A couple of months ago, someone posted rules for playing Ars Magica solo adventures on the Atlas Games forum. Over the winter holidays, I had some time to play with this, and found the system somewhat inspiring. Today, I’ll post the covenant I created for this. The covenant of Aquae Sulis is based somewhat on the information found in Mythic Locations, published by Atlas Games.
Aquae Sulis was founded north of the town of Bath, shortly after a new set of baths were uncovered within a strong magical aura. In a surprising show of solidarity, the covenants of the Stonehenge Tribunal, fearing interference from Durenmar or other powerful covenant, founded a covenant dedicated to the preservation of and research into (not to mention profitable use of) the magical baths. Founded in 1160, the covenant is housed under the cover of the Hospital of Saint James. There is a bath used by patrons and patients of the hospital, and the hidden, magical bath, along with six laboratory spaces beyond that. The magi have living space, a council meeting room, and library in houses in the neighborhood.
The current members of Aquae Sulis are two of its founders, Boniface ex Jerbiton and Medicus ex Bonisagus, and their respective filii, Concentus (recently gauntleted) and Scholastica (gauntleted in 1190). A fifth magus, Natan ex Criamon joined the covenant in 1203. Currently, only Boniface, Medicus, and Scholastica serve on the covenant Council. The other named character (so far) is a monk with healing skills, Brother Anselm. The stories generated will focus on Concentus.
I originally tried outlining the covenant using the build points in the Covenants book, but that turned out to be more bookkeeping than I wanted, so I picked a few things from there and returned to the core rules book to hash out other crunchy bits …
- The neighborhood around St. James has a weak magical aura (2). The hospital itself has a dominion aura of 2 during the day, but a magical aura of 2 at night. The hospital baths have a magical aura of 3, and the labs and magical baths have an aura of 5.
- Aura, minor (x2): The aura around the bath and labs is increased to 5.
- Healthy Feature, minor: The baths themselves provide this feature.
- Prestige, minor: The magical baths give the covenant some level of prestige in the order.
- Dedicated, major: The covenant gets support from the Stonehenge Tribunal to keep the baths safe and working.
- Superiors, minor: Concentus, while the main character in the stories, is not charge of the covenant.
- Regio, minor: There is a magical regio entrance in the bathing area. The regio has not been seriously explored as it is difficult to enter.
- Road, minor: Various mundanes visit the area, in search of a cure, or simply “taking the waters”.
- House Church, minor: The hospital, as is customary, has a chapel at one end.
- Hermetic Services, major: As a covenant dedicated to protecting the baths, and providing service to Order, there will be many Hermetic visitors.
- The library is not terribly well-stocked, although it has some significant summae and tractatus on Creo and Corpus. Also, due to the research nature of the covenant, and a significant Bonisagus leaning, there are some serious books on Magic Theory as well.
- Vis Sources:
- The bath springs yield four pawn Creo vis each year, in the form of mineral deposits that form around the Roman drains.
- As people started using the non-magical part of the baths, it was discovered that the water contained four pawns of Corpus vis each year. A variant of Gather the Essence of the Beast needs to be cast to gather the vis into one place in the pool.
- Magi who bathe in the magical bath leave an oily residue containing one pawn of Vim vis. Some magi believed that this vis might also be an arcane connection to themselves, so it is customary for the bathing mage to provide a pawn of Vim vis in exchange for the bath workers gathering and returning their personal “vis oil”. For bookkeeping purposes, I am saying that the covenant gains four pawns of Vim vis from visiting magi.
- It is also customary for visiting magi to provide vis to the covenant for the benefits it provides; again, for bookkeeping purposes, this is eight pawns of random vis per year.
- There are another four pawns of vis per year available to the covenant, which I listed as two Muto and two Auram. I’ll have to come up with reasons and stories for those later.
- Vis Stores: The covenant currently keeps five pawns of each type of vis in its stores, and 12 pawns of Creo and 10 Corpus. Excess vis is divided among council members; Natan and Concentus must petition the council if they wish to have access to covenant vis.
- Enchanted Items: A healing bed and a candlestick that freshens the air.
- Specialists: The covenant has two healers: Brother Anselm, and another unnamed. There were enough build points for another specialist with skill level 3, but I have not put him/her in place yet.
I’ll post the first few years of stories I came up with based on the solo adventure rules soon. I’ll post Concentus’ stats next week.