I'm looking at borrowing an item out of Pendragon... the sword of the Proud Knight of Landoine. The description of this item is "a magical sword which is made of poisoned steel. Any time it makes a major wound, then that wound can never be healed while the wound-maker lives."
Now, as a fan of simplicity, I'm think of just making this be a simple Perdo Corpus effect causing a Medium Wound. The question is, how to replicate the "can never be healed as while the wound-make lives" aspect. I know it can't be done using any of the standard Hermetic durations. The Until duration seems best suited, but it requires a Ritual. Does anyone have any suggestions for varient durations, taken from any supplement, which would serve to approximate this effect?
That is an infernal weapon if I ever saw one (well it can be dark fae no problem, but still). Ensures bloodshed and suffering for everybody. Forsaken duration. If the wound-maker does not repent about causing the wound and goes to church to attune for his sins, the wound will be unable to heal. IIRC Forsaken is not ritual.
The obvious choice is some sort of PeCo with a duration - as these wounds wound then be prevented from healing until the end of said duration.
However, the duration is tricky, so it really depends if you want to do it
via purely hermetic magic
allow mystery virtues
it just has to be Ars Magica, never mind hermetic!
Clearly 1) is the hardest, so we'll start with 3)
inspired the following, using Vitkar runes. Not what we're looking for but still nasty:
I'm sure there are faerie tricks to do this, but I'm less than familiar with RoP: F to tell the truth.
I'm still looking for a good mystery virtue to truely solve this, however I have tried abusing the Merinita Illusion Mysteries, HoH: MC, p. 100 ff.
Unfortunatly I can't get the exact effect I want.
What I really wanted was to use Might duration from the Perpetuity mystery (Hoh: MC p. 102), but that requires a ritual and as such is not allowable.
Unfortunatly leaves only brute force approaches.
Cause a wound with R: Arcane, D: Constant effect (namely Sun, multiple uses per day, external trigger)
I indicate multple uses because several wounds may need to be re-opened.
Blood is an AC lasting for years, so if we steal Harden the Eldritch Bond (MoH p. 32) we can keep those wounds open for a very long time - especially if we also have decreased decay rate of the AC, per the guidelines of MoH p. 113.
Actually keying it to the original wielder's death would require keeping track of his vital conditions, via InCo and probably an AC to him as well.
Probably done using the restriction that the effects only activate when the sword is wielded by someone whose blood is in the pommel or some such.
In general though, it seems to be more work than it's entirely worth to do Hermetically, so Faeries are probably your best bet.
And this is how a Botch in my Infernal lore/MT roll looks like :mrgreen:
An alternative might be a Hex. "Thou shall not get healthy until my posessor dies". An item able to cast hexes might be powerful.
This can be done with a bound demon or spirit in the sword, that maintains concentration for the duration of the AC (blood) that the sword "drinks". You suffer the wound *and a "wound cannot improve" PeCo effect at AC range, concentration duration, target individual
How about rather than making the inflicting of the wound the triggering action, make sunrise and sunset the triggering actions. Make the perdo corpus spell a spell that prevents the wound from healing at range arcane connection, duration sun and give the sword unlimited uses per day. The sword is an arcane connection to the wounds that it causes, so while the sword is functional and still an arcane connection it will continue to cast the spell every sunrise and sunset on all of the wounds that it has inflicted.
You then enchant another effect into the sword, a creo vim spell of constant duration to drastically decrease the rate at which the arcane connections of the sword decay perhaps with a target group with size modifier to cover all of the arcane connections that the sword has to wounds (the creo vim guidelines are in magi of hermes, but they're just the perdo vim guidelines for making a connection decay turned around. They're harder because they need to have a duration longer than momentary to matter)
Your sword can keep wounds from healing for decades.
A quick note. If I recall correctly, Ars Magica wounds are nastier than Pendragon ones (recovery rolls and all that). If you prevent a wound from healing, you have to decide whether you also want to magically prevent it from worsening. If you do not, the target will keep having to make recovery rolls whenever he exerts himself, and even if it's a minor wound to start with it will eventually fester and kill him. But if you do want to prevent the wounds from worsening, then there's a Creo Corpus Base 3 effect in the Core book (the one used in the Bind Wounds spell) that prevents wounds from either improving or worsening for the duration. It affects all the target's wounds, but bringing target to Part target would affect only those wounds inflicted by the sword.
I find it more worrying that I (and a lot of others around here, including you since you know about Forsaken duration) have infernal lore, but hey. Now, as long as we only do minor stuff like selling souls and desecrating relics we should be fine.
@ezzelino: yep, as written in Erik's post, the wounds can get worse. They cannot improve, but there is nothing preventing them to get worse.
I would not allow a sword to be an arcane connection to the wounds it causes (though the wounds may well be an hours-long arcane connection to the sword, as per Image of the Beast).
Even if it were, at the very least I would assume that new wounds would erase connection to old wounds ("Arcane connections must be stored carefully, or else they become links to different people or places" -- Corebook p.84) and any Creo Vim spell that prevented it would prevent the acquisition of new connections.
Finally, I was pretty sure that nothing could be an Arcane connection to two different targets. Otherwise, how can you differentiate when casting at Arcane Connection range? But I no longer seem to find the relevant passage to quote.
If I were to introduce this item as an Hermetic Item, I'd say it's a Lesser Enchanted Item obtained through experimentation, and where the duration "until the wound-maker dies" was originally meant as Concentration + Item maintains concentration, Modified as a result of experimentation. The sword wielder no longer has to concentrate every sunrise and sunset (or even have the sword) to maintain the effect indefinitely, but instead the effect is tied to his own life (which is handy, but provides a huge incentive for others to kill him).
Yeah, that is actually my intent. For my purposes, the sword is a mcguffin...
I'm planning an adventure where a wounded knight shows up that the character's doorstep seeking shelter and a place to recover. They will discover a) that he is on an important quest and b) that his wounds won't heal. If he continues on his quest, his wounds will plainly fester and eventually kill him. The knights rival, armed with this sword, will arrive shortly after to finish him off. The characters will be left with finding a way to lift the curse and save the wounded knight (not so easy since none of them are actually magi).
I want to figure out how the sword works, since there is the very real possibility the characters will end up with it. Most them know better then to just go "ooo, magic sword" but still...
You're right on this. I didn't think through it clearly. The wound is a creation of the sword and thus connected to it but I don't see as strong a justification for a connection the other way. (my memories of image of the beast weren't as sharp as they should have been.)
You could add a third effect to the sword that uses Rego Corpus or Rego Aquam to move a bit of blood from the target to the hilt of the sword as store it there (perhaps in a tiny (50 microliter or so) hollow in a golden or glass bead).
You then use the creo vim and perdo corpus effects on/with the stored sample of blood as before.
Not a problem here. No Aegis, no covenant... all my PCs are companion level characters. It's a non-standard saga but proving to be quite fun. (I'm trying to figure out how to design "companion-level magi" as suggested in some of my prior threads... but that's a completely different topic.)
If you only care about the "wounds don't heal" part, and not about the "until the wound maker dies", an easy way out is to model the "wounds don't heal part" as a disease -- an imbalance of the humours that prevents the wound from healing. Starting the disease is magical, but it stays non-magical afterwards (see Curse of the Leprous Flesh), so Momentary duration is sufficient. The final effect would be PeCo 35 (Base 20,+1magnitude Touch,+10levels Unlimited uses). I think that's quite in line with the notion of "poisoned steel".