I asked Peregrine_Bjornaer if there might join the saga, and he said to go ahead and start a character discussion thread, so here I am!
This is a magus concept that's been bouncing around my head for quite some time now (months), and I thought I'd give it a try to see how it would work in play. The character is already statted out at Gauntlet, but there might be some points that require troupe discussion.
So here it is...
The base concept is that of an innate shapeshifter that became an Hermetic apprentice. His shapeshifting ability so conditioned his Gift before it was opened that Hermetic magic is difficult to use. As in the Painful Magic major flaw. But pain, as they say, is simply proof that one is still alive. Particularly if you are a magus of House Tytalus.
The child who would become a magus grew up in Palermo as an orphan, under the care of Benedictine monks. Very little is known about the dead woman who may have been his mother, except that she was of Moorish blood. The child himself was obviously of mixed ancestry -- swarty skin and brown hair but his eyes a startling green. Growing up at an orphanage, the boy learned to speak the language of the Norman staff there. But he often roamed the streets of Palermo, exploring it and picking up a smattering of Italian and Arabic words. The monks frowned upon such forays and discipline was strict under then, so the boy learned to endure the pain as a price for his decisions.
Despite the first signs of his Gift, he was adopted by a fisherman and his wife, who had been unable to have children of their own. While learning the life of his adopted father, a storm blew them to an island used as a base by Barbary pirates and they were captured. The fisherman was killed and the boy became their slave. During one of their visit to the island, he used his burgeoning Gift to escape by shapechanging. Stranded on the island for months, he survived as an animal. He would occasionally feel the touch of something alien on his mind.
Then one day another boat came to the island, bearing a strange man whom he had seen visiting the orphanage a few times in the past, observing the children yet never adopting one. The man offered food and a chance to escape the island. He also offered to take the boy as his apprentice, to learn the ways of magic and walk the path of greatness, like the heroes of legend. The boy resisted, until he saw from his own eyes the power that the man possessed.
His new master's name was Chiron, a magus of House Tytalus. He gave the boy the new name Smaragdus (green gem), for the color of his eyes, and began educating him in the ways of Tytalus magi -- through challenges, strife and contest. Much pain also, but that was already something he was used to, even at his young age. As his power in magic grew, so did the presence touching his mind every so often. A huge, powerful presence, literally a force of nature. The force that had given life to a force of Greek mythology. This spirit was not benevolent, nor really malevolent; it simply was an uncontrollable force, which sometimes brought visions to the young apprentice and guided his life. Sometimes he fought them; sometimes he embraced them. As he did when, upon completing his Gauntlet, the new magus announced its name as his own. Only Chiron (maybe) knew that this was not simply a boast, but rather recognition of an inescapable fact.
He was Typhon.
Stats Out of Gauntlet
Confidence: 2 (5)
Characteristics: Int +1, Per +1, Str +1, Sta +2, Pre 0, Com 0, Dex +1, Qik 0
Inoffensive to Animals
Linguist (25% bonus to language experience)
Personal Vis Source
Self-Confident (House virtue)
Cyclic Magic (Fall and Winter)
Plagued by Supernatural Entity
Personality Traits: Brave +2, Cynical +2, Idealist +2, Obsessed by justice +3
Abilities:Animal Handling (Donkeys) 0[sup]1 xp[/sup]
Artes Liberales (Rhetoric) 1
Athletics (Climbing) 2
Awareness (Searching) 2
Bargain (Vis) 0[sup]1 xp[/sup]
Brawl (Knife) 0[sup]1 xp[/sup]
Carouse (Staying sober) 0[sup]1 xp[/sup]
Charm (First impressions) 0[sup]1 xp[/sup]
Code of Hermes (Scrying) 1
Concentration (Spell concentration) 2
Finesse (Herbam) 1
Folk Ken (Clergy) 2
Guile (Disguises) 2
Intrigue (Debate) 2
Language: Arabic (Sicily) 2
Language: French (Norman) 5
Language: Italian (Sicily) 3
Language: Latin (Hermetic usage) 4
Leadership (Debate) 1
Legerdemain (Filching) 3
Magic Theory (Inventing spells) 3
Organization Lore: Church (Benedictine Rule) 1
Organization Lore: Order of Hermes (History) 1
Parma Magica (Corpus) 1
Philosophiae (Moral philosophy) 1
Shapeshifter (Lizard) 2
Stealth (Sneak) 2
Arts: Cr 2, In 8+3, Re 5, An 5, Co 5, He 5
Discourse of the Animal's Tongue (InAn 20) +18
Whispering Winds (InAu 15) +13
The Inexorable Search (InCo 20) +18
Lifting the Dangling Puppet (ReCo 15) +12
Clothe the Naked Form (CrHe 10) +9
Transformation of the Thorny Staff (MuHe 10) +7
Tangle of Wood and Thorns (ReHe 15) +12
Palm of Flame (CrIg 5) +4
The Call to Slumber (ReMe 10) +7
Appearance: For those familiar with the recent Battlestar Galactica TV series, his demeanor and voice are quite similar to that of Romo Lambkin (played by Mark Sheppard), the lawyer who defends Gaius Baltar at his trial. His looks, however, are those of F. Murray Abraham when he was younger, like in the film Serpico (I found a picture here). Except that he has vibrant green eyes.
- Not sure about the Clear Thinker and Personal Vis Source virtues. I may swap one or both of them to increase Characteristics (such as a higher Pre or Com).
- In the same way, I could swap out the Cyclic Magic and Weak Scholar flaws, if I were to find something more appropriate.
- I know that the Shapeshifter virtue is considered suboptimal for a magus. On top of that, I've decided that he would only be able to develop reptilian shapes. His initial shape was a green lizard (which fits for his apprentice name), and his second shape would be either an adder or a crocodile (if the troupe allows it). I don't know whether shapeshifters are treated as abominations by Bjornaer magi in this saga.
- And I know that the Painful Magic flaw can be quite severe. But the character will rely heavily on Abilities and knowledge rather than brute-force magic.
- He's not very strong, Hermetically speaking. Probably never will. But he's more of an investigator and manipulator than a destructive magus. I will probably advance him a few years before introducing him to the saga.
- From what I can tell, he's not crowding any of the active concepts. He's a Tytalus like Talia, but oriented in a completely different direction. He's somewhat of an Intellego specialist, but from what I can tell Halie has left the covenant.
If I had to describe him in two words, they would be: a cynical idealist.
I've got more stuff about his background written up, as well as many ideas, but I'll wait unles I've had some feedback regarding the concept.
Comments and questions are welcome.