Character Creation for Rafael (OOC)

To discuss the creation of all of Rafael's characters (magus, companion, grogs, familiar, apprentices). This includes the concept, drafts, background, advancement, lab work, etc.

Final versions of the characters will have their own topic.

Regulus Petraeus, born Pietro, was the son of a minor noble. At least that is what his mother, a maid called Elena, told him.

Pietro spent the first seven years of his life being a troublesome kid and growing up at a sicilian village, not liked by the other residents, not even by his mother, that blamed him for losing a good job on a manor and being exiled to the countryside.

On a certain day at the beginning of September Pietro arrived at home to find a well dressed man talking to his mother, a noble that arrived at the village just two days prior leading a strange group of soldiers. The man –– who called himself Guillaume –– explained that he was in dire need of a servant, and that Pietro was just the right kind of boy. They left that same evening. The following day, Pietro discovered that the man’s real name was Valerian. Another seven years would pass by before Valerian revealed that, that night, he had executed the village priest, who had fallen into the grip of an infernal cult.

Valerian took Pietro back to Magvillus, the house Guernicus Domus Magna, where he was an associate member, and taught the boy what it means to be a Quesitore. Valerian was best at teaching the Art of Terram, and could do spectacular things with stone and metal, but he gave up on training Pietro as a hoplite when he realized the boy always got a little dizzy after casting a spell. Fortunately the boy had talent on the traditional path of a Quesitore, and Valerian encouraged him to develop in that direction. The boy also had a knack to see or find invisible things, and to see through hermetic illusions.

When Pietro reached his eighth year of apprenticeship the Magvillus Council sent Valerian to Normandy to oversee the creation of the covenant of Cunfin, a vassal to Confluensis. There Pietro learned a great deal about Canon Law and the Dominion.

Four years after arriving at Cunfin, Valerian and Pietro were at the lab investigating a non-hermetic device from a slain hedge wizard. However, an experiment gone wrong hurled Pietro through Twilight, leaving behind only a severed arm. Pietro returned from the void two hours after, with no recollection of the event. The experience also left Pietro with a healthy fear of magical botches, and he became extremely careful with magic from that day onward.

Valerian used magic to keep the arm from rotting and called a specialist from house Tytalus to cast The Severed Limb Made Whole, but the spell utterly failed, for the Twilight made the lost arm part of Pietro’s essential nature. Valerian spent the following years fully dedicated to teaching Pietro as means to compensate the young man.

Pietro was gauntled on the year 1199, taking the name Regulus Petraeus (the joke was not lost on his pater: before apprenticeship he was a pebble born from minor nobility; now he was a king born out of stone). After 15 years of apprenticeship he learned much, lost an arm, and became accustomed to cast without gestures to compensate for his missing hand.

Development Notes:

  1. 40 points of Skilled Parens went to Arts, and 20 to Abilities.
  2. I’m leaving one of the virtues to be decided further down the road (Latent Magical Ability). It could be a side effect from Twilight, it could be something else. My intent is to let that decision to the SG.
  3. Valerian is a Terrae Magus from the Normandy Tribunal. He is 78 at 1220, so he must be around 57 at Regulus gauntlet.

Regulus at Gauntlet

Characteristics : Int +1, Per +3, Pre +2, Com +2, Str 0, Sta +1, Dex -2, Qik -1

Size : 0

Age : 22 (22)

Decrepitude : 0

Warping Score : 1 (7)

Confidence : 1 (3)

Virtues : The Gift; Hermetic Magus; Hermetic Prestige*; Skilled Parens; Affinity With Intellego; Study Bonus; Second Sight; Improved Characteristics; Subtle Magic; Latent Magical Ability, Cautious Sorcerer

Flaws : Disorientating Magic (-1), Lesser Malediction: Missing Hand (-1), Driven (-3), Favors (-3)

Personality Traits : Driven +3 (more rights to apprentices), Fair +2, Pedantic +2

Reputations : Quaesitor (Hermetic) 3

Combat :

  • Dodge: Init: -1, Attack –, Defense +2, Damage –
  • Fist: Init: -1, Attack +0, Defense +1, Damage +0
  • Kick: Init: -2, Attack +0, Defense +0, Damage +3

