Covenant Description

This topic will be used to describe the various parts of the covenant. I will probably create a wiki for the saga eventually, when the amount of information gets larger.

There are several posts below that describe the island and the setting:

Here's some links to the description of the covenant's resources:

(This general description of the island is provided to the magi by the Redcap Bernhard, as they make their way by ship towards the island. Many of this, they will be able to see and experience for themselves once they reach their destination.)

"Sodales, our destination is one of the Frisian island, rising between the Germanies and the western coast of Denmark. Its people call it Helgeland, which from what I understand means 'Holy Land', or simply 'ee Lunn', which means 'our Land' in the local dialect. "

"Helgelund is positioned about six hours of sailing from the mouth of the river Elbe. The sea in this area is prone to the formation of sand dunes and marshland, which can be dangerous for ships travelling to the Elbe. Many of the local sailors make a living by piloting ships to and from the Elbe, for there is significant merchant shipping that uses the river. This means there is a bigger port than usually would be the case for an island that size. Most ships don't stay longer than they need to pick up or drop off a pilot, but a few are involved in local trade."

"The island itself is quite striking. As one sails from the north or west, which are the safe way to do so, it first appears as a red and white cliff rising out of the sea. These form the rocky core of the island. Two natural pillars of stone are visible close to the cliffs, about one mile apart, one of white and the other of red stone. The rocky core protects the lowland, which is composed of sand dunes and marshland, from the assaults of the sea. This Unterland, as the locals call it, extend to the northeast and east, constituting the largest part of the island."

"The port is set on the southwestern end of Helgeland and is the largest settlement on the island, with over three hundred families living there. Most are fishermen, traders and sailors catering to the many ships that stop by on their way to or from the Elbe river. The houses and warehouses are arranged along the bottom of the Oberland, which is what the locals call the rocky plateau of the red stone core. This town extends up to the Oberland through a set of wodden stairs, over one hundred feet above."

"The Oberland is bare, with only a few small trees growing there because of the constant wind. The people living on Oberland are for the most part simple shepherds and some farmers, who grow cabbage and raise sheep. They have a small church, with two more down the stairs in the port town."

"All around the island, small settlements exist as well, most of them only made of a dozen families of fishermen with small boats along the coast or farmers growing crops inland. Some even live in the marshlands, harvesting them for fish, shells and plants that grow there. Others hunt for birds and seals as they come upon the shores. Or recover wreckage from ships destroyed by storms."

"There is a small but important mining industry on the island, which is rich with copper nuggets and ore, as well as amber and flint. Although the processing of the ore is done locally, the dearth of wood for smelting these ores limit the scope of the mining."

"The island is currently under the control of the Danish king Valdemar, who has a small garrison under the command of one of his distant relatives. So, technically our new covenant might be considered outside of the borders of the Rhine Tribunal, although it is the closest."

EDIT: Changed the time it takes to reach the Elbe from Heligoland. Fixed a few typos.

(This description of the vis source is provided to the magi by the Redcap Bernhard, as they make their way by ship towards the island. More information may be discovered when the magi arrive and examine the site and its vis source for themselves.)

"A few years ago, as I was on the island for a few days' rest awaiting a fellow redcap, I decided to go walk up the long stairs to Oberland and talk to the locals, as well as see the magnificient view that I had been told about. This lead me to discover the site where you may wish to establish the covenant."

"At the northern end of Oberland, nested between two small hills, grows a a misshapen oak, stunted and twisted by the winds but very old. Hanging from its branches in long tendrils and growing on its trunk is black oak moss. The moss is quite poisonous; even simple contact can cause illness and death. As sheep tend to want to eat the moss, quickly dying from it, shepherds keep their herds away from this part of the island. Some have tried to cut it down, even though it is said that harming it can bring a curse on the perpetrator and his family. But no axe is able to penetrate its stone-hard bark. Nor has fire done more than darken its trunk and shrivel a few of its leaves. So the locals mostly leave it alone."

"Upon hearing about this, I immediately thought that the moss might contain vis. So the next day, I went back with earthen jars, heavy gloves and a sharp knife. I collected generous samples from the moss and leaves. It is only once I was done that I realized that my gloves had turned black from handling the moss. Quickly removing them, I saw that my hands were puffy and red. Thankfully, these symptoms healed and I was left none the worse."

