Covenant Development: General Discussion

For further work on or questions about the Covenant in particular.

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Just a general note. I know when we were initially designing the covenant we were going to make the aura stronger underground. I'd like to just scrap this in favor of letting folks put their labs wherever they like. It's a little thing but goes a long way in my opinion.

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Makes sense. The discovery of the aura felt in line with the discovery of the old use of the caves. But that will tend to force all the magi to live underground.

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Generically I'm fine with this. Though I'd want to nail down specifically how far do we want the Aura to extend, and what should the overall rating of it be? I massaged the aura in the caves up to +6, as I see the caves as being this truly ancient magical site. And the broader aura being at more of a normal/conventional rating level and extending to the boundaries of the ringfort.

In specific terms how large of an extension of the aura at what rating level do people think would make for a better saga (I agree about the flexibility for sanctums of different styles for instance)?

Do we have anything on Boons and Hooks, build points, library, etc?

What about the faerie landscape? Tied to what @callen was mentioning in regards to protecting the cathach, I was thinking that we could have an alliance with the local faeries to defend the island (or at least alert us of things going on).

Does the river Shannon counts as a faerie road? Or rather, do we want random faerie creatures washing ashore from time to time? I assume that at the bare minimum it is a mundane road.

We don't, but that's precisely why this was here! Truth be told, I don't put too much stock in build points, rather I use them as a guideline more than anything else.

That said, my thought was to throw together a basic library this weekend and let folks add a book each and call it a day.

As for Boons and Hooks, feel free to propose some!

I would be inclined to say yes, as the whole bloody thing has an aura of one.

Sounds like something we can/should certainly explore!

The River Shannon is a manner of road in a sense, an excellent point, however there is more than that that causes the situation of Inchmore regarding Faerie.

I haven't taken it upon myself to define what locations in Connacht this Trod system can go to. However I do have my head canon being that the Trod system of Connacht connects into the Faerie High Road system (since the two High Roads go into Connacht), without being a part of it. If you are only able to travel the High Roads, then that is as far as you can go. But if you have further capability enough to access Trods then the connection could be taken advantage of. Trivially so by Faeries.

This makes the western bank of Lough Ree a high traffic zone for Faeries especially and magical things in general as it forms a natural Trod + Highway + River/Waterways connection at the center of Hibernia. This is a large part of why the Crannog village is written as being so completely infused with Faerie as it is, because prior to the founding of Inchmore Covenant they were a small community of non-Magi living on Faerie's doorstep as it were.

Concur. This has yet to be defined to any meaningful degree.

Though the alliance with local Fae certainly seems like an excellent idea!

So I figured I'd just toss out the Boons and Hooks that have come to mind so far. Fair warning, this is an extremely rough pass, and I'd love for folks to add their own two cents, as I'm sure there's plenty I'm missing. Oh and keep in mind that there are a few hidden hooks. That said, we've got some points free to nab a few more boons, so again, suggestions would be very welcome!


Aura (Major)
Aura (Minor) x2
Healthy Feature x2
Vivid Environment

Road (Major)
Road (Minor)


Manor House

Important Buildings (As Necessary?)


Vis Salary (Obviously up the troupe as we design the charter, but it feels apt for a covenant being built from scratch)



External Relationships:

Beholden (Hibernian faction)


Minority - Inchmore (all that faerie blood)

Ruined Covenant
Faerie Court

I like the list. =]
Are we going to use detailed rules for finances and governance or go narratively?

My two cents on Boons and Hooks:

Site, Residents and Surroundings
I like the idea of Fosterage, it was a tradition on medieval Ireland. I was thinking we could be housing the son of the faerie lord of our local Faerie Court as part of some deal.

Faeries have the right of way in a faerie road, and that could mean that they don't need our permission to cross the Aegis. Maybe this applies only to a selected group of faeries (say, envoys of the lord), who effectively count as a Resident Nuisance? Every time they appear they must be catered to, disrupting our daily routine.
Faerie Court + Fosterage + Resident Nuisance could sum up to replace/represent the influence of the river as a Road (major)

Can Lough Ree be easily forded? If not, I think it might merit the Difficult Access boon.

Would the ringfort be enough to count as a Castle (major hook) with a Ringwork (free) and no particular fortification?

  • There is a castle at Athlone, and the city is under English rule. Would they object to a ringfort 10 miles to the north?
  • Historically the Portlick Castle is built around 1500 by the Dillion family, with a motte being built around 1200 (I found one source claiming the castle was built on 1185, but this might refer to the motte). Its barely 1 mile away from us. Maybe in our saga we are the reason Henry de Leon settled there, to keep an eye on us weirdos and our castle in the middle of the island (this could be the Ungarrisoned Castle minor hook)?
  • in other words: if we want mundane trouble because of the fort, I suggest we consider the fort a Castle (for hook purposes). If we do not want mundane trouble, it does not count as a Castle.

By the same token, if it is a Castle do the buildings outside of the ringfort count as Outbuildings?

