Clara de Ardo – Matriarch (Rank ???), 2001-present
Bronwyn Nurse – Rank 5 Mage
Mabel Eastey – Rank 5 Healer
Roland Blake III – Rank 5 Alchemist
💁🏽 We can further classify witches by rank and type; there are five ranks ranging from 1 (beginner) to 5 (expert), and three types: mages, healers, and specialists. The former two are common among all covens, whereas the specialist type is dependent on the group. The De Ardo Coven’s specialist tends to rotate with each new matriarch. These three lead their designated types from under the watchful eye of the matriarch. Back to ranks, ranks 1-3 are considered part of the apprenticeship period.
Nerea de Ardo – 1976-2001
Veronica de Ardo – 1951-1976
Estela de Ardo – 1926-1951 (deceased)
Ainhoa de Ardo – 1901-1926 (deceased)
Alba de Ardo – 1876-1901 (deceased)
Antonia de Ardo – 1851-1876 (deceased)
Lucia de Ardo – 1826-1851 (deceased)
Uxia de Ardo – 1801-1826 (deceased)
💁🏽 The De Ardo Coven is traditionally matrilineal; the firstborn daughter is always slated to be the next to lead. Since the matriarch’s firstborn child was always female, this had never been an issue until Val was born. Nerea tried to convince Clara to deny Val her birthright, but Clara refused, citing that she would overthrow the entire system just so Val had her chance to lead. This was more than a decade prior to Val’s surprise transition and only ever discussed behind closed doors, so the heir was unaware of this conflict.
Valoree de Ardo – Rank 5 Mage, first heir
Caricia de Ardo – Rank 2 Mage Apprentice, second heir
Axel de Ardo – third heir
💁🏽 As Clara’s firstborn, Val will always be first in line to lead the coven. Since Cari is the second heir to both the De Ardo and Quercini Covens, she’s only allowed to step up and lead in the event that the first heirs are unable to–and she’s only allowed to lead one coven at a time, not both. With that in mind, Clara made arrangements so that Axel would lead if all else fails… She just hasn’t told him yet.
Members Attending AOA
Wihnhilda Nurse – Rank 3 Mage Apprentice, senior
Rafael Solart – Rank 3 Fortuneteller Apprentice, senior
Madalynn Blake – Rank 3 Alchemist Apprentice, junior
Evanora Eastey – Rank 2 Healer Apprentice, sophomore
Helena Corey – Rank 1 Healer Apprentice, freshman
Mireia de Ardo – Rank 5 Mage
Roland Blake II – Rank 5 Alchemist
Eldridge Burke – Rank 5 Mage
Destiny Burke – Rank 5 Mage
Barnaby Burke – Rank 5 Mage
Ruth Burke – Rank 5 Mage
Glenn Bird – Rank 5 Alchemist
Jolene Corey – Rank 5 Healer
Rune Eastey – Rank 5 Healer
Tia Eastey – Rank 5 Healer
Julieta de Ardo – Rank 5 Mage
Elsa de Ardo – Rank 5 Mage
Rodney Blake – Rank 5 Alchemist
Isaac Burke – Rank 5 Mage
Percy Douglas – Rank 5 Healer
Emory Bird – Rank 5 Alchemist
Emerson Bird – Rank 4 Alchemist
Mae Corey – Rank 5 Healer
Melissa Corey – Rank 5 Healer
Pearl Eastey – Rank 5 Healer
Maddock Eastey – Rank 5 Healer
Emelie Solart – Rank 5 Fortuneteller
Clarence Burke – Rank 5 Mage
Ursa Burke – Rank 4 Mage
Zion Burke – Rank 4 Mage
Galen Burke – Rank 4 Mage
Aurelia Burke – Rank 4 Mage
Alexander Berry – Rank 2 Mage Apprentice
Elsa Alcaide – Rank 2 Mage Apprentice
Hugo Montemayor – Rank 2 Illusionist Apprentice
💁🏽 This list is just a small portion of the witches in the De Ardo Coven. They have recruited Enchanter families from all over the Americas, Europe, and the United Kingdom.
The De Ardo Coven is one of the oldest witch groups to date. They are the descendants of Ardo, the last Visigothic king of Hispania and his witch mistress, Xixili, who was said to be doubly blessed by both Lilura and Otsana, the goddesses of magick and the moon, respectively. Xixili’s blessings were diminished by her lover’s dismal luck; his reign lasted less than a decade before the kingdom was invaded. Ardo sent his pregnant mistress off to seek shelter with her small coven while he stayed behind, valiantly defending his dwindling kingdom for a few more years before his untimely demise. Xilili went into hiding, taking the name Ortixa de Ardo and using her uncanny aptitude for affinities to amass power and loyal followers. Their daughter, Katelina, was born to a coven that treated her like royalty.
