The newly Awakened mage enters a world totally unfamiliar to her, a place of portents, wonders, and unimaginable dangers. Without assistance of an experienced guide, fledgling mages soon fall prey to nightmares lurking out of sight or madness. Awakened society places considerable respect in the mentor and apprentice relationship, which provides the first initiation into the byzantine complexities of the Royal Society. Mentors act as guardian, advisor, parent, nurturing presence, and intimidating taskmaster all rolled into one.
They bear the unenviable responsibility to instruct apprentices in the laws and traditions of the Pentacle Orders, the proud history of Atlantis, and the consequences of Hubris when mages fall to the temptation of power and overreach. Whispers of Supernal magic come to an apprentice's call from the lessons taught by his teacher. He is sheltered from censure and politicking by a stronger, experienced presence. In these fractured times, the mentor preserves dwindling mystical knowledge and passes it on to the next link in a chain stretching to the Oracles. The significance of a mentor-student bond cannot be overstated; even a student of the harshest Mastigos master torments feels strongly about the man or woman who trained him.
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- Santa Anna: Steel Legion. Contact: Lacrosse
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Example: Katniss Everdeen and Haymitch Abernathy
Your mentor is of limited use or help to you. His involvement in your life is cursory unless you perform an act of major heroism or perfidity likely to impact his own reputation. Communication is limited or infrequent. You may have a rocky relationship or one strained by any number of factors (distance, resentment, another favoured apprentice). Your political agendas or perspectives may be too wide to overcome easily. This is common for opposing paths (e.g., Obrimos and Mastigos). He's too busy to be of much service except for the odd involvement and favour. On the plus side, his demands upon you are much less and you have a degree of liberty almost unknown in Awakened society. Other mages may look askance or treat you as suspect (what happened to deterioriate your relationship?) if they place more significance on traditional relationships.
Example: Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf
You have a cordial or established relationship with your mentor, but his goals and agenda will still come before your own. He may abandon you to pursue a higher purpose, or may be restricted by resources and other obligations. This is especially true for mentors with demanding responsibilities (e.g., Cryptopoly management or guardianship). You can count on receiving information and guidance where your efforts align to his, or he has something to gain. He takes a casual interest in your activities and his requests are unlikely to impinge too much on your own agenda. You may have greater importance if you prove your worth, but right now your mentor is not much involved in your life. You enjoy a reasonable level of independence, though you can expect to perform a favour or a duty every few weeks or months.
Example: Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan-Kenobi
The hallmark of this level of mentor is that she is quite involved in your life or fairly powerful, but not both. Awakened society inevitably associate you with, and you may be living in her shadow or riding her coat-tails. She has a vested interest in seeing you achieve certain milestones or goals, as much for your sake as her own.
The influential mentor attained a noteworthy position, possibly in an Order, cabal or Legacy, or rarely the Fallen World. Useful resources or unusual knowledge at her disposal translates to favours or access other mages simply don't have. On the other hand, she cannot escape her duties to dedicate herself to mentoring as much as you might want. Her unusual position can be a bane as much as a boon, as people might seek you to curry favour -- or you just don't understand what she's talking about. Her motives may be hidden to you, though you'll play a role in them, without question.
The involved mentor devotes his time to you, monitoring your progress and often working to improve your mutual standing. Regular communication keeps him aware of your activities, and you get answers quickly. He is a parental figure who instructs and assists you, at the expectation you will follow his requests. Failure to comply can have consequences; he's connected and respected or knows the strings to pull to get what he wants. You are often called upon to perform tasks on his behalf or act as his representative. The involved mentor often lacks the pull or resources he once had, which enables his active participation in your life.
Example: Frodo Baggins and Gandalf
Your mentor is the sun in your solar system, an inescapable force that can be loathed or loved, but never ignored. You owe him much or he has that much influence over you. He cares about you enough -- no matter if your relationship is positive or negative -- to meddle in your life. You are being groomed for a very specific purpose and you may not have a choice about it. In fact, you probably don't. His goodwill brings many benefits like active participation in furthering your opportunities or providing needed aid, but heavy expectations as well. When he says jump, he expects you to hop to it with a smile on your face. Your goals may come second to his greater aims, so a successful apprentice aligns them wherever possible. You are so central to his goals, even if they aren't yours, that he will use you as an instrument in reaching them.
Your behaviour intimately reflects upon your mentor. As a plus, his allies are better disposed towards you, but you are assumed to inherit his enemies and biases. A difference of opinion may become a battle of wills, and he is not above using every tool in the arsenal to make sure you keep to the path he expects. When you succeed, however, the riches are sweet and the accolades many. That said, the man is willing to throw himself in front of a balrog for you if you're doing something to serve his purpose.
Example: Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore
Very few mentorships reach this level of trust, respect, or subservience. Unlike the ●●●●-dot mentor, this mentor will never throw you aside because you matter so much to her. On the other hand, she may destroy you to stop you from reaching opposing goals.
These relationships embody the partnerships which can endure decades, spark wars, or end them. Your mentor is someone of importance but, more substantially, has a sustained role in your Awakened life. You are an extension of her will and her person, and you will be treated as such, though she prizes your independence and exults in your development. Sometimes, it's hard to know whether you have an independent existence that's separate from her agenda. Chances are you will never find out. She interferes with your life to suit goals that may be unknown or breathtaking. No one would disagree some of the demands she makes are simply unfair. Fail to meet her practically Supernal expectations, and you suffer her displeasure or castigation at your own peril. Living up to her standards is a tall order even for the most destined Acanthus.
But those who do receive a blessing without compare in a reclusive, paranoid, and jealous society. She will move Aether and Void to protect her investment. If you need a phoenix to show up with that basilisk slaying sword at a critical moment when all hope seems lost, one lady can be counted upon to at least consider trying.
Special: Staff reserves the right to allow so many of these.