While thinking about the school of magic campaign idea I came up with this alternate one, but using the same location cause I LOVE that design I came up with.
I would totally appreciate any thoughts or ideas or even potential saga seeds that just jump out at you when you see this that I might not have thought of.
A group of young magi just past Gauntlet are presented with a letter by an allied Redcap from an elder magus of the Order. Said letter invited the magi to settle down in his covenant, a location deep within Candia. This is a covenant which has a history stretching back hundreds of years but which for the last couple of decades has mostly kept to itself, communicating only by Redcap and ignoring most Hermetic contact.
The saga will have the player magi in a covenant that has clearly known better times. Around an infrastructure that is decaying in an unnatural way, and yet seems to be as bright from an aura perspective as if it was brand new. Of a place with ghosts, mostly figurative though some not, for at one time there were hundreds of Gifted and thousands of mundanes that called the place home. To this the group is welcomed by a singular elderly magus, one with stars in his eyes and a hope in his voice for a better day - though he won't tell the newcomers what it is he wants.
The covenant exists within a valley of the massive dozen mile long highly meandering Gorge of Apollon. The actual site of the covenant is on a natural crossroads area of the Gorge that sees the meeting of five ravines. In this majestic center span lies an outcropping of rock which rises from the ravine floor to two-thirds the height of the banks. Entrance to the covenant comes from the surface of the ravine where an arcane infused gated archway leads to a meandering tunnel that exits out on the surface of the outcropping. The valley floor is rocky shrubland covered in some foliage and home to a bunch of animals. Though the floor of the ravines are mostly dry banks, there does exist a river wide and deep enough for travel which flows from the ravines and into the valley. Within the center of the valley is the natural feature which plays home to the covenant, the Petraploio. This natural feature looks like a ship of stone and has an upper surface accessed by pathway from within the rise itself. The upper plateau slopes down from peak of ravine side, has a flat section, before begins rising again into another mountain range. Though this area is also rocky it is covered in grasses and some trees.
The structures of the covenant exist on the Petraploio, the natural balconies linked to it by bridge, and the sloping part of the upper rise. Access to the Petraploio is from a gate house on the valley floor which has a spiral stairwell that leads to a small tower on the surface of the Petraploio. The Petraploio itself contains a manor house, the ruined remains of twelve majestic towers, a heavily damaged ornate temple, and an overgrown central green. In fact, only the manor house structure is actually still existing though even that building has seen better days. All of these buildings are clearly magical structures, seeming to be grown out of stone rather than built by hand. Connecting it all is a tree lined ornately carved stone pathway that circles the green and links to all buildings. Interspersed around the structures are numerous stone paths containing plazas, gazebos, and garden plots - most of which are also in disrepair. Underneath the Petraploio itself is a warren of chambers of various sizes (some massive) which serve to house the covenfolk of the covenant. Five covered stone bridges are seen to connect the Petraploio to the wing plateaus. At the end of the bridge there exist a natural balcony that contains a massive and ancient tree centered around an constructed plaza and garden. Though the majority of covenant buildings are in ruins, if one looks sideways out of the corner of the eye then one might see that the buildings aren't gone, they are just waiting to be awakened. What this means and what magic has caused this is presently unknown.
The benefit of this is that the player magi can be surrounded by the ruins of a place I create but can still have a lot of influence on where the covenant goes and what is reactivated as time goes by. As well as all the plots and stuff that go on by being youngsters in an ancient covenant which has old political deals (magical and mundane, even faerie and divine) and enemies and such. Plus one never knows what will be found right around the corner or in a hidden spot in the covenant and stuff.
And I have the idea that across the bridge of the Petraploio lies the five wing balconies that contain an ancient tree and a patterned archway that seems to not do anything. hint hint, nudge nudge