Where is it based? How many magi? What Houses?
I'm curious as to the 'State of the Order' and what Tribunals are popular...
Where is it based? How many magi? What Houses?
I'm curious as to the 'State of the Order' and what Tribunals are popular...
See arsbohemia.pbwiki.com. Hiemis Spiritus is based in the Luznice hills of eastern Bohemia (with a house rule making Bohemia its own small tribunal). Five magi: Bjornaer, Bonisagus, Ex Miscellanea, Merenita (replacing a Criamon who disappeared into twilight or faerie), and Tytalus. Established 1221.
Kryslin may correct this this post, but this is our campaign breakdown.
Where is it based?
Rhine Tribunal, though 'specifically we are on the Normandy/Rhine Border.
Our covenant has a series of Mercere Portals centered at the covenant, so we have easy access to several Tribunals that have become the focus of long running games. 'Recently' we ended material that concerned Hibernial and Loch Leglean. In a seperate story line we sort of resolved conflict between Normandy and the Rhine Tribunal (My character wacked the Primus of Tytalus- It was self defense I swear!).
Currently we are dealing with a crisis in Loch Leglean and Stonehedge. In the past we have also focused on the Levant and Roman Tribunal. While these 'tours' occur, our campaign is always entrenched in heavy Rhine Politics.
How many Magi?
17-19? And I may have missed a few of the newbies.
We have three dead magi, six 'retired' magi (they are no longer in play), four 'senior' magi, and four junior magi/apprentices.
Here's where some explanation begins. Our campaign has been running since I think 1993. I've got a core group of friends and playing Ars Magica is our thing to do. Players have come and gone, but the core group has remained same. The fact that Ars Magica allows for Saga play has allowed us to keep playing the same characters in the same setting for 13 odd years. Some magi have survived through the entire saga, others have lived and left, others have lived and died. The one steady element is the covenant.
In addition to having years under our belt, the reason we have so many magi is our covenant has two to three generations of magi living there. The youngest magi are the gauntleted apprentices of our first characters and at least one of these characters could take an apprentice if they wanted to.
So when I say 17-19 magi (and I may be short) I mean over the course of the saga. In current play I'd say about 4 (the junior magi).
Ex Misc 1
As to the State of the Order.
We believe in a non-static world. That is our characters can change the world. Starting in 2nd edition we pursued the Tremere Vampire storyline that eventually led to the Renounciation of House Tremere during a great war. Now 15 years after the war, the remnant Tremere (currently members of Ex Misc) are petitioning to allow the restoration of House Tremere. The war led to a junta-esque goverment being formed that is failing to govern the Order of Hermes. This psuedo-goverment has opened negotiations with the Church to allow for the Church and Order to live together peacefully. While this is great for the Christian Magi, the non-Christian magi hate the idea and yet another war may break out because of it.
So not your standard State of the Order.
I'm running a game in Provencal... the current year is 1189, I think. The covenant has 6 magi: four Bonisagus (one NPC), a Merenita and a Tytalus (NPC). Oh, and an unGifted Redcap just joined as a companion.
Theandric (ENWorld PbP): A Play-by-Post saga set in the Rhine tribunal, progressing very slowly (still at the first adventure). Three active players at the moment, 4 magi, Spring covenant.
Ynys Heddwch: An "experiment" labwork-only online saga where I play an Ex Misc maga. An interesting thing, but certainly not a normal game. 8 magi.
Prometheus Unbound: A tabletop saga, where I play a Criamon magus. Or would, if we ever meet and actually play. 3-4 magi (unclear, at the moment). Set in the early middle-ages, in the Rhine tribunal (at the south).
This is all fascinating stuff! Thanks to all who have posted!
Season: Late Spring-Summer
Our saga started 2 months ago, we play in the Novgorod Tribunal in 1214 and the master (I) for history and politics follows "The Dragon and the Bear."
We have 7 magi:
Nicodemus, follower of Bjornaer (white tiger heartbeast),
Lust, follower of Criamon (necromancer),
Conrad Molitor, follorwer of Tytalus (elementalist),
Augustus, folower of Tremere (combat leader),
Agnus, follower of Flambeau (Ignem specialist),
Inferus, follower of Merenita (cold specialist),
Andrea, follower of Merenita (Mentem specialist).
The players don't have a Covenant yet because they have departed from the Greater Alps Tribunal after their apprentiship for create their own covenant in the Novgorod Tribunal. They are now talking to the other covenants of the tribunal to establish some contacts and to find a place for their covenant.
You can read (in Italian only ) what happens in the saga, here: Grande Madre Russia
The updatings are made approximately every week.
Character generation was last night. The game is set in Hibernia. If you'd like to know my plan for the saga it's in the "A game Sphynx might like" thread.
I have four player only one of which is familiar with the system
The player who knows the system is playing a tremere with affinities in rego and animal, the humble personality flaw and a major magical focus in mammals (I fear what kind of scores he'll have for his familiar)
The other players are playing :
A hot headed Flambeau with a major magical focus in fire, blatant gift and a diabolic past.
A tytalus with an overblown ego, quet magicx2, subtle magic and a major magical focus in emotions
A criamon who is a branded criminal, he's a cautious sorcerer with flawless magic , (botch ? botches are for other people).
We are 4 RL years into our Novgorod saga. (8 years game time). We use The Dragon & the Bear and is quite happy with it. We run a fairly trad. saga, with the tempo picking up a bit after the first detail satturated years.
The current members include a Bjornaer, an ex Misc, a Merinita, a Tremere and a Verditius npc. We have to magi seeking membership, a Jerbiton and a Flambeau.
Three magi has died on us, a Flambeau before we were actually founded, a Criamon during our first year, and recently an ex Misc.
We use a wiki page to manage our saga, but it's mostly in norwegian.
It is essentially, correct. However, I have a few ammendations.
6 Junior magi.
22 over the run of the saga is correct, including the play-by-post characters.
Merinitia : 2
Ironically, while it takes up so much time in our game, we are trying to get away from Mythic Watergate, and back to Mythic Europe. To this end, many of the senior, and founding, members are settling into the "You! Go there, do this." mentality more common to older magi, though it's been an uneasy transition.
We have crafters wanting to undertake projects, spells wanting to be researched, apprentices to be gauntleted, and criminals desperately in need of a prompt marching...
The Nurockrah saga has been around since 2nd edition, 1st printing (I think) - some of our characters have been around since day 1.
Saga name: Anazitos Gnosi in the Thebean Tribunal
Covenant a mundane lord on behalf of the Venician Republic over 1 larger (where the covenant is located) and 2 small islands with a single decent harbor and fishing village in the Ionian sea off the coast of what is not the Messenia prefecture in the Tribunal of Thebes.
The covenant is very large with 14 junior mages (1-6 years out of gauntlet) and 4 senior mages (NPCs) (assumption of increased number of magi to around 2000 with corresponding increases in covenants, members of covenants and vis sources). Covenant is in high summer with good library, good resources, decent housing stock, poor fortification, fair magical aura (with very good in certain places), having mundane entanglements (Venice), enemies and some recently discovered ruins. Playing with the group for a four-five of years now with different players. Local Year is 1214.
Junior Magi include:
Bonisagus: 4 (2 were apprentices here) have a seeker (Friasian), theorist (Scot), natural magican (Novograd) and a member of pillar of hirum (Greek).
Gurnicus: 1 (was an apprentice here) - she's an investigator/fearless vampire hunter (Greek)
Mercere (gifted): 1 - roguish goof-off wanting a safe place (Greek).
Jerbitron: 1 - "leader" to the outside world, merchant/sea captain with a ship (Catalan)
Tytalus: 1 - crusader born in Levant, enemies among Arab sorcerers
Flambeau: 1 - mercenary from Germany, fought in Levant
Bjonnaer: 1 - Welsh singer, minstrel, entertainer
Criamon: 1 - Helvetican, covenant born, spirit master
Verditius: 3 (1 in secret society from Constantinople), (1 was apprentice here, Greek), 1 Venetian.
