Ideas for a mercurian pagan saga set in the roman tribunal

Stop reading here if your name is paul or ewan and your SG is Martin

I originally posted this on reddit and someone suggested I post here too.

I'm an experienced DM but i'm starting my first Saga in ars magic for a group of neo-mercurian mages who have all decided to take the story flaw Pagan. I've been collecting Ars Magic books for years and have bought and read them all(5th edition) over the years but never got around to running or playing it.

I'm looking for plot hooks and other over arching campaign themes to help or hinder them. Also any ideas to advance or supplement my own below would be appreciated. Any tips for a first timer would also be awesome.

I am considering a twist on twighlight of the gods from Dies Irae were the players are brought in to help bring about the ascension of the magic realm by prometheus/loki bringing about the Five Acts rather stopping them knowing the order will oppose them and the destruction that will follow and moral implications and the upheaval of everything and if they actually go through with it once they realise the full implications of the things they are being asked to do.

This idea came about because my players were discussing where they are wanting to take the saga. They are wanting to delve into making a covenant in a level 10 regione and using jaunts into the magic realm, initiation scripts and mercurian magic to achieve great power and bring magic to the forefront bringing back greco-roman gods as magic daimons through hermetic theurgy. First on their list is getting immunity to warping for the coven folk through initiation into a new mystery cult a companion is forming, basically fleshing out the messengers of mercury into its own sub cult for the ungifted and passing on his major immunity to warping as a minor immunity to warping to grogs and coven folk and possibly as an inner mystery as a major later on (I think this warping discussion would be a thread on its own - in fact im gonna post this up separately).

So far I have a rego/corpus mercer flawless magic mage, a muto tamed magic bonasagius and a creo/perdo elementalist flambeau we have another two mages to be created.

Currently due to be set out of Semita covenant(placed in the roman tribunal near the italian alps) with them coming out of gauntlet there. I've changed it to being a neo-mercurian training covenant in my head so far. So they will be looking to set out on their own to found a new covenant of their own eventually. I have been put on to the mercurian temple from mythic locations as a possible covenant location for them to find.

I had this response already which has some great ideas and points to make


I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas


Why not just have unnatural law that the aura of the covenant erases warping.

One thing that seems worth doing is making sure you understand whether your players want to play pagans because:
a) They want OOC to avoid anything to do with the church
b) They want to play characters who are trying to do dodgy stuff around the attention of a broadly benevolent church
c) They want to play characters defying the evil church

(There are obviously other possible motivations as well, but it feels like an area to make sure people are at least broadly on the same page).

Other thoughts:

  • It seems like a very high powered setting, but given your goals that may well be suitable.
  • Tamed Magic is generally a Mercere magus thing, so the Bonisagus would need to think about their background if they haven't already.

I had not seen that on a description of tamed magic, but it does say you need Mutantum magic as a prerequisite, which does state most are mercer mages which gives a little leeway. I guess if he wants it he will have to come up with a decent reason how he is related to the founder and why he aint a mercer mage. I am running them through apprenticeship at the same covenant at the same time as each other and there is a Mercer mage that is part of the neo-mercurians there which his own apprentice so if he does a decent back story I've no real issue with him getting some tutelage once his magic expresses itself as mutantum.

I've decided on the warping issue now due to this thread Mystery Cult initiation of greater/lesser immunity to warping
but could i ask what an unnatural law is?

There's a bit on page 97 of HoH:TL which says:

Because magi from other Houses can be descended from the same exotic origins as the Mutantes, there are also several virtues that incorporate these powers, which any magus may take: Boosted Magic, Harnessed Magic, and Tethered Magic (see the Appendix, Virtues and Flaws). They correspond to these magical skills above, though some have inherent drawbacks, since only magi who are raised by the Mutantes ever seem to perfectly master the innate abilities of their heritage. There are also two Flaws, Bound Magic and Fettered Magic, which have the drawbacks and none of the benefits, for characters who haven’t even begun to discover their Mutantes potential or whose understanding of these powers is similarly limited.

Tamed Magic is pretty much the ultimate "perfectly mastered the innate abilities of their heritage" virtue, which suggests he'd have been raised by the Mutantes.

As a Bonisagus, one obvious origin would be for him to have been a Mercere trained by the Mercere for most of his apprenticeship, and then taken by a Bonisagus. That would come with a lot of politics and implications the player might not want, though.

It's a Covenant boon - see pg 8 of Covenants. It basically just means something works differently from how it normally does in the setting.

I think that will work that the bonisagus took him. I can do a lot with that.