Ars Magica: Nova Semitae Saga
Symbol: Two vertical blue bands on the sides representing the Rivers Severn and Vyrnwy with symbols of a bee and sheaf of wheat representing agriculture. In the center, a white band with an open book and the hebrew words 'Urim' and 'Thummim' written on it, representing scholarship and the local jewish community.
Motto: Lux et Perficio (Light and Perfection)
Aura: Magical 5
Founded: A.D. 1170
Magi: 8 (1 Jerbiton, 2 Verditius, 2 Flambeau, 1 Bonisagus, 1 Ex Miscellanea, 1 Bjornaer)
Nova Semitae is Latin for 'New paths'. It was founded as a refuge for magi who wanted a new life away from the stultifying political situation in 1170. Some 50 years later, it is once again looking for new blood to give it life, but the situation is much different. A vibrant, sometimes anarchic, political situation in both mundane and Hermetic realms makes for exciting times to live in.
The saga will begin in the Winter season of 1220 as the PCs arrive at the covenant.
An Ars Magica Primer may help with understanding the game and setting.
- 1 Covenant Flag
- 2 Dramatis Personae
- 3 Mundane Background
- 4 Hermetic Background
- 5 Covenant Resources
- 6 Saga Journals
- 7 House Rules
Motto: Lux et Perficio (Light and Perfection)
Meaning: The two blue bands represent the River Severn and the Afon Vyrnwy which straddle the covenant. The sheaf of wheat and the bee represent the agricultural heart of the covenant's wealth. The book with the hebrew writing (borrowed from Yale University's crest) represents both the scholarly nature of the covenant and the covenant's Jewish community roots. The writing (depending on your translation) is 'Urim and Thummim', or 'Light and Perfection', which forms the covenant's motto in latin. The original hebrew phrase also has connotations of divination.
The full list of characters is below. Magi and Companions in italics are NPCs.
The magi are the undisputed 'masters' of the covenant and village that supports it. There are currently a mix of PC and NPC magi residing at the covenant.
Companions support the magi in different ways, interacting with mundane society and providing specialized skills that the magi have neither the time nor inclination to learn.
The other characters at the covenant and in the magi's lives are numerous. See the main article for a full listing. Includes the Turb listing.
Grogs are player-run support staff. They can be covenfolk-like or Turb members.
Each player must create three grogs to help populate the covenant. One must be a combat type, one must be a non-combat type. The third can be either.
The Redcaps who helped in founding the covenant maintain independence in a small part of the covenant grounds. They provided initial vis and funds to float the covenant while a stable mundane population was established, and now enjoy the protection of the covenant without any of the costs. Additionally, such close quarters makes for close relations with House Mercere -- always a good thing to have.
As players explore the world around their covenant, they will discover a wealth of other characters. This article lists important NPCs in the magi's lives.
The covenant and village are home to a number of supernatural creatures. This articles lists them in one place.
- Mundane Geography and Mundane Politics
- Village of Melverley (The mundane name of the Covenant)
- Medieval Farming, a reference for village farming life
- Covenant Charter
- Covenant Laws (Mundane)
- Stonehenge Tribunal
- Covenant Service
The covenant currently enjoys the protection of the following:
- Aegis of the Hearth at level 40 (-20 spellcasting penalty for those without a token)
- The Bountiful Feast
The covenant is more than just a place for magi, companions, and grogs to live. Their resources are their livelihood. This section covers some of these.
Main Article: Covenant Library
The covenant library holds multiple collections accessible by different groups. The covenant magi have arcane arts and lab texts, the general covenant and village population who are so inclined my access the general library, while magi of the Tribunal may access the Tribunal records maintained by the Redcaps (who charge their own fee).
Main Article: Varana's Tomb
In 1223, the covenant followed up on stories of a tower on an icy peak. In doing so they discovered the tomb of a maga named Varana in the form of a tower with layered regiones. It is possible, with the right steps, to make one's way deep into the regiones and find an astonishingly well-stocked library of both Arts and lores buried with the erstwhile maga.
Vis Sources and Stores
Main Article: Vis Sources and Stores
Hermetic magi measure their wealth by vis, not by silver. This section details how much vis the covenant has, where it comes from, and how to get more.
Covenant Magical Items
Main Article: Covenant Magical Items
A covenant as old as Nova Semitae (50 years old at the start of the saga) has a plethora of magical items created to assist the magi or the covenfolk in the day-to-day lives.
Main Article: Mundane Wealth
Despite their desire otherwise, magi still need to worry about where mundane wealth comes from.
Classes and Training offered
Main Article: Classes and Training
Main Article: Covenant Mechanics
As with many things in Ars Magica, there are mechanics involved. Although for covenants I try not to let it constrict the stories available, it's handy to know what the covenant entails mechanics-wise, too.
An official journal of this Saga's sessions will be kept here for record-keeping purposes.
Main Article: Ars Magica House Rules
No game would be complete without house rules.