Musing upon the very different types of Gauntlets used by the various Houses of the Order--each recognised by the Order as a legitimate "rite of passage" allowing an Apprentice to become a Magus--I realised that there doesn't seem to be any information in the Merinita section of "Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults" on running Merinita Gauntlets.
Did I miss it, or was the information not included? If it wasn't, is there any information published elsewhere on the preferred Gauntlets for House Merinita?
I imagine that it they might vary substantially depending on the specific Mystery tradition to which the Parens belongs, and on the Parens own preferences. Some manner of quest strikes me as being highly appropriate for a Merinita Gauntlet. If so, would the Parens teach Parma Magica before setting out on the quest, or afterward? Without Parma Magica protecting them--which would happen if they were alone on a quest--they would be extremely vulnerable to supernatural forces. Yet teaching it to them before the Gauntlet places the Apprentice in a special circumstance, since, during a Gauntlet, they are not considered to be subject to the normal restrictions of the Hermetic Code (Iberia Tribunal ruling, Late 12th Century, the Magus Trentus of Flambeau's Gauntlet, I believe).
My first thought is that, perhaps, many prospective merinitae DO perish during their guantlets. Their house is after all the smallest in the order with a measly 66 members.
Alternately, they may be sent among faeries her parens know to be friendly.
In HoH: MC merinitae are described as not being aggressive or politically active. This suggests to me that many merinita gauntlets are tests of faerie lore or are mere formalities (similar to Criamon gauntlets). "Take these apples to the faerie-market in the regio by the garden and bring me back a fresh faerie-berry pie!" or something similar.
Who says that someone must manage a gauntlet just by his one? The Magus still can accompany the apprentice and extend his Parma.
so why not for example:
bring the apprentice to the local feary location a see if he is accepted by the fearies. Maybe the local feary sets up the gauntlet/challenge.
or let him compete against a minor feary in a singing contest or maybe better an illusion competition.
Why do you assume such a test is either easy or safe?
Faeries can be sufficiently alien to make direct interaction perilous (or to leave you indebted in a manner you really would not want), and the aim of such a Gauntlet is surely to show that the apprentice is competent and safe to be let loose with faeries...
(Molesting the Faeries is a high crime, and the parens swears to be first to execute his filii should they commit such a crime... best to find out early if it's necessary)
4e Faerie Stories has adventures which attempt to give a bit of the feel of that...
Indeed, travels into Faerie territories can be extremely perilous. Hence my question regarding the teaching of Parma Magic to an Apprentice about to undergo a quest-based Gauntlet.
An excellent example of one in which a senior mage acts as a guide can be found in volume three (I believe) of Neil Gaiman's "Books of Magic" graphic novel, "The Lands of Summer's Twilight".
As for breaking the Code by "molesting the Fay", keep in mind the case I cited above. Apprentices are not held to the same strictures of either Apprenticeship or full membership in the Order during their Gauntlent. It is one of the most dangerous and, correspondingly, freest times in a Magus' career.