The Covenant of Almelo

Covenant of Almelo (Elm Forest)

The site of Almelo makes a magus feel the magic course under his skin. Magic is easier to weave here than elsewhere, and mysteries are sometimes solved from the sheer insight granted by the power of the land (Minor site: Aura) – Aura 4

The elm forest from which the covenant takes its name is very pleasent and inviting. Meandering streams and groves perpetuate the area, various songbirds make the forest a quaint site as does the rather mild climate. The many deciduous trees make for a firework Fall of golden-red colours.
(Minor Site: Vivid Environment)

Well, maybe you are porud of it, maybe you are not, but you have already cultivated a small network of spies. A servant here, a merchant there, and that retired soldier still knows the young grogs of that covenant... (Minor external relations: Informants)

Both Triamore and Florum have promised books, Vis or whatelse the Magi may wish, if they would start Almelo covenant and work for the creation of the Lotharingian Tribunal. What exactly constitutes 'work for the creation of the Lotharingian Tribunal' and when the promised goods will come is unknown...but surely the two covenants will keep their end of the bargain? (Minor external relations: Promised favours)

You saved the life of Marcus Juvenus, a Redcap sometimes travelling in the area. Not wanting to be in your debt, he arranged for a small group of Archmagi to come to Almelo. These Magi wove pure magic into the covenant, realigning many unknown reservoirs of power. Now wisdom is to be had in the sorrowed face of a broken statue, in the glint of light upon the moss, walking the elegant patios and archways or feeling the air blowing in your face from an open window. (The whole covenant is now a Great Work wherefrom Vim can be studied, Lvl 15, Quality 15)


The Magi have received a letter from a friendly Quaesitor stating that there might be a regio in the vicinity of the covenant, somewhere in the forest, by the river or maybe near Deventer. Nonetheless the Magi are warned to be cautious and on the look out. (Minor site: Regio)

The covenant itself is an old abandoned site for a covenant started by an entrepreneuriel Diedne in the 9th century. As such it is made of wood, with minimal stonework used. However as it has been a while since the place was inhabited, some areas have become mossgrown, with marble statues crumbling under the weight of years, and doors refusing to close due to expansion from moisture. (Minor fortification: Wooden and crumbling)

Almelo is as of right now on good terms with Triamore, Florum, Spider's Palace and Requies Eternae, and well...who knows where Waddenzee really stands? Each covenant has covertly promised to help each other if the need truly arises (Minor external relations: Hermetic politics)

The covenant has a few Vis sources (Quite impressive in this area) but it seems that the source is rather erratic. The Magi most definately must do something to find out what is going on! (Minor resources: Dwindling ressource)

Lady Anna Corijs is a good friend of one of the Magi. She is a sweet and caring person. However, her lands have brutally been possesses by the vile Lord Arcken Onkerdonk. She so far supplies the covenant with a sizeable portion of money from her considerable wealth, but how long until she starts asking you to help her regain her lands? (Minor residents: Refugee)

The very core of Almelo's existance, the formation of the Lotharingian Tribunal, has not gone unnoticed. Some seek to advance it, other to stop it. There are both rivals and allies to be had in this endeavour. (Major external relations: Tribunal border)

The Court of Spring Blossoms is located in a glade in the forest. It is presided over by the Green Prince and his small entourage of dryads, fey knights and other playful creatures of Spring. So far the Green Prince has only watched from afar, but might he hold the key to mysteries or mayhem? (Minor Surroundings: Faerie Court)

It should be noted that these are the obvious boons and hooks. There are probably other as befits the story. As always suggestions are most welcome

Regarding finances:
Apart from the Magi, there are 5 Shield Grogs, 5 servants (purely for services like making food etc.) and then there are 10 gartners tending the small orchard adjacent to the covenant. The only specialist is a scribe who is also a failed apprentice. Lady Anna has a lady-in-waiting with her.

The covenant has two sources of income, each generating about 40 pounds each. One is the orchard, from which nothing has been harvested yet, but is assumed to generate a sizeable income. The other is from the coffers of Lady Anna, who each year has pledged to donate 40 pounds to the Magi.

The Covenant of Almelo is situated in the forest just south of Deventer, a small town with a lively market and home of skilled craftsfolk. Currently the Burgomeister tacitly supports Lord Onkerdonk as 'First Protector of Deventer', though he has no official jurisdiction in the city (He pretty much does what he wants anyway). He controls lands on the western side of the Rhine, while Lady Corijs controls lands on the eastern side. The two families have feuded for may years, with Deventer as a sort of neutral ground (The two families own and control parts of the trade of the city).

A trail winds by the forest and leads to Deventer, another to Schloss Corijs (The Corijs family prefers Saxon to Veluws) and a third south to the Rhine, where a small village lies providing passage over the Rhine to Nijmegen.

Vis Sources:

Creo: Every autumn a very observant person (Per roll diff 9) can spot a single worm eating its way through delicious red apples in a grove at a farm outside Deventer. Caught, the worm is worth 1 pawn.

Corpus: Every summer, there is a certain glade in the forest, where gathered sweat from men and women distill into Corpus Vis. The maximum gathered amount is 5pawns, and requires one person, for every pawn.

Aquam: Every Autumn, a grand feast can be sacrificed to the Ijsel River about 10 miles north of Deventer. If done here, by a small marshy streak, the next morning, one of the sacrificed edibles can be found found in a shallow pond, worth 3 pawns.

Imaginem: Every Winter a single white rose blooms out of season on the limestone plateau south of Deventer (some of it in the forest). It takes some time to find the rose, as it never grows the same place twice. The rose is illusory, but its image in a mirror can be "caught". This mirror, forever showing a white rose is thereafter worth 3 pawns.

Terram: At spring, there are several weeks filled with mud in this area. About 20 miles west of the covenant, there is an area, which gets especially muddy due to underwater rivers, marshes, the terrain falling towards the area etc. if diving into the mud at the deepest place, a fistsized pale, bonelooking orb can be found woth 2 pawns.

Vim: In Nijmegen, on Midsummer's Eve, the blood of all those executed having a spark of the Gift, wells out of a number of tombstones on the cemetery. Collected, it is worth 3 pawns.


Art Summae

Creo Lvl 7, Qua 8 (Secret ways of enhancing productivity): Author unknown. A strange book describing fertility rites, procreation among various tribes and old countries. Describes vividly how to integrate magic with the creation of flesh, skin and blood (Stamina roll diff.6 for the weak of stomach to not get sick). The idea of Creo as Platonic Idea is discussed in metaphors pertaining to the natural world of flora and fauna. Nice epilogue with discussions about the early orders work with Creo Vim effects.

Muto Lvl 5, Qua 10 (Master of Change): Author Clavicularis ex Mercere 922. A beginner's book on Muto. It is relatively cheap to come by, and is a stable of many new covenants. Clavicularis writes about the unnatural properties a Redcap might experience when using items and magic (if a gifted Mercere) on his own body and mind. There are also ample instruction on transforming mind, senses and nature. A quaint read for late evenings as there are also many small stories of Clavicularis' journeys in the Rhine Tribunal. Doubles as Area Lore: Rhine Tribunal (Covenants) Lvl 2, Qua 10 Summae

Perdo Lvl 5, Qua 7 (Aurelia's basic destruction of things, which do not really matter): Author Aurelia Maxima ex Flambeau, 1142. Aurelia writes about the many various things, a Magus might want to destroy. Cobwebs, dirt, flowers, animal feces, hair, rubble. All is written quite informatively, but nevertheless with the stinging remarks of the author, who clearly believes Perdo to be a superior Art

Rego Lvl6, Qua 7 (Crispiin's book on civilising peasents): Author Crispiin van der Courtlandt ex Jerbiton, 1190. An arrogant Jerbiton mage, who writes about the weak of mind peasents, and how easy it is to twist their minds, perceptions, bodies and abilities. The book is quite beautiful, even gaudy with semiprecious gems in the cover. However some of the methods described by Crispiin makes the reader wonder if the Jerbiton was quite sane, when he wrote the book.

Animal & Herbam Lvl 4, Qua 7 & Lvl 4, Qua 7 (Rosalinda's vagaries about animals and the plants they eat): Author Rosalinda ex Guernicus, 1050. Rosalinda writes about domesticated animals and plants, solely used for human consumption and productivity. A hearty way of writing permeates the text, and the reader feels Rosalinda divulges little secrets from her own kitchen. Unfortunately none of the secrets are ways to great knowledge of Animal or Herbam. The reader decides whether he studies Animal or Herbam from this book.

Aquam Lvl 5, Qua 6 (Naiads' power over water): Author Metellus ex Tytalus, 1003. Metellus clearly does not find Aquam interesting. His musings on Aquam's usefullness mainly concernes poisons or drowning people. Another chapter is given over to molestation of water faeries, and how to protect oneself from their water magic. Written during the Schism War, there are witty remarks about a Diedne Magus' water faerie lover, who Metellus' master killed to get to the Diedne.

Corpus Lvl 8, Qua 8 (Criispin's eyeopener on festering wounds): Author Crispiin van der Courtlandt ex Jerbiton, 1191. Yes the Jerbiton probably was crazy. This book deals with unwholesome depictions, descriptions and treatments of puss, fevers, wounds, maggots etc. A particularly interesting part though, is the passage about how to withstand the deterioration of the body come sickness and age. Anyone who reads the book gets +1 to his Longevity Lab Total.

Ignem, Lvl 7, Qua 10 (The kiss of Helios): Author Diana ex Bonisagus, 1203. A fresh new perspective on how fire at various stages can interact with materials, and either consume, temper, strengthen or affect them in a wide variety of ways. The book is written with a weird red ink, constantly warm and smelling of iron. Diana is apparently writing a part two, as she mentions her future 'Grand Work' on the last pages.

Imaginem, Lvl 5, Qua 9 (Dazzle me with your Species!): Author Erica ex Merinita, 1120. Written in poems, this book flaunts the authors flamboyant lifestyle and gregarious mind. It is hard not to smile at her many practical applications of Imaginem (Positive personality scores in Depressed, Melancholic etc. is changed to 0 for the rest of the season). The author apparently believes any apprentice should get a good grounding in Imaginem, and writes about all the ways Imaginem can be used to fool, persuade, conceal, distort and change appearances, both one's own and that of objects.

Mentem, Lvl 4, Qua 6 (Mind of the Leader): Author Adam ex Tremere, 1197. Not surprisingly this book deals with Tremere superiority, thinly veiled in general applications of Mentem to befuddle other people and rightfully propel oneself to the top of a hierarchy. The writing is boring and predictable, but it gives a good view of basic uses of Mentem. There are references to a Medicine book, which describes the heart and brain, and it seems the author is quite radical since he believes the mind of a person, might actually be in his brain!

Abilities Summae

Magic Theory, Lvl 5, Qua 9 (Refinements): Author Delenda ex Bonisagus, 845. A very old book, Refinements is weathered and worn, but due to excellent bindings, still available to study from. The text is difficult to decipher, due to Delenda's calligraphy, but the many pictures aid in the understanding. Refinements specify many various loopholes in the early Magic Theory works, and how to circumvent them, and which ones are naïve to even try to circumvent.

Artes Liberales, Lvl 3, Qua 10 (Spirit of the Authorities): Author Miriam ex Criamon, 1155. Written by a Criamon, who lost her Gift, this book is a mad scribble of ideas, dreams and it seems enigmatic wisdom, which spills over into cacophonic laughter (Int roll diff.12 to not gain 2Warping points). Apparently Miriam was on to...something, but never actually lets the reader know what. The systems she uses for the Liberal Arts is very informative and useful, but strains the sanity of the reader with its otherworldly take on mathematics, geometry and music.

Faerie Lore, Infernal Lore, Magic Lore, Dominion Lore, Lvl 2, Qua 8 (A Primer on multitudes of beasts, angels, demons and faerie princes): Author Hjarluf ex Miscellanea, 1192. This is a very good introductory book about the four magical realms. The book is very thick and heavy, requiering two men of Str+1 or one of at least Str+2 to lift and carry about. Hjarluf is currently on an expedition to Iceland, and many in the Order awaits this adventuresome magus' writings.

Am I correct that Deventer is located on the east side of the IJssel river about 24 miles north of the Rhine?

About 21 miles East-North-East of Deventer is a place called "Huize Almelo" that, according to my quick internet search, may have been constructed in the early 13th century.

Interesting :slight_smile: I didn't know of such a place. It is the correct Deventer yes, also as shown in Guardians of the Forest

I don't have GotF; I was just exploring the area on Google Earth.

I wonder, should we outline a charter for our covenant or not?

My suggestions, if we decide to outline one:

  • Quorum of more then half of the mages need to be in attendance, simple majority of the present votes to decide most matters (what happens in case of a tie? nothing or should we have someone to cast the deciding vote, like the oldest mage present or someone voted into that job?)
  • Punishment of a member or taking in a new member to be decided by an unanimous vote (mage to be punished may not vote)
  • Vis for the Aegis (does someone even know Aegis the spell ????) and similar things of use for the whole covenant to be taken out of the stocks, distribution to single mages for studies etc. to be voted on by a council (no automatic distribution or automatic rewards for doing work for the covenant)
  • do we need mandatory seasons of work for good of the covenant, like one season every 2 years, for example to write sumthing for the library, craft a magic item of sorts etc.? Or do we trust each other enough to do this on a voluntary basis? Im not decided yet, but i can imagine nasty arguments about going on which adventure should count as "work for the good of the covenant" etc. Opinions? Or maybe even better, experiences?

Or should we simply not go down that road in the first place?

Hmm, no answers on my last post. Nobody got any preferences?
I guess writing a complete charter could be a long and boring process, but i think 2 things are important enough to be discussed/decided:

  1. How do we distribute vis?
    If we do it "manually", ppl would need each other ppls consent every time they want to take vis. Should we then hold a council meeting once between adventures to distribute vis?
    Or should we agree on some "automatism" like "every mage can take 1 (or 2) pawns of vis per year"? Then we would only need to discuss if 2 or more mages want the same specific vis.

  2. Do we want to stipulate seasons of mandatory service for the covenant? If yes, how many? One season every 2 or 3 years?
    For my mage it would be easy, he could write books. But others could do useful things too, like crafting magical items, writing or trading for more books, building a spare lab that could be used as a scriptorum or teaching room, etc.
    If we dont want mandatory seasons, do we trust each other to do roughly the same work for the covenant? Or do we set rewards, of vis or whatever, for those who do the work and everyone can decide freely if he wants to do something or not?
    Lots of options. Personally i would lean towards the above mentioned automatism and i´m torn between mandatory seasons for all or payment for service.

And finally some questions for you ROF:

  1. We got a few books but no lab texts for spells. Not that we need many but could we please have 1 for Aegis of the heart?? Or a tablet or whats it called to perform the spell from that?
    Cause i think noone of us is capable of casting this one yet and its rather important....
  2. Do we have a starting amount of vis in stock? If yes how many?
  3. You wrote we have a specialist, who is a scribe and also a failed apprentice. So he can help in the lab too, no?
    Can we have a few numbers on him? Since he could also be used as a teacher, i would say we need:
    Intelligence, Communication, magic theory, profession:scribe, latin, teaching (if he has it), artes liberales, any other skills he might be good at and any virtues and flaws that are relevant.
    And then we would need to agree on who can use him when as an assistant.. :wink:

Almelo currently holds:

All Laboratory texts from AM5 for spells at and under lvl 15

Vis Stocks:

Creo 3
Rego 2

Animal 5
Corpus 5
Herbam 4
Vim 3

Arven - failed apprentice:
Woman aged 26

Int +2
Com +1
Magic Theory: Herbam 2
Profession (Scribe): Copying 4
Latin: Hermetic 5
Teaching: Children 1
Magic Lore: Ghosts 2
Artes Liberales: Geometry 2

She cannot help in the lab unless she has the gift - which, since she's a failed apprentice, is probably not the case.

Failed apprentice is the name of a minor virtue, a social status. In the description is says explicitly, that although the gift may be damaged or incomplete (a character with no gift at all would not have become an apprentice in the first place), the character could still help a magus in the lab.
The question was meant to be absolutely sure, but im pretty positive she can help.