One of the Theban Tribunal’s most splendid covenants, but also one of its oddest and most inaccessible, Aegaea is an underwater sanctuary, occupying the supposed palace of Poseidon at the bottom of the Aegean Sea. It has dedicated itself to the preservation and study of legends native to the Tribunal, both contemporary and ancient. Although it is an Autumn covenant with potent magics at its disposal, its members are believed to project little power beyond their underwater domain, and are consequently dismissed by many in the Tribunal — especially given Aegaea’s Faerie aura and the strong Faerie bent of most of its magi.
The covenant was founded approximately two centuries ago by a Merinita maga named Orithyia. According to her story — she wrote several colorful accounts of her various fantastical travels, which have since become semi-legendary in the Tribunal — she was led through the seas to the site of the covenant upon her return from Arcadia by a powerful golden man with a dolphin’s tail. She believed him to be none other than Triton, the herald of Poseidon, and negotiated a pact with him for her and her followers to stay there. The magnificent underwater palace that she had been brought to could be none other than that of Poseidon, she reckoned, which, according to Homer, was named Aegaea. Thus was her covenant formed under the same name, with Triton as its patron. The Tribunal was initially sceptical of Orithyia’s claims, but Redcaps attested to the existence (and splendor) of the site and its patron.
Since its founding, Aegaea has remained a poorly understood and somewhat withdrawn presence in the Tribunal, mistrusted by many. Apart from Redcaps, very few magi have ever seen the site, although most of those who have speak warmly of their reception. Under the leadership of Lucian, it has earned a not-undeserved reputation for being a somewhat unreliable ally. Shrewd observers have noted that Aegaea’s allegiances appear to be as changeable and unpredictable as Poseidon and the seas themselves. Still, Aegaea has occasionally proved its worth to the Tribunal by dealing with underwater menaces.
Setting and Physical Description
The covenant occupies the supposed palace of the god Poseidon, which is located in a Faerie regio at the bottom of the Aegean Sea, not too far from the coast of Euboea. Inside the regio, the top level has a Faerie aura of 8. It contains a grand and elegant palace located on the sea floor, amid sumptuous gardens. Between the rocks are beautiful seaflowers of innumerable hues, and other splendid plants whose foliage shimmers seagreen. The palace is a sprawling, open structure of numerous courtyards, buildings, and towers, Greek in style, but whose composition and ornate gardens are more reminiscent of a sultan’s palace. The buildings are made of white coral and shells lined with silver and gold, and the floors are of a creamy pearllike stone, inlaid with precious gems. The magi of Aegaea have established their sancta in some of the grandest rooms and towers of the palace. Honored visitors may be received in the largest and most central chamber, which resembles an airy throne room and is lined with Doric columns. At the far end, the majestic throne of Poseidon sits empty.
The water in the top level of the regio is surprisingly airy; mortals can breathe unhindered, ink dries on parchment, and fires can even be lit. It presents some resistance to motion, but not as much as normal water. With practice, one can either walk or swim through it equally well. Peculiarly, the realm is brightly lit by constant sunshine penetrating the waters above, as if the surface was only a few dozen feet from the top of the regio, although the covenant is in fact many hundreds of feet underwater. The palace is attended by tritones — mermen with green hair and eyes. Here and there, a beautiful sea nereid (see Chapter 10: Faerie Landscape) — a half-maiden, half-fish — may be found in repose. Sea lions, dolphins, and all kinds of strange fish and sea serpents swim nonchalantly through.
Aegaea’s Patron: Triton
Aegaea is unusual in that its patron — likely one of the most powerful of all the covenant patrons — has a Faerie Might. Triton, the son and herald of the Olympian god of the sea, Poseidon, has the seeming of a great golden-skinned merman bearing a trident and carrying a conch shell trumpet with the power to calm or embolden the waves. Sometimes he is physically present at the covenant; at other times he may be far away in the Aegean Sea.
He is attended by a multitude of tritones (see also Realms of Power: Faerie, page 90), likewise mermen with the upper body of an athletic man and the lower body being a dolphin’s tail. They have green hair and eyes, and most of their upper bodies are covered by small, hard, shell-like scales. The swiftest of the tritones, the centaur-tritones, have a horse’s forelegs instead of arms. The tritones fulfill the role of warriors, messengers, and servants.