Covenant Development: General Discussion

Very interesting idea. Something like ... a paved circle of stones around a pool of water surrounding the Stone, to delineate a boundary between it and the rest of the caves. It could work magically with regard to the Aegis.

How do we think it would be perceived socially in the Tribunal?

I could see it being perceived as clever, but also perhaps undermining of the point of it being raidable and thus Hibernian Traditions/Ways. Arguments could be made either way?

It also perhaps begs the question of whether that leaves an undefended area in the caves. Though my vision of the caves is that they extend "to unknown depths" and thus wouldn't be entirely covered by the Aegis anyway.

Perhaps placing the Cathach "outside the aegis" but inside the caves (but not otherwise surrounded by territory covered by the aegis) ... with us understanding that the caves do extend deeper, would still put it in sufficiently uncontrolled territory to be meeting Hibernian traditions?

The original idea is that the Stone was excavated from the caves, right? So... Why was it there to begin with? And why wasn't it moved further away?

Maybe by standing just in the edge of the aura (outside the Aegis) it manages to accomplish the purpose for which it was created in the first place. If this was a CoC game I'd say sealing away an ancient horror lurking deep within the caves, but it doesn't seem appropriate for our game. Haha.

(And it would open up an interesting question: when we go to the Tribunal (or if we ever lost our cathach), how long before the abscence of the cathach is felt and magical troublecomming from the caves befall the covenant? Months? Weeks? Days?)

The cathach must be "displayed". I'm finding it hard to conciliate "inside the caves" with that even if we put a sign at the right entrance and extend a red carpet to the right location.

Ya. I'm thinking there may be a very narrow pathway through, so you can get to it without passing through the Aegis, but barely. That would help make it easier to guard, too. But, yes, somehow "outside the Aegis but inside the caves," whether it's just deeper in or we have to make a special boundary. But that's just one idea.

Yes, "displayed" may be an issue if it's inside the caves. But there could still be a nice boundary nearly around it outside of the caves.

Part of the meta-thinking with the Oath Stone is that it serves as a roleplaying focal point for the Praesis-like intended function of the Covenant in being a place where deals are brokered and peace is maintained in Hibernia, and between the Order and the Coill of Connacht especially. It doesn't force anything on anyone, but it keeps all bargains/deals honest (usually). This helps reinforce this aspect of play as a reason on top of geography as to why deals/pacts are made on Inchmore.

My intent was that the stone was found during the excavation of the the caves, a remnant from the Norse era. That the caves are truly ancient magical site (more on that not disclosed at this time), and the Norse made use of it and erected the stone. It blends in a rune-mage-like ability for true change to achieve its effects. It served them for similar purposes but also to overcome the animosity of the Gift and allow the magical group who dwelt on Inchmore to have greater amity and trust by swearing oaths to one another that they could rely upon.

Post excavation I sort of assumed it was going to have been moved out to the surface and erected in some kind of moot circle. Yet further defining this would be beneficial.

Any further thoughts regarding the aura and/or the stone?

Things necessary before opening for play. (Besides finished Magi, Companions, & Grogs)


  • Library!
  • Aura Details/Boundaries
  • Vis Sources
  • Review Covenant Writeups for consistency

World Building

  • Immediate Surroundings of Lough Ree, aside from Athlone & Monastery

-- Lake Shore Village/Inn
-- Surrounding Farms/Manors?
-- Isle of Inchcleraun, Monastery

  • Athlone

-- City Districts & Major NPCs
-- Ruler & Court/Retinue
-- Hedge Witches, Native
-- Mystic Smith, Native

  • Faerie Courts

-- Goblin Market/Athlone
-- Court of Mab (Courtly/Chivalric Fae)
-- X?

Breaking some of the worldbuilding into chunks for delegation. Presuming you are all willing when you are done I'll dive in after and reattack/flesh out before posting finished versions to pinned game threads.

This is accurate on all counts other than I want to dive deeper re: Athlone. A dark court might be just what we need as well.

Would you perhaps take on doing a writeup of a couple of paragraphs each of fluff for Faerie Courts? Just general character/flavor and any significant NPCs and/or centers of gravity that come to mind.

Would you be willing to work on sections under the immediate surroundings of the lake? I have in mind a small but growing village immediately on the shore that has newfound activity and ties to the Covenant now that Inchmore has been built. The rest are just the nearby mundane lands/villages and lords etc. Other than the Monastery with which we share the lake, on another island north of us.

