Here be the grogs

Exactly. Instant conflict.

Historical accuracy isn't as important so much as being authentic to the history. There is a slight difference. Yes, I know that there's an Order of Hermes in Mythic Europe. There are also kings, dukes, and other nobles that have their basis in historical fact. With respect to the nuns and the Church, I doubt that there is an entire order of nuns in the church researching magi and the implications of the Gift. This grog should be a single nun, part of an existing order, who is an agent for Andru and or the Tremere. Creating an entire Order of nuns is something within the purview of the SG and/or troupe. What is exactly is this entire Order of nuns doing? Why is it doing it (I'm assuming researching the nature of the Gift)? How big is it? What kind of power do they have within the church? Why do they have this power? See all the questions that come up when you try and instantiate an entire Order behind this single nun? It's much simpler to pick an existing Order of nuns that are in the location at the period of time, and just add one nun, whether she was historically real or not. The stories get more interesting, what if she's discovered? How does she send information to the Jerbiton or Tremere? Wikipedia is awesome for finding out about the history of an area, and then you can just add your character to an existing organization, and everyone knows everything they need to know about what she's part of and what she's doing. History provides all kinds of resources to draw upon. When I end up creating my own stuff, it's almost always less interesting and believable than what history had.

I like to play in Mythic Europe. I like it to match real middle ages Europe with some degree of accuracy, if and when possible. It's always very cool when the magi get involved in a story and it can later be revealed that their involvement is the reason why results turned out the way they historically did. Or that they changed history. Indeed, this is the very reason many people play Ars Magica, in addition to the wonderful magic system.

The character isn't bad. The idea that she's part of an Order researching the Gift isn't something that seems consistent with Mythic Europe as presented in the source materials, granted, I haven't read The Church.

More like general learning. And keeping an eye on supernatural agents. (Of course from that perspective the Learned Magicians are a far bigger subject of interest than the Order.) Now, I could pick say the Order of St. Augustine. Did scientific research, that's what she is doing. Or at least its medieval equivalent. (In a world filled with mystic power.) Stashed at a covenant to learn about magic. But they still didn't really ever do mythic scientific study. So really all I've done is spend 20 minutes on Wikipedia to find a vaguely appropriate name to steal. If that makes you happy sure, lets do it. Here is the thing though, all these questions?

Not answered. I mean sure we could get some academic sources of amazon, and get answers to all those questions.

Oh side note, she won't really be a direct agent of any magi. Its more of a friendly ear. If they say "Hey use your letter writing skills and get this priest excommunicated, he is railing against some magi we like.", she's gonna go "No." If they say "Write letters to get this priest in trouble. He is preaching this heretical non-sense." she is far more likely to comply.

Why would they send a Nun? The medieval view on women is driven by the Church and the Church does not think highly of women. Why would you even bother educating one?

"The woman is subject to man on account of the weakness of her nature . . . Man is the beginning of woman and her end, just as God is the beginning and end of every creature. Children ought to love their Father more than they love their mother." St Thomas Aquinas ( in this period).

If you want the grog, change it to a man. Or leave it a nun and I will know the Church really does not give a crap what she reports.

The questions were rhetorical, they were exemplary of you deciding that an entire Order of nuns existed to study magi or magi of the Order of Hermes. If it's an entire Order, like the Cistercians or Benedictines or Dominicans, those are questions that must be answered. If she is an agent of a Hermetic power, inserted into the Church's hierarchy to uncover truths that magi could use to prove that the Gift is a gift from God, stamped upon the soul, it's so much simpler, and it involves very little work other than picking the Order, and developing some details about it.

Some people who play Ars go into research about 12th century beekeeping. I'm not asking for a lot of sophisticated detail. Just something consistent with the region and the time period.

She has been transformed into a He! Also in all honesty like Mendel, anything he writes will probably get forgotten for a long time and maybe rediscovered if its important. And Mendel is a stupidly famous monk! He freaking founded Genetics! Plus the Order is big on the non-interference. So IMO the Church would care more about say, everything in Hedge Magic, Sihrs, experimental philosophy, and a few of the guys in Rival Magic. In fact they probably care more about Fectors in the Order than Hermetic Magi in the Order. Fectors hunt vampires preying on their flocks.

Also changed the Order to the Order of St. Augustine. Its a real order, into study, and has people who wander.

