Covenfolk

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Ars Magica: Nova Semitae Saga
ArM5LogoColor.jpg
GM
Mark
Game Start
Anno Domini MCCXX, hiems
A.D. 1220, winter
5 Neanne 1, Hiems
Game Year
Anno Domini MCCXXXIII, hiems
A.D. 1223, winter
4 Aulus 2, Hiems
Magi of Nova Semitae
Geoffroy de Dreux of Jerbiton
Joshua Levi of Verditius
Magni of Flambeau
Obscurus Ignis of Flambeau
NPC Magi
Aulus · Neanne · Fr. Thomas
Apprentices
Aline · Ysabelo
Companions
Lady Angharad ferch Madog, Princess of Powys Fadog
Ritter Sigmund, German ex-Crusader
Sir Daniele d'Audrieu, Norman merchant
Sir William Cornwell, English ex-Crusader
Other Characters
Covenfolk · Agents
The Redcaps · Notable NPCs
Chart of Languages Spoken
Notable Animals
Guests
Hortense of House Bonisagus
Siwan, Lady of Wales
The Covenant
Hermetic
Covenant Charter · Membership Record
Record of Offices · Covenant Service
Council Voting Records · Hermetic Politics
Stonehenge Tribunal
Mundane
Mundane Geography · Mundane Politics
Village of Melverley · Melverley Castle
Village Laws · Village Rumors
Medieval Farming
Covenant Resources
Covenant Library · Varana's Tomb
Hospital · Hospital Library
Vis Sources and Stores
Covenant Magical Items · Mundane Wealth
Classes and Training
Covenant Mechanics
Other
Ars Magica House Rules
Ars Magica Expanded Notes
Campaign Log · Loose Ends
Ars Magica PC Reference
Player Resources (PDFs)
Experience Point Worksheet
Character Sheet (Variant 1)
Character Sheet (Variant 2)
Experience Point Chart

Covenfolk

Language Notes

Due to its position on the English-Welsh border, its status as a Hermetic covenant, and its uniquely large Jewish population, most covenfolk are polyglots out of necessity.

  • Middle English, and to a much lesser extent, Norman French are spoken to deal with the English.
  • Welsh is spoken to deal with the Welsh and is increasing in prominence since the covenant's alignment with the Welsh.
  • Medieval Hebrew is spoken by the Jewish community. Because Jews are the majority of the covenfolk, Medieval Hebrew, is picked up by the rest of the covenfolk to varying degrees.
  • Finally, those who deal directly with the magi, have taken advantage of the scholars' lessons, or regularly visit the library, have picked up Latin.
  • Certain characters may have additional languages due to their unique backgrounds.

For a quick view, see this matrix of character languages.

See also: Languages of Mythic Europe, Language Exposure House Rules

These grogs are communal and may be used as stories require them.

Turb

Although all male covenfolk who are capable of it (and women who want training) maintain some semblance of martial skill, Turb members are those dedicated to maintaining their martial skills and whose job it is to keep the covenant secure. They patrol the covenant grounds, the village, and the western wall. They are also expected to accompany the magi when the masters leave the covenant on their obscure missions.

The turb currently stands at 20 members: 1 turb captain and 19 others who serve under him.

Turb Leadership

Turb Captain: Gwendolyn of Shrewsbury, former grog and wife to Magni of Flambeau, has had her dreams of knighthood realized by being elevated to Turb Captain at the end of 1230, clearing the way for Marcus and Sara to retire. She is mentored by her father, Sir Stephen de Aston, an English knight who ran afoul of King John and lost everything for it. She is also being mentored by Khras-Nagar as part of his service to the covenant.

Turb Deputy: Remaining deputy is Jerôme, brother to Neanne of Verditius. Although passed up for turb leadership, he is better suited as a lieutenant. As brother to another magus, this allows the leadership to have access to the ruling council and ensure that turb concerns are heard.

