Vis source a day

For November, here are vis sources with a description of the location, and the sort of vis that might occur.

  1. The great stench – a foul-smelling bog emits a particularly vile miasma on the autumnal equinox. If gathered while the collector avoids coughing or choking, there is vis in the miasma (either Perdo for the vileness or Imaginem for the potent smell). This vis will require an effect like Gather Essence of the Beast (ReVi 15) with an auram requisite.
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  1. The strangest honey – if a hive is placed on the old stone altar at the edge of the moor, the bees will go out and gather nectar from plants in the nearest supernatural aura, which will slowly accumulate in the unusual-tasting honey. The vis is Creo (from blossoming plants) or Herbam (concentrated plant product)
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  1. The witchstone – this standing stone is reputed to detect witches. In the presence of people with The Gift, small sparks fly from the stone. If a Gifted individual touches the stone the entirety of the night of April 30th, Vim vis will form by morning.
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  1. The disused quarry. Once, this was a fine quarry for marble but the large pieces were exhausted and the remnants are too small or poor quality to be economical to extract. However, if quarried by moonlight small pieces which are brightly coloured will be found. These contain Imaginem vis.
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  1. The mithraeum. A small underground room hidden beneath an old building contains a scene of Mithras killing a bull and a picture of a lion-headed man, and there is a weak magic aura. If a sacrificed bull is brought into the room and cherries are eaten at midsummer, Vim vis is generated in an ear of corn that springs up from the bull’s fatal wound. The room is a confined space to sacrifice a bull in, but it is not necessary for the sacrifice to take place in the mithraeum itself – it can be sacrificed outside and brought in. (Taken from the archaeological evidence that most mithraea don’t have the specialist facilities for animal slaughter, and the presence of summer fruit remains suggest a lot of mithraic rituals took place midsummer).

The cult of Mithras was spread wherever the Roman legions went, so large parts of Mythic Europe could have one hidden. In the Stonehenge Tribunal, we have excellent ones preserved at Hadrian's Wall (for the stonehenge/loch leglean border), and ones found in London, York, Colchester and Caernafon.

This page is the best list of Mithraea I could easily find - it has 116 from the UK to Algeria to Egypt to Iraq. It lists a huge number in Germany I'd never heard of, so this is a great source for urban vis sources and lacunae for the Rhine Tribunal.

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  1. The forgotten cave – in this cave, a spring of water from the underworld river Lethe bubbles up. Within the cave, sentient minds are subject to having memories destroyed at random, with many who enter the cave forgetting why they came in. An animal (whether trained or a Bjornaer in heartbeast form) can come in and retrieve the vis (either Perdo or Mentem), or possibly a magus with a very high Mentem magic resistance.
  1. The amphitheatre – this ancient Roman ruin is a now a hollow in the ground with the remnants of stone seating. If there is a performance on the day of Lupercalia (February 15th) vis is produced – Mentem if it is theatrical, Corpus if it is a gladiatorial show.
  1. The spiky hazel – this tree has branches which fork and branch very sharply and at odd angles. Every year, one smooth branch with but a single fork in it grows. If this is found and harvested, it contains Intellego vis as it is a naturally perfect dowsing rod.
  1. The unconsecrated graves – Those who die before baptism are often denied a Christian burial. By local custom, these poor infants are buried in a secluded spot surrounded by willow trees and flowers laid upon their graves by grieving relatives. When winter comes, the fragments of the flowers contain vis – either mentem (from the strong emotions of grief) or corpus (from the corpses that had so much potential for life)
  1. The ringing rock – the standing stone on this exposed place will ring out if struck with a solid object, and local village superstition has it that if you do this at dawn it can bring about healing. If struck while the sun has not reached a full diameter above the horizon, the stone will produce Imaginem (for the noise) or Creo (for the healing) vis in the form of a sound that needs to be trapped magically.
  1. The glove on the pole – in England, a glove on a pole is a common sign that a fair is in progress, symbolizing that the fair is legal and that trading laws will be enforced. If the glove is up for the entirety of the fair, it can be harvested for a single pawn of rego vis.
  1. The leper colony – an occasional link between leprosy and magic was noticed by Guorna the Fetid and passed through Tytalus to the leper magi. This colony seems to have a similar link – if the dead flesh shed by these unfortunate folk is collected, there is Corpus vis.
  1. The perfect berry – in a row of wild blackberries in autumn, a couple will be large and succulent while appearing pure yellow. Their taste is amazing, and will make any food they are put in taste sweet. The vis is Imaginem (for taste) or Herbam (for a plant source)
  1. The petrifying cave – items left in the damp of the cave slowly cover with limestone. If left in the aura for a whole year, the most well-crafted item will become a statue containing Muto or Terram vis. (See Mother Shipton’s cave for a real-world example).
  1. The changing tree – At the start of autumn, many trees change colour, but within this wood one tree will suddenly turn exotic colours that contrast with its neighbours, with bright crimson and purple leaves. These can be collected for muto (unnatural-looking changes) or herbam (from a tree) vis.

