The History of the Order is a lie. What is the

Brandon, Korina and Sebastien please don't read any further.

As the topic title says, suppose the history of the Order of Hermes by 1220, as presented in the rule book is at best, propaganda, and is mostly outright fabrications.

What is the "true" history of the Order of Hermes to you in this scenario?

In all honesty the schism war probably had less savoury motives and the supposed motives were fabrications. Its a bunch of stuff that aren't crimes and vague suspicions of diabolism. But there were never any demon strikes against the Order despite the wide spread diabolism? I call B.S. Your a magi. Your enemy has had a demon cast invisibility over herself. You know the vaunted Parma you have? You can't even target your foe. Plus diabolism in House Tytalus was dealt with by finding the damn diabolists, and finding the corrupted texts they put out. No mention of that for House Diedine.

What else? Off the top of my head it mentions that Guorna was killed by Tremere and Tytalus. Or surely was. Didn't go into details. Note she can switch bodies. Also Tremere had a sudden epiphany. To make an army of necromancers. So Guorna isn't dead and she probably stole Tremere's body. Even better body swapping is something the only cannon method of involves the infernal. I'm guessing that Tremere was not only replaced by Guorna, but she's an infernalist. That would explain why House Tremere has a massive collection of infernal artifacts.

Those two things put a whole new spin on the Tremere charge to eradicate House Diedine doesn't it?

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While I like Lamech's ideas, the whole "Schism War was not what your paren's thought it was" is already a fairly popular idea here on the forums. I'd still do it, and that whole Guorna-Tremere thing is inspired (particularly when there is nothing stopping her from doing it again), but I'd back it up with a few other thoughts.

Take the Sundering for example; someone supposedly acting on behalf of the Order at large commits several High Crimes (robbing people of their capacity to think intelligibly, let alone cast spells), informs the Quasitor's of what they did and why and then concealed 'for self-preservation'? That's a little far-fetched. Heck the only canonical example of that kind of power is loss of the Pict's language...Unfortunately that leads back to my earlier statement, but it does put a new spin on things. That said House Jerbiton has members who claim to be descended from the "Sunderers" so having the 'artistic House' secretly manlipuating everyone then ret-conning history to their advantage is an option.

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While I haven't made any actual changes to the 5E canon, I do take issue with the common fan interpretation that the Founders were wizards of unusual skill and wisdom - something that isn't to my knowledge borne out in any of the books...

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Some of them either performed or allegedly performed feats that would be impossible or extremely difficult for an average magi. The rapid integrations of whole systems of magic, in BOTH directions (Boni not only learned from other Magi, but they learned from him), the so called rings of Verdi, Crimion founding his cult. While not always strictly impossible for a PC, these things would often be difficult in the extreme. Plus whatever trick Boni used to teach the other magi hermetic magic seems lost to the Order today. Boni integrated a piece of magic then could teach the source Hermetic Magic. When Veia stole the notes she could use it to cobble together her own system of non-hermetic magi. Its possible that Bonisagus was the most special one.

Its not that they are explicitly called out as being unusual skill and wisdom, its that some of them performed acts of unusual skill and wisdom.

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The keyword there is allegedly. We don't know how much of that is hyperbole. Keep in mind that certain Founders had a lot of trouble converting over (Tytlas comes to mind, though Verditius is also known to have issues). While I personally feel the Founders were by no means set atypical, that is not set in stone. And that's assuming that the story of the First Tribunal is accurate.

Considering that this thread is about exploring ideas for alternate histories for the Order, that doesn't have to be true. Maybe the entire Order was originally created by Triamoa and Veia to serve as a tool for their vengeance against their father's murderer's and their mother's people - the Amazons. Not likely, and utterly unsupported by canon but there is just enough available information that it makes a plausible story, and one heck of an interesting saga.

The idea that the order may have been created for an agenda could work really well actually.

  • The Houses could serve as a (crude) kind of specialization. Verd for enchanting/armament, Jerb for for mundane relations, Mert for fae relations, Gurn for security, Boni for research, Merc for admin., etc.)
  • The Code's requirement's do not lend themselves toward an expanding populace. It's unlikely that this was deliberately ignored, though the Founder's could just be less wise than supposed.
  • The First Tribunal and the Founders serve a very symbolic role. It wouldn't be too far fetched to believe that the story was concocted to conceal a less pleasant origin.
  • If it happened, it is unlikely to have been the romantic, idealized way that most seem to believe it was. This was a meeting of disparate, suspicious magic users from different traditions, mostly bound together by the fear if they didn't learn this 'Parma Magica' their enemies would walk all over them.
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There is at least 1 of the Diedne ideas of Subrosa 13 which certainly fit that premise (it's the scenario which isn't in the fanzine but in an addendum RP letter).

