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Ancient Magic

Credits
Authors: Erik Dahl (Adamic, Rune Magic), Timothy Additional Proofreading: John Nephew
Ferguson (The Hesperides), Jeff Kyer (Heron’s First Round Playtesters: Donna Giltrap, Malcolm
Mechanica), Richard Love (Canaanite Necromancy, Harbrow, Aaron Hicks, Richard Love; Matthew L.
Fertility Magic), John Post (Defixio Magic), Paul Seidl, Soraya Ghiasi; Mark Shirley, Camo Coffey, Dave
Tevis (The Magic of the Grigori), Alexander White Robertson, Andrew Walton; Sheila Thomas; MaPhi
(Hyperborean Magic) Werner; Sean Winslow, Andrew Reeves, Andrew
Editing & Project Management: David Chart Crabtree
Cover Illustration: Grey Thornberry Second Round Playtesters: Christian Jensen-Romer,
Interior Art: Jason Cole, Kelley Hensing, Brad McDevitt, Lloyd Graney, Peter Hiley, Kevin Sides, Ben Hayes,
Jeff Menges, Tony Parker Luke Price; Matt Ryan, Mario Cerame, Daniel Ilut,
Cartography: Patrick M. Murphy with Valerie Nix Robert W.B. Llwyd, Tobias Wheeler; Mark Shirley,
Ars Magica Fifth Edition Trade Dress: J. Scott Camo Coffey, Dave Robertson, Andrew Walton
Reeves Special Thanks: Jerry Corrick and the gang at the
Layout, Art Direction, & Proofreading: Jeff Tidball Source

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Ars Magica, Mythic Europe, Ancient Magic, City & Guild, Realms of Power: The Infernal, Realms
of Power: The Divine, Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults, Houses of Hermes: True Lineages, The
Mysteries, Covenants, Guardians of the Forests, The Broken Covenant of Calebais, and Charting
New Realms of Imagination are trademarks of Trident, Inc. Order of Hermes, Tremere, and
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Digital Edition Version 1.0


Ancient Magic

Table of Contents
Credits 2 The Clay Tablets................................ 36
At En-Dor............................................ 37
Arcane Ability Fertility Lore................ 55
Minor Hermetic Virtue:
En-Dor Regio Level One..................... 37 Fertility Ritual Magic........................... 55
Introduction 5 En-Dor Regio Level Two..................... 37 New Spells. ................................ 55
Welcome to Ancient Magic........ 5 The Ghosts of En-Dor......................... 38 New Items................................... 56
How to Use This Book.......................... 5 The Order of Hermes The Fertility Ritual................... 56
Ancient Magic and the and the Dead............................. 39 Balancing Traits.................................... 58
Order of Hermes................................... 6 Supernatural Traits............................... 58
Hermetic Integration of
Ancient Magic........................................ 7
III. Defixio Magic 41 Fertility Fetishes................................... 58
Learning Defixio Magic. ............ 41 Repeating a Fertility Ritual.................. 58
The Breakthrough.................................. 7 Cave Systems.............................. 59
Investigating Defixio Magic................. 41
Insight................................................... 8 Cave Painting Galleries....................... 60
Integrating Defixio Magic.................... 42
Creating the Effect................................. 8 Example Cave Systems........................ 60
New Duration: Event........................... 42
After the Breakthrough........................... 9 The Duergar’s Cave............................. 60
Event Duration Examples.................... 44
New Range: Unlimited........................ 45 The Cave of Lights.............................. 62
I. The Language of Adam 10 Unlimited Range Examples.................. 45 The Worm’s Cave................................ 62
Hermetic Integration........................... 11 Defixio Magic in Play.......................... 45 The Flooded Cave................................ 62
The Tower of Babel................... 12 Using Duration Event......................... 47 The Bone Cave.................................... 62
Seeking Lost Babylon.......................... 13 Using Range Unlimited....................... 47 Consequences of
The Encroaching Mongols.................. 15 Finding Defixiones. .................... 47 Fertility Magic........................... 63
The Garden of Eden.................. 18 Types of Defixiones............................. 48
The Guardians..................................... 18 Curse Tablets....................................... 48 V. Grigori Magic 65
The Animals......................................... 20 Silhouettes........................................... 48 The Secrets of the Grigori....... 66
The Fruits............................................. 21 Figurines............................................. 48 Finding the Magic of the Grigori 67
The Mark of Cain...................... 23 Formulae............................................. 48 The Lost Book of the Watchers........... 68
Cain’s Curse......................................... 23 Ancient Texts....................................... 48 The Legacy of the Grigori................... 69
Cain’s Children.................................... 24 Toledo Scholars................................... 48 The Watchers Themselves................... 70
Finding Cain........................................ 25 Egyptian Formulae.............................. 49 The Shamed Leader.............................. 70
Conclusions. ............................. 28 Tremere Archives.................................. 49 The Fallen Watcher............................. 73
Gravesites............................................. 49 The Remains of the Watchers.............. 74
II. Canaanite Necromancy 30 The City of Rome................................ 49
Old Rome........................................... 50
Secrets of the Necromancer..... 30
See the Spirits of the Night................... 50
VI. Heron of Alexandria’s
Major Supernatural Virtue:
Canaanite Necromancy....................... 30 Ghosts of Ancient Rome....................... 50 Legacy 75
Hermetic Integration........................... 31 Catacombs.......................................... 50 Adding to the Library. .............. 75
Canaanite Laboratory Assistants......... 31 Vardian’s Tomb................................... 51 Books.................................................... 75
Minor Hermetic Virtue: The Spectres........................................ 51 Relics of Empire................................... 76
Canaanite Magic.................................. 32 Chthonic Sanctuaries........................... 52 House Politics...................................... 76
New Spells........................................... 32 Cave Complex..................................... 52 Heron’s Art: Mechanica. ........... 76
New Items............................................ 33 Protective Defixiones............................ 52 Integrating Heron’s Mechanica into
Guidelines for Canaanite Magic.......... 33 Erebos................................................. 52 Hermetic Theory................................. 76
Who is Dead?..................................... 33 Daughters of Erictho........................... 53 Understanding Mechanica................... 76
Speaking to the Dead........................... 34 Integration Process.............................. 79
The Infernal and Necromancy............. 34 IV. Fertility Magic 54 Seeking Heron’s Legacy. ............ 79
Seeking the Dead....................... 34 Cultic Fertility Magic............... 54 The Writings........................................ 79
Finding En-Dor.................................... 34 Integrating Fertility Magic Heron’s Devices................................... 81
Books.................................................. 35 into Hermetic Theory. .............. 54 Fire Quencher...................................... 81


Ancient Magic
Aeolipile.............................................. 81 The Garden of the Hesperides............ 97 Hyperborean Enchantments.............. 116
Thunder Maker................................... 81 Entering the Garden............................. 97 Integrating Hyperborean
Finding Heron’s Trail........................... 81 The Three Hesperides........................... 97 Magic. ...................................... 119
Constantinople: Ladon.................................................. 98 The Breakthrough.............................. 119
The Ruined Metropolis........................ 82 Serpent-dryads..................................... 99 Hyperborean Insight.......................... 119
The Churchman.................................. 82 How Deep Does Ladon’s Insight Example................................. 120
A Beggar’s Treasure............................. 82 Strategy Go?..................................... 100 Consequences.................................... 120
Alexandria.......................................... 82 A Suggestion..................................... 101 The Basilica of Ten
Hypatia of Alexandria........................ 83 Thousand Columns................. 121
The Lost Temple-Library of Serapis.... 83
VIII. Hyperborean Magic 103 The Legend........................................ 121
Entering the Temple.............................. 85 Finding the Basilica............................ 121
The Hyperborean Hymns of
The Lost Temple of Serapis................... 85 On the Banks of the Dragor.............. 123
Apollo. .................................... 103
The Victors’ Spoils.............................. 87 Apollo’s Sanctuary............................ 123
Performing the Hymns...................... 103
Heron’s Theater................................... 87 The Treasury of the Hyperboreans..... 124
New Virtues....................................... 104
Complications...................................... 87 The Amphitheater.............................. 125
Finding the Hymns............................ 105
Magi of Constantinople....................... 87 The Gymnasium................................ 125
Reciting the Hymns........................... 105
The Shadhali Brotherhood................... 88 Inhabitants......................................... 125
Hymn Recitation Example................. 106
Ramifications for the Order of Hermes 88 The Restless Dead............................. 125
Illumination Example......................... 106
Hymn Powers.................................... 107 Spirit Guardians............................... 125
VII. The Hesperides 89 Gaining New Powers and Other Locations for the Basilica........ 128
A Change of Pace............................... 89 Improving Existing Ones................... 108 Delos................................................. 128
Consequences....................................... 89 Gaining and Improving Powers Tribunal of Novgorod........................ 129
Using Magical Coordinates...... 90 Example............................................ 108 Phoebus’s Garden............................... 130
Deriving Coordinates.......................... 90 Gaining More Levels ........................ 109 The British Isles................................. 130
Observation of the Fixed Stars............. 90 The Seven Beautiful Names of Mythic Hyperborea.................. 130
Learning Coordinates from Other Light........................................ 109 The Legend........................................ 130
Astronomers......................................... 90 Azai (Beautiful Light)......................... 110
Stellar Measurement by Spellcasting.... 91 Example Azai Effects......................... 110 IX. Rune Magic 133
The Problem of the Origin Point........ 91 Eloure (Fire Delighter)....................... 110 The Order of Odin. ................ 133
The Quest.................................. 91 Example Eloure Effects....................... 111 War Against the Order...................... 134
Research............................................... 91 Iaó (Fire Feeler).................................. 111 The Viking Invasions......................... 135
Sailing to the Purple Islands................ 92 Example Iaó Effects........................... 111 Discovery................................. 136
Negotiating with the Natives.............. 92 Óai (Light Breather).......................... 111 The Mythic North............................. 136
The Code May Not Example Óai Effects.......................... 112 Heirlooms and Artifacts..................... 137
Protect the Guan................................. 92 Pentiterouni (Firewalker)................... 112 The Dvergar....................................... 138
Religion.............................................. 93 Example Pentiterouni Effects.............. 112 Hermetic Integration. ............. 138
Magic................................................... 93 Psyrinpheu (Fire Breather)................. 113 New Virtue......................................... 139
Lifestyle............................................... 94 Example Psyrinpheu Effects............... 113 New Ability: Rune Magic.................. 140
Dialects............................................... 94 Semesilam (Encloser, Lightmaker)..... 114 Rune Alphabets.................................. 140
Technology.......................................... 94 Example Semesilam Effects................. 114 Consequences.......................... 141
Other Magical Groups......................... 95 Hyperborean Choirs................. 114
The Huntress in the Wood................... 95
Emerald Adepti.................................... 96
Choir Mechanics............................... 114
Choir Example................................... 115
Further Reading 143
Pre-Hermetic Groups........................... 96 Sacred Relics of Hyperborea... 116
Contributors 144


Ancient Magic

Introduction
[Y]et even now there is much learning in the wizards were lost as these practitio- and legends of Mythic Europe, from
same city; for teachers of various sects flour- ners died and took their knowledge to Ptolemy’s Geographica, to the secret
ish, and many kinds of secret knowledge are their graves. The mystical continuity Books of Enoch and Herodotus’s Histories.
explained…. of a thousand years was broken, never These legends have been adapted to
— Ammianus Marcellinus, The to be replaced. fit into the Mythic Europe setting
Roman History, XXII, 16:20 of Ars Magica. Each one includes a
complete system for use by Hermetic
The world of Ars Magica is one of characters in learning or adapting the
archaic splendor and ancient secrets, and
none are more aware of this than the magi
Welcome to ancient magic to Hermetic Theory in
the Laboratory, as well as details on
of the Order of Hermes. Where once
mighty wizards flourished amidst the great
Ancient Magic the legends that inspired the magical
tradition.
empires of history, now Mythic Europe is Ancient Magic is a tool-kit for
ruled over by the ignorant, intolerant, and Not all of the secret knowledge of troupes: it includes new kinds of
fearful; the petty kingdoms are but pale antiquity was lost. Fragments survived, magic for players’ characters to learn
shadows of the once-glorious empires of waiting for the brave and adventurous and use, as well as legends and story
the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. to seek them out. This book contains hooks for storyguides to gain inspira-
In the golden age there were a small portion of the once-great tion from. Suitable for both players
thousands of wizards and warlocks, wizardry of times past. Included in and storyguides, Ancient Magic is about
countless rites and rituals. The wiz- these pages are the mystical coor- the quest for lost knowledge and
ards of times past tamed the wild spir- dinates of Ptolemy, the fetishes of the way Hermetic magi can use that
its and elementals of antiquity, fought fertility cults, the primeval tongue of knowledge.
magical duels that invoked gods and Adam and Eve, the sublime hymns of
angels, called down curses and bless- the Hyperboreans, details of ancient
ings that lasted for seven generations. curse tablets, and much more. How to Use This Book
The philosopher-wizards of Greece Ancient Magic details the arcane
and Rome vied with Syrian spirit practices of nine distinct magical tradi- Within this book is a great deal
masters, Egyptian alchemists, and bar- tions, thought by most to be lost to of information on the magic of the
barian witches to gain precious and the world. Each of the nine chapters ancient world, ranging from new
irreplaceable knowledge. details a non-Hermetic form of magic, Virtues and Flaws, to unique lan-
Alas, the fall of the Roman Empire, the way in which Hermetic wizards guages and Supernatural Abilities, to
and the growth of the Dominion, have can adapt and integrate this knowledge mystical relics and wondrous spells
seen the glories of the past fade; the into Hermetic Theory, and a number and arcane rites. All of this is divided
secrets and lore that once saw mages of story hooks and quests for magi who into this introduction, nine chapters,
ascend to godhood or gain immor- want to search out and uncover this and a bibliography:
tality were lost in the centuries of centuries-lost knowledge. Introduction: What you are
ignorance, war, and decay called the Each of the distinct forms of magic reading at the moment, the introduc-
Dark Ages. The secrets of the ancient in this book is inspired by the myths tion also details the system used for


Ancient Magic
ics may be able to reproduce those
What Ancient Magic is Not and other great feats.
This book is not a book of contain numerous story hooks and Chapter 9: Rune Magic. The
Mysteries for Initiates of Hermetic saga seeds, as well as locations for rune wizards who attacked much
sects and cults. Hermetic Mysteries characters to visit and explore, they of Europe and fought against the
have been detailed extensively in are offered as the beginnings of ideas Order of Hermes between the eighth
Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults and The that can be used to build and devel- and tenth centuries are thought to
Mysteries Revised Edition. The magic in op your own stories, rather than as have died out, but their artifacts may
this book cannot be Initiated by a ready-made scenarios. They detail remain, allowing magi to learn how
Hermetic magus; rather, it must be many possible quests and obstacles to make magical changes to objects
integrated into the very essence of that may stand between a Hermetic that are, nevertheless, natural and thus
Hermetic theory. Unlike a Hermetic magus and the lost secrets of the unaffected by Magic Resistance.
Mystery, there are no living practi- ancient world. Further Reading: A list of books
tioners for Hermetic wizards to learn Finally, although this book is and sources used by the authors as
ancient magic from, to assist them in inspired by real-world legends and inspiration. Use this resource to learn
understanding the golden age lore, myths, it is neither a how-to guide more about the myths and legends
or to advise them on how to over- for real magic, nor a textbook for contained within.
come the many obstacles in the way students. The tales retold in this
of even finding the lost secrets. The book have been adapted to fit into
result of discovering these secrets the imaginary Mythic European set- Ancient Magic and
may, however, be a new Hermetic ting of Ars Magica. If you seek the Order of Hermes
Mystery, if the troupe so desires. more information on anything in
Furthermore, Ancient Magic is not this book, a bibliography has been
an adventure book. Although it does included. The Order of Hermes is, relatively
speaking, a new tradition, comprising
a hodge-podge of arcane methods and
Hermetic characters who are trying hold the key to affecting the traits of knowledge from the barbarian secrets
to integrate the ancient knowledge of the unborn, and even ensuring that of the druids to the mighty rites of
the following chapters into Hermetic they are born with The Gift. the Romans. Most of what constitutes
theory. Chapter 5: Grigori Magic. The Hermetic theory is based on the surviv-
Chapter 1: The Language of angels who fathered the Nephilim ing remnants of rituals from the Cult
Adam. The first language of the world also taught secrets of magic, which of Mercury. Apart from the innova-
names things more truly than later magi today could learn in order to tions Bonisagus learned from Bjornaer
tongues, giving those who speak it break the Limit of Vis. and Diedne, Hermetic magic derives
Arcane Connections to anything they C hapter 6: H eron of from a single magical tradition; most
can name. Learning the language, Alexandria’s Legacy. Heron was Founders traced their lineages back
however, is far from easy, and may a great engineer and magician of to the Roman Cult of Mercury. The
lead the characters to the Garden of the Hellenistic world, and his legacy ancient magic in this book is distinct-
Eden itself. might enable magi to create items ly non-Hermetic, and pre-dates the
C hapter 2: C anaanite with independent intelligence. Order of Hermes, and even the Cult of
Necromancy. The necromancers of Chapter 7: The Hesperides. Mercury, by hundreds of years.
biblical Canaan could contact almost Ptolemy’s coordinates allow magi The magi of the Order of Hermes
any of the dead, without the need for to form Arcane Connections to any are well aware of the once-mighty
specific Arcane Connections. place, but the place where their secret magic of the past. While many scoff
Chapter 3: Defixio Magic. The can be found may be more interesting at the powers of the wizards of yore,
curse tablets of the ancient world still. pointing out that Hermetic magic is
could affect their targets without the Chapter 8: Hyperborean more versatile than any past form of
need for an Arcane Connection. Magic. The sages of Hyperborea magic, other Hermetic magi search
Chapter 4: Fertility Magic. could heal and create enchanted items out what remains of the long-lost
The relics of an ancient fertility cult without vis; magi who study their rel- and forgotten rites and rituals. These


Ancient Magic
magi, called Seekers, lust after the
secrets of the ancients, and search the
Historical Settings The Integration
world, from Hibernia to the Middle Process
East, for hints and rumors of the old Many of the traditions
ones and their magic. Seekers come described in this book are given 1. Find a source of ancient
from all of the Hermetic Houses and enough detail to make it possible to magic, such as a relic, book, or the
are a guarded and cagey group, often play a living member of the tradi- like. This typically involves a quest
unwilling to assist each other for fear tion. While the traditions are dead or adventure of some sort.
that they may unwittingly help a rival in 1220, at least in the standard Ars 2. Investigate the source to
stumble across a great secret. Magica setting, you might choose gain Insight; this typically takes
All of the Houses of Hermes to set your saga in an earlier period, two or three seasons.
would be interested in learning one when they are still active. You will 3. Invent a spell or magical
or more of the forgotten secrets of need to fill in a few rule details, as device incorporating the Insight. A
the ancients. While Bonisagus magi the traditions have not been writ- magus must experiment while doing
may wish to expand and improve the ten up as full examples of hedge this. If she succeeds in inventing
theory of magic, Criamon may wish magic traditions, but most of what the spell, she gains a number of
to gain a greater understanding of the you need is here. breakthrough points equal to the
essence of magic, and wary Tremere magnitude of the spell or device.
look at the potential to safeguard the The Breakthrough The spell may break Hermetic
Order from attack or collapse. There limits, but if it does, it cannot
are innumerable reasons for Hermetic A magus ambitious enough to be invented by another character
characters to go in search of ancient attempt to unify the various magics without access to the inventor’s
magic and attempt to reconcile it contained in the chapters of this book Lab Text, and cannot be varied in
with the Hermetic theory: personal with Hermetic theory may attempt to any way.
advancement, glory and prestige, or achieve a Breakthrough in Hermetic 4. Continue to research, gain-
to altruistically spread and preserve theory, accomplished through research ing more breakthrough points,
knowledge are but three examples. and experimentation. Any magus may, until the threshold is equaled or
Many of the secrets within Ancient at any time, attempt a Breakthrough; exceeded.
Magic reach or even break the limits of there are no minimum Art or Ability 5. Bask in the glory of hav-
magic; however, this knowledge can- scores required. To successfully inte- ing improved Hermetic theory,
not be learned from the laboratory. grate the magic into Hermetic the- or alternatively, prepare for the
Hermetic wizards who wish to make ory, he must accumulate a number political consequences of your
use of these glorious powers must of breakthrough points determined impudence.
venture out into the world and risk by the type of Breakthrough he is
their lives in the hunt for knowledge. attempting. work of Hermetic magic, such as a
Each chapter of Ancient Magic new Range, Target, or Duration. It
details the number of breakthrough improves upon or adds to existing
Hermetic Integration points required to integrate a spe- theory without truly reaching the
of Ancient Magic cific part of that ancient magic into limits of magic. (Typically requires
Hermetic Theory. around 30 breakthrough points.)
There are three kinds of A Major Breakthrough pushes those
Ancient Magic contains a variety Breakthrough: Minor, Major, and limits, but does not break them; these
of pre-Hermetic magics and arcane Hermetic. Note that it is recommend- include creating new Hermetic Virtues
secrets. While complete synthesis of ed that the exact number of break- for Gifted characters. Incorporating
these magical traditions is not possible, through points required be varied, so hedge magic into Hermetic theory is
Hermetic magic is versatile enough to the players do not know the precise a Major Breakthrough, and the incor-
integrate many of the principles of number needed for the Breakthrough. poration can then be taught to oth-
these magics, pushing the bounds of A Minor Breakthrough is a devel- ers as Supernatural Virtues. (Typically
Bonisagus’s theory and perhaps even opment that is immediately useful requires around 45 breakthrough
the limits of magic themselves. and applicable in the existing frame- points.)


Ancient Magic
A Hermetic Breakthrough and are able and willing to instruct a
is research that breaks one of the Hermetic magus. The very nature of
Hermetic limits of magic, whether the ancient magic in this book means
by creating a new Arcane Ability that there are no remaining living
or giving the ability to cast per- practitioners to teach the arcane
manent duration spells without vis. secrets of antiquity. Nevertheless,
Hermetic Breakthroughs re-write most of the ritualists who knew and
the theory books; the only Hermetic performed the various magics were
Breakthrough in the last 450 years pagans; their ghosts may still haunt
was the development of the Parma the mysterious regions of Mythic
Magica by Bonisagus. (Typically Europe, and could be convinced to
requires around 60 breakthrough teach a Hermetic magus.
points.) For every season a magus spends
investigating a source of insight,
make a stress roll of Intelligence +
Insight Magic Theory against an Ease Factor
of 18. The Inventive Genius Virtue
Insight is gained from study- adds three to this roll, and some
ing some existing source of the sources of Insight may add their
ancient magic in question. Every own modifiers. If the roll succeeds,
Insight the magus gains allows him to the magus gains an Insight. If it
produce a partially Hermetic effect fails, he learns nothing now, but
incorporating some aspect of that may try again in another season.
lost magic. As he produces more of He may do other things before
these effects, he gains the broader returning to his study. On a botch,
understanding necessary to incorpo- the magus thinks he has an Insight,
rate that aspect into Hermetic theory but does not. He realizes this if he
as a whole. creates an effect, as described below,
The seasons spent gaining Insight use it to learn the Ability, as per the in an attempt to use the Insight; upon
produce Lab Texts. Any magus may normal rules. Most Hermetic magi, completion, he discovers that the final
study these Lab Texts over the course however, cannot learn Supernatural product is either entirely Hermetic, or
of a season in order to gain the Abilities due to prohibitive penalties. simply non-functional.
same Insight for himself, even without Alternatively, the text may contain the A single source can generally only
direct access to the source. Summaries rites and practices needed to perform provide a single Insight, although
of Lab Texts are not useful in this way, a magical spell or ritual associated there may be rare exceptions. The
however; only the whole thing can be with the ancient magical tradition. same source provides the same Insight
used. For purposes of copying, Lab Relics are mystical devices or for any magus who studies it.
Texts that detail Insights have a level sacred items enchanted by practi-
equal to the typical number of break- tioners of the ancient magic, and
through points needed for the type of incorporate unique aspects of that Creating the Effect
Breakthrough in question. tradition. Additionally, a relic may be
There are three sources of Insight: an ongoing mystical effect caused by A particular Insight allows a
texts, relics, and teachers. magic of the ancient tradition. Like researcher to create one specific
Texts are ancient books and Hermetic magical devices, a magus is effect. This effect might be a spell,
tomes, symbolic wall paintings, or able to investigate the device to learn or an effect enchanted into an item.
other explanatory sources that its secrets and unlock the methods It could, conceivably, be another lab-
describe how to learn, perform, or used to craft it. oratory project; anything that uses
cast a magical effect. If the text con- Teachers are individuals who a Lab Total and creates something
tains the information needed to gain a possess the Supernatural Abilities may be a legitimate Insight out-
Supernatural Ability, a character could associated with the ancient magic growth. However, spells are by far


Ancient Magic
the most common, followed by item After Breakthrough
enchantments.
Integration and the

The researcher does not get Original Research Minor Breakthroughs are usable
to choose the effect for which he immediately in the game, and are
receives Insight, and as the level of Houses of Hermes: True Lineages understandable by all Hermetic
the effect is fixed, the Insight might includes rules for original research, magi. New Ranges or Durations may
only be useful for creating an effect which allows magi to add features be incorporated into new spells or
he cannot yet invent. For example, to Hermetic magic based purely on items, and the Lab Texts distributed
the effect might be level 40, while the their own inspiration. Integrating for a spell may be used by another
researcher has a Lab Total of 32. In ancient magic tends to be faster Hermetic magus without his needing
that case, the researcher would have and safer, but it does have two to research the Breakthrough. Any
to increase his Lab Total before he disadvantages. First, the magus can magus who has created an effect using
could work on the effect. only aim for the Breakthroughs the Breakthrough can then use that
The troupe should decide on suggested by the ancient magic Range of Duration freely in his other
the effects that result from particular in question. Second, he has to get spells, and any magus trained by that
pieces of Insight, choosing ones that out of his laboratory and find exist- magus, in either Arts or spells, may
advance the saga without upsetting ing sources of Insight. From the also do so.
play balance. Player characters can storyguide’s perspective, these may Major and Hermetic Breakthroughs
vary things as much as they like once be advantages, of course. must be taught to Hermetic magi
they fully integrate the system, so the The two sets of rules are similar, directly. An Ability may be taught
restrictions at this stage should be and both approaches may be taken in the usual way, either in person or
accepted with good grace. to a single Breakthrough. That is, through books. The discoverer con-
The researcher must invent exact- breakthrough points from integra- verts his breakthrough points into
ly the effect inspired by the Insight. tion may be added to breakthrough experience points in the new Ability,
He may not vary the Range, Duration, points from original research to so that a magus who accrued 50 break-
or Target, or any other parameters. As determine whether a Breakthrough through points to integrate an Ability
the magus must experiment while has been achieved. would start with a score of 4.
inventing the effect, the result may be A new Virtue may be Initiated
slightly different, as a result of rolls on a side effect. These points are added according to the normal rules for
the Extraordinary Results Table. to the magus’s running total, and he Mysteries. The discoverer gains the
A spell is cast like a normal formu- must find another source of Insight Virtue when he completes the inte-
laic spell, and characters with Flexible before repeating the procedure. gration, and does not need to be
Formulaic Magic may vary it at cast- The effect produced in this way Initiated. He does need to design an
ing time in the normal way. The spell can be reproduced by other Hermetic Initiation Script, following the rules
may also be mastered, again in the magi. However, they can only do in The Mysteries Revised Edition.
normal way. so if they have access to a Lab Text Inventing a Major or Hermetic
The effect created may bend describing it, and it is not possible Breakthrough that does not require
or break the limits of magic, as it to vary the effect in any way; it must teaching necessitates another Major
incorporates non-Hermetic elements. be reproduced exactly as it was ini- Breakthrough, which may be achieved
Setting the level of the effect may tially created. Reproducing the effect by these rules or the original research
require a judgment call by the troupe, in this way does not grant break- rules. If this succeeds, any magus may
as it may do something for which through points unless the reproducing create an effect using the Breakthrough
there is no Hermetic guideline. magus also gains the relevant Insight, as long as he has a Lab Text, and then
If the effect is successfully cre- whether from investigating the same may use the Breakthrough freely. As
ated, the magus gains a number of item or from reading the original for Minor Breakthroughs, the same
breakthrough points equal to the investigator’s Lab Texts. It is possible applies to any magus taught Arts or
magnitude of the effect. This applies to reproduce the effect first, and study spells by a magus who understands
even if the final effect is warped or has the insight Lab Texts later. the Breakthrough.


Chapter One

The Language of Adam


And out of the ground the Lord God formed each encompassed the entirety of lost tongue, known as Adamic, is the
every beast of the field, and every fowl of the the beast’s essential nature in a few focus of this chapter, an epic quest
air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see specific sounds and the concept in that will surely earn the magus who
what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam’s mind. It might even be said does so a place in Hermetic history
Adam called every living creature, that [was] that the name defined the beast, that and legend.
the name thereof. each name had mystic significance The power of the first language is
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and that determined the qualities of the simple, but direct. A character who is
to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the particular animal’s species. fluent in Adamic — that is, who has at
field; but for Adam there was not found an Yet though they all had fine quali- least a score of 5 in the Dead Language
help meet for him. ties, none of the animals was found to (Adamic) Ability — can give anything
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep be the perfect companion for Adam. within range of his voice a new name,
to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took And so God created another like which he may use as a permanent and
one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead Adam, a person to live the garden as lasting Arcane Connection to that
thereof; he did. As Adam called himself “Man,” target from then on. He also has an
And the rib, which the Lord God had his companion was called “Woman,” Arcane Connection to any mundane
taken from man, made he a woman, and and both she and he inherited all the thing he knows the name of (any-
brought her unto the man. traits that these names represent. And thing without a Might Score). For
And Adam said, This [is] now bone of in time, just as Adam was called Adam Penetration, this second connection
my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be and not just “Man,” he also gave the is valued as if it lasted “hours,” though
called Woman, because she was taken out of “Woman” a name for her own: Eve, it is effectively permanent.
Man. meaning “mother of all living.” From A character with some knowledge
— Genesis 2:19–23 this, Eve developed other unique traits, of Adamic receives a +1 bonus to his
not just the traits of a woman, but qual- Penetration multiplier whenever he
And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because ities particular to her own identity, and uses his magic on a target with Magic
she was the mother of all living. together she and Adam had mastery Resistance, as a form of sympathetic
— Genesis 3:20 and dominion over the land. magic. To do this, he must name the
Many medieval scholars believe target while it is within range of his
According to traditional legends that there is great power in the lan- voice, working this name into what-
about the beginning of the world, the guage that Adam spoke, as it is the ever ritual he performs to produce
very first man was named Adam, and original language of all things, per- the magical effect, and if he is not
lived in a fantastic garden called Eden haps the language spoken by God fluent in Adamic he must have an
created for him by God, where his himself to bring about the creation of Arcane Connection to the target, just
every need was served. God brought the universe. The power of naming, as with other sympathetic bonuses.
all the animals before him, and Adam of assigning a being a name that truly For example, a character with Adamic
gave them their names. These were and succinctly describes it, might be 1 and an Arcane Connection that lasts
specific words that best described considered to be the very first form hours (+1) would have a Penetration
them, terms that meant “horse” or of magic, the most ancient magic in multiplier of +2 when naming his
“lion” or “crow” or “salmon,” that the whole world. Uncovering this target within Voice Range. A char-

10
Ancient Magic

Story Hook: The Language of Innocence


A few ancient and contemporary In Mythic Europe, an imagina- him to create this knowledge. Like
theologians have theorized that the tive child who has The Gift and is with other Dead Languages, he may
first language of man is that of pure raised without any other linguistic increase his understanding of Adamic
innocence, of a mind unsullied by influences develops a special lan- through formal instruction, if he can
sin, and have sought to recreate the guage of his own in the first few years find a teacher. He can also teach the
first language through experimenta- of his life, and this language is very basics of his made-up language to
tion, reasoning that if a child were similar to Adamic. However, as he others once he learns to communicate
to never hear any other words, what grows older and learns to communi- with them. In this way, other char-
he would develop would be a lan- cate with others he necessarily loses acters may acquire this rudimentary
guage based in instinct, a reasonable much of the innocence that mimics knowledge of Adamic if they wish.
facsimile of the language of Adam. Adam’s state before he was cast out This method is a good hook for
Roman historians wrote legends of of the garden, making it impossible a storyguide to draw a character with
an Egyptian pharaoh who had two for him to develop his vocabulary an interest in ancient magic into the
children raised in the wilderness, beyond the primitive ideas associated quest, and one way to do this is
and who, when summoned, pointed with his childhood. by having him discover and adopt a
to their mouths and said “becos,” To represent this in the game, child who intuitively speaks Adamic,
the Egyptian word for bread, which instead of beginning with a Living perhaps one of the children used
supposedly proved that Egyptian was Language score of 5 during character in King Frederick’s experiment. From
the oldest language in the world. creation, a child with The Gift and a this child, the character may learn
Frederick II, king of Germany and positive Intelligence who was raised the basics of the original language,
Holy Roman Emperor in 1220, is said in controlled conditions or the wild and thus gain a slight increase to his
to have conducted a similar experi- may begin with a score of 2 in Dead Penetration Ability, though to gain
ment, but the results were inconclu- Language (Adamic). Unfortunately, the full benefits he must eventually
sive as the children disappeared after he is unable to develop this language become fluent in it through one of
being left in the wilderness and were any further than this, as by age 5 he the other means described in this
never heard from again. has lost the innocence that allows chapter.

acter with Adamic 5 would have a this capability is simply to allow the characters might come up with on
total Penetration multiplier of +5, player to use his character’s powers to their own or have suggested to them
since because he is fluent in the lan- help create new stories. by others who hypothesize that the
guage, he always has a lasting Arcane original language of man has arcane
Connection to his target. significance. Each path follows a dif-
Whenever a character fluent in Hermetic Integration ferent route to this knowledge, but
Adamic names something for the first they all overlap in various ways.
time, such as a newborn baby, a piece Adamic does not need to be inte- The first method is to reconstruct
of art, or a newly discovered land, grated into Hermetic magic, because the language from contemporary
the name he gives it subtly influences learning it gives the character the sources. Much like the qualities of a
its destiny, causing its true nature to power to make use of it immediately. person’s ancestors may be divined by
change and conform to his image The Adamic language is extremely studying their effect on the descen-
of it. This birthright is something difficult to study, however, because dant, so too can Adamic be learned
the storyguide should eventually inte- it is truly a dead language. There are by studying the different languages
grate into the story in a subtle way no humans still living who speak it, into which it has transformed over the
that makes the name meaningful, as and there are no written records to years. This quest begins with the story
if it were a divine prophecy or an suggest how it would have sounded. of the Tower of Babel, the monumen-
inheritance of some sort. Aside from How, then, are interested characters tal structure built to touch Heaven
choosing the concept associated with to recover the secret? The sections itself, thwarted by God’s intervention
the name, however, the character has below contain three suggested means and the invention of a babble of many
no direct control over this effect; of learning the language, any of which different tongues.

11
Ancient Magic
A second method is to seek out And the Lord came down to see the city When the people of ancient
the Garden of Eden, the idyllic and and the tower, which the children of men Babylon scattered, some of them went
timeless place that was the origin of builded. west into Israel, some went south into
humanity and from which Adam and And the Lord said, Behold, the people Egypt, and some went north into the
Eve were exiled forever. The inhabit- [are] one, and they have all one language; mountains of the Caucasus, while oth-
ants of the garden may still speak the and this they begin to do: and now nothing ers went east and eventually north and
original language, and a character will be restrained from them, which they have west into Europe. This created four
who can find his way there may be imagined to do. different groups of original languages,
able to learn to speak it from them. Go to, let us go down, and there confound each with its own distinct structure
Tracking down this place requires that their language, that they may not understand and vocabulary. These were Semitic,
the characters travel to Mesopotamia, one another’s speech. named after Noah’s son Shem, from
seeking out the place where four So the Lord scattered them abroad from which Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic
mighty rivers once converged, and thence upon the face of all the earth: and they developed; Hamitic, named after
somehow convincing the angelic left off building the city. Noah’s son Ham, from which Egyptian
guardians to let them pass. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; and Coptic have descended; Scythian,
Finally, there is one being because the Lord did there confound the lan- related to the languages spoken by
remaining on earth who lived before guage of all the earth: and from thence did the the people who lived in the area
the fragmenting of the language and Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all between the Black and Caspian seas,
who thus still speaks Adamic: Cain, the earth. descended from Noah’s son Japheth,
the firstborn son of Adam, who killed — Genesis 11:1–9 and from which developed the lan-
his brother and whom God cursed, guages of Slavic, Baltic, and Persian;
giving him a mark that signified his The Bible explains the develop- and a fourth language, the language
crime and doomed him to wander ment of different languages as a curse, of the nomadic people who traveled
forever. The third method of learn- an act of God designed to prevent around the Caspian Sea into the far
ing Adamic is to find Cain and con- the people of Babylon from building north and eventually settled all of
vince, trick, or force him into teach- a great tower to touch the sphere Europe, who were the ultimate origin
ing the characters the lost language of Heaven. They had the materials of Greek, Latin, and the Germanic
of his father. necessary to construct this impressive languages. This fourth language has
structure, and aspired to set them- never had a name, but it might be
selves upon it like rival gods above called Cainite after Cain, thought by
the rest of the world. But God caused some to be the ultimate father of these
The Tower them to scatter in every direction,
each group developing its language
nomadic people.
To discover the Adamic language

of Babel in a different way, and even the name


of their city, the word bab-ilu that
through research, the character must
first become fluent in two of these
had meant “gate of the god,” came to four ancient languages via linguis-
And the whole earth was of one language, and be associated with the term balal, “to tic research (see the sidebar), and
of one speech. confound or mix.” From this babble of then develop those two languages to
And it came to pass, as they journeyed languages eventually emerged every reconstruct the original language they
from the east, that they found a plain in the tongue that is now spoken in Mythic have in common. For most characters,
land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. Europe. these two languages are likely to be
And they said one to another, Go to, let Thus, a character interested in Semitic and Cainite, as it is relatively
us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. tracing the first language back to the easy for a character in Mythic Europe
And they had brick for stone, and slime [bitu- time before the folly of the Tower of to learn Hebrew, Arabic, Latin, and
men] had they for mortar. Babel must discover the roots of that Greek, since there are a great many
And they said, Go to, let us build us language in contemporary speech. By excellent texts and teachers available.
a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] studying the similarities found in dif- Before he can research Adamic,
unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest ferent ancient languages, the charac- however, the character must also
we be scattered abroad upon the face of the ter can reconstruct how Adamic must become more familiar with ancient
whole earth. have been spoken. Mesopotamia, to gain the required

12
Ancient Magic

Linguistic Research
The process of reconstructing an With these requirements met, might give the character experience
ancient language from contemporary the character may also experiment in a related field like Area Lore or
ones is difficult, but can be done, with the lost language in the lab as if Artes Liberales, or have other appro-
although it requires a special seasonal he were researching a Breakthrough. priate effects at the storyguide’s
activity. This works much like the For every two points or fraction discretion.
process of original research, except thereof by which the character’s As an example, a magus has
that instead of performing a magical score in the related languages a score of 5 in Dead Language
project in the laboratory, it requires a exceeds 5, the player may modify (Egyptian) and Dead Language
season of study, during which time the the results of the experimentation (Coptic). He would like to analyze
character experiments by matching roll by +1 or –1, to a maximum of these two languages to discover a
the words and sentence structure of +3 or –3, but if he rolls a 0 he must working knowledge of Hamitic, the
one language with the other, sounding still check for a botch. If the result language from which these two other
out what older words might have been of this roll is “Discovery,” the char- languages developed. He also has
like and inventing linguistic notions acter receives 15 experience points Area Knowledge (Ancient Egypt)
to describe the similarities and dif- in the common language, or perhaps 5, indicating that he understands
ferences between the two. This gives enough experience to increase his how local conditions would have
the character two points of Exposure score to the next level. A botch influenced the two languages. Every
experience in the common language means that the character has ruined season he spends examining their
Ability, but the character must be some of his work, by making a faulty similarities he gains two experience
fluent in both derivative languages, conclusion or a mistaken translation, points in Dead Language (Hamitic).
and must also be familiar enough with and he both gains no experience After only 38 seasons of this careful
both cultures to understand the condi- that season and loses 15 experience study, he becomes fluent in the lost
tions that could have caused them to points in the shared Ability — this form of speech. If he experiments, he
change over time. This is represented represents the fact that he must later has the chance of gaining 15 addi-
by a required Area Lore score of 5 discover his error and redo his work tional experience points each season,
for the birthplace of the common for that season. Other results, such and so it may be more worth his time
language. as “Side Effect” or “Story Event,” to risk cutting corners.

Area Lore score of 5 that is necessary environs. This might involve excavat- is mountainous, descending to flat
to develop his linguistic research, and ing historical artifacts of the ancient steppes in the southeast, and thick
this probably necessitates a journey world from beneath the centuries of marshland in the south near the con-
to the Levant, since apart from brief sand that cover them, or speaking fluence of the two rivers and the
mentions in a few tractatus by Roman with the loremasters of the region to Persian Gulf.
historians, there have been very few hear stories and legends, or exploring At the center of the region is
books written on the subject. the land to get a sense of how the the city of Baghdad, which is also
people lived in the most ancient times. the religious and political center of
It takes about 15 seasons of exploring Islam, the seat of the caliphate. The
Seeking Lost Babylon Babylonia to gain a score of 5 in Area Exilarch, the spiritual leader of all the
Lore (Ancient Mesopotamia) through Jews, also lives there, and there are
In order to gain sufficient Practice. many Christian colonies in the sur-
knowledge of the culture of Ancient At one time, Babylonia encom- rounding area.
Babylon, to give the characters neces- passed the entire Fertile Crescent, The city of Babylon was located
sary insight into the mindset of the the lands of Mesopotamia that about 50 miles south of Baghdad,
people who built the great Tower enclose the Tigris and Euphrates riv- and in the 13th century the area is
of Babel before they were scattered ers, and extended as far west as the almost entirely deserted. There are
throughout the world, the charac- Mediterranean Sea in Syria and north many dried-up riverbeds throughout
ters need to investigate the ruins of into Cappadocia. To the east, much the region, signifying that at one time
the once-great city and explore their of the northern part of the region the ground was much less arid than

13
Ancient Magic

Medieval Mesopotamia
A N AT O L I A 100 miles
CASPIAN SEA
Tebriz

M
O
G

N
Antioch O
Mosul L
Aleppo
S

IA Hamadhan
R

Tigr

ZA
Y

Euphrates

is
G
R
S

R.
MEDITERRANEAN . O

R
D

SEA Samarra S
M
N

O
UN
A

Damascus
TA
L

Baghdad IN
S P E R S I A
LY

Acre
HO

I R A Q
Jerusalem Euphrates R.

)
R.
BABYLON n
ho

(Gi
n R.

Hidd
ekel
Giho

R.

)
R.
PERSIAN

n
GULF
iso
Ancient Ruins of Babylon (P

it is now, and Babylon lies on the as a great ziggurat that is usually that the area is infested with snakes
plain directly in the path of one of depicted as sacred, often with a sun and scorpions, but it is also a fine
these, which splits from the Euphrates shining down at the very summit, quarry for the people of the valley,
approximately 20 miles northwest. perhaps indicating that the top of and there are plenty of strong, baked
Careful exploration within the region the tower would have surpassed the bricks still hidden beneath centuries of
reveals the paths of at least four dif- heavenly spheres. Magi may discover dust. There is scarcely a house in the
ferent rivers throughout the lands that many of these ancient artifacts entire region that was not built from
between the Tigris and Euphrates. contain a pawn or more of Terram vis, stones hauled away from that place.
Closer to the Persian Gulf, where the if the inscriptions remain readable and The closest settlement is a community
two rivers join and meet the sea, there the objects have not been disturbed. of 20,000 Jews who live within about
is evidence that thousands of years It is said that the base of the 20 miles of Babel, and perform their
ago the shore was about 100 miles great unfinished building remained worship in the Synagogue of Daniel, a
northwest of its present position, per- intact for ages, but was completely great building said to have been built
haps because of a rise in water levels demolished by Xerxes almost 500 in antiquity by the great prophet,
subsequent to the Great Flood. years before the birth of Christ, and constructed of the same solid stones
Strange pictures of a many- that the site was later partially cleared and bricks taken from the ruins of the
stepped tower may be discovered on by Alexander the Great. The area of Tower.
the artifacts unearthed throughout the the city itself is often called Babel in Beneath the site of the ancient
region, including clay tablets, stone the local tongue, and all of it lies in city is a deep pit in which, accord-
cylinders with sunken writing used to ruins, though streets still extend some ing to Muslim legends, two fallen
officially seal documents, kudurrus or 30 miles out from the former palace angels named Harut and Marut hang
stone blocks ornamented with reliefs of Nebuchadnezzar, which can still suspended upside down by their feet,
and inscriptions, amulets, bas-reliefs, be seen on the horizon. Local legends necks, and knees. These angels were
and jars. The Tower of Babel is shown tell of a curse upon the place, and say responsible for teaching magic to the

14
Ancient Magic
descendants of Adam and Eve, in
accordance with God’s wishes, but
Mongol Trooper
when God observed that they did Characteristics: Int –1, Per +1, Pre Abilities: Animal Handling 3
not have compassion for humankind, 0, Com –1, Str +1, Sta +2, Dex (horses), Area Lore Mongolia 3
he gave them human emotions and +1, Qik +2 (geography), Area Lore Persia 2
sent them to earth to be tempted Size: 0 (geography), Area Lore Russia
as people are. Both angels sinned, Age: 30 2 (geography), Athletics 3 (run-
and as penance they were given the Virtues and Flaws: Puissant Ability ning), Awareness 2 (in combat),
choice of punishment in this life or (Ride), Puissant Ability (Bows), Bargain 2 (livestock), Bows 5+2
the next. They chose the former, and Warrior; Reckless; Disfigured (composite), Brawl 3 (dagger),
so they hang there until the end of (scars), Infamous Craft Bows 3, Hunt 3 (tracking),
the world. Personality Traits: Brave +3, Living Language Mongolian 5,
Rubble and bricks supposedly Reckless +3, Loyal +3 Ride 3+2 (battle), Single Weapon
cover the great rock that blocks the Reputations: Murderous 4 (local) 5 (saber), Survival 3 (steppe)
entrance to the pit. It is said that one Combat: Equipment: composite bow (Load
man once managed to gain entrance, Dagger: Init +0, Attack +7, Defense +2), metal reinforced leather half-
by digging around the edges. He had +6, Damage +4 armor (Load +2), saber (Load
been warned by his guide not to speak Composite Bow (mounted): Init +1), daggers, spear (Load +1)
the name of God in the area, but upon +0, Attack +16, Defense +13, Encumbrance: 2 (3)
beholding the greatness of the two Damage +8 Appearance: A fierce-looking eastern
angels he could not help himself, and Composite Bow (on foot): Init warrior on horseback, his upper
Harut and Marut became so agitated –2, Attack +13, Defense +10, body lightly covered by fur-lined
that they almost broke their chains. Damage +8 leather armor, with an acorn-like
The man and his guide fled and never Saber (mounted): Init +4, Attack metal helmet also fringed with
returned again. +14, Defense +12, Damage +7 fur. He carries a bow in a quiver
In fact, the pit and the two angels Saber (on foot): Init +2, Attack +11, on his saddle, a saber, and a short
are hidden within an Infernal regio Defense +9, Damage +7 spear with a small hook at the
of level 3. At the top of the well, Spear (mounted): Init +4, Attack base of the blade.
there is a level of the regio with an +11, Defense +10, Damage +6
Infernal aura of 1, where the well was Spear (on foot): Init +2, Attack +8, While there are younger soldiers
once sealed. Although the stone has Defense +7, Damage +6 in the Mongol army, this trooper
been broken, at this level the pit only Soak: +4 (armor and Stamina) represents the finest specimen that
contains thousands of scorpions. On Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, –1, –3, –5, the characters are likely to encoun-
the mundane level, there is only a Unconscious ter, the sort of character who would
thick slab of stone, nine by nine paces Wound Penalties: –1 (1–5), –3 (6– fight in the van during a group
across, beneath the rubble, and the 10), –5 (11–15), Incapacitated engagement or who might be found
entire city has a faint Magical aura (20+) singly acting as a scout or guard.
of 1.
from the Far East. Fierce warriors with Genghis sent ambassadors to the
lance, bow, and sword; practically shah demanding that the governor be
The Encroaching raised on horseback; and hardy as the turned over to him for retribution, but
Mongols steppes on which they were born, this these ambassadors were humiliated by
force has united under the banner of the shah and sent back, with the lead-
one supreme chieftain named Genghis ers of the deputation put to death for
The lands surrounding ancient Khan, Lord of the Earth, a brilliant their insolence. The Mongols declared
Babylonia are a very dangerous place tactician, a charismatic leader, and a war, and more than 100,000 Mongol
to explore in the middle of the 13th ruthless opponent. horsemen rode westward, obliterat-
century, for there is another power In 1218, the governor of a Persian ing resistance when it was offered
converging upon them: the great army frontier province seized a Mongol and bypassing areas where there was
of the Mongols, nomadic invaders trade caravan, killing the drivers. none. The speed and viciousness of

15
Ancient Magic

Orlock (Mongol General)


Characteristics: Int 0, Per +1, Pre +2 Spear (on foot): Init –1, Attack +6, The Mongolian generals are
(1), Com +1, Str 0, Sta +2, Dex Defense +3, Damage +5 experts in strategy and tactics, and
+1, Qik 0 Soak: +4 (armor and Stamina) most of their successes may be attrib-
Size: 0 Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, –1, –3, –5, uted to their superior military intel-
Age: 40 Unconscious ligence and their ability to quickly
Confidence Score: 2 (5) Wound Penalties: –1 (1–5), –3 (6– assess the nature of the battlefield.
Virtues and Flaws: Affinity with 10), –5 (11–15), Incapacitated They constantly patrol the borders of
Leadership, Clear Thinker, (20+) the Empire and often sent out groups
Improved Characteristics, Abilities: Animal Handling 3 (hors- of scouts in every direction, watching
Inspirational, Puissant Ability es), Area Lore Mongolia 3 (geog- their enemies carefully for weaknesses
(Leadership), Puissant Ability raphy), Area Lore Persia 2 (geog- and familiarizing the army with the
(Ride), Self-Confident, Strong- raphy), Area Lore Russia 2 (geog- lay of the land. They also maintain
Willed, Warrior; Enemies raphy), Athletics 3 (running), an excellent communication network,
(Europe); Outsider; Vow (loy- Awareness 3 (in combat), Bows 5 using a semaphore system to signal
alty to Great Khan); Disfigured (composite), Craft Bows 3, Brawl across great distances, and a series of
(scars), Infamous 3 (dagger), Folk Ken 2 (nobles), horse posts to keep units of soldiers in
Personality Traits: Resolute +3, Guile 3 (elaborate lies), Hunt contact with their leader.
Ruthless +5, Cunning +4 3 (tracking), Intrigue 3 (allianc- The army can employ a great
Reputations: Murderous 4 (local) es), Leadership 6+2 (7) (battle- many forms of misdirection extreme-
Combat: field), Ride 3+2 (in battle), Artes ly well, such as a smokescreen across
Dagger: Init –1, Attack +7, Defense Liberales 1 (military communi- a battlefield with flaming arrows, or
+4, Damage +3 cation), Craft Siege Equipment riding their horses in fast flanking
Composite Bow (mtd.): Init –2, Attack 3 (catapults), Single Weapon motions across rugged terrain. They
+14, Defense +9, Damage +7 3 (saber), Living Language typically have so many spare horses
Composite Bow (on foot): Init –5, Mongolian 5, Living Language that they can often send out decoy
Attack +11, Defense +6, Damage Persian 3 (negotiations), Survival forces of a few men that look like a
+7 (steppe) 3 whole legion. Many of their enemies
Saber (mounted): Init +2, Attack Equipment: composite bow (Load are fooled by their organized retreat,
+12, Defense +8, Damage +6 +2), metal reinforced leather their finest maneuver, wherein they
Saber (on foot): Init –1, Attack +9, half-armor (Load +2), saber pull back, drawing their opponents
Defense +5, Damage +6 (Load +1), daggers, spear (Load out behind them in a long pursuit,
Spear (mounted): Init +2, Attack +9, +1) exhausting them, and then suddenly
Defense +6, Damage +5 Encumbrance: 3 (3) turning around and attacking.

Mongolian Bows
A great part of the military is a short-range bow called a horse flaming arrows, and even whistling
might of the Mongols comes from bow used for shooting from horse- signal arrows.
their unusually strong bows, rarely back, and the other is a composite In the table on the following
seen before in the West. These bow with a greater range used for page, one asterisk (*) indicates a bow
are double recurve composite bows shooting long distances. In addition that requires two free hands to load
made of layers of sinew, horn, and to extra arrows — usually about and fire, two (**) indicate that you
wood that can have a pull weight of 60 for each type of bow — many should add the values of the bow and
over one hundred pounds. A warrior warriors also carried arrows with arrow to determine the final modi-
usually carries two, in special quiv- specialized purposes, such as armor- fier, and three (***) indicate that the
ers on the saddle of his horse: one piercing arrows, blunt stun-arrows, arrow deals non-lethal damage.

16
Ancient Magic

Mongol Spirit Shaman


Characteristics: Int +1 (1), Per –1 Spear (mounted): Init +3, Attack +7, A few of the Mongols in the
(1), Pre +2 (1), Com +1, Str –2 Defense +7, Damage +3 army are tribal shamans versed in the
(1), Sta +2 (1), Dex –1 (1), Qik Spear (on foot): Init +1, Attack +4, power of the spirit world, and can
+1 (1) Defense +4, Damage +3 summon spirits to aid them in scout-
Size: 0 Soak: +4 (armor and Stamina) ing out the area, attacking super-
Age: 55 Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, –1, –3, –5, natural enemies, and spying on their
Decrepitude: 1 (5) Unconscious opponents. More complex rules for
Confidence Score: 1 (3) Wound Penalties: –1 (1–5), –3 (6– summoning spirits in this way are
Virtues and Flaws: Wise One; 10), –5 (11–15), Inc. (20+) found in Realms of Power: The Infernal,
Summoning (see Realms of Power: Abilities: Animal Handling 3 (hors- Chapter 11: Ars Goetia, but for the
The Infernal, page 114); Ghostly es), Area Lore Mongolia 3 (geog- sake of simplicity you may assume
Warder (homeland spirit); raphy), Area Lore Persia 2 (geog- that the shaman can easily summon
Puissant Ability (Ride), Warrior; raphy), Area Lore Russia 2 (geog- an appropriate Faerie, Magical, or
Enemies (Europe); Outsider; raphy), Athletics 3 (running), Infernal spirit of Might 30 or less
Disfigured (scars), Infamous, Vow Awareness 3 (in combat), Bargain and bargain with it to convince it to
(loyalty to the Great Khan) 3 (spirits), Bows 5 (composite), do his bidding. These spirits might
Personality Traits: Resolute +3, Craft Bows 2, Brawl 2 (dagger), agree to be bound to a weapon,
Ruthless +5, Discerning +4 Faerie Lore 2 (spirits), Guile 2 creating a sort of enchanted device,
Reputations: Murderous 4 (local), (elaborate lies), Hunt 2 (track- or commanded to perform a task for
Spirit-worshipper 3 (Infernal) ing), Infernal Lore 3 (spirits), the shaman. The shamans employ
Combat: Leadership 2 (battlefield), Magic whatever sort of spirit is convenient
Dagger: Init +1, Attack +4, Defense Lore 3 (spirits), Penetration 4 to help them accomplish their objec-
+4, Damage +1 (spirits), Ride 3+2 (in battle), tives, even demons.
Composite Bow (mounted): Init Single Weapon 3 (saber), Living All shamans have a personal
–1, Attack +12, Defense +10, Language Mongolian 5, Living familiar spirit, usually an ancestor
Damage +5 Language Persian 3 (negotia- spirit associated with their homeland
Composite Bow (on foot): Init –3, tions), Survival (steppe) 3 that follows them and aids them. For
Attack +9, Defense +7, Damage Arts: Summoning 22 examples of these sorts of beings and
+5 Equipment: composite bow (Load the powers they have at their com-
Saber (mounted): Init +3, Attack +2), metal reinforced leather half- mand, see The Mysteries Revised Edition
+10, Defense +9, Damage +4 armor (Load +2), saber (Load or Realms of Power: Magic.
Saber (on foot): Init +1, Attack +7, +1), daggers, spear (Load +1)
Defense +6, Damage +4 Encumbrance: 3 (3)

Mongolian Bow, Continued


Weapon Ability Init Atk Def Dam Range Str Load Cost
Bow, Composite* Bow –2 +4 0 +7 30 –1 2 Exp.
Bow, Horse* Bow –2 +5 0 +8 15 –1 2 Exp.
Arrow, normal** Bow 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Std.
Arrow, Armor-piercing** Bow –1 –1 0 +2 –15 +1 0 Exp.
Arrow, Blunt** Bow –1 –1 0 +2*** 0 0 0 Exp.
Arrow, Flaming** Bow –4 –1 0 +1 –15 0 0 Exp.
Arrow, Signal** Bow –1 –1 0 –3 +10 0 0 Exp.

17
Ancient Magic
the attack caught the shah and his
troops completely by surprise, and The Garden Adamic language, for it is shown in
the Bible that the serpent could speak
soon all of Persia was in utter chaos.
It is said that the caliph of of Eden to Eve, tempting her to eat the fruit
of knowledge, and so brought about
Baghdad, who was hostile to the shah, the fall of man. Outside the garden,
sent Genghis a regiment of Christian And the Lord God planted a garden eastward most animals seem to have lost the
prisoners taken in the Crusades as a in Eden; and there he put the man whom he power of speech, but it is a common
show of support. The Mongol army had formed. hypothesis that all of them could talk
had no need for infantry, however, And out of the ground made the Lord while within the land of Eden, and the
and these men were released. Those God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the language they spoke must surely have
of them who made it back to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in been the same as Adam’s.
Holy Land eventually carried the first the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowl- Scholars who are familiar with the
descriptions of the Mongol invaders edge of good and evil. first chapter of the Bible know where
to Europe. Thus, characters research- And a river went out of Eden to water Eden is said to be located, for the pas-
ing the local area lore might hear of the garden; and from thence it was parted, and sage in Genesis is quite clear that it
them and prepare themselves. became into four heads. was to be found at the joining of four
By 1221 the shah flees for the The name of the first [is] Pison: that great rivers: the Pison, the Gihon,
Caspian Sea, but is pursued and soon [is] it which compasseth the whole land of the Hiddekkel, and the Euphrates.
caught by the Mongol army, which Havilah, where [there is] gold; Of these names, only the Euphrates
swells to nearly 200,000. Then, while And the gold of that land [is] good: there is still in use, and those who know
Genghis hunts down the shah’s son [is] bdellium and the onyx stone. something of ancient geography may
— for the Mongols always seek to And the name of the second river [is] know that the city of Babylon was
destroy any nobles to whom their Gihon: the same [is] it that compasseth the built near its banks. From there, it is
enemies might rally — his great gen- whole land of [Kashshu]. only a question of journeying down
eral Subatei secures the region and And the name of the third river [is] the river until this confluence is found,
begins to scout out their surround- Hiddekel: that [is] it which goeth toward and there, presumably, an entrance to
ings, sending a force of 40,000 horse- the east of Assyria. And the fourth river [is] the regio in which Eden resides may
men on a reconnaissance mission into Euphrates. be discovered. Characters already
the Caucasus. — Genesis 2:8–14 exploring the area of lost Babylon and
For the next fifteen years, all of seeking knowledge of the history and
western Persia is a military staging In medieval times, the Garden of geography of ancient Mesopotamia
area and heavily guarded camp, as the Eden is seen as an idyllic paradise, a might also stumble across the edges
Mongols first advance tentatively into place very similar to Heaven, where of this regio in their travels.
Europe and then later invade it with cares and age are stripped away and
their full strength. Constant patrols all human needs are provided for by
of mounted scouts watch the west- God. There, the lion lies down beside The Guardians
ern border of the Empire carefully the lamb, and the hunter puts aside
for threats to their army and signs his bow, for he has no need to hunt. And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is
of easy conquest. Information-gath- Legends tell of men and women who become as one of us, to know good and evil:
ering sorties periodically make their have located this blessed land on and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take
way through Mesopotamia, and overt distant shores, in dark forests, under also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for
displays of magic or heavily armed deep waters, or within great moun- ever:
soldiers certainly attract their atten- tains — but those who know the Therefore the Lord God sent him forth
tion, perhaps even altering the course lore of the faeries imagine that these from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from
of Europe’s history if the Mongols are stories refer to Arcadia, the realm of whence he was taken.
forced to respond. the fae, and not Eden, the legendary So he drove out the man; and he placed at
birthplace of mankind. the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and
Yet just as people seek Arcadia, a flaming sword which turned every way, to
others may yearn to reach Eden, espe- keep the way of the tree of life.
cially those who wish to learn the — Genesis 3:22–24

18
Ancient Magic

Guardians of Eden
Choir: Cherubim Sense Holiness and Unholiness 7 confronts them, always taking
Divine Might: 50 (Vim) (demons), Theology 7 (Eden) a shape that inspires awe and
Characteristics: Int +5, Per +5, Pre Powers: implies authority. This is typi-
+5, Com +5, Str +4, Sta +5, Dex Angelic Mantle, 2 points, +12, Corpus: cally the shape of an angel, a
+4, Qik +2 The guardian takes a human form, great androgynous human being
Size: +2 apparently flesh and blood. with a powerful presence, an aura
Confidence Score: 3 (7) Divine Insight, 3 points, +0, Mentem: of light, four sets of wings, and a
Virtues and Flaws: Greater Immunity May temporarily grant the Clear flaming sword. They can commu-
(fire), Second Sight, Sense Thinker, Free Expression, or nicate differently with multiple
Holiness and Unholiness Inspirational Virtues. characters at once, seeming to say
Personality Traits: Love of God Enfolding, 2 or 10 points, +10, Vim: one thing to one character but
+5, Contemplative +4, Wise +4, The guardian protects the target’s something completely different
Righteous +2 mind or body from all harm. to another.
Combat: Envisioning, 1 or 5 points, +0, Mentem:
Flaming sword*: Init +4, Attack +17, The guardian may appear in a The guardians can understand
Defense +15, Damage +30 dream (or a daydream) to the any language (including Adamic), and
* The sword is not affected by Magic target. can speak directly into the mind of
Resistance of any kind. Fiery Form, 1 point, +16, Ignem: May anyone who wishes to speak with
Soak: +16 become a fiery shape at will, them. Their sole purpose is to forbid
Wound Penalties: –1 (1–5), –3 (6– doing +5 damage to anyone who entry to the garden to those who
10), –5 (11–15), Incapacitated approaches within five feet. have been barred from it, though they
(20+) Turn the Unworthy, 0 points, +16, Vim: might be willing to engage characters
Abilities: Area Lore (Eden) 7 (ani- The guardian forces the target to who approach the regio in conversa-
mals), Area Lore (Ancient return immediately to the next tion, and may even answer questions
Mesopotamia) 3 (geogra- lowest level of the regio. This about the Garden, and who may enter
phy), Awareness 7 (approach), is a miraculous power, and thus it, if they are asked. “None of the sons
Dominion Lore 4 (angels), cannot be resisted with Might or of Adam or daughters of Eve may
Etiquette 6 (humans), Magic other kinds of Magic Resistance. enter,” they might say, “nor any of the
Lore 4 (magical beasts), Great Equipment: flaming great sword Serpent’s kin. All other animals are
Weapon 7 (sword), Penetration 7 Encumbrance: 0 (2) welcome.” They may also warn the
(mortals), Philosophiae 7 (natu- Appearance: The guardians appear characters not to touch the trees that
ral), Second Sight 7 (illusions), differently to each person who grow at the center of the garden.

