Increasing a vineyard's bounty: How would YOU do it, magus?

So, my local covenant of hooligans are busy trying to lay low in their small signeurial castle while Henry the Third and Louis the Lion prepare to battle for the crown of France.

They do note that they haven't got a lot of money, and money can make a lot of things happen, it seems. They decided the best thing to do would be to improve the fertility of the fields near their castle, and to also figure out a means to improve the produce of their vineyards and the wine they send to market.

That said, some ideas were bandied about.

CrTe to improve the fertility of the earth for the year. The magus with this idea, a Terram specialist, had no clue what guideline to use, or what other Forms to crib a guideline from. Any thoughts?

Someone suggested the mage with a high Rego Ignem score might focus the beneficial effects of the sun's rays upon the grapes and fields with a boundary target ritual. Does this sound like madness?

Muto Imaginem from the Muto specialist might make the wine taste supernaturally good, or CrIm might make it just taste like the most perfect vintage possible.

I was then curious how many different Technique/Form combinations might be useful for helping a covenant makes money - either by way of fields and vineyards, or by any means you can construe if a particular Tech/Form combo seems not to lend itself to agriculture or vitriculture.

Anyone care to add some more ways to use magic to aid a covenant's means?

The classic is of course CrHe35 The bountiful feast

Apart from that the most important question is: Do the spells need vis because they are rituals? This depends on various factors (your whim, duration, spell level)

If I were a player, I'd create an item that can be used by grogs (this avoids year duration if cleverly done).
You can increase profit by reducing production costs (magical plow, magical cutting, magical grape collection)

Although Creo is the most obvious technique for improving things, perdo could be used as a fungicide/pesticide/herbicide spell

Weather control is rather obvious too.

Improvement of soil chemistry spells are tricky:
What happens if soell duration ends? Do the nutrients vanish?
I'd rather improve physical aspects of a soil like "perfect plow"

A lot of money can be made by using magic when selling the wine, or indirectly, by influencing its reputation among conoisseurs and sommeliers.

As these nuisances appear spontaneously when the vine grows old, I guess PeHe would create them (just like CrAn can make flies appear in meat) and CrHe should be used to destroy them.

PeAn would be my choice for destroying the bugs. In this scenario, you are killing the bugs without effecting the plants. If you use CrHe, you are curing the plants from the damage or making them resistant to the damage. So with CrHe, the plants wouldn't take any damage, but the bugs would still exist. Unless, of course, you put an An requisite in the CrHe spell that killed (poisoned) the bugs.

Another idea is to make an item that brings plants to maturity more quickly. This, combined with Bountiful Feast (to make the plants even better), can give you a wheat field that you can reap every day!!!

I'm basing my interpretation on the fact that in medieval times pests were not always perceived as independent animals but entities generated out of plants, animals, rottenness or even elements. It is explained quite clearly in the Arts and Academe book for instance. Following that way, using Perdo creates pests on the target whereas using Creo heals the target, and thus remove the pests (or driver them away from the target).

I agree it is quite different from the reality we know and might be sometimes quite hard to use in game, but I think it improves immersion in a medieval world.

I like Imrryan's idea. Things that set Mythic Europe apart from your standard fantasy world and give it flavor are cool.

I actually find it is surprisingly easy to literally create great wealth with raw vis, directly. Your Terram specialist could easily create enough silver (or salt, or so on) to make the covenant rich using a little of it, for example.

Finding good ideas to work without raw vis is more difficult. Permanent enchanted devices at least allow a long term return on your vis expense, so they're intermediate.

I'm ambivalent, but I think I'd allow your Terram specialist's idea on improving the earth with CrTe. Just like creating food with CrHe or CrAn, earth created without raw vis may not be nutritious. Then again, I think the earth in Mythic Europe does not provide nutrients, only a background against which life can develop. So it sounds good. A plow to till the earth with CrTe sounds perfect.

InTe can also be used to locate good mining sites, and ReTe or PeTe to fashion mining tools that will increase yields of mines or workshops. Muto can create a "potter's wheel" or other device that will make metals supple, allowing people to work on them to create "impossible" designs or work more easily, aiding craftmanship.

An Ignem specialist can create an "eternal summer" or "eternal spring" or so on, providing sunlight and warmth even at winter. This should allow you to grow things out-of-season, and perhaps increase your yield (maybe fourfold, depending on irrigation and the type of crop). Just collecting sunlight wouldn't quite do it, though.

Eternal lamps and forge-fires are easy with Ring duration. If the covenant is near a sea, salt-producing heated rings can be very, very useful (cover with water, let it evaporate - and you've got a salt mine). Freezers could sell ice, or frozen goods, or even ice-cream, on summer - but that's ugly, modern-day like ambience.

Imaginem is the most challenging. Spying glasses can be used to increase effectiveness of fine-craftmanship, perhaps creating highly-detailed miniatures.

I would say MuTe rather than CrTe. Change the existing soil into fertile soil. At the most it is a Level 3 but I would think Level 2. Then you are just adding size and duration.

