Ars Magica Wiki
Born: 690
Died: Uncertain. Last seen 836
House: House Bonisagus
Nationality: Irish
Current or last covenant: Durenmar
Parens: Iozheza
Apprenticeship: {{{apprentice_start}}} - {{{apprentice_end}}}
Gauntlet: {{{gauntlet}}}
Filia et Fili: Trianoma, Notatus, Gaius the Elder, Jovius
Member of: nothing of note

Bonisagus (690 - 836?) was a brilliant wizard who lived in seclusion in the Alps when he was found by Trianoma. He had already discovered the Parma Magica, and was working on a unified Theory of magic. These two breakthroughs would become the greatest discoveries in the history of Hermetic Magic and would lead to the foundation of the Order of Hermes. He became the Founder of House Bonisagus, named in his honor.

The Early Years[]

Bonisagus was born in Florence in 690. Unsettled by the young boy's magical gift, his parents sent him away to live with his uncle who was a deacon in the church. They had hoped that living within the confines of the church, combined with his uncle's soothing presence, would cure their son of his "affliction". Sensing the young Bonisagus' nature, however, his uncle did not seek to supress the boy's urges but instead encouraged them. Outspoken and charismatic, Bonisagus spent those early years reading in his uncle’s library and listening to the wandering speakers who preached from the steps of the church.

As Bonisagus grew older, his uncle became concerned that he would draw unwarranted attention from those who might feel threatened by one with Bonisagus' skills. In the Florentine countryside he found a wizard and conjurer of considerable skill named Iozheza. Iozheza had been searching for other wizards from whom he could glean their magical secrets, even if it meant killing them. He greedily accepted to take in Bonisagus and taught him his first spells. The pair explored the Italian Coasts looking for the remnants of the lost Cults of Mercury, Dionysus, and Mithras. During this time Bonisagus was witness to many of Iozheza's evil acts as he obtained magical knowledge by whatever means possible.

While in Egypt, the pair found a group of wizards who were following the ancient Cult of Osiris. Iozheza persuaded the group to show him one of its most ancient rites, an “incubation” ceremony in which dreaming Iozheza would meet the ancient Egyptian god Ra. When the rite had ended Iozheza was gone from the mundane realm and Bonisagus was not sure if the spell had failed or if it had succeeded all too well.

The Discoveries[]

Free from Iozheza, Bonisagus continued his search for lost cults and isolated magi. Instead of being interested in individual or specific spells, Bonisagus was intrigued by the similarities he saw between different spells. At this time meeting with other wizards was a difficult proposition, mainly because there were many who shared Iozheza's point of view, and there was no way to protect oneself from the magic of other wizards. He sought out cities that had a reputation for ancient magical cults. He lived in the city of Ephesus for a time, seeking the lost Cult of Diana and their ecstatic mysteries.

In 717 the city was overrun by Muslims, and Bonisagus fled to Rome, where his uncle was currently living. Living in a tower on the Aventine Hill, Bonisagus discovered a the long forgotten ruins of a well. Climbing down into into the dry well he found a secret cache of the Cult of Mercury’s rituals. After he taught himself some of the cult's minor rituals, he discovered commonalities with his own spells, those of the Cult of Osiris and others from the temple of Diana. He came to believe that he could develop a system that would unite all of these divergent forms of magic into one cohesive theory.

Bonisagus then traveled extensively, funded by by his uncle, roaming the Aegean basin and deep into Persia to retrieve many legendary tomes and magical papyri. He also found many powerful wizards during his travels and was nearly killed during one of these early encounters. He became aware that his quest to unify magical theory would not be possible until he had some way to shield himself from the magic of those not as altruistic as he was. He found a cave tucked away in the Southern Alps and began to simultaneously develop a type of magical resistance and formulate a universal theory of magic. He would not be heard from again for ten years.

The Formative Years[]

The wizard Trianoma found Bonisagus in his cave in the Alps and reluctantly Bonisagus agreed to help her fulfill her dream of forming a society of wizards where theft and murder would not be necessary. Under her vision, magi could coexist peacefully and work together to uncover the mysteries of the magical realm. She became Bonisagus' apprentice and he taught her the secrets of his magical shield and what would be the beginnings of his unified theory of magic.

Bonisagus moved his studies to an ancient Mercurian ruin within the Black Forest. Trianoma set out across Mythic Europe to find those who would join the fledgling Order of Hermes. It was slow work, taking some thirty years. Trianoma would send those powerful magi she encountered to Bonisagus, and he would in turn teach them the secret of Parma Magica. He would also learn from them, incorporating what they knew into his all-encompassing theory of magic. In 767, twelve magi stood in the Black Forest and swore fealty to the new Order of Hermes.

The Later Years[]

Bonisagus would continue teaching Hermetic Magic throughout the eighth century, often doing little else but teaching his new theory of magic to eager pupils. He accelerated many magi through their apprenticeship, always passionate to share his knowledge with others. After he was forced to wizard march one of his own filii because the newly gauntleted magus had seriously breached the Hermetic Oath, the Founder lost much of his passion for teaching his Hermetic Theory. The experience had scarred Bonisagus and he left his home in Durenmar and never took another apprentice. Rumors of his location and activities occasionally surfaced over the years, but few facts could ever be determined.

The last sighting of Bonisagus was at the regular Theban Tribunal of 836, where it was rumored that he was recruiting young magi for some secretive mission. What the mission entailed or what became of Bonisagus after that is unknown

Apprentices of Bonisagus[]

  • Trianoma, co-founder of House Bonisagus and of the Order of Hermes.
  • Notatus, first Primus of the House and developer of the Aegis of the Hearth.
  • Gaius the Elder, a prolific teacher and author, he never achieved his magical potential but trained several apprentices, furthering the linege of Bonisagus. Among his apprentices was Biluous.
  • Jovius, apprenticed in his twenties, he broke the Code of Hermes and was Wizard Marched by his parens.