So, I'm adding some new players to my campaign these days, and the campaign is going into a new "story arc". These players have never played Ars Magica before, but they're big fans of stuff like Harry Potter and such. I've only seen the films based on Harry Potter (apart from the third film, I liked them, especially the last one). Anyway, I thought I'd make some similarities in the new story arc for the new players, and specifically, I'm creating a mysterious and evil magus who will play the same role in my campaign as Voldemort plays in Harry Potter.
But what kind of magus would the rest of the Order of Hermes fear? Any suggestions?
This is what I have so far: A renegade Chthonic Magus of House Tytalus, with several Persona. The magus will meet the player characters several times without them knowing it, being the classic villain. I thought about adding Beloved Rival with one of the player magi. He's goals would be to take over the Order of Hermes, and make it to rule the both magi and mundanes through fear. This means eliminating anyone in his way. One of his plots is to release the two trapped angels near Babylon, hoping that their gratitude will bring him even more power. He will have his own followers, like a cult, who shares his goals in total domination.
So again, what would the Order fear? And how powerful would he have to be to be immune to Marching and such? Ideas or suggestions for rules (virtues, flaws, nasty spells etc) or background (mysteries, cults, NPCs) to make a villain like this?
Not sure where your saga is set, but I have the perfect villain for you if it's in or near the Brittish Isles: Damhan'Allaidh (ArsM core, p10).
If you have or can find the old Lion of the North tribunal sourcebook, it sets him up as a powerful enemy of the Order... an ancient Scots blood-mage who learned the secret of hiding his soul in a magical container appart from his body, ensuring his own immortality (yes, Damhan'Allaidh is Voldemort... Rowling did not invent the idea of the horcrux). His defeat by Pralix in the 9th century slowed him down, but failed to completely destroy him and now, after centuries, he is gathering his strength again.
We are in the final stages of our war against Davnalleus (wee still call him by huis 3rd edition name....). Loads of fun and action. He is the villain for sure in our setting.
=Other possible baddie s(for a local covenant) can include mundanes with supernatural assistance, either by God, the Infernal or Faerie. it does not need something offensive: as long as it neutralizes the magic of the mages it is enough to make the hermetic magi unsure about how to react.
Ah, this looks really interesting. I don't have Lion of the North though. The saga is set in France, but most of the covenant magi are Seekers, so they could travel anywhere.
Where can I find more info on this guy, apart from Lion of the North?
My offline saga started with meddling from a group of hermetic mages calling themselves the followers of hermes trismegistus. They appearantly are members of the Order of Hermes or at least use hermetic arts.
We managed to catch the one but only because he allied with a dark faerie and we allied with the rivals to the dark faerie.
Land of Fire and Ice (the supplement on Iceland) also has some info on the guy. 4th edition supplement
Our saga is set in Brittany. Here we have Carnac, where Davnalleus is performing some bad stuff, so this is how we clashed with him the first time. And the characters barely escaped. After that, it has been a running war.
Damhan'Allaidh ("the Spider") was a powerful non-heremtic wizard, living around the time of the Founders. Given the standard choice of "join or die" he took option 3: kill you all.
Allied with all manner of powerful and unpleasant supernatural creatures and secure in the British Isles, he resisted the Order until he was finally defeated by Pralix filia Tytalus and her alliance of hedge wizards (who would go on to become House Ex Misc.)
However, after his defeat, Damhan'Allaidh's body disappeared before it could be cremated. Later Pralix learned the certain powerful Celtic wizards (like Damhan'Allaidh) could seperate their souls from their bodies and so survive mortal death.
From time to time, on the fringes of the Order, alliances of dark creatures have formed and entire covenants disappeared... the work of Damhan'Allaidh, slowly rebuilding his strength and gathering his reasources to continue his war against the Order.
The 3rd ed stats for Damhan'Allaidh from Lion of the North can basically be summerized as "take the most powerful hermetic magus you can imagine, give him extremely powerful non-heremtic magic and to top it off, make him immortal." He's Voldemort more evil ancestor.
I had that same, rather unchartiable, thought when I re-read Lion of the North after finish the Harry Potter series.
In reality though, both Rowling and the ArsM authors built their ideas on the actual mythology and folk lore of Britain... so, having started out in the same place, it's kind of natural that they would arrive in more or less the same place.
He cdoes NOT have hermetic arts. He can cast the EQUIVALENT of hermetic arts. Quite a difference there
Davnalleus is a gruagachan, but one that discovered some weirdo blood magic (as per ROP:I) and became quite a badass.
In LotN the near-gods were the giants. Gruagachan were powerful, but not as powerful as hwrmetic magi until quite a few decades past 100 years old. Their magic is quite different than that of hermetics, being highly personal et al. Quite a different tradition. But yes, they can rock the housze if they want to
With respect to Damhan Allaidh in 5e, he is possibly not a gruagach (it is debatable whether he was one in LotN, since he could do things that they couldn't, but that's another story).
In RoP:tI there is an Ex Misc tradition called the Damhadh-Duidas who are descended from the same tradition of magic as The Spider. They are (probably) Chthonic magi who take Giant Blood, Shapeshifter, or Incantation (a non-Hermetic Method) as their Non-Hermetic Virtue, Necessary Condition (runes) as their Hermetic Flaw, and Puissant Corpus as their Hermetic Virtue. They also have the Maleficia Powers of Consumption and Malediction as Favoured Abilities. This suggests that Damhan-Allaidh was a full-on worker of maleficia, and possibly had demon-derived powers as well.
There's a little more information about Damhan-Allaidh in that chapter, and scattered references in Ancient Magic (Anglo-Saxon runemasters sided with Damhan-Allaidh against Pralix) and HoH:S (in the history of House Ex Miscellanea), but these last two references don't greatly expand the lore on this figure.
Indeed. Great suggestion. Not being able to simply diospose of the foe by brute force (because of the damage to your public image) is a good way to put the magi on check Give him a guardian angel to prevent "unfortuante accidents" happening to him and there you go with a guy that can be a pain in the posterior to deal with.