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Technocratic UnionThe Technocratic Union, or the Technocracy is a Faction of Mages who seek to use science to manipulate the mind of Sleepers. They work to create a cure for vampirism and lycanthropy. The Technocrats believe that order is the only way for Sleepers to achieve Ascension. They do all in their power to hide the supernatural from Sleepers. To achieve this, they have used their magick to perpetrate the banality and dystopia of life, the dominance of technology and the infallibility of science and rationality, creating a static reality.To the Technocracy, they are not at all related to other magickal Factions. Science works because it's tested and proven, not because someone believes it into working. As scientists spread their craft across the world, they worked out kinks, improved their models, developed their understanding and advanced their techniques. Flawed or faulty devices were repaired and made reliable. The result is that many of their devices can become consensual and usable by Sleepers. Hyperscience, also called Technomancy, is seen as beta testing before the device can be used by the public. The Union uses the Sphere Model espoused by the Otherworld, although they see them more akin to different disciplines than metaphysical forces.The success of the Union, in comparison to that of the other Factions, is in its ability to share, with the public and with each other. The early Technomancers could not summon storms from their fingertips or perform similar grand feats out of nothing, so they were forced to share their resources and work together. Their offerings to the Masses were those of free health, peace, security, entertainment and wealth, contrasting to the abstract ideals of the Factions, like "inner peace" or "freedom". In time, human frailties, like need or pain, would have been eliminated, allowing for the Mass Ascension for all of mankind.The slogan "One World, One Truth, One Order" has many critics who accuse the Technocracy of espousing blind Dogma in order to further their control. There are many Technocratic masters pulling the strings who have their own petty agendas, who have lost sight of the everyday world and who follow the centuries-old protocols and procedures that have been handed down, all without questioning whether such actions are right or just. Rather than allowing Sleepers to choose for themselves, it crushes competing Paradigms that grow too influential, including independent scientific discoveries, alternate versions of government and radical economic theories. Many of its social and economic technologies aren't based on scientific principles at all but on premises it itself created to propagate its methods of control.
IlluminatiThe order predates the Bavarian Illuminati of the Enlightenment Era, originating from an ancient Egyptian cult. In 1776 - when their headquarters were in Bavaria, they opposed the Templars and the Catholic Church, seeing widespread religion as another form of Dreaming brainwashing, putting people into one collective paradigm. They were for science and reason, but not in the same way the Order of Reason - now known at the Technocracy - were. They believed in order to Ascend, humanity must evolve further.In this modern age, they interpreted 'evolution' to mean becoming something post-human. The Illuminati believe wholeheartedly in the ever-accelerating growth of technology. They see the entire depth and breadth of history as a slowly gathering storm of possibility. The Lower World has taken its time building steam to this level of raw potential, but that is how it should be. If a child accepts an allowance raise of a single cent that doubles every week, he doesn't see any significant growth for what feels like forever. But, as the weeks go on, he finds that, suddenly, his allowance skyrockets, and his meager piggy bank can no longer hold the sudden rise in his childhood income. In a year, this doubling allowance would bankrupt the planet. This world has taken a long time to get to here, inching forward step by step in its crawl toward development. But this is now the point at which progress is only just beginning. With technology advancing in this way, the Illuminati believe humanity will soon reach a point of Singularity.In mathematics, a singularity is a point at which calculation breaks down. A curve leaps to infinity. Technological singularity is the same, except here humankind's progress will grow to a point that nothing can stay the same and everything must change. Artificial intelligence surpasses our own. Lifespans stretch forever outward, granting everyone equal eternities. Flesh and machine merge. In this scenario, humans are no longer human, but post-human. This is the goal of the Illuminati and this is what they strive to achieve for humanity. The Illuminati deals with experimental science, military research, and cross-species genetics. Because of this, they rival the Technocracy with cutting edge products.The Illuminati also have a significant hold over the media, from movies to music, they basically control Hollywood. They implement subliminal messages within the media to trigger Awakenings. Through their control over the news, they can twist stories to keep the Otherworld from the public eye. The Illuminati have become invisible puppet-masters and corporate manipulators, they crave power and wealth by any means necessary. Acting silently, unless the occasion calls for gunshots, the Illuminati push for the New World Order. It will be empowering and ruthless. Failure is not an option. Complacency is worse than not an option. Their arsenal is the ambition of a news media startup, the rhetoric of a congressman and mongul business sense. Working hard, playing hard, and fighting dirty.
