Equitis de Acontia
The Equitis de Acontia
Translated as the “Knights of the Shooting Star” in Antiglot, the Equitis are a secret society of practitioners of black magic in the kingdom of Icatia. The Equitis is the oldest company of magicians still operating in Icatia. The largest and most public of which being the Arcane Order of Enchantment and Exposition.
The strength and ambitions of the society have fluctuated over the years; the Equitis were originally conceived of in the early eighth century C.E. as a rogue sect of Davidian Knights who led multiple failed expeditions to locate a sacred site known as the Mount of the Seven Stones. At its inception the Equitis was a religious order. There is no credible evidence that the group practiced or maintained interest in sorcery.
The person who is largely credited as the founder of the original Equitis was a man by the name of Calvish Dormigan. Dormigan was the only member of the sect to survive three consecutive expeditions to locate and take the Mount. After Dormigan’s trial and execution in 735 C.E. the Equitis were condemned and ostensibly disbanded, though some surviving members of the final expedition may have continued to meet in secret.
The Equitis were renewed in 1224 C.E. during the reign of Prince Edard II when sorcery was tolerated under the new Orthodox Tyrian religion. At this time, the Equitis were less concerned with the ancient crusade to locate and reclaim the Mount of the Seven Stones. The membership within the society was composed of aristocratic Icatians who formed an esoteric belief system from the symbols of the classic Davidian Order. In a popular movement to demonize the mainstream Davidian dogma, Calvish Dormigan was mythologized into a saint who formed the society as a haven for forward thinking mystics within the Order. The trappings of knighthood, and the tale of the Mount, were adopted allegorically to represent status and progress within the Equitis. Whether or not the Equitis had any skill at practicing sorcery is not known, but their moots were known to be laden with mystical and arcane rituals.
The Equitis continued to meet publicly until after Edard’s overthrow and execution in 1229 C.E. At which point, most of its members renounced the order for fear of persecution as Edard loyalists. The faithful members continued to meet in secret and were driven deeper and deeper underground by the inquisitors of the Davidian Order.
The most recent incarnation of the Equitis emerged during the Plague of 1378 when a former Regent of the Arcane Order, Academecian Drake was revealed to be the leader of the current Equitis and a co-conspirator involved in the formation of the Plague. It is not known how long Drake has been a member of the Equitis, but manuscripts have been found that trace his leadership back nearly 75 years. These Equitis are far more powerful than their historic predecessors as advanced mastery of sorcery seems to be a criteria for membership. Many of the most influential Icatian nobles have been revealed to be current or former members of the Equitis, using their social and political power to forward the goals of the Equitis, which appear to be linked to demon worship and summoning rituals. After the sack of Dashport in 1379 C.E. the order appeared to have been weakened by the exposure and loss of many of its most influential members during the conflict. It is not known how many of the Equitis were slain during the attack, but in the aftermath all of the society appear to have gone into hiding.