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HOME >> Product 0509 >> Lords of Magic>>

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Lords of Magic

Gary Van Haas

At the funeral of the infamous, Lord Lester Rowley, a young newspaper reporter is told about Rowley’s life story from Rowley’s old friend, Lord Greyhall. Lord Greyhall recounts Rowley’s mischievous childhood, colored by regular beatings from his Priest-father, and an insatiable interest in magic and the occult as a young man.


Rowley rises through the ranks of magicians at the ‘Order of the Golden Dawn’, an occultist order attracting many of the celebrities and creative talents of the period, including Arthur Conan Doyle and William Butler Yeats. At one point in the Golden Dawn, Rowley and his associate, Macgregor Dathers attempt to take over the Order, trying to direct it toward a new and darker levels. However, when the Order’s leaders pressure Rowley and Dathers to leave their cult. So Dathers and Rowley decide to move to Paris to form their own new Order.

During his travels through Europe in the1920s, Rowley encounters many young artists and writers of the times, such a Somerset Maugham, Alfred Stieglitz, and Ernest Hemmingway. Some are fascinated by Rowley’s knowledge of the occult, others are frightened by it.

While staying at Dathers’ mansion in Paris, he and Rowley invoke a spirit’s guidance on how to proceed with forming their new Order. Then Dathers is visited by a beautiful young man called, ‘Horus’ who claims to be a reincarnation of occultist legend ‘Eliphas Levi’. Rowley is sceptical of ‘Horus’ and his claims, but Dathers takes his arrival as a sign sent from the spirit world, and invites ‘Horus’ and his wife to move into his mansion with him. Rowley and Dathers have a heated argument about the couple, which results in Rowley leaving Paris. He would eventually return to Paris, but he and Dathers would have a bitter argument which ends with Dathers and Rowley unleashing curses and demonic attacks upon one another, until Dathers’ death.

Over the years Rowley would grow more eccentric and daring in his pursuits of the occult, as he dabbles in drugs to help him conjure up spirits. There would be a marriage and divorce, destitution and help of from and old friend that gets him back on his feet again. He uses the funds to set up own new cult in an old abandoned church abbey in Italy, where he proceeds to instruct students in the arts of spirit invocation involving the use of drugs and sexual freedoms. The abbey draws the attention of U.S. movies starlets, famous writers, aristocrats, and celebrities from all over the world. However, things go awry when rumors of sexual orgies and live sacrifices make front pages news in the Italian and American newspapers. Rowley is ordered to leave Italy by order from Mussolini himself after Rowley has been labeled a “Satan Worshipper”. Rowley goes to New York to write his memoirs, but publishers there denounce him as a sexual deviant, and he is once again destitute and broke, and now ravaged by the effects of drug addiction…..

At the end of the story, Lord Greyhall is sitting on a gravestone finishing his narration of Rowley’s remarkable life to the same young newspaper reporter. Then Greyhall gets up and leaves, disappearing into the mist. After he’s gone, the young reporter notices Lord Greyhall’s name on the tombstone they were sitting on, and in horror, he finally realizes that he has been conversing with a ghost!





29877 Words





Cover Art:

Gary Van Haas


W. Richard St. James


Gary Van Haas

ISBN Number:


Available Formats:

PDF; Microsoft Reader(LIT); Palm (PDB); Nook, Iphone, Ipad, Android (EPUB); Older Kindle (MOBI); Newer Kindle (AZW3);




A RICKETY MULE-driven cart carrying a casket lumbered lazily along, creaking, bobbing down a stone cobbled path towards Brooks Cemetery, where a restless crowd of unruly people lined the road. Between the oppressive rain someone shouted obscenities at the cart, while others threw stones. No doubt, they had no love for the deceased and an unrestrained sense of gloom filled the grey afternoon. One lucky rock-toss hit the lifeless body contained within the elaborately decorated coffin, but to no avail; the man was dead and not to be troubled further in this frivolous world.

My father had once told me never judge a man on hearsay, but upon actions and deeds. It was not hard to ascertain this poor dead soul had created many hateful enemies and admonishers among a few admirers. The question was, why?

When the cart came to a full stop at the top of the hill, a light mist filled the air, and as a young novice reporter covering the affair, it was time for inquiry. My name is Robert Thompson Simms from Chelsea in the West End, and it was my task was to report on the event.

Taking my place among the attendees, I moved restlessly toward a tall, elegant dressed gentleman standing decisively at the back of the mourners, of whom had encircled the cart after it came to a halt at the end of the procession.

I bushed past the disorderly mob to get closer to my target of inquiry; the statuesque Lord was tall, light skinned, wearing a fashionable black suit with tails and black top-hat. Coming closer, I noticed the old fellow’s face was gaunt and pale, somewhere in his late seventies, and his delicate skin was wrinkled, almost translucent in nature with light blue veins visible around the cheeks and eyes. His fine hair was the purest of white and his face wraithlike, drawn and ashen. In all he seemed quite old, yet gentle in nature.

“Lord Greyhall?” I called out.

He looked down at me indifferently, possibly wondering who this unworthy, adolescent upstart was.

“What can I do for you, young man?” he said glancing over me with little more than idle curiosity.

“Name’s Robert Simms, sir. I’m a reporter for The London Times. I’ve heard so many incredible tales about this man, Lester Rowley. Did you know him?”

“Indeed, I knew him,” the Lord scoffed with a slight grin then turned inward, reminiscing. “Rowley…Rowley, where does one begin? I can tell you this much… he was a devilish rogue and a far-flung exotic character to say the least!”

“Can you tell me a little about him? Was he a friend?”

Greyhall chuckled to himself silently and closed his umbrella, “Friend? – Oh, I wouldn’t call him that.”

“They claim he was an evil occultist,” I blurted, taking out my pad and pen.

Greyhall turned his gaze from me, deep in thought.

“He was more than that, my lad. He was a bona fide genius, an intrepid adventurer who dared penetrate the little understood, surreptitious world of ritual magic and the occult.”

“Penetrated the world of magic, sir? How so…?” I pressed, jotting notes.

“Rowley for the most part was extremely fascinated with the occult, and like an attentive scientist, experimented penetrating into the terrifying, deep dark regions of the consciousness and supernatural.”




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 Occult, possession, cult, Golden Dawn, marriage, spirits, rumours, sexual orgies,

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