Covenant Discussion

Is there anything I could do to help things move forward? I guess most of the others are working on their magi, so I don't want to push too much. On the other hand, mine is ready to go so I've got time to work on the covenant. I just don't want the others to fell like I'm trying to force the covenant to be exactly what according to my vision of things.

So, any suggestion on what I could work on?

Do we have some more background that I could work from? For example, if I know who the driving force behind the creation of the covenant, then I can create some correspondence that was exchanged between my magus and that magus, as well as one or more of the others. Similarly, I can stat out grogs if people have a kernel concept of what they'd like their magi to bring to the covenant. Same for vis sources -- if one of you wish for some vis source of a specific kind, I could detail something along those lines.

Just let me know, I'm itching to do something productive... :wink:

Well, you can always go deep into the back story of the magus. There are grogs...

As far as the force behind or supporting the covenant? I don't have a huge opinion except I want them to be independent of the various participants.
Where is everyone from (apprentice covenant)? I haven't decided for mine...

If we are in the Rhine Tribunal, don't we need the approval of the other covenants to found a new one? And shouldn't we be getting gifts in exchange for other favors? I don't mind handwaving this away, just curious.

Aedituus is from a covenant in the Stonehenge Tribunal, but has spent most of his post-gauntlet life as a peregrinator in the Rhine after the Interdict in England. (Are we starting in 1220?)

When I was playing the now defunct "Curse of the Rhine Gorge" I created a companion, Amelie, who was intended to eventually be the mundane Steward. I never really had the chance to play her, and wondered if anyone would mind if I brought her along? A version of her stats is here: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/campaigns-active/203/1. Both would probably need tweaking for our purposes.

With two Bonisagus, and the kinds of players involved, a research oriented covenant seems reasonable, with the nominal backing of Durenmar and House Bonisagus. It could be their last ditch attempt to stave off Fengheld.

I think having someone who can grow into the role of a Steward like that would be good. She'd be our girl Friday. We will all have our own retainers, but they probably learn quite quickly to go to her, and she builds up her political base with the covenant's mundanes by just Getting Things Done. What do you think of adding something like Social Contacts, so she's the person who always know someone?

I mentionned it because at one point you wrote about having a character concept that would tie the others together (a kind of merchant). I checked back in the Character creation dicsussion thread to refresh my memory and Praxiteles is an artist magus with the Gentle Gift.

For some reason I thought we had a merchant-type magus more interested in living in Koblenz proper, but it seems I am misremembering. No matter. Although someone interested in playing a companion on those lines would certainly have something to work with there.

So this comes back to the following questions:

  1. Who found out about this site? It may have been one of the magi's pater or mater, a Mercere, or through a contact. Any of the young magi could probably have been involved, which would reduce outside influence. If any of you want their magus involved in it, let me know. Otherwise I can probably work out something with mine (by describing a story about it).
  2. Who initiated the search for other magi to found a covenant there? I figure the discussion between the young magi would have been initiated at the last Tribunal meeting, which based on my magus' advancement log was 4 years before saga start (I can switch things around if we want to establish a different timeline). Although my magus can help somewhat in this aspect (his pater has a lot of connections), one of the others may be better suited to the role. Any taker?
  3. Who investigated the site and discovered the details about the statues of Mercury and Rosmerta? My magus is not suited for this role, because InVi is not his strong suit. If none of the others want their magus involved in it, we can say it was an hired peregrinator. Any taker?
  4. Who supervised the restoration of the main site? Again, my magus is not the best suited to the role. A magus closer to mundanes would be best, although we can always delegate the more mundane parts of this to a companion (the steward?). Anyone want his magus involved?

Indeed, the Rhine rules about new covenants has to be taken into account. If we want to handwave some of all of it, Petronius' pater is a good way to do it since he has lots of political connections. We may take a covenant Hook for favors owed, or not. We can also detail parts of it as pre-game narrative stories. There's plenty of potential for as many of these as we want to work into our magi's backstory. If we go with GotF, there are many covenants that need to be convinced. Here's a summary list of the covenants, with their foundation and destruction dates, along with what might convince them to approve of us:

  • [b]Durenmar /b: Vis bribe, Bonisagus influence
  • [b]Crintera /b: Support for a vote to protect the island against mundanes
  • [b]Irencillia /b: The planting of a faerie tree in our forest, something completely unrelated
  • [b]Fengheld /b: Just about anything
  • [b]Dankmar /b: May have had to help them obtain something (to be used for mischief), dark faerie influence, some service
  • [b]Roznov /b: Probably don't care
  • [b]Treverorum /b: If still exist, something about mundane interactions
  • [b]Rheinstein /b: This would be a tough one, since they are so close to Koblenz (within 20 miles upstream). It would be easier if we set the date after its destruction, or establish that the covenant never existed. They may have been pressured into approving us. They may have asked for a fortune in vis, which was given to us by another rival covenant to spite them. Anyway, if they still exist they will have a big impact on us.
  • [b]Oculus Speptentrionalis /b: Trade agreement, or simply don't care
  • [b]Triamore /b: Political reasons, sponsoring of the arts
  • [b]Waddenzee/Terschelling /b: Support against Order of Odin (before 1200), probably don't care afterwards

The date of the saga has of course an influence on this. I would personnally prefer a date before current canon, between 1180 and 1205 for instance. If we want to avoid the Rheinstein problem, it would make sense to go for something after 1200. So maybe to ruling of 1200 A.D. (when Rheinstein was announced destroyed) forbidding the establishment of new covenants in the Rhine Gorge region never occured. Or we could have been established before Rheinstein. Or Rheinstein simply never existed in this saga.

