Q: Covenants in Feudal Society

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post to this forum and I'm hoping that some of you maybe be able to answer a question that has always bothered me:

How does a covenant fit into established feudal society? It's my understanding that every piece of land either belongs to a noble or the church. If this is correct how is it possible that a bunch of people can simply come along, build a tower and take command of the countryside (including a village or two for income) without someone getting upset? Do they require premission from who-ever owns the land? Assuming that Magi are classified as Freemen, can they even "own" villages/have serfs bonded to them or is that the exclusive right of nobles and gentry? Do Magi have to pay taxes to the landowner?

-- Horus

This would vary a lot depending on what part of mytic Europe the magi lived, as some places are more controlled than others in this regard.

In many civiliced parts of the world, the magi typically hide behind a tame noble or a similiar front. While in other places, few would be able to challenge their claims.

In both the Nurockrah and Foxcourt Sagas, the lands were granted to the Players, though the locations were less ideal when they were looked at closely. Nurockrah had to evict the current inhabitants of the site, a drake and his warped servants, and Foxcourt had to deal with the fact thier keep was haunted by several annoying and loud ghosts ( among other things). And it was made clear that mundane things, like taxes, had to be paid. Even worse, Foxcourt had the administration of it's lands to deal with.

In several of the 4th edition supplements, it mentions several covenants with royal charter (england), or as allodial fiefs. In less civilized regions, posession is 9/10th's of the law.


Another possibilty that I've on occasion in games is covenants or areas that have been under magi control since the eighth through tenth century of longer. Lands that the crown never did directly control.


there's many ways to solve your problem. I can only give a few example ways, sorted by work involved.

(1) Buy Guardians of the Forest and play the mini-campaign there, which revolves around setting up a covenant.
(2) Pick a place for your covenant, look up the medieval local history of the place and design the covenant to fit it.
(3) Start researching medieval history from top to bottom, starting with the academic standard works (Bloch, Duby, ...), then work your way down through national and regional history until you decide upon a covenant site and covenant setup.

Kind regards,


Another option I didn't see here is the one we're using for our Saga. We've chosen the island of Formentera for our covenant. It's the smallest island in the Baleaeric Islands off the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Our chronicle is set a bit earlier than the standard as well, in 1140. At that time, due to tensions between christians and muslims in Spain, if you could hold the land, you were its ruler. So we directly control a piece of the island, with one town supporting the covenant semi-directly (we trade with them for things we can't produce ourselves).

It fits history as nicely as a covenant can, is remote from any seething political hotbeds, and is a great place to start up a newish covenant.