Character Creation for Red-Shadow-Claws

To discuss the creation of all of Red-Shadow-Claws' 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.

Celeste of Merinita, fillia of Lambert of Merinita

Celeste was born at the covenant of Irencillia, the daughter of the local woodworker, and a local witch. When she was 7, her mother died, but the circumstances of her death were kept vague. Shortly after, she began to see her mother's ghost, who sought to draw her into finding out how and why she died.

When Lambert came to visit, he noticed something that no one else paid any attention to. While she didn't cause any averse reaction from the covenfolk, his animals had the same reaction to her as they did to most magi. And when he discovered that her mother's ghost haunted her, he was convinced that she was Gifted, and so took her as his apprentice.

In some ways, Lambert was a great pater to her, as his focus on Mentem meant that she could focus on ghosts, which her magic seemed to have a natural affinity to, even as it sent shudders down his spine at times. But he taught her well, and when it came to spells dealing with ghosts, while he didn't know any, he acquired a tutor for her to learn from.

She also adopted some of his own failings, but she understands that it's not his fault, and has learned to live with it.

At Gauntlet

Name: Celeste of Merinita, fillia of Lambert of Merinita
Gender: Female
Age: 27 (gauntlet at 27, apprenticeship starts 12)
Size: 0
Personality: Friendly+3, Violent -2, Optimistic +3
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
Weight: 148 lbs. (67 kg)
Sigil: Shadowy Crows
Soak: +1 (+1 Corpus, +1 Herbam, +3 Mentem, +1 Vim)
MR: 5, Corpus 12, Herbam 6, Mentem 18, Vim 6
Combat: Dodge, Ini +1, Attack -, Defense +1, Damage -

Characteristic Score
Intelligence +2
Perception +1
Presence +3
Communication +1
Strength -2
Stamina +1
Dexterity +0
Quickness +1
Virtues Level Type Points Notes
The Gift Free Hermetic 0
Hermetic Magus Free hermetic 0
Faerie Magic Minor General 0 House Virtue
Affinity with Mentem Minor Hermetic 1
Minor Magical Focus (Ghosts) Mnior Hermetic 1
Skilled Parens Minor Hermetic 1
Faerie Blood (Sidhe) Minor Supernatural 1
Deft Mentem Minor Hermetic 1
Gild Trained Minor Hermetic 1 Linden Gild
Venus' Blessing Minor General 1
Gentle Gift Major Hermetic 3
Total 10
Flaws Level Type Points Notes
Unimaginative Learner Minor Hermetic 1
Incompatible Arts Minor Hermetic 1 Rego Imaginem, Rego Animal
Offensive to Animals Minor General 1
Covenant Upbringing Minor Personality 1
Optimistic Major Personality 3
Plagued by Supernatural Being Major Story 3 Mother's Ghost
Total 10

General Abilities

Ability Specialty Score XP
High German Bohemia 5 0 (Native language)
Covenant Lore: Irencillia Politics 2 15
Order of Hermes Lore Politics 2 15
Awareness Alertness 2 15
Bargain Faeries 2 15
Charm First Impressions 3 30
Etiquette Faeries 3 30
Folk Ken Magi 3 30
Intrigue Alliances 3 30
Guile Fast Talk 2 15
French Lorain 2 15
Leadership Inspiration 2 15

Academic Abilities

Ability Specialty Score XP
Artes Liberales Ceremonial Casting 1 5
Latin Hermetic Usage 4 50
Philosophiae Ceremonial Casting 1 5

Arcane Abilities

Ability Specialty Score XP
Code of Hermes Political Intrigue 2 15
House Merinita Lore Initiating Others 1 5
Faerie Lore Faerie Forests 1 5
Faerie Magic Charm Magic 1 0
Magic Theory Mentem 3 30
Parma Magica Corpus 1 5
Penetration Mentem 2 15
Art Score XP
Creo 5 15
Intellego 6 21
Muto 6 21
Perdo 6 21
Rego 6 21
Corpus 2 3
Herbam 1 1
Imaginem 5 15
Mentem 13 61(91)
Vim 1 1
Spell CT Level Notes
The Succubus's Trick +9 MuCo5
Aura of Ennobled Presence +12 MuIm10
Sight of the Transparent Motive +20 InMe10
Posing the Silent Question +20 InMe20
Lay to Rest the Haunting Spirit +26 PeMe5 Ghost Focus
Loss of But a Moment's Memory +20 PeMe15
Confusion of the Numbed Will +20 ReMe15
Aura of Rightful Authority +20 ReMe20
Coerce the Spirits of the Night +26 ReMe20 Ghost Focus
Voices from Hollow Places +26 ReMe25 Ghost Focus
Unseen Arm +7 ReTe5
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Born as a member of the Irencillia covenfolk, the one who would later take the name of Celesete, wasn't much to pay attention to. When she was paid attention to, she was courteous, and kind, and seemed to trail after her Faerie Witch of a mother.
Her existence, and Gift, would have probably been overlooked altogether, except for Lambert of Merinita's accident. He was coming for a visit to the Domus Magna, when his mules suddenly started reacting as if they encountered a Gifted person, but all there was around him were a few covenfolk.
The canny magus began to observe the covenfolk more closely, and came to realize that this little wisp of a girl was the cause.
And in focusing on her, he elevated her from a simple covenfolk, to his Apprentice. As a token of her new status, he named her Fink, and began her apprenciteship.

