Mythic Blood before Hermetic initiation?

I was designing a lineage in House ex Miscellanea for use as a possible antagonist. They would all be of the same Mythic Bloodline, and share the same inherited character flaw Driven to achieve a particular goal that has so far taken generations.

Then I wondered. Is it possible to determine if a Gifted character is going to have the Major Hermetic virtue "Mythic Blood" before they are apprenticed and initiated into Hermetic magic?
"Mythic Blood" does give the character the ability to invoke a spell-like ability at will, but does this happen before they are opened/exposed to magic? And if so, shouldn't there be non-magi characters with a spell-like ability?

It's hermetic because 2 out of the 3 benefits deal with casting hermetic magic: ie, the fatigue thing, and the MMF thing. Also, the core rulebook was printed before there were any supplements; as such, anything to do with casting magic with the Gift was by definition Hermetic - there were no other groups beside the Order of Hermes that used it. If you want to have only the innate ability part of mythic bloodline, I'd recommend building it using the Lesser Power minor supernatural virtue from RoP:M. Alternately, just use the Mythic Bloodline virtue, but call it a minor virtue if they haven't been Initiated.

But yes - assuming the character concept can justify it, you can have a hermetic virtue without having your Gift Opened; that's how Gentle Gift works, for example. It just may not be all that useful.

Note however that by having it be a Hermetic virtue, it doesn't interfere with Opening the Gift. As such, that implies that Mythic Blood has a special relationship with Hermetic Magic - or, at the least, that the Mercureans studied it enough that it's already been partially integrated, and as such doesn't interfere with teaching the Arts. Also, it implies that Mythic Blood (as described in the core rulebook) is something inextricably linked to the Gift, and thus can't exist outside it. But again - you can get similar 'bloodline' style virtues just by elaborating on a given virtue with some fluff text. "Venus' Blessing? Grandma was a shide. Affinity with metalworking? Ancestors were priests of Vulcan. etc."

Looking up Apprentices p.10f Inherited Virtues and Flaws, p.32ff Hermetic Apprenticeship, and there especially p.40ff Teaching Hermetic Virtues, you find many options for the apprenticeship with such a tradition.

As Mythic Blood is an Hermetic Virtue, you are probably best off with giving it to youngsters of the appropriate lineage as an Inherited Virtue, that will only manifest once their Arts are opened, their master performs a specific ceremony at a specific place and time, or such.
This does not prevent these youngsters from displaying other signs of their heritage before - so they can be as easy or hard to find as you desire.


I will try checking this out.

Hello all,

I was wondering if I could get an honest critique of a character concept I am thinking of introducing to the troupe when I become Beta SG. I am afraid I may have gone a little munchkin, as I now find that I want to play this character.

I was thinking of creating an insidious, long-term threat to relationships between mundanes and the Order of Hermes, probably transmitted by a single lineage of mages, master to apprentice. Then I thought of Maugris (in Italian he is known as Malagiggi) from the Matter of France legends.
In my story he is a direct male descendant of the sorcerer king Merovech, and lays claim to being the rightful sorcerer king of France, which he has passed onto his descendants.


In short, the first Merovingian kings created the Frankish state (precursor of France), and many sources refer to them as sorcerer kings, but later kings did less and less, becoming puppets of the Mayors of the Palace at the capital of Paris.
The last Merovingian King who actually had any personal power was Chilperic II, in 715AD he was raised on the shield of the Neustrian warriors as king, as was the custom. In his retinue was his young cousin Maugris, who convinced his royal cousin to allow him to investigate and find a way to strengthen the magics of the Merovingian bloodline. Chilperic II bade him do so, but placed upon Maugris several powerful magical bindings to prevent Maugris from ever attempting to take the throne (internecine conflict between claimants to the Frankish throne was common). Maugris traveled to his estate in the north-west of Francia to study and refine his magic.

Chilperic II was the last Merovingian king that was not a puppet of the Mayors of the Palace. Eventually the Mayors got Papal authority to overthrow King Childeric III in 752, authorised by Pope Zachary who died shortly afterwards (possibly divinely struck down for his part in overthrowing Childeric III?). Pope Stephen II confirmed and anointed Pepin the Short in 754, beginning the Carolingian dynasty.

