Japik Dolfinus ex Bjornaer

Japik was born in 1187 in a small fishing village on the Frisian island of Baltrum. He was raised early to follow in his father's footsteps as fisherman, like most of the boys on the island. He loved the sea and often jumped into the water when they were far out on deep waters with the fishing boats. When he was about six years old something changed and people thought he started acting strangely. He loved pranks and making fun of people but they no longer thought it was funny. Even his parents and two brothers thought he was going too far and got annoyed with him. He wasn't allowed to join the main fishing trips, but his father took him on his own once in a while since he knew how much his son loved the sea. Otherwise the boy kept to himself more and more.

One day when he was eight and he had swum over to a small islet from the main island a heron approched him. He had found that animals usually were more friendly to him than people the last few years, but that was mostly domesticated animals. Suddenly the bird changed into a woman. Young Japik was paralysed and didn't make any objections when she started examining him. She told him her name was Ardea and that she would teach him how to control his gift if he met her on the same place on the next fullmoon. She also told him that they would have to travel and that he would probably not see his family in a long time.

So it was that he left his family. He cried when he left only taking a knife that he had got from his father with him. He met with Ardea and they travelled inland to Fengheld where he started his apprenticeship. He never liked the hilltop covenant and missed the sea and fresh fish everyday. So did Ardea but she kept saying that they would get back to the sea one day. It happened in 1203 when they went to Crintera to attend the Gathering of Twelve Years and that was also when Japik was initiated. The resulting Heartbeast came as a surprise to some since he had shown big problems controlling Aquam magic, but those who knew the optimistic ever cheerful prankster well didn't think it was that odd.

After the Gathering Ardea and Japik went west along the Baltic coast and found a small magic aura in a cove with a Creo vis source that Ardea had recieved permission from Crintera to use and guard for a limited time. There they finished Japik's apprenticeship. During the six years he spent there he rescued five sailors from drowning. They all felt dutybound to Japik and decided to stay and help him, one of them becoming his shield grog. He also found a half-wrecked and empty knarr after a storm on a beach which his sailors made sailable again.
He also befriended a magical otter in the cove and when it was time for Japik to leave the young animal joined him.

Japik's mater Ardea told him that she would leave Rhine and go east to Novgorod where she originally came from. She offered him to join her but he wanted to go back to Frisia to look for his own roots again. They parted ways and wished each other well. Japik swam while his six companions sailed the knarr named Baltrum after his home island. The first stop was Lübeck as the ship needed better repair before they went out to harsher sea conditions. Meanwhile Japik visited Oculus Septentrionalis and met a newly-Gauntleted Ex Mischellanea there, Prochorus. Japik told him about his plans to sail to Frisia and invited him to join with his shield grog and servant. Before they had made any morte detailed plans a redcap named Bernhard approached them in a tavern and told them about a prospect that may involve setting up a new covenant. It was too intriguing for the young magi not to accept the invitation to meet him in the city of Anvers in a couple of weeks.

They finished their business in Lübeck, getting the ship ready and transferred some vis into supplies that may be hard to get elsewhere. Before approaching Anvers in Flanders they stopped at Japik's home village on Baltrum but the sights they met were only disaster and sorrow to him. The village was plundered and burnt and no inhabitants remained. They found a few people hiding in a small copse further inland on the island and managed to get some information from them that they had been attacked by pirates and there had been some grotesque men among them. The symbols some of them wore also made Japik's suspicions stronger. That the Waddenzee covenant were the perpetrators.
With a burning hatred starting to grow in his heart they set sail for Anvers.

Japik is quite tall (about 6'0) but thin, some might say lanky. He has blonde shoulderlength hair that rarely gets any attention. Facial hair is non-existent. He has bluegreen eyes that sparkles with energy. He usually wears simple clothes, leather leggings and a woolen or linen tunic depending on weather and temperature.

