So you want to form a Night Coven

Part 3 in our ongoing series on Covens.

Today let’s talk about Night covens, what would you tell anyone thinking of starting one up.

What are the cool rituals, what kind of items would you recommend they make or look out for, what potions? Would you recommend any particular Magical Traditions to them? What kind of shenanigans do Night Covens get up to? Which Eternals should they talk to, oppose or at least have frosty silences with? How do they work in your particular nation’s magical traditions and Hearth Magics?

And the most important question, what fashion choice should Night Mages be making this season and what would you recommend for their Coven aesthetic?


So you want to form a Winter | Summer | Autumn | Spring | Day | Night Coven

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So, when you’re setting up a night centred coven I think you need to consider 3 things:

which element of the night realm draws your interest? passion, secrets, mystery.

Which eternals do you want to interact with, (I would suggest only picking two or three as it easy to get overwhelmed) not saying ignore the others but these will be the one’s you primarily focus on.

Finally how does this fit in With your nations magical traditions. Is there a lovely fit or do you need to consider if it needs a particular bent to work.

In regards to rituals initially grab one big ritual which you need the coven as a whole for and two smaller ones that you can do with less if. People can’t make events.

Finally set a goal or object that the coven is after e.g get such a such an eternal declared friend or enemy, be the go to for a particular eternal, be the best at curses etc.

Remember the night realm holds shape-shifting in its hold so everything will shift rapidly and the day relm smells.

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A previous incarnation of me had an awful lot of fun with Night Magic.

As a general rule, we always did Signs and Portents on a Friday night. We’re Wintermark with a number of Kallavesi in the coven so our S+P was flavoured with Kallavesi mysticsm and inhaling smoke from mystic herbs much in the style of Goosewhisper (mmm… Goosewhisper…)

We also had good fun with Clear Counsel of the Everflowing River. The ritual allows you to send a message to Sung to ask for their help in unravelling a mystery. Sung, being a Night Eternal, gives more questions then answers and provide enigmas, wrapped in mysteries and covered in question marks. It played nicely into some other things we were doing at the time to give us more information on something discovered during a spying mission into Barbarian territory.

We also did things like Embrace the Living Flame to grant extra hero points and Shroud of Mist and Shadow to boost the effectiveness of our Hall’s sizable amount of Military Units to boost the war effort in various territories. These also some with some tasty roleplaying effects which is always good.

Also, Chamber of Delights happy face in Naga

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If you want to be useful, be careful. The best things that Night does are really wierd bullshit that nothing else can manage. So lean strongly into your preferred brand of wierd bullshit. Because a lot of the Night rituals are so specific, make sure you have a plan for how and why you’re going to cast them.

Most of them are unlikely to have wide appeal as something to sell, and a cool ritual you never get to cast does not give you any fun! Remember you can retrain two mastered rituals per downtime if you have a new wierd plan for next event. Embrace the ever changing nature of Night!

Aesthetics
Excessive subtle smugness. Black embroidery on black. Runes that spell out messages, but aren’t obvious. Write your motto on your letterhead in a cipher just because you can. Little touches of something tactile or subtly ostentatious. Bringing snacks. More snacks. Taking it easy to the point it’s not clear if this is a ritual or Lord Byron’s Opium Club. Hey, that prop could use some more perfume, right?

Useful fun stuff so that people will pay you to act like a bunch of drugged up, wildly muttering yahoos

