The Oxford Cabal

A band of Misfits

She thrusted her cane forward and gently lifted the trellis that blocked their path. As the foliage lifted, the sunlight rushed through and nearly blinded him. He saw a verdant glen, littered with trees and small ponds, all surrounding a beautiful mansion. The mansion itself, built in gothic Victorian fashion, stood three stories tall. Houses walled in the Estate, along with many other buildings. A winding road that led out of the campus, stretching across the glen till it disappeared from view. Tyler struggled to keep his jaw from dropping.
“Welcome to the Oxford Sactruary.” Morrigan said, ushering him through the opening made in the wall of flora.
“You're telling me this won't show up on google maps?” Tyler asked
“Not at all. I make sure of it.” Morrigan replied, sliding her arm around his. They walked toward the mansion, casually stopping to admire the scenery or a statue. They saw men and women practicing their craft in the open, unafraid of prying eyes. Their spells darted across the fields as they aimed for a target placed a safe distance away.

The mansion seemed much larger up close. Eventually Morrigan caught a whiff of peppermint on the air.
“Prepare yourself,” she said with a smile. Ivan stepped out of the mansion. The man was tall, strong, and his white hair and matching beard went well with his smile, which displayed perfect white teeth. He rushed forward to meet them, unbuttoning his overcoat to embrace Morrigan.
“Morrie, You came through the back way?” He said.
“Wanted to show off a bit.” Morrigan replied, tilting her head slightly in Tyler's direction.
“And who is this?” Ivan asked.
“My other half. Ivan, meet Tyler." The man's massive fist absorbed Tyler's as they shook hands.
“Pleasure to meet the man who tamed the shrew.”  
— From Blood and Ashes
The Oxford Cabal is widely considered a major organization in The Web, despite consisting of less than a thousand members at any given point in time. While many would classify them as Troubleshooters due to their size, their influence and power is second to none. They are most known for their ability to use The Prestige, the magic system of The Web.

The cabal began as a research effort through Oxford in the late 1800s. The founders were often ridiculed for their practice, focusing their study on mediums and arcane texts. Most of these studies yielded little to no results, which led to insufficient funding as well as several ruined careers.

Those who took part were considered delusional. They searched for lost cities, proof of the occult, and discovering the truth in legends and folklore instead of true scientific study. By the late 1920s, the Oxford branch of paranormal research firmly believed they were to be shut down completely.

The Prestige

The branch was given a final chance. Reports of those with phenomenal power came in from across the globe. The reports spread across several decades, ranging from witches assaulting police with spells during a protest by the women's suffrage movement to a single soldier in World War One, who wiped out scores of British troops, without firing a single round. The reports were vague, and many considered it to be superstition and hyperbole.

Upon closer examination, the researchers found there were many individuals across the globe that shared a gift they referred to as The Prestige. The Prestige comes with its own culture, kept hidden from the prying eyes of those who are not capable of using it. The researchers discovered many strange cults that worshiped what remained of long-dead gods, individuals who possessed unique and singular abilities or various talents that brought both fascination and terror, and proof of a bygone era when such matters were not kept secret.

Some of these fascinating individuals ended up joining the branch, allowing its members to learn the same skills. Most were not so eager to be found. Many individuals that the branch came across were hostile and desperate to protect their secrets. When the findings were revealed, those in charge believed the information too dangerous for the public eye. This led to the disbandment of the Oxford branch of paranormal research and led to the establishment of what will be known as The Oxford Cabal.

The Estate

The Estate is the name of The Oxford Cabal's base of operations. The Estate takes up nearly three square miles of land, and at its center lies a huge mansion. The Mansion has nearly seventy-five bedrooms across its three floors along with numerous bathrooms, kitchens, and common areas for its members.

The most impressive feature of The Estate is its Library. The library features many texts both new and old. The library is also enchanted in many ways, particularly when it comes to accessing its texts. Members of the cabal can go into any library and will always encounter an ornate wooden door secluded out of sight somewhere within.

Opening the door will allow access to The Cabal's library, and the wealth of arcane knowledge it contains. This is also the best way to move to and from The Estate if elsewhere in the world. The estate also uses refurbished aircraft when traveling, using a small airstrip found on the Estate.

The Antideluvian Age

One of the first and greatest finds of the original members in the organization was the discovery of The Antideluvian Age. Often referred to as the Gilded Age, it represents a Time well before recorded history. During this time humanity was at its technological height, magic flowed freely, and the gods themselves moved among their worshipers as equals. Cities would float in the sky and on the sea and the people lived in utopian bliss.

