Some ideas for Mercurian Rituals?

In a campaign I've just started running in the Stonehenge tribunal we initiated a new player who decided to take Mercurian Magic as his major hermetic virtue. In a bid to give the game some flavour for him we decided to build a covenant where all the magi practise lots of ritual spells and everyone has wizard's communion to give the feel of a group of ritual-focused magi. I feel that a very good and simple recurring theme for some adventures would be for them track down some of the "ancient mercurian rituals" that are referred to so often.

What I'd like is for people to suggest any Mercurian (or otherwise!) rituals they've come up with in the past that I could have them hunt down - big powerful effects are good but I'm looking for all sorts of things - the idea is the covenant wants to become a specialist on all sorts of ritual magic with an extensive library, but I want the characters to find all the spells themselves. I'd particularly enjoy things where groups of magi working together adds something to the spell. An example I came up with was a CrMe spell that allowed all the participants to engage in simple telepathic communication over a long distance - so that they could know if someone was in danger, for example - but that engaged between all the participating members of the ritual.


For clarification, are you referring to Hermetic Rituals with a Mercurian flavour or something more in the vein of homebrewed "Fenicil's Rituals?"

Remember to make sure the covenant one way or another has access to more than common Vis for this to work, if they have either unusually rich sources of vis or some sort of lucrative trade deal, or perhaps they provide desirable magical services to the order in general for a miserly high fee...

Anyway, as rituals uses up vis rather quickly, the covenant needs to have (or have had) plenty or it probably wouldnt have become specialised in rituals in the first place. Of course, it might have lost access to those sources since then. And unusually good sources might draw unusually strong competition.

Sounds like fun.

Such as casting the rituals on behalf of other magi.

Take a look at CrCo. A lot of rituals there. Ofcourse many of them are kinda wasteful, but I'm sure there are Elder Magi out there who want someone to be able to cast ie. Cheating the Reaper. Or Perhaps compete with the Mercere Cult of Heroes and offer to enhance magi (or their apprentices!) via ritual magic - though perhaps CrMe would work better for ths purpose?

Both are good, but some of the more homebrewed ones, particularly if they have a feel like they were from the original Cult of Mercury would be excellent. Also where I can find "Fenicils Rituals"?

Yes it has occured to me, their first mission at the moment is hunting down their current wis thieves - and they will need to expand. Part of the idea is having a mercurian magi means they only spend half the wis requirements anyway but it will be a high wis game.

I like the idea of having them offer their rituals for wis to other covenants! See if I can work that in.

Fenicil's Rituals are described in the Guernicus chapter of Houses of Hermes: True Lineages and are effectively Mercurian rituals that have been converted into spells that can be learned by hermetic magi. I have to plead serf's parma right now on the exact page reference, but I'll post my homemade rituals later...

Page 76-77 of HoH:TL. I think these are very interesting and designed a few variant rituals which I'll try and dig out if people are interested.

I'm not much into Quaesitors but I like the other aspects of House Guernicus and did a write up for a Terrae-magi that seems to have disappeared off the net...

It included some non-Hermetic rituals.

As an aside, here's a personal communication from the section author David Woods from way back in 2006:

It is unclear from the text whether these are Supernatural Abilities, requiring a Minor Virtue to learn. IIRC, DW stated they were intended to be Arcane Abilities but were only able to be used by Gifted individuals. One option is to make them Minor Virtues gained by initiation (1 season spent "learning" the spell) using House Guernicus Lore as the Mystery Cult Lore Ability...

This is still a bit problematic as they are a major XP sink. Changing them into Accelerated Abilities would ease their use, making them far more plausible. Someone on these forums (YR7 IIRC) also suggested forgoing the usual requirement to learn the spell itself first. Rather, simply learn the Ability. If they are Abilites, 2 Very Good Quality (15XP) tractati allow learning to a score of 3 in 2 seasons of study but if Accelerated Abilites, the same tractati allow learning to a score of 5 in one season or 7 in 2 seasons. Lesser tractati (10-12XP) would allow learning to a score of 1/2 or 4/6 in 1/2 seasons respectively.



Thanks, I'm checking out the True Lineages rituals now.

Still interested in any that people have come up with themselves though :slight_smile:


As with Jarkman, I’m afraid my collection of Mercurian-inspired spells also seems to be missing. Nevertheless, I have whipped up a few sample spells that I hope you will find inspirational.

