R:Arc interaction with Arcadia

You have an Arcane Connection to your faithful grog -- whom you sent off in your stead to the realms of Faerie :slight_smile:

Assuming you know the appropriate spells to scry, communicate, and generally interact at R:Arc, can you do so with your grog to check/aid his progress? If so, what's the result in terms of relative time? When does he hear from you, and when do you hear from him -- given that time can pass at vastly different rates between Arcadia and Mythic Europe and, perhaps more importantly, that rate gets determined only when the grog returns to Mythic Europe?

Since much of Faerie is based upon stories, does it make sense for the meta-story for the magus to see/interact with the grog?

So, is the story about the faithfulness of the grog being tested? I ask, because you mention it twice. Does it make sense for the faithful grog to be able to contact the magus and/or vice versa? How is faithfulness tested in that scenario?
Or perhaps the AC works just fine, but faeries place a glamour upon the sounds and images that come from it or sent through it, to test the grog. I guess my point being is that the grog is the one who is participating in the story in Arcadia, the magus is, almost like a faerie, a player or character in the story, but not the driver of the story. As an SG, my feeling is that a character can only realize the benefits of an Arcadia adventure by being in Arcadia, because it's about creating stories, finishing stories and the character that is actually creating the story in your example is the grog, not the magus, the magus is filling a role, like any other faerie. So my answer to the question about checking on progress is, does it serve the greater story. Should faeries be able to manipulate the information sent back and forth via the AC, you bet, if that's the purpose of the story.

I've edited my original post. My intention was not to make faithfulness the centre of the post; it was just a sarcastic remark of how magi tend to use grogs as (faerie?) cannon fodder. Similarly, I did not want specifically limit interaction to "information exchange"; maybe you want to cure your grog, or turn him into a raven, or ... maybe ReCo him back?

My question is whether your grog being in Arcadia "blocks" any R:Arc interaction you might have with him. And if that's not the case (noting it indeed does not appear to be the case, by the book), how are such interactions affected by the "temporal distortions" introduced by Arcadia (and determined only once the grog returns from it, in fact)?

I hope that's clearer!

Allowing ACs to reach from Mythic Europe into any of the Realms (Divine, Infernal, Magic, Faerie) in general does not make sense. You can't e. g. check on your Master in the Twilight Void, or spy into hell or the Empyreum. Entering or seeing into these Realms requires significant adventures at the very least.
AFAICS the same should also hold for Faerie - unless you happen to be in a high level faerie regio already, and its inhabitants get inspired by your attempts. That's what Jonathan Link IMO is trying to tell you.


Well, I'll agree that the book does not place a hard limit on Arcane Connections being suppressed in any of the Faerie realms, as is the case for the Magic Realm and even the various boundaries.

If the story being undertaken doesn't prevent arcane connections they aren't prevented, and if it does, then they are prevented... As to time, if time is flowing at different rates, I think that's integral to the story, and would affect any interactions over R:arc. If time passes more swiftly in the mundane world, relative to Faerie, then contact from the grog would seem to be infrequent, and if time passes more switftly in Faerie, then the grog would seem to be in constant contact with the magus, especially if there were instructions to keep in frequent contact from his end of things. I'm not sure I see the dilemma, to be honest. I have trouble understanding how these are determined only once the grog returns from Arcadia, if the AC is functional while he is in Arcadia, not sure that things would be determined upon his return? Are you saying that the magi and grog would only notice upon his return?

I'm specifically referring to RoP:F, p.30, where the amount of time that has passed in Mythic Europe once you return is the product of your time in Arcadia, and a multiple given by your "final" Fable Score once you are about to leave Arcadia -- which is obviously determined by what you did throughout your stay in Arcadia, and so, in general "unknowable" at the beginning of your sojourn there.

I agree and I wish the line laid this out consistently across the RoP books.

There have to be a few exceptions to the rule though. True Names function cross-realm and I can think of a couple others I would use, such as temple idols or tokens given from a fairy to a person.

