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World of d20d20 Modern Horror

The Traditions (formally called the Nine Mystic Traditions) are an alliance of secret societies. The Traditions were created to unify users of magic under a common banner to protect reality (particularly those parts of reality that are magical) against the growing disbelief of the modern world, the spreading dominance of the Technocracy, and the predations of unstable mages such as Marauders and Nephandi.

They failed.


Each of the Traditions are largely independent organizations unified by a broadly accepted paradigm for practicing magic. Each Tradition appoints one representative (usually one of the highest masters of that Tradition) to a seat on the Council of Nine, the highest authority of the alliance. Each seat on the Council represents one of the nine Spheres of magic, and each Tradition is thus necessarily specialized (usually through use of a suitable paradigm) in that sphere of magic. Historically, there have not always been nine traditions. Periods where the Traditions have had a vacant seat have usually been associated with times of relative weakness.

The Council has little say in the day-to-day operation of the Nine Traditions as a whole. Each Tradition has its own rules for recruitment, apprenticeship, and promotion, and the Council does not interfere with these. Instead, the Council directs the overall course of the Traditions, negotiating broad strategies to uphold Tradition ideals. They are also responsible for arbitrating inter-Tradition conflicts when they occur, and act as the highest court of the Traditions. It has been generally accepted practice that only the Council can authorize "Gilgul" (destruction of the avatar), the harshest form of punishment a mage can suffer.

The Traditions themselves vary substantially from one another. Some have almost no structure or rules, while others have rigid rules of protocol, etiquette, and rank. Though unified in their desire to keep magic alive, the magic practiced by different Traditions are often wildly different and entirely incompatible with one another. Understanding Traditions as a whole requires understanding each Tradition separately, and then assembling them into a somewhat cohesive whole.


The Nine Traditions are as follows:

  • Akashic Brotherhood: Ascetics, martial artists, and monks, largely drawing from Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, and other such religions. Masters of the sphere of Mind.
  • Celestial Chorus: Pious believers in a supreme being that encompasses all Gods ever worshipped. While nominally open to all deists, in practice it has been a strictly Christian tradition since the Crusades. Masters of the sphere of Prime.
  • Cult of Ecstacy: Intuitive seers using sensory stimulation, consciousness-expanding techniques, and meditation. Masters of the sphere of Time.
  • Dreamspeakers: Shamanistic emissaries to the shadow world. Masters of the sphere of Spirit.
  • Euthanatos: Thanatoic willworkers and killers drawing from a legacy of death-cults in India, Greece, and the cultures of the Arabs and Celts. Masters of the sphere of Entropy (Death and Fate).
  • Order of Hermes: Formalized sorcerers, alchemists, and mystics drawing from classical occult practices. Masters of the sphere of Forces.
  • Sons of Ether: Inspiration-oriented scientists dedicated to fringe theories and alternative science. Masters of the sphere of Matter.
  • Verbena: Blood-shamans, healers and primordial witches and warlocks. Masters of the sphere of Life.
  • Virtual Adepts: Technological adepts capable of informational wizardry. Masters of the sphere of Correspondence.

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