The Thirtieth Object was found as originally reported by Nestor of Merinita. For members of the Inquiry who are not familiar with the initial report, I will summarize. Nestor was led by faerie allies to a cavern where vis could be found. He harvested it for several years. On his most recent expedition, he discovered that the source was destroyed, that the Faerie Aura of the cavern had vanished, and that part of a human corpse was lying in the centre of the main chamber. Cursory inspection indicated that the corpse belonged to a female Criamon magus of middle age. My sodales’s investigations could find no Criamon maga missing who matches the description of the deceased. The ghosts of the Cave of Twisting Shadows similarly cannot provide an identification.

The body is cut off at a diagonal angle along the midriff, severing the hips and legs, and one arm. The head and face are well-preserved, such that the tattoo patterns on the neck and spine of the victim are clear. The body is wearing the upper portion of a saffron covered robe, which corresponds exactly to the Thirteenth Object. The face of the deceased is covered with a thin, flexible mask of an unknown, clear substance. This mask has similar properties to those used to view connections of Strange Wisdom by Followers of the Path of the Dawn.

It is difficult to construct a legal case here. Scrying on the body is impossible. No Hermetic maga is known to be missing. I venture to suggest this is some sort of Muse, killed by faeries, but cannot conclusively prove that thesis without the aid of House Merinitia. The Object does not display unusual powers, but further examination in a laboratory setting may allow more penetrating observations.

 

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4 replies on “The Thirtieth Object

  1. Congratulations on a really great series of posts.

    If it doesn’t give away too much, perhaps you could tell me: what did you envisage was the cause and mode of conveyance of the objects?

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  2. I think the epilogue helps this along a little.

    So, spoilers ahead!
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    In some version of the 19th century, a young maga following the Path of Dawn has a laboratory accident, while attempting to ascend to spirithood, completing the Path. She, and the artefacts of her laboratory fall back through time, allowing some magi in 1225 to begin a series of experiments which create the Path of Dawn. So, virtuous circle…

    The Objects begin to change the metaphysical properties of Mythic Europe. A new Realm begins to emerge.

    In the 14th Century, some magi research sufficently to understand what is going on, and begin hiding objects they know, due to a vision, that they will need. In the 15th, they free the experimenting maga’s spirit from the corpse (the final object), so the Path of Dawn can be followed to conclusion. She becomes the first teacher in the Path of the Dawn.

    In the 19th Century, either a group that wants to prevent the further spread of the Eos sabotages this maga’s experiments, ccausing the accident, and sending the Honeycomb back in time to destroy the Academy, or the followers of the Path, who know about the Cycle, do it to their own predecessors and their young student, to protect their sequence of events. They also put a note in a book that they know, from their history, will save the maga’s teacher.

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  3. By far the most exciting NaGaDeMon read I’ve seen. Much has been said (also by yourself) about both the advantages and disadvantages of this way of writing, but this series is a great example of the results it can give!

    Also, congratulations on using the format not just to publish rapidly, but also to set the foundation of the writings and for using the format to further the story. The 30 days equals 30 objects is not rocket science, but it works. What is really great though, is the way you refered back and forth between the discriptions of the objects, creating not just a series of posts, but a connected, believeable story! The way you combined fiction with historical elements and comments to future reports – and kept hinting of an impending doom – worked much better in this format, than it would have done in a regular article.

    I wonder how much you ‘cheated’ though, since it seems an almost impossible endavour to write 30 individual posts, that are so well integrated into the full story, that the reader never hesitates to believe that it was all written in hindsight by the narrating researcher. I also marvel at the complexity of the tale…

    This very alternative take on writing about Ars Magica, would probably have a hard time being published since it raises so many questions and does not fit straight into every campaign out there. But that’s one of the most splendid virtues of this format – that you get to do something different. You get to break some limits, leave out some details and make us all wonder.

    The objects and effects were well thought out – but no more than expected by a writer of your caliber. The use of existing elements from the Ars Magica setting was simply brilliant, however, as the use of ‘existing’ Houses and Characters, politics and agendas, made the story feel incredibly real (from an Ars Magica perspective) although, in many ways, it shakes the foundation of the setting.

    I’ll sorely miss the excitement of looking forward to the next item in the series. Good thing December also has some day-by-day rituals to enjoy.

    Thanks for the read.

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    1. Thanks for your kind sentiments.

      As to cheating: I wrote some of the entries on 31 October. Sometimes I published an unfinished post, while I kept typing, so the day would not roll over before WordPress datestamped the post.

      That’s all, in terms of cheating.

      I was driving home, and thinking about how I couldn’t do a faerie a day because Matt was doing it, and I’d used up all of my spare faeries, and then I had this idea of a drinking glass falling back through time, and what harm it could do. Then I had this mental image of a drinking glass falling sideways through a sliding glass door, but back in time. I thought, hrrrm, what could I do with this? There’s an image by Nick Bantock of a goldfish escaping a shattering wineglass, and I thought, hey…what if the PCs are the goldfish?

      Now on my way home, there’s a particular jacaranda tree, and its jacaranda season here (southern hempisphere). The jacaranda comes into this country in a particular trading vessel: we know who bought the first one (indeed, he rode a horse out onto a sandbar to stop the boat and buy it), and many people think its native, and some people think its a very large South American weed. I love them, and thought “How can I get a jacaranda into Mythic Europe? What needs to change?”

      So, I had these two images, the shattered glass that changes the world, and the jacaranda tree, and things kind of spread out from there. When I called the new realm the opposite of Twilight, I had no idea that the Goddess of Dawn was a gold-winged angel, for example. That just emerged in the writing. The ending just emerged too…up until about midway, the thirtieth object was going to be the corpse of the narratress. And then the epilogue was going to be a choice, do we change the metaphysics of the world and get the new spells, or keep the realms as they are? The thing which threw me off there was I’d said an object had a cerulean frame, so it either had to be a mirror, which I’d used (although I may have preparedi t out of sequence) or a painting. When I described the Criamon maga and her husband in the photograph, I couldn’t make her the narrator, because there were too many things where she should go “Hey…that;s mine.”

      A lot of Ars writing is like this. You start with a few good ideas, and then because we are using real world materials, its a matter of filtering out the surplus, not coming up with things. 8)

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