Faerie Becoming: Transformation of the Spirit

I would strongly agree that the Alchemical Greater Elixir is one of the other excellent alterntives to Becoming Fay. Provided the individual pursuing Alchemical "immortality" uses Inscription of the Soul to adapt his or her Spirit into a Talisman. Otherwise, the risk of losing all of the achievements made after using the Greater Elixir would be too great.

Perversely, studying Diedne Magic before undergoing Transformation of the Body would offset any loss in Spontaneous Magic. I say perversely, because the Dark Secret would count as an interesting Ordeal that could be a cause for later friction within the House. At the same time, it would challenge the (to me, largely false) accusations that the Diedne were Diabolists because the Magus would be Magic and Faerie. I realise that it's a subject for another thread, but I can't see Diedne Magic being entirely forbidden within the Order, if only because Bonisagus Magi surely studied it and continue to pass down those techniques for stronger Spontaneous Magic.

One needs to keep in mind that a Magus who has Become Fay retains the ability to undergo further Mysteries. This is not possible for any of the other types of "immortal". They could pursue esoteric studies granting them greater and greater mastery of their Arts, of Magic, and of Faerie. They also do not suffer from the need to alternate every single season of learning with an investment of Vis in their Talisman in order to retain what they have learned. When it comes to completing major projects, Fay Magi are in a far better position than Alchemical "immortals". They can continue to learn within the parameters of their extant Abilities, and the above-mentioned power to gain through further Mysteries could represent an alternative method of adding Abilities even once they've undergone Transformation of the Mind.

I'm curious as to whether Alchemical or other "immortals" can engage in original research (i.e. pursue Hermetic Breakthroughs), since Stabilisation of a discovery requires an extra season, which, according to the extant rules, might result in a loss of the discovery (I'd be inclined to let them "lose" the previous spell, relearning it later from their notes, saving the Stabilisation instead). As is explicitly stated, Fay Magi can perform original research. Immune as they are to Warping, they could conceivable surpass many of the Hermetic Limits and even their own within a few decades to centuries.

Which raises the question of why they aren't more prominent within the Order. With their extremely long careers, they could conceivably wind up dominating many fields.

On a related note, does any suppose that Caitlin Suil Uaine, the "Half-Fay" leader of the Crun Clach Covenant in the Loch Leglean Tribunal, is the beneficiary of at least partial Becoming? As she was presented, she broke several of the existing rules by integrating the Faerie Companion and Magus types. In 5th Ed., she might be thought of as a Maga who was born with Strong Faerie Blood who subsequently underwent Transformation of the Body and possibly Spirit. She doesn't have a listed Might Score, obviously. If she did, it would probably be enormous. Well over 100 (which is attainable with enough assistance).

It surly is, but may I mention that nowhere (in cannon) are the Diedne accused of Diabolism. The accusation was human sacrifice, which is totally legal according to the code.

She would be an obvious candidate for some form of immortality, probably Becoming. I played it differently myself, but that would certainly be a reasonable path to take if you want to bring LotN into 5th edition.

Yes, you are right. I tend to take for granted that any mage who is serious about alchemical immortality will take care to initiate IotS first.

Or Chtonic Magic, if you don't Transform the Spirit. Or better, both. :smiling_imp: Of course, this would help a lot, but the main problem with spontaneous magic and Becoming is that Transforming the Mind totally robs the mage of the basic creativity necessary to use it effectively in the first place. Of course, again, this is not a problem with the two-thirds Becoming.

I agree 100% with you, but then again, I'm currently playing a pagan Chtonic Diedne Merinita spontaneous specialist, so my POV is quite biased. :wink: 8)

Sorry, you totally lost me here. I completely fail to see the reason why Becomed fae mages should find Mysteries initation much easier than Alchemical immortals. As a matter of fact, TMRE leaves the door open, as it concerns Mystery initiation for immortal mages, with SG's permission:

This ought to be valid for all kinds of immortal mages.

Well, once they have Transformed the Spirit, Becomed fae magi need to "fix" any new spells they learn, by means of lesser transformation rituals, and new Abilities as well, if they Transformed the Mind, in a way quite similar to what magical immortals have to do to "fix" new knowledge, so I'd reckon that magical and fae immortals are actually rather similar in this regard.

