Magi attending from the Covenant of Valnastium

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Our covenant; that the art of magic be illuminated always by the magic of art.

Originally constructed as a repository for the relics and icons saved from the iconoclasm of Leo III after the Siege of Constantinople in in 717, The Domus Magnus of House Jerbiton is concealed in one of the less accessible valleys of the Dolomiti Alpine region. The local weather is always regulated and temperate, and the Covenant buildings; gleaning marble palaces and magnificent sprawling villas raised by the early Primi, punctuate geometric formal gardens and steep, fertile vineyards.

At its heart is a true wonder; the Temple of the Muses, transported magically from the Eastern slopes of Mount Helicon in Greece. The Temple casts a magical aura across the basin and holds the finest library in the Order pertaining to mundane matters. The Redcaps carry a constant stream of research requests to the library, and those who have had requests granted tell of a rather disorientating and impenetrable cataloguing 'system' with books and manuscripts laying strewn and exposed on stacks of bare wooden planks.

Read more about the Covenant of Valnastium here

Chapterhouse: The Primus' Coterie

Dwelling among the villas and temples of the main covenant is the court of the Primus, modelled on a Byzantine Roman model, with all the decadence, politics and chicanery that entails. Valnastium has always been resistant to chapterhouses and seeks to keep the covenant's power and resources centralised at Valnastium itself.

Prima and Archmaga-Petitioner ex Jerbiton, known as Gravin Erzbet von Schyr
played by Therese Austin

Casiodoras became Prima Jerbiton after a rapid rise to prominence and is seen as a stabilising force in the House after the political disasters of the last thirty years. At a still-young 65, she possesses prodigious charm and diplomatic acumen which led in no small part to her election. In general her policy favours personal contact with ranking mundanes, stressing the benefits of co-operation. She has so far managed to keep the House together through sheer force of will. Taken very seriously by the Church (she is devoutly religious and under a male disguise, active in local Church affairs) and by the nobility of the region, her relative youth and, if we are honest, at best average magical talents gave her little Hermetic respect. She has sought to address that by pursuing the title of Archmaga and now lacks only the last component - a successful challenge against a sitting Archmage in their chosen challenge, which she proposes to complete at Tribunal.

Secundus and Maga ex Jerbiton
played by Katherine Bird

Constance is a leading member of the Craft School, a Hermetic movement that prizes beautiful and functional objects. Like most Crafters she is a mage-smith. She creates intricate laboratories, whose towering, twisting structures soar and gleam. Although some of her laboratory designs are practical only for a few specialist magi, few are unmoved by the grandeur of her creations. Politically, she aligns closely with Casiodorus although she is less overtly religious than he is. While Casiodorus manages affairs with external parties, Constance manages the House's relations with its Hermetic brethren and is therefore expected to be the more active of the two at Tribunal. She is a voice of calm and reason, although she does have her little foibles when it comes to needless destruction of things of beauty. More than one clumsy or spiteful magus has seen her wrong side and still has the scars to prove it.

Magus ex Tytalus, known as The Muse
played by Dan Avery

The only non-Jerbiton resident at the covenant, Carmine was initially Casiodoras' model, but also became her lover, then husband, an open secret which isn’t discussed, but which he doesn’t deny. He has two mundane children in their twenties whose paternity is unclear, but most Jerbiton suspect they are Casiodoras' children, under Roman adoptive law, if not in the flesh. Carmine has built a place for himself within the society of the covenant. He maintains good relations with the Secundus, is a popular host in the community, and is an accomplished musician. He is also quick to volunteer to aid the covenant whenever unseemly violence is deemed necessary. For one of his House, he seems unusually quiet, leading many to suspect that still waters run deep, and may have drowned more than one unwary swimmer.

Tertius and Maga ex Jerbiton
played by Kirsty March

A maga of middle years, and the latest successor to an intermittent line of librarian-magi active at Valnastium. She holds the position of Head Librarian (a position usually seen an menial and given to mundanes), and trains other librarians, who are then passed on to other covenants, and they carry with them the techniques of their school. Valnastium’s library, a genuine Temple of the Muses moved stone by stone from Greece, is one of the finest in the Order for research into mundane matters. Magi journey from distant corners of the Order to consult this immense collection, while others send reference queries and loan requests through the redcap network. Under Kalliope, Valnastium library has developed radical techniques of classification, divergent to those used by the Church, and some of these have diffused throughout the Order.

