Character Development

Yan, that Vermin maga sounds really cool, disgusting, disturbed and funny :slight_smile:

Caelarch, would it be safe to assume we have individual "design powers" over the sancta/Quarters of our individual magus/maga? In that case the Vermin Maga can go all jeepers creepers in her homeground, where my Divine Trianoma might be more apprehensive about large scale vermin infestations (Though recognising the guard potential!)

I was contemplating creating either a minor magical focus or major magical focus pertaining to some of the areas that Raphael, Gabriel, Michael and Uriel has in the World of Darkness: Mage rulebook.

In it, the Archangels control the following:

Gabriel: Fire (Should be changed if allowed), healing (Thinking of changing this to humans only), motion (Should be travel or else it would be all of Rego!) and reason
Michael: Leadership, light and war
Raphael: Creativity, peace and water (thinking of changing this to stagnant water)
Uriel: Death, darkness, fear and earth (Should be changed if allowed)

Now I realise that all these are too much, especially the elemental foci as is vastly outdo any major focus. However looking in "Mysteries" under astrological magic (All the planetary foci, house foci and sign foci) it struck me that there are many different aspects grouped together to form for instance a focus in the Sign of Capricorn.
Thus I thought about either taking a minor magical focus in 3 of the mentioned areas, sort of shopping around. The precise combo I had thought of was Creativity, peace and light, melding Michael and Raphael, leaving out Gabriel and Uriel.
A possibility is taking a Major magical Focus in the Archangels and doubling or tripling the areas, as akin to Planetary and Sign foci.


Could your maga take the "King" of the Hive as her familiar? Or maybe she just as the Hive as a magical companion, with each successive King swearing fealty to her. That way she has a feudal relationship to the Hive, able to call on its soldiers as well as recieve a cut of the honey and wax produced.

From the Medieval Bestiary:

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 11, 4-23): Pliny has a great deal to say about bees. They belong to neither the wild or domesticated class of animals. Of all insects, bees alone were created for the sake of man. They collect honey, make wax, build structures, work hard, and have a government and leaders. They retire for the winter, since they cannot endure cold. They build their hives of many materials gathered from various plants. They gather honey from flowers close to the hive, and send out scouts to farther pastures when the nearby flowers are exhausted; if the scouts cannot return before nightfall, they make camp and lie on their backs to protect their wings from dew. They post a guard at the gates of the hive, and after sleeping until dawn they are woken by one of their number and all fly out together, if the weather is fine. They can forecast wind and rain so they know when not to go out. The young bees go out to collect materials while the old work indoors. Honey comes out of the air; in falling from a great height it accumulates dirt and is stained with the vapor of the earth; it becomes purified after the bees collect it and allow it to ferment in the hive. Smoke is used to drive away the bees so their honey can be collected, though too much smoke kills them. Out of several possible candidates, bees select the best to be king, and kill the others to avoid division; the king is twice as large as other bees, is brilliantly colored, and has a white spot on his brow. The common bees obey and protect the king, as they are unable to be without him. Bees like the sound of clanging bronze, which summons them together. Dead bees can be revived if they are covered with mud and the body of an ox or bull.

Isidore of Seville states bees "have kings and armies with which they wage war . . . "

You certainly will have control over your own Sanctum. You have probably used the same lab for a decade or two (at least) so it should really be customized to your "feel" of magic.

As far as the foci go, I don't think you can have more than a single magical focus. I'll look at the Mysteries book tonight and go over the astrological foci you describe before deciding how broad your "Archangel" foci can be. Let me look at it and mull it over a bit.

I want four different labs, one specialized for each Persona :slight_smile:
I'll build them from scratch if I need to. Maurice would have the full normal Hermetic lab with all the bells and whistles, and shares it with the Donatella Persona. Donatella might have a secret lab hidden somewhere on her husbands estate, stripped down for some simple activity such as spells and texts, no items. Anthony would have a small squalor lab, also stripped down, hidden away in his gang's secret hideout. Marcia, the newest Persona, only recentlytook a separate lab. Somewhere in a townhose or something, focused on Imaginem or some such.


I could do that, but a king bee as familiar strikes me as very fragile!! :slight_smile: And a magical animal companion isn't nearly as interesting as a familiar with Might 40 or 50....

