30 Days of Mythic Sites of the Roman Tribunal


I have decided to attempt to participate in “post a day” November again, despite my last failure. This time I decided upon the theme of Mythic Sites of the Roman Tribunal. I really like the tribunal themes and ideas, even if the 3e book leaves much to desire. Italy has such a rich history and varied legends. I hope that my write ups could help troupes fill out the region with interesting locations and ideas for adventures.

I will attempt to feature mostly sites and locations with evocative real legends, history and myths connected to them. Though a few will probably be invented, mostly those connected to the Order’s History. A few other locations might have their stories altered or reinterpret to better fit within Mythic Europe.

I am afraid I didn’t learn my lesson from last time and these are a bit long. Brevity is the sole of wit. I would appreciate if you still took the time to read them. It’s quite likely that they will become more manageable as I carry one. Excuse my indulgence this early on.

Feel free to reply with questions, comments and critiques if any arises.

Table of contents:

  1. Domus Aurea
  2. Mount Etna
  3. Abbey of San Galgano
  4. Strait of Messina, Scylla's Cliff
  5. Strait of Messina, Charybdis' Whirlpool
  6. Fields of Cannae
  7. Val Camonica
  8. Elagabalium
  9. Paestum
  10. Grotta Azzurra
  11. Balzi Rossi
  12. Rubicon
  13. Montecristo
  14. Monterozzi Necropolis
  15. Lake Carezza
  16. Carrara Quarries
  17. Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo
  18. Filitosa
  19. Capo Colonna
  20. Pyramid of Bomarzo
  21. Su Nuraxi
  22. Aufinum
  23. Sanctuary of Oropa
  24. Euganean Hills
  25. Land of Polyphemus
  26. Pannoch's Depository
  27. Autonoes' New Nest
  28. Avernus
  29. Lake Nemi
  30. Bonisagus' Temple of Mercury

The Domus Aurea

The fifth emperor of the Roman Empire was Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, the last emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, who reigned from 54 AD until his suicide in 68 AD. Nero is still bitterly remembered for his cruelty and megalomania. He ruthlessly persecuted the Christian community in Rome and damaged the empire during his ineffective and tyrannical rule. Ancient theologians have argued that Nero was the Antichrist or the Beast of Revelation. Whether Nero himself was a diabolist, corrupt or misunderstood is a matter of debate. Either way, the places associated with his rule and madness generally have an infernal aura. The most spectacular of these is his second palace, the Domus Aurea – the Golden House.

The Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD seems to have been staged by Nero. Famously, the emperor is said to have watched the fire while wearing an artist's costume and playing Iliupersis (The Sack of Troy) on a fiddle. The fires raged and burned much of Rome, with only two of the Seven Hills spared. Included in the destruction was Nero’s own palace, the Domus Transitoria. Nero blamed the fires on Rome's Christian community and punished them accordingly.

When the fires finally subsided, Nero wasted no time in rebuilding his palace. He bought and confiscated land where houses had stood before the fire. Expanding his former housing vastly. He intended to build a palace fit for his egomaniacal self. Architects and artists were brought to Rome from all over the empire, including a famous sculptor called Zenodorus. Nero was heavily involved in the process himself. it was nearing completion before his death in 68 AD.

Later Emperors would be embarrassed by the decadence and hubris the palace represented, it would be stripped of its marble and wealth. Sections of it were used to construct the Flavian Amphitheatre under Vespasian. The Colossus outside was altered to depict Sol and moved. The Baths of Trajan and the Temple of Venus and Roma were similarly constructed upon and by the palace’s remains. What little remained was ironically destroyed in a fire 104 AD. Despite this a completed and perfectly intact version of the Domus Aurea remains hidden within an Infernal Regio.

The regio is accessible through a cleft in the Esquiline hillside. The cleft leads to a grotto with frescoes of panthers, centaurs, the god Pan, and sphinxes. All have evil looking faces and are depicted in violent or depraved acts. This part of the Domus Aurea is all that remains in the mundane level. It was a room in the palace before its destruction. Due to cave-in and the growth of Rome it has since been buried underneath the hill. Entering the rest of the collapsed rooms is currently impossible, though mundane or magical digging might reveal more similar rooms. This grotto has an infernal aura of 4, tarnished with egomania. This tarnishment means that a finder is likely to keep it a secret, as such a magnificent place is for them alone. The granted Personality Trait also makes the finder likely to accidentally enter the regio.

Crossing through the border to the regio is straightforward, indeed the infernal powers which inhabit the place want people to accidentally stumble into the halls of the Domus Aurea. Between some of the rocks, there is a piece of a royal purple toga. A symbol of the emperors of old. It has a single stain of blood upon it. Anyone who touches the toga is transported into the regio.

Inside the regio the palace is more glorious and richer than it ever was in history. Music flows throughout the halls, rose petals fall from the ceiling, sweet smells and food is served in excess on every table. The frescoes and mosaics are everywhere, depicting Greek creatures and heroes. Gold and jewellery adorn every furniture and wall. It's not until a visitor comes outside, they might realize that something is terribly wrong. Outside the palace gardens and walls Rome is burning just like it did in 64 AD, wailing families and cries for water can be heard over the walls. The smell of burning and sounds of the helpless citizen is pressing, making visitors wish to return to the pleasant halls of the palace interior.

The octagonal room is the centre of the Domus Aurea. It is seated as to overlook the xystus outside, and the burning city beyond it. The room is decorated with a large opulent table, itself also octagonal. The ceiling of the room is also particular, a model of the celestial sphere adorns it. Turning by the power of slaves, whose sobbing and whimpering can just barely be heard. The room is awe inspiring and the most decorated of any. There lies a single corpse at the table, one of Nero’s unlucky guests who choked on one of the petals falling from the roof.

The regio of Domus Aurea is a slightly unusual Abyssal Regio. It has a single level of 5 and is tarnished with egomania. Where Abyssal Regio are usually uninteresting places, bleak and mind-numbing the palace is instead awe inspiring. Yet the food here tastes of nothing. The sweet smell of the perfumed halls cling to nothing. The golden decor turns to ash if taken outside the regio. It's all false promises, made to put the visitor at ease and to hide in it from the burning outside. The Abyssal regio’s effect of penalizing the characteristic of any visitor makes these charades hard to detect. Further the demons and infernal ghosts who inhabit the palace also play their part. For every day spent in the regio, a character must make an Intelligence roll against an Ease Factor equal to five. Failure indicates that madness sets in. Compulsion (Cruelty), Delusion (Being Nero reborn) are common flaws. A botch makes the flaw permanent. Note that a character also suffers from a -5 penalty to intelligence (and all other characteristics.) The regio is inhabited by demons of Deluders. They pose as advisors of Nero, or as architects of the palace. They immediately falsely recognize any visitor as Nero – if large groups visit, they usually make a game of recognizing many and turning them against each other. The other residents are infernal ghosts who act as servants and slaves, their role is to be abused by Nero and his advisors. The imposed personality trait makes a visitor likely to believe this charade.

The infernal plan for the regio is straightforward. Lure visitors into it. Have them take on the role of Nero. Act out his vices upon the infernal ghost and lesser demons bound to the place. As no pleasure can be found in the regio the visitor will hopefully turn to more and more hedonistic pursuits – in a vain attempt to find any pleasure and relief from the burning city outside. Once the madness and sinful trait have become permanent, throw the visitor out again. Where the person will act on their new impulses and jeopardize their soul.

Story Seed: Nero Redivivus
After Nero’s suicide there was no less than three men who pretended to be him. Perhaps these were possessed by his infernal spirit, or they accidentally ended up in the already formed regio. The players' magi might hear of or even encounter a new string of these pretenders. Naturally these new pretenders were all victims of the regio. Inquiring about their backgrounds quickly leads to clues about the grotto. The story can from there develop into attempting to clear out the regio or trying to seal it away.

Story Seed: Earth and Sky
This mythical site can easily be worked into the Earth and Sky adventure from Thrice-Told Tales. The Colossus is missing from the Domus Aurea, which could be noted or discovered by the magi. This is due to it playing into the Brotherhood of Zenodorus and Nero’s other plans. Exploring the site could be run as a prelude, foreshadowing Nero’s infernal legacy. Perhaps some clues of his plans are hidden in the regio, at the pedestal where the colossus once stood for example.

Option: Less Infernal
The ruins of the mundane Domus Aurea could also be explored, the regio and infernal nature of the site could be safely ignored all together. Seekers might seek the ruins of the octagonal room as the ceiling could be a massive machine of Heron.


