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Maestro Magnus is an older man, white haired, an academic. Harmless. Not.


Secretly he’s a Cursor for the Crown, loyal to Gaius Sextus. He was good friends with the cursor Serai and seeks out her killer, cursor turned traitor Fidelias. Magnus supports Tavi, and plays a key role in the series, beginning in book 3, Cursor's Fury.

As a crown spy, Magnus, in his guise of harmless scholar, offered wine and food to travelers, in order to gather intelligence.

Magnus also served in the Legions to gather intel. In an earlier stint with the legions, he served as a healer’s assistant, because he has minor water-crafting ability. Currently, Magnus takes on the persona of valet to high-level legionnaire officers.

Prof Romanic Hist[]

Magnus is academically interested in old Romanic history and the ruins at Appia. He wrote the controversial book, Of Ancient Times. He once taught at the university, until he was dismissed. His replacement, Maestro Larus, scorns his theories::

“That’s right. Poor Magnus. He really was quite the moving speaker, in his day. He remained so, right until he was dismissed by the Academy Board in order to prevent his insanity from influencing the youth of Alera.” Larus paused… (Academ's Fury, ch 34)

But Tavi defines the term “Romanic Arts” and defends Maestro Magnus’s scholarship:

“It is, in general, a reference to the collection of skills and methods embraced by the earliest Alerans of historical record.”

Romanic Research with Tavi[]

Later, after graduation, Tavi becomes a short-term research assistant to Meastro Magnus. They build a functioning siege mule entirely without furycrafting (Cursor's Fury chapter 1). See Roman Empire refs in Codex Alera.

Roman catapult, a mule

After Magnus and Tavi build a catapulting mule (battle weapon), Tavi writes letters to Bernard describing how to build them. Bernard does so, with miraculous world-changing effect.

Magnus learned much about old Romanic methods when he discovered ancient texts beneath Appia:

“ancient, stone-carved texts Magnus had uncovered in the catacombs beneath the ruins called “quarrying.” Other carvings, apparently of the Romans in action, had survived the years of weathering in the stillness of the caves, and it was from one of those carvings that Magnus and Tavi had seen the war engine engaging in a battle against a foe that seemed to be some kind of monstrous, horned giant.” (Cursor's Fury chapter 1)
“Our forefathers knew their arts,” Magnus cackled. “If only Larus could see this. He’d start frothing at the mouth. Here, lad. Help me with the ammunition.” Together, Tavi and Magnus grunted and lifted a stone weighing better than fifty pounds into place. . .” (Cursor's Fury chapter 1)