Mage

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Mages in the Twin Cities
You don’t need anyone.

You are a mage. You are Awakened. You can shape the world with your Will alone. You can the plumb the depths of Oblivion. You can observe all of creation from the steps of Heaven’s throne. You are as significant as you chose to be. You can live forever. You can destroy the world.

And you don’t need anyone.

Maybe you needed people once, when you were scared out of your mind by feeling your soul break the world open. And it was better that there were people who protected you, who taught you, who pushed you to become more than you would have been without them.

So, it’s better to say, you don’t need anyone now.

And yes, you will have to admit that the Path you walk can get a little lonely sometimes. No matter how close you are to those still Asleep, they are bound by rules you simply don’t care about. Can’t care about.

And it can be such a chore to have to find the materials you need to do what you truly want to do. The books. The secrets. The raw quintessence of reality. And think of all the time and effort it takes to protect them by yourself.

And, of course, there are times when you wish you had someone watching your back, when you see a man in a trench coat following you and no one else in the crowd seems to notice him. Or when you hear a laugh coming from the overgrown hedge lining the street, and it sounds inviting but your blood freezes in your veins. Or when you’ve done too much too fast, and you can’t tell what’s real anymore.

And, you could imagine there will come a point when you will have to balance the light and the dark that makes up your own soul. There will be times when things are so fraught with horror and need that you cannot decide on the right course of action. It might be nice for someone to be there to pull you back when you go too far or encourage you to achieve greatness.

But how many times will that happen? Instead, you must always remember, YOU DON’T NEED ANYONE.

Demographics
Akashic Brotherhood: (2) OPEN
Celestial Chorus: (0) OPEN
Cult of Ecstasy: (1) OPEN
Dreamspeaker: (1) OPEN
Euthanatos: (0) OPEN
Order of Hermes: (1) OPEN
Sons of Ether: (2) OPEN
Verbena: (0) OPEN
Virtual Adepts: (2) OPEN
Ahl-i-Batin: (0) OPEN
Bata'a: (0) OPEN
Children of Knowledge: (0) OPEN
Hollow Ones: (1) OPEN
Kopa Loei: (0) RESTRICTED
Ngoma: (0) OPEN
Orphans: (0) RESTRICTED
Sisters of Hippolyta: (0) OPEN
Taftani: (0) OPEN
Templar Knights: (0) OPEN
Wu Lung: (0) OPEN
Iteration X: (0) OPEN
New World Order: (0) OPEN
Progenitors: (0) OPEN
Syndicate: (1) OPEN
Void Engineeers: (0) OPEN
Nephandi: (2) RESTRICTED
Sorcerer: (1) OPEN
Psychic: (1) OPEN

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Staff

Wizard: Odin

E-mail: Escalusmetro@gmail.com

Preferences: I am rarely dark, but I prefer if you use +staffcall to get my attention rather than paging me. I frequently miss pages, but I have a trigger set up for +staffcall.

Additional Coding & Tips
When attempting any action in the mage sphere -- which includes sorcerers and psychics -- it is important that the player try to be as specific as they can on what they want to do and how they want to do it. Some players, in fear of being wrong, try to remain as vague as possible, hoping that the staff running things will compensate. When it comes to an open-ended system like Mage, this is exactly the wrong approach. Failure to communicate as precise an intent as ossible will frustrate both Mage staff and players, especially since it runs so counter to the theme.

Especially When it comes to casting True Magick, a player should keep in mind that it is fundamental reworking of the rules of reality based on a character's will. Thus, there is no cosmic force filling in the blanks for the character. For example, when a character casts a Correspondence/Entropy/Time spell to find the 'greatest threat to the city,' the result is completely dependent on the character's understanding of degree or importance. If it is the most property damage and loss of life, there could be a meteor strike in 2143, but there's really nothing mages can do in game about that. However, they could prevent the Sabbat Invasion of 2027, if they start working now. The more understanding the character has, the sharper result.

Sorcery and psychic powers are less flexible, but even they will benefit from having a clear idea of what they are trying to accomplish.

This suggestion doesn't only apply to the different forms of magick. There are very few requests more frustrating for staff than an investigation or research job where the players asks "I want to learn everything I can." Staff can be made to feel that they are being placed into a position where they are either misleading a player or doing all the work, and this is a collaborative game.

