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Issue 1, Sep 2007

A Pointless Mental Cruelty Production
Publis her: Pointless Mental Cruelty
Contributors : Danielle Nichols, Ben
McFarland, Kurt Konegan, Eric Vesbit,
Alex White, Michael de Verteuil, Mark

Issue 1
h y h September 2007
Cover artist: Alex White
Inte rior artists: Jojo Aguilar, Angela
Taylor, Alex White
Editor: Mark Philp
Regulars Editorial Committee: Mark Philp, Alex
Layout/Design: Alex White

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Features C / - Alexander White

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The Art of Courtly Love Page 6 Legal Disclaimer

An article by Danielle Nichols Sub Rosa is an independent publication
not affiliated with Atlas Games or White
Covenant Locations: Masada Page 9 Wolf Gaming Studios. Pointless Mental
Cruelty is not affiliated with Atlas Games
An article Ben McFarland or White Wolf .
Ars Magica is © Trident Inc. d/b/a Atlas
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Covenants and Charting new Realms of 2
Short fiction by Kurt Konegen the Imagination are trademarks of Trident
Inc. Order of Hermes, Tremere and
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Gaming Studios. Ars Magica was created
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An article by Alex White reserved. Reproduction of any issue of
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The End of the Hohenstaufen Page 29 means without written permission from
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Under the Rose
work, I am studying a Masters of
Well, it’s been a long journey to
get the first issue of Sub Rosa Public Policy. Fitting in Sub Rosa Alex White
together since it was announced in has bee n a n or ga nisational
March this year. I’ve been challenge, but I am glad that it has Chart for his contribution to this
overwhelmed by the support finally come together. I now more first issue.
shown by the Ars fan community, fully appreciate the hard work that
Eric put into Hermes Portal, and We have a range of articles in
and am encouraged by the range this first issue, from established
of articles and subscriptions. am more able to time manage for
future issues. Ars Magica Fifth Edition authors,
Sub Rosa was born from to new and emerging talent. The
Hermes Portal, published by Eric I am indebted to Mark Philp, the diversity of the articles is excellent
Kouris. Several current Ars editor and my partner in crime. – from details on the medieval
Magica authors started with Many years ago, Mark introduced concept of courtly love, to
articles in HP, and have since gone me to Ars Magica (fourth ed). The Bjornaer extras, and Basque
o n t o ma ke s i g ni f i c a nt work he has done for this issue, legends.
contributions to ArM5. My own and for the website (and many
other things besides) is amazing. I I specifically want to thank the
contributions to Ars Magica also contributors for their hard work. It
started in Hermes Portal, first as know Mark is committed to high
quality games and publications, has been a long journey to finally
an illustrator, and later as an see this first issue, so thank you
article author. I hope that a new and I highly recommend the
Pointless Mental Cruelty website for your patience.
generation of Ars Magica authors
gets their start with Sub Rosa. ( to This publication would not be
Hermes Portal lasted for 15 see some of the innovative and possible without your support and
issues, with issues 14 and 15 the creative games that he is (in large subscriptions. Please promote Sub
equivale nt of a full-length part) responsible for. Rosa to your frie nds a nd
sourcebook on the Isle of Man. It is gratifying to have received enc oura ge the m to buy a
Many of the ideas and systems support from Atlas Games and subscription. Check our website
that are now an integral part of specifically David Chart for this for de ta i l s a bo ut tr o u pe
ArM5 were first slated in Hermes first issue, and the fanzine overall. subscriptions.
Portal, including the spell mastery Atlas is generally supportive of its
system, House mysteries and the fans, and is open about the
growing cosmology of Mythic
direction and support for Ars
Europe. Magica. I want to thank David
Sub Rosa is a fan magazine for
Ars Ma gi ca Fi fth
Edition, written and
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for Ars fans. As much as
possible, I want this
fanzi ne to be
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the fans, with its content
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ArM books released
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hope Sub Rosa fills the
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strongly encourage you
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to this fanzine (see our
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Getting together Sub
Rosa has been an eye
opening challenge. In
addition to my full time
News from the Line Editor
time will tell which are sustainable
Here it is, a new Ars Magica
fanzine. This is the fourth in an in the long term. David Chart
illustrious line: Redcap, Mythic In addition, Normandy is the
Perspectives, Hermes Portal, and mundanes all around. Other
heartland of chivalric ideology, Tribunals might hark back to a
now Sub Rosa. I'd like to welcome and this is reflected in the
it, and thank all the readers for lost, classical past, but the magi of
s tr uc tur e of the Tribuna l . Normandy are contemporary, up-
supporting it. The vitality of the Covenants are linked by oaths
fan community for Ars Magica is to-the-minute, and on the cutting
closely modelled on feudal ties, edge of social development. In
a very important part of its and resources, particularly vis
success, and we're very grateful short, the magi are almost as
harvesting rights, are distributed medieval as the mundanes.
for it. through a magical tournament held
I'll be using this column to tell at the Tribunal. This scheme was, The next two supplements in the
people a bit more about upcoming officially, supposed to reduce pipeline are Art & Acade me, and
releases, and my general thoughts conflict after the Schism War, but Realms of Power: Magic, but
about the game and where it is as it was designed by a Tytalus, it there isn't enough space to talk
headed. I'll be trying to avoid is perhaps not surprising that it about them this time. Saving some
simply reproducing PR material. seems to have had the opposite material for future articles is a
effect. good policy in any case.
The next supplement for the
game will be The Lion and The The Normandy Tribunal, as So, to wrap up, once again I
Lily, the Normandy Tribunal portrayed in this book, is a place would like to wish Sub Rosa all
book. It's really taken us far too where magi are almost part of the best; I hope it will be the most
long to get around to doing the medieval society, and where successful Ars fanzine yet.
core areas of Mythic Europe, and Hermetic structures have been
what is now northern France is strongly influenced by those of the
about as core as it gets, at least in
mundane terms. In Hermetic
terms, this is a problem. Guardians
of the Forests was about the
conflict between the wilderness
and the advance of civilisation. In
Normandy, the wilderness has
lost. It isn't completely gone, but
what remains is small, isolated
fragments. Thus, the main theme
of the book is the different ways in
w hi ch covenants can
accommodate themselves to the
presence of mundane society.
This is something that has
received little attention in the past.
First Issue Competition
The Code of Hermes prohibits
interference with the mundanes, Win an Ars Magica Supplement
but when there is a rapidly-
growing mundane town less than Subscribers that buy a four issue
an hours' walk from your covenant subscription from October 2007 will go into
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constantly come back to the To subscribe, simply visit the Sub Rosa
question of what counts as webpage ( and
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per missible i nterac tion. All
covenants have found their own The winner will be drawn on 1 November,
solutions to the problem, and only and announced in the 2nd issue.
Who’s Who?
ed. After starring as “Toad” in the and wrote The Bishop’s Staff, for
Mark Shirley 1995 independent film, “the four Ars Magica Fourth Edition.
Mark Shirley is a zoologist and corners of nowhere,” (finally to be
epidemiologist from Kent. He's released on DVD next year), he Jojo Aguilar
been interested in Ars Magica moved to Los Angeles. He's been
working ever since in the Jojo Aguilar grew up in
since the 1st edition, and it has southern California. He now lives
been his RPG of choice for the last animation industry, currently
serving as the Associate Producer in Santa Monica with his wife,
fiftee n years. He lives in Catherine. He works primarily in
Newcastle upon Tyne with his two of “The Spectacular Spider-man”
for Sony Animation. In between animation and that’s where he met
ferrets. Eric Vesbit, (maybe around 12
meetings, you'll find him on the
years ago,) and has been friends
Eric Vesbit Atlas Ars Forum as “firth5”,
ever since. “I love working with
drumming up ideas for his two
Eric Vesbit grew up in Grand Iberian sagas. He dedicates his Eric because he will always
Rapids, Michigan, USA, and has work in this issue to Chris organize a good role playing
been playing Ars Magica since 4th Richmond, who taught him all he campaign sooner or later.” Jojo
knows about telling a good story. has a book of collected sketches
a vail abl e a t thi s we bs i te :
Pointless Mental Ben McFarland

Cruelty Benjamin McFarland is a Angela Taylor

computer engineer who lives in
Angela Taylor is, frankly, a
Alex White upstate New York with his wife,
housewife, though she still likes to
son, two imperious cats and a
Alex works full time for one of black Labrador that insists on call herself an English Teacher
Australia’s largest trade unions, accompanying him to his weekly and occasionally thinks of herself
juggling extensive volunteer work Ars Magica game. The Labrador. as a Mediaevalist. Since marrying
and full-time studying a Masters Not the cats. Or the son. The son’s Neil she has learnt more than she'd
of Public Policy. Alex has an not talking yet, which would make like to admit of RPGs, but she
honours degree in Classical and joining the game tough, but that’s doesn't play them.
Medieval History; he is the co- another matter. Ben’s working on
author of Realms of Power: the that.
5 Divine and Ancient Magic. He has
Michael de Verteuil

