The Pentacle is recognized as a loose-knit global alliance of mages who all ascribe to certain similar ideals. Each of the five Orders – the four of the Atlantean Diamond, and the relative newcomers from the Free Council – act independently in collectives built around City States throughout the world.
The New York City Pentacle
The New York Pentacle is no different than the norm for Pentacle operations around the globe, though the particulars of a given city are always different. If anything, New York’s politics are more complicated than most cities, as they enjoy one of the highest Awakened populations in America. Their dominion runs from the southern borders of New York state, and up just past the northern borders of New York City (though with a much-reduced presence once leaving the city proper).
At the top level, the New York Pentacle is ruled over by the consensus of the Consilium Council, a body which promotes and sustains itself from within and essentially functions as a dictatorial body. A hierarch sets the agenda for the Council, which then passes decisions by unanimous decree. As of August 2012, a new hierarch was named, ending an eight year interregnum following the death of the previous hierarch in 2004.
In practice, the Consilium Council traditionally makes few dictates, taking a “do what you will” approach to those under its jurisdiction save in extreme circumstances. They have been somewhat more aggressive immediately following the ascension of their new Hierarch, but this is, too, is seen as traditional— the new hierarch throws his weight around for a few months, deals with political enemies, and things gradually return to a status quo.
The hierarchy of the NYC Consilium as of November 2012 is as follows:
The hierarchy of the NYC Consilium, from August-November 2012, was as follows:
The hierarchy of the NYC Consilium previous to the new hierarch’s ascension was as follows:
Orders of the New York Pentacle
The Silver Ladder
Current members: 91.
Ladder Deacon – Caesar
Ladder Vicar (second in command) – TBD
Ladder Lictors (enforcers) – Praelia, Venator
Ladder Page (assistant to the Deacon) – TBD
Ladder membership is healthy, though scarcely booming – of all the New York orders, it is the only one that has an in-depth screening process for new members, evaluating both psychological and background profiles.
It is, in spite of this, one of the most organized, actively setting up Ladder members in positions of authority – and, when appropriate, wealth – in Sleeper society. All members are expected to attend weekly meetings to discuss ongoing projects, as well as other “entertainment” functions meant to foster a feeling of commonality between members.
The Lictors of the order go a step beyond the regulations of the Consilium at large, passively monitoring the behavior of members and intervening when any member begins to act in a fashion that might reflect badly on the Silver Ladder.
The Guardians of the Veil
Current members: Estimated 100-150, exact figures are not being released.
Epopts: Hermes, others.
The precise organization of the Guardians of the Veil is intentionally kept a mystery. While order members are active in Pentacle politics and in Pentacle society at large, they do not make a habit of disclosing precisely what their job functions are to outsiders. It is known that Councilor Hermes, while an “Epopt” in the New York order, is not its leader, and whom – or even what title one might call them – that might be is a mystery to most.
Despite these relatively closed ranks, the Guardians make more effort than most to integrate into greater mage society, organizing many of the Consilium’s inter-order social functions throughout the year. Some more suspicious people might call this a cynical attempt to spy on the Guardians’ part, but for the most part Guardians can be very personable — just not very personal.
The Adamantine Arrow
Current members: 200
Adamant Sage: Khan
A Host of other titles and ranks follows; the Arrow is loosely regimented, but much moreso than the other orders.
The Adamantine Arrow does not maintain any single demesne or primary headquarters — instead, they have bases all over the city, on hallows when possible. They have by far control of the most such grounds in the state.
They are the proclaimed defenders of New York, and actively patrol against Abyssal incursions and, of late, against possible incrusions by the Seers of the Throne. They work the most directly with the Consilium Council of any of the orders.
Current members: 100
Censors: Ganymede, Minos, Circe
Numerous 3rd – 5th degree members also hold titles, but these are largely ceremonial.
The Mysterium inducts new members freely, but their focus is very specific: Magic is everything, and man’s purpose is to uncover and rediscover it in the world. The New York branch is little different. Their demesne is probably the least well-kept secret in the city, located as it is in a very historic part of town, and with its libraries of use to members of every order. It makes up for that by being by far the best-protected, with more than a century’s worth of wards – at least one set up by a legendary Archmaster, the Wizard Harpocrates, who set up the New York Athaeneum in the 1800s.
While it shares much knowledge freely among its members and, indeed, among those of the population willing to ask, its most precious tomes and secrets as to the purpose of the order are reserved for the initiated, and those who have proven themselves to the order.
The Free Council
Current members: ~300
The Free Council in New York City operates in a very loose association of individualized cabals, each of which maintains their own standards of leadership. The groups do meet in open Assembly on occasion to discuss matters that affect the order as a whole, but that process involves no real leadership: the Assembly is run by direct democratic process, and every libertine in the order has equal vote. Majority rules.
The rules, however, have changed somewhat in recent weeks, as following an invitation for advisement from the New York Consilium, the Free Council made the surprising decision to elect adept mage Mnemosyne as Consul, a position which previously had not existed. She was to operate under a one year term with “broad diplomatic powers” aimed at tying the Free Council Assembly and the Consilium closer together, though the exact limits are still being defined.
Following her death, the Assembly fell into total chaos, from which it has still not recovered. This has been exacerbated by the fact that the New York Consilium no longer recognizes the Free Council as a valid Pentacle order.
The Polity of New York
While the Consilium Council broadly governs New York policy, and the Orders more specifically shape it, none of these are true governing bodies for day-to-day affairs: few mages save raw initiates with no place to call their own spend much time in the public places of the Orders.
Most mages in New York instead make their way into one of the city’s many and ever-shifting cabals: groups typically ranging from 2-15 mages dedicated to some particular purpose. These mages may come from disparate orders and disparate Paths, or come from a unified point of origin; in either case, they seek to make their way in the world together. The most powerful of these, in addition, are a powerful force within their parent orders and within the politics of New York City at large.
Bane of Krakens
The Black Hats
The Card Sharks
The Celestial Forge
The Church of the Awakened Christ
The Circle without Center
The Elegant Conundrum
Eyes of Cerberus
Facta Non Verba
The Fata Morgana
The Ivory Tower
The Long Game
The Skeleton Key
Spiritus et Corpus
The Wise Club