(pp. 47-49 MTA)
Forget the government. Forget politics. Knowledge is power. Over time, lore trumps ambition. The Mysterium believes its order to be the purest, as it shuns mundane power. They prefer to seek knowledge. That doesn’t mean that all mystagogues (as they call themselves) are powerless. The order does not dictate individual ambition, but knowledge always comes first. Power just happens to be a benefit from holding the chief currency of the occult: Knowledge.
In the old world, the Mysterium’s mages were librarians and professors. They held great libraries where mages could find tomes in the tongues of fae, demons, angels, and gods. In today’s world, the Mysterium’s mages are archaeologists, cryptographers, and masters of riddles.
Mystagogues are generally better educated than other mages, though not all are academics. Some just happen to be talented at acquiring the objects that the Mysterium desires to study. Even if these happen to be in museums or private collections.
Knowledge is power
Knowledge must be preserved
Knowledge has a price
Rituals and Observances
An Athenaeum is a Mysterium storehouse. Like the Lorehouses of The Free Council, these are secret installations where mystagogues meet to secure and catalog their finds. Athenaea are always protected with strong wards and are the direct responsibility of a Curator. One does not simply walk into an Athenaeum. The material must be brought to her, whereupon she must study it under guard. There is no chief Athenaeum, they are created by local groups upon neccessity.
The Atlantean Mystery
Even individual mystagogues are not granted full access to the order’s lore. The Atlantean Mystery is a series of ritual initiations using divinatory magic to assess a candidate, and what must be provided to prove her worth. Normally, a task or sacrifice is assigned that is appropriate to the level of initiation sought. This is almost always gathering new lore or tracking down and confiscating dangerous or stolen materials.
Titles and Duties
Censors make sure that secret lore remains such. Other orders resent them, but acknowledge that certain spells and names could become rather dangerous in the wrong hands. The Censors are the most martial mystagogues as they must disarm others of their secrets. The Free Council accuses the Censors of being no more than self-appointed death squads targeting free-thinking mages. Censors never destroy knowledge. What is confiscated is placed into an Athenaeum under lock, key, and ward.
A Curator must be an accomplished mage (second-degree adept or higher) and accomplished academic. Curators who betray the order are killed. Incompetence is rewarded by being stripped of all Mystery initiations, and being condemned to studying only the lowest secrets of the order until the former station is regained. Simply put, being in charge of the Athenaea is serious business.
Views on other Orders
The Adamantine Arrow
They guard our collections
The Free Council
They pretend that fashion is wisdom, and miss the real prize
Guardians of the Veil
Lies stain an Awakened seeker
The Silver Ladder
You cannot lead from a position of ignorance