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Guardians of the Veil
The Elemental Precepts describe the legalistic philosophy that the Silver Ladder espouses. The order has spread this doctrine among Sleepers and mages for millennia. No authoritative text exists, and they are often taught as a series of parables or aphorisms.
The Awakened are one nation
- Diamond is the sanctified, transformed Earth in the Elemental Precepts, the base upon which all other achievements rest. Under this precept, mages have a common bond in Atlantis and the struggle to exalt humanity. This constitutes a nation, and mages are beholden to its laws. Traitors such as Banishers and Seers of the Throne may be punished righteously. Other mages must respect the Consilium more strongly than any Sleeper government.
Imperium is the right of humanity;
- The purpose of the Awakened is to secure the Imperium Mysteriorum - the Sovereignty of the Mysteries - for humanity. No Exarch or god has the right to control human destiny, and even natural calamities are an insult to human divinity. Thunder is energized Air, the life-breath of human-kind, and the moral duty to seize Imperium is synonymous with the right to life itself.
The Silver Ladder is the path to victory
- The Star is the sign of Supernal Fire, in the form of the Oracles' Watchtowers. Silver Ladder mages were the priest-judges of Atlantis, and it is their prerogative to direct the fruits of the Star against the Exarchs. The order claims that its most powerful members receive instructions directly from the Oracles. Thearchs pledge to arm the Awakened against the Lie. They therefore deserve the respect and obedience due the seneschals of the Oracles.
The Sleepers follow
- Blood is living water and heralds the birth of human beings, but it is also the sign of a wound. Sleepers are wounded by the Quiescenece and need the direction of the Awakened to prosper. They must be healed and raised up to claim the Imperium Mysteriorum. This is a slow, careful process that must follow the traditional forms of apprenticeship.
Rituals and Observances
The Silver Ladder's rites are well known because they are common to all mages. The order preserved the Duel Arcane and founded the first Concilii. Its conventions have become the norm. And yet, there are some traditions that the order reserves for itself.
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 Great Convocations (where every deacon on a continent meets) every five years, but these have not gathered in over a century (when the European deacons debated the order's response to the Free Council). A grand Convocation of deacons from around the world is an unfulfilled dream, said to be the first step to creating a true Awakened nation.
The Silver Ladder enforces a special legal code among its own ranks. This constitution governs everything from the proper relationships between mentors and apprentices to the circumstances under which a thearch may kill another mage or Sleeper. These laws are held to be enforceable regardless of Consilium policy on a given matter. Any thearch of superior station may pass judgment on minor affairs, but major crimes such as theft and murder are dealt with by a lictor.
Each Caucus is expected to form and maintain a cryptopoly, a cult -- or mystery cult -- that identifies, guides, and indoctrinates potentials to the Awakened World. Sleepwalkers and Proximi within the Cryptopolies are hoped to one day Awaken, and already have the tools at their disposal to fight against the lie. However, the way in which these are set up, vary from Caucus to Caucus.