The Chief Hermetic Scribe is the scribe who is in charge of the Manuscriptorium.
The Chief Hermetic Scribe is picked using 5 steps:
- Step 1: The current Chief Hermetic Scribe must die or retire.
- Step 2: Each scribe in the Manuscriptorium should place his or her pen in the Draw Pot.
- Step 3: The former Chief Hermetic Scribe or the most senior scribe should take the Pot in the Hermetic Chamber. It is left there overnight.
- Step 4: When morning comes, the youngest scribe will be sent to the Chamber. One pen will be lying on the table. While the other pens will be left inside the Pot.
- Step 5: And whoever owns the pen will be the new Chief Hermetic Scribe. He or she works and possibly lives in the Hermetic Chamber, a circular chamber that contains a large round table that took up most of the space, and a looking glass.
Known Chief Hermetic Scribes
- Tertius Fume: Tertius was the first Chief Hermetic Scribe, setting up the Manuscriptorium. His ghost still haunts the Vaults.
- Waldo Watkins: A quiet man and a much-respected Chief Hermetic Scribe, Waldo bravely held out for ten years against the Chief Custodian's demand of putting the Manuscriptorium to Darke uses. Unlike other Chief Hermetic Scribes, Waldo chose to live outside the Manuscriptorium instead of the apartment above it. Late one night, on the way back to his house in the Castle wall, Waldo was ambuhed by a troop of Custodian Guards and was never seen again.
- Hugh Fox: As an unremarkable scribe for twenty five years, Hugh Fox was picked because he would follow the wishes of DomDaniel and unlock the secrets of The Undoing of the Darknesse, a book DomDaniel stole from Marcia Overstrand. To ensure Hugh being chosen, DomDaniel fixed the Pick. Everyone knew about it, but no-one was brave enough to say anything. They all wondered who was meant to be Chief Hermetic Scribe instead.
- Jillie Djinn: Jillie was the scribe who should have been Picked instead of Hugh Fox. Marcia believes that Jillie is undoubtedly a good person, but has a lack of skill in assessing people's true characters, which Marcia believes may put the Manuscriptorium in danger. She is extremely knowledgable, but awfully boring. Despite a fairly effective career as CHS, during which she aids Marcia in recovering Septimus from the past, her downfall comes when she hires Merrin Meredith (disguised as Daniel Hunter) and fires her trusted deputy Beetle, resulting in Merrin basing himself in the Manuscriptorium and creating a Darke Domaine. Jillie dies during the Undoing of the Darkenesse, perhaps because of the strain of bearing a Maund.
- O. Beetle Beetle: The first Chief Hermetic Scribe to be picked in a fair way since Tertius Fume infected the Pick, Beetle is instrumental in restoring some of the Manuscriptorium's lost knowledge. As CHS, Beetle investigates Marcellus Pye's use of the Great Chamber of Fyre. Later, he takes Oskar Sarn into the Manuscriptorium, and the boy along with his friends Tod and Ferdie prove instrumental in helping the Castle.