Soak : +1

Fatigue Levels : OK, 0, –1, –3, –5, Unconscious

Wound Penalties : –1 (1–5), –3 (6–10), –5 (11–15), Incapacitated (16–20)

Abilities : Area Lore: Normandy 1 (Covenants), Artes Liberales 1 (rethoric), Athletics 2 (running), Awareness 2 (search for clues), Brawl 2 (dodge), Civil and Canon Law 1 (sorcery trials), Code of Hermes 3 (apprentices), Folk Ken 2 (peasants), Guile 2 (disguises), Sicilian 5 (Calabrese), Latin 4 (legal terms), Magic Theory 3 (Intellego), Order of Hermes Lore 1 (personalities), Parma Magica 1 (Mentem), Second Sight 1 (hermetic magic), Theology 1 (heresy)

Arts :

Cr 0, In 12, Mu 0, Pe 0, Re 5,

An 0, Aq 0, Au 0, Co 6, He 0, Ig 0, Im 5, Me 6, Te 5, Vi 6

Twilight Scars : His missing left arm itches terribly sometimes.

Equipment :

Wizard robes

Encumbrance : 0 (0)

Spells Known :

Unseen Arm (ReTe 5/+11)

Wielding the Invisible Sling (ReTe 10/+11)

The Unseen Porter (ReTe 10/+11)

Sight of the True Form (InCo 10/+19)

Whispers Through the Black Gate (InCo 15/+19)

Prying Eyes (InIm 5/+18)

The Ear for Distant Voices (InIm 20/+18)

Eyes of the Eagle (InIm 25/+18)

Wizard’s Sidestep (ReIm 10/+18)

Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie (InMe 20/+19)

Posing the Silent Question (InMe 20/+19)

Appearance : Regulus is a young man with curly chestnut hair and brown eyes. He dresses mainly in green, and any observer will notice that his left sleeve is empty, dancing according to the wind.

Casting Sigil : Every spell cast by Regulus has some kind of inner asymmetry. While not aesthetically unpleasant, it sometimes can be disconcerting.

Voting Sigil : Regulus voting sigil is a silver brooch in the likeness of a feather.

Future Steps

Regulus will use the next seasons to help house Guernicus settle cases before the Tribunal. At the house gathering at the Tribunal he will choose his words badly on commenting the way apprentices are taught, and Valerian will take that as an indirect against him. Valerian will seriously start to make life difficult for Regulus, motivating the magus to hastily go to another Tribunal. He will move to Thebes.

At the Thebes Tribunal Regulus will learn the local customs and language while working as Quesitor. He will also work on his Intrigue (if he had any knowledge on that we would probably still be in good terms with Valerian) and search for a capable shield grog (not sure if he will find one).

After 4 years Archmage Bilera, Prima of Guernicus, will write a letter to Clusius assigning a Quesitor to the new covenant. This arrangement works very well for Regulus: refreshed from his time on Thebes he will return to the heart of the Order with intention of raising the status of the apprentices on the Tribunal. Probably the first thing he will do upon arrival is try to change the covenant charter to recognize apprentices as half-magi.

I intend for my character to witness the fall of Constantinople. I see your character intends to spend time in Theben. maybe they'll meet there.

It will be a few years before she gets there though: I don't want her to miss the Grand Tribunal of 1195.

Magi should be complete and balanced at the time of their Gauntlet. Of course, a Story flaw can replace another due to story events, so he might have had a different Story flaw at Gauntlet (such as Favors).

Fair point. Favors is perfect. I've updated the flaws list and the development notes (I'll erase the notes when copying the stats to the definitive topic; they are here just to help others to check the reasoning).

I’m posting the first season below.

Selected entries from Regulus Petraeus journal

1199, Autumn

At last, a magus. And just in time. As the Tribunal nears, the cases grow in number, and one more Quaesitor will be fundamental to share the burden. Valerian handed me the quaesitorial letter right after the mock trial, signed by Primus Arliandus. I’m now, after 15 years, a quaesitor cum auctoritate. A separate letter asked me to stay at the Normandy Tribunal for now, and this is just fine for me. I’ll have a few more years with Valerian, hopefully enough to repay him for everything he has done. He has gone way beyond his obligations according to the Code of Hermes, and I’m nothing if not grateful. For a poor Sicilian boy who grew alone he was more than a parens ; he is a father.

