So, one of the things I'm keen to try out is the cooperative covenant creation system - previously I've just done it all myself and handed the players the finished result, but this ought to be more interesting.

The covenant I have in mind is a small-ish group of magi living on Ailsa Craig. It'll be about ten years old. In covenant creation terms, it's a Summer covenant with the Difficult Access boon.

What else would you like to see? I figure we can start with Boons and Hooks, and move on to build point stuff afterwards if everyone's still interested.

Just brainstorming:

I've been thinking about the economy of the covenant.

The covenant could live from fishing, piracy, robbery, or book-trading: I think I'd like piracy best. The problem with all three is that there are not too many buyers. We could also build a shipyard (complete with a large tree school): Also a favourite idea of mine.

The aura (including realm and stability) will be a key issue - we'll need it for character creation.

I've also started thinking about the number of grogs (depends on the economy)

I'd love my companion character to be involved in the covenant economy, as a craftsman/pirate/shipbuilder maybe?

I've read the Reverto ad Vernus website on current covenants. Easy to find friends and foes there.

I am still uncertain about buildings on the island: a castle is boring, but a cave is primitive.

Okay, I'm impressed. It can't have been easy to find that if you didn't know exactly what you were looking for. Have I mentioned it here before? Honestly, I might have told everyone about it yesterday - it's not like I'd remember at the moment. You're probably assuming that I'm setting this saga in the same tribunal, plus about twenty years. I'm assuming that too. There'll be a few changes to the covenants listed there, but I think they're a good starting point.

The Academica Septima Superior made a lot of its money from whaling in the Solway Firth and Irish Sea, with the aid of a pair of magical barrels that sucked up all the wonderfully expensive whale oil. The new covenant could easily have inherited the operation lock, stock and... um... barrel after the Academica got its act together and flew off again. On the other hand: piracy is cool (and gives you grogs with handy skills).

The lack of buyers might not be a factor, depending on what exactly you're selling. There are enough rich landowners around the Irish sea to sustain a steady trade in continential luxuries, if I recall correctly. If you steal a cargo of something less exciting, like wool or livestock, you can always hand it off to a semi-legitimate merchant adventurer and have them offload it in England or France. This would be an excellent opening if you wanted a character directly involved in the covenant's economy - it'd give them an excuse to be wherever the magi were jaunting off to, not to mention providing free(ish) transport.

There's not an awful lot of room on Ailsa Craig itself for a shipyard, but you could easily own one in Carrick, Kyle or further up the river at Glasgow.

Agreed. If nobody has any objections, I vote for the minor Aura boon at least once - the site is a volcanic plug rising straight out of the sea. You don't get much more primally elemental than that.

I also vote for the Road minor hook to balance it out - the craig is right in the middle of the entrance to the Firth of Clyde - just about anything that gets shipped to the western lowlands (from trade goods to armies) has to go past it.

How about something like Calebais - a huge well dug into the rock of the craig, with rooms, stairwells and landings coming off the sides? Lots of gothic stonework for decoration and an occasional getaway passage to the outside world in the lower levels. The setup gives access to natural light while sheltering magi's sancta from the full force of the Atlantic gales. Of course, given the location it's likely to be colonised by half a billion gannets, but that's the sort of thing a Ring/Circle ReAn spell could take care of.

Do we found the covenant in 1235, or do we take over an existing covenant, complete with a library? If there is a library: How many build points can each of us spend on books (or do you draw up a list?)

I'm thinking that the covenant would be an existing chapter house of another one (I suggest the Academica Septima Superior, because it won't be appearing in the saga), so there would be a basic lab or two and some books, but nothing fancy. You will have greatly expanded and personalised it in the last ten years. As for the library (and everything else you can spend build points on) I suggest everyone gets a certain total (200? 250?) to spend on whatever they like. Books, specialists, customised labs, whatever.

Why don't you go ahead and spend 200 points on books etc. After everyone's had a go, we can add in other stuff if there are obvious holes.

