Claiming a Site for a Spring Covenant

(Note- This is another of those topics that may have ~some~ canon to cite, but may prove to be mostly "of opinion". That's fine, just let's all remember that as we post, 'kay?)


Let's say a group of like-minded magi want to establish a Spring Covenant, and have a site in mind. They've visited it, and it's not too close to any other Covenant, so that's not an (obvious) issue. The Tribunal in question is generally agreeable to new Covenants... how do they claim that particular site? And how long before any magi arrive can they claim it?

Is sending a mundane work-force enough?
Is sending Notice of Intent to the Tribunal enough?
What of notifying other (nearby? all?) Covenants in that Tribunal? In the Order?

What occurs if two groups both find themselves intending to found in the same locale?

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Me, I'd think that basically all that would be required would be notifying the Domus Magnus of the Tribunal (wrong term, perhaps, but whatever the political equivalent is for a Tribunal), and then having Redcaps spread the word.

There should also be some refundable "security deposit", something precious filed with them (a queen of vis?), and forfeited should they not found it in a reasonable time- say... 7 years.
To avoid predictable maneuvers of claiming and then abandoning, etc.
A serious group could easily raise this, and this might also be where some of a Covenant's initial vis stocks come from!)[/i]

And Due Notice should be required - again, 7 years seems reasonable. That guarantees that a local Tribunal will convene in the interim, should any have a comment on the proposed Covenant, and neither Tribunal nor Covenants are ambushed.

Short of that, any work on the site is both wishful thinking (until formally approved and occupied), and not technically necessary.

Also, while Guidelines and Requirements might well vary from Tribunal to Tribunal (the T of the Greater Alps, for instance), some variables should be consistent, only regarding consistency between claimants from different Tribunals. That is, if 2 groups, each from across Europe, claim a site, there should be 1 "law" as to how that is done, whether that's by the Order or the target Tribunal.

These are just my initial thoughts, and I'm interested in others' to provide a sounding board.

I'd expect you need to state your intent so it can be voted on at tribunal. You either need to do this at tribunal and then it would be voted at the next, or you need to send a message to all covenants in the tribunal by certified redcap a year or so prior to tribunal. But 1st i'd register the site with the redcaps just as you would do with a vis source, this registration would be subject to tribunal authorization, but it would have a certified date of intent/claim in case someone else tried to contest it.

(Help me out here, don't have access to the appropriate sources - you're saying that the Redcaps would act as the central clearing house for such "registration", rather than an acting "lead covenant" of the Tribunal?

The more I think about it, the less I'm sure that there is such recognized across all Tribunals. Some, certainly, altho' it could be informal, such as Durenmar, or Coeris, but perhaps not all? It would seem to be necessary that some central entity act as a locus for such, I'm just not sure what that would be.)

In HoH:TL, (iirc) there was something about the Redcaps certifying covenant locations. Once a covenant is established, they notify the senior redcaps, who record it with the Praeco (iirc) and the covenant is set.

In my opinion, possession is 9/10ths of the argument here, and I would say that once you've established a structural presence and keep a magus there (probably the one with the best certamen skills), that's when you can say you have ownership of the you did that, then I'd dispatch communication to the Redcaps via myself or one of my covenant mates. That would ensure you had primacy on the site, and could defend challenges to the site on location. I think that having people on site would go a long way to establishing the most solid argument at Tribunal, if there was a dispute.


But a magus, not just "people". It would be too easy for a covenant (or House, ahem), for whatever reasons, to scatter mundane representatives across prospective sites. (Or for those "people", and the claim they represent, to disappear mysteriously!)

Simply requiring a magus to be present ~would~ create a much more "claim stake" feel, and less bureaucratic.

However, the problem I see is that newly gauntleted magi would be far from ready to do so when it was necessary, and what senior mage wants to spend years hanging out in a relative wilderness, waiting for the class of 1220 to graduate?

