Fusing Mundane and Magick since the 1600s.
Imagine music. Imagine music where every instrument plays constantly — no rests anywhere in the score. Imagine all the wonderful music you could play. Now imagine all the wonderful melodies you could never write with such a restriction. Mutes have been written off for so long by Magi, but in their science, we TechnoWeavers find new music for our Spheres.
“Net’usama an’khaifa ozhaub!” The old Magi fairly screamed the Words in frustration, a frustration that grew when those Words failed against yet another manifested Shield.
A woman pulled his shoulder. “It is no use, Sensei. We have lost, and we must withdraw. This is a fight we cannot win today.”
The old man crumpled, falling to his knees. “My home…” He allowed the woman to pull him to his feet, and they walked away. No Attacks from inside tried to hamper their departure. The two were followed by five other Magi. The seven represented 1/3 of the Magi who had lived together peacefully in the Tokyo cabal for decades. This place was a Site, and, moreover, it was a bastion of learning, scroll upon scroll, and the sensei had planned to live out his last couple years enjoying the scrolls he had finally earned the right to read.
But this new thing, this “democracy,” had ended all of that. He spat as he walked. “Was I not a good teacher? Was I too rough on them?” These were questions he had asked many times in the last week, and the woman who was his strong right arm answered as she had before: “You *are* a good teacher. But they wanted knowledge you cannot teach. They all chose a new path.”
“Two Western Magi with their lectures on gravity and electricity and philosophy have done in one winter what a thousand barbarians sieging us for 10,000 winters could never do. They have broken our cabal.”
A voice called out from behind them. “Sensei Atari.”
The old man turned to see a hologram of Magi Kojima. The sensei’s voice was depleted. “What? Can you not let us walk away in honorable defeat? Must you flaunt your victory?”
The hologram wavered. “I wish to offer you a truce.”
“Since when does the victor call for a truce?”
“You are a wise man, and we could still learn much from you. Our fight was for the direction of the cabal. We have won that fight. But none of us fought to destroy you. And now I ask: would you consider returning and joining us in our new direction? You would not be sensei, but in this new venture, none of us are. We are all students once again of this new ‘physics,’ this new ‘chemistry.’ A scholar like yourself could flourish here.”
Magi Atari felt the siren call of his books and — truth be told — he had been intrigued by some of the new ideas. But… “What of our allegiances? How can we in honor turn our back on oaths taken?”
The younger Magi bowed his head. “If the Children of Eve truly sought the elevation of the mutes, they would have leapt to join our revolution. If the Catholica truly sought to rebuild the Tower, they would have flocked to our physics lectures. And if the Unseen College truly cared for knowledge, they would have lapped up our teaching like milk. All oaths we made to our former factions have been betrayed by them first. We can resurrect the dreams that first drew us to take those oaths. Will you?”
The old man looked at his six companions. They would follow him where ever he lead. Finally he spoke, his voice regaining its usual confidence. “Alright, but on one condition. I am too old. I will not take up the life of a novice again. Promise me I can keep my nice bed and fire in my rooms and I will join you as a student once again.”
Magi Kojima’s image smiled and bowed low. “Welcome to the TechoWeavers, Senpai Atari.”
— Transcribed by Stephen “Archivist Lond” Loftus-Mercer
TechnoWeavers Key Points:
- Newest faction of the nine, founded during the Enlightenment in Europe.
- Head Quarters: The TW was headquartered in England before the Silence. It is now headquartered somewhere in the USA. It would be reasonable to suspect Silicon Valley, as these Magi tend to aggregate around innovative mutes even before they Awaken. On the other hand, Archivists who monitor the ley lines have not detected the level of increased energy use usually associated with a faction HQ. Note that a faction’s HQ is rarely one of its super secret Sacred Sites.
- Typist: A TW metaphor for Mutes. Within a year of Awakening in 2012, the first TW researchers had working “Star Trek” level computer speech recognition and response, so anyone still typing was Mute.
- The TW and the Children are the only two factions whose members capitalize the word “Mute,” giving it the same status as “Magi.”
- Digitaint: A malady that may befall a Magi who uses Soul or Mind magick to explore the Internet. The digitainted Magi becomes unable to distinguish shades of gray, literally and figuratively. It often takes weeks of online abstinence to recover.
- Refactored Democracy: Far more than any other faction, the TW uses democracy to make decisions, but not just any form of democracy. TW researchers continually work on the mathematics of voting, seeking the ultimate form of fair decision making. The rules for elections, especially those with more than two possible choices, are likely to change frequently, with some elections being metaelections to vote on new rules for elections.
- The Right To Override: The highest honor among the TW is to be granted The Right To Override. Major researchers, lead diplomats, wise sages, or people that are just damn likable may be voted the right to decide ONE election of their choice, no matter how big a majority opposes the decision (there are rules for adjudicating if multiple Overrides are exercised in the same election). This honor is handed out rarely, but the TW considers it a bad sign for their research interests if no one is deemed worthy of this Right at least once every five years.