(Note that Pliny notwithstanding, not all medieval folk considered bees to be ruled by a king. In various relevant traditions ranging from pagan Lithuanian to Jewish to classic Greek, bees are identified as female.)



Ken, check this out.
Bond Level (the level of enchantment you need to bind a familiar) = 25 + (might) + (5 x size).
Soa bee, safe to assume size -12 or smaller, with a Might of 50 (!) is only Level 15 (!!).

I am still working on a name, and will send it later. While Marko is interested in the underbelly of Mythic Europe, my Tytalus mage is interested in the machinations of the heads. He has been involved in a cabal that sought to pry away Brittany from the English, going so far as obtaining the services of a witch (maybe hermetic, maybe not) to see that a son was posthumously born son of Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany, back in 1187. There could be something magical or fey in the fact that he was a child named Arthur born posthumously in Brittany and who was heir to the English Throne. Richard Lion heart designated the cabal's creation heir to the throne of England; the intent being that Arthur would succeed Richard over John. My mage thought this was a great triumph, especially for a Tytalus in his 20's after gauntlet. However, King John invaded France, captured the boy duke along with several Cabal members. King John murdered the boy gruesomely and did worse to the cabal members. As a junior member of the cabal, my mage was not around fortunately.

However, he has a deep desire to rectify the loss of the young duke. He has been involved with conspiracies in England, France, and Ireland to undermine John and maybe agents scattered there. Since King John's death, he has had to revise his focus. He has no love for Philippe of France and less for his heir Louis. However, politics makes strange bedfellows.

He also has a Persona: Father Callas, an elderly retired priest who has contacts by either blood or association to various lords, many of who he has provided sage counsel in the past. Whether these associations are real or planted by mentum magic is not always clear. The blood relationships are planted memories.

He finds the conflict in Fudarus too insular and narrow. His generation of Soldales has been helpful in his ventures. The underworld contacts of one allow for frequent information and smuggled agents, which he pays for in information on various nobles and wealthy merchants. The strange maga has her uses as well. In addition to making the covenant safer, maybe she provided a contact to the fertility witch many years ago. The holy member of our group has their uses as well; fortunately, piety can blind even the intelligent sometimes.

Finally the Diedne who once walked this land have left behind many secrets that date back to the time of Merlin> This was the last time Kingship and Magic were comfortably aligned, the return of which was the goal of the cabal, only no one had assumed the position of Merlin before it was discovered.

I am playing a very dangerous game, but then what other kind would be worth playing.

Kill all the monarchs of Europe. The ensuing struggle will result in a society that is stronger and wiser :wink:

I am not interested in just the underbelly. Several of my cover identities are members of the aristocracy. But not nobility. The ancestors of nobles and kings earned their status by right of force. These "modern" ones? Vermin. Weak and conniving vermin. They all need to be toppled from power, and replaced by a meritocracy. :smiling_imp:


What is it with "vermin" on this board? Trying to appeal to Ken? :laughing:

Most of the public actions of my magus are meddling with minor nobles here and there, passing on word, offering advice, a little spying. Some of this may have opened up possible vis sites (maybe we can have some distant ones through these contacts, which might require defending against other closer covenants). :unamused:

In secret, I also see (imagine) various plots working against mine. Who set up the cabal, and why did they fall to the English? How did John Lacksland die so easily? Did someone misinterpret the Diedne mysteries that led us to use the boy in our plots? So far, many of my plots have failed just as I thought they had succeeded. This cannot be fate, but must be another force working against mine. And so I must plot some more. I also belive King Philippe has been assisted by someone with inner knowledge of the Order. 8)

Paranoid should be a required trait for this House. :open_mouth:

Does anybody remember how the Persona virtue is affected by the gift?

As normal, -3 social penalty. I took Gentle Gift for that very reason. However, people don't know why you give off a bad vibe, and once you invest the time to establish a deep cover identity, people get used to you.
Also note that traditional disguise magic can be used in conjunction with Persona to create a wide variety of identities, some to be cultivated and others that are one or two uses and disposable.


Thanks. I was afraid of that, but with some persuasive magic good folk ken and intrigue, the impact should be nil (or at least in most cases).

