Character Development: Magus Ronan cultas Meriníte (Player: Nithyn)

You know what to do!

Alrighty, so here's what I'm playing with in my head at present, it's very much a rough draft. Ronan is the grandson (maybe great, not sure) of the faerie Shannon and grew up amongst the crannogmen on Inchmore before being found and joining the Order.

Ways of the Land (Waterways)*
Atlantean Magic*
Regio Network (Waterways)
Faerie Blood (Undine)
Faerie Legacy
Inoffensive to Faeries
Alluring to Faeries
Familiarity with the Fae
Social Contacts (Fae)
Cautious Sorcerer
Skilled Parens
Minor Magical Focus (Creating and Controlling Water)

Environmental Magic Restriction (Not Around Water)*
Faerie Heritage
Faerie Upbringing
Lesser Malediction (Water Dependence) - As per Undine in RoP:F
Ambitious (Major)
Anchored to the Water
Weak Scholar

Quick note, I haven't decided if I want to go down the rabbit hole that is sympathy traits as they can get pretty nuts, pretty fast. At present I'm leaning towards no if only to keep us all relatively sane.

Faerie Lover!

Does this fit within Minor Magical Focus? I ask because this may be important for interpretations of other Foci. In Mythic Europe (leaving out petroleum and mostly leaving out magma) water accounts for nearly all the liquid there is by volume/mass, though it only accounts for one (two for salt water?) of many types of liquids. "Water" is clearly Major, and any other specific liquid is probably Minor. But how are we ruling on the fraction of Aquam that water constitutes? If we say it's 1/2 of all liquid (some balance between the mass/volume side and the breadth side), then Creo + Rego would be 2/5 x 1/2 = 1/5, right at the upper limit for Minor.

And on that rabbit hole, that was why I'd moved away from my bard on RPoL. I'd been working with it and we started dealing with the problems of the rabbit hole. I'm not saying don't do it; just that we know the rabbit hole is more worrisome for this troupe than for some others.

An entirely fair question, and one I've been asking myself this entire time.

Agreed. And I honestly considered taking it just to make my life easier.

My thought as to whether or not it was an appropriate minor was largely based on the number of guidelines in the two forms. In Creo, creating water covers roughly half, and Rego is about the same. Thus, it fell into the slightly smaller than a single tech/form combination.

But again, I very much want feedback/opinions here.

The focus feels a bit mechanical to me. And your talking about guidelines makes it more so.

Why don't you close your eyes and envision what you want to do with water, like waves, rivers, lakes, currents, water sculptues, acid, water attack spells, etc.

Those would make better foci, I think.

If there is concern about the focus' breadth, then it's inevitable that guidelines get mentioned, as they're how we judge

See, despite being listed in the core rules, I don't think that these, as entirely target based guidelines work.

That said, I'm pulling a @RafaelB and engaging in a bit of an inner Tytalus here as this doesn't matter because I think I'm swapping out to a Major Focus in Water by dropping Social Contacts and Cautious Sorcerer.

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Ways of the Land (Waterways)
Atlantean Magic
Major Magical Focus (Water)

Ronan's tradition is an amalgamation of the Tempestaria that came to the Isles with the Saxons, and a Norse group of hedge wizards who often accompanied Viking raiders ensuring calms seas for their longships.

Regio Network (Waterways)
Faerie Blood (Undine)
Faerie Legacy
Inoffensive to Faeries
Alluring to Faeries
Familiarity with the Fae

Ronan, like all Inchmore, is possessed of faerie blood. The villagers have long had close and continual, even dare say intimate, contact with Faeries of all stripes. This has come to be accepted as part of the nature of living on the Isle and has become deeply ingrained into the very unique culture of the village/Clan. Those alone or away from the village for nearly any reason or duration frequently encounter Faeries. The encounters are not entirely benign and the villagers have a deep oral knowledge of Faeries and how to resist those that are hostile. They also seem naturally adept in dealing with Faerie socially.

Skilled Parens

Ronan's parens Derbhail is old, even by Hermetic standards. And even if her reflexes aren't what they once were, her wit hasn't dulled one bit.

Environmental Magic Condition (Not Around Water)*
Anchored to the Water

As a tradition predicated on the art of Aquam, Ronan's magic is heavily tied to the actual presence of water itself.

*Quick note on the mechanical side, for the Magic Restriction, I'm thinking that it requires, at a minimum, a base individual of water. So a glass of water doesn't count. Now it doesn't have to be all together, so if due to heavy rains there are a ton of puddles around, that's likely sufficient.