Senior Magi include:
No Ex Misc (yet) but exploring possibility of NPC Ex Misc joining. No Mertina (not a big number of Greek Faeries and 1 of the Bonisagus would object). No Tremere allowed as significant emnity between Coentis and Anazitos. Stong alliance with Durenmar (was a colony of Durenmar) and friends in Roman Tribunal, disliked by certain Theban covenants and Coentsis. Seen as a Rhine and Roman invasion of the Greek Tribunal by some.
Covenant members' goal - create a Thebean Durenmar with great library, a covenant of significant hermetic learning and with significant hermetic political power. Many of the junior magi were recruited by covenant's seeker.
Significant challenges and story arcs have included: hermetic politics and limiting Coentis reach into Hellas, hermetic and mundane political repurcussion of the conquest of Constinople, involvement with the Venetians who have a significant presence in the area, exploration of ruins and discovery of the source of the covenant's aura, hunting outcast Tremere, drive of certain members to raid against Arab magi covenants in Levant, assisting Venetians in defeating pirates in this part of the Mediterraen, negotiating a balance between Orthodox and Catholic covenant magi and members, exploration of magical auras in the Thebean and Transylvanian Tribunals, and the trade that supports the Covenant.
Place: The Empire of Nicaea, Theban Tribunal
Covenant: The Covenant of Oneiroskopos (Dreamwatcher), Spring
Undecided at the moment
Overview: Year is 1220. The Byzantine Empire is in ruins and the war is everywhere. The Byzantine Greeks, Franks and Turks are fighting for their very existence and bitter strife drowns every soul living in Hellas and Asia Minor, including magi.
The tribunal is in turmoil after the tragic invasion of Konstantinoupolis as the city is both the heart of the Tribunal of Thebes as well as the center of the old Empire. In this time of disasters, jaded masters of the Tribunal pull the reins of power even harder as they feel their hands become frailer with the passing of years. Yet others find new opportunities in the ever persistent confusion and plan their moves with even greater ambition and diligence. Unfortunately, the worst is yet to come and He prepares with incomparable cunning, intelligence and power to make His final move.
And four young magi with extraordinary origins and mentors stand over the ashes of a winter covenant, Oneiroskopos, and hope to free it from its unfortunate fate. Unknown to them however, they can be gods among man or offerings to immortals by taking the dying hand of Oneiroskopos.
Saga: Two Rivers
Covenant: Dua Fluminus
Location: Between Toule and Verdun. At a place where the river forms a sigma in a pass, thus making an island between the sides of the pass.
Magi: 1 Master(Jerbiton), 4 Journeymen (Bonisagus, Bjornar, Flambau & Tremere), 2 apprentices.
Established in 1220 on the ruins of a covenant destroyed by a Graf (count) made a cuckold by one of the magi at the covenant, Dua Fluminus has been in trouble from the outset. The graf still holds little love for magi or the Order of Hermes, and just to the south of us lie a cave we have found to hold an infernal gate.
Currently we've reached the year 1231.
Stories are a mix of adventure (exploring our enviroment), soap-opera and politics (mundane mostly - too many local wars.)
Our saga is set in Bulgaria, a few days travel north of Constaninople. We've aged 15 game years so far. The covenant itself is located on the border between the Thebes and Transylvania Tribunals, and our first stories revolved around getting accepted into one of the two tribunals.
We have had some player changes over the year that we've been gaming. Since the saga started, we've had a Flambeau, Ex Misc, and Jerbiton magus, and those characters are still being played. I had a Verditus magus, but replaced him with a Criamon magus. Another Criamon and Jerbiton magus left when their players did. Our newest members have brought in a Bjornaer and a Jerbiton.
Jerbiton seems a group favorite. I speculate that this is because Jerbiton are least tied to a concrete House idea/personality, and allow players to develop a magus personalized to their idea of a character and free from any House stereotypes.
I've played Tytalus, Bonisagus, and Bjornaer magi in the past. My current Criamon was designed to investigate (exploit) self-inflicted Temporary Twilights and reap the benefits of the resulting experience points and free Virtues. While geared up for this exploitation, he is still not immune from the many botches I have rolled while attempting to control his Twilight Experiences. While I fear he is short-lifed (Warping Score of 6 after only 5 years of game time), he is quite fun to play.
