Covenant Planning and Construction

A thread where, in a mix of in-character and out-of-character discussions, what the magi (and their mundanes) plan and do when building the covenant.

I know it is still early to start such a thread, as the magi are still taking stock and learning the lay of the land, but I imagine that decisions will start being made soon. For example, what the first building will be and where it will be built.

I had a vision of some kind of lift looking like the one they have on the Ice Wall in Game of Thrones going from the sea level to the top. With magic we should be able to make something even more refined. This is probably a long-term project though and nothing Japik seems to be happy to lead given his bad sense of heights.

I already said it, i think, but i envision the hermetic parts of the covenant being excavated in the cliffn a pair of shafts going down from surface houses, but th magi living more below. Windows in the cliff. We can easily have the elevator suggested by bearlord. I can enchant a wood platform to do that easily :slight_smile:

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Yes I know and that would be much cooler as well but when I saw the pictures of the cliff wall I saw those wooden elevator shafts there and since you are good at handling wood and none of us are very good with Terram it might be a quicker way to begin with.

Hmm, how about a lift based on water ? Carve out a circular inside the rock column, communicating with the sea, use Rego Aquam magic to force the water to move up or down inside the column, with a floating cabin on top ?
Of course we could just Rego the cabin itself. In fact that might be an excellent first project: enchanting a levitating platform, always a handy thing to have around.

I'm still trying to figure out my ideal lab, trying to reconcile a sea access, a balcony with some height to it, and basic security. Which is where I got the idea for the water column, as I was pondering way to bring the sea to me :slight_smile: Like carving a series of ring in the hollow column and casting some Ring/Circle spells that push the water up (Base 1 : control a liquid in an extremely gentle way, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, Circle, total level 4 -> just a gentle rising of water, and I might need a lot of circles, but it's an easy spell).

I think my lab will be at the bottom of the cliff but it depends on how far down the magic aura reaches of course. Japik would like to take Quercus on one of the boats and sail around to check the sea level area below for magic.

Maybe a a cave under the cliff with an underwater access? Then a dock and some kind of elevator to the top via Pytheas lab perhaps. Just dropping ideas.

I like the photo that shows a detached needle of rock:

If it should happen to be on the cliff right by the oak it has a lot of potential. But that would take an awesome coincidence, right ? Although, awesome landscape and magic auras do go together wink wink.

In any case, what Pytheas really wants for his lab his a large balcony open to the air, with a pool of seawater connected to the sea carved into the cliff, and in the middle of the pool a small island where he'll install a large brazier, thus putting all four elements together, something like this:

It could even be right at sea level, but there is the security aspect to consider. Having a lab directly open to the sea would be a bad thing, I think.

what about a fountain with a pump of water with a piece of molten lava held up by the water , that does not exactly touch it because a gush of wind prevent it from doing so? :mrgreen: Talk about ideal circumstances :laughing:

In any case I think that that this lab is feasible. I would put it at sea level (1 magical effect less), but the balcony can still be 30 feet off the sea level, so it is not "open to the sea", except through the tunnel Pytheas uses to enter the water. And there you can place a few wards. You need wards in the balcony in any case, so no biggie protecting the water tunnel as well.

How I see my ideal covenant:

A series of buildings, maybe 5 or so. These house the grogs and the mundane facilities of the covenant. The perimeter of the covenant is probably marked by the southern hill. South of that hill we have a stout oak log wall courtesy of yours truly. No major defenses, only the wall, enough to prevent raids, but not a siege at all. The border of the cliff has a railing of oak logs about waist high. One of the buildings has the aspect of a banquet hall, and is the place where Prochorus plays his instrument for the benefit and enjoyment of all when he feels like it. When the noble comes visiting he stays here if he wants to. There are mice traps around the storerooms, installed there by Japik.

Between the buildings (or in one of them) there is a shaft that connects to the sea. It has an enchantment (ring spell?) that makes water rise through it to the surface. The spell is probably in a stone wall, so it is effectively a fountain. In the overture Pytheas has placed an enchantment to destroy the salt of the water, so it becomes fresh water when it reaches the surface. The excess water forms a small river that irrigates a few patches of cabbages or whatever the grogs farm there, and then it falls back to the sea.

