Chthonic Magic during lab work


RoP: The Infernal mentions about Chthonic Magic that a magus may always add twice his lower Art score to his Lab total, by performing some sinful act, which influences and becomes part of the spell.
My question is:
If a Magus creates a spell using Chthonic magic to raise his Lab total, is the resulting spell inherently tainted and wicked? Or can he use the spell without resorting to Chthonic Magic and thus cast the spell in a not-tainted way? (here, i mean tainted for magical and faeric investigation, since all the spells from this magus would be tainted under divine or infernal investigation).
To put it another way: if i use Chthonic Magic during spell creation, does it taint the activity of creating a spell itself but not the spell (which mean the said magus will have some problems if a quaesitor would suddenly enter his sanctum, but he could use the spell later on without much problems)? Or does it taint both the activity AND the spell?

Thank you for your insight

I would say that it should taint it. For a season (or more) you have relied in stuff that is perceived to be WRONG to get the support of Chtonic beings in the creation of your spell. I would say that you can cast it normally if you want, but the spell would be tainted regardless of the casting method. It will be less obvious that it is tainted if you cast it normally than if you cast it sacrificing a black goat, though.

Or, let's put it another way - look at it as a (Beta-)StoryGuide, as part of a Troupe looking for the best story (and here, "best" is "most appropriate" for how a Cthonic mage is described)...

Given the description of how Cthonic Magic works both in the game and in-character, and how such a powerful advantage is "balanced" in game terms and "costs" in terms of the character and their magic, if the mage channels the darker powers by committing via some sinful act(s) for an entire season, why would it not be tainted?

"There are other benefits to this Virtue, but all of them make the character's magic a clearly Infernal power when used," RoP:I pg 123

Inventing a spell using Chthonic Magic's benefits beyond that above sentence creates a 'clearly Infernal power'. You could argue that the above sentence means 'when the virtue is used' rather than 'when the magic is used', but consider the following:

Magus X decides to make a longevity potion with Chthonic Magic. The resulting potion is clearly an infernal power by every interpretation.
Magus X invests a power in his Talisman with Chthonic Magic. That resulting enchantment is clearly an infernal power by every interpretation.
Magus X bonds a familiar with Chthonic Magic. The resulting bond is clearly an Infernal power by every interpretation.
Magus X invents a spell with Chthonic Magic. The resulting spell is an ordinary Hermetic spell free of Infernal taint. Does that make ANY sense? No, no it does not.

Chthonic Magic is a deliberately slippery slope. It offers lots and lots of power (like you have a Focus in EVERYTHING) at the cost of corrupting your magical powers. Chthonic Magi have to be very, very careful to avoid being marched, because it's very easy for them to appear to be diabolists, and because of the Infernal's powers of deception it's very hard to disprove those accusations.

While the text is not phrased as clearly as it could be, the most natural interpretation to our troupe seemed the following:

  1. You can take advantage of Chthonic magic when casting an otherwise "normal" spell; this gives a bonus to the Casting Total and taints that individual casting (i.e. makes it a) need a wicked act and b) produce and Infernal effect). Further castings need not be tainted.
  2. You can take advantage of Chthonic magic when researching a spell; this gives a bonus to the Lab total, but makes the spell "intrinsecally" tainted (i.e. makes every future casting a) need a wicked act and b) produce and Infernal effect) - of course, this also means every casting of the spell automatically gets the Casting Total bonus.

The magic itself is Infernally tainted! So a Cthonic Magic item will register as Infernal to anyone who cares about such things. That's penalty enough, right there. Go ahead, carry around that powerful talisman, the Baleful Broadsword of Bloody, er, Badness! Nope, no one is going to notice or care....

All of this make sense.

hank you for your answers :slight_smile: