Entropy (known as Fortune among some during the Renaissance) is one of nine Spheres of magic in Mage: The Ascension. The Euthanatoi have occupied the Seat of Entropy in the Council of Nine Mystic Traditions since its founding. The Shard Realm of Entropy maps physically to Pluto.
Entropy concerns itself mainly with the study of order, chaos, luck and destiny. From this Sphere comes the study of order and randomness, and thus, the study of totally random creation and destruction. All things dissolve eventually into haphazard components, and similarly events form from disjointed, unconnected patterns. Mages who study Entropy often choose the path of either order or chaos. Students of order look into patterns, into the ways that events flow from one to the next and into the means by which new things build on the old. Students of chaos study the dissolution of patterns, the destruction of matter and the random elements that infect happenstance and probability.
Determinism and chaos are equal partners to the student. The mage can spot chance on the move, recognizing points where probability quirks in odd directions. An Entropy-schooled mage can manipulate random factors, observe and influence flaws within a system, induce or remove corruption, and otherwise exert his Will through the inexorable process of mortality.
Another aspect of Entropy is its connection to the Resonance of the Low Umbra and Oblivion, the final destination of everything that is. As such, mages who practice the death-arts (known collectively as Kalananda among the Euthanatoi, the foremost experts on this kind of magic) tend to be well versed in the use of Entropy, as well as Spirit, Mind, Prime and Life. These arts are dangerous, for they invite Jhor, the death-taint, which drives the mage into homicide and obsession.
To utilize the Archspheres of Entropy, the mage has to realize that his fate is his fault. This is far more complicated than accepting that one's fate is one's own. It involves the acceptance that every decision and every event in his life has shaped the mage, so that he, as a product of all these decisions, has no other choice but to act in this way and that there is no escape from the consequences of existence. Afterwards, the mage has to accept that he can't change Fate without changing fundamental aspects of himself.
Mages with experience in Entropy tend to be fatalistic, disassociated, or uncannily cheerful. Such individuals have a nigh-tangible aura that gives an impression of being in exactly the right place and important, or of being completely out of place. Such mages seem to show up in just the right places at the right (or wrong) times.
Entropy cannot be used to affect Life Pattern up to the fourth level (although random happenstances might be influenced to achieve desired effects). Furthermore, use of Entropy tends to built a strong Entropic Resonance, infusing the weight of mortality within his mind and soul.
Below is a short representation how the Sphere of Entropy is interpretated by the various magickal factions within the World of Darkness.
- Akashic Brotherhood: The Akashics speak of Entropy as the force of Karma and Sunyata. Karma is the force of cause, result and effect, while Sunyata is the state of impermanence that all things possess. By understanding that karma itself is also impermanent and, like all other things, an illusion, the Akashic can alter its cause.
- Celestial Chorus: The Chorus sees Entropy more through the lens of divine providence. Some believe that Entropy represents the "master plan" of the underlying metaphysics of the Tellurian that the One created. Others speak against this, believing instead that Entropy is the randomness of an improvisational theatre wherein the One awaits what Its children might form.
- Cult of Ecstasy: The Cult of Ecstasy speaks of Entropy as the "Cycle of Karma" and associate it with "Fear" among the Nine Sacred Passions. Entropy is the force of momentum, eventuality and probability. It forces all things through cycles of mortality and rebirth. Ecstatics use this principle by either relieving objects or persons from their karmatic debts, or weighing them down, pushing them back into the cycle prematurely.
- Dreamspeakers: Dreamspeakers differentiate sharply between spirits of death and spirits of fortune. While they usually shun the former, they concentrate on the latter. In most cases, Entropic Effects are used to coax fortunate or unfortunate behaviour from other kinds of spirits, leaving most Dreamspeakers to use Entropy conjointly with the Spheres of Life, Matter or Spirit.
- Euthanatoi: The Euthanatoi call Entropy "Tamas", the "Dark Inertia" that breaks down everything back into its basic components and sends the soul back to the Wheel of Ages. It is the force of inevability that cannot be changed, although it can be delayed or accelerated. The Euthanatoi were the ones who united the conceptions of Fate, the Cycle, karma and dharma among their varied members into a common Sphere and are the ones most proficient in its various uses.
- Order of Hermes: The Order of Hermes interprets Entropy as the Ars Fati (sometimes also referred to as Ars Fortunae, especially by the House that shares this title). Hermetics see Entropy as the interplay of opposing forces, each testing the other on weakness, impurities and imperfections. In the end, this interplay gnaws away everything except for the Wisdom itself that has been gained from the process. By mastering Entropy, the Hermetic also masters the flaws within systems, as well as their most static expressions.
- Sons of Ether: The Sons of Entropy speak of Entropy as "Ether Dynamics". Citing Heraclitus as the earliest discoverer of the cycles of creation, endurance and destruction, the Sons of Ether believe that amount of energy of a Pattern is always preserved, even though it form may vanish. By discovering the correct opposing patterned energy, they can manipulate their interactions with each other.
