How the spirits of the same things coexist, but from different realms.

I am preparing my first Saga, which I want to make as interesting and complete as possible. For this I read supplement books. I started with a book on magic realm, then tried to continue with the fey realm, but stopped, because from the multiple references to other, earlier books, I realized that all the books that interest me should be read in chronological order. I read True Lineages and am now starting Realms of Power: Divine. When I reached the section with the angels, I was very surprised. Why are there SO many spirits responsible for the same thing? An example to make it clearer. There is the Daimon of the Sun, Helios or Al-Shams. There is the Authority Galgilliel. And there are also a bunch of fairy gods of Sun. Or, a bunch of different Airy spirits, flowers, plants, animals, stones, etc. And also the authorities who are responsible for the same. How does all this work and how does it interact with each other? As far as I understand, the Fairy do not rule the world, and their abilities are rather personal forces cultivated on the consumption of life force from various sources, worship, sacrifice, etc. Or, as described by RoP: M, the faeries have imprisoned and subdued some magical spirits, taking their area of ​​responsibility. But what goes on between magical and divine spirits, when who is needed, and why one is needed, when there is another, is absolutely incomprehensible to me.

The short answer is ignore all those answers. Pick if one of them will be relevant for the game and ignore the others. Odds are the party will not try to destroy the Sun and all of its relevant personification.

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Some daimons (Like Selene in Dies Irae) have influence over natural phenomena. In Selene's case, she has influence over the movement of the moon (and duration related to the movement of the moon).

This is the soul/spirit/story/perversion dichotomy writ large.

The soul is the divine force that causes the thing to be.

The spirit is the mechanical principle that allows action

The infernal is the tendency of material things to degrade away from the true empreyan.

Faeries are human perceptions and reactions to the thing.

So, it's verbs, not nouns.


Faeries either do not have real power (they have reputed power) or they draw that power from chained magical beings.
The infernal merely corrupts other powers.
The relationship between the magic and the divine is... complicated, and depends on the cosmology of your saga. In some the magic was created by the divine to rule natural aspects of things. In others (mostly mine) the divine is not so ancient and has taken over functions of things through various methods, or perhaps simply taken credit...
Short answer- it is one of a myriad contradictions inherent in Ars Magica, but at least it takes place well above the level of player characters, so they really don't have a reason to believe they should be able to explain it...


Hm, I will thinks. I want to know this not so much because the players will want to kill the Sun, but because I myself, as ST, want to know for certain how the world works. Thank you for your responses.

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One thing about AM is that the same mechanics can support multiple underlying cosmologies- for example the whole of the dominion/divine realm emphasizes a belief in a monotheistic supreme being, but there is in fact no direct evidence that there in fact is one- There are angels, certainly, but no way to know for certain that the "one true God" is any of the three- after all angels tend to give answers that support the beliefs of the questioner.
One of the big areas that a SG gets to decide if they are so inclined is what the underlying relationships of the realms are- including the possibility that Hermetic Magic has gotten some things wrong. The magical realm is clearly more fragmented than theory would indicate- the Muspelli can convert Faerie auras to magic and magic auras to Muspelli only auras. There is a fundamental contradiction between the magic realm as the realm of ideal forms and all things becoming monstrous as they warp from magic- becoming further from the ideal form. The divine could be similarly divided into Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Eastern Orthadox, Bogomil, Cathar, etc. Or not. It really is a question of how the SG wants to run it, but the twisted thing is with all these possible options it will still look the same to the players and the order at the start of the game. It may impact which breakthroughs and mysteries are possible. If you decide to go with a grand unified realm theory then all the different "beings" which influence the sun, for example, might be aspects of the same being, as seen through different realms. Or they may be individual entities which claim dominion over the sun and are at each other's throats trying to establish that control.


Ars Majica is very much make it work how you want. AM presents sort of a general feeling for how the world works. Ask this forum and/or read every AM source book, you won't get an absolute on the cosmology.

That sort of makes sense as the three Abrahamic religions which all argue with each other all exist, and the Pantheistic religions which don't work in a monotheistic setting are around also.

The Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian pantheon all exist or existed to some degree, however they are seen as just really powerful fairies. Is that because the monotheistics are in ascendance and they've rewritten history. Were they actually Gods just like the one true god in the Abrahamics?

One philosopher may argue there's just magic and fairy. Infernal and divine were just special house rules for a somewhat powerful fairy spirit which just got out of hand.

Do Ra, Helios and Apollo have power over the sun? Yes. If 2 of them are together at the same time, then decide who controls it better.

You are the SG. You are God in you RPG session. Just as God doesn't have to explain contradictions in his cosmology, you don't either. :slight_smile: Choose what you like.

Technically the Egyptian pantheon is described as magical- they won the chaoskamph, not the titanomachy. They are described in the lands of the nile as magic and as having beaten the faeries during the uprising.

Could you give me a page reference for that? It's not in line with my recollection, and doesn't seem consistent with the Lector Priests being Faerie Rite Wizards or the box on page 48.

