Order of Hermes

Mighty the Wizard Who found me at sunrise Sleeping, and woke me And learn’d me Magic! Great the Master,And sweet the Magic,When over the valley,In early summers,Over the mountain,On human faces,And all around me,Moving to melody,Floated The Gleam.

-Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Merlin and the Gleam”

Reckoning

The Conflagration, the Horizon War, the loss of Concordia, and Second Massasa War – such is the litany of crimes and injures of the Order of Hermes. Hermes never says die, however. Even when wounded, the Hermetics refused to give up even when most of the rest of the Traditions threw in the towel. The alchemical cycle of renewal continues within and without.  Can they overcome their rich but troubled past to find a footing in the 21st century? Will they become a relic for the museums and the history books? Will they be crushed the the heal of the enemies? Hermes, resplendent on quicksilver Talaria, rises from the fires of the Conflagration to fight again.

Current Status

The most venerable bastions of power and their many archmages were all taken by the Storm and the chaos that came with it. Painful as it was, the Order came to realize that these were tools that must be transcended, but transcendence is not the same thing as forgiveness. Hermes never gave up on the Ascension War, but through the flames they can now see its new for more clearly. Like the pyramids of ancient Egypt, the Order’s social ties were designed to withstand the test of time. Hermetics looked to their own power and the laws that govern it to endure the Storm, and ultimately transcend their many injuries. The Still, Tower turned and ancient Houses fell to their own hubris allowing newer Houses to rise. The Order emerged leaner with a new outlook.

Primus Gaia Aetheria, bani Bonisagus  has been a quiet power in the Order for decades. The now master  was recruited into the Order as a philosophy student in Greece in the 1920s, and then went on to teach at one of the Order’s few remaining university covenants in New England. She took over as chancellorship in the 1970s, and her wise leadership and political savvy successfully steered it through the turbulent 1990s. When the Storm passed, the Quaesitori called first Grand Tribunal in decades in 2007. All members were expected to travel to the recently reopened Realm of Durenmar, the ancestral Chantry of Bonisagus,  so the Order of Hermes could once again be made whole. In those ancient halls, the Houses jostled for position, selected Primi, and began the process of rebuilding its grand tradition.  As for who would represent the Order on the New Horizon Council, Aetheria’s name was on the lips of no one for the position. Other, more storied primi such as Daira Kashaf, bani Shaea and Sharad Osei, bani Verditius, and even newcomer Runako Banda, bani Ngoma were among the few names thought to be the most likely candidates. Yet, strangely enough, Aetheria emerged first as a dark horse, and then the victor. Aetheria’s election as Primus was controversial due to her being of the linage of Trianoma, who traditionally eschew open leadership for political facilitation. There was nothing in Hermetic law saying she couldn’t take the role, and like the visionary co-founder of the Order, she used her significant political skill and vision to evade her rival’s traps. The Order has always been the Council’s skeleton and spine, but the hope is that Aetheria’s wisdom and elegant mastery of Ars Cupiditae will provide the Council with a strong, flexible frame. The Hermetics, once again, set the agenda, run the meetings, and write the policies of the Council.

The Order has changed tremendously since its founding in Europe. In the 10th century, the it was bound together by the roads of empires that yoked Europe and the Near East together, but Hermes long ago outgrew its Dark Ages landscape with covenants on every continent across the globe. Under its new primus, the Hermetics are once again holding regular Tribunals, and as a result, the rich intellectual tradition of the Hermes is once again beginning to flower. The Primus has championed the idea of Pymander, and has been supporting magi and covenants focused on its traditional role of teachers of humanity. Modern Hermeticism’s influence is growing anywhere knowledge is found. As devotees of Hermes, god of communication, technology and publishing,  the Order now transmits esoteric mysteries in new ways. Hermetic Adepts can be found countering the Technocracy in the halls of academia while apprentices transmit the mysteries via podcasts, zines, and websites. Hermes can even be found within the Digital Web running across its silicon plains. Old grudges die hard, and the Order hasn’t forgotten the injuries it has suffered at the hands of its enemies Despite having a reputation as being hidebound and traditional, many of the Houses of Hermes have heeded the call of the Sphinx and have rejoined the Ascension War with with their trademark flamboyance and style.