See above. I'd reckon that Alchemical immortals (and even Living Ghosts with a good lab in their Haunt, and/or willing to risk possession outside forays) with IotS and Becoming fae magi are roughly comparable on this. Daimons are the ones shafted about this, but that's the price they pay for their absolute immunity to harm.


True as well, at least for what concerns Abilities linked to Virtues, but then again, this is true for all kinds of "earthly" immortals (even if Living Ghosts might have trouble completing some Quests in a lunar month, but then again, I reckon that one of the wisest things a Living Ghost magus could do, is to have a mastered Leap of Homecoming). However, magi with a complete Becoming are free to use lesser transformation rituals to fix new Abilities.

This is also what I'd rule about the issue. Stopping immortals from doing original research because of a technicality would be abusive and against the concept. Apart from fear of death, buying themselves unlimited time on Earth to explore the mysteries of magic is a fundamental part of what moves mages to seek immortality in the first place. They would have found an effective loophole, much like they did for learning. And ancient mages are supposed to have mastered deep magical secrets unknown to their lesser brethren.

Ahhh, the eternal contention about immortal mages. If they do exist, why they don't dominate the Order ? Well, to begin with, immortal mages aren't so plentiful to begin with, since the path to become one is long and ardous, and many fail to complete it. Moreover, questing for it requires substantial efforts, which other mages can instead use to accomplish original research of their own, in the two-plus centuries a good longevity rituals can provide. Also, the Order is still relatively young, four centuries and half, so it is possible that immortal mages are not yet so plentiful or powerful as to dominate it. Also, there is some evidence that immortals are having some substantial influence in the Order: Quendalon most likely was a Becomed fae; the head of the Green Cockerel is a mage that accomplished the Great Elixir. Bjornaer Great Beasts control the access of their House's mages to the inner Mysteries. And so on.

Quite likely. I would also assume that having Strong Faerie Blood grants very strong sympathetic benefits for Initiating the Becoming Mystery Virtue , and maybe also easens the rituals themselves.

"Might means Right" -- if a being has a Might score, they are part of one of the 4 Realms and no longer capable of Warping;
if they do not have a Might score they are a (possibly supernaturally capable) part of the mundane world, and they respond to supernatural power and accidents in one of various ways (according to Tradition), and Warp.

So if you turn into enough of a faerie to gain a Might score, you stop warping as you are now part of Faerie. Becoming part of a Realm also means losing your humanity...

When you become part of a Realm, you lose your Warping score, but not the Effects (Flaws etc) of Warping - unless the transformation changes you so as to eliminate them, they become part of your immortal nature...

This is apparently independent of the aging/immortality aspects of life (as shown by the stages of the Becoming process).

(The Immortals in TMRE are all one-step transformations.)

I'd have to go back through the many sourcebooks, but I'm almost positive that the accusations against Diedne included Diabolism. I refer, of course, to the principal canon and not the 5th Ed.

I'm still trying to figure out how Guernicus the Founder was supposed to be a devout Christian and close friends with the deeply pagan Diedne. That wasn't exactly an acceptable view in that time period. Of course, the whole Order is riddled with views that would be deemed heretical at best, and there seem to be plenty of pagans within its ranks.

Maybe he was a gamer! :laughing:

Where is Chtonic Magic described? Is it in "Ancient Magic"? Can you describe any of its properties?

It sounds like the Magic of the Underworld, which could make it associated with either Houses Guernicus or Tremere.

Would have replied to this sooner, but I've been busy.

It is an Hermetic/Supernatural Virtue that is pretty much the equivalent of Faerie Magic for the Infernal Realm. It does not necessarily imply allegiance with Hell, although, as it might just mean your Gift has sympathy with the dark side of magic, nature, or faerie, hence the name.

In addition to doing pretty much what FM does (some new nifty R/T/D, full affinity of your magic no extra botch, no warping, full Aura bonus in Infernal Auras, and ability to safely use Infernal vis), it is relevant to spontaneous magic since it allows a Diedne-like bonus to spont magic if one invokes dark powers or does some nasty act to power the spell. The bonus is explicitly told to be stackable with Diedne Magic (and by analogy, with a Magical Focus).

You can find it in Realms of Power: Infernal.

That's the basic level.

The one you're using, that gives diedne-like abilities, requires your character to make some sinful act he knows to be wicked or evil.
While the "basic" version of cthonic magic isn't nescessarily infernal, doing this clearly aligns you with that realm.

