Merlin Awakens! an idea for introducing some players to Ars

Hello all,

I need som advice on an idea I got, regarding introducing more people to Ars Magica at my regular club.

I have contemplated starting them off as apprentices,companions, newly gauntled magi etc, and weighing the pros and cons. Reading parts of the Lion and Lily, stirred an idea, which I think could combine them learning the game with my enjoyment of running the saga as Alpha.

The idea stems from the Arthurian sagas mentioned in the Brittany section of Lion and Lily with Merlin being interred in a stone/regio by Viviane. Soo....what if Merlin escaped? What if Morgaine le Fey still lived? And Viviane? Maybe Lancelot?

Inspired somewhat by ”The Mists of Avalon” there are a plethora of characters, which could either be in the regio with Merlin or in Avalon. Them escaping or coming out into the world again would certainly agitate the Order, when it becomes known!

Would they fight them? Offer them to join? Ignore them? Or?

This would probably depend on several factors. Can the identity of these legends be established? What magical prowess/abilities do they have? How do they approach the order – as supplicants or the opposite? As Merlin/Morgaine etc have traditionally (AFAIK) been somewhat associated with druidic orders, will the Order view them as Diedne, and destroy them outright?

And on a mechanical note: What would be their virtues, abilities, magic? To make it easy, I thought of using standard Bonisagus Magic Theory peppered with some supernatural abilities, maybe some spells, which break limits, and some forms/techniques they do not have access to?

What house would eventually offer to take them? Probably ex Misc., but if going with this idea I think I would like to run with them creating their own house.

Lots of questions and maybes, thank you in advance for taking your time to ponder this :slight_smile:

If you can get it, the 1999 ArM4 sourcebook "Heirs to Merlin" about the Stonehenge Tribunal ( ... 1887801790 ) is full with allusions at Merlin, and on p. 142 summarizes the dominant ideas about Merlin in the Order.
Since it never has been replaced by a more recent Stonehenge sourcebook, it is still quite 'canon', if this is important for you.

If you just want the comeback of a powerful being stirring up the Order IYC, you might also consider Tytalus returning from Maddenhofen forest (see HoH:S p.72ff).


If you can live with a .pdf-format, try e23

The more I thought about him and about his supposed powers, the more I see Merlin as a powerful Gruagach (as per the ones in Hedge Magic revised edition, HMRE). Shapeshifting powers, prediction, some blessings and above all, a knowledge of the land (you do not need anything but a vast area lore, supernatural lores and common sense for that) as well as capacity to bargain with faeries. A gruagach can do all those things.

The OoH is more likely to roast him than to get him in. legends are great as examples, but when you find them face to face they hardly live up to the expectations and can become a real problem.

So I vote for him being less powerful than what the legends suggest. Well, not really, but the OoH is well above most legends in power already, so he would be a minor player there. He is more likely to be roasted by someone claiming that he is an impostor than to be let in.


There could of course be Fearies of the Arthurian Cycle which are trying to gain vitality by living out the stories...


...some of them would probably have something to do with the Covenant of the Isle of Apples on Oleron.

(Breton: Aval, meaning "apple", plural Avalou.)