Turbulae (singular: turbula) are a type of magical disturbance that occurs when a child with The Gift loses control of their magic. While Apprentices gives troupes several different options regarding what criteria require a character to check for turbulence, for the purposes of this project, I will be taking the most liberal stance as this affords the greatest array of possible effects and seems the most likely choice for those troupes aiming to make use of turbulae in their home sagas.
I had previously declined to produce a Grimoire entry for this class of effects as specific effects are not required and the rules loosely make use of standard Hermetic guidelines, but in retrospect there is a somewhat unique feature - the effects produced by these magical tantrums do not need to be useful which opens up some interesting possibilities.
Troupes not making use of the turbulance rules might, perhaps, re-purpose these as the results of rolling a botch when casting spells.
Typically occurring when an apprentice is feeling particularly frustrated or overwhelmed with their studies, this turbula instantly destroys a single quill, sheet of parchment, or beeswax tablet touched by the caster. In places where slates or clay tablets are used, an equivalent Terram effect can sometimes be observed.
Effects of this type are seldom seen among Gifted individuals who are not members of the Order of Hermes, but some very young children who possess The Gift have been known to utilize a similar effect to rid themselves of unwanted articles of clothing such as shoes or hats.
In more severe instances of this turbulence, additional magnitudes often applied to the Range or Target parameters. Alternately, they might be used to increase Size or to add requisites necessary to affect a or more complex targets. Since the most potent turbulae of this type can easily damage valuable books, the libraries of most covenants feature wards to protect against this kind of effect.
(Base 4, +1 Touch)
Exempli Gratia: Albrecht, a nine year old apprentice, underwent such a turbulence during his Latin lessons, causing the wax tablet he was holding to suddenly become brittle and crumble to dust when he attempted to write upon its surface. Fortunately, the turbula was extremely limited in scope and nothing else was affected. He returned to his studies a few days later after receiving a fresh tablet.
Frequently triggered when an apprentice experiences surprise or embarrassment such as after knocking over a pail of milk or not making it to the chamber pot on time, this turbulence instantly dries up a liquid being touched by the caster. Because 'free' requisites aren't really applicable to turbulae, this effect may ostensibly target virtually any liquid within range provided the Target and Size are sufficient to affect the volume.
This effect is usually the result of a controlled episode of turbulence that merely 'undoes' the results of an action effectively cleaning up a mess the child has made and thus beneficial or at least neutral as in the examples above. In uncontrolled episodes, however, the magic can become less discerning and may target other liquids in the vicinity and while this is unlikely to be directly physically harmful, but may result in the loss of useful or valuable materials
More severe instances of this type of turbulence generally increase the Range parameter of add Size modifiers to the Individual affected though it is also not unheard of for Target to be increased or for the base parameter itself to be enhanced to Base 10: 'destroy a liquid.'
(Base 4, +1 Touch)
Exempli Gratia: Blanche, a six year old apprentice experienced a turbulence of this sort after inadvertently dragged her sleeve through the text she had been writing. Upset at soiling her gown and fearing that she would be punished for ruining the parchment, she began to cry causing the ink stains to vanish from both surfaces! Unfortunately, the entirety of her Master's ink supply was within range of her voice at the time and was similarly destroyed.
Typically resulting when an apprentice is feeling acute fear or shame, this turbula causes a dense bank of fog to materialize, mercifully obscuring the target from the judgemental gazes of others in the vicinity. A variant that generates a rain cloud instead of fog is sometimes seen in those experiencing sorrow or depression.
When it occurs outdoors or while being pursued by a dangerous enemy, this effect can be useful in escaping from dangerous situations and may be considered a 'controlled' effect, but under more typical circumstances the effect is too obtrusive and serves only to distract and inconvenience those in the vicinity.
With more extreme versions of this turbula, the Duration or Target might be increased to yield longer-lasting or larger phenomena. The base parameter might also be altered to generate more (or less) severe weather might result in accordance with the intensity of emotions that triggered the effect. On other occasions, the mist may exhibit even more unnatural behaviours such as following the caster or failing to dissipate.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter; +1 Unnatural)
Exempli Gratia: Christophoros, a 15 year old apprentice manifested this turbula after his romantic advances were spurned by a young lady he had sought to woo. Unfortunately, however,the sudden appearance of an impenetrable wall of fog in the covenant's dining hall only served to draw more attention to his humiliating situation.
