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Excerpts from the Library of Durenmar
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A Useful Guide to Vis-hunting
By Archmage Dionasius ex Bonisagus, Dean of Political Studies at Great Durenmar,
excerpted from his book Hermetica

Looking for Raw Vis is a common profession of most Magi at one point or another; it is wise to know what it is you are looking for before you begin to look for it. The first thing to consider is what variety of vis you are looking for; Terram Vis will be found in places where “natural magic” comes into contact with earth or rock; places like faerie swamps, monoliths or menhirs, dolmens and the like. Auram vis can be gleaned from high, windy places or places where lightning has struck. Ignem vis can be gleaned from hot springs, volcanic rock, or other places where fire is a primary concern. Likewise, the other Forms can be gleaned from places where their mundane equivalents have become magically charged. The rarest naturally occurring forms are Mentem (generally found only in beasts or rarely, in certain mosses occurring in graveyards and other haunted sites), Imagonem (only occurs naturally in Faerie-influenced places) and Corporem (Except in certain animals, generally only found near or in graveyards).
Technique vis is slightly more difficult to classify; Creo vis is relatively plentiful; wherever things grow, Creo vis can be found in some quantity. Likewise, Perdo Vis can be found in some degree in places of rot and decay. Muto and Rego vis are harder to classify, and often vary on a case-by-case basis, and Intellego vis is very rare under naturally occurring conditions, often appearing in conjunction with such things as scrying pools or prophecy-inducing herbs, although mirrors that have been in high auras often tend to contain a pawn or two of vis, and an associate in the Levant Tribunal informs me that deep in the desert are places where illusions of great cities appear, which are rich in such vis.
As a rule of thumb, always check to see if the source is claimed; and I do not mean just by Hermetic magi. What may be vis to you may be sacred to the Fair folk; it does no harm to ask, and can often lead to tragedy if taken blithely. Caution should always be your watchword.
The best times for gathering vis are often those times when auras associated with magi (auras of magic, spirit or faerie) are strongest. The solstices and equinoxes, the old Celtic festivals of Beltane and Samhain, (better known to Christendom as May Eve and Hallowmass respectively) Candlemas and Lammas are often the best times to hunt for vis, for at such times crystallisation is higher from the ground aura. Also, be prepared for occasional situations where you will have to perform on-the-spot extractions; I personally recall moving the best part of my laboratory out to a chambered tomb because the slabs of stone that contained the tomb were rich in vis but could not be extracted without a bath of molten Cinnabar, and were too big to be moved. The effort proved worth it; never give up on vis because it seems difficult to use or extract.
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