200 build points:
1 BP Money stocks: 5MPs

10bp Practicng hermetic Latin I (Latin Q10)
10 bp Practicing Hermetic Latin II (Latin Q10)
33bp Theoria Magica by Bonisagus, glossed edition (Magic Theory lvl 6; Q15)
9bp Magical defense (Q 9- Parma)
9bp Magical Attack (Q9 - Penetration)
33 bp The Bible (lvl10, Q3)
31 bp The Mind Explained (Mentem lvl 20; Q11), cow-and-calf-bound
30 Platonic Magic (Creo lvl 20, Q 10), cow-and-calf-bound

6bp Autocrat lvl 6
18bp scribal team (3 persons) lvl 6

10 bp - Source: 2 Creo vis/year


  • more money and vis
  • turb captain
  • books
  • items

Since nobody has voiced an objection to the chambers-stemming-from-a-central-well plan, let's go with that. To sort the Aura etc. out, here's my proposed list of virtues and flaws:

Aura (1) - the site is elementally powerful
Criminals (1) - pirates serve as a source of income and a privateer navy
Difficult Access (1) - it's an island with one small beach. Access to the covenant involves climbing a narrow trail up the side of the craig.
Edifice (1) - the central well is damn impressive

Death Prophecies - bean sidhes tend to visit those about to die in Carrick, Kyle and Arran
Hermetic Politics - finding out anything worthwhile about the Order of Odin will make both friends and enemies in the Order
Indiscreet Resource - the covenant's income comes from flagrant piracy
Road - as discussed above.

Free Choices:
Autocracy - an appointed steward speaks for the magi
Small Tower - a tower built by the original founding covenant still remains, and is now used as a lookout post.

What do you think of Alerock as a name?

If nobody has anything to say about this arrangement by Friday, I'll take it as approval.

My own contribution to the covenant's resources:
The Hairy Tree: 8 pawns of Corpus/year (40 pts)
Blue Stones: 8 pawns of Terram/year (40 pts)
The Famhair Stane: 4 pawns of Muto, 4 pawns of Intellego, 1 pawn of Aquam/year (45 pts)

Ars Mutandum: summa on Muto, L 7, Q15 (22 pts)
Categories: tractatus on Artes Liberales (by Aristotle, no less) Q10 (10 pts)
Light (De Luce): tractatus on Philosophiae Q10 (10 pts)
The Norse Wars: tractatus on Order of Odin Lore Q5 (5 pts)
Projection of the Senses: tractatus on Intellego Q8 (8 pts)

Lab text: Bridge of Frost (6 pts)
Lab text: The Crystal Dart (2 pts)
Lab text: Ward Against Mundane Intrusions (7 pts)

Vis stores: 10 vim, 6 corpus, 4 terram, 3 aquam, 2 creo (5 pts)

I've created Phillipa the Autocrat as a fully-statted grog, removing the need to pay build points for her (-6 pts). In her place, I've substituted Jock the Turb Captain with a Leadership of 5 (in combat) and a Presence of +1 (6 pts)

I'll be away from a computer for most of the next few days, but I really like how the Covenant (Alerock) is shaping up. I only have one note; shouldn't we take the Criminals minor boon since the covenant is served by pirates?

To balance this out I would suggest something that might shake things up a bit, such as the Refuge, or better yet, the Spy hook. If we as a group were having dealings of any sort with the Order of Odin the Order of Hermes would certainly be interested in infiltrating our operation...just my two cents!


It's good to see other people thinking the same way as me, though!

The Spy hook would work well in the isolated and slightly claustrophobic atmosphere of Alerock.* Also, I love spy stories. Consider it included. Do you (or ExarKun, or JeanMichelle) want to nominate another Hook to balance it, or would you prefer to replace one of the existing ones? If the latter, I'd suggest Death Prophecies or Indiscreet Resource, as it keeps the focus of the saga squarely where it should be.

*[size=85]still only a provisional name[/size]

200 BP:

  • Professor Alsygone from Montpellier, following his favorite student. Com 3 +5 (goodteacher) +7 (teaching) (one to one) +7 (Artes liberales) = 22BP.
    He's a teacher in Artes 7, Philosophae 7, Theology 7, Magic Theory 5, Magic Lore 5, Dominion lore 3, Infernal lore 3, Faerie lore 1. From a companion in my IRL saga, quite fun to have him here ^^.
  • The Fountain of Magic : vis source of 10 vim pawns per year, 50BP. It's a magical fountain which spit vim pawns at the Summer Solstice.
  • Mind full of Mentem, summa of Mentem, level 7 quality 14, 21BP
  • De Vim Ars : ab aeterno from Einsteinus of Bonisagus, tractatus Vim quality 11, 11BP
  • labtext: suppressing the wizard handywork level 50, 10BP
  • About the Earth, summa of Terram, level 8, quality 18, 26BP
  • labtext: tireless servant (magic item ReCo 40), 8BP
  • labtext: Sight of the active magic (InVi 40), 8BP
  • About the Vim Art, and his link with magical realm, tome 1, tractatus Vim, quality 11, 11BP
  • About the Vim Art, and his link with magical realm, tome 2, tractatus Vim, quality 11, 11BP
  • About the Vim Art, and his link with magical realm, tome 3, tractatus Vim, quality 11, 11BP
  • About the Vim Art, and his link with magical realm, tome 4, tractatus Vim, quality 11, 11BP

Vim, vim, vim, frickin' vim! Is it alright if I re-name some of these?

Vim is the world!

You can rename (i was out of inspiration :smiley:)

Having received no objection to the proposed name, welcome all of you to the Covenant of Alerock!

ExarKun, I've renamed some of the books you put forward. I've also changed the Mentem summa to an Aquam summa, as we already had a (better) book on Mentem. Also, tell me what The Tireless Servant does - I'm curious!

Currently, the library looks like this:
Arena et Mons - summa on Terram, L8, Q18
Ars Mutandum - summa on Muto, L7, Q15
The Bible - summa on Theology, L10, Q3
De Marae - summa on Aquam, L7, Q14
De Menta Exposita - summa on Mentem, L20, Q11
Magica Platonica - summa on Creo, L20, Q10
Theoretica Magica - summa on Magic Theory, L6, Q15
The Art of Vim - tractatus on Vim, Q11
The Boundary Between Magic and Light - tractatus on Vim, Q11
Categories - tractatus on Artes Liberales, Q10
Light (De Luce - tractatus on Philosophiae, Q10
Magical Attacks - tractatus on Penetration, Q9
Magical Defence - tractatus on Parma Magica, Q9
The Magical Realm - tractatus on Vim, Q11
The Norse Wars - tractatus on Order of Odin Lore, Q5
On the Art of Vim - tractatus on Vim, Q11
On Men and Giants - tractatus on Corpus, Q11
Practicing Hermetic Latin (vol. 1) - tractatus on Latin, Q10
Practicing Hermetic Latin (vol. 2) - tractatus on Latin, Q10
To See the Magic - tractatus on Vim, Q11

I kinda like to give summae latin titles and keep tractati in the vernacular - it helps me tell them apart at a glance. No doubt my latin brings tears of blood to the eyes of people who've actually studied it, but there you go.

As regards Boons and Hooks, I'd like to suggest that Spies be taken as an extra hook, balanced with a Secondary Income. I ran the covenant's details through metacreator and it looks like the entire income from piracy has already been eaten up, with a few companions, grogs, magi, labs etc. still to come!

The tireless servant is an item from covenant which gives +1GQ +1safety to the lab.

Edit: the first Muto book is unoptimised: it has level 7 for 15 quality. That means in 2 seasons you gain 30 px and lost 2.
With a quality 14 you gain 1 for a quality in the level 20 book.

So it is. This is the kind of thing I should check before I bother you guys.

Eh, I kind of prefer things this way. It means you can pick up everything you know in order to teach Muto to your apprentice in a single season, with a bit left over if you want to spend a second season studying the same book. 2 waste xp isn't such a high price to pay, I think.

