Adamantine Arrow

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  • Rote Specialties: Athletics, Intimidation, Medicine.
  • Order Tools: Any weapon, protective item or armor may be dedicated as an Order Tool.

Atlantean Caste

Ungula Draconis, the Talons of the Dragon.

Role

Awakened society looks to the Adamantine Arrow to protect the Pentacle Orders from threats to its structure and society. Within a cabal, the Adamantine Arrow mage usually acts as a body-guard and sanctum warden for the cabal.

Philosophy

The Adamantine Arrow holds to a number of philosophies. These are:

  • Existence is War: All of existence is conflict of one kind or another - conflicts of culture, of thoughts, of biology, of weather patterns and even of microscopic particles whirling at one another. That which masters conflict masters the world. Even the mage's magic is a kind of conflict, the war between Supernal laws and a resistant Fallen World.
  • Enlightenment is Honor: To an Arrow, honor and enlightenment go hand in hand. It is not possible to be both enlightened and craven in the eyes of the Arrows, and they consider their honor to be deeply vital to their Seeking. Holding to proper ways of behavior, keeping their word and acting with courage are all vital to the Praxis of the Arrows.
  • Adaptability is Strength: True strength is the ability to quickly shift strategy, understanding of a situation or even physical location. Arrows are trained to be talented generalists, eschewing specialization as the cultivation of weaknesses, and to favor strategy in everything they do.
  • The Supernal is the Self: Understanding that the signing of one's name on the Watchtower makes the mage a literal part of the Supernal Realms, the Arrows seek to honor that legacy by keeping mind, body and soul strong and purified. They are fond of purification rituals and ascetic practices.
  • Service is Mastery: Power is the path by which the mighty always fall, so the Arrows believe that enlightenment comes through service. They serve mandates, causes and higher purposes, not individuals (every service to an individual is actually to a principle espoused by the individual, or something greater than they). Arrows usually avoid leadership positions for this reason, and often help foster rebellions and uprisings when those in power become too corrupt.

Praxis

Adamantine Arrow Legacies

Common

  • Perfected Adept: (MTA; Life/Prime/Forces)

Uncommon

  • Brotherhood of the Demon Wind: (AA; Time/Space/-)
  • The Scarred: (Home; Prime/Time/-)

Rare

  • Awakening Gambit: (AA; Mind/Fate + Time/-)

The Adamantine Arrow teaches that the greatest magical tool their apprentices have are their own bodies - never have the Awakened found a more versatile, potent weapon. To this end, they work to keep their bodies well-honed.

  • Arête: This Greek word means "excellence," of a sort that is achieved through hard work and dedication. Arrows do not believe that anyone just is something - everyone becomes what they are through work, or through its lack. As such, they seek that excellence in everything they do and are.
  • The Total Warrior: Arrows are fighters. Period. Everything they do is couched in terms of conflict (though they are not often quarrelsome): Self against the World. To that end, training in the arts of battle hones the mind, body and spirit for all the other kinds of conflict they will face, even the non-physical ones.
  • Exoteric Martial Arts: Arrows believe in learning the methods of combat. It is not enough to hone simple instinct - they must turn discipline and will into their weapons, and the martial art systems of the Fallen World help them accomplish just that.
  • Esoteric Martial Arts: In between the occult arts and the mortal martial disciplines of the Fallen World are the esoteric martial arts of the Adamantine Arrow, rare systems of martial arts impossible for the unAwakened to master.
  • Leadership: ironically, as master combatants and strategists, Arrows often find others turning to them for support and leadership. They do not shirk such duties, for they are often well-suited for it, but they understand the perils to their souls that await in long-term leadership. So, to that end, they serve only for as long as is necessary and then make a point of handing power back over to another.
  • Constant Challenge: Arrows constantly challenge themselves, seeing the world as a crucible in which the body and mind is forged, and where those are forged, the soul is purified as well. As such, they have a reputation as daredevils. They are rarely impulsive, however - they know exactly what they're doing, and just how absurd it is. That's the point.
  • Oaths: The Arrows take the oaths they swear with extreme seriousness. In fact, they are disinclined from even innocent deceit, save where maintaining the safety of those under their care is concerned.

Organization

The Arrows are sometimes referred to as the military of the Awakened, but in truth, they are more like a collection of martial arts schools: lineages of masters, each training their students' bodies in hopes of breaking them enough to allow some enlightenment to seep through. The seeming chain of command for the Arrows is really a complex web of respect and honor, with each Arrow aware that his brethren are watching to see that he upholds the highest virtues espoused by the Adamantine Arrows.

