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Shadow of the Moon

Shadow of the Moon was removed from Sanctuary of Ice because it was simply too obscure,
and too similar, in a way, to Sinews of Knowledge. The covenant symbol is the part-obscured
moon, but I imagine its usually worn as a torc.
When Shadow of the Moon was removed, Journeys End was moved onto Mont Blanc. Earlier it had
been on Mount Pilatus, but now Id favour putting it on the Matterhorn, where folklore says the
Wandering Jew cursed a town, or predicted its destruction by encroaching ice.

The Shadow of the Moon is a small covenant, dedicated to a momentous, almost quixotic,
task. For hundreds of years, including lengthy intermissions, Bonisagian magi have fervently
toiled here, attempting to break the Limit of the Lunar Sphere.
Considered a weak Autumn covenant while the project progresses, and a stable winter
covenant while it is on hiatus, this covenant demonstrates a flaw in the seasonal system of
classification. All but apolitical, and incredibly insular, this winter covenant would
become the most powerful in the Order, were its researchers to succeed. No other covenant
could threaten its enemies with orbital bombardment. After its success, it would then go
through a brief period of spreading the breakthrough, then a slow period of packing up all of
the specialist equipment and determining where it should be sent next. Finally, a new
covenant would assume custodianship of its site. In some respects, Shadow of the Moon, like
other research covenants, follows the seasonal cycle in reverse.

Physical description
Physically, this covenant is unimpressive. It resembles a grain silo, surrounded by
picturesque formal gardens. Although skilfully warded with magic, its mundane defences are
poor. This structure links, via Hermetic Portal, to a series of laboratories on the summit of
Mont Blanc, the highest point in Europe. This provides two benefits to researchers, a high
aura (magic 9) and a source of vis which gives the covenant its name. Since an equivalent
aura could have been found elsewhere, and the vis can be transported to a more hospitable
site, theres no clear reason why the covenant developed here. Obscure references in the
covenant library may indicate that the third maga to undertake the research project suffered
from the Study Requirement flaw, and found Mont Blanc most congenial to her experiments.
The covenfolk dont live in the laboratory complex, because even a decades exposure to
such a high aura can imbue pronounced distortions.

This covenant is focused on a single task, and maintains only a small staff. Its library is
small, but excellent, and its members selected for their skill. During those periods when no
magus wishes to research the Limit of the Sphere, the covenant falls into a holding pattern.
During this time a member of House Bonisagus, usually from the Council of Durenmar, is
sent to oversee the covenants resources. They are allowed to continue their own researches
here, but only until another Lunarian presents himself at Durenmar, and is allowed to take up
the challenge.
Complete copies of the findings of this covenant are regularly conveyed to the Domus Magnii
of all twelve houses. This fulfils the requirement that Bonisagius magi must share their
findings, eases those worried that a new magical form may soon emerge, creates spare copies
in case the covenant is destroyed by catastrophic laboratory failure, and removes some of the
incentive for raiding by a hostile covenant. By tradition, redcaps from the home Tribunals of
each Domus come to Shadow of the Moon every seven years to receive these reports, and this
informal gathering is sometimes used for inducting apprentices, swearing oaths before
quaesitores, trading and tomfoolery.
Durenmar, and Icy North, receive yearly reports of this covenants progress. Durenmar has
extensive rights in the Shadow of the Moon Charter, which protect the integrity of the
experiment, and prevent the covenant veering into other areas of research. Icy North is the
executor, on behalf of the Tribunal, of a piece of Peripheral Code that grants a useful vis
source to the covenant, but only while the Lunar research is being actively expanded upon.
When the Shadow of the Moon is in its holding pattern, this source rejoins the Common pool,
and is distributed in Summer at the Fair.

The last tested theory

The last advance made by this project was due to a windfall that blew in from Islamic
culture. An Italian businessman, Leonardo Fibonacci, widely distributed a work called Liber
abaci The Book of the Abacus in 1202. It was based on his understanding of Hindu and
Arabic mathematics. He noted the nine figures and sign 0, used to mark magnitude by place.
He also developed the first recursive number sequences and advanced Diophantine algebra,
which are too involved to describe but can be inserted into Hermetic technobabble. His
cutting edge techniques have proven invaluable to Hermetic astronomers, some of whom
conjecture a sympathetic link between the circular zero, the spherical Earth, and the wheel of
the Heavens.