Houses

  • Bonisagus – Since the death of the Fraternal Brotherhood of Bonisagus at Doissetep, the flagship House of Hermes has has had something of a resurgence that is really more of an emergence. Apparently there was a small army of Bonisagi working in isolated Realms or sancti in the Tellurian. Something prompted them to attend the Grand Tribunal en masse, however. Perhaps it was the  fall of Doissetep or perhaps it was Aetheria herself. Whatever the case maybe, the Bonisagi are no longer scattered, solitary wizards. Primus Parmenides Ritter was elected to lead the House, and he has returned it to its previous collegiate structure in their ancestral Realm of Durenmar. From the Great Library there they now pursue new lines of research, sponsor symposiums, champion intellectual causes, and have begun taking submissions for the House’s septennial compendiums of the best magical theory and practices the Order has to offer. There are even a few apprentices in the labs again poached from academia. This once floundering founding House is once again full of life.
    • Common Focus
      • Ancient Wisdom Is The Key, A Mechanistic Cosmos, Bring Back The Golden Age, Might Is Right, Everything Is Data, Tech Holds All The Answers, Turning The Keys To Reality, We’re All Gods In Disguise
      • Alchemy, Art of Desire, Craftwork, Dominion, Elementalism, High Ritual Magick, Maleficia, Medicine Work, Weird Science
      • Artwork, Blessings & Curses, Books, Scrolls & Periodicals, Brews & Concoctions, Celestial Alignments, Crossroads & Crossing Days, Cups & Vessels, Dance & Movements, Drugs & Poisons, Elements, Energy, Food & Drink, Formulae & Math, Gadgets & Inventions, Gems & Stones, Group Rites, Herbs & Plants, Labs & Gear, Languages, Music, Numbers & Numerology, Offerings & Sacrifices, Sacred Iconography, Symbols, Social Domination, True Names, Voice & Vocalization, Wands, Staves, Cups & Pattens, Weapons, Writing, Inscription & Runes
  • Flambeau – House Ignis were the first in and the last out after Doissetep, threw in on the Second Massasa War, and the rest took their enemies with them when they flamed out in Horizon. Previous primi indulged them, funneling recruits as fast as the House could go through them. Paradox, Quiet, or the Cauls decimated the survivors leaving but a few sparks in the House of Flame. Has that made them question their warrior ethos and dualistic outlook on reality? Not a bit! In fact, the current primus, Titus Balthasar, rose to prominence on a back draft of flaming Certamens and fiery rhetoric that echoes that of the Sphinx. Balthasar is the most outspoken supporter of New Horizon Council, and the urgency to rejoin the Ascension War in earnest. The Salamanders have an axe grind with the Technocracy that is nothing short of metaphysical. When the call for battle comes House Flambeau is still the first to answer it.
    • Common Focus
      • A Mechanistic Cosmos, A World of Gods & Monsters, Brings Back The Golden Age, Everything Is An Illusions, Might Is Right, Tech Holds All The Answers, Transcend Your Limits, Embrace The Threshold
      • Elementalism, Alchemy, Crazy Wisdom, Dominion, High Ritual Magick, Maleficia
      • Armor, Weapons, Blessing & Curses, Books & Periodicals, Brews & Concoctions, Celestial Alignments, Elements, Energy, Formulae & Math, Gems & Stones Group Rites, Languages, Offerings & Sacrifice, Ordeals & Exertions, True Names, Voice & Vocalization, Dances & Movement, True Names, Writing, Inscriptions & Runes
  • Fortunae – If Fortunae were busy before the Storm, they are pushed to the limit now.  The Fati have been tasked with raiding the casinos and markets to shore up the Order’s flagging wealth. When not filling the Order’s coffers, Personnel are recruiting apprentices to restore the other Houses to their former glory. All this work isn’t selfless, however. Primus Stephen Landon Masters has made it clear to Primus Aetheria just how lucky the Order is to have them. Rumors that the House will make a bid to be recognized as a full Tradition have circled the Fati since its founding. Its clear the Fati are adding something up, but what that might be is a mystery.
    • Common Focus
      • A Mechanistic Cosmos, Everything Is Chaos, Might is Right, Everything Is Data, Embrace The Threshold
      • Crazy Wisdom, High Ritual Magick, Maleficia, Weird Science