Normally seen when an apprentice is feeling frustrated with their physical limitations or the social restrictions imposed upon them due to their age, this turbula causes the target to increase in Size to 0 for the duration of the effect. In mechanical terms, the the target gains +1 Strength and -2 Quickness per point of Size gained.
While increased Size can be handy in some situations, it is just as likely to prove an hindrance. As such, this turbulence can result from controlled or uncontrolled episodes depending upon the circumstances. Uncontrolled versions tend to be more overtly, magical, however, with the target often retaining child-like proportions or failing to include the free requisites needed to affect their clothing and other equipment.
Severe turbulae of this type might be of increased Duration, but it is also common for the Range and Target parameters to increase so as to affect additional individuals though this usually only happens when the caster be part of a group with other children. In particularly severe turbulences, there is the possibility of the target growing to even greater Size or that nearby adults will be shrunk down to the size of a child (usually -2).
(Base 3, +2 Sun)
Exempli Gratia: Dragica, a four year old possessing The Gift underwent one such turbulence after being told she was too small to help her parents and siblings with the harvest. While the ensuing tantrum did cause her to grow to her father's height in mere moments, her agricultural knowledge saw no improvement and she had to stay home with her grandmother anyway.
Ordinarily triggered when an apprentice is experiencing feelings of fear or anger, this turbula animates an item made from plant materials. Depending upon the severity of the turbulence this might result in anything from a shirt floating eerily above the caster to a collection of wooden dolls marching grimly patrolling an area with a free Muto requisite lending malleability to items otherwise lacking articulation).
The exact effects vary upon the items within range at the time the child undergoes the turbulence and should be adjudicated on the basis of what sorts of items are within range and likely responses. A linen sheet throwing itself like a net may prove sufficient to frighten away attackers unfamiliar with magic while uncontrolled versions tend to involve more dangerous objects such as pitchforks.
More potent examples of these turbulae might increase any of the available parameters, add magnitudes of Size, or enhance the base parameter itself to Base 10, allowing the targets to move with 'purpose and intelligence' without being direction from the caster, thus facilitating more sophisticated commands.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter)
Exempli Gratia: Eogan, a seven year old prospective apprentice exhibited this turbulence after being woken by a strange sound in the middle of the night. His shout of surprise caused his nearby caman to spring to life and savagely beat his father who had just returned from having gone out to void his bladder.
Generally triggered by a fear of the dark or else simply a strong desire for some sort of illumination, this turbulence causes light to emanate from the caster's flesh. The exact intensity of the light varies with the severity of the turbula and other parameters involved in the effect, but 'sun on an overcast day' seems to be the most common and sheds light in a 5 pace radius centred on the target..
While this effect can obviously be handy in some situations and is frequently the result of controlled turbulae, when uncontrolled it can prove disastrous by drawing unwanted attention to the caster, temporarily blinding those in her vicinity, or even starting fires. In addition, extended duration can result in sleep deprivation.
More extreme manifestations of this turbula might increase any of spell parameters. Alternately, the base parameter itself may be adjusted up or down to provide differing levels of illumination or, in extreme cases, to produce heat as well which can potentially constitute a fire hazard.
(Base 4, +1 Diameter)
Exempli Gratia: Fadila, an eight year old child with The Gift underwent such a turbulence while trying to making her stealthily make her way to the kitchen for a snack. Unfortunately, she stubbed her toes in the dark causing a glowing sphere of light to appear, illuminating the room nicely, but also foiling the midnight raid by waking her parents...
Usually triggered by reminiscence or anticipation of a particularly pleasant meal often in conjunction with hunger, this turbula changes the texture, taste, and smell of an object being held by the caster. Often this is in response to a subpar meal, but may also be used on inanimate objects to imbue them with a pleasing taste and scent.
