30 Days of Mythic Sites of the Roman Tribunal

Pyramid of Bomarzo

A dark and eerie forest stretches between the town of Bomarzo and Viterbo, famed for its healing springs. An ample supply of volcanic rock, suitable for construction and carving can be found here. Modern and ancient people alike have used the forest and earths material to construct monuments. Some of these have been reclaimed by the forest since.

On the slopes of a deep canyon, the enormous peperino rock protrudes. Grey lichen has conquered it, yet it is unmistakably a human construction. Easily recognized as such by the steps which have been cut into the rock. The first flight of stairs leads to a pair of intermediate altars. The intermediate level shows evidence of once having supported wooden posts and supports. Creating a stage. Beyond these altars is another flight of stairs, which leads to the top of the rock, where there seems to have been another grander altar. All of the altars are positioned toward the northwest, where the Ecrustian believed the underworld lied. Most unnerving is the rocks gutters and channel, to facilitate the flow of blood of sacrificed animals and other creatures. Black figs and red cornel have been planted around the pyramid.

This was once a Etruscan religious centre where they worshipped chthonic deities, known to the Romans as Dii Inferi. Dii inferi were often invoked in binding spells and hexes, indeed a few defixiones can be found around the pyramid. Cult of Pluto is the most common of these. The defixiones are notable as they are unusual due to the site not being a proper necropolis. The pyramid has a magical aura of 3, yet at nights this Aura is overpowered by an Infernal Aura of 4.

There are two other similar sites in the same forest. One whole roman Ara Cubica, which is a simple though anonymous sepulchral memorial stone. Selva di Malano is more like the pyramid, with a cut out stone staircase and altar. Yet it is smaller and dont have the same sinister undertone.

Story Seed: Sacro Bosco
Moschino of Merenita is a member of the Shadow-Masters society. It has fallen upon him to host the upcoming Great Play. Moschino has created a vast park of the illusionary monsters outside Bomarzo. He has decided upon the theme of chthonic deities and monsters, especially Orcus. After a hint from his friend Ligorio of Tytalus, Moschino has discovered the pyramid and was delighted when it turned out to be a vis source. Yet the vim vis in the form of sacrificed animal blood is in reality Vis sordida, and harvesting only strengthens it only strengthens the site's Infernal Aura. PCs might be drawn by the Great Play, only to experience the aftermath of a nasty botch by Moschino. Could Ligorio have known about the infernal nature of the vis? If so, what does he gain by deceiving his friend?


Su Nuraxi

Su Nuraxi is the largest Nuraghe on all of Sardina. It’s rightfully simply called “The Nuraghe" in Campidanese. The suspected once fortress is made up of large basalt boulders, skillfully constructed by unknown masons. It lies west of Verdi and north-east of the larger town Sanluri. It has a Magical Aura of 4.

The massive Nuraghe is centred around a nearly 20 paces high conical tower, mastio, filled with circular rooms and vaults. It's clear that it was even higher originally, though passage of time has worn it down. Four smaller towers connect to it, each pointed in the cardinal directions. Surrounding this massive proto-castle lies dotted many circular ruined huts. A series of walls and more towers also protected these homes. Su Nuraxi was clearly not just a fortification, but a whole village. Perhaps the Nuragic civilization’s own Rome.

Like many other Nuragiclic sites there is also a subterranean holy well on the site. In a half moon shaped courtyard outside the main fortress. The water has since dried up, or perhaps deliberately filled with rock and soil. Once Verdi harvest vis from this well, yet since the Schism it hasn't produced any. Verdi has since long stopped checking annually,

Another important structure is the dubbed “Council Hall”. It is a large circular building provided with a circular stone bench arranged around the inner perimeter and five niches on the wall, where effigies or icons once must have stood. Other religious and magical rituals are suspected to have taken place here. The site aura is tethered to this hut. The site lacks any signs of the otherwise common burials and tombs of the Nuragic.

