The Covenant of Caepernum: Aurelia of House Jerbiton

Concept: Mystery Cult maga, who seeks to align with the Dominion in various ways. So far one of the ways is through Hermetic Arithmetic. Aurelia sees the way mathematics and numbers shape existance as a way of God's perfect plan, and her entry into delving deeper into holy mysteries.

The external, or worldly, link to this cult is the Knights Templar, an organisation with certain gnostic traditions and outlook, which, in Aurelia's view tries to combine serving God with personal development and seeking spiritual truths.

She therefore will also have a certain pot to stir when it comes to the Knights. Influencing them , guding them and so on.

Background: Born Eloise d'Veyronne, Aurelia was an Occitan of high birth, daughter of a distinguished knight and his lady, who settled in the holy land. Eloise was a precocious child, and the pride of her parents.
Her father supported the christian kingdoms in the holy land obviously, but also had a keen interest in history and the local customs. He even had tenous ties with the Templars.

Eloise's future pater, Apatus, found her when he was visiting her father's small manor with a few knights. He himself was deeply intereste in Hermetic Arithmetic and saw the girl's interest in numbers and the alignments of numbers with representations of God's plan as a possible new, even ”perfect” apprentice. He tested her and found she had the Gift.

He spoke with her parents about her mathematical knowledge, and offered to educate her in a way no girl could hope for in this day and age. Having a soft spot for their daughter, and probably helped ever so slighly by Mentem magics, Apatus left the manor with Eloise.

From here she was part of Apatus everyday life and at first they day got along amiably – but their differences over aritmetical understanding differed; Apatus saw the breaking of the rules as the goal to create new wonders, whereas Eloise or Aurelia as she was now called, saw the bending of them to provide the most benefit to see new aspects of creation. In her world the mathematical language can not be broken as it is the basis of existance, only manipulated. This created a deep schism between them, which eventually evolved into a constant cat-and-dog relationship.

After her gauntlet, she hastily left for Capernaum, using her parents' contacts to become part of a new covenant.

Aurelia filia Apatus ex Jerbiton, at Gauntlet

Characteristics: Int +2, Per 0, Pre +5, Com +1, Str -2, Sta 0, Dex 0, Qik 0
Size: 0
Age: 25 (25), Gender: Female
Decrepitude: 0
Warping Score: 0 (0)
Confidence: 1 (3)
Personality traits: Compassionate +3, Gnostic +1

Virtues and Flaws: The Gift, Hermetic Maga, Gentle Gift (Major), Affinity with Imaginem (Minor), Great Presence x2 (Minor), Hermetic Numerology (Minor), Minor Magical Focus (Rotes) (Minor), Puissant Artes Liberales (House virtue, free minor), Student of the Divine (Minor), Temporal Influence – Templars (Minor); Greater Malediction (Cursed by her Pater, she can no longer cast Formulaic spells - this curse was done right before her Gauntlet, and thus was within his right to perform - he used an ancient rite from his Cult), Study Requirement (Major), Tormenting Master (Major), Compassionate (Minor)

Dodge: Init: +0, Attack --, Defense +0, Damage --
Fist: Init: +0, Attack +0, Defense +0, Damage -2
Kick: Init: -1, Attack +0, Defense -1, Damage +1
Soak: 0
Fatigue levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-5), -3 (6-10), -5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20), Dead (21+)

Abilities: Arabic (Galilee dialet) 4, Area Lore: Capernaum and environment (Areas of Divine influence) 1, Artes Liberales (Arithmetic) 2+2, Charm (Templars) 1, Code of Hermes (The Church)1, Concentration (Combat) 1, Consorores ex Templarus Lore (Initiation Scripts) 2, Dominion Lore (Holy Magic traditions) 2+2, Etiquette (House Jerbiton) 1, Hebew (Colloquial) 2, Latin (Hermetic use) 4, Finesse (Imaginem) 1, Magic Theory (Rotes) 3, Music (Hymns) 2, Occitan (Eloquence) 5, Order of Hermes Lore (The Magic Realm vs the Divine Realm) 1, Order of the Templar Knights Lore (Position of women) 2, Parma Magica (Corpus) 1, Penetration (Rotes) 1, Profession: Scribe (Copying) 1, Ride (Horse) 1, Swim (Calm waters) 1, Teaching (one-on-one) 1, Theology (Gnosticism) 1

Arts: Cr 5, In 5, Mu 5, Pe 5, Re 5, An 0, Aq 0, Au 0, Co 0, He 0, Ig 2, Im 9, Me 1, Te 0, Vi 1
Equipment: various gowns and jewellery as her station
Encumbrance: 0 (0)


Silver Halo of Selene (CrIg10) Rote CT +12
Creates a silvery halo around the caster's head, shining equal to torchlight (Lights up about 10 steps radius from the magus)
(Base 3: Create light equivalent to torchlight, T: Part +1, D: Sun +2)

Michael's Globe of Divine Fire (CrIg10) Rote CT +12
Creates a small fireball hitting the target for +5 damage
(Base 4: Create fire doing +5 damage, R: Voice +2)

Burn with the Pleasent Scent of Roses (MuIg10) Rote Ct+12
An individual fire (which could be as big as a burning house, but most often used on campfires) and its smoke starts spreading a pleasent smell of roses.
(Base 3: Make smoke smell of roses, R: Touch +1, D: Sun +2)

Strategems of the Chess Board (Cr[Re]Im10) Rote CT+19
Creates a chessboard with pieces, beautifully rendered with details, and seemingly from dark crystal with silver highlights and white crystal with gold highlights. The pieces are animated and look like knights, bishops, a queen etc. They bellow commands and have commentary on the game as they move around. The two players involved (one must be the maga), verbally commands the images to move within the rules of the chessgame.
(Base 2: Create an image that affects two senses: sight and hearing), R: Touch +1, D: Sun +2, +1 Rego – image moves according to the players' commands)

Mantle of the Angel's Divinity (CrIm(Ig)5) Rote CT+12
The magus appears to any onlooker as an angel; radiantly beautiful, with large feathered wings, a sonorous voice, white robes and a halo. His wings move about slightly, and he seems illuminated as from soft moonlight.
(Base 2: Create an image that affects two senses: sight and hearing), D: Sun +2, +1 Ignem (Moonlight)

Prismatic Strands of Pain (PeCo(Im)10) Rote CT+10
Multicoloured beautiful ribbons shoot from the maga's hands and hit the target, causing excruciating pain. All actions are done with a -3, and all movement is halved.
(Base 4: Cause a person pain, but do no real damage, R: Voice: +2; Imaginem aspect is purely cosmetic so no raise for that)

Comforting Hand of Gabriel (CrCo10) Rote CT+10
Gives the target +3 to Recovery Rolls
(Base 2: Give a character +3 bonus to recovery rolls, R: Touch +1, D: Moon +3)

Curse of the Unruly Tongue (Stop the Worthless Chatter) (ReCo10) Rote CT+10
As the base spell with D: Sun

Aura of Ennobled Presence (MuIm10) – Rote CT+19

Instant Recollection of the Perceived Creation of God (InIm5) -Rote +19
(Base 1: Perfect your memory about an image you have encountered, D: Moon +3, +1 for intricate detail like writing and symbolism)

Allows the magus to perfect his memory about an image he encounters. This can be a page of writing of symbolladen imagery

Presenting the Immaculate Persona (CrIm10) – Rote CT+19
The affected person appears dressed in appropriate attire, with accessories like jewellery and small items/tools like a dagger in his belt, or a bag slung over his shoulder, for the occasion. The clothes move naturally with the person. A finesse roll can be made for specific embellishments.

