[Let’s study Mage: the Ascension] Part 3.1 Traditions: Akashic Brotherhood

Posted: October 18, 2013 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Let's Study, Mage: the Ascension, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness
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LogoTradAkashicBrotherhood

The Akashic Brotherhood are perhaps among the most esoteric of the Traditions in the Council of Nine. Deeply influenced by Asian concept of enlightenment, the Akashic Brotherhood are a Tradition who pursue Ascension via the path of self-mastery.

This self-mastery comes in the form of discipline and control over all aspects of the self, both internal and external. This rigid discipline is harsh and unrelenting, and a member of the Akashics is expected to be mindful of their thoughts, words and emotions as much as they are taught to be precise with their actions.

Most of the Akashics practice Martial Arts as this is an excellent means by which to continually improve the self. Exercises both spiritual and physical are meant to condition the Mage to further expand their horizons and come to the necessary understanding necessary to take the next step towards eventual enlightenment.

Magic

Mages of the Akashic Brotherhood (which, by the way consists of both men and women despite the name,) often specialize in magics of the Mind Sphere. Their methodology of self-mastery and understanding allows them a greater potential to comprehending the secrets of the Mind.

Most of their magics take the form of physical feats that are just slightly outside the realm of possibility. Thanks to the popularity of martial arts in the present day, the Akashics find that working under “Wire-fu” physics can still pass the scrutiny of the Consensus and avoid Paradox.

Their mastery over Mind also makes them fearsome opponents even outside of a brawl. Their understanding of the self allows them to understand another, giving them insight as to how an opponent might think, or feel, giving them significant leverage in a social situation.

Weaknesses

The greatest difficulty of the Akashic Brotherhood in the present day is the fact that their methodology is largely outmoded in today’s society. In this fast-paced era of real time technology and instant gratification, the Akashic paradigm of meditation and navel gazing is becoming increasingly difficult to sell.

One would think that the popularity of martial arts and sports like the MMA would aid the Akashic Brotherhood, but the benefits of this trend are not as large as they would like. Many people aren’t interested in the spiritual and discipline angle of the martial art as much as they’re obsessed over how they look and what people will say over their progress. Quick 12 session martial arts schools have taken over proper dojos, and most people would balk at studying years in order to actually make progress. They’d much rather go and be able to kick ass instead.

Opportunities

That said, it’s not all doom and gloom for the future of the Akashic Brotherhood. With the events of the Avatar Storm, the Akashics now have a chance to take a look around them and take steps to make themselves relevant again.

Many of the Akashic Brotherhood find a new way to teach people to appreciate the virtues of their philosophy through alternative, non-esoteric means.

Akashics seem to fit well as mentors and exemplars. They’re the coach of the sports team that expects much, praises little and gives advice that helps their athletes grow and improve in both the sport and in real life. They’re the neighborhood hero that keeps the thugs off the street and encourages kids to aspire to make something of themselves.

The Akashic Brotherhood might not have the fastest method of teaching in the Council of Nine, but they have the potential to make quality Mages who understand that as much as it is important to master the self, it is worthless if they cannot use it to help those around them.

Sample Characters

Inner City Boxing Trainer – Having grown up in one of the worst neighborhoods in the city, nobody expected you to grow up to be anything. They would have been right had it not been for the police officer who caught you shoplifting and turned you into a pet project. He put you up in a small boxing gym under a kindly old mentor who somehow knew how to read you like an open book and put up with your belligerence until you had discipline and love for the sport drilled into you. Now you’re giving back to society, trying to make that difference to make sure that the kids in your city get the chance that you did.

Office Den Mother – Nobody really knows the answer to everything but one thing they do know is that they can ask you for help. You’re no big deal on the outside, perhaps putting on a little weight and conservatively dressed, but you know people. You know how they think, and why they think that way, and once in a while you know what to tell them to get their act together. You weren’t always this composed. Once, your life was in shambles and your marriage was a wreck, but thanks to the quiet advice of that old lady in the same apartment that you always run into at the laundromat, you learned to really listen. You learned to discern emotions from reason, to find out just how vulnerable and wonderful people really are. Now you’re helping people come to that realization as well.

Parole Officer – Everyone deserves second chances. Sometimes it just takes a stern disciplinarian to keep someone walking the straight line. As a parole officer, you’ve dealt with your share of former inmates who have been released into society, and it’s your job to keep them from falling to bad habits. It’s frustrating, and often thankless, but watching an inmate actually make something of himself, overcoming his roots and taking control of his own destiny is hugely satisfying. Each individual that has been given to you to handle is important to you, and while you avoid using Magic to mess with their heads directly, a combination of discipline, tough love and just the right words are often enough to keep them on the road to decency.

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