I was born on the 12th of March eleven hundred and ninety six, to a servant of the lord Luke de Capestang. A servant I may have remained if I had not been taken to the cathedral at Narbonne as part of my lord’s retinue. There, the Archbishop Arnaud Amalric noticed my interest in the Church, and my ability to remember scripture even though I could not read it at that time. He helped to teach my to read, and I was to join the Church.
Then I met Juvenalis of the House of Jerbiton, who took me away from the Church to what was then the strange covenant of Bellaquin where my apprenticeship began. My apprenticeship was not to end there however, for in 1216 an event occurred which upset the entire world and tore the Order apart.
At first, to us, it was a strange sight. A great forest appeared over the horizon, seeming to march across the land, trees sprouting from fields and meadows, up through houses and tearing apart roads. It seemed to avoid the stronger Divine auras, but damaged the covenant of Bellaquin. There was also a surge in the aura around Bellaquin, and our spells and magics were strengthened.
Over the next few days we learnt that this event had affected the whole of Europe, possibly even going beyond to the whole world. Iberia was now a verdant forest, and even much of the deserts of the Holy Lands had been transformed. The peasantry were in uproar, fearing that it was the end of the world - which it was, or at least, it was the beginning of the end.
Over the months which followed, the power of the Divine was lessened, and the power of Magic and Faerie strengthened. Old beasts were let loose on the world, breaking themselves out of regions hidden since the time of the Old Ones. The rumour was that it was the Old Ones that had been awakened, summoned forth to do battle against Christian civilisation.
As the Kingdoms of Europe crumbled, there were some in the Order which called for a change to our Laws. No longer should we stand aside they said, but here was an opportunity for us to take control and be masters of this new world. There were already many who were blaming the Order for what had happened, and where we were not being blamed and having to defend ourselves, we could not stand by and watch innocents killed by the ravages of beasts or predations of Fay no longer constrained by Divine auras.
So there came to be two factions - those Conservatives who tried to prevent the Order from getting involved, and us Adaptationists who wanted to re-write the Oath to allow us to take a hand in rebuilding civilisation.
Whilst the Latin Houses argued, a force was becoming known in the north, amongst those amongst us who would follow the Old Gods - magi of Ex Miscellanea, Bjornaer and Merinita. Even House Diedne was said to have returned. A great Pagan Power had arisen in Stonehenge, and it was not content with letting the Church regain its glory.
Then ruin was wrought upon the people of Europe, as the maga who came to be known as Harab the Destroyer cast rituals that slew most of the population of Europe. The power of the Dominion was crippled, and Magic was in the ascendant.
By this time it was impossible to remain Conservative, and though war soon followed between the Pagan traditions and the Latin traditions, the Order was probably stronger than it had even been. Vis was plentiful and Dragons and Old Gods awoke and made the land their home. Those peasants that had survived looked to the Order for protection, for we were the most human of those that could wield power in this new world. For many of us, it was a golden time.
This could not last forever though, and within two decades the Angels came to destroy the Old Gods. As the Angels descended from Heaven, so the Devil corrupted from below. The wars that had been fought over the preceding years were nothing compared to the devastation that was wrought by the forces of Heaven and Hell. Forces were unleashed that magi could not possibly fight or reason with, and Hermetic Civilisation fell beneath the onslaught. There were a few of us who fled to the Caves of Twisting Shadow, and from there the Criamon tried to find a solution, believing it possible to leave the world and find a place far into Twilight where we could live apart from the all consuming war.
At the last moment, as the Criamon cast their ritual, the final Word of God was wrought upon the world and it was broken asunder. The Criamon had opened a crack though, and it was through here that I tried to flee, finding a place outside of Time where I watched as the world was unmade.
But I was not alone. There was a presence with me, which spoke to me and told me to return, to find the Holy saviour who would redeem mankind. The world was remade to be how it was before the awakening of the Pagan powers and the destructions wrought by Harab. I was sent back, and found my way to Valnastium to tell my tale.
The world we live in now is not entirely like the world as I remember it to be. Several covenants of Stonehenge are missing, as are the magi who were involved in the awaking of the Pagan power known as the Crafty Lord. If God rebuilt the world as I believe, then he did so in a way that left out those things that contributed to its downfall the first time around.
The Criamon say that I have moved between different cycles of Time, but that does not in my mind explain the convenience of the missing covenants.
I hope that this account of my experiences is of use to those that read it. I feel that it is important to find the saviour that will help us avoid a similar fate that befell my own world, and ensure that he is able to complete his task.
Jeremiah Vercius ex Jerbiton, 1216, Winter