The Council of Royal and Select Masters is referred to as Cryptic Masonry and takes its name from the word Crypt having its origins in the Greek language meaning a concealed place or subterranean vault. Indeed the degrees of royal Master and Select Master deal with the vault under the Temple of Solomon.
Originally the degrees were placed between the Craft Lodge and Chapter degrees and the stories contained are like a bridge connecting the two branches. The Super Excellent Master degree, while conferred by the Council of Royal and Select Masters is not truly a Cryptic Degree as it does not pertain to the crypt or vault.
Sadly the Cryptic Rite of Freemasonry is often overlooked by many Masons on their way to the Chivalric degrees as it is not a prerequisite for admission. The Mason who misses this Masonic body misses a great deal for the degrees conferred in dramatic representations are rich with Masonic history and instruction.