Hmm. Let's see. By the book, that's true only of the Twilight Void (and with some caveats, but let's leave them for another time). I could see it as applying to Divine areas too, just because the Divine's whims trump everything else. I can't find the least reference or suggestion that it might be true for Hell (any would be welcome) or for the Faerie realms (Arcadia in particular).

Now, I do see the point that these "places" are really beyond space and time, and that allowing one to go back and forth by AC might "cheapen" them. But ... what happens if, say, a magus and his familiar have a "Mental Communication" power constantly on as one of them enters Arcadia? Does it suddenly stop (hmm, maybe to enter Arcadia you have to stop it)? Does it become erratic? Can a familiar no longer aid "his" magus with his bond at all?

The divine is impenetrable due to its power.
The Infernal is impenetrable due to its deceptive nature (Intelligo is inherently warpable/blocked by the infernal)
Faeries, on the other hand, are exhibitionists. They literally get their food and drink (equivalent) from being seen and interacting with people.
On the other hand if you are talking full arcadia the time distortion would be a heck of an issue, So I would expect any such contact to be erratic at best...


Does an AC from our world to something in Realm X work?

It cannot work if...

  • Some entity uses its power to block it, such as a spirit or angel protecting its place or a demon protecting its secrets
  • The local "laws of physics" do not allow it; a covenant can even take this as a Minor Boon in the mundane world (of recapitulated redundancy!)
  • The AC is no longer legitimate, perhaps such as the pinkie of a grog in Arcadia so long that his body is now leaves and branches, or a saintly companion who is now not only a pure soul but purely a soul.


Twilight Void: It should not work. The whole schtick of Twilight Void is "no one can be contacted there, no one is sure exactly what it is, it's so weird but 'twilight' sounds cool and 'void' sounds cool, so 'twilight void' is four times as awesome and utterly ambiguous." So Hermetic Magic ought not be able to break its Essential Nature.

Magic Realm: It should work fine, depending on where in the Magic Realm you are.

Divine Realm: No reason it shouldn't work. Depending on your intent, your action and whether magic in your saga is sinful, you might displease some angel.

Faerie Realm: It should work, but results may vary: Bear in mind that casting such a spell is an open invitation for Faeries (especially guardians of boundaries) to include you in their stories.

Infernal Realm: It should work. But you might attract unwanted attention. It might even be against the Code.

Nothing about having ACs work break the game or make magi too powerful. Having ACs work opens up interesting stories of the right kind.



Also, there's boundary degradation of ACs when you take an AC from one boundary or vestige to another boundary or vestige.

The way I read Arcadia, and exiting it, it seems to me that, much like the Magic Realm, exiting Arcadia is a separate event from the actual story, that how well you do in the story affects your speed at exiting the realm. I suppose that it could be described as temptations or obstacles within the story in Arcadia being an impediment to arriving back home quickly, to make it seem less abstract.


Yeah, that's how it does work. In general, I cannot say that very much in RoP:M is the way something should work. Just me.

Hmm. There are two parts to the exit. From a story perspective, there's the part that is in Arcadia, part of the resolution of the story. Maybe you ride off into the sunset, or take the blue pill, or hurl yourself out of the tower window or whatever. And then there's the resolution of the exit, which is part of your story but not part of the faerie tale.

Not sure how that relates to what the effect of an AC to someone in Arcadia should be. Or the effect of someone in Arcadia holding an AC to something outside! I kind of like the idea that it is variable. A sufficiently powerful Faerie can block it. A sufficiently clever Faerie, or one with the right associations, can work it into the story to make it a better story. As for time... whatever works! Again, just me.

But I am reminded of Canto 19 of The Travels of Fedoso....



I have only found the time to put quotes together now. Storyguides using the Realms need to moderate use of Arcane Connection between them and Mythic Europe, and have many means to do so.

There is:

So even regios are subject to storyguide discretion for their interaction with Arcane connections - and this holds a fortiori for Realms too.

