Branwen, daughter of Deana, member of House Ex Miscellanea


Branwen is a slight woman with delicate and attractive features, her long raven black hair highlighting her fair skin and pale green eyes. She speaks with a warm tone and is both perceptive and highly intelligent although the care with which she considers her words before she speaks perhaps hides just how sharp witted she is. She is a little awkward in her movement, not exactly clumsy but clearly less than dextrous. She favours simple linen or woollen dresses for attire, the latter of which she can swiftly summon about her if required. She is a courageous woman with more than a little curiosity about the world and a pragmatic nature.

Raised in the remote wilds of northern England by her mater Deana and her soror Aetna she was given a good grounding in the Hermetic arts and her innate shapeshifting talent, although she struggles with the art of Vim, has a Parma Magica that she cannot lower and is not the most confident caster of formulaic magic. The remainder of her education focussed on introductions to the second sight, herbalism, medicine and mystical lore and there was almost no discussion of the structures and practices of the Order of Hermes. As a result, she is very naïve regarding Hermetic matters and has spent much of her early time at the covenant trying to learn Latin. Many of her views have been shaped by the witch traditions of Stonehenge and the importance of guarding secrets closely was strongly highlighted during her apprenticeship.

Views of the other Magi as at 1310 AD:


It is hard to separate my direct experience of Hypatia with what I have learned from Deana and those others who follow my magical tradition. I am fully aware of the importance that they assign her to the land of Albion and that they hold it my duty to assist her as she travels on the path that fate has set for her. She is the Queen and, even for those who wish to help her, that sets her apart from all others. Her burdens are immense and clearly weigh upon her, particularly now that she has lost her brother. She must balance both the day and the night within herself, never letting the one overcome the other. I cannot imagine how hard such a life must be.

Despite all of this she has received my presence at Severn Temple with warmth and generosity. She is genuinely good company, with a ready humour and significant capacity for kindness, but she is also strong and forthright. She does not speak as often as some at our council meetings but when she does her words have value and she is a natural leader. I will do all that I can to provide her whatever aid I am able.

Outside of Hypatia, Jari is the only one of my new companions I have really warmed to. This is despite the fact that he is the only one who has overtly attempted to manipulate my opinions thus far and his sometimes cruel and contemptuous humour. Perhaps it is because he is quick witted to an extent that the others are not or because he does not always take himself too seriously. Or maybe it is that in his relationship with his companions and familiar he shows that he has a genuine capacity to care for others. It is clear that our interests ally in many areas and I believe that he understands that there are more important things to preserve in this land than the Order of Hermes.

If I have a concern it lies most heavily with his lack of caution and his somewhat carefree attitude to those who might seek to manipulate him in the way he sometimes seeks to manipulate others. I have already heard several tales regarding the trouble he has got himself into in the past and I have no doubt that he would not be overly concerned about dragging others into the same mire. I will also be watchful as to his attempts to pry into my private business. He seems to have that kind of curiosity that can only get the better of him and I am certain that he relishes the learning of secrets.

I find Naevius the hardest of all my new sodales to form a judgement of. He is calm, thoughtful, and courteous to a fault. Indeed, he has spoken up for me on occasion at council when I have been insulted and others have just let it pass. Yet he was willing to condemn another wizard to death merely because her magic had gone awry and he seems unconcerned with making better anyone’s life but his own. He is brave enough to express his opinion at council, even on the occasions when it is clear that his is very much a lone voice, and yet he so rarely gives away anything of his own desires and ambitions that I find it hard to understand on what foundation he can be so strident.

Perhaps he desires nothing more than to be left in peace with the resources that he needs to develop his art further; and his art will no doubt be of value to this covenant and those who reside within. Or perhaps there is some deep motivation that is yet to reveal itself. If the former, then I am content to maintain a superficially cordial relationship despite those opinions with which I disagree. If the latter, then let us see.

Deana warned me that there were many wizards in this tribunal who held deep prejudices against those whose traditions arose within this land and Pyrrhus has provided as fine an example of her wisdom as she could have wished. In the short time that I have been here I have already lost count of the number of times he has been openly insulting to me, whether about my understanding of magic or my ability to hold my own opinions. Initially I wondered whether it was a deliberate ploy to some strange end, but I have come to believe he is not aware of what he is doing and that it is just his ignorance and a profound lack of self-awareness. Indeed, these seem to be his defining characteristics for I further believe that he has no realisation of how he is viewed by the others who sit upon this council and how little respect he is shown. He is given to making assertions with nothing to back them and speculating in areas that he has no knowledge or understanding of. It is like some strange faerie prank that someone so clearly unsuited to leadership has been placed in such a position.

And yet it is a joke that I must be careful not to become inured to. He clearly has great power at his fingertips and at times, when he has been pushed too far, the aggression in his nature that he usually keeps so well hidden will flash for a moment like a shooting star. While his obvious fear of, and subservience to, some of his sodales means that he swiftly puts the mask back in place I do not believe I am in so fortunate a position. He seems to me to be a petulant bully at heart and I am a potential target for his bitter anger. I shall continue to present an acceptable face to him while I learn his weaknesses.

Terentius is a man whose mood within the covenant is seemingly ever changing. At council meetings he is frequently curt, belligerent and scornful of the opinions of others, yet he will also sometimes use the natural authority that he seems to have with his sodales to ensure that all voices are heard on a matter. There are times when he forcefully tries to drive the agenda, keen to ensure that we take action to deal with the issues that face us, and yet others where he sits, quietly brooding, while drinking too much, or demanding an end to any conversation that he has decided is of no interest to him. More often than not he is at the heart of the more fractious exchanges among the wizards who reside here and yet it is clear that, at the very least, he has the respect of them all.

Travelling beyond the walls of the covenant however he seems less unsettled. While I have not travelled widely with him, when I have he has shown himself to be practical and determined and he is clearly highly capable. Perhaps it is this side of him that has driven his position within the covenant and that allows his sodales to be so tolerant of his mood swings. It is also clear that he works hard to further the interests of the Covenant, and other aspects of the magic of the tribunal, and this seems worthy of admiration to me, even if I am as yet uncertain how closely our desires align.

In truth, since I joined the covenant, he has treated me respectfully with no discernible attempts to manipulate my opinions, and yet I still find that I harbour reservations about him. He is cautious regarding mystical powers that are not derived from Hermetic practice and, while I no more worship the gods of the pagan faith than he does, I worry that his dogmatic view of them will make it harder for me to explore such areas in the future. He can be rash and impatient, and I sense that his self-confidence makes it hard for him to fully acknowledge when others might be better placed to proffer an opinion. I fear that should he ever rise to the position of Princeps, which I understand he has bid for in the past, this will lead to greater interference in the lives of those who reside here and the pursuit of his goals to the detriment of others’. I will endeavour to remain on good terms with him but will be cautious in my dealings.