The stories have involved several political threads and several "search and rescue" type stories (i.e. save the faerie queen from imprisonment, save an old magus from Gorgon Island, save the old Thracian Scrolls from a rogue magus). The main threat of the saga, the Mongol Invasion, will occur in the sessions to come.
Our covenant is named Argentum Draconis and lies on a tributary of the Berezhina a couple of days north of Borisov in the principality of Polotsk. We started in 1200 and is currently in 1207/1208. We now have an English section on our wiki, but it's not much there yet.
The Covenant of Brunnabergh.
Set on the border between Mercia and Northumbria in the Stonehenge Tribunal. The saga started in 1060, considerably earlier than canon because i wanted to get some good Norman vs Saxon themes into the game.
We are now in 1071.
The covenant is young, very much still in spring. It was originally made up of a single senior mage and three newly gauntleted whelps. The senior mage gather the young magi with promises of freedom from the strict covenants they were in and freedom to pursue their own studies. He then basically used all the covenants resources himself, leaving the others in a worse situation than they were before.
Since my players were new to the game i started with the 4th ed intro scenario (jerbiton called Stephen going into twilight) and we went from there.
Tenebrous Occultus ex Criamonis - An overly melodramatic and creepy Criamon who enjoys messing around with dead bodies and deliberately trying to creep his sodalis out.
Ryce Ex Bjornaer - Arrogant and prideful. Major chip on his shoulder. A prolific creator of spells. Would have done so well in House Tytalus.
Santiago Ex Flambeau - A spanish elementalist. Headstrong, violent and suffering a little from advanced old age.
Very recently the Magi have taken apprentices.+
We decided for a standard story (foundation of a new convenant by a bunch of young mages) but used a uncommon setting: Northern Scandinavia in the early 10th century.
There is not that much AM material for this background, but we played in our university's history depatment anyway, just two floors above its library.
The first problem (no surprise there) was to build a house template for a magus ex Diedne - the Schism has not occured yet, and one of our players wanted to give them a try. - He doesn't sacrifice children, but perhaps that is just a hobby of the inner circles of his house, and he - staying with mages from various other houses is neither allowed to watch nor even informed about these practises. We would have found out eventually.
Well, in Scandinavia we found a location with a astonishingly high magic aura, and the local viking chief was glad to give us the land, under the condition that we got rid of the current house occupants - a bunch of human eating dark faeries. Well, there was no Quaesitor to make unpleasant comments about the code - and so we had a aura rivalling the strongest and oldest convenants....
Well I could go on about the saga for a while, but to be short: There were searches for vis sources, some faerie storys, politicking with the Scandinavian society and their Vitkir, a tribunal meeting in the Rhine (Novrogod is not founded yet) where we were confronted with some resistance for our open approach with the Vikings ("Hello, we are wizzards of the Order of Hermes and want to settle here. Give us a good location , and we might help with some of your problems - but we have rules to follow, so don't expect too much"), trips all over Europe, some dead magicans who we could replace with newcomers...
Ah yes, basically the majority of our mages was quite happy about a land without the domain, so some of us secretly sabotaged the efforts of christianisation, and we all battled the minions of hell.
Unfortunately some time back we decided to take a break for this campaign, and this has turned into an abandonment of our saga. I doubt that even if we were to play Ars again, we would continue this story. Probably we would start in another setting with new characters - and a better coordniation between the plans of our storyguides and the expectations of the players.
Well, so ten years before the Schism we left some mages in the Swedish forests, frozen for eternity:
Melissa ex Bonisagus - a timid lab rat, nobody (not even her player or herself) knows why she joined
Alexios ex Miscellanea - a Byzatnean former monk and natural magican who had to leave his mome rather abruptly to avoid a central role in a case of heresy, beeing of considerabele strength he needed just a year to apply for membership in the order
(He replaced Lucius ex Flambeau, our demon huntig Flambeau, who unfortunately ran into a berserk bjornaer magus in his bear form at Sinus Wodinis)
Vlad ex Tremere (a schemer, one of the most active opponents of the christianisation of Scandinavia)
Martinus ex Diedne (for a Diedne uncommonly open - for that slightly mistrusted within his house)
??? ex Tytalus - unpleasant guy, picking fights and bullying others (replacement for our Merinita mage who had maneged to get herself killed by our autocrat - she teased him until he turned berserk, and she didn't have the slightest idea what to do to prevent a sword from connecting with her heart)
Fredo ex Miscellanea (a better Flambeau - "Let's burn something!")
