Bonisagus (Latin for "good sage") was a formative figure in the history of the Order of Hermes. The co-founder and namesake of House Bonisagus, he was also the creator of the parma magica spell, and was one of the people most directly responsible for the formation of the Hermetic Order; some even go so far as to call him the founder of the Order. His partner Trianoma worked by his side through all of this, and is credited as co-founder of the House that bears his name, although her workings were political where his were magical.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Bonisagus, a wizard living in seclusion in the Alps in the early 8th century, developed a systematic form of magic not unlike the magical traditions of the lost Cult of Mercury. The most noteworthy spell that he developed during this time was the parma magica ("shield of magic"). This spell was vital for mages wishing to test their magical abilities together, as it allowed them to protect themselves from magical workings. Without this sort of protection, mages were left at the mercy of the fullest extent of other mages' spells, which had bred a culture of extreme paranoia and seclusion into the mages of the early Dark Ages. Other mages gradually came to learn of Bonisagus' magical aptitude and honorable nature, and began coming to him for tutelage.
In 731, he was contacted by the mage Trianoma, who had recently experienced a vision of the future in which the magical traditions of the world were lost. The two saw a future for Europe's mages if they combined their respective talents and visions, and formed a fast bond that would endure for the rest of their lives; some say that she became his apprentice, while others whisper that they became lovers. Regardless, each complimented the other's shortcomings, as Bonisagus was well-versed in magical theories and practices but was personally passive, while Trianoma was a visionary diplomat but had only rudimentary magical talents. The pair of them traveled the length and breadth of Europe, bringing together as many experienced mages as they could while freely sharing both Bonisagus' methods of reliable, systematic magic and Trianoma's dream of mages presenting a united front against an unknown and potentially hostile future. They were largely successful in their actions, and they gathered a number of other potent and influential workers of various magical traditions. Perhaps unwittingly, the shared vision of Bonisagus and Trianoma shaped the Hermetic paradigm over the following centuries by uniting a number of wildly disparate magical traditions into one.
On Midwinter's Night of 767, the mages gathered by Bonisagus and Trianoma formally founded the Order of Hermes at Durenmar, with Bonisagus and Trianoma sharing the role as founders of the house that bore his name. There, Bonisagus was the first mage to swear by the Code of Hermes, which formally codified the Order's laws and ideals for all the Order's mages since. In 772, the founders Bonisagus and Tremere together developed the ritual of certamen, which allowed mages to use the Art to settle arguments or to duel without risking their lives in the process; certamen was formally adopted by the Order as a method of resolving conflicts in 810.