stable agricultural areas in Mythic Europe ?

Out of curiousity, is there any Magical Focus that the Portal builders might pass down through the generations, to help build Mercere Portals?
Could you get a Magical Focus in Mercurian Great Rituals? It would be limited to a (relatively small) fixed number of (Ritual) spells that it would affect.

You might have a far simpler focus in something like transportation. I would expect that to be a major focus, but for house Mercere quite a boon.

1 Like

Well a Minor Magical Focus in Portals (doors and windows, basically) would do.

I have just recalled that being powerful mystic effects, Mercere Portals should acquire warping either on themselves, or on the geography they connect. (a couple of years ago I even started a thread on this. How did I forget ?)

Would Harco and Durenmar have to replace their Mercere Portals from time to time? As well as all the Covenants I had been envisioning?

At 1 warping point per year assuming it is the locations they are affecting, what exactly will happen when the location hits a given warping score?
First of all, a location can't warp, it would actually be the ground which gets a warping score...
Second the books refer to portals which have been in operation for centuries...
looking over true lineages, the portals are apparently instantaneous duration, with unlimited usage, so there would be no warping for continuous effect, they are rations they are in, so in fact no, there would be no warping...

Hermes Portals would incur warping as ongoing effects, a ritual that lasts for one full year. Mercere Portals don't - they only open during use, which is one reason that the portals are created as invested items with unlimited uses per day. It is possible that if one was held open for at least half of the time over the course of a year that the space between portals would suffer a single warping point, but as that space has no dimensions, location, or other properties that can be currently discerned by magi, the point is entirely theoretical.


Given Aristotelian science, as described by Einstein in his book on relativity (because that was how far back he had to go to discuss models of the conceptualization of space), there is no space in between, and space does not exist as an independent concept but as a property of an object. Accordingly it would be the threshold, not the space between which would be inclined to be warped, however as I mentioned previously the portal is designed for the spot it is casting on, and thus it does not cause warping as the effect is customized to the target.

A Major astrological focus in the planet Mercury (TMRE p57) "Influences journeys, writing, books and messengers, and governs the characteristic Quickness" so I would argue it covers Mercere portals as well as a great many travel magics, the common scribal magics out of the library chapter of Covenants, and using the Cult of Heroes characteristic-boosting rituals for Quickness.

It's as if being a member of the Order of Hermes and House Mercere fits really well with an affinity for the planet Mercury - or maybe I'm just imagining things.


Looking at just the Arts and Magic Theory, plus possible Virtues for the Lab Total to build a portal is overlooking a few things. One is the Shape & Material bonus. Doorways give a +7 to portals and magical gates and Opal gives +4 to Travel, both from the core rulebook. The other is that the lab used to produce them is most likely highly specialized in their production. High General Quality with specializations in Travel/Portals, Items, Rego, and Terram.

So with a Magic Theory of 10 (required to open the 20 point item), you are looking at something in the range of a Lab Total of 30 before you add in Arts, Int, or Aura. Figure Int + Aura of 5 and you only need 30 points between Rego and Terram. With an appropriate Magical Focus, the only thing that could not be met out of apprenticeship is a Magic Theory of 10. Even there you could come fairly close with some select Virtues.

You do need a few seasons to get used to a lab if it has refinement in it, but if the lap was specifically for making Mercere Portals they would ignore refinement and make the lab large to hold all the things it needs. House Mercere is rich and would not care that the upkeep cost on the lab was high. Plus you have at least a few centuries of magical items created to improve the lab.

Also you are looking at 3 seasons of work per portal by RAW, since you have to fix an Arcane Connection for each to the other. Reducing the time for fixing Arcane Connections is a fairly common house rule, but it is a season by default. So each of the portals is 3 seasons of work, 34 pawns of vis, and however long the travel/setup/ritual time is.