My vote would be 1184 A.D., with no Rheinstein in this saga. This is after Treverorum has been destroyed, so we won<t have conflicts with them either.

Sure, that would be great. Her wine merchant background would tie in nicely with my magical cooper companion. Together they would certainly be able to provide a nice income for the covenant, amongst other things. This might be in exchange for initial capital to build a thriving business, acces to the Hermetic market, access to a longevity ritual some time down the road, and/or all the wonderful things a covenant can provide.

I did originally, and he can still buy and sell and be a glue that holds things together. As i got long in the concept the merchant magus wasn't speaking to me, so I retooled. There's not any reason he can't be glue that binds things together and does some of these things. I haven't written his back story yet, but he came from the Normandy Tribunal originally, and while on the Interegnum met his now wife and muse in Koblenz, and settled here since she wouldn't leave.

to the questions..
I think my character could have done or coordinated all these tasks, the third one was probably hired out or done as a one off request to his parens who I have yet to sketch out. A small favor might be owed for that one.

Regarding Arthur's questions ...

My thought about Aedituus is that he has spent some time as a peregrinator in the Rhine covenant before our saga begins. As he is also interested in the role of the Divine in the Enigma, he would be likely to spend some time in local monasteries. If he stayed at Laach Abbey or at St. Kastor in Koblenz, he may have discovered the site using his second sight. He is not strong in Intellego at Gauntlet, but that is one area he will improve in the time he travels. Thus, he could help accomplish #1-3. Restoring the manor is probably beyond his skills. (But not those of Amelie and her contacts.)

1184 was earlier than I was expecting, but not unreasonable. If we go with this, I would say that Rheinstein does not exist.

As I reread posts here, I notice an aura level 2 is most often suggested for the covenant. Most of the other sagas I have played in and the baseline aura in Covenants is 3. Is there some reason 2 is better?

The two is going to be in outer areas, while it will be higher around the temple of Mercury and Rosmerta...

Considering the covenant is very close to a city, it didn't make sense to have too high an aura. The usual "it's in a regio" explanation gets old after a while.

There's also the fact that the aura is 4 in the shared lab. That will make it desirable for the magi to use that lab as opposed to simply staying in theirs, where the aura is 2.

And if the rituals are not performed, the auras drop to 2 and 1, respectively. :smiling_imp:

But if the conscensus it to make the auras stronger, we can do so. Those values are simply my gut feeling as to what would be appropriate there.

Suits me fine.

Just a quick list of the Boons and Hooks that would seemed to describe the primary site of the covenant at this time. The list is far from complete.

  • Flickering Aura (minor site hook): Due to the statue and the rituals that must be performed.
  • Manor House (free fortification): The wall around the covenant is slightly higher than 6 feet, but there is no ditch. The ground is raised on the inside so that grogs can see outside of the wall. The wall itself is made of wood.
  • Right (minor resources boon): We've obtained the right to lumber and hunt within the Koblenz forest for 99 years. The authority that granted this to us thought this was a good deal for them, since the ghosts scare most people away and they figured if we could cut down enough trees that would drive the ghosts away. The covenant plans to manage the lumber carefully so that the forest sustains itself. Many of the trees in the forest are white oak, perfect for making wine barrels.
  • Secondary Income (minor resources boon): The two sources of income would be barrel-making and wine merchanting? This provides the covenant with more wealth than usual, and additional financial safety. If Amelia is in charge of the wine merchanting for the covenant, she may not have the time to be the steward at the main site, since she'll have to be in the city most of the time. In the same way, the magical cooper will probably not set up his shop at the main covenant site (takes too much space) and will spend most of his time outside of the covenant.
  • Vis Grant (minore resources boon): The covenant pays out vis to its magi every year.
  • Suffrage (minor residents hook): The covenant grants equal rights to men and women.
  • Church Territories (minor external relations hook): Koblenz and the lands around it are owned by the Bishopry of Trier.

Note that I did not take Boons and Hooks for the dual areas of the aura (they would balance out anyway). In the same way, I did note take Boons or Hooks for being so close to Koblenz, as the ghosts in the forest provide us with a reasonable isolation.

The secondary site(s) would have a few Boons and Hooks of their own to describe their specific features.

I think the last Rhine Tribunal meeting was in 1179. (Based on GotF pg 18, where a Tribunal was held in 1144.) Are we assuming that our covenant was approved at that time and that we have spent five years getting established? That seems a little long to me, and I think the next meeting in 1186 may be too close in terms of what our magi plan to do with their time. This is assuming we want to play Tribunal stories; I can go either way on that.

