I was going to give my guy minor focus: wood as inspired by Väinämöinen's penchant for crafting wood with his magic, but since Xavi's char already has that, I thought I'd let myself be inspired by his tendency to sing people into swamps. I can see why you don't like that formulation of the focus, though. How about simply "teleportation"?
Edit: Nah, that goes for teleporting anything, doesn't it. I've never had a character with a minor magical focus; this is proving surprisingly difficult.
You could go for Enchanting Music... but for a magus having to sink xp into a Supernatural Ability isn't exactly cost-effective.
Minor magical foci are hard. The rulebook gives a definition of the virtue (narrower than a TeFo), then promptly ignores it completely in the examples (most of which are extremely narrow restrictions of a Form), leaving the poor players a bit perplexed.
Minor focus in stagnant water (AM5 p.45) and music (MoH p.136) are canon, for what it's worth. The first suggests that a minor focus in swamps would be all right, but better check that there are some in Heligoland ! Influencing people might work (narrower than ReMe because it does not cover ghosts and spirits).
Covertly leading toward a place, by any magical means... well, the name is clumsy, but thematically it fits, there are plenty of legends of enchanters, faeries, and magical creatures subtly leading people or animals toward a place, for good and ill. And while 'by any magical means' covers a lot of things, mostly Mentem and Imaginem, the focus itself is narrow enough.
Enchanting music and the "covert" suggestion are good, thank you for them. They are, however, both more pertinent to the bardic kind of sueve suggestion magic. That's not really the spirit of this particular kind of poem-singing - the power here is more "direct" and "forceful" and less "suggestive". This is what I imagine it sounding like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evd_IWzVQYo
I'll keep thinking about this - might be I'll drop the minor focus entirely if I can't come up with a good one.
I would allow telekinesis as a focus. That would include moving things around, but not teleporting them. It i a cool focus imo, aned it gives a lot of character to the magus. I can see him being obsessed with order and the proper location of stuff
Let's go back to the source of your inspiration, then, to see what might jump out:
In the Wikipedia article, whether he is a god or not, Väinämöinen is said to have the following attributes (all mixed up):
a bardic figure (chants, songs and poetry)
born from the egg of a duck touching Ilmatar (a daughter of the Sky)
brings trees and life to the barren world
exerts order over chaos
demonstrates a magical voice by sinking the impetuous Joukahainen (his rival) into a bog by singing
slays a great pike and makes a magical kantele from its jawbones (a kantele is a stringed instrument played from the lab or a small table)
sings for himself a boat of copper, before sailing away, promising to return
This suggests the following to me:
powers in Creo and Rego, as well as Herbam, Aquam and Terram
Magic based on singing to use his magic (possible V&F linked to it are Special Circumstances, Enchanting Music, Free Expression, Necessary Condition, Slow Caster)
A kinship to birds/ducks (Animal Ken, Minor Magical Focus with Ducks, Skinchanger)
Powers of persuasion (Minor Magical Focus with Mind Control, or with Emotions)
Note that even if it is quite powerful, a Magical Focus is not really necessary.
Personally, I'd suggest you concentrate on only parts of the attributes, otherwise you'll end up with a hodge-podge of V&F, meaning a character without a clear focus.
As part of the Ex Misc tradition, I would see:
Free Minor Hermetic Virtue: Magical Memory
Free Major non-Hermetic Virtue: Enchanting Music
Compulsory Major Hermetic Flaw: Necessary Condition (singing)
Optional virtues: Minor Magical Focus (ducks) or Major Magical Focus (Birds), Puissant or Affinity with Creo or Rego, Flexible Formulaic Magic, Free Expression, Skinchanger or Shapeshifter, Ways of the Sea
Sorry for not answering this one sooner, your post kind of slipped through the cracks.
Yes, that might work. Most of the Tribunal turned a blind eye to the mistreatment, but an eccentric Bonisagus decided it was unnacceptable and took him as his apprentice.
Question is, at what point of his apprenticeship was he rescued by the Bonisagus? How much of his previous master's imprint will be left on him? And just as important, what kind of magus is he now (specialty-wise)?
I was thinking he was rescued fairly late, maybe a a couple of years before his gauntlet and that he has a deficiency in people-related forms (mentem and maybe corpus) but is a strong elementalist. I will read over the concepts thread tonight and see how this fits with the others and maybe try to draft up a character.
You can take a look at the "The Cast" for the short version. Note that Halancar's magus (Pytheas of Tytalus) is an elementalist.
