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House Bjornaer was one of the twelve founding Houses of the Order of Hermes. After the Grand Convocation, it was first demoted to Ex Miscellanea and later defected entirely to the Verbena.


House Bjornaer was often described as a rustic fellowship of shapechangers, dedicated to self-mastery. To the Bjornaer, the physical form was but a shadow of the true shape everything possessed. Through diligent self-mastery, a mage was able to alter the shadow he threw into reality, transforming him through a variety of forms limited only by his own understanding.

Essential to Bjornaer magic was the idea of a "Heart-Beast", an animal that represented the mystic soul of a mage. Bjornaer mages would learn to take aspects of and later shift into their Heart-Beast's form. Because of this, Bjornaer mages frowned upon the use of Familiars and never bonded with one.


Motto: Potentia super ipso potentia super aliis. (Latin: "Power over self is power over others")

Bjornaer originated in a magical tradition of Germanic shapechangers. She, however, was discontent with the life among her fellows and later decided to learn other ways of magic. Her former Craft shunned her afterwards, calling her a traitor.

On her travels, Bjornaer met Merinita, who tutored her in Latin and the basic principles of the hermetic arts. Together, the two came before Bonisagus, who was eager to adapt parts of Bjornaer's tradition into his own Hermetic system. Bjornaer participated in the formation of the Order of Hermes, but those mages versed in the traditional Roman way of magic looked down upon her, believing her arts to be second-class.

During the internal strife that hit House Merinita after Merinita herself had vanished, House Bjornaer supported Myanar, who advocated the study of nature magic, over Quendalon, who advocated the study of Faeries. When Quendalon and his supporters were victorious, many followers of Myanar found shelter in House Bjornaer.

During the Schism War, House Bjornaer withdrew from the rest of the Order, fearing that the sentiments against the Celtic House Díedne could easily be applied to their own germanic House. Secluded within their own Covenants, the Bjornaer, never a political House to begin with, receded nearly completely from Order politics.

Following the Massassa War, the Bjornaer isolated themselves further and further from their Hermetic peers. During this time, their own tradition grew distinct from the rest of the Order, so that they were demoted to Ex Miscellanea. As a result, in 1466, House Bjornaer was adopted into the Verbenae Tradition in the years following the Grand Convocation.


House Bjornaer was a reclusive House, believing that only by introduction into the House and completing an apprenticeship, a mage would be able to find his "Heart-Beast". Other mages were rarely allowed during their rites. The House was organized after a seniority principle, where influence was measured in the years of service to the House.

Many Bjornaer took on a life of wandering, both as a way to test their own self-mastery and to gain a greater communion with their "Heart-Beast".

Version Differences

See more information on House Bjornaer at Mythic Europe, the Ars Magica Wiki.


Mage: The Ascension and Ars Magica Houses of Hermes
Bjornaer · Bonisagus · Criamon · Díedne · Ex Miscellanea · Flambeau · Fortunae · Golo · Hong Lei · Janissary · Jerbiton · Luxor · Mercere · Merinita · Ngoma · Quaesitor (Guernicus) · Shaea · Skopos · Solificati · Tharsis · Thig · Tremere · Tytalus · Validas · Verditius · Xaos · Ziracah