1
\$\begingroup\$

Let us suppose that we have a mundane animal - a cow, sheep or pig, and a Muto Animal Corpus spell is used to transform that animal from its natural form into the form of a human that is the equivalent of the animal, so a baby animal would become a baby human, gender would be unchanged, an animal attractive to others of its species would become a human attractive to other humans and so on.

Now, please note that there is no Creo or Mentem requisites, so the animal's mind would only be able to become as human as the change in shape from animal to human would allow.

The questions:

  • How would such an animal behave once transformed into a human? Please account for pre-transformation states of mind of the animal such as calmness, fear, aggressiveness and estrus/rut (in sexual heat). How much of a mind would it have?

  • If the animal turned human was killed before the expiration of the spell, would the animal change back immediately or not until the expiration of the spell? My belief is that the animal remains in human form regardless of whether it is alive or dead, until the spell expires.

  • Would magi (or any other group of people knowledgeable about magic) consider eating an animal in human form to be cannibalism or merely a fetishistic activity that normal people would probably not wish to do? Would this be a way for a magus with cannibalistic desires to indulge in them in a relatively safe manner? As in "He wasn't actually eating people, they were just transformed animals"?

\$\endgroup\$
2
\$\begingroup\$

To answer these question we need to apply the 5th ed Muto Animal baseline of "MuAn/Co 10 which transforms an animal into a human" (Ars p. 118) as it explicitly states that the animal's mind is not transformed.

So firstly the suggestion the introduction to the questions that an animal might gain some human aspects in incorrect; the animal retains it's animal mind and nature. This means the animal will still use Cunning instead of Intelligence, and would still have access to all of its Abilities and suitable Ferocity. This is because the MuAn/Co 10 base is purely a physical change. Any mental change would need a Mentem requisite and discussion of what base that level is (probably by comparing to the MuMe/An 15 baseline that changes the mind of a human into the mind of a beast).

This also means that the animal is still susceptible to Animal spells, and now is also susceptible to Corpus spells, in the same way that a transformed magus is susceptible to Animal and Corpus while transformed by hermetic magic.

Q1. How would such an animal behave once transformed into a human? Please account for pre-transformation states of mind of the animal such as calmness, fear, aggressiveness and estrus/rut (in sexual heat). How much of a mind would it have?

A1. As it has only an animal mind, the animal would try to behave as it did before the transformation. It is reasonable to expect the animal could function "normally" as a humanoid once it has had time to adjust to the new humanoid shape.

The animal would probably be confused or hostile, depending on its traits and its nature. Being "on-heat" is up to you, it could be argues that "on-heat" is part of the beast's nature, or could be argued that it is an attribute of it's body. Go with whatever makes the story better for your group.

Q2. If the animal turned human was killed before the expiration of the spell, would the animal change back immediately or not until the expiration of the spell? My belief is that the animal remains in human form regardless of whether it is alive or dead, until the spell expires.

A2. I agree, the animal will stay transformed until the spell ends. The beast could also be affected by multiple transformation spells, and their effect and duration should be tracked independently of each other to determine which is in effect.

e.g. female piglet is transformed into a young human female with duration moon, then transformed into a male human for sun, and then killed. The corpse will say male until the spell expires at dusk and revert to a human female, and then stay as a dead female until the next moon, when it turns back into a dead female pig.

Q3. Would magi (or any other group of people knowledgeable about magic) consider eating an animal in human form to be cannibalism or merely a fetishistic activity that normal people would probably not wish to do? Would this be a way for a magus with cannibalistic desires to indulge in them in a relatively safe manner? As in "He wasn't actually eating people, they were just transformed animals"?

A3. As magi generally like to consider themselves civilized, I believe that eating a human for any reason would be at the very least distasteful, at worst totally taboo/evil. There are (probably) notable exceptions to this in the books somewhere, however given that Ars sets the stories in Mythic Europe/Christian lands, then cannibalism is not acceptable in any form.

It is probably not a hermetic crime, but would be exceedingly off-putting. Suggest that cannibalism is considered far worse than necromancy by Magi.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree that real cannibalism would be taboo, even amongst magi, but eating domesticated animals is acceptable and commonplace. I imagined a situation where an animal is transformed into the likeness of a human for all to see, sans mind of course, and then killed as humanely as any meat animal, prepared and eaten by people with cannibalistic fantasies. I'd expect significant distaste from others, but since it is in reality an animal that is consumed, it isn't actually cannibalism. A real-world parallel may be Chinese Buddhists who are at certain times strict vegetarians eating fake meat. \$\endgroup\$ – Monty Wild Feb 19 '19 at 10:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ IIRC, there's a passage in a Tribunal book about a case against a Bjornaer magus who killed and ate another magus' grog while in beast form, and the judgement was that the grog had intruded on the Bjornaer's sanctum, and so the complaining magus was fined for negligence. My impression of the Order of Hermes is that magi are a very diverse mob, and that as long as they follow the order's laws, anything goes. Real cannibalism would be "Interference with mundanes", but eating animals transformed into humans that all witnesses know were transformed would be considered commendable restraint. \$\endgroup\$ – Monty Wild Feb 19 '19 at 10:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not even sure that the church could condemn those who ate an animal that had been transformed into the likeness of a human if it still had the mind of a beast, and those consuming it knew that it was in reality a beast but for magic. Sin is not in the action, but the intention. A vaccilating sinner can sin a thousand times without actually committing the sinful act. If a person knows that the essential nature of a human-seeming being is actually a beast, then killing and eating it is not sinful. The sin would be the magus', in tempting others to real sinful action. \$\endgroup\$ – Monty Wild Feb 19 '19 at 10:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand the points you're making, and in isolation of a particular game or a set of players, go for it. The view I was presenting in my answer was from a broader view. The Order would not want mundanes and/or the Church to find out about (a) magi eating humanoid animals, or (b) magi transforming animals at all (that's the devil's work). It is a dangerous practice and would be shunned my most magi. \$\endgroup\$ – ironboundtome Feb 20 '19 at 8:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The point on the sactca of a Bjornaer magus isn't because a person was eaten, it is because it was a sancta. I that domain the owning Magus can do as they please, so would not punish the Bjornaer. Perhaps if the grog was influential enough political pressure might be brought ? ("you ate m'Lord's son!") \$\endgroup\$ – ironboundtome Feb 20 '19 at 8:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.