Not all Ex-Crusaders went 'Jew Hunting' ( Thankfully my family was hanging out in Spain at the time and was mostly safe from this stuff ). Some clergy did stand up and say 'Don't kill the Jews!', and in England they're the King's Property no? Granted there were plenty of cases where they did indeed go nuts and "go a-ridin' into town, a-whompin' and a-whumpin' every livin' thing that moves within an inch of its life. Except the women folks, of course".
But my point is, I don't see the two being mutually exclusive.
Baronial revolts are coming up soon; most ex-Crusaders will be loyal to their chaplains and barons, not the king. The "protections" of a boy king count for next to nothing right now, where English Jews are concerned.
Templars never made a policy of executing or oppressing Jews (except for the fictional Templars from Ivanhoe, which I actually found kind of insulting since I am part of a fraternal organization descended from the Templars and we have many Jewish members.
And Valten would rather have some stout warriors than literate covenfolk. If you teach them how to read, they start thinking the have rights and stuff. Not my beliefs, as Markoko is actually a nice guy. Valten is not at all nice though.
As a player, I am thinking ahead to what would be more beneficial for the character I play
I beg for a compromise. I am playing along nicely with all this "Creo & Fluffy Bunny" stuff of this covenant. Please let me have some veteran crusaders. I myself would like to create a Templar Companion, and I do believe GIJoo would like to play a crusader companion as well.
There can certainly be Crusaders in the covenant if there is consensus both to lose the Jewish covenfolk and the Welsh archers. There's more than enough nastiness lying in wait for you outside the Aegis that you don't need to add internal strife on top of that as well.
The Earl of Chester returned from crusading just this year; should Crusaders have settled in at Neston they can have already removed all the covenfolk, but this will leave the covenant in far more dire straits than it's already in (no vis stocks or sources, and in severe mundane debt as well). No covenfolk on top of that, and the likelihood of an Infernal aura, I am willing to run, if there is full consensus on it.
The first few years would need to be dedicated to getting food for the covenant, if that were the case.
I don't care about the archers so much, but also loosing the covenfolk does not seem like a fair compromise.
You said that the covenant is to be designed bby the players, right? Well, this player wants warriors and covenfolk. Please?
Not completely designed by players, no. The stuff you can't change (because it'd make me have to rewrite way too much material) is the four missing magi who built the covenant. There's no way two pagans, a Jew, and an Eastern Orthodox still nursing a serious grudge over the Fourth Crusade, would have allowed Crusaders in their home. If you want Crusaders they will have to have settled in recently (accompanying the Earl's return), and there is just no way Crusaders would not have slaughtered a settlement of Jews, living openly and without wearing judenhuten or badges, as if they think they have just as much right to live as Christans.
You can have warriors without them being frothing-at-the-mouth religious fanatics.
GIJoo has passed a compromise idea by me that I think you may find acceptable. He wants to make a Mercenary Captain companion with the Wealthy Virtue, giving him around two-dozen cavalry. That works great.
As for myself, I still want to create a retired Templar as a companion, and perhaps thereby demonstrate that not all crusaders were frothing fanatics.
He isn't asking for 'religious-fanatics'. He is asking for veteran soldiery to come into the covenant for him to have to take on adventures etc. Which I for one am ok with. The whole 'they would kill all of the jews' thing is highly subjective and debatable. You could just as easily say they are all veteran mercenaries and knights errant or the like however, coming into the covenant with some of the newly arriving Magi. Like Valten. He could be bringing them in with him, to join 'his' new covenant.
Are you kidding? There were massacres of Jews all across England in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries? You got your armies for Crusades by Benedictines going into towns and inciting anti-Semitic riots; after the mob killed Jews the knights would ride in and load the rioters onto ships, while looting from the dead Jews to fund the Crusade... The York Massacre at the beginning of the Third Crusade being the prime example.
If you want Templars specifically, they might not kill the Jewish covenfolk outright, but they'd attempt to subvert them and dominate the usury and trade to fund Crusades. That likewise would not have been allowed to continue by the four aforementioned magi. Not would the Church hesitate to intervene if they heard of Jews being protected by wizards.
You can have soldiers who are loyal to the covenant. You cannot have Crusaders unless you're willing to go without covenfolk
I like the Jewish covenfolk part put wouldn't say no to some experienced warriors as well. I don't see why they have to be Crusaders though. There were plenty of other minor wars and skirmishes that would produce warrior veterans.
Besides I'm not convinced that all ex-Crusaders would have been all-out antagonists towards non-Christians. Maybe they were when they set out for Palestine, but then they might have seen that Jews, Christians and Muslims can live peacefully side by side in the Middle East and thus became more tolerant as they returned back home.
Another possibility might be that the covenant lacks a warrior contingent when the game starts, as a Hook. We have the Jewish covenfolk and a shield grog or warrior companion each, but to build up a proper defense we might have to go out and hire/search for loyal warriors, which might be ex-Crusaders. Just a thought.
I certainly don't want an Infernal aura to start with...
What kind of vis is most useful to you? There's one or maybe two vis sources I'd had planned that I'm thinking y'all wouldn't like so much (Animal and Auram) that I'm thinking of ditching for different types. Suggestions/wishlists?
I'm actually all for Animal. Vim of course. Creo. Muto
I've been keeping quiet since I'm not in game yet, but I've been following the introductions. I may have missed this information somewhere, but outside of Rhodri, are there any skilled craftsmen at the Covenant?
I believe Arya mentioned somewhere that the covenant has a blacksmith, who may or may not be aging away. I'm not sure of others.
As for vis, Creo, Corpus, and Vim are always good, though we can always distill Vim vis if needed. I'm guessing the most useful ones for me will be Vim followed by Herbam (Wow, I can't believe I finally made a character that wants Herbam vis!!! Never seems to happen.), then Animal, Corpus, and Terram in some order. I would say there's not a huge difference between all of them for me, though.