Story Seed: A Proto-Covenant?
Perhaps by investigating other graves, or verdi’s library, the PC or other magi get their hands on evidence that Su Nuraxi was once a form of proto-covenant. A castle ruled by five magicians. Intrigued by this they wish to investigate further. It turns out the purpose of Su Nuraxi and many other nuraghe were to protect against a race of giants who roamed throughout Sardina. Were these the cyclopes who also inhabited Sicily, or the biblical Nephilims? Is it actually the giants who are buried in the large tombs scattered through Sardina?

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In the Abruzzo region, north of the Aterno river, lies the small town of Capestrano in the Tirino valley. The town is charming though undistinguished. The Lombard King Desiderius had the Benedictines abbey of San Pietro ad Oratorium built there in the 8th century, which has recently been rebuilt. The town centres around this monastery. The uniqueness of the town comes from it being built upon an ancient settlement.

North of the town lies a necropolis upon a hill. The Vestini tribe lived here before the Romans conquered them during the 3rd and 2nd century BC. Pliny mentions that this settlement was once named Aufina. The necropolis was constructed during the 6th century BC, and served as a burial site for many generations of the local community. The tombs and grave goods in the necropolis are still undisturbed by grave robbers, though none are accessible without excavations. Locals avoid the aura, believing it to be haunted. The Monk have been asked to cleanse the area, yet have not had any success as of yet. The necropolis has a magical aura of 2.

A particular tomb has the remains of a great king of the Vestini, Nevius Pompuledius. Nevius was once but a shepherd, but he took control of his tribe and made a name for himself by being merciless and a proven warrior. His tomb is the largest, and has a fair amount of grave goods. Mostly gold, but a few pawns of vim vis also lie in the weapons scattered throughout the tomb. Most striking is the warrior statue which guards the tomb.

The warrior stands at a height over 2 paces. His stance is with his massive arms folded across the chest, clad in military attire. A disc-shaped parade helmet covers the head, extending over the ears, and a facial mask is worn. The chest is safeguarded by armor disks fastened with straps, complemented by a shield. Greaves shield the legs, and sandals adorn the feet. Suspended in front of the chest, the warrior bears a sword with an ornate hilt and scabbard, accompanied by a dagger. Positioned to the right, he holds a small axe. Ornamental details include a rigid necklace with a pendant and bracelets on the forearms. Like many statues of the italian peninsula, the statue was once painted - but only a few traces of red can still be seen off this.

Story Seed: A Second King?
The name of Vestini king is curiously similar to Numa Pompilius, the legendary second king of Rome. Numa is said to have been of Sabine origin, but perhaps this was a mistake? He is remembered for founding many of Rome's most important religious and political institutions, such as the Roman calendar, Vestal Virgins, the office of pontifex maximus, and the Roman cults - among them the Cult of Mercury. Character searching out relics of his regime might find a (false?) lead taking them to Aufinum.

Story Seed: Who Disturbs My Tomb
The Statue is actually an animation constructed by a primitive version of the Practice of Animo. Thus it has Magical Might and Intelligence. It was constructed in the likeness of Nevius himself, and has begun believing it is the king itself. It is likely to attack anyone disturbing the grave. The animation can speak, unlike modern animations, though only in long dead languages. The item might interest Seekers, house Verditius and almost certainly the Augustan Brotherhood.

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Sanctuary of Oropa

The Sanctuary is situated on the slopes of the Alps, at some distance from the town of Biella. Part of the Aosta Valley, with the high and imposing Mount Mucrone overlooking the grassy basin. On the slopes two basilicas have been constructed, occasionally visited by pilgrims. The region has a Divine Aura of 4, which grows stronger around the site’s important and famed relic.

The Madonna Della Oropa is a painted figure of dark pigmented cedar wood, decorated with gold and gemstones. It depict the Virgin Mary, holding the Child Saviour. The Madonna was sculpted by Saint Luke and brought to Oropa by the not-canonised Saint Eusebius of Vercelli. Eusebius was a martyr. He faced significant opposition and even endured exile for his unwavering defence of Nicene orthodoxy.

