Pentacle Movers and Shakers

These are the known and notable among Chicago’s Awakened. Neophytes look up to them, toil beneath them, or undercut their orders. In time, this hierarchy may be upset, but for now if you’re getting something done in Awakened society, you’ll run into – or afoul – of one of these mages.

THE ADAMANTINE ARROW – rigidly structured, with a seamless chain of command from top to bottom, the Arrow is a tight ship with a tightass captain.

Chicago’s sole Adamant Sage is Paladin, Acanthus, Councilor,. It’s been a hundred years or more since the city held a wartime footing for any length of time, but Paladin keeps the Arrow as a whole in fighting trim. Paladin embodies the Adamant Way by seeking to subsume himself within an archetypal warrior-role; in his case, that of an Old West lawman. He is, first and foremost, a warlord – he leads from the front, combining mastery of Time with an adept’s understanding of Fate and Forces when magic is needed to stem the tide of danger. When it isn’t, those guns he carries are not for show. The hierarchy of the Arrow is inviolable; everyone, from Paladin on down, is expected to know their place, or prove beyond doubt that they belong somewhere else. Several mages, including the better parts of the Arrow and Ladder, want Paladin to assume the vacated Hierarch’s post. He hasn’t professed interest, but he hasn’t professed disinterest either.

Gertz, Thyrsus, is the first among the city’s First Talons and serves as Paladin’s most trusted lieutenant. An adept of Spirit and Time, she is a strategist par excellence – hard-won alliances with the city’s spirit courts ensure that when she is called to fight, she never comes alone. Her taciturn reputation is not unwarranted; despite being an apparently able communicator, among her peers and colleagues she spares few words.

Guillotine, Moros, another First Talon, is the Arrow’s first responder. Adept of Matter and a numerous-degree disciple, Guillotine evaluates and contains supernatural threats and is the Arrow most often given missions to carry out alone. Guillotine has an easy confidence that other mages interpret variously as arrogance, recklessness, or a particularly mellow fatalism.

THE GUARDIANS OF THE VEIL – there are only two reasons to believe the Guardians exist in the city at all: one, a handful of them will be seen out and about and admit their order allegiance in public, standing before the scrutiny of the powerful mages of other orders; two, troublesome sleepers, troublesome Paradoxes, and troublesome mages are all cleanly, quietly, and neatly disposed of. Guardians either don’t have shadow names or, more likely, their shadow names are simply assumed Sleeper identities.

Bridget shows up at Consilium regularly wearing Life and Prime spells. She’s charming and courteous. Rumor holds that she may be a powerful famulus or even magister within the order. Some more fanciful neophytes suggest that she walks brazenly in the open, having achieved Archmastery. It’s hard to say; nobody ever sees her outside of Consilium.

Stewart is a nebbishy, quiet man who is often seen in the company of one or two other mages, engaging them in serious conversation. When pressed, the mages who’ve spent time with Stewart will admit feeling, after the fact, like they’ve just experienced an interrogation that felt more like an insurance claims adjustment. He wears Time and Death spells.

Uri wears an ostentatious lattice of Prime magic. Nobody’s ever seen him at work, or heard him talk shop, but almost everyone believes he’s a mage-hunter, a man whose job it is to find the ones who go too far off the reservation and dispose of them. He’s quick with a joke and favors fine cigars.

THE MYSTERIUM – led de facto by the Trustees, a group of three Daduchoi Superior who between them exercise complete control over the flow and exchange of lore and artifacts.

Hanidor, Thyrsus, Councilor master of Life and adept of Death and Spirit, is the Daduchos responsible for negotiating the acquisition and exchange of mysteria between orders and, rarely, with other entities. He is the Mystagogue who members of other orders deal with the most, and one of the bare handful of mages on speaking terms with Chicago’s undead.

Imlac, Acanthus, second-degree master of Fate and Prime, adept of Space and Time, is the Daduchos who oversees the tutorial education structure the Mysterium operates under. Every Mystagogue, including the Trustees themselves, has at least one tutor overseeing their pursuit of higher mysteries, Every Mystagogue, even the barest Neokoros, is called to enlighten others who’ve paid their dues. In addition to his administrative duties, he takes the most and most promising pupils for himself. He has a reputation for being cryptic, sometimes verging on obtuse, but no one can recall him being roused to a negative emotion more intense than sternness.

Karil, Moros, Councilor, was once the city’s foremost Acquistor. Now, in semi-retirement, the Daduchos has taken on the crucial task of managing the order’s Athanaea. She might be the only person in Chicago who knows the location of every grimoire, artifact, cryptid, relic, and knick-knack in the Mysterium catalog. A significant percentage of them came to the order through her hands in the first place. She is a second-degree master of Matter and Time, and adept in Death and Space. Karil is famous internationally for having once acquired (and then subsequently destroyed) the Adamant Staff, an artifact wrapped in more trivia and featuring in more myths than pieces of the One True Cross.

THE SILVER LADDER – the thearchs’ position within Chicago is deeply conflicted. On the one hand, their resources and penetration among the Sleeper community is unmatched by other orders. On the other, these resources are concentrated in the hands of one mage, while every other important thearch preaches the purity of separation from Sleeper life, from the chains of the Lie and the tools of the Masters’ house. That one mage holds a disproprotionately high amount of importance within the Consilium and a disproportionately low amount of esteem within the order.