All very interesting ideas!

The covenant does have a fair bit of vis - they've had few major uses for it outside of their first Longevity rituals and a couple of familiars being bound, and so have a few years of harvest with little drain on their reserves.

The group is looking at the covenant for the first time now. Worried about how to weather the upcoming war with a small castle possibly looked at by both sides, and so they're looking to increase their treasury and also consider some possible magical defenses.


Various Auram spells allow a magus to do pretty much what he wants with the weather; that's gotta be good for yield, and it requires no vis. The rain is completely real water too.

CrHe to let the grapes mature in a day, no vis needed. And... they're seedless!

Tilling the soil is ReTe, since it can be easily done via mundane means.

Fertilizing a field with lots of manure, Cr(Re)An to make the stuff and spread it where you want it. No vis needed for this; the manure won't last and therefore must be renewed, but plants don't eat the manure, so they benefit.

A ReAn ward against vermin.

InHe to know how the plants are doing. PeHe kills unwanted plants.

Even InIm--to taste the grapes from afar, without having to sample any.

ReMe, to convince the best viniculturalists to work for you. :slight_smile:

PeIg or PeHe to quietly blight your neighbor's vines. This doesn't improve your grape yield but drives up prices, improving what grapes yield.



True, but, you cannot affect permnent change with Muto... that would violate the laws of essential nature.

You can, however, create a huge mound of equine manure with CrAn and a bit of Vis... that should do the trick.

Rego, not muto. With a creo req. It's something a mundane can do with tools, break up the soil and add things to make crops grow better.

Hm, is the role of bees and other pollinators commonly known at this point in history, I wonder?

Must check...


To offer another alternative - stay low. The last thing you want right now is to be known as a little castle that suddenly seems very rich - that's just painting a tempting target for the kings to loot. The next to last thing you want is to be seen as having impressive attack or defense capabilities that would make you a strategic location. Unless your castle is already strategically located, do your best to stay not worth the trouble. Sabotage roads and bridges so that horse travel to and from it is impossible. Hire some minstrels to spread the word of you adamant resilience against attacks, due to the tenacity of the (infantry!) warriors manning the walls and the bad fortunes that befell those who tried to conquer it in the past. Make sure these bad fates can be backed up with spells to that effect (disease amongst the horses, getting lost in a bog...), so that you could use them to dissuade any king that will decide to attack you despite this. Spread rumours on your poor economic state (but not letting it affect your military resilience). Do develop magical defenses, but not obvious or mundane ones - be subtle, and build defenses that will convince the attackers to go elsewhere, rather than defeat them and thus goad stronger forces to intervene.

All of this is assuming the kings' armies are really a power to contend with. I actually find that in RAW ArM magi are so powerful that given a few seasons of preparation they can decimate and route any mundane army. The real threats are from Hermetic and other supernatural powers. So, think about what you'd like to play through. If fighting off kings and armies is fun, do go there - build a treasury, build a mighty fortress.... If evading the mayhem is fun, go there.

No. Darwin was the first to discover that (well, perhaps not the first, but the first to write about it).



Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter, 100 years earlier, wrote about it.... and he was not the first.



Hm, I see that apiculture and the production of honey as an industry seems to have existed and been documented by the scholars of antiquity, but no mention of the role of bees as pollinators.

Hm, I'm curious if bees are considered worms of the air/earth as flies, etc. They are fairly unusual creatures, so observers of the time might have some interesting thoughts as to their nature.

Some stories about bees that existed at the time tell that bees were the creation of God, and when Satan tried to replicate them, he made wasps instead. Sometimes bees were considered Divine messengers; conversely, when a person died their relatives were supposed to go "tell the bees". It was said that any infant whose lips were touched by a bee would grow up to be a great speaker, poet, or philosopher.


They're worms, and spontaneously generate. Interesting thoughts... many. :slight_smile:



I have the same, and i am searching the same for my apicultors Covenfolk.
But... i am not totally sure about the vermin type of the Bees, ther are examples about Virtues Beast of them..... but tooo to mouses and they really are too...

On bees- I'm pretty sure the Arts & Acadamia (or some other sourcebook) indicates that bees are worms and generate from plant material. I think they were pulling from Pliny on this, which means the thought has been around since BC.

On generation of worms- I thought thta was now Rego effects, not Perdo under Arts and Acadamia. Either way, I'd still ReAn to keep both worms AND other animals- pretty sure Aesop mentioned foxes going for grapes- away, so long was you're willing to accept long lasting magic affects.

I probably wouldn't get into soil so much. Not sure on the European outlook at the time.

Probably one of the best spells would be InHe- to find out the best way to nourish the plants- more/less water particularly- the either ReAu or CrAu/PeAu to adjust accordingly. As far as taste, it may be possible to just use ReHe over time for the grapes to acquire a particular taste, so long as they could naturally acquire that taste, that way you don't have to maintain a magical effect after picking.