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Quintessence is the raw material of reality. Technocrats refer to it as Primal Energy. It is what flows through the patterns of reality and what makes magic possible. The primal force, quintessence can not truly be divided, measured, or contained. The patterns of all supernaturals, mortals, inanimate objects, and the whole of the Tellurian is woven from Quintessence. The term literally translates to "Fifth Essence".

Quintessence is the same thing as Chi, Sekhem, and Gnosis. Glamour is a form of quintessence, just as diamonds are a form of carbon. Vitae is theorized by mages to be fused with Quintessence, thus explaining its supernatural properties.

Tass and Quintessence

Quintessence is "found" in two forms, although only one of them can be touched. It flows through the pattern of everything in existence, essentially keeping them in existence. However, it can often be found as Tass: Quintessence temporarily manifesting in a physical from. When released, Tass can be absorbed much like meditating at a node, where Tass is often found. When raw Quintessence crystallizes into Tass, it takes a coincidental form related to the type of node where it wells up, such as mushrooms growing in a forest glade, previously-lost socks in a laundromat, etc.

The true nature of Tass is practically unknowable, since Quintessence is immaterial and free-flowing; it should not be hypothetically possible for Tass to exist, yet it does. Metaphors such as Quintessence being water and Tass being ice are the most common way of explaining the abnormality, but it goes nowhere towards explaining why something that should travel through a pattern could get trapped by it. Some theories are that excessive Quintessence at a Node has to go somewhere, and that as Tass does not trap Quintessence, it merely has an extremely long pattern that can store a large amount of Quintessence inside. Another theory is that Quintessence is not getting used enough by the world, as it is trapped by the static nature engineered by the Technocracy, resulting in Quintessence simply having nowhere else to go, so it condenses at Nodes, although all of these have logical flaws in them.


Quintessence is used as a trait on a mage's character sheet, describing the amount of "fuel" a mage has in their system to cast magic. It is measured on the same track as Paradox, and can be cancelled out by it. It is possible to use Awakened magic without Quintessence, but creating something out of nothing (technically, fueling a pattern), is not. Quintessence can be expended to lower the difficulty of magic by one, or to make pattern changes or temporary patterns permanent.

Manipulating Quintessence

Manipulating Quintessence is the purview of mages who study the Prime Sphere of Magic. Quintessence is invisible to those who do not have at least a rudimentary (one dot) knowledge of this sphere; without it, you cannot recognize a Node (although you need points in Avatar to take Quintessence from one) and anyone could sell you anything as being Tass without you being able to tell the difference.

The Prime Sphere is dedicated to detecting, collecting, manipulating, and condensing Quintessence and Tass. Quintessence can be expended to ease magical effects, filling in the gaps between a mage's will and the Consensus. Quintessence can be drawn from Nodes easily, processed out of Tass by adepts of Prime, or ripped from the patterns of creatures and objects. Stealing quintessence from the pattern of reality is always a vulgar effect, and can cause rooms to suddenly grow colder, lights to flicker and falter, and sudden weakness in affected creatures as their very fabric is unwoven.

Those with a high rating in this Sphere can take create magical artifacts from Tass, can syphon the energy directly from it for themselves with ease, or transfer it into another mage or artifact designed to hold it. Some can even draw spare Quintessence that is not being channeled into patterns into themselves, pulling Quintessence from the universal stream (Prime 5), although a large number of inexplicable phenomena will most likely occur when this is performed.


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