Arcane Connections: What the devil does 'duration' mean?

I have searched the forum already and I can't find an answer to this: everybody seems to glide over or past it.

On p84 of the core book there's a list of possible Arcane Connections along with a 'duration' for each category.

What the devil does it mean?

Does it mean that shed skin from a human being can only be used for a matter of hours after leaving the body but an invested device made by them can last for years?

If the last is the case then why does any enchanter offend any other mage ever? Wizards War makes selling your products a bit suicidal! You should keep them close and only sell them after your death....

Or does it mean that's how long a spell can last if you cast it using an Arcane Connection.

Please enlighten me.

Core book, page 84, under penetration it lists bonuses for multipliers depending on the duration of the arcane connection, and in the insert next to it lists various arcane connections and their durations.

It means that arcane connections have expiration dates similar to food from the supermarket.

So shed skin from a person will remain an arcane connection to that person for a few hours while the mummified arm of said person would remain an arcane connection for decades. Other things fall on a spectrum somewhere in between there two extremes.

So yes a persons shed skin only lasts hours but an invested item made by them lasts for years.

In essence what it boils down to is that arcane connections are magical connections between things and things that derive from the first things. Some things have a stronger magical connection to other things and some things have weaker magical connections. Now I realize that I said thing way too much in the previous 2 sentences and I think it is better explained by examples, much as is done in the core book in fact.

Imagine a person. That persons bodily parts are naturally linked to the person, as mentioned above, both shed skin and mummified arms are things that were previously parts of the person, and for that reason they are magically connected to the person (but not vice versa). But not all connections are equal, shed skin is not a very big part of the person, metaphysically (and physically) speaking, so its connection to the person is weaker and thus expires quicker,, opposite goes for body parts.

Part of the reason for the expiration of small insignificant things like shed skin, air from a room etc, is that these things by virtue of being only weakly connected can easily become connections to a new thing instead, and thus loose their original connection. Bottled air from a room quickly become a connection to the bottle instead, shed skin becomes ordinary dust and thus becomes a connection to the room where the dust settles etc.

It is useful to consider how central the connection was to the thing it connects to before they were separated. Is dust or air a central part of what a room is? not really. A persons arm however is likely to form a significant part of their identity, as well as making up a substantial portion of their actual mass so the arm is a strong connection.

It is worth noting here that indefinite duration connections are AFAIK always derived from some magic that sustains their indefiniteness. Magi and their familairs, magi and their talismans and fixed arcane connections.

Since the duration scale for arcane connections maps to strength of association between connection and connected the scale is nicely useful for gauging how much of a bonus the connection ought to provide, which is what you see in the list with the column named "bonus to multiplier". Note that the bonus to multiplier is IMO not very easy to understand but as far as I do understand it what you do is take all of your "bonuses to multiplier" add them together and add 1, then you multiply the penetration of your spell by the number you got. Meaning that an arcane connection makes it much easier to cast spells on targets with magic resistance.

Arcane connection durations has no direct bearing on the duration of the spell. It imposes a limit on how long you can wait before casting the spell using the arcane connection. If you try to use an arcane connection that has expired your spell will fail since it is not an arcane connection anymore, and you thus dont meet the criterium of having an arcane connection.

Yes this does make selling items dangerous. I think it is quite likely that buy invested items comes with a very long shipping duration, but then again invested items are expensive to make and probably sold rarely and only to order. It makes items created a long time ago valuable for the fact that they can be safely sold. As to why sellers of enchanted items ever offend other magi I think the answer is the usual answers. Most people enchanters or no dont often set out to offend others it just sort of happens to them by accident or pride.

Depending on your stance the arcane connections can also be reduced in strength with PeVi spells.

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Ars Magica has too many fiddly rules and unexpected implications. Just hand wave that, as part of the enchantment proceadure, the final step is a trivial PeVi effect that severs any unconsidered connection.

Ars Magica has tons of amazing detail, almost all of which can make your game richer. At range touch the spell to reduce the duration of an arcane connection is 10. In a covenant's aura, using ceremonial magic and possibly props, level 10 (casting total 20) is within reach of most magi, you can handwave it, but you could also make it cool.

Thank you for your answers.

Hmm. It did mean what I thought it meant and not what some other person tried to convince me of. (That is wsa how long the Connection lasts after you start using it.) It means that getting the Quaesitor to the crime scene in a hurry is going to be even more important than it is in real life...

I agree that removing the Arcane Connection from a thing you created should be the last thing every enchanter does before handing it over. They probably only do it when is going to be sold because even a trivial Perdo Vim risks buggering things up monumentally on a botch.

Which means that the dead enchanter's works that are still around in his home covenant may still be available for my particular Quaesitor to use even though its almost a whole season later.

His apprentice's work (being purely mundane crafting) may or may not still be useful. Hmmm. Have to think about that...

if you are looking at an investigation taking place in an enchanters sanctum you are absolutely bound to find some arcane connections. Assuming that the enchanter in question didnt have time to clear his quarters before leaving he has most like left a ton shed hairs (lasting months), probably some stains of blood (from cutting himself), and lots of other paraphernalia that can be found.

This was addressed in Transforming Mythic Europe page 129, suggesting lesser items can be kept at a covenant for weeks for the connection to expire, and suggesting using a PeVi spell for those who make invested items to sell.

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