Fleeing persecution from local Celtic pagans, Eusebius sought refuge in the mountainous Aosta Valley. In an effort to protect the statue of the Madonna from desecration, he concealed it here. He hid it in a cavity of a large boulder. One of the many erratic boulders called masso delle streghe (“Witches' Rock”). What Eusebius didn't know was that this place was the sanctuary where the Celts worshipped a black god of fertility. Still the local women had the custom to rub themselves on the stone to propitiate the birth of a child. Despite this Madonna was not discovered.

When Eusebius later attempted to relocate the sacred image, its weight miraculously increased, thwarting his efforts. Consequently, the statue remained enshrined in the mountains, where it presently oversees a substantial sanctuary. Devout followers interpret the miraculous heaviness of the image as a divine signal from the Blessed Virgin Mary, indicating her desire for a sanctuary to be established in that sacred location.

The statue is housed in the older of the two basilicas. The boulder has become part of the rear wall, and an altar for the Madonna. Three very old oaks grow outside. Our Lady has in her infinite mercy continued to perform the miracles the bould claimed to be capable of in ancient days. Touching it grants a female character a +3 to their next childbirth rolls.

Story Seed: Our Usurped Lady
A mysterious woman arrives at the PCs Covenant. She claims her name is Druantia and is looking for capable people skilled in the mystic arts. She explains confidently that she is the remnant of a Forgotten God taken human form. To recover her powers and might she wishes to reclaim her cult’s home - The Sanctuary of Oropa. In return for aid with this, she can offer insight into the ancient druids and their religion. Could such a story be true? Might a demon be trying to coax them - or perhaps more terrifyingly House Diedne?

Euganean Hills

Known in Italian as Colli Euganei, the Euganean Hills are a group of volcanic hills in the Veneto region of northern Italy. These hills are located just south of the city of Padua and west of Venice.

Rolling hills covered with vineyards, olive groves, and forests. The hills are not very high, but they offer panoramic views of the surrounding plains. The region supports diverse vegetation, including chestnut trees, oaks, and various types of wildflowers. The hills are also inhabited by a variety of bird species.

The name originates from the Euganei people, who the Trojan defeated in early Italian history. There are many smaller towns, centred around wine production. Shipped and sold in Venice. Though there is another business as well, the hills have many thermal springs. These thermal spas have been popular since Roman times for their therapeutic properties. The bathhouses and structures they constructed around these thermal springs are the foundation of a few of the local towns.

After the disaster of the Tribunal of 1039, and the following splitting of the Tribunal - a new site to house the senate (the lofty traditional name for the assembly of magi in the Tribunal) was needed. This was a slow process, with many candidates. Many covenant favoured locations close to them. Finally In 1068, the Euganean Hills were crowned the winner. Mostly due to their proximity to venice.

The specific location is complex Roman ruins. Centering natural and elegantly repaired thermae. Magi who visit these long Tribunals, can relax in the healthy baths during down time. A large amphitheatre is where attendance and cases are heard. The amphitheatre is a bit too small for this purpose. Generally older magi get to sit, while young or dishonoured magi have to stand in the back. There is also a temple. Despite what Roman Magi would want, it was never solely dedicated to Mercury. Though he was honoured in it as well. It has been determined that the ruins shall not be repaired. As a prominent reminder of the Fall, though also to save vis and devoid attention. The ruin complex is hidden from mundane eyes with a casting of a Shrouded Glen spell, though Aegis of the Hearth is usually avoided.

One of the site's most important treasures is a massive wall calendar. Called the Fasti Augusti Maiores. It is based upon the Republican version, and is supposedly a rescue from Rome - the first ever constructed by Emperor Augustus himself. It is made of marble and gold. Each year the Mercurians update this calendar and mark the important festivals and rites, though in 1220 they are observed rarely.

Land of Polyphemus

In the 1220 century, the region southeast of Mount Etna, is rumoured to be a terrible monster's dwelling place. It is avoided by Sicily's inhabitants. Eerie and thick fogs enveloped the area, dissuading any visitors. Those who dare to travel to this mysterious region never return. On the other hand, those who know the classics, recognize the place as the Lands of Polyphemus.

Embarking on his arduous journey after the fall of Troy, Ulysses would eventually reach the eastern coast of Sicily, encountering Polyphemus, a formidable Cyclops and offspring of Poseidon. Polyphemus captured Ulysses and his crew, sealing them in his cave. Only by his cunning could the hero ultimately outsmarted his adversary. Ulysses under the nickname Outis (“Nobody'') blinded the Cyclops's singular eye and made a daring escape. Polyphemus, in a fit of anger, hurled massive boulders at Ulysses' ship, yet the hero narrowly eluded further harm. Three islands now stand as a testament to the last remnants of Polyphemus' wrath. Polyphemus' father Poseidon would also take revenge upon Ulysses. The years have claimed Ulysses, yet Polyphemus has remained.

Before this famous tale Polyphemus also killed the mortal lover of the Nereid Galatea - named Acis. Polyphemus killed her out of jealously, but Galatea transformed him into a river spirit. The river Aci still marks the edge of Polyphemus land, though neither Acis and Galatea appear here often.

Centuries ago, the other Cyclopes Sicily abandoned their homeland, leaving behind an abandoned caves along the coast. Whether it was the dominion, human settlements or some other force, the other Cyclopes vanished, leaving blind Polyphemus alone.

The cliff that makes out Polyphemus' land is desolate and destroyed. Broken trees, stumps and bushes litter the landscape. Polyphemus is still not fully accustomed to his blindness and therefore has this effect on the landscape. Polyphemus' cave is marked by a massive boulder - which serves as its door. It is some 15 paces tall, an incredibly large piece of stone. The inside of the Polyphemus' cave is decorated spartanly. Two piles are its only notable features. One made of sheep pelts, where Polyphemus sleeps. The other of refuse. A fire always burns in the middle of the cave, though its smoke does little to hide the rancid smell of the cave. The entire cave exudes a dank, smoky, and has a foul atmosphere. Polyphemus and his herd of sheep inhabit the cave. In 1220, he spends most of his time hiding in here - sometimes his sobbing shakes the outside cliffs. His cave has a magical aura of 5.

Polyphemus, a colossal giant standing nearly 15 paces tall. He is covered in dark hair, infested with fleas and lice, and clad in soiled, coarse wool garments. In the middle of his face is marked by the ruins of a single eye, occasionally shedding tears from its pit. Since the departure of the other Cyclopes, Polyphemus has grown sombre and contemplative, yearning for companionship in his dark world. Despite his attempts to befriend travellers, old fears persist, keeping ordinary people at bay. Those who approach often seek to vanquish him, invoking Polyphemus' wrath as he defends himself against warriors and knights, driven by the memories of his torment.

Story Seed: Fate of the Cyclopes
The Cyclopes migration is poorly recorded. It seems quite likely that they travelled to Malta and then beyond it towards Mythic Africa. Some have even suggested that the Cyclops lived on Sardinia before Sicily, and that the Nuraghe were constructed to protect the humans from them. Polyphemus really does miss his kind. Reuniting him with them would earn his friendship and favour. Such a journey could very well rival Ulysses own voyage.

Pannoch's Depository

In the thriving market of the city of Milan there are several large storehouses. One of which few ever enters. The storehouse is all but empty, its shelves are only filled with dirty and blood stained rags. The storehouse is the occasional secret meeting place for a heretical movement thought to be stamped out by the Papacy and the Milanese’s citizens. The depository has an Infernal Aura of 4.

In 1057, a preacher and deacon named Arialdo arrived in Milan. He began preaching and chastised the city’s clergy - in particular the archbishop, Guido da Velate, who was away in Germany. Arialdo disapproved of the Milanese’s clerics' custom of marrying and the practice of simony. The Papacy was soon involved, though Arialdo had already stirred up the Milanese to such an extent the city was rioting. The riots wanted reform but it became self evident that Arialdo had no control of them - as his own associate was attacked and killed during a confrontation.

