They also have fought the Technocracy and won, and they make their lands acceptive of Paradox. Tend to be pretty fun, but Hermetics also tend to explode into giblets due to Paradox pretty easily if they stick to tradition, and the politics of the Order demands that they do. Lets say the technocracy wants to release FTL drives. In practice, this conflict is a cold warand the Technocracy has had far more success in proving to the Masses that supernatural beings do not exist rather than eliminating them. This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H. Nowadays, the Technocracy is basically a hybrid of a boring government agency and a greedy, money-grubbing business, less actively malicious than sullenly satisfied with the status quo and opposed to change for reasons of sheer inertia.
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Edit Reality is not fixed, but rather a set of agreed upon assumptions enforced by the collective will of humanity, the Sleepers. Mages are those people who recognize that reality is not static, and realize that through the application of their will, usually channeled through rituals or other similar "mystical" or "scientific" practices, reality can be changed. The specifics of their own belief, called a Paradigm , guides them into joining either one of the nine mystical Traditions an ancient fellowship of mages of varying points of view , one of the five conventions of the Technocracy an organization founded at the beginning of the age of reason to bring science and truth to humanity , or to strike out on their own as Disparates unaffiliated mages , Marauders mages whose paradigm has overwhelmed their sense of reality , or Nephandi mages seeking to destroy or corrupt the world.
The central theme of Mage is the search for Ascension , not only for the individual but for all of mankind. What Ascension is, and how it is achieved is purposely left undefined. The Penumbra overlaps the physical world, and is reached upon passing through the Gauntlet. The Penumbra mirrors the Earthly reality but it is not possible to see reality in the Penumbra.
The Middle Umbra Living Umbra, Yang World, Spirit world, perhaps "the Dreaming" is a place of spirits and spiritual importance, and is the spirit world used by werewolves. The Near Universe is akin to deep space, and is home to locations reminiscent of science fiction. Strictly speaking, the Deep Umbra is the in-between that spans the space between planets. Difficult to survive in and home to beings entirely alien to human conception, this region is largely devoid of noteworthy locales.
Each planet seems tied to a particular aspect of reality, and manifests this association through a Shard Realm , an incomprehensible realm composed of a single aspect of reality for example, The Shard Realm of Time, associated with the planet Saturn, is composed entirely of time. These create the almost-survivable Shade Realms along the Horizon, which are diluted forms the Shard Realms that can be survived with considerable skill and luck.
There are no cabals on the planets of Sun-system. Countless aeons ago, the Umbra and the Skinlands were one. The Tellurian was a whole and complete singular universe. The Tellurian was since divided in half by the Gauntlet , with the spirit world on one side, and the physical world on the other.
Their victory, however, was short-lived, as the Avatar Storm cut them off from their mundane posts. The Union declared the Ascension War won and refocused on recuperating its losses, leaving the Traditionalists scattered and seemingly broken. Many of the Conventions, Iteration X the first among them, experienced the heavy costs of the war and voted to redirect resources. With the Reckoning and disruption in communications between Control and the lower ranks, the Utopian contingent has quietly been gaining more ground. It must remain stealthy and unobtrusive if it is to have a chance of succeeding. Control has also reacted to the formation of the Rogue Council by forming Panopticon , a cross-Convention Amalgam , to observe and hunt down the resistance against them.
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Mage: The Ascension
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