Codex: Sorcerers (2017)

Sorcerers

Put simply, sorcerers are practitioners of sorcery.  The more complex, and useful, description is that sorcerers are humans who possess an active gene, or sequence of genes, that allow(s) them to sense, gather, and shape magical energy that permeates the world.  This ability is instinctive, but requires practice and training to control effectively, and to keep both the sorcerer and those around them safe.  Sorcerers all appear, to normal senses, to be completely normal humans, barring fashion and related styles that can become quite outlandish despite the Arcanum’s best, and best intentioned, efforts.  The exceptions are some wood and water sorcerers who have been experimenting with physical alteration, and, some whisper, gene sequencing, for decades.

All sorcerers fall into one of two classes.  The vast majority are members of the Arcanum, discussed in the preceding pages.  A tiny minority[i] have rejected society and their duty to live as apostates outside the protections and benefits of Arcanum society.  Arcanum sorcerers benefit from the assistance and protection of their Order (see below) and the shield of the Guardians as well as exceptional education overseen by the Council of Masters and the Orders.[ii]  Conversely, the apostates live like common criminals, or as the homeless do amongst normal humans.  Most apostates have little to no education or training and are, therefore, a threat to themselves and others.

Sorcerers have a duty to the world to join the fight against the Ravagers in one way or another.  After all, we are the only ones who are equipped and capable of withstanding the creatures.  Humans lack the strength and ability, while the theurgists and witches engage in their own, fruitless, struggles, and the non-humans refuse to get involved.

[i] The number of apostates is significantly larger than the Arcanum Council would like to admit, and that number is growing.  We also exist outside the Arcanum for a host of reasons, most because we reject the Arcanum’s restrictions and control, as well as the stifling system of Orders.

[ii] Many apostates form their own organizations of likeminded individuals, by choice not by force.  These groups protect members and serve as second, or first, families for many.  They also provide good, practical education.  All without the tyrannical Council controlling everything.

Codex: Places of the Arcanum 5 (2017)

Camp Gwydion

The Red Order’s Camp Gwydion is both its social center and a sort of training ground.  The Arcanum Council has issued an exception to school authorization for the Camp, provided instruction is limited to martial training and only provided to those who have completed instruction at a Council approved school.  The Camp is located somewhere in the eastern U.S., in the Appalachian Mountains, but exactly where is kept secret.  The Ravager would love to discover the camp’s location.  Because the Red Order is so young and small, Camp Gwydion is overseen by the order’s leader, Randall Heston, although daily operations are delegated to lieutenants.  According to order and Arcanum records, the camp was founded in 1803.

Camp Gwydion is a contained, yet paradoxically sprawling, complex in a mountain valley.  The remote location has no passes or tunnels entering it, so is cut off from normal humans, except by their aircraft.  So far, only sorcerers have been able to access the valley.  The camp has several buildings including an administration building, mess hall, camp store, barracks, and indoor training facilities.  There are also numerous outdoor areas from obstacle courses to arena fields.  A low, wire fence surrounds the property, which is patrolled by teams assigned by the camp director.  Because of its nature and purpose, people, often in armor and armed, are constantly moving through the camp and training in the martial aspects of sorcerous society.

Unlike the centers for most orders, it is not uncommon to find non-Red Order individuals at Camp Gwydion.  Many members of other orders are invited, assigned, or allowed to attend the camp for short term, intensive training sessions.  Usually these focus on special tactics, environments, or targets to bring Arcanum warriors up to peak efficiency.  Guardians are also commonly found at camp.  Non-Red Order residents are kept to a special barracks of their own.

 

Carston Manor

The Grey Order’s leadership is based out of Carston Manor.  This is also, presumably, the order’s social center.  Unfortunately, the location of the manor is unknown, even to the continent it is on.  We do know that it is maintained by Master Dan Sowell, of the Grey Order and Arcanum Councils.  When the manor was built and when Sowell took over are both unclear as the order has apparently declared them classified and unavailable to non-members.  So far as anyone can tell, access to the manor follows methods akin to accessing the Shadow Academy—devices and other travel sorcery only shared with members of the order.

