Friday, February 7, 2020

5th Edition Ars Magica NPCs

Some characters I created for a few different on-line Ars Magica games.

Zorya of House Bjornaer
Zorya was raised high in the Novgorood Tribunal, somewhere near the spring of Dnjepr. She does not remember her early life at all; her life seems to begin in her apprenticeship to another Eula von Bjornaer, a reclusive hermit who had retreated to the deep forests for his solitude. Zorya was his daughter, in spirit if not in body, and the only person whose presence he tolerated for more than a fortnight.

Despite Eula's reclusiveness, Zorya received a thorough hermetic education, though one far more dependant upon vis and direct instruction than most. This meant that her apprenticeship was fairly long, though she is somewhat vague on precisely how long. Eula was visited often by the locals for his wisdom, and their tribute to him allowed him to gather materials for what could not be taught by rote memorization. Zorya recognized the value of wisdom, both practically and in terms of reputation, and studied hard, hoping to gain it for herself.

After Zorya was presented, first at the Gathering of Twelve Years, and then at Tribunal, Eula became increasingly withdrawn and aggressive towards her. Much older than she, much of his prey was now touched by magic before it was killed, and so he was fast approaching twilight. Zorya mourned his loss, but also knew, instinctively, that two owls who were not mated would not well share the same territory. She flew away, seeking others of her kinds, hoping to unravel the mystery of humanity and reach a level where she, herself, would be satisfied with her wisdom.

INT +3
PER +2
STR +1
STA -1
PRE 0 (She's quite good looking, but keeps annoying people with her owlish ways)
COM -3 (She never practiced and it must be confusing to talk to people who constanly add 'hoohoos' in their speech but look straight in your eyes and rarly blink...)
DEX +1
QIK +2

Age: 25
Size: 0

Virtues and Flaws: The Gift, Hermetic Magus, Heartbeast, Quiet Magic (twice), Subtle Magic, Keen Vision, Night Vision, Special Circumstance (in Heartbeast), Sheltered Upbringing, Deficient Form (Ignem), Cyclic Magic (Day), Deleterious Circumstances (Bright Light), Nocturnal, Driven (Become Wise)

Magical Theory (inventing spells) +4 (65 XP)
Order of Hermes Lore (house Bjornaer) +2 (15 XP)
Parma Magica (Animal) +3 (35 XP)
Artes Liberales (copying) +3 (35 XP) (Literate in Latin, Greek, and Cyrrilic)
Speak Latin (hermetic useage) +5 (75 XP)
Speak Russian (novgorod dialect) +5 (75 XP)
Speak Greek +2 (15 XP)
Speak Goth +2 (15 XP)
Heartbeast (owl-form) +3 (35 XP)
Faerie Lore (faerie forests) +2 (15 XP)
Legend Lore (beasts) +2 (15 XP)
Finesse (precision) +3 (30 XP)
Penetration (Animal) +2 (15 XP)
Athletic flight (acrobatics) +2 (15 XP)
Awareness (searching) +2 (15 XP)
Concentration (spells) +3 (30 XP)
Brawling (dodge) +1 (5 XP)
Owl Brawl (talons) +3 (30 XP)
Hunt (hunt in Owl-shape) +2 (15 XP)
Survival (forests) +2 (15 XP)
Stealth (natural areas) +2 (20 XP)
Area Lore: Crimea +4 (70 XP)
Area Lore: Haunted Springs +1 (10 XP)
Mastery: Shriek of Impending Shafts +1 (5 XP)

Cr 4 (10 XP), In 8, Mu 3, Pe 3, Re 3

An 9, Aq 0, Au 3, Co 5 (16 XP), He 3, Ig 0, Im 0, Me 5, Te 0, Vi 5 (16 XP)

<>Spells (Casting Total)
CrAn20: True Rest of the Injured Brute (11)
InAn30: Hunter's Sense (16)
MuAn15: Beast of Outlandish Size (11)
ReAn15: Viper's Gaze (11)
CrAu15: Charge of the angry winds (5)
InAu15: True sight of the air (10)
InCo10: Sight of the True Form (13)
InHe15: Hunt for the wild herb (10)
InHe15: Shriek of the impending Shafts (11) (mastered; fast casting)
CrMe10: Sentences of the Unbroken silence * (7)
InVi 5 : Sense the Nature of Vis (9)

*like Words of the Unbroken silence, but you can say up to three fairly simple sentences.

