The Free Council
(pp 41-43 MTA)
Can you feel it? The magic in the air? It’s there, it’s just stunted like a twisted bonzai tree under the weight of the Abyss. Nations call fire from the sky in time of war, Voices drift on invisible waves. The world is full of sigils and runes. Men and women will die for a flag or work themselves ragged for a brand. This is an age of power and opportunity, but an age of horror as well because power has no ethos. And the management of the power is bad. Very bad.
There have always been rebels and strange geniuses in the awakened world, those who could not accept the easy answer of tradition to their ever present questions. The Silver Ladder cast them out, The Adamantine Arrow refused to protect them and The Mysterium expunged their words from history. But the Awakened have always been sensitive to the spirit of an age.
The Great Refusal allowed the Free Council to prove themselves to the elder orders, as the newly formed Free Council refused an offer by The Seers of the Throne for an alliance that would wed technological and cultural magic to an agenda of control. The spirit of the modern world would be liberty, not technocracy.
Democracy seeks the truth; hierarchy fosters the Lie
Humanity is magical; human works have arcane secrets
Destroy the followers of the Lie
Rituals and Observances
Free Council cabals are run democratically, either by absolute concensus or majority vote. In addition, cabals often form regional Assemblies as an alternative to the local Consilium. Individual groups send Syndics to the assembly who in turn formulate proposals to be voted on by every mage represented. A variation known as a Column organizes mages in battles against their enemies.
The Free Council’s mission to renew the arcane arts can be realized only by the easy exchange of magical discoveries. The Lorehouse system assists that transaction by providing an open storehouse of magical knowledge. This doesn’t always mean it’s easy to get access to a Lorehouse; its controlling cabal dictates any requirements. Some operate on a free market model, providing their stock to any mage with the hard cash, mana, or barter price asked. Others serve only mages who profess an ideology acceptable to the owners.
The order prefers to call its style of magic Techné, a Greek word meaning a skill or art. Techné is not just an application of ancient traditional techniques but a philosophy combining technology, art, and culture to produce magic that is relevant in a modern context. While other orders cling to tradition, the Free Concil forges ahead to new horizons.
Titles and Duties
An emissary is a libertine empowered by a cabal or Assembly to persue diplomatic aims with mages from other orders. Emissaries are not permitted to espouse any positions or make any offers that haven’t been voted on by the mages they represent, unless these powers have been granted ahead of time by their governing cabal or Assembly. Cabals and Assemblies are, in turn, obligated to seek redress if any harm befalls their Emissary.
In a crisis, Free Council mages may voluntarily suspend their democratic rights to give a strategos the power to make decisions in all areas relevant to his area of expertise. Most strategoi are used to coordinate a libertine group’s defenses, though a few decide upon affairs ranging from sanctum economies to metaphysical debates. Many Assemblies (and virtually all Columns) employ a strategos who is permitted to make decisions that affect all Assembly members. No matter what, the power of a strategos is formally limited to a single subject.
In regions where Free Council Assemblies hold sway, member cabals select one of their own as a syndic to represent them. Syndics do not make decisions. They debate other syndics and generate proposals upon which all members vote. Syndics can acquire considerable clout. Their positions on various matters are normally upheld by their own cabals, if not others, and syndics’ combined ability to render a complex matter down to a vote allows their perspectives to dominate any debate.
Views on other Orders
The Adamantine Arrow
Honorable, but serve an outdated agenda
Guardians of the Veil
Contemptible Secret Police
Curators of nostalgia, and outright censors
The Silver Ladder
They will soon be irrelevant