Although anyone can attend the Shadow Academy, only members of the Grey Order are permitted at Carston, under any circumstances.  Therefore, all that we know about the manor comes from rumors and hearsay.  We don’t even have a solid idea of what it looks like.  According to some reports, it is a mansion out of the 1920s; others say it is built into a mountain and exists entirely underground.  To date, all such reports are unsubstantiated and unprovable.  Rumors say that the manor, if it even is really a manor, is home to the only complete and uncensored record of the Arcanum’s courts, legal decisions, and laws.  The only thing that we know with certainty about Carston is that it is protected by some seriously powerful sorceries that prevent detection and don’t even leave a “gap” to indicate its location.

 

Hausshús

The White Order bases its politics, social focus, and leadership in Hausshús (literally “Skull-house”).  This “house” is located somewhere in modern Norway, although it was built when the old kingdom covered a rather vaster territory.  Exactly where in Norway is unclear, but it is believed to be north of the Arctic Circle.  The current master of Hausshús is Bianca Casey, lieutenant of the Order’s master, Victoria Gueye.  Casey is also rumored to be Gueye’s protégé.  According to Arcanum history, Hausshús was founded in the 10th century CE, following the destruction of the White Order’s former center by a concerted Ravager assault in 896 CE in Macedonia.

Hausshús is a solid, five story square castle with an inner courtyard.  Each corner is set with a five story circular tower of immense girth, with a couple half circle “courtyards” outside that walls at both gates.  The whole is set on a lake that is frozen most of the year, with two bridges to land.  The structure is made of native stone with a slate roof.  All of the land around Hausshús is barren snow and ice for most of the year, occasionally revealing tundra greenery and herds of caribou crossing the land.  Amazingly, the castle itself is relatively warm and comfortable thanks to various sorceries, but it is still recommended that visitors remain bundled for warmth, which was only a lesser concern of the builders.

As with most of the other order centers, only members of the White Order are allowed within the walls of the castle.  Special permission can occasionally be obtained by members of other orders who petition Master Gueye directly.  Generally, permission is only granted to the Grey Order and some members of the Blue Order.  There is still some lingering resentment of the Red Order, and the Black Order is never permitted.

Codex: Places of the Arcanum 4 (2017)

Shen Zhou College

Located in a remote part of southern China, Shen Zhou College is the school operated by the Black Order.  SZC is overseen by Dean Jiaxin Chou, who was elected to the position in 1942.  As it is controlled by the Black Order, their students make up most of the student body.  However, the college also accepts Grey Robes, and certain Red and Blue Order sorcerers.  The White Order is strictly forbidden, not that many seek entry, by legal means.  Most of SZC’s curriculum is focused on defensive, healing, and similar magics.

Students and faculty at SZC wear a uniform of traditional black robes in the old, Chinese scholar style.  Those from other orders can use their order color as trim on the robes.  Both students and instructors live on college grounds throughout their studies or career, respectively.  The college is organized in departments under the Head Dean, with deans of students and faculty to assist, then department heads, then faculty, and students in a loose, professional hierarchy.  They are not opposed to visitors, but do not entirely encourage outside visits either.

Shen Zhou is a relatively large complex centered on a core building that dates back to the 12th century CE.  Its paved courtyard extends to a set of thirty foot walls.  The courtyard is dotted with a few dozen native trees and about a full score of buildings that serve for classes, dorms, library, and physical training or practice halls.  The whole is a juxtaposition between slate grey paving and brightly painted and gilded roofs and walls.  Heavily, intricately, carved pillars support exterior eaves, with scenes of dragons and other beasts.  Overall, SZC is, perhaps, the most open, and pleasant, of the Arcanum’s schools around the world.

 

Abelard Institute

The Abelard Institute is the Blue Order’s social and political center.  To honor its namesake, the institute is located in western France, near the coast.  Currently, the institute is maintained and administered by Jacob Chu, elected to the role in 1997.  As one might expect, the institute houses the Blue Order’s largest research archive, library, and collection of laboratories in the world.  Despite being a young order, the facilities at the institute are impressive, and potentially outclass those of elder orders.  There are, unfounded, rumors of an illicit, unauthorized school at the institute, but a few Council investigations have found no evidence to support the claims of the order’s detractors.

