An alternative take on the Diedne


I was rereading some old stuff when I cam across myself asking about the diednes.

The mentioned saga developed in a tangential way and we never really played with Diedne magic much (they were just NPCs doing their stuff on the fringes of our real story), but I just got some extra impressions on the topic.

In the original 2007 thread, Ravenscroft said:

Re-reading the post I immediately thought PRIESTS OF APOLLO!!! This methodology and learning process looks exactly like the hyperborean hymns. The massive power of the apollo choir mechanics also justifies stories like those in LotN and HMRE about the Diednes whipping the Pictish culture from the face of Earth with a massive curse.

The big problem is that the hyperboreans are TOTALLY based in NON spontaneous magic. However, their Choir mechanics can be seen as slow sponting methods (that require vis). It does not match with Diedne's powers, though, so they would still require some kind of extra feature.

Or maybe the breakthough of bonisagus was to convert the Ceremony methods into the spontaneous method of hermetic magic. The diednes simply took more advantage of it having learned how to cast Choirs before, and their sponts were more powerful as a consequence.

Just food for thought :slight_smile:


... that isn't completely silly.

Not sure about the rules arts, but I'm sure something could be created based on the priesthood of Apollon.

No seal of aproval just yet, but certainly food for thought!

The exact Arts and what can be done with them should be different for sure, but I was referring to the mechanics here. Hymnistic arts + (powerful and vis-expensive) Choir mechanics sounds about right for the ritualistic approach to Druidic magic IMO :slight_smile:


Stuff like this is always fascinating to read; not because of the speculation on the Diedne (my opinions of that have been recited at length elsewhere), but because the idea of "magical scientific advancement" is such a wonderfully charismatic thing.

Looking at a "modern" magical practise, like spontaneous magic, you can't help but wonder, where was it discovered? How was it perfected? What other things came from the same source, but were discarded along the way? Was ceremonial magic a later development of it, or did "ordinary" spontaneous magic develop from the ceremonial method?

(As an aside: Imagine finding, in the depths of some musty, abandoned library of a long-vanished covenant, a copy of the Breakthrough Tractatus which introduced the spontaneous casting method to the Hermetic world. From a history-of-magic point of view, it's an amazing relic. From a usefulness point of view, it's rather less so; everyone already knows its contents. It's like stumbling upon a copy of Newton's papers on gravitation.)

It does. Nice find tere :slight_smile:

I like it. It's a nice idea thematically as well as a good way to reuse rules instead of coming up with new ones. There's an old tradition linking the Druids to Hyperborea, so that works also (obviously not from a historical perspective but these are "magical" traditions we're talking about).

I'm prepared to drop the whole connection between Diedne and Spontaneous Magic. As many people have noted, this bears no particular resemblance to historical Druidic tradition, at least as far as anyone understands said tradition. It really just derives from a silly early 1990's perspective on over-rational "Romans" / Westerners as opposed to spontaneous and natural "tribal" peoples like the Celts.