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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.

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