Hedge Elementalists

Can someone here explain what the inspiration is for this tradition from HMRE? Are they meant to simulate some group or another from real history or folklore? I've never been able to get a feel for what these guys are supposed to be.

Same here. I would love some explanation. They are the only tradition that I have no idea on how to introduce IMS if I wanted to. A pitty since elemental theory is something I just happen to love :slight_smile:


I think taht the examples of Elementalist Societys/Traditions and the first text of the Chapter explains them. The Britanic Ex Misccellanea that use their own Sihr varaition from HoH Socetates are related again to them.
Could you take a look on this Tradition of my creation?
mariojpcsimon.blogspot.com/2011/ ... agica.html
Based upon the Queen of Saba.

I tried but unfortunately I don't speak Spanish and Google Translate does a really poor job on the ancient and honorable tongue of Ars Magica Jargon. A tradition based on the Queen of Saba looks interesting but I don't see an obvious connection to the four elements.

That's sort of the way I feel about the Elementalists in general. If they're based on an actual tradition I don't see it from the material in HMRE. It's not even clear to me if there's meant to be a common occult ideology behind the various Elemantalist Societies or if the rules are just a toolkit. I'd love to hear an explanation from the author or someone else connected with the project.

Long answer about my Tradition: They have snippets of Solomon Wizardry and took Court and Traditional Magic from Ethiopia, and the most similar Magic to me in that Aspect are the Elemental magic. To this way they use it normally to be health and long-lived, and to be aware of the heart of the supernatural beings with that they deal. With secrets of others Traditions, they can take others Techniques and size theirs personal powers. By that they cant normally Summon or Control.
On the other sense, the Elementalist thinking have the antecedents of many authors of Romanian times.
Sorry by the Language of my work. And trully, the OA (Original Author) could write some thing about the creative process of this Tradition and Magic.

Don't be, ever.
However, we affectivly all know english, while comparatively few of us know Espaniol, so be prepared for feed back along the lines of "I can't read any of that". :slight_smile:

I wrote the elementalist form of hedge magic as a sort of proto-Hermetic tradition. The basic ideas for it come from Greek sources via Arabic sources, as a version of Solomon's Summoning Art that has been attuned to the Magic realm. I remember thinking it would make a good tradition to have Flambeau associated with before the Founding. They are probably most numerous in the Middle East in 1220, though I would imagine there are still a couple of small pockets of them in the Thebes and Iberia Tribunals.

Maybe it is me, but I did truy to build Flambeau out of the Elementalists in HMRE.... and failed miserably.

it does not seem that Flambeau could achieve what he was supposed to be doing if he used the Elementalist virtues in HMRE. I would love for it to be otherwise, but you cannot create a "creo flames only" tradition out of the Elementalists :frowning: Or could you? I would LOVE to be wrong here.... :slight_smile:


What I mainly don't understand about them is how horribly expensive they appear in terms of Virtues.
OK, so, a companion must spend how many virtues to do anything at all? Appearantly that's eg. Controlling(Medical) (major) + some element (minor) to be able to induce 1 sort of personality trait?
But if I want a companion that can summon and command elementals, that's Theurgical Summoning, Theurgical Controlling (2 major virtues) + some elements (each a minor virtue), is this correct?

And even all that is fine, but each of the other traditions state what is automatically gained if you're Gifted and have your "Opening of the Arts" in that tradition.
But what if you're an Elementalist with Opned Arts? As far as I can see, you'd still have to buy the virtues? Or are you simply assumed to have all of them? Some finite subset?

I take the Gifted elementalists & school relation by analogy to the others - Gruagachan, Learned Magicians and Hedge Witches all get 6 supernatural virtues free if they are gifted and have their arts opened, so I assumed Elementalists get the six school ones for free.

As for it being horifically expensive for non-gifted Companions - yes, they all are. A Gruagachan who can Give Blessing spends a major and a minor virtue, as does a learned magician with Succuro Fortunam. For all of these, a companion has to spend a big allocation of their virtues to be any good. That's the point - the Gift makes big magic possible, without it you only have a few tricks.