Shield Grogs

  • Edward. Big, dumb, and ugly. Moderately capable in battle, but virtually useless except as brute labour. Turb members have bets as to whether he'll reach the age of 30 or if he'll accidentally kill himself somehow. Too stupid to learn Latin to communicate with the magi. Nickname: "Special" Ed.
Int -3, Per -1, Str +5, Sta +4, Pre -2, Com -2, Dex +0, Lck -2
Custos, Large, Tough, Simple-Minded, Afflicted Tongue, Ability Block: Academics
Athletics (running) 3, Awareness (alertness) 1, Brawl (fists) 3, Stealth (woods) 2, Swim (underwater) 2, Bows (english longbow) 3, Great Weapon (warhammer) 5, Single Weapon (axe) 4. Speak Middle English (5).
Initiative +0, Attack +17, Damage +12, Defense +6 Protection 7
  • Krunk, Aulus' shield grog. A big, burly man whose imposing appearance belies his gentle and approachable nature.
Lives just north of the covenant in his own house, where he and a roommate tend to a herd of pigs (they are the pork supplier for the Mercer House).
Int +1, Per 0, Str +3, Sta +4, Pre 0, Com 0, Dex +3, Luk 0.
Warrior, Large, Tough, No Sense of Direction, Covenant Upbringing, Driven (to cook).
Single Weapon 5, Ride 1, Athletics 4, Swim 3, Profession Chef (specialty: gourmet meals) 5, Profession Swineherd (breeding) 3. Speaks Catalan 5, English 4, Latin 4.
Initiative +4, Attack +11, Damage +5, Defense +9, Protection 7
  • Libke. A bright young girl known for her sharp tongue and sharper axe.
Int 0, Per -2, Str +2, Sta +2, Pre 0, Com -3, Dex +4, Luk +2.
Puissant Single Weapon, Educated (Hebrew), Warrior, Outsider.
Single Weapon (axe and shield) 6 (4+2), Bows 2, Athletics 2, Swim 2, Artes Liberales 2. Speaks English (5), Hebrew (4).
Initiative +5, Attack +15, Damage +6, Defense +14, Protection 5

Archers

  • Elsabet. Archer, huntress. Known to be Jewish.
Int 0, Per +2, Str +2, Sta 0, Com -3, Pre +1, Dex +3, Luk 0.
Warrior, Puissant Single Weapon, Educated, Outsider.
Bows (English longbow) 4, Single Weapon (mace and shield) 5 (3+2), Awareness 3, Hunt 3. Speaks English (5), Hebrew (3), and Latin (2).
Initiative +1, Attack +12, Damage +8, Defense +3, Protection 4
  • Jarrod. Archer, hunter. Nominally Christian.
Int -2, Per +3, Str +2, Sta +2, Pre -2, Com 0, Dex +1, Luk 0.
Warrior, Puissant Bows, Ability Block: Academic, Humble.
Bows (Welsh longbow) 5 (+2), Single Weapon (shortsword and shield) 3, Ride 2, Awareness 4, Hunt 2. Speaks Welsh (5) and Middle English (3).
Initiative -1, Attack +12, Damage +8, Defense +1, Protection 4
  • Martin of Hereford. Archer, returned Crusader. Martin of Hereford is, in fact, not Martin at all. She was born Eloise to a villein family in Hereford. Life was difficult, and the girl dreamed of a life of something more than unending drudgery. Overhearing of talk of a Crusade, she made plans to steal her father's longbow, cut her hair and join as a 14-year-old "Martin". Although a little on the younger side, she managed to convince a group of mercenaries to take her on and train her. She actually did manage to make it down to the fighting for a little while, but after being injured, she was assigned to escort some other mercenaries heading back home to England. It was here that she eventually discovered the world of the Order of Hermes and magi. The covenfolk were a bit odd, particularly when it came to traditional gender roles. She noticed that there were often cases of women rising to the level of respect — or at least skill — as men, and she decided that this could be a place for her. She is an unassuming-looking male, with a youthful, clean-shaven look to her. Nobody has ever seen Martin shave, and he seems to avoid the usual carousing that is common among those who practice at arms.
Int 0, Per +2, Str +2, Sta +1, Pre -1, Com -2, Dex +2, Luk +1
Puissant Bow, Warrior, Keen Vision; Transvestite, Temperate, Motion Sickness
Hereford Area Lore (game trails) 3; Animal Handling (horses) 2; Athletics (running) 2; Awareness (alertness) 2; Brawl (dagger) 3; Chirurgy (binding wounds) 1; Craft (Bowyer) (shortbow) 3; Disguise (looking male) 3; Folk Ken (grogs) 1; Hunt (tracking) 3; Intrigue (gossip) 1; Order of Hermes Lore (magi) 1; Stealth (hide) 3; Survival (woods) 3; Bows (longbow) 5+2; Great Weapon (pole arm) 1; Single Weapon (axe) 2; Thrown Weapon (dagger) 1. Speak Middle English (Hereford dialect) 5, Latin (soldier talk) 3, Arabic (insults) 1;
Reputation: Crusader (local) 2
Initiative +0, Attack +14, Damage +8, Defense +5, Protection 4
  • Rolf. An expert sharpshooter, known for being the most intelligent in the turb, though he tends to rub people the wrong way.
Int +2, Per +3, Str +2, Sta +1, Pre -3, Com -2, Dex 0, Luk 0
Warrior, Sharp Eyes, Puissant Bows, Covenant Upbringing, Social Handicap, Nocturnal.
Bows 7 (5 +2), Single Weapon 4, Ride 3, Athletics 2, Swim 2, Artes Liberales 2, Philosophiae 2. Speaks English (5) and Latin (4).
Initiative -2, Attack +12, Damage +8, Defense +0, Protection 4
  • Yoav ben Tobias. Archer. While training with the bow as part of his duties to the covenant, he decided he would rather join the covenant's turb than follow his father's profession of a cobbler. Has had strained relations with his father ever since. Married to Avieh bat Sholem.
Int 0, Per +2, Str +2, Sta +2, Pre +0 Com -2, Dex +2, Luk -1
Bow 4, Single Weapon (axe) 3, Area Lore (Welsh Marches) 3. Speak Middle English (5), Hebrew (3).
Initiative +0, Attack +11, Damage +8, Defense +2, Protection 4
  • A handful of non-named turb members

