He was frantically pointing towards the glowing mountain. 'We need to cast The Spell!', Bothar screamed!
I held up the scroll we all had risked our lives to get. 'Nobody can cast this spell without a prepared mystic space and ritual equipment. It would be suicide,' I said. 'Not even him,' I jerked my thumb towards the Magi who smiled slyly.
Silently, he unstrapped that bolt of cloth he had been carrying since I had known him. He unfurled it, tamped it down, with small spikes, pulled a small apothecary chest out, placed and lit four candles on the cloth, drew some lines with some handy chalk, unpacked his remaining tools, then he held his hand out expectantly for the scroll. It took a fraction of a candle mark.
'Solomontic Rug,' he said quietly. 'The key to mastery is knowing and having the right tools, be they physical, mental, or magical, and having them ready when you need them.'
Solomontic Rug, or Archmage Tapestry, or Cloth of The Magi, or ...
It goes by many different names. It is however one of the well used tools for superior magic users.
Full Item Description
The rug, which is more of a blanket in most cases, is a square approximately 2.5 meters (7-10 feet) on the side. The rug is normally thin, soft, and treated to be slightly water proof and fire resistant (wax or oils normally).
The cloth has a number of marks, glyphs, and mystic symbols, painted upon the cloth. (Though some clothes have the symbols woven in).
The outer edge of the Solomontic Rug normally have a number of symbols running along the edge. Some show positions to be lined up (such as North/ South/ East/ West, or the right star) or stood upon, others are there for decoration or really obscure magical operations (The glyph for 'put sacrificial entrails in bowl here' for example).
There is always a circle centered upon the cloth, large enough for someone to lay down inside. The circle has small 'knocks' along its circumference, some with tiny glyphs explaining their purpose. Most of these knocks mark positions on the circle allowing the user to draw appropriate mystic symbols with chalk or sand easily. Traidtionally, the knocks are positioned for the elemental triangles, 4 point RoseCross/ 4 corners, a pentegram, a mystic six point (6), 6 for the Oshabran positions, for seven and nine point mystic stars, tetragrams (8 point locations), and 12 for Zodiological divisions. A rug will have a minimum of 37 knocks.
There will be other dots and glyphs between the circle and the edges, so other mystical ceremonial areas can be created quickly and efficiently.
The Rug is used by mages who can utilize appropriate rituals but do not have a single dedicated space they can use for their magics. It is suitable for magicers on the go or those with landlords (where you can't carve or paint a space on the floor). The Rug can make outdoor rituals easier, safer (usually less flammable than dry meadow grass or pine needles), and less painful (avoid rocks, sharp pinecones, etc). The rug has grommets in the four corners so it can be staked down. It will not blow away or shift around. It can even be used as a mandala, if hooked to a wall like a tapestry (via grommets). There is no one use for a Solomontic Rug.
This tool was invented long ago, utilizing drawings and symbols in the Book of Solomon. It's use is a matter of personal preference; some find it gauche, other find it indispensable.
None: It is a tool.
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? Responses (19)
Like a Shadow Shrine 2139, this is one of those tools which are mostly chrome but might become notably handy.
If your rule set allows for 'mystical laboratories' and 'spell tools', this will work for you.
I am surprised that no one has thought of this before, I think I should smack myself in the head for not coming up with it myself. it is both elegant in its simplicity and its utility, making it in a regular commodity in a high magic setting (elemental aspected rugs?) to being to focus of a low magic campaign.
The rug could even be used as a garment against the elements, or worn as a mage's robes toga/sarong style.
Moon, this is one of my favorite of your submissions! I've been running a LOW-magic campaign for years now and wish I had more of such items to pepper my world with! So rich in detail & texture, yet not powerful (at all)!! The symbols, the imagery!! Nowadays when I think of 'wizards' and 'magic' THIS IS WHAT I HAVE IN MIND!! I LOVE IT!!!
at some point tonight I'll be getting another HoH thinga-ma-jiggy, and then off you go upstairs.
Ritual magic on the consumer's end, I have to say I like it!
