House Verditius, the House of Makers
Time to read: 6 minutes
Make All Things Tools For Your Use
Verditius, a Byzantine Greek priest of the cult of Vulcan. Verditius taught Bonisagus everything he ever knew about the creation of magical foci, talismans, items, potions and invested devices – but while he taught Bonisagus everything he knew, he didn’t pass on one tenth of what he himself knew of these matters. To this day, the Verditii are the unchallenged masters of physical magic – magical engineering, automata, sacred geometry, magical items and devices – these are all the legacy of Verditius to his House.
Symbol and Iconography
House Verditius’ symbol is a raised, open hand displaying five rings – the legendary Rings of Verditius which the Primus wears. Rumour has it they are the control devices for secret engines of magic buried deep beneath Verdi giving the Primus access to the powers of the very elements themselves.
Verditius himself is most often portrayed with an olive complexion, like those of Mediterranean climes. His toga is most often purple or blue, and he wears a tan robe with an embroidered hem beneath it. His right hand is held up, palm outwards, showing a ring on each of his fingers and thumb. His staff, held in the left hand, is made of iron or gold. Images of Verditius found in books penned by members of his House show their Founder stood behind a table, which bears a chalice, a pile of coins, a wooden ball, a flask of liquid and a roll of blank parchment.
What The House Is All About
House Verditius, the House of the Makers, has for many years accepted without great demur the subservient role the Order has placed it in; for though Verditius’ pupils are formally accepted as magi of the Order of Hermes, many in the Order see them as lesser than other magi, as if their reliance on foci and on physical magic somehow made them less important than those whose magic is that of word, of will, than of wand, or engine.
Verditius’ magic is different to that of Bonisagus, and though he taught Bonisagus – and therefore the Order he founded – everything he knows about the creation of foci, talismans and invested devices, Verditius himself could not catch the essence of a single cast spell, and his pupils since have struggled with them, needing physical foci for the formulae and rotes of Hermetic magic. But even now, even to this day, there is not one in the Order who could create a device of power like a Verditius magus.
The view of the House has always been – well; let them think us lesser. We know better.
- Eftandise, Archmaga ex Verditius (Ends of the Earth)
- Balbina, Maga ex Verditius (Ends of the Earth)
- Ecce Montes, Magus and Quaesitor ex Verditius, Quaesitor Maximus (Ends of the Earth)
- Jacopa Spini, Maga ex Verditius, current holder of the Verdi Laurels (Carthago in Montibus)
- Jacque Bones, Magus ex Verditius (Carthago in Montibus)
- Robigus, Magus ex Verditius (Carthago in Montibus)
- Fabianne, Maga ex Verditius (Shadow of the Moon)
Also of Interest
- Sashalia ex Verditius – the maga who brought the secrets of gunpowder to the House
- Constance ex Jerbiton – previously she was a Verditius maga who has defected to House Jerbiton
- Alcmene ex Jerbiton - though she has no links known to the House, her skill and artistry is worthy of great note. She could have been a Verditius.
The Black Gold
House Verditius control manufacture and distribution of explosive black powder and have gone into business with House Mercere who are responsible for its distribution. The late maga Sashalia, travelled East beyond the boundaries of the Levantine Tribunal along the Silk Road. Following this further East, she discovered the secret of black powder and brought it back to Verdi; though she died before her work could be completed, the torch was picked up by her filia Jacopa Spini, who presented it to the Verdi Competition in 1332 and won hands down.
Once the market for black powder was identified, the Primus Pentangeli reached out to his counterpart in House Mercere to establish a network of traders across Europe to peddle their wares with layers of obfuscation to prevent anyone from following the trail back to Verdi. Although the profits are split with the Mercere, the significant flow of cash – and therefore power - into Verdi has bolstered their House in Hermetic politics.
Over the past five decades House Verditius and House Mercere have found their interests entwining ever more closely. Were it any two other houses this would have led to hostility, but the pragmatic leaderships of both houses have seen it as an opportunity. Alliances form quietly across what is left of the Order and, more importantly, these alliances are sealed outside the structures of the Order itself. The forthcoming marriage of Averado de’Medici, carrying a name of power in House Mercere, and Jacopa Spini, the current holder of the Verdi Laurel, is just one more example of this. Other magi may say what does a marriage matter to magi, especially a political one? The schemers of the Two Houses smile quietly and say nothing. If you don't already know, there's not much point trying to educate you.
Diversify your Portfolio
Vis is running short across the territories the Order still controls and vis is the lifeblood of all Verditius work based on Hermetic magic. This has led the House in two directions – to seek out any and all possible sources of vis – no matter how marginal or distasteful – and begin operations to harvest and secure it against a lean future; and to explore areas of occult research that, while still fitting within the Verditius idiom, do not necessarily fit within Hermetic magic.
Player Guidance for Playing Into the Tropes for House Verditius
Whilst everyone else tend towards the theoretical, House Verditius are firmly placed in the material. Verditius magi tend to dress well; they are usually wealthy, and their clothes often display that. However, Verditius magi rely on physical objects as foci for their spells – and therefore they make sure that their foci are always easily to hand. Charm bracelets, jewellery, toolbelts, necklaces, rings, fans, - anything can be a spell focus for a Verditius and they do therefore tend to have a somewhat “cluttered” appearance.
Most Verditius magi also have a talisman – a specific-to-them magical device which allows them to work and focus magic somewhat differently. Classically, Verditius magi use staves or wands as Talismans, though they can be chains or brooches of some kind or anything else you can imagine.