Faerie Heritage
Faerie Upbringing
Lesser Malediction (Water Dependence) - As per Undine in RoP:F

Like all Inchmore, Ronan has the blood of faeries flowing through his veins. In his case, the faerie Sionainne, for whom the river is named.

Study Requirement
Weak Scholar

His parens Derbhail never put much stock in, what she affectionately dubbed 'book learning', instead prioritizing practical experiences. As such, Ronan struggles to grasp

Nicely aligned to a theme. You're flaw makes me think of

Mr. Incredible: You're out of ice?! You can't run out of ice! I thought you could use the water in the air!
Frozone: There IS no water in this air! What's your excuse? You run out of muscle?!

But your naming is stuck between two different Flaws:

  • Environmental Magic Condition (RoP:M)
  • Restriction (core book)
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Is your parens the same Grainne as mine?

Does magically created water count if it is non-permanent?

Thanks, that was the plan!

And hah! The tiny humans were just watching that this morning actually. Hilarious scene.

I uhhh have no idea what you're talking about. Yup. Seriously though, thanks for the catch, it should have obviously been Condition.

This is what I get for just grabbing a random name from the suggested list! I'll be changing that here in a moment.


Growing up, Ronan lived a simple yet fulfilling life on the island of Inchmore, nestled in the waters of Hibernia. The island's crannog village was a close-knit community, where everyone shared a deep connection with the faerie realm. Ronan, born into a family with a long lineage of faerie blood, was no exception.

As a child, Ronan's days were filled with exploration and play amidst the picturesque landscapes of Inchmore. He would spend countless hours by the shores of the lake, skipping stones across the water's surface and listening to the whispers of the waves. His natural affinity for water became evident at an early age, as he effortlessly swam through the tranquil lake and skillfully maneuvered small boats, impressing even the seasoned fishermen of the village. As Ronan grew older, his natural talents in water-related activities flourished; he became a skilled swimmer and proficient boater, exploring the depths of the lake and finding solace in the tranquility of the water.

The faerie influences of Inchmore were ever-present in Ronan's life. He would often catch glimpses of mischievous creatures darting through the trees, or hear the enchanting melodies of the fae drifting on the breeze. These encounters were commonplace for the villagers, but Ronan seemed to possess a magnetic pull on the fae. They were drawn to him, their curious gazes following his every move, and he felt an unspoken connection with these mystical beings.

However, it was his faerie grandmother, Sionainne, who played a significant role in shaping Ronan's early years. Sionainne, a powerful and enigmatic fae, watched over him from the moment he was born. She would occasionally appear in his dreams, guiding him through fantastical realms and presenting him with trials and challenges. These trials served a purpose unbeknownst to Ronan at the time, as Sionainne tested his character and resilience, seeking to determine if he possessed the qualities necessary for something greater.

Despite possessing the Gift, which often led magi to be social outcasts due to their peculiarities, Ronan managed to avoid the negative social repercussions within his village. This was primarily due to the unique cultural makeup of Inchmore, where almost everyone had faerie blood flowing through their veins. The fae, in their own whimsical ways, were naturally drawn to Ronan, recognizing a kindred spirit in him. This connection provided him with a level of acceptance and understanding that most magi could only dream of, fostering a sense of belonging and harmony in his life.

Per: +1
Str: 0
Sta: +1
Pre: +1
Com: +1
Dex: +1
Qik: +1

Early Childhood:

Athletics to 1 (5xp)
Awareness to 2 (15xp)
Guile to 1 (5xp)
Survival to 1 (5xp)
Swim to 2 (15xp)

Later Life: 13 years

Animal Handling to 1 (5xp)
Are Lore - Ireland to 1 (5xp)
Area Lore - Irish Waterways to 3 (30xp)
Brawl to 1 (5xp)
Charm to 1 (5xp)
Coil Tri Lore to 2 (15xp)
Concentration to 3 (30xp)
Etiquette to 1 (5xp)
Faerie Lore to 4 (50xp)
Folk Ken to 1 (5xp)
Intrigue to 1 (5xp)
Leadership to 1 (5xp)
Order of Hermes Lore to 1 (5xp)
Profession: Sailor to 2 (15xp)
Ride to 1 (5xp)
Stealth to 1 (5xp)

Ronan's mater Derbhail believed in practical experience over book learning, and she challenged Ronan with rigorous training and demanding tasks to hone his abilities. Derbhail believed that true learning came not only from books but from experiencing the rich tapestry of the magical landscape and culture of Hibernia.

