Setting: The Wake of the Schism

England 1013.
Every covenant in Mercia has fallen, and Eadric the Aeldorman has outlawed magic. Diedne's domus magna fell in 1012, but in Northumbria and Loch Leglean the war is still raging. The Order is seriously weakened by the war, and in all of its Western tribunals, it is struggling to survive In Wales, the Tremere of Blackthorn are rebuilding their covenant, aspiring to dominate the tribunal for the coming centuries. Somewhere in the ruins of the Stonehenge tribunal are the player characters, wondering what to do with their lives.

Note in the settings notes below, some events after 1013 are included. These are not set in stone, but are included because they are historical or canon. They are assumed to be known to players, but not characters.

Hermetic Situation

  • Almost no Mercere Portals. The links between Durenmar and the Domus Magna are probably intact, but otherwise there might be none.
  • Little trust and little trade among the magi
  • Many secrets which are well-known in 1220, are now known only in cults
  • PC magi have grown up under the war
    • focus on survival
    • no expectation to be able to settle as lab rats

Covenants 1013

  • Blackthorn (818-) in South Wales. Blackthorn, backed by House Tremere, has been able to replenish their numbers with new magi from Transylvania. Five resident magi, all of House Tremere.
  • Cad Gadu (815-) in Wales. Cad Gadu is large, with many members staying out of the politics of the Order. Even so, it is weakened, as other members have fallen in the War. Maybe eight members in 1011, all of House ex Miscellanea.
  • Ungulus (984-) in the Lake District. A Flambeau stronghold in the Schism War, they have suffered badly. However, they have also been reinforced by new arrivals, and is the primary base for the war effort in the North. Three resident magi of houses Flambeau and Tytalus in 1011.
  • Semitae (?-) - the wandering covenant. This mysterious covenant has stayed out of the war. They have typially been three magi throughout history.
  • Castrum Antiquum (851-1030/31) on Hadrian's Wall in the East. With 2-3 magi surviving, they barely survive. At least one Merinita.
  • Lux Draconis (915-1100) in the Pennines, close to the border between Northumbria and Mercia, With 2-3 magi surviving, they barely survive. At least one Merinita.

Stonehenge in 1013

For the purpose of describing the setting, we divide the area of Stonehenge into five regions.

  • Wales
  • Mercia
  • Wessex
  • East Anglia
  • Northumbria

Wales is home to two old and strong covenants, namely Cad Gadu and Blackthorn, in addition to the nameless covenant eradicated in 1011. The Diedne fled completely when the nameless covenant fell, and the region sees no further conflict during the Schism, and the Order is trying to rebuild.

England was unified about 100 years prior, from four older kingdoms. When Knut conquered England in 1016, he divided her into four earldoms, corresponding to these older kingdoms.

Northumbria is in the North, spanning from coast to coast. The Schism war still rages, with Diedne raiding from their powerbase in Loch Leglean. There are three Covenants which survive the Schism, including the Flambeau stronghold of Ungulus.

East Anglia on the East Coast (South of Northumbria) and Wessex on the South Coast (West of East Anglia) have always had little Hermetic activity. There was a covenant in Kent, called Roma Nova, but it fell in 1008.

Mercia is in the middle, bordering on all the other three fiefs as well as Wales. She has seen a lot of action in the Schism War, particularly in the early years, including the fall of Lumen already in 1003. Also the mundane population suffered greatly from the war, and when Eadric rose to power as Ealdorman from 1007, he outlawed magic and started prosecutions to the best of his ability. Hermetic magi gave up holding their covenants, and most fled the region.

Hermetic Customs

The dangerous times has taught the magi to be discreet. Unless travelling with the force of numbers, magi will disguise as mundane people. The cocern is not only the enemy in the Schism, but also the witch hunters of Eadric, and their likes of mind.

The old covenants would generally be known to men of power, and they rely on fortification and power to keep enemies away. New covenants would rely on subterfuge to go unnoticed.

More details


In Northumbria, covenants are under attack from Diedne wizards from Loch Leglean and their Giant allies.

Having won the War on the Continent, the Order sends reinforcements to Loch Leglean from 1013. This turns the War in Northumbria and Loch Leglean from 1014/15, and Diedne loose quickly.

By 1017, Diedne is no longer a threat, but Northumbria is devastated.


Eadric Streona became Ealdorman of Mercia in 1007 [wikipedia]. He was the first earl under Knut, but was killed by Knut in December 1017.

