As for the location, if we are to be a vassal covenant (despite being autumn), we could be vassals to either Fudarus, Confluensis or Montverte. Either would be interesting options, but from the set of magi we seem to have perhaps Confluensis might be out.
Or we can be a liege, which adds its own complications to the package. A sixth liege covenant would shake the balance of power in the tribunal - and its location would certainly cause a lot of tension among the other northern lieges (four of the five!). Alternatively, the covenant could just have earned its freedom and not have any vassals yet.
What does everybody think?
Also, as for location, Fort La Latte, near St. Malo? Or the Château de Tonquéd?
Cap Fréhel might also be interesting. It doesn't have any structures, but a couple of towers there might be really cool (there are two lighthouses there nowadays). It is also hard to get by sea and difficult to settle due to marshes. Ovarwa's maga would fit right in!
Not too sure on that. An autumn covenant might be a vassal out of tradition, or maybe it just has strong ties with its liege/same interests/started as a chapter house. There are several ways in which a vassal covenant can be in autumn.
I do agree it might not be the best option, but I don't think it's impossible or that it doesn't make sense.
As for fitting in, anything away from cities and towns works. Unless it's an abandoned city or town whose populace has fled due to verminous infestation....
Vermin are everywhere. A pretty meadow with bees and clouds of gnats works fine too. Forests, lakes...
Bees are nice because of the wax and honey they produce, and because of the way people who get stung by a swarm of bees don't have time to do anything other than swell up and run away, and might not manage even that. Helps regular agriculture too.
But termites are nifty builders and diggers too, especially for someone who can marshal the tiny things in hundreds of millions to build stuff. (Yuck! )
There's the whole squicky side of vermin control, but think of what happens when they're on your side!
I think it can combine, but it doesn't feel all that natural, especially if our covenant was very strong even when our characters were much younger. It also removes our characters one step from being main players in the Tribunal.
It would spell disaster if we had taken up residence in a former Diedne Covenant
I think that the covenant could contain more than just one site - understood thus that maybe the Vermin Magas sanctum is in a marshy delta on the northern outskirts of the area, the Deranged Tytalus has an archetypical tower at the covenant main buildings and the Divine Trianoma has the cellars under a nearby church etc. (All just examples). As long as the sites are not spaced too far from each other one Aegis could cover it, and it would give the feel of each magus'/maga's special interests. Of course it also possible to do that in one place, but...could be fun to tamper with
The most important part is making the covenant interesting. This could be done by tweaking a common castle with knights in silverarmour and flaming eagles as defences, or something weird like making a northern venice in a river and having a wall of water constantly protecting it.
Interesting bits could be covenfolk that are F*cked up in some way. I believe we have all played the sagas with Lycanthrope grogs, blind monks and cannibalistic faerieblooded However in this saga, I would personally very much like my maga to be centre stage as much as possible (Along with the other magi), delegating the companions and grogs to the background.
We could opt for finances that are either showy or covert. Showy in Brittany might be forestry, fishing fleet, control of a town producing crafts, having a puppet noble paying for expenses or control of a number of churces. Covert could be selling espionage, selling magical items and potions, selling books, vis or teaching, or investing alredy earned money. I am rather fond of a slighty more covert way of funding our covenant.
We should have a respectable library, probably a lvl 8-10 in all Arts with 3-7 Arts considerably higher. Summae and tractatii can be, as Caelarch mentioned be produced by us in our junior years to become the spine of the library (danish expression, don't know if it translates well to english... 8) ) But books on the most important abilities such as Code of Hermes, OoH Lore, Artes Liberales etc would be nice.
Vis Stores/Sites: several of these could be harvested illegitimately, due to the tribunal's weird rulings, they might be dwindling, or contested in some way. Maybe we have, despite our lineage, lost several tourneys? In any way we should have enough Vim to cast an aegis, and hopefully enough Creo, Corpus and Vim to make longevity potions.
I like the idea of your covenant being fairly large, with seperate buildings areas for each magus. I'm still open for input, but I'm thinking a large central fortification, where the covenfolk can gather, you have your council chamber etc. with the magi's sancta spread in the surronding area. Right now, I'm thinking of locating the covenant near Carnac, on the south/western coast of Brittany, west of Morhiban (Away from books, so pardon spellings).
You have a couple of monastaries nearby, a largish port town for trade, and several sights of ancient and powerful magic. The covenant site itself is home to magalithic dolmens that give it a higher than usual aura.
