Back Story: Laguna Sententia

Last night I had an idea for a campaign. But of course, I don't have time to run a campaign, which is frustrating. Then it occurred to me that what I really had was an idea for a covenant setting, not a campaign meta-plot, and that what I really wanted was to do just the "covenant development thread" of a new campaign.

Therefore, I'd like to use this idea to flesh out the covenant that Viscaria was apprenticed in, Laguna Sententia. If you're interested, join in the conversation. If nobody replies, then I'll post it to the call-for-campaign forums and see what happens there.

Viscaria finished her apprenticeship in 1207, so it began in 1192. Rolling randomly,, we say that the covenant was founded 26 years earlier in 1166.

Covenant Background seed:
A group of unloved peregrinators draw the short straw and are sent to investigate dark tidings around a monastery.

To Andru, Primus of House Jerbiton, Summer of 1166
From Norbert Gunthar ex Verditii


As directed, this weary lot of peregrinators has at last arrived at the monastery. I do not know if the Church measures the life cycle of monasteries the way we judge covenants, but this is a monastery in Winter if ever I saw one. The abbot has filled us in on the history of the attacks, but there was little information that had not already been supplied to us by your retainer.

It is still unclear to us how the plight of this isolated lakeside community in Iberia came to the attention of such an august personage as yourself, nor how we tyro from such diverse origins came to be appointed with the task of resolving this mystery and preventing further deaths. Then again, none of us are particularly savvy when it comes to political matters.

The misfortune of others proves our own boon, for there was another death the very night before our arrival. The tracks are fresh and we make haste. I leave this missive in the hands of my venditore, should misfortune befall us.

Yours in service,
Norbert Gunthar

Addendum: A hastily scrawled second sheet of paper accompanies the first.

Venditore Alberto,

Located a regio boundary. Not sure if we can return this way. If we do not return within a fortnight, send the letter.


To Andru, Primus of House Jerbiton, Fall of 1166
From Norbert Gunthar ex Verditii


We have located reliable paths into and out of the regio, and have dispatched many of the fell creatures. We have discovered their source, as well -- a portal which we have been unable to shut.

We understand now why this danger was brought to your attention. We have begun establishing a covenant within the regio inside the monastery in order to guard against further incursions from this threat. The monks are grateful for our assistance, but their incomes are meager. What assistance can The Order lend us?

Yours in service,
Norbert Gunthar

PS - Please find enclosed a collection of teeth, worth some 50p of (Form) vis. We hope this evidence will help sway the Order to the perils of leaving this gate unguarded.

To Quaesitor Arnaud
From The Covenant of Laguna Sententia,
Winter, 1167

Dear sir,

Defenses surrounding The Dread Portal are well underway, thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately, due to the delicacy of our operations and the ever-imminent threat of additional attacks, for your own safety, we cannot allow you observe operations at this time. We are more than happy to schedule individual interviews with you at Duresca, though of course, we cannot leave the gate unguarded or undermanned.

We wish to convey our fullest understanding and most sincere regret regarding the paperwork this refusal will cause you. Please find enclosed a collection of teeth, worth some 20p. We trust that you will be able to use these funds to acquire a scribe who can expedite our paperwork.

Yours in service,
The Covenant of Laguna Sententia.

In other words, this "campaign" would start with only 300 build points (top edge of "low power"), magi less than 5 years out of gauntlet. It's located in a Magic Regio inside a (very poor)monastery, has some kind of monster-spawn point they need to guard against,

....but every lab would get Inexhaustible Supplies, Flawless Equipment, and Flawless Tools.

And it's called "The Sentient Laguna."

Want to help me flesh it out?

I'm in. I'm notorious for making awesome settings and characters, not so much stories. That's why I have so many unfinished writing projects :smiley:

Can maybe contribute a little, don't promise anything.
Tremere Necromancer.

Wish this had come up before Via Experimenta.

It came up BECAUSE of Via Experimenta, foo'. You're giving me causalty errors here.

So, what needs to be figured out? The name of the monastery, and the all that. The threat that brings in the magi. What makes the regio so delicious for magi to live in without actually providing cash-money? Why is it sentient?

Boons and Hooks (these are just suggestions)


  • Conscious Space, Major+ - a literal interpretation of Laguna Sententia, the lake has an avatar-being who regularly interacts with the magi

  • Regio, Major+ - "magical regio that only natives can safely navigate." Curiously, this is the closest thing to "a regio with only one entrance and one exit" on the list.