The institute itself is a classic example of grand Victorian architecture with a dark grey, rough foundation leading to a smooth, pale stone upper structure.  Flat, faux columns flank the tall, narrow windows of the second story, mirroring six true columns that rise over the front entrance.  The third floor boasts a faux fence with crenellations, and a grey slate exterior.  A stylized widow’s walk encircles the roof, enclosing numerous chimneys.  On the surface, there are a mere three stories to the institute.  Beneath, it is rumored, there could be as many as a dozen layers of archives and library stacks as well as experiment labs.

With the exception of Council investigation teams, that have found no wrongdoing, the institute is only open to members of the Blue Order in good standing.  Students are forbidden entry without an escort, until their training at a Council approved school is complete.  In very rare cases, the Order’s council or the institute’s master might allow a member of another order temporary access, with an escort at all times.

 

Blackstone Manor

Blackstone Manor is the Black Order’s socio-political center.  It is located about twenty miles due east of Luxor, Egypt, well outside the Nile’s fertile region.  Despite this location, the land around the manor is lush and verdant, thanks to earth and water sorcery, along with some wood sorcerers.  Currently, the manor is curated and managed by Manuella Bah, appointed to the role in 1982.  According to Black Order and Arcanum history, Blackstone is one of the oldest order holdings in the world, if not the oldest.  At the very least, it is the oldest continuously operating center.  Both histories note the manor being founded at some point circa 1400 BCE in the earliest days of the Arcanum proper.

The manor is a low, two story structure of black sandstone, unusual for the region.  It consists of a couple blocky main buildings connected to dozens of courtyards, some containing storage, pools, or lush gardens and trees.  The whole is done in a characteristic Egyptian style, with occasional wide columns and murals on the interior walls, though the exteriors are plain.  The courtyard walls average six to seven feet, with a ten foot outer wall around the whole complex.  Because it is the center of an ancient order, the manor is constantly bustling with people.  However, due to the climate, they mostly move around indoors, or in submerged rooms and corridors that link the buildings.

As with all the order centers, only members of the order are allowed within the walls of the manor.  Special permission may occasionally be obtained by members of other orders who petition the Black Order’s council and the manor’s caretaker.  Usually, these petitioners belong to the Grey and Blue Orders.  Some, race, cases of Red Order visitors have been recorded.  The White Order is never  permitted under any circumstances.

Codex: Places of the Arcanum 3 (2017)

Shadow Academy

No one in the Arcanum, not even its students or faculty, know where the Grey Order established the Shadow Academy.  It is said that those who attend are transported via sorcerous means, pre-made devices located in a few spots around the world.  The Academy is overseen by Marwa Ali, who has overseen the school since the 1980s.  Because it is a Grey Order school, the Shadow Academy accepts students and visiting faculty from all orders.  However, the majority are Grey Robes.  No orders are forbidden, only Apostates are turned away by the administration.

Students and instructors at the Shadow Academy are routinely required to wear a uniform of traditional grey robes.  Those who come from other orders wear a blazon of the appropriate color to indicate their Arcanum assigned order.  The location of the school is kept secret even from students and faculty, due in part to the potential animosity of others, and to maintain its neutrality.  The Academy does follow a loose hierarchy from the headmaster to the senior faculty, junior faculty to staff, to students.  In some ways, this hierarchy is said to be strictly enforced, in others it appears to be loose.

The Academy’s appearance is well documented.  Its appearance on the surface is small, perhaps too tiny to serve its purpose.  In fact, the school looks like a shack at first glance.  The two room, ancient farmhouse never sees the light of day, as it is always covered in gloom and shadow.  This layer is merely an illusion to steer away normal humans and the casually interested.  Even without the illusion, the school seems small, like a twenty room all wood, cabin-style lodge.  It is said, by those outside the Order who attend as students, that most of the Academy exists in caverns and tunnels beneath the surface, reached through the cabin-lodge’s basement.

Codex: Places of the Arcanum 2 (2017)

Navarmance

Located alongside a nameless, immeasurably deep lake somewhere in Romania, Navarmance is the school operated by the White Order.  Navarmance is overseen by Master Shaun Dorman, who was named to the position in 1964.  As it is controlled by the White Order, their initiates make up most of the student body.  However, the school also accepts Grey Robes, and certain students of the Red and Blue Orders.  The Black Order is strictly forbidden, not that any Black Robes would seek entry.  It is said that Navarmance teaches all sorts of magic, except for chaos and Ravager-like forms.