Morbihan was where I was thinking as well. The region is farther away from Fudarus and the Norman covenants. There area not only has Carnac but many other great megalithic sites. A really cool place are the passage grave of Gavrinis, on a small island in the Gulf of Morhiban. It could be a great location with a fog or enchantment that keeps boats away. There are other islands off the cost, the bay is very enclosed/protected, that would make a good base of operations. Much of the gulf is swampy, especially near Vannes, the mouth of the Seine.
Off the coast, there are islands of all sizes. Legends said there were 365 islands, but in reality there are mush fewer. There are only 4 or 5 inhabited islands, but we can make up one if you would want to have something similar. As more powerful magi, we can use magic to travel when boats are not wanted.
For those who desire a more covert form of income - smuggling and piracy are traditional vocations in Brittany. Both English and French merchants dreaded the ragged coastline for this reason. With English holdings in Aquitaine, there is lots of commerce down this coastline. Marko's underworld connections would be essential to any smuggling and fencing of pirated goods.
An island does not work as well for the Ken's vermin maga, unless we were in the Gulf of Morbihan, where the coastline and islands are low and marshy.
The more I look at the area around the Morbihan Gulf, the more I like the way it feels. The swamps and marsh lands are pretty appropriate for a vermin lord. There is a nearby monestary at Rhuys for the holy maga. Our many faced Tytalus can move in the social circles of Vannes.
This represents the portion of the Library you are allowed access to prior to becoming a Master in covenant. For at least the first 20 years, this is what you have. You may of course write new works, which will generally be placed in this collection (you will note the large number of vain texts already found herein, these were written by your predecessors). When only a quality is given the text is a tractatus. When two abilities or arts of given then the book can be studied once for each art, or seasons may be split (per distractions) to study both subjects.
You may also trade for books. Book trades will be handled as needed during chargen. Additional books may be added as the magi gain experiance (i.e. more advanced texts after 10 or twenty years).
Foundation of Creation
Creo L6 Q21
Poor Quality Copy of Foundation of Creation
Creo L6 Q 18
Muto L5 Q15
Foundation of Destruction
Perdo L5 Q15
Animal L5 Q15
Corpus L5 Q15
Fundamental Stone Magics
Terram L5 Q 15
Vim L6 Q21
Ignem L12 Q 16
Rego L11 Q 17
Concerning Living Beasts
Animal L14 Q 17
Minerals and Stones
Terram L12 Q 19
Intellego L7 Q 15
The Magical Use of Plants
Herbem L12 Q 13
Weather and Air
Aurem L12 Q11
Ruminations of Pure Magic
Vim L12 Q10
Conjurations of Flames
Magical Properties of Silkworms
Vim Q 10
Water Sprites of Morbihan
Aquam Q 9
Animals of the Ancients
Animal Q 7
Darkness from Light
Concerning the Binding of Ghosts
The Peripheral Code of Normandy
Order of Hermes Lore L 3 Q 9
Code of Hermes L3 Q9
Hermetic Magic (A study of Bonisaginus's Principia Magica)
Magic Theory L4 Q 12
Area Lore [Morbihan] L3 Q 10
History of [Covenant] Vol. 1
Covenant Lore Q 8 – Written in Ancient Greek
History of [Covenant] Vol. 1I
Covenant Lore Q 8 – Written in Ancient Greek
History of [Covenant] Vol. 1II
Covenant Lore Q 8 – Written in Ancient Greek
For the Tourney, its every 7 years, right after the Tribunal. 50 years ago, you covenant was placing between 5 and 15 usually. For the last two tourneys, though you have placed in the top 4. Tribunal/Tourneys have occurred in 1214, 1207, 1200, 1194, 1186, 1179, 1172, etc...
Your personal vis source is worth three pawns per year, and makes you the envy of those not so blessed. If it does not originate in your body (hair, blood etc.) then you must explain where it comes from and if you are plundering it under the Peripheral Code of Normandy.
Next Tribunal is 1221 (next year!) so the Magi and grogs are looking forward to it.
As a head up, the Tribunal will be the first major story we play through, after a brief prologue.
After your Gauntlet, you are provided a basic lab space of size +2. You may customize this pretty much at will. The default is an empty stone chamber in a conjured tower. The covenant will foot the bill up to Upkeep +3 in your lab. As space opens up (assume around your 20th year) you are invited to move your Sanctum into the main covenant building, a large domed structure of white marble.
*Edit- to correct mistake in the Upkeep and add more detail.
