Character Creation for StephenFleetwood (OOC)

To discuss the creation of all of StephenFleetwood'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.

Prologue: Pre-Apprenticeship

Sigmundus : My character’s pater.

Marcos: my Character

Placae : my Frater

Travem : my Frater

Spring 1121, and Sigmundus has a vision relayed to him by a talented holy seer. The seer has been told that Sigmundus was sold to the infernal as a child, when his parents, despairing of his blatant gift tried to find a way to rid themselves of the “demon child”. The holy seer commiserates and says that the only way Sigmundus can find his way to heaven and avoid hell would be to renounce magic, renounce his worldly life, and commit himself to god as a monk. Having only passed his gauntlet recently, this option did not sit well with Sigmundus and he decided to find another way. He hid the secret of his soul’s destination and started to search for a way to never die.

Summer 1144, he has a revelation while working some iron for an enchantment. As he is beating the impurities out of the iron, he thinks about how it would be possible that a human might be like the iron, something which could be crafted, cooled and quenched into something better and more perfect. Maybe the mortality can be cured out of a man, and they could be reforged into something better. Perhaps something immortal and beyond eternal damnation. He begins to search for secrets about transforming the human soul, and keeps running against fae secrets and hints of the merinita path. He starts to look for any hint of something similar in the magic realm. He also starts training his first apprentice Placae.

Winter 1177 He gauntlets his second apprentice, Travem and the three magi start to search out alchemists, hearing about the secret goal of alchemy: to transform the human soul. As yet they are unsuccessful in their efforts, finding only the secrets to vulgar alchemy. After a few years travelling as a group, working for their keep as verditious and seeking mysteries, Sigmundus’s ex-apprentices start to want more independence. They promise to keep searching for the mystery that their pater needs, but break off to live their own hermetic lives.

Spring 1190, Sigmundus thinks he might have had a bit of a breakthrough on chasing this enigmatic wisdom. Knowing his life was already longer than a normal human’s, he worried about getting finished and decided an apprentice to help him would be just what he needed. He starts to search and finds Marcos after a few years. He knows he will need a powerful magical effect installed to get the end result of immortality he craves, so he extracts an oath from Marcos to assist him in his lab when the time comes and starts to teach him to be the best assistant he can, going heavy on his training in both the craft and magical theory, so that he can give as much of a boost as possible when the time comes.

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This is to set up the fraternity my Pater is trying to create of the stages of alchemy to try and refine the human soul into something immortal. He is doing it for mostly selfish reasons (to avoid hell) but his Filli don't realise that and are generally just co-opted into his plan to become a magic human. As yet he does not know how to make the transformation, but he worries his death might be soon so he knows he is going to need to know soon. Hence the training of another apprentice.

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As an aside (especially @Arthur ) is "improving living beings" a valid major magical focus?

"Living beings" covers 4 Arts (Corpus, Mentem, Animal and Herbem), so that's pretty wide right from the start.

So it depends on what you consider included in "improving". Are we speaking of Creo spells moving towards perfecting the living being, or does it also includes unnatural Muto "improvements"?

If the second is to be included, there is a very wide grey area in those kind of improvements, which can very much depend on context and viewpoint.

For example, changing a person's hands into battle axes can be useful in battle, but is it an improvement? Certainly not if that person is trying to drink a cup of wine. In the same way, changing someone's skin to iron is good for Soak purposes, but is it an improvement if you are trying to swim across a river? Is a longevity ritual an "improvement"? Not if you want to have a child.

So what determines if a specific Muto effect is an improvement?

Valid point. I want to get the phrasing of "refining and making a living thing more perfect" but not "casting the stat increasing spells"

So I would want "see in the dark" to be in focus, but not "sword hands" or "steel skin"

So maybe only things living things can already do?

So maybe "enhancing" instead of "improving", meaning that you can only increase a characteristic or property that the being already has and not give it new ones? Not sure that would cover "see in the dark" however. So it would cover giving someone a better vision (including in low light situation), but not allow him to see in complete darkness.

It is hard for such a focus to not cover stats-increase spells, however. My understanding is that you just don't want the focus to be limited to that (that would be a minor focus).

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Great! Happy with that

Before apprenticeship: Mark

Mark was born in a village on the outskirts of a town in Frisia. His village, like many of them around them, was part of the putting-out system for a local town, who took wool in from England and turned it into finished goods. The village had been weavers for so long that a number of superstitions to do with weaving had sprung up. Specifically about how a spider had become a person and married into the local families, making them such good weavers. This started as a joke from the local people, but as is the way in mythic Europe, a joke told often enough can become true. A fae heard about the stories and came to fulfill the role it presented, appearing every few generations to woo some lady or gentleman of the village and then return to give them a child.