Chapterhouse: The Alchemist's Quarter

The Alchemist's Quarter Chapterhouse located in the city of Prague, in the now-collapsed and defunct territory of the Rhine Tribunal. There are some arguments about whether it should count as a covenant of that Tribunal instead of a chapterhouse of Valnastium but any effort to discuss this is headed off at Tribunal. Their interests lie in the interface between divine, traditional and Hermetic magic, and they have established themselves on the fringes of the city's Alchemist's Quarter.

Albertus Magnus
Archmage ex Jerbiton, also known as Albert of Lauingen and Doctor Universalis
played by Scott Walker

One of the most famous figures of the age, Albertus lived a long and full public life in the thirteenth century as a theologian, Dominican friar and a bishop of Regensburg, serving as the heart of the clandestine Jerbiton effort to steer the Church to rapprochement with the Order. He "died" in 1280 and retired from public life to a more conventional role as magus, and is now at the forefront of the efforts to establish a chapterhouse - intended in time to become a covenant of its own - in Prague. Ferociously intelligent and well read across Hermetic, Catholic, Muslim and Judaic philosophy, he is an animated debater on many topics and welcomes the society of other magi - he and Albannach frequently debate in front of an audience. His fame makes him an object of strange fascination for Archmage Kheperi.

Do any need me to enumerate the deeds of note attributable to Doctor Unversalis? He is one of the most famous figures of the last fifty years in Europe, magical or mundane. His works of philosophy and magic are legend. Few indeed are the magi who earn the cognomen "Magnus" - "The Great" - and none other through universal accolade like Albertus. His challenge, in which he remains as ever unbeaten for all the attempts of may, is to triumph over him in a debate on the nature of the human soul. Use all the magic you like - Albertus' wits alone will defeat you.

Maga ex Bonisagus
played by Shelley Birchenough

Traditionally, Durenmar used to pay a tithe to Valnastium to reserve a chair at the covenant for a magus "of exceptional artistic talent" from their own House. Tillita is the current beneficiary of that, although like many of her brethren the situation around Durenmar may threaten her security. An outspoken Bohemian whose magic focusses on music of profoundest beauty, Tillita is deeply embedded in research she and her covenant fellows regard as key to the success of the Prague chapterhouse, and it's suspected that even if Valnastium refuses to find alternative ways to guarantee her chair, she will not want for offers of residence. Tillita, Jan Wojciech and Vlkava Teta are working in lockstep under the guidance of Albertus Magnus, and appear to be inseparable.

Jan Wojciech
Magus Larta ex Jerbiton
played by Lee Birchenough

Late last century, the rest of the Order caught on: some Jerbiton magi have no ability to cast spells. The first one to publicly acknowledge that she was unable to cast spells was named Larta. Her name is now used for this type of member of House Jerbiton. There are only a handful of Larta magi at any time, and Jan is the only publicly acknowledged one at present. Larta magi are not merely exceptional artists, but phenomenal virtuosi, unique talents of the age. In the various disciplines from which they come, each is the ultimate practitioner of their generation, or seems likely to become so. It’s this hint of power that prevents true rancour from developing over the adoption of Larta magi into House Jerbiton. Further, the Verditius, those Bonisagus who want to study their techniques, and of course, especially the Mercere all support this. Jan is recently announced, something of an enigma, and his virtuosity is at present not well known.

Vlkava Teta
Maga ex Jerbiton
played by Jenny Dunn

Once a magus of House ex Miscellanea, Vlkava Teta chose not to join the rest of the House in retreating to Britain, but instead petitioned for, and joined, House Jerbiton. She is the only known descendant in tradition of the three witches named in the founding myth of Prague, and is named for Teta, the second of the three. She believes that if she can find avatars of the other two sisters, Kaki and Libuse, she can invoke their power to create a magical renaissance within the city uniting competing occult forces. Much of what she says is steeped in pagan mysticism, but Albertus Magnus believes that her principles are sound and dovetail with the other specialists. Vlkava Teta trusts only the other Prague chapterhouse magi and has had negative experiences with other Hermetic magi going back at least a century, having defended herself from Wizard War and assassination on more than one occasion.