Eadric rose to the post of ealdorman following a number of devastating battles of the Schism War. He immediately started outlawed magic, in all its forms, and both Hermetic and hedge wizards were hunted down.

By 1013, Eadric's rule is stable and mundane society is starting to recover from the devastations of the War. People are optimistic. Magi keep a low profile.

Eadric was given the epithet "Streona" (translated as "The Acquisitive”) in Hemming's Cartulary because he appropriated church land and funds for himself. wikipedia This gives rise to an ongoing conflict with the Church and its allies.


Like East Anglia, and Wessex always had smaller Hermetic populations, and have not seen battles of the Schism for years.

Knut arrived first in Wessex in 1015, and took her under his direct rule at first.


In Wales the Order is strong. Cad Gadu saw little of the war. Blackthorn is rebuilding.


  • 1003- official start of the Schism War [HoH:TL:144]
  • 1003: Fall of Lumen in Mercia.
  • In the first years, there were many battles, mainly on individual covenants.
    • Diedne seemed to have the upper hand.
  • 1008: Fall of Roma Nova in Kent.
  • 1010: House Tremere declares Wizard's War on House Diedne
    • House Guernicus performs the Curse of Thoth ritual [HoH:TL:144]
    • After the Curse of Thoth, Diedne is start loosing major battles.
  • 1011: Emergency Grand Tribunal - House Diedne is renounced
    • Winter 1011: Fall of the Nameless Covenant [Stonehenge]
  • 1011: Tribunal, but it was not quorate
  • 1012: Fall of Branugurix in Britanny
    • This marks the beginning of the end
  • After 1012, Diedne's only strong position is in Loch Leglean.
    • The War is still raging in Scotland and in Northumbria.
  • 1015: Knut lands in Wessex [wikipedia]
  • 1016: Knut conquers England [wikipedia]
    • The last major battle of the Schism takes place in Northumbria [non-canon]
  • 1017: The last individual Diedne magi are hunted down.
    • -1017: official end of the Schism War [HoH:TL:144]
    • Eadric is killed in December 1217 by king Knut.
  • 1018: Tribunal
    • The War is declared over.
  • 1030: The Grand Tribunal

@temprobe is managing an annotated google map for the saga.

This map from 1033 is interesting: Stonehenge Tribunal Map | Ars Magica Wiki | Fandom
A couple of things must be modified for the saga:

  1. Tagelyn is canonically founded during the Schism War, and not founded in the saga AFAYK
  2. I do not think Schola Pythogoranis was founded until the late 12C in canon. It does not exist in the saga.
  3. Lux Draconis is a lot further South in the saga, in the Southern Pennines.
  4. Castruum Antiquum is missing.

Links to location descriptions

  • Ungulus superseded, see below instead.

The Covenant of Ungulus

  • Location: overlooking Ennerdale Water
  • Charter

The Tower

  • Basement (presumably) is used only by the covenfolk, probably storage rooms and larder.
  • First floor: sick room and reception area
  • Second floor: kitchen and a common room where the covenfolk usually eat.
  • third floor there turb barracks and two small sanctums for the redcaps (Maine and Chronos).
  • fourth floor, library (see below), council room with a cramped haphazard lab. Smaller rooms and alcoves with spare beds.
    • The haphazard lab is size -2 with the cramped flaw and missing equipment for experimentation and familiar.
  • Fiftth floor: Tessa's sanctum. This is a standard Hermetic lab, with trophies on the wall (see Chapter 7).
  • Sixth floor: Frederic's sanctum. This is has a magic item providing excessive heating and a big fireplace making a minor focus/feature for Ignem. There is a chest of untranslated lab texts, and a little vis, 3p each of Imaginem, Animal, and Aquam, and 2p Herbam.
  • Seventh floor: Tacitus' sanctum. (to be designed.)

The Hermetic cottage.

There is a spare lab in a cottage. This is full size with the following virtues and flaws: dedicated building, damp, poorly insulated, infested (with ivy, for Herbam specialisation). It has clearly not been used for a long time.


  • Standard Income Source £100 from livestock and agriculture.
    • In the past, they have often received support from Blackthorn when there have been many hoplites and mercenaries in residence.
  • £100 stocks

Vis (end of Autumn 1013)

  • Vis stored in the library
    • 11p Vim
    • 4p Auram
    • 4p Aquam
    • 2p Creo


This information is detailed in an attachment to the charter.

