Bonding a Warder (or human Familiars)

So, a Merinata player suggested that long term they might be interested in extending the familiar bonding rules to include humans (I think he might be thinking of his mortal wife).

My first thought was of course of the bonding of Warders by Aes Sedai in the Wheel of Time series - empathic sense, quick healing, a re-inforcement of spirit between the Magus and Warder. But, has there been previous work on this in the books, or is it a popular thing in peoples games?



Bond yourself one or more Gifted individuals for fun and profit.
If the process is entirely voluntary and the person to be bonded cannot be coerced mundanely or magically.

IIRC there´s one instance of it in an earlier edition of ArsM, but i cant remember where i read it(years ago now).
I think it made use of nonstandard bonds also(maybe to make it possible at all).

here's a short discussion from a while back on this list.

Sounds like a nice little infernal power to me.


Ah yes, and Erik Dahl´s post that gives an already existing way to do it.

I remember the earlier conversation. Erik's point notwithstanding, in my own saga, I would rule that this bumps up against the limit of the soul as it can create and otherwise missing "True Friend' virtue. YMMV.

Just my two cents.


Magical Human could be very related to the Marry, the Pagan marry just like the Spirit Votaries but with physical beings. I was thinking in that Breacktrough.

I agree that a Magus should be able to bind anything with a might score as a familiar. So a magical human could work though it might require research, initiation, and/or stories. The question then for a Magi who want to do this to a normal human is how do you give the person you want to be your familiar a might score. My answer story, story, and more stories. RoP Magic should help with that part. Can't find my copy right now but I believe there is a way to become a magical human by making deals with powerful magical creatures.

The wife in question does have fairy blood so I guess the Mysteries method would applicable. Not having that book, are there any major differences between a Merenita bonding a fairy blooded human and the standard rules for bonding a familiar?

...and apologies for posting in the wrong thread :blush:

Page 104 of the core book says "an animal with inherent magic" so arguments could be made that a magical human isn't an animal and that a might score isn't necessary. I'd rather not resolve this by asking what the rules allow instead of what benefits the story, but I thought that a quote from the book wouldn't hurt.

Our troupe is following what Erik wrote very closely in several respects. We only allow animals unless you have some Virtue/Art that opens up others, such as Faerie Magic, Spirit Familiar, and Summoning. But we have a player who designed a magus with a brother who had died. The brother is now a revenant that the magus, a necromancer, wants to bind as a familiar. The magus is going to do original research (minor) to figure out how to do this, which adds to the story by making him investigate and by giving him a unique and desirable understanding of familiars.


I agree the rules from the ArM require an animal. But mysteries does have rules for binding spirits and I was pretty sure I'd read somewhere about binding elementels but I can't find it right now. Might be in RoP magic(still can't find my copy :angry: ) Either way I think you need a virtue to do it. So I would be willing to allow the Magi to experiment or seek out initiation to gain related virtues for other things with a might score.

Interestingly enough while looking for the relevant references on magic humans I happened to read the section on faerie familiars on page 89 of HoH MC. That outright states that a anyone with faerie magic can bind fairies or "people or animals who have become fay by close association with the faerie realm...". It also seems to suggest that at least in this case a might score is optional. If that means a human with faerie blood qualifies I'm not sure. Certainly I think it suggests a clear path for the example character to proceed down.

as said, you can already bind spirits, so thde "animals only" limit is nquite a void point already. If you want to bind other stuff, go ahead and do it. As far aas your tropue agrees and find it cool, it is kosher.

However, I would be very wary about binding humans because fo the free will thingy et al. God does not want people to be bound like that, I guess. True Friendship is something to be given freely, not to be earned through magical force. Now,k if tyou already were true friends, that is another matter. Or not. In any case binding humans as familiars breaks my vision of mythioc europe, so I would be against it IMS. But in your saga it might be the best thing to happen since Hedge Magic Revised Edition.


And faeries.

Thats irrrelevant. Its already very well known that a familiar can(or rather, DOES) retain its own will. Grimgroth and Vulcris has already been mentioned as an example in the other thread.

And as ezz notes in the thread, its not a oneway bond:

AFAIK an animal does not have Free Will. Only humans do. (Maybe angels do as well, but I am not strong in christian theology to say).

In any case, whatever. I would not allow it IMS. Wheel of time it is not a medieval myth.


Binding Spirits and Faeries BOTH require virtues to do.

~ Whether that could be extended to humanoid non-spirit magic beings, though...
My inclination is to say 'no, there's a fundamental part of the familiar bond that wouldn't apply' but I'm not sure WHAT.
I am tempted to say it's because, ultimately, the faeries, magic animals, and spirits that are bound do not amount to a human being's faculties, but such an argument is pure gibberish since these creatures can have as much or more int than any given human.

That's the thing, though, it isn't just about Medieval Myths. Ars Magica presents us with very rational reasons for why things are the way they are. And if you cannot explain it, chances are it's not a hard limit.

I wouldn't say this makes the "animals only" limit void since you need a Mystery Virtue or a non-Hermetic Art to pull off the non-animal options. It seems the limit just applies to vanilla Hermetic magic and that there are ways to get past this restriction.