been an Ars Magica fan for over
ten years.
Michael is an Ars Magica elder,
Mark Philp author and veteran of the BerkList.
He was co-author of Ordo Nobilis
Mark Philp is currently one of
those annoying Customer Service
Supervisors who frustrates callers
endlessly. He’s a troubleshooter
who’s established a call centre in
Indone s ia , tra ve lli ng ove r
100,000 kms on the company
payroll all with a fear of flying!
He’s organised local conventions,
was involved in several Gaming
organizations in his home city of
Adelaide in the 90’s, and ran a
host of Games at Australian
conventions across four states.
Mark now resides in Melbourne,
Australia where he enjoys being a
gourmand and writing role-
playing events with the various
members of his production group,
“Pointless Mental Cruelty”.
The Art of Courtly Love
Capellanus defines Love as:
An Open Letter By Danielle Nichols
. . .a certain inborn suffering
to the Magi of the derived from the sight of and V. That which a Lover takes
Alpine Tribunal excessive meditation upon the
beauty of the opposite sex, which
against the will of his beloved has
no relish.
I write in hopes of beginning a causes each one to wish above all
discussion concerning a new things the embraces of the other VI. Boys do not Love until they
elaboration upon Ovid's writings and by common desire to carry out arrive at the age of maturity.
on Love. This book, entitled De all of Love's precepts in the other's
embraces. VII. When one Lover dies, a
Arte Honeste Amandi, combines widowhood of two years is
advice first given by Ovid with He also lays down XXXI required of the survivor.
traditions laid down in the songs codified Rules of Love, which are
of the troubadours of southern the essence of guidelines given VIII. No one should be deprived
France in order to create a codified throughout the work, and which of Love without the very best of
and socially conscious set of rules provide a structure for our debate. reasons.
for ‘Service in the army of Love.’ These are: IX. No one can Love unless he
The a ut ho r , And r e a s I. Marriage is no real excuse for is impelled by the persuasion of
Capellanus, has written the book not Loving. Love.
under the direction of Countess
Marie of Champagne, daughter of II. He who is not jealous cannot X. Love is always a stranger in
Eleanor of Aquitaine. In the scant Love. the home of avarice.
decades since its publication, this XI. It is not proper to Love any
treatise has moved across Europe, III. No one can be bound by a
double Love. woman whom one should be
spreading the culture of Queen ashamed to seek to marry.
Eleanor's Court of Poitiers. It is IV. It is well known that Love is
therefore my belief that the always increasing or decreasing. XII. A true Lover does not
question of the place of magi desire to embrace in Love anyone
within the Courts of Love is an
i mpor ta nt one, of especial
relevance to House Jerbiton, who
have their esteemed Domus
magnus within our Tribunal, as
well as to the Milites of my own
house who seek to follow the path
of Chivalry. The answering of
such a question is far beyond the
capabilities of one of my little
years and experience, and so I
bring it to you, my sodales, in the
hopes that we may find a suitable
response to the conundrum.
De Arte Honeste Amandi is
divided into three parts: Book I:
Introduction to the Treatise on
Love, Book II: How Love May be
Retained, and Book III: The
Rejection of Love. It is Book I —
which deals with the definition of
Love, the eligibility for Love and
the procurement of Love — which
has the most relevance to our
discussion, as it is in these areas
that the difference between a
magus and other men is most
except his beloved. thought of his beloved. life rather than be without Love.
XIII. When made public Love XXXI. Nothing forbids one What magus would be deprived
rarely endures. woman being Loved by two men of his Gift for Love? Or, in a less
or one man by two women. extreme case, how many magi
XIV. The easy attainment of would trade time spent within the
Love makes it of little value; There are three questions which laboratory for time spent in the
difficulty of attainment makes it I seek to answer with this letter: embraces of a Lover? Even should
prized. Are magi fit for Love? What place a magus be so afflicted, should
does the Art have in Love? and time be thus spent? Or do magi,
XV. Every Lover regularly Where in the social order do magi
pale in the presence of his like peasants to their plowing,
fall with regard to Love? have a duty to their study which
makes Love an inappropriate
XVI. When a Lover suddenly
Are magi fit for hardship from which they should
catches sight of his beloved his Love? avoid? Perhaps one could even go
heart palpitates. so far as to suggest that magi have
Ca pe l l a nus s t a te s t ha t, a tie to magic itself which eclipses
XVII. A new Love puts to flight ‘Everyone of sound mind who is any bond to another person?
an old one. capable of doing the work of
Venus may be wounded by one of If magi are to be counted among
XVIII. Good character alone the armies of Love, then another
makes any man worthy of Love. Love's arrows unless prevented by
age, or blindness, or excess of question remains about when they
passion.’ He excludes from this may join its service. Andreas
XIX. If Love diminishes, it
two groups who though capable of suggests that girls below 12 are
quickly fails and rarely revives.
Love should not practice it: nuns, not fit for Love by natural law,
XX. A man in Love is always who by engaging in acts of Love and that boys below 18 are too
apprehensive. bring down the wrath of God upon overcome with embarrassment and
their partners and are thus unfit, as awkwardness to properly serve it.
XXI. Real jealousy always Is this true for magi as well? I
well as peasants, who have neither
increases the feeling of Love. personally believe that a case
the time nor the emotional
capacity to practice Love well. It could be made that no magus still
XXII. Jealousy, and therefore
is possible that magi, like nuns and within apprenticeship is fit for
Love, are increased when one
peasants, can feel Love but should Love, as they are not truly their
suspects his beloved.
not practice it, as there are many own person and furthermore their
XXIII. He whom the thought of barriers between magi and Love. time is not their own.
Love vexes, eats and sleeps very
7 little. The first barrier is the Gift, It is also stated that after the
which stands as a bar between 50th year in a woman, and 60th in
XXIV. Every act of a Lover magi and others. It seems that the a man, Love can find no hold on
ends with in the thought of his feelings of revulsion and suspicion account of humeral changes, the
beloved. engendered by the Gift are loss of heat and gain of moisture,
incompatible with the feelings of which occur at this age. Do these
XXV. A true Lover considers rules also hold true for magi? The
desire needed to foster Love. If the
nothing good except what he lifespan of a magus is much longer
gift is a barrier, we must also
thinks will please his beloved. than that of a normal man or
consider those magi whose gift is
Gentle or Blatant, and how the woman due to the longevity
XXVI. Love can deny nothing potions which we begin to
to Love. strictures put upon them differ.
consume in our third decade.
XXVII. A Lover can never have The other barrier is the Art However, these same longevity
enough of the solaces of his itself, which consumes so much of potions encourage infertility,
beloved. our time and devotion. The which may be a sign of the same
Treatise sates that: humeral changes. I look especially
XXVIII. A slight presumption to those of House Jerbiton who
causes a Lover to suspect his Every attempt of a Lover tends have made such a study of
beloved. toward the enjoyment of the longevity potions and their effects
embraces of her whom he Loves. . to enlighten us on this matter.
XXIX. A man who is vexed by .Therefore in the sight of a Lover
too much passion usually does not nothing can be compared to the What place has the
Love. act of Love, and a true Lover
would rather be deprived of. . . Art in Love?
XXX. A tr ue Lover i s everything that the human mind
c o ns t a n t l y a n d w i t h o u t can imagine as indispensable to It is stated multiple times within
intermission possessed by the the dialogues of the Treatise that
possession of the Gift more similar to that of a Lesser
enters into this Noble? A Higher one? I would put
discussion. Is it part forward that the status of a monk
of one's character, or is most similar to that of the
some other property magus, but if this is so, it only
of the person? In complicates matters as, our status
either case is it not coming from the service of
something to be taken God, we should not feel obligated
into account, and if to discount it in Love. Also,
so, is it a desirable similar to the priest, a magus could
trait or a negative be said to have two classes, that of
one? Lastly, is it his position in the Art, and that of
more appropriate for his birth, which varies greatly
magi to take other among members of our Order.
magi as Lovers than Therefore a case could be made,
to take a mundane? though I do not support it, that
This discussion, of magi should be enlisted in Love's
course, is related to army by the class of their birth.
that concerning the
social effects of Gift. This question ultimately is one
of relative position and approach
Where in the when making a suit for a member
of a certain class. Nobility in Love
social order is only significant in so much as it
do magi fall affects the Character. Magi, as a
learned and philosophical class,
with regard possessed of wealth, responsibility
Love must be given of free will. to Love? and cultural refinement, need not
This calls into question the place feel inferior in socializing with a
of magic in procuring Love. It can The Treatise lays out three count or a countess, and so I
be seen quite clearly that spells of social classes for women, and four personally am inclined to place us
the school of Mentem which act for men. The ranks of Middle at the level of the Higher Nobility
directly upon the subject's mind Class, Lesser Nobility, and Higher in the affairs of Love.
abrogate free will, but what of the Nobility are shared by men and
I eagerly await the thoughts and
many Imaginem spells which act women, with a man taking the
ideas of my sodales on this matter
to make one seem more pleasant? class of his birth and a woman the
and all others discussed here, and 8
Are these truly different from the class of either her birth or
look to your expertise, both in
careful application of rouge, or the husband. The fourth class listed
a ns w e r i ng t he s e di f fi c ul t
purc hase of finel y tailored for men is that of the Highest
questions, and putting forth others
clothing? If some magic is Nobility, the priesthood. However,
which need be asked that I may
permissible in the pursuit of Love as the status of priest comes from
have passed over. It is my eager
and other spells are not, where God (hence its exalted state) and
hope that our discussions may
should this line be drawn? the practice of Love is one of
pr ove both di ver ti ng a nd
which God does not truly approve,
Andreas lists Character as the enlightening.
priests must claim the status of
highest virtue when seeking a their birth in affairs of Love.
Lover, above concerns such as
-- Zephra boni --
wealth or physical beauty. (A It is a difficult thing to place
decision for which I commend magi within this order, for we hold
him.) We must discuss how ourselves apart from it. Is our state
Covenant Locations: Masada
Short History of
For many sagas, the choice of
By Ben McFarland
covenant location can set the tenor
of more than just the first arc, it
the Fortress
can define the whole game-- or, at Originally the palace of
the very least, determine its Herod the Great in the
direction for a number of sessions. south of Israel and situated
Sometimes it is the region itself atop of an isolated rock
that the Storyguide intends to hold plateau, Masada is on the
the players’ focus, and players eastern edge of the Judean
might be provided a number of Desert overlooking the
possible sites from which they will Dead Sea. Josephus, the
select their characters' new home. Jewish-Roman historian of
In an attempt to add variety to the Vespasian claimed that
old saw of 'a castle on a hill by a Masada was the site of a
faerie wood,' the following siege against the Jewish
location is presented. It isn't Sicarii fugitives by the
intended to be a full reference, but Roman Legion X Fretensis
provide an overview for further in the Great Jewish Revolt.
research. They established eight
camps at the base of the
Levant Ma s a d a roc k a nd
Tribunal: surrounded it with a high
wall, leaving no escape for
rebels. Whe n de fea t
Covenant became imminent in 73
Location: Masada AD, the survivors chose
mass suicide over slavery.
The plateau is located at A small group of women
31°18'58.32" North latitude, and children supposedly
35°21'13.30" East longitude. survived by hiding in a
Google Earth can provide an cistern and related the story
9 excellent overview and local to Josephus. Afterwards,
photos. It is about 35 miles from Legionnaires continued to
Jerusalem through the desert and occupy the site for some
about three and a half miles from time.
the southern tip of the Dead Sea.
Breakdown of This image is a copy of a portion of
Depending on the timeframe of
your saga, the fortress is within the the Fortress
Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099- _12thcentury_1884.jpg, a map from the map
1187), or the Sultanate of Egypt The cliffs are roughly collection of the Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL)
ruled by Saladin (1187-1218) or 1300 feet high on the of the University of Texas at Austin and is Public
his brother, al-Kamil Muhammad eastern edge and 300 feet Domain.
al-Malik, who succeeded him. on the west. Natural paths
to the cliff top are very difficult, masonry partitions, which divide the
Be tw e e n 1228 a nd 1244, space into a series of chambers for
Jerusalem was given by al-Kamil the primary one was known as the
“Snake Trail” from the east (from fill or storage.
to the Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick II. The city fell in 1244 the Dead Sea), the “White Rock” The fortress included storehouses,
to the Khawarizmi Turks, who from the west, and two approaches barracks, an armory, the palace, and
were later, in 1260, replaced by from north and south. The plateau cisterns that were refilled by
the Mamelukes. Given Masada’s has a surface area of 2130 feet rainwater. Three narrow, winding
proximity to the city, it is (710 yards) by 984 feet (328 paths led from below to fortified
reasonable to e xpec t some yards). There was a casemate wall gates. The Roman siege ramp is 328
mundane influence from the city’s around the top of the plateau feet long from the valley floor to the
rulers. totaling 4,300 feet long and 12 walls on the western side, where the
foot thick with many towers. Such Romans breached them.
a wall usually has an outer and an
inner portion braced by transverse
Masada Map Key
1. Small bathhouse
2. Herod's palace-villa
3. Storerooms
4. Apartment building
5. Snake-path gate
6. Casemate wall
7. Rebels' living quarters
8. Underground cistern
9. Southern bastion
10. Western palace
11. Throne room
One lookout station was placed mosaic floors were
in the center of the community located on the eastern 12. West gate
from which any area of the hilltop side. The largest room
could be monitored. ha s a pa r ti c ul a rl y 13. Synagogue
decorative mosaic floor
The “Hanging Palace,” on the 14. Large bathhouse
with floral and geometric
northern end of the summit, patterns within several
extended down the promontory of concentric square bands
the mountain on three levels. The that survived well into
lowest level is 115 feet from the modern times. This room
top. Winding staircases provided may have been King
a c c e s s to e a c h l e ve l . It Herod’s throne room
comma nded a view of the when he was in residence
surroundings as far as Ein-Gedi. It at Masada. The western
was built in three tiers, with only palace is the largest
the upper tier containing the living building found on the 10
quarters and the lower ones site.
designed for pleasure. The walls
and ceilings were decorated with South of the Northern
frescoes. Palace was a large,
traditional Roman-style
The second, larger palace was bathhouse with four
located on the western side of the rooms and a court. The
mountain. It contained scores of l a r ge s t r oo m, t he
rooms and installations. It was a caldarium ha d a
self-sufficient unit, serving as the hypocaust beneath it and
main administration center of the its floor stood on about
fortress, as well as the king’s 200 tiny brick columns. A
ceremonial palace. The building furnace drove hot air
consists of four wings: a vast royal through perforated clay
apartment, a service and workshop pipes set in the walls.
section, storage rooms and an Herod the Great built a
administrative unit. In the royal water system by installing
apartment, many rooms were built dams in the nearby
around a central courtyard. A large valleys to divert the
room with two Ionic columns winter rains into channels
supporting the roof over the wide that directed the water
openi ng i nto the courtyard into cisterns built in the
occupied the southern side. Its northwest side of the
walls were decorated with cliff. From there, slaves
moulded panels of white stucco. carried the water to the
Several rooms with colored
upper reservoir. number of minor Resource Hooks children be prevented from hiding
would also be appropriate — such in the cistern, the Magic aura of
The public storerooms, situated a s Contes ted Re sourc e or the site will drop by one and the
east and south of the bathhouse, Indiscreet Resource. Given the Dominion aura will rise by one
consisted of long narrow rooms Religious/Political nature of the until the sequence plays out again
built from large stone slabs. Most Levant, a Rival Relations Hook is next year. This year, a more
of these rooms had collapsed in also appropriate. This gives the devout member of the covenfolk,
the destruction of the supplies by players room for at least four to one that speaks Hebrew, attempts
the Jewish rebels. seven more points worth of Boons. to convince the ghosts not to
The remains of a synagogue surrender, but face the Romans —
could be found in the north-
Story Seed: that they should all die in defense
western corner of Masada. It is a Ghostly Siege of their beliefs rather than by their
own hand, believing this might
rectangular building oriented
toward Jerusalem with four tiers of It is said that the Tenth Legion just free them! Will it work? What
plastered benches along the walls prepared to break down the gates would be the result? What if a
and two rows of columns in the on the 16th of April, and on the rival covenant insinuates a spy
center. Ritual objects were kept in night of the 15th, the compound with an item that would allow the
a corner room. Rebels constructed becomes alive with spirits escapee ghosts to be destroyed?
the temple on the base of an earlier reenacting portions of that siege Can the spy be found before the
Herodian temple. A pagan Roman and the subsequent mass suicide. aura is damaged?
garrison occupied Masada for These spirits can be interacted
some time after the defeat. with to some extent, but are
Whether or not a Dominion aura limited to an area that was their
exists on this site one thousand responsibility in life. This all
years later is a matter for the culminates in the drawing of lots
Storyguide. on shards of pottery and the mass
suicide, followed by a spectral

It would be simple to place a blaze and the storming of the fort
Faerie/Janni Landlord Major Hook by the ghos ts of Roma n
here, providing a covenant with Legionnaires. Should the ghosts of
three more minor boons. Any the two Jewish women and five

Boons and Hooks Fortifications, Minor Boons: Bibliography
Minor Site Boon: Bedrock Masada, Israeli Ministry of
Edifices-- Palaces Foreign Affairs
Difficult Access
Fortifications, Minor Hooks: Masada, Israeli Ministry of
Hostile Environment
Minor Site Hooks: Crumbling
Masada, Yigael Yadin.
Flickering Aura Resources, Minor Hooks:
Masada, The Discovery
Haunted Dwindling Resources: Water Channel

Fortifications, Major Boons: Relations, Minor Hook: Masada, Wikipedia

Curtain Walls and Mural Unsafe

Surroundings, Minor Hook:
Fortifications, Major Hooks:
Massacre Site
Net Total: Two more minor
Hooks than Boons.
Hermetic Vignettes
“MARCUS!! Get down here of worry mixed with confusion
immediately,” the well-dressed naked upon his face. “Your wish, By Kurt Konegen
man shouted. Almost all of the Magister?” he blurted. Then he
caged birds and rodents screeched saw the remains of the jar. final flourish and shout and the
and chattered in startlement and Marcus’s look quickly changed to water gently crept back into the
protest. one of wide-eyed surprise and jar. The boy placed the jar back
horror. “But Master Alexander, into its proper place in the
Alexander Jerbitonis was in a I…” he choked. apparatus, the sparkle endemic to
truly high fury. He was looking at his magic already beginning to
the remains the earthenware jar “Latin!” Alexander snapped, fade.
that used to reside at the terminal taking a step forward.
end of his vis extraction apparatus. “Huh,” grunted Alexander.
In his mind, Alexander heard in
The pieces, made from clay he had a gently chiding voice, “Carefully, The magus looked shrewdly at
personally collected from ‘a now. Don’t turn him to ash.” his apprentice, paused, and then
particularly beautiful section of with a flick of a finger Alexander
the Blue Nile’, and the formerly The boy stopped stammering, sent the jar to the floor again. “Do
pure water that the jar had stood up straight, and took a deep it again,” he waved. Marcus, with
contained were cast all over the breath. Marcus continued in a slightly less desperation but with
floor at the end of the lab table. To s ome w ha t a c c e nte d La ti n. obvious effort, did.
make matters worse, it was very “Magister, I don’t know how it
late and he had just returned from was broken. I had left everything “Well done, lad,” Alexander
an especially difficult Council in good condition.” said grudgingly. With that, he
meeti ng. Why, he thought, turned to his bedchamber. Marcus
purchasing a casting tablet for an “I don’t care! I leave you in overheard him say, “You’re right
eighth magnitude Aegis should be charge of the lab so I can go try to Bellatrix, he does have talent in
a difficult decision HE’LL never talk some sense into a particularly Rego. We’ll have to push him
know! mule-headed Rudolf Bonisagi only harder.”
to see that you weren’t up to the
Bellatrix, his familiar, meowed task. I had expected better from As Alexander left, the cat
a protest from his arms as the you at this stage!” Alexander crawled up on his shoulder and
petting became too firm. He tisk- punctuated each phrase with a looked back at Marcus. That day
ed an apology to her, then took a large wave of his hand and Marcus leaned that cats could
deep breath. “NOW, Marcus!!” he finished his point by pointing right wink. 12
roared again to a fresh round of at the boy’s chest. Marcus didn’t
screeches and chitters. dare move. Alexander gritted his
Just as his master finished
shouting his name, the unfortunate
lad, about fourteen summers in
teeth and growled, “Fix it. Now.”
Marcus looked pleadingly back at
his teacher. Ale xa nder just
growled again and moved a little
age and a bit on the gangly side, closer.
rounded the corner at a dead run. “First,” said Bellatrix, in utterly
He appeared out of breath, a look Marcus turned to the spill, flawless, calm, and pedantic Latin
quickly looked around, dashed to from her perch on the eave of the
one of the shelves and hefted a storage shed’s roof, “you didn’t
large lidded tub from one of the study your prey properly. You’re a
lower shelves, bringing it over to smart lad, but for some reason
the spill. Removing the lid, he known only to your God, you let
grabbed a largish glob of slightly your knowledge of that fact give
damp clay and pushed the pieces you permission to be lazy. Your
of the jar into it. Yelling Latin and intellect allows and requires you to
almost desperately waving his be more diligent, not less.”
arms, Marcus caused the pieces to Marcus was trying to fit the
join. With further shouting and parts of one of the barrels together
very carefully gesturing with one so that he could fix it.
ha nd w hi l e to uc hi ng t he
assembled pieces with the other, “Second, you must remember
he refashioned the clay jar into your magic theory. There are only
something like its old shape. A so many things that any apprentice
can do unless one is very, VERY It had been a beautiful day that approaches.”
lucky, and counting on that luck is was shaping up into a truly
worse than foolish sometimes. spectacular evening. Four old He indicated a small hill about
Remember when your master tried friends were sitting in a loose arc, 200 paces westward from their
to build that small bridge out of open to the west, around the balcony, where a girl sat and a boy
raw logs? And he is much more remains of a good dinner. The Sun stood. The boy started to sing
capable than you. Set your tasks had set a short while ago and stars loudly and well. As he continued
within your capabilities, except in were starting to appear in the to sing, he started to move in a
grave circumstances.” crystal clear sky, even with the somewhat da nce-like pattern
light of the gibbous moon high around the young woman. After a
Marcus had finished the barrel, overhead. God is indeed a great few minutes the wildflowers that
and moved it back into position. artist, mused Ale xa nder to were still apparent under the clear
He turned next to his clothing and himself. night sky started to sparkle a bit
began carefully wringing out the and then began to move.
foul-smelling liquid. “So, Alexander, it appears that
young Marcus’ fancy for my Leila “Using his sigil to good effect,
“Third and finally, you need to continues,” said the older magus, there,” opined Adolfus. Bellatrix
remember that startled prey is interrupting Alexander’s reverie. managed to look smug and
desperate prey, and is therefore “His persistence is impressive, and satisfied at the same time. “I’ll
less predictable. Set your trap so I must say that his creativity give it to you Jerbiton,” Adolfus
as to channel their reactions and, impresses me also. But I’m continued, looking at Alexander,
more specifically, channel them beginning to think he’s being “you all certainly have style.”
away from you.” coached,” he continued, giving The flowers moved in patterns
The cat jumped down next to an Bellatrix a very significant look. of c onti nuous l y i nc re asi ng
amulet lying on the ground where Bellatrix sniffed and looked at an complexity. This continued for
it landed when Marcus got obscure constellation. some minutes to the obvious
knocked off the stack of barrels. Adolfus ruffled his feathers delight of girl they danced for. The
violently. “Come now, Rudolf! girl then slowly stood as the
“Now, for all of that, you did flowers continued to dance and
well. Picking Rudolf’s latest There’s no ‘think’ about it.
Bellatrix is actively involved and then a breeze briefly ruffled the
apprentice as your target does grass.
have the virtue of being bold and you know it!” If owls could snort,
you certainly have her attention. Adolfus would have. “Oh, now that was subtle! If I
Be warned, however, you will now Bellatrix immediately gave up didn’t know her sigil, I would
have to live up to that. She’s a fine any pretense at indifference. never have caught that. I wonder
13 girl, as Alexander said earlier. But “That’s just because YOU’VE what she is going to do with the
also, please remember that Rudolf been telling her that she should set information.” Alexander turned to
Bonisagi is one of the best her standards so high! Sweet Rudolf and said, “You never told
teachers in the Order. Further, mouse heads, Adolfus. A
judging by what she did to you year and a half?! Oh, and
today, his current apprentice is a for the record, his
very good student who is living up persistence is all his own.
to the compliment of his tutelage. He truly is enthralled with
She’s not going to waste time with her. I simply tell him to
a mate of only mediocre ability – trust his own judgment.
hunting ability or otherwise.” Repeatedl y. And in
“Now come along,” said the detail.” She finished with
lady warrior as she pointed with a tone that acknowledged
her paw and lifted the amulet her complicity.
around Marcus’ neck. “That R ud ol f c huc kl e d.
noisome smell will disappear “Point to Adolfus,” he
shortly, and we have some murmured as Adolfus
planning to do if we are going to carefully resettled an
catch that one out again.” u n us ua l l y fi ddl y

h Al e xa nde r fi na l l y
spoke. “Friends, if I may
redirect your attention, I
believe the mome nt
me she was that subtle.” She then turned and went to curl Alexa nder chuc kled while
up in her companion’s lap. rubbing his leg. He waved at the
Rudolf smiled. “Amicus, you hillside and offered, “Well, there
don’t know all my secrets.” The friends continued to watch are some games I can’t get tired
Alexander acknowledged the point the display for a time and then of.” He winced at Bellatrix, who
and turned back. The girl was Alexander spoke up again, this ignored him most thoroughly.
obviously thinking and the display time brightly. “Well, that was “Perdo, for certain. And a bit
was holding up very well. some good effort on prepared and about the Code.”
i mp r o vi s e d s p e l l w or k i n
Then the girl spoke in gentle but Imaginem, Vim, Rego, Intelligo, “Agreed.”
very penetrating tones as another and Muto. It’s Midsummer’s Eve
slight breeze ruffled the hillside. so what say we give them the And the four left the balcony –
The display widened from perhaps night and then hammer them with two hunters, two old campaigners,
a 20-pace radius to the entire Perdo over the next couple and four very dedicated teachers.
hillside and then as far as the eye season…
could see. There were a couple of
quiet gasps from the group and “OW!” Bellatrix re-sheathed her
Bellatrix carefully stood. She claws while Rudolf laughed out
walked over to her companion’s loud at his friend. “Careful old
friend, nuzzled the old man’s friend, it appears that you haven’t
cheek, and said, “She’s brilliant, entirely left your Tytalus heritage
Rudolf. Simply brilliant.” She then behind.”

hhh 14
The Tartalo
An Encounter Calatrava has paid a visit in order By Eric Vesbit
to gather stories from its members
with a Tartulo and put them to parchment.

Detailed below is an encounter Backstory Approaching the

with this Tartalo, set at an outpost
along the main eastern pass of the An immature Tartalo was
Pyrenees. The outpost is on one of discovered by a hunting party The characters approach the
the highest points of the pass, from the outpost, and killed. The outpost that evening, just as night
where the old, narrow Roman road body was taken back to the falls. Play up the sense of
skirts along a white granite cliff. outpost to show the curious foreboding as they come upon the
To the north of the road, the cliff historian. The beast’s mother scene of the empty keep, and the
rises hundreds of meters into the trailed the hunting party that night massacre. Carrion birds, such as
air, and to south, the cliff falls to the outpost, and staged a griffon vultures, circle, and a
away into the mists below. The surprise attack. She climbed down lammergeier is seen dropping a
walls of the outpost completely the cliffside and dropped into the femur from a great height, in order
cover the road, forcing travelers to open courtyard. Sneaking from to crack it open and get to the
pay a toll to pass. It is a desolate, room to room, she slaughtered the sweet marrow within. The stench
if picturesque locale. The outpost sleeping inhabitants, until she was of blood and something earthier is
is currently run by a small discovered. A pitched battle in the air. Nothing can be heard
contingent of the Knights of ensued, driving the beast into the above the wind but an occasional
Calatrava as a minor source of courtyard. She entered a Berserker faint, heavy wooden “thock.” (The
income. The Knights also serve to rage, and killed the rest of the sound of a door on the far side of
keep the peace between the fierce soldiers. In her rage, she ripped the outpost swinging closed,
rivals on either side of the the corpses apart, ate her fill, and hitting a fallen corpse, and
mountains: The Count of Foix to flung the rest of the remains over rebounding.)
the east, and the Bishop of the edge of the cliff. Spent, but
Andorra to the west. When not still angry, she retreated into a The heavy doors in front of the
soldiering, the monks raise goats, small storage area in the rear of characters may or may not be
tend a small garden in the the stables, wrapped herself in locked, depending on the skill set
courtyard, and hunt the wilds of supernatural darkness, and bed and magic available to the PC’s.
15 the Pyrenees for isard. Recently, down for the day.
an historian for the Order of
The Outpost
Describe the massacre within in
as much visual detail as the failing
light allows. The entrance of the
characters disturbs a few brave
vultures. The smell of the Tartalo
is everywhere, for she has marked
her new territory, and her urine is
seeped in rage. The spirits of any
restless dead may whisper by.
Blood and gore is strewn about. A
half-eaten torso, still garbed in the
black tabard of the Order, is
carelessly flung in a corner. A dog
has been ripped in half. Two
spears and a shield can be found
scattered amongst the remains. A
stray helm contains the contents of
its former wearer . . .
The outpost is a fairly typical
construction of Roman origin,
located under nea th a grea t
overhang of granite that shields it
from falling rocks. It is a two-story
affair, with rooms built along the
interior wall, surrounding a wide
courtyard. Two areas of note are
described below.

The Nest
At the rear of the stables, the
characters will find a small
storeroom. Across the threshold of
the doorway is a sheet of 16
impenetrable darkness. The smell The Tartalo
of the Tartalo here is nearly The Tartalo is similar to a Greco-Roman Cyclops, but nocturnal, and
overpowering. highly magical. Hermetic scholars theorize that the race may be
As it is nightfall, the creature descended from two cyclopean wards brought to Iberia by Hercules when
will waken shortly from its day of he founded Barcelona. These beings were said to eventually guard his
rest. If it is still asleep, a low slow final resting place. Due to the existence of the Tartalo, scholars posit that
breathing can be heard coming this must be somewhere in the Pyrenees mountains.
from within the void. A great hulk of a creature, the Tartalo is known for preying on children
The creature will wake on an and sheep in the craggy regions of the Basque country. Its huge, perfectly
awareness roll of 9+, modified by black eye is the source of its magic. This particular Tartalo female is fond
the following chart: of stalking the mountain passes through the western Pyrenees, preying on
travelers. Recently she has been driven from her homeland by the Order
+3 Daytime of Santiago, whose hospices along the pilgrimage pass to St. James of
Compostela have made her hunting grounds much less safe. She and her
-3 Characters have made brood have been traveling east through the Pyrenees, and have stumbled
loud noises upon the main eastern route, between Foix to the east and Andorra to the
-3 Characters are emitting west.
stronger than average scents Only mature Tartalo have the Rego and Mentem powers (and vis) of
Once wakened, the creature their fully-formed eye. Immature Tartalo (age 1 through 15) do have 1
creeps to just inside the door, pawn of Perdo Vis, and can still use Nesting within the Void, but without
listening and sniffing the air. If a the accompanying Mentem effects.
character approaches to within a
Tartalo (Mature Female)
pace of the threshold, he will be Magic Might: 15
startled as a clawed arm suddenly
lashes out of the darkness, and Char: Int -2, Per 1, Pre 0, Com -3, Str +6, Sta +4, Dex 0, Qik 1
attempts to pull him into the void.
Size: +3
If the c haracters do not
approach the stable, the Tartalo Age: 15 – 60
will sneak out and attempt to Virtues and Flaws: Nocturnal Hunter*; Berserk; One Eye
surprise the characters. Her
general modus operandi is to * The Tartalo can see in the dark as per the spell Eyes of the Cat. It is also
corner a character in a room, and extremely sensitive to light: constant bright light (e.g.. sunlight) causes
cast Nesting within the Void. agitation, -1 to all attacks, and forces a Berserk check. Sudden light will
Alternatively, she attempts to dazzle for 1 round, if she fails a Sta 9+ stress die. The Tartalo has an
make eye contact with a character, excellent sense of smell, giving a +3 to Awareness rolls involving smell.
and use Trapped Within the
Reaper’s Gaze. If all else fails, her Personality Traits: Angry +5 (toward humans that killed her son),
strong claws will inflict plenty of Bloodthirsty +3, Sneaky +1
damage in a brawl.
Reputations: Infant and livestock eater 3 (Basques)
She considers the characters
more examples of the humans who
killed her offspring, and easily Large Claws: Init +1, Atk +9, Dfn +8, Dam +10
leaps into a Berserker rage in an
all-out battle. Note that she was Cudgel: Init +2, Atk +6, Dfn +4, Dam +13
probably wounded the night
Soak: Body +9, Eye +15
before, determine her current
wound level based on the power Fatigue: OK/0/0/-1/-1/-3/-5/Unconscious
level of the PC’s. If you need
more out of her, one of her other Wound Penalties: -1 (1-8), -3 (9-16), -5 (17-24), Incapacitated (25-32)
brood, or even her mate, may be
nesting within the stable. Abilities: Awareness 3 (food), Athletics 3 (climbing), Brawl 3 (claw),
Concentration 1 (eye contact), Hunt 4 (travelers), Pyrenees Area Lore 2
The Historian’s Room (Mountain passes), Survival 3 (Pyrenees), Stealth 2 (mountains), Great
Weapon 1 (cudgel)
A second floor room housed the
Order’s Historian. Quills and other Equipme nt: Ragged loin cloth, roughshod jewelry (bits of bone woven
17 stationary can be found scattered into braids, etc.) The Tartalo generally gathers shiny possessions of its
by the recent melee, as well as his victims within its nest. Some Tartalo have learned to carry a large, crude
History. This serves as Tractatus cudgel to avoid getting within reach of the sharp metal sticks of humans.
on the Knights of Calatrava (Qual Encumbrance: 0 (Load 2, with cudgel)
10), Area Lore of New Castile
(Qual 5), and a History of the Powers: (Note: The Tartalo cannot use its powers while berserk.)
Reconquista (Qual 5). This
history, if returned, would be quite Nesting within the Void: 3 points, Init -5, Mentem: As the spell Well
valuable to their Order. The last Without Light with D: Room. The Tartalo casts this in any niche it finds
page of the journal tells of how the amidst the mountains, when it beds down for the day. Any intelligent being
hunting party encountered the unlucky enough to enter the Void must make a Brave check of 9+. Failure
young Tartalo, which was later indicates an immediate loss of direction, and a -1 to all actions until he leaves
identified as such by “Señor the Void. A botch indicates the character has fainted.
Selatse de Navarre”, of the Basque Trapped Within the Reaper’s Gaze: 0 points, Init +1, Mentem: When
people. the Tartalo makes eye contact, the victim is overcome by the perfect, endless
darkness swirling within the orb as per the description for the hermetic spell
Confusion of the Numbed Will. The power only lasts as long as the Tartalo
maintains eye contact and concentrates.

Vis: The Tartalo’s eye consists of 1 pawn of Mentem, 1 pawn of perdo,
and 1 pawn of rego. The Tartalo’s eye is prized by Necromancers, Criamon
theorists, and occult seers alike. It can be used as the base element of a
scrying tool, or of a device to control ghosts.
Appearance: A hulking creature, with thick mottled grey skin and huge
claws, the Tartalo’s most dominating feature is the huge, perfectly black eye
in the center of its brow. The Tartalo generally wears a ragged loin cloth, and
weaves bits of bone into its hair. Some are know to wear the jewelry of their
victims, and carry a large cudgel.
The Poor Knights of the Temple of
Fr e e ma s o ni c hi s t or y t ha t
In Ars Magica canon, the
Knights Templar ─ that enigmatic predominates in many other By Alex White
chivalric order that flourished popular conceptions of the Poor
from 1119 to 1312 ─ are little Knights of the Temple. The recent Many thanks to Michaël de
more than a mundane success of books like The Verteuil for his advice, assistance
military monastic order Da Vinci Code is a and help. Acknowledgements also
that bore arms in the likely culprit, as well to my fellow Realms of Power:
name of Christ, as the innumerable The Divine authors.
fought in the Holy pse udo- his toric al
Land during the b o o ks , w hi c h Money and War:
saturate the schlock
Crusades, and acted
as i nte r na ti ona l history sections of from the Temple to
bankers tha t all good bookstores,
notably Holy Blood,
La Forbie
bankrolled kings and
lords alike. Holy Grail. In the years following the
Dismayed by Ars Magica’s bloody capture of Jerusalem in
The Order of the Temple is not 1099 by the soldiers of the First
accorded a mention in ArM5. strict and dull adherence to the
historical record, I desired a more Crusade, the victorious Crusaders
T he y ma ke a l a c kl us tr e divided their conquered lands into
appearance in Mythic Tapestry, legendary Order of the Temple.
Given the modern proliferation of four territories. The pre-eminent
after a history in ArM3 of being kingdom was that of Jerusalem
overshadowed by fictional orders, trashy historical ‘exposés’ of the
Templars, and the wealth of itself, ruled by Godfrey of
such as the Order of St. Mary (in Bouillon as ‘Advocate of the Holy
Pax Dei). In Blood and Sand, a contemporary accounts of the
Templars, I felt that there was Sepulchre’. With Christians in
saga seed describes a few options command of the Christian holy
for the Poor Knights: diabolists or room enough for a mythic Order
of the Temple in Ars Magica. This places, the well-trodden pilgrim
powerful sorcerers. Another story routes came under pressure from
seed on the same page presents the is the first of a series of five
articles about the Kni ghts the surrounding Muslim powers.
possibility of the Order of Hermes As the crusaders who had wrested
forming its own military wing to Templar. The articles will present
the Holy Land from the hands of
combat Islam. In Realms of the Templars:
the Muslims returned to Europe in
Power: The Divine, the militant 1. As nothing more than an startling numbers, and with a
Knightly Orders are sketched, and Order of knights that were adept in precarious succession situation in
a Knight Templar template is the politics of money and war; the Kingdom of Jerusalem, a
included; it is hinted here that they proposal was made by two
practice secret mysteries and have 2. As the military wing of the knights.
strange powers. Beyond these Order of Hermes;
minor appearances, they rate no
serious mention. Odd for such an 3. As a secret order of esoteric The Order Forms
important medieval organisation, craftmasons, heir to the secrets of
Hugh of Payns and Godfrey of
whose reach a nd i nfl ue nce ancient magical and hieratic
Saint-Omer, two knights who
stretched across Europe and traditions;
arrived in Jerusalem after the
beyond. Cr usade, s ugge s te d tha t a
4. As pious soldiers in the
The modern legacy of the Divine Military Order; and community of knights under a
Templars is as an order of monastic rule be formed for the
5. As the diabolical heretics that protection of the pilgrims en route
occultists par excellence, as secret saw their dissolution in 1312. to the Christian sacred sites. King
masters that manipulated kings
and popes for their own ends, as Baldwin (I or II) and the Patriarch
This project began in 2002, but
heirs to the mysteries of heretical of Jerusalem approved. On
has been delayed many years due
Cathars, and in their own day, as Christmas Day, 1119, Hugh of
to various other projects, an
the guardians of that most Payns and his eight companions,
honours degree, a new job and the
magnificent legend: the Holy among them Godfrey, Andrew of
release of Ars Magica Fifth
Grail. Rightly or wrongly, it is the Montbard, Archambaud of Saint-
Aignan, Payen of Montdidier,
So great was the moral authority
of Clairvaux and Bernard that for
forty years the monastery was the
spiritual centre of Europe, with
men from the ends of the world
journeying to the monastery for
advice. Among the luminaries who
emerged from Clairvaux were a
pope, the archbishop of York and
countless bishops and cardinals.

Papal Endorsement
By 1127, with an official
membership list of only the
original founding members, Hugh
of Payns journeyed to Europe to
seek support for the Levantine
kingdoms and to gain papal
sanction for his order. His trip was
stunningly successful. King Henry
I generously donated ‘great
treasures’, the other temporal lords
all gave endowments to the Order.
Among the prelates of the Church
who heard Hugh’s petition to gain
Papal endorsement was Bernard of
Clairvaux, a man deeply indebted
to Hugh’s liege, the Count of
Cha mpa gne a nd nephew of
Andrew of Montbard. At this
meeting, the Templar Rule was
presented, scrutinised and revised.
Geoffrey Bissot and Roland, took with the few remaining soldiers
19 their vows of poverty, chastity and left hi m. In 1119, slavers While the clergy at that meeting
obedience in the Church of the massacred a party of pilgrims were concerned with a Rule
Holy Sepulchre. journeying to Jerusalem. Soon it designed to preserve the knights’
was dangerous to leave the city souls, its result was to form a
In order that they may be unprotected. military unit under tight discipline
provided with sufficient means to that were unaffected by the
accomplish their role, both King The Order Grows shifting circumstances that were
and Patriarch endowed the nascent typical of feudal levies. Pope
Order with living quarters and The Poor Knights were soon to Honorius II duly confirmed the
generous benefices. They received come under even more powerful endorsement of the Templars, and
a wing of the royal palace, the patronage. By 1125 the Order was upon his return to Clairvaux,
former al-Aqsa mosque on the the recipient of boons and gifts Bernard composed his treatise ‘In
southern edge of Temple Mount. from many European magnates. t he P r a i s e o f t he Ne w
This site was more commonly Hugh of Champagne gave his Knighthood’.
known as Templum Salomonis: lands to his nephew and took on
the Temple of Solomon. From the Order’s vows. With Papal endorsement, Hugh
these prestigious living quarters returned to Palestine to continue
came their name: The Poor Count Hugh, the former liege- the Christian offensive against the
Knights of Jesus Christ and the lord of Hugh of Payns, was also Muslims. He left behind several of
Temple of Solomon. instrumental in the rise and rise of the Order’s founders to continue
Bernard of Fontaines-les-Dijon, recruiting knights and gaining
Although originally the Poor patriarch of the monastic order of support from Europe’s great lords.
Knights wished to live under their the Cistercians, founded in 1098. Donations were made by all kinds
priestly vows, King Baldwin, their Bernard, after the founding of of people from all walks of life,
patron, was well aware of his Clairvaux, castigated the wealthy from a few coins, small parcels of
inability to police his kingdom monks of Cluny for their moral land, a horse or armour, to tracks
of land and holdings, and massive Muslim Mosul Zengi galvanised Crusade ended in a humiliating
tax exemptions. As their lands and C hr i s t e nd o m. Be r na r d o f debacle. The crusaders withdrew
gr a nts i nc r e a s e d, a l ar ge Clairvaux was instructed by the in i gnomi ny, requiri ng the
proportion of their income became pope to preach a new crusade. As Levantine barons to seek a
needed to support it. Much of their the crusade mounted, it was the compromise with their Islamic
administration was based on that Templars that received and neighbours.
of the Hospitallers, the Knights of administered the proceeds of the
the Hospital of Saint John, who one-twentieth tax on all church Under Attack
were cotermi nous with the goods that paid for the venture. It
Templars. was then that Pope Eugenius gave By 1150 however, the Templars
the Poor Knights the right to wear were coming under attack from
Endowments and the crusading red cross over their within Christendom. Their critics
accused them of greed and pride.
Authority hearts.
Their attacks on poorly defended
The leaders of the Second trade caravans, and of leaping into
After 1134, lords and knights Crusade relied heavily on the battle, were seen as base attempts
began donating their entire estates advice of the Poor Knights, from to gain easy glory and booty.
to the Order. This growing wealth local knowledge to tactics to Nevertheless, the costs of running
saw the provincial masters of the diploma tic missions to the a military order were considerable;
Order to become highly respected; Byzantine emperor. By the time the Order required a large income
soon they were the trusted King Louis of France had reached merely to survive. Twenty years
councillors of popes and kings. Antioch, he had run out of money later the Hospitallers faced
The hierarchy of the Order soon to pay for any further action. bankruptcy.
became comparable to that of the Turning to the Templars, he
church, promising great power as received the resources needed to Greed was not the only vice of
the knight advanced in rank. continue the Crusade. the Templars. With financial
independence, the Templars soon
When Hugh died, Robert of The Templars ensured that they acted in the Holy Land as free
Craon, the new Grand Master of were repaid in full, a sum equal to agents. From private treaties with
the Order, obtained from Pope half the annual income of the royal Muslim leaders to financial deals
Innocent II a bull, known as the domain. Eventually, the Second with Italian merchants trading
Omne datum optimum, declaring with Egypt, the Poor Knights were
that the Order be exempt from all willing to wage war against Islam
i nte r me di a r y e c c l e s i a s ti c a l Cultural on their own terms, without
jurisdiction. In short, the Templars Adaptation interference or input from local
were subject only to the authority lords.
of the pope. Even the Patriarch of Steadily, the trickle of Middle 20
Jerusalem lost his authority over Eastern luxuries and culture were The Assassins
the Order whose first vows had ferried from the Latin Crusader
been said before him. The This situation was exemplified
States to Europe, and became a
Templars were now permitted to when in 1173 the Order’s Grant
flood. The Latin lords embraced
have their own priests, and were Master entered into negotiations
the civilisation of their conquered
completely independent of the with the chief of the Assassin sect
lands. A balance was found
authority of the bishops. They had of Ismailis in Syria. The Templars
between the multitudinous faiths
their own cemeteries, could arranged that they would be safe
and churches in Palestine, and
receive tithes, and take booty. from Assassin attacks in Syria;
there was little missionary
every other temporal lord, Muslim
Innocent’s largesse in 1139 to activity of attempts to convert
or Christian, could not be sure of
the Order can in large part be Muslim or Jewish subjects to
the same. This arrangement was
explained by the fact that he was a Christianity.
reached when the Assassins
close follower of Bernard of The Levantine barons’ wealth realised that every Grand Master
Clairvaux. After Innocent, the relied upon the continued well they killed would be quickly
policy of support for the Templars being of their subjects. No less replaced with another, just as able
was confirmed: they were seen as than the lords of the conquered and skilled.
the primary way in which the Holy territories, the Templars benefited
Land could be retained. This outrage exploded when the
from the prosperity of their fiefs.
chief of the Syrian Assassins made
This wealth allowed the Templars
The Second to pursue a policy of building, not
it known that he wished to convert
to Christianity. On his journey
Crusade only great fortresses but also
back from Jerusalem, a group
palaces and churches, and a new
Templars killed the Assassin’s
Edessa’s capture in 1144 by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
envoy, thus ending any chance of
a conversion (and ensuring the Europe, despite frantic appeals friend and Angevin vassal, Robert
safety of the huge annual tribute from the Christian princes of the of Sablé, was quickly elected as
paid by the Assassins to the Poor Holy Land and the various the Templar Grand Master. One of
Knights). The King of Jerusalem military Orders. his first actions was to purchase
was so enraged that he petitioned the recently conquered Cyprus
the Pope and other European The Battle of Hattin in 1187 from Richard for 100,000 Saracen
monarchs to dissolve the Order. saw the deaths of most of the besants (the Poor Knights made a
His death saw the petition’s Templars in the Holy Land: a down payment of 40,000 besants,
failure. ransom was put on their heads and indicating the extent of their
only the Grand Master was left financial resources). The King
For more information about the alive. It also saw the humiliating took command of the Crusade;
Assassins in Ars Magica, see capture of some of Christendom’s Acre fell shortly thereafter. After
Realms of Power: The Divine, holiest relics, including the True the execution of almost 3,000
p.113. Cross. prisoners after prisoner exchange
negotiations with Saladin bogged
Saladin and the Saladin’s triumphant entry into
down, Richard continued his
Jerusalem saw the Templars lose
Third Crusade their headquarters. The Temple march towards Jerusalem; Philip
that had served as their home was Augustus returned to France only
Saladin’s ascendance saw the purified and the cross was taken three weeks after the capture of
rapid and dramatic decline of the from the Dome of the Rock and Acre.
Poor Knights in the Levant, as beaten by jubilant Muslims. A
well as the Christian kingdoms in The great column of troops was
slow war of attrition followed as augmented by large contingents of
general. Since 1180, no substantial Saladin’s forces captured one
military aid was forthcoming from Templars and Hospitallers. It was
Templar (and Hospitaller) fortress their tight discipline that allowed
after another. The Poor Knights the Frankish success at the major
Grand Masters of the refused to give an inch, but battle of Arsuf against Saladin. As
eventually, only a few coastal
Knights of the Temple towns remained in Christian
the crusade dragged on, it became
clear that even if Jerusalem could
of Solomon hands. be taken, it could not be held.
Civil discord in his European
Hugh of Payns (1119-1136) King’s Crusade domains prompted Richard’s hasty
Robert of Craon (1137-1149) Urban III, upon hearing of the departure from the Holy Land in
loss of Jerusalem, promptly died 1192. Four Templar knights
Everard of Barres (1149-1152) accompanied him on his covert
of sorrow. Kings and Bishops
21 despaired. There was general journey through Europe. The
Bernard of Trémélay (1152-
belief that God had forsaken the Third Crusade was over, with the
Crusaders because of their sins. Templars ensconced in Acre.
Andrew of Montbard (1153- Pope Gregory VIII, the successor,
1156) quickly preached a new crusade.
Rebukes and
Bertrand of Blanquefort (1156- The first of Europe’s great princes Resentment
to answer that call was Richard,
the powerful Angevin king. As he Ambivale nc e towards the
Philip of Nablus (1169-1171) gathered his resources to mount a Templars worsened. Their great
new offensive in the Holy Land, wealth and power in Europe and
Odo of Saint-Amand (1171- the church imposed the ‘Saladin their exemption from temporal and
1179) tithe’, a ten percent tax on all ecclesiastic authority made them a
income in Christendom. Philip prime target for resentment and
Arnold of Torroja (1180-1184)
Augustus of Fra nce joi ned c onte mp t. T he p o pe w a s
Gérard of Ridefort (1185-1189) Richard, as did a host of other i nc r e a s i ngl y fl oode d w i th
lesser princes. Even the Holy c o mp l a i n t s , f r o m mi no r
Robert of Sablé (1191-1193) Roma n Emper or, Fr ede ric k trans gressions to full scale
Barbarossa took up the Cross and disputes with bishops. One of the
Gilbert Erail (1194-1200) headed towards Acre to help the more outrageous complaints was
Philip of Plessiez (1201-1209) besieging crusaders, although he that the Templars were saying
died in 1190 while crossing mass in churches under interdict,
William of Chartres (12-10- through Asia Minor. and that for a small fee,
1219) excommunicates could be assured
The Third Crusade would go of Christian burial in Templar
Peter of Montaigu (1219-) down in legend. Upon arriving in cemeteries.
the Holy Land in 1191, Richard’s
Suspicion was heightened by which we nt so far as to
the secrecy of the Poor Knights. excommunicate bishops whose
While acceptable in the Levant, in dislike of the Order was too
Europe their unwillingness to vociferous.
disclose their deliberations was
frowned upon. Furthermore, the The Fourth Crusade
failure of the Crusades to maintain
the Latin Kingdoms made people The Te mplars were onl y
question whether the Templars margi nally involved i n the
were performing their duty notorious Fourth Crusade, a
adequately. Indeed, it was pointed crusade hijacked by the ambitions
out that only a small proportion of its leaders and of Venice. After the
the knights actually journeyed to capture of Zara, a rival of Venice,
the Holy Land to fight: most t he Cr us a de r ’ s tur ne d to
s ta yi n g i n E ur o p e i n Constantinople with the ostensible
administrative work. goal of restoring a deposed
Byzantine prince. This goal was
The Templars’ New quickly turned to conquest after
the prince discovered he could not
Role make the extortionate repayments
to the Crusaders. and glorifying the spiritual. A
Since the time of Henry II, the
Templars had been acting as mixture of anti-clericalism, a
The Crusaders took the city on
bankers, lending money to all reformist zeal and true piety saw
the 12th of April 1204, its
comers, kings, bishops and the Cathars grow unchecked. In
inhabitants were put to slaughter
merchants. Their loans to kings in 1207, the Cathars ejected the
and its treasures were pillaged.
particular often staved off royal Catholic bishop from Carcassone.
With the Queen of Cities ravished,
financial collapse. The Paris the Templars took part in the There were repeated attempts
Temple became one of the subjugation of Greece that ended by the Pope and various local
principle financial centres of in 1210. They acquired many new authorities to persuade the Cathars
Europe, as did the Temple in territories in the new Latin to give up their heresy. Failure
London. In short time, the princedoms of Greece, and owed upon failure saw Pope Innocent
willingness or unwillingness of the nominal deference to the new call upon the Count of Toulouse,
Templars to lend someone money Latin Empire of Constantinople. Raymond VI to extirpate the
w oul d a s s ur e or de s tr o y heretics by force. In 1207, the
someone’s credit rating. In The Albigensian pope’s representative, Papal 22
addition to banking, they provided
annuities and pensions to the Crusade Legate Peter of Castelnau met
with Raymond after two years of
families of benefactors. broken promises to take action
In 1209, Pope Innocent III,
Long after they were unable to flushed with the perceived success against the Cathars. After a bitter
continue their role of policing the of the Fourth Crusade and argument with Raymond, Peter of
pilgrimage routes to Jerusalem, outraged over the murder of his Castelnau was murdered by one of
groups of Poor Knights would personal envoy two years earlier, the Count’s followers, an outrage
guard convoys of treasure from preached a new crusade. The that prompted Pope Innocent to
one Temple or court to another. target of the Crusade was the call a crusade.
Their skill in bureaucracy saw heretical sect of dualists, the Twenty years of war and fire
their use by the pope and the Cathars. would follow, as gradually the
Wes ter n ma gna tes as civil northern lords of France were
For many years, the Cathars had
servants. Their vows of loyalty to convinced to pursue the crusade.
been in conflict with Rome. The
their Grand Master and the Pope At the time however, both
heartland of the Cathars, the
meant that they were less tied to Templars and Hospitallers (who
region of southern France known
the internecine conflicts between also had considerable holdings in
for its langue d’oc, was also the
European princes. the area) were vigorously waging
home of considerable holdings for
Their role in the Middle East the Templar Order. Languedoc war in the Reconquista in Spain.
now largely defunct, they made was one of the most civilised areas Throughout the Crusade, the
themselves invaluable to the lords of Eur o pe , have n of the Te mplar s ma i ntai ne d s tric t
of Europe. Despite all of the troubadours and of Courtly Love. neutrality, while Cathars were
disapproval a nd rese ntme nt The Cathars were a dualistic sect, hunted down and burned for their
directed at the Order, they belie vi ng tha t ma tte r wa s heresy.
continued to enjoy papal support, intrinsically vile and abhorrent,
Neither the Pope nor Simon of sympathies. Their support for the Crusade had meant to do) Egypt.
Montefort, the Crusade leader, Count of Toulouse would benefit
petitioned the Poor Knights for the Order of Hospital. After Simon Honorius III directed the two
assistance against the Cathars. de Montfort’s death at the siege of Grand Masters of the Templars
Both Cathars and Crusaders at Toulouse, and the retreat of the and Hospitallers to meet with the
times were aided and shielded in Crusaders and their ecclesiastical crusade leaders: Andrew of
Te mpl a r ho us e s . For t he supporters, the Hospitallers were Hungary and Leopold of Austria.
23 inhabitants of Languedoc, Cathar the primary remaining Order in the In 1218, the assembled armies
or Catholic alike, the crusade was area; even the Templars had sailed from Acre to Damietta. A
seen as an invasion by northerners, abandoned their Cha mpa gne year later, after the death of the
and a complex flux of loyalties preceptory. Templar Grand Master, the
saw heretic and orthodox fight crusaders captured the city,
with and against each other over A New Crusade ignoring the sultan’s offer of
the course of the crusade. giving up Jerusalem in return for
Innocent III’s arrival to the peace. The refusal was made on
The Templars concentrated papal throne in 1198 brought with the advice of the Poor Knights,
primarily on the war against Islam it a desire to recapture the who held that Jerusalem would not
in Spain. Neither Simon de Christian holy places from the be able to be held without
Montfort nor Pope Innocent Muslims. His main target was possession of the lands south of
attempted to enlist the Poor Ayyubid Egypt, the seat of the Holy City.
Knights in the Crusade. The Muslim power in the Middle East.
fidelity of the Order to the Pope His attempt with the Fourth By 1220, the Crusade was in
was undiminished however, and Crusade had gone horribly wrong, danger of falling apart, as pressure
charges that they supported the and resulted in the creation of the in the few remaining crusader
Cathars are misdirected. It was Latin states in Greece. Likewise, strongholds in Palestine were
ultimately the Hospitallers who the 1212 outburst of enthusiasm in under increasing pressure. Money
sided with the Count of Toulouse, Ge r ma ny a nd Fr a nc e, the was running low and German
the main secular lord under attack ‘Children’s Crusade’ failed to forces had not yet arrived to aid
by the Crusaders. assist the effort in the Levant. It the Crusade at all.
was not until after his death in
Many of the noble benefactors
1216 that his constant planning The Future
to the Hospitallers in Toulouse
resulted in the Fifth Crusade, a
were Cathar lords, or had Cathar In 1228 Emperor Frederick
campaign targeting (as the Fourth
arrived in the East, and in typical
The Templars are most excellent soldiers. They wear white mantles
autocratic style alienated himself
with a red cross, and when they go to the wars a standard of two colours
from the other crusaders there,
called balzaus is borne before them. They go in silence. Their first attack
including the Grand Master. With
is most terrible. In going they are the first, in returning the last. They
pressure in the Papal States, the
await the orders of their Master. When they think fit to make war and the
Emperor negotiated a ten-year
trumpet has sounded, they sing in chorus the Psalm of David, ‘Not unto
treaty with the Egyptian sultan that
us, O Lord’, kneeling on the blood and necks of the enemy, unless they
included the restoration of
have forced the troops of the enemy to retire altogether, or utterly broken
Jerusalem under Christian control.
them to pieces. Should any of them for any reason turn his back to the
This treaty however kept the
enemy, or come forth alive [from defeat], or bear arms against the
Temple of Solomon under Muslim
Christians, he is severely punished; the white mantle with the red cross,
control and forbade the Templars
which is the sign of his knighthood, is taken away with ignominy, he is
and Hospitallers from improving
cast from the society of brethren, and eats his food on the floor without a
the few fortresses they retained in
napkin for the space of one year. … But at the end of the year, if the
the region. Furthermore, the Holy
Master and brethren think his penance to have been sufficient, they
City i tself was to re mai n
restore him the belt of his former knighthood. These Templars live under
a strict religious code, obeying humbly, having no private property,
The Templars and the crusader eating sparingly, dressing meanly, and dwelling in tents.
barons largel y ignored the
Anonymous pilgrim, 12th century
Emperor’s treaty, ostensibly under
the guise of warring with the
sultan of Damascus. Relationships over another. invaluable in battle; no Templar
became so bad that the Templars broke rank.
This interplay between rival
were accused of plotting to murder
sultans eventually led in 1244 the
the Emperor. When he returned to
Templars into their second Hattin, The Rule
Italy, he seized their property and
where they again took the lead of a
arrested many brothers, which in The Rule of the Knights
large crusader force. At La Forbie
t ur n c o nt r i b ut e d t o hi s Templar was a day-to-day guide
the Egyptian forces wiped out the
excommunication. The Templars for living within the strict
Latin army; only thirty-three
would continue to oppose the Holy discipline necessary for the Order.
Te mpl a r s a nd tw e nt y- s i x
Roman Emperor, in the East as Based upon a monastic rule, it
Hospitallers survived. Over 260
well as in Germany. included vows of poverty, chastity
knights perished, and in the years
and obedience. Written when the
Decline and Decline following, more territory was lost.
Poor Knights were little more than
The arrival of the Mongols in Life in the Order gua r di a ns o f pi l gr i ms to 24
Jerusalem, the Rule was revised
the East led to the easing of
pressure for the Templars, who of the Poor and expanded numerous times.
Over two hundred additional
continued to be involved in local
conflicts involving tribute and
Knights clauses were added by the 1160s
relating to military matters,
trade. Only Acre, Antioc h, While most knights of the Order hierarchy, responsibilities, duties
Caesarea and Tyre remained as the lived under the strict monastic a nd di s ci pl i ne . Addi ti ona l
main Latin domains in the East, as Rule, the Master and other monastic clauses were also added:
well as Cyprus and a string of dignitaries were permitted to have 107 regulating conventual life, and
fortresses. As the Crusader states luxurious living-suites and lavish 158 on the holding of a chapter
had shrunk, an increasingly larger entourages. The religiosity of the and penances. All new members
part of what remained belonged to knights was as a monastic of the Knights Templar were read
the military orders, leading to community. Their fortresses were the Rule at their official Reception
inevitable discord. designed internally as monasteries. Ceremony.
Soon the conflicts between Every aspect of the life of the
Hospitaller and Templar would kni ght w a s r e gul a te d a nd Structure
lead to sharp criticism that the regimented. Discipline was strict
Templars had undermined the and harsh, but no more so than There were two levels to the
entire Cr us adi ng move me nt those normally imposed upon Poor Knights, fighting brethren
through their own selfish actions. monks. Particular emphasis was and non-fighting. Each was further
Indeed, as the decades wore on, placed on conduc t on the divided into two ranks.
the Poor Kni ghts bec a me battlefield. While the Templar
enmeshed in local politics and standard was aloft, no Templar Fighting Brethren
power plays, backing one sultan was permitted to leave the battle.
The vow of obedience proved The knights: heavily armed
cavalry and the highest general Order were the Grand Master, the Thursday (the commemoration of
level of membership, living under Se nes c hal, Gr a nd Ma rs hal , the Eucharist on the day before
the strict Templar Rule. To Commander of the Kingdom of Good Friday) the Grand Master
become a knight, one had to be of Jerusalem, and the Draper. washed the feet of thirteen
noble birth, and only brother paupers, distributed them shirts,
knights could wear the famed The Order was formally divided breeches and shows, as well as
white robes of the Templars. into two regions: East and West. two loaves of bread and a small
Each Crusader Kingdom had its amount of money.
The se rgeants: the light own Commander, presided over
cavalry, commanding a specific by the Comma nder of the The Grand Master was chosen
house, fortress or lands of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The by an assembly of all provincial
Order, although without the ability Commander of the Houses of the officers in the Holy Land, who
to c omma nd f ul l kni ghts . West presided over the European asse mbled (i f possible) i n
Sergeants were exclusively not of Commanders, and was often the Jerusalem. Upon a Grand Master’s
the nobility, coming from the Seneschal. Commanders typically death, these officers elected an
merchant or peasant classes. presided over cities or large towns, interim Grand Commander. An
Sergeants wore a black tunic with particularly in the East. The electoral college of thirteen
a red cross on the front and back. purpose of this division was to Templars, chosen by the officers,
have the Western Order constantly consisting of eight knights, four
Non-fighting advocating and supplying the s er ge a nts a nd a c ha plai n,
Brethren Eastern Order, with the Templars’ reflecting the diverse countries
entire purpose being to recapture and interests of membership was
The farmers: the farmers were the Holy Land. appointed. This electoral council
more properly the administrators then elects, by simple majority, the
of the Templars, providing and The Grand Master Grand Master who was then
organising for the temporal needs acclaimed by the assembled
of the entire Order. Farmers wore The Order was primarily a knights.
black or brown tunics with small military organisation. At its head
red crosses. was the Grand Master, an office of The Seneschal, Grand
prestige and power by the 1160s.
The chaplains: alone invested T he G r a nd M a s t e r ha d
Marshal, Commander
with spiritual authority over all considerable power within the and Draper
members of the Order of the Order. He could redistribute
Temple, the chaplains minister to resources between the Order’s Below the Grand Master was
needs of the brethren and are preceptories, castles and houses. the Seneschal, the deputy leader of
organised according the Sacerdotal His only rival in authority was the the Knights Templar, who carried
25 Orders, being priest, deacon, Templar Commander of the the Order’s black and white
subdeacon, acolyte, exorcist, Kingdom of Jerusalem, who banner. Like the Grand Master, the
reader and doorkeeper. officially held the keys to the Seneschal had his own staff and
covenant’s Treasury. A decision horses. His responsibilities and
Organisation by the Grand Master however powers were similar to the Grand
Master’s, with the Seneschal
could only be appealed to the
The Knights Templar was Pope, although this avenue was tending to preside over whatever
organised according to regions, only followed a few times in the region, East or West, that the
each with its own Commander, Order’s history. Grand Master was not present
Deputy Commander, Marshal, (typically West).
Under-Marshal, Standard Bearer Although prior to the 1160s the
Grand Master had been a humble The Grand Marshal was the
and Infirmarer. All of these men Order’s chief military officer, the
were drawn from the knightly knight, afterwards he was the ruler
of a grand Order, entitled to four on-the-ground officer responsible
brethrens, except the Standard for individual commanders, the
Bearer and Under-Marshal, whose horses, and an entourage which
included two knights, a chaplain, a Order’s war-resources and all
tasks dealt with the Order’s military operations. Like the
artisans, craftsmen and squires. clerk, a sergeant, a shield-bearer, a
scribe and translator, a cook and Grand Master and Seneschal, the
There were two poles of turcopolier (leader of the auxiliary position of Grand Marshal was
ultimate authority within the troops). During war, he was very prestigious and came with its
Knights Templar: the Grand permitted a bodyguard of between own guard, and staff.
Master and the Commander of six and ten knights. Next to the Grand Master was
Jerusalem, so as to ensure no the Commander of the Kingdom
single person held too much Despite this grandeur, the Grand
Master was also expected to of Jerusalem. With Jerusalem not
power. The ‘high men’ of the in Christian hands in 1220, the
symbolise humility. Every Holy
Commander is effectively in exile, peace-time differed little to the life of an illness or injury. Unlike the
residing in Acre. Technically the of a Benedictine monk. Primarily Hospitallers, which had separate
Commander of the Kingdom of a monastic figure, the brother houses for women, the wives of
Jerusalem held the keys to the knight would wake before dawn married Knights Templar were
Order’s treasury, once located in and attend the Matins service in expected to become nuns in
the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. the house’s chapel. This was another order.
In 1220, the Commander oversees followed by numerous prayers,
all non-military assets of the including the Lord’s Prayer and Despite this prohibition on
Order, such as its fleet, storage prayers to the Blessed Virgin contact with women, which
vaults in Acre, houses, villages Mary, then the hearing of Mass. included female relatives, there
and animals. By the time the knight was having was considerable interest in the
breakfast just before midday, he Te mpl ars a mongs t w ome n,
The Order’s Draper was would have said over five dozen particularly in the thirteenth
important for very practical prayers. century, resulting in numerous
reasons: he ensured that the donations. Despite prohibitions
brother knights and sergeants were Meals consisted of primarily against contact with women, the
properly clothed and housed. The vegetables (such as beans, lentils realities of medieval life meant
fa med whi te robes of the and cabbage), cheese and bread, that women often worked for and
Templars, as well as bed-linen and although unlike other monastic in Temple houses.
a nyt hi ng o nc e be l o ngi ng orders, they were required to eat
personally to a member of the meat and fish at least three times a Faith
Poor Knights were all within the week. Templars ate at least twice a
power of the Draper. Any gift day. All meals were held in Greatest reverence was shown
made to the Order was distributed complete silence. towards the Blessed Virgin Mary,
by the Draper. After the Grand who was honoured as the
Master and Grand Marshal, the After eating breakfast, prayers ‘beginning of the Order’ and ‘the
Draper was the most superior of would resume, with an afternoon end of the Order, whenever God
all brother knights. meal in the middle and a small wishes it to be.’ Reception into the
meal in the evening of bread and Order involved solemn prayers
Chapters diluted wine or water. and oaths to the Virgin Mary, as
well as to God, and the oath of
Meetings of the Templars took While not praying or eating, a
allegiance to the Grand Master
place in the Order’s regional head brother knight would train for war,
was made in the name of God and
quarters, and functioned in a undertake any tasks or duties the
the Holy Virgin.
similar manner to secular ruler’s house required, or would perform
courts. The leader of the chapter some form of humbling labour, It is significant to note that until
would preside over discussions of such as tilling fields or craftwork. 1307, not a single charge of heresy 26
legal and business matters. Minor Since horses were so important to was ever prosecuted against the
Chapter meetings took place Templars, they also spent a great Templars (although many more
weekly, beginning and ending deal of time using and treating mundane complaints were made
with prayers, led by the chaplain their horses. against them). Their faith and
and Master of the house. theology was entirely orthodox,
The Templar Rule required that
albeit it unusual because members
Chapter meetings were held in each brother knight be busy all the
were allowed to confess their sins
strict secrecy, since discussions time, either praying or working.
only to the Order’s own chaplains,
often involved sensitive military The life of a brother knight was
rather than to the region’s clergy.
matters—the Templars were well chaste and gruelling.
aware of the axiom that ‘loose lips
sink ships’. No member of the
During a time of war, prayers Templar
would be integrated into the
Te mplars was permitted to necessities of battle. The Templars Systems
distribute or talk about the would pray while riding to or even
proceedings of a Chapter meeting. Thi s s e c ti o n i ntr od uc e s
during the battle, and would still
This secrecy is one of the main modified and new systems for
rise before dawn.
causes for conspiracy speculation Templar characters.
regarding the Poor Knights of the Women and the Modified Templar
Order Virtues
Daily Life
The Templar Rule explicitly
The following applies only to
The life of a brother knight was stated that brother knights were to
Templar characters, and are
one filled with prayer, and during have no contact with women,
modified versions of those found
unless necessary for the treatment
in Realms of Power: The Divine, a knight or a nobleman. You have wealth of the Templars, including
p.92. swor n a li felong vow of any funds, lands and resources,
obedience, poverty, and chastity, although you have no extra time;
Brother Chaplain but this may not be enforced as you may levy taxes and tithes over
strictly for you as it would be for a the lands you control as if you
You are a priest of the Order of br ot he r kni ght . Yo u a r e were a landed noble or bishop and
the Temple of Solomon, which answerable only to your superiors charge ‘rent’ on monies you lend.
functions as the Priest Minor in the order and the Pope. You Because of your high position, you
Virtue (ArM5, p.47), except you may have high quality weapons are a well known figure and have a
are answerable only to your and armor, and two horses. You good Reputation of level 4 in your
superiors within the Templars and may also take Martial Abilities region. You are expected to
to the Pope. This virtue is during character generation. This support the Order’s crusading
incompatible with the Wealthy virtue is incompatible with the efforts if you are in the West, and
Major Virtue, the Priest Minor Wealthy Major Virtue, the Priest if you reside in the East, you will
Virtue, and the Poor Major Flaw. Minor Virtue, and the Poor Major be expected to participate directly.
You wear the distinctive red cross Flaw. You wear the red cross of Should the Grand Master die and
of the Templar Order on your the Templars on a black tunic. you reside in the East, you will
robes. This virtue is only available This virtue is only available to have the right to participate in
to male characters. male characters. choosing a new Grand Master.
You may only take this virtue if
Brother Knight New Virtues you also have the Brother Knight
You are a brother knight in the Minor Virtue. This virtue is only
Order of the Temple of Solomon, Templar Bureaucrat available to male characters.
and have devoted your life to the (Minor, Social Virtue) High Rank (Minor,
re-conquest of Jerusalem, to God
and to the Virgin Mary. You have You are technically a brother Social Virtue)
swor n a li felong vow of knight or brother sergeant for the
obedience, poverty, and chastity, Order of the Temple of Solomon, You hold an important position
and to obey the Templar Rule. but are really an administrator for w i thi n the l oc al Te mpl a r
You are answerable only to your the Order’s many holdings and hierarchy, such as the Deputy
superiors and the Pope and are activities. While you have sworn C o m ma nd e r , M a r s ha l o r
from a noble family. All brother the Templar oath, your many Infirmarer. You may give orders
knights, upon their reception to duties means you are not required to brother knights in your region,
their order, receive a standard set to uphold them as strictly. You are are accorded considerable respect
of clothing, armour and weapons, answerable only to your superiors due to your position, and have the
27 consisting of a helmet, templar in the order and the Pope. You power to enforce the Rule and its
mail, long sword, heater shield, have considerable influence and various laws. Because of your
lance, Turkish mace, and dagger. access to enormous resources, but high position, you are a well
Brother knights are also given the no additional time. You may take known figure and have a good
use of three horses and are Ac a de mi c Abi li ti es duri ng Reputation of level 2 in your
allocated their own squire. You character creation. This virtue is region. You may only take this
may take Academic and Martial incompatible with the Wealthy virtue if you also have the Brother
Abi l i tie s dur i ng c ha r a c te r Major Virtue, the Brother Knight Knight Minor Virtue. This virtue
generation. Because of your vows and Brother Sergeant Minor is compatible with the Temporal
of poverty, you may not take the Virtues, and the Poor Major Flaw. Influence Minor Virtue. If you
Wealthy Major Virtue or the Poor This virtue is only available to ta ke thi s vir tue with the
Major Flaw; the Order takes care male characters. Commander Major Virtue, then
of all your worldly needs. You you hold one of the few exalted
may not take the Knight or Priest Commander (Major, ranks within the Templar Order,
Minor Virtue or the Landed Noble Social Virtue) such as Seneschal or Grand
Major Virtue. You wear the Marshal, or a rank that has
famous symbol of the Templars, a You are a regional commander authority over the Eastern or
red cross on pure white robes. This within the Templar Order and Western region of the Order, in
virtue is only available to male have authority over all aspects of which case you likely reside in
characters. the Order in a region. This Acre, Paris or London.
includes the Temporal Influence
Brother Sergeant Minor Virtue, as you have the ear Divine-Temple
You are a member of the Order
of any important nobles or Interaction
clergymen in the area. You also
of the Temple of Solomon, but not have access to the considerable In 1139, the Pope decreed that
There is a multitude of works
New Equipment on Kni ghts Te mplar, mos t
fantastical, but some scholarly.
Ability Init Atk Dfn Dam Str Load Cost Most imaginative texts derive
Turkish Mace from the creative histories of the
Freemason movement in the
Single +1 +3 +1 +8 0 2 Exp. seve ntee nth a nd ei ghtee nth
Partial Full Cost
Material Prot Load Prot Load
Templar Armour*: 6 3 9 5 Exp. Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh
and Henry Lincoln, The Holy
* Available only to Brother Knights. Blood and the Holy Grail, Arrow
Laurence Gardiner, Bloodline of
the Order of the Temple of knight who fled before such a time
the Holy Grail: The Hidden
Solomon was an exempt Order of face d the mos t severe of
Lineage of Jesus Revealed,
the Church, answerable only to the disciplinary punishments, the most
Throne of St. Peter. Templars are horrific of which was expulsion
immune to Episcopal interdict and from the Order. Lynn Picket and Clive Prince,
jurisdiction. For this reason, The Templar Revelation: Secret
Templars are unaffected by The Balzaus is important to the
Guardians of the True Identity of
spiritual i nfl ue nce by a ny Templars, because it mystically
Christ, Corgi
authority less than the Pope, aids them in battle, a fact
although the Grand Master and commented on with awe by their Karen Ralls, The Templars and
Templar Chaplains have spiritual Muslim opponents. This works in the Grail: Knights of the Quest,
authori ty over the Order’s a similar manner to Invoking Quest Book
members. Templars may ignore God’s Aid in Warfare (see Realms
the e ffects of a te mpered of Power: The Divine, p.41-42). Scholarly
Dominion, unless it was tempered The Templar Commander or
by the Pope or an authority within Chaplain blesses or says a prayer Malcolm Barber, The New
the Order itself. (For the effects of over the standard before the battle, Knighthood: A History of the
spiritual influence and tempering, then rolls their Communication + Order of the Temple, Canto
see Realms of Power: The Divine, Dominion Lore Ability + Stress
Die, and may also add +1 if they Malcolm Barber and Keith
have the Brother Chaplain Minor Bate, The Templars: Selected
The Balzaus Virtue, or +3 if they have the Sources, Manchester
Commander Major Virtue, in
Piers Paul Read, The Templars,
The balzaus is a long banner addition to any bonus from Pious
Phoenix Press
divided vertically in two, one half Personality Flaws. The holy power
Ceremony may be used to
white, the other black. Each troop
of Templars carries this before augment this total.
them in battle. While it stands, no Dan Brown, The Da Vinci
Balzaus Blessing:
Templar is permitted to flee from Code, Bantam Press
Communication + Dominion
battle or turn their back on the
Lore + Modifiers + Stress Die Umber to Ec o, Foucault’s
enemy. So important was the
balzaus, the Templars accord it a All Templars who can see the Pendulum, Vintage Press
special ten-knight guard at all balzaus gain the Holy War Bonus
times while on the battlefield. Stephen Lawhead, The Celtic
to all rolls during that combat, so
These knights carry a second, Crusades, Books 1-3, Voyager
long as the balzaus is raised.
folded banner to raise should
something happen to the first. If Templars only benefit from the
the banner were captured or highest Holy War Bonus, so if
brought down, the Templars they personally pray for aid, and
would be expected to rally to the get a higher total, then they get
Hospitaller banner, or failing that, that total only; the Holy War
any Christian banner. Only if all Bonus does not stack with itself.
banners had fallen were the
Templars allowed to retreat from Bibliography
the field of battle. Any brother
The End of the Hohenstaufen
A couple of months ago, I
vol unteered to write some Hollywood villain, driving his foes
to frustrated exhaustion and near
Michael de Verteuil
historical accounts of noble
families and personalities of the despair of ever seeing the end of
thirteenth century and began with him. This article was posted on the
the death of William Clito. I’m a Ars Magica Berklist on 2 August
The man was an extraordinary 2007 and is reproduced here with
bit late with this next instalment bundl e o f c o ntr a di c ti o ns .
on the end of the Hohenstaufen, permission.
Brilliantly rational, sceptical and
but better late than never. So here with an unquenchable thirst for
goes. scientific knowledge, he spoke and what happened to them after
nine languages and was literate in
The End of the seven. Yet he was also deeply
Frederick’s death.

Hohenstaufen s upe r s ti ti o us , a ddi c te d to

astrology, a scourge of heretics
The origin of the Staufers is
puzzlingly obscure. Unlike the
Much to general surprise, and and capable of naive piety. A Plantagenets, they don’t even
possibly his own, the “stupor friend to his Muslim and Jewish seem to have a Mythic back story
mundi” Emperor Frederick II subjects, he allegedly professed with faeries or demons amongst
Hohenstaufen died on December r e l i gi o u s i nd i f f e r e n t i s m their forebears. Possibly this
19th, 1250. Many refused to (describing Moses, Jesus and reflects an unusually lowly
believe his death at the time. M o ha m me d a s “ c u nni n g parentage, or simply a paucity of
Franciscan Friar Salimbene of i mp o s tor s ”) ye t , w hi l e literacy and historical records in a
Parma, for example, only credited excommunicated, he launched one wild region, endowed as it
the news several days later upon of the few successful crusades (the nevertheless was with ancient and
hearing it confirmed vive voce by 6th), retaking Jerusalem in 1229 powerful abbeys well able to
Pope Innocent IV who preached to with minimal forces and imposing chronicle local events. The
the people in Ferrara on his way a ten year truce on the Ayyubid standard Hohenstaufen family
back to Rome from Lyons. Like sultan of Egypt (Jerusalem was to history puff piece by Otto of
many, Salimbene had come to see stay in Christian hands until Freising is sadly mundane on this
Frederick as the Antichrist whose 1244) . Obse sse d wi th the point.
reign was to foreshadow the importance of family and dynastic
succession, he managed to alienate Be that as it may, the earliest
Second Coming of Christ. He Staufer I can find any record of is
29 wrote that he “had expected and most of his 6 (or more, depending
how you count them) wives while a Frederick of Büren (c. 998-
hoped that Frederick would do 1074). He married a daughter of
greater evil than had been done so ma i nta i ni ng a ha r e m a nd
nume r o us mi s tr e s s e s , a nd the count of Filsgau, and his son,
far, although he had done a great also called Frederick (there are a
d e a l .” T he goo d fr i a r ’ s imprisoning and possibly driving
his son and heir to suicide. A great lot of Fredericks in this story, so
disappointment lay not so much in pay attention) was styled count of
delight in the Emperor’s many l a w gi ver hi ms e l f, he r a n
roughshod over constitutional Büren. It’s unclear how this
sins, but in dashed prophetic hopes
of an imminent appearance of the rights and provisions when it
Messianic Age. suited his personal interests.

It is difficult to overstate the But this story is not about

impact on the 13th century of Frederick. I wouldn’t have the
Frederick’s reign and, as we shall space to do him justice anyway.
see shortly, his death marked one As the title suggests, its about the
of those rare decisive turning end of the Staufers, not their peak.
points of history. Frederick had As the subject of this series of
been a whirlwind–an unstoppable historical vignettes is meant to be
force of nature sweeping furiously the great princely families that
across Europe and the Near East, hovered just below the royal level,
collecting royal titles like candy often slipping just below the radar
(six at final count), and leaving of conventional national historical
e ne mies a nd more ne utral accounts most people have been
o bs er ve rs ali ke a gog a nd exposed to, I mean to deal
sputtering. Never down for long, principally with the Staufers
he would rise up again like a before they reached the throne,
second Frederick (c. 1020-1094) have been reasonably impressive Hohenstaufen whose story, I
became a count. Possibly he was at the time. It’s not entirely clear remind you, is not the subject
just a successful baron who, as why Henry picked Frederick as here, was not Barberossa’s son but
was often the case in 10th and duke of Swabia, but the fact that his nephew (Ha ha! Got you.) But
11th century Germany, usurped Frederick had married Henry’s what made him special and
the title. Unlike in France where daughter Agnes and been the ul ti ma tel y, to the Papa c y,
counties had historically consisted grandson of the earlier Duke Otto intolerable was that he was,
of ancient Roman towns and their probably had something to do with through his mother, king of Sicily.
surrounding countryside, the it. Duke Fre deric k I was
relative lack of early urbanization succeeded by his son Duke The Holy Roman Empire was
in Germany had made “counties” Frederick II One-eyed (1090- by this time a vague quasi
t he r e mo r e p l a s t i c a nd 1146), and he in turn by his son federation consisting of four
spontaneous. The fact that his (you guessed it!) Frederick III separate real ms . The mos t
maternal grandfather had been a Barberossa (1122-1190, our 5th powerful of these was Germany
count probably facilitated matters. Freddie if you are still keeping (or East Francia or, misleadingly,
count). In 1152 Barberossa was of the Romans)) to which had
This Count Frederick couldn’t e l ec te d ki ng a nd s o got been added Italy and the n
have been a complete nobody, renumbered King (later Emperor Burgundy. Bohemia was raised to
however, as he married Hildegard, in 1154) Frederick I Barberossa, a s ubj e c t ki ngdo m unde r
the daughter of his nominal lord, the first Hohenstaufen monarch. Barberossa but was never directly
Duke Otto of Swabia and Bavaria, in the Emperor’s hands during our
himself a grandson of Emperor N ow o ur Fr e de r i c k II period. The imperial title was
Otto I. When Duke (not the
Emperor) Otto died, he was
replaced successively by members
of the Conradin family and then
the Babenburgs, and then various
Salians, Ottonians, Schweinfurts
and assorted Rheinfelden and
Zähringen dukes or claimants.
This frequent flipping of ducal
dynasties was due to the fact that
German princely families died out
very easily as the German crown
and royal fiefs could not normally
be inherited through the female 30
line. Further complicating the
story was that once becoming
ki ng/e mperor , a duke was
expected to hand off his duchy to
someone else.
So when Emperor Henry IV
was fis hi ng around for a
replacement duke of Swabia, he
settled on the son of Count
Frederick and Hildegard (also
unsurprisingly called Frederick).
And this is how the Hohenstaufen
got their big start with the now
Duke Frederick I (1050-1105) of
Swabia who took the name
Hohenstaufen from a castle he had
built on the on the southern spur of
a mountainous ridge of the same
name in northern Swabia near
Göppingen (in modern south-
western Germany). The castle was
sacked and burnt in the Peasant’s
War in 1525 and there’s not that
much left of it now, but it must
tec hnically a ttac hed to the uniting the German and Sicilian male descendants one after
kingdom of Italy, and the German c r o w ns , e x p e r i me n t i n g another, and effectively put an end
king (after being crowned again as unsuccessfully with various non to the imperial threat by freeing all
King of Italy in Pavia) was Hohe nsta ufe n s uccess ors to the Staufer vassals and making
expected to make his way to Rome Barberossa; but they all proved sure no one could be confirmed as
where, the Pope willing, he was unsatisfactory in various ways. emperor for the next 61 years.
crowned emperor. The last one, Otto IV, was How the Papacy went about doing
downright threatening in his this is the meat of our story.
Whether Rome itself was part of perfidious repudiation of sworn
the “empire” was unclear and promises to leave Church property Frederick’s eldest legitimate
hotly contested. But as it lay on alone and butt out of episcopal son, uncharacteristically named
the far southern border of the elections. Most reluctantly, the Henry, was the one who might
kingdom of Italy, and was ruled Pope eventually agreed to back have committed suicide. Frederick
separately by the Pope, it wasn’t Frederick as emperor in an effort had made king of Germany as
normally a practical issue. The to see Otto off. Unfortunately, the Henry VII (while keeping the
German emperors had a hard operation was a success, but the imperial title for himself) it a
enough time trying to impose their patient died. As the wealthiest and transparently dishonest effort to
will on the essentially self ruling most powerful ruler of Europe, appear to live up to his promise to
(and frequently “rebellious”) with the bulk of his holdings in the Pope Honorius III never to unite
Italian communes. The Popes Pope’s former southern refuge of the German and Sicilian crowns.
could normally run their own Sicily, and the Papal States held in Henry had chaffed under his
affairs in relative peace, playing a tight territorial vice, Frederick fa t he r ’ s he a v y ha nd a nd
off the communes against the just couldn’t be stopped form domineering personality, and
king, or rival royal claimants treating the Papal lands as if they when he tried to assert himself by
against each other. If things got were his own, handing out chunks forming his own party, Frederick
too hot for him with an imperial to officials and cronies as fiefs. deposed him and had him locked
army heading for Rome, the Pope Excommunication, Frederick’s up in various prisons in Apulia.
usually retreated south to the lands t yr a nni c a l w a ys a nd hi s Modern a nalysis of He nry’
of his nominal vassal, the Norman questionable morality helped skeleton in 1998 showed him to
king of Sicily. The stroppy would- spawn and support rebellion, but have been a small man of about
be emperor would run out of successive Popes, spending half 164 cm (5' 4.5") and to have been
money, have his supply lines cut their time in exile, just couldn’t in an advanced state of leprosy
off, or see his army succumb to seem to get rid of him. when he died of a fall from a great
malaria or dysentery in the hot height (possibly a suicide) in 1235
Italian s un, a nd so would By the time Frederick died, his at the age of 25.
31 eventually have to retreat north. ene mies, Pope Innocent IV
included, had had enough. Never Fr e de ric k’ s younge r s on
With our Freddie, however, again were they going to put up (inexplicably also not called
things were going to be different. with such a consolidation of feudal Frederick. Some people just have
The various Popes tried really hard power. They systematically set no sense of tradition.) and, after
to prevent the Hohenstaufen from about exterminating Frederick’s deposing Henry, Frederick had
him appointed king as Conrad IV
in 1237. Conrad was still alive
when Frederick died so become
the primary focus of efforts to
bring down the Hohenstaufen clan.
Pope Innoce nt a fter
excommunicating Frederick for
the last time, had backed two
s uc c e s s i ve c ounte r ki ngs :
Landgrave (Marquis) Henry Raspe
of Thuringia who died in 1246,
and then Count William II of
Holland who was still around
when Frederick kicked off in
1250. Conrad managed to defeat
William in that year, limiting his
influence for a time to William’s
power base in the Low Countries.
He wasn’t able to eliminate him
entirely, however, and William
managed to drive him into Italy diminutive “Conradin”) for whom their children. Manfred’s enemies,
the following year. Conrad hoped the title of Conrad V of Germany of course, would have none of this
to recoup his losses by joining up w a s c l a i me d a nd , mo r e and to them he remained a bastard.
with Frederick’s Sicilian kingdom, importantly, Frederick’s surviving In any case, Manfred had been
but the Pope’s allies in northern illegitimate son Manfred. I say holding down the fort in Sicily for
Italy kept Conrad bottled up until “illegitimate”, but the matter was Frederick and then Conrad till the
1252 when he finally managed to in some dispute. Manfred was latter, suspicious, set him aside
slip into the southern part of the born of Frederick’s mistress and later died. Manfred is
peninsula by sea. Conrad was Bianca (or Beatrice) Lancia probably the hero of this little
excommunicated by the frustrated (Lanzia, Lanza), that much is tragedy, in my view, and deserves
Pope in 1254, and died a few clear. Yet Frederick seems to have a little more attention.
months later of malaria. considered him legitimate, and
some historians claim Frederick
There were now only two live married Bianca on her deathbed in
male Staufers left: Conrad’s two 1233, specifically to legitimize
year old son Conrad (called by the

A Florilegium of House Bjornaer

know that the concept of Bjornaer
When I was putting together
House Bjornaer for Houses of magi with multiple shapes is used By Mark Shirley
Hermes: Mystery Cults I was in some sagas for this House. I
aware that I had more ideas than I cannot confess to suffering much Bjornaer is too much of a
had word count. For reasons of guilt over specifically ruling out stereotype. True, Birna came from
space, some of these ideas this option — in canon material a Germanic tribe, and was perhaps
removed from the first draft to for previous editions the concept one of the most 'primitive' of the
make room for a more focused appears just once: in The Bestiary Founders, but it doesn't necessarily
house. With the kind permission for Second Edition Ars Magica as follow that her house follows suit.
of the guys at Atlas Games, I'm a single sentence, off-the-cuff After all, Trianoma was a
able to bring these sections (Lost mention. There is no suggestion of Thessalonian witch, yet her
Cubs, Additional Septs) to you in it in Third, Fourth, or Fifth Edition lineage is one of the most
this article, along with some other Ars Magica at all. However, I prestigious in the Order. It has
concepts which never even made it would like to apologize to those been four hundred and fifty years
as far as electronic paper (Feral troupes, who, lacking a clear since the Founding — at least
Magi, Ulf Bjornaer). However, canon position, have decided to eight Hermetic generations and 32
there was a second impetus for adopt the concept of multiple probably more — and Mythic
this article, which was to give an shapes to fill the gap in the Europe is a very different place.
apology, so I'll get that out of the Bjornaer Mysteries until the There are no longer tribal people
way first. Houses of Hermes series reached living anywhere in close proximity
this house. Be assured that I did to the major nations of Europe,
I realize from reactions on the not just make Bjornaer magi hate where the majority of sagas will
various fora that some players of shapeshifters on a whim. What I be set. So why should a Bjornaer
Ars Magica Fifth Edition may be hope to do here is to explain to apprentice regress culturally and
unhappy with the direction I have you why I took this route in my become a savage barbarian? The
taken with House Bjornaer. I write-up of the House; whilst you only remnants of his 'primitive'
still may be magic is his heartbeast, and whilst
una b l e to this is central to his identity as a
forgive me for member of the House, the magic
what I've done he uses most often will be that of
t o t h e the Order of Hermes — wholly
Bjornaer, I reliant on formal education,
hope that you scholarl y study, a nd other
will at least trappings of civilization. For
und e r s ta nd those who wish to play the 'noble
why I did what savage' archetype, then Clans
I did. Midusulf and Sirnas provide a
outlet; it was my intent to make
It has always these clans a little more savage
concerned me than the rest of the house and
that House provide a home for pre-existing
characters who feel that they have magi as experts in shapechanging, are provided with magical items
been disenfranchised by the new but I hope you can see the logic which allow them to simulate the
look House Bjornaer. behind the change in the House. In process of spellcasting. These
an attempt to make amends, here 'apprentices' are even brought
OK, so scrap the stereotype. are some bits and pieces which did before the Order to swear the Oath
Bjornaer magi are no longer not make it as far as Houses of of Hermes as if they were proper
primitive magicians; their magic Hermes: Mystery Cults. magi.
and schooling is every bit as
sophisticated as a Jerbiton or a First, there are two character Such a character ends up as a
Tytalus. Of course, as a mystery concepts for playing alternate Companion character with the
cult, they have some surprising members of House Bjornaer, the Lost Cub Social Virtue (see
beliefs; in House Bjornaer's case, Lost Cubs and the Feral magi. below). No-one outside of the
regarding the transmigration of House knows that some 'magi' of
animal souls. But this is not Second, there are some details House Bjornaer have never cast a
s ome thi ng tha t ne c es sa ril y of some more septs — I only had spell in their lives. If the Order
permeates their life. A true story enough room for two in the final were ever to discover that some of
from my own life: my grandfather chapter. its members are masquerading as
was the very epitome of an Third, I present Ulf Bjornaer, G i f t e d ma gi c i a ns , t he
ordinary (that is, boring), middle- the magus who is used in all the repercussions to House Bjornaer
classed gentleman; yet at the age examples in the chapter. He is of a could be severe. However, House
of fourteen or so I discovered he suitable age to be the master of a Mercere sets the precedent for the
was a druid. The culture-shock player character, or else he could existence of unGifted members of
that I experienced is what I serve as a story hook, protagonist the Order, and the House could
imagine most magi undergo when or antagonist. Finally, I present an probably weather this storm.
(or rather, if) they discover the outline for a Bjornaer-oriented
heterodox views of their Bjornaer saga w hic h was ori gi nall y Lost Cub
sodalis. formulated when writing up the
Major Virtue, Social
I wanted to keep the ancestral covenant of Crintera for Guardians
of the Forests. Status (House Bjornaer only)
enemies of the House from
previous editions, the original This article covers the first – You have mistakenly undergone
shapeshifting tradition, but needed Lost Cubs and Feral magi. The the Ritual of Twelve Years despite
a strong reason why they should second and third pieces will be in having no Gift. You masquerade
still be enemies after so many future issues. as a member of the Order of
years. Now that the Shapeshifter Hermes despite being unable to
Ability is part of the Fifth Edition
core rules, the difference between
Lost Cubs use Hermetic Magic. You must
buy this Virtue with the Dark
characters with this Virtue and the Secret Major Flaw. Your social
Very rarely, a child without the
Bjornaer magi seemed obvious — status is equivalent to Hermetic
Gift will have their heartbeast
the first can take multiple shapes, Magus unless your secret is
awakened by the Ritual of Twelve
but the Bjornaer followers have disc overe d. You have the
Years. This may be a result of a
just one shape. There is therefore a Heartbeast virtue for free, and you
botched ritual, or the confusion of
fundamental difference between may change shape just like a
Supernatural Abilities with the
the native tradition and the modern magus of House Bjornaer. You
true Gift. If using 'The Thousand
House. Furthermore, if Bjornaer must choose either a Supernatural
Heartbeasts' story seed of the
magi consider the heartbeast to be Virtue (Minor or Major) or the
Bjornaer Chapter, these Lost Cubs
part of their soul, their world view Latent Magic Ability Virtue to
may also be intentionally created
has no room for those who can represent the innate magic which
by the rogue mystagogue. Such
take multiple shapes — you can't caused the House to assume you
people cause problems to House
after all have multiple souls ... were Gifted. Your Sept has
Bjornaer: they are officially
unless you steal them from provided you with enchanted
members of the House and have
elsew her e. This progres sed devices with fifty levels of effect,
been adopted into the mystic
naturally into the superstitious including modifications to the
family of the Bjornaer followers,
dread that the Bjornaer magi have level due to factors such as
and yet they are not magi and
for shapeshifters with multiple number of uses per day (see
cannot officially join the Order.
for ms , a nd t he i r ge ne r a l ArM5, page 95). These will be
Further, they come about due to
repugnance for shapeshifting upgraded and replaced by your
the negligence of a magus, a
magic. Sept to maintain your cover as a
shameful thing in the opinion of
the Bjornaer Council. As a result, Gifted magus, on average an extra
So, I'm sorry if this disrupts
their lack of The Gift is kept two levels per year. You are
your prior concept of Bjornaer
hidden from the Order, and they trained in a similar manner to
Gift allowing the 107), and during this process the
creature to learn Beast of Virtue loses its Might
Hermetic Magic Score. The master must have some
(this assumes the means to communicate freely with
unorthodox her unorthodox apprentice (such
position that a as a spell, or the Animal Ken
magus is a Human Virtue) to teach him any magic.
of Virtue, or Whilst much of its innate magic is
alternatively that a transformed by being Opened to
Beast of Virtue the Arts, the player can purchase
pos s e s s e s an magical powers appropriate to the
animal equivalent mythic potential of her character's
of The Gift). natural form. These powers are
designed like spells, but cost the
One of t he character a fatigue level to
problems with this activate. A Minor Virtue offers up
concept is that to 25 levels of effects, with the
a c c or di ng to stipulation that the power must
prevailing thought affect the creature itself rather than
of the da y, any other target. A Major Virtue
animals have no supplies 50 levels of effects, with
magi, and may take Academic, souls, so neither will the feral no such restriction.
Arcane and Martial Abilities magus. Troupes may wish to
during character creation. You ignore this uncomfortable fact, or Once the character undergoes
have spent fifteen years as an else provide for it with the Simple- the Ritual of Twelve Years it gains
‘apprentice’, and gained a total of Minded Flaw, which represents the Heartbeast Ability and can
300 experience points in those the lack of higher cognitive now become human. The human
fifteen years. If it is ever faculties without inhibiting the form is neither sanguine, choleric,
discovered that you do not have character's functioning as a magus. melancholic nor phlegmatic, but a
The Gift, your life may be in If this option is taken, the Flaw perfect mix between all four; the
danger; and House Bjornaer will should be in addition to the temperament of any attending
be severely embarrassed. The character's normal allotment, and magus acts as a penalty to the
House will therefore deal with you does not yield any points with performance of the ritual, partially
favorably in fear of you revealing which to buy Virtues. explaining why feral magi are so
your secret (accidentally or rare.
To simulate a Feral magus, the
‘accidentally’), but if you push character begins its life as a Beast The viewpoint of this magus 34
this latitude too far, they may of Virtue. Determine the base will be severely twisted from the
decide they are better off without statistics of the animal form, and nor m, a nd the pla yer a nd
you. This Virtue may only be apply the normal allotment of storyguide should take pains to
taken by a Companion character. experience points for a human highlight the effects of this change
character, buying the Abilities of in perception. Many huma n
Feral Magi the base creature before allocating customs will prove puzzling to the
experie nce poi nts to other magus, and he may frequently
At least one Bjornaer magus Abilities. You must buy the Feral make errors in judgment regarding
claims to have taken an animal as Upbringing Flaw, and cannot human behavior, similar to the
an apprentice; the Ritual of spend experience points on Social Handicap Flaw. This
Tw e l ve Y e a r s a pp a r e ntl y language, social, or academic unfamiliarity with humans will
awakening the human heartbeast Abilities. Only once magical fade over the years, but never truly
of the creature. Many scoff at such training begins can the character vanish. Feral magi can only ever
tales, but such an individual might acquire the minimum scores in achieve the Inner Mystery of the
make an interesting character to Latin and Artes Liberales required Epitome and regain a part of their
play in a non-canon saga. The for a magus, so these Abilities virtuous form; they are so attuned
animal would have to have true mus t be bought using the to this mystery that they receive a
Intelligence rather than Cunning, allotment of experience from permanent +3 to all initiation
and would also have to be apprenticeship. To Open the Arts scripts to gain or refine the Inner
inherently magical — that is, be a of a Beast of Virtue, the master Mystery of the House.
Beast of Virtue. The process of must have a Intellego Vim Lab
Opening the Arts strips the Beast Total of at least 30 because the
of Virtue of its Might score, and

pupil has the equivalent of a Major
replaces it with a variant of The Supernatural Virtue (ArM5 page
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