It may be that Eden, as a concept, by traveling towards the place where create an impenetrable barrier around
is literally part of paradise, where righ- four rivers once joined into one. the entire perimeter, except on the
teous and holy souls spend eternity The regio has three levels. The east side, where there is a clear open-
after death. In the Bible, the garden is mundane level is under water, in the ing forty paces across. Beyond this
“eastward in Eden,” implying that there middle of the Persian Gulf. Level 1 is entrance, the great primeval garden
were once other parts of Eden that still flooded, but the ground is muddy can be clearly seen, but before they
were not the garden. In Ars Magica, marshland and is close enough to can pass through, the characters are
this may be explained by the fact eventually swim and wade back to confronted by one of the guardians.
that Eden is a Divine regio, a piece shore. On Level 5, the four rivers are The guardians do not allow entry
of Heaven on earth, a place that is clearly separated, coming together to any human beings, whom they call
typically hidden from mundane eyes to form a large island, covered with “sons of Adam” and “daughters of Eve.”
beneath the waters of a great sea. It grass and brush. Finally, on Level 10, They also do not permit any reptiles
may be reached by passing through a the island is larger than the whole city to pass into the garden, or “Serpent-
boundary found somewhere along the of Baghdad, thickly forested with tall kin,” as they call them. There are four
southern part of the Euphrates River, trees, and gnarled roots and trunks guardians surrounding Eden, prevent-

19
Ancient Magic
But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in
Other Edens the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye
This version of the Garden of and stories about it — though such shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it,
Eden is not necessarily the only ver- a faerie paradise would have very lest ye die.
sion of Eden the characters could little grounding in reality, and it And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye
discover. For example, there may be would be impossible for characters to shall not surely die:
a Magical Eden, a primordial forest learn Adamic from the inhabitants. For God doth know that in the day ye
to which the first animals, plants, and It might seem as if they could, but eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and
people may be traced. There could this knowledge would be like learn- ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
also be an Infernal version of Eden, a ing from a dream, and would vanish — Genesis 3:1–5
tempting garden full of sinful delights as soon as the characters returned to
and corrupting illusions. Such a gar- the real world. Characters searching Inside the regio, Eden is a magical
den could appear anywhere, but vis- for Eden might seek out or stumble paradise, a garden of vibrant color and
iting it would be perilous to the upon one of these other versions of life. It is a timeless, immortal place,
characters’ souls. There could even it first, which might lead them into where day and night pass as normal
be a faerie version of Eden, a part exciting and challenging alternative but the seasons never turn. Years
of Arcadia made real from legends adventures. may pass outside of the regio, but
within the inhabitants never hunger
ing anyone who is forbidden to enter The guardians can see into the or thirst, and indeed never want for
from passing into the regio from any spirit world, and prevent all non-cor- anything. They are not cold or warm,
direction, and they descend upon any poreal humans from entering (ghostly they do not need to hunt, and none
who somehow emerge inside without warders, spirit familiars, and so on), as of them must sleep, though noctur-
passing through the boundary, using well as all faeries and demons, includ- nal creatures stir when the sun is
their Turn the Unworthy power to imme- ing animals that have Faerie or Infernal down and others rest in comfort until
diately eject them into the lower level Might. This is because the guardians the dawn. Everything is peaceful and
of the regio. view Faerie as essentially associated tranquil, and visitors who upset this
There is a way for human char- with people, and faerie beings cannot balance find themselves removed by
acters to access the garden, though: separate themselves from humanity the guardians.
non-reptilian animals are not prevent- enough to seem like real animals to Magi who enter in animal form
ed from coming and going as they the guardians. Demons and characters find that they no longer have The
will, and characters who watch the with Infernal Supernatural Virtues are Gift while within the garden; they
entrance long enough to see an animal always considered Serpent-kin and are not offensive to other animals, but
approach and enter may recognize this are denied entry no matter what their they cannot work magic either. This
fact. If the characters can change their shapes. Characters with Divine Might does not cancel magical effects that
shapes through Muto Corpus magic can enter and leave whenever they are already upon them, but they can-
or appropriate Supernatural Abilities, wish, and characters associated with not cast spells, including the Parma
they can enter. Changing their shape Faerie but who do not have Faerie Magica, and they cannot experi-
tells the guardians that they identify Might may still enter if they adopt an ment as if in a magical laboratory.
themselves with another form, com- appropriate shape. Enchanted devices they bring that
municating that they should be treat- have continual effects remain active,
ed as animals rather than people, but but those that must be activated by
this must be a complete change or the The Animals the wielder or that trigger in response
guardians see through it — that is, the to conditions besides night and day
characters cannot simply change their Now the serpent was more subtil than any fail to function.
appearance to make themselves look beast of the field which the Lord God had All the animals who make their
like animals. They must also remain in made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath way inside are blessed with the mirac-
this shape the whole time they are in God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the ulous power to speak as humans do. If
Eden, for if any of them ever adopt a garden? they know a language, they find that
forbidden form, the guardians imme- And the woman said unto the serpent, We they may communicate with others
diately remove them. may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: through words and gestures. All the

20
Ancient Magic
beasts who live in Eden can speak the world beyond, and may be will-
Adamic, but none of them know any ing to speak with the characters in
Talking to the Animals
others. exchange for tales. The animals may
The power of the garden does not also be willing to teach the characters Animals in the mundane world
give an animal an Intelligence score, if they somehow acquire a sense of do not typically have a score in
only the ability to communicate and responsibility to them, such as if the a Language Ability, unless they
a heightened sense of cunning. They characters conveyed the idea that the have been trained by a human
do not have supernatural Might or animals and characters are somehow to simulate or recognize particu-
any special powers. At one time there related. lar commands, and even then it
were two of each kind of animal, one Most likely, the characters learn is doubtful they could have more
male and one female, though many of Adamic via Exposure, which is a than a score of 1. Most animals can
these have departed over the years, slow process, since it only gets them communicate fluently with others
and others have entered the garden. two experience points each season. of their species, however, and a
All of the animals here are essentially However, it is the surest way to dis- similar concept allows the animals
domesticated, though they are not cover this knowledge. If they can in Eden can communicate to each
necessarily tame. They are not hos- convince the animals to interact with other in Adamic.
tile, but ambivalent to the characters. them directly and intensively through Since they do not have
They have no sense of time passing, speech and gestures, they can begin Intelligence scores, however, effects
and while they may recognize new- to learn through Practice, which gives like the spell Thoughts Within Babble
comers from day to day, if the charac- eight experience points per season, a (InMe 25) do not make sense of
ters leave the garden and come back, dramatic improvement. the words the animals speak unless
they need to reintroduce themselves. they are designed with an Animal
The beasts know nothing of good requisite. Likewise, characters with
or evil, right or wrong, or virtuous The Fruits Supernatural Powers that allow
or sinful, and have great difficulty them to understand other languag-
understanding these concepts. The And when the woman saw that the tree [was] es do not automatically understand
closest concept the characters may be good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to what the animals are saying.
able to communicate is “instinctive” the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one]
— the animals follow their instincts wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, fruits, most of them easily within
as proper behavior, and recognize and gave also unto her husband with her; and reach of even small animals.
that acting against their instincts is he did eat. All of the animals native to the
improper. Attacking each other is And the eyes of them both were opened, and garden know not to touch the fruit of
improper here, for example, because they knew that they [were] naked; and they these trees, and they warn others to
the animals’ instincts to attack each sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves stay away from them as well. It is “not
other are suppressed; the characters aprons. proper” to eat anything here, they
may be able to communicate the idea — Genesis 3:6–7 say, or to remove the fruit from the
that there are things that are proper branches, and they immediately dis-
here but improper in the world out- Besides the animals, there is also tance themselves from any characters
side, and vice-versa. an amazing amount of vegetation who do so. They instinctively guide
By befriending the animals, the growing in Eden, including two unique characters away from the area, so that
characters may be able to convince trees that may pique the characters’ only those who specifically seek it
them to teach Adamic to them. This interest. They grow in the center of out or set out to explore the garden
is difficult, because they need noth- the garden, a short distance apart stumble across the trees.
ing from the characters, and so there from one another: one of them what Intelligent characters find the
is little that students can offer in seems to be a pomegranate tree and scent overpowering and irresistible.
exchange. They may threaten the the other apparently a fig tree. The The fruits call to them like the most
animals, but if they attempt to harm former is the Tree of Knowledge and powerful desires they have ever had,
them they find themselves outside the latter the Tree of Life. Hanging virtuous or base, for they represent
once more. The animals may enjoy from each are about a dozen ripe all of humanity’s greatest wants. It
hearing stories of their descendants in requires great strength of will for the

21
Ancient Magic
characters to come within range of the
trees and not succumb to the tempta-
Other Trees of Power
tion, for they were all born with a It may be that the Tree of Truth, with rich, round grapes
taste for them. The storyguide may Knowledge and the Tree of Life are that produce a sweet wine that is
ask for appropriate Personality Trait only two of several different trees of heady but not intoxicating, and a
rolls if the characters seem genuinely power that may be found in Eden, for dark bramble known as the Tree of
hesitant, or simply give the players a though they are the only two men- Falsehood, with prickly, thorny trails
choice of which of the two fruits their tioned in the Bible, it stands to reason and black berries, which produces a
characters eat. Once they begin down that the other fruits of the garden sticky juice that can drive a person
the path toward these trees, however, could have undiscovered supernatural mad from just the scent. Tasting
it is almost inevitable that they even- properties, since it is not necessary for either fruit could change a character
tually give in; the only question is the animals to eat while they dwell in in much the same way as the fruit of
which of the two fruits they pick. Eden. These trees might be found in the Tree of Knowledge or the Tree
Characters who eat either type other parts of the garden, perhaps of Life, altering him as appropri-
of fruit immediately disappear from hidden in such a way that characters ate, perhaps giving him Divine or
the garden, but the storyguide should cannot simply stumble over them, Infernal Virtues like True Faith or
wait to describe what happens to but if they seek them out, they can Chthonic Magic (see Realms of Power:
their players until everyone has cho- discover them. The Infernal, page 123), or perhaps
sen which fruits their characters eat. These additional trees might Magical or Faerie Virtues like the
If some characters resist, wait until include a vine called the Tree of Gentle Gift or Faerie Blood.
they leave Eden to reveal what has
happened to their companions. (In Warping Points and must make a roll one), and is from then on only an ani-
the meantime, allow the players of to avoid Twilight). mal, albeit one with human abilities.
those characters who tasted the fruit The fig tree is more alluring to Magi can use their magic to transform
to believe that they have died, smit- characters who are drawn to the physi- themselves into a human shape, using
ten by God’s wrath — a bit of disap- cal and earthly. It is the Tree of Life, a Muto Animal spell with a Corpus
pointment and regret at this point and calls to characters who seek to requisite, but it is no longer their true
might heighten their appreciation for become closer to nature. The ten- form and so this can never be a per-
the actual consequences when they’re der pods are squishy and the innards manent change.
revealed.) sticky, and the taste carries a feeling In addition, all animals of the
The pomegranate tree is more of intense contentment and careless- same species as the character who ate
appealing to spiritual characters, espe- ness, like a pleasant daydream. It is the fruit are cast out of Eden, and pre-
cially magi who are interested in eso- such an overwhelming experience that vented from returning by the guard-
teric pursuits such as discovering the the character falls into a deep sleep ians. For example, if a character in the
Adamic language. This is the Tree of from which he cannot be roused. He shape of a hound eats the fruit of the
Knowledge, and curious characters, or must make a successful Aging roll (one Tree of Life, all other canines living in
characters who usually study or teach, which does not cause him to gain an the garden are instantly transported
find it the most difficult to resist. Aging Point) to wake up. If he does, out of the regio at the same time as
Eating the juicy pomegranate seeds he appears outside the garden and the character. In the same way that
brings with it the feeling of incredible finds that he has a Magical Might score all humans and reptiles are forbidden
power, as well as an intense feeling of equal to (10 – Size). If he already had a from entering because of the actions
guilt. All characters who partake of Might score there is no other effect. of their ancestors, all canines are
it gain an Intelligence score if they In either case, a character removed similarly punished for the character’s
have Cunning, or gain The Gift if from the garden for eating either the transgression.
they are already intelligent. They also fruit of Knowledge or Life is thence- There may be other ramifications
receive 1 Warping Point plus enough forth prevented from entering it again. of the characters’ taste of the forbid-
additional Warping Points to increase The character also soon realizes that den fruit. Theologically speaking, it
their Warping Score by 1 (which he has permanently become the shape could cause great turmoil within the
ensures that all magi gain at least 2 he was when he ate the fruit. That is, Church, as the effects suggest that
he has lost his human form (if he had The Gift is born from original sin, and

22
Ancient Magic

Story Seed: The Serpent’s Desire Cain’s Curse


The characters have previously soul like humans, able to choose And the Lord said unto Cain, Where [is] Abel
encountered a powerful, ancient between good and evil. thy brother? And he said, I know not: [Am] I
dragon who has something that This may be an impetus to make my brother’s keeper?
the characters want in its hoard. It the characters decide to travel to And he said, What hast thou done? the
is willing to make a bargain with Eden, and though they can take voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from
them: if the characters bring it the fruit with them if they resist the ground.
a piece of fruit from the Tree of its allure, they find that it loses And now [art] thou cursed from the
Knowledge, it will give them what its special properties outside of the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive
they ask, for it and its kin have garden. The dragon keeps its part of thy brother’s blood from thy hand;
been cursed by God ever since the bargain if they bring the fruit to When thou tillest the ground, it shall
their ancestor was driven from the it, but finds that like everything else not henceforth yield unto thee her strength;
garden, and it believes that if it it turns to ashes in its mouth (“...and a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in
were to eat this fruit, its eyes would dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy the earth.
be opened, and it would gain a life,” per Genesis 3:14). And Cain said unto the Lord, My pun-
ishment [is] greater than I can bear.
supports the idea that some animals And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art Behold, thou hast driven me out this day
have souls. Religious authorities are thou wroth? and why is thy countenance from the face of the earth; and from thy face
unlikley to take characters’ reports of fallen? shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a
entering and being cast out of Eden If thou doest well, shalt thou not be vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to
seriously, though, so even though the accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth pass, [that] every one that findeth me shall
characters might be able to spread at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, slay me.
new ideas among thoughtful charac- and thou shalt rule over him. And the Lord said unto him, Therefore
ters associated with the Order, they And Cain talked with Abel his brother: whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be
are unlikely to have an impact on and it came to pass, when they were in the taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a
Church dogma or teachings. field, that Cain rose up against Abel his mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should
brother, and slew him. kill him.
— Genesis 4:1–8 — Genesis 4:9–15

The Mark Adam’s firstborn son was named


Cain, and the curse said to have befall-
In jealousy, Cain slew his brother
and lied about it to God. As punish-

of Cain en him is well-known in medieval


times, taken directly from the account
ment for this, the tiller of the ground
was forced to become a fugitive and
in the Bible. Many of the specifics of a vagabond, rejected by the earth
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she con- the story are confusing to those who which he had dirtied with Abel’s mur-
ceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten might investigate them, however, and der, trembling and moaning accord-
a man from the Lord. there are many mysteries buried in ing to some translations of the text,
And she again bare his brother Abel. these simple verses. For example, what and was banished from his family and
And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was was the exact nature of Cain’s curse? their society.
a tiller of the ground. What was the mark that God placed One interpretation of this curse
And in process of time it came to pass, upon him, and how did those who saw is that Cain was physically changed
that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground it know what it meant? Who was Cain’s by it; that it made him into a monster.
an offering unto the Lord. wife, and where did she come from? Since the ground would not yield
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings This section outlines possible its bounty to him, he was forced to
of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord answers to these questions, to make feed on flesh and blood. He could
had respect unto Abel and to his offering: it possible for the characters to find father children and build a city, but
But unto Cain and to his offering he had Cain and talk to him, and perhaps he had to go far away from his father
not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and convince him to teach them his native and mother to do so, for he could no
his countenance fell. language. longer bear the presence of God that

23
Ancient Magic
fate, why did God not just kill him And unto Enoch was born Irad: and
Adamic Writing outright? Instead of explaining, God Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat
placed a mark upon him as a sign to Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
Characters fluent in the others that he was not to be harmed, And Lamech took unto him two wives:
Adamic language who also know and as a warning that any person who the name of the one [was] Adah, and the name
how to write (that is, who have a was to slay him would also suffer. of the other Zillah.
score of 1 in Artes Liberales) may The Bible says nothing beyond And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father
name objects or beings in writing that simple word, “mark.” It is the of such as dwell in tents, and [of such as
rather than words. They inscribe same word as for “sign,” also used to have] cattle.
the symbols that mean a thing’s describe a single letter of the Hebrew And his brother’s name [was] Jubal: he
name upon it, and this is the same alphabet, as well as a brand or scar, a was the father of all such as handle the harp
as naming it in Adamic, creating an message from God, an ill omen, or an and organ.
Arcane Connection that the magus astrological event. The symbol for the And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an
can use to target it more effectively word “mark” was a simple cross. It was instructer of every artificer in brass and iron:
in the future. also an ancient custom to brand crimi- and the sister of Tubalcain [was] Naamah.
The mark of Cain might be nals on the forehead with a symbol of And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah
said to mean “Cain” in the Adamic their crime, and perhaps this practice and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of
language, and inscribing it upon originated with Cain’s mark. Thus, Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have
a thing is essentially the same as Cain has the sign of the cross on his slain a man to my wounding, and a young
naming it Cain, so long as the forehead, raised as a scar and burned man to my hurt.
character is fluent in the magical like a tattoo onto his skin. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly
language of Adam and has some Some scholars have suggested Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
understanding of the ancient alpha- that Cain’s mark was not a physical — Genesis 4:16–24
bet from which the symbol derives. symbol, but rather a metaphorical
This creates an Arcane Connection one, like an aura of evil about him, or A puzzling question left by the
between the magus and the object, a wild look in his eye. Many believed Bible is Cain’s wife, who is mentioned
but also gives the target a pro- it to represent some sort of super- in the story of Cain, but her origin is
phetic association with Cain, a natural protection, designed to keep never explained. If Adam and Eve were
magical destiny that might not be Cain safe from harm until he finally the first man and woman, where did
desirable. repented of his crimes. And some Cain’s wife come from? Many scholars
described it as an unnatural manifesta- learned in ancient lore believe that
surrounded their home. Worst of all, tion of these qualities upon his body, she was Lilith, the first woman cre-
unless he repented and atoned for making him look like a wild beast, ated in the Garden of Eden, who was
his evil deed, his sin could never be with sharp teeth or horns growing out exiled from it before ever Eve came to
forgiven and he would not join God of his head. These ideas may be con- be. Many stories also describe Lilith
in Heaven upon his death, but would firmed in the mind of any person who as the mother of all tempting demons
be forced to remain on earth, soulless, encounters Cain; they may perceive and dark spirits, and a wicked witch
for all eternity. him as a predatory animal at first, who practiced evil magic and kid-
Many medieval authors describe before recognizing him as a man. napped babies in the night. (For more
the “trembling and moaning” that about Lilith, see Realms of Power: The
Cain was forced to endure. According Infernal, page 27.)
to the story, Cain began to shake and Cain’s Children Another possibility is that while
wail, and became agitated, driving Adam and Eve were the first man and
himself into madness and frenzy, and And Cain went out from the presence of the woman, they were not the only man
it is in this state that he protested Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the and woman; they were simply the
to God that his punishment was too east of Eden. first man and woman who knew God,
harsh; apart from his existence being And Cain knew his wife; and she con- were privileged to live with him in
unbearable, he would be a pariah, and ceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, the Garden of Eden, and were blessed
that anyone who found him would and called the name of the city, after the name with his favor though they had sinned
surely kill him. If this was to be his of his son, Enoch. against him. When they left the gar-

24
Ancient Magic

The Descendants of Cain Story Hook:


According to popular legend ing Lamech, becoming seventy and Ancient Devices
in Mythic Europe, the giants and seven times more monstrous than
ogres that are common in stories Cain and doomed to suffer seventy Verditius magi seeking unique
from medieval times all the way and seven times his punishment. enchanted items as part of a
back to the classics of antiquity are Or perhaps more than one of these Mystery Quest might learn of an
the descendants of Cain, specifically circumstances are the case — per- ancient device made of brass and
in the epic poem Beowulf, where the haps Lamech, the descendant of marked “Tuvulcan”, but written in
phrase is used to describe both the Cain and Lilith, had other children Hebrew and dating back to the
monstrous beast Grendel and his with his two wives, siring a race of ancient times long before legends
mother. monsters who inherited the curse of of the Roman deity ever came
The term “descendant of Cain” his ancestor. to be. Perhaps this leads them to
is ambiguous. It could mean that The names of Lamech’s children, speculate that all or many of the
these creatures were descended from as recorded in the Bible, may hint at pagan gods and goddesses of the
the daughters of Cain, who it is said other interpretations as well. One of classical world were actually the
bore children to the angels who them, described as a master artificer children of Lamech, and directly
remained on earth. Or, it could be who worked in brass and iron, is descended from Cain.
that the creatures are the fiends named Tubalcain. The “b” sound is
of the night said to be the chil- often interchangeable with the “v” him into a hideous, wild creature. He
dren of Lilith, who may have been sound in early European languages, fled his homeland, traveling far away,
Cain’s wife. Alternately, it could be which could suggest that this famous and it is said he died in the Great
that they were others who inher- smith’s name might have developed Flood, though whether or not he did,
ited Cain’s curse, perhaps by kill- into “Vulcan” over time. or passed on the curse to anyone else,
is unknown. In any case, like Cain,
Lamech is never mentioned in the
den, perhaps they found many other a boy, and declared that if any who Bible again.
people already living in the world that harmed Cain were to suffer seven-
they had inherited, just as there were fold, those who harmed him would
plants and animals and all the other surely suffer seventy and sevenfold. Finding Cain
things that God created spread all According to Biblical apocrypha, this
throughout the world. is because the man he killed was Cain was shot through the heart,
Whatever the case, Cain and his Cain, and the youth was his own son. and he should have died. Yet he was
wife had a son named Enoch, and Lamech was a hunter, and when he not welcome in paradise, for he had
they built a city of the same name and his son were in the forest, the boy never repented of his crime, but he
in the land of Nod, far to the east of spotted a wild animal in the brush, had also already received judgment
Jerusalem. No one knows where this and called to his father to shoot it. and punishment from God directly,
land is, but some think it is in Persia The arrow struck soundly, but they and so neither could his soul be con-
or the mountains of the Caucasus. found that the target was not a beast, signed to eternal damnation. Thus,
Others suggest it was in Europe, in but his ancestor, who they recognized Cain arose from where he fell, a
Novgorod, that these nomads wan- by the mark on his forehead. In fury, shadow of himself, both living and
dered north as well as east. Cain and Lamech beat the boy to death with dead but neither living nor dead, a
his wife also had many daughters, for his bow. man but not a man, a being something
it is said that the angels who did not Thus, Lamech inherited the curse else entirely. He became a ghost of
join with God or with the Devil were of his ancestor, for by slaying Cain, sorts, solid enough but also unreal and
beguiled by the daughters of Cain, he was as doomed to suffer God’s otherworldly, a living corpse forced to
and had children by them. vengeance as he had been. Lamech live in places steeped in fear and hid-
Cain’s great-great-great-grandson suffered the same physical transfor- den by the night. In short, he became
was named Lamech, a man who in mation as Cain, and it affected him a faerie, a legendary creature of dark-
the Bible sang that he slew a man and much more severely, transforming ness and death.

25
Ancient Magic

Cain, the Fugitive


Faerie Might: 10–70 (Corpus) derous rage, Cain may ignore all Cain does not regain Might like
Characteristics: Int –2, Per –1, Pre wound penalties and add +4 to a normal faerie. He must sleep to
+4, Com +2, Str +3, Sta +5, Dex his Attack. recover lost Might, replenishing 1
–1, Qik –1 Rush of Strength, 3 points, +2, Corpus: Point per hour if he sleeps for more
Size: 0 Cain summons a sudden burst than six hours. During this time
Age: n/a (120) of angry vigor, increasing the his body is indistinguishable from
Personality Traits: Murderous +7, amount of damage his next blow a corpse. Killing and eating a liv-
Bloodthirsty +3, Envious +3, deals by +4. ing thing also restores some of his
Fearful +3, Hateful +3, Reckless Shadow of Cain, 0 points, +2, Corpus: Might, approximately 1 Might Point
+3, Thieving +3, Vengeful +3 One of Cain’s “shadows” separates for each two points of Size above
Reputations: Murderer 9 (local), from his body and goes elsewhere, –15. If his Might Score has been
Cursed by God 6 (local) taking away 10 points of Might diminished from its default value,
Combat: and one of his +3 Personality each night it is increased by one.
Dodge: Init –1, Attack n/a, Defense Traits. This is for all purposes Also, he heals very quickly when he
+6, Damage n/a a different being, a specialized is incapacitated, completely recover-
Fist and Nails: Init –1, Attack +6, instance of Cain that is unaware ing from all wounds as if they were
Defense +7, Damage +4 of the actions of any others, Light Wounds, though they often
Bite: Init –2, Attack +7, Defense +6, with its own agenda and its own leave unpleasant scars on his body.
Damage +8 desires. It rises from Cain’s body, Like other faeries, Cain does not
Club: Init +0, Attack +8, Defense +7, however, so Cain cannot do this age, and he does not suffer Fatigue.
Damage +6 if he is bound or imprisoned. He suffers pain from exposure to the
Soak: +5 (Stamina) Each of these shadows can join elements, but does not need warmth
Wound Penalties: –1 (1–5), –3 (6– together with the others, so that to survive and has no need to breathe
10), –5 (11–15), Inc. (20+) it is possible for there to be two or eat. He may walk all day and all
Abilities: Animal Handling 3 (oxen), versions of Cain in different parts night without stopping. If he is not
Area Lore (any) 3 (geography), of the world, one with 40 Might sleeping, he must concentrate on
Area Lore (Ancient Mesopotamia) and another with 30. When all of remaining in one place, or he is com-
8 (geography), Athletics 3 (run- his shadows are combined, he has pelled to travel. He prefers the night,
ning), Awareness 5 (watching his maximum Might Score of 70. since he is less noticeable then, but
from a distance), Brawl 7 (grap- Appearance: Cain can appear in also prefers settlements and cities to
ples), Dead Language (Adamic) 5 many forms, but most commonly the wilderness.
(agricultural terms), Guile 5 (lying he looks like a crooked old man Cain’s shadows wander through-
to authority), Hunt 7 (long dis- in a dirty, kilted tunic and hood, out all of Mythic Europe, but he is
tances), Single Weapon 6 (club), with which he covers a black often drawn back to Mesopotamia,
Stealth 6 (hide), Survival 8 (des- scar in the shape of the cross his homeland. Characters investigat-
ert), Swim 3 (rivers), Teaching 2 branded into the center of his ing the ruins of Babylon or searching
(children) forehead. Most of the hair on his for the Garden of Eden may stumble
Powers: head has fallen out, though his across his body huddled within a
Desperate Speed, 3 points, +2, Corpus: eyebrows are unnaturally bushy Faerie aura, appearing to all medical
Cain can move with astonishing and he strangely does not have a and magical examination to be dead
speed when necessary, traveling beard. He bears signs of a nasty (apart from his Faerie Might), or dis-
twice the distance a normal man arrow wound on the right side cover him lurking in the dark of night,
could move in the same amount of his neck. His remaining teeth watching them from a distance.
of time and adding +7 to his are long and sharpened to points,
Initiative. and his fingernails are like claws.
Supernatural Fury, 3 points, +2, His skin is pallid and cold, like a
Corpus: When driven into a mur- dead body.

26
Ancient Magic
Cain’s original curse was a sort of
faerie blood, which he passed on to
his descendants and which associated
him with the Faerie realm while he
was still living. When he died, how-
ever, he became a true faerie creature,
wholly belonging to that realm. This
version of Cain was a very different
sort of faerie from the other faeries of
the time. It might be supposed that
Cain was the first “dark faerie” of the
ancient world.
In fact, part of Cain’s curse is that
there are as many as seven shadows
of Cain loose in the world, each of
them slightly different, but all of them
wicked and frightening. All of them
are Cain: they know what he knew
when he died, and they want what he
wanted when he was still alive. Thus,
while there is only one Cain, he may
appear in several places at once; this
is the sevenfold vengeance mentioned
in the Bible.
Cain’s seven aspects usually travel
individually, though they can also
come together to create a more pow-
erful whole, and in fact they always
do when two or more of them meet in
the same place. In the many ages since
the original Cain lived, each instance
has developed a particular Personality
Trait, which is its primary reason
for killing. These break off from the
whole when Cain appears to sleep,
each pursuing its own form of murder.
For example, the Wrathful Cain hunts to talk, he communicates in a strange may require the characters to dog his
those who have slighted him, seeking garble of words and dialects, often steps across all of Mythic Europe, but
revenge, while the Fearful Cain hides cursing to himself in his own tongue. it is one method by which they may
in shadows, striking from darkness so Characters may be surprised to hear recover the original language of man.
that he is not seen. their own names spoken among this A better way to learn Adamic is
The main reason characters might stream of sounds under his breath if to convince Cain to teach them, for
seek out Cain is because as a son they listen carefully, even if they have though he is a mediocre instructor,
of Adam, he is a native speaker of not introduced themselves to him. it is faster than picking up a word or
Adamic. In fact, while he can speak They may deduce that many of these two here and there over the course of
and understand any language by vir- words are spoken in Adamic, and a season. However, Cain is unlikely to
tue of his faerie nature, Adamic is through exposure to Cain’s bizarre do this, for he is vengeful and petty,
the only language with which he is manner of speaking, they can pick and he may treat people with whom
fluent, as it is the language he spoke up experience points in the language. he empathizes even worse than those
when he was alive. When convinced This is an absurdly slow process that he dislikes. Yet some medieval schol-

27
Ancient Magic
burns him, leaving black marks upon
The Faerie Cain his skin. This torture may cause him to
Cain is depicted here as a faerie save his soul, and would conclusively yield, bitterly but pleadingly, though
for several reasons. Firstly, Cain is a answer the question of whether or he nurses his vengeance and vows to
character of myth, though he appears not Cain had been forsaken by God. cause his captors all the suffering they
in the Bible, and after his death he Interacting with Cain as a demon inflict upon him and more. He has all
is primarily a bogeyman used as a would be a mortal sin and a Hermetic the time in the world to get even, and
frightening example of someone who crime. Thus, this version of Cain he ensures that those who punish him
committed a terribly evil act and is morally ambiguous. Finally, as a eventually suffer much, much more
suffered the consequences for it. It faerie, Cain’s appearance is mutable, than he did.
is even possible that this faerie ver- so that his curse is not necessarily Should any character slay Cain,
sion of Cain came into being after tied to his skin color or his national- that character inherits Cain’s curse,
the real Cain’s death, in response to ity — the idea of Cain as a murder- as a kind of Greater Malediction.
stories told about him. In any case, ous being cursed by God can appear He becomes twisted and deformed,
this version of Cain is a legendary fig- in any culture, and this makes clear driven from the Dominion by the
ure, a living character from a famous that his mark is not tied to his race same trembling and groaning that
folk tale. Secondly, Cain is depicted or tribe. This version of Cain is one Cain suffers, and doomed to become
as essentially amoral; he does not taken from European myth, but as a a shadow of himself when he dies.
wish to corrupt others or lead people faerie creature he could just as easily So too will Cain the faerie eventually
into sin, but sates his own desires. appear in a different form recogniz- raise himself from the slumber that
If he were a demon, it would be able to people living in other parts of for him mimics death, his desire for
impossible for the characters to ever the world. vengeance against his killer sated by
passing on his curse. This process of
death and rebirth might take only a
ars speculate that Cain still has his at least temporarily, long enough to few days or many generations, but
soul, for God has given him a differ- learn what they need. Cain ultimately resumes his wander-
ent punishment than Hell for his sins, Then again, it may be that the ings as if nothing had happened.
and thus he may yet be saved from only way for the characters to learn
eternal damnation if only he can be what they want is to force Cain to
made to repent. If Cain understands cooperate, perhaps by capturing
and believes this, perhaps he would
be willing to tutor the characters in
him and threatening to hurt him.
Cain is especially susceptible to the
Conclusions
exchange for their hearing his confes- Dominion and holy things, for Divine
sions. He may even enjoy it, as it gives auras cause his head and limbs to Once the characters have learned
him an opportunity to brag about his tremble and shake, and turn his voice to speak Adamic fluently, the infor-
exploits. Characters who listen to him into a series of unintelligible screams mation will probably begin to spread
non-judgmentally may befriend him, and moans. The touch of a holy relic throughout the Order, possibly

28
Ancient Magic

Magic in Other Languages


Hermetic magic is based in Latin, using another language that he Adapting a language to Magic
because that is the language of learn- speaks fluently instead of Latin. He Theory is not that onerous, and it is
ing in Mythic Europe, and has been is seeking to achieve a Discovery unlikely that the result will be consid-
since before Bonisagus developed his on the Extraordinary Results chart, ered a true “breakthrough” by other
theory of magic. Magi can certainly and each time he does so, he pro- researchers in the Order of Hermes.
cast spells without speaking Latin, duces a spell that he may cast using Perhaps it has been done before,
but they suffer a penalty to their the new language. He may then and exotic magi in lands further east
casting totals, just as if they were attempt to stabilize this discovery, have already converted their spells
not incorporating their voice at all. and if he does he receives a break- into Greek or Arabic, even using
To integrate another language into through point for each magnitude this language to teach their appren-
their magic, they have to perform of the invented spell. Completely tices magic. Once this process has
original research, experimenting in integrating this new language into been completed, a character with the
the lab. This process is based on the Hermetic magic is less work than Living Language Ability at a score of
rules described in Houses of Hermes: True a Minor Breakthrough, requiring 4 or more and Artes Liberales–based
Lineages, page 26. only 15 breakthrough points to knowledge of the associated alphabet
Like other means of adapting achieve, and unlike other forms of can learn the newly translated spell
non-Hermetic magic into Magic original research, the magus does from a Lab Text, and from then on
Theory, the magus must begin with not gain Warping Points from this may invent his own spells in that
a project, perhaps inventing a spell procedure. language.

attracting the attention of scholars likely to surface is the suggestion Because of the incredible
in more academic circles. Given that that Hermetic magic incorporate Penetration advantages that Adamic
it is supposedly the first language of Adamic instead of Latin, for magic gives magi, widespread knowledge
man, and presumably the language of is so much more powerful when could lead to the downfall of the
God, representatives of the Christian cast using the words of the first Order, since it negates the value of
Church, Judaism, Islam, and other language. It is unlikely that Adamic the Parma Magica as an equalizer.
faiths may also take an interest, per- could ever replace Latin completely, Then again, it could also ensure that
haps declaring that it is a holy lan- since all the greatest books of the Hermetic magic achieves suprema-
guage, sacred and not to be profaned day are written in Latin, as are cy over all other forms of magic,
by wizards and magicians for use with all the authoritative tomes of their since magi would have both superior
their heathen rites. This could lead to Hermetic predecessors, but in time resistance and unstoppable strength.
great conflict within and without the it could become a sort of secret sign Ultimately, it is a discovery that would
Order. among magi, used among their own transform the way magic is used, and
As more and more magi learn to help them hide their Arts within how magi are perceived by all other
the language, another idea that is the populace. supernatural beings.

29
Chapter Two

Canaanite Necromancy
Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up where in Mythic Europe, although the Major Supernatural
unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. authenticity of these is questionable.
— I Samuel 28:11
Virtue: Canaanite
Necromancy
In Canaan, a kingdom in the
biblical Holy Land, there was a magi-
cal tradition of necromancers who
Secrets of the Canaanite necromancers have spe-
cial abilities to speak to and summon
could summon and speak to the dead.
Late in the second millennium before Necromancer the dead. A character with this Virtue
has a score of 1 in the Supernatural
Christ, Canaan was conquered by the Ability Canaanite Necromancy, which
Israelites. For a short time afterward, Canaanite necromancy, as prac- she may use to replicate any Hermetic
necromancers continued to work in ticed by Zephaniah and her col- Corpus or Mentem spell effect that
the city of En-Dor until they were leagues in biblical Canaan, is repre- deals with communicating, command-
destroyed in a purge of prophets, sented by a new Major Supernatural ing, or summoning the dead. A stress
priests, and witches conducted by the Virtue Canaanite Necromancy, and roll of Communication + Canaanite
Israelite king Saul. the corresponding Supernatural Necromancy Ability against an Ease
It is common knowledge, among Ability Canaanite Necromancy. This Factor of (3 x the magnitude of the
the educated of Mythic Europe, that Ability can be taught to a Gifted char- effect) indicates that the character
such a magical tradition once existed, acter by the ghost of Zephaniah using has successfully replicated the spell.
as some information about it is pre- the rules for learning Supernatural For example, if Zephaniah attempts to
served in the Old Testament book Abilities (ArM5, page 166). However, replicate Whispers Through the Black Gate
I Samuel, even though the tradition this is not very practical for any magus, (InCo 15) (ArM5, page 130), a stress
itself was not connected to the Divine. except an apprentice, as the penalty roll must be made for her against an
Despite this tantalizing glimpse, the to the teaching Source Quality due Ease Factor of 9. Canaanite necro-
Order of Hermes has little useful to the student’s Art scores makes it mancers can also access the special
knowledge of the ancient tradition effectively impossible for him to learn Range: Veil of Death, detailed below.
and, in particular, the exact location the Virtue. Therefore, a magus desir-
of the city of En-Dor has been lost. ing to revive Canaanite necromancy Canaanite Necromancy:
Some classical authors also wrote really needs to modify and integrate Communication + Canaanite
of the Canaanites and their practices, the abilities of the Canaanite necro- Necromancy Ability + stress die
and recently crusaders returning from mancers with Hermetic theory. vs. Ease Factor (3 x magnitude of
the Holy Land have spoken of ruined effect)
cities in the Levantine desert, leading
some to contemplate expeditions to Despite biblical commentary,
search for biblical and magical arti- Canaanite necromancy is inherently
facts. Purportedly Canaanite artifacts, neither Divine nor Infernal in nature.
in the form of inscribed clay tablets, It is aligned to the Magic realm,
have also occasionally surfaced in the although an Infernal variant does
markets of Constantinople and else- exist; see Story Seed: The Sho’elim’ov,

30
Ancient Magic

Saul, Samuel, and the Witch


The biblical book I Samuel tells the will of God — as communicated eventually returned to Israel with the
the story of Saul the Benjaminite, by Samuel — by dividing the best Philistine army. As he surveyed the
whom the elderly prophet Samuel sheep and oxen of the defeated city Philistine host encamped at Shunem,
anointed as the first king of Israel of Amalek among his soldiers, rather Saul feared a military disaster and
in about 1000 BC. From his for- than destroying them, and by failing so attempted to discover the will of
tress at Gibeah, Saul and his son to execute the defeated king of the God. Receiving no insight, he then
Jonathon successfully led the Amalekites, Agag. traveled to the city of En-Dor, where
Israelites in battle against the hos- The power struggle between the last necromancer to escape his
tile kingdoms that surrounded them, Saul and Samuel — between king purges still lived. The name of this
including the Ammonites (who were and prophet — led Samuel to groom witch was Zephaniah and, despite
defeated at Jabesh Gilead) and the a possible replacement king, David, distrusting Saul, she summoned the
Philistines (broken, but not defeat- who by the will of God defeated spirit of Samuel, to whom Saul plead-
ed, at Michmash). However, dur- the Philistine champion Goliath. ed for help. The ghost of Samuel
ing the war against the Philistines, Frightened and jealous of the threat refused Saul; he said that God had
Saul committed a terrible sin by posed by David, Saul unsuccessfully forsaken Saul, and that he and his
constructing an altar from which plotted to kill him. Samuel then died dynasty would be extinguished the
he made a sacrifice to ascertain the and David fled into the wilderness as following day. The next day, as the
will of God; it was a sin because Saul purged the Israelite priesthood ghost predicted, the Israelites were
such a sacrifice could only be made — in the process eliminating the defeated, Saul’s three sons were killed
by a priest, like Samuel. In addition Canaanite necromancers and other in battle, and Saul killed himself after
to appropriating the power of the magical traditions. David, mean- being sorely wounded by Philistine
priest, Saul also directly disobeyed while, allied with the Philistines and archers.

below. The Canaanite Necromancy Often, this is a standard Hermetic Arcane Connection and he may only
Ability can be improved by study, effect, but the storyguide may specify utilize the special Range Veil of Death
practice, or teaching. that a particular non-Hermetic effect in those spells that he invented using
can be invented, which utilizes the Insight Lab Texts.
special Range Veil of Death. In either
Hermetic Integration case, as described in the Introduction,
this gives the magus a number of Canaanite Laboratory
A magus may work in his labora- breakthrough points equal to the Assistants
tory, with an assistant who has the magnitude of the invented effect.
Canaanite Necromancy Major Virtue Once the magus has accumulated The magus needs the assistance
(the ghost of Zephaniah or a character 45 breakthrough points (remember of a Canaanite necromancer to gain
she has taught, for example), to inte- that each additional effect requires an Insight into the ancient tradition.
grate Hermetic and Canaanite prac- additional Insight Lab Text) then he This is because Canaanite necroman-
tices. By studying with a necromancer has successfully integrated Canaanite cy was an oral tradition and there are
assistant for a season the magus may necromancy and gains the Minor no written texts or artifacts to base
gain an Insight into the theoretical Hermetic Virtue Canaanite Magic. research upon, although the role can
framework of Canaanite necromancy be performed by a modern student of
and produce an Insight Lab Text, as To Integrate Canaanite Zephaniah. A Canaanite necromancer
described in the Introduction. Necromancy: Accumulate 45 or can also help the magus invent spells
Once the magus has gained an more breakthrough points and items during the experimental
Insight into Canaanite necromancy, phase of the integration when break-
he may attempt to incorporate his Note that the character does not through points are accumulated.
Insight, by using the Insight Lab Text gain the Hermetic Virtue until the The magus receives a bonus to his
to invent an effect (spell or item) that integration is complete, and so until Lab Total equal to the necromancer’s
deals with the dead in some way. then he does not gain the special Intelligence + Canaanite Necromancy

31
Ancient Magic
Ability score during any season that multiplier bonus, much like
the necromancer provides assistance any other permanent Arcane
New Range:
to invent effects that exploit an Connection (ArM5, page 84), Veil of Death
Insight. This is similar to the way that when casting spells on the dead.
Hermetic assistants can help in the The value of the Penetration Spells cast with this range may
laboratory (ArM5, page 103) and fol- bonus can be increased, with sym- affect any dead mortal human. The
lows the same rules, but the Canaanite pathetic connections, as normal. distance between the caster and
necromancer can only assist in labora- any physical remains of the target is
tory experiments designed to integrate There are also risks inherent in irrelevant, but the caster must still
Hermetic and Canaanite practices. Canaanite Magic: be connected to the target in some
If the magus has managed to learn way — which can be achieved
the Supernatural Ability Canaanite • The dead are always aware of the by appropriate Intellego magic
Necromancy and is producing Insight presence of the magus. Effectively, with this Range, or by possessing
Lab Texts by himself, then he receives this means that a ghost or other an Arcane Connection to the tar-
no bonus for “assisting” himself, but spirit of a dead person knows get. Physical remains are suitable
he may choose whether to use either when the magus approaches with- Arcane Connections and the Minor
his Magic Theory or his Canaanite in a radius of seven miles, and can Hermetic Virtue Canaanite Magic
Necromancy Ability Score to calcu- subsequently precisely identify (which the caster would normal-
late his Lab Total. the location of the magus on a ly possess) also provides enough
simple Perception roll against an information for targeting spells. For
Ease Factor of 6. the purposes of spell magnitudes,
Minor Hermetic Virtue: • The dead also have a permanent this range is equivalent to Sight.
Canaanite Magic Arcane Connection to the magus,
which they may exploit for a +4 would normally be beyond the reach
Penetration multiplier bonus when of the spell is that she is in Heaven.
A magus with this Virtue has a magically attacking the magus. Once sensed, the magus may cast
special understanding of the dead, Since a ghost needs to have a other spells on the target, as long as
based upon the archaic techniques score in the Penetration Ability to this spell is active.
of the Canaanite necromancers. This exploit the bonus, this is not often (Base 4, +3 Veil, +1 Diam)
understanding means that the magus problematic for the magus.
becomes partly of the world of the The Ob of Mot
living and partly of the world of the CrMe 25
dead. This transformation is perma- New Spells R: Veil, D: Conc, T: Group
nent and irreversible. This spell allows those about the
Some spells that exploit the caster to speak with a specific person
• The first benefit is that the magus Range Veil of Death are listed below. in the world of the dead — to them
may access a special Range Veil of These spells are, with the storyguide’s it appears that the caster is speaking
Death. He may use this Range to approval, appropriate effects for a with the voice of the dead person.
affect any of the dead (see insert). magus to invent during the process The caster is effectively acting as a
• The second benefit is that the of integrating Canaanite magic with temporary container or vessel for the
magus becomes a permanent Hermetic theory. dead spirit, and botches of this spell
Arcane Connection to the dead. might cause the caster to become pos-
This means that he is always Anat’s Search in the Miry Abyss sessed by a malevolent spirit.
connected to all of the dead, InMe 20 The caster must either have an
and so can always target them R: Veil, D: Diam, T: Ind Arcane Connection to, or otherwise
with magic (see Guidelines for This spell senses a specific person be able to sense, the target, and the
Canaanite Magic, below). in the world of the dead. If a person target must be in the world of the
• The third benefit is that the cannot be sensed, then she is either dead; that is, neither alive nor in
magus can exploit this Arcane alive or beyond the reach of the spell. Heaven. The dead person is compelled
Connection for a +4 Penetration The only reason that a dead person neither to speak nor be truthful. The

32
Ancient Magic

The Problem Zephaniah’s Brazier Guidelines for


InMe 15
of Samuel Pen +0, 1/day
Canaanite Magic
R: Veil, D: Mom, T: Ind
Zephaniah was able to summon This brazier is a copper dish Who is Dead?
the spirit of Samuel who, being a about five inches in diameter. The
prophet of God, should have been color of the smoke in the brazier The Minor Virtue Canaanite
in Heaven and thus unreachable can be used to determine whether Magic provides an Arcane Connection
by Canaanite necromancy, which an individual is dead. To use the to the dead, and the Range Veil of
at first appears to be an indication brazier it is lit, and the name of the Death allows a magus to interact with
that Zephaniah broke the Limit of target is spoken into the white smoke any of the dead that he can sense. In
the Divine. In fact, Samuel was not spiraling upwards from the dish. If this case, “the dead” means any mortal
in Heaven. His spirit, along with the individual is dead, the smoke man, woman, or child who has died
those of all the Old Testament changes, becoming acrid and purple but who has not, yet, entered Heaven.
saints, initially dwelt beneath the in color. The brazier may be used This includes mortals who are resi-
earth in paradise. It was not until once per day. dent in Hell or Purgatory, those who
after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Effect: Base 4, +3 Veil) die while in a Faerie or Magic realm,
that Heaven became accessible and ghosts, including living ghosts
to man, allowing Samuel, and the Mot’s Hand (see The Mysteries Revised Edition, pages
other prophets, to enter. ReMe 37 70–74) and Infernal ghosts (see Realms
Pen +20, 3/day of Power: The Infernal, page 36).
caster is aware of the conversation, R: Veil, D: Diam, T: Ind Magi in Final Twilight, who have
but cannot participate without mak- This item is a skeletal marionette- become faeries, or who have become
ing an Intelligence + Concentration type puppet about one foot tall, and magical creatures are not dead. Dead
roll against an Ease Factor of 12. by manipulating the puppet the pup- or living fae, angels, demons, or super-
(Base 3, +3 Veil, +1 Conc, +1 peteer may direct the actions of the natural creatures are also not accessible
Group) closest ghost. As this effect has a to Canaanite necromancy, nor does
Range of Veil of Death there is always Canaanite necromancy allow a magus
The Visage of Mot a ghost in range, although of course, to interact with dead animals. Once
ReMe 35 unforeseen consequences may result the Minor Hermetic Virtue Canaanite
R: Veil, D: Conc, T: Ind, Ritual if the manipulated ghost is not within Magic is known, however, it is a Minor
This spell summons the ghost of the sight of the puppeteer. The effect Breakthrough to produce through orig-
a specific person in the world of the can only penetrate a Might of 19, so inal research (see Houses of Hermes: True
dead. The caster must either have an ghosts that are more powerful are Lineages, page 26) an equivalent that
Arcane Connection to, or otherwise be unaffected. allows interaction with dead animals.
able to sense, the target, and the target Gross movements of the ghost Characters who are in Heaven
must be in the world of the dead; that (stop, move left, etc.) are controlled may not be affected, due to the Limit
is, neither alive nor in Heaven. without a roll. A stress roll of Dexterity of the Divine. However, characters
(Base 15, +3 Veil, +1 Conc) + Profession Puppeteer must be made who have received a Divine burial rite
against an Ease Factor of 9 to direct — a conventional Christian, Judaic,
the movements of the ghost more or Islamic burial, for example — may
New Items carefully (to move through a doorway still be affected, if they have not
or up stairs, for example). To attempt entered Heaven, but in this case if the
Some items that exploit the Range very precise movements (to write or caster botches double the number of
Veil of Death are listed below. The fight, for example) a stress roll of botch dice are rolled. The immunity
items are also appropriate effects for Dexterity + Profession Puppeteer to necromancy granted by extreme
a magus to invent, with the approval against an Ease Factor of 12 must be unction (see Realms of Power: The Divine,
of the storyguide, during the process made. page 75) is only a flaw in Hermetic
of integrating Canaanite magic with (Effect: Base 5, + 3 Veil, +1 Diam; theory, which is corrected by the inte-
Hermetic theory. Modifications: +10 Pen, +2 3/day) gration of Canaanite necromancy.

33
Ancient Magic
Speaking to the Dead is one of many minor demons with from the town of Tiberias, can be eas-
a (Mentem) Might of 10, but a more ily persuaded to guide interested par-
It is certainly possible, and indeed powerful demon could be attracted ties to the old pilgrimage sites.
likely, that a magus will use Canaanite too; in either case the demon is often Unfortunately, it is very difficult
necromancy to speak to the long dead. an Infernal ghost (see Realms of Power: to discern which, if any, of the 12th
The magus quickly discovers, however, The Infernal, page 36). The demon nor- century pilgrimage sites is the true
that communicating with the long dead mally plays his part as accurately and location of En-Dor. To search among
is not trivial. Although simple Intellego for as long as he is able, while subtly the various possible locations to find
Mentem spells eliminate language bar- trying to corrupt any information pro- the true location of En-Dor takes one
riers, many concepts (nations, theories vided. Hermetic magic is unable to season. A resourceful magus may use
of magic and nature, notions of the penetrate the demon’s deception, but magic to assist the search, but this is
afterlife, etc.) are mutually unintelli- the demon may make mistakes that not an inherently magical task and
gible between the interrogating magus reveal he is not what he claims to be. could certainly be accomplished by
and his ancient interviewee. Even if the a suitably skilled companion or team
magus can make himself understood, of grogs. In fact, a character need not
the long dead have little reason to actually be present to search for En-
cooperate with the living, and may well
resent the disturbance. Additionally,
Seeking the Dor; for example, it is possible for a
magus to search by scrutinizing maps
the long dead are more likely than the
more recently deceased to be unavail- Dead and documents in his laboratory. On
the other hand, being in the field does
able to the magus, as many have left make the search easier.
Purgatory for Heaven. In order to revive the traditions A successful Intelligence + Area
It will also inevitably occur to a of the Canaanite necromancer, the Lore Canaan roll, made against an
magus to question the dead about the questing magus must locate, and then Ease Factor of 18 (or an Ease Factor
nature of the afterlife they inhabit, but travel to, the ruined city of En-Dor. of 21 if the searcher is not in the
he finds such questions unanswerable. Once there, the magus must dis- field), indicates that during the season
For example, some authorities hold cover a hidden regio that is inhabited the true location of En-Dor is found
that Arcadia is the world of the dead, by the ghost of the last necroman- by the searcher. Although this is a
and Canaanite magic does not offer cer Zephaniah, and convince her to stress die, a botch has no consequence
any evidence to either support or either teach Canaanite necromancy or unless the searcher is not in the field,
refute this, although mortals who die provide Insight into her practices. in which case he erroneously believes
while visiting the Faerie realm remain that he has found the correct site;
accessible to a Canaanite necroman- the error is revealed by a visit to the
cer. In any case, no information about Finding En-Dor purported site. Any similar Ability
the world of the dead, other than — Area Lore Galilee or Area Lore
who is in it, may be communicated. En-Dor is located on the northern Levant, for example — may be substi-
Possibly, this is a result of an error face of Mount Hermon a few miles tuted with the storyguide’s approval.
in either Canaanite necromancy or southwest of the town of Tiberias, If a team of characters search
Hermetic theory. which is itself located on the shores of together, then use the Characteristic
Lake Tiberias (or the Sea of Galilee). and Ability scores of the team leader
The approximate location of En-Dor for the roll, but add to the roll the
The Infernal and Necromancy is relatively well known and during number of team members with an
the 12th century many pilgrimages Area Lore Levant score within 5 of the
Canaanite necromancy, and indeed were made to several sites that were team leader’s score, up to a maximum
any sort of necromancy, may attract the claimed to be En-Dor. Christian pil- bonus equal to the leader’s Leadership
attention of the Infernal. If a character grims travel less frequently to these Ability score.
botches when attempting to summon sites today, as the area is under Muslim
or speak to the dead, a likely result is control, and a large group of armed To Find En-Dor: Int + Area Lore
that a malevolent spirit pretends to be explorers certainly attracts attention. Canaan + stress die vs. Ease Factor
the intended target. Usually, this spirit However, the local people, perhaps 18 (or 21 if not in the field)

34
Ancient Magic

Location of Story Seed: The Teutonic Knights


The military religious order of which brings Estonia and other Baltic
En-Dor the Teutonic Knights was founded in
1190 during the siege of Acre, which
regions also under the control of the
Teutonic Knights.

.
iR
is where their hospital is today. The The Teutonic Knights are

an
Teutonic Knights wear a white coat searching for the location of En-Dor.

Lit
emblazoned with a black cross and, Like all the military orders they are
in 1220, the total number of knights ultimately seeking to complete the
is about 300. Most, including the re-capture of the Holy Land, and
current Grandmaster Hermann von they believe that the powers of the
Salza, are based in Acre, although a Canaanite necromancers can be used
Acre significant number live in Burzenland, to further this goal. The knights have
Sea of Transylvania, which they have con- not yet discovered En-Dor, and they
Hattin Galilee
trolled since 1211. Von Salza travels neither reveal how they have learned
Nazareth Tiberias
widely throughout Mythic Europe, of Canaanite necromancy nor why
EN-DOR often as part of the retinue of the they are dedicating resources to the
Jordan R.

Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, pursuit of the ancient city. The mas-
and — if your saga follows his- ters of the Teutonic Knights are cer-
tory — the Teutonic Knights are tainly aware of the Order of Hermes
expelled from Burzenland in 1225, and, although ostensibly suspicious
but are immediately given a home of magic, they have had dealings
in Prussia where, in 1226, Frederick with House Tremere in Transylvania,
Jerusalem
Dead II grants the order very wide pow- and the knights may (knowingly or
Bethlehem Sea ers to act in his name. By the mid- not) be acting as proxies for House
1230s the knights effectively control Tremere in this matter. The knights
Team Bonus: Number of team Prussia, a status that is then formally could be convinced to cooperate with
members with Area Lore Canaan recognized by the Pope. A related a magus searching for En-Dor, but
within 5 of leader, to a maximum order, the Livonian Brothers of the conversely they may attempt to elim-
bonus equal to leader’s Leadership Sword, operates in the Baltic and inate rival searchers. The Teutonic
Ability score — again, if your saga follows history Knights searching for En-Dor are led
— the Brothers are amalgamated by Brothers Konrad and Adolph, and
If several competing groups suc- with the Teutonic Knights in 1237, a talented scribe named Otto.
cessfully discover the site of En-Dor
during the same season, the group quest. Although Canaan has not Philo Byblius, a summa of Source
whose total roll is the greatest finds existed as a political entity for some Quality 10 and level 5; The Syrian
En-Dor first. However, as the likely millennia, Area Lore Canaan is an Goddess attributed to Lucian of
area is relatively small, their discov- ordinary Area Lore Ability that can be Samothrace, a summa of Source
ery cannot be kept secret even from improved through study or practice Quality 11 and level 6; and Praeparatio
unsuccessful competitors in the field (ArM5, page 163). evangelica by Eusebius, a tractatus of
for more than a few days, unless For the purposes of this Ability Source Quality 7. Locating and gain-
extraordinary precautions are made. both the Bible and the Mishna (a ing access to complete versions of
Jewish work) may be studied as if these texts may be significant adven-
they were tractatus of Source Quality tures in and of themselves. The origi-
Books 5. These books are readily available, nal manuscripts are likely to be lost,
although a rabbi, rare in some parts but copies, which may have been
As the search for En-Dor is quite of Mythic Europe, must be sought in translated backwards-and-forwards
difficult, a sensible character will try order to gain a copy of the Mishna. several times into Arabic, Greek,
to improve his knowledge of Canaan Classical books on Area Lore Hebrew, or Latin, are held by cleri-
before seriously embarking on the Canaan include: Phoenician History by cal libraries in Constantinople and

35
Ancient Magic
has decoded the tablets and is fluent
Tiberias Story Seed: The in Hebrew (Ability score 4 or great-
Sho’elim’ov er). If some tablets are missing from a
Named after a Roman emperor, sequence then the Source Quality is
the town of Tiberias is built on the A form of Canaanite necro- reduced by 3 for each missing tablet;
shores of Lake Tiberias (which is mancy, corrupted by the Infernal that is, a sequence must be at least
also konwn as the Sea of Galilee), and appropriated by the Israelites two tablets long to be of any value at
and is believed to have been the who conquered Canaan, is still all for study.
site of many of Christ’s miracles. practiced by some reclusive mem- Most of the tablets are held by
(Nazareth is also not far away.) The bers of the Jewish community collectors from Venetian, Genoese,
region is claimed by the king of known as the Sho’elim’ov (detailed and Florentine merchant houses,
Jerusalem, who is currently based in Realms of Power: The Infernal, page who cannot read them. The Teutonic
in Acre, and Tiberias was the cru- 119). Their practices have drifted Knights have the largest collection
sader capital of the principality considerably over the millennia — a complete sequence of six tablets
of Galilee. However, after Saladin and they have no useful knowledge and three tablets from other sequenc-
defeated the crusaders in 1187 of their Canaanite precursors, but es — and one of their scribes at Acre
at Hattin (which is just west of they are curious about magi search- has managed to decode them. Several
Tiberias), most of Galilee, includ- ing for information about En-Dor tablets have recently been purchased
ing En-Dor, came under Muslim within the Jewish community. If from a merchant in Constantinople
control. A large congregation of the Sho’elim’ov discover Seekers of by Redcaps acting for the Hermetic
Orthodox Christians still worship Canaanite necromancy, they may library at Durenmar, and it is possible
in Tiberias, without significant fric- decide to either monitor or inter- that other tablets have been lost or
tion with their Muslim overlords. fere in the search. destroyed.
Tiberias is a spiritual center for Each tablet forms an Arcane
the Jewish community, too. Rabbi of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Connection to the other five tablets
Yehudah HaNasi edited the final a carefully preserved set of clay tab- in the same sequence, and so once a
form of the Mishna there in the lets were discovered. Since then, the tablet has been found the others may
second century; recently the Jewish tablets have been split up and are now be found using an Intellego Terram
sage Maimonides, who wrote the scattered across Mythic Europe. spell. The tablets do not, however,
Mishneh Torah (a reductive codi- Inscribed on the tablets is text form Arcane Connections to the city
fication of Jewish law) and many written in an ancient writing system. of En-Dor; it has been more than
other books on philosophy and Knowledge of this writing system 2,000 years since the tablets were
medicine, was buried in a tomb has been lost, but a character who actually there.
near the center of Tiberias after acquires one or more tablets may
his death in 1204. Many influen- try to decode them, if he can read Links of Stone
tial Jewish scholars can be found Hebrew; the tablets are written in an InTe 25
studying in rabbinical schools in archaic form of Hebrew. A season’s R: Arc, D: Mom, T: Ind
Tiberias. worth of decoding work is represent- The caster holds a piece of stone
ed by a roll of Intelligence + Hebrew in her hands and receives a brief
Rome, and by the University of Paris. against an Ease Factor of 18. If this is mental image of the surroundings of
Inaccurate or incomplete translations successful the character determines the object that this stone is an Arcane
have lower Source Qualities. that the tablets form a gazette of Connection to. This spell could be
the cities of the ancient kingdom of used to find the statue that a fragment
Canaan. Originally, there were 42 came from, or the quarry that the
The Clay Tablets tablets that formed seven sequenc- blocks of a castle were chiseled from.
es, each six tablets in length. Each If the stone is an Arcane Connection
During the mid 12th century in sequence of tablets may be studied as to several things, then the newest
Jerusalem, when a number of build- if it was a summa of Source Quality Arcane Connection, or the closest, is
ings were demolished to make way 15 and level 10 in the Area Lore revealed.
for an enlargement by the crusaders Canaan Ability, by a character who (Base 4, + 5 Arc)

36
Ancient Magic

At En-Dor Story Seeds: The Clay Tablets


Once En-Dor has been found, The inscribed clay tablets are a tually arrives at the covenant,
a magus must find his way into the good device storyguides can use to searching for the Redcaps, and,
magical regio at the site. The regio introduce the ancient tradition of after being convinced of the
consists of two levels. Canaanite necromancy to the char- covenant’s innocence in their
acters. Some possible stories are: disappearance, requests their
assistance in continuing the
En-Dor Regio Level One • A merchant who deals with the search.
covenant has acquired a tablet • Several tablets have been pur-
The first level of the regio at En- from a collector in Italy and, chased by a Venetian relic forg-
Dor can be entered by anybody who knowing the esoteric interests of er who, although unable to read
can see into this level (ArM5, page the magi, he offers the tablet to the tablets, has made a number
189). It has a Magic aura of 2, but this them, for sale. of duplicates. The forgeries are
is swamped by a Divine aura of 4 that • The Redcaps, carrying the newly sold for him at fairs by a group
was engendered by the veneration of purchased tablets between of corrupt Cistercian monks and
the Christian pilgrims who arrived at Constantinople and Durenmar, are worthless, but by question-
the site last century. stop for the night at the cov- ing the monks the relic forger
This level of the regio appears enant but ultimately fail to reach and the original tablets may be
to be uninhabited, and a few partial Durenmar. A Quaesitor even- found.
stone structures that are Roman in
origin are all that stand. In fact, there to arrive fairly frequently, but their woman does not seem to speak any
is a single inhabitant in this regio: numbers have dwindled and recently other language. Roland has been
an elderly pilgrim named Roland of stopped altogether. into the cave, but he found no one
Toulouse. He observes intruders in Inspection of the stream that within.
the regio from his hiding spot in the Roland drinks from indicates that The cave is, in fact, the entrance
stone ruins, and if the intruders are it is magical. Drinking from the to the next level of the regio.
not obviously hostile, he approaches stream, daily, provides sustenance
and greets them. and also acts like a +5 Longevity
Roland is friendly and answers Ritual (ArM5, page 101); but this En-Dor Regio Level Two
questions about both his past and effect only lasts while within the
the location as best as he is able. regio, and a character who drinks The second level of the regio at
Roland is a distant cousin to the from the stream must immediately En-Dor has a Magical aura of 5. This
Count of Toulouse: he left France as a make an Aging roll (ArM5, page regio can only be entered through the
young man, in 1170, on pilgrimage to 168) when she leaves the regio, cave in the first level, which anybody
Jerusalem. Close observation reveals even if she is below the age of 35. A who can see across the regio bound-
that this journey was successful, as magus with a Hermetic laboratory ary can do. For a character who can-
he wears the tattoo of a cross inside can extract two pawns of Aquam not find the way to the second level
his wrist, which indicates a pilgrim- vis from the waters of the stream, of the regio the cave appears to have
age to Jerusalem. After a year or so, each season, but the resultant vis only one opening, that which leads
Roland left Jerusalem and traveled is tainted with the Divine (ArM5, back to first level of the regio.
to other holy sites, reaching the Sea page 190). The stream flows out In the second level of the regio,
of Galilee in early 1185 and En-Dor of a cave, further up the slope of the cave has a second exit, which
later that year, where he has remained Hermon, that overlooks the ruined opens at the foot of a small valley.
since. He prays three times a day, and town, and Roland may mention that The valley is a several hundred feet
is sustained by prayer and by water an old Jewish woman who lives in across and almost one mile long.
from a stream that flows through En- the cave sometimes ventures out to At the head of the valley a spring
Dor. Roland thinks that he has been at speak with him. Their conversions flows from the mouth of a stone
En-Dor for a few years, although he is are not very successful, however, face carved into the wall of the
not very certain. Other pilgrims used as Roland’s Hebrew is poor and the valley, and its waters splash into a

37
Ancient Magic

Zephaniah
Magic Might: 25 (Mentem) Abilities: Area Lore Canaan 5 fest, returning her to the world
Characteristics: Int +2, Per +1, Pre (ancient sites), Artes Liberales 3 of the living for a period of one
+1, Com +2, Str –1, Sta 0, Dex (cuneiform), Awareness 3 (En- day. When physically manifested,
0, Qik 0 Dor), Bargain 5 (ghosts), Brawl she interacts with the world as if
Size: 0 (non-physical) 1 (knife), Canaanite Necromancy she were still alive. She cannot
Age: n/a (50) 5 (summoning), Concentration will herself dead again, but must
Decrepitude: Already dead 5 (necromancy), Hebrew 5 wait until this Power’s duration
Confidence Score: 1 (3) (Canaanite dialect), Leadership expires instead. If she takes a
Virtues and Flaws: Wise One, 4 (ghosts), Magic Lore 4 (ancient wound or suffers a Fatigue level
Canaanite Necromancy, traditions), Penetration 3 (com- she must make a Concentration
Famous, Good Teacher; Enemies mands), Survival 2 (desert), roll to remain manifested, and
(Israelites); Higher Purpose, Teaching 4 (necromancers) if she is incapacitated, killed, or
Nocturnal. Powers: loses consciousness she imme-
Personality Traits: Protective +3, Dead Canaanite Necromancer, 0 points, diately becomes an incorporeal
Kind +1 constant, Mentem: Zephaniah is ghost, again.
Reputations: Necromancer 6 aware that she is a ghost and Vis: 5 pawns of Mentem.
(Ecclesiastical, Hermetic) when she is incorporeal she can Appearance: Zephaniah is a ghost,
Combat: turn invisible at will, pass through but is only slightly transparent
Brawl (knife): Init +2, Attack +3, walls, and ignore physical attacks and, in poor light, could be mis-
Defense +2, Damage +1* and fatigue or wound penalties. taken for a living person. She has
* When physically manifested. When She also has a permanent Arcane dark skin and long graying black
Zephaniah is non-physical she can Connection to the dead that she hair, into which are tied col-
neither be harmed by combat, nor can exploit as a +4 Penetration ored wooden beads. Zephaniah
can she harm others in combat. multiplier, much like any other appears to be about 50 years old;
Soak: +2 permanent Arcane Connection her face is lined and creased, and
Fatigue Levels: n/a when non- (ArM5, page 84), when interact- her eyes are slightly shrunken
physical. OK, 0, –1, –3, –5, ing with the dead. into their sockets. She is thin
Unconscious, when manifested. Return to Flesh, 10 points, Init, Corpus: and bony and dressed in a simple
Wound Penalties: n/a when non- Zephaniah is linked to the world grey robe. When physically man-
physical. –1 (1–5), –3 (6–10), –5 of the living and the world of the ifested she emanates a slightly
(11–15), Incapacitated (16–20), dead. This Supernatural Power stale air, which the unGifted find
when manifested. allows her to physically mani- disconcerting.

shallow pool, about ten feet across, buildings are all constructed in a simi- The Ghosts of En-Dor
which is tiled in stone. From the lar manner, with a stone floor and a
pool a stream flows down the val- roof supported by columns, but nei- There are no living inhabitants in
ley and into the cave mouth. This ther walls nor doorways. The build- the second level of the regio at En-
stream has the same properties as ings are pre-Roman and reminiscent Dor, but about a dozen ghosts haunt
the stream in the first regio level, of Greek architecture. All the build- the buildings in the valley. These are
as it is, of course, the same stream. ings are whole and un-ruined, and the ghosts of Canaanite necromancers
A character who tries to leave the each contains one or more stone who were killed in the purges of King
valley, except by passing through slabs upon which lie skeletal remains: Saul, along with the ghost of the
the cave, finds herself back in the En-Dor is a city of the dead. In total, last necromancer — Zephaniah, the
valley. there are about 100 skeletons, some witch of En-Dor. The ghosts usually
The valley floor is dry, and empty, of which are adorned in gold and appear at night, when they gather
apart from several dozen stone build- silver jewelry, fragments of decaying about the pool at the head of the
ings, each about the size of a small clothing and burial shrouds, or simple valley, and Zephaniah acts as their
house or Hermetic laboratory. The bronze weapons. leader. She has a Magic Might of

38
Ancient Magic
25 (Mentem) and is both integrating Canaanite nec-
aware that she is a ghost romancy with Hermetic
and still capable of affect- theory.
ing the world of the living. The powers of
The other ghosts are much Canaanite necromancy,
weaker, with Magic Might once they become known
10 (Mentem), and are no to the Order of Hermes,
longer truly conscious. may touch off a great deal
Zephaniah is not hos- of political intrigue as
tile, but she is obsessively magi with various agendas
protective of the other attempt to contact, or at
ghosts who were her friends least confirm the death of,
and colleagues until they historical casualties within
were murdered by Saul and the Order, including the
his soldiers. Although the Founders. Some suggested
other ghosts are essen- consequences are listed
tially mindless, Zephaniah below, although not all of
still attempts to interact these issues will necessarily
with them, treating them arise in every saga, and the
much like loved, elderly specific actions taken by
relatives who have become the characters who revive
senile. She certainly does Canaanite necromancy
not appreciate attempts by will obviously influence
magi to harvest the ghosts the attitude of the wider
for vis. Order.

• Tytalus disappeared in
mysterious circumstances
The Order and a group of magi seek
to resolve his fate with

of Hermes Canaanite necromancy.


Other magi might seek

and the to clarify the demise


of the other Founders,

Dead many of whom also met


ambiguous ends.
• House Tremere carefully
The regio at En-Dor ensures — by disposing
is a good location for a cov- of their ashes through the
enant because it has a high magical — partly motivated by her traumatic Gate of Eurydice at Coeris —
aura, is difficult to enter, and already experience of the purge conducted that dead Tremere magi leave no
contains a number of buildings suit- by the Israelites — ask the Order loose Arcane Connections that
able for conversion to Hermetic labo- of Hermes for protection. Deciding can be used to threaten the future
ratories. Obviously, magi wishing to whether to grant protection could of the House. The House there-
site a covenant at En-Dor need to make an interesting story, including fore may view the development
come to some sort of accommodation discussion at a Tribunal or House of Canaanite necromancy, with
with Zephaniah. level. In return, Zephaniah can offer its promised ability to arbitrarily
Zephaniah does not know of the to teach the Supernatural Ability contact the dead, as a threat.
Order of Hermes, but she is very Canaanite Necromancy or assist in • Attempts to contact dead mun-
interested to learn of it and may danes, to clarify succession and

39
Ancient Magic

Ghosts of Necromancers Story Seed:


Magic Might: 10 (Mentem) Marionette, 5 points, Init 0, Corpus: Canaanite Gods
Characteristics: Int –2, Per +3, Pre The ghostly necromancers are
0, Com 0, Str +1, Sta 0, Dex 0, drawn to the living and some- Investigating Canaanite nec-
Qik +2 times attempt to move the living romancy and integrating it with
Size: 0 (non-physical) about as if they were marionettes. Hermetic theory is independent
Age: n/a (varies) This Supernatural Power allows of most aspects of the original
Decrepitude: Already dead each ghost to attempt to con- Canaanite culture. However, in
Personality Traits: Mindless +3, trol the limbs of a single person, his research a magus may discover
Loyal +2 the marionette, for a period of hints about Canaanite cosmology,
Combat: The ghosts are non-physi- Diameter. The ghosts are not very either from classical documents
cal and so can neither be harmed proficient and their influence is or interviewing Zephaniah, and
by combat, nor can they harm only equivalent to a child trying decide to embark upon quests to
others in combat. to push the marionette about. A contact the Canaanite gods — who
Abilities: Area Lore En-Dor 3 (hid- conscious marionette can auto- may be Faerie or Magical in nature.
ing places), Awareness 2 (En- matically resist the pushing of the Such quests are beyond the scope
Dor), Brawl 3 (wrestle), Hebrew ghostly necromancer, but to do of the information presented here,
5 (Canaanite dialect), Stealth 10 anything else at the same time he but briefly, the Canaanite pantheon
(nighttime) must make a simple Intelligence includes: El, father of the gods;
Powers: + Concentration roll against an his consort, Elat; Ba’al, an agrarian
Traumatic Death , 0 points, constant, Ease Factor of 9 – Size. weather god and also the lord of
Mentem: The ghosts are united Vis: 1 pawn of Mentem. the gods; and Ba’al’s sister/consort
by the traumatic death that they Appearance: The ghosts are trans- Anat, a virginal, hunter, warrior
suffered at the hands of Saul’s lucent, and can only be seen goddess. One crucial story, which
soldiers. The ghosts are Arcane with difficulty. They are dressed is known by Zephaniah, tells how
Connections to each other, are in funeral bindings or shrouds Ba’al challenged another son of
constantly aware of everything that may be adorned with jew- El, Mot, the god of death. In the
that the others sense, and can elry. When in motion, the ghosts story, Ba’al is slain by Mot, but his
communicate with each other drift several centimeters above corpse is recovered and buried by
regardless of distance. the ground. Anat, who then seeks Mot out and
pleads with him to return Ba’al to
inheritance, may provoke conflict Canaanite necromancy has the life. Mot refuses, and so Anat slays
between the Order of Hermes potential to resurrect many old Mot herself, which enables Ba’al’s
and nobles. conflicts that had died with their resurrection. Anat’s victory over
• House Guernicus, rightly or protagonists. The concerned Mot is celebrated by Zephaniah at
wrongly, may fear that hidden Quasitores might therefore the spring equinox.
survivors of the Schism War will attempt to extend the Peripheral
seek to acquire Canaanite nec- Code’s prohibition against scry- ence of Canaanite necromancy
romancy in order to contact the ing to the use of Canaanite nec- that they argue for the Wizard’s
leadership of House Diedne. romancy, and so make it illegal to Marching of the Canaanite reviv-
• Conservative forces within the attempt to “scry” on dead magi. alists — paralleling Saul’s purge
Order of Hermes, led by House • Some Quasitores might be so con- more than two thousand years
Guernicus, might recognize that cerned at the destabilizing influ- ago.

40
Chapter Three

Defixio Magic
In the ancient world, cults of tradition gains the ability to do what tioned by the ancient authors violate
sorcerers practiced a form of magic is impossible for all other Hermetic the Hermetic limit by not requiring
that allowed them to use spells on magi — cast spells on targets that an Arcane Connection.
targets without needing an Arcane the magus has not sensed and for The references in works of ancient
Connection. To understand this which he has no Arcane Connection. authors might lead a magus to look for
defixio magic, the investigator must Learning this ability could also allow similar references in the writings of
delve into the secrets of ancient tra- the magus to correct what is generally the Founders. Defixiones were still in
ditions and uncover the relics of the believed to be a flaw in the theory of use in some areas as late as the seventh
cultists who practiced defixio magic. Bonisagus. century, and the Roman Founders had
Although cultists dedicated to the at least a passing familiarity with the
gods of the underworld — Hecate, practice. Of course, because many
Pluto, and Proserpina — made up of his followers were members of
the majority of defixio magic users,
followers of Ceres and Minerva also
Learning the cult of Hades, Tremere was the
Founder most likely to be familiar
practiced the art. These cults largely
faded from prominence in the second Defixio Magic with the practice.
Another avenue to introduce
century, but remnants of their magic the investigators to defixio magic
remain to be discovered. Although the practice of using would be for a character to discover
Cultists who practiced defixio defixiones is largely unknown in a defixio. If the saga is located in an
magic could use it to coerce spirits medieval Europe, there are several area formerly under Roman control,
into invoking curses, or alternately, sources available to the magus that covenant excavation might uncover
could use those spirits as conduits describe the practice in varying levels an old Roman gravesite. Likewise, the
through which they could channel of detail. Several ancient Greek and discovery of a cave or well that served
their own magic to affect a victim. Roman authors describe the practice as an ancient sanctuary or oracle to a
To perform this magic, the cultists of using defixiones in their writings. Roman god might uncover defixiones
created defixiones (singular: defixio), Pliny the Elder describes the com- that could spur the magus to research
which are small magical devices that mon fear of defixiones in his chapter the tradition.
name or describe the target of the on magic in Natural History. Plato also
curse, the effects of that curse, and the references the use of defixiones by
events that cause the curse. Defixio sorcerers in both Laws and Republic. Investigating
magic could be used to affect anyone Likewise, Tacitus describes a curse Defixio Magic
the cultist could name and could be placed on Germanicus and the pro-
held in abeyance until a specific event cess of discovering and destroying
occurred. the defixio to free him in Annals. An To fully understand defixio
The unique aspects of defixio astute magus, one who succeeds in magic, the investigator must discover
magic may be incorporated into an Intelligence + Magic Theory roll and comprehend the secrets of each
Hermetic theory as a new Duration or against an Ease Factor of 9, recognizes of the five specialties that comprise
Range. A magus who understands this that the effects of the defixiones men- the whole of defixio magic. Gaining

41
Ancient Magic
Insight into each cult grants the abil-
ity to invent spells that utilize that
The Leadworker Virtue
cult’s specific Art and Form combi- Some members of House Virtue is not widespread among the
nation (see the Defixio Lore insert). Tremere possess the Leadworker followers of Tremere and its practi-
Before inventing a spell, the magus Virtue, which is derived from the tioners use the Greek terminology
must investigate a defixio and for- defixio magic tradition (see Houses for defixiones, it is more likely that
mula for that cult in the laboratory. If of Hermes: True Lineages, page 143). the Virtue derives from the east-
the magus investigates a defixio and House Tremere probably gained ern Hades worshipers. Regardless of
formula from the same cult simulta- access to this Virtue from one of the source of the Virtue, however,
neously, the magus adds +3 to his two sources. Tremere may have Tremere magi familiar with the his-
Insight roll. learned it from his master, Guorna tory of their House are a potential
A defixio that has released its the Fetid, who was the leader of the source of information in research-
magic is useless for investigatory pur- remnants of the cult of Pluto and ing this ancient tradition. Possessing
poses, and each defixio or formula may may have practiced defixio magic the Leadworker Virtue neither hin-
only be studied once. A magus need herself. The other possible source is ders nor helps in the integration of
not necessarily know the specific cult the necromancers from Dacia who defixio magic, but may provide the
that created a defixio. An Intellego accompanied Tremere to the First researcher with access to additional
Vim spell (base level 4) reveals the Tribunal. Because the Leadworker sources for study.
following details about an “active”
defixio: the spell or Supernatural Before making a Breakthrough, single cult to count toward more than
Ability channeled, the level of the the spells the magus invents for the one-fifth of the total points required
effect, the cult specialty of the cre- Unlimited Range require an Arcane to make either Breakthrough.
ator of the defixio, the target of the Connection, but add +6 to the mag-
defixio, and the triggering condition nitude of the spell rather than +4. A
of the defixio. spell invented for the Event Duration New Duration: Event
Breakthrough requires the magus to
invent two spells: a Watching Ward This Duration is only available
Integrating spell and the spell that the Watching for Ritual spells. When the Ritual
Defixio Magic Ward triggers. The two spells are spell is cast, it is held in abeyance
permanently linked and may not be until a specific condition occurs. The
cast individually, unless re-invented circumstances necessary to activate
Once the magus has gained independently. the spell must be fully described when
Insight, he must invent a spell by After the magus successfully the Ritual is cast. A spell with Event
experimentation that uses the appro- invents a spell, he gains breakthrough Duration may be suspended in per-
priate Technique and Form for that points equal to the magnitude of the petuity, if the specific criteria never
cult. Because Event Duration and spell. If the magus invents a spell that occur. No spell that requires aiming
Unlimited Range (see below) both attempts to integrate both the Event to affect its target may be used with
require Rituals, any spell invented Duration and Unlimited Range, she the Event Duration. Unlike Defixio
to achieve a Breakthrough must also must allocate the breakthrough points Lore, which is limited to specific com-
be a Ritual. The spells the magus for that spell between the two goals. binations of Arts, a spell with Event
invents cannot utilize the Event The investigator must understand Duration may have any combination.
Duration or Unlimited Range until the magic of all five cults to com- Any spell that uses the Event
she achieves a Breakthrough. The pletely integrate the components of Duration must have an Intellego req-
final spell invented that reaches the defixio magic. The magus must make uisite. If the triggering condition is
Breakthrough total incorporates the a Minor Breakthrough (30 break- dependent on the identification of
appropriate Range or Duration, but through points) for Event Duration some person, place, or thing, the
before the Breakthrough, the spells and a Hermetic Breakthrough (60 appropriate Form is also required as
are slightly flawed, in that they do breakthrough points) for Unlimited a requisite. If the person who would
not incorporate the Breakthrough the Range. The storyguide should not activate the Event condition is pro-
magus seeks. allow breakthrough points from a tected by Magic Resistance, the spell

42
Defixio Lore
Defixio Lore is a Major, The process of preparing a defixio
Ease Example
Supernatural Virtue and correspond- is very involved. During the cre-
Factor
ing Ability that allow a character to ation of the defixio, the preparer
perform the rituals necessary to create must designate the spell that he is 0 The target’s full name and
a defixio. They are presented for illus- going to use against the target. The an Arcane Connection
trative purposes only. Magi are gener- spell or Supernatural Ability selected to the target are incor-
ally incapable of acquiring the Virtue must meet the Technique and Form porated into the defixio:
or learning the Ability; the only prac- requirements of the cults known by “Marie the Perfumier,
tical way for a magus to utilize the the character. The creator must spend daughter of Claude,” and
secrets of defixio magic is to integrate one day and expend one pawn of vis a lock of Marie’s hair.
its effects into Hermetic theory. per magnitude of the spell or Ability 3 Only the target’s full
Defixiones allow their creator to in preparing the defixio. The vis name is used in creating
use a Supernatural Ability or spell expended must match the Technique the defixio: “Marie the
against a target that is not sensed or Form of the cult specialty utilized. Perfumier, daughter of
and for which the creator has no The defixio must contain both a Claude.”
Arcane Connection. A defixio itself description of the spell to be cast and 6 Only the target’s pseud-
does not possess any power other a description of the target of the spell. onym or a nickname is
than the ability to provide a con- An accurate and complete descrip- known: “Jarvis,” “Lucky,”
duit to the target. Defixiones are not tion of the target makes the defixio or “The Weasel.”
Arcane Connections. Although they more effective. A defixio can target
9 The target is precisely
allow their creator to cast spells or use someone who is not yet known. For
described without
Supernatural Abilities without regard example, a defixio may be created
using his full name or a
for the distance to the target, they can that contains a trigger that occurs in
pseudonym: “The shield
never be used to improve a magus’s the future. If the target of the defixio
grog of Carolus,” “the
Penetration multiplier. is not yet knowable because the trig-
covenfolk of Semita
For every level in the Defixio gering event has not occurred, then
Errabunda,” or “the per-
Lore Ability, the character may select the spell is cast and does not affect
son who stole my cloak.”
one cult from the list below. The cult anyone until the target is identified.
limits the type of magic that may be The Ease Factor is increased by 12 The target cannot be
used in conjunction with the defixio. one for every magnitude of the spell known at the time of cre-
The character may not utilize any or Supernatural Ability used in con- ation: “Any person who
spell or Supernatural Ability that has junction with the defixio. A Minor defiles my grave,” “my
a Technique and Form combination or Supernatural Ability is the equiva- killer,” or “the next per-
requires a requisite that falls outside lent of a fourth magnitude spell and son to attack me.”
of those listed for the cult specialties a Major Supernatural Ability is the
known by the character. equivalent of a seventh magnitude Supernatural Ability takes effect, it
For every level in Defixio Lore, spell for these purposes. continues until it would normally
the character may choose one of the After the defixio is created, expire or the defixio is destroyed. For
following cults: the preparer must roll Intelligence the spell or Supernatural Ability to
+ Defixio Lore + a stress die. If penetrate a target’s Magic Resistance,
Cult of Ceres: Creo Mentem the total equals or exceeds the Ease both the Defixio Lore and the under-
Cult of Hecate: Perdo Factor, then the character may cast lying magical effect must penetrate.
Corpus/Animal the spell or use the Ability previ- Defixio Lore’s Penetration total is
Cult of Minerva: Rego ously selected. If the spell or Ability equal to the amount that the stress
Corpus/Animal botches, the defixio is destroyed, roll exceeds the target Ease Factor.
Cult of Pluto: Rego Mentem otherwise a failure merely requires Specialties: a particular cult.
Cult of Proserpina: Muto Mentem a repeat attempt. Once a spell or (Supernatural)

43
Ancient Magic
required for the Breakthrough, and all
those invented thereafter, provide all
of the benefits of the Event Duration,
except +3 magnitude is added to
the base Duration. The spells created
must follow all of the other require-
ments of an Event Duration spell. If
a spell is beyond the capability of
the magus, then he invents a spell as
described above without the Event
Duration and with an accompanying
Watching Ward spell.

Event Duration Examples


Moratamis creates a spell to warn the
turb if anyone enters the covenant without the
knowledge of the guards on duty. The target
of the spell is the grog barracks. Moratamis
wants the entire covenant to be monitored;
therefore, Voice and Sight Ranges are inade-
quate. Moratamis uses an Arcane Connection
to allow the entire covenant to be covered.
Because a person surreptitiously entering the
covenant triggers the condition, the spell must
must penetrate for the event to be ing point. For these reasons, Arcane have a requisite of Corpus.
triggered, otherwise nothing happens. Connection or Unlimited Ranges are
If an incident that would trigger the the most useful for Event Duration Call to Arms
condition occurs within an Aegis of the spells that are meant to cover a large Re(In)Me(Co) 35
Hearth, the spell must penetrate the area. R: Arc, D: Event (Mom), T: Room,
Aegis or be cast by a member of the The Event Duration adds +1 to Ritual
covenant for it to take effect. Should a the magnitude of the spell cast. The This Ritual wakes all of the grogs
new Aegis ceremony take place before duration of the underlying effect is (or any other predefined group) in one
the condition occurs, the spell must also considered when calculating the room of the covenant if the condition
penetrate the new Aegis. final level of the spell. If the spell described at the time of casting occurs
The triggering event must occur triggered has a Duration longer than within the walls of the covenant.
within the spell’s range for it to be Momentary, the level is increased (Base 4, +4 Arc, +1 Event [Mom],
detected. The range is measured from appropriately. For example, a spell with +2 Room)
the point where the spell was cast, Event Duration that lasts for Moon,
so Touch Range means that the trig- after being activated, has an effective Darius wants to set a trap for anyone
gering event must happen at that magnitude of +4 (+3 for Moon and who might try to assassinate him in his sleep.
point. A spell with Event Duration +1 for Event). Concentration is not an He decides to cast a Perdo Corpus Ritual that
and Voice Range is triggered if the available Duration for Event spells. wounds anyone who enters his sanctum and
described event occurs within 50 At the storyguide’s discretion, was not present at the casting of the spell.
paces of the casting point. A spell the investigator may integrate the Because the triggering condition and the Form
with Sight Range is ineffective unless Event Duration, imperfectly, before of the spell are both Corpus, no requisite is
an Imaginem requisite is used and the a Breakthrough is reached. The spell required. If Darius had created a spell that
triggering event occurs somewhere that increases the magus’s break- was triggered by the target’s intentions, it
that would be “visible” from the cast- through point total past half the total would have needed a Mentem requisite.

44
Ancient Magic
Trap for the Thief in the Night ing a Breakthrough. The spell that the figurine may be placed on any
Pe(In)Co 25 increases the magus’s breakthrough number of maps.
R: Voice, D: Event (Mom), T: Ind, point total past half the total required A Dexterity + Craft roll of 9 is
Ritual for the Breakthrough, and all those required to create the figurine depict-
Inflicts a Medium Wound on any invented thereafter provide all of ing the quarry. The figurine created
person who meets the definition of the benefits of the Unlimited Range, is approximately three inches tall. To
the target determined at the time of except that they require sympathetic determine the location of the target
casting and who comes within the connections totaling +5 bonus mul- more precisely, the caster may create
range of the casting point. tipliers. A partially integrated spell a smaller figurine. For each halving of
(Base 10, +2 Voice, +1 Event must follow all of the other require- the size of the figurine, increase the
[Mom]) ments of an Unlimited Range spell. Ease Factor by 3.
(Base 3, +6 Unlimited, +1 Conc)
Although a spell with Duration Event is
a continuous magical effect, it is not generally Unlimited Range Examples Darius wants to create a spell that rep-
cast on anything until it takes effect, and thus licates The Leap of Homecoming, but
does not cause Warping. On the other hand, Moratamis wants to create a spell that allows the caster to travel anywhere. Because
it cannot move. mimics The Inexorable Search, but does the range for the base spell is Personal,
not require an Arcane Connection. Creating but it requires an Arcane Connection, the
a representation of the quarry in the form of Unlimited Range Breakthrough allows the
New Range: Unlimited a small figurine is sufficient to fulfill the +2 Arcane Connection to be replaced by a +2
sympathetic connection requirement. sympathetic connection and adds +2 magni-
This range is only available for tudes to the final level of the spell.
Ritual spells. As part of the Ritual, the Draw on Diana’s Hounds
caster must have a single sympathetic InCo 30 Passage to the Place Pictured
connection to the target, or multiple R: Unlimited, D: Conc, T: Ind, ReCo 45
connections that combine to provide Ritual R: Per, D: Mom, T: Ind, Ritual
at least a +2 bonus on the Sympathetic Locates any person named in the This spell transports the caster
Connections table (see ArM5, page Ritual on a map. Before the Ritual anywhere. As part of the Ritual, the
84). An Arcane Connection is not begins, the caster must create a figu- caster must paint or draw a picture
required. Distance is immaterial for a rine of the target of the spell. The of the location to which he wishes
Ritual with Unlimited Range, unless caster then places the figurine on a to travel. If the player succeeds in
the storyguide imposes some limit. map. At the completion of the Ritual, making a Dexterity + Craft roll of
This Range adds +6 to the magnitude the figurine moves toward the person’s 9 and the spell is cast successfully,
of the spell or, for spell guidelines that location at the rate of one inch per the magus is transported to the site
require an Arcane Connection, it adds minute. When the figurine reaches the depicted. If the roll is botched the
+2 magnitudes to the base. location, it spins rapidly. The target is character may be transported to the
There are multiple ways the caster located somewhere within the area location but buried in a wall, be sent
can acquire the +2 bonus needed from covered by the spinning figurine. If to a place that merely resembles the
the Sympathetic Connections table. the quarry’s location is not on the map intended location, or be sent to a
For instance, knowing the target’s used, the figurine does not move. Faerie regio.
nickname (+1) and casting his horo- Although only one map is required (Base 35 with Arc, +2 Unlimited)
scope for the day (+1) is sufficient to to cast the spell, multiple maps of
use Unlimited Range to cast a spell various scales provide the best results.
on him. Likewise, a simple drawing A character may draw a map for use in Defixio Magic in Play
or clay model of the target created by the spell with a successful Dexterity +
the magus (+2) is sufficient to cast an Area Lore roll against an Ease Factor The magus who understands
Unlimited Range spell. of 6. If the roll is unsuccessful, the Defixio Lore and incorporates it into
If the storyguide allows it, the figurine does not move. The figurine Hermetic theory is able to utilize its
investigator may partially integrate is the focus of the spell and, as long underlying concepts to great tactical
the Unlimited Range before achiev- as the magus maintains concentration, and strategic advantage.

45
Naming Conventions
Christianity born son. It is offensive to refer to an other bynames. Men are more likely
adult by her birth name alone. to be named using traditional Biblical
The popularity of using baptismal In addition to the above names, names, while women often take names
names varies by region. In some areas, a person might also take a “laqab.” from the local community. When a
parents do not name a child until the This byname might be descriptive of Jewish man in Christian Europe takes
baptism, people avoid referring to the a personality trait held (or desired) a byname, it is usually based on his
child specifically until that event, and by the person. “Harun Al-Rashid,” for father’s name, the local geography, a
the child then uses his baptismal name instance, means “Harun the Rightly- personal characteristic, his occupa-
for his entire life. In other areas, the Guided.” But a laqab could also be reli- tion, or his rabbinical status.
parents give the child a secret name, gious in nature. Some take the name Although women can be referred
which is used only by the family or servant (“abd” for men and “amat” for to as daughter or wife of someone,
may never be used, and the child women) of one of the ninety-nine these are rarely part of their proper
uses his baptismal name in public. In names of God. Examples of such names and are generally merely a des-
many areas, however, parents name names include: Abd Al-Aziz (servant ignation of a familial relationship. Jews
their children at birth with either the of the Almighty), Amat Allah (servant in Islamic societies do not usually take
name of a recently dead relative or of God), abd Al-Malik (servant of the religious laqab names, but might have
even a sibling who predeceased the Sovereign), amat Al-Khallaq (servant bynames indicating their piety, devo-
newborn. In these areas, a distinct of the Creator), or Abd As-Samad tion to God, or religious scholarship.
baptismal name is either not given or (servant of the Eternal). Some people
never used. Regardless of the naming do not use a birth name or are given a
convention in any particular area, the laqab as a birth name. Religious Names in
use of nicknames is common. Bynames Some examples of Arabic names Defixio Magic
could be added to a personal name include: Umm Ja’far Zaina bint Yusuf
based on some prominent physical ibn Farouk (Mother of Jafar, Zaina, A target’s nickname, birth name,
characteristic, personality trait, place daughter of Joseph, son of Farouk); or byname may be used as a sym-
of birth, or occupation. Abu Isma’il Ibrahim ibn Ishaq ibn pathetic connection to her, but the
Ibrahim ibn Bashir al-Bukhari (Father target’s baptismal, religious laqab, or
of Ishmael, Abraham, son of Isaac, rabbinical name may not. If a person’s
Islam son of Abraham, son of Bashir, from birth name and religious name are
Bukhara); and Abu al-Ayyub Abd al- the same, then that name may not
Although naming conventions Rahim ibn Ahmad al-Harrani (Father be used in any magic ritual. For such
vary by region for Muslims too, there of Job, servant of the Merciful, son of an individual, only his nickname or
is much more uniformity across the Ahmad, from Harran). byname may be used to identify him.
Islamic world. A person’s birth name If a religious name is incorporated
is only one of many names she has. into the description of a target, in
A person may use a patronymic name Judaism defixio magic or an Unlimited Range
that could encompass two or three spell, the spell is treated as if the reli-
generations. Often a person could Jews often adopt the naming con- gious name had not been included. If
also have a name designating his ventions of the surrounding commu- only a religious name is used, the spell
occupation, tribal lineage, or geo- nities. This means that Jews in Europe always fails. If one of the above reli-
graphic origin. As Muslims become usually identify themselves by only gious names is part of the target’s full
adults, they no longer use their birth their given name, possibly with one name, the spell or Ability is treated as
names and might only be referred to byname. Jews in Islamic society often if only the target’s nickname or pseud-
as the father or mother of their first- use multiple patronymic names and onym is known.

46
Ancient Magic
Using Duration Event Penetration Total to zero, but a magus pens if a magus reads of Prester John’s
would still be vulnerable at sunrise and Kingdom and attempts to travel there?
Event Duration spells lend them- sunset when his Parma Magica expires What happens if the author’s descrip-
selves to defensive measures. They (see Houses of Hermes: True Lineages, page tion is accurate, but the magus’s ren-
allow magi to create traps and alarms 72). The unfortunate side effect of dition was not? What happens if the
based on a wide variety of crite- forceless casting is that any creature location is actually fictitious? An easy
ria. Remote vis sites, covenants, and with a Might score would never trig- solution might be to require personal
sancta are prime locations for traps ger the spell. The safest way to define knowledge of the location depicted,
to repel or punish intruders. A magus a triggering event is to specifically but other answers might be more
could also cast a spell to automatical- exclude members of the Order from interesting. Should the storyguide not
ly protect the covenant library with any description. wish to have such a wide-ranging
Soothe the Raging Flames. With the addi- saga, characters may simply travel
tion of a Mentem requisite, magi can to Faerie regiones created by the
create alarms that warn of potential Using Range Unlimited fanciful tales told about the fictitious
attacks before they even occur. A location. A botch using a travel spell
covenant concerned with spies or trai- Spells with Unlimited Range with Unlimited Range could produce
tors might create alarms that identify should have a greater impact on game a similar result.
enemies without forcing a magus to play than Event Duration. Although Because incorporating Unlimited
cast Intellego Mentem spells on every all of the effects that Unlimited Range Range into Hermetic theory allows
member of the turb or covenant. spells allow can be duplicated by the magus to break one of the minor
The storyguide should always spells with an Arcane Connection, Hermetic limits and do something
require the player to write out a characters are freed from the need that Bonisagus himself was unable to
complete description of the trigger- to collect, fix, and maintain multiple do, the troupe should consider the
ing event and record the relevant Arcane Connections. Characters may ramifications of this discovery. Any
spell totals. The magus may cast a affect people anywhere with little magus who fully incorporates defixio
spell that is not activated until years more than the person’s name and cur- magic into Hermetic theory achieves
later. A character’s statistics may have rent location. Similarly, a spell like a Hermetic Breakthrough and is likely
changed significantly during that The Leap of Homecoming with Unlimited vaulted to the status of the greatest
time. Similarly, a written triggering Range allows a character to travel living Hermetic theoretician.
event reduces the likelihood of argu- anywhere in Mythic Europe and pos-
ments about the exact circumstances sibly the world. Because of the drastic
that activate the spell. impact this may have on game play, a
A spell with a duration of Event
could create a situation where the
storyguide may wish to impose some
arbitrary limit on the distance, such
Finding
magus unintentionally violates the
Code of Hermes. Given that it is not
as the edges of continental Europe, or
49 leagues. Defixiones
a violation of the Code, per se, for a A magus must create any symbolic
magus to enter a covenant without representation used as a sympathetic Defixiones are some of the most
invitation, a spell that activates an connection in an Unlimited Range common artifacts recovered from the
alarm or a trap against an intruding spell (see ArM5, page 84). Obviously, ancient world. Some graves or wells
magus would likely violate the Code. a poorly drawn map or an inaccurate literally contain hundreds of defixio-
If the magus casts a spell with a trigger picture fails as a sympathetic connec- nes in various states of degradation.
based on the target’s intentions and a tion. The character, however, may not Not all defixiones, however, are suit-
magus enters the range of the spell, know that his representation is insuf- able for study. A magus may only
whether the magus triggers the spell ficient and may attempt to use the study those defixiones whose magic
or not, this could violate the Code’s representation with disastrous results. has not yet been released.
prohibition on scrying. The troupe should discuss the There are a number of reasons
One way to reduce the likeli- possibility of the magus creating a that a defixio could have been cre-
hood of an unintentional violation representation of a location that the ated and never used. For example, if
of the Code is to reduce the Ritual’s magus has never visited. What hap- a jealous husband cursed his wife’s

47
Ancient Magic
lover and she had always remained Silhouettes magic that affected the target of the
faithful to him, the curse would still curse. These rituals were often recorded
be pending and could be studied. If an Cultists of Hecate specialized in in large collections — some of which
absentminded person cursed the thief the creation of silhouette defixiones. still exist. Although the investigators
of his cloak and he later found that These devices were created during a can learn much about the practice of
he had simply misplaced it, the curse ritual that involved molding a statuette defixio magic through examination of
would still be pending. In general, the of the target in lead. The cultist then the physical remains, their research is
storyguide should limit the number of engraved the statuette with a descrip- made easier by acquiring and studying
suitable defixiones discovered to one tion of the individual and words or the accompanying formulae.
or two per season the investigators symbols of power. While reciting an
spend searching. oral formula to empower the defixio,
the cultist used a heavy weight to Ancient Texts
smash the figurine flat, which left a
Types of Defixiones thin, silhouette-shaped figure. The The ancient sources of defixio
cultist then deposited the defixio in formulae are not texts in the tradi-
Curse Tablets an inaccessible location, such as an tional sense and do not have Source
underground body of water, or an or Quality ratings. They are merely
The curse tablet is the most com- oracle or sanctuary dedicated to an collections of formulae for various
mon form of defixio and was utilized appropriate deity. defixio spells. Studying such a col-
by all practitioners of defixio magic. A lection does not allow a character to
curse tablet could be made from any gain any ability in Defixio Lore, but
material upon which a sorcerer can Figurines some formulae may provide a suitable
write. The usual medium was a flat- source for investigation.
tened lead tablet, though parchment, Cultists of Ceres and Proserpina If the investigator is able to dis-
wax, or other soft metals could be specialized in the creation of figurine cover a formula for the same cult as a
utilized. Silver and gold were popular defixiones. The figurines were most defixio in his possession, the character
material for defensive defixiones and often used in ceremonies to inspire receives a bonus of his Insight roll.
were often worn on necklaces. The love or lust in a target. As part of a Over the centuries, many formulae
sorcerer performed an intricate cer- lengthy ritual, the cultists created a have been copied incorrectly, and
emony to prepare the surface of the figurine by molding a representation original texts have been ravaged by
material before writing on it. Using a of the target from wax, clay, or wood. time; therefore, few formulae are suit-
brass stylus, the cultist then described The sorcerer then etched the person’s able for study. In addition to provid-
the target, detailed the curse, and name into the figurine and, while ing access to formulae, some ancient
inscribed words of power and mysti- reciting the oral formula to empower texts provide descriptions of the most
cal symbols. the defixio, impaled the figurine with efficacious locations to deposit defix-
Once the tablet was inscribed, the numerous iron nails. The cultist then iones. These descriptions can pro-
sorcerer folded the tablet over upon deposited the figurine in an inacces- vide the investigator valuable clues in
itself to conceal the writing and then sible location, such as a well, under- recovering specimens for study.
transfixed it with a nail, often one that ground stream, or spring dedicated to
had been used in a crucifixion. The the appropriate deity.
ritual was completed when the defixio Toledo Scholars
was deposited in a suitable location.
Defixiones seeking revenge or destruc- Formulae Many texts from ancient Greece
tion were often placed in a place where and Rome survived in Arabic transla-
Pluto or Hecate were worshipped. In addition to requiring the cre- tion throughout North Africa and
Those seeking justice or victory were ation of one of the three physical other Moorish lands. Some of these
frequently placed in an oracle or spring examples above, defixio rituals also texts have begun trickling back into
dedicated to Minerva or a local deity. involved an oral component. These Europe through Andalusia for the
Defixiones used to control ghosts were formulae were essential to empowering last century. The translation center
usually placed in that ghost’s grave. the defixio to channel the underlying at Toledo serves as a prolific source

48
Ancient Magic
of Latin translations of both ancient magic of the earliest members of the may want to slow their spread until
Greek and Egyptian texts. Order has been fully incorporated the House can perfect it, or develop
Because the Church sponsors the into Hermetic magic. However, the defenses against it.
translation of these texts, the search investigator is still not able to gain
for defixio formulae is difficult. When access to the archives of Coeris with-
most Church officials uncover a magi- out offering something valuable to the Gravesites
cal text, they simply destroy it. Not leadership of House Tremere.
all translators agree with this policy, Cultists of Pluto could coerce
however. The investigator may need restless ghosts to perform fell deeds.
to identify a sympathetic translator Other cultists also placed their defix-
or blackmail one to locate suitable iones in gravesites to deter the vic-
formulae. tims of their curses from finding and
destroying the devices. Therefore,
ancient gravesites are very fertile
Egyptian Formulae grounds for discovering defixiones.
Although the practitioners of defixio
The Roman Empire had exten- The investigator might seek the magic were spread throughout the
sive contacts with Egypt, and defixio assistance of a conspirator to gain Roman Empire, Rome contained
texts may still survive there. Many access to the Tremere archives. A dis- the highest concentration of cult-
believe that defixio magic originated gruntled grog or servant may be will- ists. The sheer quantity of gravesites
in Egypt. The Greek and Egyptian ing to risk his life to cross the Tremere, makes Rome a likely destination for
formulae, which were adapted by but the justification would need to be uncovering defixiones, and any large
Roman cultists, still exist in the librar- great. The Tremere are likely to dis- Roman city is likely to have defixiones
ies of Moorish scholars and magi- cover any theft by a non-magus rather interred in its ancient tombs.
cians in the Levant and Egypt. These quickly. A less risky alternative might Locating a graveyard in Rome is
texts may be the most comprehensive be to identify a Tremere magus with not difficult. However, finding one
sources for defixio formulae, but they the Leadworker Virtue who wishes to that contains useful defixiones presents
are also likely to be the most difficult return his magical lineage to promi- a potential problem for investigators.
to obtain, and require a journey to nence. Of course, such a magus is The cultists favored the graves of chil-
Islamic territory. Once obtained, the likely to be manipulating the investiga- dren and victims of violence because
magus must translate and decipher tor to his own ends, as well. they possessed vengeful ghosts willing
them from Ancient Coptic or Greek The storyguide has the option to harm the living. Romans believed
before conducting any laboratory of using the Tremere as a source of that people who died in an untimely
investigation or attempting to under- assistance or hindrance in the inves- fashion, especially those who died
stand them. tigation of defixio magic. House too young to have progeny of their
Tremere may be concerned about own to tend their tombs, were likely
the investigator’s research for several to be restless spirits filled with hatred
Tremere Archives reasons. First, they may not want the and jealousy for the living. Ghosts
magus to disclose the secrets of the of individuals who were betrayed in
Some ancient collections of Leadworker Virtue to the Order as a death or died with an important task
defixio formulae may have survived whole, because it would weaken the unfinished could remain active to the
to the present in the hands of mem- House’s current necromantic domi- present. Rumors of haunted areas or
bers of the Order. A sufficiently large nance. Second, defixio magic pro- ghosts may provide the investigators
collection of magical texts from the vides its user with powerful tools for with some of their best leads.
time of the Founders — such as the war and espionage. The Tremere may
Tremere archives — might have some want to monopolize these techniques
examples of defixio formulae. It is to improve their political advantage in The City of Rome
doubtful that anyone in that House the Order. Finally, even if the secrets of
attaches much importance to them, defixio magic are eventually available Rome has a current population of
given the popular belief that the to the entire Order, House Tremere perhaps 10,000 permanent residents.

49
Ancient Magic
This number varies greatly depending requisites, could detect active defix- This foul act still binds Libitina
on the season, being inflated by pil- iones below ground. Unfortunately, to the world of the living. She haunts
grims and other visitors to the Holy these spells may be beyond the capa- the countryside of Rome terrorizing
See. Because vast areas of Rome have bility of a non-specialist or a junior parents. She believes that she remains
been destroyed and rebuilt over the magus. A different tactic might be to in this world to protect children and
centuries, potential gravesites exist in follow the approach that where there punish anyone who abuses them. The
unexpected locations. The source of a is smoke, there is fire. A magus using characters may hear children playing
haunted home, inn, or plaza could be See the Spirits of the Night, or anyone with while repeating a rhyme that calls for
the ghost of an ancient Roman who is Second Sight, might stumble across a Libitina to punish cruel mothers and
restless because his grave is no longer ghost from ancient Rome. fathers.
marked. If the magi communicate with
The investigator might encounter Libitina, they may be able to lay her
many problems searching in Rome. See the Spirits of the Night ghost to rest. Once she admits that
The least of these problems is that her deeds in life were despicable and
within the city walls his actions come InMe 30 cannot be undone by punishing oth-
under close scrutiny from Church R: Per, D: Conc, T: Vision ers, she passes to the other side. As a
and city officials as well as innocent The caster is able to see Mentem- reward, she provides the magus with
bystanders. In addition, the powerful based spirits (ghosts) that are nor- a powerful defixio that she created to
Dominion impedes the use of most mally invisible to the living. For spirits protect her grave. The statistics for
magic, including the search, discov- that are not in close proximity to Libitina are left to the discretion of
ery, and excavation of tombs. the caster, a successful Perception the storyguide, but she should have a
roll may be required to locate them. Might that presents a challenge to the
For example, ghosts hidden behind group. Because she feels overwhelm-
Old Rome intervening walls are not visible, and a ing guilt over her mistreatment of her
ghost amid a large crowd may not be children, a magus using Coerce Spirits of
Many of the gravesites of ancient immediately obvious. This spell does the Night on Libitina receives a +4 to
Rome are no longer within the city not allow the caster to communicate his Presence for threats involving her
proper. The area surrounding Rome, with the dead, only to see a ghost. children.
which was previously part of the This spell must penetrate the Magic
ancient city, has become rural and is Resistance of the invisible ghost to be
dominated by farms and pasture, with successful. Catacombs
only scattered villages. Rural Rome (New Base 5 [Sense any Mentem
possesses a weak Dominion aura that spirit], +1 Conc, +4 Vision) While searching for defixiones,
interferes with magic, but not to the the investigators may stumble across
extent of Rome proper. the catacombs of Rome. The cata-
Outside of Rome, investigators Ghosts of Ancient Rome combs were subterranean burial plac-
may more easily utilize Intellego spells es for early Christians that are located
to locate defixiones, graves, or ghosts. The residents of rural Rome outside the walls of old Rome. Because
A powerful Intellego or Muto Terram might direct the investigator to the Pre-Christian Roman law prohibited
spell could allow the investigator to general location of a ghost because the interment of corpses within the
look through the earth to locate graves. it is relatively well known. One such city, Jewish citizens buried their dead
The search for graves is made difficult, example is the ghost of Libitina. outside the walls. When Christians
however, by the ancient Roman funer- Libitina was a priestess of the cult of came to the city, they continued the
ary practices of cremation. The magus Hecate in Rome. She was a powerful practice. The catacombs vary greatly
must therefore look for grave markers sorceress who was driven to achieve and range from rough, narrow tun-
and burial chambers; any bones or power at any cost. In pursuit of this nels with small shelves for the dead
corpses the investigators find probably quest, she murdered her own chil- to professionally finished stone tombs
received a Christian burial. dren and used their restless spirits with stairs and shafts to the surface
Both Sense of the Lingering Magic and to punish her enemies and guard her to provide light and ventilation. The
Sight of the Active Magics, with Terram defixiones. catacombs fell out of use when the

50
Ancient Magic
Empire became Christian, and their
existence was generally unknown dur-
ing the Middle Ages. It is possible
that still-active defixiones rest in the
catacombs, especially if they were
intended to call forth the spirit of a
Christian or Jewish ghost protected
by a Divine burial.

Vardian’s Tomb

Although most of the catacombs


possess a weak Dominion aura, this is
not true for every one. Legend tells
of Flambeau’s conquest of a group of
Roman cultists who refused to join
the Order. Flambeau followed the
fleeing wizards into the catacombs
and, in an epic battle, killed them
all, destroying their most powerful
artifact — Vardian’s skull. This power-
ful magical act created an aura that a
small covenant utilizes today.
The covenant, which calls itself
Vardian’s Tomb, is composed of sev-
eral Ex Miscellanea necromancers and the Spectres (see below) to deal with in the catacombs, hidden from the
Jerbiton magi. The covenant must him. authorities, and slip out at night to
remain small because of the limited waylay travelers or raid villages. The
size of the aura. Despite its size, the bandits know the countryside well
covenant can provide investigators The Spectres and are able to avoid the authorities
with valuable assistance. The magi with little trouble. The investigators
know the catacombs and the area The members of Vardian’s Tomb might stumble across the Spectres’
around them well, including the local are not the only people living in the lair or encounter them during one
restless dead. catacombs. A group of bandits, call- their raids.
The magi of Vardian’s Tomb ing themselves the Spectres, has also Despite the popular belief that
also know that there are defixiones taken refuge there. The bandits have the restless dead are terrorizing the
located throughout the catacombs. used the haunted reputation of the Roman countryside, the local offi-
Because unexpended defixiones con- area to discourage resistance from cials and the Church correctly sus-
tain vis, the magi have spent a great their victims, and actively cultivate pect something more mundane is the
deal of time searching for them. The the impression that they are spirits. source of the problems. The officials
magi may be willing to trade the To this end, the Spectres cover them- are therefore combing rural Rome,
defixiones in their possession for selves in charcoal dust and preface going village-to-village in an attempt
vis, but they do not trade them on a their attacks with eerie sounds pro- to find the parties responsible for
one-for-one basis. If the investigator duced by horns and other musical the raids. Of course, whether the
attempts to take advantage of the instruments. characters encounter the Spectres
magi of Vardian’s Tomb, ridicules The Spectres are a particularly or the local officials, either group
them for their poor amenities, or is despicable group of ruffians who have could complicate their investigation.
discovered taking the covenant’s vis no compunction about disturbing the Some of the troops traveling with
sources, the magi secretly encourage dead. During the day, they remain the Roman officials are combat vet-

51
Ancient Magic
erans of the Crusades. They are also but it could be almost anywhere and, Their removal is relatively sim-
often accompanied by clerics from with little effort, it could be dedicated ple if the characters know that only
the Holy See with the protection of to any of the chthonic gods. a male activates them. Any woman
relics and possibly True Faith. may enter and exit the sanctuary with
impunity. Discovering this trigger is
Cave Complex only possible if one of the defixiones
Chthonic Sanctuaries can be studied. The easiest way to
The entrance to the cave is disarm the cave is for a magus to
The cults of Pluto, Ceres, and rough-hewn and barely large enough locate the active defixiones through
Hecate worshiped in underground for an adult male to enter on his a Muto Terram spell to turn the walls
temples dedicated to their gods. The hands and knees. The tunnel extends of the cave transparent. Once the
cultists often deposited their defixio- for several yards before opening into defixiones are located, the magus can
nes in these isolated locations. Once a large multi-room complex of fin- then use Unseen Arm to remove them
a magus learns of the cults that prac- ished stone. An alabaster altar with from the cave. Of course, while they
ticed defixio magic, an Intelligence a fire pit in front of it dominates remain physically intact the defixio-
+ Magic Lore roll against an Ease the largest room. This is where the nes continue to protect the sanctuary
Factor of 12 reveals that these temples cult’s most powerful ceremonies took regardless of their actual location.
could contain defixiones or informa- place. The walls of the main chamber Destroying them ends the protec-
tion concerning defixio magic. are covered with small niches that tion, but also makes them unsuitable
There are several sources that contain defixiones, some of which for investigation.
could lead an investigator to an appro- are suitable for study.
priate sanctuary. A Tremere magus or The rear chambers were living
Ex Miscellanea maga of the Witches and working areas. If other parties Erebos
of Thessaly might provide the investi- have not taken the defixio formulae
gator with the location of a sanctuary of the cult, they are located here. The cave complex is home to a
for a price. An Intelligence + Magic The complex also has caves that lead colony of bats. The bats have lived in
Lore roll against an Ease Factor of deeper into the mountain. Within the strong magical aura of the sanctu-
15 provides the general region of these caves, the remains of some the ary long enough to become warped
an appropriate sanctuary. The magus cult’s victims and its dead members by it. Some of these warped bats have
may also discover the location of a are interred. a Magic Might of 15 and the ability to
sanctuary from an ancient text or become invisible when stationary, as
formulary. in Invisibility of the Standing Wizard. The
Locating a sanctuary without spe- Protective Defixiones warped bats do not attack the charac-
cific directions is difficult. Because ters, and the characters may not even
the sanctuaries are often located in The cultists of Hecate have cre- notice them. The body of each magi-
Magic auras or contain vis sourc- ated defixiones to summon spirits cal bat has three pawns of Perdo vis.
es, an Intellego Vim spell designed or cast harmful spells on any man The total vis available is equivalent to
to detect either may be useful. Of who enters the sanctuary. The spirits two high-level vis sources for the saga
course, investigating a sanctuary can should be numerous and powerful (see Covenants, page 72).
cause problems should the investiga- enough to pose a threat to a moder- One of the covenants of the
tor interfere with another covenant’s ate-sized Spring covenant. The curs- Theban Tribunal, Erebos, has dis-
magical resources. es are equivalent to powerful Perdo covered the sanctuary. The magi of
The cults that practiced defixio Corpus spells of the fifth, sixth, or Erebos have not entered it because of
magic were present throughout the seventh magnitude. The defixiones the various traps set by the cultists of
Roman Empire, but they were most are staggered to affect the intruder Hecate. The covenant contains sev-
heavily concentrated on the Italian consecutively as he goes deeper into eral Perdo specialists, and they con-
and Grecian peninsulas. The exam- the sanctuary. If the defixiones guard- sider the cave their most important
ple sanctuary below is dedicated to ing the sanctuary can be removed vis source. The magi of Erebos harvest
Hecate and is set in the Cambunian without triggering their curses, they some of the magical bats each season
Mountains of the Theban Tribunal, provide a potent source for study. as they exit the cave.

52
Ancient Magic
The covenant has clearly marked Daughters of Erictho the conflict between the Order and
the entrance to the cave as its proper- the Daughters has only increased.
ty. Its magi have set their own traps to The Witches of Thessaly were The Daughters and the Order have
immobilize any intruders and alert the also worshippers of Hecate and are also come into conflict regarding their
covenant if anyone enters. They take experts in sorcery, necromancy, and relations with the faeries of the area.
trespassing very seriously and deal the dark arts (see Realms of Power: To gain access to the defixio-
harshly with thieves, being concerned The Infernal, page 140). Many of the nes, the characters may have to act
that any intrusion into the cave or dis- Witches joined House Ex Miscellanea, as mediators between the Daughters
turbance of the defixiones may reduce but a small number of the hold- of Erictho and Erebos. Some of
its aura or cause the colony of bats to outs survive today in the Cambunian their differences may be irreconcil-
relocate, which would destroy their Mountains. These witches are known able without introducing new magi-
vis source. as the Daughters of Erictho. The cal resources. The characters may
The magi can be reasoned with, Daughters are powerful adversaries be forced to provide additional vis
and a well-thought-out plan assuages with a strong dislike for the Order. sources or locate magical auras to
most of their fears. However, they The Daughters of Erictho once placate the Daughters. Smoothing
are not willing to endanger their vis used the sanctuary and consider the relations between the Daughters and
source or give up the vis-laden defix- encroachment of Erebos just the most Erebos not only allows the inves-
iones without suitable compensation. recent in a long line of trespasses. tigators admission to the cave, but
The magi of Erebos may consider They have also come into conflict could also provide valuable assistance
allowing the investigators access to with Erebos and other covenants of through access to ancient defixio for-
the cave in exchange for assistance the Tribunal of Thebes over certain mulae. Previous generations of the
in resolving their conflict with the magical resources. As civilization Witches of Thessaly practiced defixio
Daughters of Erictho. and the Dominion encroaches on vis magic and some of their formulae col-
sources and weakens magical auras, lections still exist.

53
Chapter Four

Fertility Magic
Several millennia ago, a fertility
cult was ubiquitous across Mythic Cultic Fertility as required, by studying other relics,
but a fetish figurine that has been
Europe. Cult practitioners were,
through rituals and spells, able to Magic destroyed to extract its vis may not be
studied for Insight.
influence conception to promote Once the magus has an Insight
desirable traits in children. Remains The original cultic fertility prac- Lab Text he can begin the process
of the cult, in the form of small tices are irrecoverable: the surviv- of integration with Hermetic theory,
fetish statuettes carved to resemble ing relics are simply too diffuse and by inventing an effect that deals with
a wide-hipped pregnant woman, do not preserve enough knowledge birth, pregnancy, or the fertility of
can be found in remote caves, but about the cult. Despite the paucity women, thereby gaining breakthrough
are seldom identified as artifacts of of recoverable information about the points, as described in the Introduction.
a coherent cultic practice, and are fertility cult itself, the ancient fetishes Possible Hermetic effects that might be
often confused with the relics of provide enough of a magical record usefully invented include an Intellego
Figurine Magic (see Houses of Hermes: for a Seeker to discover their usage Corpus effect that reveals a pregnancy
True Lineages, page 33). and thus attempt to reconstruct the (InCo, base 4) or a Creo Corpus effect
Other than the fertility fetishes fertility rituals of the cult. The recon- that restores a woman’s body to her
and a few cave paintings, there are no structed rituals — the product of inte- pre-pregnant state (CrCo, base 20).
relics or records of the culture that gration with Hermetic theory — are With the storyguide’s approval, a non-
produced the fertility rituals, so it is not the original cultic rituals, how- Hermetic effect, chosen from those
unclear exactly who the fertility cult ever, as they are embedded within the below, that utilizes the Range Unborn
members were: certainly they had Seeker’s Hermetic theory. Child, may be invented during this inte-
been wiped out, or assimilated, long gration process. However, the Fertility
before Rome’s legionnaires marched Ritual itself may not be attempted until
through Europe. The fertility cult the appropriate Breakthrough has been
may have been part of an antedilu-
vian culture that was destroyed in
Integrating achieved.
There are two breakthroughs in
the flood, and credibility is lent to
this theory by the fact that some Fertility Magic fertility magic. The first allows the
magus to learn the Arcane Ability
of the isolated mountain caves the
fetish statuettes are found in contain into Hermetic Fertility Lore; this is comparatively
simple and requires only 15 break-
shells and the preserved bones of sea
creatures. It is also possible that there Theory through points. The second grants
the magus the Minor Hermetic Virtue
were several similar cults — rather Fertility Ritual Magic, and is more
than a single, monolithic cult — and A magus may gain Insight into complex, requiring 35 breakthrough
given the wide distribution of the fertility magic by studying an ancient points. There is no need to achieve
fertility fetishes and their apparent fetish figurine, or a cave painting both breakthroughs, although the
independence of any ancient empire, (see Cave Painting Galleries, below). Fertility Lore Ability is useful in devel-
this is even likely. Additional Insights may be gained, oping Fertility Rituals.