Wizard's Sigil:
Something owlish. Perdo-Spells destroying material might leave a single owl-feather, Cr- or Mu- Spells might produce the structure of an owl-eye somewhere, In-Spells might make my eyes shine brighter, Im-Spells migth produce a "hoohoo" was well...

Personality Traits:
Curious +3
Eager to learn +3
Patient +1
Owlish +3
Aggressive -1
Shy +2

Human form: She's approximately 165cm tall, thin but not weak. She seems to be young, maybe a bit more than 20. Her hair is short, in dark brown colors (actually more than one shade of brown) and her eyes bright orange-red. It's not easy to decide if she's a beauty or only has a fascinating, strange way. She seems to observe everything she looks at very intensely, and moves her point of interest with extremely quick motions.

Animal shape: A very large owl, 72cm tall and weighing nearly 3 kilos, Zorya sports yellowish-brown feathers at the front (with a white spot below the head), dark brown feathers on the back, long black ear-tufts, and bright orange-red eyes.

Characteristics of the Owl-Shape:
INT +3
PER +3
STR -4
STM -2
DEX +1
QIK +5

Size -2
Talons: Init +4, Attack +8, Defense +13 Damage -2
Beak: Init +5, Atk +7, Defense +9, Damage -3
Soak: -2
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0/0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-3), -3 (4-6), -5 (7-9), Incapacitated (10-12)
Skills: as human, but +3 bonus to stealth while in flight

Father Theodolphus

My parens, you must understand, was not very intelligent. Oh, in some ways he was brilliant, but he lacked the basic ability to examine his actions and see if they were reasonable. Often, they were not; they were against the laws of God, Man, and the Order, and stemmed from an essentially narcisisitic view of the world.

When I was seven years old, my parens, Principius ex Bonisagus, found me living in a village outside of Athens. I was already quite bright, had gained a basic understanding of Greek letters from our priest, and was well on my way to becoming an acolyte, and one day a priest, even possibly bishop or patriarch, myself. Principius took me away from all of that, instead taking me to the covenant of Olympias, predictably in the shadow of Mount Olympus. The covenant was slipping into Winter, and my role was less that of an apprentice, and more of a lab assistant and... bed-warmer. Principius, you see, was interested in forging a bold new alliance for the Order: The powers of Hell.

While he was aware of the ruling which declared the Infernal Powers to never be the friends of the Order of Hermes, he felt that this was in error; that the Infernal powers could, if properly approached and appeased, be of great aid to the Order. Even at my young age, I believed him mad, but his swift and vicious punishments ensured that I learned my lessons quickly and well. In time, he bound me tightly with his magic, linking our spirits together, and used that bond to quickly teach me what he wished me to know.

After three years of this apprenticeship, I met with a member of House Guernicus when taken to Tribunal. I told him of Principius's activities, and Principius was Marched. He was unaware of my betrayal, and so took me with him when he fled to Olympias. When the Hoplites found him, he ordered me to take up certain magic items which he had created, and turn them against the Hoplites. I pretended to prepare to do so, while the Hoplites quickly destroyed Principius and the demons he had summoned. Seeing me armed with unknown magical items, they prepared to destroy me as well, but I threw the items down and fell before a consortes that they had brought with them, one Father Phillipicus. I begged him for sanctuary, and he granted my request, staying the hands of the Hoplites. I was allowed to leave with Phillipicus because of my youth and presumed ignorance; I could not be a threat to the Order, and giving me to the Church would aid in their relations.

And, thus, I entered the Church at age eleven, moving to Constantinople with Father Phillipicus. I studied hard, taking the Holy Orders when I was sixteen, studying the arts, theology, and law. When I was able, I also explored more knowledge of the Order of Hermes, comparing what I knew of their philosophy with that of the Church. Amazingly, I found few conflicts; certain disconnects, where conclusions diverged, but very few conflicts. Part of this interest was selfish; Principius's ghost had continued to haunt me after I entered the Church, likely still bound by the spells which bound our spirits in life. While he could not harm me while I was on consecrated ground, it was not uncommon for him to assault me when I was alone and away from a church. I took to enacting the Parma Magica with my morning an evening prayers; it did not stop him, but it did protect me from his attacks.