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To begin with, p. 26 the descriptions of the ancient Tombs as being magic and the afterlife of the Egyptian people in the field of reeds being in the magic realm, where they went to live with the gods. On p. 38 are the stats for a magical Sethos, which is an alternate expression of Set, who is an Egyptian god, the book of Thoth is also a magical text associated with a Egyptian deity.
Admittedly the book does describe a number of groups which do use the faerie versions of gods, and some of this may be a matter of personal preference and cosmology, but given that one of the principle features of the Nile is its apparent timelessness it seems that its gods should like wise be timeless (magic) and not easily changeable (faerie)


That the Osiran Hero cult which created magical tombs was different to the more "normal" faerie Egyptian gods and their worship is explicitly discussed in the box on page 48 ("Even Ancient Egyptians Thought Monumental Tombs Were Weird"). Essentially, yes, the death system was magical, but that was an exception. The fact that most of the artefacts that have survived are from the tombs skews perceptions a bit.

Thoth may well be another exception; possibly one in the same weird space as Mercury.

Sethos I'm less convinced by - he's definitely magical, but he's described as an early king, not a god, and his description and actions don't seem to imply he's meant to be taken as the Set that gets worshipped (there's a similarity in the name, but that's about it).

In the "mostly faeries" column, the box on page 48 mentioned above says that "Most Egyptian religion was based on the worship of Faeries", and another statement on that page "In Ancient Egyptian religious magic, the powerful practitioners were the lecter (that is, "reader") priests who performed the Faerie Rites recorded in the sacred books during services".


I guess it's less canon that I thought and more my reaction given my knowledge of both the Egyptian myths and religious practices and how much they don't fit the descriptions of either the book or faerie. Another swing and a miss for an AM source book.

Sethos is a human named for Set, not Set himself. God names turn up in Pharonic names incessantly, particularly when they get translated.

As to the Realms... I cant really remember what I did, save that regardless of the Titanomachy the Black and the Red are still in constant war in Egypt, and they are Magical. There are clearly faeries on both sides in the war. I presume the Gods are faeries excepting the Hall of Heroes cults around the Divine Family and Aten. That being said, the cults are filial cults. The Egyptians didn't believe peasants got into the same heaven as pharoahs, necessarily (although they might, there's a lot of time in Egyptian history).

OK, are we doing this again?

Let's see your argument, Silveroak...

  1. as I mentioned above, Egyptian mythology did not have a titanomachy.
  2. Egyptian religion was not based on building a narrative for the gods- while there were myths told they were worshiped as being what they symbolized.
  3. Funerary rites were very much an aspect of the priesthood, despite what the sourcebook says.
  4. Egyptians saw the deities as maintaining the order of the universe, not as responding to prayers from mortals- which is far better represented as beings of magic than faerie.

Part of it is also that the titanomachy was generational- it was a feature of Greek myth and Norse Myth but suggests that the earlier gods- such as Sumerian and Egyptian, were magical.

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No sources, but here we go...

The Egyptians didn't have a Titanomachy, no, but they did have the seizure of the power of Ra and its transfer to Horus, which we use for the same purpose.

No actual religion is based on building a narrative for the gods, that's a game conceit, so, sure...

The western view that Egyptian religion is all about death is due to colonial fixation on treasure hunting. Actual Egyptian religion was far more like real religions, and dealt with matters of daily life. I'd suggest David Hornung as the main modern writer on this. The state cults don't matter much more than, say, the cult of St Edmund matters to the average 13th Century Englishman.

As to the gods being the mechanical powers, I can see where you're coming from there, but do you think prayers were necessary and effacacious, to the Egyptian view? I'd posit they were necessary at least insofar as the gods punished those who did not give them their due. That doesn't sound like strictly mechanistic spirits. So, to wax Chinese for a minute, Shangdi doesn't notice if you worship or not, because it's not going to act based on your worship. Just below him, the Jade Emporer will punish you if you don't worship him, so one is arguable Magical and the other Faerie.

Similarly, say, Ra is clearly powerful and mechanistic, but he's worshipped in chunks through lesser divinities, who is suggest are faeries. Otherwise you get questions like "What was mechanically occuring when Horus masturbated on lettuce and fed it to his uncle?" Clearly there's something beyond just the maintenance of celestial forces going on in the filial dysfunctions of the gods.

There's some wriggle, because in draft at least there was the suggestion that magical and faerie were not so clearly separate in ancient Egypt, but the broader point was the medieval Egypt isn't ancient Egypt and that, again, the habit of ignoring the actual Egyptians in favour of their ancient dead is a weird outgrowth of western treasure hunting. That's why in the authors preface we gave billing to "Egyptology: the missing millennium". We wanted to present the views of medieval Arabic writers on the monuments, not either modern or pop-modern views.


I mean, here, the Arabic view that to square the known age of the world with the number of monuments you need to assume God put a heap of extras in for human edification. In game, that's arguably true. We don't want to say "The people who live in Egypt are wrong about Allah.". That does make the monuments an edifying series of stories, and the inhabitants parasites on those stories.

My son was called by Horus 6 years ago, I am familiar with the Egyptian religion, and my point was not that it was all about death but that the separation of the (faerie) priests and the magical order responsible for tombs was fictional. I can see the Egyptian gods making use of the faeries after the fae lost their attempt at a titanomachy, but that would leave the Egyptian Gods themselves as magical beings which act more as daimons.

But as I have said elsewhere this all relates to what i consider the fundamental mistake of AM, trying to put a fantasy game system in the real world where you have to make calls like which real world religion were devil worshipers and didn't know it, and which religions were right and wrong in their cosmology.