  • Mystical Portal, minor+ - controlled by the magi

  • Seculsion, minor+ - the monastery is far from civilization, which is why it's doing so poorly

  • Unnatural Law, minor+ - there's something about the Magic regio within the monastery's divine aura that equates to hermetic largesse. Perhaps silver is so durable that it counts as Flawless equipment/tools?

  • Highly Mutable, Major- - "mutable in ways that are difficult for the magi to predict or control" (maybe just the part outside the Aegis?)

  • Road, Major- - supernatural crossroad, where the danger comes from

  • Regio, major- - a regio not inhabited by the magi full of inhabitants who "occasionally come out and cause problems"

  • Mutable, minor- - "mutable in ways even the unGifted find simple"

  • Uncontrolled Portal, minor- - mystic portal the magi do not control

  • Urban, minor- - "in a small market town," to simulate being inside a monastery?

Free: Island, Small Tower
Minor: Edifices, Important Buildings,
Minor hooks: Crumbling, Outbuildings, wooden,

Minor Boon: Hidden Resources, Right (granted to monastery),
Major Hooks: Indebted (to Church?), poverty (0 income, no mundane resources)
Minor Hooks: Contested Resources, Dwindling Resource, Flawed Resources, Illusory Resources, Indebted(to Church?), Poverty (Lesser income, no surplus), Regional Produce (which the monastery isn't taking advantage of...yet), Vis Salary (guard duty?)

Minor Boons: Criminals (reformed and reborn), Literate Covenfolk, Local Language (Church Latin), Strong Community
Major Hooks: Divided Loyalty, Superiors (abbot)
Minor Hooks: Dark Secret, Dumping Ground, Gender Imbalance, House Church (meaning the monastery), Incompetent Covenfolk, Infants (we don't make any), Rights and Customs (monastic), Superiors (abbot)

External Relations
Major Boon: Dedicated Covenant, Powerful Ally
Minor Boon: Local Ally (abbot), Prestige, Promised Favors
Minor Hook: Church Territories, Itinerants, Unsubtle Predeccesor (early bribes)

Major Boon: Tithing Miracles
Major Hook: Meddlesome Saint, Monster, Pilgramage Site
Minor Hook: Death Prophecies, Monastery, Sanctuary, Site of Weakness

Those are some ideas that struck me.

Tie it to the muspelli, or their local equivalents.

The portal is a tie to the realm of the Jotun, from which their minions flow through. Should muspelli learn of it, the monastery could be assaulted by both sides, the muspelli hoping to create a way for their masters. The minions hope to enlarge it, too.

The regio... What if it grants Unaging, Cautious Sorcerer or some similary precious virtue that extends the life of magi? Unaging being better, since it also acts on covenfolk

I don't have Rival Magic, but the general concept of cultists seeking to wake up their Old Gods seems like a nice fit.

I also really like the idea of the regio granting Unaging -- it fits very nicely with Viscaria's long pre-apprenticeship there. And while I like the idea of Cautious Sorcerer, it seems like a benefit which is hard to notice if someone is bestowing it upon you. It needs to be the kind of bounty that you walk into the room, and know that you can't tell anyone about this.

I have a couple of character ideas, one magus and one Companion. The magus would be Columba, the Irish Quaesitor with a well-groomed reputation for being a bumbler. The Companion would be a French un-Gifted Redcap named Fedora. Never played either House before, could be interesting.

Is the Quaesitor is corrupt? Otherwise, how do they manage to continue to keep quiet about the goldmine they're sitting on?

For similar reasons, I don't think the Redcap would ever be allowed to see beyond the monastery which surrounds the regio of Laguna Sententia.

AND, this isn't going to be a campaign, it's just covenant creation. Unless a flashback becomes necessary for some reason, which could be kind of cool.

We still need to pick boons and hooks.

That last post was bad brainstorming on my part. I shouldn't ever say No to an idea just because it jars with my understanding.

Let me instead ask, why the appeal to picking these character concepts for Laguna Sententia? As evidenced by my initial reaction, they seem out of place to me, and I'm curious to know how they fit into the location concept for you.

They're just a couple of characters that I would like to play. It doesn't have to be here.

Haven't forgotten about this, just haven't been focused much on it lately.

I had some time this WE :frowning:
So I stated my tremere necromancer, and his dead twin sister's ghost :smiley:
Will put them here whenever I can.

