Covenant Discussion

Right, Crintera doesn't have to know anything about Praxiteles. They just want the covenant to be engaged in commerce as a check on the growing commercial interests of Oculus Septentrionalis. The reasons for sponsorship aren't related on the surface, but become related because of the demands of each covenant sponsoring. Oculus is expecting Via Experimenta (is that our name?) to be receptive and cooperative (or at least easily manipulated) because of placing Praxiteles and his spying wife.

I think that sounds fine. We're probably not wild enough for some Bjornaer, but for the more refined and sophisticated ones we would be a suitable covenant.

And this may be a concession that Oculus is willing to make, they understand that the vote is coming. Perhaps Crintera will be satisfied if a majority of the magi of the covenant support their motion and would understand a single or small number of votes going to Oculus, not that they like that idea.

I want to play the Irencillia one a bit differently. We have a weak aura, and a faerie tree could quickly come to over power our magic aura. I don't care to mess with faerie stuff too much, and I don't think we have any faerie inclined magi, unless I'm missing something or not remembering.

Those were not set in stone, and now that I review them I don't really like all of them. I'm not interested in anything faerie, so we could also settle for something completely unrelated for Irencillia.

In fact, there's nothing that forces us to describe all of the requirements. Some may simply have been met and done, having no impact on the saga. Perticularly for those covenants that are located farther away from us, and with which we will have little interactions. In some cases a simple vis bribe would have clinched the deal. I see Irencillia, Terschelling and Rosnov falling in that category.

Durenmar probably liked the idea of a research-oriented covenant. Fengheld probably hopes that the needs of a Spring covenant will be at odds with those of the more traditionalist Durenmar.

Dankmar may simply have been some service, probably something disgusting. :imp:

Indeed, we haven't really discussed a name for the covenant. I think Via Experimenta is fine for the name of the saga, but it doesn't really does it for the name of the covenant.

I thought choosing a name could have been done in character when the magi initially meet (which would be before the 1179 Tribunal Meeting). But we could certainly discuss it here and choose something suitably grand. :smiley:

Anyone has ideas?

Titus was trained at Durenmar. He could well be part of the agreement wth Durenmar?
Some of his research is unlikely to be cheap in the long run.

Certainly. We just need a sponsor from each covenant, so in some cases the pater of one of the members should be willing to be that sponsor, without any other requirement. I'll update the list to reflect this.

We are now at something like:

  • Oculus Septentrionalis: Accepting Praxiteles as a full member of the covenant; establishing favorable trade relationships with them.
  • Crintera: Establishing the aerie for travelling Bjornaer with bird-shapes; voting for them in the Tribunal of 1179 (done).
  • Irminsul: The covenant where Petronius was apprenticed to Octavius, located close to Paderborn in Saxony. Free sponsorship.
  • Durenmar : Titus' pater resides there. Free sponsorship.
  • Triamore : No speficic requirement, sponsor obtained when Aedituus and Petronius were living there as peregrinatores.
  • Irencillia : Token service that was performed before saga start.
  • Roznov : Small vis bribe paid before saga start
  • Terschelling : Small vis bribe paid before saga start
  • Fengheld : (unspecified)
  • Dankmar : (unspecified, probably something to weaken Durenmar)

About the name of the covenant, here are some elements that I think could be part of it.

  • The temple of Mercury and Roswerta (key words: temple, altar, the ceremonial bowl, laurel, Mercury), although it does have some elements of paganism that may not be agreeable to some of the magi (I'm thinking or Aedituus here, which is probably the most pious).

  • The forest around the covenant (key words: forest, woods, oak) and its haunted nature (key words: ghosts, whispers).

  • The research focus of the covenant (key words: search, research, quest, path, mystery) or its cooperative/freedom orientation (key words: friend, tolerance, free, unbound)

This can give names such as:

  • Quercus Dimitti ("The Freed Oaks")
  • Templum Susurris ("The Temple of Whispers")
  • Argentum Laurus ("The Silver Laurel")

Those are just example. If we can agree on a concept for the name, than we can explore variants. Unfortunately my Latin is fairly limited, so I have to rely on translation sites.

This one get's my vote I think, though I liked the temple of whispers as well.

Many variants are possible for each, which is why I think we should initially focus on the concept.