While not every Spring Covenant is comprised of only newly guantletted magi, they do make up a large enough percentage of such covenants (individually and overall), that it would be prohibitive to require a representative of that future Covenant to be on site ahead of time. I think we have to operate on the premise that most, if not all Spring Covenants are, simply because of the practicalities of the process, scouted and planned long in advance of the actual founding. And, once any site is chosen, there is a necessary lag time and build up before the future residents take physical possession.

Think about the spectrum of Spring Covenants that you've encountered, the premise of them, the resources and facilities that are present on day 1, and what it had to take to arrive at that stage. There must be some mechanism in place to allow for such planning, and to promote such, and even protect on-site improvements, lest long years of preparation are abruptly rerouted, if not completely derailed, by unforeseen competition.

When I read this I came up with a completely different thought.

I believe there is a Peripheral Code ruling that you can have only one sanctum at a time, it must be properly marked, etc. (This may be pre-5th Edition and therefore no longer official; noble's parma (which means I am too lazy to look it up but please don't flame me regardless)). The point is, probably there are rules for what counts as your sanctum, and your Tribunal of residence logically should be the one where your sanctum is located.

So what if all that is necessary to claim a "covenant site" is for one or more magi to establish their sancta there. Presumably it's required (or recommended) to tell the Redcaps where it is so they can find you when necessary.

In short -- why not just move in, and then tell everybody?

I don't seem to be expressing my position clearly enough, the premise of this thread, so let me try one more time...

Move into what, exactly? And who does the moving? A senior magi? The Parens??? (Then who's teaching the apprentice?)

Either the "magi" of the future covenant are still apprentices - with ~no~ rights or standing (or time!) to do any telling, much less claiming - or the site has yet to be built up, and there's nothing there for anyone.

The issue revolves around the difference between an unclaimed Aura, in its natural state (whatever that is, but without labs, libraries, grogs, etc etc etc), and either 1) a fully staffed and stocked Spring covenant, waiting for magi to arrive or 2) a train of supplies for establishing same, waiting for the magi to lead it to that site. The usual "start" of a Spring saga.

What senior mage wants to move their sanctum to a barren site to hold it for apprentices, abandoning their labs and comfort of existing home Covenant? Especially one who might not end up with the new Spring Covenant?

What mage wants to move their sanctum far from any labs, except one who is beginning that Spring Covenant? And if they know they're going to establish one, they've put ~some~ level of planning into it, packed some lab equipment or books, hired some laborers or guards, something - and that would take some sort of confidence that the planning will be rewarded, or at least not all for naught.

So, in order to "move in first, and then tell everybody", there has to be either 1) something to move in to (which assumes some pre-existing claim while improving the site), or 2) if the site is not improved, then a fairly extensive preparation phase to support that move. If #2, that's a LOT invested (years of planning, and how much resources?) on the vague hopes that the site will still be vacant on the day the first magus arrives.

Because simply walking up by yourself, planting your staff and claiming land, and ~then~ beginning the process to figure out what you'll need, is not the way most Spring Covenants get founded, I just know it. 8)

Or let me ask it a different way. At the start of a "typical" Saga, when all the newly gauntleted apprentices have heard of this new Spring Covenant that they'll be joining... where did it come from before they heard of it? What was its status a season before? When did it change from an Aura in the wilderness, to a Spring Covenant waiting for them?

I seem to recall Guardians of the Forest discussed rules for establishing a covenant in the Rhine. I recall them being far too stringent for my tastes though.

In my saga, a covenant is a covenant as soon as it says its a covenant. I don't get why you need to get permission. Of course, if you don't check around you may run into trouble when another covenant thinks you're too close to something or other.

Some covenants are formed with the backing of Tribunal Efforts/Edicts. In such an instance for some reason a tribunal has voted to the effect that a given covenant is to be founded and the Magi of that tribunal will have then probably put forward candidates to fill it during or after that vote. This could happen for a variety of reasons but the point at issue is that in any tribunal these types have assurance of legitimate rights/location etc. So in this instance your concerns are met well beforehand.