Addendum RP letter? I have that issue, but I don't quite follow.

The letter frm the covenant is a revisionist text regarding the history of the OoH. We found that really interesting and there uis discussion about adopting this as the real history of the Order (with tweaks, since Davanalleus is too good on his own terms to be taken over by a petty founder).

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In the .zip file normally you have the subrosa .pdf and an additional .pdf which is a 2 or 3 pages text, letter of a magus to another, with RP background for a Diedne saga, but bigger than the Diedne story.

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The Bibracte saga took this premise. I basically made House Guernicus corrupt and they maneuvered events such that they were behind every major problem in the history of the Order, and they put themselves in the position of being able to pickup the pieces.

The Duresca Scrolls were real.
House Guernicus operates hit squads (actually this revelation was the genesis for the whole corrupted House Guernicus) and the behavior of these hit squads may be extra-legal. :wink:

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There clearly doing it wrong if they need extra legal hit squads. Just find someone guilty of one of the many crimes they have committed and/or Wizard's War them by proclaiming "I think they are diabolists, but I can't prove it. And since the demons win if we cut down our laws, I say WW!" Also train a pack of Fae to murder Redcaps if their fae friends get killed. Also invite people into your sanctum, and then find an excuse to kill them.

Really 90% of these hits should be legal. The other 9% should be by 'certing false testimony. Maybe 1% should be actual assassinations.

Although to be fair, I wonder how they managed to convince House Tremere to declare war. Or convinced Tremere to try and dominate the Order via Certamen.

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Perhaps, perhaps not. There's more to it than just the extra-legal hit squads. There are some things that a conspiracy does not want displayed in the crucible of a tribunal. If you make it legal, then you have to present evidence. If you have to present evidence, you probably want to point it away from what you're hiding, which means manufacturing it. Manufacturing evidence is fraught with all kinds of additional risk. Deploy the hit-squad, have Quaesitores investigate the death as they normally would, and they can then whitewash the investigation and claim he was killed by an already renounced magus or a faerie, demon or dragon.

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House Mercere is where I would focus some attention. The rest of the saga indicates that The Gift is not inherited in the normal genetic sense, but Mercere was given permission to train and treat his non gifted children as magi because he stopped having gifted children when he lost the gift... something isn't right here. And House Mercere, being in charge of communication and by extension history is in a position to make changes to that history.
There is also the question of Guernicus, who founded the quaesitoris because he was the only founder who was Christian and thus could be most easily trusted. Which only makes sense from a medieval perspective, not one of the ancient world towards the end of which the founders formed the order- why would 11 pagan mages place their faith in the one Christian magus?

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Before Marko Markoko dons his asbestos suit and flames you into within an inch of your life, let me point out that Flambeau was Christian. Jerbiton was, too.
I'm not sure about the faith of the rest of the Founders, but the only recollection I have of outwardly pagan members of the Order might be Mercere, Merinita and Bjornaer.

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So Diedne was christian? :mrgreen: Sorry, couldn't resist :laughing:

Quite a few founders were Christian, not just Guernicus.

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:mrgreen:

Flambeau was indeed Christian, a good catholic boy from Iberia, born of a Roman-Visigoth noble lineage and named Reculed Anneus Seneca.
You are safe on your side of the line. Cross this one and furious flames fly in a frenzy of fabulous Flambeau fanaticism for fantastic fun and...
and...
...ran out of "F" words (and that other one is not applicable nor in good taste :smiley: )

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She's so...forgetable.

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I apologize, I was recalling a house description, possibly from 3rd edition. In any case, the history is suspect, reading more like the history of a 'converted' saint (that is a saint who was previously a deity in Rome before being converted to a Christian Saint) than any of the other founder's stories. It would seem more likely to me that as a terram magus he bought his position as head of enforcement as the order was being formed.

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Diedne was a pagan, but she was not the Infernalist. If there were any, it would be her followers of a later generation, and they may have been very few but got their whole House caught up in accusations.
Gurnicus, Flambeau, and Jerbiton were Christians. Jerbiton may have been gnostic Christian, but likely had an Orthodox background.
Tytalus was Christian :slight_smile:. Or Moslem, Jewish, Pagan, or whatever suited him at the moment.
Not sure about the others though.

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