Approved Books
We will be using Mage: 20th Anniversary Edition; Sorcerer: Paths of Power; The Book of Secrets; and The Book of the Fallen.

However, while those rules will be predominant, the history and lore from previous works will not be ignored.

Staff Philosophy
We tell stories in a World of Darkness, but on a MUSH these stories are created through the cooperation between player and story-teller.

What does this mean? As staffers, we need to be sensitive to what type of stories in which our players want to participate in, but we also need to be aware of how these stories relate to the setting. Some stories belong in this setting and some do not; it is the responsibility of both sides of the process to be aware of the difference. In the World of Darkness there is no guarantee that the good guys will win or that they will even survive. It is easier to be selfish; it is easier to be apathetic. This is what makes the World of Darkness dark: it takes effort and pain to shine a light upon it.

In practical terms, staffers must never penalize people simply for being selfish or apathetic, and they should never give players the victory because they've decided to act as heroes. This is tough for some players and staff to stomach. Instead, staff must determine the consequences of player's actions. In principle, staff will never restrict the IC choices a player makes with their character. Likewise, players must be ready to face consequences for their characters they may not entirely enjoy.

The only exception is when participants believe that an IC choice arises out of OOC motivations. If staff or players believes that a character is making an IC choice because of a player's frustration, because of a player's grudge against another player, or because of an accident due to the passage of time or the fading of memory, they can question those motivations. However, staff are neither gods nor mind readers, so all they can do is interrogate the motivations of those actions. If a player assures staff that the motivations are completely IC, we must accept that. However, if a player assures staff that the motivations are completely IC, and we find out later that they are not, players may be removed from my sphere.

This also means that if a player has a problem with the IC actions that another character takes, staff are under no obligation to mediate the conflict. If a player is mystified or stymied by another character's actions, staff can only offer possibilities for resolution that a character would know about IC and that their player may not know about, such as appeals to higher authority. These possibilities are suggestions, and there is no guarantee that they will work. Their actions may be doing great harm, but that is an IC conflict, and players will need to resolve it conflict by IC means. Mage NPCs will work only within their stated personalities and abilities, and they may not care.

Finally, this means that staff are under no obligation to tell a player how to accomplish an IC goal if the character (or player) cannot figure it out for themselves. Again, staff can offer suggestions that staff think that the character might know ICly that the player does not, but they don’t have to.

We insure as well as we can that the MUSH is ethically fair for our players in OOC matters, but the World of Darkness is not fair IC. A werewolf who gets the drop on a mage character ICly will most likely kill them. There may be twice as many Sabbat vampires as there are mages. A chantry head can betray a character to the Unseelie Changelings to be used as a sex toy. These are IC inequities, and if a player is screwed over by them, then it has to happen. Staff’s responsibility is to make sure the rules as written and the setting as described is applied fairly and equally. This means that all players who desire it get equal access to staff time. This means staff does not choose to ignore certain types of stories because the majority of players don't like them or staff doesn't like them.

This does not mean staff does not get to bend the rules; there is a difference between being ethically fair and applying all rules with adamantine precision, regardless of the situation. Staff should try to minimize these occurrences by keeping clear distinctions between rules and guidelines, and as said above, staff should interpret the rules with regards to setting. For example, by the rules, a mage with sufficient levels of correspondence, forces, and prime should be able to kill anything on the grid that is not immune to magick without fear of reprisal or any defense, (a.k.a. the Telenuke). However, if this was true, the Technocracy should have eliminated any known supernatural being decades ago, and that's not what the books describe. Thus, staff may discourage this use of mage powers and will most likely not adjudicate in its favor.

This also means that mage staff is player’s advocate with other staff when there is a conflict with another staffer over sphere matters. Note the emphasis. If there is a matter of conflict with another staffer and it has nothing to do with sphere rules, sphere powers, or sphere society, then mage staff is not involved. For example, if the law staffer is ignoring a character’s arcane, then mage staff will become a player’s advocate, and mage staff work with the law staffer to resolve the problem. On the other hand, if a player has a problem with the law staffer about how the police are resolving an investigation, that is not mage staff jurisdiction, and mage staff should not be involved.

