Gifts of the Rhine

I am trying to assemble a list of the gifts that the covenants of the Rhine would provide to a newly established spring covenant of young magi (see GotF). The basic idea is that each gift:

a) will be highly appreciated by the recipient
b) will cause minimal losses to the donor
c) may further the cause of the donor

Note that in some cases a) will not really be appropriate -- for example, if the donor is opposed to the new covenant. However, such cases are likely to be a minority (or the new covenant would fail to get Tribunal approval), so we'll just assume that every donor provides a "good" gift. Any feedback, suggestions, ideas etc. would be highly appreciated! For example, what would your covenant provide as a gift (and what favours would it ask in exchange for support)?

Durenmar: 7 years (until the next Tribunal) of free access to their library to all members of the new covenant. This is a great boon to younger magi, costs Durenmar virtually nothing, and will hopefully induce the recipients to trade vis, favors etc. for continued access.

Oculus Septentrionalis: mundane riches for a total of 250 mythic pounds. A great boon to young magi, and a drop in the ocean for Oculus Septentrionalis, this gift makes it less likely that the new covenant will upset the local economy with some heavy-handed money making scheme, and more likely that it will trade vis, favors etc. for another "funding round" in a few years.

Waddenzee: mundane riches for 100 mythic pounds, and a rook of vis -- all of it "hot stuff" from various moderately illegal raids. A lavish gift, and one that will make the Quaeritores less likely to prosecute Waddenzee. At the very least it will make the new covenant more likely to vote against restitution of the booty!

Fengheld: half a dozen well trained grogs, and half a dozen specialists for essential tasks (a scribe, a blacksmith, an autocrat etc.). Recruiting such a complement of covenfolk would be relatively time consuming for young magi (particularly considering their Gift) but it's virtually "free" for the massive, efficient organization of Fengheld -- and it gives them a dozen loyal agents in the newly established covenant.

Irencillia: a faerie acorn. If planted and watered (maybe with some Aquam vis?) over many years it will grow into the greatest oak of the area, a source of vis and possibly of a faerie aura that may eventually overpower the new covenant's magical one (not a problem for any magus with faerie magic...).

Roznov: a token of the blessing of Radegast -- an altar (or some other item like a statue or a weapon) consecrated to him, possibly with a caretaker/custodian/lesser priest. Once per year, on Radegast's holiest day, a perfect animal ritually sacrificed in a sacred ceremony involving the token provides 3 pawns of Animal vis; only by "accident" does the new covenant learn that a human sacrifice could instead provide 3 pawns of Corpus and 3 pawns of Mentem vis...

Crintera: two splendid magical horses (a black stallion and a white mare), intelligent and unaffected by the Gift. They may have a minor magical power, and some or all of their offspring may share some or all of the same qualities. While this is a nice gift and relatively "in theme" with Crintera, I wish I could have found something more fitting.

Dankmar... I need help! I was thinking of some dark faerie gift that will cause havok when the characters visit Durenmar... any ideas?

Triamore: I need help on this one too! Triamore has strong ties to the mundane world, and wants to secede from the Rhine and create a new Lotharingian Tribunal between the Rhine and Normandy. The only resource it seems to currently have in over-abundance is lab equipment, since it has far fewer magi than it used to. How can Triamore's magi give a gift that's nice, inexpensive for them, and that nudges the new covenant's agenda in line with theirs? The best I could think is the following, but it's a bit too convoluted for my tastes.

Triamore extends hospitality and "honorary membership" to any magus of the new covenant who may wish to visit in the next 20 years, free of any charges. It also gives the new covenant's the materials to furnish a splendid lab; this is the legacy of Aline of Bonisagus "who would have wanted his legacy to benefit the younger generations" (and whose lab is dangerously unstable). Hidden among the cartfuls of beakers, alambics, retorts etc. is a document giving tantalizing details on how to reach the fabled Covenant of Calebais. Calebais has long been lost to the Order, but was located in that portion of the Normandy tribunal that would become part of the Lotharingian Tribunal planned by Triamore. This means that it's currently out-of-bounds for the magi of the new Rhine covenant, but it will be accessible if the Lotharingian plan goes ahead -- whether because (ideally) the new covenant will also be part of Lotharingia, or simply because the new covenant's magi can operate from Triamore as guests (of course, Triamore would then gets its share, too). Daria La Gris, leader of Triamore, made sure that the document was discreetly included with the lab material; she feels that exploring Calebais would not be worth the risk for Triamore, particularly given its currently scant membership.

For Triamore give them a Terram expert. Have the PCs construct a couple of rooms to the specifications of Triamore. Then the PCs provides an AC and invites the Terram expert into the Aegis and he casts The Ambulatory Laboratory saving 2 months of time per lab. These labs would be standard. AmbLab is a 50th level spell (errata) but it isn't a ritual and resolves the maintenance issues Triamore would have to deal with.

You might take a look at Legends of Hermes, at "the Garden of Herrison" for info on self-replicating vis. The acorn could be from his Garden, and lead to this adventure in the future. It would be Magic, not Faerie, though....

