In my saga, my SG mage belongs to the original London Covenant and is the liason to the PCs where they are "renting" their location on London Bridge.
Turns out one of the PC scholarly Companions is planning on researching and writing up the History of my mage's lineage. Up till now I had a few broad notes and a lot of hand-waving, but now it is crunch time, and I have been rushing out something that I hope should cover all my previous hand-waving, plus hooks in my notes.
Could I get a second pair of eyes to go over it and see that I haven't written anything too ridiculous or inconsistant. There is probably spelling mistakes and bad Latin. And I am very disorganised.
Lee - consider this the Beta version.
Here is part one, the overview:
The Aegidii claim descent from the last Cult of Mercury high priest of Londinium, Ioannes Constantinus Aegidus, who stayed in London after the Roman legions withdrawal. They were among the original members of Pralix's Ordo Miscellanea, and then House Ex Miscellana.
According to the (mostly oral, as most written records were destroyed at the time of the Schism War) History of the Aegidii, Ioannes Constantius was one of the most powerful magicians of his era, having rededicated the Temple of Mithra to house a murderous spirit of Bacchus, found and made contract with the Genius Locus of Ludgate Hill, and tamed/befriended the local magical population, among other deeds. Though since he worked within the reigning civilisation and was not boastful, and avoided antagonising the Christians too much, he was effectively unknown outside the Cult of Mercury. Unlike the later Merlin.
The next great wizard of this lineage is Martellus Aegidus. According to Pralix, it is almost certain that Trianoma would have tried to recruit him to be a Founder, if she had ever visited Britain. He apparently fought off Damhain-Allaidh, to the point where Damhain-Allaidh promised to stay out of London and Martellus promised never to leave London. Whether this agreement would be honoured for long is moot, as Damhain-Allaidh went off to deal with this group of threatening wizards on the Continet, calling themselves the Order of Hermes.
One of Martellus' apprentices, who named himself Formidus Nullus, was one of the first to heed Pralix's call to arms, and fought well in the War against Dav'nalleus. Though at one point he was ambushed by some of Dav'nalleus' magical supporters - they couldn't land a Death Curse through his magical defenses, but in the ensuing magical battle (that he won), Formidus Nullus was cursed, hexed and geased with so many lesser magics that a contemporary claimed that he all but glowed in the dark. Several of the curses have stuck to his blood and are known to randomly affect his descendents. The more commonly appearing curses his descendents face are Curse of Venus (to try and break his loyalty to Pralix), and Fear (of Spiders).
All apprentices taught at London/Ludgate Hill/Rotas Yard covenant are taught Mercurian Magic. All magi initiated into this lineage must buy from their normal allotment of Virtues and Flaws the virtue Magical Blood from the godly-like being/genius Loci located deep in the regios under Ludgate Hill. Which has to be balanced with with the minor supernatural flaw - Lesser Malediction - perform Aegidus "duties", which requires the character live up to various binding magical Oaths ancestral holders of the magical blood made. The knowledge of what, but not why, is in the magical blood, as the character instinctively knows when to pour a libation to the river, or avoid walking the wrong way down a certain street at night, or how to properly greet the king of the bees and what to bring to his coronation, to always defend against that which approaches from the North East, give succour to the dragon of the fens, pay back a single favour to a certain magical beast if requested, how to maintain the Well of Nodens, support the head Aegidus in their "duties", etc.
This magical blood is ceremonially transfused to the apprentice while at the Well of Nodens in the lowest level of the regios, as the Apprentice Gauntlet. If the apprentice survives the ordeal with Gift intact, they have passed the Gauntlet. Otherwise they normally die, or occasionally live with their Gift destroyed (there are a couple of recorded cases across the centuries where the apprentice is transfomed into a animalistic magical creature). Perhaps 2 in 3 pass the Gauntlet successfully.
On successfully infusing the Magical Blood, they gain this Ex Misc tradition's "free" virtues - they receive the blessing of Lud in the form of Ways of the Land (Towns/Cities), can draw upon the mystic fortitude of their new blood (Special Circumstances - involved in Magical Conflict), but with the penalty that their new blood is somewhat incompatible with Longevity rituals - Difficult Longevity Ritual. They are marked in that their right hand gains a silvery sheen, is stiffer to move, and the touch of this right hand seems annoying to shapeshifters.