Mark is the grandchild of one of these half fae, and the blood is weak, but present in his family. When he was born, however, the blood seemed to have expressed itself in making him small, weak, and strange-looking. The only thing which seemed (to him) to be a positive is that it made him deft as a spider and gave him an inbuilt affinity with weaving.

As he grew older, he found the village ignoring him. He was a runt of the family, but smart and personable. Despite this people would make the ward against evil, or cross themselves when he passed by (the gift and his strangeness giving him an evil reputation in the village). He decided to get over this by dedicating himself to the craft which came naturally to him and people assumed was his birthright.

During this time, he noticed an unusually large spider was weaving his web in his workshop, and keeping basically the same sort of patterns as he was making. Over the years, he started to think kindly of the spider as a friend when the rest of the world shunned him and made him feel inadequate. When his peers in the village all formed a tight-knit group and he was excluded, he poured his angst and feelings out to the spider that seemed to shadow him. He was an angry child, feeling his weak and frail body as a cage that he hated and resenting his better liked and better-looking contempories.

He was amazed one day when it spoke back to him, and introduced itself as a long lost cousin. As he was the human branch of the spider-human ancestry, this spider explained, he was a child of the spider side. This was of course nonsense, as he was simply a congnescent fae who was hoping to find a way into the myth about the local spider infused people, but it made as much sense as anything else to Marcos who was just pleased to find a friend, even if he was a bit pathetic in only having a friend which was a spider.

About this time, a travelling merchant came into the village and asked around, his questions seeming to be looking for someone who was not well-loved in the village but seemed precocious, and when the locals talked about Mark, he hid. However a season later an intensely strange man came into the village and picked him up. Paying his parents a prentice fee, he took young Mark away to learn his new trade as a Magi.

Using this for his Virtues and flaws of

Weak fae blood (not sure what type, I imagine god?)
Affinity Craft (weaving)

and flaws of
Fae friend (the spider)
Small Frame
Personality flaw: ambitious (will also come up later, but basically he wants to prove himself to the world)

He was 12 when he was found for apprenticship, and was already an apprentice weaver with his father. His xp spends were (there will also be a full character sheet later)


German (Flemish) 5
Charm (craftsmen) 15xp
Awareness (detail) 5xp
Area Lore (Frisia) (towns) 5xp
Guile (lying) 5xp
Folk ken (lies) 5xp
Brawl (against bigger people) 5xp
English (bargains) 5xp

Then from 5-12 he spent a lot of time weaving and not enough time being normal. he got:
Awareness (details) 10xp
Weaving 80xp
Faerie Lore 15xp

Sigmundus found his student, and immediately opened his arts, lest someone else claim the gifted child. Having done that, however, he left him in the care of a mundane academic to teach him the latin, literacy and philosophy he would need as a magus, arriving again ach year in time to teach some magic theory or the arts.

When he turned 15, however, Sigmundus decided he was old enough to be worth taking on his hermetic journeys. Sigmundus is a Peregrainor (sp? Word? I am away from the rhine tribunal book) in the Rhine, so he was often moving covenant to covenant. This is not too difficult for a 100 year past gauntlet Verditious, since everyone wants some enchantment in exchange for library and lab use, and suited Sigmundus well so he could seek after mysteries all over the Holy Roman Empire.
Often, he would trade some enchantments with younger magi to teach Mark some magic theory. Some commented on the generosity of this, Sigmundus had a plan, and when he was on secret work wanted his apprentice to increase in value. However, when he turned 15, Sigmindus decided he was old enough to join him on his journeys around seeking secrets, as well as assisting in the lab.
This took him into cities, where he would hunt down alchemists and their theories and through ancient tombs looking for secrets long lost. During this time Mark found out that his body was ill suited to some magics and that he would be wracked by pain as his frail form attempted to contain the power moving through him. Part of how he managed to handle this was by devoting himself to his casting tools, becoming even more reliant on them than most verditious.

