The Silver Ladder
(pp. 50-52 MTA)
Mages once ruled. Don’t forget it. Do not believe that hubris felled Atlantis. Do not believe that humanity deserved to have its dreams crushed, deserved to be cast into darkness. That is a most subtle piece to the lie. Do not allow the Exarchs to imprison the hopes and dreams of mages as they do magic itself. The conquest of reality — the war for the Imperium Mysteriorum — proceeds as it should. Look at the big picture and realize that the fall of the Awakened City was a skirmish. A setback yes, but there are more battles to be fought — thrones to topple from the enemy’s Supernal strongholds.
And there is hope, for the Silver Ladder has a potent weapon the Exarchs could never possess: The Sleepers.
For all their schemes, the enemy’s minions, including the Seers of the Throne, are slaves concerned with keeping the Sleeping rabble quiet and ignorant. The Silver Ladder supports humanity, and spreads the flame of Awakening as much as possible.
The nature of the Quiescence makes the work dangerous so théarchs must release the truth as a trickle so that dedicated men and women can follow it to the flood of full awakening. Mages must be prepared to accept these new apprentices. They must cooperate to spread Awakened influence and train for the battle to come.
The Silver Ladder is used to ruling mages. They were not the official rulers of Atlantis, but were trusted advisors. As priests, viziers, and judges of old, they upheld the principles of law. They maintained a balance of power between mages and unenlightened humanity.
Other orders were humbled by the Fall, but not the Silver Ladder. They found a new enemy in the Exarchs, and aim to topple them. By trapping humanity in the Quiescence, the would-be oppressors showed they feared mortal men and women. The Ladder seeks to bind men and women together to face the Exarchs.
The Elemental Precepts are as follows. For more detailed info: see the MTA source book.
Diamond: The Awakened are one nation
Thunder: Imperium is the right of humanity
Star: The Silver Ladder is the path to victory
Blood: The Sleepers follow
Rituals and Observances
Every year, all deacons from at least two Concilii gather to set a common policy for the year to come. This is known as the Least Convocation. Lesser Convocations occur every three years, gathering all of the deacons in a larger region defined by geography and tradition. Theoretically, there are also Greater Convocations (Continent-wide) though these have not occurred in over a century. An unfulfilled dream is the Grand Convocation, a gathering of deacons from across the world, seen as the first step to a true Awakened nation.
The Silver Ladder enforces a special legal code among its ranks. The constitution covers everything from teacher/student relations to when a théarch may kill another mage or sleeper. These are held to be enforceable regardless of Consilium policies on such matters. Any Théarch of superior station may pass judgement on minor affairs, but major crimes such as theft and murder are dealt with by a lictor.
Titles and Duties
A decon directs order affairs within a given Consilium’s jurisdiction. Many deacons serve on a Consilium’s ruling body. Others do not, allowing another mage to speak for them; a few even conceal their true station. Aside from attending annual Convocations, a deacon enforces discipline and coordinates the Silver Ladder’s local efforts to bring mages under one rule.
A lictor is a travelling offiction who enforces the Lex Magica as judge and punisher. Lictors are invariably tough and magically adept. Most travel a circuit and serve as an informal source of new and rumors about mages in other regions. A lictor’s judgement is binding upon a Silver Ladder Mage. There is no higher authority to appeal to. However such power is balanced by the fact that these mages are barred apprentices (other than their replacements) and permanent sanctums until they resign.
Views on other Orders
The Adamantine Arrow
Loyal and honorable servants
The Free Council
They will soon be brought to heel
Guardians of the Veil
Useful, though they sometimes overstep their bounds
They reclaim our birthright; we must assist them