Magical Lighting Alternative

Hi, all! I was just wondering about the feasibility of a spell, or at least the idea for a spell. You see, my starting magus is a Terram specialist who has a subterranean laboratory and is looking for ways to decrease his lighting costs. The obvious solution (at least to some) would be to craft some magical lamps that have a continual effect. He even knows "Lamp without Flame," and can get the similar spell bonus! However, he's not the best at creating enchanted objects, and such a lamp would cost him about 10 seasons to create at his current abilities. While hitting the old Creo and Ignem books can help this, it would take as much time, if not more, to create the lamps.

So I got to thinking (dangerous for me), and came up with an idea. Is it possible to create a wing/circle ward that prevents light from leaving an area? If so (and I can think of no reason why it won't), let's say, for the sake of argument, that a ReIg ward can retain as much light as a CrIg spell can create. I guess my question is: what happens in the medieval paradigm? Would retaining light in an area help brighten the space within? Or have no effect, apart from the dome of darkness external observes would see? What about when the candles inside burn out? Would the trapped light fade, or stay constant until the ward was broken?

Also, if anyone has any creative alternative ideas, I'd like to hear those as well. Thanks!!

EDIT: I do have a "final resort" of trading for or purchasing magical lighting as well, but I just want to know all my options.

I would just go with a ring duration cr/ig spell. Its what I do when I want long term magic light.

As it stands, the properties of light in Mythic Europe have proven something of a stumbling block for me in the past and aren't well defined in canon. Similarly, my own research has given widely disparate answers (perhaps the reason for lack of canon).

I'm not at all certain if a Ring could be cast to ward against light (IRL, it wouldn't work of course since the light would be trapped in the ring and thus wouldn't illuminate the room beyond its ring). Perhaps, however, you might be able to adapt "Light Shaft of the Night" (ArM5, pg 143) to your purposes?

I would suggest a spell to create olive oil that lasts for a month. It can be enchanted into an item, or simply cast once in a while to resplenish supplies.

It's a simple spell, CrAq (He) 10, so depending on his Arts he may be able to invent it in a single season.

The lighting will not be magical in itself, but free fuel is free fuel... :smiley:

EDIT: Or he may simply invest the efect directly into a barrel, as a barrel gives him a hefty +5 Form & Material bonus, making it easier to create the item than invent the spell.

Arthur, your mentioning the SM bonus for barrel got me thinking about the OP's post

Is he a weak enchanter? Deficientt in Creo or Ignem? Can you post his CrIg Lab total for enchanting purposes, breaking out each item? I think you should be able to design and build an item that gets used 2/day, device maintains concentration and it's a level 16 enchantment. Are you including the SM bonus for Lamp which is +7, but limited by your magic theory? The similar spell bonus, and a reasonable MT of 4, and the +4 from SM get you to a Lab total of 10 all by themselves. 10 seasons seems a bit long, because we haven't added in Int+Aura+Cr+Ig. Now, he probably can't get to 32 and make this a Lesser Device, so it might still take 3 seasons, but 10 seems as if there's something wrong with the calculation, when you only said he's not the best enchanter, not that he has a flaw that makes him a bad enchanter. :smiley:

D: Ring fires are quite common IMS. Torches enchated with these are quite common. It is one of our default spells/items when creating a covenant, since magical torches yell "magical home!" quite loudly :slight_smile:

Wow. Thanks for all the feedback so far! Well, I am quite new at Ars Magica, so I may very well have missed something.

I had read that Creo spells can't be used on any targets besides Individual and Group. So I had assumes that Circle was out for CrIg. Please let me know if I am mistaken.

The "Light Shaft" spell is what gave me the idea, actually. In addition, I planned to carve the circle into the floor of the lab, so it would illuminate a large area in the middle of the room, where I would do my work. So the size of the effect isn't an issue.

Arthur, the olive oil spell is a good idea! I don't know why I didn't consider something that obvious...