54
Ancient Magic

Story Seed: Ancient New Target: Hermetic Magic and


Fetish Figurines Unborn Child Mother and Child
Characters exploring cave sys- The Minor Hermetic Virtue An unborn child, carried in
tems may find fetishes made by Fertility Ritual Magic allows a magus the womb, is difficult for Hermetic
ancient fertility cult practitioners. access to a new Target Unborn magic to target as it is not quite
Such a discovery is the most likely Child. This Target is equivalent to a separate individual. Mainstream
method by which a character can Individual for the purposes of cal- Hermetic magic can target a
learn of the ancient fertility cult. culating a spell level, and it may be baby in the second trimester, and
The exact shapes and forms of the used to make an unborn child, from onwards until birth, as a Part of the
fetishes vary considerably — some the moment of conception until mother, but targeting a Part of an
are carved from animal bone or birth, the target of a spell. The Individual increases the magnitude
antlers, others from stone or wood magus must be able to sense the of a spell (see ArM5, page 112).
— but all represent a female figure, mother to target the unborn child, Thus, the Target Unborn Child
usually faceless, and are about the and the mother’s Magic Resistance allows a maga to effect an unborn
size of a fist. Each fetish figurine (if any) protects her unborn child. baby with lower magnitude spells.
contains one pawn of Creo vis, In addition, mainstream Hermetic
but extracting the vis destroys the the remaining time. So, the less magic cannot usually discriminate
fetish. time until the birth, the more at all between mother and child in
Cave paintings (see Cave accurate the estimate, although the first trimester. This is a flaw in
Painting Galleries, below) are also if magic has altered the length of Hermetic theory, which is circum-
sources of information about the the pregnancy the estimate may vented by the integration of fertil-
fertility cult. be erroneous. ity magic.
• A roll of Perception + Fertility
Arcane Ability Lore against an Ease Factor of 3 Minor Hermetic Virtue:
determines whether two charac-
Fertility Lore ters are related or not. The Ease
Fertility Ritual Magic
Factor is increased by 1 for each
This Ability covers the knowl- generation of separation between The magus with this Hermetic
edge of fertility, and can be used to the characters, and modified by a Virtue has access to the new Target
determine fertility and blood relation- further +3 if the character wants Unborn Child, and can devise Fertility
ships between characters. The Arcane to determine the exact relation- Rituals that are performed during con-
Ability Fertility Lore is not a super- ship. For example, to identify ception to influence the traits that the
natural ability, and the determinations that two siblings are related the child is born with.
are made via a simple visual inspec- Ease Factor is 3, and to identify a
tion, which takes about five minutes character’s grandparent the Ease
to perform. If the character wishes to Factor is 8 (3, + 2 two generations
make the inspection surreptitiously,
increase the Ease Factors listed here
apart, + 3 exact relationship).
• A roll of Perception + Fertility
New Spells
by 3. Note that as the inspections are Lore against an Ease Factor of
purely visual, the character cannot 12 reveals whether a character Some example spells that utilize
make any determinations about an (male or female) is fertile; remem- the Target Unborn Child are printed
unborn child using this Ability alone. ber that characters who use a below. A maga might invent ver-
Longevity Ritual are not fertile. sions of these spells with a Range of
• A roll of Perception + Fertility Personal to affect her own unborn
Lore against an Ease Factor of Books may be written about the child, and these spells may be invent-
3 indicates whether a character Arcane Ability Fertility Lore and it ed during the integration of fertility
is pregnant and what the natural may be studied, practiced, and taught magic and Hermetic theory.
due date is, to within 10% of like any other Ability.

55
Ancient Magic
Midwife’s Eye This spell transports an unborn R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Unborn
InCo 5 child instantly out of his mother’s Child
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Unborn womb, to a distance of up to five When this ointment is smeared
Child paces away. This is normally fatal over the belly of a pregnant woman,
This spell indicates the general for the child but does not harm the it wounds her unborn baby, which
health and sex of an unborn child. mother — the spell also removes the kills it. If the mother is more than one
A Perception + Fertility Lore roll placenta. To determine whether the month pregnant, a Stamina stress roll
against an Ease Factor of 3 indicates child survives, make a Stamina roll against an Ease Factor of 6 must be
the expected date of birth. against an Ease Factor of 3 + 3 for made for her, and if it fails she suffers
(Base 4, +1 Touch) each month prior to natural birth. For a Medium Wound. Otherwise, the
example, if The Promenade of Caesar is woman suffers no physical harm.
The Frozen Womb cast on an eight-month-old fetus the (Effect: Base 5, +1 Touch;
MuCo 35 Ease Factor is 6. An unborn child has Modifications: None)
R: Touch, D: Year, T: Unborn a –4 penalty to his Stamina.
Child, Ritual (Base 10, +1 Touch) Potion of Creation
This Ritual spell freezes the devel- CrCo 25
opment of an unborn child for a year. Pen +0, charged item
The spell does not damage either R: Per, D: Sun, T: Unborn Child
the child or the mother — although
the mother may be seriously incon-
New Items When a fertile woman drinks
this potion she is guaranteed to con-
venienced by a delayed late-term ceive if she has intercourse with a
pregnancy — but both mother and Some example items that uti- fertile man within a day. If the man
child gain Warping Points due to lize the Target Unborn Child are is not human (a faerie, for example),
being under the influence of a con- described below. These items may be then the woman still conceives if a
stant, high-power mystical effect (see invented during the integration of fer- Stamina stress roll against an Ease
ArM5, page 167). tility magic and Hermetic Theory. Factor of 9 is made for her; such a
The spell can be cast at yearly child inherits some traits from his
intervals in order to delay a pregnan- The Mystic’s Forceps father.
cy for years, or even decades, and ver- MuCo 5 (Effect: Base 15, +2 Sun;
sions of this spell with other durations Pen +0, 1/day Modifications: None)
could be used to delay a birth until an R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Unborn
astrologically favorable moment. Child
(Base 10, +1 Touch, +4 Year) These forceps are using during

Black Anne’s Kiss


birth, and temporarily reduce the size
of the baby as it travels down the
The Fertility
PeCo 10
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Unborn
birth canal. This greatly speeds and
eases the birth process, which means Ritual
Child that there is less opportunity for dis-
This spell wounds an unborn ease-causing demons to wound either The Fertility Ritual is a special
child, causing the fetus to abort. A mother or child. If the forceps are ritual performed during conception.
Stamina stress roll against an Ease used to assist birth, they guarantee the It is similar to the Longevity Ritual:
Factor of 6 must be made for the birth of a live baby, and prevent any developing the ritual is a Laboratory
mother; if it fails she suffers a Medium injury or disease from befalling either activity that takes one season, and
Wound. mother or child due to the birth. this produces a Lab Text describing
(Base 5, +1 Touch) (Effect: Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 the Fertility Ritual. Any Gifted char-
Conc; Modifications: None) acter can perform a Fertility Ritual for
The Promenade of Caesar which he has the Lab Text, and the
ReCo 15 Black Anne’s Ointment Lab Text is required to conduct the
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Unborn PeCo 10 ritual — this is the only benefit of a
Child Pen +0, charged item Fertility Ritual’s Laboratory Text.

56
Ancient Magic
The first step to devising a Fertility
Ritual is to calculate the maximum
Example: Fertility
number of Trait Points of the ritual. Ritual Trait
The ritual is worth 1 Trait Point for Point Cost
every 10 points or fraction thereof of
the magus’s Creo Corpus Lab Total.
The magus may receive a bonus to A magus is approached by a
his Lab Total if he has a fertility fetish noblewoman who wants to com-
prepared by the intended mother (see mission a Fertility Ritual, so that
below). she may give birth to a son who
has Improved Characteristics, is
Maximum Trait Points: 1 for Inspirational, and is Strong Willed.
every 10 points or fraction of Creo The magus has a Creo Corpus
Corpus Lab Total Lab Total of 50, and so there-
fore may invent a ritual with a
Next, the traits that the child maximum number of 5 Trait Points.
should manifest are chosen. Each trait The Trait Point cost of the ritual
costs a number of Trait Points, and the that the noblewoman desires is:
total number of Trait Points cannot 1 (Improved Characteristics) + 1
exceed the maximum calculated for (Inspirational) +1 (Strong Willed)
the ritual. + 1 (a son) = 4. So, the magus can
create a ritual to fulfill the commis-
Trait Trait sion. Being reflexively devious, the
Point magus secretly adds a Minor Flaw
Cost to the ritual: the Minor Personality
Flaw Prohibition. He decides that if
Major Virtue or Flaw 3
the son disobeys an instruction by
the magus, he is struck by a pierc-
The Maga’s Own Child
Minor Virtue or Flaw 1 ing, migraine headache that lasts
The Gift 3 for a day; to attempt any complex A maga may create a Fertility
Specify gender 1 activity while he has a migraine, a Ritual to influence the conception
Stamina stress roll against an Ease of her own child. In this case, the
Specify other general fea- 1
Factor of 12 must be made. The maximum number of Trait Points
tures (e.g., red hair, green
total Trait Point cost of the ritual for the ritual is equal to 1 for every
eyes)
is therefore 5 (the maximum that 5 points, or fraction thereof, of
Specify precise features 3 the magus can create), it takes the Creo Corpus Lab Total. However,
(e.g., child’s features magus a season to develop the this ties the ritual to the maga
are those of the king of ritual, and 5 pawns of vis must be and it may not be performed for
France) spent during the performance of another mother. This bonus only
the ritual. applies to mothers.
Virtue and Flaw traits are chosen
from the list of Virtues and Flaws character’s nature. So, for example, the in other Ars Magica Fifth Edition
(ArM5, page 38). Hermetic Virtues Minor General Virtue Affinity with supplements may also be taken, with
and Flaws can be chosen if The Gift Ability is appropriate, but the Minor the storyguide’s approval.
is also chosen, but they may not be General Virtue Temporal Influence is It takes around half an hour to
accessible to the character until after not. Social Status Virtues and Flaws perform the Fertility Ritual, during
the Arts are opened during appren- are not normally appropriate, but the which conception takes place. Both of
ticeship (see ArM5, page 106). In any judgment of the storyguide is the final the parents must be fertile (remember
case, Virtues and Flaws may only be arbiter as to whether a trait is appropri- that the Longevity Ritual sterilizes
chosen that are inherently a part of a ate or not. Virtues and Flaws detailed a character); the ritual may be per-

57
Ancient Magic
formed by one of the parents (if either only a magus with the Faerie Magic
is Gifted), or it may be performed by Virtue can develop spells that grant
Breakthrough Points
a third party, who must be present. Faerie Virtues, like Faerie Blood, and from Fetish Creation
Conducting the Fertility Ritual con- equivalent conditions apply to Divine
sumes an amount of vis equal to the and Infernal traits. The Gift provides a A maga who has accom-
total Trait Point cost of the desired connection to the Magic realm. plished the first Fertility Magic
traits. Usually, the vis consumed is breakthrough, and therefore has
a combination of Creo and Corpus the Arcane Ability Fertility Lore,
vis but, with the storyguide’s permis- Fertility Fetishes may create her own fertility fetish
sion, other types of vis that match the (if she is fertile) as an effect worth
traits of the child may be substituted. Fertility fetishes are small repre- 5 breakthrough points towards
For example, a Fertility Ritual that is sentations of a pregnant woman craft- the second Fertility Magic break-
intended to grant a child the Major ed by a woman under the tutelage of a through. This does not require any
Hermetic Virtue Elemental Magic character who has the Ability Fertility additional Insight, and fetishes cre-
may use the vis of each element. Lore. A single fertility fetish may be ated by other characters under her
Nine months later the child is born used to add a bonus to the magus’s supervision do not generate break-
and manifests the traits determined by Lab Total when devising a Fertility through points, nor can they be
the Fertility Ritual. The ritual is spe- Ritual spell. If a fertility fetish is used, studied as sources of Insight.
cific to the child, so normally a dif- then the Fertility Ritual so developed
ferent ritual must be devised for each may only be used for a child of the of Creo vis, and prevents her from
performance — although it is possible woman who made the fetish. creating another fetish. The fetish
to repeat the ritual (see below). is a permanent Arcane Connection
Fertility Fetish Lab Total Bonus: to the mother, and to any children
mother’s (Dex + Craft Ability) + conceived under a Fertility Ritual that
Balancing Traits supervisor’s Fertility Lore Ability utilizes the fetish. Like ancient fetish
figurines (see above), which were cre-
The Virtues and Flaws determined A woman must construct her own ated for similar reasons, the vis may
by the Fertility Ritual do not need to fertility fetish, but she may use virtu- be extracted from a fertility fetish.
balance. However, if the child is a ally any Craft Ability that produces a This destroys the fetish and renders
player character it is recommended physical artifact. The construction of the woman infertile. However, a fetish
that the troupe allows the child to the fertility fetish occupies the woman may be kept indefinitely, depending
develop additional Virtues and Flaws for a season, during which time she on the materials used in construction,
as he ages, so that by the time he must be supervised by a character with and used to assist in inventing Fertility
reaches adulthood the traits do bal- the Arcane Ability Fertility Lore. The Rituals for a number of children.
ance. The acquisition of a balancing creation of a fertility fetish is auto-
trait could make a good subject for matic, but the skill of the mother and
a story. the supervisor does affect the bonus Repeating a
that the magus gains. A character only Fertility Ritual
needs to have the Ability Fertility
Supernatural Traits Lore to supervise the construction of
fetishes, and may supervise a number A Fertility Ritual can only be
The traits of the parents are irrele- of mothers, per season, equal to up successfully repeated, without risk,
vant to the Fertility Ritual, so it is per- to his Leadership Ability Score. This if the original child dies. A reckless
fectly possible to choose Supernatural does not distract him from other work magus may, however, experiment with
Virtues like Giant Blood, or Faerie during the season. a repeat performance of a Fertility
Blood, even if neither parent mani- A fertility fetish can only be made Ritual, or a magus may discover a Lab
fests these traits. However, the magus by a fertile woman, and in the pro- Text for a Fertility Ritual and perform
can only develop a ritual granting cess of creating a fertility fetish, the it without being aware he is duplicat-
powers that derive from realms he woman imbues it with her fertility, ing the actions of another. In either
has a connection to. This means that which infuses the fetish with one pawn case, the magus immediately gains a

58
Ancient Magic

Minor Supernatural
Flaw Corrupt
Fertility Ritual
The character’s conception was
influenced by a Fertility Ritual that
had already been used to influence
the birth of another. The char-
acter is physically similar to his
predecessor(s), but not identical;
he could even be of a different sex
or race — as long as those factors
were not determined by the ritual.
The character has a sympathetic
connection to his predecessor(s),
and they to him, which provides
a +2 multiplier bonus to the
Penetration of spells or magical
abilities that they use on each other
(ArM5, page 84). The character
also suffers a –3 penalty on all
social interactions (as others per-
ceive that there is something not
quite right with the character), and
every year, on his birthday, he gains tems, once dwelt in by fertility cult Although there are variations,
a Warping Point. Upon the death members. The caves are often in dictated by the physical structure of
of the character’s predecessor(s) he isolated areas of Mythic Europe, as the caves, each cave system used by
losses the Corrupt Fertility Ritual it is the isolation of the cave systems the ancient fertility cult has a similar
Flaw, although any Warping Points that has preserved the relics of the layout consisting of a series of rooms
suffered remain. ancient Fertility Magic practitioners connected by passageways. Typical
— more accessible caves had their rooms include a cooking chamber,
number of Warping Points equal to treasures looted or despoiled over sleeping chambers, a birthing cham-
half the Trait Point cost of the ritual the millennia. To determine whether ber, galleries, a refuse pit, and some-
(round up), which may cause him to a character can find the site of a times a burial chamber. The birthing
enter Wizard’s Twilight (ArM5, page cave in a particular area, make a chamber, where fetish figurines are
88). The new child, when born, has Perception + Area Lore roll against found, is normally at the back of
the Minor Supernatural Flaw Corrupt an Ease Factor of 18. Of course, the the cave system. Sometimes, there is
Fertility Ritual (see insert). character can only find such a site if an aura in the cave system, which is
the storyguide determines that one is strongest in the galleries, birthing,
in fact in the local area. As the cult and burial chambers. The refuse pit
was very pervasive most regions of is not normally part of the main cave
Cave Systems Mythic Europe contain some exam-
ples, although obviously not every
system but is a nearby ravine or pit
into which animal bones and other
single cave in Mythic Europe was food scraps were dumped. These
The principle sources of informa- used by the fertility cult. scraps have decomposed over the
tion about Fertility Magic are ancient millennia prompting the growth of
fetish figurines that are normally To Find a Suitable Cave System: very lush and fertile dells, which are
found in multi-chambered caves sys- Per + Area Lore vs. Ease Factor 18 now the telltale sign of a nearby

59
Ancient Magic

Cave Painting Galleries


Fertility Cave Dexterity + Craft Masonry stress
roll against an Ease Factor of 15: a
Some caves have chambers whose botch means that the mason destroys
System walls are adorned in paintings, drawn
in ochre and charcoal, or in some
the painting. Once removed, the
painting weighs about 400 pounds.
cases scratched directly onto the rock Alternatively, a Rego Terram spell
Gallery surface. Common representations in similar to Hand of the Antiquarian can
Birthing
these galleries include animals such as be used.
Chamber
deer, ibex, horses, bison, and aurochs;
tracings of hands; and abstract dia- Hand of the Antiquarian
grams that describe hunting and fertil- ReTe 15
ity rituals. These representations were R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind
used to teach initiates hunting or fer- The magus traces around a sec-
tility skills, and a modern magus can tion of stone up to one pace in diam-
study and learn from these images, eter. That section, to a depth of up to
too. an inch thick, floats out of the wall.
A gallery that depicts Fertility While the magus touches the stone, it
Rituals may be investigated by a is effectively weightless.
magus, as a source of the Insight (Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1
50 feet required to integrate fertility magic Stone)
and Hermetic theory. In addition, a
laboratory may be constructed in the
gallery, which (in addition to the nor- Example Cave Systems
Entrance mal bonuses and penalties for the lab-
oratory) provides a +3 bonus to Creo Of course, any magus who starts
Corpus Lab Totals (including during investigating isolated caves searching
ancient habitation. The super-fertility the development of a Fertility Ritual). for ancient fetishes and cave paintings
and the rich diversity of the wildlife in Alternatively, the paintings may be may encounter the current inhabit-
these dells also attracts various nature removed from the cave and taken to ants — who may not welcome the
spirits, and these are frequently found a remote laboratory (including to a intrusion. Anyone or anything may
living near the caves once inhabited laboratory in another gallery cave), be living in a cave: a faerie, an animal,
by the fertility cult. which reduces the Lab Total bonus a magical beast, a demon, or nothing
The ancient fertility magic prac- to +1. Cave paintings that depict at all. Most are totally unaware of any
titioners were apparently well aware hunting rituals provide a +1 bonus connection between their cave and
that the fetish figurines they cre- to Animal Lab Totals, regardless of the practices of an ancient fertility
ated formed potentially dangerous where they are installed. A magus cult. Exactly what is in any particular
Arcane Connections to mother and may benefit from no more than three cave is entirely at the discretion of
child, and so most figurines were different cave paintings, and replica- the storyguide, but below are some
destroyed once the mother passed tions of cave paintings (whether pro- examples of what might be found in
childbearing age. Other fetish figu- duced via magical or mundane means) different, individual caves.
rines have been destroyed in igno- cannot be used either as sources of
rance to extract the vis that they Insight or to provide bonuses to a
contain. A few, however, do remain Lab Total. This is because the cracks, The Duergar’s Cave
— perhaps forgotten when the cave texture, and nature of the cave surface
was hastily abandoned due to some add resonant meaning to the paint- This cave has a Faerie aura of
threat, or left untouched when a ing, which is not preserved by a mere 3 and is the home of a bad-tem-
mother died young and without image. The cave paintings are more pered faerie named Orpee. Orpee is
children — and a typical cave sys- than images: they are cultic artifacts. a Duergar, a race of dwarf faeries who
tem might contain two or three A mundane mason can success- are notoriously malicious towards
figurines. fully remove a cave painting on a men, and he works in the smithy of

60
Ancient Magic

Orpee
Faerie Might: 15 (Terram) Abilities: Area Lore 2 (iron depos- Sense of Iron, 0 points, constant,
Characteristics: Int 0, Per 0, Pre –2, its), Awareness 3 (underground), Terram: Orpee can sense and is
Com –3, Str +4, Sta +3, Dex 0, Qik –1 Brawl 4 (bludgeon), Carouse 1 aware of precisely where any item
Size: –1 (with craftsmen), Craft Ironwork made of iron is, within the room
Age: n/a (40) 3 (horseshoes), Faerie Lore 2 where he is.
Confidence Score: 1 (3) (Duergar), Living Language 5 Equipment: leather apron, metal
Virtues and Flaws: None (blacksmithing terms), Stealth working tools
Personality Traits: Angry +3, 4 (underground), Survival 5 Encumbrance: 0
Reclusive +3, Intolerant +2 (underground) Vis: 1 pawn of Terram in each eye.
Reputations: Angry faerie 4 (local) Powers: Appearance: Orpee is a stocky man
Combat: Iron Glare, 3 points, Init +10, Terram: with muscular arms wearing sim-
Bludgeon: Init –1, Attack +6, Defense Orpee can inflict a Medium ple leather clothes and a sooty
+4, Damage +6 Wound on anyone with whom he leather apron that is hung with a
Soak: +5 makes eye contact (for a descrip- number of metal-working tools.
Fatigue Levels: n/a tion of targeting effects with In low light his eyes have a warm
Wound Penalties: –1 (1–4), –3 (5–8), Range Eye see ArM5, page 111). orange glow, like dying embers.
–5 (9–12), Incapacitated (13–16)

Senna
Faerie Might: 10 (Herbam) (plants), Profession Herbalist 4 Equipment: Dress made of leaves
Characteristics: Int +1, Per +1, Pre (growing plants), Stealth 7 (for- Encumbrance: 0
+3, Com +2, Str –2, Sta –2, Dex est), Survival 3 (forest) Vis: 2 pawns of Herbam in her hair.
+3, Qik +1 Powers: This vis can be harvested with-
Size: –1 Into the Trees, 2 points, Init +10, out harming Senna, although she
Age: n/a (30) Herbam: Senna can move inside might not give permission, and it
Confidence Score: 1 (3) any living plant that is bigger grows back in spring.
Virtues and Flaws: None than she is. She is aware of every- Appearance: Senna is a small, lithe
Personality Traits: Jealous +3, Canny thing about her, as normal, and woman with a green tinge to her
+2 cannot be harmed when she is skin, and long, olive-green hair,
Reputations: Forest faerie 4 (local) inside a plant, but if the plant is which is twisted together into
Combat: destroyed Senna is too. A plant several thick strands that have
Dodge: Init +1, Attack n/a, Defense can be destroyed by being either the appearance of the roots of
+1, Damage n/a uprooted, or totally consumed by a young tree. She wears a dress
Soak: –1 fire. She can leave the plant again made of: in spring, tiny leaves
Fatigue Levels: n/a at will. interspersed with small white
Wound Penalties: –1 (1–4), –3 (5–8), Tender to Plants, 1 point, Init +2, flowers; in summer, of lush green
–5 (9–12), Incapacitated (13–16) Herbam: Senna may duplicate leaves; and in autumn, of rustling
Abilities: Area Lore 3 (plants), any Hermetic Creo Herbam spell yellow and orange leaves. In win-
Awareness 4 (forests), Charm 3 of magnitude 2 or less. ter her dress disappears entirely
(men), Folk Ken 2 (travelers), Speaker to the Trees, 0 points, constant, which forces her, slightly embar-
Guile 3 (Orpee), Faerie Lore Herbam: Senna can speak with rassed, to spend the season sleep-
2 (forests), Living Language 5 any living plant. ing inside a tree.

a local faerie lord. Orpee’s cave con- a fertility ritual. Orpee is very fond plating and carefully protecting the
tains two fine galleries; one illustrates of his galleries and, when he is not at images, which he fears visitors will
a hunting ritual, and the other details the smithy, spends his time contem- damage or destroy.

61
Ancient Magic
Orpee’s wife, a forest sprite named The Worm’s Cave minutes of bumping and buffeting
Senna, lives in a fertile dell near the through the tunnel network, a charac-
cave, which has a Faerie aura of 2. A large and ancient worm, almost ter that is sucked into (or voluntarily
According to villagers who live in the 100 feet long, inhabits this cave. The enters) the whirlpool is expelled into
region near the cave, Seena tends to local people greatly fear the worm, the lake. Every minute a Stamina +
the plants in the forest and is respon- especially its frequent forays dur- Swim roll is made for the character
sible for planting new trees where old ing inclement weather, when it eats versus an Ease Factor of 12; if the roll
ones have fallen. Seena is jealous of stranded stock and even the occa- is failed the violent buffeting inflicts a
the time that Orpee devotes to his sional shepherd. Once, the worm +15 injury (see ArM5, page 181). In
galleries and tries to convince travel- was a sea creature: it swam into the addition, the character may take dam-
ers that pass to destroy the galleries cave during the flood, and became age and drown due to lack of air (see
while Orpee is at work so he will visit stranded when the waters receded. ArM5, page 180). The cave system
her instead. She is too frightened of Since then, the worm has adapted to contains two fertility fetishes that can
Orpee’s reaction to attempt this for living far from the sea; in fact, it has be retrieved from inside the flooded
herself. thrived by preying on the livestock tunnel network.
The cave contains two ancient of local farmers. The worm no longer
fertility fetishes. desires to return to the sea, but when
it rains it does remember the envel- The Bone Cave
oping caress of the sea and ventures
The Cave of Lights from the cave so that it can again This cave system has a single
feel water flowing over its body. The entrance formed by a fissure in the
The ceiling of this cave system is worm has no knowledge of the Order side of a mountain, and is currently
filled with tiny lights that are in fact of Hermes or indeed any other human used as a burial site by a group of vil-
tiny magical insects, which glow in institutions; its only real concern is for lages that are clustered together in the
the dark like stars. The configuration itself and its continued survival. The shadow of the mountain. The villag-
of the insects on the cave roof actu- worm’s cave contains three ancient ers have been using the cave for this
ally matches the star field outside the fertility fetishes. purpose for centuries, and now the
cave, but the star field inside the cave cave is filled with the skeletal corpses
includes extra stars that are invisible of their ancestors. Roman missionaries
to the naked eye. A character can The Flooded Cave who adapted their own rituals, to ease
use the cave roof as an astronomi- the villagers’ doubts about conver-
cal aid and gains a +3 bonus to all In the millennia since this cave sion, preserved this eccentric burial
Artes Liberales (astronomy) Ability was abandoned by the fertility cult ritual when they converted the region
rolls made while within the cave. In several earthquakes have struck, dis- to Christianity.
addition, twice a year, the insects rupting the geography of the region. The villagers would be very dis-
that represent the positions of Jupiter One of the earthquakes caused the pleased to find a magus interfering
and Mars may each be harvested for diversion of a river, which flooded the with the remains of their ancestors.
vis and contain one pawn of Rego cave. Today, the river runs into the In addition, the priest, who preaches
vis and Perdo vis, respectively. The cave and drains through a whirlpool from a church in the largest vil-
exact time that this occurs varies in the rear chamber of the cave. The lage, fears that the presence of the
from year to year and is different for whirlpool, through a network of tun- characters will annoy the local saint
each planet, but can be determined nels, feeds a nearby lake. whose bones are also interred in the
with a successful Intelligence + Artes A character exploring the flooded cave, and so tries to rally the villagers
Liberales (astronomy) roll against an cave notices that the water flows, with against the intruders. The saint’s bones
Ease Factor of 9. The cave contains a rapidly increasing velocity, towards are housed in a shrine at the back of
two fertility fetishes and a gallery that the rear chamber, If he enters the rear the cave, in what was once the fertil-
depicts the fertility ritual. chamber he must, each round, make a ity chamber. The villagers’ veneration
Strength + Swim roll versus an Ease of the saint has generated a Divine
Factor of 12 to avoid being sucked aura of 4 in the cave, and it contains
into the whirlpool. After about ten three ancient fertility fetishes.

62
Ancient Magic

The Worm in the Cave


Magic Might: 35 (Aquam) Wound Penalties: –1 (1–12), –3 (13– it has sustained by one level
Characteristics: Int –1, Per +1, Pre 24), –5 (25–36), Incapacitated each time this power is used: a
–2, Com –2, Str +5, Sta +7, Dex (37–48) Medium Wound becomes a Light
+3, Qik +3 Abilities: Area Lore 5 (ambush sites), Wound and so forth. The only
Size: +7 Awareness 5 (movement), Brawl way to prevent the worm from
Age: n/a (30) 5 (grapple), Hunt 7 (prey lost in repairing a wound is to com-
Confidence Score: 2 (10) a storm), Magic Lore 3 (worms), pletely slice through its flesh,
Virtues and Flaws: None Living Language 5 (shepherd ter- by inflicting an Incapacitating
Personality Traits: Secretive +3, minology), Stealth 6 (hiding), Wound and then physically
Selfish +2 Survival 10 (local area), Swim 10 separating the segments before
Reputations: Evil worm that lives (great depths) the worm can start to reconnect
in a cave and causes storms 6 Powers: them — which it does by reduc-
(local) Wound the Sky, 10 points, Init, Aquam: ing the Incapacitating Wound to
Combat: The worm can call up an immense a Heavy Wound.
Grapple in Coils: Init +3, Attack deluge that causes rain to fall Vis: 10 pawns of Aquam.
+10, Defense +5, Damage +10 from the sky for a duration of Appearance: The worm is 100 feet
The worm attacks by attempting Sun, over an area about ten miles long, 5 feet in diameter, and cov-
to envelope and disable prey by in diameter. It is virtually impos- ered in bony, segmented armor
grappling them in its coils. This sible for a normal individual to that originally protected the
is resolved using the non-lethal move about during the deluge, worm from the pressure of the
combat rules (ArM5, page 174). and for each character out in the ocean depths. The worm has no
Once its prey is unconscious the open, a Stamina roll against an visible sense organs, but a gap-
worm swallows it. This action, Ease Factor of 12 is made every ing, toothless maw. In fact, the
when complete, kills the prey. ten minutes. If the roll is failed worm senses through delicate
It takes half an hour to swallow the character loses a Fatigue level, tendrils along the length of its
a Size –1 character, an hour to and any character that becomes body, which detect changes in
swallow a Size 0 character, two Unconscious likely drowns. The pressure. Although these work
hours to swallow a Size +1 char- deluge also causes rivers in the well, the worm has a –3 pen-
acter, and six hours to swallow a area to flood, which can cause alty when making rolls to sense
Size +2 character. The worm can- damage that lasts for years. stationary targets. The worm
not swallow larger characters and Wisdom of Water, 2 point, Init +2, attacks by enveloping its prey
smaller characters are swallowed Aquam: The worm may duplicate in its coils, constricting the prey
almost instantly. any Hermetic Intellego Aquam until dead, and then slowly swal-
Soak: +15 spell of level 25 or less. lowing the body.
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0/0/0, –1, –3, Reform Body, 1 point, Init +5, Animal:
–5, Unconscious The worm can reduce a wound

Consequences of depend upon the actions of the magi


who develop fertility magic, and on
being taught the Fertility Ritual
Magic Virtue. The Archmage

Fertility Magic the scope of your saga. In any case, wants to breed a number of Gifted
there are probably factions within all apprentices with interesting com-
of the Houses of the Order of Hermes binations of traits.
The introduction of the Fertility that will want to take advantage of the • A wealthy noble seeks out the
Ritual to the Order of Hermes could development of Fertility Ritual spells. magus to commission a Fertility
result in interesting stories, and some Ritual to assist in the concep-
possibilities are described below. • A Bonisagus Archmage offers a tion of an heir. His brother, who
Exactly which, if any, of these sto- large amount of vis, or a number otherwise stands to inherit, learns
ries come about in your saga should of valuable books, in return for of this and tries to prevent the

63
Ancient Magic

St. Anna-Marie
St. Anna-Marie was a girl who demands of the lord, who frequently often sacks of grain or baked
lived in one of the nearby villag- attended mass at the new church. loaves of bread.
es 200 years ago. At the time, the Anne-Marie spent the rest of her life Terrify the Unbeliever, 2 points, Init +18,
local lord had imposed a harsh tax cleaning the church and cooking for Mentem: This curse causes fear in
regime on the villages, which they the itinerant priests who preached to the target, making him terrified
were unable to meet, due to a poor the village. Upon her death she was of the saint and her power and
harvest. Unconvinced, or unmoved, interned in the bone cave, and since forcing him to flee. A Brave or
by the villagers’ claims of poverty, the then she has been venerated by the equivalent Personality Trait roll
lord sent his soldiers into the village villagers. of Ease Factor 12 is needed to
to collect the unpaid taxes by force. Divine Might: 25 overcome this terror, which lasts
A tense stand-off between the sol- Characteristics: Int +5, Per +5, Pre until dawn.
diers and the men of the village was +5, Com +5, Str n/a, Sta n/a, Dex Acknowledgement of Evil, 1 point, Init
miraculously defused by Anna-Marie’s n/a, Qik n/a +10, Vim: This power forces any
offer to return with the soldiers to the Size: 0 demon within Voice Range of the
lord’s castle so that she could plead for Age: n/a petitioner to declare his Infernal
the village. Several weeks passed and Confidence Score: 2 (10) nature, loudly stating that he
then, to the villagers’ delight, Anna- Virtues and Flaws: None is a demon. The Penetration
Marie returned accompanied by the Personality Traits: Pious +3, of this miracle (Divine Might
lord’s stonemason. Anna-Marie had Attentive +2, Benevolent +2 – 5) must equal or exceed the
prayed for the deliverance of her vil- Reputations: Saint 6 (local), Saint 2 demon’s Infernal Might for it to
lage on the journey to the castle and, (ecclesiastical) be effective.
upon her arrival, she not only shamed Combat: n/a Equipment: white robes
the lord into granting the village a Soak: n/a Encumbrance: 0 (0)
tax reprieve, but also convinced him Fatigue Levels: n/a Vis: 0
to send his stonemason to build a Wound Penalties: n/a Appearance: St. Anna-Marie does
church for the villagers. All the vil- Abilities: None not usually appear to the faithful,
lagers helped with the construction of Powers: but when she does choose to it
the church, and it was rapidly com- Tomorrow’s Bounty, 2 points, Init +0, is as a young girl, aged about 13,
pleted. Over the next few years, the Herbam: This power allows the dressed in a simple, pure white
harvests improved and the village was saint to instantly create enough robe, accompanied by a delicate,
able to meet the more reasonable tax food to feed a large crowd — but unidentifiable, perfume.

magus from successfully invent- Virtue and set about creating and an investigating Quasitor fears
ing or performing the Fertility training an array of servants with that a massive attempt to interfere
Ritual. Obviously, the magus optimal traits — including guards, in the mundane world has been
also runs the risk of censure for assassins, courtesans, spies, and uncovered.
interference in the affairs of the merchants. Depending upon the • Rumors of the Order of Hermes’s
mundanes. breadth of their ambitions the discovery of the Fertility Ritual
• A Mercere magus learns the magi may have also researched reaches the Papacy in Rome, and
Fertility Ritual Magic Virtue and a method of insulating them- a Dominican monk, carrying a
develops a new Breakthrough selves from the Warping effect letter of Inquisition, is tasked
to create Creo Animal Fertility of repeated performance of a with investigating the Order of
Ritual variants, which he uses to Fertility Ritual. When the plans of Hermes. The Church is concerned
create fantastic riding mounts for the magi are brought to the atten- at both the revival of what it sees
Redcaps. tion of the broader Order they as pagan birthing rituals, and the
• The magi of an isolated covenant claim that this veritable army is a prospect of an alarming explosion
learn the Fertility Ritual Magic defensive contingency only, but in the number of Gifted.

64
Chapter Five

Grigori Magic
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, shall neither marry nor be married, but unto them beautiful and comely daughters.
and also afterward, when the sons of God shall be as the angels of God in heav- And the angels, the children of heaven, saw
came in to the daughters of men, and they bore en.” As a result, a different interpreta- and lusted after them, and said to one another:
children to them. These were the mighty men tion arose, found first in the Chronicle ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the
that were of old, the men of renown. of Julius Africanus. He argued that children of men and beget us children.’
— Genesis 6:4 the “sons of God” to which Genesis — I Enoch 6:1-3a
referred were the descendants of Seth,
In the days before the flood, the third son of Adam and Eve, who The belief that the fathers of
beings of great power walked the were righteous and godly, while the the Nephilim were angels did not
earth, sharing wisdom with human- “daughters of men” were the descen- simply disappear. This view was sup-
ity and taking human women as their dants of Cain, the first murderer. This ported by a number of texts cited by
wives. The offspring of these unions “Sethite interpretation” found favor the early Church Fathers. Some fac-
were the gigantic Nephilim, who are with the Church, and in the 13th cen- tions, however, held that these non-
described in detail in Realms of Power: tury it is the orthodox view. canonical works were “contaminated
The Divine. But who were the fathers by Jews and heretics,” and after the
of the Nephilim, and what became of And it came to pass when the children of men Council of Laodicea in 364 AD they
their teachings? had multiplied that in those days were born were excluded from the Christian
Genesis describes these beings canon. (The Council also explicitly
only as b’nai elohim, the sons of God. condemned the worship of angels
Prior to the fifth century, the Church’s But the Grigori as a form of idolatry.) The single
interpretation was that these beings passage in Genesis remained the
were angels. Indeed, b’nai elohim is
Were Angels! Church’s only acknowledgment of the
only ever used in the Old Testament Nephilim, and even it was obscured,
to refer to angels. This view caused Despite the widespread accep- as the Greek and Latin versions of
problems for the Church, however. tance of the Sethite interpretation the Old Testament described them
Celsus and Julian the Apostate both in Mythic Europe, the fathers of merely as “giants.” Other groups did
used it to attack the philosophical the Nephilim were in fact angels. preserve this knowledge in numerous
underpinnings of Christianity, arguing This does not mean, however, that texts, including the work that came
that the divine could never take on orthodox clergy take kindly to to be known as the First Book of Enoch.
material form without being defiled. magi suggesting that they were Allegedly written by the grandfather
The Church also became concerned anything other than the descen- of Noah, who ascended into Heaven
about the worship of angels, which dants of Seth. It also means that and became the Archangel Metatron,
St. Paul warned against in his letter most post-fifth century Church I Enoch contains five separate sections
to the Colossians. Finally, the idea histories and commentaries do not dealing with different subjects. The
that angels had fathered children was contain useful information about first section, however, called the Book
potentially at odds with Jesus’s words the celestial nature of the Grigori, of the Watchers, provides considerably
in the Gospel of Matthew, where he making the process of finding their more detail about the fathers of the
says, “For in the resurrection they legacy a more daunting task. Nephilim than does Genesis. It is

65
Ancient Magic
explicit in describing them as angels, poses. It was also at this time that the so valuable to the Seekers. Each of the
and it calls this rebellious group the gigantic Nephilim, with their insa- chiefs of the Watchers taught mastery
Watchers or, to use the Greek term, tiable appetites, began to lay waste over one Technique and two Forms.
the Grigori. to the earth. Enoch wrote that the Those who learned from these leaders
whole world was filled with blood and were able to blend these Arts together
And all the others together with them took unrighteousness and that the earth in way that is now lost.
unto themselves wives, and each chose for itself cried out because of what the Grigori Magic consists of a num-
himself one, and they began to go in unto Grigori had done. ber different Supernatural Virtues
them and to defile themselves with them, and These cries did not go unheeded, called Secrets, each named for one of
they taught them charms and enchantments, and the Watchers could not escape the Grigori who taught it. Araquiel’s
and the cutting of roots, and made them God’s punishment forever. God Secret, for example, gives a magus
acquainted with plants... And Azael taught instructed Noah to build the ark in mastery over the Arts of Creo, Corpus,
men to make swords, and knives, and shields, preparation for the flood. He stripped and Terram. The angels and their stu-
and breastplates, and made known to them the Watchers of their place in Heaven dents, however, made no distinction
the metals of the earth and the art of working and commanded the Heavenly Host between these three Arts, using vis
them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the to seize the leaders of the Grigori and for each of them interchangeably. A
use of antimony, and the beautifying of the bind them until the day of judgment. magus who knew Araquiel’s Secret
eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and Some of the Watchers, including their could use Terram vis as though it were
all coloring tinctures. And there arose much leader Semyaza, rebelled and became Creo or Corpus vis, and vice versa. In
godlessness, and they committed fornication, demons. When Noah was prepared, addition, a magus casting a spell that
and they were led astray, and became cor- God sent the flood to cleanse the used one of these Arts that included
rupt in all their ways. Semyaza taught earth of the wickedness that had either of the other two Arts as requi-
enchantments, and root-cuttings, Armaros the been wrought by Watchers. In the sites could ignore these requisites.
resolving of enchantments, Baraqijal taught deluge, the evil and unrighteousness The drawback of Grigori Magic
astrology, Kokabel the constellations, Ezeqeel spread by the Watchers’ students and since the flood is that is it prone to
the knowledge of the clouds, Araqiel the signs offspring were washed away. None both Divine and Infernal interfer-
of the earth, Shamsiel the signs of the sun, and who knew the secrets of the Grigori ence. Anyone who uses vis through
Sariel the course of the moon. And as men survived, and only the pair of righ- any of the Secrets in either a Divine
perished, they cried, and their cry went up to teous Nephilim who stowed away on or Infernal aura must roll double the
heaven ... the Ark were saved. With their leaders usual number of botch dice for the
— I Enoch 7:1–2, 8:1–3 bound and their students destroyed, vis. Similarly, a botch for a spell that
the Grigori and their magic passed uses a Secret to ignore requisites also
In Enoch’s account, the Grigori from the world of men. doubles its normal botch dice in these
did far more than father children. auras.
They taught their wives arts and sci- Grigori Magic may be intriguing
ences; these teachings then spread to to a magus, as it can form the basis
the rest of humanity. The Watchers
instructed the people in agriculture
The Secrets of some intriguing original research,
the end result of which might be on
and astronomy, about stone cutting
and blacksmithing, and with this of the Grigori par with Bonisagus’s discovery of the
Parma Magica. If Grigori Magic could
knowledge, humanity thrived. Most be integrated with Hermetic theory,
importantly, the Watchers taught The precise nature of the magic it could potentially break the Limit
them the secrets of magic. the Grigori taught to humanity is of Vis.
Many people were not ready for unknown, but strands of the tradi- The first step toward integration is
such power, however, and they used tion have influenced Hermetic magic. using the Insight gained from Grigori
their magic for evil. The students of Indeed, the magic that the Grigori sources to create a non-Hermetic
the Grigori grew powerful and built taught their students was not much effect as described in the Introduction.
up great empires. They forgot the different from what the Order of This should be something that allows
ways of God, and they used their Hermes practices. It is this similarity different Arts to be used interchange-
powers for sinful and unrighteous pur- that makes the secrets of the Grigori ably and is a Muto Vim effect. The

66
Ancient Magic
following is an example of a spell that for vis of any other Art. Hermetic
could be investigated with Insight magic will be forever changed.
The Chiefs of Ten
into Grigori Magic. and their Secrets
Araquiel’s Secret
Minor, Supernatural (Divine) The Book of the Watchers gives
Some say that what the Grigori the names of the 19 Grigori “chiefs
taught their students was the basis of of ten.” Each of these leaders
Hermetic magic. Sadly, as there are had stewardship over ten other
no living practitioners of these arts, it Watchers and could impart one of
is difficult to say with certainty. There the Secrets of Grigori Magic. The
are definitely links between the two, Book of the Watchers only describes
Harnessing The Essential however, as this Virtue demonstrates. the teachings of nine of these lead-
Power (Form) Araquiel’s Secret allows anyone who ers. The Arts covered by each
MuVi Gen possesses it and who can use the Arts of these Watchers’ Secrets are as
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind of Creo, Corpus, and Terram to use follows.
You cast this spell as another spell vis for any of these Arts interchange-
of a level less than this one is cast. The ably. When using vis in this way in Araqiel: Creo, Terram, Corpus
targeted spell, which would normally either a Divine or Infernal aura, how- Armaros: Rego, Imaginem, Vim
use vis of any other type, may instead ever, the wielder must roll double the Azael: Perdo, Terram, Imaginem
use vis of the specified Form. There are usual number of botch dice. Araquiel’s Baraqijal & Kokabel: Intellego,
ten versions of Harnessing The Essential Secret also allows the possessor to Mentem, Imaginem
Power, one for each Hermetic Form. ignore Creo, Corpus, or Terram req- Ezeqeel: Muto, Aquam, Auram
This spell never requires vis, even if uisites for any spell that uses another Sariel: Perdo, Mentem, Ignem
its level would normally require it to of these three Arts. Semyaza: Creo, Corpus, Herbam
be cast as a Ritual. Shamsiel: Rego, Ignem, Vim
(Base effect, +1 Touch) Araquiel’s Legacy
A magus may also wish to Minor, Hermetic The Secrets taught by the
transform a Grigori Secret from a Any magus who possess this Virtue other ten leaders are uncertain.
Supernatural Virtue into a Hermetic may used Creo, Corpus, and Herbam Their names, as given in the Book
Virtue, called a Legacy. This qualifies vis interchangeably. Araquiel’s Legacy of Watchers, are Rameel, Tamlel,
as a Major Breakthrough, requiring also allows the possessor to ignore Ramlel, Danel, Batarel, Ananel,
45 breakthrough points. Again, the Creo, Corpus, or Terram requisites Zaqiel, Satarel, Turel, and Jomjael.
appropriate Arts are Muto and Vim. for any spell that uses another of these Each of the Grigori
If the magus performing the research three Arts. Supernatural Virtues and their asso-
actually possesses any of the Secrets ciated Hermetic Virtues works the
as Supernatural Virtues, he gains one same way, substituting the single
extra breakthrough point per season. Technique and pair of Forms those
Once the Major Breakthrough is
reached, the magus may teach others
Finding the Virtues cover. The Virtues based
on the teachings of Araquiel are
the Virtue, which has had the taint of
the Grigori removed from it. Magic of provided, below, as templates.
This chapter provides sever-
If the magus wishes to break the
Limit of Vis, it requires a Hermetic the Grigori al suggestions of ways that magi
might learn the some of the Secrets
Breakthrough with 60 breakthrough of the Watchers, but this list is by
points. Again, if the magus possesses While much of what the Watchers no means exhaustive. Storyguides
any one of the Grigori Secret or brought to earth was washed away in are encouraged to invent alterna-
Legacy Virtues, he gains an extra the flood, several means to learn their tive means of acquiring them, as
breakthrough point each season of secrets remain. A curious magus has well as to determine the fates of the
research. If this Breakthrough suc- several options for locating the heri- “lost” Secrets.
ceeds, then vis of any Art may be used tage of the Grigori.

67
Ancient Magic

The Lost Book Library Consultation


of the Watchers Tracking down the lost Book of the temporarily boosted Ability against
Watchers likely requires a substantial the Ease Factor of the question.
While the Church excluded I research. Storyguides can give char- Failure indicates that the answer has
Enoch from its canon, this does not acters a bonus to their Intelligence + not yet been found, and the magus
mean that it disappeared entirely. A Ability rolls to discover a particular may spend future seasons in library
number of Christian historians con- fact according to the research rules consultation, using either the same
tinued to consult non-canonical lit- presented on page 98 of Covenants. books or different ones. (Tractatus
erature, especially in their attempts to Troupes looking for a more in-depth may be used multiple times.) A
document archaic history. Quotations treatment for extended fact-based botch gives the character the wrong
from I Enoch, the Book of Jubilees, the research and library usage may use answer. There is no limit to the num-
Apocalypse of Moses, and the Life of the following rules. They may be ber of seasons a magus may spend
Adam abound in the works of Julius particularly appropriate for Ease consulting. The temporary experi-
Africanus, Eusebius, and Georgius Factors over 18. ence points go away if the magus
Syncellus. Historians often saw these Characters wishing to answer spends more than four seasons not
works as filling in the details left a single fact-based question may consulting, and any other research
out by Genesis, and while they cau- declare that they are spend- of any type or lab work makes these
tioned their readers not to read the ing a season on library consulta- experience points go away. A magus
works in their entirety, they felt no tion. During library consultation may avoid the loss in these two situ-
compunction about quoting them, a magus can consult a number of ations by spending a single season
albeit with a heavy dose of their own books on the relevant ability up to preparing a set of library notes.
interpretation. his Intelligence + Artes Liberales If these notes are reviewed when
These histories provide the first per season, getting Quality experi- consultation resumes, the tempo-
step in unlocking the secrets of the ence points from each, but only for rary experience points return. Only
Grigori. Although the Grigori are not answering this question. A magus the magus who prepared them can
mentioned by name in Genesis, as we may consult either tractatus or sum- use the library notes in this way; to
have already seen, the Nephilim are. mae. Summae level limits do not everyone else, they are useless. A
This passing reference may pique the apply for the first season for each magus performing library consulta-
curiosity of a magus, and although question. At the end of the season, tion gains Exposure in either Artes
learning more about the fathers of the the magus rolls Intelligence plus the Liberales or the Ability in question.
Nephilim may provide difficult, the
Christian chroniclers can provide a tations from I Enoch included in this for example, explicitly affirms the
starting point. The story of Nephilim chapter. angelic nature of the Watchers and
is told in greater detail in I Enoch, but Many of these Alexandrine and discusses the kingdom they founded,
locating the full account proves dif- Byzantine historians subscribed to based around Mount Hermon. Thus,
ficult. Although commonly cited by Sethite interpretation of Genesis 6:4, despite the best efforts of the Church,
early Christian writers, I Enoch was and their discussions of the Watchers the truth about the Grigori persists.
lost to Europe in the ninth century. reflect this. A small group of histori- Perhaps the most useful source
Fragments of it do remain, preserved ans, however, called the Logothete of information about the Grigori is
in the works of early Christian chroni- School, drew on a much older set of The Enigma of the Sons of God, a work in
clers. The largest set of quotations documents that explicitly discusses two books written in the late tenth
may be found in the Chronography of the angelic nature of the Grigori, and century by St. Nerius. (See Realms of
Georgius Syncellus, a ninth century through the works of these authors, Power: The Divine, page 91 for more on
Byzantine monk who compiled a his- including Leo the Grammarian, the St. Nerius.) The first book contains
tory of the world from creation to legends of the Watchers were kept extensive quotations from the Book of
the reign of Diocletian. Syncellus had alive. The Syriac chroniclers, unlike Watchers, as well as St. Nerius’s obser-
access to a fragment of I Enoch com- their Byzantine brethren, also did not vations on the nature and history of
monly called the Book of the Watchers, cling to the Sethite view. The 12th the Grigori. Saint Nerius expresses
and his work contains all of the quo- century chronicle of Michael Syrus, some confusion at the prevalence of

68
Ancient Magic
the Sethite interpretation, pointing
out the works of the Logothetes and
questioning why, if the “sons of God”
were merely the descendants of Seth,
that their children should be mon-
strous. (St. Nerius suggested that the
prevalence of the Sethite interpreta-
tion could be due to demonic influ-
ence as the fallen Grigori, now the
Dukes of the Deluders, attempted to
obscure their own origins.) His book,
written in Latin, argues convincingly
against the Sethite view and acts as
a tractatus on Dominion Lore with
Quality 8. Saint Nerius also makes
references to a number of topics that
he says he will address in the second
half of his work. Copies of this first
book are common among the libraries
of the Order.
The second book contains the
only known complete copy of the
Book of the Watchers. Combined with St.
Nerius’ marginalia and notes on the
nature of Grigori magi, it functions
as source of Insight for integrating
Grigori Magic with Hermetic theory,
as described in the Introduction. This
volume also relates many of the leg-
ends about relics of the Watchers
and their fate, as described in the
following sections. This book is sub-
stantially harder to find than the first.
Only three copies are known to have
existed, and while the Great Library
at Durenmar used to possess one,
it disappeared sometime around the
middle of the 12th century. The loca-
tions of all three copies are uncertain. week, and he called his name Kainam. And the The Book of the Watchers is not
son grew, and his father taught him writing, the only artifact that remains as a
and he went to seek for himself a place where testament to the Grigori’s teachings.
The Legacy of he might seize for himself a city. And he found Although their students perished
the Grigori a writing which former generations had carved in the flood, some of their works
on the rock, and he read what was thereon, remain.
and he transcribed it and sinned owing to it; In the Hebrew Apocrypha, the
In the twenty-ninth jubilee, in the first week, for it contained the teaching of the Watchers Book of Jubilees describes how Kainam,
in the beginning thereof Arpachshad took to in accordance with which they used to observe father of the Chaldeans, found the
himself a wife and her name was Rasu’eja, the the omens of the sun and moon and stars in all Stelae of the Watchers, several stone
daughter of Susan, the daughter of Elam, and the signs of heaven. obelisks that contained much of the
she bare him a son in the third year in this — Jubilees 8:1–4 lost wisdom of the Grigori. It is from

69
Ancient Magic
their pagan rituals. The river Jordan original inhabitants. Anyone with the
Finding the Grigori has its source in the snow of its upper Blood of the Nephilim Virtue who
slopes. At the base of the mountain, spends a season studying the stones
Finding the locations of these near the town of Banias, which the in situ gains the Baraqijal’s Secret
relics and sites to help break the Romans called Caesarea Phillipi, Jesus Supernatural Virtue. Studying cop-
Limit of Vim may be their own granted to St. Peter the “keys to the ies of the inscriptions does not have
adventures. If the troupe desires to kingdom of Heaven.” And it was at this effect, and this is obvious to
focus on the acquisition and use of Mount Hermon that the Watchers anyone with Virtue. For more on
the knowledge rather than on the descended from Heaven to teach their the Nephilim, see Realms of Power: The
search for the relics’ locations, sim- secrets to the people. Divine, pages 16 and 66.
ple Ability rolls may suffice to learn The lower slopes of the mountain
where they may be found. The fol- are devoid of any Grigori relics, as any
lowing are suggested Abilities and that were here have long ago been The Watchers
Ease Factors for use in that search. taken or destroyed. The upper slopes, Themselves
however, are covered by snow most of
Existence of The Engima of the the year. It is near the summit that an
Sons of God: Order of Hermes ancient city of the Nephilim is found. And again the Lord said to Raphael: ‘Bind
Lore, Ease Factor 12 Wishing to be near their fathers, the Azael hand and foot, and cast him into the
Location of the second vol- giants of legend built a great city from darkness: and make an opening in the desert,
ume of The Engima of the Sons massive stones on the northern face of which is in Dudael, and cast him therein. And
of God: Order of Hermes Lore, the mountain. Perhaps 700 Nephilim place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and
Ease Factor 24 lived here before the flood, but since cover him with darkness, and let him abide
Location of the capital of the that time it has been abandoned. there forever, and cover his face that he may
Nephilim: Dominion Lore, Ease Anyone willing to make the treach- not see light...
Factor 15 erous ascent of the northern slope — I Enoch 10:4–6
Location of Shamsiel’s prison: finds the city of the giants empty and
Dominion Lore, Ease Factor 21 foreboding. The city itself is built on Ambitious magi might seek to cut
Location of Azael’s prison: a massive scale. The gates of the city the relics of the Grigori out of the pic-
Dominion Lore, Ease Factor 15 stand 20 paces high, and within are ture entirely and instead seek their cre-
stone houses built for giants, with ators as a source of Insight. The Book of
Storyguides may wish to use doorways reaching almost three times the Watchers describes how the Grigori
the optional library consultation the height of a man. There are few were cursed by God and chained to
rules to assist in the characters’ traces of the Nephilim to be found the earth to suffer until the day of
research. here, however. The only clue that judgment. Their leader, Semyaza, was
remains as to its inhabitants lies at the bound “into the valleys of the earth”
these writings that much of the Book of heart of the deserted city. There stand by the archangel Michael, while one of
the Watchers comes, and they contained three massive stone obelisks, carved their chiefs of ten, Azael, was cast into
far more about the nature of Grigori in archaic Hebrew, and they tell the a great pit in the desert and covered
magic than do the fragments that story of the coming of the Grigori and with sharp rocks by Raphael. Many of
have survived in Christian chronicles. of their teachings. the Grigori fell and became demons.
Saint Nerius’s second book gives a The obelisks may be treated as a (For more on the demonic Grigori, see
full account of this story as well as not- summa on Magic Theory with Level 8 Realms of Power: The Infernal.) Some, how-
ing that several legends give the loca- and Quality 6. In addition, for the pur- ever, accepted their fate and remained
tion of Kainam’s stelae as near Mount poses of integrating any of the Secrets Holy Watchers.
Hermon, north of the Sea of Galilee. of the Grigori with Hermetic theory,
Even today, he remarks, there are still a copy of the inscriptions functions as
carved stones to be found there. source of Insight, as described in the The Shamed Leader
Mount Hermon has been a Introduction.
holy site for millennia. The ancient These stelae have a special con- St. Nerius records that the monks
Canaanites used the mountain for nection to the descendants of the of the monastery of St. Jacob on the

70
Ancient Magic
slopes of Mount Ararat have a leg-
end that when the flood waters sub-
sided and the Ark came to rest on the
mountain, Noah and his family were
careful to avoid the northern face,
for the Lord warned them away from
it. He also writes that stones akin to
those found on the slopes of Mount
Hermon have been found near Mount
Ararat as well. These legends are not
without foundation.
When God brought the deluge
to wash sin and wickedness from the
earth, the students of the Grigori
sought refuge from the waters of the
flood. Some tried to use their magic to
save themselves, but they were pow-
erless in the face of the Divine. Some
begged the Grigori to save them,
but the Watchers could do nothing.
Some took shelter in the city of the
Nephilim on Mount Hermon, but as
the waters rose, even that mighty peak
could not save them. As their students
drowned, the chiefs of the Grigori
were imprisoned by the Heavenly
Host. In desperation, Shamsiel led his but not as they were before. They of loose rocks and ice, and slides are
followers to Mount Ararat. He hoped were cast out of Heaven, but they did quite common. Thunderstorms also
that this great mountain would serve not fall. As the flood waters covered occur frequently, and climbers who
them better than Mount Hermon had, the mighty peak, the Watchers were find themselves caught in one may be
but as the rains continued to fall, they transformed, Shamsiel was cast down in real danger of being hit by light-
retreated further and further up the into deep, and the Grigori passed into ning if they are unprotected. It is as
slopes. Shamsiel could only watch legend. though the mountain itself conspires
as the people and the remains of the St. Jacob was the fourth cen- against those who seek reach its peak
Watchers gave up hope. Finally, on tury bishop of Nisibus who sought and unlock its secrets.
the fortieth day of rain, the Archangel to climb Mount Ararat to find the Near the peak of Mount Ararat, at
Michael appeared to imprison the remains of Noah’s Ark. He tried the top of the northern ridge, stands
remaining Grigori. Resigned to his several times to climb the northern a single tall stone. Carved into the
fate, Shamsiel appealed to God for slope, but each time his efforts were face of it are the True Names of the
mercy. Shamsiel knew that he had thwarted by storms. Finally, a pair leaders of the Holy Watchers, those
sinned and that he must be punished, of angels appeared before him, com- Grigori who did not fall, headed by
but he begged forgiveness for those manding him to cease his efforts but Shamsiel’s. Anyone who calls upon
who had not sinned as he had. Let bringing him a plank from the Ark. the True Name of Shamsiel within five
those who only took human wives Giving thanks to God for this miracle, paces of the obelisk is transported to
but did not teach them magic con- he founded the monastery that now the regio that contains the imprisoned
tinue to serve the Lord, Shamsiel bears his name. Watcher.
pleaded. God relented. Only those of Anyone who wishes to retrace The regio has a single level with
the Grigori who had taught magic to St. Jacob’s steps had best be ready a Divine aura strength of 5, and it
humanity would be imprisoned. The for the worst. The upper slopes of covers the entire northern face of the
rest would continue to serve Heaven, Mount Ararat are composed primarily mountain, all the way down to the

71
Ancient Magic

Shamsiel, Holy Watcher Timbers of the Ark


Divine Might: 30 (Vim) wounds, or death, although this
Characteristics: Int +3, Per +3, Pre power only lasts for a very short Mount Ararat is the final rest-
+3, Com +3, Str –1, Sta 0, Dex period of time (no longer than ing place of Noah’s Ark, and relic-
0, Qik +1 one combat round). This power seeking magi who reach the summit
Size: +3 is most often used on a member are not disappointed. The remains
Age: n/a (70) of the faithful who is about to be of the Ark are found just beyond
Confidence Score: 2 (10) martyred or suffer terribly. the entrance to Shamsiel’s regio. A
Personality Traits: Love of God +5, Holy Magic, 1 or more points, +0, single timber is a relic containing 2
Patient +3, Shameful +3 by effect: Shamsiel can duplicate Faith Points. Although more than
Reputations: Rebellious Angel 4 any effect of Hermetic or holy a of score of timbers are found in
(among Christian and Jewish magic, at a cost of 1 Might Point the area, if anyone tries to take
Theologians), Teacher of Secrets for every two magnitudes of the more than one, the angel Nuriel,
3 (among Christian and Jewish effect. There is no limit, other angel of hailstorms and a captain
Theologians) than his remaining Might Pool, in the Heavenly Host, appears and
Combat: on the number of points he can forbids him from doing so. If he
Fist: Init 0, Attack 0, Defense 0, spend on a single effect. This persists, Nuriel attempts to drive
Damage 0 includes Ritual effects, for which him off.
Soak: +0 he needs neither vis nor long
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, –1, –3, –5, periods of time. village of Ahora. Shamsiel’s prison is
Unconscious Grant Secret, 4 points, +0, Mentem: a huge gorge almost two miles deep
Wound Penalties: –1 (1–8), –3 (9– Shamsiel may use this power and more than a mile wide, and within
16), –5 (17–24), Inc. (25–32) to grant the Virtue Shamsiel’s this dark, rocky recess dwells one of
Abilities: Artes Liberales 6 (astron- Secret. The target must remain the chiefs of the Watchers. Shamsiel
omy), Concentration 8 (prayer), with Shamsiel for a full year to is a mere shell of his former self, and
Divine Lore 7 (angels), Magic receive the Virtue. although others may exit the regio
Lore 7 (traditions), Penetration Equipment: None with ease, Shamsiel is unable to leave
4 (humans) Philosophiae 8 (cer- Encumbrance: 0 (0) at all.
emonial magic), Teaching 8 Vis: Six pawns of Vim in his skull. Despite his imprisonment,
(magic), Theology 6 (angels) Appearance: Shamsiel appears as a Shamsiel bears no hatred toward the
Powers: gigantic but frail old man, with a Lord or his servants. With the grace
Enfolding, 2 or 10 points, +10, Vim: wizened face and a shaven head. that only an angel can muster, he has
When the pious are in danger or He dresses in sackcloth and rarely accepted his punishment as the bit-
torment, Shamsiel may grant them raises his eyes to look at someone ter fruit of his misguided labors. He
comfort, imparting a moment of when he speaks to them. He is believes that in the last days he will
peace and mercy. This power ren- deeply shamed by the evil that be cast into the lake of fire, but he
ders the target’s soul wholly safe has been wrought through his knows that he deserves it for what
and protected for a short time. teachings, and he has resigned he has done. As a result, the pride-
While Enfolded, the target’s soul himself to the punishment he will ful Watcher has become an almost
(and mind) may not be targeted receive on the day of judgment. shameful creature. He is still a master
by any supernatural power of any of magic, however, and he is willing
kind. This power only lasts for a Despite his current state, to teach his secrets to anyone who
few scant moments, but for the Shamsiel is still an angel, with all the promises to use them for holy purpos-
target it is timeless and can seem traits described on page 18 of Realms es. When he was cast down into the
to stretch to a lifetime. Shamsiel of Power: The Divine. As a Grigori, gorge, the Lord told him that one day
may also Enfold a person’s body he has been locked permanently in the world would be ready for secrets
(costing 10 Might points), render- his Mantle, and due to his impris- of magic, and that any pious magus
ing him completely invulnerable onment, he has lost his Envisioning who sought out Shamsiel’s prison was
to magic, pain, damage, fatigue, Power. worthy of his teachings. Any magus

72
Ancient Magic
who spends a full year in the regio
and convinces Shamsiel to teach him
Azael, Fallen Watcher
not only acquires Insight he may Order: Duke of Deluders Grant Secret, 4 points, Init +0, Mentem:
use to integrate Grigori Magic with (Watchers) Azael may use this Power to
Hermetic theory, he also gains the Infernal Might: 40 (Corpus) grant the Virtue Azael’s Secret.
Supernatural Virtue Shamsiel’s Gift, as Characteristics: Int +2, Per 0, Pre The target must remain with
per Shamsiel’s Grant Secret Power. He –1, Com +2, Str +4, Sta +4, Dex Azael for a full year to receive
also gains the Pious Minor Personality +3, Qik +5 the Virtue. Any use of this Power
Flaw if he did not already have it. Size: +3 includes the effects of Corrupted
Age: n/a (35) Knowledge as well. Unlike other
Confidence Score: 4 (17) Grigori Secrets, this is tied to the
The Fallen Watcher Virtues and Flaws: Good Teacher, Infernal realm.
Puissant Guile The Wordless Conversation, 0 points,
Then he shall take the two goats, and set them Personality Traits: Hate of God +5, Init 0, Mentem: See Realms of
before The Lord at the door of the tent of meet- Destructive +3, Credible +3, Sly Power: The Infernal, Chapter 6.
ing; and Aaron shall cast lots upon the two +2 Corrupted Knowledge, 2 points, Init –3,
goats, one lot for The Lord and the other lot Reputations: Rebellious Angel 4 Mentem: See Realms of Power: The
for Azael. And Aaron shall present the goat (among Christian and Jewish Infernal, Chapter 6.
on which the lot fell for The Lord, and offer Theologians), Teacher of Secrets Coagulation, 4 points, Init –1, Corpus:
it as a sin offering; but the goat on which 2 (among Christian and Jewish See Realms of Power: The Infernal,
the lot fell for Azael shall be presented alive Theologians) Chapter 4.
before The Lord to make atonement over it, Combat: Obsession, 1 to 3 points, Init –5, Vim:
that it may be sent away into the wilderness Broken Sword: Init +5, Attack +10, Arrogance. See Realms of Power:
to Azael. Defense +10, Damage +5 (The The Infernal, Chapter 4.
— Leviticus 16:7–10 sword was broken in his battle Delusion, 1 or 5 points, Init +3,
with Raphael, but Azael retains Imaginem: See Realms of Power:
Three miles to the southeast of it anyway.) The Infernal, Chapter 4.
Jerusalem, on the edge of the desert, Soak: +10 Duplicate the Magi’s Destruction, variable
lies Beth Hadudo, the rocky crag Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, –1, –3, –5, points, Init +1, variable Form:
down which the Jews pushed the Unconscious See Realms of Power: The Infernal,
“goat for Azael” each year on the Day Wound Penalties: –1 (1–8), –3 (9– Chapter 4.
of Atonement, as Leviticus directed. 16), –5 (17–24), Incapacitated Equipment: None
As St. Nerius explains, the Hebrew (25–32) Encumbrance: 0 (0)
word hadudo, meaning “rocky peak,” Abilities: Athletics 6 (endurance), Vis: Eight pawns of Perdo in the
comes from the same root word as Awareness 5 (battle), Craft sword.
dudael, which means “rocky place of Weapon 7 (swords), Guile 7+2 Appearance: Like all the fallen
the Lord.” Here, on the edge of the (magi), Infernal Lore 6 (hierar- Grigori, Azael is solid black and
desert, buried with sharp rocks under chies), Magic Lore 4 (charms), taller than a giant. No details
the mountain, lies Azael, bound until Single Weapon 6 (sword), can be made out other than the
the day of judgment. Unlike Shamsiel Teaching 5 (crafts), Theology 6 hundreds of eyes that cover his
and unknown to any mortal writers, (angels) featureless skin. He is eternally
he did not take his punishment light- Weakness: Ordering silent, communicating directly
ly, nor did he accept his imprisonment Powers: into the minds of his pupils.
as part of God’s plan. Azael, unlike
Shamsiel, completed his fall, and now strength of 3. The simplest way to to the regio then becomes apparent
broods within his prison, seeking ven- find it is to release a goat from the top for several minutes. Once detected,
geance on the Lord and Creation. of the peak and drive it into the des- the regio can be entered and exited
The regio is centered on the ert. Azael is unable to resist such an at will. Azael, however, is entirely
southeastern edge of Beth Hadudo offering, and he draws the goat into unable to leave, as he is held here by
and has a single level with an Infernal the regio to consume it. The entrance the will of God.