While rarely invoked consciously, this effect does tend to result from controlled turbulae. In instances where that is not the case, the results tend to be unpleasant (food might taste like soap or smell of excrement) or bizarre (food that sounds like a bell when chewed or whose taste and smell are widely disparate). While generally innocuous, this effect can be dangerous by causing misidentification of lab reagents.
The most extreme versions of this turbulae might result in any of the spell parameters being increased as well as affecting the number and variety of senses the illusion targets. At the SG's discretion, a Finesse roll may be required to determine the accuracy of the images produced regardless of whether the turbulence was controlled or not.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter)
Exempli Gratia: Ganix a 12 year old apprentice has experienced this turbulence after missing supper while assisting his master in the lab. As his hunger grew, the boy's mind turned to his favourite meal causing the contents of the potion his master working on to acquire the appearance and smell (and presumably taste) of a delicious stew to the great confusion of all present.
Usually triggered by extreme exhaustion or great excitement, this turbulence causes the target's mental state to become 'wakeful' for the duration of the effect. More rarely, the reverse effect occurs, causing targets to fall into a sudden slumber instead.
While normally the result of an uncontrolled episode, the turbula can sometimes be helpful in staying awake, but as a rego effect it confers no resistance to the normal effects of sleep deprivation. Worse still, are those cases where the target suddenly falls asleep unbidden which constitutes a serious hazard.
More extreme variants of this effect usually affect additional targets (requiring a range increase as well) or increase the duration parameter. Normally, the adverse effects are self-limiting as the victim rapidly grows tired again, but with extended duration the symptoms grow worse with each passing day. Targets put into a magical sleep for multiple days are considered to be deprived of food and water unless arrangements are made for their feeding.
(Base 4, +1 Touch)
Exempli Gratia: Herru, a 5 year old with The Gift experienced this turbulence after she nearly stumbled into the cooking fire and her Mother attempted to send her to bed. While she was eventually convinced to lie down, the turbulence from an intervening tantrum left her unable to sleep a wink for two weeks.
Normally only seen in those with a preexisting affinity for Terram, this turbula is generally triggered by a loss of control such as being startled or experiencing great excitement though neither is particularly prevalent given the predominantly melancholy temperaments of most earth-based magicians.
Having few, if any, benefits, this effect is most likely to result from uncontrolled episodes but at the same time, while it might possibly frightening any onlookers, the consequences of this turbulence are fairly minor and can usually be resolved with a bath and some clean clothes.
The most extreme versions of this turbulence generally increase Range or Target to affect more people, but sometimes Duration is improved instead which makes it impossible for the target to wash the dirt away until the effect expires, but does add some minor utility in that the targets' presence can be used to help clean an area by attracting any stray dirt.
(Base 3, +2 Voice)
Exempli Gratia: Ioasse a 7 year old with The Gift underwent such a turbulence while playing with his brothers in the forest. While frolicking among the trees, his joyous laughter caused every speck of mud and dirt in the vicinity to be drawn to his skin and clothing. Returning back home covered in filth from head to toe, his mother had no idea magic was involved.
A comparatively rare effect which can be triggered by extreme stress from virtually any source, this turbula transfer vis from one object within range of the effect to another object that is likewise within range. Because this turbulence only has verifiable effects where Vis is present, it tends to crop up in laboratory work a lot.
Normally, this turbulence doesn't cause many problems as a magus can usually find out where the vis went pretty easily and just transfer it back if needed. House Verditius who may not be able to achieve sufficient Formulaic Casting Totals to do so. Another possibility is that the caster may somehow transfer to vis into their own body - impossible with Hermetic Magic, but not necessarily outside the realm of possibility for a turbulence.
Because the effect normally lasts but an instance, more extreme versions of the turbula tend to enhance the Range parameter allowing the caster to affect more distant targets. Increases to Target are also possible, but unlikely as the default effect is already of moderately high magnitude and increasing the parameter to 'Group' isn't always applicable or appreciably worse.