A few Hermetic magi were aware of the zero before Leonardo, since Adelard of Bath had
translated al-Kwarizimi centuries before. This work wasnt widely distributed, and wasnt
applied by the Orders researchers. Adelards followers tended to be British hedge
magicians, and innovations suggested by them crashed against the wall of assumed
superiority of all things Roman. Strong ant-Arabic sentiment felt in certain parts of the Order
is only now beginning to wane, following the successes in Spain, and it also contributed to a
preference for Roman figures.
In the contemporary Order, which figures you use are a sign of how tradition-bound you are.
After the Norman invasion of Sicily, many covenants selected displaced Arabic stewards to
work as administrators. Some of these privately used Hindu-Arabic figures, converting them
to Roman for reports to their masters. Many covenants disallowed their use, since it is easier
to alter Hindu numbers when committing fraud, and it easier to divide and multiply when
using Roman numbers, allowing magi to check the books more easily. The acceptance of
Hindu-Arabic notation by the highest levels of House Bonisagus has given it extra credibility,
and it is slowly diffusing to other Houses. Its particularly useful for merchants calculating
interest or conversion rates for coinage, so many of the senior redcaps are familiar with it,
even if some grumble and hated memorising multiplication tables.
Characters who wish to make legerdemain rolls to alter records written in Hindu-Arabic
figures add +3 to their rolls. Characters using other record-keeping skills gain a bonus of 1 if
they convert to Hindu-Arabic.

A later breakthrough
Mathematics is difficult for Hermetic magi, because they use words instead of symbols, so
for example the equation we would write as y = x2+4 reads The square root of the first
unknown, plus four, is equal to the second unknown. Leonardo makes a little step forward
in this, because in his diagrams he uses the symbols for the Greek letters alpha, beta and
gamma for his first three unknowns. Eventually a full system of signs may develop, allowing
the simpler modelling of interacting magical forces. This new method would be represented
by a bonus on all labwork.

This covenant has five members.

Yrjo fillius Rikard: Current lunarian

Yrjo is an ancient Bonisagus. Selected early as this generations Lunarian hes a genius, but
is far less capable, in most other fields, than other magi his age. Unskilled in useful spells,

ignorant of mundane matters, Yrjo lacks the psychological robustness to survive the travails
of life in the border tribunals. His progress toward the projects goal has been impressive, but
his life otherwise seems stunted. Childlike, despite his legendary intellect, Yrjo needs the
constant assistance of companions and other magi, especially since his body is becoming

Aurore filia Sabastienne

Aurore is a Bonisagus interested in divination through astrology. Although foretelling the
future accurately is impossible, since it denies the free will given to humanity by God, Aurore
is so skilled at Astrology that she is consulted on many major events. Incapable of Lunarian
research, Aurore is practical and charismatic, and supports Yrjos research by taking care of
distractions and mundanities. Politically-minded magi are glad that Aurore is generally
disinterested in the pettiness of transitionary things, like Tribunals, but all watch carefully
when she joins causes. [Thanks to Troels K. Pedersen for pointing out this place needed a
fortune teller.]

Fabian fillius Augustin

A Verditus magus, Fabian is part of a counter-tradition not officially supported by the
Project, that seeks to voyage to the Lunar Sphere by mechanical means, or through the use of
magic items. Fabians finest work, thus far, is the creation of a magical bow of enormously
long range, coupled with arrows enchanted with Waiting Spells that transport material back
to bottles in his laboratory. His greatest feat thus far is to confirm the existence of a layer of
fire between the Earth and the Sphere, although hes not going to repeat the experiment until
he finds a suitable container for elemental flame. Fabians arrows are the most dangerous
combat items the covenant has, but none of its magi have considered the military applications
of his research.