External Relationships
Connections to a Hedge Tradition not far from us could be interesting, and would strengthen our role as "keepers of the old ways".
For example, maybe there is a small druidic circle a few miles away who all have Animal Ken and can transform into a particular animal (Skinchanger). Maybe @Pralix's companion could be one of them, have learned Animal Ken from them or act as a liason between us and them due to the inherent similarities (this is just a suggestion).
They could be formerly protected by Praesis, but since it has fallen they now rely on us. I'd suggest either folk witches or gruagach, but if anyone wants a Companion strongly tied to a hedge tradition, that's also a good oportunity to make that tradition shine. =]
(I might even end up being the one to make such companion, depending on the circunstances! XD)

Nythin, I assume the Ruined Covenant you suggested would be Praesis? If it has been razed by the English magi to the point that there is nothing of significance to find it would not be a hook... then, is this a declaration of your intent that indeed, there are things left behind to be found and you'd like either to explore that or run stories about it?
I'm a sucker for old secrets, so I find it interesting. =]
The easiest way to even it out would be the Hidden Resources boon? A few books, items or vis sources of Praesis yet to be discovered by us? Something they left behind and couldn't come back to get because it was not the right time (inside a regio that opens randomly, for example)?

That isn’t how the virtue works, plus it would upset the Bjornaer. How about a hedge tradition with prophetic visions - they could be a real story hook machine?

Learned through initiation. It might be bought at character generation with the usual points for V&F, but the narrative behind that might be initiation from a group of hedge wizards as well as a natural knack. ^^

While I don't think we are missing story hooks, a group with Visions also seems nice.


I'm certainly open to conversation and ideas here. I'll outline what our thinking has been in how this has been structured so far and we can discuss.

The intent is that Manor House + Ringfort/works were intended to be comparable to the sort of fortified manor that would form the heart of a great estate with (semi-containing) a sizable village inside the walls. Comparably such an estate would be many times the size of Inchmore island. Yet even a fortified manor and ringwork is not comparable to a full castle in real defensive terms. Against any serious assault, especially one with artillery, a ringwork and manor house are mundanely very weak targets. While a ringwork comparably does give Inchmore the secure space to act as a staging ground, this is not really unusual as fortified manors and villages go and there are other mitigating factors.

The fact that the manor and fortifications are on an island severely inhibits the ability of these fortifications to support combat power projection in the region. While Inchmore in theory is a rather difficult to attack manor, given its fortifications and situation on the island, it would be very hard to mundanely sustain a sizable force there or to logistically move such a force on/off the island with conventionally available craft/means.

I see these things as part of what makes Inchmore Manor seem quite nonstandard and an out of place scale of investment and fortification for the island in mundane terms. It certainly would seem unusual to mundane nobles/authorities, but I didn't think it would also seem threatening in and of itself.

Which might change a bit if we were to have larger vessels, especially a number of them, be visibly docked at the island. Ships would solve the logistical problems of moving people/things on/off the island and greatly amplify the potential threat of the manor in being able to now not just project power in an immediate radius like a normal fortress but rapidly up and down the river. Ships that were visibly combat ships (drakkar anyone?) would compound with the fortified island manor to be seen as a much more serious threat I think.

There are buildings outside of the ringworks/fort that are effectively Outbuildings, yes.

This is interesting.

Any concepts as the Faerie Court of origin, and what kind of foster/hostage we might have?

This would get into some future story defining material as to what kind of relations we have with which sorts of faeries.

I have a few ideas as to local faerie factions, but I am not sure how much of that I really want to share just yet. I'll be talking that over with Nithyn soon.

The Gruagach and Folk Witches are some of what I have in mind as well.

I was recently pondering having a coven of Folk Witches based out of Athlone, with a long history there. But haven't really defined much about them yet.

Gruagach I find interesting, also that there are multiple versions of them (culturally speaking). The norse version would be very apt here in Hibernia given that there are native Ostmen who could practice it. Gruagach also make very playable adventuring type characters as well, so that is a plus.

The shapeshifters would be quite an interesting add to the local flavor. A small clan/tribe of werewolves or the like, more or less?

This got me to thinking about the Useful Curse boon. Since we have a Duidsan and an elder Duidsan (at least) as a member/backer, perhaps a cursed lineage of wolf-men would make for interesting covenfolk? Not saying I have my heart set on it, but it does mention Ireland specifically and ... Hex is a thing. 8P

Re: Manor House + Ringfort, thanks for the details. I don't think I disagree with anything. On a cursory glance we do qualify for the Castle Hook... but that depends on how threatening we look in the eyes of our neighboors.

Still, I imagine they would be at least mildly concerned about the people who occupied a fortress in the middle of an island? We don't have any way, logistically, to bring warriors in and out of Inchmore... for now. But who is to say what the future holds?

So I still think Difficult Access, and perhaps Ungarrissoned Castle (to describe the nearby nobles who are not immediately hostile, but are watching us) are appropriate. =]

As for Outbuildings, if we are not a proper castle there is no risk of them being used against us during a siege, so maybe that one should stay out.

