minor vis sources in urban environment -- ideas sought

I'm designing an story arc right now that involves a creature that can "sniff out" vis. The creature is not the point of the story, but serves as a plot hook for something greater, so I don't care too much about the mechanics of how it finds the vis.

A series of random, gruesome murders throughout the characters' city (it's an urban covenant) will get the characters out of their labs...

The players will hopefully take notice of the reports that the creature makes a point of eating one object off each victim:
-- A sailor's "Lucky Hook Pendant" that he carved from the shell of an albino tortoise.
-- Holy Oil that the bishop used to anoint the Templars when they went off on Crusade
-- A sergeant's magic sword
-- Olives from an herbalists shop, that were plucked from a 1000 year old tree on the Solstice

These are off the top of my head. I'm looking for other minor magic items or vis sources that the creature would go after throughout the city.


Is that Magic vis only , or will it include the other 3 Realms?


Let's say all for now, but I might limit it to the Magic Realm.

Some ideas

-A local musicians flute, a musician who has won an anual musical contest several years in a row (magical imaginem vis, can be extracted by capturing the sound of the melody played that wins the local contest, no vis is gained from other contests or if anyone else plays on the same flute)

-An old sailors favourite pipe, that is said to stay lit even in the worst of weathers (magical ignem vis, one pawn that won't replenish)

-The kiss of a courteasan, well known for her beauty and her ability to awaken passion in men (magical mentem vis, one pawn can be extracted by having her kiss a prepared recepticle precisely when the sun sets each midsummer)

-A high tower with several windows, during the autumn storms the wind plays inside the tower and creates an eerie howling noise that have the locals think its haunted (magical auram vis)

-A very dangerous bump in a road that often cause accidents, some citizens have tried to repair it but it always seem to come back (magical perdo vis, can be extracted after a dangerous accident has occured but only once per year, unscrupulous magi can give the bump some "assistance" to make sure the accident is really serious since that allow more vis to be harvested)

-The very gold like hair (that rests like a halo) on the head of a pious monk whose words have been known to convert heathens into the faith of jesus christ, he is very fond of his hair and would not give it up willingly (divine muto vis)

-A magical horseshoe that wards anyone who touch it with their lips against faeries (Lesser Enchanted Device; Item level 26; ReVi Spell level 15 (Base 15, touch, sun, ind); 6uses/day (+3), penetration 16 (+8), Expires after 70 years (21 years remaining))

-A magical cloak that can magically warm up, very comfy in cold weather (Lesser Enchanted Device; Item level 5; CrIg Spell level 4 (Base 2, pers, sun +2, ind); 2 uses/day (+1))

Don't forget that a Town Charter often contains Rego Vis.
Perhaps even a Guild Charter.
Can you imagine the political ramifications if a charter is "lost".

A tannery or butchers yard may have processed various beasts of virtue over the years, leaving a Vis deposit.

An old Roman road may have a hint of Vis at it's terminus, thanks to old Mercurian rituals.

A bend in the river used by the washerwomen of the town since it leaves clothes specially clean (Faerie Imaginem vis, harvestable at dawn on the solstices and equinoxes). If harvested, the river bend loses its power for a season, so it is unwise to harvest it all the time; magi are unsure of what would happen if washerwomen stopped using it.

Stone slate in the meat marketplace. Any meat cut here is kept fresh for a month. Creo or Animal vis (or minor enchanted device). There is one of these in Padua (italy), BTW.

A window in a church that is the first window in the city to be hit by the sun on the day of Resurrection. Anyone devoid of sin that spends the night praying for a miraculous cure in front of the altar receives a bonus of +20 to his recovery rolls for the next season as long as he keeps a life devoid of Mortal Sin. The effect might grant a bonus for a miraculous cure instead as well. Divine Creo vis if the light is captured. A minor angel gets annoyed if you do that and there are supplicants waiting to be cured.

The remnants of a temple to Augustus, the fist Roman Emperor. Only 4 columns remain. A ghostly base of a 5th column appears on the first day of August. The "ghost" reacts to Mentem effects, and it contains Rego vis. Access to the temple can be somewhat difficult since it is inside the palace of the local bishop. The whole room where the columns remain has a magical aura of 2.

Reference: Roman Temple of Barcelona

The remains of a Greek/Roman Theatre that has been built up and is part of the city floor plan right now. On day XXXX (whatever you fancy) a group of ghostly actors appear in what is now a square (what used to be the acting arena) and play one of the Greek tragedies. The tragedy being played can be milked for hints on the fuiture of the city for the coming year.
Reference: Palma de Mallorca floorplan.

Hope that helps!

An old, covered well dating back to pagan times with curse tablets at the bottom many of which are undischarged. They can be studied to give insight into the Leadworker virtue or left in place to taint the water - Perdo vis accumulates at 1 pawn/year if the water is undisturbed, to extract it 13 buckets full must be drawn and boiled down.

Under the foundations of the oldest buildings in town are the bones of protective sacrifices containing Animal or Corpus vis depending.

Mandrake grows from the spilled seed of hanged men so a few roots per year can be harvested from beneath the town gallows - it contains corpus vis.

