Cult of Mercury questions

What are the cannon sources regarding the nature of the Cult of Mercury - it's practices, rites, or magics?

Were they associated with the worship of Mithras?

Does anyone have suggestions as to the types of Hermetic Limits that Mercuric magic is likely to have surpassed or broken? Or specific range/target/durations that are common to them (e.g. like faerie magic)? Or is there no standardization among their spells?

The current Saga I run contains the remnants of a Cult of Mercury site near the covenant, and I'm trying to get an understanding of what would likely appear and what the cult is like. Any thoughts, suggestions, reference, or other help is appreciated.

You could start by looking at the neo-murcurian cult for ideas

Does that appear in the revised The Mysteries sourcebook?

I don't own that one yet, but I'm looking to pick it up. Does it contain some good detail on these neo-mercurians?

The current Order doesn't know a lot about the actual workings of Mercurian Magic (perhaps it'll be in the up comming book that deals with lost lore). We do know it led to the rituals Aegis of the Hearth and Wizard's Communion. We know the "Mercurian Magic" Major Virtue in Ars 5th. We can guess that they were really good at doing group magic, and bad at Spontaneous magic...I bet they just couldn't do it.

There's 4 pages on Mercurian Magic in the Mysteries, and it's mostly about what current Neo-Mercurians are like. It does give some more hints about Mercurian Magic (at least what it's evolved to): they encourage Performance Magic, Theurgy (summoning spirits to cast spells for you), Divination and Augury (using Intelligo to sense the future), Withstand Magic (lose less fatigue in rituals), Hermetic Sacrifice (using sacrifice to take the place of some of a ritual's vis), and new range and target: "Road".

There is actually a section on the Legion of Mithras, but it's not much to do with this Cult.

The old adventure "The Tempest", actually features an ancient Mercurian Mage (and Druid). Of course this is way out of date, but this is how the founders of the game looked at it:

They were focused on "Forms" and perhaps didn't know the Techniques, escpeciall Aquam, Terram, Ignum, Aruam, Corporam, and Vim (+20% to actual score as a bonus). They also liked to break things down, like "Perdo". The could use Waiting Ritual on Rituals and didn't have to use vis to cast Rituals (!), but perhaps they did have to use sacrifice. They couldn't use Spontaneous Magic magic at all, and had to have a group of 3 to cast a Formulaic spell (but by the time of the Order, they had overcome this) or from a text(!).

Like I said, different time, but still interesting. I"m kinda glad you asked so I could get this working in my mind, as we have some Mercurian stuff in our current Saga

There are two other refernces in the fifth edition line regarding the cult of Mercury that angafea did not mention. In my opinion they are the most revealing.

These are the cult of mercury section from the Mercere section of True Lineages and the rituals of Fencil from the Gurnicus section of True Lineages.

The rituals of fencil are a collection of mercurian magics adapted to the Hermetic system. The cult of mercury gives some understanding of what the mercurians could do with their spells.

What these show us is tha the mercurians had a small number of rituals that they cast cooperatively. This small number of rituals sufficed for them because they were able to manipulate the rituals greatly in order to twist them into a usable tool for whatever task they had at hand.

In regards to the mercurians I don't think that it is wise to go only from the books. I'd advise you to mix things up to surprise the players.

Ah yes, thanks for the back up. The Fenicil's Rituals are each a spell learned in a season, and doesn't use Hermetic Forms and techniques, but instead uses a seperate skill (often several people's skills) to cast vs an Ease Factor. Each Ritual has its own skill (like Mastery) that helps cast it.

As Erik Tyrrell eluded to the Mastery abilities allow more flexiable Formulaic spells.

Ohh my! I'm really facinated by the Mercurians too!!

I've used the mentioned material in the "Tempest" for some inspiration - especially since I'm also using the Diedne.

Two additions to the otherwise great contributions you've already gotten. First I also find a bit of antique inspiration in the HoH: TL passage on the Mercere - not as clear as the rituals of Fencil but still there. Secondly we will in few months see the publishment of Ancient Magic - a book that'll supposedly answer all your questions (regarding Mercurians - in other regards please refer to the number 42 as you answer) - and toward which my expectations are immensly high. I'm really looking forward to it, though my expectations are so unfavorably high that I - in spite of all the current great titles - will be amazed if they are satisfied. Go Atlas!

I should probably add - OOC - that neither do the Neo-Mercurians.

They are a bunch of magi who have convinced themselves that the fuddy-duddy "classic Mercurians" have faded and lost the plot, and that they, personally, have rediscovered a purer clearer interpretation fo the lost Lore.

This makes them the New Heritage of Mercury, and set to out-rival those others, who are so set in their ways.

whether this actually means they know anything of the state of magic in the Roman era, I leave as an exercise for readers...

Well, I guess the chapter heading gives it away, so it's no longer a secret - yes - TMRE reveals the secrets of the Neo Mercurians and the Neo Mercurian Revival!

not any old variant of Performance Magic (like Music or Hunting - oh no!) - they teach Perfrmace Magic (Neo-Mercurian Magic) - while performing the ceremonies and rites of the cult, Initiates gain the benefits of Performance Magic...

and much more important - offering pacts with Daimons - the Ascended Heroes and Lost Gods of the "Hall of Heroes"...

Hermetic Divination actually uses a studied talent, combined with ritual methods, devices, and sympathetic magic, to divine the present.

It uses guidelines modelled on Intellego, but does not actually use (or for that matter, need!) Intellego magic.

Many of its practitioners claim to be able to divine the future, but then so do many other Hermetic Magi. (But both are limited by the Limit Of Time)(q.v.)

"not much" as in "nothing to do with"... The Legion is perhaps inclined towards the (classic) Mercurians of HoH:MC - they likely have low regard for the Neo-Mercurians.

The Neo-Mercurians are keen to recreate the lost magical glades where they can contact the ancient spirits of Roman times, and reconstruct rites and rituals supporting this...

That said, the new Road Magic is generally available to anyone with Mercurian Magic, learnable without further Initiation; as, too, are the various Mastery Abilities.
(Doesn't mean a New Mercurain would teach a Classic Mercurian!)