Now the cool parts.

There are 2 ways to go down the cliff. Both are shafts excavated in the rock via MuTe spells (rock of viscid clay; we need to get an unlimited uses item for this one!) that were used to excavate AND get stone to build the foundations for the surface houses. One of the shafts is just empty and is used by the magi to levitate. The other has a disk of oak wood that can float up or down on command. This was one of the first items created by Quercus. The shafts open to large balconies. From there, you can access the labs of the magi. The uppermost is Quercus' lab, since he prefers to be near the surface and the vegetation (he might even be the magus with a surface lab, after all...). Prochorus' locale is at the same level. All these rooms have round windows to the cliff side, protected by ReAu and ReAq circle wards that prevent the winds and storms from entering the rooms. THe space is somewhat cold, but they have not been able to put up a good enough ReIg spell yet.

Slightly below we find the council room and the reading part of the library and scriptorium. The storing space for the books and the stores for vis are located inside the mass of land, protected from the elements. The only vis not kept here is the Perdo vis, that is stored in the surface to prevent potential accidents down here.

Down the cliff, at the bottom of the shafts we find the labs of the sea-oriented magi and an excavated access to the sea. In the protected cave you can find the covenant's skiff. The larger knarr of the covenant rests in the town in the south of the oberland.

That is a nice idea. I'll need to study my Arts some before I can do the desalination part, but the idea has a lot of potential.

I think we need to put in some stairs for the grogs. Not necessarily connecting to the labs (not without floating across the other shafts), but they will need access to the library, the scriptorium, and possibly the magi's rooms. Also the boats at the bottom.

(Whistling while looking innocent. Not that you guys are putting the cart before the horses, or anything, but... :laughing: )

Planning ! We're planning for... contingencies. You know, in the unlikely event that things actually work out well :slight_smile:

Well, you can always plan, right? :mrgreen:

Now the objectives are much smaller:

  1. Convince the noble to let us build in this spot and get use of it.

  2. Construct a single fairly large building to host us all.
    Labor needs to be contracted in the nearby villages

  3. Construct a second building to install a temporary lab so we can start working our stuff. This can be the same building as above, just we will need a REALLY large one, then!

  4. Investigate how much vis we can extract from the tree without damaging the vis source.

  5. See a way to get fresh water up bere. I can see Quercus and Pytheas having to work together for this one. One raising buckets full of water and the second making it edible.

Once all this is done, the hard work begins.

Now we're talking. :smiley:

How detailed do you guys want to make the process? Do you want to roleplay everything are would you rather just do the key scenes?

You may also look at how the mundanes do it? There is a village up here, after all. :wink:

Rain cisterns would be my guess... which we can easily make. For that matter, given the prevailing climate, I doubt extra irrigation will be needed for our cabbages. Still it would be nice to have a guaranteed unlimited supply of fresh water.

True. Living in a fairly low rain country this kind of stuff are more important for me than needed, I guess :laughing:

I still think we need good descriptions of other places in the island, geography, fauna, flora and population. We do not know where the noble lives, for example. Still, we can play the important bits once the main issues (basically, talking with the noble and convincing workers to come up here and build for us) are solved.

Great plans!

Since we have a knarr and a crew which may be bolstered with some more men from the town if needed I think we have what we need to start a little trade business for initial income. With that we can fund the labour we need to build our covenant but the income may also be used to keep the lord happy so to speak.

So to break the planning down even further I suggest:

  1. Talk to the people of the village here on the Oberland and try to find out:
    a. If they can help us build the houses.
    b. What do they know about the Danish lord and what is their relation to him. What does he want from them for example, taxes etc?

  2. Invest some of our silver in a trading business. What products can be bought here and sold on the mainland and vice versa?

  3. When we have a plan try to get a meeting with the lord but we should have something to offer him in return for settling on the island. It would be good to know something about his interests.

I have an idea for a companion character to fill a few gaps that we lack badly. A silver-tongued merchant that could be both our frontman towards the local nobility and lead our main income source. It's probably too late to introduce him into the backstories of our magi and it might be difficult to introduce a new character of companion dignity at this point, but it's an idea and I thought we might discuss it.

