Terentius, filius Constantine, discipulus Tremere

Of average height but athletic build, Terentius brings a purposeful and determined presence to the council. Even in relaxed circumstances, there is a slight edge to his demeanour, almost as though he fights to conceal a wildness that lurks beneath the surface. He is capable of reasoned and thoughtful debate, and those who know him best realise that he is open to points of view that differ from his own. Indeed, though he operates by his own moral code, his attitudes are not immutable, and he is prepared to change them – even radically – based on experience. He is sometimes taken by black moods that sour his judgment of those he otherwise respects, but at other times he can be surprisingly understanding and accept matters that would normally be expected to vex him greatly.

This duality is also reflected in his appearance, which he alters based on the circumstances. At council, he dresses formally in austere charcoal-coloured robes, whereas in the wilds he adopts the weather-beaten garb of a forester and lets his hair and beard grow long. Outside the covenant, he typically wears a cuirass of well-made chainmail beneath his tunic, and he arms himself with a broadsword and composite bow. Since binding his familiar, the goshawk Meliorax Virtus, he has gained the ability to glimpse spirits and other aspects of the supernatural realms, which has shaken some of his preconceptions about the world. Though he remains convinced that anything that desires worship does not deserve it, he now plans to be more outward-looking and less reticent in his interactions with these unearthly powers.

Terentius' views on the other magic at 1309 AD:

Despite her unusual apprenticeship, Branwen appears to have adapted to life at Severn Temple with few difficulties. She is evidently a quick learner, for though she still asks questions about basic Hermetic practices, she does not need to be told the same thing twice and her unfamiliarity relates more to customs and behaviours than magical concepts. At council, she is polite, considered and able to get her point across in a quietly effective manner that disarms those with differing viewpoints. For the moment, though, her political inexperience represents a danger, as she is vulnerable to manipulation by those prepared to feign an alignment of views, even if their real interests contrast below the surface. Perhaps she will surprise me, but I suspect that, in her own way, she is as bound up by traditions as someone like Naevius; it is merely the traditions themselves (in her case, witchcraft and a respect for the ‘old ways’ of the pagans) that differ. That said, I am cautiously optimistic that she is keen-witted enough to forge her own path, for good or ill.

All of us, I think, would prefer to exercise some control over our own destiny, even if not every twist and turn is of our own choosing. What chance, then, does Hypatia really have? Taught ancient magics by a long-dead sorcerer notorious for reaching beyond his grasp, and bearing artefacts crafted by immortal powers for purposes unknown, her experience is like none other of our Order. How hard must she strive to maintain her sense of self and not be overwhelmed by outside forces? I believe that Hypatia’s true nature has always encompassed both light and dark; she is both the gentle soul who shares unfunny asides with Jari and the dread warrior prepared to exact bloody revenge when her family is threatened. I hope the death of her brother will not result in a permanent change in her character and interests, for I am reminded of Llandoddywn’s warning about what she could do in the absence of such a strong anchor to the mortal world. Still, I trust her good character, and she will continue to have my aid, even if sometimes she does not wish it.

Jari is one of my favourite members of the council, even if I sometimes struggle to explain why. He is still the irreverent jester who can bring a soaring ego back to earth with a well-placed quip, but he can also become quiet and serious when matters require it. He is quick witted, to be sure, but I do not believe he is a deep thinker, for his words betray his superficial understanding of many issues. As such, though I once felt that he might make a lasting contribution to the Order, I am now less sure. He can also be politically naïve; at Tribunal, I saw him work to bolster the vote for a candidate who gave a promising speech but really stands for everything he despises. Though he can sometimes be hesitant in his actions, seemingly trapped by indecision, a well-placed nudge can usually push him in the right direction, and once in motion he has more energy and drive than most others on the council. A fine fellow, despite his flaws.

