Urban Covenants and precedents

We have a covenant in Alexandria, Egypt in 1130. Our first tribunal is coming up, and we are expecting to get some flack from our rival covenant about actions we took during the civil war that just began in Egypt.

What sort of urban covenants are there in Europe, and what sort of canon examples are there of the actions they have taken and how they were viewed by the European tribunals?

Basically, I'm looking for case law on what is acceptable for urban covenants to do.

Thanks everyone.

Taking examples I have the books for - Rome Tribunal has it's tribunal always held on supposedly neutral ground - in a warehouse in Venice, all other covenants must maintain town houses in the city for the meeting, and one other covenant secretly maintains a lot of other houses there (their main covenant is a castle that is just a front). The Rome Tribunal also has the covenant of Literatus which takes the facade of a university in a city, cannot remember which one. With mundane scholars mixing amongst the magi.

Rhine Tribunal - Occulus Sepentolis (however that is spelled) is in the city of Lubeck, quite openly and has a number of unique magic items that each produce a small moving aura of magic that overcomes the background divine aura.

Taking examples that i don't have the books for, but have heard about:
Barcelona in the Iberian tribunal has a covenant in it, I understood also that the city of Cambridge in Stonehenge also has a covenant somewhat like Literatus. That is just the covenants themselves. There are considerably more town houses and chapter houses of various covenants littering various cities.

In summary, there is multiple and grand examples of covenants being formed within cities, so nothing wrong there. What is wrong is actions that contravene the code, like swearing allegiance to mundanes, or bring the wrath of the mundane or the divine on you, or selling magical artifacts. In practice as long as you don't act openly enough for rumours that magicians are behind the troubles, nor rouse local nobles and priests to hunt you down, then you should be fine.

Also, the lynched ex-covenant in Trier... GotF.

I am not sure about this one, but there is a covenant in Constantinople IIRC. Can't remember if it is canon or not, though.

I will dig my iberian tribunal book tonight to check if there are any specifics regarding the covenant of Barcelona. IIRC you had to identify youraself as a mage to the members of the covenant when you entered barcelona, and any kind of non subtle magic was strictly banned inside the city walls. They have a non aggression pact with the khabalists of barcelona as well. Any magical resources in the city belong to them according to hermetic law, ven if non-hermetics might dispute them.

In fact I founf the covenant of Barcelona a good idea and a bad execution, since it is more about a bunch of jerbitons integrated in mundane society as merchants and the like than a true covenant. It is an individualistic covenant, in fact, formed by individuals without a personality of its own. A sad thing for a covenant.

In general, I would assume that open displays of magic in highly populated areas are a BAD IDEA according to any sensible magus.



As I remember, Vadrian's Tomb was located in the catacombsof Rome. Also, while not exactly "urban", wasn't there a covenant in the Heirs of Merlin book located in Cambridge?

Yes there is. Scholae Pythagoranis is its name and it is on the edge of Cambridge.

Barcelona is perhaps the most detailed "urban" Covenant comprising 15 pages of the Covenants section of Tribunals of Hermes: Iberia (ToH:Iberia). There's another 15 pages on Barcelona in the 28 page Iberian landscape chapter that details the city.

I'd agree with Xavi that it's execution as a "covenant" is poor. In fact, the more I reread ToH:Iberia, the more it bugs me as it doesn't really do justice to anything but the Aragon-Catalan side of the Tribunal - specifically Barcelona dominates about one third of the book. The rest of the book overall neglects the tone and complexity of the rest of early 13th century Spain, particularly Andalusia and the Islamic south - it's like playing in a vanilla Hermetic Saga where the Provencal/Normandy tribunal extends into the North of Spain and the rest of Spain is unimportant.

OK, maybe that's a bit harsh.

but hey...

Sadly, you can't get HoH:Iberia in PDF via Warehouse 23 or Paizo (hint to Atlas staff there) so it's a bit tricky to track down if you wanted to. Despite its flaws it still has some interesting ideas on Urban covenants.

IIRC Niall Christie (of Sanctum Hermeticum Revisited and Blood & Sands fame...) wrote a Mythic Perspetives article on Constantinople in the last issue that gives some short Story Ideas for the covenant in Constantinople and I think Alex White set a campaign there according to his blog.

Oculus Septrionalis in the Rhine Tribunal supplement is the best current example of an ArM5 urban covenant and does detail some of the political ramifications of having a covenant set in a city.



A great article that one is. Go read it. And you'd want to go to the golden city. I had to bring my players all the way from Wales on a story, just to spend 2 sessions there.