Antinomian Magic –also known as the Path of Befouling- are the techniques of the Ars Mysteriorum that channel the Abyss. Although highly dangerous and heretical to the quest of the Pentacle and the Throne alike, many mages are willing to use the power of the Void for their own purpose. Scelesti and similar Left-handed Legacies that rely on the Abyss are often trained in the use of Antinomian magic and those who dabble in it find themselves enticed by their ranks.
Humanity has an inherent sympathy to the Void expressed through the Quiescence. Mages of Atlantean dogma pose that this sympathetic link is the result of the shattering of the Celestial Ladder and the severing from the Supernal. The human soul, in its longing for the supernal, has stared too long into the Abyss that opened between the two Realms. Aswadim Archmages that have sworn themselves to the Void, however, claim that the inherent paradoxes of human nature – to crave peace, yet commit acts of violence, to mistreat humans of different races, yet being kind to one's family, etc. – are what creates the link to the Void in order to reconcile limitlessness of desire with the limits imposed by the Supernal. Whatever the cause, the process can be divided into three steps...
The act of Befouling describes the willful decision of the mage to let the Abyss touch the supernal magic that is drawn through it. This quick touch of the Abyss is almost like a kind of camouflage in the Fallen World and has no visible repercussion (at first). A mage can accomplish this by forming a paradoxical Imago that captures both the desired effect and how the Fallen World denies its possibility (for example, why this cow cannot fly). The inherent Paradox of the imago draws the Abyss to it when Supernal energy is drawn from the Higher Realms, fueled by the mage's desire (in this case, the desire that the cow can fly). Because the void touches nearly everything in the Fallen World (including the souls of humankind), cloaking magic in the stuff helps ease its transition. Paradoxes are dampened, spells that cause damage are aided by the negating presence of the Abyss and the act of Befouling itself fills mages with a rush of positive feelings (although never altruistic or truly positive). This stage of Antinomian Sorcery leaves no mark, although repeated use can stain the user’s Nimbus. Scelesti call mages that use Befouling Rabashakim, cupbearers, which have yet to unravel the greater mysteries of the Void.
Drawbacks for the user are debilitating feelings that follow after the initial rush of Befouling wears off, as the human soul is not prepared for the contradictions and paradoxes that rule the Abyss. Wounds received during the Befouling are harder to heal and many mages become addicted to the experience, wanting to feel the rush of power again and again, harming their Wisdom score.
Most mages in this stage are already a Scelestus or shortly before initiation. In this stage, the mage searches the Void for the Dur-Abzu, the twisted reflections of the Watchtowers. In a process that resembles his original Awakening, but bears the significant stains of illogic on it, the mage ventures into the abyssal realm that twists his Supernal connection. Within the center of the Dur-Abzu, the mage creates his greatest personal paradox- he abuses out of love, slays his god- and accepts it into his very being, forming a primal connection to the Dur-Abzu that runs conjointly with his Watchtower.
Mages who have undertaken the Joining can hardly masquerade as members of any other Order anymore. Their wills and souls have been scarred by their deliberate self-betrayal, meaning that they will suffer nightmares or similar negative effects that remind them of their Joining. Their Nimbus warps to reflect the connection to the Dur-Abzu and their magical praxis changes to reflect their adherence to the abyssal counterpart of their Path. Scelesti call joined mages Nasnasi and many are willing to offer themselves as a tutor for further teachings if a mage has been willing to Join himself with his Dur-Abzu.
Joining, however, grants a mage greater control over Paradox. His Befouling practice becomes more focused and he is able to transfer his own Paradox to other mages within sensory range. Targeting Sleepers also becomes more easy, as the Abyss in his soul seeks out the Void-shard implanted by the Quiescence.
By offering his very soul to the residents of the Void, the mage shapes his own being into something with inherent Abyssal connections. Doing so creates a new Legacy, which is often summarized under the name Scelestus by Atlantean mages, despite the fact that few Scelesti have similar attainments. Mages who actually join an established Scelesti Legacy are regarded as Shedim and are held in high regard by their peers. Lone Scelesti are titled Autarks and while they lack the organization common to the Shedim, they are far more dangerous to the Orders, as they lack many traits and abyssal resonances that are held as marks of Antinomian practices and so can infiltrate Awakened society more easily. Offering oneself to the Void demands a channel, often present in the form of an Abyssal tutor that was summoned before or a daimonomicon that was created by a Scelestus or otherwise trained mage. Others make a pilgrimage through the Astral Realms and stand on the edges of the Fallen World, ready to give their souls to abyssal masters. Some are accepted, others are dragged into non-existence and some receive no answer at all. Such is the way of the Void.
Antinomian Mastery is possible, but rarely achieved. Doing so demands membership in a Scelestus Legacy and Master-level in his primary Arcanum. The aspirant travels to Oroboros on the frontier of the Dreamtime to visit the Old Man, the Aeon of Paradox. After negotiations in which the Aspirant has to sacrifice something out of his own free will (stretching from mutilating his sanity or physical well-being to accepting permanent Paradox markings to inviting Abyssal curses into their lives), the Old Man awards the aspirant with the Elder Diadem, which represents the apocryphal Lone Watchtower of Paradox. In return, the mage surrenders himself completely to the whims of the Abyss, meaning that the lords within could destroy him immediately if they please.
In return, the mage gains the ability to channel Paradox akin to an Arcanum. His mastery of Paradox allows him to inflict his own on other mages as well as converting stored Paradox into Mana. Scelesti that have attained the Elder Diadem are called Baalim and often act as leaders of small cults.
Only Aswadim enjoy a similar strong connection to the Void, but Aswadim rely on Imperial magic that have no antinomian counterpart, instead channeling the platonic truths within the Supernal Realms itself to create Paradoxical laws within the Fallen World in order to sever themselves from the “Prison of Forms” as they refer to it.