Valerian has made arrangements for me to help settling cases for the next season. The fewer tytali we have bringing charges at the Tribunal, the better.

Note: the missing arm is itching today.

A few selected cases:

  • On the 7th of September (therefore within a month of autumn equinox), the covenant of Montvert demonstrated that the shadow of a mulberry tree (a source of imaginem vis) was within a day’s return march, successfully claiming the source as a seisin.

  • Menelaus of Bonisagus charges Erastrus of Flambeau of deprivation of magical power after Erastrus set fire to a set of lab notes while both were working together on a project, at Menelaus sanctum. Erastrus claimed the whole affair to be an accident, that the research involved ignem and that Menelaus should have better secured his personal items. After hearing them both, Erastrus was advised to pay a hefty fine to Menelaus (due to the later higher status), and Menelaus to better protect his assets in the future. Both magi agreed to the arbitration, and manifested intent to keep working together.

Note: this was my first arbitration, and gladly everything went well. It’s funny to think that even a master Bonisagus and a temperamental Flambeau trust the decision of a recently gauntleted magus. This shows the weight of the title of quaesitor. I must sustain this weight with responsibility.

  • Teophilus of Tytalus was accused by Ventrius of Merinita of mundane interference, by healing a young boy from the monastery of St. Matthiew in plain sight of the monks. Teophilus claims that the monks are none the wiser, believing in a divine miracle. There is currently no reason to believe that such interference has brought ruin to anyone. I gave Teophilus an advertence against such actions in the future and advised Ventrius to drop his charges, to which he objected. He intends to pursuit the matter at Tribunal. I don’t believe there is a case against Teophilus – for now – but alas, I cannot forbid my sodales from wasting Tribunal time.

Notes: Valerian thinks I did well for my first assignments as a Quaesitor, but says I should have charged one pawn of vis from Erastrus.

Writing the records may be necessary, but it sure is tiresome. One copy for each involved part, one for me. Copies to Magvillus, Confluensis and Harco when necessary. Notes to be used at the Tribunal must be organized. Since the scribes don’t know what goes where, I must take the pen myself. The missing arm doesn't help to organize things (but the occasional casting of Unseen Arm sure does).

Adventure (several arbitrationes):

  • 5xp Profession: scribe 1 (copying)
  • 5xp Artes Liberales 1 (rethoric) → Artes Liberales 1 (rethoric) [5]
1 Like

If you're in Normandy during my character's "Gauntlet", it's possible for our magi to have met.

I'm afraid Regulus will be forced to move out of Normandy a few months after the Tribunal, so they are likely to meet only if Perion attends Tribunal in 1200.

If so, he would probably correspond with Perion occasionally, and he is likely to reach out to a friendly Tytalus (if there is such a thing) to acquire copies of The Analects of Tytalus and the Book of Instruction. A "know thy enemy" kind of thing.

Regulus could potentially meet Perion during the later's apprenticeship. Was there any charges brought against Perion's master at some point? Was the master's death investigated by a Quaesitor?

Perion was still an apprentice at that point, but I think it's likely he would have gone to Tribunal at least once as an apprentice with his parens. I don't know if hearing/knowing about Perion being a somewhat stereotypical Tytalus apprentice would fit your goal to driven. I don't know if you would hear the news the next year about Perion "killing" his parens and becoming the newest of the Titanoi, but that could also serve as a catalyst for corresponding.

I haven't laid out anything specific, but I think it would be easy enough to include. As I see it, there's nothing in Perion's story so far that would contradict that at all. I am considering having Perion's official explanation be that he suspected his parens of infernalism, so that could be a good tie in.

By Rhea's death Regulus would be at the Theban Tribunal already, but they could have met through apprenticeship. Maybe Valerian (or another Guernicus) was investigating Rhea, or acting as a mediator between her and a third party?

