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 Mastigos

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Join date : 2014-09-19

PostSubject: Mastigos    Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:58 pm

"Your Oedipal complex is written all over your soul -- such a petty neurosis. What happened to the grand megalomanias of yesteryear? The Caesars and Napoleons? If you've got to be screwed in the head, do try to be more challenging about it."

Favored Resistance Attribute: Resolve

Rulling Arcana: Space / Mind

Inferior Arcana: Matter

Legacies: Subtle One, Clavicularius, Sphinx

Concepts: Creepy infernalist, itinerant demon slayer, struggling antihero, unseen assassin, haunter-of-nightmares, realpolitik diplomat, carnival dream interpreter

Summary: Warlocks on the Path of Scourging, Scions of the Watchtower of the Iron Gauntlet in the Realm of Pandemonium, Kingdom of Nightmares and Abode of Demons.


Those Awakening to the alluring nightmare of the Path of Scourging are fated to be among the least trusted mages in existence. Their connection to the Kingdom of Nightmares bestows upon them a creeping, seductive urge toward manipulation and subversion. Despite the constant temptation they experience, however, they remain in full control of how they express that urge. While many Mastigos grow into their bad reputation over time, many take pains to use their extraordinary talents in ways that ultimately serve the common good. Some see themselves as serving a Darwinian role. By honing in on others' flaws, they prod people to be more self-aware of their weaknesses and so work to shore them up. Although this seems rather ignoble to some, many Awakened judge things more on their evolutionary results rather than on a merely ethical basis. When the end goal is ascension to the Supernal World, one's weaknesses can prove to be fatal. It's better to have a friend in the role of catechist than an enemy.

One of the problems Mastigos frequently encounter in the earliest stages of the Path is the impression that they are surrounded by people hiding secrets. Certainly, the Mind Arcanum does leave them with the sensation of being surrounded by other presences, all of whom have their own secrets. This sometimes makes Mastigos suspicious and leaves them with a proclivity for spying and manipulation that serves them in good stead but for which their reputations suffer.

Mastigos acknowledge none but themselves as masters. They eschew any code of behavior that they did not establish for themselves. In some cases, this results in hyper-strict codes of conduct that one would expect more from an ascetic monk than from a Warlock, but others on the Path of Scourging use their particular brand of nihilism as an excuse to indulge in any behavior that feels good -- regardless of the consequences to themselves or others. Many associate them with the tarot card of "The Devil," a powerful will unfettered by moral concerns.

Magically, the hallmark of the Mastigos is subtlety. Their magic is rarely flashy or blatant, and many on this Path are acutely uncomfortable using any kind of obvious magic.

Many other mages assume that all Mastigos are inherently corrupt, but this conflates Warlocks with the lowest applications of their philosophies. It is true that a mortal who is already inclined toward mayhem can make the most of that inclination once he Awakens as a Mastigos, but it is just as true that an inherently beneficent mage can exert his will for the common good with equal facility.

Orders

Due to both its attitude toward power and the Arcane Skills it teaches, the Silver Ladder is the favored order of mages on the Path of Scourging. Nearly as favored are the Guardians of the Veil, whose subtle ways and Arcane Skills resonate agreeably with the Mastigos Path. Coming in a distant third and fourth, respectively, are the Mysterium and the Free Council. The Adamantine Arrow is always looking for more Mastigos due to their extraordinary reconnaissance abilities.

Appearance

More often than not, Mastigos are flawlessly groomed and fashionably dressed. They often make excellent first impressions, as they pay much attention to small rituals of self-discipline proper etiquette, good grooming which they feel help them master themselves in ways that will later help them master others.

Sanctums

Like rats, roaches, or termites, Mastigos can live nearly anywhere and never be detected. They tend to blend into their surroundings and prefer urban settings to isolated sanctums. A comfortable apartment in a large building where they can be anonymous from their neighbors is ideal for a Mastigos.

Background

The Warlock Awakening falls most commonly on those who are devout individualists. They make their own way regardless of what others may say about them. They are often rebels, innovators, egotists, and some seem to be inherently prone to deception, seduction, or manipulation to get what they want. Many on the Path of Scourging began as lawyers, seducers, inventors, porn stars, liars, iconoclasts, sociopaths, mental-health professionals, writers, televangelists, and con men.

Character Creation

Mastigos are subtle and fond of reaching their goals through indirect means. Given their focus on Mental and Social Attributes, Physical Attributes are almost always tertiary. Those on the Path of Scourging need a great amount of Willpower.

Mastigos often live or die by their Social Skills, so those are frequently emphasized, although Mental Skills come in a close second. Larceny and Stealth are common Physical Skills.

Mastigos view Fortitude as an ideal Virtue, even if not all of them practice it. They warn one another of Lust, but that Vice still seems to be endemic to the Path.

Nimus

"Nightmarish." Depth perception takes on new clarity, and it might seem that objects are seen from all sides in a single glance, or that things seem impossibly far away, beyond reach. Objects seem limned by an unseen flame, and exotic fragrances hover at the edge of awareness. With powerful magic, distant screams or howls of rage might sometimes be heard.

Associations

Mages on the Path of Scourging are extraordinarily circumspect about with whom they associate. They tend to be somewhat paranoid, particularly when dealing with others on their own Path (they know their kind too well to trust them fully). Their relatively mobile lifestyles -- enabled by the Space Arcanum also tend to undermine any sort of stable organization or affiliation. Consequently, alliances between Mastigos are frequently as brief as possible. What interactions they have during that time tend to be cold and rigorously formal even as they strive behind the scenes to get the other at a disadvantage.

The most enduring associations many Mastigos form are those with Acolytes (or other mages) whose minds they have conditioned into thralldom.

On occasion, Mastigos serving the same master (or sharing an Acolyte) are obligated to work together for extended periods of time. Under such circumstances their interactions depend entirely on the mages involved and don't draw on any pre-existing organizational framework.
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