Incantation of Summoning the Vessel to Sail Again


in the old adventure "The tempest" the player characters are advised to use a ritual spell named "Incantation of Summoning the Vessel to Sail Again". There is no description for this ritual and now I ask myself if it is possible to exact it with the rules of the 5th edition.

The spell is able to raise a wreck (over sixty feet long, with a mast of about thirty feet) from the bottom of the sea. The group knows the location of the wreck (more or less), but is not able to see it.

The spell is taught by an old mercurian magus, so perhaps it does not fit completely in the frame of hermetic magic. The story says, that in days of old mercurian magi used this ritual to loot formerly destroyed enemy-vessels.

In my eyes, the ritual could be a Rego Aquam spell, that creates a current, able to lift things from the bottom of the sea to the surface. That would be a Level 4 Guideline. The target could be Part, because only a part of the ocean would be needed to control. The base Part of water is two paces deep, the wooden hull is "over hundred feet down", so you would have to add 2 magnitudes for the increasing size. The Duration could be diameter or concentration, the adventure says it lasts a few moments until you see the shadow of the raising ship, then it takes a minute before the wreck reaches the surface. Because you do not enchant the wreck but a part of the ocean, the range could be touch, but if you want to avoid the dangers of the swirling waters, you could be pleased by a safety distance, so lets take a distance of sight.

So the spell would be Base 4, +3 Sight, +1 Conc, +1 Part, +2 Size = Lvl 35 and has no need to be a ritual any more.

The name of the spell sounds as the magic would be responsible for restoring the vessel to seaworthiness but the adventuretext states, that "suspension in the cold water kept the vessel largely intact - there are no apparent holes in the hull and the keel looks strong". Later "the longship bobs in the water". Of course the sails are gone, but at least the summoned vessel is able to be oared. I think, it is enough to make allowance for the rising-from-the-bottom-of-the-sea-procedure.

What do you think?


Good breakdown of your analysis.

I have a few comments:
Rego Aquam base 4 might do it, but the guidelines state "add one magnitude if the controlled movement is unnatural, 2 if very unnatural"

I'd say at least one magnitude here, because the ocean current does not naturally carry a shipwreck up from the bottom of the ocean. Might even charge it the second mag as well.

Using ReAq is a good idea, because you sort of circumvent the need to see/sense the thing you're affecting.

The size needs some work though. I agree that Part is fine, for affecting some bit of the entire ocean. Base Individual size of Aquam is 5 paces across and 2 paces deep. Each magnitude is a further x10 factor on mass (also volume, because density is constant). Not only do you need to reach over 30 paces down, you need to affect an entire ship, of some 20 paces long. What the beam of the ship is, is sort of irelevant, since it seems you affect a round area. The volume of 5 paces diameter and 2 paces deep cylinder is about 40 cubic paces. 20 paces diameter and 30 paces deep is approx. 9500. For an increase of x10 volume per magnitude, this is 3 magnitudes (for more than 4.000 and up to 40.000 cubic paces).

Range Sight is a very good idea, but Duration Concentration seems a little risky, if it takes quite some time to raise the ship. This ship in particular might be able to float under oen accord, once raised. But if the spell is in the least bit generalized, for use as salvage "tool", I'd recommend using Sun.

So: Base 4, +1 Unnatural, +3 Sight, +2 Sun, +1 Part, +3 Size = 50 (or even 55 if adding 2 magnitudes for unnatural).

Also, you need to know excately where the ship is, how do you do that? If a swimmer dives around and spots it, you could perhaps mark the area with a floating marker, and cast the spell from a safe distance in a boat.

But! If you know about the existence of the sunken ship, and the approximate location, because of some wreckage which drifted ashore back when the ship went down, and left on the beach or picked up by locals...Why not a Rego Herbam Range: Arcane?

Yes, there are some points I missed, I agree.

I admit, a current from the bottom of the sea upwards is unnatural. I think "slightly unnatural" is enough, I may imagine much more bizarre things you can do with Aquam-Magic.

The volume: Yes, you´re right. Mass is the decisive aspect concerning volume. But I ask myself, if the proportion 5:2 is mandatory. I tried to get a current that reaches down to the bottom, but is it necessary that the current washes round the whole ship? Maybe... so, allright. Let it be 3 magnitudes.

As Duration I chose Concentration because in the adventure the procedure is possible in less than two minutes. I agree, this is debatable, but on the other hand, there seems to be no rule, that tells you the duration of magically raise a sunken ship. But nevertheless, I understand your point. For you, the current is triggered magically, the procedure itself has to function naturally. Maybe, in the old adventure this was not intended, but your argument seems to be true.

All in all, that means, I´m at Lvl 50, thanks.

And yes, you need to know where the ship is. In the adventure there is a scandinavian skald, who is able to tell you the place. I agree, in this respect the text is not very clear. But it seems to me, that the position of the wreck is known at least roughly. The skald is able to depict a prominent landmark (an overhanging cliff, the ship sank beneath the cliff). So, if you travel to the position and see the cliff, you should able to raise the ship (and you may stand on the cliff while you´re working magic). The adventure tells nothing about wreckage, but the sinking happened a long time ago. I´m not sure if arcane connections are possible at all.

Since my posting, we had one gaming day. In our saga, there is an old NPC-Mercere-Magus (he survived the Schism-war and and is still alive because of a strong magical environment he lives in). Because I was not sure if a Playermagus in our saga would be able to invent the quite powerful spell, I used this Magus to grant the characters a casting tablet with the spell (as described in the "Covenants"-Sourcebook).

You were very helpful,


WIth the correct spell to breath water, the mage can dive down to the ship and cast a ReHe spell to bring it up. I don't know exactly what level the ReHe would be but it would definately be lower than 50 by a significant margin (I am thinking 30-40 to control its movement for a day)

I'd add the caveat that, given that you're trying to raise the ship, you need to 'aim' the currents relative to the ship's location. In this respect knowledge of the location is needed - possibly requiring sensing the ship somehow. It seems like the intent here is to come up with an aquatic version of the Wings of the Soaring Wind. Certainly plausible. I'd also argue that since you're affecting the entire column of water from surface to seabed (as opposed to WotSW which only affects the "soarer's" immediate area, you're likely to 'surface' more than just the ship, which could also be interesting. :wink:

Well done.


Well that's true ... but:
-you not only have to breath, you also have to get down
-it's cold down there
-it's very dark
-the pressure is very high (does that fit to the ME Paradigma?)
-there might be dangerous animal
-there might be other not so mundane dangers


One more nasty aspect to this: Finesse!

Even a ReHe might require a Finesse roll, to grab the entire ship without damaging it, raising it up and so on.

But using ReAq to do this is extremely tricky! It definitely involves aiming the water just right, controlling the water to grab the ship. So not only is the movement unnatural, it also need more magnitudes for trickiness--and a very nasty Finesse roll because of the penalties for not even seeing what you are trying to move with the water, for having pieces of the ship on the bottom, for not shattering the ship with the current, thereby making matters worse, and so on.

I'd recommend the following:

InAq to see clearly through the water. ReHe to lift the ship.

Instead of InAq, just go down there and cast a ReHe at touch range!