Silver Ladder

Overview

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The Silver Ladder is used to ruling mages. While they were not the official lords of Atlantis, they were advisors who held the balance of power, the Vox Draconis, the Voice of the Dragon. As priests, viziers and judges of old, the thearchs upheld the principles of law. To hold together an entire nation of mages is a feat that has never been matched since, and the order is rightly proud. When the Silver Ladder's judges ruled fairly, they maintained a balance of power between mages and an unenlightened humanity. As priests, they advocated a wise balance between material needs and spiritual desires. Of course, the thearchs had human weaknesses even then, and more than any other order were swayed by the promises of the Celestial Ladder. To put gods and demons under the reign of humankind - what greater promise than that?


Members

The order has little patience for error or excessive humility. Mages should not let arrogance blind their ability to assess a situation, but they should never make a fawning display of themselves by taking the blame for events outside of their control or bowing to an unworthy master. While this manner causes friction with other mages, it isn't always a bad thing. A certain amount of conflict keeps mages thinking.

Therefore, a succesful thearch has a slightly brash but thoughtful personality that cloaks a will of iron. He is politically adept and his occult prowess is unquestioned. He does not dwell on the theoretical aspets of magic except where it would serve his practical needs, but he never uses that as an excuse to skimp on his studies.

The Silver Ladder does not always prefer such foward tactics, but it is good for the order to project an image of strenght. In other situations, a light touch is required, but this should never be applied in a way that calls thearchs' prestige into question. "Accuse publicly, apologize quietly." is a common maxim, but make no mistake: the quiet word is as carefully plotted as the loud one.

Philosophy

The Elemental Precepts describe the legalistic philosophy that the Silver Ladder espouses. The order has spread this doctrine among Sleepres and mages for millennia. No authoriatitive text exists, and they are often taught as a series of parables or aphorisms.

* Diamond: 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.

* Thunder: 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.

* Star: 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 recieve 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.

* Blood: 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 slo, 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.

* Convocation - Every year, all deacons from at least two Concilii gather to set a common policy for th eyear 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.

* Lex Magica - 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 dealth with by a lictor.

Titles and Duties

The Silver Ladder uses several titles to denote rank and function. Local tradition dictates many of these, but two are universal and well known.

* Deacon - A deacon directs order affairs within a given Consillium's jurisdiction. Many deacons serve as Councillors on a Consilium's ruling body. Others do not, allowing another mage to speak for the; a few even conceal their true station. Aside from attending annual Convocations, a deacon enforces discipline and coordinates the Silver Ladder's local efforts to bring mages under strong, central rule.

* Lictor - A lictor is a traveling official who enforces the Lex Magica, acting as judge and punisher. Lictors are invariably tough and magically adept. Most lictors travel a circuit and serve as an informal source of news and rumors about mages in other regions. A lictor's judgement is binding upon a Silver Ladder mage. There is no higher authority to which to appeal. This power is balanced by the fact that these rootless mages are forbidden to have apprentices (other than their replacements) or permanent sanctums until they resign.

Known Ladders

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