Tremere's contribution to Hermetic theory?

I keep wondering if Tremere the Founder contributed more the Hermetic Theory than most magi believe.

My speculations start with the idea that most of the Founders were originally lone wizards who had very little opportunity to use the Mercurian precursor to the Wizard's Communion spell.
Guernicus might have during apprenticeship with his rapidly diminishing Terrae cult.
Jerbiton was with the Theban League, a sort of successor to the Cult of Mercury organisation, so he probably was involved in group casting from time to time.
Guorna the Fetid had an organisation of Necromancers, who almost certainly ritually assisted her. Thus Tytalus and Tremere were experienced in the Mercurian precursor to the Wizard's Communion spell.

But Tremere had originally been part of a separate group of necromancers in Rome before that. And in rebelling against Guorna he found, joined and dominated a separate group of Dacian necromancers. Of all the Founders, Tremere was the one most experienced in multiple variants of the Mercurian precursor to the Wizard's Communion spell. I am thinking that Tremere had learnt tricks to easily learn and master the various variants of this spell, in order to quickly enter and rise in the hierarchy of the distribution of power of various magical groups.
Perhaps Tremere shared these tricks with Bonisagus, and this inspiration is why the Wizard's Communion spell is so generic.

Then there is the Aegis of the Hearth ritual, based off the Mercurian Great Ritual. Every one of the other Great Rituals appears to be of fixed level, and if the the Guernicus chapter in HoH:TL is a guide, they are all about magnitude 15. So why is Aegis of the Hearth a generic level spell - could it be that Bonisagus' apprentice Notatus was there when Tremere shared his inspiration with Bonisagus?

Perhaps Tremere was too proud to acknowledge such a "trivial" contribution. Or didn't want Tytalus to diss him for only being able to share the power of others, rather than do something on his own.

So in order to have a significant contribution to Hermetic Theory, Tremere with Bonsiagus' assistance invented Certamen. A method of bringing together and comparing two magi's magical power in a contest of magical strength. Something similar to Tremere's existing skill with matching his power to various magical groups.

1 Like

I can see where Tremere may have had greater experience with group magic. It meshes with his behavior.

Careful, though, not to undermine his motivation for dominance through certamen and House unity strategy.

I didn't mean to imply that.
I was trying to imply that, in hindsight, Tremere was so obviously playing to his strengths, both magical and political, when creating Certamen.

I am rather impressed how this fictional character's origin story, achievements and political ambitions all seem to mesh so well together. I can't tell if this was well-thought out from the very first mention of Tremere in 1st or 2nd edition Ars Magica, or if the authors of 5th Edition were able to retro-fit Tremere so elegantly. (I was first introduced to Ars Magica in 4th Ed)
My only annoyance is his predilection for Chess. Surely the ancestor of the game of Chess wasn't introduced to Europe until about the 12th Century, centuries after Tremere's demise?

I suspect Tremere is a much evolved character.

I agree he (4th and 5th Ed) was much underestimated and underappreciated by his peers, but it seems plausible that he was relatively immature and weak among the Founders. That's consistent with a group-unity strategy.

Chess: Although extant in Europe as early as 800AD, that's barely contemporary with the Founders. It may be that Tremere picked up chess from someone familiar with Persia? Alternatively, perhaps what is recalled in the 13th Century as chess was hnefetatl or backgammon or other strategic table game. Maybe Tremere had a broader interest in board games and this has been distilled by the modern Order into "chess."*

*More magi need to have hobbies.

I should have thought of this earlier. Assuming a character and an NPC play a game of chess, how would you simulate it with dice rolls and skill checks, rather than having the player and SG play an actual game? What is the appropriate skill?
Can this be expanded to any game?

IIRC , intrigue skill.

Since Tremere (according to HoH:TL) originally from Rome, might he not be playing ludus latrunculorum from ancient Rome?
Rather than one of the Tafl variants, which were apparently disseminated by Vikings.

Makes sense to me.

It's a retrofit. Tremere was Mark Rein*Hagen's personal character in the first games of Ars Magica. His story expands a little in 2nd edition "Order of Hermes". Then he goes dark in 3rd, like everything else. Then he stays dark in 4th, and we decide that even the bad guys don't think they are bad guys in 5th, and shift the model so that American players get to feel what it was like with Admiral Perry turning up in the Pacific to liberate them for trade.

