The Law of Sympathy permeates the system of Mage: the Awakening. Sympathy with the Watchtowers allows a mage to draw on the transcendant reality of the Supernal Realms, modifying the physics and base reality of the Fallen World.
But how a mage does this can vary. By using certain objects, symbols and rituals that speak to a mage on a deep level of personal connection, things that are symbolic of their innermost self, the different ways in which mages perform magic can vary amazingly. This page takes a look at different magical styles while working with the building blocks presented in Mage: the Awakening.
The Angel HunterEdit
Order: Silver Ladder
Primary Path/Order Tool: Prayer book
Oblation Ritual: Prayer
Worldview: "There are angels among us, hidden, secret. They were to be our guides through this world, bringing down to us the glory and truths of Heaven, awakening us to the divinity within and bringing about God's kingdom on Earth. But it all went wrong...
"The Adversary darkened humanity's hearts against their guardians. Made us turn away from those who only wanted to guide and teach. Poisoned our very souls against the only ones who could save us. Now, the angels must teach us in secret, try to guide humanity without them ever becoming aware of their existence. And over the centuries, they have grown weaker, they have hidden themselves deeper into the shadows of the world, and humanity has fallen further and further from its true destiny.
"But there are those of us, so very few, who can burn out the poisons of the Adversary and see the truth. Who can call upon the angels to show us, to teach us. But even though I now know they exist, they are so hard to find. They have hidden themselves from us, their children. We must find our lost guardians. They are in our music, our language, they hide in the icons of our corporations, in the vulgarities of our speech. Their mystic forms can be seen in the highways of our countries, in the architecture of our cities. The stars in the sky tell us where to search, their bones can be glimpsed between the changing channels on TV. We must find them, we must return them to the world, and then... Well, that part gets difficult. We find them first, then we work on the Adversary’s taint.
"The myth of Atlantis is a vulgarized half-truth of the fall of the original Paradise after the corruption of the Adversary, or Abyss. The so called Atlantian script is the true language of Angels and humanity. It is the sacred tongue that God Himself used to call our world into existence, and we have been gifted with a fragment of His power so that we may lay claim to His gift to us. Beware those who claim to serve the so called Exarchs, for they are truly servants of the Adversary itself."
Order: Free Council
Primary Path/Order Tool: "Anatomy Chart" (GPS device)
Oblation Ritual: Visting a site of import in the city and drawing a sigil on a nearby surface (chalk or spraypaint; your choice).
Cities have their own way of talking to you; catch sight of the reflection of a neon sign and it'll spell out a magic word that summons strange dreams... But those of us who know the secret learn ways to unlock the power in cities. We make a pact with them and they give us gifts in return.- Tom O'Bedlam, The Invisibles #3
"Man's come a long way from the days of boring rural life in little thatched huts; it's about time the magic of nature changed, too. The spirits of forests and plants become the spirits of telephone poles and fiber optic cable; the spirits of charging beasts become the spirits of subways and cars. We talk to the city, and it listens. We ask it for a roof over our head, and that rent-controlled apartment in the South End opens up (don't worry; we make sure the eviction is relatively peaceful). We ask it for a quick ride to Government Center, and not only does a train show up not five seconds later, but it's going straight there. We ask to cross the street, and the sign changes like that.
"See that? The city's my patron. And it can be yours, too. You've just got to ask it nicely."
Order: Free Council or Apostate
Primary Path/Order Tool: Leather shoes
Oblation Ritual: Cathartic dancing
Worldview: "I first saw the Goddess on the dance floor. Thought I was tripping, at first, this gorgeous naked chick out there strutting her stuff without anyone taking a second look. But then she saw me, and everything just fell away. We danced for hours. I think it was hours, time got weird and funky there, I don't mind telling you. The lights played over her skin like tribal tattoos, or ancient runes, or computer code, or those smudgy mudpaint people on the sides of cave walls. She was gorgeous, she was beautiful, she was African, she was Indian, she was Persian, she was Japanese, she was hot. She lead me across the dance floor. A chase, almost, though we were all but touching throughout all of it. Spun in circles through the other dancers, the music pumping in my veins, my brain thinking in beats, becoming one with the crowd, the lights, the music... Yeah, it was a trip. But then she spun one way, I spun the other, and my lips met her cheek. It was like... never had sex that even came close to that moment. She spun back, the mark of my lips against her cheeks, and she laughed. And at that moment, she gave me her gift. Magic.
"Someday, I will see her again. And we'll dance one more time...
