A wealth creating scheme a day for January

I've got very behind haven't I? Work has been busy, so it may take a while to get the full load done.

The ReAn base guideline level 3 "treat and process items made of animal products" from Covenants (page 50 in the rego crafting section) is useful to treat animal hide. A level 4 spell (base 3, +1 touch) will turn cowhide into leather without needing all the smelly dung and urine that makes actual tanning so unpopular.
As the spell is level 4, you can turn out an unlimited use lesser item at level 14 (+10 levels for unlimited uses), so within reach of a starting Animal magus for a mere 2 pawns of Animal vis.

An additional level for greater complexity should be enough to handle the softening process required for suede.

Looking at the sidebar on page 49, the trouble is that tanning is usually time-consuming, taking weeks or months. The finesse roll will therefore be mundane difficulty +6 (for something that can be done in one month) or +9 (three months) so you will probably spoil a fair proportion of hides and will probably need a real specialist working on this.


Using the same guideline ReAn 3 “treat and process items made of animal products” for silk and wool with the dye needing an Aq requisite +1 touch +1 Aq requisite for level 5; or ReHe(Aq) base 5 “treat and process items made of plant products” for cotton and linen +1 touch +1 Aq requisite for level 15.

These spells allow you to turn textiles and dye into dyed textiles, and to save cost the magic can hold the dye fast without needing the more expensive grades of mordant used in mundane dyeing. (See the rego crafting sidebar on Covenants p49 where it discussed bleaching skins to parchment without needing lye as an example).

This leads us on to two more wealth-creating schemes....


You don't need alum in order to make dyes hold fast with magic, but the mundane world does. Venice tries to keep its advantage by keeping a monopoly on Chios (off the coast of Anatolia) and what City & Guild lists as superior alum. Other sources of reasonable alum include Milos in the Cyclades and Egypt's Western Desert.

You could create this as a base rock - CrTe base 3 + 1 touch gives 1 cubic pace at level 4, so to get to level 20 ritual minimum you can do 10,000 cubic paces for no extra cost in vis. Alternatively, you could sneak into an alum mine, take an arcane connection and teleport rock away.
Using the guidelines in Transforming Mythic Europe page 107, it is base 4 to teleport rock 5 paces, +5 magnitudes for up to arcane connection distance. For range, this means either +1 (you touch the rock and teleport it to where you have an AC to) or +4 magnitudes (at AC range, you teleport the rock you have an AC to), and you will need +1 part target (ripping a chunk out of a bigger piece) giving the spells:

Send the ores home: ReTe 35 (base 4, +5 magnitudes for AC distance, +1 touch, +1 target part) send 1 cubic pace of rock out of a cliff to wherever the magus is holding an arcane connection to - this can be used in a magical mining device.
Steal the ores remotely: ReTe 50(base 4, +5 magnitudes for AC distance, +4 Arcane connection range, +1 target part) a mage holds an arcane connection to a vein of ore or a cliff-face, and steals 1 cubic pace of rock from it.

(This can be repeatedly abused for any form of ore, and I may come back to this)

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Coal is a base rock. It's also a superior fuel source, handy for keeping houses warm, forges fired up, kilns heated, and very useful in ironworking.

Creating the earth's black wealth - CrTe base 3 + 1 touch gives 1 cubic pace at level 4, so to get to level 20 ritual minimum you can do 10,000 cubic paces for no extra cost in vis.

Another handy ritual someone with a Terram focus in stone can do!

Bituminous coal has a density of 1.3 to 1.4, while anthracite has a density of 1.5. Alternatively in imperial measurements coal has a density of 78-97 lbs/cubic foot, so minimum 21,060,000lbs or 9,572 tons. Coal is superior fuel, selling for 3 mythic pounds a ton according to C&G so you’d best develop good transport.