The option I was thinking is that maybe Perion accompanied Rhea to the 1200 Tribunal and he and Regulus briefly met there. She could also be the Tytalus accused of mundane interference instead of Teophilus (no, that didn't end there; Teophilus/Rhea has a plot; a Tytalus always has a plot ongoing).

If Regulus and Perion already knew each other before Perion's gauntlet, then I think he would write to know how things are. He also wouldn't judge Perion. Firstly because he believes the whole of house Tytalus is a foretold tragedy, just waiting to happen. Secondly because, by a strict interpretation of the Code, Perion is guilty of nothing. Regulus wants the law to be changed, but while it is not, the law must be upheld. Finally, this could very well be the turning point for Regulus. He would think something like "if apprentices had more rights 50 years ago, than Robert wouldn't have been driven to kill his parens" (he wouldn't know that it was an accident).

Yeah, I like the idea of them having met a few years prior, as Pietro and Robert. Robert is 10 years old when he starts his apprenticeship, in 1191 or 1192, right? Pietro is 15 when moves to Normandy on 1191 (his bad Twilight happens on 1195). I don't think we need to specify exactly when or how, but I it seems reasonable that they have met a couple times and are at least in friendly terms.

I think I'm of by a couple of months in my math. I was assuming Tribunals were held at summer, but they are held at spring, aren't they?

Nothing much changes, but the season I wrote should be Summer, not Autumn. I'll go back and edit later.

There is no strict rule as to which season Tribunals occur at. I tend to have them be during summer, because it makes it easier to travel, and the longer days allow for more activities.

Just getting caught up this morning. I think we could combine the two together for the charge if you like. I had Rhea being heavily involved with a cathedral school for finding and training apprentices, and that kind of network could easily be involved in the story you have for Teophilus so far. Assuming Rhea brings Robert to the last Tribunal before the standard 15 year apprenticeship is up, it makes sense to our characters to meet there if Regulus had to investigate or talk with Rhea at all there.

For corresponding later, Perion would definitely be interested in talking with quaesitors (especially distant ones) about the nature of his status. Perion definitely finds it hard to trust any magus Right after becoming a magus, Perion is least trusting of other Tytali and would look to anyone else to get a sense of what the Order of Hermes is more or less all about. I already have a quaesitor from Confluensis later advising Perion to move to Tugurium in 1204.

I'm not super worried about making sure everything lines up exactly timing-wise immediately, my thought is to see how you get everything laid out and then make additions to Perion's backstory as necessary.

That was my initial reasoning also, but them I thought that I was counting the seasons wrong. Not sure if that was debated by the troupe, but: when do seasons begin and end?

Initially I was considering that the equinoxes and solstices are the mid point of the season (so, winter goes from 01 November to 31 January). This avoids the weirdness of having winter go from mid December to mid March (well, I find it weird), and a Tribunal held at 1st May (such is the usual custom at Rhine) falls in Summer.

Of course, this approach brings it's own problems with syncronizing events (for example, Ritual spells end at the middle of the season, which could be counter-intuitive for some). If the seasons begin on solstices and equinoxes, however, spring goes from 21MAR to 21JUN and the Rhine Tribunal falls on Spring.

This is mostly irrelevant, I'm aware, but I thought it would be nice to have a standard. Anyway I'll consider that the Normandy Tribunal, at least, falls in Summer independent of the reckoning of the seasons we choose (which means it will happen around end of June/ beginning of July).

Cool. I'll assume the both have met before (Valerian must have investigated Rhea before about charges of mundane interference due to the cathedral school (she was acquited)), and they meet again at tribunal when Teophilus brings Rhea to testify against Ventrius. I'll post something later.

I was instructed to charge a pawn for consultation, but I think I could give advice free of charge for a friend. XD
Perion would probably have heard, a few weeks after Tribunal at most, that Regulus dislikes Valerian (untrue), and would probably know him to be at the Theban Tribunal when he decides to write.

My standard year goeas as follow: Spring (March 21st to June 21st), Summer (June 21st to September 21st), Fall (September 21st to December 21st), Winter (December 21st to March 21st).

In the old Roman calendar (in use until replaced by the Julian calendar in 46 BC), the year used to start with March. So it makes sense that the Order of Hermes would still use that.

