In Mage the Ascension, the Ascension War is the battle for the fate of the Sleepers. There are four major players in this war, which has picked up steam in the last five hundred years.

The Technocracy, as the embodiment of the Weaver in the Triat (the power of Order), seek to establish one single version of reality- the one similar to the one that you and I know now. By protecting the Sleepers from the dangerous reality deviants (aka the other three major powers), they can make certain that there is peace, and order for all.

The Marauders, product of the Wyld (the source of chaos and change), have the unstated goal of releasing the hold that sanity has on the world. Their ideal world, if they still have the sanity to grasp the concept of an ideal world, would be one of infinite possibilties, where everyone could live their life with whatever restrictions they desire at the time.

The Nephandi, followers of the Dark Ones (and the representation of the Wyrm), seek Descension rather than Ascension. They wish to destroy the world, reducing it to the state it was before creation... rather than produce any lasting values of their own, they are content to tear down whatever others have created.

The Traditions represent the tenuous balance between the three parts of the Triat. As a whole, they seek to bring Ascension to humanity, but only when the person is willing to seek the answers out for themselves. However, they firmly believe that the other three sides are at the least misguided, if not dead wrong in their ideals- the Marauders for sweeping everything up along with them, the Technocracy for stifling the human spirit with their designs, and the Nephandi for desiring the death of everything.

While the Technocracy has been the leader in the Ascension War thus far, the Traditions have become whole once more, and the events within the past century have destabilized the power base of the Technocrats. Marauders have been cropping up in increasing numbers, and the Nephandi will always lurk along the fringes... it's anyone's ball right now.

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