- Verbena: The Verbena celebrate Entropy during Mabon, the autumnal equinox. It is the time where the last fruits are harvested and death takes the land in the coming winter, preparing the soil for the coming spring. As such, the Verbena see Entropy and Life strongly connected. Each life is a strand in the grand tapestry of Fate, to be measured and cut at its appropiate time. Verbena tangle these strands, bringing luck and misfortune in equal measure, carefully preserving the balance between both forces.
- Virtual Adepts: Most Virtual Adepts avoid Entropy, fearing its disruptive influence in their precious systems. Those who turn to it believe that Entropy is the primal stuff from outside the universe, which seeps into the Tellurian and brings change. Most see its use to test their equations against entropic formulas, until the percentage of failure is low enough or use it in codes to hack hostile bases.
- Ahl-i-Batin: The Ahl-i-Batin see Entropy connected to Gevurah. Although the Ahl-i-batin acknowledge the existence of the Sphere of Entropy, they are unable to use it. No one knows why. Some suspect that the ban is self-enforced, other belive that Batini Avatars have been touched by the Khwaja al-Akbar and rendered immune to Entropic influences.
- Kopa Loei: The Kopa Loei call Entropy "Ka Makani" (the Voice of the Wind). Closely associating it with Air, the Kopa Loei use breath techniques to influence Entropy, inhaling bad luck and exhaling good luck.
- Templars: The Templars have taken up the Sphere of Entropy to divine the hidden will of God, who reveals itself in even the smallest events. Most utilize its covert potential to neutralize threats to the Temple before they grow too severe.
- Taftâni: The Taftâni call Entropy Wizarishen- the Separation between Asha and Druj that grinds away at the world and simultaneously creates everything. They stand divided in the matter of Entropy. Some believe that accomplishing feats through accidents and fortune reeks of druj, while other delve into its application for speaking curses and manipulating the outcome of events.
- Wu-Keng: The Wu-Keng practice Entropy as the embodiment of Yin. Believing that chaos cannot be controlled, they usually refuse to define Entropy like most Traditions do, instead riding the waves of happenstance to avoid falling into misfortune.
- Wu Lung: The Wu Lung speak of Entropy as Hun Luan, the deliberate art of manipulating the streams of joss.
Among the Technocracy, the Syndicate are the foremost experts on Entropy. Studying "Chaos Theories", the idea of controlling permutations and determining outcomes from changing variant inputs, and thermodynamics and its sister theories, like the Double-slit Electron Theory, allow Technocrats to study the effects of decay and entropic degradation.
Standard Powers Edit
- Sense Fate and Fortune: The mage can sense shifts in probability and spot flaws in Patterns.
- Ring of Truth: The mage can note the subtle yet telling details in a person's speech and behavior that suggest whether or not she's telling what she believes to be the truth.
- Control Probability: The mage can influence Patterns with Entropic energy, which allows him to control the outcome of simple events (like altering a dice throw).
- Affect Predictable Patterns: The mage can directly affect inanimate Patterns of varying complexity, controlling the speed at which material objects fail or decay.
- Affect Life: The mage can direct entropic energy at living patterns, cursing or blessing them.
- Affect Thought: The mage can affect synapses within a targets brain, causing random behaviour.
- Shape Memes: The mage can infuse ideas itself with entropic energy, changing, evolving, bringing them to prominence, or discarding them as he sees fit.
- Binding Oath: The mage can create a geas, an oath that will bring terrible misfortune on anyone who breaks it.
- Stultifying Order: The mage can ward off natural Entropy, removing any probability.
- Utter Chaos: The mage can generate raw chaos, greatly enhancing natural entropic processes.
- Destiny of the Species: The mage can affect the fate of entire species with Entropy.
^ Level 1
|Sense Fate And Fortune||Pg. 161|
|Sense Flaws, Fate And Fortune||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 514|
|Ring of Truth||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 514|
^ Level 2
|Control Probability||Pg. 161|
|Control Probability||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 515|
^ Level 3
|Affect Predictable Patterns||Pg. 162|
|Affect Predictable Patterns||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 515|
^ Level 4
|Affect Life||Pg. 162|
|Affect Living Things||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 515|
^ Level 5
|Affect Thought||Pg. 162|
|Affect Thought||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 515|
|Shape Memes||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 515|
|Binding Oath||Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 515|
^ Level 6
|Stultifying Order||Masters of the Art||Pg. 67|
|Utter Chaos||Masters of the Art||Pg. 67-68|
^ Level 7
|Destiny of the Species||Masters of the Art||Pg. 68|
^ Level 8
|Breach the Shroud||Masters of the Art||Pg. 67|
|Deny the End||Masters of the Art||Pg. 68|
^ Level 9
|True Destiny||Masters of the Art||Pg. 68|
- ↑ Masters of the Art Pg. 75
- ↑ Masters of the Art Pg. 67
- ↑ , p.43
- ↑ , p.54
- ↑ , p.54
- ↑ , p.53-54
- ↑ , p.53
- ↑ , p.59
- ↑ , p.62
- ↑ , p.59
- ↑ , p.56
- ↑ , p.60
- ↑ , p.38
- ↑ , p.70
- ↑ , p.100
- ↑ , p.75, 82
- ↑ , p.116
- ↑ , p.126
- ↑ , p.49-50