The Hermetic Order
The order's emblem.

l'Ordre Hermétique is a self-styled 'Ancient and Eminent' society of mages, the central chapter of which is based in the Marsailles region of southern France. The organization is secretive but not clandestine, and draws its membership from various points along that gleaming plane of immanence that is the Mediterranean.

The Hermetic Order's formal membership is restricted to twelve individuals, divided into Inner and Outer circles. The authority of any given member of the Inner Circle over the Outer is absolute, with contradictory orders settled in favor of the ranking Inner Circle member.

Inner Circle

The Inner Circle of the Golden Temple is an elite clique of mages who have been vetted and tested by the order's lengthy cursus honorum. Access to the inner mysteries of the Temple is, as one would expect, a privilege made more potent by its intense secrecy and difficulty of access. The Hermetics make a lofty claim to the authentic ascent to enlightenment that their 'way' permits; skeptical minds may well ask if there is anything behind their final curtain, save complicity in the power of mystery itself.

The Sybil and the Highest

Almost invariably the most senior members of the Order, the first and second ranks of the Inner Circle are seeped in mystery, a mystery well enough perpetuated by its other members that it is unclear the extent to which it is genuinely avowed by the Magi rather than merely perpetuated.

Ipsissimus Primus

The highest rank in the order, the Ipsissimus purportedly embodies their highest ideal - incandescent enlightenment. The identity of the current Ipsissimus is unknown.

Sybil Secundus

The second highest rank in the order, the Sybil is supposed to have mastered the faculty of wisdom which allows one to discern all paths and their degrees of virtue. The identity of the current Sybil is unknown.

The Magister and the Three Magi

The remaining four ranks of the Inner Circle are allegorized in various ways, generally as circumstance demands. They are 'Minos and the Three Heads of Cerberus' or sometimes 'Hestia and Hecate' and when the situation demands 'Python and the Furies'. The impression is to be of an enigmatic but powerful presence who serve as guards and enforcers for inscrutable rulers. This idea is propagated, chiefly by the Adepts and Practicals who are often quite sincere in their belief, and this can be doubly as convincing for the Neophytes dreaming of joining their ranks.

This is smoke and mirrors of course, but no less useful to the Inner Circle for it.

Magus Tertius

The rank of Magus Tertius comes along with the responsibility of instruction the Initii in according with the wisdom, on the path to enlightenment. The ability not merely to guide but to teach is considered the height of earthly virtues, and as such this rank embodies pedagogy. The identity of the current Tertius is unknown.

Magus Quartus

The rank of Magus Quartus bears the duty of overseeing the Order's assets and accounts. The role is rather like that of a treasurer. As many of these resources are more often than not used in ritual, magically imbued, or otherwise deemed 'sacred' in the thaumaturgical parlance of the order, this role involves substantial access to the Order's most real mysteries. This rank optimistically embodies the hermetic virtue of prosperity.

Magus Quintus

The rank of Magus Quintus is traditionally granted to whomever the Inner Circle deems a worthwhile 'investment'. Embodying the hermetic virtue of ambition, the Quintus rank is as much a gamble as an honor - the turnover rate for Magi Quinti is higher than that of any other position in the Inner Circle. This post is currently held by Isabelle d'Sadonne.

Hermetic Value: Ambition, through which we choose our path with willful determination.
Sphere: Necromancy - Metempsychosis
First appearance: Terre Ferme

Magister Templi

The door the Temple is guarded, metaphorically and when called for literally, by the Master of the Temple. Master here takes the sense of 'arms master' rather than ruler, as the authority and powers of the Magister is rather strictly delineated. While the role is predictably militant in nature, it also involves keeping close, secret records of all the order's failures, errors and losses, even acting as something of a confessor to the rest of the Inner Circle. This is in keeping with the hermetic virtue the Magister Templi rank embodies: hindsight.

Outer Circle

The Outer Circle consists of those who have received the initiate mysteries of the order but remain 'outside the Temple' until their adepthood is proven. Even the highest ranking Outer Circle members, the two adepts, are seen as 'on the steps' of the Temple, still mastering an understanding of the initial hermetic values - misfortune and foresight - a task that can take years (often however long it takes for an Inner Circle member to die). Still, Outer Circle membership is a strict requirement for acceptance into the Inner Circle, and those who reach the adept rank are typically lifted up for their loyalty as much as their talent.


