Introduction Rules Paths Arcana Character Relationships Additional Information Character Sheet Character List
"Welcome, to the Academy Mysterium! You, lucky recipient, have been selected, test pending, to join the most illustrious school for mages! Once becoming a student at our wondrous institution, you will begin learning to use magic studying the various schools of magic known as arcana, including Life, Death, Time, Space, Spirit, Forces, Fate, and Matter. During your time with us, you will become productive members of the magical community, and find ways to use your gifts to help people in a wide variety of ways. Your days as a sleeper, a member of the mundane community that is incapable of harnessing magic are over. We look forward to teaching you, Awakened!"
Magic. A power thought to belong only in the realm of fantasy exists, well into the modern day. It was barely more than a few generations ago when the existence of magic was brought to public attention, but, humanity is adaptive, and very quickly sought to build structure around the new world. Academies were formed all around the world, created with the sole purpose of guiding newly awakened mages onto a path that would not only allow their magic to be monitored and applied in a positive way.
There are however, those whom would use their powers for selfish reasons beyond making a living. Mages that use magic to cause needless harm or manipulate the world or people around them. Many such mages exist, hiding out among the mundane. Some are highly secretive, while others utilize loopholes to hide in plain sight, merely playing at law abiding citizens.
1. All Iwaku roleplay rules apply
2. Keep all drama in IC or in PMs please
4. No one is invincible or all powerful. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and death (or worse) is always a possibility. So play smart and don't go making a lot of bad decisions.
5. The posting requirement is one post a week, at least 4 sentences long. If you don’t think you can provide a post a week, please don’t put a character sheet in.
6. Tell me beforehand if you want to include a specific arc for your character. I want growth and development for everyone and we’ll be able to work it into the RP! The goal here is for each character to have their own slice and to have their own personal times in the light.
7. Your character can only become an archmage in your two primary Arcana. Don't expect to become a master in every school, and never expect to be the best. Everyone knows, there is always someone better.
8. Your character will also have random events that they could gain or lose from. Watch out for hostile, friendly, financial, and romantic opportunities.
9. Please try to balance out Paths your primary Arcana. I would strongly prefer we not have an abundance of death and forces mages, for example.
10. I would like to keep the Male to Female ratio about even if possible.
11. Feel free to fill out and post your sheets. I will be adding them to the list personally, since your sheets will be modified as we go, and I will be controlling those edits. Nothing personal, this is merely to ensure no cheating.
12. Please, please, please try to maintain communication! I cannot stress enough how important it is that we all know what is going on. If you need to speak to me, message me. Ask any questions, inform me of any delays or anything of the sort.
A path is a spiritual discipline that dictates a mage's connection to the supernal realms their magic originates from, as well as their respective Watchtowers. A Watchtower is less a location and more a concept, a conduit and vessel of magic. A mage's path determines both the Arcana that they are most and least attuned to, as well as the kind of mage the awakened will become. The paths and a brief description are as follows:
A mage who walks the Path of Thistle that winds through the realm of Arcadia to the Watchtower of the Lunargent Thorn (the “moonsilver thorn”). Sleepers know Arcadia dimly through the legends of faeries, and the nymphs and dryads of the plant kingdom. In Arcadia, everything is enchanted, wearing a magical glamour of intense beauty or ugliness. Things tend toward extremes; there is very little compromise in the abode of the Fae. Change is common and encouraged. Those who walk this Path tend to be fickle and ever eager to try new things.
The Ruling Arcana for Arcadia are Fate and Time. Fairy stories from around the world reflect the timelessness of the realm, as people who enter places under its influence and spend an evening often exit many years later, as time is measured in the Fallen World. Likewise, a promise or oath is binding, and none can betray it without terrible consequences. Acanthus, also called “enchanters,” are often thought of as the archetypal “divine fools,” for they seem to achieve their goals by not trying or by waiting for things to come to them. Little wonder this, with the Fate Arcanum on their side. But, this over-reliance on luck can be to their detriment, as they spurn patience and plunge into situations that are perhaps best tackled with some degree of foresight and strategy. They are the wild cards of the Awakened world, and both loved and hated by others for it.