Mount Etna

Famous and feared, the 11,000 feet high volcano dominates the eastern shore of Sicily, visible to all sailors brave enough to be crossing the Strait of Messina. The volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in Mythic Europe and has been for quite some time. Pliny the Elder visited the mountain and described its eruption and threatening flare. Though it was not this volcano that took the scholar's life. The light and ashfall that awestruck Pliny can still be observed in 1220. Though with some risk. At intervals, the mountain experiences major eruptions that result in streams of molten lava cascading down its slopes. On the flanks of the volcano, one can find numerous frozen lava rivers and boulders thrown by past eruptions. Extraordinarily grand eruptions happen only once in a few centuries, unleashing colossal geysers of lava soaring thousands of feet skyward. The volcano's most recent eruption took place in the year 1194, and if your saga follows real history, the next eruption is slated for 1222.

The volcano has a magical aura of 5. The lower slopes are a verdant cloak of life, adorned with lush forests, vineyards, and orchards. A few villages are nestled in these fertile foothills, providing a picturesque contrast to the volcanic might above. Ascending the mountain the rugged, dark rocky terrain takes over. Evidence of thousands of previous eruptions.

At the summit of the mountain is called Mongibello, in it are the two main craters named Bocca Nova, and Voragine. There are many legends and myths associated with each of these. The Elymians, the Sicanians, and the Sicels people worshiped the mountain as a fire god, a practice that would be followed by many other people. The Roman and Greek people believed that Mulciber (“he who placates the fire”) Vulcan or Hephaestus had his forge here. It was under Mount Etna, that Zeus imprisoned the monstrous storm-titan that put all the other gods to flight, Typhon. The monster attempting to break free is what causes the eruptions. The trees of the forest on Mount Etna western slope, called Lucus Jovis, still bear the mark of the other titans – flung from Mount Olympus into Tartarus. The skins and heads of the Titans remained fixed to the trunks of the trees, in terrifying expressions. The forest has a magical aura of 3.

Most interesting to House Criamon, the craters of Etna is where Empedocles died – or vanished into the Hypostasis, depending on interpretation. Empedocles was a famous Gentle-Gifted (indeed, very likely the first) elementalists whose philosophy House Criamon’s is based upon. During his life he gathered followers around him. His final lesson, or greatest ritual, took place at the edge of the volcano's crater. Sources differ on exactly what took place that day and what Empedocles motifs were. Sceptics and critics say Empedocles threw himself into it, so that the people would believe his body had vanished and he had turned into an immortal god. Or to prove his immortality. Criamon rejects both these explanations. The satirist Lucian of Samosata claims that Empedocles wasn't incinerated, but an eruption carried him into the heavens. Although a bit singed by the ordeal, Empedocles survived and still lives on the Moon, surviving by feeding on dew. This House Criamon, generally agrees, is closer to the truth. The spot of Empedocles suicide is easily spotted for those who know what to look for. There lies a lone bronze sandal, seemingly undisturbed by the intense heat and the many eruptions. This sandal cannot be moved, and there is a small magical aura of 10 around it and serves as a passage to the Magic Realm – the Twilight Void province of Ignem, in particular. Though this is not widely known. This entrance might be what Empedocles used to escape the cycle of rebirth, or the gate to Typhon’s prison.

Adranus, the volcano’s genius loci, slumbering under the mountain, only waking from time to time to remind the humans why he used to be worshiped as a god. It's unlikely that he is to enter any partnership with any human – particularly anyone with the Gift. Adranus is singularly unhelpful to all who dares disturb his sleep. More likely to answer with fire than words. Adranus is described in more detail in Realms of Power: Magic p.111.

The Roman Tribunal has no official agreement with Adranus. Yet there is a few vis sources upon the mountain, Ignem, Auram and Vim can all be collected. The ever-starving Tribunal poverty is soon going to force them into conflict with Adranus. Individual magi have already contacted it. House Criamon, Tytalus and Verditius in particular. Criamon's interest in the site is due to Empedocles, though the Path of Strife also uses a local ruin as an initiation site. House Verditius are still convinced that one of Vulcan’s smithies with his creations could be found under the mountain. Their searches have been unsuccessful, as Adranus is a fierce protector. The Tytalii are interested in the mountain connection to the titans. The founders of both later houses were trained not far from the volcano, Corsica and outside Naples respectively. It’s quite possible that the site was significant to some part of their life, though there isn't any evidence that suggests this. Some suggest that it was here that bindings of Typhon were undone, and a pact forged with it. A suggested explanation for what took place during the Sundering.

Story Seed: In the footsteps of Empedocles
It’s plausible that Empedocles really performed some ritual to escape the circle of rebirth at Etna. Perhaps harnessing the power of Adranus to burn a hole in the very firmament of the cosmos. If so, his sandal might be an intentional aid left for his followers. Sadly, they didn't understand this if so, but the gate remains open. Could this be a first step towards solving the Enigma? It's also possible that Empedocles’ ritual botched, and so the tear into the Magical Realm opened – much akin to what is suspected happened with Atlantis. Either way it's possible that Empedocles could still be found within the Twilight Void. Still wandering in the province of Ignem. If so, he could in theory be brought back. Because of the qualities of the Magical Realm, he hasn't aged and could be safely led back into the mundane world, if convinced this was for the best. Hermetic Magi might not be the only people seeking this solution.

Story Seed: Etna the Great Prison
Mount Etna is said to have been placed over several giants and titans to forever trap them because of the Titanomachy and Gigantomachy. Most notably Typhon himself. Enceladus, whom Athena defeated, is yet another prisoner. Hundred-Handed Briareos, first to use armour and most prominent of the Hecatoncheires, is another prisoner. Adranus might be another of these prisoners. Alpos was slain by Bacchus’ Thyrsus, and it is possible his corpse was stored under Etna as well. The Cyclopes, who used to live on Sicily, but have all vanished but one, could be former prisoners as well. It's likely that “under Etna '' isn't to be taken too literally, Tartarus is probably located within the Magical Realm, but it's plausible that the still bubbling crater of Etna is one of its antechambers. Magi might want to imprison another being here or let some of the others mentioned loose.


Abbey of San Galgano

In 1148, Galgano Guidotti was born the sole hair of a local noble in the Siena region of Tuscany. He was raised as a knight and trained in the ways of war. Galgano grew into a haughty and indulgent man. Well acquainted with vices and violence. Far from the chivalric ideals he was supposed to exemplify. Galgano would come to see the error of his way though. In December of 1180 the Archangel Michael appeared before him. Michael bade him to repent and showed him the path towards salvation. Michael brought the young knight over a vast bridge and crossed a flowery meadow, which gave off an intense and sweet scent, they reached a hill with a round chapel, where Galgano met Jesus, the twelve apostles and the Virgin Mary, who urged him to lead a hermit's life and penance. Galgano vowed to change his way, and the vision faded. He returned to his family’s estate. There he told his family about the revelation but was only scorned and ridiculed. His mother Dionisia urged him to speak with his fiancée before making any sudden decisions.

Galgano Guidotti headed for the nearby castle of Civitella, where his fiancée lived. When the archangel Michael appeared to him again. Taking the reins of the horse, led him to Monte Siepi hill, a few kilometres away. Galgano recognized the place as the one from his vision, though no chapel stood there. Michael told him to climb the hill. When he reached the top the archangel spoke again, inviting him to renounce his loose, easy living. Galgano replied that it was easier said than done, about as easy as splitting a rock with a sword. To prove his point, he drew his blade and thrust at the rocky ground. Miraculously the sword plunged through the stone and buried itself deep within the rock, to the hilt. Recognizing the miracle and its significance, Galgano took up permanent residence on that hill as a humble hermit. He led a life in poverty. He befriended wild animals, fed on wild herbs and slept on the bare ground. His only contact with the outside world was pilgrims who came to him asking for prayers and miracles.

Galgano Guidotti had made many enemies during his life as a scoundrel, and a devil saw it fit to use the most jealous of these men against him, one of which was a monk. The demon gathered three of them and ordered them to steal Galgano’s sword. Yet none of them could move it an inch. For their attempted theft they all met terrible fates, slain by the wolf pack befriended by Galgano. The devil was bested, yet Galgano time on earth came to an end in 1181. The hermit’s burial was attended by three Cistercian abbots, who had gotten lost on their way to Rome and miraculously found the burial. The Bishop of Volterra petitioned the church to canonize Galgano, and in 1185 he was officially recognized as a saint. The hill of Monte Siepi was given to the Cistercian monks. And soon a chapel was constructed near Galgano’s hermitage. Yet many of Galgano's monks came to leave in the following years, scattering over Tuscany, becoming Augustinian hermits.

By 1220, San Galgano Abbey, a Cistercian monastery, is being constructed below Galgano's hermitage. An expansion of the original round chapel. Galgano sword still protrudes out of the rock to this day, it's a relic holding a single faith point. Most of Galgano’s body was lost after his burial, yet his head remains preserved and has since grown golden curls – which also is a relic with a faith point. The bones of the false monk, would-be-thief, tempted by the devil, are also kept at the site. Perhaps unwisely so. The hill has a Divine Aura of 4, centring around the sword.

