[size=150]Covenant of Andorra[/size]
Established: Originally in 807, revitalized in 1111, then again in 1230.
Location: Andorra, in the Eastern Pyrenees
Symbol: a Coat of Arms featuring a Griffon grappling with a Dragon. The dragon is on the right, red on a field of white; the griffon is on the left, white on a field of red (Per pale, gules and argent, a griffon and dragon combatant counterchanged).
Aura: Magic 5
Description: The Covenant of Andorra is a small castle nestled in the Eastern Pyrenees, atop a small plateau in the Parish of Ordino overlooking the village of Arans (close to Vallnord). They hold alodial title to their land, as the villagers down below also hold title to theirs. The covenant lies in disputed jurisdiction. When originally founded, it was part of what was then known as the Val-Negra Tribunal. However, it was not assigned a new designation when the Grand Tribunal divided Val-Negra into the Iberian and Provencal Tribunals. The Quaesitores have ruled that neither has the authority to force a decision, and the matter must be resolved by the Grand Tribunal if they won't choose willingly. The covenant has managed to avoid a Grand Tribunal ruling so far because of two main reasons. First, this is a very small issue and really not important enough to take up the time of a Grand Tribunal. So Far. Second is that the covenant has thus far managed to play a successful political game. In Provence, they have traditionally had the support of Doisettep, and some covenants in the Pyrenees have toyed with the idea of creating a splinter Catalonia Tribunal along with Andorra and Barcelona. But other Provencal covenants really want to press us into a decision. In Iberia, the covenant has been allies with Barcelona and Estancia Escarida. Barcelona supports the Catalonia plan, and Estancia Escarida helps insure that no vote on a resolution to force a decision is ever brought to the table. Duresca does not like it, but they have bigger worries. There are also other Hermetic allies who have seen the advantage of having a safehaven of neutrality to do business (mirroring the Andorra of the real world). But, in a weakened state, these allies may prove to be only fair weather friends and the covenant may find themselves unable to resist having a decision forced on them.
History: Long and Convoluted
[u]Boons & Hooks [/u]:
(note: I use the old form of +/- to indicate if something is a Virtue/Boon or a Flaw/Hook, followed by a number to indicate the value (1 for Minor, 3 for Major)
(3 x -3) Three Unknown Hooks: The Unknown Hook is reserved at least three times so players can design and run stories of their choosing.
Erik Dhal has taken one on, and I am looking for others to take up the challenge. But for now, I take responsibility for the other two myself to use as a surprise later maybe.
+2 Aura: The Covenant is situated in a Magic Aura of 5
+1 Difficult Access: The covenant is built atop a rocky plateau, overlooking the village of Arans. It can be approached by a long road alongside the cliff, which makes it pretty well secure. However, the mountains soar higher still and overlook the plateau.
+1 Healthy Feature: Clean Mountain Air
+1 Seclusion: The covenant is located in a remote portion of a remote principality.
+3 Curtain Walls & Mural Towers: The covenant consists of a hall keep, an inner and an outer bailey, an inner gate house barbican, an outer gate of two towers, and seven other towers. There are also numerous interior buildings. The main keep is built atop the old ruins, and incorporates elements of them in its structure (columns, sculpture, etc).
+1 Writ of Crenellation: This is part of the culture of the land, no restrictions are placed upon construction.
+1 Artillery: On top of the towers, the covenant has ballistae rigged to be able to aim at aerial targets. They have been attacked by flying opponents in the past.
-3 Castle: This is a castle after all.
+0 Base Income: Agriculture from the village below is the primary source of income. The villagers each own their own properties and parcels of land, but also provide the employment for the covenant's fields.
+1 Additional Income: The covenant owns a silver mine located nearby in the village of Argent. A separate mundane mining guild operates the mine, and the magi are totally hands off. However, the magi maintain loyalty and control through agents it has in the town and in the guild leadership.
+1 Additional Income: The covenant also makes money off of rents
+3 Wealth: Agriculture revenue is increased due to superior quality produce, the production of excellent wine and olive oil, silver mining is bountiful, and they have many investments.
-1 Regional Produce: The exceptional quality of the local vineyards is causing the area to develop a prestigious reputation for its wine. Aristocrats have begun to treat nearby Vallnord as a seasonal resort village because of the wine over there.
+1 Loyal Covenfolk: Prosperity and good treatment go a long way.
+1 Strong Community: This is the natural result of living in an isolated region such as this. Everyone in the covenant and the village of Arans know each other, and this is common throughout the parish of Ordino.
-1 Alienable Lands: The covenant has no choice about this. Just as they own their land, the people of the village that supports them own their lands as well. They can sell, rent, mortgage, or buy lands. They owe the covenant neither rent nor service, it is merely a beneficial economic arrangement. They work their lands for their own benefits and they tend the covenant vineyards for wages.
-1 Rights & Customs: The traditions of the covenfolk are intertwined with that of the village, and go back for centuries. In some ways, the covenfolk have more control than the magi. This is part of the reason why their Custos are treated so exceptionally well, and they expect the magi to invest vis in their health care. A grog that gets his hand chopped off gets it restored with ritual magic, and officers receive Longevity potions. And as mentioned above, covenfolk do not serve out of obligation, but because they are paid wages and treated well. In addition, an ex-officio vote is granted to certain key covenfolk (such as the Autocrat and the Captain of the Guard).
External Relations +0
+3 Autocephalous: This pretty much defines the mundane political situation of the entire principality.
+1 Hermetic Prestige: This is due to the acclaim of past (and current) magi. Although this reputation reflects well upon members of the covenant, it also means that more is expected of them.
-1 Missing Founder: Antonio, Carmen's father, has disappeared without a trace. Rodrigo is missing too, but he has been expected to kick of to Final Twilight awhile now. Antonio's disappearance is the hook & mystery.
-3 Tribunal Border: This was mentioned earlier, whether Andorra lies in the jurisdiction of the Provencal or Iberian Tribunal is a disputed matter.
[u]+1 Hidden Ways/u]: Representing the many various mountain paths
-1 Monster: There is an Elder Dragon that lives within a few weeks travel through rough mountain passes (via flight or teleportation it isn't all that far at all). This is Sigmundo of the Pyrenees, Dragon of the Tome. Sigmundo lives in a massive cave deep underground in twisting tunnels. He commands numerous drakes in the vicinity, some of them his offspring, and has control over other interesting creatures as well. He is a well educated dragon, and himself has a massive library of academic and arcane knowledge. His favorite subjects include Philosophiae, Magic Lore, and Legendary Sagas (Area or Organization Lore). He is able to change shape and can take on a human form. The magi are advised to steer clear of him, he is too powerful and too crafty. Maybe we could take him, but the thought is that the dragon is an interesting resource to have nearby. He has been affable and cooperative, and keeps the firedrakes at bay (there is a sort of hunting ground where we are allowed to weed off the weak, but other mountain areas where by treaty we are forbidden to hunt..
-1 Protector: The covenant is responsible for the protection of the village below.
I don't know how to categorize these
-3 Mysterious Disaster: The covenant was recently hit with a serious disaster, the nature of which is still a mystery. Though the covenant easily recovered, there is damage to repair and stores (and employees) that need to be replenished. And even afterward, the mystery of what happened (and worry that it could happen again) combines to make this equivilent to a Major Hook
+2 Recoverable Resources: Sort of like Hidden Resources, but instead representing what can be recovered as opposed to being discovered, and is tied into the mystery described above.