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The War In Heaven refers to the large-scale attack on Horizon that left the Traditions in ruins in late 1990s.

Contributing Factors

The Council of Nine Mystic Traditions was forced to confront a number of serious crises in the 1990s, including the appearance of a rune representing the mysterious Tenth Sphere in their own council chamber.[1] The corruption of Voormas, and attempts by members of the Order of Hermes to cover it up, weakened the the trust of some mages in the council's ethics.[2] Long-term mistreatment of the Crafts, such as the Hollow Ones, reinforced the perception that the Council was out of touch, and a number of younger mages felt embittered that they were being thrown into the front lines of the Ascension War to die while masters stayed safe in their chantries and Horizon realms.[3][4][5]

The Ascension Warrior

A pattern clone with wildly enhanced physical abilities called the Ascension Warrior was created by the Technocracy; it was intended to be an empty shell into which the mind of a great technocrat could be implanted.[6] However, the Ascension Warrior awoke fully conscious and self-aware, and announced he was Heylel Teomim, back from the dead. He appeared before the Council of Nine to demand leadership of the Traditions, and when he was rebuffed, he turned Hermetic representative Getulio Vargas São Cristóvão into solid gold in retaliation.[7]

This set off a series of conflicts between Hermetics in Doissetep, which may have been worsened by the Warrior's confederates, resulting in the Conflagration. Porthos Fitz-Empress sacrificed himself to contain the damage as best he could, but it still lead to a crash of the Digital Web; both the Order of Hermes and the Virtual Adepts suffered significant losses.[8][9] The Warrior also destroyed a Progenitor construct in an attempt to kill one of the technocrats who created him.[10]

The Ascension Warrior then hijacked telecommunication equipment to broadcast an appeal to any disaffected and frustrated young mages, inviting them to join him in overthrowing their corrupt old masters.[11] The call was answered by many, including Technocrats who slaughtered their own supervisors before flocking to the Warrior's side. Also joining the cause was Jeremy Case, a Hollower who had been campaigning for years for the recognition of the Council. Case and his cabal helped breach the mystic defenses around Horizon, allowing the army to flood inside.[12][13] While the Ascension Warrior was killed in the invasion, it was many months before all his followers were tracked down, and Horizon's defenses were permanently damaged.[14]


Although the attackers were vastly outnumbered, their ferocity killed many of the leaders of the Traditions and left Concordia in ruins. Even for those who didn't join the revolt, the Ascension Warrior's condemnation of the corruption and venality of the Traditions triggered bitter disputes.[15]

A separate War of the Ruins broke out in the Shade Realm of Forces, as mages of many factions swarmed the ruins of Doissetep in search of relics and wonders.[16] The losses at Doissetep would also contribute to the Second Massasa War between the Order of Hermes and Clan Tremere.

The Week of Nightmares and the onset of the Avatar Storm finally put an end to the Ascension War. Disillusioned and leaderless, the remains of the Traditions declared a cease-fire and began devoting their energy to personal enlightenment.[17] This lead to a renewed Pogrom from the Technocracy, which in turn spurred the formation of the Disparate Alliance.[18]


Different Revised Edition books place key events of the War in Heaven in either 1997 or 1998. Digital Web 2.0 is fairly precise that the Conflagration occurred on November 10, 1997, and the Orphan's Survival Guide, published in 1998, refers to the events as happening "last year." The Revised Edition Storyteller's Handbook and Tradition Book: Akashic Brotherhood both give the year as 1998.