Paradigm Summary: Celestial Chorus

Paradigm Basics: All of mortal existence is song. Living beings make music without cease and perceive music in all things. Humans sing, birds sing, wolves howl, and even the insects make a kind of music with their movements. Song has the power to soothe the savage beast, to call up old memories, and even to bring back the dead. Music is persistent, powerful, and ubiquitous throughout reality.

There is a reason for this. Christianity has the truth halfway correct. The beginning of reality was, indeed, a word, but that word was sung. At first the note was overwhelming, a deafening blast of creation. Gradually the song took on complexity, harmony, and counterpoint, becoming a brilliantly devised theme. In the course of singing, the One had become inseparable from the song. Reality was a symphony, and the prevalence of mortal music was a reflection of the surrounding world.

This reflection can be manipulated by song and by faith. By force of belief in the One and by creating sounds and tones that resonate correctly with reality, the symphony can be changed. Some songs have mythic potency, and can reshape the symphony wherever they are sung. These songs are learned by all members of the chorus. Some members of the Tradition have a guardian angel of their own, a pure avatar of the One, that leads them to greater feats of faith and teaches them to find the harmonies in any situation.

These true singers are respected, but do not often know why they have been so blessed. Many believe they have a sacred mission from the One to perfect the symphony. When all discordant notes have been eliminated and the notes all worked into an inseparable whole then reality can enter the next, glorious phase of its existence.

The Chorus is, ultimately, uncertain of the true actuality of the One. Some think that the One is separate from the symphony, at least enough to answer the sung prayers of the faithful and to manipulate the symphony towards an ineffable goal. Others believe that the One is inseparable from the symphony, and that the prayers of one person are as unable to draw the One's attention as the firing of one neuron can attract the notice of the brain as a whole. To their belief, the singers are acting with the authority of the One, and thus have no one else to blame should they misuse this power.

What none can argue is that, by manifesting faith and music, each singer can alter the world by adding and adjusting the symphony that underlies it.

Paradigm Casting: Choristers cast their magick by singing the notes that are inspired by their faith, or Arete. This can be accompanied, whether with trappings of faith such as incense and candles or with actual instruments. Sometimes the accompaniment must take center stage for a singer that cannot sing aloud, but there is always the song being sung in the mind.

As far as casting time is concerned, the Chorus is roughly average. Most spontaneous effects require an entire song of up to ten minutes' length, depending on the power of the magick and the applicability to the situation. However, the singer can condense the melody into a few seconds when under duress. This tends to be very loud as the singer replaces complexity with power to get the effect across. Rituals take several hours, and can be quite exhausting due to drain on the vocal cords.

Paradigm Benefits: The primary benefit of the Chorus paradigm is that it is largely compatible with religion. The world is a place where the practices of most mages can be considered blasphemous and evil according to much scripture. Choristers, however, come off as far more acceptable, and thus they have to worry much less about religious persecution of their beliefs.

Building off of this, most members of the Tradition have religious roots and have gained respect in their sect. A singer that knows where she is can drop names and be accepted in nearly any religious institution. While each Tradition has its bailiwick of modern institutions, the Chorus easily has the most powerful of the non-scientific cultural structures.

The reliance of the Chorus on discovering the notes that make up reality allows members to judge how other music fits in. Each singer is an infallible critic of the musical value of any given song and performance, in the grand scheme of things. Further, Choristers have a much easier time when using Awareness to discover if something musical has reality-altering underpinnings or is otherwise being used in the course of magick.

Finally, the power that religion lends to the paradigm makes singers proof against the detriments of mortal Faith. Members of the Chorus are utterly immune to non-beneficial uses of True Faith in any of the major mortal religions. Singers are too secure in their own faith to be treated as evil by the faith of others.

Paradigm Limits: Basing magick on divine morality can also be a hindrance. Each member of the Chorus has a belief structure as to actions that are good and actions that are evil. This can either be the beliefs of the character's mortal religion, or it can be personal code of ethics. A singer that violates her ethics finds this reflected in her magick which becomes harder and harder to work until it ceases to be available. Each religion prescribes a method of atonement, and personal ethics can be restored by acting especially fervently in favor of them. A member of the Tradition that finds it hard to maintain this morality in the face of adversity is well advised to find a religion that better suits her actual ethics.

This is another flaw in the paradigm: members of the Chorus seem to be the most susceptible to Nephandic recruitment. When tempted, tricked, and pushed into worse and worse acts, acts that can never be atoned for, many members of the Tradition find it all too tempting to switch sides in order to work magick again. Where the beliefs of Nephandi are often quite different from the paradigms of other Traditions, to the Chorus they are very, very similar with just a twist in the direction of the focus.

Finally, the actual style of the magick of the Chorus has a weakness in its dependence on sound. The domino effect can make future castings harder, because, according to the Chorus, there are too many new notes being added to the symphony. Because of this belief, all Chorus magick becomes harder to do after lots of other magick, not only coincidental effects. Further, when in an area with loud, dissonant noises, ones that distract from the perception of the underlying song, a singer must usually make a Perception+Meditation roll to find the notes or be at a penalty to Magick rolls.