Mage: The Awakening

They say that once upon a time, magic could be used freely and with little consequence. They say that the people in such a time were happy and prosperous, their command over reality providing whatever they wished. They say that the glorious civilisation of Atlantis was built, and then fell to the greed and hubris of a handful who would be ruling gods, now known as Exarchs.

That’s what they say, anyway. Atlantis, if it existed, is a thing of the distant past, the origin of a thousand myths and legends. These days, most humans sleep peacefully under the Lie -- the illusion of the mundane world and the arbitrary systems built within it -- and only a lucky few ever Awaken to their true magical potential. Mage: The Awakening is the story of these few, and in their world, magic is a mixed blessing at best. Modern magic is dangerous; the world that the Exarchs have built is averse to magic, and too much or too bold spellcasting can cause a dangerous backlash upon the caster or the people around them. Furthermore, mages are often targets for hostile supernatural entities, or even other mages who wish to uphold the Lie.

Mage: the Awakening is a game of power, mystery, and philosophy. What is the nature of hubris? Where is the line between myth and reality? To Sleepers, living in the world of the Lie, these questions are diverting trivialities -- to a mage, they could very well be the difference between life and death. Because while we may not know exactly when a selfless act becomes an hubristic one, the universe definitely does. And where magic is concerned, the universe cares, and will punish hubris with great force. Most mages rely on the guidance of one of the five Orders, most of which attempt to resurrect something of the wisdom of Atlantis, but the Orders often indulge in their own kinds of hubris. Every Order -- and every mage -- has their own opinion on whether Atlantis should be rebuilt, whether the Lie should be maintained, or whether the Awakened should attempt to build something new and better, but one thing certain -- when you put a lot of powerful people with no certain answers in a small area, just keeping the world together is a full time job.