Given you've just created a massive slab of coal, perhaps you need help breaking it up? Maybe a PeTe (base 2 weaken dirt +1 stone +1 touch +1 part) level 5 to turn a cubic pace from solid into coals. This could be enchanted into a pick (for the shape bonus) which has a dual use for turning rock into cobblestones for paving, or turning rock into handy sling stones for magi of the School of Vilano.


and if the coal is going to be used right away duration:moon should be plenty and save on the vis expenditures

I'm reviving this thread as I will slowly add to it, following the recent threads on Magical Industry
and A Brief History of Eels

Day 7: Vermin for fun and profit!

See Art & Academe p30 – the spell “A plague of frogs” adjusted to eels creates 1000 eels from a pool of water 1 base individual in size using CrAn 20. You could create mice from damp earth (very small bits of meat for desperation? Maybe with magic to kill you could get enough for food). You can get scorpions from dry earth for weapon or crunchy snack use. Overall, eels for smoking or preserving in jelly is probably the most edible. Creating bees sounds good, but as you have to use cattle corpses to create bees you might as well just create the beef in the first place.

You could turn plant matter into caterpillars – if you get silk moths, this could start your farm. Wikipedia says to get 1kg of silk, 104kg of mulberry leaves must be eaten by 3000 silkworms. (Thinking of silk from invertebrates, there’s also sea-silk, from Pinna nobilis, the pen shell – a bivalve that sometimes has pearls and is edible. It secretes a silky thread to anchor itself to rocks in the intertidal zone).

Sericulture was common across the Byzantine empire, in 1147 during the 2nd crusade Roger of Sicily attacks Corinth and Thebes and captures their weavers and equipment, and establishes silkworks in Palermo and Calabria. Sack of Constantinople in 1204 drives a lot of artisans to leave the city, many to Italy and some to Avignon.

Dies Irae has a section where some spider-obsessed magi weaponise this to create spiders from the air to attack covenants with. Another potential military usage would be creating scorpions from dry earth, although good luck to anyone in Hibernia or Loch Leglean trying to get the earth to be as dry as the North African deserts...

I do not believe that medieval philosophers would view the formation of silk by silkworks is considered to be the form of spontaneous generation of resources the way rats or eels were seen.

The theory of spontaneous generation relies on the writings of Aristotle and Pliny, who refer to silk being made on Kos. This comes from a north African/mediterranean moth, not the species from China that is the modern silkwork, introduced to the west in Justinian's time. This innovation occurs after the ancient authorities were writing, so we would have to speculate what medieval philosophers would think.

Which presumes that the word of the Greek philosophers was being accepted over the evidence of their own experience. I doubt very much that such a level of pig headedness would prevail (though I do not doubt it's existence) in the age, but the other question then becomes which is the correct answer for an ars magica universe- and whether the answer to that depends on whether you are talking hermetically or naturally. A world where it is known that silk is an animal product of insects the same way milk is an animal product of goats or cows and yet magic treats it as spontaneous generation where plant can be transformed to silk by rego could lead to some very interesting questions and basis for experimentation... (perhaps to see if grass could similarly be transformed into milk without the use of a cow to undertake a "living craft operation"

Day 8: Timber

Using CrHe guidlines (such as base 15 raise to maturity in a day) to mature acorn to oak is elegant. A spell of level 30 (15 base + 1 touch range+2 sun duration) will do this if cast after dawn.

Following the rules in Coventants, here's a spell to help - The Mystic sawmill – ReHe base 5 “Process and treat items made of plant products” to turn a tree trunk into useful bits.

Now, freshly grown wood needs seasoning. Do you use a CrHe 2 “preserve plant product from decay” in a place with PeAq “destroy water” (such as on a barn or a drying shed) to keep it dry and slowly season the timber, or ReHe the timber directly with high finesse roll (as it’s at least a season to properly “season” wood, and sometimes a year)?

Timber is 5lb/ton for standard grade, double for superior, half for shoddy.

I's make it a ReHe with an Aq requisite that adds to magnitude.

