Akashic Brotherhood

From 1d4chan

To strengthen your mind, you must first strengthen your body. Thought to originate near China, the Akashic Brotherhood are zen Buddhist Warrior Mages from Mage: The Ascension that seek harmony in a world of chaos. They naturally do this by strengthening their bodies (and by extension, minds), as harmony demands conflict. The Buddha himself was apparently one of them. Some of them are petitioning to increase their influence, but they're a very small minority.

They practice a martial art called "Do" (Japanese for "the Way"), supposedly the Ur-martial art from which all others are descended. Despite this seeming unity, rivalries and disputes based on technique aren't uncommon.

There's major bad blood between them and the Euthanatos (specifically the Thuggee-based Chakravarti faction) thanks to a little multigenerational magical conflict called the Himalayan Wars, which started with a dispute about how to treat plague victims and escalated into a series reincarnation-spanning blood feuds (particularly ironic for the Akashics, who claim to be above such things). The conflict is nominally a thing of the past since the foundation of the Tradition Council, but occasionally you'll get some reincarnated soul who didn't get the memo and starts cleaving a path of bloody vengeance through their ostensible allies.

The factions of the Akashic Brotherhood are:

  • The Dynamicism aligned Jnani, who follow a more traditionally sorcerous path. They are hermits and spiritual gurus with a decidedly transcendental bent. They get along well with the Dreamspeakers and Cult of Ecstasy as a result.
  • The Stasis aligned Kannagara are what many picture when they think of the Tradition: ascetics, refining their mind and body to a razor point by denying the pleasures of the flesh. They make excellent mediators, but tend to be dogmatic and slow to act.
  • The Entropy aligned Vajrapani are the flipside of the coin: warriors honing their martial prowess to superhuman levels so that the enlightened masters need not dirty their hands and weigh down their hearts with blood.

In addition to the three Trinity aligned factions, there are other groups that have gathered under the Akashic Umbrella:

  • The Shi Ren are the inheritors of the Chinese Legalist philosophy and, as such, tend to be much more engaged in the affairs of society at large than their aloof companions, with connections ranging from organized crime to mass media. Their history with the similarly Legalism-adjacent mages of the Wu Lung is fraught and complex, and many more traditional Brothers distrust them because of it.
  • The Li Hai are an eclectic collection of wandering folk heroes, foreigners, political reformers, syncretists, and literal crazy people united by their criticism of the dogmas of the Tradition. Many believe the Tradition should take a more active hand in mortal society and interact more with the other Traditions.
Members of the Council of Nine Mystic Traditions
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Akashic Brotherhood
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Celestial Chorus
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Cult of Ecstasy
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Dreamspeakers
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Euthanatos
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Order of Hermes
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Sons of Ether
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Verbena
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Virtual Adepts