Melverley Castle

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Ars Magica: Nova Semitae Saga
Game Start
Anno Domini MCCXX, hiems
A.D. 1220, winter
5 Neanne 1, Hiems
Game Year
Anno Domini MCCXXXV, aestas
A.D. 1236, summer
7 Aulus 2, Aestas
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 · Vitria
Ysabelo discipulus Aulus
Esyllt discipula Geoffrey
Sigrun discipula Magni
Hermetic Status
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
Hortense of House Bonisagus
The Covenant
Covenant Charter · Membership Record
Record of Offices · Covenant Service
Council Voting Records · Hermetic Politics
Stonehenge Tribunal
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 Experts
Covenant Mechanics
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
Castle Melverley

Deep in Haimwood and overlooking the River Vyrnwy, Castle Melverley is Sir William's residence and the administration center for the Melverley estate, at least as far as governmental paperwork is concerned. In reality, the majority of the governance is handled at Graystone or in the covenant proper and the Lord and Lady often find it better to walk or ride into town to see everyone rather than try and summon them to the forest castle. It does, however, serve to receive noble guests and, quite importantly, gather and secure the taxes to be sent to Angad (and from there to Llywelyn).

Castle Melverley proper is a large, single-structure stone fortification summoned forth by a casting of Summon the Noble's Manor. The structure is both surprisingly ornate and fabulously engineered, the creation of an exceptional finesse casting by Geoffroy and the well-planned designs of the village's master architect Jans of Roskilde. Separated from the greater village of Melverley by the thick barrier of Haimwood, the castle and its outbuildings act much like their own miniature village or industrial estate. About half the employees and laborers live on-site, while the rest live with family in the village.

Melverley Castle

Example Decorations
Technically a tower keep rather than a true castle (outer walls have yet to be built), Melverley Castle was constructed with defense in mind. The structure's main entrance is located on the first floor with the leading stairs running along the manor's wall offset by 90 degrees. A small, secondary iron door on the ground floor opens directly onto the river. The windows are small and high, though a few stained-glass reliefs illuminate the chapel's polished interior.

The interior of the castle is a marvel of modern design, demonstrating a refinement of French influences brought by Geofrey's experiences, Jans' Romanesque architecture, and Willam's fond descriptions of the many manors and castles of the Greek (Byzantine) and Islamic worlds.

Castle Library

Located in a small room on the third floor of the castle, the library primarily serves as an archive room for the manor's tax records and legal cases It does, however, also contain a few academic texts worth studying, and a small desk upon which to study or write.

  • Liber Abaci by Leonardo of Pisa. Summa Lv ? Q?

Falconer's Mew

One of the castle outbuildings positioned close to the entrance, this wooden structure houses the six falcons gifted to William and Cathrine by Lady Angharad for their wedding. Attached to it is a small domicile for the Falconer and his apprentice.

Personalities of Melverley Castle

These characters primarily live in or work around Melverley Castle out in Haimwood. As the castle is less than 3 miles from Graystone, there is plenty of exchange between them and the village proper.

Lord and Lady

Sir William Cromwell, Lord of Melverley

Lord William is a long wondering veteran of two crusades who returned to England with Joshua Levi. After living as one of the covenfolk for a few years, he was made Lord of Melverley by Lady Angharad ferch Madog at the end of a very complicated set of dealings following her marriage. A born warrior and adventurer, he would rather leave the details of management to another, like his wife. (Companion character.)

Catherine of Pulverbatch, Lady of Melverley

Lady Catherine, originally of Pulverbatch, was raised by her strong-willed mother and originally engaged to Sir William as a political move to keep her from being ceased by a local noble. After he became landed and the couple got to know each other, they decided to go through with the marriage after all. Growing up with her mother (who ran the family estate) then serving as a lady-in-waiting to Angharad (who also runs much of her land) Catherine has no problem taking over the management of the estate.

Men at Arms

The various bachelor knights who have made their way to the Covenant are the only full-time Men at Arms that Wiliam maintains, though the sum of the hunters and woodsmen would make a not-insignificant garrison if mustered in an emergency.

Ritter Sigmund

Sigmund is a German knight bound to a holy relic embedded in his sword.

Sir Daniele d'Audrieu

Sir Daniele is a Norman knight and experienced merchant who much prefers trading to combat.

Squire Louis

Louis is the squire assigned to Sir Daniele to provide him with an appropriate retainer for his station. In actuality, he is much closer to the notion of a martial warrior than Daniele is. He also competes with Daniele for attracting attention from ladies; Louis is much more successful in this endeavor, however, attracting attention when Daniele would be scorned and ignored.


William maintains two skilled craftsmen explicitly for the purpose of maintaining the Manor and its outbuildings. Several other carpenters and tanners are also employed but are primarily dedicated to producing material for sale on the market.


Suntje is a young female blacksmith from Yorkshire who relocated to Melverley to find a place where she should open her own shop. She is now the in-house metalworker for the Melverley estate, working on everything from tools to cookery.

Unnamed Woodworker

Household Staff

Melverley Castle maintains a staff of about a dozen people, split largely between the assistant staff to the resident knights and kitchen staff which finds itself often cooking for both the castle's inhabitants and most of the woodsmen.

Woodsmen and Others

Haimwood, gifted to Sir William as part of his demise, serves as the castle's primary income source and employment. The forest is used in a few different ways, with copped wood bundled for fires, large oaks felled for timber, and its animals managed and hunted to provide fur and leather. William made a point early on to track down and hire an experienced forester who would be able to set up the industry in a productive and sustainable way. The hunting and trapping is managed by the manor's ranger, with William generally only getting involved when the two are in conflict.

Braeden Abrahams

A young child from the covenant, Braeden is a naturally skilled hunter with a unique ability to sense the nature of the wilderness around him. He's become something of an expected but star apprentice to the Ranger, much to the annoyance of the boy's mother, who would prefer he would spend more time at home.

Manorial Court

These are petitions to Sir William as the Lord of Melverley.

Requester Request
Dean of Marchia representing Bishop Abraham

Josef ben Gavrel, Autocrat of Melverley, representing the Magi of Nova Semitae
Bishop Abraham has found it distasteful to send his dean to speak to the jewish Autocrat regarding use of the unattended vacant chapel (Chapel of St. Catherine of Alexandria), and refuses to acknowledge Josef ben Gavrel, or indeed the magi, as having ‘proper’ authority over the vacant church. Instead, he petitions to Sir William to negotiate assigning a proper Welsh priest and to build a proper ‘living’ (benefice) for this resident priest.

Josef ben Gavrel, Autocrat of Nova Semitae and Melverley village, requests Sir William to redirect the bishop’s dean to the Council of Magi if he does not wish to deal with the Autocrat.