Students and instructors at Navarmance are said to wear a uniform of traditional white robes, marked with trim of grey, red, or blue if they are not from the White Order.  All students and instructors are sworn to secrecy about the school’s hierarchy, laws, and methods.  Presumably, the school is organized much as the order itself with a hierarchy reaching downward from the school’s master to instructors to students.  Unfortunately, details are unclear and impossible to tell as the order is even more secretive than the Black and Grey are.

According to the handful of stories that have come out, the tellers of which will remain unsaid to protect them, the Navarmance is housed in an old mansion nestled deep in the mountains.  There is some debate about the age and style of the mansion, ranging from seventeenth to nineteenth century in style.  Many accounts describe it as an over-large hunting lodge in form, compared to a noble’s country mansion-palace.  The few stories that have escaped paint the picture of a dangerous wilderness around Navarmance, from crevasses and deep, cold, mountain lakes to forest still teaming with wolves and bears.  All of that is before one deals with the school’s protections and denizens themselves.

Codex: Places of the Arcanum 1 (2017)

Tower, The

The most important place for the Arcanum is The Tower.  The Tower is the political center of the entire Arcanum for the whole world.  It houses the Council chambers, bureaucratic and training offices, and centers for the Justiciars, Shieldmen, and Dragon Knights.  The Arcanum’s highest courts are also located in The Tower.  There is some debate about whether the Council houses criminals.  Some believe that there is a jail, long terms cells, beneath the Tower, under the care of the Justiciars.  Recently, the Blue Order took over control of, and responsibility for, the Arcanum’s archives, and the Council’s official records.  Those record offices take up the entire ninth and tenth floors.  The Justiciars maintain their judicial archives and records without Blue Order aid on the eleventh floor.

Over the last couple millennia, the Council has employed earth and metal sorcery to modify the appearance of The Tower.  They routinely change its appearance to match trends in human architecture.  Most of these alterations are external only, without affecting the interior.  A few times in the past, the Tower has been expanded in size to accommodate more offices, larger archives, and more employees of the orders and Council.  Today, The Tower appears to be a mid-1970s high rise of concrete and glass.  It rises twenty-three stories above ground, and has public areas going as least three below, possibly further.  The apparent design is a simple four rectangles attached in a square, all in dull, drab gray and glass.

Located in Ponta Delgada, in the Azores, The Tower does tend to stand out a little.  However, at the time it was constructed, the island was considered a neutral site, with no notable population and no human or sorcerous political affiliation.  Thus, it was deemed an ideal location to house the Council.  Transportation to and from the island comes via air sorcery or enchanted devices.

Unless one completes one’s studies and is hired by the Council to work out of The Tower, or is conducting research, or is involved in a legal case, there is little reason for most sorcerers to visit The Tower.  In fact, the majority never bother, even if they happen to be nearby, unless they have political aspirations.

Codex: Who’s Who, Part 3 (2017)

Matsumoto, Grace

Councilor Grace Matsumoto retired from the Justiciars to join the Grey Council and the Arcanum Council in 1942.  She is currently the oldest member of the Grey Council.  She was born in 1902 in San Francisco, California, U.S., joined the order and Arcanum in 1916, and studied at the Shadow Academy.  Justiciar Matsumoto joined the sect in 1923 as an aide and detective before becoming a judge in her own right in 1930.  She oversaw the Arcanum courts in northern Asia for a decade before being chosen for the councils.  She has won more re-elections to the Grey Council than anyone wishes to count.  On both councils, her voting record tends to be consistently progressive and to lean toward the Black Order’s positions more often than not.  She was a supporter of the creation of both the Red and Blue Orders, but has blocked their bids for Council seats.

 

McDonough, Charles

Charles McDonough is part of the senior triad of the Black Council, and part of the Arcanum Council.  He was born in 1914 in Melrose, Scotland.  He attended Shen Zhou College in 1928 and was brought into the Black Council’s sphere as an aide within a year of graduating.  He remained with the Council, rising to a diplomatic post in the 1940s.  During that span, he largely worked on maintaining positive relations between the order’s members and sects on different continent.  By the fifties, he was the right hand to a council member, a few years later, McDonough was elected to his mentor’s vacant post.  On the whole, McDonough’s votes on both councils have been trending conservative for decades.  He opposed the creation of the new orders and is the locus of resistance to Greensward’s current attempt.

