The Royal Society rests a little easier thanks to the Pax Alba. Say whatever else they will about the frosty detente, the Fellows know the Seers' strength choked out opportunities for other enemies to gain a foothold. The state of complacency does no one any favours now. Edinburgh's instability is starting to attract Banishers, Scelesti, and worse in numbers for the first time in years, and the Consilium's defenders have good reason to worry about who will show up to exploit its weaknesses.
Edinburgh lacks a reputation as a city accepting rehabilitated traitors with open arms. The hardest enemies to forgive are the ones once called friend, lover, mentor, family. No pain cuts quite as strong as the trusted colleagues who turned their back on the Royal Society and all the Orders stand for. Losing the idealism of youth and withdrawing into a secluded, mundane life is a far cry from renouncing the Awakened altogether, and another magnitude below colluding with hostile forces and actively resisting the Orders. The Royal Society reserves a special hatred for turncoat Fellows, and even reactionary Magistrates move quickly to check former members from doing any damage.
Traitors and hidden sympathizers caused terrible losses to the Royal Society and its allies during the late Victorian battles to reclaim Glasgow from the Seers of the Throne. Idealistic Fellows petitioned the senior Council to spare captured Edinburgh mages found guilty of colluding with the Seers, with terrible consequences. Two "redeemed" mages led Royal Society parties into ambushes; another passed secrets on to Seers embedded in the German armies that killed three Steel Legionnaires during the Clydesbank Blitz. Grim lessons learned the hard way altered the policy of handling traitors, and not for the better, some pacifists believe.
Marginal threats, like a vocal former initiate, may be neutralized by a timely visit from a Steel Legionnaire and the Guardians’ helpful alterations to a few personnel records. The senior Council mobilizes its formidable resources when concerted or powerful traitors undermine the Consilium’s security, disregarding complaints about using a sledgehammer where a dagger would do. Suspected defectors rarely manage to reach the haven of their new allies, and justice delivered by heartbroken cabalmates or infuriated mages is often final.
Royal Society records date the last Scelesti cabal incursion to 1945. Fate-sworn bindings supposedly placed by Guardian orders seal all other information about that failed, last-ditch effort by a Nazi cabal to sow terror among the Scots. Accursed enter Scotland at great physical and spiritual peril. The Seers of the Throne and the Royal Society spare no effort or resources to eradicate suspected Scelesti and their sympathizers. Encounters are so rare that apprentices often have trouble accepting those who follow the Left-Handed Paths as anything more than monsters or myths.
The Seers of the Throne
Indisputably the Royal Society’s greatest enemy, the Seers work to extinguish all traces of the Supernal Realms and dominate Edinburgh. What they cannot conquer, they subvert; what they cannot manipulate, they destroy.
The Royal Society has a storied history of squaring the Seers and challenging the status quo with shocking, often violent results. They hunted down infiltrators in Parliament and the universities. Led by the Lumen Society, Victorian mages waged a decade-long war to oust pylons from Glasgow and restore the shattered city’s Consilium. Lasting hatred borne of those battles and the Royal Society’s turbulent foundation fuels a deep loathing for the Seers. Both sides fought each other to a frosty detente that has endured for thirty years. Heralded as a victory by some and a folly by the infuriated Philologi, the Pax Alba brought lessened fears of a wetworks squad bursting through the sanctum doors. The Steel Legion redoubled the defenses and Guardian spies gathered information, awaiting a pylon to strike a blow. None did. Their inaction speaks to the Ministries’ complicity in Edinburgh’s stagnation; their complicity implies internal weaknesses that hawkish factions would dearly like to exploit before the Pax Alba fails.
Tremors weakening the Ministries are sending shockwaves that foretell a larger quake or lessened pressure. Politically astute mages suspect a shake up in the power structure. Tacticians and the Lumen Society care for effects, not causes, and advocate striking a telling blow for the first time in a generation. Divided opinions reflects the split nature of the Consilium itself.
Collectively, Banishers and the Mad have failed to make substantial in-roads in Edinburgh before discovery and inevitable neutralization. The Royal Society dispatches Steel Legionnaires or, in limited cases, sentinels to enforce the mystical boundaries with whatever force is deemed necessary. Seer cells shoot first and ask questions of the corpses as suits their obscure goals later. Between two unrelenting foes grinding them to dust, Banishers stand little chance of infiltrating the city and surviving long enough to expose the Awakened, much less establishing any kind of effective threat.