Tyne, a sample Ars Magica Shield Grog

portrait-tyneTyne proved her worth as a brawler in prison surviving through harsh conditions and torturous captors. She was sent away for “correction of her manner, being too impolite and unruly for decent living” but has never spoken of the activities which brought her to that position. Tyne was certainly changed, and when she exited she had learned to hold her fists and tongue far better, and had also gained invaluable martial skills. When she was finally released as a clemency on a holy day, she traveled briefly to her home village and then left to wander. She fell in with a band of brigands and was later again captured by the authorities, this time branded as a criminal. Tyne met Magus Corbin close to the end of his apprenticeship after her second release from incarceration. He needed a guard who wouldn’t ask questions and she needed protection and money to survive. Continue reading

Guarin, a Redcap philanderer

A sample Redcap character, Companion, for Ars Magica.


Two senior Redcaps lookout from a balcony in Harco to the covenant below. They have been reviewing the recent unassigned messengers and are down to the last of them; the troublesome ones.

“Tell you about Guarin?” shaking head and exhaling slowly.

“He should be so much more. Noble family, educated, experienced. He came very highly recommended. Charming as all get out too. One of those fellows who made good in their early career and then started to stray. With the freedoms granted to redcaps his proclivities grew unnoticed for many years, and now his habits are probably difficult for him to control. ”

“His last brief assignment was a negative promotion, intended to set him straight. We placed him in his homeland, had him working under another recently gauntleted redcap, and also closely monitored. The message was made clear – fly straight. I believe too he tried to do the right thing, at least initially. In the end he seduced the junior redcap, caused a paternity stir in the nobility, and had a second lover defend him in some affair which ended in certamen. We’re now finished cleaning up the mess, but I’m running out of patience with him. ”

Watching her face, “So he’s useless?”

Sounding a little despondent, “No, far from it. He needs a focus. A challenge. Guarin speaks of wanting more and doesn’t always intend for the indiscretions to happen; if that’s believable. ”

“If you’ll take a recommendation? Place him elsewhere. Set him apart from our core, throw the worst of it at him and see if he rises to the challenge. You sent that drunkard Jernot to the steps of Novgorod to be rid of him, and we were done with him. So give Guarin an assignment distasteful, but close enough that he can be monitored. If he rises, then we have recovered him. If he fails then he does so without affecting the wider House and Order. ”

“I don’t like using that approach often.”

“We have a need in (to be determined) where that rabble of odd-bod magi are. And I think Guarin knows one of them. ”

Laughing slightly, “why is that not surprising! Done. Send him. ”

…”now onto Franc of The Ice Steps?”

“No. Dinner. I can’t face a discussion of Franc on an empty stomach.” Continue reading

a page for Sample Ars Magica Characters

Quick note – all the sample Ars Magica characters I’ve written up are gathered in a page now, some with full backgrounds and others with mechanical stats. Like the new spells, and enchanted items, this is a one stop place where I gather them; likely more for my own purpose than anyone else.

Sean, a sample Ars Magica lab assistant

portrait-seanSean is the personal assistant to Magus Corbin, Follower of Merinita. He is a failed monk who is one of the rag-tag bunch brought to the covenant by Corbin.


Born a lame bastard of a trivial midlands clan, Sean has no great destiny. His early life saw him shipped off to a college school as he seemed to be passingly smart and could do very little of the field work or hard laboring with his gimp leg. The church needed more hands, and saw fit to begin his training. Alas he was a poor fit for the monastic life and he left the Church shortly after taking his final vows, and fled to his old home. Sean was found by Corbin during a brief but utterly problematic visit to his old clan. Corbin was one of the only people who gave Sean a second look, and for that reason alone the clan were happy for Sean to hobble after Corbin when he departed.

While Corbin completed his apprenticeship he saw that Sean was trained in more skills than just writing, and found him to be an useful extra set of hands. When the time came there was little doubt that Sean would accompany Corbin to his new home. Continue reading

Zharkune, aka Necromancer Zhar, Follower of Bonisagus


Zhar knows he has a questionable past, although much of the specifics has been expunged from his memory by the Order, and what remains he hopes is correct.

From what he can recall his diminutive stature would have set him apart from his parents and siblings even if he had not been Gifted, he was clearly born a runt, and the combination of both this and his gift meant his family was quick to find any excuse to billet him away from them. When his town’s grave digger and embalmer both expressed a keen interest in the young boy his parents watched him depart with great enthusiasm. The two morbid practitioners took the boy in and began training him in many and varied arts. Beginning with ceremonies and embalming, Zharkune had been found by a cult who worshiped the dead.

A few years passed and of the details he remembers little. Zhar knows that he was an adept servant to his surrogate family, and knows that he once was far more skilled in the rites of embalming and preservation, and that much of that skill was destroyed when his memories were removed. He does not recall the details at all of when his Hermetic master destroyed the cult. His master – Seeker Cercin, Master of Bonisagus told Zharkune that he found the tiny child serving the intertwined families of the embalmer and grave digger, and that their cult activities were so profoundly evil that they were cleansed from Christendom.

Seeker Cercin tried to raise Zharkune as a proper Bonisagus, allowing his natural talents in magical investigation and experimentation to flourish. Zhar knows his master was a kind woman and was proud of the growth in his hermetic skills. She was however profoundly displeased when Zhar found his interests turning to the dead and the spirit world. Cercin initially forbade the interest, but Zhar would not be persuaded.

Later in his apprenticeship Zhar was kidnapped by a member of the original cult who strangely survived the earlier cleansing, and his master was required once again to destroy the cult and erase sections of Zhar’s memories. After that hateful event Zhar made an effort to understand and empower himself in the areas of the dead, to better find his way and potentially prepare himself for the secrets that fate seems determined to thrust upon him. Cercin relented her objections, and guided Zharkune toward the creative aspect of his interest – all the while asking he remember what risks come from his interest.

The lost fragments of his mind frustrate him, and eventually he wishes to find a way to fill out some of the gaps – be that with restorative magic, or interrogating he living and dead host involved in the events long ago. He is determined to prove that Necromancy does not need to be reviled by the Order, and find his past along the way. Continue reading

Seamus the Red, a companion. Sample Ars Magica Character


A cold and bloodthirsty mercenary leader, who with his warband acts as muscle for hire.


Characteristics: Int 0, Per +1, Pre +2, Com 0, Str +2, Sta +2, Dex 0, Qik 0
Size: 0, Age: 45 (45), Gender: Male
Decrepitude: 0, Warping Score: 0 (0), Confidence: 1 (3)
Virtues and Flaws: Improved Characteristics, Mercenary Captain, Social Contacts (the Order), Unaffected by the Gift, Wealthy, Well-Traveled (50/50), Unaging, Puissant Single Weapon, Ambitious, Bloodthirsty, Continence, Favors (a Lord tba), Infamous, Magical Animal Companion (Dog, Size: -2, Might: 12) [Size: -2]

Reputations: Cold 1, Humourless 2, Bloodthirsty 4 (?)

Abilities: Animal Handling 1 Area Lore: Area Lore: Scottland 2 (backways), Area Lore: Ireland 2 (holdfasts), Area Lore: England 2 (backroads), Athletics 2 (running), Awareness 3 (alertness), Bargain 4 (warbands), Carouse 1 (staying sober), Chirurgy 2 (binding wounds), Church Lore 1, Combat: Bows 3 (Bow, Long), Brawl 5 (Dodge), Crossbows 1 (Point Blank), Great Weapon 4 (Pole Axe), Single Weapon 8+2 (Sword, Long), Thrown Weapon 2 (Knife, Throwing), Concentration 1 (in combat), Etiquette 2 (the Order), Folk Ken 2 (peasants), Guile 3 (non-commital answers), Hunt 4 (people), Intrigue 2 (alliances), Languages: English 1, Gaelic 5 (being polite), Irish 2, Welsh 2, Leadership 5 (in combat), Order of Hermes Lore 1, Ride 3 (battle), Scribe 1, Soldier 2, Stealth 2 (shadowing), Survival 2 (wilderness), Swim 2 (staying afloat), Teaching 3 (Single Weapon).

Fearg, a Bloodhound
Magic Might: 15 (Animal)
Characteristics: Int +1, Per +2, Pre -4, Com 0, Str +2, Sta +2, Dex +2, Qik +2
Size: 0
Season: Spring, Confidence: 1 (3)
Virtues and Flaws: Affinity with Brawl, Improved Characteristics*, Long-Winded (Fatigue Rolls: +3)*, Magic Animal, Puissant
Brawl, Sharp Ears (Hearing: +3)*, Tough (Soak: +3), Reckless*, Wrathful

Qualities and Inferiorities: Gift of Speech, Greater Power × 2: 100/100, Improved Abilities × 2 (+100 exp), Improved Damage ×2 (Bite: +6), Improved Defense × 1 (Dodge: +2), Personal Power × 3: 60/75
Personality Traits: Reckless +3, Loyal +3, Brave +2
Reputations: Loyal (Local) 2

Bite: Init: +2, Attack +11, Defense +9, Damage +9
Dodge: Init: +2, Attack –, Defense +11, Damage —
Soak: +5
Fatigue levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-5), -3 (6-10), -5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20), Dead (21+)
Abilities: Athletics 4 (distance running), Awareness 4 (keeping watch), Brawl 4+2 (Dodge), Concentration 1, Gaelic 2 (Profanity),
Hunt 4 (track by scent), Stealth 1 (+2, 2), Survival 1 (Moors), Swim 1
Encumbrance: 0 (0)

Invulnerability to Metal (Personal: 45), Points: 0, Initiative: Qik-3, Form: Terram, Range: Per, +0, Duration: Sun, +2, Target: Ind,
+0, Level: ReTe30, Design: 30 levels, Base 5, +2 Sun, +1 constant, +2 affect metal, -3 Might cost

Nose of the Bloodhound (Greater: 40), Points: 0, Initiative: Qik-2, Form: Corpus, Range: Arc, +4, Duration: Conc, +1, Target: Ind,
+0, Level: InCo25, Requisite: Animal, Design: 25 levels, Base 3, +4 Arc, +1 Conc, +1 scent acts as Arcane Connection, -3 Might cost

Shadow Form (Greater: 60), Points: 0, Initiative: Qik-2, Form: Animal, Range: Per, +0, Duration: Diam, +1, Target: Ind, +0, Level:
MuAn35, Design: 35 levels, Base 30, +1 Diam, -4 Might cost, +1 Initiative cost

Sleep with Eyes Open (Personal: 15), Points: 0, Initiative: Qik-1, Form: Animal, Range: Per, +0, Duration: Sun, +2, Target: Circle,
+0, Level: ReAn10, Design: 10 levels, Base 3, +2 Sun, +1 constant, -1 Might cost

Corbin, ex Merinita – sample magus character for Ars Magica


Corbin was unfortunately born into a very prestigious and serious clan. From birth the family taught its sons and daughters to fight honorably and always uphold the clan’s name. Generations of tales speak of their grace and power, and generations of rules dictate the lives of its noteworthy members. Corbin knows this and thinks it’s all a little pompous.

As exposure to the bluster and bravado increased as did the boy’s talent for not taking it seriously. Over time his teachers threw their arms up in disgust. The tales of heroic deeds filled his mind far more than the practical rules. He would daydream through lessons, escape his duties, and avoid almost all filial duties.

Eventually only a handful of direct family thought him more than a lazy and useless boy. Time spent practicing his songs and stories was ill regarded.

Corbin was far from lonely though. As an attractive youth with a musical talent he could be counted as a regular performer in clan gatherings., and also frequently found socialising among his clansmen. His father and uncle’s ire rising with the enjoyment of the crowd. However even the skalds and minstrels commented that he lacked the discipline to learn properly; to correctly follow their traditions.

As the boy grew he enjoyed the company in taverns, or quiet places, some majestic overlooks, and especially the company of lovers. This did little to harden his resolve.

His master found him practicing his singing along a quiet loch, walking for the pleasure of the wind itself. Corbin knows she saw greater things within him, even if they remained hidden under his carefree demeanour. Later she would admit his nature was at times frustrating.

The apprenticeship years were again frustrating for many around Corbin but not for him. Magical studies were infrequent enough that he was able to still practice his passions, and when he gained traction in Imagonem he began integrating the art into his practices. He loves what the magic can do, how it changes the art so much.

Corbin is actually a family nickname due to his dark complexion and slight build. It started as a casual pet name from his mother and stuck. Continue reading