The Enemy We Know: Conquerors of Praesis

Note For Players:

Everything in this description of Praesis is considered "public knowledge" for the game. While not everyone in Hibernia would have this depth of knowledge of the Conquerors of Praesis the Magi of Inchmore have a direct interest in these less than favored neighbors.

As further information becomes known concerning any of these characters this description can/will be expanded.


Praesis has been moved slightly, as one might notice if referencing against the Hibernia book. This is for several reasons but mostly to deconflict it from our concept of Inchmore being on one of the islands of the lake and to make it actually be where the marker for it is on the Tribunal map.

This means the location described for Praesis in TCI is now the location of Inchmore, however Praesis was never located there in our Saga canon.


Praesis was once the archetype of Hibernian tradition. Founded on the site of a magical spring on the borders between Connacht and the rest of Ireland it has seemingly always been a place with a foot in all worlds. An independent small fortress in border country it has stood in the midst of Irish conflict as a place of almost classical druidic wisdom and moderation before all sides. Politically Praesis had a long history of supporting the Hibernian Traditions and Peripheral Code, especially the Treaties and dealings with non-Hermetics.

In particular the Covenant has historically been the neutral meeting place between the Magi of Hibernia and the Hedge Wizards of the Coill Tri. Many times in the past the adjudication of disputes or grievances on either side of that divide have taken place at Praesis, were expected to take place at Praesis, and such mediation sustained the Pax Hermetica in the land. Praesis was also the place where the Hedge Wizaards of the Coill Tri felt safe delivering their required tithe of Gifted children to the Order of Hermes.

This is certainly no longer the state of affairs after the conquering of Praesis during Wizard's War by Continental Magi. The war is no simple topic however to many Hibernian Magi it was unjust on the face of it. Stealing a Cathach is no light matter. Regardless Praesis now lies in ruins. The Coill Tri in no way feel safe there any longer.

Today Praesis is lies neglected and dormant. The dangerous remains of magical warfare are spilled all around the site and moreover when the Conquerors abandoned the site there is no question they left hazards behind for those who would take spoils they saw as rightfully theirs.

Location & Structure

Praesis once was a proud collection of several sizable towers arrayed in a small glen around a central Great Hall. Once the towers each formed the individual Sanctum of a Mage and their retainers while the central Great Hall and outbuildings formed the communal parts of the Covenant. Tradition once was for new Magi in the Covenant to begin their residence in Praesis with the construction of their own tower. Over the centuries Praesis has accumulated nearly twenty such edifices to former Magi. Of these older constructions only one was still in service, the one adjoining the Great Hall which served as the treasury and makeshift central keep of the Covenant. Praesis was close to Winter already before the siege transpired.

The glen itself is somewhat removed from any common path of traffic but not especially secluded. Several miles northwest from the mouth of the Lough Ree, not directly on the lake, Praesis is none the less quite close to the home ground of Inchmore. The palisade of the Covenant surrounded the entirety of the towers and glen and was the boundary of the Aegis.

Praesis however has long since slidden into Winter. All of the original Sanctum towers are long ago in a ruined state and the Great Hall has been even more so the central hub of the Covenant for at least a century. The surrounding ruins of towers and their nearby structures were as much as mystery to the last residents of Praesis as anyone else. There are great rumors as to both the magic that these ruins could contain and the dangers of trying to reclaim it.


The Gae Bulg, an ancient necromantic spear of debatable origin yet quite respected power. (Contested Isle pg 46) The Conquerors have made no secret of the fact that they retain the Cathach and have no intention of giving it up.

The Conquerors

Since the founding of Inchmore those who conquered Praesis, in order to avoid direct conflict with the coalition of Covenants and Magi that backed the establishment of Inchmore, abandoned their prize. Instead now they have taken refuge in the friendly hospitality of Ashenrise, a Covenant that supports the Continental Reform movement in Hibernia. From there they as a group continue to lay claim to Praesis being their rightful prize of Wizard War and that they intend to press the claim when the time is right. This makes them no friends of Inchmore.

Ballack of Tytalus
Age: 80 (Apparent Age: 65)
Personality Traits: Confident +3, Driven +2, Patient +1

The new Lord of Praesis as he once styled himself. A Terram Master from the Rhine Tribunal and the primary instigator of the siege of Praesis. There is a great deal of controversy and dispute between the Continentals and Hibernians as to whether his actions are justified. His seeking vengeance for the death of his filus Holzner is understandable. However, in Hibernia, so is a lack of moderation in the defense of a Cathach. Ballack has no small mastery of Terram yet seems to be showing a great deal more restraint in his use of it since the conclusion of the siege. It is not completely clear as to why yet the rumors are that this is associated with the size of his war debts.

