== Putting the Punk into the Gothic - the Hollow Ones in Ascension Nova==
Lame ass lilly white Goth Poseuers? Mages who derive their lore from Barnes and Noble, Anne Rice and Llewellyn softbacks? Neutral fence sitters in the Ascension War?
The Hollow Ones of the New World of Darkness are anything but.
Shaquoia Bishop, Mother of 2, underground hip hop artist and Hollow One Adept of Time, explains -
"Let me break it down for your lazy ass. The reason we're called Hollow is because this fake, plastic world has taken *everything* from us. This isn't some radical underground army or some trust fund kid's political hobby. We're an army of ideas, and we ARE the fucking Sleepers. Listen, what happens when someone wakes up and they aren't indoctrinated by either the fascist scum or shithead councillors like you?"
"Yeah, that's right, they become one of us."
"See, this shitbag reality of malls and credit cards and 3rd world brushfire wars and taxes and institutionalised racism and sexism and theft takes *everything* from human beings. Every one of us, including you, including them, is *Hollow*. This reality, it's *Hollow*. It has no feeling, no heart, no art. These structures, from since when people first built cities until now, these bars of fear, empty us out. Every single human being that buys into the Lie is a Hollow One."
"Every single human being is a god, waiting to be born, a creator who can bring worlds to life. See, that's what artists and writers do when they create. What we want is for everyone to have their god given right - the right to Awaken and make their world as they see fit. But we're not Marauders - we want to see the world be born into an Awakened one in the argumentative, messy, bloody and free way it's supposed to be. The world is dark and grim, we're dark and grim. But we also have heart. See, the facists want to kill every dream to "protect" us from the monsters. We, on the other hand, see people for what they really are - gods and devils. We want everyone to become the things that will make those monsters shit in their pants. They can't bring their dreams to life like we can. We're the gods of this world, and they're not. The fascists Lie keeps the foot of all the monsters - the ones with fangs and fur or who are ghosts or who are woken up like we are, on the human race's necks. Fuck that - I want to see all of my people take their place and put our feet on *their* necks. I want everyone to have enough to eat, be able to go where they want to, to be safe, and *not* need anyone's permission or help for that."
"Now, while yall might see those pancake wearin, lace draggin fuckers at your Horizon crib, and while they're Hollow, they're just a small portion of us. We got mathematical transhumanists and weird inventors and right wing christian gun nuts and hippy flower children and intense muslims and Hassidim and a shit load of apprentices from *your* fucking Traditions who had it with your political bullshit and heirarchy. Every Orphan has a home with us. We have just these rules - always back a Hollow up, never lie to a Hollow, fight the Lie, keep your word, take care of Sleepers, and Create.*"
"What do we believe in? Passion. Heart. Stories and myths and greatness. It doesn't matter if it's numbers or spells or machines. If it doesn't have heart, it's shit. Feelings can be bad, feelings can be good, but feelings and dreams are every human being's right. I will shove that up the damned ass of any fascist who says that I don't have the right to have a heart. If you think my dreams are dangerous, then FUCK YOU. The wolves, the vamps, the ghosts, they're beautiful, man. They're dangerous, and we fuck em up if they hurt people, but that's like saying because of a few bites on beach goers we should kill all sharks. Everything has it's place, and doing that would kill something beautiful."
"Now, the reason we hang with yall Niners is because while you might be a bunch of fucking high school style heirarchical shitheads, you have *heart*. You create, you make art, you watch out for sleepers, generally, you want people to have freedom, generally, and you've had our backs. We're now family, whether you like it or not, and we can be found in your cliques and cribs all over the world. So, we want our respect. We want that fucking seat. And tell fat ass miss Ecstasy up there that we *ARE* the Sleepers, just now woken up. She can fuck herself with the fucking hash pipe she road in on."
"We're the first wave. We're the proof that a waked up world is on the way. Better hop on board, bitch, the glory train is coming!"
In summation - Edit
A rag tag network of Orphans who prize freedom and passion above all else, the Hollow Ones feel that magick is the Sleeper's inherent right in the same way that a supporter of gun rights in the US feels about firearms. Diversity, guerilla art, passion and style even in the face of despair is the battle cry of the Hollow Ones. Further, the Hollow Ones, who embrace all paradigms and magical styles, provided that sleepers, passion and freedom are respected, are the magickal equivalent of all fringe movements merged into one seething whole. Known for uncompromising individuality, the Hollow One Network/Movement/Meme is also called the Underground Army, the Irony Angels or the Trash Tradition, as they seek out to make use of the mythic threads that pulse strongly through pop cultures of various nations, as opposed to more open or 'legitimate' cultural memes embodied by other groups. Everything from evangelical christian rapture cults and blood drinking pop culture satanists to inventors and prophets of the Greys and Mothman and Otakukin who channel the powers of characters from anime shows comprise the Pop Culture Army of the Hollow Ones. They are sometimes called Patchwork Mages, since their magickal styles are often (but not always) a crazy quilt of different tools, such as wands, kung fu and steam powered infra glasses, all used by the same Mage. Also note however that the Hollow Movement houses some very small and tightly disciplined Legacies who could find a home nowhere else.
