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|Name:||Tamers of the Cave|
Unlike the other Elemental Masteries, whose chosen elemental forces are tangible and easily observable, the Tamers of the Cave master the void, the element of ether that scientists in previous centuries tried and failed to isolate. If elemental ether was never found by Sleeper scientists, it's precisely because ether doesn't exist, by definition. Ether is the material of nothing, a non-substance that permeates and holds together the vast, empty void. To harness ether, then, to "tame the Cave" is to make something out of nothing. Using the principle of like attracting like, the Tamer of the Cave draws void from void, creating a conduit between his body and the great nothingness outside space. He brings forth from his mouth an etheric mirror, a shining, starry, semi-liquid substance made of raw void. He is nothing and everything, all at once. Manipulating - becoming - the material of spirits and ghosts gives the Tamers of the Cave a keen understanding of the life beyond. They might not necessarily know what's to come just yet, but armed with their knowledge of the void, they have a confidence that whatever comes after life, they can make something of it. The Tamers of the Cave have seen how everything comes from nothing, how there is a material existence permeated and held together by the substance of nothingness. The void is hope and despair, faith and disbelief, all at once. They become these things personified. They become contradiction. To "tame the Cave" is make contradiction their reason for being. They challenge the social order in which they live.
Many believe in some sort of God, or at the very least in some kind of theory that life endures in some way beyond death. To many Tamers of the Cave, the lack of evidence for any kind of transcendent intelligence is all the more reason for faith. Faith for them thrives in the absence of evidence; their magic proves that nothingness produces and creates. Is it so implausible that a creator may be found in the emptiness? The Tamers of the Cave have traditionally recruited among people of faith. The twilight of traditional faith and the rise of fundamentalism, with its demands for simple, black-and-white truths and its inability to comprehend paradox, have a lot to do with this. People have always been willing to die for their faith, but the noble scapegoat of times past has given way to the suicide bomber and the creationist. Some people fear that a new dark age of ignorance, bigotry, and violence coming upon us.
As they progress among their path, Tamers of the Cave consider their lives cheap compared to the lives of others, even Sleepers. As ones for whom death is not a thing to fear, the Tamers of the Cave are often not afraid to die for others, no matter how undeserving these others might be. There are stories of Tamers of the Cave whose sacrificial deaths were the magical tools to raise others from the dead, or even to bring about a single Awakening. There are stories of others who cheated death and rose again, before Ascending to higher states of being. They're just stories, of course, but the stories persist.
Of course, not all Tamers of the Cave excel at these high standards. As Tamers of the Cave grow in power and knowledge, they sometimes develop odd personality tics and messiah complexes. A Tamer of the Cave becomes intense and driven. Many begin to gain delusions about what they are and what they're capable of. They become overconfident, unable to see that perhaps they are not quite the perfect Saints they should be. Possessed of a death wish, too many Tamers of the Cave sell their lives far too cheaply, achieving nothing, violating at the last the ethos of their Legacy.