Vast oceans of time ago, I noted an almost-saint for Hermetic magicians. Cyprian was a student who sold his soul for infernal tutoring in spellcasting. He then turned on his tutor, and became a Christian martyr. In Hermetic Europe he became a saint. He’s the St Cyprian of Antioch after whom the church at Valnastium is named, in which the Founder Jerbiton is buried.

The version of his story I’m familiar with probably originally came from Arabic folklore, and was retooled to a Christian narrative in Spain. That being said, he apparently was a saint – I thought he was just a holy martyr. Remember that “Sanctuary of Ice” was published before Google. Slightly later than 1220 there was a popular book called the Golden Legend (Legenda Aurea), by  Jacobus da Varagine and it lists Cyprian as a saint, under the story of his beloved – Saint Justina. They were martyred in 290, and their saint’s day is on 26 September. As paired saints, it would have been better to have named the church of Valnasitum for them both.

Pedro Calderon de la Barca wrote a play about them in the 17th century, and it was translated into English in the 19th Century. The ever-enterprising people over at Librivox have done a full table read of it, freely downloadable and copyright clear. The demon in it has some excellent little speeches. You may hear my voice turn up, as I play one of the minor parts.

I’m terrible at writing up saints, but clearly I should put that problem aside and write up these tow, since they are particularly concerned with magi. The Infernal Saint of Sorrow, who was written up in full in the Cornish material, has a weakness to the Cult of the Virgin, and it might be that Saints Justina and Cyprian are a source of aid against her corrupting influence.

Stats eventually.


Text form vis Project Gutenberg
Audio form from Librivox.

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