      • Blessings & Curses, Books & Periodicals, Celestial Alignments, Crossroads & Crossing Days, Formulae & Math, Money & Wealth, Group Rites, Cards, Instruments & Instruments of Chance, Labs & Gear, Music, Numbers & Numerology, Symbols, Voce & Vocalization, True Names, Management & HR
  • Hong Lei – Hong Lei joined the Order in House Ex Miscellanea out of protest. The magpie Hermes, ever curious, ever hungry to integrate new forms of magic into their Art, expected magical secrets to be set before them as a gift of gratitude. Hong Lie, however, felt they deserved… more. They felt they deserved reparations for being snubbed in the first place so many centuries ago. Asking was beneath the House of Crimson Thunder. After all, they were the ones who rose to the heavens on their elegant celestial cosmology to sip tea with the gods when these Western “hedge wizards” were just still mucking around in primitive laboratories trying to discover the secrets of fire. No, Hong Lei was willing to wait, aloof and proud, to be asked, as one asks a prince, to take their rightful place within the Order of Hermes. So they kept to their covenants, and politely put off the Order until the time was right. House Hong Lei showed up in force to the Grand Tribunal where Primus Mu Yu Yan deftly navigated the sticky Hermetic politics. In exchange for Great Houses status, she promised to be more forthcoming with the House’s secrets. While Primus Mu has kept her promise she has made the Westerners pay dearly for them. The House seems to be collecting debts of Sa like charms on a bracelet, but what they plan to do with it is unknown. Those within the House, from 3rd degrees on up, are encouraged to trade certain secrets for political gain. Some whisper that they, too, have scores to settle with the Technocracy, or perhaps another agenda entirely. To make matters more complicated, members of the House have been accused of diabolism by Western Hermetics, and the Quaesitori have so far been at a loss to charge them. The spirits Dragon Wizards entreat with are almost entirely unknown to the Order making the legal claims of diabolism a rather narrow and Western branch of Hermetic Law, difficult to judge. Some say this controversy is a ploy by Hong Lei to distract the Order from their amassing of political clout.
    • Common Focus
      • A Mechanistic Cosmos, Divine Order and Earthly Chaos, Might Is Right, All Power Comes From The Gods, Ancient Wisdom Is The Key, Ancestors Watch Over Us
      • Alchemy, Dominion, High Ritual Magick, Weird Science, Medicine Work
      • Blessings & Curses, Books & Periodicals, Celestial Alignments, Cards and Instruments of Chance, Formulae & Math, Gems & STones, Group Rites, Herbs & Plants, Labs & Gear, Languages, Meditation, Money & Wealth, Numbers & Numerology, Offerings & Sacrifices, Prayers & Invocations, Symbols, True Names, Voice & Vocalization, Writings, Inscriptions & Runes
  • Ngoma – As the Storm raged and Technocracy pogroms intensified, Primus Runako Banda lead an exodus of a small cabal of Ngoma to the chantry of Primus Daira Kashaf. Under House Shaea sponsorship, Ngoma entered the Order under Ex Miscellanae, but they wasted no time making their presence felt in the Order. Ngoma magicians were suddenly in every covenant in the Order. Ngoma warriors fought along side Flambeau and Tytalus. Ngoma scholars work with the Seshati on translation and archives. Ngoma theorists and teachers argue eloquently with the Bonisagi about the finer points of magic theory. Ngoma numerologists conference with the Fati on proofs. Ngoma lawyers join the ranks of the Quaesitori. Ngoma scientists contribute to Skopos quantum theory.  The Ngoma dazzle the Order at the Storm Tribunal with their wit, charm, and most importantly, truly ancient magical secrets. Ancient texts, once believed lost or even apocryphal, were brought to light, proving House Shaea’s theories that many important ideas in Western Esotericism, so revered by the Roman Order, actually originated in Africa and the Middle East. Such a linage is hard to ignore, and after their probationary period was up they petitioned for Great House status. They won it it with the political backing of House Shaea. Many say they hope to parlay their membership in the Order to become a full fledged Tradition. There are barriers to this, however. Ngoma’s magical might was disrupted by their dislocation at the hands of Technocracy pogroms. Libraries remain incomplete, ancient lore is missing, and ancestral Nodes have been lost. Recruiting apprentices, reclaiming their legacy, and reconnecting with Ngoma outside the House now that the Storm has passed has been the priority of the House. Once they have gathered their full strength then Traditions must recognize Ngoma not as part of the Order of Hermes, but as equal to it.
