Tales of a Dark City
Ever since The Shadow Weave changed the nature of reality, there have been those who claim that it is possible to manipulate the quantum forces of the universe without the need for an M-R Node. They maintain that will, dedication, and the right sort of practices can tap into the power of the Shadow Weave and reshape reality.
Whether this is possible for everyone is in doubt, but certainly there are those who have made breakthroughs with powers thought impossible to normal men. These are the Mystics of the world, the various Mages, Saints, Psychics and Mad Scientists.
Historical: Unlike the other Origins, there aren’t any specific dates that can be pointed at to pin down the term “Mystic,” which refers to this category overall. Each of the four recognized traditions maintain that their methods stretch back to antiquity, and that they are only now coming to light because the coming of the Novas have shown the world their powers as possible, whereas before they would have been mocked and disbelieved.
Other Terms: There are four branches of Mystic, each with a definable slant in their practices and beliefs.
Mages or Magi are traditional Hermetic wizards—they pour over musty tomes and conduct rituals, use foci such as wands, rods or staves, or else use New Age mysticism to produce wonders. Don’t call them Witches or Warlocks—they hate that.
Saints maintain that their powers are gifts from the Divine (or the profane, depending on their beliefs). They intone special prayers, maintain certain lifestyles (and might lose their powers if they violate their beliefs), and generally try to act within the strictures of their faith as they understand it. The unbelievers call them God Botherers or Holy Rollers.
The Enlightened believe that their true power comes from within. They set their minds, focused through intense discipline, and pull off amazing feats of clairvoyance, telekinesis, extra-sensory perception, and other feats of mind over matter. Most people call them Psychics.
Then there are those who say that all this navelgazing and godbothering misses the real point. The truth is that just that scientific laws and constants were a lot less lawful and constant than previously believed. Science is a continual quest for the truth, so these Geniuses use hypermathmatics, quantum mechanics, and radical paradigms to pull of their seemingly supernatural abilities. Those who call them Mad Scientists are just jealous peabrains who don’t have the requisite background to understand the potential applications.
Game Mechanics: Mystics are the generalists of the BNW, and the ones that tend to aim for the widest array of utility effects. Variable powers like Super Sorcery, Copycat, Invent and so on are their bread and butter. They tend towards being The Smart Guys and the Jacks of All Trades of the BNW. Mystics generally have drawbacks related to their mental states, and many are quite driven, obsessed, or otherwise insane.