I thought the covenant needed to be recognized after it was established. It is possible that it was discussed in 1179, and nominal approval given then, and then for the five years since then we established a solid foundation, and we come together two years before the next Tribunal. Does that make sense that way, now?

Works for me.
Thanks.

Actually, I read the Rhine tribunal ruling as saying that the covenant needs to be approved before it can be established.

It doesn't make sense for buildings to be raised, vis sources to be claimed, mundane income to be established, and so on, if the covenant is not recognized first. Otherwise, any existing covenant could then raid those resources, since they don't belong to a recognized covenant.

Also, a covenant is first and foremost a group of magi that are recognized as bound by their pact, and a pact with the tribunal. So any group of magi could present themselves before the tribunal and petition for recognition, even if they don't have any site, library, and covenfolks.

So, the way I see it happening as thus.

Some time before the 1179 A.D. tribunal meeting, the magi (at least most of them) meet and agree to seek found a new covenant together. One of them knows of some potential sites* near Koblenz. So they travel around the tribunal seeking sponsors from each of the established covenants of the tribunal. At the 1179 meeting, they petition the tribunal for recognition. The sponsors express their support and each established covenant announces their gifts. For the next 5 years, the potential sites near Koblenz are investigated, one is selected, the mundane grant are obtained on the forest, and the main site is built (as well as the secondary site). The area is explored for other vis sources. Mundanes are recruited. The books for the library are copied. Five years go by as the character gather those resources, gifts, etc. Saga starts in 1184 as the site is ready enough for the magi to live there.

*[size=85]The potential sites were the forest, a small site within Koblenz itself (where some supports of the destroyed Roman bridge still stand), and the caves below Laach See.[/size]

So each character must have participated in many ways to this process. As I mention before, not all magi need to have been implicated right from the first -- some may have been recruited along the way. For example, Petronius was Gauntleted 7 years before the saga starts. If we think 2 years is a reasonable time frame to gather sponsors from the various covenants, then he will have been involved from the first. Otherwise, his pater may have heard of the effort and proposed to sponsor the new covenant in exchange for the membership of his filius.

So, things could have proceeded as follow:

  • 1177 A.D.: Some of the magi meet at Durenmar, at the same time as the special Gauntlet ceremony for Petronius takes place. Aedituus mentions that he knows of a few magical sites in and around Koblenz where he thinks a covenant might be established. The magi agree to try to create a new covenant and split the search for sponsors amongst themselves. They receive support from some senior magi (including Petronius' pater Octavius).
  • 1179 A.D.: At the Tribunal meeting, the petition for a new covenant in the Rhine Gorge is brought forward. Since Treverorum has been destroyed 7 years before and no other covenant exists in the area, it is deemed appropriate to keep an Hermetic presence in the region. Sponsors announce their support and the other covenants announce their gifts to the new covenant, to be delivered during the years before the next Tribunal meeting. A peregrinator (or another magus/maga with strong Intellego) is hired (or maybe it was one of the gifts) to investigate the different potential sites. Meanwhile, the young magi begin gathering resources for the new covenant.
  • 1180 A.D.: The investigation of the potential sites is performed. The results are sent to each of the magi and they meet to discuss the results (this includes 3 different vis sources)**. They argue for a while, and finally settle on the main site in the forest, with a secondary site for additional facilities. Praxiteles arranges for a grant of the forest for us, for a duration of 99 years. The reputation of the forests for being haunted helps him secure this.
  • 1181 A.D.: Restoration of the temple begins, with only a few mundanes helping because of the sensitive nature of the statues. Praxiteles is probably in charge of this, since he is a Rego Craft magus. Whoever it is, they get to meet Amelie (wine merchant companion) and Gregor (cooper companion) at this time. Meanwhile, Petronius travels the tribunal to oversee the copying of books promised to the covenant and perform some of the copying himself. He gets to meet Eberhard the scribe (covenfolk) and befriends him while visiting one of the covenants.
  • 1182 A.D.: Relationship with Amelie and Gregor are cultivated, and they are approached by the magi. The covenant will provide the initial capital to build each of their business, in exchange for a part of the profits and the special benefits magi can provide (such as longevity rituals). They agree and start setting up the mundane sources of income for the covenant. Full-fledged construction at the main site begins (walls, villa).
  • 1183 A.D.: Contruction at the main site is now at its peak. Secondary site is also established at this time. The various lab equipment and supplies begin arriving and are stored until the magi have time to set up their labs. The shared lab is prepared and installed.
  • 1184 A.D.: The saga starts.

Again, this is a suggestion and the timeline can be changed and expanded to suit each of the characters. Simply let me know and I'll update it.

**[size=85]I've already detailed one of the (the Vim source at the main site). I will describe 2 more for the other potential sites. A Rego source would make sense for the remains of the old Roman bridge, while Terram/Ignem (or something) else might be appropriate for the caves at Laach See.[/size]

FYI:
Work has exploded on me, a long story I'm not at liberty to disclose. It's why I haven't been posting a lot this week, and will likely continue through July 4th. I'll hit some posts here and there, when I can.

That happens.

It'll give everyone some time to finish up their magi. In the meantime, I'll keep throwing stuff out for everyone to comment on.