Naevius’ views often put him at odds with the rest of the council, as he has a rather insular outlook that emphasises protecting the covenant’s rights and resources over promoting the health of the wider Tribunal. This is perhaps understandable given that he grew up in the predatory Rome Tribunal, but I would have hoped that he would have realised by now that Stonehenge survives because of its collective strength and we all benefit from having prosperous neighbours. Despite this, I believe that Naevius has the best interests of the covenant at heart, even if we sometimes disagree on the best way to preserve them. At council, he is a conservative, pragmatic sort who acts as a useful counterweight to those who are overly eager to put their faith in the schemes of immortal spirits. In many ways, he is the exemplar of the traditional Order, and we all measure ourselves by where and how much we differ from him.

Pyrrhus has great potential as a warrior, but a leader he is most definitely not. A boat without a rudder, he drifts wherever the tide takes him, rather than striking out in his own direction. He seems bereft of inspiration, lacks any kind of vision and his decision making is poor, sometimes tragically so. But more than this, he is just so passive, which is something I could scarcely believe of one of his House. He is not without virtues, for he is brave and capable, but it seems to me that he would be of most use – and happiest – with a defined project or goal to pursue. This may have to be supplied by another, for he has shown little interest the traditional activity of his House – taking battle to the Order’s enemies, of which we have many at present – unless those foes helpfully turn up on our doorstep. Perhaps one of the elders of his House needs to take him by the scruff of the neck and thrust him the right direction.

Terentius' views on the other magic at 1297 AD:


Hypatia deserves immense credit for so skilfully navigating the treacherous waters of Hermetic and mundane politics. Given the forces arrayed against her, a lesser figure would undoubtedly have either made a fatal error or succumbed to despair, yet she has done neither. I must admit that I find her flippancy when times are dark exasperating, but perhaps this helps her to cope in circumstances that would overwhelm others. Indeed, if this is really the worst I can say about her, then it tells me I have been too sceptical of her in the past. I would still rather our fates were not tied so closely to this one bloodline, yet I cannot deny that both she and her brother appear cut from the right cloth. So, I will give them more of my trust, and hope that my judgment in this is sound.

Perhaps Jari still sees himself as an iconoclast, raging at the hypocrisy of entrenched privileges and aiming sharp-tongued barbs at the pompous. There is a degree truth to this – and we sometimes need it as an Order – but in my view his actions provide more insight into his real character. He is certainly less selfless than some others on the council, but when all is said and done, he has shown on repeated occasions that he is willing to get involved and do the right thing, even when this comes at personal risk. He fancies himself as something of an intellectual, and he clearly possesses the wit to back up his claims, but unlike Pyrrhus or Volutus, I have not seen evidence of the dedicated focus that is needed to make a lasting contribution. There is a hedonistic side to his character, but he seems able to temper the most self-indulgence aspects, and I hope that he finds the challenge, puzzle or muse that will inspire his undoubted talents.

Pyrrhus is a study in contrasts. At times, he exhibits an unwelcome bombast whereby complex matters are reduced to simplistic certainties with no room for subtlety or nuance. As his musing about possible Wizard’s War with Jari indicates, such a mindset is dangerous in one so focussed on violent magics, for he may see no way to escape a problem save to lash out at others. Yet at other times, such as when discussing his alchemical research, he displays an almost giddy curiosity in the workings of the world that is devoid of his customary aggression. So, who is the real Pyrrhus? Is he the aloof warrior who regards mundane folk as resources whose lives have no meaning save to help him win his battles? Or is he the natural philosopher who rarely seems happier than when discussing alchemy with his consors Marcellus? I suspect he is both, yet I wonder which will rise to the fore in the coming years.

