The Great Work

The Solificati are notable for being founding members of both the Order of Reason and the Council of Nine Mystick Traditions. Despite this, it is a member of neither faction by the modern era. Its time with both factions combined only amounts to about 15 years.
The Children of Knowledge are perhaps the most secretive of the nonaligned practitioners of magic, and with good reason. Originally known as the Solificati (the Crowned Ones), they participated in the Grand Convocation and joined with the Council of Nine Mystick Traditions, holding the Seat of Matter. But things went horribly wrong, and the Solificati disbanded several years later. While many went their seperate ways, several of them regrouped and called themselves the Children of Knowledge, hoping to hide their Solificati origins. Since then, they have kept to themselves, being secretive for fear of retribution, staying out of the conflict between the Traditions and what is now called the Technocratic Union. With time working against them, however, they soon had to choose sides or perish.

Mage: The Ascension: Book of Crafts, p.32
Contents [show]
Quote Edit
Lift yourself above the dust if you would turn it to gold.
[Mage: the Sorcerers Crusade (WW 4800), p.137]

Paradigm Edit
Renaissance Solificati Edit
Magic is a symbol for self-refinement. While it bestows great powers, those trinkets are nothing compared to the spiritual process. Everything in Creation is part of the process (the stars, the minerals, the spirits, the beasts), and is a reflection of a cosmic truth; every item has a higher state. The world is organic, caked with baseness that, when smelted away, reveals Divinity. That smelting presents the greatest challenge; it requires wisdom, education, intuition and outer elements.
Perfection of one breeds perfection of all. Material things are ultimately hollow. One must be generous as the swan, honorable as the flame and valiant as the lion. The true Philosopher’s Stone is not a stone at all – it is the spirit that lives forever.

[Mage: the Sorcerers Crusade (WW 4800), p.137]

Modern Solificati: The Children of Knowledge Edit
Far from being the dusty and socially isolated laboratory rats of medieval folklore, the modern Children of Knowledge enjoy spreading their form of Enlightenment in the mortal world. They do this by taking advantage of their knowledge of chemistry (which is the modern “child” of alchemy) and pharmacology. Originally, alchemy was developped to the purpose of changing one physical form into another, with the ultimate goal being the transmutation of lead (or another base metal) into gold through the so-called “Philosopher’s Stone.” Awakened alchemists realized, however, that this was a parable, and that the true mission of magical alchemy was to turn the spiritual being of mankind to an Awakened state, an epiphany of unity with the universe. The Philosopher’s Stone was not simply about turning lead to into gold, but about helping humanity transcends the bonds of spiritual ignorance. All the Children of Knowledge had to do, they believed, was get the collective consciousness of humanity to open itself to the possibility of transcendental Enlightenment, and then knowledge would make itself known to all.
As followers of this philosophy the Childrren of Knowledge are squarely at odds with the Technocracy, for such universal transcendence forms the virtual antithesis of Technocratic beliefs and goals. The Children have seen their ultimate goal of spiritual transcendence grow further and further out of reach as the Technocracy imposes its paradigm of banality on the Masses. This very thing may yet drive them into the arms of the Traditions (and it will after the events leading to Mage: the Ascension Revised Edition). Although the Children of Knowledge believe that most of the Traditions’ philosophies are flawed, they do not believe they can stand alone against the Technocracy. For them, the old adage, The enemy of my enemy is my friend, rings increasingly true with each passing day.

Mage: The Ascension: Book of Crafts, p.32
Lexicon Edit
Children of Knowledge: Alternate name to designate the Solificati, coined in 1500.
Cununctio: “Conjunctions”; three ranks of achievement within the Solificati.

Egg: Surname used by the Solificati for the rank of Apprentice.

Great Awakening: The name for the event that, triggered by the Children of Knowledge, will cause a massive Paradigm shift in the belief of the nature of reality among the Sleepers, thus causing the creation of the Tenth Sphere.

Hermium: True Mercury; also the name of the third and most powerful of Conunctio. This title is similar to that of Adept.

Lunargent: True Silver; also the name of the second Conunctio. This title is similar to that of Disciple within the Council of Nine.

Orichalcum: True Gold; also the name of the first and lowest level of Conunctio, but above the rank of a mere Apprentice. Roughly the equivalent of the title of Initiate in the Traditions.

Prima Materia: The first and original material of all creation.