Rosanna, Diotima's maid

Born in Crete in 1236, Rosanna entered the service of her lady, Diotima, when she was twelve, learning the ropes under Diotima's then aging maid. Rosanna has been Diotima's maid for five years. She wishes her lady would cease associating with all those disreputable characters and settle down, perhaps with one of those nice Jerbiton who sometime visit.
Diotima has seen to it that Rosanna learned reading and writing in both Romaic Greek and Latin, as well as how to handle a dagger just in case. She had to train Rosanna not to grab it reflexively every time a magus passed by, and finally convinced her it was better to keep it as a hidden surprise.
Faced by a (non Gentle-Gifted) magus, Rosanna's first line of defense is to feign stupidity, then run away on an errand (inventing one if necessary).

Virtues and Flaws: Custos, Humble (minor)
Characteristics: Int 0, Per +1, Pre +1, Com +1, Str +1, Sta +1, Dex +1, Qik +1
Abilities: Animal Handling 1 (eagles), Area Lore: Crete 1 (geography), Area Lore: Southern Italy 1 (traders), Artes Liberales 2 (music), Athletics 1 (running), Awareness 2 (searching), Brawl 3 (dagger), Charm 2 (courtly love), Chirurgy 1 (binding wounds), Craft: Sewing 2 (silks), Etiquette 2 (magi), Folk Ken 1 (magi), Guile 3 (feigning stupidity), Legerdemain 1 (picking locks), Music 1 (singing), Order of Hermes Lore 1 (Jerbiton), Profession: Lady's Maid 5 (picking clothes), Ride 1 (sidesaddle), Stealth 1 (sneaking)
Personality Traits: Loyal (Diotima) 3, Humble 3, Brave 1
Combat Stats:
Soak +1
Dodge Init +1, Defense +4
Dagger Init +1, Attack +7, Defense +5, Damage +4
Equipment: Dagger; clothing handed down from Diotima; Sewing kit, comb, minor jewelry, dowry chest

Philippa/Philippos the Amazon Groom

Born in 1227 in the Greek colony of Chelson in the Crimean Peninsula, Philippa refused to accept the Truths of Life, such as Girls Only Wearing Dresses, Girls Being Deferential to Boys, and Girls Only Riding Gentle Horses Sidesaddle. She was, in fact, a veritable tomboy. When it came to the Greatest Truth of All, Thou Shall Marry Whomsoever Thy Father Decree, she ran away with her father's favorite horse. A redcap decided she would make a good recruit, but she had no patience for scholarly learning and flat out refused to learn Latin. The redcap eventually passed her on to Diotima, who offered her the position of groom. In addition to taking care of Diotima's horses, Philippos' duty include escorting her whenever she rides out, both to take care of the horses and to make sure no lout offers insult to her lady. It was Diotima's idea to call her Philippos, thus avoiding scandalizing everyone they meet casually. Philippa has the slender figure to pull it off.

Virtues and Flaws: Custos, Strong-Willed, Transvestite, Ability Block (Languages)
Characteristics: Int 0, Per +1, Pre +1, Com +1, Str +1, Sta +1, Dex +1, Qik +1
Abilities: Animal Handling 4 (horses), Area Lore: Crimea 2 (geography), Athletics 2 (running), Awareness 4 (alertness), Brawl 2 (dagger), Craft: leather 2 (horse gear), Folk Ken 2 (peasants), Great Weapon 3 (staff), Guile 3 (disguise), Hunt 2 (tracking), Profession: Teamster 2 (tight turns), Ride 5 (battle), Stealth 2 (shadowing), Survival 2 (steppe), Swim 1 (leading a horse), Thrown Weapon 5 (javelin)
Personality Traits: Loyal (Diotima) 3, Headstrong 5, Brave 3
Combat Stats:
Soak +3
Dodge Init +1, Defense +3
Dagger Init +1, Attack +6, Defense +4, Damage 4
Staff Init +3, Attack +8, Defense +8, Damage 3
Staff (mounted) Init +3, Attack +11, Defense +11, Damage 3
Javelin Init +1, Attack +9, Defense +7, Damage 6, Range 10
Javelin (mounted) Init +1, Attack +12, Defense +10, Damage 6, Range 10
Sling Init -2, Attack +7, Defense +6, Damage 5, Range 20
Equipment: heavy leather vest, dagger, staff, sling, 2 javelins, knife, leather working kit, men's clothes.