 

Nord, Preston

Preston Nord is the most recent addition to the Blue Council.  He was elevated by unanimous committee vote in 2012.  He was born in 1972 and educated at Navarmance.  Upon graduation, Nord joined the Psychometrist sect and set about writing a flurry of papers, treatises, and two books on the history of the White Order and Navarmance.  Since he joined the council, some concerns about the validity and credibility of his work have been raised, particularly since his publications rely on his memory and non-confirmable data, plus a significant amount of conjecture that lacks substantiation in his corpus.  Still, he has been an effective administrator and tends to be one of the more balanced council members.

 

Parson, Kenneth

Kenneth Parson is part of the senior triad of the Black Council and a member of the Arcanum Council.  He was born in 1916, in Hong Kong.  He attended Shen Zhou College, overlapping his fellow Councilor McDonough.  There, he studied earth and fire sorceries as his preference.  He spent nearly two decades building a reputation in southern Asia for rooting out nests of Ravagers and leading Guardian strike forces.  As a result of his last such raid, Parson lost his left arm below the elbow.  Despite the availability of prostheses fashioned by metal sorcerers, he refuses to replace his limb, treating the loss as a sort of badge of honor.  Parson tends to be the moderate voice among his triad, but does get along well with the Red Order and takes their advice very seriously.

 

Ramirez, Kamaria

Councilor Kamaria Ramirez is one of the Black Council’s middle triad members.  She was born in 1951 in Maracaibo, Venezuela.  She joined the Arcanum in 1965 and attended the Shadow Academy as a Black Order member.  Ramirez served in the Arcanum Council’s South American office for over a decade before becoming an aide.  Since joining the Black Council, she has been a moderate voice, balancing Farman and Watts.  Although she has expressed support for Greensward’s bid for order status, Ramirez also cautions care and taking small steps to assess the effects that such a move would have on both the sect and the Black Order. She notes her concern that a significant exodus from the order may weaken the order’s strength and effectiveness in the Arcanum and opposite the White Order.

 

Rodriguez, Angel

Angel Rodriguez joined the Blue Council in 1992 in a fifteen to four committee vote.  He was born in 1950 in Quito, Ecuador and joined the Arcanum as a student at the Shadow Academy in 1964.  At the Academy, he studied water sorcery and the Guardians.  In the first couple decades after graduating, Rodriguez established himself as the Arcanum’s leading, living, authority on the Guardians, particularly their biology and the magic of their creation.  His body of work, combined with the evidence of managerial skill over research teams, led to the committee’s decision to elevate him to the council.  Since joining the council, Rodriguez has been a strong proponent of defensive and, for lack of a better term, militant research on the part of the order.

 

Sowell, Dan

Master Dan Sowell is something of an enigma.  He is a member of both the Grey and Arcanum Councils.  He is also known to be the custodian of Carston Manor.  When he was placed in each position is unclear.  The order has apparently made all three pieces of information classified.  There are rumors that he is part of the Shadow Circle sect.  As far as can be determined, he was never a Justiciar.  However, Sowell’s voting record on the Arcanum Council is publicly available.  In that, he tends to side with the White Order, more often than not.  He also has a strong history of voting based on the Blue Order’s advice and recommendations, though, which don’t always align with the White Robes.

 

Starks, Addison

Addison Starks is part of the Black Council’s junior triad.  She joined the council in 1994 upon the retirement of a senior councilor.  Starks was born in 1970 in Denver, Colorado, U.S., as Andrew Starks.  In the mid-90s, after joining the council, Andrew officially became Addison, after a number of sessions with healers over the course of a couple years.  Throughout her tenure on the council, Starks has been a very progressive voice, often frustrated by the lack of speed or urgency on the part of the senior triad and the Arcanum Council.  She has been an advocate for many minority voices in the order, and without, as evidenced by her campaign in the order to push for Guardian representation on the Arcanum Council and bringing them completely into the Arcanum as full members.

 

Watts, Kyle

Kyle Watts is part of the Black Council’s middle triad of councilors.  He was born in 1956 in Dunedin, New Zealand.  He attended the Shadow Academy, starting in 1970, where he studied Arcanum law, and water sorcery, as his foci.  He served in the Black Order’s legal counsel division for nearly a decade before being assigned to the Black Council as a legal advisor.  Since becoming a councilor, Watts has been the council’s in-house legal expert.  He has helped the council craft policies and Arcanum petitions that hold their own against the Grey Justiciars.  To date, he has taken no position on the Greensward issue, nor expressed any position on the Red and Blue Orders’ precedent.  Watts is known for being the most inscrutable member of the Black Council and, in some ways, the least public.