Status

Earning dots in Order Status (Admantine Arrows) is a matter of becoming known as someone both the Order and Awakened society in general can depend upon to sacrifice the self and to always maintain the highest integrity.

  • Neophyte (-): An unknown, though eligible to be made a Talon.
  • Neophyte (•): Known to a small part of the Order; may request access to resources from other Arrows; may be made a Banner Warden.
  • Famulus (••): Known to majority of Order in region; given assumed authority over neophytes; may be made a First Talon.
  • Famulus (•••): Known to majority of Order in nearby regions; given assumed authority over neophytes; may be made a Thunderbolt Guardian.
  • Magister (••••): Known to majority of Order in country; leader of Order in an area; may be made Adamant Sage.
  • Magister (•••••): Exemplar of Order ideals; leader of Order in an area.

Each dot in Status grants a discount to purchasing a specific type of Merit, reducing the cost to New Rating x1 for that Merit. The Merits for the Adamantine Arrow are:

  • Combat Merits (Group): Arrows frequently pick up proficiency in a variety of small tricks and skills that serve them well in conflict. With this selection, Adamantine Arrows get the normal discount on the Brawling Dodge, Disarm, Fast Reflexes, Fighting Finesse, Iron Stamina, Quick Draw and Weaponry Dodge Merits.
  • Enhanced Item: The Arrow frequently provides its members useful weapons, armor and other equipment enchanted to aid them in their endeavors.
  • Fighting Styles: Enshrining conflict as sacred, many Arrows study the world's various fighting techniques to pluck out the bits of Supernal lore to be found therein.
  • Mentor: The mentor-apprentice relationship is a deeply valued one among the Arrows.
  • Status: Many Adamantine Arrows seek and gain membership in various Sleeper organizations, such as military-industrial complex and law enforcement.

The Caucus

Within a given Consilum, the Arrows of that Caucus may be awarded one of these titles, dependent on how well they have proven themselves, and the need for that role to be fulfilled.

  • Talon (-): Those who have survived the Adamantine Arrow apprenticeship are made Talons, the fundamental rank of the Order. They serve the Order, protect the Awakened and uphold justice as they are called upon to do. They are expected to be humble, honorable and obedient to their elders.
  • Banner Warden (•): An Arrow who has achieved some renown in the Order may petition the Caucus to become the Banner-Warden for his cabal. If accepted, his duties in the Caucus are lightened, to allow him the time to guard the cabal's sanctum, answer challenges as his cabal's champion and bodyguard cabalmates going into difficult situations. According to tradition, the Banner Warden safeguards the banner of the cabal, and bears it in times of war or ceremony - she is dishonored if she permits it to fall into the hands of those outside her cabal.
  • First Talon (••): A sort of "officer" status within the Caucus, the First Talon is given responsibility over a group of Talons. He must see to their training, equipping and see that they fulfill their duties - their success is his, and likewise their failure.
  • Thunderbolt Guardian (•••): Teachers and counselors, a Thunderbolt Guardian oversees not just the training of Talons, but also apply their knowledges for the good of the Caucus. Traditionally, only Thunderbolt Guardians teach the Adamantine Fist, but they are not the only ones to hold that rank: scientists, actors, engineers and all manner of other experts.
  • Adamant Sage (••••): Traditionally a title given only to the finest of generals (as well as a second-degree Master), the Adamant Sage leads the Caucus and advises the Hierarch. Not every Caucus has a proper Adamant Sage - some have one who does not quite measure up to the high standards of the Atlantean generals, while others do not have a permanent Sage, with a council of Thunderbolt Guardians who select among themselves and high-ranking First Talons to serve as Adamant Sage while that role is necessary.

Factions

Even the Arrows experience factionalism - how can they not, with a philosophy of personal excellence and conflict as existence? Nonetheless, the upper echelons who best embody the philosophies of the factions are still held in regard by the whole of the Order.

  • The Black Tower: Those of the Black Tower are crusaders and the champions of causes. When any endeavor or philosophy has one of the Black Tower sworn to it, they know they are in good stead. They believe that fulfillment of an oath strengthens both the Fallen World and the Supernal.
  • Council of Dragons: The wise generals and cunning tacticians of the Adamantine Arrow, the Council of Dragons seek to soar over the field of battle as did the dragons of old - with a vantage that few can match, ready to apply devastating force where it does the most good. They are arguably the most subtle of the Arrows.
  • The Crucible: Taking the rigors that the Arrows inflict on themselves to extremes, the Crucible willingly throw themselves into impossible situations - "that which does not kill me makes me stronger" taken as a path to enlightenment. They uphold the lofty ideals of personal heroism and never hesitate to rush into the fray.

Prominent Caucuses