Or, and this is the scenario you seem to be worried about, a single or group of mages establishes a covenant without such a 'mandate'. I see this as usually being a solo mage event, but sometimes a group of magi come together for this as well. This I think is something more common to the tribunals with less crowding and therefore less to no restrictions on the establishing of covenants. i.e. in a tribunal with such 'deregulation'... such things aren't really a concern. Planting your staff and staking a claim is exactly what is expected, and since there isn't a crowding issue... well... the problems you are talking about would be highly unusual. Conversely in a crowded area that requires tribunal approval you basically are operating under category one above.

For a group of young magi to establish a covenant in one of the tribunals that requires having permission for it to be done at all... there are usually enumerated lists of requirements for getting said permisison. So... basically you are presented with either option one above, or having the players go through the politicking of getting their claim/request approved at tribunal.

I'd agree that registering the claim through House Mercere would be the way to go about securing/establishing the claim/rights of a new covenant that doesn't require tribunal edict.

Now... if there really is a dispute over some site and two groups of Magi both want to settle there, in a tribunal that doesn't require a ruling to establish a covenant... I'd say the fallback/traditional method of dispute resolution would be used. Certamen. This 'does' give the advantage to an older mage, but there is nothing new about that. I would however say that this dispute could only be between different people who wanted to 'use' said site. As long as the location wasn't 'too close' to a prexisting covenant I would see no standing ( and plenty of cause for a claim of violation of rights ) for another mage to challenge them simply 'not to build there'.

I'd say its quite rough and tumble setting up a spring covenant.

You find the site you want. Stick up some shelter and move in enmasse. THEN you tell everyone concerned (redcaps, tribunal, quaesitors) where you are and claim covenant status.

Now some caveats. Spring covenants are hardly ever capable of standing up to summer or autumn covenants and the magi are generally younger and weaker. This means that if you intend to set up near an established covenant, you'd better either discuss it with them carefully and get their agreement, or be prepared for repeated certamen, wizards wars, political intrigue etc that you have little chance of winning.

Secondly, spring covenants are founded very often, when they do its probably quite a big deal and everyone in the tribunal knows about it. If you therefore step on lots of other magis toes to get it set up, you can expect your reputation to take a massive hit.

Because of this i'd say that the plan would be

  1. identify a good site (high aura, local vis sources, etc)
  2. check with the nearest covenants to see if they have a problem with this, if they do, look for another site or be prepared for decades of backstabbing.
  3. get land grants, move in staff, set up buildings, mark sanctum, rise aegis
  4. let the redcaps know where you are and who you are. Give them a copy of your covenant charter.
  5. same as number 4 but for the Praeco and ruling Quaesitor
  6. Introduce yourself at tribunal and get yourself recognised.

Getting yourself recognised at tribunal should be a mostly forgone conlcusion, unless you have angered local covenants with your choice of location. Hence i don't see covenants getting founded near other covenants. A good deal of geographical isolation from ones peers is recommended.

Obviously some tribunals such as he Rhine have more stringent requirements but from what i recall (serfs parma) it is quite possible to have your magi all with their grouped sancta, their aegis, grogs, etc in a nice aura. But you simply aren't recognised as a legally bound covenant.

I would set this question as something decided by local Tribunal Peripheral Code, and I like the idea that there are varieties across the span of the Order and that it might be easier to settle in some areas than others.

As for the legal aspect page 49 in HoH:TL offers some information on vagrancy, requirements and official residence - three important elements in this regard.

This states that all magi must have one, and no more than one, Tribunal in which they have official residence. This is at first the Tribunal where they where gauntleted, but it can be changed and to do just that it requires you to appear before the Presiding Quaesitor at the next Tribunal meeting and for you to convince him that you are a genuine resident. Secondly, a magus with no residential Tribunal can be tried for vagrancy and ultimately end up being Marched.

As for the requirements one is of a general nature: that the Redcaps of the Tribunal are able to get in contact with you. Thus making your presence known at the Mercer House is important - which coincides with the fact that the Redcaps also keeps the list of rights over vis-sources. On the last bit the Redcaps are expected to keep these lists in confidentiality, so I wonder if that doesnt to some extent cover the question of point of contact?

