Edinburgh's Sister Cities
A Consilium as powerful as the Royal Society asserts its political supremacy and mystical authority through alliances spanning the globe. Caledonian mages confirm the Royal Society's authority by sending their newly released apprentices abroad to learn, in exchange for receiving researchers and students eager to delve into the Supernal mysteries. Cabals establish connections for political gain, currying favours and sending members abroad to bind relations together. These arrangements endure over generations to the dismay of Edinburgh's detractors, but even they cannot resist being pulled in by its brilliant light.
- Anglesey: Our eccentric cousins have their hearts in the right place, if they are a bit overly emotional.
- Bergen: Hardworking, polite, and a little too low-key to avoid arousing suspicion.
- Dallas: Entertaining, but barbarians with provincial manners. Texans are the oddest of a strange lot.
- Londinium: Ambitious meddlers, not to be trusted for a moment, but worthy of grudging respect.
Navigation : Anglesey -- Bergen -- Dallas -- Londinium
By supporting Edinburgh against her doom,
we secure our own independence.
Consilium Name: The Isle of the Blessed
Common Orders: Guardians of the Veil, Lumen Society, Silver Ladder
Thematic Flavour: Celtic
- A shared interest in ancient Briton practices.
- The Beltane Prophecy said "salvation is found in the past."
- Mutual Celtic culture in both Consilii.
- Standing stones may connect to both places.
- Desire for independence from Londinium's shadow.
A pan-Celtic confederacy of mages from Wales and Dublin hold Anglesey, the ancient heart of Celtic Britain, as their joint Consilium. The legendary Dark Isle has had a long road back to prominence after Roman legions determined to break druidic influence fired the sacred groves, decimated priceless mystical resources, and scattered the native survivors throughout the Celtic world. Following the War, Welsh cabals set out to reclaim the isle's buried sancta and tainted hallows. Londinium's mages contested their efforts at every turn but provided no assistance, which created bitter enmity and resentment lasting to this day. Official protests fell on deaf ears. In 1960, a score of prophetic dreams struck the Acanthus in Dublin and Cardiff. Several gathered in musty museum basements, and traced Atlantean sigils seen in their dreams on forgotten standing stones. The ancient henges transported them to Anglesey's dormant halls where the stunned mages met, and after a year, the Consilii united to restore the mystical centre.
The Thyrsus heard the trees of Anglesey began to whisper ancient stories on Beltane night, 2010. They said shadows crept out of fissures in the north, and the black dragon roused from its sleep rampaged in a dance of fire and blood. Anglesey's leaders read the danger of Londinium rising unchecked and Edinburgh crumbling into powerlessness. Affluence, power, and legitimacy are inextricably bound together. London's meddling threatens cherished Celtic independence, and the Wise dispatched willing mages to shore up allies in Edinburgh against external and internal threats.
- Bergen: Too soon to tell whether their interest in Edinburgh bodes good or ill.
- Dallas: A motley assortment of individualists yet to learn the value of cooperation.
- Londinium: What are you wankers doing on my lawn? Anyone lording over us isn't to be trusted for a moment.
Edinburgh offers much, but surprises aren't one of them.
Consilium Name: The Lone Star Consilium
Common Orders: Lumen Society, Invisible College
Thematic Flavour: Old West
- Academic advancements shared between mages.
- Caledonian mages founded the Lone Star Consilium.
- Strained diplomatic ties.
- Student exchange.
Note: Dallas is intended primarily as a choice for players new to Mage or unfamiliar with European settings. The other three Consilium cities are higher priority for wanted concepts.
Long established ties link Edinburgh to the Lone Star Consilium despite the substantial differences in antiquity, population, and territorial size. Founding Caledonian mages gave Texas immediate standing, an obligation honoured to this day. Mentors send their promising graduated students away from the chaotic Consilium to Scotland for a little culture and superb education. Texans see Edinburgh as a safe location for a young mage: dull, but with excellent teachers and no factionalism. Annual exchanges allow Caledonian mages to sample the freewheeling, incomprehensibly loose American system, and their American counterparts to earn badly needed prestige to make some kind of name for themselves. The Lone Star's huge region, covering the entire state in one Consilium, is a confusing jumble of loyalties, overlapping holdings claimed by fractious cabals and self-absorbed Orders based hundreds of miles apart.
In late 2010, a cabal requested permission from the Royal Society to monitor unusual arcane phenomena reported in the Scottish Borders. Urien refused their request outright, causing accusations to fly from affronted Texan mages who called the Caledonians ingrates and paranoids. Heralds conveyed sharp words, but cooler heads in Texas prevailed over others calling for a suspension of the yearly student exchange. Mentors have instructed the most recent crop to be on their best behaviour and renew those ties, or, in a few cases, give the uppity Brits a bit of American pride. They are as yet completely unaware of Edinburgh's challenges.
- Anglesey: Their spirit of independence is well and good, but awfully caught up in the past.
- Bergen: Behind that mild Scandinavian facade has to be berserker rage, right?
- Londinium: We admire how they get things done, but we aren't crossing them.