    • Common Focus
      • Creation Is Divine And Alive, A Mechanistic Cosmos, Divine Order and Earthly Chaos, Might Is Right, Tech Holds All The Answers, Ancient Wisdom Is The Key, The Ancestors Watch Over Us, Turning The Keys To Reality
      • Craftwork, Dominion, High Ritual Magick, Medicine Work, Malecifia, Weird Science, Elementalism
      • Artwork, Blessings & Curses, Books, Scrolls & Periodicals, Brews & Concoctions, Celestial Alignments, Crossroads & Crossing Days, Cups & Vessels, Dance & Movements, Drugs & Poisons, Elements, Energy, Food & Drink, Formulae & Math, Gadgets & Inventions, Gems & Stones, Group Rites, Herbs & Plants, Labs & Gear, Languages, Music, Numbers & Numerology, Offerings & Sacrifices, Prayers & Invocations, Sacred Iconography, Symbols, Social Domination, True Names, Voice & Vocalization, Wands, Staves, Cups & Patterns, Weapons, Writing, Inscription & Runes
  • Quaesitori – During the chaos of the Storm many Hermetics looked to House Quaesitori to extend their reach, and take control of the Order. The temptation to extend their power must have been great, but the Order’s judges resisted the temptation. Primus Ishqa ibn-Thoth saw the Storm and all of its violent antecedents as a test on the level of the Schism War, and was determined the Order not fall pray to failings of the past. The revelations of House Janissary were enough of a caustic lesson for Primus ibn-Thoth call for not only the preservation and enforcement of Hermetic Law, but also revision. Over the intervening years, Primus ibn-Thoth has filled the vacant seats of the Magistrati from among the newer Houses, and began the long work of updating the Hermetic Code to something that reflects both modern and wizardly sensibilities. Aetheria tasked House Quaesitori to begin holding Tribunals again where law breakers are dealt with publicly.  When not keeping a watchful eye on the Order, they are  now focus on the monumental task of reforming Hermetic Law into something that might appeal to someone other than a Dark Ages magistrate. Meanwhile, Praetor and Quaesitori have been assigned regions to ensure Hermetic law is enforced.
    • Common Focus
      • A Mechanistic Cosmos, Divine Order and Earthly Chaos, Might Is Right, Ancient Wisdom Is The Key, Turning The Keys Of Reality
      • Art of Desire, Dominion, High Ritual Magick, Maleficia,
        • Armor, Celestial Alignments, Circles & Designs, Crossroads & Crossdays, Elements, Formulae & Math, Food & Drink, Gems & Stones, Group Rites, Management & HR, Meditation, Money & Wealth, Numbers & Numerology, Offerings & Sacrifices, Prayers & Invocations, Social Domination, True Names, Voice & Vocalization, True Names, Weapons, Wands, Staves, Cups, Vessels, and Patterns.
  • Shaea – While the other Houses fled or panicked, House Shaea kicked back with a glass of wine to watch Rome burn. Having thousands of years of history at your fingertips tends to give one a certain perspective. They read the signs, wrote the histories, and comforted the worried that all of this has happened before. Well, most of it anyway. And they were right. Again. As usual. To the Seshati, the Storm was just the end of a long, particularly bad cycle, and what is happening currently the beginning of a new one – one they intend to capitalize on. Having called in the favors they accumulated doing research for the other Houses during the Storm, House Shaea emerged as the largest in the Order. Primus Daira Kashaf was the primary contender for the Order’s seat on the New Horizon Council, but narrowly lost to Primus Aetheria. (There are rumors she traded representing the Order for the admission of Ngoma as a Great House.)  Politics are in the past, however. The two lunch regularly in Cairo, and what they casually discuss over coffee has  wider reaching implications for the Order.
    • Common Focus