A mage who walks the Path of Scourging through the nightmarish labyrinth of the realm of Pandemonium, at the center of which is the Watchtower of the Iron Gauntlet. Pandemonium is also called the Realm of Nightmares, for its echoes appear to Sleepers most often in their most terrible and dreaded dreams, where they fall from endless heights, never to hit the ground, or run for what seems like hours but never make any ground. Their worst fears or repressed emotions are brought forth in places touched by Pandemonium, to be examined and judged by strangers, who mock and condemn them. Through such a gauntlet of humiliation and submission, a soul is scourged of its sins and is thus purified to reunite, cleansed and free, with the divine.
The Ruling Arcana of Pandemonium are Mind and Space. The darkest corners of the unconscious mind are readily apparent here, worn like badges, while all roads twist in upon themselves, leading a traveler to confrontations with his own failings. While Mastigos “warlocks” are often associated with diabolists and demon-summoners (those who make deals with the Devil), they are more properly the masters of such infernal urges, those who by dint of will command that within them which is most unsavory. While all men sin, the Mastigos learn from the foibles of the mortal coil and use them to attain higher power.
A mage who walks the Path of Doom, treading the barren wastes and black rivers of the realm of Stygia to attain the Watchtower of the Lead Coin. There is a price to be paid for entering places influenced by Stygia, and there are many tollgates on the road the soul must travel through death to attain new life. This price isn’t in mundane lucre but in the treasure reaped by the soul during life. If its weight is light, like that of precious metals, the soul can rise above its death. But, if it is heavy, like lead, the soul must remain in the abode of shades until it can relinquish its hold on life.
The Ruling Arcana of Stygia are Death and Matter, for it is the place of shells, whether the hollow shells of egos worn in life or the heavy shells of material greed. Whatever is most heavy falls to the influence of this realm. Ghosts who are anchored to the world they have already left, material treasures that distract the soul from its true work, and even darkness, which weighs down the light. Moros necromancers are often stereotyped as dour and quiet, and there are certainly those mages who fit that description, but this image is based more on others’ misunderstanding of what mages who work so close to death must be like. If a Moros is gloomy, it is because he is all too aware of the doom that others face, while he rises above it all, alchemically transformed by his sojourn in the undiscovered country to which all eventually travel.
A mage who walks the Path of the Mighty, gliding on celestial winds through the realm of the Aether and the firmament of the stars to reach the Watchtower of the Golden Key. Only the elect can enter here, guarded by the Hosts with their swords of fire. Lightning strikes any who fly with false wings, like Icarus downed by his hubris. He who would wield the Flame Supernal must not flinch in the face of adversity, and cleave to one of the many visions of the divine.
The Ruling Arcana of the Aether are Forces and Prime. The very realm bristles with energy — sometimes too much energy, threatening to burn those not shielded by divine purpose. The raw power of the prima materia, the fire of Creation that fuels magic, is born here and meted out to the Tapestry by Providence. Other mages often fear Obrimos theurgists for their temperaments as much as for their judgmental attitudes. Nonetheless, all admire their strength, and call upon them first when the need is dire.
A mage who walks the Path of Ecstasy, forging his own trail through the realm of the Primal Wild to discover the Watchtower of the Stone Book. Most of the hallmarks of civilization are but dreams not yet dreamt in this realm, where the world into which mortals were first born thrives in all its teeming grandeur and horror. This place speaks to the primordial in all beings, causing them to lose themselves to ecstasies of the flesh or spirit, exalting in the very act of being alive. Some claim that all wine is blessed with the taste of the Primal Wild, and that those who get madly drunk dance in its humid embrace.