As we design the years after arriving at the Covenant, it would be helpful to have some ideas about the nature, geogprahy, politics and economics of our homebase. Creation of starting characters is not dependent on such information, however, aging them in a specific setting is, if everyone expects the level of detail this group appears capable of.
I am not asking for hard decisions, just some thoughts form the other players as to what they think the covenant is like.
Well, I can think of how Deborah's vermin collective might affect things, though other things also drive the covenant.
Lots of bees! This morning, I saw a black bee almost the size of a golf ball, moving from from blossom to blossom on a tree just outside my window. Each time the bee took nectar from a flower, the whole branch bent. Just having one of those nearby would make me need a good concentration roll--imagine being stung!
Mosquitoes, hornets, wasps, spiders, leeches, Warped covenfolk.... I suspect that despite the "random" nature of Tribunal hosting, our covenant is somehow never chosen. There are political advantages and disadvantages around being a covenant few people want to be around. Our conspiratorial magi (Diedne, Tytalus, etc) probably enjoy the privacy, and Quaesitores will probably find reasons to exhaust most other alternatives before snooping around. But the Redcaps who show up will have chosen the short straw. Mundanes will keep far away from the place and might not even know it is inhabited. For someone who can get over the unsettling aspects of living at vermin central, it is probably a comfortable place.
Frog legs, snails, eels, oysters and other such delicacies might often be on the menu. Honey too. Do we sell mead? Agricultural products? (Earthworms, ants and other vermin do wonderful things for soil, bees are great pollinators, and having vermin pests under control does a world of good. Harvesting frogs and testaceans also has value.) Getting more exotic, breed giant spiders and flying insects to use as mounts or warriors--either to sell to other magi or to use, perhaps to plunder mundane shipping? Or having giant spiders weave extremely strong webs (rope and nets of non-sticky webs will be extraordinarily strong!)
As Deborah progresses, she will live in a structure built by giant ants, termites and bees. (Made giant through magic while they work.) She finds its design auspicious, but I'm thinking of simply giving her lab "Aesthetics n/a" regardless of what the lab qualities indicate.
Aside from Deborah, all those conspiracies are likely to bring something in.
One thing I have noticed is that we started designing characters a little before we settled on the Tribunal. I don't know how well we'd fare at the Tribunal Tournament. Our Diedne would excel in the event with fast-cast defenses versus forceless casting--but is hardly likely to reveal that kind of ability so consistently in front of so large an audience. considers Deborah might fare well at the joust though, with a verminous mount and a path of strife weapon. But I think that real jocks would have an advantage, because I don't see her dedicating herself to a game.
I do think that we ought to consider the ludi, as part of character and covenant development.
I've been doing some researching for my character, and I saw something that could be an interesting tie-in either in our past, or something that can come up. In HoH:True Lineages it notes that every 7 years, five magi of House Bonisagus put together a 'Folio' of interesting research submitted by other Bonisagus magi over the previous 7 years. The 5 'Colentes', as they call themselves, spend some time together to put together the folio.
How does this tie in? Well, we seem to have at least one Bonisagus magus, and I'm considering one, too. Once the Folio is written, 3 copies are routinely made: One goes to House Guernicus as proof of the House sharing its knowledge. One goes to House Mercere to travel around the Order. The last goes to the hosting covenant, as payment for putting up 5 Bonisagi for a season or two (or three) as they complete their work.
The Colentes are selected by the Primus (I believe) for a term of 7 years. Throughout that time, they receive lab notes and Tractati from other Bonisagus researchers hoping to get their work included in the Folio. The Colentes get to keep these submissions as payment for their services. After the 7 years, they meet and put together the Folio. This would provide both the Bonisagus and their covenants a substantial library.
Just thought I'd throw this idea out there for the covenant, either as explanations on why we might have the library we have, or as a plot hook to get us a better library.
I plan to have four different lairs in four different locations, so we can use these to interconnect somewhat.
Maurice will have a Sanctum at the covenant, and instead of moving into the main covenant when he becomes seinor, he just appropriates the whole of the tower to himself.
Donatella will have a Sanctum somewhere in Italy, not sure where yet. Her husband will be a merchant from Tuscany or Venice or somewhere wealthy. Undecided.
Anthony can be a thug anywhere in Mythic Europe theoretically. He'll have a secret hideout there. Tell me where you guys would think it advantageous to have some connections, and I'll set it up.
Marcia, the new Persona, will have no Sanctum as of yet.
However, there will be a secret clandestine doomsday bunker somewhere. Wait, no, there isn't. Forget what I said (Perdo-Mentum!)