In response to Xavi's recent post on using existing hedge traditions to represent the various pre-Hermetic magics practiced by the Order's founders, I thought it might be a fun project to collaboratively design our very own Hedge Magic tradition here on the Atlas Forum!
Having never designed a tradition before, I'm not actually sure where to start, but it would seem like the best place to begin would be with a brainstorming session to acquire a list of the various characteristics we'd like to see expressed in our finished tradition. The main reason I selected a known tradition (The Cult of Mercury) is so that we have plenty of pre-existing details to use while fleshing out the tradition's crunch and fluff respectively.
So without further ado, let's plot out what we already know about the Cult of Mercury and its powers based on what exists in published Ars Magica 5E supplements:
- They were individually weak and apparently incapable of spontaneous magic at all.
- They were capable of conducting great rituals requiring many participants and prodigous quantities of Vis.
- They absorbed the Cults of other classical deities, bringing their magic under its own Aegis.
- They apparently had very weak Enchantment abilities outside the Cult of Vulcan.
- They invented 'Wizard's Communion' and a number of other Hermetic spells such as 'Hermes' Portal'.
- They were at least nominally led by the Roman Emperor.
- They may have improved their magic primarily through a process similar to Spell Mastery.
- They possessed 38 Great Rituals though what these were and how they differed from their regular rituals is not known.
- They conducted magics in the Hercynian forest that are still functional as of 1220.
- Their magic system had been fragmented by Bonisagus' time and thus it was not integrated into Hermetic theory.
- Elements of their magic live on, however, among the Neo-Mercurian mystery cult founded by Mercere's first primus.
- They are believed to have possessed great divinatory abilities.
Well, that's about all I can remember reading about them, but I look forward to reading what the rest of you post!
Anyway, once we get enough posts, we can proceed to Step 2 which I envision as discussing the fluff and how we want that to relate to the tradition's background, organization, etc.