The Merovingian ruling family were sometimes referred to as the "long-haired kings" (Latin reges criniti) by contemporaries, as their long hair distinguished them among the Franks, who commonly cut their hair short. Apparently their sorcerous might came from their long hair, which explains why Childeric III was tonsured after being deposed.

However Childeric III being deposed did not mean that the royal line had been ended, though immediate family was scarce the line of Salian inheritance would be found by the Sorcerer Maugris, who had grown powerful and was still bound by magical oaths to empower the Merovingian Sorcerer Kings.
Before that, Maugris was contacted by Trianoma, and invited him to meet Bonisagus. In the Matter of France she is identified as Oriande the Fairy. While he learned much from Bonisagus and contributed quite a bit (perhaps he was an expert in initiation scripts and showed the nascent Order how to make a generic initiation script, or perhaps he could explain his perspective on his magical experimentation in an easy to understand manner), eventually he parted company from the other Founders over what appeared to be mundane political issues - Jerbiton and Flambeau and the rest were in favour of the descendants of Charles Martel being King of the Franks, while Maugris was oath-bound to restore the Merovingians. Though Maugris hoped he could convince the other Founders to support him, the final straw came when Diedne was invited to join, as Maugris had a similar opinion to Diedne's original tradition as Flambeau had to Muslim Sahirs.

Thus while Maugris tried to promote the next merovingian heirs to step forward and take the crown, Maugris's magical oaths prevented him from taking the lead. Eventually Charlemagne was crowned and the Order of Hermes was founded, and Maugris was having difficulty finding valid heirs. Finally he supported his distant cousin Duke Aymon, then Duke Aymon's four sons (Renaud de Montauban, Guichard, Allard and Richardet) to overthrow Charlemagne and take the throne. Maugris even gifted Renaud de Montauban with the magical horse Bayard and the sword Froberge, and sponsored their adventures and revolt against Charlemagne.

Maugris had gone too far and his interfering with mundanes was now obvious to the Order of Hermes. Initially the OoH tried to negotiate, as several of the Founders had fond(ish) memories of Maugris. Meanwhile Renaud de Montauban's rebellion ended, and he and his brothers abdicated claims to kingship of the Franks. Then, by the convoluted route of Salian inheritence in a somewhat pruned family tree, Maugris was suddenly the heir to the merovingian kingship. With all his magical experimentation and refinement of his Gift, he felt the exact instant in his blood when he became King. With this final inspiration he was able to finalise his re-creation of Merovingian magic, and in a day and night of fevered inspiration he was able to create an initiation script that opened a gifted member of Merovech's bloodline to both Merovingian magic and the proto-Hermetic magic he'd been learning from Bonisagus. Though Maugris had numerous followers and children, some of whom he had taught magic to, he applied this new initiation script to his youngest grandchild Odo (7th son of 7th son), acclaiming the initiated grandson his heir.
The next day the forces of the Order of Hermes arrived and laid siege at the castle of Maugris.
The battle was vicious and surprisingly evenly matched, but Maugris eventually fell, slain by one of his children who was apparently magically fooled to attack the wrong target. Before he expired, Maugris bade the untrained Odo to escape and carry on the duty to reclaim the Frankish throne. Odo managed to escape with only a few books - the final initiation script and some notes on proto-Hermetic magic theory.
Maugris's contributions to the forming of the Order of Hermes were then largely scrubbed from the history books.

In the early 12th century 2 long-haired hedge magicians (master and apprentice) were trying to steal the French coronation regalia, when they were discovered and captured by members of the Order of Hermes. These hedge magicians claimed to be descendants of Merovich and Maugris by way of the Icarus initiation (corruption of Ichor Rex - divine blood of kings) and thus the rightful sorcerer kings of the Franks. After the Magi of Hermes finished laughing, it was determined that what little magic the two hedge magicians had seemed to be mostly Mercurian in flavour, and the hedge magicians were allowed to join the Order of Hermes, in House ex Miscellanea.
These 2 hedge magicians took to Hermetic magic very easily, needing only to adjust their proto-Hermetic magic theory by a surprising little (Maugris had done a good job of reverse engineering the books in the possession of a follower of Diedne he had secretly waylaid). A couple of Hermetic generations later the members of this lineage are easily comparable to other Hermetic magi, though few if any in the Order of Hermes realise this.