??? ex Miscellanea (wind mage, missing for a while - he set off to learn about Finnish wind magic and never came back.)
Well, I could go on for a while, but this should be enough for today.
Alexios ex Miscellanea (aka Lars Gerlach)
The Roman Tribunal. Verona. 1199. The catacombs beneath the arena.
Lupus the Bjornaer, Silas the Merinita, Maximus the Tremere, Richard Fairfield the Jerbiton and Camelio the Criamon.
Lupus has had his heartbeast damaged and is in the process of relearning his shape.
Richard has married into one of the Veronese trading families and is currently staying at Valnastium with his wife and twin children.
Camelio comes and goes...
Maximus has become embroiled in a Tremere immortality research project.
Silas has just married a bee. No, REALLY.
It's been a long journey since they arrived in Verona in 1188. They have fought faeries that had dire designs on Verona, visited strange kingdoms beneath lake Garda, have discovered a past shrouded in betrayal and pride and truth and lies, see first-hand the results of the convoluted relationships between the Veronese families and they have seen friends fade and die and succumb to demonic influence.
Their relationships with Quaesitores and other magi have been mixed with the Merinita Quaesitor Bruno Volker hounding the magi until his death at the hands of exiles from the Order and our heroes accidentally killing a member of a nearby covenant.
And I think we're going to take a break from this one and start a new one set in Rye so we can take advantage of the new books.
Covenant of the Gates,
near Hamburg in the north of germany. The 4 PCs were ordered to take over the old and mighty covennat of the gates by the inner circle of archmagi. Nobody knows why they and what exactly killed the former members of the old covenant. But many, many magi are realy pissed off because these 4 weak magi obtain the chance to find a city of the Ancients, but on the beginnng the archmagi are on side of the young.
The 4 young are: Trajan ey Tytalus, named after a ceasar, who managed it throu hard work and intrigue to become a master in the rhine tribunal at the age of 30. His companion is his old friend Duncan McKay (after Stargate:Atlantis McKay) an Werwolf with a very bad past and an origin which is also very odd.
Corvinius ex Verditius, an mage that ages quickly, has a dark secret which involves a demon child he made with his own sister and is the layziest magi you have ever seen. His companion is his sister...
Lazarius ex Miscellanea, an mightynecromancer ("10.000 skeleton warriers? Give me 30 minutes with formulaic magic!"), the elder of the covennat with 3 years more on his shoulders, he have a diabolic past and an giant-blooded-companion named Kronos like the old titan, and he also hav the same origin as Duncan.
And finally Ius ex Bonisagus an Rego Mentem Master with erhm crazy experimentations, an apprientice of Murion send to the covenent to aid the others.
The covennat ist very near on a big road, have 300 people under it, is extremly rich hand must pay his taxes to the archbishop of Bremen, so it is higly (to higly) involved in the mundane world.
After 1,5 years of play we now are in the year of 1228 and they discoverd an old city of the ancients near the baltic coast with an powerful necromantic artifact, made enemy to Fengheld and Dankmar, and ally to Durenmar and Guttingicovennat, are only a single step to find some more places of the ancients and are haunted by a powerful Enemy known only as the Puppetmaster, whch seeks to destroy the covennt or the whole order, they dont figured it out very clear. And most of the archmagi which protected them died or passed into final twilight, so the next years should be hard foor the covenant.
I am the SG of the troupe, we often play Companions only or even a session in which all played children, living at the covenant. Our adventures have very little fights, a real combat once every 10 sessions and there is many political and very many charplay: the nekromant finds out that he is a reborn and his true love is also reborn, so he changes to a pious man, the Giant-Fighter-Guy become a monk with true faith abadoning all fighting, the lazy Verditius is shocked what his child did and trys to help humanity from now on and the werwolfs soul is fought on between heaven and hell, the Verditius sister and Duncan married, the giant beginns to feel love for an divine beeing in human form (also his and duncans half-half-half-half-sister) and other things which take several sessions of play.