The first gift that came to my mind, since you want the gifts to benefit the Giver Covenant:
I know that it's not specifically on the list of requests, but perhaps one of the covenants offers a magical writing desk. A book placed on the desk makes a duplicate copy in a season, Unbeknownst to the magi, a duplicate copy is ALSO created inside a locked cabinet made of the same wood at another location. The cabinet is kept at a friendly mundane location near the Giver Covenant, so that it's not within their Aegis. A clue that something fishy is going on might be that in order for the effect to work, the desk must be supplied with twice the amount of raw materials, yet only one copy is made, and the 2nd set of raw materials disappear....

Actually, I do not have Legends of Hermes, and it is not really high on my priority list. But I would be interested, to get a sense of game balance, about the numbers suggested there for "vis cultivation". I've always thought the concept potentially unbalancing because it would allow "mass production" of a resource that I'd want to keep scarce. The acorn I suggested is different -- it's a one-of-a-kind item that the PCs will be unable to replicate.

when My home game had a gift from the covenant of one of the character's paren (with tormenting master flaw) the gift was as follows:

A book that was tractus on Imagonem level 6 and they were told that when they understood it fully, they would know the truth of imagonem. The key is that the script in the book was all creo Imagonem script with item maintainced concentration, 2/day, environmental trigger magic item with disenchant trigger secondary enchantments to go off if someone discovered the truth of the book instead of just studying the text. This would render it back into just a blank text.

The 4th edition book on triamore talks abpout its library as being a wonder of the world. Only Durenmar and (maybe) a pair of other Domus Magnae surpass it. I can see them giving them copies of books or the right to copy WITHOUT cow and calf oath. That and giving them some books without forcing them to pay for them might make the dudes at Durenmar look lame and less than generous, something that the dudes of Triamore might appreciate.

As an alternative if you think the hermetic library is covered, you can make them grant access to their massive MUNDANE library. Better than the one at Durenmar, maybe?

As an alternative they can offer to act as middlemen for their mundane produce, if they have any, fetching a nice price for their resources (like wood or wool) during a period of 2 tribunals.

All those give Triamore political leverage: they are nice chaps helpigng you, so you might be inclined to vote for them at tribunal.

A token of free pass. They can ask for anything from a dark faerie. The faerie is forced to agree to the letter of the agreement, but might not like it and might interpret it as restrictively as she want to. Careful with that one.

As an alternative, a cursed item. it generates an effect similar to the shrouded glen or another similar effect, but that makes everybody fear the Boundary where it is placed. Dark fae get vitality out of that fear.

A magical horn that summons all the birds and flying creatures at Sight range and puts them in a good predisposition towards the one that blew it. Might be useful or not depending on how you deal with the Birds. I always imagined Hitchcock had one of those. And the Dankmar item as well.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:


Any ideas are more than welcome!
The magical writing desk is nice. However, wouldn't it be blatantly against the Code -- magical scrying?

This is a good point which I had overlooked. The 4th edition Triamore book (which I have) states it's probably one of the "top seven in existence", though "no match for the Great Library of Doissetep". GotF also seems to state the Triamore has one of the top three libraries of the Rhine, together with Fengheld and after Durenmar. Finally, Triamore's library is labyrinthine, so you really need assistance to get the most out of it -- meaning that Triamore can essentially renege on its offer if the new covenant does not play along. The one point that leaves me somewhat less than enthusiastic is that I was hoping for each gift to be relatively "unique", and Triamore's overlaps too much with Durenmar's...

Also a good point.

Meh, mundane trade is not their forte. Oculus Septentrionalis would probably make a much better offer on this. In fact, I think this should be part of Oculus Septentrionalis' offer -- whose magi think that they can provide a gift while at the same time getting themselves a fair profit margin.

Nice! This manages to capture the "what does Dankmar get out of it" (vitality for an allies, and allies placed near the new covenant).

Hmm, I find this a bit bland, like my own. I honestly have trouble with finding a gift that would help advance Crintera's interests.

Glad you like the Dankmar one :slight_smile:

OK, second round for Crintera.

  • A pack of large magical intelligent wolves. They are black, not white :mrgreen: They will pledge allegiance to the new covenant, but will also keep their old friendship tio the Bjornaer. They will act as guardians of a forest or similar place where they live. Really bad for urbane covenants, but can work for more rural covenants.

  • Or the service of a pack of magical rats that can act as informants in a city.

Basically, useful intelligent animals that will have mixed loyalties. Somewhat like the fengheld grogs, but with 4 paws.


What about a magical helm or tiara that gives the user an intellego effect to "see" Shapechangers for what they are? It helps the user, but also helps Crintera's House rivalry against the German Shapechangers. (Presuming the user will also feel a certain negativity toward the Shapechangers.)

Regarding the desk that makes 2 magical copies... I haven't thought it through too much (serf's parma), but I can see an argument that making a copy of a book is not really scrying.... And even if it is, there's a nice little tribunal story in there involving a quaesitor ruling....

and if the queasitor rules that the copying is wrong, an appropriate penalty is that the cabinet is give to the covenant so that they get two copies whenever they make one.