A simple and highly practical item (OK, that was said already), it is the mark of a travelling mage. Of course, it takes an experienced mage to make full use of the Rug's potential - to know all the special symbols, and how to draw them. It also takes some experience with the rug to utilise it fully. It won't be cheap, but it is worth every gold piece. (I know, nothing beats your sacrificial room with hundreds of candles and a great pentagram, but it is still a great aid.)
If it is used with some regularity - and it would be - it could make wizards easier to discern to the skilled eye.
'We could just ask the wizard.'
'Look at the rug that guy is carrying.'
And I do like that it is non-magical... maybe it is intentionally not enchanted, so that it doesn't interfere with the spellcasting done on it. Still, an intensively used rug could take on magical qualities, depending on its user's favourite spells; so some spells will be easier to cast on it, and some harder. I could see a mage that has changed his specialisation desperately trying to 'clean' his rug from what latent magic stayed inside.
And I do like that it is non-magical... maybe it is intentionally not enchanted, so that it doesn't interfere with the spellcasting done on it.
This is true. However, why waste power on waterproofing and fireproofing a rug, when wax and certain oils will do the trick?
Still, an intensively used rug could take on magical qualities, depending on its user's favourite spells; so some spells will be easier to cast on it, and some harder.
This is the basis for some Hermetic magics and many kabbalistic magics. The more one center/ Sephiroth is drawn upon, the easier it is to do... and the stronger a Sephiroth's effects upon the caster.
A very useful item.
Geeks love gadgets it seems.
Methinks Scrasamax has a magnetic pull on the votes.
I wouldn't classify myself as either a geek or a follower of other's voting practices. I was drunk when I commented however :D
Actually the comment was based on my thoughts while I was on the train en route to work. I was thinking about items, whether they be magical, mundane or technological, and the huge effect they had on the popularity of games, as well as movies and everyday life. No doubt you remember Diablo, a game in which items played a major role. Likewise it was with the lord of the rings: Who does not remember Sting, the mithril chainmail, Galadriel's flask and the one ring? (Not to mention the seven and the nine, Gandalf's staff and sword, Shadowfax (though classifying him as an item might be streching it) and all that other stuff! Those who watched Dune, featuring Sting, as Feyd-Rautha, and 'that Twin Peaks FBI agent' (Kyle MacLachan), as Paul Atreides, probably remember the cool gadgets (Still suits and shield belts anyone?) in that movie. Furthermore: Star Wars: Light Sabers, Star Trek: Teleporters and phasers, etc...
My point? Geeks love gadgets, and today it has become fashionable to be a geek. Ipods, laptops, PDA's, gadgets galore! People love their small tech-toys, and tech toys makes or breaks a movie. IMHO: The lord of the rings would NEVER have been as successful without the gadgets within.
We are all munchkins at heart and today we are all geeks. ;)
As for magnetic pull: When MH or Scrasamax vote high, I have witnessed a tendency that other voters will follow. I cannot claim to have this backed by scientific proof, but I am purty sure it is correct. I think it is because of the great respect people have for these senior Strolenites. 'Scrasamax thinks it is great, surely it must be more than worthy'. Humans tend to move, think and act as a pack. Sometimes as a wolf-pack ;)
:D Ok if you put it that way...touche!
Your not going to post another paragraph explaining Scras Magnets are you?
oh wait, you did...I would disagree with that one from a personal perspective, but from an overall human nature aspect....sure, that makes sense.
I personally dont care if someone is a 10 year Strolenite or joined last week. A good idea is a good idea, and a not so good one....
Whats the difference how long someone's been a Strolenite? I joined a month ago, but have been doing whats done here for 22 years.
P.S. I do like Scras and tend to enjoy his work, for the record...yours too AG! :D
P.P.S. Sorry Moon, your wonderful Rug is going tangential!
P.P.P.S I just told Scras in chat earlier that 'if I vote on one more of your subs today, AG will think I'm your kid brother!' :D
Being a Strolenite is a state of mind. As I can see, you are more of a Strolenite than me nowadays ;)
As for Scrasamax's work: I love it too. You seem to be doing pretty good yourself.
