If French author Leo Taxil is to be believed, the Palladian Order was perhaps the greatest occult hoax of all time. The Palladian Order was said to be a Satanic cult within Freemasonry that indulged in every type of sexual depravity imaginable, as well as anything that the Catholic Church would find offensive. Rumors about the Order started in 1884 and would last until 1897, when Taxil sensationally admitted that the whole Order was a hoax.
During the latter part of the Imperial Age, the Palladian Order is the symbol of Satanism. Public fascination and curiosity would lead many people to seek more knowledge about the order. Even freemasons investigated their own society in the hopes of discovering who was part of the Palladian Order. Authors and journalists would add to the mysteries of the Order.
In an Imperial Age campaign, of course, the Palladian Order can be real. Perhaps there really is a small group of freemasons participating in black masses and orgies. Perhaps the Palladian Order is the true successor of the Hell Fire Club. In a historical campaign, this is merely a group of hedonists. In a magickal campaign, the Palladian Order can be a society of dark magicians, offering their souls to demons for more power. The Palladian Order can provide an ideal enemy for the Golden Dawn and other occult societies.
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