If I may resurrect this thread, I am convinced that Tremere needs to have made some contribution to Hermetic magic before being accepted as a Founder.
How did Tremere manage to convince the other Founders that he deserved to be considered a Founder, rather than Tytalus' apprentice/follower, if Tremere couldn't demonstrate that he brought something to the table that Tytalus and the other Founders couldn't?

My own personal take is that he knew more about the pre-Hermetic Wizards Communion spell, and thus he was able to ensure that the Hermetic version was a general level spell.
I keep imagining that the pre-Hermetic Wizards Communion spell was a fixed level, and every participant probably needed to know the same version (if more than one version existed).

Then that leads to the thought that young Tremere used the same expertise in Wizards Communion to help develop Certamen.
So what do they have in common? Perhaps both involve two or more Magi synchronising their Magic and combining it either additive (as in Wizards Communion), or destructively/against each other (as in Certamen).

Basically, I am currently trying to work out what a descendant of Tremere would get from Mythic Blood, presuming the blood descendent was sired prior to Tremere defeating Guorna the Foetid (he had to dominate that group of Necromancers that he recruited, and if any of them were female...).

Potentially would a Minor Magical Focus in "synchronising with another's magic" be a thing? And if so, would it concievably cover anything other than Certamen and Wizards Communion?

House of Hermes: True Lineages (pg 112) does suggest that the answer is "Tremere brought lots of allies backing him being his own House, such that Tytalus conceded the point rather than fight". I don't think a magical answer is necessary.

That said, if you want one...Wizard's Communion doesn't seem all that obvious an answer to me? Yes, Tremere was a descendant of a Mercurian tradition, but one more focussed on the dead than anything else. Tytalus and Tremere both studied with Bonisagus and were "more forthcoming than their ancestor" - maybe let Tytalus concentrate on Spirit Magic, and Tremere more on corporeal necromancy, and Corpus in general (possibly including early longevity rituals)?

I don't see anything in that suggesting that Tremere intimitated the other Founders.
My reading is that he negotiated and intrigued with the other Founders (apart from Tytalus) to be considered amongst their numbers. So what bargaining chip did he negotiate with, if it wasn't military force?

At the top of this thread I mentioned how he had been a member of 3 different (necromantic) magical groups, and suggested that each group probably had a different version of Wizards Communion that Tremere had to learn. And to recruit an army, I suspect that he had to learn the third group's Wizards Communion very quickly.

Otherwise you might be right about the areas Tytalus and Tremere concentrated in. Though I do see Tremere concentrating on Mentum (for ghosts) more than Corpus.

I wasn't thinking intimidation (although there probably was an undercurrent of it with Tytalus specifically) so much as "here is a clearly separate bunch of people who want to be their own thing, it doesn't make sense to force them into Tytalus". Not Tremere intimidating the other Founders so much as giving a reason and preventing himself from being intimidated - "Tremere with his supporters could dissuade Tytalus or
Flambeau from aggression".

After all, why should Tremere by subservient to Tytalus? He was never his apprentice, and taught Bonisagus as well. The original answer was "because Tremere is clearly weaker than Tytalus, and has acted under his instruction in the past, and Tytalus intends him to have a subservient position" - but Tremere's allies changed most of that.

Rereading your original post - where do you get that Tremere was part of a separate group of Roman necromancers prior to apprenticeship with Guorna from?

I do agree that Tremere would have had an interest in Mentem magic - my main reserve is that Tytalus was a spirit master (although I suppose you could lean on Vim rather than Mentem for that), and you also have Jerbiton contributing Mentem (and Imaginem), whereas it's not very clear where Corpus comes from (other than possibly Guorna herself).

Wizard's Communion could easily have come from the cache of Mercurian rituals Bonisagus found in a well at the start of his work - indeed, given how basic a component of their tradition it seems to have been, I'd be surprised if there wasn't a copy there.

It appears that I may have misread HoH:TL p112. I was under the impression that Tremere had belonged to, then fled the breakup of the Necromancer group in the Roman catacombs. The bit about "several centuries of surreptious warfare" led me to believe that Naples was a group of Necromancers who had evolved separately from the Rome group for centuries.
Re-reading the paragraphs, my position does appear weaker.

Still, one would imagine that groups of magicians like the Necromancer of Rome/Naples, the Theban league from which Jerbiton came, and possible Guernicus' original group might also remember the Wizards Communion. It is what allowed the Cult of Mercury to co-operate, so one would think the spell was universally known, and so long as there was a group of wizards co-operating, it would remain useful and remembered.
It just seems so improbale that Bonisagus would be the only Founder to have the spell. Of course, he had it for years before meeting the other Founders.