Modes of Travel in the Order of Hermes
When, in my travels, I come across a Redcap heading in my general direction,
I endeavor to aid him in his journeying. House Mercere is at least as
essential to the continuing existence of the Order as House Guernicus.
In a recent journey, I held an interesting discussion with a young Mercere
on the habit of wizards of finding magical ways to shorten the tedium
of long journeys.
- One of the classic methods of travel is seven league boots. It takes
a strong enchanter to create a pair that can provide an unlimited number
of magical steps; once created, they are truly impressive. On a clear day
in clear terrain, the wearer can outrun a thunderclap. Even under normal
circumstances, a traveller can manage perhaps two hundred miles in an
hour of journeying, and along a prepared route (with Arcane Connections
ready to supply teleport coordinates) can easily cross Europe in a single
- Enchanted vessels, like the Aristeia, are rare. ? of Verditius, in
the Levant, has a most impressive flying carpet.
- Transformation magicks are also an excellent means of getting
around the problems of distance. Some of the more friendly magi of House
Bjornaer have donated feather-cloaks to House Mercere, permitting travel in
the shape of a bird.
- Wizards seeking to return to their labs in time to get a full season's
work done have invented a number of interesting spells. Wings of the
Soaring Wind is unreliable in the long term (though cloaks that
maintain concentration for you are popular); The Travelling Thistledown,
an invention from Amurgsval, is a more reliable option that can be learned
even by apprentices. Felis Umbrosus has spells,
The Avian Form (which allows the recipient to fly, usually by
sprouting wings) and The Billow of Eiderdown (which makes a cloud
solid enough to stand upon) that are only valid options to a Merinita, as
they rely upon faerie magic.
- A smaller transport enchantment I have seen is a sail and mast,
as of a very small boat, attached to a board just large enough to
stand on. I would guess this to have been created by someone who
preferred Herbam magicks to Corpus ones when finding an alternative to
The Travelling Thistledown.
- Enchanted and magically enhanced riding steeds are often very
useful. Mercere without the Gift have much less difficulty dealing with
horses than most magi, and a modest investment of Animál vis--
which is already inexpensive-- can give a beast incredible strength and
stamina for a matter of years. Enchanted horseshoes that enable beasts
to always travel as if on level ground, even though the terrain is miserable,
are perhaps more expensive but of greater use in the long term.
- Such spells as Hermes' Portal are obscenely expensive in
vis cost; they are only truly useful when such a portal is required
in a matter of hours. A competent Verditius can make an enchanted hallway and
door (with substantial bonuses from these) with a dedicated teleport
to another location using magicks based on Leap of Homecoming,
providing the same effect as Hermes' Portal without the horrifying
price. However, few magi have invested such effort: such a device would
present a great hole in a covenant's defenses without great additional
efort in warding. (This, at least, is an advantage of Hermes' Portal:
it is highly unlikely that invading mundanes would possess the requisite
Terram vis, especially in quantity to bring in a sizable force!)
- In this vein are the works of Dworkin of Jerbiton, an Imaginem
specialist who mixed enchanment and painting to create works of art
that were doorways to the scenes they depicted. Rumour has it that
the painting he was working on shortly before Final Twilight is still
within the hands of the Order, though none who has entered the painting
has ever been seen again.