A Word about Character Names

Although a name is not necessary to generate a character and is not really required for a character until he is actually brought into play, the name chosen for a character makes an impression on those he meets and says something to the other players about the character, even if only on a gut level. Having a character name, even if only in part, going into the character generation process may actually help guide the player’s hand from time to time as he goes through it. Many of the names chosen for roleplaying characters embody the essence of the character, exemplifying who and what he is, or they can be made amusing by the use of irony in contrast, as in the naming of Robin Hood’s rather large associate “Little” John.

The same standards and approach discussed for PC names should be observed by the GM when determining the name of a NPC, as well.

Family names, or “surnames”, while in common general usage among the people of the period of the game (particularly in towns), will be hit-or-miss in regards to the source from which they are taken, whether origins or trade or parents’ names. Many surnames were taken from the trade practiced (“Tailor”, “Smith”, “Walker”, “Tinker”, “Tiler” (Tyler), “Cooper”, etc.) and would change with the trade practiced from one generation to the next, or would simply be made up of the father’s name with the suffix “-son” attached. One of the most common identifiers attached to a name as a form of “surname” was the village or town of origins, but generally only when a person has travelled out of the district in which he and his family are known, to distinguish him from those of the same name who are local. The player can always go to the GM to get a list of place names for the area he plans the first adventure to take place in to put to this use.

Sobriquets are often used to distinguish father and son who bear the same name, especially “the Elder” and “the Younger”, or between siblings with the same name, but any appellation might be used to distinguish one from another who has no sobriquet at all in the same family, or who has a different sobriquet. The practice of naming more than one child after the father is often followed by parents trying to insure that at least one child survives to carry the father’s or mother’s name on, to give it again to the next generation. These sobriquets also tend to be very descriptive or convey an impression.

Sobriquets such as “Longshanks” like the sample character, Bictric; “Ill-rede” (bad counsel); “Dragon-” or “Dwarf-” or “Elf-Friend”; “Even Handed”; “Foe Cleaver”; “Arm Strong” or “Strong Bow”; “the Bloody”; “the Swift”; “the Just”; “the Red” (-haired, or “Rufus”); “the Unready”; “the Fair”; “the Gold” (-haired); “the Good”; “the Insouciant”; “Wind Rider” or “Lightning Rider”; “of the Long Sand”; “the Lucky” or “the Hapless”; “the Bastard”, or the like. The adoption of surnames for general use was a means to aid in identification of citizens on the tax rolls, and an acknowledgement here of the practice followed in the period of the game.

It will not be uncommon, either to see a name bearing both surname and sobriquet, in an effort to assure that there will be no confusion over identity.

Naming can be key in establishing the medieval-fantasy flavor of the identity of the character, so the player should be as free and creative as he likes in coming up with a name. BUT the player should keep in mind that “Destrier Strongbow” is not a very appropriate name for a quiet, scholarly Wizard or delicate Courtier who quakes at the thought of physical violence or the possibility of being hurt, unless the character’s father was a great Warrior of renown who had originally pinned great hopes of his son following in his footsteps, and the player wants to disarm those meeting him and get them laughing at him when they find out his name, leading them into underestimating him. Then it becomes a useful joke. Perhaps the character will be a prideful coward, and when he gains the strength in skill and knowledge that comes with advancing in his trade he will be a force with which to be reckoned and his name will no longer be a joke.

A character can always be set up to fulfill the promise of a name this way, in ways never imagined by his parents and siblings. Of course, for the simple respect of his fellow Warriors, a huge strapping lad who wades into rank upon rank of foeswith gusto who is named Wendel Milquetoaste by his parents would probably give himself a more appropriate professional name at the end of his apprenticeship, or amend his given name by trading the surname for a sobriquet like “Deathstalker” or “Doomslayer”, for example.

The following roster of names has been provided for the player’s reference because truth is always stranger than fiction, and there are some really great and strange actual period names included. The more common and popular of these will be readily available. Some are hold-overs from the Anglo-Saxon period and others are French imports brought by the Norman conquerors. The player should keep in mind the fact that England was a melting pot, historically, with Celtic roots, the influence of Roman-brought Latin scholarship, Anglo-Saxon remnants, and Norman French traditions. While the names included reflect these varied heritages, they are NOT divided according to their cultural heritage. These can be discerned fairly readily in most instances, though.

Period Men’s Names

Aethel(h)ard, Aethelstan, Aidan, Aimar, Aethelward, Aethelwold, Aethulwulf, Adalbert, Alastair, Albert, Aethelbeorht,

Aldred, Ealdred, Alan, Aleyn (Alain), Aldwyn, Aelfrede (“elf counsel”, Alfred), Algar, Alger, Aelfgar, Alured, Alwin, Alvar,

Aelfhere, Alvin, Alwine, Aldwine, Aelfwine, Aethelwine, Alexander, Alix, Ambrosius, Angus, Andrew, Ansculf, Anthony

Archibald, Arcenbaldus, Arlebaldus, Arlaund, Arley, Arnold, Artur, Artor, Arcturus, Arthur, Aubrey, Aulay, Austen, Austin,

Austyn, Osten, Ostin, Augustin(e), Aylmer, Aethelmaer, Baldwin, Bartholomew, Barnabas, Basil, Bede, Bedivere, Bennet,

Benedict, Bertram, Berwyn, Bern(h)ard, Bevis, Bictric, Blair, Blei, Bors, Brandon, Brian, Burton, Canute, Cerdic, Charibert,

Charles, Chad (Cead), Ceadd(a), Clarence, Clement, Colin, Conrad, Constantine, Crispin(ius), Darryl, Donald, Dunstan,

Edmund, Edwin, Eadwine, Elmvi, Emeric, Ethel(h)ard, Ethelbert (-beorht), Ethelstan, Ethelward, Ethelwold, Ethelwulf,

Eubolo, Eudo, Eudes, Eustace, Finn, Felix, Frederick, Gafiot, Galahad, Gaheris, Gareth, Gaston, Gawain(e), Giric, Geoffrey,

George, Gerard, Gerhard, Gerald, Gervaise (Jarvis), Geraint, Gilber(t), Godwin, Greash, Guillot, Guala, Harduin, Harvey, Haymo,

Hamelin, Henry, Hengest, Hereward, Horsa, Hugh, Harold, Harry, Honorius, Hilarious, Humphrey, Hubert, Humbert, Idhel,

Irwin, Ivanhoe, Isambert, Jack, Jacob, James, Jasper, John, Julius, Kenneth, Kenric, Kendric, Kerrick, Cynric, La(u)ncelot,

Lamorak, Lawrence, Lewes, Lewis (Louis), Leofric, Levric, Lionel, Logan, Lucien, Malcolm, Matthew, Michael, Milton, Morgan,

Morcant, Murdoch, Morton, Nathan, Nicholas, Noel, Ogier, Oliver, Odin, Olvinus, Ulwinus, Osbern, Osbert, Oswiu, Offa, Osric,

Orlando, Owen, Pandulph, Pelayo, Peregrine (-inus), Peryn, Percival(e), Peter, Piers, Philip, Picot, Ranulph, Ralph, Rory,

Raymond, Reginald, Richard, Robert, Robin, Roger, Roland, Roderick, Rede (“counsel”, Reed), Reinhold, Reynold, Seymor,

Saebert, Siward, Simon, Sheldon, Sherman, Stephen, Tasso, Thaddeus, Theobald, Theodore(-ic), Theodosius, Thomas, Todd,

Tristan, Vergil, Vortigern, Walter, Waswic, Wat, Wigstan, Wayne, Wilhelm, William

Period Women’s Names

Adelicia, Aiglentine, Ada, Adeliz(a), Adelina, Agnes, Alys, Alis (Alice), Alais, Aelis, Alicia, Aldgith(a), Aldreda, Alida, Alina, Althea,

Annes, Annys (Annis), Annibel, Amabel, Amanda, Amy (Ami), Amice, Amisia, Anabel(-la), Annora, Arabella, Araminta, Ariel,

Arnburga, Auda, Aurelia, Aurora, Averil, Aver(h)ilda, Barbara(-y), Basilia(-ie), Beatris(-ice, -ix), Belle, Berengaria, Blancheflor,

Brian(n)a, Bridget, Bryony, Catherine, Kate, Katherine, Cecily, Céciles, Celestine, Clementine, Clare (Clair), Clarissa, Clot(h)ilda,

Chita, Charlotte, Darla, Daisy, Daphne, Delphine, Drusilla, Dulcine(-a), Dorothea, E(a)dith, E(a)thelbalda, Ethel, Ever(h)ild(a),

Everhildis, Eleanor, Elizabeth, (E)Liz(a), Emma, Bess(ie), Beth, Lisbeth, Lisa (Liza), Eade, Emma, Emmota, Erembourc,

Eremine(-a), Emmeline(-a), Ermingard, Etheldreda, Evageline, Ferne, Fiona, Flora, Florabel, Georgina, Githa, Gretchen,

Gwenburga, Gwendolyn, Gwenhwyfar (Jennifer), Guibourc, Heather, Hellisent, Helen, Helga, Hermengart, Hestia, Hildegard,

Honor(i)a, Iris, Isabel(la), Isabeau, Ida, Ismay, Isolde, Ingoberg, Jacquette, Jeanette, Joan, Julia, Juliette, Juliana, Karensa(-za),

Kimbra, Leonora, Lea, Leda, (O)Livia, Laurel(ea), Louvaine, Louvenia, Lyla, Lyrabel, Mabel, Magota, Margaret, Margery,

Marjory, Marie, Mary, Mat(h)ilda(-is), Maud(e), Maurine, Millicent, Morgaine, Morganna, Morgause, Or(i)abel, Ottilie(-is),

Pansy, Philomena, Plaisance, Plectrude, Rose, Ros(a)lynn, Rosamund(a) (“rosy mouth/lips”), Scarlet, Sidony(-ie),

Sigrid, Sophia, Tamsin, Tansy, Theodora, Theodosia, Tyne, Ursula, Valeria, Viola, Violet, Wanda, Winifred, Wilhelmina,

Willamina, Ydain, Yvain, Ygraine

CunningMen and WiseWomen

This trade represents the simplest and most basic of local and folk magick in the game. In the point of view of the full trade Wizard or Witch, the CunningMan or WiseWoman stands on the bottom rung of Power. There is likely to be a CunningMan or WiseWoman in almost every shire in the realm to serve the needs of the common folk. These is the ones to whom the common folk will come before any other folk of greater knowledge or Power, with whom they will feel most comfortable, although still fearful of them. One might have to travel a shire or two to find a Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch, and that only adds to the average citizen’s anxiety about dealing with a greater Power, much less having to go to a great city or deep wilderness to find a true Wizard or Witch who wields the High Magick.

Cunning-men and Wise-women are part of the counter-culture of magick in the deep rural areas, reactionaries to the formal social structures backed by the Church. These are the folk that remember the stories of what the world was like when it was truly alive under the ancient Celtic tribes, and they practice a sort of folk medicine. More than full trade or even Hedge-Wizards or Hearth-Witches, the CunningMan or WiseWoman carries on the ancient traditions in folk magick, which plants, fungi, rocks, or animals carry magickal power to hurt or heal that can be unlocked for use by those with the knowledge.

They are closely tied to their knowledge of the Herbal craft, which is how they generally make living, though they sometimes forego the herbcraft in favor of Midwifery or Leechcraft. All are available for either Secondary trades or as an Allied trade. Sometimes the Herb lore is lost in one locality, the master dying before he can pass it on, and the medical skills are all that are left the CunningMan or WiseWoman. The need for healers is far greater and more regular than the need for nostrums and simples, amulets and talismans for love and luck, fertility and a good harvest, which is by and large the extent of the powers they are asked to exercise when called upon. In the small localities where they can be found, the folklore is passed on to the one who shows an interest, and the CunningMan or WiseWoman only hopes for a candidate who also has talent. It does not always happen that way. The prime concern for them is that the ancient lore and folkways not be lost. In many ways they are the heirs of the Witch’s Olde Ways, but much dwindled among the common folk since the coming of the Light.

As a rule of thumb, the minimum requirement for MGA score for this magickal trade is 11. It is rare that a pupil with at least this amount of “talent” can’t be found to teach.

Like the Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch, the CunningMan or WiseWoman may follow either the tradition of Witchcraft or Wizardry. Which tradition, Wizard or Witch, the CunningMan or WiseWoman follows is entirely up to the player.

During his trade training, the CunningMan or WiseWoman uses what magickal talent he may have to cultivate a meditationally keyed, tiered eidetic memory for the sole purpose of retaining his vast store of magickal lore.

They are only allowed to begin play with only (MGA x 0.5) dweomer skills, however, instead of (MGA x 0.75) as for Hedge-Wizards and Hearth-Witches, or (MGA) as awarded to full trade Wizards and Witches.

Like the traditions and lore of the Druids, Bards, Filidhs, Witches, etc., the great store of knowledge of things magickal and the specific skills for their dweomers are all handed down orally, memorized by rote in typical Celtic rhyming triads using the ancient High Cant (Witchcraft) or Ancient Arcane (Wizardry).

The simple nature of the CunningMan or WiseWoman’s trade training is expressed in a few different ways. Between the descriptions of this and the Wizard and Witch trades, the bonuses that CunningMen or WiseWomen derive from their trade training do not accumulate as quickly as would a fully trained Wizard or Witch. The M-RES bonus for this trade accumulates at a rate of (1 point per 4 trade SL’s) instead of (1 per 2 trade SL’s) as it does for Hedge-Wizards and Hearth-Witches, or (trade SL) for full trade Wizards and Witches,

Their AV’s for sensing the Ambience and magick are equal, however, as is the vulnerability of their magick to iron and steel, in the case of Witchcraft (as applicable).

The main differences between CunningMen or WiseWomen and the full trade Wizards and Witches lie in the limits on their uses of magick, however.

This is defined by the tradition in which the character is schooled, whether it was mainstream Wizardry or Witchcraft or one of the several different folkways described under “The Folkways of Magick”, previously.

Those instructed in mainstream Wizardry or Witchcraft follow its forms, just as described for full trade Wizards or Witches. For the reader’s convenience, and also in order to avoid having to repeat the same information over as many times as there are trades of magickal practitioners, the reader is directed to the passages that appear under the heading “Common Elements of the Trades of Magick”, as follows and, especially within those passages, that found under the heading “Under the Mantle of Power”, for this is where most of the vital information concerning the trades’ magickal trade benefits and abilities are detailed.

 

Mainstream Cunning Men & Wise Women

A CunningMan or WiseWoman taught in the mainstream traditions of Wizardry or Witchcraft is skilled ONLY in the use of Low (ritual) Magick.

This in no way limits the player’s choices of the specific dweomer-skills he may choose from the rosters provided in Appendix C. for Wizards and Witches, it only restricts the form in which the CunningMan or WiseWoman may cast them.

When casting his magicks, a mainstream CunningMan or WiseWoman is required to have in hand a Talisman to use as a focus, in addition to the normal requirements of freedom of movement to gesture and the ability to speak clearly to chant or utter the incantations required.

This Talisman takes the form of either a wand equal in length to the distance from the CunningMan’s or WiseWoman’s fingertips to his elbow (1 cubit), a rod equal in length to half his height, or a staff equal in length to the his height, the same as employed by a Hearth-Witch or Hedge-Wizard. Which type of Talisman the CunningMan or WiseWoman carries is entirely up to the player and his character concept. At the player’s option the character may carry all three and vary which one he uses according to the whim of the moment. There is no advantage to using one over the others.

At the base of its construction, each Talisman is made of rowan, oak, ash, hazelwood, or some similar wood of magickal tradition. The Talisman is considered “all-purpose”, designed and constructed specifically for the CunningMan to whom it belongs, in accordance with his starsign, its associated element, the Quality of that sign (fixed, mutable, cardinal), and the planet(s) associated with them, their associated metals, gems, and the like, but grants no advantage whatsoever to casting any magicks the way any other Talisman normally would. The whole purpose of this Talisman is to facilitate the casting of the CunningMan’s magicks – all magicks equally.

Without his wand, rod, or staff in hand to aid him, the character suffers a penalty to his AV’s to cast any and all dweomers. This penalty is equal to [(trade SL required to reach Master LoA) – (current trade SL)], and endures as long as he continues to try to cast his magick until he has his Talisman (wand, rod, or staff) back in hand.

The character must be very careful to protect his focus due to the difficulties he suffers trying to work without it. Wands are difficult to conceal the nature of, while rods like walking sticks or canes and staves are fairly common. If the character should lose his focus or in the event that it be stolen, it takes a long time to make the replacement – as long as a year.

The GM can find the details on the process should it be needed spelled out in the passage on making Talismans under the heading “The Tools of Power”. The general nature of the Talisman in this case means it will have a fair number of aspects incorporated so it can be used for any and all occasions

Alternately, if the player does not like the idea of having to carry an obvious accessible focus to perform his magick (wand, rod, or staff), he may choose another form for his CunningMan’s or WiseWoman’s magick, instead. The player has a choice of several different and sometimes rather colorful folkways his CunningMan or WiseWoman may have been instructed in, instead. These range from the more sedate Cabalists and Knot-Weavers to the more traditional Alchemists, as well as Mediums and Magi, and the exotic Drug- Trance Wizards & Witches.

These conform to the descriptions presented for them under the Hedge-Wizard/Hearth-Witch trade, previously, except that as a CunningMan/WiseWoman, the character is restricted to Low (ritual) Magick only, and only (MGA x 0.5) in number of dweomer skills at the start of play.

This aspect is one the player should give some thought to, as it has a direct and heavy impact on the character and his needs and methods in regards to his craft during play. This dictates the method by which the character casts his magicks, bringing some interesting variations to the process and also to the career path of the CunningMan or WiseWoman.

Choosing one of the folkways described previously indicates that the master under whom the character studied magick was himself schooled only in that form of magick.

Depending on the form or folkway of magick chosen, the CunningMan or WiseWoman may have the ability to progress to the Common and High Magick and then to be free of previous encumbrances on his Power, as described for the Artisan, Master, and WorksMaster LoA’s for mainstream CunningMen above, the equal of any full trade Wizard or Witch.

For the reader’s convenience, and also in order to avoid having to repeat the same information over as many times as there are trades of magickal practitioners, the reader is directed to the passages that appear under the heading “Common Elements of the Trades of Magick”, as follows and, especially within those passages, that found under the heading “Under the Mantle of Power”, for this is where most of the vital information concerning the trades’ magickal benefits and abilities are detailed.

Hedge- or Hearth-Wizards and Witches

The Hedge- or Hearth-Wizard is a ‘lesser’ form (relatively speaking) of the true Wizard trade and the Hearth- or Hedge-Witch is a lesser form of the Witch trade. They are parallel in practices and restrictions, so this description was compiled to tackle both at once. Both represent a few different circumstances among which the player must choose to describe the exact nature of the character’s training in magick.

Every PC practitioner of magick who comes from a trade apprenticeship as opposed to coming through a formal university must have SPT, MSS and MGA scores of no less than 14.

Talent is required to undertake training, according to the traditions the current Masters learned at their own master’s hands. Tradition must be honored. The masters who occasionally deign to take on an apprentice to whom to pass the knowledge they have garnered follow those traditions. No master follows a standard less stringent than the one he was made to measure up to during his own apprenticeship. Only the universities have reduced teaching to a business open to all who can pay the tuition. They allow students of SPT, MSS and MGA of 11, but no lower. however.

Witchcraft is only passed on through trade apprenticeships and cannot be obtained through university education.

The Hedge-Wizard’s or Hearth-Witch’s training, while fulsome in its own way and allowing the character access to a good bit of magick, is nonetheless incomplete from the point of view of a full trade Wizard or Witch, but provides a very rich heritage of folkways through which to enjoy it, as well.

One of the decisions you must make is whether this incomplete training resulted because your character vacated a true apprenticeship with a lone master before he was truly done with the lore he had before him to learn, or perhaps he left his university training satisfied with what he had gained in his knowledge of Wizardry and feeling no need to pursue the apex of the Arts and the university degree (PhD), or perhaps he was disenchanted with the true nature of the Arts once he learned them, disaffected with the other Wizards or Witches after getting into his training, perhaps he found he didn’t have the patience to continue, or in the case of university training, he might have run out of money for tuition and expenses or lost the support of his patron(s). The number of disenfranchised scholars in the university towns looking for a means of income to further their studies, some gainful employment or a generous patron or two, is substantial, but the number of such students are as small among the body of university students in general as the graduated trade members out in the world are among all other craftsmen. The expenses of a student, not merely for room and board but especially for books and in this case materials for his studies in magick, especially Low Magick and perhaps Alchemy (if taken as an Allied trade), are rather steep according to the economics of the period of the game.

If the character vacated a traditional apprenticeship (never a particularly good idea), it is unlikely the master ever truly forgives him and allows him to return for anything more than casual pleasantries ever again, and that only after a sufficient period of time for him to get over his anger and disappointment. It does, will, and can happen, nonetheless, but it may leave the PC in debt for the costs incurred during the apprenticeship, especially if it was a registered apprenticeship.

The university student always has the option of returning to school, as long as he can pay the tuition.

The other possibility inherent in this trade, and that which is generally preferred, is that the character apprenticed himself to a Hearth-Witch or Hedge-Wizard of one the forms of the craft (as follows), who instructed the character in only what he knew of the craft. The character’s education is NOT viewed as being incomplete in any way by such a master, only to those that are full trade Wizards and Witches, who can wield the High Magick.

There is a certain amount of hard feelings between the trades over this hierarchy.

Regardless of whether the character has had any schooling, Wizardry is a scholarly pursuit at its root, so the Hedge-Wizard’s skills include those taught in Grammar School automatically, if it hasn’t been taken as a Petty Skill already. The Witch and Hearth-Witch follow the Druid’s oral tradition, however. No such schooling is included in their trade training.

All Hedge-Wizard characters are bound by the same rules and restrictions binding full trade Wizards in the use of their magick, which the player of the Hedge-Wizard character should take the time to get familiar with. These characters are granted knowledge of the Ancient Arcane trade language used in the casting of their magicks (if appropriate by the type of magick they practice, as follows).

All Hearth-Witch characters are similarly bound to the rules and restrictions of full Trade Witches in the use of their magick, and they are granted the knowledge of the High Cant as well (if appropriate to the type of magick they practice, as follows).

Players of all Hedge-Wizard and Hearth-Witch characters need to make themselves as familiar with the rules under which magick is used in the game just as much as any full trade practitioner. The “incomplete” nature of the Hedge-Wizard’s and Hearth-Witch’s trade training is expressed in a few different ways.

In comparison between the descriptions of this and the Wizard and Witch trades, the bonuses which Hedge-Wizards and Hearth Witches derive from their training accumulate more slowly than those of a fully trained Wizard or Witch.

The M-RES bonus for these trades accumulates at a rate of (1 point per 4 trade SL’s) instead of (1 per 2 trade SL’s). 

Hedge-Wizards and Hearth-Witches have the same meditationally keyed, tiered eidetic memory of any full trade Wizard or Witch, HOWEVER, they are allowed to begin play with only (MGA x 0.75) dweomer skills instead of (MGA) as awarded to full trade Wizards and Witches.

Their AV’s for sensing the Ambience and magick equal, however, as is the vulnerability of their magick to iron and steel.

For the reader’s convenience, and also in order to avoid having to repeat the same information over as many times as there are trades of magickal practitioners, the reader is directed to the passages that appear under the heading “Common Elements of the Trades of Magick”, and especially within those passages, that found under the heading “Under the Mantle of Power”, for this is where most of the vital information concerning the trades’ magickal trade benefits and abilities are detailed.

The main differences between Hedge-Wizards and Hearth-Witches and the full trade Wizards and Witches lie in the limits on their knowledge and uses of magick. The limits on their knowledge and uses of magick are first defined by the tradition in which he is schooled, whether mainstream Wizardry or Witchcraft or one of the several different folkways, to follow.

Mainstream Hedge-Wizards & Hearth Witches

These are sometimes referred to as “true” Hedge-Wizards or Hearth-Witches, much as the simple Druid. Those instructed in traditional mainstream Wizardry or Witchcraft follow its forms, just as described for full trade Wizards or Witches. Having this form of the trade indicates that the character was schooled in what is considered to be the mainstream and most effective and traditional forms of the art and craft of either Wizardry or Witchcraft. The skills and knowledge such a Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch exercises is recognized by every full trade Wizard encountered, but the fact that such a character possesses a “lesser” form of knowledge and skill may not be immediately evident, depending on the circumstances and how much of the character’s craft a colleague gets to observe.

University educated Hedge-Wizards may only be equipped with the “mainstream” class or style of Wizardry. As mentioned, Witchcraft is only passed on through trade apprenticeships and cannot be obtained through university education.

The incomplete nature of the Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch’s training expressed in a few different ways, as follows.

A Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch taught in the mainstream traditions of Wizardry or Witchcraft can only wield Low (ritual) Magick and Common (spell) Magick.

This in no way limits the player’s choices of the specific dweomer-skills he may choose from the rosters provided in Appendix C. for Wizards and Witches, it only restricts the forms in which the Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch may cast them.

When casting his magicks, a mainstream Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch is required to have in hand a Talisman to use as a focus, in addition to the normal requirements of freedom of movement to gesture and the ability to speak clearly to chant or utter the incantations required, and move about the site of the casting when performing Low Magick.

This Talisman takes the form of either a wand equal in length to the distance from the Hedge-Wizard’s or Hearth-Witch’s fingertips to his elbow (1 cubit), a rod equal in length to half his height, or a staff equal in length to the his full height.

Which type of Talisman the Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch carries is entirely up to the player and his character concept. At the player’s option the character may have all three and vary which one he uses according to the whim of the moment. There is no advantage to using one over the others.

At the base of its construction, each Talisman is made of rowan, ash, hazelwood, or some similar wood of magickal tradition. The Talisman is considered “all-purpose”, designed and constructed specifically for the Hedge-Wizard to whom it belongs, in accordance with his starsign, its associated element, the Quality of that sign (fixed, mutable, cardinal), and the planet(s) associated with them, their associated metals, gems, and the like, but grants no advantage whatsoever to casting any magicks the way any other Talisman normally would. The whole purpose of this Talisman is to facilitate the casting of the Hedge-Wizard’s or Hearth-Witch’s magicks – all magicks equally.

Without his wand, rod, or staff in hand to aid him, the character suffers a penalty to his AV’s to cast any and all dweomers. This penalty is equal to [(MGA) – (current trade SL)], and endures as long as he continues to try to cast his magick without, until he has his focus (wand, rod, or staff) back in hand.

The character must be very careful to protect his focus/Talisman due to the difficulties he suffers trying to work without it. Wands are difficult to conceal the nature of, while rods appear like walking sticks or canes and staves are fairly common among travellers. If the character should lose his focus or in the event that it be stolen, it takes a long time to make the replacement – perhaps as long as a year.

The GM can find the details on the process should it be needed spelled out in the passage on making Talismans under “The Tools of Power”. The general nature of the Talisman in this case means it has a fair number of aspects incorporated so it can be used for any and all occasions.

.

The Folkways of Magick

For the player who has a taste for something different from the “mainstream” tradition already described, he has the choice of several different and even rather colorful folkways that his Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch master or mistress may have been instructed in, instead. These range from the more sedate Cabalists  to the more traditional Alchemists, as well as Mediums and Magi, and the exotic Drug- Trance Wizards and Witches, and the ancient practice of knot-magick adapted for the purposes of the Great Weavers.

This aspect is one the player should think over carefully. If any approach other than mainstream is preferred, the alternative ancient folkways can have a direct and heavy impact on the character and his needs and practices in regards to his magickal craft once he enters play. This dictates the method by which the Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch casts his magicks, bringing some interesting variations to the process of casting magick and also to the career path of the Hedge-Wizard or Hearth- Witch.

Choosing one of the folkways described here indicates that the master under whom he studied magick was himself schooled ONLY in that form of magick.

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Alchemists

This Trade is expressed in the descriptions of the university curriculi as one of the degree tracks a character can follow, but rather than encompassing all of the possible knowledge that the study of Alchemy can result in, the Hedge-Wizard’s knowledge is centered specifically on two aspects of magick. Those substances when compounded that of their own essence and the Hedge-Wizard’s skill have magickal effects (magickal formulæ for potions, powders, crystals, magick beans, etc.) and those they can make to be vehicles to carry the magicks cast by other magick-wielders.

The Alchemist Wizard is a departure from the usual university-trained trade Alchemist in that he is able to make various substances of magickal effect simply by combining the rare and special ingredients his formulae call for and unlocking the magickal power inherent in their essences through their own incantations, following the mysteries of the elusive Philosopher’s Stone.

The att. mod’s to prepare any of the formulæ for magickal substances are based on the Alchemist’s MGA and CRD scores

Practicing Alchemy can be as risky as the craft described for trade Wizards, potentially squandering a great deal of money in materials in case of an alchemical accident, as discussed under the Scholastic trade of “Alchemist”.

In character creation, the player is allowed to choose up to (character’s MGA x 0.75) in specific dweomer skills from the Wizards’ roster of skills in the same manner as any other Hedge-Wizard. These skills are actually expressed in the form of magickal formulæ for concocting various substances to produce those magickal effects when properly employed.

The Alchemist has a separate formula, and therefore skill, for each of the Ars Quintates that can be used to express a given dweomer.

For example, the Alchemist has three different formulæ for concocting a substance that confers the effects of a Strike Warding magick, one for Enchantment for the protection of objects, one for Sorcery for the protection of living creatures and/or beings, and one for Naming that can be used in either capacity or applied to an object to provide that protection to living creatures and beings when worn.

ALL Alchemist magick is considered Low Magick, as the process of creating any and all substances for which he has formulæ are defined in terms of the time required to make them as any other alchemical concoction PLUS the CTM that would normally be required to cast the resulting magick as a ritual, in the same manner as the work of a Druid-Gowan.

For those substances that are to be applied to living creatures and/or beings the minimum dose is equal to (STA ÷ 4) in points of POT administered. This dose will allow the dweomer to manifest at a POT of only 1.

For this use the STA score is modified for Build.

Once the (STA ÷ 4) minimum to saturate the recipient with a POT of 1 is reached, the POT of additional grams (if dry) or drams (if liquid) administered/taken by the recipient are added to the effective POT of the dweomer’s effect.

IF the recipient has a STA of 20 as a human (no Build modifier) is given 5 POT-worth of a magickal preparation of 1 POT per dram in concentration, its effect manifests with a POT of 1 (STA 20 ÷ 4 = 5).

IF the recipient then takes another 5 drams at the same concentration of POT 1, the effective POT of the dweomer rises to a POT of 6 (1 POT already established + 5 more = POT 6).

For those substances to be applied to objects, the minimum dose is equal to (sum of it’s Size as measured in all three dimensions, length, width & height) in total points of POT.

An object’s Size Rating is roughly equal to its measurement rounded to the nearest foot (subject to the GM’s ruling), however, in this case all three dimensions are measured, not just one, as is the case with weapons.

Using this minimum dose results in the dweomer taking effect at a POT of one (1).

The POT of additional grams/drams administered raise the effective POT of the magick’s effect accordingly.

For example, a tincture prepared at a concentration of 5 POT per gram/dram applied to a longbow with a Size of 6 (length alone, as width and depth of the object are negligible, being less than 6in’s) would not quite be affected by the first dram (POT 5 – Size 6 = -1), and the first point of POT of the second dram would provide a POT of 1 as it finished encompassing the object. The 4 remaining points of POT of the second dram bring the POT of the dweomer on the bow up to 5, and an additional gram/dram brings it to 10.

The POT of any given effect may ONLY be so compounded to be cumulative in this way so long as it is all applied out of the same batch.

Otherwise, only the alchemical preparations of different recipes, compounded by different alchemists may be compounded in POT this way. 

The DV’s for making any of the Alchemist’s magickal formulæ are determined not only by the concentration of the POT of the substance but the number of grams or drams (beans, crystals, etc.) being concocted or prepared at one time, as well as the Art by which the Power manifests.

The DV for brewing, concocting or otherwise making any of the Alchemist’s magickal formulæ start with the normal base DV according to the POT, the Art to which the resulting magick belongs, always assuming “Low Magick” as the Form, and the Sphere of Power of the formula being used, normally, according to table 2-1. in “Magick in Play”. In this case, however, the POT referred to is the concentration of POT per gram/dram being made.

The base DV increased according to the number of grams, drams, magick beans or crystals, etc., of magickal effect that the Alchemist wishes to make in one batch. The more he tries to make at once, the more difficult the procedures. The bonus to the DV is a Progressive one, per (1) per gram/dram being made. 

In addition, each of the areas of knowledge discussed under the Scholastic trade of Alchemist (healing salves and elixirs, common domestic products, combustibles, poisons, paralysant, stimulant, sedative, and soporific drugs, potion bases to carry others’ dweomers, etc.) are also included among the Elective skills for the Hedge-Wizard Alchemist character. The skill of making substances that are vessels for carrying the magick of others is considered a single and totally different skill from the individualized skills of making substances whose effects are wholly magickal upon completion, in and of themselves. In the same manner as the casting of True Magick, which nets the Wizard one SP each in the Art, the Form, and the specific dweomer skills, every time the Alchemist brews one of his magickal formulæ he receives a SP towards his skill in making magickal formulæ in general, and also one SP in the specific skill for the particular formula made.

Unlike those of other trade Wizards, the magickal formulæ of the Alchemist are not memorized and maintained in a special trade memory and cannot be concocted without the tome in which the Alchemist keeps his magickal formulæ and attendant notes compiled, nor may they be made without a complete alchemist’s lab. Unlike other sorts of Wizard, the Alchemist may attempt any formula that he comes across in his journeys with a SL equal to his half his SL at making magickal substances in general, providing that the formula attempted also lies within the Sphere of Power of the skills he already has. Every time that he uses the formula without taking the time to actually learn it and add it to his repertoire, he earns one (1) SP towards actually understanding it well enough to gain an effective SL of 1 with it. In this way he can learn it on his own.

Alchemists do NOT posses any of the special trade abilities possessed by Wizards, no Spirit Skills, nor ability to sense magick or the Ambience, and no enhancement to the character’s M-RES. Nor are they subject to the effects of magickal ENC, as they can never carry the weight of a dweomer. The substances he creates are effectively “tied-off” by definition, but the duration of any given dweomer produced is the Alchemist’s to choose in the same manner as any more traditional Wizard, HOWEVER, the standard of DUR chosen for any given substance made applies to every dose of that substance made in the same batch. ALL of a particular substance that is made at the same time, in the same batch, functions according to the same parameters, as chosen by the Alchemist at the time it was made. For the Alchemist character there is no such thing as a High Magick or even Common Magick, all of his substances are created under ritual Low Magick circumstances using ritualistic procedures and a lab that takes the place of the traditional ritual kit.

If the Alchemist as a beginning PC has enough money and the player wishes to invest it in stock already made, he can certainly begin play with some of the substances for which he has formulæ already in hand.

The Alchemist character may save on the costs of the substances that he makes through the use of the Forage skill(s) under the Herbal trade that is also available as a Secondary trade along with his Alchemist Trade, in the same manner as described for the ritual costs for other Wizards.

The base cost for this process is equal to half the cost of a ritual casting of that magick, or 6d., per point of POT the PC is trying to achieve. The POT for determining the base cost is equal to the concentration of POT per gram/dram the player chooses to make. The total cost is equal to the base PLUS 1s. per gram/dram beyond the first of the substance in the batch being made.

For example, an Alchemist brewing 10 grams/drams of a “Nature Bonds” formula at a POT of 30 per gram/dram must spend 180d. (6d. or half the normal 1s. ritual cost x the 30POT), which is 15s., plus 10s. more for the 10 grams/drams being made, which comes to £1. 5s. If he has the Herbal skill and the knowledge to Forage he could reduce that by half.

The time required to make the Alchemist’s magickal substances is equal to that required to make potion bases to carry others’ dweomers PLUS the normal CTM for the casting of a ritual, though POT is determined by the concentration of POT per gram/dram and multiplied by the number of grams/drams of the substance in the batch being made.

Because of the wild and uncertain nature of the forces with which they work in their craft, the fact that the Alchemist pays to create a certain amount of a given formula for a particular magickal effect does NOT necessarily mean that he ends up with the same amount that he has planned on when he starts out. As a matter of fact, he never will.

The Alchemist only ever reaps a percentage of that which he has set out to make. This is equal to the roll of d100, PLUS the amount by which the d100 check to determine the success of the exercise is made, plus his SL with the specific formula made, as a percentage, but never yields less than one (1) gram/dram. The variable base d100 roll is called the  yield base”.

For example, if an Alchemist attempts to concoct 10 grams/drams of a formula with which he has SL 13 and his player rolls 10 below the number needed to succeed in his attempt, he would add 10 to the Yield Base d100, in this case 32, and also his SL of 13, for a final Yield of 55% of the 10 he started out to make and paid for, or 6 (5.5).

IF the Yield percentage is greater than 100%, it indicates that by the Grace of Fate and his own native skill he has actually achieved sufficient success that the quantity he ends up with is greater than that he started with the materials for, without any additional cost or taking any longer to concoct.

If the GM is using the Heroic Effects Advanced rules, the player has the option of applying these results to the Alchemist’s Yield. In the above example, a double effect Heroic Success would allow the Alchemist to reap 12 applications rather than 6 of the 10 he set out to make, while a triple effect success would allow him to reap all 18.

Bumbles when they occur are always combined with alchemical accidents, depending upon how badly the d100 roll to determine success is failed, according to the rules governing accidents and magickal Bumbles under the Advanced rules.

Up to this point we have only discussed the materials created by the labors of the Alchemist character in general. This is because the actual form of the substances he creates are up to the GM and the player to work out between them.

The Alchemist’s formula can produce thin (alcohol-based) liquids to be sprayed through an atomizer – perfect to create the “Cloud of Fog” (Obfuscation) or “Circle of Darkness” magicks, or possibly even one of the various types of “Darts” or other similar weapons, especially perfumes to have “Beguiling” effects. The Alchemist may come up with powders, glittering and sparkling, to be used by the pinch in the boots for a “Fleetfoot” effect, or to be sprinkled over the recipient’s head. A formula could result in an unguent to be rubbed all over or on selective areas of the user’s body for a “SwiftHeal” effect, or a liquid to be imbibed after the fashion of a true magick potion, or even a bright crystal to be thrown upon the ground and stomped on to shatter and release a “Blinding Flash” or similar dweomer, or to be hurled at a target to transform in the air into a “Stardart”. The Wizard may end up with a handful of special “Size Enchantment” soil giving a “Jack and the Beanstalk” or “James and the Giant Peach” type of effect, or seeds that burrow into the ground and sprout forth with a “Wall of Vines”, “Wall of Thorns”, “Nature’s Saving Grace” or “Plantmaze” magick, or he might produce little seeds or seedlings that grow before the very eyes into a bush or tree bearing a fruit for each gram/dram made that yields a particular magick once eaten.

It should be the fumes of the cauldron holding the substance of the “Summoning” that attracts the target’s attention and draws them to the Alchemist. The material left over after such a Calling should be useless, or perhaps, if deemed edible – lunch. In cases of formulæ for such dweomers as “Power Cache”, the object in which the Cache is imbued should have to be steeped in the concoction as it is made, for the entire CTM, in order to take effect. The same process should be followed for any object to be enchanted by the Alchemist, unless the GM decides that a stoppered recess in the object for holding the Alchemist’s brew is sufficient, or that the sprinkling of a powder over the object or rubbing an unguent or tincture into the object is acceptable.

Whatever the form settled on for a specific magickal formula, it should remain constant for the formula for that particular dweomer for that Alchemist. Of course, if the GM gets inspired and comes up with another form he also likes, he might make the formula belonging to another such Alchemist just different enough that it results in a different type of substance with the same magickal effect. The Alchemist might research the possibility of coming up with a new formula if he is not satisfied with the form that results from the formula he already has or seek the formulæ of others of his craft if he discovers another is already making a preparation he prefers to express a familiar dweomer.

Another aspect that the GM must consider with Alchemist Wizards is the precautions that must be taken when carrying the materials created on the road afterwards. Seeds should be kept dry and at least moderately cool or they may sprout spontaneously releasing their magick, crystals will no doubt be somewhat fragile, and powders and such things as elixirs, potions, unguents, and salves should all be kept in sealed containers of some sort, preferably water-tight ones of dark, preferably brown glass or solid crockery to prevent their deterioration by exposure to sunlight. It is up to the GM whether water or some other liquid will thin an elixir, potion, or salve, or dissolve a powder after it has aged a while. Perhaps by an extra step of preparation a powder might be created that can be reconstituted in order to be used, whether to be consumed or applied topically.

If properly stored, the substances of the Alchemist Hedge-Wizard have a shelf life of (skill AV) months. If “put-up” and sealed by the skills used for canning, which the Alchemist is fully versed in, this rises to (trade SL) years, or until the seal is broken, whichever occurs first. The (skill AV) months of the substance are not to be counted until after the seal is broken in these cases.

Those substances used up during that time have their full potency. After the shelf life expires, the substance will lose one (1) point of the POT of its power, and another every (formula SL) days thereafter until it reaches zero and it becomes useless.

This form of the trade is probably more appropriate to a NPC rather than a PC, unless the PC has a strong second trade. It is fine for a NPC to sit around making potions and selling them and accumulating a store of ready-made magickal substances, it makes for a great foil or adversary the PC’s and dictates the form of a significant portion of the Booty. The PC Alchemist-Wizard must sit out of play for large chunks of game-time working on accumulating a small store of magickal substances, but when he is done, they are a great resource and can spare the difficulties sometimes associated with casting magicks on the spot to tackle challenges. For a PC, it is a different style of play. The rest of the party must go on about their business perhaps having further adventures and earning more SP’s while the PC Alchemist is closeted in his lab, albeit earning SP’s of his own towards his craft.

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Cabalists

The Cabalist performs his magicks by the scribing of the ancient runes upon which the very foundations of the world are laid, like the Norse runes or the Ogham letters of the Celts. The magicks of the Cabalist are focused on the essences and True Names of all that is. They are Master Namers by nature, but not restricted to that particular Art. Instead of the Ancient Arcane language of Wizardry with its five distinct jargons for the Ars Quintates, the Cabalist has his ancient Runetongue Linguist skill instead, and also a special set of runes for each of the five Arts. Due to the ancient roots of this tradition, it is more commonly associated with Witchcraft than with Wizardry. While both are equally available to the player during character creation, those that practice Wizardry by this folkway are considered notable.

Cabalism itself is an alternate Form for both Common and Low Magicks (spells and rituals), to be tracked with its own SL in the same manner as a Wizard’s or Witch’s Forms. A Cabalist can never achieve the equivalent of High Magick with his art, as something must always be writ, even if it is only a single character or rune.

Unlike the Common and Low magicks of mainstream Wizards, Common Cabalist and Low Cabalist Magicks require no incantations or chants of any kind, though many often do chant the names of the runes they are using in a sing-song sort of mantra to aid in casting. This is NOT required, however.

For the most part, the rituals of the Cabalist appear as great varicolored designs made up of winding tracks of runes, looking very much like the sand-painted mandalas of the East.

That which the Cabalist wishes to Enchant or ensorcel, he must write or paint upon, or alternately he must be able to write in something like Balefire in the air, or scribe his runes on the ground, pavement, or floor, or wall, door or shutter, on some object or vessel, or on a hide or parchment and show it to the target, thus triggering the magick to manifest.