 

Wilson, Myju

Born in Sapporo, Japan to an American father and Japanese mother, Myju Wilson was raised to be a member of the Black Order.  She studied at Shen Zhou, starting in 1971.  However, upon graduation, she rejected the order and declared herself for the Blue Order.  There, Wilson joined the Library of Sumer sect and devoted herself to the acquisition and preservation of knowledge.  By 1990, she had become director of the preservation department, charged with repair and restoration of documents.  It was this position that led to her elevation to the Blue Council in 2007, in a seventeen to two committee vote.  As a council member, Wilson has been both passionate and cautious.  She has firmly upheld the rights of researchers and the order, while cautioning against instituting too much change too fast.

Codex: Who’s Who, Part 2 (2017)

Dorman, Shaun

Master Shaun Dorman assumed control of Navarmance in 1964 by appointment of the order.  He was born in 1914 in Liverpool, England.  He joined the Arcanum in 1928 as a member of the White Order.  Dorman trained at the Shadow Academy, where, detractors claim, he learned secrecy and skullduggery.  Regardless of his source, Dorman did manage to ingratiate himself with more than one master of the order.  His personal ambition appears to be limited to the school.  He has never shown any obvious interest in the order’s administration.  Since Dorman has weathered multiple master, his few associates seem to think he is powerful and strongly entrenched where he is, and where he has influenced generations of White Robe sorcerers.

 

Farman, Ada

Ada Farman is part of the Black Order council’s middle triad of councilors.  She was born in 1954 in Sheffield, England.  She joined the Arcanum in 1968 and attended Shen Zhou, where she studied wood sorcery.  Since joining the council, Farman has been a strong proponent of the Greensward sect.  She denies being a member of the sect, but supports their views.  Recently, Farman has been vocal in her support of the sect’s bid to become its own order.  She has pushed for more environmental protection on the part of the Arcanum and sorcerers.  Farman has worked closely with agriculturally minded and ecologically focused members of the Blue Order.  She appears to be making a bid for a seat on the Arcanum Council, but it appears unlikely that the current council would support her.

 

Gueye, Victoria

Master Victoria Gueye took over the White Order by fiat in 1982.  She was born in Rosso, Mauritania, in 1963.  This made her the youngest, and arguably the most ruthless, leader of the order in history.  Of course, many believe that she is part of the Society of Skulls.  There are also rumors that she joined the Deathwatch sect while studying at Navarmance in the mid-70s.  Whether true or not, it seems to be a fact that most of those who stood between Gueye and the proverbial throne from 1981 to 1982 either stepped aside or died grisly deaths under highly suspicious circumstances.  Despite her youth, Gueye has managed to hold leadership of the order for nearly four decades, an impressive feat for any master of the order.

 

Heston, Randall

Randall Heston became head of the Red Order and commander of Camp Gwydion in 1979.  He was born in 1942 in New Rome, Wisconsin, or near the town.  He studied at the Shadow Academy for two years before transferring to Navarmance to study under White Order warriors in 1958.  Upon graduation, Heston declared himself for the Dragonknight sect.  After nearly two decades of distinguished field service leading Guardian raids on Ravager hideouts and nests, Heston was transferred to Red Order command and attached to, then Council advisor, Master Jamie Yates.  Upon Yates’s retirement, Heston was promoted to her position in 1979.  To this day, he reportedly remains loyal to Yates and the Knights, serving the Arcanum Council with honor and experience.

 

Hoffman, Gregory

Gregory Hoffman joined the Arcanum Council in 1978.  He was born in 1950 in Magdeburg, Germany.  In 1964, he attended Navarmance and began to work for Melia Dahir, then lieutenant to the order’s master.  Upon Dahir’s death, Hoffman was promoted to her place.  He survived Victoria Gueye’s ascension by assisting her in deposing her predecessor, Joseph Abdi, or so it is said in some circles.  Of course, officially Abdi died in his sleep, of old age (and a knife in the neck, whispers say).  Hoffman appears content to support Gueye and her regime.  Some believe he lacks the personal power and strength to make a serious bid for the top spot.  They say he has attached himself to someone stronger instead, to protect his position.

