Passing on the effects of Creo Rituals to future Generations

If you use a bloodline target momentary creo ritual to improve a bloodline of a species (for example horse with extra quickness) will it continue to affect those born to that bloodline in the future?

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I would say no. The ritual is momentary . There's no magic left when future bloodline entities are born.

You could also make an argument that there is a chance that added traits would be passed on, since bloodlines in general pass on their traits, but in a stochastic manner. Perhaps not in its entirety but perhaps not, not at all either.

like, lets say you cast a ritual on a bloodline of cows to make them grow twice as fast, and lets for the purposes of the example say that it is an instantaneous Creo ritual that permanently changes the cattle in question. Now lets say that you have two of those cattle from this newly magicked bloodline breed, perhaps the new cow grows up at the normal rate, but it could also grow at twice the rate like its parents did (or would have done, if the magic was cast on adult cows), but there is a third option: to put the newborn calf's growth rate in between no improvement and twice, to have it grow up faster but less fast than its parents did.

In a way it seems a lot to me that momentary Creo rituals change the essential nature of their targets, but in a way that is allowable to hermetic magic, because it only improves the creature within the boundaries of what is naturally (but hypothetically) possible.

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I doubt it works that way in Mythic Europe.

I think your view is two Mendelian(scientific) to fit. Something like "7 generations of cows grow faster" sounds much more medieval to me.

That is definitely a viewpoint that you can assume and if you want to do so, I will not say that you can't. My intention was not propose an unambigous reading of rules but rather to propose an interpretation under which you could impact breeding across generations by altering the initial breeding stock.

I do believe that in 1220 there was already an established tradition for breeding animals, especially horses (and perhaps dogs) and of keeping track of how inheritance of traits worked, in order to produce the best animals possible. These people would have made the same discoveries that rule animal breeding today.

One of the supplements does have rules for breeding animals....
but the real point is that the target isn't "this set of cows" it is "this bloodline of cows", and the same way that a ritual that increases your maga's presence doesn't wear out as the cells in their body are replaced, the change to the bloodline wouldn't wear out as individual members are replaced. Unless ultimately bloodline is simply "this set of cows that share this other trait"


Not to take the conversation even further off topic, but that's not something that could be done with an instantaneous creo ritual.

There's quite a natural variance in growth rates between different breeds of cattle, you could argue that increasing this rate is a trait in the same vein as making "a horse as swift as the fastest horse, or a man
as strong as the strongest man".

I'm not sure I would actually argue that myself, I'm just playing devil's advocate. It also raises weird questions about what "better" means here, is an animal that matures faster inherently a better example of its kind than another of the same animal which matures more slowly?

Yes, I judged the description "twice as fast" to mean supernaturally quickly.

Would it be ok with everyone if I split the bloodline discussion into a separate thread? ( If I still can, I haven't tried any of that sort of thing with the new board software).

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Split it or keep it here. As you like :slight_smile:

There are more options than there used to be.

I am okay with a split and in fact have restrained myself from answering further because I did not want to clog up the thread with more off-topic debate about bloodlines.

I dont know if a cow can mature twice as fast as average and remain natural but for the purposes of my argument I assumed (and realize now that I should have stated as much) that it can mature twice as fast and remain within the bounds of its natural potential growth rate. I chose growth because it was the first desirable trait that came to my mind which can be easily broken down in parts.

In the real world (and presumably the not-quite real world of Ars magica) traits are not directly inherited so simply as in my above example, there is in other words no rule that states that a child of 2 parents with Stamina +2 each must also have Stamina +2. But that child should IMO be more likely to have a higher Stamina score than if its parents had lower stamina scores.

The point I am trying to make is that once you improve a creature (or thing) with Creo magic then that thing is permanently changed. The improvement is the new normal for that creature. For me that opens up the possibility that a creature so changed will pass on its improved trait to its offspring rather than it old unimproved trait. I am not saying that it definitely is so, only that it could be so.

Yet even if it does, it isn't the direct functioning of the original rituals.

I dont understand that statement. Can you please elaborate?

I took the Question from Silveroak way up there in the thread "If you use a bloodline target momentary creo ritual to improve a bloodline of a species (for example horse with extra quickness) will it continue to affect those born to that bloodline in the future?" as a question about the spell messing with future generations, not the spell's effects messing with them.

I noted that the spell was long over so it, the spell, couldn't target things that didn't exist when it was cast.

You were speculating about the now altered entities now producing different offspring naturally. Which is just fine, but not where my mind went with a discussion concerning target Bloodline ,as any other target would be just as applicable.

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We have ArM5 p.93 Bloodline (Target):

The spell applies to all members of the bloodline born during its duration, as well as those already living when it is cast.

And we have ArM5 p.112 Momentary:

Ritual Creo spells with Momentary duration create things that last as any other thing of that type. The magic is gone in a moment and so cannot be dispelled. This also applies to ritual healing spells.