(Base 2 affect sight and touch, R: Touch +1, D: Sun +2, +1 very adapatable and moveable image)

Wizard's Sidestep (ReIm5) – Rote CT+19
as base spell but with D: Diameter

The Stained Glass Images of God's Sanctuary (CrIm15) – Rote CT +19
Beautiful and evocative stained glass images are superimposed over any glass or open windowspace within a structure. Finesse rolls can be made for specific images or writing.
(Base 1 affect sight, R: Touch +1 T:Structure +3, D: Sun +2)

I don't think the spells imitating the Divine (like Mantle of the Angel's Divinity) fit well with genuine piety - they come across more to me as hubristic and sacrilegious.

I'm also not sure about taking a mystery virtue at starting without the "Cabal Legacy" flaw - the text on page 20 of TM:RE says "[Cabal Legacy] allows a magus character to be designed with cult Virtues as normal virtues, part of the standard ten virtues and flaws - something not otherwise possible".

With the Rotes, are you allowing for them to be limited to (Rote Lab Total)/5? I can't see how you're getting to the level 50 Rote Lab total necessary for the level 10 Rotes even with the focus (and it doesn't look as though being taught them/having a lab text helps with the limit).

Havng a labtext for the rotes does help ( If the maga has a Lab Text for a Rote, she invents it if she assigns LabTotal points equal to Rote level. page 93 the Mysteries revised edition) - and yes her Pater was also a Hemetic Numerologist, which should be mentioned. So the rotes are ones she has learned by him, who also was a devoted magus with an interest in the divine, which is why they are now enemies.

She is starting her own Mystery Cult which is why it did not make sense for me for her to have the mentioned flaw.

Imitating the divine as opposed to her pious nature is something I will think about, Haven't really decided how sacriligious it feels to me... but thanks for the feedback :slight_smile:

Sorry - I wasn't clear. I think having a labtext helps you learn Rotes quicker, but I don't think it helps with the Rote level limit of (Rote Lab Total)/5.

Presumably her pater would have brought her into the cult which initiated him into Hermetic Numerology as part of initiating her into it? Even if she's later abandoning it and starting up her own, that feels like the sort of thing that would come with consequences (and therefore stories).

True but it is not her lab rote total which creates the lab text - it is her Pater and those before her with Hermetic Numerology - therefore the rotes can be lvl 10/15.

  • say Apatus CrIm is 75, then he can invent a lvl 15 rote. He writes a lab text on this. If Aurelia's CrIm lab total is at least 15, she could have learned it from the lab text during apprenticeship.

He might have/be a member of a different cult which could lead to the Tormenting Master - he assumed she would join his, instead she made her own.

I have to agree here. The whole point of the limit is that you can otherwise handle rotes of much higher levels, regardless of whether they're from a text or newly invented. And learning from a text is really reinventing it with instructions anyway. I don't see anything letting you sidestep the Rote level limit.

I have the feeling you are rushing too much with a character which is going to be used to be evolved through a huge lot of years. Couldn't she just start without mystery virtues, then be initiated later, leave the mystery club waving away goodbye and so on?

If you really want to start this way, I guess you can argue that actually she had the Cabal Legacy flaw, but when she turned away from the Cult she traded it for Tormeting Master. But then I would just wonder if the flaw shouldn't be wider, for example Enemies, to cover all the Mystery Cult angriness, not just the parens'. But both being Major Story flaws I guess it's ok either way.

And I think Caepernum must be the non Jerbiton covenant with the highest rate of Gentle Gifted magi in the Order. Oh boys, you really like that virtue!. Ok, she is actually a Jerbiton, and these hateful magi (sorry, personal bias kicking in) tend to have that one. But having Pre +5 she can actually overcome the Gift penalties quite well. I think I would like her more without Gentle Gift and Venus' Bleesing. All men would be kissing the feet she steps, Gift effect or not. And if you are going to invent a new mistery cult on your own, it would be priceless to start with a intuitive idea of what she wants to accomplish, buying Puissant Aurelia's Cult Lore and Affinity with Aurelia's Cult Lore.

Or as a variant of this, have her start with Cabal Legacy (if you really want Rotes at gauntlet), and then transform it into a new minor Story Flaw (maybe create something called "Cult Leader") a few transitions down the line?