The following are PC-created grogs:

  • Deulecresse, a crippled warrior who has retired to teaching his accumulated weapon skills
  • Louis, a squire to Sir Daniele
  • Lynn (Lynne) Horton, a female, disguised as a male, mercenary captain. <Not yet entered the Chronicle>
  • Madog, Welsh bowman
    • Annest ferch Iefan Wife of Madog ap Hywel. Second candle maker of the village.
      • Gwladus ferch Madog born 1219
      • Gruffudd ap Madog born 1221
      • Efa ferch Madog born 1223 (Minor supernatural virtue)
      • Angharad ap Madog born 1226
  • Mildegod, a forlorn archer and budding (enchanting) musician
  • Sir Hywel ap Rhun, Welsh knight-errant assigned to protect Lord Geoffrey by Lady Angharad. Widowed

Not part of the Turb, but often used with their members, are 5 Tremere Soldates who form part of Aulus' household and are paid independently by him as they were gifted to him and his wife by House Tremere. Their martial coordination in fighting as a group is considered unnatural by some turb members, though others who have fought in massed groups (such as Martin) appreciate the discipline they exhibit. Jerome seems to have taken a liking as well and is studying with the Soldates to better coordinate the grogs.

Retired Turb Members

  • Marcus, the Turb Captain. A retired soldier who now makes his living as a trainer.
Int -1, Per +1, Str +2, Sta +1, Pre -2, Com +2, Dex +2, Luk 0
Warrior, Good Teacher, Weakness: redheads, No sense of direction
Teaching 4 (single weapon), Single Weapon 6 (axe and shield), Great Weapon 5 (lochaber axe), Bows 5 (Welsh longbow), Brawl 5 (dodge). Speaks English (5) and Latin (3); Leadership (3)
Reputation: Turb Captain (local) 3
  • Sara, Julissa's former Shield Grog. Marcus' wife; she is easily recognizable by her bright red hair and freckles.
Int 0, Per +1, Str +2, Sta +2, Pre 0, Com -3, Dex +4, Luk 0
Lightning Reflexes, Great Dexterity, Incomprehensible, Animal Companion
Single Weapon (longsword and shield) 6, Ride 5. Speaks English (5) and Latin (3).

