Esse of Criamon

[size=150]Esse of Criamon [/size]
Character Sheet in Progress; Notes below.

Age 25
Warping Score 1 (0)
Casting Sigil When Esse casts a spell, words appear, written backwards.
Voting Sigil A palm-sized mirror.

Virtues & Flaws (+10/-10) Hermetic Magus (0), Outsider (Zoroastrian; -3); the Gift (0); Enigmatic Wisdom (0); Affinity with Creo (+1), Affinity with Enigmatic Wisdom (+1), Book Learner (+1), Good Characteristics (+1), Minor Magical Focus: Mirrors (+1), Personal Vis Source (4p Im/year; +1), Puissant Creo (+1), Puissant Enigmatic Wisdom (+1), Skilled Parens (+1), Venus's Blessing (+1); Disfigured (stigmata; -1), Lesser Malediction: Reverse Speech (equivalent to Poor Communication; 0, result of Warping), Mentor (-1), Secretive (-1), Twilight Prone (-3), Warped by Magic (-1)

Int +3, Per 0, Pre +1, Com -4, Str +1, Sta +1, Dex +3, Qik +1

Abilities (350) Artes Liberales 1 (Rituals), Athletics 2 (evasion), Awareness 2 (hearing), Carouse 2 (dancing), Chirurgery 1 (midwife), Code of Hermes 1 (high crimes), Concentration 1 (spells), English 5, Enigmatic Wisdom 2+2 (labyrinth meditation; 10 + Affinity), Finesse 2 (craft magic), Latin 5 (Hermetic), Magic Lore 1 (Auras), Magic Theory 4 (Creo), Medicine 1 (diagnosis), Order of Hermes Lore 1 (the Founders), Parma Magica 1 (Corpus), Philosophiae 1 (Rituals), Profession: Scribe 1 (Hermetic), Stealth 2 (silent movement)

Reputations Freakish Pagan (from Outsider) 3

Arts (150) Cr 12+3 (55 + Affinity), In 1, Mu 5, Pe 5, Re 1; An 0, Aq 1, Au 1, Co 4, He 1, Ig 3, Im 6, Me 1, Te 1, Vi 6

Formulaic Spells (150)
Charge of the Angry Winds (CrAu 15) +17
Bind Wounds (CrCo 10) +20
Purification of the Festering Wounds (CrCo 20) +20
Trap of the Entwining Vines (CrHe 15) +17
Pilum of Fire (CrIg 20) +19
Charm of Mirror Writing (CrIm 5) +28F; See Grimoire
Veil of Invisibility (PeIm 20) +12
Day of Communion (MuVi 20) +12; See Grimoire
Demon's Eternal Oblivion (PeVi 10) +12
The Hills Are Alive (ReVi 15) +10; Mastery 2 (Quiet x2) See Grimoire

Charm of Mirror Writing, CrIm 5
R: Sight, D: Conc, T: Ind
The magus gazes on a reflective surface and words appear on it as quickly as they might be spoken. The magus can continue to concentrate and add more words, but the words do not change so long as the spell lasts. Once the surface is full, the spell must end and be recast to put more words upon it. In Esse's version of the spell, the letters appear out of order for a moment, then reconfigure to the right order.
Base 1, +3 Sight, +1 Conc

Day of Communion, MuVi 20
R: Pers, D: Sun, T: Ind
Based on the Wizard's Communion, this spell lasts all day, so as to allow magi to cooperate on rituals, which take too much time to cast for a regular Wizard's Communion. The spell adds level-10 to the total levels of the Communion.
(Base, +2 Sun)

The Hills Are Alive (With the Sound of Magic), ReVi 15
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind
This spell concentrates any vis which may be present in a sound audible to the magus, and moves that vis into an object the caster is touching. Esse uses this spell to capture her personal vis source; as she casts it, the words she is speaking become visible as glowing letters.
(Base 10, +1 Touch)

Esse was born Paulina of York. At the age of 10 she was sold to a Tremere headhunter and was initially trained at Blackthorne. However, an early magical accident sent her into Twilight and left her permanently scarred: everything she says comes out backwards. Now incapable of easily communicating with her fellow Tremere (and unable to reliably give or respond to orders), she was summarily traded to the wandering Criamon of Semitae. It was there that she was initiated into the Enigma and completed her training as a maga.

