The Order After the Schism

Salvete Sodales,

As I mentioned in my previous thread here, I am currently in the process of creating the groundwork for a Saga to be set in Britain somewhere between 1025 and 1035. From that thread:

I've got mundane research coming out my ears: overview histories, biographies, monographs on Anglo-Saxon Oxfordshire, a little book about the medieval Wychwood, a few sources in Latin, the works.

My mind now bends toward Hermetic research. In the previous thread I wrestled with the question of how large the Order was right after the Schism (I settled on about 770ish Gifted magi and about 50 Redcaps, or ~820 total members). I was about to similarly wrestle with the division of Europe into Hermetic Tribunals (which I feel should not be identical in 1030 and 1220) when I realized that I did not know nearly enough about the Order in this period. In the past I've tended to run in and around 1220, and never earlier than about the 3rd Crusade. This history was consulted and read, but not actively enough to run confidently in this period. I will of course deliberately tweak both real history (I am making the Wychwood a little wilder, larger, and less settled than it actually was, for instance) and the Hermetic history to fit with my Saga, but I have no wish to alter either unintentionally through ignorance.

I don't expect anyone to do the research for me - I'm going through the books one at a time. However, if any of you can answer questions off the top of your head because you just know the material that well, I would appreciate any help you can lend. I would also appreciate suggestions of particularly detail-rich passages in the books that I must read. I have the whole 5th edition library except Broken Covenant and Fallen Fane, and I have all of the 4th edition Tribunal books.

I'm primarily interested in one specific question, and three broader subjects:

When did the Schism War actually end?
I get some contradictory information here. I see some tables and charts saying 1017 or 1018, but then there's a strange reference under Tremere in True Lineages which suggests it might have been over as early as 1014. Since the concept for my saga is "you are all among the first of the 'generation' of Magi to have begun your apprenticeships after the War was concluded", I want my starting date to be X+(15 to 20), where X is the year the War ended. I get that there can be some fuzziness here - maybe all actual hostilities were ended by 1014 but the war wasn't 'officially' over until 1017?

Personalities of the Era
I'm trying to compile a list of the 'notable wizards' of the era, canonically speaking. I'm happy to create the others and may 'overwrite' some existing ones if I have a pressing need, but again, I don't want to act out of ignorance.

For instance, let's look at Primi. I know that until he's disgraced and discredited, Entisimon is still the Primus of Flambeau. Tytalus is most likely led by Klynoites, who may or may not have had a hand in the murder of the previous Prima. Guernicus is probably still led by Antonius, who commited human sacrifice to help end the War. Salmo is leading Bjornaer and bringing their behavior more in line with the 'Roman standard'. Merinita is headed by Rhiannon, who was a 'timid young maga' in 997 and ruled until she 'died of old age', which is unlikely to have happened by 1030.

What about the other 7 Houses? We know that Bonisagus was lead by Thamus Collis, but he stepped down at the conclusion of the Schism War. Who replaced him? And do we know of any other major personalities who are active at this time?

General Differences between 1030 and 1220
This one is a little bit more difficult to nail down, so instead of trying to explain what I mean, I'll provide a handful of examples:

  • Under this heading would fall, for instance, the fact that until a series of rulings in 1061, the sale of magical items to mundanes is not out-and-out prohibited (though one must be careful not to do anything which could bring one into trouble with the Code.)
  • Another example, stemming from my reading of Societates, is that since we're still fairly close to the era of the reformer Basilicus's reign over Ex Miscellanea (he was the one who disappeared before the vote on Diedne's renunciation, right?), House Ex Misc. has probably not atrophied into a totally decentralized political non-entity yet, though it's starting to crumble.
  • Although Salmo's leadership and reforms mean that a freshly-Gauntleted PC Bjornaer may be fairly 'civilized' in behavior, the older generations of that house still retain a much more tribal structure.

What is the role of Ireland and Scotland in Hermetic history before 1030?
For my Saga, I very much want to characterize Scotland as a semi-settled hinterland of the Order, and Hibernia as terra incognita. (Both will be rolled with England into a larger Tribunal Britannia, legally speaking.) I am aware that his necessitates some changes. For instance, I'll be spending some time either rewriting Rhiannon or explaining how she came to be Hermetic. What, if anything, else am I going to have to rewrite or figure out how to incorporate into my vision?

