Anulus Connectens: Janus of Mercere

yes, the exact quote is "four art specializations (at most two of which can be techniques)" So you could have four forms or three forms and one technique as well as two of each.

Ah, true.

Janus takes as apprentice in his year 26 his at that time 10 year old granddaughter, naming her Vesta.
The girl has been noticed as potentially Gifted at a young age, her parents had needed to live somewhat sheltered lives from the rest of the village due to the Gift. Their vocation was with cattle and leatherworking Once discovered by Janus she waited in wonder a few years until her apprenticeship could start, with some of her time spent at the covenant. She is an exceptionally bright girl, above average senses, healthy, and good with her hands but an unremarkable, stuttering mousy girl otherwise. Her new found confidence in herself will soon after the start of Janus' year 31-45 be boosted by Andreva's rituals to increase Prs and Com. Her sheltered upbringing have left her with a yearning to see and learn new things. To begin with this is mostly local travels and simply meeting all the Redcaps and magi passing by. In time she wants to travel, and Janus expects her to he off to Harco post Gauntlet so see how she can best serve her house. Although we would like to see a blood relative take over Anulus Connectens his retirement is still far off and he expects to teach more apprentices.

Stats given for her Apprentice year +4, concurrent with Janus year +30. As we only publish characters at 15 year intervals Vesta will in Janus year +45 be well Gauntleted so I gave her all her Virtues & Flaws now, but only some of her exp in abilities. Her 240 apprenticeship exp and 120 spells levels have been summed up and divided, giving an average of 24 per year (as compared to the 30 per year we give the magi). Had I been designing and developing in shorter intervals I would have taken some spells spread out over the time. As it is I've decided Vesta is not taught spells during her first 4 years, so none are featured in her stats below.
Her early teachings have covered the basics and with a focus on her Pater's needs. She is not intended to be abused as a lab slave, although quite efficient in a lab she is as outgoing as Janus is, and concerned with running the Mercer House.

One may notice her Story Flaw: Difficult Underlings...The mundane staff of the covenant have been carefully picked by Janus and several have had predecessors work there as well. But this demure 14 year old girl simply can't get thing done! The staff is useless and unresponsive when she tries to handle things alone. Apart from weak social attributes and next to no relevant training this certainly poses a challenge for her.

Vesta has deficient Perdo too. It's contagious!! (or perhaps she was just consorting with the wrong types during her early apprenticeship).

That is quite likely. I like having the challenge of overcoming a Technique Deficiency. I went with something different than Janus, and the other Techs just seemed off regarding the concepts of Janus and his filia.
Vesta likes animals and is Inoffensive to them so maybe she found Adreva's familiar interesting?

Or Bausas' or both.

Those magi both have Perdo Deficiencies? Shazbat! It may make more sense for her to inherit her Parens' Intellego Deficiency then. Just so everybody and their grandmother don't suffer from the same flaws.

Anulus Connectens: We Suck at Perdo!

In character (and in jest): "It's been over 30 years! You're just noticing now?"

I say keep it.

Vesta very well could have spent a good deal of time with people who will tell her that perdo is difficult. Bausas has the gentle gift and personality traits (Cheerful +2, Compassionate +2, Conciliatory +1, humble +1, Tidy +2) that make him pretty darn likeable not to mention that he is "a friendly sort who likes to talk with people - magi and mundanes alike". While there isn't an equally clear case for Andreva, you could certainly find justifications for one if you chose to,(She's another woman, she doesn't seem intimidating, she has nice stuff that she likes to share, she is friends with an exceptionally pretty horse, she has excellent manners).

Ha! Well apparently Perdo isn't very important for this covenant. Janus is ok at it, and has made some device effects using it. Although all effects which could as easily have been made with Rego has been made like this.

I'm sure Vesta has spent time with the other magi, and could easily have helped out with minor things like scribing and copying. And Andreva has swords. Not one but plural! That ought to be interesting. And while Andreva and Basuas may have told Vesta that Perdo is hard Janus will have told her how important it is to understand Intellego - to avoid her inheriting his Deficiency.
As I plan for her to want to work with animals and animal products she may want to be able to use Intellego better than Perdo anyway.

Posted here is an edited Vesta. I realized her interest with animals already backed by Inoffensive to Animals would have been nicely complemented by Animal Ken. And there was alight switch around in ability exp because if she can talk to animals she does not need to hunt then or sneak up on them.
Finally she has undertaken the Rituals to increase Communication and Presence together with Adreava, hence the improved characteristics since first version.

As Janus is progressed through years 31-45 - done year by year using Metacrator - I shall attempt to have Vesta follow so her actual score in Magic Theory is used for assistance bonus. But with a need to learn Arts as well as a good deal of important Abilities I doubt her Magic Theory will be much higher than it is now. Vesta lacks 11 years of apprenticeship which means the final years of Janus' 31-45 period is without assistant. And just maybe his next apprentice will be coordinated better with the time periods we use...just for simplicity.

Edit: Vesta has had 4 Warping points added for the rituals to increase Prs and Com. Thank you Jason72

Does Vesta accumulate Warping from the stat raising rituals?

