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House Mercere was one of the twelve founding Houses of the Order of Hermes. While it has lost its original role, House Mercere survives in modern form as House Fortunae.


House Mercere was not overly specialized in the magickal arts, out of respect to its Founder, but also because their duties within the early Order of Hermes didn't require much use of magic. Instead, the Mercere were masters in politics, communication and conspiracy. Because their Redcaps were the ones that allowed for communication between the various Covenants and Tribunals controlled by the Order, their role was vital and the word of a Mercere magus held great weight.


Motto: Ordinem servire unum sustenere (Latin: "To serve the order and keep it one.")

Henri Mercere was present during the Pax Hermetica and originally had a profound understanding of transformation magic that he shared with Bonisagus. Mercere's travels to recruit more members for the Order took him all over Europe and during one of this travels, Mercere lost his ability to work magic. Rather than being dishearted by this loss, Mercere decided to find other ways to serve the Order. Counseling with Founder Guernicus bani Quaesitori, he instead trained apprentices without any magickal abilities themselves to serve as messengers for the Order. His two original apprentices, who could still work their arts, became a supportive branch of the House that crafted magickal items for the messengers to use and specialized in magic that dealed with the human body, to augment its capabilities and to heal any harm done to it.

During the events of the Schism War, House Mercere developed into a powerful force within the Order. While usually derided by other magi, their messengers became powerful brokers of information, since they were the one's that coordinated the efforts between the different Houses and Covenants of the Order. It is said that it was House Mercere's influence that eventually ended the war. The limits of their power, however, were shown when the fall of House Tremere was revealed. Since House Mercere had not realized they had been played as dupes, their anger against the massasa was great.

Following the events of the Grand Convocation, House Mercere's role within the Order diminished until they were adopted into House Ex Miscellanea in 1630. The advent of quicker means of transportation as well as other channels of information opened through contact with the other Traditions, along with the growing threat of the Order of Reason, made their role within the Order slowly more and more redundant. Its remnants lingered on, until the remaining magi joined with the newly founded House Fortunae in 1936, granting the young House the prestige to become one of the Great Houses.


House Mercere was divided into three branches. The greatest part were the "Redcaps" (named for their signature headgear), who acted as messengers and traveled between the various Covenants. While they were usually not magicians themselves, they were treated as full magi and expected to uphold the Code of Hermes. Every mage of the Order of Hermes was obliged to defend a Redcap while he was on the move. The other part were the "Scribes", often former Redcaps that were no longer able to travel. The Scribes compiled all the information the House had gathered and were often consulted by other magi for any important events around the world. The third group were the "wizards", who often worked in their laboratories to support the Redcaps on their travels. These wizards were expected to serve at least a year as a messenger.

Version Differences

See more information on House Mercere 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