"Dude," he says, "you licked my ear!"
The State of the World (aka: Future Fates)
The Destruction of Doissetep
- It happened. The place is dust.
The Great Betrayer
- He made a heroic mess: whatever that person’s true nature may have been, the Ascension Warrior left a titanic impression upon the Traditions – one from which they might not have recovered.
The Technocratic Paradigm
- Technocratic belief dominates certain parts of the world: Technological paradigms rule most of the industrialized world, but there’s a lot more flexibility than most people realize. Definitions of vulgar and coincidental magick depend upon reality zones.
The New Millennium
- Shit happened: 9/11 happened, Hurricane Katrina happened, the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars happened, and the world’s smack in the middle of global climate change. International revolts, Fox News, the Greek economic crisis, and all the other messes and miracles that define our era are in full swing.
Chantries and Horizon Realms
- Many Chantries and Realms have been reduced, but powerful facilities remain intact: The balance of power has shifted, and magick is rarer and more difficult than it had been before. Still, Chantries and Constructs can still be pretty marvelous places.
The Reckoning, the Gauntlet and the Avatar Storm
- The Avatar Storm was temporary: After a horrific period of spiritual violence, the Storm subsided into a bad memory. Haunted Realms filled with spirits still drift throughout the Middle, High and Deep Umbra, but the worst effects of the Storm have ended.
- To clarify: in our canon, the Storm only just recently ended and mages are still learning about / getting accustomed to the new state of things.
- The Shadowlands and Dark Cities have been rebuilt: the passing years have calmed the Storm and allowed new Wraiths to construct Underworlds from their own passions and the memories of recent events.
- With the Storm only recently subsiding, it’s likely that the Shadowlands are still not in the state they once were, but neither are they an obliterated warzone.
Cell Phones and the Internet
- [Our] story takes place in the 21st century, with current internet and cell phone technology: Adjusting the influence and abilities of the Virtual Adepts and other factions, [we] run [our] chronicle amidst the familiar trappings of the ever-wired world.
The Horizon War, Doissetep and the Storm
- The Horizon Realms are history: a handful of Realms still exist, but the majority of them perished. Ghost Realms float through Etherspace, acting out ephemeral extensions of their original forms. Even the Technocracy has been cut off from its off-world Constructs, and that disconnection has led to profound changes within the Union.
- However, with the Storm gone, possibilities for rebuilding and/or rediscovering lost Horizon realms exists.
The Reckoning and Sixth Age
- The Technocracy’s victory party was premature: Sure, the Union got the upper hand, but the Traditions and Disparates have survived worse. Hubris leads most Technocrats to consider the fight more or less over. The Masses surprise everyone with their combination of self-indulgence, fanaticism and hope for a better tomorrow. The Traditions rally once again, and the Disparates band together to take back their world. Loyal Technocrats who’ve discovered the Inner Circle’s corruption stage a shadow-war within the Union, possibly allying with Tradition and Disparate sects in an effort to rescue the ideals of science from Nephandic infiltration.
- Anyone who reads the core book may note that I’ve removed a few bits from the above paragraph. This is because I want to leave the details of potential Nephandic influence within the Technocracy vague. It’s certainly present, but where and how much it exists is currently ambiguous (and may remain that way.) There are many different kinds of “corruption” and powerful organizations have never needed the influence of Nephandic cauls in order to commit terrible acts. Is the Technocracy bad because they’re being led by Nephandi, or have the Nephandi infiltrated them because of corruption that was already there?
- The Council transforms: In a new-millennium chronicle, the [Council has had about 10 years to rebuild,] granting the Traditions a significant comeback. Horizon and Doissetep are distant memories, but new strongholds have replaced them. [The ideals of] the Rogue Council have inspired The New Horizon Council, and several Traditions – notably the Akashics, Dreamspeakers, Ecstatics, Etherites, and Thanatoics – have assumed new identities that reflect their renewed sense of purpose.
- In our canon, the Sphinx remains largely mysterious, and any influence they may have had came by way of inspiring the earthbound mages to band together and rebuild. This may not even have been direct influence so much as a sense of hope that the idea of the Rogue Council helped to propagate among the surviving mages.
- The Sphinx abides: it’s still out there, still sending transmissions and still unknown. [Mages] might receive transmissions from the entity called the Sphinx, but its ultimate nature – though obviously helpful – remains mysterious.
- In our cannon, the Sphinx is no longer very active and transmissions from it are rare. But it is still out there.
The Dimensional Anomaly and a “Kinder, Gentler Technocracy”
- The Union remains Earthbound: Most extraterrestrial Constructs have been destroyed. The Void Engineers have gone hardcore. The NWO has literally lost Control, and Iteration X has been cut off from Autocthonia and, as a result, has become more human and less machine. HIT Marks have been largely phased out in favor of power-armor Hardsuits and personal enhancements. Aside from the efforts of the Panopticon, the Pogrom is largely on hold unless someone presents a distinct threat to the Earth at large. The Technocracy now faces the combination of rebellious human belief, internal schisms, potential Nephandic corruption and the ominous Threat Null.
In Secrecy, This Infection…
- [Within the Technocracy] there’s corruption, but they’re dealing with it: Yes, some Nephandi have warped the Union’s purpose. And yeah, the Technocracy’s brutal. But still, the Union can be saved. Devoted Technocrats – inspired and sometimes led by Secret Agent John Courage – have been fighting a covert war within the Technocracy… and despite major losses and obstacles, there’s still hope for the Technocracy’s redemption.
A Technocratic Upgrade?
- News of a possible re-org within the Technocracy has surfaced, but as of yet these are only rumors.
- It never happened: [Horizon was attacked,] but nothing ties the Hollow Ones to that invasion. The Traditions and Hollow Ones still get along as well as they always did, and the Disparate Alliance is just an attempt to protect unaligned mages from the Technocratic purge.
- The Darkling ambassador may or may not have been involved in Horizon’s destruction, but if so it isn’t known. The Hollowers as a whole were not directly involved, and though there may be some quiet rumors in the higher echelons of the Council, for the most part relations between the Hollowers and the Traditions remain as they always have been.
- [Standard options not chosen. See below.]
- The Nephandi have a far-reaching and insidious influence, but the exact size of that threat is unknown. They’re out there and they’re dangerous, but they’re far from winning the war of Ascension. In our canon, their influence is larger than it was assumed in Revised, but not so all-encompassing as it’s presented in the more extreme options of M20.