In between things, I've been tweaking the covenant numbers in Metacreator. Currently, Alerock is running at a 65-pound annual surplus, which seems huge when it's just sitting there. I can think of a couple of useful things to do with it:

  1. Lab improvements. Number crunching tells me that every magus in the covenant can bump their lab up to Upkeep +5 without exhausting the wealth.
  2. Covenfolk wages. Some extra money thrown at the servants would improve loyalty scores.
  3. Buy vis. At ten pounds per pawn (for vis forma), this functions as a source of whatever manner of vis the covenant lacks.


We can make some emergency savings bank for the special cases, can't we?

Of course - I'm just assuming that, being pirates and all, most of our income won't be in coin. It'll be livestock, goods and other things better suited to immediate expenditure.

Oh, it's so. I thought you were talking about the final trade product: coins.

Having said that, I recently went back and had a look at what we had and didn't have. I came to a few conclusions:

  1. The library is kind of sparse for a covenant that makes a lot of its money trading books.
  2. Morphiste is something of a mentem maga, but there's no source of mentem vis.
  3. I'd like Annaeus to develop his herbam, but there's no herbam books, nor a vis source.
  4. There aren't many lab texts available for a covenant of active magi.

Accordingly, here are some extra bits and bobs, totalling 250 build points:

Liber Botanica Nova - Summa on Herbam, Q14, L16 (30 pts)
History of the Kings of Britain* - Tractatus on Area Lore (Britain), Q9 (9 pts)
Saturnus* - Tractatus on Magic Lore, Q11 (11 pts)
Natural History I-VI - Tractatus on Philosophiae, Q6 (6 pts)
Natural History VII - Tractatus on Philosophiae, Q6 (6 pts)
Natural History VII-XI - Tractatus on Philosophiae, Q6 (6 pts)
Natural History XII-XXVII - Tractatus on Philosophiae, Q6 (6 pts)
Natural History XXVIII-XXXII - Tractatus on Philosophiae, Q6 (6 pts)
Natural History XXXIII-XXXVII - Tractatus on Philosophiae, Q6 (6 pts)
Natural History XXXVIII* - Tractatus on Magic Lore, Q6 (6 pts)
On Paganism - Tractatus on Faerie Lore, Q10 (10 pts)
The Nature of Vis - Tractatus on Magic Theory, Q10 (10)

The books I've marked with asterisks will keep the scribes busy making and selling copies. Kings of Britain is something of a bestseller among Breton, Cornish and Welsh nobility, and Saturnus and Natural History XXXVIII are lost works (in fact, Natural History XXXVIII is completely unknown in the sad, magic-free world we inhabit) and the copies possessed by Alerock may be the only ones in Christendom (that don't fall under the Cow and Calf oath).

Lab Texts
Free the Striding Tree - ReHe 30 (6 pts)
Gather the Essence of the Beast - ReVi 15 (3 pts)
Curse of Circe - MuCo(An) 30 (6 pts)
Bind the Gift - ReVi 30(6 pts)
Bitter Taste of Betrayal - InVi 15 (3 pts)
Piercing the Faerie Veil - InVi 20 (4 pts)
Supple Iron and Rigid Rope - MuTe(He) 10 (2 pts)
Posing the Silent Question - InMe 20 (4 pts)
Bind Wound - CrCo 10 (2 pts)
Endurance of the Berserkers - ReCo 15 (3 pts)
False Prophecy - MuMe 30 (6 pts)
Seed of the Great Betrayal - MuMe 30 (6 pts)
Shriek of the Impending Shafts - InHe 15 (3 pts)
Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie - InMe 20 (4 pts)

Other stuff
Fontana Magica - 5 pawns of Mentem vis every Spring (25 pts)
5 pawns Mentem (1 pt)
4 pawns Intellego (1 pt)
6 pawns Herbam (1 pt)
5 pawns Muto (1 pt)
5 pawns Rego (1 pt)