A "new" Annulus Connectens

Would people be interested in a "new" Annulus Connectens?

Tellus, Christian, I and others did this a few years back, and eventhough I am still needing to finish the last 15 years of my character (!) I find it interesting to flex the creative muscles. So... interested?

The ideas for the creative writing and gallery of people allowed for a wide variety of characters, familiars, and companions (if wanted). I think we were 5 or 6 people designing magi for the covenant in 15 year jumps with jointly agreed upon missions/problems for each timeblock.

I would like to participate. I am currently running a saga, so I don’t get the experience of seeing my character evolve like my players. It would be nice to do something like that, although I am not sure of exactly how does it work.

I am interested. I'm finished with the Adelbert and Ranulf threads. I don't presently have an burning inspiration that needs to be incorporated into words and numbers but I don't think that will be a big problem.

For Aeric and others, Here is the original Annulus Connectens thread:

and here is the character I made in it

In my opinion the greatest value of this is taking a combination of situation, already existing spells /devices, character, and aptitudes of the magi to see what comes out if it. The new spells, devices, initiation scripts, familiar enchantments and the like are the end goal, the character is primarily a way to inspire them (although they should be as cool as possible, and their personality should, ideally, drip off of every enchantment).

In fact we have a google doc with all of the spells and stuff from Annulus collected (except for the last bits of the unfinished characters). We should make that more publicly available.

Great :slight_smile: Should there be a limit as to how many people could/should participate?

I'm in, again.
As for a limit? Well, I think the only limit is the practicality of having too many people try to agree upon a) the framework for the covenant and setting in which the magi operate and b) what the situation for each 15 year period is going to be.

For Aeric, and others: What we did last time was invent a framework for a covenant, and then for each 15 year time period make up a situation to inspire what the magi's lab projects.

In no ways trying to make it an exclusive club hehe :wink: Just wondered what was the reasonable number of magi, one could say lived at the covenant - six maybe?

If throwing around ideas, and if people would want to put it into play in their own sagas, would people want it to be a "typical" covenant in say Provencal, or something more "temperamental" in Novgorod...the Levant...?

Non-typical sounds better :smiley: .

Yup. Last time around I think we did it quite generic, so magic developed wasn't too specialized and would better fit into other people's sagas.
But I think maybe we should do something with a more detailed and specific theme.

I don't know what, though. And I have no idea what magus to design. Last time I went for one of the Houses unrepresented in Magi of Hermes.That boom had no magi Mercere, Guernicus, Tremere , or Bjornaer. And in Annulus Connectens we did the first three. Following in that lilke of reasoning I should design a magus Bjornaer.

If we somehow get ten of us we can split into two covenants.

Regarding what to design. If I recall correctly there are fewer aquam spells than spells of any other form. I might explore that. I also had some ideas for a suite of spells and devices that rope together dream magic, the art of memory, and big targets. Not a whole lot of overlap with Aquam but they'd probably be controversial enough to spur some discussion.

If you do go for Levant, I've had an idea for a Tremere assessor trying to infiltrate the Order of Suleiman kicking around the back of my head for a while, which might work better in this format than some others.

So a specific covenant in the Levant. What do people think of setting it on Cyprus? As Venus was said to be born of the waves around Cyprus foaming from Uranus' severed genitalia (Ahem...), the covenant could be placed near/at one of her ancient centres of worship having given rise to the Magic Aura.

Another non-conventional idea. Let’s make them the bad guys. From the start or, ideally, from an event some years after the gauntlet.

Diabolists, renegades of the order, traitors consorting with an hedge tradition,... people that has done (or will do in a moment of their development) something really bad in the eyes of the order.

Why am I suggesting it? The result could be used as antagonist NPCs or as sources of inspiration about how can an hermetic mage be corrupted. They could fight to give the appearance of being modelic (or at least bearable) magi while plotting their things against the code (whatever they are).

Hmmm. I have a few (other) ideas for potentially villainous magi, but they're mostly from personal concerns / obsessions rather than things that would have a whole covenant behind them.

I think that is the way in which the setting envisions these internal foes. That is why a covenant of them could be a serious threat that could involve several collaborating covenants (PC included) to solve.

Also, an individual magus could be used as antagonist without the context or assuming that he/she acted without fellow covenant members knowing.

I mean, when I use magi as NPC to collaborate, trade or even politically oppose the PC, I don't usually make the effort to do a detailed evolution of their abilities and arts.

Anyway, it is just an idea. If others have more traction, I am in anyway.

Commenting on a lot of poste here:

I think the Levant sounds interesting. It's an area with little or no published material, is there even any 5th ed canon about it? Because of this, I'm not sure if the material we produce will be more or less useful to the community, than if we did something tied into a 5th ed tribunal book.
Cyprus is probably a good place to situate a covenant.

Many participants and two covenants? I don't anticipate being overrun by people wanting in, but even if we're not ten but six - is there still a point in doing two covenants? And should they be allies or rivals? If they are allies, and work together they might as well just be a single covenant. Unless they each have a gimmick making them good for certain activities, which the other covenant can benefit from, if the two cooperate.
If they are rivals, on the other hand, they could work against each other, or compete for the same goals. I mean rivals, not enemies, so they don't plot the downfall of the others. They could simply want to get ahead of the others? Or they could be friendly rivals, in a sporting competition?