I agree the answer here is that it ended earlier but trickled off towards the end as the last Diedne survivors were being hunted, some of course escaped and were never found. The official end date is in the 1017-1018 period as the Tribunals started being held and declaring victory. In 4th edition of course the end date was even earlier.

For starters the whole British Isles and much of northern europe has much more recent memories of the Viking invasions at this time, equate that with fear of the Order of Odin. Secondly you can tweak the history of the Davanallus war so that the scottish wizards especially the Graugchan break angrily away from the Order of Miscellany when Pralix brokers the deal to rejoin the Order of Hermes, leaving House ex Miscellania much weaker as a large part of their ancestors never joined.

Hope that helps

The best way to keep Hibernia unknown and not just hostile territory would be to emphasize the faerie legends of the place and have any attempt by Hermetic wizards to explore in the past to be mysteriously repulsed by strange faerie regios that they were unable to navigate. House Merinita are silent on the subject and refuse to assist any expeditions.

Thank you!

That clarifies things rather helpfully, and fits in rather well with my research. I think I'm going to set my saga starting in 1032 for that reason. 15 years after 1017, so by the time they started their apprenticeships, the Diedne were defeated and dead or exiled. These are going to be among the first magi who have no living memory of Diedne as an existing body, let alone an equal House in the Order.

(1032 also gives the players a year to set up before the ominous year 1033, precisely 1,000 years after the Crucifixion... :smiling_imp:)

Good call, I like that one rather a lot. I don't want to break House Ex Misc. entirely - I still see them as the largest house overwhelmingly, but it does seem to me the fracture must occur there. Perhaps prior to the war there were a few Diedne outposts in the region; in any event, Scotland is now home to all kinds of Celtic and Norse magical traditions (vitkir, gruagchan, Muspelli, and others) and the Order is just beginning to make headway.

One possibility, though I think perhaps "terra incognita" may have been the wrong word to use. I'm looking less at 'totally unexplored' and more 'the Order can't seem to make headway there" - through a combination of powerful native fae and magical forces, indigenous Gifted, etc.

Lion and the Lilly lists the official end of the schism war as 1018 with the final battle six years earlier in 1012

Acording to Lion of the North, continental magi did not settle ythe lowlands of Scotland until the reign of Malcolm Canmore. So at this time Scotland will be a total Ex Miscellanea land, with most magi being only nominally hermetic. Gruagachan with Parma et al. I would use a fair numbe rof Vitkir as well if you are using Hedge magic and want a threat to young magi


So I'm still deep in 'research & design' mode for this little "Post-Schism" project of mine. I have backdated the starting year from 1032 to 1027. This on the basis of several factors:

  • I still get to set some stories in the ominous year 1033, but now they've had a little more time to settle in as characters before that turbulent time approaches.
  • My general criterion was that I wanted the freshly-gauntleted Magi never to have seen a living member of House Diedne, as I think this is an important psychological 'break' between generations that I'd like to explore. Since these wizards would have started their apprenticeships in 1012, in the same year as the final battle of the War, this applies. Further, it means they really will be among the very first of the generation of "Post-Schism" wizards.
  • Backdating five years means that the first third of the characters' apprenticeships was conducted after the final battle but before anybody in the Order KNEW that the final battle had already taken place. There was a lot of suspicion and fear in that era, and again, I think that it is probably
  • As a bit of Mundane history, this puts the campaign starting in the birth-year of William the Bastard. I cannot resist synchronicities like that.

I've got a list of the Primi of the Order at the start of my Saga for people's critique. Bold indicates that the character is firmly and canonically the Primus of their House at this time. Italics indicates that they were a canonical Primus around this time, and I have inferred with reasonable certainty that they are still Primus, and made them so for my Saga. Plain-text indicates that the character is a non-canonical character of my invention. (The Primus of Criamon is a special case: a canonical character with no attached canonical dates.)