If your magus was rescued just a few years, then how would he have acquired the particularities of House Bonisagus? He'd have needed at least 5 intensive years of training for that, in my opinion. Keep that in mind.
Well, if he happens to have Puissant Magic Theory or Puissant Intrigue AND whatever virtues go with his earlier master, then it's kind of academic which are the House virtues and which come from the regular complement. And it fits the whole story nicely.
Oh, and yes my magus has the virtue Elemental Magic. But there's still plenty of scope for a magus with a specialty in one element, perhaps from a good old fashioned Ignem Flambeau first parens. Mine can't even cast Pillar of Flame
Since it seems like this will be a saga with some aquatic focus I think a Bjornaer with an aquatic heartbeast might suit well. So here goes my first draft of the concept.
A dolphin Bjornaer, born in the Frisian region to fishermen and has always lived close to the sea. A Bjornaer maga at the nearby Terschelling covenant (renamed Waddensee in 1207 according to GotF but since you said there hasn't happened much new among the covenants in the last 30 years that might not have happened?) found him and initiated him to her house. Since he already had a close connection to the sea he choose dolphin as his heartbeast, but as it turned out later he had no proficiency with water in its magical forms (Deficient Aquam), which has annoyed both him and his mater. Instead Imaginem is his strongest Art.
I also have an idea that something happened between the other members of the Terchilling/Waddenzee covenant and his mater and himself that either made them his Enemies or he holds a strong Hatred towards them. But that's only if it fits into the saga.
Finally I thought my character and Halancar's Pytheas might have hooked up at some point before they joined to create this covenant as they share an interest in exploring the sea. Since my character (still nameless) lacks Aquam but otherwise works well under water they match each other quite well I think.
You don't choose your heartbeast, it was always a part of you and is merely revealed by the Bjornaer rite (I know, details...)
According to GOTF some outsiders came in in 1200 and a few years later took over, with the previous magi having 'left'. But that's recent events, you'll need to see the ST
I'd love to, but so far I'm going to Heligoland fresh out of Gauntlet, and given my background I'm not likely to have traveled off Ushant as an apprentice. On the other hand if I end up with a free year it would make sense for me to start traveling up the coast toward Waddenzee, or if you have a free year you might travel my way. Or both and we meet in the middle.
You're right. I guess I just used the wrong word or phrasing there. But that initiation rite is done at the beginning of the apprenticehood and usually before the Arts are opened. That's correct?
Arthur will have to say what he thinks about the Waddenzee covenant if we can exploit them in our backgrounds and for future stories or not.
An idea is that I and my parens were thrown out of Waddenzee/Terchilling ('they left' as it is flavourful described in GotF) a few years before my Gauntlet and then ended up along the coast of the Normandy tribunal, maybe even at Ushant and Fuderus since they both have aquatic Heartbeasts? I know Fuderus is an all Tytalus covenant but maybe they just stayed there for a few years until I was Gauntletted. Then Pytheas and I went north again. My parens went somewhere else if there is no permanent room for her at Fuderus.
Actually the initiation is done at the Ritual of Twelve Years, held at the Bjornaer Gathering of the same name, and marks the end of the apprenticeship, at least as far as Bjornaer are concerned. Since it's unlikely to take place on the fifteenth year of apprenticeship, and Hermetic Law is Hermetic Law, the magus is still formally an apprentice until said fifteenth year, when he formally swear the Oath.
That could work. Fudarus is Domus Magna of House Tytalus, but as far as I know there's no formal rule against other magus residing there. Of course no magus would do so for any length of time unless he were really desperate (a whole covenant of Tytalus ? run awaaay... sound of water splasing )
I need to update myself on Bjornaer in HH:MC, but I think if a gifted individual is found just before a Gathering of Tweleve Years it could be that he will get initiated before he has had most of his apprentice training. That is obviously not the normal though. If my sources are correct the last Gathering was in 1203 as we play in 1210, meaning he was initiated right in the middle of his apprenticeship if he just finished his 15 years before the saga starts.
I'm thinking maybe my character will have some Tytalus traits being an adventurous, playful and energetic dolphin, so he might have fit reasonably.
I can see your bjornaer master being one of the expelled magus from the original Waddenzee, and he ended up in the same covenant as halancar's pater for a time, so you might have spent some times being apprentices together: Bickering, fighting, doing kid stuff together like pranks to your parentes, trying to woo chamber maids (undine blood! those are the pretty ones!) together...
Or he might have tried to hunt you for dinner :mrgreen: