Imagine an infinite source of mentem vis is found - harvesting it causes some trouble, but it is an infinite source (an infinite number of pawns can be harvested once a year).
I've been wondering how it would impact on a saga.
My thoughts/premises so far:
It is important that the vis cannot be used for longevity rituals.
It is the only vis source of a covenant just founded by young magi.
Is there going to be a huge wizard's war (initiated by greedy powermongers - House T., I am looking at YOU)?
How do the other producers of Vis react to it? Are there going to be attempts to destroy the source to stabilize the vis economy?
How much political power can you buy with infinite mentem vis?
What happens if the allegedly infinite source suddenly runs dry after 5 or so years?
First thought the source may be "infinite" but is there a logistical limit to the amount of vis the Magi can gather?
What form does the vis take? Does it precipitate in a solid form or would the magi have to come up with precious stones and such to move it into? Either way how much space is your harvest going to take up.?
Okay now that you have your vis harvested. Are the Magi going to have trouble storing it? There are all those rules in RoP:M for complicating the storage of vis. I can only imagine the difficulties go up exponentially when the amount of vis goes up exponentially.
Well some saga's and I think RAW (nobles parma) opens up the possibility of Magi using forms other then Corpus when they are closly associated (specialist) with that form.
It's a society where killing someone and taking all there stuff is okay as long as you give your victims fair warning. There is almost no way I can imagine a group of young magi could defend their windfall without help.
No, I personally find that reaction to be extremely unrealistic. Steal it, "nationalize it", trade for it, sure. But destroying it, even if you had no interest or need for mentem vis imagine how many magi who do. And if you got caught destroying such a resource every single Magus who thought they might find a way to benefit from it will HATE you. Expect extra shifts of Redcaps delivery wizard war notifications ever month.
Only as much as it's less trouble to deal with you than it is to kill you and take it. My advice make friends with the Redcaps turn the source more or less over to them for a flying butpile (technical term for 100+ queens of vis) of credit.
Depends on how many pawns where actually harvested. A flooded market could take years to centuries to level out.
It may cause all faeries, everywhere, to fall back into Arcadia. They can consume vis in the same way they consume milk, beer and attention, after all. Worse, to secure the source Faerie may generate an avatar of tremendous power. If you've read The New Watch and know about The Tiger, that's kind of what I mean.
The more I think about your idea, the more awesome it gets! Kudos!
I do like to turn back to the old saying that: If something is too good to be true, then it probably is.'
If they were 'sensible' about it and kept their discovery secret, I'd be inclined to let them get some great use out of it. They can trade a pretty reasonable quantity without drawing too many questions. I'd set a limit for that. Then I'd milk the paranoia about the source of this amazing resource: Is it leeching the brainpower of Europe away? Is some horrible entity playing some fell game? Etc? (Have you decided what that might be already?)
Beyond that, it'd be fairly crazy for the magi... the ability scores in mentem should fly through the roof with unlimited raw vis to study. Followed by incredibly 'cheap' mentem rituals... just those two things could be quite silly. Not to mention vis to boost casting... scary.
If it was me playing, I'd start engaging in ridiculous and rather frivolous experiments: What happens if I grind a pawn of vis a day into each of this dogs meals? Can I refine it using some ill thought out alchemical apparatus? Does it burn?
How might the order react?
What if you tried to share it? Unlimited vis for the order as a whole. It might stop people trying to kill the magi? It might lead to a massive war? It might be parlayed into other sharing? 'You can have unlimited vis, as long as you put something interesting into the 'book club''? Those 'deficient in mentem' might get very put out!
Although vis boosted mind control being 'free' is a terrifying thought for the order as a whole... someone would definitely need to breakthrough a 'parma mentem'. Suppose everyone now has boosted mentem art which might serve to reduce the effect in the order a bit.
If it ran dry after 5 years, it'd be interesting. There could be a sense of relief? Anger? Disbelief - you're just keeping it for yourselves! There might be a lot of newly made 'mentem experts' craving the stuff - perhaps the cost of mentem vis might then rise above technique vis? Perhaps that much raw studying was addictive and now it's cold turkey time?