So there have been discussions on the discord in the past weeks regarding the Tribunals, in particular the over representation of the British isles (3 Tribunals, for a small population compared to Novgorod being literally everything East of Lusatia) in comparison with the rest of Europe. As such I suggest the following (rough) redrawing of Europe into new/alt Tribunals:
I realise that this would require a complete rewrite of Canon, and would invalidate the Tribunal books of previous editions, but I do feel like it would be a more balanced representation of Mythic Europe.
One conceit for this redrawing to work would be regular (each Grand Tribunal) re-approval of some of the borders, based on pre-agreed upon rules/definitions. It has the advantage of encouraging Tribunals to set up new fresh Covenants on border regions to try and grow at the expense of the neighbour. I see this as a feature (plot hook) rather than a bug.
Formerly covering much more of the Iberian Peninsula, it is gradually shrinking, as the agreed partition between Andalusia and Catalonia are the domains of Christendom and of Islam. The last redrawing at the Greater Tribunal of 1179 used the Tagus river for the western border and the Cuenca mountains and Castellon as its Eastern border.
The Tribunal is dominated by native Ex Misc Sahirs and Criamons who moved in, several high profile Guernicus have made their residence on the border regions in the past decades to follow more closely on the rumours of Flambeau meddling with mundanes. They are opposed to the Catalonian Tribunal.
In order to make up for the ground they are losing on the Iberian peninsula, they have established a thriving Covenant in the Rif and plan further expansions into the Atlas mountains, where many mystical animals, such as white, auram aspected, lions are said to live.
This is not a Tribunal per say, but a no man's land agreed between the Tribunals of Kiev and Czech & Lech. The Rhine and Greater Alpes were key to brokering this agreement as the local population were neither Eastern nor Western Slavic, which had been the broadly agreed border criteria between the two. The mages of the Rhine sought to leave this area free to colonise it themselves or at least to send off their freshly gauntleted apprentices as the German Vis sources are growing rarer, while at the same time, circumventing the need to approval to set up a new Covenant.
While this area spend decades largely ignored, on the back of the Baltic Crusade and the foundation of a Mercere House in Riga, a number of young mages from the Rhine, the Alpes and Roma have migrated to capitalise on a number of unclaimed vis sources that they could only have dreamed of in their home Tribunals. Whether they will seek the protection of their home tribunals, the neighbouring slavic tribunals or seek to form their own at the next Grand Tribunal remains to be seen.
Catalonia was a rump of the old Lotharingian Tribunal which grew to the Pyrenees and then southwards under the impetus of house Flambeau.
Catalonian Covenants have been expanding ever since and are claiming freshly evacuated lands as allodial and Terra Nullis, in order to set up new several spring Covenants or chapter houses. They are following hot on the heels of the Reconquista, and even are often accused of supporting the christian crusaders unlawfully.
The Flambeau are heavily represented in this Tribunal along with house Jerbiton. They have viewed the Albigensian crusade suspiciously as an encroachement of the Norman onto their territories, however in the absence of new Norman sponsored tribunals, they have refrained from getting involved as their eyes are turn south.
Once covering all of the British isles thanks to Pralix, the tribunal fragmented and has been riven by dissention, largely between the more populated English realm and the smaller tribal Celtic ones. The main factions (Stonehenge, Loch Legan and Hibernia) endured extended hardship during the Schism war as not only Diedne were hunted but old scores were settled. These tensions kept escalating under the reign of William the Conqueror and many traditional Ex misc Celtic traditions saw grave hardship during the Harrowing of the North, which many saw as an attack by the Latin leaning southerners against the Northern autochtones.
This second civil war was averted by the Compact of Broceliande, where Brittany seceded from Normandy, under a strong Tytalus impetus. Hadrian's wall was agreed as one border, owing to it's lay lines and Mercurian significance. While Wales and Cornwall joined the Celtic Tribunal, these sparsely populated regions have since fallen under the yoke of the King of England and the locals are being subjugated by the Anglo-Norman rulers, some allegedly supported by the Stonehenge faction. If rumours are to be believed, two or three older Covenants in Normandy have been accumulating young mages to form new chapter houses both in the Welsh marches as well as to reclaim Tintagel for Normandy, while the local Tremere are pushing for a redrawing of the Tribunal border to represent the English crown lands.
The Tribunal is dominated by the Tytallus, Ex Misc and Merenita members, though strong regional characters keep the three main factions (Hibernia, Loch Legan and Breton) at each other's throat rather than working together (some might think this deliberate on the part of the Tytalus). The few Guernicus struggle to maintain any order as these regions make the northern and western frontier of the Order, with only rare visits failing to stop famous decades long wizard's war.
Czech & Lech
This is a dangerous and wild Tribunal, while a buffer zone in Ruthenia separates its mages from their rivals in the Kievan Tribunal, there is no love lost between the Polish and Czech mages of this Tribunal and their neighbours. They still hold on to some of Pommerania, thanks to the strong influence of Crintera who laid claim to registered vis sources there, which is the most proeminent Covenant in the Tribunal, hotly followed by the Irencila in Bohemia and Leykza in Poland. Owing to the presence large numbers of Merenita and Bjornaer spreading from their Domus, the Tribunal is seen as strong despite its small population. The border between it and the Rhine has been delineated with a large number of magically marked stones, which are regularly inspected by mages of both Tribunals, lest the other move them. A mage caught harvesting Vis across the border can expect little mercy from their neighbour.
This Tribunal was founded by splitting from the first Novgorodian Tribunal, due to the terrible dissention between the Polish and Russian mages. The two bohemian Covenants of Irencilla and Roznov were keen to join, as they had felt like outsiders among the more Latin descended Rhine Tribunal. Cintera's adhesion was a last minute affair, which led to a more complicated border drawing, but fearing that the heirs of Bjorna's enemy might be integrated into a neighbouring Tribunal, they joined Czech and Lech, to keep hunting down their ancestral enemies with a minimum of outside interference.
In countrast its Eastern border is much more nebulous, the area south of the Baltic lands (broadly the Minsk-Pinsk corridor) does not have any settled Covenants, though both sides would be keen to establish new Covenants in order to lay new claims.
No major change. The Borders with Roma is since its inception are the Po and Polcevera rivers. While Venice was expected to join due to its location, the vote was swayed by the large number of Roman chapter (trading) houses based there.
Its borders are considered the most quiet, having only changed once, to absorb the duchy of Provence.
The Kievan Tribunal is a wild place, pretty much the old Novgorod Tribunal, but with different borders. Also, does not lay claim to Scandinavia, per the mediated split with Czech and Lech.
The Levant Tribunal does not have formally agreed upon borders. The Toros mountains make a de facto border with the lands realistically claimed by the Theban Tribunal, and the recent siege of Damietta by German Crusaders has led to the Easternmost branch of the Nile being claimed as its other border with Africa, while the establishment of a new Covenant there or in the Sinai has been discussed, it has yet to manifest.
Not a Tribunal, however wishing to avoid the bad luck of being the 13th Tribunal, its members both in Normandy and the Rhine seek to ally themselves with the Baltic Tribunal faction to establish both Tribunals simultaneously.
The Norman Tribunal covers most of the Territories of the Kingdoms of France and England, with several factions hoping for a merging of the two crowns in the coming years. The border with Catalonia is volatile, partly based on the old roman split of Gaul and party on subsequent redrawings. With the Stonehenge faction abandonning the British Tribunal in favour of Normandy, Aquitaine was brought along to correspond to Realm borders, as well as to attenuate tensions between the large Sorginak tradition which had been locking horns with zealous Flambeau.
The Tribunal is highly tumultuous with a large number of Tytalus and Flambeau mages seeking to further the influence of their Domus in neighbouring Tribunals. Its borders with the Celtic tribunal are seen as good testing grounds for young mages who wish to experience the frontier and to test their magical might.
Its North-Eastern border with the Rhine could well be redrawn as the Flemish and Champagne based covenants seek more peaceful interactions with the mundane world and less open conflict and raiding.
The Tribunal is highly populous with only Catalonia rivalling it in sheer number of mages, though strong regional factions prevent cohesive actions on a grand scale, instead an ever shifting web of alliances (and sometimes of allegiances) determines who holds the most power at any time.
The regular tournaments offer not only Norman mages, but their guests as well, the opportunity to challenge other mages without the fatal consequence of wizard's war.
No major chance compared to the book, except its eastern border is with the Tribunal of Czech and Lech. This border was formalised at the same time as the Novgorodian split. It's southern border are the alpes and the Donau with the Greater Alpes, and the old Lotharingian border with Normandy. Several younger covenants in its West seek to reform Lotharingia to escape its stiffling rules, which terrifies the older Covenants, as they risk, in addition to a vis penury, a great loss of prestige and a reduction in numbers which would put them far behind the Norman Tribunal.
The Ash Gild is keen on establishing a new Covenant in Denmark to claim the whole Kingdom as part of the Rhine, if not at the Grand tribunal of 1228 then at that of 1277.
Much as the books, agreed a northern border with the Alpes as the Po/Polcevera. Venice still is part of it, not that the populated city generates vis, but it is an active trading center binding the interest of most of the Roman Tribunal who have trading chapterhouses there.
Several young magi want to reclaim the lost Covenant of Carthage with had been established during the Sicilian invasion of Tunisia under Roger II. It's loss to the Sahirs is yet to be confirmed and many speak of untapped vis sources there, which are cruelly missing from populous Italy.
No major change. They maintain a Covenant near Cherson as a last bastion of the Empire, though long seen as a winter Covenant buoyed by trade, the sack of Constantinople has led to several active magi taking refuge there and reinvigorating the old site. The Caucasus mountains are an agreed upon northern frontier, though as of 1220, there is no active covenant past Trebizond due to the marauding Turks. The Tribunal is vis rich, thanks to a plethora of Greek mythological sites, which has not driven many mages to defend its eastern border against the steppe horse archers and their hedge tradition. They are much more occupied thwarting the plans of Roman mages who see the latin Empire as a reason to expand their interests eastwards, with Crete as a prize.
No real change.
I welcome feedback.