Repeating The Spider's Trick

I received my copy of Thrice Told Tales today. I very much enjoyed it; however it had a few unexpected positives.

The last set of stories and the Appendix cover a rather abnormal figure in hermetic history - Damhan-Allaidh.

It seems the Spider is older than we thought and managed to pull off a Body Stealing trick and having his Gift opened at least 4 times...

So given we know, how would you go about trying the same sort of thing? Below I've let you know what tools Spider had, but I'm just as happy to hear how Body Theft would work in Hermetic Magic.

  • Pictish Nercomancer – Caanite Nercomancy – Resembles Invokation/Maldiction & Consumption, External Soul, Living Ghost? Body Theft?; Warps as Grugachan
  • Brythonic Elementism – Elementalism – [Philosphical] Controlling, Summoning, All Elements
  • Scottish Druidism – Grugachan – External Soul (virtue actually from Nercomancer tradition]
  • Saxon Rune Wizard – Vitkor – Special Extra Runes
  • Living Ghost* – Magic Spirit – Possession Power, Mystery taken from Nercomancer tradition

*More of an assumption but essentially the sort of Spirit Transformation.

Needs a breakthrough of sorts, but you need to integrate the mystery that lets you become an eternal spirit, then possess your new body.

Else a breakthrough on the rego vim-mentem front to transfer your soul to a new body (one of my troupemates is sort of working on that)

It should be noted that it is noted that Guorna the Fetid planned to do the same thing and she is the one who contributed to Magic Theory.

Perhaps, but she was murdered by her apprentices before she could share all her tricks (assuming she ever actually intended to). Besides, given that both Pictish Necromancy and the Caananite Necromancy it's based upon are effectively extinct by 1220 at least one breakthrough would likely be required anyway acquire the necessary virtue.

IIRC, she explicitly contributed as little as possible.
Her apprentices were much more forthcomming, after her death.

I'm aware a breakthrough would be required, (at the very least, it bends the Limit of the Soul), but having some idea on how to model it would help.

Off the top of my head it would be a Me(Co) effect but I'm unsure if it would primarily be a Re(Mu) or Re(Cr) or even a Re(Mu, Cr) effect. Even the preference to Rego feels a tad 'shoehorn-ie' to me. Base Effect would be really, really high though. Or maybe it is just a really powerful Possession spell

And honestly; I'm just as interested in how he managed to join so many traditions while maintaining his prior magics. He was pretty high up in the chain as for each sorcerers group. He wasn't just a passing member. Heck, he didn't even cross the tradition's streams unless he had too. Even when he came back as a Saxon Rune magi, he took his time to learn it all up before covertly contacting his followers.

I'm kind of looking forward to having Araneae the newly Gauntleted magus show up at some point. After all, Latin is the new Pictish...

Araneae? Isn't that a girl's name (in Latin)?
Arachnus maybe?

It is a feminine word, yes. But Spiders are considered female in the Roman language. Besides, the Spider has been male 4 times; changing gender is a good way to throw people off track.

Arachnus also doesn't have the same ring to it.

Ah, then you want a newly-Gauntleted maga to show up? :slight_smile:

That is the end plan; the specific way it is intended to be used is to have a magus known to be close to my players return from exile (Thebean Tribunal) with an apprentice who will be 'Simon"s replacement.

However any sort of body switching shenanigans & Tradition mixing are of interest to my group. Highly investigative political types + seekers make for some great stories and anything I can do to mix it up is always appreciated. Truth be told if I wasn't already working on my contribution to "The Roman Tribunal; 5th edition", I'd have written the scripts for 'The Traitor's Game'.

In other words my point still stands.

Edit: On second thought; I can run through the Thrice-Told scenario and have 'Ankabut' show up later in the Thebean tribunal as part of a Suhhar delegation. It's not like they haven't had dealings out East before...

Throwing my 2 cents into the cauldron...

What if at each body swap, he would keep the knowledge, but no necessary the Gift to handle old magic. Thus each time his Gift is re-open, he starts from scratch.
Of course, because he keeps the knowledge (language, lore, magical theory and such), he develops his skills much faster than any normal apprentice, and can integrate many elements without having to look for reference documents or inspiration since he just need to dig into his memory.
It could be linked to a unique way to have an external soul - in his case, the gift (however it is open) is linked to the body, not to the soul.

If we look at the mechanical side of it:

  • because he does not carry his powers from one body to the next, but only his knowledge, extremely high initiation score is not required;
  • his extensive knowledge of many traditions allows to work much faster: his season last only a month. It triples his evolution and allow him to quickly exceed his master ability.
  • because of his many incarnations, he can have several skills in the 10+ area, making him already and very proficient mage.

Or all his power are False Powers and he his the main pawn from hell to corrupt the Order and other mages' group.

The ch sound there is Greek.

You mean Araneus. Imagine there's an accent over the second a.

That'd work. You are ofcourse correct.

I can't help but re-read it and go "And this is why Voldemort was a wimp in Harry Potter. No imagination at all as to his method of becoming a horrible immortal being."

And it didn't even work out that well for him! Talk about incompetent.

At least the Spider's plan for immortality includes fall back strategies;
[1]First Position - Set up "Living Ghost" Initiation so that you become a spirit upon physical death; alternatively take 'External Soul' in order to buy time to set up the initiation.
[2]Second Position - Place "External Soul" inside a powerful living being in order to prevent death by 'Demon's Eternal Oblivion' and other effects. Ideally possess target in order to guide towards own ends.
[3]Third Position - Sacrifice "External Soul" in order to regain a mortal form resembling target (who dies in the process)
[4] First Position
[5] Second
[12] Third

Reminder; the Spider has pulled this off at least 4 times already before any Thrice-Fold gameplay...That is some rather badass personal history. I can see why Diedne was afraid of him.

Does this story superseed that which is written in Land of Fire and Ice (I think it was called - Mythic Iceland)

Depends on the table, I guess.

It's not like any of the adventures are cannon until you run them. If your prefer Brighde’s Gauntlet, then go for it. I think the Traitor's Game is considered higher priority in terms of Cannon because of 5th vs 4th edition but really both are good.
If you want to try and mix the two, then perhaps Damhan-Allaidh hadn't destroyed his old body and when he tries he finds the Infernal has plans for it...Que those meddling Magi; they can help! Or maybe it's a false body, one of his followers dressed up in order to conceal the truth...

Remember, YSMV at all times.

The stories in Thrice Told Tales (5e) and Land of Fire and Ice (4e) are not compatible, although there is crossover (I wrote both, after all -- although you can't blame me for the Egyptian bits in the latter!)

Fifth edition Damhan-Allaidh is a different beast entirely to fourth edition. There is much more detailed mythology surrounding the stories of Damhan-Allaidh and Pralix in the current edition. However, Thrice Told Tales shies away from actual confrontation with The Spider -- although it sets up the story for it, so it might be possible to integrate some of the ideas from LoFaI.