magic candy(?)

what sort of enchanted candy would magi make for there aprenti?

And here I thought it was only the Catholic clergy that enjoyed enticing the youngins with candy lol.

The real question is what apprentice would accept candy from a lecherous old magi?

try the aprentaces own teacher(s/he might be fond of the young'un in the same way his/her real parants were)
on a some-what related note here's a spell
conjure candy
requisites-creoherbam(most candy is made from sugar & most suger is made from plants)15
effect-you conjure abount 1 pond of candy into your pockets(I figure that this spell is mostly cast by apprenti)
target-indivigual/part(you decide!)
tell me what you think of this spell & any uses beyond satifing your sweet tooth there is for this spell.

hmm like the idea of sun duration, no permanent consequences from eating too much :wink:

Come on kiddies, all the sweets you can eat and none of those unwanted extra pounds!

Sugar cane was mostly unknown in medieval Europe. Beet sugar (also a Herbam target) was known, but the main sweetener was honey, which is an Animal product.

Well, for all that I dislike abe's suggestions, normally, it's an interesting exercise, so....

Conjuration of Sweets
Creo Herbam 20
This simple spell was designed by a Jerbiton magus, primarily for the benefit of his mundane niece and nephew, as he would cast this whenever he visited. The spell produces a handful of various candies and sweets, made mostly of plant sugars and with various fruit flavorings. An intelligence+finesse roll is required to determine the quality of the candies. With 6+, the candy is sufficiently sweet to be pleasant, though it lacks flavor. At 9+, it gains some flavor, and at 12+ it is roughly average as candy goes. Every 3 points beyond 12 gives the magus a non-magical bonus to Charm with anyone that accepts and eats the candy, due to its quality.
(base 1, +1 touch, +2 sun, +2 group, +1 treated, +1 processed)

As BoXer said, the Sun duration means that the candy is pretty much harmless.

Indeed, I thought something seemed off with using plant sugar. Honey would be more appropriate. That changes the base of the spell to 5, though, raising it to level 40. Much less practically useful, however. :frowning:

Lead Acetate ("Sugars of Lead") was known at the time, and is so-named for its sweet taste.

I'm not sure that there's any hard evidence for Lead Acetate having been used as a sweetener, but I have heard it said that the reason that many mediaeval nobles were barking mad is that they were suffering from heavy metal poisoning (though, if true, that may be because lead and mercury compounds were used to treat venereal diseases).

Sugars of Lead would be Terram, of course.

Indeed, quicksilver (mercury) was considered a curative for many ailments and can be found cited in writings going back to the ancient Greeks.

I have however come across some references that, contrary to the previous assertion above that sugar cane was unknown in medieval Europe, apparently it had in fact found its way to Europe (Sicily) as early as the mid 900's and was certainly brought back to Europe by many a Crusader.


Just so everyone who cares can correct any historic misconceptions for their own sagas as they choose. :wink:

I see from the Sugar History(article) that cane sugar was known as early as 95 BCE in the Levant as an imported product.

Cultivation of sugar reached Persia by 540, and when Arabs conquered Persia in 641 they took the secrets with them. Some time in the 800s they started cultivating it on Sicily. By 965 they fully controlled Sicily, and established laws strongly encouraging sugar cultivation.

Crusaders in 1097 encountered and regarded it as a useful novelty.

It was familiar enough to King Richard I that it was in the inventory of supplies for his part in a crusade in 1192.

In the 1220s, Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, was aware of its cultivation on Sicily and encouraged it.

In 1226 England, Henry III had trouble finding three pounds of sugar, but by 1259 it was a commodity item -- expensive, but routinely available to people who could afford it. In 1264 sugar cost slightly more than cassia (a cinnamon species that produces an inferior grade of the spice).

So, by the Ars Magica standard era of 1220, sugar cane was cultivated on Sicily, in Persia, and probably other hospitable lands under Arab control. It was uncommon enough in England at that time that a king had trouble finding it -- but known and attractive enough that a king took an interest in finding it. By 1260, it was a costly but routine trade product in England.

