The Principality of Andorra, centered on the castle at Andorra La Vella, was established by Charlemagne as one of the Spanish Marches created as a barrier against a Muslim invasion. According to tradition, Matthias, the Lord of Old Andorra, was granted sovereignty over his lands as a reward for valiant and stalwart service against the Muslims. However, in time Andorra and her sovereignty were forgotten about by the outside world. On occasion, the Counts of Urgel (in Spain) and Toulouse (in France) allege lordship over Andorra, sometimes squabbling over their disputed claims. Neither has ever visited though, and they are not likely to press their claim anytime soon (IRL, the historic Andorra was designated as a jointly ruled status sometime in the 1260’s).
Maxamillian of Jerbiton was Matthias’ cousin. He was more aggressive than others of his House because of his background as a knight. The lore of Andorra, as recorded, occasionally makes the mistake of referring to him as Maxamillian of Flambeau. Though he did have many associations with that House, he never formally joined them. The descendants of his magical lineage did migrate over to House Flambeau however, and at times they distorted the record of history.
In any case, Maxamillian was every bit the warrior, and had provided much covert military assistance to his cousin. In gratitude, Matthias granted him allodial title over the tiny village of Arans. Maxamillian specifically requested this sight because that’s where he had discovered ruins of an old Roman temple with a Magic Aura. He built a castle here, which has grown over time, but is situated so remotely that it isn’t considered a threat by any means. The actual blood descendants of Maxamillian (as opposed to the lineage of his filliae) inherited the title, but they did not inherit his Gift. For centuries Andorra has benefited from having a Tame Noble residing with them.
Mirroring events of the mundane world, the tribunal jurisdiction of Andorra is in dispute. When first established in 807, they were originally part of the Val-Negra Tribunal; and in fact they have the only existing unmodified charter granted by Val-Negra. The Duresca Charter was also issued by Val Negra, but was modified and amended by the Grand Tribunal ruling to be placed in the jurisdiction of Iberia. Andorra was never reassigned jurisdiction when the Grand Tribunal ordered the partition of 1096. The reason for this is because covenant ha slipped into the obscurity of winter. They had lost contact with the outside world during the Schism War, and no one had heard from them in almost a century.
Their isolation did not last long thereafter though. Though it languished in winter and was all but forgotten, the Light was never extinguished. They were rediscovered in 1111 AD by a magus named Francisco Florenzo of Flambeau. He and a few members of his societates, the Knights of Seneca, came to Andorra while on the trail to uncover the truth behind some of their own legends. Apparently the parens of Valdarius of Flambeau was Gregorio of Verditius, who had been a member of Andorra. Valdarius, founder of that lineage within the Knights of Seneca, had renounced his original House during the Schism War, accusing them of timid inaction and double dealing. He was the amicus of Delendos of Flambeau, and they founded the Knights of Seneca during the Schism War. Allegedly they both used Andorra as a strategic retreat during the War, and the artifacts and manuscripts discovered here indicate that this was indeed true.
When first rediscovered, all the magi of Andorra had all passed into mortality or twilight. All save one that is, a magus named Schroeder of Bonisagus. Ancient and twilight scarred, he greeted the newcomers as if he had been expecting them, and threw wide open the doors of the withered legacy of a once great covenant. Infused with new blood, the Council of the Covenant of Andorra reconstituted itself under his authority. They all affirmed their allegiance and swore the Oath of the ancient covenant’s Charter. Schroeder passed into Final Twilight shortly thereafter, but the Covenant of Andorra was rejuvenated with a New Spring.
As mentioned above, Quaesitors have ruled that only the Grand Tribunal has the authority to force a decision on them. Other pressures could be brought to bear, but so far no one seems to be too concerned with the matter and it seems beneath the notice of the Grand Tribunal. Political savvy has allowed them to manage well thus far. If any magus of theirs causes a transgression, they will resolve it in the Tribunal in which it occurred. If another magus transgresses against one of them, they take the matter to the Tribunal of the offender. They must maintain vigilance, lest an enemy use this quirk again them, or worse yet, lest an internal conflict disrupt this delicate balance.
