THE ARCANE ORDER OF PROVIDENCE To A Better World
The Arcane Order of Providence is a band of sorcerers and mystics dedicated to the goal of providence - harnessing the spiritual and mystical energies of the world to protect and aid the civilized world. They adhere to Ars Siderum - a code established by Archchancellor and mystic Sir Simon Basrid KCS after decades of arcane study. When introduced to elven mages Lenniel Durion, Minerva of Blackbriar, Vassago Vandi’ir, Vexalia Artoxia, and Desmina Fiore, the assembly soon after pledged to create a fraternity in coherence with imperial tradition, to promote affairs of sorcery and advise officials of state within the empire and beyond.
Tor Siderum, 1750
Chartering the great spire of Tor Siderum in 1750, the Order of Providence intends to proliferate magical and mystical teachings through rigorous instruction and adventure. Alongside the goal of being an expansive place of instruction for all schools of evocation is a concentrated effort to celebrate the four schools of hermeticism - astrology, alchemy, theurgy, and meditation. Located in Lake Helena, the order maintains the empire as its suzerain, albeit with a degree of autonomy and understanding to proliferate and moderate magic righteously throughout the civilized world.
THE PRACTICE OF ARS SIDERUM
Offerings to the Moon
Practitioners of Ars Siderum, known as Siderii, are hermetics who seek to unravel the mysteries of the world. By understanding the void between stars, and how it reflects the nothingness of the Great Void, these stargazers tap into the strength of the arcane themselves through astral understanding.
The Void is vast. To be pithy, there is more Nothing than there is Something. The Void surrounds and encompasses all matter, and it is from this primordial emptiness that the Creator miraculously created the World. Much like stars, practitioners of Ars Siderum are tiny points of light in an infinite Void and infinite world.
All who maintain the eight rules of practice can be called Siderii, regardless of their arcane talent, however, many that undertake the path to understand the mysteries of the void, earth, and heavens often see the merit in spellweaving. The eight rules of practice are made in homage to the Arcane Zodiac, born in ancient Rhen as a codification of Rhenyari star charts and mythos. As with all hermetic practice, rules are but guidelines - it is up the order of providence and its council to interpret, amend, and enforce them to ensure health, piety, and order among the practitioners. They are as follows…
THE RULE OF MITRAS: A rule maintained in the name of the Creator. A human that wishes to learn magic under the practice of Ars Siderum must undertake the Mitrasi Ritual - a trial of herbs that extends their longevity toward the height of their natural limit, but in turn greatly, if not outright extinguishes their fertility. All Siderii too must maintain reverence to the church and Canonist faith, reminding themselves that the Exalted Owyn called upon the Magi to serve in his ministry.
THE RULE OF KITRAN: A rule maintained in homage to the constellation Kitran, free steed of fire. With him comes new beginnings - mages must forfeit any landed titles or hereditary claims they possess and take a nom de sorcelliere, or sorcerer’s name by which they are addressed by their peers and those they renders services of Ars Siderum towards. The name is traditionally taken after a heavenly body in the sky.
THE RULE OF ESA: A rule maintained in homage to the constellation Esa, cultured lily of wind. The rule maintains a commitment to all Siderii to explore and experience the natural world to help better cultivate providence, whilst avoiding using sorcery without a catalyst or in manners vulgar to humiliate, trick, or torment.
THE RULE OF TEPHES: A rule maintained in homage to the constellation Tephes, regal elephant of heavenly waters. All who practice Ars Siderum are to be adorned in jewelry and finery befit their station in the colors and stylings of hermetic practice. The greater the mage, the greater the adornments.
THE RULE OF NAM: A rule maintained in homage to the constellation Nam, rock scarab of earth. Ars Siderum maintains only practice with the void, world, and heavens - magics in service to a deity or patron contradict this rule and are prohibited.
THE RULE OF MAHARA: A rule maintained in homage to the constellation Mahara, great siren of storm. Siderii are sworn to protect their peers and patrons from harm and rise in their defense in case of invasion.
THE RULE OF BARRAMAN: A rule maintained in homage to the constellation Barraman, leal golem of mirth. Siderii are expected to render respect and compliance to the law of the province they reside.
THE RULE OF ARSAN: A rule maintained in homage to the constellation Arsan, hallowed wraith of mystery.All dark arts and habits of sacrifice are prohibited in Ars Siderum. They besmirch the beauty of the heavens and the natural world and are to be destroyed wherever found.
HIERARCHY The order holds a hierarchy of four distinct ranks rooted in hermetic principle alongside an introductory rank to initaties. They theme around the salt of time, a high goal of human alchemy and hermeticism - a legendary alchemical powder that can undo time that is said to be the final product of transmutation.
