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The Desolation is one of The Entities. It is a manifestation of pain, loss and unthinking or cruel destruction: "all of the worst parts of fire, with none of the warmth." Jude Perry calls it "a reckoning, a surging tide of destruction and pain" and "blackened earth, the destructive agonising heat of burning flesh and land scoured of life, the light with the comfort of fire stripped from it, leaving nothing but the terror of its approach."[1]

The Desolation is worshipped by The Cult of the Lightless Flame. Cult members are enriched by destroying the lives of people who had reasons to live and destroying things before their potential is realised. In exchange, the cult members can create extreme heat, but not fire, and gain the ability to manipulate skin as if it were wax.

This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.



Other Appearances[]


  • The Cult of the Lightless Flame
    • Agnes Montague: Messiah of the lightless flame, brought into the world as part of The Desolation's ritual.
    • Jude Perry: Acolyte of the Lightless Flame and one of the newer members of the cult
    • Diego Molina: High ranking member of the cult, referred to The Desolation as 'Asag'
    • Arthur Nolan: Former head of the cult, demoted after Agnes' death.
    • Eugene Vanderstock: A "thoroughly unpleasant little man," 'killed' by Gertrude Robinson[2]
    • Eileen Montague: Mother of Agnes Montague, died in childbirth.
  • A man who 'burned on the inside'[3]
  • 'Inspector Sands'[4]


  • Jude Perry's domain in the post-Change world: A building that constantly burns, with families trapped within, unable to escape. Arthur Nolan was noted to exist within this building.
  • The Furnace: A Desolation aligned domain in the post-Change world where inhabitants are forced to shovel carts full of the things they love into a furnace.


The Desolation's ritual involved the creation of Agnes Montague as a messiah and incarnation of flame that was to bring about "The Scoured Earth”. She became temporarily unable to fulfil the ritual when the Web bound her to Gertrude Robinson.[2] The Cult of the Lightless Flame, fearing that a violent death would also harm Agnes, decided to wait for Gertrude to die of old age.

In 2006 Agnes was afflicted with doubt and realised she may be unable to complete the ritual. Rather than attempting it, leading to centuries of waiting before it could be attempted again, Agnes decided to die a cold and quiet death. She hoped her spark would return to the Lightless Flame and allow for a new ritual attempt much sooner.[5]

Connections with other Entities[]

  • Jude Perry worked with The Stranger to burn down Gwydir Forest in Wales in 2014.[6]
  • The Lonely, The Desolation, and The Dark are all associated with cults. The Lukas Family are described by Evan Lukas as very "religious,"[7] The Desolation has The Cult of the Lightless Flame,[1] and The Dark has The People's Church of the Divine Host.[8]
  • Agnes Montague was sent to live at Hill Top Road, a stronghold of the Web, for several years. She saves at least one of the resident's from the Web's machinations and the house is ultimately destroyed in a fire.[9]
    • Agnes Montague was also bound to Gertrude Robinson through the Web
  • After losing his leadership position in The Cult of the Lightless Flame, Arthur Nolan discovers a nest of the Corruption. He ultimately burns the nest by immolating himself.[2]
  • The Desolation and The Web seem to have an antagonistic relationship.
    • When Gertrude Robinson discovered and attempted to counter the Desolation's ritual, The Web metaphysically bound her to Agnes Montague, thus stalling their ritual.
    • This may be why a young Agnes was placed under the care of Raymond Fielding at Hill Top Road. While there she thwarts Raymond's attempt to trap Ronald Sinclair and eventually burns the house down.
    • While the house is still strongly connected to The Web, The Desolation seems to have also left its mark on the place.
    • In MAG 196, The Web seems displeased that Agnes burnt down Hill Top Road.
    • In MAG 67, Agnes burns a cobweb, and another agent of The Desolation held a box filled with spiders.
    • In MAG 147, Daisy mentions that The Web "doesn't get on great with fire", according to John, hence why they used magnesium flares when searching Hill Top Road.