Esse ("I exist" in Latin) now speaks only in palindromes which, since they read the same backwards as forwards, are barely intelligible to educated listeners (though she still seems to have a bizarre accent). Every solstice and equinox, the magic that builds up within her body can be forced out by the SATOR rhyme (a famous Latin palindrome) and from this utterance she has learned to extract vis.

Her bizarre reverse nature has drawn Esse to the Path of Walking Backwards, though she is not Sufi or even Muslim. She has reached out to the leader of this clutch, who has agreed to help her along her Path. Her current riddle, given to her by her former master at Semita, is "In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni," which is a palindrome that reads, in English, "We go wandering at night and are consumed by fire." The surface answer is "moths"; Esse is still contemplating the deeper answer.

Wow. This Esse is one beautiful character!

About her speech impediment:
Incomprehensible as a flaw obviously also affects writing (because the book quality drops). On the other hand there is a danger that she'll become so insomprehensible that roleplaying her will become difficult. So maybe she can create use magic to circumvent her curse a little (like Im or Me spells). Or maybe she can write normally but isn't used to it which makes her writing hard to read. Set the limits of her curse yourself. But don't be too hard on yourself.

Yeah, that's Jaime Alexander from BLINDSPOT. It's not every day you have a female protagonist covered in tattoos.

I was looking up Mythic Zoroastrianism in CRADLE & THE CRESCENT and the book suggests followers of this faith, in predominantly Christian or Muslim lands, would have the Outsider Major Flaw. This puts me one point over on Flaws, so I cut Incomprehensible. She still has a -4 Com, but she's not especially bad at teaching and writing books. Not that I expect her to do either of these things, though her apprentice will probably resent her. As an Outsider, everyone will know she doesn't go to church, that she's some kind of heathen, pagan, or both, and none of the Christians or even Cathars are likely to trust her.

Because she's a Creo expert, she's a potential healer. She's only got a couple basic healing spells right now; Caress of Aesclepius is on my wish list, but she needs more Corpus. However, if we are able to find casting tablets for powerful healing magic, Esse can reliably use them. Similarly, she is not yet good enough to learn Conjuring the Wizard's Tower, but if we can get (or borrow) a casting tablet for it, she can reliably cast it.

I also took Day of Communion so she can help cast the Aegis. At first, I had a level 20 Aegis, but I cut it because, well, you can't be good at everything.

I still have a few Virtue points to spend. Since you remarked on her appearance, I might pick up Blessing of Venus.

Ok, so, I latched onto the idea of Minor Magical Focus: Mirrors and I have this crazy idea of making magical mirrors which do all kinds of stuff, vaguely inspired by Donaldson's "A Man Rides Through" and its sequel. But I still have room for a Major Virtue, and I was wondering what you thought of "Divination & Augury" from The Mysteries, Revised Edition? Is that too weird for your game? I don't know how it works, really, and have never used it. But if I'm going to be using magical mirrors, well, I figure I should go all out and try scrying. Obviously, this would be a high crime if used on a magus, but Esse has no intention of doing that. (And I may as well give the Quaesitor someone to worry about, right?)

Anyway, let me know what you think. Failing Divination, I'll probably just give her Blessing of Venus, Good Characteristics (raising Dex to +3), and Book Learner.

Misunderstanding. I meant that the concept is "strong".

The focus is interesting, but I'd appreciate it if you defined its scope a little more clearly. I don't know "A man rides through". Is it basically "seeing things at a distance"? It might help me imagine if you used a verb to say what the focus does rather than a noun.

Divination and Augury would certainly fit your concept, but it kind of scares me, to be honest. It's religious. It's got those hedge magic rules and it might create these logically complicated time magic weirdnesses.

"Mirrors" as a Focus would be like Hugh of Flambeau's Focus in "arms & armor." It would apply to spells that use and enchant mirrors. As an example, Esse has a level 5 spell that makes words appear on a reflective surface. She doesn't need her Focus for that low of a spell, but it's an example.

