Please help non-English players. Questions.


I have a question and surely will have more.

What does the Wizard's March mean?
I have the book but I dont understand what it is exactly.
It is ganging up to dismiss a magus, the process of dismissal (=renunciation), or hunting down the renounced magus?

Why it is called to 'March'? This term is very strange for me.


Hi Birbin,

I'm nor an English native speaker myself, but I'll give you question a go while we wait for the native tongues to check in :smiley:

In Ars Magica terms the Wizard's March refer to the hunt itself. The actually activities of finding, tracking and slaying the magus in question. This might often be done by plenty of magi joining in the effort - some due to possible rewards, some due to the spoils from the slain, some out of duty, some because the have personally reasons or grudges to see the magus killed and some my join simply because it sanctions the killing of a magus - something not normally allowable. All in all, a lot of magi might get involved. While the term Wizard's March refer specifically to the slaying itself it is not uncommon to be used as a generel term of the whole process of renunciation.

Why the term "March"? I guess first of all it's because it has a nice ring to it. Second of all the word march among other things implies:

:arrow_right: to walk somewhere quickly and in a determined way, often because you are angry, and
:arrow_right: the determined advance of a state, activity or idea.
I think these are the qualities of the word in this regard rather then the usual meaning relating to images of marching/parading soldiers or demonstraters. Emphasizing the Wizard's March as a collective cohesive action of the Order of Hermes and implying a determined anger or wrath.

On an interesting sidenote the term march is also used in the idiom "of stealing a march":
:arrow_right: If you steal a march on someone, you get an advantage over them by acting before they do.
Magi, being a dangerous lot - especially when pushed into a corner - it might require for certain precautions are preparations made by the Quaesitors/Hopplites prior to the March to ensure that the sodalis being about to be marched doesn't get the possibility to endanger other magi or the Order by his actions upon becoming renounced. Some of this you can also find in the Guernicus chapter of HoH:TL.

While not native, I think I have some understanding of the term, it refers to the renunciation primarily, but is usually used to describe the hunt that follows. The term, I believe, comes from marching out - i.e. leaving.

So in that regard I'm pretty confident, but as I said the term of Marching someone has branched out to also be used a synonym for earlier parts of the process, when being cast out.

But why - in terms of etymology - the word March is befitting is something I guess the native tongues or the original developers can answer us.

I didn't get the whole hunting as a march, as in travel. When I first read it I figured it refered to March as in the month, like Julius Caeser's Ides of March, being his fateful death. March the month is associated with Mars god of War, and death, therefore a Wizard March is a wizards warfare/death.

Probably wrong but the english langauge does have several other cases of referring to a month or day to mean it's associated values. The old rhyme about "Mondays child is" springs first to mind.

I had also fallen upon the "Ides of March" and thought that even though the developers might not have had this in mind it really is a setting specific nicety.

That's what it evokes to me and how if was translated in the French 3rd edition ("Marche des Sorciers"). Think of the Ents's march on Isengard, except with a wizard going crunch at the end. That's the kind of image I fancy. :stuck_out_tongue:

As I'm sure you are aware, the connotations of a particular term can vary widely even among native speakers of a language. So, while I am a native speaker of English, other native speakers may understand the term "Wizard's March" differently.

When I hear "the army has marched," I don't think of soldiers marching up and down the street during a patriotic holiday of some sort. (I'd call that a "parade.") Rather, I hear "the army has marched (off to war)." That is, the nation has mobilized its armies to fight some particular foe.

So, the term "Wizards' March" implies to me that the soldiers of the Order (the hoplites) have mobilized to fight whatever miscreant has just been thrown out of the Order.

Thanks guys the answers.

Furion Transsanus:
Thanks for the quote. It resolves my problem.
But I shall continue to interest in the proper meaning of the term Wizard's March.

Please dont confuse singular and plural. The term is Wizard's March.
I hope you and maybe other native speakers will quench my thirst for knowledge.

Birbin, are you being pedantic? (If so, the correct word is "don't.")

If you aren't, though, 4th edition referred to the same event as a Wizards' March (plural, see the index on pg 272 of ArM4). So, the exact term seems to vary over the history of the game. Usually, I think it's best to stick to the current edition. However, as I noted, the term "march" most often indicates an activity involving several people, so I prefer the use of the plural.

Birbin, I'm not sure about you point either? If you're being pendantic, then that's your right, but if it is because you are in doubt about the meaning af Wizard's vs Wizards' March the difference doesn't have to be anything but the same... :smiley:

I don't find that the term of "Wizard's March" is dependent on the grammar in that sense. Note that in many languages, English included, you can use singular nouns in collective sense. So even if you say Wizard's March, which is singular form, it still might gramatically cover more than one individual.

:bulb: There are by the way some interesting differences between American and British English when it comes to the use of collective nouns and that might have added to the confusion.

Lots of babbling here, and I am drunk, so please ignore whatever blatant buggeries I might commit:

As I see it, the term Wizard's March refers not to the accused walking away from the Order, but rather the Order marching in concert to destroy whomever has defied it. Of course, the word "March" could also be linked to the Norse word "Spissrot"; a court practice in which the defendant was forced to walk between two paralell lines of his peers, who were allowed to hit him all the while. This was also known as the walk (or march) of shame.

Interesting since the word we in our saga used in place of Gauntlet is actually "Spidsrod" (Danish version of Spissrot) though we knew the origin of the word it seemed the most inspiring translating word we could find - not that we have issues with the English words - many of them just undermine the scenes when we start to mingle Danish phases with English words (no problem with the latin, it seems te enhance the feel of the setting). But know I dont hope the language confusion will get my players confuse the Gauntlet with a March... oh dread!

Makes me wonder if anyone ever thought of or use a latin term for the gauntlet?

(and Rein - doesn't suprise me.... :laughing: , as often as Norwegian skiguides probably have to rescue silly broken-legged danes in your mountains we have the image of you guy's only coming here down south to get genuinely pissed :astonished: )

Really? The same? :open_mouth:
I haven't got more questions in the marching theme. Thanks to everybody.

Thanks to reminder me. I didn't wanted to belive I should use its punishment meaning. I used simple the 'proving' meaning. I'm not a translator so it was ok for me.

Your previous correspndent is wrong, though. A Wizard's War is when one magus declares war on another. A Wizard's March is when a character is cast from the Order and a Tribunal announces that they'd really prefer he were dead. A group of magi then eliminate him with a March.

I don't think anybody has been talking about Wizard Wars in this thread... :confused: :question:

Hi Timothy,

Care to elaborate? Especially because deeming something as downright wrong deserves better argumetation. As Fruny I can't find any reference to Wizard's War in the thread prior to your post. There is a running discussion on Wizard's March but in another thread however...

If you are refering to my post please note that when I talk of no difference it is in the significance between using the singular (collective noun) or plural form in the term Wisard's/Wizards' March. No where is it stated that Wizard's War and Wizard's March are the same. Of course they aren't.

Yes, my apologies. I had interpretted what you had written incorrectly. I had the wrong end of the stick entirely.