Those holding two foremost ranks of the Outer Circle are dubbed Adepts, positions which represent the Inner Circle's great confidence in the mages so assigned; since its initial establishment, entry into the Inner Circle has always been mediated through the adept rank. They are also the lowest two ranks to be assigned a virtue on the Hermetic cursus honorum.

Adeptus Septimus

The present seventh adept is Algerian-born mage with a knack for polygossy. 'Septimus' is the highest ranking member of the Outer Circle and is valued for his extremely useful magical talent: divination. His familiar is named Al-Arabiya-ṣifr, or Şifr for short, and is noteworthy for its frequent circumstantial changes in form, though it prefers to manifests as a monkey or other primate when local populations allow. It's name means 'Almost-zero'.

Hermetic Value: Foresight, through which we learn to predict and avoid future error.
Sphere: Clairvoyance - Divination/Scrying
First appearance: Argonautica

Adeptus Octavus

The present eighth adept is a Corsican-born mage with a suspicious, often contentious attitude. 'Octavia' has the dubious distinction of being the Order's foremost curse-caster. Despite her rank being nominally lower than that of Septimus, she tends only to take orders from Inner Circle members seriously. Her familiar is named Sapiutu-la-trè, or Sapiutu for short, and tends to favor reptilian forms. It's name means 'Known-by-three'.

Hermetic Value: Misfortune, through which we learn of life's trials and our error.
Sphere: Wild Magic - Curses
First appearance: Un Souvenir


A holder of the ninth or tenth rank of the Order is referred to as Practicus or a practical mage, meaning they are judged to have attained a command of their gifts sufficient for active use and practice. Of course, any mage who has risen this high in the order doubtless has considerable practical skill - the distinction is a formal one, having to do with the order's official vouch. A Practicus is permitted to use magic as as a member of the order as well as a free individual. The Practici are not on the yet on the cursus honorum and can be relieved of their position in the circle if a particularly promising Initius is chosen as a replacement. A 'matriculated' Practicus is not a formal member, but the order understands the value of retaining their loyalty, and the re-induction of Practici is by no means without precedent .


The two most promising Neophytes of any given year are offered initiation into the Outer Circle and formal membership into the Order. This membership is only guaranteed for a year, but gives the student access to instruction by more advanced order members and is often extended should the student show sufficient aptitude. Those who are not asked to remain are generally given some token to mark the duration of their affiliation, meant to give them a sense of association, however informal, and to augment their reputation accordingly. The degree to which this actually functions is highly debatable, and there are likely at least a few resentful ex-Initii.

Contacts, Commissions and Affiliates

Mages are a rare enough breed that it is impracticable to build a network of influence solely from individuals of arcane talent. The Hermetic Order regularly employs mundane individuals in the pursuit of their ends, and even places particularly reliable contacts on retainer for their services.


René Pontilier

René is a sad creature living a grim, twilit life. A mobile mummy, usually kept preserved inside a suit of heavy armor, the once-living Chevalier Pontilier died of grave wounds but his spirit was kept from moving on, tethered to this world. He now haunts his own body, immune to pain and distant from most feeling. He provides protection for d'Sadonne and her retinue.

First appearance: Une Attache Pour l'Âme


Abelard Thorpe

Thorpe is about what you'd expect of a man who thinks an 'odd job' involves drugging someone and throwing them in a pit you dug. He is about what you'd expect of a man who has experience digging the kind of pits you throw people into. Unscrupulous and unsavory but persistant and insinuating, Thorpe survives on a mix of luck, bad and good, both in which he takes some share.

First appearance: Brain Damage

Cursus Honorum

solchariot.jpeg The soul passeth from form to form and the mansions of her pilgrimage are manifold. Thou puttest off thy bodies as raiment and as vesture dost thou fold them up. Thou art from old, O Soul of Man yea, thou art from everlasting. - Sofía tou Ermí̱