@Nithyn has the library and vis sources to work on.

I will start taking a deeper stab at Athlone and whatnot soon.

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Faerie Courts & Factions

These are the most significant and powerful major groupings of Faerie in Hibernia and perhaps the world. All are formed around at least one of the Tuatha De Danann though not all Tuatha De are a part of these groups. Other more minor Faerie factions and groups exist both in Hibernia and elsewhere. Each of these major Faerie factions can be assumed to have significant internal factions and politics of their own, much further than described here.

Court of Meadhbh

The Court of Summer, Light, Air, and Life. A formal and chivalric court of noble faerie houses conducting eternal politics that revolve around the ghost of their nominally dead Queen, Meabhbh. The heart of their court lies in the fortress of Meabhbh in Cruachan, found in Connacht yet the noble houses of faerie have holdings throughout Hibernia or indeed beyond. This Court is exemplified by chivalric knights and lords ruling lands and domains that somehow are side by side yet hidden from mundane society. Their political schemes, feuds, and even wars can span mortal generations yet are held to the strict courtly rules of their society. Within this Faerie societies all freely accepted bargains are sacred and binding. Most significantly the Court makes no secret that there is a plan for arranging the rebirth and a new life for Meabhbh herself, though details are never provided. Detractors say this is impossible and the Court is ever more on the wane, along with their strict and antiquated ways. Supporters say it is just a matter of time and the Lords of Summer know what they are doing and are never ones to share their plans before their time. If such were to come to pass there is no doubt that the Court of Summer would wax more powerful than ever.

Court of Goibniu

The Court of Winter, Darkness, Earth, and Rebirth. Here are joined the major Goblin Clans along with the Dokkalfar who followed the Norse to Hibernia. Their Court is found in an underworld Regio beneath Athlone from which they administer a great Goblin Market. Finding the Goblin Market is the starting point of many legends and stories. How to access the Goblin Market is not a secret, since the Fae here do want to do business with people, however it still isn't a completely casual affair. Each new customer in search of the market is in some way tested for their earnestness and sincere interest, in a way unique and appropriate to them, before "finding" their own personal way in and out of the Regio network. The Goblins and Dokkalfar are master craftsmen and artificers, capable of building enchantments and constructs of great power. Their crafts and artifacts are all for sale at the Goblin Market though the prices are generally never so straight forward as money or even vis. The currency of the Market beyond anything else is Stories. Beyond the market itself and the undercity, Forionnag, of the clans and craftsmen that support it, the Court divides. The Dokkalfar administrate Forionnag and maintain it. The Goblin clans defend and patrol the city and conduct the broader trade interests of the Court outside of Forionnag and Athlone. The Dokkalfar are aloof, stern, and meticulous. The Goblins are more exuberant, hearty, and aggressive. Within the scope of their broader trade network the Goblins also manage and sponsor a crime network that perhaps doesn't quite dominate yet certainly reaches all of Hibernia at least, perhaps more.

Court of Donn

The Court of Death, Entropy, Spirit, and Otherworlds. Donn is one of the greater Tuatha De and was a powerful ally of the Diedne. It is known in Hibernia however that he fought with them and was an ally of the House until it was destroyed and the Schism ended. Much knowledge of him, his court, and his motivations have been lost or suppressed since the Schism and the Quaesitorial banning of materials having to do with the Schism or House Diedne itself. There persist dark rumors that Donn is rebuilding his power still. An army of the dead and of ghosts that he gathers in his fortress of Teach Duinn on the Isle of Dursley, off the coast of Munster. The purpose of this rebuilding of power however remains a mystery.

The Wild Hunt

The Hunt is nomadic and rides the Faerie Roads & Trods throughout Mythic Europe unpredictably and reveling in blood and destruction wherever it goes. The Lord of the Hunt is believed to be an avatar of Odin himself consorted by the bloody Badhbh. It is difficult yet not impossible to make peaceful contact with the Hunt, indeed groups of Riders have been known to act as mercenaries when it suited their interest. They are never cheap and only ever are interested in being part of attacks and raids. The Hunt also takes prisoners, though only the most desirable ones. Captives of The Hunt can be exorbitantly ransomed or if they are not may expect to be sold into slavery somewhere very distant from their point of capture if not literally into Faerie itself.

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Any feedback or suggestions for addition/modification of the Faerie Courts?

Any suggestions for which Faerie Court(s) to have the previously suggested Fosterage associated with?