Story Seed: The Sword in the Stone
The Devil never enjoys being bested and is still angry about failing 40 years ago. The demon has thought up a new plan to remove the sword, which he believes will weaken Saint Galgano and can be corrupted for later mischief. Sadly, for the Order, the devil's new plot involves Philetus, a Verditius magus. As a member of the Confraternity of Roland, Philetus has long been fascinated with magical swords. He has been deceived into believing that the sword of Galgano is actually a magical artifact that could be vital for his studies. To complicate things further, the hill of Monte Siepi used to be a vis source, producing terram vis. Philetus believes that if the abbey could be removed, he could harvest from it once more. He feels utterly justified in his plans and has no idea that the Infernal is involved. His hubris makes it unlikely that he could be convinced of any error. To make things worse: Galgano’s wolf pack still thrives in the region - and they are unlikely to treat a new thief any differently to the last three. Player character might end up on any side of this conflict.

Saint Galgano, Sheet

Divine Might: 25
Characteristics: Int +5, Per +5, Pre +5, Com +5, Str n/a, Stm n/a, Dex n/a,
Qik n/a
Size: 0
Age: n/a
Confidence Score: 2 (10)
Virtues and Flaws: Animal Ken.
Personality Traits: Pious +3, Chivalrous +2, Benevolent +2
Reputations: Saint (Italy) +3, Wise Hermit Knight (Tuscany) +3
Combat: n/a
Soak: n/a
Fatigue Levels: n/a
Wound Penalties: n/a
Abilities: Animal Ken 5 (Wolves)
Acknowledgment of Evil, 1 point, Init +10, Vim. See RoP:D page 88.
Grant of Serenity, 1 point, Init –10, Mentem. See RoP:D page 88.
A Farewell to Arms, 3 points, Init -10, Terram. All weapons carried by a group are pulled away from them and plunged deep into the ground. There they are fixed and remain for as long as the saint wishes.
Equipment: Monk’s habit.
Encumbrance: 0 (0)
Vis: None
Appearance: A handsome and noble young man. Appearing like the very ideal of a youthful knight, though dressed without any armour or weapons. Golden curly hair. Wearing a habit.


Strait of Messina, Scylla’s Cliff

Separating Sicily the Italian peninsula is a narrow and treacherous strait. Few sailors choose to attempt to navigate through its water, favouring sailing around all of Sicily. There is a good reason for this hesitation, here more than just Muslim pirates threaten the ships and their cargo. Two ancient monsters, each deadly and fierce, call the strait their territory. One claiming each side. These sea monsters have been known and feared since the Age of Heroes.

The narrow strait connects the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north with the Ionian Sea to the south. 20 miles long and at its narrowest 2 miles wide. Long sand beaches on both sides. A few cities dot the landscape, most significantly Messina and Reggio. The strait has a magical aura of 2.

Scylla and Charybdis each claim the strait as theirs. They are equally matched and have been in a stalemate for eons. At the northmost mouth of the strait Charybdis is bound under the water, along Sicily’s coast. Within an arrowshot towards east rises the Scylla’s cliff. Scylla mostly hides in her cliff. Her fight with Hercules has weakened her considerably. She fears his return and her own undoing. From time to time her hunger forces her out however, fulfilling her role and keeping her reputation.

Unlike Charybdis, Scylla does not allow herself to be forgotten. Yet it's hard for the locals to do anything about her. Her cliff out in the sea cannot be besieged, nor barricaded. Sometimes brave warriors row out to it, yet none have returned save for Hercules - and even he didn't slay her. The locals think Scylla is a sea demon, perhaps even a brood of the Leviathan. They would reward whoever successfully slayed the creature handsomely.

Scylla was one of the Naiad, a servant of Poseidon. She was very beautiful, which led to her tragic transformation. The once mortal fisherman turned into a god called Glaucus fell deeply in love with her. Though he was rejected by Scylla. Glaucus' obsession did not falter however, so he journeyed to the witch Circe. The enchantress became enamoured with Glaucus herself. Though he in turn rejected her. Glaucus swore that trees would grow on the ocean floor and seaweed would grow on the highest mountain before he would stop loving Scylla. Circe was angered so she decided to punish Scylla. Circe poured a baleful potion into the sea pool where Scylla regularly bathed. As Scylla bathed, she was transformed into the frightful monster, a terror even to herself. Since she has haunted the strait, eating men and destorying ships.

The cliff of Scylla is ominous to look at, it's made of a dark grey rock protruding out of the turbulent sea surrounding it. At low tide, further cliffs can be seen, which are otherwise hidden below the surface. In clear weather the cliff can be seen from the shore. The cliff seems quite small for Scylla and many locals believe this isn't her true home. Magi might believe there is a regio, though this is also incorrect. The truth is that the cliff is hollow and larger below the surface. There is a tunnel large enough for Scylla, which is easy to find by even mundane diving. Following it leads to a round room which is Scylla’s lair. This location was once Scylla’s favourite bathing spot. Hidden from peering eyes. The cave has a small air pocket. Countless bones of humans and marine animals lie upon the cave's floor white pieces of driftwood float at the surface. While Scylla is in her lair she is usually sleeping, though one dog head holds guards at any time. Scylla’s cliff has a faerie aura of 7.

Story Seed: Glaucus’ Request
Glaucus hasn't given up hope on Scylla. Indeed, he cannot. He made a vow which his faerie nature forces him to honour. Glaucus needs someone to plant trees on the ocean floor and seaweed on the highest mountain, Hermetic Magic could achieve these otherwise impossible tasks. In return Glaucus could use his ability to see into the future or reveal the magical herb that turned him immortal. Such a plant would surely be a potent Longevity Ritual ingredient, even if it couldn't make another immortal. Alternatively, Scylla could be cured somehow, what was done with magic could be undone - in theory at least. Seeking out artifacts of Aeaea, Circe’s Island, might hold some clue.

Scylla, Sheet

Faerie Might: 45 (Aquam)
Characteristics: Int -2, Per +1, Pre +2, Com -2, Str +14, Sta +2, Dex +3, Qik -7
Size: 7
Virtues and Flaws: Faerie Sight, Faerie Speech, Feast of the Dead, Hybrid Form, Narrowly Cognizant, Reputation as Confidence, Personal Power x2, Greater Power, Lesser Power x2 Improved Soak x3; Monstrous Appearance, Sovereign Ward (Payment: Scylla can't harm anyone else if each of her six heads have already eaten), Role Requires Suffering, Wrathful
Personality Traits: +6 Destructive, +3 Hungry, +3 Hatred of witches
Reputations: +5 Horrible sea monster, Transformed Naiad +2, Sea-demon +2
Bite: Init -7, Atk +12, Dfn -3, Dmg +15
Claw: Init -8, Atk +10, Dfn -2, Dmg +16
Soak: 8
Wound Penalties: –1 (1 – 12), –3 (13 – 24), –5 (25 – 36), Incapacitated (37 – 48), Dead (49+)
Pretenses: Strait of Messina Lore 4 (eastern shore), Mediterranean Sea Lore 2 (Prey) Swim 5 (Pursuit), Brawl 5 (Bite), Leadership 3 (Non-verbal threatening), Survival 2 (In sea) Awareness 3 (Underwater)
Mauling Range, 1 point, Init -11, Animal
R: Pers D: Constant T: Group (Part), MuAn 35
The body of each of Scylla’s dog “limbs” may freely change its length. Allowing each to become massive and dangerous tentacles. Scylla often uses this power to extend her reach. Due to her Faerie body and the limited area this power affects (everything behind the dogs’ shoulder) the claws or bites of the dog are still not resisted by Magical Resistance.
(Base 4, +2 Sun, +2 Group (Part), +2 Complexity, +1 Constant; -3 might)
Crush the Ship, 2 points, Init -11, Herbam
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Structure, PeHe 40
The Scylla crushes any ship she captures within her tentacles and reduces it to splinter. Scylla does not often use this power, but sometimes her role demands it. The size modifications make it so only the largest ships could possibly be unaffected.
(Base 4, +1 Touch. +3 Structure, +4 Size; -2 might)
Hungers Necessity, 0 points Init -13, Animal
R: Pers, D: Diameter, T: Part MuAn 15
The fangs and claws of each of the Scylla’s head deal an additional +5 damage for the duration. Based upon Damaging Effect RoP:F p. 58.
(Base 5 +1 Part +1 Diameter; -2 might)
Deep Bite of Hatred, 0 points Init -13, Corpus
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind, PeCo 15
Upon a successful attack, cause an additional Medium Wound.
(Base 10, +1 Touch; -2 might)
Encumbrance: 0
Vis: 6 pawns of perdo in each of the dogs head, another 3 in her human head.
Appearance: A horrifying creature. The upper part of her is still a beautiful Naiad, with dark hand wet hair. Often with an angry expression. She rarely speaks, just snarls like a rabid dog. From her thighs six terrible and wild dogs spring forth. Their forelimbs and heads of each dog protrude from her and act independently. Each having glowing red eyes, sharp fangs and claws. Rather than legs she has the tail of a massive sea serpent.

