|Faction:||Order of Reason, formerly House Ex Miscellanea|
The Craftmasons were the spiritual forerunners of the Order of Reason and later founding members of the organization. Originally a band of rogue Hermetics, they advocated the physical over the mystical, seeking to aid the Sleepers and mundanes that suffered under the rule of unjust wizards.
Schooled in sacred geometry and esoteric lore, the Craftmasons understood the relationships between mathematics, the elements, Divinity and the human soul. Their Arts, channeled through architecture and invention, take advantage of Shallowings and Nodes, focusing mystick power to auspicious locations. In their eyes, Sorcery was lazy and sinful; good things come through hard work. Because of this, magical effects were best invested into artifacts and similar material goods, where everyone could access them. Flaws invited disaster and for many Craftmasons, it was better to tear everything down than dwell in a flawed building.
The origin of the Craftmasons lies in the Collegium Praecepti of Mt. Ossus near Rome. After the fall of the empire, the organization splintered into nuemrous small "lodges" that preserved the knowledge of alchemy, geometry and architecture. To keep their knowledge safe, the masters of these lodges disavowed great buildings and instead dedicated their arts to the common people and God.
Numerous of these small lodges were contacted by the Order of Hermes, who sought to use their preserved knowledge of the sacred geometry of the Ancient world. They were accepted into House Ex Miscellanea, where they began to exchange their knowledge with each other.
Dark Ages Edit
Around 1200, these proto-Craftmasons split from the Order after an argument on how magic had to be used. The masonics insisted that magic hadn't to be hoarded by an elitistic circle, but should instead be made clear and easily understandable to the common people, so that they could improve their lot themselves. During the Gathering of the Square, these groups joined forces with the forerunners of the High Guild under the leadership of Wolfgang von Reisman. In 1210, the Craftmasons finally struck against the Order, assaulting the Covenant of Mistridge, home to a particular arrogant Hermetic. During the siege, the Craftmasons first utilized cannons. The siege lasted for several weeks, until one mage, Grimgroth, who was secretly in league with the Tremere, interrupted the magical defenses of Mistridge. The cannons, who were previously unable to even slightly harm the edifice, blasted through the walls, allowing the Craftmasons to lead a mob of angry peasants and mercenaries into the Covenant and, after a costly battle, managed to kill every last Hermetic inside Mistridge. Unaware that it had been treachery that allowed them to succeed, the Craftmasons celebrated their victory, vowing afterwards to keep watch on other magi to prevent something like Mistridge from happening ever again.
In the following years, the Craftmasons made alliances with other groups, like the Gabrielites, who also sought to protect the common man from the depredations of the supernatural. Their views on what constituted proper magic became more and more dogmatic, with several disavowing the use of any kind of magic.
In time, the feud between the Craftmasons and the Order of Hermes lead to the Declaration of the White Tower, which saw the birth of the Order of Reason. Around 1500, the Craftmasons drafted the Theses of Languedoc, defining what acts constituted the Inner Mysteries of the art. In time, however, the admiration the Craftmasons held for the common people made them objects of derision within their own ranks and saw their growing isolation from the rest of the Conventions assembled in the Order.
Within their lodges, Craftmasons recognized 33 levels of achievement that approximate the usual Daedalean ranks in a pyramid scheme. Their leaders were a hidden circle of Maximi who were rumored to answer to a set of hidden masters within the astral realms.
The Craftsmasons contained several Guilds out of distrust of their fellow Conventions. Believing them to be susceptible to the corruptive influence of wealth and respect, most Craftmasons preferred to work in their own self-contained guilds.
- Arrow Guild: The Arrow Guild focused on direct problems. They traveled to area where the common people were devastated either by plague, famine or war and sought to aid them to the best of their abilities.
- Coin Guild: The task of the Coin Guild was to act as a counterpoint to the High Guild and their grand financial actions. Coinsmen focused on keeping the money close to the people, often investing in modest projects.
- Hemlock Guild: The Hemlock Guild were the Craftmason's spies, often insituating themselves in other Conventions to keep a close watch over them. They often clashed with the Ksirafai.
- Level Guild: The Level Guild involved themselves in politics, both within the wider Order of Reason and among mortals. Their penchant was to inspire revolution against unjust lords.
- Scroll Guild: The Scroll Guild worked to educate their fellow Craftmasons, teaching them various arts and sciences in various subjects like history or the beliefs of their enemies amidst the Traditions.
- Stone Guild: The Stone Guil was the most iconic guild of the Convention. Under their direction, monumental edifices were erected, which were intended to serve the greater population.
- Sword Guild: The Sword Guild's purpose was to defend the Convention's designs. In their task, they often took up causes others believed to be lost, with a tendency of turning certain defeats into narrowly won victories.
Version Differences Edit
- , p.155-159
- , p.125-126
- , p.142, 150-151