  • Three secure sources nearby, which can be collected within a day at most.
    • 4p Vim (Summer)
    • 4p Auram (Autumn)
    • 4p Aquam (Winter when it is at its coldest)
  • less reliable vis sources; will take a story for first harvest
    • 2p Creo. A Gifted individual has to pray at the statue of John the Baptist in the Cathedral of Carlisle on his feast day at midsummer, without drawing undue attention to themselves. The statue will pour two ounces of water from his hands, and this water can be collected for vis. It has happened that magi have accidentally drawn attention to themselves, and to avoid a scene, have let the canons take the water as holy water instead.
    • 5p Corpus (Summer) in a faerie regio in the West Pennines, 3-4 days South of Carlisle, a few miles East of Kendal. As far as the magi of Ungulus knew, it can only be entered during the three days following midsummer, and it is often guarded by a faerie champion who has to be defeated in combat.
    • 2p Mentem available from a faerie queen on the Southern edge of the Lake District (a mile or two South of Coniston Water), in exchange for a piece of creative art. The work has to impress the queen, and she seems to be increasingly hard to please after each successful trade, particularly if less than a year passes. The last exchange was in 1011. Ungulus has typically made the trade late Summer or early Autumn, but there is no evidence that it could not happen at any time. It takes about two or three days to get there from Ungulus, but grogs are usually sent to make the trade.
    • 3p Herbam is available from a petrified flower in a deep cave near Edinburgh. The journey takes at least a week, easily two in foul weather, each way. (Gargoyle's Blossom [Cov:79].)


You will learn that there are the three senior covenfolk,

  • Osgar the autocrat
  • Mildred the stewardess, married to Osgar
  • Clarissa the head chirurgeon
  • turb of half a dozen (use standard soldier template [core] with no additional minmaxing, we should rather develop Jack, Iago, and the Pomeranians)
  • half a dozen servants (no particular skill other than housekeeping and the like)
  • four rangers, mostly occupied with foraging

There are also shepherds and peasants who serve the covenant but never set their foot in the tower.

The library at Ungulus

  • Tablets
    • The chirurgeon’s healing touch CrCo20
      • heal heavy wound CrCo30
      • heal incapacitating wound CrCo35
    • Purification of the festering wounds CrCo20 (+9 recovery bonus
    • Inexorable Search InCo20 +21 penetration
    • Leap of Homecoming ReCo35
    • Aegis of the Hearth L25 +26 penetration
  • Lab Texts for Lesser Enchanted Devices
    • Invisibility Cloak [canon spell]
    • Flaming Sword [canon spell]
    • Incendior Homine CrIg40 [Cov:53]
    • Weightless Chain [canon]
    • Flying Broomstick Cr(Re)Au39
      (also explains how to get a +5 shape bonus to flight from the broom)
      based on Wings of the Soaring Wind Cr(Re)Au30, maintains concentration and 12 uses/day
  • Tractatus
    • Area Lore: Highlands Q10 (10C) +Q8 (9C)
    • Area Lore: Scottish Lowlands Q11 (10C)
    • Area Lore: Scottish Lowlands (Q7) The March in Loch Leglean by Vera the Redcap, dated Ungulus 1012
    • Area Lore: Wales Q9 (10C)
    • Area Lore: Northumbria Q11 (10C)
    • Area Lore: Northumbria (Q7) Battles in Northumbria by Vera the Redcap, dated Ungulus 1012
    • Area Lore: Mercia (Q8): The Cleansing of Mercia by Tacitus of Tremere, dated Ungulus 1012
    • Diedne Lore: Know thy enemy by Tacitus of Tremere Q8, dated Blackthorn 1010
    • Finesse 2xQ10
    • Penetration 2xQ10
    • Magic Lore Q11 (10C)
    • Magic Lore Q10 Legacy of the Lochs by Ulma filia Pralix 889
    • Vim, Ignem, Creo, Intellego Q7
  • Spell Texts
    • Pilum of Fire
    • Wizard's Sidestep
    • Demon's Eternal Oblivion L5 + L20
    • Faeries's Eternal Oblivion L5 + L15
    • Magic's Eternal Oblivion L5
    • Gather the Essence of the Beast
    • Circling Winds of Protection
    • Circular Ward against Faeries L20
    • Circular Ward against Demons L20
    • Circular Ward against The Beasts of Legend L30
    • Heal Medium Wound
    • Aegis of the Hearthy L25 and L30
    • Crystal Dart
    • Invisible Sling of Vilano
    • Veil of Invisibility
    • Leap of Homecoming
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