"Until then, she's a vicious tease. I can feel her whenever I call upon her gift, catch a trace of her scent upon the breeze, feel her breath against the nape of my neck... I've learned her secret language so I might call out to her, seducer her, beg her for one of her gifts. I write my love notes in runes and scripts no one else can comprehend, and she answers my lewd prose with miracles. I've dived into magic, into myth and legend, hoping to learn enough, to become wise enough and strong enough, to be worthy of another dance by her side. And I know I must be doing something right, because her gifts flow from my fingertips like water.
"She doesn't like it when I share them with others, though, I'm starting to learn that. Try to show off my favor too much and she makes sure I regret it. It's all ok, though, because she's forgiven me by morning. I just wish I knew what she wanted me to do..."
Primary Path/Order Tool: Blood-stained knife
Oblation Ritual: Deathly thoughts
"I died a year ago, maybe two. You know this, of course, but you like to pretend otherwise for my benefit. I died in sin. I'd been quite the ass in life, I can admit this now, and I have to say, I've gotten off lightly. I remember the car coming around the corner of the road, remember what it felt like to have my ribs slice through my lungs, to have the back of my head cave in... And I remember the long boat ride down the river of black blood and water to where the judges awaited. They said nothing, they didn't have to. The first book of gold and silver didn't bare my name. Neither did the second of iron and obsidian. Instead, the took out a third book, bound in flesh and bone, and had me write my name in blood upon its pages. It was a special damnation that I was to face.
"And what a special damnation it turned out to be. I woke up in my own bed. Seemingly alive, but dead. It all appeared the same, but it had changed. I could see the death that clung to everything, from the people around me to the very foundations of my home. I was dead, and trapped within my own mind.
"Don't look at me like that! You know it's true. This, all of this, it's me. It's all me. Ever since I've died, the world is different, darker, cursed and twisted. Monsters dwell in the shadows, horrible twisted mockeries of people are everywhere. My own sick diseased thoughts taken form and life. I am to experience my own soul, understand my own sins, and redeem myself before I can go on to my final reward.
"I've learned much, I've learned about others who appear to be the same as me. They represent my conscious aspects, the parts of me that I know and accept. There are the blood drinkers, my twisted dark thoughts, perverted by sin. And there are my raw vulgar emotions, stalking around the edges of the city in the body of beasts. And other things that I still try to understand.
"I've unlocked the mysteries of the language of my own mind. Strange ancient runes and words that feel like twisting your tongue inside out to speak, but I've mastered them, give me greater control over my own soul. And now... Now I think I am ready to start redeeming myself. To cleanse my soul of all the taints that bar me from my rewards, in Heaven or in Hell. You, you are the embodiment of all those lusts I held for my cousin. I never acted on them, but they were shameful and wrong. You, you will be the first part of myself I cleanse..."
Primary Path/Order Tool: Worn journal of secrets and theories
Oblation Ritual: Deep thought about the connections of the universe, the invisible hand of the puppet masters
Worldview: In this Awakened world, what's real and what's not? What's the real significance of the Atlantis legend? This mage has Awakened and not to knowledge, but to a greater cynicism of the world. This mage believes that the 'truths' revealed by Awakening are only lies concealing the higher truth. He believes that there are higher orders beyond the Pentacle Orders and the Seers controlling everything, and is wonders if this world is only the mote in the eye of an Exarch somewhere. He sees conspiracy in everything and is determined to find the real picture that the other mages blind themselves. What if there's something beyond the Exarch/Oracle legends? What's really keeping reality together? Maybe these Abyss things might know. The truth has to be out there, somewhere....
Primary Path/Order Tool: Some old book
Oblation Ritual: Searching information into a library
Worldview: Books are Knowledge. Knowledge is Power. Power is Energy. Energy is Mass. A lot of books is a lot of book mass, indeed. And Mass may bend space. The librairian knows these truths. It's not some bad logic that's come to his mind, no. Generation of librairian have shared these thruth since the age of the first great librairies. Since some awakened saw how knowledge bend metaphysical space. The space L, as they call it, is not only the mundane space, bend easily by librairian masters. It is also the connection through all knowledge of the realm, passing by the books of mind to the almighty Book of Creation. Books are power, yes, and all books may be acessed by the Space L...
Order: Free Council
Primary Path/Order Tool: Omni-tool
Oblation Ritual: Designing or planning a new device.