  • Freedom of the Soul: Essentially “Who wants a hit from my gigantic mana bong”. It’s quite useful, very fun, and you should have a lot of fun marketing it. Also can be nicely controversial as it overwrites an Anointing.
  • Embrace the Living Flame: Cheap Hero point buffs are popular, and you can scale it up. Meaning you get to involve lots of participants and targets in the fun at once.
  • Verdant Bounty of the Twilight Bayou: Okay, all it does is turn 3 mana into 5 forest resources. But that’s easily profitable if you have cheap enough mana, and scales well. Importantly, you don’t care about the actual outcome. Cool, someone hired you to make their numbers go up. What you actually care about is “I get to do a big cool performance at these people about how we’re a bunch of MYSTERIOUS WIZARDS who will HELP YOU UNCOVER HIDDEN TROVE”.
  • Unfettered Anarchy: The favoured weapon of the dignity assassin. This curse is great fun to play up, fairly cheap, and is very popular because it utterly screws over a political PC. You can reliably expect to be hired for this if you don’t mind the backlash.
  • Sift the Dreamscape’s Sands: It’s really useful, and also super wierd.

Warnings:

  • Alchemy isn’t profitable. The Eight-Spoked Wheel isn’t a sensible way to convert measures of ingots compared to trading.You should only take that ritual if your game is in “playing silly buggers with the Azoth”. It’s a plot hook and cool toy, not an industrial tool.
  • Shroud of Mist and Shadow is kind of terrible. You pay extra because it makes a unit good at both raiding and war. But since it can only do either raiding or war in a downtime, it’s not very relevant usually. You can tend to hire someone for a more specific buff in Spring or Summer.
  • Conclave of Trees and Shadow is great if you have a lot of upgraded forests and suddenly need a lot of raiding units to respond to a Wind of Fortune (Hi Navarr/Varushka). Plus you’re animating the darkness under the trees into rampaging nija murdershadows, so it’s cool. However it is usually a giant waste of mana to attach to an army.
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I am part of a coven in Dawn and we have tried almost every style of night magic going. The ones that have stuck most are signs and Portents which amazingly gives incredible access to plot on a national and international scale if you can decipher the meaning of the message you’ve received. We use clear counsel of the everflowing River to get help with quests. We also deal heavily in drawing down the penumbral veil and shrouds of mists and shadow. We are fortunate enough to have 2 night lore 5 mages and they adore twilight masquerade and chamber of delights, (both of them achievable at lower lore levels but not necessarily solo). Dreams in the Witch House is an excellent scrying ritual if you’re interested but it does have some limits. From experience it’s usefulness varies depending on the army type you’re scrying on.

We also get involved with arcane projections where night has a lot of unexplored and interesting space to investigate and interact with to achieve goals.

The most important thing is that no matter how interesting the rituals seem the eight spoke wheel and retrograde wheel don’t see much if any use in play.

Night magic is really broad and there are tons of options and opportunities to get involved in really cool plot with or without eternal’s involvement.

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@Jim, I’ve seen Shroud of Mist and Shadow be useful, it gives you slightly less bang for your buck but it does mean your Coven can do both. Which can be useful if your looking to do a quick ritual on a Friday to use one of your coven slots, or last thing on Sunday, without having to herd any cats other than your own Coven. Being able to do things on the fly if you only hear about a need for military units to go do a thing at the last minute is useful.

Conclave of Trees and Shadow is useful for those “BRING ME EVERYONE!” moments. Where people are screaming for military units and there’s two or three things that the Empire absolutely has to do in the coming season, you can step up and give people with forests a way to help. Again it’s not an every event thing, but boy was it useful when we needed to go sack the Grendel’s capital :slight_smile: .

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Yeah, agreed. In fact, I recall throwing money, motivation and mana at recommending your lot to do that ritual for that exact “DEATH TO THE GRENDEL” reason.

The warning’s there because these rituals are much more the the “Arm the trawlers and break out the museum pieces” tools than a generally effective measure. Like I said, Conclave of Trees and Shadow is great for Opportunities but it’s pretty hopeless to try and sell as an economic buff.

Especially as for the latter case, it doesn’t compare favourably to “pay the fee to change to a military unit for a season, then explain how you have BATTLE LUMBERJACKS” unless you have an upgraded forest.

If you can understand where stuff is good and where it’s limited, you get the best chance to do as much magic as possible :slight_smile:

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