An Imaginary Lab in the Familiar Bond

The Crown of Hermes magical device (Covenants p.121) allows the wearer to have an imaginary lab within their mind to perform their magical investigations, limited to particular activities like studying arts and inventing spells. I’ve never seen this device used in a game but it is a very interesting option for a Magus who travels a lot or with strong Mentem Arts, as they can have a lab anywhere. When combined with the lab specialisation rules the lab might be on par with a standard lab for some activities.

A primary advantage is how portable it makes a lab. A Bonisagus Seeker might get a lot of use from it when they are frequently traveling, likewise a Mercere Magus, or a Magus who wishes to remain untethered. One of the primary downsides of the device is the warping it inflicts (even though it might be designed for the wearer).

So what if the enchantment was performed on a familiar bond instead a normal device, as the familiar bonds do not cause warping (as per Ars Magica p.168)?

Modifications would need to allow for casting upon the wizard, and perhaps also the familiar could share the experience, and preferably an effect which can be used more frequently if desired. It becomes an invested power of the bond as:

Imagined Laboratory of Hermes, Invested

CrMe/InMuRe 58, Base 35, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, +1 extra target. Then mods for +5 device maintains concentration, and +3 for 6 uses per day.

In this version the spell affects both the Magus and the familiar, allowing them to work together. It could also be made as (CrMe/InReMu 53) by only affecting the magus but being controlled by the familiar – which might make sense if the familiar was to guard the body of the Magus while the spell is in effect; although typically a magus wants that familiar in the lab to gain their skills. Those additional uses allow for interruption now that the effect duration is concentration. 

Then going further – If it is plausible to have as an invested item then it could also be a regular spell with the same limitations.

Imagined Laboratory of Hermes

Creo Mentem / Intellego Muto Rego 40, R: Personal, D: Concentration, T: Individual

The Magus withdraws into an imaginary lab within their own mind, where they can perform a limited set of lab activities. See Covenants page 121.

(Base 35, +1 Concentration)

Or as a shared experience to target a set of lab participants, such as the familiar, or a lab assistant, or another Magus- so they can cooperate.

Imagined Laboratory of Hermes, Shared

Creo Mentem / Intellego Muto Rego 45, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Individual

The Magus and the target touched withdraws into an imaginary lab within their own minds, sharing the experience, where they can perform a limited set of lab activities. See Covenants page 121.

(Base 35, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

I have a doubt that it would be allowed as written, because the lab’s state is not easily able to be maintained between castings – however that limitation exists for the Crown of Hermes too. So if one works then why not the other?

Designed this way the caster still is being affected by a powerful effect, but has the freedom to stop and start the effect. They will need another ReVi spell to maintain the spell though. This basically means the effect is far better as a magical item which can maintain its concentration.

Inventing a shared version for a Master and Apprentice equates to level 50 and needs the same ReVi maintenance spell, and carries none of the warping avoiding properties – so not a real option for repeated use.

As asides…

  • What are the similarities for the Crown of Hermes and a Memory Palace from the Mysteries book?
  • If a lab can be created, then can a reading room, meditation chamber, etc?

All the 510+ new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.

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