Milgram, Mastigos, is the glue that holds Chicago’s Consilium together. Believed to be a second-degree Adept of her ruling Arcana, she (and seemingly she alone) is responsible for the logistics and coordination that keeps the Consilium running. Payrolls, housing, asset management, coordination and liaison with Sleeper society- seemingly all of it runs directly through Milgram’s hands or through the hands of her vast and capable Cryptopoly, the Madison Group. Milgram is the only public-facing thearch of any stature who sees herself as an adminstrator rather than a priest or advisor. As such, she’s frequently in the conversation to replace the outgoing Hierarch despite her relative magical inexperience and the grudging disdain she holds from her own order. She’s known to be a bit of a busybody

January, Obrimos, Councilor, is the order’s high priestess. She sets its philosophical agenda and dictates the strategy that Milgram and Irrigo carry out. In the absence of a formal Hierarch, it’s January who formally conducts the business of Consilium. A second-degree Master of Forces and Matter, it’s plain to any who speak to her that people merit warmth only insofar as they already agree with her; once they present contrary attitudes, they become obstacles to be moved aside. Most mages, even those who wish otherwise, assume on some level that it’s only a matter of time before she dusts off Finnegan’s chair.

Irrigo, Mastigos, Councilor, is the moral anchor and adoptive father figure of the order. He serves as a guide, confessor, advisor, and patron to any who seek his attention. He welcomes all orders and all ranks without judgment. In addition to his famously legendary generosity, optimism, and patience, he might be Chicago’s only practicing master of Mind. There’s a running joke behind the cupped hands of Chicago’s Awakened that he must have lobotomized himself to be so consistently, profoundly happy.

THE FREE COUNCIL – last winter, the Libertines’ leader and most powerful member vowed to leave the city if the rank-and-file continued to show insufficient respect and deference to his efforts. The Libertines showed him the door. In the wake of that momentous decision, called only half-jokingly the Second Great Refusal by members of the order, the Free Council has undergone a radical reformation into a totally horizontal organization.

Laia, Obrimos, led the movement that saw Bubo ousted from the city, and is one of the order’s most respected speakers and thinkers. In the new rhetoric of the Free Council, they say that she is among the most central. Her ambition is to deepen her order into something like a vast family unit. She’s an adept of Forces, and despite incredible passion and tenacity has never been seen to publically lose her temper. When people talk about putting a Libertine on the Council, which they do rarely and with great reluctance, they talk about Laia.

Silver, Moros, adept of Death, speaks with authority on a wide variety of subjects, and when pressed will admit an extensive academic background. It’s possible she’s older than she looks; equally possible is that she completed a double fistful of degrees by the time she was thirty. She has a low tolerance for ignorance and little esteem for people who are cavalier about a lack of ambition or aspiration, but she will go out of her way to educate people if they take learning seriously.

Tesseract, Mastigos, third-degree disciple of Mind, Space, and Time, is the order’s most esteemed technologist. It’s an open secret that he designed some app or piece of hardware and is worth frankly ridiculous amounts of money, and it’s assumed that he bankrolls the Free Council singlehandedly. He only came to Chicago some time in the past year, and most people think there’s no coincidence that they’re building a 21st-century arcology in the city at this very moment, to rival the recently completed Greenway in Manhattan. It’s a matter of some debate as to whether he or Silver is the “brains” of the order; the joke among Tesseract’s supporters goes that the battle lines are drawn between those who are good and bad at math.

THE DEPARTED – these prominent mages have, for various reasons, left the city or retired over the past year or two. None of them make public appearances anymore, and it’s not apparent what any of them are doing with their time.

Finnegan, Obrimos, Silver Ladder, was the city’s Hierarch until last year. He was a stable but aloof leader, and for the fifteen years he ran Chicago’s Consilium there were no existential threats to its security. Finnegan retired at the Summer Solstice, and rumors abound as to why; willworkers speculate that he got tired of politics, or was fulfilling a promise to pave the way for her own ascent to position, or even that he seeks seclusion so that he might join the ranks of the Invisible Masters. Beyond mastery of both his Ruling Arcana, he’s known to favor Life magic, particularly those spells concerning animals and stranger beasts.

The Chicago Mysterium’s least reclusive Hierophant, Mariah, joined the indeterminate handful of other shut-in Mysterium nabobs eighteen months ago. Since then, the work of running the order has been turned over fully to the Trustees, a group of three Daduchoi who divide all day-to-day administration between themselves. She’s a Warlock who favors Space and Spirit magic, and was never seen outside the company of her (demonic?) familiar, known only as “Handmaiden”.

Bubo was forced out of the city after he resisted the efforts to radically democratize the Free Council out from under his control. The parting was peaceful, but it was not amicable – rumor holds that he was so stung by their rejection of his leadership that he lives in hermitage somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Bubo is a Shaman studied in Matter, an outgrowth of his commitment to transhuman solutions to the problems of human suffering.

Pentacle Movers and Shakers

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