If a House’s domus magna is defined as the home of the primus, then Ingasia — an autumn covenant on the island of Lemnos — is the domus magna of House Verditius. Having recently become primus, Stouritus of House Verditius has decided to remain at his home covenant instead of relocating to Verdi. Typically self-consumed, most Verditius magi aren’t particularly concerned with where the domus magna is, and Stouritus’ decision has not had any effect. As 1234 draws closer, the date of the next Verditius Contest, this issue will become much more important.
Ingasia has housed Gifted enchanters for centuries, since long before the Order of Hermes existed. During the heyday of the Greek gods, Hephaestus built a forge on Lemnos and gathered and trained Gifted individuals to assist him. The Gifted wizards remained after the god’s departure, living apart to mitigate the innate hostility and suspicion they felt for each other, but continuing to work at the forge. Though never prosperous, the wizards of the forge endured, training apprentices and continuing their tradition of magical enchantments.
With the introduction of the Order of Hermes and Parma Magica, the wizards could truly work together, and membership blossomed from two to three to six and more. Legally, Ingasia was founded after Verdi; but historically, Ingasia was the first forge created by Hephaestus. This has given Ingasia’s members the idea that the covenant is older and more venerable than Verdi.
As the Order grew, so did Ingasia. It remained neutral in the many mundane wars that scarred Thebes, and in the various strifes that rocked the Order. Manufacturing and selling enchanted items to both sides of any conflict, Ingasia avoided favoring one faction over another. The fall of Constantinople has complicated the situation, however. Lemnos was awarded to Venice as one of the spoils of the crusade, and has been under her control since 1204. The Venetians naturally wanted to claim the whole island and all of its products, including the valuable Lemnia Sphragis (Lemnian Earth) — reddish earth mined near the city of Hephaestia and used as an astringent for hemorrhages and snakebites. The seizure of this profitable resource has diminished Ingasia’s finances, forcing the magi to raise their prices on sold enchanted items.
Setting and Physical Description
Lemnos is shaped like an upside down “U,” with a deep natural bay on the southern side of the island. Most of the island is flat and covered in fertile grain fields, gently sloped pastures, and olive tree groves. Several sandy beaches and port towns house a sizable population. The two largest towns are Myrina on the western coast, and Hephaistia on the northeastern coast. The northwest corner of the island is rockier. Its two highest peaks are Mt. Vigla and Mt. Mosychlos, the second of which is an active volcano. While it hasn’t erupted in centuries, Mt. Mosychlos is the site of the ancient Forge of Hephaistos and the location of the covenant of Ingasia.
Ingasia is a collection of stone houses that dot the slopes of Mt. Mosychlos. One large stone building serves as the covenant’s meeting hall and entrance to the labyrinth that lies underneath the side of the volcano. Each magus has his own above-ground residence, but the laboratories, vis stores, and libraries are located underground in the labyrinth. The labyrinth runs throughout Mt. Mosychlos, with many hidden tunnels and secret caverns. While past residents may have explored all of it, the current magi haven’t, and only use the tunnels that lead to familiar rooms. In the center of this labyrinth is the Forge of Hephaistos, the center point of the covenant’s Magic aura of 4, near the molten core of the volcano. The forge has been converted into a Hermetic laboratory, specialized to provide a +8 bonus to Rego magic and a +5 bonus to creating enchanted items. The magi share this space, besides using their individual laboratories.
Ingasia’s stated purpose is to continue the traditions of House Verditius. It serves the Tribunal as a whole by strictly retaining its neutral position and continuing to sell manufactured enchanted items to all parties who can afford the cost.
Patron Spirit: Mosychlos
Ingasia’s patron spirit is Mosychlos, the volatile genius loci of the volcano that bears its name. The spirit has little interest in the magi, and the magi were happy to parasitically live in the spirit’s Magic aura. When the Thebes Tribunal was founded, however, and every covenant was required to have a patron spirit, the magi of Ingasia created a formal pact with the spirit.
Mosychlos is cantankerous and ornery. His grumbling can shake the ground, sometimes collapsing some of the labyrinth’s tunnels, and in his ire he can send molten lava flooding into the tunnels nearest the volcano’s core. Through the oath of his formal binding, he has promised to minimize these occurrences, but they still happen periodically. The magi have reacted by creating several enchanted devices that will prevent the magma flow and shore up the tunnels. As long as the devices are in place, there is nothing to fear from Mosychlos.