Option: Deadlier
Each of Scylla’s attacking dog-limbs could be treated as separate entities, with individual Wound Penalties. An Incapacitating blow may sever a dog-limb; each such loss counts as a Medium Wound to Scylla herself. Each of the dog-limb should be treated as size +1, altering the Str and Qik.


Strait of Messina, Charybdis’ Whirlpool

Charybdis is the more active of the two creatures. Her great thirst still forces her to swallow and spit out a vast amount of water. The resulting whirlpool is constantly visible. The people living around the Strait have mostly forgotten Charybdis, the whirlpool is now thought to be natural - though dangerous.

Charybdis is the daughter of Gaia, once a beautiful giantess. She served Poseidon in his feud against Zeus. Engulfing land and island in water. Zeus was angered by this theft and cursed her. He transformed her into a hideous fish and then chained her to the bottom of the ocean. There an uncontrollable thirst destroyed her. The only possible quench being the undrinkable saltwater. As such, she drinks the water from the sea thrice a day but must spit it all out thereafter, which creates a massive whirlpool above her.

Seen from above the whirlpool is clearly dangerous. At its most forceful it reaches almost 10 paces diameter. The whirlpool shifts from rotating clockwise and counterclockwise, depending on if Charybdis is swallowing or spitting. In the vortex there are eight sharp rocks, all but one almost completely hidden by the movement of the water. The exception of these rocks is close to the middle of the whirlpool and has twisted fig tree growing upon it. The upper whirlpool has a magical aura of 4.

The spot where Charybdis is imprisoned is deep underwater in a valley of sorts. Large patches of kelp surround it, swaying back and forth as she endlessly swallows and spits. A few pillars of stone protrude from the bottom of the valley, just barely breaking the surface. It's dark and gloomy here. No life can be seen and light from the surface just barely manages to light the area. In the darkest and deepest part Charybdis is chained. The great ugly fish is squeezed to the seabed with three great rusty chains. The chains bear the symbols of eagle and lightning bolts. They are supernatural and resist both magical and mundane methods to break them. Each of the chains is wrapped around one of the rock pillars. Charybdis may move her fins and mouth freely, but nothing else. She is talkative, but must take pauses as her great thirst takes hold of her from time to time. The valley has a magical aura of 7, which is not enough to protect her from acclimation. She is growing weaker, slowly.

Trying to reach Charybdis in her valley is pretty dangerous. Charybdis is not opposed to visitors but her great thirst is a constant danger. She has more than once accidentally swallowed a guest. Mostly Fish of Virtues, the plus side of this is it pushes off her acclimation.

Story Seed: The Whirlpool's Champion
A magus (parens, patron or even a PC) investigates rumors of a suspected Gifted Child from Messina. Seeking out the child reveals that they arrive too late. A tragic accident has occurred, likely spurred on by ostracization due to the Gift, and the child was forced into the turbulent water and was dragged and swallowed by the mighty whirlpool. Six years pass and suddenly the child’s bullies - who caused the incident - ends up drowning in mysterious and supernatural circumstances. It turns out the Charybdis did not consume the child, rather tutored him into a Makhai (Aegir Patron), the child has now returned to the surface to find a way to undo Charybdis’ bonds - seeking personal in between. Player characters can be involved in many ways, some examples might be knowing the victims, wanting to aid in Charybdis escape, or having their resources threatened.

Story Seed: Cunning Rescue
As the characters are passing the strait they see a man hanging from the fig tree in the middle of the whirlpool. He screams and beg for their help. Saving him proves harder as observant magi will quickly notice he has Magic Resistance. The person is in fact a fairy playing the role of Ulysses. Its a dire mistake indeed to try to take him on board any ship, as any journey with him will be met with disaster after disaster. Especially so close to Polyphemus’ cave.

Charybdis, Sheet

Magic Might: 45 (Aquam)
Characteristics: Int 2, Per 2, Pre -2, Com 1, Str 8, Sta 3, Dex 0, Qik -2
Size: +4
Season: Autumn
Confidence Score: 1 (3)
Virtues and Flaws: Magical Master, Magic Human; Aquam Monstrosity, Hatred (Olympians), Weakness (Thist).
Magic Qualities and Inferiorities: Aquam Resistance, Focus Power (Crafter of Aquam), Focus Power (Crafter of Aquam) Gift of Speech, Greater Power (Swallow the Sea), Greater Power (Spit out the Sea), Improved Might x8, Improved Powers x3, Improved Recovery, Improved Soak x3, Major Virtue (Way of the Underwater), Minor Virtue (Unaffected by The Gift), Minor Virtue (Voice of the Underwater), Minor Virtue (Premonitions), Ritual Power x2 (Grant Immunity: Drowning)
Personality Traits: Voracious +6, Angry +3
Soak: 9
Wound Penalties: –1 (1–9), –3 (10–18), –5 (19–28), Incapacitated (28-26), Dead (37+)
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, –1, –3, –5, Unconscious
Abilities: Aquam Resistance 4 (Being targeted), Arabic 2 (Naval), Awareness 3 (Surface) Bargain 1 (Humans), Brawl 3 (Bite), Carouse 2 (Drinking) Concentration 3 (Enduring thirst), Faerie Lore 3 (Olympians) Greek 5 (Homeric) Latin (Archaic) Magical Lore 5 (Titans) Magical Meditation 4 (preventing Acclimation), Mediterranean Sea Lore 3 (Routes), Penetration 2 (Swallow the Sea), Premonitions 4 (Encounters) Sicilian 4 (Siciliano) Strait of Messina Lore 4 (Western shore) Survival 3 (Underwater) Swim 4 (Deep)
Grant Immunity: Drowning, 10 points, Init -22, Vim
As per RoP:M p. 38.
Crafter of Aquam, Variable points, Init -7, Aquam
As per RoP:M p. 38.
Master of Aquam, Variable points, Init equal to (-2 - Might spent), Aquam
As per RoP:M p. 39.
Swallow the Sea, 1 point, -6, Aquam
Charybdis begins swallowing a vast amount of water, creating a vortex. A creature in the vortex must make a Strength + Size stress roll of 9+ or be sucked in, colliding with anything causing +10 damage. Once in the vortex a Strength + Swim roll of 12+ is needed to escape it, while a 9+ is needed to avoid any obstacles, like the rocks . It takes about 10 rounds to reach Charybdis mouth once in the vortex.
(Base 10, Voice +2, +1 Concentration, +1 Part, +2 Size; -3 Points, 2 Penetration)
Spit out the Sea, 2 point, -6, Aquam
As Swallow the Sea but reverse. Same rules apply.
(Base 10, Voice +2, +1 Concentration, +1 Part, +2 Size; -3 Points)
Encumbrance: 0
Vis: 9 Aquam in fins.
Appearance: A large, ugly and warty brown fish. Pressed down into the sand with three great chains.

Fields of Cannae

Amongst the otherwise sunny and fertile hills of Apulia stretches a field of dead and dry grass. The Ofanto river runs next to the fields, yet the soil is dry and coarse. What has once drank deeply of blood can no longer be quenched with water. Until thousands of men die here again, the land shall remain barren.

Cannae was the location of the bloodiest battle in all of Mythic Europe. Polybius cites the number of 78000 souls lost on the Second August 216 BC. Rome’s most bitter defeat. Hannibal had pillaged much of Italy, its citizens demanded that he was fought. Patience and caution was thrown to the wind. Gathering eight legions the newly elected consuls marched to face him at Cannae. The Roman army outnumbered Hannibal's greatly. Yet it didn't matter in the end. Through skillful and deceptive tactics, the Roman army was encircled and crushed. The battle carried on until the complete darkness, first then did the Cartathigan army cease the remorseless slaying.

More than a millennium later the field would once again see battle. In 1018 AD the Byzantine Catepan would face Lombards and Normans, it developed into another bloody affair - but in this one at least the Romans were victorious. In 1038 the Norman Robert Guiscard destroyed the village of Cannae, only sparing its Cathedral and Bishop’s residence. It was another slaughter, one which Cannae still hasn't recovered from.

In 1220 the field is once again yearning for a battle, ideally one as grand as its first. The area, with the cathedral as the sole exception, has an infernal aura of 3. Baal, the God of Cartathigans is a powerful demon. Baal deceived its people into human sacrifices and other vile acts. The demon also arranged for the empire to clash against the Romans. It’s unknown if Hannibal himself was an infernalist. Some Hermetic historians like to suggest it was only with the power of infernal and human sacrifices that he achieved his victory at Cannae - choosing to ignore that the defeat led to four Romans being buried alive under the Forum of Rome to try to win the next clash with Hannibal’s forces. Others stress that Hannibal was a devotee of Melkart - the Cartathigan deity of death and rebirth. Whether Hannibal was an infernalist or not, some portion of his army certainly was it. And the bloody and brutal battle at Cannae has drawn many demons to it. Under the full moon ghosts reenact the slaughter. Raven and crows alike are the only animals who ever willingly visit the area.