Cabalistic spellcraft takes twice as long as a Common spell from a mainstream Wizard to cast (2 Actions for Common Sphere spells, 4 Actions for Noble Sphere spells, and 8 Actions for Sovereign Sphere spells, instead of the normal 1, 2, and 4 Actions), but skill shortens the CTM in the same manner, with the same minimum CTM.

Low Magick takes the same amount of time for a Cabalist to cast as a normal, mainstream Wizard’s ritual.

Naturally, the Cabalist must have his writing tools, equal in description to the Scrivener’s kit listed in the Equipment & Adventure Gear rosters in Appendix F., but also containing a small selection of sable-hair brushes in various sizes. This kit must be treated in the same manner as a mainstream Wizard’s ritual kit, with the same restrictions on allowing others to use it, and the same consequences for failing to do so.

The cost for the ritual supplies of a Cabalist are one-fourth that required of mainstream Wizards for their rituals, and those costs may be defrayed by the use of the Alchemist skill to make those supplies, as described in that trade, and even more of it may be defrayed if the character is also an Herbal with the Forage skill to go out and gather his own materials, as discussed under the Herbal trade.

If the Cabalist is also an Alchemist, he has the special formulæ for making special paints, inks, colored chalks, or crayons, or marking sticks that can only be seen under certain circumstances or lighting, such as Moon Runes, Sun Runes, Celestial Runes, Blood Runes, and the like, and also one that can be painted upon the air which appears as burning “Balefire” or “Wizardfire”, equal to the Wizard magicks of the same names.

Successful casting makes the Cabalist’s runes glow with Power for those who have the Sight to see, but as they are not the key to the power itself but only a prop, simply copying the runes does the uninitiated no good whatsoever.

Divination by a Cabalist must always involve the use of a prop of some sort such as a rune board, or rune-carven bones, or rune tiles, or the like, in the same manner as described under the Spirit Skills. This is the vehicle for his Divination magicks, and he must make his own and keep it with him when he wishes to cast a Divination, or make a new set or improvise a replacement if he should be without or his get lost or stolen in the course of the game.

Unlike other Forms of magick, a Cabalist’s magick is subject to the charm of “Erasure” in the same manner as a “Dispelling”. The Cabalist’s runes are impervious to any mortal means of washing or scrubbing off, no matter the means by which they were applied, they are magickal by their very nature. If the runes of power can be successfully “Erased” by magickal means, the magick is dispelled.

Failure to successfully cast causes the Cabalist’s runes to instantaneously burn themselves up and blow away, though without being a danger to anything or anyone at all in the process. Afterwards the surface is returned to the same state it was before the Cabalist scribed upon it.

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Drug-Trance Practitioners

This special type of Wizard or Witch is dependent upon the drugs under which he received his trade initiation and training, roughly corresponding to mescaline, peyote, betel nut, poppy milk and similar substances commonly used for religious ceremonies and vision quests by Native Americans and indigenous peoples around the world. Without his drugs, the Drug-Trance Wizard or Witch is little better than an over-educated case of frustration, unable to tap the magickal skills in his trade memory due to the fact that it and they were constructed and stored under the influence of those drugs and keyed primarily to that artificially induced state of mind. While the Drug-Trance practitioner can have full use of his trade senses and abilities, to sense magick and the Ambience as described for the Wizard Trade, use any Spirit Skills, even cast magick, his effective SL’s and trade SL are restricted to (1 per 4 trade SL’s), to a maximum no greater than (MGA ÷ 4). This restriction is eased by one (1) trade SL per level of POT of the trade drugs once they are in his system.

Like the mainstream Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch, the Drug-Trance practitioner is limited to only Common Magick (spells) and Low Magick (rituals), but the drugs take the place of their Talisman (wand, rod, staff).

The GM must determine the exact nature of the drug that the Wizard or Witch must use to achieve the trance to use his magick, whether inhaled as a fumitory, like hemp, hashish or opium, chewed like betel nuts and leaves or coca leaves, or chewed and ingested like mescaline or peyote.

The dosage required of the drugs are governed by the Wizard or Witch’s STA, and the effect measured in POT.

The minimum dose is equal to (STA ÷ 4) in total points of POT administered. Use STA modified for Build. This dose allows the drugs to manifest at a POT of only 1. The POT of additional grams (if dry) or drams (if liquid) administered raise the effective POT of the drug’s effect accordingly.

The POT per gram or dram can be affected by the skill of the Herbal having prepared the drugs, however. While a POT of 1 per gram or dram is assumed, the concentration of POT per gram/dram can be altered as the Herbal desires. The higher the concentration of POT per gram/dram the more difficult the drugs are to prepare. Higher POT per gram/dram reduce the amount of the drugs needed to affect the character accordingly.

IF the Wizard or Witch has a STA of 20 as a human (no Build modifier) and is using drugs prepared at a concentration of 3 POT per dram, 6 drams won’t quite do it, and the 7th will put him up to a POT of 2 (6 x 3 = 18; 2 points of the 7th gram/dram finally encompass the Wizard or Witch with a POT of 1, but the 1 point of POT left over brings the POT up to 2. The 8th gram/dram of the same Herbal’s preparation brings the POT of the drugs in the Wizard or Witch’s system up to 5.

The level of POT of the drugs the Wizard or Witch must consume to access his magick depends on the POT in magick he wishes to cast.

When employing Common Sphere drugs, the Wizard or Witch may cast magicks up to (drug POT) in POT. The cost for the drugs required for performing Common Sphere magicks is [(POT desired) + (STA ÷ 4)] in farthings (subject to availability). Use STA modified for Build.

When employing Noble Sphere drugs, the Wizard or Witch may cast Noble Sphere magicks up to (drug POT) in POT, and/or Common Sphere magicks up to (drug POT x 5) in POT. For the drugs required for performing Noble Sphere magicks the cost is [(POT desired) + (STA ÷ 4)] in ha’pence (subject to availability).

When employing Sovereign Sphere drugs, the Wizard or Witch may cast Sovereign Sphere magicks up to (drug POT) in POT, Noble Sphere magicks up to (drug POT x 5) in POT, and/or Common Sphere magicks up to (drug POT x 25) in POT. Those required for Sovereign Sphere magicks should cost [(POT desired) + (STA ÷ 4)] in pence (subject to availability).

The price is naturally higher in those areas where the drugs are harder to obtain.

While the drugs used to cast the magicks of the upper Sphere magicks may also be used to cast the magicks of the lower Spheres (Sovereign Sphere drugs for casting Noble and/or Common Sphere magicks, or Noble Sphere drugs for casting Common Sphere magicks also), the drugs needed to perform the Common Sphere magicks may only be used for the casting of Common Sphere magicks, and the Noble Sphere drugs for casting magicks of a Sphere of Power no higher than the Noble.

All magickal research and learning of new magicks must also be completed under the influence of these drugs, though a simple POT of 1 will suffice, in order to be properly integrated with the rest of his knowledge and skill under the seal of the drug-trance.

The Wizard or Witch is HIGHLY unlikely to find these drugs in markets smaller than those found in regional centers of import/export, or staple towns, primary markets or faires of national importance.

The amount of time required for the drugs to take effect and for the Wizard or Witch to achieve the drug-trance state is (STA) minutes, MINUS the [(POT) + (CND att. mod.)] of the drugs taken, with a minimum of one (1) minute. The player and GM will note that subtracting a negative number is the same as adding the positive integer.

The healthier the character, the more swiftly and efficiently his metabolism can assimilate the drugs. The effects of the drugs start at a POT of one (1) and build at a rate of one point of POT per minute thereafter until their full strength is achieved.

While the Wizard or Witch is under the effects of the drugs that enable him to access the full extent of his skills, knowledge, and magick, his AGL is reduced by (total POT of the drugs in his system) and his AWA raised by half that amount in regards to cognizant senses, but cut by half in regards to the sense of touch. This affects all aspects of the character normally affected by those scores. When his AGL is reduced to zero (0), the Drug-Trance practitioner is unable to move about to care or act for himself. In this case, the Wizard or Witch’s needs must be attended to as long as the drugs continue to suppress his AGL to that degree.

If the character is concentrating upon a single movement using only a limited part of his body (Head/Neck, arm, leg, etc.), this penalty does NOT affect his CRD with it. Because of this, the magicks of the Drug-Trance Wizard or Witch require only the freedom of a hand to gesture or the Wizard or Witch to utter an incantation. The enhanced abilities of the spirit of the Wizard or Witch caused by the drugs allows him to complete the magick in this way without hindrance, unlike mainstream full-trade Wizards. Those who are not accustomed to them in the same intimate fashion as the members of this trade will suffer only their more  debilitating effects, CRD impaired along with AGL.

The length of time that the drugs stay in the system of the Drug-Trance practitioner allowing him to continue to have full use of all his magickal skills is equal to the (POT) of Common Sphere drugs, or (POT x 5) for Noble Sphere drugs, or (POT x 25) Sovereign Sphere drugs, counted in mileways. This can be extended, stretched and ridden up to [(MGA ÷ 4) minutes per trade SL] units longer. As the character’s ability in his trade rises, the better he can utilize and prolong their effects on his consciousness.

Once this time limit expires, the drug’s effects slowly begin to fade, losing one point of POT immediately and another every [(STA) – (character’s CND att. mod.)] minutes thereafter (minimum 1 minute) until it reaches zero.

The practitioner is limited to no more than (CND + trade SL) in POT of the drugs he may safely take for his magick, however. While this effectively limits the POT of magick he can cast, he can try to exceed this limit if he is daring or feels the situation warrants it. Doing so has its dangers, however.

Once the practitioner has exceeded the limit on the POT of drugs he can safely consume, a successful P-RES check must be successfully made in order for him to maintain consciousness

The DV for this check is equal to the TOTAL amount of POT in drugs consumed (not just the amount by which the limit has been exceeded). This DV is doubled for Noble Sphere drugs and quadrupled for Sovereign Sphere drugs.

IF made successfully, the character may maintain his grip on consciousness and function, but requires another such roll every [(P-RES) + (trade SL)] minutes in order to continue to do so.

IF the P-RES check is failed, the practitioner sinks into a coma for so long as it takes the drugs to clear out of his system, and he loses one (1) point of CND. This loss affects all aspects normally affected by CND. Any points of CND so lost return in the same amount of time the character requires to heal a BP of damage.

Except for the special conditions under which their magick must be performed, Drug-Trance Hedge-Wizards or Hearth-Witches are bound by the same rules and restrictions as a mainstream Hedge-Wizards or Hearth-Witches, determining their M-RES bonuses and abilities in sensing magick and the Ambience, the number of magicks they may begin play with, and so on.

Upon reaching the Master LoA, the Drug-Trance Hedge-Wizard and Hearth-Witch is eligible to seek out a master in High Magick and finally learn that Form, starting with SL1.

Upon reaching the WorksMaster LoA, the Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch who has taken the time previously to learn High Magick is able to wean himself off of the drugs he has required up to this point. His knowledge, skill, and understanding of the processes of the Trade and its abilities will have grown to the point where he will have no further need of them to cast his magicks.

Upon learning the new lore and achieving this LoA, the rate at which benefits accrue due to the character’s trade will change to that enjoyed by full trade Witches and Wizards. All discrepancies in knowledge between them will have been remedied.

This is ONLY allowed to those who have taken the time to learn High Magick.

IF the character elects to use the drugs to perform any magick beyond this point in the growth of his knowledge, he will actually gain a 1-point bonus to his casting AV’s for every trade SL earned from WorksMaster LoA onward per point of POT in drugs taken, to a maximum of (MGA att. mod.) per point of POT in drugs consumed.

For the reader’s convenience, and also in order to avoid having to repeat the same information over as many times as there are trades of magickal practitioners, the reader is directed to the passages that appear under the heading “Common Elements of the Trades of Magick”, as follows and, especially within those passages, that found under the heading “Under the Mantle of Power”, for this is where most of the vital information concerning the trades’ magickal trade benefits and abilities are detailed.

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Great Weavers

The player may choose for his Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch to express his magick in a manner modeled on the ancient Norse seidr, closely associated with the cottage craft of weaving, but more specifically with chanting a galdr (incantation, sing., pl. galdrar) with spinning flax or sometimes wool with the spindle and distaff, the energy of the spinning evoking the power of magick and even imbedding it or anchoring it in the fibers themselves. I have expanded on this concept to make the process applicable beyond just spinning to also be achieved by Low magick means through weaving a small (or large) piece of cloth, or by composing a series of woven plaits and/or whole intricate, even layered knots, physically forming the patterns of Power to manifest his dweomers. Great Weavers are also known as Knot-Weavers. Spells being more briefly performed would be embodied in much more modest braids and knots.

Knot-Weavers use the hair of living creatures to weave and knot their magicks into for sorcery, or hanks of twine, grasses, strands of hempen rope of linen fibers, horsehair, or even flowers still on their stems to tie onto objects to express enchantments or weave into bracelets, necklaces, anklets, wreaths to be worn, or woven strands to weave into another plait or knot. The specific means by which the plait and knot(s) are woven and how they are attached are up to the PC to decide at the time the dweomer is cast, but it must be appropriate to the dweomer being created (GM’s discretion).

For example, a fine knot might be twined in the fetlock of a horse to give it a Fleetfoot charm, or in the mane if he has no fetlocks. A chain woven of daisies or some similar wild flower with a folk magick tradition worn about the neck could convey almost any Sorcery intended to protect; a few stalks of wild grasses might be plaited into a braid in the hair, a small plait tied on the handle of a chest for an enchantment on it, around the neck of a bottle, or holding the stopper for it attached to the neck or handle. The player must come up with an idea and work out the details of the execution with the GM’s approval.

The Knot-Weaver begins play with mundane knot-tying as a skill, the equal of any Huntsman or Mariner, at (CRD) in SL (for those using Intermediate rules, at the Master LoA), and the ability to work wonders with weaving plaits and adorning them with chains, beads, trinkets, flower chains, and the like in dressing hair. Indeed, it is possible for the Knot-Weaver Hedge-Wizard to weave a magick into the hair while dressing it in such a way that the subject never becomes aware of it.

This type of Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch is also the equal of any Craftsman Weaver of (CRD) in SL (for those using Intermediate rules, at the Master LoA), able to work reeds and grasses into mats, hangings, and covers; willow withies and similar woody strands into baskets of all shapes and sizes and uses, including those wrapped around bottles and jugs to keep them safe from breakage; even weaving textiles that can vary from intricate tapestry-work to decorative borders, cloth for bedding or clothing, and weave their magickal patterns right into them so to make objects with magickal characteristics, objects whose Enchantments are intrinsic to their fabric. It is this aspect of their trade for which they are named Great Weavers. This aspect of the trade is how they express their Low Magick, handled in the same manner as a Druid-Gowan making any object intended to have a magickal effect, while the smaller plaits and knots are used for the Common Magick.

The spellcraft of a Knot-Weaver takes twice as long as a Common spell from a mainstream Wizard to cast (2 Actions for Common Sphere spells, 4 Actions for Noble Sphere spells, and 8 Actions for Sovereign Sphere spells, instead of the normal 1, 2, and 4 Actions), but skill will shorten the CTM in the same manner, with the same minimum CTM.

Once a Knot-Weaver has woven his plait and tied his knot off, casting the magick, it is impossible to untie or untangle by mundane mortal means until the magick expires. For the purposes of cutting through the plait or cleaving the knot by magickal means or assistance, it has (POT) STP’s. It is just as difficult to try to cut it free of the subject’s hair. If successfully done, however, the magick expires as surely as if it has been dispelled.

For the reader’s convenience, and also in order to avoid having to repeat the same information over as many times as there are trades of magickal practitioners, the reader is directed to the passages that appear under the heading “Common Elements of the Trades of Magick”, as follows and, especially within those passages, that found under the heading “Under the Mantle of Power”, for this is where most of the vital information concerning the trades’ magickal trade benefits and abilities are detailed.

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Magi

The Magus (sing., “MAH-goose”; pl. Magi “mah-GEE”) travels the wide world preaching his holy vision, the path of wisdom and power achieved through his religious philosophy as he pursues the ascetic life of a Mystic, and the secrets of the Universe gleaned from his knowledge of the Arts and Forms of Hedge-Wizardry discussed in this trade description. This may be mainstream or expressed as any of the folkforms: Cabalist, Knot-Weaver, Drug-trance, etc. The Magus believes that all things in the world stand for either good or evil according to some mysterious master plan. For them there is no middle ground, merely indecision. Good and Evil are perceived by them as rival deities between whom one must choose. These are the prime forces in the universe to the Magi, constantly striving against one another, forces they serve as both holy Mystics and as Wizards. The Magi are divided between these two forces, forming two factions, the White Magi serving Good and Light, and the Black Magi serving Evil and Darkness.

The player and GM will please note that this folkway is not available for Hearth-Witches.

The White Magus pays strict attention to the state of his Virtues, and never touching blood nor the blood mana discussed under the Advanced rules, nor come into contact with any dead animal matter nor death mana, for fear of polluting his own spirit. If he turns to mortal sources of mana in the use of his wizardly Arts he will use some more wholesome variety. Intent is everything, and the White Magus is very conscious of not only his motives but also his means, that every exercise of his power be for the right reasons and exercised in an appropriate way. Those who follow this Path of Grace and arcane lore prize it as an exalted profession, spending much time seeking to attain greater wisdom through their power, grateful to be so gifted in their Arts.

The White Magi should be the strongest and most implacable servants of Light in the GM’s world, ruthlessly rooting out the servants of the Darkness and bringing them to the justice of the Light. Their fury against the Darkness is as unrelenting as the servants of the Darkness are subtle and deceitful. They are the smallest of the factions in the struggle of the Light and Darkness, for few are gifted with Grace in addition to having talent for magick.

The Black Magus, on the other hand, is the walking embodiment of the Vices. He is Temptation in the Flesh to those around them, always looking for weakness and Desire, testing to see where he can compromise the souls of those around him. Delving deeply into the tangled web of the deceptive and destructive powers of the Spheres of Darkness, Black Magi seek power and gratification and care not for the cost. Seducing, corrupting, and enslaving the bodies of the dead and/or near-dead, binding the souls of the living to them, even bartering their own flesh and/or souls away a bit at a time, the Black Magus does whatever he must. As long as it brings power or advantage of some sort, the cost can never be too high – particularly if another can be made to pay it.

The very nature of the folk who serve the Darkness provides a source for a fair amount of in-fighting within the various brotherhoods and between the different organizations dedicated to the Darkness. However, the mutual goal towards which they work, that of gaining ever higher and more influential positions in society so they can corrupt more and more the fabric of society, keeps this fighting from getting out of hand, for the more power that the Black Magi and Mystics of the Darkness hold in the world the greater influence the Darkness has upon the fortunes of the community or country. This is one of the major reasons for the general outlawry of the religions of Darkness, aside from the heinous acts committed by many of the priesthoods in their rites.

If the PC is living and adventuring in a highly pantheistic world, his choice of an actual patron deity and religious order is very important to the character persona. Making this information available for the PC’s makes the choice between the deities that much easier, according to the practices of the religious orders that serve them. The GM might make life a little easier for himself by specifying that the Magi possess their own order(s) and work from there. Unlike the full Trade Mystic, the Magus does not begin play being yet able to achieve the state of Grace that enables him to create miraculous manifestations as a true Mystic does. This comes only in time as he rises in trade SL. His link to the divine is strong and constant enough, however, for him to be able to exercise the Feats of a true Mystic. In all other ways, except those abilities that come with the Ascension to Grace, the Magus shares the trade abilities of a true Mystic.

Upon achieving the Warden LoA in trade SL, the Magus must withdraw on a religious retreat as described under the passage “The Pious Life of the Mystic” in order to commune with the Light for (trade SL) days. Upon his return, he is then endowed with the ability to Ascend as a trade Mystic, but only by the use of the holy rites used by the full trade Mystic, not by prayer. This conforms in every way to the rules and procedures presented for full trade Mystics, except that the character’s effective trade SL in exercising this ability starts anew at one (1) here.

Upon achieving the Master LoA in trade SL, the Magus will again need to withdraw on a religious retreat as described under the passage “The Pious Life of the Mystic” in order to commune with the Light for (trade SL) days. Upon his return, his ability to Ascend as a trade Mystic is then transformed in such a manner that he is able to make use of the holy prayers used by the full trade Mystic to Ascend and pursue his miraculous works. This conforms in every way to the rules and procedures presented for full trade Mystics, except that the character’s effective trade SL in exercising this ability starts anew at one (1) here.

It is very important that the player of the Magus character read both the Mystic and Wizard trade descriptions and the rules of magick in depth, so that he may understand the full responsibility and all of the restrictions on his power and position.

As mentioned at the beginning of this description, the player must choose a format for the tradition under which his Hedge-Wizard was instructed in the knowledge of this trade. It is important that the player and reader understand that the Magus is a combination of somewhat limited forms of the two trades. Any of those formats presented under the Hedge-Wizard, Hearth-Witch description are acceptable, and the specific format may well be applied to both the Wizard and Mystic aspects of the trade (GM’s discretion). Indeed, each side of the trade may well have a different format, and perhaps should.

The Magus has the benefit of all the trade abilities described for both Mystics and Wizards, from the Holy Aura, Truthsay ability, and Laying on of Hands and Calming Touch, to the Sense Magick and the Ambience. Where those trades provide exactly the same benefit, it is NOT cumulative, however. The HRT bonus from the Mystic side of his Trade affects the character’s M-RES and P-RES scores, normally, however. The fact that M-RES is enhanced by the bonus from Wizardry afterwards is irrelevant. The bonuses are not identical; rather, they compliment one another, compounded.

The Mainstream Magus is also able to learn High Magick and to achieve the same freedom from his Talisman as he progresses in LoA, as described under Mainstream Hedge-Wizards, previously.

For the reader’s convenience, and also in order to avoid having to repeat the same information over as many times as there are trades of magickal practitioners, the reader is directed to the passages that appear under the heading “Common Elements of the Trades of Magick”, as follows and, especially within those passages, that found under the heading “Under the Mantle of Power”, for this is where most of the vital information concerning the trades’ magickal trade benefits and abilities are detailed.

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Mediums

Mediums are a form of Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch that perform their magicks in conjunction with a familiar spirit, with whom they share their consciousness in a trance state for the purposes of casting magicks. Each Medium has one such spirit and only one with which he works his magicks. These spirits are gained and form a sympathetic bond with their hosts during trade training, and are groomed to be a sort of alter ego. For the purposes of roleplay, the spirit is indistinguishable from the character himself when sharing body and consciousness for casting magick. All of the Medium’s specific dweomer skills held by the Medium’s spirit alter-ego, but the Medium has full use of his trade abilities when he is not entranced and possessed of his spirit agent and has full access to the general knowledge skills of the Ars Quintates and the Forms, and the general Lore of the craft that all characters possess of their own trades and colleagues.

The Medium requires a period of meditation and contemplation to sink into the trance-state through which he may attempt to reach his spirit agent to use his magickal skills.

The character’s AV for joining with his spirit agent is equal to his trade SL, with an att. mod. based upon the character’s MGA score.

The DV for this is equal to the Medium’s own [(CHM score) + (HRT att. mod.)], for he must subdue his own personality and sense of self for his alter ego to join him.

The time required to accomplish this is equal to the DV, in Actions according to the character’s RoA and the rules for tactical play.

The link the Medium shares with his spirit agent is actually embodied in some small personal possession, preferably one that is worn which can donned and doffed as necessary, such as a medallion, a ring, an earring, a cap or hat, a veil, a cloak, robe, or coat, or some similar such. Without this physical link, the Medium’s effective trade SL is reduced by 1/4th normal or (MGA ÷ 4), whichever is less, for purposes of reaching his spirit agent and bonding with him to access his full, true skills and power.

These spirit-focus objects do not radiate magick in any way, though they may show a slight aura of life if subjected to a “Reveal Life” Divination, and then only when the object is lying alone, separated from contact with any living creature or being. Such contact definitely overshadows the focus object’s own small trace of life. The spirit-focus object also shows a bond of resonance with the Medium equal in POT to his trade SL if subjected to a “Read Object” Divination.

When he enters his trance-state, the Medium’s body must be supported in some way, either by sitting in a chair or lying down. If this precaution is not taken, the Medium may fall when the spirits join and injure the body.

If playing by Advanced rules, in addition to the WND cost for the magick cast while his spirit agent is bonded to him, the Medium is required to pay 1 FTG every [(MGA ÷ 4) + trade SL] minutes that he maintains the trance-state and connection with his spirit agent.

In addition, while the spirit agent is occupying the Medium’s body, no P-RES checks are required to tap any of the deeper levels of WND and FTG. While he should be diligent in watching the energy used, it is not uncommon for a Medium to return to a depleted body and have to immediately retire to rest and recoup.

While joined with his spirit alter ego the Medium may move about and act as his normal self, but unable to remember any events occurring during that period of time once the trance and spirit bond are broken. The GM must watch the PC in this, for it is certainly not a license for outrageous behavior, the PC must keep the character consistent, but the spirit’s knowledge separate from the PC host’s.

The alter ego must return the Medium’s body back to the place where it was first assumed. Otherwise, he is not guaranteed to be able to find it again in order to return to it.

If not, the GM must call for a d100 check for the Medium to find and return to his body,

The AV for this check is equal to the Medium’s trade SL, plus att. mod’s based on his CHM and HRT scores.

The DV for this check is equal to the number of feet from the original position that the body is located, minus the Medium’s trade SL. The PC’s spirit waits in the place where it was first displaced from the body to rejoin it.

The Medium is in a very vulnerable state while possessed of his spirit agent, in that any injury done to the body while he is out of it creates a chance that the spirit agent flees the body and leaves the Medium to find the body and return to it as best he can.

IF the Medium’s body is Stunned or numbed by a blow in combat the player must make a successful P-RES check against the number of points of damage suffered.

IF successfully made, the Medium and his spirit agent may continue as before, normally.

IF the roll is failed, the spirit will flee the Medium’s body and it will collapse. The Medium must seek to find it regain it.

Divination is the Art most widely favored by those trained in the trade of the Medium, as most of the dweomers of that Art do not require the Wizard or Witch to move about to any great extent once the bond has been forged with the familiar spirit, thus, less chance of losing or misplacing the body.

While the great majority of Hedge-Wizards and Hearth-Witches who follow this tradition are trained in the ways of mainstream Wizardry or Witchcraft, the Medium and his spirit agent may be trained in any of the folkways described under this Trade description. The player must decide what suits his character concept best.

Wizards

The Wizards of RoM are modeled after the Zarathustrian Magi (mah – GEE) of the Persians (as well as being represented by a trade of their own, which description follows); the Hindu Brahmins; the Egyptian prophets, alchemist-wizards; the Chaldeans of Assyria and Babylonia; and the Samanaeans among the Bactrians. All prospective Wizards tread the Path of the Spirit, but it is not by calling like a Mystic, but through discipline and scholarship that they assail the Path. It is undertaken by an act of will, of their own desire, usually through the prodding of another who has already been trained in the Arts who has seen the talent sleeping in the candidate.

Magickal talent generally expresses itself in one or more abilities commonly referred to as Spirit Senses, or Othersenses, included in the rosters showing the overall portfolio of skills available to those following the Wizards’ Path. These can take a number of forms, as explained in the description in Appendix C. It is often through the raw untrained expression of these senses that the candidates for trade training are identified.

Every Wizard PC who comes from a trade apprenticeship as opposed to coming through a formal university must have MGA of no less than 14.

Talent was required of old, and those traditions are followed by the lone masters who deign to teach these Arts. Only the universities have reduced teaching even these great Mysteries into a business open to all who can pay the tuition.

Wizard PC’s coming to the trade through a university education may have a MGA as low as 10.

Under the tutelage of his master, the novice studies the philosophies that embody the beginning of the Path. When judged ready, he retires to the isolated confines of the bare ascetic’s cell. There he fasts and meditates, laying himself open to terrible visitations and apparitions. In the space of a few nights he may undergo many incarnations of the soul, generally behaving as if mad. This culminates in some dreadful subjective illusion of death or self immolation, demons dismembering him, plucking out his eyes, hunting him down through flames. Then he ascends to Spirit on a cloud, a pillar of smoke or flames, on the back of some animal (commonly for Druids and Witches), or some similar vehicle, to finally achieve stasis, his personality dissolving in cosmic consciousness, union with the Spheres of Spirit.

Afterwards, if he can, he returns to earth via that same vehicle, which retains its magickal significance to him for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, some candidates actually die, suffering massive failures of the physical body, so great are the stresses of the trials and ordeals. Some candidates are unable to pull themselves back out of their cosmic contact, and so never really return, remaining mad in the eyes of the world for the rest of their days. The people of the period of the game sometimes described those who had lost their wits as having been touched by Spirit or the gods, called “goddess prisoners”.

Even the successful candidate who returns to his right mind with his soul in tact can only begin after a minimum of 10 days to stammer out coherent speech, to join the other Wizards, who will recognize the mark of the Path on him, and his new readiness to begin to share the magickal secrets of their trade.

To those who follow the Wizard’s Path, Death holds no fear. It is a fact of the natural world, no more than a change in consciousness, a transition to a higher level of existence. As the Flesh is only a temporarily vessel to hold the spirit and soul, it is considered a doorway between worlds. Along with the act of birth, Death is the means by which the mortal and spirit worlds remain in balance.

New Wizards often take new names as a sign of the spiritual regeneration and rebirth undergone during this process. Most Wizards applying for the final degree under which they will take their magickal training in a university are given new names before entering the master’s hall, told to abandon their old name and life in preparation for this life-changing evolution. Sobriquets like “Master of the Misty Marches”, “Lord Thunder”, “Twilight Huntsman”, “Lightning Rider”, or “Lady Blue” are often coined and adopted during the period of schooling to further obscure the original name. This makes getting a fix on the Wizard through means of bonds of Sympathy much more difficult.

First and foremost, Wizards are folk of Power, the very eldritch Power on which the Universe swings, the embodiment of the only constant, which is Change, named Chaos pure and simple by many who fear it. The Power of magick gathers about these and all other wielders of Power, making them fairly walking nexus’ of Fate insofar as their connection to it never wanes but is always carried with them, whether visible to the untrained eye or not. With their Power they can warp reality to their own needs, and even their own designs and desires, though to use their magick in such a way can have unpleasant consequences. They know well about omens and portents, respecting and observing them, even looking for them or calling for them by their Arts, knowing them for the natural signs of the movements of Power in the world, the natural by-product of the connection to magick they carry.

The Power those who practice magick wield has always been a bone of contention between them and the Church. Some orders within the Church, and a few Mystics along with them, would prefer that all other-worldly Power be left to the gods to dole out, for them to direct its use among the faithful when they are ready to receive it, or when the gods send it to them to use as directed. The greater majority of the pious, Mystics included, are neither so insecure nor so greedy as to think they actually have the right to rule others so, much less the mandate of the gods or the Light to back them up.

Some Mystics and members of the Church cite the effects of iron and steel upon the magicks that stem from the Olde Ways (Druid trades, Witches) as evidence of the superiority of holy miracles and the power of the gods in general, and the lack of such an effect on the magicks of Wizards as at least partial evidence of some infernal protective alliance with the Darkness – regardless of the fact that many Wizards are also pious and religious men. Some Mystics and factions in the Church treat Druids, Witches and Wizards as simply wayward children who cannot see the error of the Path they tread. Some treat them as wicked, willful children, while others rant and rave about godless heathens who defile the very ground they walk upon, accusing the magickal community following any but their own holy Path of Power of being amoral, demon-loving wretches who have wrested the threads of Destiny out of the hands of the gods r the Light to whom they rightfully belong. Another, more patient, gentle and retiring faction simply sighs and offers up their prayers, recalling that ALL Paths of Power lead back to the gods from whom all Power and Wisdom flow, commending them all to the Virtues in the hopes that all find their way back to the proper deities. These gratefully offer thanks that many who follow other Paths of Power still remain pious church-goers dedicated to a life of Virtue, despite their professions and the attitudes of some of the other members of the religious community. The rest of the common folk and the Mystics fall somewhere in-between.

The player must decide for himself where his magick-wielding character fits in, and make sure his GM knows where his character stands, so the GM can ensure the character ends up with a circle of like-minded friends and colleagues and doesn’t have to constantly fight with his own brothers in the trade over his views.

There are many roads to spiritual reward, and every member of the magickal trades understands that his is not the only valid one.

The roles of the Druid trades and the Witches are relatively clear and fairly easy to define, largely based on culture and shared religion, but that of the Wizards is more subtle in nature. In the spectrum of practitioners of magick, Wizards are the true artists and technicians. But the true measure of their quality lies in what they do with it. Some who practice the Arts may simply be curious, or possessed of a drive like a great thirst for the secrets of the universe, but for most the drive fades over time for many, and the few that arrive at the pinnacle of power discover they have no idea what to do with it, having attained it.

Magick is subtle when it has its own way in everyday life, according to the Natural Order, but sometimes the traces of its presence and power are readily discernable, like emotions on the faces of the races of Men. Loves and hates, for example, whether fixed on people or things, are expressions of energy and have magickal power and can be used or manipulated by one who has the knowledge and skill. Those who wield magick see and sometimes even seek these subtle connections in the world to gain greater control over their Arts and the world around them, to increase their effective power. This is why all practitioners tend to be cagey and careful when in the company of their colleagues and others known to have Power, to protect themselves from being victimized by their own connections to the world and the people around them. The stereotype of the lonely, lone-wolf Wizard has emerged due to the conditions imposed by the Wizard’s work. It is no accident. Like any stereotype, however, not all those that follow the Wizard’s Path feel the need to fall into that mold. Some of the more notable among them even actively defy it.

The niche that Wizards occupy who exist in mainstream medieval society is one in which they offer highly skilled and knowledgeable service for hire, in much the same manner as any lawyer or physician. They commonly run in much the same social circles, frequently rubbing elbows. They often do more consulting for the public than actual works of magick, and their rates for the magicks they do cast under contract are usually set by the relative POT of the charm, the Sphere of Power used, whether it is permanent or temporary in nature, and the like.

It is unlikely that a Wizard would actually “hang out a shingle” in the manner of a lawyer or physician to advertise his presence and the service he provides. Many do just fine working in private for a select few high-ranking, high-profile patrons, or simply make themselves known through word of mouth along with the types of services they are willing to provide. Many Wizards only offer a limited number of the magicks from their portfolios for public consumption, generally those over which there can be little if any social friction or debate over morality.

The Power itself pushes those who need Wizardry into the path of the Wizard. Wizards are commonly approached by those needing news of foreign places, providing swift communications, Revealing and Reading and finding things lost or that which they desire, speedy means of travel, limited magicks to employ in battle, or magicks to be cast on or for the client on the spot. Housecalls may be made under special circumstances – or not – and they may allow for contracted periods of service where they take a retainer and pay by the day comparable to any physician or lawyer, with charges for actual magickal services being charged in addition, and recompense for materials for Low Magicks, as necessary. How a Wizard in public or even limited practice conducts his business directly affects his reputation, in addition to the public report of the quality of his work.

It is probable that the Wizards may have a guild to help them deal with the social hierarchy and interact with the world and its “authorities”, but this is up to the GM. The player should check to see if there has been any sort of charter set forth to create a guild for the Wizards, whether locally for a given town or city, or nationwide with local chapters. Due to the individualism of the members, any guilds are likely to be isolated and competing. This opens up a whole new field of competition between the followers of the different Arts and also between the various universities and schools training the Wizards. Certain towns and their guilds are likely to be beholden to certain schools or a given university for the Wizards that come to swell the ranks of their local guild. The libraries kept by each guild are always jealously guarded and tightly administered, but a great resource for their members.

Just because the Wizard has the knowledge and Power does not mean that he has to offer his services for hire, however. Some, deploring the unwashed masses and the often humbling conventions of social interaction in a feudal and seigniorial world, prefer to direct their energies towards research and honing their skills while hunting for ways to increase their knowledge and portfolio of skills in the Arts, picking their way through ancient tomes for clues to where such rare treasures might lie, then pulling teams together to aid them in obtaining them.

Disturbances in the Ambience:

Sensing Magick

As mentioned in the Introduction, mana is the spirit and power of magick. As a general force, it is seen by the trained practitioner to permeate and overlay every corner of the Mortal World, constituting a vast continuous energy field known as the “Ambience”, as discussed in the Primer. While the Ætherium is always in motion, both the drawing and release of the power (mana) used in crafting charms or “dweomer-crafting,” creates a disturbance that passes through it, regardless of the trade of the practitioner. This is best described as a ripple-like wave that radiates outward in all directions through the Ambience. These disturbances or waves in the Æther are created in part by tapping the Veil between the Spirit and the mortal world. This sensation encompasses a see-feel-smell-hear-taste experience that defies any meaningful description to those outside the trade.

A Wizard can automatically feel the gathering of mana and the process of crafting it into a dweomer if it takes place within [(SPT) + (TR)] feet of them.

Beyond this, a successful SPT check on d100 is needed to allow him to “feel” it.

The AV to Sense Magick is equal to [(SPT att. mod.) + (AWA att. mod.) + (TR)].

The DV for these checks is equal to the number of feet by which the casting is taking place beyond the practitioner’s prescribed range,

MINUS the number of points by which the POT of the casting is greater than the practitioner’s MGA

OR

PLUS the number of points by which the POT of the casting is less than the practitioner’s MGA.

When a magick is finally loosed or cast (whether successfully or not), it crashes back into the Ambience like a stone suddenly dropped into a still pool, causing a wave radiating outward in a sphere from the caster. This is a MUCH stronger wave than the little ripple caused by the process of crafting the magick.

This wave can be immediately and automatically “felt” if it occurs within [(SPT) + (TR)] yards, regardless of POT.

For this check, the AV is [(SPT att. mod.) + (TR)], again.

The DV for the SPT check is 1 if the practitioner Sensing Magick is located within (POT) furlongs.

  • IF the POT of the wave when it reaches the practitioner is greater than his CHM or HRT (whichever is greater), the roll should be foregone and the character simply informed. It is deemed strong enough to get the character’s attention immediately and automatically.
  • IF the POT is less than a practitioner’s CHM or HRT (whichever is less) when the wave reaches him, the DV for the SPT check rises by the difference, per point, again in a Progressive manner.

After the first (POT) furlongs the wave travels from the practitioner who loosed the magick that made it, the effective POT drops by 1 point in strength every furlong of distance, until it dies out at zero (0).

This raises the DV to sense the wave when it finally reaches the practitioner, by one per furlong per furlong traveled, again in a Progressive manner, MINUS the effective POT of the wave.

 Beyond this distance, EVERY magick cast causes a ripple in the Ambience that travels outward in a sphere from the site of the casting (POT x 2) furlongs, allowing the practitioner to “feel” the wave washing over him upon making a successful SPT check on d100.

Not only is a PC able to sense the ripples caused by others’ magicks, his player must understand the fact that every magick his PC casts creates the same disturbance to alert others of the trade who may be in the vicinity.

The lesser, day-to-day activity in the Ambience, those disturbances of (CHM or HRT, whichever is less) in POT or less, are normally screened from every practitioner’s consciousness in accordance with his trade training to protect his sanity, so he can maintain some sense of continuous mortal existence separate from Spirit and his magick, allowing him to interact normally with the mortal world.

Those disturbances he “feels” or senses, whether automatically or as a result of a Sense Magick check, as above, are sufficient for him to note the general direction whence it came. This can provide a link by which any direction-finding charm may be cast to zero in on the point of origin of the disturbance.

The wave of disturbance from the casting of a magick can be used by the clever practitioner to cover the loosing of subsequent magicks, provided he stays within (MGA) yards of the original casting site and is careful to keep their POT smaller than the original magick whose shadow he is trying to use.

This raises the DV for sensing the disturbance by one per point by which the following magick’s POT is less than the one it follows, per point, in a Progressive manner.

This “shadow” of disturbance following in the wake of the wave, equal to the POT of the first magick cast, fades at a rate of 1 effective point of POT per minute.

In practice, the player should be aware of the order in which he casts his magicks if he is concerned over the possibility of disturbing other folk of power, casting rituals before spells before cantrips, and greatest POT to lowest, to use the shadow of the ripple caused by the greater magick to cover those of the lesser magicks cast in its wake.

One never knows whose elbow one may unintentionally jog.

Taking advantage of this phenomenon can be a very useful tactic when one is matched on the battlefield against another practitioner, a means of catching them off guard, of denying them any notice of more magicks to come following the first.

The players and GM alike must be aware that any other practitioner of magick in the same town or its immediate hinterlands (surrounding supporting farmlands) may well note the use of any magicks cast with POT greater than c. 10-15, especially if any of them live in a location that gives them an overview of the town. Any in the closer surrounding villages might take note, as well. Caution is prudent. Careless flinging of magick, especially at high POT, can attract unwanted attention. Rival practitioners may be curious or even irritated if they are in the least bit protective of their territorial rights to monopolize the trade in magick where a character has ventured to practice his craft. Ignorance of the presence of a local rival or guild monopoly is no excuse, in the same manner as ignorance of the law.

This is simply an occupational hazard.

Rivalries keep the already small numbers of those who practice the magickal arts even smaller, and tend to insure that those of lesser power keep a low profile until they are well and truly prepared and sure of their defenses, should such a conflict of interests arise.

There may be certain places in the GM’s world where those of power gather to practice their art by tacit approval, an unspoken bond that may be as strong as any guild charter. These places gain a general on-going disturbance due to regular magickal activity that swiftly becomes evident to those who wield the Arts approaching within range to sense it. The level of activity is rated in POT in the same manner as the prevailing Ambience and added to the DV for sensing any specific magickal disturbance (as described above) that is of lesser POT than that of the æthereal “background noise”. This “white noise” of magickal activity makes sensing other magickal activity so difficult that the SPT checks described previously are required even within the normal ranges at which the Sense Magick ability is commonly automatic and immediate. The DV’s for these checks are increased by the amount by which the POT of the magick in question is less than the POT of the ætherial “background noise” using the same procedure applied when the POT of a magick to be Sensed is less than the practitioner’s CHM/HRT (as above).

Sometimes there is no better place for a character of lesser power to hide his craft than out in the open, under the cover of the disturbances created by his greater colleagues routinely exercising their own craft.

In addition, the level of the Ambience itself may actually work to betray disturbances, high-lighting them. To keep things on an even footing, the POT of the Ambience, of the mana readily available flowing through a given location, is always rated in POT relative to the Common Sphere. The greater the POT of the Ambience, the more magickal energy that is present for the wave of a disturbance to displace. In short, it amplifies the effect of the disturbance, making it more noticeable.

The POT of the Ambience is subtracted from the DV for any Sense Magick check to feel a disturbance.

Magick that is already in existence lies quietly, as a part of the natural world, doing as it was bidden when created. It is much more difficult to sense. The Wizard has the option of casting a bit of Divination to “Reveal” the presence of magicks, should the player have equipped him with that lore, OR ply his skill with a set of dowsing rods or crystal or other pendulum for the same purpose, using it as a guide if he has this Spirit Skill, OR the Wizard may slowly walk about with his hand held out before him to try to “feel” it’s presence by “Seeking” it by Divination.

On the other hand, once a Wizard touches an object which carries an enchantment, or creature or being laboring under an ensorcelment, or steps into an area which bears a dweomer, he feels and knows it and the GM must tell the player (preferably slip him a private note), without the need for a d100 check of any kind. Of course, where Banes and Wardings are concerned, his coming into contact could be rather hazardous to his health and perhaps that of any compatriots accompanying him.

