So, a mage of the Pentacle and a Seer of the Throne meet in a bar.

I know this is very subjective and depends on a lot of in-game and character factors. Let's just assume that we're talking about Jane Pentacle and Joe Seer (or Joe Pentacle and Jane Seer, or Joe and Joe, or Jane and Jane, sex shouldn't matter, even though it could, obviously.) Let's say they're both archetypes of their orders, and their powers are of the same level. They both know of the other's affiliation, but do not know each other personally. Their factions are equally strong (or weak) in the city where they meet.

What's the most likely outcome of their encounter? How are they going to react, officially? Do they attack each other? Enter a debate? Call for reinforcements? Eye each other with seething antagonism but do nothing?

As I've said, I know this depends on many things: world, character, story etc, and is, hence, impossible to answer unambiguously. What I'm looking for is the officially most likely scenario, supported by and derived from quotes from the Mage: The Awakening series.

  • \$\begingroup\$ To clarify, this is a totally unexpected meeting, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon Gill
    Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 11:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SimonGill Absolutely. Just a chance meeting. They have no business with each other - apart from what belonging to strongly opposing factions burdens them with. \$\endgroup\$
    – OpaCitiZen
    Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 12:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not giving an answer - I don't know the two factions since I'm not familiar with the setting... but since they recognize each other I gess the two guilds are public. I think they're gonna ignore each other and some hateful glance will fly across the room, unless any of the two is prone to cause mischief because it's his nature. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 9:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel: That might happen, though I'm not sure they'd simply leave it at that (and I've asked the Q because I'm not sure about this at all. :)) To give you a rough estimation, this situation is like... as if a loyal official of the US government met a Soviet agent in a neutral area during the Red Scare of the Cold War (late 1940s.) \$\endgroup\$
    – OpaCitiZen
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 10:27
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @OpaCitiZen If that's the situation, they're not going to attack each other because of the implications. That would be like declaring a war. They might try to eliminate each other in secret, but not in public. I've read enough Tom Clancy to know how these things go (from a writer's PoW, which is pretty close to a GM's). \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 20:39

2 Answers 2


Remember that the Seers of the throne keep their true agenda secret from all but the upper-most echelons of their organization, and even then only parts of it are disseminated.

Most operatives know only that the Pentacle opposes them and that they are mass murderers who awakened the wrong way (they weren't picked by the Exarchs) and are trying to usurp the natural order of things.

The Pentacle knows that the Seers often mislead their charges as a method of controlling them and that a 'low-level' seer likely knows nothing of the true nature of the conflict.

That said. Say they pass in a coffee-shop in the morning, they might mistake each other as another random mage in the city. Assuming they could tell, or figure it out, unless one or the other is a rabid fanatic of their respective group. Each would probably react with fear/trepidation, and leave as soon as possible, and count their lucky stars that they were able to leave in one piece.

An altercation is very likely should either do anything BUT disengage as each side is incredibly mistrustful of the others, should they see them casting a spell they might shoot first and ask questions later.

The spy analogy is somewhat valid, but assume that they aren't meeting in neutral territory, and add in the complication that it really isn't that easy to tell them apart from any other mage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @rob Welcome, indeed, and thanks for the answer. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – OpaCitiZen
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 23:07

I'm not familiar with the game setting specifically, but my gut says..

This goes back to Romeo and Juliet where the Montague and Capulet servants run into each other on the street and argue. Both sides tried to get the other to act out but neither side wanted to go first because of the consequences from the local government (prince). But once one side finally did throw the first punch, it explodes. (look up "bite my thumb" for context)

In general, unless the two groups are in open war with one another or there's already a personal vendetta (not in this case), it's unlikely they would immediately move to attack. The consequences of being the first one to take action are likely huge either from the local government/law enforcement or even from one's own superiors.

Of course, one of them might wait outside in the alley for the other to come out alone..

And yes, I bite my thumb at thee.


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