Ars Magica 5th: The Price of Freedom [3-4 Players]

Nice :smiley:

How about the Glenan islands ? Uninhabited in the middle ages, but they were linked to the continent during the neolithic, and there's a dolmen and a tumulus (possible vis source ?). The water between the islands is exceptionally clear and blue (magic aura ?). And there's a flower that only grows there (possible vis source ?).
They are about a half a day's sailing trip from the coast of Brittany, which should cut down on fishermen going there, and ownership in the XIIIth century is not entirely clear, but possibly they belong to the Abbey of Saint Gildas of Rhuys (either a problem or good story potential).

My understanding of Ex Misc traditions is that, although they have been integrated into Hermetic magic, they are not well integrated into Hermetic society. Which usually results into the tradition being relatively limited geographically, as the members have little interest in travelling (or settling) abroad from where their tradition has its roots. So a tradition based on a Greek lineage of wizardry would be found mostly in Greece, with a few members in neighbouring countries.

So you'll have to sell me into the concept of the traition, as well as its historical/mythological roots. And then explain why a member of a non-local tradition would want to settle outside of its traditional territory.

That said, I think the concept can work. But it needs to be tied down to something local, with a reason to be there. You may want to look at Dannish mythology, perhaps something there will resonnate with the concept. Or somewhere else along the English channel. It might explain why your character would be there and working to create a covenant.

So long as it is only slightly reckless. Being too reckless may get you killed in this saga. Or get someone else killed. Or cause the destruction of your covenant.

Note that I won’t kill a character on a whim, or without warning signs. But it may happen, if the player doesn’t heed the warnings.

That's not quite true, I think - the societates book specifically mentions that the degree to which the members of a tradition are be geographically concentrated or scattered varies per tradition (p. 108). Also, the book gives multiple suggestions for how one might switch the geographical origins of the vanilla traditions it describes (p. 109).

Fair enough - I'll see what I can do once we decide on some of the specifics of the covenant to see what connection I can come up with. I think Halancar's suggestion of Glenan Islands sounds good.

Point taken :wink:

I'm not sure. It's a bit too isolated for my taste. You would be either completely cut off from mundanes, or would need to have a ship of some sort. It is also fairly close to Fudarus.

I do not see a ship as a problem, unless low resources mean that we need to walk around. A pair or 3 fishing smacks does not look pusing it: they are common, cheap (for magi) and easy to obtain and crew, after all.

A knarr here, just a larger version of the previous fishing smack. Suitable for trade, even if their cargo capacity is much smalle than that of larger vessels that are starting to be common in the Atlantic in this period, like the cog.

If we cannot have these (the first one), then islands would be out of the equation, or we need a large island in order for it to have a mundane harbor (so we can get to the mainland!). However, islands fit the bill of "get the hell out of her, noob" attitude of the old guard, expelling the new magi and forcing them to move to the real fringes of society, so I would say they are a good place to start :slight_smile:

If Glenan Islands or the Channel Islands do not fit the bill (both are around Brittany) I would vote for the north of Denmark, either an island or the mainland but near the water. I like Halancar's project, so I would like to acocmodate it if possible, and being near water is important for that. Denmark has the advantage of not looking odd for a Finnish skald tradition to be around. I really liked the description of the Glenan Islands that Halancar did, though :slight_smile: I was not aware of those, and they certainly look like a nice magical site.


Ok, I've thought it over and an island it will be. :smiley:

I'm thinking of Heligoland, along the coast of Germany and Denmark. It is small (but was larger at the time), so will pose a challenge to the magi to blend in if they have more than dozen mundanes. On the other hand, its geology is interesting, as is its history. It kept changing hands, had copper refining and fishing industries. In 697, the Frisian King retreated there before going back on the offensive against the Franks.

One reason for selecting this island, over the Glenan or Channel islands, is that I don<t have The Lion and The Lily. But I do have Guardians of the Forests. It is also closer to Scandinavia, so that will make Wits' concept easier to develop.

At the time that interests us, Heligoland formed the core of a much larger island, surrounded by a large, low-lying marshland and sand dunes separated from coast in the east only by narrow channels and surrounded by marshland. The action of the sea has since eroded most of the chalky island, leaving only the small island of Dune as well as the core of Heligoland, which is made up of red sedimentary rock.

Whether the covenant will have its own boats or hire mundanes to transport them will be determined by the magi and the kind of resources they can gather to form the covenant.

What say you?

I say go! Raise sail and forward to Heligoland!

If we are using the RAW GotF I can easily see Wadenzee and Oculus Septentrionalis become important players for us, either as allies or sworn enemies.

Question about the island: I guess rock will be no problem, but is it very forested? Google maps shows it without trees now, but no idea at the time. Probable neither have you, but since you are the SG I am asking :slight_smile:

If you don't mind dealing with a noob, I'd like to throw my magus cap in the ring. I've a concept that I wouldn't mind exploring, although I can be honest and say if I'm not sure it would even be feasible.