It takes a long time but very little skill to season wood. The finesse roll would be a base of 3 with +9 for a year's worth of seasoning (the standard where I live to be able to sell wood as firewood), though there are websites indicating 2 years of seasoning for oak...
on the other hand, you could cast repeatedly for shorter periods. I don't think the PeAq method would work becaus ethere is more to seasoning wood than it simply drying (I know the lumber company where I used to serve on the BOD kept freshly cut trees "under water" or essentially being wetted by a sprinkler system. However that was freshly cut trees, I believe the seasoning is done after cutting... and from what I found in a quick search the point to seasoning is to dry the wood slowly and carefully rather than quickly, suggesting that the ReHe method may be the only one that truly works.

On the plus side oak should be unquestionably ranked as superior wood, and if you grow enough at once you could set some aside to be seasoned the normal way and be sold in future years.

Day 9: Magic Smithing

A magic factory can be made quite easily – items of The Phantom Blacksmith (covenants p51) to create a huge number of cheaply turned out items.
Using City & Guilds, we have the following prices:
Brassware £150/ton shoddy, £300 standard.
Pewterware £375/ton shoddy £750/ton standard.
ironware £125/ton shoddy £250/ton standard

Note that Iron is £120/ton so 1 ton of nails, horseshoes, knife blades, etc. of standard quality makes enough profit to buy in iron and run a modest covenant. It can also be used to turn the produce of magical mining/metal creation into higher value forms .

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Pewter would be far more profitable- lead is ₤60 per ton, tin is £250 per ton, which puts pewter at £155 per ton and pewterware at £375 to £1500 per ton, depending on quality.
Of course reconciling the pewtersmith's earnings of £10 per year with a profit of £220 to £1345 per ton (with a profit of £595 per ton being standard) would suggest the pewtersmith works 33.6 pounds of pewter per year. Though of course the price list also ignores basic rules of trade such that prices will be lower where it is produced...

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Day 10: Weaving

Like the previous one, there's another area where the input materials are a modest part of the finished product's value - raw wool to wool cloth, flax to linen, raw silk to silk cloth – all show a big value increase from skilled labout. See MoH p57 – the wizard’s spindle is level 4 (ReAn 1 with +1 touch +2 group). Tapestries are very difficult by finesse but colossally expensive by C&G, so theoretically a real specialist in Finesse could make money.

Day 11: alternative uses for timber from conifers

Pitch and fuel – If you dry heat wood to get tar and pitch (£2/ton) dripping away, you also leave behind charcoal (fuel, £2/ton). Birch-tar is fine, used for adhesive, leatherworking, and chewing gum. Pine pitch makes good waterproofing. Anyway, this is a good use for a barn or storage building heated with CrIg.

Does this count as a processed liquid for CrAq purposes? (Yes, I know you can get better than £2/ton by conjuring beer, wine or olive oil, but it depends on what your local market demands)

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Keep in mind that the charcoal you produce will be 35-50% the weight of the wood you start with. Normally this is done with scrap wood rather than bulk wood, for example the scraps from a city worth of carpentry shops...

also shoddy timber is £2.5 per ton, superior fuel is ₤3 per ton, so converting shoddy 2.5 tons of shoddy timber (₤6.25) to 40% charcoal (1 ton=₤3) means you have to make up ₤3.25 with the other products...
tar yeild appears to range from about 8% to 12% of the original weight, however the price (assuming oil as a close product on the charts from city and guild) is at least more promising- ₤2 ₤10 ₤20 or ₤100 depending on quality equivalency to oil. not that at 8% production at ₤100 per ton you are only getting ₤8 per ton, and at lower values the profit margin disappears quickly.

Day 12: Magic baths

Normally, baths use a lot of fuel or require handy geothermal hot springs. However, magic can do this at quite a low level, allowing magi with a bit of ignem and aquam to provide a useful place that makes money.

Magic baths – CrIg base 2 (warm to touch) +1 touch +2 sun is level 5, with Aq casting requisite to heat 1 base individual (or small swimming pool). A steam room can be provided by CrIg making red hot rocks to pour water over.

If you're worried about cleanliness, maybe CrAq the water into existence and then CrIg the heat, so at sunset it all disappears and you can brush the swimming pool out?

You probably want base 3 CrIg (hot to the touch) for the bath instead of 2 (warm to the touch).