[tr][td]Bjornaer[/td] [td]Salmo[/td][td]The great Reform Primus, his focus is on bringing his House more in line with the "Roman" aesthetic of the Order at large, to spare his people the fate of Diedne. This is a controversial position in his House, and by 1028 it's only just beginning to be felt among freshly-Gauntleted wizards.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Bonisagus[/td] [td]Amplia[/td][td]A distinguished maga Bonisagus, Amplia is famed as an inventor of spells but is more noteworthy for her bombastic style. Her Primacy, obtained after the resignation of Thamus Collis, has led to some dissatisfaction in the House. She is famed throughout the Order as the unquestioned, leading expert on Auram magic.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Criamon[/td] [td]DIana of Merinita[/td][td]A maga of another House serving as Primus of Criamon has precedent, but there is still some controversy over Diana of Merinita's selection four years ago, because she ritually slew her predecessor and Criamon theology teaches that this murderer must live in a state of permanent ritual pollution. Her record in the past four years has been filled with good work on behalf of the House, however, and this has mollified criticism somewhat.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Ex Miscellanea[/td] [td]Apiarius[/td][td]A powerful and elderly member of the Beast Master tradition. Came to power after the disappearance of Basilicus during the Renunciation of Diedne. Lead the House through the final stages of the War. Has so far managed to continue the centralizing reforms of Basilicus, but is rapidly approaching Final Twilight without a clear successor.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Flambeau[/td] [td]Entisimon[/td][td]The great Firebrand, Entisimon led his house down the militant path in the build-up to the Schism War, and led it admirably through the contest. In the aftermath of the war he enjoys a mixed reputation in the Order. He is a respected veteran, but many are the wizards who are beginning to wonder whether the war was necessary at all. That doubt and his current conduct in the Normandy Crisis are beginning to complicate his legacy.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Guernicus[/td] [td]Antonius[/td][td]Antonius lives constantly under the guilt (secret to all but fellow seniors of his House) of having ordered the performance of the Curse of Thoth, and having personally committed the human sacrifice central to that ritual. Rather than resign like his friend Thamus Collis of Bonisagus, however, Antonius has committed himself to spending his winter years building stability in the Order, that the blood of the War not have been shed needlessly.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Jerbiton[/td] [td]Gladiola[/td][td]One of the younger Primi, Gladiola is a Greek woman rumored to be related to the ruling Macedonian dynasty of Constantinople. She is a fresh Prima, having acquired her position just three years ago. Her interests seem to lie mainly (unhealthily, some say) with the relationship between the Order and the Empire.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Mercere[/td] [td]Mihalyi[/td][td]A blood descendent of Mercere who came to power just after the end of the War and the death of Aldico. He is the brilliant business mind who, over the next century or so, will grow the House's Vis-trading service into Mythic Europe's first great banking empire - but right now he's a fairly young Primus.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Merinita[/td] [td]Rhiannon[/td][td]The first Prima of the House since Quendalon. She was a very young Maga when she was appointed just prior to the War, now approaching respectable middle age. May be renamed/re'skinned' given my take on Ireland, see the OP.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Tremere[/td] [td]Pertinax[/td][td]Pertinax was a trusted lieutenant of Primus Cercistum throughout the Schism War, and is well-known to other members of his House as steadfast and straightforward. He is virtually unknown to the Order at large, however, and given the House's current inward focus, this is unlikely to change in the near future.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Tytalus[/td] [td]Klynoites[/td][td]Klynoites engineered the death of his predecessor Kalliste, who was despised by the House for taking the Corruption to the attention of the Order as a whole instead of dealing with it internally. As he demonstrated particular cunning in this approach, and freed the House from a traitor, he is well-regarded by his fellows - for as much good as that does a Primus of Tytalus...[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Verditius[/td] [td]Virna[/td][td]A matronly woman of middle Hermetic age, 4th Primus in descent from Verditius. Verna enjoys a great House reputation as a multiple winner of the Contest and the crafter of beautiful magical staves and other woodwork. She made a few mis-steps early in the War, allowing her House to sell to both sides of the conflict, but rectified that situation quickly and has since proven a capable leader. She is currently searching for her first Apprentice, who would become heir to the House.[/td][/tr][/table]

What do you think?