It is a world lit by torch-fires and ruled by superstitions. It is a time before the birth of reason and before humanity's dominion over the world. This dark age is an epoch for castles, nobles, priests and wizards. Treading in the shadows of the world, consorting with demons and monsters, these magicians, holy men, philosophers and pagans wield unfathomable magic in a world veiled in mystery. 

Before the Technocracy existed a Mythic Age when magic ruled and science was but a dream unborn. 

Only wizards walk unafraid in the revenant-haunted and wolf-infested night. Will you?

The Traditions


The Subtle Ones are philosopher naturalists who seek the hidden Unity that underlies all things. Masters of the intricate patterns that make up God’s creation, the Ahl-i-Batin fulfill a variety of functions in their native lands: scientists, explorers, diplomats and even assassins when necessary. When Islam sprang into being the Aahl-i-Batin found the perfect framework that embodied their existing views and easily incorporated into Islam and Muslim culture. 


The Subtle Ones use their remarkable understanding of connections to move about as few mages can, seeing and doing things that others cannot. Possessing knowledge of interest to all who have magical power, the AAhl-i-Batin are nevertheless shunned and viewed with suspicion in Europe and sometimes even among their own peoples. Their vision, which transcends the here and now and seeks to find commonality in all things, sparks the very divisiveness the Subtle Ones strive to overcome. This mistrust dictates their behavior, loosely organized and forced to hide their magics as well as themselves, they rarely do anything in an obvious manner and this has become reflected in their art as well. They truly embody subtly and those they hinder or aid often have a hard time saying if the AAhl-i-Batin did anything at all.

Messianic Voices

Time stands still for no one. The oppressed of one age may become the mighty of another and so the Messianic Voices rise with Christianity. Once they were but one small note within a much larger chorus of Voices. Yet their persistence and their faith in the Son of God proved capable of moving mountains. Whereas more respectable mages were consumed with their own private struggles the Messianics grew stronger and their zeal spread like wildfire, winning an empire to the cause of Christ. Oppressed no longer, the Messianic Voices helped shape an entire culture with their songs of praise to God Almighty. More so than any other group of mages, they hold the Dark Ages in their hands; for good or for ill.

Many of the Messianic Voices often do not view themselves as Mages at all, for that is a term for those who truck with demons and work against God's plan. They see their magic as miracles, of God, his angels and saints working through them according to His plan. God has placed them, his faithful servants and tools, where they need to be so that He can work His miracles through them and, by becoming closer to God through these miracles, the Messianic can become one with God. They view all things as created by God and part of his plan, even the darker creatures of the World of Darkness. For if God made all creation did he not also make them?

Yet all is not well between them and the church. Their beliefs, once common, are now declared a heresy. The Messianics weather these accusations with a stoic calm reminiscent of a parent waiting for a child to come around. Others adjust their views to be in line with the truth the Catholic Church preaches. For these the fate of the Fellowship must go hand in hand with the fate of the Church and adherence to Catholic dogma must be followed lest the faithful turn against themselves and return to the persecuted rabble from which they spawned.

Old Faith

The Old Faith are, at first glance, a strange and eclectic group of magical practitioners that seem to have little in common besides being some form of Pagan. This view, while not entirely wrong, is also not entirely correct. The Old Faith were pushed together with the rise of Christianity, a desperate bid to maintain their ways, knowledge, and customs. In doing so they found the commonalities among themselves. This doesn't mean that a Roman Old Faith calling to Jupiter believes they are calling to the same entity their Northern cousin entreats when they call to Odin but that they recognize both serve similar purposes in the magic they create and that both are equally real. This fractured nature causes no end of strife within the Fellowship itself yet is also one of its strengths. 

With no central authority or organization the church has no structure to attack. This is doubly compounded by the cultures where the Old Faith thrives, in the wilds, in the rural villages of Europe and in the cold and inhospitable North where the pagan ways still hold strong. In such places even a faithful God fearing Christian thinks nothing of going to the local Wise Man or Wise Woman when they fall ill and in such ways the Old Faith survives.

More than anything else the Old Faith celebrates life and living. They seek to enjoy existence to stay in tune with the world that gave them birth and live a good and, just as importantly, honorable life. Their magic mimics the seasons and cycles of life and death and they do not shy from the more unpleasant aspects of living. Life requires death, the living feed on the dead and so the magic of the Old Faith reflects this. They are not afraid to get their hands dirty and their magic often looks like the witchcraft we have come to expect from media in the modern day. With potions of frog, newt and bat's eye that give the imbiber unnatural strength, sigils drawn in blood and bile to empower a bitter curse or dances in front of a roaring fire to entreat Freyja for a good harvest the Old Faith work their magic and the world answers.

Order of Hermes

The Order claims to be the oldest and only true magical order. The first is likely true, for they can trace their lineage back through ancient Egypt. The second is a matter of... contention. They draw upon a potent fundus of magical knowledge and have shaped occult history in their bid to unite all magic under their Great Houses. Its failings, however, are equally grand. Hubris runs strong within the elitist Order and they look at all other magical practitioners as hedge mages at best and delusional madmen that need to be eliminated at worst. Those who can't do any magic they call commoners and are below their notice or consideration.

The most structured and ordered of the Magical Tradition Hermetic philosophy is complex and many-layered. At the heart, the Hermetics seek the drive to perfection. This drive manifests through trials, tests, self-discovery, and the rejoining of fragmented patterns like disparate languages or mathematical conundrums to empower their magic and power. Each individual has a Word, this Word is their definition and influences everything about them. 