The magi of this lineage are Driven to regain the French throne. In their blood they know that they are truly King of the Franks. However, since Kings have difficulty sharing the throne, it is nearly impossible to have more than 2 magi initiated in this lineage without them fighting each other.
As part of their efforts to achieve the throne, they are strengthening the Merovingian bloodline in the French nobility by arranging suitable marriages, and sowing their seed as far as possible (sometimes like how Merlin helped Uther beget Arthur). This means that there will be a pool of potential heirs for the next generation, though it also increases the number of people who qualify to bring about their Death Prophecy.
In fact every member of this lineage is a direct male descendant of Maugris (who in turn is a direct male descendant of Merovech), usually being a son, grandson, or on one occasion a great-grandson of another member of the lineage.

The quest to take the French throne is being delayed, as the lineage has discovered a suggestion that Maugris's books were looted and exist in some Hermetic library somewhere. The Icarus/Ichor Rex lineage wants those books, because they otherwise have no information about Merovingian magic. The Carolingian dynasty purged details about the Merovingian Sorceror kings, and Maugris didn't have time to pass any of his collected knowledge to Odo. Once the Icarus lineage learns how to use their inherited Merovingian sorcery, they shall take France, and then perhaps the rest of Europe. Until then they are readying themselves, manipulating the French nobility and preparing strategy to get the Order of Hermes on their side (or at least not oppose them).


Ichor-Rex (aka Icarus) lineage of House ex Miscellanea:

Technically this lineage is available only to direct male descendants of Maugris who can manifest his Mythic Blood.
House virtues:
Mythic Blood (Maugris) - Minor Magical Focus in either "self-transformation" (Maugris was constantly finding ways to remake himself and improve his Merovingian blood/Gift) or "Legendary Creatures" (from Merovech and the Quinotaur); and inherent magical feat is either "Image Phantom" MuIm 20 with gestures, no Words (from spreading their genetic seed widely), or "Wizard's Communion" MuVi30 (from all the time Maugris studied with Bonisagus); inherited Minor Personality Flaw of Driven - to be the King of the Franks and attain the throne.
Death Prophecy - Maugris mystically refined himself so much that no other mortal could kill him, unless they have obvious Merovingian blood.
Restriction - Long Hair. Like Merovech (similar to Samson from the Bible), his magical strength is in his hair. If it doesn't cover his shoulders he doesn't have magical power. He has to avoid being shorn, and even hanging upside down for more than a short period.

Note: Members of this lineage must also choose the Latent Magical Ability virtue to represent that their initiation has also opened their Gift to Merovingian sorcerer king magic. Though no living member of this lineage knows how to use it.
And by default they should choose the Hedge Wizard flaw to represent how ignoble their lineage appears, having recently been introduced to the Order of Hermes.

From the lack of replies, it sounds like nobody sees anything particularly wrong with this concept.
Thanks. I feel more confident to show it to the troupe.

I must admit, I had a hard time working out what the Mythic Blood virtue would provide. Though he appears in quite a few of the Matter of France tales, about the only magic I have seen attributed to him is providing the magic horse Bayard, and the magic sword Froberge.

For memory
You have in Lion & Lily page 8
Blood of the Merovech, major virtue which gives purifying touch... I think that someone who says to be of Meroveh blood should have that virtue

Not quite. To quote the inset on page 8 of "Lion & Lilly":

I am of two minds whether to endow this lineage with Lesser Purifying Touch: King's Evil.
In my version, the Icarus / Ichor Rex lineage are kings through magical initiation rather than divine initiation.
Then again, I also said Maugris spent a lot of effort modifying/refining himself to be like unto the sorcerer kings of old. Maybe he managed to add a magical version of Lesser Purifying Touch: King's Evil. Or maybe the hint that Pope Zachary was divinely struck down might mean that Maugris' lineage is divinely blessed with Lesser Purifying Touch: King's Evil.

Thanks Lady Merlina, I will modify it so that