1 Like

Selected entries from Regulus Petraeus journal

1199, Winter

My intention was to continue mediating cases this season, but Valerian reminded me that I am magus first, and Quaesitor second. Also, if the redcaps are to publish the cases in time, they must start to deliver the notices soon. I ended helping only for an extra couple of weeks before taking some time to myself.

Valerian has a fine copy of Contra Haereticos by Hugh of Amiens, and I know that, even if I don’t want to, it is likely that after the Tribunal I’m going to be assigned to another area. Thinking of that I asked Valerian for permission to copy the book, under the Cow and Calf oath. Valerian just smirked, and told me that he still hadn’t gifted me anything after my gauntlet: why not the book? After that he wouldn’t accept a negative answer, so I now find myself in possession of my very first summa, and again indebted to him.

Having the time for such, I decided then to practice my casting of Posing the Silent Question. If I’m to be a good Quaesitor, being able to better cast this spell is going to come in handy (also, the posed question is not really silent if I speak out loud to cast it). It was gruesome, dizzying time, but at the end I got a good grasp at the basics.

Practice: 5xp Posing the Silent Question (Mastery 1: Quiet Casting)

Book: Contra Haereticos: Divine Lore Summae L3, Q10, compiled with an Infernal Lore Ability tractatus of Quality 8. (Summae from L&tL, worth around 4 pawns)

1 Like

Selected entries from Regulus Petraeus journal

1200, Spring

March 4th
Only a couple more months until Tribunal. I must say I’m quite anxious, this is going to be my first time attending as a magus.

Erastrus of Flambeau wrote, mostly to brag about his research. It seems he was quite happy with the result of my consultation, and considers me a friend. It concerns me, because this might mean that I have not done justice to Menelaus, but it is always better to have friends than enemies.

There was almost nothing I could understand about Erastrus comments, for my knowledge of Ignem is non existent, but he has kindled in me the desire to do research of my own. I think I will take one of Cunfin’s guest labs for this season and invent a new spell.

The Redcap also brought a letter to Valerian from Renita Bjornaer, leader of Confluensis, asking him to join them in preparation for the approaching Tribunal. However, if I’m not wrong, this is also an invitation for him to move to Confluensis. I will miss him, but I’m likely to move out of the tribunal in a few months, so we would naturally be separated. I also cannot ask more of him. But I’ll be sure to find the time to write as often as my duties allow.

March 10th

Alas, things cannot always be as we want. Trouble seems to be brewing close to Cunfin.

Many pilgrims walk by the monastery every day, bringing their fair share of problems (and the Lord knows that Celeres arrival last year has done nothing but worsen the situation).

One of such pilgrims was found dead at the village last night. It seems he had just arrived and intended to seek the monks for shelter. The problem is that the man allegedly carried a holy relic, a piece of the staff of St. Valery, which was stolen. The monks would like to see this case solved, and with Valerian moving to Confluensis the Quesitorial duties must fall upon my shoulders.

I asked two of the grogs, Gustav and Charles, for help with the investigation. If everything goes well I won’t need their protection, but it is better to be prepared.

March 15th

Things did not go well.

I’m tired, but it is impossible to rest. Both my left arm and the arrow wound cause me pain.

April 29th

I have not written for the last month and half.

The investigation started well. I had time to look at the body before he was buried (Paul was his name, while alive), but between the Dominion aura and the need to cast voiceless to avoid drawing attention of the monks (most of them are not aware that there are magi living in a secret regio on the monastery) it was impossible to cast Whispers Through the Black Gate. That’s a shame, because the man had been killed by a knife blow to the kidneys from the front (meaning he probably saw the killer). To be honest, I tried. Everything I managed was to get dizzy and a bit tired. The man had nothing else of value and no further information could be found, so I accompanied the monks for the burial services and left.

The next step was to talk to his travel companions. They didn’t knew much, besides his name and his intent to present the relic at the monastery. Bringing them to a place with a weaker Dominion I was able to determine, through forceless casting of Posing the Silent Question, that neither of them was the killer (this did tire me). One of them however, named Ettiene, was clearly nervous. I dismissed them both and asked Charles to follow Ettiene while Gustav stayed with me. Surely, a few minutes latter Charles returned, informing us that the man had left the village and gone in the direction of the woods, looking around as if making sure he wasn’t seen.