73
Ancient Magic
The inside of the regio looks much The Remains of the Watchers the places of their imprisonment. Not
the like the outside: a rocky crag; a dry, all are bound, however. As Realms of
dusty atmosphere; and deep shadows The locations of the other bound Power: The Divine describes on page
that give little relief from the cruel Holy Watchers are unknown, and the 26, some of the Grigori still walk the
sun. These unpleasant traits are ampli- Book of the Watchers gives no clue as to earth, teaching holy wisdom, though
fied within the regio, and the they are no longer part of the
landscape is even less welcom- Heavenly Host. These are the
ing. The bones of thousands Watchers saved by Shamsiel
of goats are strewn about, during the flood. They could
and everything is stained by never teach the Secrets of the
the soot from Azael’s gigantic Grigori, and they cannot do
forge, which runs night and so now. They do know of the
day. He labors endlessly at city of the Nephilim and of
it, crafting weapons of every Shamsiel’s prison, and if they
shape and description. believe that a magus is wor-
Azael is eager to teach thy of this knowledge, they
any magus who penetrates impart it to him. It was one of
this regio and spends a full these Watchers that inspired
year there the Supernatural St. Nerius to write his book,
Virtue Azael’s Secret, provided and more than one of them as
that the magus promises Azael been known to leave a copy of
that he will use it to spread sin the first volume where a pious
and wickedness. The charac- magus will find it. Although
ter also gains the Corrupted they have little to do with the
Abilities Supernatural Flaw world today, the Grigori are
(see Realms of Power: The Infernal, still watching.
page 87).

74
Chapter Six

Heron of Alexandria’s
[T]he ancients also describe as mechani-
cians the wonder-workers, of whom some
The Mechanicians infused mechani-
cal devices with wondrous abilities Adding to
work by means of pneumatics, as Heron in
his Pneumatica, some by using strings and
through the marriage of these two
parts. Among the most famous of these the Library
ropes, thinking to imitate the movements of “mechanica” were an exquisite singing
living things, as Heron in his Automata and nightingale belonging Justinian the Heron’s secrets are unknown to
Balancings, ... or by using water to tell the Great, and an automated puppet show the Order of Hermes large. If magi
time, as Heron in his Hydria, which appears which portrayed the lives of gods and think of him at all, they assume that
to have affinities with the science of sundials. men, fabricated by Heron himself. Heron’s works are mundane philo-
— Pappus, Book VIII The Mechanicians spread through- sophical treatises and that rumor of
Mathematical Collection out the eastern Empire but the major- his magical constructs are just that
ity of them remained in Alexandria, — rumor. Magi with access to uncor-
Throughout its history, Alexandria taking advantage of its Library and rupted copies of Heron’s texts can use
has been the crossroads of the eastern Museum. They remained a rarity, as them to rediscover his secrets and
Mediterranean. For centuries, the Royal their magic required both considerable incorporate them into Hermetic the-
Museum and Library saw scholars from funds and a prohibitively high level of ory. Troupes not wishing to include
different cultures meet to exchange education. As Christianity grew in mechanica in their game may still
teaching and knowledge. Heron of power, the Neo-Platonic scholars who use his texts in stories, as Heron’s
Alexandria, who lived there in the formed the group’s core practitioners teachings played an important part in
first century AD, wrote extensively on became the targets of persecution medieval learning.
mathematics, physics, pneumatics, and that further reduced their numbers.
mechanics. His studies of metaphysics The Mechanicians died out sometime
allowed him to derive certain prin- during the fifth century. Theon and Books
ciples underlying Neo-Platonic theory, his daughter Hypatia, both promi-
which he shared with his best pupils. nent figures during the Library of Heron’s writings are useful summae
This led to the formation of a small Alexandria’s final years, were among and tractatus on the Artes Liberales
order of mechanic-magicians, histori- the last known members. and Philosophiae, particularly on the
cally known as the Mechanicians, or Much of their knowledge was principles of geometry, astronomy,
wonder-workers of Heron. lost during the fourth century when and mathematics. Few scribes tran-
According to Heron, all mechani- the Byzantine Empire suppressed scribing the ancient scrolls possessed
cal devices possess both a theoretical Heron’s works as a pagan heresy. the Supernatural Virtue Mechanica
and a manual part, the theoretical Ironically, the Church subsequently of Heron, however, which rendered
part being composed of the neces- embraced Heron’s surviving works these copies worthless for researching
sary geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, centuries later, just as it did those of mechanica (see below).
and physics required to design it, Aristotle and many other ancient phi- Several other Neo-Platonic writ-
and the manual component being losophers. This allowed many of his ers such as Apollonius and Theon
the metalwork, architecture, carpen- works to survive, preserving some of were Mechanicians of Heron, and
try, or painting necessary to build it. the Mechanicians’ lore. their works might also contain clues

75
Ancient Magic
that help integrate Heron’s teachings are unrelated to those used by the
into Hermetic theory. House (Houses of Hermes: Mysteries, page
Ability Mechanica
128). Combining the two traditions of Heron
may prove fruitful — or be utterly
Relics of Empire impossible. Knowledge of what mechan-
The military possibilities of ica are, how to construct them,
Mechanica were always a rar- mechanica are not lost on House and how to use them. Primarily
ity, but discovering one in the 13th Tremere. Heron’s devices are supreme- used in the laboratory to construct
century is not impossible, as they ly versatile, possessing an otherwise mechanica (see above).
have considerable value as art objects. unknown flexibility. Such properties Specialties: Inventing
The practice died out nearly a thou- make them very useful for supporting Mechanica, Constructing Anima,
sand years ago and the majority of extended operations. working with a particular material.
mechanica are even older, making (Supernatural)
the likelihood of any mechanica still
being in working order very small. Before starting, the magus must
Merchants or scholars might try to sell
a broken one to a covenant as a curi-
Heron’s Art: obtain uncorrupted versions of
Heron’s texts and working mechanica.
osity. While repairing such devices is
impossible without the Mechanica of Mechanica Studying these provides the magus
with Insight and provides a one-time
Heron Virtue, study reveals that these bonus to the magus’s Lab Total when
items possess an intricate magic that A new Major Supernatural Virtue, inventing a Hermetic device that
hints of new potentials in Hermetic Mechanica of Heron, represents the mimics the effects of either a studied
theory. magical techniques described in this mechanica or a mechanica described in
chapter. A surviving practitioner of one of Heron’s texts. Mechanica pro-
this discipline could teach it to a vide a bonus equal to the magnitude
House Politics Gifted character using the rules for of the device’s effect. Uncorrupted
learning Supernatural Abilities (see texts provide a bonus equal to their
Several Houses might be very ArM5, page 166). Since any magus Level or Quality (whichever is lower)
interested in rediscovering Heron’s must subtract his Art scores from the for inventing a device described in
techniques and incorporating them Study Total, any magi seeking to use the text. Broken mechanica do not
into Hermetic theory. Naturally, the these techniques would be wiser to provide Insight. An anima may pro-
Bonisagus would be fascinated with attempt integrating Heron’s mechani- vide several instances of Insight (one
the possibilities — especially the cre- cal principles into Hermetic theory for each of its effects) or serve as a
ation of sentient magical devices. The instead. Teacher (see the Introduction) at the
magus discovering a way to imbue an storyguide’s discretion.
item with intelligence as Heron’s fol-
lowers did would reap instant fame. Integrating Heron’s
House Verditius maintains a vir- Mechanica into Understanding Mechanica
tual stranglehold on the creation of
automata and complex magical devic- Hermetic Theory A magus may wish to use a
es in the Order. Heron’s mechanica mechanica as well as study it. The
would be of great interest to them, A magus attempting to incor- magus spends one season in the labo-
both to preserve their monopoly and porate the underlying princi- ratory investigating the device as per
to incorporate his techniques into ples of Heron’s Mechanica into the Investigating Enchantments rules
their own repertoire. A method of Hermetic theory requires a break- (ArM5, page 100). If the study total
producing devices with less vis would through in Hermetic theory (see the generated exceeds the level of the
be a godsend to the House just as Introduction). Integrating Heron’s effect in the device, the magus under-
devices with a mutable nature would Mechanica requires the following two stands the device sufficiently to use
be a dire threat. Heron’s methods for suggested Breakthroughs: Mutable the device in addition to it possibly
creating magical items and automata Device and Awakened Device. providing the researcher with Insight.

76
Major Supernatural Virtue:
Mechanica of Heron
Heron’s disciples used this Virtue nitude of effect to employ as per the does not exceed the level required for
to create and animate magical- Ceremonial Casting rules on ArM5, a device, he cannot construct it at all.
mechanical devices called mechan- page 83.) These reductions can never One of the advantages of
ica. The character with this Virtue reduce the Creation Level below 3. mechanica is their flexibility. With a
must have The Gift and possess a If the total exceeds the Mechanica week’s study, a Mechanician can alter
Virtue that allows access to Academic Creation Level, the character has suc- a mechanica’s effect so long as it uses
Abilities. He begins with a score of 1 cessfully created the item. Failure (due the same Form and Technique origi-
in the Ability Mechanica of Heron. to experimentation, for example) indi- nally contained in the device. The
The Ability can be improved by study, cates that time and half the materi- new level of spell or effect cannot be
practice, or teaching. Mechanica can als are lost. Auras affect mechanica higher than the existing one (includ-
simulate any Creo, Rego, Perdo, and their construction as per magical ing modifications for range, charg-
or Muto effect on Auram, Aquam, devices (see ArM5, page 187). es, or use). Changing the device’s
Ignem, Mentem, or Terram. Ordinary function costs the Mechanician one
mechanica may not have more than Construct Mechanica of Heron Mythic Pound to attempt and requires
one effect, but awakened mechanica Total: Intelligence + Mechanica a successful Intelligence + Mechanica
(see below) may have several. of Heron Ability + (lower of of Heron roll against an Ease Factor
Creating a mechanica requires a Philosophiae or Artes Liberales) + equal to the creation level of the new
season or more of work in a labora- aura item. If the roll fails, the device is
tory after which the Mechanician unaffected but the money and time
matches his Intelligence + Mechanica Mechanica Creation Level: (3 x are lost. A botch destroys the device.
of Heron Ability against a Mechanica Magnitude of Imbued Effect) + size
Creation Level of (3 x the num- factor – ease of use Alter Mechanica: Intelligence
ber of magnitudes of effect in the + Mechanica of Heron Ability +
device). Mechanicians may also add Creating Mechanica Cost: 1 (lower of Philosophiae or Artes
the lower of the Philosophiae or Mythic Pound per 3 points of Liberales) + aura + stress die vs.
Artes Liberales abilities to the total. Mechanica Creation Level Ease Factor
They may also receive benefits for
Inventive Genius, and make use of Mechanica Creation Level Ease Factor: (3 x Magnitude of
Arcane Experimentation (see ArM5, Modifiers: New Imbued Effect) + size factor
pages 107–109). Frequency of use, Modifier Effect – ease of use
Penetration, triggers, and conditions
Wagon- or boat-sized –3
(see ArM5, pages 97–98) can be used Exquisitely sophisticated, intelligent
to modify the imbued effect and also Easily carried +3 devices are possible, such as Justinian’s
affect its final magnitude. Mechanica Hand-sized +6 Nightingale or the Brass Mule of
are normally human-sized or larger. Additional time to –3 Saris. This requires awakening the
Making one small enough to be eas- employ inner nature, the anima, inherent in a
ily carried increases the Mechanica mechanica. The item in question must
Creation Level by 3, or by 6 if the Mechanica do not require vis be a simulacrum of a living creature;
item is small enough to hold in one to construct, and are not able to doing otherwise violates the Neo-
hand. The Mechanica Creation Level replicate spells that require vis or Platonic ideals used by Mechanicians,
decreases by 3 if the device is wagon have a range greater than Voice. producing a lifeless mechanica.
or boat-sized. Mechanica effects that Mechanica cost one Mythic Pound To construct a simulacrum of an
require additional time to employ per three Mechanica Creation Levels. animal, first choose a species, then
reduce the Mechanica Creation Level A Mechanician can create exactly consult the Size Example Table to
by 3. (These take 15 minutes per mag- one mechanica in a season; if his total continued on next page

77
Major Supernatural Virtue:
Mechanica of Heron, Continued
continued from previous page of 9 plus the magnitude of the device’s the anima can learn Abilities, includ-
determine its Size (ArM5, page 192). potential Magical Might. As with ing languages, as per the rules for
Next, choose a material for construc- Mechanica, a lab is required and auras training and instruction (ArM5, page
tion using the Material Table (ArM5, affect the process. If the total is insuf- 163–166).
page 97). These factors determine ficient, the Mechanician may contin- Anima are not capable of move-
the anima’s Magic Might score. ue to work for another season, adding ment or speech on their own and
When designing a simulacrum, the a cumulative +1 bonus to his total must have these abilities instilled as
Mechanician may add a number of for each further season. The anima constant effects. A number of effects
points to the Magic Might equal to is awakened when the Mechanician’s can be instilled in a simulacrum equal
the lower of his Philosophiae or Artes total in a season exceeds the Awaken to the limits dictated by the Material
Liberales Abilities. The material cost Anima Level. If the work is inter- and Size Table (based on the equiva-
of creating the device and attempt- rupted, the device is ruined. lent size) in ArM5, page 97. Naturally,
ing to awaken its anima is a number the effect must be logical and the
of Mythic Pounds equal to its Magic Awaken Anima Total: Intelligence simulacrum capable of carrying it out.
Might. + Mechanica of Heron Ability + For example, a turtle makes a poor
(lower of Philosophiae or Artes runner and a fish could not fly. The
Anima’s Magic Might: Size + Liberales) + Aura imbued locomotion powers for any
Material Base Points + (lower of sentient mechanica will in practice
Philosophiae or Artes Liberales) Awaken Anima Level: 9 + be a Rego Terram effect of level 20
Magnitude of Anima’s Magic Might or 25 (base = 2 or 3 , +2 metal, +1
Construct Simulacra Cost: 1 concentration; +5 self-concentrating;
Mythic Pound per point of Magic Once the anima awakens, it is a +10 unlimited uses) depending on
Might sentient being and possesses mental whether the movement is considered
and physical traits based on whatever “unnatural” or “highly unnatural.” As
Magic Might determines the con- creature it emulates. A number of such, they generally have a level of
struction total needed to construct points equal to the magnitude of its 12 or 15. Powers may be drawn from
it. Since this is a magical creation, Magic Might may be used to modify those used by automata in Houses of
Magic Might is also the automaton’s these traits as per character creation Hermes: Mystery Cults, page 129. These
Magic Resistance. The Mechanician ArM5, page 30. If the base crea- powers are invested according to the
can construct a number of Magic ture does not possess Intelligence, rules for investing a single power in a
Might points per season equal to it gains Intelligence +0. At least one non-sentient mechanica, above.
his Mechanica of Heron Ability + Personality Trait is gained based on The anima are often bound their
Intelligence. the form or material of the anima’s creator as a part of their construc-
Once the simulacrum is con- body (see ArM5, page 110) as part tion and have a Loyal +3 Personality
structed, the Mechanician compares of the new creature’s personality — Trait, but this is not required. Most
his Intelligence and Mechanica of these cost nothing and range from feel gratitude for their awakening and
Heron Ability plus the lower of –3 to +3. For example, a golden happily serve their creator. Anima are
his Philosophiae or Artes Liberales owl might have the Wise or Greedy not subject to fatigue. Anima cannot
Abilities to an Awaken Anima Level Personality Traits. Once awakened, be made into familiars.

78
Ancient Magic
of integration with Hermetic theory
Major Breakthrough: by devising enchanted items which
Minor Hermetic
Mutable Device Hermetically duplicate the mechan- Virtue: Craft
ica’s effects. Though a magus cannot Mutable Device
A mutable item is created like create an Awakened Device prior to
a Lesser Enchanted Device with making the requisite Breakthrough,
the new Mutable Device property duplicating the functions of mechan- A magus must learn the spe-
adding +10 to the device’s level of ica (which need not be awakened cial Hermetic Virtue Craft Mutable
effect. If applicable, the Lab Total devices) are acceptable sources of Device before he can create items
gains bonuses from the item’s shape breakthrough points for this. with the property Mutable Device”
and material (see ArM5, page 110). Incorporating the Mechanicians’ described above. This Virtue can
Any magus with the Craft Mutable ability to build enchanted devices be Initiated as part of a Mystery, or
Device Virtue can subsequently without vis breaks the Lesser Limit of taught to apprentices during train-
alter the device’s enchantment at Creation (ArM5, page 80), requiring a ing. A second breakthrough, also
need. With a week’s work in the Hermetic Breakthrough to achieve. requiring 45 breakthrough points,
laboratory and the expenditure of removes the need for the Virtue, as
a pawn of Vim vis, he can alter the noted in the Introduction.
device’s invested effect to another
one having the same Form and
Technique. Any modifications such
Seeking Major Breakthrough:
as conditions or uses per day may
also be changed so long as the Heron’s Legacy Awakened Device
final level of effect remains the If the researcher has not
same or lower (including the +10 The easiest way to recover already discovered Mutable Device,
for the Mutable Device property). Heron’s legacy is through recovering this discovery requires a Major
For example, a wand instilled with surviving written works and devices. Breakthrough. If the researcher has
Heat of the Searing Forge, used con- Examination of mechanica reveals already discovered Mutable Device,
tinually, could be altered to one clues as who fabricated the device and she builds upon existing work and
containing Flash of the Scarlet Flames, where. Libraries with corrupted cop- the discovery becomes a Minor
usable 12 times per day with a +5 ies of Heron’s works may know about Breakthrough requiring 30 points.
Penetration. the original copies. Armed with these
hints, a determined magus can begin To Integrate Awakened
To Integrate Mutable Device his quest for Heron’s lost magic. Device into Hermetic Theory:
into Hermetic Theory: Suggested accumulated break-
Suggested accumulated break- through points > 45
through points > 45 The Writings
To Integrate Awakened Device
Study Mechanica: Intellego Vim Many of Heron’s writings sur- if Mutable Device Already
Lab Total + stress die vs. device vived into the 13th century, although Integrated: Suggested accumu-
spell or effect level the scholars attribute many to Euclid lated breakthrough points > 30
or Ptolemy. The examples below pro-
This study is performed con- vide suggested Levels for Summae, but mata) for temples, such as rotating
currently with the first season spent Qualities depend on a given book’s statues, thunderous noises, artificial
studying a mechanica. condition. All uncorrupted versions voices, and doors which open of their
of these texts are in Greek. Texts own accord. Mechanica of Heron
translated into Arabic and their latter- Summa Level 4
Integration Process day Latin translations are uniformly Automaton Theatre describes an
corrupt. automated puppet theatre. Replicating
Once an Insight Lab Text is cre- Automata (Moving Itself) describes this device was a favorite project of
ated, the magus can begin the process the construction of miracles (thau- Heron’s students, but Heron’s origi-

79
Ancient Magic

Major Hermetic Virtue: Awaken Device


This Virtue confers the ability to Resistance. The device requires suf- In addition, the device must be
awaken imbued devices. ficient Vim vis to open the enchant- further enchanted to provide it with
Through the use of logical princi- ment as per making an enchanted means of locomotion, communica-
ples developed by Heron, a magus can device (see ArM5, page 96–100) plus tion, or other abilities as per the
awaken the spirit slumbering within a one pawn of Creo or Form-specific rules for enchanting items. Once
simulacrum. Magi should take great vis per point of Magic Might. In awakened, the device can use any
care in what they choose to awaken, addition, constructing the simulacra instilled effects it contains as will.
as the resulting personality derives costs a number of Mythic Pounds Additional powers may be added
from its form and material. When equal to its Material Base Points. later if the Material and Size Table
awakened, the resultant being has The Lab Total for awakening a (ArM5, page 97) permits. Powers
one or more Personality Traits based device is Creo + Form + Intelligence may be drawn from those used by
on the material and simulacra of the + Magic Theory + aura modifier, and automata in Houses of Hermes: Mystery
body, as noted above. When design- any points exceeding the Awakened Cults, page 130. These Powers may
ing simulacra, a magus may add a Device Level can be accumulated over be instilled any time before or after
number of points to the Magic Might several uninterrupted seasons of work the anima is awakened. An Awakened
up to his Magical Theory score. as when constructing an enchanted Device can learn Abilities, includ-
device (see ArM5, page 96). The ing languages, as per the rules for
Awakened Device’s Magic Might: material used to construct the simu- training and instruction (ArM5, page
Material Base Points + Magic lacrum’s body dictates the Form used, 163–166).
Theory such as Terram for a copper fox. Awakened Devices can be
made into familiars but this requires
Magic Might determines the Awakened Device Lab Total: the magus to awaken the device
Awakened Device Level needed to Creo + Form + Intelligence + himself.
construct it, and the limit of pawns Magic Theory + Aura Awaken Device is not initial-
of vis that may be used to instilled ly compatible with the Automata
spell-like effects in it. Since this is Awakened Device Level: Mystery used by House Verditius,
a magical creation, Magic Might is Awakened Device’s Magical Might but further research may allow this
also the Awakened Device’s Magic + (Size x 5) Breakthrough.

nal possesses unique properties (see gives a method to find the distance the first century. Among the devices
below). Mechanica of Heron Tractatus between Alexandria and Rome by detailed are the infamous Aeolipile (see
Quality 9 observations of a lunar eclipse. Artes below), trick jars that give out wine or
Catoptrica concerns the geometri- Liberales Summa Level 4 water, singing birds and mechani-
cal propagation of light, reflection, Metrica is a collection of vol- cal voices, puppets that move when
and the use of mirrors. In it, Heron umes discussing geometry and logic. a fire is lit on an altar, animals that
states that vision results from light Methods for calculating the volumes drink when they are offered water, or
rays emitted by the eyes. He believes of spheres and determining cube roots mechanical fountains that dispense
that these rays travel with infinite are interspersed with notes for their holy water after coins are inserted. All
velocity. Most scholars attribute use in creating mechanica. These function through the use of air, steam,
this book to Ptolemy. Philosophiae mathematical techniques are generally or hydraulic mechanisms augment-
Tractatus Quality 8 lost to Mythic Europe and the formu- ed by the principles of mechanica.
Dioptra (named for a surveyor’s lae are essential for the understand- Readers with the Supernatural Virtue
device) is a vast collection of geomet- ing of Mechanica. Artes Liberales Mechanica of Heron may use the vol-
ric constructions useful for surveying. Tractatus Level 7, Mechanica of Heron ume as a Lab Text when recreating any
Included are engineering principles Tractatus Quality 10 of the devices described — such a text
for tunnel construction as well as Pneumatica is a magnificent col- gives a bonus on the Lab Total equal
methods for transporting and measur- lection of over a hundred mechani- to its Quality when researching an
ing water. A chapter on astronomy cal devices and machines popular in

80
Ancient Magic
equivalent Hermetic item. Mechanica an area five paces across with a Perdo Thunder Maker
of Heron Tractatus Quality 7 Ignem Level 20 effect. Even magical
Belopoeica, Heron’s rarest work, is flames are affected. Heron designed many of his
a collection of war machines with (Effect: Base 3, +2 Voice, +2 devices for use in temples and theater.
notes on their proper construc- Group; Modifications: 12/day +4) The thunder maker was used in both
tion and employment in siegecraft. (Level: 7) to accompany the exit and entrance
Philosophiae Tractatus Quality 7 of gods during plays. Other versions
Mechanica is a series of three vol- sounded like brazen trumpets, and
umes written for architects, ostensibly Aeolipile blared when doors opened, heralding
concerned with moving heavy objects the arrival of priests, magistrates, and
through the construction of simple and The Aeolipile is the first known imperators.
complex lifting machines or cranes. It device to transform steam into rotary Bellows filled a chamber that dis-
also serves as a text instructing in motion. It consists of a hollow sphere charged a thunderous rumble. In the
Mechanica of Heron. Philosophiae mounted so that it can turn on a pair close confines of a temple or the-
Tractatus Quality 8, Mechanica of of hollow tubes that provide steam ater, the effect was nothing short of
Heron Summa Level 3 to the sphere from a cauldron. The awe-inspiring.
steam escapes from the sphere from
one or more bent tubes projecting Theurge’s Trumpet
Heron’s Devices from its equator, causing the sphere CrAu 19
to revolve. Pen 0, 12/day
Over centuries, Heron and his When properly constructed, it R: Voice, D: Mom, T: Room
disciples constructed hundreds of has a mesmerizing effect upon any The device requires at least 15
mechanica, but the majority have dis- observers, allowing scholars to focus minutes to recharge after each use.
appeared. A few remain in the hands the attention of students and dema- At its maximum effect, the targets
of collectors who seldom know their gogues to gather mobs. The effects must make a Stamina stress roll against
true value. Others await discovery. end when the water boils away or the an Ease Factor of 9 or be unable to
Examples of the more useful mechan- user loses control of the device. act in the next round. A target who
ica include the following. fails may make additional Stamina
Beguile the Gathering simple rolls each round thereafter
CrMe 33 against the same Ease Factor, and
Fire Quencher Pen 6, 3/day recovers if successful. If the first roll
R: Voice, D: Conc, T: Group botches, the sound knocks the victim
This large fire pump uses hydrau- The Aeolipile requires an exten- unconscious.
lic pressure and Heron’s techniques sive set up. Bringing the properly (Effect: Base 3, +2 Voice, +2
to extinguish even magical flames. prepared water in the cauldron to a Room; Modifications: 12/day +4)
Mechanicians built many of these boil and bringing the whirling device (Level: 9)
devices. The vigiles of ancient Rome up to speed takes about 15 minutes.
and Alexandria used them to protect Once started, the Aeolipile functions
the cities from fire. until the water boils dry or the user’s Finding Heron’s Trail
concentration is broken.
Quench the Flames Those entering the area of effect Investigation reveals that the
PeIg 19 become curious and stay to watch for last known Mechanicians lived in
Pen 0, 12/day the duration of the effect. A stress Constantinople during the sixth centu-
R: Voice, D: Mom, T: Group roll against an Ease Factor of 9 using ry. Stories hint that Emperor Justinian
The bulky cart makes this difficult an appropriate Personality Trait (like had Mechanicians in his employ, if he
to deploy, requiring two mules or cart Impatient) can break the hold. did not practice Heron’s Art himself.
horses to move. (Effect: Base 4, +2 Voice, +1 Among the mechanical marvels of his
So long as the water tank is full, Conc, +2 Group; Modifications: +3 court were pillar-thrones that rose and
the pump can extinguish any flames its Pen, 3/day +5) fell on command, clockwork sundials,
water jet is directed upon. It quenches (Level: 13) and a glorious nightingale that sang of

81
Ancient Magic
its own accord. Even the Hagia Sophia Bertrando has no compunctions about powers. It had been intending to
with its innovative architecture bears using the legate’s power for his own simply flee and seek out the company
the mark of Heron’s dead hand. ends. Should he become aware of of scholars and philosophers, but the
the magi’s true nature, he changes his magi’s appearance piques its curiosity.
tune and quickly trades it for a trifling If any of the magi can knowledgeably
Constantinople: The magical favor —a “bargain” which discourse on philosophy or natural
Ruined Metropolis may come back to haunt the magi. history, they may have a friend for
Written in the book’s margins is life.
Once the greatest city in the an eyewitness account of Hypatia of
world, Constantinople has fallen Alexandria’s burial; how she was laid
upon hard times. Entire districts stand to rest next to her father, Theon of Alexandria
abandoned or destroyed. Everywhere Alexandria, in one of that city’s many
the traveler looks, the effects of the Temples of Serapis, along with many The Fifth Crusade raged across
Fourth Crusade are plain to see. codices and scrolls salvaged from the Egypt and Crusader armies captured
Crusader nobles and Italian merchants Library of Alexandria. The account Damietta in 1219. They remain there
have seized ancient homes and villas contains enough information to locate until their defeat in 1221. Crusaders
for their own. These foreigners might the temple. do not return to Egypt until 1249 and
be persuaded to sell their “old Roman the Seventh Crusade.
junk,” such as broken mechanica or Alexandria may shock magi com-
unread books, to magi. With luck, A Beggar’s Treasure ing from the small cities and iso-
magi may find themselves obtaining lated covenants of Mythic Europe.
treasures of ancient literature for a pit- News of the magi’s investigations Alexandria sprawls over several square
tance of what they might pay in the makes its way to the ears of Basil miles of mud brick and stone. Like
book-poor West. the Leprous, the uncrowned king of Constantinople, however, its popula-
Finding Justinian’s artifacts is Constantinople’s innumerable beggars. tion has diminished from its heyday
more difficult. The magi must deal Basil sets a trap for the magi, sending to a “mere” 50,000. A vast fortress,
with charlatans, thieves, and overly one of his followers to approach the the Citadel, built on the site of the
curious Churchmen. The sad truth is magi. He claims to know about one of Ptolemaic palace (and the Library of
that Justinian and his court are 800 the “jeweled toys” they seek and can Alexandria), overlooks the city, and
years dead, and little survives from even describe Justinian’s Nightingale numerous madrasas (religious colleges)
that time. accurately. have made the city one of the great
The beggar leads those follow- centers of Islamic teaching.
ing him into a ruined district where a One of the Seven Wonders of the
The Churchman large group of bandits lie in ambush. World, the Lighthouse of Alexandria
The beggar does not know about the still guides visitors arriving by ship to
The only uncorrupted text read- ambush and the bandits consider him the harbor. The markets are a babble
ily available in Constantinople is a expendable. Accompanying the ban- of unfamiliar languages. Goods arrive
remarkably well-preserved copy dits is the beggar king and his prize from as far away as India making pep-
of Heron’s Automata (Mechanica of possession, Justinian’s Nightingale. per, silk and other rarities in Mythic
Heron Summa Level 4, Quality 7), in Basil is convinced that these scholars Europe comparatively common. On a
the original Greek. It lies in the hands can change base metals into gold darker note, many of the unfortunates
of Monsignor Bertrando de Pepoli, and he intends to take them pris- from the Children’s Crusade of 1212
an official attached to the Papal leg- oner until they make him rich! The were sold here as slaves and still labor
ate. Bertrando is willing to sell the Nightingale has convinced the outlaw in the city.
book but his price is unreasonably that his ragged followers are more Numerous difficulties beset those
high. He wants a prince’s ransom in than a match for some “harmless searching for Hypatia’s tomb. Those
silver, citing its “blasphemous” con- alchemists.” without knowledge of the local lan-
tents. After all, anyone interested in The Nightingale hangs back dur- guages (Arabic and Coptic), or of the
such a “dangerous” work is clearly ing the ambush but switches sides city itself, must hire translators and
suspect. Negotiations are delicate, for should the magi display any magical guides. Without disguises, magi risk

82
Ancient Magic

The Library of Alexandria


The Library of Alexandria declined in importance, especially
was actually several libraries and after Theodosius I had its most
museums in the city of Alexandria. important complex, the Serapeum,
By the 1220s, it had achieved a razed as a pagan temple in the
mythic stature through the recov- fourth century.
ered works of ancient writers. The During the early fifth century,
apocryphal burning of the Library the city of Alexandria fell under
during Julius Caesar’s invasion was the control of Cyril, the Patriarch
described as the greatest calamity of Alexandria. At his instigation,
of the ancient world. In reality, the the Alexandrian mob burned most
Library and its scholarly commu- of the surviving Library and mur-
nity continued to flourish after the dered Hypatia, its last librarian. This
Romans took control. However, the marked the end of Alexandria as a
Library suffered from the vicissi- major center of ancient learning.
tudes that beset the Roman Empire, Alexandria fell to Arab conquer-
and from Alexandria’s endemic ors in 686, but by then even the
mob violence. Slowly, the Library Library’s ruins had disappeared.

discovery as “Frankish spies.” Blatant Hypatia’s scholarly prominence


displays of magic bring them to the accented the fact that she was both
attention of Muslim scholars or sor- female and pagan in an increasingly
cerers who may desire the contents of Christian patriarchal society. Shortly
the temple for themselves. As befitting before her death, Saint Cyril became
a major center of Islamic teaching, the the Patriarch of Alexandria, and soon The Lost Temple-
Dominion is strong throughout the overthrew the Imperial government
city, with an average aura of four. It in the city. In the spring of 415 AD,
Library of Serapis
is far higher around the numerous a mob seized Hypatia on the street,
mosques, schools, and mausoleums. beat her, skinned her with oyster Hints and clues lead investiga-
shells, and dragged her body through tors to the supposed location of the
the city in triumph. tomb. The ancient Temple of Serapis
Hypatia of Alexandria After her death, her followers where Hypatia and Theon lived is
laid her to rest next to her father in long since gone. Mud brick houses
Hypatia was born in 370 AD, the Temple of Serapis where they cover the temple grounds completely.
daughter of Theon, who was one of had lived and studied. The surviving Mixed into the brickwork are chunks
the last librarians at the Royal Library Mechanicians had used the temple of pillar and stonework taken from the
and Museum of Alexandria and a man as a repository for what they could destroyed temple. Questioning those
widely considered one of the most salvage from the wreckage of the living nearby brings forth a ghastly
educated in Alexandria. He trained Library. They then fled Alexandria litany of hauntings and disappear-
Hypatia in the philosophical arts as before the mob could seize them, ances. Many describe a hideous, skin-
well as in Heron’s magical technique leaving behind a treasure trove of less apparition who howls curses in
and she soon surpassed him in wis- ancient lore. Over the years, the an unknown tongue (which turns out
dom. As she grew older, Hypatia Dominion in Alexandria grew more to be Ancient Greek). The local holy
became a well-known lecturer at the powerful until it subsumed the men have been able to do nothing.
Library of Alexandria and wrote sev- temple’s weakened magical aura. Investigation of the area with
eral important treatises on astronomy, However, instead of being snuffed Intellego spells determines that a
astrology, and mathematics. Some out, the temple’s aura formed a regio regio might have existed here, but
credit her with the invention of the that can only be accessed while the the local Dominion overwhelms any
astrolabe. Dominion is weak. lingering magical aura. Weakening

83
Ancient Magic

Justinian’s Nightingale
Hypatia, one of the last Theatre was hidden there, along with
Librarians of Alexandria, created the numerous mechanica salvaged from
Nightingale from gold, silver, and the Library of Alexandria. It has no
jewels. Designed as a companion and idea that the temple is haunted and
entertainer, the awakened mechani- will be horrified by its creator’s cur-
ca’s beautiful voice enthralled all who rent plight (see below).
listened to its jewel-like tones. The Magic Might: 29 (Auram)
nightingale watched over Theon and Characteristics: Int +1, Per –1, Pre
his household, waking them with +1, Com +3, Str –3, Sta +1, Dex
a clarion voice when fire or robber +2, Qik +2
threatened. Size: –6
After Hypatia’s murder, the bird Age: 800+ (n/a)
came to the attention of Emperor Virtues and Flaws: Enchanting
Justinian and became a toy used Music; Second Sight
to entertain the Imperial court. Personality Traits: Talkative +3,
Centuries went by as the bird passed Loyal +2, Helpful +1
from hand to hand, until it was lost Reputations: Beautiful Voice 3
during the sack of Constantinople. (Constantinople)
The nightingale can tell much Combat:
of Heron’s lore, but it lacks The Dodge: Init 2, Attack n/a, Defense 8,
Gift and the proper understanding Damage n/a
of magical theory necessary for it Soak: +4
to be able to pass on the secrets of Wound Penalties: –1 (1–5), –3 (6–
mechanica. It has seen much dur- 10), –5 (11–15), Incapacitated
ing its centuries of existence and (16–20) are accompanied by a beautiful
knows much about the truths behind Abilities: Artes Liberales 4 (rheto- chime-like sound.
Byzantine history. The Nightingale ric), Awareness 3 (alertness), Greet the Dawn, 2 points Auram, Init 10:
loves philosophical debate and can Brawl 1 (dodge), Coptic 4 (craft- The Nightingale issues a clarion
discourse for hours upon Plato and ers), Greek 6 (courtly), Area Lore call, awakening everyone within
Aristotle. Eastern Empire 2 (Byzantine Voice Range.
After centuries of being treat- Centers), Enchanting Music 6 Voice of Chiming Gold, 0 points, con-
ed as little more than a pet, the (awaken), Folk Ken 4 (nobles), stant, Auram: The Nightingale can
Nightingale has grown very lonely History 3 (personal experiences), speak as well as sing using a tiny
for the kind of scholastic discourse Latin 5 (listening), Leadership voice box and bellows, though
it enjoyed with its creator and his 3 (intimidation), Magic Lore only in languages it knows.
family. The beggar king’s rather 3 (constructs), Philosophiae Equipment: None
foolish scheme is the result of the 5 (Aristotle), Second Sight 3 Vis: None
Nightingale’s manipulation. (intruders), Sing 6 (joyous) Appearance: The nightingale is made
Justinian’s Nightingale can relate Powers: of gleaming gold and silver clock-
the tale of Hypatia’s burial, includ- Flying, 0 points, constant, Auram: The work with jeweled feathers. Its
ing an accurate location of the old Nightingale can fly like an ordi- eyes are twin rubies and its voice
temple. It also knows that Heron’s nary bird, though its movements is a sweet song.

the Dominion might make the magi- calendar. On those days, they may reveal when the haunt reappears.
cal regio reappear. Characters com- reason, the local Dominion must drop Although such spells do not help
paring the dates when the specter below the aura of the regio. unless the Temple of Serapis is acces-
materializes realize these occur on the Failing this realization, spells to sible, at those times the spells readily
most inauspicious days of the Muslim detect ghosts or magical beings may lead to the gate of the old temple.

84
Ancient Magic
of Serapis appears as a ghostly arch-
Serapis way of shadows beneath the lintel. Lost Temple of
Characters can enter the regio auto-
Serapis was a hybrid god matically if they carry a mechanica Serapis
whose worship unified the cults of or bear signs of the Cult of Serapis.
several Egyptian and Hellenistic Alternatively, characters can enter the
deities. Ptolemy I introduced him regio as described by the rules on
Altar with Theatre
at the beginning of the Ptolemaic page 189 of ArM5. The Dominion of Heron
Period in Egypt, though Serapis’s aura strength stays below 4 for only a ADYTON
legacy lasted well into the Roman few hours and then returns to normal,
period. He became the Egyptians’ trapping anyone inside until the next
supreme god, embodying the ill-omened night, which may not be Pillar
principles of divine authority and for weeks or months.
the sun, with power over fertility,
the afterlife, and healing. Serapis Statue of Serapis
formed a bridge between Greek The Lost Temple of Serapis
and Egyptian religions so that CELLA
both peoples could find common The temple exists in a small level
Staircase to
ground in their worship. Through 4 Magic regio, which contains only Pediment Chambers
the Ptolemaic Pharaohs and their the temple’s interior. The temple’s lay-
Roman successors, Serapis was out is classically simple. Four eternal
patron and protector of the Royal braziers, one in each corner, fill the
Library and Museum and many of central room, or cella, with a flick- Brazier
its buildings were temples sacred ering red light. As is common with
to him. Roman-style temples, the cella stands
While Serapis is a being of upon a masonry podium with two
faerie, his temples are often magi- rows of pillars inside. Looming over The temple has many devices that
cal sites due to the practices of the altar at the far end of the temple Hypatia can use against intruders with
the Mechanicians and other schol- is a ten-foot-tall statue of Serapis. The her Command Mechanica Power.
ars who dwelt there. The temple statue gleams in the light from the
where Hypatia and her father lived gold covering its muscular frame, and
is one such location. his bearded face glares down at these Statue of Serapis
intruders. The statue of Serapis stands over
Entering the Temple Behind the statue hangs a velvet ten feet tall and is made of ivory
curtain leading to the sacred cham- plates cunningly fitted together over
The entrance to the lost temple ber, the adyton, where the priests a brass frame. It depicts a Zeus-like
is a shadow of its former glory. Built performed secret rituals. Scattered figure dressed in a tunic with a mag-
into the wall of a rickety tenement is around the cella are numerous books nificent beard. Gold foil and silver
the lintel of the destroyed temple. The and scrolls, pulled from the innu- inlay covers much of the statue. The
pale granite slab is inlaid with worn merable pigeonholes and racks lining statue contains a powerful Theurge’s
Greek and Egyptian carvings praising the walls. Several rooms lie beneath Trumpet (see above) and Hypatia uses
Serapis and promising dire penalties the cella, entered through a narrow it upon intruders immediately. This
to those who profane what lies under staircase. mechanica is capable of sounding
his protection. Examination by anyone With a hiss of hydraulics, the every ten rounds. The flickering shad-
with Magic Lore, Magic Theory, or great temple doors slam shut behind ows and flexible construction of the
Mechanica of Heron might discover characters who enter, and the ghost of statue make it appear to move slightly
(Ease Factor of 6) that the stone was Hypatia manifests, dripping blood and but it is otherwise inert. Anyone des-
once part of a much larger mechanica. cackling. Exiting the regio before the ecrating or plundering it finds that
When the Dominion aura dips Dominion rises once more may prove Serapis takes an interest in him in the
below 4, the doorway to the Temple impossible while Hypatia exists. future.

85
Ancient Magic

The Ghost of Hypatia


Some decades after her death, Wound Penalties: –1 (1–5), –3 (6– Mastery of Forces, 2 points, Init +10,
the violent cataclysms of Alexandrian 10), –5 (11–15), Inc. (16–20) Vim: The ghost redirects a spell
politics destroyed what remained of Abilities: Artes Liberales 5 (rhetoric), or attack against another target.
the Library, waking Hypatia from Awareness 2 (alertness), Brawl 2 The original attacker must make
her rest. She found herself trapped (dagger), Commanding 3 (ghosts), a Strength check against an Ease
within the temple, only able to leave Mechanica of Heron 9 (delicate), Factor of 6 to stop a physical
when the Dominion ebbs enough to Etiquette 3 (scholarly), Folk Ken attack. Magi must make a Finesse
expose the temple’s Magical aura. In 3 (students), Greek 5 (Ancient check against an Ease Factor of 6
time, madness became a blessing. Alexandria), Intrigue 3 (plot- to abort their re-targeted spell. If
Intellect gone, the spirit of the ting), Latin 4 (Ancient Roman), the check fails, the original attack-
once-beautiful scholar prowls the Leadership 3 (intimidation), er must roll normally to see if his
temple, seeking any target for her Local Area Lore 4 (Rome), Magic original attack hits the new target.
pain. Her first priority is those carry- Lore 3 (constructs), Philosophiae Refute, 1 point, Init –5, Vim: Hypatia
ing Christian symbols. Others, such 6 (metaphysics), Second Sight 3 can nullify a magical effect. This
as the scholars who failed to save (details), Teaching 4 (metaphys- cancels the effect of any one
her, the mob who killed her, and the ics), Theology 2 (debate) spell or magical effect chosen
soldiers who betrayed her, are all Powers: by Hypatia with a level less than
victims for the vengeful ghost. Ghostly Body, 0 points, constant, or equal to her current Magic
Magic Might: 25 (Mentem) Mentem: Hypatia knows she is Might Pool plus a stress die. The
Characteristics: Int +4, Per +1, Pre a ghost and can turn invisible, effect must have a Creo, Rego,
+1, Com +2, Str –2, Sta +1, Dex pass through solid objects, ignore Perdo, or Muto Technique or an
+1, Qik 0 physical attacks, and otherwise Aruam, Aquem, Ignem, Mentem,
Size: 0 (non-physical) take advantage of her non-corpo- or Terram Form for her to refute
Age: n/a (30) real form. it.
Virtues and Flaws: Mechanica of Command Mechanica, 0 points, Init +10, Equipment: Apparent clothing, jewel-
Heron; Offensive to Animals, Vim: Hypatia may command any ry, and a small dagger, but they are
Puissant Ability (Mechanica of mechanica in her presence to all ghostly and really part of her.
Heron), Second Sight; Strong do her bidding. These discharge Vis: 5 Mentem in a scroll case.
Willed their effects or physically attack Appearance: Hypatia was once a
Personality Traits: Prideful +3, as best they can. The mechanica beautiful woman, but all that
Vengeful +4, Compassionate –2 remain under her control while remains of her now is a tortured
Reputations: Wise Scholar 4 (Ancient they remain in her presence. wreck. Her long, black hair is the
Alexandria), Pagan Harlot 3 Death Agony, 3 point, Init –1, Corpus: only remnant of her famous looks.
(Alexandrian Christians) Hypatia can inflict her death- Red-rimmed eyes glare from her
Combat: throes upon a victim. The victim mutilated face. Her olive skin
Dagger: Init 0, Attack +6, Defense 3, takes a Light Wound and can do hangs in strips where her attackers
Damage +2 nothing except writhe in agony tore it with oyster shells. Hypatia
Soak: +1 until he succeeds in a Stamina wears a long bloodstained white
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, –1, –3, –5, stress roll against an Ease Factor robe and sandals in the ancient
Unconscious of 12. Alexandrian style.

Eternal Braziers Temple Door bronze doors slam shut or fly open
Two bowls of bronze contain Anyone standing in the doorway with truly amazing speed. Those
leaping flames that have no source. or attempting to leave the temple caught in the arc of the doors must
A jet of non-magical fire doing +10 is in danger of being crushed by make a Quickness – Encumbrance
damage attacks anyone venturing one of Heron’s prized thaumata: the stress roll against an Ease Factor of 9
within ten feet of them. automated temple door. These heavy or be slammed for +15 damage. The

86
Ancient Magic
doors can open and close once per ted strings with weights, it has a be an adventure in itself as characters
round. surprising tendency to improvise consult with scholars, seers, and holy
stories on its own. Those studying men.
the theater might be particularly dis-
The Victors’ Spoils turbed by the appearance of figurines
resembling themselves in these spon- Complications
Should the magi defeat Hypatia, taneous plays. Careful examination of
they gain a great treasure in ancient these new plays may give inklings of While searching for the surviving
wisdom but they must make haste to events that have not yet come to pass. remnants of Heron’s magic, Seekers
leave before they are trapped. may come into conflict with
Many of the scrolls scattered others who have business with
around the temple are Heron’s Heron or Hypatia.
works, including uncorrupt-
ed copies of Pneumatica and
Mechanica (Quality 10 each). Magi of
Also present are a dozen bro- Constantinople
ken mechanica of various
sorts. Even if the magi cannot Several covenants of the
repair them, each is worth sev- Tribunal of Thebes main-
eral Mythic Pounds for their tain contacts or demesnes in
material. Constantinople. These magi
The pediment beneath take a proprietary interest in
the temple contains the rooms the city and anyone ventur-
now entombing Theon and ing into it. One covenant,
Hypatia. In her rage, the ghost Michaels’ Tabula, has actually
destroyed almost all of the established their covenant in
hundreds of scrolls and tab- an abandoned mithraeum in
lets stored there. Other relics of the This device would fascinate any magi one of the city’s many ruined districts.
Library of Alexandria might have sur- who seek a method of breaking the Currently, the covenant numbers
vived her wrath, however, ready for Hermetic Limit of Time. about a half-dozen magi, mostly from
diligent magi to piece them back House Jerbiton. Long-time residents
together. The Web of Mnemosyne of Constantinople, they have little
In addition to whatever survives InIm 60 love for “Franks,” or any magi hailing
the battle, one other treasure awaits Pen +20, 1/month from the kingdoms responsible for the
discovery. In the adyton (sacred cham- R: Voice, D: Conc, T: Group destruction of “the City.”
ber) is Heron’s Theater, one of the Once per month, Heron’s Theater If this covenant discovers the
greatest mechanica ever constructed. can predict the future of someone investigating magi, they demand first
associated with it. The target must rights to any mechanica and texts
be among those watching the play, found in the city. This is a flagrant
Heron’s Theater and the effects last for the duration of violation of the Peripheral Code, but
the play, which usually takes about an the magi are presumably far from
The automated theater was hour. The effect is non-Hermetic and home and on this covenant’s home
Heron’s greatest masterpiece. Properly apparently breaks the Limit of Time. ground. If friendly relations can be
attuned and prepared, it shows its As such, investigating it is remarkably established, the magi of Michaels’
own stories, casting its figurines into difficult. Tabula may trade any Heronic texts
a variety of roles and scenes. When The play is often highly allegori- or mechanica they have obtained
started, the theater’s stage doors open cal, based on the mythic figures and over the years for vis or assistance in
and miniature figures act out dra- archetypes available in the theater’s dealing with interloping Crusaders.
matic events accompanied by sound assembly of puppets and figurines. Displaying such an interest in these
effects. Ostensibly powered by knot- Interpreting what a play means might “worthless” items may pique the inter-

87
Ancient Magic
est of other magi in Heron’s teachings. if approached humbly they might Verditius may try to suppress or
The Seekers may find themselves with tell what little they know. For more destroy knowledge of the Mutable
a race to uncover Hypatia’s tomb on information on the Sufi sect of Islam, Device technique or try to make it
their hands. see Realms of Power: The Divine, page a House monopoly through legal
112. means. House Verditius has consid-
The Dominion aura surround- erable political capital and this may
The Shadhali Brotherhood ing the madrasa has an impressive be enough of an occasion for them
strength of 8, as its mosque contains to use it.
Near the site of the ruined temple the tombs of the Brotherhood’s found- While the techniques for
is the humble madrasa of the Shadhali er and several other holy mystics. Awakened Devices remain incom-
Brotherhood. Ahmed Abu al-Abbas patible with the techniques for cre-
al-Mursi teaches Sufi mysticism to his ating automata, Awakened Devices
followers here. The Shadhaliyyah are Ramifications for the make excellent familiars and min-
aware of the tomb as an ancient pagan Order of Hermes ions for those able to pay for their
temple and that the area about it is construction. Only the richest cov-
haunted. The have no other idea of enants and groups can afford them.
its significance. Should they learn of Successfully integrating Heron’s If subsequent research integrates
the site’s association with the Library teachings into Hermetic theory Awakened Devices with the exist-
of Alexandria, they may wish to take results in some dramatic effects. The ing automaton-crafting techniques,
charge of such dangerous informa- most important is a significant loss in then the Verditius gain the ability to
tion. These mystics can prove dan- wealth and status for House Verditius. craft tremendously powerful magical
gerous should the magi provoke them With the advent of Mutable Devices, servitors.
with displays of devilish powers, or magi have less need for numerous The heroic magus able to inte-
harm innocents while in Alexandria. magical devices. As a result, fewer grate the Mechanicians’ ability to
Aside from their impressive martial magi purchase such devices from the create magical devices without
skills, the Brotherhood wields great House. The Order as a whole ben- the use of vis would change the
influence throughout all levels of the efits as individual magi gain power face of the Order completely, but
city. and flexibility. The smaller covenants doing so would require a Hermetic
The Sufi view magicians as pride- particularly benefit from this change, Breakthrough — assuming it were
ful deniers of the will of God, but given their poorer resources. House even possible.

88
Chapter Seven

The Hesperides
Most magi have heard of Claudius by following the advice of the dragon to the Canary Islands, and into the
Ptolemaeus. He codified the move- of the Garden of the Hesperides. service of the dragon. The Canary
ment of the planets, the names of That dragon, Ladon, was visited in Islands are called the “Purple Islands”
the stars, and the shapes of the con- 1160 by an Arabic cartographer, and in this chapter, a Roman name with
stellations. He invented the gnomon arranged for many flawed copies of which magi might be familiar. They
and the globe. But magi interested in Ptolemy’s work to be made in Europe, have been described in detail because
astronomy or geography know that to encourage magi to reconstruct it, they make an excellent Spring cov-
Ptolemy accomplished much more and to visit him. The Order that he enant setting: they are far from other
than this. helped to nurture is now ready for the covenants, rich in vis and trade goods,
Ptolemy devised a system that next stage in his plan. and are inhabited by people who
precisely measures the location of assume that those who are magical
any place on the surface of the Earth. make good rulers.
Every location is expressed by two
values that measure how far north
and east the place is compared to an Consequences
origin point far to the southwest of
Europe. A magus skilled in Ptolemy’s Coordinates have a few advantag-
techniques can use these coordinates es over standard Arcane Connections.
as Arcane Connections to the places They do not fade with time. They
that they designate. This allows the can be carried in the mind of a magus,
magus to travel to these sites. stored as writing, or designed into
Ptolemy published his techniques magic items. They are information
and around 8,000 coordinates in a rather than objects, so they can be
work of seven volumes, called The given away, and yet retained by the
Geography. The last complete ver- giver. They do not need to be col-
sion of this book was lost with the lected from a place, because they rely
Great Library of Alexandria. Small on the Law of Names, not the Law of
sections circulate in Mythic Europe, Contagion.
tantalizing magi with coordinates that A Change of Pace Once the coordinates for a place
they cannot use. House Mercere has are known, magical travel to it is com-
offered 100 pawns of vis for a com- This chapter offers a more con- paratively swift and safe. This might
plete copy of The Geography, and many ventional story for players than the permit the Order to withdraw further
magi, knowing that it contains the others in this book. The ancient magic from mundane contact, and would
exact locations of hundreds of ancient the players can seek with this material certainly allow covenants to work
magical sites, would refuse to sell at is useful, but will not revolutionize together on projects more efficiently
that price. the Order, and does not require inte- than they are currently able. It also
The history of House Bonisagus gration. The system of coordinates offers the opportunity to send brave
records that Trianoma found Bonisagus is used as a lure, to draw characters volunteers to speculative coordinates:

89
Ancient Magic
places that no person in Europe has to the Garden of the Hesperides, on + Artes Liberales roll against an Ease
ever seen, because they are so far Junonia in the Purple Islands. Factor of 15 makes an accurate obser-
west, or south. vation. This also requires:
In war, Arcane Connections can
be used to target Rituals, creating Deriving Coordinates • A clear view of the stars for four
a form of magical artillery. This is hours. Although Ptolemy does
far easier with Ptolemaic coordinates, Characters can learn the coor- not note this, a magus with a
because these cannot be changed. dinates for a place in three ways: supernaturally accurate timepiece
The coordinates also offer peacetime astrological observation of the fixed can shorten the required span of
advantages, such as the rapid move- stars, accessing the stellar observa- observations to two hours.
ment of people and material, up to the tions of other magi, or spellcasting. • Simple astronomical tools
size of armies. A character does not require star- • Four hours of careful calculations,
light to use coordinates; the character or two hours using tables pro-
can use known coordinates during vided by Ptolemy in his Greatest
the day, from inside buildings or, Compilation. Sound copies of the
Using Magical underground. first part of The Geography con-
tain the Handy Tables, Ptolemy’s

Coordinates Observation of the


revision of his earlier reckoners,
which are faster and more accu-
Fixed Stars rate (+1 to any astrology-related
Ptolemaic coordinates integrate roll, calculations take one hour).
more easily with Hermetic theory Most of the stars do not move
than any of the other forms of magic relative to each other in the sky, and Without an adequate observation
given in this book. The integrator is thus are called the fixed stars. They of the array of fixed stars at the origin
not required to develop a new Virtue also form a pattern that makes a set point, the character cannot derive
or Ability. As soon as a character of angles with the horizon and with new points. Ladon has engineered this
has completed the tasks required to vertical lines. This pattern, called the omission to manipulate those who
reconstruct Ptolemy’s work, it can array of fixed stars, looks slightly find his books into recalibrating the
be applied immediately to Hermetic different at every location on Earth. system, and visiting his lair.
magic, and may be taught to others. The flawed copies of The Geography
There are two stages in inte- available in Europe describe how to
grating Ptolemaic coordinates into quantify these differences. Learning Coordinates
Hermetic magic. If an observer knows the array of from Other Astronomers
First, the character must learn fixed stars at the system’s origin point,
how to measure the array of fixed he can compare it to the array of fixed It is also possible to learn coor-
stars (defined below) by astrological stars at his current point. The differ- dinates from other astronomers,
observation. The method for this is ences between the two patterns can including Ptolemy himself. Ptolemy
included in the corrupt copies of The be reduced to two numbers: the view- lists almost 8,000 coordinates in The
Geography found in Europe. It takes er’s distance east of origin, and the Geography, but notes that they are
a season for magi to learn, and is viewer’s distance north of origin. Each imprecise. Ptolemy’s coordinates
learned automatically by apprentices place’s pair of numbers, expressed as are extrapolated from descriptions
trained by a master familiar with the fractions of the surface of the Earth, of travel given by earlier authors,
technique. are a Ptolemaic coordinate. or sea captains, rather than stellar
Second, the magus must turn A character who knows the array observation.
these measurements into coordinates. of fixed stars at the origin automatically Ptolemy instructs his readers to use
The character must calibrate the sys- knows the Ptolemaic coordinates for a his methods to determine coordinates
tem by observing the array of fixed place after a successful stellar obser- and construct maps with far greater
stars at the system’s origin point: the vation. Astronomy is a skill included precision than he has. His coordinates
point of zero distance west, zero dis- within the Artes Liberales Ability. A for places around Alexandria are per-
tance north. This requires a journey character who makes an Intelligence fect, and those within the borders of

90
Ancient Magic
the fallen Western Roman Empire are The Problem of the on that longitude is in the Purple
often correct to within a few miles. Islands.
Coordinates for places outside the
Origin Point Attempts to construct a new sys-
Empire’s borders are usually far less tem, with a more convenient zero lon-
accurate than this. As an example, all Characters cannot use Ptolemy’s gitude, mysteriously fail. Mystically,
of the coordinates for Scotland are system until they know the array of the Purple Islands include the west-
incorrect. the fixed stars at the point of ori- ernmost point on Earth. Magi can no
The flawed copies that Ladon has gin. A complicating factor is that more nominate a new west than they
sent to Europe contain a few excellent characters cannot go to the origin could assign a new north.
coordinates. He has selected them point. It is so far away that, a semi-
carefully to demonstrate the useful- mythical Carthaginian named Hanno
ness of the system. He hopes this
will encourage magi to reassess the
origin point, as described below,
so that they can derive their own
The Quest
coordinates. This section describes some of
the obstacles that characters seek-
ing the Zero Longitude face.
Stellar Measurement
by Spellcasting
Research
The ability to cast spells
which affect starlight is part of the Characters contemplating
Celestial Magic Mystery, which is travel to the Purple Islands may
included in Chapter 6: Hermetic seek information about them in
Astrology in The Mysteries Revised classical works of geography.
Edition. The following spell is only An Intelligence + Artes
available to characters initiated Liberales roll, against an Ease
into Celestial Magic. Factor of 6, gives the following
information:
A Comparison of the Positions aside, no one has ever gone there. Pliny named the Purple Islands
of the Fixed Stars The characters instead need to take because a lichen grows there that can
InVi 25 measurements that, as a composite, be made into purple dye. Dye is one
R: Sight, D: Mom, T: Ind allow them to derive the fixed stellar of the most expensive trade commod-
This spell charts the course of the positions at the origin point. ities in Europe. He also claimed that
light emanating from the fixed stars. The characters require three stel- the beaches of the islands are plagued
It then compares the angles between lar readings. To measure the latitude with the rotting carcasses of monsters,
these lines, to provide a unique pair of the Equator, characters just need to which the Atlantic constantly throws
of numbers, representing the array. compare stellar observations from any ashore. One island has a ruined tem-
This is the Ptolemaic coordinate for two points that are of the same longi- ple filled with doves, dedicated to
the caster’s position, provided that tude, but are a known, large distance Juno, but the islands are uninhab-
the caster knows the array at origin. A apart in latitude. The size of the Earth ited. This means that vis-containing
magus is unable to hold coordinates in is known, so the difference between creatures have been washing up on
her mind with sufficient precision to these two points can be used to infer the islands’ beaches for thousands
represent a circle less than 500 paces how the positions of the stars would of years, undisturbed. Another island
across. Notebooks or devices with continue to change as the astrono- has gigantic buildings, but no inhabit-
coordinates in them allow greater mer traveled south. To determine the ants. (This refers to the Pyramids of
precision. adjustment for the origin’s longitude, Güímar on Ninguaria, but Pliny is
(Base 10 given in The Mysteries characters need to go to any point on mistaken. These are the home of one
Revised Edition, +3 Sight) the Zero Longitude. The only land of the island’s ten wizard-kings.)