During Ronan's apprenticeship under the gruff and no-nonsense maga, they embarked on a journey that took them across the length and breadth of the Hibernian Tribunal. Together, Ronan and Derbhail traveled to ancient sites steeped in myth and legend, delving into forgotten ruins and mystical places of power. They studied the magical resources and alliances that existed with the elder races, forging connections with creatures of faerie and unraveling the mysteries of the land. Ronan's understanding of Aquam magic deepened as he encountered diverse environments, from the crashing waves of the western coast to the serene lakes hidden deep within ancient forests.

Derbhail's unwavering support for the Hibernian faction of the Tribunal became evident during their travels. She instilled in Ronan a deep appreciation for the traditions and philosophies that permeated the magical community in Hibernia. The Ordo Hiberniae, the magi raised in the Tribunal to Irish lineages, held a unique perspective influenced by Irish legend and Brehon law. They saw magic as a force that should be integrated with the natural order, and they valued the well-being of the land, its creatures, and its people.

The Hibernian philosophy challenged the conventional notions of worth and success within the Hermetic Order. In Hibernia, magi were measured not solely by the accumulation of knowledge or the size of their libraries, but by their ability to heal, protect, and serve their communities. They recognized the importance of maintaining the old ways, the non-Latin forms of magic that predated the Order's arrival in Ireland. These traditions, inherited from the druids of Partholon and Nemed, were seen as precursors to the Order's own Houses. They celebrated druids who shape-shifted, engaged with faeries, and crafted enchanted devices.

Derbhail and Ronan immersed themselves in these ancient traditions, learning from the druids and practitioners of the old ways. They sought to preserve and honor the rich magical heritage of Ireland, understanding that forcing these traditions into the Order's structure would dilute their essence and diminish their potential contributions. They ventured deep into Connacht, where many of these practitioners were confined, forging alliances and embracing the shared knowledge of the land.

Through their travels, Ronan not only honed his Aquam magic but also developed a profound appreciation for the interconnectedness of magic, nature, and the ancestral traditions of Ireland. The experiences and teachings during his apprenticeship under Derbhail shaped him into a magus who would carry the spirit of Hibernia within him as he embarked on his macgnímartha, ready to prove himself in the wider world and contribute to the continued growth and harmony of the Order in Ireland.

With Derbhail's guidance and approval, Ronan embarked on his macgnímartha, carrying with him the skills and knowledge he had gained throughout his apprenticeship. His focus was primarily on exploring the interactions between magic and the faerie realm. He sought to understand the delicate balance between the two and learn from the fae creatures he encountered.

Ronan's macgnímartha lasted for more than a year as he delved deep into the faerie-infused lands of Hibernia. He tested his powers against faerie adversaries, honing his combat and negotiation skills, interacted with local villagers and learned from their folklore, expanding his understanding of the mystical connections between mortals and the fae, and forged relationships with faeries of different courts, delving into their customs and rituals. Ronan's natural affinity with the fae continued to draw the creatures to him, and he developed a reputation among the magical community as someone who could navigate the complex realm of faeries with relative ease.


Area Lore - Hibernia to 1 (5xp)
Artes Liberales to 1 (5xp)
Finesse to 1 (5xp)
Latin to 4 (50xp)
Magic Lore to 3 (30xp)
Magic Theory to 3 (30xp)
Parma Magica to 1 (5xp)
Penetration to 1 (5xp)

Intellego to 5 (15xp)
Muto to 5 (15xp)
Rego to 10 (55xp)

Aquam to 10 (55xp)
Auram to 4 (10xp)
Vim to 5 (15xp)


Clear Sight of the Naiad
InAq(Te) 10
Per, Con, Vision
Allows the caster to see clearly under the water, including if the water is murky because of dirt and silt.
(Base 1, +1 Con, +4 Vision, Terram Requisite)

ReAq 35
Voice, Con, Part
Allows the caster to move and shape an amount of water in an unnatural and significantly violent (or not) fashion for as long as they concentrate. Particularly complex movements/shapes will require the caster to make a finesse check.
(Base 10, +2 Voice, +1 Con, +1 Part, +1 Size)

Frost's Restraint
ReAq 15
Voice, Mom, Part
Turns a large amount of water into ice. The caster can control the shape of the ice formed, though particularly complex forms will require a finesse check.
(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Part, +1 Size)