From years ago, to now ...
1886: The Knights of Labor, the Northern Alliance, The Grange and the trades assemblies hold a joint convention in St. Paul. The convention calls for creation of a Bureau of Labor Statistics, arbitration of disputes, no child labor in factories or mines and no convict labor contracts.

Representatives of two Chorister cabals, a Verbena cabal, a Dreamspeaker cabal and an Akashic Brother of significant reputation (she came with Chinese railroad laborers) meet at the convention and decided to form a chantry dedicated to securing the dignity and freedom of the working. They will become the Chantry of the Apostle s of Labor.

1887: The opening of a Pinkerton Detective Agency in St. Paul arouses strong protests from the St. Paul Trades & Labor Assembly. The governor and mayors of both Twin Cities declare themselves opposed to the use of Pinkerton men, who often are used to spy on workers and break strikes. The Pinkerton Detective Agency branch is the first construct of the Order of Reason, soon to become the Technocratic Union, in the area, designed to insure that the rise of labor organizations does not inhibit the industrialization demands of the Timetable and to counter the influence of the Apostles.

1890: Edward P. Bassford, secretly a member of the Order of Hermes, constructs what is now called the Guardian Building across the street from the meeting area of the local labor organizations. Completed in 1892, the building houses the Merchant’s National Bank, but it also houses a ghost floor for the Tradition chantry. It is due to this chantry’s influence that the Guardian Building remains today. https://www.buildingrestoration.com/projects/guardian-building-st-paul/

1917: The Minnesota Commission on Public Safety, created during World War I by the state Legislature, assumes near unlimited power and is hostile to organized labor. The Commission’s members are protected from supernatural influence by very aggressive members of the New World Order, while its mission is guided by the Syndicate.

1917: Thousands of people rally in support of workers employed by the Twin City Rapid Transit Company, but the workers’ strike is crushed with the help of the St. Paul Civilian Auxiliary and units of the State Home Guard. With the United States involved in the First World War, the strikers are condemned as unpatriotic.

1934: The Minneapolis Teamsters’ Strike, the most significant single labor struggle in state history, is a showdown between Minneapolis employers and workers that divides the city and forces Minnesota’s Farmer-Labor governor, Floyd B. Olson, to step in. The strikers use a new tactic — roving pickets — and publish their own daily newspaper to counter the corporate-dominated press. They enlist the support of farmers and the community as they ultimately break the back of the fiercely anti-labor Citizens Alliance. The victory comes at the cost of four lives — two strikers and two strikebreakers. In the shadows, the Apostles of Labor wipe out half of the construct with guerilla tactics.

1942: World War II finds the balance shifting the other way. The presence of a wealthy member of the Shi-Ren faction of the Akashics is used against the chantry and one of the Chorister cabals works publically to help men obtain Conscientious Objector status.

1992: Mall of America is opened and becomes a major node dedicated to the Syndicate.

1993: The Apostles of Labor, at their strongest since 1934, begin a systematic battle to destroy the Mall of America and counter the Syndicate’s thrust to commercialize free time.

1999: The advent of the Avatar Storm not only crippled the Apostles’ resources but destroyed their leadership as they were caught in a highly-secretive mission to an umbral realm.

2005: The Tradition presence in the Twin Cities era is all but eradicated. The Union reigns supreme.
NPCs
  • Tolchard De Sylva -- One of the few mystics who have remained within the Twin Cities after the victory of the Technocracy over the Apostles of Labor, this powerful Hollow One managed to avoid involvement in the war simply by staying off the radar of both sides. As an author, he has a small but loyal following for his Gothic romances and romantic poetry. He owns Summit Terrace, a home once lived in by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Araya Antonia de Aviles -- Known as the Queen of Pentacles, this Extraction Division Chair of the Disbursement Methodology of the Syndicate maintains an iron-clad mundane identity as the Vice-President of Internal Operations at the Mall Of America, where she protects the Syndicate's most powerful node and diverts its energies across the world.
  • Linus -- Every mage, sorcerer, and psychic with their ear to the ground has heard that you can't beat the drinks at the Prohibition Bar at the Foshay building. No one can beat the skill of this bartender, though no one can remember when Linus isn't at the bar or even when he first started working there.