The text, referred to as The Simplistus Arcana, explains all this information, as well as providing detailed sources and magical teachings. This text alone is what many consider proof of the era's existence. It also details a cataclysm. This cataclysm was referred to as The Yggdrasil Shudder, and any other mention or detail of the event is missing or simply omitted.

There are many who question the validity of the text. First, off it is written Latin, a language that did not exist until well after the beginning of recorded history. Secondly, the sources cannot actually be verified as none of them are known to anyone on the planet. Many are still convinced, as a magical teaching with in the book are still valid And are essential to fully practice The Prestige.

The Second Shudder

The belief in this lost age is firmly cemented when a quasi-immortal man by the name of Theodore 'Teddy' Klein joined the Cabal. Theodore Became a person of interest due to his constant Reference to an event he calls the Second Shudder, a cataclysm that is set to destroy the world.The Cabal's research and numbers never crossed Theodore's path before, leading even the most avid of skeptics to question their stance on the matter.

Damon and Morrigan

The newest iteration of the branch did not have a name, The Oxford cabal being the name given to the organization by two of its newest and most prominent members. Damon Elton and Morrigan Frasier quickly Became the de-facto leaders of the cabal. Morrigan was capable of using the prestige in such a way that no one else could, and is considered the most powerful practitioner in the world. Damon only possesses a single ability from The Prestige, but one powerful when employed correctly.

Damon possesses what the cabal calls "Sight Through Ashes," A passive psychic trait that allows him to consume ashes and gain insight into whatever the ashes belonged to before being burned. The cast of this gift, however, is that the ashes Can only be consumed when under an altered state of mind. In Damon's case, this altered state of mind comes from the consumption of alcohol.

Morrigan was originally reluctant to join. Being a free spirit, it took convincing from Damon, who at the time was her significant other. She went on to find many other talented individuals to join the organization, including Theodore Klein, Ivan Oblonsky, and Mercedes Bisset.  


World War II was a big deal for the cabal. Many of their members were drafted to fight, and several died. The organization also had misgivings with the fact that they were treated as animals, pointed at a threat and commanded to neutralize it, only to be confined to a secluded estate like a cage when their task was done.

When the war ended, so too did the relationship and connection to a government agency. Morrigan used her command of The Prestige to hide the estate in plain sight. The estate is now tucked away in the labyrinth of London, invisible to anyone who either doesn't know or has no business knowing it exists.

The only way one can enter the estate is through a particular alleyway that leads to more places than one. They would spend several years in seclusion before being approached by members of the British government to join The Web. Initially they declined, but when it was made clear they would have complete authority over their own actions, they agreed.

In The Present

While the two began their life in the cabal as a couple, Damon's alcoholism, as well as the organization's difference in agenda, caused Morrigan to begin distancing herself from the cabal, and ending her relationship with Damon. While she is still a prominent member and assists the cabal when needed, she does not play as active of a role in the organization that she did before, sometimes spending months to years before strolling the halls of The Estate once more.

Damon remains as the head of the organization, but the organization is largely separate from the rest of The Web. Their attentions lie elsewhere, far more focused on preventing the coming end of the world. They believe a cataclysm is near, and seek to postpone it in whatever way they can.

When met by members of other organizations, the cabalists are usually part of an Eberstark Union, or assisting due to similar goals. They're lack in numbers, however, prevents Them from having a more active role in the various operations held by organizations of The Web. Newer members have difficulty believing The Cabal even exists due to how rare it is to meet their agents in the field.

Articles under The Oxford Cabal

Cover image: by Uncatchable


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12 Feb, 2020 16:50

My P.I. character concept might benefit from becoming a member, Especially because there's always that mystery to be solved about the second end of the world.   Quick question; How did people survive the first Yggdrasil Shudder, and would it work for the second, theoretically? I believe an investigation is in order!   Anyway, I love how this is basically a faction of lovecraftian scholars.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
12 Feb, 2020 18:08

Absolutely. The mystery is a huge part of the fiction in of The Web. The lovecraftian scholar thing is very appropriate.     As far as your question, no one knows. No one even knows what the cataclysm was. Theodore isn't sure if its a bad thing or a good thing. What they have found is that wiping out life wasn't the "goal" of this cataclysm or at least, not as many people died as one would think.   Thanks so much for the comments!

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