"I am the sorceress supreme, the wizard in her unassailable tower. I have read the books in which the whispering of the ages are written, scribed the magic circle and the ancient formula. The Sanguinary has written the Dark Grimoire in the pages of mans mind and I shall bind it with its own spells. We are misunderstood and feared for piercing the veils that cover the Beasts ancient intelligence. Good. Let others fear us and leave us to our work. If others think we the evil ones, let them remember we were the magi who follows the star to Bethlehem."
The Magdalen are quite solitary creatures, living in hidden towers and other structures which convey a sense of power or superiority.
The Magdalen maintain their center of power within the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayan mountains. Their citadel, a vast library-city known as Jerimia, boasts a copy of every book ever written, a priceless accumulation of works, including the worlds largest occult collection. Jerimia is a fortress so impenetrable, it has never been seen by members of any other Pride. One of the Perks of the Magdalen allows them to never betray its location.
Holdings of the Magdalen include London, Istanbul, Athens and other Greek cities, Vienna (where they compete with the Eremites), Hong Kong, Calcutta, Boston, Charleston, New Orleans (where they compete with the Anopheles) Montreal and New York City.
The Pride wields its power in publishing around the world. They compete with the Peri for control of computer information interests, including many Internet provider sites. They own many production companies in the film and radio industries. Universities form the bastions of Magdalen power throughout the world---they consider themselves the premier academians of the mortal world.
Magdalen detest their Himsati forms, and thus give no thought to the Himsatis of those among them. It is a vestigial form from their bestial past, endured by the Pride and never publicly spoken of. Most members of the Magdalen are forbidden to assume this shape.. A very few take this shape and then only within a Seal of Sulimien, a mystic diagram which prevents the spirit of the Sanguinary from entering them. As such, they must return to the Seal to assume human shape again. The only purpose for which a Magdalen takes this ancient form is to devour her own taboos and emerge cleansed of curses. A Magdalen is honored by her superiors if she forsakes the beast and lives with her taboos. A small corps of hermit scholars among the pride actually live in their beast shapes. These sin-eaters are grudgingly respected by the pride for their studies into the nature of the beast and for the service they perform---devouring the taboos of others. These creatures are not allowed into the hallowed halls of Jerimia and are rumored to hold books no other Magdalen has seen.
Magdalen Himsatis can appear as any animal, but appear as ancient and wizened because of how long these forms are suppressed
Magdalen are majestic and statuesque. Their eyes are clear and penetrating. It was the Magdalen who inspired the Greek ideals of the gods of Mount Olympus. Those days have faded, but the mystique of the Magdalen remains. Magdalen often appear to be mysterious and contemplative. Their human appearance represent every race known among Man.
Magdalen are wizards and dress as such. No two adorn themselves alike, for their attire sets them apart, drawn from the ages they have lived through. The more unique and awe-inspiring her attire, the more gossip she generates. To emulate the attire of another Magdalen is the ultimate insult. Uniqueness is paramount a part of their complex etiquette. Many of the more ancient members wear the same Greek styles as existed during the height of Hellenistic civilization.
Magdalen love earrings and use these, in addition to their elaborate attire, to identify themselves. The earring symbolizes the Magdalens inclination to listen to the tales of the world. Often earrings from different regions of the world symbolize places where she has studied. A Magdalens earring collection is among her most valued possessions.
Male: About 35% Female: About 65%
Magdalen are possibly the most sophisticated of Prides in their interaction among themselves and with the outside world. A strict code of etiquette more exacting than even the Dracul prevails among them. Violation of this arcane etiquette brings personal humiliation. When dealing with another sorcerer, a Magdalen must be mindful of she addresses her. The power of words to shape the world is a core Magdalen belief. The wrong words, usually spoken in haste, often lead to terrible consequences. Therefore, Magdalen speak slowly and precisely.
Territory is important to the Magdalen, both temporally and intellectually. One Magdalen who quotes the words of another Magdalen, in speech or writing insults the author. Taking credit for anothers works encourages vendetta against her. Similarly, a Magdalen who searches the sanctuary of another is also harshly dealt with. Magdalen put great stock in fair dealing with one another, trading lore and services and will never extort one another (although members of other Prides are not so fairly treated.)
Magdalen have a great love of debate and oration. They will almost never let an opportunity for practicing either slip by. Their reputation for contentious stems from this trait. They will argue heatedly with anyone, even the Jury, if they feel they are right. This has cost the Pride a great deal of visage; judgments that the Magdalen cannot govern the tongues of their people. However, Magdalen in polite company will always listen to the views of even his most hated enemy. Magdalen themselves are incredibly annoyed if interrupted.