TemplarThe Templars date back to the Crusades, further still to the times of the monotheistic god Aten. The first exorcists, warriors of God. Suave and sophisticated, but fiercely brutal and uncompromising in their crusade against darkness. Its not just a show of strength. Nothing is just a show with the Templars. At the forefront of the war against darkness, they decided for themselves what counts as darkness. Never backing down from a fight, never forgetting a grudge. They have tradition to uphold. For thousands of years they have been single-minded in their mission to obliterate evil in all its forms. Where angels fear to tread, Templars kick down the doors.They were the first Faction to take hold in America, but the Illuminati - their age old enemy - soon swooped in and stole the land from under their noses. The Templars were once loyal to the Church, believing the Awakened could continue to serve God by repenting and self-flagellation. The Faction accepted any follower of an Abrahamic faith, including Islam, even though the two religions were at war. The moment a Muslim Kindred joined, they were called blasphemers, the Church deemed them followers of Baphomet - a corruption upon corruption of the name Muhammad. King Philip, on the orders of the Pope, had the Faction outlawed.The Templars continued to exist, up until the Spanish Inquisition in the 1400's. The Inquisition and the Templars, while both held Christian ideas, had different views of the Kindred and of magic. This lead the Templars to nearly abandon their religious views. They thought magic was too dangerous for people, and sought to keep people from Awakening for some time.Eventually, they returned to their roots in the 1730's, and saw religion as a tool to help others Awaken. They believed sainthood and apotheosis is Ascension, which could be achieved by piety, chivalry, and religious zeal. They control the Churches of America, trying to ignite a religious revival of various Abrahamic religions to cause Awakenings.
MasonsThe Masons, more commonly known as the Freemasons, they came into the public eye around the 18th century, but, like all other Factions, can be dated further back in history to both King Solomon and possibly the pyramids of Egypt. Some even say they originate from Babylon, or at least were influenced by their teachings. The Masons are possibly the oldest Faction, stemming from the first stone workers and builders of society.The Masons once worked alongside the Hermetic Order, only to divide and become their own again due to a clashing of beliefs. The Mason's goal is to unite all of humanity in brotherhood, to bring every man, of every race, religion, and walk of life into one single family. They believe humanity can not Ascend due to all the strife and war which divides us. They do their best to help others through charity. However, the Masons are not without secrets. In truth, every Mason has a secret, their own Inner Truth which they must uncover. Each Mason has their own paradigm, how magic fits into their worldview. To understand their own truth is one way of possibly Ascending, by understanding themselves fully, to the very core of their existence.At the heart, the Masons profess the drive to perfection. This drive manifests through trials, tests, self-discovery, and the rejoining of fragmented patterns like disparate languages or mathematical conundrums. Ideally, each individual has a Word, a divine imperative that drives the figure's revelations. This Word is their Inner Truth summarized. By exploring the boundaries of that Word and all of its meanings, the individual rises to his inner nature, then beyond. Each step in the process is a challenge that requires a leap of perception but also opens the way to the next path. Each step reveals more meanings of the Word, unveiling more of that hidden Truth, giving them a broader understanding of the universe. Eventually, the human passes far enough to become something cosmically divine.The Freemasons have many notable world leaders in their fold, including various past Presidents. This is how they came to rule the American government. It was their idea to let the Thule into America, so that they could use their great scientist to help them with 'space