State of Affairs: 1215

[In progress.
I need to finish some stuff to start posting here. I will have the state of the covenant and each individual magi, plus some accomplishments of companions. Major events and other stuff will be posted season by season, with some notes on hooks and options opened to players. You will not be able to post here, any corrections, requests and reminders are to be posted in the general thread]


[tab][/tab] In the year of our Lord 1215, there have been a few historical events. Outside the Eastern Empire life moved slowly on, with precious few key events happening that were later recognised as important. King John of England plead his support to Pope Innocent the Third as a crusader, in order to gain his support, signed the Magna Carta to appease his rebelling barons and end the war. The truce failed and later the same month the Pope declared it void, the baron war continued aided by the French and Scotland invaded northern England. The fourth Council of the Lateran convenes in fall under Pope Innocent III. The Dominican Order is founded. Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor, is excommunicated and forced to abdicate. Somewhere in the far East, Beijing falls under the Mongols and the future ruler Kublai is born.
[tab][/tab] Closer to homebase, Theodore Komnenos Doukas having ascended to the throne after the assassination of his cousin Michael, manages to keep a tight control of the reigns of power, exiling the wife and infant son of the former ruler. He immediately focuses on internal security and the war in the eastern part of the Despotate, personally going to the front. The forces of Epirus, long mired in the mountain ranges of central Greece have started moving east again, conquering most of Thessaly and cutting the Latin Empire off from the Duchy of Athens. The army, renewed by the lift of the stalemate and the change in leadership, now starts north into the province of Macedonia and ultimately the second largest city of Byzantium, Thessaloniki. Theodore spends his time away from his capital Arta, entrusting that his plans and wishes are carried out by a regent. In the East, the Asia Minor long stalemate continues. There is little evidence that the Emperor in exile will move against the hated Latins. The invaders are trying to consolidate power, succeeding in southern Greece and the islands. The situation in and around the Shining City is most complex, being hemmed on three sides by enemies and political volatility from internal matters. Trade is suffering, particularly since the routes both to the East and the West have been cut off. The Venetians are slowly losing whatever gains they have gathered with the Fall under Enriko Dandolo.

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Physical State of the Covenant

[tab][/tab] This first official year as a Covenant, there have been some building and expanding of the main area of the Rotunda. Priority was given to building a house for the maga Raven and her Muslim family, a wooden structure that Anastaj conjured out of thin air but that needed a lot of modifications (one season from the carpenter and half a season from a mason) to make it worth living in. By Autumn it is completed, though whether Raven will share the space of keep it in the family has not been decided yet. The other five rickety shacks are still there, with minor repairs, and were again abandoned this winter for the safety and warmth of the main building. A small stable for two horses has been added next to the guard building, and ser Giorgios has moved in as senior officer, leaving the small room in the council chambers to be Dimitris' unofficial study. Summer and Autumn you had outside laborers toil on a new building outside the aura but still in sight of the Rotunda. This oblong stone structure is situated below the path leading to the main area, one long side built next to the dry gulch. Made out of local grey stone and a brown thatched roof, its easy to miss it as it is left without whitewash or paint, blending into the cliff rocks. It now houses a indoor smithy and a workshop for Alexios. A newly arrived young man who deals in hunting hawks and falcons has submitted ideas and plans to convert the roof of the Rotunda into a mews and a pigeon coop for their feed. He still awaits a decision on where he will start plying his trade (he keeps his birds in an used laboratory for the time being).
[tab][/tab] With the addition of three new magi things start to get crowded. There are two free spaces (three if Raven shares) and two shared ones (both of which are going to be free, Raven moving and Arni not playing). There is also the old lab of Christoforos which has not been cleaned up yet. However there is a provision in the charter that the Covenant needs to have accommodations for half as many visiting magi, meaning by charter five more free laboratories! It might be wise to purge the charter and/or make ready some other plans...

