Mages are powerful human sorcerers, with powers that can rival even the Gentries. The Changelings of New York don't know as much about them as, say Vampires, but rumours that some of them are in league with Arcadia keep them well away.
How Mages are doingEdit
The Mages of New York should be far more powerful and influential than they are. The problem is that the city simply has too many resources. The Pentacle Mages and the Seers of the Throne are constantly at war with each other. Peace is brokered, only to be broken quickly when the two groups find another resource to squabble over. The city is known as a meat-grinder, and a good place to get killed. Still, plenty of mages Awaken each year, so the cycle continues. To make matters worse, there are a trio of Hasidic Jewish Banishers that hunt and kill Awakened on both sides, and that trio of old men are possibly the most powerful cabal in the city. They have strong ties to the Jewish community. The last Arrow cabal that tried to eliminate the Banishers found themselves set upon by well-meaning sleepers who thought they were protecting the trio from a hate crime.
The Heirs of ProsperoEdit
They live and meet up in a modestly-sized apartment located in Greenwich Village. Nobody in the Freehold could guess that this building houses one of the local Lost community's most feared bogeymen, feared because of an uncanny ability to totally rewrite Pledges made to them. These men and women, it is said, can alter any Pledge made to them, so a quick Pledge of common alliance can become a life sentence of servitude with instant death as penalty for failure or treachery as they will it. They may look normal, but swear an oath by one of their books and your life belongs to them forevermore.
They are powerful individuals, it is said - their wizardry has often been described as magic of a type only the greatest mortal sorcerers can wield, as something which can just as well be used with ritual as without. They seem to be focussed on research and on some incredible occult scheme whose final goals known only to them. To this end they enslave Changelings via their impossible powers of Pledge alteration.
They keep their motives, identities and numbers to themselves. Two individuals - a young man called Ariel, and a girl in her late teens called Miranda - are said to be the ones who insist on making the Pledges, who alter them to their own wills and seem to have the Devil's own luck. Three more are shadowy figures - an imperious, aged man called Prospero wielding a staff and carrying a book; a woman called Sycorax with uncanny mental powers; and a black man known as Caliban who seems to be the group's "muscle" and is said to have power over spirits. Other than this, the Freehold knows little more than that they can enslave Changelings more thoroughly than even the Others - at the least, the Gentry have to abide by the oaths and Pledges they make.
(A Mysterium Cabal based on The Tempest. Ariel & Miranda are Acanthi. Prospero is an Obrimos, Sycorax a Mastigos, and Caliban a Thyrsus.)
A Moros Free Counciller working out of Harlem. Papa LaBas is a noted Hougan and Black Nationalist, rising as a leader in Harlem's large Free Council population. He would be considered harmless to Changelings if it weren't for the fact he has been investigating rumours of children being stolen by the Dark Man. His studies have given him a knowledge of Fetches, though he has yet to knowingly meet a Changeling.
The Crown Heighs Banisher CabalEdit
In recent years, three Hasidic Jews have Awakened and started attacking any Mage they could find. They are quite powerful, though no one knows how these Hasidic Banishers got so powerful. Rumour has it they Awakened while experimenting with a high-tech Kabbalistic computer to discover the name of God of something like that. Rumour has it that they are recieving orders and magical knowledge from something called a "God Machine," but nobody has gotten close enough to confirm that, much less figure out what it means.