exploration' - which, in truth, was the exploration of the Void. Many Sleepers register the Void as the abyss of the depths of the oceans or the vastness of space.The Masons are, without a doubt, the most hierarchical of the Factions. Neophytes are put through a demanding training regime to learn several languages (Latin, Arabic, Ancient Greek, German, French and Enochian). Initiates and Apprentices must serve under a mentor, who teaches the basics of magical theory and practice. After a grueling apprenticeship (traditionally, up to seven years, but often cut short in the heyday of the modern world), the supplicant challenges for recognition as a full magus — a challenge that can end with a return to apprenticeship, or even with death. Once accepted, each mage has his own sigil, a symbol of the individual's achievements. Although all Mages theoretically have the authority to vote in Masonic meetings, politics run at the pace set by the Masters and the ambitious. More than once, political leverage has shoved aside the potential for moral or material growth. Each step up the ladder of Freemasonry reveals greater mysteries but also makes the student more beholden to the Faction as a whole. Those who achieve Mastery are lauded for their high place and given the respect due their powers, but they can also expect to garner political opponents. Each Master is, in turn, expected to recruit and train a new apprentice or set of students. The cycle continues, with members indoctrinated into the Mason's secrets but becoming steadily more embroiled in its internal struggles.0° Probationer1° Neophyte2° Zelator3° Initiate4° Initiate Exemptus5° Adeptus Minor6° Adeptus Major7° Adeptus Exemptus8° Magister9° Magus10° Ipsissimus
ThuleThe Thule was founded by an order of Teutonic knights who believed they if one could control an energy that happens to be both the life-force and the universe and the essence of the gods, they could become gods themselves. Back in those days, such energy was called Odic or Odyllic Force, after Odin. The Thule came to believe they could become a noble race of demigods and overthrow the Dreaming. This concept of a noble, god-like race influenced Hitler's idea of the Aryans - which means 'noble' - as the Thule influenced the founders of the National Socialist German Workers' Party along with the Vril Society - a proxy group to influence Sleepers into adopting their paradigm to aid them in their quest for this energy, now called Vril.During World War II, the Thule used those in concentration camps for human experiments on forced Awakenings and trying to produce a super-solider. They also traveled the globe in search of powerful objects, such as the Holy Grail, Spear of Destiny, and Ark of the Covenant. They eventually found the energy, Vril, in a condensed form within the Hallow Earth. The once-thriving society of Vril-ya had died out due to civil war, which caused a solar flare from the Vril-Sun, killing them. All that remained was their steampunk automatons. The Thule took drained the Sun of its energy. A Mage recognized the energy to be none other than Aether, the fifth element.The Thule's scientists were let into America by the Masons, who influenced the passing of Project Paperclip. These former Nazis gave way to space exploration, as well as mind control operations. They continued their attempts at a super-solider within the U.S. Military, which they came to control. Now possessing Aether, the Thule use it to power their steampunk machinery which they modeled after the Vril-ya's designs. They push humanity toward Ascension by having their drug lords sell an altered version of Insomnia, twice as addictive and slower to cause Awakenings, so that their victims become loyal to the Thule. The Thule also have Nymphos prostitutes and run a brothel and strip club as well.Exotic theories of orgone fields, hypercombustion chambers and etheric transmission matrices enable the Thule to create even more weird and wonderful devices. Their Science almost always has a baroque feel, as if it leapt from the pages of pulp fiction or Victorian sci-fi — death rays, robotic servants built of brass and powered by clockwork and fantastic space or aquatic vehicles spring to mind when others discuss the Thule.
