It's been a while, but the greater to sneak back into these hallowed halls. Not that I ever left Ars Magica or that our saga stopped, but we're now both playing more again and I'm finding my old love for Ars Magica rekindled. However, I'm now not only busy catching up - both with old core material forgotten, stacks of books bought though never entirely read, and vivid and enlightened forum discussions slipped from memory - I am also for the first time about to play a magus myself.
Quite a novel thing, having known and cherished this game for 16 years and having run a contineous saga for half of that, yet never having tried playing a magus! That's the joy of having gathered such a wonderful troupe, that after a year of being on a low and nearly not playing, that the passion for the saga have brought two others of the troupe to step in as co-storyguides, both re-inspiring me and allowing me the option to create a player character magus at last.
So I'll hopefully pass by this forum more often now and, returning to the order of business, I'll vent a couple of questions here in the process of both getting back in shape as well as testing new technical issues for my new character as well as for new stories in the making. Bear with me if happen to blatantly overlook things either in plain text in the books or in threads I've missed during the last two years of inactivity on the forum.
I've been looking through the unified Shape/Material list and the books searching for any inspiration on the use of laurel, but have had no luck, so my main question is if anyone know of something I've missed? Secondarily if any of you have any thoughts or ideas on the subject?
My own brain storming so far include:
Transform to plan (myth of Daphne).
Youth / protection against decay (Appolo's blessing on Daphne/laurel).
Something involving prosperity, victory, or fame?
One of individual elements linked to Apollo - sun, medicine, music, archery, prophecy, specific animals.
Some wiki references from Catalan, Spanish and French:
It is tradition to bring its branches to be blessed on Palm Sunday to commemorate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
its leaves are used to condiment food
It is used in medicine. it is specially recognized as a digestive plant.
In ancient times and the Middle eages it was used to crown poets (Apollo used a similar crown), artists and sages. This tradition had its origin in the roman triumph.
Students that passed the Rethoric exams were given a laurel branch. it is likely that from here comes the name of baccalaureatus (bachelor; bacca laurea : baie de laurier).
There was the belief that this tree could not be downed by lightning.
Symbol of peace
Symbol of Aries
An old saying says: "the one that plants a laurel will not see it grow", in reference to its slow growth. In popular culture this also references the death of the person that plants it. (Note of Xavi: I can see this as a cool curse)
Connotations in Roman and Christian cultures.
(Mytho) Transformation of nymph Daphne. Apolo cut 2 branches, that are used to commemorate triumphs by artists, athletes and generals.
A legend says that during the conquest of Granada (1492) the queen Isabel hid behind a laurel in the village of Zubia. She was fleeing from some grenadine muslims. Since then, that laurel (still existed in 2005) is known as The Laurel of the Queen
The french translation does not offer much relevant new data.
True but it gets kind of repetitive. A pair of bonuses like protection from lightning, vi9rginity and knowledge might be OK already. Most stuff in the F&E table does not rpvode a bonus to every single type of bonus the thing could potrntially provide Victory is alwatys associated with a laurel crown, so I find that enough to say that victory and regality is already covered byt eh crown part. YMMV, as usual et al.
The character for which I'm making a talisman, of laurel, is a Merinitae with Faerie Blood connected to Apollo, which is why I'll be focusing on interpretations of laurel that link to the myth of Apollo and Daphne.
And then I have a second challenge when moving from formulating shape & material to applying them. Some Shape and Material bonuses are quite easily destinguished, but I'm wondering about bonuses such as 'divination'. It's clear to me that it's somewhere within intellego, but I'm uncertain about how and where to draw the boundary exactly. The same goes for a concept such as 'victory'. Any thoughts?
Victory: anything that increases awesomeness and presence, making you look in a good light. You need to appear more glorious. I would say that aura of ennobled presence and aura of authority could be applied, as well as inspiring rolls, spells dealing with morale and attack rolls.
Divination, look into the spells in the mysteries. Since we do not use that book I am unsure how those will look, but there was a section on divination and augury.
Good points, Xavi. I knew about the mysteries both had forgotten about it again.
Also, these thoughts on victory and divination were mostly brought on by refamiliarizing myself with the rules than the querry on laurel specifically. I think 'victory' is a given and fitting bonus for laurel, even if I'm not sure it's one my magus will pursue. He is a blind seer and there is little victorious about him. I know I could add it as a sort of counter-stream to his personality, as those often enrich them, but he already have enough of those to it only watering him down if adding more just yet.
I did add a 'divination' bonus to his talisman, but that one isn't linked to the laurel material, but through a Faerie Sympathy through his Strong Faerie Blood (yup, Apollo again). I'm still a bit unsure about Faerie Sympathies and talisman attunements, but believed that an option.
Anyway, enough ramblings, keep pouring on any ideas on laurel shape/material bonuses. The more ideas the merrier!
I think the question is: Who were rewarded with laurels? For what achievements did they get this?
These conditions would affect the bonus it'd give. Victorious war leaders? Bonus for leadership in battle (IIRC there is already a thing doing this), and maybe magic affecting own fighting powers. Victorious athletes like the greeks of the opympics of old? Bonus for physical prowress would be apporpriate. And for looking good, naturally.