To expand on this some Tribunals might then go even further, setting as a requirement that you are member of a covenant and that covenants have to be recognized by the Tribunal - the process of aquiring such a recognition might then also vary quite a bit. I recall that the 3ed. Roman Tribunal was quite strict on this.

As for the pratical matters I reckon that in most cases the endeavouring magi simply just start settling only to start the legal measures when semi-settled. Partly because being settled they have a better platform for their claim - both in terms of actual power as well as in term of legal matters, precedent being a forceful argument. Another reason in favour of this is that waiting several years for another Tribunal meeting might not be in the magi's interest. Finally most Tribunals are huge enough that if keeping a low profile, no one will realise your presence untill you make it known (or makes a blundering mistake), dependent on your choice of locale. All of this of course hinges on the legal and political realities of the Tribunal in question - what might be possible in one Tribunal might be suicide in another.

In fact our last Tribunal story had this question as a major theme. One of the issues where about the encroachment of mundanes and the lessening of magical resources. It was decided to pass this question on to the Grand Tribunal the following year. But then the Tribunal (Stonehenge) went on to discuss whether it should set requirements on recognition within its borders -as a way to limit the number of magi/vis sources- and I made the attending magi sufficiently divided that the votes and the politicking of the characters sufficiently important to let the notion either pass or fall. The notion fell. Presumably because the characters (who'd knew they were potentially in trouble with the quaesitors and becauses the arrival of a visiting archmage Guernici from Magvillus has startled them) were struck with apathy and comepletely withdrew from the debating and corridor talks. At the end of the Tribunal, after its official closure, the same archmage told the assembled magi that he had decided to settle in Stonehenge and that anyone interested would be welcome to join his new covenant Lumen (Calebais) Renate - the very same place that the characters know hold important clues to what really happened leading up to the Schism War as well as being a place that they had recently visited knowing that the quaesitors had deemed it something to leave in peace (due to it being a place of demons - now know to be false by the characters) in the immediate aftermath of the War (thus their earlier mentioned paranoia at the Tribunal)....

I've been thinking about this as well. Been reading the Rhine tribunal stuff lately and there you basically need permission from each covenant in order to put up new one. Of course, there's alot of promises and favor exchanging going on and lot's of politics altogether. If either one of the covenants disagrees, then the covenant cannot be built. But if you get enough support and the denying covenants seem to be the majority, it's usually frowned upon to be a covenant that denies new ones to be built.

I'm mostly wondering the buildup of the actual site. You check the auras, locations, income sources and stuff, but what's the usual way for a covenant to "begin"? Do you usually play all the stonehauling and getting masons and whatever to work on the building, or is it more about doing some imaginative Creo Terram stuff and using the Wizard's Tower spell in putting together something that nicely fits places for the mages, living quarters for grogs and companions and all the other stuff you need to house 10+ people?

Or perhaps (in Rhine tribunal at least) some of the gifts from the older covenants could include help regarding the actual building of the covenant etc?

My guess at how this would work is that you've got a group of young magi who have agreed to found a covenant together and have picked a site. The first thing I think they should do is stake out a claim to that site by sending one magus out there to maintain a presence.

Obviously this is a big sacrifice because until the structures are built etc. the guy (or gal) staking the claim doesn't have a lab to work in. Maybe the young magi all take turns, each spending one season camping out in the woods, until it is time to really set up the place.

Although I say "set up a sanctum" that does not mean the magus whose sanctum it is needs to be there continuously. Say one magus (the one with noplace better to be) draws a sanctum mark on a tree or whatever, then the others take turns sitting outside it. "What are you doing out here in the middle of nowhere?" "I'm guarding my sodalis's sanctum."

Meanwhile the other members of the covenant are scurrying to amass resources, copy books, acquire land grants etc. This could take a couple of years at least. But imagine how silly they'd feel, if they did all that preparation without first sending out one settler to stake the claim, and arrived on site only to find someone else had moved in!

