North Pacific Free Caucus
Northwest Free Caucus
The North Pacific Free Caucus is a rough alliance of four Concilii in the Pacific Northwest: Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Anchorage, Alaska. This section will first discuss this rare multi-city alliance, then each of the other cities in turn, and finally the areas outside of four main cities.
The Free Caucus
The North Pacific Free Caucus is a slightly unusual multi-city alliance of Concilii. The four Concilii banded together for mutual support during a battle with the Seers of the Throne over the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. The alliance is quite loose, and each Concilium is a self governing entity. However, all four cities share resources and information to at least some degree, and each city hosts a Caucus once a year, open to members from all four cities.
Unusually for Concilii, the four cities of the Free Caucus have agreed to allow each other to extradite criminals and accused criminals back to their respective domains. This is virtually unheard of in the Awakened world, and more than a few Mage thieves have been surprised to find the arm of the law quite a bit longer in the Northwest. In practice the Hierarch of Vancouver is unlikely to risk his Sentinels trying to bring in a dangerous Master for a petty crime committed in Seattle. However he will most certainly allow, and materially aid, Sentinels from Seattle who have come north to collect.
A Caucus is a meeting of all the Mages of a given order in a particular territory. Once each year, each city hosts region wide Caucuses for each Order. These Caucuses fall on the solstices and equinoxes each year, and the week leading up to these events is a chance for each city to show off, and generally has a fairly party atmosphere. The Caucuses themselves are all business, but the time around them is a chance for Mages, especially young mages, to talk shop, network, and blow off steam.
The Anchorage Caucus is held on the Summer Solstice, Vancouver the Autumn Equinox, Seattle is Winter Solstice, and Portland is Spring Equinox.
The most conservative of the Free Caucus cities, Anchorage is dominated by the older diamond orders. Alaska Mages tend to be older, live further apart, and are generally in Alaska with a fairly specific focus: be it fighting for control of the oil pipeline, investigating the shrinking glaciers, trying to find clues to Atlantis in the remnants of the last ice age, or searching the depths of the Bering Sea.
Vancouver is a Free Council stronghold. The city has a Hierarch and Council all elected by popular vote, and the Free Council nearly has a straight majority in the city. While there is a Council, most important decisions are decided by a vote of the available mages, making Vancouver as close to the Free Council democratic ideal as you’re likely to find. Vancouver has a reputation for vigorous debate in the Concilium, which meets bi-weekly and is open to anyone, and many Mages, especially outside the city, regard the Vancouver Concilium as collectively being full of hot air.
Portland is also a Free Council stronghold. While the Free Council does not have quite the overwhelming numbers they do in Vancouver, they are still the largest single faction, and in fact larger than any two other Orders. Portland also has an elected Council, but the Hierarch is appointed by that council rather than elected by popular vote. The current Hierarch is a Free Councilor, and has been the Hierarch for some time now. Portland is a bit more traditional than Vancouver, though it is still a strongly Free Council City.
There are mages living outside of those four cities in the Pacific Northwest, but they are few in number. Several of the larger towns (Olympia and Eugene for example) muster enough mages to claim a Concilium, but barely. The Mages from these regions sometimes make noise about being allowed to join the Free Caucus, but they simply don’t have the weight of numbers to push that through. They are freely allowed, however, to show up and participate in their order Caucuses as individuals, and many do so.