The Council of the 18 Gates is a magimystical organization who brought the Book of Briars to the present time.
The Council is a group that is dedicated to revealing the small bits of magiq that are still left in the world. According to The Last Oracular Eye, the Council is the reason why The Mountaineers have been able to perform magic, despite the world having largely been stripped of its magiqal essence. The Council acts from beyond the magiqal veil, sometimes using agents to perform actions in the mundane world. The Last Traveler and King Rabbit have acted as agents of the Council, helping them reach out to Mountaineers.
The Council was first mentioned in Fragment Eleven. After recruits discovered the Oracular Eye that Aether had sent to them, they chose to be informed about future illuminations and hope. In illuminating the Mountaineers, the Oracular Eye explained that the Council had brought the Book of Briars to the modern times and were working to help Mountaineers unlock it. The Council tracked down the small pockets of magiq remaining in the world so that the Mountaineers could perform magiqal acts. However, the Eye warned that all traces of magiq would disappear forever unless the Mountaineers, in league with the Council, "can change what is unknown, and undo what has undone."
When the Storm came for the Mountaineers and the Book of Briars in Fragment Twelve, it also mocked the Council. "As always, the Gates have moved to protect the worthless lives of their naive little mountain climbers. Ever lost, ever misinformed, reaching for a peak that you will never find. They care for you as they have never cared for previous manipulated acolytes. And in doing, they've made themselves vulnerable. They stretched their meager power too thin. Soon, what little power the Council still possesses will fade and they will disappear back into the Fray."
The Mountaineers learned more about the Council in "My Mother's Daughter." Sullivan had first encountered the Council when he began to be pursued by the Storm. Sullivan found that fewer and fewer doors would knock into Neithernor, until only the door in Central Park, where the Storm was barred, would open for him. Eventually he had nothing but the Ramble and all his regrets. But years later he felt a presence in the park. Faint and faded. It was the Council. What remained of them. They spoke to him, in the rustle of grass blades, in the chirp of baby birds. They were calling to him. They had sensed his presence too, also faint and faded. They’d found each other. Over the years they nursed each other back to life. He says he became brave enough to leave the park so he could collect objects and artifacts from the other time. He shared their power and the Council grew strong again. And together, over years, they came up with a plan. Sullivan, not wanting to die alone in the park, decided to place his faith in his Daughter, Deirdre. The Council was reluctant at first, but Sullivan convinced him that Deirdre was like her mother, and she would most certainly live up to her grand destiny.
In "Here/Where We Go," Sullivan Green told the Mountaineers what he knew about the Council. They had sent the Book of Briars, in varying forms, to groups for centuries. Groups analogous to the Mountaineers. They were particularly fond of those who have found themselves on the path of wool, perhaps because it was easier to reach ones seeking what they seek. It required immense power to send the book to the mundane world from where they are - an in-between place called “The Fray”, an unformed sort of purgatory where they became trapped when everything changed. It would take them decades, sometimes centuries, to gather enough magimystic energy to send the book, borrowing power from the mundane world, searching for power in theirs. The book persisted because in each era the 18 Gates used what power they had to not only send their cherished object to the mundane, but also to protect it from the Storm and its Master. They kept the book safe while also trying to spread what remained of that protection to those who tried to unlock it. But those on the path of silver wiped away almost everyone who tried to open it, and it became harder and harder to send it every time. Sullivan had changed something in the modern time, however - instead of using their powers to protect the Book, he convinced the Council to use their powers to protect the Mountaineers. They agreed after Sullivan told them his plan - they would bring the Book from 1998 back to the present using the help of Deirdre Green. With Deirdre, they would end the Storm once and for all and open the Book of Briars. The Book was burned in Fragment Twelve as a result, and remained as such until Fragment Fifteen, when it was successfully brought back on The Day of Change.
After The Monarch Papers Edit
In Saberlane's first publisher's letter, he revealed that he had received the blessings of the Council of the 18 Gates to publish the contents of the Book of Briars, saying it was "a story for another time."