I guess what I'm saying is there comes a point when the prospective founders are committed to a site and to embarking on their huge task of establishing a covenant. As soon as they reach that point of commitment (probably halfway through the planning process) is when they should establish the physical presence. IMHO, YMMV.

I would say that a covenant starts when a group of magi swear an oath of some kind. So I imagine it works like this: one magus finds a really great (OK, minimally acceptable) site for a new covenant and decides it would be great to go start one there. Then he/she starts networking to find other crazy, I mean eager, colleagues to join this scheme. The covenant IMO starts when they have their first big "kickoff meeting" (for lack of a better term), which in Mythic Europe I imagine would involve everyone swearing to some high-sounding oath of eternal brotherhood. :slight_smile:

That is to say, the covenant IMO is a group of magi, not a physical place or structure.

(almost a cross post - edited to address AG)

Reko -

All of the above. Some Troupes enjoy the step by step build (at least the first few Sagas), and others prefer it to be pre-fab. And some use mundane means, others magical ones - it mostly depends on the arts & spells of the magi, the casting tablets in the Lib, and available vis. Also somewhat on the environs themselves - expanding a cave is (on average) easier than building a tower, and doing the latter in the mountains easier than in a swamp, etc etc. For some Covenants, (urban, or "ruins"), it may be as easy as simply "moving in".

With so many sagas including nothing but "apprentices fresh out of gauntlet", that's not always practical. While they could arguably have the time, they certainly do not have the status.

Ah, that would be...your character, right? :laughing:

But that detail aside, your sketch of the early process feels about right. Not sure if Tribunals would agree with your claim of the abstract nature of a covenant, nor give any special status to such, as opposed to any random group of mendicant magi.

(I remember in 3rd ed, as written, it seemed a magi could be a member of a Covenant in each Tribunal, and/or a Covenant have mirror claims in multiple Tribunals. Heh... )

It would also cover one aspect of the "registration" bit, while keeping things below the radar. I'd assume, just as with vis, if a later claimant showed, the Redcaps would simply explain it had previously been claimed, no further details shared.

Depending on your cajones factor, and the hooks taken to build the Covenant in the first place (with an eye to the rules meshing with IC practicalities and concerns.)

I'd agree with you, but in my experience the typical Spring magi do not want an "elder" magi bossing them around, by default of power and experience if not formally chartered as such. (Maybe the story of the "usual" Covenant is just one less often told in Sagas.) :wink:

I think I like the "wild west" approach as well, but, as pointed out, some over-crowded (or overbearing?) Tribunals could see the need for some bureaucracy to avoid predictable conflict.

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So, most opinions seem to lean toward Spring Covenant founding being by necessity a rather cloak-and-dagger affair, at least to the extent that, if you find a good site, you want to get your hooks into it (as it were) before anyone else.

Promises and deals with nearby or supporting Covenants may make the establishment easier, but also risks spreading the word of a desirable site. (And with, as was suggested ad hoc in a previous discussion, an average of perhaps as many as 2 Spring Covenants/Year being founded across the Order, that could be a sizable risk.)

But beyond that, the crux of the matter is far less like "filing with the city" and far more like claim staking.

And, as such, it's quite possible that if a prime site were discovered, years of planning could require a new target if, the season before the expedition were launched, someone else was found to be one step ahead and already claimed the site. Or resort to Certamen, etc. (Certamen would be rather ugly, all things considered, if the other's claim was just as legit and more timely as well. With later counter-accusations of "Depriving of magical power", etc. possible. Oy.)

So, given that, and assuming a Parens dedicated to their Appentice's best interests, finding a location early is fine, but since it cannot be guaranteed, finding more than one is also wise. Then, to avoid Certamen but achieve best results, an expedition perhaps not much more than a year before the magi's arrival, to establish the basics - habitation, labs, library, security, and the usual support services. (And including a senior magi with this effort would be all the better, if practical.)
Strikes me that an ungifted Redcap could be perfect, if available, as they have time on their hands and full rights within the Order, yet are not sacrificing as much by abandoning any labs, etc.)[/i]

That sound about right?

