The Holy Grail War
Background and Setting
The basic premise is that everyone has the capacity, at some level, to shape reality. This capacity, is dormant in most people, who are known as Sleepers, whereas Magi are said to be Awakened. Because they’re awakened, Magi can consciously effect changes to reality via willpower, beliefs, and specific magical techniques, within the cosmic frame of the True Laws.
The beliefs and techniques of Magi vary enormously, and the ability to alter reality can only exist in the context of a coherent system of belief and technique, called a paradigm.
When a mage performs an act of magic that does not seriously violate this commonsense version of reality, in game terms this is called coincidental magic. Magic that deviates wildly from consensus is called vulgar magic. When it is performed ineptly, or is vulgar, and especially if it is vulgar and witnessed by sleepers, magic can cause Paradox, a phenomenon in which reality tries to resolve contradictions between the consensus and the Mage’s efforts.
There is an underlying framework to reality collectively called the Creation. Creation is naturally divided into various sections, including the physical realm and various levels of the spirit world, or Shadow Realm. At the most basic level, the Tapestry is composed of Mana, the essence of magic and what is real.
Creation, as the collective of all reality, is composed of:
- The Fallen World: It is further divided into two parts: The Realm Material, that is accessed everyday and forms the reality most Sleepers will ever know, and the Realms Invisible, who have clearly supernatural traces left but are barred from the higher truths through the Abyss.
- The Realm Invisible: The “Realms Invisible” are the parts of the Fallen World that are separated from the Realms Supernal by the Abyss, but are clearly supernatural in origin and under normal circumstances unaccessible for Sleepers. Mages with the Spirit, Death and Mind Arcana are able to interact with their correspondendic Realm. Such realms include the Astral Space, the Twilight, and the Shadow Realm.
- The Realm Supernal: Represents the Platonic Ideals of the world or “how should be”. Each one governed by one Arcanum and not subjected to the limitations of the Fallen World.
- The Abyss: The void that spawns between the Fallen World and the Realms Supernal, barring them from mages and the cause of the waning of magic.