Marriage and Ars Magica

ladypheonix...sounds like a GREAT story you are in...I hope she manages to work that in a positive way!!

I have a wisewoman, Eva, that I play she is a companion character that is half faerie blooded and our story is greatly connected to the Fae. I agreed to play her because my character was going to be greatly involved and I thought Eva would be a more background character...well shes a match maker, and faerie court go between and a midwife...shes in demand constantly and has plenty of scenes...I just love playing her.

So I can just imagine how important you midwife player must be!
Hope to hear how things turn out!

In our saga, the various characters were brought in via various ways in the first story. The fertility focused maga saved the Knight companion (who was trying to secure his father's barony) and his sister from assassins working for a count who wanted to kill off the two so he could steal claim to the county that they had just discovered they had claim to.

They then brought her with them and when they discovered that a new covenant had moved into their lands and claimed the town that supported the knight manor. They weren't pleased. They basically said the covenant could stay on the hill but the town were theirs. However part of the condition was that this midwife was to join them as their representative to insure that there was no more meddling in their lands. The covenant (the other mages) were glad enough to get let off light on what could have been major mundane interference (they were set up by renegades in the order, the count who was the companion's enemy and criminal carelessness of certain Mercere)

Now the midwife gets pulled into the stories wtih the noble and his sister (esp since she is sta -2, frail health) that she will need expert help to survive a pregancy.

That midwife will be delivering noble babies, training other midwives and working to infiltrate noble households with agents to discover gifted children and give covenant information. She is planning kids for herself though so we might have ungifted kids for gifted maga as well as the coming mundane kids of the the Count of Sundgau (once knight and a PC) and his sister (countess of Nordgau, my companion). Might even be some gifted kids.

The maga was invited to the wedding of the Countess and it was at dinner the night before the wedding that the countess and the Duke of Swabia both promised to find a husband for the Midwife. (The countess to help her friend out, the duke to try to win influence or a spy within covenant who he suspects are mages but can't prove it. He wants to become the Holy Roman Emperor and wants to find mages to help him do it. We have a very good mentum expert who loves playing with minds and memories).

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Here's a different one. I had an ungifted Redcap with Feral Uprbringing and Shapechanger. He grew up as an African wild dog. He ended up falling in love with the bitch familiar of a Tremere magus (prior to his longevity ritual) from the covenant with whom we were competing. Unfortunately, the campaign ended (non-game reasons) just prior to the adventure centered around their litter.


That's a great idea...the other side of the shapeshifter coin!

I don't know marrying a free craftsman probably isn't such a step down for a mages children in ME. Just because a job is seen as low status today doesn't mean it will be viewed the same was in the 1200's.

How is a butcher considered low status by today's standards? It's a pretty good job, pays well (better than I get paid), and it is both an honorable profession and an art form. A good butcher is hard to come by nowadays. Something to be respected.

OK....I am having an issue with the last couple posts. The fact is how many lords do you think married thier children to lower stations without good cause? I think marraige has little to do with love and more to do with money and power.... Why would a knight marry his daughter to one of his servants? I could possibley see it happening but only to a very skilled underling and only to a lesser daughter or son...
The way I see it magi have children that have the blood of magi in them...mundane or not. How many magi do you think, think the butcher is just as important as a magi? Butchers were not the bottom of the totem pole....but ahead or the same level as a magi? I can't imagine...

Magi blood is important...Mercere get upset when there gifted magi do not have children. Do you think they don't keep track of the blood lines? Do you think they encourage willy nilly breeding with common folk?

If you think so I'd like to hear it and the reasons!

I believe that marraige and magi are VERY important...and that it isn't talked about sourcewise because lets face it....Ars Magica is a HUGE cultural deviation and you can't think of everything.

Now if you said to me they marry the butchers daughter and become a shield grog because the magi wants his childrens children close in case of a gifted child being born...well then I'd say sure thing....makes sense....but...otherwise your children can make you allies and friends and cement real relationships with ppl more powerful/important than the guy you already know that is beholden to you anyway, and owes fealty or some such to you.

I'll tell you sons/daughter will not be marrying the butcher in my own covenants kids...maybe a companion...maybe other important NPCs or a magi, but not some common folk.

Why would you do that unless you cared for not of what they did with thier lives?

Edit for grammar and spelling.

I'm a pretty big fan of George R R Martins "A Song of Fire and Ice" series...I think it's a classic fantasy series....

At any rate after reading that and "The Magnificent Century" marraige is a huge deal and I feel now like many Ars Magica players/Storytellers sell it short on the point of saying it's woefully misrepresented on a grand scale.