The Agent of the Tremere
Personality Traits: Sad+4, Hateful+2 Loyal-2
Characteristics: Int +2, Per +1, Pre +2, Com +3, Str, Sta -3, Dex +0, Qik +0
Size: 0
Age: 22, Height: 5'6", Weight: 117 lbs, Gender: Female
Decrepitude: 0
Warping Score: 0 (0)
Virtues and Flaws: Custos, Educated, Venus's Blessing, Lost Love, Clumsy, Fragile Constitution
Dodge: Init: +0, Attack --, Defense +3, Damage --
Fist: Init: +0, Attack +3, Defense +3, Damage +0
Kick: Init: --1, Attack +3, Defense +2, Damage +3
Soak: -3
Fatigue levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-5), -3 (6-10), -5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20), Dead (21+)
Abilities: Russian 5, Latin 5, Artes Lib 2, Order of Hermes Lore 2, Code of Hermes 2, Intrigue 5 (magi), Charm 5 (magi), Brawl 3 (daggers), Folk Ken 2 (Magi), Faerie Lore 2 (Goddesses), Magic Lore 1 (Dragons) Magic Theory 1, Profession Scribe 1 (copying), Infernal Lore 1 (zombie plagues)
Encumbrance: 0 (0)

Artemis was a truly unfortunate woman. She grew up in a prosperous village under the watchful eyes of the Fae Goddess, Ilune. In actuality the Goddess was a truly ancient Merinita Maga who had completed the Becoming long ago. Officially she had claimed the whole village as her covenant. Artemis wanted to marry a magi. She was a romantic who heard the stories about what magi could do any wanted part of that life. When she asked the her Goddess if that would ever happen Ilune laughed in her face, and "prophesied" it would not. She would not get to have the wonderful "wedding night", and any attempt to follow her heart to this foolish endeavor would only end in tears. Of course the prophecy was a sham, but Ilune was pretty sure it would never be the case.

Well, as fate would have it Mary did become a covenwoman in Transylvania. Ilune's village actually provided a good education and teachings. The kind of stuff magi look for. Artemis and Aleksander of Tremere fell in love. Artemis wrote a letter back to her family telling them of her luck. The Goddess found out her "prophesy" was about to be made false. So she declared a wizard's war on Aleksander. There was just enough time to kill Aleksander on his wedding night. Aleksander didn't believe that the letter writer was who she claimed to be. A pre-schism war maga, in a single magi covenant, well outside the bounds of normal Hermetic territory? Regardless he still took precautions as he would for any War. And postponed the marriage until after this evil-doer was figured out.

Then the next full moon came. Aleksander's Soldales were swatted down, (although not killed) when they tried to defend Aleksander, assuming that Ilune was not a magi. She taunted the two lovers with how weak and powerless they both were. How their protections were nothing. Aleksander was killed, brutally, in front of Artemis. Ilune told Artemis she had brought this upon herself. Needless to say Artemis was devastated. She still goes through the motions of helping out House Tremere. In someways she hates everything. The Tremere for being to weak too protect Aleksander, herself for trying something so foolish, Ilune for murdering Aleksander, and everyone else for not suffering enough.

But hey, she's good at her job. She can pose as a scribe while investigating magi. Something she has gotten quite good at over the few years she was with Aleksander.

So we now have a grog to discover all of our secrets and/or murder us all in our sleep! She also might have a slight grudge against Goddesses.

One last grog. Eve shall get an acolyte/servant/scribal person.

Name: She refers to herself as Juno, although that's probably not her real name.
Characteristics: Int +2, Per +1, Pre +1, Com +3, Str +1, Sta +1, Dex +0, Qik -4 (thoughtful)
Size: 0
Age: 22 (22), Height: 5'11", Weight: 152 lbs, Gender: Female
Decrepitude: 0
Warping Score: 0 (0)
Virtues and Flaws: Educated, Arcane Lore, Good Teacher, Social Handicap (outspoken advocate of gender equality), Greedy (minor), Poor Quickness
Dodge: Init: -4, Attack --, Defense +?, Damage --
Fist: Init: -4, Attack +?, Defense +0, Damage +?
Kick: Init: -5, Attack +?, Defense -?, Damage +?
Soak: +1
Fatigue levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-5), -3 (6-10), -5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20), Dead (21+)
Abilities: Italian 5, Latin 5, Slavic 1, Medicine 5 (plagues), Profession: Apothecary 5, brawl 2 (daggers), Bargain 2 (implicit deals) Artes liberales 2 (geometry), Charm 2 (men), Etiquette 1 (not being noticed), Guile 2 (lying your way into places), Intrigue 2 (getting into places you shouldn't be), Magic Theory 2, Philosopher of Rome Lore 4 Profession: Scribe 2, Profession Servant 2 (party clean up), Slavic 1 (words for travelers)
Equipment: Dagger, decent clothes for a servant
Encumbrance: 0 (0)