Of all the trades that pursue and practice magick, the Wizards are most concerned with the study of the nature, spirit and individual characters of the Ars Quintates, with gaining the insight needed to exploit every advantage of each, understanding the vital importance of the skills of High, Common and Low magick to all the Arts. Every master and every school teaching Wizardry teaches ALL of the Ars Quintates discussed above, as they are the pillars of the knowledge of the trade, a regular part of the curriculum for any school that wishes to have any professional credibility at all. It is essential for aspiring Wizards to be able to appreciate the overall landscape of the power they wield. The emphasis in study is likely to vary from one school to the next depending on the strengths of the masters who teach there, as commonly occurs in the universities, as described in the text under “The Scholastic Trades”. Because of a great master in Enchantment teaching at a given school, that school gains a prominent reputation for that Art, another becoming highly renowned for Divination, and so on. In this way, each of the universities and even the smaller academies or schools may develop a reputation for offering the best in education regarding one of the five Arts, or perhaps two – though one to a lesser extent.

This is one of the major factors that sets each of the universities or schools apart, and it is the characters of their leading professors, the wizards who elect to teach what they have learned, that distinguishes each school and gives it the reputation it has. Shake-ups in the staff of the university can have wide and sweeping impact on the attendance and the type of students that apply to study there. Masters moving by invitation from one school to another are not uncommon, and it is the common practice of the master who moves to take with him to his new school many of those students he has studying under him, that his reputation brought to him in the first place. In the academic struggle to attract students, the need for CHM and the Presence skills are paramount.

In the same manner governing the qualities and reputations of the schools, every Wizard generally establishes a strong affinity with one of the Arts, usually rather early on in his career, and perhaps a second Art to a lesser extent. The Art in which a character is strongest, carrying the highest SL, that which he uses the most and with which he identifies most. It is likely he associates with others of a like mind in the craft, to share ideas and compare notes from time to time, or simply because it is easier to associate and communicate in general with those who have a similar frame of mind and approach to the trade.

The player must make a decision before the start of play as to whether his character has learned his Wizardry from a traditional apprenticeship under a single master, or through taking a doctoral degree in Natural Philosophy at a university that offers magick in the advanced curriculum. The circumstances chosen affect the portfolio of skills available to the character somewhat, and definitely makes a great deal of difference in the sort of environment the character hails from. The differences between the two traditions are clearly evident in the rosters of skills available to each presented side-by-side below.

Wizard (Apprenticed) Scholar-Wizard (PhD.)
Charms (MGA) * ◊ Charms (MGA) * ◊
High Magick * High Magick *
Common Magick * Common Magick *
Low Magick * Low Magick *
Ars Quintates * Ars Quintates *
Divination Divination
Enchantment Enchantment
Sorcery Sorcery
Glamourie Glamourie
Naming Naming
M-RES Shield M-RES Shield
Linguist (P) Grammar School (P)
Ancient Arcane * Linguist (P)
Literatus & Scrivener (P) Foreign †
OR Ancient †
Secretary/Acct. (P) Ancient Arcane *
OR Philosopher’s Tongue
Grammar School (P) Scholar’s Tongue
Lore Specialties (P) Lore Specialties (P)
Astrology & Astronomy Trivium & Quadrivium
Perception (O) History & Mythology
Sense Mana/Magick (ancient & recent)
Spirit Senses ◊ (domestic & international)
  (Church & State)
  Classical Literature,
  Plays & Poetry
  Religion & Theology
  Cultures/Societies
  (domestic & foreign)
  (ancient & recent)
  Mathematics & Geometry
  Astrology & Astronomy
  Elective Areas of Expertise †
  Perception (O)
  Sense Mana/Magick
  Spirit Senses
Sentry
  Presence (O)
  Disputation/Debate
  Interviewer/Interrogate
  Orator

Most universities and schools of the magickal mysteries, and masters tutoring their apprentices, encourage their fledgling Wizards to seek insights of lore and power through the skills of Alchemy, classes in which are also offered. Having this knowledge enables the character to also make many of his own ritual supplies, saving him a fair portion of that expense. It also allows him to create substances like potions, unguents, philters, elixirs, salves, and the like that can carry his magicks, so he need not always be pressed to produce magick spontaneously, under the pressures of the moment. Under the optional END rules, this saves him from the use of his END for castings on the spot. The making of these substances are discussed in detail in the description of Alchemy in the Scholastic Trades, and also in the “Potion Bases” skill in Appendix C.

Since stage magick and cheap sleight of hand illusions are good for the manual dexterity of all aspiring Wizards. The games of the Mountebank are approved by the masters and become common practice among the students of Wizardry in the universities – one more tool with which the older students can torment new, younger students, keeping them guessing where the sleight-of-hand stops and the real magick begins! Outside the halls of academia or the hall of the apprentice’s master, these skills are often needed to make a living in lean times and provide the perfect cover to hide the true knowledge and training of a student newly out of school or hide his true talents in realms or districts whose kings or lords may be unfriendly to the practitioners of the Arts.

If a Wizard favors the company of Shadow Weavers and the art of Glamourie, he is encouraged to cultivate skill as a visual Artisan, far more appropriate than learning Alchemy, as it improves the quality, his attention to detail, in creating not only visual illusions, but the glamours to designed to deceive the other senses, as well.

What other trade the character takes on to facilitate his Wizardry is up to the player’s discretion, if he takes on any at all. It is by no means required that he do so.

The heart of Wizard trade and the true measure of how effective he is in play is determined by the charms in his portfolio, however.

What dweomers can he craft?

What can he can do with his Arts?

During character generation, the player must answer these questions by choosing the charms or “dweomer-crafting” skills with which his character begins play.

All Wizard characters may be equipped with up to (MGA) charms with which to be brought into play.

These are chosen from the following roster.

Wizard Charms

Alarum Charm, Charm of Warning

Anonymous Glamour, Magnetic Presence

Armor Enchantment

Banish Spirit

Battle Charm

Beast of Burden (Hearty Hero; Feeble Waif)

Bell the Cat

Blinding Flash

Blinding Spray

Bonds of Concordance

Bottomless Pit/Puddle

Burden Charm (Carefree Burden; Wearisome Burden)

Cache, Dweomer Cache, Power Cache

Candle in the Window

Cat’s Tongue

Caustic Spittle

Charm of Common Binding, Charm of Common Unbinding

Charm of Common Shaping

Charm of Direction

Charm of Distraction, – Iron Concentration

Charm of Facility, Hex of Bumbling

Charm of Finding

Charm of Mastery, Hex of Incompetence

Charm of Mending

Charm of Occlusion

Charm of Silence, Circle of Silence, Wall of Silence

Circle of Protection

Cloak of Confustication

Cloud of Obfuscation, Veil of Obfuscation

Commune wi’ Shadows

Compass Charm

Conjure Replenishment

Conjure Shadows of the Past

Copy Charm

Displacement Glamour

Dispel Common Magick

Draw Harm, Deflect Harm

Dweomer Ægis

Enchant Light

Enchant Sound

Ensorcel Movement

Far Flight, Earthbound

Far Speak, Eavesdropper’s Charm

Fat the Boar, Wasting Hex

Gas Bag, Bloat

Golden Touch, Contrary Charm

Heroic Appetites, Finicky Belly

Lightning Bolt

Lightning Hand

Loosen, Tighten

Magnetic Gaze, Avert Gaze

Malleable Charm, Charm of Stiffening

Measuring Tools

Mesmerize

Message Charm

Necromancy

Neverbreak, Charm of Fragility

Perpetuate Motion, Dampen Movement

Read

Reveal

Scrivener’s Veil

Scrying Enchantment

Second Sight

Seek Hidden

Seek News

Sharp Sense, Dull Sense

Shining Presence

Slick Charm, Stick Charm

Soft Touch

Soothsay

Speak in Tongues, Babble Hex

Stay Harm

Stealth Charm

Summoning

Swift Heal, Slow Heal

Swift Rest, Cat’s Breath

Sword of Damocles

Tell-Tale, Foe Marker

Temperate Charm

True Sight

Truthsay

Veil of Lightning

Walk in Another’s Shoes

Walk Safe, Undermine

Wander Charm

Web of Awareness

Weight Charm

Window of Resonance

Wound Channeling

Wound Hex

It is very important that the player make a note of which of the Ars Quintates may be used to cast each of these charms, as he may not always want to use the same Art to cast it.

Due to the fact that each charm in the game may be cast by a number of different Arts, the character develops a separate SL for a given charm for each Art by which it can be cast, and the difficulty of the task, or DV, is determined in part by the Art used for the casting.

  • IF the player has chosen to neglect any of the Five Arts, leaving them out in the process of Character Creation, the master he apprenticed under is assumed to suffer from a similar lack, or all five would have been learned.

While no player is required to equip his Wizard with skill in all five of the Arts, and he is encouraged to do so, he must have at least one of them. The lack of any one of them may be a matter of note to friends and rivals alike should it be discovered.

If a character has come into the craft of magick through a trade apprenticeship, the GM can use the charms the character begins play with as a starting point for determining the skills of the master under which the apprenticeship was served, for he must have had all of these and no doubt at least a few more.

 

 

Trade Memory & Maintenance

During his trade training, all aspiring Wizards use their magickal talents to cultivate a meditationally keyed, tiered eidetic memory for the sole purpose of retaining their vast store of magickal lore.

The character’s special trade memory enables him to retain up to [(MGA) + (TR) ÷ 4] charms or specific skills of arcane knowledge in a single AWA-slot, rather than the same amount of space in the character’s memory that such knowledge would occupy if learned by more mundane methods (1 skill per AWA-slot).

This works in a similar manner as other groups of related skills, like languages for a Linguist character, Social Graces, Lore specialties, or weapon skills. Otherwise each skill would fill a whole AWA-slot on its own

In order to maintain the knowledge in his special trade memory, the various nuances of magickal lore in the character’s special trade memory must be refreshed periodically. In order to maintain this knowledge intact the Wizard must meditate, review the entire contents of his trade memory, and practice from time to time for a period of time dependent upon the number of charms he knows and his SL’s with them.

The Wizard must spend [(number of charms) + (TR)] MINUS [(AWA) + (MGA att. mod.)] in days meditating on and reviewing his Common Sphere charms, minimum one (1). Once completed, he need not meditate and practice his trade lore again for [(MGA) + (TR)] days.

For example, the TR16 Wizard Arnaud Osset has 18 charms, for a base study time of 34 days, and an AWA15 and MGA 16 (att. mod. +3), so he must spend 16 days in meditation, chanting in review, and practicing (18 charms + TR16 = 34; 34 – 18 = 16 days).

One of the character’s two tomes must be open and within arm’s reach during this entire process so it may be used as a reference.

For every (MGA ÷ 4) days that the character does not review the magickal skills in his trade memory with one of his reference tomes, his casting AV’s drop by one (1).

This penalty can be momentarily avoided by casting directly from the pages of his book, open to the dweomer and Art he is working. It also places the Wizard at risk, revealing the nature of his ability/activities and giving his foe(s) a valuable object to focus on in hopes of thwarting his efforts – one that is HIGHLY valued in the open market, whether it ends up having to be sold on the black market or not.

  • IF the PC does not wish to sequester themselves away to plow through the time required (during which time no other activities might be undertaken), the time may be divvied up in the same manner as a craft project, stretched out over up to (AWA ÷ 4) times the required length so long as at least one (1) daily activity slot (by AWA) is devoted to it every day without exception until it is completed.

For example, Arnaud could spend his last daily activity slot (between supper and bedtime) working at his craft for 64 days (16 days discharged @ 1/4th a day per day elapsed is the same as 16 x 4 = 64 days) and incur no penalties as he goes.

  • IF the Wizard lapses in observing this practice and the time for which the character is free of the burden of study has expired, penalties begin to accumulate immediately for weaving charms of any kind, by any Art or Form until he resumes fulfilling that requirement. When he resumes, the penalty does not go away until the requirement is met, BUT it does not get any worse, either.

Once this requirement is met, the Wizard need not meditate and practice his trade lore again for [(MGA) + (TR)] days.

For example, once Arnaud has completed his 16 days, he is free for the next 32 days (MGA16 + TR16 = 32).

  • IF the player decides to have his character study and practice during his freedom from it, when he doesn’t have to, each full day spent is subtracted from his requirement when he is again required to study. The character’s AWA activity-slots may be used to gradually accumulate day’s-worth of chanting and review/practice, as explained above, BUT only FULL days completed towards this requirement are counted once the time arrives to fulfill the requirement again.

For example, Arnaud’s 15 AWA gives him 4 activity slots per day. If he takes the last of those 4 activity slots to study each evening before bed (as above), to meditate, chant, practice and review for the 32 days while it is not required, he can discharge exactly 8 of those days, cutting the number remaining down to 8 (32 ÷ 4 = 8), down by half. He can continue doing this until his circumstances change due to changes in SL’s and TR.

Even only studying a half day (2 AWA-slots), allowing half the day (2 AWA-slots) for domestic things, adventuring or what-have-you, Arnaud could then discharge refreshing his trade memory in 16 days. Afterwards, he has 32 days of light attention to his Arts.

But the cycle can be varied according the character’s requirement, the number of AWA-slots the character has and the player’s preference, as desired.

The Wizards’ Cant: “Ancient Arcane

For all intents and purposes of the game, all magicks in RoM are considered to be “formulaic.” That is to say, magick is performed through the use of gestures and some form of chants or incantations handed down from master to student over many centuries, or even millennia in some cases. These have been pre-established by the research of those who have gone before, determined to produce a similar, established effect according to the Art used (Divination, Enchantment, Glamourie, Naming, or Sorcery) when performed correctly (depending directly on the caster’s talent and training). This applies primarily to Low and Common magick, (spells and rituals, respectively). Cantrips require no such physical support to cast, having been discovered at a much later date than the Low and Common forms. Cantrips are High Magick because they are the latest and greatest of the powers of magick to be discovered, most effortless in appearance, but most difficult of the three to perform.

For their own part, the Wizards have resurrected the tongues of the ancient wise men and philosophers over the centuries, forging them into the language of their teachings, the language in which they incant their spells and rituals, in which they keep their tomes of knowledge, and in which they converse among their own kind – the secret cants of each of the schools of wizardry, sometimes referred to as “Ancient Arcane”, or irreverently as “Wizard’s Cant” (double-meaning fully intended). This is essentially a pastiche of the fantasy gameworld analogues of Greek, Latin, Egyptian, Arabic, Aramaic, Babylonian, Sumerian, Akkadian, Pharsee, and the like. This arcane tongue is very critical in both vocabulary and inflection and exceptionally difficult to learn, similar in difficulty to the languages of the Far East, especially the nuances of Mandarin Chinese.

All of the magicks worked by those who follow the trades of magick are spoken/chanted in that trade’s secret tongue. Due to the sheer power that it invokes when spoken aloud during spell and ritual casting, all listeners are smitten with overwhelming images and emotions which actually blot out the words themselves. The words themselves are always completely burned out of the memories of any who overhear. The gestures that are required in spell casting and the actions and movements required in rituals always vary a bit from one Wizard to the next, as well, so each Wizard must discover the variation that works best for him. No two ever practice their Art exactly alike, even when using the same form (spell or ritual) of the same Art (Divination, Enchantment, etc.) for the same specific charm. All these facts make magick extremely difficult to learn, even for those who have talent and a willing instructor, while providing an effectively impenetrable barrier that prevents nosy outsiders from “stealing” the secrets of any of the arts of magick through simple observation.

A Wizard character may communicate freely with any other Wizard trade member in this secret tongue, BUT no Wizard would ever teach this secret language to anyone not already initiated into the mysteries of the Power of the trade and accepted as a full trade member, on pain of a lingering punishment, even death, from his brother Wizards. To do so is to betray the secrets of the trade and craft of magick that every initiate is sworn to keep safe.

The Ancient Arcane Wizards’ Cant is part of the character’s Linguist, Scrivener, and Literatus skills, the same as the Scholars’ Tongue is if he has come to his magickal training through formal education in a university, as opposed to a trade apprenticeship. The LoA of all three language skills begins at Warden, but must be increased to Master LoA in order to have access to Noble Sphere magicks and again to WorksMaster LoA in order for the character to have access to Sovereign Sphere magicks. Otherwise, the Wizard won’t have the vocabulary to be able to properly translate the descriptive texts and incantations for the charms he would learn.

Each of the Five Arts has its own special jargon or vocabulary to describe its special processes and address concerns relating specifically to its practice. If a character is lacking one of those arts, he also lacks the language skills to discuss that art with his colleagues. This must, of course, stand out as a matter of note to his colleagues, if or when it should be discovered.

Wizards follow a written tradition of lore, and this drives them often to search back through the written record of the past to further clues to knowledge and skill, and thus, power. In keeping with this tradition, each Wizard must have completed scribing two tomes before the Wizard leaves the school or master from whom he received his trade training, both for his Common Sphere magicks. The first one travels with him for taking notes on lore he discovers while on the road, almost a diary of his magickal career and pursuits. The second acts as a repository for ALL his knowledge, completely unabridged and polished with glosses and commentary written, transformed as it has been transcribed from the first book. The greater a Wizard’s SL with a given charm, his skill and knowledge with the Ars Quintates that apply to it and his skills in High, Common and Low Magick, the more he knows of its inner workings and the more he has to say about it for the sake of posterity and also for his own reference.

Each book weighs 7.25 lb’s and has 100 pages in it, enough for the descriptions of 35 charms at SL1, assuming Art and Form SL’s also of 1, but these books can easily be added to and expanded with the help of a competent bookbinder up to a limit of about 200 (14.5lb’s, more than a stone) OR an absolute maximum of 300 pages (21.75lb’s). It is doubtful that any such character is going to be toting either of the larger books around in their rucksack. If the character is beginning play with SL’s higher than 1, the contents and size of his books must be increased commensurately. Additional pages can be added as play progresses and the character’s knowledge grows, according to the guidelines provided in the Grimoire.

One of the character’s two tomes must be open and within arm’s reach during the entire process of study and review for the maintenance of his trade knowledge (as described previously) so it may be used as a reference.

Under the Mantle of Power

Due to his repeated and intimate exposure to the power and patterns of the charms he weaves, the Wizard gradually builds up his spiritual defenses against those magicks directed against him that can also be resisted.

A Wizard’s (base) M-RES score is innate and protects him from those magicks that may be resisted, even if he is consciously unaware of them. His subconscious grows and becomes trained to be on guard so that in effect he cannot be Surprised magickally, which in the case of any other target would reduce his M-RES to one (1).

When he is aware of a magick directed at him, the practitioner receives a bonus of (TR) to his normal (base) M-RES score for resisting those magicks that allow it.

Under the Optional END rules, every Wizard is trained over the course of schooling in the magickal Arts to develop and harbor within his own spirit a personal reservoir of mana that can be tapped for casting magick.

This personal reserve consists of [(MGA ÷ 4) + (TR)] points-worth of POT in mana, to be used at the player’s discretion.

This resource can be used to bolster a magick that needs to be strong in POT while taking no more time to cast than normal. The player should look on this reserve as being more for use in emergencies when things look dark because it takes time and effort to restore afterwards, a period of rest and meditation where the spirit is opened to the flows of mana and the reservoir slowly refilled.

The mana may only be collected or drawn into the reservoir at a rate of one (1) point per [40 – (HRT)] minutes, but the character must make a point to take the time to settle down in a calm, quiet atmosphere and meditative state, preferably alone, to accomplish this.

IF necessary, the character can use the points of POT in mana in the reservoir for physical activities as additional points to add to his END to be spent normally but, to do so, the personal reservoir must be completely emptied, whatever points of POT in mana remaining in it dumped wholly into the physical body, and the procedure for replenishing the reservoir afterwards remains the same.

Unlike physical energy, a practitioner of magick can actually become over-charged with POT in mana, over-filling the personal reservoir until it is brimming-over with spiritual energy. This is accompanied by something of a euphoric feeling, and loosens the bonds between soul/spirit and the body. In effect, the number of points of POT in mana above and beyond what the practitioner can normally contain in his special trade reservoir is counted as equal to points of POT in alcohol consumed, loosening inhibitions, impairing AGL, CRD, and AWA. The same rules are used to describe the effects in play. The character remains in this state until the excess in POT is used up, burned off.

Some magickal folk become addicted to this feeling, like any drug addict or alcoholic. Pursuing this sensation for its own sake rather than for a higher purpose or for accomplishing specific works of magick contributes to the Vice of Gluttony (+1 point in that score for every incident) and leads the character to a place where he requires a HRT check vs. Vice in order NOT to indulge himself in this way anytime he meditates to draw power.

The Price of Power

It is widely said that the words of men of Power are never to be trusted, but this is a grave misconception, for the stamp of Power upon them affects the meaning of their words. They are vague, evasive, and difficult at best to come to an agreement with, but this is because of the weight that their words hold for them. One should never assume that an understanding has been reached unless the man of Power dealt with says that it is so. Unbeknownst to the public, the Wizard’s knowledge and the Power he exercises are almost an entity unto itself with which the PC must come to grips. These men of Power cannot afford many of the illusions and self-delusions that common folk use to make their lives more comfortable. Their magicks depend upon the true names and speech, as mentioned in the description of the trade language. The name is the thing; and for him, the word is the deed.

It is the best kept secret of the trade that a Wizard must not swear to anything that is not so or that he does not fully intend to do. The oath of any character who wields magick of any kind is his bond and should never be lightly given for, if he fails it, his own power is sure to seek to force him to carry it out.

IF he swears falsely, his own Power (with POT equal to his TR) seeks thereafter to twist events, making the situation fit his words, increasing the likelihood of a Bumble and then using the event of one to set things right, or forcing him to recant his falsehood, haunting him and inflicting bad luck upon him until he does. One who fails his sworn word can be made a hollow and empty man by fighting his Power; he may even reach a point where he dares not use it.

On the other hand, there is no restriction upon what the Wizard may say. He may lie as boldly as the next man if he makes no pretense of honor and swearing to its truth. Silence is another haven of safety. A man’s words cannot be used against him when he says nothing. Niceties of definition and vague terms are the best friends of folk of Power, allowing them to live comfortably with their power, as they wish. Though tricky, the Wizard can always try to take advantage of vague wording and imprecise or misused terms and assumptions of others to leave himself a loophole even when forced to give his oath.

One of the most famous Celtic vows hinges on this very concept, and is very dangerous to the one speaking it, and so is always accepted as an undeniable guarantee:

“May the Earth open up and swallow me,

May the Sky fall upon me,

May the Sea rise and cover me,

May Fires consume me,

If I am forsworn.”

Taliesin

Shamanism and the Celts: The Fellowship of the Wise

To swear by ‘sun and moon, water and air, day and night, sea and land’ is another dire oath, indeed. Enforcement of this restriction in general is, of course, subject to the GM’s interpretation and discretion. In aid of this, the GM should refer to the passage concerning “Frivolous Magick” under the heading “Demands of the Trades”.

The Ars Magica represent an ancient tradition spanning centuries and millennia of history, having provided many high points both light and dark in the annals. Those who practice these Arts are commonly depicted as staid, stodgy, hide-bound and conservative to the point of being living fossils, and one of the excesses of character that makes them a favorite target for the japes of mundane folk is their dignity and the honor and respect that they insist be shown for their Power.

What few understand is that there is a legitimate claim behind that demand.

Every practitioner must always approach the Power with respect.

It should never be used “frivolously” nor “profligately”, to any excess.

The daily pursuit of the craft, performing works for those who are truly in need, making the various tools which can make the practitioner better and more useful when on an adventure (dweomer caches, enchanting carts and wagons, tack and harness or beasts of burden to aid travel), aiding his compatriots to make them more effective, that is all one thing, but to impress a girl one desires or to otherwise tickle her fancy or flatter her vanity in the absence of love, to embarrass a rival for sheer cussedness, or anyone at all merely for spite or to put them down, for a lark to get a laugh – especially at another’s expense, and especially when the target chosen is downtrodden already, to pursue a lust to flatter one’s own vanity, or to accomplish for one’s self anything that could as easily be done by mundane means should be deemed frivolous, especially if the practitioner has servants already to accomplish such things for him. Exceptions to the last condition should include situations where every means available must be used to avoid what would surely be a mortal confrontation with a dire enemy, or any other circumstance where time is legitimately deemed to be of the essence, especially where life and limb of self or another is at stake.

The law of conservation of energy applies in magick, too. Why should the practitioner expend the enormous effort to cast some mighty work of magick that can shake the pillars of the Spheres of Spirit when the same effective end result can be arrived at with a much more economic and tightly focused magick applied more cleverly, after due measure of consideration of the situation and the various ways in which magick might be applied. There is ALWAYS more than one way to skin a cat – so to speak.

Knowledge and canny craft is always more effective that brute force, especially in the use of magick, and has the added benefit of causing less of a disturbance in the world, thus a smaller rebound of the power unleashed.

The exception to this should be putting on a display to give pleasure to small innocent children, providing a spectacle for the pleasure of the hard-working commons, or any other circumstances where the player can justify its use as being in line with an exercise of one of the Virtues or in due payment to alleviate a debt, particularly a moral debt.

“Frivolous” is a subjective term and requires the GM to make judgement calls throughout the course of the game.

In doing so, the GM should be sympathetic AND flexible. This principle concerning the use of magick is NOT a stick with which to beat the PC’s indiscriminately, to make them fear using their Arts, and especially not to make them regret following the trade of their choice. It is to make sure that a certain amount of respect is paid to the power those characters hold. The light usage of magick on occasion should not only be allowed but encouraged. It can help build morale and bring the characters closer together, and sometimes the craft can be used in light and entertaining ways to repay moral obligations, or to reward the deserving whose efforts so often might otherwise go unnoticed. These are all laudable uses of the craft.

The wild beast which is the Power these characters wield is nothing if not full of the Joy of Life.

Those who would “test” the practitioner’s Power are a waste of his time. Any display of Power simply for the sake of display, to prove his ability, is frivolous by definition. Even to request a test should be deemed insulting. If anyone wishes a display of Power as a test they had best come with a task to be accomplished that actually requires attention, the kind of task that in its completion makes a difference in peoples’ lives, to further their goals or restore a situation or condition to its previous, desirable state.

Magick is a force with a heart and soul that is little understood, but it is known to be alive in its own right – how can it not be? The energy of Life is a major constituent of it! Like any wild beast, magick can be eventually brought to heel under the right conditions, to provide the power to manifest the caster’s desires, but the practitioner should never presume that the beast has been or ever can be tamed by his hand. Magick understands emotions, it knows dignity and honor, and it knows condescension, dismissive attitudes and disrespect, far more sophisticated than any common mortal beast. Thus, when the practitioner stays his own hand and looks for the worthy cause, the opportune moment, and matters of importance it is pleased at being so well-used, it might even be said to purr, a feeling suffusing the caster’s spirit by the time he looses the dweomer. When put to demeaning and frivolous use, however, the Beast seethes. The greater the disrespect and the more frequently it occurs, the angrier the Power can become. Like a slighted lover, all history of noble and proper use of the Arts fades and is forgotten. They are the minimum that is expected of the privilege of having been taught the Mysteries of the craft. All that matter to the Power is the slights and transgressions of the present.

In play, the practitioner should start to get a prickly and uncomfortable feeling when he looses his dweomers every time the Power is used in a frivolous or meaningless manner. The player deserves such a reminder.

The GM needs to make judgement calls on the uses of magick as they occur during play and “keep score” of the number of “Frivolous Magicks” cast. When they reach a sum greater than the practitioner’s own HRT score, the Power begins to seek to balance that score. Once that point is reached, the number of such offenses that have accumulated start to affect the character’s magickal craft.

The DV for casting ANY magick from that time forward suddenly increases by that amount until the offenses have been redressed, how pure its cause or the nature of its use may or may not have any impact (GM’s discretion). When the dice are rolled and the roll to cast a magick is missed, this Frivolous Magick score is added to push the result towards the occurrence of a Bumble.

  • IF a Bumble should be indicated, this number is either a) added to the result to make the result harsher, and also to increase the POT of it, as well, or b) the POT of the Bumble plus the Frivolous Magick score combined determine the POT of whatever magick might wound the practitioner’s pride the most deeply, so as to settle the score.
  • IF the practitioner has, prior to or during the time when the Power has sought an outlet, lied or violated an oath against the prohibition described for the magickal trades, any and all instances added to the Frivolous Magick score and, when the inevitable Bumble occurs, those infractions are the ones on which the Power focuses its efforts to right.

It may be that more than one infraction must be redressed. In this case, the total POT of the Bumble including the Frivolous Magick score might be divided between the issues to be addressed, OR the Power might hold its grudge until all infractions of word are addressed and corrected, saving its own honor for last.

Not until all is put to rights should the GM let the character off the hook, to start over again fresh.

This practice and procedure applies to all members of the Druid trades, Witches and Wizards, alike. It does not really apply to Mystics, however. The respect due the Power they wield is considered a given, and to use it without due consideration would generally be considered unthinkable.

Even one such meaningless and frivolous use of the Mystic’s Power would give them a penalty which would require intense purification to redress, Fast, Vigil or even Retreat. This and the consequences of various violations of the Covenant with the Light and the procedures for making amends are discussed in the GM’s notes for the Mystic trade.

Unlike the Druids, Witches and other Bronze Age powers that are allied with Færie and vulnerable to the effects of iron and steel, Wizardry is the magick of Man and his Age of Iron and Steel. Together they go hand in hand, without complication or limitation.

It is of vital importance that the reader become familiar also with the passages titled “An Introduction to Magick”, “The World through a Magician’s Eyes” and “A Primer on the World of Magickbefore also reading through the rules for magick contained in the passages headed “Magick in Play”. There are certain basic essential concepts in those passages that, in concert with the trade descriptions are vital to a clear understanding of magick, its place in the world and how it is created and the rules under which it manifests in the game world, especially in mechanical terms.

Witches

The Witches in RoM are modeled after the Anglo-Saxon successors to the ‘lost’ or simply deteriorated Druidic lore. In practice, they are much more closely tied to the actual worship or at least acknowledgement and even propitiation of gods and spirits of Nature than their Druid predecessors and mentors, but more specifically the local gods and spirits of the mountains, hills and dales, the beasts of the fields and forests they haunt, of high, wide sky, wind and storm and lightning, and the beasts of the air, of burbling stream and wide, slow river and of the raging sea, the beasts of the water, and hungry fire which consumes all, all the elements – the building blocks of the universe, of the turning of the seasons and the phases of life in the natural world. Druids merely kept the traditional calendar and made sure that the holidays were observed as they occurred and that the rituals were enacted precisely in accordance with the ancient traditions they safe-guarded, while the Witches pay all the Powers due homage in the practice of the Arts, including the denizens of Færie.

Akin to the old Anglo-Saxon folkways, the Witches are tied to the ancient nature gods and especially the spirits and creatures of the mysterious Spirit-realm of Faerie. Their ways are the Olde Ways. The Olde Ways are quiet ways. Rather than traveling about promoting the goals of their deities and the tenets of their religions, proselytizing and exhorting the masses to follow the Færie Faith, most Witches tend to be somewhat reclusive, just as they are commonly portrayed in the fairytales of old. Cunning folk of subtle knowledge, they choose their own personal moral code and morés, commonly follow their own interests in “smaller matters”, though devout holy persons in their own right and loyal to the elemental spirits of the world in “greater matters”. As a group, they lack any semblance of the formal structure kept by the Druid trades on behalf of their peoples, or of the (relatively) “new” Church of the Light.

Despite the fact that the Witches grew out of the Druidic tradition, the Witch traditions come from a much later time when the Olde Ways were being tested by newer religions, being carried by peoples whose numbers were growing as they looked for new lands to settle. Their covenant with Nature reflects a schism between the angry devotees who would strike back in retribution against the invading late-comers who so often condemn the Olde Ways, those sworn to the Dark Covenant, and those who embrace all life and seek ways for all to live in peace and harmony with Nature, those sworn to the Light Covenant. These fall in the same factions as the two camps into which the Færies are divided, the Dark Covenant with the wicked and spiteful Unseelie Folk, still looking for ways to break the power of iron and Man in the mortal world so they can return, and the Light Covenant with the gentler, kinder, yet stern and formidable Seelie Folk who are content enough to live in Spirit but visit the mortal world to intervene when the desire strikes them or conditions seem to warrant it.

The Witches are free of most of the formal religious constraints as maintained by the Druids, and use what are considered unorthodox personal methods of dealing with the divine powers. There is a certain tension between the Witches and the establishment made up of and administered by the Druids, Brehons, Fathi, Filid ands Bards, and the Gowans (who among the Druids favor them most). The latter are socially initiated, ceremonially inducted according to established orthodox methods into the recognized religious establishment and organization. Each of them fulfills a certain prescribed function and holds a certain social rank as a result, as tenants of established offices.

While they have the respect of the local peoples whom they commonly serve, Witches are not nearly as prominent socially as those of the Druid trades, nor do they consider themselves as socially responsible, either.

While their teachings are not quite so scholarly in nature, they echo very strongly the lore and wisdom of the Druids from whom they draw the lion’s share of their lore.

“Truth in the heart, strength in the arm, honesty in speech.”

“The gods must be honored, no injustice done, and manly behavior [integrity] always maintained.”

“Three things from which a true Man must never be moved:
One’s Oaths, One’s Gods, and the Truth.”

“The three highest causes of the true Man are:
Truth, Honor, and Duty.
Among them, Honor above all!”

“The three candles that can illuminate every darkness:
Truth, Nature, and Knowledge.”

These are all prime, basic Celtic principles, framed in the typical Celtic triadic mold. In the end, the Witches believe as the Druids before them, that ALL are answerable for their own conduct and the consequences of their decisions.

Like the Druids before them, the magick of the Witches harnesses the energy of Life shared by all living things universally: plants, insects, animals, and all sentient beings, all forms of life no matter how great or small. In their view, Spirit is invested in EVERY-thing in the world. All is living and connected together by common bonds of Spirit. These wise folk are bound by their training and the Path that they traverse to gain their power and knowledge to intercede with the lesser gods and spirits mentioned previously, and so are accountable to them.

The interests of the Lords of Nature are measured on a clock of seasons and only occasionally do they specifically include the Witches or the folk of the day-to-day world about them, thus leaving most Witches to their own devices and diversions. For the most part, Witches are primarily only concerned with their own pursuits and other folk only insomuch as they affect those pursuits or the Witch’s environment.

Light Covenant Witches, or White Witches, are those who foster the lighter, more benevolent side of Nature. They are the most likely to go about and act in the manner of liaisons, traveling locally to protect the land for its own sake and foster some sort of reverence or respect for it in others. They know the needs of the land and its creatures, but they acknowledge the needs of man and know that they must either learn to live together or end up fighting one another. White Witches can often be found working with the people of the land, those who till the earth and have to glean their living from it, trying to teach them how to live in harmony with their environment. The White Orders do not like to use force but, when their ire is roused, they can be as dangerous and even as vindictive as their brethren of the Dark Covenant – an eye for an eye. Just because they are generally benign in disposition does not mean they do not have teeth.

The Dark Covenant Witches, sometimes called Black Witches (somewhat of a misnomer), are better acquainted with the more dangerous and destructive sides of Nature. They tend to be the most reclusive, and often seem selfish and self-absorbed in the point of view of any people living nearby. They put the needs of the creatures of the earth and all other living things ahead of the needs of the races of Men. Men in the point of view of the Dark Witches are despoilers and in need of correction and often punishment for their transgressions against the living world, rock, root, and beast. In this they share the sentiments of the faction among the fey that would see them supplanted and the right rule of the fey restored. The elfs of the Mortal World they almost never have any grounds to quarrel with. When not pursuing redress of grievances against the races of Men, they interpret their covenant with the nature gods as giving them the role of lord and caretaker, to guide or hinder, cultivate or encourage by their magickal Arts as they see fit.

They know their responsibilities and attend to them.

Dark or Light, Witches can be as implacable as the Immortal Sidhe in their fury when they, the land, or its creatures (whom they also consider to be part and parcel of their magickal domain) are threatened, or the laws of Nature and their faith are broken, for this is the sphere of their power, the heart of the influence they wield.

However, Witches in RoM should NEVER be confused with the horrific concepts and images conjured by Real World 16th and 17th century zealots. The practices and teachings of the Witches described here PRE-date the advent of what became the universal faith of the period of the game, and the subsequent invention of Satanism and “devil-worship”.

Witches are liaisons between the people and Nature, nurturers helping people who ask for it to get along and lead good lives, protectors of nature, warning of its importance, and the reapers of vengeance against those who foolishly flout the Olde Ways and teachings. They are not there to spread the faith of the Green Lords, to inspire it, nor to explain it, that is the job of the Druid trades or the occasional Mystic who has taken on that mission. They serve those who come to them, having at best small local organizations, using the gifts and knowledge borrowed from the more useful teachings of the Druids’ establishment. At the yearly holy quarter day celebrations the Witches sometimes assist the Druids as deacons to a parish priest. In many ways, Witches are the Fiana of the Druid religious community.

To embark on the Path of the Witch is to step outside the accepted, normal routes to the sacred. One who has been rejected by the Druid establishment as unsuitable could take his calling to the Witches. It is the difference between service to the gods and goddesses of the pantheon and service to the great spirits resident throughout the mortal world, the totemic spirits of a shaman, wild primal spirits over defined religion and its doctrine, dogma, and practices. For all of that it is no less rich a religious experience, however, and the Witches’ work with the great spirits does not mean that they do not know and acknowledge the gods and goddesses of the Druids.

The local people of the faith come to the Witches for magickal dispensation, as one might a Wizard, or healing – for what they want and perhaps need, but seek out a priest for reassurance, solace, to pour out their hearts, or to seek shelter or charity. If a follower of the Olde Ways comes to a Witch to petition for magickal dispensation after first having sought aid from the gods through a Druid, regardless of specific trade, or Mystic serving the Green Lords and having been denied, it will leave what is known as “god-sign” on the petitioner that any Witch with the Sight will clearly see, or otherwise will feel upon touching them, or see upon beginning to cast any magick in their presence, and would be foolish to disregard.

To fulfill the request of one who has been spurned by the Green Lords incurs a penalty equal to the POT of the magick worked on their behalf that endures until such time as the Witch has appeased Them for his transgression.

Witch folk are strange. Their Power sets them apart from more mundane folk, and this is one of the primary reasons they do not often or long dwell willingly among them. The presence of the Power within all Witches that marks their Covenant with the Green Lords lays upon them, surrounding them like a mantle. While not nearly so strong as that which a Mystic bears, it is still almost palpable to those who are sensitive to it. While it can shine from their eyes, reflected in their faces as a half-feverish light, it generally only does so when they work their magick or exercise their Spirit Skills (as applicable). Where the special Grace of a Mystic is always visible in his face, especially his eyes, for all to see at any time, a Witch is not so easy to spot except when he wields his trade knowledge or Power.

These facts all serve to explain somewhat the rather extreme personal diversity among Witches as a group, and the widely varying character we see of them as handed down to us in literature. As mentioned, they are rather solitary and tend to be strong individualists. They exist together best at a distance, coming together only to celebrate the great quarter-day feasts of their faith. However, towards the common folk they are mindful of their duty to serve. How they fulfill this duty varies with the individual, however. Some stand on ceremony and command respect and gifts and/or the ancient requirement “Cross my palm with silver.” Others work humbly and ask nothing of those they help except what is freely given in return. What never changes is that every Witch will serve the need brought to him to the best of his ability, regardless of covenant, and in return warn each and every one that for such magickal aid as they can render, some change will come into their lives to make room for it. There must be balance. Change is inevitable, the only constant in the universe, and comes even more swiftly when magick’s wild power is invoked to help it along.

While the Witch never knows and cannot predict even by Divination what change will come or when, the fact that they have a little rule of thumb to judge such things is a carefully hidden trade secret. The truer the real need, the more hopeless the cause, the less selfish and more in line with the Virtues the request brought to them for magickal remedy, the more painless and positive the change will be in their lives once the magick has been given them. In the same vein, the closer the supposed need is to baser wanting and the mire of the Vices, the more selfish the request, the more abrupt, disruptive and harmful the back-lash of Fate in return for the Witch’s work of magick. Those of the Dark Covenant delight in serving the needs of the latter and helping them to the just rewards for their weakness of character.

In contrast to the Druid trades, Witches have a vocation and follow a calling, more like Mystics. Without a series of summonses in dream, trance, vision, or the throes of religious ecstasy to follow the Path of the Spirit, one cannot become a Witch.

The calling to the Path compels a person with a power he cannot resist, drives him to the solitude of the heart of the nearest wilderness area, where he must live for a time. There he fasts and meditates, laying himself open to terrible visitations and apparitions. In the space of a few nights he may undergo many incarnations of the soul, generally behaving as if mad. This culminates in some dreadful hallucination of death or self immolation, spirits dismembering him, plucking out his eyes, hunting him down through flames. Then he ascends to Spirit on a tree or pole with the aid of a spirit-guide in the form of an animal associated with the elemental alignment of his birth, to finally achieve stasis, his personality dissolving in cosmic consciousness, union with the gods, the spirits of the dead, and all the spirits of sky, sea, earth, and primordial fire, his guides and helpers thence forward.

Afterwards, if he can, he returns to earth via that same vehicle, which retains its magickal significance to him for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, some candidates actually die, suffering massive failures of the physical body, so great are the stresses of the trials and ordeals. Some candidates are unable to pull themselves back out of their cosmic contact, and so never really return, remaining mad in the eyes of the world for the rest of their days. The people of the period of the game sometimes described those who had lost their wits as having been touched by god, called “goddess prisoners”. Even the successful candidate who returns to his right mind with his soul intact can only begin after a minimum of 10 days to stammer out coherent speech, to join the other Witches, who will recognize the mark of the Path on him, and his new readiness to begin to share the magickal secrets of their trade.

To any who follow a Path of Power of any sort, regardless of specific trade, Death holds no fear. It is a fact of the natural world, merely a change in consciousness. As the Flesh is only a vessel to hold the spirit and soul temporarily, it is considered a doorway between worlds. Along with the act of birth, Death is the means by which the mortal and spirit worlds remain in balance.

New Witches often take new names as a sign of the spiritual regeneration and rebirth undergone during this process. Most are given new names before entering the master’s hall for formal training, told to abandon their old name and life in preparation for this life-changing evolution. Sobriquets like “Lord Thunder”, “Moon Sister”, “Twilight Rider”, “The Lady of the Lake”, or “Lady Blue” are often coined and adopted during the period of schooling to further obscure the original name. Witches tend to prefer sobriquets embodying a location with which they are or will be associated when done with their training, such as simply “Master of Craig Corrie”, “Mistress of the Misty Marshes”, “Master of Lake Dubh”, “Mistress of the Dapplewood”, or “Keeper of Cranston Moor”. This makes getting a fix on the Witch through means of bonds of Sympathy much more difficult.

Having undergone this spirit journey leaves an indelible mark on the spirit or aura visible to any who have been fully trained in the trade who may be looking for it.

The new candidate’s nascent magickal talent generally expresses itself in one or more abilities commonly referred to as Spirit Senses, or Othersenses, included in the rosters showing the overall portfolio of skills available to those following the Witches’ Path. These can take a number of forms, as explained in the description in Appendix C. It is often through the raw untrained expression of these senses following taking the first steps on the Path that the candidates for further training in the craft are identified.

Every Witch must have a MGA score of at least 14. None can hear the calling to take even the first steps on the Path whose score is not at least that high. Talent was required of old, and those traditions are followed strictly by those who deign to teach the craft.

While studying in their hidden covens, all Witch characters will have the opportunity, and will have been strongly encouraged, to explore the hidden power of Nature and its world through Alchemy and to nurture Life through the arts of healing during their trade training.