Recovered from my fatigue we quickly went to the woods. That’s when things took a turn for worse. None of us noticed the man hiding between the bushes, and only the fact that he was far away stopped his arrow of trespassing my heart. That would have been a horrible end for a magus.

Despite the pain I did my best to cast The Wizard’sSidestep (in case there were more people lurking) while Gustav charged towards the man and Charles put himself on the line of fire to cover me. Gustav’s axe hit true and the man fell down, breathing heavily.

Gustav gave me first aid, and them we went to the man. He wasn’t the companion of Paul, but looked like him, and I suspect they were brothers or cousins. After searching his body we found what we were looking for: a chip of wood the size of a fingernail, encased in crystal and gold. A spontaneously casted InVi spell was able to determine that it was, indeed, the relic (albeit the pain almost made it impossible to cast the spell). Gustav run back to Cunfin to ask for help moving the man, while Charles and I waited besides him. At the time I wasn’t sure if he was going to make it, if not by the grace of the Lord.

After Gustav returned we all went back to Cunfin. I still don’t own a single pawn of vis, and I didn’t wanted to start my journey in a few months owning Cunfin half a rook of vis, so I took the long route back to health.

I ordered Charles to gather a group of men and search in the woods, and they found a hut. There were signs of recent habitation there. Ettiene wasn’t found. The bowman died two days later, despite the best efforts of the monks.

The whole affair shows how inexperienced I am. I knew better than to let Ettiene go after I determined he knew more than what he told me. I should have dragged him to a secluded place and interrogated him more. I should have expected resistance while tailing him, and considered the possibility that he had allies.

I should have used my spells at the proper time. Both Eyes of the Eagle and The Ear for Distant Voices (had I managed to get an AC to Ettiene) could have avoided my injuries. I also realize I lack a few practical spells that are bound to be necessary in the future.

At least the events helped me to evaluate my needs. If something like this happens again, I will be in need of the capability to bind wounds, so I must work on my Creo. A few spells to detect tracks will help me to know of the presence of more people, and I can rely on my expertise with Terram for that. I should also learn Perdo and some memory altering spells, for the times when it is necessary to use magic in front of the mundanes.

I have tried, but it is impossible to conduct any proper laboratory work with this wound on my chest, so I have decided to advance my study on Creo. Cunfin has a good, if a bit old, summa on the subject, and my own wound healing also offers some insight on the matter. It is a shame that I can barely focus on my readings due to the same wound.

Note: whoever has read it before me glossed and commented on several passages. At first I was annoyed, but then I realized that his comments were always on point and helped to pinpoint the main argument of the section.

After a few weeks I have finally recovered from my injuries, with nothing but a scar to tell the tale. I will continue to read my summa and improve my Creo until the day of the Tribunal.

I must also relate that the monks have secured the relic on a shrine.

Development Notes:

  • I rolled some dice here. The sponted InVi to check the relic was 19 (casting total) + 0 (stress die, avoided botch) -3 (wound penalty) divided by 2, aiming for a touch effect with the highest baseline possible to detect a divine object (total was 8, I’m assuming I managed baseline 4). If not enough to detect the relic as true Regulus will try once more (rolled 3, -1 fatigue, -3 wound, +19, +3 confidence, final effect 11, removing 1 mag for touch renders baseline 5). If that still isn’t enough I’ll rewrite assuming he wasn’t capable of making sure at the moment, but further investigation at Cunfin confirmed that the relic was true. Both sponted spells also required a conc. Roll (which I managed by sheer luck, EF 9 (3 times wound penalty), rolled 9 both times).

  • Medium wound (recovered in 1M1W with magical recovery + monks healing care). Lost lab season. Study total reduced by half. +2 bonus from Study Bonus Virtue.


Read summa on Creo (L5, Q15+1 from glossing). Study total 9 (+2 from Study Bonus, halved due to wound). Creo 0 → 3 [3]