'Our task is to preserve the secrets of magic, to utilize its gifts to maintain peace and order in the world. We are the gifted, and so we must cherish this gift and guard its secrets jealously. We are the protectors of humanity, and stewards of the world. We are sworn by a Sacred Oath to serve the demands of magic, of the world and each other.'
Preservation of Magical Knowledge
The Order retains the largest library and general knowledge base regarding the theory and application of magical power, not only from the use of spells but where the powers of Empowered Humans and special artifacts are concerned as well. It is suspected that a large amount of this predates the Event somehow, though this has never necessarily been proven, nor will the Order confirm it to outsiders, as all of their initiates are sworn to secrecy. This information is fiercely guarded, especially any information regarding the care and training of young Initiate magi - the Order has no interest in allowing other groups the required knowledge to train mages in their place.
Defense of the Innocent
One of the major public goals of the Order has always been the protection of innocent people from supernatural threats. As such, the Order can sometimes be seen as a sort of replacement for INTERPOL where magic and monsters are concerned, with the majority of their local groups having struck deals of some kind with local governments to serve as a special purpose police force, handling rogue mages, demons, and various threats that the ordinary police are poorly equipped for. Recent conflicts with ARMA, however, have called the sincerity of this goal into question for many, particularly in New York, against the rebel group's claims about the Order's true intentions.
Extermination of Threats
Whatever the Order's eventual vision for the world, creatures such as the Infected and the more dangerous inhuman creatures are certainly not among them. The Order is hardly as xenophobic as other groups, however where less-than-reasonable threats such as those under the influence of the superviruses are concerned, the Order's official policy is simple: Extermination.
Where intelligent extraterrestrials are concerned, especially creatures like demons, the Order's policies are more difficult to pin down. Many of these races are governed by rules that allow them to be influenced, even captured and bound by magic. The Order has been known - if only anecdotally - to dabble in such work, though once kept out of the public eye it now seems the public is growing more aware of the darker side of the Order.
Control of Magic
For all the softer image they often attempt to project, the Order has a definite authoritarian attitude where all magic is concerned. Be it powerful artifacts, locations of power, or burgeoning magical talent, the Order always seeks to be the first one there and the only one to control it. Their vaults of artifacts are enormous, and competition with other groups that study them is often fierce, though rarely violent. It is with unaffiliated (or Rogue) mages that their influence is often seen to be the most harsh: Anyone discovered to have the talent of a Mage is brought in to the nearest Order branch, sometimes by force, and pressured into joining if necessary.
What happens to those who refuse depends on the branch in question. New York was, for the time it remained loyal, one of the more lenient branches - mages who refused to affiliate had their powers dampened to protect the city from runaway power. In other places... there are many rumors, many of them less than pleasant.
For the first four and a half years following Resonance, the Order was seen as a positive force in the world, if one with its share of quirks and shadowy dealings. Their defense allowed the formation of many nations and earned them great favors within the governments, giving them an extraordinary amount of near-global influence. That began to shake in 2015 however, with the apparent defection of two Archmagi, one the former Arch or the New York Branch, long the largest single group of mages in the Order.
The defection - prior to the apparent death of both of those defectors at the hands of the Order's secret Inquisition - cast many of the assumptions about the Order's benign if heavy-handed tactics into question. It wasn't until 2016 and the defection of nearly the entire NYC branch that these fears were given true definition.
The Darkness Within...
ARMA claim now that the Order's goals have been dark from the start. That their attempt to dominate not just the understanding of magic but the most powerful centers of belief in the world (financial, religious, historical) is all in the service of a dark goal - a great ritual, the creation of a great army of their own to bring all the world under their true influence. This has, of course, been thoroughly denied by the Order, but while they aided many, their secretive nature worked enough against them in this way that there were always many willing to believe the worst.
Now there are cracks that even the public can see in their facade. Hushed whispers now wonder if it is the Order that is behind the disappearances of Magus around the world while others speculate if they are responsible for the experimentation labs that have been pressing forward for 2 years now.
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