Magister Templi, Third Order of the Hermetic Order of the Golden DawnGender:
Lawful NeutralObjective for the Grail:
To bring the Holy Grail to the Golden Dawn, if only to throw it in their faces.Personality:
On the surface Thomas is a polite and charming individual, the very picture of an English gentleman. Having spent the better part of his life as part of what is essentially a secret society Thomas has developed a way of dealing with people that can best be described as aggressively diplomatic; he is friendly, approachable, and amiable and yet rarely if ever gives any sort of hint towards his true feelings or motivations.
A determined individual who is not easily swayed by others and someone with the fortitude to forge his own path and follow his own goals even if others seek to place obstacles in his path, yet savvy enough to toe the line and not make enemies unnecessarily. Such social acumen was needed to survive in the Golden Dawn, especially when he is seen as such a… controversial figure by many.History:
Thomas comes from a long line of Magus; not the most impressive line, nor the oldest, and their name hasn’t always been Gardner, but a long line nonetheless. Thomas’ family have been practitioners of Witchcraft in Europe and Britain since the middle ages, engaging in both sides of the art as both black witches focused on curses and hexes and white witches focused on protection from the former.
Even with this age the Gardner Magic Crest is not as well developed as it could be. Being a witch in Britain has always been a hazardous occupation and the family has been forced into hiding a number of times over the years as the craze of witch-hunting rose and fell in popularity. In particular the writing of the Witchcraft Act of 1604 was nearly the death of the Gardner line and their Magic Crest was all but lost during this period.
Thankfully they managed to outlast the witch hunters and the family survived, though diminished in size and power. Over time they began to recover and the complexity of their crest grew in leaps and bounds, however it wasn’t until Thomas’s grandfather and great grandfather that the family truly began to flourish. They are the ones mostly responsible for making the family what it is, at least in terms of wealth and influence. That being said, it was also his grandfather than nearly ruined them.
Thomas’ grandfather joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn after being invited to be a member by another magus via their joint association with the Clocktower. Being a talented Magus in his own right his grandfather quickly rose through the ranks but was at the same time a controversial figure who upset a lot of people by publishing books on occultism. The books were complete nonsense which he saw as both a way to make money while also having some fun but others in both the Golden Dawn and the Clocktower saw it as potentially threatening to reduce the amount of mystery in the world by revealing secrets about Magecraft. In the end he was acquitted and no punishment was given, but the Gardner name was forever tarnished by the accusations.
This controversy has directly affected Thomas as well and means that a number of people within the order have taken a disliking to him on principle. It doesn’t help that his style of Magecraft is seen by some as out-dated, archaic or even barbaric in nature; it seems even Magi are not immune to developing certain stigmas around witchcraft. There have been numerous occasions where people have tried to question whether or not his family should even be allowed to keep their association with the order, citing his grandfather’s past discretions as reasons, and whether or not Thomas and his obsolete style of magecraft can possibly contribute anything of worth to the order.
This did not prevent him from climbing the ranks to become a member of the highest order of the Golden Dawn, as progress through the ranks is determined by skill and learning rather than politics, but he had to fight his way through opposition every step of the way.
When Thomas first received word of the Holy Grail war in the east he tried to keep it a secret, wanting to enter the war himself without the Order learning of it, but it was not long before others found out and the expected arguing and politics began. The Golden Dawn wished to send a member to participate, but all wanted the glory for themselves and none could agree on who to send, other than that it should definitely not be Thomas. Rather than argue in his own defence or try to convince the order to sanction his participation in the Holy Grail war, Thomas opted to simply make the decision for all of them and leave; he acquired a suitable catalyst from the Golden Dawn by what some would consider theft and headed for Japan, lacking the resources of the order to which he may or may not still be a member but backed by the considerable wealth of his family. However his theft of the catalyst would turn out to be pointless, due to the peculiar nature of this war.
--- Magecraft:General Magecraft
– The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is more than capable of teaching novices the basic magecrafts to the same level of competency as the Clocktower.Elementalism
– Those in the First Order of the Golden Dawn must study the concepts of elementalism and prove their understanding before moving on to the next level. Every member of the Golden Dawn who has advanced past this stage not only knows how to use magecraft that matches their affinity, they also have knowledge of all the other affinities they cannot use. Thomas himself has a dual affinity for fire and earth.Bounded Fields
– While knowledge of and even proficiency in the use of bounded fields is expected in the higher members of the Golden Dawn, Thomas has taken this understanding even further. He is capable of casting Advance Bounded Fields and Bounded Fields that are supremely hard to detect; over the course of many years he has honed his ability to combine Bounded Fields with his other specialties, particularly Sympathetic Magic, to create some interesting effects.European Witchcraft
– An old form of magecraft not much favoured within the Clocktower due to its close association with curses, European Witchcraft is as much to do with the protection and prevention of curses and afflictions as it is with creating them. Thomas is well versed in the common practices of European Witchcraft including scrying, divination (particularly that will allows for objects/people to be found), healing and protection from harmful magecraft. His particular focus in this area is in the creation and use of Poppets and other items.Sympathetic Magecraft
– A style of magecraft dictated by the laws of Sympathy and Contagion based on the idea that one can influence something, even people, based on its relationship or resemblance to another object. Thomas gained a basic understanding of this craft through his studies of European Witchcraft which makes use of Sympathetic Magecraft in places, particularly in the creation and use of Poppets. Finding himself particularly interested in the subject Thomas continued his studies in this area over the course of decades in order to become a true master of the art, even beyond what is often associated with European Witchcraft.Weapons:Grand Poppet
– The ultimate expression of Thomas’ art, the Grand Poppet is an item created by Thomas over the course of decades using the principles of European Witchcraft and Sympathetic Magecraft. It is a humanoid figure; a doll woven out of Thomas’ own hair and stained with his blood, creating a Poppet so steeped in Contagion as to be considered unwise or even obscene by other practitioners of his craft, were they to learn of it.
The aim of Sympathetic Magecraft if often to create an object that in some way resembles the object or person that the Magus is attempting to manipulate, but in many ways the Grand Poppet is more ‘Thomas’ than Thomas is and as such it attracts much of the harm that is intended for him whether that be magical in nature or physical.Ring of Vampirism
– A Mystic Code in the form of a ring which allows for the extraction of blood from a person over short distances, which is then stored inside a small internal reservoir. This object has an extremely short range, between five and ten feet at the most, and works best when in direct contact with the target with greater distances slowing the process of extraction. The target feels no pain and the quantities of blood being extracted are so small as to cause no negative effects to the target. However, due to the innate protection against invasive magecraft that all Magus have, against them this ring is only useful for drawing blood from an open wound.Image Capturing Glasses
– A simple pair of glasses capable of capturing and storing an image of whatever the wearer is observing at any given time and recalling that image when requested.Amplifier Staff
– A simple amplification style Mystic Code resembling an ornate cane or walking stick. Intended to be used to strengthen Thomas’ elemental magecraft in particular should he ever need to get his hands dirty.