For those playing under Intermediate or Advanced rules, characters training as Witches have the opportunity and are strongly encouraged to strengthen their tie to Nature through the Husbandman trade or explore the hidden power of Nature and its world through Alchemy or to nurture Life through the arts of the Healer (any) by way of a Secondary trade, especially Herbal, or as an Allied trade in the case of the Advanced rules.

Having the Husbandman Secondary or Allied trade of course enables the Druid to also practice any Herbal skills he may have upon the animals he is trained to take care of, without penalty or restriction.

What other trade the character takes on to facilitate his Wizardry is up to the player’s discretion, if he takes on any at all. It is by no means required that he do so.

The heart of Witch trade and the true measure of how effective he is in play is determined by the charms in his portfolio, however.

What dweomers can he craft?

What can he can do with his Arts?

During character generation, the player must answer these questions by choosing the charms or “dweomer-crafting” skills with which his character begins play.

All Witch characters may be equipped with up to (MGA) charms with which to be brought into play.

These are chosen from the following roster.

Charms

Anchor of Earth

Anonymous Glamour, Magnetic Presence

Banish Spirit

Beast of Burden (Hearty Hero; Feeble Waif)

Bewitch Wound

Blinding Spray

Bonds of Concordance

Burden Charm (Carefree Burden; Wearisome Burden)

Cache, Dweomer Cache, Power Cache

Candle in the Window

Cat’s Tongue

Charm of Common Shaping

Charm of Direction

Charm of Finding

Cloud of Obfuscation, Veil of Obfuscation

Common Caloric Charm

Commune wi’ Animals

Commune wi’ Plants

Draw Harm, Deflect Harm

Elf Shot

Enchant Elements

Far Flight, Earthbound

Far Speak, Eavesdropper’s Charm

Fat The Boar, Wasting Hex

Gas Bag, Bloat

Glimmerfoot, Untraceable Path

Healing Poultice

Hedge of Lances

Lightning Hand

The Milk of Mother Nature

Nature’s Hand

Nature’s Saving Graces

Nature’s Teeth

Necromancy

Quagmire

Slick Charm, Stick Charm

Spitting Naja

Stinging Nettle Charm

Stray Sod

Summon Spirit Hound, Summon Screaming Skull

Sun Burn

Swift Heal, Slow Heal

Swift Rest, Cat’s Breath

Tar Puddle

Tell-Tale

Temperate Charm

Thorn Warding

Thunderclap

Trail Blazer

Treeskin, Dragonskin, Stoneskin, Skin of Adamant

True Sight

Truthsay

Veil of Lightning

Walk in Another’s Shoes

Walksafe, Undermine Structure

Weather Sense

Web of Awareness

Weight Charm

Witch Steed

Witch Web

Wound Channel

 

It is very important that the player make a note of which of the Ars Quintates may be used to cast each of these charms, as he may not always want to use the same Art to cast it.

Due to the fact that each charm in the game may be cast by a number of different Arts, the character develops a separate SL for a given charm for each Art by which it can be cast, and the difficulty of the task, or DV, is determined in part by the Art used for the casting.

IF the player has chosen to neglect any of the Five Arts, leaving them out in the process of Character Creation, the master he apprenticed under is assumed to suffer from a similar lack, or all five would normally have been learned.

While no player is required to equip his Witch with skill in all five of the Arts, and he is encouraged to do so, he must have at least one of them. The lack of any one of them may be a matter of note to friends and rivals alike should it be discovered.

 

If a character has come into the craft of magick through a trade apprenticeship, the GM can use the charms with which the character begins play as a starting point for determining the skills of the master under which the apprenticeship was served, for he must have had all of these and no doubt at least a few more.

 

Disturbances in the Ambience:

Sensing Magick

As mentioned in the Introduction, mana is the spirit and power of magick. As a general force, it is seen by the trained practitioner to permeate and overlay every corner of the Mortal World, constituting a vast continuous energy field known as the “Ambience”, as discussed in the Primer. While the Ætherium is always in motion, both the drawing and release of the power (mana) used in crafting charms or “dweomer-crafting,” creates a disturbance that passes through it, regardless of the trade of the practitioner. This is best described as a ripple-like wave that radiates outward in all directions through the Ambience. These disturbances or waves in the Æther are created in part by tapping the Veil between the Spirit and the mortal world. This sensation encompasses a see-feel-smell-hear-taste experience that defies any meaningful description to those outside the trade.

A Wizard can automatically feel the gathering of mana and the process of crafting it into a dweomer if it takes place within [(SPT) + (TR)] feet of them.

Beyond this, a successful SPT check on d100 is needed to allow him to “feel” it.

The AV to Sense Magick is equal to [(SPT att. mod.) + (AWA att. mod.) + (TR)].

The DV for these checks is equal to the number of feet by which the casting is taking place beyond the practitioner’s prescribed range,

MINUS the number of points by which the POT of the casting is greater than the practitioner’s MGA

OR

PLUS the number of points by which the POT of the casting is less than the practitioner’s MGA.

When a magick is finally loosed or cast (whether successfully or not), it crashes back into the Ambience like a stone suddenly dropped into a still pool, causing a wave radiating outward in a sphere from the caster. This is a MUCH stronger wave than the little ripple caused by the process of crafting the magick.

This wave can be immediately and automatically “felt” if it occurs within [(SPT) + (TR)] yards, regardless of POT.

For this check, the AV is [(SPT att. mod.) + (TR)], again.

The DV for the SPT check is 1 if the practitioner Sensing Magick is located within (POT) furlongs.

  • IF the POT of the wave when it reaches the practitioner is greater than his CHM or HRT (whichever is greater), the roll should be foregone and the character simply informed. It is deemed strong enough to get the character’s attention immediately and automatically.
  • IF the POT is less than a practitioner’s CHM or HRT (whichever is less) when the wave reaches him, the DV for the SPT check rises by the difference, per point, again in a Progressive manner.

After the first (POT) furlongs the wave travels from the practitioner who loosed the magick that made it, the effective POT drops by 1 point in strength every furlong of distance, until it dies out at zero (0).

This raises the DV to sense the wave when it finally reaches the practitioner, by one per furlong per furlong traveled, again in a Progressive manner, MINUS the effective POT of the wave.

 Beyond this distance, EVERY magick cast causes a ripple in the Ambience that travels outward in a sphere from the site of the casting (POT x 2) furlongs, allowing the practitioner to “feel” the wave washing over him upon making a successful SPT check on d100.

Not only is a PC able to sense the ripples caused by others’ magicks, his player must understand the fact that every magick his PC casts creates the same disturbance to alert others of the trade who may be in the vicinity.

The lesser, day-to-day activity in the Ambience, those disturbances of (CHM or HRT, whichever is less) in POT or less, are normally screened from every practitioner’s consciousness in accordance with his trade training to protect his sanity, so he can maintain some sense of continuous mortal existence separate from Spirit and his magick, allowing him to interact normally with the mortal world.

Those disturbances he “feels” or senses, whether automatically or as a result of a Sense Magick check, as above, are sufficient for him to note the general direction whence it came. This can provide a link by which any direction-finding charm may be cast to zero in on the point of origin of the disturbance.

The wave of disturbance from the casting of a magick can be used by the clever practitioner to cover the loosing of subsequent magicks, provided he stays within (MGA) yards of the original casting site and is careful to keep their POT smaller than the original magick whose shadow he is trying to use.

This raises the DV for sensing the disturbance by one per point by which the following magick’s POT is less than the one it follows, per point, in a Progressive manner.

This “shadow” of disturbance following in the wake of the wave, equal to the POT of the first magick cast, fades at a rate of 1 effective point of POT per minute.

In practice, the player should be aware of the order in which he casts his magicks if he is concerned over the possibility of disturbing other folk of power, casting rituals before spells before cantrips, and greatest POT to lowest, to use the shadow of the ripple caused by the greater magick to cover those of the lesser magicks cast in its wake.

One never knows whose elbow one may unintentionally jog.

Taking advantage of this phenomenon can be a very useful tactic when one is matched on the battlefield against another practitioner, a means of catching them off guard, of denying them any notice of more magicks to come following the first.

The players and GM alike must be aware that any other practitioner of magick in the same town or its immediate hinterlands (surrounding supporting farmlands) may well note the use of any magicks cast with POT greater than c. 10-15, especially if any of them live in a location that gives them an overview of the town. Any in the closer surrounding villages might take note, as well. Caution is prudent. Careless flinging of magick, especially at high POT, can attract unwanted attention. Rival practitioners may be curious or even irritated if they are in the least bit protective of their territorial rights to monopolize the trade in magick where a character has ventured to practice his craft. Ignorance of the presence of a local rival or guild monopoly is no excuse, in the same manner as ignorance of the law.

This is simply an occupational hazard.

Rivalries keep the already small numbers of those who practice the magickal arts even smaller, and tend to insure that those of lesser power keep a low profile until they are well and truly prepared and sure of their defenses, should such a conflict of interests arise.

There may be certain places in the GM’s world where those of power gather to practice their art by tacit approval, an unspoken bond that may be as strong as any guild charter. These places gain a general on-going disturbance due to regular magickal activity that swiftly becomes evident to those who wield the Arts approaching within range to sense it. The level of activity is rated in POT in the same manner as the prevailing Ambience and added to the DV for sensing any specific magickal disturbance (as described above) that is of lesser POT than that of the æthereal “background noise”. This “white noise” of magickal activity makes sensing other magickal activity so difficult that the SPT checks described previously are required even within the normal ranges at which the Sense Magick ability is commonly automatic and immediate. The DV’s for these checks are increased by the amount by which the POT of the magick in question is less than the POT of the ætherial “background noise” using the same procedure applied when the POT of a magick to be Sensed is less than the practitioner’s CHM/HRT (as above).

Sometimes there is no better place for a character of lesser power to hide his craft than out in the open, under the cover of the disturbances created by his greater colleagues routinely exercising their own craft.

In addition, the level of the Ambience itself may actually work to betray disturbances, high-lighting them. To keep things on an even footing, the POT of the Ambience, of the mana readily available flowing through a given location, is always rated in POT relative to the Common Sphere. The greater the POT of the Ambience, the more magickal energy that is present for the wave of a disturbance to displace. In short, it amplifies the effect of the disturbance, making it more noticeable.

The POT of the Ambience is subtracted from the DV for any Sense Magick check to feel a disturbance.

Magick that is already in existence lies quietly, as a part of the natural world, doing as it was bidden when created. It is much more difficult to sense. The Wizard has the option of casting a bit of Divination to “Reveal” the presence of magicks, should the player have equipped him with that lore, OR ply his skill with a set of dowsing rods or crystal or other pendulum for the same purpose, using it as a guide if he has this Spirit Skill, OR the Wizard may slowly walk about with his hand held out before him to try to “feel” it’s presence by “Seeking” it by Divination.

On the other hand, once a Wizard touches an object which carries an enchantment, or creature or being laboring under an ensorcelment, or steps into an area which bears a dweomer, he feels and knows it and the GM must tell the player (preferably slip him a private note), without the need for a d100 check of any kind. Of course, where Banes and Wardings are concerned, his coming into contact could be rather hazardous to his health and perhaps that of any compatriots accompanying him.

During his trade training, all aspiring Witches use their magickal talents to cultivate a meditationally keyed, tiered eidetic memory for the sole purpose of retaining their vast store of magickal lore.

The character’s special trade memory enables him to retain up to [(MGA) + (TR) ÷ 4] charms or specific skills of arcane knowledge in a single AWA-slot, rather than the same amount of space in the character’s memory that such knowledge would occupy if learned by more mundane methods (1 skill per AWA-slot).

This works in a similar manner as other groups of related skills, like languages for a Linguist character, Social Graces, Lore specialties, or weapon skills. Otherwise each skill would fill a whole AWA-slot on its own

In order to maintain the knowledge in his special trade memory, the various nuances of magickal lore in the character’s special trade memory must be refreshed periodically. In order to maintain this knowledge intact, the Witch must meditate, review the entire contents of his trade memory, and practice chanting all of the secret rhyming triads of his craft from time to time, for a period of time dependent upon the number of charms he knows and his SL’s with them and the constituent Arts and Forms of his trade.

The Witch must spend [(number of charms) + (TR)] MINUS [(AWA) + (MGA att. mod.)] in days meditating on and reviewing his Common Sphere charms, minimum one (1). Once completed, he need not meditate and practice his trade lore again for [(MGA) + (TR)] days.

For example, the TR16 Witch Arnaud Osset has 18 charms, for a base study time of 34 days, and an AWA15 and MGA 16 (att. mod. +3), so he must spend 16 days in meditation, chanting in review, and practicing (18 charms + TR16 = 34; 34 – 18 = 16 days).

For every (MGA ÷ 4) days that the character does not review the magickal skills in his trade memory with one of his reference tomes, his casting AV’s drop by one (1).

For those Witches that keep a written tradition, this penalty can be momentarily avoided by casting directly from the pages of his book, open to the dweomer and Art he is working. It also places the practitioner at risk, revealing the nature of his ability and giving his foe(s) a valuable object to focus on in hopes of thwarting his efforts – one that is HIGHLY valued in the open market, whether it ends up having to be sold on the black market or not.

  • IF the PC does not wish to sequester themselves away to plow through the time required (during which time no other activities might be undertaken), the time may be divvied up in the same manner as a craft project, stretched out over up to (AWA ÷ 4) times the required length so long as at least one (1) daily activity slot (by AWA) is devoted to it every day without exception until it is completed.

For example, Arnaud could spend his last daily activity slot (between supper and bedtime) working at his craft for 64 days (16 days discharged @ 1/4th a day per day elapsed is the same as 16 x 4 = 64 days) and incur no penalties as he goes.

IF the Witch lapses in observing this practice and the time for which the character is free of the burden of study has expired, penalties begin to accumulate immediately for weaving charms of any kind, by any Art or Form until he resumes fulfilling that requirement. When he resumes, the penalty does not go away until the requirement is met, BUT it does not get any worse, either.

Once this requirement is met, the Witch need not meditate and practice his trade lore again for [(MGA) + (TR)] days.

For example, once Arnaud has completed his 16 days, he is free for the next 32 days (MGA16 + TR16 = 32).

IF the player decides to have his character study and practice during his freedom from it, when he doesn’t have to, each full day spent is subtracted from his requirement when he is again required to study. The character’s AWA activity-slots may be used to gradually accumulate day’s-worth of chanting and review/practice, as explained above, BUT only FULL days completed towards this requirement are counted once the time arrives to fulfill the requirement again.

For example, Arnaud’s 15 AWA gives him 4 activity slots per day. If he takes the last of those 4 activity slots to study each evening before bed (as above), to meditate, chant, practice and review for the 32 days while it is not required, he can discharge exactly 8 of those days, cutting the number remaining down to 8 (32 ÷ 4 = 8), down by half. He can continue doing this until his circumstances change due to changes in SL’s and TR.

Even only studying a half day (2 AWA-slots), allowing half the day (2 AWA-slots) for domestic things, adventuring or what-have-you, Arnaud could then discharge refreshing his trade memory in 16 days. Afterwards, he has 32 days of light attention to his Arts.

But the cycle can be varied according the character’s requirement, the number of AWA-slots the character has and the player’s preference, as desired.

The Witches’ High Cant

The great store of knowledge of things magickal and the specific charms for the dweomers of all Witches, heirs of the Druid trades in the faith of the Olde Ways, of “The Green Lords”, are handed down by the same traditions, orally. Their lore is memorized by rote in typical Celtic rhyming triads using their ancient High Cant.

For all intents and purposes of the game, all magicks in RoM are generally considered to be “formulaic.” That is to say, magick is performed through the use of gestures and some form of chants or incantations handed down from master to student over many centuries, or even millennia in some cases. These have been pre-established by the research of those who have gone before, determined to produce a similar, established effect according to the method used (Divination, Enchantment, Glamourie, Naming, or Sorcery) when performed correctly (depending directly on the caster’s talent and training). This applies primarily to Low and Common magick, (spells and rituals, respectively). Cantrips require no such physical support to cast, having been discovered at a much later date than the Low and Common forms. Cantrips are High Magick because they are the latest and greatest of the powers of magick to be discovered, most effortless in appearance, but most difficult of the three to perform.

The Druids’ training in the lore of the magickal Arts and that of the Witches their heirs has caused them to develop a system for preserving the very roots of language from deep in the past, to the first languages of the first ancient civilizations, for it is in these languages that the Words of Power are hidden that help maintain and control the energy that they draw for their spell and ritual magicks. Language is Power. The Word IS the thing.

The Witches’ Cant is based on the languages of the northern lands, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Scotland and the northern isles, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, largely Celtic and Germanic in derivation, where the magickal traditions of the Druids are rooted. The tongues of their ancient forebears, from all the regions those ancestors roamed, have been preserved and forged into one language, that of the Druids’ teachings, and of the Witches who are their heirs, the language in which the Witches call on the gods and the Druids the spirits of Nature, the language in which they converse among their own kind and weave their magicks.

Indeed, all of the magicks worked by those who follow the trades of magick are spoken/chanted in that trade’s secret tongue. Due to the sheer power that it invokes when spoken aloud during spell and ritual casting, all listeners are smitten with overwhelming images and emotions which actually blot out the words themselves. The words themselves are always completely burned out of the memories of any who overhear. The gestures that are required in spell casting and the actions and movements required in rituals always vary a bit from one Witch to the next, as well, so each Witch must discover the variation that works best for him. No two ever practice their Art exactly alike, even when using the same form (spell or ritual) of the same Art (Divination, Enchantment, etc.) for the same specific charm. All these facts make magick extremely difficult to learn, even for those who have talent and a willing instructor, while providing an effectively impenetrable barrier that prevents nosy outsiders from “stealing” the secrets of any of the arts of magick through simple observation.

The character may communicate freely in his secret tongue with any other trade member, Druid, Baird, Filidh, Fiana, Smith, Witch or any other initiated into the mysteries of the Power of their trade, such as a Huntsman of great accomplishment, but never with any not already accepted and initiated into the magickal lore of their trade.

No Witch would ever teach this secret language to any not already initiated into the trade themselves, on pain of a lingering punishment, even death, from his brother Druids, for doing so is to betray the secrets of the trade and craft of magick – and it is not rendered easily in written language. Indeed, the trade knowledge is held too valuable to risk writing down by many, for fear of the horrors that would befall them should their enemies obtain such secrets, but those of the Witches that are literate have been known to put their quills to work recording those secrets for fear that they might be lost over time.

The traditions of this trade are primarily oral, but the player must decide for himself if he is a traditionalist or more “forward-thinking”. Those of the Druid trades are aware that there is a quiet movement to render the lore passed down to the Witches in written form, but it has been so long that they have developed lore of their own, charms that the Druid trades themselves cannot generally emulate. Nonetheless, the very thought of doing so is viewed by many across the whole spectrum of Druid trades as a violation of the ancient trust passed down to them so long ago.

Each of the Five Arts has its own special jargon or vocabulary to describe its special processes and address concerns confined to its practice. If a character is lacking one of those arts, he will also lack the language skills to discuss that art with his colleagues. This will, of course, stand out as a matter of note to his colleagues, if or when it should be discovered.

For those players that opt for their Witch characters to follow a written tradition, instead, the character must be equipped with the requisite Literatus and Scrivener skills.

To meet the needs of life’s eclectic challenges the Witch needs two tomes, both for Common Sphere magicks. The first one travels with him for taking notes on lore he discovers and insights achieved while on the road, almost a diary of his magickal pursuits, while the other acts as a formal repository for ALL his knowledge, polished with glosses and commentary assembled and written as transcribed from the first book. The greater a Wizard’s SL with a given magick, his skill and knowledge with the Ars Quintates and his skills in High, Common, and Low Magick, the more he knows of its inner workings and the more he has to say about it in his tome.

Each book weighs c. 7.25 lb’s and has 100 pages in it, enough for the descriptions of 35 charms at SL1, assuming Art and Form SL’s also of 1, but these books can easily be added to and expanded with the help of a competent bookbinder up to a limit of about 200 (14.5lb’s, more than a stone) OR an absolute maximum of 300 pages (21.75lb’s). It is doubtful that any such character is going to be toting the 200-page book around in their rucksack, and the 300-page book actually requires a case or chest or some such to haul it along on travels, most likely to be carried on pack horse or in a cart or wagon with other supplies and equipment.

IF the character is beginning play with SL’s higher than 1, the contents and size of his books must be increased commensurately, additional pages added as play progresses and the character’s knowledge grows, according to the guidelines provided in the Grimoire.

 

Under the Mantle of Power

Those trained to arts of magick have an invisible stamp upon them, the residue of a will that transcends the natural order. This is unnerving to animals and requires an Encounter Reaction check on d100 every time a beast is first encountered. This sets the tone for all subsequent encounters, but it may mellow with the passage of (game) time (GM’s discretion). The sorts of mana the character has used can directly influence this, also. Some of the vibrations of mana available for use are easier in nature than others.

The natural Ambience that flows throughout the mortal world is completely neutral; it merely makes the natural reaction a little more intense, one way or the other.

  • IF the magick-wielding character’s Virtues should outweigh his Vices, his [(CHM att. mod.) + (TR)] is added to make the Encounter Reaction more positive.
  • IF his Vices outweigh his Virtues, his [(CHM att. mod.) + (TR) is subtracted to make it worse, stoking the animal’s fear and provoking its anger.

Under the Optional Rules, there are a number of sources throughout the Mortal World from which the practitioner can draw alternate types of mana. These and the manner of their release into the Ambience for the caster’s use are discussed in detail under the heading “Tools of the Arts”: “Alternate Sources of Mana”.

For those who use Nature Mana (any element, inc. Life, Sun and Moon, Day and Night), the Reaction check roll is always increased by [(CHM att. mod.) + (TR)].

For those who use Life and/or Carnal Mana, or whose strongest skill among the Five Arts is Sorcery or Glamourie, the Reaction roll is either:

a) increased by [(CHM att. mod.) + (TR)] if the Reaction roll is positive,

OR:

b) decreased by [(CHM att. mod.) + (TR)] if the Reaction roll is negative side.

This makes the reaction more extreme, whether for better or worse.

  • IF the result is neutral, it remains that way, and the creature instinctively resists any attempts to influence that status one way or the other, the same modifier reinforcing the DV to aid in preserving that status.

For those who use Death and/or Blood Mana, or whose strongest skill among the Five Arts is Naming (Conjuring, Summoning and Binding), the Reaction roll is always reduced by (CHM att. mod.) + (TR).

One of the character’s Vices is increased one (1) point every occasion on which these types of mana are used. These are the lowest vibration of power and their use can only corrupt the character’s spirit over time with prolonged use.

On the Character Record Sheet there is provided a place on the Magick Record where all the forms of mana the practitioner might use are listed. The player is responsible for recording the greatest amount of POT used in a single dweomer of each type as they are used in play. Some of them he may never find a use for.

At the greatest extremes, animals may try to either crowd around the practitioner or follow him hoping for some attention or attack him in a rage or seek to escape his presence at any cost, violently if they are restrained, regardless of their normal temperament.

The practitioner may try any Beastmastery he or a hireling may have to try and calm down those animals that react badly, as applicable. Animals may be acclimated and domesticated through the Beastmaster’s craft so as not to react this way to practitioners of magick. This can never overcome any reaction response to those tainted with Blood mana if the beast has already reached sexual maturity. That is a visceral predator-prey response that can only be overcome by raising a beast from birth in the presence of that vibration of mana so the response is never learned.

Casting magicks near any animal commonly triggers the fight-or-flight reaction towards the caster again in the same way, whether the beast(s) have been domesticated to exposure to magick or not. In these cases, the Reaction is even more extreme: the POT of the magick performed is added to the original [(CHM att. mod.) + (TR)] modifier, so the Druid must be careful about using magicks around beasts, particularly if he intends to use a magick, such as a “Soothing Touch” or simply “Thrall” to eliminate all such reactions, to overcome this very stumbling block to his power. Carrying an active dweomer in hand into the beast’s presence elicits the same response. The beast’s presence in this case is defined as anywhere within (beast’s AWA) feet of it, effective POT felt by the beast being reduced by 1 point per foot of distance between the practitioner carrying the dweomer and the beast. Substances that can shield or dampen the vibration of the dweomer may allow the practitioner to approach closer. Casting while in the saddle of a beast unused to such forces is likely to get the practitioner bucked and pitched off the beast’s back before the beast takes off or continues to jump and buck, trampling the intrepid character.

In the same manner, the practitioner or his henchman who is also skilled as a Beastmaster may acclimate beast(s) to tolerate the presence and workings of magick, or he may hire a one to reside with him to work with his animals until he has accomplished this for him.

Due to his repeated and intimate exposure to the power and patterns of the charms he weaves, the Witch also gradually builds up his spiritual defenses against those magicks directed against him that can also be resisted.

A Witch’s (base) M-RES score is innate and protects him from those magicks that may be resisted, even if he is consciously unaware of them. His subconscious grows and becomes trained to be on guard so that in effect he cannot be Surprised magickally, which in the case of any other target would reduce his M-RES to one (1).

When he is aware of a magick directed at him, the Witch receives a bonus of (TR) to his normal (base) M-RES score for resisting those magicks that allow it.

 

Under the Optional END rules, every Witch is trained over the course of schooling in the magickal Arts to develop and harbor within his own spirit a personal reservoir of mana that can be tapped for casting magick.

This personal reserve consists of [(MGA ÷ 4) + (TR)] points-worth of POT in mana, to be used at the player’s discretion.

This resource can be used to bolster a magick that needs to be strong in POT while taking no more time to cast than normal. The player should look on this reserve as being more for use in emergencies when things look dark because it takes time and effort to restore afterwards, a period of rest and meditation where the spirit is opened to the flows of mana and the reservoir slowly refilled.

The mana may only be collected or drawn into the reservoir at a rate of one (1) point per [40 – (HRT)] minutes, but the character must make a point to take the time to settle down in a calm, quiet atmosphere and meditative state, preferably alone, to accomplish this.

  • IF necessary, the Witch can use the points of POT in mana in the reservoir for physical activities as additional points to add to his END to be spent normally but, to do so, the personal reservoir must be completely emptied, whatever points of POT in mana remaining in it dumped wholly into the physical body, and the procedure for replenishing the reservoir afterwards remains the same.

Unlike physical energy, a practitioner of magick can actually become over-charged with POT in mana, over-filling the personal reservoir until it is brimming-over with spiritual energy. This is accompanied by something of a euphoric feeling, and loosens the bonds between soul/spirit and the body. In effect, the number of points of POT in mana above and beyond what the practitioner can normally contain in his special trade reservoir is counted as equal to points of POT in alcohol consumed, loosening inhibitions, impairing AGL, CRD, and AWA. The same rules are used to describe the effects in play. The character remains in this state until the excess in POT is used up, burned off.

Some magickal folk become addicted to this feeling, like any drug addict or alcoholic. Pursuing this sensation for its own sake rather than for a higher purpose or for accomplishing specific works of magick contributes to the Vice of Gluttony (+1 point in that score for every incident) and leads the character to a place where he requires a HRT check vs. Vice in order NOT to indulge himself in this way anytime he meditates to draw power.

The practitioners’ bonds with the power of Life and Nature he wields with his Arts also provide a gradual benefit over time.

This life-affirming aspect of the Witch’s Power also grants him a bonus of (TR) to his P-RES score.

This is limited ONLY to the purposes of resisting disease, healing wounds, and recovering from sickness, regardless of whether mundane or magickal in origins.

Steeped so long and so thoroughly in this life-affirming Power, the Witch’s own life-energies will be reinforced, to the point where they are augmented and preserved, slowing the aging process. The GM determines the degree to which the character’s lifespan is enhanced, according to the Sphere of Power of the mysteries into which the character has been introduced.

The Witch only ages one (1) year for every [(1 per 4 TR’s) + 1] years that pass, as long as he is initiated only into the Common Sphere mysteries, to a maximum of 1 year per (MGA ÷ 4) years.

On initiation into the Noble Sphere mysteries, this slows to one (1) year for every [(MGA) + (TR)] ÷ 4 years, to a maximum of 1 year per (MGA ÷ 2) years.

On reaching the Sovereign Sphere, the character only ages one (1) year for every [(MGA) + (TR)] ÷ 2 years, to a maximum of 1 year per [(MGA) + (TR)] years.

Of course, this makes little or no difference to those of the longer-lived races, especially those of elfin blood. For others it is a little bit of insurance against any charms that age the body unnaturally. In the face of such a charm that carries great POT, it at least provides some defense to blunt the effects.

Over the course of the initiation and subsequent trade training, all Witches become highly attuned to the spirits and Powers of nature, knowing intimately the animus of field, stream, beast and fowl, of all of Life.

To the Witches, wholly in tune with the wholesome power of Life and Nature, the un-dead are viewed as fetid corruptions of the loving essence of Mother Earth. Regardless of the Covenant of the Witch’s calling, these creatures embody the antithesis of their philosophy and thus are their sworn foes, especially those whose bodies are physical/material (skeletons, ghouls, wights, vampires, liches, etc.).

Un-dead live on anti-life and hunger only to consume the heat and fires of life about them. They are the ultimate perversion and abomination to Witches, to be investigated, pursued and wiped from the face of the earth where and whenever possible. When facing the physical un-dead, no quarter may be given. Un-dead spirits (unlawful ghosts, wraiths, etc.), not including lawful hauntings, are similarly horrible to Witches, but lack the physical corruption and may be parleyed with, their destruction postponed, if other business demands, but destroyed in the end they all must be. Black Order Witches are not nearly so adamant in these views, particularly concerning willful un-dead spirits and lesser forms of undead, particularly simple skeletons safely in their control (GM’s discretion).

Through their magickal Arts, which shine through their very auras, they absorb the vibration and Power of Life, which grants them power over the rootless, restless wandering spirits that can abound in the worlds of fantasy. This Power extends to both the ancient wild spirits of the elements and the creatures and beings of Faerie, but also to earthbound spirits of mortals who have died and shed the mortal bodies, and especially to the unlawful dead and the ‘un-dead’ in particular.

This power takes the form of the Banish, Command, and Dispel commands. Each of these commands exacts a cost from the character the same as casting a dweomer.

Banish

If successful, the practitioner will cause the target creature or being to flee, speeding away along the easiest and most direct route at its maximum movement rate for (practitioner’s HRT + TR) minutes without ceasing. When the time expires and the creature or being stops its flight, the distance between it and the practitioner who Banished it will mark the radius of a circle centered on the practitioner into which that creature or being will not be able to trespass again for (practitioner’s HRT + TR) hours.

Command

If successful, the practitioner may command any one act, including one of service, of the target creature or being. The creature or being so Commanded will remain under the practitioner’s Power for up to (practitioner’s HRT + TR) hours, or until the service commanded has been rendered, whichever expires first. Demands for information are the most common and universally useful regardless of the nature of the creature or being subjected to the practitioner’s Power. The player should be conscious of the nature of his character’s Covenant in using this Power, and its possible effects on Virtue or Vice.

Dispel

If successful, this Power completely destroys the physical manifestation of the wicked or troublesome creature or being targeted, removing it from the Mortal or Material Sphere and returning its spirit or essence back to the Sphere of Spirit whence it came.

Creatures and/or beings so Dispelled will be barred from interfering in any way in the Mortal Sphere, unable to even TRY to return, for (practitioner’s HRT att. mod.) or (TR) years, whichever is greater. If a creature or being once Dispelled by a practitioner is called back by some agent or ally in the Mortal Sphere, the Dispelling practitioner (TR + HRT att. mod.) will be added to his DV to cross the Vale and manifest physically again.

If the Druid can track down such a creature or being’s physical link with the mortal world, such as the remains of its former body (but not limited to), sanctify and lay them to rest again in hallowed ground, the DV for its return is increased by the POT with which the ground was sanctified.

This power is the most commonly exercised in the Druids’ and Witches’ crusade against the unlawful dead and un-dead. The Druid will have to be careful of lawful spirits though, who may be trying to get the practitioner to redress some grievance.

The Witch’s att. mod. for the use of any and all of these Powers is based upon his CHM and HRT scores.

The powers above are tools for battling or dealing with the willful spirits of the Æther such as the fey, but also the unlawful dead and un-dead, but the Druid or Witch must be very careful how he uses them, as those creatures are anathema and Dispelling should be the first response. Banishing is for ill-behaved and wicked spirits, but the Mystic might seek to Command information from his foe before Dispelling him and sending him back to Spirit where he belongs. While also subject to his Power, lawful spirits must be treated justly, for the very fact that they returned to the mortal world in a lawful manner indicates that they have unfinished business and a right to attend to it, or seek help in so doing.

The DV for any and all of these abilities is equal to the POT of the creature or spirit the Druid is facing, the highest among them if more than one, plus the number of others he is trying to affect at the same time. If such creatures have a material form to which they are tied, as some Un-dead do, the STA will be added to this DV.

These Powers can be exercised with the speed of a cantrip, with no Action cost.

The DV’s for Commanding and Dispelling are higher than those for Banishment, and Dispelling DV’s higher than Command DV’s. This may affect his decision to use these powers when he suspects he is facing a particularly powerful foe. In addition, the DV’s for Dispelling un-dead and spirit creatures who have physical bodies or physical components to their manifestations is higher than simple spirits, as they have a physical link to the mortal world, usually some artifact of its previous existence, or a person who dwells upon their loss and lends them the strength to bridge the gap to the mortal world.

 

The Price of Power

It is widely said that the words of men of Power are never to be trusted, but this is a grave misconception, for the stamp of Power upon them affects the meaning of their words. They are vague, evasive, and difficult at best to come to an agreement with, but this is because of the weight that their words hold for them. One should never assume that an understanding has been reached unless the man of Power dealt with says that it is so. Unbeknownst to the public, the Witch’s knowledge and the Power he exercises are almost an entity unto itself with which the PC must come to grips. These men of Power cannot afford many of the illusions and self-delusions that common folk use to make their lives more comfortable. Their magicks depend upon the true names and speech, as mentioned in the description of the trade language. The name is the thing; and for him, the word is the deed.

It is the best kept secret of the trade that a Wizard must not swear to anything that is not so or that he does not fully intend to do. The oath of any character who wields magick of any kind is his bond and should never be lightly given for, if he fails it, his own power will seek to force him to carry it out.

IF he swears falsely, his own Power (with POT equal to his TR) seeks thereafter to twist events, making the situation fit his words, increasing the likelihood of a Bumble and then using the event of one to set things right, or forcing him to recant his falsehood, haunting him and inflicting bad luck upon him until he does. One who fails his sworn word can be made a hollow and empty man by fighting his Power; he may even reach a point where he dares not use it.

On the other hand, there is no restriction upon what the Wizard may say. He may lie as boldly as the next man if he makes no pretense of honor and swearing to its truth. Silence is another haven of safety. A man’s words cannot be used against him when he says nothing. Niceties of definition and vague terms are the best friends of folk of Power, allowing them to live comfortably with their power, as they wish. Though tricky, the Wizard can always try to take advantage of vague wording and imprecise or misused terms and assumptions of others to leave himself a loophole even when forced to give his oath.

One of the most famous Celtic vows hinges on this very concept, and is very dangerous to the one speaking it, and so is always accepted as an undeniable guarantee:

“May the Earth open up and swallow me,

May the Sky fall upon me,

May the Sea rise and cover me,

May Fires consume me,

If I am forsworn.”

Taliesin

Shamanism and the Celts: The Fellowship of the Wise

To swear by ‘sun and moon, water and air, day and night, sea and land’ is another dire oath, indeed. Enforcement of this restriction in general is, of course, subject to the GM’s interpretation and discretion. In aid of this, the GM should refer to the passage concerning “Frivolous Magick” under the heading “Demands of the Trades”.

Unlike the Druids, Witches and other Bronze Age powers that are allied with Færie and vulnerable to the effects of iron and steel, Wizardry is the magick of Man and his Age of Iron and Steel. Together they go hand in hand, without complication or limitation.

The Ars Magica represent an ancient tradition spanning centuries and millennia of history, having provided many high points both light and dark in the annals. Those who practice these Arts are commonly depicted as staid, stodgy, hide-bound and conservative to the point of being living fossils, and one of the excesses of character that makes them a favorite target for the japes of mundane folk is their dignity and the honor and respect that they insist be shown for their Power.

What few understand is that there is a legitimate claim behind that demand.

Every practitioner must always approach the Power with respect.

It should never be used “frivolously” nor “profligately”, to any excess.

The daily pursuit of the craft, performing works for those who are truly in need, making the various tools which can make the practitioner better and more useful when on an adventure (dweomer caches, enchanting carts and wagons, tack and harness or beasts of burden to aid travel), aiding his compatriots to make them more effective, that is all one thing, but to impress a girl one desires or to otherwise tickle her fancy or flatter her vanity in the absence of love, to embarrass a rival for sheer cussedness, or anyone at all merely for spite or to put them down, for a lark to get a laugh – especially at another’s expense, and especially when the target chosen is downtrodden already, to pursue a lust to flatter one’s own vanity, or to accomplish for one’s self anything that could as easily be done by mundane means should be deemed frivolous, especially if the practitioner has servants already to accomplish such things for him. Exceptions to the last condition should include situations where every means available must be used to avoid what would surely be a mortal confrontation with a dire enemy, or any other circumstance where time is legitimately deemed to be of the essence, especially where life and limb of self or another is at stake.

The law of conservation of energy applies in magick, too. Why should the practitioner expend the enormous effort to cast some mighty work of magick that can shake the pillars of the Spheres of Spirit when the same effective end result can be arrived at with a much more economic and tightly focused magick applied more cleverly, after due measure of consideration of the situation and the various ways in which magick might be applied. There is ALWAYS more than one way to skin a cat – so to speak.

Knowledge and canny craft is always more effective that brute force, especially in the use of magick, and has the added benefit of causing less of a disturbance in the world, thus a smaller rebound of the power unleashed.

The exception to this should be putting on a display to give pleasure to small innocent children, providing a spectacle for the pleasure of the hard-working commons, or any other circumstances where the player can justify its use as being in line with an exercise of one of the Virtues or in due payment to alleviate a debt, particularly a moral debt.

“Frivolous” is a subjective term and requires the GM to make judgement calls throughout the course of the game.

In doing so, the GM should be sympathetic AND flexible. This principle concerning the use of magick is NOT a stick with which to beat the PC’s indiscriminately, to make them fear using their Arts, and especially not to make them regret following the trade of their choice. It is to make sure that a certain amount of respect is paid to the power those characters hold. The light usage of magick on occasion should not only be allowed but encouraged. It can help build morale and bring the characters closer together, and sometimes the craft can be used in light and entertaining ways to repay moral obligations, or to reward the deserving whose efforts so often might otherwise go unnoticed. These are all laudable uses of the craft.

The wild beast which is the Power these characters wield is nothing if not full of the Joy of Life.

Those who would “test” the practitioner’s Power are a waste of his time. Any display of Power simply for the sake of display, to prove his ability, is frivolous by definition. Even to request a test should be deemed insulting. If anyone wishes a display of Power as a test they had best come with a task to be accomplished that actually requires attention, the kind of task that in its completion makes a difference in peoples’ lives, to further their goals or restore a situation or condition to its previous, desirable state.

Magick is a force with a heart and soul that is little understood, but it is known to be alive in its own right – how can it not be? The energy of Life is a major constituent of it! Like any wild beast, magick can be eventually brought to heel under the right conditions, to provide the power to manifest the caster’s desires, but the practitioner should never presume that the beast has been or ever can be tamed by his hand. Magick understands emotions, it knows dignity and honor, and it knows condescension, dismissive attitudes and disrespect, far more sophisticated than any common mortal beast. Thus, when the practitioner stays his own hand and looks for the worthy cause, the opportune moment, and matters of importance it is pleased at being so well-used, it might even be said to purr, a feeling suffusing the caster’s spirit by the time he looses the dweomer. When put to demeaning and frivolous use, however, the Beast seethes. The greater the disrespect and the more frequently it occurs, the angrier the Power can become. Like a slighted lover, all history of noble and proper use of the Arts fades and is forgotten. They are the minimum that is expected of the privilege of having been taught the Mysteries of the craft. All that matter to the Power is the slights and transgressions of the present.

In play, the practitioner should start to get a prickly and uncomfortable feeling when he looses his dweomers every time the Power is used in a frivolous or meaningless manner. The player deserves such a reminder.

The GM needs to make judgement calls on the uses of magick as they occur during play and “keep score” of the number of “Frivolous Magicks” cast. When they reach a sum greater than the practitioner’s own HRT score, the Power begins to seek to balance that score. Once that point is reached, the number of such offenses that have accumulated start to affect the character’s magickal craft.

The DV for casting ANY magick from that time forward suddenly increases by that amount until the offenses have been redressed, how pure its cause or the nature of its use may or may not have any impact (GM’s discretion). When the dice are rolled and the roll to cast a magick is missed, this Frivolous Magick score is added to push the result towards the occurrence of a Bumble.

  • IF a Bumble should be indicated, this number is either a) added to the result to make the result harsher, and also to increase the POT of it, as well, or b) the POT of the Bumble plus the Frivolous Magick score combined determine the POT of whatever magick might wound the practitioner’s pride the most deeply, so as to settle the score.
  • IF the practitioner has, prior to or during the time when the Power has sought an outlet, lied or violated an oath against the prohibition described for the magickal trades, any and all instances added to the Frivolous Magick score and, when the inevitable Bumble occurs, those infractions are the ones on which the Power focuses its efforts to right.

It may be that more than one infraction must be redressed. In this case, the total POT of the Bumble including the Frivolous Magick score might be divided between the issues to be addressed, OR the Power might hold its grudge until all infractions of word are addressed and corrected, saving its own honor for last.

Not until all is put to rights should the GM let the character off the hook, to start over again fresh.

All Witches are responsible for observing all holy days and all holy forms or observances of their faith, including any special restrictions on actions or activities, whether generally forbidden or by the season. The GM must make some decisions in regards to the holidays in the practices of the of the followers of the “Green Lords”. The bases of their festivals rest upon the high quarter day holidays (Vernal Equinox, March 21st; Summer Solstice, June 21st; Autumnal equinox, September 21st; and Winter Solstice, December 21st) and the cross-quarter days between each of these (Imbolg “IM’olk”, February 1st/2nd; Beltaine, April 31st/May 1st; Lughnasad “loo-NA-sa”, July 31st/August 1st; and Samhain “SA-wain”, October 31st/November 1st).

Special restrictions and observances can be all inclusive, of the nature of “Thou shalt not kill”, “Thou shalt not bear false witness”, “Do no harm”, or may be by the day of the week (no eating blood meats on Fridays, no working on Sunday), or by the season of the religious calendar (sacrifices of the Lenten season, gift-giving during the Christmas season), and so on. In many instances a Mystic ordained as priest may find himself acting as chaplain for his adventuring party, performing services for them when they are in the wilderlands out of reach of a temple.

In the Celtic calendar there are many candles to be lit for Imbolg and bonfires to celebrate the return of the sun, and again bonfires to be lit on Beltaine. Sheaves of new grain are presented to celebrate Lughnasad, along with feasting and games of skill and physical prowess, also a very popular time for negotiating winter lodgings and trial hand fastings in the Celtic tradition, lasting a year and a day to determine if a more permanent arrangement is acceptable. Samhain marks the end of the year, “summer’s end”, from sam “summer” and fuin “end”. It is Celtic New Years and the festival of the dead, when the gates of the Spirit World and Færie are open wide, celebrated for three nights, during which the final harvest is celebrated with bonfires and feasting and tales of dead ancestors, for whom a place will always be laid at table. All fires in the community are extinguished as the great bonfire is lit, and then all hearth fires rekindled from its flames, bonding the community together. A second bonfire is lit and couples walk between and cattle are driven between them for a blessing and to cure disease, also young men take turns leaping over the flames to show their physical prowess. With summer’s grass gone and the harvest in, the livestock that cannot be supported through the winter can be slaughtered. With the frosts come, the meat can keep for the winter, and the bones of the slaughtered beasts are thrown on the Samhain bonfires. All of these occasions are considered propitious for performing various sorts of divinations, as well.

These duties to religious attendance are required in addition to the time these characters must spend maintaining their special meditationally keyed, tiered eidetic trade memories for magickal lore.

Two specific examples of special observances and restrictions associated with the “Fairy Faith”, or Olde Ways of the Green Lords, can be found among Witches.

All Witches labor under a geis or vow/requirement to wear or carry only items made of pure metals upon their persons (copper, lead, tin, silver, gold, etc), as the mana that they draw for their works of power is tuned to the unspoiled power of Nature in the world about them. For the Witches, it is an important part of their Covenant with the Green Lords. Those who follow these trades have no tolerance for any alloyed metals either (brass, bronze, pewter, etc) either, as their earth essences have been corrupted by these processes, each warring with the other for identity and dominance. However, objects composed of many parts may have their component parts made of different metals, so long as each part be made of a pure metal. Objects constructed in this way are felt to work together, to sing in harmony rather than fight with one another for dominance.

The Witches’ Power reacts in a similar manner to that described for metals when any other materials are similarly mixed, particularly in the clothing that they wear. Mixed fiber fabrics are forbidden them. While the character may wear garments of different fibers (cotton, wool, linen, etc.) together in one ensemble, no fibers may be mixed in the spinning or weaving of any single garment that a Druid wears. Appliqués and applied borders, sleeves made of different fiber material tied on by points, embroidery and similar adornment all fall into the same category as objects made up of pieces composed of different metals, above. As long as the materials used for each part is pure, there is no problem.

Both mixed metals and garments of mixed fibers, called adulterated or adulterine materials, are considered spiritually unclean, corrupting the power worked by the Witch, especially when he is working his magickal Arts, and thus a source of corruption to the soul, leading to sickness in the body and possibly even eventually death.

Wearing any such adulterated materials actually make the Druid feel under the weather, give him flu-like symptoms. The greater the amount of such materials worn, the more sickly he feels until they are removed. Should a character try to work his magickal Arts while wearing such substances the corruption is drawn into his spirit so he falls sick in fact with a malady of POT equal to the POT of the magick worked while so clad, PLUS the number of offending items he was wearing. Until the offending materials have been removed and he has received proper medical attention, he cannot recover. Recovery is administered the same as that for any normal, mortal poisoning.

Furthermore, Witches must avoid all commercially gathered or prepared animal by-products in their dress and household goods, as the slaughter of living creatures and commercial purveyance of their flesh for profit flies directly in the face of their philosophy. While a Witch can wear any animal fur, hide, claw, horn, antler, or other by-product, he must be sure that the beast was slain out of need and that neither the creature’s flesh nor carcass was wasted. In addition, animal goods must not be “over-worked”. One must be able to readily tell what the material is, if not necessarily what animal it came from. Skins must be prepared in such a way that they retain their natural hair, feathers or fur. Feathers must either be gathered singly from cast-offs fallen to the ground or be left on the whole skin of a felled bird to be prepared so that the bird may yet be identified, horn and antler must not be so carven or shaped that they cannot be identified for what they are. Those items worn in violation of this restriction cause the same reaction when the character works his magickal Arts wearing adulterated materials, above.

Witches are steeped in the power of Spirit, but most closely that of Nature, which corresponds to Færie where the dwindling Green Lords find refuge and most comforting rest, and the era when they roamed free and the magickal traditions for those trades were created, the Bronze Age. Some of their lore and magickal traditions predate even that age, lost in the mists of time.

Iron by nature, and steel by extension, are deeply material – the strongest in the mortal world of the Age of Men. Its raw deposits can dampen local availability of mana and subdue the gathering of spiritual energies, even absorb the manifestations of magick. Iron and thus, steel, are the bane of the Powers of Færie. Its touch can dispel Færie magicks and burn the flesh of the Færie-born.

The Witches wield Power closely related and so are forbidden to have more than (HRT + TR) ounces of cold or wrought iron or the same amount in pounds of steel within (MSS) feet of them when they are casting magicks, or suffer a DV penalty to every magick they attempt while in violation.

 

The DV penalty is equal to the number of ounces of iron or pounds of steel the magicker is carrying beyond the [(HRT) + (TR)] limit.

 

The effects of steel are less than that of iron because in it the iron is mellowed in nature by the carbon that hardens it and the very work of the hand of Man, and sometimes also corrupted with traces of nickel and other metals.

The (MSS) distance to be kept from iron/steel is raised by 1 foot for every point by which the character’s MSS score is greater than his MGA score or lowered by 1 foot for every point by which the character’s MGA is greater than his MSS score.

Where the Optional END rules are in play, any DV penalty imposed on a casting due to violating the iron/steel restriction is added to the END cost for casting the magick, making it more taxing and tiring.

While the Witch may never have any tolerance for carrying iron, he has an allowance of (HRT + TR) ounces of steel to carry on his person without penalty.

 

Again, the DV penalty is equal to the number of ounces of steel the magicker is carrying beyond the [(HRT) + (TR)] limit.

 

When steel is clad in one of the two noble metals, gilded with gold or silvered instead, the power of the noble metals cancels out the base influence of the iron used to make the steel. Not only are these metals considered “noble”, but they also have great sacred significance. This is the ONLY condition under which a Witch might consider the use of such otherwise “adulterated” materials. In this case, the gilding or silvering doesn’t have the sickening effect it would otherwise.

Among the folk of their faith, the Witches are mindful of their duty to serve. How they fulfill this duty varies with the individual, however. Some stand on ceremony and command respect and gifts and/or the ancient requirement “Cross my palm with silver”. Others work humbly and ask nothing of those they help except what is freely given in return. What never changes is that every Druid and Witch serve the need brought to him to the best of his ability, but in return he must warn each and every one that, for such magickal aid as they can render, some change must come into their lives to make room for it. Change is inevitable, the only constant in the universe, and comes even more swiftly when magick’s wild power is invoked to help it along.

While the Witch never knows and cannot predict even by Divination what change may come or when, the fact that they have a little rule of thumb to judge such things is a carefully hidden trade secret. The truer the real need, the more hopeless the cause, the less selfish and more in line with the Virtues the request brought to them for magickal remedy, the more painless and positive the change in their lives once the magick has been given them. In the same vein, the closer the supposed need is to baser wanting and the mire of the Vices, the more selfish the request, the more abrupt, disruptive and harmful the back-lash of Fate in return for the work of magick.

If a follower of the Olde Ways has fallen out of the favor of the gods or offended one or other of the major spirits of the realm and comes to petition for magickal dispensation, especially after first having sought aid from the gods through a Mystic serving the Green Lords and having been denied, he bears what is known as “god-sign” that any Druid or other magick-wielder with the Sight will clearly see, or otherwise will feel upon touching them, or see upon beginning to cast any magick in their presence. It would be foolish for any Druid or Witch to disregard this warning. The sign of the will of the gods will be clearly visible to any and all Mystics when dealing with those of their faith, a sign worse than foolish to ignore. To fulfill the request of one who has been spurned by the Green Lords or the Light incurs a penalty equal to the POT of the magick worked on their behalf that will endure until such time as he has served penance for his transgression.

Though their aspects and demeanors vary, Witches are all bound by their covenant with the Lords of Nature, many aspects of which are shared by the members of the Druid trades, who share their religion. Players must get more complete information on the Lords of Nature in the gameworld from the GM in order to help determine which faction the character belongs to – IF ANY. It is far more common for a character to serve the whole pantheon equally; no specific patron is necessary.

It is of vital importance that the reader become familiar also with the passages titled “An Introduction to Magick”, “The World through a Magician’s Eyes” and “A Primer on the World of Magickbefore also reading through the rules for magick contained in the passages headed “Magick in Play”. There are certain basic essential concepts in those passages that, in concert with the trade descriptions are vital to a clear understanding of magick, its place in the world and how it is created and the rules under which it manifests in the game world, especially in mechanical terms.

Mystics

Mystics are the mortal vessels of the teachings, wisdom, and power of their gods, the Lords of Light, in the gameworld. They are equivalent to the ascetics of the early Catholic Church, many reclusive hermits, each on a personal quest to attain a truly holy existence in the service of their deity (not necessarily the Church, as a social institution), some as wandering teachers. A romanticism of saintliness surrounds them very similar in nature to that of the cult of Chivalry among Knights. Mystics are happy to share their faith with new Seekers and preach the holy Word to all who will listen, to shame those who fall short of the goal and fire the hearts around them with faith, supporting others’ aspirations to heights of noble piety, even to ultimately follow in their own footsteps seeking union with the divine, should they have received such a calling. Proselytizing in this way is NOT their first concern, however. Their religious goals are most commonly personal rather than planned to bring brilliant achievements in the service of the Church’s religious policy.

The Mystic characters in RoM should NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, be confused with the priests, monks, friars, deacons, and other ordinary clergy of the medieval catholic church in the period of the game that made up approximately 1 in 50 of the total population. While Mystics in the game may be friars, monks, or priests, or monks and priests if the monastic vows allow ordination and investiture in the priesthood, they do not HAVE to be regular members of the hierarchy of the Church. In the same vein, being a member of the regular clergy is by NO means sufficient to make one a Mystic with the direct divine patronage detailed in this trade description.

Choosing for the Mystic to be an ordained priest of the prevailing religion actually puts the character in somewhat of a difficult position. In the context of the game, all organized, formal prevailing (widespread) religions in the game are political entities, also. They administer charitable institutions and services according to the requirements of the faith and the number of the faithful in need, but they are involved in raising money, collecting tithes and “first fruits” and death dues, to support those institutions and provide those in the Church hierarchy with their livings, in accordance with their social dignity, even challenging secular lords for worldly power. This is guaranteed to put the Mystic at odds with his masters of the Church at some point and, despite his divine patronage and holy Power, they are not going to hesitate to punish the Mystic if by his actions he embarrasses them or violates their policies, especially those regarding infidels and heathens, sending him off to some unpleasant and remote place, perhaps even under lock and key.

The same is true of Mystics under vows to a monastic rule other than their own, which is why those Mystics who wish to remain allied with the Church commonly establish their own orders, withdrawing to pursue their holy work, preserving both the strict rule of religion and peace with the Church in the process. Of course, the founding of such a house requires the permission of the Church, and the house so founded still falls under the rule of the Church, but generally these answer only directly to the high prelate running the entire Church, rather than part of the lesser hierarchy where pettiness in politics tend to be much more prevalent. Being concerned with only the greatest matters of statecraft and international relations, the high prelate of the Church is not likely to be concerned terribly often with the rule of a single religious house or the Mystic founder unless he hears tales of schism, heresy, or blasphemy he cannot ignore. Despite his calling and holy patronage, a Mystic ordained in the Church SERVES, he does not rule his Church, but serving Deity directly is likely to eventually put him in a difficult position. When the Church and his deity are at odds, as they sometimes are for whatever worldly reason or necessity, the Mystic must always follow the holy voice that speaks within him, guiding him.

IF the Mystic is a formal member of the Church, it is assumed he has already scribed the text of the holy tome of his religion for his own use. This tome will have about 300 pages and will weigh roughly 26.5 lbs., all materials paid for by the Church. This should be clad in plain wooden covers wrapped in simple deerskin and will contain none of the luxurious illustrations or colorful rubrication for which the books of the medieval period are renowned. If the character is an Artisan painter, he might have done the illuminations himself, but even in this event, it is unlikely that the book will have any of the fine gold or silver leaf letters or accents to the images so prized for altar books in cathedrals and the chapels of the wealthy, unless the character hails from a wealthy background and has good relations with the family enabling him to tap their resources for that work. The Mystic should always carry this book with him among his personal effects, especially when he travels, for inspirational reading and in order to properly observe his private devotions. It will also serve as a point of reference on doctrine and points of theology and philosophy in debate with infidels and those who have strayed into heresy.

Mystics may be broken down into two basic archetypes. The first is given to great passion in religion, prone to fiery speeches. This sort are given to very energetic actions, especially to kindle the faith of others to a roaring blaze. They are dedicated to promoting the purification of prevailing religious culture, reviving it when it begins to flag. Ignatius de Loyola, Francis Xavier, Charles Borromeo, Bernardo di Siena, John Capistrano, and Vincent Ferrer are all good examples of this archetype. These were all charismatic men and dramatic speakers. The player should keep this in mind when he is determining his Mystic character’s CHM score.

The second archetype is quiet and retiring, totally absorbed in a tranquil rapture with the divine. They are prone to habitually practice an extravagant humility – fasting, praying intently for hours on end, disdaining the pleasures of the flesh to the point of wearing the extremely uncomfortable hair shirt, even to periodic mortification of the flesh. Far more than their passionate, outspoken colleagues, the quieter archetype captures the popular imagination of the people far more. The common people are always more impressed with displays of the supernatural, by extremes in following the strictures of religion, even to the point of irrational excesses, and especially by miracles performed in achieving union with the divine. Francis of Pauca, Pierre of Luxembourg, and Aloysius Gonzaga are prime examples.

The player of the Mystic character should be sure to choose a basic archetype that suits his disposition. The passionate will be vocal reformers and proselytizers, while the quiet type will be just the opposite, far more inwardly focused. Both are likely to be ardent writers on theological subjects, and also prone to correspond with a great number of the faithful, who are likely to keep a steady stream of requests for advice coming.

The holy fervor of both archetypes is most often aimed at extremes of humility in the pursuit if asceticism, achieving ecstasy in union with the divine and manifesting miracles. It is turned inward, rather than outward. Mystics have no expectations that those around them follow their example and do as they do, but stand as guiding lights for those with the eyes to see and hopefully to inspire them to do. They are commonly willing to lend advice or an ear if others should come upon them having been called in taking up the Path of the Ascetics and the Mystics.

The Ascetic’s lifestyle is characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures, following an inner need to spend their lives in pursuit of the spiritual ideals of their faith, the quest for spiritual “perfection”. This is part of their vows of renouncement, which are embodied in the practices of exercising restraint with respect to actions of the body, mind, and speech. Mystics live extremely austere lifestyles, refraining from indulging in the pleasures of the Flesh and the accumulation of material wealth, recognizing that their spiritual and religious goals are impeded by such indulgences and distractions. They discipline themselves with the same dedication and focus as an athlete.

“Contemplation demands a severe culture of moral perfection as a preparatory condition.”

This is one of the reasons the attention of the Mystic is largely turned inward. That burden of contemplation cannot be shared. And what mere mortal going about his daily business could long endure that environment of intense personal scrutiny on a daily basis? To travel in the company of the Mystic whose energy is turned outward to inspire and lead those around him to spiritual perfection is like standing in the constant glare of the sun.

Mystics apply themselves with great energy and focus to cultivating the heavenly Virtues propounded by the Church. Virtue and Vice are key to the self-examination of the Mystic, as they are central in religious thought and doctrine in the period of the game. But these are not the only spiritual traits the Mystic seeks to cultivate, but also those that are expected of the clergy in orders. These are Humility, Moderation (Temperance), Dignity, Diligence, Piety, Charity, Chastity, Seriousness of Purpose and Urbanity. Urbane restraint, politeness and polished manners are an important aspect of the courtly standards of behavior promoted by the Church, one which discomfits many of the warring, rough-and-tumble nobles a great deal. These are the tools and markers, the pursuit of their cultivation providing signposts showing the Mystic what his next task must be. A Mystic is always looking around for tasks to which to apply himself that increase the Light in the world.

The line against errors and transgression into Vice and Darkness are sharply drawn by the Mystics. All concepts of morality are actually exaggerated when rendered by the Mystics because they are always rendered in the full context of the divine majesty to which they often Ascend and in which they are immersed when performing miraculous feats.

“In every [error], even the least, the [whole] universe is concerned.”

So the consciousness of the common man cannot even really encompass the true enormity of such errors and transgressions, and if they could the weight of it would crush their hearts. These lapses of judgment and character violate and offend the entire Golden Chain of Being, from The Light Itself down to the meanest stone on a country road.

“All the saints and the Just, the celestial spheres, the elements, the lower creatures, and inanimate objects, cry for vengeance on the [transgressor].”

Such curbing of what might otherwise be over-looked as natural desires, the temperance, the laboriousness practiced in Mystic circles which generates the aura of peace and well-being that surrounds them and draws the faithful near are all far too intense for many to suffer being continuously exposed to for long. While the Mystics often found religious houses, abbeys, monasteries and friaries built on holy vows and orders to help others to withdraw from the madness of the wider world and lead more spiritual or perfect lives, those who enter such houses and join those holy orders, who have vowed to withdraw from the wider material world to strive to live that ideal life, often find that they cannot live on a day-to-day basis with the holy Mystic founders of their orders. The spiritual vibration, the residual holy presence of their connection to the divine is just too much, too intense, all of the time for very many to bear, so only those with above average SPT and HRT scores generally can continue to reside in such a religious house.

The holy patronage is always with the Mystic, lying upon him like a mantle. To the common run of folk, living in a monastery with its Mystic founder is just too much like trying to live with the Light Itself looking over one’s shoulder. While infinitely dedicated to the beneficial principles of their faith, Mystics lack something of the individual character of common folk, something of their humanity is missing, having been absorbed or winnowed away by the divine. Looking into the eyes of a Mystic, one can both see and feel the nameless, almost alien “otherness” that one sees in the fathomless eyes of the beasts, which is their constant union and communion with the ‘godhead’, the Cosmic Spirit. The pressure felt by the common run of members of a religious order to rise and achieve the status of the Mystic founder when he is there among them is too great – not from the infinitely patient, forgiving and understanding Mystic, but from within the common inmates themselves. The common run of folk, though they be basically good people at heart, become far too aware of their short-comings when looked at under such a bright Light and all too easily yield to accidia and fall into despair. But it is the gentleness, the simplicity, the atmosphere of peace and quiet, pious fervor that draws the faithful to the Light reflected in the Mystic’s eyes.

Regardless of the archetype the Mystic falls into, he usually withdraws eventually from most social contact except when his activities require it of him, perhaps in the form of a yearly spiritual retreat. This may drive him to limit social contact when he sees the glare of the Light weighing upon those around him.

Because of these facts, ‘hermit’ is the most common worldly calling of the Mystic, as it stresses daily the need for humility. They can be found in isolated spots along the roads, by river and creek fords or bridges great or small, at places of sacred reputation, on cliffs by the sea, in mountain passes, and other remote places associated with travellers, or in isolated monasteries, or more specifically in hermitages, whether dwelling singly or in a community of those following the same path, or they may even be sequestered away in remote places devoid of outsiders as an aid to finding or maintaining a sense of the “stillness” within. In such locations they can give directions to travellers in need, aid in a river crossing, perhaps share his own humble shelter when there is a need, and sometimes a ready ear and sympathetic shoulder. Most holy since the most ancient of times, they are living examples of the life of renouncement, teaching virtue and piety by speech and in deed, fasting, being visited by visions and achieving ecstasy, being tempted and tested by the Darkness, some of their number being canonized after death as saints.

A common cave can serve well for a hermitage, even a little hollow carven from a rock cliff face or boulder. Gifts from ruling monarchs to hermits known to them in aid of their support are common enough. Henry Bolingbroke who later became Henry IV of England gave to one who dwelt at the seaside who met him on his landing at Ravenspur a number of gifts, including the right to any waif or wreck cast by the sea onto the strand for 2 leagues (6 miles) in either direction from his hermitage. Most English hermits did not fare so nobly nor achieve such recognition, most likely to be the case for most PC Mystics in that life.

Accompanying the true ascetics and Mystics sincere in their religion to the pursuit of the holy life, a strange breed of man grew up, under the habit of spiritual dignity cloaking a life that is much less than it is purported to be. These are parasites feeding off the edifices of the Church, which swell in numbers in times of famine, pestilence and war, multiplying in spite of strict Church rules and regulations. These evil men batten like moss onto the ancient stones of the churches and cathedrals, threatening with ruin the nobility of the holy men they ape. A patient hand with a vigilant eye is required to sort them out and pluck them away, one by one. Saints are not numerous enough to assay such work, however, although a saint is needed for it. Mystics do what they can to thin the numbers of such grotesque charlatans and poseurs where they find them.

To assure sincerity and guard against such evil men, the hermit’s life is hemmed around by the Church with interdictions and rigorous rules. To be a hermit a man must be resolved to lead an exemplary life of poverty and privation, and he must also bear testimonial letters from the ordinary – the hermit’s version of the bona fides of the craftsmen and the bishop’s letter carried by pilgrims. But this sort of imposturing is endemic and the Church rules on the matter are broken with reckless disregard. Inside his small dwelling, the not very devout Rogue-Trickster in hermit’s garb can lead a very quiet, easy life, when it could be so very hard elsewhere, and even more difficult in hard times. The charity of passersby is sufficient to live on, especially if the Rogue can beg, one of their main sources of income. No labor, no other obligations if he doesn’t choose to accept them (“Maintenance? What maintenance?”), and the bishop is generally far away, while the pub or alewife’s is close by, indeed. These are seldom if ever seen in church, but often at the high table of some noble looking to perform an act of charity on behalf of their soul, fooled by the ragged clothes the “beggar” wears.

Along with beggars, wandering laborers (without bona fides), and vagabonds of all kinds, these false hermits or false saints are to be imprisoned and await judgement when discovered. Only the “approved” hermits are to be left in peace, true men of religion, and any others who bear letters testimonial from the Church. The problem is far too widespread for the bishops’ attention to make much inroads against, their eyes fixed on higher goals by necessity of their rank. The offense is far beneath the dignity of those with whom they concern themselves most.

Most Mystics and religious ascetics do ceaseless penance on behalf of their fellow men. Little common cottages make common abodes for them, built with the aid of their own hands at the most heavily travelled stretches of the highways, or at the entrance to bridges. In these places they thrive on the charity of passers-by. A bridge with a chapel is already something of a holy site, the presence of a hermit, especially when he is also a Mystic, sanctifies it further. The hermit often acts as custodian of the bridge or building close by his cot, performing simple maintenance and grooming the greenery, and a farthing is commonly and willingly tossed his way by those passing by in return for his efforts.

There are a number of good examples of Mystics from the period of the game we can use to shed some light on their lives and achievements. Denis the Carthusian was a Mystic consulted by great numbers of noblemen, clerks, and burghers who came to see him in his cell at the monastery. He was constantly engaged in resolving doubts and difficulties for the faithful, and especially in settling questions of conscience.

Denys le Chartreux, however, is the most complete example of the religious enthusiast Mystic. He had a wide mental range and his energy was multi-faceted. An extremely active theological writer, he penned 45 quarto volumes summing up, concluding, reproducing, revising, correcting, subdividing, and illuminating his books, although he had no talent for original thought. He recited the Psalter every day, no less than half and often almost all. Denys followed a ferocious asceticism and experienced mystical spiritual transport often. He was in almost constant prayer, visited with constant visions and revelations, and constantly conversing with the spirits of the dead. Grace came upon him on all sorts of occasions, especially when he listened to music, and sometimes even in the midst of giving advice to noble company. On one occasion he visited the room of a dying woman that he perceived as being full of evil spirits, who descended upon him and knocked a walking stick out of his hand.

However, there are military saints, too, Mystics who offer armed combat to their enemies and are willing to shed blood and have theirs shed in return, such as Charles of Blois of the House of Valois (d. 1364). Despite his noble station and the demands it put on him, he led a saintly life. He married the heiress of Brittany and inherited a war of succession against Jean de Montfort who was in the English camp. Charles spent 9 years in captivity and waged war like the best of knights and captains of that time, fighting alongside such prominent men as Bertrand du Guesclin and Beaumanoir. His own father tried to moderate Charles’ avid love of reading and studying books, to no avail. Charles slept on straw on the floor near the conjugal bed where his wife lay. He confessed every night, convinced no man should go to sleep carrying the weight of his errors on his soul. At his death he was found to be wearing a hair shirt under his armor. Despite his holy life, he is supposed to have sired a bastard. He was beatified in 1371. The only reason he is not included in the description of the Sacred Knight, instead, is there is no mention made of his ever being a member of such an order.

Blessed Pierre of Luxembourg was a courtly ascetic, though of the second archetype rather than the first. He was a scion of the house of Luxembourg. Pierre was described as an “under-witted saint”, having “a narrow mind which can only live in a carefully isolated sphere of devotion”. He had a consumptive disposition. He lived as an ascetic even as a child, full of devotion. He carried a small book in his pocket to record his sins, and confessed every night at midnight, when he could raise a chaplain. The greater part of every day and night he passed in prayer, and was a great giver of alms. His devotion outgrew his strength and he neglected the body. He died at the young age of 18, a virgin, having been made Bishop of Metz at the age of 15 and a cardinal soon after.

It is common for this archetype among Mystics to do such things as mix ashes with their food as a daily exercise in Temperance, refusing to surrender to the pleasures of satisfying the animal needs. In the same vein, the Mystic might test his willpower in maintaining his chastity by sleeping beside a woman. As a child, St. Nicholas refused his mother’s milk on holy feast days. Mystics are living saints, sometimes also prophets to their people, rare and wonderful, truly blessed, regularly receiving the patronage and bounty of the god(s) they serve in the gameworld. They follow a true vocation, an inner calling. Without the series of summonses or visitations in dream, trance, vision, or the throes of religious ecstasy that herald their special lot in life, one will rarely become a Mystic.

Every Mystic character must have SPT, CHM and HRT scores of no less than 14. One cannot become such a holy man on a whim or out of simple desire. Though it may call to some, it may be embarked upon out of conscious choice by a few, but only with a great deal of dedication and perseverance. It is a long hard road, just as much as the Path of the Wizard, any of the Druids, or Witch.

In the talented but unskilled, the power of the gods (mana) can manifest in the material world as unpredictable flashes of precognition or sudden snatches of prophetic vision., or not (GM’s discretion). These are always taken by Mystics as holy visions visited by the gods, either as warnings against evil in their future or as promises of good fortune that they have earned. It can provide the opportunity to develop modest skills like crystal ball scrying, tarot card reading, or exceptional insights in astrological divination.

These abilities are commonly referred to as Spirit Skills, or Othersenses, and are common among Mystics, being very spiritual persons, in a similar manner to their common occurrence among those practicing the various Arts and trades of magick.

The Church is most likely to try to steer people having such gifts into the Church, and it is one of the Mystics duties to try to convince such folk to enter holy orders when they find them. Those with such apparent holy patronage (talent/gifts) must be convinced to exercise their gods-given talent on behalf of the Light that gave it to them before they can be steered into other arts by the Wizards and other similar “irreligious” folk. It is very common for Mystics to arise from among those so talented.

Although maintaining a poor lifestyle, Mystics are by nature commonly well-schooled. Most read the works of the fathers of the Church of the Light avidly to give them suitable subjects for their contemplations. Those who wish it may have the Literatus and Linguist skills as Trade Skills in both the (native) Vulgar Tongue and the Scholar’s Tongue, rather than having them count towards the character’s quota of Petty Skills, if the character has no other award or the player does not care for any of the other avenues by which the character may have them.

While out in the world attending to their various concerns, the Mystic characters’ Credo is to aid those in need and to do no harm.

All the great Mystics praise humble labor and charity.

The Mystic is provided with the opportunity to learn one of the healer Trades (any) as a Secondary trade. If not this, there are a myriad ways in which the Mystic can humbly keep himself busy about providing for his needs and those of his fellow man, engaging in the Opus Luminaris, the Work of the Light as a Husbandman, Farmer/Gardener, or Craftsman of some sort, instead. The humble work of peasants as Husbandman or Farmer is by far the more common of those three, which is why there is a marked preference for the Herbal Trade as the chosen Opus Luminaris among those who practice the trades of Healer.

Mystics in the Church represent a strange and unsettling anomaly in the view of the leadership hierarchy of the Church at large. The Church exists to minister to the faithful, by dogma insisting that a priest must intercede between a man and the Light. How can the Church, which is basically a worldly institution, rule a man who has the direct patronage of Deity? The ministry of the Church becomes largely unnecessary in spiritual matters when one can seek out divine guidance or intervention directly. That is the basis for the Church’s power, its monopoly on spiritual doctrine and ministry. Oftentimes the Church may try to hide or bury such a character in a remote location and try to hide his talent and patronage from the public.

While the Church with its vast resources serves a vital function for the needs of the masses of society, the poor and the disenfranchised, the number of PC-type Mystics is relatively small, less than a handful in any given country. The numbers of Wizards, Druids and Witches are far greater when their numbers combined are considered. Regardless of their direct divine patronage, for the Mystics to take on the ministry of the masses would be a ludicrous disaster. The crowds would bury them. Thus, the Church can also serve as a buffer between the people and the Mystics.

The relationship between the Church and the Mystics is always one of uneasy tolerance. The dangers of unschooled, unrestrained Ecstasy such as the Mystics achieve being brought into the streets, is that, if allowed to go on unchecked and undisciplined, it leads to insanity. The capacity to return to the reality of the mortal world is lost. Another name for the insane in the period of the game is “goddes prisoners”.

Nonetheless, the Church knows all too well that in the all encompassing flames of contemplative rapture, when Ascended in Grace, all of its teachings, its concepts, formulæ, doctrine and dogma must be consumed and swept away by the overriding Power and fiery Presence of the Divine. So the Church looks on with a weather eye, knowing that each Mystic’s Path is solitary in nature. It must be. The Church is content in the knowledge that each Ascension is relatively brief. Someone must care for the Mystic while he is unable, and the Mystic must needs at some point “return from the mountain top”, so to speak, if he is to continue to live in the mortal world. There is always a certain economy in the movements and powers exercised by the Mystics. The Church is well aware that the benefit to the faith and the followers of the Light far outweighs the individual Mystic compromising the doctrine. There just aren’t that many of them for it to become an issue of any real magnitude. Of those who choose to follow in their asceticism and imitate their ways, only a handful at a time will ever achieve the heights of the Mystic’s miraculous power.

In addition to the archetypes, there are two main factions among the Mystics, one representing the Light and the other representing the Darkness. Mystics of the Orders of the Light, Mystics of the White Orders, or White Mystics, strive to promote the Virtues and live by them in their day-to-day lives as much as is humanly possible, to be merciful, charitable, and offer haven and sanctuary to the unfortunate and downtrodden, to look to the welfare of those about them, as well as the world at large, reflecting the concerns of their deities, the Lords of Light.

Mystics of the Darkness or of the Orders of the Darkness, Mystics of the Black Orders, or Dark Mystics, do whatever they can to increase the presence of the Vices in the world, to commit whatever cruelties they think they can get away with, taking advantage of the misguided, dupe the unsuspecting, entice the weak from little Vice to greater Vice, sowing dissent and mischief among the disadvantaged and down-trodden, fostering anger and resentment, to improve their own position and flatter their own myriad, swollen vanities. They know well that the Dark can only thrive where the Light is weak, its agents locked in chaos, or absent altogether.

There is a subtle but distinct difference between those in the Shadow of Vice and those who Walk in Darkness. The Shadow can be flirted with throughout one’s lifetime, and many do. The practice is generally subconscious, though some make it a conscious game. The Shadow can be shed at anytime by confession and/or acts of contrition, penance and Virtue, but true intent is the key, and what mortal can accurately judge the state of his own soul? Last Rites are thus considered a necessity for most folks on their deathbeds.

Walking in Darkness is another matter entirely. It is a conscious submission and dedication to the Darkness, a declaration of war on the Light. Where the Light merely shines and IS and brings comfort and warmth to all It touches with It’s glory, the Darkness can only be where It is not, and so must seek to occlude and eclipse the Light, in the end to destroy it. For, as long as even a spark of Light remains, the rest is really only Shadow, no matter how Dark. To be redeemed from the Darkness and return to the Light requires the same conscious act of will it took to turn away in the first place. It cannot be commanded or coerced.

The reader should understand that the factions of the Light and the Darkness are NOT the only ones. EVERY deity can have Mystics in its service, whether classed as Light or Dark, BUT also the old Green Lords worshipped by the ancient pagans, followed by the Druid trades, Witches and that ilk. If the Mystic character dwells in a highly pantheistic world, the player’s choice of an actual patron deity and religious order is very important to the character persona. The player must check with the GM on the natures of the deities of the game world and iron out these details before the character is played. Getting more information on not only the characteristics of the religions but the nature of the religious practices makes the choice between the specific deities and religions easier.

While the faction of Dark Mystics are indeed in the description here, the reader should understand they are presented as the nemeses of the White Mystics, rivals of the Mystics of the Green Lords, They are foes to be ferreted out and pursued, not provided for use as PC’s. Due to the fact that the name of the game in roleplaying is cooperation, using a Dark Mystic as a member of any PC party is difficult at best, if not downright destructive to the purposes of the game.

Most Mystics live outside the confines of the formal structure and hierarchy of the Church and its institutions, quietly remaining simple members of the flock of the faithful. For them, however, public life can be equally as difficult as previously described for those within the Church, they merely avoid having to bend their knee to the Church’s authority over their personal lives and liberty. It is common for the Church to keep a constant watch on any Mystic coming to their attention who is not under their rule, to watch for the growth of heresy and sedition around them, or worse yet, schism. What need of the Church for those around them if they have a living avatar in the form of a Mystic to tend to their spiritual needs? If he exercises the divine Power does that not make him divine as well? If any Mystic were to allow even a breath of such heresy to grow up around him, especially in a body of the faithful determined to follow him, intent on listening to his words so to catch any pearls of wisdom let fall, or in the wake of his travels, the Church would immediately discharge the Holy Office to address the heretics and charge the secular authorities with their responsibility to support the Church and help to bring those wayward sheep back into the fold, likely imprisoning the Mystic and putting him on trial. Should they not hear what they wish to on bringing him to trial, it would not be out of the question for them to martyr him.

Practically every free moment of a Mystic’s life is spent in prayer, contemplation and meditation on matters holy. The Mystic dedicates himself to an austere and holy life, and has done so for a sufficient length of time and with such fervor that the Light has marked him. He passes in and out of a state of Grace, walking constantly in the residual power of the Light from that bond, so that it is reflected through him, shining in his face and especially his eyes. The Light and the Heavens KNOW his name. His faith is a wellspring of power constantly renewed from above, and that is part of the source of the miraculous powers exhibited by Mystic characters. These powers vary in form or expression from the rather limited Feats to the Prayers and Rites by which the Mystic Ascends to gather and channel the power of Heaven Itself on behalf of the followers of the faith, or to resist the inroads of the constituents of the Darkness and its insidious Shadows.

In the context of the game, Mystic characters are living saints, prophets to their people, rare and wondrous, truly blessed, regularly receiving the patronage and bounty of the Light they serve. To be in the vicinity of a Mystic as he invokes a miracle is an experience of a lifetime for members of his religion, to be standing in the reflected glow of Eternal Glory. To receive the power of a miracle is to be cradled in the infinitely tender hand of the gods, a tearfully heart-touching confirmation of faith beyond all possible description, written or otherwise. Miracles are the epitome of the medieval religious ideal, what the people live their lives for with no real expectation of fulfillment, but hope beyond hope to have revealed to them. The hearts a Mystic can fill in the medieval milieu of the game is one of the reasons for the fact that roughly 1 in 50 of the overall population will be members of the clergy, either laymen or of orders. The player must remember their power to inspire and their responsibility to stand as a constant example. This is key to roleplaying a Mystic character successfully.

The player must also understand that the Church will not necessarily acknowledge, at least not publicly, any Mystic’s miraculous power or gifts. Formal acknowledgement of saintly stays and elevation to the ranks of the divinely blessed and gifted is called beatification, which can be followed by canonization, or formal elevation to and acknowledgement of sainthood. These special states of grace are reserved by the Church for after the death of a holy person, and have nothing whatsoever to do with the deeds one performed in life, no matter how miraculous, though an austere and holy life full of good works is requisite for consideration. The prime requirement for canonization is the performance of three miracles after one’s death, verifiable by those agents appointed by the Church. Once the Mystic has ascended to the Light and forsaken the flesh, the Church can deal with him again, or atleast tell the faithful the Mystic has left behind how to deal with him. Any writings the Mystic penned in life will be swiftly gathered and either incorporated into the accepted works of the faith, or suppressed, as the Church deems necessary, to keep the religion from fracturing.

Through the Mystics, the Lords of Light manifest Their Will in the mortal world, channeling Their power through Their Mystics in the form of miracles, not merely as the Mystics rise to present their needs to Them, but even where and as They see the need. Indeed, in addition to having the capacity of seeking to Ascend at his own need to tap the power of his deity, the Mystic character may well find himself lifted up to Spirit and being flooded by power from within from time to time without having asked for it, literally being spontaneously lifted up to Ecstasy and moved by the Divine spirit to execute some Work within the immediate vicinity (within a mile), most likely for the benefit some faithful and deserving soul(s) or to hinder the Darkness in some way.

In these cases, the duration of the state of Grace foisted off on the Mystic lasts only long enough for the bidding of the Light to be performed, the miracle(s) channeled and delivered. The Mystic requires the normal amount of time to regain his senses and full control of his body again afterwards, however, as described previously.

Resisting an attempt by the deity to ride and rule him in such a way, if the player so desires, requires a successful HRT check on d100.

The DV for resisting being used by the godhead in this manner is equal to the Mystic’s own TR, plus the number of times he has Ascended in the past 7 days, in a Progressive manner, for every time Ascended.

If successful, the Mystic’s own HRT score is added to the DV for the SPT check when next he seeks to Ascend. This penalty is cumulative for every time the Mystic puts his deity off between attempts to Ascend and seek divine aid. This HRT check costs the Mystic (TR) points of END whether successful or not.

 

When dealing with a miracle whose power must be delivered by touch, the Mystic may receive the power with the instruction to touch or smite his enemy with it, or to bestow it in the form of a Blessing (Benediction). On the other hand, specific instructions concerning how a miracle’s power is to be bestowed or discharged should likely also be given, perhaps to “touch thine enemy upon his brow”, “give the faithful the Kiss of Peace”, or perhaps to strike a specific rock at a particular location a certain number of times, as was Moses in the desert, and so on. The Mystic may also be instructed by the Light NOT to bestow his miraculous power upon a particular person who has shown himself to be ungrateful in the past for such dispensation, or simply disrespectful of the Light and/or has shown by not only his words but his actions that he is irreligious by nature.

The working of miracles for the Light under these circumstances must remain as subtle, mysterious and unpredictable as the player’s GM can make it. The nature of the miraculous Power being dispensed is not likely to be revealed to the Mystic, he is simply expected to comply with the directives of the Light, and the effects or dweomer and the manner applied aren’t likely to reveal the nature of the Power or its function. Further, the one(s) intended to be aided or hindered by the miraculous manifestation will most likely be complete and total strangers to the Mystic, and likely to remain so. The Mystic is prudent who does not question, at the time or even afterwards, the nature of the services he is commanded to perform. Had such information been needful to the Mystic, it would have been revealed to him, and indeed the GM will brief the Mystic as there arises a need, otherwise such information is none of his business, and to go seeking it could get the Mystic in trouble with his holy patrons, the Lords of Light.

The Mystic must merely obey these injunctions against those who stray in error, willful and otherwise, and the heathen and infidel. The character need not have witnessed the other’s disaffection to the religion himself, the Light sees the deeds of all who profess the faith, and the company they keep, and see the hearts of all regardless of faith, as well. If the player uses the Mystic’s ability to read the state of Virtue and Vice, it is not difficult to guess when the Mystic is going to be forbidden to aid a party member who has allowed his Vice score(s) to outweigh his Virtue(s).

The Mystic is likely to be punished, and immediately, for not carrying out any instructions accompanying the power created for his use by his deity, and for failing to invoke that power constructively and in accordance with the principles of the deity and His religion. Moses was denied the Promised Land simply for striking that rock in the desert three times to bring forth water when told to strike it only once.

All of this divine, social and religious responsibility may seem a burden in roleplaying a Mystic, but none of it is so onerous it cannot be worked with. Every trade that wields Power has a similar burden to bear.

The relationship between Mystics and those engaged in other trades that wield magickal power (the Druid trades, Witches and Wizards) in the game may be a bit touchy and difficult for all involved, depending on the point of view they adopt. Some orders within the Church, and a few Mystics along with them, would prefer that all other-worldly Power be left to the gods to dole out, for them to direct its use among the faithful when they are ready to receive it, or when the gods send it to them to use as directed, while the greater majority of the pious, Mystics included, are neither so insecure nor so greedy as to think they actually have the right to rule others so, much less the mandate of the gods to back them up.

Some Mystics cite the effects of iron and steel upon the magicks that stem from the Olde Ways (Druids, Witches, etc.) as evidence of the superiority of holy miracles and the power of the gods, in general, and the lack of such an effect on the magicks of Wizards as at least partial evidence of some infernal protective alliance with the Darkness, regardless of the fact that many Wizards are pious and religious men. Some Mystics and factions in the Church treat Witches, Wizards and all that ilk as simply wayward children who cannot see the error of the Path they tread, some treat them as wicked, willful children. Others rant and rave about godless heathens who defile the very ground they walk upon, accusing the magickal community following any but their own Path of Power of being amoral, demon-loving wretches who have wrested the threads of Destiny out of the hands of the gods to whom they rightfully belong. Another, more patient, gentle and retiring faction simply sighs and offers up their prayers, recalling that ALL Paths of Power lead back to the gods from whom all Power and Wisdom flow, commending them all to the Virtues in the hopes that all will find their way back to the proper deities. These gratefully offer thanks for those who follow other Paths of Power who remain pious church-goers despite their professions and the attitudes of some of the other members of the congregations. The rest of the common folk and the Mystics fall somewhere in-between these.

The player will have to decide for himself, and make sure his GM knows where his character stands, so the GM can ensure the character ends up among like-minded members of the Church and doesn’t have to fight with his own brothers in religion over his views.

Most Mystics can see that there are many roads to spiritual reward, and understand that the one they tread is NOT the only valid one.

Under the Mantle of Light

The Mystic’s ascetic lifestyle brings about greater freedom from compulsions and temptations than is otherwise considered a normal part of the Flesh. They know the raw nature of the Beast that dwells in the Flesh can be overcome, and that doing so brings greater peace of mind, providing an increase in the clarity and power of thought and the ability and fruitfulness of self-examination. Through their long years of discipline they have ingrained a habit of restraint in body and soul.

The Mystic receives a (TR) bonus, for Magi (1 per 2 TR’s), to be applied in making HRT checks to resist the temptations of the world any time he is faced with Vice, as a benefit of his trade training. This reflects his growth in determination and dedication to the ways of his religion, the shift in the character towards a more spiritual existence as he rises in grace in the view of the Light.

As the Mystic follows the Path of the Light, his faith and standing rise, and his ability to wield power grows. The Mystic’s many years of devotion and dedicated pursuit of a more perfect and humble life, a righteous existence, brings him the constant blessing of the Light. He is always hand-in-hand with the Light by his Covenant with it, even if only subconsciously, and this leaves within him a constant trickle of the Power.

When the character uses the power that resides within himself, without using a prayer or rite to actually Ascend, he is performing a Feat. In using a prayer or rite to seek communion and perform works of greater POT, it is called an Intervention. Both are considered miraculous in nature.