- “Learning To Honor A Broken Oath”: the motto of the TW. Most of the Magi who originally joined the TW had formal oaths to one of the other factions. Many considered those other factions to have betrayed their own principles, and they joined the TW to honor the cause that their original faction should have supported. Surprisingly, the TW has found cohesion despite the varied backgrounds. Once they actually communicated with each other, the former enemies found a lot of common ground. Perhaps in Reality 2.0, the idea of recreating the Tower will not be so incompatible with the ideas of elevating the mutes and individual liberty. As the TechnoWeavers say, “Research is in progress.”
When Magi Riley in 1640 picked up a text from one Galileo Galilei, it is unlikely that he expected it to change his world so completely. The book, “Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences,” contained (among other things) a simple idea: a stratagem for exploring and knowing that what you thought you knew was true. Centuries later this would mature into the modern scientific method. It is unusual for a Magi to encounter something so new that not a single past incarnation has known of it, so fresh that it gives them a connection all the way back to their first memories, when the whole world was fresh and new. The words of Galileo transformed the Magi. He was then a member of the Unseen College, a group that studied magick and how it could be used to remake reality. They never studied reality itself. A rock dropped would fall, and they never asked why. If they wanted a boulder moved from the ground to the sky, they spoke the Words to put the boulder in the sky. They never considered that there were other ways to make a rock fly.
Riley found few other Magi who shared his excitement until 1689 when many in Europe became aware of the work of Isaac Newton, another mute of note. The Principia Mathematica was written in a form that somehow spoke to Magi — its mathematics could almost be Sehimu Thinara encoded, so precise was it in describing the world, and not just as it was, but as it would be. Soon, Riley gathered to himself a score and then more Magi, all excited over the possibilities of The Enlightenment. Although Riley was easily the most powerful Magi in that group, he soon found himself eclipsed in physics and mathematics. Dillon, Remi Ra, Nikto — each did notable work linking the discoveries of the natural world to the ancient secrets of magick.
The number of these Magi increased, and by 1696, they formally began calling themselves the TechnoWeavers and declared themselves a faction unto themselves. Members came from all eight existing factions. While the Schism and the Toltecs shrugged at these changes of allegiance, all of the other factions called them traitors. In places all around the world, civil war broke out within cabals. The TechnoWeavers should have been flattened by the massed anger of Magi society coming down upon them, but they had new techniques up their sleeves. Why pour energy into creating a new volcano when you can apply a small force to an existing magma pool? Why create a lightning bolt from scratch when you can simply tap into a nearby cloud?
The warring wound down at different rates among the various factions, concluding in 1737 when the Keepers — Archivists, Arx Novum and Catholica — collectively signed the Nexus Treaty, giving away one of their precious Sacred Sites to the TechnoWeavers, although neither side would tell the rest of the world exactly which Site. In total, the TechnoWeavers claimed they now had four Sites around the world. The only one known publicly is on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan, taken from the Unseen College. The other two Sites supposedly were taken one each from The Children of Eve and the Disciples of Cain, earning the enmity of both groups. Because the TechnoWeavers were clearly an Illuminator faction, with goals that were at least somewhat aligned, they were able to negotiate a frigid détente with the Children and with the Unseen College during the 1700s.
At the dawn of the 19th century, the TechnoWeavers were on the edge of a massive breakthrough. Their work on fluid flow and geology had given them deep understanding of the ley lines connecting the world’s Sacred Sites. The other factions became aware that the TechnoWeavers were working on something big, channeling large amounts of Resonance to the Site in Tokyo and importing supplies from around the world. Whatever that project was, it was never completed. The TechnoWeaver plans were derailed by a problem facing all of the factions: no new Magi were Awakening. With fewer and fewer Magi alive in the world, preservation took priority over the advancement of science. The senior researchers felt sure that the lack of reincarnations was temporary. They created new protocols, far in excess of the usual protections the Ordo provides, to restore the TechnoWeaver memories when the spiritual log jam broke, a procedure normally too expensive for most incarnations.
Their foresight paid off when the Age of Silence ended. The TechnoWeavers of the 21st century Awakened and quickly latched onto the wonders of modern technology. The power of any network, it is said, grows as the square of the number of nodes in that network. An Internet invested with magick can generate nodes very quickly. The TechnoWeavers are poised to become the dominant faction among Magi. The other factions have grown savvy about blending the mystical with the material, but the TechnoWeavers seem to have a new ace up their sleeve. Arx Novum has spied out one phrase that keeps being overheard: “Everything will change once the feedback loop is complete.” Thus far, no TechnoWeaver has let slip what exactly that means.