91
Ancient Magic
A voyage to the Purple Islands
Canary Islands Invallis is filled with danger. The Islamic rul-
ers of southern Iberia jealously con-
50 miles
Junonia trol the stretch of sea at the mouth
of the Mediterranean. The coast of
Ninguaria Herbania Africa is a haven for pirates. If the
Canaria covenant takes sufficient supplies for
Capraria the entire trip, they are able to bring
less cargo back to Europe, but if
they attempt to negotiate with the
Pluvialia peoples of West Africa, they may
suffer attacks. The spirits and mon-
sters of the deep Atlantic are far
more terrible than those of the placid
Mediterranean. The currents between
ATLANTIC the Purple Islands are so dreadful that,
OCEAN Iberia in ancient times, they were embodied
by a dragon.

Canary Islands
Negotiating with
the Natives
Africa
Characters seeking the Zero
Longitude may visit several of the
An Intelligence + Magic Lore if cut. Others storytellers say Ladon islands before finding Junonia. The
roll, against an Ease Factor of 9, gives retreated from the world with the indigenous inhabitants of the Purple
the following information: Old Gods, became the constellation Islands, the Guan, are hospitable, and
Hesiod says the golden apples Draco, or remains in the Garden. curious about travelers, but able to
of youth grow on one of the Purple defend themselves if attacked. They
Islands. The goddess Gaea gave the lack ships, so the inhabitants of each
apples to her daughter Hera as a Sailing to the island have developed a different dia-
wedding gift. The nymphs of dusk, Purple Islands lect and variant of their religion.
called the Hesperides, tended Hera’s
garden, but would occasionally steal
some apples. Hera sent a 100-headed No European person has sailed to The Code May Not
dragon named Ladon to protect the the Purple Islands since the cartogra- Protect the Guan
apples and ensure the honesty of her pher Idrisi, servant of King Roger of
other servants. Sicily, in 1160. This makes it difficult The Code of Hermes prohibits
If the Magic Lore roll is 12 or high- for characters to sail there, unless magi from interfering with mundanes,
er, then also give this information: they can convince a ship captain but the Guan are the servants of a caste
Herakles wanted to steal the to venture into completely unknown of hedge magicians. The Order has
apples, and found his way to the waters. On the West African coast, historically asked powerful wizards to
Purple Islands with the aid of either the captain will not have the aid of join, under threat of death. Weaker
the Old Merman of the Sea (Nereus), a pilot with local knowledge of cur- magicians, like the Guan kings, have
or the father of the Hesperides (Atlas). rents and obstacles, so they must sail usually been told to serve the Order
Some storytellers say that Herakles slowly, and only during the day. This or die. The servants of magicians are
killed Ladon. Trees grew from Ladon’s increases the length and risk of the the property of those magicians, and
blood, and these ooze dragon ichor voyage tremendously. may be legitimately targeted.

92
Ancient Magic
Some in the Order would sug-
gest that direct rule of the Guan
Terminology
is entirely within the Code. The Latin names from Pliny or each island is also given.
Guan are not Christians, and their other sources have been used for Guan, literally meaning “Men,”
kings are always magicians. This has the islands in this chapter, but sto- has been used for the people now
interesting political ramifications, ryguides researching the Canaries called Guanches, which literally
but these are beyond the scope of may find it easier to use modern means “Men of Chenech.” There
this chapter. terms, which were adopted after is no term, in 1220, for all of the
the Spanish invasion, later than the natives of the islands; Guanches is a
game period. The native name for Spanish term.
Religion
Modern name Local Name Latin name
Most Guan worship a solar god. used by the Guan used by magi and their servants
He has various names meaning sun Tenerife Chenech Ninguaria (“Snowy,” named for its
(“magec”) or heavens (“acoran” on mountain)
Canaria or “achihuran” on Ninguaria).
Fuerteventura Maxorata Herbania (“Grassy,” which is
Many Guan believe in a lesser, evil
utterly inappropriate; this may
being who opposes their god. On
Latinize a local name, “Walled,”
Ninguaria he is called Guayota and
referring to the wall between
dwells in Echeyde, the fiery hell
northern and southern kingdoms.)
within the volcano. These Guan
have a Dominion aura around their Gran Canaria Tamarán Canaria (“of dogs,” named for the
settlements. fighting dogs found wild here)
On a few islands, the Guan Lanzarote Titeroygatra No certain name. Characters
believe in a third deity: the wife of might like to use Planasia (flat
the sun god. One of her names is island) or Invallis (undulating
Achmayex. In some communities, island).
only women worship her. Her priest- La Palma Benahoare Junonia (“of Juno,” named for its
esses counsel the kings on some doves, sacred to Juno)
islands, like Herbania. Islands that
La Gomera Gomera Capraria (“of goats”)
worship a divine family usually have
Faerie auras. El Hierro Ecrós Pluvialia (without rivers, literally
Many Guan practice voluntary “island of rain”)
euthanasia. Elderly Guan are left, at San Bronodon no common name Aprositus
their own request, in the mortuary
caves with a bowl of milk. When a
meceny (wizard-king) dies on some Magic A character who is mystically
islands, a youth flings himself into the invested as a Guan king automatically
sea. He carries the internal organs of The meceny of Guan villages gains the ability to perform traditional
the meceny in a basket, and messages can perform simple miracles or spells. Guan magic. The ritual in which a
from living people for their dead rela- During the most important, newborn meceny accepts his role sometimes
tives. The Guan consider it honorable lambs are separated from their moth- involves kissing the bone of his old-
to fling oneself into the sea, rather ers, so that their plaintive bleating est ancestor — so a foreign character
than be taken prisoner. Characters will soften the heart of the Divine. who became king would need to join
considering a covenant on the Purple This brings rain. The Guan also have a Guan family. The magic of Guan
Islands may quickly learn that the seasonal festivals, with the harvest fes- kings is performed with community
Guan fight to the death for their lib- tival being the most important. Many ceremonies, and cannot fail or botch,
erty, and commit suicide in preference communities leave offerings for the provided the ancient and tested for-
to surrender. magical spirits of natural features. mulae are used.

93
Ancient Magic
All meceny can perform the fol- blue-eyed aboriginal families, and the they pick up the whistled and spoken
lowing effects, if assisted by their lower class are descended from Arabic forms simultaneously. Characters who
villages: settlers who came to the island around already speak a non-whistled Canarian
200 years ago. The Arab settlers dialect can do this by increasing their
• Bless Crops and Harvests: were not Muslims, so that religion is Ability scores, or spending a season
As The Bountiful Feast (ArM5, unknown in the islands. working with silbadors.
page135), but only works on the Most islands have patriarchal soci- Magi casting spells at Voice Range
crops of the community of which eties, and their treatment of women can use silbo to extend their range.
the meceny is ruler. varies. Women have greater property Spells in silbo are considered to be cast
• Call Rain: This is the equivalent rights than in most parts of Europe, in booming voice. Characters wanting
of a Creo Auram spell of level and it is often a capital offence for to use silbo should consult the rules
20. It creates a natural, gentle a man to insult a woman while he in Chapter 1: The Language of Adam,
rainstorm that last as long as the carries a weapon. On Planasia and for guidance on casting spells using
ritual continues. Herbania, women are loaned to guests languages other than Latin.
• Calm Weather: This ritual acts as a form of hospitality. Infanticide, of
as either Quiet the Raging Winds or daughters after the first child, is prac-
The Cloudless Sky Returned (ArM5, ticed on Canaria and Junonia, when Technology
page128). the population is unsupportable. On
• Speak With the Ancestors: As Canaria, property and the monar- The Guan lack many technolo-
Coerce the Spirits of the Night (ArM5 chy pass to men through the female gies usually expected of urban com-
page 153). This ritual only affects line. On Junonia, the women are munities. They do not have a written
the spirits of the character’s fam- skilled warriors. In most communities, language. They do not have any metal
ily, by birth, marriage, or adop- residents form monogamous relation- tools or weapons. Strangely, for island
tion. Only spirits from bodies that ships, but on Junonia and Herbania dwellers, they do not build ships or
have been preserved with dragon- the Guan practice polyandry, in which boats.
blood lacquer are accessible. one woman has multiple husbands. The Guan are excellent stone-
workers, particularly for people lack-
Each meceny also has two minor ing metal tools or a mining industry.
effects that are unique to his tribe. Dialects Terracing has created most of the
cropland on the islands. Many vil-
There are strong similarities lages have a simple aqueduct, carved
Lifestyle between the island dialects. A person from the rock, which brings rainwater
skilled in any Canarian dialect can from the mountains down through
The Guan are usually caves communicate with speakers of other the village. As Guan families increase
dwellers. Lacking caves, they build Canarian dialects as if his Ability in size, they quarry additional rooms
mound-like huts of earth. Each cave were two points lower. A complicat- into their cavernous homes.
has been extended by generations ing factor is that four of the dialects, The Guan do not have metal
of occasional labor, and can hold found on Capraria, Pluvialia, Canaria, weapons or armor. Warriors fight
an extended family. Some communi- and Ninguaria, have both spoken and naked or in goatskin cloaks. All island-
ties have basic stockades encircling whistled forms. ers use sharpened stones and javelins
them. Communities of more than 100 Silbo — whistled speech — was as thrown weapons, and clubs studded
people are rare. invented to allow shepherds to con- with obsidian, shells, or pebbles. The
The Guan usually have three verse across mountainous crevasses, men of Canaria use battle axes with
social classes. A king, whose powers and to pass messages between towns. stone blades. Men of Ninguaria use
are tempered by a council of elders, Silbo speakers substitute breathier, wooden spears with volcanic glass
rules most communities. The upper shriller versions of each syllable as tips. Most Guan also use sticks as
class comprises landowners, the lower they talk, so that they can com- dueling weapons.
class of those who rent their land. On municate over about four miles. To Dueling sticks, which are carried
some islands, members of the upper learn silbo, a character just learns to as crosiers by Guan shepherds, are
class tend to be from blond-haired, speak a dialect with a whistled form: manufactured in three lengths. The

94
Ancient Magic

Statistics for Guan Weapons


Those Guan weapons constructed with stone or volcanic glass, in lieu of metal, and have a Damage modifier 2
points lower than usual, to a minimum Damage modifier of +1.

Guan Melee Weapons


Name Ability Init Atk Def Dam Str Load Cost
Battle Axe (stone-bladed) Great +1 +5 0 +9 +1 2 Inexp.
Mace (club studded with Single +1 +3 0 +6 0 2 Inexp.
stone)
Dueling Stick, Short Single +2 +4 +1 +2 –2 1 Inexp.
Dueling Stick, Medium Great +2 +3 +3 +2 –1 2 Inexp.
Dueling Stick, Long Great +3 +3 +1 +5 0 3 Inexp.
Threshing Flail (stone Single +2 +3 0 +5 0 2 Inexp.
head on leather thongs)
Tabona (obsidian knife) Brawl 0 +1 0 +1 –6 0 Inexp.

Guan Missile Weapons


Name Ability Init Atk Def Dam Range Str Load Cost
Rock (sharpened) Thrown 0 +1 0 +3 5 –1 1 Inexp.
Javelin (stone-headed) Thrown 0 +2 0 +3 10 0 1 Inexp.

shortest sticks reach from the owner’s sticks, or by wrestling. Wrestling is prove himself by killing the previ-
waist to the ground. Medium-length also a team sport. ous leader, the magus Quendalon, in
sticks are similar to European staffs. Arcadia. They do not know whom
The longest sticks are taller than Quendalon killed to claim, then des-
their owners are. These are thrust- Other Magical Groups ert, his role.
ing weapons, used like pole arms, Quintus Sertorius was a Roman
and they allow an unusual method Use of one of the following general in the first century after Christ.
of travel. Fit, skilled shepherds can groups is suggested to stiffen the He fell out of favor with Sulla, effec-
travel across mountainous terrain at resistance of Guan communities that tively the ruler of Rome, and set up a
seemingly reckless speed, using their player characters have selected for rival state in Iberia. He was accompa-
crosiers to vault between landing invasion or harassment. They also nied at all times by a white fawn that
points. This is an expression of the provide suitable obstacles for those counseled him on behalf of Diana.
Athletics Ability. sagas where combat plays a major Sertorius, Pliny records, planned to
Guan men duel to settle their dif- role. Troupes not wanting to disrupt flee to the islands if unable to resist
ferences through a variety of martial Guan society should place the group Rome. Sertorius was assassinated, in
sports, which are also pursued for on Aprositus, described below. strange circumstances. He and his offi-
pleasure. A popular sport is for each cers disappeared from Roman history.
man to have a set of three rocks, and Worshippers of Diana, on these
to take turns casting them at their The Huntress in the Wood islands, are descended from this offi-
rival. The rival is supposed to dodge cer cadre. If Sertorius was the previous
the rock. In some communities a Members of this group — detailed leader, Merinita magi may face hostil-
player is disqualified if he moves his in Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults, page ity from his descendants. Sertorius’s
feet. In many communities, after the 33 — wish to train a messiah figure spirit may remain on the island as a
combatants have used all of their for their Diana cult. The followers of ghost, or a faerie counselor for the
rocks, they continue using dueling the Huntress demand that this leader current high priest.

95
Ancient Magic

Emerald Adepti the principles of magic to children. They fled Mauritania when their
Communicating with the ancestors is king was murdered, and their land
Plato wrote that the Purple a privilege reserved for those linked invaded, on the instructions of the
Islands were the remnants of Atlantis. by blood or marriage. Emperor Caligula. Their king, anoth-
This may explain the Guan, a race of If the Guan do not have er scholar named Ptolemy, was the
white people without ships living on Atlantean secrets, then they are simi- son of Cleopatra Selene, the daugh-
a cluster of islands off the coast of lar to the hedge magicians from ter of Cleopatra and Marc Antony.
Africa. It may also explain the small Ars Magica Fifth Edition and other Cleopatra Selene was a priestess of
step pyramids found in many parts supplements, but are more skilled Isis. Cleopatra Selene’s twin brother
of the islands. A loose association in their Supernatural Abilities. Most Alexander, the heir to the throne
of Hermetic wizards interested in European hedge magicians pass of Egypt, disappeared mysterious-
Atlantean magic, called the Emerald information from master to student, ly from history. Many assume he
Adepti, may have established a cov- while Guan dead form a repository was killed on the orders of Emperor
enant on the Islands to study Guan of knowledge that allows Guan sor- Augustus, but if he fled to the Purple
magic. Any Atlantean magic or arti- cerers to become increasingly skilled Islands, fragments of Egyptian sun
facts the Guan have are used against as each generation passes. Gifted worship may be found in the rituals
aggressive explorers. Guan children usually have Ghostly that the Guan kings use to venerate
The oldest families provide the Warders. their solar god.
most skilled Guan magicians. These Some Arabic accounts claim that
families have lived in the same caves on the western shore of Pluvialia is
for millennia and have mummified Pre-Hermetic Groups a great statue of a bronze horseman
many generations of their ances- pointing his spear to the west. An
tors using the vis-rich sap of the The peasant class on the Purple ancient script across his chest reads,
dragon trees. These spirits teach Islands is descended from Berbers. “Nothing lies beyond.”

96
Ancient Magic
The monolith is the next way- house in which the Hesperides dwell.
Aprositus point in the characters’ quest. It is This is a three-sided villa, walled with
the entrance to the Garden of the gold, which lies at the western edge
Ptolemy calls the westernmost Hesperides, and the Zero Latitude of the Garden. Its courtyard faces the
of the Purple Islands “Aprositus,” runs through it. The king and queen center of the Garden, in which grow
which means “Inaccessible.” The of Acero may ask the characters to a grove of apple trees. A vast serpent
island is visible, intermittently, assist them with some task, before lies coiled in this orchard.
from the higher slopes of Junonia being shown the holy place of the Each apple contains a pawn of
and Ninguaria, and is though to be island’s religion. This obstacle should Creo vis. If a character eats one of
up to 100 leagues long. Different involve a minor story that highlights the apples, the character’s Apparent
people who have sighted it claim features of the Purple Islands set- Age falls by ten years. Subsequent
it may be anywhere from 15 to 90 ting that the characters have yet to eating of the apples continues to have
leagues away. If a ship approaches encounter. useful cosmetic effects. The golden
the island, it disappears into the apple trees of Hera produce over 60
mist. apples per year. An apple picked at
Entering the Garden the perfect instant, in the perfect way,
The Garden of makes a magus immortal, much like
The monolith serves as an entrance the magi described in The Mysteries
the Hesperides into the regio that hides the Garden Revised Edition, page 133. Ladon never
of the Hesperides. Characters can reveals this to the player characters:
Characters seeking the Garden enter the regio automatically, if they magi will not be worthy of his apples
of the Hesperides might find inspira- have the assistance of the king and for centuries.
tion in Pliny’s brief description of the queen of Acero. Magi who attempt The Garden of the Hesperides
island of Junonia. Pliny says that it to measure the locations of the fixed contains many other trees with
contains a temple carved from a single stars at midnight, near the monolith, extraordinary properties. Ladon
block of stone, and is filled with doves, are drawn through the boundary of believes these trees are a legacy of
sacred to Juno (Hera), for which the the regio, along with their traveling the last age of magic, and that they
island is named. Characters seeking companions. Alternatively, characters are the germ of the new age. He is
the island discover that its inhabitants can enter the regio unassisted, as willing to judiciously use their fruits,
call themselves the Ahoare, “Children described by the rules on ArM5, page or the secrets of their propagation, to
of Atlas.” Atlas was the father of the 189. The regio has a Magic aura of 9. push history along his preferred path.
Hesperides. Characters cannot enter the Garden In the Garden are fruits that can grant
The Ahoare are similar to the by any means while facing east. many Virtues, and others that act as
other Guan in many respects, but have In the internal logic of the regio, single-use magic items, covering a
unusual gender relations. Property there is no real west beyond the edge broad range of effects.
descends through the female line, of the Garden. The garden’s western
and they practice polyandry. Each edge, inside the regio, is bound by a
woman takes three husbands, and is limitless, inky ocean, which churns The Three Hesperides
trained in warfare. The Ahoare still reflected stars. This body of water, the
have kings, who are the primary inter- Twilight Sea, is an entrance into the The Hesperides are three nymphs
mediaries with the sun god, but the Magical realm, which is described in who tend the garden of Hera.
island’s women also worship the sun more detail in Realms of Power: Magic. Their names are Erytheia (“Red”),
god’s wife. These communities have Ptolemy knew this: it is why he used Hespera (“Evening”), and Asteropê
a Faerie aura. It is strongest at small the Islands for his Zero Longitude. (“Starfaced”). They are close friends
step pyramids that the Children of In a mystical sense, the caldera is the with Ladon, despite his task of keep-
Atlas use for their observances. The West Pole. ing them from stealing the apples of
most significant site of their religion The Garden of the Hesperides lies Hera, because they find his stories
is a monolith in the kingdom of on a level plateau across the chasm of amusing.
Acero, within the caldera of an extinct the caldera. The Garden is lit with a The Hesperides do not desire
volcano. warm, sunset glow that comes from the worship and were not, in ancient

97
Ancient Magic

The Hesperides
Magic Might: 30 (Imaginem) * A tree saw is used for lopping off *** These are coated with a sticky
Characteristics: Int +1, Per +2, Pre branches while pruning. It has a herbal poison that causes a Heavy
+3, Com +1, Str 0, Sta +2, Dex slat blade, with an edge of obsid- Wound with each successful strike,
+2, Qik +2 ian glass, mounted at right angles unless the character makes a Stamina
Personality Traits: Vary, as guided on a four-foot long pole. Wielding roll with an Ease Factor of 9.
by the description given below. it in combat requires the Great Soak: +2
Combat: The Hesperides refrain Weapon Ability. Asterope’s saw seals Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, –1, –3, –5,
from combat, since Ladon is so cut branches with a layer of hot Unconscious
much more powerful than they tar. This power has a Penetration Wound Penalties: –1 (1–5), –3 (6–
are. They may support him with of +1 (Ignem), and causes an extra 10), –5 (11–15), Incapacitated
missile fire. The Hesperides use Light Wound per injury. This does, (16–20)
versions of Guan weapons, and however seal and cauterize wounds, Powers:
envenom them with herbal poi- which prevents them from becoming Brilliance, 1 point, Init +5, Imaginem:
sons unique to the garden. infected if their bearer survives the Each Hesperid has a power that
Asteropê’s Tree Saw: Init +1, Attack battle. Asteropê’s sharpened rocks causes blindness. Erytheia makes
+6, Defense +4, Damage +5* were used for shying birds out of the everything — including the vic-
Asteropê’s Rocks: Init 0, Attack +6, Garden before Ladon arrived. On tim’s eyeballs — glow with a ruby
Defense +5, Damage +3* any successful strike, they render light so that shapes are no longer
Erytheia’s Javelins: Init 0, Attack +8, any bird unconscious (Penetration discernable. Hespera drains all
Defense +6, Damage +3** 25, Animal), a power that affects light, except for a single, useless,
Erytheia’s Long Dueling Stick: Init Bjornaer magi with bird heartbeasts, point, from her target’s field of
+3, Attack +9, Defense +7, even in human form. vision. Asteropê fills her victim’s
Damage +5** ** These are coated with a sticky sight with flashes and sparks.
Hespra’s Short Bow: Init –2, Attack herbal poison that causes characters Embody the Coming Night, 0 points, Init
+10, Defense +6, Damage +8*** injured to fall asleep, after one combat +0, Imaginem: The Hesperides
Hespra’s Tabona: Init 0, Attack +5, round’s delay, if they fail a Stamina roll are aspects of daimonic creatures,
Defense +4, Damage +1*** with an ease factor of 12. which are described more fully in

times, concerned with humans. The to take up the role of tending the mortal possessions in the house of the
player characters interest them now, garden. Hesperides before sailing. His robes
because they might prove useful aides. The best choice would be one of have the mark of House Criamon,
The Hesperides know that Hera has their missing sisters. Aegle (“Sunset”) and he owned a copy of The Travels of
stopped collecting her apples: the disappeared thousands of years ago Fedoso.
uneaten fruit have grown into the after leaving to have an affair with
orchard that Ladon still defends. Each the god Helios. Characters searching
Hesperid has her own ideas concern- for her might start in Sicily, where Ladon
ing what has happened to their mis- Helios kept a farm in ancient times,
tress, and what the correct response tended by his daughters. Hesperidia Ladon (“swift-flowing”) is a 100-
should be. (“Twilight”) sailed off across the inky headed hydra. He has a copy of
Each of the Hesperides desires to sea with the tattooed magus who gave Ptolemy’s The Geography, bought to the
leave the Garden for a few years to Ladon his copy of The Geography. island by a Criamon magus seeking True
pursue these goals. The Hesperides The other Hesperides can tell the West. Ladon has asked the nymphs to
fear they will face supernatural pun- characters that the magus wanted to carve an interesting Ptolemaic co-ordi-
ishment if the Garden is not tended, measure the breadth of the Twilight nate onto each of the apple trees. By
and the work requires all three of Sea. He could then have used another resting a head in one of these trees,
them. Characters wanting to aid a coordinate, measuring distance from Ladon can see what is happening at the
nymph to leave need to find some the mundane world, to allow magi nominated point. He reports amusing
other supernatural character willing to enter regiones. He left all of his events to the nymphs.

98
Ancient Magic

The Hesperides, Continued


The Mysteries Revised Edition. They She has never left the Garden, so does not understand the process of
can see perfectly well in darkness, her martial skills are the poorest of transformation, so she would like to
and can navigate perfectly by the the three sisters. Asteropê wishes to consult the magi of Merinita, and
stars. They can shed their mortal rescue Hera from whatever entrap- Arcadian potentates.
bodies, which crumble into dust, ment must have befallen her. She Hespera, pale and with white-
and create new ones when their has no idea how to do this, but she gold hair, incarnates the evening star.
stars rise. would like to begin by searching the She willingly served the Olympians,
Harbingers of Night, 0 points, +5, cities of the Greek East for clues. and her occasional membership
Animal: The Hesperides are the The Dominion comes as a rude and of the retinue of Diana has made
heralds of night, and may com- frightening shock to her. Unable to her skilled with a bow. Despite her
mand creatures that are part of seek clues herself, and poor at com- previous loyalty, Hespera believes
night’s domain. bat, she needs allies. the time of the Olympians is done,
Summon Tools, 0 points, +0, Terram: Erytheia, bronzed and with red- and the titans that they imprisoned
As tenders of the garden, these gold hair, embodies sunset. She looks should be released. The titan she
nymphs have the power to sum- older than her sisters, and is the clos- is most concerned for is her father,
mon required tools, including est to humanity. She had a mortal Atlas. Characters with even basic
their weapons. lover and a son. Her time with her knowledge of classical mythology
Vis: 6 pawns of Imaginem vis each, in husband allowed Erytheia to learn know that he holds up the sky, so
their faces. the use of the shepherd’s staff, as releasing him may have apocalyptic
Appearance: The three sisters have a a weapon and means of vaulting. consequences. Because Atlas was a
strong family resemblance. Each Erytheia believes the Olympians general during the war of the gods,
is tall and fair. They have soulful, abandoned her. She has resented her however, he knows how to enter the
brown eyes. servitude ever since Hera forced her titans’ base on Mount Orthys. This
to tend the Garden instead of raising is a regio that the Order has yet to
Asteropê, freckled and with honey- her child. She would like to become locate, and Hespera may suggest this
blond hair, personifies the star-lit sky. a faerie power and usurp the worship as an enticement for magi to find
She remains loyal to her mistress. that Juno enjoys on the island. She him.

Ladon would like to collect addi- blood created the dragon trees of the dragon tree flowers once per year for
tional coordinates, but cannot leave islands. Dragon trees bleed red sap if 100 years.
the Garden. He is willing to recite the cut, which the Guan use for medicine The serpent grows with the fol-
theoretical chapters of The Geography and dye. The oldest trees are Ladon’s lowing progression:
to the characters, and provide them children, and have spirits that take
with the missing data about the Zero the form of vast snakes. Ladon can • At each flowering, the serpent
Longitude. He is then able to trade create more dragon trees by allowing gains an extra head.
vis, information, or Ptolemy’s list- his blood to fall upon the earth. If he • For every five heads, the creature
ed coordinates for fresh coordinates develops a close alliance with a group gains a point of Might and Soak.
that the magi discover. Ladon does of magi, he may give them some of his • For every ten heads, it gains a
not allow the characters to take the blood, so that they can grow a dragon point of Size, its Damage modi-
Apples of Hera, but he does allow vis tree at their home covenant. fier increases by 2, and it gains a
to be harvested from other trees in A dragon tree grows in a single point of Strength in its body, to
the Garden. vertical stem for the first decade, a maximum of +6. It also gains a
then branches each time it flowers. point of Confidence, to a maxi-
In trees grown directly from Ladon’s mum of 3.
Serpent-dryads blood, a serpent-dryad emerges at the • For every 20 heads, it gains a
first flowering. This is an intelligent point of Strength in its heads.
Herakles shot Ladon with poi- snake, with a Magic Might of 5, that • For every 30 heads, it gains a
soned arrows long ago, and Ladon’s suffers in sympathy with its tree. The point of Intelligence, Perception,

99
Ancient Magic

Ladon
Magic Might: 45 (Animal) damage, but instead to coil about † Ladon is not poisonous, but his
Characteristics: Int +6, Per +6, Pre a victim, immobilizing him. When blood can cause skin cankers (can-
+3, Com +3, Str +3 (heads) +6 this occurs, the victim cannot attack cers). He rarely chooses to use this
(main body), Sta +4, Dex +6, using melee weapons, and Ladon to his advantage, but if pressed he
Qik +4 automatically does damage in each can bite one of his tongues and spit
Size: 8 succeeding round, without requir- gobbets of his poisoned blood at
Confidence Score: 3 (12) ing an Attack or Defense roll. The his attackers. This has a range of
Personality Traits: Inquisitive +5, victim may still Soak damage. At only five paces, and can harm only
Loyal to Hera +5, Sneaky +3, the end of each round, including one individual per head at a time.
Bored +1, Vain +1 the round in which Ladon chooses If Ladon bites his own tongue to
Reputations: Dead (Students of the not to do damage, the character provide the blood, he takes a Light
Classics) +5, Watchful (Students may attempt to break free by an Wound before the first use of this
of the Classics) +3 opposed Strength roll. To do this, power by any given head. For each
Combat: he rolls Strength + a stress die, and serious injury he takes, Ladon can
Up to 100 Bites: Init +6, Attack +20, compares it to Ladon’s Strength + lick the blood from the cut in one
Defense +15*, Damage +10** a stress die. Success indicates that round, and spit it the next, with-
Constriction: Init n/a, Attack n/a, the character frees himself, and may out further injury to himself. The
Defense +15*, Damage +15*** attack normally in the following Hesperides know Ladon’s blood
Spit Blood: Init +6, Attack +12, round. For each character assisting causes cankers, and dip weapons in
Defense 0, Damage n/a† him in breaking free, the character it if they consider it necessary. The
Trample and Constrict: Init –3, Attack may add +1 to his Strength roll, but cankers do not affect combat out-
+10, Defense +15, Damage +20‡ assistants are unable to attack Ladon comes; for more information, see the
* +6 to Defense against grapple in rounds when they do this. A vis entry below.
attacks character unable to break free for 30 ‡ Ladon prefers not to use his tram-
** Ladon can inflict trained group seconds (six combat rounds) must ple and constrict attack, but charac-
damage without the assistance of make deprivation rolls, as described ters who decide to attack his vitals
other creatures. He is able to attack on ArM5, page 179. Alternately, may provoke him. If his trample
one person with up to 12 heads at Ladon is able to leave his victim’s attack is successful in the first round,
a time. When acting as if he is a head free while constricting, and can he does no damage, but coils his
group, Ladon has a Brawl skill of 9 choose not to damage his captives. thick tail about his enemy. He auto-
and acts as if the leader of his group This allows him to converse with his matically does constricting damage
has a Leadership skill of 12. This prey, or force them to listen to him. in subsequent rounds. Characters
reflects the seamless way his heads He can also attempt to bite the head may attempt to break free, as above,
cooperate. off a constricted opponent, but may but find it far more difficult, because
*** If Ladon makes a successful bite only use one head to attempt this of the crushing strength of Ladon’s
attack, he may choose not to do each round. body.

Dexterity, and Stamina. Slightly based on their tree’s magical from the beginning of the Order.
before this occurs, the serpent- microclimate. Trianoma, seeking inspiration after
dryad gorges itself on the living failing to interest several magi in her
vis of magical animals, and then new order, traveled to the end of the
hibernates under its tree for a How Deep Does Ladon’s world. Her diaries, and the history
month, before shedding its skin. Strategy Go? of her lineage in House Bonisagus,
• At the 60th head, the serpent- say she “met a dragon in the Garden
dryad gains Ladon’s See Power. Ladon’s story — that he wants of the Hesperides, beyond Ethiopia”
• All serpent-dryads also devel- magi to find new coordinates to trade who counseled her to seek a par-
op unique abilities in addition with him — may be true, but it ticular magus, in the Alps. This was
to those listed here, which are fails to account for an odd story Bonisagus.

100
Ancient Magic

Ladon, Continued
Soak: +25 many languages. This includes they have it checked by a char-
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0/0/0/0/0, –1, mystical languages, which allows acter who makes an Intelligence
–3, –5, Unconscious him to speak to trees, stones, and + Medicine roll against an Ease
Wound Penalties: –1 (1–13), –3 (14– other usually mute things. It does Factor of 12, it can be removed
26), –5 (27–39), Incapacitated not include Adamic, described with a Dexterity + Chirurgy roll
(40–52) in Chapter 1: The Language of against an Ease Factor of 6, caus-
Abilities: A very wide variety, gained Adam. ing a Light Wound. If untreated,
through Exposure, by using See, 0 points, Init 0, Mentem; Ladon the character develops wasting
Ptolemaic coordinates to spy on has the ability to be completely symptoms after a further year,
people. He has many Lores of 9. aware of the details of his sur- and dies after another six months.
Powers: roundings, and to make infer- Magi who cast longevity rituals
Effectively Tireless, 0 points, Init 0, ences from those observations. using Ladon’s vis develop wast-
Animal: Ladon’s heads sleep in This allows him to determine a ing symptoms immediately, and
sequence, so he is always con- great deal about people. He can die within six months, unless
scious. If struck by a spell, or see in the dark, and is able to magical healing occurs. In this
if he loses a Fatigue level that see invisible creatures. He can case, the blood is so intimately
would cause unconsciousness, view places linked to Arcane tied to the character’s life that
Ladon instead sends one of his Connections. Coupling this its cancer-generating proper-
100 heads to sleep. This also power with Ptolemy’s coordinates ties ignore Magic Resistance. If
alters his Fatigue levels, and is lets him observe many interesting Ladon’s blood is spilled on the
accounted for in the statistics places. ground, a dragon tree grows.
above. Vis: 9 pawns of Creo vis in his Appearance: Ladon is a 100-headed
Regenerate, 10 points, Init 0, Animal: blood. Characters who touch hydra, with scales of a wide vari-
Ladon can shed his skin at sun- Ladon’s blood with bare skin ety of autumnal hues. His heads,
set to renew his strength. This develop virulent skin cancers. individually, are large enough to
process takes an hour, but heals This effect has a Penetration of swallow an unconscious human.
him of all wounds, and dispels 20, and is based on the random He sometimes pretends one of his
all unwanted enchantments upon generation of life, so resistance is heads is the dominant head, that
him. If his body is killed, he can provided by whatever Form the his heads have arguing personali-
create a fresh one as his con- target’s body expresses. A char- ties, or that a particular head can
stellation, Draco, rises. For more acter who has the cancer excised make dreadful magical attacks.
information, refer to Appendix C: while it remains small survives. These are all subterfuges.
Daimons, in The Mysteries Revised This requires a character to
Edition. notice a strangely shaped, pain-
Speak Many Languages, 0 points, Init 0, less mole or freckle, which may
Mentem: Ladon naturally speaks develop years after the battle. If

The story poses many questions: multiple copies of themselves, power as they could, and created a
called Aspects, which have sepa- garden. Within its living tissues they
• Was the dragon Ladon? Does rate memories. If there are, the stored the secrets of many of their
Ladon know where the Cave of Ladons would want to exchange mystical sciences. They hoped that
Bonisagus is? Why did he help memories. an Atlantean would survive, and use
Trianoma to found her Order? the garden to found a new civiliza-
• Why is the Garden to the west, tion, but knew that they themselves
when Ethiopia is to the south? Was A Suggestion would not.
Trianoma trying to hide Ladon? As the cataclysm smashed Atlantis
• Are there two gardens and two As Atlantis drowned, 100 of its to pieces, the terrible currents between
Ladons? Daimons can generate elect caste gathered together such the new islands spawned an enormous

101
Ancient Magic
elemental being. The 100, in the last
Serpent-dryad Base Scores moments of their lives, bound it as the
Characteristics: Int +2, Per +2, Pre a spell, or upon losing a Fatigue protector of their mystical treasures.
+1, Com +1, Str –2, Sta 0, Dex level that would cause uncon- The elemental took its shape from
+2, Qik +3 sciousness, the serpent instead their ritual — 100 heads bound to a
Size: –4 sends one of its heads to sleep. single heart — and became the hydra
Confidence Score: 1 Regenerate, 0 points, Init 0, Animal: Ladon, guardian of the islands. He
Virtues and Flaws: Lightning If the serpent is destroyed, it is entered the service of the Olympians
Reflexes, but this is lost once the regenerated by its tree in lieu of after the Titanomachy: a cataclysmic
serpent develops the See Power. flowering the following spring. If war of usurpation staged against the
Personality Traits: Vary, but usually the tree dies, however, this kills primordial embodiments of magic by
Inquisitive +1 the serpent instantly. faeries.
Reputations: Venomous 4 (even if Venomous Bite, 0 Points, Init 0, Animal: Ladon has not been permitted to
untrue) Some few of Ladon’s offspring rest, to simply fall asleep, for at least
Combat: are venomous. When one of 5,000 years. To be free he needs to
Bite: Init +3, Attack +8, Defense these creatures attacks, compare find another guardian. No such crea-
+7*, Damage –7 its Attack Advantage to the vic- ture exists now; he was the last of his
Constriction: Init n/a, Attack n/a, tim’s armor Protection (not his age. Ladon needs the Order because
Defense +7*, Damage –7 Soak). If the serpent’s advantage humans may eventually deserve to
* +6 to Defense against grapple is higher, the victim suffers the live forever and taste the final legacy
attacks effects of adder venom as listed of the Atlantean Age.
** See Ladon’s statistics for a in the Poison Table on ArM5, He is not confident of the Order’s
description of constriction attacks. page 180,, regardless of whether continuing success. The Dominion is
Soak: 0 the bite inflicts an actual wound. too strong for scattered magi, work-
Fatigue Levels: OK, –1, –3, –5, The storyguide may adjust the ing at their own concerns, to tame.
Unconscious victim’s effective Protection The Purple Islands, and their wizard-
Wound Penalties: –1 (1), –3 (2), –5 for special circumstances; for kings, model the world Ladon wishes
(3), Incapacitated (4) instance, high boots might offer to create. By enhancing the Order’s
Abilities: Awareness 2 (prey), Brawl an effective Protection +3 against ability to explore, communicate, and
2 (bite), Hunt 4 (rodents), the serpent’s special attack even travel, Ladon hopes to create a global
Stealth 4 (stalking prey), Survival though they don’t protect against college of magicians, able to weather
3 (grassy areas) normal attacks. the storm he predicts.
Powers: Vis: 1 pawn of Herbam, per 5 Might,
Effectively Tireless, 0 points, Init 0, in tree. Dragon trees can techni-
Animal: After the serpent has five cally be harvested for vis, but
or more heads, it learns to rest their serpents hate that sort of
them in sequence. If struck by thing.

102
Chapter Eight

Hyperborean Magic
I myself used to be even more cynical than you dreds of years. The Roman historian In ages past, Apollo Phoebus,
about such things, for I thought that there was Aelian wrote that the Hyperborean “The Shining One,” taught his hymns
no way they could happen, yet when I first priests regularly visited Northern (also called consecrations), the
saw the foreign visitor fly — he came from Greece to worship Apollo, while sacred names of the Lords of the
the Hyperborean people, as he said — I came Herodotus, in his Histories, states that Invisible World, to the sun people of
to believe and I was overcome, despite having the Hyperboreans were “possessed Hyperborea. To the Hyperboreans,
held out for so long. For what was I supposed by Apollo.” the hymns of Apollo are sacred,
to do when I saw him traveling through the Many magi in the Order of although their power derives from the
air in the middle of the day, walking on water, Hermes identify Hyperborea as the Magic realm, not the Divine.
and strolling through fire at a leisurely pace? mythical Realm of Magic, akin to The original Hyperborean
— Cleodemus, in Lucian’s Arcadia; others claim it is a regio priests knew many hundreds of con-
Philopseudes, 13–5 far to the north of the Novgorod secrations, which were inscribed on
Tribunal where Apollo Phoebus lies prayer tablets and on sacred build-
Hyperborea, the Land Beyond sleeping. Some Hermetic Seekers ings. Hyperborean hymns incorpo-
the North Wind, is a place of unpar- believe the Hyperboreans to be the rate mystical names, which allowed
alleled magic and mystery. Only the Old Ones, a race of Nephilim, or a those who knew them to enter into
greatest heroes have ever glimpsed people spawned from the blood of trances and infuse themselves with
the serene island, and only a few the titans. the essence of Apollo.
Hyperboreans have ever left their This chapter details the magic of
earthly paradise. Legends of the the Hyperboreans, the secrets of their
great and mysterious arcane abili- forgotten temple, and the secrets of Performing the Hymns
ties possessed by the Hyperboreans the land of Hyperborea itself.
abound. Each hymn is learned as a
The Hyperboreans were known Supernatural Ability, so normal rules
for their mysterious ways and their for learning multiple Supernatural
strange magic. Records from antiqui-
ty tell of their fabled ability of flight
The Hyperborean Abilities apply (see ArM5, page166).
Only characters with The Gift or with
and instantaneous travel, their power
to project their spirit, visit the spirit Hymns of Apollo the Virtue Hyperborean Hymnist
can ever successfully recite a hymn
world, transform into birds, and per- and gain the supernatural powers it
form powerful underworld magic. Tradition says that Latona [Leto] was born provides. Note that it is very dif-
One tale tells of a Hyperborean there [Hyperborea], and for that reason, the ficult for a Hermetic magus to learn
who summoned powerful spirits inhabitants venerate Apollo more than any a Hyperborean hymn, although he
and ghosts, reanimated corpses, and other god. They are, in a manner, his priests, for could study any discovered hymns
called down the moon, while oth- they daily celebrate him with continual songs of for Insight for integration and
ers recount that the Hyperborean praise and pay him abundant honors. Breakthroughs.
Aristeas returned to life after seven — Hecataeus of Abdera,
years of death and lived for hun- Peri Hyperboreon

103
Ancient Magic

New Virtues New Supernatural Ability: Hyperborean Hymn


Hyperborean Hymnist Your character knows a sacred performed correctly, they also fun-
Minor, Supernatural name of Apollo Phoebus, and has damentally characterize how your
Your character knows the mysti- memorized the complex and intri- character expresses magic. Because
cal songs that make up a Hyperborean cate prayers, formulas, and vowel of this, your character’s score in a
hymn to Apollo. Your character starts strings needed to perform a recita- hymn adds to her Soak score against
with one recited hymn, which confers tion. There is a different, unique damage caused by principles of that
the Supernatural Ability of [Hymn] Ability for each Hyperborean hymn. This bonus does not stack
1, and 15 levels of Powers (which hymn. The hymns are recited in the with other bonuses from Arts or
have already been infused at the start Hyperborean language; however, other hymns — only the highest
of play). These may be increased your character does not need to bonus applies.
during character creation as normal know the language to recite a hymn, Hymns may be also used in the
(although you must to spend seasons as the necessary words are learned laboratory, by adding the Ability
in play to infuse additional Powers). by rote. to your character’s Lab Total if the
You may choose this Virtue multiple For each level of a Hymn Ability, hymn involves either the effect or
times to have your character know your character gains 15 levels of item being enchanted.
other hymns. powers (see below for details). Specialties: specific effects, in
The hymns represent not only specific circumstances, involving
Hyperborean Descent knowledge of the sacred names; if specific people. (Supernatural)
Minor, Supernatural
Your character is a blood descen-
dant of Apollo’s chosen people, the Dead Language: Hyperborean
sun people of Hyperborea. Your
character has an intuitive grasp of This Ability lets your char- is being said). Your character can
the motivations and desires of magi- acter speak the native tongue of also speak with many spirits and
cal creatures, particularly spirits; Hyperborea, a deeply mystical lan- other ethereal magical creatures, and
likewise, magical beings are more guage understood by spirits. To the likewise is able to understand them.
likely to react favorably towards your untrained ear, Hyperborean sounds Knowing Hyperborean aids in the
character, and may even treat him similar to Ancient (Attic) Greek, recitation of the sacred Hyperborean
as a creature of equal (or greater) and a character versed in Ancient consecrations, but is not required.
standing. Greek may even be able to under- Note also that the alphabet used for
Your character is longer-lived stand the gist of what is being said, Hyperborean resembles the Ancient
than most people, gaining a –2 to as if their score in Hyperborean was Greek alphabet, but requires a sepa-
all Aging rolls and a +1 bonus when four points lower than their score in rate level in Artes Liberales to know.
resisting illness. Your character may Ancient Greek (if this would reduce Specialties: everyday usage,
also learn Magic Lore during charac- the score to zero or less, then the poetry, religious usage, talking to
ter creation. character cannot understand what spirits. (Academic)

Hyperborean Descent she begins to softly glow at nighttime common to Hyperboreans: either the
Major, Hermetic (this occurs at a Warping Score of 3 ability to transform into a bird (either
Your character’s Hyperborean or higher). a crow or a swan), or to fly, as per the
roots are particularly strong; the char- This is a variation of Mythic equivalent Hermetic spells, Cloak of
acter may even be a descendant of a Blood (ArM5, page 47); your charac- Black Feathers (note: does not require
famous Hyperborean such as Abaris ter gains all the benefits of the Minor a cloak) and Wings of Soaring Wind.
or the Hyperborean maidens of Delos. Hyperborean Descent Virtue, as well Both powers have a +0 Penetration
Your character’s appearance resembles as the other benefits to spellcasting and require words (song) and gestures
that of the Hyperboreans, and he may granted by Mythic Blood. (libations) to invoke. This replaces
appear luminescent and have golden- Additionally, your character can the otherwise free-choice Mythic
hued skin. As the character Warps, perform one of two magical feats Blood grants you.

104
Ancient Magic

Illumination: Hyperborean Warping


A Gifted character who learns if the Hyperborean wizard gains Virtue) and the number of Powers
the Hyperborean hymns as her first more than two Warping Points at infused (+1 for every 30 levels of
and primary magical tradition gains once, he can be overwhelmed by the Powers infused).
a unique form of Warping called essence of Apollo (points gained from If the character succeeds, then
Illumination instead of generic enchantment over a season do not he retains control. Otherwise he is
Warping (ArM5, pages 167–168) count). The character must make an overcome by Apollo’s Light. This
or Hermetic Twilight (ArM5, page Illumination Control roll of Stamina typically manifests itself in one of
88). As Hyperborean magic infuses + Concentration + highest Hymn two ways. Firstly, the character may
the practitioner with the essence of Ability Score + stress die versus an be transformed into one of the sacred
Apollo, and as the character becomes Ease Factor of the character’s updated animals of Apollo (a crow, swan,
more and more Warped, he takes Warping Score + number of Warping or bull); secondly, his spirit may be
on aspects of Apollo and becomes Points gained + aura + modifiers + separated from his body (which falls
increasingly spirit-like. Hyperboreans stress die in order to retain control. unconscious and may appear to be
called this “Illumination” or “Apollo’s dead). The player of the transformed
Light,” and both welcomed and Illumination Control Roll: character should decide which kind
feared it. Illumination does not affect Stamina + Concentration + highest of transformation affects her charac-
Hermetic magi, who always experi- Hymn Ability score + stress die ter, and this remains the same for the
ence Twilight. rest of the character’s life.
Illumination Ease Factor: char- This transformation lasts for a
acter’s updated Warping Score + number of hours equal to the total
Apollo’s Light number of Warping Points gained number of Warping Points the char-
+ aura + modifiers + stress die acter has. While transformed, the
Hyperborean wizards who character loses his human faculties
are Warped gain an Apollonian Modifiers to the Ease Factor are and cannot invoke any hymns or
Personality Trait with a rating equal Hyperborean Descent ( –2 for the other Powers that require a conscious
to their Warping Score. Furthermore, Minor Virtue or –4 for the Major continued on next page

Finally, your character gains (at Hyperborean relics or texts could be Reciting the Hymns
no extra cost) a Minor Personality found in addition to the Basilica of
Flaw, Dutybound, and follows the Ten Thousand Columns (see below). Once a character has uncovered a
high moral code of Apollo Phoebus The island of Delos in the Theban source, his troubles are not over. The
(see text box, Apollonian Personality Tribunal are known to have the tombs consecrations are complicated, con-
Traits). of Hyperborean maids, while temples taining strange vowel strings, prayer
to Apollo can be found all over Greece formulas, and countless invocations
and Italy, or even further north in intelligible only to spirits, angels,
Finding the Hymns the Transylvanian Tribunal. Rumors and demons. To truly understand the
abounded in the ancient world of hymns and infuse their essence into
In order to learn a hymn, the Hyperboreans traveling throughout himself, he must first successfully
character must first, of course, find a the world, to Germany and even to recite the consecration.
source, whether a teacher or book. Britain, where they would leave offer- Fully infusing oneself with the
This in itself proves difficult, as the ings at the shrines of deities of the sun energies and essence of the hymn
Hyperborean priests who once guard- or light. Relics or fragments of hymns takes a season of focused contempla-
ed the hymns were killed centuries could be located in the ruins of these tion, prayer, and mystic trances, after
ago, and the storehouses of hymn- shrines, although it is likely that they which the character is able to per-
books and sacred carvings were either have been long-since looted. form magical feats. Once learned and
destroyed or lost. infused, he need never worry about
There are numerous loca- botching a recitation; the Power has
tions in Mythic Europe where lost become a part of his essential nature.

105
Ancient Magic

Illumination: Hyperborean Warping, Continued


continued from previous page inhabit his body; if it fails, the char- of a powerful mystical effect, which inflicts
decision to use. The transformed acter remains transformed for a full 3 Warping Points. He therefore needs to
character also cannot change back day, and may then roll again with a make an Illumination Control roll. Abaris’s
to human form (by any means short –1 penalty (cumulative). Eventually, Warping Score is 8 (223 Warping Points).
of miraculous) or cannot re-enter the Warping Score of a Hyperborean His Stamina is +2, his Concentration is 5, his
his body. While in spirit form the wizard becomes so great that the highest Hymn Ability score is 11, he has the
character is entirely controlled by his transformation becomes complete Major Hyperborean Descent Virtue (–4), and
emotions and cannot make any ratio- and irreversible. has 450 levels of powers infused into himself
nal decisions. Automatic or continu- The Bright Lightening: Some (+15). His Illumination Control total (before
ous Powers may still be effective. The Hyperborean wizards relished a stress die is rolled) is 18. He is within a +3
character appears to Hermetic magic Illumination. By voluntarily failing the magical aura. The Illumination Ease Factor
as wholly an animal or spirit during Control roll, they gained a number of (before a stress die is rolled) is 26 (updated
this time (and is thus affected by additional Warping Points equal to Warping Score 9 + Warping Points gained
Animal, or Mentem and Vim, magic their Warping Score + aura + modi- 3 + aura 3 – Major Hyperborean Descent
only). The character may remember fiers, and in return gained a number Virtue 4 + infused power levels 15). If Abaris
the time spent transformed as though of experience points to be applied to fails his Illumination Control roll (which is
it were a recent dream. a Hymn Ability, or divided between likely), he spends 226 hours (approximately
At the end of the duration of the Hymn Abilities, of their choice. This, nine and a half days) transformed into an
transformation, the character must of course, increased the length of animal or spirit. Alternatively, he could choose
attempt to assert his human nature. time they spent transformed. to voluntarily fail the roll, suffer a further
This requires a second Control roll, 23 Warping Points (Warping 9 + aura 3
although the total that the character – Hyperborean Descent 4 + infused power
needs to beat is simply his Warping Illumination Example levels 15) and gain 23 extra experience points
Score + aura + modifiers (no stress to put into his Hymn Abilities (in which case,
roll). If this succeeds, the character Abaris Hyperberetaeos, a venerable and he would spend 23 extra hours transformed,
returns to human form, or may re- powerful Hyperborean priest, is the target for a total of 249 hours).

He cannot infuse a Power that costs If the recitation total does not Hermetic spell, and requires that the
more levels than he has available exceed the Ease Factor, then the char- character speak a brief prayer. He
(either through his 15 levels from acter cannot infuse himself with the may not invoke the Hyperborean
each point of his Ability score, or energies of the sacred names. If his hymn Powers silently (even if he
additional levels gained by spending recitation total equals or exceeds the has the Quiet Magic Virtue, which
vis — see below). Ease Factor of the Power, then at the only effects Hermetic magic), and he
In order to successfully recite end of the season, he infuses the cho- gains no extra benefits from increas-
the Hyperborean hymn and infuse sen Power into himself. ing or decreasing the volume of the
himself with a magical Power, a Having infused the Power, he invocation. Hyperborean hymns do
character’s hymn recitation total of may perform it at will without the not require gestures. Some hymns,
Communication + Hymn Ability + need to roll, as many times per day as such as the Seven Beautiful Names of
modifiers + aura must equal or exceed you have predetermined (see below). Light, may take longer to invoke dur-
the hymn recitation Ease Factor. There is no limit to the number ing nighttime.
of consecrations a character may
Hymn Recitation Total: infuse (so long as you keep raising
Communication + Hymn Ability + his Ability score, or use vis) or how Hymn Recitation Example
modifiers + aura many Powers he may have active at
once (although Warping rules may Quaesitor Moratamis stumbles upon an
Hymn Recitation Ease Factor: apply). ancient manuscript that records the sacred
(total level of Power(s) + Power Invoking the Power takes roughly hymn of Psyrinpheu, the fire breather. After
level modifiers) / 3 as long as performing a formulaic much difficult study, she manages to learn the

106
Ancient Magic

Puissant Hymns and Finding Hymns, the Easy Way


Hymn Affinities Troupes may wish to have an relic. A failure may uncover a minor
adventure focused on uncovering the magical manuscript, or may reveal
It is possible to take the Affinity Hyperborean hymns. Alternatively, that the teacher sought is long dead.
with Ability and Puissant Ability a troupe may wish to merely spend a A botch wastes the season, or more
Virtues for a Hyperborean hymn. season in search of a teacher or text. interestingly, leaves the character
Puissant Hymn effectively increas- You may do the latter by making prone to Infernal or faerie deception
es your hymn recitation totals for an Intelligence + Magic Lore stress of some kind.
that hymn, and other totals that roll against an Ease Factor of 21. If
may use your character’s Hymn you succeed, your character man- Finding a Hyperborean Hymn
Ability score (such as Soak). It does ages to track down a teacher (likely Source: Intelligence + Magic Lore
not, however, increase the number a ghost), a hymn fragment, or a + stress die vs. Ease Factor 21
of points your character gets for
Powers, which uses the unmodi-
fied Ability score only. Affinity Recitation Total Modifiers
with Hymn acts as normal, making
Devotional behavior* +3 per season
it easier for you to increase your
character’s Hymn Ability for that Distraction** –1 per day not reciting hymn
hymn. Hyperborean Descent*** +2/+4
Language: Hyperborean + score in Ability
Apollonian Honorable Minor Personality Flaw† +1
Personality Traits Honorable Major Personality Flaw +3
Dishonorable Minor Personality Flaw‡ –1
Apollo symbolized a num- Dishonorable Major Virtue or Flaw –3
ber of virtuous Personality
Traits, the most prominent one * Devotional behavior means spend- sons (i.e., up to a +9 bonus), after
being Austerity. Apollo favored ing a season prior to reciting the which no further bonus is gained.
Perseverance and Compassion, hymn in activity devoted to the ** This has a maximum of 20 days,
but also embodied fearsome veneration of Apollo. This could after which reciting the hymn has
Retribution. Personality Traits that include prayer, ecstatic meditation, no benefit.
were disliked by Apollo include pilgrimage to an Apollonian sacred *** Refers to having either
Pride, Rashness, and Presumption. site (such as Delphi or Delos), or the Minor or Major Virtue,
Apollo was a deity who believed intellectual contemplation and Hyperborean Descent, respectively.
in and personified tradition and refraining from both pleasures of † An Honorable Personality Flaw is
dignity; innovation and new ideas the flesh (such as sex or eating one that the storyguide decides is
were largely frowned upon, while extravagantly) and from dishonor- considered favorable by Apollo.
old ways of thinking and behaving able acts (lying, cheating, etc.). ‡ A Dishonorable Personality Flaw
were favored. The bonus for devotional behavior is one that the storyguide decides is
stacks for a maximum of three sea- considered unfavorable by Apollo.
Ability, gains a score of 1, spends a season
preparing to recite the hymn (in addition to
the base season, for a total of two seasons), Hymn Powers Chapter 9: Spells of Ars Magica Fifth
and then spends a season reciting it. Her Edition.
hymn recitation total is 7 (Communication 1 The Hyperborean hymns, such as Hyperborean hymns are both
+ Hymn score 1 + devotional behavior 3 + the Seven Beautiful Names of Light, more flexible and more restrictive
Magic aura 2), so she successfully infuses the grant spell-like Powers which, for con- than the Hermetic Arts. For example,
Power Victory of the Lapiths (Ease Factor of venience, have their level determined Pentiterouni could alter, perceive,
5) into herself. using the Hermetic Arts guidelines in control, destroy, or create ash, coal,

107
Ancient Magic
Gaining New Powers and
Power Level Learning to Speak Improving Existing Ones
Modifiers Hyperborean
Each time you increase one of
Hyperborean hymn Powers Hyperborean and Ancient your character’s Hymn Ability scores,
use the same effect modifications (Attic) Greek are similar enough that he gains 15 additional levels in pow-
as those found in ArM5, pages they sound and look similar. Indeed, ers. The additional levels may be
98–99. The constant effect and knowing Ancient Greek allows lim- spent on new Powers, or on improv-
environmental triggers both cause ited understand of Hyperborean. ing existing ones. You may choose to
Warping, as per the constant mys- There were no Hyperborean not spend some or all of the levels,
tical effect rules (ArM5, page 168). dictionaries, but many of the (non- and these may be later spent at any
magical) prayers to Apollo are sim- time on Powers through the recitation
ilar enough in both Ancient Greek process. You may divide the levels
New Duration: and Hyperborean that a dedicated between new Powers and improving
19 Years researcher who manages to dis- existing ones as you wish, as long as
cover written fragments of hymns your character’s hymn recitation total
It is also said that . . . Apollo visits the and prayers in both languages may equals or exceeds the total Ease Factor
island of Hyperborea once in the course of be able to spend time decoding for all of the Powers combined.
nineteen years, in which period the stars Hyperborean. To gain a new Power, the char-
complete their revolutions, and that for this Most written versions of acter must recite the hymn again and
reason the Greeks distinguish the cycle of the Hyperborean hymns use spend an additional season consecrat-
nineteen years by the name of “the great the Hyperborean language and ing himself, as above.
year.” alphabet, as does any writing on To improve an existing Power,
— Hecataeus of Abdera, Hyperborean relics. the character recites the hymn, with
Peri Hyperboreon Hyperborean ghosts may be the Ease Factor determined by the
able to teach the lost language, as difference between the Power’s new
The power or spell lasts for 19 may some spirits (particularly those level and its old one. This also takes
years, or until the stars complete that guard shrines to Apollo). This a season to infuse. When he improves
their 19-year revolution, which- would require that the character an existing Power, he may increase
ever is the lesser. Some understand- be able to communicate with the the Range, Duration, or Target of
ing of astrology (Artes Liberales) ghost or spirit, such as by having the Power; its Penetration; or the
is required to know the positions a language in common, or using number of times per day he is able to
and revolutions of the stars. This magical means. invoke it. If he improves the Range,
Duration is one magnitude higher Duration, or Target, he may not use
than Year Duration. Hyperborean hymns do not the Power at its lower level, only at its
require vis, and do not require improved level.
lead, onyx, and sapphires, but could “Rituals” for high-level effects. A
not affect any other kind of gem or hymn may have permanent effects,
metal covered by Terram. A character such as healing or creation, with Gaining and Improving
may also use the new Duration 19 none of the requirements of Hermetic Powers Example
Years (see text box) for Hyperborean magic. Due to the high Ease Factor of
hymn Powers. some Powers, Hyperborean wizards Moratamis of House Guernicus has the
The Ease Factor to recite a hymn often assisted each other by using the Hyperborean hymn Psyrinpheu with a score
is determined by dividing the level of Ceremony Ability (see below). of 1, with one Power. Upon increasing the
the Power by three (round up). You Ability to 2, she gains an additional 15
may further alter the Ease Factor by points to spend on Powers, decides to infuse
using the effect modifications from a new Power with a level cost of 10, and use
ArM5, page 99. The modifiers for the the remaining 5 points to improve her existing
Power’s level are applied before any Power. It takes Moratamis one season for each
division. power she infuses, regardless of level.

108
Ancient Magic
Troupes with high-vis sagas may
wish to alter this cost, so that it costs
two or more pawns of vis to gain a
level of Powers. The vis used should
be of an appropriate Technique or
Form.

The Seven
Beautiful
Names of Light
akrakanarba kanarba anarba narba arba
rba ba a
O Phoebus, helper of your oracles,
Come joyous, Leto’s son, who works afar,
Averter, hither come, hither, come hither.
Foretell, give prophecies amid night’s hour,
allalala allalala santalala talala
If e’er with vict’ry-loving laurel branch
Here from your holy peak you often voiced
Words of good omen, so may you now speed
Your way to me with truthful oracles,
laetonion and tarbaraoth aeo eo, Lord Apollo
semesilam, who control this night, who are
master of it, who hold the hour of prayer
too. Come, mighty daimons, help me today
by truly speaking with the son of Leto and
Zeus.
— Extract from Hyperborean
Hymn to Apollo Semesilam,
Lightmaker

Although the Hyperborean


priests who worshiped at the basilica
Gaining More Levels character gains one extra level to once knew many hundreds of sacred
spend on Powers. Thus, it costs five names, in the 13th century only
Without any external assistance, pawns of vis to gain five extra levels the Seven Beautiful Names of Light
characters are practically limited to to spend on Powers. The character remain. These names are the sacred
150 levels of powers for each hymn. may spend vis during the normal epithets of Apollo Phoebus.
Luckily, hymnists are able to infuse course of recitation (when he gains Each hymn includes a number
extra levels of Powers into them- more Powers due to an increase in of principles, which form the core
selves, although this comes at an the Ability) or, alternatively, he may of what the hymns’ Powers affect,
exorbitant cost in vis. spend a season reciting the hymn and similar to Hermetic Forms. The listed
For each pawn of vis expended simply expend the vis to gain addi- Hermetic Forms are relevant only for
during the recitation of a hymn, the tional Powers. the purpose of Magic Resistance.