As this would apply to 1220 magi, if they're in northern Europe, they're probably familiar with sugar as a rare luxury product if they apprenticed in a covenant of mundane wealth. If they're near the Mediterranean, they'll probably know it as a commonplace luxury product. If they're on Palermo, it's probably routine and fairly cheap. If they're Redcaps, they probably transport it themselves when their bags aren't full of stuff like vis, Hermetic texts, and rare magical products.

So, as for the spell design, it's actually a reasonable idea. When meeting on friendly terms with nobles, magi (Jerbiton presumably) might offer gifts of magically-created sweets, and impress the nobles with their refined tastes in luxury goods.

And to finally get to my initial assertion about sugar cane, at least I wrote "mostly unknown". In the standard 1220 era, it would have been known throughout Europe among the upper classes. But among the masses who rarely participate in the coin-money economy, sugar is just another unknown product that wealthy people keep in guarded baggage trains, while they sweeten their desserts with honey they gather themselves or purchase through the barter economy.

Since the barter-economy common folk greatly outnumber the moneyed folk who buy imported luxury goods, I think "mostly unknown" is numerically defensible. On the other hand, since wealthy people anywhere in Europe would be familiar with sugar, awareness of it is geographically widespread. Since magi tend to have Living Conditions (ArM5 page 170) approaching or equalling wealthy people, magi would probably be aware of sugar, even if it was a luxury that their covenants considered frivolous,

One point I clearly messed was beet sugar. It was unknown until 1747. (Reference.)

A commentary on the source:

The authors of the Sugar History article jump to the conclusion that, because sugar is mentioned more often than honey in the records, it's more common than honey. More likely, that's because (outside places where it's cultivated) it's a trade product expensive enough to mention in commercial accounting records -- and honey is not mentioned because it's a cheap local product one can acquire by barter.

Since the authors of Sugar History provide solid references I assume their quotations from scholarly sources are reasonably accurate. However, the authors' spelling is crappy (most glaringly, using "it's" many times, when the possessive "its" is intended), which leads me to doubt their scholarly analysis. That's what leads me to accept their quotations of Henry III, but doubt their speculations on the cost of sugar relative to that of honey. Based on the material the authors quote, I think my conclusion on that point is at least as reasonable as theirs.

WOW, I bet you're a lawyer :wink:

Steve, I certainly didnt write my comments as an intended slap in the face or anything. As for the article, it's (checks for proper spelling) only one source I quickly dug up to see what might or might not have been known about cane sugar in the relative period setting of Ars.

Like anything else of historic note, people are free to incorporate it if they wish or discard it if they presume mythic Europe to be decisively different than actual Europe of the time.

Worse case, just borrow Lucius' nightcrawler magus and send him to Sicily to borrow a cup of sugar :wink:

Those are all good ideas & it is a good argument for the concept of magical candy so far!

No, not a lawyer, just kind of a history geek.

The point of the "commentary on the source" thing was to say how I came to the conclusion that they did a good job digging up all sorts of scholarly sources, but didn't seem as solid at drawing their own conclusions from their impressive data-gathering.

The short story, based on my reading of their research is that cane sugar is the luxury sweetener of the rich, and honey is the everyday sweetener of the barter economy. The exception is on Sicily, where farmers grow the cane themselves.

I suppose that we could more authoritatively say that a particular food didn't exist, we'd have to go with something like tomatoes. Those definitely didn't exist in Europe until well after the Ars Magica era, because they only existed in the Americas until European explorers brought them across the Atlantic. No need there to worry about the precise extent of something that gradually expanded in availability.

(And to point out the risk of jumping to conclusions about someone's scholarliness from their writing, I see that I have at least two writing mistakes in my own long message. One is a non-US spelling that's out of place in a message that otherwise uses US spelling, and the other is a comma that should be a period.)

Mercury (cinnebar) was also used prominantly as a red compound in makeup, dating back to the Egyptians.

potatos were also after the time frame of ars magica(just for future refrence)

To my amusement... this is actually a kind of spell I shall have to research. My diabolist will need something to give out to befriend the local sacrifXXXXX children with.

o.k. then,but what form would you so-called candy take?

Medieval Jelly Babies I suppose lol.

any new thoughts on the subject?

or something for the clergy to save the children/victums with!

just a thought/question: would magical candy cause actural toothaches?