As I became more interested, my superiors became more aware of my interest, and recently approached me with a proposal: They, too, wish to know more about the Order of Hermes which, despite its pagan name, has a history of working in parallel with the Church to combat threats to the well-being of humanity. If I wished to, I was to attach myself to one of their covenants (they used the term monastery, but I did not feel it appropriate to correct them at that moment) and serve as a priest for the folk who lived there. I was to learn what I was able to, and make periodic reports to a nearby bishop, who would pass along my reports to the Church Fathers. I would have autonomy from all save my conscience and God.

I accepted. Such an opprotunity to advance my knowledge and career in the Church was too good to pass up. Since there is another Tribunal this year, this time meeting in Constantinople, I am to present myself to the magi there, and seek a position at a covenant.

Description: Father Theodolphus is a young man of average appearance, with thick black hair, olive skin, and a silver tongue. He is not the most pious of men, regarding his position in the Church as being a job more than a calling; he is not impious, nor is he unfaithful to his duties as a priest, simply not actively pious. This has lead him to some rather odd circumstances, such as agreeing to exchange services (usually as a scribe, but twice as a lawyer and once as a tutor) to people who are willing to undergo baptism and agree to attend a certain number of Easter Masses. He is given to occasional flights of fancy and expects great things from himself, a trait that often conflicts with mind that naturally assess probabilities. Personally, he is motivated by knowledge; he wishes to know as much as possible on a wide variety of topics, seeing this as a holy mission. To this end, he sees nothing wrong with exploring Hermetic magic (a possibility he is considering). Occasionally, he dreams of entering the Order while remaining a priest, but he is not sure if that would be possible, or precisely how he would accomplish it.

Father Theodolphus
Age: 25
Int (quick-thinker) +2
Per (hard to fool) +1
Str (unathletic) -1
Sta (stubborn) +1
Com (literate) +2
Qik (unathletic) -1
Dex (deft hands) +1

Virtues and Flaws: The Gift, Priest, Good Teacher, Book Learner, Educated, Arcane Lore, Strong Willed, Clear Thinker, Latent Magic Ability (*2), Diabolic Past, Vow of Celibacy, Overconfident (major), Deleterious Circumstances (State of Grace; myself or target), Weird Magic

Speak Latin (Hermetic) +3 (30 XP)
Speak Greek (Constantinople) +5 (75 XP)
Bargain (services) +2 (15 XP)
Etiquette (Church) +1 (5 XP)
Parma Magica (Mentem) +3 (30 XP)
Artes Liberales (logic) +5 (75 XP) (Literate in Latin, Greek)
Civil and Canon Law (Byzantine) +2 (15 XP)
Philosophiae (Metaphysics) +3 (30 XP)
Orthodox Theology (magic) +4 (50 XP)
Magic Theory (lab assistant) +3 (30 XP)
Occult Lore (demons) +2 (15 XP)
Concentration (reading) +1 (5 XP)
Teaching +3 (30 XP)
Orthodox Church Lore (procedures) +2 (15 XP)
Hermetic Lore (History) +1 (5 XP)
Hermetic Law (church relations) +2 (20 XP)

Magical Abilites
While Principius opened Theodolphus to the Arts, he did not give any training, nor give him access to any books or vis from which to study. Theodolphus currently has a 0 in all Arts.

Personality Traits:
Pious +0
Curious +2
Level-Headed +1
Over-confident +3

Confidence 1 (3)
Size 0
Equipment: Bible (in Greek), knife, daily and liturgical robes, liturgical equipment (enough to set up a small chapel), scribe's kit

Brother Iakobos
Iakobos is a small man in pretty much every sense of the word. While he has a wide array of knowledge, he tends to be somewhat whiny, and is usually convinced that he has several different diseases, all of which make it terribly hard for anyone to like him. He is very loyal, and a competent secretary (his role with Theodolphus), but Theodolphus privately detests him. He has picked up some small skill at brewing acutal potions through his constant tinkering with medicines, though he does not understand most of its capability.

