Forces||Masters of the Art||Pg. 68|
|Sense Universal Forces||Masters of the Art||Pg. 68|
^ Level 7
|Plate Tectonics||Masters of the Art||Pg. 68-69|
^ Level 8
|Toss Around Realms||Masters of the Art||Pg. 69|
^ Level 9
|Alter Universal Forces||Masters of the Art||Pg. 69|
|Mage: The Ascension Spheres|
|Traditional:||Correspondence · Entropy · Forces · Life · Matter · Mind · Prime · Spirit · Time|
|Variations:||Data · Dimensional Science · Primal Utility · Void Correspondence · Qlippothic Spheres|