Lambert was delighted to have a Gently Gifted apprentice, as he realized that it would be of great benefit to her in being a merchant, since she wouldn't have the downsides of the Gift to interfere with it. But it was early in her 2nd year of apprenticeship that her mother died, in a gruesome manner, and shortly after, her ghost started appearing before her child.
Fink took to studying Mentem strongly since that day, and begged Lambert to teach her about ghost magic. Unfortunately he knew nothing about it, and had little interest in it, and he convinced her that he would help, but she needs to learn much more before that happens.
She took eagerly to study social graces, and how to speak and bargain, and even accompanied him on two trips to France, and picked up a bit of the language there. And while she didn't fancy herself becoming a merchant, she did see the benefits of smoothing relations with the mundanes.
During her apprenticeship, while teaching her how to assimilate Mentem faster, that she finds herself picking up some of his foilbes, and is unable to grasp how Rego and Imaginem fit together. But during those same studies, her focus is distracted by her mother' ghost, and instead of also failing to work Rego and Mentem, she fails to grasp how Rego and Animal work, which forever bars her from making animals not react badly to her presence.
It was well into her apprenticeship that he deemed she studied enough about Mentem to find a magus that would teach her some spells to deal with ghosts, he takes her to Collem Leonis, where she receives three seasons of teaching from Ferra of Bonisagus, in spells that deal with ghosts.
She has no idea what Lambert's deal was with the old Maga, but she did promise her to come back for a season of service.
To Lambert's sorrow, Celeste didn't want to be a merchant. Sure, he taught her well the social skills needed to function as a merchant, but her youth growing up in Irencilla has made her a bit distant from most mundanes, even if her Gentle Gift allowed her to converse with them with no ill feelings. And so, at her request, he had let her join the Linden Gild, and she hopes to become an ambassador between covenants, to facilitate harmony.
In winter 1198 Celeste underwent her Gauntlet, and became a full Maga.

Lambert of Merinitia appears in Magi of Hermes (pg 61)
Ferra of Bonisagus appears in Through the Aegis (pg 137)

Am waiting for her gauntlet version to be approved, to start the roll of seasons.

The math seems ok. You have a small formatting problem on your Flaws table, nothing serious.

From a narrative point of view, a question that maybe you are going to answer in the future: Ferra is from the Oak Gild. Why would she help to train someone from the Elder Gild? Also, it's not clear to me how Celeste ended up as part of the Elder Gild, this isn't mentioned in her apprenticeship.

Asking mostly out of curiosity, and you don't need to answer them directly. If its going to appear in the future, I'll wait. =].

Also, I think the answers only really matter if Gilds are going to be a proeminent focus of our saga (which doesn't seem to be the case for now... but maybe a few thoughts about this are appropriate, in the chance it becomes in the future).

The lore suggests most if not all Magi from Irencilla are members of the Elder Gild.
As for why Ferra would help Lambert, I left that vague on purpose. It could be a hook someone can use to draw Celeste into a story, whether because Lambert needs her help to fulfill his promise, or because Ferra, or someone from Collen Leonis, contacts her.

I quite like this. And I like the connection between Lambert and Ferra. Has Ferra’s large twilight episode already happened, or will it occur during the saga? Maybe Ferra gave Lambert a list of things to do if she ever went into a prolonged twilight, and Lambert passes down some of those things down to Celeste.

About Celeste being from Elder, I see. I thought you were leaning to Apple or Linden (due to Lambert mercantille inclinations) and was going to be one of those few from Irencilla that belongs to other gilds.

About Ferra, from my reading she should have entered a 7-year twilight around 1200 (few years before or after), but the exact date is left vague. Depending on when Celeste's gauntlet occurs I think it's unlikely that it has already finished, but it is possible that it will happen soon, or that it has already happened (if her gautlet is close to 1205).

I haven't decided when her Gauntlet happened, so am fine with her being out of Gauntlet for just a year or two.

If Ferra's 7-year Twilight hasn't happened yet when she taught her, that works better, if my mind, since that means that when Ferra returns, which is a few years in the future, it would be time for her to 'collect' on Celeste's promise of a season of service, and possibly, the start of a few other adventures. And I can weave in the news of Ferra's Twilight, into the roll of years after Celeste's Gauntlet.

