You can be local and associate with (or oppose) the learned guys in the ruinous castle out of convenience. There will be a pair of short foundational scenes for sure.
Ars Notoria (RoP:TD p.97ff) makes you profit from being a good and diligent Christian for sure - but it does not take away your Virtues if you fail. You some time will get a Patron Angel, who is as demanding as an ArM5 p.43 Guardian Angel. Committing a Mortal Sin reduces your Recitation Score considerably: that is as bad as it comes.
The scholar I imagine is certainly not holy, but at least compassionate and/or optimistic (i. e. trusting in god). Also: "Because of its lofty aim, the Church views Ars Notoria as operating within God’s will, unlike the Hermetic Arts whose status is debated by theologians." So he doesn't have to hide it - but he can take it upon his conscience to keep silent about other practitioners of magic, or to help them.
You tell me, whether this is OK.
Huh. I just realized that if you take the mechanics behind Vigilio and its rites and apply it to the original concept of Mercurian Magic in The Tempest it is actually possible to emulate a type of mercurian magic.
I recall that when I read Rival magic, the the Bortherhoood struck me as the most Roman of all the traditions I had read so far, yup.
right now I am struggling to define what to make of the official orde rof hermes. If I just leave the covenants as they are and change membership to a hidgepodge of tradiotons, or if we atomize it into a lot more small covenants. And in either case, what do we do with Durenmar when we have no investigative central house for the OoH. Or maybe we still do and they are trying to get that common magic theory, and failing so far... Given the disparate traditions of the new Order, the library of durenmar is somewhat less important, and suddenly triamore's library might be more important...
I am now tempted to create a variant of the Augustan Brotherhood crossed with Neo-Mercurians, Nature Lore and Nature Mysteries.
There could be more "covenants" since Folk Witches will have covens and Gruagachan will form communites, etc.
Durenmar and the various Domus Magna can be sealed or lost areas like Val Negra, which can make recovery of Bonisagus' Hermetic Theory a whole saga in itself.
I would think that Fenicil's Collection would be the most interesting.
Do away with it? It might have disappeared with all its magic a decade or two after a truely disastrous Schism War. If remains are still around, I pity you for deciding piecemeal what to do with all the covenants, magi, factions and plots.
You might make Bonisagus, his House and Durenmar the legend of a golden age lost, with no way to retrieve it so far. Durenmar might look just like Branugurix now.
That is an option. i like the covenants, though. It puts some order around
Still, we are more likely to be dealing with our vecinity more than Roznov, Crintera or Durenmar, so yeah, we can be done with them.
Plan B is that the schism war was truly apocalyptic and someone managed a ritual that weaponized Parma magica and the Aegis as a sympathetic connection and made your Parma and Aegis burn you alive or something like that. Would explain why most covenants are not around.
However, if there is no Order, there is no Code... And I prefer a Code to be around as a source of stories. Maybe we need a second founding made by the redcaps, the only remaining house with some significant membership remaining.
I will come back to you, but it might be that one of the ideas of Antagonists (the OoH becoming a branch of the Church answerable to the Pope (like a military order based in covenants), or some other stuff like that) can be a reality. I have to reread that part.
The more I think about it, the more complicated the setting becomes
What about some Irish missionaries from Connacht came after the Schism War and helped the poor, destitute magical cousins from the continent reorganize along the lines of Ireland with the Treaty of Cnoc Maol Réidh revoked? They did it after the Western Roman Empire collapsed as well!
What makes sense to me is that the big strategically important covenants got nuked, and the sympathetic ritual you mentioned earlier wiped out all the libraries. All the competent magi (summer+) died in battle, so at the end of the war the Diedne were wiped out, snd all that was left of the order were very young magi, and the less important covenants. The libraries were gone so they couldn't grow into powerful magi very easily, and the old masters of theory were gone, so to keep the order alive they expanded to hedge traditions.
Still leaves us with a fairly similar Order landscape politically, just the absence of the really powerful covenants, and Certamen. Which IMO makes politics more interesting.
It took some 250 years from the founding of the Order of Hermes to the end of the Schism War. And over 200 years have passed since then.
So something must have prevented the Order from resurging during those 200 years. A new, more defensive and careful form of organization of the magic practitioners? A change in the world's Magic caused by the Schism War? There may be other reasons. But we still need to decide upon one such reason: the simpler the better.
The order has been full of hedgies all that time. So the Hermetics have no monopoly on apprentices or resources.
Making Parma and Aegis impossible to work or support could be the change in the world's Magic I addressed above, and level the playing field for the hedgies. But it also would make covenants a thing of the past, I fear: the Gifted would not support and trust each other any more.
If the hedgies we talk about have the Parma and were within the Order, that keeps them alive - though these hedgies had the same, if not worse, casualties. But what about another 200 years to reestablish Hermetic magic? The surviving young magi remembered it, and might have reestablished it while they grew older.
What would the hedgies in the Order do during that time? Invent a competing Hedge Theory, style Ádamh Brathair? That would make the world complicated to run for Xavi..