(Base 10, +1 Touch)
Exempli Gratia: Jutte, a 13 year old apprentice was assisting in her parens' laboratory when she was suddenly startled by her mistress' familiar, a rather large snake, rubbing against her leg. Her surprise caused the jar of pickled dragon eyes she was carrying to become magically inert as the vis they contained was transferred into her shoe. She also accidentally kicked the snake, but it was unharmed.
Encompassing a range of effects that be invoked in a variety of ways, this turbula causes a single worm to be generated from a quantity of the appropriate substrate. The resultant creature might be an object of study, a pet, or a snack depending upon the species generated and the attitudes of the caster in question. Since 'free' requisites are not applicable to turbulae, this effect can target matter the caster is not able to perceive so long as it is within range.
While this effect can produce animals considered palatable in Mythic Europe such as fish, eel, and frogs, the majority of vermes created by this effect are considered pests and so might result from either controlled or uncontrolled episodes with distinction generally being determined by the reaction the creatures are likely to invoke. A single mouse might being a fun distraction while hundreds of centipedes are very much another matter.
More severe instance of this sort of turbulence almost always result in the Target parameter being increased to allow generation of greater numbers of worms with additional magnitudes for Size as needed. Sometimes, however, the Range parameter is also improved, affecting more distant targets. If Range is decreased, the result is typically to infest the caster or her clothing with pinworms or some similar parasite.
(Base 5, +1 Touch)
Exempli Gratia: Katell, an 8 year old with The Gift experienced one such turbula when her future parens was teaching her about the Order of Hermes' illustrious history. Already having a deep fear of spiders, hearing tales of Damhan-Allaidh's and war against the Order resulted in her subconsciously causing the air around her to coalesce into a particularly large specimen that attempted to bite the terrified youth before being swiftly dispatched by her trusty cat.
Frequently the result of craving something other than water to drink, turbulae of this sort magically transform one natural liquid into another for the duration of the effect. Because the volume of a base Individual target for Aquam can vary dramatically, it is important to ensure that the spell can affect both liquids in sufficient volumes. Otherwise, the amount of liquid may be reduced quite dramatically.
The most common application of this turbula is to transform a potable liquid in one the caster finds more palatable and so would probably be controlled, but this is not always the case. Transforming wine into water could cause an unwitting drinker to get sick when the spell terminates for example. Uncontrolled episodes might also result in blood, urine or some other disgusting substance. The very worst instances might even change the caster's bodily fluids into something like lava or vitriol (the caster himself is protected from harm by the nature of Muto magic, but bystanders may not be so lucky).
More potent variations on this effect could enhance any of the standard RDT parameters, but it's just as common for magnitudes to be devoted to Size as these are necessary to affect substantial quantities of processed liquids such as wine. While more typical of uncontrolled episodes, the base parameter could also be increased to produce liquids with unnatural magical properties or to transform liquids into other materials entirely. It's also not at all unusual for the Duration to be reduced to Diameter for more potent effects.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)
Exempli Gratia: Leontios, a 5 year old with The Gift went through such a turbula when his family's goat stopped giving milk and his parents fed him beer instead. The child's lamentations magically transformed the family's supply of beer into warm fresh goat's milk! Leontios was delighted at this turn of events, but his parents were most definitely not. Thankfully, the effect soon expired at sunset to everyone's relief though poor Leontios did wake up with a terrible headache the following morning.
Usually seen in those with an affinity for Auram, this turbula can be inspired by strong feelings of one sort or another, turbulae of this sort transform one sort of phenomenon into another. Turning a biting north wind into the smell of a hearth fire or transforming a patch of dense fog into a refreshing breeze. Due to the existence of 'free' Creo or Perdo requisites, the severity of phenomenon can be changed provided the base parameter is sufficient to affect both.
Because turbulences of this sort tend to be subtle or at least not readily identifiable as magic, they may result from controlled or uncontrolled episodes depending upon how those affected by the magic are likely to respond. Fog that smells of garlic might help ward against vampires for example, but most are likely to confuse or frighten those in the general vicinity. Fortunately, the results are rarely directly harmful.