Legally, Andrew's dead on. When you and the other magi make an agreement, called a "covenant", with each other, you have a covenant. Now, this covenant may be declared illegal in some places if you do not have the right to make covenant. The covenant, technically, is this agrrement, not the place. It is often written down. It's the thing in the centre of the front cover of "Covenants" for example. So, technically, you don't need to be near the site at all.

It depends on the stories you want to tell. If your covenant is on a huge stone flower in the middle of a swamp, you are setting yourself up different stories to "Our covenant's under a warehouse in Lubeck."

IMC, the place isuaually "there" for the characters to adapt. So, caves, ruined tower, what have you.

The Generic Campaign:

  • First, kill the monsters in the ruin and and take thier stuff.
  • Then work out who lived here before you, and if they had stuff you can use.
  • Then explore the area for five miles around. Kill anything that looks too dangerous for your grogs when collecting firewood, or run away and leave up a big sign.
  • Then meet the neighbours and do the politics.

If that interests you as a story, its a perfectly valid thing to play.

It varies by Tribunal. In some places just being there is enough. In some proof of use is enough. In some, you need a tribunal ruling to let you stay officially.

Popular alternatives include certamen, flipping a coin, and forming a really big covenant that scares the neighbours. 8)

See, now I'd say that established covenant may or may not be an issue, depending on the natures of the magi there. First, there's nothing in the code that says "thou shalt establish thy covenant X leagues from the next." If you've found a good spot, move in quietly, set it up, notify the redcaps when you get a chance. To quote, 'the beginning is a very delicate time,' and you don't want to take chances that someone's going to notice and take steps to quash the new covenant. Things that might make me reconsider? Do the magi around there have a reputation for repeated Wizard's War, or have a number of other Spring Covenants been established in the area only to figuratively become quite clumsy and trip in the kitchen and stab themselves with a knife six or eight times? That might make me reconsider...

I'd argue that this frequency makes spring covenants barely register on the radar, unless they choose a highly contested site. ("Oh, another pack of whelps on the isle of Man? No matter, the dragon will consume them before winter. Then we can go sweep the ruins for vis!") No one's going to care or note a few scholars setting up in a ruin somewhere out of the way, at least not right away. It's not as if there's a giant curtain of InVi around the Tribunal, pinging every magus in the territory when new magi show up with a carpetbag. Likewise, I think most magi have their own foci and plans-- especially after the results of a tribunal, and so following a gaggle of newly gauntlet'd magi around the countryside to snipe their covenant site is going to be looooow on the priority list.

The redcaps have it in their own interest not to betray the location of new Covenants-- Spring covenants want to trade for vis and texts, the redcaps will be getting a new client of sorts, whom they can make a bit of vis from as they help supply growing needs. Now why would they notify larger, territorial, curmudgeon-y Summer/Autumn/Winter covenants of their new vis drip? So that they can (maybe? probably not?) get a one time payoff from the neighbor in exchange for the location of the site? (If the aggressor fails to pay, what real recourse would the redcap have? Little, other than attempts to impact the welcher's reputation and delay his mail.) Allow the Spring Covenant to grow and the redcap can expect food, vis, and money...seems like a pretty sweet deal for the Mercere.

And reputation? You're a young fool, wet behind the ears, and will be, probably until you've done something monumentally good/bad/naive in the timeframe leading up to your first tribunal. Everyone's had to establish a covenant, so I don't think your choice of location (aside from those most bold and questionable sites, like, say, the literal front yard of another Covenant) are going to unduly tarnish your reputation. This might just be our saga, but reputations are solidified in the responses and suggestions at tribunal, where everyone can see and hear you, you are given all the rope you need, and plenty of opportunity to use it as you (may not) see fit.