Juno, was a peasant girl. Like a surprising amount of women who end up with the Order, one who doesn't like the rigid rules like "Women aren't allowed to stab people", "women can't become doctors by stealing an education", or "women should eat delicate portions of their food". So she struck out for the city, and promptly gained an education by sneaking into classes. That wasn't actually too hard for her. Finding food was more difficult, but she ran into this group, a group of philosophers who liked to have feasts. Big feasts. She got invited. They had a lot of food. In fact, they even payed her to help clean up afterwards. (Which she did with great vigour by stealing all of the left over food.) And they had rooms she could sneak into when they weren't using them to stay out of the elements.

As life went on she slowly got more drawn into her classes and the Philosophers of Rome, she learned about their quite wonderful religion, how some of them had cool magic Gifts, and how they were going to all live forever. Sure the ones with magic were a bit creepy, but still it was a good time. She actually became friends with one of them Eve. Eve wasn't as arrogant (well arrogant in less grating ways), and Juno liked her philosophy just a bit more. Eve offered her a spot and the place she lived, and she took it. Especially since they had enough books for her to keep up her studies without pretending she was a boy. (Something that got harder and harder as she aged.) And they had cool new things she could learn about.

Here's another grog, I'm bringing in a Turcopole, one of the first Ars campaign which took place in the Levant I played in, we had a turb of Turcopoles.

Basically a light cavalry unit from Greece that was in the Crusades, he could be back up for Diotima, coming to meet her in Transylvania.

Abdullah the Turcopole

Characteristics: Int 0, Per 0, Pre 0, Com -1 Thick Accent, Str +2 Athletic, Sta +2 Tough, Dex +1 Good Balance, Qik +1 Fast Reflexes
Size: +1
Age: 27, Height: 6'4", Weight: 210 lbs, Gender: Male
Decrepitude: 0
Warping Score: 0 (0)
Virtues and Flaws: Almogavar/Turcopole (Grogs, pg 74) social - free, Large, Warrior, Social Handicap (strange accent), Poor Memory
Lance (with Mounted bonus): Init: +2 Attack: +13 Defense: +11 Damage: +7 (plus Mounted bonus)
Short Sword and Shield: Init +1 Attack: +7 Defense +8 Damage +7 (when Mounted add +3 to Attack and Defense)
Short Bow: Init: -1 Attack: +8 Defense: -- Damage +6 Range 15
Dodge: Init: +0, Attack -, Defense +3, Damage --
Fist: Init: +0, Attack +3, Defense +3, Damage +2
Kick: Init: -1, Attack +3, Defense -2, Damage +5
Dagger: Init: 0 Attack +4 Defense +4 Damage +5

Soak: +6
Fatigue levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-6), -3 (7-12), -5 (13-18), Incapacitated (19-24), Dead (25+)
Abilities: Greek (Commands) 5, Athletics (Climbing) 2, Awareness (Ambushes) 2, Brawl (Dagger) 2, Riding (Combat) 4, Great Weapon (Long spear) 4, Single Weapon (Lance) 4, Bow (While Mounted) 4, Survival (Coast) 3, Hungarian/Magyar (Commands) 2/5, Carouse (Drinking) 3, Hunt (Small game) 2, Bargain (Rates) 2, Folk Ken (Turcopoles) 2, Animal Handling (Horses) 3, Chiurgy (Arrows) 3
Equipment: Metal Scale Armor (Partial), Round Shield, Lance, Short Sword, Short Bow (10 arrows), Bedroll, Dagger, Lamp, a few Greek Coins
Encumbrance: 8 (3) (Often mounted, this load is for armor, shield and lance)

Personality Traits:
Brave +2
Curious +1
Pious +1

Abdullah has been a mercenary for the Crusading armies for more than 9 years, joining with his older cousin for the foreign coin. He does not get a lot of respect for this, but the pay is good. At one time he worked for an older woman who needed a burly young man to protect her on her travels. The last he heard she was headed into the lands of Romania. Believing his fortunes might change, he set out after her, picking up a bit of the language along the way.