Would making her part of the Linden or Apple Gild be more interesting in terms of possible stories? I am not strictly wed to her being from the Elder Gild. I was torn about Lambert being in the Elder or Apple Gild, as his focus is more on mundanes. But as I envision her, her focus would be more on go-between to other Covenants. And the Gentle Gift was mostly for the background story of how a Gentle Gifted covenfolk in Irencilla might be found.

I think it makes sense for Lambert to be in Apple, but Celeste doesn't need to follow in his steps. She could even end up Oak, motivated by Ferra. But if you see her as some kind of hermetic ambassor, I think Linden makes a bit more sense.

I think all gilds will make good stories, no strong feelings for one or other from my part. But for Celeste a good part of the stories will revolve around her ghostly mother instead of gild politcs anyway, right?

If it helps, Pando is unaffiliated at gauntlet but will likely join the Linden Gild nominally. His pater is head of Linden, and his friends are either another Linden recluse (Ricardus at Durenmar) or Apple (Peter at Fengheld).

I changed it to Linden Gild. Do you want me to add a bit about it in her apprenticeship?

I think it could be nice to have a line or two about it in her apprenticeship or first season out of gauntlet. Probably doesn’t really matter though

It looks like 1205-6 is when Celeste will be arriving at the covenant. When do you want to set Ferra's Twilight, so I have some idea on how long after Gauntlet she has to advance?

I’d say use whatever date you like for Ferra’s Twilight, but I’ll give an idea. A Ferra Twilight in 98 or so gives enough time for her to exit Twilight just before the saga and if post-Gauntlet gives Celeste plenty of time to gather experience in line with the other maga (who I think are generally 7-10 years post-Gauntlet).

The season of service could then be shortly before Celeste joins the saga (and you could tee up a story seed or two that would interest you), or alternatively the season of service could be shortly after Celeste joins the saga and we could make an adventure about that in and of itself.

Agree with Reminiscent: chose the date that suits you better.

A twilight in 1198 or 1199 means that Ferra returns just in time for the tribunal of 1207. Maybe we could get in touch with her there.

Also, as a suggestion: maybe Celeste's service could buy us Ferra's support for establishing our covenant as part of the Rhine? Say, some trouble that appeared during Ferra's twilight that it's not worth the time of an old and paranoid maga, and she would like Celeste to solve the issue for her?

Spring 1199
With the turmoil in the Holy Roman Empire, due to the conflict between Otto IV and Phillip of Swabia, it is decided that it would be unsafe for a young Maga, with no real defensive capacity, to travel alone, and with Ottokar's ascendancy as King of Bohemia, and the influx of germans to the area, and deforestation, Celsete delays her leaving the confines of Irencilla to discover the truth about her mother's death.
Her faerie blood, and the knowledge that she will get a caricature if she spend time here as a Maga, leads Celeste to delve into the library of Irencilla, to learn more about faeries and their magic, and it's interactions with Hermetic magic. There, she meets Lencor, the caricature of the former Klautz of Merinita, a Magi who is said to have gone into Final Twilight some 50 years ago.
She befriends Lencor, who now serves the covenant as a librarian, and learns that while the library seems to be a chaotic mess of books, he has an uncanny understanding of where each book lies, and if you ask him nicely, he is more than happy to help, and he is quite delighted to help her, when she tells him the story of her mother. He finds her a book named Umbrosa Silva, by Wenke ex Merinita.
The book is a series of stories on a journey through a faerie haunted forest, and the symbolisms that it showed the traveler. And while the story is compelling, it seemed to create a yearning in Celeste to find this haunted forest, and see it for herself.

Study Experience: 13 (L4Q13 Faerie Magic Summa)

Summer 1199
The life of a young Maga can be frustrating at times. She was certain that with the arrival of summer she would be allowed out of the covenant, but that was not to be. Vinaria has forbidden all Magi from leaving by foot, and Celeste, who has no spell to travel by air, or in another fantastical manner, is forced to stay inside.
She wants to go out, and seeks to find a way to go that isn't by foot, but finds that the books on Rego, Auram, and Corpus, have all been taken by other Magi. When Lencor finds her crying about it, he regales her with stories about Klautz, and his travels, and when she seems raptured by it, he brings her a book Klautz wrote on Faerie Forests, which she spends the season reading enthusiastically, and enjoys having long conversations with Lencor about his perspective on what's written, and how it might differ from Klautz's telling of it.
Lambert, in the meantime, is amused by Celeste's growing friendship with Lencor, and encourages it, though whther it is to keep her distracted from the fact that she can't leave, or to see whether Lencor becomes a caricature for Celeste, is unclear.
And it is only at the end of Summer that Celeste notes that the more time she spends with Lencor, the less time her mother's ghost shows up.

Study Experience: 11 (Q11 Faerie Lore Tractatus)

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The late 1190’s were indeed a rather turbulent time, bummer for magi hoping to travel. Interested in the caricature, and how he might relate to Celeste’s ghostly mother. The haunted forest reminds me a bit of trekking through the Cursewood from Mythic Locations. Eager to read more!