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 Thyrsus

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Join date : 2014-09-19

PostSubject: Thyrsus    Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:46 pm

"Remember those old jungle movies where the explorers would hear ominous drums in the distance? Someone was hunting them. Listen now. Hear the drums? What hunts you?"

Favored Resistance Attribute: Composure

Ruling Arcana: Life / Spirit

Inferior Arcana: Mind

Legacies: Shapeshifter, Dreamspeaker, Tamer of Rivers

Concepts: Native American healer, visionary lunatic, berserker, enlightened veterinarian, herbalist, witch, eco-saboteur

Summary: Shamans on the Path of Ecstasy, Scions of the Watchtower of the Stone Book in the Realm of the Primal Wild, Kingdom of Totems and Abode of Beasts.


Mages who Awaken with a link to the Realm of the Primal Wild tap directly into the primordial forces of vitality that drive creation. Their hearts beat with the pulse of the world, and they are moved by a passion and vigor that sets them apart from their Awakened peers.

Many Thyrsus are already in unusually good health when they Awaken, while others are sick or injured and Awaken in the course of their fevered dreams. Once they gain sufficient mastery of the Life Arcanum, many reach a level of physical fitness and sheer hardiness that few besides Olympic-level athletes could ever hope to attain. Many of the most physically powerful of the Awakened travel the Thyrsus Path.

Shamans' connection to the Realm of the Primal Wild is not entirely beneficial. It often gives them an intensity that others find disturbing. Upon Awakening, Thyrsus gain insights into the mysteries of life and the spirit world that almost invariably shift the focus of their lives to a drastic degree. They may come across as somewhat distracted or impatient with those who possess less vitality and drive than they. Some may seem antisocial or vaguely feral. Emphasizing this is the fact that mages on the Thyrsus Path commonly have more energy than their peers, and they invest vast wellsprings of passion into everything they do. Those they love, they love with an incandescent passion. Those they hate, they despise with a terrifying intensity. They pursue their goals with a fervor that would lay low lesser mortals (or mages, for that matter), and others sometimes see them as obsessed because of it. In the grip of their passions, Thyrsus may seem positively amoral, like forces of nature in their own right, more akin to animals or spirits in human guise than mortal men and women. They may seem callous or crude at times, discussing matters of life and death almost flippantly, but then that's hard to avoid given their perspective. Life and death follow each other in an eternal cycle. Calling one "good" and the other "bad" is ludicrous to these amoral mages.

To others, they seem like the embodiment of the tarot card "The Moon," with their animal passions and keen instincts.

Orders

Despite Thyrsus' pronounced eccentricities, all orders covet them as members. The world of the Awakened is dangerous, and the presence of mages who can heal the body as well as the soul can mean the difference between success and annihilation for a cabal. That said, mages on the Thyrsus Path tend to join the Adamantine Arrow and the Mysterium with notable frequency the former because they are most needed by the Arrow's combative mages (and because they're relatively combat-hardy themselves) and the latter due to its emphasis on survival and lore. Of course, Thyrsus are found among the Guardians of the Veil and the Silver Ladder as well. The former order tends to attract the more introverted while the latter lures the extroverted among primordial mages.

Appearance

Thyrsus are frequently physically attractive due to applications of their own magic, but there is a stereotype of Shamans as unkempt if not downright dirty. As with many stereotypes, there is a kernel of truth to this. Living in the wild and focusing on the events and denizens of the Shadow as they often do leaves these sorcerers with precious little time or energy to spend on vanity, fashion or, frequently, hygiene.

Sanctums

Thyrsus prefer to establish their sanctums far from maddening crowds, in places where they can live close to nature. They do so not just because they revel in the natural world, but because they see quite clearly the toll city life takes on the human body and soul. With a natural affinity for the healing arts, they are less dependent on civilization than most others. They may set themselves up in a cabin beside an oak grove, a cave in the side of a mountain, or in an adobe hut on the edge of a desert. Thyrsus mages are happiest when they're far from civilization. On those occasions when they're obligated to live in a city, they usually seek out a house (or apartment if necessary) near a park, forest preserve or similar green space. Some Thyrsus may be most concerned with being near the ocean or a large lake or other natural waterway.

Background

Few mages Awaken to the Thyrsus Path who do not already possess a strong connection to life and/or the spiritual world. They are often those who are intimately familiar with the pulse of nature's cycles. Doctors, hunters, midwives, farmers, and sailors may Awaken when their professions grant them insights into the world of spirits or the flow of life force.

Children who Awaken become Thyrsus in disproportionate numbers, but even adults on this Path often possess a degree of childlike enthusiasm and innocence that seems out of place in those capable of bending reality to their wishes.

Character Creation

Those traveling the Thyrsus Path are unusually physical for mages. They frequently possess a remarkable hardiness, strength, or quickness that lets them survive away from civilization for long periods of time. Physical Attributes are often primary, although the Path possesses its fair share of scholars. Social Attributes are often tertiary, although those mages who deal often with spirits may carefully cultivate the Social traits and protocols necessary to interact with otherworldly beings.

While Thyrsus vary a great deal in Skills, there are three that they favor most: Crafts, Survival, and Animal Ken, all of which make it easier to deal with their lives of self-imposed exile.

Many (but by no means all) Thyrsus mages uphold Charity as their ideal Virtue, because life itself is generous, always giving. Their Vice is most commonly Gluttony, for they find it hard to let go of what they so passionately embrace.

Where Merits are concerned, Thyrsus are far more likely to have the Familiar Merit than mages of any other Path.

Nimus

"Vibrant." Adjacent onlookers feel a "runner's high" as their blood beats faster, their hearts feeling strong. The hairs on the napes of their necks rise, sending a thrill down the spine. Onlookers see movement out of the corner of their eyes, or think they see shapes in random patterns, such as faces peering at them from the abstract patterns on wallpaper. With powerful magic, they might even hear growls, whines, or insect buzzing coming from inanimate objects such as lamps, staplers, or cars.

Associations

Thyrsus can be the most solitary of mages, establishing themselves far from the civilized world. Consequently, they are the least organized of the Paths. When Thyrsus do work together, they are strong believers in a strict meritocracy. Those who can and do perform strong magic receive more responsibility and respect. Beyond that, the less hierarchical the relationships between people, the better.
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