If we secure Edinburgh now, we may win the future.
Consilium Name: Syv Fjell Consilium
Common Orders: Silver Ladder, Steel Legion
Thematic Flavour: Norse
- Mutual projects to reawaken a Hallow.
- Oil and gas drilling expertise.
- Personal protection.
- Shared Viking history.
- Destiny Merits lead to Edinburgh.
On Midsummer's Day in 2010, the Heiðr Vǫlva entered a Silver Ladder caucus meeting unannounced and laid a broken runestone over grand plans strewn on the table. Outraged by the interruption to their annual ritual, junior Thearchs were appalled that their bodyguards permitted her to pass uncontested into the warded safehouse. The Tyr Guard (Steel Legion), down to a man, sealed the chamber and guarded the entrance for a full day against all Bergen's mages. When they finally permitted the Awakened to enter, they discovered a grim moot instead of a presumed revel. Arrangements began in earnest to dispatch a contingent of newly released apprentices to the Royal Society, presumably as an opportunity to reaffirm longstanding ties between the cities. The Invisible College launched vehement protests, refusing to participate on the grounds Scottish Columbines defamed the Norwegians over the sacking of Iona, but they were entirely ignored. Norse seers show uncanny accuracy in foretelling future events, and no one dares cross the oldest Scandinavian vǫlva lightly. Syv Fjell mages selected for the party were overwhelmingly Thearchs and their Legionnaire bodyguards. The Councilors neglected to inform them of plans to execute a similar project as Edinburgh's Silver Ladder undertakes, but they did stress the absolute importance of discovering and addressing any internal upheavals in the Athens of the North.
The Consilium of Bergen's story very much mirrors Edinburgh's own. As above, so below. Both ancient capitals on seven hills lost their independence to older rivals, then flourished as centres of learning. Immense oil wealth and maritime fortunes restored their economic glory. Bergen's maritime facilities conceal the grand ambition to construct a seagoing platform suitable to reach for the dormant hallows in the Supernal. Norwegian expertise is badly needed in by the Scottish Thearchs, and Scotland looms large in the fresh Destinies laid upon the chosen Norse selected to come to Bergen. The Heiðr Vǫlva left many with a parting gift.
- Anglesey: They must learn to bend and anchor their roots deeper.
- Dallas: Possible resources in danger of walking into the crossfire.
- Londinium: Proud, unpredictable, and powerful dragons are not courted without risk.
We must create new structures in Edinburgh if Britannia is to thrive.
Consilium Name: Consilium of Londinium
Common Orders: Guardians of the Veil, Silver Ladder
Thematic Flavour: Roman
- A shared interest in Arthuriana.
- Common Anglo, Roman, and Saxon culture.
- Leadership of British Awakened.
- Merlin's Dragon Prophecies link the Consilii's fates.
- Mutual investigations into major magical phenomena.
- Power struggle over control.
Among the eldest extant Consilii in the world, the Consilium of Londinium wields the temporal sceptre of power to Caledonia's mystical crown. Its archives stretch back to the Plantagenet kings; its vaults reputedly hold riches seized from across the world by bold Knights and imperious Ladies of its elder cabals. Its mages are renown for their brilliant political acumen and lofty ambitions to exceed a long history of near-legendary achievements. The Silver Ladder caucus weaves power plays between glittering financial towers and seedy neighbourhoods, while powerful Guardian conspiracies shroud the Awakened and age-old mysteries from the unworthy. Nowhere else are the games of thrones and cloaks and daggers played so fiercely or so expertly, with schemes that would bewilder a Florentine prince. Between the dominant Thearch and Guardian caucuses, the other Orders seek ascendancy by carving their own influence.
Londinium holds three cities as vassal Consilii; it dearly wishes to extend its domain from Orkney in the north to Scilly in the west, and dares to dream of reclaiming Hibernia to secure the sacred isles. Many enemies hunger for the riches of Britannia, and the Dragon Knights and Ladies consider Britannia's defense their obligation and natural role. The Guardians fear destabilization in the north will permit ancient enemies to gain a coveted foothold on Britannia; they seek change to sabotage the Seers' plans and any hopes the black dragon will awake. Concerned factions would like nothing better than the controlled collapse of Edinburgh's power structures, opening the door to renewed leadership as Caledonia falls into the Silver Ladder's waiting hands. Thearchs long to appropriate untold resources for their own reconstruction of the Silver Dream and a united Britannia.
Mages of Londinium are justly proud of being the modern Rome, their storied history impressive even among international peers, and their ambitions are uneasily checked. That the Royal Society sustains its independence into its fourth century speaks volumes of Caledonian diplomacy and determination. Young mages often seek opportunities in the southern capital and return the wiser to the Royal Society, while the Athens of the North trades on its unparalleled reputation as a centre of learning.
- Anglesey: They preserve bitter memories instead of cooperating to rescue Britannia.
- Bergen: Respect someone who can go from mild-mannered to berserker bear rage in 13 seconds. Civility runs skin deep.
- Dallas: Best they figure out this isn't 'Murika if they want to thrive.