House Tytalus is one of the twelve founding Houses of the Order of Hermes. Ancient and venerable, the House enjoys a mixed reputation among its fellow mages for dubious choices in the past.
House Tytalus believes in the absolute supremacy of the Enlightened Will. The Will is perfected through challenge and conflict. By pitting the Will against the world, the mage shapes the world to suit their desires. This is accompanied with constant vigilance and precise strategical thinking, to exert maximum effect with minimal effort. Promoting an ethos of self-reliance, most Tytalans look down on the Sphere of Spirit (which may have connections to the bad reputation of diabolism that has plagued the House). In addition to the Order mastery of Forces, they also study the Mind Sphere, as the purest expression of the Will.
Motto: Incrementum ex certamine. (Latin: "From conflict, growth.")
The history of House Tytalus begins with the mage Tytalus, an apprentice of Guorna and a co-disciple to Tremere. After their master had died before she could attend the central meeting convoked by Trianoma, both apprentices made their way and presented themselves before the assembled wizards at the Pax Hermetica in 767. Both Tremere and Tytalus were allowed to found their own Houses. Tytalus promoted a philosophy of relentless conflict and challenge to oneself and the status quo around one. One of his disciples, Pralix, followed this philosophy and left House Tytalus to found her own House, Ex Miscellanea.
Through much of the Middle Ages, House Tytalus acted as strategists of the other Houses, working to ensure their supremacy in the Western World. As it were, their dedication to the ego often landed them in trouble. In the 10th century, the Primus and several other high-ranking magi were found guilty of diabolism and burned at the stake, leaving the reputation of the rest of the House tarnished. At the Great Tribunal that sentenced House Tremere to death and expulsion from the Order in 1202, House Tytalus spoke in favor of their former brethren, and during the resulting Massassa War, House Tytalus made a pact with the dreadful Tzimisce of Transylvania, which brought the House into suspicion of dealing with the vampires.
Members of House Tytalus at first opposed the formation of the Traditions (as they opposed everything), preferring their warlike ways to that of cooperation. Again, in the following centuries, House Tytalus mainly gathered negative attention, like the dealings of Johannes Faust bani Tytalus with demons. Only during the Victorian Age was this mindset refocused on the battle of the Ascension War against the reinvigorated Technocratic Union. Acting as strategists and coordinators, most Tytali did not lead from the front, but instead from Horizon Realms. House Tytalus also became the main enemy of House Janissary and its growing influence within the Order and its main citadel Doissetep, becoming one of the most influential Houses within the Order in the process.
House Tytalus was hit hard by the Reckoning, as numerous of their Masters had dwelled not on Earth when the Avatar Storm began, leaving the House leaderless. A lack of apprentices who were deterred by its harsh regimen, the House sought ways to regain its power. This lead to the Second Massassa War, where House Tytalus sought to reclaim magical secrets from Clan Tremere on how to combat the failing of magic (and as a retaliation against the awakening of the Ravnos Antediluvian in Bangladesh, whom the Hermetics believed to have been controlled by the Tremere). The war left House Tytalus with a mere fraction of its strength and cursed several members with ghouldom, tainting their Avatars with an addiction for vitae. The House stands now at the crossroads, having faced its demons and now being ready to take the struggle against the enemies of Ascension.
Despite heavy losses, House Tytalus persists in its tried and true methods of "One Mage, One Vote". The brutal directness and confrontative nature of the Tytalans leads to bloc votings and favour-currying, allowing the Primus to express the united "Will" of the House undeterred.
House Tytalus has continued to produce great mages that have made both their House and their Tradition proud; like Baldric LaSalle, who united the Houses of Hermes before the Grand Convocation; Edward Gilmore, current representative of the Order within the reformed Council of Nine; and Callistro, who lead the charge in the ritual that banishes the Nephandic archmages near Berlin in 1944. They also produced some of the worst eggs within the Order, like Getulio Vargas Sao Cristavo, who drove the Ahl-i-Batin from the Council of Nine and brought the Order the enmity of the Dreamspeakers; Marcus de Allegresse, whose rhetoric sparked the Second Massassa War and who conducted dark experiments with vampiric vitae; and Jean-Paul Joreau, who sought to subvert the Ritual of the Red Sign.
Tytalan apprenticeship is a nightmare. In the Dark Ages, the survival rate was one to six. The Tytalan master becomes his apprentice's worst enemy, constantly attacking and challenging him at every possible time, including meals, love-making and while sleeping (under the premise that "one never knows when the enemy attacks"). Despite ameliorations due to a threatening dissolution of the House, Tytalans refuse to dumb down their time-honed traditions for the sake of convenience. Doing so would invite decadence and weakness into their House, they maintain. To make up for the few that survive apprenticeship, the Tytalans recruit aggressively among Sleepers. Apprenticeship has three rules: The first is that after defeating your master, you can set new rules. The second is that all challenges have to be espoused openly. The third is that an apprentice is not limited to the ways his master taught him (leaving many Tytali searching for help among other Traditions).
- , p.47
- , p.48-49
- , p.21, 25, 33
- , p.59-60
|Mage: The Ascension and Ars Magica Houses of Hermes|
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