The Divine Realm can be allocated to beyond the celestial sphere (see A&A p.16ff Astronomy), hence also beyond The Limit of the Lunar Sphere (ArM5 p.80). It is also directly protected by:

RoP:TI p.7ff The Infernal Realm is very careful not to step on any toes when describing it, but does not make any provisions for using Arcane Connections into it. Reading it through completely, you should see that Arcane Connections into it really need very special consideration, and this is provided by the concept of True Names protecting Demons and Angels:

RoP:TI p.121 Plucking the Hair from the Billy Goat’s Chin creates a D: Sun Arcane Connection, but "This connection is intangible, a sort of conduit rather than a physical object, and so it cannot be fixed in the laboratory and does not itself convey any Penetration bonus."

The Magic Realm allows Arcane Connections to be gathered in it, but has them degraded when passing between places through boundaries (which basically form the Twilight Void). This gives storyguides meaningful use cases for Arcane Connections within the Magic Realm, but makes use of them from elsewhere tricky, and impossible from and into the Twilight Void. See for this:

Using Arcane Connections to something outside the Magic Realm is not possible from inside it:

The Faerie Realm (short Faerie) is made of stories, which only at their very end define their relation to the world outside of them: see RoP:F p.30 Warping and the Passage of Time. So this causes an implicit limit to any interaction between Faerie and the rest of the world - which the storyguide needs to assure unless Faerie shall get compromised.


Minor point - Demons are impenetrable due to their deceptive nature (as is infernally tainted Vis). On the other hand, Infernal auras, infernally tainted animals, and mortal Infernalists, can be identified with Intelligo just fine. (Inasmuch as they don't have the equivalent of Perdo Vim stealth effects going.) This is discussed in RoP:I, pg. 33 - at least the inability to detect demons, as well as the ability to detect mortal-based Diablolic magic. ("However, only Infernal Powers used by demons are immune to detection; use of Infernal Powers by humans may be detected with Hermetic magic.")

Although the storyguide has discretion to block them, I think it is pretty dumb to do so. The whole point of using bodies as Arcane Connections to contact the dead, True Names to summon demons, etc., is that ACs work across the Realms.

Good question.

Rather than trying to figure out complicated rate rules, I would suggest that you just allow a character a Int + Faerie Lore roll against an Ease Factor of (say) 9 to pick their intended moment. If the character doesn't have a preference, then just go for whenever will be easiest for the story / storyguide.

For bodies as Arcane Connections to contact the dead there has been built a big no no already into ArM5 proper:

This shows the authors measuring three times before cutting, where getting information via Arcane Connections is involved. If you follow Whispers Through the Black Gate literally, summoning a spirit back from Hell is quite ok, though, and might lead to some interesting insights into the beyond. But I certainly would block that by reasoned storyguide discretion.

Summoning with True Names can saddle your saga with one of the biggest problems of Ars Magica: angels answering player character questions while under their control. Luckily, you can control the True Names of angels available in your saga. Unless you are thoroughly prepared for it, have decided on all the nooks and crannies of an angel's mind, and why it just is impenetrable for mortal minds, don't ever let one into your saga who is weak enough for this to happen: clever players might otherwise check the underpinnings of the Divine in your saga, and thus replace faith with "that angel said".

OK, you do not always need to block magical spying into the Realms out of hand. But whenever it becomes even somewhat likely, you need to prepare it well beforehand - and blocking is just the easiest preparation.


On the other hand, Ancient Magic says the following in the Caaanite Necromancy section (pg. 34):

Some things should be off limits for run-of-the-mill magics, Hermetic or otherwise. Arcane Connections are simply too easy to obtain or create and their unidirectional nature makes them overly safe to use. I prefer to keep peeking into other worlds as a story event.


So do I.

Your AM p.34 quote above is another of several - mostly isolated - provisions in Ars to prevent breaking the game world by spying into the Realms. It is stlll the storyguides and troupes, though, who need to establish and enact a comprehensive system to that purpose.