My 'quote' button has disappeared! Then I noticed that the board has changed too...didn't spot that to start with.
Anyway, more than one of you asked for it, so here goes!
Alternative Founders: I did this for several reasons 1) I wasn't happy with the way that most of the Arts didn't have an originator, other than Bonisagus himself - why did he need the other founders if he worked out most of his theory himself? 2) I had a mix of experienced players and totally new ones. This way, the experienced players didn't know more about the politics than the new ones 3) I thought it would be fun.
Most of the new Houses are mystery cults, with the bits that Bonisagus couldn't or wouldn't incorporate as their 'thing'. Eg The Rom can use dance/music to cause magical effects (Enchanting Music virtue). They also use 'road' and other non-standard bits.
Bonisagus (Techniques + Vim/actual ‘Magic as magic’, ritual spells codified) & Trianoma.
‘Merlin’ (Druid) (Auram, Aquam, Herbam, Animal, rituals, Familiars) A title given to the chief druid - held in rotation, changes every 13 years. My own version of the legends. This house is based in Brittany, not the British Isles. (And have an ongoing feud with the British druids...) Pagan priests, encourage the Celtic version of Christianity (no dominion aura - see Lion of the North) to exist side-by-side with Nature.
Abanazer (Illusionist/Summoner) (Imaginem, Mentem, Summoning) My own invention, based on generic '1001 Nights' genie wranglers.
Abu Musa Jabir Ibn Hayyan (‘Geber’, Alchemist) (Terram, Aquam, Muto) Mentioned in previous posts.
Olvar (Magesmith/Runesmith) (Terram, enchanting items, runes)Based on Elof from the Winter of the World series by Michael Scot Rohan, but toned down a lot in power (eg by not being the God of Smithing!).
John Fian (Tempestarius) (Auram, Aquam, Rego) Historical, but anachronistic. Tempestarii (weather witches) are historical and in time frame for 700-900. Wikipedia has a page on both.
Groa (Necromancer/Daimonist) (Rego, Corpus, astrology, divination, Intellego) My own invention, based in part on Guorna (mater of Tytalus & Tremere), but not as nasty or gross.
Chryses (Greek Curser/binder) (Perdo/Creo, Mentem, Corpus, bindings, hexes) (look him up on Wikipedia): High Priest of Apollo, claimed to be immortal in Homer's epic so might still be around. Seeks to take over the world - or at least to eliminate rival religions like Christianity...
Bash Chelik (wishbringer) (Mentem, Vim, willpower, spontaneous magic) Wish magic is based on CJ Cherryh's interpretation of Russian/Slavic witchcraft, where any desire or thought on the part of a wizard can influence things. They go around killing wizards who use this unless they can be trained to be safe. My version of Bash/Kosschei is a faerie 'god', so this house is also the experts on Faerie Magic.
Hekla (icewitch) (Ignem, Perdo/Creo, combat spells and defences) My own invention; anachronistically coming from Iceland, named after the volcano there. Icewitches bind their spirits to the spirits of volcanoes.
Stefan & Sara (Rom/travellers) (Corpus, emotions, ‘real divination’) Again, very anachronistic - the Rom weren't yet in most of Europe (possibly in Asia Minor) - as individuals, they are my own invention. Replacement for Redcaps.
Potted Histories: (from their own perspectives)
The Merlin, our leader, met up with Bonisagus and proposed a sharing of their knowledge. As everyone knows, our predecessors already knew most of the magic taught by the Order; in their wisdom, they shared it with the other founders and Bonisagus unified their traditions to match ours. We are the biggest House and the most important. Living in harmony with the Natural Order, limiting the depredations of evil magi and keeping the peace are our gifts to the Order. The other houses may not appreciate all we have done and do, but they are safe to study because of us and our philosophy.
House of Chelik
Bash Chelik foresaw the advantages of a codified magical method to limit the propensity of untrained magi to bring chaos upon the world, so he went to Bonisagus and learnt his methods. In return, he taught Bonisagus how to bring about magic without using the rituals, spells, or items the westerners thought were necessary. We still police the uncivilised areas and either teach restraint to the gifted or prevent them from causing chaos. An untrained mage is as dangerous as the best mage, but doesn’t realise the consequences of his or her wishes.
John Fian escaped persecution by the church by joining Bonisagus’ Order. This preserved our ways of controlling the Wind and the Water. We gained safety and learnt other ways of magic, in return we taught the other houses how to influence these Elements in more profound ways than the Druids with their overly respectful attitude towards nature.
Guild of Alchemy
There is magic in the objects and places around us. We know how to release and use it. We work towards perfecting our understanding of both the material world around us and of ourselves. We bring a more scientific approach to magic, allowing magi to progress and use the writings of those who have gone before us.
Olvar taught Bonisagus how to use his magic to enchant items, without imprisoning spirits. In turn, Olvar learnt how to use his own magic without first enchanting an item. Rune magic enhances both, as long as the True Name is known.
House of Spirits
Groa the Necromancer and Abanazer the Illusionist met when studying with Bonisagus. They found that not only was their magic similar, but so were their personalities. They married and unified the traditions of summoning, binding and commanding the airey spirits or Daimons and dead people’s spirits. Groa brought the arts of divining the future together with Abanazer’s illusions. This allows us to foresee the future and hide that which would disturb the others.
Followers of Chryses, or the Cult of Apollo
Chryses, from Chryse near Troy, claims to be immortal. Agamemnon stole his daughter, Chryseis, and refused to ransom her, so Chryses asked Apollo to send a plague to devastate his army. Later, after Troy was destroyed, Chryses moved to Rome and set up the Cult of Apollo. After the Christians outlawed pagan rites, Chryses moved to northern Europe, where he met the other founders. He recognised the rites of Mercury as practiced by Bonisagus as derivatives of the rites to Apollo, and agreed to join the Order as a way of building the Cult anew. We pray to Apollo and Hermes and they grant us certain powers that are beyond mortal magi. In turn, Chryses taught the others how healing and death were just opposites of one another and learnt how other spells could be cast.
House of Bonisagus: Bonisagus learnt the styles of magic that the other founders practiced. He invented Hermetic magic theory which combined these into one system and then taught that to the others. He himself was taught by a survivor of the cult of Mercury (see official books). In return for learning Parma, each of the founders taught him; they joined his Order of Hermes in return for the magic theory. We are the glue that holds the Order together, sharing everything we learn and teaching the others.
IceWitches: Hekla and her sisters joined the Order after leaving Iceland. They brought the knowledge of Ignem to the Order. Offence and defence are both important, and we teach those who need them.
Travellers: Stefan Razvan and Sara Olah brought the Family into the Order. Outsiders can only join us by marriage. We are travellers and gain much of our magic by moving, both around the world and by dancing. We brought the magic of the body to the order. Have you ever felt anything when dancing? Hearing music? Meeting someone new? Emotions, by-passing the mind, can allow others to be manipulated… The Druids claim to be the biggest House, and yes they have more magi, but our family is very large. We claim kinship with all the Rom and they are our allies.
Hope you enjoyed that load of verbiage!