I'd like to explore the possibility of Chronomancy. For those not familiar with the AD&D term, it's about controlling and manipulating time itself. Not necessarily moving through time (although traveling within one's own lifetime is a decent idea - +1 if you get the reference), but definitely toying with Longevity Rituals. Maybe the ability to Scry upon the future, as well as look directly into the past. And due to the age of the character, he's rather obsessed with it. I mean, you have to be a bit OCD over the whole time stream thing if you're starting to think about Longevity Rituals at the ripe old age of 22.

For Arts, I'm thinking Intellego and Rego, with maybe a dash of Muto. For Techniques, he'd definitely need Vim, with maybe Imaginem and Mentem? For house, I'm thinking along the lines of one of the Mystery Houses, with Criamon looking like the best option here. The Enigma is all around us, and cannot be explained properly by only looking at the present, now can it?

On the Topic of Location
I'm not at all tied to any one location, whether it be land- or sea-based. The northern coast of France is known as a merchant's paradise, with multiple cities that house guilds and welcome sailing vessels to come in and trade their wares. Bruges comes to mind (and I only know that thanks to my character in Marko's campaign). But I wouldn't mind any location, really, as it gives me a chance to learn something new. :slight_smile:

Overall, I'm interested in this. If my concept is acceptable, I'll roll with that. If not, I'm sure I could come up with something else.

The French version of the Wikipedia article has some additional information. Neither the lowland nor the plateau has any trees. Too salty and too windy, respectively. Wood is imported from the mainland. There is a variety of plants growing up on the lowlands, some of which are edible. Plenty of sea birds, and fish a-plenty. Copper was mined and processed locally; some was also found in native form. Amber could also be found within limestone and gyspum in other parts of the island (but not the core plateau, which is made of red sandstone).

From wikipedia: "Traditional economic activities included fishing, hunting birds and seals, wrecking and – very important for many overseas powers – piloting overseas ships into the harbours of Hanseatic League cities such as Bremen and Hamburg. Moreover, in some periods Heligoland was an excellent base point for huge herring catches."

The piloting of ships may lie in the future, as the Hanseatic League hasn't been formed yet. Or it may already have begun. I think I'll go that way, considering that the island has reasonable industries that depend on exports and imports.

Hi Scarecrow,

I don't mind you being new to Ars Magica. As this saga will use mostly the core book, you shouldn't have too much trouble with a huge amount of rules.

You concept, however, cannot work in Ars Magica. Don't know if you have the core book, but if you do you should read the limits of magic on pp.79-80. Specifically, I'll quote the Limit of Time on page 80: "Hermetic magic is incapable of altering the passage of time. It cannot affect anything in the past, and can only affect the future by making changes in the present. This limit also means that Hermetic Magic cannot scry on the past or future. Most magi think this derive from the Limit of the Divine."

Yeah, I've got the core book and I'm still winding my way through it. I must have missed that passage when reading up on magic and such. I'll have to come up with a new concept, I see. Give me a bit of time and I'll think of something. Probably have a working concept by this evening.

We have a forum!

I've created the Character Concepts topic to discuss the kind of characters (magi at this time) that are proposed. Once your concept is reviewed and approved, you can then proceed to a full character development topic, one per character.

I also created a Covenant Creation topic, where the actual details of the covenant will be discussed.

We now have a full complement of players who are interested in the saga: Halancar, Xavi, Wits and Scarecrow71.

Should one of them drop out for some reason, then I will sollicit more players.

GREAT! :smiley:

About Scarecrow's concept, maybe we can alter it slightly to fit:

He does not want to travel through time and stuff like that, but wants to bend the hermetic Limit of Time and end up breaking it. Actually, the current Criamon are directed to do EXACTLY this in the current setting. I do not like this as a house philosophy myself, but it is RAW.

Now, for starters you need to learn to manipulate time. Longevity potions slow it down, ReCo spells can help you speed up or slow down the passage of someone in the space continuum (you move faster or you move slooooower; it can be seen as you moving normally but out of Sync with current time). Divination & Augury fit perfectly well, as does Premonitions. Spells to mature plants fast or slow down natural processes will be in the order of the day. Preservation and accelerated maturity/decay seems like a core businesss for this character concept.

And all that can be done by RAW. The only thing that is non-core book is the Divination & Augury (form The Mysteries book). It could be substituded by other methods if Arthur wants only core book rules to be used.

Neither of those breaks the hermetic limit, but IMO they simulate time manipulation quite OK :slight_smile: And then there is your research on regiones and towards breaking the limit :slight_smile:


I'm interested in picking up a second game, but I haven't had any ideas for a magus in a long while. Is there any chance I could play a Companion or a magical creature?

Perhaps later, but not at this time. I want to settle down the magi and the covenant before I can even think about introducing companions.

Feel free to monitor the saga and contact me with a suggestion of a companion that might fit in.

As one of the prospective players has withdrawn because the magus concept he was interested in couldn't work in this saga, we have an opening for another magus. Anyone who is interested can post his concept here or in the saga's forum in the Character Concepts topic.

I would be interested. I am thinking about a magus who has a deficiency or ability block in some form because of a clash with a demon, magical creature, or faire when he was a young apprentice. As a wizard, he would be interested in revenge, a desire that would become more dominant as he ages.

Answer will be in the Character Concepts topic of the saga's forum...