Library Discussion

OK, so what do we want in the library?


How many build points do we get to spend each? (if any) How many of those are for books our characters already know?

What? Books our characters already know? Yes, look around the room you are in: How many percent of the books there have already been read and are only used for looking stuff up (or decoration)?

Here's my suggestion:

  • We each buy a book that our character already knows. Other characters can benefit from them (including apprentices).
    For Aetos: Winged creatures (Animal summa high level medium quality)
  • we can then buy some stuff the character wants: For Aetos: Herbam and Auram, Area Lore books, and regional magic lore books, Animal tractatus.

Some of the characters it makes more sense than others for them to be bringing things with them from their previous covenant. Gregorius is fresh from his apprenticeship (although might have been gifted with something minor from his pater, I suppose), and Gorianus has been an itinerant hedge wizard, so neither is very likely to have a library of any size.

Is the idea for the library that we have a very basic library, and then people bring along books they're interested in personally to add to it, or is the entire library to be built up from covenant members' contributions?

What about magical items and lab texts?

Are there any special restrictions on books on the Parma (particularly considering we're going into a region where another covenant has mysteriously disappeared and the Order doesn't know much about the local magical traditions).

Are books on the local Area Lore likely to actually exist?

Are the restrictions on starting books the same as is normal, i.e. Art Summa Level Limit 20, Quality min( 11 + (20 - level), 22), Ability Summa Level Limit 8, Quality min(11 + 3 x (8 - level), 22), Tractatus Quality Limit 11?

Viola has these three books:

Viator of Merinita, The Long, Meandering Path. Summa on Merinita Lore (L3, Q11) and Self-initiation script for Arcadian Travel (Ease 18, Bonus +14)

Initiation Script for Animae Magic (Ease 21, Bonus +11)

Initiation Script for Potent Spontaneous Magic (Ease 21, Bonus +12)

None of those should really be placed in the library, though, since they all have scripts for Inner Mysteries. Maybe I could say she had a book from Andorra Covenant copied. Of the three books she studied there, the one she used most often was a Summa on Magic Theory, but at L9, Q16 (with a Q14 Commentary also included), it's a wee bit much, and Andorra probably wouldn't have allowed it to be copied. I can't imagine the Faerie Magic/Faerie Lore Summa (you have to divide the XP's between the two Abilities) being of much general interest, and she doesn't have enough personal interest in Corpus to have brought that book with her. Is there some other way I could come up with a book?


Just a note - from what I've read intiation scripts are not book length. They are characterised as being more like rituals themselves, just not rituals that conform to Hermetic magic. In the study of genuine occult, which I am lucky enough to have done as a few anthropolgy electives, an intiation rite is just a complicated spell or rite and they usually aren't even written down if one takes the entire swath of human cultures into account. Atlas book wise, In various places the mystery cult lore itself is said to be made up of the various tidbits including scripts (for example, in TMRE the definition states they are documents pg. 7, repeated descibtion of intiation scripts as (discrete) intiation rites on pg. 11, repeats of this sort of language all through the Mystery Cults, the Hedgies book when it describes what mystery cult lore is, etc.). These sorts of ideas are also imortant to the conception of how mystery cult lore changes, schisms develop, etc. that is discussed as the specific rites/scripts are described as fine points around which the content of the cult lore can vary.

"Document" is also, IIRC, an approximate measure in Ars ... at least under the Art of Memory and memory spells material.

Of course, this isn't a huge point - its all just flavour text ... but it means Viola needent devote three books to three scripts. Maybe one book of the lore containing three scripts. Or the bunch of scripts could be a folio - as lab notes tend to be portrayed.

Again - purely a flavour thing with no bearing on mechanics ... but it does mean room for more books in cases like Viola's :slight_smile:

Oh, I don't know that they'd have made much difference anyway--they're Viola's personal property, and not something you'd put in a library.


