The magi of Qus have discovered a type of mite which eat vis. They were swarming about a mummy they uncovered in a freshly opened tomb. I am carrying samples of the magicophages to the magi of Alexandria.
Andrea of Bonisagus notes that the triops mites have several fascinating properties. She first wishes to dispel the idea that they eat vis: instead the vis they were found crawling over was excreted by them. The most significant property, to our military minded sodales, is that the mites have cumulative magical resistance. It is negligible for each mite, but when thousands are gathered, it detectably inhibits spontaneous spells.
Actively farmed swarms sometimes suffer a colony collapse, and the mites eat each other, rapidly increasing in size as they ingest each other. The resultant bugs are able to catch their smaller nest-mates despite substantial difference in speed. Large triopses have measurable, but minor, magic resistance.
Andrea of Bonisagus has bound one of these creatures as her familiar. Her notes indicate several interesting properties. She can see ghosts now, and has intuitions concerning the outcome of events.
Andrea of Bonisagus disagrees, but I am sure of my observations, so I must formally report them to you, my Prima. The mite farms weaken the auras in which they are kept. My concerns over the small size and rapid reproduction rate of the smaller mites continue to be ignored. Please, as a matter of urgency, consult the Order’s records for similar creatures.
It is with great sadness I report the death of Andrea of Bonisagus. Her familiar was set upon by a larger version of the creature than previously observed. The sudden death of her familiar rendered her insensible, and unable to defend herself.
[Mercere symbol for plague]
This message is inscribed into metal: I passed it through flame before sending it to you. At the death of Andrea of Bonisagus, her experiments went unattended. Her hives breached her sanctum’s defences. They infested her covenant. As her sodales fled, they carried the contagion to the covenants which gave them shelter.
Alexandria Covenant is destroyed. The final triops is a giant, covered in its tiny progeny.
The triopses provide an alternative to the explanations for why orders of magicians rise and fall in European history, and why epochs change, so that the titans go silent or the oracles fall silent. They are like Fermi’s Great Filter, but for magical orders.
At the largest level, one of the earlier Orders may have found some way to deal with these creatures. Could it be, for example, that the entire Realm of Faerie is a great engine designed store the power needed to exterminate the triopses? On a less cataclysmic level: careful magi could use the mites as weapons, or as resources.