Villains? I don't like they idea, because it has inherent problems. I've found if difficult to write plausible villains for ArM5 material because of the inherent self-destruction being a villain in the Order implies. Therefore villainous magi lack proper motivation. If they breach the Code they know they'll be punished. Even if they try to keep it a dark secret it's eventually going to come out. And even an entire covenant of villains can't hope to prevail, since eventually enough political opponents and Hoplites will muster and for a united front. If the villains are sufficiently powerful it's going to be another Schism.
Sure, some magi are willing to risk getting caught, some are even so arrogant they think they can get away with it. But I fail to see how any are dumb enough to not realize it. In the long run, as another "Even More Magi of Hermes" would be, I can't see this working. However fun and exciting it might be.

Aquam magic is under represented? Initially I actually had though about Aquam as well, because of my form belief that ice is Aquam and other threads have made the subject needlessly complex. I didn't realize there were fewer published spells, but now I think about it I guess there are more Terram and Mentem spells.

Tellus, are you in as well?

As interesting as I think villains are, I see the points of them being very hard to justify within the scope and logic of the Order. Selfserving, narcissistic, condescending for sure, but pure villainous would probably take stretches.

I wrote the tiniest snippet to get our imagination started:

The Covenant of Paphos

Known as the site where the Goddess Aphrodite arose from the waters, this is one of the most pleasent sites on all of Cyprus; it enjoys the most moderate weather of the island. A rocky coastline, the area has a few stretches of deep natural harbour, and the azure and turquise waters are very inviting indeed (vivid environment). The stones are a light brown and sandy colour and the countryside is strewn with scattered copses of trees, shrub and hardier mediterranean plants.

Most of the covenfolk are locals, who still to some degree feel the kinship with the site's pagan origins, even if they are christian themselves (or should we make them pagan?). Fish from the sea, and olives and fruit from the trees constitute the majority of the covenant's mundane income.

The aura is quite strong here (+5), and over time as covenfolk might be more and more drawn to the pagan past, and the magic and occult practices happening, the site could see a new spawning of/respawning of Aphrodite as a Faerie or a magical being, something the magi need to be aware of.

I like that. It sounds like an idyllic place.
I checked The Sundered Eagle just see what boundaries the Theban Tribunal has. It seems to have the eastern borders in Anatolia, if you draw a line from just east of Rhodes and straight north. East of this line is the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. The Levantine Tribunal is quite a long way away from that IIRC. TSE makes a few mention of Cyprus:
p15 (in the Macedonian Dynesty, so long ago)
p46 (mentioning it as a "port of a great Italian republic")
p79 (merely a mention as a large island, along with Candia/Crete)
p84 (mentions that Favonius covenant made journeys there)
...so, nothing really!

A quick wikipedia search about history tells us that Cyprus was part of the Eastern Roman Empire, but was conquered by Richard Lionheart in 1191. He later sold the island to the Knight Templars wo, after a revolt, sold it to Guy of Lusignan. Guy's brother Aimery was recognized as King of Cyrpus.
So Cyprus was part of the Eastern Empire, and may have similar culture culture as Constantinople, only it was conquiered by "The Franks" some years before the fall of that city. In 1220 the King of Cyrpus is the 3 year ond Henry I (later nicknamed "the fat"). His mother, Alice of Champagne has her uncle Philip of Ibelin do the actual ruling. Holy Roman Emperor Frederick tried to oust the Ibelin rulers and broyght the Guelph and Ghibelline struggles to Cyprus, but this was done by early 1230s.

If doing developments in 15 year steps in a place with real history to follow, we need to keep tabs on what happens. Maybe even start the covenant way before 1220s?
Or simply handwave the detatils and just hum along with an island with Eastern culture and Saracen raiders as well as bothersome Crusaders.

I'd be interested as well. Though I'm not sure with what. My greatest obsessions that I'd love to play are either a diedne maga trying to revive the strengths from the past or a merinita, glamour-heavy maga. But both have their issues: the diedne would be great in the long run but would imply a lot of definitions over the house which are left vague for each one to fill their own gaps, and also would probably suffer all the issues mentioned above of antagonists. And glamour magi are already portrayed in the books, though I still think there are still so few spells to cover all the possibilities of glamour.

I really love the idea of two rival covenants, by the way.

If we start earlier, say 1180, the first 3 periods (1180-1194, 1195-1209 and 1210-1224) would be quite heavy on social interactions with the changing leadership, the attitudes of the crusades happening, being a stopover/layover for Flavonius (Conflict?), the Templars taking a stand against us (Or seeking our help against an infernal foe?), Magical beings/Faeries wanting to worship/resurrect Aphrodite (This could be ongoing throughout the covenant's history)

So what is the focus of our covenant? Do we want to go full on pagan priesthood? Are we in each of our ways interested in the historic/archaeological aspects? Are we there because it is a great trade nexus? Are we each of us in some way linked to the mundane leadership of Aimery and his line?

Potentially. I need to find an idea first though.