*Edited, +5 xp in Magyar

Characteristics: Int +1, Per +1, Pre +2, Com +3, Str -1, Sta +0, Dex +0 Qik -2
Size: 0
Age: 21 (21), Height: 5'11", Weight: 147 lbs, Gender: Female
Decrepitude: 0
Warping Score: 0 (0)
Virtues and Flaws: Transvestite, Non-combatant, Fragile Constitution, Educated, Unaffected By the Gfit, Free Expression
Dodge: Init: -2, Attack --, Defense -2, Damage --
Soak: +0
Fatigue levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-5), -3 (6-10), -5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20), Dead (21+)
Abilities: Hungarian 5, Leadership 3 (servants), Profession Servant 5 (magi), Charm 3 (woman), Awareness (weapons), Latin 4 (Hermetic Usage), Artes Liberales (grammer), Chirgury 3 (bandages), Intrigue (servants), Guile 2 (spin), Folk Ken 2 (magi), teaching 2 (magi), Area Lore: Hungary 2 (fashion)
Encumbrance: 0 (0)
Tibor was born into a servant family of a a quite eccentric noble. The man thought that everyone was equal (but he just happened to own the land). Women could do everything a guy could and should be raised just like the men. Dresses would be abolished stuff like that. Tibor was reasonably talented, and quickly became a skilled servant, and then valet. Well eventually the noble was accused of "witchcraft" (unofficially of course). He tried to explain how his so called witchcraft was really just experimental philosophy, and how his ideas about social structures were all quite correct and useful. ... He got invaded. He did surprisingly well, but in the end his lands where sacked and his people fled.

Which left poor Tibor without any place to go. She was terrible at acting like a girl was supposed to and tried faking being a man. That worked much better, but people eventually found out, and then she got ran off and well... still when the Order found her, they were excited she wasn't affected by the Gift and that was more than enough to hire her. Plus she was generally competent. Its the best thing ever.

Here's a grog I've been toying with for awhile, the idea is for a non magus that is excellent with Finesse, so an ideal wielder of magic items. After reading Transforming Mythic Europe i went back to this and tried coming up with something. I'm not sure if it came out just right. Initially I was going to make a simple covenfolk that had been around the Tremere all his life, but the only to get Finesse is to be a Magus, or a Failed Apprentice in this case. So I went with a failed apprentice who has lived the soft life but is nearing the age when he'll need LRs, so he needs to make himself useful. The Tremere might be toying with idea of grogs that are well trained in Finesse and armed with wands and other devices and while Ivan is not much of a soldier, he could perhaps teach soldiers.

I could remake him, but i believe he has to keep the Failed apprentice Social status to get Finesse. What do you think?

Name: Ivan Obesarus
Int +2 Str -1 Pre +1 Dex 0
Per +2 Sta -1 Com +1 Quick +1

Size: 0 Age: 32 Weight: 225 Height:5’9” Gender: Male Handedness: right
Decrepitude: 0/0 Warping 0/0

Personality Traits:
Cheery +2
Brave -1
Loyal (to House Tremere) +1

Affinity with Finesse Minor
Puissant Finesse Minor
Failed Apprentice (social) Minor

Offensive to Animals
Covenant Upbringing

Speak: Magyar 5 (Eloquence)
Charm 3 (Magi)
Guile 2 (Magi)
Finesse 5+2 (With Magic Items)
Latin 5 (Hermetic)
Magic Theory 3 (Spells)
Artes Liberales 1 (Rhetoric)
Profession: Scribe 3 (Copying)
Teaching 5 (Grogs)
Speak Greek 4 (Eloquence)
Awareness 3 (Magic)
Order of Hermes Lore 3 (Tremere)
Bargain 3 (Service)

Ivan was born and raised within the Oppida of Coeris and chosen early on to become an apprentice. It was determined though that whatever Gift he had, sputtered like a candle flame and was soon extinguished, leaving only a lingering odor that animals do not like. However his aptitude for scholarship still made him useful. It was when he was found using a magic device intended to move things with magic that his talents at Finesse became apparent. He has no ability to cast magic of his own, but his deft ability with Finesse has been honed to a razor’s edge with magic items and the Tremere are beginning to think of a plan for mundanes who excel at using magic items and weapons as a resource. In the meanwhile he is a decent teacher and scribe, so he will always be busy. Ivan is desperately trying to stay useful to the Tremere and thus have his life extended as well as his lifestyle indulged.

Ivan is slightly tall and more than slightly plump, his appetite for fatty meats, cheeses and rich drink plainly apparent. He dresses in a similar manner as a magus, but missing some of the cut and style and absolutely the colors, but the overall look is that of a professional academic.