Tending the Injured Century:
(Creo Corpus, Level 60)
Range: Arcane Connection. Duration: Momentary. Target: Group.
Developed by a group of Neo-Mercurian magi, this spell improves all wounds suffered by the targets by one category (Medium to Light, for example) and can affect up to 100 people using multiple Arcane Connections. It is hypothesized that the Cult of Mercury may have used a spell similar to this one to remotely heal soldiers who were out on campaign, but there is no evidence that such a ritual ever existed.
(Base 25, +4 Arcane Connection, +2 Group, +1 Size)

Evoking the Power of Olympus:
(Rego Vim)
Range: Arcane Connection. Duration: Year. Target: Boundary.
This lost Mercurian Ritual is rumored to infuse an area with the power of the Olympian deities. Mechanically, it compels a faerie to extend its Glamour over the target area to produce a Faerie Aura. Given the high Might scores of the ancient Gods, the aura generated in Mercurian times would have been at least 10, but due to the ritual nature of Mercurian Magic, the additional botch dice imposed by the ritual wouldn’t have been a serious concern (though Warping might be.
The rise of the Dominion has weakened this spell considerably, but it could still be a source of interest for certain Merinitae…
(Ease Factor: 78)

Cere’s Incredible Bounty
(Creo Herbam, Level 40)
Range: Touch. Duration: Momentary. Target: Boundary.
This Neo-Mercurian spell is based upon an ancient Fertility rite practiced by the Cult of Isis which, when properly performed, causes the crops in a field to mature in just a single day. Naturally, for this spell to be of any practical use, the caster must have sufficient man-power available to sow and harvest the crop which probably limited its use to famine situations.
(Base 15, +1 Touch, +4 Boundary)

Invocation of Martial Virtue
(Creo Mentem)
Range: Personal. Duration: Sun. Target: Individual.
The leader of this ritual is granted a +5 bonus to all Leadership tests. Furthermore, all characters under the characters Leadership (even if delegated) are considered to constitute a Trained Group, even if they’ve never met before.
(Ease Factor: 12)

Here are three rituals I designed...

I had some rules for initiating the Mecurian Magic Virtue somewhere also.

Refuse the Enemy Release
Lesser non-Hermetic Ritual (ReMe)
R: Touch, D: If (used to kill an individual) & Ring, Targ: Individual, Ritual; Potent, Tethered
Potency: +5 (ceremonial knife worked with the motif of a human skull)
Ease Factor: 15

This evil Lesser Mercurian Ritual requires the caster to inscribe a circle within the floor with a specially prepared ceremonial dagger that then becomes the focus of the spell. Once cast, the effect is tethered to the knife until the caster dies, passes into Twilight (even temporarily), or if a year passes. The knife acts as an arcane connection to the caster until the spell is discharged.

If used to kill an individual within the confines of the previously inscribed circle, the knife releases the force of the spell upon the target's spirit, preventing it's escape from the inscribed ring if the effect penetrates the spirit's Magic Resistance. The spell does not create a ghost, it merely traps the murdered victim's spirit as it rises to seek revenge and does not impart any other control over the spirit. The trapped spirit may not leave the ring unless commanded to do so by the wielder of the knife, whether by request or coercion using threats or another necromantic spell. If the caster dies or passes into Twilight (even temporarily) the spirit is likewise released.

(Special spell, magnitude 9)

Design Note: rules for similar non-Hermetic rituals' are detailed in HoH:TL, pages 76-77. In short, this ritual takes 45 minutes to cast, requires 8 pawns of vis (any combination of Rego and Mentem) and seven pounds of silver worth of expensive materials used to inlay the knife and inscribe the magical circle. Magi with the Mercurian Magic Virtue require only half the amount of vis and special materials, but all magi participating must have this Virtue.

Ghastly Vigor of Guorna
Lesser non-Hermetic Ritual, ReMe(Co)
R: Spec, D: Spec, T: Ind
Ease Factor: 18

This gruesome ritual spell summons a ghost to rejuvenate the caster's ageing body and protect against Ageing, similar to the effects of a Longevity Ritual (see ArM5, pag168-170). If successful, the magnitude of the ghost's Might is subtracted from the necromancer's next ageing roll. Compelling a ghost in this manner causes the spirit to immediately attack the necromancer in any way it can, regardless of any previous commands or compulsions. Information on this aspect of the spell is not always included in books containing the secret of this ritual.

Unlike a Hermetic Longevity Ritual, as this ritual confers a continuous powerful mystical effect not specifically designed for the caster, the target of the spell suffers a Warping Point for every season they remain under the effect of the ghost's gift of longevity. Hermetic magi and hedge wizards who use this necromantic alternative suffer greatly accelerated Warping compared to those who employ a standard Longevity Ritual. Ageing resistance bonuses from multiple spirits or a Longevity Ritual are not cumulative. The bonus lasts until the caster suffers an ageing crisis, after which the necromancer must compel a new ghost.

This spell is the infamous pre-Hermetic ritual of longevity used by Guorna the Fetid, teacher of both the Founders Tremere and Tytalus. Guorna's use of this Mercurian itual is believed to have warped her into the horrid creature she had became at the time of the founding of the Order of Hermes. Prior to meeting Bonisagus, she had developed the Mercurian precursor of the ritual Exchange of the Two Minds and he is rumoured to have helped her begin translating this alter spell into a Hermetic form for easier casting in return for help developing Hermetic Longevity Rituals. She was slain, most likely by one or both of her two terrified apprentices before ever casting the spell that would free her from her terminally necrotic body.

