The one representation we have of the shrine of Cloacina indicates it had two figures upon it.  They are both, apparently, Cloacina. I had thought I’d do faerie queen who was the protrectress of the discarded – the two faces being a Cthonic monster (the Queen of Sable Rivers) and a faerie godmother (The Keeper of the Lost). As I did a little extra research I wanted her to be a Genius Locus or Spirit of Artifice, then I discovered she was the goddess of literal sexual intercourse, as Venus of the Sewers. It’s hard to combine those two.

So…why combine?  Let’s do something new.  What if there are two figures because there are two figures? Imagine a faerie and a magical spirit, allied in symbiosis.

The faerie gains energy by being the literal goddess of orgasms. Her cult spreads wherever there are enough humans and enough wealth that leaving the faeces in the street is considered a bad idea. The artificial caverns of the body of the spirits of artifice are a realm for this dark queen. The grottoes are the initiation chambers of her priesthood, and her digestion chambers. Many faeries are parasites: but this one scavenges nearly everything we discard. If love is sacred, then every lost love is a sacrifice to the goddess of lost things.

This Cloacina is likely an enemy of Baal-peor, the demon prince who is an open gullet and a ceaseless defecation. Baal-peor flees women, as noted in a short story by Niccollo Machiavelli, so at least some of the Goddess of Filth and Purity’s enforcers are of that gender. Some of her finest servants have magical initiations or faerie servants.

The spirit of artifice finds the faerie useful as well. The idea of the goddess help spread the technology of the sewers. People say that you can tell magical spirits from faeries because the faeries care about humans, and the spirits don’t. Geniuses of  Artifice are an exception though: if they want to breed, they need humans to make replicas. The sewers of Rome are ancient, now, but Cloacina’s daughters cradle Constantinople, and Paris and London, reaching up into the lives of the humans across the continent. Her children are marvellous, accidental, hidden labyrinths – marked, like tattoos, under the skin of the world. She has other children. Human children who are clever, and quick and almost magically skilled at making things go missing.

The Queen of Sable Rivers

A beautiful woman clad in dark, impeccably-clean furs. She wears genuinely antique jewellery. She is served by a priestesshood of nympholepts and swarms of vermin.

Faerie Might: 45 (Creo)

Characteristics: Int +3, Per +3, Pre +6, Com +3, Str 0, Sta n/a, Dex +1, Qik -1

Size: 0

Virtues and Flaws: Highly Cognizant, Humanoid faerie, External vis (minor) – the sewers, Focus Power – Mother of Vermin, 2 x Greater Faerie Powers, Highly cognizant,  Immune to drowning, cold, piercing, 5 x Increased Might (major). Positive folktales, Wards forgotten – dislikes the Host, Faerie sight, Faerie speech,  Lesser Faerie Powers,

Pretenses: She’s been watching humans forever and knows them intimately.

Reputations: Mythic Europe 1 (classicists)

Combat: She doesn’t see the point. If she wants every rat and bat in the sewer to eat you, they will. Swarms are terrible in Ars Magica, and she has more of them than anyone can count.

Soak: +3, but her body has a sort of watery quality that makes it immune to piercing weapons.

Wound Penalties: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious

Abilities: Craft (weaving) 12, Faerie Speech 6

Powers:

Blessing (Virtue): 5/10 points, Init 0, as per target (Grants virtues to favoured servants, up to, an including, the Drowned Man Initiation in Realms of Power: Magic)

Curse: (Flaw): 5/10 points, Init 0, as per target: Her curses tend to clean away filth, or skin, or muscles.  Never by rot, though – she’s incredibly tidy.

Mother of Vermin: Duplicates any non-Ritual Creo, Intelligeo, Muto or Rego spell that affects the creatures of the sewer, for a cost of 1 Might point per magnitude.

Sight Beyond Sight: 3 points, Init -3, Aquam. Knows everything that happens in the sewers, and almost everything that happens to her servants.

Spirit Away: Variable points, n/a, Vim. She has a realm behind the world – she’s a Cthonic Queen and a variant of Venus. What’s going on in there is unclear, but some of her servants think they go there, and that it’s dark, pleasant and rather sybaritic.

Torrent From the Lungs: 3 points, Init -3, Aquam. 25. Literally drowns her enemies into ordure.

Equipment:  All the festering stuff that falls into the sewers is hers.

Vis: 9, a lump of coal.

Appearance: Imagine Persephone, Goddess of Death, but assume she likes you. She is ithe most approachable of the Cthonic deities, and the most forebearing.

The Great Artefact

A vast coil of tubes and culverts, that can take a shadowy, humanoid shape to talk to those who hide within her body.

Magical Might: 45 (Terram)

Characteristics: Int +3, Per +0*, Pre 0, Com +3, Str +10, Sta +8, Dex 0, Qik 0

  • There’s so much for her to notice that she misses things on the surface, but things that happen within her body are difficult to miss.

Size: +12 – Her body is ridiculously large.

Virtues/Flaws/Qualities and Inferiorities: Magic Thing, Ways of the Sewers, Greater Power (Crafter of Aquam) Greater Power (Engulf), No Fatigue.

Reputations: Mythic Europe 1 (classicists)

Combat: 15 x Crush: Init +8, Attack +40, Defense +8, Damage 55.

Soak: +15.

Wound Penalties: OK, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious

Abilities: So many… and she acts as a teacher. She is able to teach virtues as a mystagogue. Troupes may wish to recycle the thief Virtues from Between Sand and Sea.

Powers:

Crafter of Water: 1-3 points, Init – 2 – Might costs, Duplicates Creo or Rego Aquam spells or level 45 or below, at the cost of 1 Might per magnitude.

Engulf: 0 points, Init – 2 After a successful attack, this Cloacina can engulf  a foe smaller than her Size, necessitating deprivation rolls (ArM 5, p. 180-1). Each victim can, theoretically, Grapple free in future rounds, but she’s made of living stone and is the size of a city…

Equipment:  Everything that’s landed in the sewers, ever.  Imagine a huge museum or realia collection, layer upon layer of Roman history.

Vis: 9, Rego.

Appearance: The submerged shadow of a city, made of living stone, and served by the lost.

 

 

 

 

 

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