Polyaigos

A robust Autumn covenant, Polyaigos has dedicated itself to the protection and defense of the Theban Tribunal and its magi. Correspondingly its members, the undisputed masters of their island home on the Aegean Sea, possess a considerable degree of martial and magical prowess. Rather than posing a threat to the Tribunal’s other covenants, however, they are widely appreciated and respected for their tireless service. Whenever magi are threatened by war, conflicts, or renegade magi and hedge wizards, magi from Polyaigos are first to stand up in defense of the Order. Due to this positive reputation, their famed apprentice school, and their closeness to the Tribunal gathering site of Delos, Polyaigos tends to receive many visitors.

History

During the 11th century, the small Cycladic island of Polyaigos became infested with a nest of stringles witches (see The Sundered Eagle, Chapter 12: Infernal Landscape). These tainted crow-women plagued the Cyclades, including Delos. When it was discovered that a renegade Flambeau magus was hiding in their midst, aiding their depravities, the People’s Assembly of the Tribunal called for action. The hoplite Quaesitor Laskaris battled his way onto the island, whereupon he encountered a native drakos (see The Sundered Eagle, Chapter 10: Faerie Landscape), Varazes; he hastily negotiated an alliance with the faerie giant against their common enemy. Laskaris engaged the renegade in a magic duel and managed to protect Varazes so that the giant was able to bludgeon the Flambeau to death. After having killed or evicted the witches and cleansed the site, he decided to found a covenant on the spot, which he named after the island. Resolving that the Tribunal must respond more forcefully and swiftly against such enemies in the future, Laskaris pledged his covenant to this purpose.

Since then, the magi of Polyaigos have notched up several successes against various enemies of the Tribunal, earning the respect and trust of most — but not all — of the Theban magi. In the course of gradually building up their own strength, which is by now considerable, they have made a point of collaborating with nearby covenants instead of antagonizing them.

Setting and Physical Description

Polyaigos is a small island on the western edge of the Cyclades, four miles by three miles across. It is rocky and mostly barren, with two thousand-foot-high peaks. The higher peak is the focal point of the covenant, atop which the magi have constructed a watchtower that also serves as the council chamber and library. Further downslope, eight dragonhouses (drakos-houses) are equidistant from the peak, arranged in an octagonal shape. One is directly north from the peak; its neighbor is northeast from the peak, and so on. The dragonhouses are crude-looking but very solid structures, squat and conical, made out of large boulders and slates. The covenant’s founder, Laskaris, sought out the aid of an expert in Hermetic Architecture (see The Mysteries Revised Edition, page 97), both in determining the best arrangement of the buildings and to instantiate a Magic aura to replace the Infernal one. Most of the labor was undertaken by the giant Varazes, who heaved the boulders for the houses from all over the island. Each dragonhouse has two floors, consisting of the living quarters and laboratory of its resident. Over the years, the Magic aura surrounding the peak and the sancta has strengthened to 4.

The lower peak, Stroggylo, is topped with a larger dragonhouse that houses the covenant’s patron, Varazes. It has a Faerie aura of 2. Dotted around the isle are the remains of other such houses; some are by now reduced to merely a few clumps of great boulders. In the center of the island, in a flat and greenish spot, is a small village of stone buildings that is the home of the covenfolk. At the center of the village is a square bell tower, surrounded by four pavilions which are used for military practice and communal teaching. The pavilions are surrounded by barracks, kitchens, stables, and other workshops and lodgings.

Apart from the covenant and its patron, there are no other settlements on the island — it is a rocky wilderness overrun by wild goats (the name Polyaigos means “many goats”). Three miles to the west lies the significantly larger and greener inhabited island of Melos, where the covenant sources many of its basic goods.

Polyaigos’ Patron: Varazes

Polyaigos is unusual in that it has a Faerie patron, yet the covenant itself is strongly associated with Magic. Indeed, it has a Magic aura, with few, if any, of its magi showing a deep interest in the fay. Varazes is a huge drakos — a faerie giant possessed of immense bravery and strength — who considers himself the island’s protector. While he is a formidable ally, his stupidity and clumsiness sometimes make him a bit of a liability to the covenant, which he visits when bored and lonely. He tends to become hopelessly infatuated with any attractive female visitors, which is always an awkward situation requiring some delicate diplomacy to resolve peacefully. The magi some time ago promised to find Varazes a suitable wife, but seem to have thus far made little progress towards this goal. If offended, he may take the form of a huge serpent, although his blocky human-like head doesn’t change shape.

Polyaigos

Arethusa Ascendant ChrisH