By comparison, I try to imagine how fun playing one with a main stat of +3, a major virtue and 2 minor virtues compared to from the core rules someone with presence +3, Great Presence x 2 (so presence +5) and Entrancement. The entrancer is fun to play with, a one-very-powerful-trick pony, who is almost useless against anyone with magical resistance.

The six School ones?
As far as I can tell, the list goes either:
(All) Controlling (1 major + 2 minor)
(All) Divining (1 major + 2 minor)
(All) Refining (1 major + 2 minor)
(All) Summoning (1 major + 2 minor)
Elementalist (Air) (1 minor)
Elementalist (Earth) (1 minor)
Elementalist (Fire) (1 minor)
Elementalist (Water) (1 minor)
for a total of 4 major and 12 minor virtue points, or
(1 Type) Controlling (1 major)
(1 Type) Divining (1 major)
(1 Type) Refining (1 major)
(1 Type) Summoning (1 major)
Elementalist (Air) (1 minor)
Elementalist (Earth) (1 minor)
Elementalist (Fire) (1 minor)
Elementalist (Water) (1 minor)
for a total of 4 major and 4 minor virtue points.
Or some other structure?

Admittedly, still cheap compared to what Hermetic magic would cost, but I'm still confused.

Sorry, by "six school ones" I should have said "six ones of their Elementalist Society" - so the four elements (four x minor virtue) plus 2 major -
so for Apostles of Apollonius Theurgical Summoning, Theurgical Controlling
Ikhwan as-Safa Philosophical Summoning, Philosophical Refining
Tulab Ibn Sina Medicinal Summoning, Medicinal Divining
So you get two major and four minor, which puts you on a par with Gifted Gruagachan who get Give, Take (both major) and four minor virtues of Blessing, Curse, Shape, Vision.

That's probably intended. Too bad I can't know, because it's not in there :slight_smile:

What do you mean "it's not in there"?

On page 27 of HMRE, under the heading "Elementalist Societies" the opening paragraphs make it fairly explicit.

"Each society teaches particular Elementalist techniques and forms, which can then be learnt like other arts. To learn other techniques (or forms, though most societies teach all four Forms) the elementalist must be initiated through a mystery cult.
It is possible for a Gifted member of an elementalist society to open a Gifted student to all of the arts associated with a society. This gives him a score of 0 in all those arts, and lets him use them, albeit not very well"

I think that makes it explicit that a Gifted member can open someone to the arts of their society, and then any further ones need initiating through a mystery.

Beautiful! I'd read that d*** chapter 3 times yesterday, and missed that sentence every time!
Thank you.

When I first saw the tradition, I considered the idea of using: (Philosophical) Summoning/Fire with a Controlling requisite to approximate the effects of Pilum of Fire. It seems like it could work and provides a glimpse into why PoF and BoAF both include the cosmetic effect of the flames streaking toward their target, but I'm not really sure whether that would constitute a legal use of Controlling or not...

Never thought about using a HM form as a requisite. Can that be done?

In any case IIRC the canon flambeau used FORMULAIC spells (IIRC it is mentioned that he devepoped POF out of a spell to light candles through experimentation... +3 bonus for similar spell, each time with a larger version), so the highly spontaneous magic of the elementalists does not seem to fit the bill. A pre-hermetic Flambeau tradition would have one of my troupe members (or several of them) burn someting in joy, so it is no small detal for us :stuck_out_tongue: In general single-element elementalists are popular IMSs so, this is something that would be appreciated


Thanks, that helps. I had the impression that they were an almost-Hermetic tradition, sort of a non-Latin Learned Magician. I'm glad I was thinking along the same general lines as you intended. I guess it's mostly a toolkit rather than a specific closely connected tradition. The connection between the Ikhwan and the Tulab Ibn Sina can be guessed at (Ibn Sina's father was an Ismaili after all) but the Apostles of Apollonius stand off as a little weird. I hope the generalized rules can and will be reused to simulate hedge traditions in the Cradle and Crescent and other future products, so we don't keep getting rules bloat!

May I draw your attention to the insert "Other Summoning Arts, page 31" of the Cradle and Crescent table of contents? :slight_smile:

I am very much looking forward to that, yes. :slight_smile: