The coven believes above all else in the primacy of women in power. They value life experience over all other qualifications (except gender) when it comes to determining someone's value, and indeed authority. The coven is a loosely knit collection of cells which operate on broadly the same principles. There is some unified governance throughout the faction, but they give much greater autonomy to the rest of the organisation when compared to other factions. There are four ranks of authority with the coven, going from least to most. Man, maiden, mother and the most senior, the crone.
While men are certainly in the minority within the coven, they do exist. They occupy the lowest rung on the ladder and can never hope to advance beyond it. Women when they join the order, are given the rank of maiden. Life experience is what qualifies them for advancement; this may literally mean motherhood. Or, it could mean any other solemn obligation that involved lots of difficulty and years of sacrificing personal desires to look after the lives of others. Those who have such experience gain the rank of mother.
While some women in their early twenties might achieve the status of mother, it is rare for any younger than fifty to attain the rank of crone. Becoming a crone requires a demonstration of expertise and wisdom in a great many areas and a life of service to the coven and its ideals.
Governance of the organisation is handled through numerous councils. There are uncounted numbers of maiden councils. These groups of ten to twelve maidens, who will live geographically close to one another, meet at least monthly to determine the local actions of the coven, recruiting, training and political action. In the event of a dispute, the eldest member of the council gets the final say. If this still does not settle the matter, maidens opposed to the decision may raise the issue with the nearest mother council. There are currently 11 mother councils. The number isn’t extraordinary, it was smaller at one time, and has naturally grown as the coven has grown as a whole, it will likely grow again. Each mother council has jurisdiction over a relatively large piece of territory and will handle appeals from maiden councils throughout that area.
As with maiden councils, if a decision cannot be reached through discussion, the eldest member gets the final say. If the coven member appealing to the mother council is really dissatisfied with the resolution, they may take a final appeal to the council of crones. There is one council of crones in the entire coven. They meet once a year usually, and they do not take the issues they discuss lightly. Frivolous arguments brought before them are likely to be dealt with harshly. While not all maidens or mothers are members of a council (only those more organizationally inclined), every crone is a member of the council of crones (whether they attend it’s meetings or not!).
Amongst the crones, again the eldest technically has the final say, though often the eldest will defer to another crone if they feel they are better qualified to make the decision (or for any other reason).
In case it wasn’t clear, the coven members are witches, and indeed wield a form of magic taught exclusively to their members. However, long-standing members of the coven would be the first to tell you that this is the least important aspect of what the coven is, how it acts, and what it’s goals are. They are in this sense the antithesis of the Towers philosophy. It can seem like an empty statement though when you see one of their strike teams in action wielding witchcraft to devastating effect. They have no substantial political alignment with any of the nation-states, though many (by no means all) women in all four nations often support (some overtly, some covertly) their local coven members.
In this video I go over the history of the Coven, how they came to be, what they are up to today and a little on their involvement in the conflict that is happening in Deneb today. If you want to check out more about the locations I mention in this video, take a look at the map
To learn more about the faction check out their page here
To watch the second part of this video that covers the Coven gameplay as well as some of the miniatures, check out the Beasts of War project entry here