Volutus has become more vocal and less reticent in his time as leader of the covenant, though he still harbours a natural inclination to first listen to others rather than advance his own views. Part of this may be his undoubted skill as a diplomat, yet I also sense that he seeks external validation and is not entirely confident in his own opinions, particular where they challenge received wisdom and orthodoxy. Despite this, he has successfully exercised a guiding hand over the covenant’s affairs, and he has established a deserved reputation for propriety, diligence and fairness that has served us all well. Volutus is perhaps the most traditional of us all, but this is no bad thing, for he provides a strong central counterweight to some of the wilder beliefs that others on the council hold. I have always recognised that we are fortunate indeed to have someone of Volutus’ calibre lead us, particularly as we head into such uncharted waters.

Personality traits
Self-reliant +3; Brave +2; Watchful +2; Enjoys the wilds +2; Changeable +2; Hawk +2; Kind: +1; Sarcastic +1

Suppressed ferocity.

Terentius' views on the Magi at 1283 AD:

Gnaeus is perhaps the deepest thinker at Severn Temple, as concerned with the fundamental nature and structure of time as he is with the more prosaic topics that typically occupy our council. We magi all cut ourselves off from society to some extent, but Gnaeus’ writings reveal him to be a particularly otherworldly and scholarly sort. That such a man has risen to the role of Pontifex speaks to his other qualities, namely patience, fairness and an innate reasonableness that mean he is, I believe, well respected by all members of the council. Gnaeus may never be an inspiring or dynamic leader, but he can act as the nexus that binds those with otherwise polarising views to a common purpose.

Aeddan’s legacy continues to dominate both Hermetic and high mundane politics. It affects us all, but none more so than his granddaughter Hypatia, who must keep a foot in both worlds. This must be a heavy burden to carry, for the hopes of many – including the inhuman powers who dwell beyond our world – rest of her shoulders. If she is troubled by this, it shows only occasionally, most notably when something threatens her close family. Despite her position, I do not know whether she is the central figure that others believe, or whether she is simply a catalyst for events that will be shaped by others. We should be cautious about claims that the fates are set, and I hope Hypatia shares the view that we must remain in control of our destiny, rather than having our actions dictated by others. As such, I trust that she will remain both strong and clear sighted when exercising her power and influence.

Jari is defined by his natural irreverence. This is no studied artifice; he simply cannot help himself. He can be both refreshing and exasperating in turn, lightening the mood and defusing tension, but also trivialising genuinely serious issues. For all his able wordplay, he is one of the easier members of the Council to read, for he wears his allegiances on his sleeve and seems to care not for disguising his intentions. He is ever ready to declare himself for or against some matter, even when he has plainly not fully thought through how a course of action may play out. Perhaps this accounts for his experiences in the faerie regio, where he has wrought great change – and achieved notable successes – without quite understanding how they have come about. Either that, or he is labouring under a faerie curse. Despite myself, I must admit that I rather like Jari, and I am glad that he sits among us.

His spirit broken by misadventure, Oratio is now a bare shell of a man. A former leader who no longer leads; a former Quaesitor with no regard for the Code; and a former novice monk who openly questions whether his god is real. Indeed, it is hard to say whether any of his beliefs survive from his early days. He was ill-suited to the role of Pontifex, alternating between unjustified certainty and crippling indecision, and I hope that taking a step back will be a first stride towards recovering himself. Still, we must not allow him to shirk his responsibilities; left unchallenged, he would likely while the time away, hoping the problems he has caused will resolve themselves. Properly guided, he can still be an asset to the covenant, and it is incumbent on the rest of us to make sure that he remains focused and engaged.

It is sometimes easy to overlook Volutus, for his reserved manner and tendency to let others speak before providing his own view means that he does not dominate discussions at council. Yet it would be a mistake to think that he does not hold strong views; indeed, I suspect that he has the most settled core beliefs of all of us. His commitment to the success of the Order is unquestioned, yet I hope that he understands that the structures and practices that have served us well in the past may no longer be enough, and that clinging on to tradition may spell our doom. I suspect he realizes this, for the fact that he clearly relishes travelling beyond our walls gives him a wider perspective that should hopefully temper his innate optimism. We are fortunate to have someone with such firm purpose and strong ideals at Severn Temple.