5.5 Founder Portrait Art - Bonisagus

Please post your portrait art ideas for Bonisagus here!

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What do you want this Founder's portrait art to look like? Please list the physical description, Action & Magic, Clothing, Accessories, and Background that you would like to see for Bonisagus' portrait.

We can’t wait to see what you dream up!

Here are the links to the founder art threads:

Bjornaer, Bonisagus, Criamon, Ex Miscellanea, Flambeau, Guernicus, Jerbiton, Mercere, Merinita, Tremere, Tytalus, Verditius

Bonisagus' portrait is especially the opportunity to show how diverse are the sources used by him to build his theory. So the character is less important than his surrounding. So much has been said about him that he acquired a kind of mythical, quasi-divinity status, thus most of his representations have been idealised, erasing most of his real features.

Scene: the Cave of Hermes, where Bonisagus chased the thieves that stole his satchel.
Key elements of the scene:

  • a marble statue of Hermes, the face has been eroded over time, but he keeps his distinctive winged helmet
  • standing against a wall of the cave, several clay tablets carved with Egyptian hieroglyphs and a mask representing Isis (with two "horns" encompassing a sun)
  • at the center of the cave, a table, green (emerald), full of carving. The table supports various alchemical equipment (glass retort, a pester and mortar, various parchment rolls)
  • on a stand, a delicate, finely crafted armillary
  • a whole wall has been turned into a blackboard, covered with various "primitive" versions of the hermetic art symbols, amongst other symbols - arabic writing
  • half a body of giant man made of clay (a unfinished or destroyed golem), hebrew letters on his body
  • on part of the ceiling, a map of Europe, with various symbols, mythical beasts
  • hanging from the ceiling, a long chain, with a cage and a trapped winged cat (not far from Bonisagus himself)
  • where space is left, shelves with rows of books, parchments, tablets.

Bonisagus himself is only showed from his back, his cloths are of the finest quality, but also clearly magical in nature (thin purple flames here and there), embroidered with symbols similar to the one on the blackboard.
He is standing straight, arms outstretched over his head, a small wand in one hand and several feet above his head, a blue mist is coalescing into another winged cat creature.
His head is slightly angled toward the cage handing from the ceiling, but it is impossible to see his features, only his hair (long, well kept, held by a golden brooch) and maybe the shape of his nose - if it is possible, even leave doubt if he is male or female (Hermaphroditus was the son of Hermes, but it might be a stretch, non-canonical).

The picture needs to be crowed with details so the character is almost lost, and inconsequential to the scene itself: who cares about Bonisagus, mages only crave for his theory and the various, unfinished aspects he was not able to integrate.

Physical Description:

Bonisagus is a middle aged, 50's, paunchy and unhealthily pale from his indoor studies. He is fearful, using his parma magica for the first time.

Action & Magic:

Bonisagus is defending himself from Trianoma and Viea, respectively. Maybe his parma magica lighting up from some kind of magical attack from them.


I see bonisagus wearing monk like robes, and Trianoma and Viea in the greek shawls with snakes around their shoulders.


A long staff in his hands lighting up with an attack spell.


Bonisagus's laboratory in the background in the Cave in the Alps he was hiding in. MAybe a hint that it's cold?

Bonisagus works in his laboratory in the Temple to Mercury in the Black Forest. Outside, Trianoma approaches the Temple, bringing a new maga to study with him - Guorna the Fetid.

The laboratory is set in an old Roman temple that is still semi-intact - there are walls and a roof (and a mosaic floor), but at least some of the pillars have been damaged. Inside the temple can be seen a somewhat primative Hermetic laboratory - there is relatively little glasswear, but a number of dishes and scales are carefully places upon workbenches. What there mostly are, however, are texts - ancient books, scrolls, papyri, even a few clay tablets, in a whole variety of languages - along with piles and piles of Bonisagus' notes.

Bonisagus himself is seated at a workbench. He's peering intently at a pair of acorns, one of which appears to be glowing white and the other green, whilst scribbling notes with a quill. He's an italian man who looks to be in his sixties - definitely starting to age but not yet frail. He has a beard which is now mostly white and is dressed in the simple clothes of a scholar.

Trianoma is walking up the path to the temple accompanied by her shield grog and Guorna and her retinue. She is a greek woman in her early fifties, dressed in well-presented travelling clothes, and projecting an air of confidence.

Guorna is a horrific old crone - pus filled, leprous, withered in both body and soul. She carries a staff of (probably human) bone, and has a necklace of teeth around her neck. Several undead attend her.

[I wanted to include Trianoma as the other "Founder" of the House. My initial thought was to show Bonisagus teaching her, but there's already a similar scene in HoH:TL. Them fighting was another option (and Trianoma with snakes woven into her hair is a dramatic scene), but it's not really what either of them are *about*. I initially dismissed having Trianoma bringing one of the Founders on the basis that they already had their own portraits and I didn't want them encroaching on Bonisagus', but it eventually occurred to me that there is one significant wizard who got brought to Bonisagus who *didn't* end up as a Founder...]

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