Heralds of the Divine Path
"Farewell, and may the gods grant that our Paths cross again!"
The Awakening is a mysterious phenomenon that is unpredictable, even to the most learned of mages. Even the researchers of the Mysterium cannot predict what kind of person is more likely to Awaken, and it has come to young and old, the educated and the illiterate. One thing that mages have in common with each other is that the Awakening pushes them to the edges of society. Their insights into the invisible truths of reality makes mages uncanny neighbors at best and many end up shunned by their former friends and family. Some strive to regain their place in society and feel the warmth of closeness with Sleepers. Others found that they liked the new perspective they had from being estranged. Beyond the edge of the firelight, they found a wider world, a more exciting world.
The Heralds of the Divine Path are a brotherhood of mages that hail from those who feel a divine call to travel. Sailors, explorers, and vagabonds all feel this call and in all cultures gods of roads and journeys have arisen to explain this urge. Greco-roman cultures recognize Mercury, with his winged sandals, messenger of the gods and patron of thieves and merchants. In Africa Eshu, another messenger god, plagued travelers with obstacles in order to teach them valuable lessons. Hecate was worshipped as goddess of crossroads, the underworld, and magic, while in Japan, Dosojin presided over journeys, fertility, and childbirth.
To the Heralds, life is a journey, a Divine Path that, if traveled fully, teaches and purifies the soul of the traveler. Obstacles in one's journey are meant to flense away impurities and in an alchemical transformation lead the traveler to the end of all Paths in Ascension.
Parent Path or Order: Obrimos, though the Heralds are a sect of mages that are separate from any Order and can teach any mage that walks the Divine Path to be a Herald.
Nickname: Travelers, Capital "H" Heralds
Appearance: Heralds are almost always dressed for travel and often carry insignias of whatever Order they are working for at the time. Many carry emblems or religious paraphernalia denoting the god of travel they worship.
Background: Members almost always have had a wanderlust since before their Awakening. Traveling becomes a divine calling after Awakening, so even if they had been affluent before becoming mages they end up looking like road-weary travelers soon afterwards.
Organization: Little organization exists for the Heralds beyond the Master/Apprentice relationship. Powerful Fate magic leads a Herald to prospective members and their Paths intertwine long enough for the Master to teach the student and instill in them the ways of the Divine Path. All who travel in life must find their own Path. Meetings between Heralds are brief and perfunctory. Blessings are exchanged and then each Herald goes her own way, sure in her own Path and not willing to sully the honor of the other's Path by offering aid. All Orders commision Heralds for courier services because the oath of a Herald to deliver is only given if the Herald is willing to bind their Fates to the journey.
Suggested Oblations: Praying to patron god or goddess. Trailblazing. Beginning a new journey. Completing an Oath.
Attainments: Heralds of the Divine Path are travelers at heart. Traveling is both a testing and a catharsis for Heralds. Though it would make sense for a traveling legacy to have Space as their primary Arcanum, Heralds would never try to shorten their journeys in any manner such as teleportation. They believe that the troubles they face along the way are the whole point of a journey. Instead they rely on their ability to find their fated Divine Paths.
1st: Find the Path
Prerequisites: Gnosis 3, Fate 2 (Primary), Space 1, Destiny 1
The Herald can sense the path that he is fated to take and is guided by a wisdom that transcends conscious intelligence. The mage meditates on his purpose or prays to the gods and just starts off in the direction that feels right. A Perfect Moment effect let's the mage just move by feeling the slight tugs of fate while each success on a Wits+Composure+Fate roll grants the 9-again rule to one roll made to avoid obstacles that would prevent him from reaching his fated goal. An exceptional success gives the Herald a brief and meaningful glimpse of what is in store for him.
Alternately, after casting an augury, each success on a Wits+Composure+Fate roll lets the Herald make one cryptic remark about what lies in store in another's path.
2nd: Herald's Oath
Prerequisites: Gnosis 4, Fate 3
Divine Path Heralds are in high demand as transporters and messengers. Mages of all Orders and even the Seers of the Throne know that a Herald can be trusted to see their charges to their destinations. This ability has a lot to do with this reputation. At this level of Attainment, a Herald of the Divine Path has enough faith in his own path to be willing to stake his own destiny on it. A Swearing an Oath spell can be cast as an Instant action without a roll, binding a Herald to the task at hand. This Oath allows the Herald to regain Willpower when actively pursuing the goals assigned as if the Oath were a Vice as well as allowing a reflexive Resolve+Composure roll to resist anything that would stop him from completing his task. While under the effects of this Oath, each success on a Resolve+Occult+Fate roll grants the Herald the 8-again quality on rolls that actively help the Herald in pursuing his task. This Oath is dissolved when the Herald completes his task. Herald's do not give their Oath lightly.
Optional Arcanum: Prime 2
A Herald versed in the Prime Arcanum can also use the strength of his Oath to shrug off spells that would hinder him in his task. The Herald can reflexively roll Resolve+Composure to resist spells that would block him from his destiny. Each success acts as a success in a Counterspell Prime effect.
3rd: Divine Gauntlet
Prerequisites: Gnosis 5, Fate 4
It is true that Heralds have the reputation of being trustworthy in seeing messages and travelers delivered to their destinations, but they also have the reputation of making the lives of their charges interesting in wild and bizarre ways. To the Heralds, life is a journey that is meant to test and refine one's soul, an alchemical transformation that is meant to end in the perfection of Ascension. Experienced Heralds learn to accelerate this process, inducing tests of their mettle by drawing down their Destiny from the Supernal Realms. In an Instant action, a Herald with this Attainment makes an impassioned plea to the heavens, rolling Presence+Expression+Fate. Each success grants the Herald a point of the Destiny Merit and an opportunity to gain the rote quality on any roll while under the effects of this Attainment. The Herald's life from that moment takes on the quality of a partial Mystery Play, wherein every event has hidden meaning. Every point of experience gained during the Gauntlet gains an accompanying point of Arcane experience. Destiny twists and roils around a Herald on his Gauntlet and Fate or Time divinations meant to reveal the lesson of the Gauntlet fail automatically. The Storyteller is encouraged to make life very strange for the Herald and test him in ways meant to strike at his greatest flaws. The Divine Gauntlet is of indeterminate length, only ending when the Herald has learned an important lesson. The Bane that is gained from the increased Destiny should not be known and should haunt the Herald as part of the lesson. Heralds are not guaranteed survival of their Gauntlets and often lose things that are very dear to them. Fate does not spare loved ones.
Heralds on their Gauntlets know that people around them are at risk for the bizarre and wild turns of Fate that plague them, and consequently give discounts for their services for the duration. The end of a Gauntlet is heralded by an Astral Journey wherein the Herald meets with his Daimon in the form of his patron Deity, incarnation of his personal Divine Path.
Heralds have been known to invoke the Divine Gauntlet in dire emergencies just for the Destiny and rote quality benefits, but such an insult of Fate is not forgiven lightly. The Gauntlets of these Heralds tend to be . . harrowing.