It starts with a dream, a journey. You make your way through the darkness and find a watchtower in a fantastical realm. Carving your name, your true name on it, you become one of the Awakened, able to change reality with a thought.
Your ancestors once ruled Atlantis and used their magic with reckless abandon. They destroyed their own realm, casting the few survivors into the astral realms where they influence Mages to this day.
Modern Mages have learned to keep their power in check and not test either their own Wisdom or reality itself, which has grown resistant to the blatant changes Mages are capable of, creating horrific Paradoxes. They have arranged themselves into Cabals, tightly-knit groups of Mages, and then into Consiliums, a form of Mage government with their own rules and regulations over what Mage society should and should not do.
Reality is your plaything, but you must be subtle, or reality itself may punish you.