That's what I ended up with.
Character Creation for Arthur (OOC)
Yes. I was agreeing that the new version sounds correct. I figured it was worth posting that agreement.
I just wasn't sure if you had backtracked until the post where the (revised) spell was.
Year 7 (1204 A.D.), Fall
Augustus has gone back to Confluensis. In fact, he left early in the summer and I'd forgotten to mention it. We've agreed that he would visit the refuge next spring, to act as witness when all of the magi sign the Charter of the covenant.
One of the things I need to do is learn the local language of the valley. I cannot expect all of our covenfolk to speak Latin, and the mundanes of the valley certainly won't. So, in between writing more letters, securing more supplies, recruiting specialists and answering Adeline's questions about the books for the library, I am learning High German. It is different enough from the little bit of Flemish I learned in Ghent that there is very little that sounds the same. Thankfully, one of the scribes is from Strassburg, so he's teaching me in my spare time.
Eustache, Louis and Adeline are now on the road to Basel, along with the few specialist I was able to recruit locally, carrying all of the books, supplies and laboratory equipment. Redcaps will escort them most of the way, with Tristam accompanying them on the first part of the trip.
But I could not afford to spend a month on the road, so I asked Ulisterius if he could teleport me there. He warned me that I would incur some warping from the powerful spell. No help for it, at least until I can devise my own way of quick traveling over long distances. I needed to get back to the refuge before the supplies arrived, see how far the work had progressed and prepare for the next steps.
Advancement: 15 xp in Language: High German from teaching (including a single-person bonus), 1 point of Warping
Year 7 (1204 A.D.), Winter
The supplies arrived a bit later than planned. Eustache told me they were accosted by a band of armed men soon after leaving Triamore. Not brigands, exactly, but they still had to pay a tribute to pass through unmolested. He thinks this was a band of unemployed mercenaries who were preparing to winter in the Ardennes. This cost my people most of their food and a good part of their silver, which forced them to purchase more before resuming their trip. Tristam more than earned his wage by securing enough funds for them to continue on their way. I have arranged to pay him back. When they delivered my payment at the Copper Rooster inn, in Basel, Eustache and Louis were assured that we should get a redcap asigned to us soon.
While waiting for them, I worked with the steward and some of his people to start setting up several labs for my sodales when they arrive. Basic equipment and furniture had been commisionned locally since last spring. These allowed me to supervise our workers to provide at least a basic lab for most of the magi who will join me next season, and we have the supplies for each magus to complete them. Living quarters have also been arranged near each lab, for I know that most of my sodales prefer a unified sanctum that include both.
My own living quarters are in one of the towers, where Leonardus used to live. He used to have a lab here as well, but years of neglect made it worse for wear. No worry, I'll have time enough to clean it when the others have arrived!
Advancement: 8 xp in Language: High German from practice
Note: I deliberatedly avoided using a name for the steward, in case one of you want to use him as a companion. Though it would kind of make sense for me to handle him, as he probably is a good source of information about the locals, Leonardus and the valley. In the same way, I did not specify which specialists Clusius was able to hire, nor in what numbers. Same with the redcap who will be assigned to us.
Clusius is now ready for the arrival of the other magi in Spring 1205.
I have updated Clusius' stats up to the end of Winter 1204.
I also added an "Historical Stats" post in that topic to keep previous versions, as well as a "Custom Spells" post.
I found callen's mention that the Mystery Cult of the Matres & Matrones (from Faith & Flames) can initiate Gentle Gift interesting, but also frustrating. Here is a cult that initiates the one virtue that is most sought after by House Jerbiton. And as a possible result for the first level of Initiation, no less!
And yet there is no such script known to House Jerbiton described in any of the sourcebooks.
It would certainly be nice for Clusius if it was possible for him to gain Gentle Gift. I see three possibilities there:
- Such a Mystery Cult exists already (this is known within House Jerbiton) - This would be the easiest for my magus.
- Someone else is working to develop it (Clusius learns about it) - This would entail big risks, since he would probably end up being a test subject for new scripts.
