intellego spell questions - which way is north?

As part of writing up some simple Intellego spells, and I'm fuzzy on the basic use of intellego.

Effect 1 - An effect to know which way a thing is, which you have an arcane connection to. Seems very much a standard style Intellego and whatever form is appropriate, perhaps created as a general spell which requires cast-time requisite subject to form. Base 2 for a single aspect of the thing, Range Arc, duration as pleases when it's written up, but could be momentary.

Q. Should it be base 2 or higher? Could it need to be a higher due to being as difficult as "learning one mundane property of a thing at base 4"?
Q. As the information becomes "knowledge", is a Intellego based sense still required? I think it becomes similar to Sense the Nature of Vis, which just tells the caster.

Effect 2 - an effect to know which way is north, or any other direction. a.k.a. Seeking the Lost Cardinal

Q. I think InTe is best for this, but I started wondering which art is linked to the cardinal directions, or linked to magnetism? Is Auram more like magnetism?

cheers IBT

I'd say Vim

It's an intrinsic property of the world, just like time. Thus, north is connected to vim.

Except Vim doesn't affect time, so maybe that's not a terribly good argument.

You could make an argument for InVi I suppose, based on the InVi 5 guideline from TMRE, p. 51 "Discern and measure a single Astrological factor in the enviroment"?
Though strictly speaking, that would require Celestial Magic, which is a major mystery virtue, so I'd prefer another way of doing it.

The first sentence in the section that contains those spell guidelines starts "These spells do not require Astrological Virtues to learn or cast..." though.

Well, if magic could affect time (darn Limits), Vim would probably be the Art used.

And as jason72 pointed out, those guidelines don't actually require the Mysteries.

(Relevant side question: How is magnetism treated in medieval paradigm? I mean, we know today about exactly why compass needles point towards the North Pole, but they probably had a completely different idea of how it worked.)

The property of a lodestone to point north is a property of Terram, and the north of the land is also Terram, so InTe would work.

Of course, In of almost anything could work. InCo lets me know a property of my body, including the northernness of each part of it. Etc.

God created many cats so that each could be skinned differently.

Thank you, my bad.

That should work then.

The body has no knowledge as to which part of it is the most north. It's not anything that is intrinsic to the body's nature, has nothing to do with the underlying Form.

Sure, but in this case, the cat got away.

Agree. InTe is the most obvious.

Yes, "InCo: What direction am I facing?" There are plenty of other options.

Also if the character is outside and can see either the sun or the stars it is pretty easy to figure out where north is by mundane skill/knowledge alone (unless something weird is going on).

The guideline for Base 3 InCo is Locate a person to whom you have an AC, and The Inexorable Search is the exemplary spell for that base effect. Without the map you don't know if the person is north, south or whatever. I think you can also get a bearing to the other person with an AC, if you don't have a map, but that bearing doesn't tell you he is north, south or whatever from you, just that he's "thataway." The base effect doesn't have any inherent knowledge of direction, though.

Yes The Inexorable Search uses a map. But there is nothing preventing a different spell communicating the information in a different way. It is entirely appropriate to have an InCo spell that "locates" the target via a compass direction.

Something like this would work (plenty of other variations possible too):

The Man With A Sense of Direction
InCo 4
R:Personal, D:Momentary, T:Part
The caster lies down, spread-eagled on the ground. He senses the compass direction of his head relative to the rest of his body.
(Base 3, +1 Part)

Could you give yourself the direction sense of an animal with a MuCo(An) spell similar to Eyes of the Cat? Or is the knowledge that some animals have that ability anachronistic and/or out of paradigm? Of course, it's not an Intellego spell, but it should do the job.

Sure, as I said, you can get a bearing to the person the AC is for.

Well, that plainly doesn't work, because the Base 3 Guideline is Location a person to whom you have an Arcane Connection and not, find a cardinal direction. There is no mention anywhere in the InCo guidelines about providing cardinal directions. I agree that you can get a bearing to the target, but that is a relative bearing to your position and doesn't tell you the direction in relation to the cardinal directions.

Yeah, migratory birds should understand north/south. Not sure about east and west so much, although that can be sussed from the sun much more easily than north or south.

You know you're playing Ars Magica when determining which way is North is conceptually more confusing than turning a portion of air into a flaming bird. (It probably uses fewer Arts, though.)

There's nothing that says "the bearing" can not be the compass direction. An InCo spell that told you the location of the target is "north west" of the caster is perfectly viable.

Also you can simply use The Inexorable Search to get a compass bearing anyway (although it obviously much greater magnitude than you need).

  1. take a hair (AC) from your grog and tell her to stand two paces to the left of you.
  2. draw a simple map with yourself and a compass rose on it.
  3. cast The Inexorable Search to locate your grog on the map.
  4. from the map locations you now know the compass bearing to your grog and you can thus infer where north is.

I think calling a compass rose a "map" is kind of a stretch.

Perhaps, argue that with your troupe. You don't need to go to the bother though, as I said "the target is north-east" is a perfectly viable answer for a (different) spell that uses the InCo 3 guideline to give.

I was considering this one yesterdays, but like JL, I think a map needs more than just a compas rose.

If there are trees nearby, InHe should be able to tell you though - where's the most moss.

The compass rose is either blank or you already know which direction North is. Casting Inexorable Search won't give you the direction of North, but will give you the direction of the grog, but doesn't provide anything to infer where North is. There is a smattering of evidence nowadays that the human body has some kind of internal compass, I'd certainly go with the idea that Mythic Europe residents don't understand that humans can sense magnetic North.

It's a rather reasonable shortcut for the SG to say that you determine that the grog is "thataway" which you find through alternate means is northeast. Sometimes determining the direction is easy, because the sun's direction and approximate time is clear, but that information comes from something other than the Intellego Corpus spell.