My first thought, on reading the background and hooks, was a crossroads of regios. Divine, magic, fairy and infernal. The have distinct boundaries. Beings from any of them come across to cause problems.

No worries. It's not important, just meant to be fun.

Again, my only concern is that it'd make the secret-horde-of-awesome angle tough. If your Quaesitor concept can fit that idea somehow, than I have no objection.

I mean, it's not like we're actually going to be playing this covenant.

~snicker~ Genius!

We also have Norbert Gunthar ex Verditus, alchemist who will grow up to experiment on baby half-fae and elementals. Probably a Rego specialist.

Hrm....adds a certain bit of flavor to explaining why Norbert Gunthar would have grafted an Earth Elemental onto Viscaria's soul. Maybe he was planning to try adding angel wings next....

And singing the whole while...

Ashka, Tremere Necromancer
Characteristics: Int +3, Per 0, Pre +2, Com +2, Str 0, Sta +1, Dex -3, Qik 0
Size: 0
Age: 26 (26), Height: 168 cm, Weight: 72 kg, Gender: Male
Decrepitude: 0
Warping Score: 0 (0)
Confidence: 1 (3)
Virtues: Hermetic Magus, Flawless Magic (Study Totals: Doubled for spell mastery), Good Teacher, Puissant Magic Theory, Cautious Sorcerer (Bonus: Three fewer botch dice casting spells or in lab), Leadworker [Penetration Bonuses: +2: Katadesmos tablet inscribed with the name of a victim; +2: Kolossos representation; +3: Kolossos constructed with a sympathetic connection from the body of the victim imbedded in it], Affinity with Mentem, Affinity with Corpus, Minor Magical Focus (Certamen)*, Second Sight, The Gift
Flaws: Ambitious, Deficient Technique (Muto), Flawed Parma Magica (Animal), Limited Magic Resistance (Animal), Magic Spirit Companion (Dead Twin Sister), Poor Memory (Names).

Dodge: Init: +0, Attack --, Defense +1, Damage --
Fist: Init: +0, Attack -1, Defense +2, Damage +0
Kick: Init: -1, Attack -2, Defense +0, Damage +3
Soak: +1
Fatigue levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-5), -3 (6-10), -5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20), Dead (21+)
Abilities: Artes Liberales 1 (ritual magic), Awareness 2 (determining effect), Bargain 1 (Enchanted Items), Brawl 1 (Fist), Charm 2 (first impressions), Code of Hermes 1 (tribunal procedures), Concentration 2 (spell concentration), Etiquette 1 (the church), Finesse 2 (Corpus), Folk Ken 1 (magi), Guile 1 (elaborate lies), Intrigue 2 (plotting), Latin 4 (hermetic usage), Leadership 1 (laboratory work), Magic Theory 3+2 (Rego), Occitan 5, Order of Hermes Lore 1 (personalities), Penetration 1 (Rego), Philosophiae 1 (ritual magic), Scribe 1, Second Sight 2

Arts: Cr 7, In 7, Mu 0, Pe 2, Re 7, An 0, Aq 0, Au 0, Co 9, He 0, Ig 0, Im 1, Me 9, Te 1, Vi 1
Encumbrance: 0 (0)

Spells Known:

Corpus Spells
Awaken the Slumbering Corpse (ReCo 25) +18, Mastery 1 (imperturbable casting)
Charm Against Putrefaction (CrCo 10) +18, Mastery 1 (quiet casting)
Whispers Through the Black Gate (InCo(Me) 15) +18, Mastery 1 (imperturbable casting)
Wizard's Leap (ReCo 15) +18, Mastery 1 (fast casting)

Mentem Spells
The Call to Slumber (ReMe 10) +18, Mastery 1 (multiple casting)
Coerce the Spirits of the Night (ReMe 20) +18, Mastery 1 (penetration)
Posing the Silent Question (InMe 20) +18, Mastery 1 (stalwart casting)

Terram Spells
Unseen Arm (ReTe 5) +10, Mastery 1 (precise casting)

He had a twin, and the two were close, until they were separated by Ashka's apprenticeship. Still, they shared a strange bond, despite the distance. Aska's Parens, Herman of Tremere, was studying it from Ashka's side, when Julie was brutally killed by an angry noble. Upon her death, the same bond that linked her to Ashka kept her spirit from departing, whisking it to Ashka's side, where she remains since then. Despite this, she is still quite independent, especially as she's actually stronger than her brother. She doesn't play upon it, far to the contrary, but she doesn't obey her brother if she disagrees.