I would neverevernever go check with with the neighbors. I mean, c'mon:

"Ave sodales! Certamenus here, just dropping by, I see your lakeside villa still looks quite nice... Say, you know that standing stone up the way from your Covenant? Yes! The one with the fine aura about it that generates all that Terram vis? Well, I was thinking of setting up a covenant there with a few of ... What? Oh, you've claimed it? I... Strange, the redcaps said that it was uncla-- A challenge, you say? For right to establish a sanctum in the area? But I've not yet had a chance to study as I wish...All four of you challenge me for the right? sigh Nono, I cede. Fair well, sodales. mutter should have never come to this godforsaken..."

No, far better to beg forgiveness than ask permission. Besides, all those decades of backstabbing make boon/hook selection a little easier. :wink:

A good deal? What defines a good deal? Given the difficulty of travel for most grogs/covenfolk/ordinary people in period, I don't think this is quite as far as one might think... 10 miles might be more than enough space. It might be frightfully close. This is all dependent on the area, the magi already established, the value of the site found-- honestly, if you found a site with an aura of say... 5? maybe 7? that was questionably close to another covenant, would you really worry too much? My first answer is "it depends, see previous concerns. :wink: "

Now this is going to depend on the Tribunal and the intent of the saga. Rhine, Normandy? Yes, these have fairly strongly established requirements for covenant creation, and so part of a saga could be the quest to gain legitimacy for a new covenant site. It could also just as easily be dismissed with a wave of the hand, if that's not important to the arc the SG had in mind. ("Aaannnnnd, you all gather in the covenant's council chamber to hear the redcap's missive...") That's definitely a case of YSMV, but for those places with less stringent or undefined restrictions I say move in under cover of darkness and get the place up and running as fast and quiet as possible. Tip the redcaps well when you notify them, and keep to yourselves for a while...let the neighbors come visit when they figure out that you're a little more than you first appeared.


Interesting - so a group of itinerant magi ~do~ have as much standing as a collection with wizards towers, libraries, walls and such? (Perhaps not as much political clout, certainly not as much muscle, but technically they're the same.)

... which reads, "[color=red]Don't Push This Button!"

That always works. :unamused: :laughing:

Good stuff for a newbie in this thread, thanks all :slight_smile:

From my perspective, the sort of default politics of it all is a bit blurry to me regarding the whole bureaucratic chain of events that lead to a formal green light for the covenant. Definitely you should pick something that suits the saga you are leading, but I guess I have a need to try and follow the way it's 'meant' to be done :slight_smile:

It's also interesting to see that most of you veteran players sort-of feel that the surrounding covenants are way more cut-throat in their dealings with new ones. And that's perfectly understandable since vis sources and auras aren't exactly sprouting up under every tree.

Perhaps for a newbie starting a covenant from pure scratch isn't the easiest thing to do, but storywise I think it's a really great way to kick things off. And I guess there's an eventual ladder for the thing anyway, since especially white the Rhine tribunal stuff you aren't laying bricks and mortar down in the first session ... or even in second or third :slight_smile:

There is no "ought to" - just personal preference, or "change of pace", or whatever.

Perhaps the "easiest" way to start your first saga is with a Spring Covenant that one older mage has just founded, but is already basically up and running, either with them present or near-enough as a "patron". Some high-minded Trianoma-style Bonisagus (the "builders", rather than the "theoreticians"), who wants to found a Spring Covenant, just to say they've done it.

(The details can vary, from invitations to be the first, to knowing the mage from one's apprenticeship covenant, to a disaster, and the first crop of young magi all "disappeared"...)

Toss in some sort of existing structures to inhabit and improve - caves, a (ruined?) castle or keep or tower, a deserted village, whatever, and start from there. Especially for a troupe composed entirely of new players, trying to cover all the minutia of creating a Covenant from scratch can be tiresome - when do we get to study, and get big, and blow somethin' up?!!! :wink:

In Ars, "getting big" can take a while, so the more detail you put into the start of the saga, the even longer that will take.

This discussion is, indeed, a little deeper and more complicated than most worry about (as evidenced by some of the early responses, the "hey, just move in" approach.) Maybe it is that easy in some Sagas, but, to me anyway, the environment invites complications on many levels. Individual preference and all that.