The Ruling Arcana of the Primal Wild are Life and Spirit. The pounding drums of the heart and lungs, the surging blood in every vein, the tingling nerves and salty sweat these things are an alphabet of desire presided over by this realm. Not just flesh, but ephemera, too the instincts of beast and spirit alike are wrought in the Primal Wild’s jungles. Thyrsus shamans celebrate the moment and the sheer thrill of existence. Surrounded by Presences, they are never alone there is always a partner ready to take up the dance anew. While some of them are looked upon by other mages as uncivilized louts, they are no “hippies.” The Path of Ecstasy is also about pain, for life is there, too. Only the dead feel no pain. Thyrsus are often the first mages sought when the Realms Invisible intrude.
The Arcana are the types or schools of magic learned and performed by mages. These arcana are directly tied to the path that a mage follows upon their awakening, and while others can be learned, it is the path that dictates their most efficient and least efficient arcana. Each path has two ruling arcana, a greater attunement and stronger efficiency, and one inferior arcana, a style of magic that contrasts that path, reducing effectiveness and practically preventing a mastery of that arcana. For all fledgling mages, their first arcanum is one of their path's ruling arcana, any learned ones later are up to the mage's discretion. The arcana, their purview, and additional information on them is as follows:
Darkness, Decay, Ectoplasm, Enervation, Ghosts, Soul Stealing
Death is a gruesome and terrible Arcanum. With it, a mage can exert control over that most primal and frightful of mysteries. Ghosts and the dead fall under the purview of this Arcanum, as does the health of the soul. Those who delve deeply into the Mysteries of Death are often (though not necessarily) morbid people, given to considerable introspection regarding mortality, decay and endings. Many such individuals had too close a brush with their own mortality at some point. Out of fear (or disdain), they attempt to master the very metaphysical constant responsible for claiming those whose time has passed, seeking to define the limits of their own existence rather than being subject to the whims of a cold and impersonal universe. Like the Arcanum they pursue, such mages tend to be subtle, owing much less (despite what others might think) to bad horror movies and heavy metal than to a pervasive, cold and clinical outlook on Creation, one in which they have already perceived the destiny of everything and flensed away their fear in the crucible that is the knowledge that all things must die in time.
Luck, Chance, Blessings, Curses, Destiny, Fortune, Oaths, Probability
Understanding the Arcanum of Fate grants its practitioner the ability to manipulate the threads of destiny, creating good or ill fortune, binding oaths, blessings and curses. Those who study Fate come to understand the intricacies of fortune, seeing with clear sight the interconnection of the threads that bind all cause and effect within Creation. Those with powerful destinies (or none at all) stand out to even the most elementary Fate Arcanum perceptions, while more complicated fortunes sometimes require more of a discerning eye. Mages who devote themselves to the understanding of the Fate Arcanum are usually the sorts of people who would rather know “why” rather than “how.” Many of them enjoy a good mystery and consider feelings about things to be just as important, if not more so, than so-called “hard facts.”Sometimes mages who wish to discern the vagaries of Fate do so out of an implicit faith in destiny, while others do so out of a blatant distrust in that nebulous constant. Those who submit themselves to fortune are often easy- going and carefree, with the confidence born of knowing, and more importantly accepting that what is meant to be, will be. Those who rail against fortune are usually driven and unhappy people, too concerned with shaping their own role in the future to admire the beautiful complexities of Fate.
Fire, Electricity, Gravity, Kinetic Energy, Light, Physics, Radiation, Sound, Weather, Energy in all its Material Forms
This is the Arcanum associated with light, heat, energy and the animation of the universe, the patterns of power that make the worlds move in their orbits, stars to burn, and the cohesion that binds the cosmos together. It is a primal, powerful Arcanum, well suited to those with assertive overlooks on the world and who are confident of their own preeminent place within it. Those who master the Arcanum of Forces command storms, droughts, tides and even the power of the atom. Forces is perhaps the most “classical wizardly” of the Arcana. With Forces, a mage can summon fire from his fingertips, overcome the power of gravity to take flight, levitate objects and even people with the power of his will alone, conjure up both darkness and light or cause the very earth to tremble. Those who seek to control this Arcanum are often unsubtle people, energetic and boisterous. They laugh heartily, weep openly and otherwise express themselves with honesty and passion in all things.