Its not a big thing ... its just that one of Flavius eventual goals is to have a collection of various intiaation scripts. Its the style of binding them into folios ... and also just me wanting to avoid confusion over what scripts are in an RP sense. Does make some difference in the RP of going and uncovering them ... scripts as documents can be engraved on tomb walls, etc. where whole books not so much.

Pursely style, non-mechanical stuff.

Aetos books:
Winged Creatures by unknown (L15Q8) THE Summa on Animal

A collection of Tracatatus by his parens (incomplete, she'd love to get the missing one)
Sanguine Beasts Q11
Choleric Beasts Q11
Phlegmatic Beasts Q11

Magic Animals by Gyrgos the Familiar (L6Q8): Summa on Magic Lore(animal specialty is automatically acquired by the reader), an excellent book, but much too detailed.

The Travels of Igor Igorowich Q10 Tracatatus on Area Lore Ukraine

Herbal remedies by Hildegard ex Jerbiton Q13 A superb Tractatus on Herbam

Flavius' Personal Collection - Books circa Spring 1226:

Though he has had little time to read in the last few years, Favius has been making efforts to trade his old books for new reading in Hermetic circles. He has also been eyeing mundane volumes for a while, and he acquired a set of two books on gnostic topics in his recent travels. The first, by a Fransican Friar, is a fairly standard commentary on the common refutation of Gnostic Heresies. For those thinking along the lines of the Philosohers of Rome it has a double meaning - reading it from the perspective of the church is theologically interesting, but reading it in a heretically gnostic light reveals fascinating concepts applicable to the Phlospher's mysteries. He acquired both volumes from a Redcap who drank him under the table as they talked into the night about the old ways, the ancient glories, etc. ... the second volume is a refutation of the Friar's original argument ... even more interesting to a gnostic. Flavius looks forward to reading them when he gets the chance. It is through the analysis of texts such as this that the Philosphers glean their insights.

  • "As a Blade Slices: Negation of Mystic Protections" by Torrerus ex Tytalus - Summa on Penetration L4, Q10, Latin
  • "Practice Drill and Common Errors in Fine Manipulations" by Lyzandra ex Bjorner - Summa on Finesse L4, Q10, Latin
  • "On the Celestial Correspondences and Planetary Schema" by Balthazaar the Blue ex Flambeau - Tracatus on Magic Theory Q11, Latin
  • "Commentary on the Psuedo-Clemsntines" by Friar Albertus Lavalle - Tracatus on POR Lore Q6/ Tracatus on Theology: Christian Q9, Latin
  • "Refutation of Albertus on the Pseudo-Clementines" by Regulus Nigris ex Tytalus - Tracatus on POR Lore Q9/ Tracatus on Theology: Christian Q6, Latin
  • "Principles of Static-Compression Architecture" by Muhammed al-Jarebir - Summa on Craft: Architecture L4, Q12, Arabic*
  • The Koran (see RoP:tD)

*Flavius, being fluently literate in arabic and in Iberia has also started to note how different the Islamic and Christian worlds really are. In Christain lands, much knowledge is controlled - kept secret by guildsmen like the Masons. In the Islamic lands knowledge tends to flow more freely as commanded by the Koran and mundane books are so much more common, affordable, etc. ... but in Arabic, Greek, or Persian rather than Latin.

OK, this one ought to be useful. I'll say that Viola stopped by her old covenant of Haunted Springs and had a copy made:

Covenants of the Tribunal of Thebes (Poseidon of Guernicus), Tractatus on Order of Hermes Lore (Q8)


Scott, sorry, could I poke you for an answer to these points, especially the last one?

I've created some Primers for that part of the library gifted by the Tribunal. Not all of the summae are able to take you up to level 5 in one season due to the limit on the number of Roots of the Art in Covenants.

Let me know what people think?