Members of this Pride are known far and wide as individualists fascinated with and experts in, the occult. The tales of the solitary wizard ensconced in his mystical fortress have been spawned by the Magdalens mysterious nature. No bit of lore is below their notice or need to preserve. Like the Amaranth, the preserve tales of the past, especially those of a supernatural nature. Unlike the Infernum, they will not perpetuate rumor unless it is to their personal advantage and easily tracked. They sell their knowledge to others for a price, as all good sorcerers. Magdalen do not share the Eremite belief in God, but they do understand the power of Religarum. At the birth of Christ, they sensed power surrounding the town of Bethlehem and sent representatives to investigate. Unable to determine the "divinity" of the child they saw there, the Magdalen have taken a wait-and-see attitude.
The Dark Grimoire and Conundrum Shards
The Magdalen have discovered a code resident in all human writing. Through a complex cipher, they are able to glean the thoughts of the Sanguinary from their research. These thoughts are carefully kept, word for word, in the Dark Grimoire. Through the ages, the Magdalen have learned to anticipate attacks of the Sanguinary or divine its other plans. Any player character who, while reading something, can sometimes (at the whim of the narrator) spot a true thought of the Beast. This thought can take the form of a single word, a message, inexplicable riddles or series of words. Having such a dark revelation unveiled to her causes the character to accumulate 1 ennui. All Magdalen are required to travel to Jerimia and preserve any dark revelation in the Dark Grimoire. Within this ancient book, a master pattern is believed to be locked, a deadly power the Magdalen hope to muster against the enemy in the final battle, after its presence becomes clear. The Magdalen believe this master pattern nothing less than the Sanguinarys true name since the Dark Grimoire contains many other names of the Beast. These names are words of power the Magdalen believe the human servants of the Beast will use to summon it back into this world. The Dark Grimoire has sent many a Magdalen into ennui from studying it.
Through their studies of the Dark Grimoire, the Magdalen have achieved a special understanding of the conundrums capacity for deception. Filled with esoteric knowledge that could benefit them, the conundrum also possesses information that, once divined, drives an immortal to madness. The Magdalen believe this knowledge is of the true nature of the Sanguinary. Anyone pursuing study of the conundrum are asking to spiral into the darkness, crushed by despair. Although Magdalen will use a conundrum to create mantles, they are very mindful of their Trysts, watching them for the slightest corruption.
The Magdalen covet palladium, the petrified sap of Sunedrion Trees, especially a piece large enough to destroy their Ban The only known chunk of palladium large enough belongs to the Phoenix. Great rewards will be given to any Magdalen who manages to capture this invaluable relic.
Legacies: Magdalen gain the first rank of the following legacies at no cost: Censor, Enemy Chain, Ornamentation
Serenades: Magdalen gain the first rank of any three of the following serenades at no cost. All other serenades on this list are at a complexity rank of 4 for Magdalen characters. Amnesia, Brio, Cantabile, Gestalt, Gremlin, Haspis, Himalaya, Idol, Loa, Memoir, Minutia, Omen, Scribe
Magdalen Secret Serenades: Allegory and Mojo. See Serenades, the First Book of Powers, pages 111-11).
Seal of Sulimein
This diagram was revealed to the Magdalen from their study of the Dark Grimoire, a geometric pattern, an ideogram which offers one of the most potent names of the Sanguinary. Magdalen, when perfectly reproducing the Seal on the floor, can stand within it and be insulated from possession of the Sanguinary. Further, no spirit can perceive them nor pass through the seal. Finally, no form of scrying reveals a Magdalen as long as she is standing within the seal. Jerimia itself is lined with seal of Sulimein, imbedded in the walls in filigrees of pure silver.
The player rolls a ten-sided die to see if she perfectly reproduces the seal. A null indicates a loss of one FI from the character for the duration of the episode, energy sucked into the flawed seal.
Code of Silence
No Magdalen will betray the location of Jerimia, the creche of her Pride under any torture, seduction or mind-control. Similarly, they cannot be made to reveal the location of their own sanctuarys or arks.
Tongue Of Babel
Any mortal spoken to by a Magdalen understands her, no matter what language he (or she) is speaking. Even dialect and accent are perfect, causing the Magdalen to appear to speak the listeners native regional tongue.
