I became aware from the near terminal Berklist recently via the Project Redcap refresh project “30 Pages for November” started by the incoming heir, Walter, of a new Saga set in Mythic Corsica. As I have some material on the area in the Mythic Genoa section of this blog, I contacted the Storyguide, Robert Petrone, offering to link to his Saga from the relevant section of this blog.
While linking his site, “Riacciu Carmenta Covenant“, I noticed some of my Corsican and nearby Sardinian material was not publically published, so I’ve made these available to all:
I’ve just now completed the first half of the Mythic Corsica gazetteer articles.
Originally one large article, I’ve decided to split it into a few sections (the Mazzeri article being one of the sections), both so I can post some material now and then finish off the second main section but also because I’ll probably add smaller articles over time under the Mythic Corsica page as a sub-folder of the larger Mythic Genoa project.
I’ve loaded up another gazetteer page for the Mythic Genoa section, this time detailing the basic city features and the stout medieval walls built by Frederick Barbarossa.
Eventually I plan to commission (from Sean Macdonald over at Fantasy Cartography) a detailed map of medieval Genoa based on the various anachronistic maps I’ve found on the web and some sketches I’ve made based on my research, as I really like the maps of Sark and Rome he did for Tales of Power.
Of course, I need to flesh out more detail about the actual commune first… there’s still the Lanterna (lighthouse), the leper colony at Capo Fari and some of the notable noble residences to work on but I’m hoping to fill in the spaces soon.
As follow up to this previous post, I’ve drafted a page detailing expanded rules and story ideas for the mazzeri, the endemic Nightwalker tradition of Corsica.
The page includes a more detailed template of the Corsican hedge tradition as well as some suggested Mystery Virtues for exceptional mazzeru based on the legendary powers of this group.
I’ve almost completed the Mythic Corsica gazetteer article (now about 2000 words or so), which includes many of the concepts and ideas I outlined in my first post. Both articles will appear ultimately in the Mythic Genoa project section of this site.
Currently there is no canonical ArM5 treatment of the Roman Tribunal, which suits me fine as it not only allows me to develop my Mythic Genoa material without needing to account for more than occasional scattered references but leaves me really with only the old, often vilified and demon-plagued White Wolf version – ArM3Tribunal of Hermes: Rome.
This is not the place for a dissection of that supplement’s flaws and merits, but I’d like to comment on one theme from the work that seems to have carried through into the current line:
Now that the house is more sorted following the sale, I’ve begun to dig out some of my research material that’s been unceremoniously shoved into the wardrobes. By example, I’ve dug out this gem of a little book, which has the following blurb:
“…The dream-hunters, or mazzeri, are unknown outside Corsica and probably date from pre-historic times. At night they go hunting or dream they do so – and kill an animal, in whom they recognise a human face. The next day they announce the death, which always takes place within a year. Where the mazzeri are harbingers of death, the signadori are guardians of life – they practise folk medicine, but more importantly,they secure release from the curse of the Evil Eye…”
When I first picked this up it looked just like a resource I could mine for a large amount of interesting material about the local variant of Nightwalkers (mazzeru or in the south, culpadori) and their benign counterparts, the signadori in particular. This was to be expected, but turns out to be a somewhat limited assumption.
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.
I’ve added some more material to the Mythic Genoa section, a short gazetteer page on the Tuscan Archipelago – the group of islands offshore of Pisa and between Corsica that comprises Elba, Montecristo and several smaller islands. The group forms a loose southern boundary to the Ligurian Sea tightly controlled by Genoa’s galleys. In 1220 is guarded by the ships of nearby Pisa, which patrol the waters between the rocky outcrops in an attempt to prevent their Genoese rivals taking the shorter route to the Levant through the Tyrrhenian Sea rather than having to skirt around the rocky western coasts of Corsica and Sardinia.
Adopting the styling of The Sundered Eagle, Chapter 6: the Islands, the page details the geography and notes some of the local sites of potential interest to Hermetic magi. Similar to my comments on some of the smaller Aeolian islands, the Tuscan Archipelago may potentially hide the villa of Fortunata, the theurgical archmaga detailed in Chapter 3 of Legends of Hermes, or contain suitable isolated sites for Mystery cult initiations.
As wild goats are particularly common on these rocky islets, I’ve also dug out my ArM5statistics for wild goats from my cutfiles (a 500 word piece of writing that so far has been cut from 3 supplements to save space). While not as fearsome as some mundane beasts, wild goats seemed an unfortunate omission from the ArM5 Mundane Book of Beasts PDF and would make suitable Heartbeasts for Bjornaer magi, pack animals, Hermetic or hedge wizard familiars, (Magic) animal companions, and/or low-level foes for Grog-based stories. Perhaps even a transformed goat as a somewhat dim-witted grog…
So I’ve been running a poll over at the Atlas Games forums here for about a week now to get a sense of potential direction for the blog. Overwhelmingly (aside from the somewhat dispiriting “What Ars blog?” responses) the admittedly small sample suggests Mythic Genoa as the preference, although it looks like there’s some interest in the London Bridge Covenant concept as well.
I’m a bit surprised at the lack of interest in Redcap Magic Items to be honest, but although I’ll be shifting gear a bit back to more gazetteer style articles effectively, I’ll keep trickling through some of the concepts – there’s enough overlap given one of the key concepts for Mythic Genoa I want to develop is it’s potential role as the “Port of Harco”.
I think the poll has been a useful stimulus however, so I’ll probably repeat it next year.
And yes, the image above is a Venetian vessel unfortunately and anachronistic at that…
I’ve just realised I posted this without completing it – still getting used to the arcane genuflections required for a WordPress blog I guess…
I’ve always been interested in crossbows and given that Genoa was once known for its famous balestrieri, it seemed logical to develop a crossbow grog using the rules from Grogs as an experiment in using the “Training Packages” approach, so I designed a typical Genovese crossbowman for use in ArM5.