I was also thinking of adding a serpent as a familiar. They are supposedly loyal to their mates and seek everlasting revenge if one dies. They also have the ability to shed their cloaks, as if taking on new personalities. We also no that they can be cunning and deceitful when necessary. Also all serpents are venomous (at least according to the Bestiaries); some just choose to use it while others do not. Sadly, I do not plan to be much of an animal or perdo mage, so my arts in those will generally be low. Nevertheless, with Marko's formula: Bond Level (the level of enchantment you need to bind a familiar) = 25 + might + (5 x -4(size), then I only need a lab total equal to might +6.

Of course, I may have to establish a workout program for the familiar, who will certainly have a weight problem with all of those rats and mice running around. I can imagine this one sided dialogue, "Hey wake up, Ophidia, there is lab work to be done. There are time points to prepare. What? You just ate another rat and have to sleep for a week? You are worse than Baal, the cat in the lab next door, and she is too fat to leap to her maga's lab bench."

grin I had noticed that a long time ago.

You're missing the fun part though:

Puissant + Affinity TeFo (CrAn is good for bees who make honey and wax, so is ReAn for a king bee)
Relevant Focus

Right out of apprenticeship, a binding total of 65 is easily reached, for a very killer bee with a Might of 100 or so.....



In trying to advance our characters how much obligation is required by the covenant. This may help factor in non-lab/study time. However, I believe the XP earned durring such service is probably equivalent to the XP earned in the lab so maybe we just ignore such services. Or maybe assign a few every five years for the players to come up with.

You do not have to permenantly create vermin, they can spontaniously come into existence, vanish, and spontaniously come again (sun duration no vis spells). At least the flies, midges, and mosquitos that swarm are not known to live a long time. More individual pests- spiders, mice and rats could just be attracted to the maga, like a moth to flame. Or live for less than 1 year. This attraction could be the sigil, something from twilight, or part of her nature. Once they are there, they are her's to command.

As far as a King Bee being a small/weak familiar, it has armies to do its fighting and could command a large swarm, without personal risk. Kind of like a real king (except Richard, who caught that nasty arrow).


They don't just vanish and can be 'created' instantly, no Sun duration required! A mom spell does the trick.
At least the flies, midges, and mosquitos that swarm are not known to live a long time. More individual pests- spiders, mice and rats could just be attracted to the maga, like a moth to flame. Or live for less than 1 year. This attraction could be the sigil, something from twilight, or part of her nature. Once they are there, they are her's to command.

Yeah. Lots of ways to do this. Certainly taking a real bee will save me a virtue point! :slight_smile: I can still have all the other good stuff I want out of the familiar.




lol Now I need to come up with some motivation for her. She needs some story flaws.



I'm sitting down with my coffee and rulebooks to start going over the things that were discussed today, so expect some posts soon.

So I'm clear, the vermin produced by Rego are natural creatures, not magical and thus unaffected by Parma. However, they are thus very vulnerable to ward effects, for example:

By Animals Be Untroubled
ReAn 5
R: Touch Dur: Sun Tar: Ind
(Base 2 +1Touch +2 Sun)
Mundane animals will not attack the subject of the spell. (As Ring of Beast Warding, but personal).

Obviously mundanes will suffer horrid, horrid death at the hands of 2 million bees, but it will hardly slow a wizard down.

Ken, I want you to know I love this character.

Looking this over, and consulting the books most dire and old, I think that what your going for is just a little too broad. I would probably allow a major focus in a single Archangel's sphere replacing any overly broad elemental items with others from the lore of the Angels: for example Michael (leadership, light, war[not combat, but actual war]) or Raphael (creativity, peace, and blindness). Basically, three thematically linked minor foci can be taken as a major foci. However, like astrological magic this would be a mystery virtue and like astrological magic your spells cast within the focus will have the "flavor" of the Archangel. Using the focus against the Archangel's nature may attract unwanted divine (or infernal) attention.

All fine. your numerous labs, if paid for by the covenant probably make you the most expensive magus there, so except some grumblings about bringing in enough silver to keep up your lavish ways. Not that bringing in enough silver is hard, but magi like to complain.

Binding a might 100 bee isn't technically hard. Finding one and convincing him to come home to the lab with you is. A Might 100 bee is basically the King of all Bees. Good luck convincing him that he'd rather live in your spider, frog, mice infested "buildings" when he can rule the Bee Courts from his Grand Hive deep in a level 9 regio, attended by dozens of young, nectar-sweet queens etc. etc... What can you offer such a mighty king?

Love it!