For Forsterage I just saw Nythin's suggestion of a faerie court and raised the stakes. =9
I have no clear idea about the court details, but I sure can brainstorm something.

A rough idea: the local court (Summer or Spring if Seelie, Winter or Autumn if Unseelie) sends us their ~7 year male heir to be "apprenticed" (in practice we just need to raise him for 14 or 15 years (as apprenticeship requires) and teach him the basics he will need in the future (as fostering requires)). As the fosterage fee they present us 18 magical cows (a high number, but appropriate for the son/daughter of a noble) who are a source of faerie tainted vis (the first dash of milk on the first day of -season- can be collected, amounting to X pawns (define as necessary) if collected from all cows?). It also includes their "authorization" (not that we need it) to use Inchmore and Inchturk. They occasionally visit us, either to check on the child and bond with us, either because they were going to pass by Inchmore anyway while roaming Ireland.

They might have put the child in our care to protect him from another court, to accomplish a prophecy, or in hope that we can stop a prophecy. We need not be fully privy on their reasons (and the reasons might very well be only understandable from a faerie perspective, which we, as humans, by default lack (in other words, we don't know and probably never will)). Either way the child must be taught the basics and protected from harm.

The child could, perhaps, be a human child, stolen by the fae, brough to us so that she can learn how to be human?

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I think Difficult Access is accurate/apt. Perhaps even Natural Fortress, though that might be a bit much. We've described large parts of the island as difficult to land (but not impossible, unless we selected Natural Fortress) on with a boat without a dock. Combine this with the friendliest landing spot being occupied by our quay and the gatehouse + palisade defending it and we've greatly amplified the difficulty in making a conventional assault on the island directly. With Natural Fortress it would essentially be mundanely impossible to assault the island without defeating the defenses at the quay and gatehouse first. Infiltration might remain another matter.

The bar has certainly been raised to the point that it is non-casual to attack Inchmore, and that was intentional. The wizards are more worried about another siege from more wizards, like the one that destroyed Praesis, but the Mundanes/Lords have no way to know that (or would care really). Just that this bar isn't "an army couldn't do it" and more "it would take an army". Whereas Castles are capable of keeping armies at bay while supplies last, unless engineers are involved. (Or magic.)

Re: Ungarrissoned Castle being used explicitly to describe mundane interests/entanglements is an interesting idea. I was pondering City instead since Athlone is nearby, described as having its own dock and boats that go on the lake. It would likely be the place most keen to take an interest and no doubt will be a further source of stories besides.

I've been reflecting on Difficult Access and Natural Fortress and ... the magical coalition of backers that helped to set up the Covenant. It seems like manufacturing such qualities on the island would be relatively trivial work for any serious Terram Magus. Raise and adjust the shoreline a bit here and there, raise/place some rocks and the like in/under the water nearby, and the difficulty of landing on the island would be significantly increased. And none of these things seems very difficult magically for someone already in possession of earth/rock moving/shaping spells. If we assume (perhaps just a tad generously, though we do know the senior Q in the Tribunal is a member of the Coaltion) that such a Magus was involved then this seems like something that would have been perhaps an afternoon of work or at most a few days over the span of the year effort of founding the Covenant.


Re: Hedge Tradition

It seems worthwhile to point out that we have two immediate sources/connections for any associated Hedge Magic practitioners. One being the Crannog Village on Inchmore itself. The other being Athlone. Athlone is rife with possibility both because it is a city itself, and because it falls within the borders of Connacht. This makes it nominally "safe ground" for hedge practitioners in Hibernia. Really you could have a small to reasonable size gathering of a handful of hedge practitioners there who ply magical at least partially magical trades in the city since they are not restricted by the Code.

I had pondered having a Folk Witch Coven make its home there, but more is certainly possible.

Re: Faerie Court

I have in mind that there are three relevant Faerie Courts to the immediate situation of Inchmore. This is something I see as a somewhat high number but in part caused due the situation/proximity of the Covenant both with Athlone and with the Faerie Roads/Trods. I'll call these the Goblin Market, the River Court, and the High Court for now, but would be open to alternative names that sounded cool. These are broad strokes that would be common knowledge to Merinita and/or anyone with actual Faerie Lore.

In Athlone I have in mind essentially an "Underworld" (in both the criminal and earth/cavernous sense both) Goblin Market that is populated both by eponymous Goblins, other Unseelie style Fae, and their Mundane(-ish?) criminal/smuggler type associates/retainers. The dominant Unseelie force in Hibernia.

The River Court I see as dominated by the River Goddess of the Shannon and being the court of water and sea faeries/spirits. This court I see as more "nature" oriented, and somewhere between Seelie and Unseelie. Tries to maintain a Faerie balance of power in Hibernia.

The High Court I've mentally pegged as being dominated by the spirit of Queen Meadhbh (TCI, pg 38) out of "Cnoc Na Re" near Sligo in north-eastern Connacht. This would roughly be the Seelie Court, but that doesn't mean they are friendly.