The Spring's Thaw
ReAq 5
Touch, Mom, Part
Turns an amount of ice back into water.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Part)

Conjure the Morning Fog
CrAu 10
Touch, Con, Ind
Creates a large bank of fog that lasts for as long as the caster concentrates. Note that the caster does not have any control over the fog, and strong winds can move/disperse it as usual.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, +1 Size)

True Sight of the Air
InAu 10
Per, Con, Vision
As per the spell on ArM5 pg 127
(Base 1, +1 Concentration, +4 Vision)

Whispering Winds
InAu 15
Sight, Con, Ind
As per the spell on ArM5 pg 127

Dry the Soaking Wizard
PeAq 5
Touch, Mom, Ind
Completely dry someone (or something up to the size of a small house) that is wet
(Base 4, +1 Touch)

Eyes of the Owl
MuCo(An) 4
Touch, Con, Ind
The target gains an owl's eyes, allowing them to see in complete darkness.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, Requisite free)

Flippers of the Amphibian
MuCo(An) 4
Per, Con, Ind
The target's hands and feet become webbed, allowing them to swim significantly better
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, Requisite free)

Gills of the Fish
MuCo(An) 4
Touch, Con, Ind
Gives the target a pair of gills, allowing them to breathe underwater.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, Requisite free)

Aura of Beguiling Appearance
MuIm 4
Per, Con, Ind
As per the spell on HoH:S pg 96
(Base 3, +1 Concentration)

Aura of Ennobled Presence
MuIm 4
Per, Con, Ind
As per the spell on ArM5 pg 145
(Base 3, +1 Concentration)

Wizard's Sidestep
ReIm 5
Per, Con, Ind
As per the spell on ArM5 pg 147
(Base 2, +1 Con, +1 Changing Image, +1 Image Matches Changes)

Maintaining the Demanding Spell
ReVi 20
Touch, Sun, Ind
As per the spell on ArM5 pg 162. Maintains a spell up to level 15.
(General, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)

Hold the Wizard's Handiwork
ReVi 5
Touch, Con, Ind
Creates a container to hold a spell up to level 20. When the caster stop concentrating, the spell held in the container is released.
(General, +1 Touch, +1 Con)

I highly recommend writing the maximum volume into spells like this so you don't have to look it up later each time you use the spell. The Base Individual for Aquam for water is 20 cubic paces, so with +1 size that would be 200 cubic paces.

You might want to be explicit here, like +3 to Swim.

Mostly I've seen people not consider gills to be a "minor ability," just light wings are not. There is no explicit cut-off between "minor ability" and "major ability," we just have examples of each.

I would not give spells the same name as the canonical spell with a different Duration or other change. That creates confusion. You might use similar names, adjusted so they're not the same but make one thing think of the canonical version. For example, I use "Sustaining the Demanding Spell" for a Moon version of Maintaining the Demanding Spell. I've used "My Beguiling Appearance" and "My Ennobled Presence" for Personal/Concentration versions of those two before.

Similarly, I would not create new names for existing spells, as that adds confusion as well. This already exists in canon as The Patient Spell.

I'd diameter or sun this spell if I were you. If your focus is on looking good, you can't focus on doing whateve rit is you really want to do. Sing, lead,...

Sun-version of Maintaining the Demanding Spell further down the list.

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That said, I'm not sure if Gills of the Fish would give trouble using voice for casting spells, wholly separate from the level possibly being off if not a "minor ability." This might make the odds of casting this version of Maintaining the Demanding Spell along with making its Concentration roll to keep that spell running pretty slim.

That face when you see @callen writing a response for a good 10+ minutes. :wink:

That's fair. Less flipping through the book is a good thing.

I was thinking of something like that, yeah. Just hadn't decided on it mechanically.

Gotta love Ars being so specific about these sorts of things, eh? I don't remember there being a major ability guideline anywhere, mind pointing me towards it? And sounds like we need @Vortigern to jump in here and let us know what he thinks. Not like he can't always pick up Lungs of the Fish if need be.

Also fair, and a relatively easy change.

So interestingly enough, this is where Faerie Legacy should kick in. Taking it for Undine gives him a " 2 bonus to any action taken under water, which replaces any penalty applied." The key bit there is replacing any penalty full stop. It's uh, quite impactful all things considered. That said, can always take The Kraken's Song to address the whole underwater talking bit depending on how we decide that Faerie Legacy works.