All creatures have a true name which is automatically known to them. The true name is a spoken formula that imitates the unique vibration of the shard within him. Immortals are especially cognizant of their true names and the need to keep it secret from everyone, for to know a persons true name is to gain a measure of power over them
Mortals have always had a knack for "hearing" the true names of an immortal who steals immaculum from them. Such names are recorded in arcane books written through the ages have, scriptures of the violation the mortal endured. Magdalen tirelessly seek out these old tomes in order to increase their power over an immortal, especially Droves.
Any true name a Magdalen learns can be used against its owner. Simply invoking the name in the presence of an opponent allows her a bonus up to +5 (+1 for every 3 FI she possesses) when countering any serenade he uses against her. This bonus is usable once per scene.
A Magdalen can never be given immaculum by a willing mortal (although they can absorb immaculum from riallas.) Because of this curse levied on her by the ancient Nimrod curse, most Magdalen must sin to regain motes lost to taint.
The following are taboos which, selected for your character, grants you +5 starting memory motes per rank instead of the normal +3.
At night, animals follow the Magdalen silently wherever she goes. (rank 3)
Anyone the Magdalen mentions by name will hear everything she says about him. (rank 5)
The smell of brimstone fills the area around the Magdalen when she uses a serenade. (rank 3)
The stars are reflected in the clothing of the Magdalen when she stands beneath a night sky. (rank 3)
Poltergeist effects manifest the Magdalens presence, including shaking, flying objects and slamming doors.. (rank 5)
Disturbing, bestial faces appears on anything the Magdalen touches. (rank 4)
The Magdalen must witness moonrise or be unable to use her serenades until it sets. (Rank 5)
Animals spook and run from the Magdalen. (rank 2)
Anything the Magdalen writes glows on the paper. (rank 2)
Whenever the Magdalen reads, whispers fill the air around her. (rank 4)
Amaranth :Inspired keepers of ancient tales, like ourselves, but their lore is often corrupted by oral tradition and subjective interpretation rather than recorded permanency and objectivity. We wish they would allow us access to those with the bright blood. What lore and names they must know! Always listen to their songs, but dont become enamored of their siren voices.
Anopheles : Far too obsessed with experiences. However, the secrets of the Abzulim is locked in the vaults of their ancient brains. We can learn much from them, as can all others, but we must be wary of their trickery. They shy away from true enlightenment while perfecting themselves as whores to seduce away our secrets.
Arachne: We can respect them as scholars and for the symmetry of their perfect logic. It is that logic that is their single greatest asset, but it can keep them from following a hunch which often leads to the most amazing discoveries. We share with them the glorious obsession with learning.
Banjax: We respect their way and believe that it possibly may bear fruit, a backup if our way fails. Though we have rarely benefited from their generosity, their reputation precedes them everywhere they go and we honor them. They confine their meddling to the spirit world, leaving us to do our work in this one."
Cur : They are animals, in this we must agree with the Eremites. We thought the Perpetual Society had laws against newborns. The Morrigan are too lenient and we have cause to distrust that there is not an unholy alliance being built behind our backs.
Dracul :Fastidious in their search for balance, but their search is an illusion. There is no balance, only the strong and the weak---does not the Stratagem say that? We have seen the power of the Trine and believe the Dracul are not led into darkness, which makes them somewhat trustworthy. Their notion of mass sacrifice is noble, but we would rather see them use their martial skills in the final battle rather than martyr themselves in hopes of changing the heart of the Beast.
Eremites: Our brothers who believe all hands should hold a righteous sword rather than a scroll of enlightenment. Their Plan is intriguing, perhaps even part of the patterns we see in all written words. Rather than using this knowledge to strategic value, they instead let themselves be swept along by it. We have already immortalized man. They gods have his every written word ensconced for all time. Is that not the key to his redemption, and is that not enough?
Infernum :They have paid for their awful mistake, even as we. Those who are slow to forgive should look upon them and realize they have repaid their debt to our Society. They are the demons and we the wizards who pact with them, as the Eremites would have it. Fine. Let that opinion prevail. We sincerely hope they achieve Pride status with us and assist them short of being counted in their coups.
Morrigan: Favorites of the Jury. Quite frankly, we preferred it when the Eremites sat the throne. At least they gained their place rightfully when they encompassed the barbaric world with Rome. Some kings and rulers! They fear to place their feet on the grounds of their own kingdom. The bravado is nothing but cover for duplicity. Why have they not, with their awesome powers, defeated the Sanguinarys avatar?
