Pelargonium

The Pelargonium is a wizard circle in Canstice. The members are usually members of the Church of Light, but they are not connected officially to the church.

Founder was color blind.


Though modern Verbena have some similarities to Wiccans, they are inheritors of far older legacies from disparate cultures originating around the world. Regardless of their many differing faiths and customs, the Verbena share many principles in common. This includes a deep respect for the Earth and the natural order, a holistic view of people and the world as intrinsically intertwined, and the belief that power and understanding can be found by embracing life in all its passions and pains.

Of all the Traditions, the Verbena are perhaps most challenged by the changes brought to the world by advancing technology and expanding civilizations. Each member must find a way to apply the lessons and practices of the old ways to the modern world, or be seen by both mages and mortals as merely a fringe practitioner of a dying craft.

Closely tied to the God of Abrahamic faiths (but its origins and beliefs date back to Ancient Egypt monotheistic god Aten), the One represents the source of all Creation and all Creation is believed to be a part of the One. Humans in particular carry shards of the divine within them, though it is known by many names: the divine flame, the soul, the Avatar. It is this connection which the Celestial Chorus believes enables them to clearly hear the One's song and to shape Creation. While their faith is essentially monotheistic, it is accepted that the Divine has many facets and can be expressed through any number of names, religions, and creeds.

Members of many faiths and denominations (including a variety of soft polytheists) come together in worship and service of the One, accepting that each person has their own path to the One. Of course, this ideal remains a work in progress and the Singers' history has been one of divisions and compromises, holy wars and martyrs, sacrifice and rejuvenation.

Unlike many mages, the Verbena believe there is innate magic that flows through everything in Creation. There is real power in the phases of the moon and positions of the stars, in the combination of plants properly prepared, in the blood and seed of living creatures. Quintessence is the pulse of the universe itself, carrying energy and the potential for change, giving life to the world. Magic is that energy, that life, and whether one is Awakened or not they have it pumping through their veins. In fact, the Verbena count quite a number of hedge-magicians among their ranks and draw little distinction between them and true mages. To be Awakened is to merely intuitively sense the magic all around them, and to to shape it directly with their own life energy as the Verbena's ancestors once did.

For the Singers, the soul is what defines who and what a human is and also the divine spark that dwells inside everyone. As the One created the Many from Himself and the Many turned into a Multitude later, these manifestations of the Multitude, the higher soul or Avatar, is a shard of the One within a mortal cover. Being portions of the divine, all humans have the power to Sing and to create, but often that goes unheard and never manifests, never realizing their true worth. Once a shard Awakens and begins to Sing again, they get the power to shape reality.

But even as they are the carriers of the Song of the One who creates miracles and leads the men and women of the world, they should never set themselves above the common man as they also had the same spark inside and some day they may join with the Song even louder.

The Congregation has a multitude of different opinions about the phenomenon of Metempsychosis, known as reincarnation, as while some think that the soul passes through a cycle of life and death to reach Ascension, while on the other hand there are groups who say that there is only one chance in the Path to Ascension.

As their name suggests, singing has long been an integral part of Chorister practice. It is viewed as one of the oldest forms of channeling the One, particularly when numerous voices join together in harmony, but it is only one of many methods. Blessings and curses carry with them divine energy. Divinations are often performed by interpreting dreams, casting of lots, or bibliomancy.

Anything that draws people together including simple touches, communal ceremonies, and even lovemaking are seen as ways to bring people closer to the One. On the other hand, fasting, self-denial, vows, and other sacrifices are seen as ways to free oneself from dependence on base needs in order to refocus and better hear the One's call. Likewise, religious rituals and symbols of faith are manifestations of the divine that can be touched and experienced.

In the Choristers, there are many who believe that the One never favored the powerful or the great. The Technocracy may worship size, but the One could be heard in all things, even in those small. That the infinite and the finite kiss each other is the most basic proverb that the Chorister masters teach their new pupils. A sacrament is then a finite moment when the One manifests through an specific physical element, being that grounded in the history of faith or coming with little reason at all.

Sacraments in the Singers ritual work in two ways. First, as a methapor, like how Christian, Jews and others wash themselves to purify their own bodies and souls or the sweet smell of incense symbolizes the presence of the One. This is, a connection between the Divine and the mundane. The other way is through synecdoche, taking a part for its whole. Christians communing with Christ by eating bread and drinking wine or Jews eating matzoh to be closer to God are examples of this. This is also the basis behind holy iconography.

The first true gathering of Singers is attributed to a priest named Mentuhetep, who during the reign of Amenhotep IV of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt in the New Kingdom, promoted the worship of a single monotheistic sun god, Aten, despite the scorn and wrath of his peers. It is said that after 40 days of wandering and fasting the One appeared to him, commanding him to gather the One's children that they might sing together in unity, a Celestial Chorus to guide the Sleepers towards the Divine. Though blinded by the visitation, from Thebes and with the assistance of the Pharaoh, Mentuhetep used means magical and mundane to call forth those who still heard the Song from across the world.

Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, now calling himself Ikhnaton in honor to their God, abandoned the city of Thebes and built a city called Akhenaten for the glory of the One. The other priests shower their anger and disapproval for the decision made by the Pharaoh, and predicted the fall of their city and cult, but their wrath fell on deaf ears as Ikhnaton and Mentuhetep continued their vision. The strange and lone Singers from far way were called, and even if they named the One by different names people from disparate lands and creeds gathered to take part in the Sacred Congregation. They were the Knights of Aten, the Chosen of Abraham, Gilgamites, Mithradites, Mazdeans, Canerites, Delphians, the children of Bhishma and Vallana and other groups descended of the First Singers. A Grand Council was devised to make easier the communication between the various groups inside the Congregation while the first Adytums (Chantries) were established and grew in power and influence. This First Congretation hold reunions to sing their hymns, explain their own visions of the One and discuss the prophecies that were revealed to their members. Mentuhetep resolved that Singers needed the aid of others to reach the One, and it was decided that the names of the One were many but all were refering to the same God. Of those that left, many went on to construct places of worship for the Choristers throughout the world.

But the priests who were casted aside by Amenhotep IV worked on the populace of Thebes to raid them into a holy war against the new city of the Pharaoh. It is thought that the priest chief, D'halen Ra', was allied to the Nephandi. The hatred and inflamed opinions incited by them brought the destruction of Akhenaten, burned to the ground scarcely a one century after its completion, and the first Grand Adytum of the Congregation burned with it. As this showed them that they could not fully had their authority linked to the Earth, they decided to re-construct a new Grand Adytum in an Horizon Realm, with the Nephandi trying to interfere in its construction and ultimately failing.

The Aeduna were the heirs of the Wyck, literally and figuratively, and wielded some of their skill in Awakened magic. But whereas the Wyck had been outsiders and travelers, the Aeduna were born among and lived with humans as healers, scribes, priests and priestesses, philosophers, and scholars. They grew in power and prominence Across the Mediterranean, spreading over time throughout Europe and parts of Asia. Many figures of myth are claimed to have been Aeduna, such Circe, Lilith, Medea, Merlin, Morgan le Fay, and perhaps some of the ancient gods.

The Verbena believe that several groups of mages can trace their origins to offshoots of the Aeduna. The first and largest branch was the Dreamspeakers, who valued the spiritual over the living world, and would largely dominate the Americas and Africa for millennia. The second branch was the Cult of Dionysus, which consisted of individuals who basked in the joys of drinking, partying, and sex; they would eventually merge with others to create the Cult of Ecstasy. Finally, the Cosian Circle formed around 400 BCE in Greece from the efforts of Hippocrates to organize the Aeduna's knowledge. Yet many of his students were ambitious and held little respect for the natural world; they performed dark and gruesome experiments that were condemned by the Aeduna.

The rise of the Roman Empire brought with it the Aeduna's first adversary: the Cult of Mercury, a methodical and expansionist society of mages that would later evolve into the Order of Hermes. The Cult of Mercury began undermining the Aeduna's influence in Greece and Italy, then actively aided the Romans in conquering Britannia and lands held by the Gauls, where the Old Ways had long been honored. The people called out to the Aeduna for help against the Romans, and the two groups of mages began to war against one another. The conflict continued for many centuries, and only intensified as Rome converted to Christianity and the Messianic Voices rose to power.

The Verbena are very loosely organized, with no official ranks or leadership. Individuals are sometimes given the title of novice, initiate, or elder, with the latter being a sign of great respect if not direct authority. A cabal of Verbena is called a Circle, and is usually formed around a goal or cultural identity shared by the members. Circles rarely exceed thirteen individuals, and are often quite smaller. Each Circle may have its own rules and customs, as well as a shared Book of Shadows. The only common role shared among Circles is that of high priest and priestess, the co-leaders of the group, particularly in regards to matters of ritual. Grand Circles are sometimes formed, if briefly, as Verbena gather to share news and ideas, celebrate the changing seasons, or discuss problems that are too large for a single cabal.

One of the utopic aspirations of the Celestial Chorus is the metaphorical idea of the Sacred City built on the love of the One. That ideal was broken not by the Prometheans and the Skeptics, but by the pettiness and infighting in the Chorus itself. But they still believe in it, even with some of them disputing the validity of trying to break the religious barriers and syncretize all religions into one, they still seek for a common love to the Divine, sharing a same vision and understanding that despite their different and sometimes antagonistic doctrines they are ultimately looking at the same One.

The Knights of St. George and the Dragon: An order founded in Syria in the 11th century and dedicated to protecting humanity from vampires and other monsters such as demons and werewolves, they admit women and non-christians freely. Emulating St. George and his slaying of the dragon, this self-professed knighthood practices the most powerful martial magicks and master the arts of war. Once the largest Guardian Order in the Chorus, fierce warriors at night, they were known as artists, statesmen and poets in the day.

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