From Edge of Darkness Wiki
An Arcanum (pl. Arcana) is one of ten divisions of the Tapestry. Each Arcanum originates from one of five Supernal Realms; each Supernal Realm is the source of two Arcana: the Subtle Arcana, relating to the Supernal Realms, and the Gross Arcana, relating to the Fallen World.
- Aether: Prime and Forces
- Arcadia: Fate and Time
- Pandemonium: Mind and Space
- Primal Wild: Spirit and Life
- Stygia: Death and Matter
Arcana are divided into Ruling, Common, and Inferior affinities based on Path:
- Ruling Arcana cost new dots x 6 (6xp, 12xp, 18xp, 24xp, 30xp)
- A Mage can become a Master (●●●●●) of his Ruling Arcana without aid.
- Common Arcana cost new dots x 7 (7xp, 14xp, 21xp, 28xp, 35xp)
- A Mage can only become an Adept (●●●●) of his Common Arcana without aid.
- Inferior Arcana cost new dots x 8 (8xp, 16xp, 24xp, 32xp, 40xp)
- A Mage can only become an Initiate (●●) of his Inferior Arcana without aid.
The five Gross Arcana are the Arcana which influence physical objects and forces, rather than metaphysical concepts. These Arcana generally influence tangible, worldly objects, forces, or properties of the Fallen World over the less solid and definable concepts ruled over by the Subtle Arcana, but unlike these Arcana, the Gross Arcana will almost never have any overlap into metaphysical concepts. Gross Arcana are rooted strongly in the Fallen World, and earn their name because their influence on the Fallen World is generally very blatant and easily detectable even by Sleepers.
Each of the Supernal Realms are ruled by a matched pair of Gross and Subtle Arcana; each pair are the material and subtle expressions of one metaphysical concept.
The Gross Arcana, with their ruling Realm and Subtle pairs, are:
- Forces, the Gross Arcanum of the Aether, paired with the Subtle Arcanum of Prime.
- Life, the Gross Arcanum of the Primal Wild, paired with the Subtle Arcanum of Spirit.
- Matter, the Gross Arcanum of Stygia, paired with the Subtle Arcanum of Death.
- Space, the Gross Arcanum of Pandemonium, paired with the Subtle Arcanum of Mind.
- Time, the Gross Arcanum of Arcadia, paired with the Subtle Arcanum of Fate.
The five Subtle Arcana are the Arcana which represent concepts in the abstract rather than physical sense. They generally manipulate intangible or entirely supernatural forces or ideas, rather than the matter or energy of the physical world, though they may influence those things indirectly. Subtle Arcana are rooted strongly in the Supernal Realms, and earn their name because their influence on the Fallen World is so subtle as to be undetectable by the unawakened. Subtle Arcana also have strong ties to the Shadow Realm and objects and beings in Twilight.
Each of the Supernal Realms are ruled by a matched pair of Subtle and Gross Arcana; each pair are the material and subtle expressions of one metaphysical concept.
The Subtle Arcana, with their ruling Realm and Gross pairs, are:
- Death, the Subtle Arcanum of Stygia, paired with the Gross Arcanum of Matter.
- Fate, the Subtle Arcanum of Arcadia, paired with the Gross Arcanum of Time.
- Mind, the Subtle Arcanum of Pandemonium, paired with the Gross Arcanum of Space.
- Prime, the Subtle Arcanum of the Aether, paired with the Gross Arcanum of Forces.
- Spirit, the Subtle Arcanum of the Primal Wild, paired with the Gross Arcanum of Life.
The sympathies of each Supernal Realm coalesced around the Watchtowers that call Mages across the Abyss, and these sympathies have their "opposites" or "weaknesses," which make up the Inferior Arcana. The Inferior Arcana embody the concepts those attuned to a Watchtower find the most difficult to master.
- Aether: Death - The fiery energies of Prime and Forces represent primal creation. Even destruction in the Aether leaves behind the bed of new beginnings. Death holds no sway, for transformation within the Aether is more akin to the fiery death and rebirth of the Phoenix than the quiet transition to a restful respite.
- Arcadia: Forces - Dealing with the most primal energies of the Fallen World, Enchanters find the chaotic nature of Forces least amenable to the manipulation by the subtle influences of Fate, and unpredictable even to a Master of Time.
- Primal Wild: Mind- Consciousness, deliberation, abstract thought, these things do not exist in the Primal Wild, where matters of life and death, the struggle of survival and the animating spirit behind everything that makes up this world, from the lowliest insect to the greatest Sequoia.
- Stygia: Spirit - The notion of animism, and material objects having life of their own is foreign to Necromancers, who deal with souls of the living who have died,and manipulation of physical matter.
- Pandemonium: Matter - In the Hellish crucible of Pandemonium Demons represent the Vices and mental weaknesses and the deception that is physical space. These creatures of the psyche, unbound by distance, know nothing of the hard substance of Matter.