- Leonardus had gathered texts at the refuge and started developping it (Clusius finds them) - This would be the more interesting story.
Clusius was never intended to become a Mystagogue (Pre 0), but he's got a good Int score, so he could work on developping new scripts. Unfortunately, my understanding is that Inventive Genius doesn't help there, as it's not a Lab Total.
There are several steps that I could take to make things easier (increase Pre to become a better Mystagogue, Leonardus leaving texts behind to start the Cult Lore, find test subjects for new scripts). But these all fall in troupe approval territory.
Any thoughts from the troupe?
I think what's the most fun for you should really be the determining factor. If that's Clusius starting a cult, we should go with that, otherwise the other ones can make sense too. Although option 2 is less likely than one would think, due to the rite validity check (see below)
I'm not an expert on Jerbiton but I can see them having an issue where they have a disdain for adding the Gentle Gift to people who aren't born with it - but that would be a reason for the Cult to be secret, and not to include the whole house, so that works out.
In terms of experimentally inventing the scripts, Int+Cult Lore is actually more important than Pre+Cult Lore; the simple-roll to check if the script you made is valid is a doozy. It's also harder (+6 EF) if you're not using yourself as a guinea pig.
Reposting the draft for Julius the Steward, since we lost the last days of posting.
Julius the Steward
A large animated silver skeleton that believes it is the Roman grammarian Gaius Julius Solinus.
Early in his life as a magus, Leonardus acquired a magical item to assist him in the lab (a variation of The Tireless Servant from Covenants p.121 made by a Verditius).
Several decades later, while he was experimenting on a Mentem project, Leonardus suffered from his first Wizard’s Twilight. This experience involved a spirit that claimed to be the ghost of Gaius Julius Solunus, a grammarian and geographer from ancient Rome. After debating for some time with the spirit, Leonardus was able to comprehend the Twilight experience and emerge from it, finding his lab damaged and his magical servant broken. Putting the the pieces away in the hopes that it could be fixed, Leonardus fixed his lab and completed his research project. The next season, seeking to explore the insights he’d gained during Twilight. He travelled to a valley near Basel, discovering a magical site there.
When he came back to Triamore, he found his magical servant active again and studying the books contained in his sanctum. It now spoke and intelligent, but seemed in pain due to the weakness of Triamore’s aura. After speaking to it, Leonardus realized this would make a good guardian for his newfound magical site. So he carried "Julius" there and put him in charge of running the refuge in his stead.
Magic Might 15 (Terram)
Base: Int +1, Per -1, Str +2, Sta 0, Pre +3, Com +1, Dex -2, Qik 0
Adjusted for Size: Int +1, Per -1, Str +4, Sta 0, Pre +3, Com +1, Dex -2, Qik -1
Virtues & Flaws
Magic Thing (Special), Magical Covenfolk (Social Status, Free), Invisible to Magic, Unaffected by the Gift, Gift of Tongues, Weak Senses (No sense of smell)
No Fatigue (free), Major Virtue: Invisible to Magic (Major), Magical Meditation (Major), Greater Power (Major), Lesser Power (Minor), Ritual Power (Minor), Improved Attack (Minor), Improved Damage (Minor), Terram Resistance (Minor), Minor Virtue: Unaffected by The Gift (Minor), Minor Virtue: Gift of Tongues (Minor), Minor Virtue: Second Sight (Minor)
Temporary Might (free), Major Flaw: Bound to Magic (Major), Minor Flaw: Delusion (Minor), Minor Flaw: Weak Senses (No sense of smell, Minor)
Abilities (Autumn 720 xp)
Area Lore: Tugurium (geography) 4, Area Lore: Ancient Roman Empire (geography) 6, Awareness (evaluating distances) 1, Brawl (punch) 4, Concentration (Invisible to Magic) 4, Etiquette (magi) 1, Leadership (intimidation) 2, Teaching (languages) 3, Artes Liberales (grammar) 2, Language: Latin (expansive vocabulary) 6, Language: Ancient Greek (reading) 4, Philosophiae (moral philosophy) 2, Profession: Geographer (compiling information) 5, Magic Lore (ancient sites) 4, Magic Theory (assisting) 3, Magical Meditation (recovering Might Points) 2, Second Sight (invisible things) 4, Terram Resistance (magical attacks) 4
Break the Mystical Construct , 2 points, Init -1, Vim
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind
Julius can cancel the effects of any spell if, with this power, he can double the level of the spell on a stress die + 45. The power must penetrate to affect effects on a creature with Magic Resistance, including Parma Magica. This power can bring down Parma Magica if it penetrates, and its 45 + the stress die is double Parma Magica x 5. Since this power only works at Touch range, it can only cancel a spell on an object that Julius touches, or on a spell that is targeting him. This power cannot cancel the effect of a Ritual spell or an equivalent power.