Age: 30

Int (organized) +1
Per (methodical) +1
Str (lazy) -2
Sta (weak-willed) -2
Pre (snivelling) -1
Com (eloquent) +3
Qik (hurried) +2
Dex (deft) +2

Virtues and Flaws: Clerk (Lector), Educated, Fragile Constitution, Small Frame

Speak Greek +5 (75 XP)
Speak Latin +3 (+30 XP)
Artes Liberales (grammar) +5 (85 XP) (Literate in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and Cyrillic)
Theology +3 (+30 XP)
Medicine (self-diagnosis) +2 (20 XP)
Sing (hymns) +3 (30 XP)
Teaching +3 (30 XP)
Guile (excuses) +2 (15 XP)
Etiquette (church) +2 (15 XP)
Concentration (reading) +2 (15 XP)
Speak Arabic +3 (30 XP)
Speak Hebrew +3 (30 XP)
Church Lore +3 (30 XP)
Speak Armenian +1 (5 XP)
Speak Slav +1 (5 XP)

Personality Traits:
Hypochondriac +3
Snivelling +1
Loyal +1
Confidence: 3

Brother Nikodemos

Brother Nikodemos is a terribly niave young deacon. Raised most of his life in a monastery, he nonetheless has been sent out with Father Theodolphus to aid him in his duties as a priest. He sees to the production and consecration of the Eucharist and the blood of Christ. Should a chapel be established, he will also be responsible for its maintenence. He is very personable, and very young, but he has the tendency to attract the eyes of women in the congregation. He usually does not notice, but when he does, it makes him very uncomfortable. Theodolphus was somewhat reluctant to take Nikodemos along, since he thinks the young man has great potential as a monk... but never in the secular orders. However, his superiors insisted that he take an acolyte, and Nikodemos eagerly volunteered. Nikodemos does not know about his ability to sense holiness and unholiness; he has never really encountered anything unholy, and thinks the feelings that come over him in church come from his great reverence for God, rather than a special capacity.

Age: 20
Int 0
Per +1
Str 0
Sta 0
Pre +2
Com +2
Qik 0
Dex 0

Virtues and Flaws: Clerk (Deacon), Inspirational, Sense Holiness and Unholiness, Curse of Venus (Lesser; he constantly attracts women, though he's not particularly interested in them), Continence, Pious

Speak Greek 5 (75 XP)
Artes Liberales 3 (30 XP) (Literate in Latin and Greek)
Speak Latin 3 (30 XP)
Sense Holiness and Unholiness 1 (5 XP)
Brawl (defense) 1 (5 XP)
Carouse (staying sober) 1 (5 XP)
Theology 3 (30 XP)
Sing (hymns) 3 (30 XP)
Storytelling (Homilies) 3 (30 XP)
Teaching (biblical) 3 (30 XP)
Folk Ken (peasants) 3 (30 XP)

Personality Traits:
Naive +2
Pious +3

Size 0
Confidence 3

Kale Theodosios, the cook:

Kale has worked as a cook for a merchant tradeing herbs, spices and exotic food. The head-cook of that house noticed her knack for inventing new recipes and gave her the opportunity to learn about herbs, spices, etc. She spent one year there before she got the baby and had to drop out for a few months. Anyway she developed a basic feel for herbs during that time.

INT: +1 / PER : +1
STR: -1 / STA : +1 (it's hot in kitchens)
PRE: -1 / COM : +2
DEX: +2 / QIK : 0

Virtues &Flaws: Covenfolk, Gossip, Affinity with Cooking, Puissant Cooking, Dependant, Lame

Speak Greek (constantinople dialect) : +5 (75 XP)
Speak Armenian (constantinople dialect) : +3 (30 XP)
Speak Goth (maids & servants) : +2 (15 XP)
Speak Latin (magi) : +1 (5 XP)
Brawling (fists) : +1 (5 XP)
Carouse (stay sober) : +1 (5XP)
Craft: Cook (inventing recipes) : +5 (100 XP)
Awareness (searching) : +1 (5 XP)
Folk Ken (servants) : +3 (30 XP)
Etiquette (being servant) : +1 (5 XP)
Swim (diveing) : +2 (15 XP)
Guile (quick lies) : +1 (5 XP)
Area Lore: Haunted Springs : +3 (40 XP)

Kale is 19 years old.

Kale owns the clothes she wears, a blanket, a bundle of things to tend the baby and a wooden ring carved by her husband (nice work!).

Manuel Theodosios (the baby):

Theres not much to know about yet. I think he might become a strong boy one day. He's got a strong voice already... Maybe he will develop a fear of fire. He "owns" a rag-doll and a little wooden bird his fathers carved for him.

Kale and Maurus got married two years ago. The marriage was arranged by their parents (quite normal those days). They don't love each other in the sense of _true love_, but they respect and like each other and know they make a good team: her being the brain, him the muscles.

Maurus Theodosios, the woodcutter:

Maurus is happy with any job he can use his strength and does not have to think. He'd preferre to be a woodcutter and maybe do a little carving toys now and then. But he will accept being trained as fighter too. As a woodworker he'd be standard covenfolk, as a fighter a green. I left one point of V&Fs open for this. Hm, reviewing his skills it would be a shame to use this one a another dumb fighter. But I don't know how much work there will be for a woodcutter and woodcarver. Maurus loves to sit by a nice fire, carving wooden toys and singing happy songs. He's got a good, deep voice for singing.


INT: -3 (somewhat singleminded but not as strongly as the flaw)
PER: +1
STR: +3
STA: +2
PRE: -1
COM: -2
DEX: +3
QIK: +1

Virtues and Flaws: Covenfolk, Free Expression, Enduring Constituion, Weakness (wooden toys), Dependant

Speak Greek : +4 (50 XP)
Speak Goth (Grogs) : +2 (15 XP)
Brawling (Fists) : +4 (50 XP)
Single Weapon (Axe) : +1 (5 XP)
Carouse (drinking) : +3 (30 XP)
Craft (Woodcutter) : +4 (55 XP)
Craft (Woodcarver) : +4 (60 XP)
Survival (forests) : +2 (15 XP)
Athletics (jumping) : +1 (5 XP)
Climb (trees) : +1 (5 XP)
Swim (diving) : +1 (5 XP)
Sing (happy songs) : +2 (15 XP)
Craft: Pottery : +1 (5 XP)
Area Lore: Haunted Springs : +2 (15 XP)

Maurus is 21 years old.

Maurus owns his axe (pretty good for woodcutting, but no use in fight), a carving knife, a blanket and a piece of root-wood he wants to carve into a toy-fish for his son.
Folcwina Chrysostemus

Born in a village close to Cherson, being the fourth child, she's been trained as a maid very early. She was just thrown out of her job for being to snippy when one of our grogs was searching for beautifull maids. And for some obscure reason Helena liked her... Folcwinas father died some years ago. Her mother and two young sisters are still alive. So Folcwina needs a job to earn money to keep them alive.

Rather tall, long dark-brown hair, bright green eyes. Has a snippy tone to her voice and resolute gaze. When she's working, she's working hard - when she's haveing fun... Well, let the grogs find out.

Intelligence: +1 (Bright)
Perception: 0
Strength: 0
Stamina: +2 (strongwilled)
Presence: +2 (good-looking)
Communication: +1 (honest)
Dexterity: 0
Quickness: -1 (over-careful)

Virtues and Flaws: Covenfolk, Strong Willed, Long Winded, Offensive to Animals, Compulsion (perfection)

Charm (men) 3 (30 XP)
Folk Ken (men) 2 (20 XP)
Brawling (unarmed) 2 (15 XP)
Carouse (staying sober) 2 (15 XP)
Etiquette (magi) 1 (10 XP)
Intrigue (gossip) 3 (35 XP)
Legerdemain (conjouring tricks) 2 (15 XP)
Housekeeping 2 (25 XP)
Speak Goth (colloquial) 4 (50 XP)
Speak Greek (colloquial) 4 (50 XP)
Speak Hebrew (colloquial) 1 (5 XP)
Speak Latin (magi) 1 (10 XP)
Area Lore Crimea (Cherson) 3 (30 XP)
Area Lore Haunted Springs 2 (20 XP)

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