Int +2, Per +1, Pre -2, Com +1, Str 0, Sta +4, Dex 0, Qik -1

Age: 23 (23)
Size: 0
Confidence: 1 (3)
Decrepitude: 0
Warping: 0 (1)

Personality traits: Positive +3, Prankster +2, Careless +1

Hermetic Magus, The Gift, Heartbeast (free)
Ways of the Sea (major general), Subtle Magic (minor hermetic), Quiet Magic x2 (minor hermetic), Affinity with Imaginem (minor hermetic), Puissant Creo (minor hermetic), Great Stamina (minor general), Inoffensive to Animals (minor hermetic)

Waster of Vis (major hermetic), Optimistic (major personality), Deficient Aquam (minor hermetic), Hatred (minor personality), Weak Enchanter (minor hermetic), Visions* (minor story)

Area Lore: Saxony 2[4] (Frisia), Artes Liberales 1 (astronomy), Athletics 1 (grace), Awareness 2[2] (alertness), Bjornaer Lore 1 (legends), Brawl 2 (dodge), Concentration 2 (while spellcasting), Finesse 1 (imaginem), Heartbeast 3[2] (change to dolphin form), Latin 4 (hermetic usage), Low German 5 (Friesian), Magic Theory 3[2] (animal), Parma Magica 1 (mentem), Penetration 1 (imaginem), Profession: Fisherman 2 (finding fish pods), Stealth 2[2] (natural areas), Survival 1[2] (coastal regions), Swim 1[5] (diving)

Creo 5+3, Muto 5[2], Perdo 4, Rego 4
Animal 5, Imaginem 9[2], Terram* 4[1], Vim 3[3]

Phantasm of the Human Form CrIm25 (+21)

Veil of Invisibility PeIm20 (+17)

Wizard's Sidestep ReIm10 (+17)

Beast of the Outlandish Size MuAn15 (+14)

The Earth's Carbunkle* ReTe15 (+12)

Eyes of the Cat MuCo5 (+10)

Unseen Arm* ReTe5 (+12)

Clothe the Naked Form CrHe10 (+12)
Creates a linen garment. (I copied this from Xavi's character as I think it's quite essential for a Bjornaer magus, perhaps more so for an aquatic one as I must be in human form on land but travelling along a coast may be in dolphin form.)
(B3, +1 touch, +2 sun)

The Voice of the Bjornaer Magus MuAn15 (+14)
Allows the caster to speak with a human voice when shapechanged into an animal. Must be cast in animal form. (From HH:MC p36)
R:Per, D:Sun, T: Ind
(B5, +2 Sun)

Japik's spells almost always have a distant laughter attached to it at the end of the duration. Sometimes in less discreet spells it may came at the start of the effect.

Voting sigil
A feather from his mater Ardea's Heartbeast form that was giving to him ritually when he finished his apprenticeship.

Combat stats
Dodge: Init: -1, Defense +2
Fist: Init: -1, Attack +2, Defense +1, Damage 0
Kick: Init: -2, Attack +2, Defense 0, Damage +3
Soak: +4
Fatigue levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-5), -3 (6-10), -5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20), Dead (21+)

1209 Autumn: 2 xp each in Awareness, Heartbeast, Stealth, Survival and Muto from adventure. (Pre-saga)
1209 Winter: 11 xp in Terram. Studying at Oculus Septentrionalis from Q11 summa. (Pre-saga)
1210 Spring: 4 xp in Area Lore: Saxony from Exposure while traveling. (Pre-saga)
1210 Summer: 5 xp in Swim from The Sunken Sailor, 2xp in Imaginem from The Wayward Inn.
1210 Autumn: 2 xp Exposure in Magic Theory from setting up lab.
1210 Winter: 9 xp Studying Vim summa.

[size=85]*Changes made after the start of the saga to make the character a bit more useful without changing his general focus. Mentem swapped for Terram, Magical Animal Companion swapped for Visions, Footsteps of Slippery Oil and Doublet of Impenetrable Silk swapped for Unseen Arm and The Earth's Carbunkle.[/size]

Japik Dolfinus in Heartbeast Dolphin form

Characteristics: Int +2, Per -1, Pre -2, Com +1, Str +3, Sta +4, Dex 0, Qik +3
Size: +1

Virtues: Long-Winded
Flaws: Compulsion (help drowning humans)

Qualities: Aquatic (don't breathe water), Crafty, Imposing Appearence, Keen Vision, Pursuit Predator, Slippery, Tough Hide, Vocal

Abilities: Athletics 3 (leaping), Awareness 2 (sharks), Brawl 2 (teeth), Hunt 4 (prey), Music 3 (underwater song), Survival 3 (sea), Swim 5 (long distances)

Natural Weapons: Teeth (rarely used in combat) Init 0, Atk +3, Def +1, Dam +1; Ramming* Init +1, Atk +4, Def +2, Dam +3.
*Must make a Fatigue roll against an Ease Factor of 9 to avoid losing a Fatigue Level (Long-Winded virtue applies).


