What enchanted devices in Lapis Crudis?

Tomorrow the PC's are going to visit the covenant of Lapis Crudis from Lion and the Lilly/ they'll be there a few seasons. Here's the relevant part of the description from the Tribunal book.

The covenant has numerous minor magical
enchantments employing the arts of Herbam
and Terram, created by the magi during their
captivity. Thus, doors open up inside walls as
persons approach them; all of the roofs can
be commanded to become transparent to let
the light in, and even the lowliest cook has
a magical chopping knife

So lots of Herbam and Terram enchantments. Anything that I can wow my players with spring to mind?

if they're down to giving magical knives to a cook, I say the magi and their guests have self-adjusting table chairs for better comfort (height, weight, posture, etc.).

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Stone slabs in shafts, moving as ReTe lifts for persons, animals and stuff - just that guests don't know how to operate them?


A few ideas:

  • Extremely sharp knives which can not cut skin left in guest rooms (for shaving of course, or shearing sheep in a pinch - also useful in kitchens)
  • "mechanical" contraptions, like levitating barrels for moving water around or a rotating scythe
  • Huge trees with bountiful fruit (if in summer/autumn) and a magic item affixed which ensures their health and growth
  • A wand which temporarily turns wood into a liquid allowing it to be shaped in a mold
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Using Muto Herbam or Terram (depending on the material of the wall) you can make parts of a wall invisible, giving you perfectly clear insulated windows. As the "window" is actually just a part target Muto effect, you could have an enchanted tool that lets you draw a new window onto the wall.

If I had a lot of time on my hands and was playing around with Terram and Herbam personally I'd enchant bits of the buildings to have all sorts of magically hidden passages and doors with odd triggers. Bits of wall that become immaterial if you walk at them backwards while telling the enchanter's favourite joke, staircases that only appear if you tap on the ground three times and ask if the primus is home, that sort of thing. I'll admit I'm imagining a sort of hermetic equivalent to the Winchester mystery house.

In the same vein you could make a very strange sort of ornamental garden where every plant grows to full maturity over the course of the day (CrHe), drops a single seed (ReHe to make a plant blossom out of season), then withers and dies overnight (PeHe). The magi can tell what time it is by the growth of the plants. This might depend on how growing plants to maturity with magic works in your saga.

There are probably quite a few decorative art display type enchantments you could do with Terram and Herbam. They aren't the sort of thing most magi would bother with, but if you have 80 years on your hands and not much else to do...


All sorts of things you can do with craft magic in items.

I imagine Terram spells that shape solid stone into fine pottery. You can use rock of viscid clay to make impossibly fine pottery out of granite, make bas-reliefs with incredible details, use it to fix any mistake or try things out.

Herbam effects to do carpentry, joinery and especially woodcarving. Maybe it would even be possible to do and redo things in wood by using some sort of wood-equivalent to rock of viscid clay.

items, mostly furniture but also buildings made out of living plants shaped to grow in particular shapes by magic items.

I think Tolkien's many magical places is a good source of inspiration. Stone halls with pillars that look like real trees, hidden doors etc. described much better by earlier posters.

The covenant has been isolated for so long that there has been ample time for the covenfolk to develop entire traditions around craft magic, where the Finesse ability is taught among the covenfolk.

The covenant likely has its own artstyle entirely developed around Finesse, since lots of things are possible to create with craft magic, that would be difficult to do with tools. Likewise the imagery commonly employed by the covenfolk is likely to differ significantly from what is seen in the outside world. With craft magic (items) your ability to create crazy scenes is limited primarily by your imagination.
I imagine that covenfolk probably have friendly competitions and schools of thought regarding what makes for good imagery and what doesnt. Probably every single available surface is covered in detailed artwork since the main limit for what is possible in lapis crudus is likely to be available space in which to do it rather than resources with which to do it.

Some crazy contraption that uses mirrored surface to light up the covenant by reflecting light from the mountains down into the covenant?


Thank you all so much. I now have a great list of things to show and do to/with the PC's after they arrive.

It was already mentioned, but I will expand on the idea some (along with trying to avoid direct Craft Magic). Tools with a Rock of Viscid Clay effect, with the Duration reduced to Momentary or Diameter and unlimited uses per day, are great items for allowing construction and art with. The Diameter version (+ Unlimited uses) is only a level 20 Enchantment. Making versions of them that effect different things expands on their usefulness. My own group makes extensive use of a Herbam version that affects wood (MuHe base 4) and a version with the +2 metal modifier which affects brass in ship building.

With a Duration of Diameter, they make great work tools allowing you to do things like smooth out/laminate and shape the material, as well as fix minor damage. With a Duration of Momentary on a fine point tool, you can use it for things like art and writing.

Another use for the Rock of Viscid Clay effect is to change it to Rock of Flowing Sand for casting objects from stone or wood. You could also use mud or water (Aquam Requisite), though mud does not pour/flow nearly as well and water might flow far to much for some castings. With a few of these effecting different materials and a mold, you could produce some wild combinations of materials layered and swirled in a single object.

Another useful effect is based on Ink of Noblest Metal (Covenants, p. 97). The effect is to turn the target into ink. Changing to target to a different metal or stone gives you a large range of options. Changing the effect from ink into paint expands on those options, which while not allowing as fine detail as ink allow you to easily plate objects with that material. My group uses this combination to plate the belly of their ships with brass and the rest of the hull with quartz or obsidian.

If you want to include a baths, I already added a list of magic items in A wealth creating scheme a day for January which you might find useful. It includes things like creating the water from nothing, cleaning the water during use, and instantly drying the bathers. You can pick and choose what you like. Some of the effects would also be useful for a magical laundry.

Effects like Unseen Arm and Unseen Porter are very useful and cheap to create. In addition to the uses of manipulation and transportation of heavy things, they could be used in things like artwork. For example an effect that causes the target to hover and slowly turn, combined with a target that is multiple hollow spheres of nested stone. With cutouts and some parts of the spheres made from the clearer forms of quartz, you could create a rather stunning item.

The varies magic crane effects (Zeus' Arm from TtA, Arms of Hercules from HP) could be used to create magical lifts for moving people and objects around. Since they are space limited by the outer bounds of the Regio, building up (and down) as much as possible would increase their usable space. There is also The Wheel from the Hermetic Shipyard part of HP which is a good way to get motive power.

For fun with Herbam, you can create enchanted items or circle/ring spells which awaken plants. These plants can slowly move, which means they can form living changing art. Adding in a CrIm effect can create truly exotic effects. I am partial to a singing rose garden. However you could go as far as to create a variant of The Shadow of Human Life effect that forms a speaking face on a tree. While only a simulated intellect, it would have the awakened senses/memory of the tree to draw off of.

Ok, that is more than enough from me.