Wherever one looks at the field, one is reminded of death. Abandoned fields, brown and grey grass, the half abandoned Cathedral and few hovels surrounding it. All is in disrepair and gloom. Even the river seems sickly and unhealthy. Heremtic magi tend to avoid the area. The Tribunal's necromancer generally consider the area's ghost too mad and infernally tainted to be of any use, though that did not stop Primus Cercistum of Tremere to use them as a threat during the Schism.

Story Seed: Rings of the Equites.
A peasant, or layman, was digging in the field. Something that is considered quite profane unwise, as one is most likely to find human remains or some rusted weapon than do any good. Instead of macabre remains the man found a decorated bronze urn, heavy and massive. Engraved with fires, minotaurs and an unknown script. To the man’s joy it was filled with rings. Silver, gold and gems, an incredible treasure. The man doesn't return to Cannae, instead heads for a major town where he hopes to sell the bounty. The PCs are asked to investigate the man’s disappearance or encounter him in some major town. The treasure the man found is the same (or more likely a copy, as the real one was sent to Rome as a threat) that Hannibal used to count how many Roman nobles that had been slain in the battle. Such a treasure is likely to bring misery and death wherever it ends up. Is this part of some greater Infernal plot? How can the already sold rings be reclaimed?

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Val Camonica

A beautiful and idyllic valley located in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. The valley is surrounded by the Alps, which provide a dramatic backdrop to the landscape. The peaks are often covered in snow, especially in the winter months. During the warmer months, the valley is instead adorned with lush green vegetation. The Adda River flows through Val Camonica. Its tributaries and smaller streams crisscross the valley, creating a network of waterways. These water sources contribute to the fertility of the soil of the valley. The valley has a magical aura of 3.

Before the Romans the Camunni, who were a Rhaetian tribe, lived here. Their valley was conquered and latinized in the 1st century AD. These ancient people lived next to the Ecrustian and Celts. Before the Roman conquest the Camunni were prominent rock carvers, much of their art still remains to this day. Humans and animals are prominent themes, so is the so-called camunian rose. A particular design whose meaning has been lost to time. Of note is the engravings dubbed the “Bedolina Map” perhaps one of the first maps ever created, depicting a long gone town.

During the Roman control of the area, amphitheatres, roman baths and a Sanctuary of Minerva were constructed. The spread of christianity changed the valley. Engraving of crosses and keys started to appear next to the ancient illustrations. Christianity also led to the destruction of the ancient places of worship, statue menhirs were felled and the sanctuary was burned down and the statue of Minerva beheaded. The ruined temple with the statue still lies next to the river Oglio, in the small town of Breno. During Quinquatria, Spring Equinox, the dormant faerie aura becomes strong enough to be noticeable. During those night people with Second SIght can see the head of Minerva upon the statue anew. The statue is alive during this holy celebration too and might provide insight into warfare or other subjects.

The valley is a known and popular ancestor site for House Bjornaer. It was discovered Rosaio of Clan Ilfetu in the 10th century. Who’s sept still has a presence in the valley to this day. The rock engraving might offer insight into Fertility Magic. The valley was put forth as a possible Tribunal meeting ground early in the Tribunal’s history. But due to its lack of connection to the Cult of Mercury it was overlooked. Much to House Bjornaer joy.

Story Seed: Rose and Thorn
A girl is born in the valley with a birthmark resembling the camunian rose. Candace of House Criamon finds the child and takes her in, recognizing the birthmark as a stigmata and her Gentle Gift. Candace, who is interested in the ancient people of Italy, hopes that the girl will be able to shed light on the mysterious Camunni. Candace has opened the girl’s Arts and begun teaching her in the valley. There is however a looming problem, Svecica of Clan Ilfetu has had a vision. She has foreseen that the girl would have the rose as her heartbeast, same as Rosaio did. Svecica thus conspires to steal away the girl from Candace. To this end she needs a catpaw or accomplice. The PCs can serve either side. Svecica is not a pacifist unlike Candace. If cloak and dagger will not pay off, she intends to declare wizard war. Something the magi might very well be involved in as well.

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Heliogabalus was emperor of Rome until his assassination in 222 AD. Part of the Severan dynasty, Heliogabalus was not a native Italian. Instead hailing from a city called Emesa, of the Phoenice province. His four years as emperor would be filled with scandals and strife.

In his hometown, Heliogabalus had since early youth served as head priest of the sun god Elagabal. He did not give up this worship as he arrived in Rome, quite the opposite. During the Winter Solstice of 220 he declared that Elagabal was the true chief deity of the Roman pantheon, and should be honoured as such. A perceived usurpation of Jupiter’s traditional claim. Though sun worship had increased throughout the Empire, the citizens of Rome wasn't ready for this drastic change. Heliogabalus’ devotion to Elagabal, also known as Helios, Sol Indiges or Sol Invictus remained unpopular.

Heliogabalus had a lavish temple called the Elagabalium built on the east face of the Palatine Hill to house Elagabal’s form, who was represented by a black conical baetylus he had taken with him from Emesa. The stone was believed to have been sent from heaven, and it was adorned with rough engravings of the sun. Each summer solstice it would be patrolled on a golden chariot throughout Rome.

Heliogabalus' piousness towards his own god was paired with an utter disrespect towards the traditional Roman deities, going so far as to marry a Vestal Virgin. His debauchery and lustfulness renown throughout Rome. He was deeply unpopular. Like so many other Emperors the Praetorian Guard eventually assassinated him. Jupiter was reinstated, Elagabalium was destroyed and Elagabal sent back to Emesa. Yet the holy stone never arrived, indeed it never left Italy.

Heliogabalus faithful servants, those who would later become the Cult of Sol Invictus instead brought it to a second Elagabalium. This time away from cities and pomp. This second temple remains a central part of the cult and their mysteries to this day, by the cult's modern faction within House Jerbiton.

The Invicti’s have a complicated relationship with Heliogabalus. He was clearly deeply initiated into their mysteries; historians detail his ritual circumcision and other public ordeals.Yet his debauchery and willingness to compromise with “pagan elements” makes others believe he was a traitor to the True Sun. The most popular interpretation is that a lot of what has been recorded about his sex life is libel, and can be safely dismissed.

The second Elagabalium is within a divine regio with a single level of 6. West of Perugia, close to Lake Trasimeno lies an seemingly abandoned hill. This is all that exists of the great temple on the mundane level. Entering the temple is only possible at dawn and dusk, and is done with a simple hymn to Elagabal. Inside the regio the temple is of a classic design with many sun frescos, centering the holy baetylus. A holy relic with 4 Faith Points in it. One of the highest episkopos within the cult cares for the temple and usually lives within it. This is the centre for the Invicti’s activities within the Roman Tribunal, where they historically have many enemies. They are careful to keep the site's location secret, though long term this is likely impossible. The Cult has at least one unlikely ally within the Tribunal, the mysterious Lady of Games and her Nightwalkers share their ambition of routing the Faeries of Italy once and for all.

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South of Salerno, on the Tyrrhenian Coast stand two incredibly preserved temples right next to each other. Though one would never believe it by looking upon the site today, people used to live here just a few centuries ago. Yet today just these ancient temples remain. Greeks hailing from Sybaris founded the polis some 600 BC, it was them who constructed the temples. The Lucanian would conquer the Greeks, in turn being conquered by the Romans. The temples would be closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire. Paestum would become its own bishopric, but it was not to last. Piracy by the Saracen and other circumstances forced the citizens to abandon the site altogether. Even the Divine Aura of the site has disappeared in 1220, a faerie aura of strength 2 once again covers the site. Its last inhabitants were Muslim raiders who used the site as a base briefly.

Distinctly lacking marble and the temples can be interpreted as spartan in decorations, yet in its prime this was far from true. Painted terracotta, frescos and other artworks once adorned both of the temples. Each of the temples has marvellous Doric columns and architraves are impressive.

The temples are dedicated to Juno. This dedication started with the Greek as Hera but shifted throughout the Temples’ history. Inside the two temples there lies many votive gifts, most of which are small female terracotta statues bearing the Greek letters ΗΡ or ΗΡΑ. These gifts, along with other artefacts, are also buried in special consecrated pits around the temple. The cult of Juno aimed at ensuring fertility for local communities and had a strong presence here. The larger of the two temples have an altar for her and her husband Jupiter. There is also an outer altar, where the faithful could attend rites and sacrifices without entering the holy cellas.

The larger of the two temples also act as a Faerie Trod. During Matronalia, attempting to enter the temple often leads characters to wander into Arcadia. The Guardian of this Threshold is usually the hundred eyed Argus, whom Mercury deceived. This path to Arcadia often leads to the Path of Destiny, as the traveller lives out some of the myth connected to Juno.

