Today, our exploration of the Royal Occultist universe delves into the secretive brotherhood known as the Order of the Cosmic Ram…
The origins of the Order of the Cosmic Ram are shrouded in mystery, even to the bulk of its membership, which is comprised of men from the highest levels of English society. The Order are devoted to the ideal of the British Empire and Albion Triumphant.
Or, rather, that ideal as they define it.
Theories abound as to the Order’s antecedents–some occult scholars believe that the members of the Order are simply the Knights Templar by another name, while others believe that they are a radical English splinter group of the Rosicrucians.
The rites and rituals of the Order of the Cosmic Ram are as mysterious as their origins. What is known, however, is their goal–nothing less than the domination of the world by a newly invigorated British Empire, guided and controlled by the Order’s members.
It is, in part, due to this stated goal of global totalitarianism that the Order has as deplorable a reputation as it does amongst the various occult groups which make London their headquarters. The Order has made enemies of the Ordo Templi Orientis, the Black Brotherhood, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Voyagers Club, the Church of Starry Wisdom, the Sisterhood of Rats and the Strix Society amongst others with their activities, which include the theft of rare grimoires or objects of esoteric interest, the assault or assassination of prominent occult figures opposed to their goals, and being generally unpleasant about the whole thing.
Recently, the Order has come to the attention of the Ministry of Esoteric Observation due to their part in the murder of several prominent members of the Voyagers Club in 1920, the Jade Suit Incident of that same year, as well as the 1921 Seeley Affair. In all three cases, the Order’s activities were curtailed by Charles St. Cyprian and Ebe Gallowglass. Later, in 1924, the duo again thwarted a scheme by a member of the Order, relating to one of the famed obsidian mirrors of Dr. John Dee.
The Order of the Cosmic Ram was created specifically to be a reoccurring foe(s) for the Royal Occultist. They first appeared in the “Sign of the Salamander”, but I’ve since sprinkled them into a few other stories. They’re also the main antagonists of the second Royal Occultist novel, The Jade Suit of Death. And they’re mentioned in many others, whenever there’s a roll-call of bad guys.
With series characters, you run the risk of occasionally coming up empty when it comes to interesting antagonists, so having some you can tag in, as it were, is of immense benefit. The Order provide a ready-made source of conflict, being occult imperialists of the worst sort, and every time they appear we learn a bit more about their organisation and goals. We also find out, in The Jade Suit of Death, that St. Cyprian himself was once a member, albeit (very) briefly, which adds another layer of complexity to his constant thwarting of their various intrigues.
I’d like to write more about the Order in the future, but only time will tell if I can come up with a suitably sinister scheme for them. In the meantime, why not enjoy this audio version of “The Maida Vale Mummy”, ably performed by Richard Gough-Thomas, Erik Crossley, Jen Edwards and Ruth Narramore?
The Order of the Cosmic Ram has appeared in the following stories:
- “The Maida Vale Mummy”
- THE JADE SUIT OF DEATH
- “Sign of the Salamander”
- “The Black Brotherhood”
For more on the adventures of St. Cyprian and Gallowglass, as well as past and future holders of the office, take a look at the Royal Occultist chronology on this site, as well as a number of free short stories, available only on Patreon. And be sure to ‘Like’ the Royal Occultist Facebook page, in order to keep up with all the latest news and info on the series!