For example, base on the concepts of silver and thelaurel branch used in the Mercuralia tirual, we could also consider Argentum Ramus (Silver Branch), Argentum Folium (Silver Leaf, with an interesting play on folio/a kind of book), or possibly turn things around with Laurus Argenti, Ramus Argenti and Folium Argenti (I think these express a little more strongly the concept of "silvery" instead of "made of silver" like those beginning with Argentum).

(For what it's worth, I think Laurus Argenti sounds better than Argentum Laurus.)

Folium Argenti... nice pun there :wink:

I like Laurus Argenti.

Ok, a quick recap of where we are on the saga and covenant construction. This may a bit long so bear with me.

Covenant name:

  • What we have: A potential name, "Laurus Argenti"

The magi:

  • What we have: Petronius (Arthur), Aedituus (Archimedes), Titus Aurelius (Tellus) and Praxiteles (Jonathan Link) are detailed in their own threads.
  • What we need: We are still missing magi for Kilgs and Gulla. Both mentioned busy work schedules.

The covenant site:

  • What we have: The primary site in the forest south of the city of Koblenz, built upon the ruins of a temple to Mercury and Rosmerta. We have maps of the main site and its buildings.
  • What we need: Description of the secondary site, including the aerie promised to our sponsor in Crintera.

Vis sources:

  • What we have: Three sources have been detailed. The Mercuralia ritual gives us Vim, while the other two provide us with Rego and Ignem. None of them have a set number of pawns, as this will depend on the build points.
  • What we need: Additional sources.

Grogs and covenfolk:

  • What we have: 4 grogs, 2 covenfolk and 1 companion (Archimedes) have been described. There is a draft of another companion (Arthur), and there is a 1-line description for 8 more grogs
  • What we need: More grogs and covenfolks, with at least a 1-line description of them. Companions for everyone are not a priority but would be nice.


  • What we have: A list of the reasons we were able to gather a sponsor at each covenant.
  • What we need: Names for all of the sponsors would be nice, along with a 1-paragraph description of that sponsor and our relations with him/her.

Build points:

  • What we have: A preliminary list of the resources for two of the magi, which may need to be adjusted if build point cost of books change
  • What we need: Build points from the other 4 magi. Even a preliminary list will be useful, but we need a list to work on

Boons and hooks:

  • What we have: A 2-month old list of boons and hooks currently applicable to the main site
  • What we need: Complete the list for the main site, and create a list for the secondary site(s)

I don't want to be pushy, but there's a lot of work that still needs to be done. Everyone, pick something and chip in! :smiley:

Sorry folks, not work so much as end of summer in the north country here. We pack a lot of get-aways. Just got back from 5 days off and heading out again on Friday. My magi idea keeps oscillating back and forth between a Muto Specialist or Rego. Essentially, I can't decide whether to go magical animal trainer, build a flying ship or go Mysteries.

I did do a preliminary list of BP's and was frankly astounded at how much we were given! Here is what I had as initial ideas:

20pts--Lamb wool 4p/year Animal (each season)(the rubbings of a white lamb that never ages and lives on the covenant grounds are collected)
10pts—Auram 2p/year

VIS STOCKS (28pts)(2pts each)
9p of every vis source (14)

Magic Theory Tractatus Q10(x5)
Philosophiae Tractatus Q10(x2)
Artes Liberales Tractatus Q10(x2)
German Language Summa L4/Q8
Creo Tractatus Q10x2
Perdo Tractatus Q11
Intellego Tractatus Q11

That's about as far as I've gotten so far. I'll see if I can get something up soon.

Not that it matters greatly, but the concept of two of the current magi rely heavily on Rego. Jonathan's Praxiteles is a Rego Craft artist, while my Petronius is a teleportation/portals researcher. Whether that figures into your choice is up to you. :slight_smile:

A few guidelines that Jonathan gave us on the build points:

  • We get 210 build points for covenant resources, plus 50 points for personal resources
  • Vis sources cannot be purchased with personal build points (there's a virtue for that)
  • Vis stocks should not be selected, some stocks will be factored in based on the sources. Vis stocks are just too cheap, or sources are too expensive.
  • Don't use build points for specialists. Design them from the ground up, make them more complete than stats of their most useful numbers.
  • We have a shared lab where the aura is stronger. Anyone can purchase virtues for that lab using covenant build points. Virtues for your own ab can be purchased using personal build points only.

