Today, our exploration of the Royal Occultist universe delves into the secretive and sinister organisation 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 and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn among 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, as well as the Jade Suit Incident of that same year, and the 1921 Seeley Affair. In each case, the Order’s schemes were upended by Charles St. Cyprian and Ebe Gallowglass, and the organisation has learned to its cost that crossing the Royal Occultist carries certain risks.
While still influential, the Order has largely gone underground. Membership in the organisation has lost some of its lustre after the Order’s disastrous showing in Egypt, as well as the mass arrests that followed the Jade Suit Incident. But despite these setbacks, the Order perseveres.
For they believe that whatever else, the stars are in their favour.
The Order of the Cosmic Ram was created specifically to be a reoccurring foe for the Royal Occultist. They first appeared in the “Sign of the Salamander”, but I’ve since sprinkled them into a few other stories, sometimes retroactively. And they’re mentioned in many other short stories, 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 second Royal Occultist novel, The Jade Suit of Death, that St. Cyprian himself was once a member, 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, enjoy their latest appearance in “A Whisper of Soft Wings”, in which the Order gets up to its usual tricks, this time involving a prophetic monstrosity and a spate of high altitude murders. Available for free at Curious Fictions.
If you’d like to check out some of the Royal Occultist stories for free, including “A Whisper of Soft Wings”, head over to my Curious Fictions page. For more general updates, be sure to check the Royal Occultist Facebook page.