The cupper/ wood turner is Touched By Magic and occasionally makes wondrous bowls and cups - when he does the discarded cores contain rego vis - the local children value these especially highly as spinning tops because they just keep going.

An alderman has a goblet set with amethyst that turns black if it contains poison.

The starter cultures of bakers and brewers are their prize possessions and contain vis - it may be Creo, Muto, Aquam (for brewers) or herbam and this will be reflected in their work.

It is worth checking the sites of fatal fires for ignem vis but be warned that arson leads to infernally tainted vis.

The clappers of church bells accumulate divine imaginem vis as the church's dominion aura waxes over years of worship.

A bunch of filthy, bloated and obviously sick rats appear dead at the end of a sewer tunnel once per year. There is a current in the sewer, and the rats end up trapped in one turn of the sewer canal. Their collective bodies, after distillation, contain Perdo vis. Some of the rats are still home to disease spirits, so collecting the rats is one of those things that grogs hate, since they can become ill easily. Magi hate it as well, since it soils their clothes and hands. That happens even if they do not touch the rats with their hands, since their filthiness appears to soil the magi regardless. Some magi might be interested in knowing how the filth passes over their parma magica.

The proclamation of the annual fair by the lord of the town carries Mentem vis. However, capturing the proclamation removes much of the impetus from the merchantmen, and it makes the fair much less active, so the benefits might not compensate for it.

Xavi, you are inspiriting :slight_smile:

Some where in the town. Hidden in some dark edges there lives a rat king ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_king_%28folklore%29 ). It's corpus contains 2 pawns of Muto vis. The rat king is hard to find and is defended by all the rats of the town. After the king is killed it my take several years before another one is born.


Dang, guys, these are all great. Thank you.

For my story, the more variety the better, so I love the different types (a public meat market, a washerwoman's stream, and old roman columns in a divine aura, etc.)

It occurred to me today that the creature doesn't have to have a monstrous appearance. Probably more interesting if it's more creepy/chilling than monstrous.

So, as always, I invite your thoughts, in case yours are more interesting than mine.

The creature has magic might, and wanders the streets looking for "food" -- vis. Either raw or cooked. What's it look like?
It has a low cunning, rather than intelligence. It becomes vicious if it's "food" source is denied to it.

It could have a high Cunning stat , to reflect its "low cunning" though.
Probably looks like the old Disenchanter from AD&D.

It should probably have the ability to physically snatch the vis magi often carry with them.
This attack will not be hampered by Parma after all.
If it has a Magic Might , so as not to be hampered by a Divine Aura penalty ,
give it temporary acclimitization , if it has consumed any Divine vis.

Give it some Immunities , Greater or Lesser , so that it is not defeated too easily or readily captured by the magi.
Maybe it can gnaw away at wards and eventually break free , if not closely watched.

I would make it along the lines of a revenant. Think "resident evil zombies".

That, or the transformed son of a mundane noble, that has developed a vis addiction. So he might be more than a simple "I go and kill you" challenge, since it can have political ramifications to kill him without proving that he was a monster. He might look like Moorcock's Elric after a sunburn if you want him to look slightly supernatural.

Or you combine both, kill him and THEN discover that he was the second son of the local lord when it transforms back to his mundae form. :mrgreen:

That would make for a good open call adventure.


...Leading to what rule in what book? (isn't that the point of this open call, that the adventures need to use a new rule in some fashion?)

Ravenscroft, The prehensile tongue is a great idea -- especially for going after Vis posited on a magi's person. I like that.

Would it "feed" on magic used against it? Or perhaps all magic used against it creates an arcane connection to the caster for a moment, that the creature can concentrate to maintain, and then "drain" the magi? What would it drain... fatigue? Or maybe an Art temporarily? Is that too out-of-paradigm?
Perhaps just techniques? or drain the "Gift" temporarily (a random number or rounds)... hmmm. I guess I'm looking for the magi's equivalent of magic might, really. Is there a rule for something like this?

ROP: whatever (if you make the creature a more developed one, and align it with one of the realms)
City & Guild (urban environment and urban authority, law and competence to jusge him if the guy is say, an ordained guy acting weird)
Lord of Men (if the creature is a noble, or the nobility get involved)
TOME (if this is a plot by the same fae of Rise and Fall)
Fallen Fane (if you messed up the stuff so much that you are the covenant about to be judged in FF. That would require massive stuff, like burning down the city)
ROP: D if you go around and the creature is stopped by a preist that does some kickass stuff, and you develop a relationship with it.
AM: if the creature is an aspect of Cain.
HoH:S if the creature is a tytalian agent

Just some quick ideas :slight_smile:


Well, there ya go. I guess I had read the open call differently, thinking that David wanted the adventures to involve major portion of a book, like a specific Mystery, or Elemental Magic, etc.
Bottom line, I know I don't have time to develop anything (I've got a baby on the way!) so I haven't considered anything for the Open Call.

Regardless, as always, I am grateful for all of the suggestions. You guys always help spur and develop my ideas, and make for more well-rounded stories.