[nMage Manila by Night] Illustrados (“The Enlightened”) – Silver Ladder

Posted: January 23, 2012 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Campaign Design, Mage: the Awakening, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness
Tags: , ,

Led by the ruthless and authoritarian father-figure known as Maestro, the Illustrados are a predominantly Silver Ladder Cabal dedicated towards establishing full control over the Supernatural World of Manila.  Tracing their history back to the Awakened secret societies in the days of the Spanish Occupation, almost all the Illustrados come from a complex network of Proximi families with Spanish blood.  Rarely do the Illustrados recruit from those who do not come from la familia, and those that do end up in the cabal find that they are treated as outsiders and second-class members.  Still, these mestizo are often the most dangerous of the Illustrados as they are more than eager to prove their worth to their superiors.

The Illustrados are the powers behind the throne, careful power-brokers that sit on boardrooms and shake the hands of politicians in private function rooms. Their influence is that of the Padrino system, agreements based on nepotism and cronyism, making sure that their interests are served without being easily traced back to them. This approach has made them quite the target of the local Seers, who tend to frequent similar circles and practice similar tactics.  Little wonder then that Maestro is a severely paranoid man who has little in the way of scruples when it comes to taking harsh punitive action to those that threaten him and his Cabal.


The Moros Willworker called Maestro is a severe and physically imposing eighty-year old man with a perpetually disapproving scowl.  Given to dressing in tailored suits and sporting luxury watches, Maestro is the undisputed patriarch of the Illustrados.  Decades of fighting the other Supernaturals for control of Manila have made Maestro a bitter, spiteful man with a healthy dose of paranoia.  On the other hand, it has also instilled in him the kind of discipline and savvy that has made the Illustrados one of the most feared Cabals in the city.  He takes his role as the padre de familia very seriously, and treats his Cabalmates as his very own children.  Maestro’s Nimbus is a wave of primal terror that young children experience upon being subjected to the scrutiny of a disapproving parent.

  1. Nosfecatu says:

    Ilustrado as the Silver Ladder! It’s an elegant way to adopt part of Philippine history to NMage; I wish I thought of it first. Cool!

  2. dirty yasuki says:

    Nice write-up. Supernatural world of manila? Will you be incorporating other supernatural splats in your nMage campaign?

    • Hey there,
      Well, I figure that given that this is the Philippines, there’s plenty of room for other weirdness like Ghosts, Spirits and Fae. I’m not sure if I’ll include Vampires (though the Aswang are definitely in) but Werewolves don’t figure prominently in our myths and legends at all, so I doubt I’ll be able to include the Forsaken.

      • yamasaki says:

        Yah, somehow (were)wolves don’t fit in the Philippine setting — we’re in a tropical country after all. Long ago. I tried to make a W:tF chronicle set locally (entitled “The Neighborhood With Big Dogs”), but it would have taken too much suspension of disbelief to pull off that I scrapped it.

  3. Hikkikomori says:

    Askals: The Forsaken

  4. Hikkikomori says:

    “Nothing is just satire.”


  5. […] setting on and off for a while now (Considering that I’ve got a few articles on it in several places on this blog.) I have to admit that I’m a little amazed that people would go for the setting, […]

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