Hedgies to be used in a war

Hi there!

We will be playing a saga based around the idea that the Order of Hermes is formed by what in the official setting are hedgies. Hermetic Magic as such will not exist. That will mean that Parma really is a protection from your fellow members of the Order and that some of the creep that we see in power level should be avoided. A change of pace after our high powered saga in the isle of Mann. We will be playing in Triamore, changing some stuff of the setting, but keeping the covenant pretty much as it is. You can find some info on what we have thought so far here: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/the-order-of-the-small/6028/1

Well, this is not about that campaign, but about another one that we will try to run before to see how our “hedgie approach” works. As such we are searching for something small (in scope) but where hedgie traditions can be fully explored.

As such, we will be playing the war against Davnalleus (811-816) taking on the role of the protagonists.

This means a short saga to test the concept. We will still be using hedgies. In that sense Pralix (a PC) will be a Spirit Master (Summoning, Commanding, Binding, Chthonic Magic, leadworker) and we will likely have a folk witch, a Damhandh Druidsan and probably a Hyperborean Hymnist. The Hymnist is because I think (after my total failure to create a CrIg magus using Elementalists) that it would be the best available representation for Ignes Festi. You can model the supposed powers of Flambeau with a "Hymn" that goes the way of creating fire effects and similate the progressive build up of power in the tradition via the vis/power growth.

Bad guys will be Damhandh Druidsan (big Dave), auram elementalists (weather witches), folk witches and gruagachan. The PC will also play the gruagachan, since we agreed that some of the battles we will run the game as the bad guys. We like to do that; we devise the plan for the PC and then play the following session as the other party, while the SG runs the PC (acting as NPC opposition) according to our devised plan of action. Can make for interesting gaming.

Well that is the ranting part. Now the questions:

  1. Do you have any ideas for alternatives for Ignes Festi using the official published hedgies?

  2. Should we include Vitkir there? The vikings were certainly active in the area at the time.

  3. What other traditions do you think fit the concept?

  4. There are Diednes around by the time we play. Should those be included as stated-up characters? What hedgie tradition do you suggest? What side in the conflict? Remember that Scotland is NOT Scotland but Pictland, since the Scots have not crossed over from Ireland yet. The king is Constantín mac Fergusa (king 789-820). Keneth Mac Alpin comes later (840's)

  5. What other magical tradition fit with the picts in your opinion? Can be really far reaching blind shots here, since we will not contradict you, really :slight_smile: The 3 crones of MacBeth look interesting to me; any suggestions?


  1. The advantage of hymnists is you can use the powers and build them over time with skill and vis, so it works from the start (level 1 hymnist? Have a 5 levels weaker pilum of fire usable once/day and work up!) and develops. Looking at the discussion of using elementalists, they'd be a tricky fit. One alternative suggestion is to allow some kind of bargain or mystery initation to allow someone to get a Focus Power which allows them to spend fatigue to spontaneously do Cr/Re Ig spells up to level 25.

If you want to be really crazy, have the flame priests not use magic but natural philosophy - asbestos robes (after all, Charlemagne must have been given his tablecloth by someone making them in this time period) and Greek fire.

2)Absolutely, they are settling eastern England and the Order of Odin should be a worry. They don't have Parma so will distrust each other as they're all gifted.

3)You can fit just about any in, as Divine virtues fit the monasteries suffering under the warfare of the time, Infernal ones fit the bad guys, Faerie ones fit well in a time period where people really do go missing if they stray too far from their home village (well, in between slavers and raiders a fair few people did go missing).

4)For Diedne, the obvious choices are Gruagachan-style with Cailleach magic or an infernal one with Cthonic magic so as to keep their huge spontaneous advantage and allow either a celtic earth mother theme or a dark-devouring-mother-goddess theme depending on taste.

5)For the 3 crones of MacBeth, in my current saga MacBeth is believed to have been initiated into the mystery virtue they call "MacBeth's curse" - Major virtue Death Prophecy, Major flaw Ambition(major personality flaw) - he became unkillable except under unlikely circumstances, but was driven to his doom by his tragic personality flaws. Done by a mystagogue with a Death Prophecy it's base difficulty 21, +9 for major flaw in script bonus so with a special time/place (on a blasted heath at a time foretold by witches?) it's easily doable. In my current saga, this is a mystery of the Doomed Ones, now members of house Ex Misc, who are a small house of Death Prophecy magi, who are historically noted for being used as shock troops by Pralix against big Dave. They like to flatter themselves by creating an ancient Roman history for the house, saying that Julius Caesar also had a similar blessing/doom placed upon him.

The golden rule for Death Prophecy is it's great as long as it keeps the story moving. Nearly-impossible to kill PCs & NPCs work as long as it keeps the story fun, and the situation allowing for their deaths will create a good story.

  1. Since, IIRC, all we know about Ignes Festi is that he was a follower of Flambeau slain by Davenallus, it's difficult to say though I suppose his moniker is sufficient reason to assume he was an Ignem specialist - based on that, I think you're probably correct about Hyperborean Hymnists being a good choice though Debauchery/Effusion or Phantasm might work well.

  2. I'm sure I've read that Dave Nallus employed Saxon rune-wizards as part of his force and am about 90% sure it was in an official (and published) work.

  3. Lessee:
    Holy Wizards: I'd avoid these guys.
    Infernalist Wizards: I know you're not a fan of making Dave an infernalist, but recruiting a few of these guys could add significantly to his power and its hard to see him having any moral objections to it...
    Spirit Votary: Chthonic spirits could have a vested interest in Davenallus' victory.
    Elementalists - Sure the wind witches you've described fit this concept well.
    Folk Witches - Definitely.
    Gruagachs - Obviously.
    Learned Magicians - Perhaps the cunning folk or another degenerate version of the tradition.
    Nightwalkers - Not really, but their Infernal rivals could wreak havoc on hermetic magi and their allies.
    Vitkar - As above.
    Faerie Wizards - Why not?
    Amazon Sorceresses - Don't really fit.
    Augustan Brothers - Their tradition doesn't exist yet, but maybe a look-alike tradition could be present? They are really good at Damhan's favoured tactics of laying traps and assassinating their rivals.
    Muspelli - I can't really see these guys participating shrugs
    Soqotra - Don't really fit.
    Sahirs - IIRC, the section on hermetic sahir in HoH:S describes an Irish tradition with similar powers so these could perhaps work.
    Storm Wizards - Another option to represent the Tempestaria, but not IMO as good a fit.
    Fectores: Can't see how they'd be useful.

  4. If you've got a concept you like go for it! Otherwise, I don't think you'll lose much by excluding them...

  5. Apart from the Gruagachs I'd probably go with other generic traditions like Folk Witches, Elementalists, and Nightwalkers...

Ancient Magic.