[tab][/tab] At the end of the year you have some more buildings, no improvement to living conditions though, especially the covenfolk situation. You also do not have a palisade or wall or other defensive structures. Outside the Covenant, besides the new workshop there has been no building or improving of conditions. Specifically:

[tab][/tab]-[tab][/tab] Laboratories and Workshops

[tab][/tab]Anastaj and Christoforos have working laboratories (you will have to decide what to do with Christoforos' one). Raven has finished furnishing 1δ which is a shared one. Pavo and Scylax have finished theirs too (1β and 2β). Aristocles did not finish his (and also needs to choose between Spacious and Empty). 2δ was used by Arni, both that and Aristocles' 2γ are at -3.
[tab][/tab] You need to state what is will become of Raven's house. There are two options: Raven keeps the whole building. This provides ample space for her laboratory plus a possible increase of living standards for the whole family. It will require an additional servant though. That nets Raven a laboratory with +2 size and thus 2 points of virtues to choose from. Or Raven can share. The family can stay on one side of the ground floor and the half the top floor, giving space for two laboratories, a top floor +0 and a base floor -1.
[tab][/tab] The workshop is ready for Alexios, allowing him to work there and provide bonuses to the covenant. Currently its large, with an Innovation value of 0 and a Raw materials value of 0. He now counts as a specialist reducing lab costs up to 20% (up to 6 pounds) for the new year.
[tab][/tab] Nicholas will need a mews and a pigeon coup to start plying his trade and make money. Ideally, he can start at the top of the Rotunda. Or you can find him another place. Anastaj thinks this should be a priority.

[tab][/tab]-[tab][/tab] Housing

[tab][/tab] While all Magi have quarters, not all covenfolk have a house. The five shacks you have can only house so many and only for three out of four seasons. You will have to deal with this situation, particularly since the new magi have potentially brought their own people. Living conditions are bad, and in winter the Rotunda is crowded. There are few amenities and fewer comforts.
[tab][/tab] While the blacksmith has his own house for his family and a new workshop, the carpenter does not. He is owed a house and probably a workshop some time in the future (or...complications).
[tab][/tab] The barracks is serviceable if a bit crowded. Ser Georgios is acting as Captain, thought that's a beneath his station. You should probably expand the guards and grogs you have, adding a captain and a sergeant, but you will need to expand the facilities (currently housing 6 grogs, 1 carpenter and 1 noble).
[tab][/tab] No guest quarters are available. This might lead to complications if/when travelers start arriving. You will need a library, a separate room at least (adding a true library will be a struggle in itself, baby steps), and treasury or a place to store both your mundane and magical wealth. Dimitris (your unofficial seneschal) should also have separate quarters and an office (or pick another seneschal, still need quarters and office). Currently he is acting as an autocrat (both steward and chamberlain). Larger council chambers or expand the one you already have.

[tab][/tab]-[tab][/tab] Other Structures
[tab][/tab] Besides the new small stables (can house an extra horse now), you have no paddocks for additional mounts or the mules your teamsters use. This makes for a complication as the need to winter down in the lowlands. The complex has no defensive posts or positions, the guards on duty are unprotected. The top of the Rotunda can be used and furnish for whatever use you want (mews and pigeon coop, new laboratories, lookout and guard post etc).
[tab][/tab] The small settlement of Vikos that hosts your herders is in a sorry state. Perhaps you should also invest in their living conditions? Talks between Arni (his maid) and the herders have broken down, especially since Arni has left for the north.

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Morale, Loyalty and Living Conditions

[tab][/tab] Morale is low but stable. Most of the covenfolk look up to Anastaj for direction. They hold high esteem for Dimitris, then Raven and Pavo. Most of the Greek and Vlach population are optimistic while the Slavs are fatalistic about the situation and the masters they serve.
[tab][/tab] Currently the base loyalty is -20, based on magi and the Gift. Steward and Chamberlain give +10 total, while the acting Acting Turb Captain gives 0. Living conditions are at -1 on average, giving a -10. Actions during the Spring adventure Things Bumping give a one time bonus of +5 this year. Total points are -15 giving you a Prevailing Loyalty score of -5 (see [i[covenants[/i] pg 37).
[tab][/tab] Living conditions vary. Magi are at +1, though there isn't anyone who has to do ageing rolls yet. Companions live at +0, while covenfolk are at -1 as stated. Living standards in the Vikos settlement are at -1 too, despite being self sustained peasants.
[tab][/tab] One point of observation for those who actually watch and care about the covenfolk is that there is a bit of a strange behavior. The folk are quite clannish to outsiders and reserved to frightened by the magi (mostly depending on ethnicity). This is normal at this point and time of the covenant creation. However there is also a feeling of bickering, with folks being suspicious of each other (again more between racial than social divided). This is a bit odd. Perhaps there is something going on there, some kind of influence...

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Financial State of the Covenant

Income Source: Lesser (livestock), 40 pounds (status quo)

[table][tr][td]Magi and Nobles[/td]
[td](for 60 points)[/td]
[td](20+5 dependents)[/td]

[td](for 72-40)[/td]
[td]76 points[/td]

*Maia and the laborer dependents do not count in the expenditure logistics

[td](for 72 points)[/td]
[tr][td]Weapons and Armour[/td]
[td](6x12 standard, 1x80 expensive, Companions standard <320)[/td]
[tr][td]Writing Materials[/td]
*No inflation added

-20 from Laborers on provisions
-8 from specialists
-15 from magic

Total: 128 pounds spent as expenses

Additional expenses:
Fixing Raven's house: 1
Trip to Delos: 10
New workshop: 2
Old Comb: 1

Total: 14 pounds

You have exceeded spending by 102 pounds total. The covenant definitely needs sources of income. Anastaj though does not seem worried, like he has hidden resources somewhere...

EDIT: I might need to revisit the Laboratory costs after some more thorough research

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Magical State of the Covenant


-[tab][/tab] Added a new source of vis to the covenant during Autumn. Pawns variable, needs to be researched. Gathered 10 mentem and 4 herbam from the apple tree, learned how to properly harvest it
-[tab][/tab] Paid 10 mentem and 10 creo during Gathering of 12 years.
-[tab][/tab] Paid 1 terram in Wandering Isles
-[tab][/tab] 4 Vim vis for the Aegis cast at midwinter.

Total Reserved: 10 Creo, 8 Intellego, 8 Muto, 8 Perdo, 8 Rego. 7 Animal, 17 corpus, 16 Herbam, 30 Mentem, 21 Terram, 6 Vim
*These are at the end of the year, before the new people are added in the covenant.

[tab][/tab] Items and Enchantments
The Loyal Porter (Enchantment, elevator)
The Vitaliser of Provisions (Item, basement)
The Bookstand of Hespera (Item, Scylax laboratory)
[tab][/tab] Library
The Alexiad, The Bible, Βίοι Αγίων, Suma on Animal 10Q15, Corpus 10Q15, Intellego 10Q15
Magic Theory Tractatus Q11x3, Magic Lore Tractatus Q12, Creo Tractatus Q11, Ignem Tractatus Q11, Philosophiae Tractatus Q14, Herbam Tractatus Q15
Aegis of the Hearth (4th magnitude)x2
Lab texts on:The Severed Member Made Whole, Infernal Smoke of Death, Touch of Midas, Gentle Caress of Asclepius, Words of Unbroken Silence, Rest of Injured Brute.
Lab texts on: The Mystical Carpenter, Stone Cutting Knife, The Enchanted Porter, Abluere Magic

[tab][/tab] Aura
There was no fluctuations discerned in the aura surrounding the covenant. It seems to be very stable and centered. However there are also hints that it has some kind of subtle effect on plants and animals, perhaps people too. What these effects are no-one can say.

[tab][/tab] Magical Creatures
Besides the various creatures and denizens met during the adventures, only two creatures are wildly known to be affiliated with the covenant: Digger, the weird draconid familiar of the Bonisaga; and Dikitos, the covenant's patron. Little is know of either.



[tab][/tab] Magi started settling in their new home. The covenfolk, uneasy to start with, have been startled by Pavo and Raven, they show awe to the first and deference to the second, despite the difference in faith. New magi have lots of plans and hopes for the future. Reality though is harsher, especially for a new covenant in the middle of nowhere. There was some exploration of their surroundings but mostly people stayed put. Companions though had to earn their living and they met head-on with some of the inhabitants of the Gorge. Their report was troublesome. The covenant lost a horse, though a valuable shipment of supplies was recovered, and several teamsters were wounded. There are many nasty things out there, including large bands of Telonia wandering in the night, a fae Lord of the forest that takes the shape of a huge wolf, some kind of immense creature in the river and several weird nightbirds. It was a hectic night through forest, running from one danger to another. The magi will have to take things into account. No meaningful contact with the outside world was made, except the arrival of the redcap Maia (who seems to be a local with ties to the area) bodes good for the new Covenant. At least they will be getting their mail...


[tab][/tab] Summer was a busy season, with almost everyone having fled the covenant. That left Raven in charge. The common folk seemed a bit more relaxed around her and she took the opportunity to get to know the people better, and they her. There seems to be the beginning of some kind of relationship there. The new house was modified, and Raven and her family moved in. The carpenter started working on the paddocks next to the barracks, while a team of masons appeared and started working on a large building outside the confines of the aura, under the supervision of Dimitris. Life was slow.

of Wandering Isles
The magi involved learned quite a lot. First they met Dikitos, their spirit patron. Next they traveled across Epiros, learned how the rituals involved into gathering vis for the Order in Dodoni (a stipulation of the charter and an important yearly task), visited Arta, learned that there were at least two other covenants of magi in the broad Epirus area that are no more. They traveled by sea (carrying an unconscious Ioannes most of the way as luggage) and met other of their kind in Delos. The purpose of the journey was a little unclear. On the surface, it was to teach new people what needs to be done yearly and every Assembly (ceremony of propitiation) and for them to see and be seen by their peer. However it seems that Anastaj also had to meet with Elders of the Order and discuss things with them. There was a little trade involved, and a unfortunate detour that might have soured relations with Erebos a bit. Aristocles has made a lot of contacts and managed to make a deal with a Redcap from Asia minor

Gathering of 12 years
Pavo and Arni meet their elders and participate in this highly secretive Bjornaer meeting. They gain several contacts of bjornaer in neighboring Tribunals and two from the Theban Tribunal (Aegypius and Bolgan). They trade in vis for books.


[tab][/tab] Autumn is the season of harvest and feasting. The whole countryside became more animated as various villages have their own fairs. Most magi took a break from their scholarly pursuits and ventured forth for some days. Arni left for the north due to a summons from an elder to train, leaving behind the matter of bettering the flocks, time of return unknown.
[tab][/tab] Of note is a accidental discovery on the covenant grounds. Late in autumn some kids playing around the tree found a peculiar stone and alerted their parents (who promptly marched them home and ordered them never to approach the hill again). Behind the big apple tree, where its roots make a dense tangle, recent rains have washed some of the soil away and revealed a very old stone of dirty white substance, almost completely buried. After some investigation this looks like a man made marble column stuck in the ground and covered by years of depositions. Carefully excavating part of it shows that the stone is roughly round in shape, but pitted and scarred badly, with cracks and portions broken off. Time is responsible for some of the wear and tear but most of the damage suggest an act of violence in the past. All that is left is a faint impression of woman's face (just a hint of a mouth, a broken nose and pits for eyes) in the ancient greek style of Kores, only this time the face and hair are incorporated in the stone. The size is half that of a normal head (or that of a child) and underneath are faded letters, badly eroded. All that can be seen is something that looks like an 'F', a space, then an 'I', then a jumble of lines or scarring too dense to make out. Its probably one or two words of around 4-5 letters. The covenfolk decided to leave that area alone, no-one is to approach it.

Perama Caves
The covenant sent a group to explore a recently found cave. The exploration was difficult but wielded results. The covenant has found a potential source of vis they can harvest.

Things left too long burred
[In progress.]

Things to Do and Options

-[tab][/tab] More space, housing , laboratories! Build stuff. Lots of options (see Physical state above)
-[tab][/tab] Improve living conditions and morale. Get more people and specialists.
-[tab][/tab] Find new sources of income. Improve what you have. This is urgent.
-[tab][/tab] Assign more positions of authority. Get more involved in the actual governing of the covenant.
-[tab][/tab] Investigate/research new source of vis (1 season work to unlock regular gathering). Decide if you are going to officially claim it, or hid it from the Order.
-[tab][/tab] Send someone to get this year's tribute for the Order from Dodoni.
-[tab][/tab] Aristocles has committed to creating one set of magical armor or an under armor padding this year, collected in autumn or winter of 1216 and paid in 1217 (for 150 and 90 pounds each, minus 5% fee, plus the actual cost of the armor). He can also 'sell' up to three items of quality at 50 pounds each (minus 5%) for the next three years, renegotiable.
-[tab][/tab] Investigate/Research old comb
-[tab][/tab] Investigate old stone behind the apple tree.
-[tab][/tab] Investigate the properties of the resident Aura.
-[tab][/tab] Meet local nobles.

[Anything else that needs to be added here, please post in general.]