When dealing with mages, the history of an organization can be difficult to pin down. With Time Mages, this is doubly true. What is known is that there have long been awakened individuals who seek to open their minds even further by various means and methods. While the Akashic Brotherhood perfers calm meditation and strenuous martial arts training, and the Celestial Chorus sing themselves into a trance-like state, the Cult of Ecstasy embraces all possible methods of getting outside oneself so as to open one's mind to the fullest extent possible. Drugs, sex, loud music, fine art, spicy foods, dancing or exercising until near the point of passing out, all of these can and have been used to create the intense, overwhelming emotional state that the Cult believes is the best path to a fully awakened mind. Born of Dionysian Greek Mystery Cults, Sumerian Temple Prostitutes, Peyote-smoking Indian shamans, and the alcohol-fueled feasts of countless barbarian warrior tribes, the Cult has often been able to hide in plain sight. Among the many unawakened humans who somehow, deep inside themselves, know there should be so much more to life than their dreary existence, and who seek enlightenment in the pounding beat of dance music, or the swirling smoke of the water pipe, the Cult has often been able to not only hide, but find eager new recruits among latent mages awakened by the intensity of their experiences. Formal members of the Cult swear to uphold a code of conduct which is intended to protect them and others from the dangers of their own pleasure-seeking behaviors, such as pledging to never force their ecstasy upon another (by, say, spiking their brownies with hashish, or spreading LSD on their morning corn flakes). But for a cult where there is little distinction between current, former, and future members, such rules often have little real meaning, and no formal enforcement mechanism.
Although they had never quite gone away, hiding among Medieval Convent-Brothels and Victorian Ether Frolics with equal eagerness, the Cult came out into the open in a big way during the "Sex, Drugs, and Rock'n'Roll" days of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Although the Technocracy tried to enforce a cultural backlash against their excesses, the Cult was here to stay. Even rumors that the Progenitors had created the AIDS virus specifically to destroy the Cult membership could not stop them. They soon became one of the most numerous of the Traditions.
Gehenna and BeyondEdit
Gehenna barely fazed the Cult. Maybe they were expecting it (they are moslty Time mages, after all), but although they joined in the general assault on the Technocracy afterwards, their hearts were really never in it. A minority of their members realized that the intense experiences of combat could be just one more way of achieving full awakening, but most of them preferred to keep dancing, drinking, and dropping trousers. Of this majority, those who could, fled the draft to join the Resistance, but while they make great recruiters, they make poor soldiers, whether drafted into the Tech Infantry or serving among the ranks of their enemies. Their leadership disappeared mysteriously following the Third Civil War, and while rumors abound of their imminent return, there isn't much of a formal organization for them to return to.