Improving funds with magically created salt

Hi all, I am new here but I am not a new player of Ars Magica I play since 1990.

I have a question to you that always amuse myself. My Covenant is located near Venice, a very important commercial port wich often has trades with the Levant.

In Venice as in other cities in Mithic Europe salt is a very uncommon and prized resource, so I would like to magically create it for the sale in the marketplace. Now, which Arts I have to use to accomplish my idea (if it is possible to do)? I think Cr/Te but I need an usefull spell allowing me to do that.

Thanks you in advance and sorry for my english, I am italian and I am not used to write in your chief language.

Yes. You would need CrTe but you would probably need some Ritual version or you might aquire some quarrelsome customers..

By the way I think you might expect some resistance from Venice finest, as they'd prefer to keep salt somewhat monopolized. I recall Timothy Ferguson expressing something similar at an earlier point - and he's quite the expert on the subject.

Another option is to use rego terram to extract the salt from the sand at a beach. That way you don't need vis to make it permanent.
But yes, as Furion has stated, salt is a closely guarded commodity. Its worth its weight in gold and wars have been fought over it. Extracting salt from sea water was a crime that could get people killed. So, you know, be cautious. There's a good book about the history of salt. I can't remember the author but its called "Salt".

Nice to "see" you, Furion. Haven't noticed you posting lately. Denmark is lovely.

Indeed. Especially in a feudal society one can expect anything/anyone that seems to be upsetting the balance of powers as they be to get a swift and unpleasant reaction. Now on the other hand if you approached the 'legitimate' salt traders offering to sell them your salt at less than market value... you may stay 'under the radar' as it were, since you would be reinforcing their profits rather than destroying them. Delicate negotiations to say the least, but safer than just trying to set up a shop and sell it yourself.

Or you could go out on a limb and use your advantages (The Gift) to your own profit in true "family" tradition :wink:

Either wipe out the competition entirely and take over their market or apply a little Rego Mentem to "adjust" their attitudes such that they show you the deference and willing subordination due their natural superior!

Nothing personal, its just business! :smiley:

More aggressive strategies are available to be certain. Yet also would be much more likely to cause grumblings about 'mundane interference' and whatnot.

I found all your answers very useful, not only I have to avoid ermetic attention, but mundane attention too.

Specially in Venice all other Covenants in the Tribunal keep a very close eye on us hoping we do not abuse of our vicinity with the rich Venice's markets to gain a lot of money and prestige in the area. Estabilished Covenants do not want further competition for mundane trade...

Conjuring the precious salt Cr/Te 5 Ritual
(touch, mom, ind)

this spell conjure enough salt to fill a chest about one hundred cubic paces

(base 2 +1 touch +1 size +1 elaborate propriety)

there is my own idea about a useful spell about the creation of salt but I think the final level is incorrect for a Ritual spell... Any idea?

A ritual spell must be of at least level 20. So this spell is level 20 even though the calculation leads you to level 5. You may choose to increase the size, or other factors, as the level will remain 20 (unless you increase it so much that it becomes more than 20).

I am not sure how you derived the size. The guidelines don't say what is the base individual for salt. They do mention gold, and that's one possible standard. However, I think setting the volume created by Individual to be similar to that of glass sounds appropriate. At any rate, the amount created cannot be determined without your storyguide deciding how much is the base Individual for salt.

He should also decide how much this means in economical terms.

The created salt would be one big chunk of salt, an Individual. To create ground salt, I'd add a magnitude, or apply the Group target (+2 magnitudes) - not sure which. But this isn't needed, creating a huge block of salt is fine.

Generally speaking, creating money with magic is easy - given even relatively small amounts of raw vis; the book Covenants provides a spell to create silver, for example. Magi don't generally conjure wealth because it (a) costs raw vis, which they have other much more interesting uses for, and (b) as the others noted above it can lead to all sorts of economic and political complications.

Salt Ritual, level 20
R Touch, D: mom, T: Ind, Ritual
The basic spell creates 1 cubic pace of salt which is about one ton if I calculated well.
Use any size modifier for creating the spell up to +4 which means 40.000 tons. 8) This 20th level of the spell is able to include up to +4 size modifiers.
(Base 3, +1 touch, +4 size)

Btw creating salt is a silly idea if you are watched by other covenants.
Create silver and spend it in a neighbouring tribunal. :wink:
Venice is close to the borders.


I don't think CrTe is the best way to do this: I think the best way is to use CrIg to create heat that doesn't require fuel, and use that to extract salt from the brine in the sea, or in the briny lands that are near your covenant.

