Covenant Development

I think the consensus for covenant location is Novgorod. I personally have done a saga before in Crimea, on the northern shore of the Black Sea, and this border area between Novgorod and Thebes can be fun, esp. since it has a lot of Greek civilization (and ruins). Any other ideas for specific locations?

What about the covenant itself? Who has Covenants? I've got the book, but not built a covenant myself from it, though I have done a lab.


I have it.
May I suggest that we do not democratically develop a charter: It takes too long.

I have Covenants. Looking through the boons and hooks, my immediate thoughts are:

[] I'm interested more in magical problems than mundane ones; I'd prefer to avoid hooks like Poverty and Mundane Politics.
] Given the expected changing population of the covenant, we should also avoid indiscreet resources. Contested resources, on the other hand, could potentially be interesting.
[] The Road Major Hook? (Mystical rather than mundane trail).
] At least one local hedge tradition. Possibly multiple, with it not being clear which are likely to be possible to make friendly.
[] Unknown hooks, please. Monsters, massacres, unknown regios etc. All of the above are also good known.
] Some explanation for a) why the local area is not well explored by the Order and b) how magi are able to come and go from it reasonably easily.
[*] Aura 5 good. Ruins good. If going for the ruins of a previous attempt at a covenant, the hidden resources minor boon?

You're probably right. I'll write something up, ask for suggested amendments, and then we can vote it up or down. Do you want a really detailed one, or just the basics?


I've not put this in flowery in-character language. If we want to do that, we can, but let's make sure we're agreed on the provisions first.


The covenant of Nova Castra [or whatever] has been dedicated by Novgorod Tribunal [probably] to provide hospitality, including a temporary Sanctum and laboratory, to any member of the Order of Hermes, for as long as he or she wishes to make residence at the covenant. In exchange for this duty, which shall exist in perpetuity, the Tribunal grants Nova Castra books for a library, equipment for the establishment of [xx] laboratories, and the services of sufficient specialists, grogs, and covenfolk to establish the new covenant site.

Members and Council

The initial members of Nova Casta are Aelos of Bjornaer, Viola of Merinita, Gregorius of Tremere, and [xxxx] of Verditius. Any magus who maintains his Sanctum at the covenant for an unbroken period of three years may become a member, on the approval of a majority of the Covenant Council.

Each member may vote in the Covenant Council, with all decisions to be made by a majority of those present. Decisions of the Council may establish permanent Ordinances for the covenant. Meetings will be held at regular intervals, at least once a year; they can be called at irregular intervals, but in such a case, every effort must be made to notify all members in advance. A change to this charter requires a vote of two-thirds of members present, at a regularly scheduled meeting.

All members of the covenant, as well as their unGifted servants, are entitled to participate in the covenant's Aegis of the Hearth ritual.

All members of the covenant are charged with maintaining it so that it can fulfill its duties to the Order, and the Council has to power to allocate specific duties to the members as necessary, though this allocation should to the extent possible place an equal burden on all members.


A visiting magus is entitled, for himself and up to three of his servants, to accommodations, a laboratory, and sufficient mundane provisions, with provisions to be made even while the magus or his servants while on expedition when using the covenant as a base.

A visiting magus is entitled to a token from the Aegis of the Hearth ritual. However, no visitor, magus or servant, is allowed to participate in the ritual itself.

A visitor may be expelled, on a majority vote of the Covenant Council, for violation of this charter, whether or not such violation constitutes a Hermetic Crime.


All inhabitants of the covenants are expected to respect the lives, property, and enterprises of one another. Engaging in violent combat within the Aegis or its vicinity, whether magical or mundane, except in cases of self-defense, or in an attempt to enforce this Charter and the ordinances of the Council, is forbidden. Certamen, of course, will not be regarded as violent combat. [This is possibly unnecessary under the Peripheral Code, but basically designed to make sure the visitors don't pick on or push around the covenfolk.]


The members of the covenant are entitled to take half the vis collected from recurring sources by the covenant, as salary. The other half will be used or stored for later use as dictated by the Council. Visitors are entitled to no vis from the covenant's recurring sources or stores, unless the Council decides otherwise.

Members and visitors alike are entitled to keep for personal use any vis they obtain, including vis from previously unknown recurring sources. However, the future production of vis from any recurring source discovered by a Magus who maintains a temporary sanctum at the covenant belongs to the covenant. An attempt to conceal a recurring source of vis will result in the expulsion of the magus in question from the covenant, and the forfeit of its services.

Is there anything I missed? I figure allocation of mundane resources can be handled by the Council, without requiring a charter provision.


The Boons and Hooks suggested by Salutor sound good. I personally have long wanted to establish a lab in a regio inside the covenant, though this wouldn't necessarily require a Hook (unless it were partially unexplored). Vis salary is obvious, as is Hermetic Services, and we need to think about income and defenses, as well as the residents. Oh, we'll need extra labs as well, and we'll have to spend some time setting them up.

Although it's a new covenant, I'm thinking that we might want a decent library, at least on subjects that might give explorers something to consult--esp. works on (Area) Lore, Philosophiae, and the various Arcane Lores.


My character will be named Portia Verditii, a Venetian glassblower. She creates the lab equipment for the covenant. Depending on how old we can make ourselves I can probably hook us all up with Flawless Equipment.

Should have a rough draft up when I get home from work.

I'm not gonna say no to Flawless Equipment. As for how old you can be, that's entirely up to you, but I would like you to make sure that you have a good reason to be here--blowing up last covenant probably covers that, though. :slight_smile:

The Tribunal had planned to donate the lab equipment, but if she's gonna make it, the Tribunal would I think pay her for the service, perhaps even in vis.