Also, using Chthonic Magic makes the character's magic read as Infernal to Divine powers like Sense Holiness/Unholiness (but not Magic or Faerie powers like Hermetic magic). Doubling your lowest Art as Wanderer describes makes the character's magic read as Infernal to any sort of arcane investigation, including Hermetic magic.

Yup. IIRC, this makes it become infernal, even if it wasn't before. Like giving up to the dark side.

Chtonic Magic doesn't seem to be worth it. I tend to feel that way about aligning with the Infernal. If one wants to "go Dark Side" without getting entangled in the JCI Dominion-Infernal struggle, it's far better to embrace an Unseelie existence.

Without veering too far away from the topic, does this mean that there are Mysteries/rites by which a Magus or other mortal can willingly transform himself/herself into an Infernal being?

Also, does "Realms of Power: The Infernal" have much to say about Faerie?

You're right about the drawbacks of using Chthonic power to boost your magic, and sorry for missing that in the description, but when I told about CM not involving allegiance to Hell, it meant just that: you need to make no deals or pay no allegiance to demons or Hell. The power flows from primal affinity with the Infernal realm itself with no strings attached and no lien on your soul and makes you no diabolist, even if regualr use can make you mistaken as such.

An Unseelie affinity could certainly justify having CM, and if one wants to avoid its drawbacks, can limit oneself to the basic options (people with Sense Holiness and Unholiness don't crop on trees) and/or use the "Dark Side" boost in dire emergency situations only.

As far as I know, none have been described, except in a SPOILER
[color=white]official mystery scenario released under the Special Ops program where a NPC elder magus develops a method to turn oneself into an infernal spirit. Details of the magic involved were not given, although.

RoP:I gets close by providing a couple of Infernal-based Goetic Virtues that allow a mage (or a non-Hermetic hedge sorceror) to steal the Might of spirits or create a symbiotic bind of oneself with a spirit, which can provide various kinds of nifty empowerments, including Aging-less longevity and having a Might.

However, by analogy with the various mysteries that can turn a mage into a magical or faerie being, Mysteries could certainly be researched by a daring Mystagogue which turn one into an Infernal immortal being. It is with the power of Hermetic mysteries to do so, but it does curtail one's Hermetic social life, as every Quaesitor under the sun that is aware of your nature will want your scalp.

IIRC, not much, appart from saying that nasty faeries can become infernal, and that Chthonic Magic can be justified by an affinity with the dark parts of the Magic or Faerie realms.

Oh, yes, it also provides an interesting idea: apparently, the deceptive Infernal Realm has the power to "emulate" any kind of supernatural power (and Virtue) that the Magic and Faerie Realms can provide: a False Power. Such powers have a double affinity: they register as Infernal to Divine detection, but otherwise function as the true being (sometimes with results slightly warped to dark affinities, although: eg. a False Shapeshifter can only take the shape of animal that have dark affinities). This includes stuff like False Strong Faerie Blood.

Hmm. I can see how Chtonic Power could make for an interesting Unseelie character. The idea is intriguing. I wonder if the Infernal "taint" could be removed by aligning it more fully with the "Dark" aspect of Faerie.

As for the False Powers, the ability of the Infernal to emulate other Realms is astonishing, yet also completely true to the concept of the Realm, since it reputedly stole many of its greatest strengths from the Divine. Of course, either it has to be able to create some things on its own or else the Divine is really as Evil as the Cathars say it is.

False Strong Faerie Blood? How does that work?

Just like vanilla SFB, except you look like an Infernal creature to Divine-based powers of detection.

In your saga, maybe.
By the rules, then again, this requires you to make some sinful act he knows to be wicked or evil.

That means very probably damnation for your soul to me, and very little difference from a diabolist: You know you're boosting your magic with evil power. You may not pay allegiance to a given demon, but you align yourself on the infernal realm, drawing upon its power. If that is not diabolism, what is it, then?

Imagine your character at judgment day (this is mythic europe :wink:): "Ok, I willingly did evil acts, knowing these to be wicked and to make my powers infernal-based, but I paid no allegiance to demon XX, so I'm no diabolist and can go to heaven"
God is gonna laugh his butts off :wink:

Unless the magi comprehends the Enigma and escapes the cycle of time.

Although not all sins apply, I think there's a definite path for diabolist Criamon, just like there is for Holy Mage Criamon.

