The Covenant of Dragonclaw

Current Magi: Caitlin, ex Miscellenea | Erin of Merinita | Felix of Bjornaer
Fidelis of Bonisagus | Reynaud of Tytalus | Septimus of Verditius | Thomas of Jerbiton

Dragonclaw is located in North Wales some 15 miles West of Chester, in a valley of the River Clwyd. It lies within the borders of the Palatinate of Chester. Within the palatinate, the Earl of Chester has the powers of a King: to raise armies, taxes, make changes to law, influence the appointment of clergy. (The only other palatinate is that of Durham, ruled by the Bishop of Durham). The Earl of Chester is thus one of the most powerful lords in England.

Dragonclaw was founded in 1164 by Sirius of Tytalus and Hermione of Tremere with few resources but access to a reasonable site and a good supply of vis. To avoid mundane problems, Sirius negotiated a deal with Hugh, Earl of Chester (see below) and renegotiated with his son Ranulf de Blundeville when he inherited after his father's death in 1180.

In 1208, Dragonclaw made an appeal at tribunal for new members, and the new magi arrived between 1209 and 1215. Hermione disappeared in 1215 soon after the last tribunal and Sirius declared that she had gone into Final Twilight. Her body was never found. Sirius himself left in 1218, leaving the covenant to the newcomers. He remains officially a member of the covenant (and even has a chair in the council chamber), but has not been seen by anyone since 1219.

Dragonclaw is a large stone manor house on three stories with two magically-created towers in opposite corners. There are separate buildings for the kitchens, stores, stabling and for the accomodation of the grogs. Surrounding it all is a stone wall, 20 feet tall and topped with a walkway. There is a small gatehouse. The wall and gatehouse were constructed magically by Sirius.

The well in the main courtyard not only provides water but also is a source of Creo vis (from moss growing on its side). The aura of Dragonclaw is +5 (magical)

There are 20 reasonably well-trained and motived grogs with average armour and armaments guarding the covenant, and there are a further 20 non-combatant covenfolk. The covenant has half a dozen horses for general use - none trained to take gifted magi. The autocrat (the person who runs the day to day affairs of the covenant) is a bossy woman called Megan. She is loyal as far as you know. It is a source of worry however that the covenfolk tend to follow her orders rather than those of the magi.

There are 10 pawns of each type of vis and reasonable amount of silver and general stores.

The pact with Hugh, and later Ranulf, was negotiated by Sirius and is verbal. Sirius made it clear to the earls what he was and what he could do, but that he was only interested in a quiet life. The earls were powerful in their own right and similarly had other things on their minds. The deal is simple: that the magi of the Dragonclaw never interfere in the affairs of Chester, and never openly use magic in view of the mundanes, pretending to be a community of scholars. They should pay a reasonable amount of taxes on a yearly basis to the earl's constable. In return, the Earls of Chester will never interfere in the affairs of Dragonclaw, charge only the agreed amount of tax, and not bring legal actions against the covenant with the aim of destabilising it, nor should they bring the covenant to the attention of the church.

Hugh was quite happy to agree to the pact, and completely ignored the covenant for the last 16 years of his life. Ranulf is a religious man, but also extremely practical and distracted by troubles in England. With judicious persuasion by Sirius and Hugh's constable, John (who had come to like his annual trips to the strange manor) Ranulf managed to persuade himself that continuing the pact was acceptable. So far he has kept his part of the bargain. In 1218 he left England on Crusade to the Holy Land and has only recently returned. In the interim, his loyal constable kept an eye on the pact.

Nearby covenants: the nearest covenant is Cad Gadu, the Ex Miscellenea domus magnus. It however is in deep winter and there is no contact. Similarly to the North, there is the covenant of Ungulus, but it too is in Winter and quiet. Your nearest active neighbour is Blackthorn, a highly political and powerful Tremere dominated Autumn covenant, who lay claim to most of Wales (and its vis sources). Relations have never been good between you, and though they have never done anything that is obviously antagonistic there are recurring rumours about "bad things" happening there...

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