The rioters and Arialdo became dubbed the Pataria (“Rag-pickers”) for their ragged or unkempt behaviour. Arialdo had to flee to Rome. There, the Papacy was sympathetic to his cause and sent him back with two envoys. Both of which would themselves later be popes, and one sainthood. These representative of the See of St. Peter could not quell the violence however. A new pope came into office and Guido became excommunicated. Guido was able to use this to fuel the city's hatred towards the violent Pataria. Ariald was again chased out of the city, and then assassinated, in 1066. Ten months after the assassination, his perfectly preserved body was found in lake Maggiore. It was carried to Milan, and by 1067 he was canonised as a saint and martyr.

Witnessing the miracle the city was sure of the righteousness of Arialdo and Guido was forced out of the city. Guido resigned though the issue of his successor would too be excommunicated in 1074. The Pataria movement would be declared heretical and in 1075 would finally die down.

The Pataria movement and the conflict that preceded and followed it was the effort of the demon Pannoch the Rag Pince, a Vessels of Iniquity. Through careful manipulations and temptations he was able to cause the riot and violence which ruled the city for 20 years - daming many souls to hell meanwhile. It’s believed that Guido da Velate had pledged his soul to him. Since then Pannoch has kept low, involving himself in Milan’s textile trade. Pannoch has made a deal with a merchant who owns the storehouse, and through him formed a cult of new pataria. Whatever Pannoch is planning next for the Milanese will surely be even more ruinous.

For statistics for Pannoch, use a modified form of Golab, Foe of the Seraphim from RoP:I, page 70. Pannoch’s Obsession is “Distrust of spiritual leaders”. His current human form is that of a thin merchant, wearing ill fitting clothes.

Story Seed: Ragged Theft
A part of Pannoch's new plan involves the despoiling of Saint Arialdo relics, kept in the church of St. Ambrose. His method of this is quite blunt: growing the new Pataria and continually suggesting that they must recover their founders’ relics from the city’s corrupt clergy. When he believes his cult is large and strong enough, he intends to have them break into the church and steal the saint bone. This will greatly boost the cult's confidence as well, enabling them to become rasher and more sinful. He expects violence and persecution to follow in wake of the theft. PC’s might be made aware of Pannoch's plan though St. Arialdo or St. Ambrose, or their emissary.

There is a - tentatively historical - approach to the Pataria in ArM5 in sub rosa #16 p.82ff: 1050 AD: Strange Alliances. It includes Erlembald Cotta, the official saint of the Pataria, buried in Milan cathedral.

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I was not aware that this had already been treated. I withheld Erlembald's name to avoid naming too many people. I must also have overlooked the fact that he too was canonised as a saint.

My interpretation of the infernal influences is mainly due to the violent aspect of the movement. The infernal wants to corrupt the divine. Here, the Pataria started out justified, but as time passed, their movement quickly became corrupt. Although this is only my own interpretation of history. Throughout the project I have found that infernal sites are the hardest to find, so I was pleased to find this anecdote from history. Although the name of the demon I came up with is admittedly pretty bad.

Of course, troupes could interpret it as a completely mundane matter. With pious and sinful people on both sides, it is probably the closest thing to real history. The problem is that it leaves little room for stories in 1220.If there is still a scheming demon in Milan, there is still an opportunity to right a wrong. Suppose, for example, that a great (magical?) treasure had disappeared during the riot and that an heir had hired the magi to find it. That way you could have an adventure hook, if you wanted to avoid the infernal and concentrate on the history alone.

Thanks for the comment!

Autonoe’s New Nest

In the Apulia region of Southern Italy there is an exceptional and unusual disease the locals are beginning to slowly conquer. The epidemic manifests itself mainly throughout harvest seasons, in which the disease is spread through the bite of wolf spiders. Usually the victims are women or younger girls, but not exclusively.

The symptoms of the disease in the beginning is a heightened excitability and restlessness that gripped the victims. The victim soon feels like they have a hundred different feelings at a time. They cry, dance, vomit, tremble, laugh, pale, faint, and they will suffer great pain, and finally after a few days, if unaided, they die. This disease usually progresses through its phases in one or two days. While infected the character don't suffer from any fatigue penalties.