So the question is, whether the

could also change the procreation of the individuals it directly affects. The ritual as currently descibed does not. Could a more powerful ritual do?

LoH p.72ff Viresculture from p.70ff The Magical Garden of Hérisson and AM p.56ff The Feritility Ritual from p.54ff Fertility Magic provide different means to affect the offspring of beings - but none are as generic and sweeping as the ritual spell you consider.

This is very interesting thread and I've mostly refrained from commenting until now because I have never had cause to look into how heredity was viewed historically (until now). I've been reading around a little and I think it all really boils down to one thing: is pangenesis literally true in Mythic Europe? Pangenesis is the theory that semen or the like is generated by the entire body, meaning that the state of the body at any given time determines the content of the semen, and hence what traits it carries. Note that in some ancient theories "semen" is generated by both father and mother, so can encompass both what we would now understand as semen and what we would now understand as ova..

This generally also means in most versions of pangenesis that something like Lamarckian inheritance happens - offspring can inherit aspects of a parent that were acquired during their life. Counter-intuitively to us in the modern day that means that things such as scars, brands, or bodily mutilations can all be inherited. If a man who had his hand cut off has children, there is a chance his children will inherit this characteristic and be born missing the same hand, for example.

Hippocrates, Democritus, and Galen all supported a version of pangenesis. Aristotle refuted the idea overall, but tentatively accepted the idea of Lamarckian inheritance in the idea that mutilated parents sometimes, but not always, produced mutilated offspring. He goes on to say that a better theory of how children are generated must also explain this. You can read his thoughts online here (passages 17 and 18; book IV explains his own theory of embryology which may also be of some interest):

I have also seen some sources claim that similar ideas were supported in the middle ages by Roger Bacon, Albertus Magnus, and Thomas Aquinas but I wouldn't know where to look to verify if that's correct.

So overall I'm personally convinced that it makes sense in Mythic Europe for something like pangenesis and something like Lamarckian inheritance to be actually true. In which case the increase in characteristics from a Creo ritual would indeed be inheritable. However, they would not be guaranteed to pass on to offspring, as going by Aristotle it is also possible that a child may end up resembling one parent over the other, or a distant ancestor, or reverting to the essential form and not resembling either parent.

If we imagine a stallion from an unexceptional lineage which has had creo rituals used to increase, say, Stamina, to +5 and which is being bred with a mare of unexceptional characteristics as an example. Then:

If the hot property wins out (or in other words "the seed is strong") then the offspring will resemble the father and inherit the exceptional stamina.

If the cold property wins out then the offspring will more resemble the mother and will have unexceptional stamina.

If neither property wins out and the disturbance is not severe then it is likely the offspring will resemble a distant ancestor, so would also have unexceptional stamina.

If neither wins out but the disturbance is great the offspring will resemble neither lineage, and will have a random stamina within the normal limits for the essential nature of a horse.

If the disturbance is excessive then there will be a malformation and the offspring will not even entirely resemble the essential nature of the type - possibly a chimera or some monstrosity, but more likely a non-viable foetus, will result.


You have put my thoughts into words much better than I had managed to myself.

I would like to ask about some possible result that you have not mentioned directly and that I am not able to interpret from your post.

It seems to me that your proposal is that the offspring must take either after the father or the mother, but could it not be possible to take a little bit after both, to have a trait that averages out? or to use the terminology that you use in your post, could the hot and cold mix and create a lukewarm property?

Sorry I sort of went off on an example there based on Aristotle's theory without actually explaining it. Aristotle ascribes the "hot" property to the father's semen and the "cold" to the mother's menses. Traits are determined by which, if either, overpowers the other - if hot wins out they resemble the father, if cold does the mother. If neither then they will resemble some earlier ancestor instead, or the essential form with random traits depending on environmental factors.

Aristotle's theory is completely binary. The trait will entirely resemble the father, or the mother, or an earlier ancestor. What may seem like a "blending" can occur, but this is actually just the trait not resembling any ancestor and reverting to the essential form of the type. This may coincidentally seem to be a mix of the trait in the mother and father.

However, that's just Aristotle. Not all theories rejected the idea of a blending of traits - for example Hippocrates has traits as more of a continuum, which allows for blending.


Thank you for clarifying that as I had misunderstood your original post, or perhaps not. The fact that Aristotle's theory of inheritance is binary is strange to me. But oddly fitting for an old timey theory about biology.

It is good to know that other ancient theorists dont ascribe to such a strange theory.

I would like to point out that so far Lamarckian transmission of traits seems to exist among most (perhaps all) of the ancient theorists that you have cited, which to my mind means that there is very solid case to be made that having improvements caused by momentary Creo rituals persist across generations is supported in the Ars Magica universe.

Note however I am not saying that there is no case to be made as to the contrary, simply that there is a case to be made for my position.

I really like Argentinus learned thoughts on this.

Since breeding animals is not a scholarly pursuit though, but something done by the great unwashed, what would a medieval pig herder have believed?