I could see an argument for the Court of Goibniu due to proximity, and likewise for Court of Meadhbh due to their courtliness and Fosterage being a courtly tradition.

The list looks good to me - I like the aspects described for each group, and can't think of anything at the moment that is missing.

Regarding Fosterage, would it not be better to have it with another covenant? But if Faerie Fosterage is the consensus, then my vote would be to hold it with the Court of Maedhbh because of the better cultural fit.

Will there also be Magical, Divine, and Infernal realm factions in the surroundings?

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I am open to discussion here yet the previously suggested Covenant Hook was a Faerie Fosterage, and that was what I was responding to.

I felt particularly obliged to write up Faerie in Hibernia, and because Inchmore is right next to a major Faerie Road. That said I would be open to seeing how much interest there is in defining factions for the other Realms as we continue the preparations.

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This close to Connacht, that's a given. And that's before you account for any magical critters and the like.

We've got the monks on the island for sure that we could stand to flesh out a bit better. And obviously whomever is in town.

Maaaaaybe. That said, if there were, @Vortigern and I would likely be playing a bit cagey about it.

Anyone care to volunteer for an initial stab at this one?

Alrighty, with my character reaching the mostly done stage, I'm going to get cracking on the library and vis sources this weekend.

Friendly reminder that we're playing fast and loose with the covenant creation rules, so we're not stressing build points or the like. Not that I think anyone is gonna grumble.

That said, beyond the general set of useful books, I'll probably ask folks to chip in a few ideas. Think things that your parens gave as a graduation gift of sorts (some lab texts, a higher quality book etc).


So, after too, too much time, what I have is roughly the following:

A small but growing village

To the east of Inchmore, on the eastern shore of Lough Ree, one will find an yet unnamed hamlet. The small village came to be due to the constant needs of Inchmore, and today most of the goods provided to the covenant go through hamlet, be it food or craft.

The crafters of the hamlet mostly deal with wood or weaving. High-quality items come from Athlone, as well as metal items and other rarer products. The one notable exception is bone-carving: there is an exceptional artisan who makes outstanding objects out of bone and horn, (generally flutes, combs and jewelry).

The shipment of goods to the covenant is overseen by Eamon O’Reilly, a seasoned fisherman with weathered hands and a keen understanding of the lake's ebb and flow. He is the unnoficial liason between the hamlet and the covenant, and has some kind of deep connection and understanding with the lake itself, but the nature of this connection is not clear.

Portlick Castle and Alistair Dillon

In the nearby vicinity of the village, a figure of authority and nobility emerges in the form of Lord Alistair Dillon. Recently established in the region, Lord Dillon's imposing presence is marked by the construction of a sturdy motte castle, situated barely one mile away from the lakeside settlement. The castle, surrounded by a protective wooden palisade, overlooks the surrounding lands and provides a strategic vantage point, serving both as the administrative and defensive center of the region. While the villagers acknowledge his authority, there is a delicate dance between the mundane lord and the covenant.

Dillon views the magi with a mixture of curiosity, caution, and, at times, skepticism. Being grounded in practical matters of governance and military strategy, he finds it challenging to fully comprehend the mystical forces at play.

It’s possible that the arrival of Alistair in the area is part of a larger plot of the Dillon witches, but no signal of this was given as of yet.

Whinning Forest, Whining House

Sailing to the south of Inchmore one will find himself reaching the Whinning Peninsula, upon which grows the Millenium Forest. In the midst of the forest there is a small manor, locally know as Whining House due to the cries one hears coming from there at night. No one is quite sure of who or what lives there, and no one is keen to find out.


To the north of Inchmore, the island of Inchcleraun has a deep history. Over the course of the years the island and it's several churches were plundered, burned and razed. Despite this, the churches persist. It's unclear which force is trying to drive the Dominion out of the island, and for what purpose. It might be related to Queen Medb, for one legend says that the island was the place of her death, killed by a stone thrown by her nephew from the Elfeet castle, on the shore of the lake. It might be something else entirely.

Currently the island houses an Augustinian monastery. Ambrose of Inchcleraun, the abbot, has sent an envoy to make sure of the magi intentions. Politically the monks lean towards the English side, if nothing else due to the sheer amount of times the island was plundered by men from Munster and Connacht. They are, however, members of the Irish Church (in opposition to the Anglo-Irish church), and had sufficiently neutral relations with Praesis. So far, everything seems to indicate that as long as Inchmore has no intent on raiding Inchcleraum, the monks will pose no trouble.