Andorra is rich in many resources; ancient, old, and new. Some items in their collection of texts and artifacts date back to the early days of the Order, and the Knights of Seneca brought many items with them from the dissolved Covenant of Valencia. They are also secure in vis resources, and have the advantage of a straight 1:1 exchange rate for vis trades through House Mercere. It has been one-hundred-and-nine years hence since their rejuvenation, and Andorra is now in the heart of Summer.
The Covenant has vacillated between various interests and allegiances for some time now, and they may be soon forced to make some serious decisions. House Flambeau has always been a presence, especially since the rejuvenation, and is also home of their leader; the famous Archmagus Antonio Perez, Grandmaster of the Knights of Seneca. However, though they are a presence, they are not based here. Members of the Knights of Seneca in the 13th century are scattered throughout a handful of other covenants; such as Doisettepp, Val-Negra, Campus Ares, Para Belli, Novus Mane, and so forth.
Andorra also has a strong affiliation with House Mercere, both as a Redcap sanctuary and stronghold, and as a center of study for Mercere magi of the Cult of Mercury. Of particular note is Rodrigo Vasquez of Mercere; noble turned Redcap then Magus; a pivotally important member who has been missing for several years. The son of a Redcap, his father married the lone heiress of Arans, thus Rodrigo inherited the title of Seigneur. Since an alod requires no Oath of Fealty, he was permitted to follow his father’s footsteps as a Redcap. He served many years as both a herald and custodian, earning much respect and influence in his House. At some point he developed the Gentle Gift, and managed to both learn Hermetic Magic and self initiate Mysteries of the Cult of Mercury. How this was accomplished remains a complete mystery. His fellow Redcaps looked upon him with awe and the magi of Mercere admire him. They thought that perhaps he represented the restoration of the Gift in a reincarnated Mercere. His magic was never particularly very good since he lacked proper training. However, he had already sworn the Hermetic Oath and was considered a full magus anyway.
Rodrigo had a temperament and philosophy similar to that of his Flambeau covenant mates, and had gained much prestige in House Mercere. Thus they found it wise to trust him as caretaker of certain resources. None of the external business of the House is conducted here, only internal matters. Andorra acts as a repository safeguarding vis, silver, and enchanted devices that belong to the Mercere. They also provide lodging as needed, medical assistance when necessary, and other functions.
This has been a comfortable arrangement for the Covenant of Andorra, as has provided them with many miscellaneous perks and benefits. However, the current situation at hand is that Rodrigo has been missing for around eight years now. No clue can be found as to where he may be and no one has any knowledge they are willing to share. This causes a dilemma, as House Mercere rightfully expects a Gifted magus of their House to hold a seat on the Covenant Council of Andorra (and some may agitate for more than one). If Rodrigo does not return soon, House Mercere will insist on naming a successor to his post or they will withdraw their resources and political support.
The other current members of Andorra are (players).
There are also several reoccurring visitors at Andorra. Some of these include various Redcaps and the occasional magus of the Cult of Mercury or the Knights of Seneca. Two frequent visitors of special note have a favored guest status. These would be Florenzo of Jerbiton and Carmen of Flambeau, the children of the elder magi of Andorra. Florenzo, the son of Rodrigo who inherited his Gentle Gift, was the filius of Louis of Jerbiton, a deceased former member. He is currently a member of Literatius in the Roman Tribunal, but is always an honored guest at Andorra. He visit’s the library frequently, make’s use of his father’s lab, and is considering moving back and taking his father’s mundane title should he not return.
Carmen is the daughter and filia of Antonio. She is a formidable maga, and though her father will not permit her to join the Knights of Seneca (yet), they all know her well and treat her like she was one of their own. She has wanderlust and has roamed the northern tribunals (Rhine, Normandy, etceteras), and was a member of Campus Ares for a short time. But her wanderlust will not let her take root and recently has spent some time in the south (Rome and Thebes). She frequently visits Andorra to study or train or make use of her father’s laboratory, and likewise is always treated an honored guest.