(Edited to correct spelling)

  1. The whirlpool. The opposing currents bring Aquam vis that can be gathered at great risk (Profession: sailor 12+ or Swim 12+ to avoid being dragged in). At the bottom of the whirlpool (requires powerful ReAq ward to avoid being battered to death, and ability to breathe) Perdo vis can be gathered, and the powerful Magic spirit at the bottom control the entrance to a regio. A Muspelli follower of Aegir who becomes aware of this site will contest it, as whirlpools are sacred sites to their patron.

The three most powerful whirlpools in the world are the Maelstrom, off the west coast of Norway; one off the north coast of Iceland; and the Gulf of Corryvreckan, between the scottish isles of Jura and Skarba.

The one between Jura and Skarba allows for placing this in the Loch Leglean tribunal, rather than scandinavia.
One of the more common legends involves the hag goddess of winter known as Cailleach Bheur. Her legend says that she uses the Gulf as a basin to clean her plaid at the changing of the seasons. For example, she may decide to do her washing as autumn turns to winter, creating tempestuous waters with a roar that can be heard for miles. Once her plaid is clean and white, she lays it across the land as a blanket of snow.

There are other legends and myths attached to the Gulf of Corryvreckan. Not all of them are pleasant. The legend of the Norse king Breacon is one that does not have a happy ending. As the story goes, Breacon moored his boat very near to where the whirlpool appears in order to impress a local princess. Unfortunately, the strength of the whirlpool swallowed the king and his vessel; Breacon’s body was eventually retrieved by his dog and dragged to shore.

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  1. The cheese-rolling hill. Every year at the start of May a cheese is rolled down this hill, and villagers race after it regardless of their health. The cheese brings great luck to the winner. The vis is Creo
  1. The ford – at the beginning of August, the ford in the river dries up and the water slows to a trickle. Some of the stones on the river bed will become dry – the first to dry completely contains the Aquam vis that is normally too dilute to collect.
  1. The rolling stone – the stones in this field are reputed to move of their own accord. On a night in June, if you watch at night you can see the stones start to move – if you hold the stone (with ReTe magic or a strength roll ease factor 15) some moss will sprout, containing Rego vis (for the moving force you have opposed) or Terram vis (for the boulder).
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  1. The Balm tree. An asp of virtue guards this tree whose sap contains Corpus vis. Those with a good Magic Lore may know of a way to charm the asp with music.

Asp of virtue
Magic Might 5 (Animal)
Characteristics: Cun -1, Per -2, Pre -6, Com -6,
Str -6, Sta +2, Dex +2, Qik +2
Size: -3
Confidence Score: 0
Virtues and Flaws: Lightning Reflexes, Infamous
Qualities: Ambush Predator, Loathsome
Magical Qualities: Improved Attack, Improved Defense, Improved Damage, Improved Initiative,
Appearance, Slippery, Venomous
Personality Traits: Hostile +2
Reputations: Venomous (local) 4
Combat:
Fangs: Init +5, Attack +10, Defense +8*, Damage
-2; * +6 to Defense against grapple attacks
Soak: +4
Fatigue Levels: OK, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1), -3 (2), -5 (3),
Incapacitated (4), Dead (5+)
Abilities: Awareness 2 (prey), Brawl 2 (fangs),
Hunt 4 (rodents), Stealth 4 (stalking prey),
Survival 3 (grassy areas)
Powers:
Venomous Bite, 0 Points, Init 0. When the asp attacks, compare its Attack Advantage to the victim's armor Protection (not his Soak). If the asp's advantage is higher, the victim suffers the effects of asp venom as listed in the Poison Table on p. 180 of ArM5, regardless of whether the bite
inflicts an actual wound. The storyguide may adjust the required Attack Advantage for special circumstances: for instance, high boots might offer an effective Protection +3 against the asp's special attack even though they don't protect against normal attacks.
Natural Weapons: Fangs: Init 0, Atk +3, Def
+1, Dam +1
All asps are easily charmed by music. When a musician tries to charm it, the asp plugs its ears by pressing one ear against the ground and inserting its tail into the other. (see RoP:M p66).

This is a weak asp suitable for beginning magi. It can easily be increased in power by adding blocks of 5 might, and adding one level to each of its magic qualities, adding +2 attack, +2 defence, +2 initiative, +3 damage and +2 soak. Of course, magic powers can be added if you have the time to customise your opponent.

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