In order to cast his first spell of any real power, any mage has to cross a psychic or spiritual threshold: to access his true power, he has to give something up. That something may be metaphorical, mystical or physical; mages generally refer to this sacrifice (and the resultant ascent to the beginnings of true power) as the Awakening.
The Awakening usually goes more smoothly for mages who prepare for it under the watchful eye of a more experienced spellcaster, often (but not always) a mentor to whom they are apprenticed. It can sometimes go disastrously, especially for sorcerers, who often come into their powers unexpectedly and with no preparation whatsoever. Players may select from the following sacrifices, or roll 1d20 randomly if they so desire:
- You lose your shadow.
- You become color-blind.
- You lose your true name.
- You lose the ability to feel warmth.
- You lose all memories before your Awakening.
- You lose the ability to sleep soundly.
- Animals react to you badly.
- You cannot enter a private dwelling without being given an invitation by someone with the authority to do so.
- Your eyes change color or shape drastically.
- You lose your first-person singular personal pronouns (no “I”s or “my”s).
- You cannot abide the touch of feathers.
- You cast no reflection in otherwise reflective surfaces.
- You cannot taste liquids.
- You lose your sense of smell entirely, except for one thing (DM’s discretion).
- You become sterile (or infertile, as the case may be).
- All of your hair falls out, leaving you completely bald and otherwise hairless.
- You cannot forget anything. Ever.
- The color of your hair changes instantly and irreversibly to a blinding white.
- You cannot read personal correspondences; you may read anything posted to a general or public audience, but anything addressed specifically to you reads as so much gibberish.
- Create your own or re-roll.