During this time, Mark was an outsider even in hermetic society and secretly seethed that he would overcome his limitations and become something greater yet. Tired of being bound to his broken and small frame and now finding it even hampered his magical ambitions, he grew to want to find a way to transcend his limitations.
Sigmundus was more than happy to encourage this growing obsession, seeing it as something he could channel into studying paths for him to become immortal. As such he fanned the flames of this sense of inadequacy and then driving ambition to exceed it whenever and however he could.
It was about 10 years into his apprenticeship when Sigmundus was in northern Greece looking into the myths of people who had become gods when they were drawn into a fearie realm and faced with both Heracles and Athena as representatives of a man made god and the patron of craft and heroes. His Pater had not great truck with faeries and so Mark ended up doing the talking and when Athena saw his fae spider friend, she accused him of being a student of Arachnae. It devolved into a mess, with All of them barely escaping the faerie regio and Athena claiming that Mark and Sigmundus were challenging her for her divine supremacy in weaving and crafts.

Even so, between their travels and winters learning, he managed to get the basics of hermetic magic and a very good grounding in theory, and after 15 years was able to pass his apprenticeship and become a free magus. He found his natural magical proclivities tended to the materials he worked with, animal and herbam and the forms he wanted to hone, corpus. A focus on craft and improvement lead him to study rego and creo, but teaching the arts was not a large consideration for Sigmundus, who was more worried of having a lab assistant and someone to help him decipher magical conundrums.

For the faerie blood, take a look at the Spinnen in The Lion and the Lily p.97. They could serve as an inspiration, or you could integrate your magus' childhood into the existing background for Florum.

Wierd case of convergent ideas! Thats exactly the sort of thing I was thinking about. I will take that if it is still thematically okay?

Marcus Ex Verditious at gauntlet

Intelligence +3
Perception +3
Strength -3
Stamina -2
Presence +2
Communication +3
Dexterity +1
Quickness -3
Affinity Craft 1
Affinity magic theory 1
Puissant magic theory 1
Major magical focus 3
Inventive genius 1
Faerie blood (spinnen) 1
Good teacher 1
Vulgar Alchemy 1
Ambitious (major) 3
spontaneous casting tools (minor) 1
Seeker (minor) 1
Faerie friend (minor) 1
Small frame (Minor) 1
Painful magic (major) 3
Ability (Speciality)
Low German (flemish) 5
Latin (writing) 4
Charm (craftsmen) 2
Awareness (detail) 2
Area Lore (German) (towns) 1
Magic theory (enchanting) 5+2
Craft (weaving) 7
Faerie Lore (spider courts) 2
Philosophae (verdi runes) 2
Concentration (drawing circles) 1
Artes Liberales (astrology) 1
Parma Magica (mentem) 1
Order of hermes lore (verdi) 1
Verditious lore (initiating others) 1
Finesse(craft magic) 1
Immortal weaver lore (initiating others) 1
Guile (lying) 1
Folk ken (lies) 1
Brawl (against bigger people) 1
French (bargains) 1
Creo 5
Intellego 0
Muto 0
Perdo 0
Rego 5
Animal 5
Aquam 0
Auram 0
Corpus 5
Herbam 5
Ignem 0
Imaginem 0
Mentem 0
Terram 0
Vim 0

Those stats seem at odd with his background. Being described as "fleet as a spider" would imply to me a high Dex score and at least a positive Qik. Similarly, lack of social contacts, being shunned and feeling inadequate would generally result in an individual with low or negative Pre and Com scores.

Now, I understand that you want to use the Mystery initiation mechanics, which requires a high Pre score if you self-initiate or act as mystagogue for others. But you seem to be moving away from the essential nature of the character with those stats. Just food for thought.

Those would be "Faerie Blood (Spinnen)" and "Vulgar Alchemy".

Faerie Friend

Low German (Flemish)

High German is significantly different, imposing a -2 penalty when communicating with someone who knows Low German. (see GotF p.138).


Is that your own new Mystery Cult? Is your pater part of it? (I thought he was a smith, not a weaver.)

Stats are survivors of a previous iteration. I'll go back to them! :slight_smile: I agree presence need to drop, but wierdly I am set on a higher communication. I like to get wordy in to sometimes and it upsets me of I can't do it due to stats. Personal thing.

As to the corrections, thanks. I will edit appropriately

The last cult lore is for his hermetic family. His pater is a Smith and a weaver and he is going to learn some smithing in time. As yet that particular mystery cult only initiates vulgar Alchemy and perhaps hermetic alchemy.

I can understand the temptation regarding Com, although even a COm +1 or +2 would be enough for that. I would also note that a high Perception score does not seem really required for the character. Again, it is nice to have a positive score there, but how much is enough? :wink:

In my head perception is related to spiders. For the many eyes and sensing on the spiderwebs

How about:

Int +3
Pcn +2
Com +2
Pre -1
Dex. +2
Qck 1
Str -3
Sta -2

Looks much more in line with the background, although you seem to be missing 1 point. I am assuming that the Qik score is positive.