The mage manipulates a simple mind (that of a reptile, insect, fish or invertebrate), imposing
basic telepathic control on it. He can compel such a creature to act in ways he commands, so long
as the animal in question understands the behavior it is intended to
undertake. Such compulsions cannot be completely inimical to the creature (like commanding ants to march into a fire
or the average deep-sea fish to leap onto land). Otherwise, the mage has fairly complete command.
The animal can be commanded to perform one distinct task per success achieved. It might be something like
“swim that way” or “stand still” or “eat that food.” With two successes, it could
be “find the rat and kill it,” and with three successes a command could be
“bite that guy, fetch the matchbook from his pocket and bring it to me.”
The task could involve a series of actions, as long as each is simple and direct.
The effect lasts until the tasks are complete or for one scene, whichever comes first.
Some Ladder mages enjoy use of this
rote as a means of keeping order in
their homes. They drive out unwanted
insects and other pests, and can even
command dangerous lower creatures
kept as pets or guardians (such as alligators
or sharks). No order spurns so
utilitarian a rote.