"The Magnificent Century" is one of the sources for "Fall and Rise" in "Tales of Mythic Europe." It's a really great history from the Ars perspective, because its gossipy and sees history as the actions of fallible, powerful people, rather than as an economic or social sort of thing. This makes it perfec5t for game material, even if as history its not quite so good as more modern works.

You'll be seeing a lot of it in some of my other work, I'm sure.

Marriage and children is a very big deal. This is why my companion character that is sister to a count is marrying a count and her brother (another companoin)is marrying the younger daughter of a Duke.

And now the Duke and the countess are looking for an appropriate husband for the scholarly midwife (maga). Meanwhile that Maga wants nothing to do with a mundane husband but wants a mage lover to have a gifted child for having mages for both parents?

Speaking of which, how do people determine if the gift breeds true?

"Speaking of which, how do people determine if the gift breeds true?"

'Good for the story' gut check.

I wouldn't marry my daughter off to a merchent... Scribe if I couldn't get her to marry a Magus Apprentice, Child of a magus, a Redcap, someone with Mythic blood.

She better be out of the house by 14!

I'd let her marry someone out of love... i guess. But only 'cause i'm a half crazy and Faerie Blooded.

IMC? Pure fiat: it never does. I like the idea of finding apprentices, and the construction of families by this outsider class. I'd dislike it for them to become a genetic elite.

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Yeah, I agree. In my view, God determines who has the Gift and who doesn't, for reasons all his own which we do not understand (and thus it appears to be utterly random to our observation). If the Gift becomes a breedable genetic trait, then you in effect have two seperate species of hominids; Homo Sapien Sapiens and Homo Sapien Magicus. A little too "X-Men" for my tastes.

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In my campaigns I usually indicate that in general, it is not known how the gift manifests in a population. I usually also indicate that what is known (from people who research such things) is that bloodlines seem to influence the probability, but it's highly difficult to actually pin down and there are a so many exceptions as to raise questions on what is really going on in the sample. I came up with this stance to allow PC's who reproduce in campaigns raise gifted children, when story appropriate, while at the same time keeping the actual mechanism a mystery ensuring that at least 9 out of 10 times apprentices must be found.

I must admit, however, I came up with this stance a long time ago and haven't really had the need or opportunity to 'update' it based on the Mercere write-up. I actually have a Jerbiton Mage who is about to spawn so I actually need to do some serious thinking soon (like tomorrow!) on this.

All Mercere magi are blood related to Mercere himself.

There are other mythic bloodlines...I agree the gift probably presents itself mostly randomly but I can't help thinking at least some magi are interested or even obsessed with this concept.

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My standard is to either have GM decide or use a % roll influenced by parents/ancestors having magic, conception/pregnancy within magic aura etc... Having nothing but mages as ancestors still only gives 1/4 ,or something like that(dont have the list), odds, while a high magic aura gives a little bit more.

So at absolute topnotch perfect conditions ( like conception to birth in a magic aura 10 and gifted ancestors everywhere 4 generations back) you can get around 50% chance.
A regular maga+mage in a "normal" magic aura might have 1/20-1/10 odds or so.
Fairly reasonable id say. And handy for the times you want to figure out the chance for gifted children living in a magic aura compared to elsewhere etc..

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IMO, if you can breed for magicness, then the obvious response from this from some houses is eugenics. I prefer to steer away from that, on a structural level, by making it impossible. There's a great deal of eugenic though in Europe regardless, and if you could prove that magi could pass the Gift to their descendants, some houses would use breeding programs to make perfectly certain they would never be short of apprentices. I can see Jerbiton doing it simply because they are allowed to do whatever they like and are a bit "better than thou" already. I can see Tremere doing it, because apprentices are a valuable resource, so why wouldn't you want them on tap? I can see a Tytalus doing it just to have the most Gifted children, as a personal challenge. I can see the Flambeau doing it because they have some of that Iberian race versus race thing going on, IMO...

So, I prefer to just skip it.


I also don't like eugenics. But alas you stepped into one of my history specializations :smiley:

The Spanish peoples have always been a mixed breed. Basques were over run by Celts (though not well absorbed, even in the modern day). These Celts were conquored and absorbed by another band of Celts (Iberians). The Romans took over and thouroghly misceginated with the population. Then the Visgoths, and though they were a minority they thouroghly interbred with the ruling population. Old school Flameau, Reculed Seneca, came from a mixed Visgothic/Hispano-Roman family. Then comes the Arab Umayyads, who did mix somewhat, but again they were always a minority. Berbers (Almorovids and Almohades) also mixed as they rolled in.

So if anything, House Flambeau might deduce that the gift is more promenant when one comes from mixed ancestry :wink:

Iberia's struggle was not one of race versus race, and even religious differences were well tolorated. It was mainly political.

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(double post)