        • Bring Back The Golden Age, Might Is Right, Tech Holds All The Answers, Ancient Wisdom Holds The Key, All Power Comes From The Gods, Ancestors Watch Over Us, Turning The Key To Reality
          • Alchemy, Craftwork, Dominion, High Ritual Magick, Maleficia, Medicine Work, Weird Science, Ancestor Worship, God-Bonding, Animalism
          • Artwork, Blessing & Curses, Blood & Fluids, Bones & Remains, Books & Periodicals, Brews & Concoctions, Celestial Alignments, Circles & Designs, Cups & Vessels, Dances & Movements, Drugs & Poisons, Food & Drink, Formulae & Math, Gems & Stones, Group Rites, Herbs & Plants, Labs & Gear, Languages, Meditation, Numbers & Numerology, Offerings & Sacrfices, Prayer & Invocations, Sex & Sensuality, Symbols, True Names, Wands & Staves, Voice & Vocalization, Writings, Inscription, and Runes
  • Tytalus – When the tower fell it fell on the Tytalans. The House once dominated the Order, and functioned as the Council’s tacticians and strategists. Their own antagonism and the Second Massasa War rendered the once proud House a shadow of its former self. Now the smallest of the Major Houses, Tytalus has a lot to make up for. Still under Censure, Quaesitors regular visit the House’s covenants in order to ensure Tytalians do not stray from Code of Hermes again. It seems the House of Tytalus has finally torn itself down, but since 2007, Primus Arlo Bishop has been  build it back up. The charismatic Disciple has implemented a three fold strategy to resurrect the House’s flagging self worth. He revised the House’s famously grueling initiation to attract apprentices, and while it still offers the same rigorous standards it is now far more appealing to modern mages. He also began meeting with the other Primi (mainly Flambeau and Xaos) in order to formulate a response to the call of the Sphinx, and present strategies to the Council at-large. Internally, he has been taking the remaining members on survival treks into the wilderness to rebuild morale. Primus Bishop rewards hard work, strategy, intelligence and most notably, those with the willpower to face down their own demons for the sake of Ascension. The Sphinx will have to wait. Tytalus must master itself once more to be of any use to anyone else.
    • Common Focus
      • A Mechanistic Cosmos, Bring Back The Golden Age, A World of Gods and Monsters, Transcend Your Limits, Turning The Keys To Reality
      • Art of Desire, Craftwork, Dominion, High Ritual Magick, Martial Arts, Medicine-Work, Yoga, Invigoration
      • Books & Periodicals, Celestial Alignments, Circles & Designs, Cups & Vessels, Dance & Movements, Elements, Energy, Gems & Stones, Formulae & Math, Group Rites, Languages, Numbers & Numerology, Prayers & Invocations, Ordeals & Exertions, Social Domination, Vehicles, Weapons, Armor, Voice & Vocalization
  • Skopos  Lead by the scholarly Jennifer Von Neumann, House Skopos marches to a beat of their own drum by applying Hermetic principles to quantum theory of reality. They can’t be bothered with the politics of the Order at large, and were it not for House Bonisagus recognizing their trailblazing work in the Hermetic Arts they would have languished in Ex Miscellanea in perpetuity. Since joining the ranks of Great Houses, Skopos has a growing number of laboratories where they ask what they feel is the important question: what is the true nature of reality? These philosopher-wizards of science harken back to the Renaissance Hermetic polymaths by seeking spiritual illumination through discovery. Some have made overtures to the Society of Ether that, so far, have not been taken very seriously.
    • Common Focus
      • A Mechanistic Cosmos, Creation Is Innately Divine and Alive, Holographic Universe, Everything Is Chaos, Everything Is Data, Tech Holds All The Answers, Consciousness Is The Only True Reality, Embrace The Threshold, Turning The Keys To Reality, Reality Hacking
      • Weird Science, High Ritual Magick, Reality Hacking, Psionics
      • Books & Periodicals, Celestial Alignments, Circles & Design, Computer Gear, Elements, Energy, Formulae & Math, Gadgets & Inventions, Labs & Gear, Languages, Meditation, Numbers & Numerology, Symbols, Thought-Forms, True Names, Writings, Inscription, and Runes
