Detroit By Night(Mage)
People are dying, ideals are dying, magic is dying, the world is dying. The Hollow Ones have known as much for some time, and they’ve accepted it. Now, they know that the world is going downhill, but they plan to enjoy the ride. Reveling in nihilism and a rejection of social mores, the Hollow Ones luzuriate in Gothic elegance and a decadent, romantic languor.
Since they are not functionally a Tradition, the Hollow Ones do not occupy a sean on the Council of Ten, they have no recognition among the Traditions and other mages consider them a pain. They don’t have the luxury of an extensive library of history, either. Instead, they point to Romantic poets, Victorian spiritualists, 1920s flapper counterculture and modern Goth culture as their architects. Hollow Ones themselves can’t agree on their foundations; instead, they’re more concerned with what they get out of it. As a hodge-podge subculture, they take what they like and discard the rest; this applies equally to people, philosophies, magic and belief.
Still, Hollowers are a product of the modern age, or rather, a rejection of it. The Hollow Ones despose the frenetic pace of modern life, the too-bright yet tacky technology of mass marketing and the banal stratification of society. Instead, they cling to notions of a more elegant age. Hollowers sip absinthe, play at poetry, indulge in fetishistic fashion and follow trends that lead them to death’s door. The Reckoning that’s at hand only lends credence to their beliefs. If the world’s spiraling into destruction, they’ll be the ones who are ready for its untimely demise.
Cliques rule the day among Hollowers. Instead of forming philosophical factions or Path driven groups, these mages just hange out in small clubs or social groups. Cliques tend to be fiercely competitive and jealous, but they can put aside their differences to work together sometimes. Since Hollow Ones often come from broken homes or dysfunctional families (whether wealthy or poverty stricken), they indulge in whatever sorts of passive rebellion they cna find — and that means hanging out with other people who’ve survived similar experiences and taken up the same candlestick. There’s no hierarchy. There are young Goths and dead Goths, but old Goths are just pretenders. The social cliques that Hollowers form are the only real families they know, and they’re fiercely protective of them, but without any political vision, they shrug off any attempts at real “organization.” About the closest that Hollowers come to any sort of recognition in their ranks is when they choose someone to speak for a clique, or when they compete for pieces of unusual arcane lore or trivia in an attempt to seem spooky or knowledgeable in occult esoterica.
As the Hollowers lack organization or much in the way of politics, they aren’t terribly factionalized. For the most part, they can be simply divided by their relation to the other Traditions and to magical society. Everything else is a matter of personal preference.
Although the Hollow Ones don’t believe that the world is necessarily doomed, they do feel it’s a pretty crappy place. As a result, they eke out what satisfaction they can get, and they encourage others in their own morbidity. Still, they have an abiding curiosity, a desire to scratch beneath the surface and see how things really work — the squirming guts inside the underbelly of society. Where other mages are driven by one view of magical theory or a certain Awakened goal, Hollowers are as likely to be motivated by the tres Gothic evening of sybaritic relaxation as by the opportunity to dig up some piece of esoteric trivia.
Some days Hollowers can’t even be bothered to get out of bed in the morning. It’s an attitude that leads to defeat. Though Hollowers are accepting and flexible, it’s hard to motivate them to give a damn about anythign. As a result, they accomplish little. They’re poster children of wasted potential, yet they won’t fit into “normal” society or change to accomodate it. A very few achieve some level of real ability and find a focus to drive toward Ascension or some other goal, but many just spend their nights sitting on their collective asses and doing nothing productive.
Theories and Practices
The Hollow Ones’ greatest strength may stem from their lack of convictions. Since they refuse to accept anything at face value, they dig up all sorts of wisdom and incorporate it into their own styles. While Hollow ones tend to center around anything from late 1800s spiritualism up to modern neo-Pagan nihilistic fetishism, they are willing to try just about anything once — especially if it’ll give them a unique angle or a way to impress their clique.
To the Hollowers, Ascension is a far-off goal, on that may never be reached. Sure, they can feel the pull of their Path, but if you’re going to die tomorrow without achieving anything, why bother? This lassitude gives them the leisuremany different avenues, though, and ironically, it leads some to find enlightenment in the oddest corners and cracks. As a general rule, Hollowers don’t believe in any sort of global Ascension. People in general are assholes who can’t be bothered to get ny better, so it’s a waste of time to try to change them.
Since they develope eclectic techniques borrowed from many different styles, Hollow Ones have no real magical specialty or typical focus. Many start out with a little light occultism and then veer off into a personal style, studying whatever magic suits their fancy. As a result, Hollowers can use just about anything as a focus, as long as they have some idea of what they think they’re doing. A Hollower using a computer better have some understanding of the machine, while one using Santeria should’ve at least read a couple of books on the subject. Ultimately, they bring a scattered approach to magic that gives them a flexibility the Traditions can’t match.