|Type||Vampiric Arcane Society|
|Player May Join||Yes |
|Area of Operation||Worldwide|
The Ordo Maximus, on the surface, is an initiatory and social society for those with ties to the nobility. Draped in the occult, it serves as a social club and magical society for those who can meet its exacting requirements. While not all members are awakened, all are people who matter. With heavy ties to research and academic spheres, the Ordo has large control and influence over research worldwide. Members have access to some of the finest communities of magical study, and act as a networking organization envied in elite around the world. Organized into Circles, ranks in the organization, members only interact with select parts of the organization, above and below their current circle. Most assume the higher ranks are similar to the their own, albeit draped in more occult symbolism and ritual. They would be wrong.
An initiate into the public organization would find their advancement continually slower, circle by circle, never truly finding the seats of power they assume exist. This is simply because the membership and goal of this Inner Circle is entirely different from exterior, no longer being an idle social club of the rich. In truth, the public facing organization exists only to provide money, power, and connections to this inner core, almost like a parasite. All this is to support the true Ordo Maximus, a vampiric cabal dedicated to the study and acquisition of magical power, in all its forms. Singularly focused, they funnel the resources of the world's elite to advance their power in the ultimate quest for ascension, to reach Apotheosis.
The Outer Circle
Ordo Maximus, unlike the oft compared Black Lodge, does have a public face to its organization. A society for the uppercrust, populated by those wealthy elite with ancestral ties to nobility past and present, Ordo Maximus shows itself as one of the most prestigious initiatory groups in the world. A mixture of magical study group, social club, and networking tool for the elite, it holds both awakened and non-awakened in its ranks. Power is exercised through wealth and influence, their connections and money allowing subtle power over political and media apparatuses. While the days of nobility are officially past in many countries, the reality of their influence still stands.
Additionally, Ordo Maximus holds large sway in the sphere of research publications. Deeply committed ideologically to study and academics, they have deep ties to academic journals, their bureaucratic controls and reviews, and the organizations that fund research. When upstarts challenge their hold, they have all the money and legal power needed to keep their iron control. While not the flashiest set of powers to have, it gives the Ordo immense knowledge and control over research happening around the globe.
In their meetings and rites, members of the Outer Circle gather in esoteric lodges, places of wealth, history, and symbolism. These meetings are hidden and secret, with outsiders barred and exceptions rare. Inside ceremonious rites and rituals are performed, the content widespread and varied. Ranging from simple social events, clad in a veneer of the occult, to magical rituals, masked orgies, and all assortment of hedonism that you could imagine from the bored and wealthy. The Outer Circle, despite any pretensions members might hold, has no true direction on the organization at large, so any decisions or policies made at this level are ultimately petty, or confined to local circles. That's not to say things are harmonious or peaceful though.
Membership in the Outer Circle is eclectic, with initiates having a wide range of reasons for participation. Some simply are bored and appreciate having a social group with other peers at their level, the mystique and ceremony simply giving a fun twist on boring parties. Others though, see this front as simply one of many to advance their station among their rivals, with the Ordo itself little more than a new field of conflict with their acquittances. While they may attempt to undermine or sabotage their rivals in some form or another, the Ordo again is nothing more than occult window dressing. However, there are members of the Outer Circle who, despite their separation from the true heart of the Ordo, still have a serious interest in their work in the organization. Academics, mages, people hungry for magical power, these members of the Outer Circle seek secrets and power in their own way. These members may actively seek out magical knowledge, attempt to steal it from their peers, and jockey for status. A rare few might have hints of the nature of the Masters above, of the true nature of the organization. While most are still simply petty servants hoping for an advancement, these members may strive dearly for their chance to ascend. They will do anything their masters demand.
Despite the periodic internal conflict and political feuds in the Outer Circle, the Inner Circle rarely involves themselves. As long as the Outer Circle maintains it's purpose, which is providing money, social connections, and the occasional ritual participation, all is well. In fact, the constant infighting can be useful. It muddies the waters and distracts those peering in, the conflicts and actors themselves ultimately meaningless and unimportant. The emphasis on mundane hedonism and ritualism, the constant exchange of money, favors and petty conflict, keep the lower members occupied and distracted, happy enough in their place and uninterested in pushing upward. At times, the Inner Circle may have favored servants who they will launder work through, using them as an intermediary to lower contractors, with the member in question generally unaware of the true nature of things.
The Inner Circle
The Inner Circle, while nominally the same organization as the Outer, is radically different in structure and focus. Instead of random groups of bored elites, clashing and socializing with each other, the Inner Circle is a dedicated faction of infected striving for shared magical ascension, pooling resources and knowledge to support each other in the ultimate goal. The nature of research though means not all members are working on the same thing. Internal structure is varied, though tends to concentrate around shared interests of researchers collating onto projects. This often takes the form of infected and their families/bloodlines working together, tied by social-familial connections as well as shared academic ones, but it's not always the case. Initiates can change paths, searching to find the type of research group that fits them.