"I brought back my samples with me once back on the continent and asked a Mercere magus to tell me whether these contained vis. The leaves were a disappointment; even in the short time since I had left the island they were shriveled and contained no traces of magic, I was told. As I expected, it was the black moss that proved most worthwhile, for it apparently contained Perdo vis."

"Over the years, I went back regurlarly to the island to collect more moss. It grows back quickly, from what I've seen. But I was disappointed to discover that it did not always contain raw vis. At times, it was simply a deadly poison, although that property fades quickly when no vis is present. Still, over the years I was able to retrieve enough vis to pay for a good longevity ritual. Yet, I could not help but wonder if more vis might be harvested by knowing the actual cycle that it follows. But as I am no magus, I am unable to analyze it. And I feared letting a magus know about its location, that he would claim it as his own. It is only the contract that binds us, and which has been registered with my House and a Quaesitor, that gives me some confidence that you will not try to swindle me."

"I suspect there might be other sources on the island, but was never able to find more. Perhaps they are simply more difficult to find, or perhaps they are in a form that I cannot perceive. I simply was unable to spend as much time searching for them as I would have liked, because of my duties as a redcap."

(The contract specifies that for every four pawns that the covenant gathers from the source, the fifth pawn will be his. Likewise, for every nine pawns gathered from other sources on the island, the tenth pawn will be his.)

EDIT: Fixed a few typos and tweaked the text slightly. Specified that the poison fades quickly when no vis is present.

A crude sketch of the location of the vis source:

The main town of Helgeland is called Meden and constites the only proper port on the island.

When one arrive at the port, the piers are unimpressive compared to those of larger port cities of England and France. They are made of wood and not very large, only enough for half a dozen cogs to tie up at the same time. On each side of the piers, however, are beaches that allow the local fishermen to drag their boats out of the water at high tides, to secure them against storms.

There are few buildings close to the piers, mostly a few fishermen's houses and small warehouses. A path leads northeast into town, with some of the houses located on top of the ridge that parallels the beach for some distance. The bulk of town is on the other side of the ridge, sheltered from the sea and strung along a small river that flows there.

The town itself is neither small nor large, with about five hundred souls living here. Most of the craftsmen on the island live here. There are a good number of merchants who call the island home -- local ones who cater to the needs of the inhabitants, as well as representatives of larger merchant houses who use the town as their base of operations for shipments in the North Sea. There is a small market in town, close to the port, that villagers from other parts of the island visit when they need something they cannot make or grow themselves. Most travel by boat to reach Meben, though there are a few roads as well.

About one mile east of town rises Castle Meden, where the local lord lives.

A large-scale map of the island with the main settlements indicated. The two pillars stand a bit more to the northwest of the island, outside the scope of the map.

The covenant only has a very modest library.

Hermetic Arts

  • A Pride of Lions, by Stentorius of Tremere -- Rego tractatus (Q7)
  • The balance of the humors, by Conscientia of Bonisagus -- Corpus Summa (L6 Q7)
  • Quercus in Promptu (Oak revealed), by Quercus of Tytalus -- Herbam Tractatus (Q6) -- the original text's quality was 1 point higher
  • A Comparative Exploration of the Four Realms and How They Interact With Our Arts, by Occultes of Bonisagus -- Vim Summa (L11 Q9) -- the original text's quality was 1 point higher


  • Collaborative efforts in the lab: a defence of its value for the Order, by Boniface of Tytalus -- Magic Theory tractatus (Q9) -- the original text's quality was 1 point higher
  • Registering vis sources, by Marco the Redcap -- Code of Hermes tractatus (Q7) -- the original text's quality was 1 point higher


  • Ritual Communion (MuVi 20) by Henri de Tours of Jerbiton -- Sun variant of Wizard's Communion, effective level is 10.

At this time, the magi have only identified a single source of vis:

  • The Misshapen Oak: Described in this post, produces Perdo vis in the form of poisonous moss growing on its limbs. The magi are still unsure of how much vis it can produce every year, but have successfully harvested 5 pawns in a year. As per their contract with Bernhard, every fifth pawn harvested from this sources belongs to the redcap.
  • There may be other vis sources on the island, although the magi have not located any at this time. As per their contract with Bernhard, every tenth pawn harvested from other sources on the island belongs to the redcap.