 

Howard, Carla

Carla Howard is one of the senior triad of the Black Order’s council and the Arcanum Council.  She was born in 1910 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  She attended Shen Zhou College for water and air sorceries.  For a brief time, she taught at the college before returning to the field and, eventually, politics.  At one time, Howard briefly led the Serpent Circle sect.  She made a great reputation for herself as a healer, nothing stand out, but definitely solid healing, if not exactly innovative.  Howard was, historically, better at organizing and directing than at the healing arts.  Her strengths are certainly her charisma and ability to get people to do what she thinks they need to.

Codex: Who’s Who–Part 1 (2017)

Ali, Marwa

Master Marwa Ali became headmaster of the Shadow Academy in 1984.  She was born in 1951 in Cairo, Egypt.  She joined the Arcanum in 1965 and attended the Shadow Academy as a member of the Grey Order.  Master Ali is purported to be a member of the Shadow Circle sect, but this has never been verified.  According to the official records of the Academy, Ali was named headmaster due to her service to the order and experience as an administrator within the school.  No details of either qualification are given.  Since her tenure began, she has increased the ratio of non-Grey to Grey Order students and has invited more non-Grey Order sorcerers to take visiting instructor positions at the Academy.  She is publicly devoted to bringing in a variety of views and experiences to enhance student education.

 

Bah, Manuella

Manuella Bah is one of the junior triad of Black Order councilpersons.  In 1982, she was installed as the manager and curator of Blackstone Manor.  Bah was born in modern Senegal in 1937.  She joined the Arcanum’s Black Order and enrolled at Shen Zhou in 1951.  Over the next three decades, Bah seems to have moved steadily up the order’s ranks, possibly on its more combat oriented side, where it is more difficult to gain status.  She does have  a pronounced limp, said to be the result of a Ravager attack, sometime in the late-1970s.  This may be what prompted her elevation to he council and the manor oversight.

 

Bell, Samantha

Samantha Bell was named to the Blue Order’s council in 2011.  She was born in 1979, in Toronto, Canada.  At the time, she was, and still is, the youngest person chosen for the Blue council.  Official records indicate that she trained at Shen Zhou College, where she specialized in metal sorcery, specifically the crafters’ and enchanters’ arts.  She made a name for herself by creating two sorcerous alloys by the time she turned twenty-five.  Neither turned out to be especially useful, but the discovery and creation are the important part for the order.  Since joining the council, her research has declines in quantity, but retained its level of quality.  On the whole, her voting record within the order has tended to side with the Black Order’s end of the spectrum in the larger Arcanum context.

 

Burgett, Joan

Master Joan Burgett became a member of both the Grey Order’s and the Arcanum’s Councils in 1997.  She was born in 1951 in the eastern part of England (official records give no further details).  From the moment she was elected, there have been rumors that Burgett has ties to the Noctis sect, or is a full member.  Unfortunately, the Grey Order’s records are largely closed, supposedly to protect Justiciars and other, more diplomatic and political, members.  Therefore, collecting information about Burgett, despite being a high profile figure, is exceedingly difficult.  However, her voting record on the Arcanum Council shows an impressive sense of balance, with a slight tendency to favor the Red Order’s recommendations and advice.

 

Camara, Hamad

Master Hamad Camara joined the Black Order’s council in 2014.  He was born in 1963 in Seville, Spain.  He joined the Arcanum in 1977 and attended Shen Zhou College to specialize in earth sorcery.  He joined the Flamen Cabal in 1986 and rose through its, admittedly loose, ranks quickly to become the second in line for the figurehead cabal leadership.  As a member of the order’s council, Camara has been relatively conservative in his votes, referencing significant historical documents and precedent in every speech.  He has a reputation as a meticulous researcher and historian that has earned him the respect of the Blue Order.  Because of his reputation, Camara is often chosen as the order’s representative in talks and meetings with the Blue Order.

