Isaiah ex Bonisagus

Isaiah is a newly-gauntleted magus of Bonisagus. He is Jewish, though about as observant of it as the typical magus is observant of Christianity, and his face is scarred from a fire in childhood. He is ordinarily respectful of the Hermetic hierarchy, but is more than willing to challenge authorities when it comes to the welfare of those under his care.

Character Description

Born: A.D. 1196


Isaiah ex Bonisagus was born to David and Ruth Levi, members of a Jewish merchant and banking family. Isaiah was always a little strange, but showed a keen mind early on, and so his family thought he would do well minding the books while his siblings took on the duties of dealing with customers and suppliers. However, when Isaiah was 7 years old, his family's business was ruined by a localized denunciation of usury when the abbot sought a way out the debt incurred from the construction of the abbey. Forced to move into crowded tenements, Isaiah watched helplessly as his once vibrant family began to struggle with disease and malnutrition. The final straw came when fire swept through the tightly packed buildings. His two brothers and sister died in the blaze, as did David, but not before managing to push Ruth and Isaiah to safety. Ruth had taken severe damage from the smoke inhalation, though, and grew weaker by the day. Isaiah finally summoned the courage to appeal to the abbot in order to secure her a place in the convalescent house of the abbey, but was rebuffed with a statement that fire and smoke were merely a foreshadowing of what awaited his people in the afterlife. With Ruth's passing, Isaiah was left orphaned and deeply mistrusting of the Christian clergy.

Two years later, he was living with his Rabbi, who had taken the poor boy in when no family could be found. As it turned out, Rabbi Josef was a contact of Asketil ex Tremere, who felt it was important to keep an eye on the local political maneuverings of the Church in order to be forewarned of any substantial advances in their power or influence. When Asketil heard of this bright young orphan whom strangers reacted poorly to, he decided that it was worth checking to see if a new apprentice had been delivered so conveniently into his hands. Isaiah's Gift was recognized for what it was, and he went off eagerly with Asketil when he heard that years of study would allow him perform such wonders as closing wounds and dousing fires with nothing but a few words and gestures.

Isaiah enjoyed his transition to life at the covenant, but even he was a little concerned about the unpredictable magic that would flare up suddenly and the fact that most of the magi seemed to neither notice nor care. His flare for magical theory and intuitive grasp of Creo magic brought him very quickly to the attention of Batholomeus ex Bonisagus, who for reasons unknown waited until 5 years into Isaiah's apprenticeship before taking over his training. Asketil was furious at the loss of his student, but didn't blame Isaiah for it; the workings of the code are well beyond the control of a mere apprentice, after all.

Now 24 and preparing for his first mission — intrigued to be sent to investigate what happened at his old covenant, and apprehensive about the possible loss of his gruff but fair and supportive first parens — Isaiah is ready to take full control of his own studies. He's concentrated more on Techniques than Forms thus far, but he's starting to look at some Forms beyond Corpus to increase his abilities and deal with situations other than illness and injury; Auram is looking particularly appealing because the temporary nature of magical creations is less of a drawback when considering wind and weather. He's had some thoughts on ways to modify traditional healing to take advantage of the body's natural recuperation. Way off down the road, Isaiah dreams of writing books that become revered among future generations of students in the Order.


Isaiah owns little other than the clothing on his back, a dagger, and a tent.

He also now owns 3 pawns of Creo from his magical garden.

General Traits


Intelligence (quick study): +3
Perception (discerning): +1
Strength (skinny): -1
Stamina (fit): +1
Presence (scarred): -1
Communication (clear): +1
Dexterity: 0
Quickness: 0

Confidence: 3/3
Size: 0
Decrepitude: 0


Personal Vis Source (Creo) (1)
You have a secret or personal supply of vis (raw magical energy) that you alone can use. You gain one pawn of vis per season (four pawns a year); the source and type is determined in consultation with the storyguide. You do not start with any of this vis, though, having spent it or just discovered how to get it. Depending on the general availability of vis in a given Saga, the storyguide may want to adjust the value of this Virtue.
Inventive Genius (1)
Invention comes naturally to you. You receive +3 on Lab Totals when you invent new spells, craft magic items, and make potions. If you experiment, you get +6.
Hermetic Prestige (1)
Because of something in your background, other magi look up to you even if you haven’t earned their respect. Some envy you, and most will certainly expect more from you than from others. You gain a Reputation of level 3 within the Order.
Affinity (Corpus) (3)
You are attuned to a specific kind of magic. This gives you a special Arcane Talent, Affinity with (Subject), at an initial score of 1. You may add your Affinity score to all spell rolls and Lab Totals involving that kind of magic. You may increase this rating just as you increase other Talents—by spending experience points.
Knack (Magical Theory) (3)
You have an innate aptitude that gives you a positive modifier on rolls using a specific Ability. Whenever you use the appropriate Ability, you get the bonus, which is equal to the value of this Virtue. Knacks are never cumulative with other Virtues that grant bonuses to die rolls—you get the highest applicable bonus, not the sum of them. (As a House Rule, Charles allows multiple virtues to grant bonuses to a total so long as they grant them through different ways and different abilities. As such, Isaiah's Knack with Magical Theory and his Affinity with Corpus and his Inventive Genius make him quite adept at inventing Corpus spells.) You may not purchase Knacks in Arcane Abilities or Affinities unless you are specifically permitted as a result of your membership in a particular house. You may not spend more than three points on a given Knack.
Book Learner (1)
You have a talent for comprehending the writings of others. When studying from books, treat them as if they were two Quality levels higher than they actually are.


Poor Armaments (-1)
You can only have inexpensive arms and armor, and can only have inexpensive equipment relevant to your occupation.
Outsider (Jewish) (-2)
You belong to a group that is both readily identifiable and distrusted or disliked. Examples include Saracens, Jews, and Moors. You are shunned and often persecuted because of this, and your life and freedom may occasionally be in peril. You have a bad Reputation of level 1 to 3 (depending upon how easy it is to identify you) among members of the dominant social group of your area. There is no way for you to ever remove that stain, and you are marked by it wherever you go. The cost of this Flaw is equal to the Reputation that it causes.
Compulsion (perfection) (-1)
You have an unfortunate urge that causes you problems. Examples include drinking, sex, perfection, bragging, or gambling. You may take this Flaw more than once.
Driving Goal (increase Hermetic knowledge) (-1)
You have some personal objective that you feel compelled to attain, even if it gets you into trouble or jeopardizes the group. Such goals are ideal or open-ended—you can never finally accomplish them. Examples include freeing peasants from oppression, harassing and killing Norman warriors, or amassing vast amounts of personal wealth. You may take this flaw more than once.
Deleterious circumstances (inside Christian churches) (-1)
Your magic is restricted in certain situations. Total the cost for the commonality of the occurrence with the crippling effect it produces to determine the cost of this Flaw. You may take this flaw more than once. Isaiah's circumstances are Situation - Uncommon (0) - The effect harms you in uncommon circumstances. Examples include when casting on wild animals or when sitting, and Restriction - Minor (–1) - Your magic rolls (spellcasting rolls and Lab Totals) are at –3 when in the situation.
Hatred (Christian clergy) (-1)
You are consumed with hatred for some person who is so powerful that exacting proper vengeance is impractical or impossible. Nevertheless, you constantly pursue opportunities to gain power over or hurt the object of your hatred, so much so that your reason is clouded.
Oversensitive (poor hygeine) (-1)
Something that others find merely unpleasant you consider intolerable. Examples might include an oversensitivity to disrespect, to slovenliness, or to impiety. If you are the violent type, you may start fights with those who offend you.
Obsessed (healing without vis) (-1)
You are fixated on some prized object, action, or ideal. This interferes with your accomplishment of more immediate tasks. Examples might include obsessive protection of magi to the point that you attack those who insult them, or obsessive neatness where you keep yourself spotless and deride those who do not.
Blatant Gift (-1)
People immediately realize that there is something strange about you, even if they do not know you are a magus. Animals are extremely disturbed, frightened, and possibly enraged by your presence. You suffer a –6 penalty on all interaction rolls with normal people and animals.


Magic Theory (Inventing new spells)(Life magic) (5.4)
Knowledge of what magic is and how it works, used primarily in the laboratory. Magic Theory deals primarily with Hermetic magic, though higher scores might indicate some knowledge of other traditions. You can sometimes gain experience through experimentation (see AM4, pg. 191) (Intelligence)
Order of Hermes Lore (Politics) (3)
Knowledge of the structure, operation, and goals of the specified organization. Organizations can be as large as the Church, or as small as a local craft guild. The smaller the organization, the more detailed your knowledge. (Intelligence)
Parma Magica (Ignem) (4)
Protection from magic. This is a special ritual (not a ritual spell) that takes about a minute to perform. It lets you add 5 times your Parma Magica score to magic resistance rolls until the next sunrise or sunset, whichever comes first. You may also protect one other person for each point of Parma Magica, but the score is effectively modified by -3 (so you need a score of 4+ to do any good at all). You may cancel the effect at will. (N/A)
Scribe Latin (Original composition) (3)
The Scribe skill covers the basic ability to read and write, and also the ability to compose a letter, charter, or book. In Western Europe, the Roman alphabet is used for most languages. Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic script are used in other areas. Scribe skill must be purchased separately for each language or alphabet you wish to be proficient in. (Intelligence)
Speak Latin (Hermetic) (5)
Fluency in a particular language. Rather than roll a die modifier, your score in this language measures your ability to communicate. When two people speak to each other, the lower Ability score determines how well they communicate. Characters who speak related languages can communicate at a penalty to their scores (assigned by the Storyguide) depending on how closely related the two languages are. Speak Latin (and Greek and Hebrew) cannot be chosen with this Knowledge — it is a separate Academic Knowledge. (Intelligence)
Speak English (4)
Finesse (Precision) (3)
Manipulating spells and performing special feats with them. You would use this Ability to position objects delicately or to target spells. (Perception)
Penetration (Auram) (2)
Getting your spell through the target's magic resistance. Generally, you add your Ability score to your spellcasting roll and compare the total to the target's magic resistance roll. (N/A)
Concentration (Reading) (4)
Focusing your mental faculties on one task, particularly for extended periods of time. If you are attempting a feat that demands your extra attention, or if you have just failed an action and are trying again, the Storyguide can call for a Concentration roll before you can make the attempt. This Ability is especially important for magi because it helps them maintain concentration on spells despite distractions. (Stamina, Intelligence)
Affinity with Corpus (Healing) (4)
You are attuned to a specific kind of magic. This gives you a special Arcane Talent, Affinity with (Subject), at an initial score of 1. You may add your Affinity score to all spell rolls and Lab Totals involving that kind of magic. You may increase this rating just as you increase other Talents—by spending experience points.
Brawling (dodge) (1)
Brawling covers fist fighting, using knives and daggers, and improvising weapons. It also covers the ability to dodge incoming blows.
Medicine (Physician) (3)
Medicine is the formal study of the body and its diseases. Medical practice is based on the theory of the four humours: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. Diseases are believed to be caused by imbalances among them, hence such practices as bloodletting, to restore the balance. The auctores are Galen and Hippocrates, in many works. Medicine may be used in the place of Chirurgy, by an individual so trained. Specialties: anatomy, apothecary, physician. (Intelligence)
Intrigue (Alliances) (1)
Dealing and plotting, including subtle use of power in non-confrontational ways to achieve your own ends. Intrigue need not be underhanded or manipulative—it also cover negotiations and knowledge of formal and informal rules of conduct and politeness. In addition, Intrigue also allows a character to pick up important information about those in power, separating fact from useless gossip. Intrigue is a vital talent for those who frequent court or a Hermetic tribunal. Specialties: gossip, plotting, rumormongering, alliances. (Presence, Communication, Perception)
Legend Lore (Beasts) (1)
Familiarity with legends and folklore, some of which may even be true. Use this Ability when you are trying to remember information about some mythical place, beast, or hero. Legend Lore can often give vital insights into the weaknesses of a monster or the location of a mystic site. Specialties: beasts, heroes, particular places, particular events. (Intelligence)
Swim (Underwater maneuvering) (1)
The ability to propel yourself through water quickly and efficiently. Specialties: long distances, diving, underwater maneuvering. (Dexterity)
Leadership (Magi) (1)
Getting people to obey your orders and to follow you. Can also be used to inspire fear in others, cowing them into submission. Specialties: magi, mercenaries, bandits, armies, intimidation, grogs. (Presence)
Awareness (Alertness) (1)
Noticing things, be they things you are looking for or things that you are not aware of. It is also used to see how alert you are in circumstances that require watchfulness. Specialties: bodyguarding, keeping watch, alertness, searching. (Perception)


Isaiah is not exactly combat oriented, but he's spent enough time dodging casual anti-Semitic violence that he's had a bit of practice in getting out of the way, and he carries a dagger to protect himself if worst comes to worst.

Personality Traits

Self-Effacing (1)
Bookish (2)
Methodical (2)
Hierarchical (2)


-2 Jewish
Most Christians react fairly negatively towards individuals they blame for deicide.
+3 Follower of Bonisagus
Bonisagus magi have high standing withing the Order, due to their advancement of magical theory and their dedication to sharing their knowledge with the rest of the Order.

Hermetic Traits

Isaiah is strongest in Creo and Corpus. He has moderate knowledge of Herbam, Animal, Rego, Perdo, Muto, and Intellego. His knowledge of the other Arts is quite rudimentary.

Magic Arts

12 7 9 7 9
9 4 6 4 6
9 4 6 4 6
9 (+4)
21 16 18 16 18
12 7 9 7 9
12 7 9 7 9
9 4 6 4 6
9 4 6 4 6
9 4 6 4 6
12 7 9 7 9

Wizard's Sigil

Isaiah's sigil is magic of the Platonic ideal. Created objects look like naturally perfect exemplars, transformed objects alter toward perfection, broken objects have clean, precise breaks.


Weaver’s Trap of Webs (CrAn 20, Casting total +13)
R: Near/Sight, D: Sun/Inst, T: Spec
Spell Focus: A Spider Web (+1)
In casting this spell, you either point at an area or, if you are using the spell focus, fling the spider web at the desired spot. From this initial location, a huge net of spider webs grows, filling an area 5 paces by 5 paces by 6 feet high. With supports, the webs can hang vertically, forming a wall; otherwise they act like a net. When the webs are through growing after a few seconds, they are as thick as string and as strong as iron. Everyone caught in the area of the webs is immobilized. Getting free requires a Strength stress roll of 12+, or someone who is not trapped may use an edged weapon to free a victim, which takes three rounds. Contrary to widespread rumor, fire is ineffective against these webs. Webs may continue to trap victims in the future, as long as they don’t decay and aren’t completely hacked apart.
Alleviate the Serpent’s Bite (PeAn 5, Casting total +8)
R: Touch/Near, D: Inst, T: Spec
Spell Focus: Branch of Ash (+3)
Destroys one dose of animal toxin. The spell can render poison in a poisonous animal inert. If cast on a toxin already in someone’s body, the spell requires a Corpus requisite and keeps the person from suffering further damage. In order for the spell to affect herbal or mineral poisons, an appropriate requisite is needed. Ash, which is the spell focus, is commonly known by folk to provide protection from both snakes and poison.
Lungs of the Fish (MuAq 10, Casting total +7)
R: Personal/Touch, D: Sun/Year, T: Ind
Spell Focus: Powdered Scales of a Fish (+3)
Requisites: Auram
Turns water into air as it enters your lungs, allowing you to breathe water as you do air. If using the spell focus, place a small bit of it on your tongue, and swallow it at the completion of the spell.
Charge of the Angry Winds (CrAu 15, Casting total +10)
R: Near, D: Conc, T: Spec
Spell Focus: An Agate (+1)
A wall of wind roars away from you, starting up to 10 paces away and continuing up to 30 paces. The wind is 5 paces wide. All within the area must make a Dexterity + Size stress roll of 9+ or fall down and be blown along by the winds. The rolls must be made at the start of the gale and each subsequent round that the wind is maintained. You must concentrate on the gale, but you may only maintain it for a maximum of five rounds. Missile fire into or out of the gale is futile, and marching against the gale requires a Strength + Size stress roll of 15+. Failure in this attempt mandates another Dexterity + Size stress roll of 12+ to keep from falling.