Prima Vis: Primal energy within all things; Quintessence.

Shop: Common slang term for laboratory; short for workshop.

Solificati: (singular: Solificato) The original name for the Children of Knowledge, cast out of the Traditions during the Great Betrayal; means “Crowned Ones”; also the highest rank within the Children of Knowledge – a title equivalent to the rank of Master in other Traditions.

Transcendental Enlightenment: Alchemical jargon for Ascension.

Unity: The fabled “Tenth Sphere” of the Solificati.

[Mage: the Ascension, Book of Crafts, p. 32]

Concepts Edit
Renaissance Solificati Edit
Mysterious stranger, apothecary, monk, astrologer, painter.
Modern Solificati (Mage: the Ascension Second Edition Rules) Edit
Character concepts for the Children of Knowledge can vary greatly. However, a few constants exist. First of all, the character must have the Knowledge Ability of Alchemy (see The Book of Shadows, page 26). Apprentices must have at least two dots in this Skill, Orichalcum and Lunargent at least three, and it is unheard of for a Solificato to have anything less than five dots. Many Children of Knowledge also have the High Ritual Knowledge Ability, used in their laboratories, and the Science Knowledge Ability, most often in chemistry. One final requirement is the Knowledge Ability: Secret Language. This describes the wide range of alchemical symbols used in the Craft’s magic, and it’s the only means by which to make heads or tails out of the in-depth writings. The Sanctuary Background is also common, and reflects the more personalized nature of alchemists’ laboratories.
Besides the usual antisocial lab rat type (a dwindling minority in modern nights), Solificati concepts include: bartender (supported by Abilities like Carousing and Empathy – a good bartender always listens, after all); rare book seller; headshop owner; eccentric university professor; and even the librarian who knows the most about the restricted stacks in the back vaults.

[Book of Crafts, p.40]

Initiation Edit
Renaissance Edit
Convincing a good alchemist to train you is difficult enough; the endless tests, labors and lessons that come with that training drive out all butthe most dedicated seekers. Many apprenticeships last five to 10 years; in that time, the “egg” (apprentice) learns the most common symbols, but must figure the rest out for himself. Few alchemical texts feature writing – pictures and a few cryptic references are all an egg has to learn by. If he Awakens, he might be taken into the formal fellowship – or he might not. Most eggs don’t know what they have joined until they’ve been chosen to join it.
[Mage: the Sorcerers Crusade (WW 4800), p.137]

Modern Nights Edit
The Children of Knowledge have no difficulty finding recruits. They simply look for people who have an avid interest in discovery, be it in alchemy, chemistry or the occult. An open mind is also important.
A teacher usually starts socializing with the initiate, often inviting him to parties, where the teacher and other colleagues engage him in metaphysical and magical discussions. All the while, they gauge the strength of the initiate’s Avatar. If they deem him suitable, the real training begins.

To start with, the teacher shows the initiate a few simple alchemical tricks. He explains the processes, and then invites him to try them. If he succeeds, even partially, the alchemist offer to take the initiate in as an Apprentice. This is, of course, not as easy as it sounds. Many potential Apprentices fail their first tetss even though they have strong Avatars. However, they may try as many times as they like. Those who persist succeed. Those who do not persist fail, and never become alchemists. Many of the finest alchemists found it difficult to master their first magical Effect, but they say it taught them to perservere in the face of adversity.

Conducting the ritual of Apprenticeship is a simple matter, definitely something every Hermium knows how to do. It requires a purification of the body, a balancing of the essential components of matter and mind; the teacher brings the new Apprentice into the necessary state of receptivity for new Enlightenment. Ways of doing this vary from individual to individual, depending on what the Apprentice needs to attain this state, and often center on activities that make him feel alive. The Hermium paints alchemical symbols on his body and on the Apprentice, as well as in the “workshop” in which the balancing takes place.

One element common to all initiations is the Alchemist’s Oath, in which the Apprentice promises to devote his life to the exploration of the mysteries of the universe, and promises to share discoveries with his brother and sister alchemists. In return, the Hermium promises to teach the Apprentice truly and well. Breaking this oath can cut the Apprentice from the society, or can lead to official censure for the Hermium. Censure is the complete dismissal of what the dishonored Hermium has to say on any subject, and the refusal to share information with him. Censure can last for any amount of time; the longest censure ever known lasted for over 100 years.

The Great Work

The Holy Grail War Reshar