One thing I've just noticed is that she currently has four story flaws, when she shouldn't have more than one, and no Hermetic Flaws (when she should have at least one).

Ok it seems I need to re-check her a bit for consistency :slight_smile:

However I strongly diagree with that take on rotes. They are limited to a lab total of /5 when you invent a new one, but it specifically says you can learn them from lab text and there you merely have to spend lab points to reach the target level, and the lab total for that is NOT /5

Her being a maga interested in rotes, is a smallish subset of her abilities, and the "holy" spells (I say holy in brackets because they are flavoured holy, but not actually Holy Magic) reflect this - small spells with a "holy" flavour, which are easy to cast, more as an expression of God's divine plan than grand gestures and booming voice normal for Hermetic magic.

Regarding the Gentle Gift - I went with it because of the Jerbiton house bias and also because she is quite heavily involved with the Templars. Her Pre +5 is partly due to new Initiation scripts I will give, but with the difficulty of making new ones even with sacrifices and ordeals you really need a high one.

She has Tormenting Master because her Pater wanted her to join his Cult of "Fraternae Ordo Numerologis", a cult of Arithmetics which seek to break the limits of Arithmetic as an expression of God's divine plan. However she was never initiated in it, as they only take gauntleted Magi, but since she refused to join, she has tormented master and not the Cabal Legacy flaw, as the Fraternae Ordo Numerologis strictly do not care about her as, as she never learned any of their secrets - she was al ready apt with Arithmetics before she was apprenticed. Makes sense?

I agree that when you have a lab text, you can learn Rotes which sum to your Lab Total without dividing by 5. However, that allows you to learn more rotes, not higher level ones. Consider the sentence (pg 93) "Given the low level of Rotes, the maga can expect to invent several Rotes (of the same Technique and Form) in a single season", or the sentences on the previous page "Rotes are similar in action to the non-Fatiguing Spontaneous casting of spells (where the Casting Total = Casting Score/5), and no die roll is made to invoke Rotes. Rotes are more powerful than non-Fatiguing Spontaneous Magic (Casting Total = Casting Score/2) but limited to similar levels (Lab Total/5)."

Are you saying that she has Hermetic Numerology inherently rather than her pater initiating her into it? I'm not sure that's an option with mystery virtues. If you're saying instead that he initiated her into it without her making any sort of committment to the cult, that sounds like the sort of thing that would get both him and her into a lot of trouble.

For the story flaws, I think you can't get the benefit that comes with a minor Story Flaw without having the flaw (or at least, not without taking it as a separate virtue), but you can have the problems which come with story flaws without actually having them on your character sheet (and therefore without getting points for them) if you really want the effects of multiple story flaws. So for example, you could take Cabal Legacy, and then have a parens who's angry with you and a demon who's interfering with you (although that doesn't seem to have made it into the backstory, so possibly easier to just drop altogether) as well, but you couldn't then also have mystical Visions.

I fiddled with a Greater Malediction, that she can not cast formulaic spells - a curse cast by her Pater from his cult rites. She is thus limited to Rotes and Spontaneous magic. And yes this is very much in line with what I had in mind for her anyway - to only know rotes.

I added Study Requirement as she needs to be in the vicinity of God's creations to learn more about Magic. I removed Pious, as she is more a Gnostic than truly pious.

Page 92 and 93 of the Mysteries Revised:

Rotes are invented by the usual spell design process of accumulating (Lab Total– spell level) points to exceed spell level.

Rote Lab Total = Technique + Form+ Intelligence + Magic Theory +Arithmetic + Book Bonus + Aura Modifier

If the maga has a Lab Text for a Rote, she invents it if she assigns Lab Total points equal to Rote level.

So I would argue that if she invents a rote on her own, no lab text, then yes she is limited to /5 , but having a lab text means she just has to reach that rote lab text with her rote lab total (calculated above)

If you choose to read this sentence this way (inserting "merely" even though it is not stated and has significant logical connotations), I assume you also read the sentence that says you need to double the level of the rote to invent it as also not having the /5 limit. Besides, it says you use the "usual spell design process...," and that has no /5 limit.