OK, as I see it (shorter term actions and not really covenant planning; we were misguided by the evil SG! I tell you! :mrgreen: )

We have 34 pounds of silver in several mediums, from jewels to raw silver. That will allow us to pay significant amounts of work for starters 8and we will need it). We might have to think about a trip to the continent to exchange some of those "easily transported jewels" for hard cash, since jewels do not have much value when you have to pay pages in pence.

We can offer "Wood of the Moon" (moon duration logs) to the noble. this implies that we are seen as sorcerers, though. However, given the price of wood in an island location like this one, I am fairly sure he can agree to that. I suggest the noble because offering it to the population might have unwanted attention in the form of "witchcraft!! Let's use some torches and pitchforks!!!" when some logs disappear while being cut.

We can also have the trade business started as suggested. It is a great idea to act as an import/export ferry service for the island. If we offer competitive pricing we might even get a nice reputation in the island.

We also can set up a recovery place in the island, a pseudo-hospital. The weather is not kind, so a hospital with a pair of magic items (recovery bonus from wounds and illnesses) might do great for us to get a nice reputation as "useful weirdos". I would put that in the main town. 2 year project.

Search for other mystical location in the island and its inhabitants. Both from land, air and sea. Map out the mystical heligoland.

Investigate other mundane locations in the island to know what is where and who is who around the island. Grog job, but also magi surveillance for air view and water exploration. map out the mundane heligoland.

Talk to the noble to say hi and broker and agreement with him. Investigate him before that to know what resources he commands, his reputations and all that kind of stuff (grog labour).


  • Use of this bit of the island (northern oberland) for us and the ability to build in it.

  • Access to all vis sources around the island.

  • Possibility to run businessses in the island, like the suggested hospital, using warehouses in the town for the business of wood and trade...

  • Be left alone for the most part.

  • If we can, less than overbearing taxes levied on us, something that we can pay with our income.

  • If we can, salvage rights, but I doubt this would be on offer.

  • Use of local people to boost our covenant staff. economic incentives to start, and living conditions might go a long way towards this target.

We might even offer a minor (level 5 or so) item to the noble every 10 years or so. This tends to keep them really happy, like a cloak of duck feathers or a +3 to recovery rolls.

A pair of large mundane buildings, One to live, one for the lab.

Quite a list for starters! :laughing:

That sounds like a great plan for the first days. The only problem I see is the merchant. Arthur has said that he does not plan for companions to exist in this saga at all. So we need to build our resources using grogs. we will need to contract at least one merchant in any case, since AFGAIK our magi are smart but lack mercantile experience. maybe Prochorus has some, having been educated in a city, but the rest of us... meh.

Yes I know but I think Arthur said somewhere that if we had a very good concept for a companion and someone wants to play him/her, it could happen. I'm not sure this fulfills those criterias but one thought with the merchant frontman was that we could hide some of our 'witchcraft' behind him. However I like your idea of a hospital even if none of us are experts at healing and Corpus.

We should probably make plans for the people we have and then Fresse looks like our strongest card in regard of meeting with the lord. He is the only male with decent Presence and Etiquette, with Alice at his side it could work with some luck.

If we roleplay everything it will take ages to get things done so I think we should speed up some of the parts. We should of course roleplay the scenes where the magi or the grogs interact with key NPCs.

I will only say "help in the laboratory". :slight_smile: And we do have a Corpus book!!! Oh, the wonder! :smiley:

I stand corrected about the merchant. we still need to contact and befriend him (through his greed? likely) so we have an adventure/scene here. :slight_smile:

Fresse and Alice can work here, specially if aided by magic. Let's just hope that fresse does not do a faux pass since he sometimes makes weird comments regarding religion, women or how to solve problems due to his covenant upbringing and his treatment of his skinchanger pendant as a relic. :mrgreen: Dudes, we really need to develop some frontman or frontwoman to speak for us :laughing: When did you say that your merchant was coming to help us? :stuck_out_tongue: