- Rote Specialties: Crafts, Persuasion, Science.
- Order Tools: Any technological item.
None. In fact, one of the defining traits of the Free Council is that they were formed in the early 1900s, and outright reject the other Orders' belief in a long-ago Atlantis.
The Free Council is made up of innovators, idealists and rebels. They are extremely skilled at finding new magic in unexpected places, and in keeping the other Orders' mages on their toes - every tradition another mage holds as sacred, the Free Council has someone who challenges the necessity for that tradition.
The Free Council deeply believes in the inherent magic of the human experience and attempt to bring Awakening to as many people as they can, fighting the Quiescence at every step. The Free Council believes in three core Tenets, and every Free Council activity or project should foster one of them in some way or another.
- Democracy Seeks the Truth; hierarchy fosters the Lie: Having one's fate decided by another is antithetical to Awakening. The Awakened are self-willed, to a one, and fostering an environment in which each man is the master of his fate will lead more people to the Watchtowers. This should start on the high ground: democracy and other political systems wherein the citizenry decide their fate for themselves, and the common man has no master is the path to the Supernal for the Fallen World. Any systems of "power over" foster the Quiescence, and tell humanity that the natural order of things is to have others tell one what to do, which is the leash the Seers of the Throne use to keep the Lie in place.
- Humanity is magical; human works have arcane secrets: Humanity is inherently magical, and discover the touch of the Supernal in the world all the time. Things of the Supernal do not all trace back to some mythical Mage's Eden - humanity is magic, and it's a waste of time trying to figure out how every little piece of the Supernal one finds in the world somehow traces back to Atlantis. It just doesn't.
- Destroy the followers of the Lie: The Free Council are fierce and vigilant in their desire to destroy the followers of the Lie - the forces of the Seers of the Throne, the Abyss and all other things that work to keep the wonders of the Supernal out of the hands of the common man must be thrown down and destroyed utterly.
- The Great Refusal: Indeed, this is the catalyst for the formation of the Free Council. At the end of the Victorian Era, the Seers of the Throne approached the various Apostates, attempting to recruit them. The Apostates conferred, spent some time talking to the Seers and discovering what they could, and then launched "The Great Refusal" - an all-out war with the Seers of the Throne that quickly spread to a great uprising of Apostates against the Seers, demonstrating exactly what the unaligned magi of the world thought of the Seers' goals. Eventually, the other Orders (at that time called the Diamond Orders) joined in on the offensive, driving the Seers underground, but the war was started and truly won by the Free Council. Shortly thereafter, the motivators and heroes of the Great Refusal banded together to found the Free Council, and the Diamond Orders accepted them as peers, renaming themselves the Pentacle Orders.
The means by which the Free Council work magic is very forthright: human genius. The spark of inspiration that motivates and drives the creator and orator. In some ways, they embrace the Classical Hellenic ideal of the philosopher: learned and skilled in public speaking, it is this inspiration that the Free Council use to imbue their actions with Awakened magic, not some musty old Atlantean nonsense.
- Science and Technology: Since mankind began combining the things in its environment to act in new ways, the development of technology has defined the human experience. In no other place does the spark of inspiration shine so forth so brightly as through scientific progress. The Free Council does not believe that science is somehow magic, however - they simply consider it one of the most useful vehicles for grounding Supernal Laws into the Fallen World.
- The Thrill of the New: Innovation and imagination are greatly prized by the Free Council, who are avid adherents to the cult of the cutting edge. Free Councilors allow the innovations of others to inspire them, in both mundane and magical endeavors.
- Reverence of the Old: By the same token, many Free Councilors are in love with the things of the past, finding the Supernal in all the old human inspirations. This love is not the Diamond Orders' obsession with Atlantis, however - this is a fascination with human creations of times long past, and the ways in which they accidentally touched the Supernal.
- Political Activism: Seeking change at a grass-roots level is one of the core, unique powers of democracy, and it is magic on a scale that most Awakened never experience personally. As such, the Free Council turn many of their projects to political activism, seeking change not through influence of the top, but by motivating and inspiring humanity's deep-seated ability to transform the world by working together.
- Inquisition: Insatiably curious, the Free Council aren't just interested in what is going on around them - they're practically obsessed. Each Free Councilor has his or her own areas of interest, of course, and this is as it should be, as it allows the Council to benefit from a broader base of knowledge.
- The Lorehouse: One of the ways in which the Free Council lives its philosophy of magic for the everyman is the institution of the Lorehouse: places where magical lore and items of occult significance are stored, freely available for anyone who is interested in studying there. Each Free Councilor is considered responsible for contributing to the Lorehouse, and for improving himself through study of its contents. Each is also responsible for defending the Lorehouse, as well.
- The Column: In times of conflict, it is needful to operate quickly - rather than the radical democrat's ideal, the Free Council form Columns, small structured cells intended to operate independently, but with rapid dissemination of information among the cells. The Council must vote to form a Column, and the Column can be dissolved by a majority vote among its strategoi.