Mirrors give a Shape/Material bonus to images, so eventually Esse would make a mirror talisman and use it for scrying and creating images at a far off place which she is observing through the mirror. I have a crazy idea, which I don't know will work, of making mirrors through which I can travel, using ReCo, kind of like a Hermes Portal.

PS: I'm really glad you like her concept. Thank you. :slight_smile:

Okay, it get the focus now.

She's tentatively done, but I'm very open to any questions or concerns you or the troupe might have.

Her Venus's Blessing largely cancels out the penalty of Disfigured, but she is readily identifiable as a non-Christian thanks to her stigmata. That, combined with the Gift, will isolate her from almost everyone, PCs hopefully excepted.

She hasn't made much use of her Focus yet; my notion is that she discovered it late in her apprenticeship, perhaps even during Gauntlet. Eventually, I hope to enchant some magic mirrors. She does carry a hand mirror with her, and can use this to communicate with literate characters in a pinch. I'll use craft magic to make mirrors out of thin air or raw materials. I expect to invent some Creo Mentem spell eventually that allows her to communicate with servants and her sodales, but there was no room for it yet.

Her spell list is very practical. Guided by her parens, she has spells of violence usable upon individuals or groups, including lethal and nonlethal methods. She has spells to protect herself and to capture her personal vis source. She has spells to make herself useful to her sodales.

As she walks her Path, she will become Pious and a Noncombatant; to give those changes weight, I think she is currently not very religious and not a noncombatant! She is currently indulging in a lot of behavior which a more mature Criamon might consider inapt. She doesn't eat meat and she won't have children, because the rules against that are easy to understand. But she hasn't kicked sensual pleasures yet, or even see much reason to, and while she's not a killer by nature, she's no pacifist.

Critique on the minor focus - from what I recall of those discussions, a minor focus usually ends up having the target as the end result, rather than enchantments put on the target.

Ie, a MMF in "arms and armor" would end up being a broad-but-shallow selection of Creo Terram (to create A&A), Perdo Terram (to destroy A&A), intelligo terram (to comprehend A&A), rego terram (to throw A&A around the room), and so on, which to me is fine. Muto would be a bit of an issue, as that would allow you to turn armor into not-armor; I'd personally go with Creo effects to "make armor better, but still armor", and leave it at that.

However, the issue shows up when you start talking about enchantments - which can be anything. In the example above, you could technically use your MMF to create a mind control effect in a sword...which has little if anything to do with arms and armor, other than the fact that you happened to have chosen a weapon as the item to enchant.

That being said, I'm totally fine with a "mirror" MMF being all about mirror-THEMED magical effects - mainly scrying distant locations, and even the portal attempt, etc. I'm just wary of the "it's an enchantment on a mirror, so I can make my mirror do anything! BWA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!" sort of thing.

EDIT - also note that mirrors are essentially big chunks of steel; as such, they make perfectly fine offensive (drop giant mirror on foe), defensive (place giant mirror between me and foe), and travel platforms (ride on top of giant mirror).

I will also note the Minor Magical Focus: Swords possessed by the Confraternity of Roland. And that Focus benefits them any time they enchant a sword, no matter what the effect is. And that has nothing to do with being Verditius, it's not a mystery.

I guess if I try to enchant something or design a spell, and Pralix decides my Focus doesn't apply, I'll find out the hard way.

Well I tend to understand focuses the same way KevinSchultz does but there's already been discussion in some troupes I played. Anyway this is a very interesting focus thematically.

I'm very glad to see that other players are interested in this game, because I have decided I cannot play. This has nothing to do with Pralix or the other players and everything to do with me.

It has been years since I played a forum game, and two days of it has reminded me that my personality is just not suited to the format. I made a resolution last month to spend less time online. And yet over the last two days I have been here obsessively. Other players can check this site once a day and not think about it the rest of the time, but I can't. So for my own mental health I need to not play a forum game.

Thank you all for having me, and I especially appreciate the chance to make Esse, who I really like. I'm sorry I won't get to play with y'all.

Sorry to see you go, although I understand. 8)

Are you 100% sure?

That character has so much potential.