How big are Auras?

Anyone know of any reference to the size of an aura?

Was thinking something like aura x 30 feet radius

Not massively important in the saga but good to have a sense of scale


It is intentionally kept vague. They're as big as you want them to be.

Covenants lists "Vast Aura" as a Boon, which is "up to five miles across". So a regular aura is supposedly much smaller than this.

I'd assume around a mile in size for magic auras. For Divine auras it's dependant on how far the sound of the church bells carries. For infernal auras, it's probably quite small, except where mass graves etc are. For faerie auras it's entirely dependant on the needs of the story it's telling.

Magic Auras depend on the tethers. If a magic aura is based on "a picturesque valley," then the aura extends throughout the valley, for example.

I agree. An aura could be as small as a single room, or even a single coffin; or it could be as large as one of the deserts of Arabia.

Yep. Especially if the dunes are bright red, yellow and blue but never mix...

Of course supposedly within a 5 mile across (2.5 mile radius, under 20 sq miles) auras is a "sprawling city", which doesn't make sense even by ancient standards- depending on your source cities ranged from 20,000 people up to a million, with 100,000-200,000 being a comfortable middle range. Population density ranges from 171 per square mile to about 30,000 per square mile- if you have 150,000 people at 30,000 per square mile, you may well be able to fit a city inside, but I doubt it would be described as sprawling... ... le_eng.png

Constantinople hasn't lost any land area, just population, and I'd class it as a pretty damn big city, but its full length from coast to outer wall is under 5 km.

Maybe it's perspective- where I live the city is over 27 miles across- in any direction. I realize modern transportation is a factor in this but they weren't exactly building skyscrapers in the 13th century either... It's just a 5mi limit for a "vast" aura feels so limiting...
also I'm getting 6.5 Km north to south from that map. of course that is only 4 miles.... It is also uncertain if the city was truly constrained by the wall, there is a good chance it had spillover to outside areas...

Modern cities are much larger than medieval cities. Also, houses are generally smaller, and streets much, much narrower (wide roads are a very new innovation; cars again).

A five-mile city, in the Middle Ages, is vast and sprawling.

Also, American cities are MASSIVELY sprawling comparative to most European cities.

A map of medieval London, courtesy of Wikipedia

I'm surveying covenants of the Order at the moment, and so far there are a few examples of auras the size of small towns, small valleys, small islands, and mountains (usually peaks). Usually larger ones are less powerful.

Are you perhaps American, Canadian or Australian? I've noticed in some discussions that it is difficult for us to credit precisely how tiny distances are in Mythic Europe. 5 miles seems like nothing, but Loch Leagan Tribunal varies between 30 and 150 miles wide. Ireland has similar numbers. Italy's about 99 miles wide for most of its length.

On a regional level, 5 miles in a circle's even more significant. In Cornwall, which is kind of the suggested spot for covenants in Stonehenge, that's about 6% of all the land.

Another note by way of example, in 1220, London and Westminster are separate cities, with villages like Kensington in between. They don't join up until the 1600s.

In Europe, 100 miles is a very long way.

In Australia/Canada/USA, 100 years is a very long time.


And what is vast might vary by the region of Europe as well- the entirety is 9.3 million square miles, Ukraine is 603,700 sq km (about 235,820 sq miles), Italy is about half that, the republic of Ireland only about 70,280 sq km- which is about half of Ireland, but still under a quarter the size of the Ukraine. The Ukraine is only slightly larger than France. Novgorod I would expect to have much more massive auras than Italy...
by comparison the state I live in is 213,100 sq km- larger than Italy yes but not such a vast size difference compared to many European countries. Rhode Island is 4001 sq km, much smaller than Italy, and Texas is 695,662 sq km- a bit bigger than the Ukraine.

Ukraine's not a concept anyone in 1220 recognises.

France is divided into two (technically four, but let that pass) Tribunals.

Novgorod isn't actually all that big a tribunal: it just looks that way because people tend to map it by putting a line around all of the covenants and claiming that's the border. If, instead you mapped the way people did in SE Asia until the Europeans turned up, which is to just leave the bits where no-one had the capacity to project power blank, then Novogoord's smaller than many other Tribunals, because it's actually full of empty space where the Order holds no sway. It has a handful of covenants, many small, many relatively powerless.

For cities, think of it in terms of commuting time. If a city is walled, roughly circular and 3 miles in radius, then it takes a guard walking at a normal pace about an hour to walk from a city gate to a palace in the city centre. Alternatively, it would take a patrol about 6 hours (I.e. effectively almost a whole working day) to walk around the perimeter of the city wall.

I realise not every citizen needs to be able to commute across the city, and in a city of this size the wall (if patrolled at all) would be patrolled in sectors. Also, canals and horses can perhaps (slightly) speed travel times (but probably not by much in an urban area). It would also be possible to run these distances in much shorter times. Nonetheless, if the city is much bigger than this (3 miles across), it is totally impractical to get around by walking.

In modern cities, a commute time of 1-2 hours is also pretty much the maximum practical; it is just that because of cars, buses, trains, bikes, and even planes, the physical distance traversed in this time can be much further.

For auras, they can be whatever size you want; if 5 miles across is too small for your purposes, then a vast aura can simply be larger if you wish.

And this would be the other issue; if a city is bigger than a few miles across it is too difficult to simply defend with a wall. Which is no longer a relevant consideration for modern cities (and has not been a consideration for at least a few hundred years).