Worldview: Aha! Now that this mage has Awakened, reality is clear! The key-underlying theory of reality is radionics, the manipulation of low amplitude subtle energies. The Victorians had their theories about ether; but the modern radionicist had advanced to the stage where custom-built machines can be especially tuned to radionic amplitudes. Because of the attunement factor, it's hard for untrained individuals to use these devices, but the modern radionicist is a consummate specialist. This mage essentially works magic by building/McGuyvering a device together from bits (that can harmonise with the radionic 'subtle energies' of the world) and using this as a temporary ritual tool. The mage understands that 'subtle energies' can be manipulated without devices, but the mechanisms make this easier and more comprehensible. Plus, they look good, are satisfying to build and are far more adept at 'subtle energy' manipulation than those primitive chalk circles and sigils!
Order: Adamantine Arrows
Primary Path/Order Tool: Ritual 'Sabre'
Oblation Ritual: Meditation
Worldview: This mage really connected with the Jedi Order as presented in the Star Wars films. This inspired him to research the martial traditions behind the Jedi and this in turn opened up his mind into seeing new truths about the world. After he Awakened, the mage joined with the Adamantine Arrows. He was haunted by the parallels between the Arrows and the Jedi - that the Adamantine Arrows had been the guardians of peace and justice in Atlantis, the way the Jedi had guarded the Old Republic, and this high age of prosperity and culture and been brought down by power struggles and corruption. The mage believed that if the Adamantine Arrows had done their job to keep peace, Atlantis would never have fallen. Now, in this broken age, the mage aims to keep the peace and order in the Fallen World.
Primary Path/Order Tool: Violin/keyboard/flute/other musical instrument
Oblation Ritual: Meditating to music/composing/reading sheat music
Worldview: "Can you hear it? Beneath all things in this universe there's a subtle tune. It's the music of the spheres, and it resonates with mystical power."
Everything in the universe ultimately comes down to music. In the old days it was called the music of the spheres, modern quantum mechanics speak of the resonance of strings. Religions use hymns, songs and music to come into contact with higher realities. The supernal realms are only inaccessible because they resonate different from the fallen realm. This mage is able to bridge the gap between the two resonances with the aid of resonating air: music. His (Her) haunting tunes can "hypnotise" people into doing things they never would otherwise, or she can make two places resonate in tandem, eliminating the illusion of distance between them.
Order: Silver Ladder
Primary Path/Order Tool: Summoning Seal
Oblation Ritual: Contemplation of the higher universe; prayer and conceptualisation of the angels
Worldview: God created the universe as a puzzle to be unlocked. The story of 'Atlantis' is actually an echo of the Biblical Fall, itself an echo of the true story about how humanity fell from grace in God's eyes. But while God is distant in the Fallen World, his angels are present, sent to guide those who are Awakened; for those grasp the meaning of the human race's fall. Magic is a form of higher prayer, and the angels carry out the mage's wishes. And because humanity 'fell' out of a desire for free will, so mages may command the angels freely while they in turn strive to understand the true hand of God upon the world and unlock the mystery of the Final Key - to be one with God once more. The High Speech is the true language of the angels - not Enochian, but something purer. Humanity is unable to grasp the language properly because of its Fallen state.
Primary Path/Order Tool: A book of children's fairy tales (the Disney version, not the old grim stuff), or a beloved stuffed animal.
Oblation Ritual: A game of hopscotch, using blessed chalk and a stone made out of silver or some other precious substance.
Worldview: Step on a crack, break your mother's back. Pull up the covers, and the bogeyman won't get you. Childish superstitions to many... but not to the Orphans.
An Orphan is the rarest of rarities: a mage who Awakened before he was barely in puberty, when the rules of the playground still held sway. They've matured, of course, and realized the world is not all jungle gyms and games of tag, but a part of them still holds the pure potential of childhood sacrosanct. After performing a brief ritual to focus on the inner child, the Orphan finds that anything that seems like it works will work against the dark things. Closing your eyes can protect you against the worst demons of the Abyss, any chalk drawing can serve as a sigil, and a grownup can keep the monsters away.
But beware: while some Orphans are the Lost Boys, others are the Lords of the Flies...
Order: Free Council
Primary Path/Order Tool: G3 Titanium Powerbook
Oblation Ritual: Coding in the 'zone', that sort of disconnect you get from reality when utterly absorbed by your program.
Worldview: This mage has Awakened and seen that all of reality is a malleable program and he can hack the source code. Spells are code lines compiled against the Supernal Realms. The older, leather-bound grimoires are like clumsily written bits of code in obsolete languages, while new innovations streamline and modernise these 'coding' techniques. This mage views the High Speech as though it's like C - an efficient, coding language but beneath all of that is the true assembly code for the universe, waiting to be discovered.