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Location: Fillard Goldman Museum
Leadership: Curator

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In Atlantis, the Mysterium's members were professors and librarians. Legends describe the Cenacle of Sighs, where mages could consult the ghosts of savants and vast libraries written in the tongues of fae, demons, angels and gods. The ancient order ventured into the hinterlands to learn the natural sciences and cull the innovations of barbarians states. These expeditions were almost as martial as they were scientific, because outlanders (and the night-horrors who often ruled them) feared and hated the Great City. The early mystagogues paid for their knowledge in blood, securing a place of honor in the city's silver halls.


Mysterium members are usually better educated than counterparts in other orders. The society doesn't reject talented, uneducated sorcerers, but such novices quickly learn the academic skills they need to identify and analyze arcane treasures. Educated mages aren't often spared further training, though, since they need to know how to survive in uncivilized places and discover occult ruins and well-guarded lore. Recently, the order has begun to delve into modern cities, applying the disciplines of sociology and even burglary to its research. Sleepers, enemy mages and supernatural monsters bring relics with them to museums, secret lodges and private homes. Rather than letting these artifacts fall into disuse or abuse, the order aquires them by expedient means. These situations require considerable street savvy, and some of the newest members are recruited to fill this growing niche.

The order also recognizes that knoweldge doesn't just collect in dusty tomes and artifacts. The secrets of Atlantis are encoded in oral tradition and ancient customs. The Mysterium documents these where it can and scrutinizes every phrase and gesture for hidden meaning. The secrets of magic can even be found in modern architecture, film and in the sprawling Internet. Investigators have to be careful here, because much of the time mass media carries arcane messages at the behest of hidden supernatural players. Tangential to this calling ar ethe order's efforts to acquire secrets that other mages have intentionally suppressed. Mystagogues may have to play the part of spy, thief and even art critic to fill the order's libraries.


The Mysterium's ethos revolves around its mission to locate and preserve Awakened knoweldge. Order mages have written several treatises on the subject, but most of them can be distilled into the following three aphorisms.

  • Knowledge is power - Without occult knowledge, a mage is nothing. With it, she knows the secrets of the universe and the fundamental problems affecting humanity. The Exarchs imprison the world by promoting ignorance, because they understand this truth. Some Mysterium philosophers would go even further and claim that knowledge is reality itself, either in the form of a mystical understanding of the Supernal World or as patterns of pure information, waiting to be programmed by the application of suitable spells. Ignorance, then, is more than a practical disadvantage. Believing the illusion makes reality weaker and the Abyss stronger.
  • Knowledge must be preserved - After Atlantis fell, humanity stumbled into an age of ignorance that crippled Awakened and Sleeper alike. The situation has degenerated to the extent that apostates and Free Council radicals sometimes claim that the Awakened City never existed! The Mysterium believes that uncovering and preserving humanity's magical tradition is the only way to transcend the Fall. Every fragment of arcane lore is a tool that mages can use to bind Above and Below, or at least slow the growth of the rift between them.
  • Knowledge has a price - Arcane lore is dangerous and is only acquired at great cost. Accordingly, the Mysterium does not share its secrets with Sleepers, and mages must meet certain standards. The order laways demands payment. The best thing a mage can do is offer an uncommon grimoire or enchanted item in exchange for what he seeks. Even then, the Myserium doesn't share it's knowledge lightly. There are some books and some secret names that mages should never know, because they summon up what can't be put down or would constitute a weapon suficient to destroy the Awakened balance of power. Unlike the Guardians of the Veil, the Mysterium does not believe in lying to the unworthy. It merely denies them access to what they unwisely seek.

Rituals and Observances

Mysterium rites revolve around the acquisition and preservation of knowledge. Mystagogues are initiated into greater levels of trust as they advance, but are expected to uncover arcane secrets of equivalent value or to dedicate their lives to preserving them.

  • The Athenaeum - An Athanaeum is a Mysterium storehouse. Unlike Free Council Lorehouses, these are secret installations where mystagogues meet to secure and catalogue their finds. Athenaea are always protected with strong wards and are the direct responsibility of a Curator. When an outsider wishes to view material from the Athenaeum, she must have it brought to her. She studies it under guard. There is no chief Athenaeum; they are created whenever local members of the order feel the need to do so. Normally, the region governed by a single Consilium will either possess one of its own or be adjacent to a region that does.
  • The Atlantean Mystery - Even individual mystagogues are not granted full access to the order's collected lore. The Atlantean Mystery is a series of ritual initiations that uses divinatory magic to assess a candidate's suitability and what she must provide to prove her worth. Normally, a mystagogue is assigned a task or sacrifice appropriate to the level of initiation sought. These trials almost always involve gathering new lore for the order or confiscating dangerous or stolen occult materials. The highest lore of the Supernal World, the Abyss and certain summoning spells typically require the greatest degree of initiation.

Titles and Duties

Every member of the Mysterium is called a mystagogue: one who has been initiated into the Mystery of the order's lore. The ranks of initiation have various symbolic titles for each of the five degrees, such as third-degree member. In addition, there are two other well-known titles.

  • Censor - Censors keep hidden lore secret. Other orders resent them, but acknowledge that certain spells and terrible names could shatter the Awakened world. The Censors are the most martial mystagogues, because they must disarm others of their secrets. The Free Council accuses these mages of being little more than self-appointed death squads that kill free-thinking mages. It is true that Censors have acted on political motives, but it's equally true that they have saved the lives of mages and Sleepers by suppressing destructive occult knowledge. Censors never destroy when they confiscate. Taken secrets are kept under lock, key and ward in an Athenaeum.
  • Curator - A Curator must be an accomplished mage (a second-degree adept or better) and accomplished academic. Curators who betray the order are killed. Incompetence is punished by stripping the offender of all her Mystery initiations, and condemning her to study only the lowest secrets of the order until she regains her former station.

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