Disease, Evolution, Healing, Metamorphosis, Vigor, Power over the Organic World of Plants, Animals and even Humans.
Life is the Arcanum of vital animation, that elusive spark that separates biological matter from base materials. It encompasses everything from viruses and bacteria to the most complex plants and animals. With the power of Life, a mage can cause or cure sickness, mend grievous injuries, and even create life forms from nothingness. She can bolster her own physical capabilities to levels far beyond those found in nature, or change her appearance (from superficial features to such inherent characteristics as height, weight, build, age and even gender) in whatever way she desires. The processes of life can be halted, accelerated, reversed or otherwise altered. Mages who endeavor to master the Arcanum of Life are often one of two kinds of people. There are those who embrace the manifold splendors of the living world, who are so enamored with it that they are compelled to pursue its mysteries and thereby grow closer to it. These sorts of mages tend to leap headlong into both the best and the worst that life has to offer, with a fervor usually matched only among those who seek the secrets of Forces. The other kind if mage is driven to control, to impose order upon the great randomness of the living world. Unsatisfied with the existence of patterns she cannot see, this type of willworker wishes to become like a god, so that she need never again be subject to the unpredictable happenstance of sicknesses or pain.
Stone, Metal, Plastic Alchemy, Elemental Air, Elemental Earth, Elemental Water, Shaping, Transmutation, All Inorganic Materials
Matter is an Arcanum concerned with lifeless material, the building blocks of the world. Through use of this magic, a mage gains control over raw elements and complex alloys alike. The Matter Arcanum encompasses everything from a simple puddle of water, to a chunk of uranium, to a plank of wood, to the most intricately structured polymer. Those mages who set out to control the enigmas of Matter are often not what others would consider “people friendly.” Many enjoy the static predictability of base materials, as opposed to the rampant chaos engendered by primal energies or living beings. These individuals are often as reliable as they are routine-oriented and many of them are capable of seeing beauty in places that others simply don’t know to look. They prize solidity, stability and conformity and a good number wish that human beings were as readily pliant as the objects with which they work (a condition they believe would make the whole world a much easier and more rewarding place to live).
Thoughts, Emotions, Communication, Hallucinations, Mental Projection, Mind Control, Telepathy
This is the Arcanum used to connect with the Universal Consciousness shared by all beings possessed of thought: humans, animals, spirits and anything capable of in any way distin- guishing between itself and its environment. This is an Arcanum of thoughts, dreams, emotions, motivations, memories, primal instincts, elevated precepts and ideas. Those who seek to master Mind attempt to grow closer to the unity of thought shared by all intelligent life, turning their mystic will inward, there to discover the simple truth that all Creation exists only in the eye of the beholder. Mind is an Arcanum for those who are introspective without losing them-selves in self-important reverie, and also outgoing, but not to the point of being incapable of useful reflection. Mind Arcanum mages are interactive sorts of people, whether that interaction takes the shape of social dealings or intense contemplation of a rich and vibrant inner life is immaterial. Surprisingly few of these individuals ignore the physical in favor of the cerebral, employing a well-balanced approach to existence. There certainly are no few seemingly half-mad ascetics out there, though, who deny the needs and desires of their “crude terrestrial forms.” Of all the different types of mages, those who pursue the study of Mind are the most apt to change radically as they grow in understanding, becoming open to avenues of thought literally unfathomable to them previously.
