Yet another vis source idea

Sodales, just had another idea for a vis source...
A sword (or other bladed weapon) that for every wound it inflects a pawn of vis collects as the blood on the blade.
Any thoughts...

Make it killing wounds and infernal vis. Just any wound and it leads to serious abuse unless there is some other limit to number of uses.

Every wound would make it a vis printing press rif for abuse. Maybe a time limitation?

That seems way too good. If it is a specific weapon, as part of a specific ritual on limited occasions throughout the year, then why not (ie. sacrificial dagger, used on the solstice and equinox).

Thanks for the quick responces... For some reason i was having trouble coming up with restrictions for this vis source. I like the killing blow but not sure it needs to be infernal.

If you want it to be an actual battlefield weapon, just combine parts of the suggest restrictions.

It is a "fancy descriptive type" sword, which causes the blood from a killing wound inflicted in "battle" to form into a bloodstone containing a pawn of vis on the solstices and equinox. There must be blood on the blade from a killing wound in battle on those days, but the blood does not have to be fresh. The forming of the vis cleans the blade of all blood so it has to be used again before it can form more.

So it is less abusive when you have to make all wounds killing wounds?

No, it definitely can be abusive with requiring a killing wound but then you can have the Tremere or someone smack them down due to it being human sacrifice and possibly infernal. There will most definitely be repercussions that there won’t be when it’s a light wound and they can just say “come here grogs, as part of our annual ritual we slice a notch in your arm to track the years of service.”

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short answer, yes, it is less abusive if it has to be a killing blow. Otherwise you can cause a hundred light wounds to a target (say a cow) in a single day and it be fine a month later.

The victims of the wounds may see it differently :slight_smile:

but I don't like it either way.

I don't like it if it's linked to the number of wounds or kills made, unless it's an infernal artifact. If it's a magic artifact, I could see the vis source working in a similar way, so long as it is not a compound effect. For example, a historical artifact wielded by an ancient greek hero, that will accumulate a pawn of corpus vis if it has shed blood in the last season, or the last year, sure. Accumulate vis in proportion to the number of kills... yes, that's infernal in my mind, not magical. By it's very definition it would be tempting the wielder to commit sins by becoming a serial killer, doing ritual sacrifice of humans, or to generate chaos as a warlord provoking wars.


I think it depends on whether it can be used on animals or just humans- a diedne knife of sacrifice that would work on either, for example, could be of questionable realm alignment (I would still limit it to by life- and the vis matches the victim, animal or corpus).

Although now I'm also envisioning an ablating blade- one that can hit spirits and converts damage to mentem vis for the wielder which is extracted from the might of the target... obviously a non-hermetic object.

In a campaign, I introduced an anathema book where was described a non hermetic way to create a device (not a weapon), to extract the Gift from a person and get vis in exchange. It was killing the person. The vis was infernally tainted of course, but the object was potent.

My players returned the book to Durenmar because they were afraid someone could discover they had it in their possession. Of course, they were viewed in suspicion for having this book in the first place. But it could have been worse.

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By your username, can I assume you've either played Pendragon, or are familiar enough with the arthurian myth cycles to recognize the Proud Knight of Landoine who had been wounded with a poisoned blade, such that his wounds could not be healed 'while the wound-maker lives'?

Upon reading your post, my first thought was a blade that generate Infernal Vis when wounding but not killing a sentient individual. These wounds cannot be healed unless and until the Vis has been used.

Can this be abused? Absolutely! That's the whole point.


Cannot heal to better than what was inflicted, but can worsen or get infected.
Just to really (pardon the pun) twist the knife.

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If you want it to be healing then it can collect via for killing cancer cells and then you can get corpus vis!

Actually, perhaps the Vis should evaporate when the poor wounded fellow dies, causing the wielder to desire to prolong the suffering?


As described, it does sound pretty Infernally.

I could see a vis source once a year after a ritual sacrifice, though. That sounds pretty straight forward and not OP as heck.

How could you possibly say it was infernal?!? Just because it creates power for sin?

I totally just cast an InVi spell and it told me that it was magical vis, not infernal. Totally safe to use.

So. Yeah. I can't really see a way of having blood-for-vis not be infernal. Any sort of 'free power' should have infernal consequences, in my feeling. I mean, Imbued with the Spirit of X is already kinda dumb powerful, and the other I can think of is Leper Magi, which is limited to Tytalus and Lepers.

