Aether & Baetylus

I am working on a plot involving the Form Aether and a baetylus. Research on which indicates that (per Plato and other classical thinkers) aether is invisible, intangible and non-material, and naturally moves in circles.

It occurs to me that

Aether is invisible, although it emits light.


Baetyluses (Baetyli?) are not and do not. They are, specifically, stone meteorites, sometimes with metal inclusions, that have fallen from the heavens. I conclude that a baetylus is not made of aether, although they are possibly extra infused with it.

Still, the matter is confused. Thoughts?

edit: Better definition of 'baetylus'.

Well, the first thing that occurs to me is, if Aether is invisible and intangible, how can Hermetic Magic target it? You might be able to get away with this using Intellego, because Intellego already bends that rule. Then, if you can target it with an ongoing Intellego spell, you could then use additional spells on whatever Aether you were then perceiving.

Muto Aether spells would allow you to make it visible, tangible, and move in a way other than circular, though I'm not sure what benefit that would have over Muto Auram magic. Rego would begin by accelerating or slowing its movement.

Aether passes through objects, including people. This suggests that, if you could transform Aether, you could do so while it is moving through a persons body, which seems a particularly high level, difficult, but spectacular way to kill your heavily armored enemies. If you can see Aether, probably with a Muto Corpus effect, this might allow you to see through objects.

Instead of making a spell to transform Aether so that it is visible or tangible, you could use MuCo on yourself to allow your eyes to see it and your body to interact with it. This might make a good escape spell, an alternative to ReCo transport magic, though because Aether moves in circles you would always move in an arc (barring additional Muto Aether Magic), and it would make it easier to target Aether in the first place.

Aether that can be interacted with is a potential power source; if you can transform your mill so that it interacts with Aether, the mill (or your windmill or whatever machine you hook this up to) never runs out of power. Similar effects can be created with Rego spells, of course, but for a Muto specialist this might be more efficient.

If Aether is a medium that carries something (I don't know what Plato says on this topic, and I can't stop thinking of the Victorian Luminiferous Ether theory, which postulated Aether as the carrier for light), destroying it would have interesting, if brief, effects; the Aether would probably flow back into the affected area, so your Perdo spell would be noticeable only for a moment. Similarly, creating Aether is certainly possible, but if it can't be seen or felt, it might not be much good.

It seems you've been thinking about Aether. :smiley:

I was surprised to discover, in the most recent ArM book, that Vim was not Aether. Vim is invisible, intangible, and seems to permeate most if not all matter, in that vis is deposited in various other forms. Vim does not emit light, at least not visible light, that I know of. Perhaps Vim is some kind of sixth element, or a compound form, composed of Aether and Ignem.

I could easily adjust my plot for the Form in question to be Vim, but I would have the same issue: a baetylus/meteorite is clearly a solid, stone or at least stone-like material, and not an immaterial object. Are they chunks of the vault of heaven, cracked off by Airy Spirits? Are they somehow transformed from Vim/Aethyr into Terram? Something else?

Isn't those two matters adressed in Dies Irae? Maybe you obviously came from that, if so, I'm sorry for the uselessness of this post.

For future searchers, the answer to my question seems to be that my predicates are wrong. Meteors are addressed in Art & Academy, p. 28, third column, second paragraph. Meteors are stones that have been lofted from the sphere of earth to the upper atmosphere: I suppose the tiny bits of earth and stone and dust and so on are kept aloft by being overwhelmed by the greater force of the upper winds. They are sometimes fused by an upper air phenomena, and when sufficiently condensed fall back to the ground. Most burn up, but some hit. This works perfectly well for my purposes, and explains why a baetylus doesn't go bounding over the land (although when I get around to introducing aetheric theory, I think I'll have to have a workaround for that odd quality of motion).

A baetylus is also detailed in Faith & Flame-- they've got a potential mythical association as "eggs of creation," or omphalos, going back to Antiquity. There's a bit of a link, too, with Sanchuniathon, who is mentioned in Between Sand & Sea, but it's not explicit in those texts; you'd need to do your own research on them. In F&F, a baetylus provides a longevity benefit.


Actually, the baetylus in F&F is where I started for this overly involved plot, including ... several of the Cosmic Eggs. They're potent and often difficult to outright steal, one of my favorite combinations.

I have just read, and do not have access to Art & Academe, nor Faith & Flame.

Is there information as to the whereabouts of the Baetylii of antiquity/Imperial Rome?

I'd like to flag something for you. Shocked quartz. There's a meteor strike site in Europe, which has created a unusual deposit (at least for Earth) of quartz. The site is in Germany. The nearby town of Nordlingen has foundations built of this odd quartz. If you can't find the cosmic egg, you can at least find a town mortared with cosmic eggshell.ördlinger_Ries

Humans make shocked quartz now: it appears in the craters of nuclear detonations.

That's interesting. Shocked quartz could make for an evocative naturally magic item, although you'd have to dress it up a little.

There don't seem to be many historic records of impact events - although there's the Kaali impact in Estonia in about 1500 BC. That might make an interesting expedition.

The omphalos at Delphi is supposed to be the stone ejected by Kronos, and to still be there to this day, although it's not clear to me that it's the same as the ancient stone.

There is a famous black stone still venerated today.

I suspect a number of them were forcibly cast aside in the early days of the Church, but this seems to be a very understudied subject.

It possibly says something about me that I considered the Kaaba in Mecca only on second thoughts, after I worried about the Lunar Limit and a certain monolith of geometric proportion 1, 4, 9.

Like a lot of ancient stone work in Rome, might a Baetylus have been used in a more recent construction, after the pagan temple/shrine was pulled down?
One wonders what it might be like living in such a house (original Ghostbusters theme has begun playing in my head)

June 14, 1098, a meteor is seen falling into the enemy's camp, and considered a sign of Divine wrath.

Battle of Antioch

Odd coincidence: Last night there was an apparent meteor or boloid about 50 miles from my home. No reports of impact. I'll keep an eye out for cults centering on Star Stones. :smiley:

May I get a page reference please? Makes it so much easier to look up.

F&F p74 "The stone" insert, with other text on p74 referencing this. Also I think Damia's description and character stats both mention it.

Little segway: If you are looking to give an appearance for Baetylus, have a google on "Meteorite peridot".
It could fit nicely the description of some earthy stones, lifted in the air, then condensed together. The transparent/translucent part that is made of peridot could be some form of condensed Aether or air made solid, with purified metal coming from earth.

You could even buy one to put it in the hand of your players - it is not cheap, but neither outrageously expensive (40-60 USD for a 10x5 cm pieces - roughly, it depends a lot on the quality of the material).

There's also Moldavite, a greenish meteoric rock, which can be a rather eerie-looking stone. Historically not observed until the 20th Century, but so what?