Nimrod: Do nothings. They want to put the Sanguinary to sleep? What ridiculous leadership must have placed this notion in their head! It could not be the Horned Lord who sired them, and even the Phoenix at least act in the world. If they wander the streets and the lonely streets of the Habitat, rather than their dark Labyrinth, they would realize the Sanguinary is not going to fade away. Even in his sleep, he destroys us!
Peri: Too damnably bloody, but they have a redeeming point: their so-called "doomsday machine" is worthy of study. After all, anyone with that much blood on their hands must have learned a secret or two. We remove ourselves from their path lest the stroke of their mindless swords cut us down.
Phoenix : Thieves without honor and understanding. They have cost us names of the Beast by their reckless purges. Their destruction of the library in Alexandria, to spite us, is unforgivable. When all is said and done, we will snuff their fire with a single word of power and let their ashes be washed away into obscurity..
Roane: The unfortunate victims of the Morrigans unclean plotting, yet they have embraced corruption in their past. They will have to work most stridently to earn our trust in their purity. Otherwise, like the arrogant birds that replaced them, they are concealed by a vast and impenetrable firmament which only encourages them to ignore our laws.
Saturna: Travellers to places few of us have seen and remembered. We must make an alliance with them and learn where their feet have walked.
Shonelkidar: Biological storehouses of knowledge, their mystery and power is evidenced by their survival against the Beasts minions within the Dominions. Their danger comes in what they are, survivors of the Lash or perhaps the Lash mutated into another form. Will they awaken the telepathy of Man and become the heralds of the Sanguinary?
Tautha: If only they could switch places with the Morrigan, they at least have integrity. A pity they are not greater warriors. In many ways, they are likes us, collecting the precious parts of the world and preserving them.
Terat: We have not decided whether the Terat pollute the dream-inspired writings of man, or bring out the secrets of the Beast. They have been, after all, very close to It. Reason enough to distrust them for now, but we reserve our judgment for the Dreamtime.
Sanguinary: The enemy masquerades as a beast, but we understand the nature of its devious intelligence. Unknowing, it has betrayed itself in the writings of Man.
Silence: Breaking the Silence only provokes the enemy. Still, when it is broken, one can occasionally learn something new.
Habitat: We have nurtured it so that the thoughts of the Sanguinary find expression before our eyes.
Dominions: The place of our humiliation. There is nothing there but cold memories.
Crucible: The lifeline of all creatures. We wish there was more written about it, but the Sanguinary protects its origins well.
Morpheum: The Morpheum is a book rewritten by dreamers every day and night. We have our translators there, absorbing every word.
Stratagem: Words cannot describe what the Stratagem has taught us about other Prides. It was a stroke of genius, although we would already be judged the scepter if not for the Jurys bias against us.
Profane: We would hardly give such breeds a thought if it were not for their potential to tear down everything we have accomplished, or conversely, facilitate our plans. They should be watched carefully and punished when they get out of hand.
Ingenue: The most valuable authors to appear. In our conception, they will bring us knowledge that we could not hope to otherwise gain. We harvest them with gusto.
Conundrum: Valuable tools, but their maze of puzzles leads inexorably to an understanding of things that were not meant to be known. They are the Sanguinarys attempt to do to us what we will do to it.
Sinning: It is our only means to survive, due to the Ban. In cursing us, Nimrod has cursed humanity with our depredations.
Himsati: We detest this part of ourselves, for it languishes in ignorance. We will not take the form that injures.
Humanity: Paper and pens that live and breath the secret names of the Sanguinary. Their culture has captivated us for ages..
The Magdalen were part of the Anathasians,
the sons and daughters of the first human immortal, Anath. Anath was captured by the
Anopheles and placed in a breeding program with the Rukshasa, who bore him 100 children
each day. (Ouch, yes, I know.) These were the Anathasians. The Anathasians
eventually split into two groups. The first was the Eremites who were warriors and who
favored their father, learning from him. The Magdalen were the other groups. They
were far more interested in the Rukshasa and the secrets she possessed, so they hung
around her and absorbed knowledge. The Magdalen became the favorites of the Anopheles
because their occultic curiosity kept the Hungry Ones constantly entertained.
The Magdalen also seem to possess information on the Bright Bloods, which links them as not all being an offshoot of humanity, but some of them are not even human! As to what they actually are, only a select group of the Magdalen seem to know.
Magdalen's and knowledge. Not all Magdalen are granted immediate access to everything that the Magdalen know about. Many don't even know where Jeremiah is. Magdalen are granted access based on visage level and how worthy they have proved themselves to be by how they make use of knowledge that they do get. A Magdalen who simply demands answers is not a true Magdalen.
The Magdalen Uplift Ceremony: