More than Messengers (Redcap Project)

Basic details of Redcaps are given in ArM5 pages 12, 48 and the House Mercere chapter of Houses of Hermes: True Lineages, page 81. This project aims to expand options for your Ars Magica 5th Edition Saga with the following resources. It contains a potpurri of all my relevant material and links concerning Redcaps, those unGifted members of House Mercere that assist Hermetic magi primarily as messengers as per the Project Redcap entry:

A Redcap is a member of House Mercere is good standing, employed as a messenger in the Order of Hermes. Although ostensibly full members of the Order, redcaps do not wield Hermetic magic and do not vote at tribunals. Despite this, redcaps enjoy the full protection of the Code, and further rights laid down in the Peripheral Code. A redcap may also serve as a notary. They are Companion-level characters. The redcap network provides essential services in trade and communication for magi. Trade in books and raw vis, correspondence with fellow scholars and the delivery of messages (especially official ones) and more are all typically accomplished through the redcap network. (Project Redcap, accessed September 2013)

Design Note: I ran a poll about why Redcaps were still the messengers of the Order over on the Atlas Games forums a while ago. I think the results are interesting and may provoke some development of the concepts and end up with more material here.

Redcaps by Tribunal

I’ve collected my posts on the different culture of Redcaps by Tribunal here:

Training Packages for Redcaps

This article appears in Sub Rosa Issue #13 (the “Diedne Issue”). Based on the material from Grogs and the additional notes in mark Shirley’s “Training Packages for Magi” article in Sub Rosa Issue #11, it provides an overview for creating Redcaps using the training packages system, new packages, some additional Virtues and Flaws, and accompanying notes. An example Alpine Redcap created using the article, Cymena of Rorschach (based on the character originally presented in ArM4 Sanctuary of Ice), is presented in her three different life phases, updated to the ArM5 rules. As this was a significantly longer piece originally (it’s still just over 7,600 words), there were some sections cut from the final submission which I’ll present intially here (but have also been linked into the main article page now).

In addition, a short guide to creating Redcap characters can be found over at the Light of Andorra wiki, including some variant rules for “Redcap Acclaim” I found interesting. Note: after 9 months from the publishing date, the Sub Rosa publishing agreement states the rights revert to me, so in June 2014 I’ll link to the article here, although Sub Rosa reserves the right to continue to distribute the article.

30 Redcap Magic Items

This will be was my first attempt at NaGaDeMon this November, pending time constraints. in 2013. I didn’t come close to achieving a post per day but I did generate some interesting ideas and some useful items.

The Stories of Marco the Liar

I didn’t write this, but it’s a great tale about an irascible Redcap and contains a lot of really interesting ideas about Redcaps and Faeries. Follow this link to Timothy Ferguson’s blog for the collated version.

Miscellaneous Redcap Threads from the Forums

The following Atlas Forum ArM5 threads contain useful concepts for Redcaps in Sagas: (if you find any threads you think should be included here please let me know)

Redcap Rosters

This first list collects official and unofficial (SubRosa) example Redcaps or Mercere magi with full character statistics. A complete list of Redcap characters and Gifted Mercere mentioned in official ArM5 and ArM4 supplements will ultimately be found on this page when I eventually get around to indexing the current supplements.

ArM5 Redcaps

Any of these fully detailed individuals can be readily modified for use in your Saga using the concepts from my “Training Packages for Redcaps” article and a bit of adjustment – those with hyperlinks are readily available online.

  • Ash of the Broken Branches, The Broken Covenant of Calebais, page 11. (unassigned)
  • Cymena (ArM5), Sub Rosa Issue #13 / My Life as a Grog. (Greater Alps)
  • Eleanor of Mercere, Tales of Mythic Europe, pages 82-83. (unknown)
  • Herve filius Evrard, The Lion and the Lily, page 110. (Normandy)
  • Imogene the Redcap, Sub Rosa Issue #8, page 50. (unknown)
  • Lazar ben Yosef of Narbonne, Sub Rosa Issue #12, pages 40-43. (Provencal)
  • Lejla the Redcap, Light of Andorra Wiki, character summary. (Iberia/Provencal)
  • Fedora the Redcap, Light of Andorra Wiki, character summary. (Iberia/Provencal)
  • Victor of Mercere, Semita Errabunda PDF, pages 26-28. (unknown)
  • Sicart the LeperMy Life as A Grog posted July 13th. (Provencal)
  • Tiana of Mercere, Light of Andorra Wiki character summary.

ArM5 Mercere Magi

Mercere magi are rare (about a dozen or so in the whole Order apparently) so although a basic template “Mercere magus” is detailed in ArM5 page 26 (designed as a “weather magic” specialist intended to carry out Redcap duties), knowing where to start can be difficult when designing one, so using an existing example created by others seems like a good idea…

Earlier Edition Redcaps

  • Aestrius of House Mercere, ArM3 A Midsummer Night’s Dream, page 17. (Provencal)
  • Antho, ArM3 Tribunals of Hermes: Rome, pages 65-66. (Rome)
  • Cymena of Rorschach (ArM4 version), ArM4 Sanctuary of Ice, page 76. (Greater Alps)
  • Eleanor Felis of Mercere, ArM4 Medieval Tapestry, pages 124-127. (unknown)
  • Enomil of Mercere, ArM3 Houses of Hermes, pages 77-79. (unknown)

ArM5 Mercer Houses (by Tribunal)

  • Durenmar (Rhine)
  • Dragon’s Rest (Normandy)
  • Alexandria (Thebes)
  • Histria (Transylvania)
  • Coventry (ArM4 Stonehenge)
  • Leth Moga and Leth Cuinn (Hibernia)
  • St Cyprian’s (Provencal)
  • Yuval’s (Iberia)
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