Greetings, fellow Mythic Europe enthusiasts!
I've been reading this forum your wise rethorics for a while but never had the courage to join in, even if only for a single question.
But, alas, here we are! And i must press a topic I've been pondering for a while now:
Personas external to the Order of Hermes masquerading as one of its magi.
There are multiple mentions of it in the fifth edition books:
- In the core book, seferiel the angel is said he/it pretends to be a magus of the order in order to fulfill his divine mission.
- A story hook, presented in RoP:I, introducing a demon of the deluder order having taken over the place of a magus.
Those are just two examples of such an endeavor, and many more must be present in the whole line.
And we can make up some of our own:
We can think of a faerie doing this sort of thing:
A cognizant faerie could perhaps infiltrate the order and write books about itself, spreading its legend far and wide.
An in-cognizant one would just believe itself to be one in the first place.
Or a magical being:
Lets take Polymathes the Draconic librarian from RoP:M, he could be seeking some legendary book from a winter covenant.
An old familiar, seeking revenge towards the magus that severed his bond with its master could also be a contender.
Or even a mundane, but that would be an even greater feat, perhaps a legendary spy from the king of [insert kingdom the covenant is located in].
Maybe an unGifted Redcap who's had enough of his life and faked his own death to be reborn as a magus.
A non-hermetic gifted character (or any mythic companion) would also find safety in a covenant, provided he can pull it off.
So i think we can all agree that it might be possible to some beings to want to achieve such a feat, and perhaps succeed at it.
These would surely make great stories, but then this brings me to:
The theoretical implications:
This subject brings me a lot of interesting inquiries, that i'd like to present you all so we can ponder these together.
First, the powers.
The two AM5 canon examples i cited both have a way to duplicate (or fake) hermetic magic to some extent, which would probably help them convince onlookers.
Polymathes, to a lesser extent, is able to imitate imaginem effects.
Appearances are key too, and visibly nonhuman characters might want to consider it strongly (looking at you, magical beings).
Last but not least, magic resistance would be key to safely interact with magi without loosing one's temper.
There are surely other supernatural powers that would help "blending in", but i think those three provide some decent bases for our impersonator-to-be.
Second, the lore.
Having knowledge of the order itself and its internal workings is quite surely a must.
Books of the order itself are hard to come by, and are probably the only one talking of the intricacies of its justice system, so it isn't an easy feat.
Artes liberales and Latin are also a must, and philosophae/teaching/(nearly any usual wizard's abilities) wouldn't hurt.
As for the arcane lore, this is where it gets tricky.
Magical being would probably have some ease in the heated conversations about the nature of the magic realm. Other denizens not so much: an argument with a demon (and its lack of faith) would be quite spectacular to say the least.
The arts, however, are the real breaking point:
In game terms, only opening the arts could permit someone to learn them, so any non OoH being, even gifted people, would have trouble keeping up appearances in that field, although hedge wizards might have some insights.
Third, the character.
Our impersonators have two main venues:
- Pretending to be an already existing magus who would've have met his fate (or not!) without anyone else knowing. This is the example we find in RoP:I.
- Forging an identity ex-nihilo. Which i find might be the most interesting but also way trickier:
Having no master, no contacts, and never having presented themselves to any tribunal beforehand, they will need something to prove their status.
And status they need!
Maybe playing it low and never appearing at any tribunal would help, but he/she/it would always be at risk of one of its fellow sodales mentioning them.
Also, missing on its vote would miss a lot of fun, albeit the order would be very annoyed it it knew.
Fourth, a bunch of random points of interest, in no particular order:
- What about the Aegis of the Heart for might bearing impostors, most importantly during the first contact. A sufficiently powerful being could walk through, a less powerful one would have to find a way to get a token.
- We all know of the players's obsession with DEO, and this would indeed be a concern for our friend, unless they are really good at hiding the fact that their being is literally being torn apart, they'd have to find a way to avoid such checks. Obviously the ban on scrying would keep most code adherent magi at bay.
- In the tribunals, would they have a way to vote? Should they have to provide evidence that they've sworn the oath?
- For the particularly enterprising, apprenticeship is surely a point of concern, they would obviously have to pay another magus to open the arts, and teaching parma is impossible.
- Certamen, due to their lack of appropriate abilities (game-wise) nor experience (lore-wise), they would be utterly powerless against certamen bullying, forcing to forfeit each duel.
- What about confessing to a close magus friend of one's true origin, that would surely make a great story, but there has to be a lot of implications in it.
I believe that is all i can bring up on the matter.
For those that don't feel like reading all of this or answering each point individually, here is a recap question:
- How, in your point of view, a being from outside the Order of Hermes would go about and masquerade as one of its members for a respectable amount of time.
Feel free to use any example, or even dismiss it all as something only within the reach of immensely powerful beings such as seferiel.
All in all, thanks a lot for your attention. And thank you all for those interesting talks you're having, who warm up my day like the dawning of the sun over the dominion.
Love you all!
As for myself, despite never having played a single saga (the only saga that was played in my group was a bunch of nonsense which i thankfully managed to avoid being a part of, although it was fun watching this trainwreck) nor having the courage to start one (too many other projects going on at the moment), I've found great pleasure pondering about the intricacies of this wonderful setting and would be delighted to discuss them with all of you.