Roses of Eden

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Roses of Eden
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Keys to the Supernal Tarot.jpg
Keys to the Supernal Tarot 31
Primary Life
Path Acanthus
Order Free Council
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If it ever existed, it fell apart a long time ago. Let it go. I’ll help you.

Almost every civilization has a “time before” story. Before life was the way it was, there was a paradise, a land of ease and comfort, of beauty and pleasure. And then, usually due to some failing on the part of mankind, it all fell apart, and people were forced to hunt, mate, hurt and die. The fact that this myth is so widespread leads the Awakened to surmise that there must be some truth to it — indeed, they tie these über-myths to their own story of the Fall of Atlantis. The Celestial Ladder shattered and the Awakened City was lost forever. The Orders of the Pentacle (rather, four of them) claim to be all that remains of this “time before.”

The Roses of Eden don’t dispute this. They just think it’s pathetic.

The Roses of Eden are mages that denounce the Pentacle, and the Atlantean paradigm in general. It isn’t that they claim Atlantis never existed — certainly the temples and Artifacts, to say nothing of phenomena such as ananke, indicate that some civilization of mages predated known history. What the Roses object to is basing the current, modern-day society of the Awakened on a society about which so few concrete facts are known. After all, mages are aware that the Seers of the Throne take their orders (or at least inspiration) from ancient, ascended masters — why, then, do the Pentacle mages insist on doing the same thing? Oracles or Exarchs, it doesn’t matter. Both are inscrutable, both are unknowable, and both are not of the Fallen World. Better, surely, to create a new society, one truly born of the modern era.

The Legacy’s members are aware that their philosophies aren’t popular, and so most of them try to meet other mages’ concerns as reasonably and gently as possible. This is especially true of the Noddists, who once claimed membership in one of the orders but left after the labyrinthine politics and rampant nepotism disillusioned them. Yes, the orders have safeguarded important secrets through the centuries — rotes, magical practices, mudras, mystic items and locations — and those should all be preserved. But isn’t it time to cast off the rivalries of the past?

Some Noddists, however, are openly hostile to the orders. They might be able to work with order mages, or even to join their cabals, but they refuse to take membership. Some even refuse to claim membership in a Consilium, but most Roses admit that it just isn’t practical to try to make a life as a mage without the protection and support of other mages.

Perhaps most controversial of all, some Roses cultivate contact with sorcerers whose power doesn’t come from the Supernal Realms at all. Not all magic is Awakened in nature, and while most mages seem to feel that any magic that doesn’t directly stem from an Awakening is an inferior or even stolen version of their own power, the Roses of Eden view all magic as having a place in their ideal society. The Fallen World is a dangerous place, and having allies that don’t suffer Paradox or engender Disbelief can only benefit the Awakened, even if their powers aren’t as versatile.

The Roses of Eden haven’t made a great deal of progress toward establishing their society yet, largely because they have thousands of years of Atlantean tradition to break through. In some Consilii (notably those with a heavy Free Council presence), the Roses have succeeded in doing away with some of the tradition offices. Instead of a Hierarch, a visiting cabal might find a Committee, or even a President, elected for a short time by the mages of the city. Rumor has it that one city’s mages even collectively renounced their order membership and pledged themselves to the Roses of Eden. This city (the exact location varies depending on who is telling the tale and why) lost all of its mages over the next six weeks, and now no Consilium at all remains. The more militant Roses of Eden have their theories about what really happened, but the moderate members of the Legacy doubt the veracity of the story.


The Roses of Eden aren’t popular with any of the four orders that claim to derive from Atlantis.

  • The Free Council is, officially, the only order to which the Noddists are allowed to belong.


  • Blossom's Whispers

Prerequisites: Gnosis 3, Life 2 (primary), Crafts 2 or Crafts 1 with a Specialty in Gardening, Survival 1

Make no mistake — being a Rose of Eden places a mage in danger. Some Consilii regard the Legacy as nothing less than a terrorist organization, and it’s not unknown for assassins to target the Noddists, especially the ones that seem to make some headway (ironically, the loud, hyper-critical Roses are the easiest to ignore, and seldom get selected for termination). In any event, after the third attempt by the Guardians of the Veil to silence her, Abigail developed a spell allowing her to sense minute changes in plant life around her. This enabled her to sense assassins coming before they could drive in the knife, and, surprisingly, even warned her of magical attacks. The plant kingdom, it seems, responds to shifts in the flow of Mana in ways that animals (humans included) can’t fathom.

In game terms, this Attainment is always active and mimics the effects of both “Pulse of the Living World” and “Analyze Life” (p. 181 and 180 of Mage: The Awakening, respectively). The character thus always has an active Mage Sight, and can, with a reflexive Intelligence + Science or Animal Ken roll, know the age, sex and species of a living thing. This also has the handy effect of detecting when something is not alive, which is useful for sniffing out undead creatures, something Abigail used to great effect when looking for vampiric sorcerers.

In addition, the mage is constantly tuned in to the minute shifts in the patterns of life around her. In game terms, this adds two dice to any reaction to surprise roll (see p. 46 of the World of Darkness Rulebook). If the character has the Danger Sense Merit (p. 108 of the World of Darkness Rulebook), both of these bonuses apply.

  • Tree of Life
  • Tree of Knowledge
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