At this time, the covenant has the following vis stocks:

  • 2 pawns of Creo (contributed by Japik)
  • 2 pawns of Vim (contributed by Prochorus)
  • 2 pawns of Perdo (harvested from the oak) -- note that the next pawn harvested will be owed to Bernhard as per the contract

The covenant has equipment to install one standard laboratory.

The covenant has the following mundane resources:

  • The Baltrum, a knarr with a crew of 4. They are currently ferrying pickled fish, grain and other similar goods between the island and the mainland, generating an income of approximately 50 pounds of silver per year.

(A description of the former inn just outside Meden town.)

The initial description by Dietlinde when she presented the inn to Prochorus:
"A large house, that used to be some sort of inn for sailors, with a reasonably size storage shed. Just outside of town, along the river. Been unused for a few years, so it needs some repairs. But I should be able to purchase it cheaply. There's just a small catch, but nothing a powerful wizard like yourself can't fix, I'm sure. The house was abandoned because it is said to be haunted." She grins, "I told the owners that my master did not fear ghosts, like superstitious fishermen do, so that if the price was right he might be interested."
"The short of it is that some years ago there was a man who built the place as some sort of sleeping place for sailor and transient workers. His wife worked with him, cooking and cleaning, and they had some children too. Details vary, but it seems that the man got sick and died. His wife kept the place running, with some help from the man's brother. Then the children disappeared. Later, the woman was found dead in her kitchen. The brother sold the place and left." She shrugs, "The new owner tried to run the place, but sailors stopped renting room. Said there was a ghost. Then the owner disappeared soon after. His relatives say that he was scared in the end. So the place is closed down and no one goes there anymore. That's about it."
When the house was visited before purchasing it:
Dietlinde leads you to the place. It is much like she described it, a bit downstream of the town along the small river flow into the sea. A rather large house, with two wings extending on each side of the main building. There is a large storage shed behind it and to the side. The front entrance is on the south side, farthest away from the river. There is a second door in the back, leading to a small fenced courtyard where the shed is located beside the river, with a small path between the main building and the water. It is apparent that neighbours have been "borrowing" planks from the shed in recent times, for it is missing quite a few. The fence is made from small branches knit together, with some small shrub tree growing here and there. There used to be a small herbs and vegetables garden, but it has grown wild from neglect.
The inside of the inn proves to be consistent with the outside. Slightly run down from being left uninhabited, missing or broken furniture, cold and drafty, and with small signs of stolen materials here and there. But it is also reasonably spacious and solidly built, so it might very well be turned into something comfortable.
The former inn is large enough to provide housing for up to 20 people.

The remains of the ghostly woman were found buried under the shed, but for now have been left there, until a way to lay the ghost to rest has been found. She does make the hiring of locals (for cooking and cleaning) a bit more difficult, as she appears about once a month at unpredictable times.

A sketch of where the covenant buildings and fence will be located.

The survey that Quercus performed before he left revealed the following auras:

  • The northwestern half of Oberland is covered by a magical aura. It is weak for the most part (+1), only becoming stronger (+3) around the oak for a bit more than a hundred paces in an elliptical shape.
  • The base of the cliff falling down into the sea, as well as most of the shore, seems covered by a weak magical aura (+1) forming a narrow band all around the island. Its width varies, but is never more than ten paces.
  • The swamp in the northeastern part of the island seems covered by a slightly stronger magical aura (+2). It extends for about three quarters of a mile in a roughly circular shape, although that circle has a crescent cut into it in the northwest, in the direction of a monastery that was built along the river leading to the sea.
  • Small but stronger magical auras (+3) cover the two pillars rising out of the sea.
  • Divine auras exist where one would expect them to be. Around the religious communities of St. Ludger Church (+2), Buis Monastery (+3) and Oster Church (+2). In the town of Meden with its own two churches (varies from +2 to +4 depending how close to the churches you are). Weaker auras (+1) are also present at Ubbe Castle and Rod Castle, presumably because of the chapels there. Finally, Ober village is also covered by a weak (+1) Divine aura, which is slightly stronger at its small church (+2).
  • There were no obvious signs of faerie or infernal auras.