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You can make this work sure.

How exactly to do it depends a lot on a number of unstated factors. Will your group try to abuse the sword to gain infinite vis? If you think they will then you probably need some balancing factor.

I could see it working.

Here is how I would go about it:

  • observation 1: It is a portable vis source that is not linked to any specific aura.
  • observation 2: If it has nothing to limit its usability you have in effect introduced infinite vis of whatever art the weapon creates.

observation 1 alone is enough to make it highly valuable since vis sources in general are not the transferable. Vis sources can change ownership sure but usually it is only practiable to transfer such ownership to magi/covenants in the vicinity since they usually need to come back at least once a year to collect the vis. This vis source is not limited like that.

observation 2 in my mind is more of a challenge to be overcome than it is an end to the idea.

So how to limit the weapon, on option is of course as suggested by others to either require a high price such a murder or make it limited to special occasions. Those are fine solutions and I would probably go with one of them if I were to introduce it. Another solution suggested many times is to make the vis infernal. However that also, IMO transforms the weapon from being a powerful treasure into being curse in disguise. Which doesnt work if you want the vis source to behave as a vis source rather than as an antagonist of sorts.

This leaves 3 choices of domain for the vis. Magical, Faerie and Divine.

Again IMO the option boil down to: Magic if you just want to vis to be plain vis, nothing special about it, since the game is about magic, and people aligned to the realm of magic, magic alignment should be the default choice. Faerie and divine are for if you want to do something special with it. Special in this sense could be either that the vis requires actions that are meaningful in terms of alignment to the specific realm to form or if it has special properties that make alignment to either of the two realms more desirable.

Here are my 3 takes:


The sword is ancient bronze blade that according to hermetic folklore was taken from a barrow somewhere on the european plain. While the origins of the sword are unclear, the function is not. The sword forms Rego vis whenever it is used to slay someone that has incurred a capital punishment under the jurisdiction of the wielder of the sword. This obviously means that the sword can only be used by someone with the legal authority to pass capital punishment on others and it only works if the sentencing is actually done according to the legal principles in question. Many covenants, in particular older ones will be able to fulfill the requirement by having their covenfolk swear to diverse oaths of servitude or fealty. Ownership of the sword gives a reputation of 3 (owner of the sword) to the owner, covenant or magus. This reputation is both positive and negative, in that it gives an aura of authority and power to whoever possesses such a powerful and storied item but it also puts a target on the owners head as many others will want to possess the sword for themselves.

The sword is a typical if somewhat older looking knights sword, with chivalric motifs on. Ownership of this sword is a matter of prestige among both Merinitae and magi adhering to chivalric principles in general, Flambeau in particular. It is tradition that anyone has the right to challenge the owner of the sword to a duel for ownership. When used to inflict the winning wound of a duel over matters of chivalric honor vis forms in the blood that coats the blade. (many types will do here e.g: Mentem, Imaginem, Vim). The vis cannot be used for any purpose that goes against the principles of chivalry. If used for any purpose that furthers the users path to becoming the chivarlic ideal of a knight the vis add a +1 to the casting roll for every pawn used. The sword was created by a powerful faerie that feeds on stories of knights fighting duels of over honor against each other.


The sword is plain and unassuming. According to church lore (and Church Lore) it was used by the archangel michael to slay a dragon on the mountain where the mont. st. Michel sits today. In accordance with the legend, if the sword is used to slay a beast the threatens innocent people then vis will form from the blood that coats the sword (Again many different types will do) in addition to whatever vis may be contained in the beast. The vis by virtue of being created from a divine the vis is divinely tainted. The vis created by the sword cannot be used to sin in any way, a spell cast with as much as single pawn will refuse to work if its use is sinful. Ownership of this item is controversial in hermetic circles due to its association with killing powerful magical creatures to make way for the divine, but among church circles its use is seen as virtuous and any magus or covenant capable of wielding the sword will gain a positive reputation of 1 with the church when their slaying of a monster with the sword is first made public and they will gain a further 1 point towards the reputation for every 20 points of might worth of monster they slay with the sword. Events will typically conspire so that news break of any slaying, as if the divine itself wants those good deeds to be public. If the sword is wielded for evil or the an attempted user is too sinful it will simply disappear from their possession.

Note that I have not suggested any number of pawns worth of gain for each successful use as vis awards are highly saga dependent.