No. By following the very RAW description about Chthonic Magic:

My character is pagan, and does just that: channels Chthonic powers when necessary, as a gift from the gods and spirits that rules above the most sinister forces of nature. He's aware they are powers to be approached with caution and respect, but such powers are as natural for him as the forces of light, life, and love. Invoking their special aid channels so much of their powers as to imbue his magic with dominant dark sympathy and requires sinister, unpleasant, and malevolent acts and symbols, so it requires even more caution. However, to a pagan, wicked, sinister, and malevolent forces are still as parts of nature as the lovers frolicking in spring grass or the cutest lamb.

Exactly. Invoking wicked foeces requires wicked, sinister, malevolent acts. As the book says, again:

Uttering curses, invoking dark gods, or making sacrifices to the spirits of night all represent excellent ways to perform wicked acts that invoke a sinister/malevolent sympathy for your magic and in no way involve demons, Hell, or the concept of sin.

Dark, not evil. That's the all-important difference. Anyway, my character would (and often does) laugh at the mention of Christian Hell.

Drawing power from the dark parts of nature, or IC terms, invoking "dark" powers of magic and faerie: dark gods, spirits, Unseelie faeries. Even if it may OOC come from the Infernal realm, my character sees it as channeling powers from the dark parts of the Magic and Faerie Realms.

First, my character does not pay allegiance to the Christian God anyway, so his stand at Judgement Day is a non-issue for him, much like a Muslim would find the question bizarre of their stand at Ragnarok. Second, he plans to make himself a magical or faerie immortal, and eventually retire in those realms when he tires of earthly life. I know that OOC that kinds of immortality will not survive Judgement Day, but it hasn't come for 1200 years and in all likelihood will be very very far. He'll face the situation when and if it comes, and in all likelihood pay God the straightforward respect a honorable fine warrior of the vanquished army pays for the lord of the victorious host.

You conveniently confuse "basic" and "advanced" cthonic magic. This paragraph describes the attunement to infernal aura, which may effectively be "tainted" magic or faerie, but doesn't apply to the diedne-like focus, which make the virtue a clearly infernal power.

And? In the christian mindset, Demons are part of creation, too. What does this change?

Most "pagan" religions had evil gods and/or spirits. The fact that these exist don't make them any more desirable than satanism to a christian.

Funny how you don't higlight the other parts of the raw, stating that the character know these acts are:

  • wicked or evil
  • involves idolatry, sacrilege, profanity, or blasphemy

As I said, your character may not consort with any particular demon, but, whatever the name he puts on it, he know that what he does is bad, and that he's drawing on sinister powers. He may beleive these to be magical or faerie, but he just can't ignore their nature, anymore than a shintoist priest, while not beleiving in the christian hell, could ignore the evil nature of Oni and tell himself they're just a little dark, but ok in the end if you're cautious.

Note also that, as hermetic magi know very well about the infernal, and that your magic is detectable as infernal by even hermetic magic, your character should be pretty delusionnal in order to beleive his powers to come from the magic or faerie realm, even if worshipping magic/faerie gods: His power doesn't come from themevil.

Of course, in your saga, you may very well declare these to be magical/faerie powers, but, by the raw, these are infernal and easily detectable as such.

All three are sins (at the very least, idolatry or blasphemy), just not necessarily mortal sins. "Advanced Chtonic magic" involves you acting wickedly, knowingly, on purpose. The only thing here that may save you from it being a mortal sin is the absence of seriousness (mortal sin = Seriousness + Knowledge + Free-willed intent). In the eyes of God, not of your character.

Being the priest of a pagan death god and thus officiating at your people's burials is dark. But if you do it selflessly and for their benefit, it is not necessarily sinful (q.v. the Infernal on the nature of sin). That's basic Cthonic magic, as The Fixer points out.

If, however, you do act wickedly or malevolently, you are damning yourself and will be judged accordingly whether or not you were actually worshiping demons instead of pagan gods.

Your not believing won't affect how you'll be judged. That's how Mythic Europe is set up.

It may not play a role psychologically, but the metaphysical implications are unavoidable. Especially not through sophistry or moral relativism. :stuck_out_tongue:

You don't just have to pay your respects upon being judged, you have to have genuinely repented while you were alive. You'd better hope that transfiguration into a faerie is not, as some theorize, death.

Whether the living can save the dead through prayer, good deeds, etc is very controversial.

Mythic Europe is harsh on pagans. That's how the world is set up.