Chapterhouse: The Futurists

The Futurist's Chapter, an itinerant group that travels the Tribunal and which was recently initiated. They operate from a travelling wagon (constructed by Elissa of Mercere and believed to be a modified and customised version of the one she now uses herself) and serve as the base for one of the Tribunal's Quaesitori to travel the region adjudicating disputes without the need to raise issues at Tribunal. They are untied in a belief that the future is coming and that the way to meet it is through rapid change and dynamic action.

Magus and Quaesitor ex Jerbiton
played by Nick Meredith

Camelliard passes himself off as a travelling teller of tales and seller of relics, sometimes dressing in monkish habit as a Franciscan. Between his aspect, his wagon and his disarming charm, he travels without notice through the Alpine region and is probably the most welcomed of the Quaesitori when he arrives at a covenant. His judgement is known to be fair and based on evidence, and he interprets the Code in what he feels is the right way; he often jokes that back when the Guernicus were running the show he would have spent more time in trouble than travelling. Camelliard is also known for his tenacity; he never "gives up" on an investigation, tugging away at threads that don't lie flat often for decades after the crime. Those who feel themselves denied justice appeal most often to his talents. He and Sourdine are a close partnership.

Maga ex Jerbiton, known as the Maskmaker
played by Emma Day

A boon companion with Camelliard, Sourdine is an agent of the House, gathering information for the Three at the central Chapterhouse. Her talents of disguise, passing unseen and casting without notice are beyond compare; fortunately for the Code, she does not use such means on her fellow magi unless Camelliard so directs but instead maintains an encyclopaedic knowledge of the local mundane and church political landscape. It's said her reach extends even to the court of the Emperor, where she has an identity as Lord Roland of Val Gardenia. Sourdine was a close confidante of Casiodorus' predecessor as Primus (and served her as Maskmaker too) and while she has committed her loyalty to him, it's noted that she stays away from the central chapter since his ascension. Sourdine has a wry sense of humour and a talent for the cutting remark which draws both applause and fear that the coolness of her gaze may alight on you next.

Magus ex Jerbiton, known as the Imperial Vicar General Opizzo Fieschi, Count of Lavagna
played by Paul Benwell

A Genovese cleric, Opizzo is the elder brother of Pope Innocent IV, and held numerous positions in successive Papal Courts, before its hurried relocation to Avignon. With the Election of Pope Clement V in 1305, influence at Court swung in favour of King Philip IV of France, and Opizzo fell out of grace. Clement's complicity in the dissolution of the Templars, and subsequent assassination by witchcraft drove deep divisions between the Holy See and the Order which, despite heroic attempts by Opizzo and Albertus Magnus, led inexorably to Pope John XXII issuing the Super Illius Specula in 1320, condemning all ritual magic as diabolism and heresy. Opizzo was exiled from the Papal Court, and whilst he still wields significant temporal power through his noble mercantile family, his spiritual capital is all but spent. He travels with Camelliard's wagon, administering communion to the more remote Alpine communities and, with his cousin Bohemond, and covenant-mate Sourdine, continues to work behind the scenes to limit both Venetian and French influence on the Holy See. Perhaps Opizzo still holds hope of rescinding the Papal Bull and healing the rift with the Catholic Church, but without the direct influence he once held, it would be a Herculean task.

Magi attending from the Covenant of the Ends of the Earth - Magi attending from the Covenant of Carthago in Montibus - Magi attending from the Covenant of the Cave of Twisting Shadows - Magi Attending from the Covenant of the Icy North - Magi Attending from the Covenant of the Shadow of the Moon - Other Magi Of Interest - Possible and Petitioning Attendees

Introduction - The Order in 1346 - A Who's Who of Attendees - Rules and Techniques