  • Solificati – The Solificati joined the Order as the 10th House bringing with them a much needed spirit of Unity. This unity wouldn’t hold against the Storm, and many of its members, unsatisfied with their place in the Order, left to seek it elsewhere. Those who stayed have the lofty goal of unifying the Traditions with the Order of Hermes as their instrument. Primus Sophia Oliveira emerged from the tumult of the Storm with the discovery of an ancient alchemical laboratory containing a number of classic texts long thought lost. As old wisdom is uncovered and synthesized in new ways, the Solificati numbers are on the rise. As reconcilers of opposites and champions of unity, they have successfully sued for peace drawing the often fractious Traditions.
    • Common Focus
      • A Mechanistic Cosmos, Creation Is Divine and Alive, Tech Holds All The Answers, Ancient Knowledge Is The Key, Turning The Keys To Reality, Transcend Your Limits, Consciousness Is The Only True Reality
      • Alchemy, Art of Desire, Craftwork, High Ritual Magick, Medicine-Work,
      • Books & Periodicals, Bones & Remains, Blood & Fluids, Brews & Concoctions, Celestial Alignments, Drugs & poisons, Elements, Energy, Food & Drink, Formulae & Math, Gems & Stones, Group Rites, Herbs & Plants, Languages, Meditation, Numbers & Numerology, Symbols, True Names, Writings, Inscriptions, and runes
  • Verditius – Everything old is new again. House Thig invigorated House Verditius with its new techgnostic praxis that the old forge masters took to the proverbial anvil and refined into something sublime. Primus Sharad Osei’s gambit paid off since the Forge of Hermes is again spoken of with the reverence once reserved for Tytalus or Bonisagus. The Forge now rivals House Shaea in size and importance, and their integration of modern technology, particularly information technology, into Hermetic theory continues to be a success. Now that the Storm has past they can be found on the Digital Web, hosting maker’s events, and writing technical FAQs filled with Hermetic Easter eggs to illuminate those who find them. Those of a more terrestrial bent can be found in their labs analyzing ancient formulae for lost Wonders, and creating new, Hermetic driven gadgets with the names of the angels. Even the Virtual Adepts have to admit they might be on to something.
    • Commons Focus
      • A Mechanistic Cosmos, Everything Is Data, Tech Holds All The Answers, Ancient Wisdom is the Key, Turning the Keys to Reality, Might Is Right
      • Alchemy, Craftwork, Dominion, High Ritual Magic, Weird Science, Hypertech
          • Armor, Artwork, Books & Periodicals, Brews & Concoctions, Celestial Alignments, Circles & Designs, Cups & Vessels, Devices & Machines, Elements, Energy, Formulae & Math, Gadgets & Inventions, Labs & Gear, Languages, Numbers & Numerology, Offerings & Sacrifices, Prayers & Invocations, Symbols, True Names, Vehicles, Wands & Staves, Weapons, Writings, Inscriptions and Runes
  • Xaos – The neo-Discordians of former House Thig are the Order’s wild card. Lead by Primus Kallisti, 23rd priestess of Eris, they represent the trickster aspect of Hermes. While this emphasis on modernity seems brash to the more conservative members of the Order, House Xaos has no problem at all pointing out when Emperor Hermes has no clothes. As the main purveyors of chaos magick, their concerns have always been individualistic and eccentric to say the least, but their time as the magpies of Ex Miscellanea allowed them to pick and choose from the venerable oeuvre the Order offers. Over the past few decades they have developed something that resembles a coherent praxis, and one that is far more ready to face the challenges of the modern world than the classical arts of the Founding Houses. To them, belief itself is an instrument, and they fluently mix modern psychology, classical wisdom, science, mysticism, and psychedelics into a fascinating magical theory. While they might be eclectic, the mages of House Xaos aren’t afraid to be rid of antiquated, clunky, or useless beliefs or practices, and they are quick to remind their more conservative fellows that success should be one’s proof.  To House Xaos, what matters most is that it works, and to them that means actually making an attempt to appeal to the Sleepers. To Xaos, magic should be in relatable modern forms. Comic book grimoires, ready made sigil magic, easy to use meditation techniques, and the inclusion of postmodern skepticism has secured them a not only a boon of apprentices but also a high profile in the Sleeper imagination. Reluctantly, the Tribunal agreed to hear their petition, and they were granted Great House status with the single, deciding vote being cast by Primus Sharad Osei. You won’t find House Xaos in the remote Hermetic labs, but among the Sleepers on Instagram and YouTube offering how-to High Ritual tutorials, arguing Greek philosophy on Twitter, encoding Hermetic ideas in graphic novels, and leading sigil driven, neo-shamanic visions quests on psychedelics in the woods.
    • Common Focus
      • Everything’s An Illusion, Everything Is Chaos, Everything Is Data, Might Is Right, Turning The Keys To The Universe, Consciousness Is The Only True Reality, Aliens Make Us What We Are, Embrace The Threshold, Holographic Universe
      • Bardism, Art of Desire, Craftwork, Dominion, Gutter Magick, High Ritual Magick, Chaos Magick, Weird Science, Maleficia, Reality Hacking
      • Artwork, Blessings & Curses, Blood & Fluids, Bodywork, Books & Periodicals, Cards & Instruments of Chance, Celestial Alignments, Cups & Vessels, Drugs & Poisons, Eye Contact, Fashion, Gems & Stones, Group Rites, Herbs & Plants, Languages, Meditation, Music, Numbers & Numerology, Prayers & Invocations, Sacred Iconography, Sex & Sensuality, Thought-Forms, Symbols, Toys, Tricks & Illusions, Writings, Inscriptions, and Runes
  • Ex Miscellanea – Truth enters from the trash stratum.  The Storm years had the most dynamic impact on House Ex Miscellanea. The old masters misapprehended the Hodge-Podge as a dumping ground for eccentrics and failures rather than seeing it for what it was: the sacred laboratory of Hermes. The loss of House Janissary, the decline of Tytalus, and the joining of Thig and Verditius  lead Hermes to turn to its cast offs for answers. These once minor Houses and wizards without houses have each in their own way proven up to the task of addressing the concerns of Ascension in the world after the Storm. Long forgotten Hermetic linages, truly eccentric practices, and experimental ideas have always taken shape shape within House Ex Miscellanea, and the Order is suddenly taking notice. House Ex Miscellanea is finally having its day. Three Houses currently dwell within its ranks, but these account for only a fraction of the House’s membership. Without a primus there is not exact accounting, but many believe Ex Misc rivals Shaea or may even be the Order’s largest House. Then again, this could just be hearsay. Numerous independent wizards work outside the confines of the Great Houses, and this independence allows Hermes the freedom he needs to soar. Three founding Houses remain within Hodge-Podge:
    • Criamon – The visions leading up to the Storm caused the House to descend into a mass Quiet. What few that emerged are possessed with strange insights that they are working to understand. The new tattoos on their hands and faces are wild and bright. Primus Ellen Feng ostensibly leads the House, but they are too few in numbers to really have much structure.
    • Jerbiton – The once founding House languished in Ex Miscellanea for over a century. With the disruption in the Order’s power structure, Primus Esme Bianco has managed to raise her House’s profile with her techngnostic use of art and social media. She has recently been assigned a handful of apprentices from Personnel at the request of Aetheria herself. These apprentices are learning a modern version of Ars Cupiditate in order to rehabilitate the Order’s reputation among the other Traditions, and seed Western esoteric ideas via the Internet.
    • Merinita – The fairy mages long ago tied their path to Ascension to the Dreaming, and as it declines so do the fairy mages. The fact that they showed up at all to the Storm Tribunal was a surprise to most, but show up they did lead by Primus Gretle Fern. What few fairy mages there were said little, and advanced a dim and vague agenda understood by few. More erudite wizards might see a pattern to the House’s pursuit. If you look carefully one might start to believe they have found an unexplored path to Ascension, or at least an escape from an overly rational world. Or maybe they are just deluded throwbacks clinging to the Mythic Age. Either way, few Hermetics pay them or their concerns enough notice

