House Merinita, the House of Faerie
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Nature is the Only Truth
Merinita, a Priestess of Diana. Merinita joined the Order so that she would be left alone – she was uninterested in co-operation although she shared her magic readily enough and always believed firmly in the concept of fair bargaining. In return for being taught the Parma Magica she taught Bonisagus the cords by which a magus binds a familiar to him. Merinita and Criamon had much in common – Criamon believed Merinita’s search for the essential spirit of the wild was an echo of his search for the Great Enigma. Merinita disappeared from the mundane around 790 AD triggering a struggle for succession in her nascent House between Quendalon (a magus who believed Merinita’s quest involved closeness with the Fey) and Myanar (who stayed closer to her nature-based beliefs). Quendalon triumphed and turned the House towards its faerie bias. The Followers of Myanar left the House and joined the House Forgotten.
Symbol and Iconography
House Merinita’s symbol is a tree enclosing three stars, although the oldest depiction of the House from Merinita’s time display a crescent moon. In iconography Merinita’s robe is depicted as light green, her toga a deeper forest green. Her staff is wound with ivy and flowers bloom from its tip. She often bears a willow wand in her right hand, sometimes a tree grows from both her cupped hands. A unicorn sometimes accompanies her. Very rarely she is depicted naked; in such depictions a crescent moon is always present.
What The House Was All About
House Merinita was for many years an influential force in the politics of the Order of Hermes. Magi found that in order to find places of magical potency or ready sources of vis in the increasingly civilised West, they had to deal more and more with those enigmatic beings commonly called the Fae. This had ever been the special talent and purview of the Merinita. Over the years increasing exposure to the strange powers of the half-world made its mark upon the Merinita – many magi of the House were Faerie-touched or those born as changelings in the world of men. As a result Merinita magi were regarded as not quite human by their peers, as touched by something otherworldly and different. Such difference was a source of pride among Merinita magi. Those who had spent time at Fey courts or whose blood runs strongly hot or cold with the seasons of influential Fey families were especially well-regarded. In this way there was a strong spine of nobility and internal social order running through the House which may not have been apparent to outsiders.
In the latter half of the 1200s, it was becoming increasingly apparent that the fae were in retreat. Even in those places where the Christian dominion did not reach, confrontations between magi ever more determined to acquire raw vis and faeries ever more determined to preserve it became violent and destructive from both sides, with the Merinita caught in the middle as mediators. This came to a head at the turn of the century, when the Primus of the House, Siegfried, summoned all Merinita magi able to travel to attend him at the Domus Magna for midwinter of 1299. No magus that attended that feast was ever heard from in the wider Order again, and their Domus Magna, Irencillia, now stands deserted, empty and cold ever since. That winter was the worst in a century.
What happened there is a closely guarded secret, but since that point, the House has been silent, and the very few sightings of lone Merinita magi have been of them heading toward known Faerie gateways.
It is believed the House is now to all practical purposes extinct. If is still exists, it does so in Arcadia, beyond the concerns of the Order, and it appears they have pulled up the drawbridge after themselves.