As for my thoughts on quality:
I have seen novice GM's produce wondrous ideas (albeit it often helps to have experience when you are about to execute that idea), and I have seen first generation veterans produce pure garbage. (Thinking about guys I know in RL, and not targetting anyone here) I echo your closing statement.
Now: Let this thread get back on track ;)
This effect I have witnessed. We actually fall into several herds that way... with certain newer members following the lead of older members. That is why I have always pushed for annoymous voting here. (Plus you would be able to vote your conscious without having to feel bad about hurting the feelings of your friends). I unfortunately am in the minority on this subject. Everyone else wants public voting.
I agree wholeheartedly. I did not do so before, but, well, let us just say that an unatural high number of pure 5/5 submissions entered the citadel after the public voting system came around.
There are pros and cons to this one. Pros: public voting eliminates vengeance voting and the like. Cons: public voting exposes us to herd mentality.
-HoH-Hell (extremely long HoH lists due to excessive HoH's)
-Experience awards for contribution, such as comments and posting, has increased user participation (although I think the 2 xp boost for long comments is stretching it)
-Golden nominations and Hall of Honour is a good idea initially, even though the execution could have been better.
Double Post on Moon. Okay, I like this item. It reminded me of a combination of a prayer rug, and a towel.
In every culture except Western European, the Thergical and Thaumaturgical, are linked together. In WEC (which North Americans are a part) they are seperate, but parallel. Thus the idea that it is a prayer rug is not too far off.
It is the universal tool, just like the towel.
All you need is a good backpack with an apothocary box, a few basic bigger tools (including a star ring or sextant and some way to tell time) and candles, and a Solomontic rug, and you are ritually prepared to do just about anything.
And it didn't read my vote.
Nnngh. I am very strongly of two minds about this:
First, I do think that it's an ingenious method of dealing with basic rituals. Given the world inferred by its existance, it's a logical, powerful, and indeed, inevitable device, without being 'overpowered' - The mage still has to be a mage, he can just do things more inconviently.
That's my praise for it. However - I will refrain from the vote, because aesthetically, I do not like it, Sam-I-Am. I do not like it in a box, I do not like it with a fox. I do not like green rugs and ham. I do not feel that a ritual circle, etc, just slopped on the floor or stitched in a rug or whatever is just a 'simple tool'. The single-use creation of a ritual area should be a literal part of performing the magic: To summon a demon, one does not simply hop into a pentagram and get to work, one laboriously paints it on the floor with newborn lamb's blood while incanting phrases of protection and domination. Ick. No offense Moon, but ick.
To summon a demon, one does not simply hop into a pentagram and get to work, one laboriously paints it on the floor with newborn lamb's blood while incanting phrases of protection and domination.
Well, one can. You can do it naked in a snap... you will most often fail or be eaten... but that is the consequences of sloppy work.
That humor aside, if you have to summon one 'on the fly', better the correct angles and chalk, than doing it 'naked'. (Now if lambsblood is a requirement to the summoning, the waterproofing will prevent you from using the rug anyways).
Remember, 99% of the time, all 'ritual components' are just window dressing... there to focus the attention and will of the caster, to give them greater symbolic 'connection' to the associations and elements involved, to promote emotional responses, to give greater attunment to the cosmic forces involved. Thus, if you are skilled enough, with enough drive, focus, will, and concentration, you can do it 'in your head', without all these material pieces. However, just a few tools, and some extra time will make a big difference in your success rate.
Ritual rugs, like inscribed spaces upon the floor, once consecrated to the use (which must be done before each spell process), is a strong set of mnemonics, allowing one to focus on the ritual process rather than the sticky details of a 17 degree angle and the exact two handspand spacing of each zodiological sign.
Your Mileage May Vary.
I think this is an excellent idea, though it depends upon your magic being loose enough to accept this. Some fictional (aren't they all) examples of circle use are so exacting as having a hair drop across a line is sufficient to blow the protection. With such standards, a carpet would be play Russian roulette with 5 rounds loaded.
For D&D though, or lower-stakes magic, I see this as perfectly fitting.