Ballack is neither shy nor subtle about his determination to squeeze Hibernia for every scrap of profit he can until those debts are balanced. To this effect though he rarely leaves Ashenrise himself he gives considerable aid and backing to various profit motivated enterprises by the Continentals. No doubt he turns a blind eye, or indeed gives tacit approval, to the activities of Guillaume for the same reason.

Baetain of Tremere
Age: 60 (Apparent Age: 47)
Personality Traits: Regretful +3, Conflicted +2, Pragmatic +1

Baetain is known throughout Hibernia as the traitor who gave up Praesis to Ballack.

He has become a recluse since the conclusion of the siege, rarely leaving his rooms in Ashenrise. Rumor has spread that he is listless and inconsolable in his infamy. Or that he is intent upon some great project the purpose of which changes from rumor to rumor. Prior to the siege he had a very different reputation and is known for his broad skill with Muto and his sense of humor, often hand in hand.

Guillaume of Flambeau
Age: 65 (Apparent Age: 52)
Personality Traits: Bombastic +3, Aggressive +2, Patient -1

A classical Flambeau master of Ignem and the School of the Founder, Guillaume is the archetype of the bellicose and destructive member of his House. He was pivotal in the successful prosecution of the siege of Praesis, personally slaying many of the Covenfolk and younger Magi both of the Covenant and of those who tried to lend them aid. He publicly expresses his amusement that Magi with a tradition like the Cathach are so deficient as warriors. Guillaume does not however simply speak his mind. He has taken the Cathach of an independent magus, of no Covenant, as well as their apprentice and Covenant resources.

Less overt yet not precisely a secret, Guillaume also has low opinion of the Treaty with the Coill Tri and while he has not exposed himself to direct accusations of lawlessness by crossing into Connacht ... he does send his mercenaries into Connacht quite regularly to raid and bring back mystical spoils. The Coill Tri have a justified and growing fear of him.

Cacht of Criamon
Age: 50 (Apparent Age: 40)
Personality Traits: Remote +3, Cold +2, Precise +1

For those few who are familiar enough with the Criamon to understand, Cacht is not shy about being a follower of Strife. She is also a skilled combatant and follower of the Ramius School. She had no small participation in the siege yet no one is certain where her loyalties if any may actually be placed and what she will do as the Hibernian conflict continues to unfold.

Frederik of Tytalus
Age: 60 (Apparent Age: 45)
Personality Traits: Patient +3, Driven +2, Cruel +2

Frederik is a younger filus of the same master as Ballack. Similarly a very determined and bellicose Magus his interests however are decidedly different. A Master of Corpus and Mentem he is known for his skill as a necromancer and a healer both. There are rumors that the ruins of Praesis are now guarded by the dead and a dangerous place to trespass, and for those who know of Frederik there is little doubt that these words are true. Likewise Ashenrise has his mark upon it now, and if any of the Continental guests there are wearing out their welcome it is most likely Frederik. While no doubt motivated by filial loyalty and profit much as Ballack there are many and varied speculations as to what projects this open necromancer pursues in secret.

Phillipe of Flambeau
Age: 45 (Apparent Age: 35)
Personality Traits: Cheerful/Friendly +3, Pious +2, Brave +2

An Iberian Flambeau of the School of Sebastien, Phillipe is on the road to mastering Auram. His facility with wind and lightning as direct attacks already appears well developed, though he is more reserved in his employment of violence than most of the other new members of Praesis. Phillipe is sometimes the restraining force on Guillaume, seeking to moderate the actions of his Sodales with thought to good Christian conduct. This is not consistently successful though nor does does it always fail. Phillipe seems capable of travelling with incredible speed and is known to still have a foot in the conflicts of Iberia and his longstanding loyalties there.

Significant Supporting Characters

Oscar von Harz

A massive giant-blooded warrior who personally serves Ballack both as body-guard and as guardian of the Gae Bulg. He is clearly not a knight and instead is simply as big as a man could really be and not actually be a giant himself. A brawler and raw unrefined warrior of frightening savagery.

Eamon of Carrick

The captain of the mercenaries hired by Guillaume that serve conduct his raids into Connacht. As a third son his education and training have been largely all the inheritance he hopes to have.

He is however none the less an ambitious man who is not shy about building his mundane wealth through the endeavors of Guillaume, and if anything his involvement makes the Briefne mercenaries even more out for any possible gain when they are afield. A knight of no small skill Eamon however does not fight in tournaments or do well with the niceties of courtly society, he is an educated born warrior with goals and isn't shy about pursuing them.

Briefne Mercenaries

An armed band of heavy warriors, all mounted with arms and armor, currently in the service of Guillaume and sometimes Ashenrise. There are perhaps twenty of them. They are however plainly mercenaries and out for profit. They also have started getting a reputation, as such men often do, for seeking food, wine, and women in the surrounding areas. The villages nearby Ashenrise have already started viewing them with resentment and fear.