Magick must advance if we are to survive.
The ancient auguries foretell of the world’s destruction. The Age of Conflict is supposed to be the time when the world will be tested beyond its strength. Some sages claim we are nearing the end times, and yet we Magi still do not know enough to protect ourselves. The Keepers’ path leads to stagnation. We must push forward not lag behind. Danger must be risked to advance magick.
The Illuminators want to understand this world. They want to know every inch of it. They are willing to experiment with new ideas and trade with unseemly powers. Sure, they might unleash a plague by accident or overturn the economy with some newfangled gadget, but they see that as the cost of progress. They are content with this world and all the toys it offers for them to play with. Each of the factions has a different approach to research, but all treasure the knowledge that results. This might seem to make them allies of one of the Keeper factions, the Archivists. But Archivists value knowledge of the past only insofar as it helps them maintain the status quo… the Illuminators treasure new discoveries and revolutionary ideas!
The Illuminator’s Perspective
Knowledge Is Power.
The Only Failed Experiment Is The One Never Tried
We Can Afford Anything But Not Everything: Choose Wisely
Paul Omen, professor of the Unseen College, stood in the doorway of a bar. He was normally comfortable in such places — a pint always helped any debate over the finer points of magickal theory. But today he looked nervous. He scanned the bar, looking for a man he knew only by description.
“Paul! Over here!” A stranger waved at him. Paul made his way over. The stranger offered him a handshake. “Glad we finally have a chance to meet in person. Have a seat, please.” The stranger gestured at an empty chair at the round table.
Paul moved to sit down. “So you are Ormen Tand.” He turned to the third man at the table. “Then you must be Magi Eki, I take it? Of Eve’s Children?”
“Yes. You’re from the College? Our mutual acquaintance here seems eager for us to meet.” Eki’s voice was rough, a bit raspy.
Tand made a toasting gesture with his mug. “I and my fellow TechnoWeavers are trying to encourage more free flow of information. These ‘faction’ barriers don’t serve any of us well.”
Professor Omen arched an eyebrow. “Indeed? And will you be publishing the source code for your web spider Koishaka as part of this free flow?” Seeing the hesitation on Tand’s face, Omen laughed. “I though not.”
Tand looked down at his hands. “Well, it’s an ideal. Something to strive for. Anyway… Elder Eki… you were telling me about the Children’s research.”
“Yes.” Eki hesitated, then seemed resolved to talking. “We are one of the oldest factions, and our traditions of scholarship predate the scientific method. The Children of Eve have been at risk many times because The Keepers — and their predecessors — found our notes. As a result, we Children rarely write anything down. We have an oral tradition, backed by a lattice of Mind spells. We are — in comparison to your two orders — theoreticians. We will simulate a new casting over a thousand times in our dreams before we attempt the first Word in real Speech.”
Technoweaver Tand turned to Omen. “It’s really amazing. They seem to have established a virtual reality network with themselves as nodes… but so much of it is subconscious, it only really manifests in their dreams.” Eki was clearly uncomfortable at how freely Tand was discussing these details.
Omen frowned. “I… we of the Unseen College have long suspected something like this. I’m surprised Magi Eki is willing to talk about it. The Children have never been willing to share these things. What did you offer him?”
Tand grinned. “Offer? Oh, not much… just the same offer I’m about to make to you… you share the secrets of your Unseen College with the TW, and I’ll pay you with a currency that only the TechnoWeavers can provide: remote access to your own Sacred Sites from over the Internet.”
Paul fairly rocked back in his chair. “Say what?”
“Yes, you heard me. There is more similarity between electrical wires and ley lines than you might expect. We won’t tell you how we did it, but we’ll let you reap some benefit. But you have to be willing to play ball with us. The TW is buying friends. We have many within the Children of Eve willing to work with us. We’d like the same cooperation from the Unseen College. You see, Keeper propaganda lately keeps calling us ‘as big a threat as Cain.’ We intend to earn that title.”
“I… I cannot make an agreement on behalf of the whole College.”
“That’s fine. Go talk it over with your faculty. You know how to find me. Just don’t take too much time. Your ivory tower won’t protect you if Arx Novum really comes knocking. Everyone is going to have to pick a side soon.”
— Transcribed by Stephen “Archivist Lond” Loftus-Mercer