Neophytes are those that have been inducted in the Arcane Order. They are untested and aspiring mages and scholars with no formal study in the arcane. Often times, they may even be children shown with magical aptitude that begets necessary training. Neophytes are given access to only living space and the facilities that an associated Magister or higher deems relevant to them.
An inductee into the Order who has some magical experience and has completed the Mitrasi Ritual - an Adept is giving black robes to signify the alchemical process of melanosis, what is recorded to occur in the first stage of the salt of time, a black and petty ash. They are granted access to the reliquaries and great library after having deemed a worthy level of study (T3 magic or equivalent scholarship) and are able to begin earnest service, but seldom lead missions due to their lack of experience. They are regarded as Black Siderii for their robes.
A Magister is regarded to be a sage who has begun to master the magical arts and possess true talent in their sphere. They are handily able to advise or lead missions, and often live away from Tor Siderum serving lettered peers or courts of the world. However, they are not yet entrusted unto the of council to charter missions or access the hidden reliquaries. They are granted white robes to signify the alchemical process of leucosis, a whitening of substance, which symbolizes their purity and actualizing a clean and worthy foundation, and are called White Siderii. Magister is the highest rank by which a foreign mage may be inducted into the Order of Providence.
A White Siderii Meditating Before Battle
A member of the Council of Providence is granted the title of Magus and Councillor. They have not only mastered an arcane art but are now considered to be capable in chartering missions furthering their understanding. Councillors maintain administration of the order in all facets and are granted access to any and all facilities of Siderii profession. They convene yearly to vote and administer the order. There are to be between three, five, or seven councilors at a time, depending on the size and scope of the order. They are granted gold robes to signify the alchemical process of xanthosis, a yellowing of substance, which symbolizes the additive and mastery upon a white foundation to attain golden perfection. As a result, they are known as Gold Siderii.
The highest rank of the Arcane Order of Providence, the Archmagus are usually the most senior, distinguished, or politically able mages among the council. They are given no more formal power than a peer councillor and must go through the Council of Providence for all necessary endeavors, but can serve as a spokesperson and leader in ceremony. One may be eligible for the office of Archmagus if they have served the Council of Providence for fifty years. They are granted red robes to signify the final alchemical process of iosis, a reddening of substance, which symbolizes what lay beyond conceived perfection and the bleeding of space found in the salt of time. As a result, they are known as Red Siderii.
IMPERIAL ICONS OF MYSTERY
Throughout the history of empire, there have been many incidents of great auspice that have become emblems of Siderii mystery. One for each empire is highlighted plainly below. These icons are often used in spellweaving, fashion, architecture, or code by Siderii mages - it is not uncommon for a mage to take upon a signet with one of these wards under the Rule of Tephes.
WITCH QUEEN’S HEART
An icon of the first empire. Legend dictates that when Blessed Lorethos Basileus carved the Witch Queen Dawn’s heart out in battle, a rotten pomegranate and its seeds spilled from her chest. A symbol of triumph and bounty.
ST. TOBIAS’ COMET
An icon of the second empire. The comet of St. Tobias is an auspicious omen, having appeared multiple times throughout the Carrion Vochna. It ominously appeared at the Battle of Mt. Augustus at the sixth hour of the siege. A symbol of astrological worth and wealth.
TREE OF PAIN
An icon of the third empire. The Tree of Pain is associated with the grove where imperial soldiers are said to have found Emperor Robert ‘of the Wilds’ performing occult rituals aside pagan Gorundyr. The gnarled oak is rumored to have told the soldiers of this bizarre and unholy practice. A symbol of vigilance and knowledge.
An icon of the fourth empire. When the Emperor Tobias’ son Yakov Carrion made a blood pact to Iblees and was made Undead, he and his father dueled in the Petrus palace. Yakov fled the battle, but not before scarring his father. The emperor was then obliged to wear a mask for much of the remainder of his life and soon abdicated to hunt the apostate Undead. A symbol of oath and conviction.
An icon of the fifth empire. Legend dictates that the ice made from Emperor Philip’s destruction of Johannesburg has mystical properties - able to reveal men, but not monsters in its reflection. A symbol of sacrifice and perception.
BEAST OF MARDON
An icon of the sixth empire. A monstrosity made of many writhing slugs that resided in the swamps of Mardon, it is said to have been conceived by the great sins of Peter II Sigismund. A ward against sin and iniquity.
BULL OF AURELIUS
An icon of the seventh empire. Wherever the golden bull goes, it is said that the essence of Aurelian strength will follow. A symbol of protection and power.
EYE OF PROVIDENCE
An icon of the new empire. Associated with the Teteric post-Exodus philosophies of Sigismund’s revelations and Pertinax’s curse, the eye of providence is all-seeing bounty attributed to Peter III’s personal coat of arms. A symbol of empire and prosperity.