PeVi 30 (Base 25, +1 Touch): Greater Power (30 levels, -1 Might cost, +3 Init)
Locating the Distant Feature , 3 points, Init -9, Terram
R: Arc, D: Conc, T: Ind
This power allows Julius to locate a specific inanimate object or place. To activate this power, Julius needs a map and an Arcane Connection. After casting the spell, Julius can move his finger over the map at the rate of one hour per square foot of map. When his finger passes over the object’s location as represented on the map, he senses the object’s presence. (If the object is not in the area covered by the map, no sensations result.) The object can be located within a thumb’s width on the map. (Based on The Inexorable Search , ArM5 p.131).
InTe 20 (Base 3, +4 Arc, +1 Conc): Lesser Power (20 levels, -1 Might cost)
P eering Into the Past , 5 points, Init -11, Terram
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Ind
By touching an object, Julius can see past events that the object witnessed. The longer he concentrates on the object, the further he can dig into its past. This effect cannot currently be replicated using Hermetic magic, as scrying into the past violates The Limit of Time (ArM5 p.80).
InTe 25 (Base 15, +1 Touch, +1 Conc): Ritual Power (25 levels)
I am starting to work on the stats for Clusius' mundane helpers (Eustache, Louis and Adeline) from his post-Gauntlet years.
Adeline was born in the town of Ay, along the river Marne south of Reims. Her father was a clerk there, keeping the account books for a number of tanning and weaving businesses. The girl was born with a weak right leg, which made moving around difficult for her and reduced her prospects for marriage, so her father taught her her letters so that she could eventually earn a living.
Unfortunately, while the family was travelling to Reims with a group of merchants, they were attacked by a band of brigands and her parents killed. She spent several weeks in captivity, forced to cook and clean for the brigands, but was rescued when two magi along with their grogs dispatched her captors and their leader. Bereft of any close family, she pledged herself her savior, Quintus Clusius of House Jerbiton. (This happened in Fall 1199)
Adeline spent a bit over a year at Confluensis, and followed Quintus Clusius when he moved to Triamore and stayed there four more years. During that time, she received additional training from Triamore's librarian, learning Latin as well as the basics of Magic Theory and some arcane lores. This allowed her to help gather and make copies for the new covenant.
She arrived at Tugurium in Winter 1204, after a season on the road.
Age: 17 (end of Winter 1204)
Int +2, Per +1, Str -1, Sta 0, Pre +1, Com +2, Dex 0, Qik 0
Virtues & Flaws
Custos, Educated, Book Learner
Noncombatant, Lame, Afflicted Tongue
Devoted (Clusius) +3, Brave 0, Shy +1
A rather pretty slender woman of with wide hips and dark brown hair, Adeline tends to stay in the shadow of Clusius, to whom she is utterly devoted. Despite rumors that she was the magus' bed warmer when they lived at Triamore, she has never worked up enough courage to approach him in that way. She suffers from a persistent stutter and her shyness usually means she keeps her brown eyes down when adressing most people.
