Solomon of Guernicus (development)


Gareth Williams was born the third son to a minor landed noble in Herefordshire England. Once his two older brothers proved healthy and able, Gareth was promised as a postulant to a nearby Benedictine monastery. Entering monastic life at the age of 10, Gareth proved quite intelligent and quickly took to his Latin studies, becoming an effective scribe of the holy texts by the age of 14. He hadn’t been able to explain it at the time, but Gareth had always felt a calm, a sense of rightness in the monastery that had transcended simple emotion, and he knew that his destiny was with the Church. At the age of 18 he took his monastic vows and was sent west into Wales, to a monastery near the southern tip of the Black Mountains.

Gareth continued his studies, now reading the holy texts in their original languages and expanding his biblical knowledge. However after residing at the monastery for a couple of years, that feeling of calm and rightness left and was replaced by something more sinister. It began as a simple feeling of wrongness; an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of his stomach that wouldn’t go away. At first he believed he’d just taken ill, and allowed himself more rest. But the feeling persisted, and began to grow worse. Now he began having nightmares, scenes of hellfire and brimstone waking him drenched in sweat. God was testing him, he was sure of it, and he dedicated his free time to prayer and reflection; but the nightmares continued.

And then one night he finally understood. His door opened and the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen was standing there, naked, the light of the candles in the hallway framing her gorgeous form. Lips formed into a smile reminiscent of a lion examining its prey while her eyes steamed with pure wanton lust. Involuntarily Gareth felt tightness in his loins as his body reacted to the woman’s beauty and lustful stare. His breathing became shallow as he stared at her, unable to turn his eyes from her. And then he felt that wrongness that he’d been feeling for so long. It was stronger now, stronger than he’d ever felt it, and he knew that it was because of her. The feeling tore him from her spell and he reached over and instinctively grabbed the wooden cross that sat next to his bed. Holding it in his trembling hands before him, he whispered, “Begone foul temptress.” The woman simply smiled at him and retorted, “I will see you tomorrow night Gareth.”

In the morning when he woke Gareth remembered the encounter only vaguely, and assumed it had been a dream until he sat with the other monks for breakfast. That same overall sense of wrongness permeated the hall, but when the elder monks entered along with Brother Thomas, a monk that had arrived in the monastery some eight weeks earlier, the feeling intensified. It was then that Gareth realized the truth. The feelings of discomfort had started just after Brother Thomas had arrived. Then he remembered reading about infernal creatures, creatures sent by the Adversary to tempt, corrupt and destroy mankind. He remembered a creature called a succubus, sent to corrupt those of pure heart through carnal lust.

He stood up, brandishing the same cross he’d used the night before, “Begone foul beast! Return to the abyss from whence you came! Your master has no power here, God rules this house!” Brother Thomas cackled maniacally as his form shifted to the infernally beautiful woman, now with small horns protruding from her skull. “Gareth, do you not realize? Your god has no power here now; you were to be my last. All of your brother’s have tasted of my sweet nectar, do not deny yourself the pleasures of my flesh.” Gareth looked across the room, looking into his brothers’ eyes in stunned silence. He could see that she was right; he could sense that this place was no longer holy. Having no other recourse he began chanting the holy ritual to banish the demon. She simply laughed and began speaking in a tongue he’d never heard before, one whose very sounds dripped with Infernal damnation. When she finished, she hurled a bolt of hellfire at him and Gareth closed his eyes and accepted his fate. He felt immense pain as the hellfire hit his right leg and he cried out for Divine aid. Just then he felt a sense of peace, as if a warm blanket had been wrapped around his shoulders. Opening his eyes, he saw feathered wings protecting him and the demon disappear in a flash of brimstone.

Without any word, the protective wings disappeared and Gareth was left in the hall with the stunned monks. Fearing the demon would return, Gareth limped out of the monastery, moving as fast as his infirm leg would allow and ran to the only place he thought might be safe. He’d heard rumors from the other monks of a cabal of wizards and warlocks who controlled the caves under the Black Mountains not far from the monastery. It took him well into the night, but eventually he found his way into the caves, however he found no covenant. Exhausted, he slept for the night in the cave, not knowing that he was being watched by grogs of the Blackthorn covenant.

In the morning he woke in the company of an old man sitting on a nearby stone. He introduced himself as Iudicium, a magus and resident of the Blackthorn covenant. He explained that the grogs who had been watching Gareth sensed something off about him and had alerted Iudicium. He further explained to Gareth that this unease the grogs had felt was the Gift, and that he would teach Gareth if he wished. Believing that it was God’s will that had brought him here, Gareth agreed and at the age of 20 became Iudicium’s apprentice.

His apprenticeship proved to be rather uneventful given the nature of his parens, but he did spend the requisite time learning lab work as well as traveling around the Stonehenge Tribunal and meeting all of the quaesitores living there. While his parens focused his studies on the arts of Intellego and Mentem, Gareth noticed that he also had particular aptitude with Vim, perhaps as a result of his previous encounter with the succubus. His gauntlet was equally uneventful, consisting of a series of written examinations designed to test his knowledge of the Code of Hermes as well as his insight in applying it in specific situations. After passing, he took the name Solomon.

Solomon of Guernicus
Appearance: Standing at 5'9" tall and exhibiting little muscle mass, Solomon does not cut an imposing figure. His handsome face and gentle demeanor exude a quiet calm and relaxed confidence that belie a stern determination when his mind is set. His speech is articulate and soft; it is rare and frightening indeed when his voice is raised in anger.

He dresses in simple brown robes devoid of symbols of wealth or status and carries a simple quarterstaff with him at all times. He walks with a pronounced limp in his right leg, which he compensates for with his staff.

Characteristics: Int +2, Per +1, Pre +1, Com +2, Str -1, Sta +2, Dex 0, Qui -2
Size: 0
Age: 35, Height: 5’9”, Weight: 150#, Gender: Male
Decrepitude: 0
Warping Score: 0
Confidence: 1(3)

The Gift (free)
Hermetic Magus (free)
Hermetic Prestige (Guernicus)
Affinity with Intellego (minor)
Book Learner (minor)
Cautious Sorcerer (minor)
Deft Form [Me] (minor)
Educated (minor)
Linguist (minor)
Puissant Intellego (minor)
Puissant Vim (minor)
Sense Holiness and Unholiness (minor)

Deficient Technique [Mu] (major)
Pious (major)
Plagued by Supernatural Entity [succubus] (major)
Lame (minor)

Personality Traits:
Calm +3
Quiet +2
Determined +2

Quaesitor Cum Auctoritate +3

Area Lore: Stonehenge Tribunal (Personalities) 2
Artes Liberales (Logic) 4
Awareness (Search) 2
Brawl (Dodging) 1
Charm (First Impressions) 2
Church Lore (History) 2
Civil and Canon Law (Papal Laws) 1
Code of Hermes (Tribunal Procedures) 3
Concentration (Reading) 1
Dead Language: Ancient Greek (Biblical Research) 4
Dead Language: Aramaic (Biblical Research) 4
Dead Language: Hebrew (Biblical Research) 4
Dead Language: Latin (Ecclesiastic) 5
Dominion Lore (Angels) 2
Etiquette (The Church) 1
Finesse (Precision) 1
Folk Ken (Clergy) 2
Great Weapon (Quarterstaff) 1
Infernal Lore (Demons) 1
Intrigue (Plots) 2
Living Language: English (West Saxon, Slang) 5
Living Language: Celtic (Welsh) 3
Magic Lore (Creatures) 1
Magic Theory (intellego) 3
Order of Hermes Lore (Politics) 1
Parma Magica (Mentem) 1
Penetration (Vim) 1
Philosophiae (Moral Philosophy) 3
Profession: Scribe (Copying) 3
Sense Holiness and Unholiness (Evil) 1
Theology (Biblical Knowledge) 2

Cr 5
In 10+3
Mu 0
Pe 5
Re 5

An 0
Aq 0
Au 0
Co 5
He 0
Ig 0
Im 1
Me 5
Te 1
Vi 8+3


Intellego Corpus

The Whole From the Part, InCo 20 (HOH:TL pg 72)

Rego Corpus
Curse of the Unruly Tongue, ReCo 5 (ArM5 pg 134)
Lifting the Dangling Puppet, ReCo 15 (ArM5 pg 134)

Intellego Imaginem

Prying Eyes, InIm 5 (ArM5 pg 144)

Intelligo Mentem

Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie, InMe 20 (ArM5 pg 149)
Posing the Silent Question, InMe 20 (ArM5 pg 149)

Rego Mentem
The Call to Slumber, ReMe 10 (ArM5 pg 151)

Intelligo Vim

Impression of the Faded Sigil, InVi 30 (HOH:TL pg 75)

Perdo Vim
Demon's Eternal Oblivion, PeVi 10 (ArM5 pg 160)

Rego Vim
Circular Ward Against Demons, ReVi 15 (ArM5 pg 162)

I suggest branching out into some minor healing, as we are woefully short on that!
But anti-demon spells and intellego magic and vim are also super useful to all :slight_smile:

I'd recommend taking a few levels of French. While you can get by with other magi using Latin, I don't think any of us speak English or Welsh. French would be pretty reasonable with the Normans ruling England right now. It also lets you fake a little Occitan if you have enough.

Yeah, my first character idea was a healing-focused magus, but I went a different route because you already had Mercuria. :confused:

Yeah, one my concepts was a healer type mercurian Mercere, but when I saw Mercuria I decided to stay away from that.

As for French, I already have him picking up French (Anglo-Norman) in the first or second cycle, and he'll be picking up Occitan when he makes his way to Andorra in the last cycle.

I completely missed that you were advancing beyond Gauntlet. Carry on...

If you don't want to take healing spells, Vulc has 30 levels of spells to choose, and could pick up Chirurgeon's Healing Touch. Let me know!

You're cool, so my following comment is not about you per se, but I run into this a lot.
I am tired of people thinking redundancy is a bad thing. You guys are crippling yourselves and getting to be too overspecialized. Case in point; Mercuria. If anyone is avoiding any spell or feature based on Mercuria, you are screwing us all. Why? Mercuria never made it into game. The player just wandered away.
And I plan to tell stories that split you guys into seperate groups. We need more than one healer, more than six combat magi, multiple Intellego specialists. The Criamon never made it into game.
By the same token, though attatching companions to other player's magi is cool in theory, it really doesn't work out well.
Sorry. Had to get that out.
But as for you, I dig your backstory. Very classic and unafraid to grab hold of the concepts (I like how you take the wound but the angel saves you from death).
I don't want to get deeper into Holy than this just yet. Too much spice spoils the soup. I sorta think we are at are limit for darkness too. I think this character brings us on proper balance.
As you develop, don't worry what other characters are like. Worry about being the way that you as a player want to play.
But you do not have to exist in a vaccum. You can try to link into backstories of other characters. Did you ever travel? You would normally have had some time training at Magvellius, which can be an excuse to have met just about anyone (just about any excuse can be made as to why someone had to go there; Carmen had to go there with Pietro once, maybe Guillme studied there, the NPC Octavian was there a while). Travel to Duresca, Durenmar, Barcelona, all are common destinations.
You are from Blackthorn.
Maybe one of us has come to you before. That is another major political center.

Yeah, rookie mistake on my part. I didn't know turnover was so high in pbp games. I think my apprentice might be a decent healer in about 10 years, so we've got that going for us. :smiley:

I'm prone to ranting :laughing:
And I understand the natural instinct of gamers to want to each play a distinct "different" character. Kinda like how each of the X-Men has a different power.
And there is sorta a high turnover rate. Many come and go. Some stick around a while and go, some come back, some stick around forever, some change characters. Fixer and Callen (and one other) were in this game back in the day, and they are playing different characters now.
Write your identity on this saga.

As for redundancy, you don't have to duplicate each other or anything. But it is wise to have a healing spell or two and a ward. Everyone is a specialist and everyone is a generalist. An old archmagus probably knows almost every spell under the fourth magnitude, and a seventh magnitude in a variety of Arts. His specialty is for things even cooler.

I think a good way to avoid this is for each character to have a major specialty, and 2-5 minor ones.

For exemple, Arachné's specialty lies in Rego, but she is also good in Perdo and Vim. I also tried to give her a vast repertoire of spells, so that she may manage a variety of situations. She can do some battle, some infiltration, some travel, some information gathering... But she knows squat about healing :laughing:
So, sure, she is a very experimented character, but, even at gauntlet, we see the same focuses in her arts and spells

You can do something like that. Have something you're very good at, and some things you can manage. Also, you can have some spells you can barely cast but which can still be usefull.

In short? I'd say don't be a 1-trick pony. Be either a 3-5 trick one, or a "focused generalist" :laughing:

A few questions/comments…

  1. Marko, I totally understand your point about redundancy and am going to look at grabbing some healing spells. My point was that he isn’t going to be an uber healer, but I can probably fit some minor healing spells (like Chirugeon’s Healing Touch) onto him. His three primary arts are going to Intellego, Vim and Rego with Corpus and Mentem probably just behind them.

  2. I totally understand not wanting to explore more “holy” stuff right now, which is why I went with his backstory the way I did. Solomon’s mindset is that it was God’s intervention that saved him (and he knows now that his ability to detect Holy and Unholy things is a “God-given” gift) and ultimately led him to Blackthorn. He believes The Gift was given to him by God, and by leading him to Blackthorn, God’s plan for him is to be a Hermetic Magus (NOT a Holy Magic wielder). Thus he has renounced his monastic vows and wants to be “the best Hermetic Magus he can be” because that’s God’s plan for him. He also believes that the reason he was set on this path was to root out infernal influence within the Order, which is hopefully clear in his skill and spell assortment.