Kynthia filia Yselt

Kynthia is an elderly Merinitan maga interested in voyaging to the moon through Arcadia.
The problem is that although the Moon is of intense interest to faeries, it doesnt lie easily in
any of the four quarters of Arcadia. Is it in the Summer of Winter? Neither, really. Is it in
the Light or Darkness? How can it be in the darkness if its a light source, and since the Light
is linked to the Sun, how can it exist there? Does it lie at the true centre of Arcadia? Is it the
plain upon which Arcadia lies? Is it one of the things which finds no expression in Arcadia?
If it is, then why do faeries like it so much?

Diana, filia Telemachus, follower of Tremere.

Ever since her selection for apprenticehood, Diana has been prepared as the thin end of the
Tremere wedge. The undoubted heir of to the Lunar Project, shes unlikely to be forced from
the Alps. Once she is in charge of the Shadow of the Moon, her pater, and his superiors, will
order her to invite Tremere magi to join her covenant. This will give the Tremere a beachhead in Alpine politics, a beach-head which most magi, who have great respect for the
Project, would be hesitant to assail.
The weakest link in the plan is Diana herself. How would you feel if you knew your entire
life had been designed, in tiny detail, to allow your parents to achieve some prized, but trivial,
goal? How would you feel if your magical abilities were underdeveloped, some might say
crippled, because your master trained you in the Lunar Experimental Theory to the exclusion
of other, more useful, skills, Arts and spells? How would you feel if a friend of yours
touched your mind and bought down the magical wall which had hidden your entire
childhood from you? How would you feel if you saw that your friends life had been sucked
dry by a project, and you were next? How would you feel if, after all of this, there wasnt
anything you could do to change things? How would you feel if you still had to serve the
person who stole your childhood, wasted your gift and ruined your life?
If your personality is like Dianas youd be furious.
Dianas involved in a dangerous game. Her master cant leash her yet, because if he loses
control of her, the House will be annoyed at him. She cant attack him, yet, because if she
did, the House might declare her an Orbus. Senior Tremere would then declare Wizards
War on her and hunt her down. She needs leverage. She needs a way to make herself
Dianas current plan is a predictable, but possibly effective, one. Shes considering defecting
to another House. Shed prefer House Bonisagius, because, for various political reasons,
House Tremere would be unlikely to be able to quietly kill her once shed switched. A more
difficult, but even more effective, gambit would be to wangle an invitation to be retrained as
a Quaesitor. She needs to time her transfer exquisitely. The longer she is Lunarian, the
higher her status, but the closer she comes to the day when a band of Tremere arrive with an
instruction from her master to invite them in. If that happens, she can expect to be restrained
in her lab for the rest of her life, since a lack of progress would enable the Primus of
Bonisagius to appoint a new Lunarian.
There is, of course, the tiniest chance that everything will turn out alright regardless of the
intrigue. Sure, the Project is nowhere near finished, but maybe, just maybe, Diana will find

herself with the ultimate form of leverage. Maybe shell solve the puzzle. Maybe shell
really be the Lunarian.

This covenant has far fewer covenfolk than might be expected, because the distortive effect
of the powerful Mount Blanc aura manifests quickly. The shadows of those who live for a
decade or more within the Mont Blanc aura are altered, so that while their owners sleep, they
can take on solid form, provided they are within a magical aura. Most have personalities
indistinguishable from those of their owners, and duplicate their physical features, but
exceptions occur. The most common are shadows who do not lose limbs when their originals
do, who remain unchanged when their owners are transformed into other shapes, or who do
not age as their original does. Players desiring an active shadow should consult the
storyguide about the cost of this virtue or flaw, since it varies on a case-by-case basis.
Unusual forms of lycanthropy have been observed at this covenant. In the first type, the
shadow appears human and follows the wolf, trying to keep it out of trouble, while in other
cases the shadow takes wolf-form while the human sleeps. Occasionally damage to a shadow
is reflected to the owner, and this causes pain, paralysis, illness and phantom pregnancies.
The originals remember the activities of their shadows as though they were vivid dreams.
Magi use the Parma Magica to prevent the formation of solid shadows. Some are a little less
restrained than their owners, and say or do things which their originals have always wanted
to, but have refrained from because of social convention. Having a neer-do-well duplicate,
who is ungifted, doesnt appeal to most mages.

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