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 Verditius 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 first of Memnos’ creations, The Philomela is 72 feet long, and houses the laboratories of two magi. Its captain is Verecunda of Verditius. The Philomela sets the pace and direction of the fleet, since its timbers are enchanted with magic that compels and directs the wind under the control of its captain.
: The second of Favonius’ magical ships, and at 18 feet longer than The Philomela, big enough for three laboratories. Its captain is Aeliophanes of Flambeau.
: The principle trading vessel of Favonius, The Procne is a typical example of the round ships that ply the Aegean Sea. It is 60 feet long with one deck devoted nearly entirely to hold space. Its captain is Basil of Andros.
: This ship is little more than a barge; at 115 feet long and 40 feet wide, it is the largest and least maneuverable of the covenant’s vessels, and serves as the common space for the magi to hold meetings. When the magi are not using it, the hold of The Halcyon is used to store the most expensive and delicate supplies of the covenant. Kept at the center of the fleet, The Halcyon is enchanted with spells that quell violent waves in its immediate vicinity, and thus is important to the safety of the covenant.
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.
Favonius’ Patron: Dryops
Dryops was once simply a woodpecker spirit (one of the Fauni, see Realms of Power: Magic, page 103), but its ambition and restlessness soon brought it the status of a genius loci of the wood on a mountain. Yet Dryops was still dissatisfied: as a bird spirit it has been able to move, but now it was fixed to a location. When Memnos suggested his plan, Dryops was eager to partake. Through Transformation (Realms of Power: Magic, page 52), Dryops surrendered its role as a Daimon and a genius loci, and once more became a wandering spirit. Favonius currently owes a major debt to Dryops, whose powers gave the covenant its life. Every time the spirit uses its Regio power, it permanently loses 15 points from its Might. However, the adventures it experiences as the spirit of the covenant’s fleet makes it content to shoulder this burden.
To those with Second Sight, Dryops appears as a goose-sized woodpecker, with a black-and-white-spotted body and a red face. He is normally seated in the rigging of one of the ships.