The Order In Los Angeles

While Hermetics can be found among the mixed cabals, the two most important Hermetic chantries are the Nonogram Society and Ascension Lodge. Both once held quite a bit of sway over the city at one time, but those threads of influence are now dormant waiting to be picked up by other mages. The kind of ritual theater the Order performs, with its complex protocols and elegant gestures and costumes, are just the sort of thing Los Angeles loves, so the Order has always been welcomed.  Those seeking to connect with the Order in the City of Angels should send word through Personnel Division to be received at Ascension Lodge for orientation.

Appendix

Hermetic Practices

  • Hermetic Pacting – While Hermetics don’t have a monopoly on spirit pacting they have developed it as a unique practice. Hermetic Pacting may be taking as an Esoterica specialty. It functions mechanically  as described in How Do I Do That? starting on page 90.
    • Hermetic Pacting is a widespread but not universal practice among the Houses of Hermes. Notably Shaea, Ngoma, and Hong Lei have their own internal ways of pacting with spirits, but may learn the other form if they choose to.
    • The Hermetic Pacting specialty may be taken as a Practice at no cost.
  • Umbrood Protocols– Umbrood Protocols may also be purchased as an Esoterica practice for mages from the Order of Hermes. It is known only to Hermetics, and it functions mechanically  as described in How Do I Do That? starting on page 90. It can be purchased as an  Esoterica specialty during chargen (2 Freebies) or afterward for 4 XP.
    • The Umbrood Protocols specialty may be purchased regardless of the wizard’s Esoterica rating.
  • Enochian – Is covered under the Languages, Symbols, and Writing, Inscriptions and Runes instruments. It is known only to Hermetics, and can be purchased as an Esoterica specialty during chargen (2 Freebies) or afterward for 4 XP. Once taken,  have staff set it as a language. Enochian can be used as an instrument in creating magickal effects. For any dice pools that would use Enochian substitute the mage’s Esoterica instead.
    • The Enochian specialty may be purchased regardless of the wizard’s Esoterica rating.
  • Dead or Mystic Languages – See the Mage House Rules for the differences between dead and living languages.
  • Word –  All Hermetics choose a word as part of their training which represents the summation of their Awakened being. This Word, when used in conjunction with other instruments, can be considered a personalized instrument and offers a -1 difficulty. Keep in mind that the Word must be included as part of an appropriate practice. It takes more than simply uttering a Word of power to bend reality to your Will.
    • Example: John Goldberg, bani Bonisagus wishes to create a healing potion using Life 3 and Matter 2. He sets up his laboratory, consults his ancient book of healing potions, and selects a formula that he thinks will work given the circumstances (celestial and personal). He gathers the reagents, prepares them, and heats his alchemical beaker. He takes the time to brew his potion, and upon completing the last step which quickens the potion, he vibrates his Word over the concoction to infuse it with his Will.

Hermetic Names

All Hermetics take new names upon being initiated into the Order, and this includes a True Name. You will be asked to create one as part of character creation.

  • Benefits of a True Name
    • Order mages are treated as “no connection” for the purposes of all long-range magickal Effects
    • The Hermetics’ Arete is subtracted from any rolls attempting to penetrate her Ward/Ban Effects. Note: this only applies to Wards or Bans that protect the Hermetic or their Sanctum/chantry, not just any Ward/Ban they cast.
  • Downside
    • Possessing a Hermetic’s True name grants the possessor a -2 to target the Hermetic with magickal Effects or counter their magick. The possessor also treat the Name as if they had a “body sample” for the purposes of Correspondence Effects.
  • If someone manages to get a hold of this all magickal difficulties against the mage (including countering their spells) that use their True Name are at a -2 difficulty.
    • Hermetic Naming Formula
      • Birth Name – Just like your momma gave you!
      • Craft Name – A relatively ordinary name used in everyday life, but when around other wizards includes, “bani <House>”. Sometimes these have esoteric meanings. Sometimes not. Examples: John Goldberg, bani Bonisagus , Alice Paige, bani Merinita, Hiroko Yoshiota, bani Hong Lei.
      • Shadow Name – The birth name + the craft name + a list of Hermetic accomplishments (or puffery). The list of accomplishments just gets longer as the Hermetic grows in power and age. Example:  John Jean-Paul Moonan Goldberg, bani Bonisagus, Holder of the Golden Cup, Imperator of the Deep, Innumerator of the Sacred Keys.
      • True Name – Birth name + complete shadow name + “In Caligine Abditus” and 10 syllables that are not real words. Taken together, the True Name summarizes the totality of the mage’s Awakened being. Example: John Jean-Paul Moonan Goldberg, bani Bonisagus, Holder of the Golden Cup, Imperator of the Deep, Innumerator of the Sacred Keys; In Caligine Abditus, Keradon Sixsmoth Zraga Zvit Empraz
        • Determing a Hermetic’s True Name requires:
          • At least Mind 4
          • True Names as an instrument
          • No less than 1 success per level of Arete the Hermetic possesses
          • Hermetics frequently create magical and mundane traps to further conceal their True Names. Snoops beware.

Hermetic Resources

  • Hermeticism on Wikipedia – The article is a rabbit hole of inspiration for Hermetics. Please explore! Check out the references and external resources
  • Alchemy – Before there was science…there was alchemy!
  • Chaos Magick – the 21st century version of the classical art. A must read for House Xaos and former Ruby Children.
  • Enochian – Wikipedia offers a short introduction to the language of the angels.
  • Enochian- English Dictionary – A quick reference by Fra: Michael 111 for those including Enochian in their workings