Hermetic OrderThe Hermetic Order comes from ancient Greece, stemming from the Teachings of the Thrice Great Hermes. It is a Faction of Mages and visionary seers who transcend boundaries and limitations through sacred experience.To achieve that the Order of Hermes use things like drugs, music and sex, but they're just means to an end. The objective is to achieve a mental state that transcends the physical world, a trance that allows the mage to see beyond his normal experience and go outside all the lines that keep most people and Mages penned in. Hermetics take the word ecstasy in its original meaning: a sudden, intense rush of feeling that catapults the subject into an altered state. It doesn't have to be a pleasant feeling, but given a choice, most Hermetics definitely prefer it that way. The Hermetic Order breaks down barriers and self-imposed limitations to give people a rush of eye-opening experience. This is how they believed Ascension occurs, by pleasure so great, one transcends the physical world.Aleister Crowley tried to release this information through his Thelema cults. He was swiftly excommunicated, then assassinated by the Black Hand for his betrayal. A Shapeshifter took his place until his recorded death as Sleepers had already began joining his cults. Aleister's stance of sex is mainly the same as the Order's, they viewed it as sacred, especially masturbation - seeing it as a form of self-exploration. The Order of Hermes promotes self and sexual discovery among teenagers, to disobey parents and find your own identity. This is found in Bring Me The Horizon, an alternative music group that uses various occult symbols to aid in the triggering of Awakenings.
WyckWyck takes their name from Wicce and Wicca, the root of the word 'witch,' meaning wise or cunning. They dedicated to preserving the ancient crafts and wisdom passed down over the ages by priests and priestesses of the Old Gods. They are an animistic Faction.Though modern Wyck have some similarities to Wiccans, they are inheritors of far older legacies from disparate cultures originating around the world. Regardless of their many differing faiths and customs, the Wyck share many principles in common. This includes a deep respect for the Earth and the natural order, a holistic view of people and the world as intrinsically intertwined, and the belief that power and understanding can be found by embracing life in all its passions and pains.Of all the Factions, the Wyck are perhaps most challenged by the changes brought to the world by advancing technology and expanding civilizations. Each member must find a way to apply the lessons and practices of the old ways to the modern world, or be seen by both Mages and mortals as merely a fringe practitioner of a dying craft.Unlike many Mages, the Wyck believe there is innate magic that flows through everything in Creation. There is real power in the phases of the moon and positions of the stars, in the combination of plants properly prepared, in the blood and seed of living creatures. Quintessence is the pulse of the universe itself, carrying energy and the potential for change, giving life to the world. Magic is that energy, that life, and whether one is Awakened or not, they have it pumping through their veins. In fact, the Wyck count quite a number of hedge-magicians among their ranks and draw little distinction between them and true Mages. To be Awakened is to merely intuitively sense the magic all around them, and to to shape it directly with their own life energy as the Wyck's ancestors once did.The Wyck employ a wide variety of foci based on both their symbolic and mystical properties. Traditional tools include knives and daggers, broomsticks, wands, staves, cauldrons, mirrors, and jewelry. Some keep with them Books of Shadows containing the accumulated secrets of its owners. Herbs and potions are popular means of drawing out and combining the chemical and spiritual properties of plants, which can be especially potent when combined with the Wyck's will and desire. Much of the knowledge passed down from mentor to apprentice and between members of a coven has to do with what effects different herbs are best used for. Perhaps the most powerful foci to the Wyck are bodily fluids, particularly blood and semen as carriers of life energy and sympathetic links to their source. Music, song, and dance are also used as means to to rouse their passions, give life to the Wyck's will, and connect them to the people and cultures from which their rituals originate.The Wyck believe the first magicians were healers, scribes, priests and priestesses, philosophers, and scholars. They grew in power and prominence across the Mediterranean, spreading over time throughout Europe and parts of Asia. Many figures of myth are claimed to have been among them, such Circe, Lilith, Medea, Merlin, Morgan le Fay, and perhaps some of the ancient gods. From them came shamans who valued the spiritual over the living world, and would largely dominate the Americas and Africa for millennia and individuals who basked in the joys of drinking, partying, and sex.The Wyck had a long and war-filled history with both the Order of Hermes and the Inquisition, both sought to extinguish their pagan practices for different reasons. The