Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Renaissance and Early Modern Occultists

One of the things I try to do is to include historical people as NPCs in my setting. As my campaign is just introducing a supernatural element, I wanted to have some actual alchemists and occultists to provide color and as allies and enemies for the PCs. Honor+Intrigue includes modular systems for adding alchemists, weird science and mad inventors, magical talismans, sorcery, and supernatural creatures to the campaign. Here's a list I created for my campaign. I intentionally ignored anyone before the Renaissance, though they might be useful as the creators of books of knowledge or ancient artifacts. I like to keep the list short enough to be useful. If I were running an ancient, dark age, or medieval campaign, I'd focus on people from those time periods. Similarly if I was running something set in the 18th or 19th century I'd use more of the names from the Enlightenment and Victorian periods. Here's the list I created.

  • Abramelin the Mage, Egyptian sage and teacher of Abraham of Worms alive c. 1427
  • Abraham of Worms, a Jew in Worms, Germany presumed to have lived from c.1362–c.1458
  • Ali Puli, anonymous author of seventeenth-century alchemical and hermetic texts published in 1694
  • Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, occult philosopher, astrologer (1486 –1535)
  • Roger Bolingbroke, astrologer and alleged necromancer (died 1441)
  • Olaus Borrichius, Danish alchemist (1626 – 1690)
  • Thomas Browne, English hermetic philosopher (19 October 1605 – 19 October 1682)
  • Giordano Bruno, occult philosopher (1548 – 1600)
  • Benevenuto Cellini, sculptor whose diary relates experience summoning spirits (1500 –1571)
  • Christina of Sweden, abdicated Queen who dabbled in alchemy (1626 – 1689)
  • Arthur Dee, hermetic author, and son of John Dee (13 July 1579 – September or October 1651)
  • John Dee, occult philosopher, mathematician, alchemist, Queen Elizabeth's advisor
    (1527 – 1608 or 1609)
  • Gerhard Dorn, Belgian follower of Paracelsus (c. 1530 – 1584)
  • Faust, made a pact with the Devil, also see Doctor Faustus (c.1480–1540),
  • Marsilio Ficino, astrologer and translator of the "Corpus Hermeticum" (1433 – 1499)
  • Robert Fludd, occult philosopher and astrologer also known as Robertus de Fluctibus
    (1574 –1637)
  • Isobel Gowdie, self-confessed Scottish witch tried for witchcraft in 1662
  • Edward Kelley, spirit medium and alchemist who worked with John Dee, founder of Enochian magic (1 August 1555 – 1 November 1597)
  • Athanasius Kircher, Jesuit priest, wrote on magical subjects (1602–1680)
  • John Lambe, astrologer to George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham (c. 1545 – 13 June 1628)
  • Margaret Matson, New Sweden (colony) witch one of two women tried in Philadelphia for witchcraft in 1683
  • Sir Isaac Newton, renowned physicist and alchemist (1642–1726/7)
  • Nostradamus, one of the world's most famous prophets (1503–1566),
  • Paracelsus, medical pioneer and occult philosopher (1493–1541)
  • Henry Percy, "Wizard Earl" and member of the School of Night (27 April 1564 – 5 November 1632)
  • Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, humanist and Neoplatonist (1463–1494)
  • Sir Walter Raleigh, practiced alchemy (1554–1618)
  • Johannes Reuchlin, German cabalist magician, summoned angels (1455 – 1522)
  • Françoise Athenaïs Rochechouart, marquise de Montespan, royal mistress (1640 –1707)
  • Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor, patron of alchemists (1552–1612)
  • Ursula Southeil (c. 1488–1561)
  • Johannes Trithemius, cryptographer and magical writer (1462–1516)
  • "La Voisin", French sorceress (c. 1640 – February 22, 1680)
  • Johann Weyer (aka Johannes Wierus), German physician, occultist and demonologist

The longer list on Wikipedia includes other eras. One of the things Wikipedia is good at is creating list pages. They can be a great starting place for locating all sorts of resources for campaigns, historical and fictional.

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