More powerful versions of this turbulae usually affect Duration as Range and Target must usually be paired to affect more serious weather phenomenon. It may, however, be necessary to add magnitudes in Size. The base parameter might also be increased if the air is being transformed into something associated with a different Form or decreased if only a single property is being affected such as colour or scent.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter)
Exempli Gratia: Mojgan, a 13 year old Apprentice experienced a turbulence of this sort while assisting her parens in the laboratory. Being of a strongly religious bent and never fully comfortable with the use of magic, her discomfort at the pagan trappings around her caused the draft from a nearby window to become the suffocating stench of sulphur, forcing the evacuation of the lab until the following day.
Usually triggered by pain or the anticipation thereof, this sort of turbulence causes a person being touched by the caster to feel great pain without any corresponding physical injury. The specific type of pain caused tends to be what the caster is feeling so someone suffering from an abscessed tooth would cause dental pain via their turbula. Note also that the pain experienced is based on how the caster perceives it and thus will probably feel worse than adult characters might expect.
This effect is generally the result of uncontrolled episodes as by its very nature it can't be 'neutral' and while it may occasionally be useful to inflict terrible pain on an assailant, more commonly it affects those trying to aid the caster and hindering their efforts or innocent bystanders simply going about their business. Naturally, the greater the scope and intensity effect, the less likely it is to result from a controlled turbulence.
More severe instances of this turbulence tend to increase the Range or Target parameters while Duration is seldom seen though it can be torturous when it is. Alternately, the base parameters may be increased such that actual wounds are inflicted instead - though the SG may consider using the Bruising rules from Lords of Men at his/her discretion as a compromise of sorts.
(Base 4, +1 Touch)
Exempli Gratia: Nandor, a 7 year old with The Gift suffered such a turbulence after he made a mistake during his grammar lessons and his tutor decided that a birching was called for! When the teacher seized him to commence the punishment, however, his fearful anticipation of the impending whipping caused the man to be afflicted with the same pain he had sought to inflict upon his pupil allowing the boy a temporary reprieve.
Potentially triggered by strong feelings of fear or anger, this type of turbula causes items crafted from non-living plant material to be instantly destroyed. Being a turbulence, the effect can easily incorporate 'free' Animal and Terram requisites to affect more complex matter as well.
This effect might be controlled or uncontrolled depending on the circumstances. It may well allow one to escape from the net of a child-eating ogre or disarm a switch-wielding holiday demon, but under more typical circumstances the indiscriminate nature of uncontrolled turbulae means that it's far more likely to destroy tools, furnishings, or even entire structures.
Stronger variants of this effect typically increase the Target parameter to affect larger and more numerous targets frequently with extra magnitudes being devoted to Size. Range is occasionally increased as well though this is uncommon unless combined with improvements to the other parameters as well due to the intensely personal nature of the turbula.
(Base 4, +1 Touch)
Exempli Gratia: Orlaith, a 2 year old possessing The Gift experienced such a turbulence after her mother insisted that she put on her dress before going outside to play. The resulting tantrum caused the offending piece of apparel (as well as every other stitch of cloth within the sound of her voice) to rot away in an instant. Delighted at first, the toddler soon had a new complaint of being cold...
Responding to potentially any stimulus, this turbula alters the properties of a fire touched by the caster in ways that are blatantly unnatural. A bored child might cause the flames to burn more brightly and with vivid colours while one who if frightened of the dark might cause the fire to burn more brightly and emit a scent the caster finds comforting.
This sort of effect is equally likely to result from controlled and uncontrolled turbulae with the flames' response being flavoured accordingly. A turbulence caused by a fear of fire for example might cause an unnaturally serene fire when controlled or a nightmarish blaze when the effect results from an uncontrolled episode. Some hermetic scholars have suggested that the choleric nature of fire makes it unusually responsive to emotion.
More powerful versions of this turbulence are most likely to increase Duration, but increasing Range is popular too as 'touching' may be wrought with peril. Magnitudes are occasionally devoted to increasing the Size of the target, but Target parameters of greater than Individual are quite rare in practice. In some extreme cases the base parameter is raised as well resulting in fires with even more overtly supernatural characteristics.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)
Exempli Gratia: Ponce, an 11 year old apprentice went through a turbulence of this sort when tasked with feeding the fire in his master's sanctum. Having suffered numerous burns and scalds in the past, his nervousness around the fire caused it to undergo a sinister transformation. The light shed by the flames dimmed and it emitted an acrid smell while tendrils of flame shaped like wolves lashed out, trying to catch little hands as they added fuel. Fortunately, the lad persevered and managed to keep the fire going until the effect expired.