There are two known cures to the locals. The first and most common is to simply exercise the body until the victim passes out. The traditional and believe most surefire way of achieving this is through a “Musical Exorcism”. The locals gather and play music and let the victim dance away all their energy away. This ritual is called tarantism. In game terms, this is achieved by spending 5 long-term fatigues.

In the town Galatina, Saint Paul stayed, during one of his voyages of evangelisation in South Italy. He was kindly offered a place to stay by a local man. As a token of appreciation for his hospitality, the saint graced this simple man and his family with the ability to heal the sickness brought forth through the bite of venomous spiders. By using water from the well that existed inside their home, and crossing their fingers along the wound, he and his kin were able to cure the condition. This is a version of Lesser Purifying Touch. To this day family members travel throughout Apulia curing people.

This unusual disease is in reality the work of a highly-cognizant faerie - Autonoe, sixth-widowed. Autonoe was once a mere monster, a giant tarantula. Through encounters with humans she was able to spin and weave her own story into becoming a great matriarch. Now she has found an old abandoned temple of Bacchus and Ceres. Through the cult relics and ritual she was able to birth a new disease - one which she could spread with her broods. The true genius of Autonoe’s plan is that the tarantism is also from the relics of the temple - an old rite of the Bacchantes. Thus Autonoe collects vitality by the spread and cure of the disease. This scheme is proving very successful and Autonoe is quickly becoming one of the most powerful faeries of the region.

Autonoe has just the small annoyance of Saint Paul and the family he blessed. The dominion already drew her out of her first nest, and now it seems to rear its ugly head in her new plot as well.

The temple Autonoe has turned into her nest is of a classical Greek style. It's hidden in a forest, and is half a ruin. Autonoe can't spin webs, but has still caused great damage to the temple by her hulking body. Autonoe walks around the temple digging and searching out more relics of the temple. Autonoe is always encountered with a vast amount of spiderlings hatched. Climbing onto their mother's abdomen. The rites Autonoe has found within the temple have been Faerie Rites, including ination scripts - there might even be magical ones hidden amongst them. Autonoe don't mind visitors, but she is quite likely to infect them as well. Though this is little problem for magi, whose parma protects them from the supernatural disease. The temple has a Faerie Aura of 5.

Story Seed: In Need of Bacchic Frenetic Work
A Drusus of Bonisagus hears about the strange disease, and believes it is just the thing that he needs. Drusus has always thought his body is holding back his mind. He seeks a powerful stimulus to achieve the Addled lab-routine. He believes the bite is just the thing. Thus he ask the PCs to go catch as many spiders as they can, promising a payment and a dedication in his research. The PC might come into contact with Autonoe by attempting to catch these spiders. Alternatively, the use of the disease gets widespread throughout the Tribunal. Something Autonoe is sure to make use of. For example, a certamen duel could be made very unfair by one side using the disease, and might bypass the usual inspection if foul play is expected.


Certainly one of the most magical spots on the whole Italian peninsula. Avernus is the name of a lake and crater. located near the ancient city of Cumae, on the north most part of the Bay of Naples.

The Avernus crater has numerous caves along its ridge. Though these are often dangerous to explore, many are filled with scentless noxious fumes. Due to these fumes, no bird ever flies over the large lake in the craters centre. The Phlegraean Fields are a volcanic hotspot, and the terrain bears witness to this. It has an extremely high magical aura of 8. The entryway to the Underworld (Magical Realm) lies at the very bottom of this series of caves.

It was here that the mythic hero Aeneas performed his katabasis. Aeneas sought out the Cumaean Sibyl. The sibyl advised the hero that he must descend into Orcus to understand his destiny and receive guidance from his father. To gain entry into the underworld, Aeneas sought out a sacred tree of Diana, and recovered a golden bough from it. In the underworld Aeneas received knowledge and wisdom. Here he learned to understand the divine plan for Rome and his role in it.

Cumae was originally a Greek colony. One of the richest and largest, most likely a result of the Sibyl which had taken up residence close to it. Tarquinius, the last of the legendary Kings of Rome, lived out his life in exile here. The polis’ temple of Apollo was the original location for the revered Sibylline Books. But eventually Rome would conquer it as well.