Magic Itself — Mana, Enchantment, Hallows, Illusions, Mana, Resonance, Tass
Prime is the light that burns without heat, the energy that defies description. It is the power that courses through all things in material existence and which serves as the skeleton on which all willworkers hang their magic. Prime is an Arcanum of mystic power, named for the prima materia, the Supernal substance. Thus, it is often practiced by those who would seek to possess mastery over the subtle and otherwise largely unquantifiable substance that serves as mages’ medium. Awakened who concentrate on Prime tend to be passionate, though they are often driven to loftier ends than the majority of people: self-mastery, understanding of Creation and enlightenment. These sorts usually have an intense drive to understand the “whys” and “wherefores” of reality. Some have their curiosity satisfied merely by learning answers to their questions, while others capitalize on knowledge to control what they understand now. Many Prime willworkers have a particular lust for life, an energy that impels them to be ever active, moving forward toward some objective (which need not be easily quantifiable).
Distance, Conjuration, Scrying, Sympathy, Teleportation, Wards
Space is the art of connection, of the ties between things, the illusion of distance and the means by which one traverses all of reality with a single step. It is an Arcanum for travelers, trailblazers, heralds and all those who seek to dispel ignorance and replace it with knowledge, even if only for their own sake. Space illustrates the ties between people and things, an Arcanum of sympathy, contagion, emotional bonds, roads and doorways. To the mage versed in Space, spatial extension is an illusion; all points are one. The willworker is capable of traveling without moving by navigating the illusion of distance with acumen unknown to mundane human beings. Likewise, he can extend his senses far beyond the range of the natural, listening to what goes on in a home two towns over, watching what unfolds in a particular restaurant in Tokyo while he is in Cleveland. He could even, with the right combination of other Arcana, hold a conversation with a person 10,000 miles away as though he were sitting across a table from her. Space is a difficult Arcanum to understand and learn. While most people (thanks to books and films) can conceive of magic that allows one to conjure flames from nothingness, to peer into another individual's mind or to place a blessing upon a favored child, few have any sense of the kind of power it takes to alter the dimensions of a building to be larger inside than outside, or to weave a small universe of one’s own out of newly spun threads of space. These capabilities are the province of a reality more akin to that envisioned by M.C. Escher or H.P. Lovecraft than the magic commonly attributed to snowy-bearded wizards of yore. Mages who devote themselves to learning the Arcanum of Space are often curious individuals, those who are not content with what is already known or has already been done. They set out to learn Truth and are not dissuaded by obstacles set in their path. Mages who specialize in Space are often adaptable people, capable of going around, over or even through road
Exorcism, The Shadow Realm, Soul Retrieval, Spirits, The Gauntlet
By setting out on the path of the Spirit Arcanum, a mage seeks to become an intermediary between realms. Spirit mages are often thoughtful people, those who consider the consequences of their actions well beyond the immediate — not only forward into time, but also outward, mindful of the ripples their deeds can cause. Many Spirit mages were religious (or at least faithful) people before the Awakening, though some were incapable of articulating what it was they felt, and others believed in nothing before the revelation came that stole their ignorance. Many of those who delve into this Arcanum are willing to admit that there are things beyond the comprehension of man, and they’re comfortable with that notion. They walk into the shadows beyond the firelight, knowing full well that there are things to be afraid of out there, and are perfectly happy with that understanding. Unlike Space mages, they do not blaze a path for others. The road such mages walk is a solitary one undertaken only by those who accept that the world is grander, stranger and more dangerous than humanity can possibly comprehend.