This turbula, which might result from any sort of strong emotional stimulus, causes the creation of an image capable of producing species that affect a single sense. The exact content of the illusions generated varies so that a child being chased by a troll might create a scent trail leading the creature in the wrong direction while another who is afraid of the dark might cause a pair of glowing eyes to glare menacingly at her through the gloom.
Virtually any sort of illusion can manifest if the turbula is powerful enough and the results have no direct physical effect on the world so the distinction between controlled and uncontrolled episodes generally comes down to how people (including the caster) respond to the illusions being generated and the indirect consequences thereof.
More powerful variants of this effect typically increase the base parameter to affect additional sense or add magnitudes to Size or Complexity to improve the size and scope of the sorts of illusions possible. Any of the RDT parameters could be increased if it fits the effect as well, but this is slightly less common than with other turbulae.
(Base 1, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 Complexity)
Exempli Gratia: Qamra', a nine year old with The Gift was the cause of one such turbulence during a quarrel with her brother during which the older sibling decided to put his sister in her place with a savage tickling. The child quickly conceded the argument, however, the shrieks of laughter and desperate pleas for mercy continued to ring out long after Qamra' was released. A local holy man was called summoned to exorcise the spirit responsible, but this had no effect and the sounds went away after a few weeks.
Typically initiated by feelings of confusion or annoyance with one's elders, turbulae of this sort work by diminishing a single facet of the target's mental capacity - the ability to tell truth from falsehood, for example, or speak and understand words. Regardless of the specific deficit, the target's abilities within that area regress to the point of being comparable to those of a very small child.
While the effects of this turbula are generally short-lived they are also subtle enough that in many instances the targets never realize they were affected by magic or reconsider events that took place under its influence. Even when the effect seems beneficial, however, this turbula tends to have unforeseen consequences and so is generally Uncontrolled.
More powerful variants on this style of turbulence usually increase the Duration or Target. Enhancing Range to facilitate this isn't unusual either. Another possibility, however, is that the base parameter will be raised to base 10 thus diminishing all of the targets mental faculties for as long as the spell persists.
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter)
Exempli Gratia: Rudiger, an 8 year old with The Gift underwent a turbulence of this type while fleeing an angry mob his Blatant Gift had roused to violence. One of them had just grabbed the child's shoulder when he gave a sudden yelp of surprise which caused his pursuers to lose their physical coordination some tripped over their own feet while waddled waddled awkwardly as best they could while the boy quickly made good his escape.
Due to the extreme variety of effects it can produce, this sort of turbulae can come into being as a result of many different situations. At its most basic, however, these effects cause one type of earth, metal, or stone to be magically transmuted into another for the duration. A character falling from a tree might turn the stony ground beneath into soft mud to reduce the damage imparted, for example.
Due to the ubiquity of potential targets, the circumstances under which such turbulae occur tend to be more important than the target or effect. Turning muddy morass into stone might allow a character to stride across it easily or trap her even more securely if already stuck. Similarly transmuting lead to gold might purchase supplies or see one beaten and robbed depending upon the time and place.
More severe instances of this turbulence might potentially increase any of the standard RDT parameters ('Partial' being especially popular) as well as adding magnitudes to increase Size or else to affect more difficult targets such as stone or metal. The base parameters themselves might also be adjusted up or down to imbue the target with unnatural qualities.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter)
Exempli Gratia: Songoja a 10 year old Apprentice experienced such a turbulence when sent to collect water (as she was every day). A bridge being washed out forced her to take an alternate path to the well which involved scaling a steep rocky slope and during the ascent she began to slip! Fortunately, her magic immediately kicked in causing the rock under her hands to yield to her grip providing perfect holds while she continued up the hill to complete her chores.