A long subterranean tunnel connects Cumean and Avernus. Next to this long path is also the Sibyl’s Cave, marked by large oak trees. The Cumaean Sibyl prophesied by “singing the fates” and writing on oak leaves. These were arranged inside the entrance of her cave. Subterranean fumes or the wind sometimes stir these and scatter them all over her cave, the Sibyl refuses to reassemble the leaves to recreate the original prophecy whenever this happens. Create confusion about the sequence of events. To this day the Cumaean Sibyl Carmentis still sits upon her tripod here. For more information see TSE p. 120.

It was in the caves of Avernus that Guorna the Fetid had her stronghold. Her cult of necromancers seeking the path into the underworld and putting the site’s high magical aura to use. It was also here that Tytalus and Tremere slew Guorna in an ambush, as well as her followers. Tremere performed a Dacian over her corpse, prevent Guorna’s wrathful spirit from forming as a ghost and the site being used as an Arcane Connection. The traces of this pre-hermetic ritual can still be observed however. Tytalus and Tremere would both demand that their apprentices avoided the area.

The Augustan Brotherhood who are centred in Naples, are horrified by this site and avoid it at any cost. Throughout the Order’s history the Cumaean Sibyl has been sought out a few times - though she refuses to recreate the Sibylline Books or confirm if they were to persevere. House Tremere is following their founder’s dictate and have pushed politics limiting the site's exploration. Certamen bullying and Wizard Wars are their tools for this praxis. Seeker have speculated about relics of the Cult of Hades, Hyperborean magic and the necromantic tradition of Guorna.

Story Seed: A Bilious Court Wizard
Despite the Augustan Brotherhood dogma, a young and ambitious wizard of their rank seeks out Avernus’s caves. Here he finds a morbid artefact that enables him to control ghosts. He supposes the skull belonged to some ancient priest of Hades. It’s sole drawback being the pus filled growth he begins developing each time he touches it. With the skull the wizard is able to rise in the ranks of his tradition. Unlike many others, his stance is clearly against the Order. Something partly inspired by his frequent nightmares. The PC might hear rumours of this development, or even taste the first of the wizards' offensive politics.

Lake Nemi

Southeast of Rome along the Alban Hills lies a circular lake, named after the nearby town. Throughout history it has been called Nemorensis Lacus (“Diana's Mirror”) since it was a centre of the cult. The lake and its forest were sacred to the goddess Diana Nemorensis and the original site of the festival Nemoralia. In this sacred grove a priesthood called the Rex Nemorensis reigned until he was killed by a challenger. The lake has a magical aura of 7.

Diana was worshipped as a triple goddess here. A golden oak served as her idol, the same Aeneas plucked from to gain entry to the Underworld. This was all that early followers of Diana needed - the wilderness. Yet early in Rome history a temple was constructed. Singularly ancient in design.

As the temple grew they also began to worship the hero Hippolytus of Athens. He was a mortal virginal youth and a devoted follower of the goddess Diana. Phaedra, his stepmother, falsely accused him of rape after he rejected her advances. As a result, he was killed by a chariot accident. Diana, realising the truth, intervened to save him. She later revived him under the new name Virbius.

Lake Nemi’s temple was a sanctuary for escaped slaves, who couldn't be pursued here by law. Similarly no boat was allowed upon the water. Something Caligula, the mad blasphemous third emperor would deliberately try to breach.

Caligula's Nemi ships were a pair of luxurious and opulent vessels. These colossal floating palaces were renowned for their extravagant design and grandeur. The ships were floating palatial structures, each adorned with intricate mosaics, lavish decorations, and ornate furnishings. One of the vessels was dedicated to leisure and entertainment, featuring gardens, dining rooms, and places for relaxation. The other ship served as a temple of Isis, and displayed remarkable craftsmanship and artistic elements throughout. Caligula, before proposing his own divinity, was an initiate of the Mysteries of Isis. Isis was interpreted as an aspect of Diana by the Romans. Following the assassination of Caligula, the ships were stripped of precious objects and sunk. In 1220 the ships are still at the bottom of the lake, perhaps scripts or relics of the Cult of Isis could still be found in the shipwrecks.

The True Merinita society and the esoteric Mystery Cult of the Huntress in the Wood teaches that the king-priest of Rex Nemorensis has been vacant since 785. Merinita the Founder held the title while she lived but Quendalon slew her and took it for himself. He is currently hiding in Arcadia and for 435 years, there has been no new king-priest. The Huntress in the Wood still has one of its three hierophants, the priestess of Diana, live continuously at the site. Caring for the golden idol and sacred grove. None have yet been blasphemous enough to set up a lab at the site. The priestess current concern is a Faerie Caligula arriving at Nemorensis each year with his two massive ship. The priestess assumes the faerie is following Quendalon's order and probing for weakness.

Bonisagus’ Temple of Mercury

Between the Aventine and Palatine Hills, in a half abandoned and ruined part of the Eternal City lies a completely dried out well. There is a stone fence around the courtyard where it stands and a small other building upon the property. The building is clearly much more modern, yet entirely empty. Inside the well, there is an invincible ladder, sturdy and robust. Descending down the well initially seems futile, as there is no opening at the bottom. Though this too is a trick. The northern section is illusory, and can be walked through. Doing so leads the explorer to an underground cave and temple.

The temple is one of the oldest in Rome. Though not much remains of it in 1220. It was constructed in 495 BC, dedicated to an unknown soldier Marcus Letorius, a primus pilus. It was situated outside one of the larger markets of Rome, thus the Pontifex Maximus and the merchants' guild shared control and the preservation of it. The temple was quite small compared to many others - or at least this chamber of it. Marcus Aurelius would fund repairs of the temple during his reign. And in the 8th century, Bonisagus would find the well half buried and long forgotten. He descended into it and found the temple and a secret cache of the Cult of Mercury’s rituals.

The underground chamber is the cella of the temple, though part of its peristasis remain as well. Instead of the usual columns, the temple’s architrave and roof is held up by four herms. Each depicting mercury, but damaged heavily. The architrave is engraved with roosters, tortoises and a proud ram. The walls have cracks and the roof is replaced with earth and stone.

The statue of Mercury is located in the centre of the cella. It's made of marble and depicts the god naked and holding his caduceus, though the other arm has been broken. The temple has a few frescos along the walls and floor. Depicting Maia, Mercury’s divine mother, and priest sacrificing cows to her. Lares are also depicted. And naturally Mercury himself.

The temple was very important to the Cult of Mercury despite its lack of grandeur. This was due to its location in the capital. The Cult could centralise around the capital, but more importantly Rome was the centre of the ancient road network. Thus rites in the temple could affect any other location in the empire. The temple was thus of vital importance to the Emperor and Cult alike. Even the well was significant and sacred, as during Mercuralia, merchants would sprinkle water on their heads from it.

Once the cella must have been filled with votives, texts, and other trophies. Indeed, when a young Bonisagus first descended down the well this is what he found - some of these relics are still kept in the Great Library of Durenmar. In 1220 however it’s empty, if not for visitors. Hermetic historians and Mercurians akin sometimes travel to the site. The land of the well was purchased by a magi and donated to the Roman Tribunal by Notatus himself. Since then it has been kept intact and, to the best of the tribunal's ability, secret.

Congratulations for making it !
That's is a lot of work, lots of good ideas with a mix of small stories and major major legacy, whether it is just for one session to discover, or ideas for longer adventure.
Excellent work.

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Thank you!

I was asked to gather all the posts in a PDF-file, which is now avalible here.

It was a fun project. I tried to use regions all over the Italian peninsula, although the islands could probably have used more attention. Also, my own dislike of regios probably have coloured the project a bit. Mostly in the lack of urban sites. I originally intended to have Story Seeds for each location, but I could not come up with any for some of them. I could probably offer more mechanical support for each, character stats, magical effects and so on. Alas, alas. On the whole we will call it a success.