Mage: New Orleans
Politics After the Storm
Tradition Council vs. Rogue Council
In the aftermath of the Reckoning, the Traditions splintered. The leadership that arose from the fall of Horizon chose to declare the Ascension War over, the Technocracy the erstwhile victors. This was not surrender, but an acknowledgement of changing priorities. The Council of Nine would go to ground, and try new strategies beyond direct confrontation with the Technocratic Union. Other mages, however, considered the Reckoning a turning point in the War, and were emboldened by a mysterious group who worked to organize and coordinate these warriors. The Technocracy was vulnerable, just as badly hurt by the Reckoning as the Traditions had been, and a final victory for the beleaguered mystics was just around the corner. This seductive message, delivered by the enigmatic “Rogue Council,” was popular with many veterans of the War.
Now, there are two Councils, two “The Traditions,” each claiming to be the true successors to that noble, if flawed, organization. Individual Chantries across the world have sided with one faction or the other, or have declared themselves some shade of neutral. Both factions are, theoretically, on the same side, merely differing in their methods. In practice, the “Rogues” resent the “Traditionalists” for not supporting them out on the front lines, while the “Traditionalists” fear the day when the “Rogues” bring a squad of HIT Marks down on everyone’s heads. This has led to tense and complicated relations all around.
New Orleans is firmly controlled by the Tradition Council, with its own subsidiary Council occupying the oldest and grandest Chantry in the region. Followers of the Rogue Council are permitted in the city, for as long as they do not use it as a base for antagonizing the Technocracy. Anyone who is felt to be violating the word or spirit of these restrictions is asked, with increasing levels of forcefulness, to leave.
The main Chantries in the cities of New York and New Orleans have declared for the Tradition Council. The Chicago Chantry supports the Rogue Council. Los Angeles and Boston are split/neutral. Other Chantries across the United States are more Tradition-specific, and so their allegiance is primarily to the Tradition that owns them.
Technocracy vs. Traditions
Post-Reckoning, the Technocracy party line is that the Ascension War is over, and they won. Yet everywhere they look, members of the Union see dangers and failures. Vast portions of the Technocracy’s command and control apparatus was “off world,” and thus totally lost during the Reckoning. The Void Engineers were, as one might imagine, hit harder than anyone else. Now, some semblance of organization has been restored, but there are many cracks and blind spots.
So it must have been a tremendous relief that the “defeated” Traditions reached out for an unofficial end to the War, an eggshell-thin truce that would let both sides take stock of the damage, and begin to rebuild. Hard-liners in the Union fought this decision tooth-and-nail, and there are still some areas of the world where “superstitionists” will be killed on sight, but the majority agreed to quietly end the Pogrom, and to “divert vital resources towards damage control and reconstruction efforts.” And considering what resources remain, they can all be considered vital.
Fighting still occurs, of course. Some individual Technocrats bear old grudges against their former enemies, and some amalgams will take every opportunity to strike back. Some Tradition mages, particularly those who follow the Rogue Council, are still dedicated to dismantling the Union and all its works. Sometimes, a conflict arises over a precious resource or due to an unfortunate misunderstanding, despite the desires of either side. But in most places, at most times, Tradition and Technocratic mages try to give each other a wide berth, and make no threatening movements. Sometimes, they might offer some minor assistance. The truce is a fragile thing, but both sides seem to need it.
The Council and the Camarilla
New Orleans has another truce worth noting, a compact made between the local Council and the city’s court of vampires. The two groups had battled for supremacy in the early parts of New Orleans’ history, but this warfare left too many Sleepers dead, and both sides vulnerable to their other enemies. It was decided that a complicated non-interference treaty would be signed, and enforced by the leadership of both sides. The result is an ongoing and Byzantine system of arbitration, negotiation, and the occasional duel. Neither side is particularly thrilled with such arrangements, though they recognize its uses for genuine diplomacy and vicious politics. (See also: the “Vampire” section of Supernatural Denizens )
The Council and the Crafts
While the Tradition Council holds sway in the city, they are not the only mages present. Several unaffiliated groups and individual practitioners share the region. The most powerful and well-connected are the Bata’a, descended from Afro-Caribbean practices like Voodoun and Santeria. There are also several Hollow Ones in the city, though they do not have any organization of their own, and instead tend to join with other mages from different groups. The occasional Orphan or other independent mage wanders through the region, and so long as they cause no trouble, they are left in peace. However, these groups receive no formal representation on the Council, and so there is discontent, which sometimes leads to low-level conflict with members of the Traditions. (See also: the “Mages” section of Supernatural Denizens )