Being in constant contact with the Light, there is always a subtle play of light or ætheric fire about his head, in a pale corona visible only to those with Spirit Sight, especially those trained in the magickal Arts, a visible manifestation of the Power of the Light that dwells within him. This is in evidence even when the Spirit does not lay directly on the Mystic while Ascended. When Ascended, the corona is visible to all who are looking on, mundane and magickal folk alike. The greater the Mystic’s TR, the more like a pillar of fire it appears burning above his head.

The Mystic’s constant connection to the Light grants him a (TR) bonus to his M-RES score to reflect the spiritual protection his calling provides.

Like the true practitioners of magick, the Mystic’s full M-RES score (including trade bonus) is innate, even against magicks of which the Mystic is unaware that by their nature are allowed to be resisted.

The most common application of the divine Power resident in the Mystic is for the Laying on of Hands upon one of the faithful, whether it be family member, trusted compatriot or a complete but worthy stranger, and taking a moment to share a prayer with him, invoking and bestowing his blessing.

This provides a bonus to any of the subject’s AV’s for whatsoever task he may assay, this starts at one (1) at the end of the first CS and builds by one (1) at the end of every CS he continues to pray with the faithful, to a limit of (SPT att. mod.) or (TR), whichever is greater.

How long this Blessing lasts depends on the nature of the segment of the story in which it is employed (GM’s discretion).

It may last until the next single task attempted is accomplished, if it was invoked to get some truly pivotal task accomplished, or for the duration of a single battle (to be joined soon after), especially when the Mystic and his cohorts are about to face the Unrighteous in some manner.

The Mystic’s touch and blessing in Laying on of Hands may also be used instead to comfort and calm beasts and beings in an agitated state, removing terror, hysteria, soothing grief or anxiety, alleviating loneliness or sadness (Accidia) especially if of a degree that the sufferer intends himself harm or becomes careless of his own safety.

IF the heightened emotional state is of a magickal cause, the Laying on of Hands can actually act as a Dispelling, with an AV equal to the Mystic’s [(HRT att. mod.) + (SPT att. mod.) + (TR)], requiring a d100 check vs. the afflicting magick.

A Mystic is granted an [(AWA att. mod.) + (SPT att. mod.) + (TR)] check on d100 vs. the CHM of those speaking in order to hear the clear ringing of Virtue in the Truth when it is spoken in his presence, or the chuckling twist of the Darkness’ delight in Vice when any falsehood is uttered, so that he may recognize truth and lies when encountered.

IF the Mystic has cultivated the Savvy skill, that SL is added to his AV for this check.

The residual Power of the Light provides the Mystic with a sensitivity to the vibrations of Spirit such that he is provided with an AWA/Perception check on d100 to discern the approximate degree by which any person within sight on whom he concentrates his gaze leans towards Virtue or Vice (Shadow), and discover those who Walk in Darkness. The Mystic’s TR is added to the AV for these checks.

IF the Mystic reaches out and physically touches a subject, no d100 check is needed, in the same manner as a Wizard touching a magick, he simply KNOWs those who lean towards Virtue or Vice (Shadow), what their Virtues and Vices of choice are, and those who stand in Shadow or Darkness. In so doing, the Mystic’s own Light is automatically revealed to any sworn faithful to the Darkness.

 

 

The base DV for the AWA check is Progressive based on the number of yards of the distance at which the person concentrated on is located (minimum 1). The subject’s CHM and HRT att. mod’s are added to this, as well, plus a bonus based on his Game Face and/or Player skill, as applicable.

 

 

Once Ascended, the Mystic is automatically granted knowledge of the balance of Virtue and Vice in every being he lays eyes on, and the knowledge of truth and lies in all he hears (as previously described), without need of any d100 check for success.

Note, SOME truths are simple, others are not, and the same for lies. Most people shade the truth, changing only small details, sometimes out of habit rather than malice, so many people’s words fall somewhere between truth and falsehood. When this happens the Mystic cannot know what parts of truth and which are lies, only further questioning may reveal the truth. Intent is everything, as well. If a character is fed dis-information, his repeating it doesn’t create the impression of a lie because he believes it to be the truth, he does not know any better.

Being so much a vessel of holy Light in the world, Mystics are granted power over the various restless and wandering spirits that can abound in the world, primarily un-dead (mean-spirited ghosts, skeletons, ghouls, wights, wraiths, vampires, liches, etc.). The Mystic is also granted dominion over creatures and beings from other Spheres of existence, lawful spirits and servants of the Light, evil spirits and creatures of the Darkness, extending as well to the ancient wild spirits of the elements and creatures and beings of Faerie subject to the power of the Druid trades and Witches.

The Mystic’s Power over spirit creatures and un-dead takes the form of the following commands: Banish, Command, and Dispel.

Banish

If successful, the Mystic causes the target creature or being to flee, speeding away at its maximum movement rate for (Mystic’s HRT + TR) minutes without ceasing. When the time expires and the creature or being stops its flight, the distance between it and the Mystic who Banished it marks the radius of a circle centered on the Mystic into which that creature or being cannot trespass again for (Mystic’s HRT + TR) hours.

Command

If successful, the Mystic may command one service of the target creature or being. The creature or being so Commanded must remain under the Mystic’s Power for up to (Mystic’s HRT + TR) hours, or until the service commanded has been rendered, whichever expires first. Demands for information are the most common and universally useful regardless of the nature of the creature or being subjected to the Mystic’s Power. The player should be conscious of possible effects on Virtue or Vice on his Mystic in using this Power.

Dispel

If successful, this Power completely destroys the physical manifestation of the wicked or troublesome creature or being targeted, returning its spirit or essence back to the Sphere of Spirit whence it came.

Creatures and/or beings so Dispelled are barred from interfering in any way in the Mortal Sphere, unable to even TRY to return, for (Mystic’s HRT att. mod.) or (TR) years, whichever is greater. If a creature or being Dispelled by a Mystic is called back by some agent or ally in the Mortal Sphere, the Mystic’s (TR + HRT att. mod.) will be added to his DV to cross the Vale and manifest physically again.

IF the Mystic can track down such a creature or being’s physical link with the mortal world, such as the remains of its former body, sanctify and lay them to rest again in hallowed ground, the DV for its return is increased by the POT with which the ground was sanctified.

This power is the most commonly exercised in the Mystic’s crusade against the unlawful dead and un-dead. The Mystic must be careful of lawful spirits though, who may be trying to get the Mystic to redress some grievance.

The Mystic’s att. mod. for the use of any and all of these Powers are based upon his CHM and HRT scores.

The DV for any and all of these abilities are equal to the POT of the creature or spirit the Mystic is facing. If he is trying to affect more than one at the same time, the highest POT among them should be used as the base, plus the number of others.

IF they also have a material component to their manifestation, the effective STA of it must be added, as well.

These powers can be exercised with the speed of a cantrip, with no Action cost.

The powers above are tools for battling or dealing with the unlawful dead and un-dead, but the Mystic must be very careful how he uses them, as those creatures are anathema and Dispelling should be the first response. Banishing is for ill-behaved and wicked spirits, but the Mystic might seek to Command information from his foe before Dispelling him and sending him back to Spirit where he belongs. While also subject to his Power, lawful spirits must be treated justly, for the very fact that they returned to the mortal world in a lawful manner indicates that they have unfinished business and a right to attend to it, or seek help in so doing.

The DV’s for Commanding and Dispelling are higher than those for Banishment, and Dispelling DV’s higher than Command DV’s. This may affect his decision to use these powers when he suspects he is facing a particularly powerful foe. In addition, the DV’s for Dispelling un-dead and spirit creatures who have physical bodies or physical components to their manifestations will be higher than simple spirits, as they have a physical link to the mortal world, usually some artifact of its previous existence, or a person who dwells upon their loss and lends them the strength to bridge the gap to the mortal world.

To Mystics, who are wholly in tune with the wholesome power of Light and Life (moreso Life for those who follow the Olde Ways), the un-dead are viewed as fetid corruptions of the loving essence of Spirit. Such creatures embody the antithesis of their philosophy and thus are their sworn foes, especially those whose bodies are physical/material (skeletons, ghouls, wights, vampires, liches, etc.). Un-dead live on anti-life and hunger only to consume the heat and fires of life about them.

Whenever any Un-dead and/or other spirits or supernatural creatures or beings of Darkness or dwelling in Shadow approach within [(SPT) + (HRT att. mod.) + (TR)] yards, the Mystic breaks forth in a glorious Holy Aura, revealing their presence for all to see.

This wreath of luminous, silvery-blue spiritfire shines forth to prevent these spirits or creatures from approaching closer than (Mystic’s HRT + TR) feet. This distance is reduced by one foot for every point by which the Un-dead or spirit creature or being’s [(HRT) + (POT)] is greater than the Mystic’s [(HRT) + (SPT att. mod.) + (TR)].

IF this allows the creature to come close enough, it may be able to attack with a weapon.

IF this is sufficient to reduce the distance to 0 or less, the last foot is broken down by inches, requiring 12 points to take the last foot down to zero, before the beast is actually able to lay hands on the Mystic.

Creatures of Darkness coming into contact with the Aura’s fires are required to make a successful HRT check vs. the Mystic’s (SPT att. mod.) + (HRT) + (TR) or flee.

Failed, the creature must speed away at it’s maximum movement rate for (Mystic’s HRT + TR) minutes without ceasing, as if it had been Banished (as above).

When facing the physical un-dead, no quarter may be given. They are the ultimate perversion and abomination, to be investigated, pursued and wiped from the face of the earth where and whenever possible. Un-dead spirits (unlawful ghosts, wraiths, etc.), not including lawful hauntings, are similarly horrible to Mystics, but lack the physical corruption and may be parleyed with, their destruction postponed, if other business demands, but destroyed they all must be in the end, indeed their destruction will often require certain conditions be met, which will require time for the Mystic to discover.

Upon achieving Ascension (as discussed in “Magick in Play”), the Mystic breaks out in a similar luminous Holy Aura (assuming it has not already manifested due to the presence of some foe dedicated to the Darkness), shining with the Glory of the Light for all to see.

The Holy Aura manifest while he is Ascended provides a continuous benefit to all on-lookers and compatriots of the faith located within [(SPT att. mod.) + (HRT) + (TR)] yards, as if he had prayed with them and laid his hands upon them and blessed them (as previously described), plus a bonus equal to their own SPT att. mod’s, to aid them in whatsoever actions they may undertake while his Holy Aura shines upon them.

Negative attribute modifiers do NOT apply in this case, the power can only benefit recipient’s, regardless of their faith or lack of it.

The Mystic’s bond to the Light and Its uplifting Power also provides another benefit.

Over time, as the Mystic channels the life-affirming Power of the divine Light, he becomes so steeped in it that his own life-energies are gradually augmented and preserved, slowing the aging process. The GM determines the degree to which the character’s lifespan will be enhanced, according to the Sphere of Power of the mysteries into which the character has been introduced.

The Mystic ages only one (1) year for every [1 + (1 per 4 TR’s)] years that pass, to a maximum of one (1) year per (SPT ÷ 4) years that pass as long as he is initiated only into Common Sphere mysteries.

On initiation into the Noble Sphere mysteries, this slows to one (1) year for every [(SPT ÷ 4) + (TR)] years, to a maximum of one (1) year for every (SPT ÷ 2) years that pass.

On attaining the Sovereign Sphere mysteries, the Mystic only ages one (1) year for every [(SPT ÷ 2) + (TR)] years, to a maximum of one (1) year for every (SPT) years that pass, thenceforward.

Of course, this makes little or no difference to those of the longer-lived races, especially those of elfin blood. For others it is a little bit of insurance against any charms that age the body unnaturally. In the face of such a charm that carries great POT, it at least provides some defense to blunt the effects.

This life-affirming aspect of the Mystic’s Power also grants him a bonus of (TR) to his P-RES score. This is limited, however, and applies specifically to the purposes of resisting illness, healing wounds, and recovering from sickness, only, whether inflicted by mundane or magick means.

 

The Pious Life of a Mystic

In order for the Mystic to maintain his holy disposition and his link to the divine, he is required to perform a number of hours of obeisance and personal devotions in addition to regular religious observances equal to [(50 + TR) – (SPT)]. The character may take up to (SPT att. mod.) or (TR) days to complete his devotions (whichever is greater) and, once done, he will be free of the need for (SPT x 2) days.

For example, the TR 16 Mystic of Halikhala, Illondra Jondir (SPT 16) is required to perform 50 hours of private devotions (50 + TR16 = 66; 66 – SPT 16 = 50 hours). She has 16 days to do so (TR16), taking just over 3 hours a day for those 16 days if she wants to spread them out evenly, and then she is free except for normal religious observances for 32 days (SPT16 x 2 = 32).

lf the player decides to have his character perform regular devotions during the times when not required, each full hour completed will be subtracted from his required time when it comes time to perform these private devotions again.

For example, if Illondra also takes an hour every evening before she turns in for bed for private devotions over the course of those 32 days she can cut her required devotions down to 18 hours (50 – 32 days @ 1 hour a day = 18).

For every 4 days that the Mystic neglects his required devotions, the DV’s for achieving Grace and channeling the miraculous power of his deity rises by one (1). The Mystic is required to perform penance in the form of additional devotions and abstinence from calling for aid from his deity in order to eliminate this penalty (GM’s discretion).

The private devotions required of the Mystic do not exempt him from the normal homage paid by the rest of the congregations at the regular services, for which once every 4 days is standard of the period of the game. The “special” devotions outlined above are really only the bare minimum required for the character to maintain his holy station as his deity’s agent. In addition to the time he must spend on private devotions, the Mystic will be responsible for observing all holy days and especially all high holidays (saints’ feasts) of his religion, all holy forms, and any special restrictions on actions or activities, whether permanently forbidden or by season. These can be all inclusive (“Thou shalt not kill”, “Thou shalt not bear false witness”, “Do no harm”), or may be by the day of the week (no eating blood meats on Fridays, no working on Sunday), or by the season of the religious calendar (sacrifices of the Lenten season, gift-giving during the Christmas season), and so on, Indeed, in many instances the Mystic may find himself acting as chaplain for his adventuring party, performing services for them when they are in the wilderlands out of reach of a temple.

During the course of play it is very likely the Mystic may assay some task or face foes in battle on behalf of those who cannot do so themselves. In these instances the Mystic may gather the pious and exhort them to devote their prayers to the protection and support of their benefactors. The Mystic may then gather that power and direct it to the aid of those in need to provide the edge to carry the day, or carry it himself to enter into battle so he may attend them in person, as well.

With a group of the faithful behind him lending their fervent prayers for his success, be they common folk bent in prayer or monks or priests or other ecclesiastics in some monastery chapel or cathedral, the Mystic may send the power of those loving thoughts and prayers or carry that power himself and let it shine upon all those of his faction.

This adds a bonus of +1 for every 4 of the faithful praying on his behalf to be added to the AV’s for all trade benefits, abilities, or skills, even the POT of any magicks cast (though this does NOT affect the DV for the casting), of those to whom the Mystic directs the Power, or to whom he carries it.

IF the Mystic should Ascend, the effects (POT) of his Holy Aura are supplemented by the power of the prayers of the faithful in the same manner.

This bonus from the power of prayer endures for so long as the faithful remain at prayer on the Mystic’s behalf.

IF the Mystic remains among the faithful to lead their prayers, the bonus is equal to his TR, instead, +1 for each of the faithful also praying on his behalf. In the case of multiple Mystics so lending their devotions, their TR’s are all combined.

IF the Mystic faces some great task and has sufficient time to prepare for the event or task at hand, he has the option of undergoing a Fast and/or Vigil or even a full Spiritual Retreat for the purposes of purification & rededication. These processes enhance his focus and heighten his abilities and skills temporarily.

Fasting is an example of purification through abstinence. Abstinence from all contact with any substance associated with a Vice (in the case of fasting, Gluttony) can provide the same benefit – a temporary vow of poverty, forsaking any contact with coin or other forms of wealth including the comforts of rich clothing and furs, for example, or a vow forsaking all pleasures of the flesh, especially carnal (though not limited to), would do the same. The Mystic might mix ashes with his food to show Temperance, taking no joy in the pleasures of feeding the animal needs of the body, or in a similar vein, show his chasteness by sleeping beside a woman with a sword lying between them, forsaking her charms. As a child, St. Nicholas refused his mother’s milk on holy feast days.

Abstinence provides the Mystic with a bonus of +1 at the end of every full 24 hours completed, up to a maximum of (SPT att. mod. or TR, whichever is greater) to ALL AV’s (regardless of the nature of the activity) and the effective power (POT) of all trade benefits, abilities, or skills.

The benefit endures for (SPT ÷ 4) days after the abstinence is concluded, then declines at the same rate it accrued as soon as the practice is abandoned.

IF Fasting, the Mystic must take care. He is only allowed up to (CND ÷ 4) days before physical penalties begin to be assessed. This may put a crimp in his other, less spiritual activities. Fasting to achieve this benefit may only be undergone no more often than once every three months.

A Vigil includes similar privation but in many ways at once, fasting and forsaking physical comfort, chastity, combined with prayerful contemplation and meditation in solitude, in a chapel or other holy place IF one is available, in an isolated personal space if a dedicated holy place cannot be found. A vigil is usually performed from dusk til dawn, or from dawn to dawn.

Over the course of a vigil, from dusk til dawn, or from dawn to dawn, the Mystic gains a bonus of (SPT att. mod. or TR, whichever is greater) to all AV’s (regardless of the nature of the activity) and the effective power (POT) of all trade benefits, abilities, or skills. This should be prorated by the hour in case the vigil is interrupted.

The benefit endures until the sun sets on the (SPT) or (TR) day following its conclusion (whichever is less). At that sunset, the bonus declines at the same rate it accrued.

A Spiritual Retreat provides the character with the opportunity to engage in devotions and contemplation in a secluded setting, where abstinence and privation may be practiced either periodically as described above, or in moderation continuously at a level that can be sustained for a longer period.

This process reduces the character’s Vice scores, and for those accompanying him also, up to (TR) in number, and allow the character to improve the scores for his Virtues, but also provides the same benefits as purification by abstinence (Fasting, etc.).

For every full week spent in retreat, any and all Vice scores are reduced by 1 point across the board, to a maximum of one full season, or three months (three full lunar cycles). The benefits of purification by abstinence undergone during the retreat begin to accrue normally at a rate of +1 point per full 24 hours after the first day the retreat commences, and the benefits endure so long as the retreat continues and (HRT ÷ 4) days after the retreat has ended, fading at the same rate it accrued.

One full calendar year must be allowed to elapse between each retreat in order to achieve the benefits described.

 

It is of vital importance that the reader become familiar also with the passages titled “An Introduction to Magick”, “The World through a Magician’s Eyes” and “A Primer on the World of Magickbefore also reading through the rules for magick contained in the passages headed “Magick in Play”. There are certain basic essential concepts in those passages that, in concert with the trade descriptions are vital to a clear understanding of magick, its place in the world and how it is created and the rules under which it manifests in the game world, especially in mechanical terms.

 

GM’s Notes

If the GM feels that a Mystic character has performed above and beyond the normal demands of the Light and this very demanding trade, beyond any expectations the GM may have for such a character, he may wish to consider some manner of gift sent down from On High by the Light as a sign of appreciation. This might take the form of something simple to make his life easier. If he is a member of a poor order and has no horse, perhaps that could be sent to him. Weapons and armor are other options if he cannot afford them, the traditional suit of fieldplate or a sword of quality, a shield, or lance befitting his accomplishments. Making the character earn it he will be more likely to value it. The GM could put together a full war harness of mystical power and put it someplace in a tomb of some great pagan hero and guide the Sacred Knight to it in a dream or through a series of ambiguous signs drawing him on, or do the same with a very special warhorse, already trained and of uncanny intelligence being threatened by some evil foe, being mistreated or perhaps about to be destroyed for being unable to be bent to the use of those unworthy. The character arrives and finds his prize under the watchful eye of some vile and dangerous guardian(s).

The key here is subtlety. The GM should not be handing over some grotesquely powerful weapon that shoots irresistible Bolts of Annihilation, or arms to withstand the wrath of a god. The favor of Deity should be expressed simply. Perhaps the reward is a cloak that keeps all inclement weather out and the character comfortable no matter what, or a fine wooden bowl, a mazer with a lid, that is always full of simple but nourishing soup or brose or porridge whenever opened. Perhaps it is a weapon somewhat sharper than normal weapons and does not seem ever to dull or rust, or armor that never shows a dent or other sign of wear, A chain hauberk may not be the best armor, but when it never rusts and wears as lightly as a shirt of cotton and doesn’t seem to suffer from the abuse of battle in addition to having been given to the character by the Light Itself, who could possibly complain?

The GM should remember that to make an adventure out of giving one or more characters a gift in this way, from On High, it should be to address a need in the party, where their advancement in skills, Trades, reputation warrant it and where there is no real justifiable means in the regular course of the campaign or types of adventures being run at the time to provide for these needs in the Booty normally generated.

The blatant and obvious favor of the Light, or even the Darkness for that matter, should be more than merely difficult to win, but a herculean task taking many years to accomplish and the vigilance of a lifetime to maintain. The notice and benefit of devotion are evident in the spiritual benefits these characters achieve in the simple pursuit of their Trade. To achieve greater reward than should take some serious effort, and the GM should hold himself VERY difficult to impress on behalf of Deity.

If the GM is allowing Knights dedicated to the Black Orders and is similarly contemplating such a gift, he should make the guardian even more of a surprise. As well, there should always be some sort of price exacted in the long run, especially if the character has asked for or been looking for such a prize as a reward. These could be considered in some a cursed items – of little consequence to most who would willingly choose the Darkness. Such a drawback might include a fabulous sharp sword that endures without wearing, but which will not allow itself to be sheathed once drawn until it has been buried in living flesh to drink the life’s blood, and forcing the wielder to attack whomever should be closest to that end if the wielder had no foe in mind to slay when the sword is drawn. Similarly, a beautiful suit of full fieldplate might be made in such a way that it cannot be taken off once struck until the armor has used the wearer’s own life force and energy to mend any damage inflicted on it, despite not showing a scratch on it. Such a suit of armor might have need to drain so much of the wearer’s own energy it kills him, turning him to a wraith. The Knight in Black orders might free a fabulously fast and sleek and darkly beautiful steed from it’s captors of the Light, swift as the wind, whose hooves never seem to touch the ground, indeed able to ride the sky – a Nightmare with sulphurous breath and flaming hooves, cadaverous or skeletal visage at its whim, and none shall sleep soundly in the vicinity.

The Darkness is fickle, bizarre and takes with one hand as it gives with another, and not necessarily in equal proportion. Darkness does as It wishes to suit Itself. The Vices should lend a clue to its priorities and methods. The more the Darkness gives without demanding return, the greater and more destructive the price to be exacted in the end. It’s sense of irony is unmatched, and the bizarre nature of It’s humor sublime as befits any concept of Darkness and Deity. Any attempt to divest himself of a gift won of and for the use of the Darkness will be read as a severe affront and blatant insult to be redressed with retribution that can be coined short of death. Death is a last resort. Living on can be made far more unbearable. Of course, with command of the legions of Un-dead, one of the great and horrible resource in Their power, Death is no barrier to the Darkness. The Tortures of the Damned can run through the ultimate length of life and continue in an eternity of Un-death, too.

The Druid Trades: True Druids, Brehon, Fathi, Filid, Bard, Smiths (Gowan or Govannon) and The Fiana

Despite all the interest these trades seem to generate, they have a very meager historical record on which to draw in trying to create for them the same sort of fulsome fantasy existence evident in the descriptions of the other trades in RoM, for which so much more information was available. What has come down from the historians is based largely on the words of the Greeks and the Romans, but that body is in fact very scant, less than 2,000 words in all, not to mention the bias of a foreign culture and in the case of the Romans, a certain slant due to political agenda, as well. Some historians, mostly Greek, treat Druids as great philosophers and scientists worthy of admiration. Others, mostly Roman, make them into bloodthirsty barbarian priests, epitomes of backwardness, ignorance and cruelty. Yet others, like Caesar, suggest that they were both. Caesar’s Gallic Druids were members of a highly developed national organization with a special training.The tales and chronicles set down on parchment around the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries, when Christianization preserved what had been for hundreds of years a strictly oral tradition, in the lands where true Celtic societies managed to continue through the 4th or 5th centuries and in some regards much later (like a fly in amber), provide a much richer resource. The physical archeological evidence and the lifestyle depicted in the epic tales and chronicles such as the Mabinogion provide a similarly rich resource. Thus, these diverse forms of evidence are considered to corroborate one another. The chronicles of the Celtic countries comprise the chief resource on which we have drawn in writing the descriptions of the trades that were such an intrinsic part of Celtic society.

There has been MUCH fanciful imagining done to reconstruct what is little more than a facsimile of the Druid myth, and almost none of it is supported by any sort of evidence, literary or archaeological. We have striven here to come to terms with all the evidence from the chronicles and the histories that could be garnered, however. This is our best effort to sort it out what is available and make some sense of what evidence we have, and also to make of it something the players of RoM might find enjoyable.

The first difficulty to tackle in regards to these trades is the fact that the term “druid” is not as definite and finite a term as most believe.

The word Druid is composed of two parts, first dru-, regarded by some prominent scholars as an intensive, and vids, which comes from vid, which is “to know,” or “to see.” Thus, the Druid was “the very learned one”, “the very wise one” or “the all-seeing one”. It is possible, however, that dru- is connected with the root which gives the word “oak” in Celtic speech—Gaulish deruo, Irish dair, Welsh derw, and that the oak, occupying such a prominent place in the religion, was brought into relation with the title referring to the most important leaders of that religion. In this case the Druids would be “wise one of the oak” or perhaps “learned [in the secrets] of the oak”. The modern forms of Druid, drui and draoi in Irish and Scots Gaelic, respectively, simply mean “sorcerer”. Anyone who wields magick can be called a Druid while they are in the process of exercising that power/knowledge, regardless of the trade by which they earn their daily bread or any other skill set they may have mastered or for which they may be known, such as Warrior or Huntsman like a member of the Fianna. Those who practice druidecht, or wizardry, as the main thrust of their activities are therefore full-time “true” Druids, but the designation is in fact very elastic.

In Ireland the term(s) denoting a magician slides back and forth between a number of labels of which ‘druid’ is only one. If Druid was an ancient Celtic word for anybody who wields or has an understanding of supernatural power then it can be applied to a great range of trades in different societies speaking one of the Celtic languages.

In the sagas of the Irish texts, the word druidecht, or literally “druidcraft”, is simply used as a general term for magick, and slat an draoichta, or “rod of Druidism,” is a magic wand, rod, or staff. The Tuatha De Danann are reputed to have learned “Druidism” (wizardry) from the four great master Druids of the region whence they had come before landing in Ireland. As beings of great power themselves, the four great Druids must have been greater still, and that is a very powerful legacy for the Druids.

Classical evidence tends to show that the Druids were a large and varied but all-inclusive priesthood made up of a number of different classes performing a variety of social and religious functions, some priestly, some prophetic or magickal, and others medical, or legal, or poetical. At their origins, the Druids combined the functions of wizard, keeper of the law, judge, counselor to the lord or king, and poet. The Druids were the ultimate authority in matters sacred and mundane. Later, but still at a very early period of development, the offices became divided, the “true” Druids arrogating to themselves the magickal knowledge, the Brehons devoting themselves to the study of law and the giving of legal decisions, the Fathi among them taking the offices of augury and divination and some priestly functions (especially taking the role of custodians of the temples and sacred wells or pools and groves), and the Filid being principally poets and musicians, historians, and natural philosophers of magickal prowess, along with their less prestigious colleagues, the Bards. The Fiana emerged as guardians of the realms, wide-ranging Warrior-Huntsmen after a fashion, blended with their native Celtic druidecht. The mystical Smiths emerged from the ranks of the Fathi, steeped in the magick of making. But ALL these trades – Brehons, Fathi, Filid and Smiths – were referred to at one time or another as “Druid”, and so they are in the context of RoM due to each trade’s connection with magick, especially among the Celtic people who are not so very concerned with labels.

Large numbers of young men flock to the Druid masters of all these trades for instruction, as they are held in great esteem. The scholastic studies and training process to become a member of one of the Druid trades can take as long as 20 years (Brehon), or as little as 9 to 12 years (Bard or Fili, respectively). Students are taught by rhyme and rote in endless repetition of the words of the master until the information is memorized.

Not only during peacetime but also in war, the Celts obey with great care the Druids, both friend and enemy alike, especially the Brehons and Fathi, and singing Fili or poet-Bards, but each of the various trades according to their area of dominion or expertise. Often when two armies have come together with swords drawn these men have stepped between the battle-lines and stopped the conflict, as if they were wild animals held spell-bound. Such is the power of their presence, their knowledge, their magick. Thus, even among the most brutal barbarians, angry passion yields to wisdom – even Ares himself must stand in awe of the Graces and Muses.

Once a year, all Druids meet at the “navel of [country]” or the “navel of the world” to discuss affairs and settle quarrels and disputes. Historically, this was in a consecrated spot in the country of the Carnutes, which is supposed to be the centre of Gaul.

Those who are involved in disputes assemble here from all parts, and accept the Druids’ judgements and awards. These Druid councils decide matters of not only a single tribe or clan affairs, but also matters concerning the entire Celtic nation, of all the Celtic tribes. This conclave is headed by the highest in prestige among their number, similar in nature to an independent high prelate, for the Druids are immune to the interference of the chieftains. Indeed, they have no territorial boundaries.

The sixth day of every lunar cycle is the “Druid Moon”, celebrated with a great feast. According to Pliny, no sacred rites are performed without oak branches and/or leaves. The mistletoe is culled with a golden sickle from the oaks and laid upon cloths of white. The mistletoe is valued for its medicinal properties and also as a protection from lightning and from sorcery [when its Power is awakened]. It is not considered harmful or as dangerous to pick a poisonous plant with the ‘sinistra’ or left hand; indeed one of the principle plants used by the Druids had to be picked with the left hand, another with the right hand through the left sleeve of a white robe. The sinistra is the more suitable for dangerous work in the Druidic practice.

All the Druids are under one head, whom they hold in the highest respect. In Gaul, one chief Druid had authority over the others, the position being an elective one. The insular Druids of Britain and Ireland were similarly organized, the chief Druid is referred to as Primus Magus (“PREE-moose MAH-goose”).

The Filid had an Ard-file, or chief, elected to his office also.

On the chief Druid’s death, if any one of the rest is of outstanding merit, he succeeds to the vacant place; if several have equal claims, the Druids usually decide the election by voting, though sometimes they actually face-off and fight it out.

The Irish traditions also show Dryades or ban-drui, female Druids, or “Druidesses” of great knowledge and prowess among their numbers, even in the arts of war. Indeed, in their cultures, the Celts relied on their women as strong comrades in arms in times of strife. The British Celtic queens gave the Romans more trouble than the Celtic kings. The British queen Boudicca is a good example, and she is noted as exercising priestly functions, having loosed hares before a battle to look for an omen in their pattern of flight. This is very indicative of the strength of women in both society and religion.

Women with priestly functions, such as the virgin guardians of sacred fires of Brigit in Ireland to whose functions Christian nuns succeeded, are widely represented.

Such priestesses as the British queen Boudicca, apart from the Dryades, existed among the continental Celts, also.

Inscriptions speak of an antistita deae at Arles, and of a flaminica sacerdos of the goddess Thucolis at Le Prugnon. These were servants of a goddess like the priestess of the Celtic Artemis in Galatia, in whose family the position in the priesthood was hereditary. The virgins called Gallizenae practiced divination and magic in the isle of Sena, priestesses of a Gaulish god, and some of the women who were “possessed by Dionysus” and practiced an orgiastic cult on an island in the Loire, were probably of the same kind. They were all priestesses of some magickal religious group after the Druidic form, related to the Druidic nature deities, practiced solely by the society of women, like the guardians of the sacred fire in Ireland, which was banned to men.

This implies the presence of an equal and parallel organization of women in all the trades of druidecht.

The folk of the Druid trades all share many traits, a common cultural matrix, and point of view, bound together by their common language, beliefs and religious service to the Celtic peoples. They are prone to speak laconically and to the point, in general all of them men of few but weighty words.

“Truth in the heart, strength in the arm, honesty in speech.”

“The gods must be honored, no injustice done, and manly behavior [integrity] always maintained.”

“Three things from which a true Man must never be moved:
One’s Oaths, One’s Gods, and the Truth.”

“The three highest causes of the true Man are:
Truth, Honor, and Duty.
Among them, Honor above all!”

“The three candles that can illuminate every darkness:
Truth, Nature, and Knowledge.”

These are all prime, basic Celtic principles, framed in the typical Celtic triadic mould. While all Druid trades practice some form of magick, they each have very different roles in Celtic society and also responsibilities and accompanying ancillary skills. The Druids’ magick, regardless of the specific trade, harnesses the energy of Life shared by all living things universally: plants, insects, animals, and all sentient beings, all forms of life no matter how great or small. In their view, EVERY-thing in the world is alive and has its own spirit, every rock, body of water, and tree.

Magister

The Magister is a Scholar. The name Magister is a title that translates to “Master,” referring to the Bachelor of Arts degree he has earned at university. Choosing this trade indicates that the character has studied long and hard at university and earned both his Baccalaureate degree and coveted Licentia Docendi of a Magister – the Master’s degree.

Many students drop out after the M-gram, never achieving even the BA, but still go on to perform admirably as professional clerks, even in government service.

The Scholar character must first be a Magister before he may be equipped with any of the higher Scholastic Trades. This brings with it the same respect and social standing as a gentleman, and the opportunities to rise in status to equal a knight, depending on the patron he is able to find and the position to which he is eventually appointed in service. This also frees him to circulate as a peer in the scholastic community, allowing him to teach in any of the various universities sponsored by the Church, in every realm where it holds sway.

“The teacher crows like a cock in the night and says : ‘now it is time for us to awake from sleep.’ … Let the teacher shake himself till he is awake … Let him beat himself with the wings of his thoughts. Then let him wake up other men to labor ….”

The Scholars’ Path, so to speak, can be seen in the listings on the Scholastic Trades roster to encompass a number of areas of knowledge. These are marked as PhD’s to indicate that they require significant study beyond the Magister. The skill sets each provides may look a bit truncated, but that is because they are building blocks like all the other trades, intended to add on to the Magister’s skill set. The specific scope of each and the skills that express each are addressed in their specific descriptions, as follows.

This trade is designed to represent the standard educational channels, , the character is assumed to have taken the standard liberal arts courses including the Trivium (Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic) and the Quadrivium (Astrology, Music Theory, Arithmetic, and Geometry). These are considered the foundation stones of all medieval education.

The Magister’s knowledge of Music Theory, through his experience with the Quadrivium, allows him to take the Musician skill with a single musical instrument, NOT to include the Voice, as the mathematical principles of music cannot be examined through it as they can be with an external instrument.

In many ways, this trade is an elevated and perfected form of the Lore skill; however, while the Lore skill encompasses knowledge that is readily obtained in the world, folkways and tales, local stories, practices, and oral traditions passed easily and naturally around among the common people, the Scholar skill encompasses scholarship and book-learning, all the higher realms of education. Scholar encompasses the knowledge of the great writers, regardless of the magnitude of their reputations – philosophers and theologians ancient and current, historians, poets, and playwrights, astronomers & astrologers, linguists and cryptographers, all the great thinkers, even the inventors.

All Scholar characters are familiar with all these subjects, but the player must choose his Areas of Expertise for his Scholar character from among this list, or come up with others, subject to the GM’s approval. These may be up to (AWA ÷ 4) in number. The player should be mindful that the Areas of Expertise provide the basic foundation of the character’s identity as a member of the scholastic community, the basis of his professional reputation. They indicate the subjects on which the scholar’s studies were most intensely concentrated at university. These subjects of study are each tracked as separate skills but as directly related skills all of the same nature (Lore), one AWA-slot may contain up to (AWA ÷ 4) such fields of Lore.

Because of their importance and position at the core of medieval higher learning and the Scholar character’s education, the Trivium (Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic) and Quadrivium (Astrology, Music Theory, Arithmetic, and Geometry) are so intrinsic to the process of education that each of these groups is considered to be a single field of Lore for the purposes of filling AWA-slots. In the same manner as the fields of Lore above, one AWA-slot may contain up to (AWA ÷ 4) of the Scholar character’s assorted Linguist skills, as directly related skills all of the same nature (languages). These include not only the languages common to the community of scholars (Philosopher’s Tongue = Greek, Scholar’s Tongue = Latin, GM’s discretion), but foreign languages and even dead languages, of which the player may choose a total up to (AWA ÷ 4) in number with which his Scholar character may begin play. The player should consult with the GM if he wishes to equip his Scholar with knowledge of foreign and/or ancient languages, to see which might be the most appropriate for the game world.

The Areas of Expertise are the avenues on which the Magister character is expected to focus on cultivating greater knowledge as he develops as a Scholar in play. Within his Areas of Expertise, the Scholar character is very familiar with all of the great men who pioneered the field of study, whose theories are in favor and who is discredited, whose works are reliable and whose not, and all the great scholars currently prominent in his field, even in the international community, and indeed may be in correspondence with them, as long as the Scholar takes care to introduce himself fully and provide/describe his credentials and ask permission first. Letters of introduction as references of the PC Scholar’s good and upright his character are also a good idea preceding any request to correspond. Scholarly discourse and discussion via correspondence was very common in the period of the game, and the common language shared by the international community of scholars (Latin) made it easy.

Outside his Areas of Expertise, the Scholar is familiar with the greatest of scholars and most trusted authors of codices in the other fields, and where to go to find the information he desires. He is familiar with the greats in agriculture and industry among the religious houses, great linguists, classical and contemporary authors, great architects and those who invent machines, who are masters of arithmetic and geometry, philosophers, and historians both current and classical, and the general body of learned works currently in vogue in the international community of scholars. In- and outside his field, this trade provides the character with the knowledge of which schools in what countries are renowned for teaching which subjects, which are the most prestigious, and which the best in quality (not always one and the same), which the best priced, and which caters to what social classes and/or is favored by the students from which countries.

This trade can, at the player’s option, also encompass the specializations in aspects or topics typical of high culture, called Connoisseurs specialties, listed under the Life Skills. These areas of special knowledge include ancient and antique examples of the area of expertise, and can range from rare and valuable coins, high style in furniture, cuisine, and fashion, to fine gems and jewelry, wine and liquors, beasts of myth and legend (including their reputed attributes), spirits (faerie, demon, and attendant spirits of the Light and the Darkness), and any and every field of the Artisan skill. Heraldry is another useful Connoisseur specialty, especially for a character (a Courtier, perhaps?) who aspires to one day being admitted to the College of Heralds.

A Connoisseur specialty in dance and/or music for one who is also a Courtier would give an advantage and provide the equivalent of a much higher SL (add the Connoisseurs SL to the dance or music SL for the purposes of knowledge, discussion and debate). This would have no effect on how well the character could perform in dance or on an instrument, only make him more knowledgeable, and perhaps a better teacher if he became so inclined.

These specialties can bridge the barriers of culture in knowledge without the character needing to also take the corresponding foreign Cultures skill, though the foreign Culture skills do help. The ability to recognize examples of the aspects of high culture originating from different (foreign) cultures and peoples is considered a separate Connoisseur specialty.

IF the character is already equipped with a number of Foreign Cultures skills, the Connoisseur specialties are automatically assumed to extend to those other cultures, as well.

The character may have more than one scholarly or cultural specialty, but the player must track each scholarly Area of Expertise and/or Connoisseur specialty separately by SL and SP’s, any of the skills of the healer trades, Weapon skills, Languages, Musicians’ instrument skills, the different Arts by which a single charm can be cast, and so on.

The magister understands the value of  Rhetoric and even Bombast in the Presence skill of the Orator, so necessary to his preparations for a life of teaching.

Trade Skills

Connoisseur †

Grammar School

Linguist

Foreign †

Scholar’s Tongue

Philosopher’s Tongue

Magister’s Lore

Trivium & Quadrivium

History & Mythology 

(ancient & recent); (domestic & international); (Church & State)

Classical Literature

Plays & Poetry

Religion & Theology

Cultures/Societies 

(ancient & recent); (domestic & foreign)

Elective Areas of Expertise †

Social Graces (domestic)

Perception

Savvy

Presence

Disputation/Debate

Interviewer/Interrogate

Orator

Repartee

Aside from being a well of information and scholarly learning in his scholarly or cultural specialty(ies), one of the main values in being a Magister is in the enhanced ability as a teacher.

Anyone, whether PC or NPC, may learn any skill by following the carefully explained and repeated examples and teachings of those who don’t actually have the Magister trade, as any common master of any trade who has taken on an apprentice, guiding the student (apprentice) through the task over and over, and over again. The emphasis in teaching by the unskilled is on rhyme and rote, accomplished through endless repetition of acts and processes, physically and also verbally. The student can’t help but learn under those conditions; the knowledge becomes ingrained by repetition into his very muscles and tendons, in what is called “body memory.”

The teaching skills of a Magister certainly aren’t required in these cases, but they certainly can be useful for engaging the student’s mind also and thus speeding the process up tremendously when they can be brought to bear in addition.

Being taught any skill, physical or otherwise, or area of knowledge or Lore, by a Scholar is faster than being taught by rote by anyone of equal skill/knowledge who lacks the same scholarly training. This is due to the fact that, being well-trained as an Orator, Scholars are skilled at verbal example, relating to the audience the concepts they wish to convey using images and references with which the audience can most easily identify. When the Scholar is at a loss for a common point of reference to get his point across due to differences in background, he has the verbal skills to get his student(s) to provide them for him. All the scholar has to do is remember to use the language of the class or station he is teaching so they can relate to him.

A Magister may teach any skill he possesses or lecture on any topic in which he is schooled, but the benefit lies in the fact that under his tutelage the student obtains SL 1 faster, or the SL being taught (up to that at which the Magister himself possesses it, at best, or his own TR as a Magister, whichever is less). Personality and style in teaching show their marks in the profession of the Magister, for they directly influence results and reputation, and it is the Magister’s reputation that draws students to him, and attracts the attention of wealthy noble patrons to woo him as an ornament for their courts or households.

The Magister (Latin), or Master (vulgar), is a very prominent and visible member of mainstream society in the medieval game world. When engaged and working for a patron, he fulfills a combination of the roles of teacher and chaperone, to tutor the children of nobles and some wealthy commoners, to act as a chaperone to guard the virtue of their young charges, or as a professor or master teaching undergraduates in a university setting. Service to wealthy burgess families teaching the children is the first rung on the lay-scholar’s ladder to success, from the wealthy burgess’ house to some local lesser noblemen’s house, on that noble’s recommendation to the service of his liege lord, and on up the social ladder. Those Scholars who teach in the universities are usually the most accomplished thinkers and orators of their countries, commonly internationally renowned, and often have quasi-political factions of students who follow their teachings. The term “quasi-political” is used here because, when two masters in a school disagree, or when the masters as a body divide over some issue, whether scholastic in nature or not, the students that study under them divide into factions and take the issue personally, even to the point of fighting amongst themselves, to the point of trading blows or resorting to weapon play. Considering the fact that the universities commonly dominate the towns where they are sited, these clashes most commonly occur when there are changes of political officers in the town, or in the officers of a college or for the university as a whole.

A Magister can teach anyone any skill or knowledge that he himself has, like any other, but only a Scholar can teach esoteric subjects like philosophy, interpretation of literature, poetry, and theatre, dead languages, and the fine points of etymology (the roots and derivation of words or names), or any other of the myriad scholarly specialties of this trade in the classroom and have any hope of keeping his audience entertained with them so as to actually impress the knowledge on them.

The Magister’s trained skill of Oration, developing a fine-timbered clear speaking voice, is a skill cultivated by Scholars for just this purpose, as well as for its great usefulness in debate.

The Magister’s skill as an Orator, long practiced in his scholastic career and so necessary to his teaching, is granted at SL10, plus his (CHM att. mod.).

The only other avenue to learning about such things is extensive personal reading, and that can be a rather expensive proposition unless one has some very wealthy connections/patrons or otherwise has access to some valuable repositories of books.

The helpful “how-to” books and scholarly treatises circulated to teach and preserve knowledge are only of use a) to those who can read and b) if the reader already has a background in the topic covered by the book (served an apprenticeship). Most treatises that survive down to us today rarely touch on what was considered common knowledge and background for the topic discussed. References are commonly made to other classical and contemporary authors and their works without going into detail. The reader is simply assumed to understand.

So the value of the Magister’s skill is assured, at least in training novices.

IF a pupil does not already have at SL1 the skill he wishes to be taught by the Magister, the Magister must begin by teaching him SL1 first. It is assumed that a full day is devoted to this pursuit once engaged, that all of the pupil’s and Magister’s activity slots during this time are accounted for by the teaching/learning process, save one slot for domestic and incidental business at some point during the day (player’s discretion). If less than this amount of time is being devoted to the new skill, the time required to master it should be increased proportionately, i.e., if the character only devotes half the time per day, double the time required. If he should skip a day, another day should be added at the end.

A Magister may instruct no more than (HRT + CHM att. mod.) + (TR) pupils at one time and still keep the proceedings orderly and the lectures and any demonstrations needed on-track and beneficial to the students. 

Once the pupil has learned SL1, the Magister may be sought out either for the odd lesson to gain a SP towards advancement or to undergo an integrated course of study to achieve another whole SL, as was done in the case of learning SL1, at the student’s discretion.

The process for teaching SL2, or any higher SL should the pupil already be versed in the skill he is seeking help to improve, is the same as that detailed for SL 1, only the SL included in determining the DV to teach/learn is higher.

  • When sought out for the odd lesson, the Magister may impart up to [(Magister’s SL or TR, whichever is less) – (student’s SL)] SP’s-worth of knowledge towards progression. 
  • This is assumed to take one (1) full “time slot” for that day for both Magister and student.
  • This may be done no more often than once every week, but may be done completely hit-or-miss, when both have time. 
  • Every time the student comes back to the Magister for the odd lesson to gain SP’s towards earning the same SL, he receives one (1) less SP, until he gains the SL sought or the Magister can no longer provide any further insights for him.

For example, a Magister of TR15, teaching a student the fine points of the history of the kingdom, which Lore he has at SL30, is hobbled by lack of skill in conveying what he knows, even though his skill as a Magister is above average. His student is familiar with the topic of study to the tune of SL10. As his TR15 is the greatest SL the Magister has the skill to convey, the first meeting with the student may yield only 5 SP’s. The student must then go forth and continue to work at that skill on his own. The student may return the following week if he still has not achieved the desired SL, this time gaining only 4 SP’s more. 

IF this proceeds apace every week, he gains 3 SP’s more, then 2 SP’s, then 1 SP at each meeting over the next 3 weeks, for a total of 15 SP’s over the course of a month. If the student is not doing independent reading to gain additional SP’s, those 15 SP’s are insufficient to obtain the higher SL sought. He needs (current SL + 12) SP’s to gain a level, or 22 in this case.

The Magister may only contribute SP’s towards SL progression through his teachings to pupils whose SL/TR with the knowledge being taught is less than the Magister’s own. If the pupil’s SL with the skill he wishes to be tutored in is greater than the Magister’s SL with that skill there will be nothing for the Magister to teach him. If the Magister has a higher SL with the skill but his SL in the Magister skill is lower than the pupil’s SL in the skill, the finer points that the pupil needs to learn will be completely lost. Those aspects and nuances will be beyond the Magister’s ability to teach.

For example, the student with an AWA att. mod. of + 3 seeking training in his Lore skill (currently SL5) under the tutelage of a Magister who has the Lore skill at SL 15 and the Magister skill at SL 10, would only be able to glean 8 SP’s worth of instruction from the Magister towards his next progression check (Magister lesser SL10 and pupil’s AWA att. mod. + 3 = 13; 13 – current SL 5 = 8). If his Magister SL were higher, the Magister would have the knowledge of the techniques of teaching that he needs to impart the greater secrets that he himself knows to their full extent of SL15. 

Also, as teaching depends upon communication and relies entirely upon the establishing of mutual understandings, the Magister’s SL is also limited to that of the language shared with the pupil, in which he is teaching. The limitation may be based on either the Magister’s SL or pupil’s SL with the language, whichever is lower.

The racial abilities and racial insights granting skill bonuses may not be taught; they are developed of inborn potential by those of the races to which they apply. Indeed, those abilities may be absent in those members of the race raised outside the race’s traditional habitat and society (GM’s discretion).

Trade abilities not listed in the trade skill rosters may only be taught by trade members to other eligible trade members. Should any student fail to learn a skill or ability (pupil’s AWA + 4) times from a particular Magister, he may never learn that skill or ability from that Magister. Attempting to teach non-trade members specific trade abilities, especially those that carry a TR requirement, or attempting to teach a student who has failed (AWA + 4) times would merely be a waste of time:

“Never try to teach a pig to sing;

It only wastes your time and annoys the pig.” ~

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) 

Due to the Magister’s great exposure to and experience in dealing with people through his skill, all Magister characters may choose to develop the Savvy skill as an elective skill. The services of a Magister can be very valuable, depending upon the skills he knows.

As a rule of thumb, the Magister PC should not charge more than the customary rate for his services for the period the student is tutored in it. The standard rate for a professional man of the Magister’s caliber ranges from 8d. to 1s. per day. He is highly esteemed, considered the equal of any man of gentle blood [gentleman], and having the opportunity to achieve the status equal to a knight, in time. The specific nature of the skills or knowledge a client approaches the Magister to learn is really irrelevant to the rate charged; the client pays for the prestige of being taught by a Magister. Because there are common master of physical skills willing to pass their trade on to serious students for far less, most go elsewhere to learn those sorts of skills/knowledge.

Most clients seeking a Magister are looking for training in the intricate knowledge and scholastic skills involving intensive book-learning such as the Magister himself had to go through, to attain that level of learning without the bother of attending classes to obtain a sheepskin (diploma/degree), including the Physicker’s or Surgeon’s craft among the healer trades (if the Magister has that knowledge), or Alchemy, Astrology and Astronomy, or Artificer/Mechanician or Architect (should the Magister be schooled in one or more of these), or should he be so schooled, the charms and skills or trade abilities of those who practice magick.

The Magister that continues to pursue his continued education with a nimble and wide-ranging intellect, an especially inquisitive mind, and/or is one simply hungry for knowledge in certain areas, pushes ever onwards to banish his own perceived shadows of ignorance.

Many do not, merely contenting themselves with the place and role the medieval fantasy game world society chooses for them. It is a comfortable place and living, respectable and even notable. Such Magisters tend to stagnate and do nothing more than simply maintain the knowledge gathered in university. Any new reading they do is incidental to other works with which they are in the habit of maintaining an acquaintance. Any LoA’s achieved in knowledge are few and far between, and hit-or-miss in nature, only.

Upon reaching the Master LoA as a Magister, the Scholar is accorded the rank and honors of “sage,” his further studies acknowledged with the receipt of a PhD, referred to commonly as a venerated Antiquarian or Historian or Philosopher. Socially he is received as the equal of a knight. It is only at this point that he is welcomed as an equal in the company of the other higher scholastic trades that are also distinguished by a PhD.

The Trades of Alchemist Simple, Lawyer, Herbal & Physicker are all areas derived from the applied pursuit of Natural Philosophy, those of Alchemist True and Wizard from the applied pursuit of Natural Philosophy & Meta-Physics, while Architect, Astronomer, and Artificer are all areas derived from the applied pursuits of the Mathematician. These are all represented as PhD-level Trade-modules, available to add to the Magister Trade to start with during character creation. There is no requirement that a scholar character start with his education that far advanced, however. One of these also becomes available to the newly made Sage-Magister to be designated as a new area of concentration for his study, if desired.

IF a player waits until his character reaches Master LoA as a Magister to designate a new area of concentration for his new PhD as a Sage, the scholar character does so at TR1, to be improved over time from that point forward, normally. Indeed, if the player intends a character to grow and improve in such a specific direction (already established with a separate trade description, as above), that up-coming PhD being worked towards must be specified no later than when he achieves Artisan LoA.

So busy are those that reach these LoA’s that they rarely perceive it until others inform them of their achievement. Those that reach these heights also discover that, the more they know, the smaller the piece of the Great Puzzle of the world they seem to have in their grasp. They shake their heads in bemusement at the pontificating that goes on among those less learned, but far more numerous scholars. At this LoA, the sea of their less learned colleagues are equally as likely to revere them as call them crackpots, depending on what scholastic sacred cows the papers they publish aim to overturn.

Despite the fact that a Magister is qualified to teach, at this LoA he is considered to be ostentatiously over qualified to do so, and commonly expected to focus primarily on his own studies into his preferred fields and pursue his epistolary relationships with his peers both in and outside the scholastic world. If he has gained sufficient renown, his correspondents may include kings, high nobles and ecclesiastical lords.

He has no real interest in teaching, being drawn far more to digging through ancient carvings, scrolls and texts and looking for new and especially original sources of ancient history, in gathering rare written works of their favorite authors and especially ancient texts together and copying them over to pass them to friends and thus ensure their further survival down through the years. If prominent enough, they may end up translating them in person specifically to bring them to the attention of the scholastic community, his peers, for their edification, use and consideration, and in pursuing his correspondence with those peers in discussing the various more popular theories in which he has an interest.

The Sage-Magister is likely to spend a good deal of time corresponding with his peers and answering the letters of the curious, as well, for his reputation for learning in the area of antiquities are likely to draw both comment and question, giving him a number of contacts in the (international) scholastic community similar in scope to that cultivated by the Courtier and Rogue trades, but also extending to contact with personages of great rank who may also have the leisure to consider or even pursue such matters.

Despite the fact that the Sage-Magister shies away from the idea of teaching in a large, busy university city setting – perhaps from the public in general – it is very likely he eventually might be sought out by individual ambitious, curious Magisters, or even secular scholars who have no formal degree but have an equivalent education, but any and all well-versed in the cannon of his works and seeking to follow in his steps. One or two of these, maybe even a small handful (4-5) might be received into his home and taken on after the fashion of apprentices.

Alternately, should the Sage’s reputation become great enough in the scholastic community for it to bleed over and gain notice in the secular world, the Sage-Magister might be sought out to hire for the benefit of the children of some great and powerful noble, or an invitation arrive for him to come to the court of some great king or prince to continue with his research, his theories and his writings, but to share them as an ornament of the court, to increase that magnate’s prestige by answering questions in the public forum for the edification of the attendees.

Warrior, Champion, Duelist

The Warrior Trade is the most comprehensive of the three tiers or trades by which a character can be prepared to take part in armed combat. The real difference between the Warrior by Trade and those that merely swing a weapon at need, for self defense when pressed, is one of interest and commitment.

The Fyrd are looked on by full-trade Warriors as dilettantes with only a passing interest, doing only the bare minimum required of them by the law. The Fyrd-trained character can barely keep control of the weapon in his own hand well enough to offer a real threat to the enemy(-ies) he faces. In the army and in battle, the Fyrd play an undeniably important role, and it is exactly the one the members of the Fyrd who end up facing foes on the battlefield generally fear it to be: “sword fodder.” To die so that their betters might live. In the eyes of a Warrior, only luck can get those with this level or tier of training through an actual pitched battle alive. One who works to practice and improve this tier of training to improve it may end up on top in a duel or keep himself in the streets.

The Night Watch are acknowledged as more serious, but they remain part-timers, at best. The Night Watch-trained character is too busy keeping a close watch on the weapons he fears in his foe’s hands, worrying about his personal safety and survival, to be able to calm down and start observing his opponent like a true Warrior. Honing the skills they are taught, a character may stand strong with his fellows and get safely through a skirmish. If those who have risen this far in their martial training can be inspired – and survive – they may eventually earn their way into the ranks of true Warriors.

Those pursuing the full Warrior trade are in it for life, to keep themselves alive on the battlefield, where they expect to make their fortune or find it. They burn with the will to survive, to defy the limitations of their own bodies, to rise to be the best they can in arms. They are driven to learn and understand the various regional variations and differing forms in weapons, especially by nationality, and also not only the various styles in which they are used, but the men who created and teach (or taught) the fighting styles all Warriors seek to collect and study. Some of the greatest styles are described in detail with illustrations in costly books to be handed down – some of them considered useful and instructive standards widely known and observed even a couple hundred years after the original master’s death.

The Warrior trade is quoted a standard length of apprenticeship in character creation like the rest of the trades, BUT any such training was always at will and subject to the student’s ability to pay the tuition, like any other school, while the apprenticeship to a fighting master is considered equally informal but rather more serious in terms of commitment.

These details of character background are up to the player to work out with the GM.

In the distinctly English medieval milieu of the game, the basis of RoM, social class and station actually dictates the weapons and arms available to the character. A royal statute (law) known as the Assizes of Arms dictated the bare minimum weapons and arms all able-bodied male citizens over the age of 16 and up to the age of 60 must acquire and maintain for the defense of the realm, according to the value in yearly income of the lands each holds, or the value of their chattels (moveable goods), whichever is greater.

Every citizen is required to swear an oath before the local court in allegiance to the king and to uphold Assize and provide the arms required of him and to use them only in defense of the realm at age 15 or 16 among commoners, no later than age 21 for the gentry.

They are expected to train in their uses along side their neighbors no less than monthly under the direction of the local constable. The local constables call the citizens out on a regular schedule to drill with their weapons; archery practice was compulsory for Sundays and feastdays, historically. However, it is illegal for any commoner to wear or bare their weapons or even armor in any marketplace, church, town, or on royal road, as a violation of the King’s Peace or the Peace of the Church, even when responding to the summons to muster. Those of noble blood and those directly in their service may bear arms, especially when accompanying their lord, but all are bound to keep the peace.

For most walks of life, this dictated the minimum maintained in the house as far as war harness, and thus the skills they were expected to practice and for what purpose they were allowed to be used. In this way, every character’s war harness is subject to review for proper care and maintenance once a year by the local representative of the king –– the sheriff and/or hundred Constable primarily.

Because of the Assize of Arms, every character must have at least Fyrd training, if not the Night Watch or this, full-fledged Warrior trade training, in addition to whatever other trade(s) the player chooses. It is up to you as GM to determine how strictly this rule is observed in your game world. It may well vary from one realm to the next (GM’s discretion).

This was required of all male characters, but women were NOT barred from participating.

These trades are the product of either some type of school or the tutelage of a particular master. Both sorts of training were widely available across England in the period of the game despite the legislation actually enacted against them in the period.

The Assize of Arms thus dictates the minimum equipment everyone must own and train with, BUT those with the wealth are welcome to to buy more or better quality in addition. The drawback to displaying wealth greater than proper social station is, when one is in the lands (shire, but especially the home hundred) where he is best known for his family and having been born/raised, the danger of being accused of theft and taken in hand by the authorities for it until the rightful owner can be established. This is why maintaining receipts (stocks and tallies) are important.

Bows, staves, sling staves, farm tools and common slings are all exceptions, as are Brawling and Wrestling skills. These are all considered right and proper in the hands of land bound characters and commoners, alike.

By the time the player gets to Step 6. of Character Creation, he should know where his character falls on this schedule of minimum requirements. The character’s class and station by birth are the basis of this, BUT his primary Trade may be the most important in that determination as it may force him into a higher bracket, or allow him to plead a lower one.

Assize of Arms

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† indicates a level of income that makes the character subject to “distraint of knighthood,” or he must procure the habiliments required of a knight and seek one out – or some other noble who has his knighthood – to be formally invested as a knight.

Knife above indicates any weapon of the knife/dagger group represented on the weapon rosters in Appendix D.

One of the most important distinctions on the schedule of obligations on the Assize table is between those who must be mounted and those on foot, as horses are expensive, both for purchase and to maintain. Those who are expected to provide horses by the income level noted generally already own them, however. It is a mark of wealth and greater station.

Of the swords with which some are required to equip themselves, the common sword, hand-and-a-half or bastard sword, and two-handed sword or great-sword are all reserved for the use of the knightly (noble) class. Bows on the other hand, are not considered a noble weapon, and even moreso are crossbows condemned, and as such are reserved for the use of the commoners on the field of war.

The shire levies, equipped according to the law, are called out when the king rides to war, for conquest or defense, organized by the constables of the hundreds and led by their sheriffs (both Warrior occupations, the latter always a Knight), but they are not bound to fight outside of the country (border disputes being a grey area, a right much contested). Many refuse to fight outside their own shire without pay, and none have any obligation to fight longer than 40 days without pay, regardless, on the strength of ancient custom. “Custom hath the force of law.”

The local constables call the citizens out on a regular schedule to drill with their weapons; archery practice was compulsory for Sundays and feastdays, historically. However, it is illegal for any commoner to wear or bare their weapons or even armor in any marketplace, church, town, or on royal road, as a violation of the King’s Peace or the Peace of the Church, even when responding to the summons to muster. Those of noble blood and those directly in their service may bear arms, especially when accompanying their lord, but all are bound to keep the peace.

Even the un-free villeins and serfs are equipped and called for service by the local constable in time of sudden invasion or great royal campaigns to accompany the king to war. The fabric of society in the English medieval milieu being flexible enough that even the un-free might distinguish themselves and earn recognition to win their freedom by their service.

To secure the personal freedom to maintain and train in the arts martial and seek a career as a common soldier or mercenary, town or castle guard, is far easier for the freeman, however. The landbound are likely to take their training in arms from the reeves and bailiffs of the lords to whom they are bound, and may have an easier time cementing that relationship if they come to them as a Huntsman, especially with Husbandry and Beast Mastery as a Falconer or Berner (master of hounds).

Freedom is a prize that service in battle makes attainable to the landbound, however, allowing them to aspire eventually even to the station of a Knight. The fabric of society was much more permeable in England than it was on the Continent. Likewise, it is the means by which the convicted and wanted criminal alike commonly makes restitution for his crimes, even if he be a murderer, so long as he is healthy enough to be able to serve with weapon in hand and follow orders. The prisons are often emptied of those willing to fight for a royal pardon when the king is ready to ride to war. All they have to do is survive the length of the campaign to return home with the king or his lieutenant.

Regardless of their wealth or lack of it, commoners and gentlemen alike may train as full-fledged Warriors. They may hone their skills as Hobelars (mounted troops) or generally as Men-at-Arms, generally footmen bearing pikes and/or “long knives” (such as the Welsh provided as mercenaries) or valued archers. Eventually they may earn the rank of Sergeant.

Warriors owning less than a full Knight’s fee (480 acres, or a total of £20 income per year) are called Sergeants. However, a gentleman or freemen can be similarly endowed, and also referred to as Sergeants, some to carry a lord’s banner on the field of battle, or lead local forces at need, or provide infantrymen, archers, or crossbowmen when Crown or lord call. These commonly stand as the light cavalry used in reconnaissance and skirmishing, taking part in cavalry actions with Knights, though not as wealthy or well-equipped. Tenure by Sergeanty has a variable value. Thus, the title of Sergeant is not indicative of social class and station. A Knight is still a Knight, a Squire still a Squire, a gentleman still a gentleman and a commoner still a commoner, regardless of holding tenure in property by sergeanty.

The Sergeants are the ranks usually tapped for local use in procuring troops for the Crown in time of war, as captains and Commissioners of Array (as discussed later).

A gentleman is a man of gentle birth, one whose ancestors were knights but who has lost the right to knighted over time, as that right only passes only by Primogeniture (eldest male heir). The younger sons train as Squires, but they must earn the right to the gilded spurs of a knight. That takes connections, drive and a measure of luck, their gentle blood notwithstanding. This class of “demi-nobles” still strongly identifies with the skills of battle, the driving responsibility of the noble class.

Choosing a career of battle, running off to fight in foreign wars for booty, participating in tournaments, even serving in noble households and turning their hands to battle when the household is raised, the gentleman keeps alive the possibility that he might once again, through valiant service on the field of battle, be restored to knightly dignity.

A character of noble birth equipped with the Warrior trade is assumed by default to have been trained first as a Page and then as a Squire. The player must choose between that character still remaining a Squire at the start of play (not at all unusual) or having undergone the lavish ceremony investing him as a full-fledged Knight. 

If a player is satisfied with having the option to take knighthood but has no real pretensions to nobility, only wanting access to their company, a Warrior trained as a competent Squire can be as effective as any knight, although he is hindered in social interactions with them. Squires and Knights are discussed at length in the Warrior trade description.

A Warrior who has sworn sacred vows to a holy order is a Sacred Knight. He may or may not have the actual blessing of the Light, embodied in the Blessed Hero Trade. Those that do are graced with an array of special spiritual abilities, for they walk a Path that eventually leads them to the bosom of the Light as true Holy Mystics. Sacred Knights are discussed at length following Squires and Knights, in the Warrior trade description.

Trade Skills

Brawler/Wrestler

Dodge

Game Face

Perception

Assess Gear/Harness

Assess Wounds

Savvy

Sentry

Presence

Interview/Interrogate

Intimidate

Shield

Block 

Parry

Rim Strike

Shield Bash

Weapons † (10 *

† indicates that up to (AWA ÷ 4) skills in number of this type or category are allowed (not required).

Players have NO obligation to equip their characters with the full (AWA ÷ 4) compliment of these skills – with the understanding that they are NOT allowed to fill them in retroactively, after they have already brought their characters into active game play, just because they WERE allowed them during the Character Creation process (long since finished).

Those entries appearing in italics under an underscored skill entry define the specifics of the skill, what aspect(s) of the general root skill is/are known and practiced .

10) The Mêlée Weapon skills of the Warrior, Sergeant or Champion are NOT to include any Combination Blades or heavy Lance and should include at least one (1) Close Mêlée weapon, and one (1) Missile/Ranged Weapon (any) or at least some skill with a Hurled Weapon (player’s discretion).

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Violence is an accepted and unavoidable part of the true Warrior’s life, and for those who live by it, a simple fact of life whose religious and spiritual ramifications offer little, if any, deterrent. Indeed, a Squire or other Warrior is expected to be hit hard enough to knock him to the ground no less than 20 times during each of his trials and training before he is ever considered ready to face battle. Thus, a Warrior’s will to survive is tempered to a steely edge. He becomes inured to pain and privation over the course of his career, and is no stranger to the ivory grin of death. Warriors learn to endure and even dismiss discomforts that wear others down, and even the pain of injuries or wounds.

The Warrior is granted a bonus of (TR) to his P-RES score.

This applies only for the purposes of maintaining consciousness in the face of the pain of taking a wound, in resisting the numbing power of the shock of being struck and maintaining consciousness in the face of extreme fatigue (where the Wind and FTG rules are in play).

During the Warrior’s Trade training he learns to compensate for and work with his armor, to develop his fighting style that allows him to maximize it’s strengths, but mostly he becomes conditioned to the oppressive heat that can accumulate under it in the midst of a fight, rather more so than those who lack the same intensive training in arms that this trade represents.

Warriors are allowed to recover their Wind and FTG points normally (where those rules are in play), if they should have a chance to cat-nap or even fall truly asleep while still wearing their armor. 

No strangers are these characters to having to be ready for action on a moment’s notice, or to taking their shifts on Sentry duty, and so inured to discomfort and physical hardship do they become, over time.

A (TR) bonus is added to the Warrior’s Wind and FTG scores (where those rules are in play) and, for the purposes of determining how quickly he recovers his Wind and FTG points, also added to his effective CND score (but ONLY for that purpose).

As their trade training protects them from feeling too much or too deeply, thus providing these benefits, it is small wonder that Warriors are rather commonly noted for their callous lack of sympathy in regards to the complaints uttered by others when suffering physical hardships.

Like any other trade, Warriors all receive the same pool of Trade Skills and abilities. The specific choices of weapon skills and then the particular weapons representing each skill help to differentiate them.

With his close and almost constant exposure to the tools of his trade and his experiences in the practice yard, area tournaments and actual battle sharpens his senses and eyes in certain ways. A Warrior can Assess Gear/Harness so he can tell the nationality of the make of weapons, armor or other martial gear, the quality of steel, condition and if allowed to handle it, the quality and state of care. A Connoisseur specialty in weapons is a good fit for a full trade Warrior, including knowledge of hallmarks so the specific origins of a weapon can be discerned.

He may also Assess Wounds so he can tell the severity of his own or another’s wounds (Light, Serious, Grievous or Mortal).

Without trying to get insanely detailed and specifying what the actual “fighting styles” are that the characters practice, they are represented in such a way that each character more or less gets to develop his own over the course of play. This is based on the assumption that each Warrior takes elements from all the styles he is taught and blends them together to suit himself.

The basic tools by which fighting style(s) is/are expressed are considered to be provided by the maneuvers that appear in the Tactical Play & Armed Combat rules – Common Strike/Hearty Blow; Slash; Thrust/Lunge; Aimed Strike, Entangle (spec.); Bind/Entangle/Disarm; Feint.

The definitions of these and the way they are used in battle are provided with those rules.

In game terms, the Warrior character is granted (TR) points during Character Creation to divvy up and allot to these maneuvers as bonuses. 

These bonuses are added to the character’s weapon AV’s to attack and the DV’s against which his opponents roll, representing his defenses. Whatever maneuver he chooses to employ, the bonus is added, regardless of weapon.

The true benefit of the Warriors’ training in various fighting or fencing styles lies in their learning the timing and proper delivery of what are called Combinations.

These can be most easily labeled as Dual Attacks; Dual Defenses; Attack/Defense; Defense/Attack. These are designed to account for all the Warrior’s personal resources in battle. A player can choose to account for a weapon or shield or other object in a character’s primary hand, another in his off-hand, and he may move or dodge or kick, sidestep, advance, back-peddle, jump or some other similar movement (especially by means of the Brawler skill) all in the course of a single 10-second Combat Segment. The character may utilize one, some, or all of his faculties – or none, by means of a “Wait” action.

Full trade Warriors are the only characters that can utilize Combinations in armed combat.

Trade Warriors are also granted a bonus of 1 per 4 Game Face SL’s to ALL his attack AV’s, as it gradually stills any habitual movements he might make that might ‘telegraph’ or give away his his next intended move or strike to his opponent.

Warriors are granted a bonus based on their Savvy SL’s to ALL their defense DV’s, as well, as it gradually improves the degree to which they can read their opponent’s body language and fighting style, enabling him to anticipate his opponent’s next intended move or strike.

Warriors are unique in that any and every Trade is deemed an Allied Trade.

The Crown uses “Contracts of Indenture” to command military service as well as raise the levies to make-up the balance of the armies, once the feudal lords owing military service (servicium debitum) have been summoned. Warriors of great standing bearing royal commissions by Letters Close from the king, called Commissioners of Array, use professional Warriors as subcontractors carry Letters Close to raise troops of quality mercenaries by indenture to serve at wages – men-at-arms, archers, and Hobilars. Almost comprising a small but professional army of paid volunteers in themselves, the Commissioners rely on the good reputations of their deputies or captains in the various districts to attract seasoned, skilled mercenaries, and especially for finding skilled archers. The common men compete regularly at village archery contests for the honor of being chosen to stand for selection by the circulating or local subcontractors, captains or Commissioners. The Commissioner is always a wealthy man, or has access to plentiful coin or plate, for he is responsible for fronting the first installment of pay to the troops he gathers out of his own purse. The Crown regularly offers securities to repay the captains on reaching the hosting site, or as soon as might be afterwards, but wages are generally always paid in arrears, and commonly only when the troops are about ready to desert.

Captains and commissioners contract with the Crown to supply a certain number of men for a particular period of service – no less than the traditional 40 days, no longer than a year and a day – at specific rates of pay, obligations and privileges. The Captain holding the contract must be a man of liquid means, in the same manner as a Commissioner of Array, working on his own behalf.

The terms for the division of the expected spoils of battle are spelled out in the Contracts of Array. It is not considered appropriate for any common soldier(s) to capture and hold any nobleman for ransom, but they must turn them over to the lord under whose banner the Warrior fights for him to hold as hostage in return for a specified amount of plate and/or coin to the commoner having taken him captive. In campaigns officially launched by the Crown, whether led in person by the king himself or not, all lands, castles, towns, and hostages owning a living of £500 a year rightfully belong to the king. It is customary for the Crown to compensate the captor in return, but this is ONLY a courtesy. Of the booty taken in goods, coin and plate in war, every man must surrender one-third to his captain. The men taken into service under contract are also bound to preserve the peace among themselves on pain of privation or mutilation. All these affairs are adjudicated by the Court Martial, under the Marshal of the realm.

Outside the arena of war, whether private and local or a royal campaign against bordering rivals, the Warrior of common or landbound blood going armed and bearing weapons runs the risk of being accused of breaking the King’s Peace in pursuing retainer in the service of others who may be in need of his services, such as Merchants in need of guards to protect their goods and wealth when being transported from town to town or port on the King’s Road. Churches, markets, and the royal roads are all protected. Lonely roads far from any governing lord, where their services are needed most however, are another matter entirely.

In those regions where the status quo is too civilized for local war, those who are members of this trade are commonly hard-pressed to find uses for themselves beyond service to the king or plain banditry, but this requires them to hold a fair amount of land, which most lack. It is rather common for lesser knights, especially younger brothers of lords, and the men-at-arms serving under them to seek out a lord for shelter to perform all acts as commanded and protect their host’s causes, and in their spare time amuse themselves at brigandage. This was especially true historically of those who have fought as mercenaries in foreign wars and returned home again. Foreign mercenaries had long been forbidden in England by the period of the game, but there was nothing to cure the condition in their own citizens. Between the knights at loose ends and the mercenaries returned home and the avarice, greed and despotism of many of the nobles the practice of “bastard feudalism” evolved from the feudal system, where men were taken into the household without any given duties, yet provided with the lord’s livery (clothes in the lord’s heraldic colors and usually some form of badge drawn from that nobleman’s arms) and maintenance (protection, in old French), they provided the lord with a small army or war band or a handful of bully-lads to work their will in the districts where they were kept on behalf of said lord, which might range across three or four shires.

This resulted in small, private wars being fought between noblemen and the intimidation and bullying of those farther down the social ladder in their districts. Many of those beneath them enlisted as allies simply for self-protection, in order to be left alone.

Despite the normal and usual appearance of the rule of law in the period of the game (in spite of the usual modern opinions), there exists or persists still something of a dichotomy of spirit. That which is wild and wolfish still remains, especially within those who fight for their daily bread, regardless of also possessing any number of up-standing traits or Virtues.

Those with wealth have the most to fear, and merchants are always a favorite target, for they are always at work moving valuable goods from one town to the next, back and forth to and from the ports and back and forth between the various faires in the realm and markets in the shires. As a case in point, a few merchants of the town of Lichfield sent 2 of their servants with 2 horses carrying “spicery and mercery” (spices and silk, linen and fustian textiles) valued at the considerable sum of £40. to Stafford in anticipation of the next market day. When the merchants’ men came to the eaves of Cannock Wood they found Sir Robert de Rideware awaiting them, along with 2 men of his own, who seized them all, servants, horses and goods, and dragged them off to the Priory of Lappeley. In the course of the journey, one of the servants escaped, to the merchants’ good fortune.

Arriving at the priory, Sir Robert met with Sir John de Oddyngesles, Esmond de Oddyngesles, and several others, knights as well as others. With the ease of a pre-arranged affair and common practice they divvied up the cloth and spices, each receiving a portion according to his degree. The company of noble brigands then rode off to the Priory of Blythebury, a house of nuns. Sir Robert declared to the nuns that they were all of them king’s men, quite exhausted and in need of hospitality, but the nun’s saw something suspicious about them and refused them entrance. Indignant at this reception, the knights broke into the barns and their lofts and fed their horses on hay and oats and settled there for the night. All the while, the escaped servant had been watching, having followed from a discrete distance so as not to be discovered.

When he saw the men settling in for the night, the servant rushed off to Lichfield with all haste to raise the bailiff, who then hastened, in turn, to collect his men to pursue the noble robbers. The brigand knights, being men of the sword, stood their ground when faced by the bailiff and his men and a true battle ensued, in which the robbers initially had the upper hand, wounding several of their pursuers. In the end, however, they were bested and fled.

All of the spices were recovered at that time and 4 of the robbers were taken captive and summarily beheaded on the spot.

Sir Robert was not one of the 4 and did not lose heart, indeed, he went straight away to his brother William de Rideware, who was Lord Hamstall, and set out immediately with William and some of his men to pursue the bailiff who was on his way back to Lichfield. This time the de Ridewares prevailed and the spices were taken again, the bailiff fleeing. When the aggrieved merchants mounted an excursion to Stafford to seek the king’s justice, they were met at the very gates by Sir Richard and Sir John and some of their and Lord William’s retainers who barred their passage to the town and attacked them “so hotly” that they had difficulty escaping with their lives. Thus, they returned to Lichfield, where their gentlemen persecutors and their men continued to menace them and keep them under surveillance so that they dared not leave the town again. No doubt through intermediaries, the aggrieved merchants started a petition to the local earl over the said Lord of Hamstall, since they could not reach the royal court in Stafford.

Due to the fact that Warriors and their ilk are not governed by any sort of guild (although they may frequently belong to one or more fraternities), these battle skills might be learned by those following any trade, so long as a willing teacher can be found.

Duelists are commonly hired not only for defense but also to teach the very same tactics that make them such valuable hires.

Any reluctance to teaching those outside the fraternities of their trade is commonly traceable to a general lack of patience with dilettantes.

If one can prove one’s commitment to doing the work needed to master these special skills, one may find a willing master to teach, or at least one grudgingly willing.

The Order of the Garter consisted of 26 secular Knights, divided into 2 teams for the tourneys, one under the king, one under the Black Prince, each with a stall in St. George’s chapel. The Order of the Golden Fleece was another such fraternity of (secular) knights.

Upon reaching the Master LoA, the Warrior gains the option of specializing as a Duelist. 

This specialty can only be learned from a recognized Duelist who has earned Master of the Works status since specializing as a Duelist himself, providing he earned that distinction while still bearing the TR that made him a candidate, otherwise add any TR’s of discrepancy between eligibility and earning the distinction to his Master of the Works TR requirement.

A Duelist is an advanced specialist Warrior, a fearsome fencer.

Fencing as a profession was originally developed by the professional duelists of the 1200’s. 

To transition into a Duelist, the Warrior must have skill with a melée weapon which stands at the Master LoA, either a Combination Blade or a Cut & Thrust-type or any of the other Renaissance styles of Blades provided on the weapon rosters (GM’s discretion).

The character who commits to such a trade takes great pride in his martial training and practices it as often as he may, for his own uses or defense or for another’s, for charity or for coin, but he may have to conceal his knowledge of such tricks until he has need of them.

By definition, according to the other professional men living by the sword (especially those of noble heritage), the Duelist fights “dirty”. In other words, a Duelist does what he must in order, not so much to win, but to survive. Many of the special tactics described in the discussion of fighting techniques under the Weapon skill come from the duelist bag of tricks.

Such persons are considered unsavory and lacking in honor, handicapped in any efforts to cultivate a good name or reputation among those who tout the values of honor and Chivalry. The Duelist works more in the social arena of private honor duels, however, but is also commonly engaged to teach the tricks that make him so successful. A character need not be a Magister to teach his trade, but it is beneficial to him and the student alike, as it is in the transfer of any sort of knowledge in the context of the game.

These unscrupulous and shady characters specialized in secret tricks of swordplay which they would teach in return for a hefty price. In some incidences, they would personally duel on a client’s behalf in order to ensure a satisfactory result, guaranteed upon their own bodies as a measure of their confidence, in the same manner as a Champion in the judicial duel.

Such tactics are what he teaches to those who come to him intent on defending themselves rather than allowing the Duelist or Champion to defend him, especially if he be headed into war. The professional duelist was considered (socially) a rogue (not the same as a member of the Rogue, in game terms) by the authorities, a social outcast if not actually an outlaw.

One of the keys to the Duelist’s effectiveness in battle is his knowledge of the earmarks and trademarks of the teachings of all the different styles of fighting popular in the part of the world where he took his training, and especially their preferred tactics and fighting techniques but, more importantly, how to counter them, as well.

  • For every attack that scores a hit on the same foe in battle, the Duelist receives a temporary +1 bonus to his Attack AV’s against him and his Defense DV’s to ward him off, to a limit of (AWA ÷ 4).
  • This bonus applies only to a single foe at any given time.

IF the Duelist should break off to engage a new opponent, the bonus achieved against the first is lost and a new one must be cultivated against the new opponent, as he observes and analyzes the moves and techniques preferred.

Duelists have something of the nature of a Trickster, insofar as they practice false body language as a true Player and make false movements to mislead. Rather than the cold and impenetrable “blank slate” the Game Face provides, the Duelist is all for deception and playing tricks to conceal his intentions until he is ready to actually makes his move.

  • When employing his favorite maneuver, the Feint (a favorite tactic), a Duelist is granted a bonus to his Attack AV based on his Player skill. 

IF the Duelist doesn’t have the Player skill, he may seek out someone who does who is willing to teach him, in order to benefit from it in this manner.

  • The Duelist also receives a bonus equal to his TR’s earned as a Duelist whenever he makes a Combination maneuver. 
  • This bonus is added to both his Attack AV(s) OR his Defense DV(s) (as applicable).

The London Masters of Defense

It was not until the middle of the 15th century that it was safe to publicly admit to running a school of fencing, historically. Although legislation of the 13th and 14th centuries forbidding dueling and such schools was still in force, it was only indifferently enforced, ie., it was complaint-driven, and complaints were assessed according to the social standing of the plaintiff. In 1540, Henry VIII finally granted Letters Patent to a Corporation of Fencing Masters, known as “The London Masters of Defense”. In doing so, he gave them a virtual monopoly on the teaching of fencing in England, Wales and Ireland, in the same manner as a guild in any of the many handicrafts and merchant trades. Indeed, they were addressed as the “guild of Masters of ye noble Science of Defense”.

This charter gave the profession a new respectability, although it was not for another decade or two that such an occupation was officially recognized. James 1 issued a Royal Warrant giving The London Masters of Defense the highest status they had ever enjoyed (1605). This warrant granted them the power to legally control the teaching of fencing within the English domains.

The company of fencers, the Masters of Defense, were structured in the same manner as any of the handicraft or merchant guilds, broken down into ranks according to their martial skills and accomplishments. These ranks were bestowed by playing a prize or demonstration in public to show one’s skill with a wide range of weapons, in the same manner as submitting a masterwork in a craft trade, but a new one was required for each successive rank. These ranks have been used for the purposes of the game in the same manner as LoA’s

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These exhibitions for succession in the ranks were very popular, historically. They were accompanied by processions, music and a good deal of showmanship, and were performed on the same shared-stage with the Elizabethan theatre actors. Shakespeare’s knowledge of swordsmanship and his use of the various weapons throughout his plays would have undoubtedly come from these exhibitions. The audiences of the day would have made the highest demands regarding the performance of the theatrical swordfights, since they would have specialist experience of combat between the most skilled exponents in the country from these exhibitions. The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet was first produced in 1595 and contains some of the most spectacular fighting scenes of any Elizabethan play.

The development of the London guild of fencers is included due to the fact that it faithfully follows the guild forms created in the period of the game and carried them forward, in much the same manner as a number of the other details lifted from the Renaissance for inclusion in the game due to the probable developments of an essentially perpetually medieval environment, illustrating the principle behind the passage entitled “The Perpetually Medieval Gameworld” in Part III.

Champions

The professional Champion is a specific class of Warrior who works with the courts and the law, looking for patrons to represent in the same manner as a lawyer or barrister, ultimately seeking to find a patron to keep him on retainer, in the same manner as a Knight, but without the high social prestige. Champions are often originally of gentle or knightly blood – some may even have once been knights truly trained and recognized, but as Champions they are fallen and forsaken. Fate sometimes makes fools of us all …. How the Champion came to follow that trade is up to the individual player to decide when writing the background for his character.

IF the character is a knight, originally brought up in that social sphere and tradition, the character should be made using the skill roster for a knight. Otherwise, the common Warrior roster (previously) should be used.

In all other ways, the skills and abilities of a Champion are exactly the same as any other trade Warrior.

The Trade of the Champion grew out of the traditions of the “ordeal of arms” or Trial by Combat at law. This was a favorite with the Irish Celts, the Slavs, and the Norsemen. A Norse warrior might even go around challenging the owners of property he coveted to invite the gods to determine who the future owner would be.

Trial by Combat was the simple process of two sides at odds in a dispute of a legal nature fighting it out with weapons until one party or the other cried “”Mercy”. The winner was thus declared in the right by Divine Judgment.

The persistence of judicial duels (which lingered in common practice through the Renaissance) is accompanied by the peoples’ fervent belief in magick and the manipulation of Luck in their causes during a judicial battle. Champions in judicial duels are almost expected to wear magical tokens. Even having occult symbols tattooed or painted on their heads is deemed acceptable. However, the combatants are expected to fight on an equal footing.

In one judicial duel between Champions representing the Bishop of Salisbury and the Earl of Salisbury, both Warriors were duly searched for unlawful arms and it was found that “prayers and magical spells” had been sewn into the clothes of the Bishop’s man. The battle was cancelled and the Bishop lost his case, NOT because the court censured the talismans or magick in general, but because it was felt their power would surely make the contest unequal, BOTH sides would have had to have been equipped with such blessings and talismans for the duel to go forward.

The respondent to the plaintiff in any property dispute pursued at law had the right of inquest (Trial by Jury) or Trial by Combat.

Those standing accused of a crime in court of law might challenge the accuser to a judicial duel, but a witness bringing evidence against him might be challenged also. If he lost the match, that witness’ evidence would be discarded.

A party to a dispute might even challenge his own witness if he provided evidence of a damaging nature to the case.

In 1017, Emperor Henry II used hired champions to decide the cases of robbers awaiting trial in Magdeburg and Merseberg. 

On the other hand, in 1040, Innocentius II forbade judicial duels to all ecclesiastics, just as they were forbidden to ride into battle in fulfillment of the servicium debitum owed for the estates they held. This was just as difficult to enforce. It was deemed necessary for Alexander II to repeat the prohibition due to non-observance again in 1070. Bishops rode to battle nonetheless, and Champions were contracted by Churchmen for judicial service.

In France, witnesses were so often challenged in hopes of getting their evidence thrown out that by the end of the 1200’s it was common practice to disallow any witness who could not be legally compelled to back his testimony up by force of arms.

Up to 1285, a champion could only be brought into play through the legal fiction of first taking oath as a witness, then proceeding to duel as a witness, as if the defendant had challenged him rather than the plaintiff. If he lost, he was subject to the traditional justice reserved for perjurers : hanging, or the loss of a hand or foot. 

Alternately, if the witness lost the combat, he was fined the amount that his testimony would have cost the defendant (Germany).

However, a crime committed by a wife against her husband or by a servant against his master were both considered treasonable offenses, and so these are deprived of right of challenge . In the same manner, the serf is denied the right to challenge the freeman, the leper to challenge the noon-leper, the bastard to challenge anyone legitimately born in holy wedlock.

Churchmen and women commonly avail themselves of the right to a Champion, and one might be sought to protect the rights of a minor, as well. In the cases where the challenged is physically deformed or a bastard, the appointment of a Champion is generally allowed. This is not allowed when barred due to social class or contagious disease. Resort to Champions is allowed in civil cases as well as criminal.

Thus, the Trade of freelance Champions emerged to fill those needs.

The use of a Champion is forbidden in cases hinging on charges of dishonor or felony, however, and the ban against women participating in judicial combat is not universal. There will be regional exceptions where a Champion will not be needed.

In 1228, a woman of Berne, Switzerland entered the lists and soundly thrashed her male opponent.

The loser of a judicial duel is dishonored and risks being summarily and immediately condemned to death.

Those who started as Knights in truth, by noble right of blood, are NOT acknowledged by their brothers once they turn Champion by trade. They are seen as the worst of sell-swords, as low as any common thug. Champions in general, regardless of class and station of birth, will be reckoned on a par with prostitutes, selling their bodies for coin, equivalent to fornicators, breakers of a major commandment.

Their honor is denied by those who would otherwise be his peers, and no professional Champion is ever allowed entrance in the lists at any legitimate tournament or allowed in any host of the tournament melée, although they are welcomed readily enough by lord or Crown in time of war for their battle-seasoned skills.

Freelance Champions are barred from giving evidence in cases at law, or succeeding to property, the same as Jugglers, Players, and bastards, except that in the case of the Champion the taint of blood and the same restrictions extends to his children as well.

Despite the ill-fame of the Trade, it is incumbent on the Champion to maintain a good reputation for being otherwise a good and up-standing man. A Champion can be excluded from plying his Trade for having been convicted as a criminal himself previously, or for being in general a “man of ill-fame”.

Permanently retained salaried champions are by their treatment and status on retainer considered a cut above. This is the level of status and recognition to which all Champions aspire, to be maintained in a household or retained in the same manner as any household knight. It is incumbent on the Champion who aspires to such heights to cultivate a manner pleasing to a lord to be maintained in his household. The Courtier’s skills may be invaluable in the end and serve his ambitions best. The Champion maintained by the Bishop of Hereford was paid 6s. 8d. for an engagement – quite an admirable wage, but in this case renegotiable after every bout.

A successful Champion might be blessed with a lifetime covenant of service for £20, plus wages when called on. That is the equivalent of maintenance at the legally recognized level of income of a Knight.

Champions & Trial by Combat

Local law-worthy knights keep the field and adjudicate all cases of judicial duel. The tradition of Judicial Duels is maintained most fervently in the arena of land disputes that have been gone to the courts. Judicial duels might be fought on horse or on foot, with various weapons. Sometimes local custom dictates the precise type of battle, or the social rank of the parties involved, or the type of crime might alternately dictate the terms. In this type of trial both combatants or champions may be required to appear with shaven heads, bare legged and bare-armed, and each to give the judge a glove with a penny in each finger while kneeling before him. The choice of weapons might be left to one or the other of the litigants in some cases, again in accordance with local rules pertaining to duels.

Each by custom must retire to a church/chapel to pray prior to the battle.

Winchester, London (1456)

One of the King’s Approvers, himself a convicted thief, accused another man, a fisher and tailor of craft, under threat of death and in return for an allowance of 1d 1hp per day. In turn, the Approve was himself accused of false accusation. 

For the duel, both to be dressed in white and each to hold a 3ft. ash stave in one hand and an iron horn “shaped like a rammyshorn” as sharp at its point as it could be made.

The duel took place on the “most sorry and wretched green that might be found about the town” and both men were to fast, “having neither meat nor drink”.

The battle drew a crowd, as usual, loathing and decrying the approver while cheering the tailor. The approver came from the Eastside (London), the tailor from the South-westside. 

Kneeling down to pray to God, the crowd prayed with and for the defendant, which so annoyed the approver (Thomas Whytehorne) that he mocked the tailor, inquiring as to why he would make such a long show of his false belief, thus provoking Fysher (the tailor) to jump up, declare his just cause, and lunge at him, but he broke “his weapon” in so doing. Whytehorne, blackguard that he was, pressed the attack until he was restrained and disarmed.

They resumed the fight, unarmed, with brief breaks for them to catch their breath. Whytehorne bit him (Fysher) in the crotch, but Fysher recovered and bit his nose and thumbed his eye, whereupon Whytehorne cried mercy. He then made his confession, which included 28 other men [no doubt members of the band that threatened his life and offered him the money in maintenance], and was then hanged.

Fysher, who might legally have been executed for having slain the king’s approver, was in fact “pardoned his life, limbs, and goods and went home”. He became a hermit and “with short time died”. 

In another case, a Knight of Holland, Jan van Arckle, when in the Holy Land during the first crusade, came across a cadre of German Knights, among whom was one who wore the same coat of arms as his own (a field argent, two bars gules). The German took van Arckle’s banner and threw to the ground, in response to which van Arckle petitioned the leaders of the Crusade, who found both parties to have independently originated the same coat of arms. A Trial by Combat was called for, which van Arckle won, thus securing that coat of arms as his own property the same as any piece of land, for those of his blood in perpetuity.

Duels between men and women usually had special rules, also.

In some parts of Germany, the man was to be equipped with 3 clubs, one arm tied behind his back, and standing in a pit 3ft wide up to his navel, while the woman was free to dodge about armed with 3 stones (each weighing 1-5lbs, according to local custom), each wrapped in pieces of cloth.

IF the man touched the ground with either hand or arm, he had to surrender one of his clubs. If the woman struck him while he was unarmed, she must surrender a stone. If the man wins, the woman is buried alive, BUT if she wins, he is then executed.

IF during the course of the battle the accused cries “Craven”, he gives in, effectively admitting his guilt, and the judge rules summarily against him, resulting in due punishment according to the crime.

IF the accuser cries “Craven”, he is sentenced for perjury, condemned to wear “the coward’s calfskin” for the rest of his life, and perhaps to lose a hand in the bargain, too.  If he fails to beat his foe by star-rise, he has lost and is again judged perjured, although without the other penalties of a coward).

Generally speaking, the expenses involved in the administration of judicial duels will be paid by the Crown. This will not be the case in most other countries outside the English milieu represented here to begin with in RoM, except when one or both of the litigants is too poor to equip himself.

 

Mariner

Training in this trade makes of the character a real ocean-going saltwater Mariner, eventually enabling him to fill a crew position on any ocean-going vessel, sailing dogger, cog, caravel, carrack, or holk, or oared galley, from running lines or sail to manning the rudder/helm and keeping all things ship-shape, as his experience and ability grows, as follows (see LoA’s), and eventually perhaps becoming qualified to captain his own ship. The Mariner’s trade is based on sailing in the larger ships on salt waters (seas and oceans), or sailing smaller coastal and harbor and bay craft that can be handled by no more than (Mariner AWA ÷ 4) skilled pairs of hands, which usually stay within sight of land, or will only sail to island and other bodies of land not much farther out that this. In either case, the player must choose whether his character’s trade is sail- or oar-based (galley), for each of these types of ships requires a different set of skills to manage. This will also include the skill of handling any small ship’s vessel for putting in to shore without benefit of a quay to pull up to for mooring, either sail or oared, according to the Mariner’s chosen specialty (sail, oar).

This Trade makes the character something of a “Ranger of the Sea,” providing the sailor with a Weather Sense, the ability to predict the prevailing weather patterns for the area in which he is located for up to [(AWA ÷ 4) + SL] hours in the future. He will also have the ability to tell the approximate time of day or night, month and week of year by the positions of the sun, moon, and familiar constellations, the taste and quality of the wind and the behavior of the beasts, and roughly where he is in the waters he usually sails by the color, temperature and color of the waters, and taste of the sea.

For those characters versed in navigating, this aspect of the Mariner skills can come in very handy when one is bereft of instruments for navigation, allowing him to exercise a Direction Sense. The weather sense of those having the saltwater skills will only be of use within (AWA ÷ 4) miles of the sea, or while on the water.

Due to the fact that the Mariner develops his “sea-legs”, any DV penalties to physical skills that are levied due to the shifting, pitching, and rolling of the deck of the boat on which he labors (dependent on the weather and the waters, GM’s discretion) is reduced by his Mariner trade SL. Eventually, his skill will off-set any penalties entirely.

The player is able to buy the Forage skill for use at sea, but primarily for use on the shore and in coastal waters. When on open sea, the Mariner is able to fish, but only be able to actually Forage at 1/4 normal SL. The Mariner character is eligible to have the Brawling skill as a trade skill, to represent his skill in the greatest of sailors’ recreational pastimes, the barroom brawl.

During the first year of the character’s apprenticeship, he will have been referred to as a “landsman”, with no real nautical experience, not to be trusted with any but the most menial of shipboard tasks. After accumulating a year’s experience aboard ship, the character is the equivalent of an “ordinary”, one who goes aloft into the rigging to handle the sails. The Climber skill is made available to Mariners to reflect his ability and license to complete tasks aloft. Ordinaries also make up the bulk of the ranks of rowers on galleys. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of oarsmen on galleys is freemen working for wages. Slave crews definitely lack the motivation to row well, even under a well-plied lash.

Upon reaching the Journeyman LoA, the character is an able bodied seaman, or A-B. These are the sailors who really “know the ropes”, splicing and Knot-Tying, without doubt the equal of that possessed by any Huntsman character. The character’s SL with this skill will determine the DV with which his knots can be untied, and also how strong those knots are, up to the STR possessed by the rope itself (GM’s discretion). These men also carry out the more common repairs on board when at sea. On a galley, the AB’s are the lead rowers, spaced out at intervals between the ranks of ordinary oarsmen who take their rowing cues from the leads.

Upon reaching the Warden LoA, the character is qualified to serve as a “Mate”. On a galley, the mates are spaced between the banks of oarsmen and set the pace. Mates can be divided between the various departments of command on the ship, as well. It is at this point that the player must choose the area on the ship where he wants to serve.

The Botswain and his mates are in charge of various supplies and daily ship maintenance. The Midshipmen, or “middies”, head work details on the ship and answer to the lieutenants, who are the lowest rank of commissioned officers onboard. Some of the middies also study navigation with the Sailing Master. The Quartermaster is a very junior mate to the sailing master who handles the helm as he learns navigation from the master.

The player will please note that his character must have the Mathematics skill at the Warden LoA before he may learn the skills of chart reading and navigation. When ready, he graduates to a full mate serving under the Sailing Master. A Quartermaster or Sailing Master’s Mate can man the helm of any craft.

The sailing master’s mates can also navigate, if they have the proper maps and instruments. The Master-at-Arms is in charge of keeping the ship’s locker (weapon stores) and training the crew for combat in case of war, piracy, or other ship-to-ship fights.

Upon reaching the Artisan LoA, the character is eligible to work as a petty officer or take a commission in his country’s navy as an officer, a lieutenant. The Petty Officers in the chain of command are the Botswain (Bosun), Master-at-Arms, and Sailing Master, but the other petty officers on the ship can include the Purser, Cook, Sail Maker, Cooper, and Carpenter. These men need not be sailors of any skill, but their being hired depends upon possessing a high level with other skills (Cook, Artificer, etc.). All petty officers report to the most senior lieutenant on board, or first lieutenant, except for the sailing master, who reports directly to the captain.

For riding the rudder/helm, tying knots, and the like the att. mod. is based upon the character’s STR and CRD scores.

For navigating or exercising the character’s time or weather senses the att. mod. is based upon the character’s AWA score.

GM’s Notes

The DV’s for Climbing and Knot-tying is the same as presented in the descriptions of those skills.

The DV for manning the helm is equal to the length of the craft  in feet from bow to stern, minus [Mariner’s AWA + (SL x 5)]. The effective SL for determining the DV for quartermasters or sailing master’s mates to man the helm of will not be reduced to show LoA, the full SL will always be used in the equation above.

 

The following text of the Barcelona Maritime code (1258) is provided to give both the player and the GM an idea of what the working conditions of this trade should be, and what the character can expect in the way of treatment, rights, and work expectations and duties when working aboard a ship in the gameworld, should he choose to enlist or be pressed into duty on board a ship for king and country come time of war. The Code is provided as a tool for the player and the GM to use to understand better what the job of the sailor was historically, and to use the elements contained in it as an easy and ready source for details to create a more realistic experience for the Mariner characters and to provide a better idea for the players of what the sailor character’s past experiences have been like and prepare him for what he may encounter in the future in the gameworld by making him more familiar with it.

It is not here so the player or GM can find loopholes in it or use the law to trap or beat an opponent, though it might be used as a tool to accomplish either, at need.

The information set forth in the Code may be amended as the GM sees fit, of course, though when doing so he should be sure to make the player of any and all Mariner characters aware.

The Barcelona Maritime Code of 1258

Be it known to all that we, James, by the grace of God, King of Aragon, of Majorca, and of Valencia, Count of Barcelona and Urgell, and Lord of Montpellier, hearing the ordinances written below, which you, James Gruny, our faithful servant, have made at our wish and command and with our consent, and which you have drawn up with the advice of the honest water-men of Barcelona and based upon the ordinance of the same, having heard, seen, and understood that the said ordinances were to be made in our honor, and for the use and welfare of the water-men and the citizens of Barcelona, having confirmed the document by the authentic application of our seal, we grant, approve, and confirm all and each of the undermentioned ordinances, made by you and the said honest men on our authority. Wishing that the said ordinances may endure and be observed as long as it shall please us and the said honest water-men of Barcelona, by commanding our mayors, and bailiffs, both present and future, that they observe each and all of the undermentioned regulations, firmly and strictly, if they hope confidently for our grace and affection, and that they see that they are observed inviolably, so that they do not allow them to be disturbed by any one.

1. In the first place: we ordain, wish, and command, that the captain of a ship or vessel of any kind and the sailors and mariners shall not leave or depart from the ship or vessel in which they arrived, until all the merchandise, which is on the ship or vessel, be discharged on land, and until that same ship or vessel be emptied of ballast and moored. But the captain of that ship or vessel is able to go on land with his clerk when he begins to discharge the cargo, if the sea be calm; and if perhaps the weather be such that he cannot discharge the cargo the said captain, if he be on land, shall immediately repair to the said ship or vessel, and if he cannot so repair by reason of the weather, his crew shall have full power and permission to depart with the ship or vessel from the place at which it arrived, and to go to the harbor or put out to sea. Nevertheless, if the said captain be unwilling to go to his ship, his merchants shall be able to order and command him firmly, on behalf of the Lord King and the said James Gruny, to repair to the said ship or vessel and to place upon him such penalty as the said James Gruny is empowered to place upon him. Moreover, the said captain of the ship shall not dare to stay on land until all merchandise which came in the ship or vessel be discharged. And if the merchants wish to disembark from the ship or vessel and a storm should arise after their disembarkation, the captain of the ship or vessel, if he be there, or his crew, shall have permission to withdraw from the place in which he was with that ship or vessel and with the merchandise contained therein, and of going to sea or putting in to harbor. But if the mariners should not have done this let each one incur a penalty of 10s. of the money of Barcelona, and the captain of a ship 50s., and the captain of a vessel 30s.; and over and above the said penalty the captains of ships and vessels shall be condemned to repair all the damage which the said merchants suffered through their fault. But of the penalties, both foregoing and those written below, the King will receive half, and the other half will go to the Order of Water-men of Barcelona. Moreover, these penalties and all those written below shall be paid as long as it be the will of the honest water-men of Barcelona.

2. Also: we order that every ship and vessel shall have a sworn clerk on every voyage, which clerk shall not write anything in the contract book of that ship or vessel unless both parties are present, namely the captain and the merchants, or the captain and his mariners; and the said clerk shall be a good and lawful man, and shall make out the expenses truly and lawfully, and all the mariners shall be expected to swear to the captains of the ships and vessels that to the best of their ability they will save, protect, and defend the captain and all his goods, and his ship or vessel, and its rigging and equipment, and all the merchants going with it, and all their goods and merchandise, by sea and land, in good faith and without fraud. Moreover, the said clerk shall be at least of the age of twenty years, and if the captains of the said ships or vessels do not wish to have the said clerk they shall not leave Barcelona or any other place in which they may be, until they have another clerk, if they can find one.

3. Also: we command that on every ship which loads at sea, so that it is loaded with merchandise worth 2000s. (Barcelona money), half the mariners of the ship with one officer shall be obliged to remain one night with their arms on the ship; and after any vessel has loaded at sea with merchandise worth 1000s. (Barcelona money), half the mariners of that vessel with one officer shall be obliged to stay on their vessel for one night with their arms. Also we command that the captain of a ship or vessel shall have food in his ship or vessel sufficient for 15 days; namely, bread, wine, salt meat, vegetables, oil, water, and two packets of candles. And if the said captain of ship or vessel be unwilling to do this, let him incur a penalty of 20s., and each of the mariners and crew incur a penalty of 5s.

4. (Provision made for assistance to be given in storms to ships in distress).

5. Also: we command that no boat shall load for a voyage nor send away any living merchandise and if it loads with heavy goods, it shall not dare to load except as far as the middle of the deck, and the captain of the boat shall take his boat, manned and with its rigging, just as is understood between the captain and the merchants whose merchandise it is; and if the said merchants fear they is held as hostages in any place, the captain of the boat shall not enter with his boat nor go into the place suspected of holding them without the consent of the merchants. Moreover every boat shall be expected to carry two ballistae with their equipment, and a hundred spears and two shields; and every sailor is expected to bear a lance and a sword or bill. And if the captains of the boats should not observe this rule they shall incur a penalty of 10s.

6. Also: we command that if any ship or vessel or boat be taken with its company to Barbary or other parts it shall not take a guard except it be understood between the captain of the vessel and the partners of the said company.

7. Also: we command that every ship’s mariner who is expected to do the work of a ballistarius, shall carry two ballistae of two feet, and one scaling ladder, and three hundred spears, and a helmet, and a breast-plate or corselet, and a straight or curved sword. Likewise, the ballistarii of the other vessels shall be expected to carry the same weapons; but the other mariners on ships shall be expected to bear a breast-plate, and an iron helmet, or cofa maresa, and a shield, and two lances, and a straight or a curved sword. But mariners on vessels shall be expected to carry a breast-plate or corselet, shield, iron helmet, or cofa maresa, and two lances, and a straight or a curved sword. And if the said mariners do not have the said arms, the captains of the ships or vessels shall not take them; and if they do take them they shall pay as a penalty 50s. for each mariner.

8. Also: we command that mariners of vessels or boats shall be expected to help to draw their vessel or boat on shore, whenever the captain of the vessel or boat wishes to have it done, as long as those same mariners are present; and they shall be expected to do this by virtue of an oath taken by them.

9. Also: we command that captains of barges and those who discharge cargoes shall discharge well and in good order from ships, vessels, and boats, all merchandise with their barges and boats, and they shall not load their barges or boats excessively; and if they do load them excessively, let them be in the jurisdiction and command of two honest men whom James Gruny or his locum tenens with the advice of his counselors shall have appointed; and if the said captains of barges transgress the command and jurisdiction of the two honest men, let them repair all damage which the merchandise has suffered, in the knowledge of the said two honest men.

10. Also: we command that every captain of a barge or boat shall not dare to take ashore any mariner of a ship or vessel or boat until the said vessel or ship be discharged and emptied of ballast, or until the said boat be discharged; and if they do contrary to this they shall be expected to pay 5s. as a penalty for every mariner they take from the ship or vessel.

11. Also: we command that every co-proprietor of a ship or vessel, and every merchant, and every pilot of a ship or vessel who accepts wages from that ship or vessel shall be expected to take an oath to the captain of the ship, just as the other mariners who are not partners, or pilots, or merchants, and this by an oath taken by them to us.

12. Also: we command that a vessel with a covered deck shall not take away any merchandise upon the covered deck, except only the sea-chests of the mariners and merchants, and the wine and water which are necessary to the mariners and merchants; and if the said vessel have store-rooms, it shall not take away any merchandise in those store-rooms, except only its arms and those of the mariners and merchants, and the rigging of the vessel, if they wish to place them there. Moreover every vessel with a covered deck shall take four shields and twelve lances, besides the arms of the mariners and merchants who sail in the vessel above mentioned; and if any merchandise be carried in the said store-room, it shall pay a fine for the merchandise, which fine shall be divided between the Lord King and the Society of Water-men.

13. Also: we command that a vessel with two covered decks shall not send or carry away any merchandise between the mainmast and the poop, except only its boat with its rigging and the company of the merchants; and if it wishes to have merchandise in the same place, it may do this with the consent of the merchants, and without their consent it shall not dare to place any merchandise in the said place. But in the cabin of the poop of the vessel it shall carry its company and that of the merchants. Moreover, on the higher deck of the said vessel it shall not dare to carry water or wine, or other merchandise, except only its sea-chests and those of the mariners and merchants, and in the store-rooms of that same vessel it shall not carry any merchandise, except only the arms going in that vessel, and the rigging if it can place any there, except it do so with the consent of the majority of the merchants, and if it carry any merchandise in the said places, it shall pay the fine incurred just as is contained in the preceding paragraph.

14. Also: we command that every captain of a ship or vessel, of whatever kind it be, shall free his ship or vessel and the rudders from all tolls in whatever dominion or lordship it be, whether of Christians or Arabs, without any expense or payment from the merchants. In the same way the merchants shall free all their merchandise, in whatever dominion or lordship it be, without any expense to the captains of the vessels or ships, and if the said lordship should chance to make other tolls, let them stand in the pledge of two honest men, whom they have elected in the said ship or vessel.

15. Also: we command that every merchant and mariner who takes of his own accord or in company with his friends anything in common to Barbary or to other parts, before he departs from Barcelona shall come to an agreement with three or four or more of his partners, according as he be able to gather several of the said company together, and when the expenses of the purchase have been made with the deliberation of that same company, the said merchant or company carrying the goods shall not accept any merchandise from the said partners except according as they agreed on that day on which it was pledged, and this under pain of an oath to be taken by them to us and the honest men before mentioned.

16. Also: we command that merchants or mariners or other persons carrying the company to any parts shall not take their wages or fare nor shall they be given to them until they return to Barcelona, and then when they have made an agreement with the partners of the company they shall have and take their wages and fare with the knowledge of their partners with whom they made the agreement about the company above mentioned. And if the said merchant be not a mariner or do not perform the office of mariner, he shall not take his wages or fare.

17. Also: we command that merchants or mariners or other persons carrying the company shall not dare to carry any goods or money in denarii for the company or from other persons except for the company it takes. But all things which they carry with them shall belong to the company and be in its possession, and whatever they sell or buy, or obtain in any way, they shall buy and sell, in whatever parts they are, for the good and use of the company mentioned above.

18. Also: we command that all men who have submitted to this ordinance, in whatever parts they be, shall love each other, and protect and help each other, both in their persons and in their goods against all other persons, just as if they were the special goods of each one; and they shall do this in good faith and without any fraud, by virtue of an oath taken to us and to the honest watermen of Barcelona.

19. Also: we command that if any ship or vessel should have stopped at the quays of Barcelona so that it could not straightway sail, that all captains of ships and vessels of that society with their mariners, although their ships or vessels are prepared to sail, shall help the said ship or vessel to sail or put to sea and they shall not leave that ship or vessel which is detained until it have sailed, and if they are unwilling to do this the captain of the ship or vessel shall incur a penalty of 50s. and the mariners of 5s.

20. Also: we command that if any mariner should die in the service of any ship or vessel, from the time when that ship or vessel moved from the quay or river bank, or from any port, the said mariner shall have all his wages, just as was written in the contract book of that ship or vessel. And if any mariner be sick or be injured in his legs from the time when the ship or vessel put to sea, the captain of the ship or vessel shall give to the said mariner his needs in food for the whole voyage, if the mariner make the voyage, and the mariner shall have all his wages. But if the mariner be unwilling to go on the voyage, he shall not have any wages. But if the mariner has accepted such free victuals for doing work on the said ship or vessel, so that he cannot go on the said voyage to the knowledge of two honest men of the society, he shall have only half his wages; and if the captain of the said ship or vessel shall have paid all the wages to the mariner, he shall not be expected to put another mariner in the place of the one who remained ashore. And if the said captain shall have paid half the wages to the mariner who remained, the captain shall be expected to put another mariner in his place, and to give him the remaining half of the wages which he did not pay. And the merchants is expected to give the other half of the wages to the mariner placed in the position of the other who did not go.

21. Also: we command that on every ship or vessel departing from the quay of Barcelona there shall be appointed and elected by the men in that ship or vessel 2 proctors distinguished by their knowledge and lawfulness whose commands they will obey, both the captain of the ship or vessel, and the mariners, and the merchants going in the ship, and all shall be expected to stand by and obey the orders of the 2 proctors. These 2 proctors shall elect other men of the ship with the advice of whom they will make and order all things which are to be done on that ship; and whatever is ordered by the 7 men shall be strictly obeyed by all going in that ship. But in a vessel the two proctors shall elect another two by the advice of whom they shall ordain all things which are to be obeyed on that vessel. And the election of the 2 proctors shall be made within 4 days or 8 before the departure of the said ship or vessel from the shores of Barcelona, and as many men of Barcelona as they find in other parts, Arab or Christian, shall be expected to stand by and obey the command and advice of the 7 or 4. And whatever the elected men do or ordain they shall do and ordain in the name of the Lord King and saving his jurisdiction, and in the name of the Council of the honest water-men of Barcelona. But if the 2 elected men should depart in ships from the place at which they arrived with the said ship, on their departure let them elect another 2 with the advice of the said 5 counselors who shall stand in their places, and those two elected on vessels shall elect another 2 with the advice of the said 2 counselors; and if the 2 elected by these 2 shall depart, let them elect another 2, and thus in order; and whatever shall be done or ordered by those elected shall be strictly observed by all others, and this we command in the name of the Lord King and by virtue of an oath.

Given at Barcelona on the twenty-sixth of August, in the year 1258.

Seal of James, by the grace of God, King of Aragon, etc.

Boats, Ships & Seamanship of the Period

For the reference of both player and GM, the following are a selection of boats and ships used in the period of the game. For the benefit of the GM, following that is a collection of statistics applying to their use. A number of dimensions and descriptions are provided, however, they are labeled in jargon with which the reader may not be familiar : beam is the ship’s width from side to side at its widest point; draught refers to how much of the ship’s height from the keel on the bottom to the gunwales (top of sides) lies below the water; a jib is a triangular sail generally deployed on the bow of the ship; a lugsail is trapezoidal deployed sideways, mounted asymmetrically, off-set laterally from the mast so the longest side is parallel to it and farthest from it.

The most basic parameter for ships is size, and that is usually given in tons. The equivalent in northern waters was the “last”, roughly 2 tons, while the “botte” of c. 1/2 ton, prevailed In the Mediterranean. As time went on and shipbuilding techniques were refined, the sizes of the ships grew, the Hanseatic notes in the Lübecker Zollrolle of 1227 showed a breakdown of under 5 lasten (under 10 tons); 5-12 lasten (10-24 tons); more than 12 lasten (more than 24 tons) in ship size.

In a similar document from 1358 there were only two classes – under 60 lasten (120 tons) and more than 60 lasten (120 tons).

The compass had made a transition from primitive pointer to the needle swinging freely on a dry point by 1300, a form more familiar to modern eyes.

Commonly overcast skies forced pilots along the North and Baltic Seas to depend on soundings taken with lead and line, one reason why for so many years so many ships stuck close to land and always anchored at night. Indeed, so often were anchors lost by getting snagged on rocks and reefs or from their lines snapping due to prolonged or extreme stress, or even broken in use due to the weaknesses inherent in the poor grade of iron used to forge them, that it is common practice to equip a ship with as many as 20 or 30 anchors for each side of a voyage, outbound and the return, and to hang as many as four or six at a time on the side of the ship ready to drop.

While changing maritime technology also changed the ways in which the English fought at sea in the period, the changes in England were largely matched by those in other countries. England kept up with new developments, even leading the way in some, but the prevailing medieval economic situation and technological achievements made it impossible for anyone to maintain any kind of serious technological advantage for long. Superior numbers of troops and the ability to raise fleets when needed mattered more. This gave the English an edge over their naval opponents in Wales, Scotland and France. Although French forces were able to stage many devastating raids on the English coastline over the course of the Hundred Years War, in the 13-1400’s French armies were never able to land an invasion in England. The English, on the other hand, invaded France on a number of occasions and conducted devastating chevauchees, culminating in Henry V’s conquest of northern France and subsequent recognition as heir to the French throne. In the end, medieval England’s wars were won or lost on land, however. The only way in which the English could gain even partial control of the English Channel was to conquer Normandy, which was only briefly achieved from 1419 to 1450, at the end of the 100 Years’ War.

Medieval England lacked anything resembling a standing navy. The sea-going efforts in time of war were accomplished with a collection of civilian ships commandeered to implement the campaign plans of the Crown, largely for the purposes of moving troops, horses, and supplies to the region of the conflict. Until the 1500’s, most naval operations were generally only extensions of land warfare.

The Ships

Doggers are fishing boats that usually displace about 13 tons, carry around a ton of bait, three tons of salt, and a 1/2 ton each of food and firewood for the crew. This leaves about 6 tons of cargo space for carrying fish. They are square-rigged on the main-mast, and carry a lugsail (trapezoidal) on the mizzen-mast, with two jibs (triangular) on a long bowsprit. Doggers are generally c. 50ft. long, with a maximum beam of 15ft., high sides, and a draught of about 15ft.. They have a rudder rather than a steering oar. A decked area in the bow provides limited accommodations for the crew, along with a storage locker and cooking area, and another similar area to the stern. They carry 2 small anchors, and 1 main anchor to allow for extended periods fishing in the same spot, in waters up to 60ft. deep, thus only weighing anchor in coastal waters. The dogger also carries a small open ship’s boat to maintain the lines when fishing and to row ashore.

The Knarr is the Norse term for ships of the period that are built for Atlantic voyages. They are primarily cargo ships with a length of about 54ft., a beam of 15ft., and a hull capable of carrying up to 24 tons.It is primarily used to transport trading goods such as walrus ivory, wool, timber, wheat, furs, armor, slaves, honey. It is also used to supply food, drink, and weapons and armor to warriors and traders.

Knarrer (plural) historically plied routes across the Baltic, the Mediterranean and other seas, and routinely crossed the North Atlantic carrying livestock and stores to Norse settlements in Iceland and Greenland as well as trading goods to trading posts in the British Isles, Continental Europe and the Middle East.

The cog and cog-like square-rigged vessels, are wide and spacious transport ships commonly 70ft. long by 20ft. in the beam, with clinker-built hulls, planks overlapping rather than butted edge to edge along the length of the hull, as in carvel style. Originally open-hulled and fitted with oars for rowing short distances, cogs looked like wooden bowls with pointed bows and squared off sterns. They grew larger in the 1200’s and were fitted with a deck. widely used by the late Middle Ages all along the coasts of Europe, in the Baltic, and also in the Mediterranean. Steering was accomplished by means of a large tiller or pair of tillers, one at each side of the stern, connected by a whip staff.

The invention of the stern-post pintle-and-gudgeon rudder in Medieval Europe is attributed to Somerled in 1156, when it was the decisive factor in his defeat of Gofraidh mac Amhlaibh during the formation of the Lordship of the Isles.

The caravel utilized the carvel method of construction, which enables the shipwright to achieve a greater length and breadth of hull, as well as a stronger hull that can better withstand the stresses of being more fully rigged with sail. They generally carried two or three masts with lateen (triangular) sails, while later types had four masts. Early caravels usually had two masts, a weight of around 50 tons, an overall length of 65 to 100ft., a high length-to-beam ratio of around 3.5 : 1, and narrow ellipsoidal frame (unlike the circular frame of the Portuguese nau or carrack), making them very fast and maneuverable but with somewhat low in capacity. Towards the end of the 15th century, the caravel was occasionally modified by giving it the same rig as a carrack with a foresail, square mainsail and lateen mizzen, but not the carrack’s high forecastle nor much of a sterncastle, which would have made it unwieldy in bad weather. In this form it was sometimes known as caravela redonda (a bulging square sail is said to be “redonda” (“round”, Spanish). It was in such ships that Christopher Columbus set out on his expedition in 1492; the Pinta and Niña were slightly larger caravel ships of c. 100ft. in length with a beam of 20ft., weighing about 100 tons.

A carrack is an ocean-going ship also utilizing the carvel method of construction, large enough to be stable in heavy seas and roomy enough to carry provisions for long voyages. It had a high rounded stern with an aftcastle and a forecastle and bowsprit at the stem. It was square-rigged on the foremast and mainmast and lateen-rigged on the mizzenmast.

Carracks were developed a bit late for the period of the game, but in the same manner as some Renaissance weapons were also included, some information is provided for these as well. Their proper place in history noted, the GM is free to decide for himself whether he wishes to include them in play.

The Santa Maria was a small carrack which served as Christopher Columbusflagship (1492). The size of the São Gabriel of Vasco da Gama (1497) according to contemporary accounts was between 90-120 tons. The overall length was 85ft., the width 28ft.4, the draft of 7.5ft. and fully loaded weight was about 178 tons, however. To enter estuaries the draft was kept shallow. The Flor de la Mar (Flower of the Sea, 1512) was a Portuguese nau (carrack) of 400 tons.

It was not unusual for the English king to have a single large sailing ship for the prestige, as a symbol of their personal greatness. King John had a ‘great ship’ called Dieulabeneie, and the 300-ton Trinity owned first by Richard II and then by Henry IV. Henry V’s first great ship was a rebuild of the old Trinity at c. 400 tons, renamed the Trinity Royal afterwards. His second was the Holigost (“Holy Ghost”), a rebuild of a large Spanish ship. The biggest ones were purpose-built constructed from scratch – the 1,400-ton Grace Dieu (launched in 1418) and the 1,000-ton Jesus. 

These great ships, appearing somewhat later than the period specified for the game, were different in size and scale from earlier large royal ships. They carried as many people as a large village. The Jesus had a crew of 201. The tall, heavily manned ships were perceived to be of great use in the form of sea warfare that was resolved by boarding actions. Both the Holigost and the Trinity Royal were in the middle of the heaviest fighting at the battle of Harfleur (1416), in which the English not only captured 3 large carracks, but also carried the day.

The earliest galley specifications come from the text of an order of Charles I of Sicily (1275). The overall length was 130ft., the keel length 92ft., the draft 7ft., and hull width 12ft. (beam). Width between outriggers 15ft., with 108 oars, most of which were 22ft. long, some as long as 26ft., and 2 steering oars each 20ft. long. This type of vessel had 2, later 3, men on a bench, each working his own oar. Only in the 1500’s were ships called galleys developed with many men to each oar. The galley’s foremast was 53ft. and the middle mast 36ft. tall; their circumferences being 2.5ft. each, and yard lengths of 88ft. and 57ft., respectively. Overall deadweight tonnage was roughly 80 metric tons. This type of warship was called galia sottil.

The medieval galleys had no rams.

The standard Venetian war galleys (1571) were 138ft. long and 17ft. wide (22ft. with the rowing frame), had a draft of 5.5ft. and a freeboard of 3.25ft., and weighed empty about 140 tons. The lanterna (“lantern”) galleys – larger flagship-types – were 150ft. long and 18ft. wide (24ft. with the rowing frame), had 6ft. of draft and 3.5ft. of freeboard, and weighed 180 tons. The standard galleys had 24 rowing benches on each side, with three rowers to a bench. (One bench on each side was typically removed to make space for platforms carrying the skiff and the stove). The crew typically comprised 10 officers, about 65 sailors, gunners and other staff plus 138 rowers. The “lanterns” had 27 benches on each side, with 156 rowers, and a crew of 15 officers and about 105 other sailors, gunners and soldiers.

From the first half of the 1300’s, the Venetian galere da mercato the “merchant galley” were built in the shipyards of the state-run Arsenal as a combination of the state’s initiative and a kind of consortium of export merchants in private association. The ships sailed together in convoy, defended by compliments of archers and slingers (ballestieri) on board.

The Scots’ Lords of the Isles used galleys c. 1263 to 1500 both for warfare and for transport around their maritime domain, which included the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, the Hebrides, and Antrim (Ireland). They employed these ships for ship-to-ship battles at sea and for attacking castles or forts built close by on the coast. As a feudal suzerain, the Lord of the Isles required the service of a specified number and size of galleys from each vassal according the size of his feof, i.e., the Isle of Man provided 6 galleys of 26 oars each while Sleat on the Isle of Skye had to provide one 18-oar galley. From the 1300’s on the Scots abandoned the steering-oar in favor of a stern post rudder, with a straight stern to suit it. A proper galley was required to have 18 to 24 oars, while a birlinn had 12 to 18 oars and a lymphad had fewer still (1624).

Fleets of galleys were too vulnerable to rough waters at sea or on open ocean and too logistically short-ranged to act independently of land resources. As a result, Mediterranean navies were still tethered to the shore well into the 1500’s. Galley fleets had a radius of operations limited to some 500 miles at best, and in that radius limited only to piloting along coasts, not sailing or rowing along a straight line from point to point. At night, galley commanders preferred to back their ships up and ground them on a safe beach, where the crew slept and searched out fresh food and water. For a galley squadron to blockade of a distant enemy port was only possible if a friendly army held a nearby stretch of coast. leashed as they were to the shores, navies usually operated as flanking forces for the land forces to which they were attached.

Northern Europeans were never as fond of galleys as their Mediterranean cousins. Northern seas, even coastal waters, were generally too rough for vessels with such low freeboards as galleys have. Many of the tides and currents of the English Channel ebb and flow more quickly than the best speed a rowed vessel could make. Indeed, the Vikings conducted most of their distant oceanic voyages in more functional sailing vessels rather than their oared longships or war galleys.

As shipwrights constructed larger, more strongly built, more maneuverable caravels in the late 1200’s, the countries along the Atlantic seaboard began to incorporate the new vessels into their naval forces. Northerners quickly adopted improved roundships (cogs) as war platforms, by necessity rather than choice; the Mediterranean states, both Christian and Muslim, did not.

The English navy of the late 1100’s consisted principally of assorted types of galleys, but by the early 1200’s powerful caravels formed the core of English war fleet. By the early 1300’s galleys had all but disappeared from English orders of battle.

Waterline length (ft.)

Max. Hull Speed (mph)

Pulse Move

40

8

6.2 cm

50

9

6.9 cm

60

10

7.6 cm

70

11

8.2 cm

80

12

8.8 cm

90 – 100

13

9.5 cm

110

14

10.3 cm

120 – 130

15

11 cm

140 – 150

16

11.7 cm

160 – 170

17

12.5 cm

180 – 190

18

13.2 cm

200

19

13.9 cm

Ship Speeds

The speed a ship can attain is limited by the length of the outside of the hull at the waterline. The larger it is, the faster it can go, provided it has sails enough to catch the wind. Medieval ships were NOT rigged in the best way to take advantage of winds that were from the sides of the ship, and were incapable of really tacking into the wind, until the advent of the Caravel. Hull speeds for smaller boats are provided in the notes for the Boatman skill. The maximum hull speed assumes good winds and smooth water, BUT good winds cause choppy waters. The only way around that is a conjure a wind trained on the sails by magick. For everyone else, a reasonable average ship’s speed can be determined for a ship by dividing the hull speed by 2.

A 50′ cog’s hull speed limit is 9.4 knots (c. 11 mph), yielding an average speed of around 4.7 or 5 knots (c. 5 or 6 mph).

A 75′ cog’s hull speed is 11.6 knots (c. 13 mph), or an average speed around 5.8 or 6 knots (c. 7 mph).

A 100′ cog’s hull speed is 13.4 knots (c. 15 mph), or around 6.7 or 7 knots on average (c. 8 mph).

So, if a party of adventurers decide to take a trip on a 75ft. (waterline) vessel, in 2 weeks’ time they can travel 2,352 nautical miles, or 2,704 statute miles (7 x 24 hr’s x 14 days = 2352). This assumes constant favorable winds to run before, however. If the winds shift to either side of the direction they are heading, there is a certain amount of lateral push involved in catching it, which can reduce their forward progress by as much as half (GM’s discretion).

The length of a trireme galley averages 115ft., the beam as 12ft. (due to the outrigger the dimensions could be smaller than for the penteconter, and the ship could still pack more punch in battle). The top speed is usually estimated at 11.5 knots (c. 13 mph), although actually entering the glide phase, which would defeat most of the wave resistance, allowed speeds of up to 18 or 20 knots (c. 21 to 23 mph) for very short bursts. A trireme with a crack crew can manage 9 knots (c. 10 mph) and maintain it for as much as 24 hours.

Because wave resistance grows exponentially with the speed of the ship, the speed of a trireme is only 20% higher than for the penteconter (16.8 to 18.4 mph), despite the fact it has three times as many rowers. A trireme has other advantages, however. It is much more maneuverable than the penteconter, accelerating from a standstill to 1/2 speed in 8 Pulses, and to top speed in 30 Pulses (or close enough).

The Type 2 bireme was developed in answer to the high cost and complexity by taking the lower row out of a trireme and shrinking the beam. With a length of 65 to 85ft., and a beam of only 8ft., the four rowers worked all abreast, and the fulcrums for all oars were on the outrigger. These biremes were cheaper than the trireme, and required only about 100 rowers. It was also easier to train the crew to row with only two rows of oars.

The following table illustrates journeys by sea that come from the historic record, for which we have sufficient information to evaluate. The “Length” is the distance in miles, the “DUR” is the duration of the journey in days, and the entries in the “Speed” column are in knots and (mph, rounded to the nearest 1/4th).

The slowest of these figures are for fleets that included slow transports. A fleet can only travel as fast as its slowest constituent, just like an army on land. The only thing not accounted for in these figures is how heavily laden the ship is, which is likely the factor slowing the ships down in a number of instances. Some of these journeys the ships made over a 100 miles in a day, sometimes half that. But these are also all on smaller Bronze Age (Greek) ships. If a 100ft. medieval cog with an average speed of 7 knots (8 mph) and favorable winds is substituted, the mileage covered in a single day becomes truly impressive.

The distance covered by a ship must be decreased, of course,  according to the amount of time spent if the ship puts into port or anchors at night, follows the coast as opposed to a linear path from port to port, encounters sea monsters, pirates, or enemies of their kingdom on the waters who offer battle, or if it get lost in a fog or tossed and sails shredded by a storm, captain and/or helmsman gets drunk and heads the wrong way, currents and/or winds work against the ship, etc…

Voyage

Length

DUR

Speed

Winds

Rhodes toAlexandria

325

3

4.5 (5)

Favorable

Greater Syrtes toHeracleia Minoa

475

4.5

4.4 (5)

Favorable

Sason to Cephallenia

160

1.75

4 (4.5)

Favorable

Troy to Alexandria

550

7

3.2 (3.5)

Very Fav.

Carales toAfrican Coast

200

3

2.8 (3.25)

Favorable

Lilybaeum toCape Mercury

65

1

2.7 (3)

Favorable

Pisa-Massilia toLigurian Coast

240

4.5

2.2 (2.5)

Variable

Utica to Carales

160

3

2.2 (2.5)

Unfavorable

Lilybaeum toRuspina

140

3.5

1.7 (2)

Favorable

Lilybaeum toAnquillaria

90

2.5

1.5 (1.75)

Favorable

Syracuse toCape Mercury

220

6

1.5 (1.75)

Unfavorable

Euripus to Phalerum

96

3

1.2 (1.5)

Variable

Lilybaeum to Africa

85

4

1 (1.25)

Unfavorable