Ars Magica Theban Tribunal
Favonius is an unconventional covenant — a flotilla of four main ships accompanied by a host of
others, in constant movement around the Aegean Sea. It is the creation of Memnos, one of the most
famous Verditii alive, and is driven to constant movement by its thrill-seeking patron spirit.
Some fifty years ago, Memnos, of House Vertidi conceived a daring plan for a new covenant. In his travels through mainland Greece he encountered Dryops, a genius loci (a magical spirit of a place) who was dissatisfied with its lot. Infected with the dreaded disease of boredom, the spirit desired to travel and see the world. Memnos agreed to give the spirit what it desired, in return for a portion of its magical power. He arranged for the spirit’s mountainside forest of oak trees to be felled and brought down to his island workshop on Andros, carrying the spirit with it. It took him decades of planning before he began his opus, a ship made from Dryops’ wood. The spirit would inhabit the ship, and as part of the deal, use its powers create a Magic regio in which to set up a laboratory. The ship was enchanted with protective spells, and prepared for its launch. Unfortunately, during the construction of the ship, Memnos acquired a deathly fear of the sea, so it was his apprentice who became the first captain of the covenant. Named The Philomela, the ship sailed the Aegean for many years, gradually accumulating a number of other vessels that housed the companions and grogs of the covenant. When a second ship (The Procne) from Memnos’ shipyard was launched and joined The Philomela,
the covenant’s name was changed to Favonius after the favorable west wind. Two more ships
have since been added, The Tereus and The Halcyon. Memnos is currently building a fifth and
final magical ship for the covenant.
Setting and Physical Description
The covenant of Favonius consists of four round ships, and a dozen or so auxiliary vessels.
Two of the main ships are constructed from Dryops’ wood, and bear both an aura and a regio that are exactly the same size as the ship itself. The magi’s living quarters are on the mundane level of the regio, in a Magic aura of 2. However, each is configured with a secret way into the regio, which has a Magic aura of 3. This extra space serves as the magus’ laboratory.
The four main ships are:
- The Philomela
- The Tereus
- The Procne
- The Halcyon
Some of the other ships are Memnos’ early creations. Some have Sails and Rudders of Quality, others have minor enchantments to enhance speed or maneuverability.
Culture and Traditions
Favonius keeps clear of the major shipping lanes so as to keep a low profile, and
is constantly on the move. It is most commonly found in the Aegean Sea, but has
made journeys to the Black Sea, to Cyprus and Egypt, and to Sicily. Most of the time the ships remain together, but the smaller cogs that sail with it are often outriders that keep an eye on local traffic — particularly naval vessels. Favonius is usually amenable to giving passage to magi from other covenants if it does not take them too far out of their way, but since they rarely have a destination in mind they rarely refuse such a request. If it is inconvenient or distant, they may ask for the neutralization of a shard for one of their members, but even this is occasionally waived if the journey takes them
somewhere new. Although Dryops has never complained about the loss of Might it suffered to create new regiones for the covenant, the magi have agreed to devote time and effort to find ways to restore this lost Might to their patron. This means that they are often slaves to the
whim of the spirit, who has different ideas than they do about what constitutes excitement
and adventure; such escapades often place the covenant in not-inconsiderable danger. However, the spirit has recovered sufficiently to entertain the suggestion put to
it by Memnos of adding an additional sanctum
ship to Favonius.
The covenfolk of Favonius have been gathered from all over the Mediterranean Sea, and use the Lingua Franca to communicate with each other. The number of covenfolk varies with the season; some overwinter with their families on various islands. A dozen small cogs and scores of skiffs and rafts comprise the flotilla.