There are six temples built on the island: the three most important are described below.

Teampall Diarmada
Teampall Diarmada is the oldest and smallest church in Inchcleraun, built around the year 540 (either by Saint Diarmaid the Just or in his honor, the accountings are unclear), a stone building with a stone roof measuring not more than 7ft by 8ft. It might very well be the oldest church in Ireland. Saint Diarmaid was the teacher of Saint Ciarán of Clonmacnoise, one of the twelve apostles of Ireland.

Teampall Mór
Recently built, standing barely four metres to the north of Teampall Diarmada, this Augustinian priory church is constructed in an “L” shape. It is the largest building on the island, consisting of a church, sacristy and living accommodation. It has a more modern appearance than any of the others.

Teampall Clogas
Built together with Teampall Mór, Teampall Clogas stands alone at the highest point of the island. It has a square bell tower attached to the main building, being distinct from most other churces of this era (which have round towers, separate from the main building). It is located on the northern part of the island and is visible from the shoreline. The church is rectangular, 35 ft by 17 ft. It's bell is a blessed bell (TCE p. 132), whose sound covers the whole island.

I'd appreciate any comments. Things that won't work I can change/rewrite, and things still lacking I can further define. ^^


Modification/Amendment Ideas - I propose the following.

  • Add an inn (even disproportionate to the size of the hamlet) in the lakeside village. It likewise has grown up only since the building efforts for Inchmore, but its situation where it is and in relation to the Covenant and roads in general has seen it grow into the prosperous heart of the village. Devise an inn-keeper that is interest in some way.
  • Move Alistair to the west coast of the lake somewhere and change his last name. Add a wife who nee Dillon so that he is tied to the witches by marriage and directly has a witch of his own. The West coast is in Connacht where an Irish kingom still holds power.
  • Devise a new English lord to hold Portlick Castle, and make it unclear where he stands as regards loyalty to Montrose or loyalty to de Lacy in Meath. The East coast is in Meath and Meath is de Lacy's base of power in Ireland. So this local lord outside of the city could be representative in various ways of the ties and tension between Montrose and de Lacy.
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So before I go and come up with names and the like, I wanted to compile a master list of all the books that I thought we might have before folks went and added theirs. Again, this is just a super rough brainstorm, please feel free to suggest edits/tweaks as you see fit!

Area Lore: Hibernia
Area Lore: Hibernian Tribunal*
Artes Liberales
Code of Hermes
Dead Language: Latin
Dominion Lore
Faerie Lore
Infernal Lore
Living Language: English
Living Language: Gaelic
Living Language: Norse
Magic Lore
Magic Theory
Organization Lore: Coill Tri
Organization Lore: Order of Hermes

Oh and books to cover the basics in all the arts. Obviously.

That said, Parma... is tricky. I've seen a bunch of takes on it, and so I wanted to see what folks thought.

*Was unsure if this was best done as an Area or Organization Lore.

I think this could be done either way really. Even to the extent that they are two different skills (Area vs Organization Lore) that could be had side by side by the same character and the character would derive different depths of knowledge from each.

Someone with enough Organization Lore: X Tribunal I would say would be much more intensely informed about Hermetic affairs within the Tribunal. Specifically this would focus on the political, legal, and specifically mage-oriented happenings of the Tribunal as the group of magi that compose it.

Area Lore: X Tribunal would be much more broad and include various non-mage oriented things. It is using the Tribunal as a broad geographical area definition and doesn't strictly map onto thus being primarily concerned with Magi or the Order of Hermes. This would then give you much more knowledge say about the geography and/or potentially other mystical factions of an area.

Well. I could go either way on this. On the one hand we have Parma books in canon, and the idea that they could be designed say lacking some key feature to make easily learning the skill from a book/tract isn't impossible. Though I am also not unsympathetic to the view that this is ... hazardous for security of the Parma. I'll say I find both approaches reasonable and leave deciding which way to go on this to the troupe at large.

I'm generally pro Parma books, but given the existence of large amounts of Gifted hedge wizards in Hibernia I think it makes some sense for this Tribunal to take a more negative stance regarding them.

  • Perhaps making a tribunal ruling to forbid books on Parma since case X on year AAAA where the Parma leaked to a bunch of people from the Coill Trí?
  • Perhaps no ruling, but if anyone discovers you wrote a book on Parma you are going to have the hoplites and quaesitors on your door the next second to ensure you are not endangering the Order?

Or maybe no one cares. Hibernia is a bit wild, after all.

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