Noteable Covenfolk (NPC)

Village Leaders

  • Freyde bat Sholem, raised to the position of Autocrat in 1230 as Josef's replacement. Although young, she showed a great deal of promise after serving as runner for the Autocrat in her youth, and then as his personal assistant in later years.
    • Speaker: Daniel ben Josef, her husband and officer designated to speak for her when dealing with more traditional-minded parties outside the covenant
  • Josef ben Gavrel, Former Autocrat, Rabbi of Melverley
  • Gwendolyn, Turb Captain (see above)

Craftsmen

  • Aed Allan, the Irish journeyman glassblower (b. 1202). His wife,
    • Máibel (Mabel) Uí Néill (b. 1208), daughter Lord Maine and Lady Blinne who visited in 1227 with his parents. Their children:
      • Padraig (b. 1229)
  • Amin, the Beekeper. (b. 1190) Reports directly to Stephen, as one of the few people who he can speak with fluently.
  • Eli, the Bookbinder. Unorthodox beliefs, has taken a woman for an apprentice. (Miriam bat Sholem)
  • John, the Brewmaster. Speaks halting English. Reclusive. Considered slightly odd for taking what is traditionally a woman's role. However, his mead plays a considerable part of the covenant's income.
  • Lieber ben Arieh, the tailor. Has a way with the ladies, being incredibly handsome. Fiercely protective of his sister, Berelyn. 
His wife:
    • Zelde bat Sholem, the tomboy. Fifth daughter of Sholem and Rivka. Well-known for being a good swimmer, spends altogether too much time outdoors; Apprenticed to Tobias to become a cobbler. Took over as Covenant Cobbler after Tobias' retirement. Has defied expectations of spinsterhood thanks to Yentl.
  • Reginald of Whittington, English armor smith hired to make armor for the covenant. Excellent smith with a dark secret. Can speak some Welsh.
  • Tobias ben Yorah, the Cobbler, semi-retired. 
His wife:
    • Deborah, the Seamstress, one of several among covenfolk. Goes well with her husband's trade. Their children:
      • Miriam, the henmaid. Keep chickens and harvests eggs for covenfolk. Moderately attractive; not too bright, though.
      • Yoav, the archer. Is completely uninterested in following his father's footsteps, necessitating taking an apprentice. Huge disappointment to his father.

Specialists

  • Aaron ben Jacobus, jewish instructor. His wife
    • Rachel of London, who misses the city life. Their children:
      • Rebecca bat Aaron (b. 1217). Being groomed for a position in the covenant library as she must be usefully employed when she turns 13.
  • Elishiva bat Sholem (b. 1199), Hermetic historian for the magi. Her husband:
    • Joseph of Bridgnorth (b. 1210), married in 1226. Loveless marriage. The teen spends his days chasing other teens of the village while his wife works at the library. Taken under Louis' wing to try and interest his wife into having children.
  • Jens of Roskilde, the Danish architect. Skilled in carpentry and knowledgeable in engineering making him one of the finest architects in 3 counties. 
His wife:
    • Sarit bat Sholem (b. 1197), the seamstress. Meek and gentle, devout, pretty. Second eldest of Sholem and Rivka. Caused a major scandal when she married a Gentile... but she *really* wanted to be married, and there weren't enough Jewish men. Their children,
      • Roger (b. 1221)
      • Zofia (b. 1222)
      • Alina (b. 1224)
      • Gunter (b. 1227)
  • Josef ben Gavrel, the Autocrat. 
His wife:
    • Naomi, the Scribe; Josef's wife, mother to Shmuel and Daniel. 
Their children:
      • Samuel ben Yosef, Julissa's former Apprentice.
      • Daniel ben Yosef, formerly a Pageboy, now a courier for the magi. Married to Freyde bat Sholem.
  • Stephen, the Moorish Butler. Born in slavery to Spanish parents, before being purchased and given freedom. Serves the magi in a personal capacity, looking after many of the things they don't care to.
  • Tenney, a mundane lab assistant gifted by the magi of Schola Pythagoranis for Geoffrey's wedding.

