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House Bonisagus is one of the twelve founding Houses of the Order of Hermes. Founded by the Archmage Bonisagus and his consort Trianoma, the House is as venerable as it is ancient.


An order of theoreticians, devoted to the study of magic. House Bonisagus provides most teachers and masters for the Order of Hermes. In addition to the Order mastery of Forces, they also study the Prime Sphere, as it is very important in the understanding of the Tellurian.


Bonisagus, a mage in the tradition of the Cult of Mercury, is generally credited with invention of the parma magica, a shield against magical attacks, which allowed mages to meet with each other without fearing attacks for the first time.

Early History

It is likely that Bonisagus' discovery would have been hidden in his vaults forever, if he had not met the young magician Trianoma, a wandering mage who learned of Bonisagus discovery and saw it as the best possibility for reassembling the lost knowledge of the hermetic arts. In 731, the pair met and embarked on a long journey across the whole known world, from Scandinavia to Cappadocia, reassembling the adherents of the mystic arts. Bonisagus would provide for safety by teaching the parma magica freely, while Trianoma would try to entice them to join a new mystic organization.

Dark Ages

Motto: Pertinatia sapientiaque ad cognitionem cursus sunt. (Latin: "Perseverance and wisdom are the keys to the beauty of knowledge.")

In 767, the Order of Hermes was officially founded, with those mages who had followed Bonisagus' teachings being reorganized as House Bonisagus. Trianoma faded into the background, allowing Bonisagus to gain fame as the one who had founded the Order and saved Hermes' knowledge from obliteration. This gave the House great credence and respectability among their peers.

The House focused on arcane theory and hermetic research, spearheading the research into the supernatural world of the High Mythic Age. The Bonisagi also immersed themselves in the internal politics of the Order, adopting members of the collapsing House Golo in 1188. The Bonisagi were also among the most reclusive mages, preferring their laboratories and towers to the company of illiterate peasants and most were still bitter over the role that the rabble had played in their downfall after the end of the Roman Empire. The betrayal of the Tremere shocked many members, but most were sure that such an incident would remain an isolated occurrence.

Symbol of House Bonisagus c. 1198. By 1220, the symbol was rotated counter-clockwise so the heads of the keys faced up.


Later, though, the House began to lose its influence in the wake of receding magic. Their Quintessence supplies dried up, their theories became harder and harder to actually realize. Nevertheless, the political influence the House wielded came to the benefit of Baldric LaSalle, who guided the Order to the Grand Convocation. The Bonisagi, however, continued to lose public support, as well as mystical power, and fell into infighting and bitter rivalries with each other. They continued to produce great magicians, like Paracelsus, but these remained isolated cases.

Modern Nights

By the time of the modern nights, the political influence of House Bonisagus had receded to a single cabal active in Doissetep, the Fraternal Society of Bonisagus, with the rest of their numbers (which were lower than 100 mages) scattered in various Otherworlds and reclusive laboratories. Many dedicated themselves to the study of Ascension and the Tenth Sphere, as well as possible ways to control or even cancel Paradox.

The Conflagration of Doissetep brought several Bonisagi out of hiding. The theories they proposed about the incident ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. However, the desperate infusion of new ideas is fundamentally disconnected from reality, considering the isolation for which the scholars of this house are famous. Other Bonisagi tried to counter that trend, renewing ties with House Thig to learn more about the new happenstances.


The Bonisagi are loosely organized, preferring Horizon Realms and similar secluded places to practice their art. They have few contact with fellow mages, although some of the younger ones serve in inter-House or inter-Tradition cabals. With the loss of the masters, they have grown even more disorganized. Currently, the House lacks a primus and it seems unlikely that they will have one any time soon.

Version Differences

See more information on House Bonisagus 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