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Ancient Magic
Principles This Power summons a ghost to
Hyperborean Hymns Animal: birth whom your character has an Arcane
and Magic Resistance Corpus: birth, the heart, vitality Connection, or who is haunting an
Herbam: growth area (should your character possess
All Hyperborean hymns may Ignem: daytime, light, sunshine its full name), and allows it to possess
grant a form of Magic Resistance, Mentem: authority, ghosts, love, a body. The body is animated by the
as an infused power. Such Magic respect, spirits ghost, but may be directed by your
Resistance is very specialized and Terram: gold character’s commands. If the ghost
narrow. Additionally, constant Other: defense, leadership, has a Might score, you must success-
Magic Resistance causes Warping understanding fully penetrate its Magic Resistance
Points. for the Power to work. The bodies
and ghosts of people buried by a
Numina of Apollo [Hymn] Example Azai Effects Divine rite are not affected by this
R: Per, D: Sun, T: Ind Power.
Vim, Pen +0, 1 use/day Apollo’s Luminescent Blessing (Base 15, +4 Arc, +1 Conc, +5
This hymn grants Magic R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Ind levels for Penetration)
Resistance against magical effects Ignem, Pen +4, 6 uses/day Ease Factor: 15
connected to the hymn’s principles, Causes the touched character to Level Cost: 45
equal to the (level of the Power glow with light that is as bright as Principle: Ghosts
– 5). daylight on a cloudy day. Looking
(Base Gen, +1 Sun) directly at the light is possible, but The Swan-Drawn Chariot
Ease Factor: variable uncomfortable (unless the character R: Per, D: Sun, T: Ind
Level Cost: variable has Magic Resistance). Mentem, Pen +(user’s total), 2
Principle: All (Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, +2 uses/day
levels for Penetration) This Power infuses your charac-
To invoke the effect of the hymn, Ease Factor: 5 ter with ethereal energies, which can
the practitioner must speak, chant, or Level Cost: 15 only be detected by spiritual crea-
sing the relevant prayer, which during Principle: Light tures, such as daimons and faeries, or
the day takes approximately as much angels and demons (who are rarely
time as a formulaic Hermetic spell. Sovereignty of Phoebus Apollo deceived). It magically brightens your
During the nighttime the hymn R: Sight, D: Sun, T: Ind character’s “soul-spark,” the liminal
takes longer to invoke: 15 minutes Mentem, Pen +(user’s total), 1 glow that is visible to many spiritual
per point of the Ease Factor. Thus, a use/day beings. It also makes your character
power with an Ease Factor of 9 would This Power invokes deep respect appear to spirits as though he pos-
take two hours and 15 minutes to for your character in all spiritual sesses a Magic Might equal to (the
invoke at night. beings, so long as he Penetrates their level of this power – 15) / 2.
Each hymn includes sample Powers, Magic Resistance. Spirits, elementals, (Base: General guideline, +2
the Ease Factor required to recite them, and ghosts from all realms treat your Sun, +4 levels for Penetration, +1
the number of levels the Power costs, character with great respect and are uses/day)
and the Power’s principle. inclined to obey him. Ease Factor: variable
(Base 5, +3 Sight, +2 Sun, +4 Level Cost: variable
levels for Penetration) Principle: Authority, leadership
Azai (Beautiful Light) Ease Factor: 12
Level Cost: 34
Through Azai, Apollo gives and Principle: Authority, ghosts, Eloure (Fire Delighter)
governs life and self. The beautiful leadership
light is the seat of authority, by which The emotions of Apollo Eloure
Apollo leads and rules. Azai is the Defy the Hound Cerebus are deep and momentous, and are a
wellspring of energy and vitality from R: Arc, D: Conc, T: Ind guide towards true reconciliation with
which all things draw sustenance. Mentem, Pen +10, 1 use/day the world. As fire delighter, Apollo’s

110
Ancient Magic
rule over the fields and water is soft, such as from the Longevity Ritual). Opening the Hidden Eyes
honest, and loving. The offspring of this Power may be R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Sight
magically Warped or possess Flaws Vim, Pen +0, 1 use/day
Principles such as Age Quickly, Magical Air, By this Power, the touched char-
Aquam: lakes, oceans, rain, rivers or Offensive to Animals. (For more acter is able to see the fluid vis of
Corpus: blood, breasts, fertility, the information on the consequences of an area, the nature and strength
stomach magically interfering with fertility, see of an aura, the presence of nearby
Herbam: fertility Chapter 4: Fertility Magic). regiones, and even elementals, spir-
Mentem: emotions, dreams, honesty, (Base 30, +1 Touch) its, and magical effects. This Power
maternal urges Ease Factor: 12 completely replaces the character’s
Terram: amber, silver Level Cost: 35 normal sight, so he cannot see the
Principle: Fertility normal, mundane world. This Power
cannot detect non-Magic auras or
Example Eloure Effects creatures. The target may also see
Iaó (Fire Feeler) into and enter magical regiones, and
False Dream lead other people into them. Specific
R: Arc, D: Sun, T: Ind Iaó is Apollo’s sensitivity, delight Abilities, such as Magic Theory or
Mentem, Pen +4, 1 use/day in pleasure, and his beauty. Through Magic Lore, may be required to
Changes the target’s dreams to be Iaó, Apollo attracts both men and interpret the information.
anything the hymnist may desire. The women, revels in the world’s luxuries, (Base 5, +1 Conc, +5 Vision, +2
target must be asleep and the hymnist and creates beauty, whether music, extra detail)
must possess an Arcane Connection poetry, or song. Ease Factor: 15
to the dreamer. Level Cost: 45
(Base 2, +4 Arc, +2 Sun, +2 levels Principles Principle: Auras
for Penetration) Aquam: cold, damp, the sky
Ease Factor: 8 Auram: wind, sweet smells Cleansing Libation of
Level Cost: 22 Corpus: disease, hearing, hunger, the Sybil of Cumae
Principle: Dreams sight, taste, veins R: Touch, D: 19 Years, T: Bound
Imaginem: hearing, sight Corpus, Pen +0, 1 use/day
Demeter’s Blessing Mentem: affection, attraction, creativ- This Power grants all those
R: Sight, D: Sun, T: Bound ity, pleasure within the boundary a +12 bonus
Aquam, Pen +0, 1 use/day Terram: copper, emeralds to resisting or recovering from the
Causes nourishing rain to fall Vim: auras, sensing magical effects effects of illness and disease. Note
upon a designated area up to 6 miles Other: cleanliness, harmony that this may cause Warping if a
across. person is exposed for a long period
(Base 1, +1 Touch, +4 Year, +4 of time.
Bound, +1 Size [for a total of +4 Example Iaó Effects (Base 5, +5 19 Years, + 4 Bound)
Size]) Ease Factor: 18
Ease Factor: 12 The Gift of Far-sighted Apollo Level Cost: 55
Level Cost: 35 R: Per, D: Sun, T: Vision Principle: Disease
Principle: Rain Imaginem, Pen +0, 1 use/day
This Power allows your character
Bestow Fecundity to see clearly great distances, as if the Óai (Light Breather)
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind area were only a few feet away. Your
Animal, Corpus, Pen +0, 1 character can also judge distances Apollo Óai is intelligent, quick
use/day well. thinking, and expressive. The light
This Power allows a touched per- (Base 3, +2 Sun, +4 Vision) breather is adaptable and eloquent,
son or animal to conceive a child, Ease Factor: 9 ruling over animals, subtlety, and the
even if one of the partners is ster- Level Cost: 25 imagination.
ile (although not magically sterile, Principle: Sight

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Ancient Magic
Principles to control by Mentem and Vim spells, Mentem: concentration, depression,
Animal: birds, crows, dolphins, grass- although it is invisible and intangible. greed, guilt, seriousness
hoppers, hawks, mice, snakes, If the physical body dies while the Terram: ash, coal, lead, onyx,
swans, wolves hymnist is using this Power, he is sapphires
Mentem: imagination, the intellect, permanently stuck in spirit form, and Other: authority, caves, contractions,
speech, spirits may eventually die, or transform into organization
Terram: opals a spirit or ghost (at the storyguide or
Other: the spirit world, obscurity, troupe’s discretion). If the character
travel, secrecy does not return from the spirit world Example Pentiterouni Effects
in short order, he may begin to accrue
Warping Points. Punishment of Marsyas
Example Óai Effects (Non-Hermetic) R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind
Ease Factor: 12 Animal, Corpus, Pen +(user’s
The Unseen Traveler Level Cost: 35 total), 2 uses/day
R: Per, D: Sun, T: Ind Principle: Intellect, spirits When Apollo was challenged by
Imaginem, Pen +0, 1 use/day the satyr Marsyas to a reed-pipe com-
Like a spirit, your character become Ride the Arrow of Abaris petition, he grievously punished the
completely invisible and undetectable R: Sight, D: Mom, T: Ind satyr’s impertinence by tearing off his
(except by Intellego magic, Second Corpus, Pen +0, 1 use/day skin. This Power tears the skin off the
Sight, or an equivalent), regardless of This Power instantly transports whole surface of a touched person’s
what the character does. your character to any place she can body, dealing an Incapacitating Wound
(Base 4, +2 Sun, +1 changing see. Most hymnists, before using this (regardless of Soak). It is very unlikely
image) Power, fly to a great height (normally that anyone can survive this Power
Ease Factor: 5 after turning invisible) and use other without immediate supernatural aid.
Level Cost: 15 magic to see a great distance. Remote (Base 20, +1 Touch, + 4 levels
Principle: Secrecy scrying, at the troupe or storyguide’s Penetration, +1 level uses/day)
option, could also work. Ease Factor: 10
Turn to Lofty Heights (Base 35, +3 Sight) Level Cost: 30
R: Per, D: Spec, T: Ind Ease Factor: 17 Principle: Skin
Mentem, Vim, Pen +0, 1 use/day Level Cost: 50
This Power allows the hymnist’s Principle: Travel Radiant Mantle of the
spirit to leave his body and travel Night-Wanderer
free of its mortal flesh. While using R: Per, D: Spec, T: Ind
this Power, the hymnist is complete- Pentiterouni (Firewalker) Vim, Pen +0, 1 use/day
ly insubstantial, can move through This Power, when used with the
material barriers and items, and may When in his firewalker guise, Óai Power Turn to Lofty Heights,
travel as fast as a flying bird. Other Apollo undertakes his duties with allows the hymnist’s spirit to take on
spiritual creatures can see the char- austere discipline and responsibility. pseudo-flesh and appear in the mun-
acter and interact with him, and can Pentiterouni is the god’s dour hard dane world. This phantasmal body
be deceived into believing that he is a work as he walks steadily and with- appears exactly like the character’s true
native inhabitant of the spirit worlds out haste. It governs perseverance, body, may wear clothes, and is real
through a Communication + Guile temperance, control, experience, and enough that it can handle light objects,
stress roll versus an Ease Factor equal earthy things. touch people, and otherwise appear
to the spirit’s Perception + (Might real. If the shell suffers any damage
/ 2). The hymnist’s physical body Principles at all, it dissolves, ending the Power’s
is completely immobile and help- Animal: animal skin effect and pushing the character’s spirit
less while this power is in effect, Corpus: aging and growth, bones, the back into the spirit world, although
does not respond to external stimuli, organs and flesh, skin, trembling there are no other ill effects.
and may die if not looked after. The Herbam: ash, fermentation, night- While clothed in pseudo-flesh
hymnist’s spiritual body is vulnerable shade, yew the character can see the mundane

112
Ancient Magic

world clearly. Close examination eral. Psyrinpheu is fiery and hot, sharp Soak or to resist Fatigue (see ArM5,
of the character, with a Perception and bitter, and governs passion, feats page 178).
+ Awareness stress roll against an of war, hazards, and victory. (Base 5, +2 Sun)
Ease Factor of 9, reveals that there is Ease Factor: 5
something not quite right about the Principles Level Cost: 15
pseudo-flesh — that it is merely a Animal: wolves Principle: Stamina, willpower
fabrication. This Power has no effect Corpus: fevers, the head, muscles,
if the character casts it when his spirit sexuality, stamina, youth Victory of the Lapiths
is connected to his body. Note that if Herbam: chestnut trees, nettles, roses, R: Per, D: Diam, T: Ind
the character possesses The Gift, then thorns Corpus, Pen +0, 1 use/day
people still react to it as normal. Ignem: heat The Lapiths were a tribe guarded
(Non-Hermetic design) Mentem: aggression, conflict, willpower by Apollo in their victorious bat-
Ease Factor: 15 Terram: arsenic, diamond, iron, ruby tle against the centaurs. This Power
Level Cost: 45 allows your character to endure any
Principle: Skin, flesh wound (short of death) or fatigue
Example Psyrinpheu Effects without penalty. Keep track of all
wounds and Fatigue levels lost, as
Psyrinpheu (Fire Fortitude of Cadmus they immediately affect your charac-
Breather) R: Per, D: Sun, T: Ind ter once the Power wears off.
Corpus, Pen +0, 1 use/day (Base 10, +1 Diam)
Your character becomes filled Ease Factor: 5
Apollo the fire breather is the with stamina and endurance, gaining Level Cost: 15
ambitious conqueror, tyrant, and gen- a +1 bonus that can be used for either Principle: Stamina, conflict

113
Ancient Magic
Courage of the Python Slayer Semesilam (Encloser, or singing, and eye contact). Note
R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Ind that this only detects what the target
Mentem, Pen +2, 12 uses/day
Lightmaker) believes, and so may be inaccurate.
This Power grants resolute cour- (Base 15, +1 Eye, +2 levels for
age and determination in a person who Apollo lightmaker is lord of the Penetration, +3 uses/day)
hears the consecration. Supernatural nine Muses and patron of the arts; Ease Factor: 9
effects that inspire fear must have a he is optimistic and brings good for- Level Cost: 25
greater level than this Power in order tune. Semesilam brings growth and Principle: Justice
to work. prosperity, metes out justice, and
(Base 4, +2 Voice, +2 Sun, +1 for upholds honor. It directs Apollo’s wis-
Penetration, +4 uses/day) dom, good cheer, and intellectual
Ease Factor: 9
Level Cost: 25
endeavors.
Hyperborean
Principle: Aggression, willpower Principles
Animal: swans Choirs
Slaying of Niobe’s Children Corpus: good health, vigor
R: Voice, D: Mom, T: Ind Imaginem: song, music The Hyperboreans were mighty
Corpus, Pen +4, 6 uses/day Herbam: fig trees, fruit, oak, palms, wizards individually, but their real
Your character may shoot unseen vines strength lay when working — sing-
bolts, which infect the target with a Mentem: benevolence, justice, moral- ing — together as a choir. In this way,
deadly disease. The disease causes ity, optimism they created a paradise for themselves,
the equivalent of a Heavy Wound, Terram: amethyst, marble, tin manipulating the seen and unseen
has an Ease Factor of 9 to resist forces of creation like so many musi-
(see ArM5, page 180), and is not cal notes and harmonies. Furthermore,
contagious. Example Semesilam Effects singing hymns in a choir is the only
(Base 20, +2 Voice, +2 levels for way to use more than one Hyperborean
Penetration, +3 levels uses/day) Thalia’s Relief hymn at once. To do so requires the
Ease Factor: 12 R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind use of a special Supernatural Ability,
Level Cost: 35 Mentem, Pen +0, 1 use/day Ceremony (see box).
Principle: Conflict, fever Thalia is the Muse of comedy,
Eternal Youth of the Sun and this Power relieves the touched
R: Per, D: 19 Years, T: Ind character’s worry, anxiety, or grief, fill- Virtue: Ceremony
Corpus, Pen +0, 1 use/day ing him with good cheer and delight.
One of the most powerful hymns (Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Sun) Minor, Supernatural
of Apollo Phoebus, this Power allows Ease Factor: 5 This Virtue grants your character
the hymnist to ignore the debilitating Level Cost: 15 the Supernatural Ability Ceremony,
effects of aging for the duration of the Principle: Optimism with a score of 1. Ceremony allows
power, up to and including terminal your character to lead or participate
Aging Crises. This, of course, inflicts Divination of True Intent with a group of people in a super-
1 Warping Point per year of its effect, R: Eye, D: Mom, T: Ind natural activity, thus allowing great
and aging continues normally once Mentem, Pen +4, 6 uses/day effects.
the Power wears off (i.e., as though Your character may divine the true This Virtue first appeared in Realms
the character did not age for the intent of a single action or thought of of Power: The Divine, page 34.
duration). the target. This is done by asking the
(Base 40 [non-Hermetic], + 5 19 storyguide a question as to the truth
Years) or sincerity of the target, who remains Choir Mechanics
Ease Factor: 22 oblivious to the use of this Power
Level Cost: 65 unless it fails to penetrate her Magic The group of hymnists must first
Principle: Youth Resistance (although she almost cer- determine what effect they wish to
tainly notices the character’s praying achieve and choose a focus character

114
Ancient Magic

Virtue: Ceremony Ability: Ceremony


Minor, Supernatural Ceremony is an Ability used in assistance gives no additional ben-
This Virtue grants your char- conjunction with another Ability, efit. Alternatively, the group may
acter the Supernatural Ability generally a Supernatural Ability, and chose to participate without a lead-
Ceremony, with a score of 1. with other participants, to produce er, but doing so results in a penalty
Ceremony allows your character a greater effect. To use Ceremony, to the Ceremony Bonus equal to the
to lead or participate with a group your character must gather together number of participants.
of people in a supernatural activity, a group and agree on a common Ceremony may also be used
thus allowing great effects. effect to produce; at least one of for seasonal activities, adding the
This Virtue first appeared in the participants (generally the focus Ceremony Bonus to the seasonal
Realms of Power: The Divine, page 34. character) must possess the Ability total. Seasonal ceremonial work,
or Power being used. however, must be done with a lead-
All participants add their totals er. Assistants gain Exposure XP dur-
Choir Recitation of the appropriate Characteristic ing that season, typically in the
Modifier + Ability to the focus character’s Ceremony Ability or the relevant
total. If a participant doesn’t have seasonal Ability (if they possess it).
Time Spent Modifier the relevant Ability, then only his Specialties: with a certain
Characteristic is added. Ability, in particular circumstanc-
1 day +0
es, with a specific group or leader.
3 days +1 Ceremony Bonus: Characteristic (Supernatural)
7 days +2 + Ability total of each participant This Ability first appeared in
14 days +3 Realms of Power: The Divine, page 36,
After this bonus is determined, although this version is slightly dif-
21 days +4
the focus character rolls as normal, ferent, as it derives from the Magic,
28 days +5* adding the Ceremony Bonus to his rather than Divine, realm.
* This is the maximum bonus total. When reciting the hymns in a
possible. The group may appoint a leader group, the Hyperboreans were able
(who must be the focus character), to invoke free-form magical effects,
to guide the hymn. The storyguide who then uses her Ceremony score rather like spontaneous Hermetic
must set an Ease Factor and determine to determine how many other char- magic (although such invocations
which hymns are appropriate. If the acters may contribute to the effort; take days rather than seconds).
effect calls on more than one hymn, others may still take part, but their
increase the level of the Power by
5 for every extra hymn it requires.
Only the focus character must pos- Unlike infusing hymns, this pro- city for their hubris by inflicting it with a
sess all the hymns used in the choir. cess takes a minimum of a single day deadly plague. The storyguide decides that
Unlike normal hymns, the effect for a of meditation and trance from all this is a level 60 effect (as per Curse of the
choir is not infused and may only be of the participants. The choir may Unportended Plague, with Range Arcane
performed once. Additionally, choir- spend more than one day performing Connection), which makes the Ease Factor
sung hymns come at a greater cost, the hymn, and gain a bonus doing so. 20 (and thus requires 20 pawns of Perdo or
requiring as many pawns of vis as the Likewise, all of the normal modifiers Corpus vis). They decide on the hymn Iaó
final Ease Factor of the power being affect the focus character’s recitation (and the principle of disease), which they all
invoked. (The Technique or Form of total. possess, and choose a focus character with a
the vis should roughly accord with Communication of +2, a Hymn Iaó score of
the effect of the power.) 6, and a Ceremony of 5. All the other par-
Each member of the choir then Choir Example ticipants have a Communication of +1 and
adds his Communication + Hymn Hymn Iaó scores of 4. The focus character’s
Ability to the focus character’s recita- A group of six hymnists gather to per- recitation total is 8 (Communication 2 +
tion total. form a consecration to punish a nearby Hymn Iaó 6) with a Ceremony Bonus of 25

115
Ancient Magic
(five participants, each with Communication that the images are entirely life-
1 + Hymn Iaó 4), for a grand total of 33. like and real, showing the lyre and
New Virtue:
Over a day of meditation and prayer, the silver bow of Apollo, and all of the Hyperborean Relic
hymnists successfully call down the wrath of mythic adventures and actions of
Apollo upon the unsuspecting city. the deity, such as his involvement Minor, General
in the Trojan war and his various Your character owns a
competitions and conquests. Sadly, Hyperborean relic, either a tap-
the Hyperboreans no longer send estry or a bouquet of feathers and
Sacred Relics their relics to Delphi, and few of the
sacred items are now found in lands
beeswax. This relic has 30 levels
of Powers from the sample list.

of Hyperborea outside of Hyperborea. You may take this Virtue multiple


times to increase the number of
levels of Powers the relic has, by 30
But there is no room to doubt that this race Hyperborean each additional time the Virtue is
exists, since so many authorities state that Enchantments taken. Note that if your character’s
their custom is to send the first fruits of their Personality Traits are incompatible
harvest to Delos, as offerings to Apollo, whom with the relic, its Powers may begin
they specially worship. Virgins used to take Any character who possesses a to fade.
these and were for many years held in respect Hyperborean hymn could attempt There are two common types
and given hospitality by the local people until, to craft a relic. Hyperborean magic of relic: elaborate tapestries, and
because of a breach of good faith, they began does not come with the many of the those made of beeswax and feath-
the custom of depositing their offerings at the restrictions of Hermetic magic, and ers. Most of the relics’ Powers are
nearest frontiers of the neighboring people; the chief Hermetic restrictions that activated by invoking one of the
these in turn took the offerings to their neigh- are removed are the need for vis and sacred names or epithets of Apollo.
bors and so on until they arrived at Delos. for the investment of the item with Most of these names are now
— Pliny, Natural History, Book IV, 91 vis. Hyperborean hymns can infuse lost, although a Hermetic magus
even the most mundane items with could investigate a relic in the
The relics of Hyperborea are Apollo Phoebus’s essence, although laboratory.
in honor of Apollo Phoebus, their to do so inflicts Warping Points upon
patron god, and are sacred objects the enchanter.
of great potency. Most of the relics The enchantment total used New Shape and
were marvelous tapestries and weav- to create Hyperborean relics is Material Bonuses
ings, gathered from all the villages Intelligence + Hymn Ability + modi-
of Hyperborea, showing things that fiers + aura, and the Ease Factor is the These new shape and mate-
are sacred to Apollo. So great was total level of Powers being enchanted rial bonuses are available to all
the workmanship of the tapestries + modifiers, divided by three. characters.

Enchantment Total: Intelligence Cappadocian Salt: +6 purifying


+ Hymn Ability + modifiers + aura effects
Doum Palm Leaf: +3 controlling
Enchantment Ease Factor: (total instincts and base emotions
level of Power(s) + modifiers) / 3 Pure Honey: +5 spiritual travel,
+2 preservation
It takes a season to enchant a Sun Scarab: +4 detect magic
single Power into a relic, and if the
total does not equal or exceed the fied by the same modifiers as reciting
Ease Factor, then the character can- hymns (see the above Power Level
not enchant the item with that Power. Modifier and Recitation Modifiers
The Power levels for enchantment and text boxes), excluding the devotional
the Enchantment Total can be modi- behavior modifier.

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Ancient Magic

Sample Hyperborean Relic Powers


Hyperborean relics commonly Apollo’s Soothing Relief (Base 20, +1 Touch, +3 levels
appear as either a bouquet of black CrCo 23 uses/day)
feathers held together by beeswax, or Pen +0, 6 uses/day
a large tapestry with beautiful images R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind Interrogation of Asclepius
and sacred words and prayers woven As the Hermetic spell, Gentle InCo 13
into the fabric. Relics typically have Touch of the Purified Body. Pen +0, 6 uses/day
between two and five of the follow- Hymn: Semesilam R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind
ing Powers. These could also be used Principle: Good health As the Hermetic spell, Revealed
as examples of hymn Powers. (Base 15, +1 Touch, +3 levels Flaws of Mortal Flesh.
uses/day) Hymn: Iaó
Protection of the Principle: Harmony
Bright Lightener Lifting Apollo’s Curse (Base 5, +1 Touch, +3 levels
Re(In)Co(An, Me) 64 CrCo 23 uses/day)
Pen +20, 2 uses/day, constant Pen +0, 6 uses/day
effect R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Ind The Fates Denied
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind As the Hermetic spell, Purification CrCo 30
This Power prevents creatures of the Festering Wounds. Pen +0, 1 use/day
with ill intent from touching or oth- Hymn: Semesilam R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind
erwise damaging the relic, in par- Principle: Good health As the Hermetic spell, Cheating
ticular creatures associated with the (Base 4, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +3 the Reaper.
Infernal realm that have an Infernal levels uses/day) Hymn: Pentiterouni
Might of 20 or less. This also affects Principle: Aging
humans and animals without a Might Blessing of the Body of Light (Base 25, +1 Touch)
score. CrCo 28
Hymn: Azai Pen +0, 6 uses/day Blessing of the Solar Body
Principle: Defence R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind CrCo 40
(Base Gen 20, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, As the Hermetic spell. Restoration Pen +0, 1 use/day
+3 requisites, +1 level uses/day, +10 of the Defiled Body. R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind
levels Penetration, +3 levels environ- Hymn: Semesilam
mental trigger) Principle: Good health continued on next page

The process for creating relics Points for every pawn of vis the item at all. Hyperborean enchant-
follows the Magical Enchantments enchantment would have needed (in ments cannot infuse a Power that uses
section in Ars Magica Fifth Edition both opening the item and instilling two hymns at once — only choirs can
(see pages 95–100), the key change the effect). Warping from “opening” do that (although a single item could
being the removal of the shape, mate- an item occurs only once for that be infused with separate powers from
rial, and size limits. Any item can be item. Hyperborean magic can also multiple hymns). Hyperborean magic
invested with any level of Power and enchant Powers into a relic that would cannot create talismans or charged
any number of effects, even items otherwise be considered Hermetic items; it also cannot bind familiars or
like beeswax and feathers, or a simple Rituals (in particular, permanent heal- create Longevity Rituals (except for
cloth tapestry (although Warping ing effects). the Eternal Youth of the Sun Power,
Points are still inflicted for the num- Unlike Hermetic enchanters, above). Likewise, it cannot make use
ber of pawns of vis the opening would who can slowly enchant items (by of similar spells, it does not create Lab
have needed). accumulating points) over seasons, a Texts, and Hyperborean enchanters
Furthermore, instead of using vis, Hyperborean enchanter must be able cannot experiment.
the Hyperborean enchanter Warps to enchant an item in a single season,
his own body, at a rate of 2 Warping or else he is unable to enchant the

117
Ancient Magic

Sample Hyperborean Relic Powers, Continued


continued from previous page Arcane Connection to the place she through using the Power Sight of the
As the Hermetic spell, Incantation wishes to see. Pythian Oracle.
of the Body Made Whole. Hymn: Iaó Hymn: Iaó
Hymn: Semesilam Principle: Sight Principle: Disease
Principle: Good health (Base 2, +4 Arc, +2 Sun, +2 (Base 20, +4 Arc, +4 Bound,
(Base 35, +1 Touch) Room, +1 level uses/day, +3 levels +1 additional effect, +10 levels
constant effect) Penetration)
The Gift of Far-sighted Apollo A damaged or profaned relic
InIm 26 Apollonian Prayer of Chryses may lose some or all of its Powers.
Pen +0, 2 uses/day PeCo 80 A relic is considered profaned if it
R: Per, D: Sun, T: Vision Pen +20, 1 use/day is handled by anyone aligned with
As Interrogation of Asclepius, R: Arc, D: Mom, T: Bound the Infernal realm, or any creature
above. Chryses was a priest of Apollo with Infernal Might, in which case it
Hymn: Iaó whose daughter was enslaved by permanently loses all of its Powers.
Principle: Sight the Greek king Agamemnon during Prolonged exposure to a character
(Base 3, +2 Sun, +4 Vision, +1 the Trojan War. When Agamemnon possessing a Personality Flaw that
level uses/day) refused to return the priest’s daugh- was considered by Apollo Phoebus
ter, Apollo punished the Greek army to be dishonorable causes the relic
Sight of the Pythian Oracle by raining down plague arrows. This to permanently lose one Power each
InIm 34 Power’s effect is as the Hermetic season it is in the character’s pres-
Pen +0, 2 uses/day, constant spell, Curse of the Unportended Plague. ence. A damaged relic (such as a
effect The user of this Power must possess torn tapestry, or a bouquet missing
R: Arc, D: Sun, T: Room an Arcane Connection to the place feathers) may lose one or more
A variation of the Hermetic she wishes to inflict the plague upon. Powers, at the storyguide’s discre-
spell, Summoning the Distant Image. The The user may also invoke this Power tion (determined by the extent of
user of this Power must possess an if she can see the target, such as the damage).

Hyperborean Enchantment Example


The mighty Hyperborean wiz- has the Major Virtue Hyperborean further Warped), but would not need
ard, Abaris Hyperberetaeos, decides Descent (+4) and speaks the to “open” the obelisk again.
to enchant the Semesilam Power Hyperborean language fluently
Thalia’s Relief into a stone obelisk (Ability score 6). He also has the Obelisk of Thalia’s Relief
near his temple, and decides to give Personality Trait Continence, which ReMe 45
the Power a Target of Boundary. is approved of by Apollo (granting Pen +0, 1 use/day
His total enchantment Ease Factor a +1). There are no shape or mate- R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Bound
is 14 (Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +5 rial bonuses. His Enchantment Total All those who cross the bound-
Boundary = 40, divided by 3). To is 21, easily exceeding the Ease ary marked by the obelisk have their
craft this would normally require 20 Factor. worry, anxiety, or grief relieved,
pawns of vis to prepare (material is It takes Abaris a mere season and are filled with good cheer and
hard stone 4, size is huge x5), and a to enchant the obelisk; however, delight.
further four pawns to enchant (total in doing so he inflicts 24 Warping Hymn: Semesilam
level effect is 40 divided by 10). Points upon himself (though this Principle: Optimism
Abaris has the Semesilam Hymn does not trigger Illumination). Abaris (Base 4, +3 Sight, +2 Sun, +4
Ability at level 6, and his Intelligence would be able to further enchant the Bound)
is +2. The magic aura is 4, Abaris obelisk as he wished (and would be

118
Ancient Magic

Integrating Hyperborean Integration Process


Hyperborean 1. Finding the Source:
Sources for Hyperborean hymns
3. Incorporating the Insight:
The researcher must incorporate the

Magic or relics are scattered throughout


Mythic Europe, concentrating on
areas sacred to Apollo or other
Insight into a magical effect, either
a spell or magical device. The effect
must resemble the most significant
Upon learning or finding a significant sun deities, and require Power of the source of the Insight. If
Hyperborean hymn or relic, a magus quests and stories to find. There your character finds a hymn fragment
may decide to attempt to incorporate are legends of Hyperboreans who with that allows someone to com-
its magic into Hermetic theory. reached as far as Iberia, Britain, and mand spirits, the effect he creates
the Far East. Sources of Hyperborean must do likewise; a source can only
hymns would include fragments of be used to attempt a Breakthrough
The Breakthrough the hymns, such as those found related to its Powers.
at the Basilica of Ten Thousand 4. R esearch , R esearch ,
Below are the minimum numbers of Columns (see below), scribed upon Research: As per the process out-
breakthrough points required to inte- ancient relics, or even related by the lined in the Introduction.
grate various aspects of Hyperborean ghosts of famous Hyperboreans. 5. Consequences: Some advice
magic into Hermetic theory. It is rec- 2. Gaining Insight: Each as to the consequences of integrat-
ommended that the required number source allows your character to gain ing aspects of Hyperborean magic
of breakthrough points be slightly one Insight, which permits him to into Hermetic theory is included in
varied (by perhaps 3 to 5 up or down) create one specific effect. the text nearby.
so players are never sure exactly how
many they need.
Hyperborean Insight different enough from others that one
Integrating a New Duration must, in effect, learn the system all
(Minor Breakthrough): 30 break- Most of the remaining frag- over again. (That is, your character
through points mented hymns and relics are not has to integrate or gain Insight from
very good sources for gaining Insight. each of the hymns).
Integrating Spirit-travel (Minor Their remnants hint at once-power- Relics: There are very few work-
Breakthrough): 35 breakthrough ful magic, but in most cases, without ing Hyperborean relics still extant.
points the complete words of the hymn or a Using a whole, working relic as a
working relic, Insight into the magic source grants a +2 to the Insight roll.
Integrating Vis-less Permanent of Hyperborea is elusive. A damaged relic can still be a source
Magic: 70 breakthrough points Hymns: Most Hyperborean of Insight, but decreases the Insight
hymns were carved onto Apollo’s roll by –2. A profaned relic (or a relic
Integrating Vis-less temples, or stored on fragile parch- with no working Powers) decreases
Enchantment: 65 breakthrough ment. Having only a fragment of a the Insight roll by –3.
points hymn (such as a sacred name or frag- Teachers: The last known
ments of a prayer string) imposes a Hyperborean wizards were killed over
Integrating the Elimination of –2 penalty on the Insight roll, while 300 years ago. Nevertheless, several
Shape, Material, and Size Limits: a near-complete fragment grants a ghostly priests still persist, and, with
60 breakthrough points +2 bonus to the roll. The complete- difficulty, could be convinced to share
ness (or lack thereof) of a fragment, their knowledge. It is also possible
Integrating Ritual Effect and its modifier to Insight rolls, is that the Hyperboreans still live safe-
Enchantment: 65 breakthrough up to the storyguide, but should not ly in their northern lands, venturing
points be more than +/– 2. Knowing (or out only in spirit form; the tale of
using Insight gained from) other Cleodemus, in the quote at the start
Hyperborean hymns grants no addi- of this chapter, tells of the case of
tional bonus; each Hymn Ability is a Hyperborean mysteriously visiting

119
Ancient Magic
the estate of a Roman noble. Thus, Hermetic magic cannot produce spells society and its economy would change
the hymns could form the basis for with an ongoing duration longer than dramatically. The vis-trading system
a mysterious hedge-wizard antago- one year; with this duration, for a of House Mercere (see Houses of Hermes:
nist who visits the players characters’ single increase in magnitude, Rituals True Lineages, pages 84–85) would dra-
covenant. would last almost 20 times longer. matically decline in value, and the vis
H yperborean L anguage : This Breakthrough would dramatical- stocks of powerful covenants would
Knowing the Hyperborean language ly increase Hermetic magic’s longev- be of less use. It could be in the inter-
makes gaining Insight easier. Having ity. Hermes portals would need only ests of these groups to prevent such a
a basic proficiency in Hyperborean a small amount of extra vis to last 19 discovery from being propagated. Of
grants +1 to the Insight roll for every times as long, and year-long Rituals all of the possible ways to integrate
point the researcher has in the Ability would similarly have a substantially Hyperborean hymns into Hermetic
above 4, to a maximum of +3. greater impact. Most importantly for magic, this is the most potentially
Multiple Sources: Insight can the Order, attempting to integrate a saga-upsetting, and may unbalance
be gained from multiple sources, new 19 Year Duration with the Aegis the game.
so long as both sources are simi- of the Hearth spell would revolution- Vis-less Enchantment: This
lar enough. If two different sourc- ize Hermetic defenses, although to Breakthrough would allow the
es are used, and both utilize the do so would require another Major enchantment of magical devices by
aspect of Hyperborean magic that Breakthrough (as Aegis of the Heath supplementing vis with Warping
the researcher is trying to integrate, was itself a Major Breakthrough, see Points, at a rate of 2 Warping Points
then breakthrough points from both ArM5, page 161). for every pawn of vis that would
can be added to the research project. Spirit Travel: Hermetic magic have been needed. This would give
Remember, however, that you may already allows for limited spirit Hermetic magi the unenviable choice
not use a single source for repeated travel, through the Art of Mentem. between personal sacrifice or resource
Insight. One source only provides Hyperborean spirit travel is less risky sacrifice when creating magical devic-
Insight one time for one thing. To gain than with Hermetic magic. Magi, es. This Breakthrough would allow
an Insight into another Breakthrough particularly Seekers, may find Powers vis-poor magi to compete with their
from Hyperborean magic requires an such as Radiant Mantle of the Night richer sodales, but effectively decrease
adventure to find another source. Wanderer a safer way to travel to their Hermetic lifespans.
dangerous and faraway locations. This Elimination of Shape, Material
could also alter the way that Hermetic and Size Limits: For Hermetic magi
Insight Example society operates, as magi not wanting who regularly enchant items, this would
to make the trip to a Tribunal meet- allow any item to be enchanted with
Moratamis finds a fragment of a hymn ing could still attend in spirit. This any number of effects. A single copper
that uses the 19 Year Duration and starts to may also have consequences for the ring could be enchanted with scores
research it, gaining breakthrough points for an Redcaps, as magi start traveling in of levels of effects. Precious metal
effect using that duration. Some years later, spirit to visit their sodales, rather than and gems would cease being the main
she finds a more complete fragment of another writing them letters. materials used to for powerful effects,
hymn that also uses the 19 Year Duration. Vis-less Spells: Hyperborean and this, like vis-less enchantment,
She decides to use this as well, and the more magic does not require vis for per- would allow poor magi to compete
complete fragment allows her to gain Insight manent effects. This is the most with their rich colleagues. Items would
more easily; the breakthrough points accumu- upsetting of the Breakthroughs, as it still need to be “opened,” and would
lated from her earlier research are added to her would allow Hermetic magi to cre- require the same number of pawns of
new breakthrough points, as both aspects of ate permanent objects out of thin air, vis (or twice as many Warping Points,
the research focus on the 19 Year Duration. heal wounds, resolve aging crises, and if that Breakthrough had also been
devise Longevity Rituals, all without integrated) as normal to prepare for
vis. Vis would become useful only for any enchantment (ArM5, Preparation
Consequences making magic easier to cast, and for for Enchantment, page 97). Once pre-
enchanting items in the laboratory, pared, however, the item could be
19 Years Duration: Currently, rather than as an absolute necessity invested with an effectively unlimited
unless enchanted into a magical device, for Rituals or healing magic. Hermetic number of magical effects.

120
Ancient Magic
Ritual Effect Enchantment:
Hermetic magic cannot currently The Basilica of forgotten by most of the priests, and
they thought no more of it.
enchant Ritual effects into magical
devices, which makes it impossible Ten Thousand Trianoma and Tremere attacked
without warning. Tremere and his
for devices or potions to permanently
heal. . The unlimited Ritual effect
Breakthrough would allow Hermetic
Columns three filii sucked away the breath
and twisted the tongues of the
Hyperboreans, making it difficult for
magi to enchant Ritual effects into In that island, there is a magnificent grove (or them to sing their hymns. Trianoma
magical devices, including permanent precinct) of Apollo, and a remarkable temple, invoked powerful Thessalian curses of
Creo effects (see ArM5, pages 96 and of round form, adorned with many conse- bad fortune and heated the air, dam-
98). (The Mercere Portals in Houses of crated gifts. There is also a city, sacred to the aging the fragile relics.
Hermes: True Lineages, page 80, made use same god, most of the inhabitants of which The magical battle that followed
of a Breakthrough like this one.) The are harpers, who continually play upon their is recalled in early Hermetic histories
result — an Order of Hermes that could harps in the temple, and sing hymns to the as a great victory for the nascent
create charged items with permanent god, extolling his actions. Order of Hermes. Trianoma, assist-
effects, as well as enchanted devices — Hecataeus of Abdera, ed by Tremere, defeated a group of
that can permanently heal — would be Peri Hyperboreon formidable Hellenic wizards whose
dramatic. Longevity Rituals could be stubborn refusal to join the Order
enchanted into devices, as could pow- jeopardized Hermetic peace in the
erful Creo Corpus spells such as Cheating The Legend East. The wizards, priests of Apollo,
the Reaper or Incantation of the Body Made were aided by many mighty spirits
Whole. Magi deaths due to injury or From the fourth century BC, the and potent magical devices, and held
aging would decrease. Safe Hermetic Basilica of Ten Thousand Columns out valiantly against Trianoma and
travel, as covenants began enchant- was a temple to Apollo Phoebus, “the Tremere before finally succumbing.
ing permanent Hermes Portals, would Shining One.” Amid its marble col- Tremere himself was badly wounded
increase. Items that permanently create umns walked the descendants of the and one of his allies, a mighty Dacian
food or precious metals could alter the Hyperboreans. Nestled at the foot necromancer, was killed by Abaris
economy of the Order or even Mythic of Mount Pelister among the Balkan Hyperberetaeos, the basilica’s high
Europe, as covenants would no lon- Mountains and on the banks of the priest. With the Apollonian priests
ger require supporting villages to feed River Dragor, the basilica stood as a defeated, Trianoma and Tremere loot-
themselves. testament to the majesty of Apollo. ed the temple, uncovering many of
Perpetually surrounded by a sweet, Apollo’s relics and hymns and return-
nourishing breeze, the basilica was a ing them to the West.
place of peace and tranquility.
One day, towards the end of the
eighth century, the basilica was visited Finding the Basilica
by five strange people, Latin-speaking
scholars from the West with arcane Both Trianoma and Tremere
powers. They told the priests of a recorded the approximate location of
fraternity of wizards, the Order of the basilica in letters, and histories of
Hermes, which offered protection to the Order of Hermes’s early years also
those who joined, and death to those mention the ruins. The journals and
who did not. The priests replied that letters of later Hermetic explorers,
they served only Apollo who visited the ruins in the hope of
and therefore could not finding the hidden regio, also hint at
join the Hermetic Order; where the temple may be hidden.
they sent the five Western Due to the legends of the great
magi away. treasures to be found at the temple,
Several years passed. however, few magi gave the exact
The Westerners’ visit was location. The temple is also missing

121
Ancient Magic

Motives of the Founders


Why did Tremere and Trianoma mighty child of Hermes — lest it Finally, some in House Bonisagus
attack the basilica? Theories regard- grow too great in stature. She and and House Tremere dismiss this
ing the motives of Trianoma abound, Tremere both decided on a preemp- Hermetic legend as slander and an
particularly given her normally dip- tive strike to preserve the Hermetic attempt by Schism-war era propa-
lomatic temperament. Order. ganda to blacken Trianoma’s and
One Hermetic legend tells of the Some Trianoma magi believe Tremere’s good names.
jealously between the Hyperboreans that Trianoma sought the secret In the ninth century, a monas-
and the Thessalian witches, particu- of Longevity Rituals from the tery was established by Constantine
larly the enmity held by Erictho and Hyperboreans, who were renowned VII over the temple’s ruins, and part
her ancestor Medea, who were badly for their long lives, and that when the of which were incorporated into a
treated by Apollo. The Hyperborean priests refused to share their secrets, new building. Even with the con-
priests, aligned with the sun, were she was convinced by Tremere to secrated altar in the monastery, the
the natural enemies of the lunar take them by force. These Trianoma area remained deeply magical. A cen-
Thessalian witches. Trianoma, born magi note the practical maximum of tury and a half later, despite repeated
of the same blood as Erictho and the Longevity Ritual is just over 250 exorcisms by abbots and priests who
Medea, was naturally inclined against years, the same life-span as Aristeas believed the area to be haunted, the
the Hyperboreans. the Hyperborean. monastery was abandoned.
Another tale recalls an ancient There is little discussion as to why Attempts by Hermetic Seekers
Greek myth of Apollo, where the Tremere was involved in the attack on to uncover the Hyperborean trea-
sun god was commanded to kill Otos the basilica, concerned as he was sure-trove proved largely fruitless,
and Ephialtes, the two giant children with the subjugation of the Hellenic and as time passed the basilica was
of Poseidon, before they had time to magi of Greece and the growth of largely forgotten by the Order of
grow too great in power and threaten his House’s influence. Indeed, the Hermes. The last expedition, in the
the home of the gods. Trianoma, destruction of the basilica was the late 11th century by a group of
gifted with visions, foresaw that the catalyst for many Greek wizards to Hellenic Jerbiton magi from the
Hyperborean priests were charged accept the suzerainty of Jerbiton in Tribunal of Thebes, was confronted
with ensuring that the Order of exchange for protection from Tremere by the resistance of several potent
Hermes would not grow so great as to (see Houses of Hermes: True Lineages, page spirits, perhaps the same spirits who
threaten the gods. She believed that 112). Others, however, note a similar aided the original Hyperborean
one day the Hyperboreans would lunar tendency with Tremere, given priests.
seek to destroy the Order — the his chosen familiar was a wolf.

from most ancient maps, although it is to the great magical wealth fabled son researching the Order’s histories
mentioned as the receptacle of many to be at the basilica, few Hermetic and archives. To find the location of
devotional gifts to Apollo, and as a sis- magi would be willing to give this the basilica in this way, you may make
ter-temple to Delphi and Delos. The information to rivals, even if they an Intelligence + Order of Hermes
tombs of the Hyperborean maidens, were unlikely to make the journey Lore stress roll against an Ease Factor
Arge and Opis, could be inscribed themselves. of 21.
with a map to the basilica. A troupe interested in visiting the
Hermetic researchers attempting basilica could start their quest with a Locating the Basilica: Intelligence
to locate the basilica would be able story dedicated to finding a record of + Order of Hermes Lore + stress
to find the rough area in which it is its location. A journey to the spacious die vs. Ease Factor 21
located, perhaps even its proximity halls of Coeris, or the somber shelves
to Mt. Pelister, but the exact location of a Byzantine monastic library, would If you succeed, the character suc-
was never recorded. Older texts are be good places to start. cessfully locates a letter or record that
likely to be found in monastic libraries If your troupe is more interested states the location of the basilica’s
in Greece, or in venerable covenants in just getting straight to the basilica, ruins; failure means that his season’s
in the Transylvanian Tribunal. Due a character could merely spend a sea- search was fruitless. A botch could

122
Ancient Magic

The Despotate of Epirus


The closest town to the basilica several ports on the Gulf of Corinth, Story Hook
is Manastir, the 11th century capital and access to the Egnatian Way, the
of the Bulgarian Empire, not far from main road to Constantinople. The bishop of Manastir decides
where Emperor Basil blinded 14,000 Theodore is known for being to revive the failed monastery of
Bulgarian captives in 1014 (see Houses ruthless and unscrupulous, taxing his Saints Cyril and Methodius, located
of Hermes: True Lineages, page 114). subjects harshly, and waging what at the site of the Basilica of Ten
The region is populated by Slavs seems like an endless war against his Thousand Columns. This is a major
and Bulgars, and ruled in 1220 by neighbors. He is currently laying siege exercise, requiring monks to be
Theodore Ducas, magnate of one to Thessalonica, which is governed by recruited, and a team of masons and
of the powerful imperial families of the Latin rulers of Constantinople. other tradesmen to make the dan-
Byzantium. Manastir has its own bish- Theodore recently captured Peter gerous journey to Mount Pelister in
op, and is on a trade route between of Courtenay, the Latin emperor of order to rebuild the monastery. The
the Adriatic Sea and Thessalonica. Constantinople and an influential bishop is most concerned over the
Under Theodore, the Despotate French aristocrat, cruelly torturing and tales of mighty ghosts haunting the
is locked in endemic conflict with the executing him. Due to this, the Latin site, and so searches for assistants to
Kingdom of Serbia and Bulgaria, and Empire is without a ruler, although his exorcists, possibly even Hermetic
the Latin Empire. Theodore controls succession has passed to Peter’s son, magi.
a number of strategically important Robert of Courtenay, who is traveling
towns, including Larissa, Dyrrhachium, from his father’s French lands.

mean that he uncovers a mistaken festivals, and the gymnasium used by gymnasium and amphitheater are
location far, far away from where the the priests for education. All of the almost entirely destroyed, although
basilica truly lies. buildings of the basilica are modeled the foundations and a few roofless
on those found in Hyperborea. rooms remain. The sanctuary to
Upon approaching the basilica, Apollo has been converted into a
On the Banks of a traveler is struck by the incred- small monastery, although this has
the Dragor ible beauty of the vale, the pictur- been abandoned for 300 years, its
esque stream that courses through the domed roof half-collapsed and its fine
ruins, the magnificent rose bushes, the mosaics flaking.
The ruins of the Basilica of Ten incredible brightness of the sun even
Thousand Columns can be found on on overcast days, and the sweetness
the banks of the Dragor River, secret- of the air. A majestic snow-topped Apollo’s Sanctuary
ed amid the Baba Mountains in the mountain towers over the vale.
Despotate of Epirus. The basilica is a Despite having been uninhabited for The sanctuary of Apollo is the
temple complex of great beauty and centuries, the grass appears neatly center of the basilica complex. A
wealth. Parts of it have been built over clipped; the rosebushes, hedges, and number of complete Doric columns
by a ninth century Byzantine monas- trees pruned; and most of the build- remain standing, while the stumps of
tery, although this too has fallen into ings free of weeds, lichen, or moss. An 30 or so others remain, spread about
ruin. The entire area is surrounded intricately paved road winds its way the foundations. The entrance of the
by an unusually high Magic aura, and through the complex, around a large sanctuary faces east, joined to the
parts of the ruin have been absorbed olive tree, and ends at the sanctuary road by the stands where two large
into a Magic regio. to Apollo. stone bulls once stood, the feet of
The basilica is a complex of four The ruins themselves are made which remain. A large stone pillar,
buildings: a sanctuary of Apollo in from a pure white marble, except for with badly damaged inscriptions in
which the god is supposed to have the treasury, which is crafted from Hyperborean, stands directly before
resided, a treasury in which votive yellow marble. Boulders of varying the sanctuary, although the statue of
offerings to Apollo were stored, a sizes, torn from the mountain, lie Apollo that stood upon it now lies
small amphitheater used for religious strewn throughout the complex. The

123
Ancient Magic

The Basilica’s Aura Agyieus Pillars Apollo Phoebus


The ruins of the basilica have If a traveler started at Delphi Apollo Phoebus means “Shining
an exceptionally high Magic aura. and walked back along the Via One,” and from the fifth century BC
Upon entering the vale where the Sacra (“Sacred Way”), he would find he came to be seen as the deity of
ruins lie, the Magic aura quickly that the path is marked by conical the sun, often being identified with
rises to a rating of 5. Along the Agyieus pillars, which are sacred to Helios. According to one Hermetic
elaborately paved road that winds Apollo. These pillars are connect- legend, Apollo gained this title
through the basilica’s buildings, the ed to the Hyperboreans because after defeating Hyperion during
Magic aura is 6. Amid the buildings, two of them, Pagasus and Agyieus, the Titanomachy (the war between
the Magic aura is 7, while most of visited Delphi and marked their Olympian gods and titans).
the buildings themselves have an journey with these “Apollo sta- One of the 12 great Olympian
aura of 8. A small copse, home to tions.” The Agyieus pillars are few Gods, Apollo is the god of proph-
a flock of crows, has a Magic aura and far between, crossing through ecy and divination, and is also said
of 7, as do the stream and small Greece intermittently and into the to have dominion over plagues,
ponds, where a large wedge of Carpathians, and finally leading to healing, light, archery, the arts,
swans swims. Seven days after each the Black Sea. and the sun. His symbols include
new moon, the Magic auras in the The pillar in front of the swans, crows, dolphins, bows and
vale increase by one, and decrease ruined sanctuary of Apollo is also arrows, the laurel crown, the lyre,
by one on the seventh day after the an Agyieus pillar. Like the herms and the tripod.
waning of the moon. — sacred stone idols of Hermes
In the ruins of the monas- — the Agyieus pillars mark sacred the altar is still shrouded by a fragile
tery, attached to the sanctuary, the paths and places to Apollo. The pil- and faded curtain.
Magic aura drops to 4, and in the lars may be enchanted, and provide
crumbling tabernacle, there is no the following shape and material
Magic aura at all. On the holy bonuses: +2 invoking or control- The Treasury of the
day of SS. Cyril and Methodius ling spirits, +3 divining the future, Hyperboreans
(February 14) a feeble Dominion + 3 summoning sunlight, +5 cause
aura of 1 emerges around the altar. or cure disease, and + 5 protection Surrounded by a low wall, the
The olive tree radiates a Divine from hostile spirits. Treasury of the Hyperboreans was the
(Empyreal) aura of 1, which extends storehouse of the many devotional
to its furthest branch. god’s journeys to Hyperborea in the offerings made to Apollo. The remains
Due to some lingering mystic winter months and his passage across of 30 statues of kings of Hyperborea
correspondences, any spells cast the sky in his fiery chariot. stand before the treasury, which is built
or supernatural abilities used that The inner sanctuary and half of from deep-yellow limestone. Its walls
relate to the summoning or control the outer sanctuary have been con- are covered in carvings of scenes from
of the dead, divining the future, verted into a monastery, a white- Apollo’s life, particularly of him curing
curing or causing disease, or invok- washed two-story building with a disease and prophesying the future.
ing spirits receive double the ben- domed roof that is collapsing. There Many of the details have been defaced,
efit from the magical aura. is room for a community of 20 monks or covered over with Christian sym-
and laypeople, with a large central bols. The treasury is a relatively small
in pieces. The head of the statue was common area, and a small sacristy building with a modest antechamber
taken as a trophy by Tremere. and shrine. leading through to the storage room,
The sanctuary itself is a circular The monastery is elaborately which is empty and plain. The arched
building, 70 paces in diameter, with a decorated with mosaics and painted doorway has faded scorch marks and
row of 48 columns in the outer sanctu- wooden panels covered in gold leaf. signs of forced entry that are many
ary. The inner sanctuary once housed Icons of SS. Cyril and Methodius, the centuries old.
an ornate statue of Apollo Phoebus, Archangel Raphael, and the emperor It is this building that Trianoma
and contained carvings depicting the Basil II in golden armor abound, while and Tremere looted in the eighth cen-

124
Ancient Magic

The Altars of Alexander the Great Hyperborean Relics in


During his many conquests, believed to have the bronze sword the Order of Hermes
Alexander the Great, an initiate of of Alexander interred within it —
many powerful arcane mysteries, the same sword used to assassinate The Basilica of Ten Thousand
founded cities and build shrines and his father, Phillip. Columns was looted by Trianoma
temples upon ancient sites. These The altars of Alexander have and Tremere, its magical lore and
sites were located upon potent magi- powerful mystical connections to devices carried triumphantly back
cal currents known as “dragon lines.” each other, and link to over 70 to the West. It is possible, there-
Alexander believed that by “pinning” different sites. A magus, casting a fore, that Hyperborean relics or
the dragon lines, he would be able spell using the Arcane Connection Apollonian hymns could be found
to channel the earth’s forces into Range while touching such an altar, in other parts of Mythic Europe,
his body and become a living god. is considered to have an Arcane particularly at covenants associ-
The dragon lines are centered on Connection with a +4 multiplier to ated with the Founders. Hidden
Alexandria in Egypt and reach as far the other shrines, cities, or temples upon or within the relics could be
as Delphi, India, and the Island of connected by the dragon lines. clues as to the whereabouts of the
Meroë at the Nile’s source. It is possible that House Mercere basilica, the true names of spirits,
There is a ruined Alexandrian knows the location of many of the or information about the road to
altar in the basilica, converted 70 sites linked by the altars; indeed, Hyperborea itself. Alternatively, it
by monks into a Christian altar. many of the Merceres’ Portals (see is also possible that these power-
However, ancient records indi- Houses of Hermes: True Lineages, page ful relics may have been used, and
cate that Alexandrian altars can be 80) may be built upon the ruins of destroyed, during the Schism War.
found throughout Greece and the altars. Determining the locations of
East, and throughout the barbar- other altars would require Magic The Restless Dead
ian lands to the very shores of the Lore research (see Covenants, page
Scythian coast. One of the altars is 98). Murdered by the Founders, many
of the Hyperborean priests remain
tury. Following the defeat and deaths the amphitheater appears, and minor as spectral remnants of their former
of the Hyperborean priests, the two spirits can be glimpsed reenacting selves, unwilling to travel to the after-
Founders spent a great deal of time and scenes from Apollo’s life. life and desert their sacred duty. The
effort to break into the treasury, which most potent of the ghosts, the senior
was the most heavily defended of the priests of Apollo, still carry out their
buildings. Eventually they broke in, The Gymnasium priestly tasks, praying, tending to the
but found only a few treasures — cer- buildings and grounds as best they
tainly not the grand hoard that legends The gymnasium is where the can, and guarding the secrets of the
spoke of. Tremere wrote in later years priests taught and contemplated their basilica from those who would steal
that he believed the destroyed door religious duties. Little remains except them. (Note that these ghosts differ
was the passage to a regio, now forever for the foundations, with a few stones from those presented in The Broken
cut off from the world. rising to shoulder height. At nighttime Covenant of Calebais, Revised Edition, page
and on Apollo’s sacred days, ghosts 35, in that their lives of dealing with
of the slain priests can be glimpsed the dead have prepared them more for
The Amphitheater going about their sacred rites. an afterlife of ghostly haunting.)

Some way up the slope of the


mountain is an amphitheater, although Inhabitants Spirit Guardians
little remains except the stone semi-
circle used as the stage, and the ele- Although abandoned centuries The Hyperborean priests of
gant curve cut into a natural audito- ago by the living, the basilica is still the basilica were protected by sev-
rium. On the night seven days after the dwelling-place of spirits, ghosts, eral underworld spirits, particularly
the new moon, a ghostly replica of and daimons. those connected with Apollo’s sister,

125
Ancient Magic

The Nekuomanteioi, Hyperborean Priests of Apollo


The nekuomanteioi (“oracles of the Powers:* Adjuration Divine Power (Realms of
dead”) are ghosts that can recite Courage of the Python Slayer, 4 points, Power: The Divine, page 49). While
prophecies and oracles. Wizards who Init +0, Mentem: As per the possessing a person, the ghost may
summon or control these ghosts are Psyrinpheu Power. use any Powers or magic the host
known as psuchagôgoi (“prophets of False Dream of Aktióphis, 4 points, Init has (except Divine Powers).
the soul”). Many of the murdered +0, Mentem: As per the Eloure Slaying of Niobe’s Children, 6 points, Init
Apollonian priests still remain, and power. +0, Corpus/Ignem: As per the
some may be much more powerful Manifest, 1 point, Init +0, Mentem: Psyrinpheu power.
than the ghost below (with Might The nekuomanteioi may manifest as a * Many of the Powers once possessed
scores as high as 40); they are likely physical being, either in a human by the nekuomanteioi through his
to be hostile towards, or at least wary or crow form, as if it were using Hyperborean hymns are no lon-
of, Hermetic magi. Radiant Mantle of the Night Wanderer. ger available in death.
Oracle of the Dead, 10 points, Init +0, Vis: 3 pawns Mentem.
Magic Might: 15 (Mentem) Imaginem: The nekuomanteioi may Appearance: The nekuomanteioi appears
Characteristics: Int +2, Per +1, Pre 0, see into the past or future if it pos- as a middle-aged man, dressed in
Com +2, Str 0, Sta 0, Dex 0, Qik 0 sesses an Arcane Connection to elaborate clothes that resemble a
Size: 0 (non-physical) the person or location it is exam- mix of ancient Greek and Celtic
Age: n/a (35–40) ining. The information it receives dress, or as a large black crow.
Decrepitude: n/a is indistinct and transmitted in Unless using its Manifest Power,
Confidence Score: 1 (3) a confusing manner, filled with the nekuomanteioi appears translu-
Virtues and Flaws: Ceremony, strange symbols. Its visions of the cent and indistinct, and during
Hyperborean Descent (Minor), future are not what will happen, the day it is completely invis-
Hyperborean Hymnist x3, but what may happen, and are ible. The nekuomanteioi may use its
Premonitions, Second Sight typically even more vague. Premonition Ability and other
Personality Traits: Honest +3, Self- Possession, 3 points, Init +0, Mentem: Supernatural Abilities as it wishes.
serving –1 The nekuomanteioi may attempt to
Combat: control the living by possessing a In the presence of a nekuoman-
Fist: Init +1, Atk +2, Dfn +2, Dam +0* person’s spirit. Spending 3 Might teioi (who may be summoned through
* When manifested only points allows the ghost to possess Incantation of Summoning the Dead), a
Soak: +0 (plus Hymn Ability scores a person (or animal) for at least a necromancer may use the ghost as an
where relevant) few minutes (Diameter Duration), Arcane Connection for Intellego spells
Fatigue Levels: n/a and gain control over his body, (in particular, Intellego Imaginem) in
Wound Penalties: n/a assuming the ghost penetrates order to look into the past or future.
Abilities: Ancient Greek 5 (songs), any Magic Resistance the person This increases the magnitude of the
Area Lore Balkans 3 (Hyperborean may have. The possessed person spell by 4 if looking into the past, or
relics), Artes Liberales 4 (astron- may attempt to resist the pos- 5 if looking into the hazy and indis-
omy), Athletics 2 (running), session by making a Stamina + tinct future. Either option also makes
Awareness 3 (spirits), Bargain 3 Concentration roll against an Ease the spell a Ritual. Casting spells in
(spirits), Brawl 1 (fist), Ceremony Factor of 9. If this roll fails, then this manner is very dangerous, and
4 (Hymn Psyrinpheu), Folk Ken the nekuomanteioi is able to possess inflicts upon the magus a number of
3, Hymn Pentiterouni 3, Hymn the person for a full day, after Warping Points equal to the total
Psyrinpheu 2, Hymn Eloure 2, which the person may resist again. magnitude of the spell (which may
Hyperborean 5 (hymns), Magic This roll may be repeated every cause Twilight). If a nekuomanteioi were
Lore 6 (spirits), Premonitions 7 day. The ghost may be exorcised captured or otherwise persuaded to
(good fortune), Second Sight 4 as normal, through Perdo or Rego assist, a Hermetic researcher (with the
(ghosts), Sing 4 (prayer), Teaching Mentem spells, or through other storyguide’s blessing) could use it as a
4 (Hyperborean hymns) Supernatural Powers such as the source for a Hermetic Breakthrough.