Villagers

  • Arieh ben Ezrah (b. 1187), Litha's former laboratory assistant. Now retired. 
His wife:
    • Pelia (b. 1187), maid for the South Tower. Shy; grows ever lovelier as she ages. Older sister to Ilana, maid of the North Tower.
      • Berelyn (b. 1202), married to Ethan ben Herschel
      • Lieber (b. 1204), married to Zelde bat Sholem
  • Daniel Blum (b. 1192), depressed and unlucky merchant, but loved family man. His wife:
    • Wife Esther Blum (b. 1194)
      • One son Aaron (b. 1212), apprenticed to his father
      • One daughter Esther (b. 1215)
  • Ethan ben Herschel, overseer of the field workers. Slight of build, but competent leader. 
His wife:
    • Bereleyn bat Arieh, the baker. Prettiest girl among the covenfolk; known to create pastries that can lift one's mood, and known for her lovely singing voice. 
Their children:
      • Elior ben Ethan (b. 1213), following his father's footsteps as a farmer.
      • Erez ben Ethan (b. 1215), craves the life of a grog.
      • Eidel bat Ethan (b. 1217), wants to be a singer.
  • Gwenda Varley, a widowed lacemaker with daughters to train. Her daughters:
    • Olyvia (b. 1206), also a lacemaker, married in 1226 to Sammel of Shrewsbury, a cobbler
    • Emily (b. 1209), seamstress, though does non-clothing draper more often than not. Wants to avoid marriage to anyone involved with fishing.
  • Hagit David, a maid and housekeeper who knows everything thats going on.
  • Ilana, maid for the North Tower. Pelia's younger sister. The two are refugees from London. Lovely widow; rather bossy.
  • Marike, buxom, plump German woman who serves as the pastry chef; cooks primarily for the magi.
  • Maude, daughter of Parsifal the Redcap.
  • Melisende, a maid servant with training as a bodyguard. Given over to Angharad for her wedding.
  • Mercy, an English woman who tends to the needs of the magi on Shabbat and during holidays.
  • Rachel, An old female Jewish Herb-Witch (b. 1170) (Failed Apprentice)
    • Hagar, Herb-Witch's Apprentice (b. 1205), considered pretty, Jewish. Needs to get married, according to villagers.
    • Samael, Herb-Witch Apprentice's Cat, Black, Black eyes, (Magic Cat)
  • Ruth, the Shepherdess. Known to have Animal Ken; friend to the magical Corgis that inhabit the covenant. Too devoted to her dogs to get married.
  • Shlomo ben Idan, the Butcher. Heavily muscled, soft spoken. 
His wife:
    • Raziela (b. 1200), the aspiring chef. Fourth daughter of Sholem and Rivka. Enjoys cooking under her mother's tutelage. Their children:
      • Flora (b. 1221)
      • Elijah (b. 1222)
      • Judith (b. 1226)
  • Sholem ben Tevye, the milkman. Somewhat poor despite owning livestock of his own, being father of eight children. 
His wife:
    • Rivka, head chef overseeing meals for the covenfolk at large. Sholem's wife. Overweight, loud-mouthed gossip with a heart of gold. 
Their children:
      • Mariam (b. 1195), apprentice bookbinder under Eli. "Unmarriable" spinster due to her horse-like face and stubborn insistence on pursuing a man's profession.
      • Sarit (b. 1197), married to Jens of Roskilde the architect
      • Elishiva (b. 1199) the bookworm, now a historian for the magi, married to Joseph of Bridgenorth
      • Raziela (b. 1200), married to Shlomo ben Idan the butcher
      • Zelde (b. 1202), married to Lieber ben Arieh the tailor
      • Freyde (b. 1205), formerly the Pagegirl, courier and administration assistant for the Autocrat. Married to Daniel ben Sholem. Elevated to position of Autocrat; her parents couldn't be prouder.
      • Avieh (b. 1208), the No-Longer Youngest, married to Yoav ben Tobias the archer
      • Ari ben Sholem (b. 1212), the Baby. Being raised to take over the household some day. Already assuming farming duties.
  • Thérèse, sister-in-law and head housemaid to maga Neanne de Sulé, wife to Jérôme and mother to Aline
  • Yentl, the covenant matchmaker. Widowed. Bossy, gossipy, butts her head into everybody's business. Yahweh help you if you're single, Jewish, and of marriageable age -- she will anoint herself as your personal marriage broker until you marry.

Non-Villagers

Melverley Castle Town

For a full list, see Melverley Castle.

Wanderers

  • Godwin of Conventry, A blasphemous seller of "relics", wanderer (not really a villager), He prefers to be called a Proprietor of Dead Saints.
  • Paden Lynton, a faerie raised wanderer, he calls Melverley home the most.
  • Sir Jusef Stanislawski, a Polish knight. Departed for the east with Verloxia.