Loch Leglean politics

Loch Leglean politics is currently dominated by three Covenants: Crun Clach (founded 954), Mac Gruagach (f. 988), and Horsingas (f. 1073). There are over a dozen other covenants of varying size, and over two dozen aonaranan (solitary magi, not attached to an existing covenant).

Horsingas, the youngest of the three, is also the most active. It was founded and exists for one reason: to drive the Normans out of Scotland. (Its original goal was to put Edgar Ætheling on the throne of England after the Norman conquest of 1066, but the bugger had to up and die on them before they could do that). Since Edgar's death in 1126, they have had to settle for making the borderlands uninhabitable for the invaders, by raiding south across Hadrian's Wall and attacking the Norman keeps in the Lowlands. In between skirmishes with the English, they have raided other covenants and aonaranan under the Pact of Crun Clach. It's possible...in fact, it's quite likely that their activities have skirted (if not breached) both the Pact and the Code on occasion. However, the Tribunal's lone Quaesitor, Whitburh Frithowebba is a member of Horsingas, and she's been known to turn a blind eye to Horsingas's activities, giving them a slap on the wrist if they go too far (i.e. if she fears they might get noticed by the Big Boys).

Crun Clach, also located in the lowlands, was the main power in the region before Horsingas was founded. Since then, Horsingas has steadily eroded their power. Of late, most Tribunal-wide conflicts have boiled down to Horsingas vs. Crun Clach. It doesn't help that Crun Clach is not as militaristic as Horsingas, and Crun Clach finds many of Horsingas's activities off-putting.

Mac Gruagach is less a covenant and more of a clan holding. Most of the magi, as well as the hedge wizards and the mortals associated with the covenant, are extended family. They are often courted by both sides because of their influence with some of the other Highlands covenants, but as time goes by and more covenants are founded in Loch Leglean (often to replace ones that have failed for whatever reason), their influence wanes. However, they still have enough political savvy to count as one of the three main factions in tribunal politics.

And finally, although not one of the Big Three, the oldest covenant is Loch Leglean is the Covenant of Loch Leglean itself. Founded by Pralix in 815, the covenant's main raison d'être is to host Tribunal every seven years. While not exactly centrally located, it does have the advantage of history and tradition, as well as a willingness to act as hosts. So far, no-one has made a legitimate effort to take the honour of hosting Tribunal away from Loch Leglean. As an aside, the next Tribunal meeting is scheduled for 1224.

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The Hermetic landscape in Loch Leglean tends to be fluid. It's not uncommon for two or three new covenants to appear at Tribunal, and for that many to dissolve at the same time. Under the Peripheral Code, a covenant must send at least one delegate to Tribunal to be recognized, although in practice it's generally enough to simply send a sigil with a representative. The recognized covenants of Loch Leglean (as of 1217) are:

  • Aillse Creag: Located within a faerie regio on an island in the Firth of Clyde, the covenant currently consists of a Merinita and an ex Miscellanea (married under the common law). Its seclusion makes it mostly immune to raids from the other covenants, and Aillse Creag abstains from politics outside of Tribunal meetings (at which the two almost always split their vote).
  • Arbroath coexists with Arbroath Abbey, founded by King David of Scotland, and was founded at the same time (1178).
  • Crun Clach: One of the "big three" Loch Leglean covenants, Crun Clach is the leader of the Lowlands covenants and home to the Prima (Caitlin Suil Uaine ex Merinita). It has traditionally been rather political (and was responsible for the eponymous pact that governs the Tribunal's relations with mundanes and, in some regards, with each other. It is located within a faerie mound and has faeries for covenfolk.
  • Doire Druidhan originally belonged to Diedne, but the covenant was destroyed during the Schism War. The covenant was re-founded by four magi who wished to form a new covenant in the Lowlands, and chose to reinhabit and rebuild the fortress of Druid's Dale.
  • Dun-Naomhaig is a new covenant built in a regio which is hidden in a cave on the island of Islay.
  • Fire's Heart could, in another Tribunal, be considered almost a vassal or chapter house of Horsingas, in that many of their apparent goals and modi operandi are mirror those of the older covenant.
  • Fithich Spòg: This reclusive covenant is host to four arch-magi (all of whom have Gauntleted at least one apprentice) and is rumoured to possess the most extensive library in the tribunal. It claims to be the "Durenmar of Britannia."
  • Horn's Hills is another covenant with strong ties to Horsingas, having been founded around the same time by people in similar straits, although not as historically successful or powerful as Horsingas.
  • Horsingas was founded in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest, which saw many Saxon nobles and magi pushed northward. Originally intended to reclaim Britannia from the Normans, they have since "settled" for harassing the Normans at every opportunity, hoping in vain to at least drive them out of Scotland if not Britannia entirely. Horsingas is one of the more militant Covenants in the order, frequently raiding other covenants as well as the mundanes. Considered by many to be "renegade," they are protected by the fact that the Tribunal's sole Quaesitor, Whitburth Frithowebba, is from Horsingas and turns a blind eye to their most egregious excesses.
  • Loch Leglean is a de facto "Dedicated Covenant," in that their primary purpose is to host the Tribunal meetings. Founded on the site of Pralix's encampment in her war against Damhan-allaidh, Loch Leglean also serves as neutral ground or sanctuary. By tradition, the Autocrat of the Loch Leglean Covenant is a direct Hermetic descendant of Pralix.
  • Mac Gruagach is the third of the Big Three (along with Horsingas and Crun Clach), and protects the interests of the Highlands, mainly through intimidation (whether political, magical or physical). This often puts it at odds with the other two main covenants. Mac Gruagach also skirts the edge of the Hermetic Code, in that its members are as likely to be non-Hermetic (Gruagachan) as they are members of the Order.
  • Mercere House (which is still just a placeholder name) is located just west of Edinburgh. Most of the eight redcaps make their homes here. There are currently no Magi Mercere in Loch Leglean.
  • Mhor Rath occupies a magic regio within a broch on the shores of Moray Firth. They have historically been one of the more interventionist Covenants, although in recent years they have appeared less inclined to intervene in matters, mundane or otherwise. They mostly play no part at all in Tribunal politics.
  • Non Metuens is a covenant apparently founded on the concept that Horsingas has grown weak since the death of Edgar Ætheling. Founded by a Tytalus and with a heavy contingent of militaristic ex Misc, they split their time between harassing the English and Normans and showing Horsingas how it's done. Since they have the same stated goals, however, they often find themselves on the same side at Tribunals.
  • Portus Viduae Vastae is a new covenant founded just before the last Tribunal, in the borderlands.
  • Rupres Vitri is a Winter covenant, situated atop a hill of nigh-unscalable, smooth green glass (a "gift" from a local faerie lord). The last couple of Tribunals, Rupres Vitri has only sent one magus, bearing the sigils of the other three members.
  • Scapa Flow, one of the oldest covenants in the tribunal, was founded shortly after the conflict with Damhan-Allaidh. Built on one of the southern Orkney Islands, it is a quasi-Dedicated covenant, and prides itself on being a bastion against the Order of Odin. To their credit, there has not been a confirmed sighting of any magi of the Order of Odin since Scapa Flow was founded.
  • Winter Wind is a new covenant, founded shortly before the last Tribunal.

In addition, there are roughly two dozen aonaranan in Loch Leglean who were not attached to any covenant at the time of the last Tribunal.