I would like to ask you how many people lives in your covenant. A simple question of curiosity.
IMS we have the following population:
4 magi (one of them, myself, living in the nearby forest, 3 at the covenant proper)
15 men at arms. 1 sergeant, 8 melee warriors, 6 archers. We can also call on the levy by the nearby village, but that is hardly ever done. These tend to keep a low profile, acting as simple guards for our business (no fancy chainmail showing around) but can be equipped for heavy duty when required
20 assorted staff (kitchen staff, maids, stable boys, carpenter for general repairsâ€¦)
3 specialists and their aides(5 more dudes): librarian, autocrat/merchant and doctor
Besides that there is a hunter/lumberjack village with roughly 20 families (80-ish people) in it that we own (and where a few PCs dwell).
So around 125 people form our whole community, with 45-ish living at the covenant proper. Quite a large community when you count them all in!
At present we have a whopping 9 magi (making us the biggest covenant in the stonehenge tribunal)
3-5 companions, some of whom travel a lot
about 30 turb, they have a high turn over rate
and about 30 covenfolk/craftsmen/servants/etc
since we are also lords holding territory we have dominion over 3 small villages each of which has a reasonable number of peasanty types.
Added to that, there are an unspecified number of rarely seen undead (ghosts and corporeal) a few familiars and a couple of apprentices.
5 active mages , 2 other mages we can find , sigils for about 4 other magi who are 'away on business' some of them may even still be alive
1 Ghost of a magus
around 200-300 peasents
1 Magical two headed Eagle
What we think is an archangel but dare not ask
To Rivers saga (Rhine):
1 apprentice (Another just got stolen by a powerful Bonisagus)
10 grogs (fluxtuating)
5 people working for the local inn (source of income)
One overgrown snake
A small dragon
The covenant my brother and I have designed is a huge autumn covenant created with hybrid 4th and 5th edition rules. (4th as base, then assigning point values to new 5th edition features) We kept taking minuses to justify the huge amount of points required to make the covenant. (I think we're around +360/ -90)
There are I believe:
We haven't bothered doing a full breakdown yet, but it's assumed the majority of the grogs are warriors. The covenant itself is assumed to be the castle (but not primary residence) of the Earl of Hertford.
Andorra, Val-Negra Tribunal (they have the Border Covenant hook, and are situated between the Provencal and Iberian Tribunals)
7 magi accounted for, at least 50 elite custos, Mercere House staff of a score or more, and at least 100 other covenfolk. We have no peasents. We have a few hundred villagers in the valley, but they are free and own their property as an alod, and are not technically part of the covenant.
Vindolandia, Iceland, using the Saga Seed from Fire & Ice, started 1221 now 1227
10 PC Magi and 2 NPC magi
7 Companions: influent Icelandic Bondi, blacksmith, folk diviner, Spinnen faerie acrobat, depressed knight, giant-blood mercenary leader, magister in artibus
5 dragon eggs to watch over
Around 15 battle-worthy grogs
3 specialist craftsmen
Around 10 non-fighting household.
Around 15 tenant farmers and fishermen.
Clearly, our social pyramid has an insufficient base to maintain such a big/active covenant as ours... And that is a current challenge for us, we are running out of funds and food and basic supplies and clean rooms.
Well, a quick check on the term 'knight's fee' on wikipedia puts that at about 20 pounds / year, whereas the average covenant has 100 pounds / year, and the average poor covenant still has 40 pounds / year.
Relatively speaking, hermetic magi live pretty well.
Though I suppose if you figure 6 magi, 100 pounds/year isn't quite a knight's fee for each.
Remember that the knight's fee is 20L of income a year, virtually all of which is spent just being a knight, and that covenant "income" sources are, in some systems, surplus amounts after that style of spending on just being a magus has been taken out. So the difference is bigger than it initially appears.
Well, the costs are accounted for in the Covenants stuff, which is where the 100/year number comes from as well. An individual magus, plus a scribe and a servant, living at the standard quality for a covenant, with a single lab that gets regular use... ends up costing something like 12 pounds of silver a year... and that's pretty much the bare minimum. Toss in a couple grogs and such and you're probably easily at a knight's fee for one magus.
Smallest ever covenants so far, 2 each that had 3 PC magi and 3 and IIRC 5 companions respectively. 1st still had lots of lesser covenfolk(14 grogs, 3 personal servants for each magi...) so ended up just over 110 people. 2nd relied far more on magic for support and the total was around 25-30 i think.
Largest ever based on # of magi, 33 magi(dont have the notes but IIRC 6 NPC and the rest PCs with several players running 2 magi(and with lots of hermetic politics(or just backstabbing, lol)))) 14(? ) companions, and several dozen grogs.
Largest ever based on total population, 11 magi(all PC but 2 people running 2 magi each), 28 companions/special characters and over 200 grogs(at start, at end, much much more)... This happened due to one magi being forced to take over a massive inheritance(guess what the nearest guernicus thought about it, lol).