The newest of the two covenants located within the city of Constantinople, Michael’s Tabula is a tightly knit group of magi, mostly of House Jerbiton, who survived the sack of the city in 1204 and who pledged to stay. These pious magi fervently oppose the presence of the crusaders; although their covenant is publicly dedicated to restoring Constantinople to its former glory, their unofficial aim is to ultimately repulse the invaders from their city, a goal in which they are receiving covert assistance from several magi and covenants sympathetic to their cause.
Michael was a famed magus of Thermakopolis (see The Sundered Eagle, Chapter 12: Infernal Landscape) and the leader of the Jerbiton magi that ultimately failed in their effort to defend Constantinople. During that covenant’s destruction, he was the last to die, heroically, in its defense. On his death bed, he, his surviving apprentice Petros, Wilrich of House Flambeau, and three other Jerbiton magi (two from Moero’s Garden and one an urban eremite) pledged their lives to the city’s defense and swore never to abandon it to the invaders. The oath of these magi was recorded on a tablet of stone, after which this new covenant was named. The surviving magi retreated into the city’s catacombs — some bitter and thirsting for revenge, others praying devoutly for deliverance — where they established new sancta and hid away their remaining magical resources. Michael’s Tabula was formally founded in 1207, at the first Tribunal after the fall of Constantinople in 1204.
Setting and Physical Description
The covenant is centered around an abandoned mithraeum (a worship site associated with the Mithraic Mysteries) beneath a ruined district in Constantinople, which has a Magic aura of 3. The magi have converted the mithraeum into a rudimentary council chamber, and have ceremonially placed Michael’s Tabula (the stone tablet) atop the former altar. They have established underground laboratories, some of which are shared, in nearby chambers. New stone walls, erected with the aid of their patron, bar all entrances to the covenant; they can only be navigated by magi in possession of magical keys. Only trusted allies are admitted to the underground site. Other visitors may be received in one of the various city residences where the magi discreetly live.
Michael’s Tabula’s Patron: Fylakas
Retreating into Constantinople’s catacombs in 1204, the founding magi discovered a mysterious entity who protected and assisted them against the marauding crusaders — a powerful humanoid figure made of rock, rising out of the ground. The magi of the covenant named it Fylakas (“guard”) and took it as their patron spirit, but have not yet managed to communicate with it at length. As a result, they know relatively little about it. The spirit possesses power over the earth; as well as controlling the gateways to the catacombs, it can cause violent earth tremors and thereby damage or collapse city buildings. There are several possibilities as to Fylakas’ true nature, the most likely being that it is an ancient earth elemental. Another possibility is that it is a demon, released from its binding during the sack of the city. If this is the case, then it is likely duping the pious magi. However, it is also conceivable that one or more of them, despite their piety, may not be above soliciting demonic aid, if it would rid the city of the Franks.