Introduction to Sardinia (Mythic Genoa material)

Elephant Rock (Wikimedia Commons)

Since refocusing this blog somewhat, I’ve been trying to build in time to upload a significant amount of material once a week, typically a page worth of gazetteer material accompanied by a post elaborating on the inspiration or providing design notes.

Apologies, but I’m a bit behind as the material I’ve been working on is a specific region of northern Sardinia.

So why Sardinia?

Well, there’s actually very little actual existing gazetteer material on the island, its folklore and its mundane and supernatural inhabitants. I think this should now be addressed. It’s very similar to the reason why I picked Genoa over Venice to develop. This approach gives me more leeway to embellish and create without feeling constrained by existing material and therefore develop a unique segment of Mythic Europe.

For a start, Hermetically speaking, apart from a now outdated description of Verdi, the location of the Domus Magnus of House Verditius until recent canon, it’s largely been ignored in existing supplements such as ArM3 Tribunal of Hermes: Rome, which gives me freedom and room to develop without much restraint. Sure, there’s the sketchily detailed Hermetic ruin of Auctus, destroyed by the machinations of Verdi, and the ruled in absentia Venetian covenant of Rellantali to be sure, but effectively the main Hermetic presence is represented by paranoid Verditius magi, portrayed as sticking to their major projects in Verdi and pillaging the countryside for vis and other magical resources. I don’t find the original version particularly interesting and I like the challenge of trying to do something new in House Verditius’s backyard as it’s a style of magi I haven’t ever played or dealt with creatively before.

Secondly, although research into folklore has been difficult, I’ve uncovered some interesting Mythic elements that I think are worth bringing into Ars Magica or deserving of some form of treatment. In no particular order, these include:

  • The wild albino donkeys of Asinara
  • Sardinian knives of quality
  • The Practicos, Sardinian equivalents of folk witches
  • Neptune’s Grotto and related caves
  • The numerous scattered Neolithic nuraghi monuments
  • The potential magical properties of Cork oak
  • The mattanza or annual tuna massacre of May

Finally, exploring the mundane political situation and the tensions between Genoa, Pisa and the native petty dynasties should make for some interesting stories linking back to Genoa or at least provide an interesting diversion for a sea journey involving magi and their entourages traveling from Genoa to the Levant.

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