After the war with Damhain-Allaidh, the war hero Formidus Nullus Aegidus, filius Martellus Aegidus, gave his 3 eventual apprentices names that could be interpreted as containing the number one (Anna Primadonna, Primula, and Marcellus Princeps). Similarly, his apprentices gave their apprentices names that could be interpreted as containing the number two (ie Dianna Beatituda filia Anna Primadonna, Rosaria Beta filia Primula, Aemillia Secunda filia, and Marcus Secundus filius Marcellus Princeps), and thus the tradition was born that each mage's name would contain information regarding how many generations of descent from the war hero Formidus Nullus. While his parens Martellus Aegidus had another apprentice, only Formidus Nullus' line has survived past the 11th Century.
Currently there are 3 Aegidii - the aged and decrepit Valeria Quinta, her second apprentice Henricus Sextus, and his newly gauntletted apprentice Rupertus Septimus. They trace their lineage from Martellus Aegidus by Formidus Nullus, then Primula, then Rosaria Beta, then Severus Tertius, then Isadore Quadraticus, who distinguished himself in the Schism War when he was young.
Should the character become the senior Aegidus, the Lesser Malediction becomes more onerous and Greater, including stay with the walls of London (can't leave for more than a few hours, unless can convince another Aegidus to become temporarily Senior), perform the necessary rituals at the Well of Nodens, and ensure there will be a backup Aegidus ready to take over the "duties" (ie take apprentices).
The senior Aegidus is usually the first Aegidus to present themselves at the Well of Nodens after the previous senior Aeidus dies. All the Aegidii feel the call through their blood when this is needed.
The original London Covenant
Due to a very effective memory wiping ritual centuries ago, very few in the Stonehenge Tribunal realise it exists, and those that do tend to keep it a secret. First and foremost, the Autocrat of Cad Gadu knows, since it is written in his book of lore that it has been tradition since the time of Pralix that every 7 years Cad Gadu and London Covenant exchange certain ceremonial gifts. However Prima Immanola, early in her reign, arranged it so that the other magi of Cad Gadu would not hear about London Covenant, and only the autocrat would keep the ceremonial connection alive.
If you scour the Tribunal records and Peripheral Code, you can find assorted references to various Aegidii magi, but rarely do any mention they are from London.
The London Covenant that most Magi know from History is due to the actions of the highly charismatic, extremely Optimistic and rather Overconfident Marcus Secundus Aegidus who, on his journey across Europe, using extravagant promises he was certain his superior would honour, managed to convince several magi to join him in London to form a multi-House Covenant.
However, the senior Aegidus would not honour all of Marcus Secundus' promises, primarily access to the regios and resources on Ludgate Hill. Thus Marcus' Covenant had to take other lodgings in London. Until then the Aegidii magi had not been aware of how much extra trouble the Blessing of Lud averted, compared to the problems "normal" Gifted Magi had within a city. Eventually not even Marcus' charm could keep the Covenant going, and the Magi dispersed acrimoniously, each believing that Marcus Secundus, and by extension all the the Aegidii, owed them a lot.
One of the disgruntled magi, either the Criamon, the Diedne, the Jerbiton, the Mercere, or the Child of Pralix, cast a ritual that caused everyone in Stonehenge to forget the Aegidii and Ludgate Hill. It didn't have much Penetration, so many Magi were not affected (including all the Aegidii). Most of the covenfolk at Ludgate Hill knew it as Rotas Yard and the "masters", so they weren't noticeably affected. However, the Redcaps, who were entreated to tell all they knew of the fall of London Covenant, found they had a very spotty history to recall. And thus the mystery of London Covenant became widespread. The Aegidii remained insular and didn't hear this version of the news because they thought the disgruntled Mercere mage had used his influence to have Redcaps avoid Ludgate Hill.
It wouldn't be until after the Schism War, when war buddies from continental Europe wished to exchange correspondence with fellow veteran Isadore Quadraticus Aegidus, that any Redcaps regularly visted Ludgate Hill again. By then, no outsider associated it the mysterious London Covenant.