This is just a primer of politics in the Traditions.
In 1210 the Hermetic Chantry of Mistridge. This more or less starts off the Assension War. Since then the Traditions have been playing catch up.
I’ll ask you to look at the Guide to the Traditions for more detailed infomraition but after the dust settled the Traditions game out looking like this:
Cabal’s are the base unit for mages. They are any ware from 3 members or members. Some Cabal’s get so big they the break into groups (East Coast vs West Coast Avengers any one?). Almost any form of leadership is possible.
Chantry’s are typically have more then two Cabals. Some really big Chantries have dozens of Cabals. Now when things start out, Chantry politics can be very cordial. Add a couple of centures of fighting, death and bitterness things may not be so clear. Leadership can democracies or other types, but the most commen is a Deacon Council made up of founding members or be selected by other means.
How does this affect you… or rather the your characters. Mages get idea and some of those ideas need more resorces then they have them selves. They have to ask their cabal mates, then their chantry and finaly the councle if they want to pull some truely impressive stuff off. The Councle has lots of resorces. Tass, talismans, info, gremwars, manpower and all sorts of connections.
Need a fast transport to Bejing… can do. Need the info on that 537 year old vampire? Its in a libary some where… Yes some magi go it alone but its so much faster when other can point you the right way.
This is where rank comes in. To prove to other that ‘you’ are worth helping out. In mage, rank = a characters hightest sphere rating. Do not think of mages ranks like sargets, lieutenants and generals. Think more like BA, MA and doctorits. Knowledge is key. And some mage traditions do think in terms of “publish or perish.”
The next and final step is forked. On one hand you have politics within a Tradition. On the other you have politics for the Councle of Nine. The Councle of Nine is the ruling body of the Traditions. There are nine seats (one for each Tradition / Sphere) who officaly meet every nine years. Councle members are called Primus.