Adamantius was the youngest of Guernicus’ apprentices, a formidable hoplite-Quaesitor able to twist metal to his will, from this known as “the Iron Quaesitor” to the early Order of Hermes. He was famed for his brilliant, if somewhat inflexible, interpretation of the Peripheral Code. Together with his “brother,” Petrobolos, he founded the earth magic cult, which became known as the Scholae Petrae, but he lost the leadership of the cult to his “nephew” Petropomps after the death of Petrobolos in 819. He was survived by his sons, both apprentices, who contributed a small line of Guernicus Terrae magi exceptionally skilled at manipulating worked metal rather than natural stone or soil. The line, unfortunately, is excessively prone to emotional instability and conflict.
Magi of the line of Adamantius are innovative, worldly and adaptable, yet all possess some significant flaw in both their personality and their magic, and these are often interrelated. Unlike their Petroboline-lineage cousins, they quickly adopt new magical and mundane practices that prove of merit and are seen as progressive within the Order and House Guernicus. Due to their often mercurial natures, Adamantine Guernicus magi favour the Transitionalist interpretation of the role of Quaesitor, sometimes daring to step beyond the boundaries of privilege to complete their investigations. Many develop their martial abilities to an extent almost equal with their magical talents, often favouring a signature weapon that is reflected in their sigil and their Certamen style.
The lineage was initially strongest in the heartlands of the Order – Adamantius was a troubled German monk before being discovered by Guernicus. Nearly all Adamantine Guernicus magi spend some time in the role of Quaesitor and thus travel all over Mythic Europe. Most pursue the role of hoplite in conjunction with their investigative office, usually with impressive zeal, such as Occuloferrus, “the Steel Wyrm,” who has been accused of opportunistic vigilantism by the sodales of his former targets. A few find the role of advocate more in keeping with their oppositional natures.
Due to their flaws, many Adamantine magi stretch the limits of what is deemed acceptable behaviour by their House. Unlike most Guernicus magi they are Terrae magi first and foremost, Guernicus magi a dim second. Some have been forcibly encouraged over the years to join other Houses within the Order or had their descendents and apprentices “adopted” out as punishment for their various infringements, although no Adamantine magus has yet been convicted of outright diabolism. Small cadet lineages of Adamantine magi within Houses Bonisagus, Jerbiton, Merinitia, Tytalus and Verditius have been created in this manner – the lines within Houses Jerbiton, Tytalus and Verditius have scions to this day.
Few magi of this lineage join the Scholae Petrae, unlike their Petroboline cousins. Their membership has a tendency to promote difficulties and division, rather than enhance progress, due to the cult’s dominance by the conservative magi of the Petroboline lineage. Many Adamantine Guernicus magi view the magi of the Petroboline lineage with jealous respect, and an intense rivalry often develops between two freshly-Gauntleted magi of opposing lineages that can dominate their whole lives.
Notable Magi of the Line of Adamantius
- Adamantius: Founder of the line, youngest apprentice of Guernicus and the first magus who was both a hoplite and a Quaesitor, known as “the Iron Quaesitor” for his unprecedented ability to manipulate iron and steel and his pitiless contempt of transgressors of the Peripheral Code.
- Crucibilus Aurum: A most unusual Adamantine magus of the 11th century, this skilled alchemist was neither a hoplite nor a Quaesitor, unlike his brothers. He was an excessive philanthropist despite his remarkable affinity with gold. He even went so far as petitioning to join House Verditius in order to enter the Contest at Verdi, undergoing the Embrace of Boethius ritual (see HoH: MC, page 119 for details) and losing the ability to cast formulaic spells without casting tools. A small lineage of Adamantine magi exist within House Verditius to this day, renowned for their metallurgy skills.
- Animus Necto: A true Adamantine magus potent in the control of iron, this magus excelled at investigations and rulings regarding the Faerie realm. His avid interest in alleged breaches of the Code by Tytalus in the formative years of the Order was unfortunately transformed into an obsession through a Twilight experience in the Maddehofen Woods. His judgement clouded, he was asked to step down. Upon losing his rank, he declared his allegiance to House Merinita and was initiated into its Arcadian Mysteries, disappearing on an expedition into a Faerie trod initiated with the intention of bringing Tytalus to justice. Some Wanderers claim to have seen him, during their travels, presiding over a Faerie court or ranging through Arcadia in pursuit of his quarry.
- Damocles Guernici ex Jerbiton: A former sword-magus hoplite until his disgrace following the unlawful pursuit and murder of a Tytalus magus rival, this magus was forcibly “retired” to House Jerbiton where he trained his apprentice to become their weapons master and martial advisor. He was killed in a mundane duel, despite his attempts to cheat using his magic.
- Occuloferrus “the Steel Wyrm”: A contemporary Quaesitor in the vein of his famous forbear, this overly aggressive Harenarius (see HoH: TL, page 143) is adept at both the Retiarius and Velitus styles (see HoH: TL, page 134-139), preferring to fight Certamen with the form of a steel-scaled wyvern. He is considered slightly unbalanced by his peers and opponents and has been censured twice by the Inner Council of Magvillus for his reckless pursuit of Hermetic justice against Tremere magi.
Playing a Guernicus Magus of the Line of Adamantius
- Starting Abilities: Spell Mastery scores of at least 3 in any two Terram spells, one of which must be a modification of Sword from the Unseen Scabbard (see Hermes Portal #14, “Omnibus Grimoire: Terram,” by Andrew Gronosky, for details), and a Code of Hermes (infringements) score of at least 2, the latter often gained begrudgingly through mishaps during apprenticeship
- Free Virtue: Puissant Terram
- Required Virtues and Flaws: Mythic Blood: Adamantius, Deficient Technique, any one Major Personality Flaw
- Common Virtues and Flaws: Deft Form, Fast Caster, Greater Immunity (one type of metal), Method Caster, Side Effect (eyes glow a metallic sheen),Warrior; Ambitious, Black Sheep, Deficient Form (any one of the following: Animal, Auram, Aquam, Herbam, Imaginem), Flawed Parma Magica, Fury, Indiscreet, Judged Unfairly, Obsessed, Pious, Proud, Reckless, Unaging, Warped Magic (nearby objects appear laced with metal momentarily), Wrathful.
- Additional possible Virtue/Flaw combination: Beloved Enemy: mixture of True Friend (Minor) and Enemies
As noted above, Guernicus magi of this lineage take Puissant Terram instead of Hermetic Prestige. Adamantine magi who are also Quaesitores must purchase Hermetic Prestige separately.
The Minor Magical Focus of Adamantine magi is usually with manipulating a single type of metal, and the Minor Personality Flaw is almost always Envious. Their granted power is always a derivative of Sword from the Unseen Scabbard (as above), although the magus can choose the weapon created, the exact words and gestures used, the spell parameters, and the Penetration details.
The metallic sheen side effect usually translates into a +1 Presence bonus for one hour after casting.
The subject of both the Virtue and Flaw in the case of an Adamantine magus using the “Beloved Enemy” option is usually a single magus of the Petroboline lineage from the same generation and may even be another player character at the Storyguide’s discretion. See SoI, pages 51-53, “Archmage Pietro,” for more ideas on using a “Beloved Enemy” in a Saga.
Playing a Magus of the Line of Adamantius from another House
- Free Virtue: As dictated by the normal House template (see ArM5, page 30)
- Required Virtues and Flaws:
Mythic Blood: Adamantius; Deficient Technique, any one Major Personality Flaw
- Common Virtues and Flaws: as above for Guernicus magi
Text copyright © Lachlan Hayes 2007.