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Montreal and Griffintown
The Free Council

The World of Darkness is set in the contemporary world, and every Mage must interact with the mortal world in some ways.
Consider what sort of person you would like to play as.
Consider also what magic you might want this person to use, and with whom they may affiliate themselves.

Your characters are not rich. They live in a rundown neighbourhood that is zoned as “light industrial”. The is some gentrification happening in the neighbourhood, but the truly wealthy do not spend time there.

There is a population of over 2000 people in Griffintown proper, but just across the canal to the south is the neighbourhood of Pointe-Saint-Charles with some 15,000 people, and the zone to the north and west includes downtown and Old Montreal amongst other areas and has a population of over 80,000. As such, while there aren’t too many direct residents of the area, it is certain that it is not a sparse place.

The Free Council has a major meeting spot/bar in Pointe-Saint-Charles, and they are very influential in the area. However, go just a bit further in the other direction, and no particular order holds sway as downtown and Old Montreal are areas where mages of all stripes may gather.

A summary of some of what I’m going to explain is available in the character creation chapter of MtA on pages 70-71 in the pdf.

There are ten arcana or fields of power. They and a basic description are:
Death: ghosts, decay, shadows
Fate: Luck, chance, oaths, curses
Forces: Fire, electricity, gravity, storm
Life: plants, animals, humans
Matter: stone, metal, plastic, chemicals
Mind: thoughts and emotions
Prime: Mana, illusions, enchantments
Spirit: animistic spirits
Space: distance and space, teleportation and scrying
Time: clairvoyance, divination, and control over the passage of time

There are five paths that represent the supernal realm from which you draw your power. Each path has two ruling Arcana. Improvised spells of the ruling arcana don’t cost mana to use. This means that mages can cast spells that they make up on the spot (ie most spells that you cast) for free. Improvised spells from other arcana cost a mana to use. Other mana costs may be added on top of the base cost for large effects.
The five paths are:
Acanthus: Enchanters rely on luck and intuition to guide their way. Fate/Time
Mastigos: Warlocks exult in unfettered will. Mind/Space
Moros: Necromancers remain steadfast during change. Death/Matter
Obrimos: Theurgists pursue a divine mandate (no religion required). Prime/Forces
Thyrsus: Shamans follow the allure of passion and impulsive action. Spirit/Life

The five orders are socio-political groups that mages usually join. Mage society is highly dependent on the interactions of these groups, and no mage government is not aligned with some order.

The Adamantine Arrow defends sanctums and cabals with combat magic
The Free Council seeks to escape the strictures of the past and modernize the craft of magic.
The Guardians of the Veil protect the Mysteries from those who would despoil them or reveal them to the unAwakened whose Disbelief could cause magic to run awry.
The Mysterium searches for valuable lore hidden throughout the material and invisible worlds.
The Silver Ladder establishes a proper hierarchy for the Awakened. With them on top.

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