None of those. But my Creo is 5, and Ignem 4. Int +2, MT 3, Aura 3, Shape/Material 3, Similar spell +2. The effect I devised is continuous (sunrise/sunset triggers), and I calculated it to be level 19. However, I am new at enchantment, and I need to read the section again. What do you mean about the concentration?

Thanks, all!

You are quite correct that Creo is always Individual or Group. Circle is out but Ring is not as it is not a Target. Ring is a Duration and means the spell lasts until the target is removed from the ring that the caster draws during spellcasting. So you draw a ring and a light springs up in the center. The Target is Individual as you are creating a single light. If you remove that light from the ring, the spell is broken and the light goes out. Since they both involve rings, Ring and Circle tend to get confused, in my experience, especially when people are new to the system.

The real problem here is how to handle the fact the light is exiting the ring as it is being emitted, which technically means the spell is broken. I suppose you could say it only lights up the area inside the ring, or you could be really strict and say you only get one flash before the spell is broken. One could also just say that it is ok because the center emitter is really the target/created object and it isn't leaving the ring. Up to interpretation of what CrIg light really is, I guess.

Light gets absorbed by objects in your lab, which makes them emit visual species by which you can see them. So yes, if you prevent it from escaping and more generally from being absorbed by objects you do not care to see (e.g. the walls of your lab) you could probably make the lab a little brighter, but would still not solve the illumination problem.

There are many, many ways to make light. Why don't you post all in one place your character's Art scores (all 15!), Hermetic Virtues and Flaws, his Intelligence and Stamina, his Artes Liberales, Philosophiae and Magic Theory (including specialties), and the lab Aura -- with that information, I'm sure someone will find a nice solution!

Eureka! This is it! Thanks for getting me to read the rules again. I can design the following:
An enchanted lamp (or brass mirror) that sheds light equal to torchlight (sure, it's dimmer, but I can make more once I get the lab text written). Level 3 Base effect. R/D/T of Tou/Cnc/Ind for a total of +2 magnitude. Level +5 to make it hold concentration, and another +1 to make it work 2x/day. Total effect level is 11. My Lab total is 22 (similar spell still applies, because lamp without flame is creating light at the same R/D/T). There! Lesser enchantment! Check me on this.

I believe that species coming out of a Creo-based object are considered "normal" - that is, they are not considered part of the created object. Otherwise, any magi with their Parma up would be resistant to the species, and thus unable to perceive a temporarily-created object unless the species could penetrate.

With a lab total of 22 you could invent a CrIg spell at level 10 in one season. Base 3, +1 touch, +2 Ring, +0 Individual. Creates a flame that produces a light equivalent to torchlight. The flame is magical, the light it emits is not. The flame cannot leave the circle, but its light can.

Inscribe it in several parts of your lab and you get a nice illumination all around. It also has the benefit of being an effect you can use when going abroad. Quite useful when you are going deep in a cave and do not want to have your grogs bothered wearing torches in case something attacks your party :slight_smile:


You say your magus is a terram specialist. I have argued with my SG that coal counts as a form of rock, so creating a cubic pace of coal that lasts for a reasonable duration will keep your lighting & heating going.

Light is not a form of species, at least according to HoH:S. It's the medium through which iconic species travel, but I think your point is still quite valid. I don't think the light can be magical or surely it'd be mentioned somewhere that it'd have to penetrate in order for people to see what's being lit up. And, since the light isn't magical, a glowing emitter point makes sense as the actual created Target for the Creo magic. It is magical, and would break the spell if somehow removed from the ring, but is shining naturally with non-magical light.

Yes, there was a very informative post some time ago by one of the writers.
Yay! my search-fu succeeded!

I thought about this one already, and I agree that coal is a type of rock, especially in the medieval paradigm. The problem is that my lab is in a cave (a quite picturesque cave, as it has the Idyllic Surroundings Virtue), and my SG would probably dock the Health and Aesthetics scores of my lab because of the smoke and soot. I am also deficient in Auram, so dealing with smoke wouldn't be my thing.

Wow. This is excellent! Thanks!

Yes, thank you for linking that. It was very interesting!