 

Casey, Bianca

Bianca Casey was elevated to the Arcanum Council in 1999.  She took over stewardship of Hausshús in the same year when she, presumably, because Gueye’s lieutenant.  Rumors suggest, as they do with all White Order leaders, that she is affiliated with the Society of Skulls.  As a member of the Council, she has voted almost entirely in line with Councilor Gueye.  If she has any designed on enhancing her status, Casey has given no outward indications.  She presumably studied at Navarmance, but there is no obtainable, verifiable confirmation of that or of what she studied.  Some widespread whispers speak of her practicing, or trying to practice, necromantic sorcery.

 

Chou, Jiaxin

Preceptor Jiaxin Chou was elected head of Shen Zhou College in 1942.  She was born in 1917 in Chengdu, China.  She joined the Arcanum in 1931 and attended Shen Zhou.  A short time after graduating, Chou was hired as junior faculty and rapidly rose through the ranks of faculty.  Her mastery of fire and wood sorcery, and research in both areas, has built her a strong reputation.  Chou remains energetic and active in the daily operations and activities of the school, despite her advancing age.  Some question why she has never sought a council position, in over seventy years, but Chou appears, to all observers, to be happy and content in her current role.  She has guided nearly six generations of Black Robes, and assorted others, through basic sorcerous education, influencing the Arcanum for decades, perhaps centuries, to come.

 

Chu, Jacob

Master Jacob Chu was named protector of the Abelard Institute in 2007.  He was born in 1975 in Macao, China and joined the Arcanum as a Grey Robe in 1989.  After studying at the Shadow Academy, Chu transferred to the Blue Order in 1994.  For the next decade, he studies and became an authority on Arcanum politics, both modern and historical.  Some believe that knowledge is why he was given control of the institute.  Most, who know how the order operates, know that he became protector because he was the only qualified candidate out of a small pool.  Due to his particular area of research, Chu has managed to keep up his studies and publications while working in his current role.

Codex: Red Order (2017)

Red Order

The Red Order was founded relatively recently by sorcerers who felt that the ancient orders were not doing enough to support the efforts of the Guardians.  They felt that an entire order devoted to the study of strategy, tactics, martial arts, and combat sorcery was necessary.  To that end, the Red Order became the majority of the Arcanum’s frontline force against the Ravagers, Apostates, and other threats alongside the Guardians.

In the interests of maintaining some degree of unity and effective direction, the Red Order has a single leader.  This individual is chosen from and by the senior-most members of the order.  They are also expected to consult with an advisory council of senior order members in charge of specializing in various aspects of the order from training to provisioning, tactics to research.  The council also has the authority to remove the order’s leader, should doing so prove necessary.  Members are expected to respect their chain of command, even sects, and follow the direction of those above.

By and large, the red Order resents the ancient orders for not allowing it a place on the Arcanum Council.  However, some elements are on good terms with the White Order and the whole order bears some lingering respect for the Grey Order’s assistance.  The Black Order tends to be somewhat derided, unless the services of a healer are needed.  The relations with the Blue Order vary, depending on how reliable and helpful the Blue sorcerers are in sharing accurate research.

 

Red Order Sects

For a young order with relatively little history, the Red Order garnered a handful of sects rapidly.  Most appear to be formed along philosophical or specialization lines.

The Defenders of the Stone are an unusual sect for the Arcanum.  Most who know of them also consider them to be strange, bordering on insane.  They are a quasi-religious sect that claims to be descended from the original guardians of the stone, or elixir, of life.  They, apparently, believe that they hold the fabled goal of both Western and Eastern alchemy, the object that grants eternal life.  Fortunately, they also believe that the Ravagers wish to destroy or steal the stone.

For many, the Dragon Knights epitomize and exemplify the best of the Red Order.  They are often the first people whom outsiders think of when they think Red Order.  The Dragon Knights are devoted to honor, hierarchy, and strategy.  For the last thirty to forty years, they have been the driving force behind the Arcanum’s global strategies against the Ravagers.  Most of the Council’s combat advisors come from this order, the rest are Guardians.

The Shieldmen are a sect sworn to protect the innocent and the Arcanum.  Many Shieldmen form the solid core of defenses at Arcanum facilities and safe houses.  They are the public side of the sect, uniformed and armed and alert.  There is a lesser known side to the Shieldmen that operates solo or in small groups.  These covert Shieldmen work among the Ravagers and other enemies of the Arcanum.  They scout out locations and people, provide intelligence, soften hard targets, and serve as the first combatants on scene for Arcanum assaults and other counter-Ravager actions.