Divine protection for people and objects

If a magus casts a Perdo Terram spell on a golden holy relic that is not in a divine aura, is there anything to stop the spell working?

If they cast a Perdo Corpus spell on a Bishop who is not in an aura, is there anything to stop the spell working?

And are kings/rulers protected by the Divine in any way? It would seem appropriate for them to be, given the divine right of kings idea, and would also prevent magi from controlling mundane rulers to control entire countries.

For the Christian rulers and bishops, see The Church p.26f Commanding Aura.

For Relics see ArM5 p.189 True Faith.

And don't forget, that there are also ArM5 p.189 and p.206 Miracles: the faithful can not only call upon RoP:D p.85f Saints, but the saints can also - but need not - directly protect their Relics.

A SG should anyway not rely on ArM5 mechanics alone, but use attacks on relics, rulers, bishops etc. as a base for those stories that were told in the middle ages.

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Thanks, that's great. Do you know of anything to suggest carrying a holy relic interfere with casting magic at all, similar to an aura? I'm envisaging a magus carrying around a holy relic to benefit from its high magic resistance - would there be a downside?

No, no downside.
A relic staying in one place for an extended period of time might create a divine aura in that place, but just carrying one around won't cause any problems for magi - just as having True Faith doesn't prevent spellcasting.

Unless it is a very powerful relic, or a magus with a low score in Parma Magica, it is unlikely that the relic will help much with Magic Resistance.

(Relics give you a Magic Resistance of 10 times their Faith Score, just like True Faith does. Most relics only have a Faith Score of 1, though more powerful ones exist.
MR from relics/true faith is not cumulative with that from Parma Magica/Form bonuse - only the highest MR of the two apply)

The magus should better not lose that relic! Those who gave it to him would require at the very least that he retrieve it asap. That is also, why clerics heading a mission among pagans will usually not carry relics with them.

They will not? Any source for that?

A historical source for not doing something? Don't expect that.

You need to look at documents on missions to pagans, and what is told about their equipment: you never find a big relic, which certainly should have been mentioned if present. If you consider the ideal, political and monetary value of such relics in 1220, you know why: far too precious.

But you can expect portable altars among a mission's luggage, which all had some minor relics in them.

So now you are saying that they did carry relics with them, just not the really valuable ones.

It is an issue of defining relics. A portable altar should not contain an ArM5 p.48 Relic. But it cannot be a Catholic altar without a relic in it.
Also many medieval pilgrims on the retour trip carried third class relics home - but you would not use them as ArM5 p.48 Relics either, or would you?.

He wouldn't be able to drop the MR to allow himself or another to cast a beneficial spell with range Touch or higher. For a relic however this should be easy enough to solve: put the relic aside for a few moments.

The requirements for relics in portable altars were the same as for fixed altars - remains from at least two saints. I.e. first class relics.
If the relics are good enough to be used in an altar, they are good enough to follow the ArM5 rules for relics.

I'd expect priests to carry 2nd class relics (which in game terms would be your ArM5 p.48 relics, I think), but not 1st class ones (which would be RoP:D relics with more than 1 FP and/or powers). As for portable altars, not sure how it was in the 1200's, but today they can't have a relic at all. They must, however, be consecrated.

I'd fully expect that. Either a document prohibiting something (for example, it is explicitly prohibited to split larger 1st class relics to create 2nd class relics, or to put relics into portable altars) or at least account of past events. If you have the travel logs of a priest who wrote "they, in their blasphemous ways, carried their most holy objects everywhere" you'd be able to say that, at least for that person, at that time, carrying relics around was something that wasn't done.

Any source for that? =9

According to the Rite of Dedication of a Church and an Altar movable altars shouldn't have relics. I might have searched poorly... or things might have changed with time.

If so, I wonder when and why.

Also, where did "remains from at least two saints" came from?

One of the many things that changed after the Second Vatican Council.

What to me seems like a good summary, consistent with what I have found elsewhere is:

Back at my notebook now.

Really? First you have (ArM5 p.189):

Some holy relics carry Faith Points.

You don't find these ArM5 p.48 Relics in every altar or portable altar. Otherwise in Mythic Europe every parish priest has control over an ArM5 p.48 Relic, providing MR 10+ and one or more Faith Points. That was never intended and is nowhere stated.

And that you won't find. All we have tmk is, that it is nowhere documented from 10th to 13th century, how Catholic priests brought valuable relics with a mission among the pagans.

Reading The Church pages 39 and 49, I sure get the impression that just about every church has one or more relics in the altar - relics with a Faith score. These relics are a big part of what gives the church a divine aura.

"Control" is a strong word. But I'd say that yes, every parish church has a relic with at least 1 FP. You say that this was never intended, but from reading RoP:D and The Church my understanding is exactly the opposite.

RoP:D p.11 also states the need of a relic for the consecration of a christian site, and RoP:D doesn't distinguish between relics, beyond requiring a Major Virtue for a Powerful relic, with 3 FP. In fact, RoP:D p.45 states:

All relics have a number of common powers, listed below:

  1. Faith: All relics contain a Faith score (...)

RoP:D does recognize that there are people who sell fake relics... but these aren't really relics at all, for ArM purposes. Nothing is said about relics (as in, objects recognized as such by the Church) with no Faith Points. And in ME the Church does have the ability to identify real relics.

If we had an explicit prohibition or recommendation on that sense, ok, but we don't. As for the lack of records (either for or against carrying relics), absence of evidence can't be taken as evidence of absence. If nothing is said we can only say that we have no information about the matter. But we do have accounts of relics being carried from a place to another, or in processions, or stolen, sold, lost... so we do know they got around. I see no reason for it to be rarer for a priest on a mission to carry a relic.

That argument keeps getting close to the Russel's teapot.

As I understand, it's the bishop who consecrates the altar. That would may he has a Relic, nothing more. If you can find exceptions where someone else replaced the bishop without carrying the Relic in his staid, you'd have a point.

I am not sure what point you are trying to make.
As part of the consecration of an altar, some relics were put into it or underneath it. The relics then remain there for as long as the altar is consecrated. Who carried those relics up to that point seems kind of irrelevant, since it would be a very temporary thing.

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This is very serious. We find in RoP:TD p.43 Relics:

These relics range from the physical remains of important religious figures, such as finger bones, blood and hair, through objects constructed, blessed, used by, or dedicated to them, such a staves, rings, and clothes, to the containers and wrappings in which the original relics were kept (known as brandea), which are themselves regarded as having become imbued with the sanctity of the objects. Such relics have uncanny powers that can be called upon by the faithful in times of need.

If thus every type of relic venerated by the Catholic Church in the middle ages would contain Faith Points and provide MR, there were more ArM5 p.48 Relics than churches, altars and and priests officiating them.

The Church p. 49 does state that indeed, and gives Game Statistics for a Church to boot: including the very affordable cost of having a Faith Score 5 ArM5 p.48 Relic underneath your altar: 15 points from the 50 for a chapel, or the 250 for a parish church. And from the altar it will provide MR 50.
Some (The Church p.26) Priest PC might then take it out from there and carry it towards demons, faeries and magi. Ouch!
We might even get an industry creating ex brandea relics with Faith Points and bestowing MR.

And all this starting from ArM5 Core Book p.189:

Some holy relics carry Faith Points.

No way of errataing these contradictions with the Core Book out any more.

Keeping the Catholic Church of Mythic Europe roughly aligned with the historical one will take a lot of work by the SG, once The Church p.48ff Creating Game Statistics for a Church is discovered by a creative troupe.