Julie, Dead Sister's Ghost
Magic Might: 10 (Mentem)
Characteristics: Int +2, Per +2, Pre 0, Com 0, Str 0, Sta 0, Dex 0, Qik +1
Size: 0
Season: Summer
Age: 15 (15), Height: 168 cm, Weight: 72 kg, Gender: Male
Decrepitude: 0
Warping Score: 0 (0)
Confidence: 1 (3)
Virtues and Flaws: Magic Spirit, Second Sight, Magical Air* [Type: Normal], Humble
Qualities and Inferiorities: Lesser Power × 6: 150/150, Improved Powers × 1: 5/5, Personal Power × 3: 75/75
Dodge: Init: +1, Attack --, Defense +1, Damage --
Fist: Init: +1, Attack +0, Defense +1, Damage +0
Kick: Init: +0, Attack +0, Defense +0, Damage +3
Soak: 0
Fatigue levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-5), -3 (6-10), -5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20), Dead (21+)
Abilities: Animal Handling 5 (Sheep), Concentration 2 (spell concentration), Area Lore: Village 3 (personalities), Awareness 2 (keeping watch), Bargain 1 (Sheep), Charm 2 (being witty), Farmer 2 [Category: Provisions], Finesse 5 (Terram), Folk Ken 3 (peasants), French 5, Second Sight 5, Weaver 2 [Category: Consumables]
Encumbrance: 0 (0)

Sight Beyond Sight (Personal: 50), Points: 0, Initiative: Qik-2, Form: Imaginem, Range: Per, +0, Duration: Diam, +1, Target: Vision, +4, Level: InIm30, Design: 30 levels, Base 5, +1 Diam, +4 Vision, -3 Might cost, +1 Initiative cost
Flight of the Hummingbird (Personal: 25), Points: 0, Initiative: Qik-1, Form: Mentem, Range: Per, +0, Duration: Sun, +2, Target: Ind, +0, Level: ReMe15, Design: 15 levels, Base 4, +2 Sun, +1 constant, -2 Might cost
Whispers Through the Black Gate (Lesser: 20), Points: 2, Initiative: Qik-6, Form: Corpus, Range: Touch, +1, Duration: Conc, +1, Target: Ind, +0, Level: InCo15, Design: 15 levels, Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, -1 Might cost
The Unseen Porter (Lesser: 20), Points: 0, Initiative: Qik-4, Form: Terram, Range: Voice, +2, Duration: Conc, +1, Target: Ind, +0, Level: ReTe10, Design: 10 levels, Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Conc, -2 Might cost
Invisible Sling of Vilano (Lesser: 30), Points: 0, Initiative: Qik-2, Form: Terram, Range: Touch, +1, Duration: Mom, +0, Target: Ind, +0, Level: ReTe10, Design: 10 levels, Base 5, +1 Touch, -2 Might cost, +2 Initiative cost, Special Abilities: multiple casting, Power Spell Mastery: 1
Eidolon (Lesser: 30), Points: 0, Initiative: Qik-6, Form: Imaginem, Range: Touch, +1, Duration: Conc, +1, Target: Ind, +0, Level: CrIm15, Design: 15 levels, Base 2, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, +2 move at command, +1 intricacy, -3 Might cost
Control the Human Thrall (Lesser: 50), Points: 0, Initiative: Qik-10, Form: Mentem, Range: Touch, +1, Duration: Conc, +1, Target: Ind, +0, Level: ReMe25, Design: 25 levels, Base 15, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, -5 Might cost: Control a human being as long as you can see him

So, it seems like so far we have the amoral Verditus, Ashka the Necromancer, and an Irish Quaesitor? Possibly also a Tytalus, who champions for Viscaria's freedom when s/he discovers the conditions Norbert is keeping her in. Unless the Guernicus or Tremere wants that element of the backstory?

Aska wouldn't remark it much, nor care greatly if he did. Julie, on the other hand, would, and would help, as well as possibly enlist her brother, bothering him until he does something.

Since this means deprivation of magical power, he wouldn't to anything much than discussing it with Norbert, although he could distract him while julie helped Viscaria escape, for exemple.

But this would be a great challenge to a tytalus, IMO.

I like the idea that Julie helped him out! Could we rework her character sheet to include some of the skills he learned pre-apprenticeship? Perhaps Julie visited Viscaria in her cage while Norbert wasn't looking and taught her the rudiments of Latin, Artes Liberales, or Architecture?