  • Teeth: Init +3, Atk +6, Def +7, Dam +4
  • Ramming: Init +4, Atk +6, Def +7, Dam +6
  • Grapple: Init +3, Attack n/a, Defense +11, Damage n/a

Soak: +7
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0/0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-6), -3 (7-12), -5 (13-18), Incapacitated (19-24), Dead (25+)

Mundane Dolphin

Characteristics: Cun 0, Per -2, Str +3, Sta +3, Pre 0, Com 0, Dex 0, Qik +4
Size: +1 (individuals can vary from 0 to +2)

Virtues and Flaws: Long-Winded, Ferocity (sharks), Compulsion (help drowning humans)
Qualities: Aquatic (don't breathe water), Crafty, Extra Natural Weapons, Imposing Appearence, Keen Vision, Pursuit Predator, Slippery, Tough Hide, Vocal

Abilities: Athletics 3 (leaping), Awareness 2 (sharks), Brawl 2 (teeth), Hunt 4 (fish), Music 3 (underwater song), Survival 3 (sea), Swim 5 (long distances)
Natural Weapons: Teeth (rarely used in combat) Init 0, Atk +3, Def +1, Dam +1; Ramming* Init +1, Atk +4, Def +2, Dam +3.
*Must make a Fatigue roll against an Ease Factor of 9 to avoid losing a Fatigue Level (Long-Winded virtue applies).


  • Teeth: Init +4, Atk +6, Def +8, Dam +4
  • Ramming: Init +5, Atk +6, Def +8, Dam +6

Soak: +5
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0/0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-6), -3 (7-12), -5 (13-18), Incapacitated (19-24), Dead (25+)

Here, for your animal companion: List of fish of the North Sea
Look under Selachimorpha for shark, 24 species are listed.

This is actually a General virtue, not an Hermetic one.

Am I the only one who find it strange that a magus with a dolphin heartbeast would have a shark as a friend? They are usually deadly enemies and of totally different temperament...

Rhine Tribunal is a bit big as an Aera Lore, as it covers many distinct regions. In general, that increase the ease factor for determining any specific knowledge. If this is about mundane information, I suggest that you reduce the scope of the Lore to a smaller area. Or at least don't use the name of an Hermetic region -- that would be more appropriate as a specialty for Order of Hermes Lore.

The correct spelling for the language specialty is "Friesian".

Just a thought, instead of an otter heartbeast, perhaps you mater could have been a heron? Then perhaps use the otter for your animal friend -- a much better match personality-wise. Just a thought, it's your choice.

I also fins a shark weird as an animal companion. What about a second dolphin? Maybe you can make it a magical animal companion and give him some powers, if you find it that a mundane dolphin is not good enough.

Quercus also has Rhine tribunal area lore. He has travelled around there as a peregrinator, so I find it natural for him to have that area lore, even if it is a fairly wide one. I can change it, but for peregrinatores it should be fairly common, don't you think?

Otters, at least European otters, are river animals, not sea animals; it would be miserable on Heligoland. And the sharks that live in the North Sea are deep sea species, they don't normally come near the coasts.
How about a seal ? Plenty of those, and it might make for good stories what with sealing being an important source of money on Heligoland. Or a dolphin, that would make plenty of sense. If you go for Magical Animal Companion, you could even use a narwhal (there are still unknown to the inhabitants of Mythic Europe, hence the Magical part).

I slipped when I copy/pasted here. Of course it is a general virtue.

Shark came up as a very loose idea when I went through possible options and then I was also thinking shield grog/shark, but I see your point so I will go with your alternative below.

Changed these. Rhine Tribunal became Saxony.

My thought with the mater as an otter was that she would have to be pretty strong in Imaginem as well and with a similar mindset as Dolfaer and then I thought otters feel quite lively and prankish too, but I liked your proposal so I changed the background story and renamed her Arda since Lutera was taken from the latin name for a European otter.
I might upgrade the Animal Companion to Magical Animal Companion if you will allow. They met in the magical cove where I spent the last part of the apprenticeship so there are reasons for him to have some magic influences.

