When the church is your friend

Hi guys, I was chatting with my SG and we were discussing the divine aura's in a city. We concluded that they are very useful to a magi on the run.

If someone declares a Wizard War on you, you are out-gunned and your sodales are not going to be of much use, simply head to the nearest cathedral and spend a few months copying bibles.

  • Anyone coming after you will be working against the divine aura, and they'll have to use quiet & subtle magics. If they cause a fuss they'll have the church all over them!

If you've been renounced/marched head to the nearest big city and become the court wizard of the Count/Duke etc. You can do simple tricks for him whilst continuing your researches (albeit carefully). Anyone who comes to kill you has a risk of interfering with mundanes.

Yes folks, If you are up against hermetic magic, the dominion aura is your friend.

Available in most major towns and cities, no warranty or guarantees are given, the divine may decide to punish unscruplulous magi.

It's a great idea. The aura is deleterious and the town/city/cathedral offers a natural protection, not only in terms that the Code would understand but also in its geography and social morphology.

A magus in a city, freed from the shackles of the Code, has the ability to make money and influence people. A single unscrupulous magus, if careful, has the potential to bend an entire city to his will, and that is something that any Quaesitor or Hoplite would have to think twice about tackling.

You're almost talking about a siege situation. The rogue magus must essentially remain within the protection of the city as he could not expect anywhere near that level of protection outside the city walls.

There's a great story in there; a magus is marched for some heinous crime and disappears. Some years later he is discovered, by chance, to be the Mayor of York. How did he achieve this? What connections does he now have? How far is the town under his spell? Is he still considered Orbis and does the march still stand? If the Tribunal still wants him dead, can they really kill the Mayor of York?

My you think small! :wink: How about "found to be the King's Counselor" :wink:

Agreed 100%, but the original suggestion wasn't regarding "Marches", but "Wars". Just an honest magi, a bit lower on the totem pole, trying to last until the next full moon!

Of course, if ~I~ were running the aggressor, I'd note that what's good for the goose, is worse for the gander. Take 4 grogs with himn (or 40!), and reenact the crucial scene from Murder in the Cathedral, and call it good - while magic may not penetrate, a low-powered mage is going to become about as dangerous as any mundane librarian in that environment. (More reason to have enchanted items!) More than one way to skin a cat...

And as for Court Wizard, the Aura thing isn't working to his advantage any more there- that puts the hunted back on equal terms with the hunter, magic vs magic, showdown time at the corral. The Order would rarely call burning down a wing of a palace "interfering", if it included the death of a known collaborator. (The king knew the deal had inherent risks, after all...)

However, as a SG, I like the way you think. How would a Quasitor, not to mention your average mage, approach an entire city that was against his presence? Can't just wipe them out- that would be "awkward" on several levels, tho' perhaps a Hermetically inspired natural disaster might be in order...

In part you have a point Cuchul, but you seem to forget that a Dominion aura covers the entirety of a city, not just the cathedral.

It is merely highest in the cathedral but can easily be level 3 or even 4 throughout the rest of the city which will already put a significant stumbling block in the way of even a powerful mage. -9 to -12 from a casting total can certainly cause more than one attempt to fizzle (if the hunter gets more than one attempt before a city guard's crossbow turns him/her into a shishkebab).

I'm not forgetting that, your own assumptions notwithstanding.

If the "more powerful" mage is severely hampered by a -4 aura, the diff between the two is not as big as I'd imagined. If "I" were the hunted mage and pursuing this tactic, I'd want every advantage I could get. Why settle for -4 when much bigger is available?

I grant you that of course. The more the better. Nevertheless, a clever hunted mage might actually be safer in the court of the King rather than the cathedral nave if he has so bent the mind of the King (and the King's significant military) to his bidding. He need only discover whom his pursuers are and have them outlawed and picked off mundanely one by one, whilst still enjoying a good 4 aura protection should one get through to the castle.

Well, you're also confusing the two situations - my suggestions apply more where the hunted is trying to avoid a War, which is just until the next moon to avoid feeling the wrath of that one big angry bully. Your supposition is something that, by its very nature, is a long-term situation, where Quasitores are going to become involved sooner or later (and all too soon, regardless!)

Hiding in any Divine aura won't stop the latter, regardless of the aura itself - the Q's would bring the hammer, sooner or later, so more creative speedbumps (or escape plans) need to be devised.

Ha! Indeed, why not? Now, that's a plot and a half.

But yes, if I was marched (not merely the subject of war as this thread suggests) I think trying to get influence and the protection that brings is a good way to survive (at least, to survive a little longer). I mean, what have you got to lose.

But as for the war angle, if your intention is simply to survive without taking an active part in the war then hiding out in a particularly divine place is worth a punt.

