|Neighboring Covenants||There are two other covenants in Domus Cygna's general area... or, I should say, one covenant and one 'chapter house'.
The chapter house is in the Alpine Tribunal, in the village of Rorschach (A town on the southern shore of Lake Constance.) It's a Mercere holding, with three resident magi who are in the business of building minor arcane items for the use of others in their House. Their current Primus Minor is Valen of Lindau.
Domus Cygna's relations with them have been reasonably cordial in the past, though they have been know to be a bit... agressive... over the harvesting and ownership of certain vis sources. House Guernicus had to be called in to settle a dispute over one source of particular interest in 1089. Domus Cygna agreed to cede one of the source's three pawns of Intelligo to the Mercere annually in exchange for uncontested ownership of the site.
The covenant, Silva Nivalis, is in the Rhine tribunal, in the forest at the foot of the Alps near Oberstaufen. It has five magi in residence, under the leadership of Tempus of Jerbiton (a filius of Kalliope, the librarian of Valnastium). Silva Nivalis was established nine years ago, and has had difficult relations with their local bishop from the beginning... The odius little man's latest attempt to 'drive out the sorcerers' included a scheme to locate the covenant's vis sources and destroy them. Your own Bishop of Konstanz, fortunately, largely ignores the Order and its members rather than following the ill-advised course his neighbor has chosen. The state of Silva Nivalis' relations with Domus Cygna is unknown. Livia made no mention of them in her correspondence with Durenmar.
|Local Nobles||Domus Cygna is, itself, part of the "Local Nobility", with the Caius of the covenant (or, far more often, an appointed proxy-) acting as leige lord for the territory under its control. Lord Otto Eys, an ambitious baron related to the Welfens of Teck, is Domus Cygna's most active noble neighbor. He controls a substantial portion of the western Bodanruck. While he never made overtly agressive overtures to the covenant's former resident, it is well known that he desires both Domus Cygna's land and its castle. Lord Otto's residence is the aptly-named Gray House, a squat stone structure near Radolfzell. Otto is a vassal of Count Hugo of Werdenberg.|
|The Church|| There are two powerful Church figures in the area, who tend to spend much of their time watching and plotting against each other.
Humbert, abbot of the once-powerful but rapidly fading Benedictine monastary of Reichenau oversees the activities of about two dozen monks, the sad remains of a justly famous scriptorum and library, and the operation of the Minster of Saints Peter and Paul. Gebhard II, the 62nd Bishop of Konstanz, inhabits Altes Schloss in the village of Meersburg and spends much of his time pursuing political alliances. The bishops of Konstanz have a long tradition of rivalry and interferrence with the abbots of Reicheanau, and Gebhard firmly believs that the "monastary island" will eventually become the property of his bishopric. He sees Humbert's continued tenure and refusal to turn the property over as simply postponing the inevitable.
|The Fae|| Domus Cygna is plagued by faeries. Formerly the home of Selene of Jerbiton, a noted expert on the Dark Courts, the covenant is well known in Arcaedian circles. Several fae make their homes in and around the castle and the Island of Swans, including the Shellyback, at least one kelpie, a strange grim known as "Himself", the goblin Skampery Bill, and one rather miffed Sidhe lord.
Currently fancying himself 'The Prince of Mainau' Ealamm once ruled the faeries of the Bodanruck unopposed, but the arrival of Maurellan mac Dannon and his cohorts in 1237 forced the less well-equipted Dark Summer noble to retreat into virtual exile on the Island of Flowers. Without arcane resources of his own to counter the Bright Winter prince (Selene, who had been Ealamm's friend and at least nominal ally, had finally passed into Twilight in 1216) he had no choice but to withdraw and observe the changes on the mainland from afar. He has only recently become aware that Maurellan and his mortal companion, the Hermetic who produced so many of the items that made the prince all but untouchable to others of his kind, are no longer in residence at the castle. He neither knows what became of his rival and the bothersome wizardess nor cares, but he certainly has plans to reclaim his former position in their absence... and in so doing remind the foolish mortals of Domus Cygna that meddling in the affairs of their betters is unwise.