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Consider a campaign starting around the time of the downfall of Atlantis.

Would (or could) it be plausible for a young mage to be away from Atlantis and suddenly discover things have drastically changed (e.g. the forming of the Abyss and the destruction of Atlantis)?

  • How long did the first wizard's war endure? days, weeks, years? Or where can I find more information about it?

    Could someone leave Atlantis, then the wizard's war erupting, and Atlantis be destroyed before they leaving person knew what was going on?

  • Alternatively, would a young wizard be allowed to leave Atlantis during the war or would they rather be trained up as quickly as possible and be used as "cannon fodder"?

    • either for something like a grand tour, or
    • acquire a resource/power full ally/some information/etc.

Merlin is the young wizard leaving Atlantis; Merlin, as a real life person versus only as a legendary figure, plays a big part in the intended campaign setting.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'haven't decided whether to use the clasic world of darkness system or the new world of darkness system. I don't know if the systems differ much in their interpretation of the first wizard's war. Hence the tagging as the agnostic "world-of-darkness" and both "mage-the-ascention" and "mage-the_awakening". \$\endgroup\$ – Kasper van den Berg Mar 13 '15 at 9:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ They differ so much that there is no point in talking about First Wizard War in Ascension. Mage Ascension is centered on technology vs mysticism struggle. Atlantis and warring Exarchs and Oracles are exclusively Awakening plot. See this and please review. IMHO the two are so far apart that I see them as completely different games with only a few similar concepts, the same way I'd look at Mage Awakening and Dresden Files. \$\endgroup\$ – eimyr Mar 13 '15 at 10:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Reading eimyr's comment and the linked comparison between Mage the Ascension and Mage the Awakening, revealed that my intended setting aligns more with Mage the Awakening; i.e. due to the time frame technology vs. mysticism is not a concept of any importance and "Atlantis and Exarchs vs Oracles is exclusively an Awakening plot". (Eimyr, thanks for the feedback on this decision.) \$\endgroup\$ – Kasper van den Berg Mar 13 '15 at 10:29
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The stories of Atlantis are hazy enough that any of these decisions would have to be your decisions, and can't reliably be left to the source material. Please see the developers commentary on the reality or unreality of the Atlantis story and the inherently contradictory nature of information concerning it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, besides the freedom of these having to be my (or my story's) decisions; this knowledge allows for an other interesting perspective: the mage wakes after a troubled night believing that Atlantis has been destroyed and –more important– believing that he/she lived in the city for some time and left it some months ago. Only to discover that most consider Atlantis just myth or metaphor. \$\endgroup\$ – Kasper van den Berg Mar 13 '15 at 18:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ This could lead to serious issues for the Mage in question if they were to find "Atlantean Ruins" that don't match their memories. Alternately, other Mages could be disturbed to find evidence to support the individuals claim. \$\endgroup\$ – Frogg Mar 13 '15 at 19:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KaspervandenBerg That commentary is regarding the "open development" of 2nd edition which as stated in many long heated arguments is different enough to warrant it's own tag, it just doesn't have one because it's not out yet. \$\endgroup\$ – xenoterracide Mar 23 '15 at 12:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xenoterracide Now I understand the down votes, the commentary Frogg links to has little to do with my issue of whether someone could have 1) survived the downfall of Atlantis, and 2) could be unaware of the war until after it ended. \$\endgroup\$ – Kasper van den Berg Mar 23 '15 at 13:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KaspervandenBerg to be fair, the original core book says, paraphrased, you're the storyteller it's your story, if you don't like something change it. 2e is just going more that route, I think both Mage and Werewolf were kind of different in that they had this standing concrete history after vampire had killed theirs. Both mage and werewolf now have misty histories. \$\endgroup\$ – xenoterracide Mar 23 '15 at 14:03
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The mage the Awakening source books provide some legends that can be of help. Note that these are explicitly presented as legends, therefore @Frogg's answer still stands: "the stories about Atlantic are hazy enough that any of these decisions would have to be your decisions".

From "Mage the Awakening – Tome of the Watchtowers" (page 18):

Merlin’s Sleep: A Story About Time

Just as many theories exist about the origins of and the real- ity behind the legend of King Arthur […] as do stories about Merlin the Wizard or Emrys Merlinus or the High Druid Merlin. Perhaps the oldest and least known of those legends claims Merlin as one of the survivors of Atlantis, not the greatest of these, but certainly a powerful mage of both Time and Fate.

So there are legends that claim that Merlin is a survivor of Atlantis, and that there are other mages surviving Atlantis as well.

So the legends indisputably speak of survivours (at least these legends do). Of the original question remains: may someone have been unaware of the war?

From _"Mage the Awakening – Core Rulebook":

The Celestial Ladder

[…] The hubris of the magi rose unchecked. […] Then, combining their power, they wrought a great spell and erected a ladder to the Realms Supernal. _[…] Spurred by the imminent destruction and corruption of the world, the exiled mages banded together and assaulted Atlantis, […] The two sides clashed in a chaos of realms, and the losers — sorcerers on both sides — were flung from on high back into the lower realm.

The Fallen World

[…] The survivors would later won- der: Was this the primordial event that created myths of the Flood and the Tower of Babel? Perhaps. _[…]-- Once again, the enlightened escaped to the far corners of the earth

Again the legend speaks of survivours escaping to the far corners of the world and surviving losers of battles flung back into the lower realm.

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