  3. Question…as Solomon is 35 after his gauntlet, he’s definitely going to need a longevity potion. He could make one himself but it would be pretty weak (level 20 if I spend an extra pawn of vis to make it more potent). Is it possible to have him Pater make it for him as a post-gauntlet gift? I would of course pay the requisite pawns of vis and spend the season in the lab helping make it.

  4. For lab work and aging during our cycles. are we using the book standard on pg. 32 of living conditions +1, average lab (+0), and magic aura 3? Or do we base it on where we were living during the cycle?

  5. As for tie-ins with others, I’m definitely interested in figuring some of those out. My plan right now is to go 4 7-year cycles with him. My understanding of chronicle start (or at least where I’d be jumping in) is 1230 which means he starts his apprenticeship at Blackthorn in 1187 and meets his gauntlet at the end of 1200.

His first cycle (1202-1208) is going to be him working as a Quaesitor within the Stonehenge Tribunal based out of Blackthorn; so anyone who might have been in the tribunal at that time (or during his apprenticeship since Guernicus apprentices travel around the tribunal a lot) might have met him.

His second cycle (1209-1215) will likely be more Quaesitorial duties but in a different tribunal. I really haven’t decided where that might be (other than I don’t want it to Iberia or Andorra) so if something works well with fitting him in with someone else that would be great. There will probably be a bit more lab work involved in this cycle since I plan on having him make his talisman and find and bind a familiar (probably a magical owl using InVi). It might be cool if someone with a strong knowledge of magical creatures could have helped him find his familiar.

His third cycle (1216-1222) will be him working as a Quaesitor again (perhaps in the same tribunal as the second cycle but not necessarily) but this is going to be where his “virtue gaining adventure” (I’m thinking of picking up Strong-Willed) is going to be. My thought is that he’ll stumble upon an infernalist (or maybe a group of them) operating within the Order as part of an unrelated investigation and then have to develop proof of their nefarious deeds beyond his Sense Holiness and Unholiness which would probably be difficult to prove at a tribunal. He succeeds in proving their infernalism and leads a team (or maybe just a hoplite) to hunt them down and kill them. This could be a great tie-in with Guillaume. In fact, Solomon could have been the one to recommend Guillaume for training as a Quaesitor? I actually think that would be cool, and if the timing isn’t quite right, this adventure could be moved up into his second cycle.

His fourth cycle (1222-1229) starts with him being asked to travel to Duresca. The word of his successful hunt of the infernalist made its way to the ears of the Quaesitors at Duresca and they call him there to help root out the infernalists who weren’t killed in the Shadow Wars. I’m not sure what happens to him for these 7 years in Inberia, so any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

I should probably HR this (it was in the old saga).
Instead of healing a Light Wound, spells like Chirurgeons Healing Touch improve a wound by a level. Gentle Touch of Aesclepius does the same thing with a Target of Group.
For Longevity, as long as you are on the minimum level by age 40, don't worry about aging rolls and aging points (as long as you develop less than 35 years).
When you "Muster Out", you can buy a more powerful Longevity Potion.
The average Aura is 3. Even if it was higher, just go with 3 to keep it even for everyone.

You can buy a longevity ritual as part of 'mustering out' (see the House Rules thread). With four cycles you'll have plenty of vis to spend on it.

Okay, thanks. Anyone have any thoughts on characters meeting in the past based on my cycle outlines?


Okay, sounds good. I'll just have him make a low level longevity ritual and then buy another one at the mustering out stage.

Now, does anyone have any thoughts on character interactions based on the cycle outlines I presented?

I could be wrong, but I don't think you have to spend the time or vis making your low level ritual. Marko has said not to worry about aging rolls as long as we're buying a LR during mustering out. Just assume you 'bought' the good LR early on and pay for it when mustering.

It looks like Solomon and Vocis missed each other. Vocis left Iberia just as Solomon was starting his work there.

You must have misunderstood me. Make one yourself at minimum level, buy a better one when you muster out.
But your idea sonds quite reasonable now that I think of it. Buy it during the cycle you start taking it though. You need to have saved up enough vis at that age.

You may have met several or all of the following in passing or maybe longer...
Tacitus of Gurnicus, Octavian of Tremere, Guillme?, Carmen, Arachne & Dorkia? Inigo, anybody?