A copy of this ritual is rumoured to exist within a locked and bound tome in the Library of Fenicil, deep within Magvillus. Bonisagus and Trianomae magi deny any knowledge of this ritual or their Founder's possible debt to such a detestable figure as the archnecromantix.

(Special spell, magnitude 12)

Design Note: rules for similar non-Hermetic rituals are detailed in HoH:TL, pages 76-77. In short, this ritual takes 90 minutes to cast, requires 9 pawns of vis (3 each of Rego, Corpus and Mentem) and nine pounds of silver worth of expensive materials such as herbs for fumigation and inks for the inscription of pagan symbols within a magical circle. Magi with the Mercurian Magic Virtue require only half the amount of vis and special materials, but all magi participating must have this Virtue.

Authority of the Invictus
Lesser non-Hermetic Ritual, CrMe
R: Per, D: Sun, T: Ind
Ease Factor: 12

Allows the ritual leader a +5 bonus to all Etiquette, Folk Ken and Leadership tests. The effect approaches a mythic level of authority. At the storygide's discretion, a character under the effect of this ritual can attempt to command even magical entities. As the effect acts only on the beneficiary it cannot be magically resisted.

(Special spell, magnitude 6)

Design Note: rules for similar non-Hermetic rituals (such as the precedent Wisdom of Athena) are detailed in HoH:TL, pages 76-77. In short, this ritual takes 60 minutes to cast, requires 6 pawns of vis (usually 3 each of Creo and Mentem) and six pounds of silver worth of expensive materials. Magi with the Mercurian Magic Virtue require only half the amount of vis and special materials, but all magi participating must have this Virtue.



Thought I'd bump this thread, as there are some really cool spell ideas here. I was hopeful anyone else could share their ideas for Mercurian magic.

The Romans are famous for their engineering and their legions. So I'd look at rituals based on Hermetic Architecture from the Mysteries, and rituals that garnt personality traits for a super-sized group of people... such as a training ground that granted Brave +3 to soldiers that train there. Maybe Aqueducts that purified water that travels along them.

If you're using Mercurian Architecture rituals, make sure they can affect road networks. A loyalty to Rome personality trait for anyone who walks the roads regularly would be useful. And modifiable for things other than Rome.

As part of my slightly unhealthy obsession with non-hermetic magics, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to design a system that incorporates the traits ascribed to the Cult of Mercury while still being useful. I haven’t been successful in developing a workable mechanic yet, but my experimentation did yield the following effects used in acid-tests.

Aegis of Mercury
(Rego Vim)
Range: Touch. Duration: Special. Target: Road Network.
Named for the patron of travellers, this lost Mercurian ritual was used to ward a section of road measuring 55 miles long by 10 yards wide against intrusion by supernatural beings with Might Scores of 80 or less. The duration of this ritual is effectively Year, but includes elements of “Spell Timing” (HoH: MC, pg 100) such that the spell recasts itself every year on the eve of the Winter Solstice.
Note: Each performance of this ritual wards the road segment against creatures associated with a single realm so four distinct castings are generally required though the Divine version was sometimes omitted from the regimen post-Constantine.
(Ease Factor: 78)

Caduceus of Mercury
(Creo Corpus)
Range: Touch. Duration: Momentary. Target: Individual.
The Cult of Mercury developed this ritual to speed the convalescence of members injured in the service of the Gods. Mechanically, this spell instantly and completely heals a Light Wound.
(Ease Factor: 12)

Update: It would appear that Lachie's articles concerning the Terrae Magi (referenced above) have since reappeared on the internet!

I thought they'd been lost forever (although I do have backup PDF copies).

I'd do things slightly differently in terms of the Mysteries know I've read the supplements that have been released subsequently (I wrote the articles based on the Forest Paths from GotF and before TMRE etc) but the Mercurian rituals are still OK IMO>

Good to know!


On mercurian rituals and especially rituals to perform for others, i'd look at the mentem and corpus rituals that boost attributes. I know my players would have happily paid vis through the nose to boost their attributes and i see no reason other mages might not. Especially for stamina and intelligence which can never really be high enough. Also they'd make even better money with the rituals that raise negative attributes. That mage with a bad stutter (communication), the mage with bad asthma who finds journeying very tiring, the gifted apprentice with great intuitive creative flair but low intelligence, these would all pay handsomely for improvements to their condition.

And with the mercurian magic virtue, your magi wouldn't even have to charge silly prices, just slightly over what it would cost a non-mercurian would do it.

Make these rituals as easy as possible (touch range, multiple versions for varying conditions, etc) to reap even more vis out of the other magi.