I have added spells, personality traits, sigils and some other minor stuff to the first post as well.

I'm still pondering over how I may have found out that Waddenzee is guilty of the plundering and burning of my home village. I'm weak in Intellego and have no spells or abilites to ask either people or animals in the area for answers. I was looking at Wits character though and he has some Mentem spells and are a bit better at interacting with people even if he lack Gentle Gift. So my idea and question is if we could have met up somewhere along the way from the Baltic coast to Frisia and then he helped me find out at least some clues or strong suspicions that it may have been Waddenzee that is responsible for the death of my family. I will probably have heard something about Waddenzee from my mater as well and it is very likely that it was not much good either so the Hatred has built from there.

Seal is good. I thought about seal for a long time for my own Heartbeast before I decided on dolphin. I think I will go with seal since there are seals in the Baltic Sea as well and that is where they met. Problem might be if seals from the Baltic Sea don't like the saltiness of the water in the North Sea...hmmm

Shark came up as a very loose idea when I went through possible options and then I was also thinking shield grog/shark, but I see your point so I will go with your alternative below.
Now that you say it, having your grog be a skinchanger able to turns into a shark would be AWESOME! :smiley: I really like that idea!

Or maybe your grog is a magical animal companion shark that can turn into human! He must favor a cleaver as a weapon :mrgreen:

Getting info on Waddenzee is easy: get a witness. They might have trashed the village, but a hidden child saw the attack or a shepherd was out and saw the ships leave as he was returning to the village. No need for magic on your part here. :slight_smile: Make sure they can recognize a pair of the assailants and their magic casting; you recognize them (good roll in your Order of Hermes roll) :slight_smile: They might talk to you if they see you mad enough to go after the assailants, even if they distrust you. or maybe you coaxed them by pure sheer brute presence (intimidation); here the Gift might even help.

According to Wikipedia: "European otters may also live along the coast, in salt water, but require regular access to fresh water to clean their fur. When living in the sea, individuals of this species are sometimes referred to as "sea otters", but they should not be confused with the true sea otter, a North American species much more strongly adapted to a marine existence."

There are numerous small streams on the island, so your animal would have access to fresh water. Although the streams are mostly limited to the Unterland, so he might not be with Bearlord's magus most of the time. But that would be true of a seal as well, and the seal has the additional problem that it is hunted by man. So if the idea is to have the animal be a regular companion to the magus, perhaps a bird might be best.

I don't have a problem with that, it will simply generate different stories. Note that a magical animal companion will be fairly weak (Might 3-5). I will come up with some stats and power once you have finalized your decision (although suggestion will be considered).

I will look them over momentarily.

A cool idea, but this might not suit this magus. There would still be that strange association of a shark and a dolphin -- deadly enemies.

Not the most useful spells and a bit redundant to have both, but no problem there. :slight_smile:

You can spont this easily, usually in a non-stress situation. Why not allocate those spell levels to something that is hard for your magus to do? There are plenty of useful level 5 spells in the core book.

Note that this requires penetration if your target has some magic resistance, because the Target is the individual.

No problem. As I wrote then, this would be a fairly common spell amongst shapechangers.

Although having two magi with the same spell means one less spell that your magi can scribe and add to the library. That's an out-of-character consideration, but as this will be a low-resource saga, it's something to keep in mind.

Although useful for communication, your magus doesn't need it to work magic. So that reduces its usefulness. It's also from HoH:MC, so not the core book, although it uses a guideline from the core book. So I will allow it, but House Bjornaer probably frowns on sharing this spell with non-Bjornaer.

A skinchanger is not the animal type. Its link with the animal is much more limited than that of a shapeshifter, I would say. They are related to the animal they turn on, but not as strongly.

In any case having a grog saying "stay away from my food" to a villain that wants to approach the magus sounds cool :mrgreen:

If you are stronger in Animal, there is the same spell for Animal products; it would create a wool garment instead of a linen one, but it would be identical apart from that.


I think they can be quite fun and useful and the reason i took both was mainly because I couldn't decide if I wanted to go with the human or the animal form, but it might be a bit of a waste to put 45 levels in these even if it is my strongest combination. I could invent them rather easily as soon as we have labs up and running.

