The only problem I see with Paphos is that its strategic location and its condition of island probably will call for a sailor or shipbuilder magus. Perhaps, it will repeat themes already explored in the first edition of Annulus Connectens.
Other than that, I find the environment suggestive perhaps for a Pralixian magus dealing with the hedge wizards at the borders of the Order?
We could specifically do alternatives to ships. If I do an aquam magus/maga, he/she could work on underwater roadways, waves that have solidity and move at the direction of the caster, carts that change the surface of the water into a stable road for 200 paces in each direction, that sort of thing.
That is a good point. Maybe that's why I'm so stumped for ideas for a magus and spells.
[Edit, Erik beat me to the point]
Or maybe the eastern Mediterranean is so thoroughly under Favonius' control that Paphos is forced to seek other avenues of transport - like flying ships!?!? But I'm not entirely sold on that idea. Maybe it's too...high flying?
I think maybe the challenge lies in the fact that Anulus Connectens did so many different things, that most low-hanging fruits have already been picked. We can't just situate the covenant in a desert, since Janus made a bunch of enchantments for a desert sailing ship.
Good idea. I'm sort of doing that in an ongoing Rhine saga, looking north for a possible Order of Odin. So I'm not going down that avenue, but would find it interesting to see another writer's approach.
Anyway, the more magi we try to ram into the covenant, the harder it's going to be to find suitable themes for each period, in which all the magi would be interested and able to contribute to.
Would it be an idea - now that the Levant is one of the Order's frontiers - to use the Order of Suleiman as a rival, and have them throw different sorts of challenges at us in each period? That would necessitate that I read up on The Cradle & Crescent.
Or somewhere in the north of Iberia, where the conflict between Christians and Muslim (called "Reconquista") is in one of its more intense periods. Although, this probably calls more for an itinerant and militaristic covenant (with a lot of Flambeu).
If we go with Cyprus, I would suggest focusing on the obstacles and opportunities more related to Magical and Faerie Realms. Ancient Gods, prophecies, legends, uncovering the past,... with specific periods of clash with hedge wizards. The contact with these hedge traditions could be the personal focus of one or more magi.
Another Annulus Connectens? Sounds good, although as with Hector I may have to stop after 60 years once the initial objectives have been achieved.
When we were nearing the end of AC, I suggested a follow up of a group of non-Hermetic mages - whether hedgies or rival magi we would decide later. Are people still interested?
If we are doing more Hermetic magi, are we better off looking at magi ideas and finding a Tribunal to fit, or deciding on a Tribunal and making magi to fit?
Finally, if we want to do Levant I'd prefer more somewhere actually on the Asian continent and not an island like Cyprus. Some ideas I've considered:
I've been reading up about Reynald of Chatillon, and his stronghold on the gulf of Aqaba. Places like that, or Krak de Montreal on the river Jordan, or Pharaoh's Island in the gulf of Aqaba, which could mark the extreme south-eastern edge of the Crusader states, would be interesting. You would be at the edge of Mythic Europe, while possibly having access to routes to very exotic places.
A covenant disguised as a group of knights ("The knights of Saints Cyprian and Justina", perhaps) who have a castle and a heavily armoured turb.
An urban covenant set in one of the big cities- most of these cities have ancient foundations, so you could have a site built upon any kind of exotic ruins, and have access to big markets and some very well educated covenfolk.
I am up for positioning the magi in more "remote" locations in the Levant. I like the ideas presented so far. If we went with the group of nights we could have connections to the Templars - quite a mystic group themselves.
Another possibility is Alexandria, at the site of the Library - maybe trying to reconstruct it? One or more magi could be into "book spells".
Or the covenant is the safe haven for a European exiled prince/king of one of the Crusader states? (We would need to research that) and we are helping him reclaim his kingdom (Two things - first he would die quite quickly as we advance, but we can then focus on helping the whole kingdom, and second the Guernicii would frown on this interference in mundane things - but it is the Levant so who cares...)
I like the idea of a covenant inland in the Levant. It’ll be close to the Order of Suleiman and will differ from Anulus Connectens with no ships and seafaring. It could be situated at a body of water, there must be some big lakes there? If the lake holds resources there can be a need for an Aquam magus.
If the military outpost is built on some ancient ruins it can have Dominion outwards and magic aura for labs underground. Maybe a castle right at a cliff so the labs below can have windows hidden in the cliff face, for a view across a magical or something.
Last time we did six periods - 90 years. But some of the authors found the 76-90 period a challenge. If the final product is to be useful to folks it might make sense to start it 60 years prior to 1220, and run it 75 years- through 1235.
I ask as I still owe the forums another Magus write-up from ~ 2 years ago, but I watched the last incarnation of this project with great interest and some jealousy. A magus as a side character for interaction, perhaps not in the core two covenants. Still advancing through the huge leap in years.
Might I further add that we can add geographical features as needed, whatever our magi need for the concepts we have in mind.
Erik: If you're toying with Aquam ideas, can we place the covenant near the Sea of Galilea/Lake Tiberias/other names? Are the Crusader states and the front with Order of Suleiman near that?
And if anyone's magis has a concept of trade and merchant interaction, well place a trading nexus close by. And so on.
That sounds like a good idea to me. I think last time we were not specific with the years, it was just "year 1-15, 16-30" etc. Also I don't think we need to be too specific and use too much effort with the exact years, what happens when etc.
I don't know if we need to have two covenants, It doesn't sound like we're too many.
As for remote magi, I'm not sure how that would work out. The idea of writing magi from the same covenant is to give each period a theme or goal, and have everyone work towards that and contribute as best they can.
That being said, I don't see why one remote magus, one the covenant corresponds and works with, couldn't be included. The common theme is meant as a help, to inspire our lab projects. But if a remote magus meshes well, I don't see why not.
For me, the development of magi is less interesting regarding what abilities the magi have and how they advance. I mean, they can be nice to look up when fudging NPCs. But the real worth of "Even More Magi of Hermes" is the list s of spells and devices.
Just be in the covenant then. We'll figure it out. I have no idea what the pace is going to be. It's going to fluctuate, based on how busy people are IRL and how inspired people are. Last time around it went well, but we were only 4 (or was it 5?). If someone gets stuck the rest'll help out with ideas.
As I wrote before, previously we did not write in specific years so no actual events were taken into account.
To stop making it harder than necessary for us, I didn’t envision the new project to do that either.
We did speak back then about a non Hermetic version but never got round to it. I might go for it, but are we doing Hermetic or Hedgies now?