An important question to ask is if there is some way to fit the inactive portals through an active Mercere Portal? I would say yes, but then I buy into the thought that an inactive Mercere Portal is the enchanted cap stone and a bunch of other parts which can be put together on site before the ritual to activate it is performed. If that is not the case in your game, then the completed inactive portal has to be transported by wagon/boat/ship to the location it will be setup from the location it was built.

1 Like

Also keep in mind that the upkeep of the lab is high, but on the other hand it is highly unlikely that there is sufficient demand to keep such lab active more than a few years out of every century and it would IMO be feasible to not pay upkeep on the lab for the majority of the time when it is out of business.

I personally like to imagine a giant hall somewhere full of magical stuff with white covers over them, a think layer of dust, and a piece of paper/parchment posted next to the door detailing what must and mustnt be done when activating and/or deactivating the lab.

1 Like

I would guess more than a few years every century. You are looking at a year in the lap for every pair of portals if the arcane connection is fixed in a normal lab. That fixing could be done by anyone, even some of the varies types of hedge wizards.

With a year for every pair of portals though, I would expect 10 to 20 years of use in a given century. Maybe even as high as 25 or 30 if things get exciting (moving a major covenant, one of the boarder Tribunals is classified as safe, a need to expand their money making/trade network). You also have to consider that the lab would be very good at making certain types of enchanted items related to travel.

So all in all, an average of say 10 to 25 years (with a high of say 40) use a century between making Portals and other powerful enchanted items it is good guess. Though those years would often have fairly large gaps between them.

And I to really like the image of that giant hall full of magical stuff as well. My group has a few specialty shared labs we built once we learned how effective they are. The idea to moth ball them I will have to bring up and see if we reach an agreement on.


I agree that this is a reasonable estimate. I was actually think of approx. 10 years out a hundred, which I termed as "a few years every century", I see that I could have been more precise.

I think it is worth noting that those 10 years a likely to come spread out over the century but that if there is a high traffic year caused moving a hub-covenant or a new tribunal being classified as safe then this boost in traffic is likely to come as a bunch of years of high demand.

I would further add that the arcane connections in question could easily be fixed in any lab rather than in the expensive giant portal lab. I imagine an old Mercere telling his apprentice "Fix these two arcane connections for me and when you are done in two seasons we will open the hall of the gates and once we have built the portal you will be one step closer to being a true magus Mercere."

1 Like

So we both agree that the fixing of arcane connections would be done in a normal lab.

"But Master, why do I need to fix the connections? We have a whole host of workers who can do it." Followed by much rolling of the eyes and wondering if smacking a fellow Magus for stupidity would violate the code.


I'd assume that the fixing of ACs would be done by the commissioner, not the person making the portals. The person making it is an expensive specialist who has better things to do than fix connections for the clients.

That depends on how paranoid House Mercere is about any part of the Mercere Portal design getting out. Since what you are fixing is the actual specifically shaped/designed capstones required by the Mercere Portal Lab Text.

I don't feel they would be that paranoid, but YMMV. Euphemism and I both figured it would be some apprentice (or something like a Learned Magician they have on staff, my thoughts there).

The arches must include an arcane connection, that doesn't mean the capstone IS the connection. The rules don't say anything about capstones.

Eh, just read the section again and it was different in my head for some reason.

It seems to me that he physical part of the portals must be constructed first, before you can make an arcane connection, since you can't make an arcane connection to something that doesn't exist... plus the arcane connection would seem to have to be to something that is already in the correct location...
presumably how they manage all this is part of the mystery of the mercere portals...

I think an AC to the target portal location would be enough, given you'd be using those AC in the fixing ritual. If you wanted to be strict, then yes, assemble arch, take and fix ACs, swap AC to other portal, and enchant. This really doesn't change very much given you're going to presumably do the enchanting in a lab and move the arch to another location anyways. In some ways it's less work because you don't have to gather ACs from target locations, just the arches.

My understanding of Mercere portals was that they targeted a place, rather than targeting the other portal.