This I took only for its potential to use in pranks, but it's true that I can spont it easily and it will rarely be used in stressful situations.

It might take a while until this will be very useful vs. other magi but I still think it's cool and I wanted a Perdo spell. :smiley:
I had Veil of Invisibility on the master list as well but it was cut because it didn't fit my general concept as much. It might be more useful though.

I was looking at the guidelines to make a clothing spell based on Animal instead of Herbam but it seems the base level to create an animal product is much higher than it's plant equivalent, starting at B5 and then +2 to make it a processed woolen tunic for example, adding Sun duration and Touch range makes it level 30 which is out of my league. Am I missing something?

Bjornaer is not too fond of Shapeshifters and Skinchangers in general so I guess we will have some internal tensions on that topic no matter what. I took this mainly because it's cool to be able to talk in animal form not that I really need it for game mechanics reasons. I had a version of the character where I only picked Subtle magic as a virtue and then took two levels of mastery in this spell for Quiet casting. But I decided to go for the full Quiet magic virtue package instead.

I will give the whole spell list some more thought then with your input. Thank you by the way it's very helpful.

I'm fine with this - I'm pretty sure my character would be useful and willing to help with that, if you think it would be tricky without magic.

A consideration, though, is the animosity between shapeshifters and and bjornaer that HoH:MC mentions. I doubt my Prochorus would care or know much about such things (although I'm not myself quite sure what is up with that animosity anyway - I might have not read the relevant parts), but it's something to consider anyway.

Indeed, but with Animal it is much more difficult. Base 5 (create an animal product), +2 for treated and processed, +1 Touch, +2 Sun = level 30.

Count it as more of a deep suspicion when this is between Hermetic magi. The feeling is much stronger when you are talking of non-hermetic shapeshifters.

But I'll leave the exact relationship between the individual magi up to the players.

House Bjornaer may frown at Dolfaer befriending an hermetic shapeshifter (particularly one from House Tytalus), but there will be few repercussions. If he shares House secrets, and it becomes known, now that would be different and put him into a lot of trouble (as in: deadly trouble).

Yes I like this idea too but it doesn't really fit with my character. He wouldn't take a skinchanger human as his shield grog. It will be enough trouble for him to live with a shapeshifter and a skinchanger as magi. :slight_smile:
And a shark is probably too much to take as a companion for a dolphin as has been pointed out. He will need a shield grog that is good at land-based stuff I think.

I guess it works either way with or without the company of Prochorus, but since they come the same way I thought it might be a convenient way to start bring them together. Dolfaer has the local knowledge and Prochorus is better at handling people adding to the fact that they have both just finsished their apprenticeship.

Regarding the Bjornaer vs. Shapeshifter conflict it is an ancient conflict since the days before Bjornaer joined the OoH. Shapeshifters are seen as enemies of the House and are very rarely taken as apprentices and if they do they might get killed before they are done. I guess my character will not be regarded very well if he bonds too tightly with the skinchanger and the shapeshifter we have here, however I'm planning to let him have a rather loose relation with his House. He is not belonging to a sept and has only had his mater as teacher apart from some random teachers of Latin and Artes Liberales at Fengheld. He is carefree and positive and unless Prochorus or Quercus are downright offensive or rude towards him he will not treat them badly. It might result in him getting a bad reputation within his house though...

Regarding the name of the character, why Dolfaer? In Latin, dolphin would be Dolphinus, while in German it would be Delphin or Delfin. So I'm wondering at the form you decided to use.

I also wonder if Bjornaer magi might have the habit of using composite name (John the Dolphin) or ones that have a qualifier (Quick Dolphin). After all, there might be more than one Bjornaer with a dolphin heartbeast. So if they all use the same name it's hard to tell them apart.

Just a thought.

Yes I was juggling with this yesterday. It is a mix of the latin form and Bjornaer. But now that i think about it Bjornaer might be a female form so it might not fit very well. It was easier to find a name for an otter or a heron based on the latin words for those.

Although using your heartbeast in your name is often done within House Bjornaer, it is by no mean mandatory. Some also use a more mundane name (even their pre-apprenticeship name). So Japik (or Japik Delplhinus) would be perfectly all right.