Looking for ideas and advice for a Mystery Cult centred in magical creatures


We start reading about The Mysteries with my players and a lot of solicitudes are made with the start of a new spin-off Saga.

For the most part, I don't have problem devicing and writing certain things to the Mystery Cults present in the text. But one of my players made a request I have interest but not the mechanical imagination.

He wants a Mystery Cult center around the idea of Magical Creatures as friends and some interest in familiars. All to have this end goal of having a familiar dragon or phoenix.

I have some ideas, maybe the Soqotra elimination of familiar Might and some spiritual form of pact for the end of the mystery tree. But I don't have to much for the start and the middle. And even less ideas for the structure and philosophy of the Cult.

I still like the idea, and is less than a day from that request so I still got plenty of time (like three weeks or so). But asking for advice never hurt, and here I am.

Sorry if the english is not perfect, spanish speaker here.

Where in Mythic Europe is your game located?

Still selecting, but the grand majority is going to Provencal.

Two basic possible initiations from HoH:MC (Merinita chapter) would be Inoffensive to Magical Beings and, then, Alluring to Magical Beings.

If “upgrading” familiars is something they want giving the cult access to a guideline for amicable separation might be a good idea. Perhaps a side benefit of the cult specific thing built around the Soqotran integration. As a disenchant-like spell it would likely need to be a ritual and doesn’t seem to add too much of a power boost.

Another option would be a virtue that could be initiated more than once each time allowing the magus to take another familiar.

If the Soqotran integration is the epitome of the cult’s secret they are likely to want a familiar before they get there and sacrifice of a familiar in the sense of death does not fit how I think a cult like this would behave as I don’t imagine the powerful familiars are primarily a means to power but moving towards some step on a path towards enlightenment/perfection/etc.

Something designed more like the Inner Heartbeast mystery of Bjornaer where you can change your familiar in some of the same ways might be a good option.

Good ordeals might have to do with becoming more like their familiar(s). Take on personality flaws, physical features, etc.


Inoffensive to Magical Beings and Alluring to Magical Beings are great ideas for initiations, as is the Bjornaer spinoff.

I think a Major Magical Focus in Familiar may be an alternative to grafting the soqotran idea, which would allow for powerful familiars without completely ignoring might. I wouldn't recommend both, unless you want a junior magi riding Stellatus.

For a cult less centered on familiars, but still centered on magical creatures, other virtues like Master of (Form) Creatures, Animal Ken, an appropriate Nature Lore, Magical Mount, Magical Blood.

For a cult in Provence centered on magical creatures, this may be of interest: https://abookofcreatures.com/tag/french-folklore/

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Master of (Form) Creatures is useless for magi as they can train creatures using their arts already (rules in RoP:M p81) but if the cult includes folks who are not hermetic magi it may be useful if it offers it.

I have had a similar idea, while creating a Verditius fraternity centred around their mystery of Binding Magical creatures. Start off with universally useful things like "Inoffensive to Animals" or "Animal Ken", move to things like "Puissant/Affinity with Animal", Verditius would include "Items of Quality" (because the bonuses for saddles & whips of quality is great), and move up to "Bind Magical Creatures". Have a range of random mystery scripts for magical foci left behind by magi of the past. Among the more obvious ones like "wolves" or "birds of prey" leave clues to where one for "Beast of Legend" (like the one Birna's bloodline gets) is hidden, or allow them to find a script for the major focus of "Birds" (which includes phoenix) or "Reptiles"(which includes dragons).

Looking at other mysteries to lift from, Nature Lore (in Merinita) allows "Animals" as a choice. The virtue "Binding the Gift" adds extra powers to familiar bonds, so is great inspiration for a minor virtue to enhance having familiars.

Normally you can't create a lab text for familiar bonds except for the specific magus and that one creature (useless unless you're a Merinita trying to rebind the same faerie). What if your cult has a mystery that allows them to share familiar texts as long as the familiars are close enough?

The virtues from the Ex Miscellanea offer a couple of possibilities - would "Summon Animals" be any use? Also, the "Sanguine Humour's blessing" from the Cult of Orpheus would allow you bonuses to dealing with animals if your Story flaw is "Animal Companion" or "Magical Animal Companion"

The Soqotran idea is nice, but remember - the Soqotran magi don't really bind magical creatures as familiars. The magical creatures, under the rule of their serpent king, choose Gifted humans to mentor and teach them spells. A Hermetic magus binds powers into the familiar bond to give more powers, but a Soqotran magus relies on their creature teaching them. The Soqotrans are the familiars.

there's a Diedne one that I wrote with a friend in Sub Rosa #13 which is focused on Magical Beasts, and has links in Provence.