Order of Mercury, a precursor to the Hermetic Order, began undermining the Wyck's influence in Greece and Italy, then actively aided the Romans in conquering Britannia and lands held by the Gauls, where the Old Ways had long been honored. The people called out to the Wyck for help against the Romans, and the two groups of mages began to war against one another. The conflict continued for many centuries, and only intensified as Rome converted to Christianity.Using the knights and inquisitors of the Church as their weapons, the Order of Reason - the precursor to the Technocracy - aimed to eliminate knowledge of the Old Ways along with all other forms of magic it did not approve of and control. The Old Faith Fellowship was the first attempt to unify pagan Mages of disparate cultures and beliefs against their common enemies, but they could not hold back the fires of the Inquisition. Inquisitors put witches to the torch and ruthlessly eliminated evidence of the Old Faith wherever they could find it. Though the majority of those tried and killed by the Inquisitors were not members of the Old Faith, nor even true Mages, their numbers were already few and continued to dwindle as a result of the purge. Still, the Inquisition continued and the Wyck were forced to hide and practice their arts in secret, passing on their wisdom and secrets to new generations from mentor to apprentice and through Books of Shadows.By the 20th century the Wyck and their magic were little more than a legend in the mind of Sleepers, yet the 1960s saw a renewal of interest both in the occult and holistic lifestyles that shared a great deal in common with Wyck practices. In the decades since the Faction has grown for the first time in centuries, particularly as offshoots within the Verbena placed greater emphasis on exploring new ideas and incorporating different cultures.The inner council members of Wyck are said to hate technology and modern medicine. Vegans are commonly found among the Wyck, as they promote an organic diet - given that the Technocracy use so-called preservatives in foods that, in actuality, dumb down the Sleepers to prevent Awakenings. The Wyck believe through having a deep understanding of nature and an intimate relationship with Earth can one Ascend.
Green DragonWhile the Dragon emerged from Japan, it is currently run from Seoul, South Korea. The Dragon was influenced by Tibetan Buddhism and it has a large hold over Asia. The organization was said to have come from a Tibetan monastery, spreading to Japan, were it became mixed with the Black Ocean society, becoming the Black Dragon. The Black Dragon held an anti-Russian sentiment, when it became the Green Dragon, calling back to the Faction's Tibetan roots, it held an anti-Western stance.They believe that only through collapse and rebuilding, the natural chaos of life, can the world be in harmony. To an outsider, their strategies are incomprehensible. Fractal patterns, chaos theory, random numbers, unrelated events. The Dragon understand that there is no pattern, only acts of great change to be committed. From a whisper to an explosion, they divine that an incident here, a disappearance there, can change the course of everything; acupuncture applied to a paralysed planet. They harness entropy, anarchy and chaos to their advantage. They believe chaos is necessary, for it represents the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The world must first die before it can be reborn, and Ascension comes at the cost of destruction.
InquisitionThe Inquisition has it's origins in the Catholic Church. Their ideology on Ascension matches that of the original Templars, to eradicate evil. Although, in their eyes, evil includes all of the Awakened Kindred and Mages. Originally, they would burn crosses with bodies of the abominations crucified to them to ensure the demise of the monster, until a terrorist group began doing a similar thing. Whatever the method, the Inquisition ensured the execution was long, drawn out, painful, and more often than not, public. Experts at medieval torture, they even have perfected a technique which ensures the soul will not reincarnate for at least several decades, at most, a few hundred years. Exorcists hired to check out haunting or possessions should not be trusted, as they tend to be Inquisitors in disguise, doing God's work to stop all evils. Only when all the Kindred are killed can mankind Ascend to Heaven in the Rapture. To call Dreamers 'gods' is heresy and a sin worthy of death. Their belief in angels gives immunity to Lightworkers.
Black HandThe Black Hand can be traced back to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria which started World War I, although some have traced as far back as the Hashshashin order of the medieval Nizari Ismailis. Over time, the Black Hand broke away from the Assassins and eventually became a secular organization based around assassination for money. They had no ideal or concept on how to Ascend humanity, it was not their focus or goal.Only Awoken are found among their ranks. They are hitmen, for the right amount, they will kill just about anyone. Men, women, children. Although they specialize in the neutralization of Otherkin.
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