The Hollow Ones simultaneously are seen as the most frightening, crazed magical group ever to the visible of the Tradition's greatest hopes for the Ascension War. They are in equal measures derided and treasured by their Tradition's allies. The Trash Tradition has no where near the political or magickal resources of any of the Traditions or Conventions, but the flexibility and inventiveness of their Magick, which often works with the Consensus (which they fiercely call 'The Lie') is astounding.
The major weakness of the Trash Tradition is also it's strength - it's diversity, and it's relative youth (although Hollows claim that they, as the fringe of magical society, has always existed for as long as humans have been Awake and as long as people have rebelled against stifling social mores.) The Trash Tradition is one in name only, and has no central leadership. The Hollows also constantly bicker amongst themselves and are as subject to petty rivalries differences of opinion and high school style politics as any group of fringe types. Further, Hollows are enthusiastic copy cats - Mages from other Traditions and Crafts accuse Hollows of stealing magickal lore and treasured, ancient secrets (or innovative inventions or genius code, in regards to the Virtual Adepts.) Some Traditions masters simply call them 'jackdaws' or, less flatteringly, 'thieves.'
Finally, the one glaring hole in the fabric of the Gutter Tradition is in the development of paradigms. The worldviews of indviduals or cliques within the Hollow Ones aren't often terribly well thought out, since, unlike other Traditions, magickal lineages don't have the same degree of respect. This leads Hollows to often be more vulnerable to Paradox if their paradigms contain too many contradictory elements, things that magical lineages within other Traditions weed out over generations are ideas are subject to the test of time and rigorous research. This tends to compensate for the advantage that Trash Mages have in working with pop culture mythic threads. Hollows also often have a depressing tendency to constantly reinvent the wheel, since they have an inherent distrust of tradition and hierarchy.
The Technocratic Union regards Hollow Ones as crazed, rebellious threats that must be exterminated or re-educated. Once a newly awake Orphan has been radicalized with Hollow doctrine, such as it is, it becomes much more difficult to reeducate captured Hollow Ones. Technocrats hold up Hollow Ones as examples of what humanity would become - a tribe of bickering gods with dangerous powers - were the Traditions to win the Ascension War. Hollows are quote proud of this, and ignore Technocratic claims that an Awake humanity would destroy the world - "Those black helicopter bastards can pry my magick out of my cold, dead hands, by God and the Saints," - Bill Lansington, commander of the Sons of Liberty cabal of Hollow Ones, a collection of pentecostal christians who specialize in "charismatic gifts of the spirit" and who are famed masters of using magick with firearms.
Most Traditionalists feel that the Hollows have their hearts in the right place. The more individualistic Traditions, such as the Cult of Ecstasy and Virtual Adepts, usually defend Hollows when they appear within Cabals and Chantries. While some Hollows 'grow up' and join more formal Traditions, this rarely happens, despite the desires of other Mages.
Strangely, the Hollows seem to be very good at ferreting out Nephandi cults and hidden Marauders. The method that the Hollows use is called euphemistically, "The respect test". Hollows who are seen treating Sleepers badly or just generally being brutal or ruthless (ie, 'dicks') are closely watched. Generally, Nephandi can't help but abuse Sleepers, either publicly or in private, and Trash Mages who are close to their sleeper subcultures inevitably run into secretive Abyss Mages. Marauders, on the other hand, can hide amongst the Trash Mages for a long time, so long as they do not stir up trouble, 'stir up trouble' being the operative word. Hollows are close knit, and Mages who lose their sanity do not have the layers of protocol and social structure to hide behind in Hollow cliques.
Often, those who have sold their souls to the Abyss, or are Infernalists (such as the various Maeljin cults), pose as Hollows to other Mages so as to hide amidst typical Hollow anarchy. However, *real* Hollows, upon sniffing out a traitor in their own ranks, Posse Up, gather as many local Hollows as they can, and conduct an impromptu trial using whatever resources they can. Those who have bartered their souls to malevolent entities for power, those who engage in Soul Harvesting, or those whose Avatars have become consumed by the Abyss are given one universal, brutal punishment - Gilgul. Hollows do not tolerate any interference when judging one of their own, which the Euthanatos have learned to their regret.
Hollows have a great love for Sleepers generally, and protecting Sleeper welfare is one of the things which gets Hollow cliques who would otherwise be at each others throats to work together like a well oiled machine (such as the case of when the Sons of Ali, a small clique of Shia Twelver Hollows worked with Anton's Angels, another Hollow clique of practicing satanists who was visiting Tehran to track down a pregnant Acolyte who had been kidnapped by a crime gang. While despising each other on religious grounds, the two cabals now have a weird relationship of working together to destroy slavery rings around the world.)
That rarest of things is also that most spectacular of things - if a Mage amongst the Hollows develops a consistent, logical and flexible paradigm that also allows for a wide range of magickal development, watch out. A disciplined Hollow Mage can alter the nature of magickal practice with their insights for years to come. Two great examples of this are the infamous and celebrated Aleister Crowley, whose insights and development lead to a renaissance amongst Mage and Sleeper occultists, and Bruce Lee, who left the Akashic Brotherhood to revolutionize martial arts practice and whose work in media lead to a major paradigm shift in regards to martial arts and asian spirituality in the Sleeper world. The Hollow Ones claim both men as great examples and Masters of their Tradition.