As several of the respondents noted Venetians are perfectly ready, and more than willing, to declare and prosecute war over their monopolies. When someone threatened their alum monopoly, they went to war and basically destroyed a town to make sure that they, and only they, have a source of alum. Similarly, they, and only they, make great glassware because they are perfectly willing to kill anyone else who does. The great challengers to their monopolies were Genoa and Constantinople. Both effectively now have Venetian puppet rulers, although they call themselves other things.

So, the difficulty in your story isn't making the salt: that's easy. The question is how you sell it without annoying the very rich people who do it now.

That's still a good story, though. I'm not saying not to do it: I'm saying there's a big hammer hovering over your covenant if you do this, which is fun too.

But of course the problem is "the very rich people...", hasn't it always been the way? :wink:

Which is why I suggest the most effective way to remove the problem would be, as has also always been the way, to appreciate the mighty advantage which nature or "God" (whichever you happen to believe in) has granted you (The Gift), stop pussyfooting and skulking about and simply REMOVE the problem! :wink:

A little PeCo on all members of the monopolistic consortium one by one or in groups at various intervals and soon enough, "look ma, a wide open market ripe for takeover!"

Too conspiscuous? Hmm well Venetians do alot of travel by ship, it would be terrible shame if their boats just happened to be lost at sea. :wink: :smiling_imp:

Ah, Venice's entire ruling class is designed to make this difficult, mostly because they have tried to do -exactly this- to each other for many decades. That being said, if you pull it off, their social system will open its arms to you, because that's how the system works. :laughing:

Indeed! What a truly aggressive solution needs is first to find a Gifted Medici to bring in on the plan, and then the Venetians wouldn't stand a chance! :wink:

The possibility to have a good story in the hope to dodge this big venetian hammer over my Covenant is so attactive that i have to try it :slight_smile:

I think birbin's spell is very effective to create salt, but I appreciate too any suggestion about how to quickly extract it with a spell from the brine in the sea or in the briny lands near my small Spring covenant.

Moreover I do not want to proudly stand against Venice (it will crush my bones to... salt!) but join their cause (and paying for it my royalities) having a friendly Venetian merchant as a Companion I could use to introduce my bussines.

Too subordinate and conformist for my taste, the nature of Italian power mercantilism/politics (IMO), and a good hard-hitting story (again IMO).

I say kill them all and take what is rightfully yours by "Gift" of birth! :wink:

Hmm as for spell, This one might do the trick...

The Sea's Briney Bounty
ReAq Level 20
Req: Pe (free)
R: Voice D: Conc T:Part

This spell calls forth a steady but forceful geyser of seawater which is simultaneously reduced to its salty mineral composites at the apex of the spout. The gesyer may be directed at any angle that suits the caster by simply concentrating, which makes the resulting stream of salt easier to collect either by ship at sea or in shore-based containers.

In Carionalis of Jerbiton's version of this spell, multitudes of sea birds can be seen circling and diving about the geyser's apex in an artistic aerial dance.

(base 4, +2 Voice, +1 Conc, +1 Part)

This could equally be automated by investing into a device (or devices) and automated for constant production by adding an extra magnitude to permit the item to maintain concentration.

Or you could just set up a large scale infrastructure for the actual mundane extraction process and use Timothy's CrIg spell suggestion. I prefer the all in one magical method personally.

The advantage here, as I see it, is that it avoids having to worry about base individual Cr spell volumes and just allows the SG to set the hourly flow rate of extracted salt. So long as you keep the containers/ships flowing you could conceivably have all the salt you wish or can possibly sell.

Friendly Venetian upstart, you mean? Who will get in deep over his head in politics by violent and other means after a while? :wink:

Sounds fine to me...

Gotta learn to swim somehow! :wink:

Hey BellaDonna - I've been busy with a heap of stuff barely having the time to even lurk in these parts.. even still got to get around to finishing reading Societas or playing as often with my troupe (meaning no play) :open_mouth:... but I'm still around and hoping to turn the tide a bit :smiley:

So when did you move to my immediate vicinity and what brings you here (you werent here always were you? :blush: )?

I still think Re Te would be easier for extracting salt although I suppose you want to use the method that follows your mage's strength.

Furion, I sent you a pm.

In our 4th Edition campaign, one of the players crafted a barrel to extract the salt from sea water. The covenant was based on an island, so there was plenty of materials to work with as well.

First he used a MuAq effect to separate the salt from the water (which in ArM5 would be ReAq), then destroyed the water itself, leaving only the salt of the water in the barrel. Out goes the salt, fill the barrel up, rinse and repeat. The only problem after this was the distribution and selling of the salt, and that's where the SG comes in.