The Oculus in Clavi

This blog post and others like it represent fictional characters, places, or groups existing within the universe of Stormborn. They will serve as supplemental material to the serial novellas.

The sigil of the Oculus in Clavi, adopted November 12, 1944, at Sète.

The sigil of the Oculus in Clavi, adopted November 12, 1944, at Sète.

The Oculus in Clavi formed in Languedoc as part of the Albigensian Crusade in 1202, following the murder of Pierre de Castelnau. It began as an organization composed of Catholic magi to hunt down and kill Cathar magi in the south of France. When Pope Gregory IX handed authority over the Inquisition to mortals during the 13th century, witches and non-magi were removed from the Oculus in Clavi and labeled heretics.

The Oculus in Clavi hunted non-Catholic witches throughout Europe until the 15th-century, when magi who used Kabbalic practices began to be targeted by the Church in France and Spain.  A bloodless coup followed within the organization, leading to its separation from the Catholic Church in 1494. After the Act of Supremacy of 1534, established by King Henry VIII of England, the Oculus in Clavi in England became known as the Eye in the Lock. The mainland European branches of the Oculus in Clavi retained their Latin name.

The Eye in the Lock spread to North America along with the European colonists. The American Revolutionary War led to a schism within the North American and English branches of the Eye in the Lock. When the United States formed, the North American branch changed its name back to Oculus in Clavi, further strengthening its alliance with its founding branch in France. The magical nation of Terra Nova formed across the new American states, with the authority of the American Oculus in Clavi set forth in its founding document.

After the American Civil War and Canadian Independence, the American branch of the Oculus in Clavi and the British Eye in the Lock became allies. Eastern Canada joined Terra Nova, spreading the authority of the American Oculus in Clavi all the way to the Arctic. During the Reconstruction Era, the American Oculus in Clavi was also the first of its branches to allow witches to join its ranks in four centuries.

During World War II, the American Oculus in Clavi and the British Eye in the Lock's alliance strengthened. The English and Latin names began to be used interchangeably on both continents. The democratized structure of the American Oculus in Clavi spread as far as West Germany, stopping at the Iron Curtain, where the Soviet Volsek—the Russian analogue to the Oculus in Clavi—retained control until 1992.

Today, the Oculus in Clavi has branches throughout most of the magical nations of the Western world, with some exceptions in Latin America and Eastern Europe. It functions as a magical intelligence and counterintelligence agency. Although the Oculus in Clavi remains largely unified and holds world summits every ten years in the beautiful Mediterranean city of Sète, its branches are known to spy on one another regularly. Its stated purpose is to protect both the magical and mortal worlds from the combined threats of reckless magic use and daemonic influence.