Primers - 291bp

Creation, by Valerian Bonisagi. Creo 5 15 (20 bp)
Uncovering the Secrets of the World and Men, Flavius Guernici. Intellego 5 17 (22 bp)
Altering a Thing's Essential Nature. Idesta Merceris. Muto 5 14 (19 bp)
Destruction, by Valerian Bonisagi. Perdo 5 15 (20 bp)
Natural Control, by Hertha Tremendi. Rego 5 15 (20 bp)
Babbling Brooks, Amintah ex Miscellanea, Aquam 5 10 (15bp)
Beasts of the World, by Juvenalis Bonisagi. Animal 5 15 (20 bp)
The Fury of the Storm, by Adanos Tytali. Auram 5 12 (17 bp)
The Human Body, by Edwin ex Miscellanea. Corpus 5 17 (22 bp)
The Sapling From the Seed, Silvius Bonisagi. Herbam 5 11 (16 bp)
Fire, by Theokles Flambonis. Ignem 5 16 (21 bp)
Colours of the World, by Halycon Bjornaeris. Imaginem 5 14 (19 bp)
The Gift of God that Separates Man from Beast, Gordiana Jerbitonis. Mentem 5 15 (20bp)
Metals, by Hestia Verditii. Terram 5 13 (18 bp)
The Highest Form of Magic, by Cletis Bonisagi. Vim 6 16 (22 bp)

Sorry, I didn't realize there were questions waiting unanswered. I'm not sure I'd restrict the "gifted" library to just a basic one. One thing we can do, though, is to fill out the advanced works based on the requests of the member magi, especially Portia.

Yes, you can lab texts, though I can't imagine that more than a few of those would be of enough general utility enough to be worth including.

Area Lore texts would probably at best cover the whole Engine, though there might be a tractatus or two by a traveler.

I think the Tribunal would be insane not to include some good Parma texts, since they're sending you into a place where a previous covenant lasted only three years before falling to an attack.

Otherwise, he's, use the normal limits, though the donated nature of the library would probably bias things downward a bit (you get other people's cast-offs in at least a few cases).


Well, given that we have no apprentices and few junior magi, why exactly would we need these?


I think, to a large extent, with the covenant supplied by contributions etc. it is inevitable that common heremtic books would find there way into the mix. These sort of primers are low value books, the perfect sort of thing for covenants to 'puff up' donations to look good.


I'd been working chiefly off Arthur's previous list of suggestions for what to put in the library:

That was meant to partially cover the first point. Admittedly at the point Arthur posted we had more junior magi - going back and looking at people's magi sheet, it looks as though it's only Aetos and Gregorius who would benefit from them now (although that is still half the covenant).

Now that I'm finally finishing, here are the lab texts Tasia has used. I figure a bunch of them were available were she was. I'll probably say about a third of them are copies she acquired and will bring with her. I marked the most likely ones she'll be bringing with asterisks. She also has a bunch of lab texts from her own work that she hasn't translated, though many of those will be relatively useless to everyone else.

Dead Man's Eyes [InCo(Im)15] <- from the spells wiki
The Whole from the Part [InCo20]
Seven-League Stride [ReCo30]

  • Leap of Homecoming [ReCo35]
    The Discerning Eye [InIm40]
    Catching the Eye [CrMe15]
  • The Good Witness [CrMe25]
  • Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie [InMe20]
    Posing the Silent Question [InMe20]

Have we figured out some point value to use? Perhaps one associated with years past gauntlet would be handy? I think breaking it down into two numbers, one being for lab texts, would be good. Perhaps 10 levels of translated lab texts per year out of gauntlet (at least half of which are known, if not more like 3/4) and 5 points used and 5 points unused of other books per year out of gauntlet? I think some sort of guideline like that would be helpful.


Okay, I just wasn't sure of the relative value the tribunal would place on the safety of the magi compared to the risk of losing a book on the Parma to a force with a history of attacking covenants.

If we're worried about an attack, they'll probably send us along with a lab text for a good Aegis of the Hearth or with a casting tablet. Does anyone know Aegis of the Hearth?


Portia has a 8th magnitude AotH, so we're fairly well covered there. I don't think anyone else knows it, but that's off the top of my head only. Admittedly, Portia's version does cause the area underneath it to glow red at night, which might not be considered to be ideal; still, maybe they don't associate glowing red with the fires of hell locally.