These research groups are generally referred to as projects, and encompass some form of magical research of interest to the greater goal. These projects are generally self administered, drawing funding and resources from the greater organization as well as reporting results back, but operating in relative isolation to each other. Project groups aren't only composed of infected initiates though. In addition to a wide range of potential pawns and thralls, they also sometimes enlist mortals of value. Internally referred to as prodigies, these people are groomed for introduction as true members of the Inner Circle. Upon a certain level of training or accomplishment, or simply for the right time to arrive, they may be turned and initiated as members of the true Ordo.
While it might be expected that a secret infected organization built on magical dominance might be a little cutthroat, it's surprisingly harmonious. Given the scope of the overall goal, no one project holds the entire key, and research requires building and extrapolating on prior work. This means that collaboration of results and resources is critical. While two members may hate each other, it can potentially be worth looking past that in the pursuit of the greater goal. That's not to say conflict or trouble never arises, or that the system is foolproof. Members still work to attain personal power and wealth for their own sake, but the Inner Circle in general serves to advance for all member's mutual gain.
Research Projects of the Inner Circle
A recurring theme in the Ordo's research is to transcend the weakness of their infected state, and to become something greater. Common themes of research in this project are eliminating weaknesses to sunlight, being able to consume food again, negating painful weaknesses to substances such as wood or silver. Any of these accomplishments would greatly increase personal power and quality of life.
The state of infection has changed over the years, mutating and adapting in strange new ways. Research into infected cannibalism has shown this exacerbates the effect, even creating links to some Entity beyond. Understanding the root causes and nature of HMHVV is critical to mastery of it, and research into infected mutations and their source continues. The hazardous nature of the research has slowed it though, safety to members of the Inner Circle being provided through usages of drones and proxies.
Ahriman and Promethus
The Entity must be understood as well. It's nature and connection to the infected, if it has power over them. The question lingers as well, if it is a spirit, can it can be mastered? If drawn by infected cannibalism, the mind turns to the crisis of Asamando.
Research into Cybermancy and the soul. The Ordo is on the cutting edge of this research, interested it both for its own sake, and its ties to the vampiric condition. Unlike standard corp research, direct results aren't always required, with creativity and potential understanding the most important goal, to truly push boundaries.
Perhaps the most radical research of cybermancy is deceptively simple. Cybermancy without the cyber. True mastery and control of the soul, necromancy. These projects explore necromantic rituals to bind souls to bodies when essence is drained away. Research so far is preliminary, but the creations have shown powerful astral disruptions and intense (undead) stamina.
This project studies relationships between blood magic and the infected. This project does have links to megacorporate interests, notably Aztechnology. Using Blood Panthers as study subjects, they research the relationship of infected and blood magic, seeking improvements, masteries, and discoveries.
This project delves into the secrets and advancement of resurrection, drawing on all disciples of magic to draw the soul back from death, in whatever ways possible. While a long shot in success, it's wide range of study gives potential discoveries in information for other projects.
This world is just one of many. Gates between planes exist, as can be provably seen. The Ordo needs mastery of this phenomenon. These experiments study connections between planes, and ways to travel between them.
As part of the overall goal of ascension, members of these projects seek to study the sustenance needs of infected, and ways to potentially replace them. Ultimately, the goal is to be able to subsist on pure magic, moving beyond needs of metahuman consumption. Through this, a purer form of immortality can be reached, no longer needing mortals to feed on, instead able to tap into magic for power and energy.
That's not the only part of this though. While ideal, the former goals are a large undertaking, so it includes research into synthetic food substitutes, or ways of storing sustenance for longer times. Any research into the mechanisms of infected feeding aid the greater goal after all.
Aztechnology: Ordo Maximus has collaborated with Aztechnology in research concerning blood magic and infected. The "alliance" is tenuous at best though. Sharing information and power to outside bodies runs counter to the core ideology of the Ordo.
Martin De Vries: The original Ordo Maximus hater, a vampire vampire hunter and popular novelist, de Vries is embarked on a 1 man crusade against the Ordo and infected in general.
Anti-Infected Groups: For those hunter who believe in the stories of the Ordo, of the infected cabal within, few groups are as scary.
Competitor Groups: Whether dragon or lodge related, the quest for Apotheosis will make some friction.
Narrative Significant Runs
|Name||GM||Metaplot||Date of Run|
|Ordoing One Ordo||Archtmag||11 November 2083|