Ortixa had met and fallen for the father of her daughter while still young and, wishing to avoid any heartache in her daughter’s future, instilled a rule: their coven would seek out properly vetted mates, seduce them for a night of bliss, conceive a daughter, and then dispose of the father by way of a well-timed hex or jinx. At the time, the only members of the coven were women, and the sisterhood gladly welcomed the rules set in place by their matriarch. She had set in stone other rules, such as that an heir had to reach her 25th birthday before becoming the next matriarch, and that no one affinity would be prioritized over the others.
As the generations passed, the matriarch’s grew more lenient, allowing male-led witch families to join their numbers. This would eventually lead to members starting families together, which the witch heads ultimately came to allow as it led to stronger bloodlines. They even allowed their witches to pair with those of other covens, seeking to strengthen their future generations while also securing peace with their rivals. However, descendants of Ortixa were barred from this practice, as having an heir sired by that of another coven’s witch could lead to complications.
The world expanded and evolved, and Hispania became divided into new lands. Witches were accustomed to practicing their craft in secret, but as monotheistic religions took over, many had to throw off the scent of Council of the Supreme. When it came to light that the Grand Inquisitor was none other than a berserker, or a human who hunted magickal beings, the coven knew they had to spread out and go deeper under cover. Thankfully, a small percentage of Spanish cases led to execution, and the witches were allowed to hide in plain sight for nearly four centuries. Needless to say, they faired far better than the Bach Coven, who lost over sixty percent of their charges throughout this time period.
Even so, the De Ardo Coven became splintered into three factions: the main coven in Spain and Portugal, the second coven in France, and the third in the United Kingdom. The French and English witches split off entirely, having lost faith in their witch heads, and some families even traveled to the new world. Those that made their way to the Caribbean would eventually create the Luna and De Mortie covens; those that remained in Britain fended for themselves for a while before settling into the Bloodworth and Hollingsworth covens. A few loyal families remained in France in the hopes of returning the De Ardo name to its former glory. Probably the most surprising was the split between the main coven, when the most prestigious Portuguese witches fled to South America and founded the Serafim Coven.
Over time, it became apparent that staying rooted in one spot would do more harm than good. A team of scouts was sent ahead to pre-Civil War America, and then matriarch Antonia de Ardo followed soon after. It was only a year and a half into the war when she found a young vampire who had been turned against his will. His entire family–his parents, siblings, and grandmother–had all been drained of their blood, along with several livestock and farm animals. The young man’s blood lust was out of control, but when he wept over the atrocities he had committed, Antonia took pity on him. She adopted him as her eternally youthful ward and gifted him a magick charm to curb his appetite. Axelrod Hausmannin became Axel de Ardo, and he spent the next one hundred and fifty eight years fighting his demons under the watchful eye of the de Ardo matriarchs, as they were the only ones around strong enough to keep him at bay. There were a few times when he slipped up, such as when he ran away from home in 1875–spurred on by Antonia’s impending retirement–and found himself caught up in a series of altercations in New Mexico. When he eventually returned to the coven, Alba (Antonia’s daughter, and the new matriarch) assured him he would always have a place there. He has since remained with the main family and focused on overcoming his appetite.
The coven entered the modern era, and old rivals became allies and (in some cases) new recruits. Many of the New England families were absorbed by the De Ardos with promises of wealth, status, and power, which were easily delivered. The bad blood between the de Ardos and the De Morties dissipated as the two families became like friends. The Naismith, Young, and Towne covens were left to their own devices, allowing the shadow-aligned forerunner to become the second largest coven in the northeastern United States. They also maintained alliances with many of the other main families, such as Hawkins, Bloodworth, and Quercini–and the latter partnership is what introduced Clara de Ardo to Alfonso Quercini.
They had quite a lot in common; both witches came from affluent families and commanded respect. Both already found human mates and had one child each. And, most importantly, both were in love with the Mediterranean Sea and its adjoining beaches. One thing led to another and, nine months later, Caricia de Ardo was born, the product of two high-ranking witch heads of the most influential covens in history. They parted ways with Cari in Clara’s custody; the second heir discovered her father’s identity when she was very young through gossip that had spread throughout the coven, and could all but study him from afar at social gatherings.
With all the families at their disposal, there is no limit to the income brought in, and Clara is sure to reinvest much of that wealth into the business endeavors of her charges. Between the Burke family’s company Forgence Security, which provides a person or party with private security personnel armed with both human weapons and witchcraft; Essence, the prestigious fashion magazine run by the Nurse family; and the Eastey family’s high-end fashion brand, The Garden, the matriarch was able to fund some startup projects such as Odina Technologies. Alchemist Emory Bird and his brother Emerson founded the company and created its relative app Fortuna, which allows both mortal and magickal users to seek jobs and paid tasks in their area per their expertise and interests. For the occult, the app can sense their magick, allowing them to search for relevant listings. It is because of this unique feature that utilizes Emory’s magick tracking spells that L.O.R.E. sought out the Bird brothers and requested their aid in tracking down criminals. It is unknown if Clara or the other witch heads were made aware of this arrangement, but one can assume they were not.
With her time as matriarch coming to an end, Clara has been seeking to add as many smaller covens to their numbers as possible, beginning with the grudge-carrying New England families and their followers.