Circling Winds of Protection (ReAu 15, Casting total +7)
R: Per/Touch, D: Spec/Sun, T: Room
Spell Focus: Bottled Breath of a Zephyr (+5)
Surrounds you with winds that circle at great speed. Since the wind picks up dust and other small, loose objects, you may be obscured. Anyone standing near enough to attack you with a hand weapon must make a Size stress roll of 9+ at the beginning of each round or be blown back. Melee Attack rolls against you are at –3, and missile or thrown attacks are at –9. The wind blows while you concentrate, and then continues for five rounds after you stop. The zephyr’s breath is released to encourage winds to blow faster.
The Churigeon’s Healing Touch (CrCo 20, Casting total +23)
R: Touch/Near, D: Sun/Inst, T: Ind
Spell Focus: Bloodstone (+3)
The person touched can recover a lost Body level by making a Stamina stress roll of 3+, to which is added the highest Chirurgy skill of anyone who has successfully tended the wounds. Also, subtract the wound penalty from the roll. Does not heal damage from poison or disease.
Revealed Flaws of Mortal Flesh (InCo 10, Casting total +19)
R: Sight, D: Mom, T: Ind
Spell Focus: A Sapphire (+5)
You are able to find any medical defects in a person or being that you are looking at. You must possess an arcane connection to the person or being. The sapphire used with this spell is said to provide wisdom.
Disguise of the New Visage (MuCo 15, Casting Total +19)
R: Touch/Near, D: Sun/Year, T: Ind
Spell Focus: A Chip from a Pooka’s Hoof (+5)
The target’s facial features are transformed to any approximately human configuration you choose. In Cralian of Tremere’s version of this spell, the new visage is always as unassuming as possible.
Conjure the Sturdy Vine (CrHe 10, Casting total +13)
R: Near/Sight, D: Sun/Perm, T: Ind
Spell Focus: A Leaf from a Vine (+3)
Grows 10 paces of vine from a moderate quantity of wood, or from fertile soil. The vine is extremely strong and pliable, suitable for use as rope. If the focus is available, it is planted in the ground, and the vine instantly grows from it.
Repel the Wooden Shaft (ReHe 10, Casting total +10)
R: Reach, D: Diameter/Sun, T: Small
Spell Focus: A Staff (+3)
Deflects a single blow of any weapon made of wood, up to the size of a two-handed club. You can deflect a different attack each round. The attack automatically misses, but the attacker still rolls to see if he or she botches (with two extra botch rolls for melee weapons). If you ordinarily carry a staff, it must be tossed aside for the casting.
Veil of Invisibility (PeIm 10, Casting Total +4)
R: Touch/Reach, D: Sun/Year, T: Ind
Spell Focus: A fern seed (+1)
The target becomes completely undetectable to normal sight, regardless of what it does, but still casts a reflection in a mirror.
Unseen Porter (ReTe 10, Casting total +7)
R: Near/Sight, D: Conc, T: Ind
Spell Focus: A Silver Shaving (+1)
Like Unseen Arm (ReTe 5), but it can carry large objects such as crates. Roughly speaking, it has the capabilities of a very strong person (Str +5). The heavier the object is, the slower the unseen porter moves. If delicacy is required, high Finesse stress rolls (12+ or so) are needed. The spell can only carry inanimate objects, and cannot carry you. It also cannot lift things more than 6 feet above the ground. The focus must be from a valued serving platter. Casting requisites of an appropriate Form for target are required.

Lab Texts

Atria's Longevity Potion (Winter 1220)
Magic Theory: 5 (or 8, if the Knack bonus applies)

Isaiah's Journal

Isaiah keeps a journal of his experiences in the story. It can be accessed here



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