Basically I was thinking the Order brought in hedge traditions within 10-15 years of the end of the schism war, and they got Parma and full legal equality.
Ther is a trick that wa spilled before. Pralix had the gruagachan in one battle forget Pictish. That almost whipped out their tradition. Maybe someone pulled the same move on Hermetics (or diednes) and the spell went out of control whipping out the knowledge of magic (magic theory and the arts) from the hermetics? Or everybody was transported to the magic realm? Who knows. Maybe we will explore that.
In any case hermetic magic was not recovered. Some remnants (a failed apprentice?) Must have been around to spread Parma Magica and revive the Order in another, lesser format.
One shot convinced me that having magi under the thumb of the Pope is a Really Bad Idea (TM) so I am removing that.
That could be why Parma Magica takes an initiation now, because of that ritual it can't be simply taught anymore.
I'm glad we're not going to be under the papal thumb.
Regardless of how hermetic Magic Theory is gone, rediscovering it would be a big deal.
The hermetic arts are harder to remove but it is possible. Opening the Arts is basically an initiation that is integrated into the tradition, so it might be kicking around in a flawed, deficient form.
If a recall there was a sub Rosa article expanding the Irish Beastmaster tradition to a full Hedge tradition. So if someone would like to go that route, it does exist.
Just a thought; having lots of traditions in a covenant means we will end with lots of books that most of us can't use, including initiation scripts, hedge arts, etc. This will need to be addressed for our covenant.
So I'm guessing that hedge tradition politics can replace House politics to a degree, as most of the 'houses' control access to established resources, as it can get difficult for multi 'house' covenants to build up a significant amount for a single tradition.
That can expand the issues in the Rhine tribunal. If the local leader of a tradition in the Order has gained enough traction (perhaps with an alliance), it can put pressure on the other traditions.
Some random thoughts.
Triamore is supposed to have a very good library. It is one of the main themes of the covenant. However, it is so because the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire send it their books. These are mostly books they get as gifts. So we will have a lot of MUNDANE books, but not necessarily supernatural books. Falconry books? Take a shovel and dig away. Lives of saints? Yup. Magic Lore? I think we have one of those somewhere in that back cabinet. An initiation script? WTF is that???
For rules, I think we will use the rules in Durenmar (GotF) for abilities. Or just a lot of build points.
Expertise areas: falconry, theology, area lore, single weapon, social graces (nobility), management. Civil and canon law. Maybe some Legend lore...
The library will also bring studious people to our doorstep and act as a secondary source of income.
Regarding diversity of initiation scripts and then like, that is one of the tough parts of a multiplicity of traditions. This is one of the reasons that make the hedgie order less advanced than hermetics. And why some traditions try to create a comprehensive theory of magic.
THE CODE OF HERMES.
The swearing of the code is part of the initiation script of Parma Magica. The script predates the current membership of the Order, but due to mystical reasons everybody that undergoes the initiation understands what they are swearing. So, if you have Parma you have sworn the Code and take it seriously.
There are a bunch of magi that perform the role of Quaesitores and Arbitrators. They do not intervene unless someone asks for them to intervene in a conflict or uncovers evidence of wrongdoing on the supernatural side and alerts them. So they are less nosy than the official quaesitores. One Arbitrator is always present in a Tribunal gathering (when at least 3 covens gather to settle disputes), and he will act as mediator and head judge.
Tribunals are way less formal than in the official setting, and generally much more local in scope; most of them cover a pair of duchies at most. Their frontiers are way less formal and can overlap. Basically they are places to get deals and solve disputes you want an Arbitrator (or a bunch of crazy hedgies) to mediate in. That means that you might need to attend several tribunals if you have issues with people indifferent directions. I make this so we can crank up or down hermetic politics as much as we want.
THE LEGACY OF THE ORDER OF HERMES.
There are rests of the OoH around. The books you know about that talk about magic from the OoH are total gibberish. Even books written in monasteries that talk about that order read like a madman's rantings after around the year 1000, and before that year if they try to talk about their magical abilities. Most (educated) superatural traditions know that there was an Order of Hermes and that they invented the Parma. It seems that they were powerful and created a system of tribunals not very unlike the one you have today. However, there seems to have been some curse or something like that, and no item or book that he arcane writing in it seems to have endured. Few books remain, and those are either in a very advanced code (all of them) or they have been corrupted somehow.
Some of the books were written as far as late 10th century, but they are undecipherable, and after a while it seems that the Order of Hermes ceased to be. Some current nobility have their origin in this mythical order, but nobody pays them much attention, like the kings that use Arthur or Sigfried as their foundational mythos. The counts of Fengheld, descended from really powerful magicians? Yes sure mylord, whatever you say.
How about that? You surely guess what flaw the curse caused. Only in overdrive mode compared to then official rules.
I'm getting excited. Is it time to sprout our subforum yet?
I guess so. Will post the official recruitment thread (the people at Atlas ask for it) and request the forum tomorrow