Clairvoyance, Divination, Prophecy, Temporal Acceleration/Deceleration
Time is probably the most complex of the Gross Arcana, since it describes a phenomenon as yet incompletely understood by modern man. With it, a mage can redefine the way in which every other Arcanum interacts with the linear progression of events, and with great mastery can unravel the mysteries of choosing the manner in which things move in that flow. Extraordinarily powerful mages see the way in which an individual participates in Time as a choice, rather than a cosmic absolute. Those who would deal with the Arcanum of Time are advised to heed the counsel of those who have come before. Though few primers exist on the subject (few that are of much use to those lacking an advanced understanding of Time magics, at any rate), most well versed in the Arcanum’s intricacies agree upon one basic axiom: Nothing within Time is fixed. Events in the past are harder to alter than those in the present and future (only magic allows for the past to be changed), but no event seems to be truly eternal. Mages who devote themselves to the Arcanum of Time tend to be reflective people, given to careful contemplation of all of an action’s potential consequences. They often look to both the mistakes and great successes of the past and cast their gaze forward with a mind for how things should properly unfold. Such mages learn quickly what sort of damage can be done when actions are taken without exhaustive consideration, and they actually possess the ability to see how history will judge them. With such a weighty burden, it is unsurprising that those who seek to unravel the mysteries of Time do so with a sense of reverence, whether that stems from noblest oblige, respect for the lessons of the universe, or active devotion to a Divine Plan.
This is basically a high school/college, so, drama is expected. You are expected to make friends and enemies, to become romantically involved or socially promiscuous. Your relationships will influence how the world sees you, and will allow or disallow various routes or options.
That being said, romance is allowed, but, do try not to make it a central focus. If it is for part of a personal arc or something of the sort, and both parties are on board, go for it. Do not, however, try to force relationships of any kind on other players. Their characters are their own.
Words are powerful; any mage knows that. Names in particular have power, because they are a connection to the entity they denote. An enemy that can’t be accurately named is an enemy that can’t be easily targeted with magic. In response to this potential vulnerability, mages almost always take a shadow name at the time of their initiation, hiding their real name from enemies. A mage uses her shadow name the same way an attendee of a masquerade ball uses a mask. Not only does it hide her true self, it also facilitates the mage’s taking on a different persona, ideally one that is better suited for working magic. These names are often symbolic, and it is not uncommon for mages to adopt the names and titles of historical or even mythological figures.
Magical energy. A form of the prima materia (Prime), Mana is likened to the “water” or “liquid” state of that magical substance, as compared to tass, the “earth” or “solid” state.
Magical substance. A form of the prima materia (Prime), tass is likened to the “earth” or “solid” state of that substance. It can be “broken” or “melted” down into Mana.
A place that collects and/or generates Mana.
A mortal who is not Awake — the majority of human beings in the modern era. Sleepers suffer from the Quiescence and Disbelief, and worsen the chances of a Paradox if they witness vulgar or improbable magic.
The state of existence within the material realm for most ephemeral beings that find themselves on the material side of the Gauntlet, including ghosts and spirits. Beings and things within Twilight cannot be seen or touched by those without the requisite spells.
A temporary break in reality caused by the misapplication of magic. There are five types of Paradoxes: Anomaly, Bedlam, Branding, Havoc and Manifestation.
A Paradox where the local area around the caster is tainted by negative supernatural effects, most often by the imposition of a Supernal Realm.
A Paradox where the caster suffers a derangement, worsened by susceptibility to certain magics. In some cases, the derangement might be contagious, affecting one or more other mages.
A Paradox where the caster is inflicted with a supernatural physical disfigurement.
A Paradox where the caster loses control of his spell, causing it to affect a random target, and in some cases reverse the spell’s effect.
A Paradox where a creature from the Abyss manifests within the caster’s vicinity.
The rift between the Supernal World and the Fallen World, said by some to grow wider with each Paradox. A realm that threatens to separate magic from the material realm.
A mystical edifice in a Supernal Realm, built to maintain a source or connection for magic in spite of The Abyss.
Birth Name: (I need to know this for plot purposes)
Shadow Name: (This is primarily what your character will go by, an alias for the mage community)
Age: (15 or older. The Awakening can happen later in life. However, be mindful that this is an academic setting, and age matters)
Appearance: (Description or image, anime , drawn, or digital art, please)
Arcana: (You only start with one, you will learn more later)
Skills: (Talents and skills that your character has acquired)
Brief Background: (Just need a paragraph or so to tell us who you are)
Other: (Any other information you'd like to provide)