- Area Lore: Ay (merchants) 2
- Area Lore: Triamore (library) 2
- Artes Liberales (arithmetic) 1
- Awareness (searching) 1
- Bargain (scribing supplies) 2
- Charm (first impressions) 2
- Concentration (reading) 2
- Faerie Lore (faerie forests) 1
- Folk Ken (townsfolk) 1
- Guile (hiding emotions) 2
- Language: French (Picard) 5
- Language: High German (Swiss) 1
- Language: Latin (Hermetic usage) 4
- Magic Lore (creatures) 2
- Magic Theory (lab texts) 2
- Profession: Scribe (copying) 4
- Profession: Gardener (herbs) 2
- Ride (staying in the saddle) 2
I personally like 3 the most, including for reasons that I will keep to myself to avoid spoiling anything, in case I ever get the chance to run this story or to contribute to it.
I have updated Clusius' stats to reflect his activities for Spring and Summer 1205. So he is up-to-date for the story with the Telsbergs.
Not to be executed right now. Just throwing ideas and asking questions.
Do Otto's expectations of "helping Rudolph" fit with Clusius (in my mind this adds up to Clusius and co. helping Rudolph with mundane and a few supernatural issues)? That is, assuming that Clusius is actually going to help Rudolph (which is neither required nor settled, I think).
How does an invitation to go Hunting with the Telsbergs sound? Either in 1206 or 1207?
Regarding Clusius story flaw, do you have any particular view for the kind of things that Augustus would request or involve Clusius in?
The interactions with Rudolph doesn't inspire confidence that he'd invite Clusius to a hunt. Of course, even though Clusius has no skill at hunting, he'd probably feel obligated to go anyway, for the good of the covenant. At least he can ride!
As for Auguatus, the old Guernicus is like an uncle to him - almost a godfather in fact. So he's probably trying to help Clusius gain more experience in statesmanship, introduce him to potential allies, establish a positive reputation, things like that. He may also call upon Clusius to help him in an investigation - he might also involve Regulus in that - just to have an additional magus along to watch his back. I described a season when he did that in his pre-saga advancement (Fall 1199).
Oh, the invitation wouldn't come from Rudolph.
So... Clusius has some leeway to select the season by suggesting a particular prey. Hart or hare in Spring/Summer, boar in Summer/Autumn, bear all year around (but Spring only if you want to die, they are protecting their cubs), foxes all year round. There are a few other possible.
If the invitation was sent on Winter of 1206, to go hunting deer in the Spring of 1207, Clusius can easily delay it with a "but wouldn't boar be a better prey?"
Buuuuut....... Hear me out. Have you decided on a familiar yet? What if...?
The familiar idea that I have is actually a magical dog, possibly a Rottweiler. Historically the breed dates back to the 2nd century. The Roman legions brought their mastiff across the Alps and they were bred with local dogs. They were used as herding and driving dogs, as well as guarding and even draught dogs.
It is relatively unlikely that he would come upon one during a hunt. Though it might be a precursor story, where tales about the breed (and maybe even an exceptional example of it) might be mentioned.
But given a choice, Clusius would certainly prefer to go hare hunting rather than bear hunting. Not the bravest of soul, Clusius!
It's a common ground with the Telsbergs who like to hunt with dogs. =]
They might be a possible venue for Clusius to hear rumors of a magical Rottweiller, if you want to. On the other hand, Rottweil is not much to the south of Durenmar, barely 25 miles, so the Tribunal is also an option.
Hunt: hare it is. It should be possible to attend tribunal and return to hunt at the end of the Spring, but I imagine that being prudent Clusius would request to change it to Summer?
Answering those questions here to avoid muddying another discussion even more than it already is.
Julius is explicitely defined and was built as a Magic Thing (see his stats), an object, that developped awareness. That is a result of a powerful Twilight experience involving Muto. The fact that Julius believes itself to be the Roman grammarian Gaius Julius Solinus is basically a Delusion (even though I did not take the flaw). More likely, it is just imprinted with part of the "spirit" of the grammarian, for some undetermined reason.
So not a transformed human at all.