A Tale of Two Cities
Hierarchy of the Consilium
Due to the influence of the People’s Revolution in the mid 1960s the Bay Area consilium differs wildly from most other consilium in its political structure. Although the People’s Revolution failed to completely dismantle the Atlantean power structure within San Francisco they did manage to create a shared political system where authority was shared between self-proclaimed authorities (in the tradition of the Atlantean orders) and democratically elected officials and cabal representatives (in the vision of Free Council governance set forth by the People’s Revolution). Today this power structure strains under the weight of ambitious elder magi, a newly resurgent call for political reform within the city by the Free Council, and the rise of a new Hierarch who claims dominion over Oakland.
The political body of mages within the consilium consists of two halves; the Hierarch and his Ruling Council and the Elect and his Senate. The Hierarch and the Ruling Council are titles which are claimed and defended by powerful older mages while the Senate is composed of a representative of each active cabal and the Elect is a Senator who has been voted into leadership by the mage population of the city.
There are various lesser titles which can be conferred by the Hierarch, the Elect, and in some cases the Ruling Council or the Senate. Frequently titles which are granted by one branch of the Consilium are not recognized by the other branch.
The Hierarch of San Francisco
Having ruled the city as Hierarch since the late 1980s, Elderado, an Obrimos Silver Ladder and a member of the Ocean Spire Masons cabal, is surprisingly politically resilient and commands considerable respect. While her claim to the position was initially defended by her various cabal mates with great frequency, as the decades wore on she has had fewer and fewer challengers attempt to usurp her authority over the city. This may have something to do with the fact that the Ocean Spire Masons’ political grip on the city is merely cemented by her position as Hierarch but by no means begins and ends there.
Elderado is relatively relaxed in terms of the Pax Arcanum within the city, preferring to leave troublesome mages to natural consequence (that is to say, visits from the Guardians). Instead Elderado focuses on excising whatever Seer influences remain within the city, guarding against Intruders, and projecting the goals of her cabal on all members of the consilium.
The Hierarch is Status 5 (SF Bay Consilium).
The Ruling Council
As per the laws of the San Francisco Consillium, the Ruling Council has 4 members, completing the Watchtower pentacle that begins with the Hierarch. Whenever the Hierarch changes, the Ruling Council must change as well to ensure that each Watchtower is represented. Presently the Ruling Council consists of Legislative (Acanthus Order of the Guardian member of Checks and Balances), Zulfiqar (Mastigos Adamantine Arrow Clavicularius of the Flaming Sword), Hera (Thyrsus member of the Daughters of Gaia), and Roanoke (Moros Silver Ladder member of the Ocean Spire Masons).
Legislative and Roanoke traditionally back anything Elderado orders or requests of the consillium. Zulfiqar is predominantly focused on protecting the region from Abyssal threats (and to a lesser extent threats from other Orders and supernatural types). Hera, meanwhile, is unaffiliated with any Order and is frequently a wild card in consillium politics.
A member of the Ruling Council has Status 4 (SF Bay Consilium).
Gold Rush, an Acanthus Free Council mage of the House of Ariadne legacy was just voted the Elect this past fall and took office on December 21st, 2012. Although a member of the People’s Revolution, he was publicly denounced by many members of the cabal upon his announcement that he was running for office. The People’s Revolution decried Gold Rush as being too inexperienced (to members of the Diamond Orders) and too vulnerable to influence by the Ocean Spire Masons (to members of the Free Council). Despite the protests of members of his own cabal, Gold Rush won the election (with moderate support from both the Diamond Orders and the Free Council, as well as a significant number of magi who might have voted against him abstaining from the vote).
Since his election the People’s Revolution has made several public apologies to Gold Rush in an attempt to repair relationships and while he has not formally severed his relationship to his cabal, he has continued to remain aloof.
The Elect is Status 5 (SF Bay Consilium).
A member from each cabal (except Checks and Balances which outright refuses to acknowledge this branch of the consilium as legitimate) – the Senate votes to recognize new cabals but typically does not vote to acknowledge them until the cabal has been around for 3 to 5 years (to ensure its members do not split and join other organizations) – the Senate recognizes 1 Senator for each 5 mages in a cabal (so exceptionally large cabals may have multiple Senators).
The Senators include; Camelot (Ocean Spire Masons), Excalibur and Masamune (the Flaming Sword), Aphrodite (Daughters of Gaia), Wells (Heralds of the 2.0), Wheel of Fortune (the Living Tarot), Blackbird and Granite (the Bird and the Rock), Elpis (the People’s Revolution).
A Senator has Status 2 or 3 (SF Bay Consilium).
Obsidian, a Moros Silver Ladder previously from the Bird and the Rock, has made a claim to be the Hierarch of Oakland (and includes Berkeley as part of his dominion). Amongst the members of the consilium loyal to Elderado, he is called the Challenger because they claim his attempt to take the title of Hierarch means he must win it from Elderado. Amongst more neutral members of the consilium, there is debate about whether Oakland is justified in having a separate Hierarch. Recently the strain of the Free Council and the Diamond Orders has increased as the previous Elect recognized Obsidian’s claim as having authority. Gold Rush has made no comment but has not formally met with Obsidian upon taking over his new role.
There are a variety of other titles which can be earned or granted within the consilium by either the Hierarch or the Elect (who must then verify the nomination through the Senate).
A Provost is a representative who acts on behalf of a member of the consilium governance. The Hierarch and Elect have Provosts.
Elderado’s Provost is Judicious (Checks and Balances).
Gold Rush’s Provost is Kurzweil (Herald of the 2.0).
A Provost has Status 3 (SF Bay Consilium).
Heralds are official members of the Ruling Council and Hierarch’s will. When they make declarations or wish to give messages to the entirety of the consilium without calling a formal gathering, they contact the city’s Heralds. Recently the Senate has adopted a Herald to spread decrees to those Awakened who refuse to participate in the Senate.
Camelot (the Ocean Spire Masons) is the Herald of the Ruling Council.
Executive (Checks and Balances) is the Herald of the Hierarch.
Peace Walker (the People’s Revolution) is the Herald of the Senate.
A Herald has Status 1 or 2 (SF Bay Consilium).
Sentinels are official defenders of the city. Traditionally only the Hierarch can grant this title but the Elect recently decreed that the Senate may also vote to elect Sentinels. Sentinels may be called upon to thwart Abyssal influences, combat Seers of the Throne or Banishers, or even go to war with the other supernatural denizens of the region.
A Sentinel has Status 1 or 2 (SF Bay Consilium).
Ambassador is a role that came about in the mid 1980s and is chosen by the Elect pending approval by the Senate. An Ambassador is called on to be the mage representative to another organized supernatural community.
Hrunting (the Flaming Sword) is Ambassador to the Bird and the Rock.
Artemis (Daughters of Gaia) is Ambassador to the Primal Tribes.
Joanna Ark (the Flaming Sword) is Interim-Ambassador to the Lost Courts.
An Ambassador has Status 3 or 4 (SF Bay Consilium).
The Barrister is determined by the Elect and the Hierarch together. The Barrister acts as a neutral party in conflicts between the Senate/the Elect and the Hierarch/the Ruling Council.
The Barrister is Minos (the Bird and the Rock).
A Barrister has Status 4 (SF Bay Consilium).