The order itself is broken into Great Houses, each with a specialization distinct from its fellows. House Bonisagus, House Flambeau, House Quasitor, House Tremere (who have yet to convert to vampirism and start the Massana War), House Tytalus, House Cerditius and House Ex Miscellanea make up the order and all mages in good standing belong to a Great House. The Order is governed by a council composed of the heads of these houses called the Primi. These potent mages direct the efforts of the Order as they seek to bring all magic under their dominion. 

Spirit Talkers

The Spirit Talkers are the least organized and truly oldest of the magical traditions. For as long as humanity and spirits have existed there have been those individuals able to see, speak and bargain with them. These touched individuals are the Spirit Talkers. In the Dark Medieval world they are the village mystic, the Shaman living in the wilds, the town lunatic who sees things that aren’t there yet they always seem to be able to solve the troubles others bring to them. 

The Spirit-Talkers' magic is based on the Foundation of Sensitivity and by calling on the power of various Totems: the Chieftain who granted gifts of leadership, the Trickster who granted gifts of deception, the Warrior who granted gifts of fury, and the Wise One who granted gifts of ancient power. 

The life of a Spirit Talker is very different depending upon where they were born. For those born into the rural areas of Europe or in a culture that has a healthy respect for the spirits such as the Northlands they live a life of relative respect. In these areas it is much more likely that a Spirit Talker will find a mentor to show them the way and learn about what they are. Those born in Christian controlled lands and most major cities have a very different experience. Cast from society as madmen and madwomen they are pariahs. These unfortunate Spirit Talkers rarely find others of their ilk and are doomed to navigate the spiritual world and the physical one alone and both are equally dangerous to a Spirit Talker.


The Valderman follow the example of Odin and seek to master magic through will and sacrifice. To them Odin was exemplary because of his sacrifice that gave him the knowledge of the Runes and so the Runes are how they work their magic. They seek to emulate Odin and while all Valderman respect him and his fellow gods few worship them as others do. Instead they call upon the Aesir and Vanir in their rites, calling them to witness their sacrifice and aid in their works. Their practices are rites of self-empowerment through hardship, sacrifice and pain, allowing the Valdermen to become a figure akin to the gods themselves.


In the lands of the North working magic is seen as dishonorable for a man, who should instead succeed through his strength and luck alone. Relying on magic is the purview of tricksters and so is not honorable. This stigma doesn’t fall upon women who practice magic yet both are still held in no small measure of respect and fear. Despite this the magical traditions of the North, Galdar and Seidr, draw both men and women to their practice. Those that practice Galdar, called spaeman (rune man) or spaekona (rune woman) follow the path of the Valderman while those who practice Seidr are known as Seithkona, or seer and follow the Spirit Talker tradition. Outside of the North this stigma doesn’t follow the Valderman and many travel simply to escape it. 


The Valdermen live solitary existences at the outskirts of society, as much out of social pressure as of their own choice, while others flaunt their power creating great mead halls for themselves and using their magic to enjoy a life of wealth and luxury. Most apprentices are acquired in exchange for their services. The Valderman takes a son of the family seeking aid in exchange for his work. If the child has the talent the Valderman teaches him his craft. If not, the Valderman has a servant to aid in his works. These apprentices are referred to as "thanes". Thanes are often treated badly, as they have to endure every hardship and misery in order to master the runes. When their master dies, the thane would become the master (a "karl") instead. Valdaermen that held the respect of their peers are called konungr


The Veneficti belong to, and lead, The Circle of Red. This organization of wealthy merchants, vampires, and other supernatural beings seeks to corrupt creation and supplant God. To this end they subjugate demons, spirits, monsters and humans as they war with both God and those who would keep the world as it is. The Veneficti stand at the top of this order, an infernal sect of mages that believes no knowledge should be forbidden and strive to achieve a state that allows them to replace God himself, whose designs in the world they perceived as flawed and constructed to capture the weak. To this end, they deliberately summon demons from the Abyss to enslave them to their world and use their defilement to their own ends.


Their philosophy: by denying the power of the Judeo-Christian concept of right and wrong they can remove the control of Sin, by performing calculated acts from a Foundation of Sin they can attain complete control over body, mind and spirit. Deliberately sinning weakens the temptation that leads to spontaneous indulgence. Sinning repeatedly removes the power sin holds as a tainted pleasure or forbidden vice. Sin itself loses the power to gratify or instill guilt, and so becomes meaningless. Without sin, there is only choice and consequence, the fundamental essence of control. Absent any obligation to virtue or vice, Veneficti may work without the constraints of natural, or divine, order. 


The Veneficti work their magic through the Subversions of the Divine Will, their pillars of: Abomination, the defilement of physical creation; Subversion, the defilement of knowledge; Diabolism, the defilement of faith; and Malediction, the defilement of truth. It is a common misconception that the Veneficti are slaves to demons. Those of this tradition scoff at such, for the truth is the other way around. The Veneficti summon, bind, command and banish demons as tools in their own bid for godhood and those that fall under the command of the slaves they would summon are considered weak and incompetent. For their part there are few beings demons hate more than the mages of this order and the power over them they can wield.


The Nefandi, not to be confused with the Veneficti, can be of any Fellowship or Tradition. These are the mages that have fallen to infernalism, who have bargained with demons and lost. Most believe themselves to be in control, but through them their demonic masters work. The promise of easy power is an enticing one, especially for the younger mages who have a lifetime of difficult study and work ahead of them, or the old who see their life failing and seek a means of thwarting death. The demon offers any mage a shortcut to power, a deal with little consequence, that in the end costs more than they ever bargained for.

Each deal makes the next that much easier to make and it is through this subtle corruption over time, where each step forward makes sense from the position of the last, that ends in total damnation and control of the Nefandi. In the end they are hollow, pathetic shells puppeted by their demonic masters with little will of their own and unaware of the death, destruction, and misery left in their wake.