I took two versions of the spell in Covenants for lab equipment creation: I renamed the Flawless Equipment/Tools to "Laboratory of Verditius" and made a new lower level spell called "Laboratory of Bonisagus" that creates only Superior Equipment/Tools. :laughing:

I'm thinking she'd probably make Flawless lab equipment for permanent members and all the guest facilities paid for by the Tribunal will be simply Superior. Since she's the craftsman the upkeep should be covered by her maintaining things.

Unless she spends a season every X years replacing the equipment, we're going to have to figure out how to pay for all that Upkeep (+3!). The question is, how much work will it take to maintain all those labs, and how much vis? We're talking at least 10 labs here, maybe more.

EDIT: Oh, I see, she's got a spell to protect the glass from breakage. Mind you she's gonna be casting it 30 or more times a season, but since there's no stress die, that's safe. OK, that would actually reduce Upkeep by 1 instead of increasing it by 2 for Flawless Equipment. It would add Warping of 1 to all laboratories, though (including the guest labs), and it would mean bad things might happen if Portia misses a month. I also think you'd need a second spell to maintain the tools (which aren't glass), which would add another point of Warping, and the relevant spell, or a personality trait, to maintain Spotless. Maintaining all three with spells would give Warping +3, which is about as much Warping as I personally will tolerate in a laboratory, but maintaining the Flawless Equipment is clearly the most important.


I didn't think tools needed to be magically upkept since they're metal and unlikely to break. I work in a lab in real life-- it's only glassware we ever need to replace :slight_smile:

Covenants though specifically gives a +1 to Upkeep for the tools alone, and a -1 if they're provided supernaturally, which implies they contribute +2 to Upkeep--I'll willing to bet that back in the Middle Ages, most of the things that are metal now were wood, or occasionally low-grade metal.

Were you planning on using the cleaning spell, too, or just foregoing Spotless?

Does anyone else have an opinion?


If they were wooden implements, the spell would have an Herbam requisite. It's just Terram.

Sometimes Terram spells cover non-Terram stuff (yes, it actually says that explicitly in the main rulebook), but I suppose by the same token the protection spell could work on both.

Is a total +1 to Warping enough of a penalty for the benefit of both Virtues, Flawless Equipment and Flawless Tools?

And would we need to have at least a couple of labs, for visitors, that don't have magical equipment and tools, for those concerned about the Warping?


Do we start a new covenant or take over an existing one? Do I have to put too post gauntlet seasons into setting up a lab?

We're starting a new one, on the site of a ruined one--I need to set up an announcements page, eventually, with details. Apparently glass-girl is going to poof most of our lab equipment into existence, but you'll need a season to take it over, and then more to refine and tailor the lab to your tastes.

I was thinking we'd roleplay setting up the site, but we can skip it if everyone wants to.

By the way, I've put a lot of suggestions and rules questions out there for comment, and no one seems to be responding except the people immediately involved. Talk, people! :slight_smile:


I don't reply to something if I have no opinion on the matter :slight_smile:

There isn't much to critizice
About the charta:
Shouldn't we grant the Autocrat and/or Turb captain the right to participate and vote in council?
It makes the grogs more relaxed.

On the other hand: My magus won't need many grogs.

My/Gregorius' response to the charter:

Overall, I like it. A few suggestions for improvements:

[*]The covenant should have a leader, with tie-breaking powers if nothing else. Otherwise, with only four magi, we're potentially going to end up having to settle a lot of Council matters using Certamen, and excessive certamen in meetings becomes time-consuming and disruptive.

I'd suggest that leadership is decided every 7 years. Require all potential candidates (after the initial founding) to have contributed at least two seasons of service to the covenant or the Order as a whole (quaesitorial duties, participation in Wizard's Marches, specifically excluding service to an individual House) in the last two years. Then settle based on Certamen. I myself won't stand for leadership now; I recognise that all of the other magi at the covenant have considerably greater experience than I do.

[*] I'd suggest that we withdraw guest rights from any guest involved in a Wizard's War, whether initiating or not. The covenant's purpose is not to serve as a battleground for unrelated wars. Perhaps allow such time to not interrupt the 3 year requirement for membership, however, provided residence is resumed promptly upon its ending?

[*] Decorum: We do need, however, to maintain the legal capacity to discipline our coven-folk should it prove necessary.

Thinking about it more, I like the idea of a vast aura (minor boon) as part of what attracted the Order to the site. I'd also suggest we make it somewhere coastal, but at one of the far reaches/slightly outside of the tribunal, for ease of visiting magi getting to it (what ships are going to it and why is a separate problem). Cliffs are suddenly appealing.

I propose this initial draft build:

Major Boons:
Dedicated Covenant 3
Hedge Tradition 3

Minor Boons
Vast Aura 1
Aura x 2 2
Hidden Resources x2 2

Major Hooks
Road 3
Regio 3
Hedge Tradition 3
Ruined Covenant (OR Missing Expedition)

Minor Hooks
Regio 1
Vis salary 1
Missing Expedition (OR Ruined Covenant)
Contested Resource.

Free Choices
Hunters or Sailors

We've currently got slightly more flaws than virtues even before we add in unknown hooks (which all count as major for balancing purposes but can be selected from the minor hooks). I'm not sure if we have too many hooks - we may do. However, we have no fortifications of any kind (although this might be a side-effect of setting up a new covenant, we should probably have something). We also have no extra income.

Are some people happy to take responsibility for story-guiding unknown hooks?

I'm not sure whether to take Ruined Covenant or Missing Expedition, although I'm inclined towards the latter. Ruined Covenant is described as being near the site of a powerful covenant which has fallen into ruin. Missing expedition is for a group of Hermetic magi who attempted to set up a covenant in the general area many years ago, but vanished. "Clues to their fate may emerge, and whatever happened to them may threaten to re-emerge."