Good question. Yes she does. We're talking about 2 casting each of two different powerful mystical effects, so she is lacking 4 Warping points. Good catch. I'll just edit the above post and edit that, no need to re-post a full character.

This also raises the question of Warping for Janus (and the other magi for that matter). Janus is affected by Longevity by now, and Metacrator tracks this all right. He has not been subject of any of these rituals. But had he been played in a saga he may very well have had magical botches and therefor should be more Warped. Had he been careful and mostly a stay-at-home lab rat and social guy this would most likely be less than a spell-hurling battle wizard. Even so.
Normally a magus advanced beyond his Gauntlet should have 2 Warping per year as an average, is that not the quick fix? IMHO this takes into account Longevity as well, so Janus needs to add 30 Warping points to what his Year +30 already has.


Janus year 31-45 progress report:

Alongside teaching his apprentice Janus has made some nice lab projects during the first 4 years, he has a good assistant.
Within the second year he has invented:

Vesta writes up this lab text from her Parens' shorthand and files it in Anulus Connectens' library. The other magi - Andreva namely - is free to invent the spell from text from this time.

Further projects of janus' in this timeframe - apart from study, in order to cast his moderately powerful spells - includes (in brief):
-CrAn spell to bring animals within a circle to full maturity in a day
-CrHe spells to bring plants within a circle to maturity in a day (all those animals need fodder!)
-A sackfull of (charged device) wands causing an Incapacitating wound to an animal up to size +3, R: Voice Pen 20

Why Size +3?
A base individual for Animal is up to +1 (same as for Corpus), and a magnitude for Size usually adds a factor 10 on mass, meaning another 3 size, for a total of Size +4, so it seems a little odd to me, what am I missing?

I seem to have been remembering that +2 mags for size for animals means an increase of the Size affected by +5. So I gathered a single magnitude was good for +2 Size (when rounding down). I could have rounded up for +3, to change the animal affected from +1 to +4, but Size +3 is enough to affect the wyrms.
It may be most correct to have the spell affect Size +4 animals then.

As the situation with the wyrms at first waking up followed by the dragon unfurls, Janus builds devices to help. Both devices for protection, offense, and for mitigating the destruction of resources - the latter also boosts the covenant's resources. Janus is also deeply involved in the political game with rivals moving against Anulus Connectens, hence his improved social, legal, and organizational skills. For the first 11 of the 15 year period Janus teaches Vesta and has her assistance in the lab. Many of his lab texts for spells or charged devices are written in full and copied by Vesta and used for political favours or to supply Janus' vis needs.

Vesta finishes her Gauntlet in Janus' year 41. With her skills and ambitions she moves off to Harco for further study and eventually a position suited to her future role in the house. However useful she may be developing two magi is about twice as time consuming as simply doing one, so...

I may implement some changes to personality Traits for Janus over the course of the decades, plus I'm thinking he at this point (year +45) has a reputation. I won't boher with Confidence here, as I would have in an actual saga.

As for Janus' plans for year 46-60 it seems the theme is Demons.
Regardless of this Janus has some plans. First off he wants another apprentice. This time I'll give him a boy, nowhere nearly as clever and awesome as Vesta but still useful, someone connected to Janus' blood waaay out. His grand plan is to build Mercere Portals. And he needs to hit the books for this one. His lab has not been improved since the first 15 years so this is about time, also necessary for the Portals.
More useful craft magic and practical, economic devices . I Have a few ideas; harvesting grain, processing it, picking fruit, preserving it etc. Maybe a forge that heats metal for quick and easy blacksmithing?
I'm running out of ideas to improve the covenant though; we already have cleaning, heating, cooling, fresh air, ward against weather, repelling vermin and bugs. Cleaning clothes? This seems easy and therefore an oversigt it was not invented decades ago. Chamber pots which destroy the waste in them? A device making temporary silverware for serving and eating with? Mind you, this one already exist in Collem Leonis in Through the Aegis. What about a device making temporary chairs, benches and tables? So you never have to bother cleaning or repairing them, or moving them if the hall needs a lot of floor space - simply deactivate the effect.

And naturally Janus will have to study Infernal Lore, plus maybe improve his Folk Ken and Intrigue in order to better weed out the bad apples. And maybe invent a spell or create a device to destroy demons. I think maybe device, because then someone else can go do it :wink:

Edit: Janus may want a Familiar, but what? Best Arts are Rego and Animal/Auram/Ignem/Terram/Vim are all equally high (or will be during the early stages of next period). Not Botching in lab seems like a good idea. Until now he has been very lucky with his Experimentation. Plus teaching it Magic Theory seems He hardly needs a Talisman as he casts very little magic, and when he does it is at home under relaxed circumstances.

The Mercere have a line of white cats known to be friendly and sociable (RoP:M), maybe he wants one? I just read up on the cats, and it would make sense for Saoirsé to have a tortoiseshell cat (Who, when male, is apparently a transvestite....). If thinking about this as an actual saga, there could even be minor stories for the two familiars, doing things together to save their "Hooo-mans" :smiley:

I expect Saoirsé to go full on Demon Hunter, maybe even a Venatores, so puttering away with Anti-demonic magic is something she would support.