Take a look here:

  1. Do you see anything in the third sentence (Lab Text part) that states "merely" or implies "merely"? "Merely" would get rid of other conditions logically. But I can't find it, nor similar language.
  2. Do see any statement of /5 at all here for inventing or reinventing? If not, but we know it applies to the prior sentences, why does it not apply to the next one?

Also, the /5 limit is not only stated about designing them, it's first written this way:

How are the rotes being limited to similar levels if a master with a lab total around 150 could make a level-30 Rote that a magus with a lab total of 30 and formulaic totals closer to 20 could learn? Yes, casting it would be trickier, but it could be managed.


Noticed Aurelia has 4 Story Flaws (Plagued by, Tormenting Master, True Love, Visions), how come? Core does not recommend more than 1 Story Flaw at character creation, and as this is not an actual game, but an exercise in developed/playable NPCs, this doesn’t seem at all viable. Certainly after Initiations Aurelia may suffer more Story Flaw Ordeals, but at the start?

I also don’t see how you can start play with Hermetic Numerology while not having Cabal Legacy (or similar Flaw) to justify it, seems a little leapfrogging of what should come by as part of the character development.

Maybe start as an ex Miscellanea Tradition with minor virtue of Hermetic Numerology?

Sorry to be so negative.

I'm placing the other bit beside what I struck out from yours in the quote:

Apply the logic in the same way to both of those, and you should end up with the same answer. How do you get different answers?

However now that I re-read rotes it says:

Rote Casting Score = Stamina +Technique + Form + Arithmetic + Book Bonus + Aura Modifier

Rote Casting Total = Casting Score / 2,rounded up.

Meaning that a lot of the spells, she wouldn't even be able to cast...sigh...back to the drawing board for her concept!

Yes, that /2 is important. These are supposed to ride a line below Formulaic and above Fatiguing Spontaneous. Note, though, compared to Fatiguing Spontaneous, there is that Arithmetic + Book Bonus getting added in. There are lots of real-world books on Artes Liberales, though not as many as on Philosophiae. You can easily get Artes Liberales in the region of 10, and with specialty and Book Bonus, the extra nearly 15 could allow you to do quite well with casting totals compared to your casting total for Fatiguing Spontaneous spells.

I am sorry, but I simply can not, with reading pages 92-93 see how the logic is that you are limited to the /5 for something you have a lab text for.

I also do not see the comparison with spontanous magic /2 and rotes /5 as an argument for the lab text to be limited to /5; IMHO the spontaneaous and rote comparison exist to say that generally the power level are comparable, nothing about lab texts is relevant in that comparison.

You have a rote lab total (say 50)

This total /5 is the maximum level of rote you can design (not invent - design)(in this case 10)

If you invent wholly new spells you could invent 2 level 10 rotes and a level 5 rote, as the combined value of these are 50, and none exceed the maximum rote level of 10

BUT if you have a lab text of a level 20 rote you simply deduct the 20 from the rote lab total of 50 and invent it in one season - you invent it from the lab text, but you did not design it, and thus it is not limited to your rote lab total/5

Sure, but keep using this approach. The total /5 is what you are limited to ("limited to," not just "design," "invent," "reinvent," etc.). That's limited to, period.

You're cherrypicking words to make your case. If you want to be strict with the words like you're doing, do it consistently. Doing so means there are two limits:

  1. A character is limited to Rotes at lab total /5.
  2. A character can't design Rotes beyond lab total /5.

I'm fine being that picky about the words. But let's do it then. Obey both of these. I don't care much for being picky with certain words and then disregarding others as they suit your purposes. I'm not saying you're doing this deliberately, just that it is exactly what is being done.

Besides, if this is an exercise in making broadly useable/applicable/similar characters and you've already got multiple people disagreeing with your reading of the rules for Rotes, does that make it seem like this would be a broadly useable/applicable/similar character?