In many ways, the Free Council are organized like an activist organization, with charismatic and driven individuals rising in the esteem of their fellows, and peoples' pet projects blossoming to help define the Council as a whole.
Status is rendered to those Free Councilors who best uphold the Council's goals and ideals, even in the face of deep adversity - indeed, the more adversity, the better the Council regards its magi.
- Unproven (–): Unknown.
- Voter (•): Known to a small part of Order; may vote in Free Council gatherings, though each Assembly may have requirements of its members before they get their Vote; eligible for Emissary, Minuteman or Syndic positions.
- Voter (••): Known to majority of Order in region; eligible for Host, Letter Carrier or Citizen Agent positions.
- Voter (•••): Known to majority of Order in nearby regions; eligible for Strategos position.
- Voter (••••): Known to majority of Order in country;
- Voter (•••••): Exemplar of Order ideals;
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 Free Council are:
- Allies: Free Councilors make a variety of useful friends nearly everywhere they go.
- Craftsman Merits (Group): Often stereotyped as an Order of hackers and fringe scientists, there is some truth to teh Order's embrace of inspired scientific principles. With this selection, Free Councilors get the normal discount on the Good Time Management, Interdisciplinary Specialty, Make Do and Technophile Merits.
- Magical Tradition: Notorious for promoting the innate magical tendency of humanity without the necessity of Atlantean pre-history, Free Council mages often study the occult systems of various cultures.
- Resources: Free Councilors have an easy time making money, with their immersion in Sleeper endeavors and their willingness to buy and sell Supernal secrets among themselves.
- Status: It is quite common for members of the Free Council to become involved in Sleeper organizations of all sorts, but particularly in academia, research and similar brain-trust endeavors.
The Free Council does not maintain a Caucus. Instead, they believe in the Assembly, which they dream of seeing replace the Consilium. All mages would belong to it, and contribute equally, but for the moment, only Free Council members usually belong to any given Assembly (though a few allies may show up where doing so isn't likely to engender trouble with the local Consilium).
- Emissary (• to •••): A position of ambassadorship, emissaries are the means by which the local Assembly interacts with other magi, generally speaking. Low-ranking emissaries are usually emissaries to their cabals, while higher-ranked ones may be asked to act as the Assembly's ambassador to a Caucus or Consilium.
- Minuteman (• to •••): The citizen-soldiers of the Free Council, minutemen are those who have proven themselves defenders of the Council's goals and members. They are expected to respond immediately to summons by the Council's members, and to fight valiantly, whether in physical and magical conflict, or in the social arena.
- Syndic (• to •••••): Statesmen and politicians, the ideal of the Syndic is the Greek debater - clear-eyed, making people understand the nuances of the problems a people face, and then offering wise and charismatic ways to solve those problems. The movers and shakers of Free Council policy and direction, it is the Syndics that can be counted on to bring any important issues to the table for the Voters.
- Host (••): A position both ceremonial and temporary, a host is any Libertine who offers space in which an Assembly or debate might take place. He is regarded well by all, and most of his guests go out of his way to treat him as a proper guest should treat his host - sometimes, even when the gathering is no longer in place. Those who routinely offer their resources for the use of the Council tend to win great esteem among their fellows.
- System: For each hour an event occurs in a Host's space, he may roll Presence + Expression, Persuasion or Socialize + Status (Free Council) as an extended roll, with one roll per hour (to a maximum number of rolls equal to the Size of the space hosted in). For every five guests after the first five, apply a -1 die penalty to the roll. Each success extends the host's Status and regard among the Council for one day.
- Letter Carrier (•• to ••••): In practice, a letter carrier has many of the same duties of an emissary, except that their work is often abroad. This requires a set of skills that let them deal with unexpected twists in places where they have no real contacts or resources, and to smoothly deal with all manner of strange local customs they may encounter.
- Citizen Agent (•• to ••••): Spies, covert agents and special forces, the citizen agents of the Council are regarded with great respect as heroes. They give of themselves constantly, often sacrificing their every-day lives for the good of the Council. These agents have neither subordinates or masters, instead taking on the missions requested of them by Assembly or Strategos.
- Strategos (••• to •••••): The most highly respected members of the Free Council are its strategoi, who know the ins and outs of its inner workings. Each Strategos is an acknowledged specialist in one area of knowledge, experience or magic, and serve as advisors to the Assembly as a whole.
- New Millennium Assembly: England (southern and central), France (northern). The original Assembly founded when the Council was founded at the turn of the Twentieth Century in London.
- The Berkeley Assembly: Berkeley and Oakland, California.
- Redwood Forum: California (northern), Oregon (south and central).
- Emerald Parliament: Washington, Oregon (nothern). Though once based out of Seattle, with the loss of that city to the Seers, the remnants of the Parliament have reformed in Portland OR, under the aegis of the Consilium of the Rose.