Further away from the temples of Juno, there is a preserved temple to Minerva and a lost sanctuary of Poseidon. There is also a small necropolis of the Lucanian period. Which has many painted tombs depicting men riding horses and divers. The necropolis has a magical aura of 3.

Story Seed: Juno Sospita
In all of Italy Juno is perhaps the strongest of the former pagan gods. Her hatred for the Trojans has not cooled. In fact the destruction of her beloved Carthage by Roman hands has only made it worse. It's in fact no coincidence that the site was abandoned, but part of the goddess' larger plans. Juno could make an interesting major antagonist in a saga. Her first concern, after finally ridding herself of the oppressive divine aura, is getting a new cult for vitality.


Grotta Azzurra

When the gloomy emperor Tiberius was in power he had a large collection of statues and artefacts and sculpture in his villa in Sperlonga. Here he had a magnificent triclinium which impressed and awed. However in 26 AD, the roof of the linked grotto collapsed while Tiberius was dining, and he was only nearly saved. Tiberius decided to move to the small island of Capri.

On Capri the emperor established a new villa, which nothing of remains today. The emperor also found a new grotto - more magnificent than the last. A sea-side cave flooded with a brilliant blue or emerald light. The water seemed purer than anywhere else. Tiberius made the grotto his personal swimming location and brought many guests - each amazed by the beauty of the location. Filling it with artworks and expanding the cave. However, in just 10 years Tiberius would pass away and the grotto would be forgotten. Occasionally being rediscovered now and again. Locals believe it's an evil place, where monsters reside.

The grotto is only accessible from the sea. Its tunnel is only one pace high at low tide, and otherwise completely submerged. Meaning the entrance is both hard to spot and inaccessible most of the time. Safe entry is only possible when tides are low and the sea is calm. The Blue Grotto is some 60 paces long by 25 pace wide. The unearthly blue light, as well as the acoustics inside the grotto makes for remarkable beauty. At the back of the main cave, three connecting branches lead to the Sala dei Nomi, or “room of names”, named after the graffiti signatures left by ancient romans. Two more passages lead deeper into the island, though they have suffered cave-in, leaving them blocked. One of these at the back of the cave seems to have been an ancient stairway leading up to the Emperor’s pleasure palace. It has a magical aura of 4, aligned with Aquam.

The Emperor had the cave decorated with statues of Neptune and Tritons, some of the artwork from his former palace, some new commissions. They stand on the edge of the water. A few of the pedestals are empty however, since they have fallen over edge and rest upon the bottom of the sea. Conch shells and small votive gifts also lie along the edge of the water. Triton occasionally still visits the spot, and dont mind sharing the grotto.

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Balzi Rossi

On the Liguria coast, lies a series of forgotten caves. In this otherwise unremarkable red and yellow cliff hides remnants of the ancient Fertility Cult. The locals simply call this place “egg beach” due to the many sea birds which roost among the cliffs. None has bothered exploring them. Very close-by the Via Julia Augusta road used to stretch, but it has since decayed and is hardly noticeable. The site is also on the Tribunal border region.

The caves are natural and show little signs of inhabitation, though extensive searches reveal buried treasure and bodies. The only immediately detectable features of the site would be its magical aura of three and the engraving of a horse in one of the caves.

There are thirteen completed venus figures, each still having a single pawn of corpus vis in them. They are made of ochre, serpentine, and bone. Other items found within the caves are simple and crude flint blades, scrapers and arrowheads. Deer canines, shells and the graves themselves.

No less than fourteen people were ritually buried within the caves. If properly exhumed it's quite likely that Hermetic magic would allow communication with these spells. At least one of them was likely an initiate of the fertility cult and created the venus figures.

Harco harvest vis from the beach outside the site. Each spring they gather some of the gull eggs for creo vis. They havent found the cave during these harvests - and wouldnt likely not approve of snooping magi. Though their benefit of an integration of fertility magic might change this attitude.

Story Seed: Putting the cart before the horse?
Cavalh of House Bjornaer has recently undertaken a great spirit quest. Tracking his ancestor has led him to discover Balzi Rossi. Here he finds the engraving which he is sure depicts his own heartbeast as a sure sign of his success. There is just a slight problem, he's from the Provençal Tribunal. Cavalh isn't interested in migrating from one tribunal to another, so instead he has decided to try the matter at tribunal. He believes his claim of the site is stronger than anyone else's, due to his ancestry. Further he also has the 1129 Grand Tribunal ruling on his side, Cavalh has confirmed that some of the locals speak occitan. He also has the covenant of Coenobium support in this endeavour. Cavalh has never been known for his patience though, and thus he has already set up a camp at Balzi Rossi, and prevented Harco’s servant from gathering the vis. The PC might be hired to try to sort out the conflict, or scare Cavalh away some other way.

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A small and seemingly insignificant river, crossing the region's woody hills. The Rubicon stretches in northeastern Italy, flowing from the Apennine Mountains to the Adriatic Sea. The river's picturesque landscapes, including its passage through the small papal town of Savignano, contribute to its cultural and geographical significance in the region. The river is prone to flooding, like the other waterways in the plain. The Rubicon’s water is often red due to iron deposits in the riverbed. The river has a magical aura of 3.

During the Roman Republic, the Rubicon marked the boundary between the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul and Italy proper. It went along the Via Aemilia road. Famously Caesar crossed it with the XIII Gemina legion, starting the Caesarian Civil War. With the saying “let the die be thrown”. Most academic and locals have forgotten the exact location of this event, due to the river's movement and loss of significance as Octavian merged the province of Cisalpine Gaul into Italia. The new name of the river is Fiumicino. Hermetic scholars on the other hand are not as forgetful, through necromancy and communing with the river’s spirit they are certain its the spot. They have even funded constructing a small monument on the spot which Caesar crossed.

A simple marble stele has been raised along the northern shore. There are no nearby bridges, though the river has more than a few along its course. Upon the stele is a simple inscription in latin forbidding the passage of an army in the name of the Roman people and Senate. Some magi, Mercurians namely, leave offerings at the Stele from time to time - as gifts to the river’s spirit and for help in coming to a decision. Sometimes even in the form of scarce vis.

The river genius loci is named Rubiconius. A rather pompous spirit. The fame of Caesar action has made it believe it's one of the most significant river spirits in all of Mythic Europe. The prideful magi visiting and seeking its consul have only boosten this disbelief. The spirit’s might does not back this up. Though with prolonged consumption of vis, perhaps this could be altered. Rubiconius is deadly insulted by the name Fiumicino, thinking it a deliberate slight or plot to lessen its power.

Rubiconius has powers which grants the Strong-Willed virtue and Driven flaw, as well as lesser powers to increase someone's conviction temporarily. A limit of this power is that the target must traverse the river by wading through it. Curiously this also includes a power to bestow Confidence Points. A magi wishing to surpass the limit of Energy might seek inspiration by studying this power. Rubiconius usually manifest as a reflection of a red-skinned roman general in the water.

Story Seed: The River War
Rubiconius delusions have driven it to seek the enmity of the Tiber’s spirit Tiberinus. Naturally neither of them is capable of leaving their banks, as such they have sought out champions for their war. The winner will officially be acknowledged by the other as “the most significant river of Italy”. The role of Rubiconius’ champion could easily fall on the PC, especially if they wish to be affected by any of it’s powers. Besides Tiberinus’ champion's other power they can also command 30 effigies of reed and straw, called Argei. Rubiconius has no such boon to offer, and is the underdog of the conflict.



One of the smaller islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea has a long history. South of the larger island Elba, the island rises isolated yet idyllic out of the sea. The island’s verdant hills, cloaked in a tapestry of lush Mediterranean vegetation, roll gently across the terrain. Olive groves, cypress and large and ancient Oaks covers the island. The coastline of Montecristo reveals dramatic cliffs that defiantly meet the waters below. Hidden coves and secluded beaches, framed by weathered yellow rocks. Here monk seals lie and rest, only occasionally disturbed by the island's other monks.

The island was known to the Greek and Romans, the Romans called the island highest peak Mons Jovis, and on it erected an altar to the God. Part of the altar still remains, and have a faint Faerie Aura of 2 - eagles nest around it and protect it fiercely. As the Vandals sacked Rome, several hermits sought refuge on the island. St. Mamilian was one of them. A former Bishop fleeing conquered Sicily. It turned out the godly men fled the smoke into the fire. As the island was the lair of a dragon. Mamilian slew the dragon on the island, and also changed the island's name to Montecristo ("Christ's Mountain"). Through Mamilian left, the hermits, who had became his followers, lived on the island, and around 600 AD, a monastery was built. St. Mamilian travelled to Giglio, where he died. Inhabitants of Elba and Genoa attempted to steal Mamilian's relics on the very day of his burial and the saint's body was torn to pieces. In the end the island of Giglio only kept the saint's arm.

The Monastery of St. Mamilian is still active to this day, and has become both rich and influential. The Benedictine monks have become famous for their wealth and political power. Many nobles throughout Italy send sons and donations to the monastery. The monastery has a Divine Aura of 5. A bit away from the monastery lies St. Mamiliano Cave, where the saint defeated the dragon using a cross as his shield. Inside, there are numerous votive offerings that bear witness to the pilgrimages of sailors and pilgrims throughout the centuries. It has a stronger aura of 6, the spot is known and cared for by the monks.

Story Seed: The Count of Montecristo
The island is currently controlled by the monastery and the Republic of Pisa, but there are other claimants. The PCs find mysterious letters within another monastery or church. Deciphering them reveals they are from a Cardinal named Cesare Spada to his nephew and heir. They speak of a vast treasure hidden under the island. Research reveals that both the cardinal and heir were poisoned, seemingly by the nobles of Pisa. The treasure still lies unclaimed. The monks know nothing of it. Gathering the treasure could be used to show legitimacy and purchase the title of Count of Montecristo. The treasure is part of the dragon's original hoard, and might even include its unhatched eggs.


Monterozzi Necropolis

In 1220 the city of Tarquinia is hardly very significant. Yet to the ancient Etruscan this was far from the truth. One of the twelve Dodecapoli of the Etruscan League. The city’s legendary founder was none other than Tarchon - a hero and king mentioned by Virgil. Later the city’s inhabitants were visited by Tages, the founding prophet of Etruscan religion. The legend goes that farmers were ploughing furrows, deeper than ever before, when suddenly Tages was dug up. He bade the ploughmen to gather a large crowd, and began divining. His predictions were carefully committed to writing by the Etrurians. This became the foundation of haruspicy. These writings were subsequently improved by the accession of many new facts, all of which confirmed the same principles. Later these writings were studied by the Roman’s and the modern students of the Etruscan Art.

Under the Roman Monarchy a collegium of sixty haruspices thrived in the city. In 509 BC when the Monarchy was ended a conspiracy, dubbed the Tarquinian conspiracy by historians, plotted to establish a new king. The ploy failed though. Eventually the city would yield to Roman domination. After Tarquinia slowly lost its significance, the small fortified settlement visible today was out-rivalled by the more strategically placed city Civitavecchia.

The most interesting feature of the modern city is located upon the southeast of the hill named Monterozzi. Here a vast necropolis is located, with some 6,000 graves. Above ground are man made hills, tumuli, as well as various odd stone urns. The tumuli cover subterranean chambers carved into the rock below, containing wall paintings, personal possessions of the deceased, and their sarcophagi. The frescoes depict many scenes often of animals, dances and rituals. There are 200 of these burial chambers, most of which are more or less intact. A few of them are easily accessible from the tumuli, though a staircase or descending path. The necropolis has a magical aura of 4, which becomes stronger in certain chambers.

The most significant of these graves is The Tomb of Augurs. Though not the largest of the burial chambers, it's the one with the highest magical aura of 7, aligned with divination. The walls are decorated with frescoes. The rear wall depicts two augurs standing on either side of a door to the underworld. Above them a lion and leopard killing a deer. The right wall depicts funeral games, where nobles and servants weep and mourn. Wrestling and bloodletting is depicted. A masked figure wearing a pointy hat, a long, black false beard. The masked man seemingly represents Charun, the Etruscan demonic Charon. The masked man is holding onto a lashed black dog who is pouncing upon a human victim. Above the funeral games flies birds. The left wall depicts another masked man dancing.

The tomb has a sarcophagi of painted Nenfro rock. Depicting a youthful laying haruspex male examining a liver. He wears a conical hat and holds a lituus, a crooked wand. Since the discovery of the site, Hermetic Haruspexes have believed it to be Tages own tomb. They venerate the tomb too much to disturb it by examining the bones. The paintings of the room is said to be his final prophecy, though none have been able to decode it as of yet.

Story Seed: A Liver in the Fields
A ploughman from Gossolengo, in the province of Piacenza, works his field only to one day find a strange bronze object buried in the soil. Having no use for it he sells it and it eventually ends in the hands of the PC. Once cleaned it's clear that it resembles a sheep’s liver, covered in inscriptions that aren't quite Latin. The liver is in fact still an Arcane Connection to Tages (or to another ancient haruspex, if desired) and his tomb in Monterozzi Necropolis. Tages is now a daimon, and would reward whomever returned his talisman to his grave richley, likely by divining their future. The Liver of Piacenza have it's own enchanted divination powers though, making giving it up a bittersweet deal.

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Lake Carezza

Nestled in the heart of the Dolomites in South Tyrol, this jewel is surrounded by high peaks. In the midst of dense alpine forests, the crystal clear waters of the lake reflect a multitude of colours and lights. The lake has an enchanting and captivating charm. The transparency of its clear, emerald green and turquoise waters allows visitors to see the entire bottom of the lake. The surface of the lake reflects the picturesque panorama of the Latemar mountain range, the jagged peaks and the luxuriant foliage that surround its shores.

As visitors explore the shores of the lake, they are treated to a symphony of rustling leaves and the occasional bird song, creating a serene atmosphere that complements the breathtaking natural beauty. The surrounding woods provide a habitat for many animals. Lake Carezza has a Faerie Aura of 4.

The lake was the home of the water nymph Ondina. She loved to sing by the water's edge. Her voice, as clear as the mountain air around her, made her even more famous. She was known throughout the Alps for her beauty and her singing. Eventually her fame reached a Latemar sorcerer who decided to spy on her. He fell madly in love with her, but when Ondina saw him, she jumped into the lake and hid. Ondina was horrified by the sorcerer.

It was many months before Ondina reappeared. When the sorcerer learned of her return, he hurried back to the lake. When Ondina appeared, he used all his magical powers to capture the nymph, but she managed to elude him by disappearing beneath the surface. The wizard sought out the wise witch Langwerda and asked for her advice. Langwerda told him of Ondina's fascination with rainbows. If he made a beautiful rainbow appear over her lake, she would surely appear again. The sorcerer followed her advice and conjured the rainbow. But when Ondina came out of the water, she saw the wizard and hid in fear. The wizard was furious and took the rainbow and threw it into the lake in a thousand pieces. From that day on, all the colours of the rainbow are reflected in the waters of Lake Carezza. Since then, Ondina has never been seen again, but her angelic singing can sometimes be heard over the mountains. What became of the Latemar Sorcerer is unknown.

Story Seed: The Latemar Magi?
A PC magi is confronted with a strange revelation. They hear a rumour that the Latemar Sorcerer is actually their parens. Initial investigations don't prove the rumour to be false. Could it actully be the truth? If so, was the Latemar Sorcerer really as bad as the story makes him out to be? Has he been able to get over Ondina? Can Ondina forgive him and give him some closure?

Story Seed: Under the Crystal Lake
Listening to the legend, it's easy to conclude that there must be a faerie Regio under the lake. Where Ondina is currently hiding. A PC who wants to meet her could try to break through it. The witch Langwerda (another faerie) could be consulted for advice on how to cross the boundary. Convincing Ondina may prove difficult, as she has developed androphobia and a deep distrust of anyone with the Gift.

Carrara Quarries

Carrara is an independent city in Tuscany, famed for its export. Situated in the Apuan Alps, near Monte Sagro, which was a sacred sanctuary to the ancient Ligurians. This mountain together with the Monte Bego and Mont Bégo made up a sacred path to the Ligures tribes. Recognized as such by the statues-stelae they erected upon them. It's speculated that the mountains might also be connected supernaturally, thought this has never been proven.

The Ligurians were conquered by the Romans. As such the religious veneration of the mountain ceased, replaced with a great gutting of it. The region, and Monte Sagro in particular, are filled with high quality marble. Quarries quickly opened, and to 1220 they still operate. Of any marble in Mythic Europe the marble from Carrara is of the highest quality and beauty.

Carrara marble was called Luna Marble by the Romans. It is known for its predominantly white background with subtle, elegant grey veining. The veining can vary in intensity, creating unique patterns in each slab. The high contrast between the white base and the grey veins gives Carrara marble a classic and sophisticated look. It has and continues to be deeply appreciated. Most significantly it was used in constructing the Pantheon, and Trajan’s Column.

Carrara as a city is quite rich, though the 9th century was tough upon it. Warfare saw the destruction of the nearby harbour of Luni at the mouth of the river Magra. Conflict is again on the rise as the Guelphs and Ghibellines battle. Carrara is on the side of the Ghibellines and the faction's support has won the city its independence - broken free from the control of the Bishops of Luni. It has a gothic cathedral which fittingly is constructed entirely of marble. A local delicacy is Lardo, a type of salume with herbs and spices, cured in a marble basin.