126
Ancient Magic

Aktióphis’s Displeasure
Aktióphis’s Displeasure is one 6 (pacts), Etiquette 6 (celestial the spirit world that the target
of the four earthly manifestations courts), Guile 5 (misleading is spiritually unprotected. Spirits
of the Goddess of the Heavenly promises), Magic Lore 10 (spir- of sickness, illness, bad luck, and
Vault. Aktióphis herself is the bride its), Penetration 4 (ill-fortune), other misfortune are drawn to
of Tem, and is sister to Helios and Teaching 5 (secrets) the target like moths to a flame.
Selene. Her Displeasure is a groan Powers: Within seven hours of this power
from the deepest depth of the night- Augur of the Illuminated Revelation, 5 being exercised, a terrible ill-
time void, manifesting as a sepulchral points, Init +1, Vim: Aktióphis ness or disease strikes the target.
menace that can be physically felt, is privy to certain truths, and Spirits of disease may add +3 to
and seen as a writhing morass of from her starry throne resplen- their Penetration if attempting
solid, dark grief. Aktióphis is a highly dent in the heavenly firmament, to enervate or sicken the target.
sensitive goddess and takes great her gaze is wide and all-encom- If the target has explicit pro-
offense at even the smallest slights. passing. Aktióphis can give the tection from another powerful
Her Displeasure is her most powerful true answer to any question to a entity (for example, characters
semi-autonomous manifestation, and character standing beside her, but with True Faith), this Power fails
the most active. (Note: References she demands that a price be paid: automatically.
to Aktióphis below refer only to her the supplicant must swallow a hot Loosen the False Dream, 2 points, Init
Displeasure — Aktióphis herself is coal from a fire at moonrise (see +1, Mentem: Aktióphis coerces
much more powerful.) ArM5, page 181). Aktióphis must and empowers a dream spirit to
Magic Might: 10 (Corpus) be summoned in order to use this travel to the sleeping target and
Characteristics: Int +3, Per +3, Pre power. implant a false dream (chosen by
+2, Com +0, Str +2, Sta +2, Dex Drawing the Undeserved Breath, 4 points, the character who bargained with
+0, Qik +1 Init +1, Corpus: This is the most her, or by Aktióphis herself) in his
Size: +0 potent of Aktióphis’s rebukes, for mind. If the target is awake when
Confidence Score: 3 (9) it makes the target unable to the spirit arrives, it hovers near-
Virtues and Flaws: Greater Immunity breathe for two hours. Should by, unseen, until the target falls
(animal attacks, and weapons he survive being unable to draw asleep. The spirit uses Aktióphis’s
made of plant matter or lead); breath for that amount of time Penetration.
Piercing Gaze, (such as by having air magically Vis: 1 pawn of Perdo vis, 1 pawn of
Personality Traits: Merciless +3, moved into his lungs), he forever Corpus vis.
Adamant +2 remains unmolested by Aktióphis. Appearance: Aktióphis herself nor-
Combat: To date, no mortal has survived. mally appears as a shining and
Coil: Init +1, Attack +10, Defense Banish the Nighttime Respite, 2 points, Init beautiful woman, illuminated
+0, Damage +9* +1, Mentem: This Power denies by a sparkling internal radiance,
* When manifested only its target the gift of sleep. The arrayed in the formal dress of a
Soak: +8 target is unable to sleep for one Ptolemaic princess. On her feet
Fatigue Levels: n/a week, and suffers extreme effects are fiery sandals, and about her
Wound Penalties: –1 (1–5), –3 (6– of fatigue, and the other concom- head is a garland of bright hissing
10), –5 (11–15), Incapacitated itant effects of sleep deprivation. snakes that spit white fire. Her
(16–20)* Gather the Dark Clouds, 3 points, Init voice is the roar of a bull, her eyes
* When manifested only +1, Corpus: By removing her shoot darts like lightning and her
Abilities: Area Lore Spirit World good will, Aktióphis makes it hands hold three baskets woven
8 (Hyperborean spirits), Bargain known to the other denizens of from the hair of adulterers.

Artemis, and the underworld goddess Three powerful spirits still haunt Triple-formed Méné Marzouné, and
Hekate. Similarly, many of the spirits the basilica, linked as they were to the Queen Brimo. At the storyguide’s dis-
allied to the Hyperboreans are con- vale through mighty bargains forged in cretion, these spirits may be considered
nected to Apollo by marriage. centuries past: Aktióphis’s Displeasure, chthonic, and mistaken for creatures of

127
Ancient Magic

Triple-Formed Méné Marzouné


Méné Marzouné is the triple- Fatigue Levels: n/a this Power, the target thence-
named, horn-faced goddess of eter- Wound Penalties: –1 (1–6), –3 (7– forth suffers from the effects of
nity, source of the Primal Aphrodite, 12), –5 (13–18), Incapacitated Pains of Perpetual Worry (although
and dread lamp-bearer from the (19–24)* the Duration is Year instead of
depths. From her toneless throat * When manifested only Month).
come unworldly cries drawn from Abilities: Area Lore Spirit World Toneless Scream of the Black-clad Abyss,
the shining chasm of Tartarus, from 8 (Hyperborean spirits), 3 points, Init +9, Mentem: If
her mouth spits the burning water Bargain 6 (pacts), Brawl 7 (horn the target is damaged by Méné
of Lethe. charge), Magic Lore 10 (Spirits), Marzouné’s Toneless Scream,
Penetration 5 (void) he suffers from the effects of
Magic Might: 40 (Vim) Powers: Weight of a Thousand Hells (although
Characteristics: Int +2, Per +3, Pre Burning Heat of the Soul, 4 points, Init the Duration is Year instead of
+1, Com +0, Str +3, Sta +3, Dex +2, Vim: Méné Marzouné may Month).
+0, Qik +2 ignite a soul’s yearning for an Vis: 2 pawns of Mentem vis in eyes, 2
Size: +1 ecstatic reunification with its lost pawns of Perdo vis in each horn,
Confidence Score: 3 (12) spiritual self. While under the 2 pawns of Corpus vis in tongue
Virtues and Flaws: Greater Immunity effect of this Power, the target Appearance: Méné Marzouné appears
(damage from animals, fire, light, seeks to extinguish his worldly in a constantly changing guise
and heat) desire by having sex with his of hideous proportions, always
Personality Traits: Hostile +2, spiritual double; most people do a combination of all her three
Volatile +3, Cheerful –3 not know who this is, and so may forms. Her most majestic form is
Combat: spend years searching. This is not that of a great three-headed black
Fist: Init +7, Attack +9, Defense +6, an overpowering carnal desire, bull, with lightning-flecked eyes.
Damage +5* but a deeply spiritual longing; Her human form appears to be
Dart: Init +5 Attack +10, Defense asking the advice of oracles or a black-clad maiden carrying a
+1, Damage +10* saints may help the target find basket woven from snakes. Her
Toneless Scream: Init +9, Attack +10, his soul mate. This Power cannot face cannot be seen, for under
Defense +0, Damage +10** affect anyone with True Faith, or her hood is an unending void as
Horn Charge: Init +10, Attack +11, the True Love Virtue or Flaw. dark and deep as night. Her final
Defense +6, Damage +15* Four-named Fire of the Burning River, 1 form is a hybrid, with a distorted
Four-named Fire: Init +5, Attack +6, point, Init +5, Ignem: The fiery human form transfigured with the
Defense +0, Damage +15** waters of the Lethe issue from head of a mare, the skin of a
* When manifested only Méné Marzouné’s mouth in great vulture, the eyes of a goat, the
** See Power description burning gouts, igniting whatever calves of a lion, and the ankles of
Soak: +12 they touch. When wounded by a wolf.

the Infernal realm by Virtues such as Other, lesser elementals and airy sites where the basilica could be
Sense Holiness and Unholiness (see spirits also flit through the ruins and located.
Realms of Power: The Infernal, page 123). among the rosebushes and groves.
All of the spirits here can spend
1 Magic Might point to manifest in Delos
physical form (and return to spiritual Other Locations
form at will). In this material form, for the Basilica The center of Apollo’s cult, Delos
the spirit can be wounded and even is an island in the Aegean Sea with
incapacitated, although if “killed,” it a great number of Apollonian ruins.
simply returns to its spiritual form. The Basilica of Ten Thousand Many of the tales of Hyperborea
Unless manifested, the spirit cannot Columns need not be located in originate from Delos, and there are
physically attack or be attacked. the Balkans. There are several other a number of cultic sites dedicated to

128
Ancient Magic

Queen Brimo Trimorphos


Queen Brimo (also known as Fist: Init +0, Attack +3, Defense +3, in their breasts and deep despon-
Daeria, Brimo means “mighty” or Damage +2* dence, until they are reunited.
“furious”), adopted daughter of Bow: Init –1, Attack +10, Defense This Power ends after the couple
Hekate, is a lesser monarch of Hades +0, Damage +8* have eaten a meal and had sex
and attendant of Demeter. She was * When manifested only with each other three times, or
honored at Eleusis every September Soak: +4 until either of them hears the
where the hierophant and priestess Fatigue Levels: n/a sound of a bull-roarer (a kind
of Demeter would represent Brimo’s Wound Penalties: –1 (1–5), –3 (2– of toy). The affection becomes
birthing of the Sacred Child, Brimos 10), –5 (11–15), Incapacitated permanent after nine months if
the Mighty (a personification of agri- (16–20)* the Power’s effect has not ended,
cultural wealth). The child would be * When manifested only and at the troupe’s discretion,
conceived through a mystic union, Abilities: Area Lore Spirit World 8 may grant the True Love Virtue
where the hierophant symbolized (Hyperborean spirits), Brawl 3 or Flaw.
the holy Dionysus Iacchos and the (fists), Bows 7 (hunting), Etiquette The Stygian Firebrand, 1 point, Init
priestess symbolized Brimo. 6 (the Underworld), Magic Lore +4, Ignem: When threatened or
Queen Brimo was the daughter 10 (spirits) filled with wrath, Queen Brimo’s
of Perseus and Medea, and lost her Powers: scream can ignite the air with
virginity when she was raped by Harvest of the Golden Heart, 10 points, baleful liquid fire, inflicting +25
Hermes on the banks of Boibeis Lake Init +5, Herbam: Queen Brimo damage to all those in her path
in Thessaly. The result of the rape can intervene with either (equivalent to Range Voice and
was Eleusos, the patron goddess of Persephone or Demeter to grant Target Group).
the town of Eleusis and home of a small community a bountiful Vis: 5 pawns of Perdo vis in hair.
the Eleusinian Mysteries. Brimo was harvest that season, or stave off Appearance: Brimo appears as a
invoked by both her parents before a famine. naked, tormented teenaged girl
her birth to honor Hekate, her sacred Rejuvenation of Nyx, 3 points, Init +1, with muddied feet, garlanded by
mother. Queen Brimo is likely to be Corpus: This Power grants the 50 fearsome snakes and accompa-
hostile to followers of Hermes, such target a +18 to his Recovery rolls, nied by a pack of terrible under-
as Hermetic wizards. which lasts until her wounds are world hounds. Her other two
all healed. forms are of a beautiful queen
Magic Might: 25 (Corpus) The Company of the Miserable Man, 1 in saffron veils with a bleeding
Characteristics: Int +2, Per +3, Pre point, Init +0, Mentem: For some- womb, and of a maiden hunt-
+4, Com +1, Str +2, Sta +2, Dex one (typically a woman) who sac- ress whose hands have been torn
+1, Qik +0 rifices a black dog in her honor, by bears. The ground trembles
Size: +0 Queen Brimo uses this Power, beneath her feet, while thousands
Confidence Score: 4 (14) which creates a bittersweet long- of twinkling torch lights sparkle
Virtues and Flaws: None ing for each other in the hearts of around her. She is often accom-
Personality Traits: Furious +4, both supplicant and the Power’s panied by Hekuba, the queen of
Tormented +2 target. For every moment they are Troy, who was transformed into a
Combat: not together, both suffer a pain terrifying bitch-hound.

the Hyperborean maidens Arge and or relics, especially in the tombs of is still possible that the basilica could
Opis, and Hyperoche and Laodice. In the Hyperborean maidens. be further north than the Balkans.
the 13th century, Delos is under the This option may be suited to troupes
rule of the Venetians (following the who set their saga in Novgorod; travel
collapse of the Byzantine Empire) and Tribunal of Novgorod to the basilica may even take the char-
its inhabitants are devout Orthodox acters into the lands of the barbarian
Christians. Delos could be the loca- With Hyperborea to the extreme Scythians.
tion of hidden Hyperborean hymns north of the Tribunal of Novgorod, it

129
Ancient Magic
East is a place of mystery and myth, most point to the legend of Plato and
with many fantastic legends told in the mythic lost city of Atlantis as the
European romances, including many source of civilization, certain esoteric
monsters, strange peoples, and bizarre traditions claim that Hyperborea was
customs. the origin of mankind.
From this golden age and civiliza-
tion, the primal humans ventured to
The British Isles other regions of the Earth, establish-
ing new civilizations, such as legend-
It is possible that the Hyperboreans ary Atlantis, hoary Egypt, and mighty
were really ancient British Celts, Babylon. Legend has it that Apollo,
which could allow for Hyperborean the deity of the Old Ones, visited
temples in such places as Ireland or his Hyperborean demesne every 19
Wales. Alternatively, since the dru- years, the same period over which
ids were deeply connected to sun the stars in the heavens return to
cults, an ancient druidic temple may the same place. The Celtic druids
have been inhabited by Hyperborean adopted this calendar cycle, and it
descendants before the creation of the was used by many within the Order
Order of Hermes. of Hermes until the destruction of
House Diedne.
Some Hermetic scholars link
Hyperborea to the realm of Magic, in
Mythic the same way that Arcadia is the high-
est realm of Faerie. In Mythic Europe,

Hyperborea Hyperborea is a real place, a paradise


on Earth, deeply connected to the
Phoebus’s Garden Magic realm. By the 13th century,
O King Apollo, son of great Zeus, whom none have made the journey to the
At the eastern edge of the world, thy father did furnish forth at thy birth with furthest north for a millennium.
on the great Ocean Stream, lies the golden headband and lyre of shell, and giving
garden of Apollo Phoebus, and with- thee moreover a swan-drawn chariot to drive,
in, Apollo’s palace, from which he would have thee go to Delphi. But nevertheless, The Legend
emerged each morning from the Gate once mounted, thou bade thy swans fly to the
of the Sun in his chariot to issue light land of the Hyperboreans. Behind [the Ripaean Mountains] and beyond
to the world. At this eastern gate, at — Alcaeus the north wind (if we are to believe this) lives a
the junction of the Earth and Heaven, happy race known as the Hyperboreans who
is Homer’s Ivory Gate, the gate of Far north, near the icy regions survive to a ripe old age and are famous for
false dreams. of the North Pole, legends tell of marvelous things handed down in stories. It is
Where is this garden? The an earthly paradise, the home of an believed that here are the hinges on which the
ancient authorities Virgil, Sophocles, ancient civilization guarded by the world turns and the extreme limits of the cir-
and Stesichorus are firm in draw- great god Apollo. Also known as cuits of the stars. The Hyperboreans enjoy six
ing a distinction between Phoebus’s Helixoia, Hyperborea is now a pow- months of daylight. The sun rises once a year,
Garden and the Hesperides. Just as the erful regio. at midsummer, and sets once, at midwinter. It
Hesperides are considered the mystic According to some traditions, is a sunny region with an equable climate, free
Western Pole, so too could Phoebus’s Hyperborea predated Greece and from all harmful gales. The Hyperboreans
Garden be the mystical Eastern Pole. Rome, and even ancient Egypt and live in the woods and groves and worship
It is known as the “region of the Babylon. A mighty race that treated gods both individually and in groups; all
bright day,” and is also where Helios, magic as a mere toy ruled this civiliza- disharmony and sorrow are unknown. Death
or Sol (the sun), starts his journey tion, a people whose very lives were does not come until they have had their fill of
across the sky every day. The extreme intimately woven with magic. While life. Setting a banquet, they greet their old age

130
Ancient Magic

Famous Hyperboreans
Abaris of Metapontines erect a statue with with the local lord. In doing so, he
the legend “Aristeas of Proconessus” called down the moon and called up
The philosopher Porphyry writes in his honor. Hekate, and summoned the ghost of
that Pythagoras showed his golden the lord’s father.
thigh to Abaris, the Hyperborean
priest of Apollo. Abaris was called Arge and Opis
“air-traveler,” because he once rode Olen the Bard
on an arrow given to him by Apollo, A legend among the Delians tells
by which he crossed rivers and seas, of two Hyperborean women, Arge A Hyperborean who made his
and reached inaccessible places. and Opis, who came to Delos accom- home in Lycia, Olen composed many
panied by Apollo’s sister, Artemis. of the Hyperborean hymns once
The purpose of the visit was to pay sung on Delos and the other Aegean
Aristeas tribute to Eileithyia (the goddess islands.
who presided over childbirth) for the
Herodotus the historian men- birth of Apollo, to ensure quick and
tions another Hyperborean, Aristeas painless childbirth for themselves. Hyperoche and Laodice
of Proconessus, who was a member Arge and Opis were later taken to
of a prestigious and respected fam- Olympus by Artemis and became her The sacred virgins sent by the
ily. Maximus of Tyre records that servants. Hyperboreans to deliver Apollo’s
Aristeas would often have his spirit sacred relics to Delos, Hyperoche
leave his body, which would fly off and Laodice failed to return home
like a bird while he lay breathing The Hyperborean from their mission, despite being
distinctly and in a fashion close Necromancer protected by five Hyperborean
to death. His spirit would observe guards. It was the disappearance of
everything — land, seas, rivers, cit- Lucian’s Philopseudes tells of a Hyperoche and Laodice that caused
ies, and peoples — and then re- mysterious unnamed Hyperborean the Hyperboreans to decide to rare-
enter his body and recount the vari- necromancer who flew down from ly leave Hyperborea. In honor of
ous things that it had seen. Aristeas the sky near a small Roman estate Hyperoche and Laodice, the boys
was also famous for living for over and used necromancy and other and girls of Delos in antiquity would
250 years, a feat that saw the city magic to make a woman fall in love offer locks of their hair.

with luxury, and then leap into the sea from Inside, the island is a veritable or to transform into graceful swans or
a certain rock. This method of burial is the paradise, filled with every beautiful jet-black crows. In their human form,
most serene. and gracious thing. A sweet, nourish- they appear as radiant and golden-
— Pliny, Natural History, Book IV, 89 ing breeze floats across the island, skinned men and women. A great
which is perpetually bathed in the many sacred animals to Apollo live on
Hyperborea is an island hidden in sustaining bright light of the eternal the island and in the waters surround-
a level 7 regio (although at its highest sun. Few sounds break the peace and ing it: snakes, dolphins, hawks, swans,
level it extends to a level 10 regio). serenity of Hyperborea. crows, and oxen.
Protected by an impregnable wall, Its common inhabitants are the At the center of the island
great fiery gates are the only entrance, Hyperboreans, a people who live in stands a great mountain, known as
shut tight with a fourfold, bright peace and harmony amid the sacred the Mountain of Salvation. At the
bar, holding closed against all strang- groves and woods of the island. All pinnacle of the mountain is the great
ers. It is not possible to accidentally Hyperboreans possess Supernatural temple of Apollo Phoebus, in which
wander into Hyperborea. Only those Powers, whether these are control of the sun god resides. It stands so tall
who know the passwords, or who are the elements, the ability to send their that it may only be reached by flight,
invited, may enter. spirit into the astral regions of the sky, or through spirit travel.

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Ancient Magic

Getting into Other Locations for Hyperborea


Hyperborea The scholars of the ancient Hyperboreans were British Celts,
world disputed the precise loca- and their worship of Apollo was
Needless to say, getting into tion of Hyperborea. Here are three based on the importance of Bel,
Hyperborea is difficult, and is like- other possible locations for the Land the sun god, in Celtic religion.
ly only to happen if characters Beyond the North Wind. The significance of songs to
are invited in by one of its resi- the Celtic bards and druids is
dents. Learning the passwords to 1. According to Livy, whose evidence of this legend, as are
the gates of Hyperborea would be interpretation of “bora” refers the many ancient standing stone
a major quest, and could involve to the hills of Pelagonia, the circles containing 19 stones, and
tracking down the spirits or ghosts Hyperboreans lived somewhere the similarity of the Hyperborean
of famous Hyperboreans such as near Monastir, a mountain range and Celtic astrological calendars
Abaris or the maids of Delos. An in the Balkans of Macedonia. (both of which used 19-year
invitation may be given if the char- The legends told of sacred cycles).
acters are returning the earthly Hyperborean gifts being brought
remains of a Hyperborean priest, to Delos from distant regions 3. Hyperborea was Chinese
or a relic, with the intent to leave of Dodona and the Maliac Gulf Turkistan, and the griffins said
them in Hyperborea. (in Greece), along what would to live with the Hyperboreans
become the Via Egnatia. This leg- were the dragons on the Chinese
Every 19 years, at the time when end grew from the sheltered rose flags. The great Hypergoraei
the stars complete their revolutions gardens and rich farming land Mountains were the Urals in
— the vernal equinox of the rising on the Pierian side of the Bora Central Asia, which placed the
of the Pleiads — Apollo Phoebus Mountains in Paeonia, and well- Turks near the lands of Terraconta.
leaves his temple and goes among developed sun-cults. There has even been suggestion
the Hyperborean people. During this that the Issedonians were ancient
time he sings, dances, and plays the 2. Based on the writings of Tibetans (who may or may not
harp, distributing his blessings to the Greek historian Hecateus, the exist in Mythic Europe).
faithful.

132
Chapter Nine

Rune Magic
In the cold and distant lands of breaks forth a brood of whelps from the lair Odin they were also respected and
the north, in the centuries following of the savage lioness, in three cyulae, as it is feared by them, and had strong ties to
the death of Christ, a form of ancient expressed in their language, but in ours, in both the ruling class and the leaders
magic developed that was based on ships of war under full sail, with omens and of the pagan faith. Unlike the Roman
simple inscriptions, using a special divinations. In these it was foretold, there Mercurians or the Celtic druids, the
alphabet of letters called runes. These being a prophecy firmly relied upon among early rune wizards were much more
runes could be used to communi- them, that they should occupy the country to integrated into their primitive com-
cate in writing, but also had unique which the bows of their ships were turned, for munities, often holding positions of
powers, with each of the many sym- three hundred years; for one hundred and fifty absolute authority over them.
bols summoning a particular form of — that is for half the time — they should Very little is known about these
magic. These carvings were inherently make frequent devastations. They sailed out, early chieftain-priests. They were said
powerful, imbued with lasting magi- and at the directions of the unlucky tyrant, to have been recognized for their
cal effects very much like enchanted first fixed their dreadful talons in the eastern prowess in battle, dressing in bear
devices, all of which were unhin- part of the island, as men intending to fight skins (they were sometimes called ber-
dered by those powers that could for the country, but more truly to assail it. sarkrs for this reason) and supposedly
normally resist them, including the To these the mother of the brood, finding that never tiring, fighting until all of their
Parma Magica. Because of this, the success had attended the first contingent, sends enemies were slain. Some of their ear-
wizards who made these runes and out also a larger raft-full of accomplices and liest rune carvings may still be found
the warriors who served them were curs, which sails over and joins itself to their in the remote places where these
nearly invincible in battle, and power- bastard comrades. From that source, the seed proto-Vikings dwelled, on gravesites
ful enough for the Order to consider of iniquity, the root of bitterness, grows as a and ancient monuments called rune-
them their greatest enemy. poisonous plant, worthy of our deserts, in our stones, in the rock of magical caves
own soil, furnished with rugged branches and deep beneath the mountains, and in
leaves. the stones of the buildings in their
— The Ruin and Conquest of oldest cities.
The Order Britain, Gildas (516?-570?) These early people were also
exceptional shipbuilders and sail-

of Odin The first rune wizards are said to


have been followers of Odin, a god
ors, and in the fifth and sixth cen-
turies they spread throughout much
the peoples of the North called the of Scandinavia and all of eastern
At that time all members of the assembly, All-father, whom legend tells learned Britannia. Many of them came from
along with the arrogant usurper Vortigern, magic through a great ritual of sacri- Saxony and a part of Denmark called
are blinded; such is the protection they find for fice, and who taught this knowledge Engle, eventually developing into
their country (it was, in fact, its destruction) to his followers. Like the wizards in what modern historians call Anglo-
that those wild Saxons, of accursed name, the lands further south, those with his Saxons. Chronicling the events of this
hated by God and men, should be admitted Gift of power inspired supernatural period, a monk named Gildas wrote
into the island, like wolves into folds, in order feelings of envy and dislike in the in his history of Britain that this inva-
to repel the northern nations. . . . Then there common people, but as priests of sion succeeded as God’s punishment

133
Ancient Magic

Not-so-ancient Magic
The ancient magic of the rune believe the Order of Odin is dead
wizards is much less ancient than the and buried, however, and consider
other traditions in this book, hav- them a magical tradition from an ear-
ing been practiced within the living lier time and a distant culture. From
memory of the oldest magi in the this perspective, the magic of the
Order. It is even conceivable that Vikings and Anglo-Saxons is ancient
some of these rune wizards still live magic, since they no longer live in
in the wild lands north of Mythic the lands where it might be found.
Europe, or hide in the lands once Thus, discovering their secrets is seen
settled by their ancestors, practicing as a task for Seekers of ancient lore,
their traditional rune magic as a type not magi who integrate hedge tradi-
of pagan hedge wizardry. Most magi tions into Hermetic theory.

erfully negative air of magic about Anglo-Saxon settlements in addition


them that none could bear to remain to those belonging to the Welsh and
in their presence. Similar to what Britons.
would later happen in Scandinavia And so, in about 800 AD, the
during the ninth and tenth centu- most powerful rune wizards in Britain
ries, the rune wizards began to lose allied themselves with a Pictish sor-
the respect and obedience of the cerer known as Damhan-Allaidh, or
general populace, and soon came to “the Spider.” Together they proposed
be considered closer kin to madmen to eliminate all of their rivals from
and devil-worshipers than lords and across the sea, the Vikings of the
leaders, while the Dominion began to north as well as the Hermetic magi
for the Britons’ many sins. By the end spread throughout the land and take from the south. Many have specu-
of the eighth century the rune wiz- hold of the people’s hearts. lated that Damhan-Allaidh belonged
ards had managed to seize and settle to their magical tradition, or at least
all of what would become England, a similar branch that used writing
ruthlessly fighting back the Welsh in War Against the Order to produce magical effects, and that
the west and driving off the Celtic from their alliance a new form of rune
peoples in the south, though they also By the late 700s, Viking raiders magic was developed. In any case,
suffered great losses in these battles. It had begun attacking sea-towns and their combined magical powers drove
was primarily these wizards who ruled settlements, and these war parties the Scandinavian raiders away, forc-
the island during these years, who were often accompanied by Norse ing them to strike at easier shores, but
drove the people to conquest and vic- rune wizards acting as lords and gener- also drew the notice of Pralix and the
tory, and it is said that in those days als. Their lands further north and east Order of Hermes.
every village had its own rune master were becoming overpopulated, and The Spider and his allies seem to
instead of a lord. so the most enterprising of them had have wanted to lure their Hermetic
Over the next 100 years, through set sail for Christian shores, believing enemies to England to attack them
wars and trade with the many other that their magic and battle-prowess directly, for their power was far great-
peoples of England, the Anglo-Saxon would bring them great wealth and er when defending themselves and
people began to be assimilated into power if they struck swiftly. They laying traps than when attacking. At
the Christian culture, and their model pillaged the coastlines and demol- first, this plan was successful, and
of a community ruled by a rune wiz- ished villages and monasteries, taking many magi fell trying to confront
ard as chieftain began to break down. anything of value: silver, vis, food, Damhan-Allaidh and his army, but
Surviving descriptions of these fol- weapons, and slaves. What they did when Pralix managed to gain a foot-
lowers of Odin make them sound not value, they burned. These enter- hold among other hedge wizards on
like crazed fanatics, with such a pow- prising Vikings often attacked the the island, the Spider and his allies

134
Ancient Magic
were forced to take up the offensive were eventually routed. However, the the so-called Order of Odin seemed a
against them. This proved to be the magi realized that they were unusu- very real threat.
downfall of the Anglo-Saxon rune ally vulnerable to these attackers, and Many of the magi in the north-
wizards, for while they were fear- they were troubled. They brought ern Tribunals felt that it was the
some in battle, they were much more word of these strange northern wiz- interference of Máel-tuili that had
vulnerable to magical counter-attacks, ards to the Grand Tribunal of 832, endangered them all and brought
and the war soon took its toll on their where those who had heard of their ruin upon their lands. Instead of
ranks. According to the members of pagan faith and their Anglo-Saxon kin joining in war against the rune wiz-
the Ordo Miscellany, all of the rune dubbed them members of “The Order ards, most of these magi went into
wizards were either defeated in the of Odin.” hiding, especially the magi of House
final battle or later hunted down and In 837 a delegation of primar- Diedne. At the Britannian Tribunal
destroyed, completely driven from ily Irish magi from many different of 851, the Diedne Primus Obregon
the shores of England in the years that Houses, led by Máel-tuili of Merinita, declared that the magi of his House
followed. sought out the rune wizards and would “no longer protect our unde-
attempted to parley with them. At serving sodales from the enemy,”
first, the Viking leaders were abusive but instead would “respect the Code
The Viking Invasions and demanded to know their secrets, from within the safety of our secret
but after hours of negotiation the mounds and hidden dales.” Nearly
Independent of the war against rune wizards eventually agreed that all interaction between covenants
Damhan-Allaidh, the rune wizards they would leave in peace if the and magi in the region broke down
and warriors from Scandinavia and magi paid to them a tribute of 3,000 for about 20 years, and remained
other places to the north continued pounds of silver and forty pawns of sporadic for much of the following
their attacks on central Europe and vis. This price was arranged, but soon century, but forever after the Irish
other parts of Britannia. Starting in after they had it in hand the Vikings Diedne remained apart from their
about 830, the Vikings led a major reneged on the deal and attacked. The sodales and never participated in the
assault against Ireland, sending over leaders of both parties fell in the sub- local Tribunals again.
an army of raiders on a great fleet sequent battle, and many other magi The rune wizards may have
of ships. They landed on the eastern and wizards were killed. The news seemed to the magi of the Order
shore of the island and built fortifica- of this betrayal stirred equal parts of of Hermes to have been united as
tions from which they could attack outrage and horror in the local magi part of a great organization with
the entire country. From their main and throughout the Order, but no plans to invade Christendom, but it
stronghold in Dublin, they ravaged immediate action was taken. is more likely that they were simply
the whole of the Emerald Isle, and it Soon more Vikings arrived in opportunists who had allied them-
was said that no village was safe from Ireland and reinforced their camps, selves with bands of warriors in search
them. and the frequency and range of the of adventure, property, and status.
It was there that the Scandinavian periodic attacks increased as the However, the idea of the “Order of
rune wizards first encountered repre- Norsemen realized just how much Odin” became so well-known that
sentatives of the Order of Hermes, in wealth there was to be had. The some of the rune wizards proudly
the form of a group of Diedne magi invaders came in even greater num- took the name during this era, as a
from a covenant several miles north- bers, and other bands landed in sort of battle-cry or badge of honor. A
west of their camp. The two groups Scotland, England, France, Germany, great many magi distinguished them-
clashed on the Diedne covenant and Russia. A substantial raiding party selves in retaliatory strikes against the
grounds, unable to communicate any- nearly captured Paris in 845, and in enemy’s camps and ships, and made
thing more than threats to each other, 865 a great army of Vikings landed in forays into the North to wreak havoc
each assessing the other’s magical East Anglia and proceeded through in their homeland. Though war was
strengths and weaknesses. Although kingdom after kingdom, subduing or never declared, nonetheless a great
much of the rune wizards’ magic was killing everyone who opposed them. many Hermetic war heroes emerged
unhindered by the Parma Magica, For most of the latter part of the ninth from these conflicts.
they were generally unable to affect century, the Vikings were a terrifying As both rune wizards and magi
the magi directly, and the Vikings menace to all of northern Europe, and were killed off in these skirmishes,

135
Ancient Magic
the invaders’ non-magical kin began with ancient faeries who practice a These trolls are not invincible, but
to settle the lands they had captured, similar sort of magic. they still pose a powerful threat to
and by about 950 the raids had almost those they catch in the wild.
entirely ceased. The attention of the The Heorot covenant has only
Order of Hermes soon turned to The Mythic North existed for six years, and has yet to
other matters, including the Schism attend Tribunal and become officially
War, and over time the Christian One method of finding active recognized (see Guardians of the Forests,
faith spread among the Norse peoples rune magic may be to find a living page 90). The magi are not convinced
in their homelands and the lands rune wizard, for though they have that the Order of Odin is dead, and
they had conquered, bringing with not been seen for many years, many one of the magi is reputedly interested
it the Dominion and a disdain for magi believe they still live in the lands in locating a rune wizard and studying
the old, warlike ways of their pagan north of Mythic Europe — Denmark, his magic. He is afraid to leave the
ancestors. Most of the rune wizards Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland — safety of the covenant, but perhaps he
that remained in European lands are rebuilding their strength and prepar- would be willing to collaborate on his
believed to have either joined the ing for another strike. The question investigation with anyone who can
Order or retreated into the wilder- of whether or not they survive is a bring reliable information to him.
ness, to hide from their own civili- point of great political contention Another potential source of aid is
zation and culture, and soon they within the Order of Hermes, for some the pirates of the Hermetic covenant
became nothing more than a legend, say that the Order of Odin has been of Waddenzee, a group of aggressive
even among their own people. destroyed, and others vehemently magi that sails in the Baltic Sea, raid-
maintain that they have not. Seekers ing villages and other ships. They
in a position to definitively answer regularly strike at the settlements on
this question will likely encounter the shores of Norway and Sweden, and
Discovery resistance from one side or other, and
so it should be with some trepidation
often push deep inland on exploratory
expeditions. They claim that they have
that they embark on such a quest. found both great amounts of vis and
By 1220, the rune wizards of old A good place to start would be members of the Order of Odin, all of
seem to no longer live within the to try and make contact with the whom they hunted down and killed.
lands of the Order of Hermes, and covenant of Heorot, in the Kingdom They might be convinced to allow a
many magi believe that their ancient of Denmark. Just after the meeting of Seeker to travel with them for a while,
magic has been forever lost. Yet some the Rhine Tribunal in 1214 AD, three or direct him toward areas where he
remnants of their power may still magi decided to establish a covenant might be likely to come across rune
remain in the places they conquered, on the island of Zealand. They chose wizards and their descendants.
and Seekers interested in the magic of a site in Lethra, a ruined town that Even farther north are Iceland and
the North might be drawn to study was abandoned sometime during the Greenland, both of which could have
these artifacts, to discover what made sixth century, but which was once the evidence of rune wizards hiding within
their rune magic so dangerous, and seat of the Danish kings and a thriving their Christian communities or living
perhaps find a way to adapt it to the town at the center of the island. The in the wilderness beyond the borders
Hermetic Arts. To do this, they must main building is a great hall built on of the Dominion. Perhaps a Seeker
track down an example of active rune the site of the original structure, the might join up with a group of other
magic, investigate it in the lab, and hall of the famous King Hrothgar, and characters with their own reasons for
learn from its secrets. There are three it was during his reign that the epic traveling into the Arctic islands, and
possible means by which a magus tale of Beowulf took place. Heorot spend time assisting them with their
might accomplish this task: by head- was built as an authentic recreation of own adventures while searching for
ing north into the territories where the great feast hall, with laboratories signs of the Order of Odin. There,
the rune wizards of the Order of Odin and housing in the surrounding area. they may even hear stories of Viking
supposedly still reside, by seeking out Beyond the defenses at the edges of settlements even further west, where
barrow-markers and grave goods in the covenant are marshes that are rune wizards might have fled, includ-
places where rune wizards once lived still prowled by fearsome monsters ing the land of Vinland described in
and fought, or by making contact descended from the creature Grendel. The Saga of Erik the Red.

136
Ancient Magic
Trondheim
MAP KEY Faroe Islands

Town or
Settlement

Viking
Grave Site Shetland Islands Oslo

Path of Viking Orkney Islands


Settlement

Shaded Areas Indicate


Areas of Heaviest Settlement
NORTH BALTIC
SEA SEA
Ribe

Dublin
Derby Nottingham

Leicester Stamford 100 miles

ATLANTIC
OCEAN Lands of the Rune Wizards
Heirlooms and Artifacts unearth some examples of these sorts
of items. Seekers may not be able to
is connected to a dead body, and this
is one way to prove that its magic is
move the monumental rune-stones or genuine and still in effect.
Even if those who practiced the grave-markers that that dot the north- There may be other places in
magic of the runes cannot be found, ern landscape, though they may be European lands settled by the Vikings
evidence of their spells can still be dis- able to study these relics in the wild. or the Anglo-Saxons where the old
covered. It is possible that magi might Or perhaps a Seeker may discover a faith is still practiced, or at least the
even come upon some examples of discarded wooden wand, carved with old stories are remembered and told.
magical relics but have no idea what strange vertical and diagonal runes, From such folk wisdom, a Seeker
it is they have discovered. Because that does not seem to be a magical might learn the story of how Odin
of the way that rune magic changes device but clearly has a magical effect learned the magic of the runes, a ritual
the nature of its target, objects with on its surroundings. in which he hung from a tree with his
active effects do not seem magical to However, magi are more likely side pierced for nine days, and after-
Intellego Vim spells. The only evi- to discover runes that they think are ward received enlightenment. Perhaps
dence of rune magic is the inscription, magical but upon further investigation a magus can locate a tree that is said
and the effect it has on its surround- are found to be entirely mundane, to have been used in such a ceremony,
ings. This effect is entirely natural, either because age has damaged the or undergo a similar ordeal in hopes
however, and can only be divined runes or because they were never of achieving the same insight.
by observation or through intensive enchanted at all. Another aspect of Many Seekers believe that the
magical investigation. rune magic that Seekers might stum- Norse gods were actually the prime-
Rune wizards are said to have ble upon is that runes with active val originators of magic, known as
woven curses on gravestones and magic are lasting Arcane Connections the Old Ones, believed to be the first
blessings on their swords, and by dig- to the caster. Simple Intellego Corpus wizards ever to walk the earth. It is
ging up their battlefields magi may spells might reveal that a rune-stone said they eventually overcame their

137
Ancient Magic
mortal forms and ascended to god- unhappy life. Then the dverge begins agrees, he finds that the faerie hasen’t
hood, becoming the figures of legend the process of forging the item, a long taken the thing that was his heart’s
told in the tales. It is also possible and tedious process, in its workshop, desire, but rather his actual desire for
that they are very powerful faeries. and after many seasons of calcula- it. Some other example dverge-prices
Finding one of these beings is a wor- tions, reciting litanies, and hard labor, might include:
thy quest on its own, not just for the the artifact is complete.
purpose of learning the secret of the Dverge-forged items differ from • the edge of his sight
runes. However, a Seeker who discov- the runes that rune wizards carve in • a bit of his luck
ers a way to communicate with the a few small but meaningful ways. For • two of his toes
Norse gods may be able to convince one thing, the runes may be hidden • two of his fingers
them to teach him rune magic, and where they cannot be seen at all, such • the color of his eyes
while the magnificence of meeting a as on the inside of steel or woven • his height
god is an awe-inspiring experience all with black thread into black cloth. • his hair
to itself, it is also an opportunity for The runes of the dverge are also said • his friends
knowledge that a true Seeker should to allow effects that are not possible • his good name
not overlook. with typical rune magic, such as gold • his fondest wish
rings that can multiply themselves or • 100 words
runes that bring men back from the • the first thing he sees upon return-
The Dvergar dead. Finally, dverge artifacts resemble ing to his home
Hermetic devices, in that they can • seven years of his life
The rune wizards are not the only have multiple uses per day, triggered
ones in the lands of the far North who effects, increased Penetration, and Dverge-made items only function
practiced rune magic. The ancient activated Powers. This makes them for the person for whom they were
race of beings called the dvergar also much more valuable than anything crafted, though they may be inherited
knows the secrets, and practiced it the rune wizards ever crafted. by a blood relative (and still include
long before Odin taught men. They However, faerie runes also typ- the hidden costs for the new owner).
are unfriendly beings who dwell in ically affect the wielder, changing Even if the heir cannot use these
Faerie regiones deep within the bow- him in subtle or not-so-subtle ways items, such artifacts may still be inves-
els of the earth, or in Arcadia, acces- — those with dverge-forged devices tigated by those seeking to learn rune
sible only through the cellars of aban- may find they do not feel comfortable magic, and the craftsmanship is such
doned buildings or in tunnels hidden being without them, or talk to them, that they always fetch a high price
under mountains in lands where the or develop other strange personality simply for the quality of the object.
rune wizards once lived. They use the quirks associated with their relation-
power of the runes to craft fantastic ship to the object. Madness and a
magical items, the like of which has thirst for violence are common side
never been seen in Christian lands.
A Seeker who finds his way into
effects of interacting with the Norse
fae.
Hermetic
Nithavellir (the underground land of
the dvergar and other dark faeries)
Once the item has been con-
structed, the Seeker must pay for it. Integration
may locate a dverge and convince it to The price is set after its creation, and
construct him an artifact. Dvergar do since dvergar do not haggle and despise Once a Seeker investigates an
not have items for sale, as each one is those who do, the Seeker must either example of active rune magic, he
handcrafted for a particular person and accept or refuse. Being faeries, dver- learns that the runes inscribed onto
purpose. The Seeker must describe gar usually ask for things that seem a target actually change the nature of
what he wants the dverge to make and alien, things that human beings take that target to conform to the qualities
why, for these beings do not waste for granted. The price may sound of the rune, and that this effect lasts
their time for just anyone, and legend simple and mundane, but it always for as long as the rune does. These
tells that a person who receives an has hidden costs. For example, a dverge unique aspects of rune magic may be
enchanted item from them is destined might request that the Seeker give adapted to Hermetic theory through
for greatness, a heroic but ultimately his heart’s desire, and if the Seeker investigation and experimentation

138
Ancient Magic
allowing the magus to enchant objects
Enchantment Runes and people with raw, natural power
Magi who possess Hermetic Because of the resonances that does not require vis. Spells that
Rune Magic may also invent enchant- between the magic of the runes directly target a being with Magic
ed devices that use the magic of the and the secrets taught to Verditius Resistance must still penetrate, how-
runes. They must open the item as by Wayland Smith, Verditius magi ever. For example, a Creo Ignem spell
usual, and then spend another sea- who have initiated the Mystery using rune magic would not need to
son designing the effect, but using of Elder Verditius Runes may add penetrate, because the flames are con-
the Rune Duration and Inscription their Rune Magic score to their Lab sidered natural for the duration. A
Target, and they must inscribe the Total instead of the +2 bonus they Perdo Corpus spell would need to pen-
runes onto the item as part of invest- normally receive for matching a etrate, because the effect targets a per-
ing the effect. They can then make particular type of wood, and they son who is protected against magic.
further modifications to the effect. always know a rune that can pro-
Note, however, that if the runes are vides the magical focus they seek, Rune (Duration): This spell
damaged, the effect ceases to func- rather than using the table of Arts must be cast with an Inscription
tion, just as if the device itself had given in Houses of Hermes: Mystery Target, and lasts for as long as the
been destroyed. Cults, page 127. rune or runes that form the inscrip-
tion remain undamaged and whole.
(a Major Breakthrough requiring 45 the effect are written in the third per- The moment they are worn away,
breakthrough points), producing the son, as in “Eirik carves the runes that broken, or changed, the effect ends.
new Hermetic Rune Magic Virtue, create fire.” This formula usually means If the runes are carved upon an object,
described below. that the spell affects something other like a wand or stone, the effect also
Surprisingly, deciphering rune than the caster, or is centered on an ends if the object is damaged signifi-
magic is not as difficult for magi as object rather than the caster. In the cantly, in the same way that a magical
might be supposed. This is because third case, the runes give the caster’s device can be ruined. This Duration
rune magic is similar to Hermetic name, but do not describe an effect. is equivalent to Moon, adding three
magic in several ways, most notably This simply associates the object on magnitudes to a spell’s base level.
in that rune spells typically have a which the runes are carved with the
rune that describes the effect and caster, which magi might use to create Inscription (Target): This spell
another rune that describes the target, an Arcane Connection that is lasting must be cast with Rune Duration. It
what magi might call the Technique but not permanent (see below). is the same as Individual, except that
and the Form. As magi investigate the spell requires the caster to write
examples of rune magic and better on the target or an object that the tar-
understand the minds of the rune wiz- New Virtue get wears or carries. If the spell does
ards who practiced it, they likely learn not target the object upon which the
the meanings of the different runes Hermetic Rune Magic runes are inscribed, the inscription
as well as the different alphabets that Major, Hermetic must include an Arcane Connection
were used to write them. To represent This Virtue gives the magus a to the target, or else the inscribed
this knowledge, magi may learn a new new Rune Duration and Inscription object must touch the target. If this
Arcane Ability called Rune Magic, Target for his spells, through which object is removed, the effect is inter-
also described below. he can make use of the power of the rupted, but it does not end as long as
There are three ways to formulate runes. When used, these ensure that the runes are still whole.
a rune spell. In the first formula, the the effect lasts almost forever (or at The inscription must be made
caster inscribes his name and the effect least for as long as the runes remain while the spell is being cast. Like
in the first person, as in “I, Eirik, carve undamaged), and that for that dura- spells that use a circle, the magus may
the runes that heal flesh.” This method tion, the magic is a true and natural use magic to carve the words, but at
generally means that the spell affects change, similar to the effects of a Creo no greater distance than Touch, and
the caster, or that the effect is centered Ritual spell. The target of this sort of he must still physically trace out the
on the caster. In the second formula, spell does not become a magical thing runes, as if he were carving them with
the runes that describe the caster and for the purposes of Magic Resistance, a tool. When using organic material

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Ancient Magic
such as wood or horn, an inscription Variation Modifier inscribing his name on an object and
can be made in the same amount of Hidden name –2 imbuing it with his magic. He must
time it takes to cast a Hermetic spell, make a roll as if casting a spell, using
No name –5
and it generally takes about two min- his Casting Total for any Technique
utes to scratch an inscription in stone Hidden –5 and any Form, but he succeeds so
or metal. These spontaneous runes are description long as he achieves a positive result
unlikely to last more than a few days No description –10 and does not botch. As with any rune
before wear causes them to fall apart, Extra effort +1 spell, the object becomes an Arcane
however. For lasting effects, at least Connection to the magus for as long
Emphasis +1
several hours of craftwork are neces- as the rune remains undamaged, and
sary, or as long as a season for a master- may be targeted by other magic as if
piece intended to outlive the caster. Alternatively, when he is inscrib- the object were the caster.
ing runes, the magus can make a
When casting rune magic spells, Dexterity + an appropriate Craft
a magus must inscribe his name and Ability roll against an Ease Factor of New Ability:
a concise description of the intended 15, using a simple die. If he succeeds, Rune Magic
effect, or else he suffers a penalty to he can disguise his rune script how-
his Casting Total. If the magus does ever he wishes, without any penalty. If
not inscribe his name into the inscrip- he fails, he must cancel the spell and This is the rune wizards’ version
tion, he receives a –5 penalty. He can start over from the beginning with a of Magic Theory. It is knowledge of
choose to hide or encrypt the runes in new inscription, discarding the object what the magic of the runes is and how
some way, by combining the stems of on which he was carving the runes. it works, dealing with the symbolism
several runes together in a design that Hermetic Rune Magic has two of each rune, how they may be used,
requires a contested Intelligence + major drawbacks. Firstly, the runes how to formulate a rune-script, and
Rune Magic roll to decipher (see Rune are a lasting Arcane Connection to how to encrypt the runes so that they
Magic, below), and this gives him a –2 the caster, and beyond that they func- are harder for others to recognize.
penalty for hiding his name and a –5 tion in a manner similar to the spell Without The Gift it has few practi-
penalty for obscuring the description. Opening the Intangible Tunnel (ReVi Gen), cal applications, though like Magic
Or, he can omit his name and simply in that other magi can target the Theory, a basic understanding is essen-
carve single runes for the Arts used in caster by targeting the runes. That tial for accurately copying books on
the effect, rather than describing them is, a rival magus could cast a Touch Rune Magic. Specialties: hiding runes,
fully in the script, for a –10 penalty. spell at the caster simply by touching identifying rune magic, runes associ-
If the runes that are used to the runes, as if he were touching the ated with a particular Art. (Arcane)
describe the effect or the target are caster. Secondly, every spell that uses
emphasized, either by repeating a the Rune Duration and the Inscription
particular rune three times or by spell- Target is considered a powerful mys- Rune Alphabets
ing out the entire alphabet at the tical effect, which always gives the
beginning of the script, the magus target a Warping Point. There is no Magi who have learned Hermetic
receives a +1 bonus. This is quite way to design a rune spell not to Rune Magic may use any form of writ-
common in rune magic, since it is Warp a particular target as with other ing to inscribe their magical effects,
rarely any additional trouble, but it Hermetic spells. These two weak- though they probably favor the same
makes it very easy to recognize the nesses explain why rune wizards are runes used by the wizards of the
inscription as rune magic rather than said to have become Warped much North, since they are likely to have
a simple adornment. If the magus more quickly than Hermetic magi, learned them while they investigat-
spends extra effort on the inscription, and traditionally guarded their runes ed Rune Magic (raising their Artes
coloring in the runes or working them very closely, destroying them after Liberales score accordingly to accom-
into an intricate pattern or design, they had served their purpose. modate knowledge of an additional
this doubles the casting time and A magus who possesses this alphabet). To make it easier for play-
gives him another +1 bonus to his Virtue can easily make lasting Arcane ers to incorporate these symbols into
casting total. Connections to himself, by simply their characters’ magic, these three

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Ancient Magic

Rune Magic and Creo Spells The Rune Poems


Because of the way rune magic drink is simply set aside, the magic
causes natural effects and must be has no apparent effect. Characters who are interest-
inscribed on the target, Hermetic Healing spells like The Chirurgeon’s ed in learning about Rune Magic
Rune Magic can interact with the Art Healing Touch take the place of natu- can track down a study source in
of Creo in one of two unusual ways, ral healing for the duration of the the form of a “rune poem,” rare
depending on whether the spell is spell, so that if the rune remains on and valuable works written by the
designed to create or to heal. If the the target as long as it takes to heal wizards to teach their followers
effect creates a target, the runes must the injury naturally, the wound does the basics of rune carving and the
be written on an Arcane Connection not reopen when the effect ends. For magic of the runes. These texts
to that target, and the target is only example, a silver ring with runes that name each rune and give a brief
created if it does not already exist. heal a Light Wound must remain on description in verse. The verses are
For example, to create an ox, the the target for at least a week, the typically four lines long, one verse
magus must have something that is recovery period for a Light Wound. for each rune, and describe the
part of an ox that is no more, such If the ring is removed or damaged rune’s mystical properties through
as a horn from a dead ox, and the during this time, before the wound imagery, such as “Wealth / source
spell essentially transforms the horn would have healed naturally, the of discord among kinsmen / and
into the ox. If the ox upon which the character must make an immediate fire of the sea / and path of the
spell is based still lives, the spell has Recovery roll for that injury (ArM5, serpent” or “Hail / cold grain / and
no effect, so that casting such a spell page 179). If this equals or exceeds shower of sleet / and sickness of
twice does not create two oxen. To the Improvement Ease Factor, the serpents.”
enchant a cloth so that it will create wound remains healed. If the roll There are three rune poem
a great feast, the magus must first lay equals or exceeds the Stable Ease texts that might be found in Mythic
out a great feast upon it. From then Factor, the Light Wound reopens. If Europe: the Icelandic Rune Poem and
on, that same feast will be created this roll is less than the Stable Ease the Norwegian Rune Poem, both of
by the runes whenever the cloth is Factor, the wound worsens, becom- which use the Younger Futhark
activated, but if the created food and ing a Medium Wound. alphabet (see below), and the
Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem, which uses
systems of runes are briefly described The re-emergence of the rune the Futhorc (also described below),
here. magic of the Order of Odin could but which was translated into Latin
also have exciting consequences for by Christian monks who made
the magi of the Order of Hermes. many changes to the text. The two
Politically, the rune wizards and their former books might be Rune Magic
Consequences magic are dangerous topics, as there
are many who use the idea of them as
summae of Level 5, Quality 7; the
latter Level 5, Quality 3.
reason to keep the northern Tribunals
The runes and Hermetic Rune prepared for war, and to leave the because Ragnarok, the “Destruction
Magic have the power to revolutionize lands of the Norsemen uninhabited of the Powers,” has come. On that
the Order, as they can create natural by magi. Characters who can con- day, when the great serpent and the
and lasting effects that do not require firm or deny that the rune wizards Fenris wolf are freed, the great horn of
vis. The magical devices that can be have been wiped out — and who warning is blown and the gods must
made with rune magic are truly amaz- can report the true state of affairs in don their armor to fight the invading
ing, and those magi who build them their northern homeland — are very giants in the great battle at the end
soon replace the dvergar of the North unpopular among these factions at of the world. From that day forward,
as the great masters of the magical Tribunal. the magic of the runes no longer has
crafts. House Verditius might desire Yet as rune magic begins to any effect, for the gods have turned
to keep such a great discovery as a spread through the Order, perhaps away from the world, and the power
House Mystery, and begrudge those the magi find that one day it suddenly of Odin’s runes has gone with him to
who share the secret with others. ceases to function. Why? It might be Asgard and whatever lies beyond.

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Ancient Magic

The Elder Futhark


The oldest version of the runes the rune wizards of Scandinavia and considered to represent rune magic in
is called the Elder futhark (the word Iceland. Since it is believed to com- its purest form. It consists of 24 letters,
futhark refers to the first six letters prise the original runes that were broken up into three aetts (“eights”) of
in the alphabet), and was known to taught by Odin to his followers, it is eight letters each.

Letter Rune Name Pronounced Meaning Letter Rune Name Pronounced Meaning
F f Fehu FAY-hoo Wealth Y y Ihwaz EYE-vaz Yew
U u Uruz oo-ROOZ Auroch P p Perth PAIR-th Cup
TH x Thurisaz THUR-ee-sahz Ogre Z z Algiz AL-gheez Elk
A a Ansuz AN-sooz Mouth S s Sowilo SOH-veel-oh Sun
R r Raido RYE-doh Riding T t Tiwaz TEE-vahz Tyr
K k Kauno COW-noh Pain B b Berkanan BARE-kan-ahn Birch
G g Gebo GHAY-boh Gift E e Ehwaz AY-vahz Horse
W w Wunjo VUN-yoh Joy M m Mannaz MAH-nahz Man
H h Hagalaz HAH-ghah-lahz Hail L l Laguz LAH-ghooz Water
N n Naudhiz NOW-thiz Need NG q Ingwaz ING-vahz Lord
I i Isa EE-sah Ice D d Dagaz DHAH-ghaz Day
J j Jera YEH-rah Year O o Othila OH-thi-lah Inheritance

The Younger Futhark


In Denmark and Germany, the ings changed as the language became three aetts made up of eight runes, in
futhark began to develop over time more compact, and the runemasters this system the first aett had six runes
as it was used to communicate as began using fewer characters, even- and the other two had five. This
well as work magic. Many of the tually settling on a set of 16 runes variation came to be known as the
names of the runes and their mean- instead of the original 24. Instead of Younger futhark.

Letter Rune Name Pronounced Meaning Letter Rune Name Pronounced Meaning
F  Fe FAY Wealth I  Iss EES Ice
U  Ur OOR Drizzle J  Ar AHR Year
TH  Thurs THURZ Ogre S  Sol SOHL Sun
A  Ass AHSS God T  Tyr TEER Tyr
R  Reidh RAYTH Ride B  Bjarkan BYAR-kahn Birch
K  Kaun COWN Sore M  Madhr mah-THUR Man
H  Hagall HAH-gall Hail L  Logr lah-GHUR Water
N  Naudhr NOW-thur Need Y  Yr EAR Yew

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Ancient Magic

The Anglo-Saxon Futhorc


In England, the rune wizards altering the meaning of many of the agree that it included these 28 runes,
instead expanded their alphabet, others, producing a very different set though there are several other letters
eventually adding more runes and of runes, called the futhorc. Scholars that may also have been included.

Letter Rune Name Pronounced Meaning Letter Rune Name Pronounced Meaning
F  Feoh FAY-oh Wealth X  Eolhx OHLHK Elk
U u Ur OOR Auroch S  Sigel SIGH-gel Sun
TH T Thorn THORN Thorn T  Tir TIRE Star
O o Os OH-ss Mouth B  Beorc BORK Birch
R  Rad RAYD Riding E  Eh EH Horse
C  Cen KEEN Torch M  Mann MAHN Man
G  Gyfu GUY-foo Gift L  Lagu LAH-guh Water
W  Wynn WIN Joy NG N Ing ING Hero
H  Haegl HIGH-gull Hail D  Daeg DYE-gh Day
N  Nyd NID Need OE E Ethel EE-thell Homeland
I  Is EYE-ss Ice A  Ac ACHE Oak
J  Ger GEAR Year AE A Aesc EYE-sk Ash
Y  Eoh EE-oh Yew YR  Yr EAR Bow
P  Peordh POHR-th Cup EA  Ear YAHR Grave

Further Reading
Ankarloo, Bengt and Stuart Clark McKinnell, John and Simek, Rudolf Ogden, Daniel (2001) Greek and Roman
(ed.) (1999) Witchcraft and Magic with Düwel, Klaus (2004) Runes, Necromancy. Princeton University
in Europe: Ancient Greece and Rome. Magic and Religion. A Sourcebook. Press
University of Pennsylvania Press Verlag Fassbaender Riley-Smith, J. (1991) The Atlas of the
Bradley, R. (2005) Ritual and Domestic Mellinkoff, Ruth (1981) The Mark Crusades. Facts on File
Life in Prehistoric Europe. Routledge of Cain. University of California Saggs, H.W.F. (2000) Peoples of the
Faraone, Christopher and Dirk Press Past: Babylonians. University of
Obbink (ed.) (1991) Magika Hiera: Meyer, M. and P. Mirecki (eds) (2001) California Press
Ancient Greek Magic and Religion. Ancient Magic and Ritual Power. Brill
Oxford University Press Academic Publishers, Ltd
Gager, John (1992) Curse Tablets and Murdoch, Brian (2003) The Medieval
Binding Spells from the Ancient World. Popular Bible: Expansions of Genesis in
Oxford University Press the Middle Ages. D.S. Brewer

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Ancient Magic

Contributors
About the Authors Paula, also enjoys two of these; fortu-
nately, she usually tolerates the third.
Kelley Hensing (www.wickiearts.com)
is a graduate of the Rhode Island School
Erik Dahl is descended from both John Post has served as a soldier, of Design. Creating creatures and myth-
Anglo-Saxon and Norse folk but has studied as a scholar, and now practices ological characters is one of her favorite
settled in California with his Frisian as an attorney. When he’s not reading
subjects. Inspirations include myths,
goodwife (who carefully guards her about ancient or medieval history, he
fairy tales, and religious texts.
name against print). He works with enjoys fine food and wine. He and his
lovely wife live in San Francisco, where Brad McDevitt (www.bradleykmcdevitt.net),
code and databases for a living, but has
both are abundant. a 17-year veteran of gaming art, has
friends with degrees in linguistics and
archaeology (who will probably dis- Paul Tevis is a software engineer done work for everyone from TSR to
cover all kinds of errors in his work, but by day and a gaming fiend by night. Pinnacle. He lives in Ohio with his wife
who he hopes will appreciate the sub- Beyond his predilections for roleplay- Jessica.
ject all the same). He is also immensely ing and board gaming, he enjoys cook- Jeff A. Menges (www.skaircrow.com)
grateful to Matt Ryan (who suggested ing good food, drinking fine wine, and has worked on Ars Magica since 1989,
Adamic to begin with) and the many cycling. He lives just on the edge of
is currently pursuing a Master’s degree
playtesters (who were so very willing to Southern California with his wife and
in Illustration, and has been freelanc-
share their knowledge of Anglo-Saxon three cats.
Alexander White, at the time ing in the gaming industry for nearly
and Viking culture and history).
Timothy Ferguson is a librarian of this writing, finished his Honours 20 years.
on the Gold Coast, Australia. He col- in Classical and Medieval History at Patrick Murphy is better known
lects succulents. He’s had a Dracaena the University of Melbourne, Australia, in gaming circles as the “Mad Irishman”
for years, but didn’t know it was a took over the reins as General Secretary (www.mad-irishman.com). He has a Ph.D.
“dragon tree” or the folklore around of the University of Melbourne Student in Linguistics from the University of
it, until he started writing about the Union, and continued part-time work as North Carolina at Chapel Hill and
Canary Islands. He’s now started look- an adviser to the Victorian Parliamentary splits his time between a day job and
ing into the folklore of the other com- Secretary for Justice. He spends his few
being a Hoplite of the Order. Patrick
mon objects around his home, seeking spare moments each week involved in
would tell you what his day job is, but
further story ideas. political pugilism on various blogs, and
Jeffrey Kyer is a geo-archaelogist helping out various progressive com- he’d have to kill you.
living in the swamps of South Carolina munity and trade union causes. Tony Parker (www.tonyparkerart.com)
with his wife and son. He goes on digs is a Phoenix, Arizona based artist. He
in the Middle East to escape the heat still loves giving hugs.
and humidity. He built an aeolophile About the Illustrators Grey Thornberry (www.greystudio.com)
in highschool and always wanted to is a self-diagnosed (and self-medicat-
write about the Library of Alexandria. Jason Cole (www.jojamamida.com)
ed) illustrator based in Brooklyn, NY.
Fortunately, his wife tolerates his eccen- attended the Academy of Art in San
“About art I’d say there’s few things
tricities and corrects his grammar. Francisco for two years before accept-
Richard Love enjoys fine Italian ing a double scholarship to the Center more important than a well-drawn line;
food, Argentine tango, and slightly for Creative Studies in Detroit. He about myself, caffeine is the only thing
obsessive games set in an imaginary is currently enrolled in F.I.T.’s MA in standing between me and the evil per-
thirteenth century Europe. His partner, Illustration program. son I really am.”

144