I did run a story that concerned two magi looking for something in Canterbury. There existed between them a state of almost perpetual war. That encounter was their last and it saw the end of a very useful Quaesitor agent, the death of one of the magi, and a plot to arm the Sheriff of Kent with a great weapon of immeasurable power... The PC magi involved found ways to limit the effect of the Dominion on themselves by using a temporary encampment just outside the city and doing most of their magical investigation at night.

Now if i was a hoplite, quaesitor or glory hound magus out to bring in a traitor that had fled and was using the city as his lair i'd be crafty. A low aura hampers me certainly, but it also hampers my target.

Firstly i'd make covert trips into the city, along with my mortal retinue and find out where the scamp is hold up, if he has goons, etc.

Then i'd hire some competent mercenaries, whack my parma over them and tell them to bring the guy out, dead or alive.

While my lowered parma would normally only protect the grogs from only the more powerful effects, its now got (with the advantage of the aura penalty) the stopping power to stop pretty much anything.

My trained mercs should make short work of his goons, especially since they won't be armoured up and expecting trouble and they can easily smack the magus about until he is compliant, or kill him if he gives them grief.

Hi,

I like it a lot!

Of course, a Renounced Wizard serving as king's counselor might as well tell the king the location of every covenant in the kingdom, and suggest that it's about time these folks were placed under the rightful authority of king and church, and their idolotrous practices brought to a halt....

Fun all around.

Anyway,

Ken

Why settle for left-overs? For real protection, get yourself appointed as bishop. :slight_smile: Plenty of greedy bishops playing allies and counselers to kings, with land too. You get all the benefits: land/wealth, the cathedral's protection, the king's protection, and not least the Church's adamant protection of God's representative on earth. :slight_smile:

No, no, you're thinking all wrong. He doesn't tell the King anything so dangerous. That could give the King too much power, and deflate his own future value in the eyes of the court. Nor do anything so extreme that could trigger a "got nothing to lose" response from the Order.

Instead, he notifies the Order that he has an "In Case of Death or Accident" envelope (or five), all written up and waiting to be delivered! "If anything happens to me, it'd be a shame, but..." Hah! Toss in a Tractatus or three on Parma! Great plot for an upper-level Quasitor type.

Your magic resistance, including parma, is penalized by the aura modifier (meaning that in all likelyhood your goons have a MR of effectively 0). Fortunately for you, under current rules, it seems that only the holy magic virtue (with its limits) is sufficient to align a magus with the divine realm.

Stephen

Oh now i didn't know that, that is interesting, i was under the impression that auras didn't change the effects of magic done outside them, even when the effect is bought inside them. I didn't realise parma was an exception.

Doh, back to the drawing board.

Interesting ideas all around. But there is always a bigger magus (and if their isn't, then why are you hiding like a sissy?).

The best way to handle this guy hiding in the kings court is with subtle precision. Assasinate and replace him. Work at it hard enough, you will find a way to penetrate resistance. Question: does the Dominion affect Parma as well? In any case, flash and boom isn't the way to handle it, nor it a band of thugs. One skilled Tytalus assasin, with the spells needed to assume the target's identity.

Then summon his ghost latter on. Coerce it to tell you where he hid the letters, or better yet, where the pen he wrote them with is. Taht should serve as an arcane connection to them, so they can e destroyed easily.

gasp

He thought of that and has a back up! Now what?

Take a look at the Aura's section of Ars 5th. I believe it's expressly in their that it does reduce Parma.

Why send a magus. A mundane poisoning of the kings counselor work work just as well and be a relatively unexceptional event.

Stephen

Because a mundane can't shape change to impersonate their target. I was going with the idea that he is posing as one of the kings advisors, and a sudden disappearance would cause trouble. And besides, as a magus, why send a grog when a magus can mundane posin just as well as the next guy, or even better! Invisibility and floating overhead does not require penetration.

To survive a war I think I would (first version)

  1. 7LS or LOHC to erase tracks.
  2. While in the new location, invisibility (month duration)
  3. Hop to a high divine aura setting. Vatican looks appealing
  4. Try to keep a low profile fopr a month. staying around the kitchens of the vatican looks OK.

Plan B would be the usual "going out to do some lab work helping in the house of my friend the sociopathic archmage" idea. Get a nice friend to cover your ass, basically. Not necessarily directly bu8t appointing him as champion (GotF style) or protector (being his pet slave for a lab project)

The idea of a renounced magus hiding in a city is appealing in anty case. Might use it IMS :slight_smile:

Cheers,

Xavi

But would the mage look inviting to the Vatican?

One thing that's being ignored is that the high-end clergy can tend to have some insight into who's "not quite right", and other unexpected powers. And, I'd suggest, that the bigger the institution, the more "fanatic" some of the members may be with regard to members of the Order.

Seems like a good way to run into the Witchsniffer Persuivant.