There are various magical auras of Mont Sagro, of varying strength. In these auras usually it's also possible to find veins with Marble of Virtue. If the mountain still has a Genius Loci, it has probably been crippled by all the quarries upon it. Members of House Verditius and House Jerbiton both have been known to buy huge chunks of Luna Marble. When using the rules form A&A for determining Aesthetic Quality of a sculpture, add a +3 bonus if the artist uses Luna Marble.

Marble of Virtue
A Stone Block of Marble of Virtue contains 2 pawns of Terram vis and can be Enriched. The Enrichment process is slow and tedious compared to many other Enriching rituals. The whole block must be painstakingly carved into a human figure. Then the statue must be destory, sparing only one of its eye. Wearing this eye as an amulet gives the Minor Supernatural virtue Eye of Hephaestus, which only works on stone sculptures or buildings. See C&G page 71 for details.


Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo

In northern Apulia, Mount Gargano rises along the Adriatic coast. The location is quite famed, and rightfully so - as it was here Saint Michael the Archangel first appeared in western Mythic Europe. Since then he has appeared here a handful of times. As such a basilica has been constructed, standing upon the remains of an ancient necropolis, and sealing the entrance to the holy cave where the archangel first appeared.

A wealthy man of Sipontum owned a large herd of cattle, which he let loose upon Mount Gargano. The wealthy man became enraged with a bull that had strayed from his herd. When he found the bull at the mouth of the cave, he shot it with a poisoned arrow, in anger. Miraculously the arrow reversed its trajectory in mid-flight and killed the wealthy man instead. Hearing of this mysterious event, the Bishop of Sipontum instructed the local citizens to fast for three days. During the course of the fast, St Michael appeared to the bishop and revealed to him the significance of the event.

The year was 490 AD, the Archangel Michael appeared several times to the Bishop of Sipontum and showed him the cave. The angel instructed the bishop that the cave must be dedicated to Christian worship and promised protection of the Sipontum from future pagan invaders.The bishop heeded the demands and advice and brought his flock to the cave. Indeed, warfare and barbarians soon reached Sipontum. As they did Michael once again appeared. Intercession on behalf of the Sipontans and the allied Beneventans against the invading pagan Neapolitans. On the eve of the battle, Michael appeared with his flaming sword atop the mountain; the Sipontans and Beneventans were victorious.

Many Sipontans were in great doubt and fear as to whether they dare enter the holy grotto, so they consulted their bishop again. Once more the angel appeared to the bishop and told him that there was no need to consecrate the grotto chapel since he had already done so. St. Michael instructed the bishop to enter the cave first and conduct mass. In the cavern, he discovered an altar, already covered with a red cloth. The bishop then appointed priests and psalm-singers to conduct daily services in the grotto-chapel. Sweet water seeped from the ceiling stone beyond the altar. From which the locals drank, via a glass vessel suspended by a silver chain near the source, the dripping water heals all manner of infirmities.

The basilica has a Divine Aura of 4, while the grotto-chapel has one of strength 6. The well has been erected around the spring, it is full of votive offerings, drinking from its holy water gives a +6 to the character's next Recovery Roll. The grotto is decorated as a church with pews and an altar. There is also a marble bishop's throne supported on crouching lions.

Story Seed: Magi’s Avarice?
The holy water is discovered to be a Vis Source, which appears to not even be divinely tainted. Perhaps the spring is in a lacuna, or perhaps it's simply God’s will. A local magi is happy to interpret it as the later, yet when people in Sipontum once again start seeing Michael one has to wonder. The archangel has appeared speaking of falsehood and God being denied his tithe. Could it mean the vis? Or is it perhaps someone else in the herd who has caused offence.


North of Propriano in southern Corsica, an ancient people erected many menhirs. They stand upon a hill, overlooking the Taravo valley in an isolated area of the island. Filitosa’s most striking features is its collection of megaliths, large standing stones arranged in patterns that suggest both ritualistic and defensive purposes. These megaliths, some adorned with intricate carved symbols, contribute to the site's mysterious and symbolic atmosphere. They are unlike the Nuragic proto-castles of Sardinia, which suggests that their builders were different people - perhaps even older. Further south on the island there is also a Dolmen. The hill of Filitosa has a magical aura of 3.

The menhirs are stylized representations of human figures, each possessing unique and intricate features. Standing upright and most reaching 2-3 paces in height. The menhirs have detailed facial expressions, weaponry, and other symbolic elements engraved upon the granite rock. The facial features seem to have been a focus of the mysterious craftsmen, the menhirs all have eyes, noses, and mouths, and some statues even display helmets or headdresses. Many of the menhirs hold weapons such as daggers or swords, adding a martial focus to their representation.

All menhir have not survived time. Some have been broken, which seem deliberate. The broken pieces of the warrior statues left like some mighty corpse the ravens may never claim. Many of these pieces had to serve another purpose though, and was used as building material for the torri (“towers”), constructed by yet another people of Corsica's mysterious history. The torri were more than just towers, many seemed to have served as temples as well and those remaining often have a Magical Aura.

Seekers who have examined the location believe the site to be part of an ancient magical battle over Corsica. The warrior menhirs were raised to ward against invaders in a complicated ritual. Though if so, the magic must have failed since the Torrean, Greek, Roman and Vandals had conquered the island. Perhaps they were a measure for a supernatural threat rather than a mundane one, if so they might still serve this purpose.

Capo Colonna

Capo Colonna is a promontory located on the Ionian Sea coast in the Calabria region of southern Italy. It is specifically situated near the town of Crotone, part of the Kingdom of Sicily. The cape is known for the presence of an ancient temple dedicated to Juno Lacinia.

Of the great temple and settlement near nothing remains. Seismic activity and pagan oppression has destroyed it over the centuries. In 1220 AD, two columns, in Doric style, rests on the few remains of the once mighty stylobate. Like many ancient temples it has been long abandoned by devotees. The Faerie Aura which at one time must have covered the temple is now too weak or doesn't exist at all. Perhaps this is why the temple's destruction has been so thorough. In 1220, Capo Colonna has a Magical Aura of 3. Throughout its history, many legends have been associated with the site. Here are some of the most famous.

A Censor, in his dedication of the Temple of Fortuna Equestris in Rome, repurposed the marble tiles from the roof of the Temple of Juno. The Senate later demanded the return of the tiles, but due to a lack of expertise in replacing them, they were left within the temple precinct. In 172 BC, facing sorrow over distressing news concerning his sons, Flaccus took his own life by hanging. The prevailing belief among the populace was that his tragic fate resulted from Juno Lacinia's wrath, angered by his earlier despoliation of her temple.

In 206 BC, as the Second Punic War neared its end, Hannibal established his final camp in the vicinity before leaving Italy. During his stay, he erected a bronze plaque at the camp, inscribed in both Punic and Greek, detailing his achievements. Hannibal, intrigued by the nearby temple dedicated to the goddess who held a special affection for Carthage, explored its wonders. Notably, the temple boasted a golden column that piqued Hannibal's curiosity. To ascertain whether the column was indeed made of solid gold, he drilled a hole. Upon confirming its composition, Hannibal entertained the idea of taking it back to Carthage.

However, his plans took a turn when Juno, the goddess of the temple, appeared to him in a dream the following night. In the dream, she warned Hannibal of dire consequences, threatening the loss of his remaining good eye if he proceeded to take the golden column. Heeding divine caution, Hannibal changed course. Instead of seizing the entire column, he had a small statue crafted from the drill shavings, forming a representation of a heifer sacred to Juno. This statue was then mounted atop the column as a respectful alternative to his original intent.

Story Seed: Restituto Lacinium
Juno’s active role in the defence of the temple speaks of its importance to her. Zeuxis the famous Roman painter is said to have painted it at its height. If a copy of this artwork could be recovered, an invaluable template on how to restore the temple. A possible first step in repairing the relationship with Juno,

Story Seed: A New Temple?
If your saga follows real history, Basilian monks will establish a basilica upon the promontory. Bring with them a holy icon of Saint Luke. Originally belonging to Dionysius the Areopagite. If the temple of Juno has began being reconstructed, or covenant created upon the site, conflict will surely arise as the magi must dissuade these pious holymen.

Story Seed: Hunt of the Heifer
Neither of the columns that stand today are the golden ones. So one has to wonder what became of it. Finding would prove momentarily valuable, but might also offer insight into the practices of the Cult of Juno. When rumours of a golden cow being spotted reaches the magi they see it fit to investigate. Sadly it's not as simple as it might seem. There are no less than 4 golden bovid travelling around Calabria. One is an intelligent Animation of a local wizard of the Augustan Brotherhood. Another is a lesser demon, styling itself as the young bull of the Golden Calf itself. The third is the inanimate heifer made by Hannibal, which serves as an Arcane Connection to the pillar. The last is a faerie who has gotten involved, perhaps by the orders of Juno.

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