Since many of the discussions seem to about labs, let me give a few guidelines for lab virtues and flaws.
The lab space can have a Size of up to +2. This gives you space to expand it later on, but until then you will have to take the Empty flaw for unsused space.
The Superior Construction virtue is not available. None of the buildings were raised by magic or constructed well enough for that.
Your are limited to a single minor virtue for now. Additional ones will need to be installed by your magus during play.
Most of the labs should have the Basic flaw, since there was not enough time to set up complete labs for everyone. You can decide not to take that flaw, but I will select another flaw to replace it (you may make suggestions).
You can take additional flaws as you wish (provided they make sense). This will give you extra points to install future virtues. For example, a lab in the caves probably has Uneven Floor and/or Low Ceiling in addition to Subterranean.
Overall, the lab should probably start with more flaws than virtues. It's a challenge I am giving you all!
Not everything in Ars Magica is about stories. Most seasons spent in the lab aren't about stories, but capabilities. This is just one more of those.
Constraints can generate stories elements. Juggling your seasons between completing your lab or doing other things your maga needs/wants to do is part of the game.
I offered an alternative to taking the Basic flaw.
In many sagas that I've played in, magi have to set up their lab from scratch.
Planning a season to complete set up of your maga's lab isn't much of a math challenge. If you don't want to spend time parsing through the various lab virtues and flaws, then don't. Just take the Basic flaw and nothing else. Easy peasy.
I took the liberty to make some changes to the description of our Creo source included by @Reminiscent and to add a description for "The Petrified Serpent".
For our current reserves, how does this sound:
My reasoning: From the initial 20 I've discounted 2 pawns used by Regulus to pay for his travel to Confluensis a couple of seasons ago. Otherwise, our main sources (The Oak and the Serpent) have been taken into consideration for what vis we should have, plus enough Vim vis for our Aegis.
There should be a few more short stories about vis sources, as well as some additional sources that are simply harvested. Those just need to be described more fully (they were described in the notes that Leonardus left behind and which were passed by Julius.)
Just remember that about a fourth of the vis sources should be clearly located in the territory of each of the neighbouring Tribunals.
Some time ago I've marked several covenants and points of interest in Google Earth. I can share the KLM file if someone thinks it's worth. My objective was not to have a precise location for the covenants, but a rough location within a few miles.
The red circle is a 60 mile radius (about 1 week to go there and return by foot). The Tower of Ashes is the home of Jacinta of Flambeau (4th edition maga from the Great Alps).
I think Dankmar and Jacinta can be good options for a contested source. The closest covenant in Normandy is Cunfin, about 10 days away.
An idea about having a contested vis source between us and Jacinta at Bern. Bern was founded as a military outpost less than 15 years ago (in 1191).
Plausibly, this could mean that Leonardus never got around to updating his notes on how to harvest the vis source before passing into Final Twilight in 1196.
Part of the adventure might be finding where in the new town the vis source is, or how it changed. (E.g. a thematic option might be something like a bear vis source slayed at Bern’s founding turned into a rug that cries aquam vis at Bern’s founding anniversary. Getting it from the Duke’s bedroom would be the problem)
Sounds like a good idea, although Bern is clearly within the Greater Alps. So the covenant's case to retain this source is weak should it be discovered by Jacinta -- and having a source contested by an Flambeau archmaga may be dicey for Tugurium.
Something a bit closer, within the valley of the Aare river for example, might be a bit easier to manage. But hey, what do I know.
Does one of you feel like developping the Tower of the Ashes and Jacinta a little bit as a recurring story element? She could certainly have strong links to Wolfgang, as a fellow Apromor, but also be both an ally in some stories and an opponent in others.
Same is true of Dankmar, for that matter...
So if one of you feel like staking a claim on a covenant or a major npc, feel free to do so!
This is a proposed arrangement for our vis sources (since we are about to advance a few years I'm thinking we should have a better view of them). I've listed the sources we have already agreed on and arbitrarily set an amount for some of them. I have also put a few that ha been mentioned, but not fleshed out or discussed. Nothing here is meant to be definitive, we can change whatever we want.
I have put around 15 pawns in each tribunal and about 40 pawns that are "solidly" in our covenant grounds (meaning, at most 3 days to go and return). This totals up to about 85 pawns, but don't forget we pay 1/4 of this to the heirs every year, so we will have about 63 after "taxes".
maybe only one source in Rhine, amounting 9~11 pawns? I'd put it to the north, midway between Colmar and Basel. I'm finding it hard to justify more than one source in the Rhine tribunal because Basel lies in that direction, and Dankmar is close by. Can't help but think most sources are taken.
we could also settle for only two sources in Normandy and/or two in the Alps (each giving more vis), just so we don't need to have that many sources to track.
Oak of Promisses
A thousand year oar.
Oak of Promisses
Promisses under the oak become vis
Petrified Sea Serpent
A sea serpent around a roman galley
A sea serpent around a roman galley
Healing Waters of Underswyler
The Light in the Cave
A shining block of ice in winter
A rock with a hole in Porrentruy
The (F) notation is meant to design faerie tainted vis. I propose we use the same notation in case of infernal or divine vis.