I would also note that under RAW build points, tractatus are not very cost-effective compared to summae.

Here's a list what already been purchased.

Keep in mind that Praxiteles is an adherent to Jerbiton sufficiency. Rego 10 is probably all he'll need.... So he's not a Rego specialist over the long term, he's rather good now, but that's because it was the easiest way to get to certain spells...

An update on the list of Boons and Hooks that would seemed to describe the primary site of the covenant at this time. Additions from the previous list are shown in green. The list is far from complete.

  • Healthy Feature (minor site boon): The subtle effects of the blessing of Rosmerta makes the area within the walls healthy to live in. (Boon added because at least one of the players said they wanted such a feature.)
  • 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 (minor 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 not take Boons or Hooks for being so close to Koblenz, as the ghosts in the forest provide us with a reasonable isolation.

This means we currently have 4 minor boons and 3 minor hooks. Some of the hooks that we could easily add are

  • Indebted (minor resources hook): Since we built the covenant quickly, we had to take in debt to finance it. They debt can be held by mundanes in Koblenz, or by another covenant (Triamore?).
  • Spies (minor resident hook): One or more covenants of the Tribunal has planted one or more spies within our grogs and covenfolks, or maybe it is the Church (ruler of the region) that did that? (This ties in with the background of Praxiteles and relations with Oculus Spetentrionalis)
  • Favors (minor external relations hook): Another covenant has provided a large contribution to our resources, but will request favors out of us. Or this could be related to the Church's grant within the forest.
  • Rival (minor external relations hook): Could be related to one of our income source (we ruffled some feather by financing them), or to another covenant (possibly because of one of the things we did to secure a sponsor).

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

If our grogs/covenfolk largely come from other covenants, spies are almost inevitable.

Which raises the question, how many actually do come from other covenants? And which covenants?

If they come from covenants where our magi were apprenticed, the likelihood that they'd feel more loyalty towards the old covenant is diminished. These would be grogs that our magi knew and trusted in the first place. These would form the core of our officers. And if we treat the rest of them well we can probably increase their loyalty to us, particularly for younger ones.

Then there are those grogs and covenfolks that would be recruited ourselves, from the time we began preparing to establish the new covenant (and even before). Just because a magus is a peregrinator does not mean he doesn't have one or more shield grogs, and one or more servants. These would be integrated into our covenant. Which is kind of why each player should describe a few of them.

And there is also the matter of local recruits. For example, we need a few guards for our local wine merchant business. These would be found locally, and guard duty could be used as a proving ground for potential additions to our regular grog fighting force. The covenant didn't spring up overnight, so grogs/covenfolk would have been part of the resources the magi would have worked to gather.

All of which doesn't mean we don't have any spies. Would could have spies, and not have the corresponding hook. The hook will determine whether we have stories related to that. After all, that's what hooks are for.

Still, I think we should indicate, for each mundane we describe, where they came from. I'll go through those I've detailed to indicate this.

I've statted out 3 more grogs this week, as added a one-liner description for a covenfolk (a seamstress, wife of one of the grogs). That brings us to a total of 7 grogs. Once I've completed 12, I figure I'll have done my share on that front. Although I may add some additional one-liner descriptions, particularly for covenfolk and guards for the wine-merchanting business. :wink:

I have a mess of ideas for grogs. Of course, as I'm going through them, I'm wanting to change Praxiteles around a bit. I noticed that somewhere along the line, I dropped his Waster of Vis flaw for Painful Magic. I'm trying to figure out why that is. What it means is i I have to competing visions of Praxiteles. A consumer of vis, food, whatever. And then this other vision that is less coherent but perhaps more compelling. What if part of the temple of Mercury and Rosmerta were enhanced by founding a Gymnasium? I mean what could be better than a bunch of sweaty naked people talking about the news of the day? Praxiteles would create some items that would keep the area unnaturally warm in the winter time... It would be a very Greek thing to do, and Hermes (the Greek aspect of Mercury) is the patron of the Gymnasium.
I might drop Greedy and pickup lechery, but I already play a lecherous magus who does whomever comes along... I leave you with an earworm of BeeGees Tragedy.