A few weeks ago I posted some images and a link to an eighteenth-century book of magic. Meanwhile, the Newberry Library in Chicago is looking for help to transcribe some magical books from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, so they’ve digitised the images and put them online. That means that you also get transcriptions of the otherwise difficult to read text. Here’s some instructions for talking to spirits:
The Book of Magical Charms, fol.10r, image 13 (excerpt)
To Speak with Spiritts Call their names Orimoth, Belmoth Lymocke] and Say thus. I coniure you by the names of the Angels + Sator and Azamor that yee intend to me in this Aore, and send unto me a Spirite called Sagrigit that doe fullfill my comanding and desire and that can also understand my words for one or 2 yeares [?]; or as long as I will.
Recently, my attention was brought to a fantastic book from the Wellcome Library: the Compendium rarissimum totius Artis Magicae sistematisatae per celeberrimos Artis hujus Magistros [A Very Rare Compendium of the Whole Art of Magic, Systematised by the Most Famous Masters of this Art].
One page allegedly depicts the signs for various demons:
Compendium rarissimum, fol. 2r
The familiar symbol at the top right? That’s for Astaroth, a Duke of Hell. It doesn’t match up with the older sixteenth- and seventeenth-century traditions, though.
The book claims to be from 1057, but is actually from c.1775. This sort of pseudo-scientific magic and demonology is a creation of the Renaissance and an emphasis on rationality and systematisation; in fact, the very next page has symbols for the elements, demonstrating that up to the Enlightenment, there wasn’t much difference between science, magic and demonology.
But by the time this book appeared, it was already out of date. The great witch trials were long over, and the author’s dating his work back to 1057 is a bit of pseudo-medieval sensationalism. The first page tells the prospective reader: “Noli me tangere [Don’t touch me]”, which to me sounds more like an advertisement than any real warning (and would to any self-respecting PC too!). Certainly, the lavish illustration makes the whole thing look more like a scandalous coffee-table book than anything intending to be practical.
And where’s this Lord of Change? I’ve put him after the break because he’s very slightly NSFW:
I’m making some progress here and even though this seems to turn out to be a much bigger project than I had anticipated I’m still having fun with it. As Skaven have always been a major factor in my campaigns and I really want to run a campaign where PCs are Skaven I also needed a possible Skaven threat. Though Clan Scruten doesn’t have too much information about it I think I’m quite happy (at least at this point) with what I came up for it. Continue reading →
A couple of days ago Strike-to-Stun user AranaiRa published a complete overhaul of arcane magic for WFRP2. This mammoth tome of 76 pages not only re-writes the spells but also offers the rules for elf wizards.
My group and I decided to go back to WFRP 2e after about a year and a half, though experience with newer games that run off of WFRP 2e’s base system made us realize that the existing casting system was a bit lack-luster. So we aimed to fix that.
An updated Rune Magic doc is coming soon, followed by Divine Magic. From there we plan to cover Dark Lores, then Witch Lores and hedge magic. Any feedback or error-catching is appreciated!
AranaiRa allowed the hosting of this document at the Daily Empire and thus you can download it HERE as a pdf.
The original post can be found at this Strike-to-Stun thread as I am sure that some of you would like to give comments and suggestions to the author.