Cross Post from GM-LFP: Through the Pillary ARM5

Campaign title: Through the Pillary
System: Ars Magica 5th Edition

of players 5-6 (I already have 4. Looking for 2 more to round out the troupe.)

This is a Saga where at first, there's not even a Covenant. everything has to be brought in and setup by the players. A lot of exploration, and hunting for vis sources.. etc.
Deadline: Aiming to start playing within the next week or two.
Starting Level: Fresh from the Gauntlet.
Location/time: Game will be on Sundays running from 4PM EST to roughly 9PM EST using Virtual Tabletop and voice. Skype or possibly Roll20.. we have not decided yet.

Game info:
Game Year: We'll be starting the game year in March of 1229
Hooks/Boons have been predetermined based on the mysteries involved.
The setup:

A coterie of Magi has in their possession a set of Pillars covered in Viktir runes called the Circle of Sleipnir.The Ancient Elder Magi of the Covenant of the Lavender Fields, Magus Arnaut Fili Rollo, was involved in the Odin wars in his early years. He captured a Viktir and the set of pillars and has spent centuries learning all he could from him and bringing the Viktir runes into his magic theory. He is rarely seen, and is only around rumor has it, because of two extended disappearances in Twilight. The Pillars can be used to open up a portal between them, and another set of Pillars somewhere else. They have been able to establish such a portal, but noone so far as been able to figure out where it leads. What they have been able to tell is that where ever it leads, is a highly magical land.

The coterie of Magi from The Covenant of the Lavender Fields is part of the political faction consisting of House Mercere and Jerbiton members working to get the Order as a whole to fund this expedition. The goals of the expedition are three fold. Establish a Covenant and Order strong point, allowing house Mercere to create a Portal of Hermes Discover the location and viability of this new location. Facilitate in the expansion of Order influence into the area, and determine long term viability of expansion and the creation of additional covenants. They have been not wholly successful, as the expedition is being funded by several factions working together. The Grand Tribunal gave tacit approval for the expedition, giving it till the next Grand Tribunal before review, with a Quaesitor review to be held in 1245 to determine if funding will continue until said Grand Tribunal. Rumor has it that House Mercere will add the Covenant to it’s circuit of Portals of Hermes in 1261, after the Grand Tribunal. A yearly stipend has been setup for the establishment of the new Covenant. There is on going debate on whether the new Covenant should fall under the Novgorod tribunal (Where is it suspected the area is) and the Provencal Tribunal, where the originating portal is established. Some have argued that a brand new tribunal should be established, but these have received very little political acknowledgement so far. It has been decided that the political location of the covenant is as yet un important, and will be decided at the next Great Tribunal.

The current active leader of the Covenant of the Lavender Fields is Magus Aleix Fili Arnaut. He has been a driving force behind the establishment of this expedition. As proof os his support, he has volunteered his apprentice to act as a Door Keeper, and to teach the basic activation spell .

Rumor has it that many of the Magi at lavender Fields are able to use Viktir runes within their Hermetic.

Portal Mechanics: The Portal created by the Circle can be opened twice a month. One the 3 days of the Full Moon, it can be opened from The Home Covenant to the Circle that is in the Mountain. On the 3 days of the new moon, the circle can be opened in the other direction. Opening the circle requires 5 pawns of vis, and the gate stays open for the entirety of the 3 days. It can be crossed in either direction, but only the correct site can initiate the opening.

Location of the Site:

The circle opens up into a fairly large Cave complex near the top of a mountain. The air is thin, and people get tired easily the first few days they are there. Excessive activity can cause a kind of illness. A young man fell asleep on guard duty the first night there, and almost died. He talked about feeling like he was drowning.

The Magi who went through the first time reports a high base Aura. Minor exploration has found that said Aura stays the same, and occasionally spikes upwards all the way into the Valley bellow. In game terms, the Aura of the area is a 5, and occasionally spikes up to a 6 or 7.

Scouts have done basic exploration. It takes a while to climb down from the mountain, but there is a fairly passable way to traverse down to the valley bellow. The Valley has pine trees, and rich mountain grass. The scouts have seen several types of game. Mountain goats, deer. As well as bear, wolf, and large cat tracks. Bringing game back to the Cave is dangerous, but doable. It would be ideal if a magi could come through and create a safer passage.

There is currently just a basic base camp located within the cave system. It will be up to the Magi of the new Covenant to establish how they wish to expand and build.